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814 Salvation neglected, while other things are cared for.

LIX.

6.

HOMIL. ye shall have forgiveness', and we become wild beasts more and more? Doth He not continually admonish to restrain 1 Luke desire, and to keep the mastery over wicked lust, and many wallow worse than swine in this sin? But nevertheless, He ceases not speaking.

6, 37.

Wherefore then do we not consider these things with ourselves, and say that even with us God reasons, and abstains not from doing this, although we disobey Him in many things?

2 See Luke13, 23.

Therefore He said that, Few are the saved. For if virtue in ourselves suffices not for our salvation, but we must take with us others too when we depart; when we have saved neither ourselves, nor others, what shall we suffer? Whence shall we have any more a hope of salvation?

But why do I blame for these things, when not even of them that dwell with us do we take any account, of wife, and children, and servants, but we have care of one thing instead of another, like drunken men, that our servants may be more in number, and may serve us with much diligence, and that our children may receive from us a large inheritance, and that our wife may have ornaments of gold, and costly garments, and wealth; and we care not at all for themselves, but for the things that belong to them. For neither do we care for our own wife, nor provide for her, but for the things that belong to the wife; neither for the child, but for the things of the child.

And we do the same as if any one seeing a house in a bad state, and the walls giving way, were to neglect to raise up these, and to make up great fences round it without; or when a body was diseased, were not to take care of this, but were to weave for it gilded garments; or when the mistress was ill, were to give heed to the maid-servants, and the looms, and the vessels in the house, and mind other things, leaving her to lie and moan.

For this is done even now, and when our soul is in evil and wretched case, and angry, and reviling, and lusting wrongly, and full of vain glory, and at strife, and dragged down to the earth, and torn by so many wild beasts, we neglect to drive away the passions from her, and are careful about house and servants. And while if a bear has escaped

Passions, like wild beasts. The young, unbridled colts. 815

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7.

by stealth, we shut up our houses, and run along by the MATT. narrow passages, so as not to fall in with the wild beast; now while not one wild beast, but many such thoughts are tearing in pieces the soul, we have not so much as a feeling of it. And in the city we take so much care, as to shut up the wild beasts in solitary places and in cages, and neither at the senate house of the city, nor at the courts of justice, nor at the king's palace, but far off somewhere at a distance do we keep them chained; but in the case of the soul, where the senate house is, where the King's palace, where the court of justice is, the wild beasts are let loose, crying and making a tumult about the mind itself and the royal throne. Therefore all things are turned upside down, and all is full of disturbance, the things within, the things without, and we are in nothing different from a city thrown into confusion from being overrun by barbarians; and what takes place in us is as though a serpent were setting on a brood of sparrows, and the sparrows, with their feeble cries, were flying about every way affrighted, and full of trouble, without having any place whither to go and end their consternation.

[7.] Wherefore I entreat, let us kill the serpent, let us shut up the wild beasts, let us stifle them, let us slay them, and these wicked thoughts let us give over to the sword of the Spirit, lest the Prophet threaten us also with such things as he threatened Judæa, that 'The wild asses shall dance1 Isaiah 13, 21. there, and porcupines, and serpents. 22.

For there are, there are even men worse than wild asses, living as it were in the wilderness, and kicking; yea the more part of the youth amongst us is like this. For indeed having wild lusts they thus leap, they kick, going about unbridled, and spend their diligence on no becoming object.

And the fathers are to blame, who while they constrain the horsebreakers to discipline their horses with much attention, and suffer not the youth of the colt to go on long untamed, but put upon it both a rein, and all the rest, from the beginning; but their own young ones they overlook, going about for a long season unbridled, and without temperance; disgracing themselves, by fornications, and gamings, and continuings in the wicked theatres, when they ought before fornication to give him to a wife, to a wife chaste, and highly

816

Early marriage a prudent safeguard.

LIX.

HOMIL. endued with wisdom; for she will both bring off her husband from his most disorderly course of life, and will be instead of a rein to the colt.

7.

For indeed fornications and adulteries come not from any other cause, than from young men's being unrestrained. For if he have a prudent wife, he will take care of house and honour and character. "But he is young," you say. I know it too. For if Isaac was forty years old when he took his bride, passing all that time of his life in virginity, much more ought young men under Grace to practise this self-restraint. But oh what grief! Ye do not endure to take care of their chastity, but ye overlook their disgracing, defiling themselves, becoming accursed; as though ye knew not that the profit of marriage is to preserve the body pure, and if this be not so, there is no advantage of marriage. But ye do the contrary; when they are filled with countless stains, then ye bring them to marriage without purpose and without fruit.

"Why I must wait," thou wilt say, "that he may become approved, that he may distinguish himself in the affairs of the state;" but of the soul ye have no consideration, but ye overlook it as a cast-away. For this reason all things are full of confusion, and disorder, and trouble, because this is made a secondary matter, because necessary things are neglected, but the unimportant obtain much forethought

Knowest thou not, that thou canst do no such kindness to the youth, as to keep him pure from whorish uncleanness? For nothing is equal to the soul. Because, What is a man profited, saith He, if he shall gain the whole world, but lose Matt. his own soul1. But because the love of money hath over16, 26. turned and cast down all, and hath thrust aside the strict fear

of God, having seized upon the souls of men, like some rebel-chief upon a citadel; therefore we are careless both of our children's salvation, and of our own, looking to one object. only, that having become wealthier, we may leave riches to others, and these again to others after them, and they that follow these to their posterity, becoming rather a kind of passers on of our possessions and of our money, but not masters.

Hence great is our folly; hence the free are less esteemed than the slaves. For slaves we reprove, if not for their sake, yet for our own; but the free enjoy not the benefit even of

The soul should be first thought of in education. 817

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this care, but are more vile in our estimation than these MATT. slaves. And why do I say, than our slaves? For our children 7. are less esteemed than cattle; and we take care of horses and asses rather than of children. And should one have a mule, great is his anxiety to find the best groom, and not one either harsh, or dishonest, or drunken, or ignorant of his art; but if we have a set a tutor over a child's soul, we take at once, and at random, whoever comes in our way. And yet than this art there is not another greater. For what is equal to training the soul, and forming the mind of one that is young? For he that hath this art, ought to be more exactly observant than any painter and any sculpturer.

But we take no account of this, but look to one thing only, that he may be trained as to his tongue. And to this again we have directed our endeavours for money's sake. For not that he may be able to speak, but that he may get money, does he learn speaking; since if it were possible to grow rich even without this, we should have no care even for this.

Seest thou how great is the tyranny of riches? how it has seized upon all things, and having bound them like some slaves or cattle, drags them where it will?

But what are we advantaged by such accusations against it? For we indeed shoot at it in words, but it prevails over us in deeds. Nevertheless, not even so shall we cease to shoot at it with words from our tongue. For if any advance is made, both we are gainers and you; but if you continue in the same things, all our part at least hath been performed.

But may God both deliver you from this disease, and cause us to glory in you, for to Him be glory, and dominion, world without end. Amen.

• Taidaywydy, a man-servant who took care of boys.

HOMILY LX.

MATT. Xviii. 15.

If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his 1 lit. re- fault between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

prove or convict him

FOR, since He had used vehement language against them that cause offence, and on every hand had moved them to fear; in order that the offended might not in this way on the other hand become supine, neither supposing all to be cast upon others, should be led on to another vice, softening themselves, and desiring to be humoured in every thing, and run upon the shoal of pride; seest thou how He again checks them also, and commands the telling of the faults to be between the two alone, lest by the testimony of the many he should render his accusation heavier, and the other become excited to opposition should continue incorrigible.

Wherefore He saith, Between thee and him alone, and, If he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. What is, If he shall condemn himself, if he If he shall hear thee? shall be persuaded that he has done wrong.

Thou hast gained thy brother. He did not say, Thou hast a sufficient revenge, but, Thou hast gained thy brother, to shew that there is a common loss from the enmity. For He said not, "He hath gained himself only," but, "thou too hast gained him," whereby He shewed that both the one and the other were losers before this, the one of his brother, the other of his own salvation.

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