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444 St. Paul's Doctrine that of Christ, and of the Prophets. Homil. what one would do to shew that as yet they were not firmly XXVII. fixed, but stood, though with wavering. Then to give a
trust-worthiness to what he says, he proceeds, and the preaching of Jesus Christ; that is, which He Himself preached. But if He preached it, the doctrines are not ours, but the laws are of Him. And afterwards, in discussing the nature of the preaching, He shews that this gift is one of much benefit, and of much honour; and this he first proves from the person of the declarer thereof, and then likewise from the things declared. For it was glad tidings. Besides, from His not having made aught of them known to any before us. And this he imitates in the words, according to the revelation of the mystery. And this is a sign of the greatest friendliness, to make us share in the mysteries, and no one before us. Which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest. For it had been determined long ago, but was only manifested now. By the Scriptures of the Prophets. Here again he is releasing the weak person from fear. Why be afraid? he means; why rebel against the Law? This the Law wishes, this it foretold from of old. But if thou pryest into the cause of its being made manifest now, thou art doing a thing not safe to do, in being curious about the mysteries of God, and calling Him to account. For we ought not with things of this nature to act as busybodies, but to be well pleased and content with them. Wherefore that he might himself put a check upon a spirit of this sort, he adds, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for the obedience of faith. For faith requires obedience, and not curiosity. And when God commands, one ought to be obedient, not curious. Then he uses another argument to encourage them, saying, made known to all nations. That is, it is not thou alone but the whole world that is of this Creed, as having had not man, but God for a Teacher. Wherefore also he adds, through Jesus Christ. But it was not only made known, but also confirmed. Now both are His work. And on this ground too the way it is to be read is, Now to Him that is of power
b Sav. Mein á tortņs, Ms. où rein, which God only wise, through Jesus Christ, to seems to determine the construction. Him (or to Whom) be glory, 8c.
v. 27, in the Greek reads thus; ' TO
Glory ascribed to Christ. Wisdom of God shewn. 445 to stablish you through Jesus Christ; and, as I was saying, Rom, he ascribes them both to Him; or rather, not both of these only, but the glory belonging to the Father also. And this' or too is why he said, to Whom be glory for ever, Amen. Gr. rig And he uses a doxology again through awe at the incom-tis prehensibleness of these mysteries. For even now they have appeared, there is no such thing as comprehending them by reasonings, but it is by faith we must come to a knowledge of them, and in no other way can we, He well says, To the only wise God. For if you will only reflect how He brought the nations in, and blended them with those who in olden time had wrought well, how He saved those who were desperate, how He brought men not worthy of the earth up to heaven, and brought those who had fallen from the present life into that undying and unalterable life, and made those who were trampled down by devils to vie with Angels, and opened Paradise, and put a stop to all the old evils, and this too in a short time, and by an easy and compendious way, then wilt thou learn His wisdom. When thou seest that that which neither Angels nor Archangels knew, they of the Gentiles learnt on a sudden through Jesus, then wilt thou know His power”. Right then is it to admire His wisdom, and to Ms.
adds give Him glory! But thou keepest dwelling over little things, still sitting under the shadow. And this is not much like &c. one that giveth glory. For he who has no confidence in Him, and no trust in the faith, does not bear testimony to the grandeur of His doings. But he himself offers glory up in their behalf, in order to bring them also to the same zeal. But when you hear him say, to the only wise God, think not that this is said in disparagement of the Son. For if all these things whereby His wisdom is made apparent were done by Christ, and without Him no single one, it is quite 3 or plain that He is equal in wisdom also. What then is the made,
see John reason of his saying only? To set Him in contrast with 1, 3. every created being. After giving the doxology then, he again goes from prayer to exhortation, directing his discourse against the stronger, and saying, as follows:
Chap. xv. ver. 1. We then that are strong, ought-it is we ought, not' we are so kind as to.' What is it we ought to do ?-to bear the infirmities of the weak.
446 Compassion to the weak the way to edify. HOMIL. See how he has roused their attention by his praises, not XXVII.
only by calling them powerful, but also by putting them along. side of himself. And not by this only, but by the advantage of the thing he again allures them, and that in a way not to distress them. For thou, he says, art powerful, and art no whit the worse for condescending. But to him the hazard is of the last consequence, if he is not borne with. And he does not say the infirm, but the infirmities of the weak, so
drawing them and leading them to mercy. As in another Gal.6,1. place too he says, Ye that are spiritual restore such an one.
Art thou become powerful ? Render a return to God for making thee so. But render it thou wilt if thou settest the weakness of the sickly right. For we too were weak, but by grace we have become powerful. And this we are to do not in this case only, but also in the case of those who are weak in other respects. As, for instance, if any be passionate, or insolent, or has any such like failing, bear with him. And how is this to be? Listen to what comes next. For after saying we ought to bear, he adds, and not to please ourselves.
Ver. 2. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
But what he says is this. Art thou powerful ? Let the weak liave trial of thy power. Let him come to know thy strength; please him. And he does not barely say please, but for his good, and not barely for his good, lest the advanced person should say, See I am drawing him to his good! but he adds, to edification. And so if thou be rich or be in power, please not thyself, but the poor and the needy, because in this way thou wilt at once have true glory to enjoy, and be doing much service. For glory from things of the world soon flies away, but that from things of the spirit is abiding, if thou do it to edification. Wherefore of all men he requires this. For it is not this and that person that is to do it, but each of us. Then since it was a great thing he had commanded them, and had bidden them even relax their own perfectness in order to set right the other's weakness; he again introduces Christ, in the following words,
d Ms. and by its not being burdensome.
Christ's Example of Patient Endurance. 447 Ver. 3. For even Christ pleased not Himself.
Rom. And this he always does. For when he was upon the subject of alms, he brought Him forward and said, Ye know 2 Cor. the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was i 50 Ms. rich, yet for our sakes He became poor. And when he was exhorting to charity, it was from Him that he exhorted in the words, As Christ also loved us. And when he was giving Eph. 5, advice about bearing shame and dangers, he took refuge in Him, and said, Who for the joy that was set before Him Heb.12, endured the Cross, despising the shame. So in this passage too he shews how He also did this, and how the prophet proclaimed it from of old. Wherefore also he proceeds:
As it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached Ps.69,9. Thee fell upon Me. But what is the import of, He pleased not Himself ? He had power not to have been reproached, power not to have suffered what He did suffer, bad He been minded to look to His own things. But yet He was not so minded. But through looking to our good He neglected His own. And why did He not say, He emptied Himself? It is because this was not the only thing he wished to point out, that He became man, but that He was also ill-treated, and obtained a bad reputation with many, being looked upon as weak. For one said, If thou be the Son of God, come Mat.27, down from the Cross. And, He saved others, Himself He Mat.27,
, cannot save.
Hence he mentions a circumstance which was 42. available for His present subject, and proves much more than he undertook to do; for he shews that it was not Christ alone that was reproached, but the Father also. For the reproaches of them that reproached Thee fell, he says, upon Me. But what he says is nearly this, What has happened is no new or strange thing. For they in the Old Testament who came to have a habit of reproaching Him, they also raved against His Son. But these things were written that we should not imitate them herein. And then he supples? them for a? Gr.
anoints patient endurance of temptations.
Ver. 4. For whatsoever things were written aforetime, he says, were written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope.
That is, that we might not fall away, (for there are sundry conflicts within and without,) that being nerved and com
448 Patience a gift of God, and to His glory. Homil. forted by the Scriptures, we might exhibit patience, that! XXVII.
by living in patience we might abide in hope. For these things are productive of each other, patience of hope, and hope of patience. And both of them are brought about by the Scriptures. Then he again brings his discourse into the form of prayer, and says,
Ver. 5. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one towards another, according to Christ Jesus.
For since he had given his own advice, and had also urged the example of Christ, he added the testimony of the Scriptures also, to shew that with the Scripture Himself giveth patience also. And this is why he said, Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one touards another, according to Christ Jesus. For this is what love would do, be minded toward another even as toward himself. Then to shew again that it is not mere love that he requires, he adds, according to Christ Jesus. And this he does in all places, because there is also another sort of love. And what is the advantage of their agreeing ? That ye may with one mind, he says, and one mouth, glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He does not say merely with one mouth, but bids us do it with one will also. See how he has united the whole body into one, and how he concludes his address again with a doxology, whereby he gives the utmost inducement to unanimity and concord. Then again from this point he keeps to the same exhortation as before, and says,
Ver. 7. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.
The example again is as before, and the gain unspeakable.
For this is a thing that doth God especial glory, the being 1 Sav. closely united. And so if even against thy will', and for
His sake, thou be at variance with thy brother, consider pain. Ms.au- that by putting an end to thy anger thou art glorifying thy รอย
Master, and if not on thy brother's account, for this at all erents be reconciled to him. For Christ also insists upon this upon all possible grounds, and when addressing His
cvw xai xátw orgípu, see Ast. ad Platon. Phædr. 127.