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Salvation only for the faithful. The Jews' precedence but in time. 29 salvation. What then? Did not the Gospel tell of these Rom. things also, namely, the account of hell, and that of the
1, 17. outer darkness, and of the venomous worm ? And yet we know of these from no other source than the Gospel. In what sense then does he say the power of God unto salvation? Attend only to what follows. To every one that believeth ; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
For it is not to all absolutely, but to them that receive it. For though thou be a Grecian', and even one that has run'i.e.
Heathen into every kind of vice, though a Scythian, though a barbarian, though a very brute, and full of all irrationality, and burdened with the weights of endless sins, no sooner hast thou received the word concerning the Cross, and been baptized, than thou hast blotted out all these; and why says be here, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek? What meaneth this difference? and yet he has often said, Neither 1 Cor.
7, 19. circumcision is any thing, nor uncircumcision ; how then? doth he here discriminate, setting the Jew before the Greek ? 5,6. and Now why is this? seeing that by being first he does not 1,5 therefore receive any more of the grace, (for the same gift is Mss. bestowed both on this person and that,) but the ' first' is an honour in order of time only. For he has no such advantage as that of receiving greater righteousness, but is only honoured in respect of his receiving it first. Since in the case of those that are enlightened", (you that are initiated Pres.
Part. know what is meant,) all run to the Baptism, yet not all at the same hour, but one first and another second. Yet the first doth not receive more than the second, nor he than the person after him, but all enjoy the same gifts. The first then here is an honour in word, not a superiority in grace. Then after saying, unto salvation, he enhances the gift further, by shewing that it stayeth not at the present point, but proceedeth farther. For this is what he sets forth, when
Ver. 17. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith : *as it is written, The just shall live by * 5. Mss.
omit the faith. He then who hath become just shall live, not for the 5 5 Mss.
But he * See the Ceremonies of Baptism, Ho says they were led to the holy S. Cyril Lect. Ix. (ii. on Myst.) c. 4. pool.'
30 None, good or bad, saved but by faith in the Old Testament,
Homil. present life only, but for that which is to come. And he
hints not only this, but also another thing along with this,
above, contributing one thing only from your own store, ! 4 Mss.' believing.' Then since the thing spoken of did not seem
credible, if the adulterer and effeminate person, and robber
sends the hearer back to the dispensations of God, which otws took place thus in the Old Testament, which, when writing
to the Hebrews, he explains with great wisdom, and shews
that both the just and the sinners were justified in that way
and of Abraham. But then here, after having just hinted at
*subject,) he again confirms what he had said from the
For since what God giveth transcends reasoning
that thinks meanly of it, and is contemptuous and vain-
the reason stand upon the rock, as having their very origin 3 Mss.
in vanity. For being ashamed to allow of faith, and to seem
Danger of questionings. Rahab, Israelites. Abraham. 31 ignorant of heavenly things, they involve themselves in the Rom. dust-cloud of countless reasonings. Then oh miserable and 1, 17. painful man, fit object for endless tears, should any one ask thee, how the heaven was made or how the earth,—why do I say the heaven and the earth? how thou wert thyself born and how nourished, and how thou grewest, art thou then not ashamed of thine ignorance? But if any thing be said about the Only-begotten, dost thou thrust thyself through shame into a pit of destruction, thinking that it is unworthy of thee not to know every thing? And yet disputatiousness is an unworthy thing, and so is ill-timed curiosity. And why do I speak of doctrines ? for even from the corruption in our present life we have escaped by no other resource than by faith. Thus shone all those aforetime, thus Abraham, thus Isaac, thus Jacob, thus too the harlot was saved, the one in the Old Testament, and likewise the one in the New. For by faith, he says, the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not when she had received the spies, Heb. and did not say to herself, and how can they that are
U, 31. captives, and exiles, and refugees, and live the life of vagabond tribes, get the better of us who have a city, and walls, and towers ?' for had she said this to herself, she would have destroyed both herself and them. Which also the forefathers of those who were then saved did suffer. For when, upon the sight of men great and tall, they questioned the manner of victory, they perished, without battle or array, all of them. Seest thou what a pit is that of unbelief! 'what a ' 5 Mss. wall that of faith! For the one carried down endless thousands, the other not only saved a harlot, but made her the patroness of so numerous a people!
Now since we know of these and more than these, never let us call God to account for what is done, but whatsoever He may lay on us, that let us take up with, and let us not run into niceties and curious questions, though to human reasonings the thing commanded appear even amiss. For what, let me ask, looks more amiss than for a father to slay his only and legitimate son? But still when the righteous man was bid do it, he raised no nice scruples about it,
omit and II.
1 See Eccles. xi. 5. and Homer. by Eustathius on that passage. Odys. 1. 216. also Menander as quoted
32 Farther Examples. Faith required for Mysteries. Homil. but owing to the dignity of the bidder, he merely received
the injunction and obeyed?. And another too that was Gen. 22, 3.
bidden of God to strike a prophet, when he raised nice 14 Mss.
scruples about the injunction? seeming amiss and did not obeyed simply obey, he was punished to the extreme. But he that
struck, gained a good report. And Saul too, when he saved 4 mss. men contrary to the decree of God, fell from the kingdom, 20,35.6. and was irretrievably punished. And one might find other
instances beside these: by all which we learn, never to call God to account for His injunctions, but to yield and obey only. But if it be dangerous to raise nice scruples about aught that He may enjoin, and extreme punishment is appointed for those who are curious questioners, what possible excuse shall they have who curiously question things far more secret and awful than these, as, for instance, how He begat the Son, and in what fashion, and what His Essence is? Now as we know this, let us with all kindliness receive the mother of all blessings, faith: that sailing as it were in a still harbour, we may at once keep our doctrines orthodox, and by steering our life safely in a straight course,
may attain those eternal blessings by the grace and love 3.3 Mss. toward man of our Lord Jesus Christ', with whom be unto through Whom
the Father glory, and strength, and honour, and adoration“, and with the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen. 4 4 Mss. only glory'
• So 2 Mss. Sav, to require a reason for God's injunctions. adding 'forever, &c.'
Rom. i. 18.
ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the
OBSERVE the discretion of Paul, how after encouraging by the gentler things, he turns his discourse to the more fearful. For after saying that the Gospel is the cause of salvation and of life, that it is the power of God, that it gendereth salvation and righteousness, he mentions what might well make them fear that were heedless of it. For since in general most men are not drawn so much by the promise of what is good as by the fear of what is painful, he draws them on both sides. For this cause too did God not only promise a kingdom, but also threaten hell. And the Prophets spake thus with the Jews, ever intermingling the evil with the good. For this cause too Paul thus varies his discourse, yet not any how, but he sets first the good things, and after the evil, to shew that the former came of the guiding purpose of God, but the latter of the wickedness of the backsliding. And in this way the prophet puts the good first, saying, If ye be willing and will obey me, ye shall eat Is. 1, 19. the good of the land: but if ye be not willing and will not obey me, the sword shall devour you. So here too does Paul conduct his discourse. But observe him; Christ, he means, came to bring forgiveness, righteousness, life, yet not in any way, but, by the Cross doth He bring them, which is greatest too and most wonderful, that He not only gave such things, but that He also suffered such things. If then ye insolently scorn the gifts, then must ye await the penalties '. 1 will And see how he raises his language, For the wrath of God, await he says, is revealed from heaven. Whence does this appear? $ Mss. If it be a believer, who says this, we will tell him of the * aux århws : 4 Mss. add tæūra and omit pigus, making it,' not barely these.'