Lectures or Tractates on the Gospel according to St. John, 45-60

Author: Augustine

(NOTE: The electronic text obtained from The Electronic Bible Society was not completely corrected. EWTN has corrected all discovered errors.)



[Translated by the Rev. James Innes, minister at Panbride, near Dundee, Scotland.]


1. OUR Lord's discourse to the Jews began in connection with the man who was born blind and was restored to sight. Your Charity therefore ought to know and be advised that today's lesson is interwoven with that one. For when the Lord had said, "For judgment I am come into this world; that they who see not might see, and they who see might be made blind,"--which, on the occasion of its reading, we expounded according to our ability,--some of the Pharisees said, "Are we blind also?" To whom He replied. "If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; [therefore] your sin remaineth."(1) To these words He added what we have been hearing today when the lesson was read.

2. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." For they declared that they were not blind; yet could they see only by being the sheep of Christ. Whence claimed they possession of the light, who were acting as thieves against the day? Because, then, of their vain and proud and incurable arrogance, did the Lord Jesus subjoin these words, wherein He has given us also salutary lessons, if we lay them to heart. For there are many who, according to a custom of this life, are called good people,--good men, good women, innocent, and observers as it were of what is commanded in the law; paying respect to their parents, abstaining from adultery, doing no murder, committing no theft, giving no false witness against any one, and observing all else that the law requires--yet are not Christians; and for the most part ask boastfully, like these men. "Are we blind also?" But just because all these things that they do, and know not to what end they should have reference, they do to no purpose, the Lord has set forth in today's lesson the similitude of His own flock, and of the door that leads into the sheepfold. Pagans may say, then, We live well. If they enter not by the door, what good will that do them, whereof they boast? For to this end ought good living to benefit every one, that it may be given him to live for ever: for to whomsoever eternal life is not given, of what benefit is the living well? For they ought not to be spoken of as even living well, who either from blindness know not the end of a right life, or in their pride despise it. But no one has the true and certain hope of living always, unless he know the life, that it is Christ; and enter by the gate into the sheepfold.

3. Such, accordingly, for the most part seek to persuade men to live well, and yet not to be Christians. By another way they wish to climb up, to steal and to kill, not as the shepherd, to preserve and to save. And thus there have been certain philosophers, holding many subtle discussions about the virtues and the vices, dividing, defining, drawing out to their close the most acute processes of reasoning, filling books, brandishing their wisdom with rattling jaws; who would even dare to say to people, Follow us, keep to our sect, if you would live happily. But they had not entered by the door: they wished to destroy, to slay, and to murder.

4. What shall I say of such? Look, the Pharisees themselves were in the habit of reading, and in what they read, their voices re-echoed the Christ, they hoped He would come, and recognized Him not when present; they boasted, even they, of being amongst those who saw, that is, among the wise, and they disowned the Christ, and entered not in by the door. Therefore would such also, if they chanced to seduce any, seduce them to be slaughtered and murdered, not to be brought into liberty. Let us leave these also to themselves, and look at those who glory in the name of Christ Himself, and see whether even they perchance are entering in by the door.

5. For there are countless numbers who not only boast that they see, but would have it appear that they are enlightened by Christ; yet are they heretics. Have even they somehow entered by the gate? Surely not. Sabellius says, He who is the Son is Himself the Father; but if the Son, then is there no Father. He enters not by the door, who asserts that the Son is the Father. Arius says, The Father is one thing, the Son is another thing. He would say rightly if he said, Another person; but not another thing.(2) For when he says, Another thing, he contradicts Him who says in his hearing, "I and my Father are One."(3) Neither does he therefore enter by the door; for he preaches a Christ such as he fabricates for himself, not such as the truth declares Him. Thou hast the name, thou hast not the reality. Christ is the name of something; keep hold of the thing itself, if thou wouldst benefit by the name. Another, I know not from whence, says with Photinus,(4) Christ is mere man; He is not God. He enters not in by the door, for Christ is both man and God. But why need I make many references, and enumerate the many vanities of heretics? Keep hold of this, that Christ's sheepfold is the Catholic Church. Whoever would enter the sheepfold, let him enter by the door, let him preach the true Christ. Not only let him preach the true Christ, but seek Christ's glory, not his own; for many, by seeking their own glory, have scattered Christ's sheep, instead of gathering them. For Christ the Lord is a low gateway: he who enters by this gateway must humble himself, that he may be able to enter with head unharmed. But he that humbleth not, but exalteth himself, wishes to climb over the wall; and he that climbeth over the wall, is exalted only to fall.

6. Thus far, however, the Lord Jesus speaks in covert language; not as yet is He understood. He names the door, He names the sheepfold, He names the sheep: all this He sets forth, but does not yet explain. Let us read on then, for He is coming to those words, wherein He may think proper to give us some explanation of what He has said; from the explanation of which He will perhaps enable us to understand also what He has not explained. For He gives us what is plain, for food; what is obscure, for exercise. "He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way." Woe to the wretch, for he is sure to fall! Let him then be humble, let him enter by the door: let him walk on the level ground, and he shall not stumble. "The same," He says, "is a thief and a robber." The sheep of another he desires to call his own sheep,--his own, that is, as carried off by stealth, for the purpose, not of saving, but of slaying them. Therefore is he a thief, because what is another's he calls his own; a robber, because what he has stolen he also kills. "But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep: to him the porter openeth." Concerning this porter we shall make inquiry, when we have heard of the Lord Himself what is the door and who is the shepherd. "And the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name." For He has their names written in the book of life. "He calleth his own sheep by name." Hence, says the apostle, "The Lord knoweth them that are His."(1) "And he leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger do they not follow, but do flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers." These are veiled words, full of topics of inquiry, pregnant with sacramental signs. Let us follow then, and listen to the Master as He makes some opening into these obscurities; and perhaps by the opening He makes, He will cause us to enter.

7. "This parable spake Jesus unto them; but they understood not what He spake unto them." Nor we also, perhaps. What, then, is the difference between them and us, before even we can understand these words? This, that we on our part knock, that it may be opened unto us; while they, by disowning Christ, refused to enter for salvation, and preferred remaining outside to be destroyed. In as far, then, as we listen to these words with a pious mind, in as far as, before we understand them, we believe them to be true and divine, we stand at a great distance from these men. For when two persons are listening to the words of the gospel, the one impious, the other pious, and some of these are such as neither perhaps understands, the one says, It has said nothing; the other says, It has said the truth, and what it has said is good, but we do not understand it. This latter, because he believes, now knocks, that he may be worthy to have it opened up to him, if he continue knocking; but the other still hears the words, "If ye believe not, ye shall not understand."(2) Why do I draw your attention to this? Even for this reason, that when I have explained as I can these obscure words, or, because of their great abstruseness, I have either myself failed to arrive at an understanding of them, or wanted the faculty of explaining what I do understand, or every one has been so dull as not to follow me, even when I give the explanation, yet should he not despair of himself; but continue in faith, walk on in the way, and hear the apostle saying, "And if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless whereto we have already attained, let us walk therein."(3)

8. Let us begin, then, with hearing His exposition of what we have heard Him propounding. "Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep." See, He has opened the very door which was shut in His former description. He Himself is the door. We have come to know it; let us enter, or rejoice that we are already within. "All that ever came are thieves and robbers." What is this, Lord, "All that ever came"? How so? hast Thou not come? But understand; I said, "All that ever came," meaning, of course, exclusive of myself.(4) Let us recollect then. Before His coming came the prophets: were they thieves and robbers? God forbid. They did not come apart from Him, for they came with Him. When about to come, He sent heralds, but retained possession of the hearts of His messengers. Do you wish to know that they came with Him, who is Himself ever existent? Certainly He assumed human flesh at the time appointed. But what means that "ever"? "In the beginning was the Word."(1) With Him, therefore, came those who came with the word of God. "I am," said He, "the way, and the truth, and the life."(2) If He is the truth, with Him came those who were truthful. As many, therefore, as were apart from Him, were "thieves and robbers," that is, had come to steal and to destroy.

9. "But the sheep did not hear them." This is a more important point, "the sheep did not hear them." Before the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, when He came in humility in the flesh, righteous men preceded, believing in the same way in Him who was to come, as we believe in Him who has come. Times vary, but not faith. For verbs themselves also vary with the tense, when they are variously declined. He is to come, has one sound; He has come, has another: there is a change in the sound between He is to come, and He has come:(3) yet the same faith unites both,--both those who believed that He would come, and those who have believed that He is come. At different times, indeed, but by the one doorway of faith, that is, by Christ, do we see that both have entered. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin, that He came in the flesh, suffered, rose again, ascended into heaven: all this, just as you hear verbs of the past tense, we believe to be already fulfilled. In that faith a partnership is also held with us by those fathers who believed that He would be born of the Virgin, would suffer, would rise again, would ascend into heaven; for to such the apostle pointed when he said, "But we having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak."(4) The prophet said, "I believed, therefore have I spoken:"(5) the apostle says, "We also believe, and therefore speak." But to let you know that their faith is one, listen to him saying, "Having the same spirit of faith, we also believe." So also in another place, "For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea: and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink." The Red Sea signifies baptism; Moses, their leader through the Red Sea, signifies Christ; the people, who passed through, signify believers; the death of the Egyptians signifies the abolition of sins. Under different signs there is the same faith. It is with different signs as with different words [verbs]; for verbs change their sounds through the tenses, and verbs are indeed nothing else than signs. For they are words because of what they signify: take away the meaning from a word,(6) and it becomes a senseless sound. All, therefore, have become signs. Was not the same faith theirs by whom these signs were employed, and by whom were foretold in prophecy the very things which we believe? Certainly it was: but they believed that they were yet to come, and we, that they have come. In like manner does he also say, "They all drank the same spiritual drink;" "the same spiritual," for it was not the same material [drink]. For what was it they drank? "For they drank of the spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ."(7) See, then, how that while the faith remained, the signs were varied. There the rock was Christ; to us that is Christ which is placed on the altar of God. And they, as a great sacramental sign of the same Christ, drank the water flowing from the rock: what we drink is known to believers. If one's thoughts turn to the visible form, the thing is different; if to the meaning that addresses the understanding, they drank the same spiritual drink. As many, then, at that time as believed, whether Abraham, or Isaac, or Jacob, or Moses, or the other patriarchs or prophets who foretold of Christ, were sheep, and heard Christ. His voice, and not another's, did they hear. The Judge was present in the person of the Crier. For even when the judge speaks through the crier, the clerk(8) does not make it, The crier said; but the judge said. But others there are whom the sheep did not hear, in whom Christ's voice had no place,--wanderers, uttering falsehoods, prating inanities, fabricating vanities, misleading the miserable.

10. Why is it, then, that I have said, This is a more important point? What is there about it obscure and difficult to understand? Listen, I beseech you. See, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself came and preached. Much more surely was that the Shepherd's voice which was uttered by the very mouth of the Shepherd. For if the Shepherd's voice came through the prophets, how much more did the Shepherd's own tongue give utterance to the Shepherd's voice? Yet all did not hear Him. But what are we to think? Those who did hear, were they sheep? Lo? Judas heard, and was a wolf: he followed, but, clad in sheep-skin. he was laying snares for the Shepherd. Some, again, of those who crucified Christ did not hear, and yet were sheep; for such He saw in the crowd when He said, "When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am He."(1) Now, how is this question to be solved? They that are not sheep do hear, and they that are sheep do not hear. Some, who are wolves, follow the Shepherd's voice; and some, that are sheep, contradict it. Last of all, the sheep slay the Shepherd. The point is solved; for some one in reply says. But when they did not hear, as yet they were not sheep, they were then wolves: the voice, when it was heard, changed them, and out of wolves transformed them into sheep; and so, when they became sheep, they heard, and found the Shepherd, and followed Him. They built their hopes on the Shepherd's promises, because they obeyed His precepts.

11. That question has been solved in a way, and perhaps satisfies every one. But I bare still a subject of concern, and what concerns me I shall impart to you, that, in some sort inquiring together, I may through His revelation be found worthy with you to attain the solution. Hear, then, what it is that moves me. By the Prophet Ezekiel the Lord rebukes the shepherds, and among other things says of the sheep, "The wandering sheep have ye not recalled."(2) He both declares it a wanderer, and calls it a sleep. If, while wandering, it was a sheep, whose voice was it hearing to lead it astray? For doubtless it would not be straying were it hearing the shepherd's voice: but it strayed just because it heard another's voice; it heard the voice of the thief and the robber. Surely the sheep do not hear the voice of robbers. "Those that came," He said,--and we are to understand, apart from me,--that is, "those that came apart from me are thieves and robbers, and the sheep did not hear them." Lord, if the sheep did not hear them, how can the sheep wander? If the sheep hear only Thee, and Thou art the truth, whoever heareth the truth cannot certainly fall into error. But they err, and are called sheep. For if, in the very midst of their wandering, they were not called sheep, it would not be said by Ezekiel, "The wandering sheep have ye not recalled." How is it at the same time a wanderer and a sheep? Has it heard the voice of another? Surely "the sheep did not hear them." Accordingly many are just now being gathered into Christ's fold, and from being heretics are becoming catholics. They are rescued from the thieves, and restored to the shepherds: and sometimes they murmur, and become wearied of Him that calls them back, and have no true knowledge of him that would murder them; nevertheless also, when, after a struggle, those have come who are sheep, they recognize the Shepherd's voice, and are glad they have come, and are ashamed of their wandering. When, then, they were glorying in that state of error as in the truth, and were certainly not hearing the Shepherd's voice, but were following another, were they sheep, or were they not? If they were sheep, how can it be the case that the sheep do not listen to aliens? If they were not sheep, wherefore the rebuke addressed to those to whom it is said, "The wandering sheep have ye not recalled"? In the case also of those already become catholic Christians, and believers of good promise, evils sometimes occur: they are seduced into error, and after their error are restored. When they were thus seduced, and were rebaptized, or after the companionship of the Lord's fold were turned back again into their former error, were they sheep, or were they not? Certainly they were catholics. If they were faithful catholics, they were sheep. If they were sheep, how was it that they could listen to the voice of a stranger when the Lord saith, "The sheep did not hear them"?

12. You hear, brethren, the great importance of the question. I say then, "The Lord knoweth them that are His."(3) He knoweth those who were foreknown, He knoweth those who were predestinated; because it is said of Him, "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified. If God be for us, who can be against us?" Add to this: "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how hath He not with Him also freely given us all things?" But what "us"? Those who are foreknown, predestinated, justified, glorified; regarding whom there follows, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?"(1) Therefore "the Lord knoweth them that are His;" they are the sheep. Such sometimes do not know themselves, but the Shepherd knoweth them, according to this predestination, this foreknowledge of God, according to the election of the sheep before the foundation of the world: for so saith also the apostle, "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world."(2) According, then, to this divine foreknowledge and predestination, how many sheep are outside, how many wolves within! and how many sheep are inside, how many wolves without! How many are now living in wantonness who will yet be chaste! how many are blaspheming Christ who will yet believe in Him! how many are giving themselves to drunkenness who will yet be sober! how many are preying on other people s property who will yet freely give of their own! Nevertheless at present they are hearing the voice of another, they are following strangers. In like manner, how many are praising within who will yet blaspheme; are chaste who will yet be fornicators; are sober who will wallow hereafter in drink; are standing who will by and by fall! These are not the sheep. (For we speak of those who were predestinated,--of those whom the Lord knoweth that they are His.) And yet these, so long as they keep right, listen to the voice of Christ. Yea, these hear, the others do not; and yet, according to predestination, these are not sheep, while the others are.

13. There remains still the question, which I now think may meanwhile thus be solved. There is a voice of some kind,--there is, I say, a certain kind of voice of the Shepherd, in respect of which the sheep hear not strangers, and in respect of which those who are not sheep do not hear Christ. What a word is this! "He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved."(3) No one of His own is indifferent to such a voice, a stranger does not hear it: for this reason also does He announce it to the former, that he may abide perseveringly with Himself to the end; but by one who is wanting in such persevering continuance with Him, such a word remains unheard. One has come to Christ, and has heard word after word of one kind and another, all of them true, all of them salutary; and among all the rest is also this utterance, "He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved." He who has heard this is one of the sheep. But there was, perhaps, some one listening to it, who treated it with dislike, with coldness, and heard it as that of a stranger. If he was predestinated, he strayed for the time, but he was not lost for ever: he returns to hear what he has neglected, to do what he has heard. For if he is one of those who are predestinated, then both his very wandering and his future conversion have been foreknown by God: if he has strayed away, he will return to hear that voice of the Shepherd, and to follow Him who saith, "He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved." A good voice, brethren, it is; true and shepherd-like, the very voice of salvation in the tabernacles of the righteous.(4) For it is easy to hear Christ, easy to praise the gospel, easy to applaud the preacher: but to endure unto the end, is peculiar to the sheep who hear the Shepherd's voice. A temptation befalls thee, endure thou to the end, for the temptation will not endure to the end. And what is that end to which thou shalt endure? Even till thou reachest the end of thy pathway. For as long as thou hearest not Christ, He is thine adversary in the pathway, that is, in this mortal life. And what doth He say? "Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art in the way with him."(5) Thou hast heard, hast believed, hast agreed. If thou hast been at enmity, agree. If thou hast got the opportunity of coming to an agreement, keep not up the quarrel longer. For thou knowest not when thy way will be ended, and it is known to Him. If thou art a sheep, and if thou endurest to the end, thou shalt be saved: and therefore it is that His own despise not that voice, and strangers hear it not. According to my ability, as He gave me the power, I have either explained to you or gone over with you a subject of great profundity. If any have failed fully to understand, let him retain his piety, and the truth will be revealed: and let not those who have understood vaunt themselves as swifter at the expense of the slower, lest in their vaunting they turn out of the track, and the slower more easily attain the goal. But let all of us be guided by Him to whom we say, "Lead me, O Lord, in Thy way, and I will walk in Thy truth."(6)

14. By this, then, which the Lord hath explained, that He Himself is the door, let us find entrance to what He has set forth, but not explained. And indeed who it is that is the Shepherd, although He hath not told us in the lesson we have read to-day, yet in that which follows He very plainly tells us: "I am the good Shepherd." And although He had not said so, whom else but Himself ought we to have understood in those words where He saith, "He that entereth in by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep. To Him the porter openeth: and the sheep hear His voice: and He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice"? For who else calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them hence unto eternal life, but He who knoweth the names of those that are fore-ordained? Hence He said to His disciples, "Rejoice that your names are written in heaven;"(1) for from this it is that He calleth them by name. And who else putteth them forth, save He who putteth away their sins, that, freed from their grievous fetters, they may be able to follow Him? And who hath gone before them to the place whither they are to follow Him, but He who, rising from the dead, dieth no more; and death shall have no more dominion over Him;(2) and who, when He was manifest here in the flesh, said, "Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given me be with me where I am"?(3) Hence it is that He saith, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." In this He clearly shows that not only the Shepherd, but the sheep also enter in by the door.

15. But what is this, "He shall go in and out, and find pasture"? To enter indeed into the Church by Christ the door, is eminently good; but to go out of the Church, as this same John the evangelist saith in his epistle, "They went out from us, but they were not of us,"(4) is certainly otherwise than good. Such a going out could not then be commended by the good Shepherd, when He said, "And he shall go in and out, and find pasture." There is therefore not only some sort of entrance, but some outgoing also that is good, by the good door, which is Christ. But what is that praiseworthy and blessed outgoing? I might say, indeed, that we enter when we engage in some inward exercise of thought; and go out, when we take to some active work without: and since, as the apostle saith, Christ dwelleth in our hearts by faith,(5) to enter by Christ is to give ourselves to thought in accordance with that faith; but to go out by Christ is, in accordance also with that same faith, to take to outside works, that is to say, in the presence of others. Hence, also, we read in a psalm, "Man goeth forth to his work;"(6) and the Lord Himself saith, "Let your works shine before men."(7) But I am better pleased that the Truth Himself, like a good Shepherd, and therefore a good Teacher, hath in a certain measure reminded us how we ought to understand His words, "He shall go in and out, and find pasture," when He added in the sequel, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." For He seems to me to have meant, That they may have life in coming in, and have it more abundantly at their departure. For no one can pass out by the door--that is, by Christ-- to that eternal life which shall be open to the sight, unless by the same door--that is, by the same Christ--he has entered His church, which is His fold, to the temporal life, which is lived in faith. Therefore, He saith, "I am come that they may have life," that is, faith, which worketh by love;(8) by which faith they enter the fold that they may live, for the just liveth by faith:(9) "and that they may have it more abundantly," who, enduring unto the end, pass out by this same door, that is, by the faith of Christ; for as true believers they die, and will have life more abundantly when they come whither the Shepherd hath preceded them, where they shall die no more. Although, therefore, there is no want of pasture even here in the fold,--for we may understand the words "and shall find pasture" as referring to both, that is, both to their going in and their going out,-- yet there only will they find the true pasture. where they shall be filled who hunger and thirst after righteousness,(10)--such pasture as was found by him to whom it was said, "To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise."(11) But how He Himself is the door, and Himself the Shepherd, so that He also may in a certain respect be understood as going in and out by Himself, and who is the porter, it would be too long to inquire to-day, and, according to the grace given us by Himself, to unfold in the way of dissertation.


1. THE Lord Jesus is speaking to His sheep--to those already so, and to those yet to become such--who were then present; for in the place where they were, there were those who were already His sheep, as well as those who were afterwards to become so: and He likewise shows to those then present and those to come, both to them and to us, and to as many also after us as shall yet be His sheep, who it is that had been sent to them. All, therefore, hear the voice of their Shepherd saying, "I am the good Shepherd." He would not add "good," were there not bad shepherds. But the bad shepherds are those who are thieves and robbers, or certainly hirelings at the best. For we ought to examine into, to distinguish, and to know, all the characters whom He has here depicted. The Lord has already unfolded two points, which He had previously set forth in a kind of covert form: we already know that He is Himself the door, and we know that He is Himself the Shepherd. Who the thieves and robbers are, was made clear in yesterday's lesson; and to-day we have heard of the hireling, as we have heard also of the wolf. Yesterday the porter was also introduced by name. Among the good, therefore, are the door, the doorkeeper, the shepherd, and the sheep: among the bad, the thieves and robbers, the hirelings, and the wolf.

2. We understand the Lord Christ as the door, and also as the Shepherd; but who is to be understood as the doorkeeper? For the former two, He has Himself explained: the doorkeeper He has left us to search out for ourselves. And what doth He say of the doorkeeper? "To him," He saith, "the porter [doorkeeper](1) openeth." To whom cloth he open? To the Shepherd. What doth he open to the Shepherd? The door. And who is also the door? The Shepherd Himself. Now, if Christ the Lord had not Himself explained, had not Himself said, "I am the Shepherd," and "I am the door," would any of us have ventured to say that Christ is Himself both the Shepherd and the door? For had He said, "I am the Shepherd," and had not said, "I am the door," we should be setting ourselves to inquire what was the door, and perhaps, mistaken in our views, be still standing before the door. His grace and mercy have revealed to us the Shepherd, by His calling Himself so; have revealed to us also the door, when declared Himself such; but He hath left us to search out the doorkeeper for ourselves. Whom, then, are we to call the doorkeeper? Whomsoever we fix upon, we must take care not to think of him as greater than the door itself; for in men's houses the doorkeeper is greater than the door. The doorkeeper is placed before the door, not the door before the doorkeeper; because the porter keepeth the door, not the door the porter. I dare not say that any one is greater than the door, for I have heard already what is the door: that is no longer unknown to me, I am not left to my own conjecture, and I have not got much room for mere human guess work: God hath said it, the Truth hath said it, and we cannot change what the Unchangeable hath uttered.

3. In respect, then, of the profound nature of this question, I shall tell you what I think: let each one make the choice that pleases him, but let him think of it reverently; as it is written, "Think of the Lord with goodness, and in simplicity of heart seek Him."(2) Perhaps we ought to understand the Lord Himself as the doorkeeper: for the shepherd and the door are in human respects as much different from each other as the doorkeeper and the door; and yet the Lord has called Himself both the Shepherd and the door. Why, then, may we not understand Him also as the doorkeeper? For if we look at His personal qualities,(3) the Lord Christ is neither a shepherd, in the way we are accustomed to know and to see shepherds; nor is He a door, for no artisan made Him: but if, because of some point of similarity, He is both the door and the Shepherd, I venture to say, He is also a sheep. True, the sheep is under the shepherd; yet He is both the Shepherd and a sheep. Where is He the Shepherd? Look, here thou hast it; read the Gospel: "I am the good Shepherd." Where is He a sheep? Ask the prophet: "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter."(4) Ask the friend of the bridegroom: "Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world."(5) Moreover, I am going to say something of a still more wonderful kind, in accordance with these points of similarity. For both the lamb, and the sheep, and the shepherd are friendly with one another, but from the lions as their foes the sheep are protected by their shepherds: and yet of Christ, who is both sheep and Shepherd, we have it said, "The Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed."(1) All this, brethren, understand in connection with points of similarity, not with personal qualities. It is a common thing to see the shepherds sitting on a rock, and there guarding the cattle committed to their care. Surely the shepherd is better than the rock that he sits upon; and yet Christ is both the Shepherd and the rock. All this by way of comparison. But if thou askest me for His peculiar personal quality:(2) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."(3) If thou askest me for the personal quality peculiarly His own: The only Son, from everlasting to everlasting begotten of the Father, the equal of Him that begat, the Maker of all things, unchangeable with the Father, unchanged by the assuming of human form, man by incarnation, the Son of man, and the Son of God. All this that I have said is not figure, but reality.

4. Therefore, let us not, brethren, be disturbed in understanding Him, in harmony with certain resemblances, as Himself the door, and also the doorkeeper. For what is the door? The way of entrance. Who is the doorkeeper? He who opens it. Who, then, is He that opens Himself, but He who unveils Himself to sight? See, when the Lord spoke at first of the door, we did not understand: so long as we did not understand, it was shut: He who opened it is Himself the doorkeeper. There is no need, then, of seeking any other meaning, no need; but perhaps there is the desire. If there is so, quit not the path, go not outside of the Trinity. If thou art in quest of some other impersonation of the doorkeeper, bethink thee of the Holy Spirit; for the Holy Spirit will not think it unmeet to be the doorkeeper, when the Son has thought it meet to be Himself the door. Look at the doorkeeper as perhaps the Holy Spirit: about Him the Lord saith to His disciples, "He shall guide you into all truth."(4) What is the door? Christ. What is Christ? The Truth. Who, then, openeth the door, but He who guideth into all truth?

5. But what are we to say of the hireling? He is not mentioned here among the good. "The good Shepherd," He says, "giveth His life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the Shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep." The hireling does not here bear a good character, and yet in some respects is useful; nor would he be called an hireling, did he not receive hire from his employer. Who then is this hireling, that is both blameworthy and needful? And here, brethren, let the Lord Himself give us light, that we may know who the hirelings are, and be not hirelings ourselves. Who then is the hireling? There are some in office in the church, of whom the Apostle Paul saith, "Who seek their own, not the things that are Jesus Christ's." What means that, "Who seek their own"? Who do not love Christ freely, who do not seek after God for His own sake; who are pursuing after temporal advantages, gaping for gain, coveting honors from men. When such things are loved by an overseer, and for such things God is served, whoever such an one may be, he is an hireling who cannot count himself among the children. For of such also the Lord saith: "Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward."(5) Listen to what the Apostle Paul says of St. Timothy: "But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your circumstances; for I have no man like-minded, who will naturally(6) care for you. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's."(7) The shepherd mourned in the midst of hirelings. He sought some one who sincerely loved the flock of Christ, and round about him, amongst those who were with him at that time, he found not one. Not that there was no one then in the Church of Christ but the Apostle Paul and Timothy, who had a brother's(8) concern for the flock; but it so happened at the time of his sending Timothy, that he had none else of his sons about him; only hirelings were with him, "who sought their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's." And yet he himself, with a brother's anxiety for the flock, preferred sending his son, and remaining himself amongst hirelings. Hirelings are also found among ourselves, but the Lord alone distinguisheth them. He that searcheth the heart, distinguisheth them; and yet sometimes we know them ourselves. For it was not without a purpose that the Lord Himself said also of the wolves: "By their fruits ye shall know them."(1) Temptations put many to the question, and then their thoughts are made manifest; but many remain undiscovered. The Lord's fold must have as overseers, both those who are children and those who are hirelings. But the overseers, who are sons, are the shepherds. If they are shepherds, how is there but one Shepherd, save that all of them are members of the one Shepherd, to whom the sheep belong? For they are also members of Himself as the one sheep; because "as a sheep he was led to the slaughter."

6. But give heed to the fact that even the hirelings are needful. For many indeed in the Church are following after earthly profit, and yet preach Christ, and through them is heard the voice of Christ; and the sheep follow, not the hireling, but the Shepherd's voice speaking through the hireling. Hearken to the hirelings as pointed out by the Lord Himself: "The scribes," He saith, "and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: do what they say; but do not what they do."(2) What else said He but, Listen to the Shepherd's voice speaking through the hirelings? For sitting in Moses' seat, they teach the law of God; therefore God teacheth by them. But if they wish to teach their own things, hear them not, do them not. For certainly such seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's; but no hireling has dared to say to Christ's people, Seek your own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. For his own evil conduct he does not preach from the seat of Christ: he does injury by the evil that he does, not by the good that he says. Pluck the grapes, beware of the thorn. It is well I see that you have understood; but for the sake of those that are slower, I shall repeat these words with greater plainness. How said I, Pluck the bunch of grapes, beware of the thorn; when the Lord saith, "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles"? That is quite true: and yet what I said is also true, Pluck the bunch of grapes, beware of the thorn. For sometimes the grape-cluster, springing from the root of the vine, finds its support in a common hedge; its branch, grows, becomes embedded among thorns, and the thorn bears other fruit than its own. For the thorn has not been produced from the vine, but has become the resting- place of its runner. Make thine inquiries only at the roots. Seek for the thorn-root, thou wilt find it apart from the vine: seek the origin of the grape, and from the root of the vine it will be found to have sprung. And so, Moses' seat was the vine; the morals of the Pharisees were the thorns. Sound doctrine cometh through the wicked, as the vine-branch in a hedge, a bunch of grapes among thorns. Gather care. fully, so as in seeking the fruit not to tear thine hand; and while thou art to hear one speaking what is good, imitate him not when doing what is evil. "What they tell you, do,"--gather the grapes; "but what they do, do not,"--beware of the thorns. Even through hirelings listen to the voice of the Shepherd, but be not hirelings yourselves, seeing ye are members of the Shepherd. Yea, Paul himself, the holy apostle who said, "I have no one who hath a brother's concern about you; for all seek their own, not the things which l are Jesus Christ's," draws a distinction in another place between hirelings and sons; and see what he saith: "Some preach Christ even of envy and strife, and some also of good will: some of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel; but some also preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds." These were hirelings who disliked the Apostle Paul. And why such dislike, but just because they were seeking after temporal things? But mark what he adds: "What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence or in truth, Christ is preached: and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice."(3) Christ is the truth: let the truth be preached in pretense by hirelings, let it be preached in truth by the children: the children are waiting patiently for the eternal inheritance of the Father, the hirelings are longing for, and in a hurry to get, the temporal pay of their employer. For my part let me be shorn of the human glory, which I see such an object of envy to hirelings: and yet by the tongues both of hirelings and of children let the divine glory of Christ be published abroad, seeing that, "whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached."

7. We have seen who the hireling is also. Who, but the devil, is the wolf? And what was said of the hireling? "When he seeth the wolf coming, he fleeth: but the sheep are not his own, and he careth not for the sheep." Was the Apostle Paul such an one? Certainly not. Was Peter such an one? Far from it. Was such the character of the other apostles, save Judas, the son of perdition? Surely not. Were they shepherds then? Certainly they were. And how is there one Shepherd? I have already said they were shepherds, because members of the Shepherd. In that head they rejoiced, under that head they were in harmony together, with one spirit they lived in the bond of one body; and therefore belonged all of them to the one Shepherd. If, then, they were shepherds, and not hirelings, wherefore fled they when suffering persecution? Explain it to us, O Lord. In an epistle, I have seen Paul fleeing: he was let down by the wall in a basket, to escape the hands of his persecutor.(1) Had he, then, no care of the sheep, whom he thus abandoned at the approach of the wolf? Clearly he had, but he commended them by his prayers to the Shepherd who was sitting in heaven; and for their advantage he preserved himself by flight, as he says in a certain place, "To abide in the flesh is needful for you."(2) For all had heard from the Shepherd Himself, "If they persecute you in one city, flee ye into another."(3) May the Lord be pleased to explain to us this point! Lord, Thou saidst to those whom Thou didst certainly wish to be faithful shepherds, and whom Thou didst form into Thine own members, "If they persecute you flee." Doest Thou, then, injustice to them, when Thou blamest the hirelings who flee when they see the wolf coming! We ask Thee to tell us what meaning lies hid in the depths of the question. Let us knock, and the keeper of the door, which is Christ, will be here to reveal Himself.

8. Who is the hireling that seeth the wolf coming, and fleeth? He that seeketh his own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. He is one that does not venture plainly to rebuke an offender.(4) Look, some one or other has sinned--grievously sinned; he ought to be rebuked, to be excommunicated: but once excommunicated, he will turn into an enemy, hatch plots, and do all the injury he can. At present, he who seeketh his own, not the things that are Jesus Christ's, in order not to lose what he follows after, the advantages of human friendship, and incur the annoyances of human enmity, keeps quiet and does not administer rebuke. See, the wolf has caught a sheep by the throat; the devil has enticed a believer into adultery: thou holdest thy peace--thou utterest no reproof. O hireling, thou hast seen the wolf coming and hast fled! Perhaps he answers and says: See, I am here; I have not fled. Thou hast fled, because thou hast been silent; thou hast been silent, because thou hast been afraid. The flight of the mind is fear. Thou stoodest with thy body, thou fleddest in thy spirit, which was not the conduct of him who said, "Though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit."(5) For how did he flee in spirit, who, though absent in the flesh, yet in his letters reproved the fornicators? Our affections are the motions of our minds. Joy is expansion of the mind; sorrow, contraction of the mind; desire, a forward movement of the mind; and fear, the flight of the mind. For thou art expanded in mind when thou art glad; contracted in mind when thou art in trouble; thou movest forward in mind when thou hast an earnest desire; and thou fleest in mind when thou art afraid. This, then, is how the hireling is said to flee at the sight of the wolf. Why? "Because he careth not for the sheep." Why "careth he not for the sheep"? "Because he is an hireling." What is that, "he is an hireling"? He seeketh a temporal reward, and shall not dwell in the house for ever. There are still some things here to be inquired about and discussed with you, but it is not prudent to burden you. For we are ministering the Lord's food to our fellow-servants; we feed as sheep in the Lord's pastures, and are fed together. And just as we must not withhold what is needful, so our weak hearts are not to be overcharged with the abundance of provisions. Let it not then annoy your Charity that I do not take up to-day all that I think is still here to be discussed; but the same lesson will, in the Lord's name, be read over to us again on the preaching days, and be, with His help, more carefully considered.


1. Those of you who hear the word of our God, not only with willingness, but also with attention, doubtless remember our promise. Indeed the same gospel lesson has also been read to-day which was read last Lord's day; because, having lingered over certain closely related topics, we could not discuss all that we owed to your powers of understanding. Accordingly, what has been already said and discoursed about we do not inquire into today, lest by continual repetitions we should be prevented from reaching what has still to be spoken. You know now in the Lord's name who is the good Shepherd, and in what way good shepherds are His members, and therefore the Shepherd is one. You know who is the hireling we have to bear with; who the wolf, and the thieves, and the robbers we have to beware of; who are the sheep, and what is the door whereby both sheep and shepherd enter: how we are to understand the doorkeeper. You know also that every one who entereth not by the door is a thief and a robber, and cometh not but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. All these sayings have, as I think, been sufficiently handled. To-day we ought to tell you, as far as the Lord enables us (for Jesus Christ our Saviour hath Himself told us that He is both the Shepherd and the door, and that the good Shepherd entereth in by the door), how it is that He entereth in by Himself. For if no one is a good shepherd but he that entereth by the door, and He Himself is preeminently the good Shepherd, and also Himself the door, I can understand it only in this way, that He entereth in by Himself to His sheep, and calleth them to follow Him, and they, going in and out, find pasture, which is to say, eternal life.

2. I proceed, then, without more delay. When I seek to get into you, that is, into your heart, I preach Christ: were I preaching something else, I should be trying to climb up some other way. Christ, therefore, is my gate to you: by Christ I get entrance, not to your houses, but to your hearts. It is by Christ I enter: it is Christ in me that you have been willingly hearing. And why is it you have thus willingly hearkened to Christ in me? Because you are the sheep of Christ, purchased with the blood of Christ. You acknowledge your own price, which is not paid by me, but is preached by my instrumentality. He, and only He, was the buyer, who shed precious blood--the precious blood of Him who was without sin. Yet made He precious also the blood of His own, for whom He paid the price of blood: for had He not made the blood of His own precious, it would not have been said, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."(1) So also when He saith, "The good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep," He is not the only one who has done such a deed; and yet if those who have done so are His members, He only Himself was the doer of it. For He was able to do so without them, but whence had they the power apart from Him, who Himself had said, "Without me ye can do nothing"?(2) But from the same source we can show what others also have done, for the apostle John himself, who preached the very gospel you have been hearing, has said in his epistle, "Just as Christ laid down His life for us, so ought we also to lay down our lives for the brethren."(3) "We ought," he says: He made us debtors who first set the example. To the same effect it is written in a certain place, "If thou sittest down to sup at a ruler's table, make wise observation of what is set before thee; and put to thy hand, knowing that it will be thy duty to make similar provision in turn."(4) You know what is meant by the ruler's table: you there find the body and blood of Christ; let him who comes to such a table be ready with similar provision. And what is such similar provision? As fire laid down His life for us, so ought we also, for the edification of others, and the maintenance of the faith,(5) to lay down our lives far the brethren. To the same effect He said to Peter, whom He wished to make a good shepherd. not in Peter's own person, but as a member of His body: "Peter, lovest thou me? Feed my sheep." This He did once, again, and a third time, to the disciple's sorrow. And when the Lord had questioned him as often as lie judged it needful, that he who had thrice denied might thrice confess Him, and had a third time given him the charge to feed His sheep, He said to him, "When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shall be old, thou shall stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not." And the evangelist has explained the Lord's meaning: "But this spake He, signifying by what death he should glorify God."(6) "Feed my sheep" applies, then, to this, that thou shouldst lay down thy life for my sheep.

3. And now when He saith, "As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father," who can be ignorant of His meaning? For He knoweth the Father by Himself, and we by Him. That He hath knowledge by Himself, we know already: that we also have knowledge by Him, we have likewise learned, for this also we have learned of Him. For He Himself hath said: "No one hath seen God at any time; but the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him."(1) And so by Him do we also get this knowledge, to whom He hath declared Him. In another place also He saith: "No one knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any one the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him."(2) As He then knoweth the Father by Himself, and we know the Father by Him; so into the sheepfold He entereth by Himself, and we by Him. We were saying that by Christ we have a door of entrance to you; and why? Because we preach Christ. We preach Christ; and therefore we enter in by the door. But Christ preacheth Christ, for He preacheth Himself; and so the Shepherd entereth in by Himself. When the light shows the other things that are seen in the light, does it need some other means of being made visible itself? The light, then, exhibits both other things and itself. Whatever we understand, we understand with the intellect: and how, save by the intellect, do we understand the intellect itself? But does one in the same way with the bodily eye see both other things and [the eye] itself? For though men see with their eyes, yet their own eyes they see not. The eye of the flesh sees other things, itself it cannot [see]: but the intellect understands itself as well other things. In the same way as the intellect seeth itself, so also cloth Christ preach Himself. If He preacheth Himself, and by preaching entereth into thee, He entereth into thee by Himself. And He is the door to the Father, for there is no way of approach to the Father but by Him. "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."(3) Many things are expressed by a word: all that I have just said, I have said, of course, by means of words. If I were wishing to speak also of a word itself, how could I do so but by the use of the word? And thus both many things are expressed by a word, which are not the same as the word, and the word itself can only be expressed by means of the word. By the Lord's help we have been copious in illustration. Remember, then, how the Lord Jesus Christ is both the door and the Shepherd: the door, in presenting Himself to view; the Shepherd, in entering in by Himself. And indeed, brethren, because He is the Shepherd, He hath given to His members to be so likewise. For both Peter, and Paul, and the other apostles were, as all good bishops are, shepherds. But none of us calleth himself the door. This--the way of entrance for the sheep--He has retained as exclusively belonging to Himself. In short, Paul discharged the office of a good shepherd when he preached Christ, because he entered by the door. But when the undisciplined sheep began to create schisms, and to set up other doors before them, not of entrance to their joint assembly, but for falling away into divisions, saying, some of them, "I am of Paul;" others, "I am of Cephas;" others," I of Apollos;" others, "I of Christ:" terrified for those who said, "I am of Paul,"--as if calling out to the sheep, Wretched ones, whither are you going? I am not the door,--he said, "Was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?"(4) But those who said, "I am of Christ," had found the door.

4. But of the one sheepfold and of the one Shepherd, you are now indeed being constantly reminded; for we have commended much the one sheepfold, preaching unity, that all the sheep should enter by Christ, and none of them should follow Donatus. Nevertheless, for what particular reason this was said by the Lord, is sufficiently apparent. For He was speaking among the Jews, and had been specially sent to the Jews, not for the sake of that class who were bound up in their inhuman hatred and persistently abiding in darkness, but for the sake of some in the nation whom He calls His sheep: of whom He saith, "I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."(5) He knew them even amid the crowd of His raging foes, and foresaw them in the peace of believing. What, then, does He mean by saying, "I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel," but that He exhibited His bodily presence only to the people of Israel? He did not proceed Himself to the Gentiles, but sent: to the people of Israel He both sent and came in person, that those who proved despisers should receive the greater judgment, because favored also with the sight of His actual presence. The Lord Himself was there: there He chose a mother: there He wished to be conceived, to be born, to shed His blood: there are His footprints,(6) now objects of adoration where last He stood, and whence He ascended to heaven: but to the Gentiles He only sent.

5. But perhaps some one thinks that, as He Himself came not to us, but sent, we have not heard His own voice, but only the voice of those whom He sent. Far from it: let such a thought be banished from your hearts; for He Himself was in those whom He sent. Listen to Paul himself whom He sent; for Paul was specially sent as an apostle to the Gentiles; and it is Paul who, terrifying them not with himself but with Him saith, "Do ye wish to receive a proof of Him who speaketh in me, that is, of Christ?"(1) Listen also to the Lord Himself. "And other sheep I have," that is, among the Gentiles, "which are not of this fold," that is, of the people of Israel: "them also must I bring." Therefore, even when it is by the instrumentality of His servants, it is He and not another that bringeth them. Listen further: "They shall hear my voice." See here also, it is He Himself who speaks by His servants, and it is His voice that is heard in those whom He sends. "That there may be one fold, and one shepherd." Of these two flocks, as of two walls, is the corner-stone formed.(2) And thus is He both door and the corner-stone: all by way of comparison, none of them literally.

6. For I have said so before, and earnestly pressed it on your notice, and those who comprehend it are wise, yea, those who are wise do comprehend it; and yet let those who are not yet intellectually enlightened, keep hold by faith of what they cannot as yet understand. Christ is many things metaphorically, which strictly speaking(3) He is not. Metaphorically Christ is both a rock, and a door, and a corner-stone, and a shepherd, and a lamb, and a lion. How numerous are such similitudes, and as many more as would take too long to enumerate! But if you select the strict significations of things as you are accustomed to see them, then He is neither a rock, for He is not hard and senseless; nor a door, for no artisan made Him; nor a corner-stone, for He was not constructed by a builder; nor a shepherd, for He is no keeper of four-footed animals; nor a lion, as it ranks among the beasts of the forest; nor a lamb, as it belongs to the flock. All such, then, are by way of comparison. But what is He properly? "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God [God was the Word]." And what, as He appeared in human nature? "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us [in us]."(4)

7. Hear also what follows. "Therefore doth my Father love me," He saith, "because I lay down my life. that I might take it again." What is this that He says? "Therefore doth my Father love me:" because I die, that I may rise again.(5) For the "I" is uttered with special emphasis: "Because I lay down," He saith, "I lay down my life," "I lay down." What is that "I lay down"? I Lay it down. Let the Jews no longer boast: they might rage, but they could have no power: let them rage as they can; if I were unwilling to lay down my life, what would all their raging effect? By one answer of His they were prostrated in the dust: when they were asked, "Whom seek ye?" they said, "Jesus;" and on His saying to them, "I am He, they went backward, and fell to the ground."(6) Those who thus fell to the ground at one word of Christ when about to die, what will they do at the sound of His voice when coming to judgment? "I, I," I say, "lay down my life, that I may take it again." Let not the Jews boast, as if they had prevailed; He Himself laid down His life. "I laid me down [to sleep]," He says [elsewhere]. You know the psalm: "I laid me down and slept; and I awaked [rose up], for the Lord sustaineth me." What of that--"I lay down"? Because it was my pleasure, I did so. What does "I lay down" mean? I died. Was it not a lying down to sleep on His part, who, when He pleased, rose from the tomb as He would from a bed? But He loves to give glory to the Father, that He may stir us up to glorify our Creator. For in adding, "I arose, for the Lord sustaineth me;" think you there was here a kind of failing in His power, so that, while He had it in His own power to die, He had it not in His power to rise again? So, indeed, the words seem to imply when not more closely considered. "I lay down to sleep;" that is, I did so, because I pleased. "And I arose:" why? "Because the Lord sustaineth [will sustain] me."(7) What then? wouldst Thou not have power to rise of Thyself? If Thou hadst not the power, Thou wouldst not have said, "I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again." But, as showing that not only did the Father raise the Son, but the Son also raised Himself, hear how, in another passage in the Gospel, He saith, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." And the evangelist adds: "But this He spake of the temple Of is body."(1) For only that which died was restored to life. The Word is not mortal, His soul is not mortal. If even thine dieth not, could the Lord's be subject to death?

8. How can I know, thou wilt say, that mine dieth not? Slay it not thyself, and it cannot die. How, thou asketh, can I slay my soul? To say nothing. meanwhile of other sins, "The mouth that lieth, slayeth the soul."(2) How, thou sayest, can I be sure that it dieth not? Listen to the Lord Himself giving security to His servant: "Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do." But what in the plainest terms does He say? "Fear Him who hath power to slay both soul and body in hell."(3) Here you have the fact that it dieth, and that it doth not die. What is its dying? What is dying to thy flesh? Dying, to thy flesh, is the losing of its life: dying to thy soul, is the losing of its life. The life of thy flesh is thy soul: the life of thy soul is thy God. As the flesh dies in losing the soul, which is its life, so the soul dieth in losing God, who is its life. Of a certainty, then, the soul is immortal. Manifestly immortal, for it liveth even when dead. For what the apostle said of the luxurious widow, may also be said of the soul if it has lost its God, "she is dead while she liveth."(4)

9. How, then, does the Lord lay down His life [soul]?(5) Let us, brethren, inquire into this a little more carefully. The time is not so pressing as is usual on the Lord's day: we have leisure. and theirs will be the profit who have assembled to-day also to wait on the Word of God. "I lay down my life," He says. Who lays down? What lays He down? What is Christ? The Word and man. Not man as being flesh alone: but as man consists of flesh and soul, so, in Christ there is a complete humanity. For He would not have assumed the baser part, and left the better behind, seeing that the soul of man is certainly superior to the body. Since, then, there is entire manhood in Christ, what is Christ? The Word, I repeat, and man. What is the Word and man? The Word soul, and flesh. Keep hold of that, for there has been no lack of heretics on this point also, expelled as they were some time ago from the catholic truth, but still persisting, like thieves and robbers who enter not by the door, to lay their snares around the fold. These heretics are termed Apollinarians,(6) and have ventured to assert dogmatically that Christ is only the word and flesh, and contend that He did not assume a human soul. And yet some of them could not deny that there was a soul in Christ. See their intolerable absurdity and madness. They would have Him to possess an irrational soul, but deny Him a rational one. They allowed Him a mere animal, they deprived Him of a human, soul. But they took away Christ's reason by losing their own. Let it be otherwise with us, who have been nourished and established in the catholic faith. Accordingly, on this occasion I would remind your Charity, that, as in former lectures, we have given you sufficient instruction against the Sabellians and Arians,--the Sabellians, who say, The Father is the same as the Son--the Arians, who say, The Father is one being, the Son is another, as if the Father and Son were not of the same substance--and also, provided you remember as you ought, against the Photinian heretics, who have asserted that Christ was mere man, and destitute of Godhead:(7) and against the Manicheans, who maintain that He was God only without any true humanity: we may, on this occasion, in speaking about the soul, give you some instruction also in opposition to the Apollinarians, who say that our Lord Jesus Christ had no human soul, that is, a rational intelligent soul,- -that soul, I mean, by which, as men, we differ from the brutes.

10. In what sense, then, did our Lord say here, "I have power to lay down my soul [life]"? Who lays down his soul, and takes it again? Is it as being the Word that Christ does so? Or is it the human soul He possesses that lays down and resumes its own existence? Or is it His fleshly nature that lays down its life and takes it again? Let us sift each of the three questions I have suggested, and choose that which conforms to the standard of truth. For if we say that the Word of God laid down His soul, and took it again, we should have to fear the entrance of a wicked thought, and have it said to us: Then there was a time when that soul was separated from the Word, and a time, after His assumption of that soul, when He was without a soul. I see, indeed, that the Word was once without a human soul, but only so, when "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." But from the time that the Word was made flesh, to dwell amongst us,(1) and manhood was assumed by the Word, that is, our whole nature, soul and flesh, what more could His passion and death do than separate the body from the soul? It separated not the soul from the Word. For if the Lord died, yea, because He died (for He did so for us on the cross), doubtless His flesh breathed out that which was its life: for a short time the soul forsook the flesh, although destined by its own return to raise the flesh again to life. But I cannot say that the soul was separated from the Word. He said to the soul of the thief, "To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise."(2) He forsook not the believing soul of the robber, and did He abandon His own? Surely not; but when the Lord took that of the other into His keeping, He certainly retained His own in indissoluble union. If, on the other hand, we say that the soul laid down and reassumed itself, we fall into the greatest absurdity; for what was not separated from the Word, was inseparable from itself.

11. Let us turn, then, to what is true and easily understood. Take the case of any man, who does not consist of the word and soul and flesh, but only of soul and flesh; and let us inquire how any such man lays down his life. Can no ordinary man do so? Thou mayest say to me: No man has power to lay down his life [soul], and to take it again. But were not a man able to lay down his life, the Apostle John would not say, "As Christ laid down his life for us, even so ought we also to lay down our lives for the brethren."(3) Therefore may we also (if only we are filled with His courage, for without Him we can do nothing) lay down our lives for the brethren. When some holy martyr has laid down his life for the brethren, who laid it down, and what laid he down? If we understand this, we shall perceive in what sense it was said by Christ, "I have power to lay down my life." Art thou prepared, O man, to die for Christ? I am prepared, he replies. Let me repeat the question in other words. Art thou prepared to lay down thy life for Christ? And to these words he makes me the same reply, I am prepared, as he had, when I said, Art thou prepared to die? To lay down one's life [soul], is, then, the same as to die. But in whose behalf is the sacrifice in this case? For all men, when they die, lay down their life; but it is not all who lay it down for Christ. And no one has power to resume what he has laid down. But Christ both laid it down for us, and did so when it pleased Him; and when it pleased Him, He took it again. To lay down one's soul then, is to die. As also the Apostle Peter said to the Lord: "I will lay down my life [soul] for Thy sake;"(4) that is, I will die for Thy sake. View it, then, as referable to the flesh: the flesh layeth down its life, and the flesh taketh it again; not, indeed, the flesh by its own power, but by the power of Him that inhabiteth it. The flesh, then, layeth down its life in expiring. Look at the Lord Himself on the cross: He said, "I thirst:" those who were present dipped a sponge in vinegar, fastened it to a reed, and applied it to His mouth; then, having received it, He said, "It is finished;" meaning, All is fulfilled which had been prophesied regarding me as, prior to my death, still in the future. And because He had the power, when He pleased, to lay down His life, after He had said, "It is finished," what adds the evangelist? "And He bowed His head, and gave up the spirit."(5) This is to lay down the soul [life]. Only let your Charity attend to this. "He bowed His head, and gave up the spirit." Who gave up? what gave He up? He gave up the spirit; His flesh gave it up. What means, the flesh gave it up? The flesh sent it forth, breathed it out. For so, in becoming separated from the spirit, we are said to expire. Just as getting outside the paternal soil is to be expatriated, turning aside from the track is to deviate; so to become separated from the spirit is to expire; and that spirit is the soul [life]. Accordingly, when the soul quits the flesh, and the flesh remains without the soul, then is a man said to lay down his soul [his human life]. When did Christ lay down His life? When it pleased the Word. For sovereign authority resided in the Word; and therein lay the power to determine when the flesh should lay down its life, and when it should take it again.

12. If, then, the flesh laid down its life, how did Christ lay down His life? For the flesh is not Christ. Certainly in this way, that Christ is both flesh, and soul, and the Word; and yet these three things are not three Christs, but one. Ask thine own human nature, and from thyself ascend to what is above thee, and which, if not yet able to be understood, can at least be believed. For in the same way that one man is soul and body, is one Christ both the Word and man. Consider what I have said, and understand. The soul and body are two things, but one man: the Word and man are two things, but one Christ. Apply, then, the subject to any man. Where is now the Apostle Paul? If one answer, At rest with Christ, he speaks truly. And likewise, should one reply, In the sepulchre at Rome, he is equally right. The one answer I get refers to his soul, the other to his flesh. And yet we do not say that there are two Apostle Pauls, one who rests in Christ, another who was laid in the sepulchre; although we may say that the Apostle Paul liveth in Christ, and that the same apostle lieth dead in the tomb. Some one dieth, and we say, He was a good man, and faithful; he is in peace with the Lord: and then immediately, Let us attend his obsequies, and lay him in the sepulchre. Thou art about to bury one whom thou hadst just declared to be in peace with God; for the latter regards the soul which blooms eternally, and the other the body, which is laid down in corruption. But while the partnership of the flesh and soul has received the name of man, the same name is now applied to either of them, singly and by itself.

13. Let no one, then, be perplexed, when he hears that the Lord has said, "I lay down my life, and I take it again." The flesh layeth it down, but by the power of the Word: the flesh taketh it again, but by the same power. Even His own name, the Lord Christ, was applied to His flesh alone. How can you prove it? says some one. We believe of a certainty not only in God the Father, but also in Jesus Christ His Son, our only Lord: and this that I have just said contains the whole, in Jesus Christ His Son, our only Lord. Understand that the whole is here: the Word, and soul, and flesh. At all events thou confessest what is also held by the same faith, that thou believest in that Christ who was crucified and buried. Ergo, thou deniest not that Christ was buried; and yet it was the burial only of His flesh. For had the soul been there, He would not have been dead: but if it was a true death, and its resurrection real, it was previously without life in the tomb; and yet it was Christ that was buried. And so the flesh apart from the soul was also Christ, for it was only the flesh that was buried. Learn the same likewise in the words of an apostle. "Let this mind," he says, "be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God." Who, save Christ Jesus, as respects His nature as the Word, is God with God? But look at what follows: "But emptied Himself, and took upon Him the form of a servant; being made in the likeness of men, and found in fashion as a man." And who is this, but the same Christ Jesus Himself? But here we have now all the parts, both the Word in that form of God which assumed the form of a servant, and the soul and the flesh in that form of a servant which was assumed by the form of God. "He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death."(1) Now in His death, it was His flesh only that was slain by the Jews. For if He said to His disciples, "Fear not them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul,"(2) how could they do more in His own case than kill the body? And yet in the slaying of His flesh, it was Christ that was slain. Accordingly, when the flesh laid down its life, Christ laid it down; and when the flesh, in order to its resurrection, assumed its life, Christ assumed it. Nevertheless this was done, not by the power of the flesh, but of Him who assumed both soul and flesh, that in them these very things might receive fulfillment.

14. "This commandment," He says, "have I received of my Father." The Word received not the commandment in word, but in the only begotten Word of the Father every commandment resides. But when the Son is said to receive of the Father what He possesses essentially in Himself, as it is said, "As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself,"(3) while the Son is Himself the life,there is no lessening of His authority, but the setting forth of His generation. For the Father added not after-gifts as to a son whose state was imperfect at birth, but on Him whom He begat in absolute perfection He bestowed all gifts in begetting. In this manner He gave Him equality with Himself, and yet begat Him not in a state of inequality. But while the Lord thus spake, for the light was shining in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not,(4) "there was a dissension again created among the Jews for these sayings, and many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad: why hear ye him?" This was the thickest darkness. Others said, "These are not the words of him that hath a devil; can a devil open the eyes of the blind?" The eyes of such were now begun to be opened.


1. As I have already charged you, beloved, you ought steadfastly to bear in mind that Saint John the evangelist would not have us be always nourished with milk, but fed with solid food. Still, whoever is hardly able as yet to partake of the solid food of God's word, let him find nourishment in the milk of faith; and the word which he cannot understand, let him not hesitate to believe. For faith is the deserving: understanding, the reward. In the very labor of intent application the eye of our mind struggles(1) to get rid of the foul films of human mists, and be cleared up to the word of God. Labor, then, will not be declined if love is present; for you know that he who loves his labor is insensible to its pain. For no labor is grievous to those who love it. If cupidity on the part of the avaricious endures so great toils, what in our case will not love endure?

2. Listen to the Gospel: "And it was at Jerusalem the Encoenia."(2) Encoenia was the festival of the dedication of the temple. For in Greek kainos means new; and whenever there was some new dedication, it was called Encoenia.(3) And now this word is come into common use; if one puts on a new coat, he is said "encoeniare" (to renovate, or to hold an encoenia). For the Jews celebrated in a solemn manner the day on which the temple was dedicated; and it was the very feast day when the Lord spake what has just been read.

3. "It was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about Him, and said unto Him, How long dost thou keep our mind in suspense? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly." They were not desiring the truth, but preparing a calumny. "It was winter," and they were chill; because they were slow to approach that divine fire. For to approach is to believe: he who believes, approaches; who denies, retires. The soul is not moved by the feet, but by the affections. They had become icy cold to the sweetness of loving Him, and they burned with the desire of doing Him an injury. They were far away, while there beside Him. It was not with them a nearer approach in believing, but the pressure of persecution. They sought to hear the Lord saying, I am Christ; and probably enough they only thought of the Christ in a human way. The prophets preached Christ; but the Godhead of Christ asserted in the prophets and in the gospel itself is not perceived even by heretics; and how much less by Jews, so long as the vail is upon their heart?(4) In short, in a certain place, the Lord Jesus, knowing that their views of the Christ were cast in a human mould, not in the Divine, taking His stand on the human ground, and not on that where along with the assumption of humanity He also continued Divine, He said to them, "What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is He?" Following their own opinion, they replied, "Of David." For so they had read, and this only they retained; because while they read of His divinity, they did not understand it. But the Lord, to pin them down to some inquiry touching the divinity of Him whose apparent weakness they despised, answered them: "How, then, doth David in spirit call Him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on my right hand, till I put Thine enemies under Thy feet? If David, then, in spirit call Him Lord, how is He his son?"(5) He did not deny, but questioned. Let no one think, on hearing this, that the Lord Jesus denied that He was the Son of David. Had Christ the Lord given any such denial, He would not have enlightened the blind who so addressed Him. For as He was passing by one day, two blind men, who were sitting by the wayside, cried out, "Have mercy upon us, thou Son of David." And on hearing these words He had mercy on them. He stood still, healed, enlightened them;(6) for He owned the name. The Apostle Paul also says, "Who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;"(7) and in his Epistle to Timothy, "Remember that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, [He that is] of the seed of David, according to my gospel."(8) For the Virgin Mary drew her origin, and hence our Lord also, from the seed of David.

4. The Jews made this inquiry of Christ, chiefly in order that, should He say, I am Christ, they might, in accordance with the only sense they attached to such a name, that He was of the seed of David, calumniate Him with aiming at the kingly power. There is more than this in His answer to them: they wished to calumniate Him with claiming to be the Son of David. He replied that He was the Son of God. And how? Listen: "Jesus answered them, I tell you, and ye believe not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me: but ye believe not; because ye are not of my sheep." Ye have already learned above (in Lecture XLV.) who the sheep are: be ye sheep. They are sheep through believing, sheep in following the Shepherd, sheep in not despising their Redeemer, sheep in entering by the door, sheep in going out and finding pasture, sheep in the enjoyment of eternal life. What did He mean, then, in saying to them, "Ye are not of my sheep"? That He saw them predestined to everlasting destruction, not won to eternal life by the price of His own blood.

5. "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life." This is the pasture. If you recollect, He had said before, "And he shall go in and out, and find pasture." We have entered by believing--we go out at death.(1) But as we have entered by the door of faith, so, as believers, we quit the body; for it is in going out by that same door that we are able to find pasture. The good pasture is called eternal life; there no blade withereth--all is green and flourishing. There is a plant commonly said to be ever-living; there only is it found to live. "I will give," He says, "unto them," unto my sheep, "eternal life." Ye are on the search for calumnies, just because your only thoughts are of the life that is present.

6. "And they shall never perish:" you may hear the undertone, as if He had said to them, Ye shall perish for ever, because ye are not of my sheep. "No one shall pluck them out of my hand." Give still greater heed to this: "That which my Father gave me is greater than all."(2) What can the wolf do? What can the thief and the robber? They destroy none but those predestined to destruction. But of those sheep of which the apostle says, "The Lord knoweth them that are His;"(3) and "Whom He did foreknow, them He also did predestinate; and whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified;"(4)--there is none of such sheep as these that the wolf seizes, or the thief steals, or the robber slays. He, who knows what He gave for them, is sure of their number. And it is this that He says: "No one shall pluck them out of my hand;" and in reference also to the Father, "That which my Father gave me is greater than all." What did the Father give to the Son that was greater than all? To be His own only-begotten Son. What, then, means "gave"? Was He to whom He gave previously existent, or gave He in the act of begetting? For if He previously existed to whom He gave the gift of Sonship, there was a time when He was, and was not the Son. Far be it from us to suppose that the Lord Christ ever was, and yet was not the Son. Of us such a thing may be said: there was a time when we were the sons of men, but were not the sons of God. For we are made the sons of God by grace, but He by nature, for such was He born. And yet not so, as that one may say, He did not exist till He was born; for He, who was coeternal with the Father, was never unborn. Let him who is wise understand: and whoever understands not, let him believe and be nourished, and he will come to understanding. The Word of God was always with the Father, and always the Word; and because the Word, therefore the Son. So then, always the Son, and always equal. For it is not by growth but by birth that He is equal, who was always born, the Son of the Father, God of God, coeternal of the Eternal. But the Father is not God of(5) the Son: the Son is God of(5) the Father; therefore in begetting the Son, the Father "gave" Him to be God, in begetting He gave Him to be coeternal with Himself, in begetting He gave Him to be His equal. This is that which is greater than all. How is the Son the life, and the possessor of life? What He has, He is: as for thee, thou art one thing, thou hast another. For example, thou hast wisdom, but art thou wisdom itself? In short, because thou thyself art not that which thou hast, shouldst thou lose what thou hast, thou returnest to the state of no longer having it: and sometimes thou re-acquirest, sometimes thou losest. As our eye has no light inherently in itself, it opens, and admits it; it shuts, and loses it. It is not thus that the Son of God is God--not thus that He is the Word of the Father; and not thus is He the Word, that passes away with the sound but that which abides in its birth. In such a way hath He wisdom that He is Himself wisdom, and maketh men wise: and life, that He is Himself the life, and maketh others alive. This is that which is greater than all. The evangelist John himself looked to heaven and earth when wishing to speak of the Son of God; he looked, and rose above them all. He thought on the thousands of angelic armies above the heavens; he thought, and, like the eagle soaring beyond the clouds, his mind overpassed the whole creation: he rose beyond all that was great, and arrived at that which was greater than all; and said, "In the beginning was the Word." But because He, of(1) whom is the Word, is not of the Word, and the Word is of Him, whose Word He is; therefore He says, "That which the Father gave me," namely, to be His Word, His only-begotten Son, the brightness of His light, "is greater than all." Therefore, "No one," He says, "plucketh my sheep out of my hand. No one can pluck them out of my Father's hand."

7. "Out of my hand," and "out of my Father's hand." What is this, "No one plucketh them out of my hand," and "No one plucketh them out of my Father's hand"? Have the Father and Son one hand, or is the Son Himself, shall we say, the hand of His Father? If by hand we are to understand power, the power of Father and Son is one; for their Godhead is one. But if we mean hand in the way spoken of by the prophet, "And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?"(2) the Father's hand is the Son Himself, which is not to be so understood as if God had the human form, and, as it were, bodily members: but that all things were made by Him. For men also are in the habit of calling other men their hands, by whom they get done what they wish. And sometimes also the very work done by a man's hand is called his hand; as one is said to recognize his hand when he recognizes what he has written. Since, then, there are many ways of speaking of the hand of a man, who literally has a hand among the members of his body; how much rather must there be more than one way of understanding it, when we read of the hand of God, who has no bodily form? And in this way it is better here, by the hand of the Father and Son, to understand the power of the Father and the Son; lest, in taking here the hand of the Father as spoken of the Son, some carnal thought also about the Son Himself should set us looking for the Son as somehow to be similarly regarded as the hand of Christ. Therefore, "no one plucketh them out of my Father's hand;" that is, no one plucketh them from me.

8. But that there may be no more room for hesitation, hear what follows: "I and my Father are one." Up to this point the Jews were able to bear Him; they heard, "I and my Father are one," and they bore it no longer; and hardened in their own way, they had recourse to stones. "They took up stones to stone Him." The Lord, because He suffered not what He was unwilling to suffer, and only suffered what He was pleased to suffer, still addresses them while desiring to stone Him. "The Jews took up stones to stone Him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? And they answered, For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy, and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God," Such was their reply to His words, "I and my Father are one." You see here that the Jews understood what the Arians understand not. For they were angry on this account, that they felt it could not be said, "I and my Father are one," save where there was equality of the Father and the Son.

9. But see what answer the Lord gave to their dull apprehension. He saw that they could not bear the brilliance of the truth, and He tempered it with words. "Is it not written in your law," that is, as given to you, "that I said, Ye are gods?"(3) And the Lord called all the Scriptures generally, the law: although elsewhere He speaks more definitely of the law, distinguishing it from the prophets; as it is said, "The law and the prophets were until John;"(4) and "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."(5) Sometimes, however, He divided the same Scriptures into three parts, as where He saith, "All things must be fulfilled which were written in the law, and the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me."(1) But now He includes the psalms also under the name of the law, where it is written, "I said, Ye are gods. If He calleth them gods, to whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken: say ye of Him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world. Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?" If the word of God came to men, that they might be called gods, how can the very Word of God, who is with God, be otherwise than God? If by the word of God men become gods, if by fellowship they become gods, can He by whom they have fellowship not be God? If lights which are lit are gods, is the light which enlighteneth not God? If through being warmed in a way by saving fire they are constituted gods, is He who gives them the warmth other than God? Thou approachest the light and art enlightened, and numbered among the sons of God; if thou withdrawest from the light, thou fallest into obscurity, and art accounted in darkness; but that light approacheth not, because it never recedeth from itself. If, then, the word of God maketh you gods, how can the Word of God be otherwise than God? Therefore did the Father sanctify His Son, and send Him into the world. Perhaps some one may be saying: If the Father sanctified Him, was there then a time when He was not sanctified? He sanctified in the same way as He begat Him. For in the act of begetting He gave Him the power to be holy, because He begat Him in holiness. For if that which is sanctified was unholy before, bow can we say to God the Father, "Hallowed be Thy name"?(2)

10. "If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye will not believe me, believe the works; that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in Him." The Son says not, "the Father is in me, and I in Him," as men can say it. For if we think well, we are in God; and if we live well, God is in us: believers, by participating in His grace, and being illuminated by Himself, are in Him, and He in us. But not so is it with the only-begotten Son: He is in the Father, and the Father in Him; as one who is equal is in him whose equal he is. In short, we can sometimes say, We are in God, and God is in us; but can we say, I and God are one? Thou art in God, because God contains thee; God is in thee, because thou art become the temple of God: but because thou art in God, and God is in thee, canst thou say, He that seeth me seeth God; as the Only-begotten said, "He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father also;"(3) and "I and the Father are one"? Recognize the prerogative of the Lord, and the privilege of the servant. The prerogative of the Lord is equality with the Father: the privilege of the servant is fellowship with the Saviour.

11. "Therefore they sought to apprehend Him." Would they had apprehended by faith and understanding, not in wrath and murder! For now, my brethren, when I speak thus, it is the weak one wishing to apprehend what is strong, the small what is great, the fragile what is solid; and it is we ourselves--both you who are of the same matter as I am, and I myself who speak to you--who all wish to apprehend Christ. And what is it to apprehend Him? [If] thou hast understood, thou hast apprehended. But not as did the Jews: thou hast apprehended in order to possess, they wished to apprehend in order to make away with Him. And because this was the kind of apprehension they desired, what did He do to them? "He escaped out of their hands." They failed to apprehend Him, because they lacked the hand of faith. The Word was made flesh; but it was no great task to the Word to rescue His own flesh from fleshy hands. To apprehend the Word in the mind, is the right apprehension of Christ.

12. "And He went away again beyond Jordan, into the place where John at first baptized; and there He abode. And many resorted unto Him, and said, John, indeed; did no miracle." You remember what was said of John, that he was a light, and bore witness to the day.(4) Why, then, say these among themselves, "John did no miracle"? John, they say, signalized himself by no miracle; he did not put devils to flight, he drove away no fever, he enlightened not the blind, he raised not the dead, he fed not so many thousand men with five or seven loaves, he walked not upon the sea, he commanded not the winds and the waves. None of these things did John, and in all he said he bore witness to this man. By lamp-light we may advance to the day. "John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true." Here are those who apprehended in a different way from the Jews. The Jews wished to apprehend one who was departing from them, these apprehended one who remained with them. In a word, what is it that follows? "And many believed on Him."


1. Among all the miracles wrought by our Lord Jesus Christ, the resurrection of Lazarus holds a foremost place in preaching. But if we consider attentively who did it, our duty is to rejoice rather than to wonder. A man was raised up by Him who made man: for He is the only One of the Father, by whom, as you know, all things were made. And if all things were made by Him, what wonder is it that one was raised by Him, when so many are daily brought into the world by His power? It is a greater deed to create men than to raise them again from the dead. Yet He deigned both to create and to raise again; to create all, to resuscitate some. For though the Lord Jesus did many such acts, yet all of them are not recorded; just as this same St. John the evangelist himself testifies, that Christ the Lord both said and did many things that are not recorded;(1) but such were chosen for record as seemed to suffice for the salvation of believers. Thou hast just heard that the Lord Jesus raised a dead man to life; and that is sufficient to let thee know that, were He so pleased, He might raise all the dead to life. And, indeed this very work has He reserved in His own hands till the end of the world. For while you have heard that by a great miracle He raised one from the tomb who had been dead four days, "the hour is coming," as He Himself saith, "in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth." He raised one who was putrid, and yet in that putrid carcase there was still the form of limbs; but at the last day He will by a word reconstitute ashes into human flesh. But it was needful then to do only some such deeds, that we, receiving them as tokens of His power, may put our trust in Him, and be preparing for that resurrection which shall be to life and not to judgment. So, indeed, He saith, "The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."(2)

2. We have, however, read in the Gospel of three dead persons who were raised to life by the Lord, and, let us hope, to some good purpose. For surely the Lord's deeds are not merely deeds, but signs. And if they are signs, besides their wonderful character, they have some real significance: and to find out this in regard to such deeds is a somewhat harder task than to read or hear of them. We were listening with wonder, as at the sight of some mighty miracle enacted before our eyes, in the reading of the Gospel, how Lazarus was restored to life. If we turn our thoughts to the still more wonderful works of Christ, every one that believeth riseth again: if we all consider, and understand that more horrifying kind of death, every one who sinneth dies.(3) But every man is afraid of the death of the flesh; few, of the death of the soul. In regard to the death of the flesh, which must certainly come some time, all are on their guard against its approach: this is the source of all their labor. Man, destined to die, labors to avert his dying; and yet man, destined to live for ever, labors not to cease from sinning. And when he labors to avoid dying, he labors to no purpose, for its only result will be to put off death for a while, not to escape it; but if he refrain from sinning, his toil will cease, and he shall live for ever. Oh that we could arouse men, and be ourselves aroused along with them, to be as great lovers of the life that abideth, as men are of that which passeth away! What will a man not do who is placed under the peril of death? When the sword was overhanging their heads, men have given up every means of living they had in reserve. Who is there that has not made an immediate surrender of all, to escape being slain? And, after all, he has perhaps been slain. Who is there that, to save his life, has not been willing at once to lose his means of living, and prefer a life of beggary to a speedy death? Who has had it said to him, Be off to sea if you would escape with your life, and has delayed to do so? Who has had it said to him, Set to work if you would preserve your life, and has continued a sluggard? It is but little that God requires of us, that we may live for ever: and we neglect to obey Him. God says not to thee, Lose all you have, that you may live a little time oppressed with toil; but, Give to the poor of what you have, that you may live always exempt from labor. The lovers of this temporal life, which is theirs, neither when, nor as long as they wish, are our accusers; and we accuse not ourselves in turn, so sluggish are we, so lukewarm about obtaining eternal life, which will be ours if we wish it, and will be imperishable when we have it; but this death which we fear, notwithstanding all our reluctance, will yet be ours in possession.

3. If, then, the Lord in the greatness of His grace and mercy raiseth our souls to life, that we may not die for ever, we may well understand that those three dead persons whom He raised in the body, have some figurative significance of that resurrection of the soul which is effected by faith: He raised up the ruler of the synagogue's daughter, while still lying in the house;(1) He raised up the widow's young son, while being carried outside the gates of the city;(2) and He raised up Lazarus, when four days in the grave. Let each one give heed to his own soul: in sinning he dies: sin is the death of the soul. But sometimes sin is committed only in thought. Thou hast felt delight in what is evil, thou hast assented to its commission thou hast sinned; that assent has slain thee but the death is internal, because the evil thought had not yet ripened into action. The Lord intimated that He would raise such a soul to life, in raising that girl, who had not yet been carried forth to the burial, but was lying dead in the house, as if sin still lay concealed. But if thou hast not only harbored a feeling of delight in evil, but hast also done the evil thing, thou hast, so to speak, carried the dead outside the gate: thou art already without, and being carried to the tomb. Yet such an one also the Lord raised to life. and restored to his widowed mother. If thou hast sinned, repent, and the Lord will raise thee up, and restore thee to thy mother Church. The third example of death is Lazarus. A grievous kind of death it is, and is distinguished as a habit of wickedness. For it is one thing to fall into sin, another to form the habit of sinning. He who falls into sin, and straightway submits to correction, will be speedily restored to life; for he is not yet entangled in the habit, he is not yet laid in the tomb. But he who has become habituated to sin, is buried, and has it properly said of him, "he stinketh;" for his character, like some horrible smell, begins to be of the worst repute. Such are all who are habituated to crime, abandoned in morals. Thou sayest to such an one, Do not so. But when wilt thou be listened to by one on whom the earth is thus heaped, who is breeding corruption, and pressed down with the weight of habit? And yet the power of Christ was not unequal to the task of restoring such an one to life. We know, we have seen, we see every day men changing the very worst of habits, and adopting a better manner of life than that of those who blamed them. Thou detestedst such a man: look at the sister of Lazarus herself (if, indeed, it was she who anointed the Lord's feet with ointment, and wiped with her hair what she had washed with her tears), who had a better resurrection than her brother; she was delivered from the mighty burden of a sinful character. For she was a notorious sinner; and had it said of her, "Her many sins are forgiven her, for she has loved much."(3) We see many such, we know many: let none despair, but let none presume in himself. Both the one and the other are sinful. Let thine unwillingness to despair take such a turn as to lead thee to make choice of Him in whom alone thou mayest well presume.

4. So then the Lord also raised Lazarus to life. You have heard what type of character he represents; in other words, what is meant by the resurrection of Lazarus. Let us now, therefore, read over the passage; and as there is much in this lesson clear already, we shall not go into any detailed exposition, so as to take up more thoroughly the necessary points. "Now a certain man was sick, [named] Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and Martha, his sisters." In the previous lesson you remember that the Lord escaped from the hands of those who sought to stone Him, and went away beyond Jordan, where John baptized.(4) When the Lord therefore had taken up His abode there, Lazarus fall sick in Bethany, which was a town lying close to Jerusalem.

5. "But Mary was she who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore his sisters sent unto Him, saying." We now understand whither it was they sent, namely, where the Lord was; for He was away, as you know, beyond the Jordan. They sent messengers to the Lord to tell Him that their brother was ill. He delayed to heal, that He might be able to raise to life. But what was the message sent by his sisters? "Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick." They did not say, Come; for the intimation was all that was needed for one who loved. They did not venture to say, Come and heal him: they ventured not to say, Command there, and it shall be done here. And why not so with them, if on these very grounds the centurion's faith was commended? For he said, "I am not worthy that Thou shouldest enter under my roof; but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed."(1) No such words said these women, but only, "Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick." It is enough that Thou knowest; for Thou art not one that loveth and forsaketh. But says some one, How could a sinner be represented by Lazarus, and be so loved by the Lord? Let him listen to Him, when He says, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."(2) For had not God loved sinners, He would not have come down from heaven to earth.

6. "But when Jesus heard [that], He said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified." Such a glorifying of Himself did not add to His dignity, but benefited us. Hence He says, "is not unto death," because even that death itself was not unto death, but rather unto the working of a miracle whereby men might be led to faith in Christ, and so escape the real death. And mark how the Lord, as it were indirectly, called Himself God, for the sake of some who deny that the Son is God. For there are heretics who make such a denial, that the Son of God is God. Let them hearken here: "This sickness" He says. "is not unto death, but for the glory of God." For what glory? For the glory of what God? Hear what follows: "That the Son of God may be glorified." "This sickness," therefore, He says, "is not unto death. but for the glory of God, that the Son of God maybe glorified thereby." By what? By that sickness.

7. "Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus." The one sick, the others sad, all of them beloved: but He who loved them was both the Saviour of the sick, nay more, the Raiser of the dead and the Comforter of the sad. "When He heard therefore that he was sick, He abode then two days still in the same place." They sent Him word: He abode where He was: and the time ran on till four days were completed. And not in vain, were it only that perhaps, nay that certainly, even the very number of days has some sacramental significance. "Then after that He saith again to His disciples, Let us go into Judea:" where He had been all but stoned, and from which He had apparently departed for the very purpose to escape being stoned. For as man He departed; but returned as if in forgetfulness of 'all infirmity, to show His power. "Let us go," He said, "into Judea."

8. And now see how the disciples were terrified at His words. "The disciples say unto Him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone Thee, and goest Thou thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? "What means such. an answer? They said to Him, "The Jews of late sought to stone Thee, and goest Thou thither again" to be stoned? And the Lord, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? if any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world: but if he walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him." He spoke indeed of the day, but to our understanding as if it were still the night. Let us call upon the Day to chase away the night, and illuminate our hearts with the light. For what did the Lord mean? As far as I can judge, and as the height and depth of His meaning breaks into light, He wished to argue down their doubting and unbelief. For they wished by their counsel to keep the Lord from death, who had come to die, to save themselves from death. In a similar way also, in another passage, St. Peter, who loved the Lord, but did not yet fully understand the reason of His coming, was afraid of His dying, and so displeased the Life, to wit, the Lord Himself; for when He was intimating to the disciples what He was about to suffer at Jerusalem at the hands of the Jews, Peter made reply among the rest, and said, "Far be it from Thee, Lord; pity Thyself: this shall not be unto Thee." And at once the Lord replied, "Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." And yet a little before, in confessing the Son of God, he had merited commendation: for he heard the words, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven."(3) To whom He had said, "Blessed art thou," He now says, "Get thee behind me, Satan;" because it was not of himself that he was blessed. But of what then? "For flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven." See, this is how thou art blessed, not from anything that is thine own, but from that which is mine. Not that I am the Father, but that all things which the Father hath are mine.(1) But if his blessedness came from the Lord's own working, from whose [working] came he to be Satan? He there tells us: for He assigned the reason of such blessedness, when He said, "Flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven:" that is the cause of thy blessedness. But that I said, "Get thee behind me, Satan, hear also its cause. For thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." Let no one then flatter himself: in that which is natural to himself he is Satan, in that which is of God he is blessed. For all that is of his own, whence comes it, but from his sin? Put away the sin, which is thine own. Righteousness, He saith, belongeth unto me. For what hast thou that thou didst not receive?(2) Accordingly, when men wished to give counsel to God. disciples to their Master, servants to their Lord, patients to their Physician, He reproved them by saying, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not." Follow me, if ye would not stumble: give not counsel to me, from whom you ought to receive it. To what, then, refer the words, "Are there not twelve hours in the day"? Just that to point Himself out as the day, He made choice of twelve disciples. If I am the day, He says, and you the hours, is it for the hours to give counsel to the day? The day is followed by the hours, not the hours by the day. If these, then, were the hours, what in such a reckoning was Judas? Was he also among the twelve hours? If he was an hour, he had light; and if he had light, how was the Day betrayed by him to death? But the Lord, in so speaking, foresaw, not Judas himself, but his successor. For Judas, when he fell, was succeeded by Matthias, and the duodenary number preserved.(3) It was not, then, without a purpose that the Lord made choice of twelve disciples, but to indicate that He Himself is the spiritual Day. Let the hours then attend upon the Day, let them preach the Day, be made known and illuminated by the Day, and by the preaching of the hours may the world believe in the Day. And so in a summary way it was just this that He said: Follow me, if ye would not stumble.

9. "And after that He saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep." It was true what He said. To his sisters he was dead, to the Lord he was asleep. He was dead to men, who could not raise him again; but the Lord aroused him with as great ease from the tomb as one arouseth a sleeper from his bed. Hence it was in reference to His own power that He spoke of him as sleeping: for others also, who are dead, are frequently spoken of in Scripture as sleeping; as when the apostle says, "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others who have no hope."(4) Therefore he also spoke of them as sleeping, because foretelling their resurrection. And so, all the dead are sleeping, both good and bad. But just as, in the case of those who sleep and waken day by day, there is a great difference as to what they severally see in their sleep: some experience pleasant dreams; others. dreams so frightful that the waking are afraid to fall asleep for fear of their recurrence: so every individual sleeps and wakens in circumstances peculiar to himself. And there is a difference as to the kind of custody one may be placed in, who is afterwards to be taken before the judge. For the kind of custody in which men are placed depends on the merits of the case: some are required to be guarded by lictors, an office humane and mild, and becoming a citizen; others are given up to subordinates;(5) some, again, are sent to prison: and in the prison itself all are not thrust together into its lowest dungeons, but dealt with in proportion to the merits and superior gravity of the charges. As, then, there are different kinds of custody among those engaged in official life, so there are different kinds of custody for the dead, and differing merits in those who rise again. The beggar was taken into custody, so was the rich man: but the one into Abraham's bosom; the other, where he thirsted, and found not a drop of water.(6)

10. Therefore, to make this the occasion of instructing your Charity, all souls have, when they quit this world, their different receptions. The good have joy; the evil, torments. But when the resurrection takes place, both the joy of the good will be fuller and the torments of the wicked heavier, when they shall be tormented in the body. The holy patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, and good believers, have been received into peace; but all of them have still in the end to receive the fulfillment of the divine promises; for they have been promised also the resurrection of the flesh, the destruction of death, and eternal life with the angels. This we have all to receive together; for the rest, which is given immediately after death, every one, if worthy of it, receives when he dies. The patriarchs first received it--think only from what they rest; the prophets afterwards; more recently the apostles; still more lately the holy martyrs, and day by day the good and faithful. Thus some have now been in that rest for long, some not so long; others for fewer years, and others whose entrance therein is still less than recent. But when they shall wake from this sleep, they shall all together receive the fulfillment of the promise.

11. "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said His disciples"--according to their understanding they replied--"Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well." For the sleep of the sick is usually a sign of returning health. "Howbeit Jesus spake of his death, but they thought that He spake of the taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly,"--for He said somewhat obscurely, "He sleepeth; "- -therefore He said plainly, "Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe." I even know that he is dead, and I was not there: for he had been reported not as dead, but sick. But what could remain hid from Him who had created it, and into whose hands the soul of the dying man had departed? This is why He said," I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe;" that they might now begin to wonder that the Lord could assert his death, which He had neither seen nor heard of. For here we ought specially to bear in mind that as yet the disciples themselves, who already believed in Him, had their faith built up by miracles: not that a faith, utterly wanting till then, might begin to exist; but that what had previously come into being might be increased; although He made use of such an expression as if only then they would begin to believe. For He said not, "I am glad for your sakes," that your faith may be increased or confirmed; but, "that ye may believe;" which is to be understood as meaning, that your faith may be fuller and more vigorous.

12. "Nevertheless, let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, who is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with Him. Therefore Jesus came, and found that he had [lain] in the grave four days already." Much might be said of the four days, according to the wont of the obscure passages of Scripture, which bear as many senses as there is diversity of those who understand them. Let us express also our opinion of what is meant by one four days dead. For as in the former case of the.. blind man we understand in a way the human race, so in the case of this dead man many perhaps are also to be understood; for one thing may be signified by different figures. When a man is born, he is born already in a state of death; for he inherits sin from Adam. Hence the apostle says: " By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so that passed upon all men, wherein all have sinned."(1) Here you have one day of death because man inherits it from the seed stock of death. Thereafter he grows, and begins to approach the years of reason that he may know the law of nature, which every one has had implanted in his heart: What thou wouldst not have done to thyself, do not to another. Is this learned from the pages of a book, and not in a measure legible in our very nature? Hast thou any desire to be robbed? Certainly not. See here, then, the law in thy heart: What thou art unwilling to suffer, be unwilling to do. This law also is transgressed by men; and here, then, we have the second day of death. The law was also divinely given through Moses, the servant of God; and therein it is said," Thou shall not kill; thou shall not commit adultery; thou shall not bear false witness; honor thy father and mother; thou shall not covet thy neighbor's property; thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife."(2) Here you have the written law, and it also is despised: this is the third day of death. What remains? The gospel also comes, the kingdom of heaven is preached, Christ is everywhere published; He threatens hell, He promises eternal life; and that also is despised. Men transgress the gospel; and this is the fourth day of death. Now he deservedly stinketh. But is mercy to be denied to such? God forbid; for to raise such also from the dead, the Lord thinks it not unfitting to come.

13. "And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him; but Mary sat [still] in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know that even now, whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God will give it Thee:" She did not say, But even now I ask Thee to raise my brother to life again. For how could she know if such a resurrection would be of benefit to her brother? She only said, I know that Thou canst, and whatsoever Thou art pleased, Thou doest: for Thy doing it is dependent on Thine own judgment, not on my presumption. "But even now I know that, whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God will give it Thee."

14 "Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again." This was ambiguous. For He said not, Even now I will raise thy brother; but, "Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection, at the last day." Of that resurrection I am sure, but uncertain about this. "Jesus saith unto her, I am the resurrection." Thou sayest, My brother shall rise again at the last day: true; but by Him, through whom he shall rise then, can he rise even now, for "I," He says, "am the resurrection and the life." Give ear, brethren, give ear to what He says. Certainly the universal expectation of the bystanders was that Lazarus, one who had been dead four days,' would live again; let us hear, and rise again. How many are there in this audience who are crushed down under the weighty mass of some sinful habit! Perhaps some are hearing me to whom it may be said, "Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess;"(2) and they say, We cannot. Some others, it may be, are nearing me, who are unclean, and stained with lusts and crimes, and to whom it is said, Refrain from such conduct, that ye perish not; and they reply, We cannot give up our habits. O Lord, raise them again. "I am," He says, "the resurrection and the life." The resurrection because the life.

15. "He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." What meaneth this? "He that believeth in me, though he were dead," just as Lazarus is dead, "yet shall he live;" for He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Such was the answer He gave the Jews concerning their fathers, long ago dead, that is, concerning Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob: I am the! God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and! the God of Jacob: He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live unto u Him."(3) Believe then, and though thou wert dead, yet shalt thou live: but if thou believest not, even while thou livest thou art dead. Let us prove this likewise, that if thou believest not, though thou belivest thou art dead. To one who was delaying to follow Him, and saying, "Let me first go and bury my father," the Lord said, "Let the dead bury their dead; but come thou and follow me."(4) There was there a dead man requiring to be buried, there were there also dead men to bury the dead: the one was dead in the flesh, the others in soul. And how comes death on the soul? When faith is wanting. How comes death on the body? When the soul is wanting. Therefore thy soul's soul is faith. "He that believeth in me," says Christ, though he were dead in the flesh, yet shall he live in the spirit; till the flesh also rise again, never more to die. This is "he that believeth in me," though he die, "yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth" in the flesh, "and believeth in me," though he shall die in time on account of the death of the flesh, "shall never die," because of the life of the spirit, and the immortality of the resurrection. Such is the meaning of the words, "And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto Him, Yea, Lord, I have believed that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, who hast come into the world." When I believed this, I believed that Thou art the resurrection, that Thou art the life: I believed that he that believeth in Thee, though he die, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in Thee, shall never die.

16. "And when she had so said, she went ' her way, and called Mary her sister silently, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee." It is worthy of notice the way in which the whispering of her voice was denominated silence. For how could she be silent, when she said, "The Master is come, and calleth for thee"? It is also to be noticed why it is that the evangelist has not said where, or when, or how the Lord called for Mary; namely, that in order to preserve the brevity of the narrative, it may rather be understood from the words of Martha.

17. "As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto Him. For Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was still in that place where Martha met Him. The Jews, then, who were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily, and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave, to weep there." What cause had the evangelist to tell us this? To show us what it was that occasioned the numerous concourse of people to be there when Lazarus was raised to life. For the Jews, thinking that her reason for hastening away was to seek in weeping the solace of her grief, followed her; that the great miracle of one rising again who had been four days dead, might have the presence of many witnesses.

18. "Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying unto Him, Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping, who were with her, He groaned in the spirit, and troubled Himself,(1) and said, Where have ye laid him?" Something there is, did we but know it, that He has suggested to us by groaning in the spirit, and troubling Himself. For who could trouble Him, save He Himself? Therefore, my brethren, first give heed here to the power that did so, and then look for the meaning. Thou art troubled against thy will; Christ was troubled because He willed. Jesus hungered, it is true, but because He willed; Jesus slept, it is true, but because He willed; He was sorrowful, it is true, but because He willed; He died, it is true, but because He willed: in His own power it lay to be thus and thus affected or not. For the Word assumed soul and flesh, fitting on Himself our whole human nature in the oneness of His person. For the soul of the apostle was illuminated by the Word; so was the soul of Peter, the soul of Paul, of the other apostles, and the holy prophets,--the souls of all were illuminated by the Word; but of none was it said, "The Word was made flesh;"(2) of none was it said," I and the Father are one."(3) The soul and flesh of Christ is one person with the Word of God, one Christ. And by this [Word] wherein resided the supreme power, was infirmity made use of at the beck of His will; and in this way "He troubled Himself."

19. I have spoken of the power: look now to the meaning. It is a great criminal that is signified by that four days' death and burial. Why is it, then, that Christ troubleth Himself, but to intimate to thee how thou oughtest to be troubled, when weighed down and crushed by so great a mass of iniquity? For here thou hast been looking to thyself, been seeing thine own guilt, been reckoning for thyself: I have done this, and God has spared me; I have committed this, and He hath borne with me; I have heard the gospel, and despised it; I have been baptized, and returned again to the same course: what am I doing? whither am I going? how shall I escape? When thou speakest thus, Christ is already groaning; for thy faith is groaning. In the voice of one who groaneth thus, there comes to light the hope of his rising again. If such faith is within. there is Christ groaning; for if there is faith in us, Christ is in us. For what else says the apostle: "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith."(4) Therefore thy faith in Christ is Christ Himself in thy heart. This is why He slept in the ship; and why, when His disciples were in danger and already on the verge of shipwreck, they came to Him and awoke Him. Christ arose, laid His commands on the winds and waves, and there ensued a great calm.(5) So also with thee; the winds enter thy heart, that is, where thou sailest, where thou passest along this life as a stormy and dangerous sea; the winds enter, the billows rise and toss thy vessel. What are the winds? Thou hast received some insult, and art wroth: that insult is the wind; that anger, the waves. Thou art in danger, thou preparest to reply, to render cursing for cursing, and thy vessel is already nigh to shipwreck. Awake the Christ who is sleeping. For thou art in commotion, and making ready to render evil for evil, because Christ is sleeping in thy vessel. For the sleep of Christ in thy heart is the forgetfulness of faith. But if thou arousest Christ, that is, recallest thy faith, what dost thou hear said to thee by Christ, when now awake in thy heart? I [He says] have heard it said to me, "Thou hast a devil,"(6) and I have prayed for them. The Lord hears and suffers; the servant hears and is angry! But thou wishest to be avenged. Why so? I am already avenged. When thy faith so speaks to thee, command is exercised, as it were, over the winds and waves, and there is a great calm. As, then, to awaken Christ in the vessel is just to awaken faith; so in the heart of one who is pressed down by a great mass and habit of sin, in the heart of the man who has been a transgressor even of the holy gospel and a despiser of eternal punishment, let Christ groan, let such a man betake himself to self-accusation. Hear still more: Christ wept; let man bemoan himself. For why did Christ weep, but to teach man to weep? Wherefore did He groan and trouble Himself, but to intimate that the faith of one who has just cause to be displeased with himself ought to be in a sense groaning over the accusation of wicked works, to the end that the habit of sinning may give way to the vehemence of penitential sorrow?

20. "And He said, Where have ye laid him?" Thou knewest that he was dead, and art Thou ignorant of the place of his burial? The meaning here is, that a man thus lost becomes, as it were, unknown to God. I have not ventured to say, Is unknown--for what is unknown to Him? but, As it were unknown. And how do we prove this? Listen to the Lord, who will yet say in the judgment, "I know you not: depart from me." (1) What does that mean, "I know you not"? I see you not in that light of mine--in that righteousness which I know. So here, also, as if knowing nothing of such a sinner, He said, "Where have ye laid him?" Similar in character was God's voice in Paradise after man had sinned: "Adam, where art thou?" (2) "They say unto Him, Lord, come and see." What means this "see"? Have pity. For the Lord sees when He pities. Hence it is said to Him, "Look upon my humility [affliction] and my pain, and forgive all my sins." (4) 21. "Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how He loved him!" "Loved him," what does that mean? "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (3) "But some of them said, Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not die?" But He, who would do nought to hinder his dying, had something greater in view in raising him from the dead.

22. "Jesus therefore again groaning in Himself, cometh to the tomb." May His groaning have thee also for its object, if thou wouldst re-enter into life! Every man who lies in that dire moral condition has it said to him, "He cometh to the tomb." "It was a cave, and a stone had been laid upon it." Dead under that stone, guilty under the law. For you know that the law, which was given to the Jews, was inscribed on stone. (5) And all the guilty are under the law: the right-living are in harmony with the law. The law is not laid on a righteous man. (6) What mean then the words, "Take ye away the stone"? Preach grace. For the Apostle Paul calleth himself a minister of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit; "for the letter," he says, "killeth, but the spirit giveth life." (7) The letter that killeth is like the stone that crusheth. "Take ye away," He saith, "the stone." Take away the weight of the law; preach grace. "For if there had been a law given, which could have given life, verily righteousness should be by the law. But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe." (8) Therefore "take ye away the stone."

23. "Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto Him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been [dead] four days. (9) Jesus saith unto her, Have I not said unto thee, that, if thou believest, thou shalt see the glory of God?" What does He mean by this, "thou shall see the glory of God"? That He can raise to life even one who is putrid and hath been four days [dead]. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (10) and, "Where sin abounded, grace also did superabound." (11)

24. "Then they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank Thee, that Thou hast heard me. And I knew that Thou hearest me always: but because of the people that stand by I said it, that they may believe that Thou hast sent me. And when He had thus spoken, He cried with a loud voice." He groaned, He wept, He cried with a loud voice. With what difficulty does one rise who lies crushed under the heavy burden of a habit of sinning! And yet he does rise: he is quickened by hidden grace within; and after that loud voice he riseth. For what followed? "He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And immediately he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with bandages; (12) and his face was bound about with a napkin." Dost thou wonder how he came forth with his feet bound, and wonderest not at this, that after four days' interment he rose from the dead? In both events it was the power of the Lord that operated, and not the strength of the dead. He came forth, and yet still was bound. Still in his burial shroud, he has already come outside the tomb. What does it mean? While thou despisest [Christ]. thou liest in the arms of death; and if thy contempt reacheth the lengths I have mentioned, thou art buried as well: but when thou makest confession, thou comest forth. For what is this coming forth, but the open acknowledgment thou makest of thy state, in quitting, as it were, the old refuges of darkness? But the confession thou makest is effected by God, when He crieth with a loud voice, or in other words, calleth thee in abounding grace. Accordingly, when the dead man had come forth, still bound; confessing, yet guilty still; that his sins also might be taken away, the Lord said to His servants: "Loose him, and let him go." What does He mean by such words? Whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (1)

25. "Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him. But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done." All of the Jews who had come to Mary did not believe, but many of them did. "But some of them," whether of the Jews who had come, or of those who had believed, "went away to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done:" whether in the way of conveying intelligence, in order that they also might believe, or rather in the spirit of treachery, to arouse their anger. But whoever were the parties, and whatever their motive, intelligence of these events was carried to the Pharisees.

26. "Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we?" But they did not say, Let us believe. For these abandoned men were more occupied in considering what evil they could do to effect His ruin, than in consulting for their own preservation: and yet they were afraid, and took counsel of a kind together. For "they said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles: if we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him; and the Romans shall come, and take away both our place and nation." They were afraid of losing their temporal possessions, and thought not of life eternal; and so they lost both. For the Romans, after our Lord's passion and entrance into glory, took from them both their place and nation, when they took the one by storm and transported the other: and now that also pursues them, which is said elsewhere, "But the children of the kingdom shall go into outer darkness." (2) But this was what they feared, that if all believed on Christ, there would be none remaining to defend the city of God and the temple against the Romans; just because they had a feeling that Christ's teaching was directed against the temple itself and their own paternal laws.

27. "And one of them, [named] Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself; but being high priest that year, he prophesied." We are here taught that the Spirit of prophecy used the agency even of wicked men to foretell what was future; which, however, the evangelist attributes to the divine sacramental fact that he was pontiff, which is to say, the high priest. It may, however, be a question in what way he is called the high priest of that year, seeing that God appointed one person to be high priest, who was to be succeeded only at his death by another. But we are to understand that ambitious schemes and contentions among the Jews led to the appointment afterwards of more than one, and to their annual turn of service. For it is said also of Zacharias: "And it came to pass that, while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord." (3) From which it is evident that there were more than one, and that each had his turn: for it was lawful for the high priest alone to place the incense on the altar. (4) And perhaps also there were several in actual service in the same year, who were succeeded next year by several others, and that it fell by lot to one of them to burn incense. What was it, then, that Caiaphas prophesied? "That Jesus should die for the nation; and not for the nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of GOd that were scattered abroad." This is added by the evangelist; for Caiaphas prophesied only of the Jewish nation, in which there were sheep of whom the Lord Himself had said, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (5) But the evangelist knew that there were other sheep, which were not of this fold, but which had also to be brought, that there might be one fold and one shepherd. (6) But this was said in the way of predestination; for those who were still unbelieving were as yet neither His sheep nor the children of God.

28. "Then, from that day forth, they took counsel together for to put Him to death. Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with His disciples." Not that there was any failure in His power, by which, had He only wished, He might have continued His intercourse with the Jews, and received no injury at their hands; but in His human weakness He furnished His disciples with an example of living, by which He might make it manifest that it was no sin in His believing ones, who are His members, to withdraw from the presence of their persecutors, and escape the fury of the wicked by concealment, rather than inflame it by showing themselves openly.


1. YESTERDAY'S lesson in the holy Gospel, on which we spake as the Lord enabled us, is followed by to-day's, on which we purpose to speak in the same spirit of dependence. Some passages in the Scriptures are so clear as to require a hearer rather than an expounder: over such we need not tarry, that we may have sufficient time for those which necessarily demand a fuller consideration.

2. "And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand." The Jews wished to have that feast-day crimsoned with the blood of the Lord. On it that Lamb was slain, who hath consecrated it as a feast-day for us by His own blood. There was a plot among the Jews about slaying Jesus: and He, who had come from heaven to suffer, wished to draw near to the place of His suffering, because the hour of His passion was at hand. Therefore "many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to sanctify themselves." The Jews did so in accordance with the command of the Lord delivered by holy Moses in the law, that on the feast-day of the passover all should assemble from every part of the land, and be sanctified in celebrating the services of the day. But that celebration was a shadow of the future. And why a shadow? It was a prophetic intimation of the Christ to come, a prophecy of Him who on that day was to suffer for us: that so the shadow might vanish and the light come; that the sign might pass away, and the truth be retained. The Jews therefore held the passover in a shadowy form, but we in the light. For what need was there that the Lord should command them to slay a sheep on the very day of the feast, save only because of Him it was prophesied, "He is led as a sheep to the slaughter"? (1). The door- posts of the Jews were sealed with the blood of the slaughtered animal: with the blood of Christ are our foreheads sealed. And that sealing--for it had a real significance--was said to keep away the destroyer from the houses that were sealed: (2) Christ's seal drives away the destroyer from us, if we receive the Saviour into our hearts. But why have I said this? Because many have their door-posts sealed while there is no inmate abiding within: they find it easy to have Christ's seal in the forehead, and yet at heart refuse admission to His word. Therefore, brethren, I have said, and I repeat it, Christ's seal driveth from us the destroyer, if only we have Christ as an inmate of our hearts. I have stated these things, lest any one's thoughts should be turning on the meaning of these festivals of the Jews. The Lord therefore came as it were to the victim's place, that the true passover might be ours, when we celebrated His passion as the real offering of the lamb.

3. "Then sought they for Jesus:" but with evil intent. For happy are they who seek for Jesus in a way that is good. They sought for Him, with the intent that neither they nor we should have Him more: but in departing from them, He has been received by us. Some who seek Him are blamed, others who do so are commended; for it is the spirit animating the seeker that finds either praise or condemnation. Thence you have it also in the psalms, "Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul:" (3) such are those who sought with evil purpose. But in another place he says, "Refuge hath failed me, and there is no one that seeketh after my soul." (4) Those who sought, and those who did not, are blamed alike. Therefore let us seek for Christ, that He may be ours, that we may keep Him, and not that we may slay Him; for these men sought to get hold of Him, but only for the purpose of speedily getting quit of Him for ever. "Therefore they sought for Him, and spake among themselves: What think ye, that He will not come to the feast?"

4. "Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where He were, he should show it, that they might take Him." Let us for our parts show the Jews where Christ is. Would, indeed, that all the seed of those who had given commandment to have it shown them where Christ was, would but hear and apprehend! Let them come to the church and hear where Christ is, and take Him. They may hear it from us, they may hear it from the gospel. He was slain by their forefathers, He was buried, He rose again, He was recognized by the disciples, He ascended before their eyes into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of the Father; and He who was judged is yet to come as Judge of all: let them hear, and hold fast. Do they reply, How shall I take hold of the absent? how shall I stretch up my hand into heaven, and take hold of one who is sitting there? Stretch up thy faith, and thou hast got hold. Thy forefathers held by the flesh, hold thou with the heart; for the absent Christ is also present. But for His presence, we ourselves were unable to hold Him. But since His word is true, "Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world," (1) He is away, and He is here; He has returned, and will not forsake us; for He has carried His body into heaven, but His majesty He has never withdrawn from the world.

5. "Then Jesus, six days before the passover, came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom Jesus raised from the dead. And there they made Him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that reclined at the table." To prevent people thinking that the man had become a phantom, because he had risen from the dead, he was one of those who reclined at table; he was living, speaking, feasting: the truth was made manifest, and the unbelief of the Jews was confounded. The Lord, therefore, reclined at table with Lazarus and the others; and they were waited on by Martha, one of the sisters of Lazarus.

6. But "Mary," the other sister of Lazarus, "took a pound of ointment of pure nard, very precious, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment." Such was the incident, let us look into the mystery it imported. Whatever soul of you wishes to be truly faithful, anoint like Mary the feet of the Lord with precious ointment. That ointment was righteousness, and therefore it was [exactly] a pound weight: but it was ointment of pure nard [nardi pistici], very precious. From his calling it "pistici," (2) we ought to infer that there was some locality from which it derived its preciousness: but this does not exhaust its meaning, and it harmonizes well with a sacramental symbol. The root of the word ["pure"] in the Greek is by us called "faith." Thou weft seeking to work righteousness: the just shall live by faith. (3) Anoint the feet of Jesus: follow by a good life the Lord's footsteps. Wipe them l with thy hair: what thou hast of superfluity, give to the poor, and thou hast wiped the feet of the Lord; for the hair seems to be the superfluous part of the body. Thou hast something to spare of thy abundance: it is superfluous to thee, but necessary for the feet of the Lord. Perhaps on this earth the Lord's feet are still in need. For of whom but of His members is He yet to say in the end, "Inasmuch as ye did it to one of the least of mine, ye did it unto me"? (4) Ye spent what was superfluous for yourselves, but ye have done what was grateful to my feet.

7. "And the house was filled with the odor." The world is filled with the fame of a good character: for a good character is as a pleasant odor. Those who live wickedly and bear the name of Christians, do injury to Christ: of such it is said, that through them "the name of the Lord is blasphemed." (5) If through such God's name is blasphemed, through the good the name of the Lord is honored. Listen to the apostle, when he says, "We are a sweet savor of Christ in every place." As it is said also in the Song of Songs, "Thy name is as ointment poured forth." (6) Attend again to the apostle: "We are a sweet savor," he says, "of Christ in every place, both in them that are saved, and in them that perish. To the one we are the savor of life unto life, to the other the savor of death unto death: and who is sufficient for I these things?" (7) The lesson of the holy Gospel before us affords us the opportunity of so speaking of that savor, that we on our part may give worthy utterance, and you diligent heed, to what is thus expressed by the apostle himself, "And who is sufficient for these things?" But have we any reason to infer from these words that we are qualified to attempt speaking on such a subject, or you to hear? We, indeed, are not so; but He is sufficient, who is pleased to speak by us what it may be for your profit to hear. The apostle, you see, is, as he calls himself, "a sweet savor:" but that sweet savor is "to some the savor of life unto life, and to others the savor of death unto death;" and yet all the while "a sweet savor" in itself. For he does not say, does he, To some we are a sweet savor unto life, to others an evil savor unto death? He called himself a sweet savor, not an evil; and represented himself as the same sweet savor, to some unto life, to others unto death. Happy they who find life in this sweet savor! but what misery can be greater than theirs, to whom the sweet savor is the messenger of death?

8. And who is it, says some one, that is thus slain by the sweet savor? It is to this the apostle alludes in the words, "And who is sufficient for these things?" In what wonderful ways God brings it about that the good savor is fraught both with life to the good, and with death to the wicked; how it is so, so far as the Lord is pleased to inspire my thoughts (for it may still conceal a deeper meaning beyond my power to penetrate),--yet so far, I say, as my power of penetration has reached, you ought not to have the information withheld. The integrity of the Apostle Paul's life and conduct, his preaching of righteousness in word and exhibition of it in works, his wondrous power as a teacher and his fidelity as a steward, were everywhere noised abroad: he was loved by some, and envied by others. For he himself tells us in a certain place of some, that they preached Christ not sincerely, but of envy; "thinking," he says, "to add affliction to my bonds." But what does he add? "Whether in pretence or in truth, let Christ be preached." (1) They preach who love me, they preach who hate me; in that good savor the former live, in it the others die: and yet by the preaching of both let the name of Christ be proclaimed, with this excellent savor let the world be filled. Hast thou been loving one whose conduct evidenced his goodness? then in this good savor thou hast lived. Hast thou been envying such a one then in this same savor thou hast died. But hast thou, pray, in thus choosing to die, converted this savor into an evil one? Turn from thine envious feelings, and the good savor will cease to slay thee.

9. And now, lastly, listen to what we have here, how this ointment was to some a sweet savor unto life, and to others a sweet savor unto death. When the pious Mary had rendered this grateful service to the Lord, straightway one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was yet to betray Him, said, "Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?" Alas for thee, wretched man! the sweet savor hath slain thee. For the cause that led him so to speak is disclosed by the holy evangelist. But we, too, might have supposed, had not the real state of his mind been revealed in the Gospel, that the care of the poor might have induced him so to speak. Not so. What then? Hearkeu to a true witness: "This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the money bag, and bare (2) what was put therein." Did he bear it about, or bear it away? For the common service he bore it, as a thief he bore it away.

10. Look now, and learn that this Judas did not become perverted only at the time when he yielded to the bribery of the Jews and betrayed his Lord. For not a few, inattentive to the Gospel, suppose that Judas only perished when he accepted money from the Jews to betray the Lord. It was not then that he perished, but he was already a thief, and a reprobate, when following the Lord; for it was with his body and not with his heart that he followed. He made up the apostolic number of twelve, but had no part in the apostolic blessedness: he had been made the twelfth in semblance, and on his departure, and the succession of another, the apostolic reality was completed, and the entireness of the number conserved. (3) What lesson then, my brethren, did our Lord Jesus Christ wish to impress on His Church, when it pleased Him to have one castaway among the twelve, but this, that we should bear with the wicked, and refrain from dividing the body of Christ? Here you have Judas among the saints,--that Judas, mark you! who was a thief, yea--do not overlook it-- not a thief of any ordinary type, but a thief and a sacrilegist: a robber of money bags, but of such as were the Lord's; of money bags, but of such as were sacred. If there is a distinction made in the public courts between such crimes as ordinary theft and peculation,--for by peculation we mean the theft of public property; and private theft is not visited with the same sentence as public,--how much more severe ought to be the sentence on the sacrilegious thief, who has dared to steal, not from places of any ordinary kind, but to steal from the Church? He who thieves from the Church, stands side by side with the castaway Judas. Such was this man Judas, and yet he went in and out with the eleven holy disciples. With them he came even to the table of the Lord: he was permitted to have intercourse with them, but he could not contaminate them. Of one bread did both Peter and Judas partake, and yet what communion had the believer with the infidel? Peter's partaking was unto life, but that of Judas unto death. For that good bread was just like the sweet savor. For as the sweet savor, so also does the good bread give life to the good, and bring death to the wicked. "For he that eateth unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself:" (4) "judgment to himself," not to thee. If, then, it is judgment to himself, not to thee, bear as one that is good with him that is evil, that thou mayest attain unto the rewards of the good, and be not hurled into the punishment of the wicked.

11. Lay to heart our Lord's example while living with man upon earth. Why had He a money bag, who was ministered unto by angels, save to intimate that His Church was destined thereafter to have her repository for money? Why gave He admission to a thief, save to teach His Church patiently to bear with thieves? But he who had formed the habit of abstracting money from the bag, did not hesitate for money received to sell the Lord Himself. But let us see what answer our Lord gave to such words. See, brethren: He does not say to him, Thou speakest so on account of thy thievishness. He knew him to be a thief, yet did not betray him, but rather endured him, and showed us an example of patience in tolerating the wicked in the Church. "Then said Jesus to him: Let her keep it against the day of my burial." (1) He announced that His own death was at hand.

12. But what follows? "For the poor ye have always with you, but me ye will not have always." We can certainly understand, "the poor ye have always;" what He has thus said is true. When were the poor wanting in the Church? "But me ye will not have always;" what does He mean by this? How are we to understand, "Me ye will not have always"? Don't be alarmed: it was addressed to Judas. Why, then, did He not say, thou wilt have, but, ye will have? Because Judas is not here a unit. One wicked man represents the whole body of the wicked; in the same way as Peter, the whole body of the good, yea, the body of the Church, but in respect to the good. For if in Peter's case there were no sacramental symbol of the Church, the Lord would not have said to him, "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven." (2) If this was said only to Peter, it gives no ground of action to the Church. But if such is the case also in the Church, that what is bound on earth is bound in heaven, and what is loosed on earth is loosed in heaven,--for when the Church excommunicates, the excommunicated person is bound in heaven; when one is reconciled by the Church, the person so reconciled is loosed in heaven:--if such, then, is the case in the Church, Peter, in receiving the keys, represented the holy Church. If, then, in the person of Peter were represented the good in the Church, and in Judas' person were represented the bad in the Church, then to these latter was it said, "But me ye will not have always." But what means the "not always;" and what, the "always"? If thou art good, if thou belongest to the body represented by Peter, thou hast Christ both now and hereafter: now by faith, by sign, by the sacrament of baptism, by the bread and wine of the altar. Thou hast Christ now, but thou wilt have Him always; for when thou hast gone hence, thou wilt come to Him who said to the robber, "To-day shall thou be with me in paradise." (3) But if thou livest wickedly, thou mayest seem to have Christ now, because thou enterest the Church, signest thyself with the sign of Christ, art baptized with the baptism of Christ, minglest thyself with the members of Christ, and approachest His altar: now thou hast Christ, but by living wickedly thou wilt not have Him always.

13. It may be also understood in this way: "The poor ye will have always with you, but me ye will not have always." The good may take it also as addressed to themselves, but not so as to be any source of anxiety; for He was speaking of His bodily presence. For in respect of His majesty, His providence, His ineffable and invisible grace, His own words are fulfilled, "Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world." (4) But in respect of the flesh He assumed as the Word, in respect of that which He was as the son of the Virgin, of that wherein He was seized by the Jews, nailed to the tree, let down from the cross, enveloped in a shroud, laid in the sepulchre, and manifested in His resurrection, "ye will not have Him always." And why? Because in respect of His bodily presence He associated for forty days with His disciples, and then, having brought them forth for the purpose of beholding and not of following Him, He ascended into heaven? and is no longer here. He is there, indeed, sitting at the right hand of the Father; and He is here also, having never withdrawn the presence of His glory. In other words, in respect of His divine presence we always have Christ; in respect of His presence in the flesh it was rightly said to the disciples, "Me ye will not have always." In this respect the Church enjoyed His presence only for a few days: now it possesses Him by faith, without seeing Him with the eyes. In whichever way, then, it was said, "But me ye will not have always," it can no longer, I suppose, after this twofold solution, remain as a subject of doubt.

14. Let us listen to the other few points that remain: "Much people of the Jews therefore knew that He was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead." They were drawn by curiosity, not by charity: they came and saw. Hearken to the strange scheming of human vanity. Having seen Lazarus as one raised from the dead,--for the fame of such a miracle of the Lord's had been accompanied everywhere with so much evidence of its genuineness, and it had been so openly performed, that they could neither conceal nor deny what had been done,--only think of the plan they hit upon. "But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus." O foolish consultation and blinded rage! Could not Christ the Lord, who was able to raise the dead, raise also the slain? When you were preparing a violent death for Lazarus, were you at the same time denuding the Lord of His power? If you think a dead man one thing, a murdered man another, look you only to this, that the Lord made both, and raised Lazarus to life when dead, and Himself when slain.


1. AFTER our Lord's raising of one to life, who had been four days dead, to the utter amazement of the Jews, some of whom believed on seeing it, and others perished in their envy, because of that sweet savor which is unto life to some, and to others unto death; (1) after He had sat down to meat with Lazarus--the one who had been dead and raised to life--reclining also at table, and after the pouring on His feet of the ointment which had filled the house with its odor; and after the Jews also had shown their own spiritual abandonment in conceiving the useless cruelty and the monstrously foolish and insane guilt of slaying Lazarus;--of all which we have spoken as we could, by the grace of the Lord, in previous discourses: let your Charity now notice how abundant before our Lord's passion was the fruit that appeared of His preaching, and how large was the flock of lost sheep of the house of Israel which had heard the Shepherd's voice.

2. For the Gospel, the reading of which yon have just been listening to, says: "On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went forth to meet Him, and cried, Hosanna: blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord as the King of Israel." The branches of palm trees are laudatory emblems, significant of victory, because the Lord was about to overcome death by dying, and by the trophy of His cross to triumph over the devil, the prince of death. The exclamation used by the worshipping (2) people is Hosanna, indicating, as some who know the Hebrew language affirm, rather a state of mind than having any positive significance; (3) just as in our own tongue (4) we have what are called interjections, as when in our grief we say, Alas! or in our joy, Ha! or in our admiration, O how fine! where O! expresses only the feeling of the admirer. Of the same class must we believe this word to be, as it has failed to find an interpretation both in Greek and Latin, like that other, "Whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca." (5) For this also is allowed to be an interjection, expressive of angry feelings.

3. But when it is said, "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord, [as] the King of Israel," by "in the name of the Lord" we are rather to understand "in the name of God the Father," although it might also be understood as in His own name, inasmuch as He is also Himself the Lord. As we find Scripture also saying in another place, "The Lord rained [upon Sodom fire] from the Lord." (1) But His own words are a better guide to our understanding, when He saith, "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: another will come in his own name, and him ye will receive." (2) For the true teacher of humility is Christ, who humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (3) But He does not lose His divinity in teaching us humility; in the one He is the Father's equal, in the other He is assimilated to us. By that which made Him the equal of the Father, He called us into existence; and by that in which He is like unto us, He redeemed us from ruin.

4. These, then, were the words of praise addressed to Jesus by the multitude, "Hosanna: blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel." What a cross of mental suffering must the Jewish rulers have endured when they heard so great a multitude proclaiming Christ as their King! But what honor was it to the Lord to be King of Israel? What great thing was it to the King of eternity to become the King of men? For Christ's kingship over Israel was not for the purpose of exacting tribute, of putting swords into His soldiers' hands, of subduing His enemies by open warfare; but He was King of Israel in exercising kingly authority over their inward natures, in consulting for their eternal interests, in bringing into His heavenly kingdom those whose faith, and hope, and love were centred in Himself. Accordingly, for the Son of God, the Father's equal, the Word by whom all things were made, in His good pleasure to be King of Israel, was an act of condescension and not of promotion; a token of compassion, and not any increase of power. For He who was called on earth the King of the Jews, is in the heavens the Lord of angels.

5. "And Jesus, when He had found a young ass, sat thereon." Here the account is briefly given: for how it all happened may be found at full length in the other evangelists. (4) But there is appended to the circumstance itself a testimony from the prophets, to make it evident that He in whom was fulfilled all they read in Scripture, was entirely misunderstood by the evil-minded rulers of the Jews. Jesus, then, "found a young ass, and sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Zion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt." Among that people, then, was the daughter of Zion to be found; for Zion is the same as Jerusalem. Among that very people, I say, reprobate and blind as they were, was the daughter of Zion, to whom it was said, "Fear not, daughter of Zion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt." This daughter of Zion, who was thus divinely addressed, was amongst those sheep that were hearing the Shepherd's voice, and in that multitude which was celebrating the Lord's coming with such religious zeal, and accompanying Him in such warlike array. To her was it said, "Fear not:" acknowledge Him whom thou art now extolling, and give not way to fear when He comes to suffering; for by the shedding of His blood is thy guilt to be blotted out, and thy life restored. But by the ass's colt, on which no man had ever sat (for so it is found recorded in the other evangelists), we are to understand the Gentile nations which had not received the law of the Lord; by the ass, on the other hand (for both animals were brought to the Lord), that people of His which came of the nation of Israel, and was already so far subdued as to recognize its Master's crib.

6. "These things understood not His disciples at the first; but when Jesus was glorified," that is, when He had manifested the power of His resurrection, "then remembered they that these things were written of Him, and they had done these things unto Him," that is, they did nothing else but what had been written concerning Him. In short, mentally comparing with the contents of Scripture what was accomplished both prior to and in the course of our Lord's passion, they found this also therein, that it was in accordance with the utterance of the prophets that He sat on an ass's colt.

7. "The people, therefore, that was with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb, and raised him from the dead, bare record. For this cause the crowd also met Him, for that they heard that He had done this miracle. The Pharisees, therefore, said among themselves: Perceive ye that we prevail nothing? Behold, the whole world is gone after Him." Mob set mob in motion. (5) "But why art thou, blinded mob that thou art, filled with envy because the world has gone after its Maker ?"

8. "And there were certain Gentiles among them that had come up to worship at the feast: the same came therefore to Philip, who was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus." Let us hearken to the Lord's reply. See how the Jews wish to kill Him, the Gentiles to see Him; and yet those, too, were of the Jews who cried, "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel." Here, then, were they of the circumcision and they of the uncircumcision, like two house walls running from different directions and meeting together with the kiss of peace, in the one faith of Christ. Let us listen, then, to the voice of the Cornerstone: "And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified." Perhaps some one supposes here that He spake of Himself as glorified, because the Gentiles wished to see Him. Such is not the case. But He saw the Gentiles themselves in all nations coming to the faith after His own passion and resurrection, because, as the apostle says, "Blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles should be come in." (1) Taking occasion, therefore, from those Gentiles who desired to see Him, He announces the future fullness of the Gentile nations, and promises the near approach of the hour when He should be glorified Himself, and when, on its consummation in heaven, the Gentile nations should be brought to the faith. To this it is that the prediction pointed, "Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens, and Thy glory above all the earth." (2) Such is the fullness of the Gentiles, of which the apostle saith, "Blindness in part is happened to Israel, till the fullness of the Gentiles come in."

9. But the height of His glorification had to be preceded by the depth of His passion. Accordingly, He went on to add, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." But He spake of Himself. He Himself was the grain that had to die, and be multiplied; to suffer death through the unbelief of the Jews, and to be multiplied in the faith of many nations.

10. And now, by way of exhortation to follow in the path of His own passion, He adds, "He that loveth his life shall lose it," which may be understood in two ways: "He that loveth shall lose," that is, If thou lovest, be ready to lose; if thou wouldst possess life in Christ, be not afraid of death for Christ. Or otherwise, "He that loveth his life shall lose it." Do not love for fear of losing; love it not here, lest thou lose it in eternity. But what I have said last seems better to correspond with the meaning of the Gospel, for there follow the words, "And he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." So that when it is said in the previous clause, "He that loveth," there is to be understood in this world, he it is that shall lose it. "But he that hateth," that is, in this world, is he that shall keep it unto life eternal. Surely a profound and strange declaration as to the measure of a man's love for his own life that leads to its destruction, and of his hatred to it that secures its preservation! If in a sinful way thou lovest it, then dost thou really hate it; if in a way accordant with what is good thou hast hated it, then hast thou really loved it. Happy they who have so hated their life while keeping it, that their love shall not cause them to lose it. But beware of harboring the notion that thou mayest court self-destruction by any such understanding of thy duty to hate thy life in this world. For on such grounds it is that certain wrong-minded and perverted people, who, with regard to themselves, are murderers of a specially cruel and impious character, commit themselves to the flames, suffocate themselves in water, dash themselves against a precipice, and perish. This was no teaching of Christ's, who, on the other hand, met the devil's suggestion of a precipice with the answer, "Get thee behind me, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." (3) To Peter also He said, signifying by what death he should glorify God, "When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not;" (4)--where He made it sufficiently plain that it is not by himself but by another that one must be slain who follows in the footsteps of Christ. And so, when one's case has reached the crisis that this condition is placed before him, either that he must act contrary to the divine commandment or quit this life, and that a man is compelled to choose one or other of the two by the persecutor who is threatening him with death, in such circumstances let him prefer dying in the love of God to living under His anger, in such circumstances let him hate his life in this world that he may keep it unto life eternal.

11. "If any man serve me, let him follow me." What is that, "let him follow me," but just, let him imitate me? "Because Christ suffered for us," says the Apostle Peter, "leaving us an example that we should follow His steps." (1) Here you have the meaning of the words, "If any man serve me, let him follow me." But with what result? what wages? what reward? "And where I am," He says, "there shall also my servant be." Let Him be freely loved, that so the reward of the service done Him may be to be with Him. For where will one be well apart from Him, or when will one come to feel himself in an evil case in company with Him? Hear it still more plainly: "If any man serve me, him will my Father honor." And what will be the honor but to be with His Son? For of what He said before, "Where I am, there shall also my servant be," we may understand Him as giving the explanation, when He says here, "him will my Father honor." For what greater honor can await an adopted son than to be with the Only-begotten; not, indeed, as raised to the level of His Godhead, but made a partaker of His eternity?

12. But it becomes us rather to inquire what is to be understood by this serving of Christ to which there is attached so great a reward. For if we have taken up the idea that the serving of Christ is the preparation of what is needful for the body, or the cooking and serving up of food, or the mixing of drink and handing the cup to one at the supper table; this, indeed, was done to Him by those who had the privilege of His bodily presence, as in the case of Martha and Mary, when Lazarus also was one of those who sat at the table. But in that sort of way Christ was served also by the reprobate Judas; for it was he also who had the money bag; and although he had the exceeding wickedness to steal of its contents, yet it was he also who provided what was needful for the meal. (2) And so also, when our Lord said to him, "What thou doest, do quickly," there were some who thought that He only gave him orders to make some needful preparations for the feast-day, or to give something to the poor. (3) In no sense, therefore, was it of this class of servants that the Lord said, "Where I am, there shall also my servant be," and "If any man serve me, him will my Father honor;" for we see that Judas, who served in this way, became an object of reprobation rather than of honor. Why, then, go elsewhere to find out what this serving of Christ implies, and not rather see its disclosure in the words themselves? for when He said, "If any man serve me, let him follow me," He wished it to be understood just as if He had said, If any man doth not follow me, he serveth me not. And those, therefore, are the servants of Jesus Christ, who seek not their own things, but the things that are Jesus Christ's. (4) For "let him follow me" is just this: Let him walk in my ways, and not in his own; as it is written elsewhere, "He that saith he abideth in Christ, ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked." (5) For he ought, if supplying food to the hungry, to do it in the way of mercy and not of boasting, seeking therein nothing else but the doing of good, and not letting his left hand know what his right hand doeth; (6) in other words, that all thought of self-seeking should be utterly estranged from a work of charity. He that serveth in this way serveth Christ, and will have it rightly said to him, "Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of those who are mine, ye did it unto me." (7) And thus doing not only those acts of mercy that pertain to the body, but every good work, for the sake of Christ (for then will all be good, because "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth " (8)), he is Christ's servant even to that work of special love, which is to lay down his life for the brethren, for that were to lay it down also for Christ. For this also will He say hereafter in behalf of His members: Inasmuch as ye did it for these, ye have done it for me. And certainly it was in reference to such a work that He was also pleased to make and to style Himself a servant, when He says, "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto [served], but to minister [serve], and to lay down His life for many." (9) Every one, therefore, is the servant of Christ in the same way as Christ also is a servant. And he that serveth Christ in this way will be honored by His Father with the signal honor of being with His Son, and having nothing wanting to his happiness for ever.

13. Accordingly, brethren, when you hear the Lord saying, "Where I am, there shall also my servant be," do not think merely of good bishops and clergymen. But be yourselves also in your own way serving Christ, by good lives, by giving alms, by preaching His name and doctrine as you can; and every father of a family also, be acknowledging in this name the affection he owes as a parent to his family. For Christ's sake, and for the sake of life eternal, let him be warning, and teaching, and exhorting, and correcting all his household; let him show kindliness, and exercise discipline; and so in his own house he will be filling an ecclesiastical and kind of episcopal office, and serving Christ, that he may be with Him for ever. For even that noblest service of suffering has been rendered by many of your class; for many who were neither bishops nor clergy, but young men and virgins, those advanced in years with those who were not, many married persons both male and female, many fathers and mothers of families, have served Christ even to the laying down of their lives in martyrdom for His sake, and have been honored by the Father in receiving crowns of exceeding glory.


1. AFTER the Lord Jesus Christ, in the words of yesterday's lesson, had exhorted His servants to follow Him, and had predicted His own passion in this way, that unless a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit; and also had stirred up those who wished to follow Him to the kingdom of heaven, to hate their life in this world if their thought was to keep it unto life eternal,--He again toned down His own feelings to our infirmity and says, where our lesson to-day commenced, "Now is my soul (1) troubled." Whence, Lord, was Thy soul troubled? He had, indeed, said a little before, "He that hateth his life [soul] in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." Dost thou then love thy life in this world, and is thy soul troubled as the hour approacheth when thou shalt leave this world? Who would dare affirm this of the soul [life] of the Lord? We rather it was whom He transferred unto Himself; He took us into His own person as our Head, and assumed the feelings of His members; and so it was not by any others He was troubled, but, as was said of Him when He raised Lazarus, "He was troubled in Himself. " (2) For it behoved the one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, just as He has lifted us up to the heights of heaven, to descend with us also into the lowest depths of suffering.

2. I hear Him saying a little before, "The hour cometh that the Son of man should be glorified: if a corn of wheat die, it bringeth forth much fruit." I hear this also, "He that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." Nor am I permitted merely to admire, but commanded to imitate, and so, by the words that follow, "If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be," I am all on fire to despise the world, and in my sight the whole of this life, however lengthened, becomes only a vapor; in comparison with my love for eternal things, all that is temporal has lost its value with me. And now, again, it is my Lord Himself, who by such words has suddenly transported me from the weakness that was mine to the strength that was His, that I hear saying, "Now is my soul troubled." What does it mean? How biddest Thou my soul follow Thee if I behold Thine own troubled? How shall I endure what is felt to be heavy by strength so great? What is the kind of foundation I can seek if the Rock is giving way? But me-thinks I hear in my own thoughts the Lord giving me an answer, saying, Thou shall follow me the better, because it is to aid thy power of endurance that I thus interpose. Thou hast heard, as addressed to thyself, the voice of my fortitude hear in me the voice of thy infirmity: I supply strength for thy running, and I check not thy hastening, but I transfer to myself thy causes for trembling, and I pave the way for thy marching along. O Lord our Mediator, God above us, man for us, I own Thy mercy For because Thou, who art so great, art troubled through the good will of Thy love, Thou preservest, by the richness of Thy comfort, the many in Thy body who are troubled by the continual experience of their own weakness, from perishing utterly in their despair.

3. In a word, let the man who would follow learn the road by which he must travel. Perhaps an hour of terrible trial has come, and the choice is set before thee either to do iniquity or endure suffering; the weak soul is troubled, on whose behalf the invincible soul [of Jesus] was voluntarily troubled; set then the will of God before thine own. For notice what is immediately subjoined by thy Creator and thy Master, by Him who made thee, and became Himself for thy teaching that which He made; for He who made man was made man, but He remained still the unchangeable God, and transplanted manhood into a better condition. Listen, then, to what He adds to the words, "Now is my soul troubled." "And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name." He has taught thee here what to think of, what to say, on whom to call, in whom to hope, and whose will, as sure and divine, to prefer to thine own, which is human and weak. Imagine Him not, therefore, as losing aught of His own exalted position in wishing thee to rise up out of the depths of thy ruin. For He thought it meet also to be tempted by the devil, by whom otherwise He would never have been tempted, just as, had He not been willing, He would never have suffered; and the answers He gave to the devil are such as thou also oughtest to use in times of temptation. (1) And He, indeed, was tempted, but not endangered, that He might show thee, when in danger through temptation, how to answer the tempter, so as not to be carried away by the temptation, but to escape its danger. But when He here said, "Now is my soul troubled;" and also when He says, "My soul is sorrowful, even unto death;" and "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me;" He assumed the infirmity of man, to teach him, when thereby saddened and troubled, to say what follows: "Nevertheless, Father, not as I will, but as Thou wilt." (2) For thus it is that man is turned from the human to the divine, when the will of God is preferred to his own. But to what do the words "Glorify Thy name" refer, but to His own passion and resurrection? For what else can it mean, but that the Father should thus glorify the Son, who in like manner glorifieth His own name in the similar sufferings of His servants? Hence it is recorded of Peter, that for this cause He said concerning him, "Another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not." because He intended to signify "by what death he should glorify God." (3) Therefore in him, too, did God glorify His name, because thus also does He glorify Christ in His members.

4. "Then came there a voice from heaven, [saying], I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." "I have both glorified it," before I created the world, "and I will glorify it again," when He shall rise from the dead and ascend into heaven. It may also be otherwise understood. "I have both glorified it,"--when He was born of the Virgin, when He exercised miraculous powers; when the Magi, guided by a star in the heavens, bowed in adoration before Him; when He was recognized by saints filled with the Holy Spirit; when He was openly proclaimed by the descent of the Spirit in the form of a dove, and pointed out by the voice that sounded from heaven; when He was transfigured on the mount; when He wrought many miracles, cured and cleansed multitudes, fed so vast a number with a very few loaves, commanded the winds and the waves, and raised the dead;-- "and I will glorify it again;" when He shall rise from the dead; when death shall have no longer dominion over Him; and when He shall be exalted over the heavens as God, and His glory over all the earth.

5. "The people therefore that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to Him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes." He thereby showed that the voice made no intimation to Him of what He already knew, but to those who needed the information. And just as that voice was uttered by God, not on His account, but on that of others, so His soul was troubled, not on His own account, but voluntarily for the sake of others.

6. Look at what follows: "Now," He says, "is the judgment of the world." What, then, are we to expect at the end of time? But the judgment that is looked for in the end will be the judging of the living and the dead, the awarding of eternal rewards and punishment. Of what sort, then, is the judgment now? I have already, in former lessons, as far as I could, put you in mind, beloved, that there is a judgment spoken of, not of condemnation, but of discrimination; (4) as it is written, "Judge me, O God, and plead [discern, discriminate] my cause against an unholy nation." (5) And many are the judgments of God; as it is said in the psalm. "Thy judgments are a great deep."(6) And the apostle also says, "O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments!" (1) To such judgments does that spoken of here by the Lord also belong, "Now is the judgment of this world;" while that judgment in the end is reserved, when the living and the dead shall at last be judged. The devil, therefore, had possession of the human race, and held them by the written bond of their sins as criminals amenable to punishment; he ruled in the hearts of unbelievers, and, deceiving and enslaving them, seduced them to forsake the Creator and give worship to the creature; but by faith in Christ, which was confirmed by His death and resurrection, and, by His blood, which was shed for the remission of sins, thousands of believers are delivered from the dominion of the devil, are united to the body of Christ, and under this great head are made by His one Spirit to spring up into new life as His faithful members. This it was that He called the judgment, this righteous separation, this expulsion of the devil from His own redeemed.

7. Attend, in short, to His own words. For just as if we had been inquiring what He meant by saying, "Now is the judgment of the world," He proceeded to explain it when He says, "Now shall the prince of this world be cast out." What we have thus heard was the kind of judgment He meant. Not that one, therefore, which is yet to come in the end, when the living and dead shall be judged, some of them set apart on His right hand, and the others on His left; but that judgment by which "the prince of this world shall be cast out." In what sense, then, was he within, and whither did He. mean that he was to be cast out? Was it this: That he was in the world. and was cast forth beyond its boundaries? For had He been speaking of that judgment which is yet to come in the end, some one's thoughts might have turned to that eternal fire into which the devil is to be cast with his angels, and all who belong to him;--that is, not naturally, but through moral delinquency; not because he created or begat them, but because he persuaded and kept hold of them: some one, therefore, might have thought that that eternal fire was outside the world, and that this was the meaning of the words, "he shall be cast out." But as He says, "Now is the judgment of this world," and in explanation of His meaning, adds, "Now shall the prince of this world be cast out," we are thereby to understand what is now being done, and not what is to be, so long afterwards, at the last day. The Lord, therefore, foretold what He knew, that after His own passion and glorification, many nations throughout the whole world, in whose hearts the devil was an inmate, would become believers, and the devil, when thus renounced by faith, is cast out.

8. But some one says, Was he then not cast out of the hearts of the patriarchs and prophets, and the righteous of olden time? Certainly he was. How, then, is it said, "Now he shall be cast out"? How else can we think of it, but that what was then done in the case of a very few individuals, was now foretold as speedily to take place in many and mighty nations? Just as also that other saying, "For the Spirit was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified," (2) may suggest a similar inquiry, and find a similar solution. For it was not without the Holy Spirit that the prophets predicted the events of the future; nor was it so that the aged Simeon and the widowed Anna knew by the Holy Spirit the infant Lord; (3) and that Zacharias and Elisabeth uttered by the Holy Spirit so many predictions concerning Him, when He was not yet born, but only conceived. (4) But "the Spirit was not yet given;" that is, with that abundance of spiritual grace which enabled those assembled together to speak in every language, (5) and thus announce beforehand in the language of every nation the Church of the future: and so by 'this spiritual grace it was that nations were gathered into congregations, sins were pardoned far and wide, and thousands of thousands were reconciled unto God.

9. But then, says some one, since the devil is thus cast out of the hearts of believers, does he now tempt none of the faithful? Nay, verily, he does not cease to tempt. But it is one thing to reign within, another to assail from without; for in like manner the best fortified city is sometimes attacked by an enemy without being taken. And if some of his arrows are discharged, and reach us, the apostle reminds us how to render them harmless, when he speaks of the breastplate and the shield of faith. (6) And if he sometimes wounds us, we have the remedy at hand. For as the combatants are told, "These things I write unto you, that ye sin not:" so those who are wounded have the sequel to listen to, "And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous; and He is the propitiation for our sins." (7) And what do we pray for when we say, "Forgive us our debts," but for the healing of our wounds? And what else do we ask, when we say, "Lead us not into temptation," (1) but that he who thus lies in wait for us, or assails us from without, may fail on every side to effect an entrance, and be unable to overcome us either by fraud or force? Nevertheless, whatever engines of war he may erect against us, so long as he has no more a place in the heart that faith inhabits, he is cast out. But "except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." (2) Presume not, therefore, about yourselves, if you would not have the devil, who has once been cast out, to be recalled within.

10. On the other hand, let us be far from supposing that the devil is called in any such way the prince of the world, as that we should believe him possessed of power to rule over the heaven and the earth. The world is so spoken of in respect of wicked men, who have overspread the whole earth; just as a house is spoken of in respect to its inhabitants, and we accordingly say, It is a good house, or a bad house; not as finding fault with, or approving of, the erection of walls and roofs, but the morals either of the good or the bad within it. In a similar way, therefore, it is said, "The prince of this world;" that is, the prince of all the wicked who inhabit this world. The world is also spoken of in respect to the good, who in like manner have overspread the whole earth; and hence the apostle says, "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." (3) These are they out of whose hearts the prince of this world is ejected.

11. Accordingly, after saying, "Now shall the prince of this world be cast out," He added, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things (4) after me." And what "all" is that, but those out of which the other is ejected? But He did not say, All men, but "all things;" for all men have not faith. (5) And, therefore, He did not allude to the totality of men, but to the creature in its personal integrity, that is, to spirit, and soul, and body; or all that which makes us the intelligent, living, visible, and palpable beings we are. For He who said, "Not a hair of your head shall perish," (6) is He who draweth all things after Him. Or if by "all things" it is men that are to be understood, we can speak of all things that are foreordained to salvation: of all which He declared, when previously speaking of His sheep, that not one of them would be lost. (7) And of a certainty all classes of men, both of every language and every age, and all grades of rank, and all diversities of talents, and all the professions of lawful and useful arts, and all else that can be named in accordance with the innumerable differences by which men, save in sin alone, are mutually separated, from the highest to the lowest, and from the king to the beggar, "all," He says, "will I draw after me;" that He may be their head, and they His members. But this will be, He adds, "if I be lifted up from the earth," that is, when I am lifted up; for He has no doubt of the future accomplishment of that which He came to fulfill. He here alludes to what He said before: "But if the corn of wheat die, it bringeth forth much fruit." For what else did He signify by His lifting up, than His suffering on the cross? an explanation which the evangelist himself has not omitted; for he has appended the words, "And this He said signifying what death He should die."

12. "The people answered Him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest Thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? And who is this Son of man?" It had stuck to their memory that the Lord was constantly calling Himself the Son of man. For, in the passage before us, He does not say, If the Son of man be lifted up from the earth; but had called Himself so before, in the lesson which was read and expounded yesterday, when those Gentiles were announced who desired to see Him: "The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified" (ver. 23). Retaining this, therefore, in their minds, and understanding what He now said, "When I am lifted up from the earth," of the death of the cross, they inquired of Him, and said, "We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever; and how sayest Thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man ?" For if it is Christ, He, they say, abideth for ever; and if He abideth for ever, how shall He be lifted up from the earth, that is, how shall He die through the suffering of the cross? For they understood Him to have spoken of what they themselves were meditating to do. And so He did not dissipate for them the obscurity of such words by imparting wisdom, but by stimulating their conscience.

13. "Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little (8) light is in you." And by this it is you understand that Christ abideth for ever. "Walk, then, while ye have the light, test darkness come upon you." Walk, draw near, come to the full understanding that Christ shall both die and shall live for ever; that He shall shed His blood to redeem us, and ascend on high to carry His redeemed along with Him. But darkness will come upon you, if your belief in Christ's eternity is of such a kind as to refuse to admit in His case the humiliation of death. "And he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth." So may he stumble on that stone of stumbling and rock of offence which the Lord Himself became to the blinded Jews: just as to those who believed, the stone which the builders despised was made the head of the corner. (1) Hence, they thought Christ unworthy of their belief; because in their impiety they treated His dying with contempt, they ridiculed the idea of His being slain: and yet it was the very death of the grain of corn that was to lead to its own multiplication, and the lifting up of one who was drawing all things after Him. "While ye have the light," He adds, "believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light." While you have possession of some truth that you have heard, believe in the truth, that you may be born again in the truth.

14. "These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide Himself from them." Not from those who had begun to believe and to love Him, nor from those who had come to meet Him with branches of palm trees and songs of praise; but from those who saw and hated Him, for they saw Him not, but only stumbled on that stone in their blindness. But when Jesus hid Himself from those who desired to slay Him (as you need from forgetfulness to be often reminded), He had regard to our human weakness, but derogated not in aught from His own authority.


1. WHEN our Lord Christ, foretelling His own passion, and the fruitfulness of His death in being lifted up on the cross, said that He would draw all [things] after Him; and when the Jews, understanding that He spake of His death, put to Him the question how He could speak of death as awaiting Him, when they heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever; He exhorted them, while still they had in them the little light, which had so taught them that Christ was eternal, to walk, to make themselves acquainted with the whole subject, lest they should be overtaken with darkness. And, when He had said this, He hid Himself from them. With these points you have been made acquainted in former Lord's day lessons and discourses.

2. The evangelist thereafter brings forward what has formed the brief subject of to-day's reading, and says, "But though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him: that the saying of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?" Where he makes it sufficiently plain that the Son of God is Himself the arm of the Lord; not that the person of God the Father is determined by the shape of human flesh, and that the Son is attached to Him as a member of His body; but because all things were made by Him, and therefore He is designated the arm of the Lord. For as it is with thine arm that thou workest, so the Word of God is styled His arm; because by the Word He elaborated the world. For why does a man, in order to do some work, stretch forth his arm, but because the doing of it does not straightway follow his word? And if he was endowed with such pre-eminent power that what he said was done without any movement of his body, then would his word be his arm. But the Lord Jesus, the only-begotten Son of God the Father, as He is no mere member of the Father's body, so is He no mere thinkable, and audible, and transitory word; for, as all things were made by Him, He was the word of God.

3. When, therefore, we hear that the Son of God is the arm of God the Father, let no carnal custom raise its distracting din in our ears; but as far as His grace enables us, let us think of that power and wisdom of God by which all things were made. Surely such an arm as that is neither held out by stretching, nor drawn in by contracting it. For He is not one and the same with the Father, but He and the Father are one; and as equal with the Father, He is in all respects complete, as well as the Father: so that no room is left open for the abominable error of those who assert that the Father alone exists, but according to the difference of causes is Himself sometimes called the Son, sometimes the Holy Spirit; and so also from these words may venture to say, See you perceive that the Father alone exists, if the Son is His arm: for a man and his arm are not two persons, but one. Not understanding nor considering how words are transferred from one thing to another, on account of some mutual likeness, even in our daily forms of speech about things the most familiar and visible; and how much the more must it be so, in order that things ineffable may find some sort of expression in our speech, things which, as they really exist, cannot be expressed in words at all? For even one man styles another his arm, by whom he is accustomed to transact his business: and if he is deprived of him, he says in his grief, I have lost my arm; and to him who has taken him away, he says, You have deprived me of my arm. Let them understand, then, the sense in which the Son is termed the arm of the Father, as that by which the Father hath executed all His works; that they may not, by failing to understand this, and continuing in the darkness of their error, resemble those Jews of whom it was said, "And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?"

4. And here we meet with the second question, to treat of which, indeed, in any adequate manner, to investigate all its mysterious windings, and throw them open to the light in a befitting way, I think within the scope neither of my own powers, nor of the shortness of the time, nor of your capacity. Yet, as we cannot allow ourselves so far to disappoint your expectations as to pass on to other topics without saying something on this, take what we shall be able to offer you: and wherein we fail to satisfy your expectations, ask the increase of Him who appointed us to plant and to water; for, as the apostle saith, "Neither is he that planteth anything, nor he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase." (1) There are some, then, who mutter among themselves, and sometimes speak out when they can, and even break forth into turbulent debate, saying: What did the Jews do, or what fault was it of theirs, if it was a necessity "that the saying of Isaiah the prophet should be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?" To whom our answer is, that the Lord, in His foreknowledge of the future, foretold by the prophet the unbelief of the Jews; He foretold it, but did not cause it. For God does not compel any one to sin simply because He knows already the future sins of men. For He foreknew sins that were theirs, not His own; sins that were referable to no one else, but to their own selves. Accordingly, if what He foreknew as theirs is not really theirs, then had He no true foreknowledge: but as His foreknowledge is infallible, it is doubtless no one else, but they themselves, whose sinfulness God foreknew, that are the sinners. The Jews, therefore, committed sin, with no compulsion to do so on His part, to whom sin is an object of displeasure; but He foretold their committing of it, because nothing is concealed from His knowledge And accordingly, had they wished to do good instead of evil, they would not have been hindered; but in this which they were to do they were foreseen of Him who knows what every man will do, and what He is yet to render unto such an one according to his work.

5. But the words of the Gospel also, that follow, are still more pressing, and start a question of more profound import: for He goes on to say, "Therefore they could not believe, because that Isaiah said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them." For it is said to as: If they could not believe, what sin is it in man not to do what he cannot do? and if they sinned in not believing, then they had the power to believe, and did not use it. If, then, they had the power, how says the Gospel, "Therefore they could not believe, because that Isaiah said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart;" so that (which is of grave import) to God Himself is referred the cause of their not believing, inasmuch as it is He who "hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart"? For what is thus testified to in the prophetical Scriptures, is at least not spoken of the devil, but of God. For were we to suppose it said of the devil, that he "hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart;" we have to undertake the task of being able to show what blame was theirs in not believing, of whom it is said, "they could not believe." And then, what reply shall we give touching another testimony of this very prophet, which the Apostle Paul has adopted, when he says: "Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded, according as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of remorse, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, unto this day"? (1)

6. Such, as you have just heard, brethren, is the question that comes before us, and you can perceive how profound it is; but we shall give what answer we can. "They could not believe," because that Isaiah the prophet foretold it; and the prophet foretold it because God foreknew that such would be the case. But if I am asked why they could not, I reply at once, because they would not; for certainly their depraved will was foreseen by God, and foretold through the prophet by Him from whom nothing that is future can be hid. But the prophet, sayest thou, assigns another cause than that of their will. What cause does the prophet assign? That "God hath given them the spirit of remorse, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear; and hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart." This also, I reply, their will deserved. For God thus blinds and hardens, simply by letting alone and withdrawing His aid: and God can do this by a judgment that is hidden, although not by one that is unrighteous. This is a doctrine which the piety of the God-fearing ought to preserve unshaken and inviolable in all its integrity: even as the apostle, when treating of the same intricate question, says, "What shall we say then? is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid." (2) If, then, we must be far from thinking that there is unrighteousness with God, this only can it be, that, when He giveth His aid, He acteth mercifully; and, when He withholdeth it, He acteth righteously: for in all He doeth, He acteth not rashly, but in accordance with judgment. And still further, if the judgments of the saints are righteous, how much more those of the sanctifying and justifying God? They are therefore righteous, although hidden. Accordingly, when questions of this sort come before us, why one is dealt with in such a way, and another in such another way; why this one is blinded by being forsaken of God, and that one is enlightened by the divine aid vouchsafed to him: let us not take upon ourselves to pass judgment on the judgment of so mighty a judge, but tremblingly exclaim with the apostle, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!" (3) As it is also said in the psalm, "Thy judgments are as a great deep." (4)

7. Let not then, brethren, the expectations of your Charity drive me to attempt the task of penetrating into such a deep, of sounding such an abyss, of searching into what is unsearchable. I own my own little measure of ability, and I think I have some perception of yours also, as equally small. This is too high for my stature, and too strong for my strength; and for yours also, I think. Let us, therefore, listen together to the admonition and to the words of Scripture: "Seek not out the things that are too high for thee, neither search the things that are above thy strength." (5) Not that such things are forbidden us, since the divine Master saith, "There is nothing hid that shall not be revealed:" (6) but if we walk up to the measure of our present attainments, then, as the apostle tells us, not only what we know not and ought to know, but also if we are minded to know anything else, God will reveal even this unto us. (7) But if we have reached the pathway of faith, let us keep to it with all constancy: let it be our guide to the chamber of the King, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (8) For it was in no spirit of grudging that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself acted towards those great and specially chosen disciples of His, when He said, "I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." (9) We must be walking, making progress, and growing, that our hearts may become fit to receive the things which we cannot receive at present. And if the last day shall find us sufficiently advanced, we shall then learn what here we were unable to know.

8. If, however, any one considers himself able, and has confidence enough, to give a clearer and better exposition of the question before us, God forbid that I should not be still more ready to learn than to teach. Only let no one dare to defend the freedom of the will in any such way as to attempt depriving us of the prayer that says, "Lead us not into temptation;" and, on the other hand, let no one deny the freedom of the will, and so venture to find an excuse for sin. But let us give heed to the Lord, both in commanding and in offering His aid; in both telling us our duty, and assisting us to discharge it. For some He hath let be lifted up to pride through an overweening trust in their own wills, while others He hath let fall into carelessness through a contrary excess of distrust. The former say: Why do we ask God not to let us be overcome by temptation, when it is all in our own power? The latter say: Why should we try to live well, when the power to do so is in the hands of God? O Lord, O Father, who art in heaven, lead us not into any of these temptations; but "deliver us from evil!" (1) Listen to the Lord, when He says, "I have prayed for thee, Peter, that thy faith fail not;" (2) that we may never think of our faith as so lying in our free will that it has no need of the divine assistance. Let us listen also to the evangelist, when he says, "He hath given them power to become the sons of God;" (3) that we may not imagine it as altogether beyond our own power that we believe: but in both let us acknowledge His beneficent acting. For, on the one side, we have to give Him thanks that the power is bestowed; and on the other, to pray that our own little strength may not utterly fail. It is this very faith that worketh by love, (4) according to the measure thereof that the Lord hath given to every man; (5) that he that glorieth may glory, not in himself, but in the Lord. (6)

9. It is no wonder, then, that they could not believe, when such was their pride of will, that, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, they wished to establish their own: as the apostle says of them, "They have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." (7) For it was not by faith, but as it were by works, that they were puffed up; and blinded by this very self-elation, they stumbled against the stone of stumbling. And so it is said, "they could not," by which we are to understand that they would not; in the same way as it was said of the Lord our God, "If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful, He cannot deny Himself." (8) It is said of the Omnipotent, "He cannot." And so, just as it is a commendation of the divine will that the Lord "cannot deny Himself," that they "could not believe" is a fault chargeable on the will of man.

10. And, look you! so also say I, that those who have such lofty ideas of themselves as to suppose that so much must be attributed to the powers of their own will, that they deny their need of the divine assistance in order to a righteous life, cannot believe on Christ. For the mere syllables of Christ's name, and the Christian sacraments, are of no profit, where faith in Christ is itself resisted. For faith in Christ is to believe in Him that justifieth the ungodly; (9) to believe in the Mediator, without whose interposition we cannot be reconciled unto God; to believe in the Saviour, who came to seek and to save that which was lost; to believe in Him who said, "Without me ye can do nothing." (11) Because, then, being ignorant of that righteousness of God that justifieth the ungodly, he wishes to set up his own to satisfy the minds of the proud, such a man cannot believe on Christ. And so, those Jews "could not believe:" not that men cannot be changed for the better; but so long as their ideas run in such a direction, they cannot believe. Hence they are blinded and hardened; for, denying the need of divine assistance, they are not assisted. God foreknew this regarding these Jews who were blinded and hardened, and the prophet by His Spirit foretold it.

11. But when he added, "And they should be converted, and I should heal them," is there a "not" to be understood, that is, they should not be converted, connecting it with the clause before, where it is said, "that they should not see with their eyes and understand with their heart;" for here also it is certainly meant, "and should not understand "? For conversion itself is likewise a gift of His grace, as when it is said to Him, "Turn us, O God of Hosts." (12) Or may it be that we are to understand this also as actually taking place through the merciful experience of the divine method of healing, [namely this,] that, being of proud and perverse wills, and wishing to establish their own righteousness, they were left alone for the very purpose of being blinded; and thus blinded in order that they might stumble on the stone of stumbling, and have their faces filled with shame; and so, being thus humbled, might seek the name of the Lord, and no longer a righteousness of their own, that inflated their pride, but the righteousness of God, that justifieth the ungodly? For this very way turned out to the good of many of them, who were afterwards filled with remorse for wickedness, and believed on Christ; and on whose behalf He Himself had put up the prayer, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (13) And it is of that ignorance of theirs also that the apostle says, "I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge:" for he then goes on also to add, "For they, being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." (14)

12. "These things said Isaiah, when he saw His glory, and spake of Him." What Isaiah saw, and how it refers to Christ the Lord, are to be read and learned in his book. For he saw Him, not as He is, but in some symbolical way to suit the form that the vision of the prophet had itself to assume. For Moses likewise saw Him, and yet we find him saying to Him whom he saw, "If I have found grace in Thy sight, show me now Thyself, that I may clearly see Thee;" (1) for he saw Him not as He is. But the time when this shall yet be our experience, that same Saint John the Evangelist tells us in his Epistle: "Dearly beloved, [now] are we the sons of God; and it hath not yet become manifest what we shall be: because we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." (2) He might have said "for we shall see Him," without adding "as He is;" but because he knew that He was seen of some of the fathers and prophets, but not as He is, therefore after saying "we shall see Him," he added "as He is." And be not deceived, brethren, by any of those who assert that the Father is invisible, and the Son visible. This assertion is made by those who think that the latter is a creature, and whose understanding runs not in harmony with the words, "I and my Father one." (3) Accordingly, as respects the form of God wherein He is equal with the Father, the Son also is invisible: but, in order to be seen of men, He assumed the form of a servant, and being made in the likeness of men, (4) became visible to man. He showed Himself, therefore, even before His incarnation, to the eyes of men, as it pleased Him, in the creature-form at His command, but not as He is. Let us be purifying our hearts by faith, that we may be prepared for that ineffable and, so to speak, invisible vision. For "blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God." (5)

13. "Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on Him; but, because of the Pharisees, they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God." See how the evangelist marked and disapproved of some, who yet, he said, believed on Him: who, if ever they did advance though this gateway of faith, would thereby also overcome that love of human glory which had been overcome by the apostle, when he said, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." (6) For to this end also did the Lord Himself, when derided by the madness of human pride and impiety, fix His cross on the foreheads of those who believed on Him, on that which is in a manner the abode of modesty, that faith may learn not to blush at His name, and love the glory of God more than the glory of men.


1. Whilst our Lord Jesus Christ was speaking among the Jews, and giving so many miraculous signs, some believed who were foreordained to eternal life, and whom He also called His sheep; but some did not believe, and could not believe, because that, by the mysterious yet not unrighteous judgment of God, they had been blinded and hardened, because forsaken of Him who resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (1) But of those who believed, there were some whose confession went so far, that they took branches of palm trees, and met Him as He approached, turning in their joy that very confession into a service of praise: while there were others, belonging to the chief rulers, who had not the boldness to confess their faith, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; and whom the evangelist has branded with the words, that "they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God "(ver. 43). Of those also who did not believe, there were some who would afterwards believe, and whom He foresaw, when He said," When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye acknowledge that I am He: " (2) but there were some who would remain in the same unbelief, and be imitated by the Jewish nation of the present day, which, being shortly afterwards crushed in war, according to the prophetic testimony which was written concerning Christ, has since been scattered almost through the whole world.

2. While matters were in this state, and His own passion was now at hand, " Jesus cried, and said," as our lesson to-day commences, "He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on Him that sent me; and he that seeth me, seeth Him that sent me." He had already said in a certain place, "My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me." (1) Where we understood that He called His doctrine just what He is Himself, the Word of the Father; and in saying, "My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me," implied this, that He was not of Himself, but had His being from another. (2) For He was God of God, the Son of the Father: but the Father is not God of God, but God, the Father of the Son. And now when He says, "He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on Him that sent me," how else are we to understand it, but that He appeared as man to men, while He remained invisible as God? And that none might think that He was no more than what they saw of Him, He indicated His wish to be believed on, as equal in character and rank with the Father, when He said, "He that believeth on me, believeth not on me," that is, merely on what he seeth of me, "but on Him that sent me," that is, on the Father. But he that believeth on the Father, must believe that He is the Father; and he that believeth on Him as the Father, must believe that He has a Son; and in this way, he that believeth on the Father, must believe on the Son. But let no one believe about the only-begotten Son just what they believe about those who are called the sons of God by grace and not by nature, as the evangelist says, "He gave them power to become the sons of God," (3) and according to what the Lord Himself also mentioned, as declared in the law, "I said, Ye are gods; and all of you children of the Most High: " (4) because He said, "He that believeth on me, believeth not on me," to show that the whole extent of our faith in Christ should not be limited by His manhood. He therefore, He saith, believeth on me, who doth not believe on me merely according to what he seeth of me, but on Him that sent me: so that, believing thus on the Father, he may believe that He has a Son co- equal with Himself, and then attain to a true faith in me. For if one should think that He has sons only according to grace, who are certainly no more than His creatures, and not the Word, but those made by the Word, and that He has no Son co-equal and co-eternal with Himself, ever born, alike incommutable, in nothing dissimilar and inferior, then he believes not on the Father who sent Him, for the Father who sent Him is no such conception as this.

3. And, accordingly, after saying, "He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on Him that sent me," that it might not be thought that He would have the Father so understood, as if He were the Father only of many sons regenerated by grace, and not of the only-begotten Word, His own co- equal, He immediately added, "And he that seeth me, seeth Him that sent me." Does He say here, He that seeth me, seeth not me, but Him that sent me, as He had said, "He that believeth me, believeth not on me, but on Him that sent me"? For He uttered the former of these words, that He might not be believed on merely as He then appeared, that is, as the Son of man; and the latter, that He might be believed on as the equal of the Father. He that believeth on me, believeth not merely on what He sees of me, but believeth on Him that sent me. Or, when he believeth on the Father, who begat me, His own co-equal, let him believe on me, not as he seeth me, but as [he believeth] on Him that sent me; for so far does the truth, that there is no distance between Him and me, reach, that He who seeth me, seeth Him that sent me. Certainly, Christ the Lord Himself sent His apostles, as their name implies: for as those who in Greek are called angeli are in Latin called nuntii [messengers], so the Greek apostoli [apostles] becomes the Latin missi [persons sent]. But never would any of the apostles have dared to say, "He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on Him that sent me;" for in no sense whatever would he say, "He that believeth on me." We believe an apostle, but we do not believe on him; for it is not an apostle that justifieth the ungodly. But to him that believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (5) An apostle might say, He that receiveth me, receiveth Him that sent me; or, He that heareth me, heareth Him that sent me; for the Lord tells them so Himself: "He that receiveth you, receiveth me; and he that receiveth me, receiveth Him that sent me." (6) For the master is honored in the servant, and the father in the son: but then the father is as it were in the son, and the master as it were in the servant. But the only-begotten Son could rightly say, "Believe on God, and believe on me;" (1) as also what He saith here, "He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on Him that sent me." He did not turn away the faith of the believer from Himself, but only would not have the believer continue in the form of a servant: because every one who believeth in the Father that sent Him, straightway believeth on the Son, without whom he knoweth that the Father hath no existence as such, and thus reacheth in his faith to the belief of His equality with the Father, in conformity with the words that follow, "And he that seeth me, seeth Him that sent me."

4. Attend to what follows: "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness." He said in a certain place to His disciples, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; that it may give light to all that are in the house: so let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven:" (2) but He did not say to them, Ye are come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on you should not abide in darkness. Such a statement, I maintain, can nowhere be met with. All the saints, therefore, are lights, but they are illuminated by Him through faith; and every one that becomes separated from Him will be enveloped in darkness. But that Light, which enlightens them, cannot become separated from itself; for it is altogether beyond the reach of change. We believe, then, the light that has thus been lit, as the prophet or apostle: but we believe him for this end, that we may not believe on that which is itself enlightened, but, with him, on that Light which has given him light; so that we, too, may be enlightened, not by him, but, along with him, by the same Light as he. And when He saith, "That whosoever believeth on me may not abide in darkness," He makes it sufficiently manifest that all have been found by Him in a state of darkness: but that they may not abide in the darkness wherein they have been found, they ought to believe on that Light which hath come into the world, for thereby was the world created.

5. "And if any man," He says, "hear my words, and keep them not, I judge him not." Remember what I know you have heard in former lessons; and if any of you have forgotten, recall it: and those of you who were absent then, but are present now, hear how it is that the Son saith, "I judge him not," while in another place He says, "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son;" (3) namely, that thereby we are to understand, It is not now that I judge him. And why not now? Listen to the sequel: "For I am not come," He says, "to judge the world, but to save the world;" that is, to bring the world into a state of salvation. Now, therefore, is the season of mercy, afterwards will be the time for judgment: for He says, "I will sing to Thee, O Lord, of mercy and judgment." (4)

6. But see also what He says of that future judgment in the end: "He that despiseth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." He says not, He that despiseth me, and receiveth not my words, I judge him not at the last day; for had He said so, I do not see how it could have been else than contradictory of that other statement, when He says, "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." But when He said, "He that despiseth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one to judge him," and, for the information of those who were waiting to hear who that one was, went on to add, "The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day," He made it sufficiently manifest that He Himself would then be the judge. For it was of Himself He spake, Himself He announced, and Himself He set forth as the gate whereby He entered as the Shepherd to His sheep. In one way, therefore, will those be judged who have never heard that word, in another way those who have heard and despised. "For as many as have sinned without law," says the apostle, "shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law." (5)

7. "For I have not," He says, "spoken of myself." He says that He has not spoken of Himself, because He is not of Himself. Of this we have frequently discoursed already; so that now, without any more instruction, we have simply to remind you of it as a truth with which you are familiar. "But the Father who sent me, He gave me a commandment what I should say, and what I should speak." We would not stay to elaborate this, did we know that we were now speaking with those with whom we have spoken on former occasions, and of these, not with all, but such only whose memories have retained what they heard: but because there are perhaps some now present who did not hear, and some in a similar condition who have forgotten what they heard, on their account let those who remember what they have heard bear with our delay. How giveth the Father a commandment to His only Son? With what words doth He speak to the Word, seeing that the Son Himself is the only-begotten Word? Could it be by an angel, seeing that by Him the angels were created? Was it by means of a cloud, which, when it gave forth its sound to the Son, gave it not on His account, as He Himself also tells us elsewhere, but for the sake of others who were needing to hear it (ver. 29)? Could it be by any sound issuing from the lips, where bodily form was wanting, and where there is no such local distance separating the Son from the Father as to admit of any intervening air, to give effect, by its percussion, to the voice, and render it audible? Let us put away all such unworthy notions of that incorporeal and ineffable subsistence. The only Son is the Word and the Wisdom of the Father, and therein are all the commandments of the Father. For there was no time that the Son knew not the Father's commandment, so as to make it necessary for Him to possess in course of time what He possessed not before. For what He has received from the Father, He received in being born, and was given it in being begotten. For the life He is, and life He certainly received in being born, while yet there was no antecedent time when life was wanting to His personal existence. For, on the one hand, the Father has life, and is what He has: and yet He received it not, because He is not of any one. But the Son received life as the Father's gift, of whom He is: and so He Himself is what He has; for He has life, and is the life. Listen to Himself when He says, "As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself." (1) Could He give it to one who was in being, and yet hitherto was destitute thereof? On the contrary, in the very begetting it. was given by Him who begat the life, and so life begat the life. And to show that He begat the life equal, and not inferior to Himself, it was said, "As He hath life in Himself, so hath He also given to the Son to have life in Himself." He gave life; for in begetting the life, what was it He gave Him, save to be the life? And as His nativity is itself eternal, there never was a time without that Son who is the life, and never was there a time when the Son Himself was without the life; and as His nativity is eternal, so He, who was thus born, is eternal life. And so the Father gave not to the Son a commandment which He had not already; but, as I said, in the Wisdom of the Father, that is, in the word of the Father, are laid up all the Father's commandments. And yet the commandment is said to have been given Him, because He, to whom it is thus given, is not of Himself: and to give that to the Son which He never was without, is the same in meaning as to beget that Son who never was without existence.

8. There follow the words: "And I know that His commandment is life everlasting." If, then, the Son Himself is eternal life, and the Father's commandment the same, what else is expressed than this, I am the Father's commandment? And in like manner, in what He proceeds to say, "Whatsoever I speak, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak," let us not be taking the "said unto me" as if the Father used words in speaking to the only Word, or that the Word of God needed words from God. The Father spake to the Son in the same way as He gave life to the Son; not that He knew not the one, or had not the other, but just because He was the Son. What, then, do the words mean, "Even as He said unto me, so I speak;" but just, I speak the truth? So the former said as the Truthful One (2) what the latter thus spake as the Truth. The Truthful begat the Truth. What, then, could He now say to the Truth? For the Truth had no imperfection to be supplied by additional truth. He spake, therefore, to the Truth, because He begat the Truth. And in like manner the Truth Himself speaks what has been said to Him; but only to those who have understanding, and who are taught by Him as the God-begotten Truth. But that men might believe what they had not yet capacity to understand, words that were audible issued from His human lips; sounds passing rapidly away broke on the ear, and speedily completed the little term of their duration: but the truths themselves, of which the sounds are but signs, passed, as it were, into the memory of those who heard them, and have come down to us also by means of written characters as signs addressed to the eye. But it is not thus that the Truth speaks; He speaks inwardly to the souls of the intelligent; He needs no sound to instruct, but floods the mind with the light of understanding. And he, then, who in that light is able to behold the eternity of His birth, himself hears in the same way the Truth speaking, as He heard the Father telling Him what He should speak. He has awakened in us a great longing for that sweet experience of His presence within; but it is by daily growth that we acquire it; it is by walking that we grow, and it is by forward efforts we walk, so as to be able at last to attain it.


1. THE Lord's Supper, as set forth in John, must, with His assistance, be unfolded in a becoming number of Lectures, and explained with all the ability He is pleased to grant us. "Now, before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them unto the end." Pascha (passover) is not, as some think, a Greek noun, but a Hebrew: and yet there occurs in this noun a very suitable kind of accordance in the two languages. For inasmuch as the Greek word paschein means to stiffer, therefore pascha has been supposed to mean suffering, as if the noun derived its name from His passion: but in its own language, that is, in Hebrew, pascha means passover; (1) because the pascha was then celebrated for the first time by God's people, when, in their flight from Egypt, they passed over the Red Sea. (2) And now that prophetic emblem is fulfilled in truth, when Christ is led as a sheep to the slaughter, (3) that by His blood sprinkled on our doorposts, that is, by the sign of His cross marked on our foreheads, we may be delivered from the perdition awaiting this world, as Israel from the bondage and destruction of the Egyptians; (4) and a most salutary transit we make when we pass over from the devil to Christ, and from this unstable world to His well-established kingdom. And therefore surely do we pass over to the ever-abiding God, that we may not pass away with this passing world. The apostle, in extolling God for such grace bestowed upon us, says: "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love."(5) This name, then, of pascha, which, as I have said, is in Latin called transitus (pass over), is interpreted, as it were, for us by the blessed evangelist, when he says, "Before the feast of pascha, when Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should pass out of this world to the Father." Here you see we have both pascha and pass-over. Whence, and whither does He pass? Namely, "out of this world to the Father." The hope was thus given to the members in their Head, that they doubtless would yet follow Him who was "passing" before. And what, then, of unbelievers, who stand altogether apart from this Head and His members? Do not they also pass away, seeing that they abide not here always? They also do plainly pass away: but it is one thing to pass from the world, and another to pass away with it; one thing to pass to the Father, another to pass to the enemy. For the Egyptians also passed over [the sea]; but they did not pass through the sea to the kingdom, but in the sea to destruction.

2. "When Jesus knew," then, "that His hour was come that He should pass out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them unto the end." In order, doubtless, that they also, through that love of His, might pass from this world where they now were, to their Head who had passed hence before them. For what mean these words, "to the end," but just to Christ? "For Christ is the end of the law," says the apostle, "for righteousness to every one that believeth." (6) The end that consummates, not that consumes; he end whereto we attain, not wherein we perish. Exactly thus are we to understand the passage, "Christ our passover is sacrificed." (7) He is our end; into Him do we pass. For I see that these gospel words may also be taken in a kind of human sense, that Christ loved His own even unto death, so. that this may be the meaning of "He loved them unto the end." This meaning is human, not divine: (1) for it was not merely up to this point that we were loved by Him, who loveth us always and endlessly. God forbid that He, whose death could not end, should have ended His love at death. Even after death that proud and ungodly rich man loved his five brethren; (2) and is Christ to be thought of as loving us only till death? God forbid, beloved. He would have come in vain with a love for us that lasted till death, if that love had ended there. But perhaps the words, "He loved them unto the end," may have to be understood in this way, That He so loved them as to die for them. For this He testified when He said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (3) We have certainly no objection that "He loved them unto the end" should be so understood, that is, it was His very love that carried Him on to death.

3. "And the supper," he says, "having taken place, (4) and the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him, [Jesus] knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He has come from God, and is going to God; He riseth from supper, and layeth aside His garments; and took a towel, and girded Himself. After that He poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded." We are not to understand by the supper having taken place, as if it were already finished and over; for it was still going on when the Lord rose and washed His disciples' feet. For He afterwards sat down again, and gave the morsel [sop] to His betrayer, implying certainly that the supper was not yet over, or, in other words, that there was still bread on the table. Therefore, by supper having taken place, is meant that it was now ready, and laid out on the table for the use of the guests.

4. But when he says, "The devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him;" if one inquires, what was put into Judas' heart, it was doubtless this, "to betray Him." Such a putting [into the heart] is a spiritual suggestion: and entereth not by the ear, but through the thoughts; and thereby not in a way that is corporal, but spiritual. For what we call spiritual is not always to be understood in a commendatory way. The apostle knew of certain spiritual things [powers], of wickedness in heavenly places, against which he testifies that we have to maintain a struggle; (5) and there would not be spiritual wickednesses, were there not also wicked spirits. For it is from a spiritual being that spiritual things get their name. But how such things are done, as that devilish suggestions should be introduced, and so mingle with human thoughts that a man accounts them his own, how can he know? Nor can we doubt that good suggestions are likewise made by a good spirit in the same unobservable and spiritual way; but it is matter of concern to which of these the human mind yields assent, either as deservedly left without, or graciously aided by, the divine assistance. The determination, therefore, had now been come to in Judas' heart by the instigation of the devil, that the disciple should betray the Master, whom he had not learned to know as his God. In such a state had he now come to their social meal, a spy on the Shepherd, a plotter against the Redeemer, a seller of the Saviour; as such was he now come, was he now seen and endured, and thought himself undiscovered: for he was deceived about Him whom he wished to deceive. But He, who had already scanned the inward state of that very heart, was knowingly making use of one who knew it not.

5. "[Jesus] knowing that the Father has given all things into His hands." And therefore also the traitor himself: for if He had him not in His hands, He certainly could not use him as He wished. Accordingly, the traitor had been already betrayed to Him whom he sought to betray; and he carried out his evil purpose in betraying Him in such a way, that good he knew not of was the issue in regard to Him who was betrayed. For the Lord knew what He was doing for His friends, and patiently made use of His enemies: and thus had the Father given all things into His hands, both the evil for present use, and the good for the final issue. "Knowing also that He has come from God, and is going to God:" neither quitting God when He came from Him, nor us when He returned.

6. Knowing, then, these things, "He riseth from supper, and layeth aside His garments; and took a towel, and girded Himself. After that He poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded." We ought, dearly beloved, carefully to mark the meaning of the evangelist; because that, when about to speak of the pre-eminent humility of the Lord, it was his desire first to commend His majesty. It is in reference to this that he says, "Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He has come from God, and is going to God." It is He, therefore, into whose hands the Father had given all things, who now washes, not the disciples' hands, but their feet: and it was just while knowing that He had come from God, and was proceeding to God, that He discharged the office of a servant, not of God the Lord, but of man. And this also is referred to by the prefatory notice he has been pleased to make of His betrayer, who was now come as such, and was not unknown to Him; that the greatness of His humility should be still further enhanced by the fact that He did not esteem it beneath His dignity to wash also the feet of one whose hands He already foresaw to be steeped in wickedness.

7. But why should we wonder that He rose from supper, and laid aside His garments, who, being in the form of God, made Himself of no reputation? (1) And why should we wonder, if He girded Himself with a towel, who took upon Him the form of a servant, and was found in the likeness of a man? (2) Why wonder, if He poured water into a basin wherewith to wash His disciples' feet, who poured His blood upon the earth to wash l away the filth of their sins? Why wonder, if with the towel wherewith He was girded He wiped the feet He had washed, who with the very flesh that clothed Him laid a firm path way for the footsteps of His evangelists? In order, indeed, to gird Himself with the towel, He laid aside the garments He wore; but when He emptied Himself [of His divine glory] in order to assume the form of a servant, He laid not down what He had, but assumed that which He had not before. When about to be crucified, He was indeed stripped of His garments, and when dead was wrapped in linen clothes: and all that suffering of His is our purification. When, therefore, about to suffer the last extremities [of humiliation,] He here illustrated beforehand its friendly compliances; not only to those for whom He was about to endure death, but to him also who had resolved on betraying Him to death. Because so great is the beneficence of human humility, that even the Divine Majesty was pleased to commend it by His own example; for proud man would have perished eternally, had he not been found by the lowly God. For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost. (3) And as he was lost by imitating the pride of the deceiver, let him now, when found, imitate the Redeemer's humility.


1. When the Lord was washing the disciples' feet, "He cometh to Simon Peter; and Peter saith unto Him, Lord, dost Thou wash my feet?" For who would not be filled with fear at having his feet washed by the Son of God? Although, therefore, it was a piece of the greatest audacity for the servant to contradict his Lord, the creature his God; yet Peter preferred doing this to the suffering of his feet to be washed by his Lord and God. Nor ought we to think that Peter was one amongst others who so expressed their fear and refusal, seeing that others before him had suffered it to be done to themselves with cheerfulness and equanimity. For it is easier so to understand the words of the Gospel, because that, after saying, "He began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded," it is then added, "Then cometh He to Simon Peter," as if He had already washed the feet of some, and after them had now come to the first of them all. For who can fail to know that the most blessed Peter was the first of the apostles? But we are not so to understand it, that it was after some others that He came to him; but that He began with him. (1) When, therefore, He began to wash the disciples' feet, He came to him with whom He began, namely, to Peter; and then Peter took fright at what any one of them might have been frightened, and said, "Lord, dost Thou wash my feet?" What is implied in this" Thou"? and what in "my"? These are subjects for thought rather than for speech; lest perchance any adequate conception the soul may have formed of such words may fail of explanation in the utterance.

2. But "Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter." And not even yet, terrified as he was by the sublimity of the Lord's action, does he allow it to be done, while ignorant of its purpose; but is unwilling to see, unable to endure, that Christ should thus humble Himself to his very feet. "Thou shalt never," he says, "wash my feet." What is this "never" [in aeternum]? I will never endure, never suffer, never permit it: that is, a thing is not done "in oeternum" which is never done. Then the Saviour, to terrify His reluctant patient with the danger of his own salvation, says, "If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with me." He speaks in this way, "If I wash thee not," when He was referring only to his feet; just as it is customary to say, You are trampling on me, when it is only the foot that is trampled on. And now the other, in a perturbation of love and fear, and more frightened at the thought that Christ should be withheld from him, than even to see Him humbled at his feet, exclaims, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head." Since this, indeed, is Thy threat, that my bodily members must be washed by Thee, not only do I no longer withhold the lowest, but I lay the foremost also at Thy disposal. Deny me not having a part with Thee, and I deny Thee not any part of my body to be washed.

3. "Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit." Some one perhaps may be aroused at this, and say: Nay, but if he is every whit clean, what need has He even to wash his feet? But the Lord knew what He was saying, even though our weakness reach not into His secret purposes. Nevertheless, so far as He is pleased to instruct and teach us out of His law, up to the little measure of my apprehension, I would also, with His help, make some answer bearing on the depths of this question: and, first of all, I shall have no difficulty in showing that there is no self-contradiction in the manner of expression. For who may not say, as here, with the greatest propriety, He is all clean, except (1) his feet?--although he would speak with greater elegance were he to say, He is all clean, save (1) his feet; which is equivalent in meaning. Thus, then, doth the Lord say, "He needeth not save to wash his feet, but is all clean." All, that is, except, or save (1) his feet, which he still needs to wash.

4. But what is this? what does it mean? and what is there in it we need to examine? The Lord says, The Truth declares that even he who has been washed has need still to wash his feet. What, my brethren, what think you of it? save that in holy baptism a man has all of him washed, not all save his feet, but every whit; and yet, while thereafter living in this human state, he cannot fail to tread on the ground with his feet. And thus our human feelings themselves, which are inseparable from our mortal life on earth, are like feet wherewith we are brought into sensible contact with human affairs; and are so in such a way, that if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.(2) And every day, therefore, is He who intercedeth for us s washing our feet: and that we, too have daily need to be washing our feet, that is ordering aright the path of our spiritual foot. steps, we acknowledge even in the Lord': prayer, when we say, "Forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors." (4) For "if,' as it is written, "we confess our sins," then verily is He, who washed His disciples' feet, "faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness," (5) that is, even to our feet wherewith we walk on the earth.

5. Accordingly the Church, which Christ cleanseth with the washing of water in the word, is without spot and wrinkle, (6) not only in the case of those who are taken away immediately after the washing of regeneration from the contagious influence of this life, and tread not the earth so as to make necessary the washing of their feet, but in those also who have experienced such mercy from the Lord as to be enabled to quit this present life even with feet that have been washed. But although the Church be also clean in respect of those who tarry on earth, because they live righteously; yet have they need to be washing their feet, because they assuredly are not without sin. For this cause is it said in the Song of Songs, "I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?" (7) For one so speaks when he is constrained to come to Christ, and in coming has to bring his feet into contact with the ground. But again, there is another question that arises. Is not Christ above? hath He not ascended into heaven, and sitteth He not at the Father's right hand? Does not the apostle expressly declare, "If ye, then, be risen with Christ, set your thoughts on those things which are above, where Christ is sitting on the right hand of God. Seek the things which are above, not things which are on earth?" (1) How is it, then, that to get to Christ we are compelled to tread the earth, since rather our hearts ought to be turned upwards toward the Lord, that we may be enabled to dwell in His presence? You see, brethren, the shortness of the time to-day curtails our consideration of this question. And if you perhaps fail in some measure to do so, yet I for my part see how much clearing up it requires. And therefore I beg of you to suffer it rather to be adjourned, than to be treated now in too negligent and restricted a manner; and your expectations will not be defrauded, but only deferred. For the Lord who thus makes us your debtors, will be present to enable us also to pay our debts.

TRACTATE LVII: CHAPTER XIII. 6-10 (continued), and Song of Sol. V. 2, 3.


1. I HAVE not been unmindful of my debt, and acknowledge that the time of payment has now come. May He give me wherewith to pay, as He gave me cause to incur the debt. For He has given me the love, of which it is said, "Owe no man anything, but to love one another." (1) May He give also the word, which I feel myself owing to those I love. I put off your expectations till now for this reason, that I might explain as I could how it is we come to Christ along the ground, When we are commanded rather to seek the things which are above, not the things which are upon the earth. (2) For Christ is sitting above, at the right hand of the Father: but He is assuredly here also; and for that reason said also to Saul, as he was raging on the earth, "Why persecutest thou me?" (3) But the topic on which we were speaking, and which led to our entering on this inquiry, was our Lord's washing His disciples' feet, after the disciples themselves had already been washed, and needed not, save to wash their feet. And we there saw it to be understood that a man is indeed wholly washed in baptism; but while thereafter he liveth in this present world, and with the feet of his human passions treadeth on this earth, that is, in his life-intercourse with others, he contracts enough to call forth the prayer, "Forgive us our debts." (4) And thus from these also is he cleansed by Him who washed His disciples' feet, (3) and ceaseth not to make intercession for us.(6) And here occurred the words of the Church in the Song of Songs, when she saith, "I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?" when she wished to go and open to that Being, fairer in form than the sons of men, (7) who had come to her and knocked, and asked her to open to Him. This gave rise to a question, which we were unwilling to compress into the narrow limits of the time, and therefore deferred till now, in what sense the Church, when on her way to Christ, may be afraid of defiling her feet, which she had washed in the baptism of Christ.

2. For thus she speaks: "I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my Beloved (8) that knocketh at the gate." And then He also says: "Open to me, my sister, my nearest, my dove, my perfect one; for my head is filled with dew, and my hair with the drops of the night." And she replies: "I have put off my dress; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?" (9) O wonderful sacramental symbol! O lofty mystery! Does she, then, fear to defile her feet in coming to Him who washed the feet of His disciples? Her fear is genuine; for it is along the earth she has to come to Him, who is still on earth, because refusing to leave His own who are stationed here. Is it not He that saith, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world"? (10) Is it not He that saith, "Ye shall see the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man"? (1) If they ascend to Him because He is above, how do they descend to Him, but because He is also here? Therefore saith the Church: "I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?" She says so even in the case of those who, purified from all dross. can say: "I desire to depart, and to be with Christ; nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you." (2) She says it in those who preach Christ, and open to Him the door, that He may dwell by faith in the hearts of men. (3) In such she says it, when they deliberate whether to undertake such a ministry, for which they do not consider themselves qualified, so as to discharge it blamelessly, and so as not, after preaching to others, themselves to become castaways. (4) For it is safer to hear than to preach the truth: for in the hearing, humility is preserved; but when it is preached, it is scarcely possible for any man to hinder the entrance of some small measure of boasting, whereby the feet at least are defiled.

3. Therefore, as the Apostle James saith, "Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak." (5) As it is also said by another man of God, "Thou wilt make me to hear joy and gladness; and the bones Thou hast humbled will rejoice." (6) This is what I said: When the truth is heard, humility is preserved. And another says: "But the friend of the bridegroom standeth and heareth him, and rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice." (7) Let us rejoice in the hearing that comes from the noiseless speaking of the truth within us. For although, when the sound is outwardly uttered, as by one that readeth; or proclaimeth, or preacheth, or disputeth, or commandeth, or comforteth, or exhorteth, or even by one that sings or accompanies his voice on an instrument, those who do so may fear to defile their feet, when they aim at pleasing men with the secretly active desire of human applause. Yet the one who hears such with a willing and pious mind, has no room for self-gratulation in the labors of others; and with no self-inflation, but with the joy of humility, rejoices because of the Master's words of truth. Accordingly, in those who hear with willingness and humility, and spend a tranquil life in sweet and wholesome studies, the holy Church will take delight, and may say, "I sleep, and my heart waketh." And what is this, "I sleep, and my heart waketh," but just I sit down quietly to listen? My leisure is not laid out in nourishing slothfulness, but in acquiring wisdom. "I sleep, and my heart waketh." I am still, and see that Thou art the Lord: (8) for "the wisdom of the scribe cometh by opportunity of leisure; and he that hath little business shall become wise." (9) "I sleep, and my heart waketh:" I rest from troublesome business, and my mind turns its attention to divine concerns (or communications). (10)

4. But while the Church finds delightful repose in those who thus sweetly and humbly sit at her feet, here is one who knocks, and says: "What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light; and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the house-tops." (11) It is His voice, then, that knocks at the gate, and says: "Open to me, my sister, my neighbor, my dove, my perfect one; for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night." As if He had said, Thou art at leisure, and the door is closed against me: thou art caring for the leisure of the few, and through abounding iniquity the love of many is waxing cold. (12) The night He speaks of is iniquity: but His dew and drops are those who wax cold and fall away, and make the head of Christ to wax cold, that is, the love of God to fail. For the head of Christ is God. (13) But they are borne on His locks, that is, their presence is tolerated in the visible sacraments; while their senses never take hold of the internal realities. He knocks, therefore, to shake off this quiet from His inactive saints, and cries, "Open to me," thou who, through my blood, art become "my sister;" through my drawing nigh, "my neighbor;" through my Spirit, "'my dove;" through my word which thou hast fully learned in thy leisure, "my perfect one:" open to me, go and preach me to others. For how shall I get in to those who have shut their door against me, without some one to open? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (14)

5. Hence it happens that those who love to devote their leisure to good studies, and shrink from encountering the troubles of toilsome labors, as feeling themselves unsuited to undertake and discharge such services with credit, would prefer, were it possible, to have the holy apostles and ancient preachers of the truth again raised up against that abounding of iniquity which hath so reduced the warmth of Christian love. But in regard to those who have already left the body, and put off the garment of the flesh (for they are not utterly parted), the Church replies, "I have put off my dress; how shall I put it on?" That dress shall, indeed, yet be recovered; and in the persons of those who have meanwhile laid it aside, shall the Church again put on the garment of flesh: only not now, when the cold are needing to be warmed; but then, when the dead shall rise again. Realizing, then, her present difficulty through the scarcity of preachers, and remembering those members of her own who were so sound in word and holy in character, but are now disunited from their bodies, the Church says in her sorrow, "I have put off my dress; how shall I put it on?" How can those members of mine, who had such surpassing power, through their preaching, to open the door to Christ, now return to the bodies which they have laid aside?

6. And then, turning again to those who preach, and gather in and govern the congregations of His people, and so open as they can to Christ, but are afraid, amid the difficulties of such work, of falling into sin, she says, "I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?" For whosoever offendeth not in word, the same is a perfect man. And who, then, is perfect? Who is there that offendeth not amid such an abounding of iniquity, and such a freezing of charity? "I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?" At times I read and hear: "My brethren, be not many masters, seeing that ye shall receive the greater condemnation: for in many things we offend all." (1) "I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?" But see, I rise and open. Christ, wash them. "Forgive us our debts," because our love is not altogether extinguished: for "we also forgive our debtors."(2) When we listen to Thee, the hones which have been humbled rejoice with Thee in the heavenly places. (3) But when we preach Thee, we have to tread the ground in order to open to Thee: and then, if we are blameworthy, we are troubled; if we are commended, we become inflated. Wash our feet, that were formerly cleansed, but have again been defiled in our walking through the earth to open unto Thee. Let this be enough today, beloved. But in whatever we have happened to offend, by saying otherwise than we ought, or have been unduly elated by your commendations, entreat that our feet may be washed, and may your prayers find acceptance with God.


1. We have already, beloved, as the Lord was pleased to enable us, expounded to you those words of the Gospel, where the Lord, in washing His disciples' feet, says, "He that is once washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit." Let us now look at what follows. "And ye," He says, "are clean, but not all." And to remove the need of inquiry on our part, the evangelist has himself explained its meaning, by adding: "For He knew who it was that should betray Him; therefore said He, Ye are not all clean." Can anything be clearer? Let us therefore pass to what follows.

2. "So, after He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and was set down again, He said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?" Now it is that the blessed Peter gets that promise fulfilled: for he had been put off when, in the midst of his trembling and asserting, "Thou shalt never wash my feet," he received the answer, "What I do, thou knowest not now, but thou shall know hereafter" (vers. 7, 8). Here, then, is that very hereafter; it is now time to tell what was a little ago deferred. Accordingly, the Lord, mindful of His foregoing promise to make him understand an act of His so unexpected, so wonderful, so frightening, and, but for His own still more terrifying rejoinder, impossible to be permitted, that the Master not only of themselves, but of angels, and the Lord not only of them, but of all things, should wash the feet of His own disciples and servants: having then promised to let him know the meaning of so important an act, when He said, "Thou shalt know afterwards," begins now to show them what it was that He did.

3. "Ye call me," He says, "Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am." "Ye say well," for ye only say the truth; I am indeed what ye say. There is a precept laid on man: "Let not thine own mouth praise thee, but the mouth of thy neighbor." (1) For self-pleasing is a perilous thing for one who has to be on his guard against falling into pride. But He who is over all things, however much He commend Himself, cannot exalt Himself above His actual dignity: nor can God be rightly termed arrogant. For it is to our advantage to know Him, not to His; nor can any one know Him, unless that self-knowing One make Himself known. If He, then, by abstaining from self-commendation, wish, as it were, to avoid arrogance, He will deny us the power of knowing Him. And no one surely would blame Him for calling Himself Master, even though believing Him to be nothing more than a man; seeing He only makes profession of what even men themselves in the various arts profess to such an extent, without any charge of arrogance, that they are termed professors. But to call Himself also the Lord of His disciples,- -of men who, in an earthly sense, were themselves also free-born,--who would tolerate it in a man? But it is God that speaks. Here no elation is possible to loftiness so great, no lie to the truth: the profit is ours to be the subjects of such loftiness, the servants of the truth. That He calls Himself Lord is no imperfection on His side, but a benefit on ours. The words of a certain profane (1) author are commended, when he says, "All arrogance is hateful, and specially disagreeable is that of talent and eloquence;" (2) and yet, when the same person was speaking of his own eloquence, he said, "I would call it perfect, were I to pronounce judgment; nor, in truth, would I greatly fear the charge of arrogance." (3) If, then, that most eloquent man had in truth no fear of being charged with arrogance, how can the truth itself have such a fear? Let Him call Himself Lord who is the Lord, let Him say what is true who is the Truth; so that I may not fail to learn that which is profitable, by His being silent about that which is. The most blessed Paul--certainly not himself the only- begotten Son of God, but the servant and apostle of that Son; not the Truth, but a partaker of the truth--declares with freedom and consistency, "And though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I say the truth." (4) For it would not be in himself, but in the truth, which is superior to himself, that he was glorying both humbly and truly: for it is he also who has given the charge, that he that glorieth should glory in the Lord. (5) Could thus the lover of wisdom have no fear of being chargeable with foolishness, though he desired to glory? and would wisdom itself, in its glorying, have any fear of such a charge? He had no fear of arrogance who said, "My soul shall make her boast in the Lord;" (6) and could the power of the Lord have any such fear in commending itself, in which His servant's soul is making her boast? "Ye call me," He says, "Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am." Therefore ye say well, that I am so: for if I were not what ye say, ye would be wrong to say so, even with the purpose of praising me. How, then, could the Truth deny what the disciples of the Truth affirm? How could that which was said by the learners be denied by the very Truth that gave them their learning? How can the fountain deny what the drinker asserts? how can the light hide what the beholder declares?

4. "If I, then," He says, "your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." This, blessed Peter, is what thou didst not know when thou wert not allowing it to be done. This is what He promised to let thee know afterwards, when thy Master and thy Lord terrified thee into submission, and washed thy feet. We have learned, brethren, humility from the Highest; let us, as humble, do to one another what He, the Highest, did in His humility. Great is the commendation we have here of humility: and brethren do this to one another in turn, even in the visible act itself, when they treat one another with hospitality; for the practice of such humility is generally prevalent, and finds expression in the very deed that makes it discernible. And hence the apostle, when he would commend the well-deserving widow, says, "If she is hospitable, if she has washed the saints' feet." (7) And wherever Such is not the practice among the saints, what they do not with the hand they do in heart, if they are of the number of those who are addressed in the hymn of the three blessed men, "O ye holy and humble of heart, bless ye the Lord." (8) But it is far better, and beyond all dispute more accordant with the truth, that it should also be done with the hands; nor should the Christian think it beneath him to do what was done by Christ. For when the body is bent at a brother's feet, the feeling of such humility is either awakened in the heart itself, or is strengthened if already present.

5. But apart from this moral understanding of the passage, we remember that the way in which we commended to your attention the grandeur of this act of the Lord's, was that, in washing the feet of disciples who were already washed and clean, the Lord instituted a sign, to the end that, on account of the human feelings that occupy us on earth, however far we may have advanced in our apprehension of righteousness, we might know that we are not exempt from sin; which He thereafter washes away by interceding for us, when we pray the Father, who is in heaven, to forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. (1) What connection, then, can such an understanding of the passage have with that which He afterwards gave Himself, when He explained the reason of His act in the words, "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you"? Can we say that even a brother may cleanse a brother from the contracted stain of wrongdoing? Yea, verily, we know that of this also we were admonished in the profound significance of this work of the Lord's, that we should confess our faults one to another, and pray for one another, even as Christ also maketh intercession for us. (2) Let us listen to the Apostle James, who states this precept with the greatest clearness when he says, "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another." (3) For of this also the Lord gave us the example. For if He who neither has, nor had, nor will have any sin, prays for our sins, how much more ought we to pray for one another's in turn! And if He forgives us, whom we have nothing to forgive; how much more ought we, who are unable to live here without sin, to forgive one another! For what else does the Lord apparently intimate in the profound significance of this sacramental sign, when He says, "For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you;" but what the apostle declares in the plainest terms, "Forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye"? (4) Let us therefore forgive one another his faults, and pray for one another's faults, and thus in a manner be washing one another's feet. It is our part, by His grace, to be supplying the service of love and humility: it is His to hear us, and to cleanse us from all the pollution of our sins through Christ, and in Christ; so that what we forgive even to others, that is, loose on earth, may be loosed in heaven.


1. We have just heard in the holy Gospel the Lord speaking, and saying, "Verily, verily ,I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord, nor the apostle [he that is sent] greater than he that sent him: if ye know these things, blessed shall ye be if ye do them." He said this, therefore, because He had washed the disciples' feet, as the Master of humility both by word and example. But we shall be able, with His help, to handle what is in need of more elaborate handling, if we linger not at what is perfectly clear. Accordingly, after uttering these words, the Lord added, "I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but, that the Scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me, shall lift up his heel upon me." And what is this, but that he shall trample upon me? We know of whom He speaks: it is Judas, that betrayer of His, who is referred to. He had not therefore chosen the person whom, by these words, He setteth utterly apart from His chosen ones. When I say then, He continues "Blessed shall ye be if ye do them, I speak not of you all:" there is one among you who will not be blessed, and who will not do these things. "I know whom I have chosen." Whom, but those who shall be blessed in the doing of what has been commanded and shown as needful to be done, by Him who alone can make them blessed? The traitor Judas, He says, is not one of those that have been chosen. What, then, is meant by what He says in another place, "Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?" (1) Was it that he also was chosen for some purpose, for which he was really necessary; although not for the blessedness of which He has just been saying, "Blessed shall ye be if ye do these things"? He speaketh not so of them all; for He knows whom He has chosen to be associated with Himself in blessedness. Of such he is not one, who ate His bread in order that he might lift up his heel upon Him. The bread they ate was the Lord Himself; he ate the Lord's bread in enmity to the Lord: they ate life, and he punishment. "For he that eateth unworthily," says the apostle, "eateth judgment unto himself." (1) "From this time," (2) Christ adds, "I tell you before it come; that when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am He:" that is, I am He of whom the Scripture that preceded has just said, "He that eateth bread with me, shall lift up his heel upon me."

2. He then proceeds to say: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth me; and he that receiveth me, receiveth Him that sent me." Did He mean us to understand that there is as little distance between one sent by Him, and Himself, as there is between Himself and God the Father? If we take it in this way, I know not what measurements of distance (which may God forbid!) we shall be adopting, in the Arian fashion. For they, when they hear or read these words of the Gospel, have immediate recourse to their dogmatic measurements, whereby they ascend not to life, but fall headlong into death. For they straightway say: The Son's messenger stands at the same relative distance from the Son, as expressed in the words, "He that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth me," as that in which the Son Himself stands from the Father, when He said, "He that receiveth me, receiveth Him that sent me." But if thou sayest so, thou forgettest, heretic, thy measurements. For if, because of these words of the Lord, thou puttest the Son at as great a distance from the Father as the messenger [apostle] from the Son, where dost thou purpose to place the Holy Spirit? Has it escaped thee, that ye are wont to place Him after the Son? He will therefore come in between the messenger and the Son; and much greater, then, will be the distance between the Son and His messenger, than between the Father and His Son. Or perhaps, to preserve that distinction between the Son and His messenger, and between the Father and His Son, at their equality of distance, will the Holy Spirit be equal to the Son? But as little will ye allow this. And where, then, do ye think of placing Him, if ye place the Son as far beneath the Father, as ye place the messenger beneath the Son? Restrain, therefore, your foolhardy presumption; and do not be seeking to find in these words the same distance between the Son and His messenger as between the Father and His Son. But listen rather to the Son Himself, when He says, "I and my Father are one." (3) For there the Truth hath left you no shadow of distance between the Begetter and the Only-begotten; there Christ Himself hath erased your measurements, and the rock hath broken your staircase to pieces.

3. But now that the heretical slander has been disposed of, in what sense are we to understand these words of the Lord: "He that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth me; and he that receiveth me, receiveth Him that sent me"? For if we were inclined to understand the words, "He that receiveth me, receiveth Him that sent me," as expressing the oneness in nature of the Father and the Son; the sequence from the similar arrangement of words in the other clause, "He that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth me," would be the unity in nature of the Son and His messenger. And there might, indeed, be no impropriety in so understanding it, seeing that a twofold substance belongeth to the strong man, who hath rejoiced to run the race; (4) for the Word was made flesh, (5) that is, God became man. And accordingly He might be supposed to have said, "He that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth me," with reference to His human nature; "and he that receiveth me" as God, "receiveth Him that sent me." But in so speaking, He was not commending the unity of nature, but the authority of the Sender in Him who is sent. Let every one, therefore, so receive Him that is sent, that in His person lie may give heed to Him who sent Him. If, then, thou lookest for Christ in Peter, thou wilt find the disciple's instructor; and if thou lookest for the Father in the Son, thou wilt find the Begetter of the Only-begotten: and so in Him who is sent, thou art not mistaken in receiving the Sender. What follows in the Gospel cannot be compressed within the shortness of the time remaining. And therefore, dearly beloved, let what has been said, if thought sufficient, be received in a healthful way, as pasture for the holy sheep; and if it is somewhat scanty, let it be ruminated over with ardent desire for more.


1. It is no light question, brethren, that meets us in the Gospel of the blessed John, when he says: "When Jesus had thus said, He was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me." Was it for this reason that Jesus was troubled, not in flesh, but in spirit, that He was now about to say, "One of you shall betray me"? Did this occur then for the first time to His mind, or was it at that moment suddenly revealed to Him for the first time, and so troubled Him by the startling novelty of so great a calamity? Was it not a little before that He was using these words, "He that eateth bread with me will lift up his heel against me"? And had He not also, previously to that, said, "And ye are clean, but not all"? where the evangelist added, "For He knew who should betray Him:" (1) to whom also on a still earlier occasion He had pointed in the words, "Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?" (2) Why is it, then, that He "was now troubled in spirit," when "He testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me"? Was it because now He had so to mark him out, that he should no longer remain concealed among the rest, but be separated from the others, that therefore "He was troubled in spirit"? Or was it because now the traitor himself was on the eve of departing to bring those Jews to whom he was to betray the Lord, that He was troubled by the imminency of His passion, the closeness of the danger, and the swooping hand of the traitor, whose resolution was foreknown? For some such cause it certainly was that Jesus "was troubled in spirit," as when He said, "Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour; but for this cause came I unto this hour." (3) And accordingly, just as then His soul was troubled as the hour of His passion approached; so now also, as Judas was on the point of going and coming, and the atrocious villainy of the traitor neared its accomplishment, "He was troubled in spirit."

2. He was troubled, then, who had power to lay down His life, and had power to take it again.(4) That mighty power is troubled, the firmness of the rock is disturbed: or is it rather our infirmity that is troubled in Him? Assuredly so: let servants believe nothing unworthy of their Lord, but recognize their own membership in their Head. He who died for us, was also Himself troubled in our place. He, therefore, who died in power, was troubled in the midst of His power: He who shall yet transform (5) the body of our humility into similarity of form with the body of His glory, hath also transferred into Himself the feeling of our infirmity, and sympathizeth with us in the feelings of His own soul. Accordingly, when it is the great, the brave, the sure, the invincible One that is troubled, let us have no fear for Him, as if He were capable of failing: He is not perishing, but in search of us [who are]. Us, I say; it is us exclusively whom He is thus seeking, that in His trouble we may behold ourselves, and so, when trouble reaches us, may not fall into despair and perish. By His trouble, who could not be troubled save with His own consent, He comforts such as are troubled unwillingly.

3. Away with the reasons of philosophers, who assert that a wise man is not affected by mental perturbations. God hath made foolish the wisdom of this world; (6) and the Lord knoweth the thoughts of men, that they are vain. (7) It is plain that the mind of the Christian may be troubled, not by misery, but by pity: he may fear lest men should be lost to Christ; he may sorrow when one is being lost; he may have ardent desire to gain men to Christ; he may be filled with joy when such is being done; he may have fear of falling away himself from Christ; he may sorrow over his own estrangement from Christ; he may be earnestly desirous of reigning with Christ, and he may be rejoicing in the hope that such fellowship with Christ will yet be his lot. These are certainly four of what they call perturbations--fear and sorrow, love and gladness. And Christian minds may have sufficient cause to feel them, and evidence their dissent from the error of Stoic philosophers, and all resembling them: who indeed, just as they esteem truth to be vanity, regard also insensibility as soundness; not knowing that a man's mind, like the limbs of his body, is only the more hopelessly diseased when it has lost even the feeling of pain.

4. But says some one: Ought the mind of the Christian to be troubled even at the prospect of death? For what comes of those words of the apostle, that he had a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, (1) if the object of his desire can thus trouble him when it comes? Our answer to this would be easy, indeed, in the case of those who also term gladness itself a perturbation [of the mind]. For what if the trouble he thus feels arises entirely from his rejoicing at the prospect of death? But such a feeling, they say, ought to be termed gladness, and not rejoicing. (2) And what is that, but just to alter the name, while the feeling experienced is the same? But let us for our part confine our attention to the Sacred Scriptures, and with the Lord's help seek rather such a solution of this question as will be in harmony with them; and then, seeing it is written, "When He had thus said, He was troubled in spirit," we will not say that it was joy that disturbed Him; lest His own words should convince us of the contrary when He says, "My soul is sorrowful, even unto death." (3) It is some such feeling that is here also to be understood, when, as His betrayer was now on the very point of departing alone, and straightway returning along with his associates, "Jesus was troubled in spirit."

5. Strong-minded, indeed, are those Christians, if such there are, who experience no trouble at all in the prospect of death; but for all that, are they stronger-minded than Christ? Who would have the madness to say so? And what else, then, does His being troubled signify, but that, by voluntarily assuming the likeness of their weakness, He comforted the weak members in His own body, that is, in His Church; to the end that, if any of His own are still troubled at the approach of death, they may fix their gaze upon Him, and so be kept from thinking themselves castaways on this account, and being swallowed up in the more grievous death of despair? And how great, then, must be that good which we ought to expect and hope for in the participation of His divine nature, whose very perturbation tranquillizes us, and whose infirmity confirms us? Whether, therefore, on this occasion it was by His pity for Judas himself thus rushing into ruin, or by the near approach of His own death, that He was troubled, yet there is no possibility of doubting that it was not through any infirmity of mind, but in the fullness of power, that He was troubled, and so no despair of salvation need arise in our minds, when we are troubled, not in the possession of power, but in the midst of our weakness. He certainly bore the infirmity of the flesh,--an infirmity which was swallowed up in His resurrection. But He who was not only man, but God also, surpassed by an ineffable distance the whole human race in fortitude of mind. He was not, then, troubled by any outward plessure of man, but troubled Himself; which was very plainly declared of Him when He raised Lazarus from the dead: for it is there written that He troubled Himself, (4) that it may be so understood even where the text does not so express it, and yet declares that He was troubled. For having by His power assumed our full humanity, by that very power He awoke in Himself our human feelings whenever He judged it becoming.

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (LNPF I/VII, Schaff). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.