The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople,
On the Gospel According to John.The Oxford Translation, revised with additional notes by
Rev. Philip Schaff, D.D., LL.D.
Published in 1886 by Philip Schaff, New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co.
Homily LIX.John ix. 34-36
"And they cast him out. And Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him?" And the rest.
[1.] They who for the sake of the truth and the confession of  Christ suffer anything terrible and are insulted, these are especially honored. For as he who loseth his possessions for His sake, the same it is who most findeth them; as he who hateth his own life, the same it is who most loveth it; so too he who is insulted, is the same who is most honored. As fell out in the case of the blind man. The Jews cast him out from the Temple, and the Lord of the Temple found him; he was separated from that pestilent company, and met with the Fountain of salvation; he was dishonored by those who dishonored Christ, and was honored by the Lord of Angels. Such are the prizes of truth. And so we, if we leave our possessions in this world, find confidence in the next; if here we give to the afflicted, we shall have rest in heaven; if we be insulted for the sake of God, we are honored both here and there.
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Ver. 37 . "Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee."
He said not "I am He," but as yet in an intermediate  and reserved manner, "Thou hast both seen Him." This was still uncertain; therefore He addeth more clearly, "It is He that talketh with thee."
Ver. 38 . "He saith, Lord, I believe; and he worshiped Him" (straightway  ).
He said not, "I am He that healed thee, that bade thee, Go, wash in Siloam"; but keeping silence on all these points, He saith, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" and then the man, showing his great earnestness, straightway worshiped; which few of those who were healed had done; as, for instance, the lepers, and some others; by this act declaring His divine power. For that no one might think that what had been said by him was a mere expression, he added also the deed. When he had worshiped, Christ said,
Ver. 39 . "For judgment I am come into the world, that they which see not might see, and that they which see might be made blind."
So also saith Paul; "What shall we say then? That the Gentiles which followed not after righteousness have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of the faith of Jesus; but Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness." ( Rom. ix. 30, 31 .) By saying, "For judgment I am come into this world," He both made the man stronger respecting the faith, and aroused those who followed Him; for the Pharisees were following Him. And the, "For judgment," He spake with reference to a greater punishment; showing that they who had given sentence against Him, had received sentence against themselves; that they who had condemned Him as a sinner, were themselves the persons condemned. In this passage He speaketh of two recoveries of sight, and two blindnesses; one sensible, the other spiritual.
Ver. 40 . "Some of them that followed Him, say unto Him,  Are we also blind?"
As in another place they said, "We were never servants to any man"; and, "We be not born of fornication" ( c. viii. 33, 41 ); so now they gape on material things alone, and are ashamed of this kind of blindness. Then to show that it was better for them to be blind than seeing, He saith,
Ver. 41 . "If ye were blind, ye should have no sin."
Since they deemed the calamity a matter to be ashamed of, He turneth this back upon their own head, telling them, that "this very thing would have rendered your punishment more tolerable"; cutting away on every side their human thoughts, and leading them to a notion high and marvelous.
"But now ye say, We see."
As He saith in that other place, "Of whom ye said that He was your God" ( c. viii. 54 ); so too here, "Now ye say that ye see,  but ye see not." He showeth that what they deemed a great matter for praise, brought punishment upon them. He also comforted him who was blind from his birth, concerning his former maimed state, and then speaketh concerning their blindness. For He directeth His whole speech to this end, that they may not say, "We did not refuse to come to thee owing to our blindness, but we turn away and avoid thee as a deceiver."
[2.] And not without a cause hath the Evangelist mentioned, that they of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things, and said, "Are we blind also?" but to remind thee that these were the men who first withdrew from and then stoned Him, for they were persons who followed Him superficially, and who easily changed to the contrary opinion. How then doth He prove that He is not a deceiver, but a Shepherd? By laying down the distinguishing marks both of the shepherd, and of him who is a deceiver and a spoiler, and from these affording them opportunity of searching into the truth of the matter. And first He showeth who is a deceiver and a spoiler, calling him so from the Scriptures, and saying,
Chap. x. ver. 1 . "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber."
Observe the marks of a robber; first, that he doth not enter openly; secondly, not according to the Scriptures, for this is the, "not by the door." Here also He referreth to those who had been before, and to those who should be after Him, Antichrist and the false Christs, Judas and Theudas, and whatever others there have been of the same kind. And with good cause He calleth the Scriptures "a door," for they bring us to God, and open to us the knowledge of God, they make the sheep, they guard them, and suffer not the wolves to come in after them. For Scripture, like some sure door, barreth the passage against the heretics, placing us in a state of safety as to all that we desire, and not allowing us to wander; and if we undo it not, we shall not easily be conquered by our foes. By it we can know all, both those who are, and those who are not, shepherds. But what is "into the fold"? It refers to the sheep, and the care of them. For he that useth not the Scriptures, but "climbeth up some other way," that is, who cutteth out for himself another and an unusual  way, "the same is a thief." Seest thou from this too that Christ agreeth with the Father, in that He bringeth forward the Scriptures? On which account also He said to the Jews, "Search the Scriptures" ( c. v. 39 ); and brought forward Moses, and called him and all the Prophets witnesses, for "all," saith He,  "who hear the Prophets shall come to Me"; and, "Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me." But here He hath put the same thing metaphorically. And by saying, "climbeth up some other way," He alluded to the Scribes, because they taught for commandments the doctrines of men, and transgressed the Law ( Matt. xv. 9 ); with which He reproached them, and said, "None of you doeth the Law." ( c. vii. 19 .) Well did He say, "climbeth up," not "entereth in," since to climb is the act of a thief intending to overleap a wall, and who doeth all with danger. Hast thou seen how He hath sketched the robber? now observe the character of the shepherd. What then is it?
Ver. 2-4 . "He that entereth in by the door, the same is the shepherd of the sheep; to him the doorkeeper openeth, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calleth his own by name.  And when he hath brought them out, he goeth before them."
[3.] He hath set down the marks of the shepherd, and of the evil doer; let us now see how He hath fitted to them what followeth. "To him," He saith, "the doorkeeper openeth"; He continueth in the metaphor to make the discourse more emphatic. But if thou shouldest be minded to examine the parable word by word, there is nothing to hinder thee from supposing Moses to be the doorkeeper, for to him were entrusted the oracles of God. "Whose voice the sheep hear, and he calleth his own by name." Because they everywhere said that He was a deceiver, and confirmed this by their own unbelief, saying, "Which  of the rulers hath believed on him?" ( c. vii. 48 .) He showeth that they ought not on account of the unbelief of those persons to call Him a spoiler and deceiver, but that they, because they gave no heed to Him were consequently even excluded from the rank of sheep. For if a shepherd's part is to enter through the usual door, and if He entered through this, all they who followed Him might be sheep, but they who rent themselves away, hurt not the reputation of the Shepherd, but cast themselves out from the kindred of the sheep. And if farther on He saith that He is "the door," we must not again be disturbed, for He also calleth Himself "Shepherd," and "Sheep," and in different ways proclaimeth His dispensations. Thus, when He bringeth us to the Father, He calleth Himself "a Door," when He taketh care of us, "a Shepherd"; and it is that thou mayest not suppose, that to bring us to the Father is His only office, that He calleth Himself a Shepherd. "And the sheep hear his voice, and he calleth his own sheep, and leadeth them out, and goeth before them." Shepherds indeed do the contrary, for they follow after them; but He to show that He will lead all men to the truth, doeth differently; as also when He sent the sheep, He sent them, not out of the way of wolves, but "in the midst of wolves." ( Matt. x. 16 .) For far more wonderful is this manner of keeping sheep than ours. He seemeth to me also to allude to the blind man, for him too, having "called," He "led out" from the midst of the Jews, and the man heard "His voice," and "knew" it.
Ver. 5 . "And  a stranger will they not follow, for they know not the voice of strangers."
Certainly here He speaketh of Theudas and Judas, (for "all, as many as believed on them, were scattered" [ Acts v. 36 ], It saith,) or of the false Christs who after that time should deceive. For lest any should say that He was one of these, He in many ways separateth Himself from them. And the first difference He setteth down is His teaching from the Scriptures; for He by means of these led men to Him, but the others did not from these draw men after them. The second is, the obedience of the sheep; for on Him they all believed, not only while He lived, but when He had died; the others they straightway left. With these we may mention a third difference, no trifling one. They did all as rebels,  and to cause revolts, but He placed Himself so far from such suspicion, that when they would have made Him a king, He fled; and when they asked, "Is it lawful to give tribute unto Cæsar?" He bade them pay it, and Himself gave the two drachm piece. ( Matt. xvii. 27 .) Besides this, He indeed came for the saving of the sheep, "That they might have life, and that they might have more abundantly" ( ver. 10 ), but the others deprived them even of this present life. They betrayed those who were entrusted to them and fled, but He withstood so nobly as even to give up His life. They unwillingly, and by compulsion, and desiring to escape, suffered what they suffered, but He willingly and by choice endured all.
Ver. 6 . "This parable spake Jesus unto them, but they understood not what things they were which He spake unto them."
And wherefore spake He obscurely? Because He would make them more attentive; when He had effected this, He removes the obscurity, saying,
Ver. 9 . "I am  the door, by Me if any man enter in, he  shall go in and out, and find pasture."
As though He had said, "shall be in safety and security," (but by "pasture," He here meaneth His nurturing and feeding the sheep, and His power  and Lordship,) that is, "shall remain within, and none shall thrust him out." Which took place in the case of the Apostles, who came in and went out securely, as having become lords of all the world, and none was able to cast them out.
Ver. 8 . "All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them."
He doth not here speak of the Prophets, (as the heretics assert,) for as many as believed on Christ did hear them also, and were persuaded by them; but of Theudas and Judas, and the other exciters of sedition. Besides, He saith, "the sheep did not hear them," as praising them; now nowhere is He seen to praise those who refused to hearken to the Prophets, but, on the contrary, to reproach and accuse them vehe mently; whence it is evident that the, "did not hear," refers to those leaders of sedition.
Ver. 10 . "The thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy."
Which then took place when all (their followers) were slain and perished.
"But I am come that they might have life, and that they might have more." 
And what is "more" than life, tell me? The kingdom of heaven. But He doth not as yet say this, but dwelleth on the name of "life," which was known to them.
Ver. 11 . "I am the good Shepherd."
Here He next speaketh concerning the Passion, showing that this should be for the salvation of the world, and that He came to it not unwillingly. Then again He mentioneth the character of the shepherd and the hireling.
"For the shepherd  layeth down his life." 
Ver. 12 . "But he that is an hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep and fleeth, and the wolf cometh and catcheth them." 
Here He declareth Himself to be Master even as the Father, if so be that He is the Shepherd, and the sheep are His. Seest thou how He speaketh in a more lofty tone in His parables, where the sense is concealed; and giveth no open handle to the listeners? What then doth this hireling? He "seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and the wolf cometh, and scattereth them." This those false teachers did, but He the contrary. For when He was taken, He said, "Let these go their way, that the saying might be fulfilled" ( c. xviii. 8, 9 ), that not one of them was lost. Here also we may suspect a spiritual  wolf to be intended; for neither did Christ allow him to go and seize the sheep. But he is not a wolf only, but a lion also. "Because our  adversary the devil," It saith, "walketh about as a roaring lion." ( 1 Pet. v. 8 .) He is also a serpent, and a dragon; for, "Tread ye  on serpents and scorpions." ( Luke x. 19 .)
[4.] Wherefore, I beseech you, let us remain pasturing beneath this Shepherd; and we shall remain, if we obey Him, if we hear His voice, if we follow not a stranger. And what is His voice? "Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are the pure in heart, blessed are the merciful." ( Matt. v. 3, 8, 7 .) If thus we do, we shall remain beneath the Shepherd, and the wolf will not be able to come in; or if he come against us, he will do so to his own hurt. For we have a Shepherd who so loveth us, that He gave even His life for us. When therefore He is both powerful and loveth us, what is there to hinder us from being saved? Nothing, unless we ourselves revolt from Him. And how can we revolt? Hear Him saying, "Ye cannot serve two masters, God and mammon." ( Matt. vi. 24 .) If then we serve God, we shall not submit to the tyranny of mammon. And truly a bitterer thing than any tyranny is the desire of riches; for it brings no pleasure, but cares, and envyings, and plottings, and hatred, and false accusations, and ten thousand impediments to virtue, indolence, wantonness, greediness, drunkenness, which make even freemen slaves, nay, worse than slaves bought with money, slaves not to men, but even to the most grievous of the passions, and maladies of the soul. Such a one dares many things displeasing to God and men, dreading lest any should remove from him this dominion. O bitter slavery, and devlish tyranny! For this is the most grievous thing of all, that when entangled in such evils we are pleased and hug our chain, and dwelling in a prison house full of darkness, refuse to come forth to the light, but rivet evil upon ourselves, and rejoice in our malady. So that we cannot be freed, but are in a worse state than those that work the mines, enduring labors and affliction, but not enjoying the fruit. And what is in truth worse than all, if any one desire to free us from this bitter captivity, we do not suffer it, but are even vexed and displeased, being in this respect in no better case than madmen, or rather in a much more miserable state than any such, inasmuch as we are not even willing to be delivered from our madness. What? was it for this, O man, that thou wast brought into the world? Was it for this that thou wast made a man, that thou mightest work in these mines, and gather gold? Not for this did God create thee in His Image, but that thou mightest please Him, that thou mightest obtain the things to come, that thou mightest join the choir of Angels. Why now dost thou banish thyself from such a relationship, and thrust thyself into the extreme of dishonor and meanness?  He who came by the same birth pangs with thee, (the spiritual birth pangs I mean,) is perishing with hunger, and thou art bursting with fullness: thy brother goeth about with naked body, but thou providest garments even for thy garments, heaping up all this clothing for the worms. How much better would it have been to put them on the bodies of the poor; so would they have remained undestroyed, would have freed thee from all care, and have won for thee the life to come. If thou wilt not have them to be moth-eaten, give them to the poor, these are they who know how to shake these garments well. The Body of Christ is more precious and more secure than the coffer, for not only doth It keep the garments safe, not only doth It preserve them unconsumed, but even rendereth them brighter. Oftentimes the coffer taken with the garments causeth thee the utmost loss, but this place of safety not even death can harm. With It we need neither doors nor bolts, nor wakeful servants, nor any other such security, for our possessions are free from all treacherous attacks, and are laid up under guard, as we may suppose things laid up in heaven would be; for to all wickedness that place is inaccessible. These things we cease not continually to say to you, and you hearing are not persuaded. The reason is, that we are of a soul which is mean, gaping upon the earth, groveling on the ground. Or rather, God forbid that I should condemn you all of wickedness, as though all were incurably diseased. For even if those who are drunk with riches stop their ears against my words, yet they who live in poverty will be able to look clearly to what I say. "But what," saith some one, "hath this to do with the poor? for they have no gold, or any such garments." No, but they have bread and cold water, but they have two obols, and feet to visit the sick, but they have a tongue and speech to comfort the bedridden, but they have house and shelter to make the stranger their inmate. We demand not from the poor such and such a number of talents of gold, these we ask from the rich. But if a man be poor, and come to the doors of others, our Lord is not ashamed to receive even an obol, but will say that He hath received more from the giver, than from those who cast in much. How many of those who now stand here would desire to have been born at that time, when Christ went about the earth in the flesh, to have conversed and sat at meat with Him? Lo, this may be done now, we may invite Him more than then to a meal, and feast with Him, and that to greater profit. For of those who then feasted with Him many even perished, as Judas and others like him; but every one of those who invite Him to their houses now, and share with Him table and roof, shall enjoy a great blessing. "Come," it saith, "ye blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in; sick, and ye visited Me; I was in prison, and ye came unto Me." ( Matt. xxv. 34-36 .) That then we may hear these words, let us clothe the naked, let us bring in the stranger, feed the hungry, give the thirsty drink, let us visit the sick, and look upon him that is in prison, that we may have boldness and obtain remission of our sins, and share those good things which transcend both speech and thought. Which may we all obtain, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory and the might  forever. Amen.
John x. 14, 15
"I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine. As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep."
[1.] A great matter, beloved, a great matter it is to preside over a Church: a matter needing wisdom and courage as great as that of which Christ speaketh, that a man should lay down his life for the sheep, and never leave them deserted or naked; that he should stand against the wolf nobly. For in this the shepherd differs from the hireling; the one always looks to his own safety, caring not for the sheep; the other always seeks that of the sheep, neglecting his own. Having therefore mentioned the marks of a shepherd, Christ hath put two kinds of spoilers; one, the thief who kills and steals; the other, one who doth not these things, but who when they are done doth not give heed nor hinder them. By the first, pointing to Theudas and those like him; by the second, exposing the teachers of the Jews, who neither cared for nor thought about the sheep entrusted to them. On which account Ezekiel of old rebuked them, and said, "Woe,  ye shepherds of Israel! Do the shepherds feed themselves? Do not the shepherds feed the sheep?" ( Ezek. xxxiv. 2 , LXX.) But they did the contrary, which is the worst kind of wickedness, and the cause of all the rest. Wherefore It saith, "They have not turned back the strayed, nor sought the lost, nor bound up the broken, nor healed the sick, because they fed themselves and not the sheep." ( Ezek. xxxiv. 4 .) As Paul also hath declared in another passage, saying, "For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's" ( Philip. ii. 21 ); and again, "Let no man seek his own, but every man his neighbor's." ( 1 Cor. x. 24 .) From both Christ distinguisheth Himself; from those who came to spoil, by saying, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have more abundantly" ( ver. 10 ); and from those who cared not for the sheep being carried away by wolves, by never deserting them, but even laying down His life for them, that the sheep might not perish. For when they desired to kill Him, He neither altered His teaching, nor betrayed those who believed on Him, but stood firm, and chose to die. Wherefore He continually said, "I am the good Shepherd." Then because His words appeared to be unsupported by testimony, (for though the, "I lay down My life," was not long after proved, yet the, "that they might have life, and that they might have more abundantly," was to come to pass after their departure hence in the life to come,) what doth He? He proveth one from the other; by giving His mortal life  (He proveth) that He giveth life immortal.  As Paul also saith, "If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more being reconciled we shall be saved." ( Rom. v. 10 .) And again in another place, "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" ( Rom. viii. 32 .)
But wherefore do they not now bring against Him the charge which they did before, when they said, "Thou bearest witness of thyself, thy witness is not true?" ( c. viii. 13 .) Because He had often stopped their mouths, and because His boldness towards them had been increased by His miracles. Then because He said above "And the sheep hear his voice, and follow him," lest any should say, "What then is this to those who believe not?" hear what He addeth, "And I know My sheep, and am known of Mine." As Paul declared when he said, "God hath not rejected His people whom He foreknew" ( Rom. xi. 2 ); and Moses, "The Lord knew those that were His" ( 2 Tim. ii. 19; comp. Num. xvi. 5 ); "those," He saith, "I mean, whom He  foreknew." Then that thou mayest not deem the measure of knowledge to be equal, hear how He setteth the matter right by adding, "I know My sheep, and am known of Mine." But the knowledge is not equal. "Where is it equal?" In the case of the Father and Me, for there, "As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father." Had He not wished to prove this, why should He have added that expression? Because He often ranked Himself among the many, therefore, lest any one should deem that He knew as a man knoweth, He added, "As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father." "I know Him as exactly as He knoweth Me." Wherefore He said, "No man knoweth the Son  save the Father, nor the Father save the Son" ( Luke x. 22 ), speaking of a distinct kind of knowledge, and such as no other can possess.
[2.] "I lay down My life." This He saith continually, to show that He is no deceiver. So also the Apostle, when he desired to show that he was a genuine teacher, and was arguing against the false apostles, established his authority by his dangers and deaths, saying, "In stripes above measure, in deaths oft." ( 2 Cor. xi. 23 .) For to say, "I am light," and "I am life," seemed to the foolish to be a matter of pride; but to say, "I am willing to die," admitted not any malice or envy. Wherefore they do not say to Him, "Thou bearest witness of thyself, thy witness is not true," for the speech manifested very tender care for them, if indeed He was willing to give Himself for those who would have stoned Him. On this account also He seasonably introduceth mention of the Gentiles;
Ver. 16 . "For other sheep also I have," He saith, "which are not of this fold, them also must I bring."
Observe again, the word "must," here used, doth not express necessity, but is declaratory of something which will certainly come to pass. As though He had said, "Why marvel ye if these shall follow Me, and if My sheep shall hear My voice? When ye shall see others also following Me and hearing My voice, then shall ye be astonished more." And be not confounded when you hear Him say, "which are not of this fold" ( Gal. v. 6 ), for the difference relateth to the Law only, as also Paul saith, "Neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision."
"Them also must I bring." He showeth that both these and those were scattered and mixed, and without shepherds, because the good Shepherd had not yet come. Then He proclaimeth beforehand their future union, that,
"They shall be one fold." 
Which same thing also Paul  declared, saying, "For to make in Himself of twain one new man." ( Eph. ii. 15 .)
Ver. 17 . "Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again."
What could be more full of humanity than this saying, if so be that on our account our Lord shall be beloved, because He dieth for us? What then? tell me, was He not beloved during the time before this; did the Father now begin to love Him, and were we the causes of His love? Seest thou how He used condescension? But what doth He here desire to prove? Because they said that He was alien from the Father, and a deceiver, and had come to ruin and destroy He telleth them, "This if nothing else would persuade Me to love you, namely, your being so beloved by the Father, that I also am beloved by Him, because I die for you." Besides this He desireth also to prove that other point, that He came not to the action unwillingly, (for it unwillingly, how could what was done cause love?) and that this was especially known to the Father. And if He speaketh as a man, marvel not, for we have often mentioned the cause of this, and to say again the same things is superfluous and unpleasant.
"I lay down My life, that I might take it again."
Ver. 18 . "No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again."
Because they often took counsel to kill Him, He telleth them, "Except I will, your labor is unavailing." And by the first He proveth the second, by the Death, the Resurrection. For this is the strange and wonderful thing. Since both took place in a new way, and beyond ordinary custom. But let us give heed exactly to what He saith, "I have power to lay down My life." And who hath not "power to lay down his life"? Since it is in the power of any that will, to kill himself. But He saith it not so, but how? "I have in such a way the power to lay it down, that no one can effect this against My will." And this is a power not belonging to men; for we have no power to lay it down in any other way than by killing ourselves. And if we fall into the hands of men who plot against us, and have the power to kill us, we no longer are free to lay it down or not, but even against our will they take it from us. Now this was not the case with Christ, but even when others plotted against Him, He had power not to lay it down. Having therefore said that, "No man taketh it from Me," He addeth, "I have power to lay down My life," that is, "I alone can decide as to laying it down," a thing which doth not rest with us,  for many others also are able to take it from us. Now this He said not at first, (since the assertion would not have seemed credible,) but when He had received the testimony of facts, and when, having often plotted against Him, they had been unable to lay hold on Him, (for He escaped from their hands ten thousand times,) He then saith, "No man taketh it from me." But if this be true, that other point follows, that He came to death voluntarily. And if this be true, the next point is also certain, that He can "take it again" when He will. For if the dying  was a greater thing than man could do, doubt no more about the other. Since the fact that He alone was able to let go His life, showeth that He was able by the same power to take it again. Seest thou how from the first He proved the second, and from His death showed that His Resurrection was indisputable?
"This commandment have I received of My Father."
What commandment was this? To die for the world. Did He then wait first to hear, and then choose, and had He need of learning it? Who that had sense would assert this? But before when He said, "Therefore doth My Father love Me," He showed that the first motion was voluntary, and removed all suspicion of opposition to the Father; so here when He saith that He received a commandment from the Father, He declared nothing save that, "this which I do seemeth good to Him," in order that when they should slay Him, they might not think that they had slain Him as one deserted and given up by the Father, nor reproach Him with such reproaches as they did, "He saved others, himself he cannot save"; and, "If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross" ( Matt. xxvii. 42, 40 ); yet the very reason of His not coming down was, that He was the Son of God.
[3.] Then lest on hearing that, "I have received a command from the Father," thou shouldest deem that the achievement  doth not belong to Him, He hath said preventing the, "The good Shepherd layeth down His life for the sheep"; showing by this that the sheep were His, and that all which took place was His achievement, and that He needed no command. For had He needed a commandment, how could He have said, "I lay it down of Myself"? for He that layeth it down of Himself needeth no commandment. He also assigneth the cause for which He doeth this. And what is that? That He is the Shepherd, and the good Shepherd. Now the good Shepherd needeth no one to arouse him to his duty; and if this be the case with man, much more is it so with God. Wherefore Paul said, that "He emptied Himself." ( Philip. ii. 7 .) So the "commandment" put here means nothing else, but to show His unanimity with the Father; and if He speaketh in so humble and human a way, the cause is the infirmity of His hearers.
Ver. 19 . "There was a division therefore  among the Jews.  And some  said, He hath a devil (and is mad  ). Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil: can a devil open the eyes of the blind?"
For because His words were greater than belonged to man, and not of common use, they said that He had a devil, calling Him so now for the fourth time. For they before had said, "Thou hast a devil, who seeketh to kill thee?" ( c. vii. 20 ); and again, "Said we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?" ( c. viii. 48 ); and here, "He hath a devil and is mad, why hear ye him?" Or rather we should say, that He heard this not for the fourth time, but frequently. For to ask, "Said we not well that thou hast a devil?" is a sign that they had said so not twice or thrice, but many times. "Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil: can a devil open the eyes of the blind?" For since they could not silence their opponents by words, they now brought proof from His works. "Certainly neither are the words those of one that hath a devil, yet if ye are not persuaded by the words, be ye shamed by the works. For if they are not the acts of one that hath a devil, and are greater than belong to man, it is quite clear that they proceed from some divine power." Seest thou the argument? That they were greater than belonged to man is plain, from the Jews saying, "He hath a devil"; that He had not a devil, He showed by what He did.
What then did Christ? He answered nothing to these things. Before this He had replied, "I have not a devil"; but not so now; for since He had afforded proof by His actions, He afterwards held His peace. For neither were they worthy of an answer, who said that He was possessed of a devil, on account of those actions for which they ought to have admired and deemed Him to be God. And how were any farther refutations from Him needed, when they opposed and refuted each other? Wherefore He was silent, and bore all mildly. And not for this reason alone, but also to teach us all meekness and long-suffering.
[4.] Let us now imitate Him. For not only did He now hold His peace, but even came among them again,  and being questioned answered and showed the things relating to His foreknowledge; and though called "demoniac" and "madman," by men who had received from Him ten thousand benefits, and that not once or twice but many times, not only did He refrain from avenging Himself, but even ceased not to benefit them. To benefit, do I say? He laid down His life for them, and while being crucified spake in their behalf to His Father. This then let us also imitate, for to be a disciple of Christ, is the being gentle and kind. But whence can this gentleness come to us? If we continually reckon up our sins, if we mourn, if we weep; for neither doth a soul that dwelleth in the company of so much grief endure to be provoked or angered. Since wherever there is mourning, it is impossible that there should be anger; where grief is, all anger is out of the way; where there is brokenness of spirit, there is no provocation. For the mind, when scourged by sorrow, hath not leisure to be roused, but will groan  bitterly, and weep yet more bitterly. I know that many laugh on hearing these things, but I will not cease to lament for the laughers. For the present is a time for mourning, and wailings, and lamentations, since we do many sins both in word and deed, and hell awaiteth those who commit such transgressions, and the river boiling with a roaring stream of fire, and banishment from the Kingdom, which is the most grievous thing of all. When these things then are threatened, tell me, dost thou laugh and bear thee proudly? And when thy Lord is angered and threatening, dost thou stand careless,  and fearest thou not lest by this thou light for thyself the furnace to a blaze? Hearest thou not what He crieth out every day? "Ye saw Me  an hungered, and gave Me no meat; thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink; depart ye into the fire prepared for the devil and his angels." ( Matt. xxv .) And these things He threatened every day. "But," saith some one, "I did give Him meat." When, and for how many days? Ten or twenty? But He willeth it not merely for so much time as this, but as much as thou spendest upon earth. For the virgins also had oil, yet not sufficient for their salvation; they too lighted their lamps, yet they were shut out from the bridechamber. And with reason, since the lamps had gone out before the coming of the Bridegroom. On this account we need much oil, and abundant lovingkindness. Hear at least what the Prophet saith, "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy great mercy." ( Ps. li. 1 .) We therefore must so take pity upon our neighbor, according to His great mercy towards us. For such as we are towards our fellow-servants, such shall we find our Lord towards ourselves. And what kind of "mercy" is "great"? When we give not of our abundance, but of our deficiency. But if we give not even of our abundance, what hope shall there be for us? Whence shall we have deliverance from those woes? Where shall we be enabled to flee and to find salvation? For if the virgins after so many and so great toils found no comfort anywhere, who shall stand forth for us when we hear those fearful words of the Judge Himself, addressing and reproaching us, because "I was an hungered, and ye gave Me no meat; for inasmuch," It saith, "as ye did it not unto one of the least of these, ye did it not unto Me"; saying this not merely of His disciples, nor of those who have taken upon themselves the ascetic life, but of every faithful man. For such an one though he be a slave, or one of those that beg in the market-place, yet if he believeth in God, ought by right to enjoy all our good will. And if we neglect such an one when naked or hungry, we shall hear those words. With reason. For what difficult or grievous thing hath He demanded of us? What that is not of the very lightest and easiest? He saith not, "I was sick, and ye restored Me not," but, "and ye visited Me not." He saith not, "I was in prison, and ye delivered Me not," but, "and ye came not unto Me." In proportion therefore as the commands are easy, so is the punishment greater to them that disobey. For what is easier, tell me, than to walk forth and enter into a prison? And what more pleasant? For when thou seest some bound, others covered with filth, others with uncut hair and clothed in rags, others perishing with hunger, and running like dogs to your feet, others with deep ploughed sides,  others now returning in chains from the market-place, who beg all day and do not collect even necessary sustenance, and yet at evening are required by those set over them to furnish that wicked and savage service;  though thou be like any stone, thou wilt certainly be rendered kinder; though thou livest a soft and dissipated life, thou wilt certainly become wiser, when thou observest the nature of human affairs in other men's misfortunes; for thou wilt surely gain an idea of that fearful day, and of its varied punishments. Revolving and considering these things, thou wilt certainly cast out both wrath and pleasure, and the love of worldly things, and wilt make thy soul more calm than the calmest harbor; and thou wilt reason concerning that Judgment seat, reflecting that if among men there is so much forethought, and order, and terror, and threatenings, much more will there be with God. "For there is no power but from God." ( Rom. xiii. 1 .) He therefore who permitteth rulers to order these things thus, will much more do the same Himself.
[5.] And certainly were there not this fear, all would be lost, when though such punishments hang over them, there are many who go over to the side of wickedness. These things if thou wisely observe, thou wilt be more ready-minded towards alms-doing, and wilt reap much pleasure, far greater than those who come down from the theater. For they when they remove from thence are inflamed and burn with desire. Having seen those women hovering  on the stage, and received from them ten thousand wounds, they will be in no better condition than a tossing sea, when the image of the faces, the gestures, the speeches, the walk, and all the rest, stand before their eyes and besiege their soul. But they who come forth from a prison will suffer nothing of this kind, but will enjoy great calm and tranquillity. For the compunction arising from the sight of the prisoners, quenches all that fire. And if a woman that is an harlot and a wanton meet a man coming forth from among the prisoners, she will work him no mischief. For becoming for the time to come, as it were, incapable of molding,  he will thus not be taken by the nets of her countenance, because instead of that wanton countenance there will then be placed before his eyes the fear of the Judgment. On this account, he who had gone over every kind of luxury said, "It is better to go into the house of mourning than into the house of mirth." ( Eccl. vii. 2 .) And so "here" thou wilt show forth great wisdom, and "there" wilt hear those words which are worth ten thousand blessings. Let us then not neglect such a practice and occupation. For although we be not able to bring them food, nor to help them by giving money, yet shall we be able to comfort them by our words, and to raise up the drooping spirit, and to help them in many other ways by conversing with those who cast them into prison, and by making their keepers kinder, and we certainly shall effect either small or great good. But if thou sayest that the men there are neither men of condition,  nor good, nor gentle, but man-slayers, tomb-breakers, cut-purses, adulterers, intemperate, and full of many wickednesses, by this again thou showest to me a pressing reason for spending time there. For we are not commanded to take pity on the good and to punish the evil, but to manifest this lovingkindness to all men. "Be ye," It saith, "like to My Father  which is in heaven, for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." ( Matt. v. 45 .) Do not then accuse other men's faults bitterly, nor be a severe judge, but mild and merciful. For we also, if we have not been adulterers, or tomb-breakers, or cut-purses, yet have we other transgressions which deserve infinite punishment. Perchance we have called our brother "fool," which prepares  for us the pit; we have looked on women with unchastened eyes, which constitutes absolute adultery; and what is more  grievous than all, we partake not worthily of the Mysteries, which maketh us guilty of the Body and Blood of Christ. Let us then not be bitter enquirers into the conduct of others, but consider our own state, so shall we desist from this inhumanity and cruelty. Besides this, it may be said that we shall there find many good men, and often men worth as much as all the city. Since even that prison-house in which Joseph was had in it many evil men, yet that just man had the care of them all, and was, with the rest, concealed as to his real character; for he was worth as much as all the land of Egypt, yet still he dwelt in the prison-house, and no one knew him of those that were within it. Thus also even now it is likely that there are  many good and virtuous men, though they be not visible to all men, and the care thou takest of such as these gives thee a return for thy exertions in favor of the whole. Or if there be none such, still even in this case great is thy recompense; for thy Lord conversed not with the just only, while He avoided the unclean, but received with kindness both the Canaanitish woman, and her of Samaria, the abominable and impure; another also who was a harlot, on whose account the Jews reproached Him, He both received and healed, and allowed His feet to be washed by the tears of the polluted one, teaching us to condescend to those that are in sin, for this most of all is kindness. What sayest thou? Do robbers and tomb-breakers dwell in the prison? And, tell me, are all they just men that dwell in the city? Nay, are there not many worse even than these, robbing with greater shamelessness? For the one sort, if there be no other excuse for them, at least put before themselves the veil of solitude and darkness, and the doing these things clandestinely; but the others throw away the mask and go after their wickedness with uncovered head, being violent, grasping, and covetous. Hard it is to find a man pure from injustice.
[6.] If we do not take by violence gold, or such and such a number of acres of land, yet we bring about the same end by deceit and robbery in lesser matters, and where we are able to do so. For when in making contracts, or when we must buy or sell anything, we dispute and strive to pay less than the value, and use our utmost endeavors to have it so, is not the action robbery? Is it not theft and covetousness? Tell not me that thou hast not wrested away houses or slaves, for injustice is judged not by the measure of the things taken, but by the intention of those who commit the robbery. Since "just" and "unjust" have the same force in great and in little things; and I call cut-purses alike the man who cuts through a purse and takes the gold, and him who buying from any of the market people deducts something from the proper price; nor is he the only house-breaker who breaks through a wall and steals anything within, but that man also who corrupts justice, and takes anything from his neighbor.
Let us not then pass by our own faults, and become judges of other men's; nor let us, when it is time for lovingkindness, be searching out their wickedness; but considering what our own state was once, let us now be gentle and kind. What then was our state? Hear Paul say; "For we ourselves also were sometime foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, hateful, and hating one another" ( Tit. iii. 3 ); and again, "We were by nature children of wrath." ( Eph. ii. 3 .) But God seeing us as it were confined in a prison-house, and bound with grievous chains, far more grievous than those of iron, was not ashamed of us, but came and entered the prison, and, though we deserved ten thousand punishments, both brought us out from hence, and brought us to a kingdom, and made us more glorious than the heaven, that we also might do the same according to our power. For when He saith to His disciples, "If I, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet; for I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you" ( c. xiii. 14 ), He writeth this law not merely for the washing the feet, but also in all the other acts which He manifested towards us. Is it a manslayer who inhabits the prison? Yet let not us be weary in doing Him good. Is it a tomb-breaker, or an adulterer? Let us pity not his wickedness, but his calamity. But often, as I before said, one will be found there worth ten thousand; and if thou goest continually to the prisoners, thou shalt not miss so great a prize. For as Abraham, by entertaining even common guests, once met with Angels, so shall we meet with great men too, if we make the action a business. And if I may make a strange assertion, he who entertains a great man is not so worthy of praise as he who receives the wretched and miserable. For the former hath, in his own life, no slight occasion of being well treated, but the other, rejected and given up by all, hath one only harbor, the pity of his benefactor; so that this most of all is pure kindness. He, moreover, who shows attention to an admired and illustrious man, doth it often for ostentation among men, but he who tends the abject and despairing, doth it only because of the command of God. Wherefore, if we make a feast, we are bidden to entertain the lame and halt, and if we do works of mercy, we are bidden to do them to the least and meanest. "For," It saith, "inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto Me." ( Matt. xxv. 45 .) Knowing, therefore, the treasure which is laid up in that place,  let us enter continually, and make it our business, and turn  there our eager feelings about theaters. If thou hast nothing to contribute, contribute the comfort of thy words. For God recompenseth not only him that feedeth, but him also who goeth in. When thou enterest and arouseth the trembling and fearful soul, exhorting, succoring, promising assistance, teaching it true wisdom, thou shalt thence reap no small reward. For if thou shouldest speak in such manner outside the prison, many will even laugh, being dissipated  by their excessive luxury: but those who are in adversity, having their minds humbled, shall meekly attend to thy words, and praise them, and become better men. Since even when Paul preached, the Jews often derided him, but the prisoners listened with much stillness. For nothing renders the soul so fit for heavenly wisdom as calamity and temptation, and the pressure of affliction. Considering all these things, and how much good we shall work both to those within the prison, and to ourselves, by being continually mixed  up with them, let us there spend the time we used to spend in the market-place, and in unseasonable occupations, that we may both win them and gladden ourselves, and by causing God to be glorified, may obtain the everlasting blessings, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom and with whom, to the Father and the Holy Ghost, be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
John x. 22-24
"And it was at Jerusalem, the Feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about Him, and said unto Him, How long dost thou make us to doubt?"
[1.] Every virtue is a good thing, but most of all gentleness and meekness. This showeth us men; this maketh us to differ from wild beasts; this fitteth us to vie with Angels. Wherefore Christ continually expendeth many words about this virtue, bidding us be meek and gentle. Nor doth He merely expend words about it, but also teacheth it by His actions; at one time buffeted and bearing it, at another reproached and plotted against; yet again coming to those who plotted against Him. For those men who had called Him a demoniac, and a Samaritan and who had often desired to kill Him, and had cast stones at Him, the same surrounded and asked Him, "Art thou the Christ?" Yet not even in this case did He reject them after so many and so great plots against Him, but answered them with great gentleness.
But it is necessary rather to enquire into the whole passage from the beginning.
"It was," It saith, "at Jerusalem, the Feast of the dedication, and it was winter." This feast was a great and national one. For they celebrated with great zeal the day on which the Temple was rebuilt, on their return from their long captivity in Persia. At this feast Christ also was present, for henceforth He continually abode in Judæa, because the Passion was nigh.  "Then came the Jews round about Him, and said, How long dost thou make us to doubt?"
"If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly."
He did not reply, "What enquire ye  of Me? Often have ye called Me demoniac, madman, and Samaritan, and have deemed me an enemy of God, and a deceiver, and ye said but now, Thou bearest witness of thyself, thy witness is not true; how is it then that ye seek and desire to learn from Me, whose witness ye reject?" But He said nothing of the kind, although He knew that the intention with which they made the enquiry was evil. For their surrounding Him and saying, "How long dost thou make us to doubt?" seemed to proceed from a certain longing and desire of learning, but the intention with which they asked the question was corrupt and deceitful. For since His works admitted not of their slander and insolence, while they might attack His sayings by finding out in them a sense other than that in which they were spoken, they continually proposed questions, desiring to silence Him by means of His sayings; and when they could find no fault with His works, they wished to find a handle in His words. Therefore they said, "Tell us"; yet He had often told them. For He said to the woman of Samaria, "I Am that speak unto thee" ( c. iv. 26 ); and to the blind man, "Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee." ( c. ix. 37 .) And He had told them also, if not in the same, at least in other words. And indeed, had they been wise, and had they desired to enquire aright, it remained for them to confess Him by words, since by works He had often proved the point in question. But now observe their perverse and disputations temper. When He addresseth them, and instructeth them by His words, they say, "What sign showest thou us?" ( c. vi. 30 .) But when He giveth them proofs by His works, they say to Him, "Art thou the Christ? Tell us plainly"; when the works cry aloud, they seek words, and when the words teach, then they betake themselves to works, ever setting themselves to the contrary. But that they enquired not for the sake of learning, the end showed. For Him whom they deemed to be so worthy of credit, as to receive His witness of Himself, when He had spoken a few words they straightway stoned; so that their very surrounding and pressing upon Him was done with ill intent.
And the mode of questioning was full of much hatred. "Tell us plainly, Art thou the Christ?" Yet He spake all things openly, being ever present at their feasts, and in secret He said nothing; but they brought forward words of deceit, "How long dost thou make us to doubt?" in order that having drawn Him out, they might again find some handle against Him. For that in every case they questioned Him not in order to learn, but to find fault with His words, is clear, not from this passage only, but from many others also. Since when they came to Him and asked, "Is it lawful to give tribute unto Cæsar or not?" ( Matt. xxii. 17 ), when they spake about putting away a wife ( Matt. xix. 3 ), when they enquired about her who, they said, had had seven husbands ( Matt. xxii. 23 ), they were convicted of bringing their questions to Him, not from desire of learning, but from an evil intention. But there He rebuked them, saying, "Why tempt ye Me, ye hypocrites?" showing that He knew their secret thoughts, while here He said nothing of the kind; teaching us not always to rebuke those who plot against us, but to bear many things with meekness and gentleness.
Since then it was a sign of folly, when the works proclaimed Him aloud, to seek the witness of words, hear how He answereth them, at once hinting to them that they made these enquiries superfluously, and not for the sake of learning, and at the same time showing that He uttered a voice plainer than that by words, namely, that by works.
Ver. 25 . "I told you often,"  He saith, "and ye believe not: the works that I do in My Father's Name, they are they that bear witness of Me."
[2.] A remark which the more tolerable among them continually made to one another; "A man that is a sinner cannot  do such miracles." And again, "A devil cannot open the eyes of the blind": and, "No man can do such miracles except God be with him." ( c. iii. 2 .) And beholding the miracles that He did, they said, "Is not this the Christ?" Others said, "When Christ cometh, will He do greater miracles than those which this Man hath done?" ( c. vii. 31 .) And these very persons as many as then desired to believe on Him, saying, "What sign showest thou us, that we may see, and believe thee?" ( c. vi. 30 .) When then they who had not been persuaded by such great works, pretended that they should be persuaded by a bare word, He rebuketh their wickedness, saying, "If ye believe not My works, how will ye believe My words? so that your questioning is superfluous."
Ver. 26 . "But," He saith, "I told you, and ye  believe not, because ye are not of My sheep." 
"For I on My part have fulfilled all that it behooved a Shepherd to do, and if ye follow Me not, it is not because I am not a Shepherd, but because ye are not My sheep."
Ver. 27-30 . "For My sheep hear My voice,  and follow Me; and I give unto them eternal life  ; neither can  any man pluck them out of My hand. The Father,  which gave them Me, is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand. I and the Father are One."
Observe how in renouncing He exciteth them to follow Him. "Ye hear Me not," He saith, "for neither are ye sheep, but they who follow, these are of the flock." This He said, that they might strive to become sheep. Then by mentioning what they should obtain, He maketh these men jealous, so as to rouse them, and cause them to desire such things.
"What then? Is it through the power of the Father that no man plucketh them away, and hast thou no strength, but art too weak to guard them?" By no means. And in order that thou mayest learn that the expression, "The Father which gave them to Me," is used on their account, that they might not again call Him an enemy of God, therefore, after asserting that, "No man plucketh them out of My hand," He proceedeth to show, that His hand and the Father's is One. Since had not this been so, it would have been natural for Him to say, "The Father which gave them to Me is greater than all, and no man can pluck them out of My hand." But He said not so, but, "out of My Father's hand." Then that thou mayest not suppose that He indeed is weak, but that the sheep are in safety through the power of the Father, He addeth, "I and the Father are One." As though He had said "I did not assert that on account of the Father no man plucketh them away, as though I were too weak to keep the sheep. For I and the Father are One." Speaking here with reference to Power, for concerning this was all His discourse; and if the power  be the same, it is clear that the Essence is also. And when the Jews used ten thousand means, plotting and casting men out of their synagogues, He telleth them that all their contrivances are useless and vain; "For the sheep are in My Father's hand"; as the Prophet saith, "Upon My hand I have pictured thy walls." ( Isa. xlix. 16 .) Then to show that the hand is One, He sometimes saith that it is His own, sometimes the Father's. But when thou hearest the word "hand," do not understand anything material, but the power, the authority. Again, if it was on this account that no one could pluck away the sheep, because the Father gave Him power, it would have been superfluous to say what follows, "I and the Father are One." Since were He inferior to Him, this would have been a very daring saying, for it declares nothing else than an equality of power; of which the Jews were conscious, and took up stones to cast at Him. ( Ver. 31 .) Yet not even so did He remove this opinion and suspicion; though if their suspicion were erroneous, He ought to have set them right, and to have said, "Wherefore do ye these things? I spake not thus to testify that my power and the Father's are equal"; but now He doth quite the contrary, and confirmeth their suspicion, and clencheth it, and that too when they were exasperated. For He maketh no excuse for what had been said, as though it had been said ill, but rebuketh them for not entertaining a right opinion concerning Him. For when they said,
Ver. 33-36 .  "For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou being a man makest thyself God"; hear His answer;  "If the Scripture called  them gods unto whom the word of God came,  how say ye that I blaspheme, because I said, I am the Son of God?"
What He saith is of this kind: "If those who have received this honor by grace, are not found fault with for calling themselves gods, how can He who hath this by nature deserve to be rebuked?" Yet He spake not so, but proved it at a later time, having first relaxed and yielded somewhat in His discourse, and said, "Whom the Father hath sanctified and sent." And when He had softened their anger, He bringeth forward the plain assertion. For a while, that His speech might be received, He spoke in a humbler strain, but afterwards He raised it higher, saying,
Ver. 37, 38 . "If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not; but if I do, though ye believe not Me, believe the works."
Seest thou how He proveth what I said, that He is in nothing inferior to the Father, but in every way equal to Him? For since it was impossible to see His Essence, from the equality and sameness of the works He affordeth a proof of unvaryingness as to Power. And what, tell me, shall we believe?
[3.] "That I am in the Father, and the Father in Me." 
"For I am nothing other than what the Father is, yet still Son; He nothing other than what I am, yet still Father. And if any man know Me, he knoweth the Father, and if he knoweth the Father,  he hath learnt also the Son." Now were the power inferior, then also what relateth to the knowledge would be false, for it is not possible to become acquainted with one substance or power by means of another.
Ver. 39-41 . "Therefore they sought again to take Him, but He escaped out of their hands, and went away again beyond Jordan, into the place where John at first baptized.  And many resorted unto Him, and said, John did no miracle, but all things that John spake of this man were true."
When He hath uttered anything great and sublime, He quickly retireth, giving way to their anger, so that the passion may abate and cease through His absence. And thus He acted at that time. But wherefore doth the Evangelist mention the place? That thou mayest learn that He went there to remind them of the things there done and said by John, and of his testimony; at least when they came there, they straightway remembered John. Wherefore also they said, "John indeed did no miracle," since how did it follow that they should add this, unless the place had brought the Baptist to their memory, and they had come to remember his testimony. And observe how they form incontrovertible syllogisms. "John indeed did no miracle," "but this man doth," saith some one; "hence therefore his superiority is shown. If therefore men  believed him who did no miracles, much more must they believe this man." Then, since it was John who bore the witness, lest his having done no miracle might seem to prove him unworthy of being a witness,  they added, "Yet if he did no miracle, still he spake all things truly concerning this man"; no longer proving Christ to be trustworthy by means of John, but John to be so by what Christ had done.
Ver. 42 . "Many therefore believed on Him."  There were many things that attracted them. They remembered the words which John had spoken, calling Christ "mightier than himself," and "light," and "life," and "truth," and all the rest. They remembered the Voice which came down from heaven, and the Spirit which appeared in the shape of a dove, and pointed Him out to all; and with this they recollected the demonstration afforded by the miracles, looking to which they were for the future established. "For," saith some one, "if it was right that we should believe John, much more ought we to believe this man; if him without miracles, much more this man, who besides the testimony of John, hath also the proof  from miracles." Seest thou how much the abiding in this place, and the being freed from the presence of evil men, profited them? wherefore Jesus continually leadeth and draweth them away from the company of those persons; as also He seemeth to have done under the old Covenant, forming and ordering the Jews in all points, in the desert, at a distance from the Egyptians.
And this He now adviseth us also to do, bidding us avoid public places, and tumults, and disturbances, and pray peacefully in the chamber. For the vessel which is free from confusion, sails with a fair wind, and the soul which is separated from worldly matters rests in harbor. Wherefore women ought to have more true wisdom than men, because they are for the most part riveted to keeping at home. So, for instance, Jacob was a plain  man, because he dwelt at home, and was free from the bustle of public life; for not without a cause hath Scripture put this, when It saith, "dwelling in a house." ( Gen. xxv. 27 .) "But," saith some woman, "even in a house there is great confusion." Yes, when thou wilt have it so, and bringest about thyself a crowd of cares. For the man who spends his time in the midst of the market-places and courts of justice is overwhelmed, as if by waves, by external troubles; but the women who sits in her house as in some school of true wisdom, and collects her thoughts within herself, will be enabled to apply herself to prayers, and readings, and other heavenly wisdom. And as they who dwell in deserts have none to disturb them, so she being continually within can enjoy a perpetual calm. Nor even if at any time she need to go forth, is there then any cause for confusion. For the necessary occasions for a women to leave her house are, either for the purpose of coming hither, or when the body need to be cleansed in the bath; but for the most part she sits at home, and it is possible for her both to be herself truly wise, and receiving her husband when agitated to calm and compose him, to abate the excess and fierceness of his thoughts, and so to send him forth again, having put off all the mischiefs which he collected from the market-place, and carrying with him whatever good he learnt at home. For nothing, nothing is more powerful than a pious and sensible women to bring a man into proper order, and to mould his soul as she will. For he will not endure friends, or teachers, or rulers, as he will his partner advising and counseling him, since the advice carries even some pleasure with it, because she who gives the counsel is greatly loved. I could tell of many hard and disobedient men who have been softened in this way. For she who shares his table, his bed, and his embraces, his words and secrets, his comings in and goings out, and many other things, who is entirely given up  and joined to him, as it is likely that a body would be joined to a head, if she happen to be discreet and well attuned, will go beyond and excel all others in the management of her husband.
[4.] Wherefore I exhort women to make this their employment, and to give fitting counsel. For as they have great power for good, so have they also for evil. A women destroyed Absalom, a woman destroyed Amnon, a woman was like to have destroyed Job, a woman rescued Nabal from the slaughter. Women have preserved whole nations; for Deborah and Judith exhibited successes worthy of men; so also do ten thousand other women. Wherefore Paul saith, "For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband?" ( 1 Cor. vii. 16 .) And in those times we see Persis and Mary and Priscilla taking part in the labors  of the Apostles ( Rom. 16 ); whom we  also needs must imitate, and not by words only, but also by actions, bring into order him that dwelleth with us. But how shall we instruct him by our actions? When he sees that thou art not evilly disposed, not fond of expense or ornament, not demanding extravagant supplies of money, but content with what thou hast, then will he endure thee counseling him. But if thou art wise in word, and in actions doest the contrary, he will condemn thee for very foolish talking. But when together with words thou affordest him also instruction by thy works, then will he admit thee and obey thee the more readily; as when thou desirest not gold, nor pearls, nor costly clothing, but instead of these, modesty, sobriety, kindness; when thou exhibitest these virtues on thy part and requirest them on his. For if thou must needs do somewhat to please thy husband, thou shouldest adorn thy soul, not adorn and so spoil thy person. The gold which thou puttest about thee will not make thee so lovely and desirable to him, as modesty and kindness towards himself, and a readiness to die for thy partner; these things most subdue men. Indeed, that splendor of apparel even displeases him, as straitening his means, and causing him much expense and care; but those things which I have named will rivet a husband to a wife; for kindness and friendship and love cause no cares, give rise to no expense, but quite the contrary. That outward adornment becomes palling by use, but that of the soul blooms day by day, and kindles a stronger flame. So that if thou wouldest please thy husband, adorn thy soul with modesty, piety, and management of the house. These things both subdue him more, and never cease. Age destroys not this adornment, sickness wastes it not. The adornment of the body length of time is wont to undo, sickness and many other things to waste, but what relates to the soul is above all this. That adornment causes envy, and kindles jealousy, but this is pure from disease, and free from all vainglory. Thus will matters at home be easier, and your income without trouble, when the gold is not laid on about your body or encircling your arms, but passes on  to necessary uses, such as the feeding of servants, the necessary care of children, and other useful purposes. But if this be not the case, if the (wife's) face be covered with ornaments, while the (husband's) heart is pressed by anxiety, what profit, what kind of advantage is there? The one being grieved allows not the marvelous beauty of the other to be seen. For ye know, ye know that though a man see the most beautiful of all women, he cannot feel pleasure at the sight while his soul is sorrowful, because in order to feel pleasure a man must first rejoice and be glad. And when all his gold is heaped together to adorn a woman's body, while there is distress in his dwelling, her partner can have no pleasure. So that if we desire to be agreeable to our husbands, let us give them pleasure; and we shall give them pleasure, if we remove our ornaments and fineries. For all these things at the actual time of marriage appear to afford some delight, but this afterwards fades by time. Since if when the heaven is so beautiful, and the sun, to which thou canst not name any body that is equal, so bright, we admire them less from habitually seeing them, how shall we admire a body tricked out with gewgaws? These things I say, desiring that you should be adorned with that wholesome adornment which Paul enjoined; "Not with gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works." ( 1 Tim. ii. 9, 10 .) But dost thou wish to please strangers, and to be praised by them? Then assuredly this is not the desire of a modest woman. However, if thou wishest it, by doing as I have said, thou wilt have strangers also to love thee much, and to praise thy modesty. For the woman who adorns her person no virtuous and sober person will praise, but the intemperate and lascivious; nay, rather neither will these praise her, but will even speak vilely of her, having their eyes inflamed by the wantonness displayed about her; but the other all will approve, both the one sort and the other, because they receive no harm from her, but even instruction in heavenly wisdom. And great shall be her praise from men, and great her reward with God. After such adornment then let us strive, that we may live here without fear, and may obtain the blessings which are to come; which may we all obtain through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
John xi. 1, 2
"Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, of the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment." 
[1.] Many men, when they see any of those who are pleasing to God suffering anything terrible, as, for instance, having fallen into sickness, or poverty, and any other the like, are offended, not knowing that to those especially dear to God it belongeth to endure these things; since Lazarus also was one of the friends of Christ, and was sick. This at least they who sent said, "Behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick." But let us consider the passage from the beginning. "A certain man," It saith, "was sick, Lazarus of Bethany." Not without a cause nor by chance hath the writer mentioned whence Lazarus was, but for a reason which he will afterwards tell us. At present let us keep to the passage before us. He also for our advantage informeth us who were Lazarus' sisters; and, moreover, what Mary had more (than the other), going on to say, "It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment." Here some doubting  say, "How did the Lord endure that a woman should do this?" In the first place then it is necessary to understand, that this is not the harlot mentioned in Matthew ( Matt. xxvi. 7 ), or the one in Luke ( Luke vii. 37 ), but a different person; they were harlots full of many vices, but she was both grave and earnest; for she showed her earnestness about the entertainment of Christ. The Evangelist also means to show, that the sisters too loved Him, yet He allowed Lazarus to die. But why did they not, like the centurion and the nobleman, leave their sick brother, and come to Christ, instead of sending? They were very confident in Christ, and had towards Him a strong familiar feeling. Besides, they were weak women, and oppressed with grief; for that they acted not in this way as thinking slightly of Him, they afterwards showed. It is then clear, that this Mary was not the harlot. "But wherefore," saith some one, "did Christ admit that harlot?" That He might put away her iniquity; that He might show His lovingkindness; that thou mightest learn that there is no malady which prevaileth over His goodness. Look not therefore at this only, that He received her, but consider the other point also, how He changed her. But, (to return,) why doth the Evangelist relate this history to us? Or rather, what doth he desire to show us by saying,
Ver. 5 .  "Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus."
That we should never be discontented or vexed if any sickness happen to good men, and such as are dear to God.
Ver. 3 .  "Behold, he whom thou lovest is sick."
They desired to draw on Christ to pity, for they still gave heed to Him as to a man. This is plain from what they say, "If thou hadst been here, he  had not died," and from their saying, not, "Behold, Lazarus is sick," but "Behold, he whom thou lovest is sick." What then said Christ?
Ver. 4 . "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby."
Observe how He again asserteth that His glory and the Father's is One; for after saying "of God," He hath added, "that the Son of God might be glorified."
"This sickness is not unto death." Since He intended to tarry two days where He was, He for the present sendeth away the messengers with this answer. Wherefore we must admire Lazarus' sisters, that after hearing that the sickness was "not unto death," and yet seeing him dead, they were not offended, although the event had been directly contrary. But even so they came to Him,  and did not think that He had spoken falsely.
The expression "that" in this passage denotes not cause, but consequence; the sickness happened from other causes, but He used it for the glory of God.
Ver. 6 . "And having said this, He tarried two days." 
Wherefore tarried He? That Lazarus might breathe his last, and be buried; that none might be able to assert that He restored him when not yet dead, saying that it was a lethargy, a fainting, a fit,  but not death. On this account He tarried so long, that corruption began, and they said, "He now stinketh."
Ver. 7 . "Then saith He to his disciples, Let us go into Judea." 
Why, when He never in other places told them beforehand where He was going, doth He tell them here? They had been greatly terrified, and since they were in this way disposed, He forewarneth them, that the suddenness might not trouble them. What then say the disciples?
Ver. 8 . "The Jews of late sought to stone Thee, and goest Thou thither again?"
They therefore had feared for Him also, but for the more part rather for themselves; for they were not yet perfect. So Thomas, shaking with fear, said, "Let us go, that we also may die with Him" ( ver. 16 ), because Thomas was weaker and more unbelieving  than the rest. But see how Jesus encourageth them by what He saith.
Ver. 9 . "Are there not twelve hours of the day?" 
He either saith this,  that "he who is conscious to himself of no evil, shall suffer nothing dreadful; only he that doeth evil shall suffer, so that we need not fear, because we have done nothing worthy of death"; or else that, "he who `seeth the light of this world' is  in safety; and if he that seeth the light of this world is in safety, much more he that is with Me, if he separate not himself from Me." Having encouraged them by these words, He addeth, that the cause of their going thither was pressing, and showeth them that they were about to go not unto Jerusalem, but unto Bethany.
Ver. 11, 12 . "Our friend Lazarus," He saith, "sleepeth, but I go that I may awake him out of sleep."
That is, "I go not for the same purpose as before, again to reason and contend with the Jews, but to awaken our friend."
Ver. 12 . "Then said His disciples, Lord, if he sleep he shall do well."
This they said not without a cause, but desiring to hinder the going thither. "Sayest Thou," asks one of them, "that he sleepeth? Then there is no urgent reason for going." Yet on this account He had said, "Our friend," to show that the going there was necessary. When therefore their disposition was somewhat reluctant, He said,
[2.] Ver. 14 .  "He is dead."
The former word He spake, desiring to prove that He loved not boasting; but since they understood not, He added, "He is dead."
Ver. 15 . "And I am glad for your sakes."
Why "for your sakes"? "Because I have forewarned you of his death, not being there, and because when I shall raise him again, there will be no suspicion of deceit." Seest thou how the disciples were yet imperfect in their disposition, and knew not His power as they ought? and this was caused by interposing terrors, which troubled and disturbed their souls. When He said, "He sleepeth," He added, "I go to awake him"; but when He said, "He is dead," He added not, "I go to raise him"; for He would not foretell in words what He was about to establish certainly by works, everywhere teaching us not to be vainglorious, and that we must not make promises without a cause. And if He did thus in the case of the centurion when summoned, (for He said, "I will come and heal him Matt. viii. 7 ,) it was to show the faith of the centurion that He said this. If any one ask, "How did the disciples imagine sleep? How did they not understand that death was meant from His saying, `I go to awake him?' for it was folly if they expected that He would go fifteen stadia to awake him"; we would reply, that they deemed this to be a dark saying, such as He often spake to them.
Now they all feared the attacks of the Jews, but Thomas above the rest; wherefore also he said,
Ver. 16 . "Let us go, that we also may die with Him."
Some say that he desired himself to die; but it is not so; the expression is rather one of cowardice. Yet he was not rebuked, for Christ as yet supported his weakness, but afterwards he became stronger than all, and invincible.  For the wonderful thing is this; that we see one who was so weak before the Crucifixion, become after the Crucifixion, and after having believed in the Resurrection, more zealous than any. So great was the power of Christ. The very man who dared not go in company with Christ to Bethany, the same while not seeing Christ ran  well nigh through the inhabited world, and dwelt in the midst of nations that were full of murder, and desirous to kill him.
But if Bethany was "fifteen furlongs off," which is two miles, how was Lazarus "dead four days"?  Jesus tarried two days, on the day before those two one had come with the message,  (on which same day Lazarus died,) then in the course of the fourth day He arrived. He waited to be summoned, and came not uninvited on this account, that no one might suspect what took place; nor did those women who were beloved by Him come themselves, but others were sent.
Ver. 18 . "Now Bethany was  about fifteen furlongs off."
Not without cause doth he mention this, but desires to inform us that it was near, and that it was probable on this account that many would be there. He therefore declaring this adds,
Ver. 19 . "Many of the Jews came  to comfort them." 
But how should they comfort women beloved of Christ, when  they had agreed, that if any should confess Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue? It was either because of the grievous nature of the calamity, or that they respected them as of superior birth, or else these who came were not the wicked sort, many at least even of them believed. The Evangelist mentions these circumstances, to prove that Lazarus was really dead.
[3.] But why did not [Martha,] when she went to meet Christ,  take her sister with her? She desired to meet with Him apart, and to tell Him what had taken place. But when He had brought her to good hopes, she went and called Mary, who met Him while her grief was yet at its height. Seest thou how fervent her love was? This is the Mary of whom He said, "Mary hath chosen that good part." ( Luke x. 42 .) "How then," saith one, "doth Martha appear more zealous?" She was not more zealous, but it was because the other had not yet been informed,  since Martha was the weaker. For even when she had heard such things from Christ, she yet speaks in a groveling manner, "By this time he stinketh, for he hath been dead four days." ( Ver. 39 .) But Mary, though she had heard nothing, uttered nothing of the kind, but at once believing,  saith, 
Ver. 21 . "Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died."
See how great is the heavenly wisdom of the women, although their understanding be weak. For when they saw Christ, they did not break out into mourning and wailing and loud crying, as we do when we see any of those we know coming in upon our grief; but straightway they reverence their Teacher. So then both these sisters believed in Christ, but not in a right way; for they did not yet certainly know  either that He was God, or that He did these things by His own power and authority; on both which points He taught them. For they showed their ignorance of the former, by saying, "If thou hadst been here, our brother had not died"; and of the latter, by saying, 
Ver. 22 . "Whatsoever  thou wilt ask of God, He will give it thee."
As though they spoke of some virtuous and approved mortal. But see what Christ saith;
Ver. 23 . "Thy brother shall rise again."
He thus far refuteth the former saying, "Whatsoever thou wilt ask"; for He said not, "I ask," but what? "Thy brother shall rise again." To have said, "Woman, thou still lookest below, I need not the help of another, but do all of Myself," would have been grievous, and a stumblingblock in her way, but to say, "He shall rise again," was the act of one who chose a middle mode of speech.  And by means of that which follows, He alluded to the points I have mentioned; for when Martha saith,
Ver. 24 . "I know that he shall rise again  in the last day," to prove more clearly His authority, He replieth,
Ver. 25 . "I am the Resurrection and the Life."
Showing that He needed no other to help Him, if so be that He Himself is the Life; since if He needed another,  how could He be "the Resurrection and the Life"? Yet He did not plainly state this, but merely hinted it. But when she saith again, "Whatsoever thou wilt ask," He replieth,
"He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."
Showing that He is the Giver of good things, and that we must ask of Him.
Ver. 26 . "And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me, shall never die."
Observe how He leadeth her mind upward; for to raise Lazarus was not the only thing sought; it was necessary that both she and they who were with her should learn the Resurrection. Wherefore before the raising of the dead He teacheth heavenly wisdom by words. But if He is "the Resurrection," and "the Life," He is not confined by place, but, present everywhere, knoweth how to heal. If therefore they had said, as did the centurion, "Speak the word, and my servant shall be healed" ( Matt. viii. 8 ), He would have done so; but since they summoned Him to them, and begged Him to come, He condescendeth in order to raise them from the humble opinion they had formed of Him, and cometh to the place. Still while condescending, He showed that even when absent He had power to heal. On this account also He delayed, for the mercy would not have been appar ent as soon as it was given, had there not been first an ill savor (from the corpse). But how did the woman know that there was to be a Resurrection? They  had heard Christ say many things about the Resurrection, yet still she now desired to see Him. And observe how she still lingers below; for after hearing, "I am the Resurrection and the Life," not even so did she say, "Raise him," but,
Ver. 27 . "I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God."
What is Christ's reply? "He that believeth on Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live,"  (here speaking of this death which is common to all.  ) "And whosoever liveth and believeth on Me, shall never die" ( ver. 26 ), signifying that other death. "Since then I am the Resurrection and the Life, be not thou troubled, though thy brother be already dead, but believe, for this is not death." For a while He comforted her on what had happened; and gave her glimpses of hope, by saying, "He shall rise again," and, "I am the Resurrection"; and that having risen  again, though he should again die, he shall suffer no harm, so that it needs not to fear this death. What He saith is of this kind: "Neither is this man dead, nor shall ye die." "Believest thou this?" She saith, "I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God."
"Which should come into the world."
The woman seems to me not to understand the saying; she was conscious that it was some great thing, but did not perceive the whole meaning, so that when asked one thing, she answered another. Yet for a while at least she had this gain, that she moderated her grief; such was the power of the words of Christ. On this account Martha went forth first, and Mary followed. For their affection to their Teacher did not allow them strongly to feel their present sorrow; so that the minds of these women were truly wise as well as loving.
[4.] But in our days, among our other evils there is one malady very prevalent among our women; they make a great show in their dirges and wailings, baring  their arms, tearing their hair, making furrows down their cheeks. And this they do, some from grief, others from ostentation and rivalry, others from wantonness; and they bare their arms, and this too in the sight of men. Why doest thou, woman? Dost thou strip thyself in unseemly sort, tell me, thou who art a member of Christ, in the midst of the market-place, when men are present there? Dost thou pluck thy hair, and rend thy garments, and wail loudly,  and join the dance, and keep throughout a resemblance to Bacchanalian women, and dost thou not think that thou art offending God? What madness is this? Will not the heathen  laugh? Will they not deem our doctrines fables? They will say, "There is no resurrection--the doctrines of the Christians are mockeries, trickery, and contrivance. For their women lament as though there were nothing after this world; they give no heed to the words engraven in their books; all those words are fictions, and these women show that they are so. Since had they believed that he who hath died is not dead, but hath removed to a better life, they would not have mourned him as no longer being, they would not have thus beaten themselves,  they would not have uttered such words as these, full of unbelief, `I shall never see thee more, I shall never more regain thee,' all their religion is a fable, and if the very chief of good things is thus wholly disbelieved by them, much more the other things which are reverenced among them." The heathen  are not so womanish, among them many have practiced heavenly wisdom; and a woman hearing that her child had fallen in battle, straightway asked, "And in what state are the affairs of the city?" Another truly wise, when being garlanded  he heard that his son had fallen for his country, took off the garland, and asked which of the two; then when he had learnt which it was, immediately put the garland on again. Many also gave their sons and their daughters for slaughter in honor of their evil deities; and Lacedæmonian women exhort their sons either to bring back their shield safe from war, or to be brought back dead upon it. Wherefore I am ashamed that the heathen show true wisdom in these matters, and we act unseemly. Those who know nothing about the Resurrection act the part of those who know; and those who know, the part of those who know not. And ofttimes many do through shame of men what they do not for the sake of God. For women of the higher class neither tear  their hair nor bare their arms; which very thing is a most heavy charge against them, not because they do not strip themselves, but because they act as they do not through piety, but that they may not be thought to disgrace themselves. Is their shame stronger than grief, and the fear of God not stronger? And must not this deserve severest censure? What the rich women do because of their riches, the poor ought to do through fear of God; but at present it is quite the contrary; the rich act wisely through vainglory, the poor through littleness of soul act unseemly. What is worse than this anomaly? We do all for men, all for the things of earth. And these people utter words full of madness and much ridicule. The Lord saith indeed, "Blessed are they that mourn" ( Matt. v. 4 ), speaking of those who mourn  for their sins; and no one mourneth that kind of mourning, nor careth for a lost soul; but this other we were not bidden to practice, and we practice it.  "What then?" saith some one, "Is it possible being man not to weep?" No, neither do I  forbid weeping, but I forbid the beating yourselves, the weeping immoderately.  I am neither brutal nor cruel. I know that our nature asks  and seeks for its friends and daily companions; it cannot but be grieved. As also Christ showed, for He wept over Lazarus. So do thou; weep, but gently, but with decency, but with the fear of God. If so thou weepest, thou dost so not as disbelieving the Resurrection, but as not enduring the separation. Since even over those who are leaving us, and departing to foreign lands, we weep, yet we do this not as despairing.
[5.] And so do thou weep, as if thou wert sending one on his way to another land. These things I say, not as giving a rule of action, but as condescending (to human infirmity). For if the dead man have been a sinner, and one who hath in many things offended God, it behooveth to weep (or rather not to weep only, since that is of no avail to him, but to do what one can to procure  some comfort for him by almsgivings and offerings;  ) but it behooveth also to rejoice at this, that his wickedness hath been cut short. If he have been righteous, it again  behooveth to be glad, that what is his is now placed in security, free from the uncertainty of the future; if young, that he hath been quickly delivered from the common evils of life; if old, that he hath departed after taking to satiety that which is held desirable. But thou, neglecting to consider these things, incitest thy hand-maidens to act as mourners, as if forsooth thou wert honoring the dead, when it is an act of extreme dishonor.  For honor to the dead is not wailings and lamentings, but hymns and psalmodies and an excellent life. The good man when he departeth, shall depart with angels, though no man be near his remains; but the corrupt, though he have a city to attend his funeral, shall be nothing profited. Wilt thou honor him who is gone? Honor him in another way, by alms-deeds, by acts of beneficence and public service.  What avail the many lamentations? And I have heard also another grievous thing, that many women attract lovers by their sad cries, acquiring by the fervor of their wailings a reputation for affection to their husbands. O devilish purpose! O Satanic invention!  How long are we but dust and ashes, how long but blood and flesh? Look we up to heaven, take we thought of spiritual things.  How shall we be able to rebuke the heathen,  how to exhort them, when we do such things? How shall we dispute with them concerning the Resurrection? How about the rest of heavenly wisdom? How shall we ourselves live without fear? Knowest not thou that of grief  cometh death? for grief darkening  the seeing part of the soul not only hindereth it from perceiving anything that it ought, but also worketh it great mischief. In one way then we offend God, and advantage neither ourselves nor him who is gone; in the other we please God, and gain honor among men. If we sink not down ourselves, He will soon remove the remains of our despondency; if we are discontented, He permitteth us to be given up to grief. If we are thankful, we shall not despond. "But how," saith some one, "is it possible not to be grieved, when one has lost a son or daughter or wife?" I say not, "not to grieve," but "not to do so immoderately." For if we consider that God hath taken away, and that the husband or son which we had was mortal, we shall soon receive comfort. To be discontented is the act of those who seek for something higher than their nature. Thou wast born man, and mortal; why then grievest thou that what is natural hath come to pass? Grievest thou that thou art nourished by eating? Seekest thou to live without this?  Act thus also in the case of death, and being mortal seek not as yet for immortality. Once for all this thing hath been appointed. Grieve not therefore, nor play the mourner, but submit to laws laid on all alike. Grieve for thy sins; this is good mourning, this is highest wisdom. Let us then mourn for this cause continually, that we may obtain the joy which is there, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
John xi. 30, 31
"Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met Him. The Jews then which were with her," and what follows. 
[1.] A great good is philosophy; the philosophy, I mean, which is with us. For what the heathen have is words and fables only; nor have these fables anything truly wise  in them; since everything among those men is done for the sake of reputation. A great good then is true wisdom, and even here  returns to us a recompense. For he that despises wealth, from this at once reaps advantage,  being delivered from cares which are superfluous and unprofitable;  and he that tramples upon glory from this at once receives his reward, being the slave of none, but free with the real freedom; and he that desires heavenly things hence receives his recompense, regarding present things as nothing, and being easily superior to every grief. Behold, for example, how this woman by practicing true wisdom even here received her reward. For when all were sitting by her as she mourned and lamented, she did not wait that the Master should come to her, nor did she maintain what might have seemed her due, nor was she restrained by her sorrow, (for, in addition to the other wretchedness, mourning women have this malady, that they wish to be made much of on account of their case,) but she was not at all so affected; as soon as she heard, she quickly came to Him.  "Jesus was not yet come into the town."  He proceeded somewhat slowly, that He might not seem to fling Himself upon the miracle, but rather to be  entreated by them. At least, it is either with an intention of implying this that the Evangelist has said the, "riseth up quickly," or else he showeth that she ran so as to anticipate Christ's arrival. She came not alone, but drawing after her the Jews that were in the house. Very wisely did her sister call  her secretly, so as not to disturb those who had come together, and not mention the cause either; for assuredly many would have gone back, but now as though she were going to weep, all followed her. By these means again it is proved  that Lazarus was dead.
Ver. 32 . "And she fell at His feet." 
She is more ardent than her sister. She regarded not the multitude, nor the suspicion which they had concerning Him, for there were many of His enemies, who said, "Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?" ( ver. 37 ); but cast out all mortal things in the presence of her Master, and was given up to one thing only, the honor of that Master. And what saith she?
"Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died."
What doth Christ? He converseth not at all with her for the present, nor saith to her what He said to her sister, (for a great multitude was by, and this was no fit time for such words,) He only acteth measurably and condescendeth; and to prove His human nature, weepeth in silence, and deferreth the miracle for the present. For since that miracle was a great one, and such as He seldom wrought, and since many were to believe  by means of it, lest to work it without their presence should prove a stumbling-block to the multitude, and so they should gain nothing by its greatness, in order that He might not lose the quarry,  He draweth to Him many witnesses by His condescension, and showeth proof of  His human nature. He weepeth, and is troubled; for grief is wont to stir up the feelings. Then rebuking those feelings, (for He "groaned  in spirit" meaneth, "restrained His trouble,") He asked,
Ver. 34 . "Where have ye laid him?"
So that the question might not be attended with lamentation. But why doth He ask? Because He desired not to cast Himself on (the miracle), but to learn all from them, to do all at their invitation, so as to free the miracle from any suspicion.
"They say unto Him, Come and see."
Ver. 35 . "Jesus wept."
Seest thou that He had not as yet shown any sign of the raising, and goeth not as if to raise Lazarus, but as if to weep? For the Jews show that He seemed to them to be going to bewail, not to raise him; at least they said,
Ver. 36, 37 . "Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?"
Not even amid calamities did they relax their wickedness. Yet what He was about to do was a thing far more wonderful; for to drive away death when it hath come and conquered, is far more than to stay it when coming on. They therefore slander Him by those very points through which they ought to have marveled at His power. They allow for the time that He opened the eyes of the blind, and when they ought to have admired Him on account of that miracle, they, by means of this latter case, cast a slur upon it, as though it had not even taken place. And not from this only are they shown to be all corrupt, but because when He had not yet come, nor exhibited any action, they prevent Him with their accusations without waiting the end of the matter. Seest thou how corrupt was their judgment?
[2.] He cometh then to the tomb; and again  rebuketh His feelings. Why doth the Evangelist carefully in several places mention that "He wept," and that, "He groaned"?  That thou mayest learn that He had of a truth put on our nature. For when this Evangelist is remarkable for uttering great things concerning Christ more than the others, in matters relating to the body, here he also speaketh much more humbly than they.  For instance, concerning His death he hath said nothing of the kind; the other Evangelists declare that He was exceedingly sorrowful, that He was in an agony; but John, on the contrary, saith, that He even cast the officers backwards. So that he hath made up here what is omitted there, by mentioning His grief. When speaking of His death, Christ saith, "I have power to lay down My life" ( c. x. 18 ), and then He uttereth no lowly word; therefore at the Passion they  attribute to Him much that is human, to show the reality of the Dispensation. And Matthew proves this by the Agony, the trouble, the trembling,  and the sweat; but John by His sorrow. For had He not been of our nature, He would not once and again have been mastered by grief. What did Jesus? He made no defense with regard to their charges; for why should He silence by words those who were soon to be silenced by deeds? a means less annoying, and more adapted to shame them.
Ver. 39 . "He saith, Take ye away the stone."
Why did not He when at a distance summon Lazarus, and place him before their eyes? Or rather, why did He not cause him to arise while the stone yet lay on the grave? For He who was able by His voice to move a corpse, and to show it again endowed with life, would much more by that same voice have been able to move a stone; He who empowered by His voice one bound and entangled in the grave-clothes to walk, would much more have been able to move a stone; why then did He not so? In order to make them witnesses of the miracle; that they might not say as they did in the case of the blind man, "It is he," "It is not he." For their hands  and their coming to the tomb testified that it was indeed he. If they had not come, they might have deemed that they saw a vision, or one man in place of another. But now the coming to the place, the raising the stone, the charge given them to loose the dead man bound in grave-clothes from his bands; the fact that the friends who bore him from the tomb, knew from the grave-clothes  that it was he; that his sisters were not left behind; that one of them said, "He now stinketh, for he hath been dead four days"; all these things, I say, were sufficient to silence the ill-disposed, as they were made witnesses of the miracle. On this account He biddeth them take away the stone from the tomb, to show that He raiseth the man. On this account also He asketh, "Where have ye laid him?" that they who said, "Come and see," and who conducted Him, might not be able to say that He had raised another person; that their voice and their hands might bear witness, (their voice by saying, "Come and see," their hands by lifting the stone, and loosing the grave-clothes,) as well as their eyes and ears, (the one by hearing His voice, the other by seeing Lazarus come forth,) and their smell also by perceiving the ill-odor, for Martha said, "He now stinketh, for he hath been dead four days."
Therefore I said with good reason, that the woman did not at all understand Christ's words, "Though he were dead, yet shall he live." At least observe, that she speaketh as though the thing were impossible on account of the time which had intervened. For indeed it was a strange thing to raise a corpse which had been dead four days, and was corrupt. To the disciples Jesus said, "That the Son of Man may be glorified," referring to Himself; but to the woman, "Thou shalt see the glory of God," speaking of the Father. Seest thou that the weakness of the hearers is the cause of the difference of the words? He therefore remindeth her of what He had spoken unto her, well nigh rebuking her, as being forgetful. Yet He did not wish at present to confound the spectators, wherefore He saith, 
Ver. 40 . "Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?"
[3.] A great blessing truly is faith, great, and one which makes great those who hold it rightly with (good) living.  By this men (are enabled) to do the things of God in His  name. And well did Christ say,  "If ye have faith ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove, and it shall remove" ( Matt. xvii. 20 ); and again, "He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do." ( c. xiv. 12 .) What meaneth He by "greater"? Those which the disciples are seen after this to work. For even the shadow of Peter raised a dead man; and so the power of Christ was the more proclaimed. Since it was not so wonderful that He while alive should work miracles, as that when He was dead others should be enabled to work in His name greater than He wrought. This was an indisputable proof of the Resurrection; nor if (that Resurrection) had been seen by all, would it have been equally believed. For men might have said that it was an appearance, but one who saw that by His name alone greater miracles were wrought than when He conversed with men, could not disbelieve unless he were very senseless. A great blessing then is faith when it arises from glowing feelings, great love,  and a fervent soul; it makes us truly wise, it hides our human meanness, and leaving reasonings beneath, it philosophizes about things in heaven; or rather what the wisdom of men cannot discover,  it abundantly comprehends and succeeds in. Let us then cling to this, and not commit to reasonings  what concerns ourselves. For tell me, why have not the Greeks been able to find out anything? Did they not know all the wisdom of the heathen?  Why then could they not prevail against fishermen and tentmakers, and unlearned persons? Was it not because the one committed all to argument, the others to faith? and so these last were victorious over Plato and Pythagoras, in short, over all that had gone astray; and they surpass those whose lives had been worn out in  astrology and geometry, mathematics and arithmetic, and who had been thoroughly instructed in  every sort of learning, and  were as much superior to them as true and real philosophers are superior to those who are by nature foolish and out of their senses.  For observe, these men asserted that the soul was immortal, or rather, they did not merely assert this, but persuaded others of it. The Greeks, on the contrary, did not at first know what manner of thing the soul was, and when they had found out, and had distinguished it from the body, they were again in the same case, the one asserting that it was incorporeal, the other that it was corporeal and was dissolved with the body. Concerning heaven again, the one said that it had life and was a god, but the fishermen both taught and persuaded that it was the work and device  of God. Now that the Greeks should use reasonings is nothing wonderful, but that those who seem to be believers, that "they" should be found carnal,  this is what may justly be lamented.  And on this account they have gone astray, some saying that they know God as He knoweth Himself, a thing which not even any of those Greeks have dared to assert; others that God cannot beget without passion, not even allowing Him any superiority over men;  others again, that a righteous life and exact  conversation avail nothing. But it is not the time to refute these things now. [4.] Yet that a right faith availeth nothing if the life be corrupt, both Christ and Paul declare, having taken the more care for this latter part; Christ when He teacheth,  "Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven" ( Matt. vii. 21 ); and again, "Many will say unto Me in that day, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name? And I will profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity"  ( Matt. xxii. 23 ); (for they who take not heed to themselves, easily slip away  into wickedness, even though they have a right faith;) and Paul, when in his letter to the Hebrews he thus speaks and exhorts them; "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." ( Heb. xii. 14 .) By "holiness," meaning chastity, so that it behooved each to be content with his own wife, and not have to do with  any other woman; for it is impossible that one not so contented should be saved; he must assuredly perish though he have ten thousand right actions, since with fornication it is impossible to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Or rather, this is henceforth  not fornication but adultery; for as a woman who is bound to a man, if she come together with  another man, then hath committed adultery, so he that is bound to a woman, if he have another, hath committed adultery. Such an one shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven, but shall fall into the pit. Hear what Christ saith concerning these,  "Their worm shall not die,  and the fire shall not be quenched." ( Mark ix. 44 .) For he can have no pardon, who after (possessing) a wife, and the comfort of a wife, then acts shamelessly towards another woman; since this is henceforth wantonness.  And if the many abstain even from their wives when it be a season of fast or prayer, how great a fire doth he heap up for himself who is not even content with his wife, but mingleth with another; and if it is not permitted one who has put away and cast out his own wife to mingle with another, (for this is adultery,) how great evil doth he commit who, while his wife is in his house, brings in another. Let no one then allow this malady to dwell in his soul; let him tear it up by the root. He doth not so much wrong his wife as himself. For so grievous and unpardonable is this offense, that if a woman separate herself from a husband which is an idolater without his consent, God punisheth her; but if she separate herself from a fornicator, not so. Seest thou how great an evil this is? "If," It saith, "any faithful woman have  a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him." ( 1 Cor. vii. 13 .) Not so concerning a harlot; but what? "If any man  put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, he causeth her to commit adultery." ( Matt. v. 32 .) For if the coming together maketh one body, he who cometh together with a harlot must needs become one body with her. How then shall the modest woman, being a member of Christ, receive such an one, or how shall she join to herself the member of an harlot. And observe the excess of the one (fornication) over the other (idolatry). The woman who dwelleth with an unbeliever is not impure; ("for," It saith, "the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife"-- 1 Cor. vi. 15 ;) not so with the harlot; but what? "Shall I then make the members of Christ the members of an harlot?" In the one case sanctification remains, and is not removed though the unbeliever dwelleth with his wife; but in the other case it departeth. A dreadful, a dreadful thing is fornication, and an agent for  everlasting punishment; and even in this world it brings with it ten thousand woes. The man so guilty is forced to lead a life of anxiety and toil; he is nothing better off than those who are under punishment, creeping  into another man's house with fear and much trembling, suspecting all alike  both slave and free. Wherefore I exhort you to be  freed from this malady, and if you obey  not, step not on the sacred threshold.  Sheep that are covered with the scab, and full of disease, may not herd with those that are in health; we must drive them from the fold until they get rid of the malady. We have been made members of Christ; let us not, I entreat, become members of an harlot. This place is not a brothel but a church; if then thou hast the members of an harlot, stand not in the church, lest thou insult the place. If there were no hell, if there were no punishment, yet, after those contracts, those marriage torches, the lawful bed, the procreation of children, the intercourse, how couldest thou bear to join  thyself to another? How is it that thou art not ashamed nor blushest? Knowest thou not that they who after the death of their own wife, introduce another into their own house, are blamed by many? yet this action hath no penalty attached to it: but thou bringest in another while thy wife is yet alive. What lustfulness is this! Learn what hath been spoken concerning such men, "Their worm," It saith, "shall not die, and the fire shall not be quenched." ( Mark ix. 44 .) Shudder at the threat, dread the vengeance. The pleasure here is not so great as the punishment there, but may it not came to pass that any one (here) become liable to that punishment, but that exercising holiness they may see Christ, and obtain the promised good things, which may we all enjoy, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost be glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
 ver. 31 . " The Jews then which were with her, when they saw Mary that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there. "  al. " any real wisdom. "  e nteuthen  al. " good. "  al. " senseless. "  al. " but rising straightway went to meet Him. "  al. " the place. "  al. " being. "  al. " speak to. "  al. " perhaps it is proved. "  Ver. 32, 33 . " Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying unto Him, Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, He groaned in the spirit, and troubled Himself. "  al. " they were about to gain much. "  ten theran  al. " showeth for a time. "  Enebrimesato  Ver. 38 . " Jesus therefore, again groaning in Himself, cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. "  al. " rebuked. "  al. " all things more humble. "  i.e. the other Evangelists.  Ben. omits " the trembling. "  i.e. which raised the stone.  al. " garments. "  al. " saith gently. "  Ben. " great and causing many blessings. "  " Jesus. "  " if ye believe, " It saith, &c.  philtrou  al. " discover, but slips off. "  al. " strip off by. "  ten exothen  al. " who were familiar with. "  al. " had got together. "  al. " these they cast as dust, and. "  al. " so that these appeared henceforward to be truly philosophers, but those fools by nature and out of their senses. "  al. " devices. "  lit. " having only the natural life, " psuchikos , opposed in G. T. to pneumatikos  al. " is the ridiculous thing. "  al. " the many. "  al. " right. "  al. " Christ discourseth the more about this, and saith. "  al. " I never knew you " : and again, " Rejoice not that the devils are subject to you " : for, &c.  al. " often turn aside. "  al. " attend to. "  i.e. after marriage.  al. " lie with. "  al. " for of such saith God. "  " dieth not, " &c.  al. " stupidity. "  " the woman which hath. "  " whosoever shall. "  proxenousa , al. e pagousa  al. " introducing himself. "  al. " everywhere. "  al. " give diligence to be. "  al. " will. "  al. " sanctuary. "  al. " place. "
John xi. 41, 42
"Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me; and I knew that Thou hearest Me always, but because of the people which stand by, I said it." And what follows.
[1.] What I have often said, I will now say, that Christ looketh not so much to His own honor as to our salvation; not how He may utter some sublime saying, but how something able to draw us to Him. On which account His sublime and mighty sayings are few, and those also hidden, but the humble and lowly are many, and abound  through His discourses. For since by these men were the rather brought over, in these He continueth; and He doth not on the one hand utter these  universally, lest the men that should come after should receive damage, nor, on the other hand, doth He entirely withhold those,  lest the men of that time should be offended. Since they who have passed from lowmindedness unto perfection,  will be able from even a single sublime doctrine to discern the whole, but those who were ever lowminded, unless they had often heard these lowly sayings,  would not have come to Him  at all. In fact, even after so many such sayings they do not remain firm, but even stone and persecute Him, and try to kill Him, and call Him blasphemer. And when He maketh Himself equal with God, they say, "This man blasphemeth" ( Matt. ix. 3 ); and when He saith, "Thy sins be forgiven thee" ( c. x. 20 ), they moreover call Him a demoniac. So when He saith that the man who heareth His words is stronger than death, or, "I am in the Father and the Father in Me" ( c. viii. 51 ), they leave Him; and again, they are offended when He saith that He came down from heaven. ( c. vi. 33, 60 .) If now they could not bear these sayings, though seldom uttered, scarcely, had His discourse been always sublime, had it been of this texture, would they have given heed to Him? When therefore He saith, "As the Father commanded Me, so I speak"  ( c. xiv. 31 ); and, "I am not come  of Myself" ( c. vii. 28 ), then they believe. That they did believe then is clear, from the Evangelist signifying this besides, and saying, "As He spake these words, many believed on Him." ( c. v. 30 .) If then lowly speaking drew men to  faith, and high speaking scared them away,  must it not be a mark of extreme folly not to see at a glance how to reckon  the sole reason of those lowly sayings, namely, that they were uttered because of the hearers. Since in another place when He had desired to say some high thing, He withheld it, adding this reason, and saying, "Lest we should offend them, cast a hook into the sea." ( Matt. xvii. 27 .) Which also He doth here; for after saying, "I know that Thou hearest Me always," He addeth, "but because of the multitude which standeth around I said it, that they might believe." Are these words ours? Is this a human conjecture? When then a man will not endure to be persuaded by what is written, that  they were offended at sublime things, how, when he heareth Christ saying that He spake in a lowly manner that they might not be offended, how, after that, shall he suspect that the mean sayings belonged to His nature, not to His condescension?  So in another place, when a voice came down from heaven, He said, "This voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes." ( c. xii. 30 .) He who is exalted may be allowed to speak lowly things of himself, but it is not lawful for the humble to utter concerning himself anything grand or sublime. For the former ariseth from condescension, and has for its cause the weakness of the hearers; or rather (it has for its cause) the leading them to  humblemindedness, and His being clothed in flesh, and the teaching the hearers to say nothing great concerning themselves, and His being deemed an enemy of God, and not being believed to have come from God, His being suspected of breaking the Law, and the fact that the hearers looked on Him with an evil eye, and were ill disposed towards Him, because He said that He was equal to God.  But that a lowly man should say any great thing of Himself, hath no cause either reasonable or unreasonable;  it can only be folly, impudence, and unpardonable boldness. Wherefore then doth Christ speak humbly, being of that ineffable and great Substance? For the reasons mentioned, and that He might not be deemed unbegotten; for Paul seems to have feared some such thing as this; wherefore he saith, "Except Him who did put all things under Him." ( 1 Cor. xv. 27 .) This it is impious even to think of. Since if being less than Him who begat Him, and of a different Substance, He had been deemed equal, would He not have used every means that this might not be thought? But now He doth the contrary, saying, "If I do not the works of Him that sent Me,  believe Me not." ( c. x. 37 .) Indeed His saying, that "I am in the Father and the Father in Me" ( c. xiv. 10 ), intimateth to us the equality. It would have behooved, if He had been inferior, to refute this opinion with much vehemence, and not at all to have said, "I am in the Father and the Father in me" ( c. x. 30 ), or that, "We are One," or that, "He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father." ( c. xiv. 9 .) Thus also, when His discourse was concerning power, He said, "I and the Father are One"; and when His discourse was concerning authority, He said again, "For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He wilt" ( c. v. 21 ); which it would be impossible that He should do were He of a different substance; or even allowing that it were possible, yet it would not have behooved to say this, lest they should suspect that the substance was one and the same. Since if in order that they may not suppose Him to be an enemy of God, He often even uttereth words unsuited to Him, much more should He then have done so; but now, His saying, "That they should honor the Son even as they honor the Father" ( c. v. 23 ); His saying, "The works which He doeth, I do also" ( c. v. 19 ); His saying that He is "the Resurrection, and the Life, and the Light of the world" ( c. xi. 25; c. viii. 12 ), are the expressions of One making Himself equal to Him who begat Him, and confirming the suspicion which they entertained. Seest thou  how He maketh this speech and defense, to show that He broke not the Law, and that He not only doth not remove, but even confirmeth the opinion of His equality with the Father? So also when they said, "Thou blasphemest, because thou makest thyself God" ( c. x. 33 ), from equality of works He established this thing.
[2.] And why say I that  the Son did this, when the Father also who took not  the flesh doeth the same thing? For He also endured that many lowly things should be said concerning Him for the salvation of the hearers. For the, "Adam, where art thou?" ( Gen. iii. 9 ), and, "That I may know whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it" ( Gen. xviii. 21 ); and, "Now I know that thou fearest God" ( Gen. xxii. 12 ); and, "If they will hear" ( Ezek. iii. 11 ); and, "If they will understand" ( Deut. v. 29 ); and, "Who shall give the heart of this people to be so?" and the expression, "There is none like unto Thee among the gods, O Lord" ( Ps. lxxx. 29 ); these and many other like sentences in the Old Testament, if a man should pick them out, he will find to be unworthy of the dignity of God. In the case of Ahab it is said, "Who shall entice Ahab for Me?" ( 2 Chron. xviii. 19 .) And the continually preferring Himself to the gods of the heathen in the way of comparison, all these things are unworthy of God. Yet in another way they are made worthy of Him, for He is so kind, that for our salvation He careth not for expressions which become His dignity. Indeed, the becoming man is unworthy of Him, and the taking the form of a servant, and the speaking humble words, and the being clothed in  humble (garments), unworthy if one looks to His dignity, but worthy if one consider the unspeakable riches  of His lovingkindness. And there is another cause of the humility of His words. What is that? It is that they knew and confessed  the Father, but Him they knew not. Wherefore He continually betaketh Himself to the Father as being confessed by them, because He Himself was not as yet deemed worthy of credit; not on account of any inferiority of His own, but because of the folly and infirmity of the hearers. On this account He prayeth, and saith, "Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me." For if He quickeneth whom He will, and quickeneth in like manner as doth the Father, wherefore doth He call upon Him?
But it is time now to go through the passage from the beginning.  "Then they took up the stone where the dead man lay. And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me. And I knew that Thou hearest Me always, but because of the people that stand by I said it, that they might believe that Thou hast sent Me." Let us then ask the heretic, Did He receive an impulse  from the prayer, and so raise the dead man? How then did He work other miracles without prayer? saying, "Thou evil spirit, I charge thee, come out of him" ( Mark ix. 25 ); and, "I will, be thou clean" ( Mark i. 41 ); and, "Arise, take up thy bed" ( c. v. 8 ); and, "Thy sins be forgiven thee" ( Matt. ix. 2 ); and to the sea, "Peace, be still." ( Mark iv. 39 .) In short, what hath He more than the Apostles, if so be that He also worketh by  prayer? Or rather I should say, that neither did they work all with prayer, but often they wrought without prayer, calling upon the Name of Jesus. Now, if His Name had such great power, how could He have needed prayer? Had He needed prayer, His Name would not have availed. When He wholly made man, what manner of prayer did He need? was there not then great equality of honor? "Let Us make," It saith, "man." ( Gen. i. 26 .) What could be greater sign of weakness, if He needed prayer? But let us see what the prayer was; "I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me." Who now ever prayed in this manner? Before uttering any prayer, He saith, "I thank Thee," showing that He needed not prayer.  "And I knew that Thou hearest Me always." This He said not as though He Himself were powerless, but to show that His will and the Father's is one. But why did He assume the form of prayer? Hear, not me, but Himself, saying, "For the sake of the people which stand by, that they may believe that Thou hast sent Me." He said not, "That they may believe that I am inferior, that I have need of an impulse from above, that without prayer I cannot do anything; but, "That Thou hast sent Me." For all these things the prayer declareth, if we take it simply. He said not, "Thou hast sent me weak, acknowledging servitude, and doing nothing of Myself"; but dismissing all these things, that thou mayest have no such suspicions, He putteth the real cause of the prayer, "That they may not deem Me an enemy of God; that they may not say, He is not of God, that I may show them that the work hath been done according to Thy will." All but saying, "Had I been an enemy of God, what is done would not have succeeded," but the, "Thou heardest Me," is said in the case of friends and equals. "And I knew that Thou hearest Me always," that is, "in order that My will be done I need no prayer, except to persuade men that to Thee and Me belongeth one will." "Why then prayest Thou?" For the sake of the weak and grosser  sort.
Ver. 43 . "And when He had thus spoken, He cried with a loud voice."
Why said He not, "In the name of My Father come forth"? Or why said He not, "Father, raise him up"? Why did he omit all these expressions, and after assuming the attitude of one praying, show by His actions His independent authority? Because this also was a part of His wisdom, to show condescension by words, but by His deeds, power. For since they had nothing else to charge Him with except that He was not of God, and since in this way they deceived many, He on this account most abundantly proveth this very point by what He saith, and in the way that their infirmity required. For it was in His power by other means to show at once His agreement with the Father and His own dignity, but the multitude could not ascend so far. And He saith,
"Lazarus, come forth."
[3.] This is that of which He spake, "The hour is coming, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live." ( c. v. 28 .) For, that thou mightest not think that He received the power of working from another, He taught thee this before, and gave proof by deeds, and said not, Arise, but, "Come forth," conversing with the dead man as though living. What can be equal to this authority? And if He doth it not by His own strength, what shall He have more than the Apostles, who say, "Why look ye so earnestly on us as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?" ( Acts iii. 12 .) For if, not working by His own power, He did not add what the Apostles said concerning themselves, they will in a manner be more truly wise than He, because they refused the glory. And  in another place, "Why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions as you." ( Acts xiv. 15 .) The Apostles since they did nothing of themselves, spoke in this way to persuade men of this; but He when the like opinion was formed concerning Him, would He not have removed the suspicion, if at least He did not act by His own authority? Who would assert this? But in truth Christ doeth the contrary, when He saith,  "Because of the people which stand by I said it, that they might believe"; so that had they believed, there would have been no need of prayer. Now if prayer were not beneath His dignity, why should He account them the cause of His praying? Why said He not, "I do it in order that they may believe that I am not equal to Thee"; for He ought on account of the suspicion to have come to this point. When He was suspected of breaking the Law, He used the very expression, even when they had not said anything, "Think not that I am come to destroy the Law" ( Matt. v. 17 ); but in this place He establisheth their suspicion. In fact, what need was there at all of going such a round, and of using such dark sayings? It had been enough to say, "I am not equal," and to be rid of the matter. "But what," saith some one, "did He not say that, I do not My own will?" Even this He did in a covert way, and one suited to their infirmity, and from the same cause through which the prayer was made. But what meaneth "That Thou hast heard Me"? It meaneth,  "That there is nothing on My part opposed to Thee." As then the, "That Thou hast heard Me," is not the saying of one declaring, that of Himself He had not the power, (for were this the case, it would be not only impotence but ignorance, if before praying He did not know that God would grant the prayer; and if He knew not, how was it that He said, "I go that I may awake him," instead of, "I go to pray My Father to awake him?") As then this expression is a sign, not of weakness, but of identity of will, so also is the, "Thou hearest Me always." We must then either say this, or else that it was addressed to their suspicions. If now He was neither ignorant nor weak, it is clear that He uttereth these lowly words, that thou mayest be persuaded by their very excess, and mayest be compelled to confess, that they suit not His dignity, but are from condescension. What then say the enemies of truth? "He spake not those words, Thou hast heard me," saith some one, "to the infirmity of the hearers, but in order to show a superiority." Yet this was not to show a superiority,  but to humble Himself greatly, and to show Himself as having nothing more than man. For to pray is not proper to God, nor to the sharer of the Throne. Seest thou then that He came to this  from no other cause than their unbelief? Observe at least that the action beareth witness to His authority.
"He called, and the dead man came forth wrapped."  Then that the matter might not seem to be an appearance, (for his coming forth bound did not seem to be less marvelous than his resurrection,) Jesus commanded to loose him, in order that having touched and having been near him, they might see that it was really he. And He saith,
"Let him go."
Seest thou His freedom from boastfulness? He doth not lead him on, nor bid him go about  with Him, lest He should seem to any to be showing him; so well knew He how to observe moderation.
When the sign had been wrought, some wondered, others went and told it to the Pharisees.  What then did they? When they ought to have been astonished and to have admired Him, they took counsel to kill Him who had raised the dead. What folly! They thought to give up to death Him who had overcome death in the bodies of others.
Ver. 47 . "And they said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles."
They still call Him "man," these who had received such proof of His divinity. "What do we?" They ought to have believed, and served, and bowed down to Him, and no longer to have deemed Him a man.
Ver. 48 . "If we let him thus alone, the Romans will come,  and will take away both our nation and city." 
What is it which they counsel to do?  They wish to stir up the people, as though they themselves would be in danger on suspicion of establishing a kingdom. "For if," saith one of them, "the Romans learn  that this Man is leading the multitudes, they will suspect us,  and will come and destroy our city." Wherefore, tell me? Did He teach revolt? Did He not permit you to give tribute to Cæsar? Did not ye wish to make Him a king, and He fly from you? Did He not follow  a mean and unpretending  life, having neither house nor anything else of the kind? They therefore said this, not from any such expectation, but from malice. Yet it so fell out contrary to their expectation, and the Romans took their nation and city when they had slain Christ. For the things done by Him were beyond all suspicion. For He who healed the sick, and taught the most excellent way of life, and commanded men to obey their rulers, was not establishing but undoing a tyranny. "But," saith some one, "we conjecture from former (impostors)." But they taught revolt, He the contrary. Seest thou that the words were but a pretense? For what action of the kind did He exhibit? Did He lead about with Him  pompous  guards? had He a train of chariots? Did He not seek the deserts? But they, that they may not seem to be speaking from their own ill feeling,  say that all the city is in danger, that the common weal is being plotted against, and that they have to fear the worst. These were not the causes of your captivity, but things contrary to them; both of this last, and of the Babylonish, and of that under Antiochus which followed: it was not that there were worshipers among you, but that there were among you those who did unjustly, and excited God to wrath, this caused you to be given up into bondage. But such a thing is envy, allowing men to see nothing which they ought to see, when it has once for all blinded the soul. Did He not teach men to be meek? Did He not bid them when smitten on the right cheek to turn the other also? Did He not bid them when injured to bear it? to show greater readi ness to endure evil, than others have to inflict it? Are these, tell me, the signs of one establishing a tyranny, and not rather of one pulling a tyranny down?
[4.] But, as I said, a dreadful thing is malice, and full of hypocrisy; this hath filled the world with ten thousand evils; through this malady the law courts are filled, from this comes the desire of fame and wealth, from this the love of rule, and insolence,  through this the roads have wicked robbers and the sea pirates,  from this proceed the murders through the world, through this our race is rent asunder, and whatever evil thou mayest see, thou wilt perceive to arise from this. This hath even burst into  the churches, this hath caused ten thousand dreadful things from the beginning, this is the mother of avarice, this malady hath turned all things upside down, and corrupted justice. For "gifts," It saith, "blind the eyes of the wise, and as a muzzle on the mouth turn away reproofs." ( Ecclus. xx. 29 , LXX. and marg. of E.V.) This makes slaves of freemen, concerning this we talk every day, and no good comes of it, we become worse than wild beasts; we plunder orphans, strip widows, do wrong to the poor, join woe to woe. "Alas! that the righteous hath perished from the earth!" ( Mic. vii. 1, 2 .) It is our part too henceforth to mourn, or rather we have need to say this every day. We profit nothing by our prayers, nothing by our advice and exhortation, it remaineth therefore that we weep. Thus did Christ; after having many times exhorted those in Jerusalem, when they profited nothing, He wept at their hardness.  This also do the Prophets, and this let us do now. Henceforth is the season for mourning and tears and wailing; it is seasonable for us also to say now, "Call for the mourning women, and send for the cunning women, that they may cry aloud" ( Jer. ix. 17 ); perhaps thus we shall be able to cast out the malady of those who build splendid houses, of those who surround themselves with lands gotten by rapine. It is seasonable to mourn; but do ye take part with me in the mourning, ye who have been stripped and injured, by your mournings bring down my tears. But while mourning we will mourn, not for ourselves but for them; they have not injured you, but they have destroyed themselves; for you have the Kingdom of heaven in return for the injustice done you, they hell in return for their gain. On this account it is better to be injured than to injure. Let us bewail them with a lamentation not of man's making,  but that from the Holy Scriptures with which the Prophets also wailed. With Isaiah let us wail bitterly, and say, "Woe, they that add house to house, that lay field to field, that they may take somewhat from their neighbor; will ye dwell alone upon the earth? Great houses and fair, and there shall be no inhabitants in them." ( Isa. v. 8, 9 .)
Let us mourn with Nahum, and say with him, "Woe to him that buildeth his house on high." (Perhaps Jer. xxii. 13 .) Or rather let us mourn for them as Christ mourned for those of old. "Woe to you that are rich, for ye have received your consolation." ( Luke vi. 24 .) Let us, I beseech you, not cease thus lamenting, and if it be not unseemly, let us even beat our breasts for the carelessness of our brethren. Let us not weep for him who is already dead, but let us weep for the rapacious man, the grasping, the covetous, the insatiable. Why should we mourn for the dead, in whose case it is impossible henceforth to effect anything? Let us mourn for these who are capable even of change. But while we are lamenting, perhaps they will laugh. Even this is a worthy cause for lamentation, that they laugh when they ought to mourn. For had they been at all affected by our sorrows, it would have behooved us to cease from sorrowing on account of their promise of amendment; but since they are of an insensible disposition, let us continue to weep, not merely for the rich, but for the lovers of money, the greedy, the rapacious. Wealth is not an evil thing, (for we may use it rightly when we spend it upon those who have need,) but greediness is an evil, and it prepares  deathless punishments. Let us then bewail them; perhaps there will be some amendment; or even if they who have fallen in do not escape, others at least will not fall into the danger, but will guard against it. May it come to pass that both they may be freed from their malady, and that none of us may ever fall into it, that we all may in common obtain the promised goods, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
 lit. " overflow. "  auta  auta , i.e. higher sayings.  al. " have passed to perfection, " al. " have passed from low-mindedness. "  tauta  al. " have been held. "  " so I do, " N.T.  al. " I speak nothing. "  al. " caused. "  a pesobei  al. " not to reckon. "  or, " because. "  al. for when we are persuaded from the actions that the men are offended at high sayings, and when He saith Himself, that " on this account I speak in a lowly way, lest they should be offended, " who will yet suspect, &c.  al. " to look to. "  al. and the maliciousness of the hearers, and its being continually said in the Old (Covenant), " The Lord thy God is One Lord. "  al. " hath no cause at all that is specious. "  " My Father, " N.T.  al. " now to show that, " &c.  al. " if. "  al. " put not on. "  al. " enduring mean things. "  al. " greatness. "  al. " admired. "  al. " to enter on the passage itself. "  rh open  al. " upon. "  al. some mss. add, " for Thou doest all things, whatsoever I will, He saith. "  al. " meaner. "  al. again, " why look ye, " &c., " we also, " &c.  al. but He even saith the contrary " because, " &c.  al. so then the " hearing Me always " meaneth, &c.  i.e. a mere superiority of the Father.  i.e. to use prayer.  Ver. 44 . " And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. " N.T. " Jesus saith unto them, Loose him. " N.T.  al. " walk. "  Ver. 45-47 . " Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. Then gathered the Chief Priests and Pharisees a council. " N.T.  al. " are coming. "  N.T. " All men will believe on Him, and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. "  al. " which they mean to say? "  al. " see. "  al. " us about a kingdom. "  al. " exhibit. "  al. " plain. "  al. " did He surround Himself with. "  sobountas  a po pathous tou eauton . Sav. reads to p. tou he  al. " vainglory. "  al. " the roads and the sea are beset. "  eisekomase  al. " misfortune. "  al. " not the common. "  proxenousa
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