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1104 A cottage adorned with good works is well furnished.
HOMIL. These are the decorations of Christ the King, but those of LXXXIII. Mammon, the enemy of Christ. Let no one be ashamed
then of a humble house, if it hath this furniture; let no rich man pride himself on having a costly house, but let him rather hide his face, and seek after this other, forsaking that, that both here he may receive Christ, and there enjoy the eternal tabernacles, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory and might world without end. Amen.
MATT. XXVI. 51-54.
And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched forth his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear.
Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword unto his place, for all they that take the sword, shall perish by the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot pray to My Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? How then should the Scriptures be fulfilled that thus it must be?
WHO was this one,' who cut off the ear'? John saith that John it was Peter. For the act was of his fervour.
But this other point is worth enquiry, wherefore they were bearing swords? For that they bore them is evident not hence only, but from their saying when asked, here are two. But wherefore did Christ even permit them to have swords? For Luke affirms this too, that He said unto them, When 22 Luke 22, I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye 35-38. any thing? And when they said, Nothing, He said unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and a scrip, and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy And when they said, Here are two swords, He said unto them, It is enough.
Wherefore then did He suffer them to have them? To assure them that He was to be betrayed. Therefore He saith unto them, Let him buy a sword, not that they should
1106 Swords, why allowed. Malchus's ear healed.
HOMIL. arm themselves, far from it; but by this, indicating His being betrayed.
And wherefore doth He mention a scrip also? He was teaching them henceforth to be sober, and wakeful, and to use much diligence on their own part. For at the beginning He cherished them (as being inexperienced) with much putting forth of His power, but afterwards bringing them forth as young birds out of the nest, He commands them to use their own wings. Then, that they might not suppose that it was for weakness He is letting them alone, in commanding them also to work their part, He reminds them of the former things, saying, When I sent you without purse, lacked ye any thing? that by both they might learn His power, both wherein He protected them, and wherein He now leaveth them to themselves by degrees.
But whence were the swords there? They were come forth from the Supper, and from the Table. It was likely also there should be swords because of the lamb, and that the disciples, hearing that certain were coming forth against Him, took them for defence, as meaning to fight in behalf of their Master, which was of their thought only. . Wherefore also Peter is rebuked for using it, and with a severe threat. For he was resisting the servant who came, warmly indeed, yet not defending himself, but doing this in behalf of his Master.
Christ however suffered not any harm to ensue. For He healed him, and shewed forth a great miracle, enough to indicate at once both His forbearance and His power, and the affection and meekness of His disciple. For then he acted from affection, now with dutifulness. For when he John heard, Put up thy sword into its sheath', he obeyed straightway, and afterwards no where doeth this.
But another saith, that they moreover asked, Shall we smite? 22, 49. but that He forbad it, and healed the man, and rebuked His
disciple, and threatened, that He might move him to obedience. For all they that take the sword, He said, shall die with the sword.
And he adds a reason, saying, Think ye that I cannot pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of Angels? But that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. By these words He quenched their anger,
Why our Lord spoke of aid from Angels.
indicating that to the Scriptures also, this seemed good. MATT. Wherefore there too He prayed, that they might take meekly 55. what befel Him, when they had learnt that this again is done according to God's will.
And by these two things, He comforted them, both by the punishment of them that are plotting against Him, For all they, He saith, that take the sword shall perish with the sword; and by His not undergoing these things against His Will, For I can pray, He saith, to My Father.
And wherefore did He not say, "Think ye that I cannot destroy them all?" Because He was more likely to be believed in saying what He did say; for not yet had they the right belief concerning Him. And a little while before He had said, My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death, and, v.38.39. Father, let the cup pass from Me; and He had appeared in an agony and sweating, and strengthened by an Angel.
Since then He had shewn forth many tokens of human nature, He did not seem likely to speak so as to be believed, if He had said, "Think ye that I cannot destroy them." Therefore He saith, What, think ye that I cannot pray to My Father? And again He speaks it humbly, in saying, He will presently give Me twelve legions of Angels. For if one Angel' slew one hundred and eighty-five armed thousands, 12Kings 19, 35. what need of twelve legions against a thousand men? But He frames His language with a view to their terror and weakness, for indeed they were dead with fear. Wherefore also He brings against them the Scriptures, saying, How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled? alarming them by this also. For if this be approved by the Scripture, do ye oppose and fight against them?
[2.] And to His disciples He saith these things; but to the others, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords▾. 55. and staves for to take Me? I sat daily teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on Me.
See how many things He doeth that might awaken them. He cast them to the ground, He healed the servant's ear, He threatened them with being slain; For they shall perish with the sword, He saith, who take the sword. By the healing of the ear, He gave assurance of these things also; from every quarter, both from the things present, and from
Our Lord willingly delivered Himself up.
HOMIL. the things to come, manifesting His power, and shewing LXXXIV. that it was not a work of their strength to seize Him. Wherefore He also adds, I was daily with you, and sat teaching, and ye laid no hold on Me; by this also making it manifest, that the seizure was of His permission. He passed over the miracles, and mentions the teaching, that He might not seem to boast.
When I taught, ye laid no hold on Me; when I held My peace, did ye come against Me? I was in the temple, and no one seized Me, and now do ye come upon Me late and at midnight with swords and staves? What need was there of these weapons against Him, Who was with you always? by these things teaching them, that unless He had voluntarily yielded, not even then would they have succeeded. For neither could they (who were not able to hold Him when in their hands, and who, when they had got Him in the midst of them, had not prevailed) even then have succeeded, unless He had been willing.
After this, He solves also the difficulty why He willed it then. For this was done, He saith, that the Scriptures of the Prophets might be fulfilled. See how even up to the last hour, and in the very act of being betrayed, He did all things for their amendment, healing, prophesying, threatening. For, He saith, they shall perish by the sword. To shew that He is suffering voluntarily, He saith, I was daily with you teaching; to manifest His accordance with the Father, He adds, That the Scriptures might be fulfilled.
But wherefore did they not lay hold on Him in the temple? Because they would not have dared in the temple, on account of the people. Wherefore also He went forth without, both by the place and by the time giving them security, and even to the last hour taking away their excuse. For He Who, in order that He might obey the Prophets, gave up even Himself, how did He teach things contrary to them?
Then all His disciples, it is said, forsook Him, and fled. For when He was seized, they remained; but when He had said these things to the multitudes, they fled. For thenceforth they saw that escape was no longer possible, when He