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Egyptian Idols. Philosophers must share the blame.

39

words

vested what was incomparably more worthless than all. Rom. But what has this to do with the philosophers, a man may

1, 24. say. To them especially belongs all' I have said to do with 1 2 Mss. them. For they have the Egyptians who were the inventors most of of these things to their masters. And Plato, who is thought longs

what more reverend than the rest of them, glories in these masters. And his master is in a stupid awe of these idols, for he it is that bids them sacrifice a cock to Esculapius. Here one ? his last may see images of these beasts, and creeping things, and

Phædo. Apollo and Bacchus worshipped along with the creeping things. And some of the philosophers lifted up to Heaven bulls, and scorpions, and dragons, and all the rest of that vanity. For in all parts did the devil zealously strive to bring men down before the images of creeping things, and to range beneath the most senseless of all things those 5,3 5 Mss. whom God hath willed to lift up above the heavens. M. him And it is not from this only, but also from other grounds, that you

will see their chief man to come under the remarks now made. For having made a collection of the poets, and having said that we should believe them upon matters relating to God, as having accurate knowledge, he has nothing else to bring forward but a tissue of these absurdities, and then says, that this utterly ludicrous trifling is to be held for true

and S. in III.

Thus Tert. Ap. 46. Lact. iii. 20. authors he considers led by demons Origen cont. Cels. vi. c. 4. quotes this to deceive men. So too Justin, Ap. as shewing the Philosophers guilty of i. 46. allows Heathens a partaking of St. Paul's charge, at the same time the Adyos, and 20, a partial knowledge speaking of Socrates' previous discourse of truth, and 20, 55, 58, 62, &c. as what God had shewn them;' the refers idol rites to the demons. St. note of Spencer, Ed. Ben. i. 631. quotes Augustin. de Civ. Dei, viii. 10. and an allegorical explanation. Theodoret. elsewhere, gives a fair estimate of Græc. Aff. Cur. Dis. vij. de Sacr. says Gentile Philosophy. The A postolical it was done to disprove the charge of Constitutions, l. i. c. 6. forbid studying Atheism.

heathen books. Cotelerius in his note 1 Ms. gives the following words. quotes on the same side, 1. ii. c. 61. Where the images of these brutes and recog. X. 15. 42. Isid. Sent. iii. 13. &c. insects are, all these are found to and the blame cast on Origen by many. resort; and one may see Apollo, &c. On the other side, Tert. de Idol. c. 10. the text seems corrupt.

who however only defends learning in d Greek Philosophy is here treated heathen schools, rather than Christians as attempting to rival the Gospel. The should conform to heathen customs as Fathers who most value what is true in teachers. Origen. Philocal. c. 13. Greg. it, as Clement of Alexandria and Jus- Naz. Or. 20. Hieron. ep. 84. ad Magtin Martyr, speak of it as from partial num Oratorem. Greg. Papa. ad 1 Reg. Divine Light, and use it against the xiii. 19, 20. Theod. H. E. iv. 26. as false; as Cl. A. Str. 1. recommends checking excess in such studies, Greg. the study of it for subordinate know- ad Desiderium, l. ix. Ep. 48. Hier. adv. ledge, and Cohort. ad Gr. quotes Hea- Luciferianos, c. 5. Ep.61.c. 1. Cassian. thens against the mythology, whose Coll. xiv, c. 12. &c.

40 How God leaves men. St. Paul's choice of points to insist on. HOMIL. Ver. 24. Wherefore also God gave them up to uncleanness,

through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves.

Hence he shews, that even of the perversion of the laws it was ungodliness which was the cause, but He gave

them up, here is, let them alone. For as he that hath the command in an army, if upon the battle lying heavy upon him he retreat and go away, gives up his soldiers to the enemies, not by thrusting them himself, but by stripping them of his own assistance. Thus too did God leave those that were not minded to receive what cometh from Him, but were the first to bound off from Him, though Himself having wholly fulfilled His own part. But consider; He set before them, for a form of doctrine, the world; He gave them reason, and an understanding capable of perceiving what was needful. None of these things did the men of that day use unto salvation, but they perverted to the opposite what they had received. What was to be

done then? to drag them by compulsion and force? But 14 Mss. this were not to make them virtuous. It remained then? for

Him to leave them alone, and this He did too, that in this way, if by no other, having by trial come to know the things

they lusted after, they might fee from what was so shameful. 23. Mss. . For if any that was a king's son, dishonouring his father, *ws, and should choose to be with robbers and murderers, and them

that break up tombs, and prefer their doings to his father's
house; the father leaves him, say, so that by actual trial, he
may learn the extravagance of his own madness. But how
comes he to mention no other sin, as murder, for instance, or
covetousness, or other such besides, but only unchasteness?
He seems to me to hint at his audience at the time, and
those who were to receive the Epistle. To uncleanness, to
dishonour their own bodies between themselves.
Note the emphasis here, as it is most severe.

For they stood not in need of any others, it means, to do insolent violence to them, but the very treatment the enemies would have shewn them, this they did to themselves. And then, taking up the charge again, he says,

Ver. 25. Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and teorshipped and serred the creature more than the Creator.

Things which were matter for utter scorn, he puts down

with reason.

Goďs

's Glory untouched. Indifference to wrongs Godlike. 41 specially; but what seemed of a graver cast than the rest, Rom. in general terms, and by all he shews, that serving the

1, 25. creature is Grecian. And see how he makes his assertion plain, for he does not say, barely, they served the creature, but, more than the Creator ; thus every where giving fresh force to the charge, and, by the comparison, taking from them all ground of mitigation. Who is blessed for ever. Amen. But by this, he means, He was not any whit injured. For Himself abideth' blessed for ever. Here he shews, that! 4 Mss. it was not in self-defence that He left them alone, inasmuch wivu

Sav. uis as He suffered nothing Himself. For even if they treated Him insolently, yet He was not insolently treated, neither was any scathe done to the bearings of His glory, but He abideth continually blessed. For if it often happen, that man through philosophy would not feel the insults men offered him, much less would God, the imperishable and unalterable Nature, the unchangeable and immovable Glory.

For men are in this very respect made like unto Godo, when they do not feel what is inflicted by them, who would do them despite, and are neither insulted of others who insult them, nor beaten of them when beating them, nor made scorn of when they make scorn of them. And how in the nature of things can this be; it may be said. It is so, yea most certainly it is possible, when thou art not vexed at what is done. And how, it may be said, is it possible not to be vexed ? 'How is it then that you can be vexed ? Tell 2 3 Mss. me now,

if
your

little child were to insult you, would you S. Tw; then reckon the insult an insult? What, but would you be vexed ? Surely not. But and if you were to be vexed, would

you not then be ridiculous ? Thus too let us then get to feel disposed towards our neighbours, and then we shall have no sense of displeasure. For they that insult us are more senseless than children. Neither let us even seek to be free from insults, but when we are insulted let us bear it noblys. For this is the only secure honour. But why so ? ' 5 Mss. Because this you are master of, but that, another person. nobly

om.

• Gr g. Nyss. p. 724. ιπιι άπαθες το συναφιίας αποσχοινίζεται. Θείον ο εν πάθει ών της προς το Θιλον

42 Evil men and passions to a Christian as lions to Daniel. Homil. Do you not see the adamant reverberating the blows it III. receives. But nature, you will say, gives it this property.

Yet

you too have it in your power to become by free choice such, as that happens to be by nature. How? do you not know of the children in the furnace that were not burned ?

and Daniel, who in the den suffered no harm ? This may even Plato now come to pass. There stand by us too lions, anger and lust, Rep.viii. with fearful teeth tearing asunder him that falleth among them. 1 oxsuyor Become then like that. Daniel, and let not these affections 3 Mss. fasten their fangs into thy soul. But he, they say, had the

whole power of grace to work with him. Truly said. It was because the acts' of free-will led the way thereto. So that if we be willing to train ourselves to a like character, even now the grace is at hand. And even though the brutes be an hungred, yet will they not touch thy sides. For if at the sight of a servant’s body they were abashed, when they hare seen the members of Christ, (and this is what we believers are,) how shall they do else than be still ? Yet if they shall not be still, it is owing to the fault of those cast among them. For indeed many spend largely upon these lions, by keeping harlots, breaking through marriages, taking vengeance upon enemies. And so before ever they come to the bottom of the den they get torn in pieces. But with Daniel this did not so happen, neither yet would it with us, if we were so minded, but even a greater thing would take

place than what then happened. For the lions hurt not 2 so 5 him”; and if we be sober-minded, then will they that hurt Mss. S.

us even profit us. Thus then did Paul grow bright out of those that thwarted him and ploited against him, thus Job out of those many scourges, thus Jeremy out of the miry pit, thus Noah out of the flood, thus Abel out of the treachery, thus Moses out of the blood-thirsty Jews, thus Elisha, thus each of the worthies of old, not out of relaxedness and softness, but out of tribulations and trials, came to be attired with their bright crowns. Wherefore also Christ, inasmuch

as He knew this to be the groundwork of a good report, John 16, said to His disciples, In the world ye shall have tribulation, 33.

rrà rñs re. i. e. his fastings, &c. St. the grace of the doers thereof, in Nat. Ephrem notes that it was not the Dom. ix. t. 2. p. 427. f. miracles which were supernatural, but

there

1, 25.

God always ready to deliver him.

43 but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. What then, Rom. they will say, Have not many been turned to flight by these terrors? Yes, but that was not of the nature of temptation, but of their own remissness. But He that with the tempta- 1 Cor. tion maketh also an escape, so that ye may be able to bear it, 10, 13. may He stand by all of us, and reach forth His hand, that ' 4 Mss. being gloriously proclaimed victorious we may attain to the

By us everlasting crowns, through the grace and love towards man? 25 Mss.

add the of our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom, and with whom, rest to the Father be glory, with the Holy Ghost, for ever and erer. Amen.

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