Guilt of the Jews the greater for their knowledge. Homil. not the hearers of the Law, he says, are just before God,) VI,

but now he shew's further still, that not only the hearing, but, what is more than the hearing, the teaching of Law itself will not be able to skreen the teacher, unless (he says) he do what he teaches; and not only will it not skreen him, but will even punish him the more. And he has used his expressions well too, since he does not say, Thou hast received the Law, but, Thou restest in the Law. For the Jew was not wearied with going about to seek what was to be done, but had on easy terms the Law, which pointed out the way leading to virtue. For if even the Gentiles have natural reason (and it is on this ground that these are better than they, as doing the Law without hearing,) yet still those men had greater facility. But if you say, I am not only a hearer, but even a teacher, this very thing is an aggravation of your punishment. For because they prided themselves upon this“, from this above all he shews them to be ridiculous. But when he says, a guide of the blind, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, he is speaking their own pompous language. For they treated proselytes extremely ill, and these were the names they called them by. And this is why he dwells at large upon what were supposed to be their praises, well knowing that what was said gave greater ground for accusation, Which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the Law. As if any one who had a picture of the king, were to draw nothing after it, and they that were not entrusted with it were to imitate it exactly even without the original. And then after mentioning the advantages they had from God, he tells them of their failances, and brings forward what the prophets accused them of. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? Thou that abhorrest

idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? For it was strictly fori zenué- bidden them to touch any of the things in the idol temples 26 Mss. idols. * The younger Buxtorf, in his pre- circumcised goeth down into Hell,'

face to his father's Synagoga Judaica, and R. Abraham, that the Israelites gives specimens of their language, as were all wise, all understanding, all from Cad Hakkemach, 'Such is the skilled in the Law.' See also Smith's power of Circumcision, that none who is Select Disconrses, No. 7.

2, 24.


Isaiah accuses the Jews of causing blasphemy. 75 by reason of the defilement. But the tyranny of avarice, he Rom. says, has persuaded you to trample this Law also under

14 Mss. foot. Then he goes on to bring a much more grievous and mar. charge, saying,

Ver. 23. Thou that makest a boast in the Law through breaking the Law, dishonourest thou God?

There are two accusations which he makes, or rather three. Both that they dishonour, and dishonour that whereby they were honoured; and that they dishonour Him that honoured them, which was the utmost extreme of unfeelingness. And then, not to seem to be accusing them of his own mind, he brings in the Prophet as their accuser, at present briefly and concisely and summarily, but afterwards more particularly, and at present Isaiah, and after that David, when he had shewn the grounds of reproof to be more than one. For that I am not abusing you, he means, in saying these things, hear what Isaiah saith.

Ver. 24. For the name of God is blasphemed among the Is. 52,5, Gentiles through you.

See again another double accusation. For they not only commit insolence themselves, but even induce others to do

What then is the use of your teaching when ye teach not your own selves? Above, however, he merely said this, but here he has even turned it round to the contrary. For not only yourselves, but even others, do ye not teach what should be done. And what is far worse-ye not only teach not the things of the Law, but ye even teach the opposite, viz. to blaspheme God, which is opposite to the Law. But the circumcision, one will say, is a great thing. Yea, I also confess it, but when? wheno it hath the inward circum- 6 Mss.

S. then, cision. And observe his judgment, in bringing in what he says about it so opportunely. For he did not begin straightway with it, since the conceit men had of it was great. But after he had shewn them to have offended in that which was greater and to be causes of blasphemy against God, then having henceforth possession of the reader who has condemned them, and having stript them of their pre

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Steps of argument, threefold Law and Circumcision. Homil. eminence, he introduces the discussion about circumcision,

feeling sure that no one will any more abet it, and says,

Ver. 25. For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the Law.

Were this not so, a man might have rejected it and said, What is this circumcision? for is it any good deed on his part that hath it? is it any manifestation of a right choice? Why, it takes place at an unripe age, and those in the wilderness too remained uncircumcised for a long time? And in many other views one might look at it as not necessary. And yet it is not on this foot that he rejects it, but upon the most proper ground, from the case of Abraham. For this is the most exceeding victory,--to take the very reason for shewing it to be of small regard, whence it was held by them in reverence. Now he might have said that even the prophets call the Jews uncircumcised. But this is no disparagement of circumcision, but of those that

hold ill to it. For what he aims at is to shew, that in the oudi mimo very best life, it has not the least force. This is what he next proves.

And here he does not bring forward the Patriarch, but having previously overturned it upon other

grounds, he keeps him till afterwards, when he brings in 1 So 6 what he has to say of faith, on the wordsHow then was it?

reckoned to Abraham ? when he was in circumcision, or his faith in uncircumcision? So long then as it is struggling against

the Gentiles and the uncircumcised, he is unwilling to say ought of this, lest he should be over irksome to them. But when it comes in opposition to the faith, then he disengages himself more completely for a combat with it. Up to the present point then it is uucircumcision that the contest is against, and this is why he advances in his discourse in a subdued tone, and says,

For circumcision verily profiteth if thou keep the Law; but if thou be a breaker of the Law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. For here he speaks of two uncircumcisions and two circumcisions, as also two laws. For there is a natural law and there is a written law. But there is one also between these, that of works. And see how he points these three out, and brings them before you.

For when the Gentiles, he says, which have not the

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The outward null without moral and inward circumcision. 77

Law. What Law, say? The written one. Do by nature Rom. the things of the Law. Of what Law? Of that by works. 2, 26. These haring not the Law. What Law? The written one. Are a law unto themselves. How so? By using the natural law. Who shew the work of the Law. Of what law? Of that by actions. For that which is by writing lieth outside; but this is within, the natural one, and the other is in actions. And one the writing proclaims; and another, nature; and another, action. Of this third there is need, for which sake also those two are both the natural and the written. And if this be not present they are of no good, but even very great harm. And to shew this in the 1 6 Mss. case of the natural he said, For wherein thou judgest another,


ίλιγεν thou condemnest thyself. But of the written Law, thus--Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thus there are two uncircumcisions, one that of nature, and the second from conduct: and one circumcision in the flesh, and the other from the will. What I mean is, if any man has been circumcised upon the eighth day; this is fleshly circumcision : if any has done all the Law bids him; this is circumcision of the mind which St. Paul requires above all, yea rather the Law also. See now how having Deut. granted it in words, he in deed does away with it. For he .0. 16.

30, 6. does not say the circumcision is superfluous, the circum cision” is of no profit, of no use. But what saith he? That? 5 Mss. the circumcision verily profiteth if thou keepest the Law. He approves it till now. Saying I confess and deny not that the circumcision is honourable. But when ? When it has the Law kept along with it.

But if thou be a breaker of the Law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. He does not say, it is no more profitable, lest he should seem to insult it. But having stript the Jew of it, he goes on to smite him. And this is no longer any insult to circumcision, but to him who through listlessness has lost the good of it. As then in the case of those who are in dignified stations and are after convicted of the greatest misdemeanours, the judges deprive them of the honours of their stations and then punish them;


< See Butler, Anal. II. 1. v. fin.

78 St. Paul wisely assails the Jew not truly circumcised. HOMIL. so has Paul also done. For after saying, if thou art a VI.

breaker of the Law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision, and having shewn him to be uncircumcised, he condemns him after that without scruple.

Ver. 26. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the Law, shall not his uncircumcision be turned into circumcision.

See how he acts. He does not say that the uncircumcision is better than circumcision, (for this was highly grating to those who then heard him,) but that the uncircumcision hath become circumcision. And he next enquires what circumcision is, and what uncircumcision, and he says that circumcision is well doing and uncircumcision is evil doing. And having first transferred into the circumcision the uncircumcised, who has good deeds, and having thrust out the circumcised man that lived a corrupt life into the uncircumcision, he so gives the preference to the uncircumcised. And he does not say to the uncircumcised,

but goes on to the thing itself, speaking as follows. Is not 1 so 6 his uncircumcision turned into circumcision. And he does Mss.and mar.Sav. not say reckoned, but turned into,' which was in t. thy expressive. As also abore he does not say, thy circumcision

is reckoned uncircumcision, but has been made so.

Ver. 27. And shall not the uncircumcision which is by nature judge ? You

see, he recognises two uncircumcisions, one by nature, and the other from the will.

Here, however, he speaks of that by nature, but does not pause here, but goes on, if it fulfil the Law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the Law? See his exquisite judgment. He does not say, that the uncircumcision which is by nature shall judge the circumcision, but where the victory had been, he brings in the uncircumcision; but where the defeat, he does not expose the circumcision, but the Jew himself who had it, and so by the wording spares offending his hearer. And he does not say, 'thee that hast


Tripitpathostas. All Mss. of the thinks it a slip of memory in St. C.; it Text but one have nogiceńsıras. (so too may be an intentional paraphrase referhere 2 Mss. and 1 of Matth. and Sav. ring to v. 25. in mar.) see Matth. on the place, who

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