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ROM. i. 26, 27.
HOMIL. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one towards another.
ALL these affections then were vile, but chiefly the mad lust after males; for the soul is more the sufferer in sins, and more dishonoured, than the body in diseases. But behold how here too, as in the case of the doctrines, he deprives them of excuse, by saying of the women, that they changed the natural use. For no one, he means, can say that it was by being hindered of legitimate intercourse that they came to this pass, or that it was from having no means to fulfil their desire that they were driven into this monstrous insaneness. For the changing implies possession. Which also when discoursing upon the doctrines he said, They changed the truth of God for a lie. And with regard to the men again, he shews the same thing by saying, Leaving the natural use of the woman. And in a like way with those, these he also puts out of all means of defending themselves by charging them not only that they had the means of gratification, and left that which they had, and went after another, but that having dishonoured that which was natural, they ran after that which was contrary to nature. But that which is contrary to nature hath in it an irksomeness and displeasingness, so that they could not fairly allege even pleasure. For genuine pleasure is that which is according
Of sins against nature. St. Paul's careful language.
But when God hath left one, then all things are Roм. turned upside down. And thus not only was their doctrine 1, 26.27. Satanical, but their life too was diabolical. Therefore when he was discoursing of their doctrines, he put before them the world and man's understanding, telling them that, by the judgment afforded them by God, they might through the things which are seen, have been led as by the hand to the Creator, and then', by not willing to do so, they remained inexcusable. 12 Mss. but by Here in the place of the world he sets the pleasure according to nature, which they would have enjoyed with more sense of security and greater glad-heartedness, and so have been far removed from shameful deeds. But they would not; whence they are quite out of the pale of pardon, and have done an insult to nature itself. And a yet more disgraceful thing than these is it, when even the women seek after these intercourses, who ought to have more sense of shame than men. And here too the judgment of Paul is worthy of admiration, how having fallen upon two opposite matters he accomplishes them both with all exactness. For he wished both to speak chastely and to sting the hearer. Now both these things were not in his power to do, but one hindered the other. For if you speak chastely you shall not be able to bear hard upon the hearer. But if you are minded to touch him to the quick, you are forced to lay the naked facts before him in plain terms. But his discreet and holy soul was able to do both with exactness, and by naming nature has at once given additional force to his accusation, and also used this as a sort of veil, to keep the chasteness of his description. And next, having reproached the women first, he goes on to the men also, and says, And likewise also the men leaving the natural use of the woman. Which is an evident proof of the last degree of corruptness, when both sexes are abandoned, and both he that was ordained to be the instructor of the woman, and she who was bid to become an helpmate to the man, work the deeds of enemies against one another. And reflect too how significantly he uses his words. For he does not say that were enamoured of, and lusted after one another, but, they burned in their lust one toward another.
4 3 Msc. ταῦτα δὲ (βουλομένῳ) ἀμφό- in these one cannot succeed merely by τερα οὐκ ἐνὸν (κατορθοῦν). (Sav. ἐνῆν) but wishing it.
46 This perverseness wilful, it causes manifold confusion.
HOMIL. You see that the whole of desire comes of an exorbitancy which endureth not to abide within its proper limits. every thing which transgresseth the laws by God appointed, lusteth after monstrous things and not those which be lawful. For as many oftentimes having left the desire of food get to feed upon earth and small stones, and others being possessed by excessive thirst often long even for mire. Thus these also ran into this ebullition of lawless love. But if you say, and whence came this intensity of lust? It was from the desertion of God: and whence is the desertion of God? from the lawlessness of them that left Him; men with men working that which is unseemly. Do not, he means, because you have heard that they burned, suppose that the evil was only in desire. For the greater part of it came of their luxuriousness, which also kindled into flame their lust. And this is why he did not say being swept along or being overtaken", an expression he uses elsewhere; but what? working. They made a business of the sin, and not only a business, but even one zealously followed up. And he called it not lust, but that which is unseemly, and that properly. For they both dishonoured nature, and trampled on the laws. And see the great confusion which fell out on both sides. For not only was the head turned downwards but the feet too were upwards, and they became enemies to themselves and to one another, bringing in a pernicious kind of strife, and one even more lawless than any civil war, and one rife in divisions, and of varied form. For they divided
14 Mss. this into four empty and lawless kinds. Since this war❜ new was not twofold or threefold, but even fourfold. Consider Whence then. It was meet, that the twain should be one, I mean it the woman and the man. For the twain, it says, shall be one flesh. But this the desire of intercourse effected, and united the sexes to one another. This desire the devil having taken away, and having turned the course thereof
Gen. 2, 24.
b Mingas, Mss. the fem. is used of jewels. The Translator once had some earth which the natives of Mozambique eat in this way: it becomes a dram to them, its taste is like magnesia with iron, which last would give it a stimulant property. There are some
other instances, but cases of madness are perhaps intended.
3 Mss. I should say, and if you ask I shall answer you again.
d Gal. 6, 1. goλnglivris, but 5 Mss. παραλ.
enugis, perhaps as by name.'
Such pleasure a misery, sanctioned by heathen laws. 47
into another fashion, he thus sundered the sexes from one Roм. 1,26.27. another, and made the one to become two parts in opposition to the law of God. For it says, the two shall be one flesh; but he divided the one flesh into two: here then is one war. Again, these same two parts he provoked to war both against themselves and against one another. For even women again abused women, and not men only. And the men stood against one another, and against the female sex, as happens in a battle by night. You see a second and third war, and a fourth and fifth; for there is also another, for beside what' 1 Ms. have been mentioned they also behaved lawlessly against γὰρ nature itself. For when the Devil saw that this desire it is, principally, which draws the sexes together, he was bent on cutting through the tie, so as to destroy the race, not only by their not copulating lawfully, but also by their being stirred up to war, and in sedition against one another.
Theat. §. 86.
3 4 Mss.
And receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. See how he goes again to the fountain head of the evil, namely, the ungodliness of their doctrines, and this he says is a reward of that lawlessness. For since in speaking of hell and punishment it seemed he would not at present be credible to the ungodly, and deliberate choosers of such a life, but even scorned, he shews that this punish-2so Plato ment was in the pleasure itself. But if they perceive it not, but are still pleased, be not amazed. For even they that are mad, and are afflicted with phrenzy, while doing the pu themselves much injury and making themselves such objects ment is of compassion, that others weep over them, themselves smile and revel over what has happened. Yet we do not only for this not say that they are quit of punishment, but for this very reason are under a more grievous vengeance, in that they are unconscious of the plight they are in. For it is not the disordered but those who are sound whose votes one has to gain. Yet of old the matter seemed .even to be a law', and a certain lawgiver among them bade the domestic slaves
f See Müller's Dorians, 1. iv. c. 4. §. 6. where it is shewn that this change is more than exaggerated from confounding earlier times with later, Aristotle, Pol. ii. and Plato, Leg. i. 636. accuse the Lacedæmonians in
like manner, but see Xen. de Rep.
Sin against nature a misery worse than death.
HOMIL. neither to use unguents when dry ' nor to keep youths, giving IV. li.e.exthe free this place of honour, or rather of shamefulness. cept in Yet they, however, did not think the thing any disgrace, but bathing as being a grand privilege, and one too great for slaves, they permitted it to the free alone. And this did the Athenian people, the wisest of people, do, and Solon who is so great amongst them. And sundry other books of the philosophers may one see full of this disease. But we do not therefore say that the thing was made lawful, but that they who received this law were pitiable, and objects for many tears. For these are treated in the same way as women that play the whore. Or rather their plight is more miserable. For in the case of the one the intercourse, even if lawless, is yet according to nature: but this is both. lawless and contrary to nature. For even if there were no hell, and no punishment had been threatened, this were worse than any punishment. Yet if you say they found pleasure in it,' you tell me what adds to the vengeance. For suppose I were to see a person running naked, with his body all besmeared with mire, and yet not covering himself, but exulting in it, I should not rejoice with him, but should rather bewail that he did not even perceive that he was doing shamefully. But that I may shew the atrocity in a yet clearer light, bear with me in one more example. Now 2 bad if any one condemned a virgin to live in close dens2, μονομένην and to have intercourse with unreasoning brutes, and
then she was pleased with such intercourse, would she not for this be a worthy object of tears, as being unable to be freed from this misery owing to her not even perceiving the misery? It is plain surely to every one. But if that were a grievous thing, thus neither is this less so than that. For to be insulted by one's own kinsmen is more piteous than to be 34 Mss. so by strangers: these I say are even worse than murderers:
since to die even is better than to live under such insolency. For the murderer dissevers the soul from the body, but this man ruins the soul with the body. And name what sin you will, none will you mention equal to this lawlessness. And if they that suffer such things perceived them, they would S. adds accept ten thousand deaths so they might not suffer this
nal and a evil. For there is not, there surely is not, a more1 grievous