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Evil shepherds. David ready to die for his people. 469 affectionate; whence it was that he said, But God forbid that Rom. I should sin in ceasing to pray unto the Lord for you. In 15, 24. like way Paul also, or rather not in like way, but even in a
12, 23. far greater degree, burned towards all his subjects? Where- 1 főr égfore he made his disciples of such affection towards himself, Xopivan that he said, if it were possible, ye would have pulled out Gal. 4, your eyes and given them to me. On this ground too it 16. is, that God charges the teachers of the Jews above all things with this, saying, Oh shepherds of Israel, do shep- Ezek. herds feed themselves ? do they not feed the flock? But 34, 2. 3. they did the reverse. For he says, ye eat the milk, and clothe you with the wool, and ye kill them that are fed, but ye feed not the flock. And Christ, in bringing out the rule for the fittest Pastor, said, the good shepherd layeth down John 10, his life for his sheep. This David did also, both on sundry other occasions, and also when that fearful wrath from above came down upon the whole people. For while all were being slain he said, I the shepherdo have sin- 2 Sam. ned, I the shepherd have done amiss, and these the flock 24, 17. what have they done? And so in the choice of those punishments also, he chose not famine, nor flight before enemies, but the pestilence sent by God, whereby he hoped to place all the others in safety, but that he should himself in preference to all the rest be carried off. But since this was not so, he bewails, and says, On me be Thy Hand: or if this be not enough, on my father's house also, For I, he says, the shepherd, have sinned. As though he had said, that if they also sinned, I was the person who should suffer the vengeance, as I corrected them not. But since the sin is mine also, it is I who deserve to suffer the vengeance. For wishing to increase the crime he used the name of Shepherd. Thus then he stayed the plague, thus he got the sentence revoked! So great is the power of confession. For the righteous is his own accuser first'. This? is the 2 go Ms. concern and sympathy of a good Pastor. For his bowels Sav. so
great.' were writhed at their falling, as when one's own children are
e So LXX, Cod. Alex. Theodoret version is, ' He that is first in his own in loc. makes David herein a type of cause seemeth just.' The text is much Christ.
quoted by the Fathers, as Hil. in Ps, | Prov. 18, 17. LXX. and vulg. Our 135 (-6.)
470 David's care for Absalom. Abraham's for all men. Homil. killed. And on this ground he begged that the wrath might
come upon himself. And in the beginning of the slaughter 1 so mar. he would have done this, unless he had seen it advancing, 2 Ms.ex-and hoped that it would come to himself. When therefore pected he saw that this did not happen, but that the calamity was
raging among them, he no longer forbore, but was touched more than for Amnon his firstborn. For then he did not ask for death, but now he begs to fall in preference to the others. Such ought a ruler to be, and to grieve rather at
the calamities of others than his own. Some such thing he 3 Ms. his suffered in his son's: case likewise, that you might see that Salom's he did not love his son more than his subjects, and yet the
Tarea-youth was unchaste, and an ill-user of his father, and still he 2 sam. said, would that I might have died for thee! What sayest thou, 18, 33. thou blessed one, thou meekest of all men? Thy son was set
upon killing thee, and compassed thee about with ills unnumbered. And when he had been removed, and the trophy was raised, dost thou then pray to be slain? Yea, he says, for it is not for me that the army has been victorious, but I am warred against more violently than before, and my bowels are now more torn than before. These however were all thoughtful for those committed to their charge, but the blessed Abrahain concerned himself much even for those that were not entrusted to him, and so much so as even to throw himself amongst alarming dangers. For in that it was not for his nephew only that he did what he did, but for the people of Sodom also, he did not leave driving those persons before him until he had set them all free: and yet he might have departed after he had taken him, yet he did not choose it. For he had the like concern for all, and this he shewed likewise by his subsequent conduct. When then it was not a host of barbarians that was on the point of laying siege to them, but the wrath of God that was about to pluck their cities up from their foundations, and it was no longer the time for arms, and battle, and array, but for supplication; so great was the zeal he shewed for them, as if he himself had been on the point of perishing. For this reason he comes once, twice, thrice, aye and many times to God, and finds
See a remarkable form in use in ties, Windischman, Philos, im fortgang China on the occasion of such calami. der Weltgeschichte, i. p. 29.
His Intercession. Christ's flock needs painful watching. 471
I i.e. an
takes v. 33.
a refuge in his nature by saying, I am dust and ashes; and Rom. since he saw that they were traitors to themselves, he begs
15, 24. that they may be saved for others. Wherefore also God excuse. said, I will not hide from Abraham My servant that thing Gen. 18, which I am about to do, that we might learn how loving to 17. man the righteous is. And he would not have left off beseeching, unless God had left off first? And he seems ? so he indeed to be praying for the just, but is doing the whole for them. For the souls of the Saints are very gentle and loving unto man, both in regard to their own, and to strangers. And even to the unreasoning creatures they extend their gentleness. Wherefore also a certain wise man said, The righteous pitieth the souls of his cattle". But if he doth those of cattle even, how much more those of men. But since I have mentioned cattle, let us just consider the shepherds of the sheep who are in the Cappadocian land, and what they suffer in kind and degree in their guardianship of unreasoning creatures. They often stay for three days together buried down under the snows. And those in Libya are said to undergo no less hardships than these, ranging about for whole months through that wilderness, dreary as it is, and filled with the direst wild beasts. Now 4
Ongia if for unreasonable things there be so much zeal, what may
include defence are we to set up, who are entrusted with reasonable serpents souls, and yet slumber on in this deep sleep? For is it right to be at rest, and in quiet, and not to be running about every where, and giving one's self up to endless deaths in behalf of these sheep? Or know ye not the dignity of this flocks? 5 Ordin. Was it not for this that thy Master took endless pains, and exhort. afterwards poured forth His blood. And dost thou seek for rest? Now what can be worse than these Shepherds ? Dost thou not perceive, that there stand round about these sheep wolves much more fierce and savage than those of this world? Dost thou not think with thyself, what a soul he ought to have who is to take in hand this office? Now men that lead the populace, if they have but common matters to deliberate on, add days to nights in watching. And we that are struggling in heaven's behalf sleep even in
h Prov. 10, 10. LXX. perhaps know occurs in Exod. 23, 9, for enter nearer the meaning than the E. V. into the feelings of,'
472 The people should aid the Pastor's labour of love. Homil. the day time? And who is now to deliver us from the XXIX. punishment for these things. For if the body were to be
cut in pieces, if to undergo ten thousand deaths, ought one not to run to it as to a feast? And let not the shepherds only, but the sheep also hear this; that they may make the shepherds the more active minded, that they may the more encourage their good will, if by nothing else, at least by
yielding all compliance and obedience. Thus Paul also Heb.13,
bade them, saying, Obey them which have the rule over you, and submit yourselves : for they watch for your souls as they that must give account. And when he says, watch, he means thousands of labours, cares, and dangers. For the good Shepherd, who is such as Christ wisheth for, is contending before countless witnesses. For He died once for him; but this man ten thousand times for the flock, if, that is, he be such a shepherd as he ought to be; for such an one can
die every day'. And therefore do ye, as being acquainted Rom. 8, with what the labour is, cooperate with them, with prayers, 271. with zeal, with readiness, with affection, that both we may have to boast of you,
For on this ground He entrusted this to the chief of the Apostles, who also loved Him more than the rest; after first asking him if He was loved by him, that thou mayest learn that this, before other things, is held as a proof of love to Him. For this requireth a vigorous soul. This I have said of the best shepherds; not of myself and those of our days, but of any one that
may be such as Paul was, such as Peter, such as Moses. These then let us imitate, both the rulers of us, and the ruled. For the ruled may in turn be a shepherd of his family, of his friends, of his servant, of his wife, of his children: and if we so order our affairs we shall attain to all manner of good things. Which God grant that we may all attain unto, by the grace and love toward man, &c.
I See on
xopupaío. The common title of St. Peter amoug the Fathers.
Rom. xv. 25-27.
But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.
For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. It hath pleased them verily, and their debtors they are.
SINCE he had said that I have no longer no more place in Rom. these parts, and, I have a great desire, these many years, to i Ms. come unto you, but he still intended to delay ; lest it should work be thought that he was making a jest of them, he mentions the cause also why he still puts it off, and he says, that I am going unto Jerusalem, and is apparently giving the excuse for the delay. But by means of this he also makes good another object, which is the exhorting of them to alms, and making them more in earnest about it. Since if he had not been minded to effect this, it had sufficed to say, I am going unto Jerusalem. But now he adds the reason of his journey. For I go, he says, to minister to the saints. And he dwells over the subject, and enters into reasonings, and says that they are debtors, and that, if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things, that they might learn to imitate these. Wherefore also there is much reason to admire his wisdom for devising this way of giving the advice. For they were more likely to bear it in this way