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David's example in his forbearance towards Saul. 849
successful issue, and undergoing the labours of the victory MATT. and the trophies, but bringing the crowns to him, assayed to 13-15. slay him?
[5.] Such is the nature of envy, it is ever plotting against its own honours, and wasting him that hath it, and encompassing him with countless calamities. And that miserable man, for instance, until David departed, burst not forth into that piteous cry, bewailing himself and saying, I am111 Sam. sore distressed, and the Philistines make war against me, and the Lord is departed from me. Until he was separated from David, he fell not in war, but was both in safety, and in glory; for indeed unto the king passed the glory of the captain. For neither was the man disposed to usurpation, nor did he assay to depose the other from his throne, but for him did he achieve all things, and was earnestly attached to him, and this is evident even from what followed afterwards. For when indeed he was set under him, any one of them who do not search carefully might perhaps suppose these things to be by the usual custom of a subject; but after he had withdrawn himself out of Saul's kingdom, what then was there to restrain him, and to persuade to abstain from war against Saul; or rather what was wanting that could provoke him even to slay? Had not the other been evil towards him once, twice, and often? Was it not after having received benefits from him? Was it not having nothing whereof to accuse him? Was not Saul's kingdom and safety danger and insecurity to himself? must he not needs wander and be a fugitive, and be in trembling for fear of the utmost ills, while the other is alive, and reigning? Nevertheless none of these things constrained him to stain his sword with blood, but when he saw him asleep, and bound, and alone, and in the midst of his own men, and had touched his head, and when there were many rousing him to it, and saying the opportunity thus favourable was a judgment of God, he at once rebuked those who were urging him on, and refrained from the murder, and sent him away both safe and well; and as though he had been rather a body guard of his, and a shieldbearer, not an enemy, so did he chide the host for their treachery towards the king2.
What could be equal to this soul? What to that mild
Vainglory defeats its own purpose.
HOMIL. ness? For this it is possible to see even by the things 5. that have been mentioned; but much more by what are done now. For when we have considered our vileness, then we shall know more perfectly the virtue of those saints. Wherefore I entreat you to hasten towards the emulation of them.
For indeed if thou lovest glory, and for this cause art plotting against thy neighbour, then shalt thou enjoy it more largely, when having spurned it, thou wilt abstain from the plotting. For like as to become rich is contrary to covetousness, so is the loving of glory to the obtaining of glory. And if ye be minded, let us enquire into each. For since we have no fear of hell, nor much regard for the kingdom, come and even from the things present let us lead
For who are they that are ridiculous? Tell me. Is it not they that are doing any thing for the sake of glory from the multitude? And who are the objects of praise? Is it not they who spurn the praise of the multitude? Therefore if the love of vain glory be matter of reproach, and it cannot be concealed that the vain-glorious man loves it, he will assuredly be an object of reproach, and the love of glory is become to him a cause of dishonour. And not in this respect only doth he disgrace himself, but also in that he is compelled to do many things shameful, and teeming with the utmost disgrace. And like as with respect to their gains men are wont to suffer harm more than any thing from the disease of covetousness, (they become at least the subjects of many tricks, and of small gains make great losses, wherefore this saying hath prevailed even to be a proverb;) and as to the voluptuous man likewise, his passion becomes a hindrance to the enjoyment of his pleasure. These at least that are exceedingly given up thereto, and are the slaves of women, these above all do women carry about as servants, and will never vouchsafe to treat them as men, buffetting, spurning them, leading, and taking them about every where, and giving themselves airs, and in every thing merely giving them orders.
Even so also than him that is arrogant and mad about
a Mss. not to make money,' and Savile's reading is rightly adopted by Mr. Field, with the Latin Translator.
presently, not to love glory;' but
Pride is hated; love of praise despised.
glory, and accounts himself to be high, nothing is more base MATT. and dishonoured. For the race of man is fond of contention, 13-15. and against nothing else doth it set itself so much, as against a boaster, and a contemptuous man, and a slave of glory.
And he himself too, in order to maintain the fashion of his pride, exhibits the conduct of a slave to the common sort, flattering, courting them, serving a servitude more grievous than that of one bought for money.
Knowing then all these things, let us lay down these passions, that we may not both pay a penalty here, and there be punished without end. Let us become lovers of virtue. For so both before reaching the kingdom we shall reap the greatest benefits here, and when we are departed thither we shall partake of the eternal blessings; unto which God grant we may all attain by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory and might world without end. Amen.
MATT. xix. 16.
And, behold, one came and said unto Him, Good Master, by doing what, shall I inherit eternal life?
1 Mark hath taken away this suspicion; for he saith, that 'having come running unto Him, and kneeling to Him, he besought Him, and that Jesus beheld him, and loved him.
10, 17. 21.
But great is the tyranny of wealth, and it is manifest hence; I mean, that though we be virtuous as to the rest, this ruins all besides. With reason hath Paul also affirmed For the love of
4, 22. 4 John
3 John Jo
SOME indeed accuse this young man, as one dissembling and ill-minded, and coming with a temptation to Jesus, but I, though I would not say he was not fond of money, and under subjection to his wealth, since Christ in fact convicted him of being such a character, yet a dissembler I would by no means call him, both because it is not safe to venture on things uncertain, and especially in blame, and because Mark
21 Tim. it to be the root of all evils in general.
Wherefore then doth Christ thus reply to him, saying, There is none good? Because He came unto Him as a mere man, and one of the common sort, and a Jewish teacher; for this cause then as a man He discourses with him. And indeed in many instances He replies to the secret thoughts. of them that come unto Him; as when He saith, We worship we know What; and, If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. When therefore He saith, There is none good; not as putting Himself out from being good doth He say this, far from it; for he said not, Why dost thou call Me
Good dispositions of the rich young man.
good? I am not good; but, there is none good, that is, none MATT. amongst men.
And when He saith this selfsame thing, He saith it not as depriving even men of goodness, but in contradistinction to the goodness of God. Wherefore also He added, But one, that is, God; and He said not, "but My Father," that thou mightest learn that He had not revealed Himself to the young man. So also further back He called men evil, saying, 'If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to1Matt. your children. For indeed there too He called them evil, not as condemning the whole race as evil, (for by ye, He means not "ye men,") but comparing the goodness that is in men with the goodness of God, He thus named it; therefore also He added, How much more shall your Father give good things to them that ask Him? And what was there to urge Him, or what the profit that He should answer in this way? He leads him on by little and little, and teaches him to be far from all flattery, drawing him off from the things upon earth, and fastening him upon God, and persuading him to seek after the things to come, and to know that which is really good, and the Root and Fountain of all things, and to refer the honours to Him.
Since also when He saith, Call no one master upon earth, it is in contradistinction to Himself He saith this, and that they might learn what is the chief sovereignty over all things that are. For neither was it a small forwardness the young man had shewn up to this time in having fallen into such a desire; and when of the rest some were tempting, some were coming to Him for the cure of diseases, either their own or others, he for eternal life was both coming to Him, and discoursing with Him. For fertile was the land and rich, but the multitude of the thorns choked the seed. Mark at any rate how he is prepared thus far for obedience to the commandments. For 'By doing what,' he saith, shall I inherit eternal life? So ready was he for the performance of the things that should be told him. But if he had come unto Him, tempting Him, the Evangelist would have declared this also to us, as He doth also with regard to the others, as in the case of the Lawyer. And though himself had been silent, Christ would not have suffered him to lie concealed, but would have con