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^ VOL. I. 








The following Compilation not being admissible into the 
Library of the Fathers from the date of some few of the 
authors introduced into it, the Editors of the latter work 
have been led to publish it in a separate form, being assured 
that those who have subscribed to their Translations of the 
entire Treatises of the ancient Catholic divines, will not feel 
less interest, or find less benefit, in the use of so very 
judicious and beautiful a selection fi-om them. The Editors 
refer to the Preface for some account of the natural and 
characteristic excellences of the work, which will be found 
as useful in the private study of the Gospels, as it is well 
adapted for family reading, and full of thought for those who 
are engaged in religious instruction. 

Oxford, May 6, 1841. 




VOL. I. 2 D 


1. And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an 
end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed 
thence to teach and to preach in their cities. 

Raban. The Lord having sent out His disciples to preach 
with the foregoing instructions, Himself now fulfils in action 
what He had taught in words, offering His preaching first to the 
Jews ; And it came to pass when Jesus had ended all these 
sayings, he passed thence. Chrys. Having sent them forth, He Chrys. 
withdrew Himself, giving them opportunity and time to doxxxvi. 
the things that He had enjoined ; for while He was present 
and ready to heal, no man woidd come to His disciples. 
Remig. He well passes from the special teaching which He 
had delivered to His disciples, to the general which He 
preached in the cities ; passing therein as it were from 
heaven to earth, that He might give light to all. By this 
deed of the Lord, all holy preachers are admonished that 
they should study to benefit all. 

2. Now when John had heard in the prison the 
works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 

3. And said unto him. Art thou he that should 
come, or do we loolc for another ? 

4. Jesus answered and said unto them. Go and 
shew John again those things which ye do hear 
and see : 

5. The blind receive their sight, and the lame 
walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the 
dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel 
preached to them. 

2 D 2 


6. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended 
in me. 

(iioss. Gloss. The Evangelist had shewn above how by Christ's 

ni>n occ. ,^ jracles and teaching, both His disciples and the multitudes 
had been instructed ; he now shews how this instruction 
had reached even to John's disciples, so that they seemed 
to have some jealousy towards Christ ; John, tt-hen he had 
heard in his bonds the works of Christ, sent two of his 
disciples to say unto him, Art thou he that should come, 

Greg, or look we for another ? Greg. We must enquire how 

j.J""j',"John, who is a prophet and more than a prophet, who made 
known the Lord when Ho came to be baptized, saying, 
Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the 
world ! — why, when he was afterwards cast into prison, he 
should send liis disciples to ask, Art thou he that should 
come, or look we for another ? Did he not know Him whom 
he had pointed out to others ; or was he uncertain whether 
this was He, whom by foretelling, by baptizing, and by 

Anibros. making known, he had proclaimed to be He ? Ambuose ; 

jg^"*^"^" Some understand it thus; That it was a great thing that 
John should be so far a prophet, as to acknowledge Christ, 
and to preach remission of sin ; but that like a pious 
prophet, he could not think that He whom he had believed 
to be He that should come, was to suffer death ; he doubted 
therefore though not in faith, yet in love. So Peter also 

Mat. 16, doubted, saying, This he far from thee, l^ord; this shall not 
he unto thee. Chrys. But this seems hardly reasonable. 
For John was not in ignorance of His death, but was the 
first to preach it, saying, Behold the Lamb of God, that 
taketh auay the sins of the uorld. For thus calling Him 
the Lamb, he plainly shews forth the Cross ; and no 
otherwise than by the Cross did He take away the sins 
of the world. Also how is he a greater prophet than these, 
if he knew not those things which all the prophets knew ; 

ls,53,7.for Isaiah says, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter. 

Aug, Greg. But this question may be answered in a better way 

ubi sup.jf ^g attend to the order of time. At the waters of Jordan 
he had affinned that this was the Redeemer of the world : 
after he was thrown into prison, lie enquires if this was He 

VER. 2 — n, ST. MATTHEW. 405 

that should come — not that he doubted that this was the 
Redeemer of the world, but he asks that he may know 
whether He who in His own person had come into the world, 
would in His own person descend also to the world below. 
Jerome; Hence he frames his question thus, Art thou lie 
that is to come? Not, Art Thou He that hast come? And 
the sense is, Direct me, since 1 am about to go down into 
the lower parts of the earth, whether I shall announce Thee 
to the spirits beneath also ; or whether Thou as the Son of 
God may not taste death, but will send another to this sacra- 
ment ? Chrys. But is this a more reasonable explanation 
than the other? for why then did he not say, Art Thou 
He that is coming to the world beneath ? and not simply, 
Art thou he that is to come ? And the reason of his 
seeking to know, namely, that he might preach Him there, is 
even ridiculous. For the present life is the time of grace, 
and after death the judgment and punishment; therefore 
there was no need of a forerunner thither. Again, if the 
unbelievers who should believe after death should be saved, 
then none would perish ; all would then repent and worship ; 
for every knee shall how, both of things in heaven, and things l^hi]. 2, 

• 10 

on earth, and things under the earth. Gloss. But it ought gio^s. 
to be obsei-ved, that Jerome and Gregory did not say that^on occ. 
John was to proclaim Christ's coming to the world beneath, 
to the end that the unbelievers there might be converted to 
the faith, but that the righteous who abode in expectation 
of Christ, should be comforted by His near approach. 
Hilary; It is indeed certain, that he who as forerunner 
proclaimed Christ's coming, as prophet knew Him when 
He stood before him, and worshipped Him as Confessor 
when He came to him, could not fall into eiTor from such 
abundant knowledge. Nor can it be believed that the grace 
of the Holy Spirit failed him when thrown into prison, seeing 
He should hereafter minister the light of His power to the 
Apostles when they were in prison. Jerome ; Therefore he 
does not ask as being himself ignorant. But as the Saviour 
asks where Lazai-us is buried, in order that they who shewed John li, 
Him the sepulchre might be so far prepared for faith, and^*" 
believe that the dead was verily raised again — so John, about 
to be put to death by Herod, sends his disciples to Christ, 


that by this opportunity of seeing His signs and wonders 
they might believe on Ilim, and so might learn through their 
master's enquiry, lUit John's disciples had somewhat of 
bitterness and jealousy towards the Lord, as their former 
enquiry shewed, IV/ij/ do ne and the PJinrisees fast oft, but 
thy disciples fast not ? CiiRYS. Yet whilst John was \\ ith 
them he held them rightly convinced concerning Christ. 
But when he was going to die, he was more concerned on 
their behalf. For he feared that he might leave his disciples 
a prey to some pernicious doctrine, and that they should 
remain separate from Christ, to whom it had been his care 
to bring all his followers from the beginning. Had he said 
to them, Depart from me, for He is better than me, he would 
not have prevailed with them, as they would have supposed 
that he spoke this in humility, which opinion would have 
drawn them more closely to him. What then does he? He 
waits to hear through them that Christ works miracles. 
Nor did he send all, but two only, (whom perhaps he chose 
as more ready to believe than the rest,) that the reason of his 
enquirj' might be imsuspected, and that from the things 
themselves which they should see they might understand the 
difference between him and Jesus. Hilary ; John then 
is providing not for his own, but his disciples' ignorance ; 
that they might know that it was no other whom he had 
proclaimed, he sent them to see His works, that the works 
might establish what John had spoken ; and that they should 
not look for any other Christ, than Him to whom His works 
had borne testimony. Chrys. So also Christ as knowing 
the mind of John, said not, I am He ; for thus He would 
have put an obstacle in the way of those that heard Him, 
who would have at least thought within themselves, if they 
John fl, did not say, what the Jews did say to Christ, Thou bearest 
icilness of thyself. Therefore He would have them learn 
from His miracles, and so presented His doctrine to them 
more clear, and without suspicion. For the testimony of 
deeds is stronger than the testimony of words. Therefore 
He straightway healed a number of blind, and lame, and 
many other, for the sake not of John who had knowledge, 
but of others who doubted ; as it follows, And Jesus answered 
and said unto them, Go and tell John what ye have heard 

VER. 2 — 6. ST. MATTHEW. 407 

and seen ; The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are 
cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor hate 
the Gospel preached to them. Jerome; This last is no less 
than the first. And understand it as if it had been said. 
Even the poor; that so between noble and mean, i-ich and 
poor, there may be no difference in preaching. This ap- 
proves the strictness of the master, this the truth of the 
teacher, that in His sight every one who can be saved is 
equal. Chrys. And blessed is he who shall not be offended 
in me, is directed against the messengers; they were offended 
in Him. But He not publishing their doubts, and leaving 
it to their conscience alone, thus privately introduced a re- 
futation of them. Hilary; This saying, that they were 
blessed from whom there should be no offence in Him, 
shewed them what it was that John had provided against in 
sending them. For John, through fear of this very thing, 
had sent his disciples that they might hear Christ. Greg. Greg. 
Otherwise; The mind of unbelievers was greatly offended g°"'.* y* 
concerning Christ, because after many miracles done, they 
saw Him at length put to death ; whence Paul speaks, We\ Cor. i, 
preach Christ crucijied, to the Jews a stumbling-block. 
What then does that mean, Blessed is he who shall not be 
offended in me, but a direct allusion to the humiliation of 
His death ; as much as to say, 1 do indeed wonderful works, 
but do not disdain to suffer humble things. Because then I 
follow you in death, men must be careful not to despise in 
Me My death, while they reverence My wonderful works. 
Hilary ; In these things which were done concerning John, 
there is a deep store of mystic meaning. The very condition 
and circumstances of a prophet are themselves a prophecy. 
John signifies the Law ; for the Law proclaimed Christ, 
preaching remission of sins, and giving promise of the king- 
dom of heaven. Also when the Law was on the point of 
expiring, (having been, through the sins of the people, which 
hindered them from understanding what it spake of Christ, 
as it were shut up in bonds and in prison,) it sends men to 
the contemplation of the Gospel, that unbelief might see the 
truth of its words established by deeds. Ambrose; And 
perhaps the two disciples sent are the two people ; those of 
the Jews, and those of the Gentiles who believed. 



7. And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto 
the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out 
into the wilderness to see ? A reed shaken with 
the wind ? 

8. But what went ye out for to see ? A man 
clothed in soft raiment ? behold, they that wear soft 
clothing are in kings' houses. 

9. But what went ye out for to see ? A prophet ? 
yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. 

10. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, 
I send my messenger before thy face, which shall 
prepare thy way before thee, 

riiry*. Chrys. Sufficient had been now done for John's disciples ; 
they returned certified concerning Christ by the wonderful 
works which they had seen. But it behoved that the 
multitude also should be conected, which had conceived 
many things amiss from the question of John's disciples, not 
knowing the pui*pose of John in sending them. They might 
say. He who bare such witness to Christ, is now of another 
mind, and doubts whether this be He. Doth he this because 
he hath jealousy against Jesus ? Has the prison taken away 
his courage ? Or spake he before but empty and untrue 
words ? HiL.\RY ; Therefore tliat this might not lead them 
to think of John as though he were offended concerning 
Christ, it contiimes, When they had gone away, Jesus began 
to speak lo the multiludes concerning John. Chuys. 
^4" they departed, that He should not seem to speak 
flattery of the man ; and in correcting the en*or of the 
multitude, He does not openly expose their secret suspi- 
cions, but by framing his words against what was in their 
hearts, He shews that He knows hidden things. But He 
said not as to the Jews, Wliy think ye eml in your hearts'^ 
though indeed it was evil that they had thought; yet it 
proceeded not from wickedness, but from ignorance ; there- 
fore He spake not to them harshly, but answered for John, 
shewing that he had not fallen from his former opinion. 
This He teaches ihcm, not by His word only, but by their 

VEB. 7 10. ST. MATTHEW. 409 

own witness, the witness of their own actions, as well as 
their own words. IVhat icent ye out into the wilderness to 
see? As much as to say, Why did ye leave the towns and 
go out into the wilderness ? So great multitudes would not 
have gone with such haste into the desert, if they had not 
thought that they should see one great, and wonderful, one more 
stable than the rock. Pseudo-Chrys. They had not gone out Pseudo- 
atthis time into the desert to see John, for he was not nowjn i"^^." 
in the desert, but in prison ; but He speaks of the past time 
while John was yet in the desert, and the people flocked to 
him. Chrys. And note that making no mention of any 
other fault. He clears John of fickleness, which the multitude 
had suspected him of, saying, A reed shaken by the wind ? 
Greg. This He proposes, not to assert, but to deny. For Greg. 
if but a breath of air touch a reed, it bends it one way or£°'!Ji' 2° 
other ; a type of the carnal mind, which leans to either side, 
according as the breath of praise or detraction reaches it. 
A reed shaken by the wind John was not, for no variety of 
circumstance bent him from his uprightness. The Lord's 
meaning then is, Jerome ; Was it for this ye went out into 
the desert to see a man like unto a reed, and carried about 
by every wind, so that in lightness of mind he doubts con- 
cerning Him whom once he preached ? Or it may be he is 
roused against Me by the sting of envy, and he seeks empty 
honour by his preaching, that he may thereof make gain. 
Why should he covet wealth ? that he may have dainty fare ? 
But his food is locusts and wild honey. That he may wear 
soft raiment ? But his clothing is camel's hair. This is that 
He adds. But what went ije out for to see ? A man clothed 
in soft raiment? Chrys. Otherwise; That John is not as a 
waving reed, yourselves have shewn by going out unto 
the desert to him. Nor can any say that John was once 
firm,.but has since become wilful and wavering ; for as some 
are prone to anger by natural disposition, others become so 
by long weakness and indulgence, so in inconstancy, some 
are by nature inconstant, some become so by yielding to 
their own humour and self-indulgence. But John was 
neither inconstant by natural disposition; this he means 
by saying. What went ye out for to see, a reed shaken by the 
tvind ? Neither had he corrupted an excellent nature by 


self-indulgence, for that lie had not served the is shewn 
by his raiment, his abode in the desert, his prison. Had he 
sought soft raiment, he would not have dwelt in the desert, 
but in kings' houses; Tm they that are clothed in soft 
raiment, are in kinds' houses. Jerome ; This teaches that 
an austere life and strict preaching ought to shun kings' 
Greg, courts and the palaces of the rich and luxurious. Greg. Let^o one suppose that there is nothing sinful in luxury and 
rich dress ; if pursuit of such things had been blameless, the 
Lord would not have thus commended John for the coarse- 
ness of his raiment, nor would Peter have checked the 
1 Pet. desire of fine clothes in women as he does, Not in cosily 
Aug. raiment. Aug. In all such things we blame not the use 

Doctr. Qf tiig things, but the lust of those that use them. For 
Christ. , y 11- • , • , . , 

iii, 12. whoever uses the good thmgs m his reach more sparingly 

than are the habits of those with whom he lives, is either 

temperate or superstitious. Whoever again uses them in a 

measure exceeding the practice of the good among whom he 

' aliquid lives, either has some^ meaning therein, or else is dissolute. 

g^°j'" Chrys. Having described his habits of life from his 
dwelling-place, his dress, and the concourse of men to hear 
him, He now brings in that he is also a prophet, But what 
went ye out for to see ? A prophet ? yea, I say unto you, 

Greg, and more than a prophet. Greg. The office of a prophet 

Evl'vi.s!^^ to foretel things to come, not to shew them present. 
John therefore is more than a prophet, because Him whom 
he had foretold by going before Him, the same he shewed 
as present by pointing Him out. Jerome ; In this he is 
also greater than the other prophets, that to his prophetic 
privilege is added the reward of the Baptist that he should 
baptize his Lord. Chrys. Then he shews in what respect 
Pie is greater, saying, This is he of whom it is u-ritlen. 
Behold, I send my angel before thy face. Jerome ; To add 
to this great worthiness of John, He brings a passage from 

Mai. 3, Malachias, in which he is spoken of as an Angel. We must 
suppose that John is here called an Angel, not as partaking 
the Angelic nature, but from the dignity of his office as a 

Greg, forerunner of the Lord. Greg. For the Greek word Angel, 

' ' is in Latin Nuntius, ' a messenger.' He therefore who came 

to bear a heavenly message is rightly called an Angel, that 

VER. 11. ST. MATTHEW. 411 

he may preserve in his title the dignity which he performs 
in his office. Chrys. He shews wherein it is that John is 
greater than the Prophets, namely, in that he is nigh unto 
Christ, as he says, / send before thy face ^ that is, near Thee, 
as those that walk next to the king's chariot are more illus- 
trious than others, so likewise is John because of his nearness 
to Christ. Pseudo-Chrys. Also the other Prophets were 
sent to announce Christ's coming, but John to prepare His 
way, as it follows, who shall make ready thy itay before thee; 
Gloss. That is, shall open the hearts of Thy hearers by preach- Gloss, 
ing repentance and baptizing. Jerome ; Mystically ; The 
desert is that which is deserted of the Holy Spirit, where 
there is no habitation of God ; in the reed is signified a man 
who in outward show lives a pious life, but lacks all real 
fruit within himself, fair outside, within hollow, moved with 
every breath of wind, that is, with every impulse of unclean 
spirits, having no firmness to remain still, devoid of the 
marrow of the soul ; by the garment wherewith his body is 
clothed is his mind shewn, that it is lost in luxury and self- 
indulgence. The kings are the fallen angels ; they are they 
who are powerful in this life, and the lords of this world. 
Thus, TJiey that are clothed in soft raiment are in kings' 
houses; that is, those whose bodies are enervated and 
destroyed by luxury, it is clear are possessed by daemons. 
Greg. Also John was not clothed in soft raiment, that is, he Greg. 
did not encourage sinners in their sinful life by speaking ^^^' 
smooth things, but rebuked them with sharpness and rigour, 
saying. Generation of vipers, 8fc. Mat.3,7. 

11. Verily I say unto you. Among them that are 
born of women there hath not risen a greater than 
John the Baptist : notwithstanding he that is least in 
the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 

Chrys. Having first delivered the Prophet's testimony in 
praise of John, He rested not there, but added His own 
decision respecting him, saying. Among them that are born 
of women there has not arisen a greater than John the 
Baptist. Raban. As much as to say; What need to 


recount one by one the praises of John the Baptist ; / say 

verily unto you, Ainoiuj them that are horn of women, 8fc. Me 

says women, not virgins. If the same word mulier, whicli 

denotes a married person, is any where in the Gospels 

applied to Mary, it should be known that the translator has 

John 19, there used * mulier' for * fcmina;' as in that, Woman, behold 

^ ■ thy son ! Jerome ; He is then set before all those that arc 

bom in wedlock, and not before Ilim who was bom of the 

Virgin and the Holy Spirit ; yet these words, there has vol 

arisen a greater than John the Baptist, do not imply that 

John is to be set above the Prophets and Patriarchs and all 

others, but only makes him equal to the rest ; for it does not 

follow that because others are not greater than him, 

that therefore he is greater than others. Pseudo-Chrys. 

But seeing that righteousness has so great deepness 

that none can be perfect therein but God only, I suppose 

tliat all the saints tried by the keenness of the divine 

judgment, rank in a fixed order, some lower, some befoni 

other. Whence we understand that He that hath none 

greater than Himself, is greater than all. Chrys. That the 

abundance of this praise might not beget a wrong inclination 

in the Jews to set John above Christ, he connects this, saying. 

He that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 

Aug. Aug. The heretic ' argues from this verse to prove, that since 

Adv. John did not belong to the kingdom of heaven, therefore 

Leg. et much less did the other Prophets of that people, than whom 

ii. 5. John is greater. But these words of the Lord may be under- 

' Ma.ii- g^QQf] iu t_^Q ways. Either the kingdom of heaven is 

cnee or •' , " 

Mar- something which we have not yet received, that, namely, of 

Mat"25 which He speaks. Come, ye blessed of t/ry Father, receive the 

34. kingdom, because they in it are Angels, therefore the least 

among them is greater than a righteous man who has a 

corruptible body. Or if we must understand the kingdom of 

heaven of the Church, whose children are all the righteous 

men from the beginning of the world until now, then the 

Lord speaks this of Himself, who was after John in the time 

of His birth, but greater in respect of His divine nature and 

supreme power. According then to the first interpretation 

it will be pointed, He who is least in the kingdom of heaven, 

is greater than he ; according to the second, He trho is less 

VER. 12-T-15. ST. MATTHEW. 413 

than he, is in the kingdom of heaven greater than he. 
Chrys. The kingdom of heaven, that is, in the spiritual 
world, and all relating thereto. But some say that Christ 
spoke this of the Apostles. Jerome ; We understand it 
simjily, that every saint who is already with the Lord is 
greater than he who yet stands in the battle ; for it is one 
thing to have gained the crown of victory, another to be yet 
fighting in the field. 

12. And from the days of John the Baptist until 
now the kingdom of heaven suflPereth violence, and 
the violent take it by force. 

13. For all the prophets and the law prophesied 
until John. 

14. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which 
was for to come. 

15. He that hath ears to ear, let him hear. 

Gloss. That what He had last said should not lead any Gloss. 
to suppose that John was an alien from the kingdom of "°" ^^^' 
heaven, He corrects this by adding, From the days of John 
the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth 
violence, and the violent take it by force. Greg. By the Greg, 
kingdom of heaven is meant the heavenly throne, whither Ev. xx*.° 
when sinners defiled with any evil deed return in penitence, '^• 
and amend themselves, they enter as sinners into the place 
of another, and take by violence the kingdom of heaven. 
Jerome; Because John the Baptist was the first who 
preached repentance to the people, saying. Repent ye, for the 
kingdom of heaven is at hand: rightly therefore from that day 
forth it may be said, that the kingdom of heaven suffereth 
violence, and the violent fake it by force. For great indeed 
is the violence, when we who are born of earth, seek an 
abode in heaven, and obtain by excellence what we have 
not by nature. Hilary ; Otherwise ; The Lord bade His 
Apostles go to the lost sheep of Israel, but all their preaching 
conveyed profit to the publicans and sinners. Therefore 
the kingdom suffers violence, and the violent take it by 
force, for the glory of Israel, due to the Fathers, foretold by 


the Prophets, offered by Christ, is entered and held by force 
by the might of the Gentiles. Ciirys. Or; All who come 
thereto with liaste take by force the kingdom of God through 
the faith of Christ; whence He says, from the days of John 
until now, and tlms lie brings them in haste to His faith, and 
at the same time adds support to those things which had 
been spoken by John. For if all things were fulfdled until 
John, then is Jesus He that should come; wherefore He adds, 
All the Prophets and the Law j)roj)hesied until John. 
Jerome ; Not that He cuts off all Prophets after John ; for 
we read in the Acts of the Apostles that Agabus prophesied, 
and also four virgins daughters of Philip; but He means that 
the Law and the Prophets whom we have written, whatever 
they have prophesied, they have prophesied of the Lord. 
That He says, Prophesied until John, shews that this was 
now the time of Christ's coming ; and that whom they had 
foretold should come. Him John shewed to be already come. 
Chrys. Then He adds another token of him, saying, 
And if ye vnll receive it, this is Elias who was to come. 
Mai. 4, The Lord speaks in Malachias, / will send you Elias the 
^' Tishbite; and of the same again. Behold, I send my messenger 

before thy face. Jerome; John then is said to be Elias, 
not according to the foolish philosophers, and certain heretics 
who bring forward their metempsychosis, or passing of the 
soul from one body to another; but because (as it is in 
another passage of the Gospel) he came in the spirit and 
power of Elias, and had the same grace and measure of 
the Holy Spirit. But in austerity of life, and fortitude of 
spirit, Elias and John were alike ; they both dwelt in the 
desert, both were girded with a girdle of skins ; because 
he reproved Ahab and Jezebel for their wickedness, Elias was 
compelled to fly; because he condemned the unlawful union 
of Herod and Herodias, John is beheaded. Chrys. If ye 
u4ll receive it, shewing their freedom, and requiring of them a 
willing mind. John the Baptist is Elias, and Elias is John, 
because both were forerunners of Christ. Jerome ; That 
He says, This is Elias, is figurative, and needs to be explained, 
as what follows, shews ; He that hath ears to hear, let him 
hear. Remig. As much as to say. Whoso has ears of the 
heart to hear, that is, to understand, let him understand ; for 

VER. 16 19. ST. MATTHEW. 415 

He did not say that John was Elias in person, but in the 

16. But whereunto shall I liken this generation ? 
It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and 
calling unto their fellows, 

17. And saying. We have piped unto you, and ye 
have not danced ; we have mourned unto you, and 
ye have not lamented. 

18. For John came neither eating nor drinking, 
and they say. He hath a devil. 

19. The Son of man came eating and drinking, 
and they say. Behold a man gluttonous, and a wine- 
bibber, a friend of Publicans and sinners. But wisdom 
is justified of her children. 

Hilary ; The whole of this speech is a reproach of un- 
behef, and arises out of the foregoing complaint; that the 
stifF-necljed people had not learned by two different modes 
of teaching. Chrys. Whence He puts this question, 
shewing that nothing had been omitted that ought to be done 
for their salvation, saying, To whom shall I liken this genera- 
tion f Gloss. 'By this generation He means the Jews together Glow. 
with Himself and John. As though He had said ; John is geim. " 
thus great ; but ye would believe neither him nor Me, and 
therefore to whom shall I liken you ? Remig. And straight- 
way He answers Himself, saying. It is like unto children 
sitting in the market-place ^ crying unto their fellows, and 
saying. We have played music to you, and ye have not danced; 
we have mourned, and ye have not lamented. Hilary ; By the 
children are meant the Prophets, who preached as children 
in singleness of meaning, and in the midst of the synagogue, 
that is in the market-place, reprove them, that when they 
played to those to whom they had devoted the service 
of their body, they had not obeyed their words, as the 
movement of the dancers are regulated by the measures of 
the music. For the Prophets invited them to make con- 
fession by song to God, as it is contained in the song of 


Moses, of Isaiah, or of David. Jerome ; They say therefore, 

lie have played nitisie to you, and ye have not danrrd ; i. e. 

We have called on you to work good works lo our songs, 

and ye would not. We have lamented and called you to 

repentance, and this ye would not, rejecting both preaching, 

as well of exhortation to virtue, as of repentance for sin. 

Remig. What is that He says. To their fell ous (' Were the 

unbelieving Jews then fellows of the Prophets? lie speaks 

thus only because they were sprung of one stock. Jkkomk ; 

i.« 8. 18. The children are they of whom Isaiah speaks, Behold /, and 

the children whom the Lord has given me. These children 

then sit in the market-place, where are many things for sale, 

and say, Chrys. We have played tmisic to yon, and ye 

have not danced; that is, I have shewed you an unrestricted 

life, and ye are not convinced ; We have mourned unto you^ 

and ye have not lamented ; that is, John lived a hard life, and 

ye heeded him not. Yet does not he speal^ one thing, and 

I another, but both speak the same thing, because both have 

one and the same object. For John came neither eating nor 

drinking, and they say, He hath a. daemon. The Son of man 

Au^. came 8fc. Aug. I would that the Manichaians would tell me 

'""f- what Christ ate and drank, who here speaks of Himself as 

xvi. :n. eating and drinking in comparison of John, who did neither. 

Not indeed that John drank nothing at all, but that he drank 

neither wine nor strong drink — but water only. Not that 

he dispensed altogether with food, but that he ate only 

locusts and wild honey. Whence then is it said of him that 

he came neither eating nor drinking, except that he used not 

that food which the Jews used ? Unless therefore the Lord 

had used this food. He would not have been said to have 

been, in comparison of John, eating and drinking. It would 

be strange that he who ate locusts and honey, should be 

said to come neither eating nor drinking, and that he who 

ate only bread and herbs, should be said to come eating and 

drinking. Chrys. He says therefore, Jesus came, as much 

as to say, I and John came opposite ways, to do the same 

thing ; as two hunters chasing the same animal from opposite 

sides, so that it might fall into the hands of one of them. 

But all mankind admire fasting and severity of life ; and for 

this reason it was ordained from his infancv that John should 

VER. 16 — 19. ST, MATTHEW. 417 

be so brought up, that the things that he should say should 
receive credit. The Lord also wall<ed in this way when He 
fasted forty days ; but He had other means of teaching men 
to have confidence in Him ; for it was a much greater thing 
that John who had walked in this way should bear witness 
to Him, than that He Himself should walk in that way. Again, 
John had nothing to shew besides his life, and his righteous- 
ness; whereas Christ had also the witness of His miracles. 
Leaving therefore to John the representation of fasting. He 
Himself walked in a contrary way, entering to the table of the 
publicans, and eating and drinking with them. Jerome ; If 
fasting then pleases you, why were yon not satisfied with .John ? 
If fulness, why not with the Son of man ? Yet one of these ye 
said had a daemon, the other ye called a gluttonous man, 
and drunkard. Chrys. What excuse then shall be given for 
them ? Therefore He adds. And wisdom is jnstijied of her 
children ; that is, though ye were not convinced, yet have 
ye nothing whereof to accuse me, as also of the Father the 
Prophet speaks, TJmt thou mighiest he jnstijied in thy sayings. Ps.51,4. 
For though nought be effected in you by that goodness 
which is extended to you, yet He fidfils all His part that 
you may not have the shadow of excuse for your ungrateful 
doubt. Jerome; Wisdom is jnstijied of her children, \. e. 
The dispensation or doctrine of God, or Christ Himself who 
is the power and wisdom of God, is proved by the Apostles, 
who are His children, to have done righteously. Hilary; 
He is wisdom itself not by His acts, but by His nature. 
Many indeed evade that saying of the Apostle's, Christ icor.i, 
is the wisdom and power of God, by saying, that truly 2'*- 
in creating Him of a Virgin the Wisdom and Power ofofsamo- 
God were shewn mightily. Therefore that this might not®*'^'*'*^- 
be so explained, He calls Himself the Wisdom of God, 
shewing that it was verily He, and not th» deeds relating to 
Him, of whom this was meant. Por thfe power itself, and 
the effect of that power, are not the same thing ; the efficient 
is known from the act, Aug. Or, Wisdom is jnstijied 
her children, because the holy Apostles understood that the^"®*'- 
kingdom of God was not in meat and drink, but in patient 
enduring ; such persons neither does abundance lift up, nor 
want cast down, but as Paul spoke, / know how to abound, ptji 4 
VOL. I. 2 R J 2. 


and to suffer want. Jerome ; Some copies read, Wisdom is 
jtistified of her works, for wisdom does not seek the witness 
of words, but of works. Chrys. You should not be sur- 
prised at His using trite instances, such as that respecting 
the children ; for He spoke to the weakness of His hearers ; 
as Ezekiel spoke many things adapted to the .lews, but 
unworthy of the greatness of God. Hilary ; Mystically ; 
Neither did the preaching of John bend the Jews, to whom 
the law seemed burdensome in prescribing meats and drinks, 
difficult and grievous, having in it sin which He calls having 
a diemon — for from the difficulty of keeping it they must sin 
under the Law. Nor again did the preaching of the Gospel 
with freedom of life in Christ please them — by which the 
hardships and burdens of the I<aw were remitted, and 
publicans and sinners only believed in it. Thus, then, so 
many and so great warnings of all kinds having been oflered 
them in vain, they are neither justified by the Law, and 
they are cast off from grace ; Wisdom, therefore, is justijied 
of her children, by those, that is, who seize the kingdom 
of heaven by the justification of faith, confessing the work 
of wisdom to be just, that it has transferred its gift from 
the rebellious to the faithfiil. 

20. Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein 
most of his mighty works were done, because they 
repented not : 

2 1 . Woe unto thee, Chorazin ! woe unto thee, 
Betbsaida ! for if the mighty works, which were done 
in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would 
have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 

22. But I say unto you. It shall be more tolerable 
for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for 

23. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto 
heaven, shalt be brought down to hell : for if the 
mighty works, which have been done in thee, had 
been done in Sodom, it would have remained until 
this day. 

VEn. 20 — 24. ST. MATTHEW. Hi) 

24. But I say unto you. That it shall be more 
tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judg- 
ment, than for thee. 

Gloss. Thus far He had brought His accusation against Gloss. 
the Jews in common ; now against certain towns by name, ^^^^55]^ 
in which He had specially preached, and yet they would 
not be converted; whence it is said, Then began he to 
upbraid the cities in which most of his mighty works were 
done, because they had not repented. Jerome ; His up- 
braiding of the towns of Corozaim, Bethsaida, and Caphar- 
naum, is set forth in this chapter, because He therefore 
upbraided them, because after He had such mighty works 
and wonders in them they had not done penitence. Whence 
He adds, JVo for thee, Corozaim ! wo for thee, Bethsaida ! 
Chrys. That you should not say that they were by nature 
evil, He names Bethsaida, a town from which the Apostles 
had come ; namely, Philip, and two pair of the chief of the 
Apostles, Peter and Andrew, James and John. Jerome ; 
In this word Wo, these towns of Galilee are mourned for 
by the Saviour, that after so many signs and mighty works^ 
they had not done penitence. Raban. Corozaim, which 
is interpreted ' my mystery,' and Bethsaida, * the house 
of fruits,' or, ' the house of hunters,' are towns of Galilee 
situated on the shore of the sea of Galilee. The Lord there- 
fore mourns for towns which once had the mystery of God, 
and which ought to have brought forth the fruit of virtues, 
and into which spiritual hunters had been sent. Jerome ; 
And to these are preferred Tyre and Sidon, cities given up 
to idolatry and vices ; For if the mighty works which have 
been done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they 
would have long ago done penitence in sackcloth and ashes. 
Greg. In sackcloth is the roughness which denotes the Greg, 
pricking of the conscience for sin, ashes denote the dust^xxv g 
of the dead ; and both are wont to be employed in peni- 
tence, that the pricking of the sackcloth may remind us 
of our sins, and the dust of the ash may cause us to reflect 
what we have become by judgment. Raban. Tyre and 
Sidon are cities of Phoenicia. Tyre is interpreted ' nar- 
rowness,' and Sidon ' hunting ;' and denote the Gentiles 

2 E 2 


whom the Devil as a hunter drives into the straits of sin ; 
but Jesus the Saviour sets them free by the Gospel. 
Jerome; We ask where it is written that the Lord did 
wonders in Corozaim and Bethsaida ? We read above, 

ch.9,35. ^«rf he went about the towns and villages, healing all 
sicknesses, Sfc. among the rest, therefore, we may suppose 

Aug. that He wrought signs in Corozaim and Bethsaida. Aug. 

Ters. 9. It ^^ ^^^ ^^^"^ ^^^^^ ^^^^ His Gospel was not preached in 
those times and places, in which He foreknew that all 
would be such, as were many in His actual presence, 
who would not even believe on Him when He raised men 
from the dead. For the Lord Himself bears witness that 
they of Tyre and Sidon would have done penitence in great 
humility, had the wonders of the Divine power been done 
in them. Moreover, if the dead are judged according to 
those deeds which they would have done had they lived, 
then because these would have believed had the Gospel 
been preached to them with so great miracles, surely they 
should not be punished at all, and yet in the day of judg- 
ment they shall be punished; for it follows, But I say unto 
you. It shall he more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day 
of judgment, than for you. Those then shall be punished with 
more, these with less severity. Jerome ; This is because Tyre 
and Sidon had trodden under foot the law of nature only, 
but these towns after they had transgressed the natural 
and the written Law, also made light of those wonders 
which had been wrought among them. Raban. We at this 
day see the words of the Saviour fulfilled ; Corozaim and Beth- 
saida would not believe when the Lord came to them in 
person ; but Tyre and Sidon have afterwards believed on the 
preaching of the Apostles. Remig. Capharnaum was the 
metropolis of Galilee, and a noted town of that province, 
and therefore the J^ord mentions it particularly, saying. 
And thou, Capharnaum, shall thou indeed be exalted to 
heaven ? Thou shnlt go doun even to hell. Jerome ; In 
other copies we find. And thou, Capharnaum, that art 
exalted to heaven, shall be brought dotvn to hell; and it may 
be understood in two different ways. Either, thou shalt go 
down to hell because thou hast proudly resisted my 
preaching ; or, thou that hast been exalted to heaven by en- 

VKR. -20 — 24. ST. MATTHKVV. 421 

tertaining me, and having ray mighty wonders done in thee, 
shalt be visited with the heavier punishment, because thou 
wouldest not believe even these. Remig. And they have 
made the sins not of Sodom only and Gomorrah, but of 
Tyre and Sidon light in comparison, and therefore it follows. 
For if the mighty works which have been done in thee had 
been done in Sodom, it wotdd perhups have remained nnio 
this day. Chrys. This makes the accusation heavier, for it 
is a proof of extreme wickedness, that they are worse, not 
only than any then living, but than the wickedest of all past 
time. Jerome ; In Capharnaum, which is interpreted ' the 
most fair town,' Jerusalem is condemned, to which it is 
said by Ezekiel, Sodom is jiistijied by thee. Remig. TheEzek. 
Lord, who knows all things, here uses a word expressing '^' ''^^• 
uncertainty — perhaps, to shew that freedom of choice is left 
to men. But I say unto you, it shall be easier for the land 
of Sodom in the day of judgment than for yon. And be it 
known, that in speaking of the city or country, the Lord 
does not chide with the buildings and walls, but with 
the men that inhabit there, by the figure metonymy, putting 
the thing containing for the thing contained. The words. 
It shall be easier in the day of judgment, clearly prove that 
there are divers punishments in hell, as there are divers man- 
sions in the kingdom of heaven. Jerome; The careful reader 
will hesitate here ; If Tyre and Sidon could have done peni- 
tence at the preaching of the Saviour, and His miracles, they 
are not in fault that they believed not ; the sin is his who 
would not preach to bring them to penitence. To this there 
is a ready answer, that we know not God's judgments, and 
are ignorant of the sacraments of His peculiar dispensations. 
It was determined by the Lord not to pass the borders 
of .ludaea, that He might not give the Pharisees and Priests 
a just occasion of persecuting Him, as also He gave com- 
mandment to the Apostles, Go not into the way of the Gen- 
tiles. Corozaim and Bethsaida are condemned because they 
would not believe, though Christ Himself was among them — 
Tyre and Sidon are justified, because they believed His 
Apostles. You should not enquire into times when you see 
the salvation of those that believe. Remig. We may also 
answer in another way. There were many in Corozaim and 


Betlisaida who would believe, and many in Tyre and Sidon 
ulio would not believe, and therefore were not wortliy of the 
Gospel. The Lord therefore preached to the dwellers in 
Corozaim and Betlisaida, that they who were to believe, 
might be able ; and preached not in Tyre and Sidon, lest 
perhaps they who were not to believe, being made worse 
by contempt of the Gospel, should be punished more 
Aug. heavily, Aug. A certain Catholic disputant of some note! expounded this place of the Gospel in the following way; 
That the Ijord foreknew that they of Tyre and Sidon would 
/all from the faith after they had believed the miracles done 
among them ; and that therefore in mercy lie did not His 
miracles there, because they would have incurred the 
hea\'ier penalty had they lapsed from the faith alter having 
held it, than if they had never held it at all. Or otherwise ; 
The Lord surely foreknew His mercies with which He 
deigns to deliver us. And this is the predestination of the 
saints, namely, the foreknowledge and making ready the 
mercies of God, by which they are most certainly saved, 
whosoever are saved. The rest are left to the just judgment 
of God in the general body of the condemned, where they of 
Tyre and Sidon are left, who might have believed had they 
seen Christ's many miracles ; but since it was not given 
them that they should believe, therefore that through which 
they might have believed was also withheld. From which 
it appears, that there are certain who have in their dis- 
positions by nature a divine gift of understanding by which 
they would be moved to faith, if they should either hear 
words or see signs adapted to their minds. But if they 
be not by the high sentence of God set apart from the mass 
of perdition through the predestination of grace, then neither 
words nor works are set before them by God, which yet, 
could they have seen or heard them, would have stirred them 
to believe. In this general mass of perdition are the Jews 
also left, who could not believe so great and manifest 
wonders wrought before their eyes. And the cause where- 
fore they could not believe, the Gospel hath not hidden, 
John 12, speaking thus; Though he did so great miracles before 
them, yet could they not believe, as Esaias said, I have 
blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart. Not in this 

VEK. 25, 26. ST. MATTHEW. 423 

way then were the eyes of they of T3Tre and Sidon blinded, 
or their heart hardened, for they would have believed had 
they seen such wonders as these saw. But it profited those 
not that they could have believed, for that they were not 
predestinated ; neither would it have been any hindrance to 
these that they had not power to believe, had they been 
so predestined that God should have enlightened their 
blindness, and taken away the heart of stone from within 
them. Id. Luke also gives this as spoken in continuation Aug. De 
of some other of the Lord's discourses; from which itEv.ii.32. 
appears that he has rather followed the actual order of 
events ; Matthew to have followed his recollection. Or the 
words of Matthew, Then began he to upbraid the toicns, 
must be taken, as some think, as expressing some particular 
time by the word then, but not referring generally to that 
time in which the many other things here told were done 
and said. Whoever, therefore, thinks thus must suppose 
that this was spoken twice. And when we find in the 
same Evangelist some things spoken by the Lord at two 
different times — like that in Luke concerning the not taking 
a scrip for their journey, — what wonder is it if any thing 
else, which was twice spoken, is found once severally in two 
several Gospels in the actual connexion in which it 
was spoken, which connexion is different, because they 
are two different occasions on which it is related to have 
been spoken ? 

25. At that time Jesus answered and said, 1 thank 
thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because 
thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, 
and hast revealed them unto babes. 

26. Even so. Father : for so it seemed good in 
thy sight. 

Gloss. Because the Lord knew that many would doubt Gloss, 
respecting the foregoing matter, namel}^, that the Jews "°° ^^* 
would not receive Christ whom the Gentile world has so 
willingly received, lie here makes answer to their thoughts; 
And Jesus ansuered and said, I con/ess unto thee, Father^ 


Gloss. Lord of heaven and earlh. Gloss. That is, Who makest of 

°^ ■ heaven, or leavest in earthliness, whom Thou wilt. Or lite- 

Aug. rally, Aug. If Christ, from whom all sin is far, said, / cow/t'.y*, 

g^"^' confession is not proper for the sinner only, but sometimes 

also for him that gives thanks. We may confess either by 

praising God, or by accusing ourselves. When He said, / 

confess unto thee, it is, 1 praise Thee, not I accuse Myself. 

Jerome; Let those hear who falsely argue, that the Saviour 

was not born but created, how He calls His Father Lord of 

heaven and earth. For if He be a creature, and the creature 

can call its Maker Father, it was surely foolish here to 

address Him as Lord of heaven and earth, and not of Him 

(Christ) likev\'ise. He gives thanks ihat His coming has 

opened to the Apostles sacraments, which the Scribes and 

Pharisees knew not, who seemed to themselves wise, and 

understanding in their own eyes; That thou hast hid these 

things from the wise and understanding, and hast revealed 

Aug. them unto babes. Aug. That the wise and understanding 

g!"^*^" are to be taken as the proud. Himself opens to us when He 

says, and hast revealed them unto babes ; for who are babes 

Greg, but the humble ? Greg. He says not ' to the foolish,' but 

^°r; to babes, shewing that He condemns pride, not understand- 

13. ing. Chrys. Or when He says. The wise. He does not 

Horn' speak of true wisdom, but of that which the Scribes and 

xxxviii. Pharisees seemed to have by their speech. Wherefore He 

said not, ' And hast revealed them to the foolish,' but, to 

babes, that is, uneducated, or simple ; teaching us in all 

things to keep ourselves from pride, and to seek humility. 

Hilary; The hidden things of heavenly words and their 

power are hid from the wise, and revealed to the babes ; 

babes, that is, in malice, not in understanding; hid from the 

wise because of their presumption of their own wisdom, not 

because of their wisdom. Chrys. That it is revealed to the 

one is matter of joy, that it is hid from the other not of joy, 

but of soiTow ; He does not therefore joy on this account, 

but He joys that these have known what the wise have not 

known. Hilary; The justice of this the Lord confirms by 

the sentence of the Father's will, that they who disdain to 

be made babes in God, should become fools in their own 

wisdom ; and therefore He adds, Even so, Father : for so it 

VEK. 27. ST. MATTHEW. 425 

seemed good before thee. Greg. In which words we have a Greg, 
lesson of humility, that we should not rashly presume to^j^°[i4_ 
discuss the counsels of heaven concerning the calling of 
some, and the rejection of others ; shewing that that cannot 
be unrighteous which is willed by Him that is righteous. 
Jerome ; In these words moreover He speaks to the Father 
with the desire of one petitioning, that His mercy begun in 
the Apostles might be completed in them. Chrys. These 
things which the Lord spoke to His disciples, made them 
more zealous. As afterwards they thought great things of 
themselves, because they cast out daemons, therefore He 
here reproves them ; for what they had, was by revelation, 
not by their own efforts. The Scribes who esteemed them- 
selves wise and understanding were excluded because of their 
pride, and therefore He says, Since on this account the 
mysteries of God were hid from them, fear ye, and abide as 
babes, for this it is that has made you partakers in the 
revelation. But as when Paul says, God gave them over to Rom. 
a reprobate mind, he does not mean that God did this, but ' 
they who gave Him cause, so here, TJiou hast hid these 
things from the wise and understanding. And wherefore 
were they hid from them ? Hear Paul speaking. Seeking to Rom. 
set up their own righteousness, they were not subject to the ' ' 
righteousness of God. 

27. All things are delivered unto me of my Father : 
and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither 
knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to 
whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 

Chrys. Because He had said, / con/ess unto thee, Father, 
because thou hast hid these things from the wise, that you 
should not suppose that He thus thanks the Father as though 
He Himself was excluded from this power. He adds. All 
things are committed to me by my Father. Hearing the 
words are committed, do not admit suspicion of any thing 
human, for He uses this word that you may not think there 
be two gods unbegotten. For at tlie time that He was begotten 
He was Lord of all. Jerome; For if we conceive of this 


thing according to our weakness, when he who receives 
begins to have, he who gives begins to be without. Or when 
He says, All ihings are committed to him, He may mean, 
not the heaven and earth and the elements, and the rest 
of the things which He created and made, but those who 
through the Son have access to the Father. Hilary; Or 
that we may not think that there is any thing less in Him 
Aug. than in God, therefore He says this. Aug. For if He has 
Maxi- aught less in His power than the Father has, tlien all that 
min. II. i\^Q Father has, are not His ; for by begetting Him the 
Father gave power to the Son, as by begetting Him He gave 
all things which He has in His substance to Him whom He 
begot of His substance. Hilary ; And also in the mutual 
knowledge between the Father and the Son, He teaches us 
that there is nothing in the Son beyond what was in the 
Father; for it follows, And none knouelh the Son hut the 
Father, nor does any man know the Father hut the Son. 
Chrys. By this that He only knows the Father, He shews 
covertly that He is of one substance with the Father. As 
though He had said. What wonder if I be Lord of all, when 
I have somewhat yet greater, namely to know the Father and 
to be of the same substance with Him ? Hilary; For this 
mutual knowledge proclaims that they are of one substance, 
since He that should know the Son, should know the Father 
also in the Son, since all things were delivered to Him by 
the Father. Chrys. When He says, Neither does any 
know the Father but the Son, He does not mean that all 
men are altogether ignorant of Him ; but that none knows 
Him with that knowledge wherewith He knows Him ; which 
i. e. who may also be said of the Son. For it is not said of some 
the unknown God as Marcion declares. Aug. And because 
Creator. \]^q]x substance is inseparable, it is enough sometimes to 

Aug. De . " 

Trin.i.8. name the Father, sometimes the Son; nor is it possible to 
separate from either His Spirit, who is especially called the 
Spirit of truth. Jerome ; Let the heretic Eunomius there- 
fore blush hereat who claims to himself such a knowledge of 
the Father and the Son, as they have one of another". But 

"Eunomius, the chief of the AiiomsRan He is opposed by St. Basil, and by St. 
branch of the Ariiins, taught that there Chrysostom in his Homilies on 'the 
was no mystery about the Divinenature. incomprehensible nature of God.' 

VER. 28 — 30. ST. MATTHEW. 427 

if he argues from what follows, and props up his madness by 
that. And he to whom the Son will reveal him, it is one thing 
to know what you know by equality with God, another to 
know it by His vouchsafing to reveal it. Aug. The Father Aug. De 
is revealed by the Son, that is, by His Word. For if theyi"°3 
temporal and transitory word which we utter both shews 
itself, and what we wish to convey, how much more the Word 
of God by which all things were made, which so shews the 
Father as He is Father, because itself is the same and in the 
same manner as the Father. Id. When He said. None knoiceth Aug. 
the So7i but the Father, He did not add. And he to whom the Ey'Y*\ 
Father will reveal the Son. But when He said. None knoweth 
the Father but the Son, He added. And he to whom the Son 
will reveal him. But this must not be so understood as though 
the Son could be known by none but by the Father only ; 
while the Father may be known not only by the Son, but 
also by those to whom the Son shall reveal Him. But it is 
rather expressed thus, that we may understand that both the 
Father and the Son Himself are revealed by the Son, inas- 
much as He is the light of our mind \ and what is afterwards 
added. And he to whom the Son will reveal, is to be under- 
stood as spoken of the Son as well as the Father, and to 
refer to the whole of what had been said. For the Father 
declares Himself by His Word, but the Word declares not 
only that which is intended to be declared by it, but in 
declaring this declares itself Chrys. If then He reveals 
the Father, He reveals Himself also. But the one he 
omits as a thing manifest, but mentions the other because 
there might be a doubt concerning it. Herein also He 
instructs us that He is so one with the Father, that it is not 
possible for any to come to the Father, but through the Son. 
For this had above all things given offence, that He seemed 
to be against God, and therefore He strove by all means 
to overthrow this notion. 

28. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are 
heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me ; for 
I am meek and lowly in heart : and ye shall find rest 
unto your souls. 


30. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 

Chrys. liy what He liad said, He brouglit His disciples 
to have a desire towards Him, shewing them His unspeakable 
excellence; and now He invites them to Him, saying. Come 

Aug. unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden. Aug. 

ff/"?* Whence do we all thus labour, but that we are mortal men, 

o9. I. 

bearing vessels of clay which cause us much difficulty, lint 
if the vessels of flesh are straitened, the regions of love will 
be enlarged. To what end then does He say. Come unto me, 
all ye that labour, but that ye should not labour? Hilary; 
He calls to Him those that were labouring under the hard- 
ships of the Law, and those who are burdened with the 
sins of this world. Jerome ; That the burden of sin is heavy 
Zech. 5, the Prophet Zachariah bears witness, sajing, that wicked- 
''• ness sitteth upon a talent of lead. And the Psalmist fills it up, 

P.'<.38,4. Thy iniquities are grown heavy upon me. Greg. For a 
^^^' cruel yoke and hard weight of servitude it is to be subject to 
XXX. 15. the things of time, to be ambitious of the things of earth, to 
cling to falling things, to seek to stand in things that stand 
not, to desire things that pass away, but to be unwilling to 
pass away with them. For while all things fly away against 
our wish, those things which had first harassed the mind 
in desire of gaining them, now oppress it with fear of losing 
them. Chry'S. He said not. Come ye, this man and that 
man, but All whosoever are in trouble, in sorrow, or in sin, 
not that I may exact punishment of you, but that I may 
remit your sins. Come ye, not that I have need of your 
glory, but that I seek your salvation. And I will refresh you; 
not, I will save you, only ; but that is much greater, / will 
Raban. refresh you, that is, I will set you in all quietness. Rabax. 
non occ. j ^jjj j^^^ Q^\y j^j^g ixom. you your burden, but will satisfy 
you with inward refreshment. Remig. Come, He says, 
not with the feet, but with the life, not in the body, but in 
faith. For that is a spiritual approach by which any man 
approaches God ; and therefore it follows, Take my yoke 
upon you. Raban. The yoke of Christ is Christ's Gospel, 
which joins and yokes together Jews and Gentiles in the 
unity of the faith. This we are commanded to take upon us, 
that is, to have in honour ; lest perchance setting it beneath 

VER. 28 — 30, ST. MATTHEW. i21) 

US, that is wrongly despising it, we should trample upon it 
with the miry feet of unholiness ; wherefore He adds, Learn 
of me. Aug. Not to create a world, or to do miracles in Aug. 
that world; but that I am meek and louiy in heart. qq"^' 
Wouldest thou be great ? Begin with the least. Wouldest 
thou build up a mighty fabric of greatness^^ First think of 
the foundation of humility ; for the mightier building any 
seeks to raise, the deeper let him dig for his foundation. 
Whither is the summit of our building to rise } To the sight 
of God. Raban. We must learn then from our Saviour to 
be meek in temper, and lowly in mind; let us hurt none, 
let us despise none, and the virtues which we have shewn in 
deed let us retain in our heart. Chrys. And therefore in 
beginning the Divine Law He begins with humility, and 
sets before us a great reward, saying, Atfd ye shall Jind rest 
for your souls. This is the highest reward, you shall not 
only be made useful to others, but shall make yourself to 
have peace ; and He gives you the promise of it before it 
comes, but when it is come, you shall rejoice in perpetual 
rest. And that they might not be afraid because He had 
spoken of a burden, therefore He adds, For my yoke is 
pleasa)it^ and my burden light. Hilary; He holds forth 
the inducements of a pleasant yoke, and a light burden, that 
to them that believe He may afford the knowledge of that 
good which He alone knoweth in the Father. Greg. What Greg, 
burden is it to put upon the neck of our mind that He bidSgg*""* '*'• 
us shun all desire that disturbs, and turn from the toilsome 
paths of this world ? Hilary ; And what is more pleasant 
than that yoke, what lighter than that burden } To be made 
better, to abstain from wickedness, to choose the good, and 
refuse the evil, to love all men, to hate none, to gain eternal 
things, not to be taken with things present, to be unwilling 
to do that to another which yourself would be pained to suffer. 
Raban. But how is Christ's yoke pleasant, seeing it was said 
above. Narrow is the nay which leadeth unto life f That which Mat. 7, 
is entered upon by a narrow entrance is in process of time made ' 
broad by the unspeakable sweetness of love. Aug. So then Aug. 
they who with unfearing neck have submitted to the yoke of 7q["|' 
the Lord endure such hardships and dangers, that they seem 
to be called not from labour to rest, but from rest to labour. 


But the Holy Spirit was there vvlio, as the outward man 
decayed, renewed the inward man day by day, and giving 
a foretaste of spiritual rest in the rich pleasures of God in 
the hope of blessedness to come, smoothed all that seemed 
rough, lightened all that was heavy. Men suffer amputations 
and burnings, tliat at the price of sharper pain they may 
be delivered from torments less but more lasting, as boils or 
swellings. What storms and dangers will not merchants 
undergo that they may acquire perishing riches.? Even those 
who love not riches endure the same hardships ; but those 
that love them endure the same, but to them they are not 
hardships. For love makes right easy, and almost nought 
all things however dreadful and monstrous. How much 
more easily then does love do that for true happiness, which 
avarice does for misery as far as it can ? Jerome ; And 
how is the Gospel lighter than the Law, seeing in the Law 
murder and adultery, but under the Gospel anger and con- 
cupiscence also, are punished .? Because by the Law many 
things are commanded which the Apostle fully teaches us 
cannot be fulfilled ; by the Law works are required, by the 
Gospel the will is sought for, which even if it goes not into 
act, yet does not lose its reward. The Gospel commands 
what we can do, as that we lust not; this is in our own 
power ; the Law punishes not the will but the act, as adultery. 
Suppose a virgin to have been violated in time of persecution ; 
as here was not the will she is held as a virgin under the 
Gospel ; under the Law she is cast out as defiled. 


1. At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day 
through the corn ; and his disciples were an hungred, 
and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. 

2. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto 
him. Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful 
to do upon the sabbath day. 

3. But he said unto them. Have ye not read what 
David did, when he was an hungred, and they that 
were with him ; 

4. How he entered into the house of God, and did 
eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to 
eat, neither for them which were with him, but only 
for the Priests ? 

5. Or have ye not read in the law, how that on 
the sabbath days the Priests in the temple profane 
the sabbath, and are blameless ? 

6. But I say unto you. That in this place is one 
greater than the temple. 

7. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will 
have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have 
condemned the guiltless. 

8. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath 

Gloss. Having related the preaching together with the Gloss, 
miracles of one year before John's enquiry, He passes to°' " 
those of another year, namely after the death of John, when 
Jesus is already in all things spoken against ; and hence it 


IS said, At that time Je/ttis pasned through tha corn ^fields 
^^K^"«'ow the sahlmth day. Aug. This which here follows is 
Ev.ii.*34. related both by Mark and Luke, without any question of 
discrepancy; indeed they do not say, At that time, so that 
Matthew has here perhaps preserved the order of time, they 
that of their recollection ; unless we take the words in a 
wider sense. At that time, that is, the time in which these 
many and divers things were done, whence we may conceive 
that all these things happened after the death of John. For 
he is believed to have been beheaded a little after he sent 
his disciples to Christ. So that when he says at that time, 
Ci.rys. he may mean only an indefinite time. Chrys. Why then 
xx'xix. ^^^ ^^ ^^^^ ihem through the com fields on the sabbath, 
seeing He knew all things, unless He desired to break the 
sabbath ? This he desired indeed, but not absolutely ; there- 
fore He broke it not without cause, but furnished a sufficient 
reason ; so that He both caused the Law to cease, and yet 
offended not against it. Thus in order to soften the Jews, 
He here introduces a natural necessity ; this is what is said, 
And his disciples being an hungred, began to pluck the ears 
of corn, and to eat. Although in things which are manifestly 
sinful, there can be no excuse ; he who kills another cannot 
plead rage, nor he who commits adultery, lust, or any other 
cause ; yet here saying that the disciples were hungry, He 
delivers them from all accusation. Jerome; As we read 
in another Evangelist, they had no opportunity of taking 
food because of the thronging of the multitude, and therefore 
they hungred as men. lliat they rub the ears of com in their 
hands, and with them satisfy themselves, is a proof of an 
austere life, and of men who needed not prepared meats, but 
sought only simple food. Chrys. Here admire the disciples, 
who are so limited in their desires, that they have no care of the 
things of the body, but despise the support of the flesh ; they 
are assailed by hunger, and yet they go not away from Christ ; 
for had not they been hard pressed by hunger, they would 
not have done thus. What the Pharisees said to this is 
added. The Pharisees seeing it said unto Him, Behold, thy 
Aug. disciples do what is not lawful to do on the sabbath. Aug. 
Monach.'^^^ Jews rather charged the Lord's disciples with the 
23. breach of the sabbath than with theft ; because it was 

VER. 1 — 8. ST. MATTHEW. 433 

commanded the people of Israel in the Law, that they Deut. 
should not lay hold of any as a thief in their fields, unless ' ' 
he sought to carry ought away with him ; but if any touched 
only what he needed to eat, him they suffered to depart with 
impunity free. Jerome; Observe, that the first Apostles 
of the Saviour broke the letter of the sabbath, contrary to the 
opinion of the Ebionites', who receive the other Apostles, but 
reject Paul as a transgressor of the Law. Then it proceeds 
to their excuse ; But he said unto them, Have ye not read 
what David did, when he was an hungred 'i To refute the 
false accusation of the Pharisees, He calls to mind the 
ancient history, that David flying from Saul came to Nobba, 
and being entertained by Achimelech the Priest, asked for i Sam. 
food; he having no common bread, gave him the conse- 
crated loaves, which it was not lawful for any to eat, but the 
Priests only and Levites ; esteeming it a better action 
to deliver men from the danger of famine than to offer sa- 
crifice to God ; for the preservation of man is a sacrifice 
acceptable to God. Thus then the Lord meets their ob- 
jection, saying. If David be a holy man, and if you blame not 
the high-priest Achimelech, but consider their excuse for 
their transgression of the Law to be valid, and that was 
hunger ; how do ye not approve in the Apostles the same 
plea which you approve in others ? Though even here 
there is much difference. These rub ears of corn in their 
hands on the sabbath ; those ate the Levitical bread, and 
over and above the solemn sabbath it was the season of new 
moon, during which when sought for at the banquet he fled 
from the royal palace. Chrys. To clear His disciples, 
He brings forward the instance of David, whose glory as 
a Prophet was great among the Jews. Yet they could 
not here answer that this was lawful for him, because he was 
a Prophet; for it was not Prophets, but Priests only who 
might eat. And the greater was he who did this, the greater 
is the defence of the disciples ; yet though David was a 
Prophet, they that were with him were not. Jerome ; 
Observe thait neither David nor his servants received the 

» The Ebionites received only the apostate, vid. Iren. Hser. 1. 26. n. 2. 
Hebrew Gospel of St Matthew muti- Orig. in Cels. v. 66. Euseb. iii. 27. 
lated. They rejected St. Paul as an 

VOL. I. 2 F 


loaves of shew-bread, before tliey had made answer that they 
were pure from women. Chrys. But some one will say, 
How is this instance applicable to the question in hand ? 
For David did not transgress the sabbath. Herein is shewn 
the wisdom of Christ, that He brings forward an instance 
stronger than the sabbath. For it is by no means the same 
thing to violate the sabbath, and to touch that sacred table, 
which is lawful for none. And again, He adds yet another 
answer, saying, Or have ye not read in ike lM,>r, that on the 
sabbath days the Priests in the temple profane the sabbath^ 
and are blameless ? Jerome ; As though He had said, Ye 
bring complaints against my disciples, that on the sabbath 
they rub ears of corn in their hands, under stress of hunger, 
and ye yourselves profane the sabbath, slaying victims in the 
temple, killing bulls, burning holocausts on piles of wood ; 
John 7, also, on the testimony of another Gospel, ye circumcise 
infants on the sabbath ; so that in keeping one law, ye break 
that concerning the sabbath. But the laws of God are 
never contrary one to another ; wisely therefore, wherein 
His disciples might be accused of having transgressed them, 
He shews that therein they followed the examples of Achi- 
melech and David ; and this their pretended charge of 
breaking the sabbath He retorts truly, and not having the 
plea of necessity, upon those who had brought the ac- 
cusation. Chrys. But that you should not say to me, that to 
find an instance of another's sin is not to excuse our own — 
indeed where the thing done and not the doer of it is 
accused, we excuse the thing done. But this is not enough, 
He said what is yet more, that they are blameless. But see 
how great things He brings in ; fi.rst, the place, in the 
Temple ; secondly, the time, on the sabbath ; the setting 
aside the Law, in the word profane, not merely break ; and 
that they are not only free from punishment but from blame ; 
and are blameless. And this second instance is not like the 
first which He gave respecting David ; for that was done 
but once, by David who was not a Priest, and was a case 
of necessity ; but this second is done every sabbath, and 
by the Priests, and according to the Law. So tliat not only 
by indulgence, as the first case would establish, but by the 
strict law the disciples are to be held blameless. But are 

VER. 1 — 8. ST. MATTHEW. 435 

the disciples Priests ? yea, they are yet greater than Priests, 
forasmuch as He was there who is the Lord of the Temple, 
who is the reality and not the type; and therefore it is 
added, But I say unto you, one greater than the Temple is 
here. Jerome; The word Hie is not a pronoun, but an 
adverb of place here, for that place is greater than the 
Temple which contains the Lord of the Temple. Aug. Aug. 
It should be observed, that one example is taken from royal in Matt, 
persons, as David, the other from priestly, as those who ^- ^^• 
profane the sabbath for the service of the Temple, so that 
much less can the charge concerning the rubbing the ears 
of com attach to Him who is indeed King and Priest. 
Chrys. And because what He had said seemed hard to 
those that heard it, He again exhorts to mercy, introducing 
His discourse with emphasis, saying. But had ye known what 
that meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrijice, ye would 
never have condemned the innocent. Jerome ; What / will 
have mercy, and not sacrifice, signifies, we have explained 
above. The words. Ye would never have condemned the 
innocent, are to be referred to the Apostles, and the mean- 
ing is. If ye allow the mercy of Achimelech, in that he re- 
freshed David when in danger of famishing, why do ye 
condemn My disciples ? Chrys. Observe again how in 
leading the discourse towards an apology for them, He 
shews His disciples to be above the need of any apology, 
and to be indeed blameless, as He had said above of the 
Priests. And He adds yet another plea which clears them 
of blame. For the Son of Man is Lord also of the sabbath. 
Remig. He calls Himself the Son of Man, and the meaning 
is, He whom ye suppose a mere man is God, the Lord of all 
creatures, and also of the sabbath, and He has therefore 
power to change the law after His pleasure, because He 
made it. Aug. He did not forbid His disciples to pluck Aug. 
the ears of com on the sabbath, thai so He might convict pg^ust. 
both the Jews who then were, and the Manichoeans who xvi. 28. 
were to come, who will not pluck up a herb lest they should 
be committing a murder. 

Hilary; Figuratively; First consider that this discourse was 
held at that time, namely, when He had given tlianks to the 
Father for giving salvation to the Gentiles. The field is the 

2 f2 


world, the sabbath is rest, the com the ripening of them that 
believe for the harvest; thus His passing through the com field 
on the sabbath, is tlie coming of the Lord into the world in the 
rest of the Law ; the hunger of the disciples is their desire for 
the salvation of men. Raban. They pluck the ears of com 
when they withdraw men from devotion to the world ; they 
rub them in their hands when they tear away their hearts 
from the lusts of the flesh ; they eat the grain when they 
transfer such as are amended into the body of the Church. 
Aug. Aug. But no man passes into the body of Christ, until he 
EvT*2 ^^^ been stripped of his fleshly raiment; according to that 
Eph. 4, of the Apostle, Put ye off the old man. Raban. This 
^^* they do on the sabbath, that is in the hope of eternal 
rest, to which they invite others. Also they walk through 
the com fields with the Lord, who have delight in medi- 
tating on the Scriptures ; they are hungry while they desire 
to find the bread of life, that is the love of God, in them ; 
they pluck the ears of com and rub them in their hands, 
while they examine the testimonies to discover what lies 
hid under the letter, and this on the sabbath, that is, while 
they are free from disquieting thoughts. Hilary; The 
Pharisees, who thought that the key of the kingdom of 
heaven was in their hands, accused the disciples of doing 
what was not lawful to do ; whereon the Lord reminded 
them of deeds in which, under the guise of facts, a prophecy 
was concealed ; and that He might shew the power of all 
things, He further added, that it contained the form of that 
work which was to be, Had ye known what that meaneth, 
I will have mercy ; for the work of our salvation is not in the 
sacrifice of the Law, but in mercy; and the Law having 
ceased, we are saved by the mercy of God. Which gift if 
they had understood they would not have condemned the 
innocent, that is His Apostles, whom in their jealousy they 
were to accuse of having transgressed the Law, where the 
old sacrifices having ceased, the new dispensation of mercy 
came through them to the aid of all. 

9. And when he was departed thence, he went into 
their synagogue : 

10. And, behold, there was a man which had his 

VER. 9 — 13. ST. MATTHEW. 437 

hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it 
lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might 
accuse him. 

1 1 . And he said unto them. What man shall there 
be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it 
fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay 
hold on it, and lift it out ? 

12. How much then is a man better than a sheep ? 
Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath 

13. Then saith he to the man. Stretch forth thine 
hand. And he stretched it forth ; and it was restored 
whole, like as the other. 

Jerome ; Because by fair instances He had vindicated 

His disciples from the charge of breaking the sabbath, the 

Pharisees seek to bring false accusation against Himself; 

whence it is said, And jmssing thence, he came into their 

synagogue. Hilary; For the things that had gone before 

were said and done in the open air, and after this He entered 

the synagogue. Aug. It might have been supposed that the Aug. De 

matter of the ears of com, and this cure following, had been S°".^o,r 

'_ _ " Lv. 11.35. 

done on the same day, for it is mentioned to have been the 
sabbath day in both cases, had not Luke shewn us that 
they were on different days. So that what Matthew says, 
And when he had passed thence, he came into their syna- 
gogue, is to be taken as that He did not enter into the 
synagogue till He had passed thence ; but whether several 
days intervened or He went thither straight is not expressed in 
this Gospel, so that place is given to the relation of Ijuke, who 
tells of the healing of this kind of palsy on another sabbath. 
Hilary; When He was entered into the synagogue, they 
bring a man of a withered hand, asking Him whether it was 
lawful to heal on the sabbath day, seeking an occasion of 
convicting Him out of His answer ; as it follows, And they 
brought him a man having a withered hand, and asked him, 
saying. Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath dayY Chrys. chrys. 
They do not ask that they may learn, but that they may^"™'*'- 


accuse Him; as it follows, that they might accuse him. 
Though the action itself would have been enough, yet they 
sought occasion against Him in His words also, thus pro- 
viding for themselves greater matter of complaint. Jeuome ; 
And they ask Him whether it is lawful to heal on the 
sabbath day, that if He should refuse, they might charge 
Him with cruelty, or want of power; if He should heal 
him, they might charge Him with transgressing the Law. 
Aug. De Aug. But it may raise enquiry how Matthew can say that 
Ev°ii ^^y ^-sked the Lord, Whether it were lawful to heal on the 
35. sabbath, seeing Mark and Luke relate that it was the Lord 
Luke 6, who asked them. Whether it is lawful on the sabbath day 
to do good or to do evil ? It is to be understood then 
that they first asked the Lord, Ts it law/id to heal on the 
sabbath day ? Then understanding their thoughts that they 
sought an occasion to accuse Hira, He placed in the midst 
him whom He was about to heal, and put to them the 
question which Mark and Luke say that He did ask ; and 
when they remained silent, He made the comparison respect- 
ing the sheep, and concluded that they might do good on 
the sabbath day ; as it follows, But lie said unto them^ 
What man shall there be among you, that shall have one 
sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he 
not lay hold on it, and lift it out ? Jerome ; Thus He 
answers their question in such a way as to convict the 
questioners of covetousness. If ye on the sabbath, saith 
He, would hasten to lift out a sheep or any other animal 
that might have fallen into a pit, not for the sake of the 
animal, but to preserve your own property, how much more 
ought I to deliver a man who is so much better than a 
Gloss, sheep.'' Gloss. Thus He answers their question with a 
suitable example, so as to shew that they profane the 
sabbath by works of covetousness who were charging 
Him with profaning it by works of charity ; evil interpreters 
of the Law, who say that on the sabbath we ought to rest 
from good deeds, when it is only evil deeds from which we 
Lev. 23, ought to rest. As it is said, Ye shall do no servile work 
therein, that is, no sin. Thus in the everlasting rest, we 
Aug. De shall rest only from evil, and not from good. Aug. After 
£°°*3g this comparison concerning the sheep. He concludes that 

VER. 9 — 13. ST. MATTHEW. 439 

it is lawful to do good on the sabbath day, saying, Titer ef ore 
it is lawful to do good on the sabbath. Chrys, Observe 
how He shews many reasons for this breaking of the 
sabbath. But forasmuch as the man was incurably sick, 
He proceeds straightway to the work, as it follows. Then 
saith he to the man, Reach forth thy hand : and he reached 
it forth, and it was restored whole as the other. Jerome; 
In the Gospel which the Nazarenes and Ebionites use, andvid.note, 
which we have lately translated into Greek out of the^' 
Hebrew, and which many regard as the genuine Matthew, 
this man who has the withered hand is described as a 
builder, and he makes his prayer in these words, ' I was 
a builder, and gained my living by the labour of my hands ; 
I pray thee, Jesus, to restore me to health, that I may not 
disgracefully beg my bread.' Raban. Jesus teaches and 
works chiefly on the sabbath, not only on account of the 
spiritual sabbath, but on account of the gathering together 
of the people, seeking that all should be saved. 

Hilary; Figuratively; After their departure from the com 
field, from which the Apostles had received the fruits of their 
sowing, He came to the Synagogue, there also to make ready 
the work of His harvest; for there were afterwards many with 
the Apostles who were healed. Jerome; Until the coming of 
the Lord the Saviour, there was the withered hand in the Syna- 
gogue of the Jews, and the works of the Lord were not done 
in it ; but when He came upon earth, the right hand was 
restored in the Apostles who believed, and given back to its 
former occupation. Hilary ; All healing is done by the 
word; and the hand is restored as the other; that is, made 
like to the ministry of the Apostles in the business of be- 
stowing salvation ; and it teaches the Pharisees that they 
should not be displeased that the work of human salvation is 
done by the Apostles, seeing that if they would believe, their 
own hand would be made able to the ministry of the same 
duty. Raban. Otherwise; The man who had the withered 
hand denotes the human race in its barrenness of good 
works dried up by the hand which was stretched out to Gen.3 6. 
the fruit ; this was healed by the stretching out of the 
innocent hand on the Cross. And well is this withered 
hand said to have been in the Synagogue, for where the gift 


of knowledge is greater, there is the greater danger of an 
irrecoverable infliction. The withered iiand when it is 
to be healed is first bid to be stretched out, because the 
weakness of a barren mind is healed by no means better than 
by liberality of almsgiving. A man's right hand is affected 
when he is remiss in giving alms, his left whole when 
he is attentive to his own interests. lUit when the Lord 
conies, the right hand is restored whole as the left, because 
what he had got together greedily, that he distributes 

14. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a 
council against him, how they might destroy him. 

15. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself 
from thence : and great multitudes followed him, and 
he healed them all ; 

16. And charged them that they should not make 
him known: 

17. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by 
Esaias the prophet, saying, 

18. Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; 
my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased : 
I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew 
judgment to the Gentiles. 

19. He shall not strive, nor cry ; neither shall 
any man hear his voice in the streets. 

20. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking 
flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment 
unto victory. 

21. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust. 

Hilary ; The Pharisees are moved with jealousy at what 
had been done ; because beholding the outward body of 
a man, they did not recognize the God in His works ; The 
Pharisees tvent out and sought counsel against him, how 
they might destroy him. Raban. He says, went out 
because their mind was alien from the Lord. They 

VER. 14 21. ST. MATTHEW. 441 

took counsel how they might destroy life, not how them- 
selves might find life. Hilary; And He knowing their 
plots withdrew, that He might be far from the counsels 
of the evil hearted, as it follows, Jesus knowing it departed 
thence. Jerome; Knowing, that is, their designs against 
Him withdrew Himself, that He might remove from the 
Pharisees all opportunity of sin. Remig. Or; He withdrew 
from thence as avoiding the designs of His own when they 
persecuted Him ; or because that was not the time or place 
for Him to suffer, for // cannot be that a Prophet should L\iV.ei3, 


perish out of Jerusalem, as He Himself spake. The Lord 
also shunned those who persecuted Him through hatred, and 
went thither where He found many who were attached to 
Him from affection, whence it follows. And iJiere followed 
him many. Him whom the Pharisees v»ith one consent 
plotted against to destroy, the untaught multitude with one 
consent love and follow ; whence they soon received the 
fulfilment of their desires, for it follows, And he healed them 
all. Hilary ; On those whom He healed He enjoined 
silence, whence it follows, And he charged them that they 
should not make him known. For his restored health was a 
witness to each man. And by commanding them to hold 
their peace, He avoids all ostentation of Himself, and at the 
same time notwithstanding affords a knowledge of Himself 
in that very admonition to hold their peace ; for the 
observance of silence proceeds from that very thing which 
is to be kept silent. Raban. In this also He instructs us, 
that when we have done any thing great we are not to seek 
praise abroad. Remig. And He also gives them command 
that they should not make Him known, that they might not 
by persecuting Him be put into a worse state. Chrys. And 
that you may not be troubled at those things which are done, 
and at the incredible madness of the Pharisees, He introduces 
the Prophet's words. For such was the carefulness of the 
Prophets, that they had not omitted even this, but had noted 
all His ways and movements, and the meaning with which 
He did this ; that you might learn that He spoke all things 
by the Holy Spirit; for if it be impossible to know the 
thoughts of men, much more to know the meaning of Christ, 
unless the Holy Spirit revealed it. 'i herefore it follows, 


That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the 
Prophet, saying, Behold my servant whom I have chosen. 
Remig. The Lord Jesus Christ is called the servant of the 
Almighty God", not in respect of His divinity, but in respect 
of the dispensation of the flesh which He took upon Him, 
because by the cooperation of the Holy Spirit He took flesh 
of the Virgin without stain of sin. Some books have, Elect, 
whom I have chosen, for He was chosen by God the Father, 
that is, predestinated that He should be the Son of God, 
proper, not adopted. Raban. Whom I have chosen, he 
says, for a work which none else has done, that He should 
redeem the human race, and make peace between God and 
the world. It follows, My beloved, in whom my soul is well 
pleased, for He alone is the Lamb without spot of sin, of 
Mat. 17, whom the Father speaks, Tliis is my beloved Son, in whom I 
am well pleased. Remig. That he says, My soul, is not to 
be understood as though God the Father had a soul, but by 
way of adaptation, shewing how God is disposed towards 
Him. And it is no wonder that a soul is ascribed to God in 
this manner, seeing that all other members of the body are 
likewise. Chrys. This the Prophet puts in tlie beginning, 
that you might learn that that which is here said was 
according to the counsel of the Father. For he that is beloved 
does according to his will who loveth him. And again, he 
that is chosen, does not as an enemy break the law, nor as 
one being an adversary of the legislator, but as one in 
agreement with Him. Because therefore He is beloved, / 
will put my Spirit upon him. Remig. Then also God the 
Father put His Spirit upon Him, when by the working of 
the Holy Spirit He took flesh of the Virgin ; and as soon as He 
became man, Pie took the fulness of the Holy Spirit. Jeuome ; 
But the Holy Spirit is put, not on the Word of God, but on 
the Only-Begotten, who came forth from the bosom of the 

*» Our Lord is said to be properly a the course of the Adoptionist contro- 

servant as regards His human nature, versy, the same heretics who denied 

by S. Athan. Orat. in Arian. i. 43. S. that our Lord was the true Son of God 

Hilar, de Trin. xi. 13. S. Greg. Naz. in His human nature, asserting that He 

Orat. xxxvi. p. 678. S. Greg. Nyss. de was a servant. Theodoret attributes 

Fide adSimpl.p.471.S.Ambros.deFid. the opinion to ApoUinaris, "which 

V.8. Pseudo-August Alterc.cumPasc. 16. none of us ever dared to utter." 

S.Cyrill. Alex. Anathem. Eranist. ii. fin. 
10, p. 223. But it came to be denied in 

VER. 14 — 21. ST. MATTHEW. 443 

Father; on Him, that is, of whom it is said, Behold my 
servant. And what He will do by Him He adds, And he 
shall declare judgment to the Gentiles. Aug. Seeing HeAug. ue 
preached the judgment to come which was hidden from thej^j^'gQ ' 
Gentiles. Chrys. Further, to shew His lowliness, He says, 
He shall not strive ; and so He was offered up as the Father 
had willed, and gave Himself willingly into, the hands of 
His persecutors. Neither shall he cry ; so He was dumb as 
a lamb before his shearer. Nor shall any hear his voice ifi 
the streets. JerOxME ; For the way is broad and wide which 
leads to destruction, and many walk in it ; and being many, 
they will not hear the voice of the Saviour, because they are 
not in the narrow but in the broad way. Remig. The 
Greek TtXcariix, is in Latin called ' latitudo.' No one therefore 
has heard His voice in the streets, because He has not promised 
pleasant things in this world to those that love Him, but 
hardships. Chrys. The Lord sought to heal the Jews by 
this mildness. But though they rejected Him, yet He did 
not resist them by destroying them ; whence the Prophet, 
displaying His power and their weakness, says, A bruised 
reed he shall not break, and a smoking Jlax he shall not 
quench. Jerome; He that holds not out his hand to a 
sinner, nor bears his brother's burden, he breaks a bruised 
reed ; and he who despises a weak spark of faith in a little 
one, he quenches a smoking flax. Aug. So He neither Aug. 
bruised nor quenched the Jewish persecutors, who are here " ' ^^^' 
likened to a bruised reed which has lost its wholeness, and 
to a smoking flax which has lost its flame ; but He spared 
them because He was not come to judge them, but to be 
judged by them. Id. In the smoking flax it is observed, Aug. 
that when the flame is out it causes a stink. Chrys. Or §"**'• 

xLV. 1. O. 

this. He shall not break a bruised reed, shews that it was 
as easy for Him to break them all, as to break a reed, 
and that a bruised reed. And, He shall not quench a 
smoking Jlax, shews that their rage was fired, and that the 
power of Christ vras strong to quench such rage with all 
readiness ; hence in this is shewn the great mercy of Christ. 
Hilary ; Or, he means this bruised reed that is not broken, 
to shew that the perishing and bruised bodies of the 
Gentiles, are not to be broken, but are rather reserved for 


salvation. He shall not quench a smoking Jiax, shews the 
feebleness of that spark which though not quenched, only 
moulders in the flax, and that among the remnants of that 
ancient grace, the Spirit is yet not quite taken away from 
Israel, but power still remains to them of resuming the 
Jerome, whole flame thereof in a day of penitence. Jerome ; Or, 
2.^*' ■ the reverse ; He calls the Jews a bruised reed, whom tossed 
by the wind and shaken fiom one another, the liord did 
not immediately condemn, but patiently endured ; and the 
smoking flax He calls the peoj)le gathered out of the 
Gentiles, who, having extinguished the light of the natural 
law, were involved in the wandering mazes of thick darkness 
of smoke, bitter and hurtful to the eyes ; this He not only 
did not extinguish, by reducing them to ashes, but on the 
contrary from a small spark and one almost dead He raised 
a mighty flame. Chrys. But one might say. What then, 
shall these things be always thus } Will He endure for ever 
those who thus lay snares, and are mad against Him ? P'ar 
from it ; when His own work shall be all complete, then 
shall He work these things also. And this He signifies, 
saying, Until he shall send forth judgment to victory ; 
as much as to say. When He shall have accomplished all 
things which are of Himself, then shall He bring in perfect 
vengeance ; then shall they receive punishment when He has 
made his victory illustrious, that there be not left to them 
any irreverent opportunity of contradiction. Hilary; Or, 
Until he shall send forth judgment to victory, that is, Until 
He shall take away the power of death, and bring in judg- 
ment and the return of His splendour. Raban. Or, Until 
that judgment which was being done in Him should come 
forth to victory. For after that by His resurrection He had 
overcome death, and driven forth the prince of this world, 
He returned as conqueror to His kingdom to sit on the right 
hand of the Father, until He shall put all His enemies under 
His feet. Chrys. But the things of this dispensation will 
not rest in this only, that they who have not believed should 
be punished, but He w ill also draw the world to Him ; 
whence it follows. And in his name shall the Gentiles hope. 
Aug.DeAuG. This last we now see fulfilled; and thus this which 
xx! 30*'* cannot be denied establishes the tnith of that which some 

VER. 22 — 24. ST. matthf:\v. 445 

have denied through ignorance, the last judgment namely, 

which He will hold upon earth, when He Himself shall 

come from heaven. For who could have expected that the 

Gentiles would have hope in Christ's name, when He was 

in the hands of His enemies, when He was bound, scourged, 

set at nought, and crucified ; when even His disciples had 

lost that hope which they had begun to have in Him ? That 

which one thief hardly hoped on the cross, the nations 

scattered far and wide now hope. And that they may not 

die for ever, they are marked with that very cross on which 

He died. Let none then doubt that the last judgment will 

be by Christ Himself. Rkmig. And it should be known, that 

the meaning not only of this passage, but of many others also, 

is supported by this testimony from the Prophet. The words, 

Behold my serumt, may be referred to the place in which 

the Father had said above, This is my Son. The words, Mat. 3, 

/ uilt put my Spirit upon him, is referred to the descent * 

of the Holy Spirit upon the Lord at His baptism ; He shall 

declare judgment to the Gentiles, to that which He says 

below, When the Son of Alan shall sit in the seat of his^^i.25. 

Majesty. What He adds. He shall not strive nor cry, refers 

to the Lord how He answered but little to the Chief Priests, 

and to Pilate, but to Herod nothing at all. He shall not 

.break the bruised reed, refers to His shunning His persecutors 

that they might not be made worse ; and that In his name 

shall the Gentiles hope, refers to what Himself says below, 

Go ye, and teach all nations. Mat 28 

^ 19. 

22. Then was brought unto him one possessed with 
a devil, blind and dumb : and he healed him, inso- 
much that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. 

23. And all the people were amazed, and said. Is 
not this the Son of David ? 

24. But when the Pharisees heard it, they said. 
This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub 
the prince of the devils. 

Gloss. The Lord had refuted the Pharisees above, when Gloss, 
they brought false charges against the miracles of Christ, as "°" '*^^' 


if He had broken the .sabbath in doing them. But inas- 
much as with a yet greater wickedness they perversely attri- 
buted the miracles of Christ done by divine power to an 
unclean spirit, therefore the Evangelist places first the 
miracle from which they had taken occasion to blaspheme, 
saying, Then was hrouyht to him one that had a damoUy 
blind and dumb. Remig. The word Then refers to that 
above, where having healed the man who had the withered 
hand, He went out of the synagogue. Or it may be taken of 
a more extended time ; Then, namely, when these things 
were being done or said. Chrys. We may wonder at the 
wickedness of the daemon ; he had obstructed both inlets 
by which he could believe, namely, hearing and sight. But 
Christ opened both, whence it follows, And he healed him, 
insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. 
Jerome ; Three miracles were wrought in one and the same 
person at the same time; the blind sees, the dumb speaks, 
the possessed is delivered from the daemon. This was at 
that time done in the flesh, but is now daily being fulfilled 
in the conversion of them that believe; the daemon is cast 
out when they first behold the light of the faith, and then 
their mouths which had before been stopped are opened to 
utter the praises of God. Hilary; Not without reason, 
after having mentioned that all the multitude was healed 
together, does he bring in the cure of this man separately 
who was daemoniac, blind and^umb. For after the man of 
the withered hand had been brought before Him, and been 
healed in the Synagogue, it behoved that the salvation of 
the Gentiles should be represented in the person of some 
other afflicted man ; he who had been the habitation of a 
daemon, and blind and dumb, should be made meet to receive 
God, should contain God in Christ, and by confession of God 
Aug. should give praise to the works of Christ. Aug. For he that 
EvT'4. believes not, is truly daemoniac, blind, and dumb ; and he 
that has not understanding of the faith, nor confesses, nor 
Aug. De gives praise to God, is subject to the devil. Id. This 
.j.°°?'37 narrative is given by Luke, not in this place, but after many 
other things intervening, and speaks of him as dumb only, 
and not blind. But he is not to be thought to be speaking 
of another man, because he is silent respecting this one 

VER. 25, 26. ST. MATTHEW. 447 

particular; for in -what follows he agrees exactly with 
Matthew. Hilary ; All the multitude were astonished at 
this which was done, but the jealousy of the Pharisees grew 
thereupon, And all the multitude were astonished and said. 
Is not this the Son of David? Gloss. Because of His Gloss, 
mercy and His goodness to them they proclaim Him the Son jfaban. 
of David. Kaban. The multitude who seemed less learned, Raban. 
always wondered at the works of the Lord ; they, on the j^ luc. 
other hand, either denied these things, or what they could 
not deny laboured to pervert by an ill interpretation, as though 
they were wrought not by a Deity, but by an unclean spirit, 
namely, Beelzebub, who was the God of Acharon : The 
Pharisees when they heard it said, This man does not cast 
out damons but by Beelzebub, the prince of the deernons. 
Remig. Beelzebub is the same as Beel or Baal, or Beel- 
phegor. Beel was father of Ninus king of Assyria; Baal 
was so called because he was worshipped on high ; he was 
called Beelphegor from the mountain Phegor; Zebub was 
the servant of Abimelech the son of Gedeon, who, having 
slain his seventy brothers, built a temple to Baal, and set 
him up as Priest therein, to drive away the flies which were 
collected there by the abundant blood of the victims ; for 
Zebub means, a fly. Beelzebub therefore is interpreted. The 
man of flies ; wherefore from this most unclean worship they 
called him the Prince of the daemons. Having therefore 
nothing more mean to cast upon the Lord, they said that 
He cast out daemons by Beelzebub. And it should be 
known that this word is not to be read with d or t at the end, 
as some corrupt copies have, but with b. 

25. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto 
them. Every kingdom divided against itself is brought 
to desolation; and every city or house divided against 
itself shall not stand ; 

26. And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided 
against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? 

Jerome ; The Pharisees ascribed the works of God to the 
Prince of the daemons ; and the Lord makes answer not to 


what they said, but to what they thought, that even thus 
they might be compelled to believe His power, Who saw the 
secrets of the heart; Jesus, knowing their though is, said unto 
Chrys. them. Chrys. Above they had accused Christ of having 
xli. * cast out daemons by Beelzebub ; but then He did not reprove 
them, suffering them, if they would, to acknowledge Him 
from further miracles, and to leam His greatness from His 
doctrine. But because they continued to maintain the same 
things, He now rebukes them, although their accusation had 
been very unreasonable. But jealousy recks not what it 
says, so that only it say somewhat, ^'et does not Christ 
contemn them, but answers with a gracious mildness, teach- 
ing us to be gentle to our enemies, and not to be troubled, 
even though they should speak such things against us, as we 
neither acknowledge in us, nor have any reasonableness in 
themselves. Therein also He proves that the things which 
they had said against Him were false, for it is not of one 
having a daemon to shew such mercy, and to know the 
thoughts. Moreover, because this their accusation was very 
unreasonable, and they feared the multitude, they did not 
dare to proclaim it openly, but kept it in their thoughts ; 
wherefore he says. Knowing their thoughts. He does not 
repeat their thoughts in His answer, not to divulge their 
wickedness ; but He brings forward an answer ; it was His 
object to do good to the sinners, not to proclaim their sin. 
He does not answer them out of the Scriptures, because 
they would not hearken to Him as they explained them 
differently, but He refutes them from common opinions. 
For assaults from without are not so destructive as quarrels 
within ; and this is so in bodies and in all other things. 
But in the mean while Ife draws instances from matters 
more known, saying. Every kingdom divided against itself 
shall be brought to desolation ; for there is nothing on 
earth more powerful than a kingdom, and yet that is de- 
stroyed by contention. What then must we say concerning 
a city or a family ; that whether it be great or small, it is 
destroyed when it is at discord within itself. Hilary; 
For a city or family is analogous to a kingdom ; as it fol- 
lows, And every city or house divided against itself shall 
not stand. Jerome ; For as small things grow by concord. 

VER. 25, 26. ST. MATTHEW. 449 

SO the greatest fall to pieces through dissensions. Hilary ; 
But the word of God is rich, and whether taken simply, 
or examined inwardly, it is needful for our advancement. 
Leaving therefore what belongs to the plain understanding 
thereof, let us dwell on some of the more secret reasons. 
The Lord is about to make answer to that which they 
had said concerning Beelzebub, and He casts upon those 
to whom He made answer a condition of their answering. 
Thus; The Law was from God and the promise of the 
kingdom to Israel was by the Law ; but if the kingdom 
of the Law be divided in itself, it must needs be de- 
stroyed; and thus Israel lost the Law, when the nation 
whose was the Law, rejected the fulfilment of the Law 
in Christ. The city here spoken of is Jerusalem, which 
when it raged with the madness of its people against the 
Lord, and drove out His Apostles with the multitude of 
them that beheved, after this division shall not stand ; and 
thus (which soon happened in consequence of this division) 
the destruction of that city is declared. Again He puts 
another case. And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided 
against himself ; how then shall Ins kingdom stand? Jerome; 
As much as to say, If Satan fight against himself, and daemon 
be an enemy to daemon, then must the end of the world be 
at hand, that these hostile powers should have no place there, 
whose mutual war is peace for men. Gloss. He holds them Gloss, 
therefore in this dilemma. For Christ casts out daemons 
either by the power of God, or by the Prince of the daemons. 
If by the power of God, their accusations are malicious ; if 
by the Prince of the daemons, his kingdom is divided, and will 
not stand, and therefore let them depart out of his kingdom. 
And this alternative He intimates that they had chosen for 
themselves, when they refused to believe in Him. Chrys. 
Or thus ; If he is divided, he is made weak, and perishes ; 
but if he perishes, how can he cast out another ? Hilary ; 
Otherwise ; If the daemon was driven to this division to the 
end that he should thus afflict the daemons, even thus must 
we attribute higher power to Him who made the division 
than to those who are thus divided; thus the kingdom of 
the Devil, after this division made, is destroyed by Christ. 
Jerome ; But if ye think, ye Scribes and Pharisees, that the 
VOL. I. 2 G 


daemons depart out of tlie possessed in obcdieuce to their 
Prince, that men may be imposed upon by a concerted 
fraud, what can ye say to the healing of diseases which the 
Lord also wrought? It is something more if ye assign to the 
daemons even bodily infirmities, and the signs of spiritual 

27. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by 
whom do your children cast them out ? therefore 
they shall be your judges. 

28. But if 1 cast out devils by the Spirit of God, 
then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 

Chrys. After the first answer, He comes to a second more 
plain than the first, saying. And if I by Beelzebub cast out 
dcBnwfis, by whom do your sons cast them out ? Therefore 
shall they be your judges. Jerome ; He alludes, as is His 
manner, under the name children of the Jews, either to the 
exorcists of that race, or to the Apostles who are by race of 
that nation. If He means the exorcists who by the invo- 
cation of God cast out daemons. He thus constrains the 
Pharisees by a wise enquiry to confess that their work was 
of the Holy Spirit. If, He would say, the casting out of 
the daemons by your children is imputed to God, and not 
to daemons, why should the same work wrought by Me not 
have the same cause ? Therefore shall they be your judges, 
not by authority but by comparison; they ascribe the casting 
out of the daemons to God, you to the Prince of the daemons. 
But if it is of the Apostles also that this is said, (and so we 
should rather take it,) then they shall be their judges, for they 
shall sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of 
Israel. Hilary; And they are worthily appointed judges 
over them, to whom Christ is found to have given that power 
over the dasmons, which it was denied that He had. Raban. 
Or, because the Apostles well knew within their own con- 
science that they had learnt no evil art from Him. Chrys. 
Yet He said not, My disciples, or Apostles, but your 
children ; that if they chose to return again to their own 
privileges, they might take occasion hence ; but if they should 

VKR. 27, 28. ST. MATTHEW. 451 

be ungrateful, they might not have even an impudent excuse. 
And the Apostles cast out da3mons by virtue of power which 
they had from Him, and yet the Pharisees made no such 
charge against them ; for it was not the actions themselves, 
but the person of Christ to which they were opposed. 
Desiring then to shew that the things which were said 
against Him were only jealous suspicions, He brings forward 
the Apostles. And also He leads them to a knowledge of 
Himself, shewing how they stood in the way of their own 
good, and resisted their own salvation ; whereas they ought 
to be joyful because He had come to bestow great goods 
upon them ; If I by the Spirit of God cast out dmnons, 
then is the kingdom of God come upon you. This also 
shews that it is a matter of great power to cast out daemons, 
and not an ordinary grace. And thus it is He reasons. 
Therefore is the kingdom of God come upon you, as much as 
to say, If this indeed be so, then is the Son of God come 
upon you. But this He hints darkly, that it may not seem 
hard to them. Also to draw their attention, He said not 
merely, The kingdom hath come, but, upon you ; that is 
to say. These good things are coming for you ; why do you 
oppose your own salvation ; for this is the very sign given 
by the Prophets of the presence of the Son of God, that 
such works as these should be wrought by Divine power. 
Jerome ; For the kingdom of God denotes Himself, of whom 
it is written in another place. The kingdom of Cod h among Lukeil, 
you; and, Tliere standeth one in the midst of you nhom ycj^^^^ 
know not. Or surely that kingdom which both John and 26. 
the Lord Himself had preached above. Repent ye, for theMzt.S, 
kingdom of heaven is at hand. There is also a third ' ' 
kingdom of the Holy Scripture which shall be taken from 
the Jews, and be given to a nation that brings forth the fruit 
thereof. Hilary; If then the disciples work by Christ, 
and Christ by the Spirit of God, already is the kingdom of 
God transferred to the Apostles through the office of the 
Mediator. Gloss. For the weakening of the kingdom of Gloss, 
the Devil is the increase of the kingdom of God. Aug, gj]'^ °" 
Whence the sense might be this, If I by Beelzebub cast out Aug. 
darnons, then, according to your own opinion, the kingdom Ev. i. 5. 
of God is come upon you, for the kingdom of the Devil, being 

2 G 2 


thus divided against itself, cannot stand. Thus calling that 
the kingdom of God, in which the wicked are condemned, 
and are separated from the faithful, who are now doing 
penitence for their sins. 

29. Or else how can one enter into a strong man's 
house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the 
strong man ? and then he will spoil his house. 

Chrys. Having concluded the second answer, He brings 
forward yet a third, saying, Or how can any enter into a 
strong man^s house ? For that Satan cannot cast out Satan 
is clear from what has been said; and that no other can cast 
him out, till he have first overcome him, is plain to all. 
Thus the same as before is established yet more abundantly ; 
for He says. So far am I from having the Devil for my ally, 
that I rather am at war with him, and bind him ; and in that 
I cast out after this sort, I therein spoil his goods. Thus 
He proves the very contrary of that they strove to establish. 
They would shew that He did not cast out dajmons of His 
own pow'er; He proves that not only daemons, yea but the 
prince also of the daemons He hath bound, as is shewn by 
that which He hath wrought. For if their Prince were not 
overcome, how were the dajmons who are His subjects thus 
spoiled. This speech seems also to me to be a prophecy ; 
inasmuch as He not only casts out daemons, but will take 
away all error out of the world, and dissolve the craft of the 
Devil ; and He says not rob, but spoil, shewing that He will 
do it with power. Jeeome ; His house is this world, which 
is set in evil, not by the majesty of the Creator, but by the 
greatness of the sinner. The strong man is bound and 
chained in tartarus, bruised by the Lord's foot. Yet ought 
we not therefore to be careless ; for here the conqueror Him- 
self pronounces our adversary to be strong. Chrys. He 
calls him strong, shewing therein his old reign, which arose 
Aug. out of our sloth. Aug. For he held us, that we should not 
' *"P' by our own strength be able to free ourselves from him, but 
by the grace of God. By his goods, he means all the un- 
believers. He has bound the strong man, in that He has 

VER. 30. ST. MATTHEW. 453 

taken away from him all power of hindering the faithful from 
following Christ, and gaining the kingdom of heaven. 
Raban. Therefore He has spoiled his house, in that them 
whom He foresaw should be His own, He set free from the 
snares of the Devil, and has joined to the Church. Or in that 
He has divided the whole world among His Apostles and their 
successors to be converted. By this plain parable therefore 
He shews that He does not join in a deceitful working with 
the daemons as they falsely accused Him, but by the might 
of His divinity He frees men from the daemons. 

30. He that is not with me is against me ; and he 
that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. 

Chrys. After that third reply, here follows a fourth, He 
that is not with me is against me. Hilary; Wherein He 
shews how far He is from having borrowed any power from 
the Devil ; teaching us how great the danger to think amiss 
of Him, not to be with Whom, is the same as to be against 
Him. Jerome; But let none think that this is said of 
heretics and schismatics; though we may apply it besides 
to such ; but it is shewn by the context to refer to the Devil ; 
in that the works of the Savioiu" cannot be compared with 
the works of Beelzebub. He seeks to hold men's souls 
in captivity, the Lord to set them free ; he preaches idols, 
the Lord the knowledge of the true God ; he draws men to 
sin, the Lord calls them back to virtues. How then can 
these have agreement together, whose works are so opposite ? 
Chrys. Therefore whoso gathereth not with me, nor is witli 
me, may not be compared together with me, that with me he 
should cast out daemons, but rather seeks to scatter what is 
mine. But tell me ; If you were to have fought together 
with some one, and he should not be willing to come to 
your aid, is he not therefore against you? The Lord also 
Himself said in another place. He that is not against you is Luke 9, 
for you. To which that which is here said is not contrary. ^^' 
For here He is speaking of the Devil who is our adversary — 
there of some man who was on their side, of whom it is 
said, We saw one casting out demons in thy name. Here 
He seems to allude to the Jews, classing them with the 


Devil; for they were against Him, and scattered what He 
would gather. But it is fair to allow that He spoke this ot" 
Himself; for He was against the Devil, and scattered abroad 
the things of the Devil. 

31. Wherefore I say unto you. All manner of sin 
and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men : but the 
blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be for- 
given unto men. 

32. And whosoever s})eaketh a word against the 
Son of man, it shall be forgiven him : but whosoever 
speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be 
forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the 
world to come, 

Chrys. The Lord had refuted the Pharisees by explaining 
His own actions, and He now proceeds to terrify them. 
For this is no small part of correction, to threaten punish- 
ment, as well as to set right false accusation. Hilary; 
He condemns by a most rigorous sentence this opinion of 
the Pharisees, and of such as thought with them, promising 
pardon for all sins, but refusing it to blasphemy against the 
Spirit; Wlierefore I say nnlo you^ All manner of sin and 
blasphemy shall be fonjiren nnlo men. Remig. But it 
should be known that they are not forgiven to all men 
universally, but to such only as have performed due peni- 
tence for their guiltinesses. So by these words is over- 
thrown the error of Novalian, who said that the faithful 
could not rise by penitence after a fall, nor merit pardon of 

Aug. their sins, especially they who in persecution denied". Aug. 

tl'is. ^^^^ vvhat diflerence does it make to the purj)ose, whether it 
be said, The spirit of blasphemy shall not be forgiven, or, 

Luke 12, JVfwso shall blaspheme ayainst the Holy Spirit it shall not 
be forgiven him, as Luke speaks ; except that the same sense 

h Novatian, a presbyter of Rome, considered the Church in a state of 
«eparated from the Church in the corruption, and they were led to main- 
middle of the third century, and formed tain that none were in God's favour 
a sect, on the ground of the Church's who had pinned grievously after Bap- 
restoring the lapsed in persecution upon tism. 
their repentance. In consequence they 

VEIL 31, 3-2. ST. MATTJlliW. 455 

is expressed more clearly in the one place than in the other, 
the one Evangelist not overthrowing but explaining the 
other ? The spirit of blaspJiemy it is said shortly, not ex- 
pressing what spirit; to make which clear it is added. 
And whoso shall speak a word against the Son of man^ 
it shall be forgiven him. After having said the same of all 
manner of blasphemy, He would in a more particular way 
speak of that blasphemy which is against the Son of Man, 
and which in the Gospel according to John He shews to 
be very heavy, where He says concerning the Holy Ghost, 
He shall convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of 
judgment ; of sin, because they believe not on me. That then 
which here follows, He uho shall speak a word against the 
Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither iti this 
world, nor in that which is to come, is not said because 
the Holy Spirit is in the Trinity greater than the Son, 
which no heretic ever affirmed. Hilary; And what is 
so beyond all pardon as to deny that in Christ which is 
of God, and to take away the substance of the Father's 
Spirit which is in Him, seeing that He performs every work 
in the Spirit of God, and in Him God is reconciling the 
world unto Himself. Jerome ; Or the passage may be 
thus understood ; Whoso speaks a word against the Son of 
Man, as stumbling at My flesh, and thinking of Me as no 
more than man, such opinion and blasphemy though it is not 
free from the sin of heresy, yet finds pardon because of the 
little worth of the body. But whoso plainly perceiving the 
works of God, and being unable to deny the power of 
God, speaks falsely against them prompted by jealousy, 
and calls Christ who is the Word of God, and the works of the 
Holy Ghost, Beelzebub, to him it shall not be forgiven, 
neither in this world, nor in the world to come. Aug. But Aug. 
if this were said in such manner, then every other kind of"**' ^"P* 
blasphemy is omitted, and that only which is spoken against 
the Son of Man, as when He is pronounced to be mere man, 
is to be forgiven. That then that is said, All manner of sin 
and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, without doubt 
blasphemy spoken against the Father is included in its 
largeness ; though here again that alone is declared irre- 
missible which is spoken against the Holy Ghost. What 


then, hath the Father also taken upon Hira the form of a 
servant, that the Holy Ghost is thus as it were spoken of 
as greater ? For who could not be convicted of having 
spoken a word against the Holy Spirit, before He become 
a Christian or a Catholic ? First, the Pagans themselves 
when tliey say that Christ wrought miracles by magic arts, 
are they not like those who said that He cast out daemons 
by the Prince of the daemons? Likewise the Jews and all 
such heretics as confess the Holy Spirit, but deny that He is 
in the body of Christ, which is the Church Catholic, are like 
the Pharisees, who denied that the Holy Spirit was in Christ. 
Some heretics even contend that the Holy Spirit Himself is 
either a creature, as the Arians, Eunomians, and Macedo- 
nians, or deny Him at least in such sort that they may deny 
the Trinity in the Godhead ; others assert that the Father 
alone is God, and the same is sometimes spoken of as the 
Son, sometimes as the Holy Spirit, as the Sabellians. The 
Photinians also say, that the Father only is God, and that 
the Son is nothing more than a man, and deny altogether 
that there is any third Person, the Holy Spirit. It is clear 
then that the Holy Spirit is blasphemed, both by Pagans, 
Jews, and heretics. Are all such then to be left out, and 
looked upon as having no hope ? For if the word they have 
spoken against the Holy Spirit is not forgiven them, then in 
vain is the promise made to them, that in Baptism or in the 
Church they should receive the forgiveness of their sins. 
For it is not said, ' It shall not be forgiven him in Baptism ;' 
but. Neither in this world, nor in fhe uorld to come ; and so 
they alone are to be supposed clear of the guilt of this most 
heavy sin who have been Catholics from their infancy. Some 
again think that they only sin against the Holy Ghost, who 
having been washed in the laver of regeneration in the 
Church, do afterwards, as though ungrateful for such a gift of 
the Saviour, plunge themselves into some deadly sin, such 
as adultery, murder, or quitting the Christian name, or the 
Church Catholic. But whence this meaning can be proved, 
I know not ; since place for penitence of sins however great 
was never denied in the Church, and even heretics are 
2 Tim. exhorted to embrace it by the Apostle. 1/ God perodveniure 
^' ^^* will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. 

VER. 31, 32. ST. MATTHEW. 457 

Lastly, the Lord says not, * If any Catholic believer,' but, 
Whoso shall speak a word, that is, whosoever, it shall not he 
forgiven him neither in this uorld, nor in the world to come. 
Id. Otherwise; The Apostle John says. There is a sin unto Aug. 
death ; I do not say that he shall pray for it. This sin of ;„ jlont. 

the brother unto death I judge to be, when any one having'- 

'' „ ^ , ., , ., ^ ® 1 John 

come to the knowledge of God, through the grace of our 5^ le. 
Lord Jesus Christ, opposes Himself against the brotherhood, 
or is roused by the fury of jealousy against that grace by 
which he was reconciled to God. The stain of this sin is so 
great, that it may not submit to the humility of prayer, even 
when the sinful conscience is driven to acknowledge and 
proclaim its own sin. Which state of mind because of the 
greatness of their sin we must suppose some may be brought 
to ; and this perhaps may be to sin against the Holy Ghost, 
that is through malice and jealousy to assail brotherly charity 
after having received the grace of the Holy Spirit; and this 
sin the Lord declares shall be forgiven neither in this world, 
nor in that to come. Whence it may be enquired whether 
the Jews sinned this sin against the Holy Ghost when they 
said that the Lord cast out daemons by Beelzebub the Prince 
of the daemons. Are we to suppose this spoken of our Lord 
Himself, because He said in another place, If they have, 
called the master of the house Beelzehubi how much more 
they of his household? Seeing they thus spoke out of 
jealousy, ungrateful for so great present benefits, are they, 
though not Christians, to be supposed by the very greatness 
of that jealousy to have sinned the sin against the Holy 
Spirit? This cannot be gathered from the Lord's words. 
Yet He may seem to have warned them that they should 
come to grace, and that after that grace received they should 
not sin as they now sinned. For now their evil word had 
been spoken against the Son of Man, but it might be forgiven 
them, if they should be converted, and believe on Him. But 
if after they had received the Holy Spirit, they should be 
jealous against the brotherhood, and should fight against 
that grace which they had received, it should not be forgiven 
them neither in this world, nor in the world to come. For 
if He had there condemned them in such sort that no hope 
remained for them, He would not have added an admonition, 


Aug. Either make the tree good, b^c. Id. But T do not afTirni this 
i. 19. ^or certain, by saying tliat I think thus; yet thus much 
might have been added ; If he should close this life in this 
impious hardness of heart, yet since we may not utterly 
despair of any however evil, so long as he is in this life, so 
neither is it unreasonable to pray lor him of whom we do 
Aug. not despair. Jo. Yet is this enquiry very mysterious. Let 
71. si us then seek the light of exposition from the Lord. 1 say 
unto you, beloved, that in all Holy Scripture there is not 
perhaps so great or so difficult a question as this. First 
then I request you to note that the Lord said not, Every 
blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven, nor, 
AVhoso shall speak any word against — but, Whoso shall speak 
the word. Wherefore it is not necessary to think that every 
blasphemy and every word spoken against the Holy Spirit 
shall be without pardon ; it is only necessary that there be 
some word which if spoken against the Holy Spirit shall be 
without pardon. For such is the manner of Scripture, that 
when any thing is so declared in it as that it is not declared 
whether it is said of the whole, or a part, it is not necessary 
that because it can apply to the whole, it therefore is not to 
be understood of the part. As when the Lord said to the 
John 15, Jews, If I laid not come and spoken unto theiUy they had not 
had sin, this does not mean that the Jews would have been 
altogether witljout sin, but that there was a sin they would 
not have had, if Christ had not come. What then is this 
manner of speaking against the Holy Ghost, comes now to 
be explained. Now in the Father is represented to us the 
Author of all things, in the Son birth, in the Holy Spirit 
community of the Father and the Son. What then is com' 
mon to the Father and the Son, through that they would have 
Rom. 5, us have communion among ourselves and with them : The love 
of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which 
he halh given us, and because by our sins we were alienated 
1 Pet. 4, from the possession of true goods. Charily shall cover the 
multitude of sins. And for that Christ forgives sins through 
the iloly Spirit, hence may be uliderstood how, when He 
John20, said to his disciples. Receive ye the Holy Spirit, He sub- 
^ ■ joined straight, Whosesoever sins ye forgive, they shall be for- 
given them. J "he first benefit therefore of them that believe 

VER. 31, 32. ST. MATTHEW. io9 

is forgiveness of sins in the Holy Spirit. Against this gift of 
free grace the impenitent heart speaks ; impenitence itself 
therefore is the blasphemy against the Spirit which shall not 
be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in that to come. For 
indeed he speaks the evil word against the Holy Spirit either 
in his thought, or with his tongue, who by his hard and 
impenitent heart treasures up for himself wrath against the 
day of wrath. Such impenitence truly has no forgiveness, 
neither in this world nor in the world to come, for penitence 
obtains forgiveness in this world which shall hold in the world 
to come. But that impenitence as long as any lives in the 
flesh may not be judged, for we must despair of none so long 
as the patience of God leads to repentance. For what if those 
whom you discover in any manner of sin, and condemn as 
most desperate, should before they close this life betake 
themselves to penitence, and find true life in the world to 
come } But this kind of blasphemy though it be long, and 
comprised in many words, yet the Scripture is wont to 
speak of many words as one word. It was more than a 
single word which the Lord spoke with the prophet, and 
yet we read, The word which came unto this or that 
prophet. Here perhaps some may enquire whether the 
Holy Spirit only forgives sins, or the Father and the Son like- 
wise. We answer the Father and the Son likewise ; for the 
Son Himself saith of the Father, Your Father shall forgive ^3,\.. 6, 
you your sins, and He saith of Himself, The Son of Man j^j^^ g 
hath power on earth to forgive sins. Why then is that 6. 
impenitence which is never forgiven, spoken of as blasphemy 
against the Holy Spirit only .'' Forasmuch as he who falls 
under this sin of impenitence seems to resist the gift of the 
Holy Spirit, because in that gift is conveyed remission of 
sin. But sins, because they are not remitted out of the 
Church, must be remitted in that Spirit by which the 
Church is gathered into one. Thus this remission of sins 
which is given by the whole Trinity is said to be the 
proper ofl^ice of the Holy Spirit alone, for it is He, Tlie Rom. 8, 
Spirit of adoption, in which tee cry, Abba Father, so that ^^• 
to Him we may pray, Forgive us our sins ; And hereby 
ue know, speaks John, that Christ abideth in us, by \ John 
the Holy Spirit which He hath given unto us. For to"*' ^^- 


Him belongs that bond by which we are made one body 

of the only-begotten Son of God; for the Holy Spirit 

Himself is in a manner the bond of the Father and the Son. 

Whosoever then shall be found guilty of impenitence against 

the Holy Spirit, in whom the Church is gathered together 

in unity and one bond of communion, it is never remitted 

to him. Chrys. Otherwise according to the first exposition. 

The Jews were indeed ignorant of Christ, but of the Holy 

Ghost they had had a sufficient communication, for the 

Prophets spake by Him. What He here saith then is this ; 

Be it that ye have stumbled at Me because of the flesh which 

is around Me ; but can ye in the same manner say of the 

Holy Spirit, We know Him not ? Wherefore this blasphemy 

cannot be forgiven you, and ye shall be punished both here 

and hereafter, for since to cast out da)mons and to heal 

diseases are of the Holy Spirit, you do not speak evil against 

Me only, but also against Him ; and so your condemnation 

is inevitable both here and hereafter. For thex'e are who 

are punished in this life only; as they who among the 

Corinthians were unworthy partakers of the mysteries ; 

others who are punished only in the life to come, as the rich 

man in hell ; but those here spoken of are to be punished 

both in this world, and in the world to come, as were the 

Jews, who suffered horrible things in the taking of Jerusalem, 

Gloss. ^^^ shall there undergo most heavy punishment. Gloss. 

ap. An- This passage destroys that heresy of Origen, who asserted 

vi,i. that after many ages all sinners should obtain pardon ; for 

infra in j^ jg }jgj.g said, this shall not be forgiven either in this world, 

cap. 25. ' ^ 

46. or in the world to come. Greg. Hence we may gather 

^!*?*. that there are some sins that are remitted in this world, and 
Dial. IV. ... 

39. some in the world to come ; for what is denied of one sin, 

must be supposed to be admitted of others. And this may 

be believed in the case of trifling faults ; such as much idle 

discourse, immoderate laughter, or the sin of carefulness in 

our worldly affairs, which indeed can hardly be managed 

without sin even by one who knows how he ought to avoid 

sin ; or sins through ignorance (if they be lesser sins) which 

burden us even after death, if they have not been remitted 

to us while yet in this life. But it should be known that 

none will there obtain any purgation even (if the least 

VER. 33 — 35. ST. MATTHEW. 461 

sin, but he who by good actions has merited the same in 
this life. 

33. Either make the tree good, and his fruit good ; 
or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt : 
for the tree is known by his fruit. 

34. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being 
evil, speak good things ? for out of the abundance of 
the heart the mouth speaketh. 

35. A good man out of the good treasure of the 
heart bringeth forth good things : and an evil man 
out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 

Chrys. After his former answers He here again refutes (-j^ 

them in another manner. This He does not in order to do Hom, 

away their charges against Himself, but desiring to amend 

them, saying, Either make the tree good and his fruit good, 

or make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt. As much 

as to say, None of you has said that it is an evil thing for 

a man to be delivered from daemons. But because they did 

not speak evil of the works, but said that it was the Devil 

that wrought them, He shews that this charge is contrary to 

the common sense of things, and human conceptions. And 

to invent such charges can only proceed from unbounded 

impudence. Jerome ; Thus He holds them in a syllogism 

which the Greeks call ' Aphycton,' the unavoidable ; which 

shuts in the person questioned on both sides, and presses 

him with either horn. If, He saith, the Devil be evil, he 

cannot do good works ; so that if the works you see be good, 

it follows that the Devil was not the agent thereof. For it 

cannot be that good should come of evil, or evil of good. 

Chrys. For the discerning of a tree is done by its fruits, 

not the fruits by the tree. A tree is known by its fruits. 

For though the tree is the cause of the fruit, yet the fruit is 

the evidence of the tree. But ye do the very contrary, 

having no fault to allege against the works, ye pass a 

sentence of evil against the tree, saying that I have a 

daemon. Hilary ; Thus did He at that present refute the 


Jews, who seeing Christ's works to be of power more than 
human, would noiwithstanding nut allow the hand of God. 
And at the same time He convicts all future errors of the 
faith, such as that of those who taking away from the Lord 
His divinity, and communion of the Father's substance, have 
fallen into divers hei'csies ; having their habitation neither 
under the plea of ignorance as the Gentiles, nor yet within 
the knowledge of the truth. He figures Himself as a tree set 
in the body, seeing that through the inward fruitfulness of 
His power sprung forth abundant richness of fruit. There- 
fore either must be made a good tree with good fruits, or an 
evil tree with evil fruits ; not that a good tree is to be made 
a bad tree, or the reverse; but that in this metaphor we may 
understand that Christ is either to be left in fruitlessness, or 
to be retained in the fruitfulness of good works. But to 
hold one's self neuter, to attribute some things to Christ, but 
to deny Him those things that are highest, to worship Him 
as God, and yet to deny Him a common substance with the 
Father, is blasphemy against the Spirit. In admiration of 
His so great works you dare not take away the name of God, 
yet through malevolence of soul you debase His high nature 

Aug. by denying His participation of the Father's substance. Aug. 

y^"l' Or this is an admonition to ourselves that we should be good 
trees that we may be able to bring forth good fruit ; Make 
the tree good, and it a fruit good, is a precept of health to which 
obedience is necessary. But what He says, Afake the tree 
corrupt, and its fruit corrupt, is not a command to do, but 
a warning to take heed, spoken against those who being evil 
thought that they could speak good things, or have good 
works ; this the Lord declares is impossible. The man must 
be changed first, that his works may be changed ; for if the 
man remains in that wherein he is evil, he cannot have good 
works ; if he remains in that wherein he is good, he cannot 
have evil works. Christ found us all corrupt trees, but gave 
power to become sons of God to them that believe on His 
name. Chrys. But as speaking not for Himself but for the 
Holy Spirit, He accordingly rebukes them, saying, Genera- 
tion of vipers, how can ye being evil speak good things ? 
This is both a rebuke of them, and a proof in their own 
characters of those things which had been said. As though 

VER, 33 — 35. ST. MATTHKW. 463 

He had said, So ye being corrupt trees cannot bring forth 
good fruit. I do not wonder then that you thus speak, for 
you are ill nourished of ill parentage, and have an evil mind. 
And observe He said not, How can ye speak good things, 
seeing ye are a generation of vipers .? for these two are not 
connected together; but He said, How can ye being evil 
speak good things? He calls them generation of vipers, 
because they made boast of their forefathers; in order 
therefore to cut off this their pride, He shuts them out of 
the race of Abraham, assigning them a parentage corre- 
sponding to their characters. Raban. Or the words. Gene- 
ration of vipers, may be taken as signifying children, or 
imitators of the Devil, because they had wilfully spoken 
against good works, which is of the Devil, and thence 
follows. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth 
speaketh. That man speaks out of the abundance of the 
heart who is not ignorant with what intention his words 
are uttered ; and to declare his meaning more openly He 
adds, A good man out of the good treasure of his heart 
bringeth forth good things. The treasure of the heart is the 
intention of the thoughts, by which the Judge judges that 
work which is produced, so that sometimes though the 
outward work that is shewn seem great, yet because of the 
carelessness of a cold heart, they receive a little reward from 
the Lord. Chrys. Herein also He shews His Godhead as 
knowing the hidden things of the heart; for not for words 
only, yea but for evil thoughts also they shall receive 
punishment. For it is the order of nature that the store 
of the wickedness which abounds within should be poured 
forth in words through the mouth." Thus when you shall 
hear any speaking evil, you must infer that his wickedness 
is more than what his words express ; for what is uttered 
without is but the overflowing of that within ; which was 
a sharp rebuke to them. For if that which was spoken by 
them were so evil, consider how evil must be the root from 
whence it sprung. And this happens naturally ; for often- 
times the hesitating tongue does not suddenly pour forth all 
its evil, while the heart, to which none other is privy, begets 
whatsoever evil it will, without fear ; for it has little fear of 
God. But when the multitude of the evils which are within 


is increased, the things wliich had been hidden then burst 
forth through the mouth. This is that He says, Out of the 
abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Jerome; 
What He says, The good man out of the good treasure of 
his heart, S^c. is either pointed against the Jews, that seeing 
they blasphemed God, what treasure in their heart nmst that 
be out of which such blasphemy proceeded ; or it is con- 
nected with what had gone before, that like as a good man 
cannot bring forth evil things, nor an evil man good things, 
so Christ cannot do evil works, nor the Devil good works. 

36. But I say unto you. That every idle word that 
men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in 
the day of judgment. 

37. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and 
by thy words thou shalt be condemned. 

Chris. The Lord follows up what He had said before by 
moving their fears, shewing that they that have thus sinned 
shall receive the most extreme punishment, I say unto you^ 
that everg idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an 
account thereof in tlie day of judgment. Jerome; And the 
meaning is ; If every idle word which does not edify the 
hearers is not without danger to him that speaks it, and if 
each man shall render an account of his words in the day of 
judgment, how much more shall you, who have spoken 
falsely against the works of the Holy Spirit, saying that I 
cast out daemons through Beelzebub, render an account of 
your false charge ? Chrys. He said not ' which ye have 
spoken,' but makes His teaching of universal application 
to the whole race of mankind, and at the same time His 
words less grievous to them that heard them. By an idle 
uord is meant one that is false, that accuses any falsely. 
Some indeed say that it includes all light talk, all such as 
stirs immoderate laughter, or shameful and immodest words. 
(Jreg. Greg. Or such as lacks either rightness in itself, or reasons 
Ev."vi. of just necessity; Jerome ; being spoken without the profit 
of either the speaker or hearer ; as if laying aside weighty 
matters we should speak of frivolous trifles, or relate old 

VER. 38 — 40. ST. MATTHEW. 466 

fables. For he that deals in buffoon jests to create laughter, 
or brings forth any thing shameful, he will be held guilty 
not of an idle, but of a sinful word. Remig. The words 
which here follow depend on those that went before; By thy 
words thou nhalt he justified, and hy thy words thou shall 
he condemned. There is no doubt but that every man shall 
be condemned for his evil words which he speaks ; but none 
shall be justified for his good words, unless they proceed 
from his inmost heart, and from a entire purpose. Chrys. 
See that this sentence is not a burdensome one. The Judge 
will pass sentence not according to what any other has said 
concerning you, but according to what you have yourself 
spoken. They that aie accused then have no need to fear, 
but they that accuse ; for those are not charged of those evil 
things that have been spoken of them, but these of those evil 
things that they have spoken. 

38. Then certain of the Scribes and of the Phari- 
sees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign 
from thee. 

39. But he answered and said unto them. An evil 
and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign ; and 
there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the 
prophet Jonas: 

40. For as Jonas was three days and three nights 
in the whale's belly: so shall the Son of man be three 
days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 

Chrys. Because the Lord had so oft repressed the shame- Chrys 
less tongue of the Pharisees by His sayings, they now turn to ^,°™* 
His works, whereat the Evangelist wondering, says. Then 
certain of the Scrihes and Pharisees answered, sayiny, 
Master, we tvoidd see a siyn of thee ; and that at a time when 
they should have been moved, when they should have 
wondered, and been dumb with astonishment; yet even at 
such time they desist not from their malice. For they say 
We would see a siyn of thee, that they may take Him as in 
a snare. Jerome ; They require a sign of Him, as though 

VOL. I. 2 H 


what they had seen were not signs ; and in another Evangehst 
what they required is more fully expressed, IVe would see of 
thee a sign from heaven. Either they would have fire from 
heaven as Elias did ; or after the example of Samuel they 
would that in summer-time, contrary to the nature of the 
climate, thunder should be heard, lightnings gleam, and 
rain descend ; as tliough they could not have spoken falsely 
even against such miracles, and said that they befel by 
reason of divers hidden motions in the air. For if thou 
cavillest against what thou not only beholdest with thine eyes, 
but feelest with thine hand, and reapest the benefit of, what 
wilt thou do in those things which come down from heaven. 
You might make answer, that in ICgypt the magi also had 
given many signs from heaven. Chrys. But their words 
are full of hypocrisy and irony. But novv they were railing 
against Him, saying that He had a daemon ; now they fawn 
upon Him, calling Him, Master. Wherefore the Lord 
rebukes them severely ; He answered and said tinlo them. 
An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign. 
When they railed on Him, He had answered them mildly ; 
now they approached Him witla smooth and deceitful words, 
He rebukes them sharply; shewing that He was above 
either affection, and was neither moved to anger by evil 
speaking, nor was to be gained by flattery. What He says 
is this ; What wonder that ye do thus to Me who am un- 
known to you, when you have done the same to the Father, 
of whom ye have had such large knowledge, in that, de- 
spising Him ye went after daemons ? He calls them an evil 
generation, because they have ever been ungrateful to their 
benefactors, and were made worse when they received 
benefits, which is the extreme of wickedness. Jerome ; 
Excellently is that said, and adulterous, seeing she has put 
away her husband, and, according to Ezekiel, has joined 
herself to many lovers. Chuys. Which also proves Him to 
be equal to the Father, if not to believe in Him makes them 
adulterous. Raban. Then He begins to answer them> 
giving them a sign not from heaven, which they were un- 
worthy to see, but giving it them from the deep beneath. 
But to His own disciples He gave a sign from heaven, to 
whom He shewed the glory of His blessed eternity both in a 

VER. 38 — 40. ST. MATTHEW. 467 

figure on the mount, and after in verity when He was taken 
up into heaven. Wherefore it follows, And there shall no 
sign be given it, hut the sign of the Prophet Jonas. Chrys. 
For the signs He wrought were not in order to move them, 
for He knew that they were hard as stone, but for the profit 
of others. Or because they had not received it when He 
had given them a sign such as they now desired. And a 
sign was given them, when by their own punishment they 
learned His power. This He alludes to when He says. No 
sign shall he given it. As much as to say; I have shewn 
you many mercies ; yet none of these has brought you to 
honour My power, which you will then know when you 
shall behold your city thrown down upon the ground in 
punishment. In the mean time He brings in a saying con- 
cerning the ResuiTection which they should after understand 
by those things that they should suffer ; saying, Except the 
sign of the Prophet Jonas. For verily His Cross would not 
have been believed, unless it had had signs to testify to it. 
But if that were not believed, truly the Resurrection would 
not have been believed. For this reason also He calls this a 
sign, and brings forward a figure thereof, that the verity 
itself may be believed. It follows. As Jonas was three 
days and three nights in the helly of the lohale. Raban. 
He shews that the Jews were as criminal as the Ninevites, 
and that unless they repented they would be destroyed. 
But like as punishment was denounced against the Ninevites, 
and at the same time a remedy was set before them, so 
neither should the Jews despair of pardon, if at least 
after Christ's resurrection they should do penitence. For 
Jonas, that is The Dove, or The mourner, is a sign of 
Him on whom the Holy Spirit descended in the form of 
a Dove, and who hare our sorrows. The fish which Is. 53, 4. 
swallowed Jonas in the sea, shews forth the death which 
Christ suffered in the world. Three days and nights was 
the one in the whale's belly, the other in the tomb ; the 
one was cast up on dry land, the other arose in glory. Aug, Aug.De 
Some, not knowing the Scripture manner of speaking, would Ev. ili. 
interpret as one night those three hours of darkness when"^^- 
the sun was darkened from the sixth to the ninth hour ; and 
as a day in like manner those other three hours in which it was 

2 H 2 


again restored to the world, from the ninth hour till sunset. 
Then follows the night preceding the sabhath, which if 
we reckon with its own day we shall have thus two days and 
two nights. Then after the sabbath follows the night of 
the sabbath prime, that is of the dawning of the Lord's 
day on which the Lord arose. Thus we shall only get two 
nights and two days, with this one night to be added if we 
might understand the whole of it, and it could not be shewn 
that that dawn was indeed the latter part of the night. 
So that not even by taking in those six hours, three of 
darkness, and three of restored light, can we establish the 
computation of three days and three nights. It remains 
therefore that we find the explanation in that usual manner 
of Scripture of putting a part for the whole. Jkrome ; Not 
that He remained three whole days and three nights in 
hell, but that this be understood to imply a part of the pre- 
paration day, and of the Lord's day, and the whole sabbath 
Aiip. Deday. Aug. For that the three days were not three full and 
J.""' '^"entire days, Scripture witnesses; the first day is reckoned 
because the latter end of it comes in ; and the third day is 
likewise reckoned, because the first part of it is included ; 
while the day between, that is the second day, appears in all 
its twenty-four hours, twelve of the night and twelve of the 
day. For the succeeding night up to the dawn when the 
Lord's resurrection made known, belongs to the third 
day. For as the first days of creation were, because of man's 
coming fall, computed from morning to night ; so these days 
are because of man's restoration computed from night to 
morning. Chrys. He said not openly that He should rise 
again, because they would have derided him, but hints it 
distantly that even they might believe that He foreknew it. 
He said not in the earth, but in the heart of the earthy* 
therein declaring His tomb, and that none might suspect 
that there was only the semblance of death. Therefore 
also He spake of three days, that it should be believed that 
He was dead. But the sign itself proves the truth of it ; 
for Jonas was in the whale's belly not in figure but in deed ; 
and surely the sign did not happen in very deed, if the 
thing signified happened only in figure. Wherefore it is 
manifest that they are children of the Devil who follow 

VER. 41, 4i2. ST. MATTHEW. 469 

Marcion asserting that the passion of Christ was only a 
phantasy. And that He should suffer for them also, though 
they would not profit by it, is shewn by that which He 
speaks, that to this generation should be given the sign of 
Jonas the Prophet. 

41. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment 
with this generation, and shall condemn it : because 
they repented at the preaching of Jonas ; and, behold, 
a greater than Jonas is here. 

42. The queen of the south shall rise up in the 
judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it : 
for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to 
hear the wisdom of Solomon ; and, behold, a greater 
than Solomon is here. 

Chrys. That none should think that the same things 
would come to pass now among the Jews, as had of old been 
among the Ninevites; that as Jonas converted them and their 
city was delivered out of danger, so the Jews should be 
converted after the resurrection, the Lord now shews the 
contrary, that they should have no fruit of the benefit of the 
passion, but should suffer moreover grievous things, as 
He signifies below in the example of the daemon. But now 
He first shews what just punishment they shall suffer, 
saying, The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgmenl ttith 
this generation. Remig. The Lord shews in these words 
that there shall be one resurrection of the good and the bad 
against certain heretics, who said that there should be two, 
one of the good, another of the bad. These words likewise 
overthrow that fable of the Jews, who use to say that the 
Resurrection shall be held a thousand years before the 
Judgment; these words clearly proving that the Judgment 
shall ensue straight upon the Resurrection. And shall con- 
demn it. jEfioME; Not by a sentence of judgment, but by 
the comparison of their example ; as He adds, For they re- 
pented at the preaching of Jonas ; and, behold, a greater than 
Jonas is here. This word ' hie' is to be taken as an adverb 


Jonahs, of place, not as a pronoun. Jonas (according to the LXX) 
',7j' preached for three days, I for this so long time ; he to the 
V'c*'* Assyrians an unbelieving nation, I to God's own people 
the Jews ; he preached with his voice only, doing no . 
miracles, J, doing so many wonders, am falsely accused as 
Beelzebub. Chuys. Yet docs not the Lord stay here, but 
adds another denunciation, saying. The queen of the south 
shall rise in the judcfnient uith this yeiieration, and shall 
condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear 
the wisdom of Solomon. This was yet more than that first. 
Jonas went to them ; the queen of the south waited not for 
Solomon to come to her, but herself sought him. Both a 
woman and a barbarian, and dwelling so far away, she was 
not afraid of death in herdesiie to hear his wise words. This 
woman went to Solomon, I came hither ; she rose up from 
the ends of the earth, I go round about your towns and 
villages ; he spake of trees and wood, I of unspeakable 
mysteries. Jerome; So the queen of the south will con- 
demn the Jews in the same manner as the men of Nineveh 
will condemn unbelieving Israel. This is the queen of 
Saba, of whom we read in the book of Kings and Chronicles, 
who leaving her nation and kingdom came through so many 
difficulties to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and brought him 
many gifts. Also in these instances of Nineveh and the 
queen of Saba, the faith of the Gentiles is significantly set 
above that of Israel. Raban. The Ninevites typify those 
who cease from sin — the queen those that know not to sin ; 
for penitence puts away sin, wisdom shuns it. Remig. 
Beautifully is the Church gathered out of the Gentiles 
spoken of as a queen who knows how to rule her ways. 
Ps.45,9. Of her the Psalmist speaks; The queen stood on thy riyht 
hand. She is the queen of the south because she abounds 
in the fervour of the Holy Spirit. Solomon, interpreted 
Eph. 2, * peaceful,' signifies Him of whom it is said, He is our 

43. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, 
he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and 
findeth none. 

VER, 43 — 45. ST. MATTHEW. 471 

44. Then he saith, I will return into my house from 
whence I came out ; and when he is come, he findeth 
it empty, swept, and garnished. 

45. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven 
other spirits more wicked than himself, and they 
enter in and dwell there : and the last state of that 
man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also 
unto this wicked generation. 

Chrys. The Lord had said to the Jews, The men of 
Nineveh shall rise in the judgment trith this generation, and 
shall condemn it ; that they should not therefore be careless, 
He tells them that not only in the world to come but 
here also they should suffer grievous things ; setting forth 
in a sort of riddle the punishment that should fall upon them; 
whence He says, When the unclean spirit has gone out of a 
man. Jkrome; Some suppose tliat this place is spoken of 
heretics, because the unclean spirit who dwelt in them before 
when they were Gentiles, is cast out before the confession 
of the true faith ; when after they went over to heresy, and 
garnished their house with feigned virtues, then it is that the 
Devil, having taken to him other seven evil spirits, returns 
and dwells in them ; and their last state becomes worse than 
their first. And indeed heretics are in a much worse condi- 
tion than the Gentiles ; for in the heretics was a hope of 
faith, in the Gentiles a war of discord. Yet though this 
exposition has a plausibility and a shew of learning, I am 
doubtful of its truth. For by the concluding words of this, 
whether it be parable or example, Thus shall it be to this 
evil generation, we are compelled to refer it, not to heretics, 
or to men in general, but to the Jewish people. So the 
context of the passage may not shift about loosely and vaguely, 
and be like unmeaning speeches, but may be consistent with 
itself from first to last. The unclean spirit then went out 
from the Jews when they received the Law ; and being cast 
out of the Jews, he walked through the wilderness of the 
Gentiles; as it follows. He walketh through dry places seeking 
rest. Remig. He calls the hearts of the Gentiles, dry places^ 
as lacking all the moisture of wholesome waters, that is of the 


holy Scriptures, and of spiritual gifts, and strangers to the 
pouring in of the Holy Spirit. Kaban. Or^ ihe (Irt/ places 
are the hearts of the faithful, which after they have been 
purged from the weakness of loose thoughts, the crafty lier- 
iu-wait tries if by any means he may fix his footsteps there; 
but flying from the chaste spirit, the Devil finds no resting- 
place to his mind but in the heart of the wicked; as it follows, 
and Jitniclh vone. Rkmig. The Devil supposed he should 
have rest for ever among the Gentiles, but it is added, and 
Jindeth none^ because when the Son of God appeared in the 
mystery of His incarnation, the Gentiles believed. Jerome ; 
And when they believed on the Lord, the Devil, finding no 
place among the nations, said, / uill return into my house 
whence I came out ; I have the Jews from whom I formerly 
departed. And u lien he is come, lie Jindeth it empty, stcept, 
and garnished. For the temple of the Jews was empty, and 
John 14, had not Christ to dwell therein, He having said, Arise, let us 

31 . . 

go hence. Seeing then they had not the protection of Angels, 
and were burdened with the useless observances of the Law, 
and the traditions of the Pharisees, the Devil returns to his 
former dwelling, and, taking to him seven other daemons, 
inhabits it as before. And the last state of that nation is worse 
than the first, for they are now possessed by a larger number 
of daemons in blaspheming Jesus Christ in their synagogues, 
than they were possessed with in Egypt before they had 
knowledge of the Law ; for it is one thing to have no belief 
that He should come, another not to receive Him when He is 
come. A number seven-fold is joined with the Devil, either 
because of the sabbath, or from the number of the Holy 
I-i- 11,2. Spirit; that as in Isaiah upon the bud which comes from the 
root of Jesse, seven spirits of virtues are related to have 
descended; so on the other hand an equal number of vices 
fihould be poured forth upon the Devil. Beautifully then are 
seven spirits said to be taken to him, either because of the 
breaking of the sabbath, or because of the heinous sins which 
are contrary to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Chuys. 
Or, herein He may be shewing forth their pimishment. As 
when daemoniacs have been loosed from their infirmity, if 
they after become remiss, they draw upon themselves more 
grievous illusions, so shall it be among you — before ye were 

VER. 43 45. ST. MATTHEW. 473 

possessed by a daemon, when you worshipped idols, and slew 
your sons to daemons ; yet I forsook you not, but cast out 
that daemon by the Prophets, and afterwards came Myself 
seeking to purify you altogether. Since then ye would not 
hearken to me, but have fallen into more heinous crime, (as it 
is greater wickedness to slay Christ than to slay the Prophets,) 
therefore ye shall suffer more heavy calamities. For what 
befel them under Vespasian and Titus, were much more 
grievous than they had suffered in Egypt, in Babylon, and 
under Antiochus. And this indeed is not all He shews con- 
cerning them, but also that since they were destitute of every 
virtue, they were more fit for the habitation of daemons than 
before. It is reasonable to suppose that these things were 
said not to them only, but also to us. If after being enlight- 
ened and delivered from our former evils, we are again 
possessed by the same wickedness, the punishment of these 
latter fins will be greater than of the first; as Christ spake to 
the paralytic, BeJiold, thou art wade icJiole, sin not, lest a John 5, 
uorse thing come upon thee. Raban. For when any one is^'** 
converted to the faith, the Devil is cast out of him in Baptism, 
who driven thence wanders up and down through the dry Greg. 
places, that is, the hearts of the faithfiil. Greg. The dry places ^""^j. „ 
where no water is are the hearts of the righteous, which by 
the power of discipline are dried from all humours of carnal 
lust. The wet places are the minds of worldly men, which 
the humour of canial lust fills, and makes watery ; in such 
the Devil imprints his footsteps the more deeply, inasmuch as 
in his wanderings he comes down upon such hearts as upon 
low and marshy ground, Raban. And returning to his 
house whence he had gone out, he Jindeth it empty, of good 
works through slothfulness, swept, that is, of its old vices b.y 
Baptism, and garnished with feigned virtues through hypo- 
crisy. Aug. So that in these words the Lord signifies that Aug. 

some shall so believe, as not to have strength for the work of ^"®.®'* 

i.v. 1. 8. 

continence, and shall return to the world. He taketh unto 
him other seven, is to be understood that when any has fallen 
from righteousness, he shall also have hypocrisy. For the 
lust of the flesh being cast out of its wonted works by 
penitence, when it finds not any delights in which it may 
rest, returns the more greedily, and again takes possession of 


the soul, if carelessness has ensued, and there has not been 
introduced as tlie dweller in the cleansed abode the word of 
God in sound doctrine. And as he will not only have the 
seven vices which are the contraries of the spiritual virtues, 
but will hypocritically feign that he has the virtues, therefore 
his old lust, taking to itself seven other worse, that is, this 
seven-fold hypocrisy, returns to him so as to make the last 
Greg, state of that man worse than the former, Gkeg. For it often 
^j°'^j\ happens that the soul in the commencement of its progress 
is lifted up, and prides itself on its virtues, that it opens an 
entrance to the adversary who is raging against it, and who 
shews himself the more violent in breaking into it, by how 
much he was grieved at being cast out, though but for a short 

46. While he yet talked to the people, behold, his 
mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to 
speak with him. 

47. Then one said unto him. Behold, thy mother 
and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak 
with thee. 

48. But he answered and said unto him that told 
him. Who is my mother ? and who are my brethren ? 

49. And he stretched forth his hand toward his 
disciples, and said. Behold my mother and my 
brethren ! 

50. For whosoever shall do the will of my Father 
which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, 
and mother. 

Hilary ; Because He had spoken all the aforesaid things 

in the power of His Father's majesty, therefore the Evangelist 

proceeds to tell what answer He made to one that 

told Him that His mother and His brethren wailed for Him 

without; While he yet spake unto the people, his mother and 

Aug.Dehis brethren .stood without desiring to sec him. Aug. Wc 

^°°*' are to understand without doubt that this happened close 

40. upon the foregoing ; for he begins to tell it with the words. 

VER. 46 — 50. ST. MATTHEW. 475 

And while he yet spake. What can that yet mean but that 
it was at the very time lie spake the foregoing things ? 
Mark also follows up that which He had said concerning Mark 3, 
blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, by saying, And there 
came his mother and his hrethren. Luke has not observed 
the order of action here, but has placed this earlier as he 
happened to recollect it. Jerome ; From this is taken one Hieron. 
of Helvidius's propositions, on the ground that mention is Helvid. 
made in the Gospel of the brethren of the Lord. How, ''*>«* 
says he, are they called brethren of the Lord, if they were 
not his brethren ? But now it should be known that in 
divine Scripture men are said to be brethren in four different 
ways, by nature, by nation, by kindred, and by affection. 
By nature, as Esau and Jacob. By nation, as all Jews are 
called brethren, as in Deuteronomy, Tliou shalt not set over Deut. 
thee a foreigner who is not thy brother. They are called 
brethren by kindred who are of one family, as in Genesis, 
Abraham said unto Lot, Let there not be strife between Gen. 13, 
thee and me, for ne are brethren. Also men are called 
brethren by affection ; which is of two kinds, special and 
general. Special, as all Christians are called brethren, as 
the Saviour says, Go tell my brethren. General, inasmuch John20, 
as all men are bom of one father, we are bound together 
by a tie of consanguinity, as in that. Say nnto them ///a/ 1«-66,5. 
hate you. Ye are our brethren. I ask then, after which man- lxx. 
ner these are called the FiOrd's brethren in the Gospel ? 
According to nature? But Scripture saith not, neither calling 
them sons of Mary nor of Joseph. By nation ? But it is 
absurd that some few cut of all the Jews should be called 
brethren, seeing that all the Jews who were there might 
have thus been called brethren. By affection, either of a 
human sort, or of the Spirit? If that be true, yet how were 
they more His brethren than the Apostles, whom He in- 
structed in the inmost mysteries. Or if because they were 
men, and all men are brethren, it was foolish to say of them 
in particular, Behold, thy brethren seek thee. It only re- 
mains then that they should be His brethren by kindred, 
not by affection, not by privilege of nation, not by nature. 
Id. But some suspect the brethren of the Lord to be sons of Hieron. 
Joseph by another wife, following the idle fancies of apo- 


cryphal writers, who have coined a certain woman called Esca. 
Hut we understand by the brethren of the Lord, not the sons of 
Joseph, but cousins of the Saviour, sons of a sister of Mary, an 
aunt of Our Lord, who is said to be the mother of James the 
Mark 6, Less, and Joseph, and Jude, whom in another place of the 
"*' Gospel we find called the brethren of the Lord. And that 

cousins are called brethren, appears from every part of 
Chrys. Scri])ture. Chrys. Jiut mark the loftiness of His brethren'; 
xliv? when they should have come in and hearkened with the 
crowd, or if thej' would not this, to have waited the end of 
His speech, and then to have approached Him — they on the 
contrary call Him out to them, and do this before the multi- 
tude, therein shewing their superabundant love of honour, 
and also, that with all authority they lay their commands 
upon Christ. This the Evangelist covertly hints when he 
says, While he yet spake ; as much as to say, Was there no 
other time ? But what did they seek to say ? Was it aught 
of the dogmas of truth? then should they have brought it 
forth before all, that all might profit thereby. But if of other 
things that concerned themselves alone, they should not have 
called Him in such haste, whence it is plain that they did 
Aug. Ue this out of vain glory. Aug. But whatever may be decided 
Grat Z6 concerning these brethren, yet concerning the holy Virgin 
Mary, (for the honour of Christ,) when sin in her is in 
question, I would not have it brought into doubt. For 
from this only we might know that more abundant grace was 
conferred upon her that she should overcome sin on all 
sides, because she merited to conceive and bring forth Him 
Who it is clear had no sin. It follows; Then said one unto 
him. Behold, thy motJier and thy brethren stand without 
seeking thee. Jerome ; He that delivers this message, seems 
to me not to do it casually and without meaning, but as set- 
ting a snare for Him, whether He would prefer llesh and blood 
to the spiritual work ; and thus the Lord refused to go out, not 
because He disowned His mother and His brethren, but that 
He might confound him that had laid this snare for Him. 
Chrys. For He said not. Go and say unto her, She is not My 
mother, but continues His discourse to him that had brought 
Him word; as it follows; But he ansucrcd and said nnio him 

* The t€Xt of S. Chrys. ha^ #;« yaut ko) aurnt Kut i«i>>*» t»(» x-rimaf 

VER. 46 — 50. ST. jrATTHEW. 477 

that told him. Who is my tnother ? and who are rny brethren ? 

Hilary ; And He cannot be held to have thought meanly of 

His mother, seeing that in His passion He evinced the most 

extreme carefuhiess for hei\ Chrys. But had He desired to 

disown His mother, He would have done it at the time when 

the Jews cast His birth in His teeth. Jerome; He did not 

then, as Marcion and Manichseus say, disown His mother, so 

as to be thought to be born of a phantasm, but He preferred 

His Apostles to His kindred, that we also in a comparison 

of our affections should set the spirit before the flesh. 

Ambrose ; Nor does He overthrow the duty of filial submis- Ambros. 

sion, which is conveyed in the command. Honour thy father ^ 21'.'^ 

and, thii tnother. but shews that He owes more to the mvste-Ex. 20, 

. . . * . 12. 

ries and relationship of His Father, than of His mother; as it 

follows. And stretching out his hand to his disciples, he said. 

Behold my mother and my brethren. Gregory ; The Lordiireg. 

deigned to call faithful disciples His brethren, saying, (^o, tell E°'iii.2*. 

my brethren. Since then a man may be made a brother of the 

Lord by coming to the faith, it should be enquired how one 

may become also His mother. Be it kno<Vn by us then, that 

he that by believing is made brother or sister of Christ, 

becomes His mother by preaching; for in pouring Him into the 

heart of the hearer, he may be said to beget the Lord ; and 

he is made the Lord's mother, when by his word love of the 

Lord is begotten in the mind of his neighbour. Chrys. And 

besides what has been said. He taught also somewhat more, 

namely, that we should not neglect virtue relying on any 

kindred. For if it profited His mother nothing that she was 

such, if she had not had virtue, who is there that shall be 

saved by his kindred ? For there is one only nobility, to do 

the will of God, and therefore it follow's. Whoso shall do the 

will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, 

and sister, and mother. Many women have blessed that holy 

Virgin and her womb, and have desired to be made such 

mothers. What is it then that hinders ? Behold, He hath set 

before you a broad way, and not women only, but men 

likewise, may become the mother of God. Jerome ; Let us 

also expound in another way. The Saviour is speaking to 

the multitude — that is, He teaches the Gentiles the inward 

mysteries; His mother and 1 lis brethren, that is the synagogue 


and the Jewish people, stand without Hilary; .Although 
they had like tlie rest power to come in, yet they abstain from 
John I, all approach to Him, for he came untn his otrn^and his own 
Greg, receired him nol. Grkgory ; Thus also His mother is 
ubi sup. declared to stand without, as though she was not acknow- 
ledged, because the synagogue is therefore not acknowledged 
by its Author, it held to the observance of the 
Law, and having lost the spiritual discernment thereof, kept 
itself without to guard the letter. Jerome; And when they 
shall have asked and enquired, and sent a messenger, they 
shall receive for answer, that their will is free, and that they 
can enter in, if tliey will believe. 


1. The same day went Jesus out of the house, and 
sat by the sea side. 

2. And great multitudes were gathered together 
unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat ; and 
the whole multitude stood on the shore. 

3. And he spake many things unto them in 
parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow ; 

4. And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way 
side, and the fowls came and devoured them up : 

5. Some fell upon stony places, where they had 
not much earth : and forthwith they sprung up, 
because they had no deepness of earth : 

6. And when the sun was up, they were scorched ; 
and because they had no root, they withered away. 

7. And some fell among thorns ; and the thorns 
sprung up, and choked them : 

8. But other fell into good ground, and brought 
forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some 

9. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. 

Chrys. When He had rebuked him that told Him of His 
mother and His brethren, He then did according to their 
request ; He departed out of the house, having first corrected 
His brethren for their weak . desire of vainglory ; He then 
paid the honour due to His mother, as it is said, Tfie same 
day Jesus went forth out of tJie house, and sat doum by the 

480 008PEI, ACCOUmNG TO CUM'. Mil. 

Aug. l>tsea side. Auu. Hy the yroxA^f*The same dtiy, he sulFicienlly 
£,ii"4j shews that these things either followed inimcdialely u])on 
what had gone before, or that many things coidd not have 
intervened ; unless indeed * day' here after the Scripture 
manner signifies a period. Raban. For not only the I^ord's 
words and actions, but His journeyings also, and the ])laces 
in which He works His mighty works and preaches, are full 
of heavenly sacraments. After the discourse held in the 
house, wherein with wicked blasphemy He had been said 
to have a daemon. He went out and taught by the sea, to 
signify that having left Judaea because of their sinful un- 
belief, He would pass to the salvation of the Gentiles. For 
the hearts of the Gentiles, long proud and unbelieving, are 
rightly likened to the swelling and bitter waves of the sea. 
And who knows not that Judaia was by faith the house of 
the Lord. Jerome; For it must be considered, that the 
multitude could not enter into the house to Jesus, nor be 
there where the Apostles heard mysteries ; therefore the 
Lord in mercy to them departed out of the house, and sat 
near the sea of this world, that great numbers might be 
gathered to Him, and that they might hear on the sea shore 
what they were not worthy to hear within ; And great 
multitudes trere gathered unto him, so that he irent into 
a ship, and sat down, and all the people stood on the shore. 
Chrys. The Evangelist did not relate tl)is without a pur- 
pose, but that he might shew the Lord's will therein, who 
desired so to place the people that He should have none 
behind Him, but all should be before His face. Hilary; 
There is moreover a reason in the subject of His discourse 
why the Lord should sit in the ship, and the multitude stand 
on the shore. For He was about to speak in parables, and by 
this action signifies that they who were without the Church 
could have no understanding of the Divine Word. The 
ship offers a type of the Clmrch, witliin which the word of 
life is placed, and is preached to those without, and who as 
being barren sand cannot understand it. Jerome; Jesus is 
in the midst of the waves; He is beaten to and fro by the 
waves, and, secure in His majesty, causes His vessel to come 
nigh the land, that the people not being in danger, not being 
surrounded by temptations which they could n<»t endure. 

VER. I — J), ST. MATTHEW. 481 

might stand on the shore with a firm step, to hear what was 
said. Raban. Or, that He went into a ship and sat on the 
sea, signifies that Christ by faith shonld enter into the hearts 
of the Gentiles, and should gather together the Church in 
the sea, that is in the midst of the nations that spake against 
Him. And the crowd that stood on the sea shore, neither in 
the ship nor in the sea, offers a figure of those that receive 
the word of God, and are by faith separated from the sea, 
that is from the reprobate, but are not yet imbued with 
heavenly mysteries. It follows; Aud lie spake many thin gn 
unto them in parables. Chrys. He had not done thus on 
the mount; He had not framed His discourse by parables. 
For there were the multitudes only, and a mixed crowd ; 
but here the Scribes and Pharisees. But He speaks in 
parables not for this reason only, but to make His sayings 
plainer, and fix them more fully in the memory, by bringing 
things before the eyes. Jerome; And it is to be noted, that 
He spake not all things to them in parables, but many things, 
for had He spoken all things in parables, the people would have 
departed without benefit. He mingles things plain with things 
dark, that by those things which they understand they may be 
incited to get knowledge of the things they understand not. 
The multitude also is not of one opinion, but of divers wills 
in divers matters, whence He speaks to them in many para- 
bles, that each according to their several dispositions may 
receive some portion of His teaching. Chrys. He first sets 
forth a parable to make His hearers more attentive ; and 
because He was about to speak enigmatically. He attracts the 
attention by this first parable, saying, Behold, a sower went 
forth to sow his seed. Jerome; By this sower is typified 
the Son of God, who sows among the people the word of 
the Father. Chrys. Whence then went out He who is 
every where present, and how went He out ? Not in place ; 
but by His incarnation being brought nearer to us by the 
garb of the flesh. Forasmuch as we because of our sins could 
not enter in unto Him, He therefore came forth to us. 
Raban. Or, He went forth, when having left Judea, He passed 
by the Apostles to the Gentiles. Jerome ; Or, He was 
within while He was yet in the house, and spake sacraments 
to His disciples. He went therefore Ibrth from the house, 
VOL. I. 2 I 


that He might sow seed among the inultitudes. Chryk. 
When you lu'ar the words, the xoirer went out to itoir, do not 
suppose that is a tautology. For the sower goes out often- 
times for oilier ends; as, to break up the ground, to pluck up 
noxious weeds, to root up thorns, or perform any other 
species of industry, but this man went forth to sow. What 
then becomes of tliat seed ? three parts of it perish, and one 
is preserved ; but not all in the same manner, but with a 
certain difference, as it follows, And as he sotredy some fell 
by the wayside. Jeromk ; This parable Valentinus lays hold 
of to establish his heresy, bringing in three different natures; 
the spiritual, the natural or the animal, and the earthly. 
But there are here four named, one by the wayside, one 
stony, one thorny, and a fourth the good ground. Chuys. 
Next, how is it according to reason to sow seed among 
thorns, or on stony ground, or by the wayside? Indeed in the 
material seed and soil of this world it would not be reason- 
able ; for it is impossible that rock should become soil, or 
that the way should not be the way, or that thorns should not 
be thorns. Ihit with minds and doctrines it is otherwise ; 
there it is possible that the rock be made rich soil, that the 
way should be no more trodden upon, and that the thorns 
should be extirpated. That the most part of the seed then 
perished, came not of him that sowed, but of the soil that 
received it, that is the mind. For He that sowed put no 
difference between rich and jjoor, wise or foolish, but spoke 
to all alike ; filling up his own part, though foreseeing all 
Is. 5, 4. things that should come to pass, so that He might say, What 
ought I to hare done that I have not done f He docs not pro- 
nounce sentence upon them openly and say, tliis the indolent 
received and have lost it, this the rich and have choked it, 
this the careless and have lost it, because He would not 
harshly reprove them, that He might not alienate them alto- 
gether. By this parable also He instructs His disciples, that 
though the greater part of those that heard them were such 
as ])erished, yet that they should not therefore be remiss; for 
the Lord Himself who foresaw all things, did not on tliis 
account desist from sowing. .Terome ; Note that this is the 
first parable that has been given with its interpretation, and 
we must beware where the I/ord expounds His own teach- 

VKU. 10 — 17. ST. MATTHEW. 488 

ings, that we do not presume to understand any thing either 
more or less, or any way otherwise tlian as so expounded by 
Him. Raban. But those things which He silently left to our 
understanding, should be shortly noticed. The uayside is the 
mind trodden and hardened by the continual passage of evil 
thoughts ; the rock, the hardness of the self-willed mind ; 
the good soil, the gentleness of the obedient mind ; the sun, 
the heat of a raging persecution. The depth of soil, is the 
honesty of a mind trained by heavenly discipline. But in 
thus expounding them we should add, that the same things 
are not always put in one and the same allegorical significa- 
tion. Jerome ; And we are excited to the understanding of 
His words, by the advice which follows. He that hath ears 
to hear, let him hear. Remig. These ears to hear, are ears 
of the mind, to understand namely and do those things which 
are commanded. 

10. And the disciples came, and said unto him, 
Why speakest thou unto them in parables ? 

11. He answered and said unto them. Because it is 
given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom 
of heaven, but to them it is not given. 

12. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and 
he shall have more abundance : but whosoever hath 
not, from him shall be taken away even that he 

13. Therefore speak I to them in parables : because 
they seeing see not ; and hearing they hear not, nei- 
ther do they understand. 

14. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, 
which saith. By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not 
understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not 
perceive : 

15. For this people's heart is waxed gross, and 
their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they 
have closed : lest at any time they should see with 
their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should under- 

2 I 2 


stand with their heart, and should be converted, and 
I should heal them. 

1(). But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and 
your ears, for they hear. 

17. For verily I say unto you. That many prophets 
and righteous men have desired to see those things 
which ye see, and have not seen them ; and to hear 
those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. 

Glon. Gloss. The disciples understanding that the things which 
J)*„ "' were spoken by the Lord to the people were obscure, desired 
to hint to Him that He should not speak in parables to them. 
Artd hin disciples catne to him, and said, Why speakesl thou 
Chrjn. to them in parables y Chrvs. Wherein it is worthy admira- 
bly * tion, that the disciples who desire to learn of Him, know 
when they ought to ask Him, for they do not this before the 
multitude. This Matthew declares, when he says, And they 
M«rk 4, came to him ; and Mark more expressly says, that they came to 
him when he tras alone. Jerome; We must enquire how they 
could come to Him at that lime when .lesus was sitting in the 
ship; we may understand that they had at the first entered into 
lheship,and standing there,made this enquiry of Him. Remig. 
The P'vangelist therefore says, came to him, to express that 
they eagerly enquired of Him ; or they might indeed approach 
Him bodily, though the space between them was small. 
C'nRYS. And observe moreover their goodness, how great 
their thought for others, that they enquire about what con- 
cerns others, before what relates to themselves. For they say 
not, ' WTiy speakest thou to us in parables?' but to them. 
And he ansuered and said unto them, liecause it is given to 
you to know the mystery of the kingdom of hearen. Rbmig. 
To you, I say, who adhere to Me, and believe in Me. By the 
mystery of the kingdom of heaven. He intends the Gospel 
doctrine. To them, that is, to them that are without, and 
who would not believe on Him, the Scribes namely and Pha- 
risees, and to the rest who continue in unbelief, it is not 
given, l^et us then, with the disciples, come imto the Lord 
with a pure heart, that He may think us worthy to interpret 

Dect. to us {he evangelic teaching ; according to that, 77iey who 
3^i, 3 

VER. 10 — 17. ST. MATTHEW. 485 

draw near to his feet, shall receive of his doctrine. Chuys. 
In saying this, He does not imply any necessity or fate, but 
shews at once, that they, to whom it is not given, are the 
cause of all their own miseries, and yet that the knowledge 
of the Divine mysteries is the gift of God, and a grace given 
from above. Yet this does not destroy free will, as is mani- 
fest from what follows ; for to prevent that either these should 
despair, or those be remiss, when they hear that to you it is 
ffivefif He shews that the beginning of all lays with ourselves, 
and then He adds. For uhoso hath, to him shall be given, and 
he shall abound ; and uhoso hath not, from him shall be 
taken what he hath. As much as to say. Whoso has the 
desire and the zeal, to him shall be given all those things 
which are of God ; but whoso lacketh these, and does not con- 
tribute that part that pertains to him, to him neither are the 
things which are of God given, but even those things that he 
hath are taken from him; not because God takes them away, 
but because he hath made himself unworthy of those that he 
has. Wherefore we also, if we see any hearkening carelessly, 
and having exhorted him to attend, he do not heed us, let us 
be silent ; for should we persevere in urging him, his sloth- 
fulness will be the more charged against him. But him that 
is zealous to learn, we draw onwards, pouring forth many 
things. And He well said according to another Evangelist, 
That which he seemeth to have ; for, in truth, he has not even r.uke 8, 
that he has. Remig. He that has a desire to read, shall have " 
given to him power to understand, and whoso has not desire 
to read, that understanding which by the bounty of nature 
he seems to have, even that shall be taken from him. Or, 
whoso has charity, to him shall be given the other virtues 
also ; and from him who has not charity, the other virtues 
likewise shall be taken away, for without charity there can 
be nothing good. Jeromk ; Or, To the Apostles who believe 
in Christ there is given, but from the Jews who believed not 
on the Son of God there is taken away, even whatever good 
they might seem to have by nature. For they cannot under- 
stand any thing with wisdom, seeing they have not the head 
of wisdom. Hilary ; For the Jews not having faith, have lost 
also the Law which they had ; and Gospel faith has the perfect 
gift, inasmuch as if received it enriches with new fruit, if 


rejected it subtracts from the riches of ancient possession. 
Chky«. But tliat wliat He had said might be made more 
manifest He adds, Tln're/ore speak I unto them in jmrnblrity 
because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither 
tlo they understand. Had this been a natural blindness, He 
ought to have opened their eyes ; but forasmuch as it is 
voluntary, therefore He said not simply, ' They see not,' but, 
Seeing they see not. For they had seen the (Uenions going 
out, and they said. He casts out divmons by Beelzebub ; they 
John 9, heard that He drew all men to God, and they say, This man 
is not of God. Therefore because they spake the very 
contrar}' to what they saw and heard, to see and to hear 
is taken from them ; for they profit nothing, but rather fall 
under judgment. For tliis reason He spake to them at first 
not in parables, but with much clearness ; but because they 
perverted all they saw and heard, He now speaks in parables. 
JU:mig. And it should be noted, that not only what He spake, 
but also what He did, were parables, that is, signs of things 
spiritual, which He clearly shews when He says, Tliat seeing 
they may not see; but words are heard and not seen. ; 
This He says of those who were standing on the shore, and 
separated from .Jesus, and who because of the dashing of the 
waves heard not distinctly what was said. Chrys. And 
that they should not say, He slanders us as an enemy, He 
brings forward the Prophet declaring the same opinion, as 
it follows, That there might befutJiUed in them the prophecy 
Is. 6, 9. of Isaiah, who said, With the hearing ye shall hear and shall 
not understand, and seeing ye shall see and shall not behold. 
Glow. Gloss. That is ; With the hearing ye shall hear words, but 
'***"'***■ shall not imderstatid the hidden meaning of those words; 
seeing ye shall see My flesh indeed, but shall not discern 
the divinity. Chrvs. This He said because they had taken 
away their own sight and hearing, shutting their eyes, and 
hardening their hearts. For n<»t only did they not hear 
at all, but they heard obtusely, as it follows. The heart of 
this people is tta.ved gross, and they hare heard hardly with 
their ears. Raban. The heart of the .Jews is nmde gross 
with the grossness of wickedness, and through the abundance 
of their sins they hear hardly the liord's words, because 
Uiey have received them ungratefully. Jkkomk; And thai 

VEU. 10 — 17. ST. MATTHEW. 487 

we should not suppose that this grossness of the heart and 
heaviness of the ears is of nature, and not of choice, He 
adds the fruit of their own wilfulness, For they have shut 
their eyes. Chrys. Herein He points out how extreme 
their wickedness, how determined their aversion. Again 
to draw them towards Him, He adds, And be converted, and 
I should heal them ; which shews that if they would be 
converted, they should be healed. As if one should say. If 
he would aslv me I would immediately forgive him, this 
would point out how he might be reconciled ; so here when 
He says, I^'st they should he converted and I should heal 
them. He shews that it was possible they should be converted, 
and having done penitence should be saved. Aug. Otherwise ; Aug. 
They have shut their eyes lest they should see with ^AeiVj^ ^^tt. 
eyes, that is, themselves were the cause that God shut their q- 14. 
eyes. For another Evangelist says, He hath blinded their 
eyes. But is this to the end that they should never see ? Or 
that they should not see so much as this, that becoming 
discontent with their own blindness and bewailing them- 
selves, should so be humbled, and moved to confession 
of their sins and pious seeking after God. For Mark thus 
expresses the same thing, Lest they should be converted, and 
their sins should he forgiven them. From which we learn, 
that by their sins they deserved not to understand ; and that 
yet this was allowed them in mercy that they should confess 
their sins, and should turn, and so merit to be forgiven. 
But when John relating this expresses it thus, There- 3 o\in\2, 
fore they could not believe because Esaias said again, He^^' 
hath blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, that 
they should tiot see with their eyes, and understand with 
their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them, this 
seems to be opposed to this interpretation, and to compel us 
to take what is here said. Lest they should see with their 
eyes, not as though they might come to see after this fashion, 
but that they should never see at all ; for he says it plainly, 
T/uit they should not see with their eyes. And that he says, 
Tlierefore they could not believe, sufficiently shews that the 
blindness was not inflicted, to the end that moved thereby, 
and grieving that they understood not, they should be con- 
verted through penitence; for that they could not, unless 


they had first believed, and by believing had been converted, 
and by conversion had been healed, and having been healed 
understood; but it rather shews tliat tliey were therefore 
blinded that they should not believe. For he speaks most 
clearly, There/ore they could not befiere. But if it be so, 
who would not rise up in defence of the Jews, and pro- 
nounce them to be free from all blame for their unbelief? 
For, There/are they coiiUl not believe, because he hath blbided 
their eyes. But because we must rather believe God to be 
without faidt, we are driven to confess that by some other 
sins they had thus deser>ed to be blinded, and that indeed 
this blinding prevented them from believing ; for the words 
of John are these. They could not believe, because that Esaias 
said again. He hath blinded their eyes. It is in vain then to 
endeavour to understand it that they were therefore blinded 
that they should be converted ; seeing they could not be 
converted because they believed not ; and they could not 
believe because they were blinded. Or perhaps we should 
not say amiss thus — that some of the Jews were capable of 
being healed, but that being puffed up with so great swelling 
pride, it was good for them at first that they should not 
believe, that they might understand the I^ord speaking in 
parables, which if they did not understand they would not 
believe; and thus not believing on Him, they together with 
the rest who were past hope crucified Him ; and at length 
after His resurrection, they were converted, when humbled 
by the guilt of His death they loved Him the more because 
of the heavy guilt which had been forgiven them ; for their 
so great pride needed such an humiliation to overcome it. 
Thi.s might indeed be thought an inconsistent explanation, 
Acu 2, did we not plainly read in the Acts of the Apostles that thus 
it was. This then that John says, Tlierefore they could not 
believe, because he hath blinded their eyes that they should 
not see, is not repugnant to our holding that they were there- 
fore blinded that they should be converted ; that is to say, 
that the Lord's meaning was therefore purposely clothed in 
the obscurities of parables, that after His resurrection they 
might turn them to wisdom with a more healthy penitence. 
For by reason of the darkness of His discourse, they being 
blinded did not understand the Lord's sayings, and not 


VER. 10 — 17. ST, MATTHEW. 489 

understanding them, they did not believe on Him, and not 
believing on Him they crucified Him ; thus after His resur- 
rection, terrified by the miracles that were wrought in His 
name, they had the greater compuiiction for their great sin, 
and were more prostrated in penitence; and accordingly 
after indulgence granted they turned to obedience with a 
more ardent affection. Notwithstanding, some there were to 
whom this blinding profited not to conversion. Remig. In 
all the clauses the word ' not' must be understood ; thus ; 
That they should not see with their eyes, and should not 
hear with their ears, and should not understand with their 
heart, and should not be converted, and I should heal them. 
Gloss. So then the eyes of them that see, and will not believe. Gloss, 
are miserable, but your eyes are blessed ; whence it follows ; ^i'^^^ °' 
Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they 
hear. Jerome ; If we had not read above that invitation to 
his hearers to understand, when the Saviour said, He that 
hath ears to hear let him hear, we might here suppose that 
the eyes and ears which are now blessed are those of the 
body. But I think that those eyes are blessed which can 
discern Christ's sacraments, and those ears of which Isaiah Is. so, 4. 
speaks. The Lord hath given me an ear. Gloss. The mind Gloss, 
is called an eye, because it is intently directed upon what"'^^* 
is set before it to understand it ; and an ear, because it 
learas from the teaching of another. Hilary ; Or, He 
is speaking of the blessedness of the Apostolic times, 
to whose eyes and ears it was permitted to see and to hear 
the salvation of God, many Prophets and just men having 
desired to see and to hear that which was destined to be in the 
fulness of times ; whence it follows ; Verily I say unto youy 
that many Prophets and just men have desired to see the 
things that ye see, and to hear the things that ye hear, and 
have not heard them. Jerome ; This place seems to be 
contradicted by what is said elsewhere. Abraham rejoiced John 8, 
to see my day, and he saw it, and was glad. Raban. Also 
Isaiah and Micah, and many other Prophets, saw the glory of 
the Lord; and were thence called 'seers.' Jerome; But He 
said not, ' The Prophets and the just men,' but many ; for 
out of the whole number, it may be that some saw, and others 
saw not. But as this is a perilous interpretation, that we 


t>hould seem to be making a distinction between the merits 
of the saints, at least as far as the degree of their faith 
in Christ, tlierefore we may snppose that Abraham saw in 
enigma, and not in substance. But ye have truly present 
with you, and liohl, your Lord, enquiring of Him at your 
> conre- w ill, and eating with Him '. Chrys. These things then which 
•cimiDi. ji^^ Apostles saw and heard, are such as His presence, His 
voice. His teaching. And in tliis He st^ts tliem before not 
the evil only, but even before the good, pronouncing them 
more blessed than even tlie righteous men of old. For they 
saw not only what the Jews saw not, but also what the 
righteous men and Prophets desired to see, and had not seen. 
For tliey had beheld these things only by faith, but these by 
sight, and even yet more clearly. You see how He identifies 
the Old Testament with the New, for had the Prophets been 
the servants of any strange or hostile Deity, they would not 
have desired to see Christ. 

18. Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 

19. When any one heareth the word of the king- 
dom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the 
wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown 
in his heart. This is he which received seed by the 
way side. 

20. But he that received the seed into stony places, 
the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with 
joy receiveth it; 

21. Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for 
a while : for when tribulation or persecution ariseth 
because of the word, by and by he is offended. 

22. He also that received seed among the thorns 
is he that heareth the word ; and the care of this 
world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, 
and he becometh unfruitful. 

23. But he that received seed into the good ground 
is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it ; 
which also bcareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an 
hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 

VER. 18—23. ST. MATTHEW. 491 

Gloss. He bad said above, that it was not given to the Gloss. 
Jews to know the kingdom of God, but to the Apostles, and^g^f^;'^"' 
therefore He now concludes, saying, Hear ye iherefore the 
parable of the sower, ye to whom are committed the myste- 
ries of heaven, Alg. It is certain that the Lord spoke the Aug.De 
things which the Evangelist has recorded; but what the iit.viii.4. 
Lord spake was a parable, in which it is never required that 
the things contained sliould have actually taken place. 
Gloss. He proceeds then expounding the parable; Every G]qss. 
man icho hears the uord of the khrydom, that is, My preach- gg^f^,"' 
ing which avails to the acquiring the kingdom of heaven, a)td 
iiv der stand eth it not; how he understands it not, is explained 
by, for the evil one — that is the Devil — cometh and taketh 
away that which is sown in his heart; every such man is 
that which is sown by the way side. And note that that 
which is sown, is taken in different senses ; for the seed is 
that which is sown, and the field is that which is sown, both 
of which are found here. For where He says carrieth away 
that which is sown, we must understand it of the seed ; that 
which follows, is sotin by the tray side, is to be understood 
not of the seed, but of the place of the seed, that is, of the 
man, who is as it vrere the field sown by the seed of the Divine 
word. Rkmig. In these words the Lord explains what the 
seed is, to wit, the word of the kingdom, that is of the Gos- 
pel teaching. For there are some that receive the word of 
the liOrd with no devotion of heart, and so that seed of God's 
word VA'hich is sown in their heart, is by daemons straight- 
way carried off, as it were the seed dropped by the way side. 
It follows, 77m/ which is sown vpon the rock, is lie that 
heareth the word, 8fc. For the seed or word of God, 
which is sown in the rock, that is, in the hard and un- 
tamed heart, can bring forth no fruit, inasmuch as its 
hardness is great, and its desire of heavenly things small ; 
and because of this great hardness, it has no root in itself. 
Jlrome ; Note that which is said, is straiyhticay offended. 
There is then some difierence between him who, by many 
tribulations and torments, is driven to deny Christ, and him 
who at the first persecution is offended, and falls away, of 
which He proceeds to speak, That which is sown among 
thorns. To me He seems here to cxi>ress figiu'atively that 


Gen. 3, wliich was said literally to Adam ; Amidst hriern and thonix 
'*• thou shalt eat thy bread, that he tliat has given himself up to 
the delights and the cares of this world, eats heavenly bread 
and the true food among thorns. Kaban. Rightly are they 
called thorns, because they lacerate the soul by the prickings 
of thought, and do not suffer it to bring forth the spiri- 
tual fruit of virtue. Jerome ; And it is elegantly added, 
The deceit/ulness of riches choke the uord ; for riches arc 
treacherous, promising one thing and doing another. The 
tenure of them is slippery as they are borne hither and 
thither, and with uncertain step forsake those that have 
them, or revive those that have them not. Whence the 
Lord asserts, that rich men hardly enter into the kingdom of 
heaven, because their riches choke the word of (iod, and 
relax the strength of their virtues. Remig. And it should 
be known, that in these three sorts of bad soil are compre- 
hended all who can hear the word of (iod, and yet have not 
strength to bring it forth unto salvation. The Gentiles are 
excepted, who were not worthy even to hear it. It follows, 
That which is sotrn on the good ground. The good ground is 
the faithful conscience of the elect, or the spirit of the saints 
which receives the word of God with joy and desire and 
devotion of heart, and manfully retains it amid prosperous 
and adverse circumstances, and brings it forth in fruit ; as 
it follows, And brings forth fruity some a hundred-fold, some 
sixty-fold, some thirty-fold. Jerome ; And it is to be noted, 
that as in the bad ground there were three degrees of dif- 
ference, to wit, that by the way side, the stony and the 
thorny ground; so in the good soil there is a three-fold 
difference, the hundred-fold, the sixty-fold, and the thirty- 
fold. And in this as in that, not the substance but the will 
is changed, and the hearts as well of the unbelieving as 
the believing receive seed ; as in the first case He said, 
Tlien Cometh the tricked one, and carrieth off that uhich 
is sown in the heart ; and in the second and third case 
of the bad soil He said. This is he that heareth the uord. 
So also in the exposition of the good soil. This is he that 
heareth the uord. Therefore we ought first to hoar, then to 
understand, and after understanding to bring forth the fruits 
of teaching, either an hundred-fold, or sixty, or thirty. 

VER. 18 — 23. ST. MATTHEW. 493 

Aug. Some think that this is to be understood as though Aug. De 
the saints according to the degree of theii* merits delivered jjj[*27'' 
some thirty, some sixty, some an hundred persons ; and this 
they usually suppose will happen on the day of judgment, 
not after the judgment. But when this opinion was observed 
to encourapre men in promising themselves impunity, be- 
cause that by this means all might attain to deliverance, 
it was answered, that men ought the rather to live well, that 
each might be found among those who were to intercede 
for the liberation of others, lest these should be found to be 
so few that they should soon have exhausted the number 
allotted to them, and thus there would remain many un- 
rescued from torment, among whom might be found all such 
as in most vain rashness had promised themselves to reap 
the fruits of others. Remig. The thirty-fold then is borne 
of him who teaches faith in the Holy Trinity; the sixty-fold 
of him who enforces the perfection of good works; (for in the 
number six this world was completed with all its equipments;) Gen.2,1. 
while he bears the hundred-fold who promises eternal life. 
For the number one hundred passes from the left hand to 
the right; and by the left hand the present life is denoted, 
by the right hand the life to come. Otherwise, the seed of 
the word of God brings forth fruit thirty-fold when it begets 
good thoughts, sixty-fold when good speech, and an hun- 
dred-fold when it brings to the fruit of good works. Aug. Aug. 
Otherwise ; There is fruit an hundred-fold of the martyrs Ey^f'g^ 
because of their satiety of life or contempt of death ; a 
sixty-fold fruit of virgins, because they rest not warring 
against the use of the flesh ; for retirement is allowed to 
those of sixty years' age after service in war or in public 
business; and there is a thirty-fold fruit of the wedded, 
because theirs is the age of warfare, and their struggle is 
the more arduous that they should not be vanquished by 
their lusts. Or otherwise ; We must struggle with our love 
of temporal goods that reason may be master; it should 
either be so overcome and subject to us, that when it 
begins to rise it may be easily repressed, or so extinguished 
that it never arises in us at all. Whence it comes to pass, 
that death itself is despised for truth's sake, by some with 
bravo endurance, by others with content, and by others with 


( U VI'. XIII. 

gladness — which three degrees are the Uiree degrees of fruito 

of the earth — thirty-fold, sixty-fold, and an hundred-fold. 

And in one of those degrees must one be found at the time 

of his death, if any desires to depart well out of this life. 

vid. Jerome; Or, The hundred-fold fruit is to be ascribed to 

wf ^2/ ^'^'"S'"'^ the sixty-fold to widows and continent persons, 

Hieron. the thirty-fold to chaste wedlock. Id. For the joining io- 

2 •*' ■ gethcr of the hands, as it were in the soft embrace of a 

kiss, represents husband and wife. The sixty-fold refers 

to widows, who as being set in narrow circumstances and 

affliction are denoted by the depression of the finger; for 

by how much greater is the difliculty of abstaining from 

the allurements of pleasure once known, so much greater 

is the reward. The hundredth number passes from the left 

to the right, and by its turning round with the same Angers, 

not on the same hand, it expresses the crown of virginity*. 

24. Another parable put he forth unto them, 
saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a 
man which sowed good seed in his field : 

25. But while men slept, his enemy came and 
sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 

26. But when the blade was sprung up, and 
brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 

27. So the servants of the householder came and 
said unto him. Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in 
thy field ; from whence then hath it tares ? 

28. He said unto them. An enemy hath done this. 
The servants said unto him. Wilt thou then that we 
go and gather them up ? 

29. But he said. Nay ; lest while ye gather up the 
tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 

30. Let both grow together until the harvest : and 
in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, 

• ITiis alludes to the method of no- tatione,' vol. i. 131. The cxpreMion, 

tatinn by the finger* deaoribed by liede, ' atque luos iam destra ronipatat an- 

(with reference to thic pa.MOge of S. no«,' Jut. will occur immedintelr to the 

Jerome.) in hin trcntifte ' Pe Indifri- <lnMical nnder. 

VER. 24 — 30. ST. MATTHEW. 495 

Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them 
in bundles to burn them : but gather the wheat into 
my barn. 

Chrys. In the foregoing parable the Lord spoke to such Chrys. 
as do not receive the word of God; here of those wholly; ' 
receive a corrupting seed. This is the contrivance of the 
Devil, ever to mix eiTor with truth. Jerome ; He set forth 
also this other parable, as it were a rich householder refresh- 
ing his guests with various meats, that each one according 
to the nature of his stomach might find some food adapted 
to him. He said not ' a second parable,' but another ; for 
had He said ' a second,' we could not have looked for a 
third; but another prepares us for many more. Remig. 
Here He calls the Son of God Himself the kingdom of 
heaven ; for He saith, The kingdom of heaven is like unto 
a man that sowed good seed in his Jield. Chrys. He then 
points out the manner of the Devil's snares, saying. While 
men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares in the midst of the 
wheat, and departed. He here shews that error arose after 
truth, as indeed the course of events testifies; for the false pro- 
phets came after the Prophets, the false apostles after the Apo- 
stles, and Antichrist after Christ. For unless the Devil sees 
somewhat to imitate, and some to lay in wait against, he 
does not attempt any thing. Therefore because he saw that 
this man bears fruit an hundred, this sixty, and this thirty- 
fold, and that he was not able to carry off or to choke that 
which had taken root, he turns to other insidious practices, 
mixing up his own seed, which is a counterfeit of the true, 
and thereby imposes upon such as are prone to be deceived. 
So the parable speaks, not of another seed, but of tares 
which bear a great likeness to wheat com. Further, the 
malignity of the Devil is shewn in this, that he sowed 
when all else was completed, that he might do the greater 
hurt to the husbandman. Aug. He says, While men slept, A^ug. 
for while the heads of the Church were abiding in supine- \o Matt, 
ness, and after the Apostles had received the sleep of death, 1- ^^- 
then came the Devil and sowed upon the rest those whom 
the Lord in His interpretation calls evil children. But we 
do well to enquire whether by such are meant heretics, or 

496 uospRL ACConniNO to chap. xmi. 

Catholics who lead evil lives. Thai He says, that they 
were sown among the wheat, seems to point out that they 
were all of one coninnuiinn. Hut forasmuch as He inter- 
prets the fu'ld to UR'aii iKtt the Church, but the world, wc 
may well understand it of the heretics, who in this UdHd 
are mingled with the good ; for they who live amiss in the 
same faith may better be taken of the chaff than of the 
tares, for the chaff has a stem and a root in common 
with the grain. While schismatics again may more fitly 
be likened to ears that have rotted, or to straws th|it are 
broken, cnished down, and cast forth of the field. Indeed 
it is not necessary that every heretic or schismatic should^e 
corporally severed from the Church; for the Church bears 
many who do not so publicly defend their false opinions as 
to attract the attention of the multitude, which when thfjy 
do, then are they expelled. When then the Devil had sown 
upon the true Church divers evil errors and false opinions ; 
that is to say, where Christ's name had gone before, there 
he scattered errors, himself was the rather hidden and 
unknown ; for He says, And went /its nay. Though indeed 
in this parable, as we learn from His own interiiretation, the 
Ijord may be understood to have signified under the name 
of tares all stumbling-blocks and such as work iniquity. 
Chrys. In what follows He more particularly draws the 
picture of an heretic, in the words, When the blade greic^ 
and put forth fruity then appeared the tares also. For 
heretics at first keep themselves in the shade ; but when 
they have had long license, and when men have held com- 
munication with them in discourse, then tliey pour forth 
Aug. their venom. Aug. Or otherwise; When a man begins to 
in Matt, he spiritual, di.sceming between things, then he begins to 
I- '2. gee errors ; for he judges concerning whatsoever he hears or 
reads, whether it departs from the rule of truth ; but until he 
is perfected in the same spiritual things, he might be dis- 
turbed at so many false heresies having existed under the 
Christian name, whence it follows, And the servants of the 
householder coming to him said unto him, Didst thou not sow 
good seed in thy field Y u hence then hath it tares / Are 
these servants then the same as whom He afterv^ards 
calls reapers ? Because in His exposition of the parable, He 

VKR. 24 — 30. ST. MATTHKW. 497 

expounds the reapers to be the Angels, and none would dare 
to say that the Angels were ignorant who had sowed tares, 
we should the rather understand that the faithful are here 
intended by the servants. And no wonder if they are also 
sij^nified by the good seed ; for the same thing admits of 
different likenesses according to its different significations ; 
as speaking of Himself He says that He is the door, He is 
the shepherd. Remig. They came to the Lord not with 
the body, but with the heart and desire of the soul ; and 
from Him they gather that this was done by the craft of the 
Devil, whence it follows, And he saith unto them, An enemy 
Jiaf9i done this. Jkrome ; The Devil is called a man that is an 
enemy because he has ceased to be God ; and in the ninth 
Psalm it is written of him, Up, Lord, and let not man have thertc. 19. 
upper hand. Wherefore let not him sleep that is set over the 
Church, lest through his carelessness the enemy should sow 
therein tares, that is, the dogmas of the heretics. Chrys. He 
is called the enemy on account of the losses he inflicts on 
men ; for the assaults of the Devil are made upon us, though 
their origin is not in his enmity towards us, but in his 
enmity towards God. Acjg. And when the servants of God Aug. 
knew that it was the Devil who had contrived this fraud, 
whereby when he found that he had no power in open 
warfare against a Master of such great name, he had intro- 
duced his fallacies under cover of that name itself, the desire 
might readily arise in them to remove such men from out of 
human affairs if opportunity should be given them ; but they 
first appeal to God's justice whether they should so do ; 
The servants said. Wilt thou that tee go and gather them 
out ? Chrys. Wherein observe the thoughtfulness and 
affection of the servants ; they hasten to root up the tares, 
thus shewing their anxiety about the good seed ; for this is 
all to which they look, not that any should be punished, but 
that that which is sown should not perish. Ihe Lord's 
answer follows, And he saith unto them. Nay. Jerome; For 
room for repentance is left, and we are warned that we 
should not hastily cut off a brother, since one who is to-day 
corrupted with an erroneous dogma, may grow wiser to- 
morrow, and begin to defend the truth ; wherefore it is 
added, Lest in gathering together the tares ye root out the 
VOL. I. 2 k 


Auff. wheat aho. Ava. Wherein He rendere them more patient 
in^Matj.*"^ tranquil. For this He says, because good men while 
I- '2. yet weak, have need in some things of being mixed up willi 
bad, either that they may be proved by their means, or that 
by comparison with them they may be greatly stimulated 
and drawn to a better course. Or perhaps the wheat is 
declared to be rooted up if the tares should be gathered out 
of it, on account of many who though at first tares would 
after become wheat ; yet they would never attain to this 
commendable change were they not patiently endured while 
they were evil. Thus were they rooted up, that wheat 
which they would become in time if spared, would be rooted 
up in them. It is then therefore He forbids that such .should 
be taken away out of this life, lest in the endeavour to 
destroy the wicked, those of them should be destroyed 
among the rest who would turn out good ; and lest also 
that benefit should be lost to the good which would accrue 
to them even against their will from mixing with the 
wicked. But this may be done seasonably when, in the end 
of all, there remains no more time for a change of life, or of 
advancing to the truth by taking opportunity and comparison 
of others' faults ; therefore He adds, Let both groic together 
until the harvest, that is, until the judgment. Jerome; But 
lCor.5, this seems to contradict that command, Put auay the evil 
from among you. For if the rooting up be forbidden, and 
we are to abide in patience till the harvest-time, how are we 
to cast forth any from among us ? But between wheat and 
tares (which in Latin we call * lolium') so long as it is only 
in blade, before the stalk has put forth an ear, there is very 
great resemblance, and none or little difference to distinguish 
them by. The Lord then warns us not to pass a hasty 
sentence on an ambiguous word, but to reserve it for His 
judgment, that when the day of judgment shall come. He 
may cast forth from the as.sembly of the saints no longer on 
Aug. suspicion but on manifest guilt. Au«. For when any one of 
£p°*' the number of Christians included in the Church is found in 
Farm, such sin as to incur an anathema, this is done, where danger 
of schism is not apprehended, with tenderness, not for his 
rooting out, but for his correction. But if he be not con- 
scious of his sin, nor correct it by penitence, he will of his 

VRR. 24 — 30. ST. MATTHEW. 499 

own clioice go forth of the Church and be separated from 
her communion; whence when the Lord con)manded, Suffer 
both to grow together till the harvest, He added the reason, 
saying, Lest when ye would gather out the tares ye root up 
the wheat also. This sufficiently shews, that when that fear 
has ceased, and when the safety of the crop is certain, that 
is, when the crime is known to all, and is acknowledged as 
so execrable as to have no defenders, or not such as might 
cause any fear of a schism, then severity of discipline does 
not sleep, and its coiTection of error is so much the more 
efficacious as the observance of love had been more careful. 
But when the same infection has spread to a large number 
at once, nothing remains but sorrow and groans. Therefore 
let a man gently reprove whatever is in his power ; what is 
not so let him bear with patience, and mourn over with 
affection, until He from above shall correct and heal, and let 
him defer till harvest-time to root out the tares and winnow 
the chaff. But the multitude of the unrighteous is to be 
struck at with a general reproof, whenever there is oppor- 
tunity of saying aught among the people ; and above all 
when any scourge of the Lord from above gives opportunity, 
when they feel that they are scourged for their deserts ; for 
then the calamity of the hearers opens their ears submis- 
sively to the words of their reprover, seeing the heart in 
affliction is ever more prone to the groans of confession than 
to the murmurs of resistance. And even when no tribulation 
lays upon them, should occasion serve, a word of reproof is 
usefully spent upon the multitude ; for when separated it is 
wont to be fierce, when in a body it is wont to mourn. 
Chrys. This the Lord spake to forbid any putting to death. 
For we ought not to kill an heretic, seeing that so a never- 
ending war would be introduced into the world ; and there- 
fore He says, Lest ye root out with them the ivheat also ; 
that is, if you draw the sword and put the heretic to 
death, it must needs be that many of the saints will fall 
with them. Hereby He does not indeed forbid all restraint 
upon heretics, that their freedom of speech should be 
cut off, that their synods and their confessions should 
be broken up — but only forbids that they should be 
put to death. Aug. This indeed was at first my ownAug.Ep. 

2 K 2 ^3- »7- 


upinion, that no iiiiin was to be tlrivuii by force into the 
unity of Christ; but he was to be led by discourse, con- 
tended with in controversy, and overcome by argument, that 
we might not have men feigning themselves to be Catholics 
whom we knew to be declared heretics. Hut this opinion 
of mine was overcome not by the authority of those who 
contradicted me, but by tlie examples of those that shewed 
it in fact ; for the tenor of those laws in enacting which 
Princes serve the Ijord in fear, has had such good effect, that 
already some say. This we desired long ago; but now 
thanks be to God who has made the occasion for us, and 
has cut off our pleas of delay. Others say, This we have 
long known to be the truth ; but we were held by a kind of 
old habit, thanks be to God who has broken our chains. 
Others again ; We knew not that this was true, and had no 
desire to learn it, but fear has driven us to give our attention 
to it, thanks be to the Lord who has banished our careless- 
ness by the spur of terror. Others, We were deterred from 
entering in by false rumours, which we should not have 
known to be false had we not entered in, and we should not 
have entered in had we not been compelled ; thanks be to 
God who has broken up our preaching by the scourge of 
persecution, and has taught us by experience how empty 
iiud false things lying fame had reported concerning His 
Church. Others say, We thought indeed that it was of 
no importance in what place we held tlie faith of Christ ; 
but thanks be to the Lord who has gathered us together out 
of our division, and has shewn us that it is consonant to the 
unity of God that He should be worshipped in unity. Let 
then the Kings of the earth shew themselves the servants of 
Aug.Ep. Christ by publishing laws in Christ's behalf. Id. But who 
't*22^^ is there of you who has any wish that a heretic should 
perish, nay, that he should so much as lose aught ? Yet 
could the house of David have had peace in no other way, 
but by the death of Absalom in that war which he waged 
against his father ; nolwith^Ntiuiding his father gave strict 
commands to his scnants that they should save him alive 
and unhurt, that on his repentance there might be room for 
fatherly affection to pardon ; what then remained for him 
but to mourn over him when lost, and to console his domestic 

VER. 24 — 30. ST. MATTHEW. 501 

affliction by the peace which it had brought to his kingdom. 
Thus our Catholic mother the Church, when by the loss of 
a few she gains many, soothes the sorrow of her motherly 
heart, healing it by the deliverance of so much people. 
Where then is that which those are accustomed to cry out, 
That it is free to all to believe ? Whom hath Christ done 
violence to ? Whom hath He compelled ? Let them take 
the Apostle Paul; let them acknowledge in him Christ 
first compelling and afterwards teaching ; first smiting and 
afterwards comforting. And it is wonderful to see him 
who entered into the Gospel by the force of a bodily in- 1 Cor. 
fliction labouring therein more than all those who are ' * 
called by word only. Why then should not the Church 
constrain her lost sons to return to her, when her lost sons 
constrained others to f)erish ? 

Remig. It follows, And in the time of harvest I icill 
say to ike reapers^ Gather together first the tares, and bind 
them in bundles to burn them. The harvest is the season 
of reaping which here designates the day of judgment, in 
which the good are to be separated from the bad. Chhys. 
But why does He say, Gather first the tares ? That the good 
should have no fears lest the wheat should be rooted up 
with them. Jerome ; In that He says that the bundles of 
tares are to be cast into the fire, and the wheat gathered 
into bams, it is clear that heretics also and hypocrites are 
to be consumed in the fires of hell, while the saints who 
are here represented by the wheat are received into the 
bams, that is into heavenly mansions. Aug. It may l)eAug. 
asked why He commands more than one bundle or hcap,^"^*,', 
of tares to be formed? Perhaps because of the variety H-^^. 
of heretics differing not only from the wheat, but also 
among themselves, each several heresy, separated from 
communion with all the others, is designated as a bundle ; 
and perhaps they may even then begin to be bound to- 
gether for burning, when they first sever themselves from 
the Catholic communion, and begin to have their in- 
dependent church ; so that it is the burning and not the 
binding into bundles that will take place at the end of the 
world. But were this so, there would not be so mativ who 
would become wise again, and return from error into the 


Catholic Church. A\njorefore we must understand the bind- 
ing into bundles to l>c ulmt shall come to pass in the end, 
that punishment should fall on iheui not jironiiscuouslx , but 
in due proportion to the obstinacy and wilfulness of each 
separate error. Uaban. Anrl it should be noted that, when 
He says, Soiled <jood need, He intends that good will which 
is in the elect; when He adds. An enemy came. He intimates 
that watch should be kept against hira ; when as the tares 
gn)w up. He suffers it patiently, saying. An enemy hath done 
tliis. He recommends to us patience; when He says, I^tl 
haply in gathering the tarex; Hfc. He sets us an exam])le 
of discretion ; when He says. Suffer both to grow together 
till the harvest. He teaches us long-suffering; and, lastly, Ho 
inculcates justice, when He says, Bind them into bandits to 

31. Another parable })ut he forth unto them, say- 
ing, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of 
mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his 

32. Which indeed is the least of all seeds : but 
when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and 
becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come 
and lodge in the branches thereof. 

Chrys. Seeing the Lord had said above that three parts 

of the seed perish, and one only is preserved, and of that one 

part there is much loss by reason of the tares that are sown 

upon it; that nonr might say, Who then and how many 

shall they be thit l>rlieve ; He removes this cause of fear by 

the parable of the mustard seed: therefore it is said, .hiother 

parable put he forth unto them, saying. The kingdom of 

heaven is like unto a grain of mustard seed. Jerome ; The 

kingdom of heaven is the preaching of the Gospel, and the 

knowle<lge of the Scriptures which leads to life, concerning 

Mai. til, which it is said to the Jews, 77*^ kingdom of God shall be 

^'^' taken from you. It is the kingdom of heaven thus undcr- 

Aug. jiiood which is likened to a grain of mustard seed. Auc. 

«"£! i. '^ K*"**" °^ mustard seed may allude to the warmtli of faith, 


VER. 31, 32. ST. MATTHEW. 503 

or to its property as antidote to poisou. It follows; Which 
a man took and sowed in his jield. Jerome ; The man 
who sows is by most understood to be the Saviour, who 
sows the seed in the minds of believers ; by others the man 
himself, who sows in his field, that is, in his own heart. 
Who indeed is he that soweth, but our own mind and under- 
standing, which receiving the grain of preaching, and nurtur- 
ing it by the dew of faith, makes it to spring up in the field 
of our own breast ? Which is the least of all seeds. The 
Gospel preaching is the least of all the systems of the 
schools ; at first view it has not even the appearance of truth, 
announcing a man as God, God put to death, and proclaim- 
ing the offence of the cross. Compare this teaching with 
the dogmas of the Philosophers, with their books, the 
splendour of their eloquence, the polish of their style, and 
you will see how the seed of the Gospel is the least of all 
seeds. Chrys. Or ; The seed of the Gospel is the least of 
seeds, because the disciples were weaker than the whole of 
mankind ; yet forasmuch as there was great might in them, 
their preaching spread throughout the whole world, and 
therefore it follows, But when it is groicn it is the greatest 
among herbs, that is among dogmas. Aug. Dogmas are the Aug. 
decisions of sects*, the points, that is, that they have deter- " 'i^"?'^ 
mined. Jerome; For the dogmas of Philosophers whensecta- 
they have grown up, shew nothing of life or strength, but 
watery and insipid they grow into grasses and other greens, 
which quickly dry up and wither away. But the Gospel 
preaching, though it seem small in its beginning, when sown 
in the mind of the hearer, or upon the world, comes up not a 
garden herb, but a tree, so that the birds of the air (which 
we must suppose to be either the souls of believers or the 
Powers of God set fi*ee from slavery) come and abide in its 
branches. The branches of the Gospel tree which have 
grown of the grain of mustard seed, I suppose to signify the 
various dogmas in which each of the birds (as explained 
above) takes his rest. Let us then take the wings of the Ps.65,6. 
dove, that flying aloft we may dwell in the branches of this 
tree, and may make ourselves nests of doctrines, and soaring 
above earthly things may hasten towards heavenly. Hilary; 
Or ; The Lord compares Himself to a grain of mustard seed. 


sharp to the taste, and the least of all seeds, whose strengUi 
Gr«f' is extracted by bruising. (.iRKC. Christ Himself is the grain 
lit. 1. of mustard seed, who, planted in the garden of the sepulchre, 
grew up a great tree; He was a grain of seed when He died, 
and a tree when He rose again; a grain of seed in the 
humiliation of the flesh, a tree in the power of His majesty. 
Hii^RV ; Tills grain then when sown in the field, that is, 
when seized by the people and delivered to death, and as it 
were bitried in the ground by a sowing of the body, grew up 
beyond the size of all herbs, and exceeded all the glory of 
the Prophets. For the preaching of the Frojdiets was 
allowed as it were herbs to a sick man ; but now the birds 
of the air lodge in the branches of the tree. 13y which we 
understand the Apostles, who put forth of Christ's might, and 
overshadowing the world with their boughs, are a tree to 
which the Gentiles flee in hope of life, and having been 
long tossed by the winds, that is by the spirits of the Uevil, 
Ureg. may have rest in its branches. Gukg. The birds lodge in its 
" ' '"P" branches^ when holy souls that raise themselves aloft from 
thoughts of earth on the wings of the virtues, breathe again 
from the troubles of this life in their words and comfortings. 

33. Another parable spake he unto them ; The 
kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a 
woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, 
till the whole was leavened. 

Chkys. The same thing the Lord sets forth in this 
parable of the leaven ; as much as to say to His disciples. 
As leaven changes into its own kind much wheat-flour, so 
shall ye change the whole world. Note here the wisdom 
of the Saviour ; He first brings instances from nature, 
proving that as the one is possible so is the other. And 
He says not simply ' put,' but hid ; as much as to say, So 
ye, when ye shall be cast down by your enemies, then ye 
shall overcome them. And so leaven is kneaded in, without 
being destroyed, but gradually changes all things into its 
own nature ; so shall it come to pass with your preaching. 
Fear ye not then because I said lliat many tribulations shall 
come upon you, for so shall ye shine fortli, and shall over- 

VER. 33. ST. MATTHEW. 505 

come them all. He says, three measures, to signify a great 
abundance ; that definite number standing for an indefinite 
quantity. Jerome ; The ' satum' is a kind of measure in 
use in Palestine containing one modius and a half. Aug. Aug. 
Or, The leaven signifies love, because it causes activity and£y*j2. 
fermentation; by the woman He means wisdom. By the 
three measures He intends either those three things in man, 
with the whole heart, with the whole soul, with the whole 
mind ; or the three degrees of fruitfulness, the hundred-fold, 
the sixty-fold, the thirty-fold; or those three kinds of men, 
Noe, Daniel, and Job. Raban. He says. Until the nJiole 
was leavened, because that love implanted in our mind 
ought to grow until it changes the whole soul into its 
own perfection ; which is begun here, but is completed here- 
after. Jerome ; Or otherwise ; The woman who takes the 
leaven and hides it, seems to me to be the Apostolic preach- 
ing, or the Church gathered out of divers nations. She takes 
the leaven, that is, the understanding of the Scriptures, and 
hides it in three measures of meal, that the three, spirit, 
soul, and body, may be brought into one, and may not 
differ among themselves. Or otherwise ; We read in Plato R. P. 
that there are three parts in the soul, reason, anger, and xoyi^rt. 
desire ; so we also if we have received the evangelic leaven «»»> ««•'- 
of Holy Scripture, may possess in our reason pmdence, in x^C,''Z- 
our anger hatred against vice, in our desire love of ihef*'"^^' 
virtues, and this will all come to pass by the Evangelic 
teaching which our mother Church has held out to us. 
I will further mention an interpretation of some; that the 
woman is the Church, who has mingled the faith of man 
in three measures of meal, namely, belief in the Father, the 
Son, and the Holy Spirit; which when it has fermented into 
one lump, brings us not to a threefold God, but to the know- 
ledge of one Divinity. This is a pious interpretation ; but 
parables and doubtful solutions of dark things, can never 
bestow authority on dogmas. Hilary ; Or otherwise ; The 
Lord compares Himself to leaven ; for leaven is produced 
from meal, and communicates the power that it has rccei\ cd 
to a heap of its own kind. The woman, that is the 
Synagogue, takiug this leaven hides it, that is by the 
sentence of death ; but it working in the three measures 


of raeal, Uiat is equally in the l^w, the Prophets, and tlie 
Gospels, makes all one; so that what the Law ordains, that 
the Prophets announce, that is fulfilled in the dev elopements 
of the Gospels. Hut many, as 1 remember, have thought 
that the three measures refer to the calling of the three 
nations, out of Shem, Ham, and Japhet Hut 1 hardly 
tliink that the reason of the thing will allow this inter- 
pretation ; for though these three nations have indeed been 
called, yet in them Christ is shewn and not hidden, and in 
so great a multitude of unbelievers the whole cannot be said 
to be leavened. 

34. All these things spake Jesus unto the multi- 
tude in parables ; and without a parable spake he 
not unto them. 

35. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken 
by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in 
parables ; I will utter things which have been kept 
secret from the foundation of the world. 

chry«. Chrys. After the foregoing parables, that none might 

^*'"- think that Christ was bringing forward any thing new, the 

Evangelist quotes the Prophet, foretelling even this His 

Mark 4, manner of preaching : Mark's words are. And with many 

^' such parables spake he the trord unio thein, as they were 

able to hear it. So marvel not that, in speaking of the 

kingdom. He uses the similitudes of a seed, and of leaveu ; 

for He was discoursing to common men, and who needed to 

be led forward by such aids. Remig. The Greek word 

* Parable,' is rendered in Latin * Similitude,' by which truth 

is explained ; and an image or representation of the reality 

is set forth. Jkkomk; Yet He spt)ke not in parables to the 

disciples, but to the multitude ; and even to this day the 

multitude hears in parables ; and therefore it is said, And 

without a parable spake he not unto them. Chrys. For 

though He had spoken many things not in parables, when 

not speaking before the multitudes, yet at tliis time spake 

Omm ^® nothing without a parable. Aug. Or, this is said, not 

ioMau.that He uttered nothing in plain words; but that He 
4|. 15. 

VER. 34, 36. ST. MATTHEW. 507 

concluded no one discourse without introducing a parable 
in the course of it, though the chief part of the discourse 
might consist of matter not figurative. And we may indeed 
find discourses of His parabolical throughout, but none 
direct throughout. And by a complete discourse, I mean, 
the whole of what He says on any topic that may be 
brought before Him by circumstances, before He leaves 
it, and passes to a new subject. For sometimes one 
Evangelist connects what another gives as spoktn at 
different times; the writer having in such a case followed 
not the order of events, but the order of connexion in his 
own memory. The reason why He spake in parables the 
Evangelist subjoins, saying, TJial it might be fulfilled that 
was spoken by the Prophet, saying, / will open my mouth Ps 78,2. 
in parables, I will utter things kept secret from the 
foundation of the world. Jerome ; This passage is taken 
fi-om the seventy-seventh Psalm. I have seen copies which 
read, ' by Esaias the Pi-ophet,' instead of what we have 
adopted, and what the common text has by the Prophet. 
Remig. From which reading Porphyry took an objection 
to the believers; Such was your Evangelist's ignorance, that 
he imputed to Isaiah what is indeed found in the Psalms. 
Jerome ; But because the text was not found in Isaiah, 
his name was, I suppose, therefore erased by such as had 
observed that. But it seems to me that it was first written 
thus, ' As was written by Asaph the Prophet, saying;' for 
the seventy-seventh Psalm out of which this text is taken 
is ascribed to Asaph the Prophet; and that the copyist not 
understanding Asaph, and imputing it to error in the tran- 
scription, substituted the better known name Isaiah. For 
it should be known that not David only, but those others 
also whose names are set before the Psalms, and hymns, 
and songs of God, are to be considered prophets, namely, 
Asaph, Idithum, and Heman the Esraite, and the rest who 
are named in Scripture. And so that which is spoken in 
the Lord's person, / will open my mouth in parables, if con- 
sidered attentively, will be found to be a description of the 
departure of Israel out of Egypt, and a relation of all the 
wonders contained in the history of Exodus. By which 
we learn, tliat all that is there written may be taken in a 


figurative way, and contains hidden sacraraentd ; for this is 
what the Saviour is tliere made to preface by the wonls, 
G)o«. I trill open tny mouth in parables. Ciix)8s. As though He 
»elin^" had said, I who sp«kc before by the Propliets, now in My 
own person will open My mouth in parables, and will bring 
forth out of My secret store mysteries which have been hidden 
ever smce tlie foundation of the world. 

36. Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went 
into the house : and his disciples came unto him, 
saying. Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the 

37. He answered and said unto them. He that 
soweth the good seed is the Son of man ; 

38. The field is the world ; the good seed are the 
children of the kingdom; but the tares are the chil- 
dren of the wicked one ; 

39. The enemy that sowed them is the devil ; the 
harvest is the end of the world ; and the reapers are 
the angels. 

40. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned 
in the fire ; so shall it be in the end of this world. 

41. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, 
and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things 
that offend, and them which do iniquity ; 

42. And shall cast them into a furnace of fire : 
there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 

43. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun 
in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to 
hear, let him hear. 

Chrys. The Ix)rd had spoken to the multitude in parables, 
that He might induce them to ask Him of their meaning ; 
yet, though He had spoken so many things in parables, no 
man had yet usked Him aught, and tlierrfore He seuds theui 
away ; T7ten Jettus sent the multitude auaij^ and uent in'o 
the house. None of the Scribes followed Him here, from 

VER. 36 — 43. ST. MATTHEW. 509 

which it is clear that they followed Him for no other 
])urpose than that they might catch Him in His discourse. 
Jerome; The Lord sends away the multitude, and enters 
the house that His disciples might come to Him and ask 
Him privately of those things which the people neither 
deserved to hear, nor were able. Raban. Figuratively; 
Having sent away the multitude of unquiet Jews, He enters 
the Church of the Gentiles, and there expounds to believers 
heavenly sacraments, whence it follows, And his disciples 
came to him, saying, Explain to us the parable of the 
tares of the field. Chrys. Before, though desirous to 
learn, they had feared to ask ; but now they ask freely 
and confidently because they had heard, To you it is 
giren to know the mystery of the kingdom of heaven ; and 
therefore they ask when alone, not envying the multitude to 
whom it was not so given. They pass over the parables of 
tlie leaven and the mustard-seed as plain ; and ask con- 
cerning the parable of the tares, which has some agreement 
with the foregoing parable concerning the seed, and shews 
somewhat more than that. And accordingly the Lord 
expounds it to them, as it follows, He answered and said 
1/nfo them, He that sows the good seed is the Son of man. 
Remig. The Lord styl^ Himself the Son of Man, that in 
that title He might set an example of humility; or perhaps 
because it was to come to pass that certain heretics would 
deny Him to be really man; or that through belief in His 
Humanity we might ascend to knowledge of His Divinity. 
Chrys. The field is the world. Seeing it is He that sows 
His own field, it is plain that this present world is His. It 
follows, The good seed are the children of the kingdom. 
Remig, That is, the saints, and elect men, who are counted 
as sons. Aug. The tares the Lord expounds to mean, Aug. 
not as Manichaeus interprets, certain spurious parts inserted pa^Jst 
among the true Scriptures, but all the children of the Evil »viii. 7. 
one, that is, the imitators of the fraud of the Devil. As it 
follows, 77/e tares are the children of the evil one, by whom 
He would have us understand all the wicked and impious. 
Id. For all weeds among com are called tares. It Aug. 
follows, The enemy who sowed this is the Devil. Chrys. e **Io 
For this is part of the wiles of the Devil, to be ever mixing 


up tnitli wilh error. Tfie harvest is the end of the world. 
Ill another place He says, speaking of Uic SamaritanH, 
John 4, Lift up your eyvx, and consider the ^fields that they are 
I*u^eio,rt/r<?rt</y uhitr for the harrest ; and again, The harvest truly 
^- is great, but the labourers are few, in which words He 

speaks of the harvest as being already present. How then 
does He here speak of it as something yet to come? Because 
He has used the figure of the hanest in two significations ; 
as He says there that it is one that soweth, and another that 
reapeth ; but here it is the same who both sows and reaps ; 
indeed there He brings forward the Prophets, not to dis- 
tinguish them Irom Himself, but from the Apostles, for 
Christ Himself by His Prophets sowed among the Jews 
and Samaritans. The figure of harvest is thus applied to 
two different things. Speaking of first conviction and 
turning to the faith, He calls that the harvest, as that 
in which the whole is accomplished ; but when He 
enquires into the fruits ensuing upon the hearing the 
word of God, then He calls the end of the world the 
harvest, as here. Remig. By the harvest is denoted the 
day of judgment, in which tlie good are to be separated from 
the evil ; which will be done by the ministry of Angels, as it 
is said below, that the Son of Man* shall come to judgment 
with His Angels. As then the tares are gathered and burned 
in the jire, so shall it be in the end of this world. The 
Son of man shall send forth his Angels, and they shall gather 
out of his kingdom all offences, and them which do iniquity. 
Aug. De Aug. Out of that kingdom in which are no offences? The 
J^'J^*'' kingdom then is His kingdom which is here, namely, the 
Aug. Church. Id. That the tares are first separated, signifies 
Ev.Tu).that by tribulation the wicked shall be separated fi<mi the 
righteous ; and this is understood to be performed by gcKid 
Angels, because the good can discharge duties of punish- 
ment with a good spirit, as a judge, or as the Law, but the 
wicked cannot fulfil offices of mercy. Chryr. Or we may 
understand it of the kingdom of the heavenly Church ; and 
then there will be held out here a two-fold punishment ; first 
that they fall from glory as that is said, .ind they shall 
gather out of his kingdom all offences, to the end, that no 
offences should be seen in His kingdom ; and then that they 

VER. 44. ST. MATTHEW. 511 

are burned. And they shall cast them into a furnace ofjire. 
Jerome; The offences are to be referred to the tares. Gloss. Gloss. 
The offences, and, ihetn that do iniquity^ are to be distin- 
guished as heretics and schismatics ; the offences referring to 
heretics; while by them that do iniquity are to be understood 
schismatics. Otherwise ; By offences may be understood 
those that give their neighbour an occasion of falling, by 
those that do iniquity all other sinners. RaBAN. Observe, 
He says, Those that do iniquity^ not, those who have 
done ; because not they who have turned to penitence, but 
they only that abide in their sins are to be delivered to 
eternal torments. Chrys. Behold the unspeakable love of 
God towards men ! He is ready to shew mercy, slow to 
punish ; when He sows, He sows Himself; when He 
punishes. He punishes by others, sending His Angels to 
that. It follows, There shall be weeping and gnashing of 
teeth. Remig. In these words is shewn the reality of the 
resurrection of the body ; and further, the twofold pains of 
hell, extreme heat, and extreme cold. And as the offences 
are referred to the tares, so the righteous are reckoned among 
the children of the kingdom ; concerning whom it follows, 
TJien the righteous shall shine as the sun in the kingdom 
of their Father. For in the present world the light of the 
saints shines before men, but after the consummation of all 
things, the righteous themselves shall shine as the sun in the 
kingdom of their Father. Chrys. Not that they shall not 
shine with higher brightness, but because we know no 
degree of brightness that surpasses that of the sun, there- 
fore He uses an example adapted to our understanding. 
Remig. That He says, Then shall they shine, implies 
that they now shine for an example to others, but they 
shall then shine as the sun to the praise of God. He that 
hath ears to hear, let him hear. Raban. That is. Let him 
understand who has understanding, because all these things 
are to be understood mystically, and not literally. 

44. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto 
treasure hid in a field ; the which when a man hath 
found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and 
selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. 


Chkys. The foregoing parables uf the leaven, and the 

••ruin of mustard-seed, are referred lo Uie power of the 
Ciospel preaching, which has sulxhied Uie whole world; 
in order to shew its value and splendour, He now puts 
forth parables concerning a i)earl and a treasure, saying, 
The kitujdom of heaven is like unto tretisnre hid in a field. 
For the Gospel preaching is hidden in this world ; and if 
you do not sell your all you will not purchase it ; and this 
you ought to do with joy ; wherefore it follows, whieh uhen 
a man hath found, he hideth it. Hilary ; This treasure is 
indeed found without cost; for the Gospel preaching is 
open to all, but to use and possess the treasure with 
its field we may not without price, for heavenly riches are 
not obtained without the loss of this world. Jerome ; That 
he hides it, does not proceed of envy towards others, but as 
one that treasures up what he would not lose, he hides in 
his heart that which he ])rizes above his fonner posse.ssions. 
Gntg. Gregoky; Otherwise; The treasure hidden in the field is 
ET.Ki.i.the desire of heaven; the field in which the treasure is 
hidden is the discipline of heavenly learning; this, when 
a man finds, he hides, in order that he may preserve it; 
for zeal and afTections heavenward it is not enough that 
we protect from evil spirits, if we do not protect from 
human praises. For in this present life we are in the way 
which leads to our country, and evil spirits as robbers beset 
us in our journey. Those therefore who carry their treasure 
openly, they seek to plunder in the way. When I say this, 
I do not mean tliat our neighbours should not see our 
works, but that in what we do, we should not seek praise 
from without. The kingdom of heaven is therefore com- 
pared to things of earth, that the mind may rise from things 
familiar to things unknown, and may learn to love the 
unknown by that which it knows is loved when known. 
It follows, And for jot/ thereof he yoeth and seUeth all that 
he hath, and buyeth that field, lie it is that selUth all he 
liath and buyeth the field, who, renouncing fleshly delights, 
tramples upon all his worldly desires in his anxiety for the 
Col.2,3. heavenly discipline. Jkuomk; Or, That treasure *« trhich 
are hid all the treaxures of u-isdoM and knoiclcdge, is either 
God the Word, who seems hid in Christ's flesh, or the Holy 

VER. 45, AC}. ST. MATTHKW. 513 

Scriptures, in which are laid up the knowledge of the 
Saviour. Aug. Or, He speaks of the two testaments in Aug. 
the Church, which, when any hath attained to a partial {^"evj, 
understanding of, he perceives how great things lie hid '3- 
there, and ffoeth and selleth all that he hath, and hmjeth 
that; that is, by despising temporal things he purchases 
to himself peace, that he may be rich in the knowledge of 

45. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a 
merchant man, seeking goodly pearls : 

4b*. "Who, when he had found one pearl of great 
price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. 

Chrys. The Gospel preaching not only offers manifold 
gain as a treasure, but is precious as a pearl ; wherefore 
after the parable concerning the treasure, He gives that 
concerning the pearl. And in preaching, two things are 
required, namely, to be detached from the business of this 
life, and to be watchful, which are denoted by this merchant- 
man. Truth moreover is one, and not manifold, and for this 
reason it is one pearl tliat is said to be found. And as one 
who is possessed of a pearl, himself indeed knows of his 
wealth, but is not known to others, ofttimes concealing it in 
his hand because of its small bulk, so it is in the preaching 
of the Gospel; they who possess it know that they are rich, 
the unbelievers, not knowing of this treasure, know not of 
our wealth. Jerome ; By the goodly pearls may be under- 
stood the Law and the Prophets. Hear then Marcion and 
Manichaeus ; the good pearls are the Law and the Prophets. 
One pearl, the most precious of all, is the knowledge of the 
Saviour and the sacrament of His passion and resurrection, 
which when the merchantman has found, like Paul the 
Apostle, he straightway despises all the mysteries of the 
Law and the Prophets and the old observances in which 
he had lived blameless, counting them as dung that he 
may win Christ. Not that the finding of a new pearl is Pl>il- 3, 
the condemnation of the old pearls, but that in comparison 
of that, all other pearls are worthless. Gregory; Or by ^q^' j^ 

VOL. I. 2 L F.v.xi.2. 


the pearl of price is to be underptood the sweetness of Uk- 

heavenly kingdom, wliich, he that hath found it, selleth all 

and buyetli For he that, as far as is permitted, has had 

})erfect knowledge of the sweetness of the heavenly life, 

readily leaves all things that he has loved on earth ; all 

that once pleased him among earthly possessions now 

appears to have lost its beauty, for the splendour of that 

Aug. precious pearl is alone seen in his mind. Aug. Or, A man 

in^Matt. seeking goodly pearls has found one pearl of great price ; 

q. 13. that is, he who is seekinj^ good men with whom he may live 

profitably, finds one alone, Christ Jesus, without sin; or, 

seeking precepts of life, by aid of which he may dwell 

righteously among men, finds love of his neighbour, in 

Rom. which one rule, the Apostle says, are comprehended all 

^^'^- things; or, seeking good thoughts, he finds that Word in 

John 1, which all things are contained, /;/ the beginning was the 

^- Word, which is lustrous with the light of tnith, stcdfasi with 

the strength of eternity, and throughout like to itself with the 

beauty of divinity, and when we have penetrated the shell 

of the flesh, will be confessed as God. But whichever of 

these three it may be, or if there be any thing else that 

can occur to us, that can be signified under the figure of 

the one precious pearl, its preciousness is the possession 

of ourselves, who arc not free to possess it unless we despise 

all things that can be possessed in this world. For having 

sold our possessions, we receive no other return greater than 

ourselves, (for while we were involved in such things we 

were not our own,) that we may again give ourselves for that 

pearl, not because we are of equal value to that, but because 

we cannot give any thing more. 

47. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a 
net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every 
kind : 

48. ^^'llich, when it was full, they drew to shore, 
and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but 
cast the bad away. 

49. So shall it be at the end of the world : \.\\q 

VER. 47 — 50. ST. MATTHEW. 515 

angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from 
the just, 

50. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire : 
there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 

Chrys. In the foregoing parables He has commended the 
Gospel preaching ; now, that we may not trust in preaching 
only, nor think that faith alone is sufficient for our salvation. 
He adds another fearful parable, saying, Again, the kingdom 
of heaven is like unto a net cast into the sea. Jerome; In 
fulfilment of that prophecy of Hieremias, who said, I will send 5 ex. 16, 
unto you many Jishers, when Peter and Andrew, James and ' 
John, heard the words. Follow me, I uill make you Jlshers 
of men, they put together a net for themselves formed of the 
Old and New Testaments, and cast it into the sea of this 
world, and that remains spread until this day, taking up out 
of the salt and bitter and whirlpools whatever falls into it, 
that is good men and bad ; and this is that He adds, And 
gathered of every kind. Gregory; Or otherwise; The Greg. 
Holy Church is likened to a net, because it is given intOEy'^j!}" 
the hands of fishers, and by it each man is drawn into the 
heavenly kingdom out of the waves of this present world, 
that he should not be drowned in the depth of eternal 
death. This net gathers of every kind of fishes, because 
the wise and the foolish, the ffee and the slave, the rich 
and the poor, the strong and the weak, are called to forgive- 
ness of sin ; it is then fully filled when in the end of all 
things the sum of the human race is completed ; as it 
follows, Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and 
sitting down on the shore gathered the good into vessels, 
but the bad they cast away. For as the sea signifies the 
world, so the sea shore signifies the end of the world ; and 
as the good are gathered into vessels, but the bad cast 
away, so each man is received into eternal abodes, while 
the reprobate having lost the light of the inward kingdom 
are cast forth into outer darkness. But now the net of 
faith holds good and bad mingled together in one ; but 
the shore shall discover what the net of the Church has 
brought to land. Jerome; For when the net shall be 

2 L 2 


drawn to the shore, tlien shall be shewn the tnie test for 
scparalinji; the fishes. Chuvs. Wherein does this parable 
differ from the parable of the tares ? There, as here, some 
jierish and some are saved ; but there, because of their 
heresy of evil dogmas ; in the first jmrable of the sower, 
because of tlieir not attending to what was spoken ; here, 
because of their evil life, because of which, though drawn 
by the net, that is, enjoying the knowledge of God, they 
cannot be saved. And when you hear that the wicked 
are cast ntrai/, that you may not suppose that tliis punishment 
may be risked, He adds an exposition shewing its severity, 
saying, T/ius shall it be in the end of the world; the angels 
shall come forth and sever the wicked from among the just y 
and shall cast them into the furnace qfjire, there shall be 
nailing and gnashing of teeth. Though He elsewhere 
declares, that He shall separate them as a shepherd sepa- 
rates the sheep from the goats ; He here declares, that 
the Angels shall do it, as also in the parable of the tares. 
Greg. Gregory; To fear becomes us here, rather than to ex- 
" *"'*■ pound ; for the torments of sinners are pronounced in plain 
terms, that none might plead his ignorance, should eternal 
punishment be threatened in obscure sayings. Jerome; For 
when the end of the world shall be come, then shall be 
shewn the true test of separating the fishes, and as in a 
sheltered harbotu" the good shall be sent into the vessels 
of heavenly abodes, but the flame of hell shall seize the 
wicked to be dried up and withered. 

51. Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all 
these things ? They say unto him. Yea, Lord. 

52. Then said he unto them. Therefore every 
Scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of 
heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, 
which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new 
and old. 

Glow. Gloss, When the nmllilude had departed, the Lord 

'spoke to His disciples in parables, by which they were 

instructed only so far as they understood them ; wherefore 

VER. 51, 52. ST. MATTHEW. 517 

He asks them, Have ye understood all these things ? They 
say unto him. Yea, Lord. Jerome; For this is spoken 
especially to the Apostles, whom He would have not to 
hear only as the multitude, but to understand as having 
to teach others, Chrys. Then He praises them because 
they had understood ; He saith unto them ; Therefore every 
Scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like unto an 
householder who hringeth out of his treasure things new and 
old. Aug. He said not * old and new,' as He surely would Aug. De 
have said had He not preferred to preserve the order of value jjjy*4^'' 
rather than of time. But the Manicha;ans while they think 
they should keep only the new promises of God, remain in 
the old man of the flesh, and put on newness of eri'or. 
Id. By this conclusion, whether did He desire to shew Aug. 
whom He intended by the treasure hid in the field — in,^"^/a{, 
which case we might understand the Holy Scriptures to<l" '<5- 
be here meant, the two Testaments by the things new and 
old — or did He intend that he should be held learned in 
the Church who understood that the Old Scriptures were 
expounded in parables, taking rules from these new Scrip- 
tures, seeing that in them also the Lord proclaimed many 
things in parables. If He then, in whom all those old 
Scriptures have their fulfilment and manifestation, yet speaks 
in parables until His passion shall rend the vail, when there 
is nothing hid that shall not be revealed ; much more those 
things which were written of Him so long time before we 
see to have been clothed in parables ; which the Jews took 
literally, being unwilling to be learned in the kingdom of 
heaven. Gregory; But if by things new and old in this Greg, 
passage we understand the two Testaments, we deny Abra- " * ^"''* 
ham to have been learned, who although he knew indeed 
some deeds of the Old Testament, yet had not read the 
words. Neither Moses may we compare to a learned house- 
holder, for although he composed the Old Testament, yet 
had he not the words of the New. But what is here said 
may be understood as meant not of those who had been, 
but of such as might hereafter be in the Church, who then 
hring forth things new and old when they speak the preach- 
ings of both Testaments, in their words and in their lives. 
Hilary ; Speaking to His disciples, He calls them Scribes 


on account of iheir knowledge, because ihcy understood the 

lliinj^s that He hroTij^'ht forward, botli new and old, that is 
from the Law and from Uic CJospels; both being of the saino 
householder, and botli treasures of the same owner. He 
compares tliem to Himself under the figure of a householder, 
because they had received doctrine of thiugs both new and 
old out of His treasury of the Holy Spirit. Jekomk; Or 
the Apostles are called Scribes instructed, as being the 
Saviour's notaries who wrote His words and precepts on 
fleshly tables of the heart with the sacraments of the 
heavenly kingdom, and abounded in the wealth of a house- 
holder, bringing forth out of the stores of their doctrine 
things new and old ; whatsoever they )>reached in the 
Gospels, that they proved by the words of the Law and 
the Pro])hcts. Whence the Bride speaks in the Song of 
c. 7. 13. Songs; / hare kept for thee mif beloved the new irith the 
«reg. old. Gregouy; Otherwise; The things old are, that the 
'*"''■ human race for its sin should suffer in eternal punishment; 
the things new, that they should be converted and live in 
the kingdom. First, He brought forward a compari.son of 
the kingdom to a treasure found and a pearl of price ; and 
after that, narrated the punishment of hell in the burning 
of the wicked, and then concluded with Therefore every 
Scribe^ Sfc. as if Ho had said, He is a learned preacher 
in the Church who knows to bring forth things new con- 
cerning the sweetness of the kingdom, and to 8])eak things 
old concerning the terror of punishment; that at least 
))unishment may deter those whom rewards do not excite. 

53. And it c«inie to pass, that when Jesus had 
finished these parables, he departed thence. 

5\. And when he was come into his own country, 
he taught them in their synagogue, in.somuch that 
they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this 
man this wisdom, and these mighty works ? 

55. Is not this the carpenter's son ? is not his 
mother called Mary ? and his brethren, James, and 
Joscs, and Simon, and Judas ? 

VER. 53 58. ST. MATTHEW. 519 

56. And his sisters, are tliey not all with us ? 
Whence then hath this man all these things ? 

57. And they were offended in him. But Jesus 
said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, 
save in his own country, and in his own house. 

58. And he did not many mighty works there 
because of their unbelief. 

Jerome; After the parables which the Lord spake to the 
people, and which the Apostles only understand, He goes 
over into His own country that He may teach there also. 
Aug. From the foregoing discourse consisting of these Aug. De 
parables, He passes to what follows without any ^ery j,^°"^*42. 
evident connexion between them. Besides which, Mark 
passes from these parables to a different event from what 
Matthew here gives; and Luke agrees with him, so con- 
tinuing the thread of the story as to make it much more 
probable that that which they relate followed here, namely, 
about the ship in which Jesus slept, and the miracle of the 
demons cast out; which Matthew has introduced above. 
Chrys. By his own country here, He means Nazareth; forchrys, 
it was not there but in Capharnaum that, as is said below, ^°."?" 
He wrought so many miracles ; but to these He shews His 
doctrine, causing no less wonder than His miracles. Remig. 
He taught in their synagogues where great numbers were 
met, because it was for the salvation of the multitude that 
He came from heaven upon earth. It follows ; So that they 
marvelled, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, 
and these many mighty works? His wisdom is referred to 
His doctrine. His mighty works to His miracles. Jerome; 
Wonderful folly of the Nazarenes ! They wonder whence 
Wisdom itself has wisdom, whence Power has mighty works! 
But the source of their error is at hand, because they regard 
Him as the Son of a carpenter ; as they say. Is not this the 
carpenter's son? Chrys. Therefore were they in all things 
insensate, seeing they lightly esteemed Him on account of 
him who was regarded as His father, notwithstanding the 
many instances in old times of sons illustrious sprung from 
ignoble fathers ; as David was the son of a husbandman, 


.lusHu; Amos Uie son of a shepherd, himself a sheplierd. 
And ihcy ought lu have given Ilim more abundant honour, 
because, that cuming uf such parents, He H))ake after such 
manner; clearly shewing that it came not of human industry, 
I'Mrudo. |„it of divine grace. Pski'do-Aig. Tor the Father of Christ 
ore. cf. is ihat Divine Workman who made all these works of natnre, 
Semi. ^y],Q ggj forth Noali's ark, who ordained tlie tabernacle of 
App. Moses, and instituted the Ark of the covenant; that Workman 
who polishes the stubborn mind, and cuts down the proud 
thoughts. Hilary; And this was the carpenter's son who 
subdues iron by means of lire, who tries the virtue of this 
world in the judgment, and forms the rude mass to every 
work of human need ; the figure of our bodies, for 
example, to the divers ministrations of the limbs, and all 
the actions of life eternal. Jeiiome; And when they are 
mistaken in His Father, no wonder if they are also mistaken 
in His brethren. AS'hence it is added, Is not his mother 
Mtiri/, and his brclhreiiy James, and Joseph, and Simon, 
and Judas ? And his sisters, are they not all with us ? 
Union. Id. Those who are here called the Lord's brethren, 
Heivid. are the sons of a Mary, His Mother's sister; she is the 
'^- mother of this James and Joseph, that is to say, Mary the 
wif<! of Cleophas, and this is the Mary who is called the 
Aug. mother of James the Less. Aug. No wonder then that any 
in Mall lihismen by the mother's side should be called the Ijord's 
q. 17. brethren, when even by their kindred to Joseph some are 
here called His brethren by those who thought Him the 
son of Joseph. Hilary; Thus the Lord is held in no 
honour by His own ; and though the wisdom of His teach- 
ing, and the power of His working raised their admiration, 
yet do they not believe that He did these things in the 
name of the Lord, and they cast His father's trade in His 
teeth. Amid all the wonderful works which He did, they 
were moved with the contemplation of His Bod}*, and 
hence they a^k, • Whence hath this man these things? 
And thus they were offended in him. Jkrome; Tliis error 
of the Jews is our salvation, and the condenmation of the 
heretics, f(»r they perceived Jesus Christ to be man so far 
as to think Him the son of a carpenter. Chry*. Observe 
Christ's mercifulness; He is evil spoken of, yet He answers 

VKK. 53 — 58. ST. MATTHEW. 521 

with mildness ; Jesus said unto theyn, A prophet is not with- 
out honour, hut in his own country, and in his own house. 
Remig. He calls Himself a Prophet, as Moses also declares, 
when he says, A Prophet shall God raise up unto you of your -Dant. 
brethren. And it should be known, that not Christ only, '^' '^ 
who is the Head of all the Prophets, but Jeremiah, Daniel, 
and the other lesser Prophets, had more honour and regard 
among strangers than among their own citizens. Jerome; 
For it is almost natural for citizens to be jealous towards 
one another ; for they do not look to the present works of 
the man, but remember the frailties of his childhood; as 
if they themselves had not passed through the very same 
stages of age to their maturity. Hilary; Further, He 
makes this answer,, that a Prophet is without honour in 
his own country, because it was in Judaea that He was to 
be condemned to the sentence of the cross ; and forasmuch 
as the power of God is for the faithful alone, He here 
abstained from works of divine power because of their 
unbelief; whence it follows. And he did not there many 
mighty works because of their unbelief. Jerome ; Not that 
because they did not believe He could not do His mighty 
works ; but that He might not by doing them be condemn- 
ing His fellow-citizens in their unbelief. Chrys. But if His 
miracles raised their wonder, why did He not work many ? 
Because He looked not to display of Himself, but to what 
would profit others; and when that did not result, He 
despised what pertained only to Himself that He might 
not increase their punishment. Why then did He even 
these few miracles ? That they should not say. We should 
have believed had any miracles been done among us. 
Jerome ; Or we may understand it otherwise, that Jesus 
is despised in His own house and country, signifies in the 
Jewish people ; and therefore He did among them few 
miracles, that they might not be altogether without excuse ; 
but among the Gentiles He does daily greater miracles by 
His Apostles, not so much in healing their bodies, as in 
saving their souls. 


1. At that time Herod the tetrarcli licard of the 
fame of Jesus. 

2. And said unto his servants. This is John the 
Baptist ; he is risen from tlie dead ; and therefore 
mighty works do shew forth themselves in liim. 

3. For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound 
him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his 
brother Philip's wife. 

4. For John said unto him. It is not lawful for 
thee to have her. 

5. And when he would have put him to death, he 
feared the multitude, because they counted him as a 

Glow. Gloss, The Kvangelist liad above shewn the Pharisees 
"*"* '^*^' speaking falsely against Christ's miracles, and just now His 
fellow-citizens wondering, yet despising Him ; he now re- 
lates what opinion Ilerod had formed concerning Christ on 
hearing of His miracles, and says, At ifnit time Herod the 
tetrarch heard theOniie of Jesus. Chrvs. It is not without 
reason that the Evangelist here specifies the time, but that 
you may understand the pride and carelessness of the tyrant; 
inasmuch as he had not at the first made himself acquainted 
with the things concerning Christ, but now only after long 
time. Thus they, who in authority are fenced about with 
much pomp, learn these things slowly, because they do not 
Aug. De much regard them. Aikj. Matthew says, //////<// /i/«r, not, 
£^"*^3 On that day, or, In that same hour; for Mark relates the 
sarac circumstances, but not in the same order. He places 


this after the mission of the disciples to preach, though not 
implying that it necessarily follows there; any more than 
Luke, who follows the same order as Mark. Chrvs. Observe 
how great a thing is virtue ; Herod fears John even after he 
is dead, and philosophizes concerning the resurrection ; as 
it follows; And he satfh to his sevninls. This is John fhe 
Baptist, he is risen from the dead, and therefore micjhiy 
icorks are ivrought in him. Raban. From this place we 
may learn how great the jealousy of the Jews was; that 
John could have risen from the dead, Herod, an alien-bom, 
here declares, without any witness that he had risen : con- 
ceiving Christ, whom the Prophets had foretold, the Jews 
preferred to believe, that He had not risen, but had been 
earned away by stealth. This intimates that the Gentile heart 
is more disposed to belief than that of the Jews. Jerome ; 
One of the Ecclesiastical interpreters asks what caused 
Herod to think that John was risen from the dead ; as 
though we had to account for the errors of an alien, or 
as though the heresy of metempsychosis was at all supported 
by this place — a heresy which teaches that souls pass 
through various bodies after a long period of years — 
for the Lord was thirty years old when John was beheaded. 
Raban. All men have well thought concerning the power 
of the resurrection, that the saints shall have greater power 
after they have risen from the dead, than they had while 
they were yet weighed down with the infirmity of the flesh ; 
wherefore Herod says, Therefore miijhtij works are icronglit 
in him. Aug. Luke's words are, John have I beheaded : ^Vig. 
who is lie of whom I hear such things ? As Luke has Luke^g 
thus represented Herod as in doubt, we must understand^- 
rather that he was afterwards convinced of that which 
was commonly said — or we must take what he here 
says to his servants as expressing a doubt — for they 
admit of either of these acceptations Rem:g. Perhaps 
some one may ask how it can be here said. At that time 
Herod heard, seeing that we have long before read that 
Herod was dead, and that on that the Lord returned out of 
Egypt. This question is answered, if we remember that 
there were two Herods. On the death of the first Herod, 
his son Archelaus succeeded him, and after ten years \yas 


sent into exile to Vienne in Gaul. 'Ihen Cajsar Augtislus 
gave command that the kingdom should hu divided into 
tetrarchios, and gave three parts to the sons of Ilcrod. This 
Herod then who beheaded John is the son of that greater 
Herod under whom tlie Lord was bom ; and this is con- 
GIoM. finned by the Evangelist adding the tctrarch. Gloss. 
Having mentioned this supposition of John's resurrection, 
because he had never yet spoken of his death, he now 
returns, and narrates how it came to pass. Chuys. And 
this relation is not set before us as a principal matter, 
because the Evangelist's only object was to tell us con- 
cerning Christ, and nothing beyond, unless so far as it 
furthered this object. He says then, For Herod had seized 
Aug. DeJofm, and bound him. Aug. Luke does not give this in the 
£°"*'4^ same order, but where he is speaking of the Lord's baptism, 
so that he took beforehand an event which happened long 
afterwards. For after that saying of John's concerning the 
Lord, that His fan is in His hand, he straightway adds this, 
which, as we may gather from John's Gospel, did not follow 
immediately. For he relates that after Jesus was baptized, 
He went into Galilee, and thence returned into Judaea, and 
baptized there near to the Jordan before John was cast into 
prison. But neither Matthew nor Mark have placed John's 
imprisonment in that order in which it appears from their 
own writings that it took place ; for they also say that when 
John was delivered up, the Lord went into Galilee, and 
after many things there done, then by occasion of the fame 
of Christ reaching Herod they relate what took place in the 
imprisonment and beheading of John. The cause for which 
he had been cast into prison he shews when he says. On 
account of Herodias his brother's tcife. For John had said 
unto him. It is not lawful for thee to hare her. Jkrome ; 
The old history tells us, that Phili}) the son of Herod the 
greater, the brother of this Herod, had taken to wife He- 
rodias daughter of Aretas, king of the Arabs; and that he, 
the father-in-law, having afterwards cause of quarrel witli 
his son-in-law, took away his daughter, and to grieve her 
husband gave her in marriage to his enemy Herod. John 
the Baptist therefore, who came in the spirit and power of 
FHias, with the same authority thai he had exerted over 

VKR. 6 — 1->. ST. MATTHEW. 525 

Ahab and Jezebel, rebuked Herod and Herodias, because 
that they had entered into unlawful wedlock ; it being 
unlawful while the own brother yet lives to take his wife. 
He preferred to endanger himself with the King, than to be 
forgetful of the commandments of God in commending 
himself to him. Chkys. Yet he speaks not to the woman 
but to the husband, as he was the chief person. Gloss. And Gloss. 
perhaps he observed the Jewish Law, according to which 
John forbade him this adultery. And desiring to kill hitn, 
he feared the people. Jerome ; He feai'ed a disturbance 
among the people for John's sake, for he knew that multi- 
tudes had been baptized by him in Jordan ; but he was 
overcome by love of his wife, which had already made him 
neglect the commands of God. Gloss. The fear of God Gloss, 
amends us, the fear of man torments us, but alters not our""^ 
will ; it rather renders us more impatient to sin as it has 
held us back for a time from our indulgence. 

6. But when Herod's birthday was kept, the 
daughter of Herodias danced before them, and 
pleased Herod. 

7. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give 
her whatsoever she would ask. 

8. And she, being before instructed of her mother, 
said. Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger. 

9. And the king was sorry : nevertheless for the 
oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, 
he commanded it to be given her. 

10. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. 

11. And his head was brought in a charger, and 
given to the damsel : and she brought it to her 

12. And his disciples came, and took up the body, 
and buried it, and went and told Jesus. 

Gloss. The Evangelist having related John's imprison- Gloss, 
ment, proceeds to his putting to death, saying, But on "°" °^ 
Herod's birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced in the 


midft. JhRoMi: ; Wc find no otliere kot'ping their birthday 
besides Ilerod and Pharaoh, that they who were alike in 
their wickedness might bo alike in their festivities. Hkmio. 
It should be known that it is cu.stoinary not for rich only 
but for ])oor mothers also, to educate their daughters so 
chastely, that they arc scarce so much as s "en by strangers. 
Hut this unchaste woman had so brought up her daughter 
after the same manner, that she had taught her not chastity 
but dancing. Nor is Ileiod to be less blamed who forgot 
that his was a royal palace, but this woman made it a 
theatre ; And it pleased Herod, so thai he awore with an 
oath (hat he would give her whatsoever she should ask of 
him. Jerome; I do not excuse Herod that he committed 
this murder against his will by reason of his oath, for 
perhaps he took the oath for the very purpose of bringing 
about the murder. But if he says that he did it for his oath's 
sake, had she asked the death of her mother, or her father, 
would he have granted it or not ? Wliat then he would have 
refused in his own person, he ought to have rejected in that 
Isidore, of the Prophet. Isidork; In evil pronjises then break 
Syn. ii. ^^ith. lliat promise is impious which must be kept by 
i<^- crime; that oath is not to be observed by which we have 
unwittingly pledged ourselves to evil. It follows, And she 
beiny be/ore instructed of her mother said, Gire me here 
John Baptisfs head in a charger. Jerome ; For Herodias, 
fearing that Herod might some time recover his senses, and 
be reconciled to his brother, and dissolve their unlawful 
union by a divorce, instructs her daughter to ask at once 
at the banquet the head of John, a reward of blood worthy 
of the deed of the dancing. CiiRYS. Here is a twofold 
accusation against the damsel, that she danced, and that she 
chose to ask an execution as her reward. Observe how 
Herod is at once cruel and yielding ; he obliges himself by 
an oath, and leaves her free to choose her request. Yet 
when he knew what evil was resulting from her request, 
he was grieved. And the king was sorry, for virtue gains 
praise and admiration even among the bad. Jerome ; ; It is the manner of Scripture to speak of events 
as they were commonly viewed at the time by all. So 
Joseph is called by Mary herself the father of Jesus ; so here 

VER. 6 — 12. ST. MATTHEW. 527 

Herod is said to be sorry, because the guests believed that 
he was so. This dissembler of his own inclinations, this 
contriver of a murder displayed sorrow in his face, when 
he had joy in his mind. For his oatJis sake, and them 
which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given. 
He excuses his crime by his oath, that his wickedness 
might be done under a pretence of piety. That he adds, 
and them that sat at meat with him, he would have them 
all sharers in his crime, that a bloody dish might be brought 
in in a luxurious feast. Chkys. If he was afraid to have so 
many witnesses of his perjury, how much more ought he to 
have feared so many witnesses of a murder ? Remig. Here 
is a less sin done for the sake of another greater ; he would 
not extinguish his lustful desires, and therefore he betakes 
him to luxurious living ; he would not put any restraint 
on his luxury, and thus he passes to the guilt of murder; 
for, He sent and beheaded John in prison, and his head was 
brought in a charger. Jerome; We read in Roman history, Hieron. 
that Flaminius, a Roman general, sitting at supper with his^j^^'j^^ 
mistress, on her saying that she had never seen a man 43. 
beheaded, gave permission that a man under sentence for a 
capital crime should be brought in and beheaded during the 
entertainment. For this he was expelled the senate by the 
censors, because he had mingled feasting with blood, and 
had employed death, though of a criminal, for the amuse- 
ment of another, causing murder and enjoyment to be joined 
together. How much more wicked Herod, and Herodias, 
and the damsel who danced ; she asked as her bloody 
reward the head of a Prophet, that she might have in her 
power the tongue that reproved the unlawful nuptials. 
Greg. But not without most deep wonder do I consider, Greg. 
that he who in his mother's womb was filled with the spirit 7'^' "'' 
of prophecy, than whom there arose not a greater among 
them that are born of women, is cast into prison by wicked 
men, and is beheaded because of the dancing of a girl, and 
that a man of such severe life dies for the sport of shameful 
men. Are we to think that there was any thing in his life 
which this so shameful death should wipe away ? God thus 
oppresses His people in the least things, because He sees 
how He may reward them in the highest things. And 

528 OOaPEI. ACCORDING TO .l.U \1\. 

hence may be gathered what they will sufler whom He casUi 
( away, if He thus tortures those He lovcR. Id. And John 

KMx. 7. is "ot sought out In sufler conceniing the confession of 
Christ, but for tin tmtli of righteousness. But because 
Christ is truth, he goes to death for Christ in going for 
truth. It follows, Atid his disciples came, and took up his 
body^ and buried it. Jeromk; Hy which we may under- 
stand both the disciples of John himself, and of the Saviour. 
Raban. Raban. Josephus relates, that John was sent bound to tlie 
xTiii.V castle of Mecheron, and there beheaded ; but ecclesiastical 

MachKjiistory relates that he was buried in Sebastia, a town of 

ru«, . 

ChryK. Palestine, which was formerly called Samaria. Chrys. 

HI?"* Observe how John's disciples are henceforth more attached 
to Jesus; they it is who told Him what was done con- 
cerning John ; And they came and told Jesus. For leaving 
all they take refuge with Him, and so by degrees after their 
calamity, and the answer given by Christ, they are set right. 
Hilary ; Mystically, John represents the Law ; for the Law 
preached Christ, and John came of the Law, preaching 
Christ out of the Law. Herod is the IMnce of the people, 
and the Prince of the people bears the name and th j cause of 
the whole body put under him. John then warned Herod 
that he should not take to him his brother's wife. For there 
are and there were two people, of the circumcision, and of 
the Gentiles ; and these are brethren, children of the same 
parent of the human race, but the Law warned Israel that 
he should not take to him the works of the Gentiles and un- 
belief which was united to them as by the bond of conjugal 
love. On the birthday, that is amidst the enjoyments of the 
things of the body, the daughter of Herodias danced ; for 
pleasure, as it were springing from unbelief, was carri<Ml in its 
alluring course throughout the whole of Israel, and the 
nation bound itself thereto as by an oath, for for sin and 
worldly pleasures the Israelites sold the gifts of eternal life. 
She (Pleasure), at the suggestion of her mother Unbelief, 
begge<l that there should be given her the head of John, 
that is, the glory of the Law ; but the people knowing the 
good that was in the Law, yielded these tenns to pleasure, 
not without sorrow for its own danger, conscious that it 
ought not to have given up so great glory of its teachers. 

VER. 13, 14, ST. MATTHEW. 529 

But forced by its sins, as by the force of an oath, as well as 
overcome by the fear, and corrupted by the example of the 
neighbouring princes, it soiTowfully yields to the blandish- 
ments of pleasure. So among the other gratifications of a 
debauched people the head of John is brought in in a dish, 
that is by the loss of the Law, the pleasures of the body, 
and worldly luxury is increased. It is carried by the damsel 
to her mother; thus depraved Israel offered up the glory of 
the Law to pleasure and unbelief The times of the Law 
being expired, and buried with John, his disciples declare 
what is done to the Lord, coming, that is, to the Gospels 
from the Law. Ra.ban. Otherwise; Even at this day we 
see that in the head of the Prophet John the Jews have lost 
Christ, who is the head of the Prophets. Jerome ; And the 
Prophet has lost among them both tongue and voice. 
Remig. Otherwise ; The beheading of John marks the 
increase of that fame which Christ has among the people, 
as the exaltation of the Lord upon the cross marks the 
progress of the faith ; whence John had said. He must ^^^'^ 3, 
increase, but I must decrease. 

13. When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence 
by ship into a desert place apart : and when the 
people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot 
out of the cities. 

14. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multi- 
tude, and was moved with compassion toward them, 
and he healed their sick. 

Gloss. The Saviour having heard the death of His Baptist, Gloss. 
retired into the desert; as it follows, which when Jesus had^^: ^°" 
heard, he departed thence hy ship into a desert place. Aug. Aug. De 
This the Evangelist relates to have been done immediately ^""^'^c 
after the passion of John, therefore after this were those things 
done that were spoken of above, and moved Herod to 
say, This is John. For we must suppose those things to 
have been after his death which report carried to Herod, 
and which moved him to doubt who he could be concerning 

VOL. I. 2 m 

MO UOSPKI \( ( ..i;iM\(. TO 

t I! M'. \I\ 

\\li<niilir luMi.i siuli lliii)-- . l.n liiiiisclt' lnui piil .l.ilm lo 
.ii'alli. .Ii i;.iMi ; l|i' dpi ihM r.iiiv into |ii.- disrrt iIumui^Ii 
Tear ol <UMtli, a^ somr sii|)]misc, i.iit in nicrtv to I lis ( nmii- <, 
that tlu-y nii<;lil not add uiur I, r |o niurdcr ; |mttiii^' oil 1 1 is 
(Icatli till \\\v day ol'Ilis passion ; on wliirli da\ the lain!) is 
to l)f slain as the sacrament, and the jm)>Is oi iIk in that 
lii'licvc to lie sprinkled with the blood. Or, lie rrHird to 
Iravr ns an r\ani]>lf Id shnn tliat rnshnrss \\lii(di leads men 
to sinrender ilicnistdx t > volnntarilx , hecan'^e not all jn rsexcrc 
willi like constancy under tortme with the winih they 
oHcrcd tlinnstdvcs to it. I'or this reason lie sa\ s in another 
place, Jl/u'fi tJiftj sliall pi'isfiiili' i/an in idk <ilii,/lir iff to 
miothrr. Whence the ist says not • lied." hnt 

elej:;antl\, (Icjuirlcd iheui,. ..,. ■ withdrew,'^ shewing; that 
lie shunned rather than I'eared jierstcution. ( )r I'or another 
reason He might have withdrawn into a des> n ]i]aee on 
hearing of .lolni's dealli. namely, to prove tiie laith of the 
believers. C'iii.\s. ( )r ; lie did this because He desirecl to 
prolong the cecononiy of His liuinanity. the time not being 
vet come for openly inanilesting His deity ; wherefore also 
He charged His disciple.-^ that they shotdd tell no man that 
lie was the Christ. But after His resurrection He would 
have this made manifest. Therefore althoni,di Wi^ knew of 
Himself what was done, yet before it was told Him lie 
withdrew not. that He might shew the verity of His incar- 
nation in all things; for He would that this shoidd l»e 
assured not by sight only, but by His actions. And wheji 
He withdrew, He did not go into the city, hut into ihe 
desert bv .ship that none might follow Jlini. \ et do not the 
nndtitndes lease Hin) even (or this, Iml still lolhiw alter 
Him, not deterred by what had been done coneerinnLT .'olin ; 
whence it follows, .hul uhin Ihr mulfitudrs Imd Inn id 

thrrr(if\ lliri/ follinri'd liilli i<}i lent niil m' (],,■ f'i//r\\ 

Jkhomi ; rhe\ I'oHowed on loot, not riding, or in carriages, 
but with the toil of tlitir own lcp:s, to .shew the ardour of 
their mind, ('iiins. And the\ innnediatcdv reap the nward 
of this ; tor it lollows. .Ind he uiiil mil ti/ul sun- a i/rrat 
liinllitnili . mid In hud lowixissiini iiju'ii I In in, and Innlrd 
their huU. lor thoiiudi great was lh<' atieeiion oi ih,.s,. 
who had lett their cities, and sought Him earelnlly, ye| the 

VER. 15 — 21. ST. MATTHEW. 531 

things that were done by Him surpassed tlie reward of any 
zeal. Therefore he assigns compassion as the cause of this 
liealing. And it is great compassion to heal all, and not to 
require faith. Hilary; Mystically; The Word of God, on 
the close of the Law, entered the ship, that is, the Church ; 
and departed into the desert, that is, leaving to walk with 
Israel, He passes into breasts void of Divine knowledge. 
The multitude learning this, follows the Lord out of the city 
into the desert, going, that is, from the Synagogue to the 
Church. The Lord sees them, and has compassion upon 
them, and heals all sickness and infirmity, that is. He 
cleanses their obstructed minds, and unbelieving hearts 
for the understanding of the new preaching. Jerome ; It is 
to be observed moreover, that when the Lord came into the 
desert, great crowds followed Him ; for before He went 
into the wilderness of the Gentiles, He was worshipped 
by only one people. They leave their cities, that is, their 
former conversation, and various dogmas. That Jesus went 
out, shews that the multitudes had the will to go, but 
not the strength to attain, therefore the Saviour departs out 
of His place and goes to meet them. 

15. And when it was evening, his disciples came 
to him, saying. This is a desert place, and the time 
is now past ; send the multitude away, that they 
may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. 

16. But Jesus said unto them. They need not 
depart ; give ye them to eat. 

17. And they say unto him, We have here but 
five loaves, and two fishes. 

18. He said, Bring them hither to me. 

19. And he commanded the multitude to sit down 
on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two 
fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and 
brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the 
disciples to the multitude. 

20. And they did all eat, and were filled : and 

2 M 2 


they took up of the fnvgments that remained twelve 
baskets full. 

21. And they that had eaten were about five 
thousand men, beside women and children. 

CnRYS. It is a proof of the faith of these multitudes that 
they endured hunger in waiting for the Lord even till 
evening ; to which purpose it follows, And uhen it nan 
evening, his disciples came unto him, saying, This is a desert 
place, and the time is now past. The Lord purposing to 
feed them waits to be asked, as always not stepping forward 
first to do miracles, but when called upon. None out of the 
crowd approached Him, both because they stood in great 
awe of Him, and because in their zeal of love they did not 
feel their hunger. But even the disciples do not come and 
say. Give them to eat ; for the disciples were as yet in an 
imperfect condition ; but they say, Tfiis is a desert place. 
So that what was proverbial among the Jews to express a 
P». 78, miracle, as it is said, Can he spread a table in the uilder- 
tiess ? this also He shews among his other works. For this 
cause also He leads them out into the desert, that the 
miracle might be clear of all suspicion, and that none might 
suppose that any thing was supplied towards the feast from 
any neighbouring town. But though the place be desert, 
yet is He there who feeds the world ; and though the hour 
is, as they say, past, yet He who now commanded was not 
subjected to hours. And though the Lord had gone before 
His disciples in healing many sick, yet they were so im- 
perfect that they could not judge what He would do con- 
cerning food for them, wherefore they add. Send the 
multitude away, that they may go into the towns, and buy 
themselves food. Observe the wisdom of the Master; He 
says not straightway to them, * I will give them to eat ;' for 
they would not easily have received this, but, Jesus said 
unto them. They need not depart, CUve ye them to eat. 
JER0.ME ; Wherein He calls the Apostles to breaking of 
bread, that the greatness of the miracle might be more 
Aog.De evident by their testimony that they had none. Aug. It 
^jJ'4Q may perplex some how, if the Lord, according to the relation 

VER. 15 — 21. ST. MATTHEW. 533 

of John, asked Philip whence bread was to be found for 
them, that can be true which Matthew here relates, that the 
disciples first prayed the Lord to send the multitudes away, 
that they might buy food from the nearest towns. Suppose 
then that after these words the Lord looked upon the multi- 
tude and said what John relates, but Matthew and the others 
have omitted. And by such cases as this none ought to be 
perplexed, when one of the Evangelists relates what the 
rest have omitted. Chrys. Yet not even by these words 
were the disciples set right, but speak yet to Him as to 
man ; They answered unto Him, We have here but Jive 
loaves and two Jishes. From this we learn the philosophy 
of the disciples, how far they despised food ; they were 
twelve in number, yet they had but five loaves and two 
fishes ; for things of the body were contemned by them, 
they were altogether possessed by spiritual things. But 
because the disciples were yet attracted to earth, the Lord 
begins to introduce the things that were of Himself; He 
saith unto them, Bring them hither to me. Wherefore does 
He not create out of nothing the bread to feed the multi- 
tude with ? That He might put to silence the mouth of 
Marcion and Manichajus, who take away from God His '-e. deny 
creatures, and by His deeds might teach that all things ejected ^ 
that are seen are His works and creation, and that it is He^^^^isi- 
that has given us the fruits of the earth, who said in the world, 
beginning, Let the earth bring forth the green herb; for Gen. i, 
this is no less a deed than that. For of five loaves to make^^* 
so many loaves, and fishes in like manner, is no less a thing 
than to bring fruits from the earth, reptiles and other 
living things from the waters ; which shewed Him to be 
Lord both of land and sea. By the example of the disciples 
also we ought to be taught, that though we should have but 
little, we ought to give that to such as have need. For 
they when bid to bring their five loaves say not, Whence 
shall we satisfy our own hunger.? but immediately obey; 
And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, 
and took the Jive loaves and the two Jishes, and looking up 
to heaven blessed them, and brake. Why did He look to 
heaven and bless? For it should be believed concerning 
Him that He is from the Father, and that He is equal with 


the Fallicr. His equality He shews when He docs all 
things with power. That He is from the I'ather He shews 
by referring to Him wliatsoevcr He does, and calling upon 
Him on all occasions. To prove these two things therefore, 
He work.s His miracles at times with power, at other times 
with prayer. It should be considered also that in lesser 
things He looks to heaven, but in greater He does all with 
power. When He forgave sins, raised the dead, stilled the 
sea, opened the secrets of the heart, opened the eyes of him 
that was bom blind, which were works only of God, He is 
not seen to pray ; but when He multiplies the loaves, a work 
less than any of these, He looks up to heaven, that you may 
learn that even in little things He has no power but from 
His Father. And at the same time He teaches us not to 
touch our food, until we have returned thanks to Him who 
gives it us. For this reason also He looks up to heaven, 
because His disciples had rxamples of many other miracles, 
but none of this. Jeko.mi ; While the Lord breaks there is 
a sowing of food ; for had the loaves been whole and not 
broken into fragments, and thus divided into a manifold 
harvest, they could not have fed so great a multitude. 'J'hc 
multitude receives the food from the Lord through the 
Apostles ; as it follows. And he gave the loaves to his 
disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. Chkys. In 
doing which He not only honoured them, but would that 
upon this miracle they should not be unbelieving, nor forget 
it when it was past, seeing their own hands had bomo 
witness to it. Therefore also He suffers the multitudes first 
to feel tlie sense of hunger, and His disciples to come to 
Him, and to ask Him, and He took the loaves at their 
hands, that they miglit li i\ c many testimonies of that that 
was done, and many ihings to remind them of the miracle. 
From this that He gave them, nothing more than bread and 
fish, and that He set this ecpially before all. He taught 
them moderation, frugality, and that charity by which they 
should ha%'e all things in common. 'J'his He also taught 
them in the place, in making them sit down upon the grass ; 
for He sought not to feed the body only, but to instnict the 
mind. But the bread and fish multiplied in the disciples* 
hands; whence it follows, And they did all eat, and nere 

VER. 15 — 21. ST. MATTHEW. 535 

Jilled. But the miracle ended not here ; for He caused to 
abound not only whole loaves, but fragments also ; to shew 
that the first loaves were not so much as what was left, and 
that they who were not present might learn what had been 
done, and that none might think that what had been done 
was a phantasy ; And Ihey took up fragments that ivere left, 
twelve baskets fidl. Jerome; Each of the Apostles fills his 
basket of the fragments left by his Saviour, that these frag- 
ments might witness that they were true loaves that were 
multiplied. Chrys. For this reason also He caused twelve 
baskets to remain over and above, that Judas might bear his 
basket. He took up the fragments, and gave them to the 
disciples and not to the multitudes, who were yet more 
imperfectly trained than the disciples. Jerome ; To the 
number of loaves, five, the number of the men that ate is 
apportioned, five thousand ; And the numher of them that 
had eaten was about Jive thousand men, besides ivomen and 
children. Chrys. This was to the very great credit of the 
people, that the women and the men stood up when these 
remnants still remained. Hilary ; The five loaves are not 
multiplied into more, but fragments succeed to fragments; 
the substance growing whether upon the tables, or in the 
hands that took them up, I know not. Raban. When John 
is to describe this miracle, he first tells us that the passover 
is at hand ; Matthew and Mark place it immediately after 
the execution of John. Hence we may gather, that he was 
beheaded when the paschal festival was near at hand, and 
that at the passover of the following year, the mystery of the 
Lord's passion was accomplished. Jerome; But all these 
things are full of mysteries ; the Lord does these things not 
in the morning, nor at noon, but in the evening, when the 
Sun of righteousness was set. Remig. By the evening the 
Lord's death is denoted ; and after He, the true Sun, was set 
on the altar of the cross. He filled the hungry. Or by 
evening is denoted the last age of this world, in which the 
Son of God came and refreshed the multitudes of those that 
believed on Him. Raban. When the disciples ask the Lord 
to send away the multitudes that they might buy food in 
the towns, it signifies the pride of the Jews towards the 
multitudes of the Gentiles, whom they judged rather fit 


to seek for themselves food in the assemblies of the Pharisees 
than to use the pasture of the Divine books. Hilary ; But 
the Lord answered, They hate no need to yo^ shewing that 
those whom He heals have no need of the food of mercenary 
doctrine, and have no necessity to return to Judaea to buy 
food ; and He commands the -Apostles that they give them 
food. Did He not know then that there was nothing to give 
them ? But there was a comidele series of types to be set 
forth ; for as yet it was not given the Apostles to make 
and minister the heavenly bread, the food of eternal life ; 
and their answer thus belongs to the chain of spiritual 
intery)retati()n ; they were as yet confined to the five loaves, 
that is, the five books of the Law, and the two fishes, that 
is, the preaching of the Prophets and of John. Raban. Or, 
by the two fishes we may understand the Prophets, and the 
Psalms, for the whole of the Old Testament was compre- 
hended in these three, the Law, the Prophets, and the 
Psalms. Hilary ; These therefore the Apostles first set 
forth, because they were yet in these things ; and from these 
things the preaching of the Gospel grows to its more abun- 
dant strength and virtue. Then the people is commanded 
to sit down upon the grass, as no longer lying upon the 
ground, but resting upon the Law, each one reposing upon 
the fruit of his own works as upon the grass of the earth. 
Jerome; Or, they are bid to lie down on the grass, and 
that, according to another Evangelist, by fifties and by 
hundreds, that after they have trampled upon their flesh, 
and have subjugated the pleasures of the world as dried 
grass under them, then by the presence* of the number 
fifty, they ascend to the eminent perfection of a hundred. 
He looks up to heaven to teach us that our eyes are 
to be directed thither. The Law with the Prophet* 
is broken, and in the midst of them are brought forward 
mysteries, that whereas they partook not of it whole, when 
broken into pieces it may be food for the multitude of the 

• Vallarsi rends poenitentiain, Jerome number fifty; for fifty twice ukeo 

ha* borrowed the interpretation from makm r htindred ; bee«u»e we must 

Origen who refer* to the jearof jubilee; finit rent frorn evil action*, that the 

and the Gloeoa ordinaria on thin verae itout may afterward* mor« fully repoae 

i*, " The rent of the .lubilee i* here in meditation." 
contained under the mv*ferr of the 

VER. 22 — 33. ST. MATTHEW. 537 

Gentiles. Hilary; Then the loaves are given to the 
Apostles, because through them the gifts of divine grace 
were to be rendered. And the number of them that did eat 
is found to be the same as that of those who should believe ; 
for we find in the book of Acts that out of the vast number 
of the people of Israel, five thousand men believed. Jerome ; 
There partook five thousand who had reached maturity ; for 
women and children, the weaker sex, and the tender- age, 
were unworthy of number; thus in the book of Numbers, 
slaves, women, children, and an undistinguished crowd, are 
passed over unnumbered. Raban. The multitude being 
hungry, He creates no new viands, but having taken what 
the disciples had. He gave thanks. In like manner when 
He came in the flesh. He preached no other things than 
what had been foretold, but shewed that the writings of the 
Law and the Prophets were big with mysteries. That 
which the multitude leave is taken up by the disciples, 
because the more secret mysteries which cannot be compre- 
hended by the uninstructed, are not to be treated with 
neglect, but are to be diligently sought out by the twelve 
Apostles (who are represented by the twelve baskets) and 
their successors. For by baskets servile offices are per- 
formed, and God has chosen the weak things of the world 
to confound the strong. The five thousand for the five 
senses of the body are they who in a secular condition 
know how to use rightly things without. 

22. And straightway Jesus constrained his dis- 
ciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto 
the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 

23. And when he had sent the multitudes away, 
he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when 
the evening was come, he was there alone. 

24. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, 
tossed with waves : for the wind was contrary. 

25. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus 
went unto them, walking on the sea. 

26. And when the disciples saw him walking on 


the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit ; 
and they cried out for fear. 

27. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, say- 
ing. Be of good cheer ; it is I ; be not afraid. 

28. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it 
be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 

29. And he said, Come. And when Peter was 
come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, 
to go to Jesus. 

30. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was 
afraid ; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying. 
Lord, save me. 

3L And immediately Jesus stretched forth his 
hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of 
little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt ? 

32. And when they were come into the ship, the 
wind ceased. 

33. Then they that were in the ship came and 
worshipped him, saying. Of a truth thou art the Son 
of God. 

Chrys, Desiring lo occasion a dihgcnt examination of 
the things that had been done, He commanded those who 
had beheld the foregoing sign to be separated from Him ; 
for even if He had continued present it would liave been 
said that He had wrought the miracle fantastically, and not 
in verity ; but it would never be urged against Hira that He 
had done it in His absence ; and therefore it is said, And 
atraiyhliray Jesus coi/ipcfled ///.v disciples lo gel into a ship, 
and to go before him to the ottier sidcf while he sent the 
mullitudes auay. Jekomk; These words shew that they 
left the Lord unwillingly, not desiring through ihcir love for 
their teacher to be separated from Him even for a moment. 
CuKYs. It should be observed, that when the Lord works a 
great miracle, He sends the multitudes away, teaching us 
thereby never to pursue the praise of the nniltitufle, nor lo 
attract them to us. Further, He teaches us that we should 

VEK. 22 — 33. ST. MATTHEW. 539 

not be ever mixed with crowds, nor yet always shunning 
them ; but that both may be done with profit ; whence it 
follows, And iclien he had sent the miiUitude aivay, he went 
up into a mountain apart to pray ; shewing us that solitude 
is good, when we have need to pray to God. For this also 
He goes into the desert, and there spends the night in 
prayer, to teach us that for prayer we should seek stillness 
both in time and place. JekOjME; That He withdraws to 
pray alone, you should refer not to Him who fed five thousand 
on five loaves, but to Him who on hearing of the death of 
John withdrew into the desert; not that we would separate 
the Lord's person into two parts, but that His actions are 
divided between the God and the man. Aug. This mayAu^.De 
seem contrary to that Matthew says, that having sent theS"";,.^ 
multitudes away. He went up into a mountain that He might 
pray alone ; and John again says, that it was on a mountain 
that He fed this same multitude. But since John himself 
says further, that after that miracle He retired to a mountain 
that He might not be held by the multitude, who sought to 
make Him a king, it is clear that He had come down from the 
mountain when He fed them. Nor do Matthew's words, He 
went up into a mountain alone to pray, disagree with this, 
though John says, When he knew that they would come to John 6, 
make him a king, he iciihdrew into a mountain himself alone. ^"'' 
For the cause of His praying is not contrary to the cause of 
His retiring, for herein the Lord teaches us that we have great 
cause for prayer when we have cause for flight. Nor, again, 
is it contrary to this that Matthew says first, that He bade 
His disciples go into the boat, and then that He sent the 
multitudes away, and went into a mountain alone to pray; 
while John relates that He first withdrew to the mountain, 
and then, ichen it was late, his disciples went down to the 
sea, and when they had entered into a boat, S^'c. for who does 
not see that John is relating as afterwards done by His disci- 
ples what Jesus had commanded before He retired into the 
mountain ? Jerome ; Rightly had the Apostles departed from 
the Lord as unwilling, and slow to leave Him, lest they 
should suffer shipwreck whilst He was not with them. For 
it follows, Xow when it teas evening he was thei'e alone; that 
is, in the mountain ; but the boat was in the middle of the 


xea tossed ttith the waves; for the wind was contrary. 
Chrys. Again, the disciples suffer shipwreck, as they had 
done before; but then tliey Iiad Him in the boat, but now 
they are alone. Thus gradually He leads them to higher 
things, and instructs thoni to endure all nianfully. Jehome; 
While the Lord tarries in the to]> of the mountain, straightway 
a wind arises contrary to them, and stirs up the sea, and 
the disciples are in imminent peril of shipwreck, which con- 
tinues till Jesus comes. Chios. But He suffers them to be 
tossed the whole night, exciting their hearts by fear, and 
inspiring them with greater desire and more lasting recollec- 
tion of Him; for this reason He did not stand by them 
immediately, but as it follows, in the fourth tratch of the 
uiyht he came to them n-alking upon the sea. Jerome; The 
military guards and watches are divided into portions of three 
hours each. When then he says that the Lord came to them 
in the fourth watch, this shews that they had been in danger 
the whole night. Chrys. Teaching them not to seek a 
speedy riddance of coming evil, but to bear manfully such 
things as befal them. But when they thought that they were 
delivered, then was their fear increased, whence it follows, 
And seeing him valking upon the sea, they were troubled, 
saying. It is a vision, and through fear they cried out. For 
this the Lord ever does ; when He is to rescue from any evil, 
He brings in things terrible and difficult. For since it is 
impossible that our temptation .should continue a long time, 
when the warfare of the righteous is to be finished,. then He 
increases their conflicts, desiring to make greater gain of 
them ; which He did also in Abraham, making his hot con- 
flict his trial of tlie loss of his son. Jerome ; A confused 
noise and luicertain sound is the mark of great fear. But if, 
according to Marcion and iManicha^us, our Lord was not 
bom of a virgin, but was seen in a phantasm, how is it that 
the Apostles now fear that they have seen a phantasm (or 
vision) ? Chrys. Christ then did not reveal Himself to His 
disciples until they cried out ; for the more intense their fear, 
the more did they rejoice in His }>resence ; whence it follows. 
And immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, lie of good 
cheer, it is /, be not afraid. This speech look away their 
fear, and prepared their confidence. Jerome ; Whereas He 

VER. 22 — 33. ST. MATTHFiW. 541 

says, It is I, without saying who, either they might be able 
to understand Him speaking through the darkness of night ; 
or they might know that it was He who had spoken to Moses, 
Say unto the children of Israel, He that is has sent me unto Exod.3, 
you. On every occasion Peter is found to be the one of the 
most ardent faith. And with the same zeal as ever, so now, 
while the others are silent, he believes that by the will of his 
Master he will be able to do that which by nature he cannot 
do ; whence it follows, Peter answered and said unto him, 
Lord, ij it be thou, bid me come unto thee upon the water. 
As much as to say, Do thou command, and straightway it 
will become solid; and that body which is in itself heavy 
will become light. Aug. This I am not able by myself, but Aug. 
in Thee I am able. Peter confessed what he was in himself, -jq^^ 
and what he should receive from Him by whose will he be- 
lieved he should be enabled to do that which no human 
infirmity was equal to. Chrys. See how great his warmth, 
how great his faith. He said not, Pray and entreat for me ; 
but Bid me ; he believes not only that Christ can Himself 
walk on the sea, but that He can lead others also thereon ; 
also he wishes to coma to Him speedily, and this, so great a 
thing, he asks not from ostentation, but from love. For he 
said not, Bid me walk upon the waters, but, Bid me come 
unto thee. And it seems that having shewn in the first 
miracle that He has power over the sea, He now leads them 
to a more powerful sign ; He saith unto him. Come. And 
Peter, going forth of the boat, ualked on the sea, that he 
might go to Jesus. Jerome ; Let those who think that the 
Lord's body was not real, because He walked upon the yield- 
ing waters as a light a;thereal substance, answer here how 
Peter walked, whom they by no means deny to be man. 
Raban. Lastly, Theodorus wrote that the Lord had not bodily 
weight in respect of His flesh, but without weight walked on 
the sea. But the catholic faith preaches the contrary ; for 
Dionysius says that He walked on the wave, without the feet 
being immersed, having bodily weight, and the burden of 
matter. Chrys. Peter overcame that which was greater, the 
waves, namely, of the sea, but is troubled by the lesser, the 
blowing wind, for it follows, But seeing the uind boisterous, 
he was afraid. Such is human nature, in great trials ofltimes 

34*2 0O8PRL ACCOKI)IN(i TO (ll\C. \IV. 

holding ilself aright, and in lesser falling into fault. This 
fear of Peter shewed the <li(r»rence between Master and 
disciple, and thereby a]>)>eased the other discipleM. For if 
they had indif^ati'n wIk n ilu- two brothers prayed to sit on 
the right and left hand, nnich more liad they now. For they 
were not yet made spiritual ; afterwards when they had been 
made spiritual, they every where yield the first place to Peter, 
and appoint him to lead in harangues to the people. Jeuomi: ; 
Moreover he is left to temptation for a short season, that his 
faith may be increased, and that he may understand that he \h 
saved not by his ability to ask, but by the power of the Lord. 
For faith burned at his heart, but human frailty drew him into 
Aug. the deep. Aug. Peter then pi-esumed on the Lord, he tottered 
8. as man, but returned to the I^ord, as it follows, And tchen 

lie bogan to sink, he cried out, saying, Lord, save me. Docs 
the Lord then desert liiin in liis peril of failure whom he had 
hearkened to when lie iirst called on Ilim ? Immediately 
Jesus stretched forlh his hand, and caught him. Chrys. 
He bade not the winds to cease, but stretched forth His hand 
and caught him, because his faith was required. For when 
our own means fail, then those which are of God stand. 
Then to shew that not the strength of the tempest, but the 
smallness of his faith worked the danger. He saith unto him, 
O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt ? which shews 
that not even the wind would have been able to hiurt him, 
if his faith had been firm. But as the mother bears on her 
wings and brings back to the nest her chick which has left 
the nest before its time and has fallen, so did Christ. And 
tchen they trei-c come into the boat, the wind ceased. Tlien 
they that were in iJir hmtl came and worshipped him, saying, 
Raban. Truly thou art Ihc S<»i of (rod. Raban. This may be 
"*° ***^*^* understood either (»l tlu sailors, or of the Apostles. Chrys. 
Observe how He l(a(l> all gradually to that which is above 
them ; He had before rebuked the sea, now He shews forth 
His power yet more by walking upon the sea, by bidding 
another to do the same, and by saving him in bis peril; 
therefore they said unto Him, Truly thou art the Son of 
God, which they had not said above. Jerome; If then 
upon this single miracle of stilling the sea, a thing which 
often happens by accident after even great tempests, the 

VEU. '2-2 — 33. ST. MATTHEW. 543 

sailors and pilots confessed them to be truly the Son of God, 
how does Anius preach in the Church itself that He is a crea- 
ture? PsEUDO-AuG. Mystically; The mountain is loftiness. Pr.eudo. 
But what is higher than the heavens in the world .? And ^"=' 
Who it was that ascended into heaven, that our faith knows. Serm. 

72 1 . 

Why did He ascend alone into heaven ? Because no man 
has ascended into heaven, but He that came down from 
heaven. For even when He shall come in the end, and 
shall have exalted us into heaven. He will yet ascend alone, 
inasmuch as the head with its body is One Christ, and now 
the head only is ascended. He went up to pray, because 
He is ascended to make intercession to His Father for us. 
Hilary ; Or, that He is alone in the evening, signifies 
His sorrow at the time of His passion, when the rest were 
scattered from Him in fear. Jerome ; Also He ascends 
into the mountain alone because the multitude cannot follow 
Him aloft, until He has instructed it by the shore of the sea. 
Aug. But while Christ prays on high, the boat is tossed Aug. 
with great waves in the deep ; and forasmuch as the waves 
rise, that boat can be tossed ; but because Christ prays, it 
cannot be sunk. Think of that boat as the Church, and the 
stormy sea as this world. Hilary ; That He commands 
His disciples to enter the ship and to go across the sea, 
while He sends the multitudes away, and after that He 
goes up into the mountain to pray ; He thei'ein bids us to 
be within the Church, and to be in peril until such time 
as returning in His splendour He shall give salvation to all 
the people that shall be remaining of Israel, and shall for- 
give their sins ; and having dismissed them into His Father's 
kingdom, returning thanks to His Father, He shall sit down 
in His glory and majesty. Meanwhile the disciples are 
tossed by the wind and the waves; struggling against all 
the storms of this world, raised by the opposition of the 
unclean spirit. Aug. For when any of a wicked will and Au2. 
of great power, proclaims a persecution of the Church, *""'P" 
then it is that a mighty wave rises against the boat of 
Christ. Raban. Whence it is well said here, that the ship 
was in the middle of the sea, and He alone on the land, 
because the Church is sometimes oppressed with such per- 
secution that her Lord may seem to have forsaken her for 

544 (lOspRl. ACi;<»Ri»iN'. i" ( map. xiv. 

Auj. a season. Aug. The Lord came to visit His disciples who 
^' are tossed on the sea in the fourtli watch of the night — that 
is, at its close; for each watch consisting of three hours, 
the night has thus four wau In s Hilary; The first watch 
was therefore of the Law, the second of the Prophets, the 
third His coming in the flesh, the fourth His return in glory. 
Aug. Ado. Therefore in the fourth watch of the night, that is 
ubi sup. ^})en ^jjg night is nearly ended, He shall come, in the end 
of the world, when the night of iniquity is past, to judge 
the quick and the dead. But His coming was with a wonder. 
The waves swelled, but they were trodden upon. Thus how- 
soever the powers of this world shall swell themselves, our 
Head shall crush their head. Hilary ; But Christ coming 
in the end shall find His Church wearied, and tossed by 
the spirit of Anti-Christ, and by the troubles of the world. 
And because by their long experience of Anti-Christ they 
will be troubled at every novelty of trial, they shall have 
fear even at the approach of the Lord, suspecting deceitful 
appearances. But the good Lord banishes their fear, saying, 
// is I ; and by proof of His presence takes away their dread 
Aug. of impending shipwreck. Auo. Or; That the disciples here 
E»Ti5 ^'^y^ ^' ^^ ^ phantasm, figures those who yielding to the Devil 
shall doubt of the coming of Christ. That Peter cries to 
the Lord for help that he should not be drowned, signifies 
that He shall purge His Church with certain trials even 
1 Cor. 3, after the last persecution; as Paul also notes, saying, He 
'*• shall be saved, yet so as by /ire. Hilary; Or; That Peter 
alone out of all the number of those that were in the vessel 
has courage to answer, and to pray that the Lord would 
l)id him come to Him upon the waters, figures the frowardness 
of his will in the Lord's passion, when following after the 
Lord's steps he endeavoured to attain to despise death. But 
his fearfulness shews his weakness in his after trial, when 
through fear of death, he was driven to the necessity of 
denial. His crying out here is the groaning of his re- 
pentance there. Kaban. The Lord looked back upon him, 
and brought him to repentance ; He stretched forth His hand, 
and forgave him, and thus the disciple found salvation, which 
Bom. 9,M not of him that uilleth or of him that runneth^ but of God 
'*• that sheireth mercy. Hilary; That when Peter was seized 

VER. 34 — 36. ST MATTHEW. 545 

with fear, the Lord gave him not power of coming to Him, 
but held him by the hand and sustained him, this is the 
signification thereof; that He who alone was to suffer for 
all alone forgave the sins of all ; and no partner is admitted 
into that which was bestowed upon mankind by one. Aug. Aug. 
For in one Apostle, namely Peter, first and chief in the^r'" 
order of Apostles in whom was figured the Church, both 
kinds vrere to be signified ; that is, the strong, in his walking 
upon the waters ; the weak, in that he doubted ; for to each 
of us our lusts are as a tempest. Dost thou love God ? 
Thou walkest on the sea ; the fear of this world is under 
thy feet. Dost thou love the world ? It swallows thee up. 
But when thy heart is tossed with desire, then that thou 
mayest overcome thy lust, call upon the divine person of 
Christ. Remig. And the Lord will be with thee to help 
thee, when lulling to rest the perils of thy trials, He restores 
the confidence of His protection, and this towards the break 
of day; for when human frailty beset with difficulties con- 
siders the weakness of its own powers, it looks upon itself as 
in darkness ; when it raises its view to the protection of 
heaven, it straightway beholds the rise of the morning star, 
which gives its light through the whole of the morning watch. 
Raban. Nor should we wonder that the wind ceased when 
the Lord had entered into the boat ; for in whatsoever heart 
the Lord is present by grace, there all wars cease. Hilary ; 
Also by this entrance of Christ into the boat, and the calm 
of the wind and sea thereupon, is pointed out the eternal 
peace of the Church, and that rest which shall be after His 
return in glory. And forasmuch as He shall then appear 
manifestly, rightly do they all cry out now in wonder. Truly 
thou art the Son of God. For there shall then be a free and 
public confession of all men that the Son of God is come no 
longer in lowliness of body, but that He has given peace to 
the Church in heavenly glory. Aug. For it is here conveyed Au^. 
to us that His glory will then be made manifest, seeing that Q"**.^'-. 
now they who walk by faith see it in a figure. ^^''' °' 

34. And when they were gone over, they came 
into the land of Gennesaret. 

35. And when the men of that place had know- 

VOL. I, 2 N 


ledge of him, ihcy sent out into all ihut country 
round about, and brought unto him all that were 
diseased ; 

36. And besought him that they might only touch 
the hem of his garment : and as many as touched 
were made perfectly whole. 

Hemic. The Evangelist had related above that the Lord 
had commanded His disciples to enter ihe boat, and to go 
before Him across the strait ; he now j)roceeds with the 
same intention to relate whither they arrived by their passage, 
Aftd tchon Ihctf irere gmw over, they came info the land of 
Gennezarelh. IIaban. The land of Gennezar, by the lake of 
Gennezareth, takes its name from a natural power which it 
is said to have of spontaneously modulating its waters so as 
to excite a breeze ; the Greek words importing, ' creating for 
itself the breeze.' Chrys. But the Evangelist shews that it 
was now long time since Christ had come into these parts ; 
for it follows. And when the men of that place knew hinij 
they xent into all that region. Jerome; They knew Him by 
fame, not by sight ; although indeed by reason of the great- 
ness of the signs which He did among the people, He was 
known by face to great numbers. And note how gpreat the 
faith of the men of the land of Gennezareth, that they were 
not content with the healing of the men of that country only, 
but sent to all the towns round about. Chrvs. Nor do they 
now as before drag Him to their houses, and seek the touch 
of His hand, but they draw Him by their greater faith, for 
they brought unto him all them that were xick, and besought 
him that they might touch but the hem of hix garment . For 
the woman who suffered under the issue of blood had taught 
them all this wisdom, namely, that by touching the hem only 
of Christ's garment they might be saved; therefore it follows, 
And as many as touched, were made whole. .Ierome ; If we 
knew what the word Gennezareth would convey in our 
tongue, we might understand how under the type of the 
Apostles and the boat, Jesus guides to shore the Church 
when He has delivered it from the wreck of persecution, and 
makes it to rest in a most tranquil harbour. Hahw (Jonezar 

VER. 34 — 36, ST. MATTHEW. 547 

is interpreted, ' rise,' * beginning,' For then will complete 
rest be given to us, when Christ shall have restored to iis our 
inheritance of Paradise, and the joy of our first robe, Hilary ; 
Otherwise ; When the times of the Laiv were ended, and five 
thousand out of Israel were entered within the Church, it 
was then that the people of believers met Him, then those 
that were saved out of the Law by faith set before the Lord 
the rest of their sick and weak ; and they that were thus 
brought sought to touch the hem of His garment, because 
through their faith they would be healed. And as the virtue 
of the hem proceeded from the whole garment, so the virtue 
of the grace of the Holy Spirit went forth from our Lord 
Jesus Christ, and imparted to the Apostles, who proceeded 
as it were from the same body, administers salvation to such 
as desire to touch, Jerome ; Or, by the hem of the garment 
understand His least commandment, which whosoever trans- 
gi-esses, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven ; or, 
again. His assumption of the body, by which we come to the 
Word of God. Chrvs, But we have not a hem or a garment 
only of Christ, but have even His body, that we may eat 
thereof. If then they who touched the hem of His garment 
derived so much virtue therefrom, much more they that shall 
receive Himself whole. 

2 N 2 


1. Then came to Jesus Scribes and Pharisees, 
which were of Jerusalem, saying, 

2. Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of 
the elders ? for they wash not their hands when they 
eat bread. 

3. But he answered and said unto them. Why do 
ye also transgress the commandment of God by your 
tradition ? 

4. For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father 
and mother : and. He that curseth father or mother, 
let him die the death. 

5. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or 
his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest 
be profited by me ; 

6. And honour not his father or his mother, he 
shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment 
of God of none effect by your tradition. 

Raban. The men of Gennezareth and the less learned 

believe ; hut they who seem to he wise come to dispute with 

Him ; according to that, Thou hast hid theite things from the 

tcise and pritdt-ni, and haul rrroaled them unto babes. 

Whence it is saiH, lltcn rnine to him /nun Jerusalem Scribes 

Aug. deancf Phil) Aug. llie Evangelist thus constructs the 

E»°*ii order of his narrative, Then came unto him, that, as appeared 

<•• in the passage over the lake, the order of the events that 

Chr7i«. followed that might he shewn. Chrys. For this reason also 

'"the Evangelist marts the time that He may shew their 


iniquity overcome by nothing; tor they came to Him at 
a time when He had wrought many miracles, when He had 
healed the sick by the touch of His hem. That the Scribes 
and Pharisees are here said to have come from Jerusalem, it 
should be known that they were dispersed through all the 
tribes, but those that dwelt in the Metropolis were worse than 
the others, their higher dignity inspiring them with a greater 
degree of pride. Remig. They were faulty for two reasons; 
because they had come from Jerusalem, from the holy city ; 
and because they were elders of the people, and doctors of 
the Law, and had not come to learn but to reprove the Lord; 
for it is added. Saying^ Why do thy disciples transgress the 
tradition of the elders '^ Jerome ; Wonderful infatuation of 
the Pharisees and Scribes ! They accuse the Son of God 
that He does not keep the traditions and commandments of 
men. Chrys. Observe, how they are taken in their own 
question. They say not, ' Why do they transgress the Law 
of Moses ?' but, the tradition of the elders ; whence it is 
manifest that the Priests had introduced many new things, 
although Moses had said. Ye shall not add ought to the word Deut. 4, 
which I set before you this day, neither shall ye take ought 
away from it ; and when they ought to have been set free 
from observances, then they bound themselves by many 
more; fearing lest any should take away their rule and 
power, they sought to increase the awe in which they were 
held, by setting themselves forth as legislators. Remig. Of 
what kind these traditions were, Mark shews when he says, 
The Pharisees and all the Jews, except they wash their M^rk 
hands oft, eat not. Here then also they find fault with the ' 
disciples, saying, For they wash not their hands when they 
eat bread. Bede; Taking carnally those words of the Pro- Bedain 
phets, in which it is said, Wash, and be ye clean, they 7 Y^* 
observed it only in washing the body; hence they had laidls. 1,16. 
it down that we ought not to eat with uinvashen hands. 
Jerome ; But the hands that are to be washed are the acts 
not of the body, but of the mind ; that the word of God may 
be done in them. Chrys. But the disciples now did not eat 
with vvashen hands, because they already despised all things 
superfluous, and attended only to such as were necessary; 
thus they accepted neither washing nor not washing as a 


rule, but did either as it happened. For how should they 
who oven neglected the food that was necessary for them, 
have any caro about this rite? Kkmio. Or the Pliarisees 
found fault with the lyird's disciples, not concerning that 
washing wliich we do from ordinary habit, and of necessity, 
but of that superfluous washing which was invented by the 
tradition of the elders. Chrys. Christ made no excuse for 
them, but immediately brought a counter charge, shewing 
that he that sins in great things ought not to lake oH'ence at 
the slight sins of others. He answered and said unto ihentj 
Wlijf do ye oho (ransf/ress the commandment of God because 
of your tradition ^ He says not that they do well to trans- 
gress that He may not give room for calumny ; nor on the 
other hand does He condemn what the Apostles had done, 
that He may not sanction their traditions; nor again does 
He bring any charge directly against them of old, that they 
might not put Him from them as a calumniator; but He 
j)oints His reproof against those who had come to Him; thus 
at the same time touching the elders who had laid down 
such a tradition; saying, Jekome; Since ye because of the 
tradition of men neglect the commandment of (Jod, why do 
ye take upon you to reprove my disciples, for bestowing little 
regard uj^on the precepts of the elders, that they may observe 
the commands of God ? For God hath said. Honour thy 
father and thy mother. Honour in the Scriptures is shewn 
not so much in salutations and courtesies as in alms and 
1 Tim. 5, gifts. Honour, says the Apostle, the widou.s tcho are widows 
■** ind4'ed; here 'honour' signifies a gift. The Lord then 

having thought for the infirmity, the age, or the poverty of 
parents, commanded that sons should honour their parents in 
providing them with necessaries of life. CiiRVs. He desired 
to shew the great honour that ought to be paid to parents, 
and therefore attached b<»th a reward and a penalty. Hut in 
this occasion the Ijord passes over the reward promised to 
such as did honour their parents, namely, that they should 
live long upon the earth, and brings forward the terrible part 
only, namely, the punishment, that He might strike these 
dumb and attract others ; And he that rurseth /other and 
mother, let him die the death; thus He shews that they 
deserved even death. For if he who dishonours his parent 

VER. 1 — 6. ST. MATTHEW. 551 

even in word is worthy of death, much more ye who dis- 
honour him in deed ; and ye not only dishonour your parents, 
but teach others to do so likewise. Ye then who do not 
deserve even to live, how accuse ye my disciples ? But how 
they transgress the commandment of God is clear when He 
adds, But ye say. Whoso shall say to his father or his mother^ 
It is a gift, tvhatsoever iJiou mighiest he profited hy me. 
Jerome ; For the Scribes and Pharisees desiring to overturn 
this foregoing most provident law of God, that they might 
bring in their impiety under the mask of piety, taught bad 
sons, that should any desire to devote to God, who is the 
true parent, those things which ought to be offered to 
parents, the offering to the Lord should be preferred to the 
offering them to parents. Gloss. In this interpretation the Gloss, 
sense will be. What I offer to God will profit both you and ^^{u,^ °' 
myself; and therefore you ought not to take of my goods for 
your own needs, but to suffer that I offer them to God. 
Jerome; And thus the parents refusing what they saw thus 
dedicated to God, that they might not incur the guilt of 
sacrilege, perished of want, and so it came to pass that what 
the children offered for the needs of the temple and the 
service of God, went to the gain of the Priests. Gloss. Or Gloss. 
the sense may be. Whosoever, that is, of you young men,ggi'm °" 
shall say, that is, shall either be able to say, or shall say, to 
his father or mother, O father, the gift that is of me devoted 
to God, shall it profit thee ? as it were an exclamation of 
surprise ; you ought not to take it that you may not incur 
the guilt of sacrilege. Or, we may read it with this ellipsis, 
Whosoever shall say to his father, Sfc. he shall do the com- 
mandment of God, or shall fulfil the Law, or shall be worthy 
of life eternal. Jerome ; Or it may briefly have the follow- 
ing sense ; Ye compel children to say to their parents, What 
gift soever I was purposing to offer to God, you take and 
consume upon your living, and so it profits you ; as much as 
to say, Do not so. Gloss. And thus through these argu- Gloss, 
ments of your avarice, this youth shall Honour not his father s^{^^' 
or his mother. As if He had said ; Ye have led sons into 
most evil deeds ; so that it will come to pass that afterwards 
they shall not even honoiu- their father and mother. And 
thus ye have made the commandment of God concerning the 


support uf pareuts by their children vain through your 

Aug. traditions, obeying the dictates of avarice. Auo. Christ 

AdT. here clearly shews both that that law which the heretic 

^' *' blasphemes is God's law, and that the Jews had their 

H. 1. traditions foreign to the prophetical and canonical books ; 

Aug. such as the Apostle caWs pro/a ne and uiin/abU's. Id, The 

Faust. Lord here teaches us many things ; lliat it was not lie that 

XVI. 94. jun^^jj j]jy Jews from their God ; that not only did He not 

infringe the commandments, but convicts them of infringing 

them ; and that He had ordained no more than those by the 

Aujf. hand of Moses. Id. Otherwise; The yift uhatnoever thou^'^st on my account, shall projit thee; that is to say, 

Whatsoever gift thou offerest on my account, shall henceforth 

remain with thee ; the son signifying by these words that 

there is no longer need that parents should offer for him, 

as he is of age to offer for himself. And those who were 

of age to be able to say thus to their parents, the Pharisees 

denied that they were guilty, if they did not shew honour to 

their parents. 

7. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, 

8. This people draweth nigh unto me with their 
mouth, and honoureth me with their lips ; but their 
heart is far from me.' 

9. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for 
doctrines the commandments of men. 

10. And he called the multitude, and said unto 
them. Hear, and understand : 

11. Not that which goeth into the mouth defilcth 
a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, 
this defileth a man. 

Chrys. The Lord had shewn that the Pharisees were not 
worthy to accuse those who transgressed tlic conunands of 
the elders, seeing they overthrew the law of God themselves; 
and He again proves this by the testimony of the Prophet ; 
Hypocrites, welt did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This 

VKR. 7 — 11. ST. MATTHEW. 558 

people honoureth me with their lips, hut their heart is far 
from me. Remig, Hypocrite signifies dissembler, one who 
feigns one thing in his outward act, and bears another thing 
in his heart. These then are well called hypocrites, because 
under cover of God's honour they sought to heap up for 
themselves earthly gain. Raban. Esaias saw before the 
hypocrisy of the Jews, that they would craftily oppose 
the Gospel, and therefore he said in the person of the 
Lord, This people honoureth me with their lips, Sfc. 
Remig. For the Jewish nation seemed to draw near to 
God with their lips and mouth, inasmuch as they boasted 
that they held the worship of the One God ; but in their 
hearts they departed from Him, because after they had 
seen His signs and miracles, they would neither acknow- 
ledge His divinity, nor receive Him. Raban. Also, they 
honoured Him with their lips when they said. Master ^ 2<;eMat.22, 
know that thou art true, but their heart was far from Him 
when they sent spies to entangle Him in His talk. Gloss. Gloss. 
Or, They honoured Him in commending outward purity ; ^^j'^ "' 
but in that they lacked the inward which is the true purity, 
their heart was far from God, and such honour was of no 
avail to them ; as it follows. But without reason do they 
worship me, teaching doctrines and commandments of men. 
Rabax. Therefore they shall not have their reward with 
the true worshippers, because they teach doctrines and 
commandments of men to the contempt of the law of God. 
Chrys. Having added weight to His accusation of the 
Pharisees by the testimony of the Prophet, and not having 
amended them, He now ceases to speak to them, and turns 
to the multitudes. And he called the multitude, and .said 
unto themy Hear and understand. Because He was about 
to set before them a high dogma, and full of much philo- 
sophy. He does not utter it nakedly, but so frames His 
speech that it should be received by them. First, by 
exhibiting anxiety on their account, which the Evangelist 
expresses by the words. And he called the multitude to 
him. Secondly, the time He chooses recommends His 
speech ; after the victory He has just gained over the 
Pharisees. And He not merely calls the multitude to Him, 


but rouses their attention by the words, Hear and under- 
stand ; that is, Attend, and give your minds to what ye are 
to hear. JJul lie said not unto them, The observance of 
meats is nought ; nor, Moses bade you wrongly ; but in 
till' way of warning and advice, drawing His testimony from 
natural things ; Not uluil eutereth in at the mouth dejileth 
a matty but what goeth forth of the mouth thai defileth a 
man. Jkrome; The word here" * makes a man common' 
is peculiar to Scripture, and is not hackneyed in common 
parlance. The Jewish nation, boasting themselves to be 
a ]>art of God, call those meats common, of which all men 
partake ; for example, swine's flesh, shell fish, hares, and 
those species of animals that do not divide the hoof, and 
chew the cud, and among the fish such as have not scales. 
Acu 10, Hence in the Acts of the Apostles we read, JVhnt God hath 
cleansed, that call not thou common. Common then in tliis 
sense is that which is free to the rest of mankind, and as 
though not in part of God, is therefore called unclean. 
Aug. Adg. This declaration of the Lord, Not that which entereth 
Faust, i^'fo '^'^ mouth dejileth a man, is not contrary to the Old 
^•*- Testament. As the Apostle also speaks, To the pure all 
15 ' things are pure ; and Every creature of God is good. Let 
1 Tiro, the Manichaeans understand, if they can, that the Apostle 
' * said this of the very natures and qualities of things ; while 
that letter (of the ritual law) declared certain animals un- 
clean, not in their nature but typically, for certain figures 
which were needed for a time. Therefore to take an 
instance in the swine and the lamb, by nature both are 
clean, because naturally every creature of God is good ; but 
in a certain typical meaning the lamb is clean, and the 
swine unclean. Take the two words, * fool,' and * wise,' in 
their own nature, as sounds, or letters, both of them are 
pure, but one of them because of the meaning attached to it, 
not because of any thing in its own nature, may be said 
to be impure. And perhaps what the swine arc in typical 
representation, that among mankind is the fool ; and the 
animal, and this word of two syllables (stultus) signify some 

' Jerane rcada ' coiumaaicat.' The Vulg. hiu ' coinquiaat. 

VKIl. 7 — 11. ST. MATTHEW. 555 

one and the same thing. That animal is reckoned unclean 
in the law because it does not chew the cud; but this is 
not its fault but its nature. But the men of whom this 
animal is the emblem, are impure by their own fault, not by 
nature; they readily hear the words of wisdom, but never 
think upon them again. Whatever of profit you may hear, 
to summon this up from the internal region of the memory 
through the sweetness of recollection into the mouth of 
thought, what is this but spiritually to chew the cud ? They 
who do not this are represented by this species of animal. 
Such resemblances as these in speech, or in ceremonies, 
having figurative signification, profitably and pleasantly 
move the rational mind ; but by the former people, many 
such things were not only to be heard, but to be kept as 
precepts. For that was a time when it behoved not in 
words only, but in deeds, to prophesy those things which 
hereafter were to be revealed. When these had been 
revealed through Christ, and in Christ, the burdens of 
observances were not imposed on the faith of the Gentiles ; 
but the authority of the prophecy was yet confirmed. But I 
ask of the Manichaeans, whether this declaration of the 
Lord, when He said that a man is not defiled by what 
enters into his mouth, is true or false ? If false, why then 
does their doctor Adimantus bring it forward against the 
Old Testament ? If true, why contrary to its tenor do they 
consider that they are thus defiled ? Jerome ; The thoughtful 
reader may here object and say, If that which entereth into 
the mouth defileth not a man, why do we not feed on meats 
offered to idols ? Be it known then that meats and every 
creature of God is in itself clean ; but the invocation of 
idols and daemons makes them unclean with those at least 
who with conscience of the idol eat that which is offered to 
idols ; and their conscience being weak is polluted, as the 
Apostle says. Rkmig. But if any one's faith be so strong 
that he understands that God's creature can in no way be 
defiled, let him eat what he will, after the food has been 
hallowed by the word of God and of prayer ; yet so that 
this his liberty be not made an offence to the weak, as the 
Apostle speaks. 


12. Then came his disciples, and said unto liiin, 
Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after 
they heard this saying? 

13. But he answered and said, Kvery plant, which my 
heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 

14. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the 
blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall 
fall into the ditch. 

Jerome; In one of the Lord's discourses the whole 
superstition of Jewish observances had been cut down. 
They placed their wliole religion in using or abstaining 
from certain meats. Chuvs. Wlien the Pharisees heard 
the things that went before, they made no reply to them, 
because He had so mightily overthrown them, not only 
refuting their arguments, but detecting their fraud, but they, 
not the multitudes, were ofi'ended at them ; Then came his 
disciples unto him and said, Knouest thou tJml the Pharisees 
were offended after they heard this sayiny y JtROMK; As 
this word * scandalum' (offence or stumblingblock) is of 
such frequent use in ecclesiastical writings, we will shortly 
explain it. We might render it in Latin, ' offcndiculuui,' or 
* ruina,' or ' impactio ;' and so when we read. Whosoever 
shall scandalize, we understand, Whoso by word or deed 
has given an occa.sion of falling to any. Cnuvs. Christ 
does not remove the stumblingblock out of the way of the 
Pharisees, but rather rebukes them ; as it follows, But he 
ansuered and said, Every plant which, my hcarcnly Father 
has not planted shall be rooted up. This Manicha;us 
affirmed was spoken of the Law, but what has been already 
said is a sufficient refutation of this. For if He had said 
ibis of the I^aw, how would Hi- have above conttnded for 
the Law, saying, Why transgress ye the commandment of 
Cod through your tradition Y Or would lie have cited the 
Prophet? Or how, if (iod said, Honour thy father and thy 
mothefy is not this, being spoken in the Law, a plant of 
(fod? Hilary; What He intends then by a plant not 
planted of His Father, is that tradition of men under cover 

VKR. 12 — 14. ST. MATTHEW. 557 

of which the Law had been transgressed, this He instructs 
them must be rooted up. Remig. Every false doctrine 
and superstitious observance with the workers thereof cannot 
endure ; and because it is not from God the Father, it shall 
be rooted up with the same. And that only shall endure 
which is of God. Jerome ; Shall that plant also be rooted 
up of which the Apostle says, / planted, Apollos ivatered ? ' ^f '^• 
The question is answered by what follows, hut God gave the 
increase. He says also, Ye are God's husbandry y a building 
of God ; and in another place. We are workers together of 
God. And if when Paul plants, and Apollos waters, they 
are in so doing workers together with God, then God plants 
and waters together with them. This passage is abused 
by some who apply it at once to two different kinds of men; 
they say, ' If every plant which the Father hath not planted 
shall be rooted up, then that which He has planted cannot 
be rooted up.' But let them hear these words of Jeremiah, 
/ had planted thee a true vine, wholly a right seed, howJ^f-^, 
then art thou turned into the bitterness of a strange vine? 
God indeed has planted it, and none may root up His 
planting. But since that planting was through the dis- 
position of the will of him which was planted, none 
other can root it up unless its own will consents thereto. 
Gloss. Or, the plant here spoken of may be the doctors of f^loss- 
the Law with their followers, who had not Christ for their 
foundation. Why they are to be rooted up, He adds. Let 
them alone; they are blind, leaders of the blind. Raban. 
TTiey are blind, that is, they want the light of God's com- 
mandments ; and they are leaders of the blind, inasmuch as 
they draw others headlong, erring, and leading into error ; 
whence it is added, If the blind lead the blind, they both 
fall into the ditch. Jerome ; This is also the same as that 
Apostolic injunction, A heretic after the first and second Tu. 3, 
admonition reject, knowing that such a one is perverse. To '*^* ^'' 
the same end the Saviour commands evil teachers to be left 
to their own will, knowing that it is hardly that they can be 
brought to the truth. 

15. Then answered Peter and said unto him. De- 
clare unto us this parable. 


[(). And .Icsiis said, Are ye also yet without under- 
standing ? 

17. Do not ye yet understand, that wliatsoever 
entereth in at the mouth gocth into the belly, and is 
cast out into the draught ? 

18. But those things which proceed out of the 
mouth come forth from the heart ; and they defile 
the man. 

19. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, 
murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, 
blasphemies : 

20. These are the things which defile a man : 
but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. 

Remiq. The Lord was used to speak iti parables, so tliat 
Peter when he heard, That ultich entereth into the mouth 
dejileth not a man, thought it was spoken as a parable, and 
asked, as it follows ; Then anstcered Petet\ and said unto 
him, Declare unto us this parable. And because he asked 
this on behalf of the rest, they are all included in tlie 
rebuke, But he said, Are ye also yet trithmit understanding? 
Jerome ; He is reproved by the Lord, because He supposed 
that to be spoken parabolically, which was indeed spoken 
plainly. Which teaches us that that hearer is to be blamed 
who would lake dark sayings as clear, or clear sayings as 
obscure. Chrys. Or, The Lord blames him, because it was 
not from any uncertainty that he asked tliis, but from offence 
which he had taken. Tlie multitudes had not understood 
what had been said ; but the disciples were offended at it, 
whence at the first they had desired to ask Him concerning 
the Pharisees, but had been stayed by that mighty declara- 
tion. Every plant, bfc. But Peter, who is ever zealous, is 
not silent even so ; therefore tlie Lord reproves him, adding 
a reason for His reproof, Do ye not understand, that what- 
soever enteieth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is 
cast out into the draught? Jerome; Some cavil at this, that 
the Lord is ignorant of physical disputation in saying that 
all food goes into the belly, and is cast out into the draught; 

VER. 15 — 20. ST. MATTHEW. 559 

for that the food, as soon as it is taken, is distributed through 
the limbs, the veins, the marrow, and the nerves. But it 
should be known, that the lighter juices, and liquid food 
after it has been reduced and digested in the veins and 
vessels, passes into the lower parts through those passages 
which the Greeks call ' pores,' and so goes into the draught. 
Aug. The nourishment of the bodv being first changed into Aug. de 

" v era 

corruption, that is, having lost its proper fonn, is absorbed Relig. 
into the substance of the limbs, and repairs their waste, ^^• 
passing through a medium into another form, and by the 
spontaneous motion of the parts is so separated, that such 
portions as are adapted for the purpose are taken up into 
the structure of this fair visible, while such as are unfit are 
rejected through their own passages. One part consisting 
of faeces is restored to earth to reappear again in new forms ; 
another part goes off in perspiration ; and another is taken 
up by the nervous system for the puq^oses of reproduction 
of the species. Chrys. But the Lord in thus speaking 
answers His disciples after Jewish infirmity ; He says that 
the food does not abide, but goes out ; but if it did abide, 
yet would it not make a man unclean. But they could not 
yet hear these things. Thus Moses also pronounces that 
they continued unclean, so long as the food, continued in 
them; for he bids them wash in the evening, and then 
they should be clean ; calculating the time of digestion and 
egestion. Aug. And the Lord includes herein man's 
mouths, one of the body, one of the heart. For when He^"°'Q 
says. Not all that goeth into the month defileth a man. 
He clearly speaks of the body's mouth ; but in that which 
follows. He alludes to the mouth of the heart; But those 
things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the 
heart, and they defile a man. Chrys. For the things 
which are of the heart, remain within a man, and defile 
him in going out of him, as well as in abiding in him ; 
yea, more in going out of him ; wherefore He adds. Out 
of the heart proceed evil thoughts ; He gives these the first 
place, because this was the very fault of the Jews, who laid 
snares for Him. Jerome ; The principle therefore of the 
soul is not according to Plato in the brain, but according 
to Christ in the heart, and by this passage we may refute 


those who tliink that evil thoughts are suggestions of the 
Devil, and do not spring from our proper will. The 
Devil may encourage and abet evil llioughts, but not 
originate them. And if he be able, being always on the 
watch, to blow into flame any small spark of thought in 
us, we should not thence conclude that he searches the 
hidden places of the heart, but that from our manner and 
motions he judges of what is passing within us. For 
instance, if he see us direct frequent looks towards a fair 
woman, he understands that our heart is wounded through 
GloM. the eye. Gloss. And from evil thoughts proceed evil deeds 
"and evil words, which are forbidden by the law ; whence lie 
adds Murders, which are forbidden by that commandment of 
the Law, Thou shalt not kill ; Adulteries, fornicatiojis, which 
are understood to be forbidden by that precept, T/iou shalt 
not commit adultery; Thefts, forbidden by the command, 
Thou shalt not steal; False uitness, by that. Thou shall 
not hear faUe witness against thy neighbour ; Blasphemies, 
by that, TTiou shalt not take the name of God in rain. 
Remig. Having named the vices which are forbidden by 
the divine Law, the Lord beautifully adds, Tfiese are they 
that defile a man, that is, make him unclean and impure. 
Glow. Gloss. And because these words of the liord had been 
Don occ. occasJong(] by \)^q iniquity of the Pharisees, who preferred 
their traditions to the commands of God, He hence con- 
cludes that there was no neces-sity for the foregoing tradition. 
But to eat frith umcashen hands defileth not a man. 
Chrys. He said not that to eat the meats forbidden in 
the Law defiles not a man, that they might not have 
what to answer to Hira again; but He concludes in that 
concerning which the disputation had been. 

21. Then Jesus went thence, and departed into 
the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 

22. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of 
the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have 
mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my 
daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 

VER. 23 — 28, ST. MATTHEW. 561 

23. But he answered her not a word. And his 
disciples came and besought him, saying. Send her 
away ; for she crieth after us. 

24. But he answered and said, I am not sent but 
unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 

25. Then came she and worshipped him, saying. 
Lord, help me. 

26. But he answered and said. It is not meet to 
take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. 

27. And she said. Truth, Lord : yet the dogs eat 
of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. 

28. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O 
woman, great is thy faith : be it unto thee even 
as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole 
from that very hour. 

Jerome; Leaving the Scribes and Pharisees and those 
cavillers, He passes into the parts of Tyre and Sidon, that 
He may heal the Tyrians and Sidonians ; And Jesus went 
thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 
Remig. Tyre and Sidon were Gentile towns, for Tyre 
was the metropolis of the Chananaeans, and Sidon the 
boundary of the Chananasans towards the north. Chkys. Chrys. 
It should be observed, that when He delivered the JewSj?°"* 
from the observance of meats, He then also opened the 
door to the Gentiles, as Peter was first bidden in the vision 
to break this law, and was afterwards sent to Cornelius. 
But if any should ask, how it is that He bade His disciples 
go not into tlie way of the Gentiles, and yet now Himself 
walks this way; we will answer, first, that that precept 
which He had given His disciples was not obligatory on 
Him ; secondly, that He went not to preach, whence Mark 
even says, that He purposely concealed Himself Remig. 
He went that He might heal them of Tyre and Sidon; 
or that He might deliver this woman's daughter from the 
daemon, and so through her faith might condemn the 
wickedness of the Scribes and Pharisees. Of this woman 
it proceeds ; And, behold, a woman, a Chananite, came out 

VOL. I. ^ o 


frotn those parts. CiiRVs. The Krangelist says that she 
was a Chaiianjuan, to shew tlie power of Christ's presence. 
For this nation, which had been driven out that they might 
not corrupt the Jews, now shewed themselves wiser than 
the Jews, leaving their own borders that they might go 
to Christ. And wlien she came to Him, she asked only 
for mercy, as it follows. She cried unto Him, saying, Have 
Glow, mercy on me, f^rd, thou Son of David. Gloss. Tlie great 
U|j[*l*^ °' faitli of this Chanana;an woman is herein shewed. She 
believes Him to be God, in that she calls Him Lord: 
and man, in tliat she calls Him Son of David. She claims 
nothing of her own desert, but craves only God's mercy. 
And she says not. Have mercy on my daughter, but Have 
mercy on me ; because the affliction of the daughter is the 
affliction of the mother. And the more to excite His 
compassion, she declares to Him the whole of her grief. 
My dnuyhier is sore vexed by a dwmon : thus im folding to 
the Physician the wound, and the extent and nature of tlie 
disease ; its extent, when she says is sore vexed ; its nature, 
Chrys. ^J ^ d<Bmon. Chrys. Note the wisdom of this woman, 
Hmi. in g^jg went not to men who promised fair, she sought not 
loca, useless bandages, but leaving all devilish charms, she came 
'''^"•, to the Lord. She asked not James, she did not pray John, 
ftmi or apply to Peter, but putting herself under the protection 
of penitence, she ran alone to the Lord. But, behold, a new 
trouble. She makes her petition, raising her voice into 
a shout, and God, the lover of mankind, answers not a 
word. Jerome; Not from pharisaical pride, or the super- 
ciliousness of the Scribes, but that He might not seem to 
contravene His own decision. Go not into the way of the 
Gentiles. For He was unwilling to give occasion to their 
cavils, and reserved the complete salvation of the Gentiles 
Glon. f""^ ^^ season of His passion and resurrection. Gloss. And 
•p. An- by this delay in answering, He shews us the patience and 
perseverance of this woman. And He answered not for this 
reason also, that the disciples might petition for her; shewing 
herein that the prayers of the Saints are necessary in order 
to obtain any thing; as it follows, And his disciple* came 
unto him, saying. Send her away, /or she crieth after us. 
Jerome; The disciples, as yet ignorant of the mygteriea 

VER. 23 — 28, ST. MATTHEW. 563 

of God or moved by compassion, beg for this Chananaean 
woman ; or perhaps seeking to be rid of her importunity. 
Aug. a question of discrepancy is raised upon this, that Aug. d( 
Mark says the Lord was in the house when the woman e""^- 
came praying for her daughter. Indeed Matthew might 49. 
have been understood to have omitted mention of the house, 
and yet to have been relating the same event ; but when he 
says, that the disciples suggested to the Lord, Send her 
away, for she crieth after us, he seems to indicate clearly 
that the woman raised her voice in supplication, in following 
the Lord who was walking. We must understand then, that, 
as Mark writes, she entered in where Jesus was, that is, as 
he had noticed above, in the house ; then, that as Matthew 
writes, He answered her not a icord, and during this silence 
of both sides, Jesus left the house ; and then the rest follows 
without any discordance. Chrys. I judge that the disciples 
were sorry for the woman's affliction, yet dared not say 
' Grant her this mercy,' but only Send her auay, as we, 
when we would persuade any one, oftentimes say the very 
contrary to what we wish. He answered and said, I am 
not sent hat to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 
Jerome; He says that He is not sent to the Gentiles, 
but that He is sent first to Israel, so that when they would 
not receive the Gospel, the passing over to the Gentiles 
might have just cause. Remig. In this way also He was 
sent specially to the Jews, because He taught them by His 
bodily presence. Jerome ; And He adds of the house of 
Israel, with this design, that we might rightly inteipret 
by this place that other parable concerning the stray sheep. 
Chrys. But when the woman saw that the Apostles had 
no power, she became bold with commendable boldness ; 
for before she had not dared to come before His sight; 
but, as it is said. She crieth after tis. But when it seemed 
that she must now retire without being relieved, she came 
nearer, But she came and worshipped him. Jerome ; Note 
how perseveringly this Chananaean woman calls Him first 
Son of David, then Lord, and lastly came and tvorshipped 
him, as God. Chrys. And therefore she said not Ask, or 
Pray God for me, but Lord, help me. But the more the 
woman urged her petition, the more He strengthened His 

2 o 2 


denial ; for lie calls tlio Jews now not sheep but sons, and 
the Gentiles dogs; He answered and said unto hety It is 
uot meet to take the children'' s bread, and gire it to dogs. 
OloM. Gloss. The Jews were bom sons, and brought up by the 
„eini. '^'"^w in the wors^hip of one God. The bread is the Gospel, 
its miraeles and oilier things which pertain to our salvation. 
It is not then meet that these should be taken from the 
children and given to the Gentiles, who are dogs, till the 
Jews refuse them, Jeromp:; The Gentiles are called dogs 
because of their idolatry ; who, given to the eating of 
blood, and dead bodies, turn to madness. Chrys. ()b8er\e 
this woman's prudence ; she does not dare to contradict 
Him, nor is she vexed with the commendation of the Jews, 
and the evil word applied to herself; But she said, Yea^ 
Lordy yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their 
masters' table. He said, It is not good ; she answers, * Yet 
even so. Lord;' He calls the Jews children, she calls them 
masters; He called her a dog, she accepts the office of a 
dog; as if she had said, I ( aiinot leave the table of my Lord. 
Jerome; Wonderful are shewn the faith, patience, and humi- 
lity of this woman; failh, that she believed that her daughter 
could be healed ; patience, that so many times overlooked, 
she yet perseveres in her prayers; humility, that she com- 
pares herself not to the dogs, but to the whelps. I know, 
she says, that I do not deserve the children's bread, and that 
I cannot have whole meat, nor sit at the table with the 
master of the house, but I am content with that which is 
left for the whelps, that through humble fragments I may 
come to the amplitude of the perfect bread. Chrys. lliis 
was the cause why Christ was so backward, that He knew 
what she would say, and would not have her so great 
excellence hid ; whence it follows, TTien Jesus answered 
and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith, be it unto 
thee according to thy will. Observe how the woman herself 
had contributed not a little to her daughter's healing ; and 
therefore Christ said not unto her, * Let thy daughter be 
healed,' but, Be it unio thee according to thy will ; that you 
may perceive that she had spoken in sincerity, and that her 
words were not words of flattery, but of abundant faith. 
Gen. 1, And this word of Christ is like that word which said. Let 

VER. 23 — 28. ST. MATTHEW. 565 

there be a Jirmament, and it was made ; so here, And her 
daughter was made whole from that hour. Observe how- 
she obtains what the Apostles could not obtain for her ; so 
great a thing is the earnestness of prayer. He would rather 
that we should pray for our own offences ourselves, than 
that others should pray for us. Remig. In these words is 
given us a pattern of catechizing and baptizing children; 
for the woman says not ' Heal my daughter,' or ' Help her,' 
but, Have mercy upon me, and help me. Thus there has 
come down in the Church the practice that the faithful are 
sponsors to God for their young children, before they have 
attained such age and reason that they can themselves 
mate any pledge to God. So that as by this woman's faith 
her daughter was healed, so by the faith of Catholics of 
mature age their sins might be forgiven to infants. Allego- 
rically ; This woman figures the Holy Church gathered out 
of the Gentiles. The Lord leaves the Scribes and Pharisees, 
and comes into the parts of Tyre and Sidon; this figures 
His leaving the Jews and going over to the Gentiles. This 
woman came out of her own country, because the Holy 
Church departed fi:om former errors and sins. Jerome; 
And the daughter of this Chananaean I suppose to be the souls 
of believers, who were sorely vexed by a daemon, not knowing 
their Creator, and bowing down to stones. Remig. Those of 
whom the Lord speaks as children are the Patriarchs and 
Prophets of that time. By the table is signified the Holy Scrip- 
ture, by the fragments the best precepts, or inward mysteries 
on which Holy Chm-ch feeds ; by the crumbs the carnal pre- 
cepts which the Jews keep. The fragments are said to be eaten 
under the table, because the Church submits itself humbly 
to fulfilling the Divine commands. Raban. But the whelps 
eat not the crust only, but the crumbs of the children's 
bread, because the despised among the Gentiles on turning 
to the faith, seek out in Scriptm*e not the outside of the 
letter, but the spiritual sense, by which they may be able 
to profit in good acts. Jerome; Wonderful change of 
things ! Once Israel the son, and we the dogs ; the change 
in faith : has led to a change in the order of our names. 
Concerning them is that said, Many dogs have come about Ps. 22, 
me ; while to us is said, as to this woman, TJty faith hath ^^' 


wiade ihee whole. Raban. Great indeed was her faith ; for 

the Gentiles, neither trained in the Law, nor educated by tlie 

words of the Pro})hcl8, straightway on the preaching of the 

Apostles obeyed with the hearing of the ear, and therefore 

GioM. deserved to obtain salvation. Gloss. And if the Lord delays 

lion occ. j}j^ salvation of a soul at the first tears of the supplicating 

Church, we ought not to despair, or to cease from our 

Aug. prayers, but rather continue them earnestly. Aug. And 

y"*^!» that to heal the Centurion's senant, and the daughter of this 
•"-^ •••8. 1 . , • -i- 

Chananaian woman, He does not go to their houses, signifies 

that the Gentiles, among whom He Himself went not, should 
be saved by His word. That these are healed on the prayer 
of their parents, we nmst understand of the Church, which 
is at once mother and children ; the whole body of those 
who make up the Church is the mother, and each individual 
of that body is a son of that mother. Hilary; Or, This 
mother represents the proselytes, in that she leaves her own 
country, and forsakes the Gentiles for the name of another 
nation ; she prays for her daughter, that is, the body of the 
Gentiles possessed with unclean spirits ; and having learned 
the Lord by the Law, calls Him the Son of David. Raban. 
Also whosoever has his conscience polluted with the defile- 
ment of any sin, has a daughter sorely vexed by a daemon. 
Also whosoever has defiled any good that he ha.s done by 
the plague of sin, has a daughter tossed by the furies of an 
luiclean spirit, and has need to fly to prayers and tears, and 
to seek the intercessions and aids of the saints. 

29. And Jesus departed from thence, and came 
nigh unto the sea of Galilee ; and went up into a 
mountain, and sat down there. 

30. And great multitudes came unto him. liaviiig 
with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, 
maimed, and many others, and cast them down at 
•lesus* feet ; and he healed them : 

3L Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when 
they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be 
whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see : and 
they gloriticd the God of Israel. 

VER. 29 — 31. ST. MATTHEW. 567 

Jerome; Having healed the daughter of this Chanana)an, 
the Lord returns into Judaea, as it follows, And Jesus 
departed from thetice,and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee. 
Remig. This sea is called by various names ; the sea of 
Galilee, because of its neighbourhood to Galilee ; the sea of 
Tiberias, from the town of Tiberias. And going up into a 
mountain, he sat down there. Chrys. It should be con- 
sidered that sometimes the Lord goes about to heal the 
sick, sometimes He sits and waits for them to come; and 
accordingly here it is added. And there came great multi- 
tudes unto him, having with them those that were dumb, 
lame, blind, maimed, and many others. Jerome; What 
the Latin translator calls ' debiles' (maimed), is in the Greek 
xwAAowf, which is not a general term for a maimed person, 
but a peculiaj species, as he that is lame in one foot is 
called ' claudus,' so he that is crippled in one hand is called 
xoAAoj. Chrys. These shewed their faith in two points 
especially, in that they went up the mountain, and in 
that they believed that they had need of nothing beyond 
but to cast themselves at Jesus' feet; for they do not now 
touch the hem even of His garment, but have attained to 
a loftier faith ; And cast them down at Jesus' feet. The 
woman's daughter He healed with great slackness, that He 
might shew her virtue ; but to these He administers healing 
immediately, not because they were better than that woman, 
but that He might stop the mouths of the unbelieving Jews; 
as it follows, and he healed them all. But the multitude of 
those that were healed, and the ease with vk^hich it vtas done, 
struck them with astonishment. Insomuch thai the multi- 
tude wondered when they saw the dumb to speak. Jerome ; 
He said nothing concerning the maimed, because there was 
no one word which was the opposite of this'. 

Raban. Mystically ; Having in the daughter of this 
Chananaean prefigured the salvation of the Gentiles, He 
came into Judaia ; because, when the fulness of the Gentiles Rom. 
shall have entered in, then shall all Israel be saved. Gloss. JJ' 25- 
The sea near to which Jesus came signifies the turbid ap. An- 


* The Vulgate and old Italic have which is also wanting in many ancient 
no clause answering to KvX.\tvt uyn~( , versions, 
(the maimed to be whole) of the Greek, 



swellings of this world ; it is the sea of Galilee when men 
pass from virtue to vice. Jkrome; He goes up into the 
mountain, that as a bird He may entice the tender nestlings 
to fly. Raban. Thus raising his hearers to meditate on 
heavenly things. He sat down there to shew that rest is not 
to be sought but in heavenly things. And as He sits on the 
mountain, that is, in the heavenly height, there come unto 
Him miilliludes of the faithful, drawing near to II im with 
devoted mind, and bringing to Him the dumb, and the 
blind, &c. and cast them down at Jesus' feet ; because they 
that confess their sins are brought to be healed by Him 
alone. These He so heals, that the multitudes marvel and 
magnify the God of Israel ; because the faithful when they 
see those that have been s])iritually sick richly endued with 
all manner of works of virtuousness, sing praise to God. 
Gloas. Gloss. The dumb are they that do not praise God; the 
blind, they who do not understand the paths of life; the 
deaf, they that obey not ; the lame, they that walk not 
firmly through the diflTicult ways of good works; the maimed, 
they that are crippled in their good works. 

32. Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and 
said, I have compassion on the multitude, because 
they continue with me now three days, and have 
nothing to eat : and I will not send them away 
fasting, lest they faint in the way. 

33. And his disciples say unto him. Whence should 
we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so 
great a multitude? 

34. And Jesus saith unto them. How many loaves 
have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little 

35. And he commanded the multitude to sit down 
on the ground. 

36. And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, 
and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his 
disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 

VER. 32 38. ST. MATTHEW. 569 

37. And they did all eat, and were filled : and 
they took up of the broken meat that was left seven 
baskets full. 

38. And they that did eat were four thousand 
men, beside women and children. 

Jerome ; Christ first took away the infirmities of the sick, 
and afterwards supplied food to them that had been healed. 
Also He calls His disciples to tell them what He is about to 
do ; Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I 
have compassion on the multitude. This He does that He , 
may give an example to masters of sharing their counsels 
with the young, and their disciples ; or, that by this dialogue 
they might come to understand the greatness of the miracle. 
Chrys. For the multitude when they came to be healed, hadChrys. 


not dared to ask for food, but He that loveth man, and hath uj;^ 
care of all creatures, gives it to them unasked ; whence He 
says, / Jiave compassion upon the multitude. That it should 
not be said that they had brought provision with them on 
their way, He says, Because they continue with me now three 
days, and hate nothing to eat. For though when they came 
they had food, it was now consumed, and for this reason He 
did it not on the first or second day, but on the third, when 
all was consumed that they might have brought with them ; 
and thus they having been first placed in need, might take 
the food that was now provided with keener appetite. That 
' they had come from far, and that nothing was now left them, 
is shewn in what He says, And I will not send them away 
fasting, lest they faint by the way. Yet He does not im- 
mediately proceed to work the miracle, that He may rouse 
the disciples' attention by this questioning, and that they 
may shew their faith by saying to Him, Create loaves. 
And though at the time of the former miracle Christ had 
done many things to the end that they should remember it, 
making them distribute the loaves, and divide the baskets 
among them, yet they were still imperfectly disposed, as 
appears from what follows ; And his disciples say unto him. 
Whence should we have so much bread in the tvilderness as 
to Jill so great a multitude? This they spoke out of the 


infinnity of their thoughts, yet thereby making the ensuing 
miracle to be beyond suspicion ; for that none might susj)ect 
that the loaves had been got from a neighbouring village, 
tliis miracle is wrought in the wilderness far distant from 
villages. Then to arouse His disciples' thoughts, He puts a 
question to tliem, which may call the foregone miracle to their 
minds ; And Jesus saith unto them. How many loaves have 
t/e'^ They said tin to him. Seven, and a few little fishes. 
But they do not add, * But what are they among so many ?' 
as they had said before ; for they had advanced somewhat, 
though they did not yet comprehend the whole. Admire in 
the Apostles their love of truth, though themselves are the 
writers, they do not conceal their own great faults ; and it is 
no light self-accusation to have so soon forgotten so great a 
miracle. Observe also their wisdom in another respect, how 
they had overcome their appetite, taking so little care of 
their meals, that though they had been three days in the 
desert, yet they had with them only seven loaves. Some 
other things also He does like to what had been done before. 
He makes them to sit down on the ground, and the bread to 
grow in the hands of the disciples; as it follows, And he 
commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. 
Sup. c. Jekome ; As we have spoken of this above, it would be 
' tedious to repeat what has been already said ; we shall 
therefore only dwell on those particulars in which this 
differs from the former. Chrys. The end of the two 
miracles is different ; And they took up of the broken meat 
that was left seven baskets full. Now they that had eaten 
were four thousand men, besides children and women. 
Whence are the fragments fewer in this miracle than in the 
former, although they that ate were not so many ? It is 
< vporta either tliat tlie basket * in this miracle is of larger capacity 
•cophi- Uian the basket' in the fonner, or that by this point of differ- 
ence they might remember the two separate miracles; for 
which reason also He then made the number of baskets 
equal to the number of the disciples, but now to the number 
of the loaves. Rkmig. In this Gospel lection we nuist 
consider in Christ the work of His humanity, and <»f His 
divinity. In that He has compa-ssion on the multitudes, He 
shews that He has feeling of human frailty ; in (he unilti- 

VER. 32 — 38. ST. MATTHEW. 571 

plication of the loaves, and the feeding the multitudes, is 
shewn the working of His divinity. So here is overthrown 
the en-or of Eutyches^, who said, that in Christ was one'vid.sup. 
nature only. Aug. Surely it will not be out of place toP^J^'^^ 
suggest upon this miracle, that if any of the Evangelists who Cons, 
had not given the miracle of the five loaves had related this 50/ 
of the seven loaves, he would have been supposed to have 
contradicted the rest. But because those who have related 
the one, have also related the other, no one is puzzled, but 
it is understood at once that they were two separate miracles. 
This we have said, that wherever any thing is found done by 
the Lord, wherein the accounts of any two Evangelists seem 
irreconcilable, we may understand them as two distinct 
occurrences, of which one is related by one Evangelist, and 
one by another. Gloss. It should be noted, that the Lord Gloss, 
first removes their sicknessess, and after that feeds them ; *^* 
because sin must be first wiped away, and then the soul fed 
with the words of God. Hilary; As that first multitude 
which He fed answers to the people among the Jews that 
believed ; so this is compared to the people of the Gentiles, the 
number of four thousand denoting an innumerable number of 
people out of the four quarters of the earth. Jerome; For 
these are not five, but four thousand ; the number four being 
one always used in a good sense, and a four-sided stone 
is firm and rocks not, for which reason the Gospels also have 
been sacredly bestowed in this number. Also in the former 
miracle, because the people were neighbours unto the five 
senses", it is the disciples, and not the Lord, that calls to mind 
their condition ; but here the Lord Himself says, that He 
has compassion upon them, because they continue noic three 
days with Him, that is, they believed on the Father, Son, 
and Holy Spirit. Hilary ; Or, they spend the whole time • 
of the Lord's passion with the Lord ; either because when 
they should come to baptism, they would confess that they 
believed in His passion and resurrection ; or, because through 
the whole time of the Lord's passion they are joined to the 
Lord by fasting in a kind of union of suffering with Him. 
Raban. Or, this is said because in all time there have only 

*> That is, there werey?w thousand, and they were fed withyiuc loaves. 


been three periods when grace wns given ; the first, before 
the Law ; the second, undrr the Law ; the tliird, under grace ; 
the fourth, is in heaven, to which as we journey we are 
refreshed by tlie way. Rehio. Or, because correcting by 
penitence the sins tliat they have committed, in tliought, 
word, and deed, they tuni to the Lord. These multitudes 
the Lord would not send away fasting, that they should not 
faint by the way ; because sinners turning in penitence, 
perish in their passage tlirough the world, if they are sent 
GkMs. away without the nourishment of sacred teaching. Gloss. 
• The seven loaves are the Scripture of the New Testament, in 
which the grace of the Holy Sj)irit is revealed and given. 
And these are not as those former loaves, barley, because it 
is not with these, as in the Law, where the nutritious sub- 
stance is \vra])ped in types, as in a very adhesive husk ; here 
are not two fishes, as under the Law two only were anointed, 
the King, and the Priest, but a few, that is, the saints of the 
New Testament, who, snatched from the waves of the world, 
sustain this tossing sea, and by their example refresh us lest 
we faint by the way. Hilary ; The multitudes sit down 
on the ground; for before they had not reposed on the 
works of the Law, but they had supported themselves on 
their own sins, as men standing on their feet. Gloss. Or, 
» c. xiv. they sit down there ^ on tlie grass, that the desires of the flesh 
^^" may be controlled, here on the ground, because the earth 
itself is commanded to be left. Or, the mountain in which 
the Lord refreshes them is the height of Christ; there, there- 
fore, is grass upon the ground, because there the height of 
Christ is covered with carnal hopes and desires, on account 
of the carnal; here, where all carnal lust is banished, the 
gtiests are solidly placed on the basis of an abiding hope ; 
• tliere, are five thousand, who Jire the carnal subjected to the 
five senses; here, four thousand, on account of the four 
virtues, by which they are spiritually fortified, tem])enmce, 
prudence, fortitude, and justice ; of which the first is the 
knowledge of things to be sought and avoided ; the second, 
the restraining of desire from those things that give pleasure 
in the world ; the third, strength agiiiust the pains of life ; 
the fourth, which is spread over all the love of God and our 
neighbour. Huth there and lierc women and children arc 

VER. 32 — 39. ST. MATTHEW. 573 

excepted, because in the Old and New Testament, none are 
admitted to the Lord who do not endiu-e to the perfect man, 
whether through the infirmity of their strength, or the levity 
of their tempers. Both refreshings were performed upon a 
mountain, because the Scriptures of both Testaments com- 
mend the loftiness of the heavenly commands and rewards, 
and both preach the height of Christ. The higher mysteries 
which the multitudes cannot receive the Apostles discharge, 
and fill seven baskets, to wit, the hearts of the perfect which 
are enlightened to understand by the grace of the seven-fold is. 1 1,2. 
Spirit. Baskets are usually woven of rushes, or palm leaves ; 
these signify the saints, who fix the root of their hearts in the 
very fount of life, as a bulrush in the water, that they may 
not wither away, and retain in their hearts the palm of their 
eternal reward. 

39. And he sent away the multitude, and took 
ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala. 

Chap. XVI. 1. The Pharisees also with the 
Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he 
would shew them a sign from heaven. 

2. He answered and said unto them. When it 
is evening, ye say. It will be fair weather : for the 
sky is red. 

3. And in the morning. It will be foul weather 
to-day : for the sky is red and lowring. O ye 
hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky ; but 
can ye not discern the signs of the times ? 

4. A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh 
after a sign ; and there shall no sign be given unto it, 
but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, 
and departed. 

Chrys. As the Lord sent the multitudes away after the 
miracle of the five loaves, so also now, not on foot, but 


by boat, that the nmlliludes may not follow Iliin; /ind he 
sent nwaif tlw umltihul/', and entered into a ship, and 
Aug.ic came into the cotists of MiKjtdun. Auo. Mark suys Dal- 
Ev. ii. "^^""tha ; no doubt the same place under a diflorcnt name ; 
61- for many copies of the (i!o8])el accordinj^ to Mark have 
Magedan. Uaban. This Magedan is the country opposite 
Gerasa, and is interpreted * fruits,' or * a messenger.' It 
Song of signifies a garden, of which it is said, A garden enclosed, 
12. ' « fountain sealed, wherein the fniits of virtues grow, and 
where the name of the Lord is announced. It tcachcK 
us that ])reachers having ministered the word to the mul- 
titude ought to be refreshed tljemsclves with the fruits of the 
virtues within the chamber of their own heart. It follows ; 
And there come unto him Pharisees and Sadducees templing 
him, and desired him to shew them a sign from heareti. 
Remig. Wondrous blindness of the Pharisees and Sadducees ! 
They asked a sign from heaven, as though the things they 
now saw were not signs. John shews what sign it was they 
John 6, desired ; for he relates, that after the feeding with the five 
loaves, the multitudes came to the Lord and said, What 
sign doest thou, tJuil we may see it and believe on thee ? 
Our fathers did eat manna in the desert, as it is written. 
He gave them bread to eat from heaven. Therefore when 
they say here, Shew us a sign from heaven, they mean. 
Cause that it rain manna for one or two days, that the 
whole people may eat, as was done for a long time in the 
desert. He looking into their thoughts as God, and knowing 
that even if a sign from heaven should be shewed them 
they would not believe, would not give them the sign 
for which they asked, as it follows, Jiut he answered and 
said unto them, If^en the evening is come, ye say, It will 
be fair weather; for the sky is red, ifc. Jerome; This 
is not found in most copies of the Greek text **. But the 
sense is clear, that fair and rainy days may be foretold by the 
condition and harmony of the elements. But the Scribes 
and Pharisees who seemed to be doctors of the I^aw could 
not discern the Saviour's coming by tlie predictions of 

Aog. the Prophets. Aco. We might also understand this saving, 



P That in, ver 3. and 3. They an' (imitt<Ni in iiiiun \|--. n i > ■ ;-i.iii«. 

VER. 1 4. ST. MATTHEW. 575 

When it is evening, ye say^ It will he fair weather, for 
the sky is red, in this way, By the blood of Christ's passion 
at His first coming, indulgence of sin is given. And in the 
morning. It will be foul weather to-day, for the sky is red 
and lowring; that is, at His second coming He will come 
with fire before Him. Gloss. Otherwise ; The sky is red 
and lowring ; that is, the Apostles suffer after the resurrec- 
tion, by which ye may know that I shall judge hereafter; for 
if I spare not the good who are mine from present suffering, 
I shall not spare others hereafter ; Ye can therefore discern 
the face of the sky, but the signs of the times ye cannot. 
Raban. The signs of the times He means of His own 
coming, or passion, to which the evening redness of the 
heavens may be likened ; and the tribulation which shall be 
before His coming, to which the morning redness with the 
lowi-ing sky may be compared. Chrys. As then in the sky 
there is one sign of fair weather, and another of rain, so 
ought ye to think concerning me ; now, in this My first 
coming, there is need of these signs which are done in the 
earth ; but those which are done in heaven are reserved for 
the time of the second coming. Now I come as a physician, 
then as a judge; now I come in secret, then with much 
pomp, when the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. 
But now is not the time of these signs, now have I come to 
die, and to suffer humiliations ; as it follows, An evil and 
adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall 
no sign be given it, but the sign oj Jonas tJie prophet. 
Aug. This Matthew has already given; whence we may Aug. 
store up for our information, that the Lord spoke the same ^ ' ^"^' 
things many times, that where there are contradictions which 
cannot be explained, it may be understood that the same 
sayings were uttered on two different occasions. Gloss. Gloss. 
He says. Evil and adulterous generation, that is, unbelieving, ^" ^"^ '"" 
having carnal, and not spiritual understanding. Raban. 
To this generation that thus tempted the Lord is not given 
a sign from heaven, such as they sought for, though many 
signs are given on the earth ; but only to the generation of 
such as sought the Lord, in whose sight He ascended into 
heaven, and sent the Holy Spirit. Jerome; But what is 


meant by the sign of Junas haN been cxpluined above. 
Chrys. And when tl>e Pharisees heard this, they ought 
to have asked Him, Wliat it was He meant? Hut they had 
not asked at first with any desire of learning, and therefore 
the Lord leaves them, as it follows, And fie left thetfty 
and treat fiis uay. Jeromk; That is, leaving the evil 
generation of the Jews, He jiassed over tlic strait, and the 
people of the Gentiles followed Him. Hilary; Observe, 
we do not read here as in other places, that He sent the 
multitudes away and departed; but because the error of 
unbelief held the minds of the presumptuous, it is said tliat 
He left them. 

5. And when his disciples were come to the other 
side, they had forgotten to take bread. 

6. Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and 
beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the 

7. And they reasoned among themselves, saying. 
It is because we have taken no bread. 

8. Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto 
them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among 
yourselves, because ye have brought no bread ? 

9. Do ye not yet understand, neither remember 
the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many 
baskets ye took up ? 

10. Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, 
and how many baskets ye took up ? 

11. How is it that ye do not understand that 
I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye 
should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and 
of the Sadducees ? 

12. Then understood they how that he bade them 
not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine 
of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 

VEU. 5 — 12. ST. MATTHEW. 577 

Gloss. As the Lord had left the Pharisees on account of Gloss, 
their unbelief, so now He teaches His disciples to be on "°° *'*^* 
their guard against their doctrine ; whence it follows, And 
when His disciples were come to the other side, they had 
forgotten to take bread. Remig. They were bound to their 
Master with so great affection, that they were unwilling to 
part from Him for even a moment of time. And herein it 
should be observed how far they were from any longing for 
delicacies, when they took so small care for necessaries, that 
they had even forgotten to take bread, without which human 
weakness cannot support itself. He stiid unto them^ Take heed 
and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 
Hilary ; Herein the Apostles are admonished not to be 
partakers in the doctrine of the Jews ; for the works of the 
Law were established to produce faith, and to prefigure the 
things that were to follow ; and they on whose times truth 
itself had chanced should look for no further tj^es of tmth ; 
lest the teaching of the Pharisees, which knew not of 
Christ, should stay the effect of Gospel truth. Jerome; For 
he that takes heed of the leaven of the Pharisees and the 
Sadducees, does not obsene the precepts of the Law and 
of the letter, and neglects the traditions of men that he may 
do the commandments of God. This is the leaven of which 
the Apostle speaks, A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. iCor. 5, 
By every means also we should avoid that leaven which * 
Marcion, Valentinus, and all the heretics had. For the 
nature of leaven is such, that when mixed with flour, that 
which seemed a little increases to a large quantity, and 
brings the whole mixture to its own flavour. Thus heretical 
doctrine if it have cast but a small spark into yoiu breast, 
in a short time a mighty flame is raised, and drives the whole 
temper of the man along with it. Chrys. Why did He 
not say plainly. Take heed of the doctrine of the Pharisees ? 
Because He would remind them of those things that had 
been done in the multiplication of the loaves, knowing them 
to be forgetful. To have given them this charge at once 
bluntly would have seemed unreasonable ; but to find fault 
with them on occasion furnished by themselves prepared the 
way for the charge ; therefore it is that the Evangelist brings 
fonvard theu thoughts ; But they thought within themselvesy 

VOL. I. 2 P 


*f*!fiffffi /' •* because we hare taken no bread. Jerome; 
How luul they no Imnid, seeing that as soon as they had 
filled seven baskets they entered into the boat, and came 
hito the parts of Magedan ? Tliere they hear that they ought 
to tiike heed of tlie leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducecs. 
But the Scripture is witness that they had forgotten to take 
tlie baskets with them. Chrys. Because the disciples still 
grovelled about Jewish olisen'ances, the Lord sharply rebukes 
them for the benefit of all ; whence it follows, But Jesus 
knowitty their thoughts said unto them, O ye of little faiths 
why consider ye among yourselves because ye hare no bread ? 
Gloss. Gloss. As much as to say ; Why do ye think that 1 spake 
*"^ ■ of earthly bread, for which ye ought not to have a thought, 
having beheld Me of so little make such abundant overplus ? 
Chrys. Tliis He does that He may put away from them all 
care for food. But why did He not reprove them, when they 
said, Whence should we hare so much bread in the wilder- 
ness ? for that seemed a more fitting occasion. He did not 
blame them at that time that He might not seem to be by 
that urged on to do miracles, and He was unwilUng to find 
fault with them before the people. Also there was more 
reason in the charge, when after two miracles of midtiplication 
of loaves, they had anxiety about food. Obscne with what 
mildness He rebukes them ; He makes an excuse in answer 
Himself, saying, Do ye not yet understand, nor remember the 
Gloss. Jive l^mves ? Gloss. As nuich a.s to say. Do ye not miderstand 
interim, ^j^^, mystery, nor remember the miracle ? Chrys. By this 
calling to mind what was past, and rousing their attention to 
what was to come. Jeromk; Thus He takes tliis occasion 
to instruct them what is meant by the five loaves and the 
seven loaves, the five thousand and tlie four thousand, who 
were fed in the desert. For if the leaven of the Pharisees 
and Sadducees signified not earthly food, but corrupt tradi- 
tions and heretical dogmas;, why should not the food vrith 
which the people of Gofl is nourished signify the tnie and 
uncomipt doctrine? Chrys. But that you may leani what 
force Christ's reproof had upon His disciples, and how it roused 
their sluggish spirit, hear what says the Evangelist; Then 
they understood how that he bade them not beware of the 
leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and 

VER. IS — 19. ST. MATTHEW. 579 

the Sadducees ; yet He had not interpreted this to them. 
This instruction of the Lord then drew them away from 
Jewish observances, and made them attentive instead of 
careless, and raised them out of their httle faith, that when- 
ever they should seem to have but httle provision of bread 
they should have no fear about food, but should despise all 
those things. 

13. When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea 
Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying. Whom do 
men say that I the Son of man am ? 

14. And they said. Some say that thou art John 
the Baptist ; some, Elias ; and others, Jeremias, or 
one of the prophets. 

15. He saith unto them. But whom say ye that 
I am? 

16. And Simon Peter answered and said. Thou 
art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 

17. And Jesus answered and said unto him. Blessed 
art thou, Simon Bar-jona : for flesh and blood hath 
not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is 
in heaven. 

18. And I say also unto thee. That thou art Peter, 
and upon this rock I will build my Church : and the 
gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 

19. And I will give unto thee the keys of the 
kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind 
on earth shall be bound in heaven : and whatsoever 
thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 

Gloss. As soon as the Lord had taken His disciples out of Gloss. 
the teaching of the Pharisees, He then suitably proceeds to "°° °^'^' 
lay deep the foundations of the Gospel doctrine ; and to give 
this the greater solemnity, it is introduced by the name of the 
place, Wlien Jesus came into the coasts of Ccssarea Philippi. 
Chrys. He adds ' of Philip,' to distinguish it from the other Chrys. 
Caesarea, of Strato. And He asks this question in the former y^^^' 

2 p 2 


place, leading His disciplcH far out of the way of the Jews, that 

being set free from all fear, they might say freely what wjls in 

their mind. .Ikkomk; This Phihp was the brother of Herod, 

the tetrarch of Itiurea, and the region of Trachonitis, who 

gave to the eity, which is now called Pana;as, the name of 

Glow. Ca'sarea in honour of Tiberius Cicsar. Gloss. When about 

•Tln^"" ^ confirm the disciples in the faith, He would first take away 

from their minds the errors and opinions of others, whence it 

follows, And he asked his disciples, sayimj. Whom do men 

say that the Son of Man is y OniGEN ; Christ puts this 

question to His disciples, that from their answer we may learn 

that there were at that time among the Jews various opinions 

concerning Christ; and to the end that we should always 

investigate what opinion men may form of us; that if any ill be 

Siiid of us, we may cut off the occasions of it; or if any good. 

Glow, wemaymultiplvtlicod anions of it. Gloss; So by this instance 
Don oco. 1 • 

of the Apostles, the I'ollowers olthc Bishops are instructed, that 

whatever opinions they may hear out of doors ccmceming 
their Bishops, they should tell them to them. Jerome; 
Beautifully is the question put, llliom do men say that the 
Son of Man is '^ For they who speak of the Son of Man, 
are men: but they who understood His dinne nature are 
called not men but Gods. Chrys. He says not. Whom do 
the Scribes and Pharisees say that I am ? but. Whom do men 
say that I am? searching into the minds of the common 
people, which were not pervertc^d to evil. For though their 
opinion concerning Christ was much below what it ought to 
have been, yet it was free from wilful wickedness; but the 
opinion of the Pharisees concerning Christ was fiill of much 
malice. Hilary; By a.sking, IVhoin do men say that the 
Son of Man is^ He implied that something ought to be 
thought respecting Him beyond what appeared, for He was 
llie Son of Man. And in thus enquiring after men's opinion 
respecting Himself, we are not to think that He made con- 
fession of Himself; for that which He a.sked for was something 
concealed, to which the faith of believers ought to extend itself. 
We must hold that form of confession, that we so mention the 
Son of God as not to forget the Son of Man, for the one without 
the other offers us no hope of salvation ; and therefore He said 
emphatically, Whom do men say that the Son of Man is ? 

VEK. 13 — 19. ST. MATTHEW. 581 

Jerome; He says not, Whom do men say that I am? hu.t,lV?tom 
do men say that the Son of Man is 'i that He should not seem 
to ask ostentatiously concerning Himself. Obsene, that 
wherever the Old Testament has ' Son of Man/ the phrase in 
the Hebrew is * Son of Adam.' Origen; Then the disciples 
recount the divers opinions of the Jews relating to Christ; 
And they said, Some say John the Baptist, following Herod's vid. 
opinion ; others Elias, supposing either that Elias had gone 14 2. 
through a second birth, or that ha^'ing continued alive in the 
body, He had at this time appeared; others Jeremias, whom 
the Lord had ordained to be Prophet among the Gentiles, not 
understanding that Jeremias was a type of Christ; or one of 
the Prophets, in a like way, because of those things which 
God spoke to them through the Prophets, yet they were not 
fulfilled in them, but in Christ. Jerome; It was as easy for 
the multitudes to be wrong in supposing Him to be Elias 
and Jeremias, as Herod in supposing Him to be John the 
Baptist ; whence I wonder that some interpreters should have 
sought for the causes of these several errors. Chrys. The 
disciples having recounted the opinion of the common people, 
He then by a second question in\ites them to higher thoughts 
concerning Him ; and therefore it follows, Jesus saith unto 
them. Whom say ye that I am ? You who are with Me always, 
and have seen greater miracles than the multitudes, ought not 
to agree in the opinion of the multitudes. For this reason He 
did not put this question to them at the commencement of 
His preaching, but after He had done many signs; then also 
He spoke many things to them concerning His Deity. 
Jerome; Observe how by this connexion of the discovirse 
the Apostles are not styled men but Gods. For when He 
had said. Whom say ye that the Son of Man is ? He adds. 
Whom say ye that I am? as much as to say. They bemg 
men think of Me as man, ye who are Gods, whom do you 
think Me ? Raban. He enquires the opinions of His disciples 
and of those without, not because He was ignorant of them ; 
His disciples He asks, that He may reward with due reward 
their confession of a right faith ; and the opinions of those 
without He enqukes, that ha\-ing the wrong opinions first set 
forth, it might be proved that the disciples had received the 
tnith of their confession not from common opinion, but out 


of tho hidden treasure of the Lord's revelation. Curys. 
Wlien the Lord enquires concerning the opinion of the 
multitudes, all the disciples answer ; but when all the 

' «•€•• disciples are asked, Peter as the mouth and head* of the 
** Ajwstles answers for all, as it follows, Simon Peter anncered 
and said, T7iou art Christy the Son of the living Cod. Origen; 
Peter denied that Jesus was any of those things which the 
Jews supposed, by his confession, TJiou art the Christy which 
tlie Jews were ignorant of; but he added what was more, the 

^\\ Son of the living God, who had said by his Prophets, / /ire, 
saith the Ix)rd. And therefore was He called the living 
Ijord, but in a more especial manner as being eminent above 
all that had life; for He alone has immortality, and is the 
fount of life, wherefore He is rightly called God the Father; 
for He is life as it were flowing out of a fountain, who said, 

Johni4, / ar/t the life. Jerome; He calls Him the living God^ in 
comparison of those gods who are esteemed gods, but are 
dead ; such, I mean, as Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, Hercules, and 
the other monsters of idols. Hilary; This is the tnie and 
unalterable faith, that from God came forth God the Son, 
who has eternity out of the eternity of the Father. That this 
God took unto Him a body and was made man is a perfect 
confession. Tims He embraced all in that He here expresses 
both His nature and His name, in wliich is the sum of virtues. 
Raban. And by a remarkable distinction it was that the 
Lord Hnnself puts forward the lowliness of the humanity 
which He had taken upon Him, while His disciple shews us 
Uie excellence of His divine eternity. Hilary; This con- 
fession of Peter met a worthy reward, for tliat he had seen 
the Son of God in the man. Whence it follows, Jenu 
answered and said unto him. Blessed art thou, Simon Bar' 
jonaJt,/orJies/i and blood has not revealed this unto thee^ but 
my Father who is in heaven. Jerome; This return Christ 
makes to the Apostle for the testimony which Peter had 
spoken concerning Him, Thou art Christ, the Son of the living 
Cod. The Lord said imto him. Blessed art thou, Simon Bar- 
jonas? Why? Because flesh and blood has not revealed this 
unto thee, but My Father. That which flesh and bkMxl could 
not reveal, was revealed by the grace of the Holy Spirit* By 
liiij confession then he obtains a title, which should signify tliat 

VER. 13 — 19. ST. MATTHEW. 583 

he had received a revelation from the Holy Spirit, whose 
son he shall also be called; for Barjonas in our tongue 
signifies The son of a dove. Others take it in the simple 
sense, that Peter is the son of John", according to that 
question in another place, Simon^ son of John, lovest thou me? Jo^^n^i, 
affirming that it is an error of the copyists in writing here 
Baijonas for Barjoannas, dropping one syllable. Now Joanna 
is interpreted ' The grace of God.' But either name has 
its mystical interpretation; the dove signifies the Holy Spirit; 
and the gi-ace of God signifies the spiritual gift. Chrys. It 
would be without meaning to say. Thou art the son of 
Jonas, miless he intended to shew that Christ is as naturally 
the Son of God, as Peter is the son of Jonas, that is, of the 
same substance as him that begot him. Jerome; Compare 
what is here said, Jlesh and blood hath not revealed it utito 
thee, with the Apostolic declaration, Immediately I uas G&li, 
not content with Jlesh and blood, meaning there by this 
expression the Jews ; so that here also the same thing is shewn 
in different words, that not by the teaching of the Pharisees, but 
by the grace of God, Christ was revealed to him the Son of 
God. Hilary; Othenvise; He is blessed, because to have 
looked and to have seen beyond human sight is matter of 
praise, not beholding that which is of flesh and blood, but 
seeing the Son of God by the revelation of the heavenly 
Father; and he was held worthy to be the first to acknowledge 
the di\dnity which was in Christ. Origen ; It must be 
enquired in this place whether, when they were first sent out, 
the disciples knew that He was the Christ. For this speech 
shews that Peter then first confessed Him to be the Son of 
the hving God. And look whether you can solve a question 
of this sort, by saying that to believe Jesus to be the Christ 
is less than to know Him ; and so suppose that when they 
were sent to preach they believed that Jesus was the Christ, 
and afterw^ards as they made progress they knew Him to be 
so. Or must we answer thus ; That then the Apostles had 
the beginnings of a knowledge of Christ, and knew some little 
concerning Him ; and that they made progress afterwards in 
the knowledge of Him, so that they were able to receive the 
knowledge of Christ revealed by the Father, as Peter, who is 

1 In John 21, 15. the Vulgate has ' Johanuis,' but in John 1, 43. ^ Jona.' 


liere blessed, not only for that he says, 'lliou art the Christy 
but much more for tliat he adds, the Soti of the lirirnj God. 
Chrys. And Inily if Peter had not confessed Uiat Christ was 
in a pecuUar sense bom of the Fallicr, tliere had been no need 
of revelation ; nor would he have been worthy of this blessing 
for confessing Christ to be one of many adopted sons; for 
before tliis they who were with Him in the ship had said, 

John], Trail/ thou art the Soit of God. Nathatiael also said, Jiabhi\ 
thou art the Son of God. Yet were not these blessed because 
they did not confess such sonship as does Peter here, but 
thought llira one among many, not in the true sense a son ; 
or, if chief above all, yet not the substance of the Father. 
But see how the Father reveals the Son, and the Son the 
Father ; from none other comes it to confess the Son than of 
the Father, and from none other to confess the Father than 
of the Son ; so that from this place even it is manifest that 
the Son is of the same substance, and to be worshijjped 
together with llie Father. Christ then proceeds to shew that 
many would hereafter believe what Peter had now confessed, 
whence He adds, And I soy unto thee, that thou art Peter. 
Jerome ; As much as to say. You have said to me, T7iou art 
Christ, the Son of the living God, therefore 1 say unto thee, 
not in a mere speech, and that goes not on into operation ; 
but I say unto thee, and for Me to speak is to make it so', that 
thou art Peter. For as from Christ proceeded lliat light 
to the Apostles, whereby they were called the light of the 
world, and those other names which were imposed upon 
them by the Lord, so upon Simon who believed in Christ 

Aof?. the Rock, He bestowed the njime of Peter (Rock.) Arc. 

£^ ^i * But let none suppose that Peter received that name here ; 

63- he received it at no other time than where John relates that 

^2 ' '^ ^^^ ^^'<^ unto him. Thou shall he rolled Cephas, trhich 
is interpreted, Peter. Jerome; And ))ursuing th(? metaphor 
of the rock, it is rightly said to him as follows: And upon 
this lock I uill build my Church. CiiRVS. That is. On this 
faith and confession I will build my Church. Herein shewing 
that many should believe what Peter had confessed, and 
rai.sing his tmderstanding, and making him His shepherd. 

^■g* Ai(i. I have said in a certain place of the Apostle Peter, that 

i. SJ. ' 8«e Mr. Newmao'* Lectare* oa Jiwtificatioa, Lect iti. p. 87. 

VKR. 13 — li). ST. MATTHEW. 585 

it was on him, as on a rock, that the Church was built. But 
I know that since that T have often'explained these words of 
the Lord, Thou art Peter, and on this rock icill I build 
mij Church, as meaning upon Him whom Peter had confessed 
in the words, TIiou art Christ, the Son of the living God ; and 
so that Peter, taking his name from this rock, would represent 
the Church, which is built upon this rock. For it is not said i Cor. 
to him, Thou art the rock, but, Thou art Peter. But the ' 
rock was Christ, whom because Simon thus confessed, as the 
whole Church confesses Him, he was named Peter. Let the 
reader choose whether of these two opinions seems to him the 
more probable. Hilary; But in this bestowing of a new name 
is a happy foundation of the Church, and a rock worthy of 
that building, which should break up the laws of hell, burst 
the gates of Tartarus, and all the shackles of death. And to 
shew the firmness of this Church thus built upon a rock, He 
adds. And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 
Gloss. That is, shall not separate il from the love and faith Gloss, 
of Me. Jerome ; I suppose the gates of hell to mean vice ^"*^'"^'°- 
and sin, or at least the doctrines of heretics by which men are 
ensnared and drawn into hell. Origen; But in heavenly 
things every spiritual sin is a gate of hell, to which are op- 
posed the gates of righteousness. Raban. The gates of hell 
are the tonnents and promises of the persecutors. Also, the 
evil works of the unbelievers, and vain conversation, are gates 
of hell, because they shew the path of destruction. Origen; 
He does not express what it is which they shall not prevail 
against, whether the rock on which He builds the Church, 
or the Church which He builds on the rock; but it is clear 
that neither against the rock nor against the Church will the 
gates of hell prevail. Cyril* ; According to this promise of 
the Lord, the Apostolic Church of Peter remains pure and 
spotless from all leading into error, or heretical fraud, above all 
Heads and Bishops, and Primates of Churches and people, 

' This passage is quoted in the 3. and in his books * eontr. impugn. reliq.' 

Catena from 'Cyril in Lib. Thes.' and ' contra errores Grspc' He is ap- 

but does not occur in any of S. Cyril's parently the first to cite them, and they 

works. On the subject of this inter- seem to have been written later than 

polntion, vid. Launoy's Epistles, part i. Nicholns I. and Leo IX. (A.D. 867 

£p. 1 — 3. andv. Ep.O.c. 6—12. From 1054.) He wasyoungwhenheusedthem, 

him it appears that, besides the passage andheissilentabouttheminhis Summa, 

introduced into the Catena, S. Thomas (which was the work of his last ten 

ascribes similar ones to S. Cyril in his years,) in three or four places where the 

comment on the Sentences, Lib. iv.d.24. reference might have been expected. 


with ita own Pontiffs, with most abundant faith, and the 
authority of Peter. And while other Churches have to blu^h 
for the error of some of their members, this reigns alone im- 
moveably established, enforcing silence, and stopping the 
mouths of all heretics ; and we', not drunken with the wine of 
pride, confess together with it the type of truth, and of the 
holy apostoUc tradition. Jerome ; Let none think that this 
is said of death, implpng that the Apostles should not be 
subject to tlie condition of death, when we see their mar- 
tyrdoms so illustrious. Orioen ; Wherefore if we, by the 
revelation of our Father who is in heaven, shall confess that 
Jesus Christ is the Son of God, having also our conversation 
in heaven, to us also shall be said. Thou art Peter; for eveiy 
one is a Rock who is an imitator of Christ. Hut against 
whomsoever the gates of hell prevail, he is neitlur to be 
called a rock upon which Christ builds His Church; neither 
a Church, or part of the Church, vi'hich Christ builds upon 
a rock. Chkvs. Then He speaks of another honour of 
Peter, when He adds, And I will give thee the keys of the 
kingdom of heaven \ as much as to say. As the Father hath 
given thee to know Me, I also will give something unto thee, 
namely, the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Raban. For 
as with a zeal beyond tlie others he had confessed the King 
of heaven, he is deservedly entrusted more than tlie others 
with the keys of the heavenly kingdom, that it might be 
clear to all, that without that confession and faith none ought 
to enter the kingdom of heaven. By tlie keys of the kingdom 

• discre-IIe means discernment' and power; power, by wliich he 
binds and looses ; discernment, by which he separates tlio 

GloM. worthy from the unworthy. Gloss. It follows, And what' 
soever thou shall bind; that is, whomsoever thou shalt judge 
unworthy of forgiveness while he lives, shall be judged un- 
worthy with God ; and whatsoever thou shall loose^ that is, 
whomsoever tliou shalt judge worthy to be forgiven while 
he lives, shall obtain forgiveness of his sins from God. 
Orioen ; See how great power lias that rock upon which the 
Church is built, that its sentences are to continue finn as 
though God gave sentence by it. Chrys. See how Christ 
le,ads Peter to a high understanding concerning himself. 

* The edition* read here, ' ct nn« navM NicoUi, it is iinpomiibl«lodivio«. 
Dcccsf ario salutia/ themeoniDg ofwhich, 

VER. 13 — 19. ST. MATTHEW. 9Bf 

These things that He here promises to give him, belong to 
God alone, namely to forgive sins, and to make the Church 
immoveable amidst the storms of so many persecutions 
and trials. Raban. But this power of binding and loosing, 
though it seems given by the Lord to Peter alone, is indeed 
g^ven also to the other Apostles, and is even novr in thevid. 
Bishops and Presbyters in every Church. But Peter re-jg ig, 
ceived in a special manner the keys of the kingdom of heaven, 
and a supremacy of judicial power, that all the faithfiil 
throughout the world might understand that all who in any 
manner separate themselves jfrom the unity of the faith, or 
from communion with him, such should neither be able to 
be loosed from the bonds of sin, nor to enter the gate of 
the heavenly kingdom. Gloss. This power was committed Gloss, 
specially to Peter, that we might thereby be invited to unity, seim. 
For He therefore appointed him the head of the Apostles, 
that the Chiurch might have one principal Vicar of Christ, 
to whom the different members of the Church should have 
recomse, if ever they should have dissensions among them. 
But if there were many heads in the Church, the bond of 
unity would be broken. Some say that the words upon earth 
denote that power was not given to men to bind and loose 
the dead, but the living ; for he who should loose the dead 
would do this not upon earth, but after the earth. Second Concil. 
Council of Constantinople; How is it that some do pre-ci"' 
sume to say that these things are said only of the Uving?^. 
Know they not that the sentence of anathema is nothing 
else but separation ? They are to be avoided who are held 
of grievous fatdts, whether they are among the living, or not. 
For it is always behoveftil to fly from the wicked. Moreover 
there are divers letters read of Augustine of religious memory, vid. 
who was of great renown among the African bishops, which Ep.^i86. 
affirmed that heretics ought to be anathematized even after *• 
death. Such an ecclesiastical tradition other African Bishops 
also have preserved. And the Holy Roman Chm-ch also 
has anathematized some Bishops after death, although no ac- 
cusation had been brought against their faith in their life- 
time". Jerome ; Bishops and Presbyters, not understanding 

» This passage is quoted from the of whose lost works against Theodorus 
sentence of the Council. It alleges the sentence beginning, " They are 
the authority of S. Cyril, from one to be avoided, &c." is quoted. 


this passage, assume to themselves something of the lofty ]>re- 
tensions of tlit> Pharisees, and siipjmso that thry niav rilhrr 
condemn the innocent, or absolve the guilty ; whereas what 
will be enquired into before the Lord will be not the sentence 
of the Priests, ])ut the life of him that is being ju<lgrd. We 
read in Leviticus of the lepers, liow they arc connnanded to 
shew themselves to the Priests ; and if they have the lejirosy, 
tlien they are made unclean by the Priest ; not tliat the 
Priest makes them leprous and unclean, but tliat the Priest 
has knowledge of what is leprosy and what is not leprosj-, 
and can discern who is cle;m, and who is unclean. In the 
•same way then as there the Priest makes the leper imclean, 
here the Bishop or Presbyter binds or looses not those who 
are without sin, or guilt, but in discharge of his fimction 
when he has heard the varieties of their sins, he knows who 
is to be boimd, and who loosed. Origen ; Let him then be 
without blame who binds or looses another, that he may be 
found worthy to bind or loose in heaven. Moreover, to him 
who shall be able by his virtues to shut the gates of hell, 
are given in reward the keys of the kingdom of heaven. 
For every kind of virtue when any has begun to practise it, 
as it were opens itself before Him, the Lord, namely, opening 
it through His grace, so that the same virtue is found to be 
both the gale, and the key of tlie gate. But it may be tliat 
each virtue is itself the kingdom of heaven. 

20. Then charged he his disciples that they should 
tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. 

21. From that time forth began Jesus to shew 
unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jeru- 
salem, and suffer many things of the elders and Chief 
Priests and Scribes, and be killed, and be raised again 
the third day. 

Origen; Seeing Peler had confessed Him to be Christ 
the Son of the living God, because He would not have them 
preach this in the mean time. He adds. Then chanjed Uc 
hi* disciples Ihnl ihey should tell no ntati ilml he was 
JentiiK the Christ. .Tkkomk; When then above He sends 
His disciples to preach, an<l commands ihem to proclaim 

VER. 20, 21. ST. MATTHEW. 589 

His advent, this seems contrary to His command here, that 
they should not say that He is Jesus the Christ. To me 
it seems that it is one thing to preach Christ, and another 
to preach Jesus the Christ. Christ is a common title of 
dignity, Jesus the proper name of the Saviour. Origen; 
Or they then spake of Him in lowly words, as only a great 
and wonderful man, but as yet proclaimed Him not as the 
Christ. Yet if any will have it that He was even at the 
first proclaimed to be Christ, he may say that now He chose 
that first short announcement of His name to be left in 
silence and not repeated, that that little which they had heard 
concerning Christ might be digested into their minds. Or 
the difficulty may be solved thus : that the fonner relation 
concerning then- preaching Christ does not belong to the 
time before His ResmTection, but to the time that should be 
after the Resunection ; and that the command now given is 
meant for the time present; for it were of no use to preach 
Him, and to be silent concerning His cross. Moreover, He 
commanded them that they should tell no man that He was 
the Christ, and prepared them that they should afterwards 
say that He was Chinst who was crucified, and who rose again 
from the dead. Jerome ; But that none should suppose that 
this is only my explanation, and not an evangehc interpre- 
tation, what follows explains the reasons of His forbidding 
them to preach Him at that time; Then began Jesus to 
shew unto his disciples that he must needs go unto Jeiusalem, 
and sniffer many things of the elders and Scribes, and Chief 
Priests, and be put to death, and rise again the third day. 
The meaning is ; Then preach Me when I shall have suffered 
these things, for it will be of no avail that Christ be preached 
publicly, and His Majesty spread abroad among the people, 
when after a little time they shall see Him scourged and 
crucified, Chrys. For what having once had root has 
afterwards been torn up, if it is again planted, is with dif- 
ficulty retained among the multitude ; but what having been 
once rooted has continued ever after unmoved, is easily 
brought on to a fiu-ther growth. He therefore dwells on these 
soiTowful things, and repeats His discourse upon them, that 
He may open the minds of His disciples. Origen ; And 
observe that it is not said, ' He began to say,' or ' to teach,' 


but to shew : for as Uiings are said to be shewn to the sense, 
so the things which Christ spake are said to bo slicwii ])>• 
Him. Nor indeed do I think, that to those who saw liiin 
suffering many tilings in the flesh, were those things which 
they saw so shewn as this representation in words shewed 
to the disciples the mystery of the passion and resurrection 
of Christ. At that time, indeed, He only ber/an to shew 
them, and afterwards when they were more able to receive it, 
He shewed them more fully; for all that Jesus began to do, 
that He accomplished. He must needs go to Jerusalem, to 
be put to death indeed in the Jerusalem which is below, 
but to rise again and reign in the heavenly Jerusalem. But 
when Christ rose again, and others were risen with Him, they 
no longer sought the Jerusalem which is beneath, or the 
house of prayer in it, but that which is above. He suffers 
many things from the elders of the earthly Jerusalem, that 
He may be glorified by those heavenly elders who receive 
His mercies. He rose again from the dead on the third day, 
that He may deliver from the evil one, and purchase for 
snch as are so delivered this gift, that they be baptized in 
spirit, soul, and body, in the name of the Father, and the 
Son, and the Holy Spirit, who are throe days perpetually 
present to those that through them have been made children 

22. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke 
him, saying. Be it far from thee. Lord : this shall not 
be unto thee. 

23. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee 
behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for 
thou savourest not the things that be of God, but 
those that be of men. 

Origen ; While Christ was yet speaking the beginnings of 
the things which He was shewing unto them, Peter considered 
them unworthy of the Son of the living God. And forgetting 
that the Son of the living God docs nothing, and acts in no 
way wortliy of blame, he began to rebuke Him; and this is 
what is said. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke 

VER. 2*2, 23. ST. MATTHEW. 591 

him. Jerome; We have often said that Peter had too 
hot a zeal, and a very great affection towards the Lord 
the Saviour, Therefore after that his confession, and the 
reward of which he had heard from the Saviour, he would 
not have that his confession destroyed, and thought it impos- 
sible that the Son of God could be put to death, but 
takes Him to him affectionately, or takes Him aside that he 
may not seem to be rebuking his Master in the presence of 
his fellow disciples, and begins to chide Him with the feeling 
of one that loved Him, and to contradict Him, and say, Be 
it far from thee, Lord ; or as it is better in the Greek, IXsoos 
<roi Kyg<e, ov [jlyj t<TTon co* toOto, that is. Be propitious to Thyself, 
Lord, this shall not be unto Thee. Origen; As though 
Christ Himself had needed a propitiation. His affection 
Christ allows, but charges him with ignorance ; as it follows, 
He turned and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan, 
thou art an offence unto me. Hilary ; The Lord, know- 
ing the suggestion of the craft of the devil, says to Peter, 
Get thee behind me ; that is, that he should follow the 
example of His passion; but to him by whom this expres- 
sion was suggested. He turns and says, Satan, thou art 
an offence unto me. For we cannot suppose that the name 
of Satan, and the sin of being an offence, would be imputed to 
Peter after those so great declarations of blessedness and 
power that had been granted him. Jerome ; But to me this 
error of the Apostle, proceeding from the warmth of his 
affection, will never seem a suggestion of the devil. Let the 
thoughtful reader consider that that blessedness of power was 
promised to Peter in time to come, not given him at the 
time present ; had it been conveyed to him immediately, the 
error of a false confession would never have found place in 
him. Chrys. For what wonder is it that tliis should befal 
Peter, who had never received a revelation concerning these 
things ? For that you may learn that that confession which 
he made concerning Christ was not spoken of himself, observe 
how in these things which had not been revealed to him, he 
is at a loss. Estimating the things of Christ by human and 
earthly principles, he judged it mean and unworthy of Him 
that He should suffer. Therefore the Lord added. For thou 
savourest not the things that be of God, but th& things that 

592 GOSPEL A(XX)RI>I NO TO .|l\l' \\I. 

be of men. Jkkomi . \- nmch as lo say ; It i» of My will, 
and of llie Father's will, that I sliuuld <lie for tin- salvation of 
men ; you considering only your own w ill would not that the 
grain of wheat should fiUl into the groiuid, that it may bring 
forth much fruit ; therefore as you speak what is opposed to 
My will^you ought to be called My adversary. For Satan 
is interpreted ' adverse' or ' contrary.' Orioex ; Yet the 
words in which Peter and those in which Satan are re- 
buked, are not, as is commonly thought, tlie same ; to Peter it 
is said, Get thee behind me, Satan ; that is, follow me, thou 
that art contrary to my will ; to the Devil it is said, Co thy 
uayy Satan, understanding not ' behind me,' but ' into ever- 
lasting fire.' He said therefore to Peter, Get thee behind me, as 
to one who through ignorance was ceasing to walk after 
Christ. And He called him Satan, as one, who through 
ignorance had somewhat contrary to God. But he is blessed 
to w hom Christ turns, even though He tuni in order lo rebuke 
him. But why said He to Peter, Thou art an offence unto 

Ps. ll9,»we, when in the Psalm it is said, Great peace have 
they that love thy lair, and there is no offence to them ? It 
must be answered, tliat not only is Jesus not offended, but 
neither is any man who is perfect in the love of God ; and 
yet he who does or speaks any thing of the nature of an 
offence, may be an offence even to one who is incapable of 
being offended. Or he may hold everj' disciple that sin- 

2 Cor. ncth as an offence, as Paul speaks. Who is offended, and 

11,29. Il^^rn„oty 

24. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man 
will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up 
his cross, and follow me. 

25. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it : 
and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall 
find it. 

CbrjTB. CiiRYS. Peter had said, lie it far from thee, Lord; this 

'shall not be unto thee; and had been answered, Get thee 

behind me, Satan ; but the Lord was not satisfied with this 

rebuke, but over and above desired to shew the impropriety 

VER. 24 — 25. ST. MATTHEW. 593 

of those things which Peter had said, and the fruit of His 
own passion ; whence it is added, Then said Jesus to his 
disciples, If any man will to come afiei' me, let him deny 
himself, and take up his cross,and folloic me ; as much as to 
say, You say unto me, Be it far from thee ; but I say unto 
you, that not only is it harmful for you to hinder Me from My 
Passion, but yourself will not be able to be sa^ed unless you 
suffer and die, and renounce your life always. And note, that 
He does not speak of it as compulsory, for He does not say. 
Though ye will not yet must ye suffer this, but, Jf any man 
will. By saying this He rather attracted them ; for he who 
leaves his auditor at liberty, attracts him the more ; whereas 
he that uses violence oftentimes hinders him. And He 
proposes this doctrine, not to His disciples only, but in com- 
mon to the whole world, saying. If any man will, that is, if 
woman, if man, if king, if free, if slave ; there are three 
things mentioned ; let him deny himself, take up his cross, 
and follow me. Gregory; For unless a man departs from Greg. 

himself, he does not draw near to Him who is above him. J?""*-^" 

. Ev. 

But if we leave ourselves, whither shall we go out of ourselves ? xxxii.2. 

Or if we have forsaken ourselves, who is it then that goes ? 

Indeed, we are one thing when fallen by sin, another thing as 

we were made by nature. It is therefore then that we leave and 

deny ourselves, when we avoid that which we were of old, and 

strive towards that to which we £u-e called in newness. 

Id. He denies himself whosoever is changed for the better, Greg, in 

and begins to be what he was not, and ceases to be what ^^^*''^: 

he was. Id. He also denies himself, who having trode lo. 

under foot the risings of pride, shews himself in the eyes of ^'^®^' 

God to be estranged from himself. Origen ; But though xxxiii. 

a man may seem to keep from sin, yet if he does not believe ' 

in the cross of Christ, he cannot be said to be crucified with 

Christ ; whence it follows. And take up his cross. Chrys. 

Otherwise; He that disowns another, whether a brother, 

or a senant, or whosoever it be, he may see him beaten, or 

suffering aught else, and neither succours nor befriends 

him; thus it is He would have vis deny our body, and 

whether it be beaten or afflicted in any other way, not to 

spare it. For this is to spare. So parents do then most spare 

their children when they hand them over to tutors, bidding them 

VOL. I. 2 Q 


not to spare them. And that you 8hould not think that Uiig 
denial of self extends only to words orafFrontSjhe shews to what 
degree we should deny ourselves, namely, to death the most 
shamefid, even that of the cross ; this lie signifies when He 
says, Ami take up his crossy and /allow inc. H I la ky ; We are 
to follow our Lord by tiUving up the cross of His ])assion ; and 
if not in deed, yet in will, bear Him company. Chkys. And 
because malefactors often suffer grievous things, that you 
should not suppose that simply to suffer evil is enough, He 
adds the reason of suffering, when He says. And follow me. 
For His sake you are to endure <ill, and to learn His other 
virtues ; for this is to follow Christ aright, to be diligent in 
the practice of virtues, and to suffer all things for His sake. 
Greg. Grkg. There are two ways of taking our cross ; when the 
Et, body is afflicted by abstinence, or when the heart is j)ained 
xxxii. |jy compassion for another. Forasmuch as our very virtues 
are beset with faults, we must declare that vainglory some- 
times attends abstinence of flesh, for the emaciated body 
and pale countenance betray this high virtue to the praise 
of the world. Compassion again is sometimes attended by 
a false affection, which is hereby led to be consenting unto 
sin ; to shut out these. He adds, and follow me. Jerome ; 
Other\i'ise ; He takes up his cross who is cnicified to the 
world; and he to whom the world is crucified, follows his 
cnicified Lord. Chrvs. And then because this seemed 
severe, He softens it by shewing the abundant rewards of 
our pains, and the punishment of evil. He that will save his 
life shall lose it. Origen ; This may be understood in two 
ways. First thus ; if any lover of this present life spares 
his life, fearing to die, and supposing that his life is ended with 
this death ; he seeking in this way to save his life, shall lose it, 
estranging it from life eternal. Hut if any, despising the pre- 
sent life, shall contend for the tnith imto death, he shall lose 
his life as far as this present life is concerned, but forasnmch as 
he loses it for Christ, he shall the more save it for hfc eternal. 
Otherwise thus; if any understand what is true salvation, 
and desire to obtain it for the salvation of his own hfc, he 
by denying himself los(!s his life as to tlie enjoyments of the 
flesh, but saves it by works of piety. He shews by saying, 
For he that will, that this passage must be connected iu 

VER. 26 28. ST. MATTHEW. 595 

sense with that which went before. If tlien we understand 
the first, Let him deny himself, of the death of the body^ 
we must take this that follows of death only; but if 
we understand the first of mortifying the propensities of 
the flesh, then, to lose his life, signifies to give up carnal 

26. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain 
the whole world, and lose his own soul ? or what shall 
a man give in exchange for his soul ? 

27. For the Son of man shall come in the glory of 
his Father with his angels ; and then he shall reward 
every man according to his works. 

28. Verily I say unto you. There be some standing 
here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the 
Son of man coming in his kingdom. 

Chrys. Because He had said, Whoso will savC) shall lose, 
and whoso will lose shall save, opposing saving to losing, 
that none should hence conclude that there was any equality 
between the losing on one side, and the saving on the other, He 
adds. What does it projit a man, if he shall gain the whole 
world, hut suffer the loss of his soul f As though He had said, 
Say not that he who escapes the dangers which threaten him for 
Christ's sake, saves his soul, that is, his temporal life ; but add to 
his temporal life the whole world, and what of all these things 
will profit a man if his soul perishes for ever? Suppose you 
should see all your servants in joy, and yourself placed in 
the greatest evils, what profit would you reap from being 
their master? Think over this within your own soul, when 
by the indulgence of the flesh that soul looks for its own 
destruction* Origen; I suppose also that he gains the 
world who does not deny himself, nor loses his own life as to 
carnal pleasures, and thence suffers the loss of his souh 
These two things being set before us, we must rather choose 
to lose the world, and gain our souls. Chrys. But if you 
should reign over the whole world, you would not be able to 
buy yom* soul; whence it follows. Or what shall a man give 
in exchange for his soul ? As much as to say, if you lose 

2 Q 2 

596 GOSPEL AcconniNo to chap. xvt. 

goods, yoH may have it in your power to pvc other goods to 
recover thom ; but if yon lose yotir soul, you can neither 
give anoUier soul, nor any tlnng else in ransom for it. And 
what mar^'el is it if this happen in the soul, when we see 
the same liappen in the body; for if you should surround 
a body afflicted with an incurable disease with ten thousand 
diadems, they would not heal it. Origen; And at first sight 
indeed the ransom of the soul might be sup]K)sed to be in 
his substance, that a man shoidd give his substance to the 
poor, and so should save his soul. But I suppose that 
a man has nothing that giving as a ransom for his soul he 
should deliver it from death. God gave the ransom for the 
Greg, souls of men, namely the precious blood of His Son. Greg. 
£°"''°0r the connexion may be thus; The Holy Church has a 
xxxii. period of persecution, and a period of peace; and our Re- 
deemer accordingly distingui.shes between periods in 
His commands; in time of persecution the life is to be laid 
down ; but in time of peace, those earthly lusts which might 
gain too great power over us are to be broken through; 
whence He says. What does it profit a man ^ Jerome ; 
Having thus called upon His disciples to deny themselves 
and take up their, the hearers were fdlod with great 
terror, therefore these severe tidings are followed by more 
joyful ; For the Son of Man sh<^ come in the glory of his 
Father uith the holy Angels. Dost thou fear death? Hear 
the glory of the triumph. Dost thou dread the cross ? Hear 
the attendance of the Angels. Origen; As much as to say; 
The Son of Man is now come, but not in glor>-; for He 
ought not to have been ordained in His glor>- to bear oiur 
sins ; but then He shall come in His glor}-, when He shall 
first have made ready His disciples, being made as they are, 
that He might make them as He is Himself, in the likeness 
of His glor)-. Chrvs. He said not in such glory as is that 
of the Father, that you might not suppose a difference of glorj-, 
but He says, Tlie glory of the Father^ that it might be shewn to 
be the .same glory. But if the glory is one, it is evident that 
the substance is one. Wliat then fearest thou, Peter, hearing 
of death ? For then shalt thou .see Me in glory. But if I be 
in glorj', so also shall ye bf. Hut in making mention of His 
glory, He mingleth therewith things terrible, bringing forward 

VER. 26 28. ST. MATTHEW. 597 

the judgment, as it follows, And then shall he render to each 
man according to his works. Jerome ; For there is no 
difference of Jew or Gentile, man or woman, poor or rich, 
where not persons but works are accepted. Chrys. This 
He said to call to their minds not only the punishment of 
sinners, but the prizes and crowns of the righteous. Jerome ; 
But the secret thought of the Apostles might have suffered 
an offence of this sort; The killings and deaths you speak 
of as to be now, but the promise of your coming in glory 
is put off to a long distant time. He that knows secret things 
therefore, seeing that they might object this, requites a present 
fear with a present reward, saying, Verily I say unto you, 
TJiere be some of those standing here that shall not taste 
death until the Son of Man come in his kingdom. Chrys. Chrys. 

' • • Worn 

Willing to shew what is that glory in which He shall come^yi^ * 
hereafter. He revealed it to them in this present life, so 
far as it was possible for them to receive it, that they might 
not have son*ow in their Lord's death. Remig. What is here 
said, therefore, was fulfilled in the three disciples to whom the vid. 
Lord, when transfigured in the mount, shewed the joys of the Lug* 9 
eternal inheritance ; these saw Him coming in His kingdom^ 27. 
that is, shining in His effulgent radiance, in which, after the 
judgment passed. He shall be beheld by all the saints. 
Chrys. Tlierefore He does not reveal the names of those 
who should ascend into the mount, because the rest would 
be very desirous to accompiuiy them whither they might 
look upon the pattern of His glory, and would be grieved 
.as though they were passed over, Greg. Or, by the king- Greg, 
dom of God is meant the present Church, and because some^^^®"^' 
of His disciples were to live so long in the body as to behold 
the Church of God built up and raised against the glory of 
this world, this comfortable promise is given them. There be 
some of ihem standing here. 

Origen; Morally; To those who are neaily brought to 
the faith, the Word of God wears the form of a servant; 
but to those that are perfect. He comes in the glory of 
the Father. His angels are the words of the Prophets, 
which it is not possible to comprehend spiritually, until 
the word of Christ has been first spiritually comprehended, 
and then will their words be seen in like majesty with 


His. Tlun will He give of His own glory to every man 
according to his deeds; for the bett<T each man is in )ii^ 
deeds, so much the more spiritually does lie undcrsluad 
Christ and His Prophets. Tliey that stand where Jesus 
stands, are they that have the foundations of their souls rested 
upon Jesus ; of whom such as stood fmnest are said not to 
taste death till they see the Word of God ; which comes in 
His kingdom when tliey see that excellence of God which 
they cannot see while they are involved in divers sins, which 
is to taste death, forasmuch as the soul that sinneth, dies. 
For as life, and the living bread, is He that came down from 
heaven, so His enemy death is the bread of death. And of 
these breads there are some that eat but a little, just tasting 
them, while some eat more abundantly. They that sin 
neither often, nor greatly, these only taste death ; they that 
have partaken more perfectly of spiritual virtue do not taste it 
only, but feed ever on the living bread. That He says, 
Until tliey see, does not fix any time at which shall be done 
what had not been done before, but mentions just what is 
necessary ; for he tliat once sees Him in His glory, shall after 
Raban. that by no means taste death. Raban. It is of the saints He 
Luc. 9° speaks as tasting death, by whom the death of the body is 
tasted just as it were sipping, while the life of the soul is 
held fast in possession. 


1. And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, 
and John his brother, and bringeth them up into 
an high mountain apart, 

2. And was transfigured before them : and his 
face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white 
as the light. 

3. And, behold, there appeared mito them Moses 
and Elias talking with him. 

4. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, 
Lord, it is good for us to be here : if thou wilt, let 
us make here three tabernacles ; one for thee, and 
one for Moses, and one for Elias. 

Remig. In this Transfiguration undergone on the mount, 
the Lord fiilfiUed within six days the promise made to His 
disciples, that they should have a sight of His glory; as it 
is said, A?id after sia,' days fie took Peter, and James, and 
John his brother. Jerome ; It is made a question how it 
could be after six days that He took them, when Luke says Luke 9, 
eight. The answer is easy, that here one reckoned only the 
intervening days, there the first and the last are also added. 
Chrys. He does not take them up immediately upon the 
promise being made, but six days after, for this reason, that 
the other disciples might not be touched with any human 
passion, as a feeling of jealousy ; or else that during these 
days' space, those disciples who were to be taken up might 
become kindled with a more eager desire. Raban. Justly Raban. 
was it after six days that He shewed His glorj, because® 
after six ages is to be the resurrection"*. Origen ; Or because 

^ See the Oxford Translation of S. Cyprian, Tr. xiii. n. a. 

■♦■ m 


in six days this wliole visible world was made ; so he w lio 
is al)ovc all tlu? things of this world, may ascend into the hi^di 
mountiiin, and there see the glory of the Word of God. 
Chkys. Ho took these three because He set them before 
others. But obsene how Matthew does not conceal who 
were preferred to himself; the like does Jolm also when he 
records the preeminent praise given to Peter. For the com- 
pany of A])ostles was free from i<>alonsy and vain glory. 
IIilauy; In the throe thus liikcu up with Him, tl«e election 
of people out of the three stocks of Sem, Cam, and .Japhct 
R^JV»- is figured. R.\ban. Or; He took only three disciples with 
Him, because many arc called but few chosen. Or because 
they who now hold in incorrupt mind the faith of the Holy 
Trinity, shall then joy in the everlasting beholding of it. 
Remig. When the Lord was about to shew His disciples 
the glory of His brightness, He led them into the mount<iin, 
as it follows, And he took them up into a h'ujh mountain 
apart. Herein teaching, that it is necessarj' for all who seek 
to contem])late God, that they should not grovel in weak 
pleasures, but by love of things above should be ever raising 
themselves towards heavenly things ; and to shew His dis- 
ciples that they should not look for the glory of the divine 
brightness in the gulph of the present world, but in the 
kingdom of the heavenly blessedness. He leads them 
apart, because the saints are separated from the wicked by 
their whole soul and devotion of their faith, and sluUl be 
utterly separated in the future ; or because many are called, 
but few chosen. It follows. And he teas transjigtired bo/ore 
them. Jkkome; Such as He is to be in the time of the 
Judgment, such was He now seen of the Apostles. 'Let 
none suppose that He lost His fonner form and lineaments, 
or laid a^de His bodily reality, t^^kiog upon Him a spiritual 
or ethereal Body. How His trausfiguralion was accom- 
pli.shed, the Evangelist shews, saying, And his face did 
shine as the sun, and his raiment became white as snow. 
For that His face is said to shine, and His raiment dUScribed 
to become white, does not take away subsUuice, but, confer 
glory. In truth, 'the Lord was transformed into ^lal glory 
in which He shall hereafter come in His Kingdom. The 
transformation enhanced the brightness, bn( did »i"t <livf|-..v 

VER. 1 4. ST. MATTHEW. 601 

the countenance, although the body were spiritual; whence 
also His raiment was changed and became white to such 
a degree, as in the expression of another Evangelist, no 
fuller on earth can whiten them. But all this is the pro- 
perty of matter, and is the subject of the touch, not of spirit 
and ethereal, an illusion upon the sight only beheld in 
phantasm. Remig. If then the face of the Lord shone as 
the sun, and the saints shall shine as the sun, are then the 
brightness of the Lord and the brightness of His servants 
to be equal ? 13y no means. But forasmuch as nothing is 
known more bright than the sun, therefore to give some illus- 
tration of the future resurrection, it is expressed to us that 
the brightness of the Lord's countenance, and the brightness 
of the righteous, shall be as the sun. Origen ; Mystically ; 
When any one has passed the six days according as we have 
said, he beholds Jesus transfigured before the eyes of his 
heart. For the Word of God has various forms, appearing 
to each man according as He knows that it wull be expedient 
for him ; and He shews Himself to none in a manner beyond 
his capacity ; whence he says not simply. He was trans- 
Jigured, but, before them. For Jesus, in the Gospels, is merely 
understood by those who do not mount by means of exalting 
works and words upon the high mountain of wisdom ; but to 
them that do mount up thus. He is no longer known according 
to the flesh, but is understood to be God the Word. Before 
these then Jesus is transfigured, and not before those who 
live sunk in worldly conversation. But these, before whom 
He is transfigured, have been made sons of God, and He is 
shewn to them as the Sun of righteousness. His raiment is 
made white as the light, that is, the words and sayings of the 
Gospels with which Jesus is clothed according to those things 
w^hich were spoken of Him .by the Apostles. Gloss. Or; the Gloss, 
raiment of Christ shadows out the saints, of whom Esaias says, l^^^^ 
With all these shall tkcu clothe thee as with a garment ; Tsa. 49,- 
and they are likened to snow because they shall be white with ^^* 
virtues, and all the heat of vices shall be put far away from 
them. It follows. And there appeared unto them Moses and 
Elias talking with them. Chrys. There are many reasons why 
these should appear. The first is this; because the multitudes 
said He wa^ Elias, or Jeremias, or one of the Prophets, He here 


brings with Him the chief of llio IVopht-ts, that hence at least 
may be seen the difference between the servants and their Lord. 
Anollier reason is this ; because the Jews were ever charging 
Jesus with being a transgressor of the Law and blasphemer, 
and usurping to Himself tlie glory of the Father, that He 
might prove Himself guiltless of both charges, He brings 
fonvard tliose who were eminent in both particulars; Moses, 
who gave tlie Law, and Elias, who was jealous for the glory 
of God. Anotlier reason is, that they might learn that He 
has the power of life and death ; by producing Moses, who 
was dead, and Elias, who had not yet experienced death. A 
further reason also the Evangelist discovers, that He might 
shew the glory of His cross, and thus soothe Peter, and the 
other disciples, who were fearing His death ; for tliey talked, 
as another Evangelist declares, of His decease uhich He 
should accomplish at Jerusalem. Wherefore He brings 
forward those who had exposed themselves to death for God's 
pleasure, and for tlie people tliat believed ; for both had 
willingly stood before tyrants, Moses before Pharaoh, Elias 
before Ahab. Lastly, also. He brings tliem forward, that tlie 
disciples should emulate their privileges, and be meek as 
Moses, and zealous as Elias. Hilaky ; Also that Moses and 
Elias only out of the whole number of the saints stood 
with Christ, means, that Christ, in His kingdom, is between 
the Law and the Prophets ; for He shall judge Israel in 
the presence of the same by whom He was preached to 
them. Origen ; However, if any man discerns a spiritual 
sense in the Law agreeing with the teaching of Jesus, and in 

1 Cor. ^iic Prophets finds the hidden wisdom of Christ, he beholds 
' Moses and Elias in the same glory with Jesus. Jeiiome ; 

It is to be remembered also, that when the Scribes and 
Pharisees asked signs from heaven, He would not give any ; 
but now, to the Apostles' faith. He gives a sign ; 
Elias descends from heaven, whither he was gone up, and 

Is.7, 10. Moses arises from hell; as Ahaz is bidden by Esaias 
to ask him a sign in the heaven above, or in the depth 
beneath. Chkys. Hereupon follows what the warm Peter 
spake, Peter answered and said unto Jesus, lx>rd, it is good 
for us to be here. Because he had heard that He must go 
up to Jerusalem, he yet fears for Clirisl; but after his 

VER. 5 ^9. ST. MATTHEW. 603 

rebuke he dares not again say, Be propitious to thyself. 
Lord, but suggests the same covertly under other guise. 
For seeing in this place great quietness and solitude, he 
thought that tliis would be a fit place to take up their abode 
in, saying. Lord, it is good for us to he here. And he sought 
to remain here ever, therefore he proposes the tabernacles, 
If thou upilt, let vs make here three tabernacles. For he 
concluded if he should do this, Christ would not go up to 
Jerusalem, and if He should not go up to Jerusalem, He 
should not die, for he knew that there the Scribes laid wait 
for Him. Remig. Otherwise ; At this view of the majesty 
of the Lord, and His two servants, Peter was so delighted, 
that, forgetting every thing else in the world, he would abide 
here for ever. But if Peter was then so fired with admira- 
tion, what ravishment will it not be to behold the King 
in His proper beauty, and to mingle in the choir of the 
Angels, and of all the saints ? In that Peter says, Lord, if 
thou u'ilt, he shews the submission of a dutiful and obedient 
servant. Jerome ; Yet art thou wrong, Peter, and as another 
Evangelist says, knowest not what thou sayest. Think not Luke 9, 
of three tabernacles, when there is but one tabernacle of * 
the Gospel in which both Law and Prophets are to be re- 
peated. But if thou wilt have three tabernacles, set not the 
servants equal with their Lord, but make three tabernacles, 
yea make one for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that They 
whose divinity is one, may have but one tabernacle, in thy 
bosom. Remig. He was wrong moreover, in desiring that 
the kingdom of the elect should be set up on earth, when the 
Lord had promised to give it in heaven. He was wrong 
also in forgetting that himself and his fellows were mortal, 
and in desiring to come to eternal felicity without taste 
of death. Raban. Also in supposing that tabernacles were 
to be built for conversation in heaven, in which houses are 
not needed, as it is written in the Apocalypse, I saw not any Rev. 21, 
temple therein. ^^' 

5. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud 
overshadowed them ; and behold a voice out of the 
cloud, which said. This is my beloved Son, in whom 
I am well pleased ; hear ye him. 


C. And when the disciples heard it, ihcy fell on 
their face, and were sore afraid. 

7. And Jesus came and touched them, and said. 
Arise, and be not afraid. 

8. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they 
saw no man, save Jesus only. 

9. And as they came down from the mountain, 
Jesus charged them, saying. Tell the vision to no 
man, until the Son of man be risen again from the 

Jkrome; While they thought only of an earthly tabernacle 
of boughs or tents, they are overshadowed by the covering 
of a bright cloud ; liliile he yet spake, there came a bright 
clvud and overshadowed them. Chkvs. When the Lord 

Exod. threatens, He shews a dark cloud, as on Sinai ; but here 
' ' ' where He sought not to terrify but to teach, there appeared 
a bright cloud. Origen; The bright cloud overshadowing 
the Saints is the Power of the Father, or perhaps the Holy 
Spirit; or I may also venture to call the SaWour that 
bright cloud which overshadows the Gospel, the Law, and 
the Prophets, as they understand who can behold His light 
in all these three. Jeromk ; Forasmuch as Peter had 
asked unwisely, he deserves not any answer; but the 
Father makes answer for the Son, that the Lord's word 

John 5, might be fulfilled, He that sent me, he bearelh witness of 
me. Chrys. Neither Moses, nor Elias speak, but the Father 
greater tlian all sends a voice out of the cloud, that the 
disciples might believe that this voice was from God. For 
God has ordinarily shewn Himself in a cloud, as it is written, 

F«.9r,2. Clouds and darkness are round about Him ; and this is 
what is said, Behold, a voice out of the cloud. Jerome ; 
The voice of the Father is heard speaking from heaven, 
giving testimony to the Son, and teaching Peter the truth, taking 
away his enor, and through Peter the other disciples also ; 
whence he proceeds, 7%t» is my belored Son. For Him 
make the talK'rnacle, Him obey ; this is the Son, they are 
but servants ; and tliey also ought as you to make ready a 
tabernacle for the liord in the iinnost ]>jirts of their heart. 

VER. 5 — 9. ST. MATTHEW. 605 

Chrys. Fear not then, Peter ; for if God is mighty, it is 
manifest that the Son is also mighty; wherefore if He is 
loved, fear not thou ; for none forsakes Him whom He loves ; 
nor dost thou love Him equally with the Father. Neither 
does He love Him merely because He begot Him, but 
because He is of one will with Himself; as it follows, In 
whom I am well pleased; which is to say, in whom I 
rest content, whom I accept, for all things of the Father 
He perfonns with care, and His will is one with the Father ; 
so if He will to be crucified, do not then speak against it. 
Hilary; This is the Son, this the Beloved, this the 
Accepted; and He it is who is to be heard, as the voice out of 
the cloud signifies, saying. Hear ye Him. For He is a fit 
teacher of doing the things He has done, who has given the 
weight of His own example to the loss of the world, the joy 
of the cross, the death of the body, and after that the glory 
of the heavenly kingdom. Remig. He says therefore, ^ear 
ye Him, as much as to say. Let the shadow of the Law be 
past, and the types of the Prophets, and follow ye the one 
shining light of the Gospel. Or He says. Hear ye Him, 
to shew that it was He whom Moses had foretold, The LordTfeat 

18 18 

your God shall raise up a Prophet ttnio you of your ' 
hrethren like unto me, Him, shall ye hear. Thus the 
Lord had witnesses on all sides; from heaven the voice of 
the Father, Elias out of Paradise, Moses out of Hades, the 
Apostles fi-om among men, that at the name of Jesus every 
thing should bow the knee, of things in heaven, things on earth, 
and things beneath. Origen ; The voice out of the cloud 
speaks either to Moses or Elias, who desired to see the Son 
of God, and to heai- Him; or it is for the leaching of the 
Apostles. Gloss. It is to be observed, that the mystery of Gloss, 
the second regeneration, that, to wit, which shall be in the^P^'j^^* 
resurrection, when the flesh shall be raised again, agrees well 
with the mystery of the first which is in baptism, when the 
soul is raised again. For in the baptism of Christ is shewn 
the working of the whole Trinity; there was the Son in- 
carnate, the Holy Ghost appearing in the figure of a dove, 
and the Father made kno^v-n by the voice. In like manner 
in the transfiguration, which is the sacrament of the second 
regeneration, the whole Trinity appeared; the Father in the 


voice, the Son in the man, and the Holy Spirit in tlie cloud. 
It is made a (]ucsti(>n how the Holy Spirit was shewn there 
in the dove, here in the cloud. Because it is His manner to 
mark His gifts by specific outward forms. And the gift of 
baptism is innocence, which is denoted by the bird of purity. 
But as in the resurrection, He is to give splendour and 
refreshment, therefore in the cloud are denoted both the 
refreshment and the brightness of the rising ])odies. It 
follows, And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their 
faces, and feared greatly. Jeromk ; Their cause of terror is 
threefold. Because they knew that they had done amiss ; or 
because the bright cloud had covered them ; or because they 
had heard the voice of God the Father speaking; for human 
frailty cannot endure to look upon so great glor}-, and falls to 
the earth trembling through both soul and body. And by 
how much higher any one has aimed, by so much lower will 
be his fiUl, if he shall be ignorant of his own measure. 
Remig. Whereas the holy Apostles fell upon their faces, 
that was a proof of their sanctity, for the saints are always 
described to fall upon their faces, but the wicked to fall 
backwards'. Chrys. But when before in Christ's baptism, 
such a voice came from heaven, yet none of the multitude 
then present suffered any thing of this kind, how is it that the 
disciples on the mount fell prostrate ? Because in sooth their 
solicitude was much, the height and loneliness of the spot 
great, and the transfigiu-ation itself attended with terrors, 
the clear light and the spreading cloud; all these things 
together wrought to terrify them. Jkuomk; And whereas 
they were laid down, and coiUd not raise themselves ag.oin. He 
approaches them, touches them gently, that by His touch 
their fear might be banished, and their unnerved limbs gain 
strength; And Jesus drew tieary and touched them. But He 
further added His word to His hand. And said unto tliem. 
Arise, fear not. He first banishes their fear, that He may 
after impart teaching. It follows. And when they lifted up 
their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only ; which was 
done with good reason ; for had Moses and Klias continued 

* Abraham, Gen. 17, 3; Mottes and Matt. -26, 39. On the other hand, of 
Aaron, Numb. 16. 4, 22; Tobia* and the wicked, see Gen. 49, 7. la- 2k, 13. 
SMrah, Tob. 13, 16; and our Lord John 18, 6. Nicol. 

VER. 10 13. ST. MATTHEW. 607 

with the Lord, it might have seemed imcertain to which in 
particular the witness of the Father was borne. Also they 
see Jesus standing after the cloud has been removed, and 
Moses and Elias disappeared, because after the shadow of 
the Law and Prophets has departed, both are found in the 
Gospel. It follows; And as they came dowti from the 
mount, Jesus charged them, saying. Tell no man this vision, 
until the Son of Man shall rise from the dead. He will not 
be preached among the people, lest the marvel of the thing 
should seem incredible, and lest the cross following after 
so great glory should cause offence. Remio. Or, because 
if His majesty should be published among the people, they 
should hinder the dispensation of His passion, by resistance 
to the chief Priests ; and thus the redemption of the human 
race should suffer impediment. Hilary; He enjoins silence 
respecting what they had seen, for this reason, that when 
they should be filled with the Holy Spirit, they should then 
become witnesses of these spiritual deeds. 

10. And his disciples asked him, saying. Why then 
say the Scribes that Elias must first come ? 

11. And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias 
truly shall first come, and restore all things. 

12. But I say unto you. That Elias is come already, 
and they knew him not, but have done unto him what- 
soever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of 
man suffer of them. 

13. Then the disciples understood that he spake 
unto them of John the Baptist. 

Jerome ; It was a tradition of the Pharisees following the 
Prophet Malachi, that Elias should come before the coming 
of the Saviour, and bring back the heart of the fathers to 
the children, and the children to the fathers, and restore all 
things to their ancient state. The disciples then consider 
that this transformation which they had seen in the mount 
was His coming in glory, and therefore it is said, And his 
disciples asked him, saying. How then say the Scribes that 


Elian must first come? As though Ihcy had said, li s. u 
have already come in glory, how is it that your forerunner 
appears not yel? And this they say chiefly because they see 
Chryfc that Elias is departed again. Ciirys. Tlie disciples knew 
h-»" "^'^ ^^ ^^^ coming of P^lias out of the Scrii)tures ; but the 
Scribes made it known to them ; and tliis report was current 
among the ignorant nudtiluHe, as was that conci miiiu Clirist. 
Yet the Scribes did not explain the coming of C'lirisl and 
of Elias, as they ought to have done. For the Scriptures 
speak of two comings of Christ ; that which has taken place, 
and that which is yet to be. Hut the Scribes, blinding the 
people, spake to them only of His second coming, and said. 
If this be the Christ, then should Elias have come before 
Him. Christ thus resolves the difficulty, He ansuered and 
saidy EUas truly shall comcy and restore all things; but I 
say unto youj that Elias has already come. Tliiiik not that 
here is a contradiction in llis speech, if He (irst say tliat 
Elias shall come, and llic n tliat he is come. For when He 
says that Elias shall come and restore all things, He speaks 
of Elias himself in his own proper person, who indeed shall 
restore all things, in that he shall correct the unbelief of the 
Aug. Jews, who shall then be to be found ; and that is the ttiming 
Sh"^*, the hearts of the fathers to the children, that is, the hearts 

£v. 1.21. ' ' 

of the Jews to the Apostles. Auo. Or ; He shall restore alt 
things, that is those whom the ])erseculion of Antichrist 
shall have overthrown ; as He Himself shoidd restore by 
His death those whom He ought. Chrys. But if there shall 
so much good arise out of the presence. of Elias, why did 
He not send him at that lime? We shall say. Because they 
then held Christ to be Elias, and yet beheved not on Him. 
But they shall hereafter believe Elias, when he shall 
come after so great expectation announcing Jesus, they will 
more readily receive what shall be taught by Him. But 
when He says that Elias is come already, He calls John tlie 
Baptist Elias from the resemblance of their ministry'; for as 
Elias shall be the forenmner of His second coming, so was 
John the forerunner of His first. And He calls John Elias, 
to shew that His first ( oming was agreeable to the Old 
Testament, and to prophecy. Jkromk; He then who at 
the Saviour's second coming should come in the tnith of 

VER. 14 18. ST. MATTHEW. 60i) 

His body, come now in John in power and spirit. It follows, 
And they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they 
would, that is, despised and beheaded him. Hilary ; As 
he announced the Lord's coming, so he was also to foreshew 
His passion by the example of his own suffering and wrong ; 
whence it follows. So also shall the Son of Man suffer of 
them. Chrys. He takes the opportunity from the passion 
of John to refer to His own passion, thus giving them much 
comfort. Jerome ; It is enqiured how, seeing that Herod 
and Herochas were they that killed John, it can be said that 
Jesus also was crucified by them, when we read that He 
was put to death by the Scribes and Pharisees ? It must be 
answered briefly, that the party of the Pharisees consented 
to the death of John, and that in the Lord's crucifixion 
Herod united his approval, when having mocked and set 
Him at nought, he sent Him back to Pilate, that he should 
crucify Him. Raban. From the mention of His own passion 
which the Lord had often foretold to them, and from that 
of His forerunner, which they beheld already accomplished, 
the disciples perceived that John was set forth to them 
under the name of Elias ; whence it follows ; Then under- 
stood the disciples that he spake to them of John the 
Baptist. Origen ; That He says of John, Elias is already 
come, is not to be understood of the soul of Elias, that we 
fall not into the doctrine of metempsychosis, which is foreign to 
the truth of Church doctrine, but, as the Angel had foretold, 
he came in the spirit and power of Elias. 

14. And when they were come to the multitude, 
there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to 
him, and saying, 

15. Lord, have mercy on my son : for he is lunatick, 
and sore vexed : for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, 
and oft into the water. 

16. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they 
could not cure him. 

17. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless 
and perverse generation, how long shall I be with 

VOL. I. 2 r 


you ? how long shall I suffer you ? bring him hither 
to me. 

18. And Jesus rebuked the devil ; and he departed 
out of him : and the child was cured from that very 

Orioen; Peter, anxious for such desirable life, and pre- 
ferring his own benefit to that of many, had said, It m good 
for us to be here. But since charity seeks not her own, 
Jesus did not this wliich seemed good to Peter, but de- 
scended to the multitude, as it were from the high mount 
of His divinity, that He might be of use to such as could 
not ascend because of the weakness of their souls ; whence 
it is said. And when he wan eome to the multitude ; for if 
He had not gone to the multitude with His elect disciples, 
there would not have come near to Him the man of whom 
it is added, Tliere came to him a man kneeliny down, and 
saying, Ij)rd, hare mercy on my son. Consider here, that 
sometimes those that are themselves the sufferers believe 
and entreat for their own healing, sometimes others for them, 
as he who kneels before Him praying for his son, and some- 
times the Saviour heals of Himself unasked by any. First, 
let us see what this means that follows. For he is lunatic, 
and sore re.ved. Let the })hysicians talk as they list ; for they 
think it no unclean spirit, but some bodily disorder, and 
say, that the humours in the head are governed in their 
motions by sympathy with the phases of the moon, whose 
light is of the nature of humours. But we who believe 
the Gospel say that it is an unclean spirit that works such 
disorders in men. The spirit obscnes the moon's changes, 
that it may cheat men into the belief that the moon is 
the cause of their sufferings, and so prove God's creation to 
be evil ; as other dicmons lay wait for men following the times 
and coiuses of the stars, that they may speak wickedness in 
high places, calling some stars malignaiU, others benign ; 
whereas no star was made by God that it should produce evil. 
In this that is added. For ojltimes he falls into the fire, and oft 
into the water, Chrys. is to be noted, that were not man for- 
tified here by I'rovidence, he would long since have perished; 
for the dasmon who cast him into the fire, and into the water. 

VER. 14 — 18. ST. MATTHEVV. 611 

would have killed him outright, had God not restrained him. 
Jerome ; In saying, And I brought him to thy disciples, and 
they could not heal him, he covertly accuses the Apostles, 
whereas that a cure is impossible is sometimes the effect not of 
want of power in those that undertake it, but of want of faith 
in those that are to be healed. Chrys. See herein also his 
folly, in that before the multitude he appeals to Jesus against 
His disciples. But He clears them from shame, inputing 
their failiure to the patient himself; for many things shew 
that he was weak in faith. But He addresses His reproof not 
lo the man singly, that He may not trouble him, but to the 
Jews in general. For many of those present, it is likely, had 
improper thoughts concerning the disciples, and therefore it 
follows, Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse 
generation, how long shall I be with you, how long shall I 
suffer you ? His How long shall I be with you ? shews that 
death was desired by Him, and that He longed for His with- 
drawal. Remig. It may be known also, that not now for the 
first time, but of a long time, the Lord had borne the Jews' 
stubbornness, whence He says. How long shall I suffer you i 
because I have now a long while endured your iniquities, 
and ye are unworthy of My presence. Origex; Or; Because 
the disciples could not heal him as being weak in faith. He 
said to them, O faithless generation, adding perverse, to shew 
that their perverseness had introduced evil beyond their 
nature. But I suppose, that because of the penerseness of 
the whole human race, as it were oppressed with their evil 
nature, He said. How long shall I be with you? Jerome; 
Not that we must think that He was overcome by weariness 
of them, and that The meek and gentle broke out into words 
of wrath, but as a physician who might see the sick man 
acting against his injunctions, would say. How long shall I 
firequent your chamber? How long throw away the exercise 
of my skill, while I prescribe one thing, and you do another? 
That it is the sin, and not the man with whom He is 
angrj', and that in the person of this one man He convicts 
the Jews of unbelief, is clear from what He adds. Bring him 
to me. Chrys. When He had vindicated His disciples. He 
leads the boy's father to a cheering hope of believing that he 
■ shall be delivered out of this evil; and that the father might 
\ 2r2 


be led to believe the miracle that was coining, seeing the 
daemon was disturlH d * V( n when the child was only called; 
Jerome; He rebuked hhn, that is, not the sufTcrer, but the 
daiium. Rkmio. In whicli dood He loft an example to 
preachers to attack sins, bnt to assist men. Jerome ; Or, 
His reproof was to the child, because for his sins he had 
been seized on by the daemon. 

Raban. The lunatic is figuratively one who is hurried 
into fresh vices every hour, one while is cast into the fire, 

Hos. 7, with which the hearts of the adulterers burn ; or again 
into the waters of pleasures or lusts, which yet have not 

^"f?- strength to quench love. Auo. Or the fire pertains to 

Ev.i. 22. anger, which aims upwards, water to the lusts of the flesh. 
Origen ; Of the changcfidness of the sinner it is said, 7%^]xi8. fool changes as the moon. We may see sometimes that an 
' ' impulse towards good works comes over such, when, lo! 
again as by a sudden seizure of a spirit they are laid hold 
of by their passions, and fall from that good state in which 
they were supposed to stand. Perhaps his father stands for 
the Angel to whom was allotted the care of this lunatic, 
praying the Physician of souls, that He would set fi"ec his 
son, who could not be delivered from his suffering by the 
simple word of Christ's disciples, because as a deatf person 
he cannot receive their instruction, and therefore he needs 
Christ's word, that henceforth he may not act without reason. 

19. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and 
said. Why could not we cast him out ? 

20. And Jesus said unto them. Because of your 
unbelief: for verily I say unto you. If ye have faith 
as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this 
mountain, Remove hence to yonder place ; and it 
shall remove ; and nothing shall be impossible unto 

21. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer 
and fasting. 

Chrvs. The disciples had received fi-om the Lord tlio 
power over unclean spirits, luid when they could not heal tlie 
daunoniac thus brought to them, they seem to have had mis- 

VER. 19 — 21. ST. MATTHEW. G13 

givings lest they had forfeited the grace once given to them ; 
hence their question. And they ask it apart, not out of 
shame, but because of the unspeakable matter of which 
they were to ask. Jesus said unto them, Because of your 
unbelief. Hilary; The Apostles had believed, yet their 
faith was imperfect ; while the Lord tarried in the mount, 
and they abode below with the multitude, their faith had 
become stagnant. Chrys. AVhence it is plain that the dis- 
ciples' faith was grown weak, yet not all, for those pillars 
were there, Peter, and James, and John. Jerome; This is 
what the Lord says in another place. Whatsoever ye shall Johnie, 
ask in my name believing, ye shall receive. Therefore when jyj^^ 21 
we receive not, it is not the weakness of Him that gives, but 22. 
the fault of them that ask. Chrys. But it is to be known, 
that, as ofttimes the faith of him that dravveth near to receive 
supphes the miraculous virtue, so ofttimes the power of those 
that work the miracle is sufficient even without the faith 
of those who sought to receive. Cornelius and his house- Acts 10, 
hold, by their faith, attracted to them the grace of the Holy 
Spirit; but the dead man who was cast into the sepulchre 2 Kings 
of Elisha, was revived solely by virtue of the holy body. It ' * 
happened that the disciples were then weak in faith; for 
indeed they were but in an imperfect condition before the 
cross; wherefore He here tells them, that faith is the mean 
of miracles. Verily I say unto you, if ye shall have faith as a 
grain of mustard-seed, ye shall say to this mountain. Remove 
hence, and it shall remove. Jerome; Some think that the 
faith that is compared to a grain of mustard-seed is a little 
faith, whereas the Apostle says. If I shall have such faith that 1 Cor. 
/ could remove mountains. The faith therefore which is ' * 
compared to a grain of mustard-seed is a great faith. Greg. Greg. 
The mustard-seed, unless it be bruised, does not give out its ^"f" 
qualities, so if persecution fall upon a holy man, straightway 
what had seemed weak and contemptible in him is roused 
into the heat and fervour of virtue. Origen ; Or, all faith 
is likened to a grain of mustard-seed, because faith is looked 
on with contempt by men, and shews as something poor and 
mean; but when a seed of this kind lights upon a good heait 
as its soil, it becomes a great tree. The weakness of this 
lunatic's faith is yet so great, and Chiist is so strong to heal 


him amidst all his ivils, that lie hkcns it tu a mountain 
which cannot be cast out but by the whoU* faith of him who 
tlcsircs to heal ufHictiuns of this sort. Chuys. So lie not 
only promises the removal of mountains, bol goes beyond, 
saying. And tiolIiinf/ shall be impossible to you. Rauan. For 
faith gives our niindH such a capacity for tlie heavenly gifts, 
that whatsoever we will we may easily obtain from a faithful 
Master. Chrys. If you shall ask, Where did the Apostles 
remove mountains? 1 answer, that they did greater things, 
bringing many dead to life. It is told also of some saints, 
who came after the Apostles, that they have in urgent 
necessity removed mountains •*. But if mountains were not 
removed in the Apostles' time, this was not because they 
could not, but because they would not, there being no pressing 
occasion. And tlie Lord said not that they should do this 
tiling, but that they should have power to do it. Yet it 
is likely that they did do this, but that it is not written, for 
indeed not all the miracles that they wTought are written. 
Jerome; Or; the mountain is not said of tliat which we see 
with the eyes of the body, but signified that spirit which was 
removed by the Lord out of the lunatic, who is said by the 
Gio»8. Prophet to be the corrupter of the whole earth. Gloss. So 
'that the sense then is. Ye shall say to this moutitain, that is 
to the proud devil, Remove hence, that is from the possessed 
body into the sea, that is into the deptlis of hell, and it shall 
remote, and nothing shall be impossible to you, that is, no 
Aug. shall be incurable. Aug. Otherwise; Tliat the 
" '" disciples in working their miracles should not be lifted up 
with pride, they are warned rather by the humbleness of their 
laith, as V)y a grain of mustard-seed, to take care that they 
remove all pride of earth, which is signified by the mountain 
in this place. Rahax. But while He teaches the Apostles 
how the daemon ought to be cast out^ He instructs all in 

••St. Augustine sajK, that he had never li. p. 982.) Pope Greponr, Dial. i. 7. 

reader heard of a mountain being tran«- calLt it a rock, or even a niounlain. H« 

imrted into the «ea by faith. Sp. et mentions it while relating the like mira- 

lil. n. 02. St. ChrjwMitom d;>peani to cle in the hi!«tory of St. Benedict In 

refer to the occurrence recorded in the volcanic couutrieit, changex in mountainii 

hiKtory of Gregory of Nj-o-tVsarca, and rivers occur even from nntural 

called Thauniaturgus, A.D. 200, whoice, much roon- —•■»•• —-lyer cauao 

miraclett are reported to us by hi*" name- them. Hut St. ' remkrk 

rake of Nywa. Nynnen, however, shewn therein •■ eridenoe 

Kpcakc only of bis moviog a atone, (vol. for the fact. 

VER. 22, 23. ST. MATTHEW. 615 

regulation of life ; that we may all know that all the heavier 
inflictions, whether of unclean spirits, or temptations of men, 
may be removed by fasts and prayers; and that the wrath 
also of the Lord may be appeased by this remedy alone; 
whence he adds, Hoicbeit this kind is not cast out hut by 
prayer and fasting. Chrys. And this He says not of 
lunatics in particidar, but of the whole class of daemons. For 
fast endues with great wisdom, makes a man as an Angel from 
heaven, and beats down the unseen powers of evil. But 
there is need of prayer as even still more important. And 
who prays as he ought, and fasts, had need of little more, and 
so is not covetous, but ready to almsgiving. For he who 
fasts, is light and active, and prays wakefully, and quenches 
his evil lusts, makes God propitious, and humbles his proud 
stomach. And he who prays with his fasting, has two 
wings, lighter than the winds themselves. For he is not 
heavy and wandering in his prayers, (as is the case with 
many,) but his zeal is as the warmth of fire, and his con- 
stancy as the firmness of the earth. Such an one is most 
able to contend with daemons, for there is nothing more 
powerful than a man who prays properly. But if your 
health be too weak for strict fast, yet is it not for prayer, 
and if you cannot fast, you can abstain from indulgences. 
And this is not a httle, and not very different from 
fast. Origen ; If then we shall ever be required to be 
employed in the healing of those who are suffering any thing 
of this sort, we shall not adjure them, nor ask them questions, 
nor even speak, as though the unclean spirit could hear us, 
but by our fasting and our prayers drive away the evil spirits. 
Gloss. Or; This class of daemons, that is the variety of carnal Gloss, 
pleasm-es, is not overcome unless the spirit be strengthened*"^ ' 
by prayer, and the flesh enfeebled by fast. Remig. Or, 
fasting is here understood generally as abstinence not from 
food only, but fiom all carnal allurements, and sinful pas- 
sions. In like manner prayer is to be understood in general 
as consisting in pious and good acts, concerning which the 

Apostle'spoaks, Pray without ceasing. i Thess. 

6, 17. 

22. And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said 

unto them. The Son of man shall be betrayed into 

the hands of men. 


23. And they shall kill him, and the third day 
he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding 

Remig. The Lord often foretold to His disciples the mys- 
teries of His passion, in order that when they come to pass, 
they might be the lighter to them from having been known 
beforehand. Origex ; ITiis seems to be so like a warning 
He had given above, that a man might easily say that the 
Lord now reix-ated wliat I le had said before ; yet is it not so ; 
He had not before said that He must be betrayed, but we 
hear now not only that He must be betrayed, but that 
He must be betrayed into the hands of men. The Son of Man 
Rom. 8, indeed was delivered up by God the Father according to the 
'^" Apostle, but different powers gave him up into the hands of 
men. Jerome ; Thus does He ever mix the joyful and the 
grievous ; if it grieves them that He is to be put to death, 
they ought to be gladdened when they hear, And shall rise 
again the third day. Chrys. For this is no long time that 
He si)eaks of continuing in death, when He says that He 
shall rise again on the third day. Origen; By this an- 
nouncement of the Lord the disciples were made very 
sorrowful, not attending to that He said, And shall rise 
again the third day^ nor considering what He must be to 
whom the space of three days was enough to destroy death. 
Jerome ; That they were thus made exceeding sorrowful, 
came not of their lack of faith ; but out of their love of their 
Master tlicy could not endure to hear of any hurt or indignity 
for Him. 

24. And when they were come to Capernaum, they 
that received tribute money came to Peter, and said. 
Doth not your master pay tribute ? 

25. He saith. Yes. And when he was come into 
the house, Jesus prevented him, saying. What thinkest 
thou, Simon ? of whom do the kings of the earth 
take custom or tribute ? of their own children, or of 
strangers ? 

26. Peter saith unto him. Of strangers. Jesus saith 
unto him. Then are the children free. 

VER. 24 27. ST. MATTHEW. 617 

27. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, 
go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up 
the fish that first cometh up ; and when thou hast 
opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money : 
that take, and give unto them for me and thee. 

Gloss. The disciples were exceeding sorrowful when they Gloss, 
heard of the Lord's passion, and therefore that none might "°" °^*'' 
ascribe His suffering to compulsion, and not to a voluntary 
submission, he adds an incident which instances Christ's 
power, and His submission ; And when they were come to 
Capernaum, there came to Peter those who received the 
didrachma, and said unto him, Doth not your Master pay 
the didrachma ? Hilary ; The Lord is called upon to pay 
the didrachma, (that is, two denarii,) for this the Law had 
enjoined upon all Israel for the redemption of their body 
and soul, and the use of those that served in the temple. 
Chrys. For when God slew the firstborn of Egypt, He 
then accepted the tribe of Levi for them. But because the Numb. 
numbers of this tribe were less than the number of firstborn ' " 
among the Jews, it was ordained that redemption money 
should be paid for the number that came short ; and thence 
sprang the custom of paying this tax. Because then Christ 
was a firstborn son, and Peter seemed to be the first among 
the disciples, they came to him. And as it seems to me 
this was not demanded in every district, they come to Christ 
in Capernaum, because that was considered His native place. 
Jerome ; Or otherwise ; From the time of Augustus Caesar 
Judsa was made tributary, and all the inhabitants were 
registered, as Joseph with Mary his kinswoman gave in His 
name at Bethlehem. Again, because the Lord was brought 
up at Nazareth, which is a town of Galilee subject to Caper- 
naum, it is there that the tribute is asked of Him ; but for 
that His miracles were so great, those who collected it did 
not dare to ask Himself, but make up to the disciple. 
Chrys. And him they address not with boldness, but coiur- 
teously ; for they do not arraign, but ask a question. Doth 
not your Master pay the didrachma ? Jerome ; Or, They 
enquire with maUcious purpose whether He pays tribute, or 
resists Caesar's will. Chrys. What then does Peter say ? 


He saithy Yea. To these then he said that He did pay, but 
to Christ he said not so, blushing ])erliai)s to speak of such 
Glow, matters. (J loss. Other\\ist' ; IVler answertd, Veu; meaning, 
•eini. " vea. He does not pay. And Peter sought to ac(iuaint the 
Lord that thf Herodians had demanded tribute, but the 
Ijord prevented him ; as it follows, And when he had entered 
into the hmtscy Jetfits prevented him, saying, Qf whom do the 
kings qf the earth receive custom or trihute, (i. e. head- 
money,) qf their children, or qf strangers ? Jkkomk ; Before 
any hint from Peter, the Lord puts the question to him, that 
His disciples might not be offended at the demand of tribute, 
when they see that He knows even those things that are done 
in His absence. It follows, But he said. From strangers ; 
Jesns said>into him. Then are the children free. Orioen; 
This speech has a twofold meaning. First, that the children 
of the kings of the earth are free with the kings of the earth ; 
but strangers, foreigners in the land, are not free, because of 
those tliat oppress them, as the Egyptians did the children 
of Israel. The second sense is ; forasmuch as there be some 
who are strangers to the sons of the kings of the earth, and 
are yet sons of God, therefore it is they that abide in the 
words of Jesus; these are free, for they have known the truth, 
and the truth has set them free from the scnice of sin : but 
John 8, the sons of the kings of the earth are not free ; for whoso 
**• doth sin, he is the servant of sin. Jkromk ; But our Lord 
was the son of the king, both according to the flesh, and 
according to the Spirit ; whether as sprung of the seed of 
David, or as the Word of the Almighty Father; therefore as 
Aug. the king's son He owed no tribute. Aug. For, saith He, in 
Ev.i.23. t-'very kingdom the children are free, that is, not under tax. 
Much more therefore should they be free in any earthly 
kingdom, who are children of that very kingdom luider which 
are all the kingdoms of the earth. Cukvs. But this instance 
were brought to no purjwse if He were not a son. But some 
one may say. He is son indeed, but not an own son. But then 
He were a stranger; and so this instance would not apply ; for 
He speaks only of own sons, distinct from whom He calls 
them strangers who are actually bom of parents. Mark how 
here also Christ certifies that relationshij) which was revealed 
to Peter from God, Thoxt art Christ, the Son qf the living 
fiofl. .Tfkomf. ; Howsoever free then He was, yet seeing He 

VER. 24 — 27. ST. MATTHEW, 619 

had taken to Him lowliness of the flesh, He ought to fulfil all 
righteousness ; whence it follows, But that they should not be 
offended, go to the sea. Okigen ; We may hence gather as 
a consequence of this, that when any come with justice 
demanding our earthly goods, it is the kings of the earth that 
send them, to claim of us what is their own ; and by His own 
example the Lord forbids any offence to be given even to 
these, whether that they should sin no more, or that they 
should be saved. For the Son of God, who did no servile 
work, yet as having the form of a slave, which He took on 
Him for man's sake, gave custom and tribute. Jerome ; I am 
at a loss what first to admire in this passage ; whether the 
foreknowledge, or the mighty power of the Saviour. His 
foreknowledge, in that He knew that a fish had a stater in 
its mouth, and that that fish should be the first taken ; His 
mighty power, if the stater were created in the fish's mouth 
at His word, and if by His command that which was to 
happen was ordered. Christ then, for His eminent love, 
endured the cross, and paid tribute ; how wretched we who are 
called by the name of Christ, though we do nothing worthy 
of so great dignity, yet in respect of His majesty, pay no 
tribute, but are exempt from tax as the King's sons. But 
even in its literal import it edifies the hearer to learn, that so 
great was the Lord's poverty, that He had not whence to pay 
the tribute for Himself and His Apostle. Should any object 
that Judas bore money in a bag, we shall answer, Jesus held 
it a fraud to divert that which was the poor's to His own 
use, and left us an example therein. Chrys. Or He does 
not direct it to be paid out of that they had at hand, that 
He might shew that He was Lord also of the sea and the 
fish. Gloss. Or because Jesus had not any image of Caesar, Gloss, 
(for the prince of this world had nothing in Him,) therefore °°° °^ 
He furnished an image of Caesar, not out of their own stock, 
but out of the sea. But He takes not the stater into His own 
possession, that there should never be found an image of 
Caesar upon the Image of the invisible God. Chrys. Observe 
also the wisdom of Christ ; He neither refuses the tribute, nor 
merely commands that it be paid ; but first proves that He 
is of right exempt, and then bids to give the money; the 
money was paid to avoid offence to the collectors ; the vindi- 
cation of His exemption was to avoid the offence to the 


disciples. Indeed in another place lie disregards the oflcnce 

of tlio Pharisees, in disputing of meats ; teaching us herein 

to know the seasons iu which we must attend to, and those 

in which we must slight the thoughts of, those who are like 

Greg. into bc scandalizcd. Grko. For we must ca-st about how, 

..*^ * as far as we may without sin, to avoid giving scandal to our 

neighbours. But if offence is taken from truth, it is better 

that offence should come, though truth be forsaken. Chkys. 

As you wonder at Christ's power, so admire Peter's faith, 

who was obedient in no easy matter. In reward of his 

faith he was joined with his Lord in the payment. An 

abundant honour ! Thou shall Jind a stater^ that take and 

Glosf. git)€ unto thetti for thee and for me. Gloss. For by custom 

"elm." every several man paid a didrachma for himself; now a 

stater is equal to two didrachmas. 

Origen ; Mystically ; In the field of comfort, (for so 
is Capernaum expounded,) He comforts each one of His 
disciples, and pronounces him to be a son and free, and 
gives him the power of taking the first fish, that after His 
ascension Peter may have comfort over that which he 
has caught. Hilary ; When Peter is instructed to take 
the first fish, it is shewn therein that he shall catch 
more than one. Tlie blessed first martyr Stephen was 
the first that came up, having in his mouth a stater, which 
contained the didrachma of the new preaching, divided as 
two denarii, for he preached as he beheld in his passion 
the glory of God, and Christ the Lord. Jerome; Or; 
Tliat fish which was first taken is tlie first Adam, who is 
set free by the second Adam ; and that which is found 
in his mouth, that is, in his confession, is given for Peter 
and for the Lord. Origen ; And when you see any raiser 
rebuked by some Peter who takes the speech of his money 
out of bis mouth, you may say that he is risen out of the sea 
of covetousness to the hook of reason, and is caught an<l 
saved by some Peter, who has taught him the tnilli, that he 
should change his stater for the image of Go<l, that is for 
the oracles of God. Jerome ; And beautifully is this very stater 
given for the tribute ; but it is divided ; for Peter as for a sinner 
a ransom is to bc paid, but the I^ord had not sin. Yet herein 
is shewn the likeness of their flesh, when the Ix>rd and His 
ser^'auLs arc redeemed with the same price. 


1. At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, 
saying. Who is the greatest in the kingdom of 
heaven ? 

2. And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set 
him in the midst of them, 

3. And said. Verily I say unto you. Except ye be 
converted, and become as little children, ye shall not 
enter into the kingdom of heaven. 

4. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as 
this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom 
of heaven. 

5. And whoso shall receive one such little child in 
my name receiveth me. 

6. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones 
which believe in me, it were better for him that a 
millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he 
were drowned in the depth of the sea. 

Jerome ; The disciples seeing one piece of money paid 
both for Peter and the Lord, conceived from this equaHty of 
ransom that Peter was preferred before all the rest of the 
Apostles. Chrys. Thus they suffered a human passion, 
which the Evangelist denotes by saying, At the same time 
came the disciples to Jesus, saying. Who, we pray thee, is 
the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Ashamed to shew 
the feeling which was working within, they do not say 
openly, Wliy have you honoured Peter above us? but they 
ask in general. Who is the greatest? When in the trans- 
figuration they saw three distinguished, namely, Peter, James, 


and John, Ihoy had no such feeling, but now that one i« 
singled out for especial honour, then they are grieved. Hut do 
you remember, first, that it was nothing in this world that 
they sought ; and, secondly, that they afterwards laid aside 
this feeling? Kvcn their failings are above us, whose enquiry 
is not, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? but. 
Who is greatest in the kingdom of the world? Okioen; 
Herein we ought to be imitators of the disciples, that when 
any question of doubt arises among us, and we find not how 
to settle it, we should with one consent go to Jesus, Who 
is able to enlighten the hearts of n»en to the explication 
of every perplexity. We shall also consult some of the 
doctors, who are thought most eminent in the Churches. 
But in that they asked tlrts ciuestion, the disciples knew that 
there was not an equality among the saints in the kingdom 
of heaven ; what they yet sought to leam was, how they were 
so, and lived as greater and less. Or, from what the Lord 
had said above, they knew who was the best and who was great ; 
but out of many great, who was the greatest, this was not 
clear to them. Jerome ; Jesus seeing their thoughts would 
heal their ambitious strivings, by arousing an enutlation in 
lowliness; whence it follows, And Jesvs calling a little childj 
set him in the midst qf them. Chrys, He chose, I supjwse, 
quite an infant, devoid of any of the passions. Jerome; 
One whose tender age should express to them the innocence 
which they should have. But tndy He set Himself in the 
Mat.20, midst of them, a little one who had come not to he ministered 
unto, hut to minister, that He might be a pattern of holiness. 
Tid. Ori- Others interpret the little one of the Holy Spirit, whom He 
^/ set in the hearts of His disciples, to change their pride into 
humility. And he said. Verily I say unto yon, Except ye be 
converted, and hecoine as little children, ye shall iwt enter 
into the kingdom (if heaven. He does not enjoin on the 
Apostles the age, but the innocence of infants, which they 
have by virtue of their years, but to which these miglit attain 
by striving; that they shoidd be children in malice, not in 
understanding. As though He hiid said. As this child, whom 
I set before you as a pattern, is not obstinate in anger, when 
injured docs not bear it in mind, has no emotion at the sight 
of a fair woman, does not think one tiling while he speaks 

VER. 1 — G. ST. MATTHEW. 62^ 

another ; so ye, unless ye have the like innocence and purity 
of mind, shall not be able to enter into the kingdom of 
heaven. Hilary ; He calls infants all who beheve through 
the hearing of faith; for such follow their father, love their 
mother, know not to will that which is evil, do not bear hate, 
or speak hes, trust what is told them, and beheve what 
they hear to be true. But the letter is thus interpreted. 
Gloss. Except ye be converted from this ambition and Gloss, 
jealousy in which you are at present, and become all of y ou '°*^^'" '° ' 
as innocent and humble in disposition as you are weak in 
your years, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven; 
and since there is none other road to enter in, whoso shall 
humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in 
the kingdom qf heaven ; for by how much a man is humble 
now, by so much shall he be exalted in the kingdom of 
heaven. Remig. In the understanding of grace, or in eccle- 
siastical dignity, or at least in everlasting blessedness. 
Jerome ; Or otherwise ; Whoso shall humble himself as this 
little child, that is, whoso shall humble himself after My 
example, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. It 
foUows, And whoso receiveth one such little one in my 
name, receiveth me. Chrys. Not only if ye become such 
yourselves, but also if for My sake you shall pay honour to 
other such, ye receive reward; and as the retmii for the 
honour you pay them, I entail upon you the kingdom. He 
puts indeed what is far greater, Receiveth me. Jerome ; For 
whoever is such that he imitates Christ's humility and 
innocence, Christ is received by him; and by way of caution, 
that the Apostles should not think, when such are come to 
them, that it is to themselves that the honour is paid, He 
adds, that they are to be received not for their own desert, but 
in honour of their Master. Chrys. And to make this word 
the rather received. He subjoins a penalty in what follows. 
Whoso offendeth one of these little ones, ^c. as though He 
had said, As those who for My sake honour one of these, 
have their reward, so they who dishonour shall undergo the 
extreme punishment. And mai*vel not that He calls an evil 
word an offence, for many of feeble spirit are offended by only 
being despised. Jerome; Observe that he who is offended 
is a little one, for the greater hearts do not take offences. 


And though it may be a general declaration against all who 
scandalize any, yet from the connection of the discourHC it 
may be said specially to the Apostles; for in asking who 
should be greatest in the kingdom of heaven, they seemed to 
be contending for preeminenc(! among themselves ; and if 
they had persisted in this fault, they might have scandalized 
those whom they called to the faith, seeing the Apostles con- 
tending among themselves for the preference. Ouigkn ; But 
how can he who has been converted, and become as a little 
child, be yet liable to be scandalized? This may be thus 
explained. Every one who believes on the Son of God, and 
walks after evangelic acts, is converted and walks as a little 
child ; but he who is not converted that he may become as a 
child, it is impossible that he should enter into the kingdom 
of heaven. But in cverj' congregation of believers, there are 
some only newly converted that they may become as littl. 
children, but not yet made such ; these lu-e the little ones in 
Christ, and tliese arc they that receive offence. Jerome ; 
When it is said. It is better for him that a mill-stone be 
hanged abottt his neck, He speaks according to the custom 
of the province ; for among the Jews this was the punishment 
of the greater criminals, to drown them by a stone tied to 
them. It is better for him, because it is far better to receive 
a brief punishment for a faidt, than to be resened for eternal 
torments. Chrys. To correspond with the foregoing, He 
should have said here, Receivcth not Me, which were bitterer 
than any punishment; but because they were dull, and the 
before-named punishment did not move them, by a familiar 
instance He shews that punishment awaited them; for He 
therefore says, it uere better for him, because another more 
grievous punishment awaits him. 

H11.ARY; Mystically; The work of the mill is a toil of 
blindness, for the beasts having their eyes closed are driven 
round in a circle, and under the type of an ass we often 
find the Gentiles figured, who are held in the ignorance of 
blind labour; while the Jews hav(! the path of knowledge 
net before them in the Law, who if they offend Christ's 
Apostles it were better for them, that having their necks 
made fast to a mill-stone, they should be drowned in the 
Mft) that is, kept imder labour and in the depths of ignorance, 
as the Gentiles; for it were better for them that thev should 

VER. 7 — 9. ST. MATTHEW. 625 

liave never known Christ, than not to have received the Lord 
of the Prophets. Gregory; Otherwise; What is denoted by Greg, 
the sea, but the world, and what by the mill-stone, butgi*"^*^'* 
earthly action ? which, when it binds the neck in the yoke of 
vain desires, sends it to a dull round of toil. There are some 
who leave earthly action, and bend themselves to aims of 
contemplation beyond the reach of intellect, laying aside 
humility, and so not only throw themselves into error, but also 
cast many weak ones out of the bosom of truth. Whoso then 
offends one of the least of mine, it were better for him that a 
mill-stone be tied about his neck, and he be cast into the sea ; 
that is, it were better for a peinerted heart to be entirely 
occupied with worldly business, than to be at leisure for 
contemplative studies to the hurt of many. Aug. Otherwise ; Aug. 
Whoso ojfendeth one of these little ones^ that is so humble as ]EvX24. 
He would have his disciples to be, by not obeying, or by 
opposing, (as the Apostle says of Alexander,) it were better 2 Tim. 
for him that a mill-stone should be hanged about his neck^ "*' ^^' 
and he be drowned in the depths of the sea, that is, it were 
better for him that desire of the things of the world, to which 
the blind and foolish ai"e tied- down, should sink him by its 
load to destruction. 

7. Woe unto the world because of offences ! for it 
must needs be that offences come ; but woe to that 
man by whom the offence cometh. 

8. Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, 
cut them off, and cast them from thee : it is better 
for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than 
having two hands or two feet to be cast into ever- 
lasting fire. 

9. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and 
cast it from thee : it is better for thee to enter into 
life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be 
cast into hell fire. 

Gloss. The Lord had said, that it is better for him who Gloss. 
gives offence, that a mill-stone be hanged about his neck, of°""*^*'* 
which He now subjoins the reason, Woe unto the world from 

VOL. I. 2 s 


offencesi i. e. because of offences. Origen; This wc may 
understand not of the nialerial elements of the world ; but 
here tlie men who arc in the world, are called the world*. 
But Christ's disciples are not of this world, whence there 
cannot be woe to them from offinces; for though there be 
many offences, they do not touch him who is not of this 
world. But if he be yet of this world in loving the world, 
and tho things in it, as many offences will seize him as 
those by which he was encompassed in the world. It fol- 
Chrys. lows, For it must needs be that offences come. Chrys. This 
ji35 ■ does not subvert the liberty of the will, or impose a necessity 
of any act, but foreshews what must come to pass. Offences 
are hindrances in the right way. But Christ's prophecy 
does not bring in the offences, for it is not done because He 
foretold it, but He foretold it because it was certainly to 
come to pass. But some one will say. If all men are 
recovered, and if there be none to bring the offences, will 
not His speech be convicted of falsehood? By no means; 
for seeing that men were incurable. He therefore said, // 
must needs be that offences come ; that is, they surely will 
come; which He never would have said, if all men might be 
GioM. amended. Gloss. Or they must needs come because they 
interlin. q^q ueccssary, that is, useful, that by this mean they that are 
11, 19. approved may be made manifest. Chrvs. For offences 
rouse men, and make them more attentive; and he who 
falls by them speedily rises again, and is more careful. 
Hilary; Or; The lowliness of His passion is the scandal 
of the world, which refused to receive the Lord of eternal 
glory under the disgrace of the Cross. And what more 
dangerous for the world than to have rejected Christ ? And 
He says that offences must needs come, forasmuch as in the 
sacrament of restoring to us eternal life, all lowliness of 
suffering was to be fulfdled in Him. Origen; Or; The 
scandals that are to come are the Angels of Satan. But do 
not look that these offences should shew themselves in a 
substantial or natural shape, for in some the freedom of the 
will has been the origin of offence, not liking to undergo 
toil for virtue's sake. But there cannot be real good, without 
the opposition of evil. It must needs be then that offences 

• i. e. Jlfiwi^«— ^heraai the word commonlj tiaed in this wnw is tndtim. 

VER. 7 — 9. ST. MATTHEW. 627 

come, as it must needs be that we encounter the evil assaults 
of spiritual powers; whose hatred is the more stirred up, as 
Christ's word invading men drives out the evil influences from 
them. And they seek instruments by whom the offences 
may the rather work; and to such instruments is more woe; 
for him who gives, it shall be worse than for him who takes, 
the offence, as it follows, But woe unto that man by wliom 
the offence cometh. Jerome; As much as to say, Woe to that 
man through whose fault it comes to pass, that offences must 
needs be in the world. And under this general declaration, 
Judas is particularly condemned, who had made ready his 
soul for the act of betrayal. Hilary; Or; By the man is 
denoted the Jewish people, as the introducers of all this 
offence that is about Christ's passion ; for they brought upon 
the world all the danger of denying Christ in His passion, of 
whom the Law and the Prophets had preached that He 
should suffer. Chrys. But that you may learn that there 
is no absolute necessity for offences, hear what follows. If 
thy hand or thy foot offend thee, S^c. This is not said of 
the limbs of the body, but of friends wholtn we esteem as 
limbs necessary to us; for nothing is so hurtful as evil com- 
munications. Raban. Scandal (offence) is a Greek word, 
which we may call a stumbling-block, or a fall, or hitting of 
the foot. He then scandalizes his brother, who by word or 
deed amiss gives him occasion of falling. Jerome; So all 
affection, our whole kindred, are severed from us; lest under 
cover of duty any believer should be exposed to offence. If, 
He says, he be united to thee as close as is thy hand, or 
foot, or eye, and is useful to thee, anxious and quick to 
discern, and yet causes thee offence, and is by the unmeet- 
ness of his behaviour drawing thee into hell; it is better for 
thee that thou lack his kindred, and his profitableness to 
thee, than that whilst thou seekest to gain thy kindred or 
friends, thou shouldest have cause of fallings. For every 
believer knows what is doing him harm, what troubles and 
tempts him, for it is better to lead a solitary life, than to lose 
eternal life, in order to have the things necessary for this 
present life. Origen ; Or, The priests may with good reason 
be called the eyes of the Church, since they are considered 
her watchmen ; but the deacons and the rest her hands, for 

2 s 2 


by them s])intual deeds are wronj^lit; the people are the feet 
of the body, the Churcli; and all these it behoves not to 
spare, if tiny l>econu' an offence to the Church. Or, by the 
offending hand is understood an act of the mind; a motion of 
the mind is the offending foot, and a vision of the mind is 
the sinning eye, which we ought to cut ofl' if they give 
offence, for tlms the acts of the limbs are often put in Scrip- 
ture for the limbs themselves. 

10. Take heed that ye despise not one of these 
little ones ; for I say unto you, That in heaven their 
angels do always behold the face of my Father which 
is in heaven. 

11. For the Son of man is come to save that 
which was lost. 

12. How think ye? if a man have an hundred 
sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not 
leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the moun- 
tains, and seeketh that which is gone astray ? 

13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto 
you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the 
ninety and nine which went not astray. 

14. Even so it is not the will of your Father whicli is 
in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. 

Jerome ; The Lord had said, under the tyj)c of hand, 
foot, and eye, that all kin and connection which coiUd afl'ord 
scandal must be cut off. The harshness of this declaration 
He accordingly tempers with the following precejrt, saying, 
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones ; i. e. 
As far as you may avoid despising them, but next to your 
own salvation seek also to heal them. But if ye see that 
tliey hold to their sins, it is better that ye be saved, tliaii 
that ye perish in much company. Chrvs. Or otherwise ; 
As to shun the evil, so to honour the good, has great recom- 
pense. Above then He had bid theuj to cut off tlie friend- 
ships of those that gave offence, here He leaches them U> 

^*°^' shew honour and ser>i<M; to the sjiints. Gloss. Or otherwise; 
ap. An- 


VER. 10 — 14. ST, MATTHEW. 629 

Because so great enls come of brethren being scandalized, 
Take heed Ihal ye despise not one of these little ones. 
Origen ; The little ones are those that are but lately bom in 
Christ, or those who abide without advance, as though lately 
bom. But Chi-ist judged it needless to give command con- 
cerning not despising the more perfect believers, but con- 
cerning the little ones, as He had said above. If any man 
shall offend one of these little ones. A man may perhaps 
say that a little one here means a perfect Christian, according 
to that He says elsewhere. Whoso is least among you, he Luke 9, 
shall be great. Chrys. Or because the perfect are esteemed ^ ' 
of many as little ones, as poor, namely, and despicable. 
Origen ; But this exposition does not seem to agree with 
that which was said, // any one scandalizes one of these 
little ones ; for the perfect man is not scandalized, nor does 
he perish. But he who thinks this the tme exposition, says, 
that the mind of a righteous man is variable, and is sometimes 
oifended, but not easily. Gloss. Therefore are they not to Gloss, 
be despised for that they are so dear to God, that Angels are g^f^ °" 
deputed to be their guardians ; For I say unto yov, that in 
heaven their Angels do altcays behold the face of my Father 
which is in heaven. Origen ; Some will have it that an 
Angel is given as an attendant minister from the time when 
in the laver of regeneration the infant is bom in Christ ; for, 
say they, it is incredible that a holy Angel watches over those 
who are unbelieving and in error, but in his time of unbelief 
and sin man is imder the Angels of Satan.- Others will have 
it, that those who are foreknown of God, have straightway from 
their veiy birth a guardian Angel. Jerome ; High dignity 
of souls, that each from its birth has an Angel set in charge 
over it ! Chrys. Here He is speaking not of any Angels, but 
of the higher sort; for when He says. Behold the face of my 
Father, He shews that their presence before God is free and 
open, and theu* honour gi'eat. Greg. ButDionysius says, that Greg, 
it is from the ranks of the lesser Angels that these are sent to Ev.°34\ 
perform this ministry , either visibly or invisibly, for that those 12. 
higher ranks have not the employment of an outward ministry. 
Id. And therefore the Angels always behold the face of the Crreg. 
Father, and yet they come to us ; for by a spiritual presence 3 
they come forth to us, and yet by internal contemplation 


keep themselves there whence they come forth ; for ihey come 
not so fortli from the divine vision, as to hinder the joys of 
inward conu^niplalion. Hilary; Tlic Angels offer daily to 
God the prayers of those that are to be saved by Christ ; it 
is therefore perilous to despise him whose desires and 
requests are conveyed to the eternal and invisible God, by tlie senice and ministry of Angels. Aid. Or; They are 

xxii. 2y.' called our Angels who are indeed the Angels of God; they 
are Gods because they have not forsaken Ilim ; they are 
ours because they have begun to have us for tlieir fellow- 
citizens. As they now behold God, so shall we also behold 

iJohn3, Ilim face to face, of which vision John speaks. We shall see 
him as he is. For by the face of God is to be understood 
the manifestation of Himself, not a member or feature of the 
body, such as we call by that name. CiiRYS. He gives yet 
another reason weightier than the foregoing, why the little 
ones are not to be despised, For the Son of Man is come to 
sate that uhich uas lost. Remig. As much as to say, 
Despise not little ones, for I also for men condescended to 
become man. By that which teas lost, understand the 
human race ; for all the elements have kept their place, but 
man was lost, because he has broken his ordained ])lace. 
Chrys. And to this reasoning He adds a parable, in which 
He sets forth the Father as seeking the salvation of men, 
and saying, What think ymtf If a man hare a hundred 

Greg, sheep. Greg. This refers to the Creator of man Himself; 

£°™''°for a hundred is a perfect number, and He had a hundred 

xzxir.3. sheep when He created the substance of Angels and men. 
Hilary ; But by the one sheep is to be understood one man, 
and under this one man is comprehended the whole human 
race. He that seeks man is Christ, and the ninety and nine 

Greg, are the host of the heavenly glorj' which He left. Greg. 

a rap. TY>Y^Q Evangelist says they were left on the mountains, to 
signify that the sheep which were not lost abode on high. 

Bede Bede; The Lord found the sheep when He restored man, 

•elm. '^"^ over that sheep that is found there is more joy in heaven 
than over the ninety and nine, because there is a greater 
matter for thanksgiving to God in the restoration of man 
than in the creation of the Angels. Wonderfully are the 
Angels made, but more wonderfully man restored. Haban. 

VER. 10 — 14. ST. MATTHEW. 631 

Note, that nine wants only one to make it ten, and ninety 
and nine the same to be a hundred. Thus members which 
want one only to be perfect, may be larger or smaller, but 
yet the unit remaining invariable, when it is added makes the 
rest perfect. And that the number of sheep might be made 
up perfect in heaven, lost man was sought on earth. Jerome; 
Others think that by the ninety and nine sheep are under- 
stood the number of the righteous, and by the one sheep the 
sinners, according to that said in another place, / am wo/ Matt. 9, 
come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. Greg. Greg. 
We must consider whence it is that the Lord declares that^^'^^'^P- 
He has joy rather over the converted sinners, than over the 
righteous that stand. Because these last are often slothful 
and slack to practise the greater good works, as being very 
secure within themselves, for that they have committed none 
of the heavier sins. While on the other hand those who 
have their wicked deeds to remember, do often through the 
compunction of soitow glow with the more heat in their love 
of God, and when they think how they have strayed from 
Him, they replace their former losses by gains following. 
So the general in a battle loves best that soldier who turns 
in his flight and courageously presses the enemy, than him 
who never turned his back, yet never did any valorous deed. 
Yet there be some righteous over whom is joy so great, that 
no penitent can be preferred before them, those, who though 
not conscious to themselves of sins, yet reject things lawful, 
and humble themselves in all things. How great is the joy 
when the righteous mourns, and humbles himself, if there be 
joy when the unrighteous condemns himself wherein he has 
done amiss? Bede'; Or; By the ninety-nine sheep, which Bede 
He left on the mountains, are signified the proud to whom ggim, 
a unit is still wanting for perfection. When then He has 
found the sinner. He rejoices over him, that is, He makes his 
own to rejoice over him, rather than over the false righteous. 
Jerome ; What follows, Even so it is not the icill, S^c. is to 
be referred to what was said above. Take heed that ye despise 
not one of these little ones ; and so He shews that this 
parable was set forth to enforce that same saying. Also in 

' These two passages, to which the selm's * Euarrationes,' and the latter 

name of Bede is prefixed in all the may perhaps be originally derived from 

editions, have been sought for in Bede Aug. Quaest. Ev. ii. 32. 
without success. They occur in An- 


8ayiiig« // is not the will of my Father which in in hearett 
that one of these Utile ones should perish, lie sliews that so 
<»it as one of these little ones does ]»erisli, it is iu)t by the 
Father*8 irill that it perishes. 

15. Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against 
thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him 
alone : if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy 

16. But if he will not hear thee, then take with 
thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or 
three witnesses every word may be established. 

17. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it 
unto the Church : but if he neglect to hear the 
Church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man 
and a Publican. 

Chrys. CiiKYS. Having above given a severe sentence against 
**"' *■ those who were tlie cause of offence, making thcni to fear on 
all sides ; so now that they to whom the offence is offered 
should not fall into the opposite fault of supiueness and 
indifference, seeking to spare themselves in all things, and so 
be puffed up ; the Lord here checks such a tendency, com- 
manding that they be reproved, sapng. If thy brother shall 
trespass against thee, go, tell him his fault betueen thee and 
Aug. him alone. Aug, Our Lord admonishes us not to overlook 
g3 J ' one another's faults, yet not so as seeking formatter of blame, 
but watching what you may amend. For our rebuke should 
be in love, not eager to wound, but anxious to amend. If 
you i)ass it by, you are become worse than he. lie by doing 
you a wrong hath done himself a great luut ; you slight your 
brother's wound, ami are more to blame ft>r your silence than 
Aug. de he for his ill words to you. In. For often we wrongly 
i. 9. 'shun to teach and admonish, or to rebuke and check lliu 
wicked, either Injcause the tjisk is irksome, or because we 
would escape their enmity, lest they should harm or obstruct 
us in temporal things, whether in gaining objects we desire, 
or in holding what onr frailty fears to love. Hut if any one 
spares reproof of evil doers, because he seeks fitter occasion, 
or fears to make thorn worse, or that they may be an irapcdi- 

VEK. 15 — 17. ST. MATTHEW, 633 

inent to the good and pious living of other weak ones, or 
may grieve them, or tmTi them from the faith; herein there 
is seen no considerations of covetousness, but the prudence 
of charity. And much weightier reason have they who are 
set over the churches, to the end they should not spai'e to 
rebuke sin ; though not even he is free from this blame, who, 
though not in authority, >vots of many things in them to 
whom he is bound by the ties of this Hfe, which should be 
touched by admonition or correction, but neglects to do so; 
shunning their displeasure on account of things which he 
does not unduly use in this life, but wherewith he is undidy 
delighted. Chrys. It is to be noted, that onewhile the Lord 
brings the offender to him whom he has offended; as when 
He says, //' thou remember tluit thy brother haa ought Mat. 
against thee, fjo^be reconciled to thy brother: othei"whiles He ' * 
bids him that has suffered thcAvrong to forgive his neighbour; 
as where he says, Forgive us our debts, as ue also forgive Mat. 
our debtors. Here He has devised yet another method, for He ^' ^^* 
brings him who has been grieved to him that giieved him, and 
therefore says, //' thy brother sin against thee; for because 
he that did the wrong would not readily come to make amends, 
because of his shame. He draws to him him that has suffered 
the wrong; and not only draws him there, but with the very 
purpose of collecting what was done amiss ; whence He says, 
Go and tell him his fault. Raban. He does not command 
us to forgive indiscriminately, but him only that will hearken 
and be obedient, and do penitence; that neither should for- 
giveness be unattainable, nor sufferance be too far relaxed. 
Chrys. And He says not, Accusq, him, nor. Chide with him, 
nor. Demand redress, — but, Tell him of his fault; that is, 
remind him of his sin, tell him what things you have suffered 
from him. For he is held down by anger or by shame, 
stupefied as one in a deep slumber. Wherefore it behoves 
you who are in your right senses to go to him who is in a 
disease. Jerome; If then your brother have sinned against 
you, or hmt you in any matter, you have power, indeed must 
needs forgive him, for we ai'e charged to forgive our debtors 
their debts. But if a man sin against God, it is no longer in 
our decision. But we do all the contrary of this; where God 
is wronged we are merciful, where the affront is to oiu^elves 


we prosecute the qiuurel. Chrys. We are to tell his fault 
to the man himself wlio did it, and not to anollier, because 
the party tiikes it with the more patience from him, and 
above all when they are togetlier alone. For when he who 
had a right to demand reparation, shews rather a carefulness 
Aug. to heal tlie sore, tliis has great power to propitiate. Aug. 
s-2^. When any one therefore offends against us, let us be very 
careful, not for ourselves, for it is glorious to forget ixn injury; 
forget therefore yoiu: own wrong, but not the wound your 
brother has sustained; and tell him of his fault between him 
and you alone, seeking his amendment and s])imng his shame. 
For it may be that out of shame he will seek to defend his 
fault, and thus you will only harden, while you sought to do 
him good. Jkuome; Thy brother is to be reproved in pri- 
vate, lest if once he has lost a sense of shame, he should con- 
Aag, tinue in sin. Aug. But the Apostle says, T7iem that sin 
ubi 8up. rgl,uke be fore all, that others may fear to do the like. Sorae- 
6, 20. times therefore your brother is to be sj)oken to between thee 
and him alone, sometimes to be rebuked before all. What 
you must do first, attend and leani ; //" thy brother, says He, 
sin against thee, tell him of his fault between thee and him 
alone. Why? Because he has sinned against you? Wliat 
is it that he has sinned against you ? You know that he has 
siiuied, and therefore since his sin was in private, let your 
rebuke be in private too. For if you alone know of his, and proceed to rebuke him before all, you do not 
correct but betray him. "^'our brother has sinned against you ; 
if you alone know thereof, then he has sinned against you only ; 
but if he did you a wrong in tlie j)resence of many, then he 
has sinned against those also who were witnesses of liis fault. 
Those faults then are to be rebuked before all, that are 
connnitted before all ; those which are done in private, are to 
be rebuked in private. Di.scem times, and the Scriptures 
are consistent. But why do you correct your neighbour? 
Because his trespass has hurt yourself? Far be it from 
thee. If you do it from self-love, you do nought; if you do 
it from love of him, you do most rightly. Lastly, in what you 
shall say to him, keep in view for sake it is that you ought 
to do it, for your own or for his, for it follows. If he hear theCy 
thou hast gained thy brother; do it therefore for his sake, 

VER. 15 — 17. ST. MATTHEW. 6^5 

that you may gain him. And do you confess that by your 
sin against man you were lost; for if you wei-e not lost, how 
has he gained you? Let none then make light of it when he 
sins against his brother. Chrys. In this it is made plain 
that enmities are a loss to both sides; for he said not, he 
has gained himself, but, you have gained him; which shews 
that both of you had suffered loss by your disagreement. 
Jerome ; For in saving another, salvation is gained for our- 
selves also. Chrys. What you should do if he does not 
yield is added, //' he will not hear thee, take uith thee one 
or two. For the more shameless and stubborn he shews 
himself, the more studious should we be of applying the 
medicine, and not turn to wrath and hate. As the physician, if 
he see that the disease does not abate, he does not slack, but 
redoubles his efforts to heal. And observe how this reproof 
is not for revenge, but for correction, seeing his command is 
not to take two with him at first, but when he would not 
amend ; and even then he does not send a multitude to him, 
but one or two, alleging the law, That in the mouth of two Deut. 
or three ttitnesses every word may stand. This is that you ' 
may have witnesses that you have done all your part. 
Jerome; Or it is to be understood in this way; If he will 
not hear thee, take with thee one brother only; if he yet will 
not hear, take a third, either from your zeal for his amend- 
ment, that shame or admonition may move him; or for the 
purpose of meeting before witnesses. G loss. Or, that if he Gloss, 
affirm that it is no trespass, that they may prove to him thatggj'jj, "' 
it is a trespass. Jerome; If yet he will not hear them, then 
it must be told to many, that he may be held in abhorrence; 
so that he who could not be saved by his own sense of 
shame, may be saved by public disgi'ace; whence it follows, 
If he will not hear them, tell it to the Church. Chrys. 
That is, to those that are over the Church. Gloss. Or, tell Gloss. 
it to the whole Church, that his infamy may be the greater. 3^]^,°" 
After all these things follows excommunication, which ought 
to be inflicted by the mouth of the Church, that is, by the 
Priest, and when he excommimicates, the whole Church 
works with him; as it follows. And if he will not hear the 
Church, let him be unto thee as an heathen, and a jmblican. Aug. 
Aug. That is, regard him no longer in the number of thy ga"^"'. 


brethren. Though even thus we are not to neglect his salva- 
tion; lor the lieatliens tlieniselves, that is, the gentiles and 
pagans, \vc do not indeed regard in the number of our 
brethren, yet we ever seek their salvation. Chkys. Yet the 
Lord enjoins nothing of this sort to be obsened towards 
those who are witliout the Church, such a.s He does in 
Mat. reproving a brother. Of those that are without He says, If 
' any smile l/iee on Ifie one cheeky ojfer io him the other also. 

1 Cor. 6, as Paul speaks. What have J to do to judge them that are 
^^' without? But brethren he bids us reprove, and turn away 
from. Jkkome; Tliat He says, As a heathen and a puh- 
licaVy shews that he is to be more abhorred, who under the 
name of a believer does the deeds of an unbehever, than 
those that are openly gentiles. He calls publicans, 
who pursue worldly gain, and levy contributions by trading, 
cheating, and villainous frauds, and peijuries. Origen; Let 
us look well whether this precept extends to idl sin; for 
what if any one sin any oi those sins which are unto death, 
such as unnatural crimes, adultery, homicide, or efleniinacy, 
it cannot be meant that such as these are to be athnonished 
})rivately, and if he hear you, forthwith to say that you have 
gained him. And not rather first put him out of the Church, 
or only when remaining obstinate after monition before wit- 
nesses, and by the Church .'' One man, looking at the infinite 
mercy of Christ, mil say, that since the words of Christ make no 
chstinction of sins, it is to go against Christ's mercy to limit 
His words only to little sins. Another, on the other hand, con- 
sidering the words carefully, will aver, that they are not spoken 
of every sin ; for that he that is guilty of those great sins is not a 
brother, but is called a brother, with whom, according to the 
Apostle, wc ought not so much as to eat. But as they who 
expound this as referring to ever\' sin give encouragement to 
the careless to sin; so, on the other hand, he, who teachc« 
tliat one having sinned in little sins and such as are not 
deadly, is, when he has spurned the admonition of the wit- 
ne.s.scs and the Church, to be held as a heathen ami a pub- 
lican, seems to introduce too great severity. For whether 
he finally perishes, we are not able to decide. First, becaiLse 
he who has been thrice told of his fault and not hearkened, 
may hearken the fourth tiuK ; secondly, because sometimes 

VEK. 18 — 20. ST. MATTHEW. 637 

a man does not receive according to liis deeds, but beyond 
his trespass, which is good for him in this world; lastly, 
because He said not alone, Let him be as a heathen, but 
IM him he to thfi.e. Whosoever then when reproved three 
times in a light trespass, does not amend, him we ought to 
hold for a heathen and a publican, avoiding him, that he 
may be brought to confusion. But whether he is esteemed 
of God also as a heathen and a publican, is not ours to 
decide, but is in the judgment of God. 

18. Verily I say unto you. Whatsoever ye shall 
bind on earth shall be bound in heaven : and what- 
soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in 

19. Again I say unto you. That if two of you shall 
agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall 
ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is 
in heaven. 

20. For where two or three are gathered together 
in my name, there am I in the midst of them. 

Jerome ; Because He had said. If he will not hear the 
Cliurch, let him he to thee as a heathen, and a publican^ 
whereupon the brother so contemned might answer, or think 
within himself, If you despise me, I also will despise you ; 
if you condemn me, you shall be condemned by my sentence. 
He therefoi'e confers powers upon the Apostles, that they 
may be assured that when any are condemned after this 
manner, the sentence of man is ratified by the sentence of 
God. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth 
shall be bound in heaven ; and whatsoever ye shall loose upon 
the earth shall be loosed in heaven. Origen ; He said not 
in the heavens {in ccelis), as when He spoke to Peter, but in 
heaven {in caelo), for they are not yet attained to the like 
perfection with Peter. Hilary; To hold out a great and 
tenible fear, by which all men should be reached in this 
present life, He pronounces that the judgment of the Apostles 
should be ratified, so that whosoever they bound on earth, 


i. r. left entangU'd in the noose of sin, and whosoever they 
loosed, i. e. accordod the ]»ard<)n of CJod's mercy to their 
salvation, that these should be bound and loosed in heaven. 

' '?•'><•» Chrvs. And be it noted, that Me said not to the Primate' of 
the Church, Bind such a man ; but, If ye shall bind him, the 
bonds shall be indissoluble; leaving the other to his dis- 
cretion. And see how He has set the incorrigible person 
under the yoke of a twofold necessity; to wit, the j)unish- 
ment that is here, namely, the casting forth out of the Church, 
when He said. Let him be to thee as a heathen ; and the 
future punishment, saying, that he shall be bound in heaven; 
thus by the weight of his j)enallies lessening his brother's 

Ang. wrath against him, Aug. Otherwise ; When you begin to 
hold your brother as a publican you bind him on earth, but 
take heed that you bind him with just cause ; for an unjust 
cause breaks rightful bonds. Rut when you have corrected 
him, and agreed with him, you have loosed him upon earth, 
and when you have loosed him upon earth, he shall be loosed 
also in heaven. You confer a great boon not on yourself, 
but on him, as he had done the hurt not to you but to him- 

GkMs. self. Gloss. But He holds out a ratification not only of 

*Pj* ^°" sentences of excommunication, but of every petition which 
is offered by men holding together in the unity of the Church; 
for He adds, Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall 
agree upon earth, whether in admitting a penitent, or casting 
out a froward person, touching any thing which they shall ask, 
any thing, that is, that is not against the miity of the Church, 
it shall be done for them by my Father which is in heaven. 
By saying, which is in heaven. He points Him out as above 
all, and therefore able to fulfil all that shall be a.'^ked of 
Him. Or, He is in the heavens, that is, with saints proof 
enough that whatever worthy thing they shall shall be 
done unto them, because they have with them Him of whom 
they For this is the sentence of those that agree 
together ratified, because God dwells in them, For where 
two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I 
in the midst of them. Chrys. Or, because He had said, 
It shall be done unto them by My Father; therefore, to shew 
that He is the Giver together with His Father, He adds this, 
where two or three^ Sfc. Orioen ; And He said not, / will 

VER. 21, 22. ST. MATTHEW. 639 

he, but / am in the midst of them ; because straightway, 
as soon as they have agreed together, Christ is found among 
them. Hilary; For He who is peace and charity, will set 
His place and habitation in good and peaceable dispositions. 
Jerome ; Or otherwise ; All His foregoing discourse had 
invited us to union ; now to make us embrace peace more 
anxiously. He holds out a reward, promising to be in the 
midst of two or three. Chrys. Yet He said not barely, 
Where they are gathered together, but added, in my name, 
as much as to say. If any man look upon Me as the chief 
motive of his love to his neighour, I will be with him, though 
his virtue be shewn towards other men. How is it then 
that those who thus agree together do not obtain what they 
ask for ? First, because they ask things not expedient, and 
because they do not bring on their parts that which they 
ought to contribute ; wherefore He says, Iftuo of you, that 
is, who shew an evangelic conversation. Thirdly, because 
they pray seeking vengeance against those who have grieved 
them. And fourthly, because they seek mercy for sinners 
who have not repented. Origen; And this also is the 
reason why our prayers are not granted, because we do not 
agree together in all things upon earth, neither in doctrine, 
nor in conversation. For as in music, unless the voices are 
in time there is no pleasure to the hearer, so in the Church, 
unless they are united God is not pleased therein, nor does 
He hear their words. 

Jerome ; We may also understand this spiritually; where vid. 
our spirit, soul, and body are in agreement, and have notiQ"^^"' 
within them conflicting wulls, they shall obtain from My 
Father every thing they shall ask ; for none can doubt that 
that demand is good, where the body wills the same thing as 
the spirit. Origen ; Or, In whatever the two testaments are in 
agreement, for this every prayer is found acceptable to God. 

21. Then came Peter to him, and said. Lord, 
how oft^'shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive 
him ? till seven times ? 

22. Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee. Until 
seven times : but. Until seventy times seven. 


Jkkumk; llio Lonl ha<l said above, .SVe thai ye tU-itpijie 
tiof one of these little ones, and liad addt'il, If ihy brother siu 
nyainst thee, &c. making also a promise, If tuo of yon, &c. 
by which the Apostle Fetcr was led to ask, /.on/, hoie oft 
xhall my brother sin oyiiinst me, and I forgive him Y And 
to his question he adds an opinion. Until seven times Y 

Chrjfc Chuys. Peter thought that he had made a large allowance ; 

Ijjj * but what answers Christ the Jjover of men ? it follows, Jesits 
saith nnto him, I say not nnto thee, I'ntil seven times, but, 

Aug. Until seventy times sert h. Aid. I am bold to say, that if he 

^ 3I shall sin seventy-eight times, thou shouldest forgive him; yea, 
and if a hundred ; and how oft soever he sin agJiinst thee, 
forgive him. For if Christ found a thousand sins, yet for- 
gave them all, do not you withdraw your forgiveness. For 

Col. 3, the Apostle says. Forgiving one another, if any man hath 
a quarrel against any, even as God in Christ forgave you. 
Chuys. When He says, Until seventy times seven. He does 
not limit a definite number within which forgiveness must 
be kept ; but He signifies thereby something endless and 

Aog. ever enduring. Aro. Yet not without reason did the Ijord 
'"'' say. Seventy times seven ; for the Law is set forth in ten 
precepts ; and the Law is signified by the number ten, sin 
by eleven, because it is passing the denary line. Seven is 
used to be put for a whole, because time goes round in seven 
days. Take eleven seven times, and you have seventy. 
He would therefore have all trespasses forgiven, for this is 
what He signifies by tlie number seventy-seven. Orioen ; 
Or, the number six seems to denote toil and labour, 
and the number seven repose. He says that forgiveness 
should be given to all brethren who live in this world, and 
sin in the things of this world. But if any counnit trans- 
gressions beyond these things, he shall then have no further 
forgiveness. Jerome ; Or undersUuid it of four hundred and 
ninety times, that He bids us forgive our brother so oft, 
IIaban. It is one thing to give pardon to a brother when he 
seeks it, that he may live with us in social charity, as Joseph 
to his brethren ; and another to a hostile foe, that w<! may 
wish him good, and if we can <lo liini good, as David 
mourning for Saul. 

VER. 23 3o. • ST. MATTHEW. 641 

23. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened 
unto a certain king, which would take account of his 

24. And when he had begun to reckon, one was 
brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand 

25. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord 
commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, 
and all that he had, and payment to be made. 

26. The servant therefore fell down, and wor- 
shipped him, saying. Lord, have patience with me, 
and I will pay thee all. 

27. Then the lord of that servant was moved with 
compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the 

28. But the same servant went out, and found one 
of his fellow-servants, which owed him an hundred 
pence : and he laid hands on him, and took him by 
the throat, saying. Pay me that thou owest. 

29. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, 
and besought him, saying. Have patience with me, 
and I will pay thee all. 

30. And he would not : but went and cast him 
into prison, till he should pay the debt. 

31. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, 
they were very sorry, and came and told unto their 
lord all that was done. 

32. Then his lord, after that he had called him, 
said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee 
all that debt, because thou desiredst me : 

33. Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on 
thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee ? 

34. And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to 
the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due 
unto him. 

VOL. I. 2 T 

642 (,Mv|'i I M 1 I .i;i.i\.. i() 1 II \p. will. 

35. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also 
unto you, if ye from your licarts foi j^^ive not every one 
his brother their trespasses. 

Chrys. That none should think that the Lord had en- 
joined somotliiiiix prn-at and burdcnscmn' in saying that 
we mustforpi\(' till -i\.iity limes seven, lie adds a parable. 
Jerome; For it is cnstoniary witli tlie Sy ri.tns, csjieeially 
they of Palestine, to add a parable to what tliey s|)i ak ; 
that what their hearers might not retain simply, and in it^i It. 
the instance and similittide may be the means of retaining. 
vi«l. Origen; The Son of God, as He is wisdom, righteonsness, 
1,30* and truth, so is He a kingdom; not indeed any ot ih n^i 
which are beneath, but all those which are above, reigning 
over those in whose senses rei<;ns justice and the other 
virtues; these are made of heaven because they bear the 
image of the heavenly. This kingdom of heaven then, i. e. 
the Son of God, when He was made in the likeness of sinful 
flesh, was then like to a king, in uniting man to himself. 
Remig. Or, by the kingdom of heaven is reasonably under- 
stood the holy Church, in which the Lord works what lie 
speaks of in this parable. By the man is souk tiim s rejrn-- 
sented the Father, as in that, TJie kingdom m' hmvon is like 
to a kirti/j who made a marriage for his smi , and sometimes 
the Son; but here we may take it for botli. llie Father and 
the Son, who are one God. God is called a King, inasmuch 
as He created and govenis all things. Origen; The ser- 
vants, in these parabh s, are only they who are employed 
in dispensing the word, and to whom this business is com- 
mitted. Remk;. Or, by the servants of this King are signi- 
fied all mankind wliom He has created for His own praise, 
and to whom He gave the law of nature; He takes account 
with tlioni, when lie wouhl look into each man's manners, 
life, and deeds, that He may render to each according to 
that He has done; as it follows. And when He had hr^jun in 
reckon, one tras brought unto Him uhich oiird Ilnn tin 
tlnnf^ind talriils. OuK.i.N; The King takes account ot our 
3Cor.5,whole life tlien, wlien ue mmt oil ho presented Le/urc the 
'**• judgment-sent rif Christ. We m. an not tliis so as that any 
should think that tln^ Inisin. ss itvilt' must nc.d«; re.juire a long 

VER. 23 — 35. ST. MATTHEW. 643 

time. For God, when He will scrutinize the minds of all, will 
by some undescribable power cause every thing that every man 
has done to pass speedily before the mind of each. He says, 
And when he began to lake account^ because the beginning 
of the judgment is that it begin from the house of God. AtiPefc.4, 
His beo^nning to take account there is brought unto Him 
one who owes Him many talents; one, that is, who had 
wrought great evils; one on whom much had been enjoined, 
and had yet brought no gain ; who perhaps had destroyed as 
many men as he owed talents; one who was therefore become 
a debtor of many talents, because he had followed the woman Zech. 5, 
sitting upon a talent of lead, whose name is Iniquity. Jerome ; * 
I know that some interpret the man who owed the ten 
thousand talents to be the de\'ii, and by his wife and children 
who were to be sold when he persevered in his wickedness, 
understand foolishness, and hurtful thoughts. For as wisdom 
is called the wife of the righteous man, so the wife of the 
unrighteous and the sinner is called foolishness. But how the 
Lord remits to the devil ten thousand talents, and how he would 
not remit ten denarii to us his fellow-senants, of this there is no 
ecclesiastical interpretation, nor is it to be admitted by thought- 
ful men. Aug. Therefore let us say, that because the Law is Aug. 
set forth in ten precepts, the ten thousand talents which he §3^™* 
owed denote all sins which can be done under the Law. 
Remig. Man who sinned of his own will and choice, has no 
power to rise again by his own endeavoiu", and has not 
wherewith to pay, because he finds nothing in himself by 
which he may loose himself from his sins; whence it follows, 
And when he had not to pay, his lord commanded him, to be 
sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and 
payment to be made. The fool's wife is folly, and the plea- 
sure or lust of the flesh. Aug. Tliis signifies that the trans- Aug. 
gressor of the decalogue deserves punishment for his lusts Quaest. 
and evil deeds; and that is his price; for the price for which '^'^^' 
they sell is the punishment of him that is damned. Chrys. 
This command issued not of cruelty, but of unspeakable 
tenderness. For he seeks by these terrors to bring him to 
plead that he be not sold, which fell out, as he shews when 
he adds. The servant therefore fell down and besought him, 
saying. Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 

2 T 2 


Remio. That he i&y^^ falling dowiiy shews how the sinner 
luiuibled himself, and ofl'cred amends. Hare patience with 
mCy expresses llie sinner's prayer, begging respite, and space 
to correct his error. Abundant is the bounty of God, and 
His clemency to sinners converted, seeing He is ever ready 
to forgive sins by baptism or penitence, as it follows. Hut the 
lord of that servant had mercy upon him, and loosed him^ 
and forgave him the debt. Chrys. See the exuberance of 
heavenly love ! The senant asked only a brief respite, but 
he gives him more than he had asked, a full remittance and 
cancelling of the whole debt. He was minded to have 
forgiven him from the very first, but he would not have it 
to be of his own mere motion, but also of the other's suit, 
that he might not depart without a gift. But he did not 
remit the debt till he had taken account, because he would 
have him know how great debts he set him free of, that by 
this he should at the least be made more merciful to his 
fellow servants. And indeed as far as what has gone he was 
worthy to be accepted ; for he made confession, and promised 
that he would pay the debt, and fell down and begged, and 
confessed the greatness of his debt. But his after deeds 
were unworthy of the former, for it follows. But the same 
servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants which 
Aug. owed him a hundred denarii. Arc. That He says he owed 
g3, g' him a hundred denarii is taken from the same number, ten, 
the number of the Law. For a hundred times a hundred are 
ten thousand, and ten times ten are a hundred ; and those 
ten thousand talents and these hundred denarii are still 
keeping to the number of the Law ; in both of tliem you find 
sins. Both are debtors, both are suitors for remission ; so 
every man is himself a debtor to God, and has his brother 
his debtor. Chrys. But there is as great difference between 
sins committed against men, and sins committed against God, 
as between ten thousand talents and a hundred denarii ; yea 
rather there is still greater difference, lliis appears from the 
difference of the persons, and from the fewness of the of- 
fenders. For when we are seen of man we withhold and are 
loath to sin, but we cease not daily though God see us, but act 
and speak all things fearlessly. Not by this only are our 
sins against God shewn to be more heinous, but also by 

VER. 23 — 35. ST. MATTHEW. 645 

reason of the benefits which we have received from Him ; 
He gave us being, and has done all things in our behalf, 
has breathed into us a rational soul, has sent His Son, has 
opened heaven to us, and made us His sons. If then we 
should every day die for Him, could we make Him any 
worthy return ? By no means ; it should rather redound again 
to our advantage. But, on the contrary, we offend against His 
laws. Remig. So by him who owed ten thousand talents 
are represented those that commit the greater crimes; by 
the debtor of a hundred denarii those who commit the lesser. 
Jerome ; That this may be made plainer, let us speak it 
in instances. If any one of you shall have committed an 
adultery, a homicide, or a sacrilege, these greater sins of ten 
thousand talents shall be remitted when you beg for it, if 
you also shall remit lesser ofiences to those that trespass 
against you. Aug. But this unworthy, unjust servant Aug. 
would not render that which had been rendered to him, 
for it follows. And he laid hands on him, and held him by 
the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. Remig. That 
is, he pressed him hardly, that he might exact vengeance 
from him. Origen ; He therefore, as I suppose, took him 
by the throat, because he had come forth from the king ; 
for he would not have so handled his fellow servant, if he 
had not gone forth from the king. Chrys. By saying, a* 
he went out. He shews that it was not after long time, but 
immediately ; while the favour he had received still sounded 
in his ears, he abused to wickedness the liberty his lord had 
accorded him. What the other did is added ; And his 
fellow-servant fell down, and besought him, saying, Have 
patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Origen ; Observe - 
the exactness of Scripture ; the servant who owed many talents 
fell down, and worshipped the king; he who owed the hundred 
denarii falling down, did not worship, but besought his fellow 
senant, saying, Have patience. But the ungrateful servant 
did not even respect the very words which had saved himself, 
for it follows, but he would not. Aug. That is, he nourished Aug. 
such thoughts towards him that he sought his punishment. EvT.26. 
But he went his way. Remig. That is, his wrath was the 
rather inflamed, to exact vengeance of him; And he cast him 
into prison, until he should pay the debt; that is, he seized 


his brother, and exacted vengeance of hira. Chryr. Observe 
the liord's tenderness, and the ser\'ant'8 cnielty; the one for 
ten thousand talents, the other for ten denarii; the one a 
suitor to liis fellow, thy other to his lord; the one obtained 
entire remission, the other sojight only respite, but he got it 
not. They who owed nought grieved with him; hix fel- 

Aug loic-serranlsj seeiinj utiat tras done, were very sorry. Auo. 

Hv!i*25. ®y the fellow-servants is iniderstood the Chiireh, which binds 
one and looses another. RtiMU;. Or perhaps they represent 
the Angels, or the preachers of the holy Church, or any of 
the faithful, who when they see a brother whose sins arc 
forgiven refusing to forgive his fellow-sen ant, they are sor- 
rowful over his perdition. And Ihey came, and told their lord 
what teas done. They came not in body, but in spirit. To 
tell their Lord, is to shew the woe and sorrow of the heart 
in their carriage. It follows, Tfien his lord called him. He 
called him by the sentence of death, and bade him pass out 
of this world, and said unto liim, Thou nicked serrnntj I 
forgave thee all that debt, because thou prayedst me. Chrys. 
When he owed him ten thousand talents, he did not call him 
wicked, nor did he at all chide him, but had mercy on him; 
but now when he had been ungenerous to his fellow-8er>'ant, 
then he says to him, Thou wicked servant ; and this is what 
is said, Ouyhtest thou not to have had mercy upon thy fellow- 
servant. Rkmig. And it is to be known, that we read no 
answer made by that sen ant to his lord ; by which it is shewn 
us, that in the day of judgment, and altogether after this life, 
all excusing of ourselves shall be cut off. Chrys. Because 
kindness had not mended him, it remains that he be corrected 
by punishment; whence it follows, And the lord of that 
servant was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until 
he should pay the whole debt. He said not mvrv\\, Delivered 
him, but was angry, this he had not said before; when his 
Lord conmianded that he should be sold; for that was not 
in wrath, but in love, for liis correction ; now this is a sen- 
tence of penalty and punishment. Rk.miu. For God is said 
then to be wroth, when he takes vengeance on sinners. Tor- 
turers are intended for the da;mons, who are always ready 
to take up lost soids, and torture them in the pangs of 
eternal punishment. Will any who is once sunk into ever- 

VER. 23 — 35. ST. MATTHEW. 647 

lasting condemnation ever come to find season of repentance, 
and a way to escape? Never; that until is put for infinity; 
and the meaning is, He shall be ever paying, and shall never 
quit tlie debt, but shall be ever under punishment. Chrys. 
By this is shewn that his punishment shall be increasing 
and eternal, and that he shall never pay. And however 
irrevocable are the graces and callings of God, yet wickedness 
has that force, that it seems to break even this law. Aug. Aug- 
For God says, Forgive, and ye shall he forgiven; 1 have first gs^ 7] 
forgiven, forgive you then after Me; for if you forgive not, ^^^^'^'^^ ^' 
I will call you back, and will require again all that I had 
remitted to you. For Christ neither deceives nor is deceived; 
and He adds here. Thus tvill my heavenly Father do unto 
you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother 
their trespasses. It is better that you should cry out with 
your mouth, and forgive in your heart, than that you should 
speak smoothly, and be unrelenting in your heait For the 
Lord adds. From your hearts, to the end that though, out 
of affection you put him to discipline, yet 'gentleness should 
not depart out of your heart. What is more beneficial than 
the knife of the surgeon? He is rough with the sore that 
the man may be healed; should he be tender with the 
sore, the man were lost. Jerome; Also this, from your 
hearts, is added to take away all feigned reconciliations. 
Therefore the Lord's command to Peter under this simili- 
tude of the king and his servant who owed him ten 
thousand talents, and was forgiven by his lord upon his 
entreaty, is, that he also should forgive his fellow-servants 
their lesser trespasses. Origen; He seeks to instruct us, 
that we should be ready to shew clemency to those who 
have done us harm, especially if they offer amends, and 
plead to have forgiveness. 

Raban. Allegoric ally; The servant here who owed the 
ten thousand talents, is the Jewish people bound to the 
Ten Commandments in the Law. These the Lord oil 
forgave their trespasses, when being in difficulties they 
besought His mercy; but when they were set free, they 
exacted the utmost with great severity from all their debtors; 
and of the gentile people which they hated, they required 
circumcision and the ceremonies of the Law; yea, the 


Prophets and Apostles they barbarously put to deatli. For 
all this the Lord gave them over into the hands of the 
Konians as to evil spirits, who should punish thiin with 
eternal tortures. 


1. And it came to pass, that when Jesus had 
finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and 
came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan ; 

2. And great multitudes followed him ; and he 
healed them there. 

3. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting 
him, and saying unto him. Is it lawful for a man to 
put away his wife for every cause ? 

4. And he answered and said unto them. Have ye 
not read, that he which made them at the beginning 
made them male and female, 

5. And said. For this cause shall a man leave 
father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife : and 
they twain shall be one flesh ? 

6. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one 
flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let 
not man put asunder. 

7. They say unto him. Why did Moses then com- 
mand to give a writing of divorcement, and to put 
her away ? 

8. He said unto them, Moses because of the hard- 
ness of your hearts suffered you to put away your 
wives : but from the beginning it was not so. 

Chrys. The Lord had before left Judasa because of their Chrjs 
jealousy, but now He keeps Himself more to it, because His ixii. ' 
passion was near at hand. Yet does He not go up to Judaea 
itself, but into the borders of Judaja; whence it is said, And 


// vaine lo fitiss ichen Jesiix had ended all these nayittgity he 
departed from Galilee. Raman. Here tlien He begiiiR to 
relate what He (li<l, taught, or suffered in Jiuhea. At first 
beyond Jordan eastward, aftenvards on this side Jordan wlien 
He came to Jericho, Beth])haj^e, and Jenisaleni; whence it 
follows, Jnd He came iuto the coasts of Judaa beyond 
Jordan. PsEriKj-CHUVS*". As the righteous Lord of all, who 
loves these servants so as not to despise those, Kaban. 
It should be known, that tlie whole territory of the Israelites 
was called Juda*a, to distinguish it from other nations. But 
its southern jjorlion, inhabit<^'d by the tribes of Judah and 
Benjamin, was called Juda;a projier, to distinguish it from 
other districts in the same province as Samaria, Galilee, 
Decapolis, and the rest. It follows, And great multitude* 
folloued him. Pseudo-Chrys. They were conducting Him 
forth, as the young children of a father going on a far journey. 
And He setting forth as a father, left them as pledges of His 
love the healing of their diseases, as it is said, And he healed 
them. Chkys. It should be also obsen'ed, that the Jjord is 
not either ever delivering doctrine, or ever working miracles, 
but one while does this, and again tunis to that ; that by His 
miracles faith might be given to what He said, and by His 
teaching might be shewed the profit of those things which He 
wrought. Okiokn ; The Lord healed tlie multitudes beyond 
Jordan, where baptism was given. For all are tndy healed 
from spiritual sickness in baptism ; and many follow Christ 
its did these multitudes, but not rising up as Mattliew, who 
arose and followed the Lord. Hilary; Also He cures the 
Galileans on the borders of Juda*a, tliat He might admit the 
sins of the Gentiles to that pjirdon which was prepared for 
the Jews. Chuys. For indeed Christ so healed men, as to 
do good both to themselves, and through them to many 
other. For these men's healing was to others the occasion 
of their knowledge of God ; but not to the I'harisees, who 
were only hardened by the miracles; whence it folhtws ; 
And the Pharisees came to him, tempting him^ and saying^ 
1$ it latr/nlfor a man to put away his trifefor every cawte? 
Jeromk ; That they might have Him as it were between the 

« The I^tin couiroentury that g»>eii again at the first ver»e of thin chap- 
under the name of Chm^Htom'sretamei ter. 

VER. 1 — 8. ST. MATTHEW. 651 

horns of a syllogism, so that, whatever answer He should 
make, it would lie open to cavil. Should He allow a wife 
to be put away for any cause, and the maniage of another, 
he would seem to contradict Himself as a preacher of chastity. 
Should He answer that she may not be put away for any 
cause whatsoever. He will be judged to have spoken im- 
piously, and to make against the teaching of Moses and of 
God. Chrys. Obser\e their wickedness even in the way 
of putting their question. The Lord had above disputed 
concerning this law, but they now ask Him as though He 
had spoken nothing thereof, supposing He had forgot what 
He had before delivered in this matter. Pseudo-Chrys. 
But, as when you see one much pm'suing the acquaintance 
of physicians, you know that he is sick, so, when you see 
either man or woman enquiring concerning divorce, know 
that that man is lustful and that woman unchaste. For 
chastity has pleasure in wedlock, but desire is tormented as 
though under a slavish bondage therein. And knowing that 
they had no sufficient cause to allege for their putting away 
their wives, save their own lewdness, they feigned many 
divers causes. They feared to ask Him for what cause, lest 
they should be tied down within the limits of fixed and 
certain causes ; and therefore they asked if it were lawful for 
every cause ; for they knew that appetite knows no limits, 
and cannot hold itself within the bounds of one marriage, but 
the more it is indulged the more it is kindled. Origen ; 
Seeing the Lord thus tempted, let none of His disciples who 
is set to teach think it hard if he also be by some tempted. 
Howbeit, He replies to His tempters with the doctrines of 
piety. Jerome ; But He so fi-ames His answer as to evade 
their snare. He brings in the testimony of Holy Writ, and 
the law of nature, and opposing God's first sentence to this 
second. He answered and said unto them, Hare ye not read^ 
that he which made them at the heyiiining made them male 
and female '^ This is written in the beginning of Genesis. 
This teaches that second marriages are to be avoided, for 
He said not male and females, which was what was sought 
by the putting away of the first, but, male and female^ im- 
plying only one tie of wedlock. Raban. For by the whole- 
some design of God it was ordained that a man should have 
in the woman a part of his own body, and should not look upon 


a» separulu Irom himself that which he knew was forracd out 
i)f hiinsflf. Pskiikj-C'huys. If then God created the male 
and lemale out of one, to this end tliat they should hv one, 
why then henceforth were not they born man and wife at one 
birth, as it is with certain insects ? Because Ciod created male 
and female for the continuance of the species, yet is He ever 
a lover of chastity, and promoter of continence. Therefore 
did He not follow this pattern in all kinds, to the end that, 
if any man choose to marry, he may know what is, according 
to the first disposition of the creation, the condition of man 
and wife ; but if he choose not to marry, he shall not be 
under necessity to many^ by the circumstances of his birth, 
lest he should by his continence be the destruction of the 
otlier who was not willing to be continent ; for which same 
cause God forbids that after being joined in wedlock one 
should sei)arate if the other be unwilling. Chrys. But not 
by the law of creation only, but also by the practice of the 
law, lie shews that they ought to be joined (me and one, and 
never put asunder ; And he said, For this cause shall a man 
leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his irife. 
Jeromk; In like manner lie says his wife, and not wives, 
and adds expressly, and they tuain shall be onejlesh. For 
it is the reward of marriage that one flesh, namely in the 
GloM. offspring, is made of two. Glo&s. Or, one Jlcsh, that is in 
interim, carnal connexicm. Pseudo-Chrys. If then because the wife 
is made of the man, and both one of one flesh, a man shall 
leave his father and his mother, then there should be yet 
greater affection between brothers and .sisters, for these come 
of the same jjarcnts, but man and wife of diflerent. But this 
is saying too much, the ordinance of God is of more 
force than the law of nature. For God's precepts are not 
subject to the law of nature, but nature bends to the precept* 
of God. Also brethren are bom of one, tliat they should seek 
out different roads ; but the man and the wife are bom of 
different persons, that they shoidd coalesce in one. The 
order of nature follows the appointment of God. For as 
is the sap in trees, so is affection in man. The sap ascends 
from the roots into tlie leaves, and passes fortli into the seed. 
Therefore parents love their childnn, but are not so loved of 
them, for the desire of a man is not towards his |)arents, but 
towards the sons whom Iv li;«s b«'gol ; and this is what is said, 

VER. 1 — 8. ST. MATTHEW. 653 

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and 
shall cleave unto his wife. Chkys. See the Misdom of the 
Teacher. Being asked, Is it lawful. He said not straight, 
It is not la^^-ful, lest they should be troubled, but establishes 
it through a proof. For God made them from the beginning 
male and female, and not merely joined them together, but 
bade them quit father and mother; and not bade the husband 
merely approach his wife, but be joined to her, shewing by 
this manner of speaking the inseparable bond. He even added 
a still closer union, saying, And they twain shall he one flesh. 
Aug. Whereas Scripture witnesses that these words were Aug. 
said by the first man, and the Lord here declares that God iit.ix.i9. 
spake them, hence we should understand that by reason 
of the ecstasy which had passed upon Adam, he was enabled 
to speak this as a prophecy. Remig. The Apostle says that Eph. 5, 
this is a mystery in Christ and the Church; for the Lord^^' 
Jesus Christ left His Father when He came down from 
heaven to earth; and He left His mother, that is, the syna- 
gogue, because of its unbelief, and clave unto His wife, that 
is, the Holy Church, and they two are one flesh, that is, 
Christ and the Church are one body. Chrys. When He 
had brought forward the words and facts of the old law, 
He then interprets it with authority, and lays down a law, 
saying. Therefore they are no more twain, hut one flesh. For 
as those who love one another spiritually are said to be one 
soul. And all they that helieved had one heart and one soul, Acta 4, 
so husband and wife who love each other after the flesh, are 
said to be one flesh. And as it is a wretched thing to cut 
the flesh, so is it an unjust thing to put away a wife. Aug. Aug. 
For they are called one, either from their union, or from the pei xiv. 
derivation of the woman, who was taken out of the side of 22. 
the man. Chrys. He brings in God yet again, saying, 
What God has joined, let no man put asunder, shewing that 
it is against both nature and God's law to put away a wife ; 
against nature, because one flesh is therein divided; against 
law, because God has joined and forbidden to sunder them. 
Jerome; God has joined by making man and woman one 
flesh; this then man may not put asunder, but God only. 
Man puts asunder, when from desire of a second wife the 
first is put away; God puts asunder, who also had joined. 

054 (iOSPEL AfCOIiniM. Tt» CHAP. XIX. 

I Cor.7, when by consent for the service of God we uo have our wives 

jl' as iliough we had tluMu not. Avo. Behold now out of the books 
Cont, of Moses it is proved to the Jews that a wile may not be put 
xix. 29. away. For they thought that they were doing according to 
the pur|>ort of Moses' law when they did ])ut tlicni away. 
This also we learn hence by the testimony of Christ Himself, 
that it was God who made it thus, and joined them male and 
female; which when the .Manich.x'ans deny, they are con- 
demned, resisting the Gospel of Christ. Pseido-Chrys. 
This sentence of chastity seemed hard to these adulterers; 
but they coidd not make answer to the arginnent. Ilowbeit, 
they will not submit to the truth, but betake themselves for 
shelter to Moses, as men having a bad cause fly to some 
powerful personage, that wliere justice is not. liis countenance 
may ])revail; T/iei/ say unto him, Why did Moses then com- 
maud lo give a trriting of divorcement ^ and to put her away? 
Jf.home; Here they reveal the cavil which they had pre- 
pared; albeit the Lord had not given sentence of Himself, 
but had recalled to their minds ancient history, and the 
commands of Ciod. Chrys. Had the Lord been opjiosed to 
the Old Testament, He would not thus have contended in 
Moses' behalf, nor have gone about to shew that what was 
his was in agreement with the things of old. But the 
unspeakable wisdom of Christ made answer and excuse for 
these in this manner, He saith unto them. Mokes for the 
hardness of your hearts suffered you to put auay your 
wives. By this He clears Moses from tlieir charge, and 
Aug. retorts it all upon their own head. Aug. For how great was 
that hardness! When not even the intervention of a bill of 
divorce, which gave room for just and ])rudent men to endea- 
vour to dissuade, could move them to renew the conjugal 
affection. And with what wit do the Manichajans blame 
Moses, as severing wedlock by a bill of divorce, and com- 
mend Christ as, on the contrary, confirming its force? 
WTiereas according to their impious science they should 
have praised Moses for putting asunder what the devil had 
joined, and found fault with Christ who riveted the bonds of 
the devil. Chrys. At last, because what He had said was 
severe. He goes back to the old law, saying. From the begin- 
ning it teas not so. .Jerome; What He says is to this pur- 

VF.R. 0. ST. MATTHEW. 655 

pose. Is it possible that God should so contradict Himself, 
as to command one thing at first, and after defeat His own 
ordinance by a new statute? Think not so; but, whereas 
Moses saw that through desire of second wives who should 
be richer, younger, or fairer, that the first were put to death, 
or treated ill, he chose rather to suffer separation, than the 
continuance of hatred and assassination. Observe moreover 
that He said not God suffered you, but, Moses; shewing 
that it was, as the Apostle speaks, a counsel of man, not ai Cor. 

7 12 

command of God. Pseudo-Chrys. Therefore said He well, ' * 
Moses suffered, not commanded. For what we command, 
that we ever wish; but when we suffer, we yield against our 
will, because we have not the power to put full restraint upon 
the evil wills of men. He therefore suffered you to do evil 
that you might not do worse; thus in suffering this he was 
not enforcing the righteousness of God, but taking away its 
sinfulness from a sin; that while you did it according to His 
law, your sin should not appear sin. 

9. And I say unto you. Whosoever shall put away 
his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry 
another, committeth adultery : and whoso marrieth 
her which is put away doth commit adultery. 

Chrys. Having stopped their mouths. He now set forth 
the Law with authority, saying. But I say unto you, that 
uhoaoever shall put auay his irife, except for fornication^ 
and marrieth another^ commHieth adultery. Origen ; Per- 
haps some one will say, that Jesus in thus speaking, suffered 
wives to be put away for the same cause that Moses suffered 
them, which He says was for the hardness of the hearts of 
the Jews. But to this it is to be answered, that if by the 
Law an adulteress is stoned, that sin is not to be understood 
as the shamefiil thing for which Moses suffers a writing Deut. 
of divorcement; for in a cause of adultery it was not lawfiil^*'^' 
to give a writing of divorcement. But Moses perhaps calls 
every sin in a woman a shameful thing, which if it be found 
in her, a bill of divorcement is written against her. But we 
should enquire, If it is lawful to put away a wife for the 
cause of fornication only, what is it if a woman be not an 


acluUeress, but have done any other lieinouH crinic; have 
been found a poisoner, «)r to have nuudercd her children? 
The Lord has explained this matter in another ]ilace, saying, 
M*t. 6, Whoso puiteth licr an ay, except /or the cause of fornication, 
niaketh her lo commit adnlterif, f?iving her an opportunity 
of a second marriage. Jkuome; It is fornication alone which 
destroys the relationship of the wife; for when she has 
divided one Hesh into two, and ha.s separated herself by 
fornication from her husband, she is not to be retained, lest 
she should bring her husband also under Uie curse, which 
'Prov. Scrij)ture has spoken, He that kcepeth an adulteress is a fool 
' and nicked. Psei'Do-Chrys. Vot as he is cruel and unjust 
that puts away a cha.ste wife, so is he a fool and unjust that 
retains an unchaste; for in that he hides the guilt of his wife, he 
Aug. Deis an encourager of foulness. Aug. For a reunion of the wed- 
Aduit.*^ lock, even after actual commission of adulter}', is neither shame- 
ii. 9. f,il nor difficult, where there is an undoubted remissi<m of sin 
through the keys of the kingdom of heaven ; not tliat after 
being divorced from her husband an adulteress should be 
called back again, but that after her union with Christ she 
should no longer be called an adulteres.s. Pseudo-Chrys. 
For every thing by whatsoever causes it is created, by the 
same is it destroyed. It is not matrimony but the will that 
makes the union ; and therefore it is not a separation of 
bodies but a separation of wills that dissolves it. He then 
who puts away his wife and does not take another is still her 
husband; for though their bodies be not united, tlieir wills are 
united. But when he takes another, then he manifestly puts 
his wife away ; wherefore the Lord says not, ^^^loso putteth 
away his wife, but, M'hoso marrieth another, committeth 
adultery. Rabax. Tliere is then but one carnal cause why 
a wife should be put away, that is, fornication ; and but one 
spiritual, that is, the fear of God. But there is no cause why 
while she who has been put away is alive, another should be 
married. Jerome ; For it might be that a man might falsely 
charge an innocent wife, and for the sake of another woman 
might fasten an accusation upon her. Therefore it is com- 
manded so to put away the first, that a second be not mar- 
ried while the first is yet alive. Also because it might 
happen that by the same law a wife would divorce her 

VER. 10 — 12. ST. MATTHEW. 657 

husband, it is also provided that she take not another 
husband; and because one who had become an adulteress 
would have no further fear of disgrace, it is commanded that 
she marry not another husband. But if she do many another, 
she is in the guilt of adultery; wherefore it follows, And 
whoso marrieth her that is put away, committeth adultery. 
Gloss. He says this to the terror of him that would take her Gloss 
to wife, for the adulteress would have no fear of disgrace. 

10. His disciples say unto him. If the case of the 
man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. 

11. But he said unto them. All men cannot re- 
ceive this saying, save they to whom it is given. 

12. For there are some eunuchs, which were so 
born from their mother's womb : and there are some 
eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men : and 
there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eu- 
nuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is 
able to receive it, let him receive it. 

Jerome; A wife is a grievous burden, if it is not permitted 
to put her away except for the cause of fornication. For 
what if she be a dninkard, an evil temper, or of evil habits, ' 
is she to be kept? The Apostles, perceiving this burden- 
someness, express what they feel; His disciples say unto 
him, If the case of the man he so with his wife, it is not 
good to marry. Chrys. For it is a lighter thing to contend 
with himself, sftid his own lust, than with an evil woman. 
Pseudo-Chrys. And the Lord said not, It is good, but rather 
assented that it is not good. However, He considered the 
weaknessof the flesh; But he said unto them. All cannot receite 
this saying; that is, All are not able to do this. Jerome; 
But let none think, that wherein He adds, save they to whom 
it is given, that either fate or fortune is implied, as though 
they were virgins only whom chance has led to such a 
fortune. For that is given to those who have sought it of 
God, who have longed for it, who have striven that they 
might obtain it. Pseudo-Chrys. But all cannot obtain it, 

VOL. L 2 u 


because all do not desire to obtain it. The prize is before 
them; he who desires the lionour will not consider the toil. 
None would ever van<|uiKh, if all shunned the struggle. 
Because then some have fallen from their j)ur])ose of con- 
tinence, we ought not therefore to faint from that virtue ; 
for they that fall in the battle do not slay tlie rest. That 
He says therefore, Save they to whom it is given ^ 
shews that unless we receive the aid of grace, we have 
not strength. But this aid of grace is not denied to such 
as seek it, for the Lord says above, Ask^ and ye shall 
receive. Chrvs. Then to shew that this is possible, He says, 
For there are some eiinuchSy which were made eunucfis qf 
men; as much as to say, Consider, had you been so made 
of others, you would have lost the pleasure without gaining 
the reward. Pseudo-Chrys. For as tlie deed without tlie 
will does not constitute a sin ; so a righteous act is not in 
the deed unless the will go with it. That therefore is 
honourable continence, not which mutilation of body of 
necessity enforces, but which the will of holy purpose embraces. 
Jerome ; He speaks of three kinds of eunuchs, of whom two 
are carnal, and one spiritual. One, those who are so bom of 
their mother's womb ; another, those whom enemies or courtly 
luxury has made so; a third, tliose who have made themselves 
so for the kingdom of heaven, and who might have been men, 
but become eunuchs for Christ. To them the reward is 
promised, for to the others whose continence was involuntary-, 
nothing is due. Hilary; The cause in one item he assigns 
nature ; in the next violence, and in the last his own choice, 
in him, namely, that determined to be so from hope of the 
kingdom of heaven. Pseudo-Chrys. For thty are bom such, 
just as others are bom having six or four fingers. For if 
God according as He fonned our bodies in the beginning, 
had continued the same order unchangeably, the working of 
God would have been brought into oblivion among men. 
The order of nature is therefore changed at times from its 
nature, that God the framer of nature may be had in remem- 
cf. Orig. brance. Jerome ; Or we may say otherwise. The eunuchs 
from their mothers' wombs are they whose nature is colder, 
and not prone to lust. And tliey that are made so of men 
are they whom physicians made so, or they whom worship of 

VER. 13 — 15. ST. MATTHEW. 059 

idols has made effeminate, or who from the influence of 
heretical teaching pretend to chastity, that they may there- 
upon claim truth for their tenets. But none of them obtain 
the kingdom of heaven, save he only who has become a 
eunuch for Christ's sake. Whence it follows. He that is able 
to receive it^ let him receive it; let each calculate his own 
strength, whether he is able to fulfil the rules of virginity 
and abstinence. For in itself continence is sweet and 
alluring, but each man must consider his strength, that he 
only that is able may receive it. This is the voice of the 
Lord exhorting and encouraging on His soldiers to the reward 
of chastity, that he who can fight might fight and conquer 
and triumph- Chrys. When he says, Who have made 
themselves eunuchs. He does not mean cutting off of members, 
but a putting away of evil thoughts. For he that cuts off a 
limb is under a ciu'se, for such an one undertakes the deeds 
of mm'derers, and opens a door to Manicheans who ^depreciate 
the creature, and cut off the same members as do the Gentiles. 
For to cut off members is of the temptation of daemons. But by 
the means of which we have spoken desue is not diminished 
but made more urgent ; for it has its sovuce elsewhere, and 
chiefly in a weak purpose and an unguarded heart. For if the 
heart be well governed, there is no danger from the natural 
motions; nor does the amputation of a member bring such 
peacefulness and immunity from temptation as does a bridle 
upon the thoughts. 

13. Then were there brought unto him little 
children, that he should put his hands on them, and 
pray : and the disciples rebuked them. 

14. But Jesus said. Suffer little children, and 
forbid them not, to come unto me : for of such is 
the kingdom of heaven. 

15. And he laid his hands on them, and departed 

Pseudo-Chrys. The Lord had been holding discourse of 
chastity ; and some of His hearers now brought unto Him infants, 
who in respect of chastity are the purest; for they supposed 

*2 u 2 


Uiat it was the pure in bo<ly only whom He had approved ; 
and this is that which is said, T/ien were browjht unto him 
little children, that he should put his hands on them, and 
pray. OuKitiN ; 1 oi ihcy now understood from His previoiui 
niifjfhty works, tliat by laying on of His hands and by prayer 
evils were obviated. They bring therefore children to Him, 
judging that it were impossible that after the L<jrd had by 
His touch conveyed divine virtue into them, hann or any 
demon should come nigh them. Rkmiu. For it was a custom 
among the ancients that little children should be brought to 
aged j)ersons, to receive benediction by their hand or tongue ; 
and according to tliis custom little children are now brought 
to the Lord. Pseudo-Chrys. Hie llesh as it delights not in 
good, if it hear any good readily forgets it; but the evil that 
it has it reUiins ever. But a little while before Christ took 

Matt, a little child and said, Except ye become as this child, ye 
' ' shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven, yet His disciples, 
presently forgetting this innocence of children, now forbid 
children, as imworthy to come to Christ. Jerome; Not 
because they liked not that they should have benediction of 
the Saviom's hand and mouth; but forasumch as their faith 
was not yet perfect, they thought that He like other men 
would be wearied by the ap])lications of those that brought 
them. CiiRVS. Or the disciples would have thnist them 

^Ui^fM. away, from respect to Christ's dignity ^ But the Lord teaching 
them holy thoughts, and to subdue the pride of this world, 
took the children into His arms, and promised to such the 
kingdom of heaven; But Jesus saith unto them. Suffer little 
children and forbid them not to coine unto me, for qf such is 
the kingdom qf heaven. Pseudo-Chuys. For who were 
worthy to come to, if simple infancy were thrust ;i\\ .i\ - 
Tlierefore he said. Forbid them not. For if they shall turu 
out saints, why hinder ye the sons from coming to their 
Father? And if sinners, why do ye pronounce a sentence of 
condemnati<m, before you see any faidt in them? Jerome; 
And He said distinctly, Of such is the kingdom qf heaven^ 
not Of these, to shew that it was not years, but dis])osition 
that det«'rmined His judgment, and that the leward was 
promised to such as had like innocence and simplicity. 
Pseudo-Chrys. The present passage instructs all parents to 

VER, 13 — 15. ST. MATTHEW. G61 

bring their children to the priests, for it is not the priest who 
lays his hands on them, but Christ, in whose name hands are 
laid. For if he that offers his food in prayer to God eats it 
sanctified, for it is sanctified by the word of God, and by 
prayer, as the Apostle speaks, how much rather ought children i Tim. 
to be offered to God, and sanctified ? And this is the reason ' 
of blessing of food. Because the whole world lieth in wicked- i John 
7iess ; so that all things that have body, which are a great ' 
part of the world, lie in wickedness. Consequently infants 
when born, are as respects their flesh lying in wickedness. 

Origen; Mystically; We call them children who are yet 
carnal in Christ, having need of milk. They who bring the babes 
to the Saviom-, are they who profess to have knowledge of the 
word, but are still simple, and have for their food children's 
lessons, being yet novices. They who seem more perfect, 
and are therefore the disciples of Jesus, before they have 
learnt the way of righteousness which is for children, rebuke 
those who by simple doctrine bring to Christ childi'en and 
babes, that is, such as are less learned. But the Lord ex- 
horting His disciples now become men to condescend to 
the needs of babes, to be babes to babes, that they may 
gain babes, says. For of such is the kingdom of heaven. For 
He Himself also, when He was in the form of God, was 
made a babe. These things we should attend to, lest in 
esteeming that more excellent wisdom, and spiritual ad- 
vancement, as though we were become gi-eat we should 
despise the little ones of the Church, forbidding children to 
be brought to Jesus. But since children cannot follow all 
things that are commanded them, Jesus laid His hands upon 
them, and leaving virtue in them by His touch, went away 
from them, seeing they were not able to follow Him, like the 
other more perfect disciples. Remig. Also laying His hands 
upon them, He blessed them, to signify that the lowly 
in spirit are worthy His grace and blessing. Gloss. He Gloss, 
laid His hands upon them while men held them, to signify "°'^ °'^°' 
that the grace of His aid was necessary. Hilary ; The 
infants are a type of the Gentiles, to whom salvation is 
rendered by faith and hearing. But the disciples, in their 
first zeal for the salvation of Israel, forbid them to approach, 
but the Lord declares that they are not to be forbidden. For 


the gift of the Holy Ghost was to be conferred upon the 
Gentiles by laying on of hands, as soon as the Law had 

16. And, behold, one came and said unto him. 
Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may 
have eternal life ? 

17. And he said unto him, Why callest thou me 
good ? there is none good but one, that is, God : but 
if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments, 

18. He saith unto him. Which? Jesus said. Thou 
shalt do no murder. Thou shalt not commit adultery. 
Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false 

19. Honour thy father and thy mother : and. Thou 
shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 

20. The young man saith unto him. All these things 
have I kept from my youth up : what lack I yet ? 

21. Jesus said unto him. If thou wilt be perfect, 
go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, 
and thou shalt have treasure in heaven : and come 
and follow me. 

22. But when the young man heard that saying, 
he went away sorrowful : for he had great pos- 

Baban. Raban. This man had, it may be, heard of the Lord, that 
e pjjjy. ^^^^ ^Yiq were like to little children were wortliy to 
Mat.18, enter into the heavenly kingdom ; but desiring to know more 
certainly, he asks to Iiave it declared to him not in parables, 
but expressly, by what merits he might attain eternal life. 
Therefore it is said ; And, behold, one came and said unto 
him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I may 
have eternal life ? Jkkome ; He that asks this question is 
both young, rich, and proud, and he asks not as one that 
desires to learn, but as tempting Him. This we can prove 
by this, that when the \^n(\ had said unto him. It thou wilt 

VER. 16 — ^'2. ST. MATTHEW. 663 

enter into life, keep the commandments, he further insi- 
diously asks, which are the commandments ? as if he could 
not read them for himself, or as if the Lord could command 
any thing contrary to them. Chrys. But I for my part, Chrys. 
though I deny not that he was a lover of money, because ixiii.* 
Christ convicts him as such, cannot consider him to have 
been a hypocrite, because it is unsafe to decide in uncertain 
cases, and especially in making charges against any. More- 
over Mark removes all suspicion of this kind, for he says that Mark 
he came to Him, and knelt before Him; and that Jesus ^^' ^''^* 
when He looked on him, loved him. And if he had come to 
tempt Him, the Evangelist would have signified as much, as 
he has done in other places. Or if he had said nothing 
thereof, Christ would not have suffered him to be hid, but 
would either have convicted him openly, or have covertly 
suggested it. But He does not this; for it follows. He saith 
unto him. Why askest thou me concerning good ? Aug. This Aug. 
may seem a discrepancy, that Matthew here gives it. Why ^^ ?" * 
askest thou me concerning good? whereas Mark and Luke 63. 
have, Why callest thou me good ? For this. Why askest thou 
me concerning good ? may seem rather to be referred to his 
question. What good thing shall I do? for in that he both 
mentioned good, and asked a question. But this. Good 
Master, is not yet a question. Either sentence may be 
understood thus very appropriately to the passage. Jerome ; 
But because he had styled Him Good Master, and had not 
confessed Him as God, or as the Son of God, He tells him, 
that in comparison of God there is no saint to be called good, 
of whom it is said, Confess unto the Lord, /or he is good; Fs.]i8, 
and therefore He says, There is one good, that is, God. But ' 
that none should suppose that by this the Son of God is 
excluded from being good, we read in another place, The johnio, 
good Shepherd layeth down his life for his sheep. Aug. Or, ^"^ ^^ 
because he sought eternal life, (and eternal life consists in Trin. i. 
such contemplation in which God is beheld not for punish- 
ment, but for everlasting joy,) and knew not with whom he 
spake, but thought Him only a Sou of Man, therefore He 
says. Why askest thou me concerning good, calling me in 
respect of what you see in me. Good Master ? Tliis form of 
the Son of Man shall appear in the judgment, not to the 

<'l)4 GOSPKL ACCORDING TO ( H A I \ I \ . 

righteous only, but to the wicked, and the very ught shall be 
to tliem an evil, and thuir punishment. But there is a sight of 
My form, in wliicli I am i<jual to (iod. That one God tlicrefore, 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is alone good, because none see 
Him to mourning and sorrow, but only to salvation and true 
joy. Jeromk; For Our Saviour does not reject this witness to 
His goodness, but corrected the error of ciUling Him Good 
Master apart from God. Ciikys. Wherein then was the profit 
that He answered thus ? He leads him by degrees, and teaches 
him to lay aside false flatter}-, and rising above the things 
which are upon earth to cleave to God, to seek things to 
come, and to know Him that is truly good, the root and 
source of every good. Origkn; Christ also answers thus, 
because of that He said, JVhat good thing nhall I do? For 
when we depart from evil and do good, that which we do 
is called good by comparison with what other men do. But 
when compared with absolute good, in the sense in which 
it is here said. There is one good, our good is not good. But 
some one may say, that because the Lord knew that the 
purpose of him who thus asked Him was not even to do 
such good as man can do, that therefore He said, Why 
nskcst ihoit mc concerning good? as much as to say, Why 
do you ask me concerning good, seeing you are not prepared 
to do what is good. But after Uiis He says, If thou wilt 
enter into life, keep the commandments. Where note, that 
He speaks to him as yet standing without life; for that man 
is in one sense without life, who is without Him who said, 
/ am the life. Otherwise, every man uj^on eartli may be, 
not in life itself, but only in its shadow, while he is clad in a 
body of death. But any man shall enter into life, if he keep 
himself from dead works, and seek living works. But there 
are dead words luid living words, also dead thouglits and 
livinj< thoughts, and therefore He says. If thou wilt enter 
Ang. into life, keep the commandments. AiG. And He said not, 
g4 j' If thou desirest life eternal; but. If thou uilt enter into life^ 
calling that simply life^ which shall be everlasting. Here 
we should consider how eternal life should be loved, when 
this nii.serable and finite life is so loved. Rk.mig. These 
words prove that the Law gave to such as kept it not only 
temporal promises, but also life eternal. And because the 

VER. IG — '2-2. ST. MATTHEW. 663 

hearing these things made him thoughtful, He saith unto 
him. Which? Chrys. This he said not to tempt Him, but 
because he supposed that they were other than the com- 
mandments of the Law, which should be the means of hfe to 
him. Remig. And Jesus, condescending as to a weak one, most 
graciously set out to him the precepts of the Law ; Jesus said, 
TJiou shall do no murder, and of all these precepts follows 
the exposition. And thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself. 
For the Apostle says, Whoso lovelh his neighbour has fulJilledP^'^^- 
the Law? But it should be enquired, why the Lord has ' 
enumerated only the precepts of the Second Table? Perhaps 
because this young man was zealous in the love of God, 
or because love of oiu* neighbour is the step by which we 
ascend to the love of God. Origen; Or perhaps these 
precepts are enough to introduce one, if I may say so, to 
the entrance of life; but neither these, nor any like them, 
are enough to conduct one to the more inward parts of life. 
But whoso transgresses one of these commandments, shall 
not even come to the entrance in unto life. Chrys. But 
because all the commandments that the Lord had recounted 
were contained in the Law, The young man saith unto him. 
All these have I kept from my youth vp. And did not even 
rest there, but asked further. What lack I yet? which alone 
is a mark of his intense desire. Remig. But to those who 
would be perfect in grace. He shews how they may come to 
perfection, Jesus saith unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go, 
and sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor. Mark the 
words; He said not. Go, and consume all thou hast; but 
Go, and sell; and not some, as did Ananias and Sapphira, 
but All. And well He added, that thou hast, for what we 
have are our lawful possessions. Those therefore that he 
justly possessed were to be sold; what had been gained 
unjustly were to be restored to those from whom they had 
been taken. And He said not. Give to thy neighbours, nor 
to the rich, but to the poor. Aug. Nor need it be made a Aug. de 
scmple in what monasteries, or to the indigent brethren of nJ*ch!26* 
what place, any one gives those things that he has, for there 
is but one commonwealth of all Christians. Therefore where- 
soever any Christian has laid out his goods, in all places 
alike he shall receive what is necessaiy for himself, shall 
receive it of that wluch is Christ's. Raban. See two kinds 


of life wliich we have heard set before men ; the Active, to 
wliich pertains, Thou sfialt not kiil, and the rest of the Law; 
and the Contemplative, to wliich pertains this, 1/ thou tcilt 
he perfect. The active pertains to the Law, the contempla- 
tive to the Gospel; for as the Old Testament went before 
Aug- the New, so good action goes before contemplation. Aug. 
Faust. Nor are such only partakers in the kingdom of heaven, who, 
^- ^- to the end they may be perfect, sell or part with all that they 
have; but in these Christian ranks are numbered by reason 
of a certain communication of their charity a multitude of 
hired troops; those to whom it shall be said in the end, 
Mat.25, / teas hungry, and ye gave me to eat; whom be it far from 
us to consider excluded from life eternal, as they who obey 
Hieron. not the commands of the Gospel. Jkrome; lliat Vigilantius 
gila^j*' asserts that they who retain the use of their property, and 
**• firom time to time divide their incomes among the poor, do 
better than they who sell their po.ssessions and lavish them 
in one act of charity, to him, not I, but God shall make 
answer, If thou wilt be perfect. Go and sell. That which 
you so extol, is but the second or third grade ; which we 
indeed admit, only remembering that what is first is to be 
Genna- set before what is third or second. Pseudo-Aug. It is good 
Eccies. to distribute with discrimination to the poor; it is better, 
Dogra. ^ith resolve of following the Lord, to strip one's self of all at 
once, and freed from anxiety to suffer want with Christ. 
Chrys. And because He spake of riches warning us to strip 
ourselves of tliem. He promises to repay things greater, by 
how much heaven is greater than earth, and therefore He 
says. And thou shalt hare treasure in heat-en. By the word 
treasure He denotes the abundance and endurance of the 

Origen; If every commandment is fulfilled in this one 
word. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, and if he 
is perfect who has fulfilled every command, how is it that 
the Ijord said to the young man, If thou wilt be jwrfect, 
when he had declared, All these hare I kept from my youth 
up. Perhaps that he says. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as 
thysel/y was not said by the Ix)rd, but added by some one, 
for neither Mark nor Luke have given it in this place. Or 
otherwise; It is writt<*n in the Gospel* according to the 
* See abovr. ]>. A. note b. 

VER, 16 — 2-2. ST. MATTHEW. 667 

Hebrews, that, when the Lord said, Co, and sell all that 
thou hast, the rich man began to scratch his head, being 
displeased with the saying. Then the Lord said unto him, 
How sayest thou, I have kept the Law, and the Prophets, 
since it is written in the Law, Thou shall love thy neighbour 
as thyself? For how many of thy brethren sons of Abraham, 
clothed in filth, perish for hunger? Thy house is full of 
many good things, and nothing goes thereout to them. The 
Lord then, desiring to con\dct this rich man, says to him. 
If thou wilt be perfect, go ajid sell all that thou fiast, 
and give to the poor; for so it will be seen if thou dost 
indeed love thy neighbour as thyself But if he is perfect 
who has all the virtues, how does he become perfect who 
sells all that he has and gives to the poor? For suppose one 
to have done this, will he thereby become forthwith free from 
anger, desire, havang every virtue, and abandoning all vice? 
Perhaps wisdom may suggest, that he that has given his 
goods to the poor, is aided by their prayers, receiving of their 
spiritual abundance to his want, and is made in this way 
perfect, though he may have some human passions. Or 
thus; He that thus exchanged his riches for poverty, in order 
that he might become perfect, shall have assistance to become 
wise in Christ, just, chaste also, and devoid of all passion; 
but not so as that in the moment when he gave up all his 
goods, he should forthwith become perfect; but only that from 
that day forward the contemplation of God will begin to 
bring him to all virtues. Or again, it will pass into a moral 
exposition, and say, that the possessions of a man are the 
acts of his mind. Christ then bids a man to sell all his evil 
possessions, and as it were to give them over to the virtues 
which should work the same, which were poor in all that is 
good. For as the peace of the Apostles retimas to them again,, 
unless there be a son of peace, so all sins return upon their 
actors, when one will no longer indulge his evil propensities; 
and thus there can be no doubt that he will straightway 
become perfect who in this sense sells all his possessions. It 
is manifest that he that does these things, has treasure in 
heaven, and is himself become of heaven ; and he will have 
in heaven treasure of God's glory, and riches in all God's 
wisdom. Such an one will be able to follow Christ, for he 
has no evil possession to draw him off' from so following. 


Jekome; For many who leave their riches do not therefore 
follow the liOrd; and it is not suflicient for perfection that 
they despise money, unless they jUso follow the Saviour, that 
unless having forsaken evil, they also do what is good. For 
it is easier to contcuin the hoard than (|uit the propensity^; 
therefore it follows, And come and Jvllow me; for he follows 
the Lord who is his imitator, and who walks in his steps. It 
follows, And tfhen the young man had heard these irord.s, he 
urentattay sorrow/'al. This is the sorrow that leads to death. 
And the cause of liis sorrow is added, for he had great 
possessions, thorns, that is, and briars, which choked the 
holy leaven. Chrys. For they that have little, and they that 
abound, are not in like measure encumbered. For the acqui- 
sition of riches raises a greater flame, and desire is more 
Aug. violently kindled. Aug. I know not how, but in the love of 
j'/* ' worldly superfluities, it is what we have already got, rather 
than what we desire to get, that most strictly enthrals us For 
whence went this young man away sorrowfid, but that he 
had great possessions? It is one thing to lay aside thoughts 
of further acquisition, and another to strip ourselves of what 
we have already made our own; one is only rejecting what 
is not ours, the other is like parting with one of our own 
limbs. Origen; But historically, the young man is to be 
praised for that he did not kill, did not connnit adultery; but 
is to be blamed for that he sorrowed at Christ's words calling 
him to perfection. He was young indeed in soul, and there- 
fore leaving Christ, he went his way. 

23. Then said Jesus unto his disciples. Verily I 
say unto you. That a rich man shall hardly enter into 
the kingdom of heaven. 

24. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a 
camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for 
a rich man to enter into the kingdom of (lod. 

25. When his disciples heard it, they were ex- 
ceedingly amazed, saying. Who then can be saved? 

26. But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, 

^ Vallani reada ' roluptao,' which ' It it euier to relir.qniab avarice than 
wtmld teem to make tbo pawwgc roeao, pleaaore.' 

VER. 23—26. ST. MATTHEW. 669 

With men Ibis is impossible ; but with God all things 
are possible. 

Gloss, The Lord took occasion from this rich man to Gloss. 
hold discourse concerning the covetous; Then said Jesus^"^'^^' 
unto his disciples^ Verily I say unto you, Sfc. Chrys. What 
He spoke was not condemning riches in themselves, but those 
who were enslaved by them ; also encouraging His disciples 
that being poor they should not be ashamed by reason of 
their poverty. Hilary; To have riches is no sin; but 
moderation is to be observed in our havings. For how shall 
we communicate to the necessities of the saints, if we have 
not out of what we may commmiicate .f* Raban, But though 
there be a difference between having and loving riches, yet 
it is safer neither to have nor to love them. Remig. Whence 
in Maik the Lord expounding the meaning of this saying, 
speaks thus. It is hard /or them that trust in riches to enter M^^rk 
into the kingdom of heaven. They trust in riches, who build ' * 
all their hopes on them. Jerome; Because riches once 
gained are hard to be despised. He saith not it is impossible, 
but it is hard. Difficulty does not imply the impossibihty, 
but points out the infrequeucy of the occurrence. Hilary; 
It is a dangerous toil to become rich; and guiltlessness 
occupied in increasing its wealth has taken upon itself 
a sore burden; the senant of God gains not the things 
of the world, clear of the sins of the world. Hence is the 
difficulty of entering the kingdom of heaven. Chrys. Having 
said that it was hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom 
of heaven, He now proceeds to shew that it is impossible, 
And again I say unto you. It is easier for a camel to go 
through the eye qf a needle, than for a rich man to enter 
into the kingdom qf heaven. Jerome; According to this, no 
rich man can be saved. But if we read Isaiah, how the Is. 60, 
camels of Midian and Ephah came to Jerusalem with gifts 
and presents, and they who once were crooked and bowed 
down by the weight of their sins, enter the gates of Jerusalem, 
we shall see how these camels, to which the rich are likened 
when they have laid aside the heavy load of sins, and the 
distortion of their whole bodies, may then enter by that 
narrow and strait way that leads to life. 


Pseudo-Chrys. Tlie Gentile souls are likened tothedefonned 
body of the camel, in which is seen the humpback of idolatry; 
for the knowledge of God is the exaltation of the soid. The 
needle is the Sou of God, the fine j>oint of which is His divinity, 
and the thicker part what He is according to His incarnation. 
But it is altogether straight and without turning; and through 
the womb of His pa.ssion, the Gentiles have entered into life 
eternal. By this needle is sewn the robe of immortality ; it is 
this needle that has sewn the flesh to the s])irit, that has 
joined together the Jews and the Gentiles, and coupled man 
in friendship with angels. It is easier therefore for the 
Gentiles to pass through the needle's eye, than for the rich 
Jews to enter into the kingdom of heaven. For if the 
Gentiles are with such difficulty withdrawn from the irra- 
tional worship of idols, how much more hardly shall the 
Jews be withdrawn firom the reasonable service of God? 
Gloes. Gloss. It is explained otherwise ; That at Jerusalem there 
^{g^ °" was a certain gate, called, The needle's eye, through which 
a camel could not pass, but on its bended knees, and after 
its burden had been taken off; and so the rich should not 
be able to pass along the narrow way that leads to life, till 
he had put off the burden of sin, and of riches, that is, by 
Greg, ceasing to love them. Greg. Or, by the rich man He intends 
*^'"^" any one who is proud, by the camel he denotes the right 
16. humility. The camel passed througli the needle's eye, when 
our Redeemer through the narrow way of suffering entered 
in to the taking upon Him death ; for that passion was a.s a 
needle which pricked the body with pain. But the camel 
enters the needle's eye easier than the rich man enters tlie 
kingdom of heaven ; because if He had not first shewn us by 
His pa.ssion the form of His humility, our proud stiffness 
would never have bent itself to His lowhness. Chrys. The 
disciples though poor are troubled for the salvation of others, 
Aug. beginning even now to have the bowels of doctors. Auo. 
Quiwt. YVhereas the rich are few in comparison of the multitude of 
26. the poor, we must suppose that the disciples understood all 
who wish for riches, as included in the number of the rich. 
Chrys. This therefore He ])roceeds to shew is the work of 
God, there needing much grace to guide a man in the midst 
of riches; But Jos\is beheld them, and said unto them. With 
men this is impossible, but with Qud all things are possible. 

VER. 27 — 30, ST. MATTHEW. 671 

By the word beheld them, the Evangelist conveys that He 
soothed their troubled soul by His merciful eye. Remig. 
This must not be so understood as though it were possible 
for God to cause that the rich, the covetous, the avaricious, 
and the proud should enter into the kingdom of heaven; but 
to cause him to be converted, and so enter. Chrys. And 
this is not said that you should sit supinely, and let alone what 
may seem impossibilities ; but considering the greatness of 
righteousness, you should strive to enter in with entreaty 
to God. 

27. Then answered Peter and said unto him. 
Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; 
what shall we have therefore ? 

28. And Jesus said unto them. Verily I say unto 
you. That ye which have followed me, in the rege- 
neration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne 
of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, 
judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 

29. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or 
brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or 
children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive 
an hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 

30. But many that are first shall be last ; and the 
last shall be first. 

Origen; Peter had heard the word of Christ when He 
said, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell all that thou hast. 
Then he observed that the young man had departed sorrowfiil, 
and considered the difficulty of riches entering into the kingdom 
of heaven ; and thereupon he put this question confidently as 
one who had achieved no easy matter. For though what he 
with his brother had left behind them were but little things, 
yet were they not esteemed as little with God, who considered 
that out of the fulness of their love they had so forsaken those 
least things, as they would have forsaken the greatest things 
if they had had them. So Peter, thinking rather of his will 
than of the intrinsic value of the sacrifice, asked Him confi- 


Chryt. denlly, Behold^ tee have hft all. CiiRYS. What was this «//, 

Ui*°" ^ blessed Peter ? The reeds, your net, and boat. But il>is 
he says, not to call to mind his own nuifj^ianimity, but in 
order to propose the case of the nnillitudf of ])oor. A poor 
man might have said, If I have nought, I cannot become 
perfect. Peter therefore puts this (juestion that you, poor 
man, may learn that you are in nothing behind. For he had 
already received the kingdom of heaven, and therefore secure 
of what was already there, he now asks for the whole world. 
And see how carefully he frames his question after Christ's 
requirements: Christ required two things of a rich man, to 
give what he had to the poor, and to follow Him; wherefore 
he adds, and have foUotced thee. Origen ; It may be said, 
In all things which the Father revealed to Peter that the 
Son was, righteousness, sanctification, and the like, in all 
we have followed Thee. Therefore as a \-ictorious athlete, 
he now asks what are the prizes of his contest. Jfuomk ; 
Because to forsake is not enough, he adds tliat which 
makes perfection, and have followed thee. We have done 
what thou comraandedst us, what reward wilt thou then give 
us ? What shall tee have ? Jerome ; He sivid not only, 
Ye tcho have left alii for this did the philosopher Crates, 
and many other who have despised riches, but added, and 
have folloiced me, which is peculiar to the Apostles and 
believers. Hilary ; The disciples had followed Christ t« 
the reffenerat ion, that is, in the laver of baptism, in the sancti- 
fication of faith, for this is that regeneration which the Apo- 
stles followed, and which the Law could not bestow. Jerom k ; 
Or it may be constructed thus, Ve which have followed me, 
shall in the regeneration sit, ifc.; that is, when the dead 
shall rise from corruption incorrupt, you also shall sit on 
thrones of judges, condemning the twelve tribes of Israel, 

Aug. de for that they wotdd not believe when you believed. Aug. 

Civ.Dei, -j^yg Qy,. flegh will \fQ regenerated by incorruplion, as our 
soul also shiUl be regenerated by faith. Pseuiki-Chrys. For 
it would come to pass, that in the day of judgment llie Jews 

^ The later editioiu of the Catena, named bj Origen whom S. Jerome in 

and nearlj all the Mm. of Jerome, thio place followM, and aa being often 

read ' Socrates.' but Vallarai adopt* alluded to by S. Jerome. Thix i« fur* 

the reading of a few Mm., Crate*, aa ther support*"! 'v >i-.. vt>. r« ..f »he 

more agreeable to history, as being Catena. 

VER. 27 — 30. ST. MATTHEW. 67.3^ 

would allege, Lord, we knew Thee not to be the Son of God 
when Thou wast in the flesh. For who can discern a treasure 
buried in the ground, or the sun when obscured by a cloud ? 
The disciples therefore will then answer, We also were men, 
and peasants, obscure among the multitude, but you priests 
and scribes ; but in us a right will became as it were a lamp 
of our ignorance, but your evil v\'ill became to you a blinding 
of your science. Chrys. He therefore said not the Gentiles 
and the whole world, but, the tribes of Israel, because the 
Apostles and the .Jews had been brought up under the same 
laws and customs. So that when the Jews should plead 
that they coidd not believe in Christ, because they were 
hindered by their Law, the disciples will be brought forward, 
who had the same Law. But some one may say, What great 
thing is this, when both the Ninevites and the Queen of the 
South will have the same ? He had before and will again 
promise them the highest rewards ; and even now He tacitly 
conveys something of the same. For of those others He had 
only said, that they shall sit, and shall condemn this genera- 
tion ; but He now says to the disciples. When the Son of 
Man shall sit, ye also shall sit. It is clear then that they 
shall reign with Him, and shall share in that glory ; for it 
is such honour and glory unspeakable that He intends by 
the thrones. How is this promise fulfilled ? Shall Judas 
sit among them ? By no means. For the law was thus 
ordained of the Lord by Jeremiah the Prophet, / will speak Jer. is, 
it upon my people, and upon the kingdom, that I may build, ^' 
and plant it. But if it do evil in my sight, then will I 
repent me of the good which I said I would do to them; 
as much as to say, If they make themselves unworthy of the 
promise, I will no more perform that I promised. But 
Judas shewed himself unworthy of the preeminence ; where- 
fore when He gave this promise to His disciples. He did not 
promise it absolutely, for He said not, Ye shall sit, but. Ye 
which havefollowed me shall sit ; at once excluding Judas, 
and admitting such as should be in afler time ; for neither was 
the promise confined to them only, nor yet did it include 
Judas who had already shewn himself undeserving. Hilary; 
Their following Christ in thus exalting the Apostles to twelve 
thrones to judge the twelve tiibes of Israel, associated them 
VOL. I. 2 X 


Aug.cbi in the glory of the twelve Patriardis. Aug. From this pas- 

'"^* sage we loam that Jesus will judge with His disciples; 

Mat 12, whence He says in another place to the Jews, Therefore shall 

they be your judges. And whereas He says they shall sit 

upon twelve thrones, we need not think that twelve persons 

only shall judge with Him. For by the number twelve is 

signified tlie whole number of those that shall judge ; and 

that because the number seven which generally represents 

completeness contains the two numbers four and three, which 

multiplied together make twelve. For if it were not so, as 

Matthias was elected into the place of the traitor Judas, the 

Apostle Paul who laboured more than they all should not 

have place to sit to judge ; but he shews that he with the 

rest of the saints pertains to the number of judges, when he 

1 Cor. 6, says. Know ye not that we shall judge Angels? Id. In the 

^ number of judges therefore are included all that have left 

Serm. their all and followed tlie Lord. Greg. For whosoever, 

Greg, urged by the spur of divine love, shall forsake what he 

Mor. I. possesses here, shall without doubt gain there the eminence 

of judicial autliority; and shall appear as judge with the 

Judge, for that he now in consideration of the judgment 

Aug. de chastens himself by a voluntary poverty. Aug. llie same 

XX. 6. ' holds good, by reason of this number twelve, of those that 

are to be judged. For when it is said, Judging the twelve 

tribes, yet is not the tribe of Len, which is the thirteenth, 

to be exempt from being judged by them ; nor shall they 

judge this nation alone, and not also oUier nations. Pseudg- 

Chrys. Or, by that, /n the regenerationy Christ designs 

the period of Christianity that should be after His ascension, 

in which men were regenerated by baptism ; and that is the 

time in which sate on the throne of His glory. And 

hereby you may see that He spake not of the time of the 

judgment to come, but of the calling of the Gentiles, in tliat 

He said not, IVhen the Son of Man shall come sitting upon 

the throne of his majesty ; but only. In the regeneration 

when he shall sit, which was from the time tliat the Genules 

Pa. 47, begpan to believe on Christ; according to that, God shall reign 

over the heathen ; God sitteth upon his holy throne. From 

that time also tlie Apostles have sat upon twelve thrones, 

that is, over all Chri.stian8 ; for every Christian who receives 

VER. 27 — 30. ST. MATTHEW. 675 

the word of Peter, becomes Peter's throne, and so of the rest 
of the Apostles. On these thrones then the Apostles sit, 
pEircelled into twelve dinsions, after the variety of minds 
and hearts, known to God only. For as the Jewish nation 
was spht into twelve tribes, so is the whole Christian people 
divided into twelve, so as that some souls are numbered 
with the tribe of Reuben, and so of the rest, according to 
their several qualities. For all have not all graces ahke, one 
is excellent in this, another in that. And so the Apostles 
will judge the twelve tribes of Israel, that is, all the Jews, 
by this, that the Gentiles received the Apostles' word. The 
whole body of Christians are indeed twelve thrones for 
the Apostles, but one throne for Christ. For all excellencies 
are but one throne for Christ, for He alone is equally perfect 
in all virtues. But of the Apostles each one is more perfect 
in some one particular excellence, as Peter in faith ; so Peter 
tests upon his faith, John on his innocence, and so of the 
rest. And that Christ spake of reward to be given to the 
Apostles in this world, is shewn by what follows. And every 
one that haih forsaken houses^ or brethren, or sisters, ^c. 
For if these shall receive an hundred fold in this life, without 
doubt to the Apostles also was promised a reward in this 
present life. Chrys. Or; He holds out rewards in the future 
life to the Apostles, because they were already looking above, 
and desired nothing of things present; but to others He 
promises things present. Origen; Or otherwise; Whoso- 
ever shall leave all and follow Christ, he also shall receive 
those things that were promised to Peter. But if he has 
not left all, but only those things in special here enume- 
rated, he shall receive manifold, and shall possess eternal 
life. Jerome ; There are that take occasion from this passage 
to bring foi*ward the thousand years after the resurrection, 
and say that then we shall have a hundred fold of the things 
we have given up, and moreover life eternal. But though 
the promise be in other things worthy, in the matter of 
wives it seems to have somewhat shameful, if he who has 
forsaken one wife for the Lord's sake, shall receive a hundred 
in the world to come. The meaning is therefore, that he that 
has forsaken carnal things for the Saviour's sake, shall receive 
spiritual things, which in a comparison of value are as a 

2 x'2 


huudrefl to a small luunber. Origen ; And in this world, 
because for his brethren after the flesh he sliidl find many 
brethren in the faith; for parents, all the Bishops and Pres- 
byters; for sons, all that liave the age of sons. The Angels 
also are brethren, and all they are sisters that have oflered 
themselves chaste virgins to Christ, as well they that still 
continue on earth, as they that now live in heaven. The 
houses and lands manifold more suppose in the repose of 
Paradise, and the city of God. And besides all these things 
Aug. they shall possess eternal life. Aug. Tliat He says, An 
De\,xx.hundred fold, is explained by the Apostle, when he says, 
^' As having nothing, and get possessing alt things. For a 

6,10. hundred is sometimes put for the whole universe. Jerome i 
And tliat, And every one that hath forsaken brethren, agrees, with that He had said before, / am come to set a man at 
variance with his father. For they who for the faith of 
Christ and the preaching of the Gospel shall despise all 
the ties, the riches, and pleasures of this world, they shall 
receive an hundred fold, and shall possess eternal life. Chrys. 
But when He says. He that hasforsaketi wife, it is not to be 
taken of actual severing of the mamage tie, but that we should 
hold the ties of the faith dearer than any other. And here is, I 
think, a covert allusion to times of persecution; for because there 
should be many who would draw away their sons to heathen- 
ism, when that should happen, they should be held neither 
as fathers, nor husbands. Raban. But because many with 
what zeal they take up the pursuit of virtue, do not with the 
same complete it; but either grow cool, or fall away rai)idly; 
it follows, But many that are first shall be last, and the last 
first, Origen; By tliis He exhorts those that come late to 
the heavenly word, to haste to ascend to perfection before 
many whom they see to have grown old in the faith. This 
sense may also overthrow those that boast to have been 
educated in Christianity by Christian parents, esjwcially if 
those parents have filled the Episcopal see, or the office 
of Priests or Deacons in the Church ; and hinder them 
from desponding who have entertained the Christian doc- 
trines more newly. It has also another meaning; the 
^first, are the Israelites, who become last because of their 
unbelief; and the Gentiles who were Inst become first. He 

VER. 27—30. ST. MATTHEW. 677 

is careful to say, Many; for not all who are first shall be 
last, nor all last first. For before this have many of mankind, 
who by nature are the last, been made by an angelic life 
above the Angels; and some Angels who were first have 
been made last through their sin. Remig. It may also be 
referred in particular to the rich man, who seemed to be first, 
by his fulfilment of the precepts of the Law, but was made 
last by his preferring his worldly substance to God. The 
holy Apostles seemed to be last, but by leaving all they 
were made first by the grace of humility. There are many 
who having entered upon good works, fall therefirom, and 
from having been first, become last. 


1. For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man 
that is an housholder, which went out early in the 
morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 

2. And when he had agreed with the labourers for 
a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 

3. And he went out about the third hour, and 
saw others standing idle in the market-place, 

4. And said unto them ; Go ye also into the 
vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. 
And they went their way. 

5. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth 
hour, and did likewise. 

6. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and 
found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why 
stand ye here all the day idle ? 

7. They say unto liim. Because no man hath 
hired us. He saith unto them. Go ye also into the 
vineyard ; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye 

8. So when even was come, the lord of the vine- 
yard saith unto his steward. Call the labourers, and 
give them their hire, beginning from the last unto 
the first. 

9. And when they came that were hired about the 
eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 

10. But when the first came, they supposed that 
they should have received more ; and they likewise 
received every man a penny. 


11. And when they had received it, they murmured 
against the goodman of the house, 

12. Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, 
and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have 
borne the burden and heat of the day. 

1 3. But he answered one of them, and said. Friend, 
I do thee no wrong : didst not thou agree with me 
for a penny ? 

14. Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will 
give unto this last, even as unto thee. 

15. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with 
mine own ? Is thine eye evil, because I am good ? 

16. So the last shall be first, and the first last : 
for many be called, but few chosen. 

Remig. To establish the truth of this saying, There are 
manyjirst that shall be last^andlastjirst, the Lord subjoins 
a similitude. Pseudo-Chrys. The Master of the household 
is Christ, whose house aie the heavens and the earth ; and 
the creatures of the heavens, and the earth, and beneath the 
earth, His family. His vineyard is righteousness, in which 
are set divers sorts of righteousness as vines, as meekness, 
chastity, patience, and the other virtues; all of which are 
called by one common name righteousness. Men are the 
cultivators of this vineyard, whence it is said. Who went out 
early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 
For God placed His righteousness in our senses, not for His 
own but for our benefit. Know then that we are the hired 
labourers. But as no man gives wages to a labourer, to the 
end he should do nothing save only to eat, so likewise we 
were not thereto called by Christ, that we should labour such 
things only as pertain to our own good, but to the glory of 
God. And like as the hired labourer looks first to his task, 
and after to his daily food, so ought we to mind first those 
things which concern the glory of God, then those which 
concern our own profit. Also as the hired labourer oc- 
cupies the whole day in his Lord's work, and takes but a 


hinglo hour lor his own meal ; so ought we to occupy our 

whole hfe in the glory of God, taking but a verj- small 

portion of it for the uses of this world. And as the hired 

labourer when he has done no work is ashamed that day 

to enter the house, and ask his food ; how should not you be 

ashamed to enter the church, and stand before the fiice of 

God, when you have done nothing good in the sight of 

Greg. God? Greg. Or; The Master of the household, that is, our 

^°"'j'^° Maker, has a vineyard, that is, the Church universal, which 

1- has borne so many stocks, as many saints as it has put forth 

from righteous Abel to the very last saint who shall be bom 

in the end of the world. To instruct this His j>eople as for 

the dressing of a \'ineyard, the Lord has never ceased to send 

out His labourers ; first by the Patriarchs, next by the teachers 

of the Law, then by the Prophets, and at the last by the 

Apostles, He has toiled in the cultivation of His vineyard; 

though every man, in whatsoever measure or degree he 

has joined good action with right faith, has been a labourer 

in the vineyard. Origen ; For the whole of this present 

life may be called one day, long to us, short compared 

fireg. to the existence of God. Greg. The morning is that 

" ' *"P* age of the world which was from Adam and Noah, and 

therefore it is said. Who went out early in the morning to 

hire labourers into his vineyard. The terms of their hiring 

He adds. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a 

denarius a day. Origen ; The denarius I suppose here to 

mean salvation. Remig. A denarius was a coin anciently 

equal to ten sesterces, and bearing the king's image. Well 

therefore does the denarius represent the reward of the 

keeping of the decalogue. And that, Having agreed with 

them for a denarius a day, is well said, to shew that every 

man labours in the field of the holy Church in hope of the future 

Greg, reward. Greg. The third hour is the period from Noah to 

nbi sup. Abraham ; of which it is said. And he went out afjout the third 

hour, amlsaw others standing ill the ynarket-plaee idle. Origen; 

The market-place is all that is without the vineyard, that is, 

without the Church of Christ. Pseudo-Chrys. For in this 

world men live by buying and selling, and gain their support. 

Greg, by defrauding each other. Greg. He that lives to himself, 

ubi »ap. jy^ji f^^,jg Q„ ji^p delights of the flesh, is rightly accused as 

VER. 1 16, ST. MATTHEW. 681 

idle, forasmuch as he does not seek the finit of godly labour. 
Pseudo-Chrys. Or; The eV//earenot sinners, for they are called 
dead. But he is idle who works not the work of God. Do 
you desire to be not idle ? Take not that which is another's ; 
and give of that which is your own, and you have laboured 
in the Lord's \dneyard, cultivating the vine of mercy. It 
follows, And he said unto them. Go ye also into my vineyard. 
Observe that it is with the first alone that He agrees upon 
J;he sum to be given, a denarius ; the others are hired on no 
'express stipulation, but What is right I will give you. For 
the Lord knowing that Adam would fall, and tliat aU should 
hereafter perish in the deluge, made conditions for hhn, that 
he should never say that he therefore neglected righteousness, 
because he knew not what reward he should have. But with 
the rest He made no contract, seeing He was prepared to 
give more than the labourers could hope. Origen ; Or, He 
did not call upon the labourers of the third hour for a 
complete task, but left to their own choice, how much they 
should work. For they might perform in the vineyard work 
equal to that of those who had wrought since the morning, if 
they chose to put forth upon their task an operative energy, 
such as had not yet been exerted. Greg. The sixth hour Greg, 
is that from Abraham to Moses, the ninth that fi'om Moses to " ^^^' 
the coming of the Lord. Pseudo-Chrys. These two hours 
are coupled together, because in the sixth and ninth it was 
that He called the generation of the Jews, and multiplied to 
publish His testaments among men, whereas the appointed 
time of salvation now drew nigh. Greg. The eleventh hour Greg, 
is that from the coming of the Lord to the end of the world. ^"P' 
The labourer in the morning, at the third, sixth, and ninth 
hours, denotes the ancient Hebrew people, which in its elect 
from the very beginning of the world, while it zealously and 
with right faith served the Lord, ceased not to labour in the 
husbandry of the vineyard. But at the eleventh the Gentiles 
are called. For they who through so many ages of the 
world had neglected to labour for their living, were they 
who had stood the whole day idle. But consider their 
answer ; They say unto him. Because no man hath hired us ; 
for neither Patriarch nor Prophet had come to them. And 
what is it to say. No man hath hired us, but to say, None 


has preached to us the way of life. I'seudo-Chrys. For 
what is our hiring, and the wages of that hiring? ITie 
promise of eternal life ; for ihe Gentiles knew neither God, 
nor God's promises. Hilary; These then arc sent into the 
vineyard, Qo ye also into my rinoyord. Raban. Hut when 
they had rendered their day's task, at the fitting time for 
payment, When even uas come, that is, when the day of this 
world was drawing to its close. Pseudo-Ciirys. Consider, 
He gives the reward not the next morning, but in the evening. 
Thus the judgment shall take place while this world is still 
standing, and each man shall receive that which is due to 
him. This is on two accounts. First, because the happiness 
of the world to come is to be itself the reward of righteous- 
ness; so the award is made before, and not in that world. 
Secondly, tliat sinners may not behold the blessedness of that 
day, The Lord saith unto his steward, that is, the Son to the 

Glo«8. Holy Spirit. Gloss. Or, if you choose, the Father saith unto 
non occ. 

wed vid. the Son ; for the Father wrought by the Son, and the Son by 

Raban. ^^ Holv Spirit, not that there is any difference of substance, 
or majesty. Origen ; Or; The Lord said to his steward^ 
that is, to one of the Angels who was set over the payment 
of the labourers ; or to one of those many guardians, according 

Gal. 4, to what is written, that The heir as long as he is a child is 
under tutors and governors. Remig. Or, the Lord Jesus 
Christ Himself is the master of the household, and also the 
steward, like as He is the door, and also the kee|H'r of the 
door. For He Himself will come to judgment, to render to 
each man according to that he has done. He therefore calls 
His labourers, and renders to them their wages, so that when 
they shall be gathered together in the judgment, each man 
shall receive according to his works. Origen ; But the first 

Heb.ll, labourers having the witness through faith have not received 
the promise of God, the lord of the household providing some 
better thing for us, that they without us shfiuld not be made 
perfect. And because we have obtained mercy, we hoj)e to 
receive the reward first, we, that is, who are Christ's, au<l after 
us they that wrought before us ; wherefore it is said, Call the 
labourers, and give them their hire^ beginning from the last 
unto the first. Pseitdo-Chrys. For we always give more 
willingly, where we give without return, seeing it is for our 

VKR. 1 — 16. ST. MATTHEW. 683 

own honour that we give. Therefore God in giving reward 
to all the saints shews himself just ; in giving to us, merciful; 
as the Apostle speaks, That the Gentiles might glorify Ood^, 
for his mercy ; and thence it is said, Beginning from the 
last even tmto the first. Or surely that God may shew His 
inestimable mercy, He first rewards the last and more 
unworthy, and afterwards the first ; for of His great mercy He 
regarded not order of merit. Aug. Or; The lesser 
therefore taken as first, because the lesser are to be made rich. lu. 24. 
Greg. They get alike a denarius who have wrought since Greg. 
the eleventh hour, (for they sought it with their whole soul,) " ^ ^"^* 
and who have wrought since the first. They, that is, who 
were called from the beginning of the world have alike 
received the reward of eternal happiness, with those who 
come to the Lord in the end of the world. Pseudo-Chrys. 
And this not with injustice. For he who was bom in the 
first period of the world, lived no longer than the determined 
time of his life, and what harm was it to him, though the 
world continued after his leaving it ? And they that shall 
be bom towards its close will not live less than the days 
that are numbered to them. And how does it cut their 
labour shorter, that the world is speedily ended, when they 
have accomplished their thread of life before ? Moreover 
it is not of man to be bom sooner or later, but of the power 
of God. Therefore he that is bom first cannot claim to 
himself a higher place, nor ought he to be held in contempt 
that was bom later. And when they had received it, they 
murmured against the goodman of the house, saying. But 
if this we have said be true, that both first and last have lived 
their own time, and neither more nor less; and that each 
man's death is his consummation, what means this that they 
say. We have home the burden and heat of the day ? Because 
to know that the end of the world is at hand is of great force 
to make us do righteousness. Wherefore Christ in His love to 
us said, TJie kingdom of heaven shall draw nigh. Whereas Matt. 4, 
it was a weakening of them to know that the duration of the^' 
world was to be yet long. So that though they did not 
indeed live through the whole of time, they seem in a 
manner to have bome its weight. Or, by the burden of the 
day is meant the burdensome precepts of the Law ; and the 

<>W1 ♦iO'^l'Kl ACCOKDING TO rHAT'. XX. 

heat iiiav ho tliat ((iii-imiinf^ tniiptation to en. .r which 
r\il spirits rontriviMl \\>v tin in. siirriii;^' lliciii to iiiiilaU; 
the (ieiitik's; iVoin all which things the (ienlih-s \m re 
exnnpt, 1)t'lirvinLr •»'> Christ, and l>v coMiprndionsin s-. of" 
Gr^. grace luiiii,^ s,i\c(l i i)iiiplit( I\ . (iniii. ()r; To 1m .ir tin- 
""P" burden and heal ol thr <lay. i> to be wearied through a lite 
of long duration with tlic Ik ats of tlu> Hesli. lint it inav 
bo asked, How can tlnv he said to niimmir. wlun tin \ arc 
called to the kingdom of hciMiir lor luiic wlio nuuinurs 
shall receive the kingdom, and none wlio r(i(i\(s that can 
murmur. C'liuvs. But we ought not to pui'-ui' tliroiiu;h i\( rv 
particular the circiunstanccs of a parable ; Imi ( ntrr into its 
general scope, and seek nothing further. Ihis then is not 
introduced in order to represent some as moved with envy, 
but to exhibit the honour that shall be given us as so great 
Greg, as that it might stir the jealousy of others. Greg. Or 
ubi nop. because tlie old fathers down to the Lord's coming, notwith- 
standing their righteous lives, were not brought to the king- 
dom, this mummr is theirs. But we who have come at the 
eleventh hour, do not mminur after our labours, forasnuuli 
as having come into this world after the coming of the 
Mediator, we arc brought to the kingdom a.s soon as e\ er we 
depart out of the body. Jerome; Or, all that were railed 
of old envy the Gentiles, and arc pained at the grace of the 
Gospel. Hil.\ry; And this munnur of the labourers cor- 
responds with the frowardncss of this niiion. wliiih i\,\\ 
in the time of Moses were stiff-neck- d. IJi mh,. I5y this 
one to whom his aii-wt r is ui\tn, may Ix uuilcr>tood all the 
1)1 Tn \ iiiu' .h\\ -, whom ho calU friends of their faith. 
J\sKi Do-Ciiias. 'Huir coiii]ilaint was not that thev were 
defraudcil of their rij^'litl'iil ri'com))cnse, bnt tliat the others 
had rctei\v'(l more than tlie\ d' Mr\( !. I-'or the (uvioiis 
have as much )> lin at otlnrs' mici ( ---^ as at their ow n lo-s. 
From which it i^ cl' ar, that eu\y flows IVoni \ain j^lorv. 
A man is j^rievcd to be sc'Coiid, because he wishes to he 
fir-' M '..,,,,;. . this feeling of envy by sa\iug, ni(Ut Ihou 
?/ ' ■"/■ a denarius? Jeromi.; A denarius 

bears tin liu,'ur<- ol" ih • King, ^<>n have tli r t'-i 1 

the reward whieh I pronii>M d \ou. that i>. i.u n.. _ 1 

likeness; what desin st thou nion - \n'l vet it is not that 

VER. 1 — 16, ST. MATTHEW, 685 

thou shouldest have more, but that another should have less 
that thou seekest Take that is thine, and go thy way. 
Remig. That is, take thy reward, and enter into glory. / uill 
give to this last, that is, to the gentile people, according to their 
deserts, as to thee. Origen ; Perhaps it is to Adam He 
says. Friend, I do thee no wrong ; didst thou not agree with 
me for a denarius ? Take that thine is, and go thy way. 
Salvation is thine, that is, the denarius. / will give unto this 
last also as unto thee. A person might not improbably 
suppose, that this last was the Apostle Paul, who wrought 
but one hour, and was made equal with all who had been 
before him. Aug. Because that life eternal shall be equal Aug. de 
to all the saints, a denarius is given to all; but forasmuch as virg! 
in that life eternal the light of merits shall shine diversely, 26. 
there are with the Father many mansions; so that under 
this same denarius bestowed unequally one shall not live 
longer than another, but in the many mansions one shall 
shine with more splendour than another. Greg. And because Greg. 
the attainment of this kingdom is of the goodness of His will,'^^' ^"P" 
it is added, Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with 
mine own ? For it is a foolish complaint of man to murmur 
against the goodness of God. For complaint is not when a 
man gives not what he is not bound to give, but if he gives 
not what he is bound to give; whence it is added, /* thine 
eye evil because I am good ? Remig, By the eye is vmder- 
stood his purpose. The Jews had an evil eye, that is, an 
evil purpose, seeing they were grieved at the salvation of 
the Gentiles. Whereto this parable pointed. He shews by 
adding. So the Jirst shall be last, and the last Jirst ; and 
so the Jews of the head are become the tail, and we of the 
tail are become the head. Pseudo-Chrys. Or; He says 
the first shall be last, and the last first, not that the last are 
to be exalted before the first, but that they should be put 
on an equality, so that the difference of time should make 
no difference in their station. That He says, Foi' many are 
called, but few chosen, is not to be taken of the elder saints, 
but of the Gentiles ; for of the Gentiles who were called 
being many, but few were chosen. Greg. There be very Greg, 
many come to the faith, yet but few arrive at the heavenly "^^ ^"P' 
kingdom ; many follow God in words, but shun Him in their 


lives. Wliereof spring two things to be thought upon. J'lic 
first, that none should j)resuinc ought concerning himself; 
for though he be called to the faitli, he knows not whether 
he shall be chosen to the kingdom. Secondly, that none 
should despair of his neighbour, even though he see him 
lying in vices ; because he knows not the riches of the 
Divine mercy. 

Or otherwise. The morning is our childhood ; the 
third hour may be understood as our youth, the sun as 
it were mounting to his height is the advance of the 
heat of age ; the sixth hour is manhood, when the sun 
is steady in his meridian height, representing as it were 
the maturity of strength ; by the ninth is understood old age, 
in which the sun descends from his vertical height, as our 
age falls away from the fervour of youth j the eleventh hour 
is tliat age which is called decrepit, and doting. Chrys. 
That He called not all of them at once, but some in the 
morning, some at the third hour, and so fortli, proceeded from 
> yMk^« the difference of their minds^. He then called them when 
they would obey; as He also called the thief when he would 
obey. Whereas they say, Because no man hath hired us, 
we ought not to force a sense out of every particular in a 
parable. Further, it is the labourers and not the Lord who 
speak thus; for that He, as far as it pertains to Him, calls all 
men from their earliest years, is shewn in this, He tcent out 
early in the morning to hire labourers. Greg. They then 
who have neglected till extreme old age to live unto God, 
have stood idle to the eleventli hour, yet even these the 
master of the household calls, and oftentimes gives them 
their reward before other, inasmuch as they depart out of 
the body into the kingdom before those that seemed to be 
called in their childhood, Origen; But this, M'hy stand ye 
here all the day idle? is not said to such as having begun 
0«1. 8, in the gpirit, have been made perfect by the fleshy as inviting 
*■ them to return again, and to live in the Spirit. This we 

s])eak not to dissuade prodigid sons, who have consumed 
their substance of evangelic doctrine in riotous living, from 
returning to their father's house; but because they are not 
like those who sinned in their youth, before they had learnt 
the things of the faith. Chrys. When He says, The Jirnt 

VER. 17 — 19. ST. MATTHEW. 687 

shall be last, and the last Jirst, He alludes secretly to such 
as were at the first eminent, and afterwards set at nought 
virtue ; and to others who have been reclaimed from wickedness, 
and have surpassed many. So that this parable was made 
to quicken the zeal of those who are converted in extreme 
old age, that they should not suppose that they shall have 
less than others. 

17. And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the 
twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto 

18. Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son 
of man shall be betrayed unto the Chief Priests and 
unto the Scribes, and they shall condemn him to 

19. And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, 
and to scourge, and to crucify him : and the third 
day he shall rise again. 

Chrys. The Lord leaving Galilee, did not go up straight- Chrys. 
way to Jerusalem, but first wrought miracles, refuted thei^^!" 
pharisees, and taught the disciples concerning perfection of 
hfe, and its reward; now when about to go up to Jerusalem, 
He again speaks to them of His passion. Origen ; Judas 
was yet among the twelve; for he was perhaps still worthy 
to hear in private along with the rest the things which his 
Master should suffer. Pseudo-Chrys. For the salvation 
of men entirely rests upon Christ's death; nor is there any 
thing for which we are more bound to render thanks to God, 
than for His death. He imparted the mystery of His death 
to His disciples for this reason, namely, because the more 
precious treasure is ever committed to the more worthy 
vessels. Had the rest heard of the passion of Christ, the 
men might have been troubled because of the weakness of 
their faith, and the women because of the tenderness of 
their nature, which such matters do commonly move to tears. 
Chrys. He had indeed told it, and to many, but obscurely, 
as in that, Destroy this temple ; and again, There shall no John 2, 
sign be given it but the sign 0/ Jonas the Prophet. But now ]^^^ jg 
He imparted it clearly to His disciples. Pseudo-Chrys. 39. 

688 G08PKL ACCOlU'ISi 

< M \l'. W. 

That word li,}ii)ltl, is a w^r.! of stn v., i,, l,i(l llicm l.i\ up 
in tlu'ir hearts the imMii.M \ (,t ihis pus, nl. He s;i\s. Jlc 
;/o iifi; as inneh as to sa\ , ^ .■ n, r that 1 -^o of Mv Inc-will 
to death. ^Vht•Il linn ye shall see Me haii;^' ii|ion \\\,- cros«, 
deciii not lliat 1 am no more tlian man; lor thouj^li to bo 
ahh' to (lie is human; y( t to he willing' to die is more tlian 
liuman. Oiucii n ; Mrdiiatint^ then of this, u ,• oiiLrlit to know 
that olten e\en w hen thi're is certain trial to he nnder^^one, 
we ou^^dit to oiler ourselves to it. Ihit lorasnnudi as it was 

Mat.lO, said above, Jf'/ien tlKiijifrsciule t/dii hi <inr cih/.flir i/, lo 
another^ it belon<^'s to tlie wise in Christ to judj^je when the 
season requires that he shun, and when that he go to meet 
dan-^ers. Jekomi;; lie had often told His disciples of His jtas- 
sion, but because it might have slipped out of their ree(d- 
lection by reason of the many things they had heard in the 
mean while, now when lie is going to Jerusalem, and going 
to take His disciples with Him, He fortifies them against 
the trial, that they should not be scandalized when the 
persecution and shame of the Cross should corae. Pskiik)- 
Chrys. For when sorrow comes at a lime \\v are lookiiiLj lor 
it, it is found hghter than it would have been, had it taken 
us by sur])rise. Chrys. He fore\\ariis them also in order 
that they should leam that He conies to His passion wittingly, 
and willingly. And at the first He had foretold only His 
death, but now that they are more diseij)lined, He Inin^'s 
forth yet more, as, Tltcij slmll dc/inr liim to (hr CntUrs. 
Raban. For Judas delivered the Lord to the .h \\>. and tliev 
delivered Him to the Gentiles, that is to Pilati , and the 
Roman power. To this end tlie 1-ord refused to be j)ros- 
perous ill this world, hnt r.itlu r i hose to suffer affliction, that 
He might shew us, wlio have yielded to dfli^lits, ihniiii^'h 
how great bitterness we niuvt needs n turn; wIkik c it toliows, 

Aug. '^^ mock, and to s(i/nri/f, mul to </u</f'>/. \i <;. In His 

^y*"' Passion we see what we ought to suffer for the irnth, and iu 

Dei, . t 1 • 

x»iii.49. His resurrection what we ought to hope in eternity; wlience 

it is said, And shall rise nyain the third day. C'hhys. This 

was added, that win n ilie\ should .see the snU'erings, they 

Aug. de should look for the resurrection. ;\UG. l''or <»iir death, that 

g "°*''" namely of the Saviour according to the body, was to us a 

salvation from two death .s, both of soul and hodv.and I lis 

VER. 20 — 23. ST. MATTHEW. 689 

one resurrection gained for us two resurrections. This ratio 
of two to one springs out of the number three; for one and 
two are three. 

Origen; There is no mention that the disciples either 
said or did any thing upon hearing of these sufferings that 
should thus come upon Christ; remembering what the Lord 
had said to Peter, they were afraid they should have had the 
like or worse addressed to themselves. And yet there be 
scribes who suppose tliat they know the divine writings, who 
condemn Jesus to death, scourge Him with their tongues, 
and crucify Him herein, that they seek to take away His doc- 
trine; but He, vanishing for a season, again rises to appear 
to those who received His word that it could be so. 

20. Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's 
children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring 
a certain thing of him. 

21. And he said unto her. What wilt thou? She 
saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may 
sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the 
left, in thy kingdom. 

22. But Jesus answered and said. Ye know not 
what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that 
I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism 
that I am baptized with? They say unto him. We 
are able. 

23. And he saith unto them. Ye shall drink indeed 
of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that 
I am baptized with : but to sit on my right hand, 
and on my left, is* not mine to give, but it shall be 
given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. 

Jerome; The Lord having concluded by saying, And 
shall rise again the third day; the woman thought that after 
His resmrection He should forthwith reign, and with woman- 
ish eagerness grasps at what is present, forgetful of the future. 
Pseudo-Chrys. This mother of the sons of Zebedee is Mark 
Salome, as her name is given by another Evangelist, herself |g' j*' ' 

VOL. I. 2 Y 


truly peaceful, and the mother of sons of peace. From this 
place we learn the eminent merit of this woman; not only 
had her sons left their father, but she had left her husband, 
suul had followed Christ; for He could live without her, but 
she could not be saved without Christ. Except any will say 
that between the time of the Apostle's calling, and the suffer- 
ing of Christ, Zebedee was dead, and that thus her sex 
helpless, her age advanced, she was follomng Christ's steps; 
for faith never grows old, and religion feels never weary. 
Her maternal affection made her bold to ask, whence it 
is said, S/te icorshipped Him, and desired a certain thing 
of Him; i. e. she did Him reverence, requesting that what 
she should ask, should be granted her. It follows, He said 
unto her. What wouldest thou? He asks not because He 
knows not, but that by its very statement, the unreasonable- 
ness of her petition might be shewn ; She saith unto him, 
Aug. de Grant that these my ttvo sons may sit. Aug. What Matthew 
£°°i'j has here represented as being said by the mother, Mark relates 
^- that the two sons of Zebedee spake themselves, when she had 
10, 36. presented their wish before the Lord ; so that from Mark's brief 
notice it should rather seem, that they, and not she, had said 
that which was said. Chrys. They saw the disciples honoured 
Mat.i 9, before others, and had heard that ye shall sit upon tic^lve 
thrones, whereupon they sought to have the primacy of that 
seat And that others were in greater honour with Christ 
they knew, and they feared that Peter was preferred before 
them; wherefore (as is mentioned by another Evangelist) 
because they were now near to Jerusalem, they thought that 
the kingdom of God was at the door, that is, was sometliing 
to be perceived by sense. \Vlience it is clear that they 
sought nothing spiritual, and had no conception of a kingdom 
above. Origkn; For if in an earthly ' kingdom they are 
thought to be in honour who sit with Uie king, no wonder 
if a woman with womanish simplicity or want of experience 
conceived that she might ask such things,' and that the 
brethren themselves being not perfect, and having no more 
lofty thoughts concerning Christ's kingdom, conceived such 
things concerning those who shall sit with Jesus. Pseudo- 
Chrys. Or otherwise. We affinn not that this woman's 
request was a lawful one; but this we affirm, that it was 

VER, 20 23. ST. MATTHEW. 691 

not earthly things, but heavenly things that she asked for 
her sons. For she felt not as ordinary mothers, whose afFec- 
iion is to the bodies of their children, while they neglect 
their minds; they desire that they should prosper in this 
world, not caring what they shall suffer in the next, thereby 
shewing themselves to be mothers of their bodies only, but 
not of their souls. And I imagine that these brethren, having 
heard the Lord prophesying of His passion and resurrection, 
began to say among themselves, seeing they believed ; Behold, 
the King of heaven is going down to the realms of Tartarus, 
that He may destroy the king of death. But when the 
victor}^ shall be completed, what remains but that the glory 
of the kingdom shall follow ? Origen ; For when sin is 
destroyed, which reigned in men's mortal bodies, with the 
entire dpiasty of malignant powers, Christ shall receive 
exaltation of His kingdom among men ; that is. His sitting 
on the throne of His glory. That God disposes all things 
both on His right hand and on His left, this is that there shall 
be then no more evil in His presence. They that are the 
more excellent among such as draw near to Christ, are they 
on His right hand; they that are inferior, are they on His left 
hand. Or by Christ's right hand look if you may understand 
the invisible creation ; by His left hand the visible and bodily. 
For of those who ai-e brought nigh to Christ, some obtain a 
place on His right hand, as the intelligent, some on His left 
hand, as the sentient creation. Pseudo-Chrys. He that gave 
Himself to man, how shall He not give them the fellowship of 
His kingdom ? The supineness of the petitioner is in fault, 
where the graciousness of the giver is undoubted. But if we 
omrselves ask our master, perchance we wound the hearts of 
the rest of our brethren, who though they can no longer be 
overcome by the flesh, seeing they are now spiritual, may 
yet be wounded as carnal. Let us therefore put foi-ward our 
mother, that she may make her petition for us in her own 
person. For though she be to be blamed therein, yet she 
will readily obtain forgiveness, her sex pleading for her. 
For the Lord Himself, who has filled the souls of mothers 
with affection to their offspring, will more readily listen to 
their desires. Then the Lord, who knows secrets, makes 
answer not to the words of the mother's petition, but to 

2 y2 


the design of the sons who suggested it. Tlieir wish was 
commendable, but tlieir request inc(msiderate ; therefore, 
though it was not right that it should be granted to them, 
yrt the simplicity of their petition did not deserve a harsh 
rebuke, forasmuch as it ]>roceedcd of love of the liord. Where- 
fore it is their ignorjuice that the Lord finds fault witli ; Jesus 
anstoered and said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask. 
Jerome ; And no wonder, if she is convicted of inexperi- 
Luke ence, seeing it is said of Peter, Not knowing what he said. 
' ' Pseudo-Chrys. For ofttimes the Ix)rd sufl'ers His disciples 
either to do or to think soraew^hat amiss, that from their errot 
He may lake occasion to set forth a rule of piety ; knowing 
that their fault lianns not when the Master is present, while 
His doctrine edifies them not for the present only, but for 
the future. Chrys. Tliis He says to shew either that they 
sought nothing spiritual, or that had they knowTi for what 
they asked, they would not have asked that which was so far 
beyond their faculties. Hilary; They know not what they 
ask, because there was no doubt of the future glory of the 
Apostles; His fonner discourse had assured tliem that they 
should judge the world. Pseudo-Chrys. Or, Ye know not 
what ye ask : as much as to say, 1 have called you to My 
right hand away from My left, and now you wilfidly desire 
to be on My left. Hence perhaps they did tliis through 
the mother. For the devil betook him to his well-known 
tool the woman, that as he made prey of Adam by his 
wife, so he should sever these by their mother. But 
now that the salvation of all had proceeded from a woman, 
• destruction could no longer enter in among the saints by 
a woman. Or He says, Ye know not what ye a^ky seeing 
we ought not only to consider the glor)' to which we may 
attain, but how we may escape the ruin of sin. For so 
in secular war, he who is ever thinking of the plunder, 
hardly wins the fight; they should have asked, Give us 
the aid of Tliy grace, that we may overcome all evil. IIaban. 
They knew not what they asked, for they were asking of 
the Lord a .seat in glory, which they had not yet merited. 
The honourable eminence liked them well, but they had first 
to practise the laborious path thereto ; Can ye drink qf the 
nip that I shall drink qf? Jerome; By the cup in the 

VER. 20 — 23. ST. MATTHEW. 693 

divine Scriptures we understand suffering, as in the Psalm, 
/ will take the cup of salvation ; and straightway He !"«• i}6, 
proceeds to shew what is the cup. Precious in the sight 
qf the Lord is the death of his saints. Pseudo-Chrys. 
The Lord knew that they were able to follow His passion, 
but He puts the question to them that we may all hear, 
that no man can reign with Christ, unless he is con- 
foimed to Christ in His passion; for that which is pre- 
cious is only to be purchased at a costly price. The 
Lord's passion we may call not only the persecution of 
the Gentiles, but eQI the hardships we go through in strug- 
gling against om* sins. Chrys. He says therefore. Can ye 
drink it ? as much as to say, You ask me of honours and 
crowns, but I speak to you of labour and travail, for this is 
no time for rewards. He draws their attention by the man- 
ner of His question, for He says not, Are ye able to shed your 
blood } but. Are ye able to drink of the cup ? then He adds, 
which I shall drink of? Remig. That by such partaking 
they may bum with the more zeal towards Him. But they, 
already sharing the readiness and constancy of martyrdom, 
promise that they would drink of it ; whence it follows. They 
say unto him. We are able. Pseudo-Chrys. Or, they say 
this not so much out of reliance on their own fortitude, as out 
of ignorance; for to the inexperienced the trial of suffering 
and death appears slight. Chrys. Or they offer this in the 
eagerness of their desire, expecting that for their thus speak- 
ing they should have what they desired. But He foretels 
great blessings for them, to wit, that they should be made 
worthy of martyrdom. He saith unto them. Ye shall indeed 
drink of my cup. Origen ; Christ does not say. Ye are able 
to diink of My cup, but looking to their future perfection He 
said. Ye shall indeed drink of my cup. Jerome; It is made 
a question how the sons of Zebedee, James, and John, did 
drink the cup of martyrdom, seeing Scriptiure relates that Acts 12, 
James ouly was beheaded by Herod, while John ended his^- 
life by a peaceful death. But when we read in ecclesiastical 
history that John himself was thiown into a cauldron of 
boiling oil with intent to martyr him, and that he was 
banished to the isle of Patmos, we shall see that he lacked 
not the will for martyrdom, and that John had drunk the 


cup of confession, the which also the Three Children in the 
fierj' furnace did drink of, albeit the persecutor did not shed 
their blood. Milarv; The Lord therefore commends tlieir 
faith, in that He says that they are able to suffer martyrdom 
together with Him ; but, To sit on my right hand and on 
my left is not mine to give^ but for whom it is prepared of 
my Father. Though indeed, as far as we can judge, that 
honour is so set apart for others, as that the Apostles shall 
not be strangers to it, who shall sit on the throne of the Twelve 
Patriarchs to judge Israel ; also, as may be collected out of 
the Gospels themselves, Moses and Elias shall sit with them 
in the kingdom of heaven, seeing that it was in their company 
that He appeared on the mount in His apparel of splendour. 
Jekome ; But to me tliis seems not so. Rather the names of 
tliem that shall sit in the kingdom of heaven are not named, 
lest that, if some few were named, the rest shoiUd tliink them- 
selves shut out ; for the kingdom of heaven is not of him 
that gives it, but of him that receives it. Not tliat there is 
respect of persons with God, but whosoever shaU shew him- 
self such as to be worthy of the kingdom of heaven, shall 
receive it, for it is prepared not for condition, but for conduct. 
Therefore if you shall be found to be such as to be fit for 
that kingdom of heaven which My Father has made ready 
for the conquerors, ye shall receive the same. He said not. 
Ye shall not sit there, that He might not discourage the two 
brethren ; while He said not, Ye shall sit there, that He 
might not stir the others to envy. Chrvs. Or otherwise. 
That seat seems to be unapproachable to all, not only men, 
but Angels also; for so Paul assigns it peculiarly to the 
Heb. 1, Only-Begotten, saying. To which of the Angels said he at 
any time^ Sit thou on my right hand .** The Lord therefore 
makes answer, not as though in verity there were any that 
should .sit there, but as condescending to the apprehensions 
of the petitioners. They asked but this one grant, to he 
before others near Him; but the Lord answers, ^'e shall die 
for My sake, yet is not that sufficient to make you obtain the 
first rank. Ff)r if there shall come another with martyrdom, 
and haung virtue greaU r than yoims, I will not, 1 
love you, put him out, and give you precedence. But that 
they should not suppose that he lacked power, He said not 

VER. 24 — 28. ST. MATTHEW. 695 

absolutely, It is not Mine to give, but, It is not mine to give 
to you, hut to those for whom it is prepared ; that is, to those 
who are made illustrious by their deeds, Remig. Or other- 
wise ; It is not mine to give to you, that is, to proud men 
such as you are, but to the lowly in heart,. /or whom it is 
prepared of 7ny Father. Aug. Or otherwise; The Lord Aug. 
makes answer to His disciples in His character of servant ;;. 12, ' * 
though whatever is prepai-ed by the Father is also prepared 
by the Son, for He and the Father are one. 

24. And when the ten heard it, they were moved 
with indignation againt the two brethren. 

25. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye 
know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise 
dominion over them, and they that are great exer- 
cise authority upon them. 

26. But it shall not be so among you : but who- 
soever will be great among you, let him be your 
minister ; 

27. And whosoever will be chief among you, let 
him be your servant : 

28. Even as the Son of man came not to be min- 
istered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a 
ransom for many. 

Chrys. So long as the judgment of Christ upon this 
request was in suspense, the other disciples were not indig- 
nant; but when they heard Him rebuke them, they were 
sorroMiul ; whence it is said. And when the ten heard it, they 
had indignation against the two brethren. Jerome; They 
do not lay it upon the forwai'dness of the mother who spoke 
the request, but upon her sons, who, not knowing their measure, 
bmned with so immoderate desires. Chrys. For when the 
Lord rebuked them, then they perceived that this request was 
from the disciples. For though they were grieved in their 
hearts when they saw them so especially honoured in the 
transfiguration, they yet dared not so express themselves, 
out of respect to their teacher. Pseudo-Chrys. But as the 


two had asked carnally, so now the ten are grieved carnally. 
For as to seek to be above all is blame-worthy, so to have 
anotlier above us is mortifying to our vanity. Jerome ; But 
the meek and lowly Master neitlicr charges the two with 
ambition, nor rebukes the ten for their spleen and jealousy ; 
but, JexHS called them unto him. Chrys. By thus calling 
them to Him, and s[)eaking to them face to face, he sooths 
them in their discomposure ; for the two had been speaking 
with the Lord apart by themselves. But not now as before 
does He it by bringing forward a child, but He proves it to 
them by reasoning from contraries; Ye know that th^ princes 
of the Qentiles exercise dominion over them. Origen; That 
is, not content merely to rule over their subjects, they are 
severe and oppressive. But among you who are Mine these 
things shall not be so ; for as all carnal things are done by 
compulsion, but spiritual things by free-will, so those rulers 
who are spiritual ought to rest their power in the love of their 
subjects, not in their fears. Chrys. He shews here that it is 
of the Gentiles to desire preeminence ; and by this com- 
parison of the Gentiles He calms their troubled souls. 
Pseudo-Chrys. Indeed, to desire a good work is good, 
for it is within our will, and ours is the reward; but 
to desire a primacy of honour is vanity. For when 
we attain this we are judged of God, because we know not 
whether in our precedence of honour we deserve the re- 
ward of righteousness. For not even an Apostle will have 
praise with God, because he is an Apostle, but if he 
has well fulfilled the duties of his Apostleship ; nor was an 
Apostle placed in honour as an Apostle, for any previous 
merit of his; but was judged meet for that ministrj', on account 
of the disposition of his mind. For higli ]>lacc courts him who 
flies from it, and shuns him who courts it. A better life then, 
and not a more worthy degree, should be our object. The 
Lord therefore, willing to check the ambition of the two sons 
of Zebedee, and the indignation of the others, points out this 
distinction between the chief men of the world, and those; of 
the Church, shewing that the primacy in Christ is neither 
to be sought by him who has it not, nor envied by him who 
has it. For men become masters in this world that they 
may exercise domination over their inferiors, and reduce 

VER. 24 28. ST. MATTHEW. 607 

them to slavery, and rob them, and employ them even to 
death for their own profit and glory. But men become 
governors in the Church, that they may serve those who are 
under them, and minister to them whatever they have received 
of Christ, that they may postpone their own convenience, 
and mind that of others, and not refuse even to die for the 
sake of those beneath them. To seek therefore a command 
in the Church is neither righteous, nor profitable. No 
prudent man \vi\\ voluntarily subject himself to slavery, nor 
to stand in such peril wherein he will have to render account 
for the whole Church ; unless it be one perchance who fears 
not God's judgment, who abuses His ecclesiastical primacy to 
a secular end, so that He converts it into a secular primacy. 
Jeeome; Lastly, He sets before them His own example, 
that so should they little weigh His words, His deeds might 
shame them, whence He adds, As also the Son qf Man 
cometh not to be ministered unto^ but to minister. Origen ; 
For though the Angels and Martha ministered to Him, yet Mat. 4, 
did He not come to be ministered unto, but to minister ; jJi^q 
yea. His ministry extended so far, that He fulfilled even 12, 2. 
what follows, And to give his life a ransom for many^ 
they, that is, who believed on Him ; and gave it, i. e. to 
death. But since He was alone free among the dead, and 
mightier tlian the power of death, He has set firee from death 
all who were willing to follow Him. The heads of the 
Church ought therefore to imitate Christ in being affable, 
adapting Himself to women, laying His hands on children, 
and washing His disciples' feet, that they also should do the 
same to their brethren. But we are such, that we seem to go 
beyond the pride even of the great ones of this world; as to 
the command of Christ, either not understanding it, or setting 
it at nought. Like princes we seek hosts to go before us, 
we make ourselves awful and difl&cult of access, especially to 
the poor, neither approaching them, nor suffering them to 
approach us. Chrys. How much soever you humble yourself, 
you cannot descend so far as did your Lord. 

29. And as they departed from Jericho, a great 
multitude followed him. 


30. And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way 
side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried 
out, saying. Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son 
of David. 

31. And the multitude rebuked them, because 
they should hold their peace : but they cried the 
more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son 
of David. 

32. And Jesus stood still, and called them, and 
said, What will ye that I shall do unto you ? 

33. They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may 
be opened. 

34. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched 
their eyes : and immediately their eyes received sight, 
and they followed him. 

Pseudo-Chrys. As the proofof the husbandman's industry 
lies in the abundance of his crop, so the fulness of the Church 
is the evidence of an industrious teacher ; so it is here said, 
Ajid as they departed from Jericho^ a great multitude fol- 
lowed him. No one was deterred hy the toilsomeness 
of the journey, for spiritual love feels no fatigue; no one 
was kept away by the thought of sufferings, for they were 
going into possession of the kingdom of heaven. For he 
who has in very deed twisted the reality of heavenly good, 
has nothing to attach him to earth. In good sea.son these 
blind men come before Christ, that liaving their eyes opened, 
they may go up with Him to Jerusalem as witnesses to His 
power. They heard the sound of the passers by, but saw not 
their persons, and having nothing free about them but their 
voice, because they could not follow Him with their feet, 
they pursued Him with their voice; When I hey heard tlutl 
Jesus passed hy^ they cried out, sayiuf/, Have mercy on us, 
Aug. de O Jjordy thou Son of David. . Aug. Mark relates this miracle, 
£^j but .s|)eaks of only one blind man. This difficulty is thus 
«*• explained; of the two blind men whom Matthew has intro- 
lo 46. duced, one was well known in that city, as appears hy Mark's 
mentioning both his name, and that of his father. Rartimafus 

VER. 29—34. ST. MATTHEW. 699 

the son of Timaeus was well known as having sunk from great 
affluence, and now sitting not only blind, but a beggar. For 
this reason then it is that Mark chose to mention him alone, 
because the restoration of his sight procured fame to the 
miracle, in proportion to the notoriety of the fact of his 
blindness. Though what Luke relates was done after the 
same manner, yet his account is to be taken of another Lukeis, 
though similar miracle. That which he gives was done as 
they drew near to Jericho; this in the other two as they 
came out of Jericho. And the multitude rebuked them that 
they should hold their peace. Pseudo-Chrys. For they 
saw how mean their clothes, and considered not how pure 
their consciences. See the foolish wisdom of men! They 
think great men are hurt when they receive the homage of 
the poor. What poor man dare salute a rich man in public ? 
Hilary; Or, They bid them hold their peace, not from 
reverence for Christ, but because they were grieved to hear 
from the blind what they denied, namely, that the Lord was 
the Son of David. Origen ; Or; Those that believed rebuked 
them that they should not dishonour Him by styhng Him 
merely Son of David, but should rather say. Son of God, 
have mercy on us. Pseudo-Chrys. They were rather en- 
comaged than repelled by this rebuke. For so faith is 
quickened by being prohibited ; and hence is secure in dan- 
gers, and in security is endangered; whence it follows. But 
they cried out the more, saying, Have mercy upon us, Son of 
David. They cried out at the first because they were blind, 
now they rather cried out because they were forbidden to come 
to the Light. Chrys. Christ suffered them to be forbidden, Chrys. 
that their desire might be the more evidenced. Hence learn P".""" 
that though we be repulsed, yet if we come to God with 
earnestness, of ourselves, we shall obtain that we ask. It 
follows, And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said. 
What uill ye that I should do unto you? Jerome; Jesus 
stood still, because they being blind could not see their way. 
About Jericho were many pits, crags, and abrupt precipices; 
therefore the Lord stands still, that they might come to Him. 
Origex ; Or; Jesus does not pass on, but stands still, that 
by I lis standing His goodness may not pass by, but as from 
an abiding fount mercy may flow forth upon them. Jerome; 


He commands that they bo called to Him that the multitude 
limy not withhold tht'm; and He asks them what they would, 
that by their answer, their necessity may be made apparent, 
and His power be shewn in their liealing. Pseudo-Chrys. 
Or; He asks them on account of their faith, that whereas 
they who were blind confess Christ to be tlie Son of God, 
those who had their sight might be put to shame for their 
esteeming Him only man. TThey had indeed called Christ 
Lordf and they had spoken true; but by calling Him the 
Son of David, they obliterated this their good confession. 
For indeed by a misuse of words men are called Lords, but 
none is tnily Lord, but God only. When therefore they say, 
O Lord, thou Son of David, they thus misapply the term to 
Christ, as esteeming Him man; had they oidy called Him 
Lord, they would have confessed His Godhead. When then 
He asks them, Wfiat would ye? they no longer style Him 
Son of David, but only Lord; TJtei/ say unto Him, Lord, 
that our eyes may be opened. For tlie Son of David cannot 
open the eyes of the blind, but the Son of God can. So 
long then as they cried, O Tjord, tliou Son of David, their 
cure was delayed; as soon as they said, Lord, only, healing 
was shed upon them; for it follows. And Jesus had compas- 
sion upon them, and touched their eyes, and straiyhtway 
they saw. He touched them carnally as man, He healed 
them as God. Jerome; The Creator bestows what nature 
had not given ; or at least mercy accords what weakness had 
withheld. Chrys. But as before this bounty they had been 
persevering, so after the receiving it they were not ungrateful. 
Pseudo-Chrys. On b(!ing healed they rendered a high 
service to Christ; for it follows, And they fol lowed hint. For 
this the Lord requires of thee, according to the Prophet, that 

Mie. 6, thou he careful to walk with the Tjtrd thy God. Jerome; 

"• They then who had sat shut up in Jericho, and knew only to 

cry with their voice, afterwards follow Jesus, not so much with 
their feet as in their virtues. 

Raban. But Jericho, which is interpreted * the moon,' 
denotes the infirmity of our Origen ; Figu- 
ratively, Jericho is taken to be ihv world, into which 
Christ came down. They who are in Jericho, know not 
how to escape from the wi»<lom of the world, unless they 

VER 29 — 34. ST. MATTHEW. 701 

see not Jesus only coming out of Jericho, but also His 
disciples. This when they saw, great multitudes followed 
Him, despising the world and all worldly things, that under 
His guidance they may go up to the heavenly Jerusalem. 
The two blind men we may call Judah and Israel, who 
before the coming of Christ were blind, not seeing the 
true word which was in the Law and the Prophets, yet 
sitting by the wayside of the Law and the Prophets, and 
understanding Him only as after the flesh, they cried to Him 
who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. 
Jerome; By the two blind men are generally understood 
the Pharisees and Sadducees. Aug. Otherwise; The two Aug. 
blind men sitting by the wayside, denote certain of both £^,{28. 
nations already by faith coming in to that temporal dis- 
pensation, according to which Christ is the way, and seek- 
ing to be enlightened, that is, to know something con- 
cerning the eternity of the Word, This they desired to 
obtain from the Lord as He passed by, for the merit of 
that faith by which He is believed to be the Son of 
God, to have been bom man, and to have suffered for 
us; for in this dispensation, Jesus, as it were, passes by, 
for all action is of this world. Also it behoved that they 
should cry out so loud as to overpower the din of the multi- 
tude that withstood them ; that is, so to fortify their minds 
by perseverance and prayer, and mortifying continually the 
usage of fleshly lusts, (which as a crowd ever beset one that 
is endeavouring to come to the sight of eternal truth,) and by 
the straitest painfulness to get the better of the multitude of 
carnal men who hinder spiritual aspirations. Id. For bad Aug. 
or lukewann Christians are an hindrance to good Christians, g;^ 13, 
who seek to perform the commandments of God. Notwith- 
standing these cry and faint not ; for every Christian at his 
first setting about to Uve well and to despise the world, has 
to endure at the first the censures of cold Clmstians ; but if 
he persevere, they will soon comply, who but now withstood 
him. Id. Jesus therefore, the same who said, To him Aug. 
that knocketh it shall be o/?e«ec?, hearing them, stands still, ^"^^j** 
touches them, and gives them light. Faith in His temporal 28. 
incarnation prepares us for the understanding of things eternal. 
By the passing by of Jesus they are admonished that they 


should be enlightened, and when He stands still they are 
enlightened ; for things temporal pass by, but things eternal 
sUuid still. Pseudo-Chrys. Some inteq)ret that the two 
blind men arc the Gentiles ; one sprung from Cham, tlie 
other from Japhet ; they sat by the way-side, that is, they 
walked hard by the truth, but they could not find it out; or 
they were j)laced in reason, not having yet received knowledge 
of tlie Word. Raban. But recognizing the nnnour of Christ, 
tliey desired to be made parUikers of Him. Many spake 
against them ; first the Jews, as we read in the Acts ; then 
the Gentiles harassed them by persecution; but yet they 
might not deprive those who were preordained to life of 
salvation. Pseudo-Chrys. Accordingly Jesus touched the 
eyes of the Gentile mind, giving them the grace of the Holy 
Spirit,' and when enlightened they followed Him with good 
works. Origen ; We also now sitting by the wayside of 
the Scriptures, and understanding wherein we are blind, 
if we ask with desire, He will touch the eyes of our souls, 
and the gloom of ignorance shall depart fi-om our minds, 
that in the light of knowledge we may follow Him, who 
gave us power to see to no otlier end than that we should 
follow Him. 


1. And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and 
were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, 
then sent Jesus two disciples, 

2. Saying unto them. Go into the village over 
against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass 
tied, and a colt with her : loose them, and bring them 
unto me. 

3. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall 
say. The Lord hath need of them ; and straightway 
he will send them. 

4. And this was done, that it might be fulfilled 
which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 

5. Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King 
cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, 
and a colt the foal of an ass. 

6. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus com- 
manded them, 

7. And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on 
them their clothes, and they set him thereon. 

8. And a very great multitude spread their gar- 
ments in the way ; others cut down branches from 
the trees, and strawed them in the way. 

9. And the multitudes that went before, and that 
followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David : 
Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord ; 
Hosanna in the highest. 


Remio. The Evangelist related above that the lA)rd 

departed from Galilee, and began to go np to Jerusalem. 

Being now occupied with telling what He did by the way, 

he proceeds in his purpose, saying, And when they drew 

uiyh to Jerusnlem, and were come to Dethphage. Bcthphage 

was a small village of the priests, situated on the declivity 

of Mount Olivet, one mile distant from Jerusalem. For the 

priests who ministered in the temple their apportioned time, 

when their office of ministration was <lischarged, withdrew to 

this village to abide ; as also did they who wen; to take their 

place. Because it was commanded by their Law that none 

should travel on the Sabbath more than a mile. Origen ; 

Whence Bethphage is interpreted, The house of the Shoulder; 

for the shoulder was the priest's portion in the Law. It 

follows. Then Jesus sent two of his disciples. Pseudo- 

Chrys. He said not to His disciples. Say, Thy Lord, or 

Your Lord, hath need of them ; that they may understand, 

that He is Lord alone, not of the beasts only, but of all men; 

for even sinners are by the law of nature His, tliough by their 

own will they are the Devil's. Chrys. And think not this 

a little thing which was now done, for who was it that 

wrought with the owners of the beasts that they refused not, 

but yielded them ? By this also He instmcts His disciples 

that He could have restrained the Jews, but would not ; and 

further teaches them that they should grant whatever is 

asked of them ; for if they who knew not Christ, now granted 

this, much more it becomes His disciples to give unto all. 

For that which is said, But will straightway let thetn go, 

Pseudo-Chrys. it is to be understood, that after He had 

entered into Jerusalem, the beast was returned by Christ 

OloM. to its owner. Gloss. Or, The owner of the beasts will 

ap. An- straightway send them to be engaged for Christ's service. 

Hereto is added tlie testimony of the I*rophct, that it may 

be shewn that the Lord fulfdled all things which were written 

of Him, but that the Scribes and Pharisees, blinded by envy, 

would not understand the thuigs tliat they read ; All thut 

was dotie, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by 

Z«eh. the Prophet ; to wit, Zacharias. Pseudo-Chrys. For the 

*'*'• Prophet knowing the malice of the Jews, that they would 

speak against Christ when He went up to the Temple, gave 

VEK. 1 — I). ST. MATTHEW. 705 

them this sign beforehand, whereby they might know their 
King, Say ye to tlie daughter of Sion. Raban. In history, 
Daughter of Sion is the name given to the city of Jerusalem, 
which stands on mount Sion. But mystically, it is the 
Chiu-ch of the faithful pertaining to the Jerusalem which is 
above. Pseudo-Chrys. Behold, is a word used in point- 
ing out any thing ; look, that is, not with the bodily eye, but 
with the spiritual understanding, at the works of His power. 
Also afore times He oft said, Behold, that He might shew 
that He of whom He spake before He was bom was even 
then thy King. When then ye shall see Him, say not, We John 
have no King hut Caesar. He coineth to thee, if thou wilt ' 
apprehend Him, that He may save thee ; if thou wilt not 
apprehend Him, He cometh against thee ; Meek, so that He is 
not to be feared for His power, but loved for His meekness ; 
wherefore He sitteth not on a golden car, refiilgent in costly 
piurple, nor is mounted on a mettled steed, rejoicing in stiife 
and battle, but upon a she-ass, that loves peace and quiet. 
Aug. In tliis quotation from the Prophet, there is some Aug. de 
variety in the different Gospels. Matthew quotes it as if the Ev°1i. 
Prophet had expressly mentioned the she-ass ; but it is not 66. 
so quoted by John, nor in the Chm-ch-copies of the trans- John 
lation in common use. This seems to me to be accounted ' 
for by tlie account, that Matthew wrote his Gospel in the 
Hebrew language. And it is clear that the translation called 
the LXX, has some things different from what are found in 
the Hebrew, by those who know that tongue, and who have 
rendered the same books out of the Hebrew. If the reason 
of this discrepancy be asked, I consider nothing more likely 
than that the LXX interpreted with the selfsame spirit with 
which the original was written, which is confirmed by that 
wonderful agreement among them of which we are told. 
By thus varying the expression, while they did not depart 
from the meaning of that God whose words they were, they 
convey to us the very same thing as we gather from this 
agreement, with slight variety, among the Evangehsts. This 
shews us that it is no lie, when one relates any thing with 
such diversities in detail, as that he does not depart from 
his intention with whom he ought to agree. To know this 
is useful in morals in avoiding lies ; and for faith itself, that 
VOL. I. 2 z 


we should not 6np]K)so tliat Uic truth is Mccured in sacred 
sounds, as thougli God imjiartcd to us not tlio matter only» 
but the words in which the matter is conveyed. Kuther the 
matter is in such sort conveyed in words, that we ought not 
to want words at all, if it were possible that the matter could 
be known by us without words, as God and His Angels 
know it. It follows. But the disciples went and did as 
Jesiis commanded t/mn, and brought the ass, and the colt. 
Tlie other Evangelists say nothing of the ass. And if Matthew 
had not mentioned the colt, as they do not mention the ass, 
the reader ought not to have been sur})rised. How nuich 
less then should it move him, when one has so mentioned 
the ass which the others have omitted, as not to forget the 
colt which they have mentioned. For there is no discre- 
pancy where both circumstances maj' have occurred, though 
one only related one, and another another; how much less 
then where one mentions both, though another mentions only 
one? It follows, And they jnit on them, their clothes, and 
set him thereon. Jkuomk ; But it seems that the Lord could 
not in so short a distance have sate upon both animals; 
seeing then that the history has either an impossibility or 
a meanness, we are sent to higher things, that is, to the 
figurative sense. Remig. Notwithstanding, it was possible 
that the Lord might have sate upon both animals. Chrys. 
To me it seems that He was mounted upon the a-ss, not only 
because of the mystery, but to give us a lesson of wisdom, 
teaching us therein that it needs not to be mounted on 
horses, but that it is sufficient to employ an ass, and be 
content with that which is necessarj'. But enquire of the 
Jews, what King has entered Jerusalem mounted upon an ass ? 
They can name none other, but this one only. Jkkomk; 
The multitudes that came out of Jericho, and followed the 
Saviour, cast down their garments, and strewed the way with 
branches of trees; and therefore it follows, But the multitudes 
sprea/l their fjarments in the way; that is, beneath the feet 
of the ass, that it should not stumble against a stone, nor 
tread upon a thorn, nor fall into a ditch. Others cut doum 
branches from the trees, and strewed them in the nay; from 
the fruit-trees, that is, with which mount Olivet was clothed. 
And when all that could be done was done, they added also 

VER. 1 — 9. ST. MATTHEW. 707 

the tribute of the tongue, as it follows, And the multitudes 
that went he/ore, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna 
to the Son of David. I shall shortly examine what is the 
meaning of this word Hosanna. In the hundred and seven- 
teenth Psalm, which is clearly written of the Saviour's coming, p^. ii8, 
we read this among other things; Save me now, O I.ord;'^^' 
O Lord, send now prosperity. Blessed art thou that art 
to come in the name of the Lord. For that which the LXX 
give 'i2 Kvqis aoxTov Iyj, Save now, O Lord; we read in the 
Hebrew, ' Anna, adonai osianna,' which Symmachus renders 
more plainly, / pray thee, O Lord, save, I pray thee. Let 
none think that it is a word made up of two words, one 
Greek and one Hebrew, for it is pure Hebrew. Remig. And 
it is confounded of one perfect and one imperfect word. For 
* Hosi' signifies 'save;' 'anna' is an interjection used in 
entreating. Jerome ; For it signifies that the coming of 
Christ is the salvation of the world, whence it follows. Blessed 
is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Which same 
thing the Saviour in the Gospel confirms, I am come in my John 5, 
Father^s name> Remig. Because, namely, in all His good*^" 
actions, He sought not His own but His Father's glory. 
Gloss. And the meaning is. Blessed, that is. Glorious, is Gloss. 
He that cometh, that is, is incarnate ; in the name of the gefm. 
Lord; that is, of the Father, by glorifying Him. Again they 
repeat, Hosanna, that is. Save, I pray thee, and define whither 
they would be saved, in the highest, that is in the heavenly, 
not in the earthly places. Jerome; Or by that which is 
added, Hosanna, that is. Salvation, in the highest, it is clearly 
shewn that the coming of Christ is not the salvation of man 
only, but of the whole world, joining earthly things to things 
heavenly. Origen; Or when they say, Hosanna to the 
Son of David; Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the 
Lord, it is the dispensation of Christ's humanity that they 
set forth; but His restoration to the holy places when they 
say, Hosanna in the highest. Pseudo-Chrys. Hosanna^ 
some interpret * glory,' some ' redemption ;' and glory is His 
due, and redemption belongs to Him who has redeemed all 
men. Hilary; The words of their song of praise, express 
His power of redemption; in calling Him the Son of David, 
they acknowledge His hereditary title to the kingdom. 

2 z 2 


I^f.udo-Chrys. .N(\(i 1.1 lore had the Lord finplovrd tlic 
services of beasts, iior sunouuded Himself with the onia- 
luenUi of green boughs, till now when lie is going up to 
Jerusalem to suffer, lie moved them that beheld to do tliat 
which they had before desired to do; so it was opportunity 
that was now given them, not tlieir purpose that was changed. 
Jeromr; Mystically; The Lord draws near to Jerusalem 
departing from Jericho, and taking great multitudes with 
Him, because great and laden with great wares, that is, the 
salvation of believers that has been entrusted to Him, He 
seeks to enter the city of peace, the place of the beholding 
of God. And He comes to Bethphage, that is, to Tlie house 
of the jawbones; He bare also the type of confession; and 
halted on Mount Olivet, where is the light of knowledge, 
and the repose from toils and pains. By the village over 
against the Apostles is denoted this world; for that was 
against tlie Apostles, and was not willing to receive the light 
of tlieir teaching. Remig. The Lord therefore sent His 
disciples from mount Olivet to the village, when He guided 
the preachers forth from the primitive Church into the world. 
He sent two, because there were two orders of preachers, as 
Gal.2,8. the Apostle shews, saying. He that tcrought in Peter to the 
Apostleship of circumcision, the same tnis tniyhly in vie 
towards the Gentiles; or, because the precepts of charity 
are two; or, because there are two testaments; or, because 
there is letter and spirit. Jerome; Or, because there is 
theory and practice, that is, knowledge and works. By 
the ass which had been under the yoke, and was broken, 
the synagogue is understood. By the ass's colt wild and 
unbroken, the Gentile people ; for the Jewish nation is 
towards God the mother of the Gentiles, Raban. Whence 
Matthew, who wrote his Gospel to the Jews, is the only 
one who mentions tliat the ass was brought to the Ix)rd, 
to shew that this same Hebrew nation, if it repent, need 
not despair of salvation. Psei'do-Chrys. Men arc likened 
to animals, from some resemblance they bear in tlieir not 
recognising the Son of God. And this animal is unclean, 
and beyond all other brutes incapable of rea.soning, a stupid, 
helpless, ignoble drudge. Such were men before the coming 
of Christ, imclean with divers passions; unreasoning, that is, 

VER. 1 — 9. ST. MATTHEW. 709 

lacking the reason of the Word; stupid, in their disregard 
of God; weak in soul; ignoble, because forgetting their 
heavenly birth they became slaves of their passions, and of 
the daemons; drudges, because they toiled under the load of 
error laid upon them by the daemons, or the Pharisees. The 
ass was tied, that is, bound in the chain of diabolic error, so 
that it had not liberty to go whither it would ; for before we 
do any sin we have free mil to follow, or not, the will of the 
Devil ; but if once by sinning we have bound ourselves to 
do his works, we are no longer able to escape by our own 
strength, but, like a vessel that has lost its rudder is tossed 
at the mercy of the storm, so man, when by sin he has for- 
feited the aid of Divine grace, no longer acts as he wills, but 
as the Devil wills. And if God, by the mighty arm of His 
mercy, do not loose him, he will abide till death in the chain 
of his sins. Therefore He saith to His disciples, Loose thern^ 
that is, by your teaching and miracles, for all the Jews and 
Gentiles were loosed by the Apostles ; and bring them to me, 
that is, convert them to My glory. Origen ; Whence also, 
when He ascended into heaven, He gave command to His 
disciples that they should loose sinners, for which also He 
gave them the Holy Spirit. But being loosed, and making 
progress, and being nourished by the Divinity of the Word, 
they are held worthy to be sent back to the place whence 
they were taken, but no more to their former labours, but 
to preach to them the Son of God, and this is what He 
signifies when He says. And straighttvay He will send them. 
Hilary; Or by the ass and the colt is shewn the twofold 
calling from among the Gentiles. For the Samaritans did 
serve after a certain fashion of obedience, and they are signi- 
fied by the ass; but the other Gentiles wild and unbroken 
are signified by the colt. Therefore two are sent to loose 
them that are bound by the chains of error; Samaria believed 
through Philip, and Cornelius as the first-fi-uits of the Gentiles 
was Virought by Peter to Christ. Remig. But as it was then 
said to the Apostles, If any man say ought to you, say ye, 
The Lord hath need of them ; so now it is commanded to the 
preachers, that though any opposition be made to them, they 
should not slack to preach. Jerome; Tlie Apostles' clothes 
which are laid upon the beasts may be understood either 
as the teaching of virtues, or discernment of Scriptures, or 


verities of ecclesiastical dogntas, with wliich, unlesK the soul 
be furnished and instructed, it desenes not to have tlie Lord 
take His seat there. Ukmuj. The Ix>rd sitting uixm the ass 
goes towards Jerusaloni, because presiding over tlie Holy 
Church, or the faithful soul, He both guides it in this life, 
and alter this life leads it to the view of the heavenly country. 
Ihit the Apostles and other teachers set their gannents upon 
the ass, ^hen they gave to the Gentiles the glory which 
they had received from Christ. The multitudes spread their 
garments in the way, when they of the circumcision who 
believed, desjnsed the glory which they had by the Law. 
1». 11,1. They cut down branches from the trees, because out of the 
^er. 23, prophets they had heard of the green Branch as an emblem 
of Christ. Or, the multitudes who spread their garments in the 
way, are the martyrs who gave to martyrdom for Christ tlieir 
bodies, which are the clothing of their minds. Or, they are 
signified, who subdue their bodies by abstinence. Tliey who 
cut down the branches of the trees, are they who seek 
out the sayings and examples of the holy fathers for their 
own or their children's salvation. Jkromk ; When He says, 
The multitudes that icent before and that foU owed , He shews 
that both people, those who before the Gospel, and those 
who after the Gospel, believed on the Lord, praise Jesus with 
the harmonious voice of confession. Pseuimj-Chkys. Those 
prophesying spoke of Christ who was to come ; these speak 
in praise of the coming of Christ already fulfilled. 

10. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the 
city was moved, saying, Who is this ? 

1 1 . And the multitude said. This is Jesus the 
prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. 

12. And Jesus went into the temple of God, and 
cast out all them that sold and bought in the 
temple, and overthrew the tables of the money- 
changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 

13. And said unto them. It is written. My house" 
shall be called the house of prayer ; but ye have 
made it a den of thieves. 

14. And the blind and the lame came to him in 
the temple ; and he healed them. 

VER. 10 — 1(). ST. MATTHEW. 711 

15. And when the Chief Priests and Scribes saw 
the wonderful things that he did, and the children 
crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the 
Son of David ; they were sore displeased, 

16. And said unto him, Hearest thou what these 
say ? And Jesus saith unto them. Yea ; have ye never 
read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou 
hast perfected praise ? 

Jerome ; When Jesus entered with the multitudes, the 
whole city of Jerusalem was moved, wondering at the crowds, 
and not knowing the povver, Pseudo-Chrys. With good 
reason were they moved at sight of a thing so to be wondered 
at. Man was praised as God, but it was the God that was 
praised in the man. But, I suppose, that neither they who 
praised knew what they praised, but the Spirit that suddenly 
inspired them poured forth the words of truth. Origen; 
Moreover, when Jesus entered the true Jerusalem, they cried 
out, wondering at His heavenly virtues, and said, Who is this 
King of glory? Jerome; While others were in doubt or 
enquiring, the worthless multitude confessed Him ; But the Ps. 24, 
people said, This is Jesus the Projjhet from Nazareth in 
Galilee. They begin with the lesser that they may come to 
the greater. They hail Him as that Prophet whom Moses Deut. 
had said should come like to himself, which is rightly written ' * 
in Greek \Ndth the testimony of the article, From Nazareth ^ *i<>'P^' 
qf Galilee, for there He had been brought up, that the 
flower of the field might be nourished with the flower of 
all excellencies. Raban. But it is to be noted, that this entry 
of His into Jerusalem was five days before the passover. For 
John relates, that six days before the Passover He came to John 
Bethany, and on the morrow sitting on the ass entered Jem- ' * 
salem. In this observe the correspondence between the Old 
and New Testaments, not only in things but in seasons. For 
on the tenth day of the first month, the lamb that was to be Exod. 
sacrificed for the passover was to be taken into the house, ^^» ^* 
because on the same day of the same month, that is, five 
days before the passover, the Lord was to enter the city in 
which He was to suffer. Pseudo-Chrys. And Jesus entered 
into the temple qf God. Tliis was the part of a good Son to 

71*2 GOSPKL ACCORDING TO (ll\r \\1 

hiiste to His Father's house, Olid do Iliin honour; so you ihen 
becoiniug an imitator of Christ as soon as you enter into any 
city, fii"st run to the Church. Further, it was the j)art of a 
jfood pliysician, that having entered to heal the sick city, 
he should first a])j)ly himself to the source of the sickness; 
fur as every thing good cometli out of the temple, so also doth 
every evil. For when the priesthood is sotmd, the whole 
Chmch flourishes, but if it is cormpt, faith is impaired ; and 
as when you see a tree whose leaves arc pale-coloured you 
know that it is diseased at its root, so when you see an 
undisciplined people conclude without hesitation that their 
priesthood is unsound. Jekomk; And fie cast out all them 
that sold and bmight. It should be known that in obedience 
to the Law, in the Temjile of the Lord venerated throughout 
the whole world, and resorted to by Jews out of every 
quarter, innumerable victims were sacrificed, especially on 
festival days, bulls, rams, goats; the poor offering young 
pigeons and turtle-doves, that they might not omit all sacrifice. 
But it would happen that those who came from a distance would 
have no victim. The Priests therefore contrived a plan for 
making a gain out of the people, selling to such as had no 
victim the animals which they had need of for sacrifice, and 
themselves receiving them back again as soon as sold. But 
this fraudulent practice was often defeated by the poverty of 
the visitors, who lacking means had neither victims, nor 
whence to purchase? them. They therefore appointed biuikers 
who might lend to them under a bond. But because the 
Law forbade usury, and money lent without interest was pro- 
fitless, besides sometimes a loss of the principal, they be- 
thought themselves of another scheme; instead of bankers 
they appointed 'collybislseV a word for which the I^atin has 
no e(iuivalcnt. Sweetmeats and other trifling presents they 
called ' coUyba,' such, for examj)le, as parched pulse, raisins, 
and ap]>Ies of divers sorts. As then they could not take 

' " St. Jerome hero pivrs a different pretation, no f^r m to make the word 

KEweofthe word, from what is commonly stand for a nnall coin. Hence CoUt- 

reoeired among ancient writer:). He«y- bi»t« were thoAc who gave change in 

ebiu, M ^ as I know, i« the only one small coin. Ortpcn too. to whom St, 

who agrees with him, and he interpret* .Tcromc is indebted for a great part of 

coUjfhfi " sweetmeaU." At the s-ime his exposition, under<itand!t by Cotlybists 

time Hesychius himself makes itv proper those who change good c<»in for bad, to 

sense to be " a kind of coin, with an ox the injury of those who emplov fhcm." 

stamped on the brass." Pollux and Vnllar*. in loc. 
Foidas and others agree with this inter. 

\EU. 10 — 16. ST. MATTHEW. 713 

usury, they accepted the value in kind, taking things that 
are bought with money, as if this was not what Ezekiel 
preached of, saying. Ye shall not receive tisuri/ no?- increase. Ezek. 
This kind of traffic, or cheating rather, the Lord seeing in ' 
His Father's house, and moved thereat with spiritual zeal, 
cast out of the Temple this great multitude of men. Origen ; 
For in that they ought neither to sell nor to buy, but to give 
their time to pi'ayer, being assembled in a house of prayer, 
whence it follows, And he saith unto them, It is tcr it fen, Is. 56, 7. 
My hotise shall he called a house of prayer. Aug. Let no Aug. 
one therefore do ought in the oratory, but that for which it a/ lerv. 
was made and whence it got its name. It follows. But ye Dei, 3. 
have made it a den of thieves. Jerome; For he is indeed 
a thief, and turns the temple of God into a den of thieves, 
who makes a gain of his religion. Among all the miracles 
wrought by our Lord, this seems to me the most wonderful, 
that one man, and He at that time mean to such a degree 
that He was afterwards cnicified, and while the Scribes and 
Pharisees were exasperated against Him seeing their gains 
thus cut off, was able by the blows of one scourge to cast 
out so great a multitude. Surely a flame and starry ray darted 
from his eyes, and the majesty of the Godhead was radiant 
in his countenance, Aug. It is manifest that the Lord 
this thing not once but twice ; the first time is told by John, Ev.ii. 
this second occasion by the other three. Chrys. Which ^'^• 

'' Chrys. 

aggravates the fault of the Jews, who after He had done the Hom. 
same thing twice, yet persisted in their hardness. ^^"' 

Origen ; Mystically ; The Temple of God is the Church of 
Christ, wherein are many, who live not, as they ought, spiri- 
tually, but after the flesh ; and that house of prayer which is 
built of living stones they make by their actions to be a den of 
thieves./ But if we must express more closely the three kinds of 
men cast out of the Temple, we may say thus^ Whosoever 
among a Christian people spend their time in nothing else but i 
buying and selling, continuing but little in prayers or in other 
right actions, these are the buyers and sellers in the Temple j 
of God. -Deacons who do not lay out well the funds of their 
Churches, but grow rich out of the poor man's portion, these 
are the money-changers whose tables Christ overturns. But 
that the deacons preside over the tables of Chiu-ch money, 
wo learn from the Acts of the Apostles. Bishops who com- 2. ' 

714 fiOSl'KL ACt;uKl»lM. lt> 1 HAT. \\l. 

nijt Churches to those ihi^y ought not, art- thi-y that sell the 
(loves, that is, thr giu ■ it tho Holy Spirit, whose seats Christ 
«)Vfrtunis. Jkkomk; Hut, according to the i)lain sense, the 
doves were not in seats, but in cages ; unless indeed the 
sellers of the doves were sitting in seats ; but that were 
absurd, for the seat denotes the dignity of the teacher, which 
is brought down to nothing when it is mixed with covetous- 
ness. Mark also, that through the avarice of the Priests, the 
altars of Clod are called tables of money-changers. What 
we have spoken of Churches let each man understand of 
SCor. 6, himself, for the Apostle says. Ye are the temple of God. 
liet there not be therefore in the abode of your breast the 
spirit of bargaining, nor the desireof gifts, lest Jesus, entering 
in anger and sternness, should purify His temple not without 
scourging, that from a den of thieves He should make it a 
house of prayers. Origen; Or, in His second coming He 
shall cast forth and on (i turn tliose whom He shall find un- 
worthy in God's temple. I'secdo-Chrys. For this reason 
also He overturns the tables of the money-changers, to signify 
that in the temple of God ought to be no coin save spiritual, 
such as bears the image of God, not an earthly image. He 
overturns the seals of those that sold doves, saying by that 
deed, WTiat make in My temple so many doves for sale, since 
that one Dove descended of free gift n])on the temple of My 
Body ? What the multitude had proclaimed by their shouts, 
the Lord shews in deeds; whence it follows. And the blind 
and the lame came to him in the temple^ and he healed them. 
Origen; For in the t('m])le of God, that is in the Church, 
all have not eyesight, nor do all walk njirightly,but only they 
who understand that there is need of Christ and of none other 
to heal them; they coming to the Word of God are healed. 
Remig. That they arc healed in the Temple signifies, that 
men cannot be healed but in the Church, to which is given 
the power of binding and loosing. Jerome; For had He 
not overthrown the tables of the money-changers and the 
scats of them that sold doves, the blind and tin; lame would 
not have deserved that their wonted sight and power of 
motion should be restored to them in the temple. Chrys. 
But not even thus were the Chief Priests convinced, but at 
His miracles and the shouts of the children they had indigna< 
tion. Jerome; I • r. not daring to lay hands on Uiin, the 

VER. 10 — 16. ST. MATTHEW. 715 

Priests defame his works, and the testimony of the children 
who cried, Hosanna to the Son of David, blessed is he that 
Cometh in the name of the Lord, as though this might be 
said to none but to the Son of God only. Let then Bishops 
and all holy men take heed how they suffer these things to 
be said to them, if this is charged as a fault in Him who is 
truly Lord to whom this was said, because the faith of the 
believers was not yet confirmed. Pseudo-Chrys. For as 
a pillar a little out of the perpendicular, if more weight be 
laid upon it, is driven to lean still more to one side ; so also the 
heart of man when once turned aside, is only stirred the more 
with jealousy by seeing or hearing deeds of some righteous 
man. In this way the Priests were stirred up against Christ, 
and said, Hearest thou what these say ? Jerome ; But the 
answer of Christ was cautious. He spake not what the Scribes 
would fain have heard, The children do well that they bear 
witness to me; nor on the other hand. They do what is 
wrong, they are but children, you ought to be indulgent to 
their tender years. But He brings a quotation from the 
eighth Psalm, that though the Lord were silent, the testimony pg, g, 2. 
of Scripture might defend the words of the children, as it 
follows, But Jesus said unto them. Yea, have ye never read, 
Sfc. Pseudo-Chrys. As though He had said. Be it so, it is 
My fault that these cry thus. But is it My fault that so many 
thousand years before the Prophet foretold that so it should 
be? But babes and sucklings cannot know or praise any 
one. Therefore they are called babes, not in age, but in 
guilelessness of heart; sucklings, because they cried out being 
moved by their joy at the wonderful things they beheld, 
as by the sweetness of milk. Miraculous works are called 
milk, because the beholding of miracles is no toil, but rather 
excites wonder, and gently invites to the faith. Bread is the 
doctrine of perfect righteousness, which none can receive 
but they who have their senses exercised about spiritual 
things. Chrys. This was at once a type of the Gentiles, 
and no small comfort to the Apostles; foj that they might 
not be perj^lexed, contriving how having no education for 
the puipose they should preach the Gospel, these children 
going before them did away that fear; for He who made 
these to sing His praises, shall give speech to those. This 


miracle also shews that Christ was the Fraiuer of nature; 
seeing the childn n -^p^ke things lull of meaning, and agreeing 
with the Pn»|)luts, wlureas the men uttered things mcan- 
ingU's?, and full oi fri'uzy. 

17. And he left them, and went out of the city 
into Bethany ; and he lodged there. 

18. Now in the morning as he returned into the 
city, he hungered. 

19. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he 
came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves 
only, and said imto it. Let no fruit grow on thee 
henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree 
withered away. 

20. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, 
saying. How soon is the fig tree withered away ! 

21. Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily 
I say unto you. If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye 
shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, 
but also if ye shall say unto this mountain. Be thou 
removed, and be thou cast into the sea ; it shall be 

22. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in 
prayer believing, ye shall receive. 

Pseudo-Chrvs. a bad man is better overcome by giving 
way to him than by replying to him; for wickedness is not 
instructed but stimulated by re])roof. The Lord accordingly 
sought by withdrawing Himself to check those whom His 
words could not check; whence it is said, And He left them^ 
and uent out of the city into Bethany. Jkkomk; Hence 
it is to be understood that the Lord was in so great poverty, 
and so far from having coiu-ted any one, that He had found 
in all that city neither entertainer, nor abode, but He made 
His home in a little village, in the house of La/arus and his 
sisters; for their villagi^ wa.s Bethany; and it follows, and 
He lodged there. Pskido-Chrvs. Seeking surely to lodge 
in the body where His s])irit also reposed; for so it is with 

VKIJ. 17 — '22. ST. MATTHEW. 717 

all holy men, they love to be not where sumptuous banquets 
are, but where holiness flourishes. Jerome; When the 
shades of night were dispersed, and He was returning to 
the city, the Lord was an hungred, thus shewing the reality ^ 
of His human body. Gloss. For in permitting His flesh Gloss. 
to suff'er that which properly pertains to flesh. He fore-sei,n.° 
shews His passion. Mark the earnest zeal of the active 
labourer, Who is said to have gone early into the city 
to preach, and to gain some to His Father. Jerome ; The 
Lord about to suffer among the nations, and to take upon 
Him the offence of the Cross, sought to strengthen the 
minds of His disciples by a previous miracle ; whence it 
follows. And seeing a jig-tree by the wayside. He came 
to it, and found nothing thereon but leaves only. Chrys. 
He came not because He was an hungred, but for His dis- 
ciples' sake ; for because He ever did good and inflicted 
suffering on none, it behoved that He should set forth an 
example of His power of punishment ; and this He would 
not exert upon man, but upon a plant. Hilary; Herein 
also we find proof of the Lord's goodness ; where He was 
minded to shew forth an instance of the salvation procured 
by His means, He exerted the power of His might on the 
persons of men ; by healing their present sicknesses, en- 
couraging them to hope for the future, and to look for the 
healing of their soul. But now when He would exhibit a 
type of His judgments on the rebellious, He represents the 
future by the destruction of a tree ; Let no fruit groic on thee 
henceforward for ever. Jerome; For ever, (in sempitemum,) 
or. To the end of the world, (in saeculum,) for the Greek word 
u\m signifies both. Chrys. This was only a supposition of 
the disciples that it was cursed because it had not fruit ; for 
another Evangelist says that it was not yet the season. Why 
then was it cursed ? For the disciples' sake, that they might 
learn that He had power to wither up those who crucified 
Him. And He worked this miracle in that which of all plants 
is the most juicy, that the gi'eatness of the miracle might be 
more apparent. And when aught of this kind is done to 
brutes or vegetables, ask not whether the fig were with justice 
withered up, seeing it was not the season for its fruit ; for to 
enquire thus were extreme madness, for in such creatures 


there can be neilhcr fault nor ])unishni(>nt ; Imt consider tlif 
Glow, miracle, and admire the Worker of it. Gix>s8. The Creator 
does no wrong to the owner, but Mis creature at His will is 
converted to the profit of others. Chkys. And that you 
may leani that tliis \va.s done* for their sakes, to the end, 
namely, that they should be stirred up to confidence, hear 
what is said further. Jesus ansir{*red and mid unto them. 
Verily I nay unto you, if ye shall have faith. Jkuomk ; The 
Gentile dogs bark against us, alfirming that the Apostles had 
not fkilh, because they were not able to remove mountains. 
To whom we answer, that many wonders were done by the 
Lord which are not written ; and therefore we believe the 
Apostles to have done some not written ; and that they were 
therefore not written, that the unbelieving might not have in 
them larger room for ca^nlling. For let us them, do they 
believe the miracles which are written, or do they not ? And 
when they look incredulous, we can then establish that they 
who believe not the lesser would not have believed the greater. 
Chrys. This that the Lord speaks of He ascribes to prayer 
and fiith ; whence He continues, And all thinys whatsoever 
ye shall ask in prayer believing ye shall receive. Okigkn ; 
For Christ's disciples pray for nothing that they ought not, 
and as confiding in their Master they pray only for things 
great and heavenly. Rab.w. But whenever we are not heard 
when we pray, it is either because we ask something adverse 
to the means of our salvation ; or because the jicnerseness of 
those for whom we ask hinders its being granted to them ; 
or because the performance of our request is put off to a 
future time, that our desires may wax stronger, and so may 
have more i^erfect capacity for the joys they seek after. 
Aug. de Aug. It must be considered that Mark relates the wonder of 
Er?"ii. the disciples at the withering of the tree, and the answer of 
^' the Lord conceniing faith, to have been not on the day fol- 
lowing the cursing of the tree, but on the third day after ; 
and that on the second day Mark relates tlie casting of the 
merchants out of the Tem]>le, which he had omitted on the 
first day. On the second day then he says that He went 
forth out of the city in the evening, and that as they passed 
by in the morning, the disciples then saw that the fig tree was 
withered. But Matthew speaks as though all this had been 

VER. 17—2-2. ST. MATTHEW. 719 

done on the day following. Tliis must be so taken as that 
when Matthew, having related that the fig tree was dried up^ 
adds immediately, omitting all the events of the second day, 
A)id when the disciples saw it^ they marvelled, he yet meant 
that it was on another day that they marvelled. For the tree 
must be supposed to have withered at the time it was 
cursed, not at the time they saw it. For they did not see it 
withering, but when it was withered, and by that they under^ 
stood that it had withered immediately upon the Lord's words. 
Origen ; Mystically ; the Lord leaving the Chief Priests 
and Scribes withdrew without the earthly Jerusalem, which 
therefore fell. He came to Bethany to ' The house of obedi- 
ence,' that is, to the Chiu*ch, where when He had taken rest 
after the first erecting of the Church, He retmnied to the 
city which He had left a little while before, and returning. He 
was an hungred. Pseudo-Chrys. For had His hunger been 
as man for carnal food, He would not have hungred in the 
morning; he truly hungers in the morning who hungers 
after the salvation of others. Jerome ; The tree which 
He saw by the wayside we understand as the syna- 
gogue, which was nigh to the way inasmuch as it had the 
Law, but yet believed not on the way, that is, on Christ. 
Hilary; And that is compared to a fig tree, because the 
Apostles being the first believers out of Israel, like green 
figs shall in the glory, and the time, of their resuiTection, be 
before the rest. Pseudo-Chrys. Also the fig in respect of 
the multitude of seeds under one skin is as it were an assem- 
bly of the faithful. But He finds nothing on it but leaves 
only, that is, pharisaical traditions, an outward shew of the 
Law without the fruits of truth. Origen ; And because this 
plant was figiu-atively a living creature, having a soul, He 
speaks to it as though it heard. Let no fruit grow on thee 
henceforward for ever. Therefore is the Jewish synagogue 
barren, and shall continue so until the end of the world, when 
the multitude of the Gentiles shall come in ; and the fig tree 
withered while Christ was yet sojourning in this life; and 
the disciples seeing by their spiritual discernment the 
mystery of the withered faith, wondered ; and having faith, 
and not doubting, they bare it, and so it withers when their 
lifegiving virtue passes to the Gentiles; and by each one 


who is broughl tq the ikiUi, that mountain Satan w liftrd up 
and cast into the sea, that is, into the abyss. PsKrno-riiKVS. 
Or ; Into (he sea, that is, into the world where the waters are 
salt, i. e. the people are wicked. Rauan. Aud he avenges his 
exclusion from the elect by more cruel treatment of the 
Aug. reprobate. Aug. Or, this is to be said by each senant of 
Ev. i. Cjrod m his own case respecting the mountain of pnde, to 
^" cast it from him. Or, berause by Jews the Gospel was 
preached, tlie Lord Himself, who is called the mount, is by 
the Jews cast among the Gentiles as into a sea. Okigen ; 
For ever\' man who is obedient to the word of God is 
Bethany, and Christ abides in him ; but the wicked and the 
sinners He leaves. And when He has been with the righ- 
teous, He goes to other righteous after them, and accompanied 
by them ; for it is not said that He left Bethany and went 
into the city. The Lord ever is an hungred among the 
righteous, desiring to eat among them the fruit of the Holy 
Spirit, which are love, joy, peace. But this fig tree which 
haxi leaves only without fruit, grew by the wayside. 
PsEUDO-CiiRYS. That is, nigh to the world ; for if a man 
lives nigh to the world, he cannot presene in himself the 
fruit of righteousness. Orioen; But if the Lord come 
seeking fruit with tem])tations, and one be found having 
nought of rigliteousness but only a j)rofession of faith, which 
is leaves without fruit, he is soon withered, losing even his 
seeming faith ; and every disciple makes this fig tree to 
wither, by making it be .seen that he is void of Christ, as 
Acts 8, Peter said to Simon, 77/y heart is not right in the sight of 
^** God. For it is better that a deceitfid fig tree which is thought 
to be alive, yet brings forth no fmit, should be withered u}) 
at the word of Christ's disciples, than that by an imposture 
it shoidd steal aawy innocent hearts. Also there is in every 
unbeliever a mountain great in proportion to his unbelief, 
which is removed by the words of Christ's discipl&s. 

23. And when he was come into the temple, the 
Chief Priests and the elders of the people came unto 
him as he was teaching, and said. By what authority 

VER. 23 — 27. ST. MATTHEW. 721 

doest thou these things? and who gave thee this 
authority ? 

24. And Jesus answered and said unto them, I 
also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in 
like wise will tell you by what authority I do thes* 

25. The baptism of John, whence was it ? from 
heaven, or of men ? And they reasoned with them- 
selves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven ; he will 
say unto us. Why did ye not then believe him ? 

26. But if we shall say. Of men ; we fear the 
people ; for all hold John as a prophet. 

27. And they answered Jesus, and said. We cannot 
tell. And he said unto them. Neither tell I you by 
what authority I do these things. 

Pseudo-Chrys. The Priests were tormented with jealousy, 
because they had seen Christ entering the Temple in great 
glory. And not being able to master the fire of jealousy 
which burnt in their breasts, they break forth in speech. 
Chrys. Forasmuch as they could not detract from His 
miracles, they bring matter of blame from His forbidding to sell 
in the Temple. As though they had said. Hast Thou assumed 
the seat of authority? Hast Thou been anointed Priest, 
that Thou exertest this power } Pseudo-Chrys. By that 
they add, Or who gave thee this authority? they shew that 
there be many persons who give power to men, whether 
corporal or spiritual ! as though they had said. Thou art not 
come of a priestly family; the Senate has not conferred on 
Thee this power, neither has Caisar granted it. But had 
they believed that all power is from God, they would never 
have asked, WJio gave thee this authority? For every man 
judges of others by himself. The fornicator thinks that none 
are chaste ; the chaste does not readily suspect any of forni- 
cation ; he who is not a Priest of God, thinks no man's 
Priesthood to be of God. Jerome ; Or in these words they 
urge the same cavil as above, when they said, He casleth out 

VOL. I. 3 a 


VittAi) demons Ihroutfh Beelzebub f fie Prince of the demons. For 

when they say, lit/ what anlhority doest thou these thinga'^ 

they doubt concernin}; the power of God, and would have it 
understood that the things lie does are of the Devil. Hut 
when they add, Who yave thee this authority'^ they most 
elearly deny tlie Son of God, whom they suppose to work 
miracles, not by Ilis own, but by others' strength. The Ix)rd 
could have confuted the calumny of 1 lis tempters by a simple 
answer, but He put a question to them of such skilful con- 
trivance, that they nmst be condenmed either by their silence 
or their knowledge ; Jesus ansuered and said unto them^ I 
aUo unll ask you one question. Psf.udo-Chrys. Not that 
they should answer it, and thereupon hear of Christ the answer 
to their question, but that being puzzled they should ask 
Him no farther; according to that precei)t He had given 
M it.r, above. Give not thtif /rfi/Ch is holy to the doys. For even if 
He had told them, it would have profited nothing, lu-cause 
the darkened will cannot perceive the things that an ( i iIk 
light. For him that enquires we ought to instnict, but hiui 
that tempts, to overthrow by a stroke of reasoning, but not to 
publish to him the power of the mystery. The Lord thus 
sets before them in His question a dilemma; and that they 
might not e.scape Him, says, Which if ye tell me, / in like 
wise will tell you by uhat authority I do these things. His 
question is this; The baptism of John whence nas it? from 
Aug. in hearen, or of men ^ Aio. John received his authority to 
T°"v" 4. baptize from Him, whom he aftei-wards baptized; and that 
baptism which was committed to him is here calh'd the 
baptism of John. He alone received such a gill; no righ- 
teous man bet k i after him was entmsted with a baptism to 
be called from liim^rlf. For John came to baptize in the 
water of repentant • , to ])iopare the way for the Lord, not to 
give inward cleansing, which mere man cannot do. Jkrome; 
What the Priests revolved in their malice is shewn when he 
adds, But they reasoned with themselves. For had they 
replied that it was from heaven, the question was inevitable, 
Why then were ye not baptized by John? But shoidd they 
reply that it was an invention of human device, and had in it 
nothing divine, they feared a tinnult among the people. For 
all the a.sscmblcd multitudes had received .Tohn's baptism, 

VKR. 23 — 27. ST. MATTHEW. 723 

and held him accordingly for a Prophet. This godless party 
therefore make answer, and by a seeming humility of speech 
confessing that they know not, turned to hide their insidious 
designs. And therj answered Jesus, and said, We know not. 
In saying that they knew not, they lied ; and it might have 
followed upon their answering thus, that the Lord also should 
say, I know not ; but truth cannot lie, and therefore it follows. 
And he said unto them, Neither tell I you hy ichat authority 
I do these things. This shews that they knew, but would 
not answer, and that He also knew, but would not answer, 
because they would not speak what they knew. Origen; 
But some one will say in opposition to this, that it was absurd 
to ask by what authority Jesus did these things. For that it 
could not be that He would answer, that He did these by the 
Devil's authority ; and He would not tell them as it truly was, 
that He did them by His own power. If it should be said, 
that the rulers put this question to Him in order to deter 
Him from His proceedings; as when we say to one who is 
dealing with what is ours in a way which we do not like, we 
say to him, Who bade thee do this ? meaning to deter him 
from what he is so doing ; — if it is to be taken so, what means 
Christ's answer, Do you tell Me this, and I will tell you by 
what authority I do these things. Perhaps therefore, the 
place should be understood as follows. There are in the 
general two opposite powers, one on the side of God, the 
other on the side of the Devil ; but of particular powers 
there are many ; for it was not one and the same power that 
wrought in all the Prophets to enable them to do miracles, but 
one in these, another in those ; and, it may be, for lesser 
things a lesser power, for greater things a greater power. 
The Chief Priests had seen Jesus working many miracles, 
whereupon they desired to know the special degree and 
properties of that power which wrought in Him. For others 
who have wrought miracles wrought them at first in one 
power, and afterwards when more advanced in another and 
greater power ; but the Saviour wrought all in one power, 
that which He received of the Father. But because they 
were not worthy to hear such mysteries, therefore He gives 
them no answer, but on the contrary put a question to them. 
Raban. There are two reasons why the knowledge of truth 

3 a2 


should be kept back frt)ni those who ask; either when he 
wlio asks is unlit to receive, or from his hatred or contempt 
of the truth is unworthy to have that which he asks opened 
to him. 

28. But what think ye ? A certain man had two 
sods; and he came to the first, and said. Son, go 
work to day in my vineyard. 

29. He answered and said, I will not : but after- 
ward he repented, and went. 

30. And he came to the second, and said likewise. 
And he answered and said, I go, sir : and went not. 

31. Whether of them twain did the will of his fa- 
ther ? They say unto him. The first. Jesus saith unto 
them. Verily I say unto you. That the Publicans and 
the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 

32. For John came unto you in the way of righ- 
teousness, and ye believed him not: but the Publicans 
and the harlots believed him : and ye, when ye had 
seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe 

Jerome ; Thus much prefaced, the Lord brings forward a 
parable, to convict them of their irreligion, and shew them 
that the kingdom of God should be transferred to the Gentiles. 
Pseudo-Chrys. Tliose who arc to be judged in tliis cause. 
He applies to as judges, that condemning themselves they 
might be shewn to be imworthy to be acquitted by any other. 
It is high confidence of the justness of a cause, that will 
entrust it to the decision of an adversan'. But He veils tlie 
allusion to them in a parable, that they might not perceive 
that they were passing sentcn(;e upon themselves ; A certain 
man had two sons. Who is he but God, who created all 
men, who being by nature Lord of all, yet would rather be 
loved as a father, than feared as a Lord. The elder son was 
the Gentile people, tlie younger the .Tews, since from the 
time of Noah there had been Gentiles. Ami he rnnn- to the 

VER. 28 — 32. ST. MATTHEW. 725 

Jlrst, and said. Son, (/o wm-k to day in my vineyard. To 
day, i. e. during this age. He spoke with him, not face to 
face as man, but to his heart as God, instilling understanding 
through the senses. To work in the vineyard is to do righ- 
teousness ; for to cultivate the whole thereof, I know not that 
any one man is sufficient. Jerome; He speaks to the 
Gentile people first, through their knowledge of the law of 
nature ; Go and work in my vineyard; i. e. What you would'^ohit 4, 
not have done to you, that do not you to others. He answers 
haughtily, / will not. Pseudo-Chrys. For the Gentiles 
from the beginning leaving God and his righteousness, and 
going over to idols and sins, seem to make answer in their 
thoughts. We w\\\ not do the righteousness of God. Jerome; 
But when, at the coming of the Saviour, the Gentile people, 
having done penitence, laboured in God's vineyard, and 
atoned by their labour for the obstinacy of their refusal, this 
is what is said, But afterward he repented, and went. 
The second son is the Jewish people who made answer to 
Moses, All that the Lord hath said unto us we will do. Exod. 
Pseudo-Chrys. But afterwards turning their backs, they ' ^* 
lied unto God, according to that in the Psalms, T7ie sons Ph. is, 
of the strangers have lied unto me. This is what is said, * 
But he went not. The Lord accordingly asks which of 
them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him. 
The first. See how they have first sentence upon themselves, 
saying, that the elder son, that is, the Gentile people, did the 
will of his father. For it is better not to promise righteous- 
ness before God, and to do it, than to promise, and to fail. 
Origen; Whence we may gather, that in this parable the 
Lord spoke to such as promise little or nothing, but in their 
works shine forth ; and against those who promise great things 
but do none of these things that they have promised. Jerome ; 
It should be known that in the correct copies it is read not 
The last, but Tlie first, that they might be condemned by 
their own sentence. But should we prefer to read, as some 
have it, Tlie last, the explanation is obvious, to say that the 
Jews understood the truth, but dissembled, and would not 
say what they thought ; just as though they knew that the 
baptism of John was from heaven, they would not say so. 
Pseudo-Chrys. The Lord abundantly confirms their decision, 


whence it follows, Jemis said unto them, Verily I say unto 

you, that the publicans and harlots shall go before you in the 
kingdom of God ; 'a& much as U) siiy, Not only the Gentiles 
are before you, but even the publicans and the harlots. 
Raban. Vet the kingdom of God may be understood of the 
Gentiles, or of the present Church, in which the Gentiles go 
before the Jews, because they were more ready to believe. 
Origf.n ; Notwithstanding, the Jews are not shut out that 
Rom. 11, they should never enter into the kingdom of God ; but, trhen 
^' the fulness of the Gentiles shall have entered in, then all 
Israel shall be saved. PsEUDO-CnuYS. I suppose \\\a.i the pub- 
licans here aie to represent all sinful men, and the harlots all 
sinful women ; because avarice is found the most prevailing vice 
among men, and fornication among women. For a woman's 
life is passed in idleness and seclusion, which are great 
tem])tation8 to that sin, while a man, constantly occupied in 
various active duties, falls readily into the snare of covctous- 
ness, and not so commonly into fornication, as the anxieties 
of manly cares preclude thoughts of pleasure, which engage 
rather the young and idle. Tlien follows the reason of what 
He had said. For John came unto you in the tcay of riyhte- 
oitsnesSy and ye believed him not. Uahax. John came 
preaching the way of righteousness, because he pointed to 
Christ, who is the fulfilling of the Law. Pseudo-Chrvs. 
Or, because his venerable conversation smote the hearts of 
sinners, as it follows, fiut the Publicans and harlots believed 
on him. Mark how the good life of the preacher gives its 
force to his preaching, so as to subdue luisubdued hearts. 
And ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that 
ye might believe him ; as nuich as to say, ITiey have done 
that which is more by believing on Him, ye have not even 
repented, which is less. But in this exposition which we 
have set forth according to the mind of many interpreters, 
there seems to me something incon.sistent. For if by the 
two sons are to be understood the Jews and Gentiles, as 
soon as the Priests had an.swered that it was the first son that 
did his father's will, then Christ should have conclud«'<l His 
parable with these words. Verily 1 say tmto you, that the 
Gentiles shall go into the kingdom of God before you. But 
He says, The Publicans and harlots, a class rather of Jews 

VER. 33 44. ST. MATTHEW. l->7 

than of Gentiles. Unless tliis is to be taken as was said 
above ; So much rather the Gentile people please God than 
you, that even the Publicans and harlots are more acceptable 
to Him than you. Jerome ; Whence others think that the 
parable does not relate to Gentiles and Jews, but simply to 
the righteous and to sinners. These by their evA deeds had 
rejected God's service, but after received from John the 
baptism of repentance; while the Pharisees who made a 
shew of righteousness, and boasted that they did the law of 
God, despising John's baptism, did not follow his precepts. 
Pseudo-Chrys. This He brings in because the Priests had 
asked not in order to learn, but to tempt Him. But of the 
common folk many had believed ; and for that reason He 
brings forward the parable of the two sons,' shewing them 
therein that the common sort, who from the first professed 
secular lives, were better than the Priests who from the first 
professed the service of God, inasmuch as the people at length 
turned repentant to God, but the Priests impenitent, never 
left off" to sin against God. And the elder son represents the 
people ; because the people is not for the sake of the Priests, 
but the Priests are for the sake of the people. 

33. Hear another parable : There was a certain 
housholder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it 
round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built 
a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into 
a far country : 

34. And when the time of the fruit drew near, he 
sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might 
receive the fruits of it. 

35. And the husbandmen took his servants, and 
beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 

36. Again, he sent other servants more than the 
first : and they did unto them likewise. 

37. But last of all he sent unto them his son, 
saying, They will reverence my son. 

38. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they 


said among themselves. This is the heir ; come, let 
us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. 

39. And they caught him, and cast him out of 
the vineyard, and slew him. 

40. When the lord therefore of the vineyard 
cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen ? 

41. They say unto him. He will miserably destroy 
those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto 
other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits 
in their seasons. 

42. Jesus saith unto them. Did ye never read in 
the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, 
the same is become the head of the corner : this is 
the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes ? 

43. Therefore say 1 unto you. The kingdom of 
God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation 
bringing forth the fruits thereof. 

44. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be 
broken : but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind 
him to powder. 

Chrj*. Chrys. The design of this further parable is to shew that 
^^ their guilt was heinous, and unworthy to be forgiven. 
Origen; The householder is God, who in some piu^ables is 
represented as a man. As it were a father condescending to 
the infant lisp of his little child, in order to instruct him. 
Pseudo-Chuys. He is called man, by title, not by nature; 
in a kind of likeness, not in verity. For the Son knowing 
that by occasion of His human name He himself shoidd bo 
blasphemed as though he were mere man, spoke therefore of 
the Invisible God the Father as man ; He who by nature 
is Lord of Angels and men, but by goodness their Father. 
Jerome ; He huth planted a vine of wliich Isaiali 8])caks, 
l»a.5,7.T7te vine of the Lord of Hosts is the house of Israel. And 
hedged it round about ; i. e. either the wall of the city, or the 
guardianship of Angels. Pseudo-Chrys. Or, by the hedge 
understand the protection of the holy fathers, who were set 

VER. 33 44. ST. MATTHEW. 729 

as a wall round the people of Israel. Origen ; Or, the 
hedge wliich God set round his people was His own Provi- 
dence; and the winepress was the place of offerings. Jerome; 
A winepress f that is to say, An altar; or those winepresses after 
which the three Psalms, the 8th, the 80th, and the 83d are 
entitled*, that is to say, the martyrs. Hilary ; Or, He set forth 
the Prophets as it were winepresses, into which an abundant 
measure of the Holy Spirit, as of newwine, might flow in a teem- 
ing stream. Pseudo-Chrys. Or, the winepress is the word 
of God, which tortures man when it contradicts his fleshly 
nature. Jerome; And built a tower therein, that is, the 
Temple, of which it is said by Micah, And thou, O c/owc^y Mic. 4, 
toicerofthe daughter of Sion. Hilary ; Or, The tower is the 
eminence of the Law, which ascended from earth to heaven, 
and from which, as from a watch-tower, the coming of Christ 
might be spied. And let it out to husbandmen. Pseudo- 
Chrys. When, that is, Priests and Levites were constituted 
by the Law, and undertook the direction of the people. And 
as an husbandman, though he ofier to his Lord of his own 
stock, does not please him so much as by giving him the 
fruit of his own vineyard; so the Priest does not so much 
please God by his own righteousness, as by teaching the 
people of God holiness; for his own righteousness is but 
one, but that of the people manifold. And went into a far 
country. Jerome ; Not a change of place, for God, by whom 
all things are filled, cannot be absent from any place ; but 
He seems to be absent from the vineyard, that He may 
leave the vine-dressers a fireedom of acting. Chrys. Or, it 
applies to His long-suffering, in that He did not always 
bring down immediate punishment on their sins. Oriqen ; Or, 
because God who had been with them in the cloud by day, Exod. 
and in the pillar of fire by night, never afler shewed Himself ^^' ^^" 
to them in like manner. In Isaiah the people of the Jews is Is. 5, 7. 
called the vineyard, and the threats of the householder are 
against the vineyard ; but in the Gospel not the vineyard but 

» ri'^riJ Ps. 8, 8], 84. Hebr. from in Ps. 83. init. of vines or olives. With 
nJ the wine press, and so the Vulgate ^t- Jerome he interprets it of martyr- 
To'reularia, a.s St. Jerome reads. Others ^oras in Ps. 8. n. 3. just before he inter- 
consider it a musical instrument used P/f« '' pf Christian Churches, as does 
at the vintage. St. Augustine takes it Athanasius in ioc. 
for an oil press, Enarr. in Ps. 80. init. 

'•^" <■'-!'! I \i > -Khr... i.. « II \|'. \\|. 

tllr lillvh.mdilMIl ;nv M:inir.| |\,l | >, l vIkiI |r , ■ ni llir (;.,s|.,-l 

Ihr viufxar.l is the kiiiLrdum ,.1 (ind, ih ,t :v. ||,,. d.niiinr 
whifli IS tniifaiiicd ill holy Scnpiiin ; and a mans 
lllr IS tlir tniil i.r ill,' Mil, \ aid. And llic Icttrr ol" Scripiurc 
IS till- hedge sci luiind \\u- siiicyard. thai ihr iVuiK uhicli aiv 
liid in it sli..nld not 1m v,, n \)\ iIk.^c who aiv wilhoui. 'I'hc 
(Icptli of the (ir.K 1, X ,,t (iod is ih.- wincpiv-v ol' the \inr\ai(i. 
into wliich siuli as li.ixc |irotitcd in the orach-. o| (io.l |>,.iir 
out their studies hke Iniil. The tower l.iiilt th( lem is ili.- 
word eoneernin;4 (iod 1 linisell'. and foncerniiiLi: Cliri-t'^ dis- 
pensations. 'J'liis vineyard He eoniniitted to hnslianihiK n. 
thai is, to tlie peeiple ihat was Ixlore us, hoih priests and 
laity, and went into afar country, h\ His de|)iinire .ii:'^i"K 
opportiniity to tlie lius])an(lirieii. 'I'ln' time o|' tlie \iiita,i,'e 
drawing near may be taken of individuals, and ot nations. 
The tir^t season of life is in infancy, when thr \in \aid li.i-- 
nonglit to v]iew.1)iil that it has in it the vital jiowir. As 
soon as it conies to 1j<' ahle to speak, llieii is tlic time ol' 
pntting lorth ])iids. And as the child's soid jn'ogivsv. v. .,, 
also does the \ineyard, that is, tin- word of (iod; and all' r 
such progress the \iih_\ard brings forth the ri]»e frnii ofh,\;', 
joy, peace, and the like. Moreo\(r to the nation wh d 

the Taw by Moses, the time of fruit drawelli near. i;vi;A\. 
T7i< scusnn (if fruit. He says, not of rent-]>ayiiig. becans.- iliis 
stift-necki d nation lirings forth no fruit. ('iii;\s. lb' (.ills 
nonm-.tlie ]'ro])h( t^ servant--, wlio as tlie Lord's I'riests olier tin' 
Clirv.s. iVnits of the ]»eople, ,ind the proofs of their oln-dieiice in 
their works. But thi\ shewed tlieir wickediie--'- m^i oiiK in 
refusing the fruits, but in ha\iiig iiKhgnation against those 
that come to till III, as ii Ibllows, And llir lni<l)iniiliiii n t<.,,h 
his sernnil^, uml lu nl mn , nml hilh'il iiiinllu'r, mid slmud 
another. ,Il i;omi ; I'x it lliein. as .le.emiah, kille<l them, as 
Isaiah, ^toiK il tin m, a^ .\al)o|h and /acharia-. w liom thev 
slew betweiii tlie teinjtle and the altar. I'si ri>o-( 'ii i:\ s. At 
each step (jf their wickedness the merc\ of (iod w a^ iiu reined, 
and at eaclj step ol' the I )i\ iiie merc\ the w ickedm ^-- ol the 
Jews in(rease«l; thn- tin re a --tiife 1m1\\,,ii Inimaii 
wicke<lness and |)i\iii> ^oodn. v^. Ilii.\i;\; These ///--/, 
llutii III! fir^l v\!m' vm o V, lit. d< iii'le that lime, \v hen, altii 
ih. i.oa. Iiiie^ "I ^iiiL'l' ri")>!ii I-. .1 ::i':il iiuiiibei u a- >-cnt 

VEK. 33 — 44. ST. MATTHEW. 731 

forth together. Raban. Or, the first servants who were sent 
were the Lawgiver Moses himself, and Aaron the first Priest 
of God; whom, ha\-ing beaten them with the scourge of their 
tongue, they sent away empty; by the other sen^ants under- 
stand the company of the Prophets. Hilary; By the Son 
sent at last, is denoted the advent of om' Lord. Chrys. 
"Wherefore then did He not send Him immediately? That 
from what they had done to the others they might accuse 
themselves, and putting away their madness they might 
reverence His Son when He came. Pseudo-Chrys. He 
sent Him not as the bearer of a sentence of punishment 
against the guilty, but of an offer of repentance; He sent 
Him to put them to shame, not to punish them. Jerome; 
But when He says. They will reverence my Son, He does 
not speak as in ignorance. For what is there that this 
householder (by whom in this place God is intended) knows 
not.? But God is thus spoken of as being uncertain, in order 
that free-will may be reserved for man. Chrys. Or He 
speaks as declaring what ought to be ; they ought to reve- 
rence Him; thus shewing that then* sin was great, and void 
of all excuse. Origen ; Or we may suppose this fulfilled in 
the case of those Jews who, knowing Christ, believed in 
Him. But what follows, But ivlien the husbandmen saw 
the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir, 
come let us kill him, and let us seize on the inheritance, 
was fulfilled in those who saw Christ, and knew Him to 
be the Son of God, yet crucified Him. Jerome; Let us 
enquire of Arrius and Eunomius. See here the Father is 
said not to know somewhat. Whatever answer they make 
for the Father, let them understand the same of the Son, 
when He says that He knows not the day of the consumma- Mat. 22, 
tion of all things. Pseudo-Chrys, But some say, that it 
was after His incarnation, that Christ was called a Son in 
right of His baptism like the other saints, whom the Lord 
reftites by this place, saying, 1 will send my Son. Therefore 
when He thus meditated sending His Son after the Prophets? 
He must have been already His Son. Further, if He had 
been His Son in the same way as all the saints to whom 
the word of God was sent, He ought to have called the 
Prophets also His sons, as He calls Christ, or to call Christ 


His scrrant, as He calls the IVophets. Radan. By what 
they say, Tftis is the iSon, Ho manifestly proves that the 
rulers of the Jews crucified the Son of God, not thnmglj 
ignorance, but through jealousy. For they understood that 
P».8, was He to whom tlie Father speaks by the Prophet, Ask 
o/mey and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance. 
The inheritance given to the Son is the holy Church ; an 
inheritance not left Him by His Father when dying, but 
wonderfully purchased by His own death. Pseudo-Chkys. 
After His entry into the Temple, and having cast out those 
who sold the animals for the sacrifices, then they took counsel 
to kill Him, Come, let us kill him. For they reasoned among 
themselves. It will happen that the people hereby shall 
disuse the practice of sacrificing, which pertains to our 
gain, and shall be content to offer the sacrifice of righteous- 
ness, which pertains to the glory of God ; and so the nation 
shall no more be our possession, but shall become God's. 
But if we shall kill Him, tlien there being none to seek the 
fruit of righteousness from the people, the practice of offering 
sacrifice shall contuiue, and so this people shall become our 
possession ; as it follows, And the inheritance shall be ours. 
These are the usual thoughts of all worldly Priests, who take 
no thought how the people shall live without sin, but look to 
how much is offered in the Church, and esteem that tlie 
profit of their ministry. Raban. Or, llie Jews endeavoured 
by putting Him to death to seize upon the inheritance, when 
they strove to overtlu-ow the faith which is through Him, 
and to substitute their own righteousness which is by the 
Law, and therewith to imbue the Gentiles. It follows, And 
they cauyht him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew 
him. Hilary ; Christ was cast out of Jerusalem, as out of 
the vineyard, to His sentence of punishment. Origkn ; Or, 
what He says. And cast him out of the vineyard, seems to 
me to be this; As far as they were concerned they judged 
Him a stranger both t^) the vineyard, and the husbandmen. 
When therefore the I^rd of the vineyard cmneth, what u ill 
he do unto those husbandmen? Jerome; The Lord asks 
them not as though He did not know what they would 
answer, but that they might be condcnnicd by their own 
answer. Pskt'do-Chrys. That their answer is true, comes 

VER. 33 — 44. ST. MATTHEW. 733 

not of any righteous judgment in them, but from the case 
itself; truth constrained them. Origen ; Like Caiaphas so Johnii, 
did they, not from themselves, prophesy against themselves, * 
that the oracles of God were to be taken from them, and 
given to the Gentiles, who could bring forth fruit in due 
season. Gloss, Or, the Lord whom they killed, came imme- q]^^^ 
diately rising from the dead, and brought to an evil end those otA. 
wicked husbandmen, and gave up His vineyard to other 
husbandmen, that is, to the Apostles. Aug. Mark does not ^ag. de 
give this as their answer, but relates that the Lord after 2°°"!: 

. . . . Ev. 11. 

His question put to them, made this answer to Himself. But 70. 
it may be easily explained, that their words are subjoined 
in such a way as to shew that they spoke them, without 
putting in ' And they answered.' Or this answer is attri- 
buted to the Lord, because, what they said being true, might 
well be said to have been spoken by Him who is truth. 
Chrys. Or there is no contradiction, because both are 
right; they first made answer in these words, and then the 
Lord repeated them. Aug. This troubles us more, how Aug. 
it is that Luke not only does not relate this to have been °^^ ®"P* 
their answer, but attributes to them a contrary answer. His 
words are, Atid when they heard it they said, God forhid. Luke20, 
The only way that remains for understanding this is, therefore, ^^' 
that of the listening multitudes some answered as Matthew 
relates, and some as Luke. And let it perplex no one that 
Matthew says that the Chief Priests and elders of the people 
came to the Lord, and that he connects the w^hole of this 
discoiurse in one down to this parable of the vineyard, without 
interposing any other speaker. For it may be supposed that He 
spoke all these things with the Chief Priests, but that Matthew 
for brevity's sake omitted what Luke mentions, namely, that 
this parable was spoken not to those only who asked Him con- 
cerning His authority, but to the populace, among whom were 
some who said, He shall destroy them, and give the vineyard 
to others. And at the same time this saying is rightly 
thought to have been the Lord's, either for its truth, or for 
the unity of His members with their head. And there were 
also those who said, God forbid, those namely, who perceived 
that He spoke this parable against them. Pseudo-Chrys. 
Otherwise : Luke has given the answer of their lips, Matthew 


that of tlieir heaits. For some made answer openly coii- 
tnidicting Him, aiul sayinj^, dod forhid, ]mi their consciences 
t4)ok it lip with I/e shall miserably destroy these tcicked meti. 
For so when a man is detected in any wickechiess, he excuses 
himself in words, hut his conscience within pleads guilty. 
Chr\s. Or otherwise: the IjOrd proposed this parable to them 
with this intent, that not understanding it they should give 
sentence against themselves; as was done by Nathan to 
David, Again, when they perceived the meaning of the 
things that had been said against them, they said, God forbid. 
Raban. Morally; a vineyard has been let out to each of us 
to dress, when the mystery of baptism was given us, to be 
cultivated by action. Servants one, two, and three are sent 
us when Law, Psalm, and Pro])hecy are read, after whose 
instmctions we are to work well. lie that is sent is beaten 
and cast out wIk n the word is contemned, or, which is worse, 
is blasphemed. He kills (as far as in him lies) the heir, who 
tramples under foot the Son, and does despite to the Sj)iiii of 
grace. The wicked hu^bundman is destroyed, and the 
vineyard is given to another, when the gilt of grace wliich 
the proud has contennied is given to the lowly. 

Pseudo-Chrys. When they seemed discontent. He brings 
forward Scripture testimony; as much as to say, If ye under- 
stood not My parable, at le; acknowledge this Scripture. 
Jeromf; The same things are treated under various figures; 
whom above He called labourers and husbandmen, He now calls 
builders. Chrys. Christ is the stone, the builders are the 
John 9, Jewish teachers who rejected Christ, saying, This man is not 
of God. Raban. IJut despite of their displeasure, the same 
stone furnished the head stone of the comer, for out of both 
nations He has joined by faith in Him as many as He woidd. 
Hilary ; He is become the head of the comer, because He 
is the imion of both sides between the Law and the Gentiles. 
Chkys. And that they might know that notliing that had 
been done was against God's will, He adds, // is the Lord's 
doing. ORKiEN ; That is, the stone is tlie gift of God to the 
whole building, and is wonderful in our eyes, who can 
discern it with the eyes of the mind. Psemdo-Chrys. As 
much as to say. How do ye not understand in what building 
that stone is to be set, not in yours, seeing it is rejected, but 

VKU. 33—44. ST. Matthew. 735 

in another ; but if the building is to be other, your building 
will be rejected. Origen ; By the kingdom of God, He 
means the mysteries of the kingdom of God, that is, the 
divine Scriptures, which the Lord committed, first to that 
former people who had the oracles of God, but secondly to 
the Gentiles who brought forth fruit. For the word of God 
is given to none but to him who brings fruit thereof, and the 
kingdom of God is given to none in whom sin reigns. 
Whence came it then that it was given to them from whom 
it was aftei-wards taken away ? Remember that whatever is 
given is given of free gift. To whom then He let out the 
vineyard. He let it out not as to elect already and believing ; 
but to whom He gave it. He gave it with a sentence of 
election. Pseudo-Chrys. Christ is called A Stone, not 
only because of His strength, but because He mightily 
crushes His enemies ; whence it follows, And whosoever 
shall fall on this stone shall be broken, and on whom- 
soever it shall fall, it shall grind him to powder. Jerome ; 
Whoso sinneth, yet believoth on Him, falls indeed upon a 
stone and is bi'oken, yet is not altogether crushed, but is 
preserved to salvation through endurance. But on whomso- 
ever it shall fall, that is, whomsoever this stone shall itself 
assault, and whosoever shall utterly deny Christ, it shall so 
crush him, that not a bone of him shall be left in which a 
drop of water could be taken up. Psettdo-Chrys. It is one 
thing to be broken, and another to be ground to powder. 
Of what is broken there remains something; but what is 
ground to powder is as it were converted into dust. And 
what falls upon a stone is not broken by any power of the 
stone, but because it fell heavily, either by reason of its 
weight, or of its fall from a great height. So a Christian in 
sinning, perishes, but not to the utmost that Christ can 
destroy ; but only so far as he destroys himself, either by 
the greatness of his sin, or by his exalted rank. But the 
unbelievers perish to the utmost that Christ can destroy 
them. Chrys. Or, He here points out their twofold de- 
struction ; first in their stumbling and being offended at Him, 
signified in that, Whosoever shall fall upon this stone; the 
other in the captivity that should come upon them, signified 
by that. But upon tihomsoerer it shall fall. Aug. Or, Those q^^^j 


786 «<»8ri 1 \i 1 iii!iii \i. Ill I II \r. \\i. 

that fall iipcu lliin. arc tlio^.' diat ,li spi^., an<l illlict Him. 
Tlii'S(> do not porish uttrrly, but art' broktu sf) lliat tli» y walk 
not ii])rit,'ht. Hut upon these lie shall fall when He shall conic 
from al)o\(^ in judgment with a jHiiiivliintiit ot' (Icsiinction, 
and thence He ^>iays, Shall <jrind llnin fa poirder, because 
Pa. 1,4. t?i€ wicked arc like the dust trhich t/ir iciiid scattereth abroad 
on the/dcr <>/ tlw earth. 

45. And when the Chief Priests and Pharisees had 
heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of 

46. But when they sought to lay hands on liim, 
they feared the multitude, because they took him for 
a prophet. 

.Jerome; Hard as were tlir hearts of the Jews in uhIk lief, 
they yet perci'ixcd that \]\v Lord's sentence \\,i> diici'il 
Psoiitln- a},'ainst themselves. Pskiuo-C'iiuvs. Here i^ tln' dilicii ncc 
in fin? between good and had men. The j^nod man wlun tak< n in 
Horn, a gin has sorrow bccaiix' he lias sinned, (he l)ad mm is 
grieved not because he has sinne<l, but Iuh anx' lie is touiid 
otit in his sin ; and he not only does not re]ic nt, but is 
iiidipiaiit wiili him that re])roved liim. Tluis tliey l»ein^' 
taken in tlicir .sins were stirred u)) to ^lill ^neater wickedness; 
Ami Ihcif sDiKjltt to liifi IhdkIs (III liiiii, hill hiirrd iJir 
VlilUil iid<\ l)cC(ii(>ic tlii'ij tixik liini h>r ,1 I'li'iihrt . ()i:i(.i \ ; 
One tliinj; they know which is true concerning Him; tin \ 
esteemed Him a Prophet, though not iniderstandiin; llis 
greatness in res])cct of His bein<^ the Son of'(iod. Hut the 
rulers feared the multitude «ho tlioii^lit tliiis of llim, and 
were ready to fight for Him; lor tliey could not attain to the 
nnder>tanding whicli the multitude, seeiiii; the\ tliou^ht 
nothing worthy concerning Him. I'mtliei, know thai then 
are two different kinds of desires to hiy liinds on .lesus 
Tlie dcviic (ii the rulers and Pharisees was one kiml ; anoiiier 
Sonj? of that of the Hride, / held him, and imttld not ht hi in '/"• 
gjj '7' gjn tending to try Him still further, as she saith, / trill i/rf nu 
vp inin Ihr jKiliii / / '// hni Imld ,■/'//< /,, i,//t/ All \\ ho 

think not li'dith (<iM(rmnL; Hi> di\ inils , seek to lav liamK 

VER. 45, 46. ST. MATTHEW. 73 

on Jesus in order to put Him to death. Other words indeed 
excepting the word of Christ it is possible to seize and to 
hold, but the word of truth none can seize, that is, under- 
stand ; none can hold it, that is, convict ; nor separate it 
from the conviction of those that believe ; nor do it to death, 
that is, destroy it. Pseudo-Chrys. Every wicked man also, 
as far as his will is concerned, lays hands on God, and puts 
Him to death. For whoso tramples upon God's command- 
ments, or murmurs against God, or raises a sullen look to 
heaven, would not he, if he had the power, lay hands on God, 
and kill Him, that he might sin without restraint ? Raban. 
This, that they are afraid to lay hands on Jesus because 
of the multitudes, is daily acted in the Church, when any who 
is a brother only in name, is ashamed or afraid to assail the 
unity of faith and peace which he does not love, because of 
the good men with whom he hves. 

VOL. I. 3 b