« ElőzőTovább »
• that Christ was crucified, is manifest from the holy scriptures; for they relate both the one and * the other. And if the adversary should say, that the apostles wrought no miracles, it may
be replied: You make their power and the Divine favour greater, if indeed, without miracles, they allured so large a part of the world to true religion. For that would be the greatest and * most wonderful miracle of all; that a company of twelve men, poor, mean, illiterate, despicable, * should draw over to themselves so many cities and nations and people, and kings, and tyrants, and 'philosophers, and rhetoricians; and in a word, the whole earth, without working any miracles. • But do you expect to see miracles done now? I will shew you some, and greater than any • that are recorded: not one dead man raised to life, not one blind man restored to sight, but the · whole earth recovered from the darkness of error; not one leper cleansed, but many nations
washed from the leprosy of sin. What miracle dost thou desire, man, beyond this great change • made in the world all on a sudden?'
So says Chrysostom: and I think his argument is conclusive. There is no effect without a cause: there were, in his time, great numbers of Christians, and many churches had been planted in most parts of the world. The doctrine of the gospel, therefore, had been preached to them; but Jesus, the author of that doctrine, had been crucified: his doctrine, therefore, was not supported by worldly power. His disciples, at first, were mean and despised; and yet they spread his religion over the world: consequently they were supported by the power of God, working miracles in confirmation of the doctrine taught by them, as the evangelical history says. Otherwise, if you deny the truth of the
miracles recorded in the New Testament, you must suppose a greater miracle; which is, that God immediately and powerfully influenced the minds of men to embrace the doctrine taught by Christ's disciples. For to say, that this change had been made in the world without any cause; or that men forsook their old sentiment and practices, and embraced the Christian religion upon the bare word of a few mean and illiterate men, without any other reason inducing them thereto; is an absurdity so manifest, as not to be admitted by any:
XIX. We will now observe some places, where Chrysostom speaks of miraculous powers in the church.
1. In one place he says, the ashes of the holy martyrs drive away dæmons: in another place, that where dæmons see the bodies of martyrs lying, they flee away. He also says, that bodies of martyrs have great power. Celebrating a martyr, named Julian, he says, he will allege not ancient things, but of the present time: for take a dæmoniac and mad-man, and bring him to that holy sepulchre, where are the martyr's relicks; and you will see him draw back, and flee away. Again, he says, that dæmons dread the dust of martyrs; and wherever they are buried, they fee away from their sepulchres, though they do not shun the sepulchres of other dead men.
Once more he speaks, as' if in his time many miracles were done by the martyrs. 2. In a homily at the feast of Pentecost, he supposeth, that in his time there were not any miraculous gifts; and he assigns the reasons of it: • For & signs are for unbelievers, not for believers, as we are: nor is that any unkindness to us; but God rather does us honour in withdrawing the evidence of miracles.'
3. He speaks largely upon the same subject in another place. • At the rise of Christianity, • and for spreading it in the world, through the great goodness of God, miraculous gifts were • bestowed upon many; upon some who were unworthy, and not truly pious: but now they are not bestowed upon the worthy, because we do not stand in need of such things.' 4. • The apostles wrought miracles in their time; but now such things are past and
gone : whereas, good works, and a holy conversation, are always necessary for those who would be • saved.' 5. In his books of the Priesthood, an early work, written before 375, he says:
« Paul k was • formidable to dæmons; but all the men of this time, united together, cannot, by many prayers . and tears, do so much as Paul's handkerchiefs. Paul raised the dead, and did many
great works; insomuch, that he was thought by the heathens to be a god.' • Ad Pop. Antioch. Hom. 8. T. ii. p. 93. B.
De S. Bab. Contr. Jud. et Gent. T. ii. p. 555. C. D. b De Macc. 1. T. ii. p. 623. A.
& De S. Pentec. Hom. 1. T. I. • De SS. Bernic. &c. T. ii. p. 645. D.
b In Princ. Act. Hom. 2. T. iii. p. 65. B. Vid. et p. 64, d In Julian. M. T. ii. p. 674. D. Vid. in S, Barlaam. M.
In Pr. Act, Hom. 2. T. iii. p. 65. E. Vid. et Hom. 3. ¢ De S. Drosid. M. T. ii. p. 691. D.
* De Sacerd. I. iv. T. 1. p.411. A.
686. A. B.
6. • When the Jews were in the wilderness, many miracles were wrought. So likewise * among us, at our deliverance from error; but afterwards they ceased, when religion was once
firmly planted. And if, after the settlement of the Jews in Canaan, there were miracles, they • were not so numerous, nor so frequent as before: in like manner has it been in our times. * And when the Jews would have rebuilt the temple, they were prevented by eruptions of fire at « the foundation.'
7. Chrysostom speaks there, and also elsewhere, of other miracles in the time of Julian; as well as of the defeat of the attempt to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem.
8. To proceed: He says, miracles were formerly needful to spread the knowledge of God over the world; but now they are not needful.
9. Again: “God has now ceased to work miracles.'
10. Some · there are who ask, why there are no miracles now? If you believe, as you ought • to do; if you love Christ, as you should, you have no need of miracles: for miracles are for " them that believe not.'
11. The 'Gentiles were offended at two things: that Christians did not love one another; and that there were no miracles. He tells his hearers that they were more offended upon the former account than the latter; and says, that at first the Christian doctrine was recommended by miracles ; but now we ought to recommend it by our lives.
12. Úpon 1 Cor. xii. *This whole place, he says, is very obscure. The reason is, that we are unacquainted with the things there spoken of, and such things do not now happen.'
13. In his fourteenth homily upon the epistle to the Romans, particularly ch. viii. 26. “ Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought.” • This expression is obscure, because many of the miracles which were then done
are ceased; therefore, it is needful to shew you the state of things at that time. Then God • vouchsafed to those who were baptised many gifts, which were called “ spirits : for the spirits
of the prophets are subject to the prophets,” as he says [1 Cor. xiv. 32]. One had the gift of • prophecy, and he foretold things to come; another had the gift of wisdom, and he taught the
people; he who had the gift of healing, cured the sick; he who had the gift of working won. • derful works, raised the dead; another had the gift of tongues, and he spake in divers languages. • Beside all these, there was the gift of prayer; which is called “ the spirit:" he who had that • gift prayed for the whole multitude. And whereas we are ignorant of many things that are • profitable to us, and therefore ask for things not profitable, the gift of prayer came upon some
one at that time, who asked for all those things which were profitable for the whole church, i and thereby was also very instructive. That gift the apostle here calls “the spirit;" as also • the soul of him that received that gift, which interceded with God, and groaned: for he who * was favoured with that gift, with great compunction, and inward groaning, asked things profit• able for all : pf whom the deacon, in our time, who offers prayers for all, is only a symbol. He • proceeds to say, that by “ the spirit,” the apostle does not here mean the Comforter; but a • spiritual man, who has the gift of prayer.'
14. Upon 1 Cor xiv. • The church was then a heaven, when the Spirit directed all things, moving and inspiring every one of the bishops; but now we have only the symbols of those gifts.
15. Upon the Acts; speaking of the state of things, when the gospel was first preached by the apostles, he says: The earth was then a heaven for the excellent conversation of the • believers; and the miracles then wrought; and upon other accounts.'
16. In a homily upon the epistle to the Colossians, some are brought in asking, Why' there were then none who raised the dead, and healed diseases? A part of his answer is, that when the faith was to be planted, there were many such; but now there was no need of them.
17. In a homily upon the second chapter of the second epistle to the Thessalonians, he • That " the gifts of the Spirit had ceased long ago.'
• In Matt. Hom. 4. T. vii. p. 47.
• Και γαρ... τα σημεια επαυσεν ο θεος. Ιn Μatt. Ηom. 32.
XX. It may not be amiss to take some of Chrysostom's passages concerning free-will.
4. • The d temptations of Satan can impose no necessity upon us to do evil. We are masters • of our own purposes; whether his temptations shall prevail or not.
5. Speaking of Judas, he says: Christ' gave him many admonitions and warnings; but he slighted them; and God did not use, violence to draw him. As he has put in our power the choice of good or evil, and will have us to be good freely; therefore, if we will not he does not • force us: for to be good by necessity is not to be good.
6. Afterwards, observing upon the different conduct of Judas and the other disciples, he says: “He' and they saw the same miracles; they had the same instructions and the same power. Whence then the difference? It came from the purpose of the mind; that is every where the cause of all good and of all bad actions.'
7. • If : it be asked: Could not Christ have drawn a disciple? I answer: He could. But he ' would not make him good by necessity, nor draw him by force to himself.'
8. In another place he says, that " Judas might have repented and been forgiven, if he had not hastily made away with himself through the excess of his grief. This he thinks to be manifest from the mercy shewn to many of those who had crucified Christ.
9. He argues at large, that ' Paul was not converted by force; but freely, and of his own purpose, according to the call of God.
10. · If * we will but be thoughtful and watchful, we may more easily cure the diseases of the mind than of the body.'
11. He speaks very strongly to the like purpose, in another place; and I shall refer to divers mothers.
12. Again : • If " we will, we may shake off all our sins.'
13. I refer to o his remarks upon John, i. 38, as also upon Rom. ix. 21, which I stay to transcribe, though they are very observable.
14. · And that you may perceive the call of God does not necessitate; consider how many of those who are called perish: whence it is evident, that our salvation, or damnation, depends • upon our own purpose.'
15. And yet, in one place he says : · Without 'the Divine assistance, we are not able to • resist the smallest temptation. And again, • That' we can do no good thing, without assist"ance from above.'
16. Discoursing on the title of the book of the Acts, he says : Luke' did not call it the history of the miracles of the apostles, but of their Acts, which is better : for miracles are a divine gift; acts, the fruit of human industry. However, he afterwards says, that miracles are solely from heaven; acts, from both our care and divine grace.
XXI. I shall conclude, with a few observations upon a variety of subjects.
1. “If God had been swift to punish, the church had not had Paul...... The long-suffering of «God made him, of a persecutor, a preacher of the gospel; as it did, in another instance, of a • publican an evangelist.'
2. • The Jews, our enemies, keep the scriptures for us; or are our librarians:' a thought very frequent in Augustine, as we have seen. So likewise argues Chrysostom; who proceeds: • The testimony of an enemy, says he, is always reckoned of great force. The prophecies of
* De Compunct. ad Demetr. I. i. T. i. p. 136. C. D.
Adv. Oppugnat. Vit. Mon. 1. üi. T. i. p. 83. A. cIn 1 ad Cor. Hom. 2. T. x. p. 13. D. • De Laz. Hom. 2. T. i. p. 729. A. • De Prodit. Jud. Hom. 1. T. ii. p. 320. D. Ibid.
p. 382. A. x De Prodit. Jud. Hom. 2. p. 389. A. Conf. Hom. 1. p. 578. D. be De Pænit. Hom. 1. T. ii.
m Vid. in Gen. Hom. 54, T. iv. p. 522. A. in Es, cap. 1. T. vi. p. 12. A. In Jerem. cap. x. 23. T. vi. p. 159... 165.
n De Pentec. Hom. 1. T. i. p. 467. E.
De Paralyt. T. iii. p. 35. C.
p. 284. E.
* In Gen. Hom. 42. T. iv. p. 424. E.
" De Pænit. Hom. 7. T. ii. p. 328. B. Conf. de Cruce et Latron. Hom. ib. p. 409. A. B.
* In Ps. xliv. T. 5. p. 160. C.
the Old Testament, of which we make so good use, are derived to us from those who crucified the Lord Jesus. No man, therefore, can say, that the books of the Old Testament have been • forged by us. And, as he says, in another place : . If they had understood the prophecies • recorded in their scriptures, and could have apprehended the advantage we have from them, they might have been tempted to destroy them.'
3. In Chrysostom's time there were many who went into Arabia to see Job's dunghill. All will readily' suppose that Chrysostom was wiser than to go thither himself. And some may be apt to think that he might have shewn his dislike of such superstition : but that is more than can be expected from an orator.
4. There were pick-pockets at Antioch, who used to make advantage of Chrysostom's crowded auditories; for which reason he adviseth his hearers not to bring much money to church with them.
5. He says, that " Nero put Paul to death, because he had converted a beloved concubine of the emperor: which story I do not think to be well attested. He also informs us, that it was said, that Paul saluted the butler, or cup-bearer, and a concubine of Nero. He supposeth, in another place, that' his converting Nero's cup-bearer was the immediate occasion of his death ; he likewise speaks of Nero's being offended, because the apostle found favour with one of the emperor's friends.
6. The worst of men, he says, are to be relieved when in distress.
CHA P. CXIX.
SEVERIAN, BISHOP OF GABALA, IN SYRIA.
Severian, bishop of Gabala, in Syria, once friend, afterwards rival and enemy of St. Chrysostom, flourished about the year 401: for a particular account of him and his works, I refer to others. Divers homilies have been ascribed to him, which are not certainly known to be his. I shall quote, or refer to such works only, the genuineness of which is generally, or universally acknowledged.
2. Severian was a popular preacher. When Chrysostom had occasion to be absent from Constantinople, he preached in his stead, and with good acceptance: nevertheless, when he spake Greek, there appeared, to nice ears, somewhat Syrian in his pronunciation.
3. Severian is not only mentioned by the Greek ecclesiastical historians; but ” Gennadius, likewise, has given him a place in his book of Illustrious Men.
4. He was reckoned by his contemporaries well skilled in the sacred scriptures; and his remaining works are full of citations of the scriptures, and marks of the highest respect for them.
5. At the beginning of the first homily upon Genesis, or, the Creation of the World, he says, • Our • salvation is the design of every book of sacred scripture; for our good every thing is
a In Es. cap. 2. T. 6. p. 20. A.
üi. Tillem. T. xi. S. Chrysostome, Art. 62, 63, et notes 54. • Ad Pop. Antioch. Hom. 5. T. ii. p. 59. A.
... 56. Conf. Socr. 1. 6. c. 11. et 24. Soz. 1. 8. c. 10. 18. c Contr. Anom. Hom. 4. T. i. p. 479.
... αλλα και Ελληνισι φθεγγομενος, Συρος ην την φωνην. Adv. Oppugnat. Vit. Mon. 1. i. T. 1. p. 48. D. E. Socr. 1. 6. c. xi. in...την Συρων δασυληθα... επι της γλωττης
Λεγεται Νερωνος και οινοχόον και παλλακιδα ασπασαι. EÇegev. Soz. 8. c. 10. in. In Act. Ap. Hom. 46. T. ix. p. 349. D.
u Severianus, Gabalensis ecclesiæ episcopus, in divinis scripΠαρεσε ηδη τω Νερωνι, και διεφυγεν επιδη και τον οινοχρον turis eruditus, et in homiliis declamator admirabilis fuit. Unde αυ78 κατηχησε, τοτε αυλον απελεμεν. In 2 Tim. Ηom. 10. Τ. et frequenter ab episcopo Joanne et Imperatore Arcadio ad xi. p. 722. B.
faciendum sermonem Constantinopolim vocabatur, &c. Genn. * Προσεκρεσε γαρ τοτε τω Νερωνι, τινα των ανακειμενων de V. Ι. cap. 21. aut oixeiWo@peros. In 2 Tim. Hom. 3. ib. 673. C.
n Soz. ib. p. 770. A. " De Laz. Hom. 2. T. i. p. 734. C.
• De Mundi Creat. Hom. i. ap. Chr. T. vi. p. 436. A. ed. i Cav. H. L. T. i. p. 375.
Bened. * Cav. Fabr. Bib. Ĝr. T. ix. p. 207... 269. Du Pin, T.
* written, the end of the law of Moses, of the preaching of the prophets and of the apostles, is, that we may obtain true piety, and be saved.
6. He often quotes the four gospels, the Acts of the apostles, and Paul's epistles, particularly that 'to the Hebrews.
7. In the forecited homily or oration, he says, · Both the Testaments have a great agreement, as proceeding from the same father. In the Old Testament the law precedes, then • follow the prophets; in the New, the gospel precedes, and then follow the apostles.' Presently afterwards he says, • In the New Testament, are twelve apostles, and four evangelists.'
8. In an oration concerning Seals, Severian expresseth himself in this manner : · Let" here• tics often observe that saying, “ In the beginning was the word.” Indeed, the three evange• lists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, when they began their preaching, did not immediately say • what became Christ's dignity, but what was suitable to their hearers' capacity. Matthew,
at • the beginning of the gospels, says, “ The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of • David, the son of Abraham.” Why does he not say, " the son of God ?” Why does he, • with such low expressions conceal his dignity?' Having answered those queries, he also observes the beginnings of the gospels of St. Mark and St. Luke, and adds : * All' three, there
fore, attended to his dispensation in the flesh; and, by his miracles, gradually instilled his dignity.' He afterwards compares John to thunder, and says, he is terrible to heretics; whilst the other three evangelists only lightned. He likewise says, until : John wrote, the best defence of the right faith, and the best weapons against heretics were wanting.
9. In the remaining works of Severian there is little notice taken of the catholic epistles, none at all of the Revelation. It is likely that this last was not received by him, and that he received three only of the catholic epistles. Cosmas says, “Severian, bishop of Gabala, in his • book against the Jews, rejects them; forasmuch as the most say, they were not written by • apostles, but by some others, who were barely presbyters.' Cosmas's expressions are ambiguous : he may seem to speak of all the catholic epistles; but it is likely, that he ought to be understood of some of them only.
10. Moreover, in the homily upon the brazen serpent, generally allowed to be Severian's, are the words of 1 Pet. ii. 22; they are quoted as Paul's; but I take that to be the fault of the copyist. Peter having been written in a contracted manner, some ignorant and hasty scribe read Paul, and put his name in his transcribed copy. So the place is : As also Isaiah agrees * with the blessed Paul, [Peter] who says; “ Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his • mouth.”
And, in his discourse on Seals, the * beginning of the first epistle of John is expressly cited as John's: and it may be reasonably supposed, that he likewise received the epistle of James.
11. Upon the whole, Severian received the four gospels, the Acts of the apostles, fourteen epistles of the apostle Paul, and three of the catholic epistles : and, for the scriptures of the Old and New Testament, he had the highest regard.
a De Mund. Creat. Or. 2. p. 444. A. et passim.
δοξης επίτειχισμα εδεπω τω κηρυγματι της ευσεβειας εγγερίο. . b ... Και εν τη νεα χαριλι προηγείται το ευαγγελιoν, και Ib. p. 412. D. E. ακολgθεσιν αποστολοι. Αp. Chr. Τ. vi. p. 439. Β.
h' Ομοιως και Σευηριανος, ο Γαβαλων, εις τον καλα Ιεδαιαν • Ibid.
λογον αυτας απεκηρυξεν: 8 γαρ αποσολων φασιν αυλας οι πλειος, d De Sigillis ap. Chrys. T. xii. p. 411. E. 412. A. αλλ' έτερων τινων πρεσβυθερων αφελεφερων. Cosm. Top. Chr.
• Ο Ματθαιος αρχην ποιησαμενος των ευαγγελιων λεγει. 1. 7. p. 292. c. Αp. Montf. Νον. Coll. ΡΡ. Τ. ii. Ibid. Ib.
1 Καθως και ο μακαριος Ησαϊας συνωδα τα μακαριω Παυλ. ε Εκρυπτείο δε τα καλα των αιρετικων βελη, και το της ορθης %. d. De Serp. Hom. ap. Chr. T. vi. p. 515. A.
* De Sigillis, ap. Chr. T. xii. p. 414. C.
p. 412. D.