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1144 A good name worse for a bad man than a bad for a good man.

HOMIL. indignant, nor be conscious to himself of any of these LXXXVII. crimes; what disgrace will he thence undergo? None.

What then, you may say, if many have such an opinion of him? Not even so is he disgraced, but they bring shame upon themselves, by accounting one, who is not such, to be such. For tell me, if any one think the sun to be dark, doth he bring an ill name on that heavenly body, or on himself? Surely on himself, getting himself the character of being blind or mad. So also they that account wicked men good, and they that make the opposite error, disgrace themselves.

Wherefore we ought to give the greater diligence, to keep our conscience clear, and to give no handle against ourselves, nor matter for evil suspicion; but if others will be mad, even when this is our disposition, not to care very much, nor to grieve. For he that hath got the character of a wicked man, being a good man, is in no degree thereby hurt as regards his being such as he is; but he that hath been suspecting another vainly and causelessly, receives the utmost harm; as, on the other hand, the wicked man, if he be supposed to be the contrary, will gain nothing thence, but will both have a heavier judgment, and be led into greater carelessness. For he that is such and is suspected thereof, may perhaps be humbled, and acknowledge his sins; but when he escapes detection, he falls into a state past feeling. For if, while all are accusing them, offenders are hardly stirred up to compunction; when so far from accusing them, some even praise them, at what time will they who are living in vice be able to open their eyes? Hearest thou that Paul also blames for this, that the Corinthians, (so far from permitting him that had been guilty of fornication, to acknowledge his own sin,) applauding and honouring him, did on the contrary urge him on in vice thereby? Wherefore, I pray, let us leave the suspicions of the multitude, their insults and their honours, and let us be diligent about one thing only, that we be conscious to ourselves of no evil thing, nor insult our own selves. For so, both here, and in the world to come, we shall enjoy much glory, unto which God grant we all may attain, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory world without end. Amen.

HOMILY LXXXVIII.

MATT. xxvii. 45-48.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, and said, Eli, Eli, lima sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This Man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave Him to drink.

THIS is the sign which before He had promised to give them when they asked it, saying, An1 evil and adulterous' Matt. generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall no sign be 12, 39. given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas; meaning His Cross, and His Death, His Burial, and His Resurrection. And again declaring in another way the virtue of the Cross, He said, When2 ye have lifted up the Son of Man, then John 8, shall ye know that I am He. And what He saith is to this purport; "When ye have crucified Me, and think ye have overcome Me, then, above all, shall ye know My might."

28.

For after the Crucifixion, the city was destroyed, and the Jewish state came to an end, they fell away from their polity and their freedom, the Gospel flourished, the Word was spread abroad to the ends of the world; both sea and land, both the inhabited earth and the desert perpetually proclaim its power. These things then He meaneth, and or, those which took place at the very time of the Crucifixion.

3

'His.'

1146 Christ's power when crucified. The Darkness.

HOMIL. For indeed it was much more marvellous that these things LXXXVIII should be done, when He was nailed to the Cross, than when He was walking on earth. And not in this respect only was the wonder, but because from Heaven also was that done which they had sought, and it was over all the world, which had never before happened, but in Egypt only, when the Passover was to be fulfilled. For indeed those events were a type of these.

And observe when it took place. At mid-day, that all that dwell on the earth may know it, when it was day all over the world; which was enough to convert them, not by the greatness of the miracle only, but also by its taking place in due season. For after all their insulting, and their lawless derision, this is done, when they had let go their anger, when they had ceased mocking, when they were satiated with their jeerings, and had spoken all that they were minded; then He shews the darkness, in order that at least so (having vented their anger) they may profit by the miracle. For this was more marvellous than to come down from the Cross, that being on the Cross He should work these things. For whether they thought He Himself had done it, they ought to have believed and to have feared; or whether not He, but the Father, yet thereby ought they to have been moved to compunction, for that darkness was a token of His anger at their crime. For that it was not an eclipse, but both wrath and indignation, is not hence alone manifest, but also by the time, for it continued three hours, but an eclipse takes place in one moment of time, and they know it, who have seen this; and indeed it hath taken place even in our generation.

And how, you may say, did not all marvel, and account Him to be God? Because the race of man was then held in a state of great carelessness and vice. And this miracle was but one, and when it had taken place, immediately passed away; and no one was concerned to enquire into the cause of it, and great was the prejudice and the habit of ungodliness. And they knew not what was the cause of that which took place, and they thought perhaps this happened so, in the way of an eclipse or some natural effect. And why dost thou marvel about them that are

Our Lord's Words upon the Cross.

1147

50.

without, that knew nothing, neither enquired by reason of MATT. great indifference, when even those that were in Judæa XXVII. itself, after so many miracles, yet continued using Him despitefully, although He plainly shewed them that He Himself wrought this thing.

And for this reason, even after this He speaks, that they might learn that He was still alive, and that He Himself did this, and that they might become by this also more gentle, and He saith, Eli, Eli, lima sabachthani? that v. 46. unto His last breath they might see that He honours His Father, and is no adversary of God. Wherefore also He uttered a certain cry from the Prophet', even to His last hour! Ps. 22, bearing witness to the Old Testament, and not simply a cry from the Prophet, but also in Hebrew, so as to be plain and intelligible to them, and by all things He shews how He is of one mind with Him That begat Him.

1.

But mark herein also their wantonness, and intemperance, and folly. They thought (it is said) that it was Elias whom He called, and straightway they gave Him vinegar to drink. v. 48. But another came unto Him, and pierced His side with 2 John a spear. What could be more lawless, what more brutal, than these men; who carried their madness to so great a length, offering insult at last even to a dead Body?

19, 34.

But mark thou, I pray thee, how He made use of their wickednesses for our salvation. For after the blow the Fountains of our salvation gushed forth from thence.

10, 18.

And Jesus, when He had cried with a loud voice, yielded v. 50. up the Ghost. This is what He said, I3 have power to lay3 John down My life, and I have power to take it again, and, I lay it down of Myself. So for this cause He cried with the voice, that it might be shewn that the act is done by power. Mark at any rate saith, that Pilate1 marvelled, if He were Mark already dead: and that the Centurion for this cause above 15, 44. all believed, because He died with power".

5 ib. 39.

This cry rent the veil, and opened the tombs, and made the House desolate. And He did this, not as offering insult to the Temple, (for how should He, Who saith, Make" not "John 2, My Father's House a house of merchandise,) but declaring them to be unworthy even of His abiding there; like as also when He delivered it over to the Babylonians. But

16.

1148

The Jews perversely resist many signs.

LXXXVIII

HOMIL. not for this only were these things done, but what took place was a prophecy of the coming desolation, and of the change into the greater and higher state; and [a sign] of His Might.

And together with these things He shewed Himself also by what followed after these things, by the raising of the 12 Kings dead. For in the instance of Elisha'; one on touching a 13, 21. dead body rose again, but now by a voice He raised them, His Body continuing up there, on the Cross. And besides, those things were a type of this. For that this might be believed, therefore is that all done. And they are not merely raised, but also rocks are rent, and the earth shaken, that they might learn, that He was able to strike themselves blind, and to rend them in pieces. For He that cleft rocks asunder, and darkened the world, much more could have done these things to them, had it been His will. But He would not, but having discharged His wrath upon the elements, them it was His will to save by clemency. But they abated not their madness. Such is envy, such is jealousy, it is not easily stayed. At that time then they were impudent in setting themselves against the actual appearances; and afterwards even against the things themselves, when a seal being put upon Him, and soldiers watching Him, He rose again, and they heard these things from the very guards; they even gave money, in order both to corrupt others, and to steal away the history of the Resurrection.

Marvel not therefore if at this time also they were perverse, being thus altogether prepared to set themselves impudently against all things; but observe this other point, how great signs He had wrought, some from Heaven, some on earth, some in the very Temple, at once marking His indignation, and at the same time shewing that what were unapproachable are now to be entered, and that Heaven shall be opened; and the work removed to the true Holy of Holies. And v. 42. they indeed said, If He be the King of Israel, let Him come down now from the Cross, but He shews that He is King of all the world. And whereas those men said, Thou That destroyest this temple, and buildest it in three days, He shews that it shall be made for ever desolate. Again they said, He saved others, Himself He cannot sare, but He while

v. 40.

v. 42.

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