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Truth clear to men as earnest for it as for the world. 439 alone. And then there is this to be said too, that perchances Rom. such an one was neither thoughtful nor earnest. And how, it may be said, could he, as being very uninformed'? Let'ardu me beg you to consider then this simple and single-hearted man, and take notice of him in the affairs of life, and you will see him a pattern of the utmost scrupulousness, such that if he would have shewn it in spiritual matters he would not have been overlooked: for the facts of the truth are clearer than the sun. And wherever a man may go, he might easily lay hold of his own salvation, if he were minded, that is, to be heedful, and not to look on this as a by-work. For were the doings shut up into Palestine, or in a little corner of the world ? Hast thou not heard the prophet say, All shall know Jer. 31, me from the least even to the greatest ? Do not you see the

Heb. 8, things themselves uttering the truth? How then are these to 11. be excused, seeing as they do the doctrine of the truth spread far and wide, and not troubling themselves, or caring to learn it? And dost thou require all this, it is asked, of a rude savage? Nay, not of a rude savage only, but of any who is more savage than men of the present day. For why is it, pray, that in matters of this world men know how to answer when they are wronged, and to resist when they have violence done them, and do and devise every thing to prevent their ever having their will thwarted even in the slightest degree; but in spiritual concerns they do not use this same judgment ? And when a man worships a stone, and thinks it a god, he both keeps feasts to it, and spends money on it, and shews much fear towards it, and in no case becomes listless from his simpleness. But when he has to seek to the very and true God, do you then mention singleness and simpleness to me? These things are not so, assuredly they are not! For the complaints are those of mere listlessness. For which do you think the most simple and rude, those in Abraham's day or those now ? Clearly Josh. the former. And when that it was easiest to find religion 24, 2. out ? now or then ? Clearly now. For now the Name of God is proclaimed even by all men, and the Prophets have preached, the things come to pass, the Gentiles been con-Gen.32, Or severally, Ps. 33, (32) 15. και πολλάκις, v. p. 143.

Judges LXX. E, V, alike.

13, 18.

29.

XXVI.

Gen. 23,

29.

13, 18.

440 Patriarchs gained knowledge by earnestness. Homil. vinced. But at that day the majority were still in an unin

structed state, and sin was dominant. And there was no law

to instruct, nor prophets, nor miracles, nor doctrine, nor Judges

multitude of men acquainted with it, nor aught else of the kind, but all things then lay as it were in a deep darkness, and a night moonless and stormy. And yet even then that wondrous and noble man, though the obstacles were so great, still knew God and practised virtue, and led many to the same zeal; and this though he had not even the wisdom of those without". For how should he, when there were no letters even yet invented? Yet still he brought his own share in, and God joined to bring in what was lacking

to him. For you cannot say even this, that Abraham reTerah.ceived his religion from his fathers, because he' was an v. Josh. 24, 2.

idolater. But still, though he was from such forefathers and was uncivilized, and lived amongst uncivilized people, and had no instructor in religion, yet he attained to a knowledge of God, and in comparison with all his descendants, who had the advantage both of the Law and the Prophets, he was so much more illustrious as no words can express. Why

was it then? It was because in things of this world he in Gen. did not give himself any great anxiety, but in things of 33. &c. the spirit he applied his whole attention. And what of in Gen. Melchizedek? was not he also born about those times, and 35, 36. was so bright as to be called even a priest of God? For a výpovra it is impossible in the extreme, that the sober-minded: should

ever be overlooked. And let not these things be a trouble to us, but knowing that it is the mind with which in each case the power lies, let us look to our own duties, that we may grow better.

Let us not be demanding an account of God, or enquire why He let such an one alone, but called such an one.

For we are doing the same as if a servant that had given offence were to pry into his master's housekeeping. Wretched and miserable man, when thou oughtest to be thoughtful about the account thou hast to give, and how thou wilt reconcile thy master, dost thou call him to account for things that thou art not to give an account of, passing

Hom.

h Philo, however, makes Abraham Nob. §. 5. also Joseph. Ant. i. c. 8. learned in all Chaldæan wisdom. De §. 2.

A Christian life needful to convince Heathens. 441 over those things of which thou art to give a reckoning! Rom.

14, 23. What am I to say to the Gentile ? he asks. Why, the same that I have been saying. And look not merely to what thou shalt say to the Gentile, but also to the means of amending him. When he is offended by examining into thy life, then consider what thou wilt say. For if he be offended, thou wilt not be called to a reckoning for him, but if it be thy way of life by which he is injured, thou wilt have to undergo the greatest danger. When he seeth thee philosophizing about the kingdom, and fluttering at the things of this life, and at once afraid about hell, and trembling at the calamities of this life, then lay it to mind. When he sees this, and accuses thee, and says, If thou art in love with the Kingdom, how is it thou dost not look down upon the things of this life? If thou art expecting the awful judgment, why dost thou not despise the terrors of this world ? If thou hopest for immortality, why dost thou not think scorn of death? When he says this, be thou anxious what defence thou wilt make? When he sees thee trembling at the thought of losing thy money, thee that expectest the heavens, and exceedingly glad about a single penny, and selling thy soul again for a little money, then lay it to mind. For these are the things, just these, that make the Gentiles stumble. And so, if thou art thoughtful about thine own salvation, make thy defence on these heads, not by words, but by actions. For it is not through that question that any body ever blasphemed God, but through men's bad lives it is, that there are thousands of blasphemers in all quarters. Set this right then. For the Gentile will next ask thee, How am I to know that God's commands are feasible? For thou that art of Christian extraction, and hast been brought up in this fine religion, do not do any thing of the kind. And what will you tell him? You will be sure to say, I will shew you others that do; monks that dwell in the deserts. And art thou not ashamed to confess to being a Christian, and yet to send to others, as unable to shew that you display the temper of a Christian? For he also will say directly, What need have I to go to the mountains, and to hunt up the deserts ?

1 Marginal reading. The passage is difficult, and the readings vary much.

442 Strict life should not be left only to monks and hermits. Homil. For if there is no possibility for a person who is living in XXVI.

the midst of cities to be a disciple, this is a sad imputation on this rule of conduct, that we are to leave the cities, and run to the deserts. But shew me a man who has a wife, and children, and family, and yet pursueth wisdom. What are we then to say to all this? Must we not hang down our heads, and be ashamed? For Christ did not so order things; but how? Let your light shine before men, not mountains, and deserts, and wildernesses, and out-of-the-way places. And this I say, not as abusing those who have taken up with the mountains, but as bewailing those that dwell in cities, because they have banished virtue from thence. Wherefore I beseech you let us introduce the discipline they have there here also, that the cities may become cities indeed. This will improve the Gentile. This will free him from countless offences. And so if thou wouldest set him free from scandal, and thyself enjoy rewards without number, set thy own life

in order, and make it shine forth upon all sides, according to 1 so Ms. that which hath been said, that men may see your good which also adds works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. For so υμών we also shall enjoy that unutterable and great glory, which

God grant that we may all attain to, by the grace and love toward man, &c.

HOMILY XXVII.

Rom. xvi. 25–27.

add to

Now to Him that is of power to stablish you according to

my Gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the Revelation of the Mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by Ms.si the Scriptures of the Prophets, according to the command-which ment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations omits. for the obedience of faith: to God only wise, be glory ? Ms. Mt.

& Bodl. through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. *

Him It is always a custom with Paul to conclude his exhorta- Rom.

16,25-27 tion with prayers and doxologies. For he knows that the thing is one of no slight importance. And it is out of affectionateness and caution that he is in the habit of doing this. For it is the character of a teacher devoted to his children, and to God, not to instruct them in words only, but by prayer too to bring upon his teaching the assistance which is from God. And this he does here also. But the connection is as follows; To Him that is of power to stablish you, be glory for ever. Amen. For he again clings to those weak brethren, and to them he directs his discourse. For when he was rebuking, he made all share his rebuke; but now, when he is praying, it is for these that he wears the attitude of a suppliant. And after saying to stablish, he proceeds to give the mode of it, by my Gospel; and this was

* These three verses are placed here writers, and several versions, place in most Mss. and by most Greek them at the end of the Epistle. Fathers. Some good Mss. and Latin

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