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God's jealousy over us is of love. Homil. may win over those that scorn them. Yet affection of this XXIII.
sort is one of compulsion, and still this even solaces them, conj.and through the vehemency of their love. And so punishment
itself comes from affection, since unless pained at being FOūTO
hated, they would not choose to punish either. Now observe, 2 Cor. 2, how this is what Paul says to the Corinthians. For who is
he (says he) that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me? And so when he is going to the full extent of punishment, then he shews his love. Thus the Egyptian woman too, from her vehement love, as vehemently punished Joseph: and she indeed did so for mischief: the love being unchaste: but God for good, since the love was worthy of Him who loved. This is why He does not refuse
even to condescend to grosser words, and to speak the names Ex. 20, of human passions, and to call Himself jealous. For I am
a jealous God, He saith, that you may learn the intenseness of the love. Let us then love Him as He would have us : for He sets great store thereby. And if we turn away, He keepeth inviting us, and if we will not be converted, He chasteneth us through His affection, not through a wish to exact punishment of us. And see what He saith in Ezekiel
to the city that was beloved, yet had despised Him. I will 16,37_bring thy lovers against thee, and will deliver thee into their 42.
hands, and they shall stone thee, and shall slay thee, and My jealousy shall be taken away from thee, and I will rest, and I will not trouble myself any more.
What more than this could a vehement lover have said, when despised by his beloved, and after all again ardently loving her? For God doeth every thing that He may be loved by us, and owing to this He spared not even His Son. But we are unbending, and savage. Yet let us become gentle at last, and love God as
we ought to love Him, that we may with pleasure enjoy 9 Ms.
virtue. For if any that hath a beloved wife does not every day
perceive any of the vexations that come day by day, He (wita that loveth with this divine and pure love, only consider what him)
great pleasure he will have to enjoy! For this is, indeed it is, the kingdom of Heaven; this is fruition of good things, and pleasure, and cheerfulness, and joy, and blessedness. Or rather, say as many things as I may, I shall still be unable to give you any such representation of it as should be, but
The Love of God gives a heaven on earth. 405 the trial of it alone can give a knowledge of this goodly Rom. thing. Wherefore also the Prophet saith, Indulge' thyself in the Lord, and, Taste and see that the Lord is gracious. Ps.33,9. Let us then be persuaded, and indulge ourselves in His love. For in this way we shall both see His Kingdom even from out of this life, and shall be living the life of Angels, and while we abide on earth, we shall be in as goodly a condition as they that dwell in heaven; and after our departing hence, shall stand the brightest of beings by the judgment-seat of Christ, and shall enjoy that glory unutterable, which may we all attain unto, by the grace and love toward man of our Lord Jesus Christ. For to Him is the glory for ever, Amen.
• Delight seems not near strong enough to express day17.
Rom. xiii. 11.
out of sleep.
HOMIL. SINCE he had given them what commands were fitting, he XXIV.
again thrusts them on to the performance of good works, in consideration of what was pressing upon them. For the time of judgment, he means, is at the doors. So too he wrote to the Corinthians also, The remaining time is short". And to the Hebrews again, For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry. But in those cases it was to cheer those in trouble, and to solace the toils of their closely successive temptations, that he said those things: but in the passage before us he does it to rouse those that are asleep, this language being useful to us for both the purposes: and what is that which he says, Now it is high time to awake out of sleep? It is, that near is the Resurrection, near the awful Judgment, and the day that burneth as a furnace, near. Henceforward then we must be free from our listlessness; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. You see how he puts the Resurrection now close by them. For as the time advances, he means, the season of our present life is wasting away, and that of the life to come waxes nearer. If then thou be prepared, and hast
a I Cor. 7, 29. The stopping only is brews (Matthiæ), Heb. 10, 37. altered, as in Hom. xix. on the He
For the 13, 12.
We should grow more zealous as the Duy approaches. 407 done all whatsoever he hath commanded, the day is one of Rom. salvation to theel: but if the contrary, not so. present however, it is not upon alarming grounds that he creía con exhorts them, but upon kindly ones, thus also to untie them from their fellow-feeling for the things of this present world. Then since it was not unlikely, that in the beginning of their early endeavours they would be most earnest, in that their desire was then at its full vigour, but that as the time went on, the whole of their earnestness would wither down to nothing; he says that they ought however to be doing the reverse, not to get relaxed as time went on, but to be the more full of vigour. For the nearer the King may be at hand, the more ought they to get themselves in readiness; the nearer the prize is, the more wide awake ought they to be for the contest, since even the racers do this, when they are upon the end of the course, and towards the receiving of the prize, then they rouse themselves up the more. This is why he said, Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
Ver. 12. The night is far spent, the day is at hand.
This then is upon ending, and the latter is drawing near. Let us henceforth do what belongs to the latter, not to the former. For this is what is done in the things of this life. And when we see the night pressing on towards the morning, and hear the swallow twittering, we each of us awake our neighbour, although it be night still. But so soon as it is actually departing, we hasten one another, and say, It is day now! and we all set about the works of the day, dressing, and leaving our dreams, and shaking our sleep thoroughly off, that the day may find us ready, and we may not have to begin getting up, and stretching ourselves, when the sunlight is up. What then we do in that case, that let us do here also. Let us put off imaginings, let us get clear of the dreams of this life present, let us lay aside its deep slumber, and be clad in virtue for garments. For it is to point out all this that he says,
Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
Yes, for the day is calling us to battle-array, and to the fight. Yet fear not at hearing of array and arms. For in
408 Armour of light. Walking as in the light. Homil. the case of the visible suit of armour, to put it on is a heavy XXIII. and abhorred task. But here it is desirable, and worth being
prayed for. For it is of Light the arms are! Hence they will set thee forth brighter than the sunbeam, and giving out a great glistening, and they place thee in security: for they are arms, and glittering do they make thee: for arms of light are they! What then is there no necessity for thee to fight? yea, needful is it to fight, yet not to be distressed and toil. For it is not in fact war, but a solemn dance and feast-day. Such is the nature of the arms, such the power of the Commander. And as the bridegroom goes forth with joyous looks from his chamber, so doth he too who is defended with these arms. For he is at once soldier and bridegroom. But when he says, the day is at hand, he does not even allow it to be but near, but puts it even now beside us. For he
says, TE. V. Let us walk becomingly' as in the day. For day it already honestly is. And what most people insist upon very much in their
exhortations, that he also uses to draw them on, the sense of the becoming. For they had a great regard to the esteem of the multitude b. And he does not say, walk ye, but let us walk, so making the exhortation free from any thing grating, and the reproof gentle.
Not in rioting and drunkenness. Not that he would forbid drinking, but the doing it immoderately; not the
enjoying of wine, but doing it to excess. As also the next σαροικίας
thing he states likewise with the same measure, in the words,
Not in chambering and wantonness : for here also he does not prohibit the intercourse of the sexes, but committing fornication. Not in strife and envying. It is the deadly kind of passions then that he is for extinguishing, Inst, namely, and anger. Wherefore it is not themselves only, but even the sources of them that he removes. For there is nothing that so kindles lust, and inflames wrath, as drunkenness, and sitting long at the wine. Wherefore after first saying, not in rioting and drunkenness, then he proceeded with, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and
b St. Aug. de C. D. v. 13–15. dis- good that comes of it, as to the Roman cusses this motive, and the temporal state ; quoting Mat. 6, 2.