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1004 Greater punishment for greater advantages abased.



HOMIL. Wealth is to him an addition of punishment. For like as they who sin much, and are not minded to repent, treasure up to themselves a treasure of wrath; even so they, who, besides not being punished, are even enjoying prosperity, will undergo the greater punishment.

And the proof of this, if thou wilt, I will shew thee, not from the things to come only, but also from the present life. For the blessed David, when he sinned that sin of Bathsheba, and was convicted by the prophet, for this cause most of all was he more severely reproved, that even when he had enjoyed such security, he was like this. Hear at least God upbraiding him with this especially. Did not I anoint thee for a king, and delivered thee from the hand of Saul, and give thee all that pertained to thy master, and all the house of Israel and Judah, and if it had been little for thee, I would

have added thus and thus; and wherefore hast thou done 12 Sam. that which was evil in My sight'? For not for all sins are 12, 7-9. there the same punishments, but many and diverse, according to the times, according to the persons, according to their rank, according to their understanding, according to other things besides. And that what I say may be more clear, let one sin be set forth, fornication; and mark how many different punishments I find not from myself, but from the divine Scriptures. Did any one commit fornication before the Law, he is differently punished; and this Paul sheweth, For as many as have sinned without law, shall also perish 2 Rom. without law. Did any one commit fornication after the 2, 12. Law? He shall suffer more grievous things. For as many as have sinned in the Law shall be judged by the Law3. Did any one commit fornication being a priest, he receives from his dignity a very great addition to his punishment. So for this cause, whereas the other women were slain for fornication, the daughters of the priests were burnt; the lawgiver shewing the more amply, how great punishment awaits the priest, if he commits this sin. For if on the daughter he inflicts a greater punishment, because of her being a priest's daughter, much more on the man himself who bears the priest's office. Was fornication committed with any by violence? she is even freed from punishment. Did one play the harlot being rich, and another being poor?

3 ibid.

Instances of privileges aggravating guilt.


1005 Here again also is a difference. And this is evident from what MATT. we have said before concerning David. Was any one 14. guilty of fornication after Christ's coming? Should he depart uninitiated, he will suffer a punishment more sore than all those. Was any guilty of fornication after the Laver? in this case not even a consolation is left for the sin any more. And this self-same thing Paul declared when he said, He that despised Moses' law dieth without mercy, under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment suppose ye shall he be counted worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant an unholy thing, and hath done despite to the grace of the Spirit'? Hath any been guilty of fornication, Heb. 10, 28. bearing the priest's office now? this above all is the crown 29. of the evil deeds.


Seest thou of one sin how many different forms? one that before the Law, another that after the Law, another that of him who bears the priest's office; that of the rich woman, and that of the poor woman, of her that is a catechumen, and of the believing woman, of the daughter of the priest.


And from the knowledge again great is the difference; For he which knew his Lord's will, and did it not, shall be beaten with many stripes. And to sin after examples bringeth Luke 12, 47. greater vengeance. Therefore He saith, But ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterwards, though ye had had the ad- Mat. vantage of much care. Therefore He upbraids Jerusalem likewise with this saying, How often would I have gathered thy children together, and ye would not!

21, 32.

And to sin being in luxury, this is shewn by the history of Lazarus. And from the place also the sin becomes more grievous, which He Himself also indicated when He said, Between the Temple and the Altars.

5 Mat.



23, 35. And from the quality of the offences themselves, It is not marvellous if one be taken stealing; and again, Thou didst Prov. slay thy sons and thy daughters; this is beyond all thy whoredoms, and thine abominations".

6, 30.

7 Luke 16, 20.

And from the persons again: If one man sin against 21. another, they shall pray for him; but if he sin against God, 81 Sam. who shall entreat for him3 ?


And when any one surpasses in negligence those who are

4 Luke 13, 34.


Past examples, disregarded, condemn.


HOMIL. far inferior; wherewith in Ezekiel He doth charge them, 5. saying, Not even according to the judgments of the nations Ezek. hast thou done1. 5, 7.

16, 51.

And when one is not sobered even by the examples of 2 Ezek. others, She saw her sister, it is said, and justified her2. And when one has had the advantage of more abundant care; For if, He saith, these mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago; but it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for that city'.

3 Matt. 11, 21. 22.

Seest thou perfect exactness, and that all for the same sins are not paying the same penalty? For moreover when we have had the benefit of long-suffering, and profit nothing, we shall endure worse things. And this Paul shews, where he says, But after thy hardness and impenitent heart, thou Rom. treasurest up for thyself wrath1. 2, 5.

Knowing then these things, let us not be offended, neither let us be confounded at any of the things that happen, nor bring in upon us the storm of thoughts, but giving place to God's Providence, let us give heed to virtue, and flee vice, that we may also attain to the good things to come, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom and with Whom be glory unto the Father together with the Holy Spirit, now and always, and world without end.


MATT. xxiv. 16-18.

Then let them which be in Judæa flee into the mountains. And let him that is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house. Neither let him which is in his field return back to take his clothes.

HAVING spoken of the ills that were to overtake the city, and of the trials of the Apostles, and that they should remain unsubdued, and should overrun the whole world, He mentions again the Jews' calamities, shewing that when the one should be glorious, having taught the whole world, the others should be in calamity. And see how He relates the war, by the things that seem to be small setting forth how intolerable it was to be. For, Then, saith He, let them which be in Judæa flee into the mountains. Then. When? When these things should be, when the abomination of desolation should stand in the holy place. Whence he seems to me to be speaking of the armies. Flee therefore then, saith He, for thenceforth there is no hope of safety for you.

For since it had fallen out, that they often had recovered themselves in grievous wars, as under Sennacherib, under Antiochus again; (for when at that time also, armies had come in upon them, and the Temple had been seized beforehand, the Maccabees rallying gave their affairs an opposite turn;) in order then that they might not now also suspect this, that there would be any such change, He forbids them all thought of the kind. For it were well, saith He, to escape henceforth with one's naked body. Therefore

1008 Meaning of particular warnings about flight.


HOMIL. them also that are on the housetop, He suffers not to enter
into the house to take their clothes, indicating the evils to be
inevitable, and the calamity without end, and that it must
needs be that he that was involved therein should surely
perish. Therefore He adds also, him that is in the field,
saying, neither let this man turn back to take his clothes.
For if they that are in doors flee, much more they that are
out of doors ought not to take refuge within.

Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give
suck, to the one because of their greater inertness, and because
they cannot flee easily, being weighed down by the burden
of their pregnancy; to the other, because they are held by
the tie of feeling for their children, and cannot save their
sucklings. For money it is a light thing to despise, and an
easy thing to provide, and clothes; but the bonds of nature
how could any one escape? how could the pregnant woman
become active? how could she that gives suck be able to
overlook that which she had borne ?

v. 19.

Then, to shew again the greatness of the calamity, He saith, v.20,21. Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be.

Seest thou that His discourse is addressed to the Jews, and that He is speaking of the ills that should overtake them? For the Apostles surely were not to keep the Sabbath day, neither to be there, when Vespasian did those things. For indeed the most part of them were already departed this life. And if any was left, he was dwelling then in other parts of the world.

But wherefore neither in the winter, nor on the Sabbath day? Not in the winter, because of the difficulty arising from the season; not on the Sabbath day, because of the absolute authority exercised by the Law. For since they had need of flight, and of the swiftest flight, but neither would the Jews dare to flee on the Sabbath day, because of the Law, neither in winter was such a thing easy; therefore, Pray ye, saith He; for then shall be tribulation, such as never was, neither shall be.

And let not any man suppose this to have been spoken

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