Titus ii. 2–5
“That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
There are some failings which age has, that youth has not. Some indeed it has in common with youth, but in addition it has42 ms. Colb. “And youth indeed has many faults, old age however has.” a slowness, a timidity, a forgetfulness, an insensibility, and an irritability. For this reason he exhorts old men concerning these matters, “to be vigilant.”43 νηφαλίους. E.V. “sober.” [R.V. “temperate.”—P.S.] For there are many things which at this period make men otherwise than vigilant, especially what I mentioned, their general insensibility, and the difficulty of stirring or exciting them. Wherefore he also adds, “grave, temperate.”44 [R.V. “soberminded.”—P.S.] Here he means prudent. For temperance is named from the well-tempered45 σωφροσύνη. mind. For there are, indeed there are, among the old, some who rave and are beside themselves, some from wine, and some from sorrow. For old age makes them narrowminded.
“Sound in faith, in charity [love], in patience.”
He has well added “in patience,” for this quality more especially befits old men.
Ver. 3. “The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness.”
That is, that in their very dress and carriage they exhibit modesty.
“Not false accusers, not given to much wine.”
For this was particularly the vice of women and of old age. For from their natural coldness at that period of life arises the desire of wine, therefore he directs his exhortation to that point, to cut off all occasion of drunkenness, wishing them to be far removed from that vice, and to escape the ridicule that attends it. For the fumes mount more easily from beneath, and the membranes (of the brain) receive the mischief from their being impaired by age, and this especially causes intoxication. Yet wine is necessary at this age, because of its weakness, but much is not required. Nor do young women require much, though for a different reason, because it kindles the flame of lust.
“Teachers of good things.”
And yet thou forbiddest a woman to teach; how dost thou command it here, when elsewhere thou sayest, “I suffer not a woman to teach”? (1 Tim. ii. 12.) But mark what he has added, “Nor to usurp authority over the man.” For at the beginning it was permitted to men to teach both men and women. But to women it is allowed to instruct by discourse at home. But they are nowhere permitted to preside, nor to extend their speech to great length, wherefore he adds, “Nor to usurp authority over the man.”
Ver. 4. “That they may teach the young women to be sober.”
Observe how he binds the people together, how he subjects the younger women to the elder. For he is not speaking there of daughters, but merely in respect of age. Let each of the elder women, he means, teach any one that is younger to be sober.
“To love their husbands.”
This is the chief point of all that is good in a household, “A man and his wife that agree together.” (Ecclus. xxv. 1.) For where this exists, there will be nothing that is unpleasant. For where the head is in harmony with the body, and there is no disagreement between them, how shall not all the other members be at peace? For when the rulers are at peace, who is there to divide and break up concord? as on the other hand, where these are ill disposed to each other, there will be no good order in the house. This then is a point of the highest importance, and of more consequence than wealth, or rank, or power, or aught else. Nor has he said merely to be at peace, but “to love their husbands.” For where love is, no discord will find admittance, far from it, other advantages too spring up.
“To love their children.” This is well added, since she who loves the root, will much more love the fruit.
“To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good.” All these spring from love. They become “good, and keepers at home,” from affection to their husbands.
“Obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
She who despises her husband, neglects also her house; but from love springs great soberness, and all contention is done away. And if he be a Heathen, he will soon be persuaded; and if he be a Christian, he will become a better man. Seest thou the condescension of Paul? He who in everything would withdraw us from worldly concerns, here bestows his consideration upon domestic affairs. For when these are well conducted, there will be room for spiritual things, but otherwise, they too will be marred. For she who keeps at home will be also sober, she that keeps at home will be also a prudent manager, she will have no inclination for luxury, unseasonable expenses, and other such things.
“That the word of God,” he says, “be not blasphemed.”
See how his first concern is for the preaching of the word, not for worldly things; for when he writes to Timothy, he says, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Tim. ii. 2.); and here, “that the word of God,” and the doctrine, “be not blasphemed.” For if it should happen that a believing woman, married to an unbeliever, should not be virtuous, the blasphemy is usually carried on to God; but if she be of good character, the Gospel obtains glory from her, and from her virtuous actions. Let those women hearken who are united to wicked men or unbelievers; let them hear, and learn to lead them to godliness by their own example. For if thou gain nothing else, and do not attract thy husband to embrace right doctrines, yet thou hast stopped his mouth, and dost not allow him to blaspheme Christianity; and this is no mean thing, but great indeed, that the doctrine should be admired through our conversation.
Ver. 6. “Young men likewise exhort to be soberminded.”
See how he everywhere recommends the observance of decorum. For he has committed to women the greater part in the instruction of women, having appointed the elder to teach the younger. But the whole instruction of men he assigns to Titus himself. For nothing is so difficult for that age as to overcome unlawful pleasures. For neither the love of wealth, nor the desire of glory, or any other thing so much solicits the young, as fleshly lust. Therefore passing over other things, he directs his admonition to that vital point. Not however that he would have other things neglected; for what says he?
Ver. 7. “In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works.”
Let the elder women, he says, teach the younger, but do thou thyself exhort young men to be soberminded. And let the luster of thy life be a common school of instruction, a pattern of virtue to all, publicly exhibited, like some original model, containing in itself all beauties, affording examples whence those who are willing may easily imprint upon themselves any of its excellences.
Ver. 7, 8. “In [thy] doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”
By “him that is of the contrary part,” he means the devil, and every one who ministers to him. For when the life is illustrious, and the discourse corresponds to it, being meek and gentle, and affording no handle to the adversaries, it is of unspeakable advantage. Of great use then is the ministry of the word, not any common word, but that which is approved, and cannot be condemned, affording no pretext to those who are willing to censure it.
Ver. 9. “Exhort servants to be obedient to their own masters, and to please them well in all things.”
Dost thou see what he has previously said, “that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” He therefore is deserving of condemnation, who under pretense of continence separates wives from their husbands, and he who under any other pretext takes away servants from their masters. This is not “speech that cannot be condemned,” but it gives great handle to the unbelieving, and opens the mouths of all against us.
“Not answering again.”
Ver. 10. “Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.”
Thus he has well said in another place, “Doing service as to the Lord, and not to men.” For if thou servest thy master with good will, yet the occasion of this service proceeds from thy fear,46 i.e. of God. and he who with so great fear renders Him service, shall receive the greater reward. For if he restrain not his hand, or his unruly tongue, how shall the Gentile admire the doctrine that is among us? But if they see their slave, who has been taught the philosophy of Christ, displaying more self-command than their own philosophers, and serving with all meekness and good will, he will in every way admire the power of the Gospel. For the Greeks judge not of doctrines by the doctrine itself, but they make the life and conduct the test of the doctrines. Let women therefore and servants be their instructors by their conversation. For both among themselves, and everywhere, it is admitted that the race of servants is passionate, not open to impression, intractable, and not very apt to receive instruction in virtue, not from their nature, God forbid, but from their ill breeding,47 Colb. “way of life.” and the neglect of their masters. For those who rule them care about nothing but their own service; or if they do sometimes attend to their morals, they do it only to spare themselves the trouble that would be caused them by their fornication, their thefts, or their drunkenness, and being thus neglected and having no one to concern himself about them, they naturally sink into the very depths of wickedness. For if under the direction of a father and mother, a guardian, a master, and teacher, with suitable companions, with the honor of a free condition, and many other advantages, it is difficult to escape intimacies with the wicked, what can we expect from those who are destitute of all these, and are mixed up with the wicked, and associate fearlessly with whomsoever they will, no one troubling herself about their friendships? What sort of persons do we suppose they will be? On this account it is difficult for any servant to be good, especially when they have not the benefit of instruction either from those without or from ourselves. They do not converse with free men of orderly conduct, who have a great regard for their reputation. For all these reasons it is a difficult and surprising thing that there should ever be a good servant.
When therefore it is seen that the power of religion, imposing a restraint upon a class naturally so self-willed, has rendered them singularly well behaved and gentle, their masters, however unreasonable they may be, will form a high opinion of our doctrines. For it is manifest, that having previously infixed in their souls a fear of the Resurrection, of the Judgment, and of all those things which we are taught by our philosophy to expect after death, they have been able to resist wickedness, having in their souls a settled principle to counterbalance the pleasures of sin. So that it is not by chance or without reason, that Paul shows so much consideration for this class of men: since the more wicked they are, the more admirable is the power of that preaching which reforms them. For we then most admire a physician, when he restores to a healthy and sane state one who was despaired of, whom nothing benefited, who was unable to command his unreasonable desires, and wallowed in them. And observe what he most requires of them; the qualities which contribute most to their masters’ ease.
“Not answering again, not purloining”; that is, to show all good will in matters intrusted to them, to be particularly faithful in their masters’ concerns, and obedient to their commands.
Moral. Do not therefore think that I enlarge upon this subject without a purpose. For the rest of my discourse will be addressed to servants. Look not to this, my good friend, that thou servest a man, but that thy service is to God, that thou adornest the Gospel. Then thou wilt undertake everything in obedience to thy master, bearing with him, though impatient, and angry without a cause. Consider that thou art not gratifying him, but fulfilling the commandment of God; then thou wilt easily submit to anything. And what I have said before, I repeat here, that when our spiritual state is right, the things of this life will follow. For a servant, so tractable and so well disposed, will not only be accepted by God, and made partaker of those glorious crowns, but his master himself, whom he serves so well, even though he be brutish and stone-hearted, inhuman and ferocious, will commend and admire him, and will honor him above all the rest, and will set him over their heads, though he be a Gentile.
And that servants are required to be thus disposed towards a Gentile master, I will show you by an example. Joseph, who was of a different religion from the Egyptian, was sold to the chief cook.48 So Sept., Gen. xxxix. 1; comp. on Stat. Hom. xix. 11. What then did he? When he saw the young man was virtuous, he did not consider the difference of their religion, but loved and favored and admired him, and committed the others to his superintendence, and knew nothing of the affairs of his own house because of him. Thus he was a second master, and even more of a master than his lord, for he knew more of his master’s affairs than his master himself. And even afterwards, as it seems to me, when he believed the unjust accusation framed against him by his wife, yet from his former regard for him, retaining a respect for that just man, he satisfied his resentment with imprisonment. For if he had not greatly reverenced and esteemed him from his former conduct, he would have thrust his sword through his body, and dispatched him at once. “For jealousy is the rage of a man; therefore he will not regard any ransom, neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.” (Prov. vi. 34, 35.) And if such is the jealousy of men in general, much more violent must it have been with him, an Egyptian and barbarian, and injured as he thought by one whom he had honored. For you all know that injuries do not affect us in the same way from all persons, but that those grieve us most bitterly and deeply which proceed from those who were well-affected toward us, who had trusted us and whom we had trusted, and who had received many kindnesses from us. He did not consider with himself, nor say, What! have I taken a servant into my house, shared with him my substance, made him free, and even greater than myself, and is this the return that he makes me? He did not say this, so much was his mind prepossessed by his previous respect for him.
And what wonder if he enjoyed so much honor in the house, when we see what great regard he obtained even in a prison. You know how practiced in cruelty are the dispositions of those who have the custody of prisons. They profit by the misfortune of others, and harass those whom others support in their afflictions, making a gain of them that is truly deplorable, with a more than brutal cruelty. For they take advantage of those wretched circumstances which ought to excite their pity. And we may further observe, that they do not treat in the same manner all their prisoners; for those who are confined upon accusation only, and who are injuriously treated, they perhaps pity, but they punish with numberless inflictions those who are imprisoned for shameful and atrocious crimes. So that the keeper of the prison not only from the manner of such men might have been expected to be inhuman, but from the cause for which he was imprisoned. For who would not have been incensed against a young man, who having been raised to so great honor, was charged with requiting such favors by a base attempt upon the master’s wife. Would not the keeper, considering these things, the honor to which he had been raised, and the crime for which he was imprisoned, would he not have treated him with more than brutal cruelty? But he was raised above all these things by his hope in God. For the virtue of the soul can mollify even wild beasts. And by the same meekness which had gained his master, he captivated also the keeper of the prison. Thus Joseph was again a ruler, he ruled in the prison as he had ruled in the house. For since he was destined to reign, it was fit that he should learn to be governed, and while he was governed he became a governor, and presided in the house.
For if Paul requires this of one who is49 ἑλκόμενον, literally, “dragged”; see on Stat. Hom. i. 16. promoted to a Church, saying, “If a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the Church of God?” (1 Tim. iii. 5.), it was fit that he who was to be a governor, should first be an excellent ruler of the house. He presided over the prison, not as over a prison, but as if it had been a house. For he alleviated the calamities of all, and took charge of those who were imprisoned as if they had been his own members, not only taking an interest in their misfortunes and consoling them, but if he saw any one absorbed in thought, he went to him and enquired the cause, and could not bear even to see any one dejected, or be easy till he had relieved his dejection. Such love as this, many a one has not shown even to his own children. And to these things may be traced the beginning of his good fortune. For our part must go before, and then the blessing of God will follow.
For that he did show this care and concern we learn from the story. He saw, it is said, two eunuchs who had been cast into prison by Pharaoh, his chief butler and chief baker, and he said, “Wherefore look ye so sadly today?” (Gen. xl. 7.) And not from this question only, but from the conduct of these men, we may discern his merit. For, though they were the officers of the king, they did not despise him, nor in their despair did they reject his services, but they laid open to him all their secret, as to a brother who could sympathize with them.
And all this has been said by me to prove, that though the virtuous man be in slavery, in captivity, in prison; though he be in the depth of the earth, nothing will be able to overcome him. This I have said to servants, that they may learn that though they have masters that are very brutes, as this Egyptian, or ferocious as the keeper of the prison, they may gain their regard, and though they be heathen as they were, or whatever they be, they may soon win them to gentleness. For nothing is more engaging than good manners, nothing more agreeable and delightful than meekness, gentleness, and obedience. A person of this character is suitable to all. Such an one is not ashamed of slavery, he does not avoid the poor, the sick, and the infirm. For virtue is superior, and prevails over everything. And if it has such power in slaves, how much more in those who are free? This then let us practice, whether bond or free, men or women. Thus we shall be loved both by God and men; and not only by virtuous men, but by the wicked; nay by them more especially, for they more especially honor and respect virtue. For as those who are under rule stand most in awe of the meek, so do the vicious most revere the virtuous, knowing from what they themselves have fallen. Since such then is the fruit of virtue, this let us pursue, and attain. If we adhere to this, nothing will be formidable, but all things easy and manageable. And though we pass through the fire and through the water, all things yield to virtue, even death itself. Let us then be zealous in the pursuit of it, that we may attain the good things to come, in Jesus Christ our Lord, with whom, &c.
ΟΜΙΛΙΑ Δʹ. Πρεσβύτας νηφαλίους εἶναι, σεμνοὺς, σώφρο νας, ὑγιαίνοντας τῇ πίστει, τῇ ἀγάπῃ, τῇ ὑπομονῇ: πρεσβύτιδας ὡσαύτως ἐν καταστή ματι ἱεροπρεπεῖς, μὴ διαβόλους, μὴ οἴνῳ πολλῷ δεδουλωμένας, καλοδιδασκάλους, ἵνα σωφρο νίζωσι τὰς νέας φιλάνδρους εἶναι, φιλοτέ κνους, σώφρονας, ἁγνὰς, οἰκουροὺς, ἀγαθὰς, ὑποτασσομένας τοῖς οἰκείοις ἀνδράσιν, ἵνα μὴ ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ βλασφημῆται. αʹ. Ἔστιν ἃ καὶ τὸ γῆρας ἐλαττώματα ἔχει, καὶ οὐχ ἡ νεότης: καὶ ἔχει μέν τινα καὶ τῶν τῆς νεότητος, ἔχει δὲ ὅμως καὶ τὸ νωθρὸν, τὸ ὀκνηρὸν, τὸ ληθαργὸν, τὸ ἀμβλὺ, τὸ ἀκρόχολον. Διὰ τοῦτο περὶ τούτων παραγγέλλων φησί: Πρεσβύτας εἶναι νηφαλίους. Πολλὰ γάρ ἐστι τὰ ποιοῦντα μὴ νήφειν τοὺς ἐν ἡλικίᾳ τοιαύτῃ: καὶ πρῶτον αὐτὸ ὅπερ ἔφην, τὸ πανταχόθεν ἀμβλύνεσθαι, καὶ δυσκόλως διεγείρεσθαι, καὶ δυσκόλως κινεῖσθαι: διὸ καὶ ἐπάγει, Σεμνοὺς, σώφρονας. Ἐνταῦθα τοὺς φρονίμους φησί: σωφροσύνη γὰρ τοῦτο λέγεται ἡ τῶν φρενῶν σωτηρία. Εἰσὶ γὰρ, εἰσὶ καὶ ἐν τοῖς γεγηρακόσι λυττῶντες ἄνθρωποι, παράφρονες, οἱ μὲν ἀπὸ οἴνου, οἱ δὲ ἀπὸ λύπης: μικροψύχους γὰρ τὸ γῆρας ποιεῖ. Ὑγιαίνοντας ἐν τῇ πίστει, τῇ ἀγάπῃ, τῇ ὑπομονῇ. Καὶ καλῶς εἴρηκε, Τῇ ὑπομονῇ: καὶ τοῦτο γὰρ μάλιστα τοῖς γέρουσιν ἁρμόζει: Πρεσβύτιδας ὡσαύτως ἐν καταστήματι ἱεροπρεπεῖς, τουτέστιν, ἀπ' αὐτοῦ τοῦ σχήματος καὶ τῆς καταστολῆς δεικνυμένας τὴν κοσμιότητα. Μὴ διαβόλους, μὴ οἴνῳ πολλῷ δεδουλωμένας. Μάλιστα γὰρ τοῦτο γυναικῶν τὸ ἐλάττωμα καὶ τοῦ γήρως: τῷ γὰρ κατεψῦχθαι τὰς ἡλικίας πολλὴ καὶ τούτου γίνεται ἡ ἐπιθυμία. Ὅθεν καὶ περὶ τούτου μάλιστα τὴν παραίνεσιν πρὸς αὐτὰς ποιεῖται, πανταχόθεν τὴν μέθην ἐκκόπτων, καὶ τοῦ νοσήματος τούτου ἐκτὸς αὐτὰς εἶναι βουλόμενος, καὶ διαφυγεῖν τὸν ἐντεῦθεν γέλωτα. Καὶ γὰρ εὐκολώτερον καὶ οἱ κάτωθεν ἀτμοὶ ἀναφέρονται, καὶ αἱ μήνιγγες τὴν βλάβην δέχονται τῷ πεπαλαιῶσθαι αὐτὰς τῷ χρόνῳ: καὶ ἐντεῦθεν ἡ μέθη μάλιστα γίνεται. Δεῖ μὲν οὖν οἴνου τῇ ἡλικίᾳ ταύτῃ μάλιστα, ἀσθενὴς γάρ: δεῖ δὲ οὐ πολλοῦ, ὥσπερ οὐδὲ ταῖς νέαις, οὐ διὰ τὴν αὐτὴν αἰτίαν, ἀλλὰ διὰ τὸ σφόδρα τὴν φλόγα τῆς ἐπιθυμίας ἀνάπτεσθαι. Καλοδιδασκάλους. Καὶ μὴν κωλύεις γυναῖκας διδάσκειν: πῶς οὖν ἐνταῦθα ἐπιτρέπεις, ἐν τοῖς ἑτέρωθι λέγων, Γυναικὶ δὲ διδάσκειν οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω; Ἀλλ' ἄκουε τί ἐπήγαγεν, Οὐδὲ αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός. Ἀνδράσι μὲν γὰρ ἐπιτέτραπται διδάσκειν ἄνωθεν καὶ ἄνδρας καὶ γυναῖκας: γυναιξὶ δὲ τὸν μὲν παραινετικὸν ἐπιτρέπει λόγον ἐπ' οἰκίας, οὐδαμοῦ δὲ προκαθῆσθαι συγχωρεῖ, οὐδὲ μακρὸν ἀποτείνειν λόγον ἀφίησι. Διὰ τοῦτο ἐπήγαγεν, Οὐδὲ αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός. Ἵνα σωφρονίζωσι, φησὶ, τὰς νέας. βʹ. Ὁρᾷς πῶς συμπλέκει καὶ συνάγει τὸν λαόν; πῶς ὑποτάττει τὰς νεωτέρας ταῖς γεγηρακυίαις; Οὐ γὰρ περὶ θυγατέρων ἐνταῦθα διαλέγεται, ἀλλ' ἁπλῶς ἀπὸ τῆς ἡλικίας. Ἑκάστη, φησὶ, πρεσβυτέρα τὴν νεωτέραν σωφρονιζέτω. Φιλάνδρους εἶναι. Τὸ κεφάλαιον τοῦτο τῶν κατὰ τὴν οἰκίαν ἀγαθῶν: Γυνὴ γὰρ, φησὶν, ἀνδρὶ συμπεριφερομένη. Τούτου γὰρ ὄντος, οὐδὲν τῶν ἀηδῶν συμβήσεται. Πῶς γὰρ, τῆς κεφαλῆς πρὸς τὸ σῶμα συννενευκυίας, καὶ μηδεμιᾶς ἐκεῖ διαστάσεως οὔσης, οὐ πάντα τὰ λοιπὰ εἰρηνεύσεται; τῶν γὰρ ἀρχόντων ἐν εἰρήνῃ ὄντων, τίς ὁ διαιρῶν καὶ διατέμνων τὴν εἰρήνην; ὥσπερ αὖ τούτων κακῶς διακειμένων, οὐδὲν ὑγιὲς ἔσται κατὰ τὴν οἰκίαν. Οὐδὲν οὖν τούτου μεῖζον: καὶ χρημάτων καὶ εὐγενείας καὶ δυναστείας καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἁπάντων τοῦτο λυσιτελέστερον. Οὐκ εἶπεν ἁπλῶς, ἐν εἰρήνῃ εἶναι, ἀλλὰ, φιλεῖν τοὺς ἄνδρας. Ὅταν γὰρ ἀγάπη ᾖ, οὐδὲν τῶν δυσκόλων παρείσδυσιν ἕξει: ἀπὸ ταύτης γὰρ καὶ τὰ λοιπὰ τίκτεται ἀγαθά. Φιλοτέκνους, φησί. Καλῶς: ἡ γὰρ τὴν ῥίζαν ἀγαπῶσα, πολλῷ μᾶλλον καὶ τοὺς καρπούς. Σώφρονας, ἁγνὰς, οἰκουροὺς, ἀγαθάς. Πάντα ἀπ' ἐκείνης τίκτεται: καὶ γὰρ ἀγαθαὶ καὶ οἰκουροὶ ἀπὸ τῆς ἀγάπης καὶ τῆς περὶ τὸν ἄνδρα φιλίας γίνονται. Ὑποτασσομένας τοῖς ἰδίοις ἀνδράσιν, ἵνα μὴ ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ βλασφημῆται: ὡς ἥ γε τοῦ ἀνδρὸς καταφρονοῦσα καὶ τῆς οἰκίας ἀμελεῖ. Ἀπὸ δὲ τοῦ φιλεῖν καὶ σωφροσύνη πολλὴ τίκτεται, ἀπὸ τοῦ φιλεῖν πᾶσα ἀναιρεῖται φιλονεικία: κἂν Ἕλλην ᾖ, ταχέως πει[σ]θήσεται: κἂν Χριστιανὸς, βελτίων ἔσται. Ὁρᾷς τοῦ Παύλου τὴν συγκατάβασιν; Ὁ πάντα πράττων ὥστε ἡμᾶς ἀποστῆσαι τῶν βιωτικῶν, περὶ τῶν κατὰ τὴν οἰκίαν νῦν πολλὴν ποιεῖται τὴν φροντίδα. Τούτων γὰρ καλῶς διοικουμένων, καὶ τὰ πνευματικὰ χώραν ἔξει: ἑτέρως δὲ, κἀκεῖνα λυμαίνεται. Ἡ γὰρ οἰκουρὸς γυνὴ καὶ σώφρων ἔσται, ἡ οἰκουρὸς καὶ οἰκονομική: οὔτε περὶ τρυφὴν, οὔτε περὶ ἐξόδους ἀκαίρους, οὔτε περὶ ἄλλο τι τῶν τοιούτων ἀσχοληθήσεται. Ἵνα μὴ ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ, φησὶ, βλασφημῆται. Ὁρᾷς ὅτι προηγουμένως τοῦ κηρύγματος φροντίζει, οὐχὶ τῶν κοσμικῶν πραγμάτων; Καὶ γὰρ πρὸς Τιμόθεον γράφων φησίν: Ἵνα ἤρεμον καὶ ἡσύχιον βίον διάγωμεν ἐν πάσῃ εὐσεβείᾳ καὶ σεμνότητι: καὶ ἐνταῦθα, Ἵνα μὴ ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ ἡ διδασκαλία βλασφημῆται. Εἰ γὰρ συμβαίη γυναῖκα πιστὴν ἀπίστῳ συνοικοῦσαν μὴ εἶναι ἐνάρετον, ἡ βλασφημία ἐπὶ τὸν Θεὸν διαβαίνειν εἴωθεν: εἰ δὲ εἴη κοσμία, τὸ κήρυγμα καρποῦται τὴν δόξαν τὴν ἐξ ἐκείνης καὶ τῶν ὑπ' ἐκείνης κατορθουμένων. Ἀκουέτωσαν αἱ γυναῖκες, ὅσαι μοχθηροῖς ἢ ἀπίστοις συνοικοῦσιν ἀνδράσιν: ἀκουέτωσαν, καὶ παιδευέσθωσαν διὰ τῶν οἰκείων τρόπων ἐνάγειν αὐτοὺς εἰς εὐσέβειαν. Κἂν γὰρ μηδὲν ἕτερον κερδάνῃς, μηδὲ ἐφελκύσῃ τὸν ἄνδρα πρὸς τὴν τῶν ὀρθῶν δογμάτων κοινωνίαν, ἀλλὰ τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ ἀπέῤῥαψας, οὐκ ἐῶσα βλασφημεῖσθαι τὸν Χριστιανισμόν. Τοῦτο δὲ οὐ μικρὸν, ἀλλὰ καὶ σφόδρα μέγα, τὸ θαυμάζεσθαι τὸ δόγμα ἐκ τῆς ἡμετέρας ἀναστροφῆς. Τοὺς νεωτέρους ὡσαύτως παρακάλει σωφρονεῖν. Ὅρα πῶς πανταχοῦ παρακαλεῖ τὸ πρέπον φυλάττειν. Τῆς μὲν γὰρ εἰς τὰς γυναῖκας διδασκαλίας ταῖς γυναιξὶ τὸ πλέον ἀπένειμε, τὰς γεγηρακυίας ταῖς νεωτέραις ἐπιστήσας: τῶν δὲ ἀνδρῶν τὸ πᾶν αὐτῷ δίδωσι καὶ ἀπονέμει. Οὐδὲν γὰρ, οὐδὲν οὕτω δύσκολον καὶ χαλεπὸν τῇ ἡλικίᾳ ταύτῃ γένοιτ' ἂν, ὡς τὸ περιγενέσθαι τῶν ἡδονῶν τῶν ἀτόπων. Οὔτε γὰρ χρημάτων ἔρως, οὔτε δόξης ἐπιθυμία, οὔτε ἄλλο οὐδὲν οὕτω ταύτην διενοχλεῖ τὴν ἡλικίαν, ὡς ὁ τῶν σωμάτων ἔρως. Διὸ πάντα τὰ ἄλλα ἀφεὶς, περὶ τὸ καίριον αὐτῷ τὴν παραίνεσιν ἵστησιν. Εἶτα οὐδὲ τῶν ἄλλων ἕνεκεν ῥᾳθυμεῖ, ἀλλὰ τί φησι; Περὶ πάντα ἑαυτὸν παρεχόμενος τύπον καλῶν ἔργων. Διδασκέτωσαν μὲν οὖν, φησὶ, καὶ αἱ πρεσβύτεραι τὰς νεωτέρας, καὶ σὺ δὲ αὐτὸς παρακάλει τοὺς νεωτέρους σωφρονεῖν. Ἔστω δὲ κοινὸν πᾶσι διδασκαλεῖον καὶ ὑπόδειγμα ἀρετῆς ἡ τοῦ σοῦ βίου λαμπρότης, εἰς μέσον πᾶσι προκειμένη, ὥσπερ ἀρχέτυπός τις εἰκὼν, πάντα ἔχουσα ἐν ἑαυτῇ τὰ καλὰ, μετὰ πολλῆς τῆς εὐκολίας τοῖς βουλομένοις ἐναπομάξασθαί τι τῶν ἐν αὐτῇ καλῶν παρεχομένη τὰ παραδείγματα. Ἐν τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ ἀδιαφθορίαν, σεμνότητα, λόγον ὑγιῆ, ἀκατάγνωστον, ἵνα ὁ ἐξ ἐναντίας ἐντραπῇ, μηδὲν ἔχων περὶ ἡμῶν λέγειν φαῦλον. γʹ. Τὸν ἐξ ἐναντίας φησὶ καὶ τὸν διάβολον καὶ πάντα τὸν ἐκείνῳ διακονούμενον. Ὅταν γὰρ καὶ βίος λάμπῃ, καὶ λόγος ᾖ συμβαίνων, ἐπιεικὴς, ἥμερος, προσηνὴς, μηδεμίαν τοῖς ἐναντίοις παρέχων λαβὴν, πολὺ καὶ ἄφατον τὸ κέρδος. Πολλὴ ἄρα τῆς τοῦ λόγου διακονίας ἡ χρεία, λόγου οὐ τοῦ τυχόντος, ἀλλὰ δοκίμου τινὸς καὶ ἀλήπτου, καὶ μηδεμίαν μηδαμόθεν παρεχομένου τοῖς βουλομένοις πρόφασιν. Δούλους ἰδίοις δεσπόταις ὑποτάσσεσθαι, ἐν πᾶσιν εὐαρέστους εἶναι. Ὁρᾷς τί προλαβὼν εἶπεν, Ἵνα ὁ ἐξ ἐναντίας, φησὶν, ἐντραπῇ, μηδὲν ἔχων περὶ ἡμῶν λέγειν φαῦλον. Ἄρα καταγνώσεως ἄξιος ὁ γυναῖκας ἀπὸ ἀνδρῶν ἀποζευγνὺς τῇ προφάσει τῆς ἐγκρατείας, καὶ ὁ δούλους δεσποτῶν ἀποστερῶν τῷ αὐτῷ δὴ τούτῳ προσχήματι. Οὗτος οὐκ ἔστιν ἀκατάγνωστος ὁ λόγος: πολλὴν δὲ καὶ τοῖς ἀπίστοις δίδωσι λαβὴν, καὶ τὰ πάντων καθ' ἡμῶν ἀνοίγει στόματα. Δούλους, φησὶν, ἰδίοις δεσπόταις ὑποτάσσεσθαι, ἐν πᾶσιν εὐαρέστους εἶναι, μὴ ἀντιλέγοντας, μὴ νοσφιζομένους, ἀλλὰ πίστιν πᾶσαν ἐνδεικνυμένους ἀγαθὴν, ἵνα τὴν διδασκαλίαν τὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν κοσμῶσιν ἐν πᾶσιν. Εἰκότως ἄρα ἔλεγεν ἑτέρωθι, Ὡς τῷ Θεῷ δουλεύοντες, καὶ οὐκ ἀνθρώποις. Κἂν γὰρ τῷ δεσπότῃ διακονῇς μετ' εὐνοίας, ἀλλ' ἡ πρόφασις ἀπὸ τοῦ φόβου τὴν ἀρχὴν ἔχει. Ὥστε ὁ μετὰ τοσούτου φόβου ἐκείνῳ διακονῶν, μεγίστων ἐπιτεύξεται τῶν μισθῶν. Εἰ γὰρ χειρὸς μὴ κρατεῖ, μηδὲ γλώττης ἀκολάστου, πόθεν θαυμάσεται ὁ Ἕλλην τὸ δόγμα τὸ παρ' ἡμῖν; Εἰ δὲ τὸν δοῦλον θεάσοιντο τὸν ἐν Χριστῷ φιλοσοφοῦντα, τῶν παρ' αὐτοῖς φιλοσοφησάντων μείζονα τὴν ἐγκράτειαν ἐπιδεικνύμενον, καὶ μετὰ πολλῆς τῆς ἐπιεικείας καὶ τῆς εὐνοίας διακονούμενον, παντὶ τρόπῳ θαυμάσεται τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ κηρύγματος. Οὐ γὰρ ἀπὸ δόγματος δόγματα, ἀλλ' ἀπὸ πραγμάτων καὶ βίου τὰ δόγματα κρίνουσιν Ἕλληνες. Ἔστωσαν οὖν αὐτοῖς καὶ γυναῖκες καὶ δοῦλοι διδάσκαλοι διὰ τῆς οἰκείας ἀναστροφῆς. Καὶ γὰρ καὶ παρ' αὐτοῖς, καὶ πανταχοῦ τοῦτο διωμολόγηται, ὅτι τὸ τῶν δούλων γένος ἰταμόν πώς ἐστι, δυσδιατύπωτον, δυστράπελον, οὐ σφόδρα ἐπιτήδειον πρὸς τὴν τῆς ἀρετῆς διδασκαλίαν, οὐ διὰ τὴν φύσιν, μὴ γένοιτο, ἀλλὰ διὰ τὴν ἀνατροφὴν καὶ τὴν ἀμέλειαν τὴν παρὰ τῶν δεσποτῶν. Ἐπειδὴ γὰρ πανταχοῦ οὐδενὸς ἑτέρου, ἀλλὰ τῆς αὐτῶν διακονίας οἱ κρατοῦντες αὐτῶν φροντίζουσιν: εἰ δέ που καὶ τῶν τρόπων ἐπιμεληθεῖεν, καὶ τοῦτο πάλιν διὰ τὴν αὐτῶν ἀνάπαυσιν πράττουσιν, ὥστε μὴ πράγματα αὐτοῖς παρέχειν ἢ πορνεύοντας, ἢ κλέπτοντας, ἢ μεθύοντας: εἰκότως ἠμελημένοι, καὶ οὐδένα τῶν πολυπραγμονούντων ἔχοντες, εἰς αὐτὰ τῆς κακίας τὰ βάραθρα καταποντίζονται. Εἰ γὰρ, ἔνθα πατὴρ ἐφέστηκε καὶ μήτηρ καὶ παιδαγωγὸς καὶ τροφεὺς καὶ διδάσκαλος καὶ ἡλικιῶται, καὶ αὐτὴ ἡ τῆς ἐλευθερίας δόξα περικειμένη, καὶ πολλὰ ἕτερα, μόλις ἄν τις διαφύγοι τὰς τῶν πονηρῶν συνουσίας: τί οἴει τοὺς πάντων τούτων ἐρήμους ὄντας, καὶ μιαροῖς ἀναμιγνυμένους, καὶ μετὰ ἀδείας οἷς ἂν ἐθέλωσι συγγινομένους, οὐδενὸς ὄντος τοῦ τὰς φιλίας αὐτῶν πολυπραγμονοῦντος; τί οἴει τοὺς τοιούτους ἔσεσθαι; Διὰ τοῦτο δύσκολον δοῦλον γενέσθαι ἀγαθόν. Ἄλλως δὲ οὐδὲ διδασκαλίας ἀπολαύουσιν, οὔτε τῶν ἔξωθεν οὔτε τῶν παρ' ἡμῖν: οὐ συναναστρέφονται ἀνδράσιν ἐλευθέροις, κοσμίοις, πολλὴν τῆς αὐτῶν δόξης ποιουμένοις φροντίδα. Διὰ ταῦτα πάντα δύσκολον καὶ θαυμαστὸν, χρήσιμον οἰκέτην γενέσθαι ποτέ. Ὅταν οὖν ἴδωσιν, ὅτι τὸ γένος τὸ οὕτως αὔθαδες ἡ τοῦ κηρύγματος δύναμις χαλινὸν περιθεῖσα πάντων εἰργάσατο κοσμιώτερον καὶ ἐπιεικέστερον, κἂν σφόδρα πάντων ὦσιν ἀλογώτεροι οἱ δεσπόται, λήψονται ἔννοιαν μεγάλην περὶ τῶν δογμάτων τῶν παρ' ἡμῖν. Δῆλον γὰρ ὅτι καὶ τὸν περὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως φόβον καὶ τὸν τῆς κρίσεως καὶ τὸν τῶν ἄλλων ἁπάντων μετὰ τὸν θάνατον φιλοσοφουμένων παρ' ἡμῖν πρότερον ἐγκαταθέντες αὐτῶν τῇ ψυχῇ, οὕτως ἴσχυσαν ἀποκρούσασθαι τὴν κακίαν, ἀντίῤῥοπόν τινα φόβον τῆς ἀπὸ τῶν κακῶν ἡδονῆς εἰς τὴν ἑαυτῶν ἐνιδρύσαντες ψυχήν. Ὥστε οὐκ εἰκῆ οὐδὲ ἁπλῶς πολὺν ὑπὲρ τούτων πανταχοῦ ποιεῖται τὸν λόγον: ὅσῳ γὰρ ἂν ὦσι κακοὶ, τοσούτῳ μάλιστα θαυμάζεται τοῦ κηρύγματος ἡ ἰσχύς. Καὶ γὰρ ἰατρὸν τότε θαυμάζομεν, ὅταν τὸν ἀπεγνωσμένον καὶ οὐδεμιᾶς βοηθείας ἀπολαύοντα οὐδὲ κρατῆσαι τῶν ἀκαίρων ἐπιθυμιῶν δυνάμενον, ἀλλ' ἐν ταύταις ἐγκαλινδούμενον, ἐναγάγῃ πρὸς ὑγείαν καὶ διορθώσηται. Καὶ ὅρα τίνα παρ' αὐτῶν ἀπαιτεῖ: ἃ μάλιστα πάντων ἀναπαύει τὸν δεσπότην: Μὴ ἀντιλέγοντας, μὴ νοσφιζομένους: τουτέστι, πολλὴν εὔνοιαν ἐπιδείκνυσθαι ἐν οἷς ἂν πιστευθῶσιν, ἐν τοῖς πρὸς τοὺς δεσπότας μάλιστα εἶναι ἀγαθοὺς, ὑπείκοντας ἐν τοῖς ἐπιτάγμασι. δʹ. Μὴ τοίνυν νομίζετε ἁπλῶς με ταῦτα νῦν διεξιέναι: λοιπὸν γάρ μοι πρὸς τοὺς οἰκέτας ὁ λόγος. Μὴ τοίνυν, ὦ βέλτιστε, σὺ πρὸς τοῦτο ἴδῃς, ὅτι ἀνθρώπῳ δουλεύεις, ἀλλ' ὅτι Θεῷ, ὅτι τὸ κήρυγμα κοσμεῖς: καὶ πάντα ὑποστήσῃ ποιεῖν, τῷ δεσπότῃ πειθόμενος καὶ φέρων ἀγανακτοῦντα ἀκαίρως καὶ δυσχεραίνοντα. Ἐννόησον ὅτι οὐκ ἐκείνῳ τὴν χάριν δίδως, ἀλλὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ πρόσταγμα πληροῖς, καὶ πᾶν ὁτιοῦν ὑποστήσῃ ῥᾳδίως. Ὅπερ δὲ ἀεὶ λέγω, τοῦτο καὶ νῦν ἐρῶ, ὅτι τῶν πνευματικῶν ἡμῖν κατορθουμένων, καὶ τὰ τοῦ παρόντος ἕψεται βίου. Τὸν γὰρ τοιοῦτον οἰκέτην, τὸν οὕτως εὔνουν, τὸν οὕτως ἐπιεικῆ, οὐχ ὁ Θεὸς ἀποδέξεται μόνον καὶ τῶν στεφάνων μεταδώσει τῶν λαμπρῶν ἐκείνων, ἀλλὰ καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ παθὼν εὖ δεσπότης, κἂν θηρίον ᾖ, κἂν λίθινός τις ᾖ καὶ ἀπάνθρωπος καὶ ὠμὸς, ἐπαινέσεται καὶ θαυμάσεται καὶ προτιμήσει τῶν ἄλλων ἁπάντων, καὶ τοῖς λοιποῖς αὐτὸν ἐπιστήσει, κἂν Ἕλλην ᾖ. Καὶ ὅτι, κἂν Ἕλληνες ὦσιν οἱ δεσπόται, κελεύει τὸν οἰκέτην τοιοῦτον ἑαυτὸν ἐπιδείκνυσθαι, εἰ βούλεσθε, ὑμῖν καὶ παράδειγμα διηγήσομαι: Ὁ Ἰωσὴφ ἐπράθη πρὸς τὸν ἀρχιμάγειρον, καὶ δόξης ἑτέρας ἦν, οὐ τῆς Αἰγυπτιακῆς: τί οὖν ἐκεῖνος; Ἐπειδὴ ἐνάρετον εἶδε τὸν νεανίσκον, οὐκ ἐνενόησε τὸ τῆς δόξης διεστηκὸς, ἀλλ' αὐτός τε ἠγάπα καὶ ἐφίλει καὶ ἐθαύμαζε, καὶ τῶν ἄλλων αὐτῷ τὴν ἐπιστασίαν ἐνεχείρισεν ἅπασαν, καὶ τῶν κατὰ τὴν οἰκίαν οὐδὲν ᾔδει δι' αὐτόν: ἀλλὰ δεύτερος δεσπότης ἐκεῖνος ἦν, μᾶλλον δὲ καὶ αὐτοῦ τοῦ δεσπότου κυριώτερος, εἴ γε ὁ μὲν ἠγνόει τὰ αὑτοῦ, οὗτος δὲ τὰ ἐκείνου ᾔδει μᾶλλον τοῦ δεσπότου. Καί μοι δοκεῖ καὶ ὕστερον, ὅτι ἐπίστευσε τῷ γυναίῳ τὴν παράνομον ἐκείνην συκοφαντίαν κατ' αὐτοῦ ποιησαμένῳ, τιμῶν τὸν δίκαιον ἀπὸ τῆς προτέρας αἰδοῦς καὶ τῆς τιμῆς, μέχρι τοῦ δεσμωτηρίου στῆσαι τὴν ὀργήν. Εἰ γὰρ μὴ σφόδρα ᾐδεῖτο τὸν ἄνδρα, καὶ ἐθαύμαζεν ἀπὸ τῶν προϋπηργμένων αὐτῷ, κἂν εὐθέως αὐτὸν διεχειρίσατο, καὶ τὸ ξίφος διήλασε διὰ τοῦ σώματος ἐκείνου. Μεστὸς γὰρ ζήλου, φησὶ, θυμὸς ἀνδρός: οὐκ ἀνταλλάξεται οὐδενὸς λύτρου τὴν ἔχθραν, οὐδὲ μὴ διαλυθῇ πολλῶν δώρων. Εἰ δὲ παντὸς ἀνδρὸς τοιοῦτος ὁ ζῆλος, πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἐκείνου, Αἰγυπτίου τε ὄντος καὶ βαρβάρου, καὶ παρὰ τοῦ τιμηθέντος ἠδικημένου, ὡς ᾤετο. Ἴστε γὰρ δήπου πάντες, ὅτι οὐχ ὁμοίως ἡμᾶς δάκνει τὰ παρὰ πάντων ἀδικήματα, ἀλλὰ σφοδρότερον τῶν ἄλλων καὶ πικρότερον τὰ παρὰ τῶν εὐνοϊκῶς πρὸς ἡμᾶς διατεθέντων, καὶ πιστευθέντων καὶ πιστευσάντων ἡμῖν, καὶ πολλὰ παρ' ἡμῶν εὖ παθόντων γενόμενα κακὰ μᾶλλον ἡμᾶς ἀνιᾷ καὶ λυπεῖ. Οὐκ ἐνενόησε πρὸς ἑαυτὸν, οὐδὲ εἶπε: Τί τοῦτο; οἰκέτην αὐτὸν λαβὼν πάντων μετέδωκα τῶν τῆς οἰκίας, ἐλεύθερον ἐποίησα καὶ ἐμοῦ τι μείζονα, καὶ τοιαύτας μοι τὰς ἀμοιβὰς ἀποδέδωκεν; Οὐδὲν τούτων εἶπεν: οὕτως αὐτοῦ τὴν ψυχὴν ἡ προτέρα κατεῖχεν αἰδώς. Καὶ τί θαυμαστὸν, εἰ ἐν οἰκίᾳ τοσαύτης ἀπήλαυσε τιμῆς, ὅπου καὶ ἐν τῷ δεσμωτηρίῳ ὅρα αὐτὸν, ὅσης ἀπολαύει κηδεμονίας; Ἴστε δὲ πῶς πρὸς ὠμότητα τοῖς τὰ δεσμωτήρια ἐγκεχειρισμένοις τὸ ἦθος ἐξήσκηται: τὰς ἀλλοτρίας καρποῦνται συμφορὰς, καὶ οὓς ἕτεροι κακῶς πάσχοντας τρέφουσι, τούτους οὗτοι σπαράττουσι, κέρδη κερδαίνοντες πολλῶν δακρύων ἄξια, θηρίων ὄντες ὠμότεροι. Ἀφ' ὧν γὰρ ἐχρῆν ἐλεεῖν τοὺς ἐμβεβλημένους, ἀπὸ τούτων αὐτοὶ καρποῦνται. Καὶ μὴ τοῦτο μόνον λογιζώμεθα, ἀλλ' ὅτι καὶ αὐτοὶ οὗτοι οὐχ ὁμοίως πᾶσι κέχρηνται τοῖς ἐμβεβλημένοις. Τοὺς μὲν γὰρ ἐπὶ συκοφαντίαις, καὶ ἐπηρεασθέντας ἁπλῶς καὶ δεθέντας καὶ ἐλεήσαιεν ἄν: τοὺς δὲ ἐπὶ τοῖς αἰσχίστοις καὶ δεινοτάτοις καὶ τολμηροῖς ἐμβεβλημένους μυρίαις αἰκίζονται πληγαῖς. Ὥστε οὐ μόνον ἀπὸ τοῦ τρόπου ὠμὸς ἔμελλεν ἔσεσθαι ὁ δεσμοφύλαξ, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς αἰτίας, δι' ἢν ἐνεβέβλητο. Τίνα γὰρ οὐκ ἂν διήγειρε καθ' ἑαυτοῦ ὁ νεανίσκος, τοσαύτης μὲν ἀπολαύσας τιμῆς, ὑποπτευθεὶς δὲ τὴν δέσποιναν πειρᾷν καὶ τοιαύταις τὸν εὐεργέτην ἀμειβόμενος ἀμοιβαῖς; Ταῦτα οὖν ἐννοῶν ὁ δεσμοφύλαξ, καὶ τὴν τιμὴν τοῦ ἐμβεβλημένου, καὶ τὸ πρᾶγμα ἐφ' ᾧ ἐνεβέβλητο, οὐκ ἂν παντὸς θηρίου χαλεπώτερον ἐχρήσατο τῷ ἀνδρί; Ἀλλὰ πάντων τούτων ἀνωτέρα γέγονεν ἡ ἐλπὶς ἡ εἰς τὸν Θεόν: οὕτως οἶδε καὶ θηρία καταπραΰνειν ψυχῆς ἀρετή. Ἀπὸ γὰρ τῆς αὐτῆς ἐπιεικείας, ἀφ' ἧς τὸν δεσπότην εἷλεν, ἀπὸ τῆς αὐτῆς καὶ τὸν ἀρχιδεσμοφύλακα: καὶ πάλιν ἦν ἄρχων ὁ Ἰωσὴφ, καὶ ἐν δεσμωτηρίῳ ἐκράτει, καὶ ἐν οἰκίᾳ. Ἐπειδὴ γὰρ ἔμελλε βασιλεύειν, εἰκότως πρότερον ἐμάνθανεν ἄρχεσθαι, καὶ ἀρχόμενος ἄρχων ἦν καὶ προέστη τῆς οἰκίας. εʹ. Εἰ γὰρ τὸν εἰς Ἐκκλησίαν ἑλκόμενον ἀπαιτεῖ τοῦτο ὁ Παῦλος, οὕτω λέγων: Εἰ γάρ τις τοῦ ἰδίου οἴκου προστῆναι οὐκ οἶδε, πῶς Ἐκκλησίας Θεοῦ ἐπιμελήσεται; καὶ τὸν εἰς ἀρχὴν ἐλθόντα, πρότερον ἄριστον εἶναι χρὴ προεστάναι οἰκίας. Προέστη δεσμωτηρίου, οὐχ ὡς δεσμωτηρίου, ἀλλ' ὡς οἰκίας. Πᾶσι γὰρ ἐπεκούφιζε τὰς συμφορὰς, καὶ τῶν ἐμβεβλημένων ὡς οἰκείων προΐστατο μελῶν, οὐ μόνον αὐτῶν τὰς συμφορὰς πολυπραγμονῶν καὶ παραμυθούμενος, ἀλλὰ κἂν εἰ σύννουν εἶδέ τινα, προσῄει καὶ τὴν αἰτίαν ἐμάνθανεν, οὐδὲ ἁπλῶς κατηφοῦντα ἀνεχόμενος ὁρᾷν, ἂν μὴ πρότερον αὐτὸν ἀπαλλάξῃ τῆς κατηφείας: καίτοι τοσαύτην τις οὐδὲ περὶ τέκνα στοργὴν ἐπεδείξατο. Ἀπὸ τούτων γοῦν αὐτῷ καὶ ἡ ἀρχὴ τῶν ἀγαθῶν ἐγένετο. Δεῖ γὰρ τὰ παρ' ἡμῶν ὑπάρχειν πρότερον, καὶ τότε τὰ παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ. Ὅτι γὰρ τοσαύτῃ ἐκέχρητο φειδοῖ καὶ ἐπιμελείᾳ, εἶδε, φησὶ τοὺς εὐνούχους τοὺς ἐμβληθέντας ὑπὸ τοῦ Φαραὼ, τὸν ἀρχιοινοχόον, καὶ τὸν ἀρχισιτοποιὸν, καὶ εἶπε: Τί σκυθρωπὰ τὰ πρόσωπα ὑμῶν σήμερον; Καὶ οὐκ ἀπὸ τούτου μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀφ' ὧν ἐκεῖνοι ἐποίησαν, καταμαθεῖν ἔστι τὴν ἀρετὴν τοῦ ἀνδρός. Οὐ γὰρ ὡς βασιλέως ὄντες οἰκέται διέπτυσαν αὐτὸν, οὐχ ὡς ἐν ἀθυμίᾳ ὄντες διεκρούσαντο, ἀλλ' ὡς ἀδελφῷ γνησίῳ καὶ συναλγεῖν εἰδότι πάντα αὐτῷ ἐξεκάλυπτον τὰ ἑαυτῶν. Ταῦτα δέ μοι πάντα εἴρηται, ὅτι κἂν ἐν δουλείᾳ, κἂν ἐν αἰχμαλωσίᾳ, κἂν ἐν δεσμωτηρίῳ, κἂν ὑπ' αὐτὴν τὴν γῆν γένηται ὁ ἐνάρετος, οὐδὲν αὐτὸν καταγωνίσασθαι δυνήσεται. Ταῦτά μοι πρὸς τοὺς οἰκέτας λέλεκται, ὅτι κἂν θηρία ἔχωσι δεσπότας, ὡς τὸν Αἰγύπτιον, κἂν ὠμοὺς, ὡς τὸν ἀρχιδεσμοφύλακα, δυνήσονται αὐτοὺς ἑλεῖν, κἂν Ἕλληνες ὦσιν, ὡς ἐκεῖνοι, κἂν ὁτιοῦν, ταχέως τιθασσεύσουσιν. Οὐδὲν γὰρ ἐμμελέστερον τρόπων, οὐδὲν ἡδύτερον, οὐδὲν γλυκύτερον ἐπιεικείας καὶ πραότητος καὶ ὑπακοῆς: πᾶσίν ἐστιν ἐπιτήδειος ὁ τοιοῦτος. Καὶ οὔτε δουλείαν ἐπαισχύνονται οἱ τοιοῦτοι, οὔτε πένητα φεύγουσιν, οὔτε ἄῤῥωστον καὶ κάμνοντα: πάντων γὰρ κρατεῖ καὶ πάντων ἡ ἀρετὴ περιγίνεται. Εἰ δὲ ἐν δούλοις τοσαύτην ἔχει τὸ πρᾶγμα τὴν ἰσχὺν, πόσῳ μᾶλλον ἐν ἐλεύθεροις; Ταῦτα οὖν ἀσκῶμεν καὶ δοῦλοι καὶ ἐλεύθεροι, καὶ γυναῖκες καὶ ἄνδρες: οὕτω καὶ ἀνθρώποις καὶ Θεῷ ἐσόμεθα ποθεινοὶ, καὶ ἀνθρώποις οὐ τοῖς ἐναρέτοις μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῖς κακοῖς, καὶ μάλιστα ἐκείνοις: ἐκεῖνοι γάρ εἰσιν οἱ μάλιστα τιμῶντες καὶ αἰδούμενοι. Ὥσπερ γὰρ τοὺς ἐπιεικεῖς οἱ ἀρχόμενοι μάλιστα τρέμουσιν, οὕτω καὶ τοὺς ἐναρέτους οἱ ἀκόλαστοι, εἰδότες τίνων ἐκπεπτώκασιν. Ἐπεὶ οὖν τοσοῦτος ὁ καρπὸς τῆς ἀρετῆς, ταύτην διώκωμεν, ταύτην μετίωμεν. Ἂν ταύτης ἐχώμεθα, οὐδὲν ἡμῖν ἔσται δεινὸν, πάντα ῥᾴδια, πάντα εὔκολα: κἂν διὰ πυρὸς διαβαίνωμεν, κἂν δι' ὕδατος, πάντα εἴκει τῇ ἀρετῇ καὶ παραχωρεῖ, καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ θάνατος. Ζηλώσωμεν τοίνυν αὐτὴν, ἵνα καὶ τῶν μελλόντων ἐπιτύχωμεν ἀγαθῶν, ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ Κυρίῳ ἡμῶν.