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432 We should be gentle in pleading God's Cause,

HOMIL. Seest thou how he indicates Him to be Creator both of XXIX. 'souls and bodies? He heals therefore the palsy in each of 2, 3. the two substances, and makes the invisible evident by that which is in sight. But nevertheless they still creep upon the earth.

ver. 8.


For when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which (it is said) had given such power unto gor men: for the flesh was an offence1 unto them. But He did ίστασο Bros. not rebuke them, but proceeds by His works to arouse them, and exalt their thoughts. Since for the time it was no small thing for Him to be thought greater than all men, as having come from God. For had they well established these things in their own minds, going on orderly they would have known, that He was even the Son of God. But they did not retain these things clearly, wherefore neither were they able to approach Him. For they said again, This man is not of 2John 9, God"; "how is this man of God?" And they were continually harping on these things, putting them forward as cloaks for their own passions.


[3.] Which thing many now also do; and thinking to avenge God, fulfil their own passions, when they ought to go about all with moderation. For even the God of all, having power to launch His thunderbolt against them that blaspheme Him, makes the sun to rise, and sends forth the showers, and affords them all other things in abundance; Whom we ought to imitate, and so to entreat, advise, admonish, with meekness, not angry, not making ourselves wild beasts.

For no harm at all ensues unto God by their blasphemy, that thou shouldest be angered, but he who blasphemed hath himself also received the wound. Wherefore groan, bewail, for the calamity indeed deserves tears. And the wounded man, again,-nothing can so heal him as gentleness: gentleness, I say, which is mightier than any force.

See, for example, how He Himself, the insulted One, discourses with us, both in the Old Testament, and in the New; in the one saying, O My people, what have I done Micah unto thee? in the other, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou 4 Acts 9, Me. And Paul too bids, In meekness instruct those that 32 Tim. oppose themselves. And Christ again, when His disciples 2, 25. had come to Him, requiring fire to come down from heaven,

6, 3.


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strongly rebuked them, saying, Ye know not what manner of MATT. spirit ye are of1.



And here again He said not, "O accursed, and sorcerers 'Luke 9, as ye are; O ye envious, and enemies of men's salvation;" 55. but, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

We must, you see, use gentleness to eradicate the disease. Since he who is become better through the fear of man, will quickly return to wickedness again. For this cause He commanded also the tares to be left, giving an appointed day of repentance. Yea, and many of them in fact repented, and became good, who before were bad; as for instance, Paul, the Publican, the Thief; for these being really tares turned into kindly wheat. Because, although in the seeds this cannot be, yet in the human will it is both manageable and easy; for our will is bound by no limits of nature, but hath freedom of choice for its privilege.

Accordingly, when thou seest an enemy of the truth, wait on him, take care of him, lead him back into virtue, by shewing forth an excellent life, by applying speech that cannot be condemned, by bestowing attention and Tit.2,8. tender care, by trying every means of amendment, in imitation of the best physicians. For neither do they cure in one manner only, but when they see the wound not yield to the first remedy, they add another, and after that again another; and now they use the knife, and now bind up. And do thou accordingly, having become a physician of souls, put in practice every mode of cure according to Christ's laws; that thou mayest receive the reward both of saving thyself and of profiting others, doing all to the glory of God, and so being glorified also thyself. For them that glorify Me, saith He, I will glorify; and they that despise Me, shall be lightly esteemed3.

Let us, I say, do all things unto His glory, that we may attain unto that blessed portion; unto which God grant we may all attain, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory and might for ever and ever. Amen.

3 1 Sam.

2, 30.


1 φιλοσοφίαν 2 Mark 2, 14.

MATT. ix. 9.

And as Jesus passed forth from thence, He saw a man sitting at the receipt of custom, named Matthew; and He saith unto him, Follow Me.

FOR when He had performed the miracle, He did not remain, lest, being in sight, He should kindle their jealousy the more; but He indulges them by retiring, and soothing their passion. This then let us also do, not encountering them that are plotting against us; let us rather soothe their wound, giving way and relaxing their vehemence.

But wherefore did He not call him together with Peter and John and the rest? As in their case He had come at that time, when He knew the men would obey Him; so Matthew also He then called when He was assured he would yield himself. And therefore Paul again He took, as a fisher his prey, after the resurrection. Because He Who is acquainted with the hearts, and knows the secrets of each man's mind, knew also when each of these would obey. Therefore not at the beginning did He call him, when he was yet in rather a hardened state, but after His countless miracles, and the great fame concerning Him, when He knew him to have actually become more prepared for obedience.

And we have cause also to admire the self-denial1 of the Evangelist, how he disguises not his own former life, but adds even his name, when the others had concealed him Luke 5, under another appellation 2.


Our Lord's Call, and St. Matthew's Obedience.


IX. 9.

But why did he say he was sitting at the receipt of MATT. custom? To indicate the power of Him that called him, that it was not when he had left off or forsaken this wicked trade, but from the midst of the evils He drew him up; much as He converted the blessed Paul also when frantic and raging, and darting fire; which thing he himself makes a proof of the power of Him that called him, saying to the Galatians, Ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the Church of God1. And the fishermen too He called when they were 1 Gal. 1, in the midst of their business. But that was a craft not indeed in bad report, but of men rather rudely bred, not mingling with others, and endowed with great simplicity; whereas the pursuit now in question was one full of all insolence and boldness, and a mode of gain whereof no fair account could be given, a shameless traffic, a robbery under cloke of law: : yet nevertheless He Who uttered the call was ashamed of none of these things.



And why talk I of His not being ashamed of a publican? since even with regard to a harlot woman, so far from being ashamed to call her, He actually permitted her to kiss His feet, and to moisten them with her tears2. Yea, for to this end 2 Luke7, He came, not to cure bodies only, but to heal likewise the wickedness of the soul. Which He did also in the case of the paralytic; and having shewn clearly that He is able to forgive sins, then, not before, He comes to him whom we are now speaking of; that they might no more be troubled at seeing a publican chosen into the choir of the disciples. For He that hath power to undo all our offences, why marvel if He even make this man an Apostle?

But as thou hast seen the power of Him that called, so consider also the obedience of him that was called: how he neither resisted, nor disputing said, "What is this? Is it not indeed a deceitful calling, wherewith He calls me, being such as I am?" nay; for this humility again had been out of season: but he obeyed straightway, and did not even request to go home, and to communicate with his relations concerning this matter; as neither indeed did the fishermen; but as they left their net and their ship and their father, so did he his receipt of custom and his gain, and followed, exhibiting


436 Five Apostles have their Calls related particularly.

HOMIL. a mind prepared for all things; and breaking himself at once 1, 2. away from all worldly things, by his complete obedience he bare witness that He Who called him had chosen a good time.


And wherefore can it be, one may say, that he hath not told us of the others also, how and in what manner they were called; but only of Peter and James, and John and Philip, and no where of the others "?

Because these more than others were in so strange and mean ways of life. For there is nothing either worse than the publican's business, or more ordinary than fishing. And that Philip also was among the very ignoble, is manifest from his country. Therefore these especially they proclaim to us, with their ways of life, to shew that we ought to believe them in the glorious parts of their histories also. For they who choose not to pass by any of the things which are accounted reproachful, but are exact in publishing these more than the rest, whether they relate to the Teacher or to the disciples; how can they be suspected in the parts which claim reverence? more especially since many signs and miracles are passed over by them, while the events of the Cross, accounted to be reproaches, they utter with exact care and loudly; and the disciples' pursuits too, and their faults, and those of their Master's ancestry who were notorious for 1 c. 1, sins1, they discover with a clear voice. Whence it is manifest that they made much account of truth, and wrote nothing for favour, nor for display.


[2.] Having therefore called him, He also honoured him with a very great honour by partaking straightway of his table; for in this way He would both give him good hope for the apin- future, and lead him on to a greater confidence. For not in σίαν a long time, but at once, He healed his vice. And not with him only doth He sit down to meat, but with many others also; although this very thing was accounted a charge against Him, that He chased not away the sinners. But neither do they conceal this point, what sort of blame is endeavoured to be fixed on His proceedings.

Now the publicans come together as to one of the same 3iya-trade; for he, exulting3 in the entrance of Christ, had λωπιζόIt appears by this that St. Chrysostom did not consider Nathanael to be the same with St. Bartholomew.


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