Homilies of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, on the Gospel according to St. Matthew.
It were indeed meet for us not at all to require1 [μηδ δεσθαι, “not even to need,” as below in sec. 2.—R.]the aid of the written Word, but to exhibit a life so pure, that the grace of the Spirit should be instead of books to our souls, and that as these are inscribed with ink, even so should our hearts be with the Spirit. But, since we have utterly put away from us this grace, come, let us at any rate embrace the second best course.
For that the former was better, God hath made manifest,2 [ἐδλωσεν, “made evident, showed.” The translator very frequently renders the aorist by the English perfect. Attention will be called in some instances, where the sense is affected by such renderings.—R.]both by His words, and by His doings. Since unto Noah, and unto Abraham, and unto his offspring, and unto Job, and unto Moses too, He discoursed not by writings, but Himself by Himself, finding their mind pure. But after the whole people of the Hebrews had fallen into the very pit of wickedness, then and thereafter was a written word, and tables, and the admonition which is given by these.
And this one may perceive was the case, not of the saints in the Old Testament only, but also of those in the New. For neither to the apostles did God give anything in writing, but instead of written words He promised that He would give them the grace of the Spirit: for “He,” saith our Lord, “shall bring all things to your remembrance.”3 John xiv. 26. And that thou mayest learn that this was far better, hear what He saith by the Prophet: “I will make a new covenant with you, putting my laws into their mind, and in their heart I will write them,” and, “they shall be all taught of God.”4 Jerem. xxxi. 31–33; Is. liv. 13; Heb. viii. 8–11; John vi. 45. And Paul too, pointing out the same superiority, said, that they had received a law “not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.”5 2 Cor. iii. 3. [The text here agrees with the Rec., not with the oldest mss. followed in the R.V.—R.]
But since in process of time they made shipwreck, some with regard to doctrines, others as to life and manners, there was again need that they should be put in remembrance by the written word.
2. Reflect then how great an evil it is for us, who ought to live so purely as not even to need written words, but to yield up our hearts, as books, to the Spirit; now that we have lost that honor, and are come to have need of these, to fail again in duly employing even this second remedy. For if it be a blame to stand in need of written words, and not to have brought down on ourselves the grace of the Spirit; consider how heavy the charge of not choosing to profit even after this assistance, but rather treating what is written with neglect, as if it were cast forth without purpose, and at random, and so bringing down upon ourselves our punishment with increase.6 [Literally, “the punishment that is greater.”—R.]
But that no such effect may ensue, let us give strict heed unto the things that are written; and let us learn how the Old Law was given on the one hand, how on the other the New Covenant.
3. How then was that law given in time past, and when, and where? After the destruction of the Egyptians, in the wilderness, on Mount Sinai, when smoke and fire were rising up out of the mountain, a trumpet sounding, thunders and lightnings, and Moses entering into the very depth of the cloud.7 [Literally, “the very cloud.”—R.] But in the new covenant not so,—neither in a wilderness, nor in a mountain, nor with smoke and darkness and cloud and tempest; but at the beginning of the day, in a house, while all were sitting together, with great quietness, all took place. For to those, being more unreasonable, and hard to guide, there was need of outward pomp,8 σωματικ φαντασα.as of a wilderness, a mountain, a smoke, a sound of trumpet, and the other like things: but they who were of a higher character, and submissive, and who had risen above mere corporeal imaginations,9 τν τν σωμτων ννοιανεαγγλιον).—R.] Yea, for it was removal of punishment, and remission of sins, and “righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption,”10 [A reminiscence of 1 Cor. i. 30.—R.]and adoption, and an inheritance of Heaven, and a relationship unto the Son of God, which he came declaring unto all; to enemies, to the perverse, to them that were sitting in darkness. What then could ever be equal to these good tidings? God on earth, man in Heaven; and all became mingled together, angels joined the choirs of men, men had fellowship with the angels, and with the other powers above: and one might see the long war brought to an end, and reconciliation made between God and our nature,11 [Literally, “reconciliations of God to our nature.” The doctrinal point of view is Pauline: God is reconciled, His anger removed.—R.]the devil brought to shame, demons in flight, death destroyed, Paradise opened, the curse blotted out, sin put out of the way, error driven off, truth returning, the word of godliness everywhere sown, and flourishing in its growth, the polity of those above planted on the earth, those powers in secure intercourse with us, and on earth angels continually haunting, and hope abundant touching things to come.
Therefore he hath called the history good tidings, forasmuch as all other things surely are words only without substance; as, for instance, plenty of wealth, greatness of power, kingdoms, and glories, and honors, and whatever other things among men are accounted to be good: but those which are published by the fishermen would be legitimately and properly called good tidings: not only as being sure and immoveable blessings, and beyond our deserts, but also as being given to us with all facility.
For not by laboring and sweating, not by fatigue and suffering, but merely as being beloved of God, we received what we have received.
5. And why can it have been, that when there were so many disciples, two write only from among the apostles, and two from among their followers? (For one that was a disciple of Paul, and another of Peter, together with Matthew and John, wrote the Gospels.) It was because they did nothing for vainglory, but all things for use.
“What then? Was not one evangelist sufficient to tell all?” One indeed was sufficient; but if there be four that write, not at the same times, nor in the same places, neither after having met together, and conversed one with another, and then they speak all things as it were out of one mouth, this becomes a very great demonstration of the truth.12 [The independence of the Gospels is thus emphasized by the most competent exegete of the Nicene period. His treatment of the apparent discrepancies is suggestive.—R.]
6. “But the contrary,” it may be said, “hath come to pass, for in many places they are convicted of discordance.” Nay, this very thing is a very great evidence of their truth. For if they had agreed in all things exactly even to time, and place, and to the very words, none of our enemies would have believed but that they had met together, and had written what they wrote by some human compact; because such entire agreement as this cometh not of simplicity. But now even that discordance which seems to exist in little matters delivers them from all suspicion, and speaks clearly in behalf of the character of the writers.
But if there be anything touching times or places, which they have related differently, this nothing13 [That is, “in nothing,” in no respect.—R.]injures the truth of what they have said. And these things too, so far as God shall enable us, we will endeavor, as we proceed, to point out; requiring you, together with what we have mentioned, to observe, that in the chief heads, those which constitute our life and furnish out14 συγκροτοσιν. [Literally, “weld together,” used of organizing a body of soldiers.—R.]our doctrine, nowhere is any of them found to have disagreed, no not ever so little.
But what are these points? Such as follow: That God became man, that He wrought miracles, that He was crucified, that He was buried, that He rose again, that He ascended, that He will judge, that He hath given commandments tending to salvation, that He hath brought in a law not contrary to the Old Testament, that He is a Son, that He is only-begotten, that He is a true Son, that He is of the same substance with the Father, and as many things as are like these; for touching these we shall find that there is in them a full agreement.
And if amongst the miracles they have not all of them mentioned all, but one these, the other those, let not this trouble thee. For if on the one hand one had spoken of all, the number of the rest would have been superfluous; and if again all had written fresh things, and different one from another, the proof of their agreement would not have been manifest. For this cause they have both treated of many in common, and each of them hath also received and declared something of his own; that, on the one hand, he might not seem superfluous, and cast on the heap15 προσεφαι πλ.to no purpose; on the other, he might make our test of the truth of their affirmations perfect.16 [“accurate.”—R.]
7. Now Luke tells us also the cause wherefore he proceeds to write: “that thou mayest hold,” saith he, “the certainty of the words wherein thou hast been instructed;”17 Luke i. 4.that is, that being continually reminded thou mayest hold to the certainty,18 ’Ασφλεια, “certainty,” seems to be used here first objectively, as when we say, “a thing is certain,” then subjectively, as “I am certain of it.”and abide in certainty.
But as to John, he hath himself kept silence touching the cause; yet,19 [The translator, with the Latin, follows the reading δ; most mss. have γρ, which is the more difficult reading.—R.](as a tradition20 So St. Irenæus, iii. 11, 1. “John, the disciple of the Lord, purposing by the publication of a Gospel to take away the error which Cerinthus had sown among men, and long before him those who are called Nicolaitans….thus began the instruction of his Gospel: In the beginning, &c.” See also St. Clem. of Alex. in Euseb. E. H. vi. 14; St. Jerome, Pref. to Com. on St. Matth.saith, which hath come down to us from the first, even from the Fathers,) neither did he come to write without purpose; but forasmuch as it had been the care of the three to dwell upon the account of the dispensation,21 οκονομα, i.e., our Lord’s assumption of the Manhood. The word is so used continually by the Fathers.and the doctrines of the Godhead were near being left in silence, he, moved by Christ, then and not till then set himself to compose his Gospel.22 [This paraphrase fairly brings out the sense, but is a very free rendering of the text.—R.] And this is manifest both from the history itself, and from the opening of his Gospel. For he doth not begin like the rest from beneath, but from above, from the same point, at which he was aiming, and it was with a view to this that23 [κα δι τοτο.]he composed the whole book. And not in the beginning only, but throughout all the Gospel, he is more lofty than the rest.
Of Matthew again it is said,24 Euseb. E. H. iii. 24; St. Jer. de Vir. Ill. 3; Orig. in Matth. t. iii. 440; St. Iren. iii. 1. But St. Chrysostom seems to be quoting the words of some other writer besides these. that when those who from amongst the Jews had believed came to him, and besought him to leave to them in writing those same things, which he had spoken to them by word, he also composed his Gospel in the language of the Hebrews. And Mark too, in Egypt,25 Or in Rome, before the death of St. Peter, who approved the Gospel. So St. Clem. Alex. in Euseb. E. H. ii. 15; St. Jer. de Vir. Illustr. c. 8. St. Iren. iii. 1, seems rather to agree with St. Chrysostom. Perhaps they may be reconciled by supposing St. Mark’s Gospel written at Rome and approved by St. Peter, but not published until after his death, when St. Mark was in Egypt. See Massuet’s note on the place in St. Irenæus; and Euseb. ii. 16. is said to have done this self-same thing at the entreaty of the disciples.
For this cause then Matthew, as writing to Hebrews, sought to shew nothing more, than that He was from Abraham, and David; but Luke, as discoursing to all in general, traces up the account higher, going on even to Adam. And the one begins with His generation, because nothing was so soothing to the Jew as to be told that Christ was the offspring of Abraham and David: the other doth not so, but mentions many other things, and then proceeds to the genealogy.
8. But the harmony between them we will establish, both by the whole world, which hath received their statements, and by the very enemies of the truth. For many sects have had birth, since their time, holding opinions opposed to their words; whereof some have received all that they have said, while some have cut off from the rest certain portions of their statements, and so retain them for themselves.26 The Arians, e.g. and kindred sects, received all the Scriptures; the Marcionites, besides rejecting the Old Testament received only the Gospel of St. Luke, and ten of St. Paul’s epistles: out of which Tertulian refutes them at large. The Manichæans rejected the Old Testament and The Acts of the Apostles in which latter the Montanists agreed with them. This was besides numerous interpolations which they all alleged in the books which they did receive. See St. Aug. Ep. 237. But if there were any hostility27 [μχη, the technical term for “contradiction” when applied to statements. See Sophocles’ Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine periods; sub voce.—R.]in their statements, neither would the sects, who maintain the contrary part, have received all, but only so much as seemed to harmonize with themselves; nor would those, which have parted off a portion, be utterly refuted by that portion; so that the very fragments28 κμματα, Gr.cannot be hid, but declare aloud their connexion29 κμματα, Gr.with the whole body. And like as if thou shouldest take any part from the side of an animal, even in that part thou wouldest find all the things out of which the whole is composed;—nerves and veins, bones, arteries, and blood, and a sample, as one might say, of the whole lump;—so likewise with regard to the Scriptures; in each portion of what is there stated, one may see the connexion with the whole clearly appearing. Whereas, if they were in discord, neither could this have been pointed out, and the doctrine itself had long since been brought to nought: “for every kingdom,” saith He, “divided against itself shall not stand.”30 Matt. xii. 25; Mark iii. 24; Luke xi. 17. But now even in this shines forth the might of the Spirit, namely, in that it prevailed on these men, engaged as they were in those things which are more necessary and very urgent, to take no hurt at all from these little matters.
Now, where each one was abiding, when he wrote, it is not right for us to affirm very positively.
But that they are not opposed to each other, this we will endeavor to prove, throughout the whole work. And thou, in accusing them of disagreement, art doing just the same as if thou wert to insist upon their using the same words and forms of speech.
9. And I do not yet say, that those likewise who glory greatly in rhetoric and philosophy, having many of them written many books touching the same matters, have not merely expressed themselves differently, but have even spoken in opposition to one another (for it is one thing to speak differently and another to speak at variance); none of these things do I say. Far be it from me to frame our defense from the frenzy of those men, neither am I willing out of falsehood to make recommendations for the truth.
But this I would be glad to inquire: how were the differing accounts believed? how did they prevail? how was it that, while saying opposite things, they were admired, were believed, were celebrated everywhere in the world?
And yet the witnesses of what they said were many, and many too were the adversaries and enemies thereof. For they did not write these things in one corner and bury them, but everywhere, by sea and by land, they unfolded them in the ears of all, and these things were read in the presence of enemies, even as they are now, and none of the things which they said offended any one. And very naturally, for it was a divine power that pervaded all, and made it to prosper with all men.
10. For if it had not been so, how could the publican, and the fisherman, and the unlearned, have attained to such philosophy?31 [Literally, “philosophize such things.” Chrysostom, in common with other and earlier Fathers uses the terms φιλοσοφα and φιλοσοφεν, in a wide sense. As the translator varies his rendering of these words to suit the context, it seems proper to indicate when Chrysostom uses them.—R] For things, which they that are without have never been able to imagine, no not in a dream, are by these men with great certainty both published and made convincing, and not in their lives only, but even after death: neither to two men, nor twenty men, nor an hundred, nor a thousand, nor ten thousand, but to cities, nations, and people, both to land and sea, in the land both of Greeks and barbarians, both inhabited and desert; and all concerning things far beyond our nature. For leaving the earth, all their discourse is concerning the things in heaven, while they bring in unto us another principle of life, another manner of living: both wealth and poverty, freedom and slavery, life and death, our world and our polity, all changed.
Not like Plato, who composed that ridiculous Republic,32 [πολιτεαν, as in the latter part of the sentence. This term also is variously rendered by the translator, to suit the context. But in this Homily there is always a reference to Plato’s Republic, when the word πολιτεα is used. Hence attention is called to the instances where it occurs.—R.]or Zeno, or if there be any one else that hath written a polity, or hath framed laws. For indeed, touching all these, it hath been made manifest by themselves, that an evil spirit, and some cruel demon at war with our race, a foe to modesty, and an enemy to good order, oversetting all things, hath made his voice be heard in their soul. When, for example, they make their women common to all, and stripping virgins naked in the Palæstra, bring them into the gaze of men; and when they establish secret marriages, mingling all things together and confounding them, and overturning the limits of nature, what else is there to say? For that these their sayings are all inventions of devils, and contrary to nature, even nature herself would testify, not tolerating what we have mentioned; and this, though they write not amidst persecutions, nor dangers, nor fightings, but in all security and freedom, and deck it out with many ornaments from many sources. But these doctrines of the fishermen, chased as they were, scourged and in jeopardy, both learned and unlearned, both bond and free, both kings and private soldiers, both barbarians and Greeks, have received with all good will.
11. And thou canst not say, that it was because these things were trifling and low, that they were easily to be received by all men: nay, for these doctrines are far higher than those. For as to virginity, they never imagined even the name thereof so much as in a dream, nor yet of voluntary poverty, nor of fasting, nor of any other of those things that are high.
But they that are of our part not only exterminate lust, they chastise not only the act, but even an unchaste look, and insulting language, and disorderly laughter, and dress, and gait, and clamor, and they carry on their exactness even to the smallest things, and have filled the whole earth with the plant of virginity. And touching God too, and the things in heaven, they persuade men to be wise33 [φιλοσοφεν. Literally “to philosophize what no one of them was at any time able even to,” etc. The negatives are repeated in the original for greater emphasis.—R.]with such knowledge as no one of those hath at any time been able so much as to conceive in his mind. For how could they, who made for gods images of beasts, and of monsters that crawl on the earth, and of other things still more vile?
Yet these high doctrines were both accepted and believed, and they flourish every day and increase; but the others have passed away, and perished, having disappeared more easily than spiders’ webs.
And very naturally, for they were demons that published these things; wherefore besides their uncleanness, their obscurity is great, and the labor they require greater. For what could be more ridiculous than that “republic,”34 [πολιτεα.]in which, besides what I have mentioned, the philosopher, when he hath spent lines without number, that he may be able to shew what justice is, hath over and above this prolixity filled his discourse with much indistinctness? This, even if it did contain anything profitable, must needs be very useless for the life of man. For if the husbandman and the smith, the builder and the pilot, and every one who subsists by the labor of his hands, is to leave his trade, and his honest toils, and is to spend such and such a number of years in order to learn what justice is; before he has learnt he will often times be absolutely destroyed by hunger, and perish because of this justice, not having learnt anything else useful to be known, and having ended his life by a cruel death.
12. But our lessons are not such; rather Christ hath taught35 [ἐδδαξεν.]us what is just, and what is seemly, and what is expedient, and all virtue in general, comprising it in few and plain words: at one time saying that, “on two commandments hang the Law and the Prophets;”36 Matt. xxii. 40.that is to say, on the love of God and on the love of our neighbor: at another time, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets.”37 Matt. vii. 12.
And these things even to a laborer, and to a servant, and to a widow woman, and to a very child, and to him that appeareth to be exceedingly slow of understanding, are all plain to comprehend and easy to learn. For the lessons of the truth are like this; and the actual result bears witness thereto. All at least have learned what things they are to do, and not learned only, but been emulous also of them; and not in the cities alone nor in the midst of the market places, but also in the summits of the mountains.
Yea, for there wilt thou see true wisdom38 [φιλοσοφαν=true wisdom.—R.]abounding, and choirs of angels shining forth in a human body, and the commonwealth39 [πολιτεα, in its proper case.]of Heaven manifested here on earth. For a commonwealth40 [πολιτεα, in its proper case.]did these fishermen too write for us, not with commands that it should be embraced from childhood, like those others, nor making it a law that the virtuous man must be so many years old, but addressing their discourse generally to every age. For those lessons are children’s toys, but these are the truth of things.
And as a place for this their commonwealth41 [πολιτεα, in its proper case.]they have assigned Heaven, and God they have brought in as the framer thereof, and as lawgiver of the statutes there set; as indeed was their duty. And the rewards in their commonwealth42 [πολιτεα, in its proper case.]are not leaves of bay nor olive, nor an allowance of meat in the public hall, nor statues of brass, these cold and ordinary things, but a life which hath no end, and to become children of God, to join the angels’ choir, and to stand by the royal throne, and to be always with Christ. And the popular guides of this commonwealth43 [πολιτεα, in its proper case.]are publicans, and fishermen, and tent-makers, not such as have lived for a short time, but such as are now living for ever. Therefore even after their death they may possibly do the greatest good to the governed.
This republic44 [πολιτεα, in its proper case.]is at war not with men, but with devils, and those incorporeal powers. Wherefore also their captain is no one of men, nor of angels, but God Himself. And the armor too of these warriors suits the nature of the warfare, for it is not formed of hides and steel, but of truth and of righteousness, and faith, and all true love of wisdom.45 [φιλοσοφα.]
13. Since then the aforesaid republic46 [πολιτεα, in its proper case.]is both the subject on which this book was written, and it is now proposed for us to speak thereof, let us give careful heed to Matthew, discoursing plainly concerning this: for what he saith is not his own, but all Christ’s, who hath made the laws of this city.47 [πολιτεα, in its proper case.] Let us give heed, I say, that we may be capable of enrolment therein, and of shining forth among those that have already become citizens thereof, and are awaiting those incorruptible crowns. To many, however, this discourse seems to be easy, while the prophetic writings are difficult. But this again is the view of men who know not the depth of the thoughts laid up therein. Wherefore I entreat you to follow us with much diligence, so as to enter into the very ocean of the things written, with Christ for our guide at this our entering in.
But in order that the word may be the more easy to learn, we pray and entreat you, as we have done also with respect to the other Scriptures, to take up beforehand that portion of the Scripture which we may be going to explain, that your reading may prepare the way for your understanding (as also was the case with the eunuch48 Acts viii. 28.), and so may greatly facilitate our task.
14. And this because49 [Κα γρ.]the questions are many and frequent. See, for instance, at once in the beginning of his Gospel, how many difficulties might be raised one after the other. As first, wherefore the genealogy of Joseph is traced, who was not father of Christ. Secondly, whence may it be made manifest that He derives His origin from David, while the forefathers of Mary, who bare Him, are not known, for the Virgin’s genealogy is not traced? Thirdly, on what account Joseph’s genealogy is traced, when he had nothing to do with the birth; while with regard to the Virgin, who was the very mother, it is not shown of what fathers, or grandfathers, or ancestors, she is sprung.
And along with these things, this is also worth inquiry, wherefore it can be, that, when tracing the genealogy through the men, he hath mentioned women also; and why since he determined upon doing this, he yet did not mention them all, but passing over the more eminent, such as Sarah, Rebecca, and as many as are like them, he hath brought forward only them that are famed for some bad thing; as, for instance, if any was a harlot, or an adulteress, or a mother by an unlawful marriage, if any was a stranger or barbarian. For he hath made mention of the wife of Uriah, and of Thamar, and of Rahab, and of Ruth, of whom one was of a strange race, another an harlot, another was defiled by her near kinsman, and with him not in the form of marriage, but by a stolen intercourse, when she had put on herself the mask of an harlot; and touching the wife of Uriah no one is ignorant, by reason of the notoriety of the crime. And yet the evangelist hath passed by all the rest, and inserted in the genealogy these alone. Whereas, if women were to be mentioned, all ought to be so; if not all but some, then those famed in the way of virtue, not for evil deeds.
See you how much care is required of us straightway in the first beginning? and yet the beginning seems to be plainer than the rest; to many perhaps even superfluous, as being a mere numbering of names.
After this, another point again is worth inquiry; wherefore he hath omitted three kings. For if, because they were exceeding ungodly, he therefore passed by their names in silence, neither should he have mentioned the others, that were like them.
And this again50 [Κα γρ κα τοτο.]is another question; why, after having spoken of fourteen generations, he hath not in the third division maintained the number.51 [See Homily iv., where this question is discussed.—R.]
And wherefore Luke hath made mention of other names, and not only not all of them the same, but also many more of them, while Matthew hath both fewer and different, though he too hath ended with Joseph, with whom Luke likewise concluded.
Ye see how much wakeful attention is needed on our part, not only for explanation, but even that we may learn what things we have to explain. For neither is this a little matter, to be able to find out the difficulties; there being also this other hard point, how Elizabeth, who was of the Levitical tribe, was kinswoman to Mary.
15. But that we may not overload your memory, by stringing many things together, here let us stay our discourse for a time. For it is enough for you in order that ye be thoroughly roused, that you learn52 [Literally, “and learn.”—R.]the questions only. But if ye long for53 ἐρτεtheir solution also, this again depends on yourselves, before we speak. For if I see you thoroughly awakened, and longing to learn, I will endeavor to add the solution also; but if gaping and not attending, I will conceal both the difficulties, and their solution, in obedience to a divine law. For, saith He, “Give not the holy things to the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet.”54 Matt. vii. 6. [The citation is not, however, verbally accurate.—R.]
But who is he that tramples them under foot? He that doth not account these things precious, and venerable. And who, it may be asked, is so wretched as not to esteem these things venerable, and more precious than all? He who doth not bestow on them so much leisure as on the harlot women in the theatres of Satan. For there the multitude pass the whole day, and give up not a few of their domestic concerns for the sake of this unseasonable employment, and they retain with exactness whatever they have heard, and this though it be to the injury of their souls, that they keep it. But here, where God is speaking, they will not bear to tarry even a little time.
Therefore, let me warn you, we have nothing in common with Heaven, but our citizenship55 [πολιτεα ]goes no further than words. And yet because of this, God hath threatened even hell, not in order to cast us therein, but that He might persuade us to flee this grievous tyranny. But we do the opposite, and run each day the way that leads thither, and while God is commanding us not only to hear, but also to do what He saith, we do not submit so much as to hearken.
When then, I pray thee, are we to do what is commanded, and to put our hand to the works, if we do not endure so much as to hear the words that relate to them, but are impatient and restless about the time we stay here, although it be exceedingly short?
16. And besides, when we are talking of indifferent matters, if we see those that are in company do not attend, we call what they do an insult; but do we consider that we are provoking God, if, while He is discoursing of such things as these, we despise what is said, and look another way?
Why, he that is grown old, and hath travelled over much country, reports to us with all exactness the number of stadia, and the situations of cities, their plans, and their harbors and markets; but we ourselves know not even how far we are from the city that is in Heaven. For surely we should have endeavored to shorten the space, had we known the distance. That city being not only as far from us as Heaven is from the earth, but even much farther, if we be negligent; like as, on the other hand, if we do our best,56 [σπουδζωμεν; the verb is rendered “endeavor” in the preceding sentence.—R.]even in one instant we shall come to the gates thereof. For not by local space, but by moral disposition, are these distances defined.
But thou knowest exactly the affairs of the world, as well new as old, and such too as are quite ancient; thou canst number the princes under whom thou hast served in time past, and the ruler of the games, and them that gained the prize, and the leaders of armies, matters that are of no concern to thee; but who hath become ruler in this city, the first or the second or the third, and for how long, each of them; and what each hath accomplished, and brought to pass, thou hast not imagined even as in a dream. And the laws that are set in this city thou wilt not endure to hear, nor attend to them, even when others tell thee of them. How then, I pray thee, dost thou expect to obtain the blessings that are promised, when thou dost not even attend to what is said?
17. But though never before, now, at any rate, let us do this. Yea, for we57 [Κα γρ.]are on the point of entering into a city (if God permit) of gold, and more precious than any gold.
Let us then mark her foundations, her gates consisting of sapphires and pearls; for indeed we have in Matthew an excellent guide. For through his gate we shall now enter in, and much diligence is required on our part. For should He see any one not attentive, He casts him out of the city.
Yes, for the city is most kingly and glorious; not as the cities with us, divided into a market-place, and the royal courts; for there all is the court of the King. Let us open therefore the gates of our mind, let us open our ears, and with great trembling, when on the point of setting foot on the threshold, let us worship the King that is therein. For indeed the first approach hath power straightway to confound the beholder.
For the present we find the gates closed; but when we see them thrown open (for this is the solution of the difficulties), then we shall perceive the greatness of the splendor within. For there also, leading thee with the eyes of the Spirit, is one who offers to show thee all, even this Publican; where the King sitteth, and who of His host stand by Him; where are the angels, where the archangels; and what place is set apart for the new citizens in this city, and what kind of way it is that leads thither, and what manner of portion they have received, who first were citizens therein, and those next after them, and such as followed these. And how many are the orders of these tribes, how many those of the senate, how many the distinctions of dignity.
Let us not therefore with noise or tumult enter in, but with a mystical silence.
For if in a theatre, when a great silence hath been made, then the letters of the king are read, much more in this city must all be composed, and stand with soul and ear erect. For it is not the letters of any earthly master, but of the Lord of angels, which are on the point of being read.
If we would order ourselves on this wise, the grace itself of the Spirit will lead us in great perfection, and we shall arrive at the very royal throne, and attain to all the good things, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and might, together with the Father and the Holy Ghost, now and always, even for ever and ever. Amen.
ΤΟΥ ΕΝ ΑΓΙΟΙΣ ΠΑΤΡΟΣ ΗΜΩΝ ΙΩΑΝΝΟΥ ΤΟΥ ΧΡΥΣΟΣΤΟΜΟΥ ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΥ ΚΩΝΣΤΑΝΤΙΝΟΥΠΟΛΕΩΣ ΤΑ ΕΥΡΙΣΚΟΜΕΝΑ ΠΑΝΤΑ. ΥΠΟΜΝΗΜΑ ΕΙΣ ΤΟΝ ΑΓΙΟΝ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ ΤΟΝ ΕΥΑΓΓΕΛΙΣΤΗΝ. ΟΜΙΛΙΑ Αʹ. αʹ. Ἔδει μὲν ἡμᾶς μηδὲ δεῖσθαι τῆς ἀπὸ τῶν γραμμάτων βοηθείας, ἀλλ' οὕτω βίον παρέχεσθαι καθαρὸν, ὡς τοῦ Πνεύματος τὴν χάριν ἀντὶ βιβλίων γίνεσθαι ταῖς ἡμετέραις ψυχαῖς, καὶ καθάπερ ταῦτα διὰ μέλανος, οὕτω τὰς καρδίας τὰς ἡμετέρας διὰ Πνεύματος ἐγγεγράφθαι. Ἐπειδὴ δὲ ταύτην διεκρουσάμεθα τὴν χάριν, φέρε κἂν τὸν δεύτερον ἀσπασώμεθα πλοῦν. Ἐπεὶ ὅτι τὸ πρότερον ἄμεινον ἦν, καὶ δι' ὧν εἶπε, καὶ δι' ὧν ἐποίησεν, ἐδήλωσεν ὁ Θεός. Καὶ γὰρ τῷ Νῶε, καὶ τῷ Ἀβραὰμ καὶ τοῖς ἐγγόνοις τοῖς ἐκείνου, καὶ τῷ Ἰὼβ, καὶ τῷ Μωϋσεῖ δὲ οὐ διὰ γραμμάτων διελέγετο, ἀλλ' αὐτὸς δι' ἑαυτοῦ, καθαρὰν εὑρίσκων αὐτῶν τὴν διάνοιαν. Ἐπειδὴ δὲ εἰς αὐτὸν τῆς κακίας ἐνέπεσε τὸν πυθμένα ἅπας τῶν Ἑβραίων ὁ δῆμος, τότε λοιπὸν γράμματα καὶ πλάκες, καὶ ἡ διὰ τούτων ὑπόμνησις. Καὶ τοῦτο οὐκ ἐπὶ τῶν ἐν τῇ Παλαιᾷ ἁγίων, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἐν τῇ Καινῇ συμβὰν ἴδοι τις ἄν. Οὐδὲ γὰρ τοῖς ἀποστόλοις ἔδωκέ τι γραπτὸν ὁ Θεὸς, ἀλλ' ἀντὶ γραμμάτων τὴν τοῦ Πνεύματος ἐπηγγείλατο δώσειν χάριν: Ἐκεῖνος γὰρ ὑμᾶς ἀναμνήσει, φησὶ, πάντα. Καὶ ἵνα μάθῃς ὅτι τοῦτο πολὺ ἄμεινον ἦν, ἄκουσον διὰ τοῦ προφήτου τί φησι: Διαθήσομαι ὑμῖν διαθήκην καινὴν, διδοὺς νόμους μου εἰς διάνοιαν αὐτῶν, καὶ ἐπὶ καρδίας γράψω αὐτοὺς, καὶ ἔσονται πάντες διδακτοὶ Θεοῦ. Καὶ ὁ Παῦλος δὲ ταύτην ἐνδεικνύμενος τὴν ὑπεροχὴν, ἔλεγεν εἰληφέναι νόμον, οὐκ ἐν πλαξὶ λιθίναις, ἀλλ' ἐν πλαξὶ καρδίας σαρκίναις. Ἐπειδὴ δὲ τοῦ χρόνου προϊόντος ἐξώκειλαν, οἱ μὲν δογμάτων ἕνεκεν, οἱ δὲ βίου καὶ τρόπων, ἐδέησε πάλιν τῆς ἀπὸ τῶν γραμμάτων ὑπομνήσεως. Ἐννόησον οὖν ἡλίκον ἐστὶ κακὸν, τοὺς οὕτως ὀφείλοντας ζῇν καθαρῶς, ὡς μηδὲ δεῖσθαι γραμμάτων, ἀλλ' ἀντὶ βιβλίων παρέχειν τὰς καρδίας τῷ Πνεύματι, ἐπειδὴ τὴν τιμὴν ἀπωλέσαμεν ἐκείνην, καὶ κατέστημεν εἰς τὴν τούτων χρείαν, μηδὲ τῷ δευτέρῳ πάλιν κεχρῆσθαι φαρμάκῳ εἰς δέον. Εἰ γὰρ ἔγκλημα τὸ γραμμάτων δεηθῆναι, καὶ μὴ τὴν τοῦ Πνεύματος ἐπισπάσασθαι χάριν, σκόπησον ἡλίκη κατηγορία, τὸ μηδὲ μετὰ τὴν βοήθειαν ταύτην ἐθέλειν κερδαίνειν, ἀλλ' ὡς εἰκῆ καὶ μάτην κείμενα τὰ γράμματα περιορᾷν, καὶ μείζονα ἐπισπᾶσθαι τὴν κόλασιν. Ὅπερ ἵνα μὴ γένηται, προσέχωμεν μετὰ ἀκριβείας τοῖς γεγραμμένοις, καὶ μάθωμεν πῶς μὲν ὁ παλαιὸς ἐδόθη νόμος, πῶς δὲ ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη. Πῶς οὖν ὁ νόμος ἐκεῖνος ἐδόθη τότε, καὶ πότε καὶ ποῦ; Μετὰ τὸν τῶν Αἰγυπτίων ὄλεθρον, ἐπὶ τῆς ἐρήμου, ἐν τῷ ὄρει Σινᾶ, καπνοῦ καὶ πυρὸς ἀνιόντος ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους, σάλπιγγος ἠχούσης, βροντῶν καὶ ἀστραπῶν γινομένων, τοῦ Μωϋσέως εἰς αὐτὸν εἰσιόντος τὸν γνόφον. Ἐν τῇ Καινῇ δὲ οὐχ οὕτως: οὔτε ἐν ἐρήμῳ, οὔτε ἐν ὄρει, οὔτε μετὰ καπνοῦ καὶ σκότους καὶ γνόφου καὶ θυέλλης: ἀλλ' ἀρχομένης ἡμέρας, ἐν οἰκίᾳ, πάντων συγκαθημένων, μετὰ πολλῆς τῆς ἡμερότητος πάντα ἐγίνετο. Τοῖς μὲν γὰρ ἀλογωτέροις καὶ δυσηνίοις σωματικῆς ἔδει φαντασίας, οἷον ἐρημίας, ὄρους, καπνοῦ, σάλπιγγος ἠχῆς, καὶ τῶν ἄλλων τῶν τοιούτων: τοῖς δὲ ὑψηλοτέροις καὶ καταπειθέσι καὶ τὴν τῶν σωμάτων ἔννοιαν ὑπεραναβεβηκόσιν, οὐδενὸς ἦν τούτων χρεία. Εἰ δὲ καὶ ἐπ' αὐτῶν ἦχος ἐγένετο, οὐ διὰ τοὺς ἀποστόλους, ἀλλὰ διὰ τοὺς παρόντας Ἰουδαίους, δι' οὓς καὶ αἱ τοῦ πυρὸς ὤφθησαν γλῶσσαι. Εἰ γὰρ καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο ἔλεγον, ὅτι Γλεύκους μεμεστωμένοι εἰσὶ, πολλῷ μᾶλλον, εἰ μηδὲν τούτων εἶδον, ταῦτα ἂν εἶπον. Καὶ ἐπὶ μὲν τῆς Παλαιᾶς, Μωϋσέως ἀναβάντος, οὕτως ὁ Θεὸς κατέβη: ἐνταῦθα δὲ τῆς φύσεως τῆς ἡμετέρας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν, μᾶλλον δὲ εἰς τὸν θρόνον τὸν βασιλικὸν ἀνενεχθείσης, οὕτω τὸ Πνεῦμα κάτεισιν. Εἰ δὲ τὸ Πνεῦμα ἔλαττον, οὐκ ἂν μείζονα ἦν τὰ γενόμενα καὶ θαυμαστότερα. Καὶ γὰρ αἱ πλάκες αὗται πολλῷ βελτίους, καὶ τὰ κατορθώματα λαμπρότερα. Οὐ γὰρ ἐξ ὄρους κατῄεσαν στήλας φέροντες λιθίνας ἐπὶ τῶν χειρῶν οἱ ἀπόστολοι, καθάπερ Μωϋσῆς: ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα ἐν τῇ διανοίᾳ περιφέροντες, καὶ θησαυρόν τινα καὶ πηγὴν δογμάτων καὶ χαρισμάτων καὶ πάντων τῶν ἀγαθῶν ἀναβλύζοντες, οὕτω πανταχοῦ περιῄεσαν, βιβλία καὶ νόμοι γινόμενοι διὰ τῆς χάριτος ἔμψυχοι. Οὕτω τοὺς τρισχιλίους, οὕτω τοὺς πεντακισχιλίους, οὕτω τοὺς τῆς οἰκουμένης ἐπεσπάσαντο δήμους, τοῦ Θεοῦ διὰ τῆς ἐκείνων γλώττης τοῖς προσιοῦσιν ἅπασι διαλεγομένου. Ἀφ' οὗ καὶ ὁ Ματθαῖος τοῦ Πνεύματος ἐμπλησθεὶς ἔγραψεν ἅπερ ἔγραψε: Ματθαῖος ὁ τελώνης: οὐ γὰρ αἰσχύνομαι καλῶν αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τῆς τέχνης, οὔτε τοῦτον, οὔτε τοὺς ἄλλους. Τοῦτο γὰρ μάλιστα δείκνυσι καὶ τὴν τοῦ Πνεύματος χάριν, καὶ τὴν ἐκείνων ἀρετήν. βʹ. Εὐαγγέλιον δὲ αὐτοῦ τὴν πραγματείαν εἰκότως ἐκάλεσε. Καὶ γὰρ κολάσεως ἀναίρεσιν, καὶ ἁμαρτημάτων λύσιν, καὶ δικαιοσύνην, καὶ ἁγιασμὸν, καὶ ἀπολύτρωσιν, καὶ υἱοθεσίαν, καὶ κληρονομίαν τῶν οὐρανῶν, καὶ συγγένειαν πρὸς τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ, πᾶσιν ἦλθεν ἀπαγγέλλων: τοῖς ἐχθροῖς, τοῖς ἀγνώμοσι, τοῖς ἐν σκότῳ καθημένοις. Τί ποτ' οὖν τῶν εὐαγγελίων τούτων ἶσον γένοιτ' ἄν; Θεὸς ἐπὶ γῆς, ἄνθρωπος ἐν οὐρανῷ: καὶ πάντα ἀναμὶξ ἐγένετο, ἄγγελοι συνεχόρευον ἀνθρώποις, ἄνθρωποι τοῖς ἀγγέλοις ἐκοινώνουν, καὶ ταῖς ἄλλαις ταῖς ἄνω δυνάμεσι: καὶ ἦν ἰδεῖν τὸν χρόνιον λυθέντα πόλεμον, καὶ καταλλαγὰς Θεοῦ πρὸς τὴν ἡμετέραν γεγενημένας φύσιν, διάβολον αἰσχυνόμενον, δαίμονας δραπετεύοντας, θάνατον λελυμένον, παράδεισον ἀνοιγόμενον, κατάραν ἠφανισμένην, ἁμαρτίαν ἐκποδὼν γεγενημένην, πλάνην ἀπεληλαμένην, ἀλήθειαν ἐπανελθοῦσαν, τῆς εὐσεβείας τὸν λόγον πανταχοῦ κατασπειρόμενον καὶ κομῶντα, τὴν τῶν ἄνω πολιτείαν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς πεφυτευμένην, μετὰ ἀδείας τὰς δυνάμεις ἐκείνας ὁμιλούσας ἡμῖν, καὶ τῇ γῇ συνεχῶς ἀγγέλους ἐπιχωριάζοντας, καὶ πολλὴν ὑπὲρ τῶν μελλόντων τὴν ἐλπίδα οὖσαν. Διὰ τοῦτο Εὐαγγέλιον τὴν ἱστορίαν ἐκάλεσεν, ὡς τά γε ἄλλα πάντα ῥήματα μόνον ἐστὶ πραγμάτων ἔρημα, οἷον χρημάτων περιουσία, δυναστείας μέγεθος, καὶ ἀρχαὶ καὶ δόξαι καὶ τιμαὶ, καὶ τὰ ἄλλα ὅσα παρὰ ἀνθρώποις ἀγαθὰ εἶναι νομίζεται. Τὰ δὲ παρὰ τῶν ἁλιέων ἀπαγγελθέντα γνησίως τε καὶ κυρίως εὐαγγέλια ἂν καλοῖντο οὐκ ἐπειδὴ βέβαια καὶ ἀκίνητα μόνον ἐστὶν ἀγαθὰ, καὶ ὑπὲρ τὴν ἀξίαν τὴν ἡμετέραν, ἀλλ' ὅτι καὶ μετ' εὐκολίας ἁπάσης ἡμῖν ἐδόθη. Οὐδὲ γὰρ πονήσαντες καὶ ἱδρώσαντες, οὐ καμόντες καὶ ταλαιπωρηθέντες, ἀλλ' ἀγαπηθέντες παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ μόνον, ἐλάβομεν ἅπερ ἐλάβομεν. Καὶ τί δήποτε τοσούτων ὄντων τῶν μαθητῶν, δύο γράφουσιν ἐκ τῶν ἀποστόλων μόνοι, καὶ δύο ἐκ τῶν τούτοις ἀκολούθων; Ὁ μὲν γὰρ Παύλου, ὁ δὲ Πέτρου μαθητὴς ὢν, μετὰ Ἰωάννου καὶ Ματθαίου τὰ Εὐαγγέλια ἔγραψαν. Ὅτι οὐδὲν πρὸς φιλοτιμίαν ἐποίουν, ἀλλὰ πάντα πρὸς χρείαν. Τί οὖν; Οὐκ ἤρκει εἷς εὐαγγελιστὴς πάντα εἰπεῖν; Ἤρκει μέν: ἀλλὰ κἂν τέσσαρες ὦσιν οἱ γράφοντες, μήτε κατὰ τοὺς αὐτοὺς καιροὺς, μήτε ἐν τοῖς αὐτοῖς τόποις, μήτε συνελθόντες καὶ διαλεχθέντες ἀλλήλοις, εἶτα ὥσπερ ἀφ' ἑνὸς στόματος πάντα φθέγγωνται μεγίστη τῆς ἀληθείας ἀπόδειξις τοῦτο γίνεται. Καὶ μὴν τοὐναντίον συνέβη, φησί: πολλαχοῦ γὰρ διαφωνοῦντες ἐλέγχονται. Αὐτὸ μὲν οὖν τοῦτο μέγιστον δεῖγμα τῆς ἀληθείας ἐστίν. Εἰ γὰρ πάντα συνεφώνησαν μετὰ ἀκριβείας, καὶ μέχρι καιροῦ, καὶ μέχρι τόπου, καὶ μέχρι ῥημάτων αὐτῶν, οὐδεὶς ἂν ἐπίστευσε τῶν ἐχθρῶν, ὅτι μὴ συνελθόντες ἀπὸ συνθήκης τινὸς ἀνθρωπίνης ἔγραψαν ἅπερ ἔγραψαν: οὐ γὰρ εἶναι τῆς ἁπλότητος τὴν τοσαύτην συμφωνίαν. Νυνὶ δὲ καὶ ἡ δοκοῦσα ἐν μικροῖς εἶναι διαφωνία πάσης ἀπαλλάττει αὐτοὺς ὑποψίας, καὶ λαμπρῶς ὑπὲρ τοῦ τρόπου τῶν γραψάντων ἀπολογεῖται. Εἰ δέ τι περὶ καιρῶν ἢ τόπων διαφόρως ἀπήγγειλαν, τοῦτο οὐδὲν βλάπτει τῶν εἰρημένων τὴν ἀλήθειαν. Καὶ ταῦτα δὲ, ὡς ἂν ὁ Θεὸς παρέχῃ, πειρασόμεθα προϊόντες ἀποδεῖξαι, ἐκεῖνο μετὰ τῶν εἰρημένων ἀξιοῦντες ὑμᾶς παρατηρεῖν, ὅτι ἐν τοῖς κεφαλαίοις καὶ συνέχουσιν ἡμῶν τὴν ζωὴν καὶ τὸ κήρυγμα συγκροτοῦσιν, οὐδαμοῦ τις αὐτῶν οὐδὲ μικρὸν διαφωνήσας εὑρίσκεται. Τίνα δὲ ταῦτά ἐστιν; Οἷον, ὅτι ὁ Θεὸς ἄνθρωπος ἐγένετο, ὅτι θαύματα ἐποίησεν, ὅτι ἐσταυρώθη, ὅτι ἐτάφη, ὅτι ἀνέστη, ὅτι ἀνῆλθεν, ὅτι μέλλει κρίνειν, ὅτι ἔδωκε σωτηριώδεις ἐντολὰς, ὅτι οὐκ ἐναντίον τῇ Παλαιᾷ νόμον εἰσήνεγκεν, ὅτι Υἱὸς, ὅτι Μονογενὴς, ὅτι γνήσιος, ὅτι τῆς αὐτῆς οὐσίας τῷ Πατρὶ, καὶ ὅσα τοιαῦτα: περὶ γὰρ ταῦτα πολλὴν εὑρήσομεν οὖσαν αὐτοῖς συμφωνίαν. Εἰ δὲ ἐν τοῖς θαύμασι μὴ πάντες πάντα εἶπον, ἀλλ' ὁ μὲν ταῦτα, ὁ δὲ ἐκεῖνα, τοῦτό σε μὴ θορυβείτω: εἴτε γὰρ εἷς πάντα εἶπε, περισσὸς ἦν ὁ τῶν λοιπῶν ἀριθμός: εἴτε πάντες ἐξηλλαγμένα καὶ καινὰ πρὸς ἀλλήλους ἔγραψαν, οὐκ ἂν ἐφάνη τῆς συμφωνίας ἡ ἀπόδειξις. Διὰ τοῦτο καὶ κοινῇ πολλὰ διελέχθησαν, καὶ ἕκαστος αὐτῶν ἴδιόν τι λαβὼν εἶπεν, ἵνα μήτε περισσὸς εἶναι δόξῃ καὶ προσεῤῥῖφθαι ἁπλῶς, καὶ τῆς ἀληθείας τῶν λεγομένων ἀκριβῆ παράσχηται τὴν βάσανον ἡμῖν. γʹ. Ὁ μὲν οὖν Λουκᾶς καὶ τὴν αἰτίαν φησὶ, δι' ἢν ἐπὶ τὸ γράφειν ἔρχεται: Ἵνα ἔχῃς γὰρ, φησὶ, περὶ ὧν κατηχήθης λόγων τὴν ἀσφάλειαν: τουτέστιν, Ἵνα συνεχῶς ὑπομιμνησκόμενος τὴν ἀσφάλειαν ἔχῃς, καὶ ἐν ἀσφαλείᾳ μένῃς. Ὁ δὲ Ἰωάννης αὐτὸς μὲν ἐσίγησε τὴν αἰτίαν: ὡς γὰρ λόγος φησὶν ἄνωθεν καὶ ἐκ πατέρων εἰς ἡμᾶς καταβὰς, οὐδὲ αὐτὸς ἁπλῶς ἐπὶ τὸ γράφειν ἦλθεν: ἀλλ' ἐπειδὴ τοῖς τρισὶν ἡ σπουδὴ γέγονε τῷ τῆς οἰκονομίας ἐνδιατρῖψαι λόγῳ, καὶ τὰ τῆς θεότητος ἐκινδύνευεν ἀποσιωπᾶσθαι δόγματα, τοῦ Χριστοῦ κινήσαντος αὐτὸν λοιπὸν, οὕτως ἦλθεν ἐπὶ τὴν εὐαγγελικὴν συγγραφήν. Καὶ τοῦτο δῆλον καὶ ἐξ αὐτῆς τῆς ἱστορίας, καὶ τῶν τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου προοιμίων. Οὐδὲ γὰρ ὁμοίως τοῖς λοιποῖς κάτωθεν ἄρχεται, ἀλλ' ἄνωθεν, πρὸς ὅπερ ἠπείγετο, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο τὸ πᾶν βιβλίον συνέθηκεν. Οὐκ ἐν τοῖς προοιμίοις δὲ μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ διὰ παντὸς τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου τῶν ἄλλων ἐστὶν ὑψηλότερος. Λέγεται δὲ καὶ Ματθαῖος, τῶν ἐξ Ἰουδαίων πιστευσάντων προσελθόντων αὐτῷ καὶ παρακαλεσάντων, ἅπερ εἶπε διὰ ῥημάτων, ταῦτα ἀφεῖναι διὰ γραμμάτων αὐτοῖς, καὶ τῇ τῶν Ἑβραίων φωνῇ συνθεῖναι τὸ Εὐαγγέλιον: καὶ Μάρκος δὲ ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ, τῶν μαθητῶν παρακαλεσάντων, αὐτὸ τοῦτο ποιῆσαι. Διὰ δὴ τοῦτο ὁ μὲν Ματθαῖος, ἅτε Ἑβραίοις γράφων, οὐδὲν πλέον ἐζήτησε δεῖξαι, ἢ ὅτι ἀπὸ Ἀβραὰμ καὶ Δαυῒδ ἦν. Ὁ δὲ Λουκᾶς, ἅτε κοινῇ πᾶσι διαλεγόμενος, καὶ ἀνωτέρω τὸν λόγον ἀνάγει, μέχρι τοῦ Ἀδὰμ προϊών. Καὶ ὁ μὲν ἀπὸ τῆς γενέσεως ἄρχεται: οὐδὲν γὰρ οὕτως ἀνέπαυε τὸν Ἰουδαῖον, ὡς τὸ μαθεῖν αὐτὸν, ὅτι τοῦ Ἀβραὰμ καὶ τοῦ Δαυῒδ ἔγγονος ἦν ὁ Χριστός: ὁ δὲ οὐχ οὕτως, ἀλλ' ἑτέρων πλειόνων μέμνηται πραγμάτων, καὶ τότε ἐπὶ τὴν γενεαλογίαν πρόεισι. Τὴν δὲ συμφωνίαν αὐτῶν καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς οἰκουμένης παραστήσομεν τῆς δεξαμένης τὰ εἰρημένα, καὶ ἀπ' αὐτῶν τῶν τῆς ἀληθείας ἐχθρῶν. Καὶ γὰρ πολλαὶ μετ' ἐκείνους αἱρέσεις ἐτέχθησαν, ἐναντία δοξάζουσαι τοῖς εἰρημένοις: καὶ αἱ μὲν πάντα κατεδέξαντο τὰ λεχθέντα, αἱ δὲ μέρη τῶν εἰρημένων ἀποκόψασαι τῶν λοιπῶν, οὕτω παρ' ἑαυταῖς ἔχουσιν. Εἰ δὲ μάχη τις ἦν ἐν τοῖς εἰρημένοις, οὔτ' ἂν αἱ τἀναντία λέγουσαι ἅπαντα ἂν ἐδέξαντο, ἀλλὰ μέρος τὸ δοκοῦν αὐταῖς συνᾴδειν: οὔτ' ἂν αἱ μέρος ἀπολαβοῦσαι διηλέγχθησαν ἀπὸ τοῦ μέρους, ὡς μηδὲ τὰ κόμματα αὐτὰ λανθάνειν, ἀλλὰ βοᾷν τὴν πρὸς τὸ ὅλον σῶμα συγγένειαν. Καὶ καθάπερ ἂν ἀπὸ πλευρᾶς λάβῃς τι μέρος, καὶ ἐν τῷ μέρει τὰ πάντα εὑρήσεις, ἀφ' ὧν τὸ ὅλον ζῶον συνέστηκε, καὶ νεῦρα, καὶ φλέβας, καὶ ὀστᾶ, καὶ ἀρτηρίας, καὶ αἷμα, καὶ ὁλοκλήρου, ὡς ἂν εἴποι τις, τοῦ φυράματος δεῖγμα: οὕτω καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν Γραφῶν ἔστιν ἰδεῖν ἑκάστῳ τῶν εἰρημένων μέρει τὴν τοῦ παντὸς συγγένειαν διαφαινομένην. Εἰ δὲ διεφώνουν, οὔτ' ἂν τοῦτο ἐδείχθη, καὶ αὐτὸ πάλαι ἂν διελύθη τὸ δόγμα: Πᾶσα γὰρ βασιλεία, φησὶν, ἐφ' ἑαυτῆς μερισθεῖσα οὐ σταθήσεται. Νῦν δὲ κἂν τούτῳ τοῦ Πνεύματος ἡ ἰσχὺς λάμπει, πείσασα τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, περὶ τὰ ἀναγκαιότερα καὶ κατεπείγοντα γενομένους, μηδὲν ἀπὸ τῶν μικρῶν τούτων παραβλάπτεσθαι. δʹ. Ἔνθα μὲν οὖν ἕκαστος διατρίβων ἔγραψεν, οὐ σφόδρα ἡμῖν δεῖ ἰσχυρίσασθαι: ὅτι δὲ οὐ κατ' ἀλλήλων ἔστησαν, τοῦτο διὰ πάσης τῆς πραγματείας πειρασόμεθα ἀποδεῖξαι. Σὺ δὲ ταὐτὸν ποιεῖς, διαφωνίαν αἰτιώμενος, ὥσπερ ἂν εἰ καὶ ῥήματα τὰ αὐτὰ ἐκέλευες εἰπεῖν, καὶ τρόπους λέξεων. Καὶ οὔπω λέγω ὅτι καὶ οἱ μέγα ἐπὶ ῥητορικῇ καὶ φιλοσοφίᾳ κομπάζοντες, πολλοὶ πολλὰ βιβλία γράψαντες περὶ τῶν αὐτῶν πραγμάτων, οὐ μόνον ἁπλῶς διεφώνησαν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐναντίως ἀλλήλοις εἶπον. Καὶ γὰρ ἕτερόν ἐστι διαφόρως εἰπεῖν, καὶ μαχομένους εἰπεῖν. Οὐδὲν τούτων λέγω: μή μοι γένοιτο ἐκ τῆς ἐκείνων παρανοίας συνθεῖναι τὴν ἀπολογίαν: οὐδὲ γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ ψεύδους τὴν ἀλήθειαν συστήσασθαι βούλομαι. Ἀλλ' ἐκεῖνο ἡδέως ἂν ἐροίμην, Πῶς ἐπιστεύθη τὰ διαφωνοῦντα; πῶς ἐκράτησε; πῶς ἐναντία λέγοντες ἐθαυμάζοντο, ἐπιστεύοντο, ἀνεκηρύττοντο πανταχοῦ τῆς οἰκουμένης; Καίτοι πολλοὶ οἱ μάρτυρες τῶν λεγομένων ἦσαν, πολλοὶ δὲ καὶ οἱ ἐχθροὶ καὶ πολέμιοι. Οὐ γὰρ ἐν γωνίᾳ μιᾷ γράψαντες αὐτὰ κατώρυξαν, ἀλλὰ πανταχοῦ γῆς καὶ θαλάττης ἥπλωσαν ὑπὸ ταῖς πάντων ἀκοαῖς: καὶ ἐχθρῶν παρόντων ταῦτα ἀνεγινώσκετο, καθάπερ καὶ νῦν, καὶ οὐδένα οὐδὲν τῶν εἰρημένων ἐσκανδάλισε. Καὶ μάλα εἰκότως: θεία γὰρ δύναμις ἦν ἡ πάντα ἐπιοῦσα καὶ κατορθοῦσα παρὰ πᾶσιν. Ἐπεὶ εἰ μὴ τοῦτο ἦν, πῶς ὁ τελώνης, καὶ ὁ ἁλιεὺς, καὶ ὁ ἀγράμματος τοιαῦτα ἐφιλοσόφει; Ἃ γὰρ οὐδὲ ὄναρ οἱ ἔξωθεν φαντασθῆναι ἠδυνήθησάν ποτε, ταῦτα οὗτοι μετὰ πολλῆς τῆς πληροφορίας καὶ ἀπαγγέλλουσι καὶ πείθουσι: καὶ οὐχὶ ζῶντες μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ τελευτήσαντες: οὐδὲ δύο καὶ εἴκοσιν ἀνθρώπους, οὐδὲ ἑκατὸν καὶ χιλίους καὶ μυρίους, ἀλλὰ πόλεις καὶ ἔθνη καὶ δήμους, καὶ γῆν καὶ θάλασσαν, καὶ Ἑλλάδα καὶ βάρβαρον, καὶ τὴν οἰκουμένην καὶ τὴν ἀοίκητον: καὶ περὶ πραγμάτων σφόδρα τὴν ἡμετέραν ὑπερβαινόντων φύσιν. Τὴν γὰρ γῆν ἀφέντες, πάντα περὶ τῶν ἐν οὐρανοῖς διαλέγονται, ἑτέραν ἡμῖν ζωὴν εἰσάγοντες καὶ βίον ἄλλον, καὶ πλοῦτον καὶ πενίαν, καὶ ἐλευθερίαν καὶ δουλείαν, καὶ ζωὴν καὶ θάνατον, καὶ κόσμον καὶ πολιτείαν, πάντα ἐξηλλαγμένα. Οὐ καθάπερ Πλάτων, ὁ τὴν καταγέλαστον ἐκείνην πολιτείαν συνθεὶς, καὶ Ζήνων, καὶ εἴ τις ἕτερος πολιτείαν ἔγραψεν, ἢ νόμους συνέθηκεν. Καὶ γὰρ αὐτόθεν ἅπαντες ἐδείκνυντο οὗτοι, ὅτι πνεῦμα πονηρὸν, καὶ δαίμων τις ἄγριος πολεμῶν ἡμῶν τῇ φύσει, καὶ σωφροσύνης ἐχθρὸς, καὶ εὐταξίας πολέμιος, πάντα ἄνω καὶ κάτω ποιῶν, ἐνήχησεν αὐτῶν τῇ ψυχῇ. Ὅταν γὰρ κοινὰς πᾶσι τὰς γυναῖκας ποιῶσι, καὶ παρθένους γυμνώσαντες ἐπὶ τῆς παλαίστρας ἄγωσιν ἐπὶ θέαν ἀνθρώπων, καὶ λαθραίους κατασκευάζωσι γάμους, πάντα ὁμοῦ μιγνύντες καὶ συνταράττοντες, καὶ τοὺς ὅρους τῆς φύσεως ἀνατρέποντες, τί ἕτερον ἔστιν εἰπεῖν; Ὅτι γὰρ δαιμόνων ἐκεῖνα ἅπαντα εὑρήματα καὶ παρὰ φύσιν τὰ λεγόμενα, καὶ αὐτὴ μαρτυρήσειεν ἂν ἡμῖν ἡ φύσις, οὐκ ἀνασχομένη τῶν εἰρημένων: καὶ ταῦτα οὐ μετὰ διωγμῶν, οὐ μετὰ κινδύνων, οὐ μετὰ πολέμων, ἀλλὰ μετὰ ἀδείας καὶ ἐλευθερίας ἁπάσης γραφόντων, καὶ πολλοῖς πολλαχόθεν καλλωπιζόντων. Τὰ δὲ τῶν ἁλιέων, ἐλαυνομένων, μαστιζομένων, κινδυνευόντων, καὶ ἰδιῶται καὶ σοφοὶ, καὶ δοῦλοι καὶ ἐλεύθεροι, καὶ βασιλεῖς καὶ στρατιῶται, καὶ βάρβαροι καὶ Ἕλληνες, μετὰ πάσης ἐδέξαντο τῆς εὐνοίας. εʹ. Καὶ οὐκ ἂν ἔχοις εἰπεῖν, ὅτι διὰ τὸ μικρὰ εἶναι ταῦτα καὶ χαμαίζηλα, εὐπαράδεκτα γέγονεν ἅπασι: καὶ γὰρ πολλῷ ταῦτα ἐκείνων ὑψηλότερα. Παρθενείας μὲν γὰρ, ἐκεῖνοι οὐδὲ ὄναρ οὐδὲ ὄνομα ἐφαντάσθησαν, οὐδὲ ἀκτημοσύνης, οὐδὲ νηστείας, οὐδέ τινος ἄλλου τῶν ὑψηλῶν. Οἱ δὲ παρ' ἡμῖν οὐκ ἐπιθυμίαν ἐξορίζουσι μόνον, οὐδὲ πρᾶξιν κολάζουσιν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὄψιν ἀκόλαστον, καὶ ῥήματα ὑβριστικὰ, καὶ γέλωτα ἄτακτον, καὶ σχῆμα, καὶ βάδισμα, καὶ κραυγὴν, καὶ μέχρι τῶν μικροτάτων προάγουσι τὴν ἀκρίβειαν, καὶ τὴν οἰκουμένην ἅπασαν τοῦ τῆς παρθενίας ἐνέπλησαν φυτοῦ. Καὶ περὶ Θεοῦ δὲ ταῦτα φιλοσοφεῖν πείθουσι, καὶ τῶν ἐν οὐρανοῖς πραγμάτων, ἃ μηδεὶς μηδέποτε ἐκείνων μηδὲ εἰς νοῦν λαβεῖν ἴσχυσε. Πῶς γὰρ, οἱ κνωδάλων καὶ θηρίων χαμαὶ ἑρπόντων καὶ ἑτέρων ἀτιμοτέρων εἰκόνας θεοποιήσαντες; Ἀλλ' ὅμως καὶ ἐδέχθη καὶ ἐπιστεύθη τὰ ὑψηλὰ ταῦτα δόγματα, καὶ καθ' ἑκάστην ἀνθεῖ τὴν ἡμέραν, καὶ ἐπιδίδωσι. Τὰ δὲ ἐκείνων οἴχεται καὶ ἀπόλωλεν, ἀραχνίων εὐκολώτερον ἀφανισθέντα. Καὶ μάλα εἰκότως: δαίμονες γὰρ ταῦτα διηγόρευον. Διὸ μετὰ τῆς ἀσελγείας καὶ πολὺν ἔχει τὸν ζόφον, καὶ πλείω τὸν πόνον. Τί γὰρ ἂν γένοιτο καταγελαστότερον τῆς πολιτείας ἐκείνης, ἐν ᾗ μετὰ τῶν εἰρημένων μυρίους ἀναλώσας στίχους ὁ φιλόσοφος, ὥστε δυνηθῆναι δεῖξαι τί ποτέ ἐστι τὸ δίκαιον, μετὰ τῆς μακρηγορίας, καὶ ἀσαφείας πολλῆς τὰ εἰρημένα ἐνέπλησεν; Ὅπερ εἰ καί τι συμφέρον εἶχε, σφόδρα ἄχρηστον ἔμελλεν εἶναι τῷ τῶν ἀνθρώπων βίῳ. Εἰ γὰρ ὁ γεωργὸς, καὶ ὁ χαλκοτύπος, καὶ ὁ οἰκοδόμος, καὶ ὁ κυβερνήτης, καὶ ἕκαστος, ἀπὸ τῆς τῶν χειρῶν τρεφόμενος ἐργασίας, μέλλοι τῆς τέχνης μὲν ἀφίστασθαι καὶ τῶν δικαίων πόνων, ἀναλίσκειν δὲ ἔτη τόσα καὶ τόσα, ὥστε μαθεῖν τί ποτέ ἐστι τὸ δίκαιον: καὶ πρὶν ἢ μαθεῖν πολλάκις φθάσει λιμῷ διαφθαρεὶς, καὶ ἀπελεύσεται διὰ τὸ δίκαιον τοῦτο, μήτε τῶν ἄλλων τῶν χρησίμων μηδὲν μαθὼν, καὶ βιαίῳ θανάτῳ καταλύσας τὸν βίον. Ἀλλ' οὐ τὰ ἡμέτερα τοιαῦτα: ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ δίκαιον, καὶ τὸ πρέπον, καὶ τὸ συμφέρον, καὶ πᾶσαν ἁπλῶς τὴν ἀρετὴν ἐν βραχέσι καὶ σαφέσι συλλαβὼν ῥήμασιν, ἐδίδαξεν ἡμᾶς ὁ Χριστός: ποτὲ μὲν λέγων, ὅτι Ἐν δυσὶν ἐντολαῖς ὁ νόμος καὶ οἱ προφῆται κρέμανται, τουτέστι, τῇ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀγάπῃ, καὶ τῇ τοῦ πλησίον: ποτὲ δὲ λέγων, Ὅσα ἂν θέλητε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι, καὶ ὑμεῖς ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς. Οὗτος γάρ ἐστιν ὁ νόμος καὶ οἱ προφῆται. Ἅπερ καὶ γηπόνῳ, καὶ οἰκέτῃ, καὶ γυναικὶ χήρᾳ, καὶ παιδὶ αὐτῷ, καὶ τῷ σφόδρα ἀνοήτῳ δοκοῦντι εἶναι, πάντα εὐσύνοπτα καὶ ῥᾴδια καταμαθεῖν. Τοιαῦτα γὰρ τὰ τῆς ἀληθείας: καὶ μαρτυρεῖ τῶν πραγμάτων τὸ τέλος. Πάντες γοῦν ἔμαθον τὰ πρακτέα: καὶ οὐκ ἔμαθον μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐζήλωσαν: καὶ οὐκ ἐν ταῖς πόλεσι μόνον, οὐδὲ ἐν μέσαις ταῖς ἀγοραῖς, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν ταῖς κορυφαῖς τῶν ὀρῶν. Καὶ γὰρ ἐκεῖ πολλὴν ὄψει τὴν φιλοσοφίαν οὖσαν, καὶ χοροὺς ἀγγέλων ἐν ἀνθρωπίνῳ σώματι λάμποντας, καὶ τὴν τῶν οὐρανῶν πολιτείαν ἐνταῦθα φαινομένην. Καὶ γὰρ πολιτείαν ἔγραψαν ἡμῖν οἱ ἁλιεῖς, οὐκ ἀπὸ παίδων κελεύσαντες λαμβάνεσθαι, καθάπερ ἐκεῖνοι, οὐδὲ τόσων καὶ τόσων ἐτῶν νομοθετοῦντες εἶναι τὸν ἐνάρετον: ἀλλ' ἁπλῶς πάσῃ διαλεγόμενοι ἡλικίᾳ. Ἐκεῖνα μὲν γὰρ, παίδων παίγνια: ταῦτα δὲ, πραγμάτων ἀλήθεια. Καὶ τόπον δὲ ἀπέδωκαν τῇ πολιτείᾳ ταύτῃ τὸν οὐρανὸν, καὶ τεχνίτην αὐτῆς τὸν Θεὸν εἰσήγαγον, καὶ νομοθέτην τῶν ἐκεῖ κειμένων νόμων: ὥσπερ οὖν καὶ ἐχρῆν. Τὰ δὲ ἔπαθλα τῆς πολιτείας, οὐ φύλλα δάφνης, οὐδὲ κότινος, οὐδὲ ἡ ἐν πρυτανείῳ σίτησις, οὐδὲ εἰκόνες χαλκαῖ, τὰ ψυχρὰ ταῦτα καὶ εὐτελῆ: ἀλλὰ ζωὴ τέλος οὐκ ἔχουσα, καὶ τὸ Θεοῦ γενέσθαι παῖδας, καὶ τὸ μετ' ἀγγέλων χορεύειν, καὶ τῷ θρόνῳ παρεστάναι τῷ βασιλικῷ, καὶ διηνεκῶς εἶναι μετὰ Χριστοῦ. Ϛʹ. Δημαγωγοὶ δὲ τῆς πολιτείας εἰσὶ ταύτης τελῶναι, καὶ ἁλιεῖς, καὶ σκηνοποιοὶ, οὐκ ἐν χρόνῳ ζήσαντες ὀλίγῳ, ἀλλὰ διὰ παντὸς ζῶντες. Διὰ τοῦτο καὶ μετὰ τελευτὴν τοὺς πολιτευομένους τὰ μέγιστα ὀνῆσαι δύναιντ' ἄν. Ταύτῃ τῇ πολιτείᾳ πόλεμος οὐ πρὸς ἀνθρώπους, ἀλλὰ πρὸς δαίμονας καὶ τὰς ἀσωμάτους δυνάμεις ἐκείνας ἐστί. Διὸ καὶ στρατηγὸς αὐτοῖς οὐκ ἀνθρώπων, οὐδὲ ἀγγέλων οὐδεὶς, ἀλλ' αὐτὸς ὁ Θεός. Καὶ τὰ ὅπλα δὲ τῶν στρατιωτῶν τούτων μιμεῖται τοῦ πολέμου τὴν φύσιν: οὐ γὰρ ἀπὸ δέρματος καὶ σιδήρου κατεσκευασμένα εἰσὶν, ἀλλ' ἐξ ἀληθείας καὶ δικαιοσύνης καὶ πίστεως καὶ φιλοσοφίας ἁπάσης. Ἐπεὶ οὖν περὶ τῆς πολιτείας ταύτης καὶ τὸ βιβλίον τοῦτο γέγραπται, καὶ ἡμῖν πρόκειται νῦν εἰπεῖν, προσέχωμεν ἀκριβῶς τῷ Ματθαίῳ περὶ ταύτης τρανῶς διαλεγομένῳ. Οὐ γὰρ αὐτοῦ, ἀλλὰ τοῦ τὴν πολιτείαν νομοθετήσαντος Χριστοῦ πάντα ἐστὶ τὰ λεγόμενα. Προσέχωμεν δὲ, ἵνα καὶ ἐγγραφῆναι δυνηθῶμεν εἰς αὐτὴν, καὶ λάμψαι μετὰ τῶν ἤδη πολιτευσαμένων, καὶ τοὺς ἀμαράντους ἐκείνους ἐκδεχομένων στεφάνους. Καίτοιγε πολλοῖς εὔκολος ὁ λόγος οὗτος εἶναι δοκεῖ, τὰ δὲ τῶν προφητῶν δυσκολίαν ἔχειν. Ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῦτο ἀγνοούντων ἐστὶ τὸ βάθος τῶν ἐναποκειμένων αὐτῷ νοημάτων. Διὸ παρακαλῶ, μετὰ πολλῆς ἡμῖν ἕπεσθαι τῆς σπουδῆς, ὥστε εἰς αὐτὸ τὸ πέλαγος τῶν γεγραμμένων εἰσελθεῖν, τοῦ Χριστοῦ προηγουμένου ταύτης ἡμῖν τῆς εἰσόδου. Ὥστε δὲ εὐμαθέστερον γενέσθαι τὸν λόγον, δεόμεθα καὶ παρακαλοῦμεν (ὅπερ καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἄλλων Γραφῶν πεποιήκαμεν), προλαμβάνειν τὴν περικοπὴν τῆς Γραφῆς, ἢν ἂν μέλλωμεν ἐξηγεῖσθαι, ἵνα τῇ γνώσει ἡ ἀνάγνωσις προοδοποιοῦσα ᾖ, ὃ καὶ ἐπὶ τοῦ εὐνούχου γέγονε, καὶ πολλὴν παράσχῃ τὴν εὐκολίαν ἡμῖν. Καὶ γὰρ τὰ ζητούμενα πολλὰ καὶ ἐπάλληλα. Ὅρα γοῦν εὐθέως ἐν προοιμίοις τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου αὐτοῦ, πόσα ἄν τις ἐπαπορήσειε. Πρῶτον μὲν, τίνος ἕνεκεν ὁ Ἰωσὴφ γενεαλογεῖται, οὐκ ὢν τοῦ Χριστοῦ πατήρ. Δεύτερον δὲ, πόθεν ἔσται δῆλος ἡμῖν ἀπὸ τοῦ Δαυῒδ κατάγων τὸ γένος, τῆς Μαρίας, ἀφ' ἧς ἐτέχθη, τῶν προγόνων ἀγνοουμένων: οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐγενεαλογήθη ἡ Παρθένος. Τρίτον, τίνος ἕνεκεν ὁ μὲν Ἰωσὴφ, ὁ μηδὲν συντελῶν πρὸς τὴν γέννησιν, γενεαλογεῖται: ἡ δὲ Παρθένος, ἡ καὶ μήτηρ γενομένη, οὐ δείκνυται τίνων πατέρων καὶ πάππων καὶ προγόνων ἐστί. Μετὰ τούτων ἄξιον κἀκεῖνο ζητῆσαι, τί δήποτε διὰ τῶν ἀνδρῶν προάγων τὴν γενεαλογίαν, ἐμνήσθη καὶ γυναικῶν. Καὶ ἐπειδὴ τοῦτο αὐτῷ ἔδοξεν, οὐδὲ πάσας τέθεικε τὰς γυναῖκας, ἀλλὰ τὰς εὐδοκίμους παραδραμὼν, οἷον τὴν Σάῤῥαν, τὴν Ῥεβέκκαν, καὶ ὅσαι τοιαῦται, τὰς ἐπὶ κακίᾳ βεβοημένας, ταύτας εἰς μέσον ἤγαγε μόνον: οἷον εἴ τις πόρνη καὶ μοιχαλὶς, εἴ τις ἐκ παρανόμων γάμων, εἴ τις ἀλλόφυλος καὶ βάρβαρος ἦν. Καὶ γὰρ τῆς τοῦ Οὐρίου, καὶ τῆς Θάμαρ, καὶ τῆς Ῥαὰβ, καὶ τῆς Ῥοὺθ ἐμνημόνευσεν: ὧν ἡ μὲν ἀλλογενὴς ἦν, ἡ δὲ πόρνη, ἡ δὲ τῷ κηδεστῇ προσεφθάρη: καὶ οὐδὲ τούτῳ νόμῳ γάμου, ἀλλὰ κλέψασα τὴν μίξιν, καὶ πόρνης περιθεμένη προσωπεῖον ἑαυτῇ: καὶ τὴν τοῦ Οὐρίου δὲ οὐδεὶς ἀγνοεῖ διὰ τὴν περιφάνειαν τοῦ τολμήματος. Ἀλλ' ὅμως πάσας τὰς ἄλλας ἀφεὶς ὁ εὐαγγελιστὴς, ταύτας ἐνέθηκε τῇ γενεαλογίᾳ μόνας. Καίτοι εἰ μνησθῆναι γυναικῶν ἔδει, πασῶν ἐχρῆν: εἰ δὲ μὴ πασῶν, ἀλλ' ἐνίων, τῶν ἐν ἀρετῇ, οὐ τῶν ἐν ἁμαρτήμασι βεβοημένων. Εἴδετε πόσης ἡμῖν δεῖ προσοχῆς ἐν τοῖς προοιμίοις εὐθέως. Καίτοιγε δοκεῖ σαφέστερον εἶναι τῶν ἄλλων τὸ προοίμιον, τάχα δὲ πολλοῖς καὶ περισσὸν, διὰ τὸ ὀνομάτων ἀριθμὸν εἶναι μόνον. Μετὰ τοῦτο κἀκεῖνο ἄξιον ζητῆσαι, τίνος ἕνεκεν τρεῖς παρέδραμε βασιλεῖς. Εἰ γὰρ ὡς σφόδρα ἀσεβῶν ἀπεσιώπησε τὴν προσηγορίαν, οὐδὲ τῶν ἄλλων τῶν τοιούτων μνησθῆναι ἔδει. Καὶ γὰρ καὶ τοῦτο ἕτερόν ἐστι ζήτημα. Δεκατέσσαρας γὰρ εἰπὼν γενεὰς, ἐν τῇ τρίτῃ μερίδι τὸν ἀριθμὸν οὐ διέσωσε. Καὶ τίνος ἕνεκεν ὁ μὲν Λουκᾶς ἑτέρων ἐμνημόνευσεν ὀνομάτων, καὶ οὐ μόνον οὐ τῶν αὐτῶν ἁπάντων, ἀλλὰ καὶ πολλῷ πλειόνων: ὁ δὲ Ματθαῖος, καὶ ἐλαττόνων, καὶ ἑτέρων, καίτοιγε εἰς τὸν Ἰωσὴφ καὶ αὐτὸς τελευτήσας, εἰς ὃν καὶ ὁ Λουκᾶς κατέληξεν. Ὁρᾶτε ὅσης ἀγρυπνίας ἡμῖν χρεία, οὐκ εἰς τὸ λῦσαι μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ εἰς τὸ μαθεῖν, τίνα χρὴ λῦσαι. Οὐδὲ γὰρ τοῦτο μικρὸν, τὸ τὰ διαπορούμενα δυνηθῆναι εὑρεῖν: καὶ γὰρ καὶ ἐκεῖνο ἄπορον, πῶς ἡ Ἐλισάβετ ἀπὸ τῆς Λευϊτικῆς φυλῆς οὖσα, συγγενὴς ἦν τῆς Μαρίας. ζʹ. Ἀλλ' ἵνα μὴ καταχώσωμεν ὑμῶν τὴν μνήμην πολλὰ συνείροντες, ἐνταῦθα τέως τὸν λόγον στήσωμεν. Ἀρκεῖ γὰρ ὑμῖν εἰς τὸ διεγερθῆναι καὶ τὸ τὰ ζητούμενα μόνον μαθεῖν. Εἰ δὲ καὶ τῆς λύσεως ἐρᾶτε, καὶ τούτου πρὸ τῶν λόγων τῶν ἡμετέρων ὑμεῖς κύριοι. Ἂν μὲν γὰρ ἴδω διεγερθέντας καὶ ἐπιθυμοῦντας μαθεῖν, πειράσομαι καὶ τὴν λύσιν ἐπαγαγεῖν: ἂν δὲ χασμωμένους καὶ μὴ προσέχοντας, ἀποκρύψομαι καὶ τὰ ζητήματα καὶ τὴν λύσιν, θείῳ νόμῳ πειθόμενος: Μὴ δῶτε γὰρ, φησὶ, τὰ ἅγια τοῖς κυσὶ, μηδὲ ῥίψητε τοὺς μαργαρίτας ὑμῶν ἔμπροσθεν τῶν χοίρων, ἵνα μὴ καταπατήσωσι τοῖς ποσὶν αὑτῶν. Τίς δέ ἐστιν ὁ καταπατῶν; Ὁ μὴ τίμια ταῦτα ἡγούμενος καὶ σεμνά. Καὶ τίς οὕτως ἄθλιος, φησὶν, ὡς μὴ σεμνὰ ταῦτα καὶ πάντων ἡγεῖσθαι τιμιώτερα; Ὁ μηδὲ τοσαύτην παρέχων αὐτοῖς σχολὴν, ὅσην ταῖς πόρναις γυναιξὶν ἐν τοῖς σατανικοῖς θεάτροις. Ἐκεῖ μὲν γὰρ καὶ διημερεύουσιν οἱ πολλοὶ, καὶ πολλὰ τῶν ἐπὶ τῆς οἰκίας προδιδόασι διὰ τὴν ἄκαιρον ἀσχολίαν ταύτην, καὶ μετὰ ἀκριβείας ὅπερ ἂν ἀκούσωσι κατέχουσι, καὶ ταῦτα ἐπὶ λύμῃ τῆς ἑαυτῶν ψυχῆς φυλάττοντες. Ἐνταῦθα δὲ τοῦ Θεοῦ φθεγγομένου, οὐδὲ μικρὸν ἀνέχονται παραμεῖναι χρόνον. Διά τοι τοῦτο οὐδὲν κοινὸν ἔχομεν πρὸς τὸν οὐρανὸν, ἀλλὰ μέχρι ῥημάτων ἡμῖν ἡ πολιτεία. Καίτοιγε καὶ γέενναν διὰ τοῦτο ἠπείλησεν ὁ Θεὸς, οὐχ ἵνα ἐμβάλῃ, ἀλλ' ἵνα πείσῃ φυγεῖν τὴν χαλεπὴν τυραννίδα ταύτην. Ἡμεῖς δὲ τοὐναντίον ποιοῦμεν, καὶ καθ' ἑκάστην ἡμέραν πρὸς τὴν ἐκεῖ φέρουσαν ὁδὸν τρέχομεν: καὶ τοῦ Θεοῦ κελεύοντος μὴ μόνον ἀκούειν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ποιεῖν τὰ λεγόμενα, οὐδὲ ἀκοῦσαι ἀνεχόμεθα. Πότε οὖν πράξομεν, εἰπέ μοι, τὰ κελευόμενα, καὶ τῶν ἔργων ἁψόμεθα, ὅταν μηδὲ τοὺς ὑπὲρ τούτων λόγους ἀκούειν ἀνεχώμεθα, ἀλλὰ ἀσχάλλωμεν καὶ ἀλύωμεν πρὸς τὴν ἐνταῦθα διατριβὴν, καίτοι βραχεῖαν οὖσαν σφόδρα; Εἶτα ἡμεῖς μὲν περὶ ψυχρῶν διαλεγόμενοι πραγμάτων, ἂν τοὺς συγκαθημένους μὴ προσέχοντας ἴδωμεν, ὕβριν τὸ πρᾶγμά φαμεν. Τὸν Θεὸν δὲ οὐχ ἡγούμεθα παροξύνειν, ὅταν αὐτοῦ περὶ τοιούτων διαλεγομένου, καταφρονήσαντες τῶν λεγομένων, ἑτέρωσε βλέπωμεν; Ἀλλ' ὁ μὲν γεγηρακὼς καὶ πολλὴν ἐπελθὼν γῆν, καὶ σταδίων ἀριθμὸν, καὶ πόλεων θέσεις, καὶ σχήματα καὶ λιμένας καὶ ἀγορὰς μετὰ ἀκριβείας ἡμῖν ἀπαγγέλλει πάσης: αὐτοὶ δὲ οὐδὲ ὅσον ἀπέχομεν τῆς ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς πόλεως ἴσμεν: ἦ γὰρ ἂν καὶ ἐσπουδάσαμεν ἐπιτεμεῖν τὸ μῆκος, εἰ τὸ διάστημα ἔγνωμεν. Οὐ γὰρ τοσοῦτον ἡμῶν ἀφέστηκεν ἡ πόλις ἐκείνη, ὅσον οὐρανοῦ πρὸς τὴν γῆν τὸ μέσον, ἀλλὰ καὶ πολλῷ πλέον, ἐὰν ἀμελῶμεν: ὥσπερ οὖν ἐὰν σπουδάζωμεν, καὶ ἐν ἀκαρεῖ χρόνῳ ἐπὶ τὰς πύλας αὐτῆς ἥξομεν. Οὐ γὰρ μήκει τόπων, ἀλλὰ γνώμῃ τρόπων τὰ διαστήματα ταῦτα ὥρισται. ηʹ. Σὺ δὲ τὰ μὲν τοῦ βίου πράγματα μετὰ ἀκριβείας οἶδας, καὶ τὰ νέα καὶ τὰ ἀρχαῖα καὶ τὰ παλαιὰ, καὶ ἄρχοντας ἀριθμεῖν δύνασαι, οἷς ἐστρατεύσω τὸν ἔμπροσθεν χρόνον, καὶ ἀγωνοθέτην, καὶ ἀθλοφόρους, καὶ στρατηγοὺς, τὰ μηδέν σοι διαφέροντα: τίς δὲ ἄρχων ἐν τῇ πόλει ταύτῃ γέγονεν, ἢ πρῶτος, ἢ δεύτερος, ἢ τρίτος, ἢ πόσον ἕκαστος χρόνον, ἢ τί κατορθώσας καὶ ἐργασάμενος, οὐδὲ ὄναρ ἐφαντάσθης ποτέ. Νόμων δὲ τῶν ἐν τῇ πόλει ταύτῃ κειμένων, οὐδὲ ἑτέρων λεγόντων ἀκοῦσαι καὶ προσέχειν ὑπομένεις. Πῶς οὖν, εἰπέ μοι, προσδοκᾷς τεύξασθαι τῶν ἐπηγγελμένων ἀγαθῶν, μηδὲ τοῖς λεγομένοις προσέχων; Ἀλλ' εἰ καὶ μὴ πρότερον, νῦν γοῦν τοῦτο ποιῶμεν. Καὶ γὰρ εἰς πόλιν μέλλομεν εἰσιέναι, ἐὰν ὁ Θεὸς ἐπιτρέπῃ, χρυσῆν, καὶ χρυσοῦ παντὸς τιμιωτέραν. Καταμάθωμεν οὖν αὐτῆς τὰ θεμέλια, τὰς πύλας τὰς ἀπὸ σαπφείρου καὶ μαργαριτῶν συγκειμένας: καὶ γὰρ ἔχομεν ἄριστον χειραγωγὸν τὸν Ματθαῖον. Διὰ γὰρ τῆς αὐτοῦ πύλης εἴσιμεν νῦν, καὶ δεῖ πολλῆς ἡμῖν τῆς σπουδῆς. Ἂν γὰρ ἴδῃ τινὰ μὴ προσέχοντα, ἐκβάλλει τῆς πόλεως. Καὶ γάρ ἐστι βασιλικωτάτη ἡ πόλις καὶ περιφανής: οὐχ ὥσπερ αἱ παρ' ἡμῖν, εἰς ἀγορὰν καὶ βασίλεια διῃρημένη: ἀλλὰ πάντα βασίλεια τὰ ἐκεῖ. Ἀναπετάσωμεν τοίνυν τὰς πύλας τῆς διανοίας, ἀναπετάσωμεν τὴν ἀκοὴν, καὶ μετὰ φρίκης πολλῆς μέλλοντες ἐπιβαίνειν τῶν προθύρων, προσκυνήσωμεν τὸν ἐν αὐτῇ βασιλέα: καὶ γὰρ εὐθέως ἡ πρώτη προσβολὴ καταπλῆξαι δύναται τὸν θεατήν. Κεκλεισμέναι μὲν νῦν εἰσιν ἡμῖν αἱ πύλαι: ὅταν δὲ ἴδωμεν αὐτὰς ἀναπετασθείσας (τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν ἡ τῶν ζητημάτων λύσις), τότε ὀψόμεθα πολλὴν ἔνδον τὴν ἀστραπήν. Καὶ γὰρ τοῖς τοῦ πνεύματος ὁδηγούμενος ὀφθαλμοῖς, πάντα σοι ἐπαγγέλλεται δεικνῦναι ὁ τελώνης οὗτος: ποῦ μὲν ὁ βασιλεὺς κάθηται: καὶ τίνες αὐτῷ τῶν στρατευμάτων παρεστήκασι: καὶ ποῦ μὲν ἄγγελοι, ποῦ δὲ ἀρχάγγελοι: καὶ τίς τοῖς νέοις πολίταις ἐν τῇ πόλει ταύτῃ τόπος ἀφώρισται, καὶ ποία ἡ ἐκεῖ φέρουσα ὁδός: καὶ τίνα ἔλαβον λῆξιν οἱ πρῶτον πολιτευσάμενοι ἐκεῖ, καὶ οἱ μετ' ἐκείνους, καὶ οἱ μετὰ τούτους: καὶ ὅσα τῶν δήμων ἐκείνων τὰ τάγματα, καὶ ὅσα τῆς βουλῆς, καὶ πόσαι ἀξιωμάτων διαφοραί. Μὴ τοίνυν μετὰ θορύβου καὶ ταραχῆς εἰσίωμεν, ἀλλὰ μετὰ σιγῆς μυστικῆς. Εἰ γὰρ ἐπὶ θεάτρου σιγῆς πολλῆς γενομένης, τότε τὰ τοῦ βασιλέως ἀναγινώσκεται γράμματα, πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἐπὶ τῆς πόλεως ταύτης ἅπαντας δεῖ κατεστάλθαι, καὶ ὀρθαῖς ταῖς ψυχαῖς καὶ ταῖς ἀκοαῖς ἑστάναι. Οὐ γὰρ ἐπιγείου τινὸς, ἀλλὰ τοῦ τῶν ἀγγέλων Δεσπότου τὰ γράμματα ἀναγινώσκεσθαι μέλλει. Ἂν οὕτως ἑαυτοὺς ῥυθμίσωμεν, καὶ αὐτὴ τοῦ Πνεύματος ἡ χάρις ὁδηγήσει μετὰ πολλῆς ἀκριβείας ἡμᾶς, καὶ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἥξομεν τὸν θρόνον τὸν βασιλικὸν, καὶ πάντων ἐπιτευξόμεθα τῶν ἀγαθῶν, χάριτι καὶ φιλανθρωπίᾳ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ᾧ ἡ δόξα καὶ τὸ κράτος, ἅμα τῷ Πατρὶ καὶ τῷ ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι, νῦν καὶ ἀεὶ καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. Ἀμήν.