Writings of Augustine. The Psalms.

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Expositions on the Book of Psalms.

by Saint Augustin, Bishop of Hippo.

Edited, with brief annotations, and condensed from the six volumes of the Oxford Translation,

by A. Cleveland Coxe, D.D., Editor of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, etc.

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


Psalm LXX. [3027]

1. Thanks to the "Corn of wheat," [3028] because He willed to die and to be multiplied: thanks to the only Son of God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who disdained not to undergo our death, in order that He might make us worthy of His life. Behold Him that was single until He went hence; as He said in another Psalm, "Single I am until I go hence;" [3029] for He was a single corn of wheat in such sort as that He had in Himself a great fruitfulness of increase; in how many corns imitating the Passion of Him we exult, when we celebrate the nativities of the Martyrs! Many therefore members of Him, under one Head our Saviour Himself, being bound together in the bond of love and peace (as ye judge it fit that ye know, for ye have often heard), are one man: and of the same, as of one man, the voice is ofttimes heard, in the Psalms, and thus one crieth as though it were all, because all in one are one....

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2. There is then in this Psalm the voice of men troubled, and so indeed of Martyrs amid sufferings in peril, but relying on their own Head. Let us hear them, and speak with them out of sympathy of heart, though it be not with similarity of suffering. For they are already crowned, we are still in peril: not that such sort of persecutions do vex us as have vexed them, but worse perchance in the midsts of all kinds of so great scandals. For our own times do more abound in that woe, which the Lord cried: "Woe to the world because of scandals." [3030] And, "Because iniquity hath abounded, the love of man shall wax cold." [3031] For not even that holy Lot at Sodom suffered corporal persecution from any one, or had it been told him that he should not dwell there: [3032] the persecution of him were the evil doings of the Sodomites. Now then that Christ sitteth in Heaven, now that He is glorified, now that necks of kings are made subject to His yoke, and their brows placed beneath His sign, now that not any one remaineth to dare openly to trample upon Christians, still, however, we groan amid instruments and singers, still those enemies of the Martyrs, because with words and steel they have no power, with their own wantonness do persecute them. And O that we were sorrowing for Heathens alone: it would be some sort of comfort, to wait for those that not yet have been signed with the Cross of Christ; when they should be signed, and when, by His authority attached, they should cease to be mad. We see besides men wearing on their brow the sign of Him, at the same time on that same brow wearing the shamelessness of wantonness, and on the days and celebrations of the Martyrs not exulting but insulting. And amid these things we groan, and this is our persecution, if there is in us the love which saith, "Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is scandalized, and I burn not?" [3033] Not any servant of God, then, is without persecution: and that is a true saying which the Apostle saith, "But even all men that will to live godly in Christ, shall suffer persecution." [3034] ...

3. "O God, to my aid make speed" (ver. 1). For need we have for an everlasting aid in this world. But when have we not? Now however being in tribulation, let us especially say, "O God, to my aid make speed." "Let them be confounded and fear that seek my soul." Christ is speaking: whether Head speak or whether Body speak; He is speaking that hath said, "Why persecutest thou Me?" [3035] He is speaking that hath said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of Mine, to Me ye have done it." [3036] The voice then of this Man is known to be of the whole man, of Head and of Body: that need not often be mentioned, because it is known. "Be they confounded," he saith, "and fear that seek my soul." In another Psalm He saith, "I was looking unto the right and saw, and there was not one that would know Me: flight hath perished from Me, and there is not one to seek out My soul." [3037] There of persecutors He saith, that there was not one to seek out His soul: but here, "Let them be confounded and fear that seek My soul."...And where is that which thou hast heard from thy Lord, "Love ye your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that persecute you"? [3038] Behold thou sufferest persecution, and cursest them from whom thou sufferest: how dost thou imitate the Passions of thy Lord that have gone before, hanging on the cross and saying, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." [3039] To persons saying such things the Martyr replieth and saith, thou hast set before me the Lord, saying, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do:" understand thou my voice also, in order that it may be thine too: for what have I said concerning mine enemies? "Let them be confounded and fear." Already such vengeance hath been taken on the enemies of the Martyrs. That Saul that persecuted Stephen, he was confounded and feared. He was breathing out slaughters, [3040] he was seeking some to drag and slay: a voice having been heard from above, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me," [3041] he was confounded and laid low, and he was raised up to obedience, that had been inflamed unto persecuting. This then the Martyrs desire for their enemies, "Let them be confounded and fear." For so long as they are not confounded and fear, they must needs defend their actions: glorious they think themselves, because they hold, because they bind, because they scourge, because they kill, because they dance, because they insult, and because of all these doings they be some time confounded and fear. [3042] For if they be confounded, they will also be converted: because converted they cannot be, unless they shall have been confounded and shall have feared. Let us then wish these things to our enemies, let us wish them without fear. Behold I have said, and let me have said it with you, may all that still dance and sing and insult the Martyrs "be confounded and fear:" at last within these walls confounded may they beat their breasts!

4. "Let them be turned away backward and blush that think evil things to me" (ver. 2). At first there was the assault of them persecuting, now there hath remained the malice of them thinking. In fact, there are in the Church distinct seasons of persecutions following one another. [3043] There was made an assault on the Church when kings were persecuting: and because kings had been foretold as to persecute and as to believe, when one had been fulfilled the other was to follow. There came to pass also that which was consequent; kings believed, peace was given to the Church, the Church began to be set in the highest place of dignity, even on this earth, even in this life: but there is not wanting the roar of persecutors, they have turned their assaults into thoughts. In these thoughts, as in a bottomless pit, the devil hath been bound, [3044] he roareth and breaketh not forth. For it hath been said concerning these times of the Church, "The sinner shall see, and shall be angry." [3045] And shall do what? That which he did at first? Drag, bind, smite? He doeth not this. What then? "With his teeth he shall gnash, and shall pine away." And with these men the Martyr is, as it were, angry, and yet for these men the Martyr prayeth. For in like manner as he hath wished well to those men concerning whom he hath said, "Let them be confounded and fear that seek my soul:" [3046] so also now, "Let them be turned backward, and blush, that think evil things to me." Wherefore? In order that they may not go before, but follow. For he that censureth the Christian religion, and on his own system willeth to live, willeth as it were to go before Christ, as though He indeed had erred and had been weak and infirm, because He either willed to suffer or could suffer in the hands of the Jews; but that he is a clever man for guarding against all these things; in shunning death, even in basely lying to escape death, and slaying his soul that he may live in body, he thinketh himself a man of singular and prudent measures. He goeth before in censuring Christ, in a manner he outstrippeth Christ: let him believe in Christ, and follow Christ. For that which had been desired but now for persecutors thinking evil things, the same the Lord Himself said to Peter. Now in a certain place Peter willed to go before the Lord....A little before, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father which is in Heaven:" now in a moment, "Go back behind Me, Satan." [3047] What is, "Go back behind Me"? Follow Me. Thou willest to go before Me, thou willest to give Me counsel, it is better that thou follow My counsel: this is, "go back," go back behind Me. He is silencing one outstripping, in order that he may go backward; and He is calling him Satan, because he willeth to go before the Lord. A little before, "blessed;" now, "Satan." Whence a little before, "blessed"? Because, "to thee," He saith, "flesh and blood hath not revealed it, but My Father which is in Heaven." Whence now, "Satan"? Because "thou savourest not," He saith, "the things which are of God, but the things which are of men." Let us then that would duly celebrate the nativities of the Martyrs, long for the imitation of the Martyrs; let us not wish to go before the Martyrs, and think ourselves to be of better understanding than they, because we shun sufferings in behalf of righteousness and faith which they shunned not. Therefore be they that think evil things, and in wantonness feed their hearts, "turned backward and blush." Let them hear from the Apostle afterwards saying, "But what fruit had ye some time in those things at which ye now blush?"

5. What followeth? "Let them be turned away forthwith blushing, that say to me, Well, well" (ver. 3). Two are the kinds of persecutors, revilers and flatterers. The tongue of the flatterer doth more persecute than the hand of the slayer: for this also the Scripture hath called a furnace. Truly when the Scripture was speaking of persecution, it said, "Like gold in a furnace it hath proved them" (speaking of Martyrs being slain), "and as the holocaust's victim it hath received them." [3048] Hear how even the tongue of flatterers is of such sort: "The proving," he saith, "of silver and of gold is fire; but a man is proved by the tongue of men praising him." [3049] That is fire, this also is fire: out of both thou oughtest to go forth safe. The censurer hath broken thee, thou hast been broken in the furnace like an earthen vessel. The Word hath moulded thee, and there hath come the trial of tribulation: that which hath been formed, must needs be seasoned; if it hath been well moulded, there hath come the fire to strengthen. Whence He said in the Passion, "Dried up like a potsherd hath been My virtue." [3050] For Passion and the furnace of tribulation had made Him stronger....

6. And what cometh to pass when they are all turned back and blush, whether it be they that seek my soul, or they that think evil things to me, or they that with perverse and feigned benevolence with tongue would soften the stroke which they inflict, when they shall have been themselves turned away and confounded; there shall come to pass what? "Let them exult and be joyous in Thee:" not in me, not in this man or in that man; but in whom they have been made light that were darkness. "Let them exult and be joyous in Thee, all that seek Thee" (ver. 4). One thing it is to seek God, another thing to seek man. "Let them be joyous that seek Thee." They shall not be joyous then that seek themselves, [3051] whom Thou hast first sought before they sought Thee. Not yet did that sheep seek the Shepherd, it had strayed from the flock, and He went down to it; [3052] He sought it, and carried it back upon His shoulders. Will He despise thee, O sheep, seeking Him, who hath first sought thee despising Him and not seeking Him? Now then begin thou to seek Him that first hath sought thee, and hath carried thee back on His shoulders. Do thou that which He speaketh of, "They that are My sheep hear My voice, and follow Me." [3053] If then thou seekest Him that first hath sought thee, and hast become a sheep of His, and thou hearest the voice of thy Shepherd, and followest Him; see what He showeth to thee of Himself, what of His Body, in order that as to Himself thou mayest not err, as to the Church thou mayest not err, that no one may say to thee, that is Christ which is not Christ, or that is the Church which is not the Church. For many men have said that Christ had no flesh, and that Christ hath not risen in His Body: do not thou follow the voices of them. Hear thou the voice of Himself the Shepherd, that was clothed with flesh, in order that He might seek lost flesh. He hath risen again, and He saith, "Handle ye and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have." [3054] He showeth Himself to thee, the voice of Him follow thou. He showeth also the Church, that no one may deceive thee by the name of Church. "It behoved," He saith, "Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead the third day, and that there should be preached repentance and remission of sins through all nations, beginning with Jerusalem." [3055] Thou hast the voice of Thy Shepherd, do not thou follow the voice of strangers: [3056] and a thief thou shalt not fear, if thou shalt have followed the voice of the Shepherd. But how shalt thou follow? If thou shalt neither have said to any man, as if it were by his own merit, Well, well: nor shalt have heard the same with joy, so that thy head be not made fat with the oil of a sinner. [3057] "Let all them exult and be joyous in Thee, that seek Thee; and let them say"--let them say what, that exult? "Be the Lord alway magnified!" Let all them say this, that exult and seek Thee. What? "Be the Lord alway magnified; yea, they that love Thy salvation." Not only, "Be the Lord magnified;" but also, "alway."...A sinner thou art, be He magnified in order that He may call; thou confessest, be He magnified in order that He may forgive: now thou livest justly, be He magnified in order that He may direct: thou perseverest even unto the end, be He magnified in order that He may glorify. "Be the Lord," then, "alway magnified; yea, they love His saving health." For from Him they have salvation, not from themselves. The saving health of the Lord our God, is the Saviour our Lord Jesus Christ: whosoever loveth the Saviour, confesseth himself to have been made whole; whosoever confesseth himself to have been made whole, confesseth himself to have been sick. [3058] Not their own saving health, as if they could save themselves of themselves: not as it were the saving health of a man, as though by him they could be saved. "Do not," he saith, "confide in princes, and in the sons of men, in whom there is no safety." [3059] Why so? "Of the Lord is safety, and upon Thy people is Thy blessing." [3060]

7. Behold, "Be the Lord magnified:" wilt thou never, wilt thou nowhere? In Him was something, in me nothing: but if in Him is whatsoever I am, be He, not I. But thou then what? "But I am needy and poor" (ver. 5). He is rich, He abounding, He needing nothing. Behold my light, behold whence I am illumined; for I cry, "Thou shalt illumine my candle, O Lord." [3061] What then of thee? "But I am needy and poor." I am like an orphan, my soul is like a widow destitute and desolate: help I seek, alway mine infirmity I confess. There have been forgiven me my sins, now I have begun to follow the commandments of God: still, however, I am needy and poor. Why still needy and poor? Because "I see another law in my members fighting against the law of my mind." [3062] Why needy and poor? Because, "blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness." [3063] Still I hunger, still I thirst: my fulness hath been put off, not taken away. "O God, aid Thou me." Most suitably also Lazarus is said to be interpreted, "one aided:" that needy and poor man, that was transported into the bosom of Abraham; [3064] and beareth the type of the Church, which ought alway to confess that she hath need of aid. This is true, this is godly. "I have said to the Lord, My God Thou art." Why? "For my goods Thou needest not." [3065] He needeth not us, we need Him: therefore He is truly Lord. For thou art not the very true Lord of thy servant: both are men, both needing God. But if thou supposest thy servant to need thee, in order that thou mayest give him bread; thou also needest thy servant, in order that he may aid thy labours. Each one of you doth need the other. Therefore neither of you is truly lord, and neither of you truly servant. Hear thou the true Lord, of whom thou art the true servant: "I have said to the Lord, My God Thou art." Why art Thou Lord? "Because my goods Thou needest not"? But what of thee? "But I am needy and poor." Behold the needy and poor: may God feed, may God alleviate, may God aid: "O God," he saith, "aid Thou me."

8. "My helper and deliverer art Thou; O Lord, delay not." Thou art the helper and deliverer: I need succour, help Thou; entangled I am, deliver Thou. For no one will deliver from entanglings except Thee. There stand round about us the nooses of divers cares, on this side and on that we are torn as it were with thorns and brambles, we walk a narrow way, perchance we have stuck fast in the brambles: let us say to God, "Thou art my deliverer." He that showed us the narrow way, [3066] hath taught us to follow it....

9. What is, "delay not"? Because many men say, it is a long time till Christ comes. What then: because we say, "delay not," will He come before He hath determined to come? What meaneth this prayer, "delay not"? May not Thy coming seem to me to be too long delayed. For to thee it seemeth a long time, to God it seemeth not long, to whom a thousand years are one day, or the three hours of a watch. [3067] But if thou shalt not have had endurance, late for thee it will be: and when to thee it shall be late, thou wilt be diverted from Him, and wilt be like unto those that were wearied in the desert, and hastened to ask of God the pleasant things which He was reserving for them in the Land; and when there were not given on their journey the pleasant things, whereby perchance they would have been corrupted, they murmured against God, and went back in heart unto Egypt: [3068] to that place whence in body they had been severed, in heart they went back. Do not thou, then, so, do not so: fear the word of the Lord, saying, "Remember Lot's wife." [3069] She too being on the way, but now delivered from the Sodomites, looked back; in the place where she looked back, there she remained: she became a statue of salt, in order to season thee. For to thee she hath been given for an example, in order that thou mayest have sense, mayest not stop infatuated on the way. Observe her stopping and pass on: observe her looking back, and do thou be reaching forth unto the things before, as Paul was. [3070] What is it, not to look back. "Of the things behind forgetful," he saith. Therefore thou followest, being called to the heavenly reward, whereof hereafter thou wilt glory. For the same Apostle saith, "There remaineth for me a crown of righteousness, which in that day the Lord, the just Judge, shall render to me." [3071]


[3027] Lat. LXIX. Sermon preached at the celebration of the Martyrs. [3028] Preface. John xii. 24. [3029] Ps. cxli. 10, LXX.; and Vulgate nearly. [3030] Matt. xviii. 7. [3031] Matt. xxiv. 12. [3032] Gen. xix. 19. [3033] 2 Cor. xi. 29. [3034] 2 Tim. iii. 12. [3035] Acts ix. 4. [3036] Matt. xxv. 40. [3037] Ps. cxlii. 4. [3038] Matt. v. 44. [3039] Luke xxiii. 34. [3040] Acts vii. 58, ix. 1. [3041] Acts ix. 4. [3042] Oxf. mss. "and no more defend their doings." [3043] The reading sequere mentioned in Ben. is probably a mistake for seque, which is found at Oxford. Or it is, "follow them in their succession." [3044] Vide Rev. xx. 3. [3045] Ps. cxii. 10. [3046] Ps. lxx. 2. [3047] Matt. xvi. 23. [3048] Wisd. iii. 6. [3049] Prov. xxvii. 21. [3050] Ps. xxii. 15. [3051] mss. Reg. non te, "aught but Thee." [3052] Luke xv. 4. [3053] John x. 27. [3054] Luke xxiv. 39. [3055] Luke xxiv. 46, 47. [3056] John x. 5. [3057] Ps. cxli. 5. [3058] Here Oxf. mss. repeat, "They that love Thy saving health." [3059] Ps. cxlvi. 3. [3060] Ps. iii. 8. [3061] Ps. xviii. 28. [3062] Rom. vii. 23. [3063] Matt. v. 6. [3064] Luke xvi. 23. [3065] Ps. xvi. 2. [3066] Matt. vii. 14. [3067] Ps. xc. 4. [3068] Exod. xvi. 2; Acts vii. 39. [3069] Luke xvii. 32. [3070] Philip. iii. 13. [3071] 2 Tim. iv. 8. .

Psalm LXXI. [3072]

1. In all the holy Scriptures the grace of God that delivereth us commendeth itself to us, in order that it may have us commended. This is sung of in this Psalm, whereof we have undertaken to speak....This grace the Apostle commendeth: by this he got to have the Jews for enemies, boasting of the letter of the law and of their own justice. This then commending in the lesson which hath been read, he saith thus: "For I am the least of the Apostles, that am not worthy to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God." [3073] "But therefore mercy," he saith, "I obtained, because ignorant I did it in unbelief." [3074] Then a little afterwards, "Faithful the saying is, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am first." [3075] Were there before him not any sinners? What then, was he the first then? Yea, going before all men not in time, but in evil disposition. "But therefore," he saith, "mercy I obtained," in order that in me Christ Jesus might show all long-suffering, for the imitation of those that shall believe in Him unto life eternal: that is, every sinner and unjust man, already despairing of himself, already having the mind of a gladiator, [3076] so as to do whatsoever he willeth, because he must needs be condemned, may yet observe the Apostle Paul, to whom so great cruelty and so very evil a disposition was forgiven by God; and by not despairing of himself may he be turned unto God. This grace God doth commend to us in this Psalm also....

2. The title then of this Psalm is, as usual, a title intimating on the threshold what is being done in the house: "To David himself for the sons of Jonadab, and for those that were first led captive." Jonadab (he is commended to us in the prophecy of Jeremiah) was a certain man, who had enjoined his sons not to drink wine, and not to dwell in houses, but in tents. But the commandment of the father the sons kept and observed, and by this earned a blessing from the Lord. [3077] Now the Lord had not commanded this, but their own father. But they so received it as though it were a commandment from the Lord their God; for even though the Lord had not commanded that they should drink no wine and should dwell in tents; yet the Lord had commanded that sons should obey their father. In this case alone a son ought not to obey his father, if his father should have commanded anything contrary to the Lord his God. For indeed the father ought not to be angry, when God is preferred before him. But when a father doth command that which is not contrary to God; he must be heard as God is: because to obey one's father God hath enjoined. God then blessed the sons of Jonadab because of their obedience, and thrust them in the teeth of His disobedient people, reproaching them, because while the sons of Jonadab were obedient to their father, they obeyed not their God. But while Jeremiah was treating of these topics, he had this object in regard to the people of Israel, that they should prepare themselves to be led for captivity into Babylon, and should not hope for any other thing, but that they were to be captives. The title then of this Psalm seemeth from thence to have taken its hue, so that when he had said, "Of the sons of Jonadab;" he added, "and of them that were first led captive:" not that the sons of Jonadab were led captive, but because to them that were to be led captive there were opposed the sons of Jonadab, because they were obedient to their father: in order that they might understand that they had been made captive, because they were not obedient to God. It is added also that Jonadab is interpreted, "the Lord's spontaneous one." What is this, the Lord's spontaneous one? Serving God freely with the will. What is, the Lord's spontaneous one? "In me are, O God, Thy vows, which I will render of praise to Thee." [3078] What is, the Lord's spontaneous one? "Voluntarily I will sacrifice to Thee." [3079] For if the Apostolic teaching admonisheth a slave to serve a human master, not as though of necessity, but of good will, and by freely serving make himself in heart free; how much more must God be served with whole and full and free will, who seeth thy very will?...The first man made us captive, the second man hath delivered us from captivity. "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive." But in Adam they die through the flesh's nativity, in Christ they are delivered through the heart's faith. It was not in thy power not to be born of Adam: it is in thy power to believe in Christ. Howsoever much then thou shalt have willed to belong to the first man, unto captivity thou wilt belong. And what is, shalt have willed to belong? or what is, shalt belong? Already thou belongest: cry out, "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" [3080] Let us hear then this man crying out this.

3. "O God, in Thee I have hoped, O Lord, I shall not be confounded for everlasting" (ver. 1). Already I have been confounded, but not for everlasting. For how is he not confounded, to whom is said, "What fruit had ye in these things wherein ye now blush?" [3081] What then shall be done, that we may not be confounded for everlasting? "Draw near unto Him, and be ye enlightened, and your faces shall not blush." [3082] Confounded ye are in Adam, withdraw from Adam, draw near unto Christ, and then ye shall not be confounded. "In Thee I have hoped, O Lord, I shall not be confounded for everlasting." If in myself I am now [3083] confounded, in Thee I shall not be confounded for everlasting.

4. "In Thine own righteousness deliver me, and save me" (ver. 2). Not in mine own, but in Thine own: for if in mine own, I shall be one of those whereof he saith, "Being ignorant of God's righteousness, and their own righteousness willing to establish, to the righteousness of God they were not made subject." [3084] Therefore, "in Thine own righteousness," not in mine. For mine is what? Iniquity hath gone before. And when I shall be righteous, Thine own righteousness it will be: for by righteousness given to me by Thee I shall be righteous; and it shall be so mine, as that it be Thine, that is, given to me by Thee. For I believe on Him that justifieth an ungodly man, so that my faith is counted for righteousness. [3085] Even so then the righteousness shall be mine, not however as though mine own, not as though by mine own self given to myself: as they thought who through the letter made their boast, and rejected grace....It is a small thing then that thou acknowledge the good thing which is in thee to be from God, unless also on that account thou exalt not thyself above him that hath not yet, who perchance when he shall have received, will outstrip thee. For when Saul was a stoner of Stephen, [3086] how many were the Christians of whom he was persecutor! Nevertheless, when he was converted, all that had gone before he surpassed. Therefore say thou to God that which thou hearest in the Psalm, "In Thee I have hoped, O Lord, I shall not be confounded for everlasting: in Thine own righteousness," not in mine, "deliver me, and save me." "Incline unto me Thine ear." This also is a confession of humility. He that saith, "Incline unto me," is confessing that he is lying like a sick man laid at the feet of the Physician standing. Lastly, observe that it is a sick man that is speaking: "Incline unto me Thine ear, and save me."

5. "Be Thou unto me for a protecting God" (ver. 3). Let not the darts of the enemy reach unto me: for I am not able to protect myself. And a small thing is "protecting:" he hath added, "and for a walled place, that Thou mayest save me." "For a walled place" be Thou to me, be Thou my walled place....Behold, God Himself hath become the place of thy fleeing unto, who at first was the fearful object of thy fleeing from. "For a walled place," he saith, be Thou to me, "that Thou mayest save me." I shall not be safe except in Thee: except Thou shalt have been my rest, my sickness shall not be able to be made whole. Lift me from the earth; upon Thee I will lie, in order that I may rise unto a walled place. What can be better walled? When unto that place thou shalt have fled for refuge, tell me what adversaries thou wilt dread? Who will lie in wait, and come at thee? A certain man is said from the summit of a mountain to have cried out, when an Emperor was passing by, "I speak not [3087] of thee:" the other is said to have looked back and to have said, "Nor I of thee." He had despised an Emperor with glittering arms, with mighty army. From whence? From a strong place. If he was secure on a high spot of earth, how secure art thou on Him by whom heaven and earth were made? I, if for myself I shall have chosen another place, shall not be able to be safe. Choose thou indeed, O man, if thou shalt have found one, a place better walled. There is not then a place whither to flee from Him, except we flee to Him. If thou wilt escape Him angry, flee to Him appeased. "For my firmament and my refuge Thou art." "My firmament" is what? Through Thee I am firm, and by Thee I am firm. "For my firmament and my refuge Thou art:" in order that I may be made firm by Thee, in whatever respects I shall have been made infirm in myself, I will flee for refuge unto Thee. For firm the grace of Christ maketh thee, and immovable against all temptations of the enemy. But there is there too human frailness, there is there still the first captivity, there is there too the law in the members fighting against the law of the mind, and willing to lead captive in the law of sin: [3088] still the body which is corrupt presseth down the soul. [3089] Howsoever firm thou be by the grace of God, so long as thou still bearest an earthly vessel, wherein the treasure of God is, something must be dreaded even from that same vessel of clay. [3090] Therefore "my firmament Thou art," in order that I may be firm in this world against all temptations. But if many they are, and they trouble me: "my refuge Thou art." For I will confess mine infirmity, to the end that I may be timid like a "hare," because I am full of thorns like a "hedgehog." And as in another Psalm is said, "The rock is a refuge for the hedgehogs and the hares:" [3091] but the Rock was Christ. [3092]

6. "O God, deliver me from the hand of the sinner" (ver. 4). Generally, sinners, among whom is toiling he that is now to be delivered from captivity: he that now crieth, "Unhappy man I, who shall deliver me from the body of this death? The grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord." [3093] Within is a foe, that law in the members; there are without also enemies: unto what cryest thou? Unto Him, to whom hath been cried, "From my secret sins cleanse me, O Lord, and from strange sins spare Thy servant." [3094] ...But these sinners are of two kinds: there are some that have received Law, there are others that have not received: all the heathen have not received Law, all Jews and Christians have received Law. Therefore the general term is sinner; either a transgressor of the Law, if he hath received Law; or only unjust without Law, if he hath not received the Law. Of both kinds speaketh the Apostle, and saith, "They that without Law have sinned, without Law shall perish, and they that in the Law have sinned, by the Law shall be judged." [3095] But thou that amid both kinds dost groan, say to God that which thou hearest in the Psalm, "My God, deliver me from the hand of the sinner." Of what sinner? "From the hand of him that transgresseth the Law, and of the unjust man." He that transgresseth the Law is indeed also unjust; for not unjust he is not, that transgresseth the Law: but every one that transgresseth the Law is unjust, not every unjust man doth transgress the Law. For, "Where there is not a Law," saith the Apostle, "neither is there transgression." [3096] They then that have not received Law, may be called unjust, transgressors they cannot be called. Both are judged after their deservings. But I that from captivity will to be delivered through Thy grace, cry to Thee, "Deliver me from the hand of the sinner." What is, from the hand of him? From the power of him, that while he is raging, he lead me not unto consenting with him; that while he lieth in wait, he persuade not to iniquity. "From the hand of the sinner and of the unjust man."...

7. Lastly, there followeth the reason why I say this: "for Thou art my patience" (ver. 5). Now if He is patience rightly, He is that also which followeth, "O Lord, my hope from my youth." My patience, because my hope: or rather my hope, because my patience. "Tribulation," saith the Apostle, "worketh patience, patience probation, but probation hope, but hope confoundeth not." [3097] With reason in Thee I have hoped, O Lord, I shall not be confounded for everlasting. "O Lord, my hope from my youth." From thy youth is God thy hope? Is He not also from thy boyhood, and from thine infancy? Certainly, saith he. For see what followeth, that thou mayest not think that I have said this, "my hope from my youth," as if God noways profited mine infancy or my boyhood; hear what followeth: "In Thee I have been strengthened from the womb." Hear yet: "From the belly of my mother Thou art my Protector" (ver. 6). Why then, "from my youth," except it was the period from which I began to hope in Thee? For before in Thee I was not hoping, though Thou wast my Protector, that didst lead me safe unto the time, when I learned to hope in Thee. But from my youth I began in Thee to hope, from the time when Thou didst arm me against the Devil, so that in the girding of Thy host being armed with Thy faith, love, hope, and the rest of Thy gifts, I waged conflict against Thine invisible enemies, and heard from the Apostle, "There is not for us a wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities, and powers," etc. [3098] There a young man it is that doth fight against these things: but though he be a young man, he falleth, unless He be the hope of Him to whom he crieth, "O Lord, my hope from my youth." "In Thee is my singing alway." Is it only from the time when I began to hope in Thee until now? Nay, but "alway." What is, "alway"? Not only in the time of faith, but also in the time of sight. For now, "So long as we are in the body we are absent from the Lord: for by faith we walk, not by sight:" [3099] there will be a time when we shall see that which being not seen we believe: but when that hath been seen which we believe, we shall rejoice: but when that hath been seen which they believed not, ungodly men shall be confounded. Then will come the substance whereof there is now the hope. But, "Hope which is seen is not hope. But if that which we see not we hope for, through patience we wait for it." [3100] Now then thou groanest, now unto a place of refuge thou runnest, in order that thou mayest be saved; now being in infirmity thou entreatest the Physician: what, when thou shalt have received perfect soundness also, what when thou shall have been made "equal to the Angels of God," [3101] wilt thou then perchance forget that grace, whereby thou hast been delivered? Far be it.

8. "As it were a monster I have become unto many" (ver. 7). Here in time of hope, in time of groaning, in time of humiliation, in time of sorrow, in time of infirmity, in time of the voice from the fetters--here then what? "As it were a monster I have become unto many." Why, "As it were a monster"? Why do they insult me that think me a monster? Because I believe that which I see not. For they being happy in those things which they see, exult in drink, in wantonness, in chamberings, in covetousness, in riches, in robberies, in secular dignities, in the whitening of a mud wall, in these things they exult: but I walk in a different way, contemning those things which are present, and fearing even the prosperous things of the world, and secure in no other thing but the promises of God. And they, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." [3102] What sayest thou? Repeat it: "let us eat," he saith, "and drink." Come now, what hast thou said afterwards? "for to-morrow we die." Thou hast terrified, not led me astray. Certainly by the very thing which thou hast said afterwards, thou hast stricken me with fear to consent with thee. "For to-morrow we die," thou hast said: and there hath preceded, "Let us eat and drink." For when thou hadst said, "Let us eat and drink;" thou didst add, "for to-morrow we die." Hear the other side from me, "Yea let us fast and pray, `for to-morrow we die.'" I keeping this way, strait and narrow, "as it were a monster have become unto many: but Thou art a strong helper." Be Thou with me, O Lord Jesus, to say to me, faint not in the narrow way, I first have gone along it, I am the way itself, [3103] I lead, in Myself I lead, unto Myself I lead home. Therefore though "a monster I have become unto many;" nevertheless I will not fear, for "Thou art a strong Helper."

9. "Let my mouth be fulfilled with praise, that with hymn I may tell of Thy glory, all the day long Thy magnificence" (ver. 8). What is "all the day long"? Without intermission. In prosperity, because Thou dost comfort: in adversity, because Thou dost correct: before I was in being, because Thou didst make; when I was in being, because Thou didst give health: when I had sinned, because Thou didst forgive; when I was converted, because Thou didst help; when I had persevered, because Thou didst crown.

10. My hope from my youth, "cast me not away in time of old age" (ver. 9). What is this time of old age? "When my strength shall fail, forsake Thou not me." Here God maketh this answer to thee, yea indeed let thy strength fail, in order that in thee mine may abide: in order that thou mayest say with the Apostle, "When I am made weak, then I am mighty." [3104] Fear not, that thou be cast away in that weakness, in that old age. But why? Was not thy Lord made weak on the Cross? Did not most mighty men and fat bulls before Him, as though a man of no strength, made captive and oppressed, shake the head and say, "If Son of God He is, let Him come down from the Cross"? [3105] Has he deserted because He was made weak, who preferred not to come down from the Cross, lest He should seem not to have displayed power, but to have yielded to them reviling? What did He hanging teach thee, that would not come down, but patience amid men reviling, but that thou shouldest be strong in thy God? Perchance too in His person was said, "As it were a monster I have become unto many, and Thou art a strong Helper." [3106] In His person according to His weakness, not according to His power; according to that whereby He had transformed us into Himself, not according to that wherein He had Himself come down. For He became a monster unto many. And perchance the same was the old age of Him; because on account of its oldness it is not improperly called old age, and the Apostle saith, "Our old man hath been crucified together with Him." [3107] If there was there our old man, old age was there; because old, old age. [3108] Nevertheless, because a true saying is, "Renewed as an eagle's shall be Thy youth;" [3109] He rose Himself the third day, promised a resurrection at the end of the world. Already there hath gone before the Head, the members are to follow. Why dost thou fear lest He should forsake thee, lest He cast thee away for the time of old age, when thy strength shall have failed? Yea at that time in thee will be the strength of Him, when thy strength shall have failed.

11. Why do I say this? "For mine enemies have spoken against me, and they that were keeping watch for My soul, have taken counsel together (ver. 10): saying, God hath forsaken Him, persecute Him, and seize Him, for there is no one to deliver Him" (ver. 11). This hath been said concerning Christ. For He that with the great power of Divinity, wherein He is equal to the Father, had raised to life dead persons, on a sudden in the hands of enemies became weak, and as if having no power, was seized. When would He have been seized, except they had first said in their heart, "God hath forsaken Him?" Whence there was that voice on the Cross, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" [3110] So then did God forsake Christ, though "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself," [3111] though Christ was also God, out of the Jews indeed according to the flesh, "Who is over all things, God blessed for ever," [3112] --did God forsake Him? Far be it. But in our old man our voice it was, because our old man was crucified together with Him: [3113] and of that same our old man He had taken a Body, because Mary was of Adam. Therefore the very thing which they thought, from the Cross He said, "Why hast Thou forsaken Me?" [3114] Why do these men think Me left alone to their evil? What is, think Me forsaken in their evil? "For if they had known, the Lord of glory they had never crucified. [3115] Persecute and seize Him." More familiarly however, brethren, let us take this of the members of Christ, and acknowledge our own voice in these words: because even He used such words in our person, not in His own power and majesty; but in that which He became for our sakes, not according to that which He was, who hath made us.

12. "O Lord, my God, be not far from me" (ver. 12). So it is, and the Lord is not far off at all. For, "The Lord is nigh unto them that have bruised the heart." [3116] "My God, unto my help look Thou." "Be they confounded and fail that engage [3117] my soul" (ver. 13). What hath he desired? "Be they confounded and fail." Why hath he desired it? "That engage my soul"? What is, "That engage my soul"? Engaging as it were unto some quarrel. For they are said to be engaged that are challenged to quarrel. If then so it is, let us beware of men that engage our soul. What is, "That engage our soul"? First provoking us to withstand God, in order that in our evil things God may displease us. For when art thou right, so that to thee the God of Israel may be good, good to men right in heart? [3118] When art thou right? Wilt thou hear? When in that good which thou doest, God is pleasing to thee; but in that evil which thou sufferest, God is not displeasing to thee. See ye what I have said, brethren, and be ye on your guard against men that engage your souls. For all men that deal with you in order to make you be wearied in sorrows and tribulations, have this aim, namely, that God may be displeasing to you in that which ye suffer, and there may go forth from your mouth, "What is this? For what have I done?" Now then hast thou done nothing of evil, and art thou just, He unjust? A sinner I am, thou sayest, I confess, just I call not myself. But what, sinner, hast thou by any means done so much evil as he with whom it is well? As much as Gaiuseius? [3119] I know the evil doings of him, I know the iniquities of him, from which I, though a sinner, am very far; and yet I see him abounding in all good things, and I am suffering so great evil things. I do not then say, O God, "what have I done" to Thee, because I have done nothing at all of evil; but because I have not done so much as to deserve to suffer these things. Again, art thou just, He unjust? Wake up, wretched man, thy soul hath been engaged! I have not, he saith, called myself just. What then sayest thou? A sinner I am, but I did not commit so great sins, as to deserve to suffer these things. Thou sayest not then to God, just I am, and Thou art unjust: but thou sayest, unjust I am, but Thou art more unjust. Behold thy soul hath been engaged, behold now thy soul wageth war. What? Against whom? Thy soul, against God; that which hath been made against Him by whom it was made. Even because thou art in being to cry out against Him, thou art ungrateful. Return, then, to the confession of thy sickness, and beg the healing hand of the Physician. Think thou not they are happy who flourish for a time. Thou art being chastised, they are being spared: perchance for thee chastised and amended an inheritance is being kept in reserve....Lastly, see what followeth, "Let them put on confusion and shame, that think evil things to me." "Confusion and shame," confusion because of a bad conscience, shame because of modesty. Let this befall them, and they will be good....

13. "But I alway in Thee will hope, and will add to all Thy praise" (ver. 14). What is this? "I will add to all Thy praise," ought to move us. More perfect wilt thou make the praise of God? Is there anything to be superadded? If already that is all praise, wilt thou add anything? God was praised in all His good deeds, in every creature of His, in the whole establishment of all things, in the government and regulation of ages, in the order of seasons, in the height of Heaven, in the fruitfulness of the regions of earth, in the encircling of the sea, in every excellency of the creature everywhere brought forth, in the sons of men themselves, in the giving of the Law, in delivering His people from the captivity of the Egyptians, and all the rest of His wonderful works: not yet He had been praised for having raised up flesh unto life eternal. Be there then this praise added by the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ: in order that here we may perceive His voice above all past praise: thus it is that we rightly understand this also....

14. "My mouth shall tell out Thy righteousness" (ver. 15): not mine. From thence I will add to all Thy praise: because even that I am righteous, if righteous I am, is Thy righteousness in me, not mine own: for Thou dost justify the ungodly. [3120] "All the day long Thy salvation." What is, "Thy salvation"? Let no one assume to himself, that he saveth himself, "Of the Lord is Salvation." [3121] Not any one by himself saveth himself, "Vain is man's salvation." [3122] "All the day long Thy Salvation:" at all times. Something of adversity cometh, preach the Salvation of the Lord: something of prosperity cometh, preach the Salvation of the Lord. Do not preach in prosperity, and hold thy peace in adversity: otherwise there will not be that which hath been said, "all the day long." For all the day long is day together with its own night. Do we when we say, for example, thirty days have gone by, mention the nights also; do we not under the very term days include the nights also? In Genesis what was said? "The evening was made, and the morning was made, one day." [3123] Therefore a whole day is the day together with its own night: for the night doth serve the day, not the day the night. Whatever thou doest in mortal flesh, ought to serve righteousness: whatever thou doest by the commandment of God, be it not done for the sake of the advantage of the flesh, lest day serve night. Therefore all the day long speak of the praise of God, to wit, in prosperity and in adversity; in prosperity, as though in the day time; in adversity, as though in the night time: all the day long nevertheless speak of the praise of God, so that thou mayest not have sung to no purpose, "I will bless God at every time, alway the praise of Him is in my mouth." [3124] ...

15. Therefore, he saith, "For I have not known tradings." [3125] What are these tradings? Let traders hear and change their life; and if they have been such, be not such; let them not know what they have been, let them forget; lastly, let them not approve, not praise; let them disapprove, condemn, be changed, if trading is a sin. For on this account, O thou trader, because of a certain eagerness for getting, whenever thou shalt have suffered loss, thou wilt blaspheme; and there will not be in thee that which hath been spoken of, "all the day long Thy praise." But whenever for the price of the goods which thou art selling, thou not only liest, but even falsely swearest; how in thy mouth all the day long is there the praise of God? While, if thou art a Christian, even out of thy mouth the name of God is being blasphemed, so that men say, see what sort of men are Christians! Therefore if this man for this reason speaketh the praise of God all the day long, because he hath not known tradings; let Christians amend themselves, let them not trade. But a trader saith to me, behold I bring indeed from a distant quarter merchandise unto these places, wherein there are not those things which I have brought, by which means I may gain a living: I ask but as reward for my labour, that I may sell dearer than I have bought: for whence can I live, when it hath been written, "the worker is worthy of his reward"? [3126] But he is treating of lying, of false swearing. This is the fault of me, not of trading: for I should not, if I would, be unable to do without this fault. I then, the merchant, do not shift mine own fault to trading: but if I lie, it is I that lie, not the trade. For I might say, for so much I bought, but for so much I will sell; if thou pleasest, buy. For the buyer hearing this truth would not be offended, and not a whit less all men would resort to me: because they would love truth more than gain. Of this then, he saith, admonish me, that I lie not, that I forswear not; not to relinquish business whereby I maintain myself. For to what dost thou put me when thou puttest me away from this? Perchance to some craft? I will be a shoemaker, I will make shoes for men. Are not they too liars? are not they too false-swearers? Do they not, when they have contracted to make shoes for one man, when they have received money from another man, give up that which they were making, and undertake to make for another, and deceive him for whom they have promised to make speedily? Do they not often say, to-day I am about it, to-day I'll get them done? Secondly, in the very sewing do they not commit as many frauds? These are their doings and these are their sayings: but they are themselves evil, not the calling which they profess. All evil artificers, then, not fearing God, either for gain, or for fear of loss or want, do lie, do forswear themselves; there is no continual praise of God in them. How then dost thou withdraw me from trading? Wouldest thou that I be a farmer, and murmur against God thundering, so that, fearing hail, I consult a wizard, in order to learn what to do to protect me against the weather; so that I desire famine for the poor, in order that I may be able to sell what I have kept in store? Unto this dost thou bring me? But good farmers, thou sayest, do not such things. Nor do good traders do those things. But why, even to have sons is an evil thing, for when their head is in pain, evil and unbelieving mothers seek for impious charms and incantations? These are the sins of men, not of things. A trader might thus speak to me--Look then, O Bishop, how thou understand the tradings which thou hast read in the Psalm: lest perchance thou understand not, and yet forbid me trading. Admonish me then how I should live; if well, it shall be well with me: one thing however I know, that if I shall have been evil, it is not trading that maketh me so, but my iniquity. Whenever truth is spoken, there is nothing to be said against it.

16. Let us inquire then what he hath called tradings, which indeed he that hath not known, all the day long doth praise God. Trading [3127] even in the Greek language is derived from action, and in the Latin from want of inaction: but whether it be from action or want of inaction, let us examine what it is. For they that are active traders, rely as it were upon their own action, they praise their works, they attain not to the grace of God. Therefore traders are opposed to that grace which this Psalm doth commend. For it doth commend that grace, in order that no one may boast of his own works. Because in a certain place is said, "Physicians shall not raise to life," [3128] ought men to abandon medicine? But what is this? Under this name are understood proud men, promising salvation to men, whereas "of the Lord is Salvation." [3129] ...With reason the Lord drave from the Temple them to whom He said, "It is written, My House shall be called the House of prayer, but ye have made it a house of trading;" [3130] that is, boasting of your works, seeking no inaction, nor hearing the Scripture speaking against your unrest and trading, "be ye still, and see that I am the Lord." [3131] ...

17. But there is in some copies, "For I have not known literature." Where some books have "trading," there others "literature:" how they may accord is a hard matter to find out; and yet the discrepancy of interpreters perchance showeth the meaning, introduceth no error. Let us inquire then how to understand literature also, lest we offend grammarians in the same way as we did traders a little before: because a grammarian too may live honourably in his calling, and neither forswear nor lie. Let us examine then the literature which he hath not known, in whose mouth all the day long is the praise of God. There is a sort of literature of the Jews: for to them let us refer this; there we shall find what hath been said: just as when we were inquiring about traders, on the score of actions and works, we found that to be called detestable trading, which the Apostle hath branded, saying, "For being ignorant of God's righteousness, and willing to establish their own, to the righteousness of God they were not made subject." [3132] ...Just as then we found out the former charge against traders, that is men boasting of action, exalting themselves because of business which admitteth no inaction, unquiet men rather than good workmen; because good workmen are those in whom God worketh; so also we find a sort of literature among the Jews....Moses wrote five books: but in the five porches encircling the pool, [3133] sick men were lying, but they could not be healed. See how the letter remained, convicting the guilty, not saving the unrighteous. For in those five porches, a figure of the five books, sick men were given over rather than made whole. What then in that place did make whole a sick man? The moving of the water. When that pool was moved there went down a sick man, and there was made whole one, one [3134] because of unity: whatsoever other man went down unto that same moving was not made whole. How then was there commended the unity of the Body crying from the ends of the earth? Another man was not healed, except again the pool were moved. The moving of the pool then did signify the perturbation of the people of the Jews when the Lord Jesus Christ came. For at the coming of an Angel the water in the pool was perceived to be moved. The water then encircled with five porches was the Jewish nation encircled by the Law. And in the porches the sick lay, and in the water alone when troubled and moved they were healed. The Lord came, troubled was the water; He was crucified, may He come down in order that the sick man may be made whole. What is, may He come down? May He humble Himself. Therefore whosoever ye be that love the letter without grace, in the porches ye will remain, sick ye will be, lying ill, not growing well....For the same figure also it is that Eliseus at first sent a staff by his servant to raise up the dead child. There had died the son of a widow his hostess; it was reported to him, to his servant he gave his staff: go thou, he saith, lay it on the dead child. Did the prophet not know what he was doing? The servant went before, he laid the staff upon the dead, the dead arose not. "For if there had been given a law which could have made alive, surely out of the law there had been righteousness." [3135] The law sent by the servant made not alive: and yet he sent his staff by the servant, who himself afterwards followed, and made alive. [3136] For when that infant arose not, Eliseus came himself, now bearing the type of the Lord, who had sent before his servant with the staff, as though with the Law: he came to the child that was lying dead, he laid his limbs upon it. The one was an infant, the other a grown man: he contracted and shortened in a manner the size of his full growth, in order that he might fit the dead child. The dead then arose, when he being alive adapted himself to the dead: and the Master did that which the staff did not; and grace did that which the letter did not. They then that have remained in the staff, glory in the letter; and therefore are not made alive. But I will to glory concerning Thy grace....In that same grace I glorying "literature have not known:" that is, men on the letter relying, and from grace recoiling, with whole heart I have rejected.

18. With reason there followeth, "I will enter into the power of the Lord:" not mine own, but the Lord's. For they gloried in their own power of the letter, therefore grace joined to the letter they knew not....But because "the letter killeth, but the Spirit maketh alive:" [3137] "I have not known literature, and I will enter into the power of the Lord." Therefore this verse following doth strengthen and perfect the sense, so as to fix it in the hearts of men, and not suffer any other interpretation to steal in from any quarter. "O Lord, I will be mindful of Thy righteousness alone" (ver. 16). Ah! "alone." Why hath he added "alone," I ask you? It would suffice to say, "I will be mindful of Thy righteousness." "alone," he saith, entirely: there of mine own I think not. "For what hast thou which thou hast not received? But if also thou hast received, why dost thou glory as if thou hast not received." [3138] Thy righteousness alone doth deliver me, what is mine own alone is nought but sins. May I not glory then of my own strength, may I not remain in the letter; may I reject "literature," that is, men glorying of the letter, and on their own strength perversely, like men frantic, relying: may I reject such men, may I enter into the power of the Lord, so that when I am weak, then I may be mighty; in order that Thou in me mayest be mighty, for, "I will be mindful of Thy righteousness alone."

19. "O God, Thou hast taught me from my youth" (ver. 17). What hast thou taught me? That of Thy righteousness alone I ought to be mindful. For reviewing my past life, I see what was owing to me, and what I have received instead of that which was owing to me. There was owing punishment, there hath been paid grace: there was owing hell, there hath been given life eternal. "O God, Thou hast taught me from my youth." From the very beginning of my faith, wherewith Thou hast renewed me, Thou didst teach me that nothing had preceded in me, whence I might say that there was owing to me what Thou hast given. For who is turned to God save from iniquity? Who is redeemed save from captivity? But who can say that unjust was his captivity, when he forsook his Captain and fell off to the deserter? God is for our Captain, [3139] the devil a deserter: the Captain gave a commandment, the deserter suggested guile: [3140] where were thine ears between precept and deceit? was the devil better than God? Better he that revolted [3141] than He that made thee? Thou didst believe what the devil promised, and didst find what God threatened. Now then out of captivity being delivered, still however in hope, not yet in substance, walking by faith, not yet by sight, "O God," he saith, "Thou hast taught me from my youth." From the time that I have been turned to Thee, [3142] renewed by Thee who had been made by Thee, re-created who had been created, re-formed who had been formed: from the time that I have been converted, I have learned that no merits of mine have preceded, but that Thy grace hath come to me gratis, in order that I might be mindful of Thy righteousness alone.

20. What next after youth? For, "Thou hast taught me," he saith, "from my youth:" what after youth? For in that same first conversion of thine thou didst learn, how before conversion thou wast not just, but iniquity preceded, in order that iniquity being banished, there might succeed love: and having been renewed into a new man, only in hope, not yet in substance, thou didst learn how nothing of thy good had preceded, and by the grace of God thou wast converted to God: now perchance since the time that thou hast been converted wilt thou have anything of thine own, and on thy own strength oughtest thou to rely? Just as men are wont to say, now leave me, it was necessary for thee to show me the way; it is sufficient, I will walk in the way. And he that hath shown thee the way, "wilt thou not that I conduct thee to the place?" But thou, if thou art conceited, "let me alone, it is enough, I will walk in the way." Thou art left, and through thy weakness again thou wilt lose the way. Good were it for thee that He should have conducted thee, who first put thee in the way. But unless He too lead thee, again also thou wilt stray: say to Him then, "Conduct me, O Lord, in Thy way, and I will walk in Thy truth." [3143] But thy having entered on the way, is youth, the very renewal and beginning of the faith. For before thou wast walking through thy own ways a vagabond; straying through woody places, through rough places, torn in all thy limbs, thou wast seeking a home, that is, a sort of settlement of thy spirit, where thou mightest say, it is well; and being in security mightest say it, at rest from every uneasiness, from every trial, in a word from every captivity; and thou didst not find. What shall I say? Came there to thee one to show thee the way? There came to thee the Way itself, and thou wast set therein by no merits of thine preceding, for evidently thou wast straying. What, since the time that thou hast set foot therein dost thou now direct thyself? Doth He that hath taught thee the way now leave thee? No, he saith: "Thou hast taught me from my youth; and even until now I will tell forth Thy wonderful works." For a wonderful thing is that which still Thou doest; namely, that Thou dost direct me, who in the way hast put me: and these are Thy wonderful works. What dost thou think to be the wonderful works of God? What is more wonderful among God's wonderful works, than the raising the dead? But am I by any means dead, thou sayest? Unless dead thou hadst been, there would not have been said to thee, "Rise, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall enlighten thee." [3144] Dead are all unbelievers, all unrighteous men; in body they live, but in heart they are extinct. But he that raiseth a man dead according to the body, doth bring him back to see this light and to breathe this air: but he that raiseth is not himself light and air to him; he beginneth to see, as he saw before. A soul is not so resuscitated. For a soul is resuscitated by God; though even a body is resuscitated by God: but God, when He doth resuscitate a body, to the world doth bring it back: when He doth resuscitate a soul, to Himself He bringeth it back. If the air of this world be withdrawn, there dieth body: if God be withdrawn, there dieth soul. When then God doth resuscitate a soul, unless there be with her He that hath resuscitated, she being resuscitated liveth not. For He doth not resuscitate, and then leave her to live to herself: in the same manner as Lazarus, when he was resuscitated after being four days dead, was resuscitated by the Lord's corporal presence....The Lord withdrew from that same city or from that spot, did Lazarus cease to live? Not so is the soul resuscitated: God doth resuscitate her, she dieth if God shall have withdrawn. For I will speak boldly, brethren, but yet the truth. Two lives there are, one of the body, another of the soul: as the life of the body is the soul, so the life of the soul is God: in like manner as, if the soul forsake, the body dieth: so the soul dieth, if God forsake. This then is His grace, namely, that He resuscitate and be with us. Because then He doth resuscitate us from our past death, and doth renew in a manner our life, we say to Him, "O God, Thou hast taught me from my youth." But because He doth not withdraw from those whom He resuscitateth, lest when He shall have withdrawn from them they die, we say to Him, "and even until now I will tell forth Thy wonderful works:" because while Thou art with me I live, and of my soul Thou art the life, which will die if she be left to herself. Therefore while my life is present, that is, my God, "even until now," what next?

21. "And even unto oldness [3145] and old age" [3146] (ver. 18). These are two terms for old age, and are distinguished by the Greeks. For the gravity succeeding youth hath another name among the Greeks, and after that same gravity the last age coming on hath another name; for presbutes signifieth grave, and g(TM)ron old. But because in the Latin language the distinction of these two terms holdeth not, both words implying old age are inserted, oldness and old age: but ye know them to be two ages. "Thou hast taught me Thy grace from my youth; and even until now;" after my youth, "I will tell forth Thy wonderful works," because Thou art with me in order that I may not die, who hast come in order that I may rise: "and even unto oldness and old age," that is, even unto my last breath, unless with me Thou shalt have been, there will not be any merit of mine; may Thy grace alway remain with me. Even one man would say this, thou, he, I; but because this voice is that of a certain great Man, that is, of the Unity itself, for it is the voice of the Church; let us investigate the youth of the Church. When Christ came, He was crucified, dead, rose again, called the Gentiles, they began to be converted, became Martyrs strong in Christ, there was shed faithful blood, there arose a harvest for the Church: this is Her youth. But seasons advancing let the Church confess, let Her say, "Even until now I will tell forth Thy wonderful works." Not only in youth, when Paul, when Peter, when the first Apostles told: even in advancing age I myself, that is, Thy Unity, Thy members, Thy Body, "will tell forth Thy marvellous works." What then? "And even unto oldness and old age," I will tell forth Thy wonderful works: even until the end of the world here shall be the Church. For if She were not to be here even unto the end of the world; to whom did the Lord say, "Behold, I am with you always, even unto the consummation of the world"? Why was it necessary that these things should be spoken in the Scriptures? Because there were to be enemies of the Christian Faith who would say, "for a short time are the Christians, hereafter they shall perish, and there shall come back idols, there shall come back that which was before. How long shall be the Christians?" [3147] "Even unto oldness and old age:" that is, even unto the end of the world. When thou, miserable unbeliever, dost expect Christians to pass away, thou art passing away thyself without Christians: and Christians even unto the end of the world shall endure; and as for thee with thine unbelief when thou shalt have ended thy short life, with what face wilt thou come forth to the Judge, whom while thou wast living thou didst blaspheme? Therefore "from my youth, and even until now, and even unto oldness and old age, O Lord, forsake not me." It will not be, as mine enemies say, even for a time. "Forsake not me, until I tell forth Thine arm to every generation that is yet to come." And the Arm of the Lord hath been revealed to whom? [3148] The Arm of the Lord is Christ. Do not Thou then forsake me: let not them rejoice that say, "only for a set time the Christians are." May there be persons to tell forth Thine arm. To whom? "To every generation that is yet to come." If then it be to every generation that is yet to come, it will be even unto the end of the world: for when the world is ended, no longer any generation will come on.

22. "Thy power and Thy righteousness" (ver. 19). That is, that I may tell forth to every generation that is yet to come, Thine arm. And what hath Thine arm effected? This then let me tell forth, that same grace to every generation succeeding: let me say to every man that is to be born, nothing thou art by thyself, on God call thou, thine own are sins, merits are God's: [3149] punishment to thee is owing, and when reward shall have come, His own gifts He will crown, not thy merits. Let me say to every generation that is to come, out of captivity thou hast come, unto Adam thou didst belong. Let me say this to every generation that is to come, that there is no strength of mine, no righteousness of mine; but "Thy strength and Thy righteousness, O God, even unto the most high mighty works which Thou hast made." "Thy power and Thy righteousness," as far as what? even unto flesh and blood? Nay, "even unto the most high mighty works which Thou hast made." For the high places are the heavens, in the high places are the Angels, Thrones, Dominions, Principalities, Powers: to Thee they owe it that they are; to Thee they owe it that they live, to Thee they owe it that righteously they live, to Thee they owe it that blessedly they live. "Thy power and Thy righteousness," as far as what? "Even unto the most high mighty works which Thou hast made." Think not that man alone belongeth to the grace of God. What was Angel before he was made? What is Angel, if He forsake him who hath created? Therefore "Thy power and Thy justice even unto the most high mighty works which Thou hast made."

23. And man exalteth himself: and in order that he may belong to the first captivity, he heareth the serpent suggesting, "Taste, and ye shall be as Gods." [3150] Men as Gods? "O God, who is like unto Thee?" Not any in the pit, not in Hell, not in earth, not in Heaven, for all things Thou hast made. Why doth the work strive with the Maker? "O God, who is like unto Thee?" But as for me, saith miserable Adam, and Adam is [3151] every man, while I perversely will to be like unto Thee, behold what I have become, so that from captivity to Thee I cry out: I with whom it was well under a good king, have been made captive under my seducer; and cry out to Thee, because I have fallen from Thee. And whence have I fallen from Thee? While I perversely seek to be like unto Thee....

24. Ill straying, ill presuming, doomed to die by withdrawing from the path [3152] of righteousness: behold he breaketh the commandment, he hath shaken off from his neck the yoke of discipline, uplifted with high spirit he hath broken in sunder the reins of guidance: where is he now? Truly captive he crieth, "O Lord, who is like unto Thee?" I perversely willed to be like unto Thee, and I have been made like unto a beast! Under Thy dominion, under Thy commandment, I was indeed like: "But a man in honour set hath not perceived, he hath been compared to beasts without sense, and hath been made like unto them." [3153] Now out of the likeness of beasts cry though late and say, "O God, who is like unto Thee?"

25. "How great troubles hast Thou shown to me, many and evil!" (ver. 20). Deservedly, proud servant. For thou hast willed perversely to be like thy God, who hadst been made after the image of thy Lord. [3154] Wouldest thou have it to be well with thee, when withdrawing from that good? Truly God saith to thee, if thou withdrawest from Me, and it is well with thee, I am not thy good. Again, if He is good, and in the highest degree good, and of Himself to Himself good, and by no foreign good thing good, and is Himself our chief good; by withdrawing from Him, what wilt thou be but evil? Also if He is Himself our blessedness, what will there be to one withdrawing from Him, except misery? Return thou then after misery, and say, "O Lord, who is like unto Thee? How great troubles hast Thou shown to me, many and evil!"

26. But this was discipline; admonition, not desertion. Lastly, giving thanks, he saith what? "And being turned Thou hast made me alive, and from the bottomless places of the earth again Thou hast brought me back." But when before? What is this "again"? Thou hast fallen from a high place, O man, disobedient slave, O thou proud against thy Lord, thou hast fallen. There hast come to pass in thee, "every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled:" may there come to pass in thee, "every one that humbleth himself shall be exalted." [3155] Return thou from the deep. I return, he saith, I return, I acknowledge; "O God, who is like unto Thee? How great troubles hast Thou shown to me, many and evil! and being turned Thou hast made me alive, and from the bottomless places of the earth again Thou hast brought me back." "We perceive," I hear. Thou hast brought us back from the bottomless places of the earth, hast brought us back from the depth and drowning of sin. But why "again"? When had it already been done? Let us go on, if perchance the latter parts of the Psalm itself do not explain to us the thing which here we do not yet perceive, namely, why he hath said "again." Therefore let us hear: "How great troubles Thou hast shown to me, many and evil! And being turned Thou hast made me alive, and from the bottomless places of the earth again Thou hast brought me back." What then? "Thou hast multiplied Thy righteousness, and being turned Thou hast comforted me, and from the bottomless places of the earth again Thou hast brought me back" (ver. 21). Behold a second "again"! If we labour to unravel this "again" when written once, who will be able to unravel it when doubled? Now "again" itself is a redoubling, and once more there is written "again." May He be with us from whom is grace, may there be with us the arm also which we are telling forth to every generation that is to come: may He be with us Himself, and as with the key of His Cross open to us the mystery that is locked up. For it was not to no purpose that when He was crucified the veil of the temple was rent in the midst, but to show that through His Passion the secret things of all mysteries were opened. [3156] May He then Himself be with men passing over unto Him, be the veil taken away: [3157] may our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ tell us why such a voice of the Prophet hath been sent before, "Thou hast shown to me troubles many and evil: and being turned Thou hast made me alive, and from the bottomless places of the earth again Thou hast brought me back." Behold this is the first "again" which hath been written. Let us see what this is, and we shall see why there is a second "again."

27. ...Therein Christ died, wherein thou art to die: and therein Christ rose again, wherein thou art to rise again. By His example He taught thee what thou shouldest not fear, for what thou shouldest hope. Thou didst fear death, He died: thou didst despair of rising again, He rose again. But thou sayest to me, He rose again, do I by any means rise again? But He rose again in that which for thee He received of thee. Therefore thy nature in Him hath preceded thee; and that which was taken of thee, hath gone up before thee: therein therefore thou also hast ascended. Therefore He ascended first, and we in Him: because that flesh is of the human race....Behold one "again." Hear of its being fulfilled from the Apostle: "If then ye have risen with Christ, the things which are above seek ye, where Christ is sitting on the right hand of God; the things which are above mind ye, not the things which are upon the earth." [3158] He then hath gone before: already we also have risen again, but still in hope. Hear the Apostle Paul saying this same thing: "Even we ourselves groan in ourselves, looking for the adoption, the redemption of our body." What is it then that Christ hath granted to thee? Hear that which followeth: "For by hope we are saved: but hope which is seen is not hope. For that which a man seeth, why doth he hope for? But if that which we see not we hope for, through patience we wait for it." We have been brought back therefore again from the bottomless places in hope. Why again? Because already Christ had gone before. But because we shall rise again in substance, for now in hope we are living, now after faith we are walking; we have been brought back from the bottomless places of the earth, by believing in Him who before us hath risen again from the bottomless place of the earth....Thou hast heard one "again," thou hast heard the other: "again;" one "again" because of Christ going before; and the other, yet however in hope, and a thing which remaineth to be in substance. "Thou hast multiplied Thy righteousness," [3159] already in me believing, already in those that first have risen again in hope...."Thou hast multiplied Thy righteousness, and being turned Thou hast comforted me:" and because of the body to rise again at the end, even from the bottomless places of the earth again Thou hast brought me back.

28. "For I will confess to Thee in the vessels of a Psalm Thy truth" (ver. 22). The vessels of a Psalm are a Psaltery. But what is a Psaltery? An instrument of wood and strings. [3160] What doth it signify? There is some difference between it and a harp:...there seemeth to be signified by the Psaltery the Spirit, by the harp the flesh. And because he had spoken of two bringings back of ours from the bottomless places of the earth, one after the Spirit in hope, the other after the body in substance; hear thou of these two: "For I will confess to Thee in the vessels of a Psalm Thy truth." This after the Spirit: concerning the body what? "I will psalm to Thee on a harp, Holy One of Israel."

29. Again hear this because of that same "again" and "again." "My lips shall exult when I shall psalm to Thee" (ver. 23). Because lips are wont to be spoken of both belonging to the inner and to the outward man, it is uncertain in what sense lips have been used: there followeth therefore, "And my soul which Thou hast redeemed." Therefore regarding the inward lips having been saved in hope, brought back from the bottomless places of the earth in faith and love, still however waiting for the redemption of our body, [3161] we say what? Already he hath said, "And my soul which Thou hast redeemed." But lest thou shouldest think the soul alone redeemed, wherein now thou hast heard one "again," "but still," he saith; why still? "but still my tongue also:" therefore now the tongue of the body: "all day long shall meditate of Thy righteousness" (ver. 24): that is, in eternity without end. But when shall this be? Hereafter at the end of the world, at the resurrection of the body and the changing into the Angelic state. Whence is it proved that this is spoken of the end, "but still my tongue also all day long shall meditate of Thy righteousness"? "When they shall have been confounded and shall have blushed, that seek evil things for me." When shall they be confounded, when shall they blush, save at the end of the world? For in two ways they shall be confounded, either when they shall believe in Christ, or when Christ shall have come. For so long as the Church is here, so long as grain groaneth amid chaff, so long as wheat groaneth amid tares, [3162] so long as vessels of mercy groan amid vessels of wrath made for dishonour, [3163] so long as lily groaneth amid thorns, there will not be wanting enemies to say, "When shall he die, and his name perish?" [3164] "Behold there shall come the time when Christians shall be ended and shall be no more: as they began at a set time, so even unto a particular time they shall be." But while they are saying these things and without end [3165] are dying, and while the Church is continuing preaching the Arm of the Lord [3166] to every generation that is to come; there shall come Himself also at last in His glory, [3167] there shall rise again all the dead, each with his cause: there shall be severed good men to the right hand, but evil men to the left, and they shall be confounded that did insult, they shall blush that did mock: and so my tongue after resurrection shall meditate of Thy righteousness, all day long of Thy praise, "when they shall have been confounded and shall have blushed, that seek evil things for me."


[3072] Lat. LXX. [3073] 1 Cor. xv. 9. [3074] 1 Tim. i. 13. [3075] 1 Tim. i. 15. [3076] Gladiatiorium animum; i.e., of utter desperation, since a gladiator would expect to perish in one fight if not in another. [3077] Jer. xxxv. 6, etc. [3078] Ps. lvi. 12. [3079] Ps. liv. 6. [3080] Rom. vii. 24. [3081] Rom. vi. 21. [3082] Ps. xxxiv. 5. [3083] Oxf. mss. nunc. [3084] Rom. x. 3. [3085] Rom. iv. 5. [3086] Acts vii. 59. [3087] Or, "I care not." [3088] Rom. vii. 23. [3089] Wisd. ix. 15. [3090] 2 Cor. iv. 7. [3091] Ps. civ. 18. [3092] 1 Cor. x. 4. [3093] Rom. vii. 24, 25. [3094] Ps. xix. 12. [3095] Rom. ii. 12. [3096] Rom. iv. 15. [3097] Rom. v. 3-5. [3098] Eph. v. 12. [3099] 2 Cor. v. 6. [3100] Rom. viii. 24. [3101] Matt. xxii. 30. [3102] 1 Cor. xv. 32. [3103] John xiv. 6. [3104] 2 Cor. xii. 10. [3105] Matt. xxvii. 39, 40, etc. [3106] Ps. lxxi. 6. [3107] Rom. vi. 6. [3108] [A.N.F. vol. i. p. 392, note 6.--C.] [3109] Ps. ciii. 5. [3110] Ps. xxii. 1. [3111] 2 Cor. v. 19. [3112] Rom. ix. 5. [3113] Rom. vi. 6. [3114] Matt. xxvii. 46. [3115] 1 Cor. ii. 8. [3116] Ps. xxxiv. 18. [3117] Committentes. [3118] Ps. lxxiii. 1. [3119] Al. Gaius. [3120] Rom. iv. 5. [3121] Ps. iii. 8. [3122] Ps. lx. 11. [3123] Gen. i. 5. [3124] Ps. xxxiv. 1. [3125] E.V. "For I know not the number thereof." [3126] Luke x. 7. [3127] Negotiatio, Lat.; pragmEURteia, Gr. [3128] Ps. lxxxviii. 10. [3129] Ps. iii. 8. [3130] Matt. xxi. 13. E.V. "den of robbers." [3131] Ps. xlvi. 10. [3132] Rom. x. 3. [3133] John v. 2. [3134] Oxf. mss. repeat unus. [3135] Gal. iii. 21. [3136] 2 Kings iv. 20-36. [3137] 2 Cor. iii. 6. [3138] 1 Cor. iv. 7. [3139] Imperator. [3140] Gen. ii. 17, iii. 5. [3141] Defecit; al. te infecit, "that infected thee." [3142] [Augustin here talks like the poet Cowper, or like Wesley and Whitefield: and the fact is very instructive in connection with his doctrine of baptism. See Cowper's "Truth," line 17th from close.--C.] [3143] Ps. lxxxvi. 11. [3144] Eph. v. 14. [3145] Senecta. [3146] Senium. [3147] See on Ps. xl. 1 and note, Oxf. edition. [3148] Isa. liii. 1. [3149] Oxf. mss. add, "by grace given to thee." [3150] Gen. iii. 5. [3151] Ben. "In Adam every man;" but it is noted that the mss. omit "in." [3152] "Life," most mss. [3153] Ps. xlix. 12. [3154] Gen. i. 27. [3155] Luke xiv. 11. [3156] Matt. xxvii. 51. [3157] 2 Cor. iii. 16. [3158] Col. iii. 1, 2. [3159] Or, "justice." [3160] [See p. 170, supra.--C.] [3161] Rom. viii. 23. [3162] Matt. iii. 12, xiii. 30. [3163] 2 Tim. ii. 20. [3164] Ps. xli. 5. [3165] "Faith," most mss. [3166] [See A.N.F. vol. v. 516, 520.--C.] [3167] Matt. xxv. 31. .

Psalm LXXII. [3168]

1. "For Salomon" indeed this Psalm's title is fore-noted: but things are spoken of therein which could not apply to that Salomon king of Israel after the flesh, according to those things which holy Scripture speaketh concerning him: but they can most pertinently apply to the Lord Christ. Whence it is perceived, that the very word Salomon is used in a figurative sense, so that in him Christ is to be taken. For Salomon is interpreted peace-maker: and on this account such a word to Him most truly and excellently doth apply, through Whom, the Mediator, having received remission of sins, we that were enemies are reconciled to God. For "when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son." [3169] The Same is Himself that Peace-maker....Since then we have found out the true Salomon, that is, the true Peace-maker: next let us observe what the Psalm doth teach concerning Him.

2. "O God, Thy judgment to the King give Thou, and Thy justice to the King's Son" (ver. 1). The Lord Himself in the Gospel saith, "The Father judgeth not any one, but all judgment He hath given to the Son:" [3170] this is then, "O God, Thy judgment to the King give Thou." He that is King is also the Son of the King: because God the Father also is certainly King. Thus it hath been written, that the King made a marriage for His Son. [3171] But after the manner of Scripture the same thing is repeated. For that which he hath said in, "Thy judgment;" the same he hath otherwise expressed in, "Thy justice:" and that which he hath said in, "the King," the same he hath otherwise expressed in, "to the King's Son."...But these repetitions do much commend the divine sayings, whether the same words, or whether in other words the same sense be repeated: and they are mostly found in the Psalms, and in the kind of discourse whereby the mind's affection is to be awakened.

3. Next there followeth, "To judge Thy people in justice, and Thy poor in judgment" (ver. 2). For what purpose the royal Father gave to the royal Son His judgment and His justice is sufficiently shown when he saith, "To judge Thy people in justice;" that is, for the purpose of judging Thy people. Such an idiom is found in Salomon: "The Proverbs of Salomon, son of David, to know wisdom and discipline:" [3172] that is, the Proverbs of Salomon, for the purpose of knowing wisdom and discipline. So, "Thy judgment give Thou, to judge Thy people:" that is, "Thy judgment" give Thou for the purpose of judging Thy people. But that which he saith before in, "Thy people," the same he saith afterwards in, "Thy poor:" and that which he saith before in, "in justice;" the same afterward in, "in judgment:" according to that manner of repetition. Whereby indeed he showeth, that the people of God ought to be poor, that is, not proud, but humble. For, "blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven." [3173] In which poverty even blessed Job was poor even before he had lost those great earthly riches. Which thing for this reason I thought should be mentioned, because there are certain persons who are more ready to distribute all their goods to the poor, [3174] than themselves to become the poor of God. For they are puffed up with boasting wherein they think their living well should be ascribed to themselves, not to the grace of God: and therefore now they do not even live well, however great the good works which they seem to do....

4. But seeing that he hath changed the order of the words (though he had first said, "O God, Thy judgment to the King give Thou, and Thy justice to the King's Son," putting judgment first, then justice), and hath put justice first, then judgment, saying, "To judge Thy people in justice, and Thy poor in judgment:" he doth more clearly show that he hath called judgment justice, proving that there is no difference made by the order in which the word is placed, because it signifieth the same thing. For it is usual to say "wrong judgment" of that which is unjust: but justice iniquitous or unjust we are not wont to speak of. For if wrong and unjust it be; no longer must it be called justice. Again, by putting down judgment and repeating it under the name of justice, or by putting down justice and repeating it under the name of judgment, he clearly showeth that he specially nameth that judgment which is wont to be put instead of justice, that is, that which cannot be understood of giving an evil judgment. For in the place where He saith, "Judge not according to persons, but right judgment judge ye;" [3175] He showeth that there may be a wrong judgment, when He saith, "right judgment judge ye:" lastly, the one He doth forbid, the other He doth enjoin. But when without any addition He speaketh of judgment, He would at once have just judgment to be understood: as is that which He saith, "Ye forsake the weightier matters of the Law, mercy and judgment." [3176] That also which Jeremiah saith is, "making his riches not with judgment." [3177] He saith not, making his riches by wrong or unjust judgment, or not with judgment right or just, but not with judgment: calling not anything judgment but what is right and just.

5. "Let the mountains bear peace to the people, and the hills justice" (ver. 3). The mountains are the greater, the hills the less. These are without doubt those which another Psalm hath, "little with great." [3178] For those mountains did exult like rams, and those hills like lambs of the sheep, at the departure of Israel out of Egypt, that is, at the deliverance of the people of God from this world's servitude. Those then that are eminent in the Church for passing sanctity, are the mountains, who are meet to teach other men also, [3179] by so speaking as that they may be faithfully taught, by so living as that they may imitate them to their profit: but the hills are they that follow the excellence of the former by their own obedience. Why then "the mountains peace: and the hills justice"? [3180] Would there perchance have been no difference, even if it had been said thus, Let the mountains bear justice to the people and the hills peace? For to both justice, and to both peace is necessary: and it may be that under another name justice herself may have been called peace. For this is true peace, not such as unjust men make among them. Or rather with a distinction not to be overlooked must that be understood which he saith, "the mountains peace, and the hills justice"? For men excelling in the Church ought to counsel for peace with watchful care; lest for the sake of their own distinctions by acting proudly they make schisms and dissever the bond of union. But let the hills so follow them by imitation and obedience, that they prefer Christ to them: lest being led astray by the empty authority of evil mountains (for they seem to excel), they tear themselves away from the Unity of Christ....

6. Thus also most pertinently may be understood, "let the mountains bear peace to the people," namely, that we understand the peace to consist in the reconciliation whereby we are reconciled to God: for the mountains receive this for His people...."Let the mountains, therefore, receive peace for the people, and the hills justice:" so that in this manner, both being at one, there may come to pass that which hath been written, "justice and peace have kissed one another." [3181] But that which other copies have, "let the mountains receive peace for the people, and let the hills:" I think must be understood of all sorts of preaching of Gospel peace, whether those that go before, or those that follow after. But in these copies this followeth, "in justice He shall judge the poor of the people." But those copies are more approved of which have that which we have expounded above, "let the mountains bear peace to the people, and the hills justice." But some have, "to Thy people;" some have not to "Thy," but only "to the people."

7. "He shall judge the poor of the people, and shall save the sons of the poor" (ver. 4). The poor and the sons of the poor seem to me to be the very same, as the same city is Sion and the daughter of Sion. But if it is to be understood with a distinction, the poor we take to be the mountains, but the sons of the poor the hills: for instance, Prophets and Apostles, the poor, but the sons of them, that is, those that profit under their authority, the sons of the poor. But that which hath been said above, "shall judge;" and afterwards, "shall save;" is as it were a sort of exposition in what manner He shall judge. For to this end He shall judge, that He may save, that is, may sever from those that are to be destroyed and condemned, those to whom He giveth "salvation ready to be revealed at the" last time. [3182] For by such men to Him is said, "Destroy not with ungodly men my soul:" [3183] and, "Judge Thou me, O God, and sever my cause from the nation unholy." [3184] We must observe also that he saith not, He shall judge the poor people, but, "the poor of the people." For above when he had said, "to judge Thy people in justice and Thy poor in judgment," [3185] the same he called the people of God as His poor, that is, only the good and those that belong to the right hand side. But because in this world those for the right and those for the left feed together, who, like lambs and goats at the last are to be put asunder; [3186] the whole, as it is mingled together, he hath called by the name of the People. And because even here he putteth judgment in a good sense, that is, for the purpose of saving: therefore he saith, "He shall judge the poor of the people," that is, shall sever for salvation those that are poor among the people. "And He shall humble the false-accuser." No false-accuser can be more suitably recognised here than the devil. False accusation is his business. "Doth Job worship God gratis?" [3187] But the Lord Jesus doth humble him, by His grace aiding His own, in order that they may worship God gratis, that is, may take delight in the Lord. [3188] He humbled him also thus; because when in Him the devil, that is, the prince of this world, had found nothing, [3189] he slew Him by the false accusations of the Jews, whom the false-accuser made use of as his vessels, working in the sons of unbelief. [3190] ...

8. "And He shall endure to the sun," or, "shall endure with the sun" (ver. 5). For thus some of our writers have thought would be more exactly translated that which in the Greek is sumparamenei. But if in Latin it could have been expressed in one word, it must have been expressed by compermanebit: however, because in Latin the word cannot be expressed, in order that the sense at least might be translated, it hath been expressed by, "He shall endure with the sun." For He shall co-endure to the sun is nothing else but, "He shall endure with the sun." But what great matter is it for Him to endure with the sun, through whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made, [3191] save that this prophecy hath been sent before for the sake of those who think that the religion of the Christian name up to a particular time in this world will live, and afterwards will be no more? [3192] "He shall endure" therefore "with the sun," so long as the sun riseth and setteth, that is, so long as these times revolve, there shall not be wanting the Church of God, that is, Christ's body on earth. But that which he addeth, "and before the moon, generations of generations:" he might have expressed by, and before the sun, that is, both with the sun and before the sun: which would have been understood by both with times and before times. That then which goeth before time is eternal: and that is truly to be held eternal which by no time is changed, as, "in the beginning was the Word." [3193] But by the moon he hath chosen rather to intimate the waxings and wanings of things mortal. Lastly, when he had said, "before the moon," wishing in a manner to explain for what purpose he inserted the moon, "generations," he saith, "of generations." As though he were saying, before the moon, that is, before the generations of generations which pass away in the departure and succession of things mortal, like the lunar wanings and waxings. And thus what is better to be understood by His enduring before the moon, than that He taketh precedence of all mortal things by immortality? Which also as followeth may not impertinently be taken, that whereas now, having humbled the false-accuser, He sitteth at the right hand of the Father, this is to endure with the sun. For the brightness of the eternal glory is understood to be the Son: [3194] as though the Sun were the Father, and the Brightness of Him His Son. But as these things may be spoken of the invisible Substance of the Creator, not as of that visible creation wherein are bodies celestial, of which bright bodies the sun hath the pre-eminence, from which this similitude hath been drawn: just as they are drawn even from things earthly, to wit, stone, lion, lamb, man having two sons, and the like: therefore having humbled the false-accuser, He endureth with the sun: because having vanquished the devil by the Resurrection, He sitteth at the right hand of the Father, [3195] where He dieth no more, and death no longer over Him shall have dominion. [3196] This too is before the moon, as though the First-born from the dead were going before the Church, which is passing on in the departure and succession of mortals. These are "the generations of generations." Or perchance it is because generations are those whereby we are begotten mortally; but generations of generations those whereby we are begotten again immortally. And such is the Church which He went before, in order that He might endure before the moon, being the First-born of the dead. To be sure, that which is in the Greek geneas geneon, some have interpreted, not "generations," but, "of a generation of generations:" because geneas is of ambiguous case in Greek, and whether it be the genitive singular tes gene's, that is, of the generation, or the accusative plural tas geneas, that is, the generations, doth not clearly appear, except that deservedly that sense hath been preferred wherein, as though explaining what he had called "the moon," he added in continuation, "generations of generations."

9. "And He shall come down like rain into a fleece, and like drops distilling upon the earth" (ver. 6). He hath called to our minds and admonished us, that what was done by Gedeon the Judge, in Christ hath its end. For he asked a sign of the Lord, that a fleece laid on the floor should alone be rained upon, and the floor should be dry; and again, the fleece alone should be dry, and the floor should be rained upon; and so it came to pass. [3197] Which thing signified, that, being as it were on a floor in the midst of the whole round world, the dry fleece was the former people Israel. The same Christ therefore Himself came down like rain upon a fleece, when yet the floor was dry: whence also He said, "I am not sent but to the sheep which were lost of the house of Israel." [3198] There He chose out a Mother by whom to receive the form of a servant, wherein He was to appear to men: there the disciples, to whom He gave this same injunction, saying, "Into the way of the nations go ye not away, and into the cities of the Samaritans enter ye not: go ye first to the sheep which are lost of the house of Israel." [3199] When He saith, go ye first to them, He showeth also that hereafter, when at length the floor was to be rained upon, they would go to other sheep also, which were not of the old people Israel, concerning whom He saith, "I have other sheep which are not of this fold, it behoveth Me to bring in them also, that there may be one flock and one Shepherd." [3200] Hence also the Apostle: "for I say," he saith, "that Christ was a minister of the Circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises of the fathers." [3201] Thus rain came down upon the fleece, the floor being yet dry. But inasmuch as he continueth, "but that the nations should glorify God for His mercy:" [3202] that when the time came on, that should be fulfilled which by the Prophet He saith, "a people whom I have not known hath served Me, in the hearkening of the ear it hath obeyed Me:" [3203] we now see, that of the grace of Christ the nation of the Jews hath remained dry, and the whole round world through all nations is being rained upon by clouds full of Christian grace. For by another word he hath indicated the same rain, saying, "drops distilling:" no longer upon the fleece, but "upon the earth." For what else is rain but drops distilling? But that the above nation under the name of a fleece is signified, I think is either because they were to be stripped of the authority of teaching, just as a sheep is stripped of its skin; or because in a secret place He was hiding that same rain, which He willed not should be preached to uncircumcision, that is, be revealed to uncircumcised nations.

10. "There shall arise in His days justice and abundance of peace, until the moon be taken away" (ver. 7). The expression tollatur some have interpreted by "be taken away," but others by "be exalted," translating one Greek word, which is there used, /=ntanairethe, just as each of them thought good. But they who have said, "be removed," and they who have said, "be taken away," do not so very much differ. For by the expression, "be removed," custom doth teach us that there should be rather implied, that a thing is taken away and is no more, than that it is raised to a higher place: but "be taken away" can be understood in no other way at all, than that a thing is destroyed: that is, it is no more: but by "be exalted," only that it is raised to a higher place. Which indeed when it is put in a bad sense is wont to signify pride: as is the passage, "In thy wisdom be not exalted." [3204] But in a good sense it belongeth to a more exceeding honour, as, for instance, when anything is being raised; as is, "In the nights exalt ye your hands unto holy places, and bless ye the Lord." [3205] Here then if we have understood the expression, "be removed," what will be, "until the moon be removed," but that it be so dealt with that it be no more? For perchance he willed this also to be perceived, that mortality is to be no longer, "when the last enemy shall be destroyed, death:" [3206] so that abundance of peace may be brought down so far as that nothing may withstand the felicity of the blessed from the infirmity of mortality: which will come to pass in that age, of which we have the faithful promise of God through Jesus Christ our Lord, concerning which it is said, "There shall arise in His days justice and abundance of peace:" until, death being utterly overcome and destroyed, all mortality be consumed. But if under the term moon, not the mortality of the flesh through which the Church is now passing, but the Church Herself in general hath been signified, which is to endure for everlasting, being delivered from this mortality, thus must be taken the expression, "There shall arise in His days justice and abundance of peace, until the moon be exalted;" as though it were said, There shall arise in His days justice, to conquer the contradiction and rebellion of the flesh, and whereby there may be made a peace so increasing and abundant, until the moon be exalted, that is, until the Church be lifted up, through the glory of the Resurrection to reign with Him, who went before Her in this glory, the first-born of the dead, that He might sit at the right hand of the Father; [3207] thus with the sun [3208] enduring before the moon, in the place whereunto hereafter was to be exalted the moon also.

11. "And He shall be Lord from sea even unto sea, and from the river even unto the ends of the round world" (ver. 8): He to wit concerning whom he had said, "There shall arise in His days justice and abundance of peace, until the moon be exalted." [3209] If the Church here is properly signified under the term moon, in continuation he showed how widely that same Church He was going to spread abroad, when He added, "and He shall be Lord from sea even unto sea." For the land is encircled by a great sea which is called the Ocean: from which there floweth in some small part in the midst of the lands, and maketh those seas known to us, which are frequented by ships. Again, in "from sea even unto sea" He hath said, that from any one end of the earth even unto any other end, He would be Lord, whose name and power in the whole world were to be preached and to prevail exceedingly. To which, that there might not be understood in any other manner, "from sea even unto sea:" He immediately added, "and from the river even unto the ends of the round world." Therefore that which He saith in "even unto the ends of the round world," the same He had said before in "from sea even unto sea." But in that which now He saith, "from the river," He hath evidently expressed that He willed Christ to publish at length His power from that place from whence also He began to choose His disciples, to wit from the river Jordan, where upon the Lord, on His baptism, when the Holy Ghost descended, there sounded a voice from Heaven, "This is My beloved Son." [3210] From this place then His doctrine and the authority of the heavenly ministry setting out, is enlarged even unto the ends of the round world, when there is preached the Gospel of the kingdom in the whole world, for a testimony unto all nations: and then shall come the end. [3211]

12. "In His presence shall fall down the Ethiopians, and His enemies shall lick the earth" (ver. 9). By the Ethiopians, as by a part the whole, He hath signified all nations, selecting that nation to mention especially by name, which is at the ends of the earth. By "in His presence shall fall down" hath been signified, shall adore Him. And because there were to be schisms in divers quarters of the world, which would be jealous of the Church Catholic spread abroad in the whole round world, and again those same schisms dividing themselves into the names of men, and by loving the men under whose authority they had been rent, opposing themselves to the glory of Christ which is throughout all lands; so when He had said, "in His presence shall fall down the Ethiopians," He added, "and His enemies shall lick the earth:" that is, shall love men, so that they shall be jealous of the glory of Christ, to whom hath been said, "Be Thou exalted above the Heavens, O God, and above all the earth Thy glory." [3212] For man earned to hear, "Earth thou art, and unto earth thou shalt go." [3213] By licking this earth, that is, being delighted with the vainly talking authority of such men, by loving them, and by counting them for the most pleasing of men, they gainsay the divine sayings, whereby the Catholic Church hath been foretold, not as to be in any particular quarter of the world, as certain schisms are, but in the whole universe by bearing fruit and growing so as to attain even unto the very Ethiopians, to wit, the remotest and foulest of mankind. [3214]

13. [3215] "The kings of Tharsis and the isles shall offer gifts, the kings of the Arabians and of Saba shall lead [3216] presents" (ver. 10). This no longer requireth an expounder but a thinker; yea it doth thrust itself upon the sight not only of rejoicing believers, but also of groaning unbelievers--except perchance we must inquire why there hath been said, "shall lead presents." For there are wont to be led those things which can walk. For could it by any means have been spoken with reference to the sacrifice of victims? Far be it that such "righteousness" should arise in His days. But those gifts which have been foretold as to be led, seem to me to signify men, whom into the fellowship of the Church of Christ the authority of kings doth lead: although even persecuting kings have led gifts, knowing not what they did, in sacrificing the holy Martyrs. "And there shall adore Him all kings of the earth, all nations shall serve Him" (ver. 11).

14. But while he is explaining the reasons why so great honour is paid Him by kings, and He is served of all nations: "because He hath delivered," he saith, "the needy man from the mighty, and the poor man, to whom was no helper"(ver. 12). This needy and poor man is the people of men believing in Him. In this people are also kings adoring Him. For they do not disdain to be needy and poor, that is, humbly confessing sins, and needing the glory of God [3217] and the grace of God, in order that this King, Son of the King, may deliver them from the mighty one. For this same mighty one is he who above was called the Slanderer: whom mighty to subdue men to himself, and to hold them bound in captivity, not his virtue did make, but men's sins. The same is himself also called strong; therefore here mighty also. But He that hath humbled the slanderer and hath entered into the house of the strong man to bind him and to spoil his vessels, [3218] He "hath delivered the needy and the poor man." For this neither the virtue of any one could accomplish, nor any just man, nor any Angel. When then there was no helper, by His coming He saved them Himself.

15. But it might occur to one; if because of sins man was held by the devil, have sins pleased Christ, who saved the needy man from the mighty? Far be it. But "He it is that shall spare the helpless and poor man" (ver. 13): that is, shall remit sins to the man, humble and not trusting in his own merits, or hoping for salvation because of his own virtue, but needing the grace of his Saviour. But when he hath added, "and the souls of the poor He shall save:" he hath recommended to our notice both the aids of grace; both that which is for the remission of sins, when he saith, "He shall spare the poor and needy man;" and that which doth consist in the imparting of righteousness, when he hath added, "and the souls of the poor He shall save." For no one is meet of himself for salvation (which salvation is perfect righteousness), unless God's grace aid: because the fulness of the law is nought but love, which doth not exist in us of ourselves, but is shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit which hath been given unto us. [3219]

16. "From usuries and iniquity He shall redeem the souls of them" (ver. 14). What are these usuries but sins, which are also called debts? [3220] But I think they have been called usuries, because more of ill is found in the punishments than hath been committed in the sins. For, for example's sake, while a man-slayer killeth only the body of a man, but can no wise hurt the soul; of himself both soul and body is destroyed in hell. Because of such despisers of present commandment and deriders of future punishment hath been said, "I coming would have exacted with usuries," [3221] from these usuries are redeemed the souls of the poor by that blood which hath been shed for the remission of sins. He shall redeem, I say, from usuries, by remitting sins which owed larger punishments: but He shall redeem from iniquity, by helping them by grace even to do righteousness. Therefore the same two things have been repeated which were said above. For in that which is above, "He shall spare the helpless and poor man," [3222] there is understood "from usuries:" but in that which there he saith, "and the souls of the poor He shall save;" there seemeth to have been implied, "from iniquity:" so that the words "He shall redeem," are understood with both. So when He shall spare the poor and helpless man, and shall save the souls of the poor: thus "from usuries and iniquity He shall redeem the souls of them. And honourable shall be the name of Him in the presence of them." For they give honour to His name for so great benefits, and they respond that "meet and right it is" [3223] to render thanks to the Lord their God. Or, as some copies have it, "and honourable is the name of them in the presence of Him:" for even if Christians seem despicable to this world, the name of them in the presence of Him is honourable, who to them hath given it, no longer remembering those names in His lips, whereby before they used to be called, when they were bound fast by the superstitions of the Gentiles, or signed with names derived from their own evil deserts, before they were Christians, which name is honourable in the presence of Him, even if it seemeth despicable to enemies.

17. "And He shall live, and there shall be given to Him of the gold of Arabia" (ver. 15). There would not have been said, "and He shall live" (for of whom could not this be said, though living for ever so brief a space of time on this earth?) unless that life were being recommended to our notice, wherein He "dieth no more, and death over Him shall have no more dominion." [3224] And thus, "and He shall live," that was despised in death: for, as another Prophet saith, "there shall be taken away from the earth the life of Him." [3225] But what is, "and there shall be given to Him of the gold of Arabia"? For the fact that from thence even the former Salomon received gold, in this Psalm hath been in a figure transferred unto another true Salomon, that is, the true Peace-maker. For the former did not have dominion "from the river even unto the ends of the round world." [3226] Thus then hath been prophesied, that even the wise men of this world in Christ would believe. But by Arabia we understand the Gentiles; by gold wisdom which doth as much excel among all doctrines as gold among metals. Whence hath been written, "Receive ye prudence as silver, [3227] and wisdom as proved gold." [3228] "And they shall pray concerning Himself alway." That which the Greek hath, peri autou, some have interpreted by "concerning Himself," some "for Himself," or "for Him." But what is, "concerning Himself," except perchance that for which we pray, saying, "Thy kingdom come"? [3229] For Christ's coming shall make present to believers the kingdom of God. But how to understand "for Him" is difficult; except that when prayer is made for the Church, for Himself prayer is made, because she is His Body. For concerning Christ and the Church hath been sent before a great Sacrament, [3230] "there shall be two in one flesh." But now that which followeth, "all the day long," that is, in all time, "they shall bless Him," is sufficiently evident.

18. "And there shall be a firmament on the earth, on the tops of the mountains" (ver. 16). For, "all the promises of God in Him are Yea," [3231] that is, in Him are confirmed: because in Him hath been fulfilled whatever hath been prophesied for our salvation. For the tops of the mountains it is meet to understand as the authors of the divine Scriptures, that is, those persons through whom they were supplied: wherein He is indeed Himself the Firmament: for unto Him all things that have been divinely written are ascribed. But this He willed should be on earth; because for the sake of those that are upon earth, they were written. Whence He came also Himself upon earth, in order that He might confirm all these things, that is, in Himself might show them to have been fulfilled. "For it was necessary," He saith, "for all things to be fulfilled which were written in the Law, and the Prophets, and Psalms, concerning Me:" [3232] that is, "in the tops of the mountain." [3233] For so there cometh in the last time the evident Mount of the Lord, prepared on the summit of the mountains: of which here he speaketh, "in the tops of the mountains." "Highly superexalted above Libanus shall be His fruit." Libanus we are wont to take as this world's dignity: for Libanus is a mountain bearing tall trees, and the name itself is interpreted whiteness. [3234] For what marvel, if above every brilliant state of this world there is superexalted the fruit of Christ, of which fruit the lovers have contemned all secular dignities? But if in a good sense we take Libanus, because of the "cedars of Libanus which He hath planted:" [3235] what other fruit must be understood, that is being exalted above this Libanus, except that whereof the Apostle speaketh when he is going to speak concerning that love of his, "yet a pre-eminent way to you I show"? [3236] For this is put forward even in the first rank of divine gifts, in the place where he saith, "but the fruit of the Spirit is love:" [3237] and with this are conjoined the remaining words as consequent. "And they shall flourish from the city like hay of the earth." Because city is used ambiguously, and there is not annexed of Him, or of God, for there hath not been said, "from the city" of Him, or "from the city" of God, but only "from the city:" in a good sense it is understood, in order that from the city of God, that is, from the Church, they may flourish like grass; but grass bearing fruit, as is that of wheat: for even this is called grass [3238] in Holy Scripture; as in Genesis [3239] there is a command for the earth to bring forth every tree and every grass, and there is not added every wheat: which without doubt would not have been passed over unless under the name of grass this also were understood; and in many other passages of the Scriptures this is found. But if we must take, "and they shall flourish like the grass of the earth," in the same manner as is said, "all flesh is grass, and the glory of a man like the flower of grass:" [3240] certainly then that city must be understood which doth intimate this world's society: for it was not to no purpose that Cain was the first to build a city. [3241] Thus the fruit of Christ being exalted above Libanus, that is, above enduring trees and undecaying timbers, because He is the everlasting fruit, all the glory of a man according to the temporal exaltation of the world is compared to grass; for by believers and by men already hoping for life eternal temporal felicity is despised, in order that there may be fulfilled that which hath been written, "all flesh is grass, and all the glory of flesh as the flower of grass: the grass hath dried, the flower hath fallen off, but the word of the Lord doth endure for ever." There is the fruit of Him exalted above Libanus. For always flesh hath been grass, and the glory of flesh as the flower of grass: but because it was not clearly proved what felicity ought to have been chosen and preferred, the flower of grass was esteemed for a great matter: not only it was by no means despised, but it was even chiefly sought after. As if therefore at that time He shall have begun to be thus, when there is reproved and despised whatever used to flourish in the world, thus hath been said, "superexalted above Libanus shall be the fruit of Him, and they shall flourish from the city like grass of the earth:" that is, glorified above all things shall be that which is promised for everlasting, and compared to the grass of the earth shall be whatever is counted a great matter in the world.

19. "Be," therefore, "the name of Him blessed for ever: before the sun endureth the name of Him" (ver. 17). By the sun times are signified. Therefore for everlasting endureth the name of Him. For eternity doth precede times, and is not bounded by time. "And there shall be blessed in Him all the tribes of the earth." For in Him is fulfilled that which hath been promised to Abraham. "For He saith not, In seeds, as though in many; but as though in one, And to thy Seed, which is Christ." [3242] But to Abraham is said, "In thy Seed shall be blessed all the tribes of the earth." [3243] And not the sons of the flesh but the sons of promise are counted in the Seed. [3244] "All nations shall magnify Him." As if in explanation there is repeated that which above hath been said. For because they shall be blessed in Him, they shall magnify Him; not of themselves making Him to be great, that of Himself is great, but by praising and confessing Him to be great. For thus we magnify God: thus also we say, "Hallowed be Thy name," [3245] which is indeed always holy.

20. "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who hath done wonderful things alone" (ver. 18). Contemplating all things above spoken of, a hymn bursteth [3246] forth; and the Lord God of Israel is blessed. For that is being fulfilled which hath been spoken to that barren woman, "and He that hath delivered Thee, the God of Israel, shall Himself be called of the whole earth." [3247] "He doeth" Himself "marvellous things alone:" for whosoever do them, He doth Himself work in them, "who doeth wonderful things alone." "And blessed be the name of His glory [3248] for everlasting, and for age of age" (ver. 19). For what else should the Latin interpreters have said, who could not have said for everlasting, and for everlasting of everlasting? For it soundeth as if one thing were meant in the expression "for everlasting," and another thing in the expression "for age:" but the Greek hath eis ton aiona, kai eis ton aiona tou aionos, which perchance more meetly might have been rendered by, "for age, and for age of age:" so that by "for age," might have been understood as long as this age [3249] endureth; but "for age of age," that which after the end of this is promised to be. "And there shall be fulfilled with the glory of Him every land: so be it, so be it." Thou hast commanded, O Lord, so it is coming to pass: so it is coming to pass, until that which began with the river, may attain fully even unto the ends of the round world.


[3168] Lat. LXXI. [3169] Rom. v. 10. [3170] John v. 22. [3171] Matt. xxii. 2. [3172] Prov. i. 1. [3173] Matt. v. 3. [3174] God's poor. [3175] John vii. 24. [3176] Matt. xxiii. 23. [3177] Jer. xvii. 11. [3178] Ps. cxiv. 4, 6. [3179] 2 Tim. ii. 2. [3180] [Coleridge has justly remarked on the feebleness of this Latin word justice, as compared with our English "righteousness."--C.] [3181] Ps. lxxxv. 10. [3182] 1 Pet. i. 5. [3183] Ps. xxvi. 9. [3184] Ps. xliii. 1. [3185] Ps. lxxii. 2. [3186] Matt. xxv. 32. [3187] Job i. 9. [3188] Ps. xxxvii. 4. [3189] John xiv. 30. [3190] Eph. ii. 2. [3191] John i. 3. [3192] See on Ps. xli. p. 128, note 9. [3193] John i. 1. [3194] Heb. i. 3. [3195] Mark xvi. 19. [3196] Rom. vi. 9. [3197] Judg. vi. 36-38. [3198] Matt. xv. 24. [3199] Matt. x. 5, 6. [3200] John x. 16. [3201] Rom. xv. 8. [3202] Rom. xv. 9. [3203] Ps. xviii. 43. [3204] Ecclus. xxxii. 4; Vulgate, xxxii. 6. [3205] Ps. cxxxiv. 2. [3206] 1 Cor. xv. 26. [3207] Mark xvi. 19. [3208] Or, "abiding." [3209] Ps. lxxii. 7. [3210] Matt. iii. 17. [3211] Matt. xxiv. 14. [3212] Ps. cviii. 5. [3213] Gen. iii. 19. [3214] [It must be borne in mind that the Hindoos as well as the sons of Phut were so called.--C.] [3215] Oxf. mss. add here: "Observe, brethren, that it is said in this Psalm." [3216] Vid. infra. [3217] Rom. iii. 23. [3218] Matt. xii. 29. [3219] Rom. v. 5. [3220] Matt. vi. 12. [3221] Matt. xxv. 27. [3222] Ps. lxxii. 13. [3223] Dignum et justum, used then, as still, in the service for Holy Communion. [In all the liturgies, according to Sir William Palmer. See A.N.F. vol. vii. p. 532, note 9.--C.] [3224] Rom. vi. 9. [3225] Isa. liii. 8. [3226] Ps. lxxii. 8. [3227] "And not silver," E.V. [3228] Prov. viii. 10. [3229] Matt. vi. 10. [3230] Eph. v. 32. [3231] 2 Cor. i. 20. [3232] Luke xxiv. 44. [3233] Isa. ii. 2. [3234] Candidatio. [3235] Ps. civ. 16. [3236] 1 Cor. xii. 31. [3237] Gal. v. 22. [3238] Foenum. [3239] Gen. i. 11. [See p. 206, supra.--C.] [3240] Isa. xl. 6. [3241] Gen. iv. 17. [3242] Gal. iii. 16. [3243] Gen. xxii. 18. [3244] Rom. ix. 8. [3245] Matt. vi. 9. [3246] Lit. "is belched." [3247] Isa. liv. 5. [3248] "Majesty," most mss., Ben. [3249] Or, "world." .

Psalm LXXIII. [3250]

1. This Psalm hath an inscription, that is, a title, "There have failed the hymns of David, the son of Jesse. [3251] A Psalm [3252] of Asaph himself." So many Psalms we have on the titles whereof is written the name David, nowhere there is added, "son of Jesse," except in this alone. Which we must believe hath not been done to no purpose, nor capriciously. For everywhere God doth make intimations to us, and to the understanding thereof doth invite the godly study of love. What is, "there have failed the hymns of David, the son of Jesse"? Hymns are praises of God accompanied with singing: hymns are songs containing the praise of God. If there be praise, and it be not of God, it is no hymn: if there be praise, and God's praise, and it be not sung, it is no hymn. It must needs then, if it be a hymn, have these three things, both praise, and that of God, and singing. What is then, "there have failed the hymns"? There have failed the praises which are sung unto God. He seemeth to tell of a thing painful, and so to speak deplorable. For he that singeth praise, not only praiseth, but only praiseth with gladness: he that singeth praise, not only singeth, but also loveth him of whom he singeth. In praise, there is the speaking forth of one confessing; in singing, the affection of one loving. "There have failed" then "the hymns of David," he saith: and he hath added, "the son of Jesse." For David was king of Israel, son of Jesse, [3253] at a certain time of the Old Testament, at which time the New Testament was therein hidden, like fruit in a root. For if thou seek fruit in a root, thou wilt not find, and yet dost thou not find any fruit in the branches, except that which hath gone forth from the root....And in like manner as Christ Himself to be born after the flesh was hidden in the root, that is in the seed of the Patriarchs, and at a certain time must be revealed, as at the fruit appearing, according as it is written, "there hath flourished a shoot from the root of Jesse:" [3254] so also the New Testament itself which is in Christ, in those former times was hidden, being known to the Prophets alone, and to the very few godly men, not by the manifestation of things present, but by the revelation of things future. For what meaneth it, brethren (to mention but one thing), that Abraham sending his faithful servant to espouse a wife for his only son, maketh him swear to him, and in the oath saith to him, "Put thy hand under my thigh, and swear"? [3255] What was there in the thigh of Abraham, where he put his hand in swearing? What was there there, except that which even then was promised to him, "In thy seed shall be blessed all nations"? [3256] Under the name of thigh, flesh is signified. From the flesh of Abraham, through Isaac and Jacob, and not to mention many names, through Mary was our Lord Jesus Christ.

2. But that the root was in the Patriarchs, how shall we show? Let us question Paul. The Gentiles now believing in Christ, and desiring as it were to boast over the Jews who crucified Christ; although also from that same people there came another wall, meeting in the corner, that is, in Christ Himself, the wall of uncircumcision, that is, of the Gentiles, coming from a different quarter: when, I say, the nations were lifting up themselves, he doth thus depress them. "For if thou," he saith, "being cut out of the natural wild olive, hast been graffed in among them, do not boast against the branches: for if thou boastest, thou dost not bear the root, but the root thee." [3257] Therefore he speaketh of certain branches broken off from the root of the Patriarchs because of unbelief, and the wild olive therein graffed in, that it might be partaker of the fatness of the olive, that is, the Church coming out of the Gentiles. And who doth graff the wild olive on the olive? The olive is wont to be graffed on the wild olive; the wild olive on the olive we never saw. For whosoever may have done so will find no berries but those of the wild olive. For that which is graffed in, the same groweth, and of that kind the fruit is found. There is not found the fruit of the root but of the graft. The Apostle showing that God did this thing by His Omnipotence, namely, that the wild olive should be graffed into the root of the olive, and should not bear wild berries, but olive--ascribing it to the Omnipotence of God, the Apostle saith this, "If thou hast been cut out of the natural wild olive and against nature hast been graffed into a good [3258] olive, do not boast," he saith, "against the branches." [3259] ...

3. In the time then of the Old Testament, brethren, the promises from our God to that carnal people were earthly and temporal. There was promised an earthly kingdom, there was promised that land into which they were also led, after being delivered from Egypt: by Jesus [3260] son of Nave they were led into the land of promise, where also earthly Jerusalem was builded, where David reigned: they received the land, after being delivered from Egypt, by passing through the Red Sea....Such were also those promises, which were not to endure, through which however were figured future promises which were to endure, so that all that course of temporal promises was a figure and a sort of prophecy of things future. Accordingly when that kingdom was failing, where reigned David, the son of Jesse, that is, one that was a man, though a Prophet, though holy, because he saw and foresaw Christ to come, of whose seed also after the flesh He was to be born: nevertheless a man, nevertheless not yet Christ, nevertheless not yet our King Son of God, but king David son of Jesse: because then that kingdom was to fail, through the receiving of which kingdom at that time God was praised by carnal men; for this thing alone they esteemed a great matter, namely, that they were delivered temporally from those by whom they were being oppressed, and that they had escaped from persecuting enemies through the Red Sea, and had been led through the desert, and had found country and kingdom: for this alone they praised God, not yet perceiving the thing which God was designing beforehand and promising in these figures. In the failing therefore of those things for which the carnal people, over whom reigned that David, was praising God, "there failed the hymns of David," not the Son of God, but the "son of Jesse."...

4. Whose voice is the Psalm? "Of Asaph." [3261] What is Asaph? As we find in interpretations from the Hebrew language into the Greek, and those again translated to us from the Greek into the Latin, Asaph is interpreted Synagogue. It is the voice therefore of the Synagogue. But when thou hast heard Synagogue, do not forthwith abhor it, as if it were the murderer of the Lord. That Synagogue was indeed the murderer of the Lord, no man doubteth it: but remember, that from the Synagogue were the rams whereof we are the sons. Whence it is said in a Psalm, "Bring ye to the Lord the sons of rams." [3262] What rams are thence? Peter, John, James, Andrew, Bartholomew, and the rest of the Apostles. Hence also he too at first Saul, afterwards Paul: that is, at first proud, afterwards humble....Therefore even Paul came to us from the Synagogue, and Peter and the other Apostles from the Synagogue. Therefore when thou hast heard the voice of the Synagogue, do not look to the deserving thereof, but observe the offspring. There is speaking therefore in this Psalm, the Synagogue, after the failing of the hymns of David, the son of Jesse that is, after the failing of things temporal, through which God was wont to be praised by the carnal people. But why did these fail, except in order that others might be sought for? That there might be sought for what? Was it things which were not there? No, but things which were there being hidden in figures: not which were not yet there, [3263] but which there as it were in a sort were concealed in certain secret things of mysteries. What things? "These," saith the Apostle himself, "were our figures." [3264] ...

5. It was the Synagogue therefore, that is, they that there worshipped God after a godly sort, but yet for the sake of earthly things, for the sake of these present things (for there are ungodly men who seek the blessings of present things from demons: but this people was on this account better than the Gentiles, because although it were blessings present and temporal, yet they sought them from the One God, who is the Creator of all things both spiritual and corporal). When therefore those godly men after the flesh were observing--that is that Synagogue which was made up of good men, men for the time good, not spiritual men, such as were the Prophets therein, such as were the few that understood the kingdom heavenly, eternal--that Synagogue, I say, observed what things it received from God, and what things God promised to that people, abundance of things earthly, land, peace, earthly felicity: but in all these things were figures, and they not perceiving what was there concealed in things figured, thought that God gave this for a great matter, and had nothing better to give to men loving Him and serving Him: they remarked and saw certain sinners, ungodly, blasphemers, servants of demons, sons of the Devil, living in great naughtiness and pride, yet abounding in such things earthly, temporal, for which sort of things they were serving God themselves: and there sprang up a most evil thought in the heart, which made the feet to totter, and almost slip out of God's way. And behold this thought was in the people of the Old Testament: I would it be not in our carnal brethren, when now openly there is being proclaimed the felicity of the New Testament....

6. "How good is the God of Israel!" But to whom? "To men right in heart" (ver. 1). To men perverse what? Perverse He seemeth. So also in another Psalm He saith: "With a holy man holy Thou shalt be, and with the innocent man innocent Thou shalt be, and with the perverse man perverse Thou shalt be." [3265] What is, perverse Thou shalt be with the perverse man? Perverse the perverse man shall think Thee. Not that by any means God is made perverse. Far be it: what He is, He is. But in like manner as the sun appeareth mild to one having clear, sound, healthy, strong eyes, but against weak eyes doth dart hard spears, so to say; the former looking at it it doth invigorate, the latter it doth torture, though not being itself changed, but the man being changed: so when thou shalt have begun to be perverse, and to thee God shall seem to be perverse, thou art changed, not He. That therefore to thee will be punishment which to good men is joy. He calling to mind this thing, saith, "How good is the God of Israel to men right in heart!"

7. But what to thee? "But my feet were almost moved" (ver. 2). When were the feet moved, except when the heart was not right? Whence was the heart not right? Hear: "My steps were well nigh overthrown." What he hath meant by "almost," the same he hath meant by "well nigh:" and what he hath meant by "my feet were almost moved," the same he hath meant by "my steps were overthrown." Almost my feet were moved, almost my steps were overthrown. Moved were the feet: but whence were the feet moved and the steps overthrown? Moved were the feet to going astray, overthrown were the steps to falling: not entirely, but "almost." But what is this? Already I was going to stray, I had not gone: already I was falling, I had not fallen.

8. But why even this? "For I was jealous," he saith, "in the case of sinners, looking on the peace of sinners" (ver. 3). I observed sinners, I saw them to have peace. What peace? Temporal, transient, falling, and earthly: but yet such as I also was desiring of God. I saw them that served not God to have that which I desired in order that I might serve God: and my feet were moved and my steps were almost overthrown. But why sinners have this, he saith briefly: "Because there is no avoidance of their death, and there is a firmament in their scourge" (ver. 4). Now I have perceived, he saith, why they have peace, and flourish on the earth; because of their death there is no avoidance, because death sure and eternal doth await them, which neither doth avoid them, nor can they avoid it, "because there is no avoidance of their death, and there is a firmament in their scourge." And there is a firmament in their scourge. For their scourge is not temporal, but firm for everlasting. Because of these evil things then which are to be to them eternal, now what? "In the labours of men they are not, and with men they shall not be scourged" (ver. 5). Doth not even the devil himself escape scourging with men, for whom nevertheless an eternal punishment is being prepared?

9. Wherefore on this account what do these men, while they are not scourged, while they labour not with men? "Therefore," he saith "there hath holden them pride" (ver. 6). Observe these men, proud, undisciplined; observe the bull, devoted for a victim, suffered to stray at liberty; and to damage whatever he may, even up to the day of his slaughter. Now it is a good thing, brethren, that we should hear in the very words of a prophet of this bull as it were, whereof I have spoken. For thus of him the Scripture doth make mention in another place: he saith that they are, as it were, made ready as for a victim, and that they are spared for an evil liberty. [3266] "Therefore," he saith, "there hath holden them pride." What is, "there hath holden them pride"? "They have been clothed about with their iniquity and ungodliness." He hath not said, covered; but, "clothed about," on all sides covered up with their ungodliness. Deservedly miserable, they neither see nor are seen, because they are clothed about; and the inward parts of them are not seen. For whosoever could behold the inward parts of evil men, that are as it were happy for a time, whosoever could see their torturing consciences, whosoever could examine their souls racked with such mighty perturbations of desires and fears, would see them to be miserable even when they are called happy. But because "they are clothed about with their iniquity and ungodliness," they see not; but neither are they seen. The Spirit knew them, that saith these words concerning them: and we ought to examine such men with the same eye as that wherewith we know that we see, if there is taken from our eyes the covering of ungodliness....

10. At first these men are being described. "There shall go forth as if out of fat their iniquity" (ver. 7)....A poor beggar committeth a theft; out of leanness hath gone forth the iniquity: but when a rich man aboundeth in so many things, why doth he plunder the things of others? Of the former the iniquity out of leanness, of the other out of fatness, hath gone forth. Therefore to the lean man when thou sayest, Why hast thou done this? Humbly afflicted and abject he replieth, Need hath compelled me. Why hast thou not feared God? Want was urgent. Say to a rich man, Why doest thou these things, and fearest not God?--supposing thee to be great enough to be able to say it--see if he even deigneth to hear; see if even against thyself [3267] there will not go forth iniquity out of his fatness. For now they declare war with their teachers and reprovers, and become enemies of them that speak the truth, having been long accustomed to be coaxed with the words of flatterers, being of tender ear, of unsound heart. Who would say to a rich man, Thou hast ill done in robbing other men's goods? Or perchance if any man shall have dared to speak, and he is such a man as he could not withstand, what doth he reply? All that he saith is in contempt of God. Why? Because he is proud. Why? Because he is fat. Why? Because he is devoted for a victim. "They have passed over unto purpose of heart." Here within they have passed over. What is, "they have passed over"? They have crossed over the way. What is, "they have passed over"? They have exceeded the bounds of mankind, men like the rest they think not themselves. They have passed over, I say, the bounds of mankind. When thou sayest to such a man, Thy brother this beggar is; when thou sayest to such a man, Thy brother [3268] this poor man is; the same parents ye have had, Adam and Eve: do not heed thy haughtiness, do not heed the vapour unto which thou hast been elevated; although an establishment waiteth about thee, although countless gold and silver, although a marbled house doth contain thee, although fretted ceilings cover thee, thou and the poor man together have for covering that roof of the universe, the sky; but thou art different from the poor man in things not thine own, added to thee from without: thyself see in them, not them in thee. Observe thyself, how thou art in relation to the poor man; thyself, not that which thou hast. For why dost thou despise thy brother? In the bowels of your mothers ye were both naked. Forsooth, even when ye shall have departed this life, and these bodies shall have rotted, when the soul hath been breathed forth, let the bones of the rich and poor man be distinguished! I am speaking of the equality of condition, of that very lot of mankind, wherein all men are born: [3269] for both here doth a man become rich, and a poor man will not alway be here: and as a rich man doth not come rich, so neither doth he depart rich; the very same is the entrance of both, and like is the departure. I add, that perchance ye will change conditions. Now everywhere the Gospel is being preached: observe a certain poor man full of sores, who was lying before the gate of a rich man, [3270] and was desiring to be filled with crumbs, which used to fall from the table of the rich man; observe also that likeness [3271] of thine who was clothed with purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day. It chanced, I say, for that poor man to die, and to be borne by the Angels into the bosom of Abraham: but the other died and was buried; for the other's burial perchance no one cared....Brethren, how great was the toil of the poor man! Of how long duration were the luxuries of the rich man! But the condition which they have received in exchange is everlasting....Deservedly too late he will say, "Send Lazarus," [3272] "let him tell even my brethren;" since to himself there is not granted the fruit of repentance. For it is not that repentance [3273] is not given, but everlasting will be the repentance, and no salvation after repentance. Therefore these men "have passed over unto purpose of heart."

11. "They have thought and have spoken spitefulness" (ver. 8). But men do speak spitefulness even with fear: but these men how? "Iniquity on high they have spoken." Not only they have spoken iniquity; but even openly, in the hearing of all, proudly; "I will do it;" "I will show you;" "thou shalt know with whom thou hast to do;" "I will not let thee live." Thou [3274] mightest have but thought such things, not have given utterance to them! Within the chambers of thought at least the evil desire might have been confined, he might have at least restrained it within his thought. Why? Is he perchance lean? "There shall go forth as if out of fatness the iniquity of them." "Iniquity on high they have spoken."

12. "They have set against Heaven their mouth, and their tongue hath passed over above the earth" (ver. 9). For this, "hath passed over above the earth" is, they pass over all earthly things? What is it to pass over all earthly things? He doth not think of himself as a man that can die suddenly, when he is speaking; he doth menace as if he were alway to live: his thought doth transcend earthly frailty, he knoweth not with what sort of vessel he is enwrapped; he knoweth not what hath been written in another place concerning such men: "His spirit shall go forth, and he shall return unto his earth, in that day shall perish all his thoughts." [3275] But these men not thinking of their last day, speak pride, [3276] and unto Heaven they set their mouth, they transcend the earth. If a robber were not to think of his last day, that is, the last day of his trial, when sent to prison, nothing would be more monstrous than he: and yet he might escape. Whither dost thou flee to escape death? Certain will that day be. What is the long time which thou hast to live? How much is the long time which hath an end, even if it were a long time? To this there is added that it is nought: and the very thing which is called long time is not a long time, and is uncertain. Why doth he not think of this? Because he hath set against Heaven his mouth, and his tongue hath passed over above the earth. "And full days shall be found in them."

13. "Therefore there shall return hither My people" (ver. 10). Now Asaph himself is returning hither. For he saw these things abound to unrighteous men, he saw them abound to proud men: he is returning to God, and is beginning to inquire and discuss. But when? "When full days shall be found in them." What is "full days"? "But when there came the fulness of time, God sent His Son." [3277] This is the very fulness of time, when He came to teach men that things temporal should be despised, that they should not esteem as a great matter whatever object evil men covet, that they should suffer whatever evil men fear. He became the way, He recalled us to inward thought, admonished us of what should be sought of God. And see from what thought reacting upon itself, and in a manner recalling the waves of its impulse, he doth pass over unto choosing true things.

14. "And they said, How hath God known, and is there knowledge in the Most High?" (ver. 11). See through what thought they pass. Behold unjust men are happy, God doth not care for things human. Doth He indeed know what we do? See what things are being said. We are inquiring, brethren, "How hath God known," etc. (no longer let Christians say it). For how doth it appear to thee that God knoweth not, and that there is no knowledge in the Most High? He replieth, "Lo! themselves they are sinners, and in the world they have gotten abundant riches" (ver. 12). Both sinners they are, and in the world they have gotten abundant riches. He confessed that he willed not to be a sinner in order that he might have riches. A carnal soul for things visible and earthly would have sold its justice. What sort of justice is that which is retained for the sake of gold, as if gold were a more precious thing than justice herself, or as if when a man denieth the deposit of another man's goods, he to whom he denied them should suffer a greater loss, than he that denieth them to him. The former doth lose a garment, the latter fidelity. "Lo! they are themselves sinners, and in the world they have gotten abundant riches." On this account therefore God knoweth not, and on this account there is no knowledge in the Most High.

15. "And I said, therefore [3278] without cause I have justified my heart" (ver. 13). In that I serve God, and have not these things; they serve him not, and they abound in these things: "therefore without cause I have justified my heart, and have washed among the innocent my hands." This without cause I have done. Where is the reward of my good life? Where is the wage of my service? I live well and am in need; and the unjust man doth abound. "And I have washed among the innocent my hands. And I have been scourged all the day long" (ver. 14). From me the scourges of God do not impart. I serve well, and I am scourged; he serveth not, and is honoured. He hath proposed to himself a great question. The soul is disturbed, the soul doth pass over things which are to pass away unto despising things earthly and to desiring things eternal. There is a passage of the soul herself in this thought; where she doth toss in a sort of tempest she will reach the harbour. And it is with her as it is with sick persons, who are less violently sick, when recovery is far off: when recovery is at hand they are in higher fever; physicians call it the "critical [3279] accession" through which they pass to health: greater fever is there, but leading to health: greater heat, but recovery is at hand. So also is this man enfevered. For these are dangerous words, brethren, offensive, and almost blasphemous, "How hath God known?" This is why I say, "and almost;" He hath not said, God hath not known: he hath not said, there is no knowledge in the Most High: but as if inquiring, hesitating, doubting. This is the same as he said a little before, "My steps were almost overthrown." [3280] He doth not affirm it, but the very doubt is dangerous. Through danger he is passing to health. Hear now the health: "Therefore in vain I have justified my heart, and have washed among the innocent my hands: and I have been scourged all the day long, and my chastening was in the morning." Chastening is correction. He that is being chastened is being corrected. What is, "in the morning"? It is not deferred. That of the ungodly is being deferred, mine is not deferred: the former is too late or is not at all; mine is in the morning.

16. "If I said, I shall declare thus; behold, the generation of Thy sons I have reprobated" (ver. 15): that is, I will teach thus. How wilt thou teach? that there is no knowledge in the Most High, that God doth not know? Wilt thou propound this opinion, that without cause men live justly who do live justly; that a just man hath lost his service, because God doth more show favour to evil men, or else He doth care for no one? Wilt thou tell this, declare this? He doth restrain himself by an authority repressing him. What authority? A man wisheth some time to break out in this sentiment: but he is recalled by the Scriptures directing us alway to live well, saying, that God doth care for things human, that He maketh a distinction between a godly man and an ungodly man. Therefore this man also wishing to put forth this sentiment, doth recollect himself. And what saith he? "I have reprobated the generation of Thy sons." If I shall declare thus, the generation of just men I shall reprobate. As also some copies have it, "Behold, the generation of thy sons with which I have been in concert:" that is, with which consisting of Thy sons I have been in concert; that is, with which I have agreed, to which I have been conformed: I have been out of time with all, if so I teach. For he doth sing in concert who giveth the tune together; but he that giveth not the tune together doth not sing in concert. Am I to say something different from that which Abraham said, from that which Isaac said, from that which Jacob said, from that which the Prophets said? For all they said that God doth care for things human, am I to say that He careth not? Is there greater wisdom in me than in them? Greater understanding in me than in them? A most wholesome authority hath called back his thought from ungodliness. And what followeth? That he might not reprobate, he did what? "And I undertook to know" (ver. 16). May God be with him in order that he may know. Meanwhile, brethren, from a great fall he is being withheld, when he doth not presume that he already knoweth, but hath undertaken to know that which he knew not. For but now he was willing to appear as if knowing, and to declare that God hath no care of things human. For this hath come to be a most naughty and ungodly doctrine of unrighteous men. Know, brethren, that many men dispute and say that God careth not for things human, that by chances all things are ruled, or that our wills have been made subject to the stars, that each one is not dealt with according to his deserts, but by the necessity of his stars,--an evil doctrine, an impious doctrine. Unto these thoughts was going that man whose feet were almost moved, and whose steps were all but overthrown, into this error he was going; but because he was not in tune with the generation of the sons of God, he undertook to know, and condemned the knowledge wherein with God's just men he agreed not. And what he saith let us hear; how that he undertook to know, and was helped, and learned something, and declared it to us. "And I undertook," he saith, "to know." "In this labour is before me." Truly a great labour; to know in what manner both God doth care for things human, and it is well with evil men, and good men labour. Great is the importance of the question; therefore, "and this labour is before me." As it were there is standing in my face a sort of wall, but thou hast the voice of a Psalm, "In my God I shall pass over the wall." [3281]

17. ...And he hath done this; for he saith how long labour is before him; "until I enter into the sanctuary of God, and understand upon the last things" (ver. 17). A great thing it is, brethren: now for a long time I labour, he saith, and before my face I see a sort of insuperable labour, to know in what manner both God is just, and doth care for things human, and is not unjust because men sinning and doing wicked actions have happiness on this earth; but the godly and men serving God are wasted ofttimes in trials and in labours; a great difficulty it is to know this, but only "until I enter into the Sanctuary of God." For in the Sanctuary what is presented to thee, in order that thou mayest solve this question? "And I understand," he saith, "upon the last things:" not present things. I, he saith, from the Sanctuary of God stretch out mine eye unto the end, I pass over present things. All that which is called the human race, all that mass of mortality is to come to the balance, is to come to the scale, thereon will be weighed the works of men. All things now a cloud doth enfold: but to God are known the merits of each severally. "And I understand," he saith, "upon the last things:" but not of myself; for before me there is labour. Whence "may I understand upon the last things"? Let me enter into the Sanctuary of God. In that place then he understood also the reason why these men now are happy.

18. To wit, "because of deceitfulness Thou hast set upon them" (ver. 18). Because deceitful they are, that is fraudulent; because deceitful they are, they suffer deceits. What is this, because fraudulent they are they suffer a fraud? They desire to play a fraud upon mankind in all their naughtinesses, they themselves also suffer a fraud, in choosing earthly good things, and in forsaking the eternal. Therefore, brethren, in their very playing off a fraud they suffer a fraud. In that which but now I said, brethren, "What manner of wit [3282] hath he who to gain a garment doth lose his fidelity?" hath he whose garment he hath taken suffered a fraud, or he that is smitten with so great a loss? If a garment is more precious than fidelity, the former doth suffer the greater loss: but if incomparably good faith doth surpass the whole world, the latter shall seem to have sustained the loss of a garment; but to the former is said, "What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his own soul?" [3283] Therefore what hath befallen them? "Because of deceitfulness Thou hast set for them: Thou didst throw them down while they were being exalted." He hath not said, Thou didst throw them down because they were lifted up: not as it were after that they were lifted up Thou didst throw them down; but in their very lifting up they were thrown down. For thus to be lifted up is already to fall.

19. "How have they become a desolation suddenly?" (ver. 19). He is wondering at them, understanding unto the last things. "They have vanished." Truly like smoke, which while it mounteth upward, doth vanish, so they have vanished. How doth he say, "They have vanished"? In the manner of one who understandeth the last things: "they have perished because of their iniquity." "Like as the dream of one rising up" (ver. 20). How have they vanished? As vanisheth the dream of one rising up. Fancy a man in sleep to have seen himself find treasures; he is a rich man, but only until he awaketh. "Like as the dream of one rising up:" so they have vanished, like the dream of one awaking. It is sought then and it is not: there is nothing in the hands, nothing in the bed. A poor man he went to sleep, a rich man in sleep he became: had he not awoke, he were a rich man: he woke up, he found the care which he had lost while sleeping. And these men shall find the misery which they had prepared for themselves. When they shall have awoke from this life, that thing doth pass away which was grasped as if in sleep. "Like as the dream of one rising up." And that there might not be said, "What then? a small thing doth their glory seem to thee, a small thing doth their state seem to thee, small things seem to thee inscriptions, images, statues, distinctions, troops of clients?" "O Lord," he saith, "in Thy city their image [3284] Thou shalt bring to nothing."...He hath taken away the pride of rich men, he giveth counsel. [3285] As if they [3286] were saying, We are rich men, thou dost forbid us to be proud, dost prohibit us from boasting of the parade of our riches: what then are we to do with these riches? Is it come to this, that there is nothing which they may do therewith? "Be they rich," he saith, "in good works; let them readily distribute, communicate." [3287] And what doth this profit? "Let them treasure unto themselves a good foundation for the future, that they may lay hold of true life." [3288] Where ought they to lay up treasure for themselves? In that place whereunto he set his eye, when entering into the Sanctuary of God. Let there shudder all our rich brethren, abounding in money, gold, silver, household, honours, let them shudder at that which but now hath been said, "Thou shalt bring to nothing their image." Are they not worthy to suffer these things, to wit that God bring to nothing their image in His city, because also they have themselves brought to nothing the image of God in their earthly city?

20. "Because my heart was delighted" (ver. 21). He is saying with what things he is tempted: "because my heart was delighted," he saith, "my reins also were changed." When those temporal things delighted me, my reins were changed. It may also be understood thus: "because my heart was delighted" in God, "my reins also were changed, that is, my lusts were changed, and I became wholly chaste. "My reins were changed." And hear how. "And I was brought unto nothing, and I knew not" (ver. 22). I, the very man, who now say these things of rich men, once longed for such things: therefore "even I was brought to nothing" when my steps were almost overthrown. "And I was brought unto nothing, and I knew not." We must not therefore despair even of them, against whom I was saying such things.

21. What is, "I knew not"? "As it were a beast I became to Thee, and I am alway with Thee" (ver. 23). There is a great difference between this man and others. He became as it were a beast in longing for earthly things, when being brought to nothing he knew not things eternal: but he departed not from his God, because he did not desire these things of demons, of the devil. For this I have already brought to your notice. The voice is from the Synagogue, that is, from that people which served not idols. A beast indeed I became, when desiring from my God things earthly: but I never departed from That my God.

22. Because then, though having become a beast, I departed not from my God, there followeth, "Thou hast held the hand of my right hand." He hath not said my right hand, but "the hand of my right hand." If the hand of the right hand it is, a hand hath a hand. "The hand Thou hast held of my right hand," in order that Thou mightest conduct me. For what hath he put hand? For power. For we say that a man hath that in his hand which he hath in his power: just as the devil said to God concerning Job, "Lay to Thine hand, and take away the things which he hath." [3289] What is, lay to Thine hand? Put [3290] forth power. The hand of God he hath called the power of God: as hath been written in another place, "death and life are in the hands of the tongue." [3291] Hath the tongue hands? But what is, in the hands of the tongue? In the power of the tongue. What is, in the power of the tongue? "Out of thy mouth thou shalt be justified, and out of thy mouth thou shalt be condemned." [3292] "Thou hast held," therefore, "the hand of my right hand," the power of my right hand. What was my right hand? That I was alway with Thee. Unto the left I was holding, because I became a beast, that is, because there was an earthly concupiscence in me: but the right was mine, because I was alway with thee. Of this my right hand Thou hast held the hand, that is, hast directed the power. What power? "He gave them power to become sons of God." [3293] He is beginning now to be among the sons of God, belonging to the New Testament. See in what manner the hand of his right hand was held. "In Thy will Thou hast conducted me." What is, "in thy will"? Not in my merits. What is, "in Thy will"? Hear the apostle, who was at first a beast longing for things earthly, and living after the Old Testament. He saith what? "I that at first was a blasphemer, and persecutor, and injurious: but mercy I obtained." [3294] What is, "in Thy will"? "By the grace of God I am what I am." [3295] "And in [3296] glory Thou hast taken me up." Now to what glory he was taken up, and in what glory, who can explain, who can say? Let us await it, because in the Resurrection it will be, in the last things it will be.

23. And he is beginning to think of that same Heavenly felicity, and to reprove himself, because he hath been a beast, and hath longed for things earthly. "For what have I in Heaven, and from Thee what have I willed upon earth?" (ver. 25). By your voice I see that ye have understood. [3297] He compared with his earthly will the heavenly reward which he is to receive; he saw what was there being reserved for him; and while thinking and burning at the thought of some ineffable thing, which neither eye hath seen, nor ear heard, nor into the heart of man hath ascended, [3298] he hath not said, this or that I have in Heaven, but, "what have I in Heaven?" What is that thing which I have in Heaven? What is it? How great is it? Of what sort is it? "And," since that which I have in heaven doth not pass away, "from Thee what have I willed upon earth?" [3299] ...Thou reservest, he saith, for me in Heaven riches immortal, even Thyself, and I have willed from Thee on earth that which even ungodly men have, which even evil men have, which even abandoned men have, money, gold, silver, jewels, households, which even many wicked men have: which even many profligate women have, many profligate men: these things as a great matter I have desired of my God upon earth: though my God reserveth Himself for me in Heaven!

24. "My heart and my flesh hath failed, O God of my heart" (ver. 26). This then for me in Heaven hath been reserved, "God of my heart, and my portion is my God." What is it, brethren? Let us find out our riches, let mankind choose their parts. Let us see men torn with diversity of desires: let some choose war-service, some advocacy, some divers and sundry offices of teaching, some merchandise, some farming, let them take their portions in human affairs: let the people of God cry, "my portion is my God." Not for a time "my portion;" but "my portion is my God for everlasting." Even if I alway have gold, what have I? Even if I did not alway have God, how great a good should I have? To this is added, that He promiseth Himself to me, and He promiseth that I shall have this for everlasting. So great a thing I have, and never have it not. Great felicity: "my portion is God!" How long? "For everlasting." For behold and see after what sort He hath loved him; He hath made his heart chaste: "God of my heart, and my portion is God for everlasting." His heart hath become chaste, for nought now God is loved, from Him is not sought any other reward. He that doth seek any other reward from God, and therefore is willing to serve God, more precious doth make that which he willeth to receive, than Him from whom he willeth to receive. What then, is there no reward belonging to God? None except Himself. The reward belonging to God, is God Himself. This he loveth, this he esteemeth; if any other thing he shall have loved, the love will not be chaste. Thou art receding from the Fire immortal, thou wilt grow cold, wilt be corrupted. Do not recede. Recede not, it will be thy corruption, it will be thy fornication. Now he is returning, now he is repenting, now he is choosing repentance, now he is saying, "my portion is God." And after what sort is he delighted with that Same, whom he hath chosen for his portion.

25. "Behold, they that put themselves afar from Thee shall perish" (ver. 27). He therefore departed from God, but not far: for "I have become as it were a beast," he saith, and "I am alway with Thee." [3300] But they have departed afar, because not only things earthly they have desired, but have sought them from demons and the Devil. "They that put themselves afar from Thee shall perish." And what is it, to become afar from God? "Thou hast destroyed every man that committeth fornication away from Thee." To this fornication is opposed chaste love. What is chaste love? Now the soul doth love her Bridegroom: what doth she require of Him, from Her Bridegroom whom she loveth? Perchance in like manner as women choose for themselves men either as sons-in-law or as bridegrooms: she perchance chooseth riches, and loveth his gold, and estates, and silver and cattle and horses, and household, and the like. Far be it. He doth love Him alone, for nought he doth love Him: because in Him he hath all things, for "by Him were made all things." [3301]

26. But thou doest what? "But for me to cleave to God is a good thing" (ver. 28). This is whole good. Will ye have more? I grieve at your willing. Brethren, what will ye have more? Than to cleave to God nothing is better, when we shall see Him face to face. [3302] But now what? For yet as a stranger I am speaking: "to cleave," he saith, "to God is a good thing:" but now in my sojourning (for not yet hath come the substance), I have "to put in God my hope." So long therefore as thou hast not yet cloven, therein put thy hope. Thou art wavering, cast forward an anchor to the land. [3303] Not yet dost thou cleave by presence, cleave fast by hope. "To put in God my hope." And by doing what here wilt thou put in God thy hope? What will be thy business, but to praise Him whom thou lovest, and to make others to be fellow-lovers of Him with thee? Lo, if thou shouldest love a charioteer, wouldest thou not carry along other men to love him with thee? A lover of a charioteer whithersoever he goeth doth speak of him, in order that as well as he others also may love him. For nought are loved abandoned men, and from God is reward required in order that He may be loved? Love thou God for nought, grudge God to no one....For what followeth? "In order that I may tell forth all Thy praises in the courts of the daughter of Sion." "In the courts:" for the preaching of God beside the Church is vain. A small thing it is to praise God and to tell forth all His praise. In the courts of the daughter of Sion tell thou forth. Make for unity, do not divide the people; but draw them unto one, and make them one. I have forgotten how long I have been speaking. Now the Psalm being ended, even judging by this closeness, [3304] I suppose I have held a long discourse: but it doth not suffice for your zeal; ye are too impetuous. [3305] O that with this impetuosity ye would seize upon the kingdom of Heaven.


[3250] Lat. LXXII. [3251] This sentence in our version and in the Vulgate stands at the end of the previous Psalm. [Where it is more significant. David can prophesy no further concerning the glory that shall be revealed. See A.N.F. vol. i. p. 211, note 3.--C.] [3252] Title of Psalm lxxiii. [3253] 1 Sam. xvi. 19. [3254] Isa. xi. 1. [3255] Gen. xxiv. 2. [See p. 148, note 11, supra.--C.] [3256] Gen. xxii. 18. [3257] Rom. xi. 17, 18. [3258] Ben. notes that the word "good" is not in the mss.; it is found at Oxford, and probably in mss. used for earlier editions. [3259] Rom. xi. 24, 18. [3260] [i.e., Joshua the son of Nun.--C.] [3261] See Title of Psalm. [3262] Ps. xxix. 1, Gr. and Lat. [3263] Oxf. mss. add, "not which," etc. [3264] 1 Cor. x. 6. [3265] Ps. xviii. 25. [3266] Prov. vii. 22. [3267] Ed. in teipso; Ben. conj. and Oxf. mss. in teipsum. [3268] The words from "this beggar," added from Oxf. mss. [3269] [See A.N.F. vol. vii. p. 151.--C.] [3270] Luke xvi. 19. [3271] Al. "father." [3272] Luke xvi. 27. [3273] Used, of course, in the lower sense. [The sense, i.e., of mere attrition. See Roman doctrine, Liguori, vol. iv. p. 245, ed. Paris, 1852.--C.] [3274] Oxf. mss. and some of Ben. "Thou proud man, thou," etc. [3275] Ps. cxlvi. 4. [3276] Oxf. and other mss. "proud things." [3277] Gal. iv. 4. [3278] mss. want "therefore." [3279] mss. creticam. [3280] Ps. lxxiii. 2. [3281] Ps. xviii. 29. [3282] Cor. [3283] Matt. xvi. 26. [3284] Oxf. mss. "images." [3285] [He uses the word ferimus in the omitted paragraph.--C.] He seems to mean, that such teaching, addressed to any one in common intercourse, would be "smiting." [3286] Oxf. mss. "the rich." [3287] 1 Tim. vi. 18. [3288] 1 Tim. vi. 19. [3289] Job i. 11. [3290] Lit. "give." [3291] Prov. xviii. 21. [3292] Matt. xii. 37. [3293] John i. 12. [3294] 1 Tim. i. 13. [3295] 1 Cor. xv. 10. [3296] So mss.; Ben. "with." [3297] [Here there were voluntary "amens," or the like, from the people. See p. 207, supra.--C.] [3298] 1 Cor. ii. 9. [3299] [Here he interpolates: "I will speak as I am able, but forgive me; accept my endeavour, mine earnestness to attempt; for to explain it I have not power."--C.] [3300] Ps. lxxiii. 21. [3301] John i. 3. [3302] 1 Cor. xiii. 12. [3303] Oxf. mss. "Wavering, from the earth cast an anchor before thee upward." [3304] Odore, lit. "smell;" one ms. ardore, "heat;" Ben. conj. sudore. [3305] [P. 341, note 4, supra.--C.] .

Psalm LXXIV. [3306]

1. This Psalm's Title is, "Of the Understanding of Asaph." Asaph in Latin is translated congregation, in Greek Synagogue. Let us see what this Synagogue hath understood. But let us understand firstly Synagogue: from thence we shall understand what the Synagogue hath understood. Every congregation is spoken of under the general name of Synagogue: one both of beasts and of men may be called a congregation; but here there is no congregation of beasts when we heard "understanding."...for this the Psalm's Title doth prescribe, saying, "Of the understanding of Asaph." It is therefore a certain understanding congregation whereof we are about to hear the voice. But since properly Synagogue is said of the congregation of the people of Israel, so that wheresoever we may have heard Synagogue, we are no longer wont to understand any but the people of the Jews; let us see whether perchance the voice in this Psalm be not of that same people. But of what sort of Jews and of what sort of people of Israel? For they are not of the chaff, but perchance of the grain; [3307] not of the broken branches, but perchance of those that are strengthened. "For not all that are of Israel are Israelites." [3308] ...There are therefore certain Israelites, of whom was he concerning whom was said, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom guile is not." [3309] I do not say in the same manner as we are Israelites, for we also are the seed of Abraham. For to the Gentiles the Apostle was speaking, when he said, "Therefore the seed of Abraham ye are, heirs according to promise." [3310] According to this therefore all we are Israelites, that follow the footsteps of the faith of our father Abraham. But let us understand here the voice of the Israelites in the same manner as the Apostle saith, "For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin." [3311] Here therefore let us understand that whereof the Prophets have spoken, "a remnant shall be saved." [3312] Of the remnant therefore saved let us hear in this place the voice; in order that there may speak that Synagogue which had received the Old Testament, and was intent upon carnal promises; and by this means it came to pass that their feet were shaken. For in another Psalm, where too the title hath Asaph, there is said what? "How good is the God of Israel to men right in heart. But my feet were almost moved." [3313] And as if we were saying, whence were thy feet moved? "Well nigh," he saith, "my steps were overthrown, because I was jealous in the case of sinners, looking on the peace of sinners." [3314] For while according to the promises of God belonging to the Old Testament he was looking for earthly felicity, he observed it to abound with ungodly men; that they who worshipped not God were enriched with those things which he was looking for from God: and as though without cause he had served God, his feet tottered....But opportunely it hath chanced not by our own but by God's dispensation, that just now we heard out of the Gospel, that "the Law was given by Moses, Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ." [3315] For if we distinguish between the two Testaments, Old and New, there are not the same Sacraments [3316] nor the same promises; [3317] nevertheless, the same commandments [3318] for the most part....When examined they are either all found to be the same, or there are scarce any in the Gospel which have not been spoken by the Prophets. The Commandments are the same, the Sacraments are not the same, the Promises are not the same. Let us see wherefore the commandments are the same; because according to these we ought to serve God. The Sacraments are not the same, for some Sacraments there are giving Salvation, others promising a Saviour. The Sacraments of the New Testament give Salvation, the Sacraments of the Old Testament did promise a Saviour. [3319] When therefore thou hast now the things promised, why dost thou seek the things promising, having now the Saviour?...God through the New Testament hath taken out of the hands of His sons those things which are like the playthings of boys, in order that He might give something more useful to them growing up, on that account must He be supposed not to have given those former things Himself. He gave both Himself. But the Law itself through Moses was given, Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ: [3320] Grace because there is fulfilled through love that which by the letter was being enjoined, Truth because there is being rendered that which was promised. This thing therefore this Asaph hath understood. In a word, all things which to the Jews had been promised have been taken away. Where is their kingdom? Where the Temple? Where the Anointing? Where is Priest? Where are now the Prophets among them? From what time there came He that by the Prophets was foretold, in that nation there is now nothing of these things; now she hath lost things earthly, and not yet doth seek things Heavenly.

2. Thou shouldest not therefore hold fast things earthly, although God doth bestow them....See ye how that in fearing to lose things earthly, the Jews slew the King of Heaven. And what was done to them? They lost even those very things earthly: and in the place where they slew Christ, there they were slain: and when, being unwilling to lose the land, they slew the Giver of life, that same land being slain they lost; and at that very time when they slew Him, in order that by that very time they might be admonished of the reason wherefore they suffered these things. For when the city of the Jews was overthrown, they were celebrating the Passover, and with many thousands of men the whole nation itself had met together for the celebration of that festival. [3321] In that place God (through evil men indeed, but yet Himself good; through unjust men, but Himself just and justly) did so take vengeance upon them, that there were slain many thousands of men, and the city itself was overthrown. Of this thing in this Psalm "the understanding of Asaph" doth complain, and in the very plaint the understanding as it were doth distinguish things earthly from things heavenly, doth distinguish the Old Testament from the New Testament: in order that thou mayest see through what things thou art passing, what thou shouldest look for, what to forsake, to what to cleave. Thus then he beginneth.

3. "Wherefore hast Thou repelled us, O God, unto the end?" (ver. 1). "Hast repelled unto the end," in the person of the congregation which is properly called Synagogue. "Wherefore hast Thou repelled us, O God, unto the end?" He censureth not, but inquireth "wherefore," for what purpose, because of what hast Thou done this? What hast Thou done? "Thou hast repelled us unto the end." What is, "unto the end"? Perchance even unto the end of the world. Hast Thou repelled us unto Christ, who is the End to every one believing? [3322] For, "Wherefore hast Thou repelled us, O God, unto the end?" "Thy spirit [3323] hath been wroth at the sheep of Thy flock." Wherefore wast Thou wroth at the sheep of Thy flock, but because to things earthly we were cleaving, and the Shepherd we knew not?

4. "Remember Thou Thy congregation, which Thou hast possessed from the beginning" (ver. 2). Can this by any means be the voice of the Gentiles? Hath He possessed the Gentiles from the beginning? Nay, but He hath possessed the seed of Abraham, the people of Israel even according to the flesh, born of the Patriarchs our fathers: of whom we have become the sons, not by coming out of their flesh, but by imitating their faith. But those, possessed by God from the beginning, what befell them? "Remember Thy congregation which Thou hast possessed from the beginning. Thou hast redeemed the rod of Thine inheritance." That same congregation of Thine, being the rod of Thine inheritance, Thou hast redeemed. This same congregation he hath called "the rod of the inheritance." Let us look back to the first thing that was done, when He willed to possess that same congregation, delivering it from Egypt, what sign He gave to Moses, when Moses said to Him, "What sign shall I give that they may believe me, that Thou hast sent me? And God saith to him, What dost thou bear in thine hand? A rod. Cast it on to the ground," etc. [3324] What doth it intimate? For this was not done to no purpose. Let us inquire of the writings of God. To what did the serpent persuade man? To death. [3325] Therefore death is from the serpent. If death is from the serpent, the rod in the serpent is Christ in death. [3326] Therefore also when by serpents in the desert they were being bitten and being slain, the Lord commanded Moses to exalt a brazen serpent in the desert, and admonish the people that whosoever by a serpent had been bitten, should look thereupon and be made whole. [3327] Thus also it was done: thus also men, bitten by serpents, were made whole of the venom by looking upon a serpent. [3328] To be made whole of a serpent is a great Sacrament. What is it to be made whole of a serpent by looking upon a serpent? It is to be made whole of death by believing in one dead. And nevertheless Moses feared and fled. [3329] What is it that Moses fled from that serpent? What, brethren, save that which we know to have been done in the Gospel? Christ died and the disciples feared, and withdrew from that hope wherein they had been. [3330] ...But, at that time some thousands of the Jews themselves, the crucifiers of Christ, believed: and because they had been found at hand, they so believed as that they sold all that they had, and the price of their goods before the feet of the Apostles they laid. [3331] Because then this thing was hidden, and the redemption of the rod of God was to be more conspicuous in the Gentiles: he explaineth of what he saith that which he hath said, "Thou hast redeemed the rod of Thine inheritance." This he hath said not of the Gentiles in whom it was evident. But of what? "Mount Sion." Yet even Mount Sion can be otherwise understood. "That one which [3332] Thou hast dwelled in the same." In the place where the People was aforetime, where the Temple was set up, where the Sacrifices were celebrated, where at that time were all those necessary things giving promise of Christ. A promise, when the thing promised is bestowed is now become superfluous....

5. "Lift up Thine hand upon their pride at the end" (ver. 3). As Thou didst repel us at the end, so "lift up Thine hand upon the pride of them at the end." The pride of whom? Of those by whom Jerusalem was overthrown. But by whom was it, but by the kings of the Gentiles? Well was the hand of Him lifted up upon the pride of them at the end: for they too have now known Christ. "For the end of the Law is Christ for righteousness to every one believing." [3333] How well doth he wish for them! As if angry he is speaking, and he is seeming to speak evil: [3334] and O that there would come to pass the evil which he speaketh: nay now in the name of Christ that it is coming to pass let us rejoice. Now they holding the sceptre are being made subject to the Word of the Cross: now is coming to pass that which was foretold, "there shall adore Him all the kings of the earth, all nations shall serve Him." [3335] Now on the brows of kings more precious is the sign of the Cross, than the jewel of a crown. "Lift up Thine hand upon the pride of them at the end. How great things hath the enemy of malice wrought in Thy holy places!" In those which were Thy holy places, that is, in the temple, in the priesthood, in all those sacraments which were at that time. In good sooth the enemy at that time wrought. For the Gentiles at that time who did this, were worshipping false Gods, were adoring idols, were serving demons: nevertheless they wrought many evil things on the Saints of God. When could they if they had not been permitted? But when would they have been permitted, unless those holy things, at first promised, were no longer necessary, when He that had promised was Himself holden? Therefore, "how great things hath the enemy of malice wrought in Thy holy places!"

6. "And all they have boasted, that hate Thee" (ver. 4). Observe the servants of demons, the servants of idols: such as at that time the Gentiles were, when they overthrew the temple and city of God, "and they boasted." "In the midst of Thy festival." Remember what I said, that Jerusalem was overthrown at the time when the very festival was being celebrated: at which festival they crucified the Lord. Gathered together they raged, gathered together they perished. "They have set signs, their own signs, and they have not known" (ver. 5). They had signs to place there, their standards, their eagles, their own dragons, the Roman signs; or even their statues which at first in the temple they placed; or perchance "their signs" are the things which they heard from the prophets of their demons. "And they have not known." Have not known what? How "thou shouldest have had no power against Me, except it had been given thee from above." [3336] They knew not how that not on themselves honour was conferred, to afflict, to take, or overthrow the city, but their ungodliness was made as it were the axe of God. They were made the instrument of Him enraged, not so as to be the kingdom of Him pacified. For God doth that which a man also ofttime doth. Sometimes a man in a rage catcheth up a rod lying in the way, perchance any sort of stick, he smiteth therewith his son, and then throweth the stick into the fire and reserveth the inheritance for his son: so sometime God through evil men doth instruct good men, and through the temporal power of them that are to be condemned He worketh the discipline of them that are to be saved. For why do you suppose, brethren, that discipline was even thus inflicted upon that nation, in order that it might perish utterly? How many out of this nation did afterwards believe, how many are yet to believe? Some are chaff, others grain; over both however there cometh in the threshing-drag; but under one threshing-drag the one is broken up, the other is purged. How great a good hath God bestowed upon us by the evil of Judas the traitor! By the very ferocity of the Jews how great a good was bestowed upon believing Gentiles! Christ was slain in order that there might be on the Cross One for him to look to who had been stung by the serpent. [3337] ...

7. Now let us hasten over the verses following after the destruction of Jerusalem, for the reason that they are both evident, and it doth not please me to tarry over the punishment even of enemies. "As if in a forest of trees with axes, they have cut down the doors thereof at once; with mattock and hammer they have thrown Her down" (ver. 6). That is, conspiring together, with firm determination, "with mattock and hammer" they have thrown Her down. "They have burned with fire Thy Sanctuary, they have defiled on the ground the Tabernacle of Thy name" (ver. 7).

8. "They have said in their heart (the kindred of them is in one)"--Have said what? "Come ye, let us suppress the solemnities of the Lord from the land" (ver. 8). "Of the Lord," hath been inserted in the person of this man, that is, in the person of Asaph. For they raging would not have called Him the Lord whose temple they were overthrowing. "Come ye, let us suppress all the solemnities of the Lord from the land." What of Asaph? What understanding hath Asaph in these words? What? Doth he not profit even by the discipline accorded? Is not the mind's crookedness made straight? Overthrown were all things that were at first: nowhere is there priest, nowhere Altar of the Jews, nowhere victim, nowhere Temple. Is there then no other thing to be acknowledged which succeeded this departing? Or indeed would this promissory sign have been taken away, unless there had come that which was being promised? Let us see therefore in this place now the understanding of Asaph, let us see if he profiteth by tribulation. Observe what he saith: "Our signs we have not seen, no longer is there prophet, and us He will not know as yet" (ver. 9). Behold those Jews who say that they are not known as yet, that is, that they are yet in captivity, that not yet they are delivered, do yet expect Christ. Christ will [3338] come, but He will come as Judge; the first time to call, afterwards to sever. He will come, because He hath come, [3339] and that He will come is evident; but hereafter from above He will come. Before thee He was, O Israel. Thou wast bruised because thou didst stumble against Him lying down: that thou mayest not be ground to powder, observe Him coming from above. For thus it was foretold by the prophet: "Whoever shall stumble upon that stone shall be bruised, and upon whomsoever it shall have come, it shall grind him to powder." [3340] He doth bruise when little, He shall grind to powder when great. Now thy signs thou seest not, now there is no prophet: and thou sayest, "and us He will not know as yet:" because yourselves know not Him as yet. "No longer is there a prophet; and us He will not know as yet."

9. "How long, O God, shall the enemy revile?" (ver. 10). Cry out as if forsaken, as if deserted: cry out like a sick man, who hast chosen rather to smite the physician than to be made whole: not as yet doth He know thee. See what He hath done, who doth not know thee as yet. For they to whom there hath been no preaching of Him, shall see; and they that have not heard shall understand: and thou yet criest out, "No longer is there a prophet, and us He will not know as yet." [3341] Where is thine understanding? "The adversary doth provoke Thy name at the end." [3342] For this purpose the adversary doth provoke Thy name at the end, that being provoked Thou mayest reprove, reproving Thou mayest know them at the end: or certainly, "at the end," in the sense of even unto the end.

10. "Wherefore dost Thou turn away Thine hand, and Thy right hand from the midst of Thy bosom unto the end?" (ver. 11). Again, another sign which was given to Moses. For in like manner as above from the rod was a sign, so also from the right hand now. For when that thing had been done concerning the rod, God gave a second sign: "thrust," He saith, "thine hand into thy bosom, and he thrust it: draw it forth, and he drew it forth: and it was found white," [3343] that is, unclean. For whiteness on the skin is leprosy, [3344] not fairness of complexion. For the heritage of God itself, that is, His people, being cast out became unclean. But what saith He to him? Draw it back into thy bosom. He drew it back, and it was restored to its own colour. When doest Thou this, saith this Asaph? How long dost Thou alienate Thy right hand from Thy bosom, so that being without unclean it remaineth? Draw it back, let it return to its colour, let it acknowledge the Saviour. "Wherefore dost thou turn away Thine hand, and Thy right hand from the midst of Thy bosom unto the end?" These words he crieth, being blind, not understanding, and God doeth what He doeth. For wherefore came Christ? "Blindness in part happened unto Israel, in order that the fulness of the Gentiles might enter in, and so all Israel might be saved." [3345] Therefore now, O Asaph, acknowledge that which hath gone before, in order that thou mayest at least follow, if thou wast not [3346] able to go before. For not in vain came Christ, or in vain was Christ slain, or in vain did the corn fall into the ground; but it fell that it might rise manifold. [3347] A serpent was lifted up in the desert, in order that it might cure of the poison him that was smitten. [3348] Observe what was done. Do not think it to be a vain thing that He came: lest He find thee evil, when He shall have come a second time.

11. Asaph hath understood, because on the Title of the Psalm there is, "understanding of Asaph." And what saith he? "But God, our King before the worlds, hath wrought Salvation in the midst of the earth" (ver. 12). On the one hand we cry, "No longer is there prophet, and us He will not know as yet:" [3349] but on the other hand, "our God, our King, who is before the worlds" (for He is Himself in the beginning of the Word [3350] by whom were made the worlds), "hath wrought Salvation in the midst of the earth." "God therefore, our King before the worlds," hath done what? "hath wrought Salvation in the midst of the earth:" and I am yet crying as if forsaken!...Now the Gentiles are awake, and we are snoring, and as though God hath forsaken us, in dreams we are delirious. "He hath wrought Salvation in the midst of the earth."

12. Now therefore, O Asaph, amend thyself according to thy understanding, tell us what sort of Salvation God hath wrought in the midst of the earth. When that earthly Salvation of yours was overthrown, what did He do, what did He promise? "Thou didst confirm in Thy virtue the sea" (ver. 13). As though the nation of the Jews were as it were dry land severed from the waves, the Gentiles in their bitterness were the sea, and on all sides they washed about that land: behold, "Thou hast confirmed in Thy virtue the sea," and the land remained thirsting for Thy rain. "Thou hast confirmed in Thy virtue the sea, Thou hast broken in pieces the heads of dragons in the water." Dragons' heads, that is, demons' pride, wherewith the Gentiles were possessed, Thou hast broken in pieces upon the water: for those persons whom they were possessing, Thou by Baptism hast delivered.

13. What more after the heads of dragons? For those dragons have their chief, and he is himself the first great dragon. And concerning him what hath He done that hath wrought Salvation in the midst of the earth? Hear: "Thou hast broken the head of the dragon" (ver. 14). Of what dragon? We understand by dragons all the demons that war under the devil: what single dragon then, whose head was broken, but the devil himself ought we to understand? What with him hath He done? "Thou hast broken the head of the dragon." That is, the beginning of sin. That head is the part which received the curse, to wit that the seed of Eve should mark the head of the serpent. [3351] For the Church was admonished to shun the beginning of sin. Which is that beginning of sin, like the head of a serpent? The beginning of all sin is pride. [3352] There hath been broken therefore the head of the dragon, hath been broken pride diabolical. And what with him hath He done, that hath wrought Salvation in the midst of the earth? "Thou hast given him for a morsel to the Ethiopian peoples." What is this? How do I understand the Ethiopian peoples? How but by these all nations? And properly by black men: for Ethiopians are black. They are themselves called to the faith who were black; the very same indeed, so that there is said to them, "for ye were sometime darkness, but now light in the Lord." [3353] ...Thence was also that calf which the people worshipped, unbelieving, apostate, seeking the gods of the Egyptians, forsaking Him who had delivered them from the slavery of the Egyptians: whence there was enacted that great Sacrament. For when Moses was thus wroth with them worshipping and adoring the idol, [3354] and, inflamed with zeal for God, was punishing temporally, in order that he might terrify them to shun death everlasting; yet the head itself of the calf he cast into the fire, and ground to powder, destroyed, strawed on the water, and gave to the people to drink: so there was enacted a great Sacrament. O anger prophetic, and mind not perturbed but enlightened! He did what? Cast it into the fire, in order that first the form itself may be obliterated; piece by piece grind it down, in order that little by little it may be consumed: cast it into the water, give to the people to drink! What is this but that the worshippers of the devil were become the body of the same? In the same manner as men confessing Christ become the Body of Christ; so that to them is said, "but ye are the Body of Christ and the members." [3355] The body of the devil was to be consumed, and that too by Israelites was to be consumed. For out of that people were the Apostles, out of that people the first Church....Thus the devil is being consumed with the loss of his members. This was figured also in the serpent of Moses. For the magicians did likewise, and casting down their rods they exhibited serpents: but the serpent of Moses swallowed up the rods of all those magicians. [3356] Let there be perceived therefore even now the body of the devil: this is what is coming to pass, he is being devoured by the Gentiles who have believed, he hath become meat for the Ethiopian peoples. This again, may be perceived in, "Thou hast given him for meat to the Ethiopian peoples," how that now all men bite him. What is, bite him? By reproving, blaming, accusing. Just as hath been said, by way of prohibition indeed, but yet the idea expressed: "but if ye bite and eat up one another, take heed that ye be not consumed of one another." [3357] What is, bite and eat up one another? Ye go to law with one another, ye detract from one another, ye heap revilings upon one another. Observe therefore now how that with these bitings the devil is being consumed. What man, when angry with his servant, even a heathen, would not say to him, Satan? [3358] Behold the devil given for meat. This saith Christian, this saith Jew, this saith heathen: [3359] him he worshippeth, and with him he curseth!...

14. "Thou hast cleft the fountains and torrents" (ver. 15): in order that they might flow with the stream of wisdom, might flow with the riches of the faith, might water the saltness of the Gentiles, in order that they might convert all unbelievers into the sweetness of the faith by their watering....In some men the Word of God becometh a well of water springing up unto life eternal; [3360] but others hearing the Word, and not so keeping it as that they live well, yet not keeping silence with tongue, they become torrents. For they are properly called torrents which are not perennial: for sometimes also in a secondary sense torrent is used for river: as hath been said, "with the torrent of Thy pleasures Thou shalt give them to drink." [3361] For that torrent shall not ever be dried up. But torrents properly are those rivers named, which in summer fail, but with winter rains are flooded and run. Thou seest therefore a man sound in faith, that will persevere even unto the end, that will not forsake God in any trial; for the sake of the truth, not for the sake of falsehood and error, enduring all difficulties. Whence is this man so vigorous, but because the Word hath become in him a well of water springing up unto life eternal? [3362] But the other receiveth the Word, he preacheth, he is not silent, he runneth: but summer proveth whether he be fountain or torrent. Nevertheless through both be the earth watered, by Him who hath wrought Salvation in the midst of the earth: let the fountains overflow, let the torrents run.

15. "Thou hast dried up the rivers of Etham" (ver. 15)....What is Etham? For the word is Hebrew. What is Etham interpreted? Strong, stout. Who is this strong and stout one, whose rivers God drieth up? Who but that very dragon? For "no one entereth into the house of a strong man that he may spoil his vessels, unless first he shall have bound fast the strong man." [3363] This is that strong man on his own virtue relying, and forsaking God: this is that strong man, who saith, "I will set my seat by the north, and I will be like the Most High." [3364] Out of that very cup of perverse strength he hath given man to drink. Strong they willed to be, who thought that they would be Gods by means of the forbidden food. Adam became strong, over whom was reproachfully said, "Behold, Adam hath become like one of us." [3365] ...As though they were strong, "to the righteousness of God they have not been made subject." [3366] Observe ye that a man hath put out of the way his own strength, and remained weak, needy, standing afar off, not daring even to raise his eyes to Heaven; but smiting his breast, and saying, "O Lord, merciful be Thou to me a sinner." [3367] Now he is weak, now he confesseth his weakness, he is not strong: dry land he is, be he watered with fountains and torrents. They are as yet strong who rely on their own virtue. Be their rivers dried up, let there be no advancement in the doctrines of the Gentiles, of wizards, of astrologers, of magic arts: for dried up are the rivers of the strong man: "Thou hast dried up the rivers of Etham." Let there dry up that doctrine; let minds be flooded with the Gospel of truth.

16. "Thine own is the day and Thine own is the night" (ver. 16). Who is ignorant of this, seeing that He hath Himself made all these things; for by the Word were made all things? [3368] To that very One Himself who hath wrought Salvation in the midst of the earth, to Him is said, "Thine own is the night." Something here we ought to perceive which belongeth to that very Salvation which He hath wrought in the midst of the earth. "Thine own is the day." Who are these? The spiritual. "And Thine own is the night." Who are these? The carnal...."Thou hast made perfect sun and moon:" the sun, spiritual men, the moon, carnal men. As yet carnal he is, may he not be forsaken, and may he too be made perfect. The sun, as it were a wise man: the moon, as it were an unwise man: Thou hast not however forsaken. For thus it is written, "A wise man endureth as the sun, but a foolish man as the moon is changed." [3369] What then? Because the sun endureth, that is, because the wise man endureth as the sun, a foolish man is changed like the moon, is one as yet carnal, as yet unwise, to be forsaken? And where is that which hath been said by the Apostle, "To the wise and unwise a debtor I am"? [3370]

17. "Thou hast made all the ends of the earth" (ver. 17)....Behold in what manner He hath made the ends of the earth, that hath wrought Salvation in the midst of the earth. "Thou hast made all the ends of the earth. Summer and spring Thou hast made them." Men fervent in the Spirit are the summer. Thou, I say, hast made men fervent in the Spirit: Thou hast made also the novices in the Faith, they are the "spring." "Summer and Spring Thou hast made them." They shall not glory as if they have not received: "Thou hast made them."

18. "Mindful be Thou of this Thy creature" (ver. 18). Of what creature of Thine? "The enemy hath reviled the Lord." O Asaph, grieve over thine old blindness in understanding: "the enemy hath reviled the Lord." It was said to Christ in His own nation, "a sinner is this Man: we know not whence He is:" we know Moses, to him spake God; this Man is a Samaritan. [3371] "And the unwise people hath provoked Thy name." The unwise people Asaph was at that time, but not the understanding of Asaph at that time. What is said in the former Psalm? "As it were a beast I have become unto Thee, and I am alway with Thee:" [3372] because He went not to the gods and idols of the Gentiles. Although he knew not, being like a beast, yet he knew again as a man. For he said, "alway I am with Thee, like a beast:" and what afterwards in that place in the same Psalm, where Asaph is? "Thou hast held the hand of my right hand, in Thy will Thou hast conducted me, and with glory Thou hast taken me up." [3373] In Thy will, not in my righteousness: by Thy gift, not by my work. Therefore here also, "the enemy hath reviled the Lord: and the unwise people hath provoked Thy name." Have they all then perished? Far be it....For even the Apostle Paul through unbelief had been broken, and through faith unto the root he was restored. So evidently "the unwise people provoked Thy name," when it was said, "If Son of God He is let Him come down from the Cross." [3374]

19. But what sayest thou, O Asaph, now in understanding? "Deliver not to the beasts a soul confessing to Thee" (ver. 19)....To what beasts, save to those the heads whereof were broken in pieces upon the water? For the same devil is called, beast, lion, and dragon. Do not, he saith, give to the Devil and his Angels a soul confessing to Thee. Let the serpent devour, if still I mind things earthly, if for things earthly I long, if still in the promises of the Old Testament, after the revealing of the New, I remain. But forasmuch as now I have laid down pride, and my own righteousness I will not acknowledge, but Thy Grace; against me let proud beasts have no power. "The souls of Thy poor forget Thou not unto the end." Rich we were, strong we were: but Thou hast dried up the rivers of Etham: no longer we establish our own righteousness, but we acknowledge Thy Grace; poor we are, hearken to Thy beggars. Now we do not dare to lift our eyes to Heaven, but smiting our breasts we say, "O Lord, be Thou merciful to me a sinner." [3375]

20. "Have regard unto Thy Testament" [3376] (ver. 20). Fulfil that which Thou hast promised: the tables we have, for the inheritance we are looking. "Have regard unto Thy Testament," not that old one: not for the sake of the land of Canaan I ask, not for the sake of the temporal subduing of enemies, not for the sake of carnal fruitfulness of sons, not for the sake of earthly riches, not for the sake of temporal welfare: "Have regard unto Thy Testament," wherein Thou hast promised the kingdom of Heaven. Now I acknowledge Thy Testament: now understanding is Asaph, no beast is Asaph, now he seeth that which was spoken of, "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, and I will accomplish with the House of Israel and of Juda a new Testament, not after the Testament which I ordered [3377] with their Fathers." [3378] "Have regard unto Thy Testament: for they that have been darkened have been filled of the earth of unrighteous houses:" because they had unrighteous hearts. Our "houses" are our hearts: therein gladly dwell they that are blessed with pure heart. [3379] "Have regard," therefore, "unto Thy Testament:" and let the remnant be saved: [3380] for many men that give heed to earth are darkened, and filled with earth. For there hath entered into their eyes dust, and it hath blinded them, and they have become dust which the wind sweepeth from the face of the earth. [3381] "They that have been darkened have been filled of the earth of unrighteous houses." For by giving heed to earth they have been darkened, concerning whom there is said in another Psalm, "Let their eyes be blinded, that they see not, and their back ever bow Thou down." [3382] With earth, then, "they that have been darkened have been filled, with the earth of unrighteous houses:" because they have unrighteous hearts....

21. "Let not the humble man be turned away confounded" (ver. 21). For them pride hath confounded. "The needy and helpless man shall praise Thy name." Ye see, brethren, how sweet ought to be poverty: ye see that poor and helpless men belong to God, but "poor in spirit, for of them is the Kingdom of Heaven." [3383] Who are the poor in spirit? The humble, men trembling at the words of God, confessing their sins, neither on their own merits, nor on their own righteousness relying. Who are the poor in spirit? They who when they do anything of good, praise God, when anything of evil, accuse themselves. "Upon whom shall rest My Spirit," saith the Prophet, "but upon the humble man, and peaceful, and trembling at My words?" [3384] Now therefore Asaph hath understood, now to the earth he adhereth not, now the earthly promises out of the Old Testament he requireth not....

22. "Arise, O Lord, judge Thou my cause" [3385] (ver. 22)....Because I am not able to show my God, as if I were following an empty thing, they revile me. And not only Heathen, or Jew, or heretic; but sometimes even a Catholic brother doth make a grimace when the promises of God are being preached, when a future resurrection is being foretold. [3386] And still even he, though already washed with the water of eternal Salvation, bearing the Sacrament of Christ, perchance saith, "and what man hath yet risen again?" And, "I have not heard my father speaking out of the grave, since I buried him!" "God hath given to His servants a law for time, to which [3387] let them betake themselves: for what man cometh back from beneath?" And what shall I do with such men? Shall I show them what they see not? I am not able: for not for the sake of them ought God to become visible....I see not, he saith: what am I to believe? Thy soul is seen then, I suppose? Fool, thy body is seen: thy soul who doth see? Since therefore thy body alone is seen, why art thou not buried? He marvelleth that I have said, If body alone is seen, why art thou not buried? And he answereth (for he knoweth as much as this), Because I am alive. How know I that thou art alive, of whom I see not the soul? How know I? Thou wilt answer, Because I speak, because I walk, because I work. Fool, by the operations of the body I know thee to be living, by the works of creation canst thou not know the Creator? And perchance he that saith, when I shall be dead, afterwards I shall be nothing; hath both learned letters, and hath learned this doctrine from Epicurus, who was a sort of doting philosopher, or rather lover of folly not of wisdom, whom even the philosophers themselves have named the hog: who said that the "chief good" was pleasure of body; this philosopher they [3388] have named the hog, wallowing in carnal mire. From him perchance this lettered man hath learned to say, I shall not be, after I have died. Dried be the rivers of Etham! Perish those doctrines of the Gentiles, flourish the plantations of Jerusalem! Let them see what they can, in heart believe what they cannot see! Certainly all those things which throughout the world now are seen, when God was working Salvation in the midst of the earth, when those things were being spoken of, they were not then as yet: and behold at that time they were foretold, now they are shown as fulfilled, and still the fool saith in his heart, "there is no God." [3389] Woe to the perverse hearts: for so will there come to pass the things which remain, as there have come to pass the things which at that time were not, and were being foretold as to come to pass. Hath God indeed performed [3390] to us all the things which He promised, and concerning the Day of Judgment alone hath He deceived us? Christ was not on the earth; He promised, He hath performed: no virgin had conceived; He promised, He hath performed: the precious Blood had not been shed whereby there should be effaced the handwriting of our death; He promised, He hath performed: not yet had flesh risen again unto life eternal; He promised, He hath performed: not yet had the Gentiles believed; He promised, He hath performed: not yet heretics armed with the name of Christ, against Christ were warring; He foretold, He hath performed: not yet the idols of the Gentiles from the earth had been effaced; He foretold, He hath performed: when all these things He hath foretold and performed, concerning the Day of Judgment alone hath He lied? It will come by all means as these things came; for even these things before they came to pass were future, and as future were first foretold, and afterwards they came to pass. It will come, my brethren. Let no one say, it will not come: or, it will come, but far off is that which will come. But to thyself it is near at hand to go hence....If thou shalt have done that which the devil doth suggest, and shalt have despised that which God hath commanded; there will come the Judgment Day, and thou wilt find that true which God hath threatened, and that false which the devil hath promised...."Remember Thy reproaches, those which are from the imprudent man all the day long." For still Christ is reviled: nor will there be wanting all the day long, that is, even unto the end of time, the vessels of wrath. Still is it being said, "Vain things the Christians do preach:" still is it being said, "A fond thing is the resurrection of the dead." "Remember Thy reproaches." But what reproaches, save those "which are from the imprudent man all the day long?" Doth a prudent man say this? Nay, for a prudent man is said to be one far-seeing. If a prudent man is one far-seeing, by faith he seeth afar: for with eyes scarce that before the feet is seen.

23. "Forget not the voice of them that implore Thee" (ver. 23). While they groan for and expect now that which Thou hast promised from the New Testament, and walk by that same Faith, "do Thou not forget the voice of them imploring Thee." But those still say, "Where is Thy God? Let the pride of them that hate Thee come up always to Thee." Do not forget even their pride. Nor doth He forget: no doubt He doth either punish or amend.


[3306] Lat. LXXIII. Sermon to the people. [3307] Matt. iii. 12. [3308] Rom. ix. 6. [3309] John i. 47. [3310] Gal. iii. 29. [3311] Rom. xi. 1. [3312] Rom. ix. 27. [3313] Ps. lxxiii. 1, 2. [3314] Ps. lxxiii. 2. [3315] John i. 17. [3316] Sacramenta. [3317] Promissa. [3318] Præcepta. [3319] [Note this use of the word "Sacrament."--C.] [3320] John i. 17. [3321] See Josephus, book vi. c. 9, 3, whence the whole number of the besieged is stated at 1,197,000 of whom 1,100,000 perished. [The coincidence of the Passover with this day of retribution is noteworthy. On Good Friday accordingly occurs a prayer for the Jews, in the Anglican Liturgy.--C.] [3322] Rom. x. 4. [3323] Animus. [3324] Exod. iv. 1-3. [3325] Gen. iii. 1. [See A.N.F. vol. iii. p. 63, note 12.--C.] [3326] [In sin, which is death. The Lamb was made sin (i.e. a serpent) for us. 2 Cor. v. 21.--C.] [3327] Numb. xxi. 8. [3328] John iii. 14. [3329] Exod. iv. 3. [3330] Luke xxiv. 21. [3331] Acts iv. 34, 35. [3332] Oxf. mss. in quo for quem. [3333] Rom. x. 4. [3334] Or, "curse." [3335] Ps. lxxii. 11. [3336] John xix. 11. [3337] Numb. xxi. 8. Oxf. mss. "and to be healed." [3338] Oxf. mss. "truly." [3339] Oxf. mss. "He will come, that hath already come." [3340] Luke xx. 18; Isa. xxviii. 16. [3341] Ps. lxxiv. 9. [3342] In finem. [3343] Exod. iv. 6. [3344] Lev. xiii. 25. [3345] Rom. xi. 25. [3346] Oxf. mss. "wast unwilling, and wast not." [3347] John xii. 24. [3348] Numb. xxi. 9. [3349] Ps. lxxiv. 9. [3350] John i. 1. [3351] Gen. iii. 15. [3352] Eccles. x. 13. [3353] Eph. v. 8. [See p. 331, note 3, supra.--C.] [3354] Exod. xxxii. 19. [3355] 1 Cor. xii. 27. [3356] Exod. vii. 12. [3357] Gal. v. 15. [3358] [A note of the state of heathenism in our author's time.--C.] [3359] [A note of the state of heathenism in our author's time.--C.] [3360] John iv. 14. [3361] Ps. xxxvi. 8. [3362] John iv. 14. [3363] Mark xii. 29. [3364] Isa. xiv. 13. [3365] Gen. iii. 22. [3366] Rom. x. 3. [3367] Luke xviii. 13. [3368] John i. 3. [3369] Ecclus. xxvii. 11. [3370] Rom. i. 14. [3371] John ix. 24, 29; John viii. 48. [3372] Ps. lxxiii. 22. [3373] Ps. lxxiii. 23. [3374] Matt. xxvii. 40. [3375] Luke xviii. 13. [3376] Or, "Covenant." [3377] Disposui. [3378] Jer. xxxi. 31. [3379] Matt. v. 8. [3380] Rom. ix. 27. [3381] Ps. i. 4. [3382] Ps. lxix. 23. [3383] Matt. v. 3. [3384] Isa. lxvi. 2. [3385] E.V. "Thine own cause." [3386] [1 Cor. xv. 35.--C.] [3387] Quod(tempus?). Oxf. mss. quam (legem). [3388] Oxf. mss. "philosopher." [Hor. Ep. iv. 16; and Cic. De Officiis, iii. 33.--C.] [3389] Ps. xiv. 1. [3390] Exhibuit.

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