Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

God has given His bond for principal and interest. 899

XXI. 1-5.

up, not that others may be maintained as soldiers, but that MATT. it may remain for thee with great profit. For there whatsoever thou mayest have given, it is not possible to recover; but here thou wilt receive them again with much honour, and shalt gain greater, and more spiritual gains. There the gifts are a demand; here a loan, and money at interest, and a debt.

Yea farther, God hath given thee bonds. For he that Prov. sheweth mercy to a poor man, it is said, lendeth to the Lord. 19, 17. He gave thee also an earnest, and bail, and this being God! What sort of earnest? The things in the present life, the visible, the spiritual things, the foretaste of the things to

come.

Why then dost thou delay, and why art thou backward, having received so many things already, looking for so many things?

For what thou hast received are these; He Himself made thee a body, He Himself put in thee a soul, He honoured with speech thee alone of the things on the earth, He gave thee the use of all the things that are seen, He bestowed on thee the knowledge of Himself, He gave up His Son for thee, He gave thee a Baptism full of so many good things, He gave thee a holy Table, He promised a kingdom, and the good things that cannot be told.

Having then received so many good things, having to receive so many, again I say the same thing, art thou making petty reckoning about perishing riches, and what excuse wilt thou have?

But art thou looking altogether at thy children? and dost draw back for the sake of these? Nay, rather teach them also to gain such gains. For if thou hadst money lent out and bearing interest, and thou hadst a grateful debtor, thou wouldest ten thousand times rather choose instead of the gold to leave the bond to thy child, so that he should have the large income from it, and not be constrained to go about, and seek for others to borrow it.

And now give this bond to thy children, and leave God a debtor to them. Thou dost not sell thy lands, and give to thy children, but leavest them, that the income may remain, and that they may have a greater increase of riches from

900 God's bond the best security for our children.

LXVI.

HOMIL. thence; but this bond, which is more productive than any 5. land or revenue, and bears so many fruits, this art thou afraid to leave to them? What great folly must this be, and frenzy. And this when thou knowest, that though thou shouldest leave it to them, thou thyself also shalt again take it away with thee.

Of this nature are the things spiritual; they have great munificence. Let us not then be beggarly; neither be inhuman and savage towards ourselves, but let us traffic in that good merchandise; that we may both ourselves take it away with us when we depart, and leave it to our own children, and attain to the good things to come, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom be unto the Father, together with the Holy Ghost, glory, might, honour, now and ever, and world without end. Amen.

HOMILY LXVII.

MATT. xxi. 12, 13.

And Jesus went into the Temple, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the Temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and saith unto them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.

THIS John likewise saith, but he in the beginning of his Gospel, this at the end. Whence it is probable this was done twice, and at different seasons.

And it is evident both from the times, and from their reply. For there He came at the very Passover, but here much before. And there the Jews say', What sign shewest Thou 'John 2, us? but here they hold their peace, although reproved, because He was now marvelled at amongst all men.

18.

And this is a heavier charge against the Jews, that when He had done this not once only, but a second time, they continued in their trafficking, and said that He was an adversary of God, when they ought even from hence to have learnt His honour for His Father and His own might. For indeed He also wrought miracles, and they saw His words agreeing with His works.

But not even so were they persuaded, but were sore displeased, and this while they heard the Prophet crying aloud, and the children in a manner beyond their age proclaiming Him. Wherefore also He Himself sets up Isaiah against them as an accuser, saying, My house shall be called a house 21.56,7. of prayer.

Miracle of infants praising, a type of the Gentiles.

But not in this way only doth He shew His authority, but also by His healing divers infirmities. For the blind and the lame came unto Him, and He healed them, and His power and authority He indicates.

But they not even so would be persuaded, but together with the rest of the miracles hearing even the children prov. 16. claiming, were ready to choke, and say, Hearest Thou not what these say? And yet it was Christ's part to have said this to them, "Hear ye not what these say?" for the children were singing to Him as to God.

HOMIL. LXVII.

1.

v. 14.

v. 19.

902

What then saith He? Since they were speaking against things manifest, He applies His correction more in the way of reproof, saying, Have ye never read, Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise? And well did He say, Out of the mouth. For what was said was not of their understanding, but of His power giving articulation to their tongue yet immature.

And this was also a type of the Gentiles lisping, and sounding forth at once great things with understanding and faith.

And for the Apostles also there was from hence no small consolation. For that they might not be perplexed, how being unlearned they should be able to publish the Gospel, the children anticipate them, and remove all their anxiety, teaching them, that He would grant them utterance, Who made even these to sing praises.

And not so only, but the miracle shewed that He is Creator even of nature. The children then, although of age immature, uttered things that had a clear meaning, and were in accordance with those above, but the men things teeming with frenzy and madness. For such is the nature of wickedness.

Forasmuch then as there were many things to provoke them, from the multitude, from the casting out of the sellers, from the miracles, from the children, He again leaves them, giving room to the swelling passion, and not willing to begin His teaching, lest boiling with envy they should be the more displeased at His sayings.

Now in the morning as He returned into the city, He was an hungred. How is He an hungred in the morning? When He permits the flesh, then it shews its feeling. And when

The fig tree freely used for a means of instruction. 903

XXI.

He saw a fig tree in the way, He came to it, and found MATT. nothing thereon, but leaves only. Another Evangelist saith, 19. The time of figs was not yet1; but if it was not time, how doth Mark the other Evangelist say, He came, if haply He might find 11, 13. fruit thereon. Whence it is manifest that this belongs to the suspicion of His disciples, who were yet in a somewhat imperfect state. For indeed the Evangelists in many places record the suspicions of the disciples.

Like as this then was their suspicion, so also was it too to suppose it was cursed for this cause, because of having no fruit. Wherefore then was it cursed? For the disciples' sakes, that they might have confidence. For because every where He conferred benefits, but punished no man; and it was needful that He should afford them a demonstrative proof of His power to take vengeance also, that both the disciples might learn, and the Jews, that being able to blast them that crucify Him, of His own will He submits, and does not blast them; and it was not His will to shew forth this upon men; upon the plant did He furnish the proof of His might in taking vengeance. But when unto places, or unto plants, or unto brutes, any such thing as this is done, be not curious, neither say, how was the fig-tree justly dried up, if it was not the time [of figs]; for this it is the utmost trifling to say; but behold the miracle, and admire and glorify the Worker thereof.

Since in the case also of the swine that were drowned, many have said this, working out the argument of justice; but neither there should one give heed, for these again are brutes, even as that was a plant without life.

Wherefore then was the act invested with such an appearance, and with this plea for a curse? As I said, this was the disciples' suspicion.

ib. v.

But, if it was not yet time, vainly do some say the Law is here meant. For the fruit of this was faith, and then was the time of this fruit, and it had indeed borne it; For already 2 John are the fields white to harvest, saith He; and, 'I sent you to 3:35. reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour. Not any therefore 38. of these things doth He here intimate, but it is what I said, [2] He displays His power to punish, and this is shewn by saying, The time was not yet, making it clear that of this

« ПредишнаНапред »