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Humility secure even against Satan. 369 ashes. Of this sort are the souls of these men ; that empty Rom.
12, 3. inflatedness of theirs even the commonest attack may humble and bring down. For he that behaves recklessly must of necessity be a thoroughly feeble person, since the height he has is not a sound one, but even as bubbles are easily burst, so are these men easily undone. But if thou dost not believe, give me a bold reckless fellow, and you will find him more cowardly than a fallen man even at the most trivial circumstance. For as the flame that rises from dry sticks is no sooner lighted than it becomes dust, but stiff logs do not by their nature easily kindle up, and then keep up their flame a long time burning; so souls that be stern and firm are not easily kindled or extinguished; but these men undergo both of these in a single moment. Since then we know this, let us practise humble-mindedness. For there is nothing so powerful as it, since it is stronger even than a rock and harder than adamant, and places us in a safety greater than that of towers and cities and walls, being too high for any of the artillery of the devil. As then recklessness makes men an easy prey even to ordinary occurrences, being, as I was saying, easier broken than a bubble, and rent more speedily than a spider's web, and more quickly dissolved than a smoke; that we then may be walking upon the strong rock, let us leave that and take to this. For thus in this life present we shall find rest, and shall in the world to come have every blessing, by the grace and love toward man, &c.
For as we have many members in one body, and all members
have not the same office ; so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
HOMIL. AGAIN he uses the same ensample as he does to the XXI. Corinthians, and that to allay the same passion. For great
is the power of the medicine, and the force of this illustration for the correcting of this disease of haughtiness. Why (he means) dost thou think highly of thyself? Or why again does another utterly despise himself? Are we not all one body, both great and small? When then we are in the total number but one, and members one of another, why dost thou by thy haughtiness separate thyself? Why dost thou put thy brother to shame? For as he is a member of thee, so art thou also of him. And it is on this score that your claims to honour are so equal. For he has stated two things that might take down their haughty spirit; one that we are members one of another, not the small of the great only, but also the great of the small; and another, that we are all one
body. Or rather there are three points, since he shews that Ms. the gift was also one'. Therefore be not high-minded. For
it was given thee of God; thou didst not take it, nor find it even. Hence too, when he touches upon the gifts, he does not say that one received more, and another less, but what? different. For his words are, having then gifts, not less and greater, but, differing. And what if thou art not appointed
was a free one
God's gifts proportioned to men's faith. 371 to the same office, still the body is the same. And beginning Rom. with gifts, he ends with good deeds?; and so after mentioning
12, 6. 7. prophecy, and ministry, and the like, he concludes with mercy, diligence, and succour. Since then it was likely that some would be virtuous, yet not have prophecy, he shews how that this too is a gift, and a much greater one than the other, (as he shews in the Epistle to the Corinthians,) and so much the greater, as that one has a reward, the other is devoid of a recompense. For the whole is matter of gift and grace. Wherefore he saith,
Ver. 6. Having then gifts differing according to the grace? : Mar. that is given unto us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy of God according to the proportion of faith.
Since then he had sufficiently comforted them, he wishes also to make them vie with each other', and labour more in earnest, by shewing that it is themselves that give the grounds for their receiving more or less. For he says indeed that it is given by God, (as when he says, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith; and again, according to the grace given unto us,) that he may subdue the haughty. And he says that the beginnings lie with themselves, to rouse the listless. And this he does in the Epistle to the Corinthians also, to produce both these emotions. For when he saith, covet earnestly the gifts, he i Cor. shews that they were themselves the cause of the differences
12, 31. in what was given. But when he says, Now all these things 1 Cor. worketh one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man
12, 11. severally as He will, he is proving that those who have received it ought not to be elated, so using every way open to him to allay their disorder. And this he does here also. And again, to rouse those who have fallen drowsy, he says, Whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith. For though it is a grace, yet it is not poured forth at random, but framing its measure according to the recipients, it letteth as much flow as it may find the véssel of faith that is brought to be capable of.
Vér. 7. Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering.
• Or feel they need an effort, ivaywrious. See on Rom. xi. 21. p. 349.
372 Good works to be done with a ready mind. Homil.ship eren is called a ministry, and every good work of the
Spirit is a ministry. This is indeed a name of a peculiar Ms.om. good
office, here, however, it is used in a general sense. Or he that teacheth, on teaching. See with what indifference he places them, the little first and the great afterwards, again giving us the same lesson, not to be puffed up or elated.
Ver. 8. Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation. Acts 13, And this is a species of teaching too. For if ye have any
word of exhortation, it says, speak unto the people. Then to shew that it is no great good to follow after virtue unless
this is done with the proper rule, he proceeds, 2 μεταδι
He that giveth', let him do it with simplicity. For it is dows, imparteth not enough to give, but we must do it with munificence also,
for this constantly answereth to the name of simplicity, Since even the virgins had oil, still, since they had not
enough, they were cast out from everything. He that 3 E. V. defendeth', with diligence ; for it is not enough to underruleth, pourra. take the defence, unless he do it with diligence and zealo.
He that sheveth mercy, with cheerfulness. For it is not enough to shew mercy, but it behoves us to do it with a largeness and an ungrudging spirit, or rather not with an ungrudging, but even with a cheerful and rejoicing one, for not grudging does not amount to rejoicing. And this same point, when he is writing to the Corinthians also, he insisted
very strongly upon. For to rouse them to such largeness he 2 Cor. said, He that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly, and
he which soweth bountifully shall reap bountifully. But to
correct their temper he added, Not grudgingly or of necessity. Aristot. For both the shewer of mercy ought to have both ungrudging. 11.3. ana ness and pleasure. And why dost thou bemoan thyself of iv. 1. giving alms ? Why dost thou grieve at shewing mercy, and
lose the advantage of the good deed ? For if thou grievest, thou dost not do mercy, but art cruel and inhuman. For if thou grievest, how shalt thou be able to raise up him that is in sorrow? For it is much if he suspect no ill, even when thou art giving with joyfulness. For since nothing seems to men such a disgrace as to be receiving from others,
Near the end of Hom. 19. we have the sense here given. “ Unless, &c." när ádıxovpé ou rigieux sapoorhosras, added from Ben. and Ms. Bodi. which proves that he takes the word in
God values a gift by the spirit and means of the giver. 373
unless by an exceedingly cheerful look thou removest the Rom.
12, 9. suspicion, and shewest that thou art receiving rather than giving, thou wilt even cast down the receiver rather than raise him up. This is why he says, He that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. For who that is receiving a kingdom, is of sad countenance? Who that is receiving pardon for his sins continueth of dejected look? Mind not then the expenditure of the money; but the increase that comes of that expenditure. For if he that soweth rejoiceth though sowing with uncertainty of return, much more should he do so that farms the Heaven. For in this way, even though thou give but little, thou wilt be giving much; even as how much soever thou givest with a sad countenance, thou wilt have made thy much a little. Thus the widow outweighed many talents by the two mites, for her spirit was large. And how is it possible, it may be said, for one that dwells with poverty in the extreme, and empties forth his all, to do this with a ready mind ? Ask the widow, and thou wilt hear the way, and wilt know that it is not poverty that makes narrow circumstances, but the temper of a man that effects both this and its opposite. For it is possible even in poverty to be munificent', and in riches to be niggardly. Hence in'riyagiving he looks for simplicity, and in shewing mercy for ófuxor cheerfulness, and in patronising for diligence. For it is not with money only that he wishes us to render every assistance to those in want, but both with words, and deeds, and in person, and in every other way. And after mentioning the chief kind of aiding', that which lies in teaching, namely, and apo;
στασίας that of exhorting, (for this is a more necessary kind, in that it nurtures the soul,) he proceeds to that by way and all other means; then to shew how these may be practised aright, he bringeth in the mother of them, love.
Ver. 9. Let love be without dissimulation, he says.
If thou hast this, thou wilt not perceive the loss of thy money, the labour of thy person, the toil of thy words, thy trouble, and thy ministering, but thou wilt bear all courageously, whether it be with person, or money, or word, or any other thing whatsoever, that thou art to assist thy
Tuix here seems distinguished from twxvía, as in the Plutus.