14Without murmurings. These are fruits of that humility to which he had exhorted them. For every man that has learned carefully to submit himself to God, without claiming anything for himself, will also conduct himself agreeably among men. When every one makes it his care to please himself, two faults prevail: First, they calumniate one another; and secondly, they strive against one another in contentions. In the first place, accordingly, he forbids malignity and secret enmities; and then, secondly, open contentions. He adds, thirdly, that they give no occasion to others to complain of them — a thing which is wont to arise from excessive moroseness. It is true that hatred is not in all cases to be dreaded; but care must be taken, that we do not make ourselves odious through our own fault, so that the saying should be fulfilled in us, They hated me without a cause. (Psa_35:19.) If, however, any one wishes to extend it farther, I do not object to it. For murmurings and disputations spring up, whenever any one, aiming beyond measure at his own advantage, (126) gives to others occasion of complaint. (127) Nay, even this expression may be taken in an active sense, so as to mean — not troublesome or querulous. And this signification will not accord ill with the context, for a querulous temper (
μεμψιμοιρία) (128) is the seed of almost all quarrels and slanderings. He adds sincere, because these pollutions will never come forth from minds that have been purified.
(126) “Cerchant outre mesure son proufit et vtilite particuliere;” — “ beyond measure his own particular profit and advantage.”
(127) “Le vice qui est en plusieurs qu’ sont pleins de complaints contre les autres;” — “ fault that is in very many — that they are full of complaints as to others.”
(128) The term is used by Aristotle. See Arist. Virt. et. Vit. 7. 6. — Ed.