Homilies Of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop Of Constantinople, On The Epistle Of St. Paul The Apostle To The Colossians.
Colossians i. 1, 2
“Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colossæ: Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father.”
Holy indeed are all the Epistles of Paul: but some advantage have those which he sent after he was in bonds: those, for instance, to the Ephesians and Philemon: that to Timothy, that to the Philippians, and the one before us: for this also was sent when he was a prisoner, since he writes in it thus: “for which I am also in bonds: that I may make it manifest as I ought to speak.” (Col. iv. 3, 4.) But this Epistle appears to have been written after that to the Romans. For the one to the Romans he wrote before he had seen them, but this Epistle, after; and near upon the close of his preaching.1 Ed. Par. suspects that a sentence is lost here, but without reason, as he had just mentioned the Epistle to Philemon as written in imprisonment, and consequently later than that to the Romans. And it is evident from hence; that in the Epistle to Philemon he says, “Being such an one as Paul the aged” (ver. 9.), and makes request for Onesimus; but in this he sends Onesimus himself, as he says, “With Onesimus the faithful and beloved brother” (Col. iv. 9.): calling him faithful, and beloved, and brother. Wherefore also he boldly says in this Epistle, “from the hope of the Gospel which ye heard, which was preached in all creation under heaven.” (Col. i. 23.) For it had now been preached for a long time. I think then that the Epistle to Timothy was written after this; and when he was now come to the very end of his life, for there he says, “for I am already being offered” (2 Tim. iv. 6.); this is later2 πρεσβυτέρα. Lit. “older.” The argument allows no other sense. It may mean “written at a greater age,” or “of higher honor” (because written after longer imprisonment). however than that to the Philippians, for in that Epistle he was just entering upon his imprisonment at Rome.
But why do I say that these Epistles have some advantage over the rest in this respect, because he writes while in bonds? As if a champion were to write in the midst of carnage and victory;3 Lit. “while raising trophies.” so also in truth did he. For himself too was aware that this was a great thing, for writing to Philemon he saith, “Whom I have begotten in my bonds.” (Ver. 10.) And this he said, that we should not be dispirited when in adversity, but even rejoice. At this place was Philemon with these (Colossians). For in the Epistle to him he saith, “And to Archippus our fellow-soldier” (Ver. 2.); and in this, “Say to Archippus.” (Col. iv. 17.) This man seems to me to have been charged with some office in the Church.
But he had not seen either these people, or the Romans, or the Hebrews, when he wrote to them. That this is true of the others, he shows in many places; with regard to the Colossians, hear him saying, “And as many as have not seen my face in the flesh” (Col. ii. 1, 5.): and again, “Though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit.” So great a thing did he know his presence everywhere to be. And always, even though he be absent, he makes himself present. So, when he punishes the fornicator, look how he places himself on the tribunal; “for,” he saith, “I verily being absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already as though I were present” (1 Cor. v. 3.): and again, “I will come to you, and will know not the word of them which are puffed up, but the power” (1 Cor. iv. 19.): and again, “Not only when I am present with you, but much more when I am absent.” (Philip. ii. 12; Gal. iv. 18.)
“Paul an Apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God.”
It were well also to say, what from considering this Epistle we have found to be its occasion and subject. What then is it? They used to approach4 Προσήγοντο, v. Hom. ii. § i. God through angels; they held many Jewish and Grecian observances. These things then he is correcting. Wherefore in the very outset he says, “Through the will of God.” So here again he hath used the expression “through.”5 τὸ διὰ, here used with the genitive. He mentions it as applied to the will of the Father, and consequently not, as some supposed, proving an inferiority in the Son. “And Timothy the brother,” he saith; of course then he too was an Apostle,6 [Even in the New Test. the term “apostle” is sometimes applied to others than the twelve and Paul: as in Acts xiv. 14, probably in Gal. i. 19, and as implied in the phrase “false apostle.” Compare Lightfoot on Gal., ed. 2, pp. 95 ff.—J.A.B.] and probably also known to them. “To the saints which are at Colossæ.” This was a city of Phrygia, as is plain from Laodicea’s being near to it. “And faithful brethren in Christ.” (Col. iv. 16.) Whence, saith he, art thou made a saint? Tell me. Whence art thou called faithful? Is it not because thou wert sanctified through death? Is it not because thou hast faith in Christ? Whence art thou made a brother? for neither in deed, nor in word, nor in achievement didst thou show thyself faithful. Tell me, whence is it that thou hast been entrusted with so great mysteries? Is it not because of Christ?
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father.” Whence cometh grace to you? Whence peace? “From God,” saith he, “our Father.” Although he useth not in this place the name of Christ.
I will ask those who speak disparagingly of the Spirit, Whence is God the Father of servants? Who wrought these mighty achievements? Who made thee a saint? Who faithful? Who a son of God? He who made thee worthy to be trusted, the same is also the cause of thy being entrusted with all.
For we are called faithful, not only because we have faith, but also because we are entrusted of God with mysteries which not even angels knew before us. However, to Paul it was indifferent whether or not to put it thus.
Ver. 3. “We give thanks to God,7 Rec. text inserts “and” (καὶ for τῷ), but with the same sense. the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
He seems to me to refer everything to the Father, that what he has to say may not at once offend them.8 [The reading προσστῆναι (Field, after one mss.) accounts for the others, προστῆναι and προτιθέναι, the latter followed here by the Oxford ed.; but see its Addenda.—J.A.B.]
“Praying always for you.”
He shows his love, not by giving thanks only, but also by continual prayer, in that those whom he did not see, he had continually within himself.
Ver. 4. [“Having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus.”
A little above he said, “our Lord.” “He,” saith he, “is Lord, not the servants.” “Of Jesus Christ.” These names also are symbols of His benefit to us, for “He,” it means, “shall save His people from their sins.”9 Savile includes this paragraph in brackets, and so Ed. Par., as it is not in some mss. and Versions, and is thought not to fit in well; but they have missed the sense. (Matt. i. 21.)]
Ver. 4. “Having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have toward all the saints.”
Already he conciliates them. It was Epaphroditus10 Called Epaphras in the text, c. i. 7, and c. iv. 12. [A familiar contraction of such names.—J.A.B.] who brought him this account. But he sends the Epistle by Tychicus, retaining Epaphroditus with himself. “And of the love,” he saith, “which ye have toward all the saints,” not toward this one and that: of course then toward us also.
Ver. 5. “Because of the hope which is laid up for you in the heavens.”
He speaks of the good things to come. This is with a view to their temptations, that they should not seek their rest here. For lest any should say, “And where is the good of their love toward the saints, if they themselves are in affliction?” he says, “We rejoice that ye are securing for yourselves a noble reception in heaven.” “Because of the hope,” he saith, “which is laid up.” He shows its secureness. “Whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth.” Here the expression is as if he would chide them, as having changed from it when they had long held it.
“Whereof,” saith he, “ye heard before in the word of the truth of the Gospel.” And he bears witness to its truth. With good reason, for in it there is nothing false.
“Of the Gospel.” He doth not say, “of the preaching,” but he calleth it the “Gospel,” continually reminding them of God’s benefits.11 The passage just above in brackets may have been for the sake of this. And having first praised them, he next reminds them of these.
Ver. 6. “Which is come unto you, even as it is also in all the world.”
He now gives them credit. “Is come,” he said metaphorically. He means, it did not come and go away, but that it remained, and was there. Then because to the many the strongest confirmation of doctrines is that they hold them in common with many, he therefore added, “As also it is in all the world.”
It is present everywhere, everywhere victorious, everywhere established.
“And is bearing fruit, and increasing,12 Rec. text omits “and increasing” (καὶ αὐξανόμενον), but it is in some of the oldest mss. as it doth in you also.”
“Bearing fruit.” In works. “Increasing.” By the accession of many, by becoming firmer; for plants then begin to thicken when they have become firm.
“As also among you,” says he.
He first gains the hearer by his praises, so that even though disinclined, he may not refuse to hear him.
“Since the day ye heard it.”
Marvelous! that ye quickly came unto it and believed; and straightway, from the very first, showed forth its fruits.
“Since the day ye heard, and knew the grace of God in truth.”
Not in word, saith he, nor in deceit, but in very deeds. Either then this is what he means by “bearing fruit,” or else, the signs and wonders. Because as soon as ye received it, so soon ye knew the grace of God. What then forthwith gave proofs of its inherent virtue, is it not a hard thing that that should now be disbelieved?
Ver. 7. “Even as ye learned of Epaphras our beloved fellow-servant.”
He, it is probable, had preached there. “Ye learned” the Gospel. Then to show the trustworthiness of the man, he says, “our fellow servant.”
“Who is a faithful minister of Christ on your13 [“On our behalf” is the correct N.T. text. Chrys. here, as commonly, has what Westcott and Hort call the “Syrian” type of N.T. text.—J.A.B.] behalf; who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.”
Doubt not, he saith, of the hope which is to come: ye see that the world is being converted. And what need to allege the cases of others? what happened in your own is even independently a sufficient ground for belief, for, “ye knew the grace of God in truth:” that is, in works. So that these two things, viz. the belief of all, and your own too, confirm the things that are to come. Nor was the fact one thing, and what Epaphras said, another. “Who is,” saith he, “faithful,” that is, true. How, “a minister on your behalf”? In that he had gone to him. “Who also declared to us,” saith he, “your love in the Spirit,” that is, the spiritual love ye bear us. If this man be the minister of Christ; how say ye, that you approach God by angels? “Who also declared unto us,” saith he, “your love in the Spirit.” For this love is wonderful and steadfast; all other has but the name. And there are some persons who are not of this kind, but such is not friendship, wherefore also it is easily dissolved.
There are many causes which produce friendship; and we will pass over those which are infamous, (for none will take an objection against us in their favor, seeing they are evil.) But let us, if you will, review those which are natural, and those which arise out of the relations of life. Now of the social sort are these, for instance; one receives a kindness, or inherits a friend from forefathers, or has been a companion at table or in travel: or is neighbor to another (and these are virtuous); or is of the same trade, which last however is not sincere; for it is attended by a certain emulation and envy. But the natural are such as that of father to son, son to father, brother to brother, grandfather to descendant, mother to children, and if you like let us add also that of wife to husband; for all matrimonial attachments are also of this life, and earthly. Now these latter appear stronger than the former: appear, I said, because often they are surpassed by them. For friends have at times shown a more genuinely kind disposition than brothers, or than sons toward fathers; and when he whom a man hath begotten would not succor him, one who knew him not has stood by him, and succored him. But the spiritual love is higher than all, as it were some queen ruling her subjects; and in her form is bright: for not as the other, hath she aught of earth for her parent; neither habitual intercourse, nor benefits, nor nature, nor time; but she descendeth from above, out of heaven. And why wonderest thou that she needeth no benefits in order that she should subsist, seeing that neither by injuries is she overthrown?
Now that this love is greater than the other, hear Paul saying; “For I could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren.” (Rom. ix. 3.) What father would have thus wished himself in misery? And again, “To depart, and to be with Christ” is “very far better; yet to abide in the flesh” is “more needful for your sake.” (Philip. i. 23, 24.) What mother would have chosen so to speak, regardless of herself? And again hear him saying, “For being bereaved of you for a short season, in presence, not in heart.” (1 Thess. ii. 17.) And here indeed [in the world], when a father hath been insulted, he withdraws his love; not so however there, but he went to those who stoned him, seeking to do them good. For nothing, nothing is so strong as the bond of the Spirit. For he who became a friend from receiving benefits, will, should these be discontinued, become an enemy; he whom habitual intercourse made inseparable, will, when the habit is broken through, let his friendship become extinct. A wife again, should a broil have taken place, will leave her husband, and withdraw affection; the son, when he sees his father living to a great age, is dissatisfied. But in case of spiritual love there is nothing of this. For by none of these things can it be dissolved; seeing it is not composed out of them. Neither time, nor length of journey, nor ill usage, nor being evil spoken of, nor anger, nor insult, nor any other thing, make inroads upon it, nor have the power of dissolving it. And that thou mayest know this Moses was stoned, and yet he made entreaty for them. (Ex. xvii. 4.) What father would have done this for one that stoned him, and would not rather have stoned him too to death?
Let us then follow after these friendships which are of the Spirit, for they are strong, and hard to be dissolved, and not those which arise from the table, for these we are forbidden to carry in Thither. For hear Christ saying in the Gospel, Call not thy friends nor thy neighbors, if thou makest a feast, but the lame, the maimed. (Luke xiv. 12.) With reason: for great is the recompense for these. But thou canst not, nor endurest to feast with lame and blind, but thinkest it grievous and offensive, and refusest. Now it were indeed best that thou shouldest not refuse, however it is not necessary to do it. If thou seatest them not with thee, send to them of the dishes on thy own table. And he that inviteth his friends, hath done no great thing: for he hath received his recompense here. But he that called the maimed, and poor, hath God for his Debtor. Let us then not repine when we receive not a reward here, but when we do receive; for we shall have nothing more to receive There. In like manner, if man recompense, God recompenseth not; if man recompense not, then God will recompense. Let us then not seek those out for our benefits, who have it in their power to requite us again, nor bestow our favors on them with such an expectation: this were a cold thought. If thou invite a friend, the gratitude lasts till evening; and therefore the friendship for the nonce is spent more quickly than the expenses are paid. But if thou call the poor and the maimed, never shall the gratitude perish, for God, who remembereth ever, and never forgetteth, thou hast even Him for thy Debtor. What squeamishness is this, pray, that thou canst not sit down in company with the poor? What sayest thou? He is unclean and filthy? Then wash him, and lead him up to thy table. But he hath filthy garments? Then change them, and give him clean apparel. Seest thou not how great the gain is? Christ cometh unto thee through him, and dost thou make petty calculations of such things? When thou art inviting the King to thy table, dost thou fear because of such things as these?
Let us suppose two tables, and let one be filled with those, and have the blind, the halt, the maimed in hand or leg, the barefoot, those clad with but one scanty garment, and that worn out: but let the other have grandees, generals, governors, great officers, arrayed in costly robes, and fine lawn, belted with golden girdles. Again, here at the table of the poor let there be neither silver, nor store of wine, but just enough to refresh and gladden, and let the drinking cups and the rest of the vessels be made from glass only; but there, at the table of the rich, let all the vessels be of silver and gold, and the semicircular table,14 [So Field, after several mss. But “the semicircular” (no substantive, see a few lines below) was an obscure word in such a connection, and the idea of one man lifting a table seemed strange. So, as the preceding and following portions treat of vessels, several other mss. substitute for this whole statement (down to “move”) the following: “and let there be a gilded bowl of half a talent weight, so that two young men can with difficulty move it,” the last clause being the same as in the other text. Montfaucon admitted both into his edition, thus making a conflate reading.—J.A.B.] Montfaucon in a note mentions William the Conqueror being represented sitting at such a table, sometimes called a sigma, from the form C. He refers to his Antiquité Expliquée, T. iii. p. 111. [That the three tables arranged as a hollow squire (triclinium) should be sometimes converted into a semicircle would be a natural piece of luxury, but not likely to become common, because really less convenient.—J.A.B.] not such as one person can lift, but as two young men can with difficulty move, and the wine-jars lie in order, glittering far beyond the silver with gold, and let the semicircle15 Here, the couch which belongs to the table. Such is the stibadium described in the accounts of Pompeii. be smoothly laid all over with soft drapery. Here, again, let there be many servants, in garments not less ornamented than those of the guests, and bravely appareled, and wearing loose trowsers, men beauteous to look upon, in the very flower of life, plump, and well conditioned; but there let there be only two servants disdaining all that proud vanity. And let those have costly meats, but these only enough to appease hunger and inspire cheerfulness. Have I said enough? and are both tables laid out with sufficient minuteness? Is anything wanting? I think not. For I have gone over the guests, and the costliness both of the vessels, and of the linen,16 στρωμάτων, carpets, cushions, coverings for the tables, &c., &c. and the meats.17 [This labored exuberance of descriptive detail is a grave fault of Chrysostom’s style, but was highly acceptable to his contemporaries.—J.A.B.] However, if we should have omitted aught, we shall discover it as we proceed with the discourse.
Come then, now that we have correctly drawn each table in its proper outline, let us see at which ye will seat yourselves. For I for my part am going to that of the blind, and the lame, but probably the more part of you will choose the other, that of the generals, that is so gay and splendid. Let us then see which of them doth more abound in pleasure; for as yet let us not examine into the things of hereafter, seeing that in those at least this of mine hath the superiority. Wherefore? Because this one hath Christ sitting down at it, the other men, this hath the Master, that the servants. But say we nothing of these things as yet; but let us see which hath the more of present pleasure. And even in this respect, then, this pleasure is greater, for it is more pleasure to sit down with a King than with his servants. But let us withdraw this consideration also; let us examine the matter simply by itself. I, then, and those who choose the table I do, shall with much freedom and ease of mind both say and hear everything: but you trembling and fearing, and ashamed before those you sit down with, will not even have the heart to reach out your hands, just as though you had got to a school, and not a dinner, just as though you were trembling before dreadful masters. But not so they. But, saith one, the honor is great. Nay, I further am in more honor; for your mean estate appears grander, when even whilst sharing the same table, the words ye utter are those of slaves.
For the servant then most of all shows as such, when he sits down with his master; for he is in a place where he ought not to be; nor hath he from such familiarity so much dignity as he hath abasement, for he is then abased exceedingly. And one may see a servant by himself make a brave appearance, and the poor man seem splendid by himself, rather than when he is walking with a rich one; for the low when near the lofty, then appears low, and the juxtaposition makes the low seem lower, not loftier. So too your sitting down with them makes you seem as of yet meaner condition. But not so, us. In these two things, then, we have the advantage, in freedom, and in honor; which have nothing equal to them in regard of pleasure. For I at least would prefer a crust with freedom, to thousands of dainties with slavery. For, saith one, “Better is an entertainment of herbs with love and kindness, than an ox from the stall with hatred.” (Prov. xv. 17.) For whatsoever those may say, they who are present must needs praise it, or give offense; assuming thus the rank of parasites, or rather, being worse than they. For parasites indeed, even though it be with shame and insult, have yet liberty of speech: but ye have not even this. But your meanness is indeed as great, (for ye fear and crouch,) but not so your honor. Surely then that table is deprived of every pleasure, but this is replete with all delight of soul.
But let us examine the nature even of the meats themselves. For there indeed it is necessary to burst one’s self with the large quantity of wine, even against one’s will, but here none who is disinclined need eat or drink. So that there indeed the pleasure arising from the quality of the food is cancelled by the dishonor which precedes, and the discomfort which follows the surfeit. For not less than hunger doth surfeiting destroy and rack our bodies; but even far more grievously; and whomsoever you like to give me, I shall more easily destroy by bursting him with surfeit than by hunger. For thus the latter is easier to be borne than the other, for one might indeed endure hunger for twenty days, but surfeiting not for as many as two only. And the country people who are perpetually struggling with the one, are healthy, and need no physicians; but the other, surfeiting I mean, none can endure without perpetually calling in physicians; yea, rather, its tyranny hath often baffled even their attempt to rescue.
So far then as pleasure is concerned, this [table of mine] hath the advantage. For if honor hath more pleasure than dishonor, if authority than subjection, and if manly confidence than trembling and fear, and if enjoyment of what is enough, than to be plunged out of depth in the tide of luxury; on the score of pleasure this table is better than the other. It is besides better in regard of expense; for the other is expensive, but this, not so.
But what? is it then to the guests alone that this table is the more pleasurable, or bringeth it more pleasure than the other to him who inviteth them, as well? for this is what we are enquiring after rather. Now he who invites those makes preparation many days before, and is forced to have trouble and anxious thoughts and cares, neither sleeping by night, nor resting by day; but forming with himself many plans, conversing with cooks, confectioners, deckers of tables. Then when the very day is come, one may see him in greater fear than those who are going to fight a boxing match, lest aught should turn out other than was expected, lest he be shot with the glance of envy, lest he thereby procure himself a multitude of accusers. But the other escapeth all this anxious thought and trouble by extemporizing his table, and not being careful about it for many days before. And then, truly, after this, the former indeed hath straightway lost the grateful return; but the other hath God for his Debtor; and is nourished with good hopes, being every day feasted from off that table. For the meats indeed are spent, but the grateful thought is never spent, but every day he rejoices and exults more than they that are gorged with their excess of wine. For nothing doth so nourish the soul as a virtuous hope, and the expectation of good things.
But now let us consider what follows. There indeed are flutes, and harps, and pipes; but here is no music of sounds unsuitable; but what? hymns, singing of psalms. There indeed the Demons are hymned; but here, the Lord of all, God. Seest thou with what gratitude this one aboundeth, with what ingratitude and insensibility that? For, tell me, when God hath nourished thee with His good things, and when thou oughtest to give Him thanks after being fed, dost thou even introduce the Demons? For these songs to the lyre, are none other than songs to Demons. When thou oughtest to say, “Blessed art Thou, O Lord, that Thou hast nourished me with Thy good things,” dost thou like a worthless dog not even so much as remember Him, but, over and above, introducest the Demons? Nay rather, dogs, whether they receive anything or not, fawn upon those they know, but thou dost not even this. The dog, although he receives nothing, fawns upon his master; but thou, even when thou hast received, barkest at Him. Again, the dog, even though he be well treated by a stranger, not even so will be reconciled of his hatred of him, nor be enticed on to be friends with him: but thou, even though suffering mischief incalculable from the Demons, introducest them at thy feasts. So that, in two ways, thou art worse than the dog. And the mention I have now made of dogs is happy, in regard of those who give thanks then only when they receive a benefit. Take shame, I pray you, at the dogs, which when famishing still fawn upon their masters. But thou, if thou hast haply heard that the Demon has cured anyone, straightway forsakest thy Master; O more unreasoning than the dogs!
But, saith one, the harlots are a pleasure to look upon. What sort of pleasure are they? yea rather what infamy are they not? Thy house has become a brothel, madness, and fury; and art thou not ashamed to call this pleasure? If then it be allowed to use them,18 [The text is confused, but the reading adopted by Field, and here given, accounts for the others.—J.A.B.] greater than all pleasure is the shame, and the discomfort which arises from the shame, to make one’s house a brothel, like hogs in wallowing in the mire? But if so far only be allowed as to see them, lo! again the pain is greater. For to see is no pleasure, where to use is not allowed, but the lust becomes only the greater, and the flame the fiercer.
But wouldest thou learn the end? Those, indeed, when they rise up from the table, are like the madmen and those that have lost their wits; foolhardy, quarrelsome, laughing-stocks for the very slaves; and the servants indeed retire sober, but these, drunk. O the shame! But with the other is nothing of this sort; but closing the table with thanksgiving, they so retire to their homes, with pleasure sleeping, with pleasure waking, free from all shame and accusation.
If thou wilt consider also the guests themselves, thou wilt see that the one are within just what the others are without; blind, maimed, lame; and as are the bodies of these, such are the souls of those, laboring under dropsy and inflammation. For of such sort is pride; for after the luxurious gratification a maiming takes place; of such sort is surfeiting and drunkenness, making men lame and maimed. And thou wilt see too that these have souls like the bodies of the others, brilliant, ornamented. For they who live in giving of thanks, who seek nothing beyond a sufficiency, they whose philosophy is of this sort are in all brightness.
But let us see the end both here and there. There, indeed, is unchaste pleasure, loose laughter, drunkenness, buffoonery, filthy language; (for since they in their own persons are ashamed to talk filthily, this is brought about by means of the harlots;) but here is love of mankind, gentleness. Near to him who invites those stands vainglory arming him, but near the other, love of man, and gentleness. For the one table, love of man prepareth, but the other, vainglory, and cruelty, out of injustice and grasping. And that one ends in what I have said, in loss of wits, in delirium, in madness; (for such are the offshoots of vainglory;) but this one in thanksgiving and the glory of God. And the praise too, which cometh of men, attendeth more abundantly upon this; for that man is even regarded with an envious eye, but this all men regard as their common father, even they who have received no benefit at his hands. And as with the injured even they who have not been injured sympathize, and all become in common enemies (to the injurer): so too, when some receive kindness, they also who have not received any, not less than they who have, praise and admire him that conferred it. And there indeed is much envy, but here much tender solicitude, many prayers from all.
And so much indeed here; but There, when Christ is come, this one indeed shall stand with much boldness, and shall hear before the whole world, “Thou sawest Me an hungered, and didst feed Me; naked, and didst clothe Me; a stranger, and didst take Me in” (Matt. xxv. 35.); and all the like words: but the other shall hear the contrary; “Wicked and slothful servant” (Matt. xxv. 26.); and again, “Woe unto them that luxuriate upon their couches, and sleep upon beds of ivory, and drink the refined wine, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments; they counted upon these things as staying, and not as fleeting.” (Amos vi. 4, 5, 6, Sept.)
I have not said this without purpose, but with the view of changing your minds; and that you should do nothing that is fruitless. What then, saith one, of the fact that I do both the one and the other? This argument is much resorted to by all. And what need, tell me, when everything might be done usefully, to make a division, and to expend part on what is not wanted, but even without any purpose at all, and part usefully? Tell me, hadst thou, when sowing, cast some upon a rock, and some upon very good ground; is it likely that thou wouldest have been contented so, and have said, Where is the harm, if we cast some to no purpose, and some upon very good ground? For why not all into the very good ground? Why lessen the gain? And if thou have occasion to be getting money together, thou wilt not talk in that way, but wilt get it together from every quarter; but in the other case thou dost not so. And if to lend on usury; thou wilt not say, “Wherefore shall we give some to the poor, and some to the rich,” but all is given to the former:19 Because their distress would make them willing to give a higher interest. This place may bear the sense here given, but it seems corrupt. The sense requires, “shall we not give?” or else, “wilt thou not say?” interrogatively, or the expulsion of διὰ τί. yet in the case before us, where the gain is so great, thou dost not thus calculate, and will not at length desist from expending without purpose, and laying out without return?
“But,” saith one, “this also hath a gain.” Of what kind, tell me? “It increaseth friendships.” Nothing is colder than men who are made friends by these things, by the table, and surfeiting. The friendships of parasites are born only from that source.
Insult not a thing so marvelous as love,20 Compare St. Clem. Al. Pædag. l. ii. c. 1. nor say that this is its root. As if one were to say, that a tree which bore gold and precious stones had not its root of the same, but that it was gendered of rottenness; so doest even thou: for even though friendship should be born from that source, nothing could possibly be colder. But those other tables produce friendship, not with man, but with God; and that an intense21 ἐπιτεταμένην. one, so thou be intent on preparing them. For he that expendeth part in this way and part in that, even should he have bestowed much, hath done no great thing: but he that expendeth all in this way, even though he should have given little, hath done the whole. For what is required is that we give, not much or little, but not less than is in our power. Think we on him with the five talents, and on him with the two. (Matt. xxv. 15.) Think we on her who cast in those two mites. (Mark xii. 41.) Think we on the widow in Elijah’s days. She who threw in those two mites said not, What harm if I keep the one mite for myself, and give the other? but gave her whole living. (1 Kings xvii.) But thou, in the midst of so great plenty, art more penurious than she. Let us then not be careless of our own salvation, but apply ourselves to almsgiving. For nothing is better than this, as the time to come shall show; meanwhile the present shows it also. Live we then to the glory of God, and do those things that please Him, that we may be counted worthy of the good things of promise; which may all we obtain, through the grace and love toward man of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory and the power and honor, now and ever, and world without end. Amen.
ΤΟΥ ΕΝ ΑΓΙΟΙΣ ΠΑΤΡΟΣ ΗΜΩΝ ΙΩΑΝΝΟΥ, ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΥ ΚΩΝΣΤΑΝΤΙΝΟΥΠΟΛΕΩΣ, ΤΟΥ ΧΡΥΣΟΣΤΟΜΟΥ ΥΠΟΜΝΗΜΑ ΕΙΣ ΤΗΝ ΠΡΟΣ ΚΟΛΟΣΣΑΕΙΣ ΕΠΙΣΤΟΛΗΝ. ΟΜΙΛΙΑ Αʹ. Παῦλος ἀπόστολος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ διὰ θε λήματος Θεοῦ, καὶ Τιμόθεος ὁ ἀδελφὸς, τοῖς ἐν Κολοσσαῖς ἁγίοις καὶ πιστοῖς ἀδελφοῖς ἐν Χριστῷ, χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ Θεοῦ Πα τρὸς ἡμῶν, καὶ Κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. αʹ. Πᾶσαι μὲν ἅγιαι αἱ ἐπιστολαὶ Παύλου, ἔχουσι δέ τι πλέον αἱ δεδεμένου αὐτοῦ πεμπόμεναι, οἵα ἐστὶν ἡ πρὸς Ἐφεσίους, οἵα ἡ πρὸς Φιλήμονα, οἵα ἡ πρὸς Τιμόθεον, οἵα ἡ πρὸς Φιλιππησίους, οἵα αὕτη ἡ παροῦσα: καὶ γὰρ καὶ αὕτη δεσμίου ὄντος ἐπέμπετο, καθὼς γράφων ἔλεγε: Διὸ καὶ δέδεμαι, ἵνα φανερώσω αὐτὸ, ὡς δεῖ με λαλῆσαι. Ἀλλ' αὕτη μὲν δοκεῖ τῆς πρὸς Ῥωμαίους ὑστέρα εἶναι. Ἐκείνην μὲν γὰρ οὐδέπω ἰδὼν Ῥωμαίους ἔγραφε, ταύτην δὲ ἤδη τεθεαμένος, καὶ πρὸς τῷ τέλει τοῦ κηρύγματος ὤν. Καὶ δῆλον ἐκεῖθεν: ἐν γὰρ τῇ ἐπιστολῇ φησι τῇ πρὸς Φιλήμονα, Τοιοῦτος ὢν, ὡς Παῦλος πρεσβύτης, καὶ ὑπὲρ Ὀνησίμου ἀξιῶν: ἐν ταύτῃ δὲ αὐτὸν πέμπει τὸν Ὀνήσιμον, καθώς φησι, Σὺν Ὀνησίμῳ τῷ πιστῷ καὶ ἀγαπητῷ ἀδελφῷ, πιστὸν καὶ ἀγαπητὸν, καὶ ἀδελφὸν αὐτὸν καλῶν. Διὸ καὶ θαῤῥούντως λέγει ἐν ταύτῃ τῇ ἐπιστολῇ: Ἀπὸ τῆς ἐλπίδος τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου, οὗ ἠκούσατε, τοῦ κηρυχθέντος ἐν πάσῃ τῇ κτίσει τῇ ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανόν: ἤδη γὰρ χρόνον εἶχε τὸ κήρυγμα. Ταύτης οὖν ὑστέραν οἶμαι τὴν πρὸς Τιμόθεον εἶναι, καὶ πρὸς αὐτῇ τῇ τελευτῇ λοιπόν: ἐκεῖ γάρ φησιν, Ἐγὼ γὰρ ἤδη σπένδομαι. Τῆς μὲν οὖν πρὸς Φιλιππησίους ἥδε πρεσβυτέρα: ἐν ἐκείνῃ γὰρ φαίνεται ἀρχὴν ἔχων τῶν δεσμῶν τῶν ἐν τῇ Ῥώμῃ. Τίνος δὲ ἕνεκεν λέγω πλέον ἔχειν ταύτας τὰς ἐπιστολάς; Κατὰ τοῦτο, ὅτι ἐν δεσμοῖς ὢν αὐτὰς γράφει: ὡς ἂν εἰ ἀριστεὺς σφαγὰς μεταξὺ καὶ τρόπαια ἱστὰς ἐπέστελλεν: οὕτω δὲ ἐποίει καὶ αὐτός. Οἶδε γὰρ καὶ αὐτὸς τοῦτο μέγα ὄν: τῷ γὰρ Φιλήμονι γράφων φησὶν, Ὃν ἐγέννησα ἐν τοῖς δεσμοῖς μου. Ταῦτα δὲ εἶπεν, ἵνα μὴ ἀσχάλλωμεν πρὸς τὰ δεινὰ, ἀλλὰ καὶ χαίρωμεν. Ἐνταῦθα ἦν παρὰ τούτοις Φιλήμων: καὶ γὰρ ἐκεῖ γράφων φησὶ, Καὶ Ἀρχίππῳ τῷ συστρατιώτῃ ἡμῶν: καὶ ἐνταῦθα, Εἴπατε Ἀρχίππῳ. Δοκεῖ μοι οὗτος ἐγκεχειρίσθαι τινὰ τῆς Ἐκκλησίας. Οὐκ εἶδε δὲ οὔτε τούτους, οὔτε Ῥωμαίους, οὔτε Ἑβραίους, ἡνίκα ἔγραφε πρὸς αὐτούς. Καὶ περὶ μὲν ἐκείνων πολλαχοῦ δηλοῖ, περὶ δὲ τούτων ἄκουε αὐτοῦ λέγοντος, Καὶ ὅσοι οὐχ ἑωράκασι τὸ πρόσωπόν μου ἐν σαρκί: καὶ πάλιν, Εἰ καὶ τῇ σαρκὶ ἄπειμι, ἀλλὰ τῷ πνεύματι σὺν ὑμῖν εἰμι. Οὕτως ᾔδει μέγα ὂν τὴν παρουσίαν αὐτοῦ πανταχοῦ, καὶ ἀεὶ ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἀπόντα ἐφίστησι: καὶ ὅταν κολάζῃ τὸν πορνεύοντα, ὅρα πῶς ἑαυτὸν ἐφίστησι τῷ δικαστηρίῳ. Ἐγὼ μὲν γὰρ, φησὶν, ὡς ἀπὼν τῷ σώματι, παρὼν δὲ τῷ πνεύματι, ἤδη κέκρικα ὡς παρών: καὶ πάλιν, Ἐλεύσομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς, καὶ γνώσομαι οὐ τὸν λόγον τῶν πεφυσιωμένων, ἀλλὰ τὴν δύναμιν: καὶ πάλιν, Μὴ μόνον ἐν τῷ παρεῖναί με πρὸς ὑμᾶς, ἀλλὰ πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἐν τῷ ἀπεῖναί με. Παῦλος ἀπόστολος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ διὰ θελήματος Θεοῦ. Ἄξιον δὲ καὶ τὴν ὑπόθεσιν εἰπεῖν, ἣν ἐκ τῆς ἐπιστολῆς εὕρομεν. Τίς οὖν ἐστιν αὕτη; Δι' ἀγγέλων προσήγοντο τῷ Θεῷ, παρατηρήσεις εἶχον πολλὰς καὶ Ἰουδαϊκὰς καὶ Ἑλληνικάς. Ταῦτ' οὖν διωρθοῦται. Διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἀρχόμενός φησι, Διὰ θελήματος Θεοῦ. Ἰδοὺ πάλιν τὸ, Διὰ, τέθεικε. Καὶ Τιμόθεος ὁ ἀδελφὸς, φησίν. Οὐκοῦν καὶ αὐτὸς ἀπόστολος. Εἰκὸς δὲ καὶ τοῦτον αὐτοῖς γνωρίζεσθαι. Τοῖς ἐν Κολοσσαῖς ἁγίοις. Ἡ πόλις τῆς Φρυγίας ἦν: καὶ δῆλον ἐκ τοῦ τὴν Λαοδίκειαν πλησίον εἶναι: Καὶ πιστοῖς ἀδελφοῖς ἐν Χριστῷ. Πόθεν, φησὶν, ἅγιος γέγονας, εἰπέ μοι; πόθεν πιστὸς καλῇ; οὐχ ὅτι διὰ τοῦ θανάτου ἡγιάσθης τοῦ Χριστοῦ; οὐχ ὅτι εἰς Χριστὸν πιστεύεις; Πόθεν ἀδελφὸς γέγονας; οὐ γὰρ ἐν ἔργῳ, οὐδὲ ἐν λόγῳ, οὐδὲ ἐν κατορθώματι πιστὸς ἐφάνης. Πόθεν τοσαῦτα ἐπιστεύθης, εἰπέ μοι, μυστήρια; οὐ διὰ Χριστόν; Χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ Θεοῦ Πατρὸς ἡμῶν. Πόθεν ἡ χάρις ὑμῖν; πόθεν ἡ εἰρήνη; Ἀπὸ Θεοῦ, φησὶ, Πατρὸς ἡμῶν. Καίτοι ἐν ταύτῃ τὸ τοῦ Χριστοῦ οὐ τίθησιν ὄνομα. Πρὸς τοὺς τὸ Πνεῦμα διαβάλλοντας ἐρῶ, πόθεν ὁ Θεὸς Πατὴρ τῶν δούλων; ταῦτα τὰ μεγάλα τίς κατώρθωσε; τίς ἅγιόν σε ἐποίησε; τίς πιστόν; τίς υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ; Ὁ ποιήσας σε ἀξιόπιστον, αὐτὸς καὶ τοῦ πιστευθῆναί σε ἅπαντα αἴτιος. βʹ. Πιστοὶ γὰρ οὐ διὰ τὸ πιστεύειν καλούμεθα μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ διὰ τὸ πιστευθῆναι παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ μυστήρια, ἅπερ οὐδὲ ἄγγελοι πρὸ ἡμῶν ᾔδεσαν. Ἀλλ' ἀδιάφορον τῷ Παύλῳ οὕτω ταῦτα τιθέναι. Εὐχαριστοῦμεν τῷ Θεῷ τῷ Πατρὶ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. Ἐμοὶ δοκεῖ πάντα ἐπὶ τὸν Πατέρα ἀνατιθέναι, ὥστε μὴ εὐθέως αὐτοῖς προστῆναι τὸν λόγον. Πάντοτε περὶ ὑμῶν προσευχόμενοι. Οὐ διὰ τῆς εὐχαριστίας μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς διηνεκοῦς εὐχῆς τὴν ἀγάπην δείκνυσιν, ὅτι καὶ οὓς οὐχ ἑώρα, τούτους εἶχε διὰ παντὸς ἐν ἑαυτῷ. Ἀκούσαντες τὴν πίστιν ὑμῶν ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ. Ἀνωτέρω, Τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν, εἰπὼν, ἐνταῦθα, Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ λέγει. Αὐτός ἐστι Κύριος, φησίν: οὐχ, οἱ δοῦλοι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. Καὶ ταῦτα σύμβολα τῆς εὐεργεσίας: Αὐτὸς γὰρ, φησὶ, σώσει τὸν λαὸν αὑτοῦ ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν αὐτῶν. Ἀκούσαντες τὴν πίστιν ὑμῶν ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην τὴν εἰς πάντας τοὺς ἁγίους. Ἤδη οἰκειοῦται αὐτούς. Ἐπαφρόδιτός ἐστιν ὁ ταῦτα ἀπαγγέλλων. Πέμπει δὲ τὴν ἐπιστολὴν διὰ Τυχικοῦ, ἐκεῖνον παρ' ἑαυτῷ κατασχών. Καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην, φησὶ, τὴν εἰς πάντας τοὺς ἁγίους. Οὐκ εἰς τόνδε καὶ τόνδε: οὐκοῦν καὶ εἰς ἡμᾶς. Διὰ τὴν ἐλπίδα τὴν ἀποκειμένην ὑμῖν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς. Τὰ μέλλοντα, φησὶν, ἀγαθά. Τοῦτο πρὸς τοὺς πειρασμοὺς, ὥστε μὴ ἐνταῦθα ζητεῖν τὴν ἄνεσιν. Ἵνα γὰρ μή τις εἴπῃ, καὶ τί τὸ κέρδος τῆς ἀγάπης τῆς εἰς τοὺς ἁγίους, κοπτομένων αὐτῶν; χαίρομεν, φησὶν, ὅτι μεγάλα ἑαυτοῖς προξενεῖτε ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς. Διὰ τὴν ἐλπίδα, φησὶ, τὴν ἀποκειμένην. Τὸ ἀσφαλὲς ἔδειξεν. Ἣν προηκούσατε ἐν τῷ λόγῳ τῆς ἀληθείας. Ἐνταῦθα πλήττοντος αὐτούς ἐστι τὸ ῥῆμα, ὅτι πολὺν χρόνον ἔχοντες μετέστησαν. Ἣν προηκούσατε, φησὶν, ἐν τῷ λόγῳ τῆς ἀληθείας τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου. Καὶ ἀλήθειαν μαρτυρεῖ τῷ λόγῳ: εἰκότως: οὐδὲν γὰρ ψεῦδος ἐν αὐτῷ. Τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου. Οὐ λέγει, τοῦ κηρύγματος, ἀλλ' εὐαγγέλιον καλεῖ, συνεχῶς ἀναμιμνήσκων αὐτοὺς τῶν εὐεργεσιῶν τοῦ Θεοῦ: καὶ πρῶτον ἐπαινέσας αὐτοὺς, οὕτω τούτων ἀναμιμνήσκει. Τοῦ παρόντος εἰς ὑμᾶς, καθὼς καὶ ἐν παντὶ τῷ κόσμῳ. Ἤδη χαρίζεται αὐτοῖς. Παρόντος δὲ μεταφορικῶς εἶπεν: οὐ παρεγένετο, φησὶ, καὶ ἀπέστη, ἀλλ' ἔμεινε καὶ ἔστιν ἐκεῖ. Εἶτα, ἐπειδὴ μάλιστα οἱ πολλοὶ ἐκ τοῦ κοινωνοὺς ἔχειν πολλοὺς τῶν δογμάτων στηρίζονται, διὰ τοῦτο ἐπήγαγε, Καθὼς καὶ ἐν παντὶ τῷ κόσμῳ. Πανταχοῦ, φησὶ, πάρεστι, πανταχοῦ κρατεῖ, πανταχοῦ ἕστηκε. Καὶ ἔστι καρποφορούμενον, καὶ αὐξανόμενον, καθὼς καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν. Καρποφορούμενον διὰ τὰ ἔργα, αὐξανόμενον τῷ πολλοὺς παραλαμβάνειν, τῷ μᾶλλον στηρίζεσθαι. Καὶ γὰρ ἐν τοῖς φυτοῖς τότε πυκνὰ γίνεται, ὅταν στηριχθῇ τὸ φυτόν. Καθὼς καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν. Προκαταλαμβάνει τὸν ἀκροατὴν τοῖς ἐπαίνοις, ὥστε μηδὲ ἄκοντα ἀποστῆναι. Ἀφ' ἧς ἡμέρας ἠκούσατε. Τὸ θαυμαστὸν, ὅτι ταχέως προσήλθετε καὶ ἐπιστεύσατε, καὶ εὐθέως ἐκ προοιμίων ἐπεδείξασθε τοὺς καρπούς. Ἀφ' ἧς ἡμέρας ἠκούσατε, καὶ ἐπέγνωτε τὴν χάριν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν ἀληθείᾳ. Οὐκ ἐν λόγῳ, φησὶν, οὐδὲ ἐν ἀπάτῃ, ἀλλ' ἐν αὐτοῖς τοῖς ἔργοις, Τοῦτο τοίνυν λέγει, Καρποφορούμενον: ἤτοι τὰ σημεῖα καὶ τὰ θαύματα ὅτι ἅμα ἐδέξασθε, ἅμα ἔγνωτε τὴν χάριν τοῦ Θεοῦ. Τὸ τοίνυν εὐθέως ἐπιδειξάμενον τὴν οἰκείαν δύναμιν πῶς οὐ χαλεπὸν νῦν ἀπιστεῖσθαι; Καθὼς καὶ ἐμάθετε παρὰ Ἐπαφρᾶ τοῦ ἀγαπητοῦ συνδούλου ἡμῶν. Τοῦτον εἰκὸς ἐκεῖ κεκηρυχέναι: ἐμάθετε τὸ Εὐαγγέλιον. Εἶτα τὸ ἀξιόπιστον δεικνὺς τοῦ ἀνδρὸς, φησὶ, Τοῦ συνδούλου ἡμῶν. Ὅς ἐστι πιστὸς ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν διάκονος τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ καὶ δηλώσας ἡμῖν τὴν ὑμῶν ἀγάπην ἐν Πνεύματι. Μὴ ἀμφιβάλλετε, φησὶ, περὶ τῆς μελλούσης ἐλπίδος: ὁρᾶτε τὴν οἰκουμένην ἐπιστρέφουσαν. Καὶ τί δεῖ λέγειν τὰ ἐν τοῖς ἄλλοις; τὰ ἐν ὑμῖν αὐτοῖς καὶ χωρὶς τούτων πιστά. Ἐπέγνωτε γὰρ τὴν χάριν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν ἀληθείᾳ: τουτέστιν, ἐν τοῖς ἔργοις. Ὥστε δύο ταῦτα τὰ μέλλοντα βεβαιοῦται, τό τε πάντας πιστεῦσαι, τό τε καὶ ὑμᾶς: καὶ οὐκ ἄλλα μὲν ἐγένετο, ἄλλα δὲ εἶπεν Ἐπαφρᾶς. Ὅς ἐστι, φησὶ, πιστός: τουτέστιν, ἀληθής. Πῶς δὲ, Ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν διάκονος; Τῷ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἀπελθεῖν, καὶ δηλῶσαι ἡμῖν, φησὶ, τὴν ὑμῶν ἀγάπην ἐν Πνεύματι: τουτέστι, τὴν πνευματικήν: τὴν εἰς ἡμᾶς. Εἰ δὲ οὗτος τοῦ Χριστοῦ διάκονος, πῶς δι' ἀγγέλων λέγετε προσάγεσθαι; Ὁ καὶ δηλώσας ἡμῖν, φησὶ, τὴν ὑμῶν ἀγάπην ἐν Πνεύματι. Αὕτη γὰρ θαυμαστὴ καὶ βεβαία ἡ ἀγάπη: ὡς αἵ γε ἄλλαι ὄνομα ἀγάπης ἔχουσι μόνον. Εἰσὶ δέ τινες οὐ τοιαῦται: ἀλλ' οὐ φιλία τοῦτο: διὸ καὶ εὐδιάλυτος γίνεται. γʹ. Πολλαὶ προφάσεις εἰσὶν αἱ φιλίας ποιοῦσαι: καὶ τέως τὰς μὲν αἰσχρὰς παρήσομεν: οὐδεὶς γὰρ ἡμῖν ὑπὲρ ἐκείνων ἀντερεῖ, ὡς πονηρῶν οὐσῶν: ἀλλ', εἰ βούλεσθε, τὰς φυσικὰς καὶ τὰς βιωτικὰς εἰς μέσον παραγάγωμεν. Βιωτικαὶ μὲν οὖν εἰσιν αὗται: οἷον εὖ ἔπαθέ τις, ἀπὸ προγόνων ἐκτήσατο φίλον, ἐκοινώνησε τραπέζης ἢ ἀποδημίας, ἢ γείτων ἐστί: καλαὶ καὶ αὗται: ἢ ὁμότεχνος γέγονεν: αὕτη μὲν οὖν οὐκ ἔστιν εἰλικρινής: ἔχει γάρ τινα καὶ ζῆλον καὶ βασκανίαν. Αἱ δὲ φυσικαὶ, οἷον πατρὸς πρὸς υἱὸν, υἱοῦ πρὸς πατέρα, ἀδελφοῦ πρὸς ἀδελφὸν, πρὸς ἔγγονον πάππου, μητρὸς πρὸς τέκνα: εἰ δὲ βούλεσθε, προσθῶμεν καὶ τὴν τῆς γυναικὸς πρὸς ἄνδρα: καὶ γὰρ πᾶσαι αἱ γαμικαί εἰσι βιωτικαὶ καὶ γήϊναι. Αὗται μὲν οὖν ἐκείνων εἶναι δοκοῦσι σφοδρότεραι: δοκοῦσι δὲ, εἶπον, διὰ τὸ πολλάκις ὑπ' ἐκείνων ἡττηθῆναι. Καὶ γὰρ φίλοι ἀλλαχοῦ γνησιώτερον ἐφάνησαν ἀδελφῶν διακείμενοι, καὶ υἱῶν πρὸς πατέρας: καὶ ὁ μὲν γεννηθεὶς οὐκ ἐβοήθησεν, ὁ δὲ μὴ γνοὺς αὐτὸν, παρέστη καὶ ἐβοήθησεν. Ἡ δὲ πνευματικὴ ἀγάπη πασῶν ἐστιν ἀνωτέρα, καθάπερ τις βασίλισσα τῶν ἰδίων κρατοῦσα, καὶ λαμπρὸν ἔχει τὸ σχῆμα: οὐδὲν γὰρ γήϊον αὐτὴν τίκτει, καθάπερ ἐκείνην, οὐ συνήθεια, οὐκ εὐεργεσία, οὐ φύσις, οὐ χρόνος, ἀλλ' ἄνωθεν κάτεισιν ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ. Καὶ τί θαυμάζεις, εἰ εὐεργεσίας οὐ δεῖται πρὸς τὸ συνεστάναι, ὅπου γε οὐδὲ τῷ κακῶς παθεῖν ἀνατρέπεται; Ὅτι δὲ αὕτη μείζων ἐκείνης ἐστὶν, ἄκουσον Παύλου λέγοντος: Ηὐχόμην ἀνάθεμα εἶναι αὐτὸς ἐγὼ ἀπὸ τοῦ Χριστοῦ ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀδελφῶν μου. Τίς ἂν τοῦτο ηὔξατο πατὴρ, ὥστε ἐν κακοῖς εἶναι; Καὶ πάλιν, Τὸ ἀναλῦσαι καὶ σὺν Χριστῷ εἶναι πολλῷ μᾶλλον κρεῖσσον: τὸ δὲ ἐπιμεῖναι ἐν τῇ σαρκὶ ἀναγκαιότερον δι' ὑμᾶς. Ποία μήτηρ ταῦτα ἂν ἕλοιτο εἰπεῖν, ὥστε τὰ αὐτῆς παριδεῖν; Καὶ πάλιν ἄκουε αὐτοῦ λέγοντος: Ἀπορφανισθέντες γὰρ ἀφ' ὑμῶν πρὸς καιρὸν ὥρας, προσώπῳ, οὐ καρδίᾳ. Καὶ ἐνταῦθα μὲν ὁ πατὴρ ὑβρισθεὶς ἔλυσε τὴν φιλίαν, ἐκεῖ δὲ οὐκέτι, ἀλλὰ πρὸς τοὺς λιθάζοντας ἀπῄει εὐεργετήσων αὐτούς. Οὐδὲν γὰρ, οὐδὲν οὕτως ἰσχυρὸν, ὡς ὁ τοῦ Πνεύματος δεσμός. Ὁ μὲν γὰρ διὰ τὸ παθεῖν εὖ φίλος γενόμενος, ἂν μὴ διηνεκῶς τοῦτο γίνηται, ἔσται ἐχθρός: ὁ ἀπὸ συνηθείας ἀδιάσπαστος ὢν, πάλιν τῆς συνηθείας διακοπείσης, ἔσβεσε τὴν φιλίαν. Ἡ γυνὴ πάλιν, ἂν μάχη γένηται, ἀφῆκε τὸν ἄνδρα, καὶ τὸν πόθον ἔλυσεν: ὁ υἱὸς, ἂν ἐπιπολὺ ζῶντα τὸν πατέρα ἴδοι, καὶ βαρύνεται. Ἐπὶ δὲ τοῦ πνεύματος τούτων οὐκ ἔστιν οὐδέν: οὐδενὶ γὰρ τούτων λύεται, ἐπεὶ μηδὲ ἐκ τούτων συνέστη: οὔτε χρόνος, οὔτε μῆκος ὁδοῦ, οὔτε τὸ κακῶς παθεῖν, οὔτε τὸ κακῶς ἀκοῦσαι, οὐ θυμὸς, οὐχ ὕβρις, οὐκ ἄλλο οὐδὲν ἐπεισέρχεται, οὐδὲ δύναται αὐτὴν διαλῦσαι. Καὶ ἵνα μάθῃς, ἐλιθάζετο ὁ Μωϋσῆς, καὶ ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν ἠξίου. Τίς ἂν τοῦτο εἰργάσατο πατὴρ ὑπὲρ τοῦ λιθάσαντος, ἀλλ' οὐχὶ καὶ αὐτὸν ἂν κατέλευσε; Ταύτας δὴ μεταδιώκωμεν τὰς φιλίας τὰς ἀπὸ τοῦ πνεύματος: ἰσχυραὶ γάρ εἰσι καὶ δυσδιάλυτοι: μὴ τὰς ἀπὸ τῶν τραπεζῶν: ἐκεῖ γὰρ καὶ κωλυόμεθα ταύτας εἰσάγειν. Ἄκουσον γὰρ τοῦ Χριστοῦ λέγοντος ἐν τῷ Εὐαγγελίῳ: Μὴ καλέσῃς τοὺς φίλους σου, μηδὲ τοὺς γείτονάς σου, ἐὰν ποιήσῃς δοχὴν, ἀλλὰ τοὺς χωλοὺς, τοὺς ἀναπήρους: εἰκότως: πολὺς γὰρ ὁ ὑπὲρ τούτων μισθός. Ἀλλ' οὐ δύνασαι, οὐδὲ ἀνέχῃ μετὰ χωλῶν καὶ τυφλῶν ἑστιᾶσθαι, ἀλλὰ βαρὺ καὶ φορτικὸν ἡγῇ τοῦτο, καὶ παραιτῇ; Μάλιστα μὲν οὖν οὐκ ἔδει, πλὴν ἀλλ' οὐκ ἔστιν ἀνάγκη: κἂν μὴ συγκαθίσῃς αὐτοὺς μετὰ σοῦ, τὰ ἐδέσματα αὐτοῖς ἀπόστειλον τὰ ἀπὸ τῆς τραπέζης. Καὶ γὰρ ὁ φίλους καλῶν, οὐδὲν μέγα ἐποίησεν: ἀπέλαβε γὰρ ἐνταῦθα τὸν μισθόν: ὁ δὲ ἀνάπηρον καλῶν καὶ πένητα, ἔχει τὸν Θεὸν ὀφειλέτην. Μὴ τοίνυν ἀσχάλλωμεν, ὅταν μὴ ἐνταῦθα ἀπολάβωμεν, ἀλλ' ὅταν ἐνταῦθα ἀπολάβωμεν: ἐκεῖ γὰρ οὐκέτι ἀποληψόμεθα. Ὁμοίως, ἂν ἄνθρωπος ἀποδῷ, Θεὸς οὐκ ἀποδίδωσιν: ἂν οὗτος μὴ ἀποδῷ, τότε ἀποδώσει Θεός. Μὴ τοίνυν ἐκείνους ζητῶμεν εὐεργετεῖν τοὺς ἀνταποδοῦναι ἡμῖν δυναμένους, μηδὲ ἐπὶ τοιαύταις αὐτοὺς ἐλπίσιν εὐεργετῶμεν: ψυχρὰ αὕτη ἡ διάνοια. Τὸν φίλον ἂν καλέσῃς, μέχρι τῆς ἑσπέρας ἡ χάρις: διὰ τοῦτο τῶν καταβαλλομένων ταχύτερον ἢ τῶν καιρῶν δαπανᾶται φιλία: τὸν μέντοι πένητα καὶ ἀνάπηρον ἂν καλέσῃς, οὐδέποτε ἀπολεῖται ἡ χάρις: τὸν γὰρ πάντοτε μνημονεύοντα Θεὸν, καὶ οὐδέποτε ἐπιλανθανόμενον, ἔχεις αὐτὸν ὀφειλέτην. Πόσης δὲ καὶ βλακείας, εἰπέ μοι, τὸ μὴ δύνασθαι πένησι συγκαθέζεσθαι; Τί λέγεις; Ἀκάθαρτός ἐστι, φησὶ, καὶ ῥυπαρός. Καὶ λοῦσον αὐτὸν, καὶ ἀνάγαγε ἐπὶ τράπεζαν τὴν σήν. Ἀλλ' ἱμάτια ἔχει ἐῤῥυπωμένα; Καὶ ἄμειψον, καὶ δὸς καθαρὰν στολήν. δʹ. Οὐχ ὁρᾷς τὸ κέρδος ὅσον; ὁ Χριστὸς δι' αὐτοῦ παραγίνεται, καὶ σὺ ὑπὲρ τούτου μικρολογῇ; τὸν βασιλέα καλῶν ἐπὶ τὴν τράπεζαν, ὑπὲρ τούτων δέδοικας; Ὑποκείσθωσαν τράπεζαι δύο, καὶ ἡ μὲν ἐκ τούτων πεπληρώσθω, καὶ ἐχέτω τυφλοὺς, χωλοὺς, κυλλοὺς τὴν χεῖρα, τὸ σκέλος πεπηρωμένους, ἀνυποδέτους, ἕνα περικειμένους χιτωνίσκον, καὶ τοῦτον ἐκτετριμμένον: ἡ δὲ ἑτέρα ἐχέτω δυνάστας, στρατηγοὺς, τοπάρχας, ἄρχοντας μεγάλους, ἐνδεδυμένους ἱμάτια πολυτελῆ καὶ ὀθόνας λεπτὰς, ἐζωσμένους χρυσᾶς ζώνας. Πάλιν ἐνταῦθα ἐν τῇ τῶν πενήτων τραπέζῃ μήτε ἄργυρος ἔστω, μήτε οἶνος πολὺς, ἀλλ' ὁ ἀρκῶν καὶ εὐφρᾶναι δυνάμενος: τὰ δὲ ἐκπώματα καὶ τὰ λοιπὰ σκεύη ἀπὸ ὑέλου κατεσκευάσθω μόνης: ἐκεῖ δὲ ἐν τῇ τῶν πλουσίων τραπέζῃ ἔστω μὲν σκεύη τὰ πάντα ἐξ ἀργύρου καὶ χρυσοῦ, καὶ μηδὲ εἷς φερέτω τὸ ἡμικύκλιον, ἀλλὰ δύο νεανίαι μόλις αὐτὸ κινείτωσαν: ἔστω δὲ καὶ φιάλη ὑπόχρυσος σταθμὸν ἡμιτάλαντον ἕλκουσα, ὡς δύο νεανίας μόλις αὐτὴν κινεῖν, καὶ οἱ ἀμφορεῖς κείσθωσαν ἐφεξῆς πολλῷ ἄμεινον τοῦ ἀργύρου ἀπολάμποντες τῷ χρυσῷ: ἔστω δὲ καὶ τὸ ἡμικύκλιον ἁπαλῇ στρωμνῇ πάντοθεν ἐστορεσμένον. Πάλιν ἐνταῦθα μὲν ἔστωσαν διάκονοι πολλοὶ, τῶν ἀνακειμένων οὐχ ἧττον κεκοσμημένοι τοῖς ἱματίοις, καὶ ἐνδεδυμένοι λαμπρῶς, καὶ ἀναξυρίδας ἔχοντες, καλοὶ μὲν ἰδεῖν, αὐτὸ ἄγοντες τῆς ἡλικίας τὸ ἄνθος, σφριγῶντες καὶ εὐσωματοῦντες: ἐκεῖ δὲ δύο μόνοι ἔστωσαν διάκονοι, πάντα τὸν τῦφον τοῦτον πεπατηκότες: καὶ ἔστω τοῖς μὲν τὰ ἐδέσματα πολυτελῆ, τοῖς δὲ τοσαῦτα ὅσα σβέσαι τὸν λιμὸν, καὶ εὐφροσύνης ἐμπλῆσαι. Ἆρα εἶπον ἀρκούντως; καὶ μετὰ ἀκριβείας κατεσκευασμέναι ἀμφότεραί εἰσιν αἱ τράπεζαι; μή τι ἐνδεῖ; Ἐγὼ μὲν οὐκ οἶμαι: καὶ γὰρ τοὺς κεκλημένους ἐπῆλθον, καὶ τὴν πολυτέλειαν καὶ τῶν σκευῶν καὶ τῶν στρωμάτων καὶ τῶν ἐδεσμάτων. Πλὴν ἀλλὰ, καὶ εἴ τι παρελίπομεν, ἐπεξαγαγόντες τὸν λόγον εὑρήσομεν. Φέρε οὖν, ἐπειδὴ τὸ πρόσφορον καλῶς ἡμῖν ἀπέλαβε σχῆμα ἑκάστη τράπεζα, ἴδωμεν ποῦ ὑμεῖς κατακλιθήσεσθε. Ἐγὼ μὲν γὰρ ἐπ' ἐκείνην ἄπειμι τὴν τῶν τυφλῶν, τὴν τῶν χωλῶν: ὑμῶν δὲ τάχα οἱ πλείους ταύτην αἱρήσονται, τὴν τῶν στρατηγῶν, τὴν φαιδρὰν καὶ λαμπράν. Ἴδωμεν οὖν ποία πλείονος γέμει τῆς ἡδονῆς: μήπω γὰρ τὰ μέλλοντα ἐξετάσωμεν: ἐν ἐκείνοις μὲν γὰρ αὕτη κρατεῖ ἡ ἐμή. Διὰ τί; Ὅτι αὕτη μὲν ἔχει τὸν Χριστὸν ἀνακείμενον, ἐκείνη δὲ ἀνθρώπους: αὕτη τὸν Δεσπότην, ἐκείνη τοὺς δούλους. Ἀλλὰ μήπω ταῦτα, ἀλλ' ἴδωμεν ποία πλείονα ἔχει τὴν ἡδονὴν τὴν ἐν τῷ παρόντι. Καὶ κατὰ τοῦτο μὲν οὖν πλείων αὕτη ἡ ἡδονή: τὸ γὰρ μετὰ βασιλέως ἀναπεσεῖν, πλείονα φέρει τὴν ἡδονὴν τοῦ μετὰ τῶν οἰκετῶν. Ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῦτο ὑπεξέλωμεν, αὐτὸ καθ' ἑαυτὸ τὸ πρᾶγμα ἐξετάσωμεν. Οὐκοῦν ἐγὼ, καὶ οἱ σὺν ἐμοὶ ταύτην ἑλόμενοι τὴν τράπεζαν, μετὰ πολλῆς τῆς ἐλευθερίας καὶ τῆς θυμηδίας καὶ ἐροῦμεν ἅπαντα, καὶ ἀκουσόμεθα: ὑμεῖς δὲ τρέμοντες καὶ δεδοικότες, καὶ τοὺς ἀνακειμένους αἰδούμενοι, οὐδὲ ἐκτεῖναι χεῖρα τολμήσετε, καθάπερ εἰς παιδαγωγεῖον, ἀλλ' οὐκ εἰς ἄριστον εἰσελθόντες, καθάπερ δεσπότας δεινοὺς τρέμοντες. Ἀλλ' οὐκ ἐκεῖνοι οὕτως. Ἀλλὰ τὰ τῆς τιμῆς, φησὶ, μεγάλα. Καὶ μὴν ἐγὼ ἐν πλείονί εἰμι τιμῇ: ὑμῶν μὲν γὰρ ἡ εὐτέλεια μείζων φαίνεται, ὅταν καὶ τῆς αὐτῆς τραπέζης κοινωνοῦντες, δούλων προβάλλησθε ῥήματα. Καὶ γὰρ ὁ δοῦλος τότε μάλιστα φαίνεται, ὅταν μετὰ τοῦ δεσπότου κατακείμενος ᾖ. Ἐκεῖνος μὲν γὰρ, ἔνθα μὴ προσῆκεν αὐτῷ, γίνεται, οὐ τοσαύτην ἀπὸ τῆς οἰκειώσεως ἔχων σεμνότητα, ὅσην τὴν ταπείνωσιν: σφόδρα γὰρ τότε ταπεινοῦται. Καὶ τὸν δοῦλον ἴδοι τις ἂν λαμπρὸν ὄντα καθ' ἑαυτὸν, καὶ τὸν πένητα λαμπρὸν ὄντα καθ' ἑαυτὸν, μὴ ὅταν μετὰ πλουσίου βαδίζῃ: τὸ γὰρ ταπεινὸν, ὅταν ἐγγὺς ᾖ τοῦ ὑψηλοῦ, τότε φαίνεται ταπεινὸν, καὶ ἡ παράθεσις τὸ ταπεινὸν ταπεινότερον δείκνυσιν, οὐχ ὑψηλότερον. Οὕτω καὶ ὑμᾶς εὐτελεστέρους δείκνυσι τὸ μετ' ἐκείνων ἀνακεῖσθαι, ἀλλ' οὐχ ἡμᾶς. Δύο μὲν οὖν τούτοις πλεονεκτοῦμεν, τῇ τε ἐλευθερίᾳ, καὶ τῇ τιμῇ, ὧν οὐδὲν ἴσον εἰς ἡδονῆς λόγον ἐστί. Βουλήσομαι γὰρ ἂν ἔγωγε ἄρτου μεταλαβεῖν μετ' ἐλευθερίας, ἢ μυρίων ἐδεσμάτων μετὰ δουλείας. Κρεῖσσον γὰρ, φησὶ, ξενισμὸς λαχάνων πρὸς φιλίαν καὶ χάριν, ἢ βοῦς ἀπὸ φάτνης μετ' ἔχθρας. Ὃ γὰρ ἂν εἴπωσιν ἐκεῖνοι, ἀνάγκη τοὺς παρόντας ἐπαινεῖν, ἢ προσκρούειν, παρασίτων τάξιν ἀναδεδεγμένους, μᾶλλον δὲ ἐκείνων χείρους ὄντας. Τοῖς μὲν γὰρ εἰ καὶ μετ' αἰσχύνης καὶ τοῦ ὑβρίζεσθαι, ὅμως μέτεστι παῤῥησίας: ὑμῖν δὲ οὐδὲ τούτου. Ἀλλ' ἡ μὲν εὐτέλεια τοσαύτη: δεδοίκατε γὰρ καὶ κατεπτήχατε: ἡ δὲ τιμὴ οὐκέτι. Οὐκοῦν πάσης μὲν ἡδονῆς ἀπεστέρηται ἡ τράπεζα ἐκείνη, πάσης δὲ αὕτη γέμει θυμηδίας. εʹ. Ἀλλὰ καὶ αὐτῶν τῶν ἐδεσμάτων τὴν φύσιν ἐξετάσωμεν. Ἐκεῖ μὲν γὰρ ἀνάγκη καὶ μὴ βουλομένῳ διαῤῥήγνυσθαι τῷ πολλῷ οἴνῳ, ἐνταῦθα δὲ οὐκ ἔνι μὴ βουλόμενον ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν. Ὥστε ἐκεῖ μὲν τὴν ἐκ τῆς τῶν σιτίων ποιότητος ἡδονὴν ἥ τε προλαβοῦσα ἀτιμία ἀφαιρεῖται, καὶ ἡ ἐκ τῆς πλησμονῆς ἀηδία. Οὐ γὰρ ἧττον λιμοῦ τὰ σώματα ἡμῖν ἡ πλησμονὴ διαφθείρει καὶ ὀδυνᾷ, ἀλλὰ καὶ πολλῷ χαλεπώτερον: καὶ ὃν ἂν θέλῃς μοι δοῦναι, εὐκολώτερον αὐτὸν διαῤῥηγνύω τῇ πλησμονῇ, τοῦ λιμοῦ. Ὄντως γὰρ τοῦτο ἐκείνου φορητότερον: ὅτι λιμὸν μὲν ἄν τις καὶ εἴκοσιν ἡμέρας ἐνέγκοι, πλησμονὴν δὲ οὐδὲ δύο μόνας: καὶ τούτῳ μὲν προσπαλαίοντες διηνεκῶς οἱ ἐν τοῖς ἀγροῖς, ἐν ὑγείᾳ εἰσὶ καὶ οὐ δέονται ἰατρῶν: ταύτην δὲ, τὴν πλησμονὴν λέγω, οὐκ ἂν ἐνέγκοιεν μὴ συνεχῶς καλοῦντες ἰατρούς: μᾶλλον δὲ καὶ τὴν ἐκείνων βοήθειαν ἤλεγξε πολλάκις ἡ ταύτης τυραννίς. Καὶ ἡδονῆς μὲν οὖν ἕνεκεν αὕτη τὰ πρῶτα ἔχει. Εἰ γὰρ ἡ τιμὴ τοῦ ἀτιμάζεσθαι ἡδίων, καὶ τὸ ἐν ἐξουσίᾳ εἶναι τοῦ ὑποτάσσεσθαι, καὶ τὸ θαῤῥεῖν τοῦ τρέμειν καὶ δεδοικέναι, καὶ τὸ τῶν ἀρκούντων ἀπολαύειν τοῦ πέρα τοῦ μέτρου εἰς τὸ τῆς τρυφῆς καταποντίζεσθαι κλυδώνιον, βελτίων ἄρα ἐκείνης αὕτη ἡ τράπεζα καὶ ἡδονῆς ἕνεκεν. Καὶ τὰ τῆς δαπάνης δὲ ἐνταῦθα βελτίονα: ἐκείνη μὲν γὰρ δαπανηρὰ, αὕτη δὲ οὐκέτι. Ἀλλὰ τί; ἆρα τοῖς ἀνακειμένοις μόνον ἡδίων αὕτη ἡ τράπεζα, ἢ καὶ τῷ καλοῦντι πλείονα αὕτη φέρει τὴν ἡδονὴν ἐκείνης; Τοῦτο γάρ ἐστι τὸ μᾶλλον ζητούμενον ἡμῖν. Οὐκοῦν ὁ μὲν ἐκείνους καλῶν, πρὸ πλειόνων ἡμερῶν παρασκευάζεται, καὶ πράγματα ἔχειν ἀναγκάζεται καὶ φροντίδας καὶ μερίμνας, οὔτε τὰς νύκτας καθεύδων, οὔτε τὰς ἡμέρας ἡσυχάζων: ἀλλὰ ἀναπλάττων ἐν ἑαυτῷ πολλὰ, μαγείροις διαλεγόμενος, ὀψοποιοῖς, τραπεζοποιοῖς. Εἶτα αὐτῆς τῆς ἡμέρας ἐπιστάσης ἴδοι τις ἂν αὐτὸν μᾶλλον δεδοικότα, ἢ τοὺς μέλλοντας πυκτεύειν, μή τις παρὰ λόγον γένηται, μὴ βασκανίᾳ βληθῇ, μὴ κατηγόρους ἐκεῖθεν λάβῃ πολλούς. Οὗτος δὲ πάσης ταύτης ἀπήλλακται τῆς φροντίδος καὶ τῶν πραγμάτων, αὐτοσχεδιάζων τὴν τράπεζαν, καὶ οὐ πρὸ πολλῶν ἡμερῶν μεριμνῶν. Καὶ μετὰ δὴ ταῦτα οὗτος μὲν εὐθέως τὴν χάριν ἀπώλεσεν: ἐκεῖνος δὲ ἔχει τὸν Θεὸν ὀφειλέτην, καὶ χρησταῖς τρέφεται ταῖς ἐλπίσι, καθ' ἑκάστην ἡμέραν εὐωχούμενος ἀπ' ἐκείνης τῆς τραπέζης. Τὰ μὲν γὰρ σιτία ἀναλίσκεται, ἡ δὲ χάρις οὐκ ἀναλίσκεται, ἀλλὰ καθ' ἑκάστην ἡμέραν μᾶλλον χαίρει καὶ γάννυται ἐκείνων τῶν τὸν πολὺν οἶνον ἐμφορηθέντων. Οὐδὲν γὰρ οὕτω τρέφει τὴν ψυχὴν, ὡς ἐλπὶς ἀγαθὴ καὶ τὸ χρηστὰ προσδοκᾷν. Ἀλλὰ δὴ τὰ μετὰ ταῦτα ἴδωμεν. Ἐκεῖ μὲν αὐλοὶ καὶ κιθάραι καὶ σύριγγες, ἐνταῦθα δὲ οὐδὲν ἀπηχὲς μέλος: ἀλλὰ τί; ὕμνοι, ψαλμῳδίαι. Ἐκεῖ μὲν οἱ δαίμονες ἀνυμνοῦνται, ἐνταῦθα δὲ ὁ πάντων Δεσπότης Θεός. Ὁρᾷς πόσης μὲν αὕτη χάριτος, πόσης δὲ ἀγνωμοσύνης ἐκείνη καὶ ἀναισθησίας γέμει; Εἰπὲ γάρ μοι: ὁ Θεός σε ἔθρεψεν ἐκ τῶν ἀγαθῶν αὐτοῦ, καὶ δέον αὐτῷ εὐχαριστεῖν μετὰ τὸ τραφῆναι, σὺ δὲ τοὺς δαίμονας ἐπεισάγεις; τὰ γὰρ διὰ τῶν πηκτίδων οὐδὲν ἄλλο, ἢ δαιμόνων ᾄσματα. Δέον εἰπεῖν, Εὐλογητὸς εἶ, Κύριε, ὅτι ἔθρεψάς με ἐκ τῶν ἀγαθῶν σου, σὺ δὲ, καθάπερ τις κύων ἄτιμος, οὐδὲ μέμνησαι, ἀλλὰ τοὺς δαίμονας ἐπεισάγεις; Μᾶλλον δὲ οἱ μὲν κύνες λαβόντες καὶ μὴ λαβόντες σαίνουσι τοὺς οἰκείους, σὺ δὲ οὐδὲ τοῦτο. Ὁ κύων καὶ μὴ λαμβάνων σαίνει τὸν δεσπότην, σὺ δὲ καὶ λαβὼν ὑλακτεῖς κατ' αὐτοῦ. Πάλιν ὁ κύων καὶ εὐεργετούμενος παρὰ τοῦ ἀλλοτρίου, οὐδὲ οὕτω καταλύει τὴν ἔχθραν τὴν πρὸς αὐτὸν, οὐδὲ ἐπισπᾶται πρὸς φιλίαν: σὺ δὲ καὶ μυρία πάσχων κακὰ παρὰ τῶν δαιμόνων, ἐπ' ἄριστα αὐτοὺς εἰσάγεις: ὥστε διπλῇ τοῦ κυνὸς εἶ χείρων. Καλῶς δὲ ἀνεμνήσθην νῦν τῶν κυνῶν πρὸς τοὺς τότε μόνον εὐχαριστοῦντας, ὅταν εὖ πάσχωσιν. Αἰδέσθητε, παρακαλῶ, τοὺς κύνας, οἳ καὶ λιμώττοντες σαίνουσι τοὺς δεσπότας: σὺ δὲ ἂν ἀκούσῃς, ὅτι ὁ δαίμων τινὰ ἐθεράπευσεν, ἀφίης εὐθέως τὸν Δεσπότην, ὦ κυνῶν ἀλογώτερε. Ἀλλ' αἱ πόρναι, φησὶν, ἡδονὴν ἔχουσιν ὁρώμεναι. Ποίαν ἡδονήν; ποίαν δὲ οὐκ ἀτιμίαν; Πορνεῖον γέγονέ σου ἡ οἰκία, μανία καὶ οἶστρος: καὶ οὐκ αἰσχύνῃ ταῦτα ἡδονὴν καλῶν; Ἂν μὲν οὖν ἐξῇ χρήσασθαι πάσῃ ἡδονῇ, μείζων ἡ αἰσχύνη καὶ ἡ ἐκ ταύτης ἀηδία. Πῶς δαί; Οὐ χαλεπὸν τὸ τὴν οἰκίαν πορνεῖον ποιεῖν, καὶ ἥδεσθαι καθάπερ χοίρους ἐγκαλινδουμένους βορβόρῳ; Ἂν δὲ μέχρι τοῦ φανῆναι μόνον, ἰδοὺ πάλιν ὀδύνη μείζων: ἡ γὰρ ὄψις οὐχ ἡδονὴ, ὅταν ἡ χρῆσις μὴ ᾖ, ἀλλὰ καὶ μείζων ἡ ἐπιθυμία, καὶ σφοδροτέρα ἡ φλόξ. Ἀλλὰ τὸ τέλος βούλει μαθεῖν; Οἱ μὲν τοῖς μαινομένοις καὶ τοῖς παραπλῆξιν ἐοίκασιν ἀπὸ τῆς τραπέζης ἀνιστάμενοι, θρασεῖς, ὀργίλοι, καταγέλαστοι καὶ τοῖς ἀνδραπόδοις: καὶ οἱ μὲν οἰκέται ἀναχωροῦσι νήφοντες, οὗτοι δὲ μεθύοντες. Ὢ τῆς αἰσχύνης! Ἐκεῖ δὲ τοιοῦτον οὐδὲν, ἀλλ' εὐχαριστίᾳ τὴν τράπεζαν κατακλείσαντες, οὕτως ἀναχωροῦσιν οἴκαδε, ἡδόμενοι καθεύδοντες, ἡδόμενοι ἐγειρόμενοι, πάσης αἰσχύνης ἀπηλλαγμένοι καὶ κατηγορίας. Ϛʹ. Εἰ βούλει καὶ αὐτοὺς τοὺς κεκλημένους ἰδεῖν, ὄψει τούτους μὲν τοιούτους ὄντας: ἔνδον, ὅπερ οὗτοι ἔξω, τυφλοὺς, ἀναπήρους, χωλούς: καὶ οἷα τούτων τὰ σώματα, τοιαῦται ἐκείνων αἱ ψυχαὶ, ὑδέρῳ καὶ φλεγμονῇ κατεχόμεναι. Τοιοῦτον γὰρ ἡ ἀπόνοια: μετὰ γὰρ τὴν τρυφὴν πήρωσις γίνεται: τοιοῦτον γὰρ ἡ πλησμονὴ καὶ ἡ μέθη, χωλοὺς καὶ κυλλοὺς ποιοῦσα. Καὶ ὄψει καὶ τούτους τοιαύτας ἔχοντας ψυχὰς, οἷα οὗτοι τὰ σώματα, λαμπρὰς, κεκοσμημένας. Οἱ γὰρ ἐν εὐχαριστίᾳ ζῶντες, οἱ τῆς αὐταρκείας μηδὲν πλέον ἐπιζητοῦντες, οἱ φιλοσοφοῦντες οὕτως εἰσὶν ἐν πάσῃ φαιδρότητι. Ἴδωμεν δὲ καὶ ἐνταῦθα καὶ ἐκεῖ τὸ τέλος. Ἐκεῖ μὲν ἡδονὴ ἀκόλαστος, γέλως κεχυμένος, μέθη, εὐτραπελία, αἰσχρολογία: ἐπειδὴ γὰρ αὐτοὶ αἰδοῦνται αἰσχρὰ φθέγγεσθαι, διὰ τῶν πορνῶν τοῦτο γίνεται. Ἐνταῦθα δὲ φιλανθρωπία, ἡμερότης. Τῷ μὲν οὖν ἐκείνους καλοῦντι παρέστηκε κενοδοξία ὁπλίζουσα αὐτόν: τῷ δὲ ἐνταῦθα φιλανθρωπία καὶ ἡμερότης. Ἐκείνην μὲν γὰρ τὴν τράπεζαν φιλανθρωπία συνίστησι, ταύτην δὲ κενοδοξία καὶ ὠμότης ἐξ ἀδικίας καὶ πλεονεξίας. Κἀκείνη μὲν καταλήγει εἰς ἅπερ εἶπον, εἰς ἀπόνοιαν, εἰς ἔκστασιν, εἰς μανίαν: τοιαύτη γὰρ ἡ τῆς κενοδοξίας βλάστη: αὕτη δὲ εἰς εὐχαριστίαν καὶ δόξαν Θεοῦ. Καὶ ὁ ἔπαινος δὲ ὁ παρὰ ἀνθρώπων ταύτῃ πλείων: ἐκείνῳ μὲν γὰρ καὶ βασκαίνουσι, τοῦτον δὲ ὡς κοινὸν πατέρα πάντες ἔχουσι καὶ οἱ μὴ παθόντες εὖ. Καὶ καθάπερ ἐπὶ τῶν ἠδικημένων καὶ οἱ μηδὲν ἠδικημένοι συναλγοῦσι, καὶ κοινῇ γίνονται πάντες ἐχθροί: οὕτω καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν πασχόντων εὖ καὶ οἱ μὴ παθόντες εὖ, καθάπερ οἱ παθόντες, ἐπαινοῦσι καὶ θαυμάζουσι τὸν πεποιηκότα. Κἀκεῖ μὲν πολὺς ὁ φθόνος, ἐνταῦθα δὲ πολλὴ ἡ κηδεμονία, πολλαὶ παρὰ πάντων εὐχαί. Καὶ ἐνταῦθα μὲν ταῦτα: ἐκεῖ δὲ, ὅταν ὁ Χριστὸς παραγένηται, οὗτος μὲν στήσεται μετὰ πολλῆς τῆς παῤῥησίας, καὶ ἀκούσεται ἐπὶ πάσης τῆς οἰκουμένης, Πεινῶντά με εἶδες, καὶ ἔθρεψας: γυμνὸν, καὶ ἐνέδυσας: ξένον, καὶ συνήγαγες, καὶ ὅσα τοιαῦτα: ἐκεῖνος δὲ τὰ ἐναντία ἀκούσεται, Πονηρὲ δοῦλε καὶ ὀκνηρέ: καὶ πάλιν, Οὐαὶ οἱ κατασπαταλῶντες ἐπὶ ταῖς στρωμναῖς αὐτῶν, καὶ οἱ καθεύδοντες ἐπὶ κλινῶν ἐλεφαντίνων, οἱ πίνοντες τὸν διυλισμένον οἶνον, καὶ τὰ πρῶτα μύρα χριόμενοι, ὡς ἑστῶτα ἐλογίσαντο, καὶ οὐχ ὡς φεύγοντα. Ταῦτα ἡμῖν οὐχ ἁπλῶς εἴρηται, ἀλλ' ὥστε μεταθεῖναι ὑμῶν τὴν γνώμην, καὶ μηδὲν ὑμᾶς ἀκερδὲς ποιεῖν. Τί οὖν, φησὶ, κἂν ταῦτα κἀκεῖνα ποιῶ; Πολὺς οὗτος ὁ λόγος παρὰ πᾶσι. Καὶ ποία ἀνάγκη, εἰπέ μοι, ἐξὸν πάντα χρησίμως ποιεῖν, διαιρεῖν, καὶ τὰ μὲν μὴ μόνον εἰς οὐδὲν δέον, ἀλλὰ καὶ εἰκῆ ἀναλίσκειν, τὰ δὲ χρησίμως; Εἰπέ μοι, εἰ σπείρων τὰ μὲν εἰς πέτραν ἔῤῥιπτες, τὰ δὲ εἰς γῆν ἀρίστην, ἆρα ἂν ἀπέχρησέ σοι τοῦτο, καὶ εἶπες ἄν: Τί γὰρ βλάπτει, ἂν τὰ μὲν εἰκῆ, τὰ δὲ εἰς ἀρίστην γῆν ῥίψωμεν; Διὰ τί γὰρ μὴ πάντα εἰς ἀρίστην; διὰ τί τὸ κέρδος ἐλαττοῖς; Κἂν μὲν συνάγειν δέοι χρήματα, οὐκ ἐρεῖς τοῦτο, ἀλλὰ πάντοθεν συνάγεις, ἐκεῖ δὲ οὐκέτι: κἂν δανείζειν δέοι, οὐκ ἐρεῖ: Διὰ τί τὰ μὲν τοῖς ἀπόροις, τὰ δὲ τοῖς εὐπόροις δώσομεν, ἀλλὰ πάντα ἐκείνοις: ἐνταῦθα δὲ, ἔνθα τοσοῦτον κέρδος, διὰ τί οὐ λογίζῃ τοῦτο, καὶ παύσῃ ποτὲ τοῦ εἰκῇ δαπανᾶσθαι καὶ μάτην ἀναλίσκειν; Ἀλλ' ἔχει καὶ τοῦτο κέρδος, φησί. Ποῖον, εἰπέ μοι, Τὰς φιλίας αὔξει. Οὐδὲν ἀνθρώπων ψυχρότερον ἀπὸ τούτων φίλων γινομένων, ἀπὸ τῆς τραπέζης καὶ πλησμονῆς τῶν παρασίτων: οὐδὲν φιλίας ἀηδέστερον ἐντεῦθεν τὴν ἀρχὴν λαμβανούσης. Μὴ ὑβρίσῃς πρᾶγμα οὕτω θαυμαστὸν, τὴν ἀγάπην, μηδὲ ταύτην αὐτῆς εἶναι ῥίζαν φῄς. Ὥσπερ ἂν εἴ τις δένδρου χρυσὸν καὶ λίθους τιμίους φέροντος τὴν ῥίζαν οὐχὶ τοιαύτην ἔλεγεν εἶναι, ἀλλ' ἀπὸ σηπεδόνος τίκτεσθαι: τοῦτο καὶ σὺ ποιεῖς: κἂν γὰρ τεχθῇ φιλία ἐντεῦθεν, οὐδὲν αὐτῆς ψυχρότερον γένοιτ' ἄν. Ἀλλ' ἐκεῖναι αἱ τράπεζαι φιλίαν ποιοῦσιν, οὐχὶ πρὸς ἀνθρώπους, ἀλλὰ πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν, καὶ ἐπιτεταμένην, ὅταν ἐπιτεταμέναι γίνωνται. Ὁ μὲν γὰρ τὰ μὲν ἐνταῦθα, τὰ δὲ ἐκεῖ καταναλίσκων, κἂν πολλὰ δῷ, οὐδὲν μέγα πεποίηκεν: ὁ δὲ πάντα ἐνταῦθα ἀναλίσκων, κἂν ὀλίγα δεδωκὼς ᾖ, τὸ πᾶν εἰργάσατο. Τὸ γὰρ ζητούμενον οὐχὶ πολλὰ δοῦναι, ἢ ὀλίγα, ἀλλὰ τῆς οἰκείας δυνάμεως μὴ ἔλαττον. Ἐννοῶμεν τὸν τὰ πέντε τάλαντα, καὶ τὸν τὰ δύο: ἐννοῶμεν τὴν τοὺς δύο ὀβολοὺς καταβαλοῦσαν: ἐννοῶμεν τὴν χήραν τὴν ἐπὶ τοῦ Ἠλία. Οὐκ εἶπεν ἐκείνη ἡ τοὺς δύο ὀβολοὺς καταβαλοῦσα: Τί γὰρ βλάπτει, ἂν τὸν μὲν ἕνα ὀβολὸν ἐμαυτῇ κατάσχω, τὸν δὲ ἕνα δῶ; ἀλλ' ὅλον ἔδωκε τὸν βίον. Σὺ δὲ ἐν τοσαύτῃ ἀφθονίᾳ ὢν, ἐκείνης φειδωλότερος εἶ. Μὴ τοίνυν ἀμελῶμεν τῆς ἑαυτῶν σωτηρίας, ἀλλ' ἐπιθώμεθα τῇ ἐλεημοσύνῃ. Οὐδὲν γὰρ ταύτης βέλτιον: καὶ δείξει ὁ μέλλων χρόνος: τέως δὲ καὶ ὁ παρὼν ἔδειξεν. Εἰς δόξαν τοίνυν τοῦ Θεοῦ ζήσωμεν, καὶ τὰ αὐτῷ δοκοῦντα πράττωμεν, ἵνα καταξιωθῶμεν τῶν ἐπηγγελμένων ἀγαθῶν: ὧν γένοιτο πάντας ἡμᾶς ἐπιτυχεῖν, χάριτι καὶ φιλανθρωπίᾳ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ᾧ ἡ δόξα καὶ τὸ κράτος, τιμὴ, νῦν καὶ ἀεὶ, καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. Ἀμήν.