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1124 The people's good will should be the Church's store.

LXXXV.

HOMIL. these, and to be named from those things, from which also the Apostles ordained, from the feeding of the hungry, from the protection of the injured, from the care of strangers, from succouring them that are despitefully used, from providing for the orphans, from taking part with the widows, from presiding over the virgins; and these offices should be distributed amongst us instead of the care of the lands and houses.

These are the stores of the Church, these the treasures that become her, and that afford in great degree both ease to us, and profit to you; or rather to you ease with the profit. For I suppose that by the grace of God they that assemble themselves here amount to the number of one hundred thousand"; and if each bestowed one loaf to some one of the poor, all would be in plenty; but if one farthing only, no one would be poor; and we should not undergo so many revilings and jeers, in consequence of our care about

1 Matt. the money. For indeed the saying, Sell1 thy goods, and

19, 21.

give to the poor, and come and follow Me, might be seasonably addressed to the prelates of the Church with respect to the property of the Church. For in any other way it is not possible to follow Him as we ought, not being freed from all grosser and more worldly care.

But now the priests of God attend at the vintage and harvest, and at the sale and purchase of the produce; and whereas they that served the shadow had an entire immunity from such matters, although entrusted with a more carnal service; we, who are invited to the very inmost shrines of the Heavens, and who enter into the true Holy of Holies, take upon ourselves the cares of tradesmen and retail dealers.

Hence great neglect of the Scriptures, and remissness in prayers, and indifference about all the other duties; for it is not possible to be split into the two things with due zeal. Where I pray and beseech you that many fountains may spring up to us from all quarters, and that your forwardness may be to us the threshing floor and the wine press.

For in this way both the poor will more easily be supi. e. the sum of all the congregations in Antioch.

The reward of bountifulness.

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XXVII.

10.

ported, and God will be glorified, and ye will advance unto MAtt. a greater degree of love to mankind, and will enjoy the good things eternal; unto which God grant we may all attain, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory world without end. Amen.

HOMILY LXXXVI.

MATT. xxvii. 11, 12. And Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked Him, saying, Art Thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest. And when He was accused of the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing.

SEEST thou what He is first asked? which thing most of all they were continually bringing forward in every way? For since they saw Pilate making no account of the matters of the Law, they direct their accusation to the state charges. So likewise did they in the case of the Apostles, ever bringing forward these things, and saying that they were going 1 Acts about proclaiming King one Jesus', speaking as of a mere 17, 7.

man, and investing them with a suspicion of usurpation.

Whence it is manifest, that both the rending the garment and the amazement were a pretence. But all things they got up, and plied, in order to bring Him to death.

This at any rate Pilate then asked. What then said Christ? Thou sayest. He confessed that He was a King, but a heavenly King, which elsewhere also He spake more clearly, John replying to Pilate, My Kingdom is not of this world; that 18, 36. neither they nor this man should have an excuse for

2

accusing Him of such things. And He gives a reason that cannot be gainsaid, saying, If I were of this world, My servants would fight, that I should not be delivered. For this purpose I say, in order to refute this suspicion, He both paid 3 Matt. tribute, and commanded others to pay it, and when they

22, 17. 4 John

would make Him a King, He fled 1.

6, 15.

Wherefore then did He not bring forward these things, it may be said, at that time, when accused of usurpation?

Pilate's endeavour to release our Lord.

1127

XXVII.

Because having the proofs from His acts, of His power, His MATT. meekness, His gentleness, beyond number, they were wilfully13. blind, and dealt unfairly, and the tribunal was corrupt. For these reasons then He replies to nothing, but holds His peace, yet answering briefly (so as not to get the reputation of arrogance from continual silence) when the High Priest adjured Him, when the governor asked, but in reply to their accusations He no longer saith any thing; for He was not now likely to persuade them. Even as the prophet declaring this self-same thing from of old, said, In His humiliation His judgment was taken away.

At these things the governor marvelled, and indeed it was worthy of admiration to see Him shewing such great forbearance, and holding His peace, Him that had countless things to say. For neither did they accuse Him from knowing of any evil thing in Him, but from jealousy and envy only. At least when they had set false witnesses, wherefore, having nothing to say, did they still urge their point? and when they saw Judas was dead, and that Pilate had washed his hands of it, why were they not pricked with remorse? For indeed He did many things even at the very time, that they might recover themselves, but by none were they amended.

What then saith Pilate? Hearest Thou not how many v. 13. things these witness against Thee? He wished that He should defend Himself and be acquitted, wherefore also he said these things; but since He answered nothing, he devises another thing again.

Of what nature was this? It was a custon for them to release one of the condemned, and by this means he attempted to deliver Him. For if you are not willing to release Him as innocent, yet as guilty pardon Him for the feast's sake.

Seest thou order reversed? For the petition in behalf of the condemned it was customary to be with the people, and the granting it with the rulers; but now the contrary hath come to pass, and the ruler petitions the people; and not even so do they become gentle, but grow more savage and bloodthirsty, driven to frenzy by the passion of envy. For neither had they whereof they should accuse Him, and this

a Isaiah 53, 8. LXX. see margin of our version.

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Pilate's wife's dream. His weakness.

HOMIL. though He was silent, but they were refuted even then by LXXXVI. reason of the abundance of His righteous deeds, and being silent He overcame them that say ten thousand things, and are maddened.

V. 19.

And when he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with this just Man, for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of Him. See what a thing takes place again, sufficient to recal them all. For together with the proof from the things done, the dream too was no small thing. And wherefore doth he not see it himself? Either because she was more worthy, or because he, if he had seen it, would not have been equally believed; or would not so much as have told it. Therefore it was ordered that the wife should see it, so that it might be manifest to all. And she doth not merely see it, but also suffers many things, that from his feeling towards his wife the man may be made more reluctant to the murder. And the time too contributed not a little, for on the very night she saw it.

But it was not safe, it may be said, for him to let Him go, because they said He made Himself a King. He ought then to have sought for proofs, and a conviction, and for all the things that are infallible signs of an usurpation, as, for instance, whether He levied forces, whether He collected money, whether he forged arms, whether He attempted any other such thing. But he is led away at random, therefore 1 John neither doth Christ acquit him of the blame, in saying, 'He that betrayeth Me unto thee hath greater sin. So that it was from weakness that he yielded and scourged Him, and delivered Him up.

19, 11.

He then was unmanly and weak; but the chief priests wicked and criminal. For since he had found out a device, namely, the law of the feast requiring him to release a condemned person, what do they contrive in opposition to v. 20. that? They persuaded the multitude, it is said, that they [2.] should ask Barabbas. See how much care he taketh for them to relieve them from blame, and how much diligence they employed, so as not to leave to themselves so much as a shadow of an excuse? For which was right? to let go the acknowledged criminal, or Him about Whose guilt there

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