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LX.

3.

ρων

824 Love for Christ's sake yields not to circumstances. Homil. a strong root of his affection; but not so our present state,

but on enquiry we shall find with most men any thing likely to produce friendship rather than this. And if any one bestowed on me power in so great a multitude to make this enquiry, I would shew the more part bound one to another by worldly motives.

And this is evident from the causes that work enmity. For étrukh- because they are bound one to another by these temporal"

motives, therefore they are neither fervent towards one another, nor constant, but insult, and loss of money, and envy, and love of vain-glory, and every such thing coming upon them, severs the love-lie. For it finds not the root spiritual. Since if indeed it were such, no worldly thing would dissolve things spiritual. For Love for Christ's sake is firm, and not to be broken, and impregnable, and nothing can tear it asunder; not calumnies, not dangers, not death, no other thing of this kind. For though he suffer ten thousand things, who thus loves; looking to the Ground of his love, he will not desist. For he who loves because of being loved, should he meet with any thing painful, puts an end to his love; but he who

is bound by this, will never desist. 91 Cor. Wherefore Paul also said, 'Charity never faileth. For what

hast thou to say? That when honoured he insults ? that
receiving benefits he was minded to slay thee? But even this
works
upon

thee to love more, if thou lovest for Christ's sake. For what things are in the rest subversive of love, these here become apt to produce it. How? First, because such a one is to thee a cause of rewards; secondly, because he that is so disposed stands in need of more succour, and much attention. Therefore I say, he who thus loves enquires not about race, nor country, nor wealth, nor his love to himself, nor any other such matter, but though he be hated, though he be insulted, though he be slain, continues to love, having as a sufficient ground for love, Christ; wherefore also he stands stedfast, firm, not to be overthrown, looking unto Him.

For Christ too so loved his enemies, having loved the obstinate, the injurious, the blasphemers, them that hated Him, them that would not so much as see Him; them that were preferring wood and stones to Him, and with the highest

13,

8.

Our Lord's forbearance a pattern for us.

825 Love beyond which one cannot find another. For greater Matt. love hath no man than this, He saith, that one lay down his XVIII. life for his friends.

i John And those even that crucified Him, and acted in so many

15, 13. instances with contumely against Him, see how He continues to treat with kindness. For even to His Father He speaks for them, saying, ' Forgive them, for they know not what they · Luke do. And He sent His disciples moreover, after these things, 23, 34. unto them.

This Love then let us also imitate, unto this let us look, that being followers of Christ, we may attain both unto the good things here, and unto those to come, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory and might world without end. Amen.

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Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my

brother sin against me, and I forgive him ? till seven
times ? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until
seven times, but, Until seventy times seven.

PETER supposed he was saying something great, wherefore
also as aiming at greatness he added, Until seven times ? For
this thing, saith he, which Thou hast commanded to do, how
often shall I do? For if he for ever sins, but for ever when
reproved repents, how often dost thou command us to bear
with this man? For with regard to that other who
repents not, neither acknowledges his own faults, Thou hast
set a limit, by saying, Let him be to thee as the heathen and
the publican ; but to this no longer so, but Thou hast com-
manded to accept him.

How often then ought I to bear with him, being told his faults, and repenting? Is it enough for seven times?

What then saith Christ, the good God, Who is loving towards man? I say not unto thee, Until seven times, but, Until seventy times seven, not setting a number here, but what is infinite and perpetual and for ever. For even as ten

thousand times signifies often, so here too. For by saying, ! 1 Sam. 1 The barren hath borne seven, the Scripture means many.

So that He hath not limited the forgiveness by a number,
but hath declared that it is to be perpetual and for ever.

This at least He indicated by the parable that is put after.
for that He might not seem to any to enjoin great things
and hard to bear, by saying, Seventy times seven, He added
this parable, at once both leading them on to what He had

2, 5.

Our sins against God exceed infinitely all against us. 827 said, and putting down him who was priding himself upon Matt: this, and shewing the act was not grievous, but rather very 23–25. easy. Therefore let me add, He brought forward His own love to man, that by the comparison, as He saith, thou mightest learn, that though thou forgive seventy times seven, though thou continually pardon thy neighbour for absolutely all his sins, as a drop of water to an endless sea, so much, or rather much more, doth thy love to man come short in comparison of the boundless goodness of God, of which thou standest in need, for that thou art to be judged, and to give an account.

Wherefore also He went on to say, The kingdom of Heaven v.23-25. is likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forusmuch as he had not to pay, he commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and his children, and all that he had.

Then after this man had enjoyed the benefit of mercy, he went out, and took by the throat his fellow-servant, which v. 28. oued him an hundred pence; and having by these doings moved his lord, he caused him to cast him again into prison, until he should pay off the whole.

Seest thou how great the difference between sins against man and against God? As great as between ten thousand talents, and a hundred pence, or rather even much more. And this arises both from the difference of the persons, and the constant succession of our sins. For when a man looks at us, we stand off and shrink from singing: but when God sees us every day, we do not forbear, but do and speak all things without fear.

But not hereby alone, but also from the benefit and from the honour of which we have partaken, our sins become more grievous.

And if ye are desirous to learn how our sins against Him are ten thousand talents, or rather even much more, I will try to shew it briefly. But I fear lest to them that are inclined to wickedness, and love continually to sin, I should furnish still greater security, or should drive the meeker sort to despair, and they should repeat that saying of the disciples, Who can be saved ?

25.

I Matt.

191

828 The many great benefits God has bestowed on us. HOMIL. Nevertheless for all that I will speak, that I may make those LXI. 2. that attend more safe, and more meek. For they that are

incurably diseased, and past feeling, even without these words of mine, do not depart from their own carelessness, and wickedness; and if even from hence they derive greater occasion for contempt, the fault is not in what is said, but in their insensibility; since what is said surely is enough both to restrain those that attend to it, and to prick their hearts; and the meeker sort, when they see on the one hand the greatness of their sins, and learn also on the other hand the power of repentance, will cleave to it the more, wherefore it is needful to speak.

I will speak then, and will set forth our sins, both wherein we offend against God, and wherein against men, and I will set forth not each person's own, but what are common; but his own let each one join to them after that from his conscience.

And I will do this, having first set forth the good deeds of God to us.

What then are His good deeds? He created us when we were not, and made all things for our sakes that are seen, Heaven, sea, air, all that in them is, living creatures, plants, seeds; for we must needs speak briefly for the boundless ocean of the works. Into us alone of all that are on earth He breathed a living soul such as we have, He planted a Garden, He gave a helpmeet, He set us over all the brutes, He crowned us with glory and honour.

After that, when man had been unthankful towards his Benefactor, He vouchsafed unto him a greater Gift.

[2.] For look not to this only, that He cast him out of Paradise, but mark also the gain that arose from thence. For after having cast him out of Paradise, and having wrought those countless good works, and having accomplished His various dispensations, He sent even His own Son for the sake of them that had been benefited by Him and were hating Him, and opened Heaven to us, and unfolded Paradise itself, and made us sons, the enemies, the unthankful.

Wherefore it were even seasonable now to say, O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of

1 Rom. God'!

11, 33.

And He gave us also a Baptism of the remission of sins,

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