3, 31.

The widow of Sarepta. Riches dangerous to the young. 109 in requital make very great returns. If then thou wouldest Rom. leave thy children much wealth, leave them God's care. For He who, without thy having done any thing, gave thee a soul, and formed thee a body, and granted thee life, when He seeth thee displaying such munificence and distributing their goods to Himself along with them, must surely open to them every kind of riches. For if Elijah after having been nourished with a little meal, since he saw that that woman honoured him above her children, made threshing-floors and oil-presses appear in the little hut of the widow, consider what loving care the Lord of Elijah will display! Let us then not consider how to leave our children rich, but how to leave them virtuous. For if they are confident of riches, they will not mind anght besides, in that they have the means of skreening the wickedness of their ways in their abundant riches. But if they find themselves devoid of the comfort to be got from that source, they will do all so as by virtue to find themselves abundant consolation for their poverty. Leave them then no riches, that you may leave them virtnie. For it is unreasonable in the extreme, not to make them, whilst we are alive, lords of all our goods; yet after we are dead to give the easy nature of youth full exemption from fear. And yet while we are alive we shall have power to call them to account, and to sober and bridle those that make an ill use of their goods; but if after we are dead we afford them, at the time of the loss of ourselves, and their own youthfulness, that power which wealth gives, endless are the precipices into which we shall thrust those unfortunate and miserable creatures, so heaping fuel upon flame, and letting oil drop into a fierce furnace. And so, if you would leave them rich and safe withal, leave God a debtor to them, and deliver the bequest to them into His hands. For if they receive the money themselves, they will not know even who to give it to, but will meet with many designing and unfeeling people. But if thou beforehand puttest it out to interest with God, the treasure henceforward remains unassailable. And great is the facility wherewith that repayment will be made. For God is well pleased at repaying us what He oweth, and both looks with a more


Christ now begs of us that He may repay hereafter.


Let us

Homil. favourable eye upon those who have lent to Him, than on

those who have not; and loveth those the most to whom He oweth the most. And so, if thou wouldest have Him for thy Friend continually, make Him thy Debtor to a large amount.

For there is no lender so pleased at having those that owe 15 Mss. to him, as Christ' is rejoiced at having those that lend to God

Him. And such as He oweth nothing to, He fleeth from;
but such as He oweth to, He even runneth unto.
then use all means to get Him for our Debtor; for this is
the season for loans, and He is now in want. If then thou
givest not unto Him now, He will not ask of thee after thy
departing hence. For it is here that He thirsteth, here that
He is an hungred. Since He thirsteth when He thirsteth
after thy salvation; and it is for this that He even begs; for
this that He even goeth about naked, negociating immortal
life for thee. Do not then neglect Him; since it is not to
be nourished that He wishes, but to nourish; it is not to be
clothed, but to clothe and to accoutre thee with the golden
garment, the royal robe. Do you not see even the more
attached sort of physicians, when they are washing the sick,
wash themselves also, though they need it not. In the same
way He also doth all for the sake of thee who art sick. For
this reason also He uses no force in demanding, that He may
make thee great returns; that thou mayest learn that it is not
because He is in need that He asketh of thee, but that He
may set right that thou needest. For this reason too He comes
to thee in a lowly guise, and with His right hand held forth.
And if thou givest Him a farthing, He turneth not away: and
even if thou rejectest Him, He cometh again to thee. For
He desireth, yea desireth exceedingly, our salvation : let us
then think scorn of money, that we may not be thought
scorn of by Christ. Let us think scorn of money, even with
a view to obtain the money itself. For if we keep it here,
we shall lose it altogether both here and hereafter. But if
we distribute it with abundant expenditure, we shall enjoy
in each life abundant wealthiness. He then that would
become rich, let him become poor, that he may be rich.
Let him spend that he may collect, let him scatter that
he may gather. But if this is novel and paradoxical, look

We cannot


then but by sowing now.


Rom. 3, 31.

to the sower, and consider that he cannot in any other

way gather more together, save by scattering what he hath, and letting go of what is at hand. Let us now sow and till the Heaven, that we may reap with great abundance, and obtain everlasting goods, through the grace and love toward man, &c.


Rom. iv. ), 2.

What shall we then say that Abraham, our father as per

taining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

HOMIL. He had said', that the world had become guilty before VIII. God, and that all had sinned, and that boasting was ex14 Mss.

cluded, and that it was impossible to be saved otherwise dias

than by faith. He is now intent upon shewing that this salvation, so far from being matter of shame, was even the cause of a bright glory, and a greater than that through works. For since the being saved, yet with shame, had somewhat of dejection in it, he next takes away this suspicion too. And indeed he has hinted at the same

already, by calling it not barely salvation, but righteousness. Rom. 4, Therein (he says) is the righteousness of God revealed. For

he that is saved as a righteous man has a confidence accompanying his salvation. And he calls it not righteousness only, but also the setting forth of the righteousness of God. But God is set forth in things which are glorious, and shining, and great. However he nevertheless draws support for this from what he is at present upon, and carries his discourse forward by the method of question. And this he is always in the habit of doing, both for

clearness sake, and for the sake of confidence in what is said. Rom. 3, Above, for instance, he did it, where he says, What ad1.

rantage then hath the Jeu ? and what hare we more than


the thing

awy Sav.

Abraham's case why chosen to prove the value of faith. 113 others"? and again, where is boasting'? and here, what then, Rom. shall we say that Abraham our father? &c. Now since the 4, 1. 2. Jews kept turning over and over the fact, that the Patriarch, and friend of God, was the first to receive circumcision, he wishes to shew, that it was by faith that he too was justified. And this was quite a vantage ground to insist upon'. For for a person who had no works, to he'ssesjustified by faith, was nothing unlikely. But for a person yiens richly adorned with good deeds, not to be made just from ronans hence, but from faith, this is something to cause wonder, 6 Mss. and to set the power of faith in a strong light. And this is why he passes by all the others, and leads his discourse back to this man.

And he calls him father, as pertaining to the flesh, to throw them out of the genuine relationship: 6 Mss.

εκβάλto him, and to pave the Gentiles' way to kinsmanship with him. And then he says, For if Abraham were justified by exßenào

συγγίworks, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. After vías saying that God justifieth the circumcision by faith and the gunoius uncircumcision through faith, and making the same sufficiently sure in what he said before, he now proves it by Abraham more clearly than he promised, and pitches the battle for faith against works, and makes this righteous man the subject of the whole struggle; and that not without special meaning. Wherefore also he sets him up very high by calling him forefather, and putting a constraint upon them to comply with him in all points. For, Tell me not, he would say, about the Jew, nor bring this man or that before me. For I will go up to the very head of all, and the source whence circumcision took its rise. For if Abraham, he says, was justified by works, he hath whereof to glory: but not before God. What is here said is not plain, and so one must make it plainer. For there are two' gloryings,' one of works, and one of faith. After saying then, if he was

a Rom. iij. 9. si ovv sporarízouesv for right of inheritance as next of kin. figicrón; as 2 Mss. of Matih. read at See verses 13, 14. c. viii. 17. ix. 8. the beginning of the last Homily. So Gal. iii. 7. 15, 16. 18. Heb. ix. 16. 26. too some Mss. of the text, and the which renders it probable that there is Syriac version.

reference to the death of Christ, (see Rom. iv. 27. here Sav. adds, “it is Rev. xiii. 8.) and so to the idea of excluded.' 4 Mss. omit the words. Testament,' in the Ep. to the Galacáy xirtsíær, which the orators use tians.

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