Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05: 25.01.44 On Virginity Part 4

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Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05: 25.01.44 On Virginity Part 4

TOPIC: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05 (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 25.01.44 On Virginity Part 4

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Chapter XIX.

But besides other things the action of Miriam the prophetess also gives rise to these surmisings of ours. Directly the sea was crossed she took in her hand a dry and sounding timbrel and conducted the women's dancehyperlink . By this timbrel the story may mean to imply virginity, as first perfected by Miriam; whom indeed I would believe to be a type of Mary the mother of Godhyperlink . Just as the timbrel emits a loud sound because it is devoid of all moisture and reduced to the highest degree of dryness, so has virginity a clear and ringing report amongst men because it repels from itself the vital sap of merely physical life. Thus, Miriam's timbrel being a dead thing, and virginity being a deadening of the bodily passions, it is perhaps not very far removed from the bounds of probabilityhyperlink that Miriam was a virgin. However, we can but guess and surmise, we cannot clearly prove, that this was so, and that Miriam the prophetess led a dance of virgins, even though many of the learned have affirmed distinctly that she was unmarried, from the fact that the history makes no mention either of her marriage or of her being a mother; and surely she would have been named and known, not as "the sister of Aaronhyperlink ," but from her husband, if she had had one; since the head of the woman is not the brother but the husband. But if, amongst a people with whom motherhood was sought after and classed as a blessing and, regarded as a public duty, the grace of virginity, nevertheless came to be regarded as a precious thing, how does it behove us to feel towards it, who do not "judge" of the Divine blessingshyperlink "according to the flesh"? Indeed it has been revealed in the oracles of God, on what occasion to conceive and to bring forth is a good thing, and what species of fecundity was desired by God's saints; for both the Prophet Isaiah and the divine Apostle have made this clear and certain. The one cries, "From fear of Thee, O Lord, have I conceivedhyperlink ;" the other boasts that he is the parent of the largest family of any, bringing to the birth whole cities and nations; not the Corinthians and Galatians only whom by his travailings he moulded for the Lord, but all in the wide circuit from Jerusalem to Illyricum; his children filled the world, "begotten" by him in Christ through the Gospelhyperlink . In the same strain the womb of the Holy Virgin, which ministered to an Immaculate Birth, is pronounced blessed in the Gospelhyperlink ; for that birth did not annul the Virginity, nor did the Virginity impede so great a birth. When the "spirit of salvationhyperlink ," as Isaiah names it, is being born, the willings of the flesh are useless. There is also a particular teaching of the Apostle, which harmonizes with this; viz. each man of us is a double manhyperlink ; one the outwardly visible, whose natural fate it is to decay; the other perceptible only in the secret of the heart, yet capable of renovation. If this teaching is true,-and it must be truehyperlink because Wisdom is speaking there,-then there is no absurdity in supposing a double marriage also which answers in every detail to either man; and, maybe, if one was to assert boldly that the body's virginity was the co-operator and the agent of the inward marriage, this assertion would not be much beside the probable fact.

Chapter XX.

Now it is impossible, as far as manual exercise goes, to ply two arts at once; for instance, husbandry and sailing, or tinkering and carpentering. If one is to be honestly taken in hand, the other must be left alone. Just so, there are these two marriages for our choice, the one effected in the flesh, the other in the spirit; and preoccupation? the one must cause of necessity alienation from the other. No more is the eye able to look at two objects at once; but it must concentrate its special attention on one at a time; no more can the tongue effect utterances in two different languages, so as to pronounce, for instance, a Hebrew word and a Greek word in the same moment: no more can the ear take in at one and the same time a narrative of facts, and a hortatory discourse; if each special tone is heard separately, it will impress its ideas upon the hearers' minds; but if they are combined and so poured into the ear, an inextricable confusion of ideas will be the result, one meaning being mutually lost in the other: and no more, by analogy, do our emotional powers possess a nature which can at once pursue the pleasures of sense and court the spiritual union; nor, besides, can both those ends be gained by the same courses of life; continence, mortification of the passions, scorn of fleshly needs, are the agents of the oneunion; but all that are the reverse of these are the agents of bodily habitation. As, when two masters are before us to choose between, and we cannot be subject to both, for "no man can serve two mastershyperlink ," he who is wise will choose the one most useful to himself, so, when two marriages are before us to choose between, and we cannot contract both, for "he that is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord, but he that is married careth for the things of the worldhyperlink ," I repeat that it would be the aim of a sound mind not to miss choosing the more profitable one; and not to be ignorant either of the way which will lead it to this, a way which cannot be learnt but by some such comparison as the following. In the case of a marriage of this world a man who is anxious to avoid appearing altogether insignificant pays the greatest attention both to physical health, and becoming adornment, and amplitude of means and the security from any disgraceful revelations as to his antecedents or his parentage; for so he thinks things will be most likely to turn out as he wishes. Now just in the same way the man who is courting the spiritual alliance will first of all display himself, by the renewal of his mindhyperlink , a young man, without a single touch of age upon him; next he will reveal a lineage rich in that in which it is a noble ambition to be rich, not priding himself on worldly wealth, but luxuriating only in the heavenly treasures. As for family distinction, he will not vaunt that which comes by the mere routine of devolution even to numbers of the worthless, but that which is gained by the successful efforts of his own zeal and labours; a distinction which only those can boast of who are "sons of the light" and children of God, and are styled "nobles from the sunrisehyperlink " because of their splendid deeds. Strength and health he will not try to gain by bodily training and feeding, but by all that is the contrary of this, perfecting the spirit's strength in the body's weakness. I could tell also of the suitor's gifts to the bride in such a weddinghyperlink ; they are not procured by the money that perishes, but are contributed out of the wealth peculiar to the soul. Would you know their names? You must hear from Paul, that excellent adorner of the Bridehyperlink , in what the wealth of those consists who in everything commend themselves. He mentions much else that is priceless in it, and adds, "in chastityhyperlink "; and besides this all the recognized fruits of the spirit from any quarter whatever are gifts of this marriage. If a man is going to carry out the advice of Solomon and take for helpmate and life-companion that true Wisdom of which he says, "Love her, and she shall keep thee," "honour her, that she may embrace theehyperlink ," then he will prepare himself in a manner worthy of such a love, so as to feast with all the joyous wedding guests in spotless raiment, and not be cast forth, while claiming to sit at that feast, for not having put on the wedding garment. It is plain moreover that the argument applies equally to men and women, to move them towards such a marriage. "There is neither male nor femalehyperlink ," the Apostle says; "Christ is all, and in allhyperlink "; and so it is equally reasonable that he who is enamoured of wisdom should hold the Object of his passionate desire, Who is the True Wisdom; and that the soul which cleaves to the undying Bridegroom should have the fruition of her love for the true Wisdom, which is God. We have now sufficiently revealed the nature of the spiritual union, and the Object of the pure and heavenly Love.

Chapter XXI.

It is perfectly clear that no one can come near the purity of the Divine Being who has not first himself become such; he must therefore place between himself and the pleasures of the senses a high strong wall of separation, so that in this his approach to the Deity the purity of his own heart may not become soiled again. Such an impregnable wall will be found in a complete estrangement from everything wherein passion operates.

Now pleasure is one in kind, as we learn from the experts; as water parted into various channels from one single fountain, it spreads itself over the pleasure-lover through the various avenues of the senses; so that it has been on his heart that the man, who through any one particular sensation succumbs to the resulting pleasure, has received a wound from that sensation. This accords with the teaching given from the Divine lips, that "he who has satisfied the lust of the eyes has received the mischief already in his hearthyperlink "; for I take it that our Lord was speaking in that particular example of any of the senses; so that we might well carry on His saying, and add, "He who hath heard, to lust after," and what follows, "He who hath touched to lust after," "He who hath lowered any faculty within us to the service of pleasure, hath sinned in his heart."

To prevent this, then, we want to apply to our own lives that rule of all temperance, never to let the mind dwell on anything whereinpleasure's bait is hid; but above all to be specially watchful against the pleasure of taste. For that seems in a way the most deeply rooted, and to be the mother as it were of all forbidden enjoyment. The pleasures of eating and drinking, leading to boundless excess, inflict upon the body the doom of the most dreadful sufferingshyperlink ; for over-indulgence is the parent of most of the painful diseases. To secure for the body a continuous tranquillity, unstirred by the pains of surfeit, we must make up our minds to a more sparing regimen, and constitute the need of it on each occasion not the pleasure of it, as the measure and limit of our indulgence. If the sweetness will nevertheless mingle itself with the satisfaction of the need (for hunger knows how to sweeten everythinghyperlink , and by the vehemence of appetite she gives the zest of pleasure to every discoverable supply of the need), we must not because of the resulting enjoyment reject the satisfaction, nor yet make this latter our leading aim. In everything we must select the expedient quantity, and leave untouched what merely feasts the senseshyperlink .

Chapter XXII.

WE see how the husbandmen have a method for separating the chaff, which is united with the wheat, with a view to employ each for its proper purpose, the one for the sustenance of man, the other for burning and the feeding of animals. The labourer in the field of temperance will in like manner distinguish the satisfaction from the mere delight, and will fling this latter nature to savageshyperlink "whose end is to be burnedhyperlink ," as the Apostle says, but will take the other, in proportion to the actual need, with thankfulness, Many, however, slide into the very opposite kind of excess, and unconsciously to themselves, in their over-preciseness, laboriously thwart their own design; they let their soul fall down the other side from the heights of Divine elevation to the level of dull thoughts and occupations, where their minds are so bent upon regulations which merely affect the body, that they can no longer walk in their heavenly freedom and gaze above; their only inclination is to this tormenting and afflicting of the flesh. It would be well, then, to give this also careful thought, so as to be equally on our guard against either over-amounthyperlink , neither stifling the mind beneath the wound of the flesh, nor, on theother hand, by gratuitously inflicted weakenings sapping and lowering the powers, so that it can have no thought but of the body's painhyperlink ; and let every one remember that wise precept, which warns us from turning to the right hand or to the left. I have heard a certain physician of my acquaintance, in the course of explaining the secrets of his art, say that our body consists of four elements, not of the same species, but disposed to be conflicting: yet the hot penetrated the cold, and an equally unexpected union of the wet and the dry took place, the contradictories of each pair being brought into contact by their relationship to the intervening pair. He added an extremely subtle explanation of this account of his studies in nature. Each of these elements was in its essence diametricallyhyperlink opposed to its contradictory; but then it had two other qualities lying on each side of it, and by virtue of its kinship with them it came into contact with its contradictory; for example, the cold and the hot each unite with the wet, or the dry; and again, the wet and the dry each unite with the hot, or the cold: and so this sameness of quality, when it manifests itself in contradictories, is itself the agent which affects the union of those contradictories. What business of mine, however, is it to explain exactly the details of this change from this mutual separation and repugnance of nature, to this mutual union through the medium of kindred qualities, except for the purpose for which we mentioned it? And that purpose was to add that the author of this analysis of the body's constitution advised that all possible care be taken to preserve a balance between these properties, for that in fact health consisted in not letting any one of them gain the mastery within us. If his doctrine has truth in it, then, for our health's continuance, we must secure such a habit, and by no irregularity of diet produce either an excess or a defect in any member of these our constituent elements. The chariot-master, if the young horses which he has to drive will not work well together, does not urge a fast one with the whip, and rein in a slow one; nor, again, does he let a horse that shies in the traces or is hard-mouthed gallop his own way to the confusion of orderly driving; but he quickens the pace of the first, checks the second, reaches the third with cuts of his whip, till he has made them all breathe evenly together in a straight career. Now our mind in like manner holds in its grasp the reins of this chariot of the body; and in that capacity it will not devise, in the time of youth, when heat of temperament is abundant, ways of heightening that fever; nor will it multiply the cooling and the thinning things when the body is already chilled by illness or by time; and in the case of all these physical qualities it will be guided by the Scripture, so as actually to realize it: "He that gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lackhyperlink ." It will curtail immoderate lengths in either direction, and so will be careful to replenish where there is much lack. The inefficiency of the body from either cause will be that which it guards against; it will train the flesh, neither making it wild and ungovernable by excessive pampering, nor sickly and unstrung and nerveless for the required work by immoderate mortification. That is temperance's highest aim; it looks not to the afflicting of the body, but to the peaceful action of the soul's functions.

Chapter XXIII.

Now the details of the life of him who has chosen to live in such a philosophy as this, the things to be avoided, the exercises to be engaged in, the rules of temperance, the whole method of the training, and all the daily regimen which contributes towards this great end, has been dealt with in certain written manuals of instruction for the benefit of those who love details. Yet there is a plainer guide to be found than verbal instruction; and that is practice: and there is nothing vexatious in the maxim that when we are undertaking a long journey or voyage we should get an instructor. "But," says the Apostlehyperlink , "the word is nigh thee;"the grace begins at home; there is the manufactory of all the virtues; there this life has become exquisitely refined by a continual progress towards consummate perfection; there, whether men are silent or whether they speak, there is large opportunity for being instructed in this heavenly citizenship through the actual practice of it. Any theory divorced from living examples, however admirably it may be dressed out, is like the unbreathing statue, with its show of a blooming complexion impressed in tints and colours; but the man who acts as well as teaches, as the Gospel tells us, he is the man who is truly living, and has the bloom of beauty, and is efficient and stirring. It is to him that we must go, if we mean, according to the sayinghyperlink of Scripture, to "retain" virginity. One who wants to learn a foreign language is not a competent instructor of himself; he gets himself taught by experts, and can then talk with foreigners. So, for this high life, which does not advance in nature's groove, but is estranged from her by the novelty of its course, a man cannot be instructed thoroughly unless he puts himself into the hands of one who has himself led it in perfection; and indeed in all the other professions of life the candidate is more likely to achieve success if he gets from tutors a scientific knowledge of each part of the subject of his choice, than if he undertook to study it by himself; and this particular professionhyperlink is not one where everything is so clear that judgment as to our best course in it is necessarily left to ourselves; it is one where to hazard a step into the unknown at once brings us into danger. The science of medicine once did not exist; it has come into being by the experiments which men have made, and has gradually been revealed through their various observations; the healing and the harmful drug became known from the attestation of those who had tried them, and this distinction was adopted into the theory of the art, so that the close observation of former practitioners became a precept for those who succeeded; and now any one who studies to attain this art is under no necessity to ascertain at his own peril the power of any drug, whether it be a poison or a medicine; he has only to learn from others the known facts, and may than practise with success. It is so also with that medicine of the soul, philosophy, from which we learn the remedy for every weakness that can touch the soul. We need not hunt after a knowledge of these remedies by dint of guess-work and surmisings; we have abundant means of learning them from him who by a long and rich experience has gained the possession which we seek. In any matter youth is generally a giddyhyperlink guide; and it would not be easy to find anything of importance succeeding, in which gray hairs have not been called in to share in the deliberations. Even in all other undertakings we must, in proportion to their greater importance, take the more precaution against failure; for in them too the thoughtless designs of youth have brought loss; on property, for instance; or have compelled the surrender of a position in the world, and even of renown. But in this mighty and sublime ambition it is not property, or secular glory lasting for its hour, or any external fortune, that is at stake;-of such thingshyperlink , whether they settle themselves well or the reverse, the wise take small account;-here rashness can affect the soul itself; and we run the awful hazard, not of losing any of those other things whose recovery even may perhaps be possible, but of ruining our very selves and making the soul a bankrupt. A man who has spent or lost his patrimony does not despair, as long as he is in the land of the living, of perchance coming again through contrivances into his former competence; but the man who has ejected himself from this calling, deprives himself as well of all hope of a return to better things. Therefore, since most embrace virginity while still young and unformed in understanding, this before anything else should be their employment, to search out a fitting guide and master of this way, lest, in their present ignorance, they should wander from the direct route, and strike out new paths of their own in trackless wildshyperlink . "Two are better than one," saysthe Preacherhyperlink ; but a single one is easily vanquished by the foe who infests the path which leads to God; and verily "woe to him that is alone when he falleth, for he hath not another to help him uphyperlink ." Some ere now in their enthusiasm for the stricter life have shown a dexterous alacrity; but, as if in the very moment of their choice they had already touched perfection, their pride has had a shocking fallhyperlink , and they have been tripped up from madly deluding themselves into thinking that that to which their own mind inclined them was the true beauty. In this number are those whom Wisdom calls the "slothful oneshyperlink ," who bestrew their "way" with "thorns"; who think it a moral loss to be anxious about keeping the commandments; who erase from their own minds the Apostolic teaching, and instead of eating the bread of their own honest earning fix on that of others, and make their idleness itself into an art of living. From this number, too, come the Dreamers, who put more faith in the illusions of their dreamshyperlink than in the Gospel teaching, and style their own phantasies "revelations." Hence, too, those who "creep into the houses"; and again others who suppose virtue to consist in savage bearishness, and have never known the fruits of long-suffering and humility of spirit. Who could enumerate all the pitfalls into which any one might slip, from refusing to have recourse to men of godly celebrity? Why, we have known ascetics of this class who have persisted in their fasting even unto death, as if "with such sacrifices God were well pleasedhyperlink ;" and, again, others who rush off into the extreme diametrically opposite, practising celibacy in name only and leading a life in no way different from the secular; for they not only indulge in the pleasures of the table, but are openly known to have a woman in their houseshyperlink ; and they call such a friendship a brotherly affection, as if, forsooth, they could veil their own thought, which is inclined to evil, under a sacred term. It is owing to them that this pure and holy profession of virginity is "blasphemed amongst the Gentileshyperlink ."

Chapter XXIV.

It would therefore be to their profit, for the young to refrain from laying downhyperlink for themselves their future course in this profession; and indeed, examples of holy lives for them to follow are not wanting in the living generationhyperlink . Now, if ever before, saintliness abounds and penetrates our world; by gradual advances it has reached the highest mark of perfectness; and one who follows such footsteps in his daily rounds may catch this halo; one who tracks the scent of this preceding perfume may be drenched in the sweet odours of Christ Himself. As, when one torch has been fired, flame is transmitted to all the neighbouring candlesticks, without either the first light being lessened or blazing with unequal brilliance on the other points where it has been caught; so the saintliness of a life is transmitted from him who has achieved it, to those who come within his circle; for there is truth in the Prophet's sayinghyperlink , that one who lives with a man who is "holy" and "clean" and "elect," will become such himself. If you would wish to know the sure signs, which will secure you the real model, it is not hard to take a sketch from life. If you see a man so standing between death and life, as to select from each helps for the contemplative course, never letting death's stupor paralyze his zeal to keep all the commandments, nor yet placing both feet in the world of the living, since he has weaned himself from secular ambitions;-a man who remains more insensate than the dead themselves to everything that is found on examination to be living for the flesh, but instinct with life and energy and strength in the achievements of virtue, which are the sure marks of the spiritual life;-then look to that man for the rule of your life; let him be the leading light of your course of devotion, as the constellations that never set are to the pilot; imitate his youth and his gray hairs: or, rather, imitate the old man and the stripling who are joined in him; for even now in his declining years time has not blunted the keen activity of his soul, nor was his youth active in the sphere of youth's well-known employments; in both seasons of life he has shown a wonderful combination of opposites, or rather an exchange of the peculiar qualities of each; for in age he shows, in the direction of the good, a young man's energy, while, in the hours of youth, in the direction of evil, his passions were powerless. If you wish to know what were the passions of that glorious youth of his, you will have for your imitation the intensity and glow of his godlike love of wisdom, which grew with him from his childhood, and has continued with him into his old age. But if you cannot gaze upon him, as the weak-sighted cannot gaze upon the sun, at all events watch that band of holy men who are ranged beneath him, and who by the illumination of their lives are a model for this age. God has placed them as a beacon for us who live around; many among them have been young men there in their prime, and have grown gray in the unbroken practice of continence and temperance; they were old in reasonableness before their time, and in character outstripped their years. The only love they tasted was that of wisdom; not that their natural instincts were different from the rest; for in all alike "the flesh lusteth against the spirithyperlink ;" but they listened to some purpose to him who said that Temperance "is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon herhyperlink ;" and they sailed across the swelling billows of existence upon this tree of life, as upon a skiff; and anchored in the haven of the will of God; enviable now after so fair a voyage, they rest their souls in that sunny cloudless calm. They now ride safe themselves at the anchor of a good hope, far out of reach of the tumult of the billows; and for others who will follow they radiate the splendour of their lives as beacon-fires on some high watch-tower. We have indeed a mark to guide us safely over the ocean of temptations; and why make the too curious inquiry, whether some with such thoughts as these have not fallen nevertheless, and why therefore despair, as if the achievement was beyond your reach? Look on him who has succeeded, and boldly launch upon the voyage with confidence that it will be prosperous, and sail on under the breeze of the Holy Spirit with Christ your pilot and with the oarage of good cheerhyperlink . For those who "go down to the sea in ships and occupy their business in great waters" do not let the shipwreck that has befallen some one else prevent their being of good cheer; they rather shield their hearts in this very, confidence, and so sweep on to accomplish their successful feat. Surely it is the most absurd thing in the world to reprobate him who has slipped in a course which requires the greatest nicety, while one considers those who all their lives have been growing old in failures and in errors, to have chosen the better part. If one single approach to sin is such an awful thing that you deem it safer not to take in hand at all this loftier aim, how much more awful a thing it is to make sin the practice of a whole life, and to remain thereby absolutely ignorant of the purer course! How can you in your full life obey the Crucified? How can you, hale in sin, obey Him Who died to sin? How can you, who are not crucified to the world, and will not accept the mortification of the flesh, obey Him Who bids you follow after Him, and Who bore the Cross in His own body, as a trophy from the foe? How can you obey Paul when he exhorts you "to present your body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto Godhyperlink ," when you are "conformed to this world," and not transformed by the renewing of your mind, when you are not "walking" in this "newness of life," but still pursuing the routine of "the old man"? How can you be a priest unto Godhyperlink , anointed though you are for this very office, to offer a gift to God; a gift in no way another's, no counterfeited gift from sources outside yourself, but a gift that is really your own, namely, "the inner manhyperlink ," who must be perfect and blameless, as it is required of a lamb to be without spot or blemish? How can you offer this to God, when you do not listen to the law forbidding the unclean to offer sacrifices? If you long for God to manifest Himself to you, why do you not hear Moses, when he commands the people to be pure from the stains of marriage, that they may take in the vision of Godhyperlink If this all seems little in your eyes, to be crucified with Christ, to present yourself a sacrifice to God, to become a priest unto the most high God, to make yourself worthy of the vision of the Almighty, what higher blessings than these can we imagine for you, if indeed you make light of the consequences of these as well? And the consequence of being crucified with Christ is that we shall live with Him, and be glorified with Him, and reign with Him; and the consequence of presenting ourselves to God is that we shall be changed from the rank of human nature and human dignity to that of Angels; for so speaks Daniel, that "thousand thousands stood before himhyperlink ." He too who has taken his share in the true priesthood and placed himself beside the Great High Priest remains altogether himself a priest for ever, prevented for eternity from remaining any more in death. To say, again, that one makes oneself worthy to see God, produces no less a result than this; that one is made worthy to see God. Indeed, the crown of every hope, and of every desire, of every blessing, and of every promise of God, and of all those unspeakable delights which we believe to exist beyond our perception and our knowledge,-the crowning result of them all, I say, is this. Moses longed earnestly to see it, and many prophets and kings have desired to see the same: but the only class deemed worthy of it are the pure in heart, those who are, and are named "blessed," for this very reason, that "they shall see Godhyperlink ." Wherefore we would that you too should become crucified with Christ, a holy priest standing before God, a pure offering in all chastity, preparing yourself by your own holiness for God's coming; that you also may have a pure heart in which to see God, according to the promise of God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, to Whom be gloryfor ever and ever. Amen.


131 Exod. xv. 20.

132 di' hj oimai kai thn Qeotokon prodiatuqai Marian. These words are absent from the Munich Co. i. e. the German; not from Vat. and Reg. Ambrose, Ep. 25, has "Quid de altera Moysi sorore Maria loquar, quae foeminei dux agminis pede transmisit pelagi freta," when speaking "de gloria virginitatis."

133 tou eikotoj ...apesxoinistai.

134 Exod. xv. 20.

135 S. John viii. 15. "Ye judge after the flesh." It is Gregory's manner to make such passing allusions to Scripture, and especially to S. Paul.

136 Gregory here quotes from LXX. Cf. Is. xxvi. 18, and also below, etekomen pneuma swthriaj sou, o epoihsamen epi thj lhj.

137 1 Cor. iv. 15: Philemon 10.

138 S. Luke xi. 27.

139 Is. xxvi. 18 (LXX.). See above. But R. V. "We have as it were brought forth wind: we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth."

140 2 Cor. iv. 16.

141 pantwj de alhqhj, k. t. l. So Codd. Reg. and Morell., for pantwn. Gregory alludes to 2 Cor. xiii. 3.

142 S. Matt. vi. 24.

143 1 Cor. vii. 32.

144 See Eph. iv. 22, Eph.iv. 23.

145 See S. Matt. viii. 11; S. Luke xiii. 29. The same expression (eugenhj twn af' hliou anatolwn) is used of Meletius, in Gregory's funeral oration on him.

146 ta edna tou gamou, i.e. given by the bridegroom. The Juris-consults called it Donatio propter nuptias, or simply Donatio. The human soul here espouses Wisdom, i. e. Christ, as its Bride. See below, where Prov. iv. 6 is quoted.

147 numfostolou.

148 2 Cor. vi. 6.

149 Prov. iv. 6.

150 Gal. iii. 28.

151 Col. iii. 11.

152 S. Matt. v. 28.

153 anagkhn empoiusi twn aboulhtwn kakwn, plhsmonhj wj ta polla ektiktoushj, k. t. l., removing the comma from plhsmonhj (Paris Edit.) to kakwn.

154 Cf. Cicero, 2 De Fin. Bon.: "Socratem audio dicentem cibi condimentum esse famem; potionis sitim;" so Antiphanes (apud Stobaeum), apanf' o limoj glukea, plhn autou, poiei.

155 kata to prohgoumenon, principaliter. Cf. Clem. Alexand. Strom., ta onomata sumbola twn nohmatwn kata to prohgoumenon, i. e. of general concepts.

156 toij alogwteroij. Fronto Ducaeus translates "bardis objiciat," i. e. "savages," not "beasts."

157 Heb. vi. 8. "The Apostle" here is to be noticed. The same teaching, as to there being no necessity for pleasure, is found in Clement of Alexandria. He says it is not our skopoj, 2 Paed. c. i. and 2 Strom., kaqolou gar ouk anagkaion to thj hdonhj paqoj, epakolouqimon de xreiaij taij fusikaij, k. t. l.

158 epimetiaj. Cf. en epimetrw, Polyb., "into the bargain."

159 kai peri touj swmatikouj ponouj hsxolhmenon (i. e. "busied,"): Galesinius' translation must here be wrong, "ad corpotis labores prorsus inutilem."


Cold can unite with Wet or Dry which "lie on each side of" it, and are "kindred" to it: and so through one or the other (which are also "kindred" to Hot) can come "in contact with" Hot. (So of all.) A wet thine becomes the medium in which both cold and heat can be manifested.

161 elattonhsh (for LXX. Exod. xvi. 18, and also 2 Cor. viii. 15, have elattonhsen), not elattwsh with Livineius.

162 Rom.x.8: elluj sou to rhma estin, en tw stomati sou kai en th kaodia sou. Cf. Deut. xxx. 14.

163 kata ton erounta logon (Codd. Reg. and Mor. airounta). This alludes to Prov iii. 18, rather than Prov. iv. 6.

164 ou gar enargej esti to epithdeuma touto, wste kat' anagkhn, k.t.l The alternative reading is en arxaij. It has been suggested to read, ote gar <\=85_tote (for touto), and understand an aposiopesis in the next sentence; thus-"For when our undertaking is clear and simple, then we must entrust to ourselves the decision of what is best. But when the attempt at the unknown is not unattended with risk-(then we want a guide)." Billius. But this is very awkward.

165 Livineius had conjectured that epiofalhj must be supplied, from a quotation of this passage in Antonius Monachus, Sententiae, serm. 20, and in Abbas Maximus, Capita, serm. 41; and this is confirmed by Codd. Reg. and Morell.

166 wn kai kata gnwmhn kai wj eterwj dioikoumenwn oligoj toij swfronousin o logoj. The Latin here has "quas quidem res ego sane despicio, exiguamque harum tanquam extrinsecus venientium)" &c.; evidently katagnoihn must have been in the text used.

167 anodiaj tinaj kainotomhswsin (anodia, anodiaij, is frequent in Polybius; the word is not found elsewhere in other cases).

168 Ecclesiastes iv. 9.

169 Ecclesiastes iv. 10. Gregory supports the Vulgate, which has "quia cum ceciderit, non habet sublevantem se."

170 etrw ptwmati, euphemistically.

171 Prov. xv. 19.

172 The alternative reading is twn qhriwn; but oneirwn is confirmed by three of the Codd. Cf. Theodoret, lib. 4, Haeretic. fab., of the Messaliani; and lib. 4, Histor. c. 10, upnw de sfaj autouj ekdidontej taj twn oneirwn fantasiaj profheiaj apokalousi.

173 Heb. xiii. 16.

174 See Chrysostom, Lib. Proj touj suneisaktouj exontaj.

175 twn ecwqen. Cf. Rom. ii. 24.

176 The negative (mh nomoqetein) is found in Codd. Reg. and Morell.

177 tnn zwhn. So bioj also is used in Greek after 2nd century. "They (the monks) make little show in history before the reign of Valens (a.d. 364). Paul of Thebes, Hilarion of Gaza, and even the great Antony, are only characters in the novels of the day. Now, however, there was in the East a real movement towards monasticism. All parties favoured it. The Semi-arians were busy inside Mr. Taurus; and though Acacians and Anomoeans held more aloof, they could not escape an influence which even Julian felt. But the Nicene party was the home of the ascetics." Gwatkin's Arians.

178 Ps. xviii. 25, Ps. xviii. 26 (LXX.).

179 Gal. v. 17.

180 Prov. iii. 18; but said of Wisdom.

181 tw phdaliw thj eufrosunhj.

182 Rom. xii. 1, Rom. xii. 2; Rom. xi. 4.

183 Gregory alludes to Rev. i. 16: epoihsen hmaj basileij kai iereij tw qew kai patri autou.

184 Eph. iii. 16.

185 Exod. xix. 15.

186 Dan. vii. 10.

187 S. Matt. v.