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God truly long-suffering even to vessels of wrath. 299
ness had kindled the wrath of God. For after enjoying. Rom.
9,22-24. much long-suffering, he became no better, but remained unimproved. Wherefore he calleth him not only a vessel of wrath, but also one fitted for destruction. That is, fully fitted indeed, but by his own proper self®. For neither had God left out aught of the things likely to recover him, nor did he leave out aught of those that would ruin him, and put him beyond any forgiveness. Yet still, though God knew this, He endured him with much long-suffering, being willing to bring him to repentance. For had He not willed this, then He would not have been thus long-suffering. But as he would not use the long-suffering in order to repentance, but fully fitted himself for wrath, He used him for the correction of others, through the punishment inflicted upon him making them better, and in this way setting forth His power.
For that it is not God's wish that His power be so made known, but in another way, by His benefits, namely, and kindnesses, He had shewn above in all possible ways. For if Paul does not wish to appear powerful in this way, (not that we should appear approved, he says, but that ye 2 Cor. should do that which is honest, much less doth God. But 13, 7. after that He had shewn long-suffering, that He might lead to repentance, but he did not repent, He suffered him a long time, that He might display at once His goodness and His Power, even if that man were not minded to gain any thing from this great long-suffering. As then by punishing this man, who continued incorrigible, He shewed His Power, so by having pitied those who had done many sins but repented, He manifested His love toward man. But it does not say, love towards man, but glory, to shew that this is especially God's glory, and for this He was above all things earnest. But in saying which He had afore prepared unto glory, He does not mean that all is God's doing. Since if this were so, there were nothing to hinder all men from being saved. But he is setting forth again His foreknowledge, and doing away with the difference between the Jews and the Gentiles. And on this topic again he grounds a defence of his statement, which is no small one. For it was not in the case of the
• The Greek word, xarnetirpivov, makes this more obvious.
300 Salvation is of grace though with free-will. Homil. Jews only that some men perished, and some were saved, XVI.
but with the Gentiles also. This was the case. Wherefore also he does not say, all the Gentiles, but of the Gentiles, nor, all the Jews, but of the Jews. As then Pharaoh became a vessel of wrath by his own lawlessness, so did these
become vessels of mercy by their own readiness to obey. Mar. For though the more part is of God, still wel also have and 5 Mss.
contributed ourselves some little. Whence he does not they
say either, vessels of well-doing, or vessels of boldness, rapi insius but vessels of mercy, to shew that the whole is of God.
For the phrase, it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, even if it comes in the course of the objection, still, were it said by Paul, would create no difficulty. Because when he says, it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, he does not deprive us of free-will, but shews that all is not one's own, for that it requires grace from above. For it is binding on us to will, and also to run: but to confide not in our own labours, but in the
love of God toward man. And this he has expressed else1 Cor. where. Yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 15, 10. And he well says, Which He had afore prepared unto glory.
For since they reproached them with this, that they were saved by grace, and thought to make them ashamed, he far more than sets aside this insinuation. For if the thing brought glory to God, much more to them through whom God was glorified. But observe his forbearance, and unspeakable wisdom. For when he had it in his power to adduce, as an instance of those punished, not Pharaoh, but such of the Jews as had sinned, and so make his discourse much clearer, and shew that where there were the same fathers, and the same sins, some perished and some had mercy shewn them, and persuade them not to be doubtful-minded, even if some of the Gentiles were saved, while the Jews were perishing; that he might not make his discourse irksome: the shewing forth of the punishment he draws from the foreigner, so that he may not be forced to call them vessels
of wrath. But those that obtained mercy he draws from the 34 Mss. people of the Jews.
And besides, he also speaks in a has
sufficient way in God's behalf, because though He knew spoken
very well that the nation was fitting itself as a vessel of
Witness of Prophets to the calling of the Gentiles. 301 destruction, still He contributed all on His part, His patience, Rom. His long-suffering, and that not merely long-suffering, but
9,25-27. much long-suffering; yet still He was not minded to state it barely against the Jews. Whence then are some vessels of wrath, and some of mercy? Of their own free choice. God, however, being very good, shews the same kindness to both. For it was not those in a state of salvation only to whom He shewed mercy, but also Pharaoh, as far as His part went. For of the same long-suffering, both they and he had the advantage. And if he was not saved, it was quite owing to his own will: since, as for what concerneth God, he had as much done for him as they who were saved. Having then given to the question that answer which was furnished by facts, in order to give his discourse the advantage of other testimony in its favour, he introduces the prophets making the same declarations aforetime. For Hosea, he says, of old put this in writing, as follows:
Ver. 25. I will call them My people, which were not My Hos. 2, people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
Here to prevent their saying, that you are deceiving us here with specious reasoning, He calls Osee to witness, who crieth and saith, I will call them My people, who were not My people. Who then are the not-people? Plainly, the Gentiles. And who the not-beloved ? The same again. However, he says, that they shall become at once people, and beloved, and sons of God.
Ver. 26. For there they shall be called, he says, the children of the living God.
But if they should assert that this was said of those of the Jews who believed, even then the argument stands. For if with those who after so many benefits were hard-hearted and estranged, and had lost their being as a people, so great a change was wrought, what is there to prevent even those who were not estranged after being taken to Him, but were originally aliens, from being called, and, provided they obey, from being counted worthy of the same blessings ? Having then done with Hosea, he does not content himself with him only, but also brings Isaiah in after him, sounding in harmony with him.
Ver. 27. For Esaias, he says, crieth concerning Israel.
302 Prophets foretold that a remnant only should be saved.
HOMIL. That is, speaks out boldly, and uses no dissimulation. XVI.
Why then lay a charge against us, when they afore declared
the same thing with more than trumpet's loudness? And Is. 10, what does Isaiah cry? Though the number of the children of
Israel be as the of the sea, a remnant ll be saved.
Do you see that he too does not say that all are to be saved, but that those that are worthy shall. For I regard not the multitude, he means, nor does a race diffused so far distress me, but those only do I save that yield themselves worthy of it. And he does not mention the sand of the sea without a reason, but to remind them of the ancient promise whereof they had made themselves unworthy. Why then are you troubled, as though the promise had failed, when all the Prophets shew that it is not all that are to be saved. Then he mentions the mode of the salvation also. Observe the accuracy of the Prophet, and the judgment of the Apostle, what a testimony he has cited, how exceedingly apposite! For it not only shews us that those to be saved are some and not all, but also adds the way they are to be saved. How then are they to be saved, and how will God count them worthy of the benefit?
Ver. 28. He will finish the work, and cut it short in Lxx. righteousness, he says, because a short work will the Lord
make upon the earth.
What he means then is somewhat of this sort. There is no need of fetching a circuit, and of trouble, and the vexation of the works of the Law, for the salvation is by a very short
way. For such is faith, it holds salvation in a few short Rom. words. For if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord
Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him
from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Now you see what this, LXX.the Lord shall make a short word' upon earth, is. And lit.
what is indeed wonderful is, that this short word carries with
it not salvation only, but also righteousness. Is. 1, 9. Ver. 29. And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of
Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and had been made like unto Gomorrha.
Here again he shews another thing, that not even those few were saved from their own resources. For they too
would have perished, and met with Sodom's fate, that is, 3 of So- they would have had to undergo utter destruction, (for they dom
How the Gentiles came rather to attain righteousness. 303 were also destroyed root and branch, and left not even the Rom.
9,30.31. slightest remnant of themselves, and they too, he means, would have been like these, unless God had used much kindness to them, and had saved them by faith. And this happened also in the case of the visible captivity, the majority having been taken away captive and perished, and some few only being saved.
Ver. 30, 31. What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Here at last is the clearest answer. For since he had used a proof as well from facts (for they are not all Israel that are of Israel) as from the case of our forefathers Jacob and Esau, and from the prophets Hosea and Isaiah, he further gives the most decisive answer, after first adding to the perplexity. The points discussed, then, are two; one that the Gentiles attained, and the other that they attained it without following after it, that is, without taking pains about it. And again in the Jews' case also there are two difficulties of the same kind; one that Israel attained not, the other that, though they took pains, they attained not. Whence also his use of words is more emphatical. For he does not say that they had, but that they attained to righteousness. For what is especially new and unusual is, that they who followed after it attained not, but they which followed not after it attained. And he seems to be indulging them by saying, followed after. But afterwards he strikes the blow home. For since he had a strong answer to give them, he had no fear of making the objection a little harsher. Hence he doth not speak of faith either, and the righteousness ensuing thereon, but shews that before the faith even, on their own ground they were worsted and condemned. For thou, O Jew, he says, hast not found even the righteousness which was by the Law. For thou hast transgressed it, and become liable to the curse.
But these that came not through the Law, but by another road, have found a greater righteousness than this, that, namely, which is of faith. And this he had also said before. For if Abraham was justified Rom. 4,