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Catena ^urca. 

Catena %nxtu* 













Catena ^urea. 








VOL. I. 





^OV 121934 




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 from 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, MayQy 1841. 





VOL. h S B 

f^'^lS.l'^ Vfc^ //ft»AR>J 


1. And Jesus answered and spake unto them again 
by parables, and said, 

2. The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain 
king, which made a marriage for his son, 

3. And sent forth his servants to call them that 
were bidden to the wedding : and they would not 

4. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying. 
Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared 
my dinner : my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and 
all things are ready : come unto the marriage. 

5. But they made light of it, and went their ways, 
one to his farm, another to his merchandise : 

6. And the remnant took his servants, and en- 
treated them spitefully, and slew them. 

7. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth : 
and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those 
murderers, and burned up their city. 

8. Then saith he to his servants. The wedding is 
ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 

9. Go ye therefore into the highw^ays, and as many 
as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 

10. So those servants went out into the highways, 
and gathered together all as many as they found, 
both bad and good : and the wedding was furnished 
with guests. 

VER. 1 — 14. St. MATTHEW. ' 739 

11. And when the king came in to see the guests, 
he saw there a man which had not on a wedding 
garment : 

12. And he saith unto him. Friend, how camest 
thou in hither not having a wedding garment ? And 
he was speechless. 

13. Then said the king to the servants. Bind him 
hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him 
into outer darkness ; there shall be weeping and 
gnashing of teeth. 

14. For many are called, but few are chosen. 

Chrys. Forasmuch as He had said, And it shall be given Chrys. 
to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof He now pro- -f^?™- 
ceeds to shew what nation that is. Gloss. Answered, that Gloss. 
is, meeting their evil thoughts of putting Him to death. Aug. ^^^^^ 'J^ 
This parable is related only by Matthew. Luke gives one Cons. 
like it, but it is not the same, as the order shews. Greg. Greg. 
Here, by the wedding-feast is denoted the present Church ; ^°^^' ^'^ 
there, by the supper, the last and eternal feast. For intoxxxviii. 
this enter some who shall perish ; into that whosoever has * 
once entered in shall never be put forth. But if any 
should maintain that these are the same lessons, we may 
perhaps explain that that part concerning the guest who had 
come in without a wedding garment, which Luke has not 
mentioned, Matthew has related. That the one calls it 
supper, the other dinner, makes no difference ; for with the 
ancients the dinner was at the ninth hour, and was therefore 
often called supper. Origen ; The kingdom of heaven, in 
respect of Him who reigns there, is like a king ; in respect 
of Him who shares the kingdom, it is like a king's son ; in 
respect of those things which are in the kingdom, it is like 
servants and guests, and among them the king's armies. It 
is specified, A man that is a king, that what is spoken may 
be as by a man to men, and that a man may regulate men 
unwilling to be regulated by God. But the kingdom of 
heaven will then cease to be like a man, when zeal and con- 
tention and all other passions and sins having ceased, we 

3 B 2 


shall cease to walk after men, and shall see Him as He is. 
For now we see Him not as He is, but as He has been made 

Greg, for us in our dispensation. Greg. God the Father made a 
a marriage feast for God the Son, when He joined Him to 
human nature in the womb of the Virgin. But far be it 
from us to conclude, that because marriage takes place 
between two separate persons, that therefore the person of 
oiu- Redeemer was made up of two separate persons. We say 
indeed that He exists of two natures, and in two natures, but 
we hold it unlawful to believe that He was compounded of 
two persons. It is safer therefore to say, that the marriage feast 
was made by the King the Father for the King the Son when 
He joined to Him the Holy Church in the mystery of His 
incarnation. The womb of the Virgin Mother was the bride- 
chamber of this Bridegroom. Pseudo-Chrys. Otherwise ; 
When the resurrection of the saints shall be, then the life, 
which is Christ, shall revive man, swallowing up his mortality 
in its own immortality. For now we receive the Holy Spirit 
as a pledge of the future union, but then we shall have Christ 
Himself more hilly in us. Origen ; Or, by the marriage of 
Bridegroom with Bride, that is, of Christ with the soul, 
understand the Assumption of the Word, the produce whereof 
is good works. Hilary ; Rightly has the Father already 
made this wedding, because this eternal union and espousal 
of the new body is already perfect in Christ. Pseudo-Chrys. 
When the servants were sent to call them, they must have 
been invited before. Men have been invited from the time 
of Abraham, to whom was promised Christ's incarnation. 
Jerome; He sent his servant, without doubt Moses, by 
whom He gave the Law, to those who had been invited. 
But if you read servmits as most copies have, it must be 
refeiTed to the Prophets, by whom they were invited, but 
neglected to come. By the servants who were sent the 
second time, we may better understand the Prophets than 
the Apostles ; that is to say, if servant is read in the first 
place ; but if ' servants,' then by the second servants are to 
be understood the Apostles ; Pseudo-Chrys. whom He 

Mat. 10, sent when He said unto them. Go not into the way of the 
Ge?iiiles, but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of 
Israel. Origen ; Or ; The servants who were first sent to 

VKR. 1 14. ST. MATTHEW. • 741 

call them that were bidden to the wedding, are to be taken 
as the Prophets converting the people by their prophecy to 
the festival of the restoration of the Church to Christ. They 
who would not come at the first message are they who refused 
to hear the words of the Prophets. The others who were 
sent a second time were another assembly of Prophets, 
Hilary ; Or ; The servants who were first sent to call them 
that were bidden, are the Apostles ; they who, being before 
bidden, are now invited to come in, are the people of Israel, 
who had before been bidden through the Law to the glories 
of eternity. To the Apostles therefore it belonged to remind 
those whom the Prophets had invited. Those sent with the 
second injunction are the Apostolic men their successors. 

Greg. But because these who were first invited would ^^^.^g- 
not come to the feast, the second summons says. Behold, I 
have prepared my dinner. Jerome ; The dinner that is 
prepared, the oxen and the fallings that are killed, is either 
a description of regal magnificence by the way of metaphor, 
that by carnal things spiritual may be understood ; or the 
greatness of the doctrines, and the manifold teaching of God 
in His law, may be understood. Pseudo-Chrys. When 
therefore the Lord bade the Apostles, Go ye and preach, 
saying, The kitigdom of heaven is at hand, it was the same 
message as is here given, I have prepared my dinner ; i. e. 
I have set out the table of Scripture out of the Law and the 
Prophets. Greg. By the oxen are signified the Fathers Greg, 
of the Old Testament ; who by sufferance of the Law gored " ^ ^"^* 
their enemies with the horn of bodily strength. By fatlings 
are meant fatted animals, for from ' alere', comes * altilia,' as 
it were * alitilia' or * alita.' By the fallings are intended 
the Fathers of the New Testament ; who while they receive 
sweet grace of inward fattening, are raised by the wing of 
contemplation from earthly desires to things above. He 
says therefore. My oxen and my fatlings are killed; as much 
as to say. Look to the deaths of the Fathers who have 
been before you, and desire some amendment of your lives. 
Pseudo-Chrys. Otherwise ; He says oxen and fatlings, 
not as though the oxen were not fatted, but because all 
the oxen were not fat. Therefore the fatlings denote the 
Prophets who were filled with the Holy Spirit; the oxen 


those who were both Priests and Prophets, as Jeremiah and 
Ezekiel ; for as the oxen are the leaders of the herd, so also 
the Priests are leaders of the people. Hilary ; Or other- 
wise ; The oxen are the glorious army of Martyrs, offered, 
like choice victims, for the confession of G od ; the fatlings 
are spiritual men^ as birds fed for flight upon heavenly food, 
that they may fill others with the abundance of the food they 
Greg, have eaten. Greg. It is to be observed, that in the first 
^"^* invitation nothing was said of the oxen or fatlings, but in 
the second it is announced that they are already killed, 
because Almighty God when we will not hear His words 
gives examples, that what we suppose impossible may become 
easy to us to surmount, when we hear that others have passed 
through it before us. Origen ; Or ; The dinner which is 
prepared is the oracle of God ; and so the more mighty of 
the oracles of God are the oxen ; the sweet and pleasant are 
the fatlings. For if any one bring forward feeble words, 
without power, and not having strong force of reason, these 
are the lean things ; the fatlings are when to the establish- 
ment of each proposition many examples are brought for- 
ward backed by reasonable proofs. For example, supposing 
one holding discourse of chastity, it might well be repre- 
sented by the tmlle-dove ; but should he bring fonvard the 
same holy discourse full of reasonable proof out of Scripture, 
so as to delight and strengthen the mind of his hearer, then 
he brings the dove fatted. Pseudo-Chrys. That He says, 
Ajid all things are now ready, means, that all that is re- 
quired to salvation is already filled up in the Scriptures ; 
there the ignorant may find instruction ; the self-willed may 
read of terrors ; he who is in difficulty may there find pro- 
Gloss, mises to rouse him to activity. Gloss. Or, All things are 
interim. ^^^ ready, i. e. The entrance into the kingdom, which had 
been hitherto closed, is now ready through faith in My incar- 
Pseudo- nation. Pseudo-Chrys. Or He says. All things are now 
Chrys. readii which belong to the mystery of the Lord's Passion, 

non occ. -^ ^ ° ^ ^ 

sed vid. and our redemption. He says. Come to the inarriage, not 

^^l^^' with your feet, but with faith, and good conduct. But they 

made light of it; why they did so He shews when He 

adds, And they went their way, one to his farm, another 

to his merchandize. Chrys. These occupations seem to be 

VER. 1 — 14. ST. MATTHEW. ' 743 

entirely reasonable ; but we learn hence, that however ne- 
cessary the things that take up our time, we ought to prefer 
spiritual things to every thing beside. But it seems to me 
that they only pretended these engagements as a cloak for 
their disregard of the invitation. Hilary; For men are 
taken up with worldly ambition as with a farm ; and many 
through covetousness are engrossed with trafficking. Pseudo- 
Chrys. Or otherwise ; When we work with the labour of 
our hands, for example, cultivating our field or our vineyard, 
or any manufacture of wood or kon, we seem to be occupied 
with owx farm ; any other mode of getting money unattended 
with manual labour is here called 7nerchandize. O most 
miserable world ! and miserable ye that follow it ! The 
pursuits of this world have ever shut men out of life. Greg. 
Whosoever then intent upon earthly business, or devoted 
to the actions of this world, feigns to be meditating upon the 
mystery of the Lord's Passion, and to be living accordingly, 
is he that refuses to come to the King's wedding on pretext 
of going to his farm or his merchandize. Nay often, which 
is worse, some who are called not only reject the grace, but 
become persecutors, And the remnant took his servants, and 
entreated them despitefully, and slew them. Pseudo-Chrys. 
Or, by the business of a farm. He denotes the Jewish poj^u- 
lace, whom the delights of this world separated from Christ ; 
by the excuse of merchandize, the Priests and other ministers 
of the Temple, who, coming to the service of the Law and 
the Temple through greediness of gain, have been shut out 
of the faith by covetousness. Of these He said not, ' They 
were filled with envy,' but TJiey made light of it. For they 
who through hate and spite crucified Christ, are they who 
were filled with envy; but they who being entangled in busi- 
ness did not believe on Him, are not said to have been filled 
with envy, but to have made light of it. The Lord is silent 
respecting His own death, because He had spoken of it in 
the foregoing parable, but He shews forth the death of His 
disciples, whom after His ascension the Jews put to death, 
stoning Stephen and executing James the son of Alphseus, 
for which things Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. 
And it is to be observed, that anger is attributed to God figu- 
ratively and not properly ; He is then said to be angry when 


He punishes. Jerome ; When He was doing works of mercy, 
homini and bidding to His marriage-feast, He was called a man ; 
now when He comes to vengeance, the man is dropped, and 
He is called only a King. Origen; Let those who sin 
against the God of the Law, and the Prophets, and the whole 
creation, declare whether He who is here called man, and 
is said to be angry, is indeed the Father Himself. If they 
allow this, they will be forced to own that many things are 
said of Him applicable to the passible nature of man; not 
for that He has passions, but because He is represented to 
us after the manner of passible human nature. In this way 
we take God's anger, repentance, and the other things of the 
like sort in the Prophets. Jerome; By His armies we 
understand the Romans under Vespasian and Titus, who 
having slaughtered the inhabitants of Judaea, laid in ashes 
the faithless city. Pseudo-Chrys. The Roman army is 
Ps. 24, called God's army; because The earth is the Lord's, and 
the fulness thereof; nor would the Romans have come to 
Greg. Jerusalem, had not the Lord stirred them thither. Greg. 
u 1 sup. Q^^ "YYiQ armies of our King are the legions of His Angels. 
He is said therefore to have sent His armies, and to have 
destroyed those murderers, because all judgment is executed 
upon men by the Angels. He destroys those murderers, 
when He cuts off persecutors; and bums up their city, 
because not only their souls, but the body of flesh they had 
tenanted, is tormented in the everlasting fire of hell. Origen; 
Or, the city of those wicked men is in each doctrine the 
assembly of those who meet in the wisdom of the rulers 
of this world; which the King sets fire to and destroys, as 
consisting of evil buildings. 
Greg. Greg. But when He sees that His invitation is spurned at, 
ubi sup. jjg ^jii ^Q^ have His Son's marriage-feast empty; the word of 
God will find where it may stay itself. Origen ; He saith to His 
servants, that is, to the Apostles; or to the Angels, who w^ere 
set over the calling of the Gentiles, TJte wedding is ready, 
Remig. That is, the whole sacrament of the human dispens- 
ation is completed and closed. But they which were hidden, 
Rom. 10 ^^^^ ^^? ^^^ Jews, were not ivorthy, because, ignorant of the 
^' righteousness of God, and going about to establish their own 

righteousness, they have not submitted themselves to the 

VER. 1 14. ST. MATTHKW. ' 745 

righteousness of God. The Jewish nation then being rejected, 
the Gentile people were taken in to the marriage-feast; 
whence it follows, Go ye out into the crossings of the streets, 
and as many as ye shall find, hid to the wedding^ Jerome ; 
For the Gentile nation was not in the streets, but in the cross- 
ings of the streets. Remig. These are the errors of the 
Gentiles. Pseudo-Chrys. Or; The streets are all the pro- 
fessions of this world, as philosophy, soldiery, and the like. 
And therefore He says. Go out into the crossings of the 
streets, that they may call to the faith men of every con- 
dition. Moreover, as chastity is the way that leads to God, 
so fornication is the way that leads to the Devil; and so it 
is in the other virtues and vices. Thus He bids them invite 
to the faith men of every profession or condition. Hilary; 
By the street also is to be understood the time of this world, 
and they are therefore bid to go to the crossings of the streets, 
because the past is remitted to all. Greg. Or otherwise; Greg. 
In holy Scripture, way is taken to mean actions; so that" ^ ^"P* 
the crossings of the ways we understand as failure in action, 
for they usually come to God readily, who have had httle 
prosperity in worldly actions. Origen ; Or otherwise ; I 
suppose this first bidding to the wedding to have been a 
bidding of some of the more noble minds. For God would 
have those before all come to the feast of the divine oracles 
who are of the more ready wit to understand them; and 
forasmuch as they who are such are loth to come to that 
kind of summons, other servants are sent to move them to 
come, and to promise that they shall find the dinner pre- 
pared. For as in the things of the body, one is the bride, 
others the inviters to the feast, and they that are bidden are 
others again; so God knows the various ranks of souls, and 
their powers, and the reasons why these are taken into the 
condition of the Bride, others in the rank of the servants 
that call, and others among the number of those that are 
bidden as guests. But they who had been thus especially 
invited contemned the first inviters as poor in understanding, 
and went their way, following their own devices, as more 
delighting in them than in those things w^hich the King by 
his servants promised. Yet are these more venial than they 
who ill-treat and put to death the servants sent unto them; 


those, that is, who daringly assail with weapons of conten- 
tious words the servants sent, who are unequal to solve their 
subtle difficulties, and those are illtreated or put to death by 
them. The servants going forth are either Christ's Apostles 
going from Judaea and Jerusalem, or the Holy Angels from 
the inner worlds, and going to the various ways of various 
manners, gathered together whomsoever they found, not 
caring whether before their calling they had been good or 
bad. By the good here we may understand simply the more 
humble and upright of those who come to the worship of 
Rom. 2, God, to whom agreed what the Apostle says, JVhen the 


Gentiles wliich have not the Law do by nature the tilings 
contained in the Law, they are a law uftto tliemselves. 
Jerome ; For there is an infinite difference among the 
Gentiles themselves ; some are more prone to vice, others 
are endowed with more incorrupt and virtuous manners. 
Greg. Greg. Or; He means that in this present Church there 
ubi sap. cannot be bad without good, nor good without bad. He is 
not good who refuses to endure the bad. Origen ; The 
marriage-feast of Christ and the Church is filled, when they 
who were found by the Apostles, being restored to God, sat 
down to the feast. But since it behoved that both bad and good 
should be called, not that the bad should continue bad, but that 
they should put off the garments unmeet for the wedding, and 
should put on the marriage ganiients, to wit, bowels of mercy 
and kindness, for this cause the King goes out, that He may 
see them set down before the supper is set before them, that 
they may be detained who have the wedding garment in which 
He is delighted, and that he may condemn the opposite. 

Pseudo-Chrys. The King came in to see the guests ; not as 
though there was any place where He is not ; but where 
He will look to give judgment, there He is said to be present; 
where He will not, there He seems to be absent. The day 
of His coming to behold is the day of judgment, when He 
will visit Christians seated at the board of the Scriptures. 
Origen; But when He was come in. He found there one 
who had not put off his old behaviour ; He saw there a man 
ivhich had not on a wedding garment. He speaks of one 
only, because all, who after faith continue to serve that 
wickedness which they had before the faith, are but of one 

VER. 1 — 14. ST. MATTHEW. " 747 

kind. Greg. What ought we to understand by the weddhigGreg. 
garment, but charity? For this the Lord had upon Him," ^^^^' 
when He came to espouse the Church to Himself. He then 
enters in to the wedding feast, but without the wedding 
garment, who has faith in the Church, but not charity. Aug. Aug. 
Or, he goes to the feast without a garment, who goes seeking p^^^J^ 
his own, and not the Bridegroom's honour. Hilary; Or;xxii. 19. 
The wedding garment is the grace of the Holy Spirit, and the 
purity of that heavenly temper, which taken up on the confes- 
sion of a good enquiry is to be preserved pure and unspotted 
for the company of the kingdom of heaven. Jerome ; Or> 
The marriage garment is the commandments of the Lord, and 
the works which are done under the Law and the Gospel, and 
form the clothing of the new man. Whoso among the 
Christian body shall be found in the day of judgment not to 
have these, is straightway condemned. He saith unto liim^ 
Friend, how earnest thou in hither, not having a wedding 
garment"^ He calls \i\m friend, because he was invited to the 
wedding as being a friend by faith ; but He charges him 
with want of manners in polluting by his filthy dress the 
elegance of the wedding entertainment. 

Origen ; And forasmuch as he who is in sin, and puts not on 
the Lord Jesus Christ, has no excuse, it follows. But he was 
speechless. Jerome ; For in that day there will be no room for 
blustering manner', nor power of denial, when all the Angels and i al. pce- 
the world itself are witnesses against the sinner. Origen ; He "^*^^<^'2e. 
who has thus insulted the marriage feast is not only cast out 
therefrom, but besides by the King's officers, who are set 
over his prisons, is chained up from that power of walking 
which he employed not to walk to any good thing, and 
that power of reaching forth his hand, wherewith he had 
fulfilled no work for any good ; and is sentenced to a place 
whence all light is banished, which is called outer darkness. 
Greg. The hands and feet are then bound by a severe sen- Greg. 
tence of judgment, which before refused to be bound from^^^^"!^* 
wicked actions by amendment of life. Or punishment binds 
them, whom sin had before bound from good works. Aug. Aug. de 
The bonds of wicked and depraved desires are the chains T""*^^* 
which bind him who deserves to be cast out into outer 
darkness. Greg. By inward darkness we express blindness, Greg. 

ubi sup. 


of heart; outer darkness signifies the everlasting night of 
damnation. Pseudo-Chrys. Or, it points to the difFerence 
of punishment inflicted on sinners. Outer darkness being 
the deepest, inward darkness the lesser, as it were the out- 
skirts of the place. Jerome ; By a metaphor taken from the 
body, there shall he weeping and gnashing of teeth, is shewn 
the greatness of the torments. The binding of the hands and 
feet also, and the weeping of eyes, and the gnashing of teeth, 
understand as proving the truth of the resurrection of the 

Greg. body. Greg. There shall gnash those teeth which here 
delighted in gluttony; there shall weep those eyes which 
here roamed in illicit desire ; every member shall there have 
its peculiar punishment, which here was a slave to its peculiar 
vice. Jerome ; And because in the marriage and supper the 
chief thing is the end and not the beginning, therefore He 
adds. For many are called, hut few chosen. Hilary; For 
to invite all without exception is a courtesy of public bene- 
volence ; but out of the invited or called, the election will be 

Greg, of worth, by distinction of merit. Greg. For some never 
begin a good course, and some never continue in that good 
comse which they have begun. Let each one's care about 
himself be in proportion to his ignorance of what is yet to 
come. Pseudo-Chrys. Or otherwise ; Whenever God will 
try His Church, He enters into it that He may see the guests ; 
and if He finds any one not having on the wedding garment. 
He enquires of him. How then were you made a Christian, if 
you neglect these works ? Such a one Christ gives over to 
His ministers, that is, to seducing leaders, who bind his 
hands, that is, his works, and his feet, that is, the motions of 
his mind, and cast him into darkness, that is, into the errors 
of the Gentiles or the Jews, or into heresy. The nigher 
darkness is that of the Gentiles, for they have never heard the 
truth which they despise ; the outer darkness is that of the 
Jews, who have heard but do not believe ; the outermost is 
that of the heretics, who have heard and have learned. 

15. Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel 
how they might entangle him in his talk. 

16. And they sent out unto him their disciples with 
the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou 

VER. 15 22. ST. MATTHEW. 749 

art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, 
neither carest thou for any man : for thou regardest 
not the person of men. 

17. Tell us therefore. What thinkest thou? Is 
it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not ? 

18. But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and 
said. Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites ? 

1 9. Shew me the tribute money. And they broug]it 
unto him a penny. 

20. And he saith unto them. Whose is this image 
and superscription? 

21. They say unto him, Cgesar's. Then saith he 
unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things 
which are Caesar's ; and unto God the things that 
are God's. 

22. When they had heard these w^ords, they mar- 
velled, and left him, and went their way. 

Pseudo-Chrys. As when one seeks to dam a stream of 
running water, as soon as one outlet is stopped up it makes 
another channel for itself; so the malevolence of the Jews, 
foiled on one hand, seeks itself out another course. Then 
■went the Pharisees ; went to the Herodians. Such as the 
plan was, such were the planners ; They send unto Him 
their disciples with the Herodians. Gloss. Who as un- Gloss. 
known to Him, were more likely to ensnare Him, and so°^ * 
through them they might take Him, which they feared to do 
of themselves because of the populace. Jerome ; Lately 
under Caesar Augustus, Judeea, which was subject to the 
Romans, had been made tributary when the census was held 
of the whole world ; and there was a great division among 
the people, some saying that tribute ought to be paid to the 
Romans in return for the security and quiet which their arms 
maintained for all. The Pharisees on the other hand, self- 
satisfied in their own righteousness, contended that the people 
of God who paid tithes and gave first-fruits, and did all the 
other things which are written in the Law, ought not to be 
subject to human laws. But Augustus had given the Jews 



as king, Herod, son of Antipatcr, a foreigner and proselyte ; 
he was to exact the tribute, yet to be subject to the Roman 
dominion. The Pharisees therefore send their disciples with 
the Herodians, that is, with Herod's soldiers, or those whom 
the Pharisees in mockery called Herodians, because they 
paid tribute to the Romans, and were not devoted to the 

Chrys. worship of God. Chrys. They send their disciples and 
Herod's soldiers together, that whatever opinion He might 
give might be found fault with. Yet would they rather have 
had Him say somewhat against the Herodians ; for being 
themselves afraid to lay hands on Him because of the popu- 
lace, they sought to bring Him into danger through His 
liability to pay tribute. Pseudo-Chrys. This is the com- 
monest act of hypocrites, to commend those they would ruin. 
Thus, these break out into praises of Him, saying, Master, 
we know that Thou art true. They call Him Master^ that, 
deceived by this shew of honour and respect. He might in 
simplicity open all His heart to them, as seeking to gain them 

Gloss, for disciples. Gloss. There are three ways in which it is 
•possible for one not to teach the truth. First, on the side of 
the teacher, who may either not know, or not love the truth ; 
guarding against this, they say, We know that Thou art true. 
Secondly, on the side of God, there are some who, putting 
aside all fear of Him, do not utter honestly the truth which 
they know respecting Him ; to exclude this they say, And 
teachest the way of God in truth. Thirdly, on the side of 
our neighbour, when through fear or affection any one with- 
holds the truth; to exclude this they say. And carest for no 
man^ for Thou regardest not the person of man. Chrys. 
This was a covert allusion to Herod and Ca3sar. Jerome ; 
This smooth and treacherous enquiry was a kind of challenge 
to the answerer to fear God rather than Caesar, and imme- 
diately they say. Tell us therefore, what thinkest Thou ? Is 
it lawful to give tribute to Ccesar or not ? Should He say 
tribute should not be paid, the Herodians would immediately 
accuse Him as a person disaffected to the Emperor. Chrys. 
They knew that certain had before suffered death for this 
very thing, as plotting a rebellion against the Romans, there- 
fore they sought by such discourse to bring Him into the 
same suspicion. Pseudo-Chrys. He makes an answer not 

non occ. 

VER. 15 22. ST. MATTHEW. 751 

corresponding to the smooth tone of their address, but harsh, 
suitable to their cruel thoughts; for God answers men's 
hearts, and not their words. Jerome; This is the first 
excellence of the answerer, that He discerns the thoughts of 
His examiners, and calls them not disciples but tempters. 
A hypocrite is he who is one thing, and feigns himself another. 
Pseudo-Chrys. He therefore calls them hypocrites, that 
seeing Him to be a discerner of human hearts, tliey might 
not be hardy enough to carry through their design. Observe 
thus how the Pharisees spoke fair that they might destroy 
Him, but Jesus put them to shame that He might save them; 
for God's wrath is more profitable to man, than man's favour. 
Jerome; Wisdom does ever wisely, and so the tempters are 
best confuted out of their own words ; therefore it follows. 
Shew me the irihute money ; and they brought unto Him a 
denarius. This was a coin reckoned equivalent to ten ses- 
terces, and bore the image of Caesar. Let those who think 
that the Saviour asks because He is ignorant, learn from the 
present place that it is not so, for at all events Jesus must 
have known whose image was on the coin. They say unto 
Him, C(Esar'*s; not Augustus, but Tiberius, under whom also 
the Lord suffered. All the Roman Emperors were called 
Caesar, from Caius Caesar who first seized the chief power. 
Render therefore unto Ccesar the things which are Caesar's; 
i. e. the coin, tribute, or money. Hilary; For if there 
remain with us nothing that is Caesar'*s, we shall not be bound 
by the condition of rendering to him the things that are his; 
but if we lean upon what is his, if we avail ourselves of the 
lawful protection of his power, we cannot complain of it as any 
wrong if we are required to render to Caesar the things of Caesar. 
Chrys. But when you hear this command to render to 
Caesar the things of Caesar, know that such things only are 
intended which in nothing are opposed to religion; if si ch 
there be, it is no longer Caesar's but the Devil's tribute. 
And moreover, that they might not say that He was subject- 
ing them to man, He adds, And unto God the things that 
are God's. Jerome ; That is, tithes, first-fruits, oblation, 
and victims ; as the Lord Himself rendered to Caesar tribute, 
both for Himself and for Peter ; and also rendered unto God 
the things that are God's in doing the will of His Father. 


Hilary; It behoves us also to render unto God the things 
that are His, namely, body, soul, and will. For Caesar's coin 
is in the gold, in which His image was pourtrayed, that is, 
God's coin, on which the Divine image is stamped; give there- 
fore your money to Caesar, but preserve a conscience void of 
offence for God. 

Origen; From this place we learn by the Saviour's 
example not to be allured by those things which have 
many voices for them, and thence seem famous, but to 
incline rather to those things which are spoken according to 
some method of reason. But we may also understand this 
place morally, that we ought to give some things to the 
body as a tribute to Caesar, that is to say, necessaries. And 
such things as are congenial to our souls' nature, that is, such 
things as lead to virtue, those we ought to offer to God. They 
then who without any moderation inculcate the law of God, 
and command us to have no care for the things required by 
the body, are the Pharisees, who forbad to give tribute to 
1 Tim. Caesar, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain 
' * from meats, which God hath created. They, on the other 
hand, who allow too much indulgence to the body are the 
Herodians. But our Saviour would neither that virtue 
should be enfeebled by immoderate devotedness to the 
flesh; nor that our fleshly nature should be oppressed by 
our unremitting efforts after virtue. Or the prince of this 
world, that is, the Devil, is called Caesar; and we cannot 
render to God the things that are God's, unless we have first 
rendered to this prince all that is his, that is, have cast off all 
wickedness. This moreover let us learn from this place, that 
to those who tempt us we should neither be totally silent, nor 
yet answer openly, but with caution, to cut off all occasion 
from those who seek occasion in us, and teach without blame 
the things which may save those who are willing to be saved. 
Jerome; They who ought to have believed did but 
wonder at His great wisdom, that their craft had found no 
means for ensnaring Him: whence it follows. When they had 
heard these words, they marvelled, and left Him, and went 
their way, carrying away their unbelief and wonder together. 

23. The same day came to him the Sadducees, 

VER. 23 33. ST. MATTHEW. • 753 

which say that there is no resurrection, and asked 

24. Saying, Master, Moses said. If a man die, 
having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, 
and raise up seed unto his brother. 

25. Now there were with us seven brethren : and 
the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, 
having no issue, left his wife unto his brother : 

26. Likewise the second also, and the third, unto 
the seventh. 

27. And last of all the woman died also. 

28. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall 
she be of the seven ? for they all had her. 

29. Jesus answered and said unto them. Ye do err, 
not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. 

30. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor 
are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God 
in heaven. 

31. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, 
have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by 
God, saying, 

32. I am the God of Abraham, and the God of 
Isaac, and the God of Jacob ? God is not the God of 
the dead, but of the living. 

33. And when the multitude heard this, they were 
astonished at his doctrine. 

Chrys. The disciples of the Pharisees with the Herodians 
being thus confuted, the Sadducees next offer themselves, 
whereas the overthrow of those before them ought to have 
kept them back. But presumption is shameless, stubborn, 
and ready to attempt things impossible. So the Evangelist, 
wondering at their folly, expresses this, saying. The same day 
came to him. the Sadducees. Pseudo-Chrys. As soon as the 
Pharisees were gone, came the Sadducees ; perhaps with like 
intent, for there was a strife among them who should be the 

VOL. I. 3 c .. 


first to seize Him. Or if by argument they should not be 
able to overcome Him, they might at least by perseverance 
wear out His understanding. Jerome ; There were two 
sects among the Jews, the Pharisees and the Sadducees ; the 
Pharisees pretended to the righteousness of traditions and 
observances, whence they were called by the people * separate.' 
The Sadducees (the word is intei'preted * righteous') also 
passed themselves for what they were not; and whereas the 
first believed the resurrection of body and soul, and confessed 
both Angel and spirit, these, according to the Acts of the 

Acts 23, Apostles, denied them all, as it is here also said, Who say 
that there is no resurrectio7i. Origen; They not only 
denied the resurrection of the body, but took away the 
immortality of the soul. Pseudo-Chrys. For the Devil 
finding himself unable to crush utterly the religion of God, 
brought in the sect of the Sadducees denying the resurrection 
of the dead, thus breaking down all purpose of a righteous life, 
for who is there would endure a daily struggle against him- 

^^reg. self, unless he looked to the hope of the resurrection ? Greg. 

xiv. 55. But there are who observing that the spirit is loosed from the 
body, that the flesh is turned to corruption, that the corrup- 
tion is reduced to dust, and that the dust again is resolved into 
the elements, so as to be unseen by human eyes, despair of 
the possibility of a resurrection, and while they look upon 
the dry bones, doubt that they can be clothed with flesh, and 

Aug. be quickened anew to life. Aug. But that earthy matter 

88. * of which the flesh of men is made perishes not before God ; 
but into whatsoever dust or ashes reduced, into whatsoever 
gases or vapours dispersed, into whatsoever other bodies 
incorporated, though resolved into the elements, though 
become the food or part of the flesh of animals or men, yet is 
it in a moment of time restored to that human soul, which at 
the first quickened it that it became man, lived and grew. 
Pseudo-Chrys. But the Sadducees thought they had now 
discovered a most convincing argument in favour of their 

Chrys. error. Chrys. For because death to the Jews, who did all 

non occ. ^^jj^j^gg fQj. ^]^e present life, seemed an unmixed evil, Moses 
ordered that the wife of one who died without sons should be 
given to his brother, that a son might be born to the dead 
man by his brother, and his name should not perish, which 

VER. 23 33. ST. MATTHEW. 755 

was some alleviation of death. And none other but a brother 
or relation was commanded to take the wife of the dead ; 
otherwise the child born would not have been considered the 
son of the dead ; and also because a stranger could have no 
concern in establishing the house of him that was dead, as a 
brother whose kindred obliged him thereto. Jerome ; As 
they disbelieved the resurrection of the body, and supposed 
that the soul perished with the body, they accordingly invent 
a fable to display the fondness of the belief of a resuiTcction. 
Thus they put forward a base fiction to overthrow the verity 
of the resurrection, and conclude with asking, m the resurrec- 
tion whose shall she be? Though it might be that such an 
instance might really occiu" in their nation. 

Aug. Mystically; by these seven brethren are understood the -^ug. 
wicked, who could not bring forth the fruit of righteousness in Ev.i.32. 
the earth through all the seven ages of the world, during which 
this earth has being, for afterwards this earth also shall pass 
away, through which all those seven passed away unfruitful. 

Pseudo-Chrys. Wisely does He first convict them of 
folly, in that they did not read; and afterwards of ignorance, 
in that they did not know God. For of diligence in reading 
springs knowledge of God, but ignorance is the offspring 
of neglect. Jerome ; They therefore err because they know 
not the Scriptures ; and because they know not the power 
of God. Origen ; Two things there are which He says 
they know not, the Scriptures and the power of God, by 
which is brought to pass the resurrection, and the new life 
in it. Or by the power of God, which the Lord here con- 
victs the Sadducees that they knew not, He intends Plimself, 
who was the power of God; and Him they knew not, asiCor. i, 
not knowing the Scriptures which spoke of Him ; and thence " 
also they believed not the resurrection, which He should 
effect. But it is asked when the vSaviour says. Ye do err 
not knowing the Scriptures, if He means that this text. 
They neither marry, 7ior are given in marriage, is in some 
Scripture, though it is not read in the Old Testament? We 
say that these very words are indeed not found, but that the 
truth is in a mystery implied in the moral sense of Scripture ; 
the Law, which is a shadow of good things to come, whenever 
it speaks of husbands and wives, speaks chiefly of spiritual 

3 c 2 


wedlock. But neither this do I find any where spoken in 
Scripture that the Saints shall be after their departure as the 
Angels of God, unless one will understand this also to be 
Gen. 15, inferred morally; as where it is said, Attd thou shall go to 
Gen.ib, thy fathers, and He was gathered to his people. Or one 
^' may say; He blamed them that they read not the other 

Scriptures which are besides the Law, and therefore they 
erred. Another says, That they knew not the Scriptures 
of the Mosaic Law, for this reason, that they did not sift 
their divine sense. Pseudo-Chrys. Or, when He says, In 
the 7'esurrection they neither marry nor are given in mar- 
riage, He referred to what He had said. Ye know not the 
power of God ; but when He proceeded, / am the God of 
Abraham, 8^c. to that Ye know not the Scriptures. And 
thus ought we to do ; to cavillers first to set forth Scripture 
authority on any question, and then to shew the grounds of 
reason; but to those who ask out of ignorance to shew first 
the reason, and then the authority. For cavillers ought 
to be refuted, enquirers taught. To these then who put 
their question in ignorance, He first shews the reason, saying, 
In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in 
marriage. Jerome ; In these words the Latin language 
cannot follow the Greek idiom. For the Latin word 'nubere' 
is correctly said only of the woman. But we must take it 
so as to understand marry of men, to he given in marriage 
of women. Pseudo-Chrys. In this life that we may die, 
therefore are we born ; and we marry to the end that that 
which death consumes, birth may replenish; therefore where 
the law of death is taken away, the cause of birth is taken 
away likewise. Hilary; It had been enough to have cut 
off this opinion of the Sadducees of sensual enjoyment, that 
where the function ceased, the empty pleasure of the body 
accompanying it ceased also ; but He adds, But are as the 
Angels of God in heaven. Chrys. Which is an apt reply 
to their question. For their reason forjudging that there 
would be no resurrection, was that they supposed that their 
condition when risen would be the same ; this reason then 
He removes by shewing that their condition would be altered. 
Pseudo-Chrys. It should be noted, that when He spoke of 
fasting-, alms, and other spiritual virtues, He did not bring 

VER. 23 — 33. ST. MATTHEW. 757 

in the comparison of Angels, but only here where He speaks 
of the ceasing of marriage. For as all acts of the flesh are 
animal acts, but this of lust especially so ; so all the virtues 
are angelic acts, but especially chastity, by which our nature 
is bound to the other virtues. Jerome ; This that is added, 
But are as the Angels of God in Jieaven, is an assurance 
that our conversation in heaven shall be spiritual. Dionys. Dionys. 
For then when we shall be incorruptible and immortal, by Noml L 
the visible presence of God Himself we shall be filled with 
most chaste contemplations, and shall share the gift of light 
to the understanding in our impassible and immaterial soul 
after the fashion of the exalted souls in heaven ; on which 
account it is said that we shall be equal to the Angels. 
Hilary ; The same cavil that the Sadducees here offer 
respecting marriage is renewed by many who ask in what 
form the female sex shall rise again. But what the authority 
of Scripture leads us to think concerning the Angels, so 
must we suppose that it will be with women in the resur- 
rection of our species. Aug. To me they seem to think Aug. de 
most iustly, who doubt not that both sexes shall rise C^T.-I^ei, 
again. For there shall be no desire which is the cause of 
confusion, for before they had sinned they were naked; and 
that nature which they then had shall be preserved, which 
was quit both of conception and of child-birth. Also the 
members of the woman shall not be adapted to their former 
use, but framed for a new beauty, one by which the beholder 
is not allured to lust, which shall not then be, but God's 
wisdom and mercy shall be praised, which made that to 
be which was not, and delivered from corruption that which 
was made. Jerome ; For none could say of a stone and 
a tree or inanimate things, that they shall not marry nor 
be given in marriage, but of such things only as having 
capacity for marriage, shall yet in a sort not marry. Raban. 
These things which are spoken concerning the conditions of 
the resurrection He spoke in answer to their enquiry, but of 
the resurrection itself He replies aptly against their unbehef. 
Chrys. And because they had put forward Moses in their 
question. He confutes them by Moses, adding. But concern- 
ing the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read. Jerome ; 
In proof of the resurrection there were many plainer passages 


Is. £G which He might have cited ; among others that of Isaiah, 
2L).jux- The dead shall he raised; they that are in the tombs shall rise 
ian! again : and in another place, Many of them that sleep in the 
^^>2- dust of the earth shall awake. It is enquired therefore why 
the Lord should have chosen, this testimony which seems 
ambiguous, and not sufficiently belonging to the truth of the 
resurrection; and as if by thi$ He had proved the point adds. 
He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. We have 
said above that the Sadducees confessed neither Angel, nor 
spirit, nor resunection of the body, and taught also the death 
of the soul. But they also received only the five books of 
Moses, rejecting the Prophets. It would have been foolish 
therefore to have brought forward testimonies whose authority 
they did not admit. To prove the immortality of souls there- 
fore, He brings forward an instance out of Moses, / am the 
God of Abraham, ^c. and then straight subjoins. He is not the 
God of the dead, hut of the living ; so that having established 
that souls abide after death, (forasmuch as God could not be 
the God of those who had no existence any where,) there 
might fitly come in the resurrection of bodies which had toge- 
ther with their souls done good or evil. Chrys. How then 
Rom. is it said in another place, Whether we live or die, we are the 

14 8 ... 

' ' Lord's. This which is said here differs from that. The dead 
are the Lord's, those, that is, who are to live again, not 
those who have disappeared for ever, and shall not rise again. 
Hilary; It should be further considered, that this was said 
to Moses at a time when those holy Patriarchs had gone to 
their rest. They therefore of whom He was the God were in 
being; for they could have had nothing, if they had not been 
in being ; for in the nature of things that, of which somewhat else 
is, must have itself a being ; so they who have a God must 
themselves be alive, since God is eternal, and it is not possible 
that that which is dead should have that which is eternal. How 
then shall it be affirmed that those do not, and shall not here- 
after, exist, of whom Eternity itself has said that He is? Origen; 
Ex. 3, God moreover is He who says, / am that I am; so that it is 

1 A 

impossible that He should be called the God of those who 
are not. And see that He said not, I am the God of Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob, but The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, 
and the God of Jacob. But in another place He said thus, 

VER. 23 — 83. ST. MATTHEW. * 759 

The Ood of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee. For they Exod. 

•^ 7 16. 

who ill comparison of other men are most perfect before God, 
have God entirely in them, wherefore He is not said to be 
their God in common, but of each in particular. As when 
we say. That farm is theirs, we shew that each of them does 
not own the whole of it ; but when we say. That farm is his, 
we mean that he is owner of the whole of it. When then it 
is said. The God of the Hebrews, this shews their imperfec- 
tion, that each of them has some small portion in God. But 
it is said, The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the 
God of Jacob, because each one of these possessed G od en- 
tirely. And it is to the no small honour of the Patriarchs 
that they lived to God. Aug. Seasonably may we confiite Aug. 
the Manichseans by this same passage by which the Sadducees p^aust. 
were then confuted, forthey too though in another manner deny xvi. 24. 
the resurrection. Id. God is therefore called in particular Aug. in 
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God o/'i°^"' q 

, ./ 7 J ir. X1.8. 

Jacob, because in these three are expressed all the modes of 
begetting the sons of God. For God begets most times of a 
good preacher a good son, and of a bad preacher a bad son. 
This is signified in Abraham, who of a free woman had a 
believing son, and of a bondslave an unbelieving son. Some- 
times indeed of a good preacher He begets both good and 
bad sons, which is signified in Isaac, who of the same free 
woman begot one good and the other bad. And sometimes 
He begets good sons both of good and bad preachers ; which 
is signified in Jacob, who begot good sons both of free women 
and of bondmaids. Pseudo-Chrys. And see how the assault 
of the Jews against Christ becomes more faint. Their first 
challenge was in a threatening tone. By what autliorlty doest 
thou these things, to oppose which firmness of spirit was 
needed. Their second was with guile, to meet which was 
needed wisdom. This last was with ignorant presumption 
which is easier to cope with than the others. For he that 
thinks he knows somewhat, when he knows nothing, is an easy 
conquest for one who has understanding. Thus the attacks 
of an enemy are vehement at first, but if one endure them 
with a courageous spirit, he will find them more feeble. 
And ivhen the multitudes heard tfiis, they icere astonished at 
his doctrijie, Remig. Not the Sadducees but the multitudes 



were astonished. This is daily done in the Church ; when by 
Divine inspiration the adversaries of the Church are over- 
come, the multitude of the faithful rejoice. 

34. But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put 
the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. 

35. Then one of them, which was a Lawyer, asked 
him a question, tempting him, and saying, 

36. Master, which is the great commandment in 
the Law ? 

37. Jesus said unto him. Thou shalt love the Lord 
thy God wdth all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and 
with all thy mind. 

38. This is the first and great commandment. 

39. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love 
thy neighbour as thyself. 

40. On these two commandments hang all the Law 
and the Prophets. 

Jerome. The Pharisees having been themselves already 
confiited (in the matter of the denarius), and now seeing their 
adversaries also overthrown, should have taken warning to 
attempt no further deceit against Him ; but hate and jealousy 
are the parents of impudence. Origen ; Jesus had put the 
Sadducees to silence, to shew that the tongue of falsehood is 
silenced by the brightness of truth. For as it belongs to the 
righteous man to be silent when it is good to be silent, and 
to speak when it is good to speak, and not to hold his peace ; 
so it belongs to every teacher of a lie not indeed to be silent, 
but to be silent as far as any good purpose is concerned. 
Jerome ; The Pharisees and Sadducees, thus foes to one an- 
other, unite in one common purpose to tempt Jesus. Pseudo- 
Chrys. Or the Pharisees meet together, that their numbers 
may silence Him whom their reasonings could not confute ; 
thus, while they array numbers against Him, shewing that 
truth failed them ; they said among themselves, Let one 
speak for all, and all speak, through one, so if He prevail, the 
victory may seem to belong to all ; if He be overthrown, the 
defeat may rest with Him alone -, so it follows. Then one of 

VER. 34 — 40. ST. MATTHEW. 761 

them, a teacher of the Law, asked him a question, teinpting 
him. Origen; All who thus ask questions of any teacher to 
try him, and not to learn of him, we must regard as brethren of 
this Pharisee, according to what is said below, Inasmuch Matt. 
as ye have done it unto one of the least of mine, ye have done ' 
it unto me. Aug. Let no one find a difficulty in this, that Aug. de 
Matthew speaks of this man as putting his question to tempt g^, {\^ 
the Lord, whereas Mark does not mention this, but concludes '^^• 
with what the Lord said to him upon his answering wisely. 
Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. For it is pos- Mark 
sible that, though he came to tempt, yet the Lord's answer ' 
may have wrought correction within him. Or, the tempting 
here meant need not be that of one designing to deceive an 
enemy, but rather the cautious approach of one making 
proof of a stranger. And that is not written in vain. 
Whoso helieveth lightly, he is of a vain heart. Origen ;Ecclus. 
He said Master tempting Him, for none but a disciple would ' 
thus address Christ. Whoever then does not learn of the 
Word, nor yields himself wholly up to it, yet calls it Master, 
he is brother to this Pharisee thus tempting Christ. Perhaps 
while they read the Law before the Saviour's coming, it was 
a question among them which was the great commandment 
in it ; nor would the Pharisee have asked this, if it had not 
been long time enquired among themselves, but never found 
till Jesus came and declared it. Pseudo-Chrys. He who 
now enquires for the greatest commandment had not observed 
the least. He only ought to seek for a higher righteousness 
who has fulfilled the lower. Jerome ; Or he enquhes not 
for the sake of the commands, but which is the first and great 
commandment, that seeing all that God commands is great, 
he may have occasion to cavil whatever the answer be. 
Pseudo-Chrys. But the Lord so answers him, as at once to 
lay bare the dissimulation of his enquiry, Jesus saith unto 
him. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, 
with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. Thou shalt love, 
not 'fear,' for to love is more than to fear; to fear belongs to 
slaves, to love to sons ; fear is in compulsion, love in freedom. 
Whoso serves God in fear escapes punishment, but has not 
the reward of righteousness because he did well unwillingly 
through fear. God does not desire to be served servilely by 


men as a master, but to be loved as a father, for that He has 
given the spirit of adoption to men. But to love God with 
the whole heart, is to have the heart inclined to the love of 
no one thing more than of God. To love God again with 
the whole soul is to have the mind stayed upon the truth, 
and to be firm in the faith. For the love of the heart and 
the love of the soul are different. The first is in a sort 
carnal, that we should love God even with our flesh, which 
we cannot do unless we first depart fi'om the love of the 
things of this world. The love of the heart is felt in the 
heart, but the love of the soul is not felt, but is perceived 
because it consists in a judgment of the soul. For he who 
believes that all good is in God, and that without Him is no 
good, he loves God with his whole soul. But to love God 
with the whole mind, is to have all the faculties open and 
unoccupied for Him. He only loves God with his whole 
mind, whose intellect ministers to God, whose wisdom is em- 
ployed about God, whose thoughts travail in the things of 
God, and whose memoiy holds the things which are good. 
Aug. Aug. Or otherwise ; You are commanded to love God with 
Christ*'^^^^ ^//j/ heart, that your whole thoughts — with all thy soul, 
i. 22. that your whole life — with all thy mind, that your whole 
understanding — may be given to Him from whom you have 
that you give. Thus He has left no part of our life v/hich 
may justly be unfilled of Him, or give place to the desire after 
» alia re any other final good^; but if aught else present itself for the 
^^^* soul's love, it should be absorbed into that channel in v/hich the 
whole current of love runs. For man is then the most perfect 
2 al. bo- when his whole life tends towards the life^ unchangeable, and 
S™.' clings to it with the whole purpose of his soul. Gloss. Or, with 
interim, all tJiy heart,!. G. understanding; with all thy soul, i.e. thy will; 
witli all thy mind,\, e. memory; so you shall think, will, remem- 
ber nothing contrary to Him. Origen ; Or otherwise ; With 
all thy heart, that is, in all recollection, act, thought ; with 
all thy soul, to be ready, that is, to lay it down for God's 
religion ; with all thy mind, bringing forth nothing but what 
is of God. And consider whether you cannot thus take the 
heart of the understanding, by which we contemplate things 
intellectual, and the mind of that by which we utter thoughts, 
walking as it were with the mind through each expression. 

VER. 34 — 40. ST. MATTHEW. ' 763 

and uttering it. If the Lord had given no answer to the 
Pharisee who thus tempted Him, we should have judged 
that there was no commandment greater than the rest. But 
when the Lord adds, This is the Jirst and great command- 
ment, we learn how we ought to think of the commandments, 
that there is a great one, and that there are less down to the 
least. And the Lord says not only that it is a great, but that 
it is the first commandment, not in order of Scripture, but 
in supremacy of value. They only take upon them the 
greatness and supremacy of this precept, who not only love the 
Lord their God, but add these three conditions. Nor did He 
only teach the first and great commandment, but added that 
there was a second like unto the first. Thou shalt love thy 
neighbour as thyself. But if Whoso loveth iniquity hath Ps.11,5. 
hated his own soul, it is manifest that he does not love his 
neighbour as himself, when he does not love himself. Aug. 
It is clear that every man is to be regarded as a neighbour, c^rS. 
because evil is to be done to no man. Further, if eveiy one i- so. 

• vid. 

to whom we are bound to shew service of mercy, or who is 
bound to shew it to us, be rightly called our neighbour, it is ^^• 
manifest that in this precept are comprehended the holy 
Angels who perform for us those services of which we may 
read in Scripture. Whence also our Lord Himself would 
be called our neighbour ; for it was Himself whom He repre- 
sents as the good Samaritan, who gave succour to the 
man who was left half-dead by the way. Id. He that Aug. de 
loves men ought to love them either because they are ^j[?"j, 
righteous, or that they may be righteous ; and so also ought 
he to love himself either for that he is, or that he may be 
righteous. And thus without peril he may love his neighbour 
as himself. Id. But if even yourself you ought not to love Aug. de 
for your own sake, but because of Him in whom is the ^^rist i. 
rightful end of your love, let not another man be displeased 22. 
that you love even him for God's sake. Whoso then rightly 
loves his neighbour, ought to endeavour with him that he also 
with his whole heart love God. Pseudo-Chrys. But who 
loves man is as who loves God; for man is God's image, 
wherein God is loved, as a King is honoured in his statue. 
For this cause this commandment is said to be like the first. 
Hilary; Or otherwise ; That the second command is" like ^^-...^ 

^\ ......... 


the first signifies that the obligation and merit of both are alike ; 
for no love of God without Christ, or of Christ without God, 
can profit to salvation. 

It follows, On these two commandments hang all the Law 

Aug. and the Prophets. Aug. Hang^ that is, refer thither as their 

Ev.i.33.^^^^* Haban. For to these two commandments belongs the 

whole decalogue ; the commandments of the first table to 

the love of God, those of the second to the love of our 

neighbour. Origen; Or, because he that has fulfilled the 

things that are written concerning the love of God and our 

neighbom', is worthy to receive from God the great reward, 

that he should be enabled to understand the Law and the 

-f"^-. Prophets. Aug. Since there are two commandments, the 

de Trin. 

viii. 7. love of God and the love of our neighbour, on which hang 

the Law and the Prophets, not without reason does Scripture 

put one for both ; sometimes the love of God ; as in that, 

Rom. 8, We know that all things work together for good to them that 

love God ; and sometimes the love of our neighbour; as in 

Gal. 5, that. All the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, TJiou 

shall love thy neighhour as thyself. And that because if a 

man love his neighbour, it follows therefrom that he loves 

God also ; for it is the selfsame affection by which we love 

God, and by which we love our neighbour, save that we love 

God for Himself, but ourselves and our neighbour for God's 

Aug. De sake. Id. But since the Divine substance is more excellent 

Christ. i.^i^^i higher than our nature, the command to love God is 

30.et26. (jigtinct from that to love our neighbour. But if by yourself, 

you understand your whole self, that is both your soul and 

your body, and in like manner of your neighbour, there is no 

sort of things to be loved omitted in these commands. The 

love of God goes first, and the rule thereof is so set out to us 

as to make all other loves center in that, so that nothing seems 

said of loving yourself But then follows, Thon shall love 

thy neighbour as thyself, so that love of yourself is not 


41. While the Pharisees were gathered together, 
Jesus asked them, 

42. Saying, What think ye of Christ ? whose son 
is he ? They say unto him. The Son of David. 

VER. 41 46. ST. MATTHEW. 765 

43. He saith unto them. How then doth David in 
spirit call him Lord, saying, 

44. The Lord saith unto my Lord, Sit thou on my 
right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool ? 

45. If David then call him Lord, how is he his 
son ? 

46. And no man was able to answer him a word, 
neither durst any man from that day forth ask him 
any more questions. 

Pseudo-Chrys. The Jews tempted Christ, supposing Him 
to be mere man; had they believed Him to be the Son of 
God, they would not have tempted Him. Christ therefore, 
willing to shew that He knew the treachery of their hearts, 
and that He was God, yet would not declare this truth to them 
plainly, that they might not take occasion thence to charge Him 
with blasphemy, and yet would not totally conceal this truth ; 
because to that end had He come that He should preach 
the truth ; He therefore puts a question to them, such as 
should declare to them who He was; What think ye of 
Christ? whose Son is He? Chrys. He first asked His Chrys. 
disciples what others said of Christ, and then what theyj^°^* 
themselves said; but not so to these. For they would have 
said that He was a deceiver, and wicked. They thought that 
Christ was to be mere man, and therefore they say unto 
Him^ The Son of David. To reprove this. He brings forward 
the Prophet, witnessing His dominion, proper Sonship, and 
His joint honour with His Father. Jerome; This passage 
is out of the 109th Psalm. Christ is therefore called David's 
Lord, not in respect of His descent from him, but in respect 
of His eternal generation from the Father, wherein He was 
before His fleshly Father. And he calls Him Lord, not by 
a mere chance, nor of his own thought, but by the Holy 
Spirit. Remig. That He says, Sit thou on my right hand, 
is not to be taken as though God had a body, and either a 
right hand or a left hand; but to sit on the right hand of God 
is to abide in the honour and equality of the Father's majesty. 
Pseudo-Chrys. I suppose that He formed this question, not 
only against the Pharisees, but also against the heretics ; for 


according to the flesh He was truly David's Son, but his 
Lord according to His Godhead. Chrys. But He rests 
not with this, but that they may fear, He adds, Till I make 
thine enemies thy footstool ; that at least by terror He might 
gain them. Origen; For God puts Christ's enemies as a 
footstool beneath His feet, for their salvation as well as their 
destruction. Remig. But till is used for indefinite time, 
that the meaning be, Sit Thou for ever, and for ever hold 
Gloss, thine enemies beneath thy feet. Gloss. That it is by the 
selm °" Father that the enemies are put under the Son, denotes not 
the Son's weakness, but the union of His nature with His 
Father. For the Son also puts under Him the Father's 
enemies, when He glorifies His name upon earth. He 
concludes from this authority. If David then call Him Lord, 
how is He his son? Jerome; This question is still available 
for us against the Jews; for these who believe that Christ is 
yet to come, assert that He is a mere man, though a holy one, 
of the race of David. Let us then thus taught by the Lord 
ask them. If He be mere man, and only the Son of David, 
how does David call Him his Lord? To evade the truth 
of this question, the Jews invent many frivolous answers. 
They allege Abraham's steward, he whose son was Eliezer 
of Damascus, and say that this Psalm was composed in his 
person, when after the overthrow of the five kings, the Lord 
God said to his lord Abraham, Sit thou on my right hand, 
till I make thine enemies thy footstool. Let us ask how 
Abraham could say the things that follow, and compel them 
to tell us how Abraham was bom before Lucifer, and how he 
was a Priest after the order of Melchisedech, for whom Mel- 
chisedech brought bread and wine, and of whom he received 
tithes of the spoil } Chrys. This conclusion He put to their 
questionings, as final, and sufiicient to stop their mouth. 
Henceforward accordingly they held their peace, not by their 
own good- will, but fi-om not having aught to say. Origen ; 
For had their question sprung of desire to know, He would 
never have proposed to them such things as should have 
deterred them fi*om asking further. Raban. Hence we learn 
that the poison of jealousy may be overcome, but can hardly 
of itself rest at peace. 


1. Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his 

2. Saying, The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in 
Moses' seat : 

3. All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, 
that observe and do ; but do not ye after their works : 
for they say, and do not. 

4. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be 
borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they 
themselves will not move them with one of their 

Pseudo-Chrys. When the Lord had overthrown the 
Priests by His answer, and shewn their condition to be 
irremediable, forasmuch as clergy, when they do wickedly, 
cannot be amended, but laymen who have gone wrong are 
easily set right, He turns His discourse to His Apostles 
and the people. For that is an unprofitable word which 
silences one, without conveying improvement to another. 
Origen ; The disciples of Christ are better than the com- 
mon herd; and you may find in the Church such as with 
more ardent affection come to the word of God ; these 
are Christ's disciples, the rest are only His people. And 
sometimes He speaks to His disciples alone, sometimes to 
the multitudes and His disciples together, as here. The 
Scribes a?td Pharisees sit in Moses"* seat, as professing his 
Law, and boasting that they can interpret it. Those that do 
not depart from the letter of the Law are the Scribes ; those 
who make high professions, and separate themselves from the 
vulgar as better than they, are called Pharisees, which signi- 


fies ' separate.' Those who understand and expound Moses 
according to his spiritual meaning, these sit indeed on Moses' 
seat, but are neither Scribes nor Pharisees, but better than 
either, Christ's beloved disciples. Since His coming these 
have sat upon the seat of the Church, which is the seat of 
Christ. Pseudo-Chrys. But regard must be had to this, 
after what sort each man fills his seat; for not the seat makes 
the Priest, but the Priest the seat ; the place does not conse- 
crate the man, but the man the place. A wicked Priest 
Chrys. derives o^vdlt and not honour from his Priesthood. Chrys. 


Ixxii. I^ut that none should say, For this cause am I slack to 
practise, because my instructor is evil. He removes every 
such plea, saying. All therefore whatsoever they say unto 
you, that observe and do, for they speak not their own, but 
God's, which things He taught through Moses in the Law. 
And look with how great honour He speaks of Moses, shew- 
ing again what harmony there is with the Old Testament. 
Origen ; But if the Scribes and Pharisees who sit in Moses' 
seat are the teachers of the Jews, teaching the commandments 
of the LaW according to the letter, how is this that the Lord 
bids us do after all things which they say ; but the Apostles 

Acts 15, in the Acts forbid the believers to do according to the letter 
of the Law. These indeed taught after the letter, not under- 
standing the Law spiritually. Whatsoever they say to us out 
of the Law, with understanding of its sense, that we do and 
keep, not doing after their works, for they do not what the 
law enjoins, nor perceive the veil that is upon the letter of 
the Law. Or by all we are not to understand every thing in 
the Law, many things for example relating to the sacrifices, 
and the like, but such as concern our conduct. But why 
did He command this not of the Law of grace, but of the 
doctrine of Moses ? Because truly it was not the time to 
publish the commandments of the New Law before the sea- 
son of His passion. I think also that He had herein some- 
thing further in view. He was about to bring many things 
against the Scribes and Pharisees in His discourse following, 
wherefore that vain men might not think that He coveted 
their place of authority, or spoke thus out of enmity to them, 
he first puts away from Himself this suspicion, and then 
begins to reprove them, that the people might not fall into their 

VER. 1 — 4. ST. MATTHEW. 769 

faults; and that, because they ought to hear them, they 
should not think that therefore they ought to imitate them in 
their works. He adds, But do ye not after their works. What 
can be more pitiable than such a teacher, whose life to imitate 
is ruin, to refuse to follow is salvation for his disciples? 
Pseudo-Chrys. But as gold is picked out of the dross, and 
the dross is left, so hearers may take doctrine and leave prac- 
tice, for good doctrine oft comes from an evil man. But as 
Priests judge it better to teach the bad for the sake of the 
good, rather than to neglect the good for the sake of the 
bad ; so also let those who are set under them pay respect to 
the bad Priests for the sake of the good, that the good may 
not be despised because of the bad ; for it is better to give 
the bad what is not their due, rather than to defraud the 
good of what is justly theirs. Chrys. Look with what He 
begins His reproof of them. For they say, and do not. Every 
one who transgresses the Law is deserving of blame, but 
especially he who has the post of instruction. And this for a 
threefold cause ; first, because he is a transgressor ; secondly, 
because when he ought to set others right, he himself halts ; 
thirdly, because, being in the rank of a teacher, his influence 
is more corrupting. Again, He brings a fuither charge 
against them, that they oppress those that are put under 
them ; TJiey hind heavy burdens ; in this He shews a double 
evil in them ; that they exacted without any allowance the 
utmost rigour of Hfe from those that were put under them, 
while they allowed themselves large licence herein. But a 
good ruler should do the contrary of this, to be to himself a 
severe judge, to others a merciful one. Observe in what 
forcible words He utters His reproof; He says not they 
cannot, but they will not ; and not, lift them, but touch them 
with one of their fingers, Pseudo-Chrys. And to the 
Scribes and Pharisees of whom He is now speaking, heavy 
burdens not to be borne are the commandments of the Law ; 
as St. Peter speaks in the Acts, Why seek ye to put a yoke Actsidy 
upon the neck of the disciples, which neither ye nor our 
fathers were able to bear ? For commending the burdens of 
the Law by fabulous proofs, they bound as it were the shoul- 
ders of the heart of their hearers with bands, that thus tied as 
though with proof of reason to them, they might not fling 
VOL. I. 3d 


them off; but themselves did not in the least measure fulfil 

them, that is, not only did not wholly, but did not so much 

Gloss, as attempt to. Gloss. Or, hind burdens^ that is, rather 

interim. . . . . ^ <-> 

traditions from all sides, not to aid, but to burden the con- 
science. Jerome ; But all these things, the shoulders, the 
finger, the burdens, and the bands with which they bind the 
burdens, have a spiritual meaning. Herein also the Lord 
speaks generally against all masters who enjoin high things, 
but do not even little things. Pseudo-Chrys. Such also are 
they who lay a heavy burden upon those who come to peni- 
tence, so that while men would avoid present punishment, 
they overlook that which is to come. For if you lay upon a 
boy's shoulders a burden more than he can bear, he must 
needs either cast it off, or be broken down by it ; so the man 
on whom you lay too grievous a burden of penance must 
either wholly refuse it, or if he submit himself to it will find 
himself unable to bear it, and so be offended, and sin worse. 
Also, if we should be wTong in imposing too light a penance, 
is it not better to hav e to answer for mercy than for severity ? 
Where the master of the household is liberal, the steward 
should not be oppressive. If God be kind, should His Priest 
be harsh ? Do you seek thereby the character of sanctity ? 
Be strict in ordering your own life, in that of others lenient; 
let men hear of you as enjoining little, and performing much. 
The Priest who gives licence to himself, and exacts the 
utmost from others, is like a corrupt tax-gatherer in the state, 
who to ease himself taxes others heavily. 

5. But all their works they do for to be seen of 
men : they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge 
the borders of their garments, 

6. And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and 
the chief seats in the synagogues, 

7. And greetings in the markets, and to be called 
of men. Rabbi, Rabbi. 

8. But be not ye called Rabbi : for one is your 
Master, even Christ ; and all ye are brethren. 

9. And call no man your father upon the earth : 
for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 

VER. 5 — 12. ST. MATTHEW. 771 

10. Neither be ye called masters : for one is your 
Master, even Christ. 

11. But he that is greatest among you shall be 
your servant. 

12. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be 
abased ; and he that shall humble himself shall be 

Chrys. The Lord had charged the Scribes and Pha- 
risees with harshness and neglect; He now brings for- 
ward their vain-glory, which made them depart from God. 
Pseudo-Chrys. Every substance breeds in itself that which 
destroys it, as wood the worm, and garments the moth ; 
so the Devil strives to corrupt the ministry of the Priests, 
who are ordained for the edification of holiness, endea- 
vouring that this good, while it is done to be seen of 
men, should be turned into evil. Take away this fault 
from the clergy, and you will have no further labour in their 
reform, for of this it comes that a clergyman who has sinned 
can hardly perform penance. Also the Lord here points out 
the cause why they could not believe in Christ, because 
nearly all they did was in order to be seen of men; for he 
whose desire is for earthly glory from men, cannot believe on 
Christ who preaches things heavenly. I have read one who 
interprets this place thus. In Moses^ seat, that is, in the 
rank and degree instituted by Moses, the Scribes and Phari- 
sees are seated unvrorthily, forasmuch as they preached to 
others the Law which foretold Christ's coming, but them- 
selves did not receive Him when come. For this cause He 
exhorts the people to hear the Law which they preached, 
that is, to believe in Christ who was preached by the Law, 
but not to follow the Scribes and Pharisees in their disbelief 
of Him. And He shews the reason why they preached the 
coming of Christ out of the Law, yet did not believe on Him ; 
namely, because they did not preach that Christ should come 
through any desire of His coming, but that they might be 
seen by men to be doctors of the Law. Origen ; And their 
works likewise they do to be seen of men, using outward 
circumcision, taking away actual leaven out of their houses, 

3 D 2 


and doing such like things. But Christ's disciples fulfil the 
Rom. 2, La^^ in things secret, being Jews inwardly, as the Apostle 
speaks. Chrys. Note the intensive force of the words of 
His reproofs. He says not merely that they do their works 
to be seen of men, but added, all their works. And not only 
in great things but in some things trivial they were vainglo- 
rious, Tliey make hroad their fhylacteries and enlarge the 
borders of their garments. Jerome; For the Lord, when 
He had given the commandments of the Law through Moses, 
Deut.6, added at the end, And thou shall hind them for a sign upon 
^' thine hand, and they shall he ever before thine eyes; the 

meaning of which is. Let my precepts be in thine hand so as 
to be fulfilled in thy works ; let them be before thine eyes so 
as that thou shalt meditate upon them day and night. This 
the Pharisees misinterpretmg, wrote on parchments the 
Decalogue of Moses, that is, the Ten Commandments, and 
folding them up, tied them on their forehead, so making 
them a crown for their head, that they should be always before 
their eyes. Moses had in another place given command that 
Nnmb, they should make fringes of blue in the borders of their 
15,39. gai;ingnts, to distinguish the people of Israel; that as in their 
bodies circumcision, so in their garments the fringe, might 
discriminate the Jewish nation. But these superstitious 
teachers, catching at popular favour, and making gain of silly 
women, made broad hems, and fastened them with sharp pins, 
that as they walked or sat they might be pricked, and by 
such monitors be recalled to the duties of God's ministry. 
This embroidery then of the Decalogue they called phylac- 
teries, that is, conservatories, because those who wore them, 
wore them for their own protection and security. So little 
did the Pharisees understand that they were to be worn on 
the heart and not on the body ; for in equal degree may cases 
and chests be said to have books, which assuredly have not 
the knowledge of God. Pseudo-Chrys. But after their 
example do many invent Hebrew names of Angels, and write 
them, and bind them on themselves, and they seem dreadful 
to such as are without understanding. Others again wear 
round their neck a portion of the Gospel written out. But 
is not the Gospel read every day in the Church, and heard by 
all ? Those therefore who receive no profit from the Gospel 

VP:R. 5 12. ST. MATTHEW. • 773 

sounded in their ears, how shall the having them hung 
about their neck save them ? Further, wherein is the virtue 
of the Gospel ? in the shape of its letters, or in the under- 
standing its meaning? If in the characters, you do well to 
hang them round your neck ; if in their meaning, they are of 
more profit when laid up in the heart, than hung round the 
neck. But others explain this place thus. That they made 
broad their teachings concerning special observances, as 
phylacteries, or preservatives of salvation, preaching them 
continually to the people. And the broad fringes of their 
garments they explain of the same undue stress upon such 
commandments. Jerome; Seeing they thus make broad 
their phylacteries^ and make them broad fringes, desiring to 
have glory of men, they are convicted also in other things ; 
For they love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief 
seats in the synagogues. Raban. It should be noted, that He 
does not forbid those to whom this belongs by right of rank 
to be saluted in the forum, or to sit or recline in the highest 
room; but those who unduly desire these things, whether 
they obtain them or not, these He enjoins the believers to 
shun as wicked. Pseudo-Chrys. For He rebukes not those 
who recline in the highest place, but those who love such 
places, blaming the will not the deed. For to no purpose 
does he humble himself in place who exalts himself in heart. 
For some vain men hearing that it was a commendable thing 
to seat himself in the lowest place, chooses so to do ; and 
thus not only does not put away the vanity of his heart, but 
adds this additional vain ostentation of his humility, as one 
who would be thought righteous and humble. For many 
proud men take the lowest place in their bodies, but in 
haughtiness of heart think themselves to be seated among 
the highest; and there are many humble men who, placed 
among the highest, are inwardly in their own esteem among 
the lowest. Chrys. Observe where vain glory governed 
them, to wit, in the synagogues, whither they entered to 
guide others. It had been tolerable to have felt thus at 
feasts, notwithstanding that a doctor ought to be had in 
honour in all places alike, and not in the Churches only. 
But if it be blameworthy to love such things, how wrong is it 
to seek to attain them .? Pseudo-Chrys. They love the first 


salutations, first, that is, not in time only, before others ; but 
in tone, that we should say with a loud voice, Hail, Rabbi ; 
and in body that we should bow low our head ; and in place, 
that the salutation should be in public. Raban. And herein 
they are not without fault, that the same men should be 
concerned in the litigations of the forum, who in the syna- 
gogue in Moses' seat, seek to be called Rabbi by men. 
Pseudo-Chrys. That is, they wish to be called, not to be such; 
they desire the name, and neglect the duties. Origen ; And 
in the Church of Christ are found some who take to them- 
selves the uppermost places, that is, become deacons ; next 
they aspire to the chief seats of those that are called pres- 
byters; and some intrigue to be styled among men Bishop, 
that is, to be called Rabbi. But Christ's disciple loves the 
uppermost place indeed, but at the spiritual banquet, where 
he may feed on the choicer morsels of spiritual food, for, 
with the Apostles who sit upon twelve thrones, he loves the 
chief seats, and hastes by his good works to render himself 
worthy of such seats ; and he also loves salutations made in 
the heavenly market-place, that is, in the heavenly congrega- 
tions of the primitive. But the righteous man would be 
called Rabbi, neither by man, nor by any other, because 
there is One Master of all men. Chrys. Or otherwise; Of 
the foregoing things with which He had charged the 
Pharisees, He now passes over many as of no weight, 
and such as His disciples needed not to be instiTicted in; 
but that wdiich was the cause of all evils, namely, ambition 
of the master's seat, that He insists upon to instruct His 
disciples. Pseudo-Chrys. Be not ye called Rabbi, that 
ye take not to yourselves what belongs to God. And call 
not others Rabbi, that ye pay not to men a divine honour. 
For One is the Master of all, who instructs all men by 
nature. For if man were taught by man, all men would 
learn that have teachers ; but seeing it is not man that teaches, 
but God, many are taught, but icw learn. Man cannot by 
teaching impart an understanding to man, but that under- 
standing which is given by God man calls forth by schooling. 
Hilary ; And that the disciples may ever remember that they 
^n^"* ^^^ ^^^ children of one parent, and that by their new birth 
Helvid. they have passed the limits of their earthly origin. Jerome ; 

Jl 0« 

VER. 5 12. ST. MATTHEW. • 775 

All men may be called brethren in afFection, which is of two 
kinds, general and particular. Particular, by which all 
Christians are brethren ; general, by which all men being 
born of one Father are bound together by hke tie of kindred. 
Pseudo-Chrys. And call no man your Father vpon earth ; 
because in this world though man begets man, yet there is 
one Father who created all men. For we have not beginning 
of life from our parents, but we have our life transmitted 
through lhem\ Origen ; But who calls no man father upon 
earth } He who in every action done as before God, says, 
Our Father^ which art in Heaven. Gloss. Because it was Gloss. 
clear who was the Father of all, by this which was said, ^^^ "^^* 
Whicti art in Heaven., He would teach them who was the 
Master of all, and therefore repeats the same command con- 
cerning a master, Neitlter he ye called masters; for one is 
your Master, even Christ. Chrys. Not that when Christ is here 
said to be our Master, the Father is excluded, as neither when 
God is said to be our Father, is Christ excluded, Who is the 
Father of men. Jerome; It is a difficulty that the Apostle 
against this command calls himself the teacher of the Gentiles; 
and that in monasteries in their common conversation, 
they call one another. Father. It is to be cleared thus. It 
is one thing to be father or master by nature, another by 
sufferance. Thus when we call any man our father, we do it 
to shew respect to his age, not as regarding him as the author 
of our being. We also call men ' Master,' from resemblance 
to a real master ; and, not to use tedious repetition, as the 
One God and One Son, who are by nature, do not preclude 
us from calling others gods and sons by adoption, so the One 
Fcither and One Master, do not preclude us from speaking of 

* The Catholic doctrine is, that the of the Catholic faith consistently and 

man is born from his parents, by propa- truly, preaching that the souls of men, 

gation, but thnt the soul is immediately before they were breathed into their 

created by God, the human agency bodies, were not, nor are incorporated 

being but a certain disposition of mat- by any other but by God the Framer, 

ter — such that according to God's good Who is Creator of them as well as 

pleasure, by a law which He has ap- the bodies. Ep. 15, ad Turrib. 10. 

pointed, the gift of a soul is accorded And so St. Hilary, " Every soul is the 

to it. And thus, though a mnn's soul work of God, but the generation of the 

cannot be called the son of his parents, flesh is come from the flesh." De Trin. 

yet that compound nature of which the x. 20. Vide also Greg. Nyss. de Anim. 

soul forms part, is such. That the soul p. 934. Ambros. de Noe. 4. Hieron, 

is immediately from God by creation is in Eccles. xii. 7. 
the Catholic doctrine. St. Leo speaks 

776 GOSPEL according; to chap, xxiii. 

other fathers and masters by an abuse of the terms. Chrys. 
Not only does the Lord forbid us to seek supremacy, but 
would lead His hearer to the very opposite ; He that is 
greatest among you shall he your servant. Origen ; Or 
otherwise ; And if one minister the divine word, knowing that 
it is Christ that makes it to be fruitful, such a one professes 
himself a minister and not a master; whence it follows, He 
that is greatest among yoiiy let him he your servant. As 
Christ Himself, who was in truth our Master, professed Him- 
Luke self a minister, saying, / am in the midst of you as one that 
22, 27. qfYiinisters. And well does He conclude this prohibition of all 
vain-glory with the words. And ivhosoever shall exalt him- 
self shall he abased ; and he that shall humble himself shall 
he exalted. Remig. Which means that every one who 
thinks highly of his own deserts, shall be humbled before 
God; and every one who humbles himself concerning his 
good deeds, shall be exalted with God. 

13. But woe unto you. Scribes and Pharisees, 
hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven 
against men : for ye neither go in yourselves, nei- 
ther suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 

Origen ; Christ is truly the Son of that God Who gave the 
Law ; after the example of the blessings pronounced in the 
Law, did Himself pronounce the blessings of them that are 
saved ; and also after the cursings of the Law, He now sets 
forth a woe against sinners ; Woe unto you., Scribes and Pha- 
risees, hypocrites. They who allow that it is compatible with 
goodness to utter these denunciations against sinners, should 
understand that the purpose of God is the same in the cursings 
of the Law. Both the cursing there and the woe here fall upon 
the sinner not from Him who denounces, but from themselves 
who commit the sins which are denounced, and worthily 
bring upon themselves the inflictions of God's discipline, 
appointed for the turning of men to good. So a father 
rebukhig a son utters words of cursing, but does not desire 
that he should become deserving of those curses, but rather 
that he should turn himself from them. He adds the cause 

VER. 14. ST. MATTHEW. 777 

of this woe, Ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men ; 
for ye neither go in yourselves, nor suffer them that are 
entering to go in. These two commandments are by nature 
inseparable ; because not to suffer others to enter in, is of 
itself enough to keep the hinderer out. Pseudo-Chrys. By 
the kingdom of heaven is meant the Scriptures, because in 
them the kingdom of heaven is lodged ; the understanding of 
these is the door. Or the kingdom of heaven is the blessed- 
ness of heaven, and the door thereof Christ, by Whom men 
enter in. The door-keepers are the Priests, to whom is com- 
mitted the word of teaching or interpreting Scripture, by 
which the door of truth is opened to men. The opening of 
this door is right interpretation. And observe that He said 
not. Woe unto you, for ye open, but, for ye shut up ; the 
Scriptures then are not shut up, though they are obscure. 
Origen ; The Pharisees and the Scribes then would neither 
enter in, nor hear Him who said. By me if any man etiter in John 
he shall he saved ; nor would they suffer those to enter in, ' 
who were able to have believed through the things which 
had been spoken before by the Law and the Prophets con- 
cerning Christ, but shut up the door with every kind of 
device to deter men from entering. Also they detracted from 
His teaching, denied all prophecy concerning Him, and 
blasphemed every miracle as deceitful, or wrought by the 
Devil. All who in their evil conversation set an example of 
sinning to the people, and who commit injustice, offending 
the weak, seem to shut up the kingdom of heaven before men. 
And this sin is found among the people, and chiefly among 
the doctors, when they teach men what the G ospel righteous- 
ness requires of them, but do not what they teach. But 
those who both teach and hve well open to men the kingdom 
of heaven, and both enter in themselves, and invite others to 
enter in. Many also will not suffer those who are willing to 
enter into the kingdom of heaven, when they without reason 
excommunicate out of jealousy others who are better than 
themselves ; thus they refuse them entrance, but these of 
sober spirit, overcoming by their patience this tyranny, al- 
though forbidden, yet enter in and inherit the kingdom. 
Also they who with much rashness have set themselves to 
the profession of teaching before they have learned, and fol- 


lowing Jewish fables, detract from those who search out the 
higher things of Scripture ; these do, as far as in them lies, 
shut out men from the kingdom of heaven. 

14. Woe unto you. Scribes and Pharisees, hypo- 
crites ! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pre- 
tence make long prayer : therefore ye shall receive 
the greater damnation. 

Chrys. Chrys. Next the Lord rebukes them for their gluttony, 
Ixxiii. ^^^ what was the w^orst, that not from the rich but from 
widows they took wherewith to fill their bellies, thus burden- 
ing the poverty of those whom they should have relieved. 
Gloss. Gloss. Devour widows' houses, that is, your superstitions 
' have this only aim, namely, to make a gain of the people 
that is put under you. Pseudo-Chrys. The female sex is 
imprudent, as not contemplating with reason all that it sees 
or hears ; and weak, as being easily turned either from bad to 
good, or from good to bad. The male sex is more prudent 
and hardy. And therefore pretenders to holiness practise 
most upon women, who are unable to see their hypocrisy, and 
are easily inclined to love them on the ground of rc^ligion. 
But widows they chiefly choose to attempt ; first, because a 
woman who has her husband to advise her is not so readily 
deceived; and secondly, she has not the means of giving, 
being in the power of her husband. The Lord then, whilst 
He confounds the Jewish Priests, instructs the Christian that 
they shoidd not frequent widows rather than others, for 
though their purpose may not be bad, it gives occasion to 
suspicions. Chrys. The manner of this plundering is griev- 
ous, for they make long jwayers. Every one who does evil 
deserves punishment ; but he who takes occasion for his 
offence from religion, deserves more severe punishment ; 
Therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Pseudo- 
Chrys. First, for that ye are wicked, and then because ye 
put on the cloak of sanctity. Your covetousness you dress 
up in the colour of religion, and use God's arms in the Devil's 
service, that iniquity may be loved while it is thought to be 
piety. Hilary; Or, because their observance of the king- 

VER. 15. ST. MATTHEW. 779 

dom of heaven proceeds hence^ that they may keep up then- 
practice of going about to widows' houses, they shall there- 
fore receive the heavier judgment, as having their own sin 
and the ig-norance of others to answer for. Gloss. Or, Gloss. 
because tlie servant that knew his Lord's will and did it^^^^^^^^' 
not, shall he beaten with in any stripes. 12, 47. 

15. Woe unto you. Scribes and Pharisees, hypo- 
crites ! for ye compass sea and land to make one 
proselyte, and when he is made, you make him two- 
fold more the child of hell than yourselves. 

Chrys. This the next charge against them is, that they 
are unequal to the salvation of many, seeing they need 
so much labour to bring one to salvation; and not only 
are they slack in conversion, but destroy even those whom 
they do convert, by corrupting them by example of evil 
life. Hilary; That they compass sea and land signi- 
fies that throughout the whole world they shall be 
enemies of Christ's Gospel, and shall bring men under the 
yoke of the Law against the justification of faith. There 
were proselytes made into the Synagogue from among the 
Gentiles, the small number of whom is here denoted by what 
is said one proselyte. For after the preaching of Christ there 
was no faith left in their doctrine, but whoever was gained to 
the faith of the Jews became a child of hell. Origen; For 
all who Judaize since the coming of the Saviour, are taught to 
follow the temper of those who cried at that time, Crucify , 
crucify him. Hilary; And he becomes the child of a 
twofold punishment, because he has not obtained remission of 
his Gentile sins, and because he has joined the society of those 
who persecuted Christ. Jerome; Or otherwise; The Scribes 
and Pharisees compassed the whole world to make proselytes of 
the Gentiles, that is, to mix the uncircumcised stranger with 
the people of God. Pseudo-Chrys. And that not of com- 
passion from desire to save him whom they taught, but 
either from covetousness, that the greater number of wor- 
shippers might increase the number of offerings made in 
sacrifice, or out of vain glory. For he who sinks himself in 
a slough of sins, how should he be desirous to rescue another 


out of them ? Will a man be more merciful to another than to 

himself? By a man's actions therefore it may be known 

whether he seeks another's conversion for God's sake, or out 

Greg, of vain gloiy. Greg. But forasmuch as hypocrites though 

xx°xi. 9. they do ever crooked things, yet cease not to speak right 

things, and thus by their good instructions beget sons, but 

are not able to bring them up by good life, but the more 

they give themselves up to worldly works, the more willingly 

do they suffer those whom they have begotten to work the 

same. And because their hearts are hardened, these very 

sons whom they have begotten they do not own by any sign 

of the affection due. Wherefore it is here said of the 

hypocrites. And when he is made, ye make him twofold more 

Aug. the child of hell than yourselves. Aug. This He said not 

^"'^^■^ because proselytes were circumcised, but because they imi- 

xvi. 29. tated the lives of those from following whom He had prohi- 

cont. A-^ited His disciples, saying, Do ye not after their ivorks. Two 

dimant. thiuffs are observable in this command ; first, the honour 
16. ° . ... 

Matt, shewn to Moses' teaching, that even wicked men when sitting 

^^' ^* in his seat are compelled to teach good things ; and that the 

proselyte is made a child of hell, not by hearing the words 

of the Law, but by following their doings. And twofold more 

than they for this reason, that he neglects to fulfil what he 

had undertaken of his own choice, having been not born a 

3ew, but of free will become a Jew. Jerome; Or, because 

before while he was a Gentile he erred in ignorance, and 

was only a child of hell ; but seeing the vices of his 

masters, and understanding that they destroyed in their 

actions what they taught in words, he returns to his vomit, 

and becoming a Gentile, he is worthy of greater punishment 

as one that has deserted his cause. Pseudo-Chrys. Or, 

because while he was a worshipper of idols, he observed 

righteousness even because of men ; but when he became 

a Jew, prompted by the example of evil teachers, he became 

worse than his teachers. Chrys. For a disciple imitates 

a virtuous master, but goes beyond a vicious one. Jerome ; 

He is called a cltild ofliell in the same way as one is said 

to be a child of perdition, and a child of this world ; every 

man is called the son of him whose works he does. Origen; 

From this place we learn that there will be a difference of 

VER, 16 2*2. ST. MATTHEW. 781 

torment in hell, seeing one is here said to be singly a child 
of hell, another twofold. And we ought to consider here 
whether it is possible that a man should be generally a 
child of hell, as a Jew, suppose, or a Gentile, or whether 
specially so in consequence of some particular sins ; that as 
a righteous man is increased in glory by the abundance of 
his righteousnesses, so a sinner's punishment is increased 
manifold by the number of his sins. 

16. Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say. 
Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing ; 
but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, 
he is a debtor ! 

17. Ye fools and blind : for whether is greater, 
the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold ? 

18. And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is 
nothing ; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is 
upon it, he is guilty. 

19. Ye fools and blind : for whether is greater, the 
gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift ? 

20. Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, 
sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. 

21. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth 
by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. 

22. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth 
by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth 

Jerome ; As by making broad phylacteries and fringes 
they sought after the reputation of sanctity, and made this 
again a means of gain, so now He charges them with 
being teachers of wickedness by their fraudulent pretence 
of tradition. For when in any dispute or quarrel, or am- 
biguous cause, one swore by the temple, and was after- 
wards convicted of falsehood, he was not held guilty. 
This is what is meant by that, Whosoever shall swear hy the 
temple J it is nothing, that is, he owes nothing. But if he had 


sworn by the gold, or by the money which was offered to the 
Priests in the temple, he was immediately compelled to pay 
down that by which he had sworn. Pseudo-Chrys. The 
temple pertains to God's glory, and to man's spiritual sal- 
vation, but the gold of the temple though it pertains to the 
glory of God, yet. does it more so to the delight of man, and 
the profit of the Priests. The Jews then pronounced the gold 
which delighted them, and the gifts which fed them, to be 
more holy than the temple, that they might make men more 
disposed to offer gifts, than to pour out prayers in the temple. 
Whence the Lord suitably reproves them in these words. 
Yet have some Christians at present an equally foolish notion. 
See, they say, in any suit if one swear by God, it seems nought; 
but if one swear by the Gospel, he seems to have done some 
great thing. To whom we shall say in like manner. Ye fools 
and blind ! the Scriptures were written because of God, God 
is not because of the Scriptures. Greater therefore is God, 
than what is hallowed by Him. Jerome; Again, if one swore 
by the altar, none held him guilty of peijury ; but if he swore 
by the gift or the victims or the other things which are offered 
to God upon the altar, this they exacted most rigorously. 
And all this they did not out of fear of God, but out of covet- 
ousness. Thus the Lord charges them with both folly and 
fraud, inasmuch as the altar is much greater than the victims 

Gloss, which are sanctified by the altar. Gloss. And lest their in- 
fatuation should go so far, that they should affirm that the 
gold was more holy than the temple, and the gift than the 
altar. He argues on another ground, that in the oath which is 
sworn by the temple and the altar is contained the oath by 
the gold or by the gift. Origen; In like manner the custom 
which the Jews had of swearing by the Heaven He reprobates. 
For they did not, as they supposed, avoid the danger of taking 
an oath by God, because, WJioso sweareth by heaven, swear- 
etli by the throne of God, and by him that siiteth thereon. 

Gloss. Gloss. For whoso swears by the creature that is subject, 
swears by the Divinity that rules over the creation. 

Origen ; Now an oath is in confirmation of somewhat that 
has been spoken. The oath here then may signify testimony of 
Scripture which we produce in confirmation of that word which 
we speak. So that Di\dne Scripture is the temple of God, 


VER. 23, 24. ST. MATTHEW. 783 

the gold is the meaning which it contains. As the gold which 
is outside the Temple is not sanctified, so all thoughts which 
are without divine Scripture, however admirable they may 
seem, are not hallowed. We ought not therefore to bring any 
speculations of our own for the confirmation of doctrine, un- 
less such as we can shew are hallowed by being contained 
in divine Scripture. The altar is the human heart, which is 
the chief thing in man. The offerings and gifts that are 
hid upon the altar, are every thing which are done in the 
heart, as to pray, to sing, to do alms, to fast. Every offering 
of a man then is sanctified by his heai't, by which the offering 
is made. There cannot therefore be a more honourable offer- 
ing than the heart of man, out of which the offering proceeds. 
If then one's conscience does not smite him, he has confi- 
dence towards God, not by reason of his gifts, but so to speak 
because he has rightly ordered the altar of his heart. Thirdly, 
we may say that over the temple, that is over every Scripture, 
and over the altar, that is over every heart, there is a certain 
meaning which is called the Heaven, the throne of God Him- 
self, in which we shall be able to see the things that are re- 
vealed face to face, when that which is perfect is come. 
Hilary ; For since Christ is come, reliance upon the Law is 
vain ; for not Christ by the Law, but the Law by Christ, is 
sanctified, in whom it rests as on a seat or throne ; so are they 
fools and blind, who, overlooking the sanctifier, pay honour to 
the things sanctified. Aug. The temple and altar we may Aug. 
also understand of Chiist Himself; the gold and the gifts, of §"^^3*^ 
the praise and sacrifice of prayer which we offer in Him and 
through Him. For not He by them, but they by Him, are 

23. Woe unto you. Scribes and Pharisees, hypo- 
crites ! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cum- 
min, and have omitted the weighter matters of the 
law^, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to 
have done, and not to leave the other undone. 

24. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and 
swallow a camel. 


Chrys. The Lord had said above that they bound heavy 
burdens upon others, which they themselves would not touch ; 
He now again shews how they aimed at being correct in little 
things, but neglected weighty matters. Jerome; The Lord 
had commanded, that for the maintenance of the Priests and 
Levites, whose portion was the Lord, tithes of every thing 
should be offered in the temple. Accordingly, the Pharisees 
(to dismiss mystical expositions) concerned themselves about 
this alone, that these trifling things should be paid in, but 
lightly esteemed other things which were weighty. He 
charges them then with covetousness in exacting carefully 
the tithes of worthless herbs, while they neglected justice in 
their transactions of business, mercy to the poor, and faith 
toward God, which are weighty things. Pseudo-Chrys. 
Or, because these covetous Priests, w^hen any one did not 
bring his tithes of the smallest thing, made it a matter of 
grave reprehension ; but when one injured his neighbour or 
sinned against God, they were at no pains to reprove him, 
careful only of their own profit, neglecting the glory of God, 
and the salvation of men. For to observe righteousness, 
to do mercy, and to have faith, these things God commanded 
for His own glory ; but the payment of tithes Fie established 
for the support of the Priests, so that the Priests should 
minister to the people in spiritual things, and the people 
supply the Priests with carnal things. Thus is it at this 
time, when all are careful of their own honour, none of God's 
honour; they jealously protect their own rights, but will not 
bestow any pains in the service of the Church. If the people 
pay not their tithes duly, they murmur; but if they see the 
people in sin, they utter not a word against them. But 
because some of the Scribes and Pharisees, to whom He is 
now speaking, were of the people, it is not unsuitable to 
make a different interpretation ; and ' to tithe' may be used 
as well of him who pays, as of him who receives, tithes. The 
Scribes then and Pharisees offered tithes of the very best 
things for the purpose of displaying their righteousness ; but 
in their judgments they were unjust, without mercy for their 
brethren, without faith for the truth. 

Origen ; But because it was possible that some, hearing 
the Lord speak thus, might thereupon neglect paying tithes 

VER. 25, 26. ST. MATTHEW. ' 785 

of small things, He prudently adds, Tltese things ought ye 
to have done, (i. e. justice, mercy, and faith,) and not to leave 
the others undone, i. e. the tithing of mint, anise, and cum- 
min. Remig. In these words the Lord shews that all the 
commandments of the Law, greatest and least, are to be ful- 
filled. They also are refuted who give alms of the fruits of 
the earth, supposing that thus they cannot sin, whereas their 
alms profit them nothing unless they are careful to keep 
themselves from sin. Hilary; And because it was much less 
guilt to omit the tithing of herbs than a duty of benevolence, 
the Lord derides them. Ye blind guides, which strain out a 
gnat, and swallow a camel. Jerome; The camel I suppose to 
mean the weighty precepts, j udgment, mercy, and faith; the 
gnat, the tithing of mint, anise, and cummin, and other value- 
less herbs. The greater of God's commands we swallow and 
overlook, but shew our carelessness by a religious scru- 
pulousness in little things which bring profit with them. 
Origen ; Or, straining out a gnat, that is, putting from them 
small sins; swallowing a camel, that is, committing great 
sins, which He calls camels, fi-om the size and distorted 
shape of that animal. Morally, The Scribes are those who 
think nothing else contained in Scripture than the bare letter 
exhibits ; the Pharisees are all those who esteem themselves 
righteous, and separate themselves from others, saying, ' Come 
not nigh me, for I am clean.' Mint, anise, and cummin, are 
the seasoning, not the substantial part of food ; as in our life 
and conversation there are some things necessary to justifi- 
cation, as judgment, mercy, and faith ; and others which are 
like the seasoning of our actions, giving them a flavour and 
sweetness, as abstinence from laughter, fasting, bending the 
knee, and such like. How shall they not be judged blind 
who see not that it is of little avail to be a careful dispenser 
in the least things, if things of chief moment are neglected ? 
These His present discourse overthrows; not forbidding to 
observe the little things, but bidding to keep more carefully 
the chief things. Greg. Or otherwise ; The gnat stings Greg. 
while it hums; the camel bows its back to receive its load. 15°*^' ** 
The Jews then strained off the gnat, when they prayed to 
have the seditious robber released to them ; and they swal- 
VOL. I. 3 E 


lowed the camel, when they sought with shouts the death of 
Him who had voluntarily taken on Him the burden of our 

25. Woe unto you. Scribes and Pharisees, hypo- 
crites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and 
of the platter, but within they are full of extortion 
and excess. 

26. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which 
IS within the cup and platter, that the outside of 
them may be clean also. 

Jerome; In different words, but to the same purport as 
before. He reproves the hypocrisy and dissimulation of the 
Pharisees, that they shewed one face to men abroad, but 
wore another at home. He means not here, that their 
scrupulousness respecting the cup and the platter was of any 
importance, but that they affected it to pass off their sanctity 
upon men ; which is clear from His adding, but mwardly 
ye are full of ravening and uncleanness. Pseudo-Chrys. 
Or, He means that the Jews whenever they v/ere to enter the 
temple or to offer sacrifice, or on any festivals, used to wash 
themselves, their clothes, and their vessels, but none cleansed 
himself from his sins ; but God neither commends bodily 
cleanliness, nor condemns the contrary. But suppose foul- 
ness of person or of vessels were offensive to God, which 
must become foul by being used, how much more does He 
not abhor foulness of conscience, which we may, if we will, 
keep ever pm'e } Hilary ; He therefore is reproving those 
who, pursuing an ostentation of useless scrupulosity, neglected 
the discharge of useful morality. For it is the inside of the 
cup that is used ; if that be foul, what profit is it to cleanse 
the outside ? And therefore what is needed is purity of the 
inner conscience, that those things which are of the body 
may be clean without. Pseudo-Chrys. This He speaks not 
of the cup and platter of sense, but of that of the understand- 
ing, which may be pure before God, though it have never 

VER. 27, 28. ST. MATTHEW. 787 

touched water ; but if it have sinned, then thoui^h the water 
of the whole ocean and of all rivers have washed it, it is foul 
and guilty before God. Chris. Note, that spealdng of 
tithes He said, Uiese tliinga ought ye to have do?ie, and not 
to leave the other undone : for tithes are a kind of alms, and 
what wrong is it to give alms ? Yet said He it not to enforce 
a legal superstition. But here, discoursing of things clean 
and unclean, He does not add this, but distinguishes and 
shews that external purity of necessity follows internal ; the 
outside of the cup and platter signifying the body, the inside 
the soul. Origen ; This discourse instructs us that we 
should hasten to become righteous, not to seem so. For 
whoso seeks to be thought so, cleanses the outside, and has 
care of the things that are seen, but neglects the heart and 
conscience. But he who seeks to cleanse that which is 
within, that is, the thoughts, makes by that means the things 
without clean also. All professors of false doctrine are cups 
cleansed on the outside, because of that show of religion 
which they affect, but within they are Hill of extortion and 
guile, hurrying men into error. The cup is a vessel for 
liquids, the 2^l(^tter for meat. Every discourse then of which 
we spiritually drink, and all speech by which we are fed, aie 
vessels for meat and drink. They who study to set forth 
well wrought discourse rather than such as is full of healthful 
meaning, are cups cleansed without ; but within full of the 
defilement of vanity. Also the letter of the Law and the 
Prophets is a cup of spiritual drink, and a platter of necessary 
food. The Scribes and Pharisees seek to make plain the 
outward sense; Christ's disciples labour to exhibit the 
spiritual sense. 

27. Woe unto you. Scribes and Pharisees, hypo- 
crites ! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which 
indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full 
of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 

28. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous 
unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and 

3 E 2 


Origen ; As above they are said to be full of extortion 
and excess, so here they are full of hypocrisy and iniquity, 
and are hkened to dead men^s hones, and all uncleanness. 
Pseudo-Chrys. Justly are the bodies of the righteous said 
to be temples, because in the body of the righteous the soul 
has dominion, as God in His temple ; or because God Him- 
self dwells in righteous bodies. But the bodies of sinners 
are called sepulchres of the dead, because the sinner's soul is 
dead in his body; for that cannot be deemed to be alive, 
which does no spiritual or living act. Jerome; Sepulchres 
are whitened with lime without, and decorated with marble 
painted in gold and various colours, but within are full of 
dead men's bones. Thus crooked teachers who teach one 
thing and do another, affect purity in their dress, and humility 
in their speech, but within are full of all uncleanness, covet- 
ousness, and lust. Origen ; For all feigned righteousness is 
dead, forasmuch as it is not done for God's sake ; yea, rather 
it is no righteousness at all, any more than a dead man is a 
man, or an actor who represents any character is the man 
whom he represents. There is therefore within them so 
much of bones and uncleanness as are the good things that 
they wickedly pretend to. And they seem righteous out- 
Ps. 82, wardly, not in the eyes of such as the Scripture calls Gods, but 
^j.g of such only as die like men. Greg. But before their strict 
Mor. Judge they cannot have the plea of ignorance, for by assuming 
32.^^' in the eyes of men every form of sanctity, they witness 
against themselves that they are not ignorant how to live 
well. Pseudo-Chrys. But say, hypocrite, if it be good to 
be wicked, why do you not desire to seem that which you 
desire to be? For what it is shameful to seem, that it is 
more shameful to be ; and what to seem is fair, that it is 
fairer to be. Either therefore be what you seem, or seem 
what you are. 

29. Woe unto you. Scribes and Pharisees, hypo- 
crites ! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, 
and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 

30. And say. If we had been in the days of our 

VER. 29 31. ST. MATTHEW. 789 

fathers, we would not have been partakers with them 
in the blood of the prophets. 

31. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, 
that ye are the children of them which killed the 

Jerome ; By a most subtle syllogism He proves them to 
be the sons of murderers, while to gain good character and 
reputation with the people, they build the sepulchres of the 
Prophets whom their fathers put to death. Origen ; With- 
out just cause He seems to utter denunciations against those 
who build the sepulchres of the Prophets ; for so far what 
they did was praiseworthy; how then do they deserve this 
woe? Chrys. He does not blame them for building the Chrys. 
sepulchres, but discovers the design with which they built ^xxiv. 
them; which was not to honour the slain, but to erect to 
themselves a triumphal monument of the murder, as fearing 
that in process of time the memory of this their audacious 
wickedness should perish. Pseudo-Chrys. Or, they said 
within themselves. If we do good to the poor not many see it, 
and then but for a moment; were it not better to raise 
buildings which all may see, not only now, but in all time to 
come ? O foolish man, what boots this posthumous memory, 
if, where you are, you are tortured, and where you are not 
there you are praised.? While He corrects the Jews, He 
instructs the Christians ; for had these things been spoken to 
the former only, they would have been spoken, but not 
written ; but now they were spoken on their account, and 
written on ours. When one, besides other good deeds, raises 
sacred buildings, it is an addition to his good works ; but if 
without any other good works, it is a passion for worldly 
renown. The martyrs joy not to be honoured with money 
which has caused the poor to weep. The Jews, moreover, 
have ever been adorers of saints of former times, and 
contemners, yea persecutors, of the living. Because they 
could not endure the reproaches of their own Prophets, they 
persecuted and killed them ; but afterwards the succeeding 
generation perceived the error of their fathers, and thus 
in grief at the death of innocent Prophets, they built up 


monuments of them. But tliey themselves in hke manner 
persecuted and put to death the Prophets of their own time, 
when they rebuked them for their sins. This is what is meant, 
And ye say, If we had been in the days of our fathers^ ue 
would not have been partakers with them hi the blood of the 
Prophets. Jerome ; Though they speak not this in words, 
they proclaim it by their actions, in ambitious and magnifi- 
cent structures to their memory. Pseudo-Chrys. What they 
thought in their hearts, that they spoke by their deeds. Christ 
lays bare here the natural habit of all wicked men ; each rea- 
dily apprehends the other's fault, but none his own ; for in 
another's case each man has an unprejudiced heart, but in 
his own case it is distorted. Therefore in the cause of others 
we can all easily be righteous judges. He only is the truly 
righteous and wise who is able to judge himself. It follows, 
Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that you are the 
children of them which killed the Prophets. Chrys. What 
kind of accusation is this, to call one the son of a murderer, who 
partakes not in his father's disposition ? Clearly there is no 
guilt in being so ; wherefore this must be said in proof of their 
resemblance in wickedness. Pseudo-Chrys. The character 
of the parents is a witness to the sons ; if the father be good 
and the mother bad, or the reverse, the children may follow 
sometimes one, sometimes the other. But when both are 
the same, it very rarely happens that bad sons spring of good 
parents, or the reverse, though it be so sometimes. This is 
as a man is sometimes born out of the rule of nature, having 
six fingers or no eyes. 

Origen ; And in the prophetic writings, the historical 
sense is the body, the spiritual meaning is the soul ; the 
sepulchres are the letter and books themselves of Scripture. 
They then who attend only to the historical meaning, 
honour the bodies of the Prophets, and set in the letter 
as in a sepulchre ; and are called Pharisees, i. e. ' cut 
off,' as it were cutting off the soul of the Prophets from their 

32. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 

33. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can 
ye escape the damnation of hell ? 

VKR. 32 36. ST. MATTHEW. 791 

34. Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, 
and wise men, and Scribes ; and some of them ye 
shall kill and crucify ; and some of them shall ye 
scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them 
from city to city : 

35. That upon you may come all the righteous 
blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righ- 
teous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Bara- 
chias, whom ye slew between the temple and the 

36. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall 
come upon this generation. 

Chrys. He had said against the Scribes and Pharisees, 
that they were the children of those who killed the Prophets ; 
now therefore He shews that they were like them in wicked- 
ness, and that that was false that they said, If we had been in 
the days ofour/athers, we would not have been partakers with 
them in the blood of the Prophets. Wherefore He now says, 
Fill ye up the measure of your fathers. This is not a com- 
mand, but a prophecy of what is to be. Pseudo-Chrys. He 
foretels, that as their fathers killed the Prophets, so they also 
should kill Christ, and the Apostles, and other holy men. 
As suppose you had a quarrel with some one, you might say 
to your adversary, Do to me what you are about to do ; but 
you do not therein bid him do it, but shew him that you are 
aware of his manoeuvres. And in fact they went beyond the 
measure of their fathers ; for they put to death only men, 
these crucified God. But because He stooped to death of 
His own free choice, He does not lay on them the sin 
of His death, but only the death of the Apostles and other 
holy men. Whence also He said. Fill up, and not Fill over; 
for a just and merciful Judge overlooks his own wrongs, and 
only punishes those done to others. Origen; They fill up the 
measure of their fathers' sins by their not believing in Christ. 
And the cause of their unbelief was, that they looked only to 
the letter and the body, and would understand nothing spiri- 
tual in them. Hilary ; Because then they will fill up the 


measure of their fathers' purposes, therefore are they serpents, 
and an offspring of vipers. Jerome ; The same had been said 
by John the Baptist. Wherefore as of vipers are born vipers, 
so of your fathers who were murderers are you bom murderers. 
Pseudo-Chrys. He calls them offspring of vipers, because 
the nature of vipers is such that the young burst the womb 
of their dam, and so come forth ; and in like manner the Jews 
condemned their fathers, finding fault with their deeds. He 
says, How shall ye escape the damnation of hell ? By build- 
ing the tombs of the saints } But the first step of piety is to 
love holiness, the next, to love the saints ; for it is not rea- 
sonable in him to honour the righteous, who despises righteous- 
ness. The saints cannot be friends to those to whom God 
is an enemy. Shall ye be saved by a mere name, because ye 
seem to be among God's people ! Forasmuch as an open enemy 
is better than a false friend, so is he more hateful to God, who 
calls himself the servant of God, and does the commands of the 
Devil. Indeed, before God he who has resolved to kill a worm 
is a murderer before the deed is done, for it is the will that is 
rewarded for good, or punished for evil. Deeds are evidence of 
the will. God then does not require deeds on His own ac- 
count that He may know how to judge, but for the sake of 
other men, that thoy may perceive that God is righteous. 
And God affords the opportunity of sin to the wicked, not 
to make them sin, but to manifest the sinner; and also to the 
good He gives opportunity to shew the purpose of their will. 
In this way then He gave the Scribes and Pharisees oppor- 
tunity of shewing their purposes, Behold, I send unto you 
Prophets, and wise men, and Scribes. Hilary; That is, the 
Apostles, who, as foretelling things to come, are Prophets ; as 
having knowledge of Christ, are wise 7nen; as understanding 
the Law, are Scribes. Jerome ; Or, as the Apostle writes 
1 Cor. to the Corinthians that there are various gifts among Christ's 
disciples; some Prophets, who foretel things to come; some 
wise men, who know when they ought to speak; others 
Scribes taught in the Law ; of whom Stephen was stoned, 
Paul killed, Peter crucified, and the disciples of the Apostles 
beaten, in the Acts ; and they persecuted them from city to 
city, driving them out of Judaea, that they might go to the 
Gentiles. Origen; Or the Scribes who are sent by Christ, 

VER. 32 — 36. ST. MATTHEW. 793 

are Scribes according to the Gospel, whom the spirit quickens 
and the letter does not kill, as did the letter of the Law, 
which whoso followed ran into vain superstitions. The 
simple words of the Gospel are sufficient for salvation. But 
the Scribes of the Law do yet scourge the Scribes of the 
New Testament, by detracting from them in their syna- 
gogues; and the heretics also, who are spiritual Pharisees, 
with their tongues murder the Christians, and persecute 
them from city to city, sometimes in the body, sometimes 
also in the spirit, seeking to drive them from their own 
city of the Law, the Prophets, and the Gospel, into an- 
other Gospel. Chrys. Then to shew them that they should 
not do this without punishment, He holds out an un- 
speakable ten'or over them, That upon you may come all 
the riyhteoiis blood. Raban. That is, all the vengeance due 
for the shedding of the blood of the righteous. Jerome; 
Concerning the Abel here spoken of, there is no doubt that 
it is he whom his brother Cain murdered. He is proved 
to have been righteous, not only by this judgment of the 
Lord, but by the passage in Genesis, which says that his 
offerings were accepted by God. But we must enquire who 
is this Zacharias, son of Barachias, because we read of many 
Zachariases; and that we might not mistake, here it is added, 
whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Some 
say that it is that Zacharias who is the eleventh among the 
twelve Prophets, and his father's name agrees to this, but 
when he was slain between the temple and the altar. Scripture 
does not mention; but above all, in his time there were scarce 
even the ruins of the temple. Others will have it to be 
Zacharias the father of John. Origen ; A tradition has 
come down to us, that there was one place in the temple in 
which virgins were allowed to worship God, married women 
being forbidden to stand there. And Mary, after the Saviour's 
birth, going into the temple, stood to pray in this place of 
the virgins. And when Xh&y who knew that she had borne 
a Son were hindering her, Zacharias said, that forasmuch as 
she was still a virgin, she was worthy of the place of the 
virgins. Whereupon, as though he manifestly were con- 
travening the Law, he was slain there between the temple 
and the altar by the men of that generation ; and thus this 


word of Christ is true wliich He spake to those who were 

standing there, whom ye slew''. Jerome; But as this has no 

Scripture authority, it is as readily despised as offered. Others 

2Chron. will have it to be that Zacharias who was killed by Joas, 

24 21. . . . 

' ' king of Judah, between the temple and the altar, that is, in 
the court of the temple. But that Zacharias was not the 
son of Barachias, but of Jehoiada the Priest. But Barachias 
in our language is interpreted ' Blessed of the Lord,' so that 
the righteousness of Joiada the Priest is expressed by this 
Hebrew word. But in the Gospel which the Nazarenes use, 
we find written ' son of Joiada' instead of son of Barachias. 
Remig. It should be enquired too how He says, to the blood 
of Zacharias^ since the blood of many more saints was 
afterwards shed. This is thus explained. Abel a keeper 
of sheep was killed in the field, Zacharias a priest was 
slain in the court of the temple. The Lord therefore 
names these two, because by these all holy martyrs are 
denoted, both of lay and priestly order. Chrys. More- 
over, He names Abel, to shew that it would be out of envy 
that they would kill Christ and His disciples. He names 
Zacharias, because there was a twofold resemblance in 
his case, the sacred place, as well as the sacred person. 

Origen ; Zacharias is intei-preted ' The memory of God.' 
Whosoever then hastes to obliterate the memory of God, 
seems to those to whom he gives offence to shed the blood 
of Zacharias the son of Barachias. For it is by the blessing 
of G od that we retain the memory of God. Also the memory 
of God is slain by the wicked, when the Temple of God is 
polluted by the lustful, and His altar defiled by the careless- 
ness of prayers. Abel is interpreted ' mourning.' He then 
who does not receive that, Blessed are they that tnourn, 
sheds the blood of Abel, that is, puts away the truth of whole- 
some mourning. Some also shed, as it were, the blood of 
the Scriptures by putting aside their truth, for all Scripture, 
if it is not understood according to its truth, is dead. Chrys. 

a This tradition is mentioned also by phal books, but sets it aside and adopts 

CyrilA.?adv.Anthrop.27. andPseudo- the interpretation given in the text. 

Basil, Horn, de Sanet. Christ. Gen. 5. Themurder of Zacharias, father of John 

Theophylact (in loc.) and Euthymius the Baptist, is related in the apocryphal 

who mention it, probably derived it from Protevangelium of S. James, c. 23. but 

Origen. Jerome (in loc.) gives another ascribed to a different cause, 
of the same character from some apocry- 

VER. 37 — 39. ST. MATTHEW. 795 

And to take away all excuse from them that they might not 
say, Because you sent them to the Gentiles thereat were we 
offended, He foretels that His disciples should be sent to 
them, and it is of their punishment that He adds, Verily 1 
say unto yoUy all these things shall come upon this generation. 
Gloss. He means not only those there present, but the whole Gloss. 
generation before and after, for all were one city and one'^'^'** 
body of the Devil. Jerome; The rule of the Scriptures is 
only to know two generations, one of good the other of bad. 
Of the generation of the good it is said, The generation o/'ps. ng 
the righteous shall he blessed. And of the bad it is said in^- 
the present passage. Generation of vipers. These then, 
because they did against the Apostles like things as Cain 
and Joas, are described as of one generation. Chrys. Other- 
wise ; Because He delayed the punishment of hell which 
He had threatened them with, He pronounces against them 
threats of present evil, saying. All these things shall come 
upon this generation, Pseudo-Chrys. As all the good things 
which had been merited by all the saints in each generation 
since the foundation of the world were bestowed upon that 
last generation which received Christ; so all the evil that 
all the wicked in every generation from the foundation of 
the world had deserved to suffer, came upon that last genera- 
tion of the Jews which rejected Christ. Or thus ; As all the 
righteous of former saints, yea, of all the saints, could not merit 
that so great grace as was given to men in Christ; so the 
sins of all the wicked could not deserve so much evil as came 
upon the Jews, that they should suffer such things as these 
suffered from the Romans, and that in after time every gene- 
ration of them to the end of the world should be cast off from 
God, and be made a mock by all the Gentiles. For what 
is there worse than to reject and in such sort to put to death 
the Son coming in mercy and lowliness ! Or thus ; Nations 
and states when they sin are not thereupon immediately 
punished by God, but He waits for many generations ; but 
when He sees fit to destroy that state or nation. He then 
seems to visit upon them the sins of all former generations, 
and one generation suffers the accumulation of all that 
former generations have deserved. Thus this generation of 
tlie Jews seems to have been punished for their fathers ; but 


in truth they suffered not for others, but on their own account. 
Chrys. For he who having seen many sinning yet remains 
uncorrected, but rather does the same or worse, is obnoxious 
to heavier punishment. 

37. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the 
prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, 
how often would I have gathered thy children toge- 
ther, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her 
wings, and ye would not ! 

38. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 

39. For I say unto you. Ye shall not see me hence- 
forth, till ye shall say. Blessed is he that cometh in 
the name of the Lord. 

Chrys. The Lord next turns to address the city, desiring 
to instruct His hearers thereby. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem : 
this repetition of the name is a mark of compassion and 
intense love. Jerome ; By Jerusalem He means not the 
stones and buildings, but the dwellers there, over whom He 
laments with the feeling of a Father. Pseudo-Chrys. Fore- 
seemg the destruction of the city, and the blow it would 
receive from the Romans, He called to mind the blood of the 
saints which had been, and should yet be, shed in it. Thou 
killedst Esaias who was sent unto thee, and stonedst my 
servant Jeremias ; thou dashedst out the brains of Ezechiel 
by dragging him over stones; how shalt thou be saved, 
which wilt not suffer a physician to come nigh thee? And 
He said not, Didst kill and stone ; but, Killest, and Stonest ; 
that is. This is a common and natural practice with thee 
to kill and stone the saints. She did to the Apostles the 
same things which she had once done to the Prophets. 
Chrys. Having thus addressed her, and spoken of her 
cruel murders, He said, as justifying Himself, How often 
would I have gathered thy children together^ as much 
as to say, Notwithstanding, these thy murders have not 
alienated Me from thee, but I would have taken thee 
to Me, not once or twice, but many times. The strength 

VER. 37 — 39. ST. MATTHEW. 797 

of His affection He shews by the comparison of a hen. Aug. Aug. 
This species has the greatest affection for its brood, insomuch gy^sg 
that when they are sick the mother sickens also ; and what 
you will hardly find in any other animal, it will fight against 
the kite, protecting its young with its wings. In like man- 
ner our mother, the Wisdom of God, sickened as it were in 
the putting on the flesh, according to that of the Apostle, 
The weakness of God is stronger than men, protects our i Cor. 
weakness, and resists the Devil that he should not make us^'^^* 
his prey. Origen ; He calls them children of Jerusalem, 
just as we call each generation of citizens the sons of the 
preceding generation. And He says. How often, though 
it is well known that once only did He teach the Jews in 
the body, because Christ was ever present in Moses, and 
in the Prophets, and in the Angels, ministering to human 
salvation in every generation. Whosoever shall not have 
been gathered in by Him shall be judged, as though he had 
refused to be gathered in. Raban. Let heretics then cease Raban. 
to assign to Christ a beginning from the Virgin ; let them "°" *^'^^- 
leave off to preach one God of the Law and another of the 
Prophets. Aug. Where is that omnipotence, by the which Aug. 
He did whatsoever pleased Him both in heaven and in earth, 97°° * 
if He would have gathered the children of Jerusalem and did 
not ? Was it not that she would not that her children should 
be gathered by Him, and yet He did, notwithstanding, gather 
those of her children whom He would ? Chrys. Then He 
threatens the punishment of which they were ever in fear, 
to wit, the overthrow of the city and temple, saying. Behold, 
your house is left unto you desolate. Pseudo-Chrys. As 
the body, when the spirit departs, first becomes cold, and 
then decays and decomposes; so also yom' temple, when 
God's Spirit shall have withdrawn, shall be first filled with 
strife and anarchy, and after shall come to ruin. 

Origen ; In hke manner to all such as would not be gathered 
under His wings Christ speaks this threat ; Behold, your house 
is left unto you desolate; i. e. your soul and your body. But 
if any one of you will not be gathered under the wings of 
Christ, from the very time when he shall have refused to be 
so gathered, (by a mental rather than a bodily act,) he shall 
no more see the beauty of the word, till repenting of his evil 


purpose he shall say, Blessed is He that comet h in the 
name of the Lord. And the word of the Lord then comes 
with a blessing upon a man's heart, when one is turned to 
God. Jerome; / say unto you^ Ye shall not see Me, 8;c. 
That is to say. Unless ye shall do penitence, and shall con- 
fess that I am He of whom the Prophets have spoken, the 
Son of the Almighty Father, ye shall not see My face. Thus 
the Jews have a time allowed for their repentance. Let them 
confess Him blessed who cometh in the name of the Lord, 
and they shall then behold Christ's face. Chrys. Otherwise ; 
In this He covertly alludes to His second coming, when 
surely they shall worship Him. Henceforth, means from 
the time of His crucifixion. 


1. And Jesus went out, and departed from the 
temple : and his disciples came to him for to shew 
him the buildings of the temple. 

2. And Jesus said unto them. See ye not all 
these things ? verily I say unto you. There shall not 
be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be 
thrown down. 

Origen; Christ, when He had foretold all that should 
come upon Jerusalem, went forth out of the temple, He, who 
while He was in it, had upheld the temple that it should not 
fall. And so each man, being the temple of God by reason 
of the Spirit of God dwelling in him, is himself the cause of 
his being deserted, that Christ should depart from him. It 
is worthy of note how they shew Him the buildings of the tem- 
ple^ as though He had never seen them. We reply, that when 
Christ had foretold the destruction that should come upon the 
temple, His disciples were amazed at the thought that so 
magnificent buildings should be utterly ruined, and therefore 
they shew them to Him to move Him to pity, that He would 
not do what He had threatened. And because the constitu- 
tion of human nature is wonderful, being made the temple 
of God, the disciples and the rest of the saints confessing 
the wonderful working of God in respect of the forming of 
men, intercede before the face of Christ, that He would not 
forsake the human race for their sins. Raban. The historical 
sense is clear, that in the forty-second year after the Lord's 
passion, the city and temple were overthrown under the Roman 
Emperors Vespasian and Titus. Remig. So it was ordained 
of God, that as soon as the light of grace was revealed, the 
temple with its ceremonies should be taken out of the way, 
lest any weakling in the faith, beholding all the things 


instituted of the Lord and hallowed by the Prophets yet 
abiding, might be gradually drawn away from the purity 
Chrys. of the faith to a carnal Judaism. Chrys. How means He 
ixxv.* this, thdit one stone shall not be left upon another? Either 
as conveying the notion of its utter overthrow ; or with re- 
spect to the place in which it stood, for its parts were broken 
up to its very foundations. But I would add, that, after 
the fate it underwent, the most captious might be satisfied 
that its very fragments have perished. 

Jerome ; Figuratively ; When the Lord departed from 
the temple, all the buildings of the Law and the structure 
of the Commandments were so overthrown, that none of them 
could be fulfilled by the Jews, but, the Head being taken 
away, all the parts were at war among themselves. Origen ; 
Every man also, who, by taking into him the word of God, 
is become a temple, if after sinning he yet retains in part 
the traces of faith and religion, his temple is in part destroyed, 
and in part standing. But he who after sin has no regard 
for himself is gradually alienated, until he has altogether 
forsaken the living God, and so one stone is not left upon 
another of God's commandments, which he has not thrown 

3. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the 
disciples came unto him privately, saying. Tell us, 
when shall these things be ? and what shall be the 
sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world ? 

4. And Jesus answered and said unto them. Take 
heed that no man deceive you. 

5. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am 
Christ ; and shall deceive many. 

Remig. The Lord continuing His walk arrives at Mount 
Olivet, having by the way foretold the destruction of the 
temple to those disciples who had shewn and commended 
the buildings. When they had reached the Mount they 
came to Him, asking Him further of this. Chrys. They 
asked Him in private, because they were great things about 

<v^UTr or 4;£^>Flnch they were going to ask Him. They wished to know the 

■ 'S 



VER. 3 — 5. ST. MATTHEW. 801 

day of His coming, for the vehement desire they had to see 
His glory. Jerome; They ask Him three things. First, 
The time of the destruction of Jerusalem, saying, Tell iis 
when shall these things he? Secondly, The time of Christ's 
coming, saying. And ivhat shall he the sign of Thy coming? 
Thirdly, The time of the consummation of this world, saving. 
And of the end of the world? Chrys. Luke speaks of one 
enquiry, that concerning Jerusalem, as though the disciples 
supposed that Christ's coming should be then, and the end 
of the world should be when Jeiiisalem should be destroyed. 
Whereas Mark does not state them all to have asked con- 
cerntng the destruction of Jerusalem, but Peter, James, John, 
and Andrew, as having more bold and free speech with Christ. 
Origen ; I think Mount Olivet to be a mystery of the Church 
out of the Gentiles. Remig. For Mount Olivet has no un- 
fruitful trees, but olives, which supply light to dispel darkness, 
which give rest to the weaiy, health to the sick. And sitting 
on Mount Olivet over against the temple, the Lord discourses 
of its destruction, and the destruction of the Jewish nation, 
that even by His choice of a situation He might shew, that 
abiding still in the Church He condemns the pride of the 
wicked. Origen ; For the husbandman dwelling on Mount 
Olivet is the word of God confirmed in the Church, that is, 
Christ, who ever grafts the branches of the wild olive on the 
good olive tree of the Fathers. They who have confidence 
before Christ, seek to learn the sign of the coming of Christ, 
and of the consummation of this world. And the coming 
of the Word into the soul is of two sorts. The first is that 
foolish preaching concerning Christ, when we preach that 
Christ was born and crucified ; the second its coming 
in perfect men, concerning which it is said, IVe speaks Cor. 2j 
wisdom among them that are perfect; and to this second * 
coming is added the end of the world in the perfect 
man to whom the world is crucified. Hilary; And 
because the questions of the disciples are threefold, they 
are separated by different times and meanings. That con- 
cerning the destniction of the city is first answered, and is 
then confirmed by truth of doctrine, that no seducer might 
prevail with the ignorant. Chrys. His first answer is neither 
concerning the destruction of .Jerusalem, nor concerning 
VOL. I. 3 F 


His second coming, but concerning the evils which were 
to be immediately encomitered. Jerome ; One of them of 
whom He speaks was Simon of Samaria, of whom we read 
in the Acts of the Apostles, that he gave himself out to be 
the great Power, leaving these things written in his works' 
among others, I am the Word of God, I am the Almighty, 
I am all things of God. The Apostle John also in his 

1 John Epistle, Ye have heard that Antichrist shall come; even 
' ' now there are many Antichrists. I suppose all heresiarchs 
to be Antichrists, and under the name of Christ to teach 
those things which are contrary to Christ. No wonder if 
we see some led away by such teachers, when the Lord has 
said, And shall deceive many. Origen; They that ai'e 

Mat. 7, deceived are many, because wide is the gate that leadeth to 
destruction, and many there he which go in thereat. This 
one thing is enough to detect the Antichrists and seducers 
that they shall say, / am Christ, which Christ Himself is 
no where read to have said : for the works of God, and the 
word which He taught, and His power, were enough to pro- 
duce belief that He is Christ. For every discom'se which 
professes to expound Scripture faithfully, and has not the 
truth, is Antichrist. For the truth is Christ, that which feigns 
itself to be the truth is Antichrist. So also all virtues are 
Christ, all that feigns itself to be virtue is Antichrist; for 
Christ has in Himself in truth all manner of good for the 
edification of men, but the devil has forged resemblances 
of the same for the deceiving of the saints. We have need 
therefore of God to help us, that none deceive us, neither 
word nor power. It is a bad thing to find any one erring 
in his course of life ; but I esteem it much worse not to 
think according to the most true rule of Scriptiure. 

6. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars : 
see that ye be not troubled : for all these things must 
come to pass, but the end is not yet. 

*" The followers of Simon and Cleo- Const. The author of the Treatise 
bius compose books in the name of De Divinis Nomin. also mentions " Si- 
Christ and His disciples, which they mon's Controversial Discourses." Val- 
circulate, and so deceive men." Apostol. larsi. 

VEK. 6—8. ST. MATTHEW. 803 

7. For nation shall rise against nation, and king- 
dom against kingdom : and there shall be famines, 
and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 

8. All these are the beginning of sorrows. 

Aug. To this enquiry of the disciples the Lord makes Aug. 
answer, declaring all things which were to come to pass fTom25j' 
that time forwards, whether relating to the destruction of 
Jerusalem, which had giv^en occasion to their enquiry ; or 
to His coming through the Church, in which He ceases 
not to come to the end of time ; for He is acknowledged as 
coming among His own, while new members are daily bom 
to Him; or relating to the end itself when He shall appear 
to judge the quick and the dead. When then He describes 
the signs which shall attend these three events, we must 
carefully consider which signs belong to which events, lest 
perchance we refer to one that which belongs to another. 
Chrys. Here He speaks of the battles which should be 
fought at Jerusalem ; when He says. Ye shall hear wars, 
and rumours of wars, Origen ; To hear the shouts raised 
in the battles, is to hear wars ; to hear rumours of wars, is 
to hear accounts of wars waged afar off. Chrys. And because 
this might alarm the disciples. He continues. See that ye be 
not troubled. And because they supposed that the end of 
the world would follow immediately after the war in which 
Jerusalem should be destroyed. He corrects their suspi- 
cions conceniing this. These things must come to pass, but 
the end is not yet. Jerome ; That is, Think not that the 
day of judgment is at hand, but that it is reserved against 
another time ; the sign of which is plainly put in what follows, 
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against 
kingdom. Raban.^ Or, this is a warning to the Apostles not 
to flee from Jerusalem and Judsea in terror of these things, 
when they should begin to come upon them ; because the 
end was not immediately, but the desolation of the province, 
and the destruction of the city and temple should not come 
till the fortieth year. And we know that most grievous woes, 

*» From this to v. 36. the commentary edition. See Pref. 
of Rabanus is wanting in the printed 

3 f2 


which spread over the whole province, fell out to the very 
letter. Chrys. And to shew that He also should fight 
against the Jews, He tells them not only of wars, but of 
calamities inflicted by Providence, And (here shall be pesti- 
lences, and famines, and earthquakes in divers places. Raban. 
Nation shall rise against nation, shews the disquietude of 
men's minds ; pestilences, the affliction of their bodies ; 
famines, the barrenness of the soil ; earthquakes in divers 
places, wrath from heaven above. Chrys. And these things 
shall not happen according to the order of nature before 
established among men, but shall come of wrath from heaven, 
and therefore He said not that they should come only, or 
come suddenly, but adds significantly. These all are the 
beginnings of troubles, that is, of the Jewish troubles. Origen ; 
Or otherwise ; As the body sickens before the death of the 
man, so it must needs be that before the consummation of 
this world the earth should be shaken, as though it were 
palsied, with frequent earthquakes, the air should gather a 
deadly quality and become pestilential, and that the vital 
energy of the soil should fail, and its fruits wither. And by 
consequence of this scarcity, men are stirred up to robbery 
and war. But because war and strife arise sometimes fi'om 
covetousness, and sometimes from desire of power and empty 
glory, of these which shall happen before the end of the 
world a yet deeper cause shall be assignable. For as Christ's 
coming brought through His divine power peace to divers 
nations, so it shall be on the other hand, that when iniquity 
shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold, and God 
and His Christ shall desert them ; wars shall be again when 
actions which beget wars are not hindered by holiness ; and 
hostile powers when they are not restrained by the Saints 
and by Christ shall work unchecked in the hearts of men, 
stirring up nation against nation, and kingdom against king- 
dom. But if, as some will have it, famine and pestilence 
are from the Angels of Satan, these shall then gather might 
from opposite powers, when the salt of the earth, and the 
lights of the world, Christ's disciples, shall be no longer, 
1 Kings destroying those things which the malice of daemons hatches. 
Jer. 14. Ofttimes in Israel famines and pestilences were caused by 
f r^Ts^' ^^"' ^^^ removed by the prayers of the Saints. Well is that 

VER. 9 14. ST. MATTHEW. 805 

said, In divers places, for God will not destroy the whole 
race of men at once, but judging them in portions, He gives 
opportunity of repentance. But if some stop be not put to 
these evils in their commencement, they will progress to 
worse, as it follows, Tliese all are the beginnings of sorrows, 
that is, sorrows common to the whole world, and those which 
are to come upon the wicked who shall be tormented in most 
sharp pains. 

Jerome; Figuratively; Kingdom rising against kingdom 
and pestilence of that discourse which spreadeth as a 
plague-spot, and hunger of hearing the word of God, and 
commotion throughout the earth, and separation from the 
true faith, may be rather understood of the heretics, who 
fighting among themselves give the victory to the Church. 
Origen; This must come to pass before we can see the 
perfection of that wisdom which is in Christ ; but not yet 
shall be that end which we seek, for a peaceful end is far 
fi'om those men. Jerome ; These all are the beginnings 
of sorrows, is better understood of pains of labour, as it were 
the conception of the coming of Antichrist, and not of the 

9. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, 
and shall kill you : and ye shall be hated of all nations 
for my name's sake. 

10. And then shall many be offended, and shall 
betray one another, and shall hate one another. 

11. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall 
deceive many. 

12. And because iniquity shall abound, the love 
of many shall wax cold. 

13. But he that shall endure unto the end, the 
same shall be saved. 

14. And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be 
preached in all the world for a witness unto all 
nations ; and then shall the end come. 

Kaban. For what desert so many evils are to be brought 


upon Jerusalem, and the whole Jewish province the Lord 
shews, when He adds, TIten shall they deliver you up, Sfc. 
Chrys. Or otherwise ; The disciples when they heard these 
things which were spoken of Jerusalem might suppose that 
they should be beyond reach of harm, as though what they 
now heard was the sufferings of others, while they themselves 
should meet with nothing but prosperous times. He there- 
fore announces the grievous things which should befal them, 
putting them in fear for themselves. First He had bid them 
be on their guard against the arts of false teachers, He now 
foretels to them the violence of tyrants. In good season He 
thus introduces their own woes, as here they will receive 
consolation from the common calamities ; and He held out 
to them not this comfort only, but also that of the cause 
for which they should suffer, shewing that it was for His 
name's sake. And ye shall be hated of all men /or my name^s 
sake. Origen; But how should the people of Christ be 
hated by the nations who dwelt in the uttermost parts of the 
earth ? But one may perhaps say, that in this place all is 
put hyperbolically for many. But this that He says, Then 
shall they deliver you, presents some difficulty; for before 
these things the Christians were dehvered to tribulation. 
To this it may be answered, that at that time the Christians 
shall be more delivered to tribulation than ever. And per- 
sons in any misfortune love to examine into the origin of 
them, and to talk about them. Hence when the worship 
of the Gods shall be almost deserted by reason of the multi- 
tude of Christians, it will be said that that is the cause of the 
wars, and famines, and pestilences ; and of the earthquakes 
also they will say that the Christians are the cause, whence 
the persecution of the Churches. Chrys. Having named 
two sources of opposition, that from seducers, and that from 
enemies. He adds a third, that from false brethren ; And 
then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, 
and shall hate one another. See Paul bewailing these same 
2 Cor. things. Without were fightings, within were fears ; and 
]y^- in another place ; In perils among false brethren, of whom 
11,26. he says. Such are false Apostles, deceitful workers, Remig. 
V. 13. ^g ^i^g capture of Jerusalem approached, many rose up, 
calling themselves Christians, and deceived many ; such 

VER. 9 14. ST. MATTHEW. 807 

Paul C3i[h false brethren, John Antichrists. Hilary ; Such 
was Nicolaus, one of the seven deacons, who led astray 
many by his pretences. And Simon Magus who, armed 
with diabolic works and words, perverted many by false 
miracles. Chrys. And He adds, what is still more cruel, 
that such false Prophets shall have no alleviation in 
charity; Because iniquity shall ahound, the love of many 
shall wax cold. Remig. That is, true love towards God 
and our neighbom*, in proportion as each surrenders himself 
to iniquity, in that proportion will the flame of charity in 
his heart be extinguished. Jerome ; Observe, He says, 
the love of many, not ' of all,' for in the Apostles, and those 
like them, love would continue, as Paul speaks, WJio shall Rom. 8^ 
separate us from the love of Christ ? Remig. Whoso shall 
endure unto the end, i. e. to the end of his life ; for whoso 
to the end of his life shall persevere in the confession of the 
name of Christ, and in love, he shall be saved. Chrys. 
Then that they should not say, How then shall we live among 
so many evils? He promises not only that they should live, 
but that they should teach every where. And this Gospel 
of the kingdom shall he preached in all the world. Remig. 
For the Lord knew that the hearts of the disciples would 
be made sad by the destruction of Jerusalem, and overthrow 
of their nation, and He therefore comforts them with a 
promise that more of the Gentiles should believe than of 
the Jews should perish. Chrys. That before the taking of 
Jerusalem the Gospel was preached every where, hear what 
Paul says. Their sound is gone out into all the earth ; and Rom. 

10 18 

see himself travelling from Jerusalem into Spain. And if ' 
one had so large a province, think how much all must have 
done. Whence writing to certain, he says of the Gospel, 
It hears fruit, and increases in every creature under heaven. Col. I G. 
And this is the strongest proof of Christ's power, that in 
thirty years or a little more, the word of the Gospel filled 
the ends of the world. Though the Gospel was preached 
every where, yet all did not believe, whence He adds. For 
a witness unto all nations, in accusation, that is, of such 
as believe not, they who have believed bearing witness against 
them that believed not, and condemning them. And in fit 
season did Jerusalem fall, namely, after the Gospel had been 
preached throughout the world; as it follows. And then 


shall the consummation come, i. e. the end of Jerusalem. 
For they who have seen Christ's power shining forth every 
where, and in brief space spread over the whole world, what 
mercy did they deserve when they continued still in ingrati- 
tude? Remig. But the whole passage might be referred 
to the end of the world. For then shall many be offended, 
and depart from the faith, when they see the numbers and 
wealth of the wicked, and the miracles of Antichrist, and 
they shall persecute their brethren ; and Antichrist shall 
send /a/5^ Prophets, who shall deceive many; iniquity shall 
abound, because the number of the wicked shall be increased; 
and love shall wax cold, because the number of the good 
shall diminish. Jerome ; And the sign of the Lord's second 
coming is, that the Gospel shall be preached in all the 
world, so that all may be without excuse. Origen; And 
that. Ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake, might 
be then applied thus ; That indeed at this time all nations 
are conspired together against the Christians, but that when 
the things foretold by Christ shall have come to pass, then 
there shall be persecutions, not as before in places, but every 
-Aug. where against the people of God. Aug. But that this preach- 
4g]' ' ing tJte Gospel of the kingdom in all the world was accom- 
phshed by the Apostles, we have not any certain evidence, 
to prove. There are numberless barbarous nations in Africa, 
among whom the Gospel is not even yet preached, as it is easy 
to learn from the prisoners who are brought from thence. 
But it cannot be said that these have no part in the promise 
of God. For God promised with an oath not the Romans 
only, but all nations to the seed of Abraham. But in what- 
ever nation there is yet no Church established, it must needs 
be that there should be one, not that all the people should 
believe; for how then should that be fulfilled. Ye shall be 
hated of all nations for my name''s sake, unless there be in 
all nations those who hate and those who are hated? That 
preaching therefore was not accomplished by the Apostles, 
while as yet there were nations among whom it had not 
begun to be fulfilled. The words of the Apostle also, Their 
sound hath gone out into all the world, though expressed 
as of time past, are meant to apply to something future, not 
Ps. 19, yet completed ; as the Prophet, whose words he quotes, 
^* said that the Gospel bore fruit and grew in the whole world^ 

VEK. 9 — 14. 



non occ. 

to shew thereby to what extent its gi'owth should come. 
If then we know not when it shall be that the whole world 
shall be filled with the Gospel, undoubtedly we know not 
when the end shall be ; but it shall not be before such time. 
Origen ; When every nation shall have heard the preaching 
of the Gospel, then shall come the end of the world. For 
at this time there are many nations, not of barbarians only, 
but of our own, who have not yet heard the word of Chris- 
tianity. Gloss. " But it is possible to maintain both appli- Gloss. 
cations of the passage, if only we will take this diffusion of 
Gospel preaching in a double sense. If we understand it 
of fruit produced by the preaching, and the foundation in 
every nation of a Church of believers in Christ, as Augustine 
(in the passage above quoted) expounds it, then it is a sign 
which ought to precede the end of the world, and which did 
not precede the destruction of Jerusalem. But if we under- 
stand it of the fame of their preaching, then it was accomplished 
before the destruction of Jerusalem, when Christ's discij^les 
had been dispersed over the four quarters of the earth. Whence 
Jerome says, I do not suppose that there remained any nation Hieron. 
which knew not the name of Christ; for where preacher had 
never been, some notion of the faith must have been commu- 
nicated by neighbouring nations. 

Orig-en ; Morally ; He who shall see that glorious 
second coming of the word of God into his soul, must needs 
suffer in proportion to the measure of his proficiency assaults 
of opposing influences, and Christ in him must be hated by 
all, not only by the nations literally understood, but by the 
nations of spiritual vices. And in such enquiries there will 
be few who shall reach the truth with any fulness, the more 
part shall be offended and fall therefrom, betraying and 
accusing one another because of their disagi'eement respecting 
doctrines, which shall give rise to a mutual hatred. Also 
there shall be many setting forth unsound words concerning 
things to come, and interpreting the Prophets in a manner 
in which they ought not ; these are the false Prophets who 
shall deceive many, and who shall cause to wax cold that 
fervour of love which was before in the simplicity of the 

in loc. 

^ This Gloss appears to be a note of this to the taking of Jerusalem, cf. Iren 
S. Thomas, in confirmation of the Heeres. i. 2 and 3. ^,*»-''*'*''"'^ 

view of S. Chrysostom, which refers .^^^sSX^- ^' 


^ ^ _ ., 





faith. But he who can abide firmly in the Apostolic tradition, 
he shall be saved ; and the Gospel being preached to the 
minds of all shall be for a testimony to all nations, that is, 
to all the unbelieving thoughts of the soul. 

15. When ye therefore shall see the abomination 
of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand 
in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 

16. Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the 
mountains : 

17. Let him which is on the housetop not come 
down to take any thing out of his house. 

18. Neither let him which is in the field return 
back to take his clothes. 

19. And woe unto them that are with child, and 
to them that give suck in those days ! 

20. But pray ye that your flight be not in the 
winter, neither on the sabbath day : 

21. For then shall be great tribulation, such as 
was not since the beginning of the world to this time, 
no, nor ever shall be. 

22. And except those days should be shortened, 
there should no flesh be saved : but for the elect's sake 
those days shall be shortened. 

Chrys. As above He had obscurely intimated the end of 
Jerusalem ; He now proceeds to a more plain announcement 
of it, citing a prophecy which should make them believe it. 
Jerome; That, Let him that readeth understand, is said to 
call us to the mystic understanding of the place. What we 
Dan. 9, read in Daniel is this ; And in the midst of the week the 
LXX? sacrifice and the oblation shall he taken away, and in the 
temple shall be the abomination of desolations until the con- 
summation of the time, and consummation shall be given 
Aug. upon the desolate. Aug. Luke, in order to shew that the 
I^P* ^^^* abomination of desolation foretold by Daniel had reference 
to the time of the siege of Jerusalem, repeats these words 

VER. 15 — 22. ST. MATTHEW. 811 

of our Lord, When ye shall see Jerusalem encompassed i3/Luke2i. 
armies, then know ye that its desolation draweth nigh. 
Pseudo-Chrys. Whence I think that by the abomination of 
desolation, He means the army by which the city of the holy 
Jerusalem was desolated. Jerome ; Or it may be understood 
of the statue of Caesar, which Pilate set up in the temple ; 
or of the equestrian statue of Adrian, which stood to the 
present time in the very Holy of Holies. For, according to 
the Old Scripture, an idol is called ' abomination ;' 0/ desola- 
tion is added, because the idol was set up in the desolated 
and deserted temple. Chrys. Or because he who desolated 
the city and the temple placed his statue there. He says, 
When ye shall see, because these things were to happen 
while some of them were yet alive. Wherein admire Christ's 
power, and the courage of the disciples, who preached through 
those times in which all things Jewish were the object of 
attack. The Apostles, being Jews, introduced new laws in 
opposition to the Roman authority. The Romans conquered 
countless thousands of Jews, but could not overcome twelve 
unarmed unprotected men. But because it had often hap- Chrys. 
pened to the Jews to be recovered in very desperate circum- |xx^'. 
stances, as in the times of Sennacherib and Antiochus, that 
no man might look for any such event now, He gave com- 
mand to His disciples to fly, saying, Tlten let them which 
are in JiidcBa Jlee to the mountains. Remig. And this 
we know was so done when the fall of Jerusalem drew near ; 
for on the approach of the Roman army, all the Christians 
in the province, warned, as ecclesiastical history tells us, Euseb. 
miraculously from heaven, withdrew, and passing the Jordan, .j.* ^ * 
took refuge in the city of Pella ; and under the protection of 
that King Agrippa, of whom we read in the Acts of the 
Apostles, they continued some time; but Agrippa himself, 
with the Jews whom he governed, was subjected to the 
dominion of the Romans. Chrys. Then to shew how inevi- 
table the evils that should come upon the Jews, and how 
infinite their calamity. He adds, And let him which is on 
the housetop, 7iot come down to take any thing out of his 
house, for it was better to be saved, and to lose his clothes, 
than to put on a garment and perish ; and of him who is 
in the field He says the same. For if those who are in the 


city fly from it, little need is there for those who are abroad 
to return to the city. But it is easy to despise money, and 
not hard to provide other raiment; but how can one avoid 
natural circumstances? How can a woman with child be 
made active for flight, or how can she that gives suck desert 
the child she has brought forth ? IVoe, therefore, to them that 
are with child., and to them that give suck in those days; 
to the one, because they are encumbered, and cannot easily 
fly, bearing about the burden of the womb; to the other, 
because they are held by compassion for their children, and 
cannot save with them those whom they are suckling. Origen ; 
Or because that will not be a time of shewing pity, neither 
upon them who are with child, nor upon them who are 
suckling, nor upon their infants. And as speaking to Jews 
who thought they might travel no more upon the sabbath 
than a sabbath-day's journey. He adds. But pray ye that 
your flight he not in the winter., neither on the sahhath. 
Jerome; Because in the one the severity of the cold pre- 
vents your flight to the deserts, and your lurking in moun- 
tains and wilds ; in the other, you must either transgress the 
Law, if you will fly, or encounter instant death if you will 
stay. Chrys. Note how this speech is directed against 
the Jews; for when these things were done by Vespasian, 
the Apostles could neither observe the Sabbath nor fly, 
seeing most of them were already dead, and those who 
survived were living in distant countries. And why they 
should pray for this He adds a reason. For then shall be 
great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of 

^^Z' the ivorld to this times no. nor shall be. Aug. In Luke it 

Ep.l99. . 

30. is thus read, There shall be great distress upon the earth, and 

Luke2i, 2^^.^^;^ iipQji f](ig people, and they shall fall by the edge of 
the fiword, and shall be led away captive into all nations. 

B. J.vii.And so Josephus, who wrote the Jewish History, relates evils 
so great happening to this people as to seem hardly credible. 
Whence it was not unreasonably said, that such tribulation 
had never been from the beginning of creation, nor should 
be; for though in the time of Antichrist shall be such, or 
perhaps greater; yet to the Jews, of whom we must under- 
stand this, such shall never more befal. For if they shall be 
the first and the chief to receive Antichrist, they will then 

VER. 15—22. ST. MATTHEW. 813 

rather inflict than suffer tribulation. Chrys. I ask the Jews, 

whence came upon them so grievous wrath from heaven more 
woful than all that had come upon them before ? Plainly it was 
because of the desperate crime ^ and the denial of the Cross, 'tsx^jj- 
But He shews that they deserved still heavier punishment than ^* 
they received, when He adds, And except those days should be 
sho)'tened, there should no Jlesh he saved; that is, If the siege 
by the Romans should be continued longer, all the Jews 
would perish ; for by all Jlesh, He means all the Jewish 
nation, those within and those without ; for the Romans 
were at war not only with those in Judaea, but with the 
whole race wherever dispersed. Aug. Indeed some persons 
seem to me not unfitly to understand by these days the evils 
themselves, as in other places of divine Scripture evil days 
are spoken of; not that the days themselves are evil, but the 
things that are done on them. And they are said to be 
shortened, because they are less felt, God giving us endur- 
ance ; so that even though grievous, they are felt as short. 
Chrys. But that the Jews should not say that these evils 
came because of the preaching and the disciples of Christ, 
He shews them that had it not been for His disciples, they 
would have totally perished, hut for the elecfs sake those 
days shall be shortened. Aug. For we ought not to doubt 
that when Jerusalem was overthrown, there were among that 
people elect of God who had believed out of the circum- 
cision, or would have believed, elect before the foundation 
of the world, for whose sake those days should be shortened, 
and their evils made endurable. Some there are who sup- 
pose that the days will be shortened by a more rapid motion 
of the sun, as the day was made longer on the prayer of Jesus 
Naue. Jerome; Not remembering that which is written. 
TJie day continues according to thy ordinances. We mustPs. 119, 
understand it of their being shortened not in measure, but in ^^* 
number, lest the faith of believers should be shaken by 
lengthened affliction. Aug. For let us not suppose that the Aug. 
computation of Daniel's weeks was interfered with by this^^^^"P' 
shortening of those days, or that they were not already at 
that time complete, but had to be completed afterwards in 
the end of all things, for Luke most plainly testifies that the 
prophecy of Daniel was accomplished at the time when 


Jerusalem was overthrown. Chrys. Observe this economy 
of the Holy Spirit in this, that John wrote nothing of all this, 
that he might not seem to be writing a history after the event ; 
for he survived sometime the taking of Jerusalem. But these 
who died before it, and saw nothing of it, these write it, that 
the power of prophecy may shine manifestly forth. Hilary; 
Or otherwise; It is a sign of His future coming that the Lord 
gives, when He says. When ye shall see the ahojnination. 
For the Prophet spoke this of the times of Antichrist ; and 
he calls abomination that which coming against God claims 
to itself the honour of God. It is the abomination of deso- 
lation, because it will desolate the earth with wars and 
slaughter; and it is admitted by the Jews, and set up in 
the holy place, that where God had been invoked by the 
prayers of the saints, into that same place admitted by the 
unbelievers it might be adored with the worshij) of God. 
And because this error will be peculiar to the Jews, that 
having rejected the truth they should adopt a lie, He warns 
them to leave Judaea, and flee to the mountains, that no 
pollution or infection might be gathered by admixture with 
a people who should believe on Antichrist. That He says, 
Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take 
ang thing out of his house, is thus understood. The roof 
is the highest part of the house, the summit and perfection 
of the whole building. He then who stands on the top of 
his house, i. e. in the perfection of his heart, aloft in the 
regeneration of a new spirit, ought not to come down to the 
lower desire of things of the world. Neither let him which 
is in the field return back to take his coat ; i. e. He that 
has attained to obedience to the command, let him not return 
back to his former cares, to take on him again the coat of 
Aug. his former sins in which he once was clothed. Aug. For 
in tribulations we must beware of coming down fi'om the 
spiritual heights, and yielding ourselves to the carnal life ; 
or of failing and looking behind us, after having made some 
progress forwards. Hilary ; That which is said, Woe unto 
them that are with child, and to them that give suck, is not 
to be taken literally as an admonition to women pregnant, 
but as a description of souls burdened with the weight of sin, 
that neither in the house, nor in the field, may escape the 

VER. 15 — 22. ST. MATTHEW. 815 

storm of the wrath that is in store for them. Woe also to 
those that are being suckled; the weak souls, that is, who 
are being brought to the knowledge of God as by milk, to 
whom it shall be woe, because they are too laden to fly, and 
too inexperienced to resist Antichrist, having neither escaped 
sin, nor partaken of the food of tme bread. Pseudo-Aug. Or, Aug. 
They fhat are with child, are they who covet what belongs to ^tj^jrg 
others ; they that give suck, are they who have already forcibly 2. 
taken that which they coveted ; to them shall be woe in the 
day of judgment. Pray ye that your flight he not in the 
winter, or on the sahhath day; that is, Aug. That no one Aug. 
be found in that day in either joy or sorrow for temporal ^IJ^j * 
things. Hilary; Or; That we be not taken in the frost 37. 
of sins, or in discontinuance of good works, because of the 
soreness of the affliction ; notwithstanding that for the sake 
of God's elect, those days shall be shortened, that the abridg- 
ment of the time may disarm the force of the calamities. 

Origen ; Mystically; In the holy place of the Scriptures, 
both Old and New Testament, Antichrist, that is, false word, 
has often stood ; let those who see this flee from the Judaea 
of the letter to the high mountains of truth. And whoso 
has been found to have gone up to the house-top of the word, 
and to be standing upon its summit, let him not come down 
thence as though he would fetch any thing out of his house. 
And if he be in the field in which the treasure is hid, and 
return thence to his house, he will run into the temptation of 
a false word ; but especially if he have stripped ofl' his old 
garment, that is, the old man, and should have returned again 
to take it up. Then the soul, as it were with child by the 
word, not having yet brought forth, is liable to a woe ; for it 
casts that which it had conceived, and loses that hope which 
is in the acts of truth ; and the same also if the word has 
been brought forth perfect and entire, but not having yet 
attained sufficient growth. Let them that flee to the 
mountains pray that their flight be not in the winter or on 
the sabbath-day, because in the serenity of a settled spirit 
they may reach the way of salvation, but if the winter over- 
take them they fall amongst those whom they would fly 
from. And there be some who rest from evil works, but do 
not good works; be your flight then not on such sabbath 


when a man rests from good works, for no man is easily 
overcome in times of peril from false doctrines, except he is 
unprovided with good works. But what sorer aflBiction is 
there than to see our brethren deceived, and to feel one's self 
shaken and terrified? Those days mean the precepts and 
1 Tim. dogmas of truth; and all interpretations coming of science 
' ' falsely so called are so many additions to those days, w^hich 
God shortens by those whom He wills. 

23. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo^ here 
is Christ, or there ; believe it not. 

24. For there shall arise false Christs, and false 
prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders ; 
insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive 
the very elect. 

25. Behold, I have told you before. 

26. Wherefore if they shall say unto you. Behold, 
he is in the desert ; go not forth : behold, he is in the 
secret chambers ; believe it not. 

27. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, 
and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the 
coming of the Son of man be. 

28. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the 
eagles be gathered together. 

Chrys. When the Lord had finished all that related to 
Jerusalem, He came in the rest to His own coming, and 
gives them signs thereof, useful not for them only, but for us 
and for all who shall be after us. As above, the Evangelist 
Mat. 3, said, In those days came John the Baptist^ not implying im- 
mediately after what had gone before, but thirty years after; 
so here, when He says Then, He passes over the whole 
interval of time between the taking of Jerusalem and the 
beginnings of the consummation of the world. Among the 
signs w^hich He gives of His second coming He certifies 
them concerning the place, and the deceivers. For it shall 
not be then as at His former coming, when He appeared in 
Bethlehem, in a corner of the world, unknown of any ; but 

VER. 23 — 28. ST. MATTHEW. 817 

He shall come o])enly so as not to need any to announce His 
approach, wherefore, If any man shall say unto you^ Lo, here 
is Christ, or there, believe not. Jerome ; Wherein He shews 
that His second coming shall be not in lowliness as His first, 
but in glory ; and therefore it is folly to seek in places little 
and obscure for Him who is the Light of the whole world. John 8, 
Hilary; Notwithstanding, by reason of the great tribulation in ^^* 
which men shall be cast, false prophets promising to shew aid 
present from Christ, will falsely affirm that Christ is present 
in divers places, that they may draw into the service of 
Antichrist men discouraged and distracted. Chrys. He 
speaks here of Antichrist, and of certain his ministers, 
whom He calls false Christs and false prophets, such as were 
many in the time of the Apostles ; but before Christ's second cf. 
coming there shall come others more bitter than the former, And ^ g ®** 
they shall shew great signs and wonders. Aug. Here the Aug. 
Lord forewarns us that even wicked men shall do some J^^^* ^? 


miracles which the saints cannot do, yet are they not there- q. 79 
fore to be thought to have a higher place in the sight of 
God. For the Egyptian magi were not more acceptable 
to God than the people of Israel, because they could do 
what the Israelites could not ; yet did Moses, by the power 
of God, work greater things. This gift is not bestowed on 
all the saints, lest the weak should be led astray by a most 
destructive error, supposing such powers to be higher gifts 
than those works of righteousness by which eternal life is 
secured. And though magi do the same miracles that the 
saints do, yet are they done with a different end, and through 
a different authority ; for the one do them seeking the glory 
of God, the others seeking their own glory ; these do them 
by some special compact or privilege^ granted to the Powers, i al. ve- 
within their sphere, those by the public dispensation and "®^^^*' 
the command of Him to whom all creation is subjects For 
it is one thing for the owner of a horse to be compelled to 
give it up to a soldier, another for him to hand it over to 
a purchaser, or to give or lend it to a friend ; and as those 
evil soldiers, who are condemned by the imperial discipline, 
employ the imperial ensigns to temfy the owners of any 
property, and to extort from them what is not required by 

f See above on chap. vii. 22. 
VOL. I. 3 G 


the public service ; so some evil Christians, by means of the 
name of Christ, or by words or sacraments Christian, 
compel somewhat from the Powers ; yet these, when thus 
at the bidding of evil men, they depart from their purpose, 
they depart in order to deceive men in whose wanderings 
they rejoice. It is one way then in which magi, another 
in which good Christians, another in which bad Christians, 
work miracles ; the magi by a private compact, good Chris- 
tians by the public righteousness, evil Christians by the 

'nonocc. signs of public righteousness. *And we ought not to wonder 
at this when we believe not unreasonably that all that we 
see happen is wrought by the agency of the inferior powers 

Aug. de of this air. Aug. Yet are we not therefore to think that 

8. * this visible material world attends the nod of the disobedient 
angels, but rather the power is given them of God. Nor 
are we to suppose that such evil angels have creative power, 
but by their spirituality they know the seeds of things which 
are hidden from us, and these they secretly scatter by suitable 
adaptations of the elements, and so they give occasion both 
to the whole being, and the more rapid increase of sub- 
stances. For so there are many men who know what sort 
of creatures use to be generated out of certain herbs, meats, 
juices and humours, bruised and mingled together in a certain 
fashion ; save only that it is harder for men to do these 
things, inasmuch as they lack that subtlety of sense, and 
penetrativeness of body in their limbs dull and of earthly 

^^eg. mould. Greg. When then Antichrist shall have wrought 

Mor.xv. . . 

61. wonderful prodigies before the eyes of the carnal, he shall 

draw men after him, all such as delight in present goods, 

surrendering themselves irrevocably to his sway. Insomuch 

that if it were possible the very elect should he led astray. 

Orig. That, If it were possible, is spoken hyperbolically ; 

not that the elect can be led astray, but He wishes to shew 

that the discourse of heretics is often so persuasive, as to 

2 al. au- have force to prevail even with those who act^ wisely. Greg. 

Greff! ^^j because the heart of the elect is assailed with fearful 

Mor. thoughts, yet their faithfulness is not shaken, the Lord com- 


36. prehends both imder the same sentence, for to waver in 
thought is to err. He adds. If it were possible, because 
it is not possible that the elect should be taken in error 

VER. 23 — 28. ST. MATTHEW. 819 

Raban. He says not this because it is possible for the divine 
election to be defeated, but because they, who to men's 
judgment seemed elect, shall be led into error. Greg. Greg. 
And as darts, when foreseen, are less likely to hit, He adds, j^ Ev. 
Zo, / have told you. Our Lord announces the woes which xxxv. i. 
are to precede the destruction of the world, that when they 
come they may alarm the less from having been foreknown. 
Hilary; The false prophets, of whom He had spoken 
above, shall say of Christ one while, Xo, He is in the 
desert, in order that they may cause men to wander 
astray ; another while, Lo^ He is in the secret chambers, 
that they may enthral men under the dominion of Anti- 
christ. But the Lord declares Himself to be neither 
lurking in a remote comer, nor shut up to be visited singly, 
but that He shall be exhibited to the view of all, and in 
every place. As the lightning cometh out of the east, and 
shineth even unto the west, so shall the coming of the Son 
of Man be. Chrys. As He had above described in what 
guise Antichrist should come, so here He describes how He 
Himself shall come. For as the lightning needeth none to 
herald or announce it, but is in an instant of time visible 
throughout the whole world, even to those that are silting in 
their chambers, so the coming of Christ shall be seen every 
where at once, because of the brightness of His glory* 
Another sign He adds of His coming. Wheresoever the body 
is, thither will the eagles be gathered together. The eagles 
denote the company of the Angels, Martyrs, and Saints. 
Jerome ; By an instance from nature, which we daily see, 
we are instructed in a sacrament of Christ. Eagles and 
vultures are said to scent dead bodies even beyond sea, 
and to flock to feed upon them. If then birds, not 
having the gift of reason, by instinct alone find out where 
lays a dead body, separated by so great space of country, 
how much more ought the whole multitude of believers to 
hasten to Christ, whose lightning goeth forth out of the east, 
and shines even to the west.? We may understand by 
the carcase here, or corpse^, which in the Latin is morei 
expressively * cadaver,' an allusion to the passion of Christ's 
death. Hilary; That we might not be ignorant of the 
place in which He should come. He adds this, Wheresoever 

3 G 2 



the carcase, 8^c. He calls the Saints eagles, fiom the 

spiritual flight of their bodies, and shews that their gathering 

shall be to the place of His passion, the Angels guiding 

them thither; and rightly should we look for His coming 

in glory there, where He wrought for us eternal glory by 

the suffering of His bodily humiliation. Origen ; And 

observe, He says not vultures or crows, but eagles, shewing 

the lordliness and royalty of all who have believed in the 

Ps. 103, Lord's passion. Jerome; They are called eagles whose 

3J ' ' youth is renewed as the eagle's, and who take to themselves 

Greg, wings that they may come to Christ's passion. Greg. 


xxxi. We may understand this. Wheresoever the carcase is, as 

^^- meaning, I who incarnate sit on the throne of heaven, as 
soon as I shall have loosed the souls of the elect from the 
flesh, will exalt them to heavenly places. Jerome ; Or 
otherwise ; This may be understood of the false prophets. 
At the time of the Jewish captivity, there were many leaders 
Joseph, who declared themselves to be Christs, so that while the 
^'*^*^*^' Romans were actually besieging them, there were three 
factions within. But it is better taken as we expounded it 
above, of the end of the world. Thirdly, it may be under- 
stood of the warfare of the heretics against the Church, and 
of those Antichrists, who under pretext of false science, fight 
against Christ. Origen ; The genus of Antichrist is one, 
the species many, just as all lies are of one sort. As all 
the holy Prophets were Prophets of the true Christ, so 
understand that each false Christ shall have his own false 
Prophets, who shall preach as true the false teachings of 
some Antichrist. When then one shall say, Lo, here is 
Christ, or lo, there, we need not look abroad out of the 
Scriptures, for out of the Law, the Prophets, and the Apostles, 
they bring the things which seem to favour their lie. Or 
by this, Lo, here is Christ, or lo, there, they shew that it was 
not Christ, but some impostor under the same title, such 
for example as Marcion, or Valentinus, or Basilides taught. 
Jerome ; If then any one assert to you that Christ tarries 
in the desert of the Gentiles, or in the teaching of the 
Philosophers, or in the secret chambers of the heretics, who 
romise the hidden things of God, believe Him not, but 
that the Catholic Faith shines from east to west in 

VER. 23 — 28. ST. MATTHEW. 821 

the Churches. Aug. By the east and west. He signifies ^^ig- 
the whole world, throughout which the Church should be. Ev.i.38. 
In the same way as He said below, Hereafter shall ye see Mat. 26, 
the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, so now 
He likens His coming to lightning, which uses to flash out 
of the clouds. When then the authority of the Church is 
set up clear and manifest throughout the whole world. He 
suitably warns His disciples that they should not believe 
schismatics and heretics. Each schism and heresy holds 
its own place, either occupying some important position in 
the earth, or ensnaring men's curiosity in obscure and re- 
mote conventicles. Zo, here is Christ, or lo, there, refers 
to some district or province of the earth ; tJie secj'et chambers, 
or the desert, signify the obscure and lurking conventicles 
of heretics. Jerome ; Or by this, in the desert, or in the 
secret chambers. He means that in times of persecution and 
distress, the false Prophets always find place for deceiving. 

Origen ; Or, when they allege secret and before unpublished 
Scriptures, in proof of their lie, they seem to say, Lo, the 
word of truth is in the desert. But when they produce ca- 
nonical Scripture in which all Christians agree, they seem 
to say, Lo, the word of truth is in the chambers. Or wishing 
to point out such discourses as are altogether without Scrip- 
ture, He said. If they shall say to you, Lo, he is in the secret 
chambers, believe it not. Truth is like the lightning that 
cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west. 
Or this may mean, that truth can be supported out of every 
passage of Scripture. The lightning of truth comes out of 
the east, that is, from the first beginnings of Christ, and shines 
throughout even to His passion, which is His setting ; or 
from the very beginning of creation, to the last Scripture of 
the Apostles. Or, the east is the Law, the west is the end 
of the Law, and of John's prophecy. The Church alone 
neither takes away word or meaning from this lightning, nor 
adds aught to its prophecy. Or He means that we should 
give no heed to those who say, Lo, here is Christ, but shew 
Him not in the Church, in which alone is the coming oi 
the Son of Man, who said, Lo, I am with you always. Mat. 28 
even to the end of the world. Jerome ; We are invited 20. 
to flock to Christ's passion wheresoever in Scripture it is 


read of, that tbrough it we may be able to come to God's 

29. Immediately after the tribulation of those 
days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall 
not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, 
and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken : 

30. And then shall appear the sign of the Son 
of man in heaven : and then shall all the tribes of 
the earth mourn* 

nonocc. GrLOSS. As sooii as the Lord has fortified the believers 
against the arts of Antichrist and his ministers, by shewing 
that His coming would be public, He proceeds to shew the 
order and method of His coming. Chrys. By the tribu- 
lation^ He means the times of Antichrist and the false 
Prophets ; for when there are so many deceivers, the tribu- 
lation will be great. But it shall not extend through any 
great length of time. For if for the elect's sake the Jewish 
war is shortened, much more shall this tribulation be shortened 
for their sakes ; for which reason He said not After, but 
Immediately after, for He shall come immediately after. 
Hilary; The darkening of the sun, the failing of the moon, 
and the fall of the stars, indicate the glories of His coming. 
Origen ; One will say. As at the breaking out of great con- 
flagrations, great darkness is at the first caused by the smoke, 
so when the world shall be consumed by fire, which shall 
be kindled, even the great luminaries shall be darkened ; 
and when the light of the stars is decayed, the rest of their 
substance, incapable of exaltation, shall fall from heaven into 
what it was, when it was first raised aloft by the light. 
When this shall have taken place, it follows that the rational 
heavenly powers shall suffer dismay and derangement, and 
shall be suspended from their functions. And tlten shall 
appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, that sign by 
which the heavenly things were made, that is, the power 
which the Son wrought when He hung upon the cross. 
And the sign shall appear in heaven, that men of all tribes 


VER. 29, 30. ST. MATTHEW. 823 

who before had not beheved Christianity when preached, 
then by that sign, acknowledging it as made plain, shall 
grieve and mourn for their ignorance and sins. Others will 
think otherwise, that as the light of a lamp dies away by 
degi'ees, so when the supply of the heavenly luminaries shall 
fail, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon and the light 
of the stars shall grow dim, and that which in their com- 
position is earthy shall fall from heaven. But how can 
it be said of the sun that its light shall be darkened, when 
Esaias the Prophet declares, that in the end of the world, Is. 30, 
there shall be light proceeding forth from the sun } And 
of the moon he declares that it shall be as the sun. But 
concerning the stars, there are some that endeavour to con- 
vince us that all, or many of them, are larger than the whole 
earth. How then shall they fall from heaven, when this 
earth would not be large enough to contain them } Jerome; 
These things, therefore, shall not come to pass by any dimi- 
nution of light, for in another place we read that the light 
of the sun shall be sevenfold ; but by comparison with real 
light, all things shall seem dim. Raban. But nothing- 
hinders our supposing that the sun and moon with the 
other stars shall for a time lose their light, as we know did 
the sun at the time of the Lord's passion ; as Joel also says, joel2, 
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into^^- 
blood, before the great and manifest day of the Lord come. 
But when the day of judgment is passed, and the life of 
future glory shall dawn, and there shall be a new heaven 
and a new earth, then shall that come to pass of which Isaiah is. 30, 
speaks. The light of the moon shall be as the light of the^^' 
sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold. The stais 
shall fall from heaven,!^ expressed in Mark; There shall Msivk 
be stars falling from heaven, that is, lacking their proper ^^'^^' 
light. Jerome ; By the pouers of heaven, we understand 
the bands of the Angels. Chrys. Very fitly shall they 
be shaken and dismayed, seeing so mighty a change being 
wrought, their fellow-servants punished, and the universe 
standing before a terrible tribunal. Origen ; But as, at the 
dispensation of the Cross, the sun was eclipsed, and darkness 
was spread over the earth ; so when the sign of the Son of 
Man appears in heaven, the light of the sun, moon, and 


stars, shall fail, as though waning before the might of that 
sign. This we understand to be the sign of the cross, that 
Zech. the Jews may see, as Zacharias and John speak, Hi7)i whom 
Johni9 ^^^^y ^*^^'^ pierced, and the sign of victory. Chrys. But 
'^'^' because the sun will be darkened, the cross would not be 
seen, if it were not far brighter than the rays of the sun. 
That the disciples might not be ashamed, and giieve over 
the cross. He speaks of it as a sign, with a kind of distinction. 
The sign of the cross will appear to overthrow the shame- 
lessness of the Jews, when Christ shall appear in the judg- 
ment, shewing not only His wounds, but His most ignominious 
death. And then all the tribes of the earth shall mour^i. 
For when they shall see the cross, they shall bethink them 
how they have gained nought by His death, and that they 
have crucified Him whom they ought to have worshipped. 
Jerome ; Rightly does He say, the tribes of the earth, for 
they shall mom'n who have no citizenship in heaven, but 

Jer. 17, are written in earth. Origen; Morally, one may say that 
1 ^ • 

the sun, which shall be darkened, is the Devil, who shall 

be convicted in the end of the world, that whereas he is 

darkness, he has feigned himself to be the sun ; the moon, 

which seems to receive its light from this sun, is the Church 

of the wicked, which professes to have and to give light, 

but then convicted with its sinful dogmas, shall lose its 

brightness ; and all those who, either by false teaching, or 

false virtues, promised truth to men, but led them astray 

by lies, these are fitly called stars falling from, so to say, 

their own heaven, where they were raised on high, exalting 

themselves against the knowledge of God. For illustration 

of this discourse, we may apply that place in Proverbs, which 

Prov. 4, says. The light of the just is unquenchable, but the light of 

the wicked shall be quenched. Then the brightness of God 

shall appear in eveiy one who has borne the image of the 

heavenly ; and they of heaven shall rejoice, but they of earth 

Au^. shall lament. Aug. Or, the Church is the sun, moon, and 

I'P* ^^^' stars, to which it is said. Fair as the moon, bright as the 

Song of sun. Then shall the sun be darkened, and the moo7i sluill 

6 To.^ '^^^ 9^^'^ ^^^'' light, because in that ungoverned fury of wicked 

persecutors, the Church shall not be seen. Then shall tite 

stars fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be 

VER. 30. ST. MATTHEW. 825' 

shaken, because many, who seemed to be shining in God's 
grace, shall give way to their persecutors, and shall fall, and 
even the stoutest believers shall be shaken. And these things 
shall be a/tei^ the trihulatiou of those days, not because they 
shall happen when the whole persecution is overpast, but 
because the tribulation shall be first, that the falling away 
may come after. And because it shall be so throughout all 
those days, it shall be after the tribulation of those days, 
yet on those very days. 

And they shall see the Soq of man coming in the 
clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 

Chrys. He adds this, that having heard of the cross, they 
should not now imagine a similar degradation. Aug. The Aug. 
first and most apparent meaning of this is of that time when^j^* ' 
He shall come to judge the quick and the dead in His body 
— that body in which He sits at the right hand of the Father, 
in which He died and rose again and ascended into heaven. 
As we read in the Acts of the Apostles ; He was taken np, Actsi,9. 
and a cloud received Him out of their sight, upon which 
it was said by the Angels, He shall so come as ye hare seen 
Him go into heaven, we may reasonably believe that He 
will come again, not only in the same body, but also in 
a cloud. Origen; Therefore shall they see with the bodily 
eyes the Son of Man, coming in human shape, in the clouds 
of heaven, that is, on high. As at the transfiguration, a 
voice came out of the cloud, so when He shall come again 
transformed into His glorious appearance, it shall be not 
on one cloud, but upon many, which shall be His chariot. 
And if when the Son of God went up to Jerusalem, they 
who loved Him spread their garments in the way, not willing 
that even the ass that carried Him should tread upon the earth ; 
what wonder, if the Father and God of all should spread 
the clouds of heaven under the body of the Son, when He 
comes to the work of the consummation } And one may say, 
that as in the creation of man, God took clay from the earth 
and made man ; so to manifest the glory of Christ, the Lord 
taking of the heaven, and of its substance, gave it a body 


of a bright cloud in the Transfiguration, and of bright clouds 
at the Consummation ; wherefore it is here said, in the clouds 
Gen. 2, of Jieaven, as it was there said, of the clay of the ground. 
And it behoves the Father to give all such admirable gifts 
to the Son, because He humbled Himself; and He has also 
exalted Him, not only spiritually, but bodily, that He should 
come upon such clouds ; and perhaps upon rational clouds, 
that even the chariot of the glorified Son of Man should 
not be irrational. At the first, Jesus came with that power 
with which He wrought signs and wonders in the people ; 
yet was that power little in comparison of that great power 
with which He shall come in the end ; for that was the 
power of one emptying Himself of power. And also, it 
is fitting that He should be transformed into greater glory 
than at the transfiguration on the mount ; for then He 
was transfigured for the sake of three only, but in the con- 
summation of the whole world. He shall appear in great 
glory, that all may see Him in glory. 
Aug. Aug. But because the Scriptures are to be searched, and 

^^P* we are not to content ourselves with the surface of them, let 
us look closely at what follows, When ye see all these things 
come to pass, know that he is near even at the door. We 
know then that He is near, when we see come to pass not any 
of the foregoing things, but all of them, among which is this 
that the Son of Man shall be seen coming. And he shall 
send his Angels, who from the four quarters of the world 
shall gather together His elect. All these things He does at 
1 John the last hour coming in His members as in the clouds, or in 
^' ^^* the whole Church as in one great cloud, as now He ceases not 
to come. And uith great power and glory, because His power 
and glory will seem greater in the Saints to whom He will 
give great power, that they may not be overcome of perse- 
cution. Origen ; Or He comes every day ?t;ith great power 
to the mind of the believer in the clouds of prophecy, that is, 
in the Scriptures of the Prophets and the Apostles, who utter 
the word of God with a meaning above human nature. Also 
we say that to those who understand He comes with great 
glory, and that this is the more seen in the second coming 
inonocc. of the Word which is to the perfect. ^ And so it may be, that 
all which the three Evangelists have said concerning Christ's 

VER. 31. ST. MATTHEW. 827 

coming, if carefully compared together and thoroughly exa- 
mined, would be found to apply to His continual daily coming 
in His body, which is the Church, of which coming He said 
in another place, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sit-M^t. 
ting on the right hand of the power of God^ and coming in ' 
the clouds of heaven, excepting those places in which He pro- 
mises that His last coming in His own person. 

31. And he shall send his angels with a great sound 
of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect 
from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 

Origen; Because He had spolien of mourning, which shall 
be only that they may bear witness against themselves and 
condemn themselves, that none should suppose that that mourn- 
ing will end their woes. He now adds, And he shall send his 
Angels with a trump and a loud voice. Remig. Here we 
are not to think of a real trumpet, but of the voice of the 
archangel, which shall be so loud that at its sound all the dead 
shall rise out of the dust of the earth. Chrys. The sound 
of the trump refers to the resurrection, and the rejoicing, and to 
represent the astonishment which shall be then, and the woe of 
those that shall be left, and shall not be snatched up into the 
clouds. Origen; It is written in Numbers, that the Priests Numb, 
shall summon by the sound of the trumpet from the four winds ^^' ^' 
those who are of the camp of Israel, and it is in allusion to 
this that Christ speaks here of the Angels, And they shall ga- 
ther together the elect from the four winds. Remig. That 
is, from the four quarters of the world, north, south, east, and 
west. Origen ; Some of little discernment think, that only 
those who shall then be found in the body shall be gathered 
together, but it is better to say that the Angels of Christ shall 
then gather together not only all who from the coming of 
Christ to the end of the world have been called and chosen, 
but all from the foundation of the world, who like Abraham John 8, 
have seen the day of Christ and rejoiced therein. And that^^* 
He here means not only those that shall be found in the body, 
but those also who have quitted the body, the following words 
^\niw,from one end of heaven to the other, which cannot be 
meant of any one upon earth. Or, the heavens are the divine 


» al. au- Scriptures and their authors^ in which God dwells. One end 
of heaven is the beginning of the Scriptures, the other end is 
their conclusion. The saints there are gathered together yro?w 
one end of heaven, that is, from those that Hve in the beginning 
of the Scriptures to those who live in the ends of them. They 
shall be gathered together with a trmnp and a loud voice, 
that they who hear and attend may prepare themselves 
for that way of perfection which leads to the Son of God. 
Remig. Or otherwise; Lest any one should suppose that they 
should be gathered only from the four quarters of the world, 
and not from the middle regions, He adds this, And from one 
end of heaven to the other. By the heights of heaven meaning 
the central regions of the earth, which are under the heights 
of heaven; and by the ends of heaven, meaning the extreme 
parts of the earth, where the land seems to join a very wide 
and distant horizon. Chrys. That the Lord calls His elect 
by His Angels pertains to the honour of the elect; and Paul 

1 Thes. also says that they shall he caught into the clouds ; that is, 
the Angels shall gather together those that have risen, and 
when they are gathered together, the clouds shall receive them. 


32. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his 
branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye 
know that sumnaer is nigh : 

33. So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these 
things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 

34. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall 
not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 

35. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my 
words shall not pass away. 

Horn! Chrys. Because He had said that these things should 
Ixxvii. come to pass immediately after the tribulation of those days, 
they might ask. How long time hence? He therefore gives 
them an instance in the fig Jerome; As much as to 
say. When the tender shoots first shew themselves in the stem 
of the fig tree, and the bud bursts into flower, and the bark 
puts forth leaves, ye perceive the approach of summer and 
the season of spring and growth ; so when ye shall see all 

VER. 32 — ^35. ST. MATTHEW. 829 

these things that are written, do not suppose that the end of 
the world is immediate, but that certain monitory signs and 
precursors are shewing its approach. Chrys. He shews 
that the interval of time shall not be great, but that the 
coming of Christ will be presently. By the comparison of 
the tree He signifies the spiritual summer and peace that the 
just shall enjoy after their winter, while sinners on the other 
hand shall have a winter after summer. Origen ; As the fig 
has its vital powers torpid within it through the season of 
winter, but when that is past its branches become tender by 
those very powers and put forth leaves ; so the world and all 
those who are saved had before Christ's coming their vital 
energies dormant within them as in a season of winter. Christ's 
Spirit breathing upon them makes the branches of their hearts 
soft and tender, and that which was dormant within burgeons 
into leaf, and makes shew of fruit. To such the summer and 
the coming of the glory of the Word of God is nigh at hand. 
Chrys. This analogy also adds credit to His foregoing dis- 
course ; for wherever He speaks of what must by all means 
come to pass, Christ ever brings forward parallel physical 
laws. Aug. That now fi'om the Evangelic and Prophetic Aug. 
signs that we see come to pass, we ought to look that^i'* ' 
the Lord's coming should be nigh, who is there that 
denies ? For daily it draws ever more and more near, but of 
the exact time it is said, // is not for you to know the times Actsi, 7. 
or the seasons. See how long ago the Apostle said, Now is Rom. 
our salvation nearer than when we believed. What he spoke ' 
was not false, and yet how many years have elapsed, how 
much more may we not say that the Lord's coming is at 
hand now, that so great an accession of time has been made ? 
Hilary; Mystically; The Synagogue is likened to the fig 
tree^; its branch is Antichrist, the son of the Devil, the 
portion of sin, the maintain er of the law ; when this shall 
begin to swell and to put forth leaves, the?i summer is niyh, 
i. e. the approach of the day of judgment shall be perceived. 
Remig. Or, when this fig shall again bud, that is, when the 
synagogue shall receive the word of holy preaching, as the 
preaching of Enoch and Elias, then we ought to understand 
that the day of the consummation is at hand. Aug. Or, by Aug. 
the fig tree understand the human race, by reason of the £ ^-^39 

f. See above on chap. xxi. 19. 


lemjDtations of the flesh. TV/ten its hrcmch is tender , i. e. when 
the sons of men through faith in Christ have progressed 
towards spiritual fruits, and the honour of their adoption to be 
the sons of God has shone forth in them. 

Hilary; To give sure credit to the things which should come 
to pass He adds, Verily I say unto you, tins generation shall 
not pass away until all these things he fulfilled. By saying 
Verily, He gives asseveration to the truth. Origen ; The un- 
instructed refer the words to the destruction of Jerusalem, and 
suppose them to have been said of that generation which saw 
Christ's death, that it should not pass away before the city should 
be destroyed. But I doubt that they would succeed in thus 
expounding every word from that, one stone shall not he left 
upon another, to that, it is even at the door ; in some perhaps 
they would succeed, in others not altogether. Chrys. All 
these things therefore mean what was said of the end of 
Jerusalem, of the false prophets, and the false Christs, 
and all the rest which shall happen down to the time of 
Christ's coming. That He said. This generation, He meant 
not of the men then living, but of the generation of the 
faithful ; for so Scripture uses to speak of generations, not of 
time only, but of place, life, and conversation ; as it is said, 
Ps.24,6. This is the generation of them that seek the Lord. Herein 
He teaches that Jerusalem shall perish, and the greater part 
of the Jews be destroyed, but that no trial shall over- 
throw the generation of the faithful. Origen ; Yet shall the 
generation of the Church survive the whole of this world, that 
it may inherit the world to come, yet it shall not pass away 
until all these things have come to pass. But when all these 
shall have been fulfilled, then not the earth only but the 
heavens also shall pass away ; that is, not only the men 
whose life is earthy, and who are therefore called the earth, 
but also they whose conversation is in heaven, and who are 
therefore called the heaven ; these shall pass away to things 
to come, that they may come to better things. But the words 
spoken by the Saviour shall not pass away, because they effect 
and shall ever effect their purpose; but the perfect and they 
that admit no further improvement, passing through what they 
are, come to that which they are not; and this is that. My words 
shall not pass away. And perhaps the words of Moses and the 
Prophets have passed away, because all that they prophesied has 

VER. 36 — 41. ST. MATTHEW. 831 

been fulfilled ; but the words of Christ are always complete^ daily 
fulfilling and to be fulfilled in the saints. Or perhaps we 
ought not to say that the words of Moses and the Prophets 
are once for all fulfilled ; seeing they also are the words of 
the Son of God, and are fulfilled continually. Jerome; Or, 
by generation here He means the whole human race, and the 
Jews in particular. And He adds. Heaven and earth shall pass 
away, but my words shall not pass aicay, to confirm their 
faith in what has gone before ; as though He had said, it is 
easier to destroy things solid and immovable, than that 
aught should fail of my words. Hilary ; For heav^en and 
earth have in their constitution no necessity of existence, but 
Christ's words derived from eternity have in them such \4rtue 
that they must needs abide. Jerome ; The heaven and the 
earth shall pass away by a change, not by annihilation ; for 
how should the sun be darkened, and the moon not give her 
light, if earth and heaven in which these are should be no 
more } Raban. The heaven which shall pass away is not the 
^ starry but the ^atmospheric heaven which of old was destroyed 'side- 
by the deluge. Chrys. He brings forward the elements of the 2. 


earth to shew that the Church is of more value than either f^^*^*^> 


heaven or earth, and that He is Maker of all things. 

36. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, 
not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 

37. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the 
coming of the Son of man be. 

38. For as in the days that were before the flood 
they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in 
marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 

39. And knew not until the flood came, and took 
them all away ; so shall also the coming of the Son of 
man be. 

40. Then shall two be in the field ; the one shall be 
taken, and the other left. 

41. Two women shall be grinding at the mill ; the 
one shall be taken, and the other left. 

Chrys. The Lord having described all the tokens that 
shall precede His coming, and brought His discourse to the 


veiy doors, yet would not name the day ; Of that day and 
hour knoweth no man, no not the Angels of heaven, hat my 
Father only. Jerome; In some Latin copies is added here, 
"neither the Son:" but in the Greek copies, and particularly 
those of Adamantius and Pierius, it is not found \ But because 
it is read in some, it seems to require our notice. Remig. 
Mark And Mark has the addition. Jerome; Whereat Arius and 

13 32 J 

' * Eunomius rejoice greatly ; for say they, He who knows and 
He who is ignorant cannot be both equal. Against these we 
answer shortly; Seeing that Jesus, that is, The Word of God, 
John i,made all times, (for By him all llrhiys were made, and with- 
^' out him was not any tiling made that was made^ and that 

the day of judgment must be in all time, by what reasoning 
can He who knows the whole be shewn to be ignorant of a 
part } This we will further say ; Which is the greater, the 
knowledge of the Father, or the knovvledge of the judgment? 
If He knows the greater, how can He be ignorant of the less.^ 
Hilary; And has indeed God the Father denied the knowledge 
Lukeio, of that day to the Son, when He has declared, All things are 
22. committed to me of my Father? but if any thing has been 
denied, all things are not committed to Him. Jerome ; Having 
then shewn that the Son of God cannot be ignorant of the day 
of the consummation, we must now shew a cause why He should 
be said to be ignorant. When after the resurrection He is de- 
manded concerning this day by the Apostles, He answers more 
Acts 1, openly ; It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which 
the Father has put in his own power. Wherein He shews that 
Himself knows, but that it was not expedient for the Apostles to 
know, that being in uncertainty of the coming of their Judge, 
they should live every day as though they were to be judged that 
Aug. de (Jay^ Aug. When He says here. Knows not, He means, * makes 
12. others not to know;' i. e. He knew not then, so as to tell His 
Gen. 22, (ligciples; as it was said to Abraham, Now I know that thou 
Aug. fearest God; i. e. ^Nowhave I caused that thou shouldes^: know,* 
97 I because by the temptation he came to know himself. Id. That 

*• The addition is found in a very few into the text of the G. T. by any editors. 

Greek MSS., and ancient versions, in It probably crept in from the parallel 

Chrys. and Theophylact. It is in the passage in S. Mark. Adamantius is a 

Old Italic version, and is acknowledged surname of Origen. Pierius was a 

by Hilary, Ambrose, and Pseudo-Chrys.; presbyter of Alexandria in the third 

but the preponderance of evidence is century, whose learning occasioned him 

greatly against it, and it is not admitted to be styled ' Origen the younger.' 

VER. 36* — 4]. ST. MATTHEW. 838 

He says that the Father knoiceth, implies that in the Father the 
Son also knows. For what can there be in time which was 
not made by the Word, seeing that time itself was made by 
the Word! Id. That the Father alone knows may be well Aug. 
understood in the above-mentioned manner of knowing, that q ^\^^ 
He makes the Son to know ; but the Son is said not to know, q. 60. 
because he does not make men to know. Origen ; Otherwise ; 
So long as the Church which is Christ's body knows not that 
day and hour, so long the Son Himself is said not to know 
that day and hour. The word know is used according to its 
proper usual meaning in Scripture. The Apostle speaks of 
Christ, as him who knew no sin, i. e. sinned not. The know- 2 Cor. 
ledge of that day and hour the Son reserves in store for^>^^* 
the fellow-heirs of the promise, that all may know at once, i. e. 
in the day when it shall come upon them, ivhat things 1 Cor. 
God hath pre-pared for them that love him. Raban. I have^' ^* 
read also in some one's book, that the Son here is not to be 
taken of the Only-begotten, but of the adopted, for that He 
would not have put the Angels before the Only-begotten Son, 
saying, Not the Angels of heaven, neither the Son\ 

Aug. The Gospel then says. Of that dag and hour knoweth no Aug. 
man; but you say, That neither the month nor the year of His j^?* ' 
coming can be known. This exactness of yours up to this point 
seems as if you meant that the year could not be known, but 
that the week or the decade of years might be known, as 
though it was possible to fix or assign it to some seven, ten, 
or a hundred, or some number of years more or less. If you 
allow that you cannot so limit it, you think with me. Chrys. 
That you may perceive that it is not owing to ignorance that 
He is silent of the day and hour of the judgment. He brings 
forward another token, As it ivas in the days of Noe, so shall 
the coming of the Son of Man be. By this He means that 
He shall come sudden and unlooked for, and while men are 
taking their pleasure; of which Paul also speaks, WJien theyi Thess. 
shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh ' ^* 
upon them. Raban. Maniage and meats in themselves are 
not here condemned, as the error of Marcion and Manichseus 
teaches; for in the one the continuation of the species, in the 

' See further on this passage, Hil. on Mark xiii, 32. and Basil adv. 
de Trin. ix. 58, cited in the Catena Eunoni. iv. 

3 H 


other that of Ufe, depends ; but what is reproved is an unre- 
strained use of things lawful. 

Jerome ; It is asked here, how it was said above, Nation 
shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, 
8fc. when here only tokens of peace are spoken of as what 
shall be then ? We must suppose, that after the wars and 
the other miseries which shall waste the human race, shall 
follow a short peace, offering rest and quiet to approve the 
faith of the believers. Chrys. Or, To such as are thought- 
lessly disposed, it shall be a time of peace and enjoyment ; 
as the Apostle said not, ' When there shall be peace,' but 
When they shall say, Peace and safety, shewing their in- 
sensibility to be such as was theirs in the days of Noe, when 
the wicked, and not the good, indulged themselves, but 
their end was sorrow and tribulation. This shews also, that 
when Antichrist shall come, those who are wicked, and 
despair of their salvation, shall run into illicit pleasures ; 
therefore He chooses an instance suitable. For while the 
ark was building, Noe preached among them, foretelling the 
evils that should come ; but those wicked giving no heed 
to him, wantoned as though no evil should ever come ; so 
now, because many would not believe things future. He 
makes credible what He says from what has happened. 
Another token He gives to shew how unexpectedly that day 
shall come, and that He is not ignorant of the day, Then 
two shall he in the field, one shall he taken and the other 
left. These words shew that masters and servants, they 
that work, and they that work not, shall be taken or left alike. 

Hilary ; Or, the two in the field, are the two people of 
believers and unbelievers, whom the day of the Lord 
shall overtake, as it were in the labours of this life. And 
they shall be separated, one being taken and the other left ; 
this shews the separation that shall be between believers and 
unbelievers ; when God's wrath is kindled, the saints shall 
be gathered into His garner, and the unbelievers shall be 
left as fuel for the fire from heaven. The same is the account 
to be given of that. Two shall he grinding at the mill. 
The mill is the work of the Law, but as some of the Jews 
believed through the Apostles, so some shall believe through 
Elias, and be justified through faith ; and one part shall 

VER. 42 44. ST. MATTHEW. 835 

be taken through this same faith of good works, the other 
part shall be left unfruitful in the work of the Law, grinding 
in vain, and never to produce the bread of heavenly food. 
Jerome ; Or, Two men in one field shall be found performing 
the same labour, sowing corn together, but not reaping the 
same fruit of their labour. The two grinding together we 
may understand either of the Synagogue and the Church, 
which seem to grind together in the Law, and to make of 
the same Scriptures meal of the commandments of God ; 
or of other heresies, which out of both or one Testament, 
seem to grind meal of their own doctrines. Hilary ; The 
two in one bed are those who preach alike the Lord's rest 
after His passion, about which heretics and catholics have 
the same confession ; but because the Catholic Faith preaches 
the unity of the Godhead of the Father and the Son, and 
the false creed of the heretics impugns that, therefore shall 
the Divine judgment decide between the confession of these 
two by taking one and leaving the other. Remig. Or, these 
words denote three orders in the Church. The two men 
in the field denote the order of preachers, to whom is com- prsedica- 
mitted the field of the Church ; by the two grinding at the ^°^^^' 
m^7/, the order of the manied priests, who while with a divided conju- 
heart they are called first to one side, then to the other, 
do, as it were, ever turn round a mill ; by the two in one 
bed, the order of the continent, whose repose is signified by conti- 
the bed. But in all these orders are good and bad, righteous 
and unrighteous, so that some shall be taken, and some left. 
Origen ; Or otherwise ; The body is laid as sick on the 
bed of carnal passions, the soul grinds in the mill of this world, 
and the bodily senses labour in the field of the world. 

42. Watch therefore : for ye know not what hour 
your Lord doth come. 

43. But know this, that if the goodman of the 
house had known in what watch the thief would 
come, he would have watched, and would not have 
suffered his house to be broken up. 

44. Therefore be ye also ready : for in such an 
hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh, 

3 I 2 


Jerome ; Having declared that of that hour knoweth no 
man, but the Father onhj. He shews that it was not expedient 
for the Apostles to know, that being ignorant they might 
live in perpetual expectation of His coming, and thus con- 
cluding the whole, He says, Watch therefore, ^c. And 
He does not say, ' Because we know not,' but Because ye 
know not, shewing that He Himself is not ignorant of the 
day of judgment. Chrys. He would have them ever ready, 
Greg, and therefore He says, Watch. Greg. To watch is to keep 
in Ev. the eyes open, and looking out for the true light, to do and 
"• 2* to observe that which one believes, to cast away the darkness 
of sloth and negligence. Origen ; Those of more plain 
understanding say, that He spoke this of His second coming ; 
but others would say that it applies to an intellectual coming 
of the word into the understanding of the disciples, for as 
yet He was not in their understanding as He was to be. 

Aug. Aug. He said this Watch, not to those onlv who heard 

Ep. 199 , . 

3, * ' Him speak at the time, but to those who came after them, 

and to us, and to all who shall be after us, until His second 

coming, for it touches all in a manner. That day comes 

to each one of us, when it comes to him to go out of the 

world, such as he shall be judged, and therefore ought 

every Christian to watch that the Lord's coming may not 

find him unprepared ; and he will be unprepared for the 

day of His coming, whom the last day of his life shall find 

Aug. unprepared. Aug. Foolish are all they, who either profess 

* to know the day of the end of the world, when it is to come, 

or even the end of their own life, which no one can know 

unless he is illuminated by the Holy Spirit. 

Jerome; And by the instance of the master of the 

household, He teaches more plainly why He keeps secret 

the day of the consummation. Origen; l^he master of the 

household is the understanding, the house is the soul, the 

thief is the Devil. The thief is also every contrary doctrine 

which enters the soul of the unwary by other than the 

natural entrance, breaking into the house, and pulling 

down the soul's natural fences, that is, the natural powers 

of understanding, it enters the breach, and spoils the 

soul. Sometimes one takes the thief in the act of 

breaking in, and seizing him, stabs him with a word, 

VER. 45 51. ST. MATTHEW. 837 

and slays him. And the thief comes not in the day-time, 
when the soul of the thoughtful man is illuminated with 
the Sun of righteousness, but in the night, that is, in the 
time of prevailing wickedness ; in which, when one is plunged, 
it is possible, though he have not the power of the sun, 
that he may be illuminated by some rays from the Word, 
as from a lamp ; continuing still in evil, yet having a better 
purpose, and watchfulness, that this his purpose should 
not be broken through. Or in time of temptation, or of 
any calamities, is the time when the thief is most found 
to come, seeking to break through the house of the soul. 
Greg. Or, the thief breaks into the house through the Greg, 
neglect of the master of the house, when the spirit has slept .^' 
upon its post of guard, and death has come in unawares xiii. 5. 
into the dwelling house of our flesh, and finding the lord 
of the house sleeping, slays him ; that is, the spirit, little 
providing for coming evils, is taken off unprepared, to punish- 
ment, by death. But if he had watched he would have been 
secure from the thief; that is, looking forward to the coming 
of the Judge, who takes our lives unawares, he would meet 
Him with penitence, and not perish impenitent. And the 
Lord would therefore have the last hour unknown, that it 
might always be in suspense, and that being unable to foresee 
it, we might never be unprepared for it. Chrys. In this 
He rebukes such as have less care for their souls, than they 
have of guarding their money against an expected thief. 

45. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom 
his lord hath made ruler over his houshold, to give 
them meat in due season? 

46. Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he 
cometh shall find so doing. 

47. Verily I say unto you. That he shall make him 
ruler over all his goods. 

48. But and if that evil servant shall say in his 
heart. My lord delayeth his coming; 

49. And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, 
to eat and drink with the drunken; 


50. The lord of that servant shall come in a day 
when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he 
is not aw^are of, 

51. And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him 
his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weep- 
ing and gnashing of teeth. 

HiLARi? ; Though the Lord had given above a general ex- 
hortation to all in common to unwearied vigilance, yet He 
adds a special charge to the rulers of the people, that is, the 
Bishops, of watchfulness in looking for His coming. Such 
He calls a faithful servant, and wise master of the household, 
careful for the needs and interests of the people entrusted 
to Him. Chrys. That He says. Whom think ye is that 
faithful and wise servant, does not imply ignorance, for even 

Gen. 3, the Father we find asking a question, as that, Adam, where 
art thou Y Remig. Nor yet does it imply the impossibility of 

Gloss, attaining perfect virtue, but only the difficulty. Gloss. For rare 
indeed is such fa it h/ii I servant serving his Master for his Mas- 
ter's sake, feeding Christ's sheep not for lucre but for love of 
Christ, skilled to discern the abilities, the life, and the man- 
ner of those put under him, whom the Lord sets over, that is, 
who is called of God, and has not thrust himself in. Chrys. 
He requires two things of such servant, fidelity and prudence; 
He calls \\\xn faithful, because he appropriates to himself none 
of his Lord's goods, and wastes nought idly and unprofitably. 
He calls him prudent, as knowing on what he ought to lay 
out the things committed to him. Origen ; Or, he that makes 
progress in the faith, though he is not yet perfect in it, is ordi- 
narily cdiWedi faithful, and he who has natural quickness of 
intellect is called prudent. And whoever observes will 
find many faithful, and zealous in their belief, but not at the 

1 Cor. same time prudent ; for God hath chosen the foolish things of 

^' the world. Others again he will see who are quick and prudent 

but of weak faith; for the union of faith and prudence in the 
same man is most rare. To give food in due season calls for 
prudence in a man ; not to take away the food of the needy re- 
quires faithfulness. And this the literal sense obliges us to, that 
we be faithful in dispersing the revenues of the Church, that we 

9, 14. 

VER. 43 51. ST. MATTHEW. 839 

devour not that which belongs to the widows, that we remem- 
ber the poor, and that we do not take occasion from what is 
written, The Lord hath ordained^ that they which preach thei Cor. 
Gospel should live of the Gospel, to seek more than plain food 
and necessary clothing, or to keep more for ourselves than we 
give to those who suffer want. And that we be prudent, to 
understand the cases of them that are in need, whence they 
come to be so, what has been the education and what are the 
necessities of each. It needs much prudence to distribute 
fairly the revenues of the Church. Also let the servant be 
faithful and prudent, that he lavish not the intellectual and 
spiritual food upon those whom he ought not, but dispense 
according as each has need; to one is more behoveful that 
word which shall edify his behaviour, and guide his practice, 
than that which sheds a ray of science; but to others who 
can pierce more deeply let him not fail to expound the deeper 
things, lest if he set before them common things only, he be 
despised by such as have naturally keener understandings, or 
have been sharpened by the discipline of worldly learning. 

Chrys. This parable may be also fitted to the case of se- 
cular rulers ; for each ought to employ the things he has to 
the common benefit, and not to the hurt of his fellow-servants, 
nor to his own ruin ; whether it be wisdom or dominion, or 
whatever else he has. Raban. The lord is Christ, the house- 
hold over which He appoints is the Church Catholic. It is 
hard then to find one man who is hoih faithful and wise, but 
not impossible ; for He would not pronounce a blessing on a 
character that could never be, as when He adds. Blessed is 
that servant whom his lord ivhen he cometh shall find 
so doing. Hilary ; That is, obedient to his Lord's command, 
by the seasonableness of his teaching dispensing the word of 
life to a household which is to be nourished for the food of 
eternity. Remig. It should be observed, that as there is 
great difference of desert between good preachers and good 
hearers, so is there great difference between their rewards. 
The good hearers, if He finds them watching He will make 
to sit down to meat, as Luke speaks ; but the good preachers 
He will set over all His goods. Origen ; That he may reign 
with Christ, to whom the Father has committed all that is His, 
And as the son of a good father set over all that is his, 


He shall conimuincate of His dignity and glory to His faithful 
and wise stewards, that they also may be above the whole 
creation. Raban. Not that they only, but that they before 
others, shall be rewarded as well for their own lives as for their 
superintendence of the flock. Hilary ; Or, sliall set him 
over all hf's goods, that is, shall place him in the glory of God, 
because beyond this is nothing better. Chrys. And He in- 
structs His hearer not only by the honour which awaits the 
good, but by the punishment which threatens the wicked, 

Aug. adding, IftJiat evil servant shall say in Ids heart, 8^c. Aug. 

1. ' ' The temper of this servant is shewn in his behaviour, which is 
thus expressed by his good Master ; his tyranny, and sliall 
begin to heat his fellow servants, his sensuality, and to eat 
and drink with the drunken. So that when he said, My 
Lord delayeth His coming, he is not to be supposed to speak 
from desire to see the Lord, such as was that of him who 

Ps.42j2. said, 3Iy soul is athirst/or the living God; when shall I 
come ? This shews that he was grieved at the delay, seeing 
that what was hastening towards him seemed to his longing 
desires to be coming slowly. Origen ; And every Bishop, 
who ministers not as a fellow servant, but rules by might as 
a master, and often an harsh one, sins against God; also if he 
does not cherish the needy, but feasts with the drunken, and 
is continually slumbering because his Lord cometh not till 
after long time. Raban. Typically, we may understand 
his beating his fellow servants, of offending the consciences 
of the weak by word, or by evil example. Jerome ; The 
Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh 
not for Him, is to rouse the stewards to watchfulness and 
carefulness. He sliall cut him in sunder, is not to be under- 
stood of execution by the sword, but that he shall sever him 
from the company of the saints. Origen ; Or, He shall cut 
him in sunder, when his spirit, that is, his spiritual gift, shall 
return to God who gave it ; but his soul shall go with his 
body into hell. But the righteous man is not cut in sunder, but 
his soul, with his spirit, that is, with his gift, spiritual enters 
into the kingdom of heaven. They that are cut in sunder 
have in them thenceforth no part of that spiritual gift which 
was from God, but there remains to them that part which was 
their own, that is, their soul, which shall be punished with 

VER. 43 51. ST. MATTHEW. 841 

their body. Jerome; And shall appoint him his portion with 
the hypocrites, with those, namely, that were in the field, and 
grinding at the mill, and were nevertheless left. For as we 
often say that the hypocrite is one who is one thing, and 
passes himself for another; so in the field and at the mill he 
seemed to be doing the same as others, but the event proved 
that his purpose was different. Raban. Or, appoints him his 
portion xvith the hypocrites, that is, a twofold share of punish- 
ment, that of fire and frost ; to the fire belongs the weepiiig, 
to the frost the ynashing of teeth^. Origen ; Or, there shall 
be weeping for such as have laughed amiss in this world, 
gnashing of teeth for those who have enjoyed an irrational 
peace. For being unwilling to suffer bodily pain, now the 
torture forces their teeth to chatter, with which they have 
eaten the bitterness of wickedness. From this we may learn 
that the Lord sets over His household not the faithful and* 
wise only, but the wicked also; and that it mil not save them 
to have been set over His household, but only if they have given 
them their food in due season, and have abstained from beat- 
ing and drunkenness. Aug. Putting aside this wicked Aug. 
servant, who, there is no doubt, hates his Master's coming, let?P'^^^ 
us set before our eyes these good servants, who anxiously 
expect their Lord's coming. One looks for His coming 
sooner, another later, the third confesses his ignorance of the 
matter. Let us see which is most agreeable to the Gospel. 
One says. Let us watch and pray, because the Lord will quickly 
come ; another, Let us watch and pray, because this life is 
short and uncertain, though the Lord's coming may be distant; 
and the third. Let us watch, because this life is short and un- 
certain, and we know not the time when the Lord will come. 
What else does this man say than what we hear the Gospel 
say. Watch, because ye know not the hour in which the Lord 
shall come ? All indeed, through longing for the kingdom, 
desire that that should be true which the first thinks, and 
if it should so come to pass, the second and third would 
rejoice with him; but if it should not come to pass, it were to 
be feared that the belief of its supporters might be shaken by 
the delay, and they might begin to think that the Lord's 

'' See above on chap. viii. 12. 


coming shall be, not remote, but never. He who believes with 
the second that the Lord's coming is distant will not be shaken 
in faith, but will receive an unlooked for joy. He who con- 
fesses his ignorance which of these is true, wishes for the one, 
is resigned to the other, but errs in neither, because he neither 
affirms or denies either. 


1. Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened 
unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went 
forth to meet the bridegroom. 

2. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 

3. They that were foolish took their lamps, and 
took no oil with them : 

4. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their 

5. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered 
and slept. 

6. And at midnight there was a cry made. Behold, 
the bridegroom cometh ; go ye out to meet him. 

7. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their 

8. And the foolish said unto the wise. Give us of 
your oil ; for our lamps are gone out. 

9. But the wise answered saying, Not so ; lest 
there be not enough for us and you : but go ye rather 
to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 

10. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom 
came ; and they that were ready went in with him 
to the marriage : and the door was shut. 

1 1 . Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, 
Lord, Lord, open to us. 

12. But he answered and said. Verily I say unto 
you, I know you not. 

13. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day 
nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. 

Chrys. In the foregoing parable the Lord set forth the ^^y^' 
punishment of the man who beat, and was drunk, and wasted ixxviii. 


his Lord's goods ; in this He declares his punishment who 
profits not, and does not prepare for himself abundantly 
the things of which he has need; for the foolish virgins had 
oil, but not enough. Hilary; 77*^??, because all this dis- 
course is concerning the great day of the Lord, concerning 
Greg, which He had been speaking before. Greg, ^j the kingdom 
^^^^\^ of heaven is meant the present Church, as in that. The Son of 
1. Man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out 

13^41. of his kingdom all things that offend. Jerome; This parable 
of the ten foolish and the ten wise virgins, some interpret 
literally of virgins, of whom there are according to the 
1 Cor. Apostle some who are virgins both in body and in thought, 
others who have preserved indeed their bodies virgin, but 
have not the other deeds of virgins, or have only been 
preserved by the guardianship of parents, but have wedded 
in their hearts. But fi'om what has gone before, I think the 
meaning to be different, and that the parable has reference 
Greg, not to virgins only, but to the whole human race. Greg. 
ubi sup. Yqy in each of the five senses of the body there is a double 
instrument, and the number five doubled makes ten. And 
because the company of the faithful is gathered out of both 
sexes, the Holy Church is described as being like to ten 
virgins, where as bad are mixed with good, and reprobate 
with elect, it is like a mixture of wise and foolish virgins. 
Chrys. And He employs the character virgins in this parable 
to shew, that though virginity be a great thing, yet if it be 
not accompanied by works of mercy, it shall be cast out with 
the adulterers. Origen; Or, The understandings of all who 
have received the word of God are virgins. For such is the 
word of God, that of its purity it imparts to all, who by its 
teaching have departed from the worship of idols, and have 
through Christ drawn near to the worship of God ; Which 
took their lamps, and went fort Jt to meet the bridegroom and 
the hride''. They take their lamps, i. e. their natural faculties, 
and go forth out of the world and its errors, and go to meet 
the Saviour, who is ever ready to come to enter with them 
that are worthy to His blessed bride the Church. Hilary ; 
Or, TJie bridegroom and the bride represent our Lord God in 
the body, for the flesh is the bride of the spirit. The lamps are 
the light of bright souls which shine forth in the sacrament of 

a ' Et sponsse' Viilg. and so a few Greek MSS. 

VEK. 1 18. ST. MATTHEW. 845 

baptism ''. Aug. Or, The lamps which they carry in their hands Aug. 
are their works, of which it was said above, Let your works q^^^^^ 
s]iine he/ore men. Origen; They that beUeve rightly, and q- ^9. 
live righteously, are likened to the five wise ; they that pro- jg * ' 
fess the failh of Jesus, but prepare themselves not by good 
works to salvation, are likened to the five foolish. Jeromp: ; 
For there are five senses which hasten towards heavenly 
things, and seek after things above. Of sight, hearing, and 
touch, it is specially said, Tliat which we have heard, which i John 
we have seen with our eyes, and our hands have handled. ' ' 
Of taste. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Of smell, Ps.34,8. 
Because of the savour of thy good ointments. There are g^ * j 
also other five senses which gape after eaithly husks. Aug. 3- 
Or, by the five virgins, is denoted a five-fold continence ubi sup. 
from the allurements of the flesh ; for our appetite must 
be held from gratification of the eyes, ears, smell, taste, and 
touch. And as this continence may be done before God, 
to please Him in inward joy of the conscience, or before 
men only to gain applause of men, five are called wise, and 
five foolish. Both are virgins, because both these men ex- 
ercise continence, though from different motives. Origen ; 
And because the virtues are so linked together, that he who 
has one has all, so all the senses so follow one another, that 
all must be wise, or all foolish. Hilary ; Or, The five wise 
and five foolish are an absolute distinction between believers 
and unbelievers. Greg. It is to be observed, that all have Greg, 
lamps, but all have not oil. Hilary; The oil is the fruit ^'^^ ®^P- 
of good works, the vessels are the human bodies in whose 
inward parts the treasure of a good conscience is to be laid 
up. Jerome ; The virgins that have oil are they who, 
besides their faith, have the ornament of good works ; they 
that have not oil, are they that seem to confess with like 
faith, but neglect the works of virtue. Aug. Or, The oil Aug. 
denotes joy, according to that, God hath anointed thee\^^^j^ 
with the oil of gladness. He then whose joy springs not 
from this that he is inwardly pleasing to God, has no oil 
with him ; for they have no gladness in their continent lives, 

>> Alluding to the terms ^urtffjt,ot and designated. S. Cyr. Cat. Oxf. Tr. 
illuminaiio, by which Baptism was p. 1. 


save in the praises of men. But the wise took oil with their 
lampfi, that is, the gladness of good works, i7i their vessels, 
that is, they stored it in their heart and conscience, as the 
Gal.6,4. Apostle speaks. Let every man prove himself^ and then shall 
he have rejoicing in himself, and not in another. Chrys, 
Or, The oil denotes charity, alms, and every aid rendered to the 
needy ; the lamps denote the gifts of virginity ; and He calls 
themjbolish, because after having gone through the gi-eater toil, 
they lost all for the sake of a less ; for it is greater labour 
to overcome the desires of the flesh than of money. Origen ; 
Or, The oil is the word of teaching, w^th which the vessels 
of souls are filled ; for what gives so great content as moral 
discourse, which is called the oil of light. The wise took with 
them of this oil, as much as would suffice, though the Word 
should tarry long, and be slack to come to their consum- 
mation. The foolish took lamps, alight indeed at the first, 
but not supplied with so much oil as should suffice even 
to the end, being careless respecting the provision of doctrine 
which comforts faith, and enlightens the lamp of good deeds. 
Aug. Aug. For there die of both kinds of men in this interval of 
" ^ ^^^* time before the resurrection of the dead, and the Lord's 
Greg, coming shall be. Greg. To sleep is to die, to slumber 
s"P- "before sleep is to faint from salvation before death, because, 
by the burden of sickness we come to the sleep of death. 
Jerome ; Or, They slumbered, i. e. they were dead. And 
then follows, And slept, because they were to be afterwards 
wakened. While the bridegroom tarried, shews that no 
little time intervened between the Lord's first and second 
coming. Origen ; Or, Whilst the bridegroom tarried, and 
the Word comes not speedily to the consummation of this 
life, the senses suffer, slumbering and moving in the night 
of the world ; and sleep, as energizing feebly, and with no 
quick sense. Yet did those wise virgins not quit their lamps, 
nor despair of hoarding their oil. Jerome ; The Jews have 
a tradition that Christ will come at midnight, in like manner 
as in that visitation of Egypt, when the Paschal feast is 
celebrated, and the destroyer comes, and the Lord passes 
over our dwellings, and the door posts of each man's counte- 
nance are hallow^ed by the blood of the Lamb. Hence, I 
suppose, has continued among us that apostolic tradition, 

VEU. 1 13. ST. MATTHEW. 847 

that on the vigil of Easter ■= the people should not be dismissed 
before midnight, in expectation of Christ's coming ; but 
when that hour has past over, they may celebrate the feast 
in security; whence also the Psalmist says, At midnight Fs.ii9, 
did I rise to praise thee. Aug. Or, At midnight >> that is, ^* 
when none knew or looked for it. Jerome ; Suddenly thus,ubi sup. 
as on a stormy night, and when all think themselves secure, 
at the hour when sleep is the deepest, the coming of Christ 
shall be proclaimed by the shout of Angels, and the trumpets 
of the Powers that go before Him. This is meant when it 
says, Zo, the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him. 
Hilary ; At the trumpet signal they go forth to meet the 
bridegroom alone, for then shall the two be one, that is, the 
flesh and God, when the lowliness of the flesh shall be trans- 
formed into spiritual glory. Aug. Or, that the virgins go Aug. 
forth to meet the bridegroom alone, I think is to be under- ^ ^ ^"P* 
stood that the virgins themselves constitute her who is called 
the bride; as we speak of the Christians flocking to the Church 
as children running to their mother, and yet this same mother 
consists only of the children who are gathered together. For 
now the Church is betrothed, and is to be led forth as a virgin to 
the marriage, which takes place then when all her mortal part 
having past away, she may be held in an eternal union. Origen; 
Or, At midnight^ that is, at the time of their most abandoned 
carelessness, there was a. great crtj, of the Angels, I suppose, 
desiring to arouse all men, those ministering spirits crying 
within in the senses of all that sleep, Behold, the bridegroom, 
Cometh^ go ye out to meet him. All heard this summons, 
and arose, but all were not able to trim their lamps fitly. 
The lamps of the senses are trimmed by evangelical and 
right use of them ; and they that use their senses amiss 
have their lamps untrimmed. Greg. Or, All the virgins arose, Greg. 

ubi sup. 

'^ " This day was kept an universal observed it on a double account. Lac- 
fast over the whole Church. And they tantius, (vii. 19.) says, ' This is the 
continued it not only till evening, but night which we observe, with a per- 
till cockcrowing in the morning. The noctation for the Advent of our King 
night was spent in a Vigil, or Pernoc- and God; of which there is a two- 
tation, when they assembled together fold reason to be given ; because in 
to perform all parts of Divine service, this night our Lord was raised to life 
There is frequent mention made of this again after His Passion ; and in the 
in ancient writers, Chrysostom, (Hom. same He is expected to return to re- 
30- in Gen,) Epiphanius, (Exp. fid. n. ceive the kingdom of the world.'" 
22.) and many others. Particularly Bingham's Antiquities, xxi. 1. 32. 
Lactantius and S. Jerome tell us they 



that is, both elect and reprobate are roused from the sleep 
of death ; they trimmed their lamps, that is, they reckon up 
to themselves their works for vt'hich they look to receive 
Aug. eternal blessedness. Aug. They trimmed their lamps, that 
sup. ^^^ prepared to give an account of their deeds. Hilary ; 
Or, the trimming their lamps is the return of their souls into 
their bodies, and their light is the consciousness of good 
works that shines forth, v^hich is contained in the vessels 
Greg, of the body. Greg. The lamps of the foolish virgins go 
^"^* out, because the works which appeared outwardly to men 
to be bright, are dimmed within at the coming of the Judge. 
That they then beg oil of the wise virgins, what is it but 
that at the coming of the Judge, when they find themselves 
empty within, they seek for witness from without ? As 
though deceived by their own self-confidence, they say to 
their neighbours, Whereas ye see us rejected as living with- 
out works, do ye witness to our works that ye have seen. 
Aug. Aug. From habit, the mind seeks that which uses to give 
" ^ ^"^' it pleasure. And these now seek from men, who see not 
the heart, witness to God, who sees the heart. But their 
lamps go out, because those, whose good works rest upon 
the testimony of others, when that is withdrawn, sink into 
nothing. Jerome ; Or, These virgins who complain that their 
lamps are gone out, shew that they are partially alight, yet 
have they not an unfailing light, nor enduring works. Whoso 
then has a virgin soul, and is a lover of chastity, ought not 
to rest content with such virtues as quickly fade, and are 
withered away when the heat comes upon them, but should 
follow after perfect virtues, that he may have an enduring 
light. Chrys. Or otherwise ; These virgins were foolish, 
not only because they departed hence, lacking store of mercy, 
but because they deemed to receive it from those of whom 
they importunately begged it. For though nothing could 
be more merciful than those wise virgins, who for this very 
mercifulness were approved, yet would they not grant the 
prayer of the foolish virgins. But the wise answered, saying. 
Not so, lest there be not enough for us and you ; hence 
we leaiTi that none of us shall be able in that day to stand 
> wgtf^Ti}- forth as patron^ of those who are betrayed by their own works, 
** not because he will not, but because he cannot. Jerome ; 

For these wise virgins do not answer thus out of covetousness, 

VER. 1 13. ST. MATTHEW. 849 

but out of fear. Wherefore, each man shall receive the 
recompense of his own works, and the virtues of one can- 
not atone for the vices of another in the day of judgment. 
The wise admonish them not to go to meet the bridegroom 
without oil, Go ye rather to them tJiat sell, and buy /or your- 
selves. Hilary ; T7iey that sell are the poor, who, needing 
the alms of the faithful, made them that recompense which 
they desire, selling in return for the relief afforded to their 
wants, a consciousness of good works. This is the abundant 
fuel of an undying light which may be bought and stored 
up for the fruits of mercy. Chrys. You see then how 
great merchants the poor are to us ; but the poor are not 
there, but here, and therefore we must store up oil here, that 
we may have it to use there when occasion shall require. 
Jerome ; And this oil is sold, and at a high cost, nor is it 
to be got without much toil ; so that we understand it not 
of alms only, but of all virtues and counsels of the teachers. 
Origen ; Otherwise ; Notwithstanding they were foolish, 
they yet understood that they must have light to go and 
meet the bridegroom, that all the lights of their senses might 
be burning. This also they discerned, that because they had 
little of the spiritual oil, their lamps would burn dim as 
darkness drew on. But the wise send the foolish to those 
that sell, seeing that they had not stored up so much oil, 
that is, word of doctrine, as would suffice both for themselves 
to live by, and to teach others. Go ye rather to them that 
sell, i. e. to the doctors, and buy, i. e. take of them; the price 
is perseverance, the love of learning, industry, and toil of 
all who are willing to learn. Aug. Or we may suppose it Aug. 
not meant as advice what they should do, but as an indirect ^"^' 
allusion to their fault. For flatterers sell oil, who by praising 
things false, and things unknown, lead souls astray, recom- 
mending to them, as foolish, empty joys, and receiving in 
return some temporal benefit. Go ye rather to them that 
sell, and buy for yourselves, i. e. Let us now see what they 
can profit you who have used to sell you their praise. Lest 
there be not enough for us and yot/, hecsiuse no man is profited 
in God's sight by the testimony of others, because God sees 
the heart, and each man is scarce able to give testimony 
concerning his own conscience. Jerome ; But because the 

VOL. I. 3 I 


season for buying was now past, and the day of judgment 
was coming on, so that there was no room for penitence, 
they must not now lay up new works, but give an account 
of the old. Hilary ; The marriage is the putting on of 
immortality, and the joining together corruption and incor- 
ruption in a new union. Chrys. That, While they went to 
hny^ shews that even, if we should become merciful after 
death, it will avail us nothing to escape punishment, as it 
was no profit to the rich man, that he became merciful and 
careful about those who belonged to him. Origen ; Or, 
He says. While they went to buy, because there are men 
to be found who have neglected to learn any thing useful, 
till when, in the very end of their life, when they set them- 
Aug. selves to learn, they are overtaken by death. Aug. Or 
ubi sup. Q^i^g^-Yvise ; While they went to buy, that is, while they 
turned themselves to things without, and sought to find 
pleasure in things they had been accustomed to, because 
they knew not inward joys, came He that judges ; and they 
that were ready, i. e. they whose conscience bore witness 
to them before God, went in with him to the wedding, i. e. 
to where the pure soul is united prolific to the pure and 
perfect word of God. Jerome ; After the day of judgment, 
there is no more opportunity for good works, or for righ- 
teousness, and therefore it follows, And the door was shut. 
Aug. Aug. When they have been taken in who have been changed 
ubi sup. -jj^Q angelic being, all entrance into the kingdom of heaven 
15, 51. is closed ; after the judgment, there is no more place for 
prayers or merit. Hilary ; Yet though the season of re- 
pentance is now past, the foolish virgins come and beg that 
entrance may be granted to them. Jerome ; Their worthy 
confession calling Him, Lord, Lord, is a mark of faith. But 
what avails it to confess with the mouth Him whom you 
Gloss, deny with your works } Gloss. Grief at their exclusion 
^P" , extorts from them a repetition of this title of Lord ; they 

Anselm. _ ^ ... 

call not Him Father, whose mercy they despised in their 
Aug. lifetime. Aug. It is not said that they bought any oil, and 
sup. ^\yQYeioxe we must suppose that all their delight in the praise 
of men being gone, they return in distress and affliction to 
implore God. But His severity, after judgment, is as great 
as His mercy was unspeakable before. But He answered 

VER. 14 — 30. ST. MATTHEW. 851 

and said. Verily I say unto you, I knoiv you not ; by that 
rule, namely, that the art of God, that is, His wisdom, does 
not admit that those should enter into His joy who have 
sought to do in any thing according to His commandments, 
not as before God, but that they may please men. Jerome ; 
For the Lord knoweth them that are his, and he that knoweth2 Tim. 

2 19 
not shall not be known, and though they be virgins in purity ' 

of body, or in confession of the true faith, yet forasmuch as 

they have no oil, they are unknown by the bridegroom. When 

He adds. Watch therefore, because ye know not the day nor 

the hour, He means that all that has been said points to 

this, namely, that seeing we know not the day of judgment, 

we should be careful in providing the light of good works. 

Aug. For indeed we know the day and the hour neither of Aug. 

that future time when the Bridegroom will come, nor of our^ ^^^^* 

own falling asleep each of us ; if then we be prepared for 

this latter, we shall also be prepared when that voice shall 

sound, which shall arouse us all. Id. There have not been Aug. 

wanting those who would refer these ten virgins to that 45^* ' 

coming of Christ, which takes place now in the Church ; 

but this is not to be hastily held out, lest any thing should 

occur contradictory of it. 

14. For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling 
into a far country, w^ho called his own servants, and 
delivered unto them his goods. 

15. And unto one he gave five talents, to another 
two, and to another one ; to every man according to 
his several ability ; and straightway took his journey. 

16. Then he that had received the five talents 
went and traded with the same, and made them 
other five talents. 

17. And likewise he that had received two, he 
also gained other two. 

18. But he that had received one went and digged 
in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 

19. After a long time the lord of those servants 
Cometh, and reckoneth with them. 

3 I 2 


20. And so he that had received five talents came 
and brought other five talents, sayhig, Lord, thou 
deliveredst unto me five talents : behold, 1 have 
gained beside them five talents more. 

21. His lord said unto him. Well done, thou 
good and faithful servant : thou hast been faithful 
over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many 
things : enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 

22. He also that had received two talents came 
and said. Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents : 
behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 

23. His lord said unto him. Well done, good and 
faithful servant ; thou hast been faithful over a few 
things, T will make thee ruler over many things : 
enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 

24. Then he which had received the one talent 
came and said. Lord, I knew thee that thou art 
an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and 
gathering where thou hast not strawed : 

25. And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent 
in the earth : lo, there thou hast that is thine. 

26. His lord answered and said unto him. Thou 
wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I 
reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have 
not strawed : 

27. Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money 
to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should 
have received my own with usury. 

28. Take therefore the talent from him, and give 
it unto him which hath ten talents. 

29. For unto every one that hath shall be given, 
and he shall have abundance : but from him that hath 
not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 

30. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer 
darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

VER. 14 30. ST. MATTHEW. 853 

Gloss. In the foregoing parable is set forth the condemn- Gloss. 
ation of such as have not prepared sufficient oil for themselves, "°" ^^' 
whether by oil is meant the brightness of good works, or 
inward joy of conscience, or alms paid in money. Chrys. 
This parable is delivered against those who will not assist 
their neighbours either with money, or words, or in any 
other way, but hide all that they have. Greg. The man G^eg. 
travelling into a far country is our Redeemer, who ascended Ev.ix i. 
into heaven in that flesh which He had taken upon Him. 
For the proper home of the flesh is the earth, and it, as it 
were, travels into a foreign country, when it is placed by 
the Redeemer in heaven. Origen ; He travels, not according 
to His divine nature, but according to the dispensation of 
the flesh which He took upon Him. For He who says to 
His disciples, Lo, I am with you always, even unto theMat.28, 
end of the world, is the Only-Begotten God, who is not ' 
circumscribed by bodily form. By saying this, we do not 
disunite Jesus, but attribute its proper qualities to each con- 
stituent substance. We may also explain thus, that the Lord 
travels in a far country with all those who walk by faith and 
not by sight. And when we are absent from the body with 
the Lord, then will He also be with us. Observe that the 
turn of expression is not thus, I am like, or The Son of Man 
is like, a tnan travelling into a far country, because He is 
represented in the parable as travelling, not as the Son of 
God, but as man. Jerome ; Calling together the Apostles, 
He gave them the Gospel doctrine, to one more, to another 
less, not as of His own bounty or scanting, but as meeting the 
capacity of the receivers, as the Apostle says, that he fed i Cor. 
with milk those that were unable to take solid food. ^' ^' 
In the five, two, and one talent, we recognise the diversity 
of gifts wherewith we have been entrusted. Origen ; 
Whenever you see of those who have received from Christ 
a dispensation of the oracles of God that some have more 
and some less ; that some have not in comparison of the 
better sort half an understanding of things ; that others have 
still less; you will perceive the diflerence of those who have 
all of them received from Christ oracles of God. They to 
whom five talents were given, and they to whom two, and they to 
whom one, have divers degrees of capacity, and one could not 
hold the measure of another ; he who received but one 


having received no mean endowment, for one talent of such 
a master is a great thing. His proper servants are three, 
as there are three sorts of those that bear fruit. He that 
received five talents, is he that is able to raise all the mean- 
ings of the Scriptures to their more divine significations; he 
that has two is he that has been taught carnal doctrine, (for 
two seems to be a carnal number,) and to the less strong the 

Greg. Master of the household has given one talent. Greg. Other- 

^^P'wise; The five talents denote the gift of the five senses, that 

is, the knowledge of things without ; the two signify under- 

^loss. standing and action, the one talent understanding only. Gloss. 
And straightway took his journey, not changing his place, 
but leaving them to their own freewill and choice of action. 

Jerome ; He that had received five talents, that is, having 
received his bodily senses, he doubled his knowledge of 
heavenly things, from the creature understanding the Creator, 

Greg, from earthly unearthly, from temporal the eternal. Greg. 
1 sup. 'pj^g^.g ^j,g ^igQ gQYYie who though they cannot pierce to things 
inward and mystical, yet for their measure of view of their hea- 
venly country they teach rightly such things as they can, what 
they have gathered from things without, and while they keep 
themselves from wantonness of the flesh, and from ambition 
of earthly things, and from the delights of the things that are 
seen, they restrain others also from the same by their admo- 
nitions. Origen ; Or, They that have their senses exercised 
by healthy conversation, both raising themselves to higher 
knowledge and zealous in teaching others, these have gained 
other five; because no one can easily have increase of any 
virtues that are not his own, and without he teaches others 
what he himself knows, and no more. Hilary ; Or, That 
servant who received five talents is the people of be^ 
lievers under the Law, who beginning with that, doubled their 

Greg, merit by the right obedience of an evangelic faith. Greg. 

" ^ '^"P- Again, there are some who by their understanding and their 
actions preach to others, and thence gain as it were a twofold 
profit in such merchandize. This their preaching bestowed 
upon both sexes is thus a talent doubled. Origen; Or, 
gained other two, that is, carnal instruction, and another yet 
a little higher. Hilary; Or, the servant to whom two talents 
were committed is the people of the Gentiles justified by the 
faith and confession of the Son and of the Father, confessing 

VER. 14 30. ST. MATTHEW. 855 

our Lord Jesus Christ, to be both God and Man, both Spirit 
and Flesh. These are the two talents committed to this servant. 
But as the Jewish people doubled by its belief in the Gospel 
every Sacrament which it had learned in the Law, (i. e. its 
five talents,) so this people by its use of its two talents merited 
understanding and working. Greg. To hide one's talent in Greg. 
the earth is to devote the ability we have received to worldly" ^ ^"^' 
business. Origen; Or otherwise; When you see one who 
has the power of teaching, and of benefitting souls, hiding this 
power, though he may have a certain religiousness of life, 
doubt not of such an one that he has received one talent and 
hides it in the earth. Hilary; Or, This servant who has 
received one talent and hid it in the earth is the people that 
continue in the Law, who through jealousy of the salvation of 
the Gentiles hide the talent they have received in the earth. 
For to hide a talent in the earth is to hide the glory of the 
new preaching through offence at the Passion of His Body. 
His coming to reckon with them is the assize of the day of 
judgment. Origen; And note here that the servants do not 
come to the Lord to be judged, but the Lord shall come to 
them when the time shall be accomplished. After a long 
time, that is, when He has sent forth such as are fitted to 
bring about the salvation of souls, and perhaps for this reason 
it is not easy to find one who is quite fit to pass forthwith out 
of this life, as is manifest from this, that even the Apostles 
lived to old age; for example, it was said to Peter, When thou John 
shalt be old, thou shall stretch forth thy hand; and Paul says ' * 
to Philemon, Now as Paul the aged. Chrys. Observe also 
that the Lord does not require the reckoning immediately, 
that you may learn His long suffering. To me He seems to 
say this covertly, alluding to the resurrection. Jerome ; After 
a long time, because there is a long interval between the 
Saviour's ascension and His second coming. Greg. This Greg, 
lesson from this Gospel warns us to consider whether those, " ^ ^"^* 
who seem to have received more in this world than others, 
shall not be more severely judged by the Author of the world; 
the greater the gifts, the greater the reckoning for them. 
Therefore should every one be humble concerning his talents 
in proportion as he sees himself tied up with a greater respon- 
sibility. Origen; He who had received five talents comes 


Greg, first with boldness before his Lord. Greg. And bringing his 

Ev."ix!'^ talents doubled, he is commended by his Lord, and is sent 

2- into eternal happiness. Raban . Well done is an interjection 

ofjoy; the Lord shewing us therein the joy with which He 

invites the servant who labours well to eternal bliss ; of which 

Ps. 16, the Prophet speaks, In thy presence is fulness ofjoy. Chrys. 

Thou good servant, this he means of that goodness which is 

Gloss, shewn towards our neio-hbour. Gloss. F«^7///M/, because he 

non occ. , ° *^ , . 

appropriated to himself none of those things which were his 
lord's. Jerome ; He says , Thou wast faithful in a few things y 
because all that we have at present though they seem great 
and many, yet in comparison of the things to come are little 
^^^f and few. Greg. The faithful servant is set over many things, 
when having overcome the afflictions of con*uption, he joys 
with eternal joy in that heavenly seat. He is then fully ad- 
mitted to the joy of his Lord, when taken in to that abiding 
country, and numbered among the companies of Angels, he 
has such inward joy for this gift, that there is no room for out- 
ward sorrow at his corruption. Jekome; What greater thing 
can be given to a faithful servant than to be with his Lord, 
and to see his Lord's joy? Chrys. By this wordijoy He ex- 
feT ' P^'^^^^^ complete blessedness. Aug. This w^ill be our perfect 
^' 8. joy, than which is none greater, to have fruition of that Di- 
vine Trinity in whose image we were made. Jerome; The 
servant who of five talents had made ten, and he who of two 
had made four, are received with equal favour by the Master 
of the household, who looks not to the largeness of their profit, 
but to the disposition of their will. Origen ; That He says 
of both these servants that they came, we must understand of 
their passing out of this world to Him. And observe that 
the same was said to them both ; he that had less capacity, 
but that which he had, he exercised after such manner as he 
ought, shall have no whit less with God than he who has a 
greater capacity ; for all that is required is that whatever a 
man has from God, he should use it all to the glory of God. 
Greg. Greg. The servant who would not trade with his talent 
Ev°T " I'stums to his Lord with words of excuse. Jerome ; For 

3. truly that which is written. To offer excuses excusing sins 

4, ■ ' happened to this servant, so that to slothfulness and idleness 

was added also the sin of pride. For he who ought to have 

VER. 14 — 30. ST. MATTHEW. 857 

honestly acknowledged his fault, and to have entreated the 
Master of the household, on the contrary cavils against him, 
and avers that he did it with provident design, lest while he 
sought to make profit he should hazard the capital. Origen; 
This servant seems to me to have been one of those who 
believe, but do not act honestly, concealing their faith, and 
doing every thing that they may not be known to be Chris- 
tians. They who are such seem to me to have a fear of God, 
and to regard Him as austere and implacable. We indeed 
understand how the Lord reaps where He sowed not, be- 
cause the righteous man sows in the Spirit, whereof he shall 
reap life eternal. Also He reaps where He sowed not, and 
gathers where he scattered not, because He counts as bestowed 
upon Himself all that is sown among the poor. Jerome > 
Also, by this which this servant dared to say. Thou reapest 
where thou sowedst not, we understand that the Lord accepts 
the good life of the Gentiles and of the Philosophers. Greg. Greg. 
But there are many within the Church of whom this servant ^^^' 
is a type, who fear to set out on the path of a better life, and 
yet are not afraid to continue in carnal indolence ; they 
esteem themselves sinners, and therefore tremble to take up 
the paths of holiness, but fearlessly remain in their own 
iniquities. Hilary; Or, By this servant is understood the 
Jewish people which continues in the Law, and says, / was 
afraid of thee, as through fear of the old commandments 
abstaining from the exercise of evangelical liberty ; and it 
says, Lo, there is that is thine, as though it had continued in 
those things which the Lord commanded, when yet it knew 
that the fruits of righteousness should be reaped there, where 
the Law had not been sown, and that there should be ga- 
thered from among the Gentiles some who were not scattered 
of the seed of Abraham. Jerome ; But what he thought 
would be his excuse is turned into his condemnation. He 
calls him wicked servant, because he cavilled against his 
Lord ; and slothful, because he would not double his talent ; 
condemning his pride in the one, and his idleness in the other. 
If you knew me to be hard and austere, and to seek after other 
men's goods, you should also have known that I exact with 
the more rigour that is mine own, and should have given my 
money to the bankers; for the Greek word here (agyijpiov) 


Ps.12,6. means money. The words of the Lord are pure words, sil- 
ver tried in the fire. The money, or silver, then are the 
preaching of the Gospel and the heavenly word ; which 
ought to be given to the bankers, that is, either to the other 
doctors, which the iVpostles did when they ordained Priests 
and Bishops throughout the cities; or to all the believers, 
who can double the sum and restore it with usury by fulfilling 

Greg, in act what they have learned in word. Greg. So then we 

XT ' 

Ev. ix. see as well the peril of the teachers if they withhold the Lord's 
^' money, as that of the hearers from whom is exacted with 

usury that they have heard, namely, that from what they have 
heard they should strive to understand that they have not 
heard. Origen; The Lord did not allow that He was a 
hard man as the servant supposed, but He assented to all 
his other words. But He is indeed hard to those who abuse 
the mercy of God to suffer themselves to become remiss, and 
Greg, use it not to be converted. Greg. Let us hear now the 
^"^* sentence by which the Lord condemns the slothful ser- 
vant, Take away from him the talent, and give it to him. that 
hath ten talents. Origen ; The Lord is able by the might 
of His divinity to take away his ability from the man who is 
slack to use it, and to give it to him who has improved his 
Greg. own. Greg. It might seem more seasonable to have given 
Ev.°ix! it rather to him who had two, than to him who had five. But 
^' as the five talents denote the knowledge of things without, 

the two understanding and action, he who had the two had 
more than he who had the five talents ; this man with his five 
talents merited the administration of things without, but was 
yet without any understanding of things eternal. The one 
talent therefore, which we say signifies the intellect, ought to 
be given to him who had administered well the things without 
which he had received ; the same we see happen every day 
in the Holy Church, that they who administer faithfully things 
without, are also mighty in the inward understanding. Jerome ; 
Or, it is given to him who had gained five talents, that we may 
understand that though the Lord's joy over the labour of each 
be equal, of him who doubled the five as of him who doubled 
the two, yet is a greater reward due to him who laboured 
Greg, more in the Lord's money. Greg. Then follows a 
Ev."ix. general sentence, For to every one that hath shall he given, 

VER. 14 30. ST. MATTHEW. 859 

and he shall have abundance, hut from him that hath not, 
even that which he seemeth to have shall he taken away. 
For whosoever has charity receives the other gifts also ; but 
whosoever has not charity loses even the gifts which he 
seemed to have had. Chrys. Also he who has the graces of 
eloquence and of teaching to profit withal, and uses it not, 
loses that grace ; but he who does his endeavour in putting it 
to use acquires a larger share. Jerome ; Many also who 
are naturally clever and have sharp wit, if they become neg- 
lectful, and by disuse spoil that good they have by nature, 
these do, in comparison of him who being somewhat dull by 
nature compensates by industry and painstaking his back- 
wardness, lose their natural gift, and see the reward promised 
them pass away to others. But it may also be understood 
thus ; To him who has faith, and a right will in the Lord, 
even if he come in aught short in deed as being man, shall be 
given by the merciful Judge; but he who has not faith, shall 
lose even the other virtues which he seems to have naturally. 
And He says carefully, From him that hath not, shall he 
taken away even that which he seemeth to have, for what- 
soever is without faith in Christ ought not to be imputed to 
him who uses it amiss, but to Him who gives the goods of 
nature even to a wicked servant. Greg. Or, Whoso has not Greg. 
charity, loses even those things which he seems to have re- " ' ^^^' 
ceived. Hilary; And on those who have the privilege of the 
Gospels, the honour of the Law is also confeiTed, but from 
him who has not the faith of Christ is taken away even that 
honour which seemed to be his through the Law. Chrys. 
The wicked servant is punished not only by loss of his talent, 
but by intolerable infliction, and a denunciation in accusation 
joined therewith. Origen ; Into outer darkness, where is 
no light, perhaps not oven physical light; and where God is 
not seen, but those who are condemned thereto are condemned 
as unworthy the contemplation of God. We have also read 
some one before us expounding this of the darkness of that 
abyss which is outside the world, as though unworthy of the 
world, they were cast out into that abyss, where is darkness 
with none to lighten it. Greg. And thus for punishment he Greg. 
shall be cast into outer darkness who has of his own free will " ^ ^"^' 
fallen into inward darkness. Jerome ; What is weeping and 

y, 16. 


gnashing of teeth we have said above. Chrys. Observe that 

not only he who robs others, or who works evil, is punished 

with extreme punishment, but he also who does not good 

Greg, works. Greg. Let him then who has understanding look 

Horn, in ^Y^Q^ }jg hold not his peace ; let him who has affluence not be 

Ev. IX. . 

7. dead to mercy ; let him who has the art of guiding life com- 

municate its use with his neighbour ; and him who has the 
faculty of eloquence intercede with the rich for the poor. For 
the very least endowment will be reckoned as a talent entrusted 
for use. Origen ; If you are offended at this we have 
said, namely that a man shall be judged if he does not teach 

1 Cor. others, call to mind the Apostle's words, IVoe is unto me if I 
preach not the Gospel. 

31. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, 
and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit 
upon the throne of his glory: 

32. And before him shall be gathered all nations : 
and he shall separate them one from another, as a 
shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats : 

33. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, 
but the goats on the left. 

34. Then shall the King say unto them on his 
right hand. Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit 
the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of 
the world : 

35. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat : 
I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink : I was a stranger, 
and ye took me in : 

36. Naked, and ye clothed me : I was sick, and ye 
visited me : I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 

37. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying. 
Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee ? 
or thirsty, and gave thee drink ? 

38. When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee 
in ? or naked, and clothed thee ? 

VER. 31 45. ST. MATTHEW. 861 

39. Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and 
came unto thee ? 

40. And the King shall answer and say unto them. 
Verily I say unto you. Inasmuch as ye have done it 
unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have 
done it unto me. 

41. Then shall he say also unto them on the left 
hand. Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, 
prepared for the devil and his angels : 

42. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no 
meat : I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink : 

43. I was a stranger, and ye took me not in : 
naked, and ye clothed me not : sick, and in prison, 
and ye visited me not. 

44. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, 
when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a 
stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not 
minister unto thee ? 

45. Then shall he answer them, saying. Verily I 
say unto you. Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the 
least of these, ye did it not to me. 

Raban. After the parables concerning the end of the world 
the Lord proceeds to describe the manner of the judgment to 
come. Chrys. To this most sweet section of Scripture which Chnn. 
we cease not continually to ponder, let us now listen with all P^J"' 
attention and compunction of spirit, for Christ does indeed 
clothe this discourse with more terrors and vividness. He does 
not accordingly say of this as of the others, The kingdom of 
heaven is like, but shews of Himself by direct revelation, saying, 
TVheti the Son of man shall come in his majesty, Jerome ; 
He who was within two days to celebrate the passover, to be 
delivered to the cross, and mocked by men, fitly now holds 
out the glory of His triumph, that He may overbalance the 
offences that were to follow by the promise of reward. And 
it is to be noted, that He who shall be seen in majesty is the 
Son of Man. Aug. The wicked and they also who shajl be ^ug. 

in Joan. 


set on His right hand shall see Him in human shape, for He 

shall appear in the judgment in that form which He took on 

Him from us ; but it shall be afterwards that He shall be seen 

in the form of God, for which all the believ^ers long. Remig. 

These words overthrow the error of those who said that the 

Lord should not continue in the same form of a servant. By 

his 7najesty, He means His divinity, in w^hicli He is equal to the 

Father and the Holy Spirit. Origen; Or, He shall come 

again with glory, that His body may be such as when He was 

transfigured on the mount. His throne is either certain of 

Ps. 122, the more perfect of the Saints, of whom it is written. For there 

are set thrones in judgment; or certain Angelic Powers of 

Col. 1, wh.oioQ.\ii^ %di\di^ Thrones or dominions. Aug. He shall come 

^* down with the Angels whom He shall call from heavenly 

de Civ. places to hold judgment. Chrys. For all his Angels shall be 

24. ' with him to bear witness to the things wherein they have ad- 

^^g^ ministered to men's salvation at His bidding. Aug. Or, by 

Serm. Angels here He means men w^ho shall judge vdth Christ; for 

Angels are messengers, and such we rightly understand all 

who have brought tidings of heavenly salvation to men. 

Remig. And all nations shall be gathered before Him. These 

Aug. words prove that the resurrection of men shall be real. Aug. 

Dei XX. This gathering shall be executed by the ministry of Angels, 

24. as it is said in the Psalm, Gather to him his saints, Origen; 

Ps 50 

6. ' ' Or, we need not understand this of a local gathering together, 
but that the nations shall be no more dispersed in divers and 
false dogmas concerning Him. For Christ's divinity shall be 
manifested so that not even sinners shall any longer be ignorant 
of Him. He shall not then shew Himself as Son of God in one 
place and not in another; as He sought to express to us by 
the comparison of the lightning. So as long as the wicked 
know neither themselves nor Christ, or the righteous see 

1 Cor, through a glass darkly, so long the good are not severed from 

^^' ^^* the evil, but when by the manifestation of the Son of God all 
shall come to the knowledge of Him, then shall the Saviour 
sever the good from the evil ; for then shall sinners see their 
sins, and the righteous shall see clearly to what end the seeds 
of righteousness in them have led. They that are saved are 
called sheep by reason of that mildness which they have learnt 

Mat. 11, of Him who said, Learn of me. for I am meek and lowly, and 


VER, 31 45. ST. MATTHEW. 863 

because they are ready to go even to death in imitation of 
Christ, who was led as a sheep to the slaughter. The wicked, Isa. bs, 
are called goats, because they climb rough and rugged rocks^ 
and walk in dangerous places. Chrys. Or, He calls the one 
sheep and the other goats, to denote the unprofitableness of 
the one, and the fruitfulness of the other, for sheep are greatly 
productive in fleece, milk, and lambs. Gloss. Under the figure Gloss. 
of a sheep in Scripture is signified simplicity and innocence. °°° °^°* 
Beautifully then in this place are the elect denoted by sheep. 
Jerome; Also the goat is a salacious animal, and was the 
offering for sins in the Law; and He says not ^ she goats' 
which can produce young, and come up shorn from the wash- Song of 
ing. Chrys. Then He separates them in place. ORiGEN;4°2r*'" 
For the Saints who have wrought right works, shall receive in 
recompense of their right works the King's right hand, at 
which is rest and glory; but the wicked for their evil and 
sinister deeds have fallen to the left hand, that is, into the 
misery of torments. Then shall the King say to those who 
are on his right hand, Come, that in whatsoever they are be- 
hind they may make it up when they are more perfectly united 
to Christ. He adds, ye blessed of my Father, to shew how 
eminently blessed they were, being of old blessed of the Lord, Vs. lis, 
which made heaven and earth. Raban. Or, they are called ' 
blessed, to whom an eternal blessing is due for their good de- 
serts. He calls it the kingdom of His Father, ascribing the 
dominion of the kingdom to Him by whom Himself the King 
was begotten. For by His royal power, with which He shall 
be exalted alone in that day. He shall pronounce the sentence 
of judgment. Then shall the King say, Chrys. Observe that 
He says not ' Receive,' but possess^ or inherit, as due to you 
from of old. Jerome; This prepared for you from the found- 
ation of the world, is to be understood as of the foreknowledge 
of God, with whom things to come are as already done. Aug. Aug. 
Besides that kingdom of which He will say in the end. In- ^ ?^^* 
herit the kitigdom prepared for you, though in a very inferiors, 
manner, the present Church is also called His kingdom, in 
the which we are yet in conflict with the enemy until we come 
to that kingdom of peace, where we shall reign without an 
enemy. Id. But one will say, I desire not to reign, it is Aug. 
enough for me that I be saved. Wherein they are deceived, ^g^™' 


first, because there is no salvation for those whose iniquity 
abounds ; and, secondly, because if there be any difference 
between those that reign, and those that do not reign, yet 
must all be within the same kingdom, lest they be esteemed 
for foes or aliens, and perish while the others reign. Thus all 
the Romans inherit the kingdom of Rome, though all do not 
reign in it. Chrys. For what the Saints obtain the boon of 
this heavenly kingdom He shews when He adds, / was an 
liungred, and ye gave me io eat. Remig, And it is to be 
noted, that the Lord here enumerates six works of mercy which 
whoso shall study to accomplish shall be entitled to the 
kingdom prepared for the chosen from the foundation of the 
world. Raban. Mystically, He who with the bread of the 
word and the drink of wisdom refreshes the soul hungering 
and thirsting after righteousness, or admits into the home of 
our mother the Church him who is wandering in heresy or 
sin, or who strengthens the weak in faith, such an one dis- 
Greg. charges the obligations of true love. Greg. These, 
xxvi.27. to whom as they stand on His right hand the Judge at His 
coming shall say, / was an htmgred S^c. are they who are 
judged on the side of the elect, and who reign; who wash 
away the stains of their life with tears; who redeem for- 
mer sins by good deeds following; who, whatever unlawfid 
thing they have at any time done, have covered it from the 
Judge's eyes by a cloak of alms. Others indeed there are who 
are not judged, yet reign, who have gone even beyond the 
precepts of the Law in the perfection of their virtue. Origen; 
It is from humility that they declare themselves unworthy of 
any praise for their good deeds, not that they are forgetful of 
what they have done. But He shews them His close sym- 
pathy with His own. Raban. Lord, when saw we thee ^c. 
This they say not because they distrust the Lord's words, but 
they are in amaze at so great exaltation, and at the greatness 
of their own glory; or because the good which they have 
done will seem to them to be so small according to that of the 
I?om. 8, Apostle, For the sufferings of litis present time are not 
^^' worthy to be compared to the glory that shall he revealed in 
ns. Jerome ; It were indeed free to us to understand that it 
is Christ in every poor man whom we feed when he is hungry, 
or give drink to when he is thirsty, and so of other things ; 

VKR. 31 — 45. ST. MATTHEW. 865 

but when He says, In that ye have done it to one of the least of 
thesemy hrethren, He seems tome not to speak of the poor gene- 
rally, but of the poor in spirit, those to whom He pointed 
and said, Whosoever shall do the will of my Father whicli zVMatt. 
in heaven^ the same is my brother. Chrys. But if they are His ^' ^ ' 
brethren, why does He call them the least ? Because they are 
lowly, poor, and outcast. By these He means not only the monks 
who have retired to the mountains, but every believer though he 
should be secular, though an hungred, or the like, yet He 
would have him obtain merciful succours, for baptism and 
communication of the Divine mysteries makes him a brother. 
Origen ; As He had said to the righteous, Come ye, so 
He says to the wicked. Depart ye, for they who keep God's 
commandment are near to the Word, and are called that they 
may be made more near; but they are far from it, though 
they may seem to stand hard by, who do not His commands; 
therefore it is said to them. Depart ye, that those who seemed 
to be living before Him, might be no more seen. It should 
be remarked, that though He had said to the Saints, Ye blessed 
of my Father, He says not now, Ye cursed of my Father, 
because of all blessing the Father is the author, but each man 
is the origin of his own curse when he does the things that 
deserve the curse. They who depart from Jesus fall into 
eternal fire, which is of a very different kind from that fire 
which we use. For no fire which we have is eternal, nor even 
of any long continuance. And note, that He does not say, ' the 
kingdom prepared for the Angels,' as He does say everlasting 
Jire prepared for the Devil and his Ajigels ; because He 
did not, as far as in Him lay, create men to perdition, but 
sinners yoke themselves to the Devil, so that as they that are 
saved are made equal to the holy Angels, they that perish are 
made equal with the Devil's Angels. Aug. It is hence clear, a j?. 
that the same fire will be appropriated to the punishment of ^^ p'^-. 
men and of daemons. If then it inflicts pain by corporeal lo. 
touch, so as to produce bodily torment, how will there be in 
it any punishment for the evil spirits, unless the daemons have, 
as some have thought, bodies composed of gross and fluid air. 
But if any man asserts that the daemons have no bodies, we 
would not pugnaciously contend the point. For why may we 
not say, that truly, though wonderfully, even incorporeal spirit 
VOL. I. 3 k 


can feel pain of corporeal fire ? If the spirits of men, though 
themselves incorporeal, can be now inclosed in bodily limbs, 
they can then be inseparably attached to the bonds of body* 
The daemons then will be united to a body of material fire, 
though themselves immaterial, drawing punishment from their 
body, not giving life to it. And that fire being material will 
torture such bodies as otu^s with their spirits; but the daemons 
are spirits without bodies. Origen ; Or it may be that fire 
is of such nature that it can burn invisible substances, being 
2 Cor. itself invisible, as the Apostle speaks. The things which are 
' * seen are temporaU hut the things which are not seen are 
eternal. Wonder not when you hear that there is a fire which 
though unseen has power to torture, when you see that there 
is an internal fever which comes upon men, and pains them 
grievously. It follows, / was an hungred, and ye gave me 
1 Cor. no meat. It is written to the believers, Ye are the body of 
' Christ. As then the soul dwelling in the body, though it 
hungers not in respect of its spiritual substance, yet hungers 
for the food of the body, because it is yoked to the body; so 
the Saviour suffers whatever His body the Church suffers, 
though He Himself be impassible. And observe how in 
speaking to the righteous He reckons up their good deeds 
under their several kinds, but to the unrighteous He cuts short 
the description under the one head, / was sick and in prison, 
and ye visited me not, because it was the part of a merciful 
Judge to enlarge and dwell upon men's good deeds, but to 
pass lightly and cursorily over their evil deeds. Chrys. 
Observe how they had failed in mercifulness, not in one or 
two respects only, but in all ; not only did they not feed Him 
when He was hungry, but they did not even visit Him when 
He was sick, which was easier. And look how light things 
He enjoins; He said not, / was in prison, and ye did not set 
me free, but, and ye visited me not. Also His hunger required 
no costly dainties, but necessary food. Each of these counts 
then is enough for their punishment. First, the slightness of 
His prayer, viz. for bread; secondly, the destitution of Him 
who sought it, for He was poor ; thirdly, the natural feelings 
of compassion, for He was a man; fourthly, the expectation of 
His promise, for He promised a kingdom ; fifthly, the great- 
ness of Him who received, for it is God who receives in the 

VER. 31 — 45. ST. MATTHEW. 867 

poor man ; sixthly, the preeminent honour, in that He con- 
descended to take of men ; and, seventhly, the righteousness 
of so bestowing it, for what He takes from us is our own. 
But avarice blinds men to all these considerations. Greg. Greg. 
They to whom this is said are the wicked believers, who are ^ ^ ^"^* 
judged and perish; others, being unbelievers, are not judged 
and perish ; for there is no examination of the condition of such 
as appear before the face of an impartial Judge already con- 
demned by their unbelief; but those who hold the profession 
of the faith, but have not the works of their profession, are 
convicted that they may be condemned. These at least hear 
the words of their Judge, because they have at least kept the 
words of His faith. The others hear no words of their Judge 
pronouncing sentence of condemnation, because they have 
not paid Him honour even in word. For a prince who governs 
an earthly kingdom punishes after a different manner the 
rebellion of a subject and the hostile attempts of an enemy; 
in the former case, he recurs to his prerogative ; against an 
enemy he takes arms, and does not ask what penalty the law 
attaches to his crime. Chrys. Thus convicted by the words 
of the Judge, they make answer submissively, Lord^ wlien saw 
we thee S^c. Origen ; Mark how the righteous dwell upon 
each word, while the unrighteous answer summarily, and not 
going through the particular instances ; for so it becomes 
the righteous out of humility to disclaim each individual 
generous action, when imputed to them publicly ; whereas 
bad men excuse their sins, and endeavour to prove them few 
and venial. And Christ's answer conveys this. And to the 
righteous He says, In that ye did it to my brethren, to shew 
the greatness of their good deeds ; to the sinners He says 
only, to one of the least of these, not aggravating their sin. 
For they are truly His brethren who are perfect ; and a deed 
of mercy shewn to the more holy is more acceptable to God 
than one shewn to the less holy ; and the sin of overlooking 
the less holy is less than of overlooking the more holy. Aug. Aug. 
He is now treating of the last judgment, when Christ shall pei xx, 
come from heaven to judge the quick and dead. This^- 
day of the Divine judgment we call the Last Day, that is, 
the end of time ; for we cannot tell through how many days 
that judgment will be prolonged ; but day, as is the use of 

3 K 2 


holy Scripture, is put for time. And we therefore call it the 
last or latest judgment, because He both now judges and has 
judged from the beginning of the human race, when He 
thrust forth the first man from the tree of life, and spared not 
the Angels that sinned. But in that final judgment both 
men and Angels shall be judged together, when the Divine 
power shall bring each man's good and evil deeds in review 
before his memory, and one intuitive glance shall present 
them to the perception, so that at once we shall be condemned 
or acquitted in our consciences. 

46. And these shall go away into everlasting pu- 
nishment : but the righteous into life eternal. 

Aug. Aug. Some deceive themselves, saying, that the fire indeed 

et Op. is called everlasting, but not the punishment. This the Lord 

'^* foreseeing, sums up His sentence in these words. Origen ; 

Observe that whereas He put first the invitation. Come, ye 

blessed, and after that. Depart, ye cursed, because it is the 

property of a merciful God to record the good deeds of the 

good, before the bad deeds of the bad ; He now reverses the 

order, describing first the punishment of the wicked, and then 

the life of the good, that the terrors of the one may deter us 

from evil, and the honour of the other incite us to good. 

Greg. Greg. If he who has not given to others is visited with 

19. * 'so heavy a punishment, what shall he get who is convicted of 

^ having robbed others of their own. Aug. Eternal life is our 

de Civ. chief good, and the end of the city of God, of which the 

11. ' Apostle speaks. And the end everlasting life. But because 

Rom. 6, eternal life might be understood by those who are not well 

versed in Holy Scripture, to mean also the life of the wicked, 

because of the immortality of their souls, or because of the 

endless torments of the wicked ; therefore we must call the 

end of this City in which the chief good shall be attained, 

either peace in life eternal, or life eternal in peace, that it may 

Aug. be intelligible to all. Id. That which the Lord spoke to His 

i. 8. ' servant Moses, / am that I am, this we shall contemplate 

j^/^°^- ^' when we shall live in eternity. For thus the Lord speaks, 

Johnir, This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true 

VER. 46. ST. MATTHEW. 869 

Ood. This contemplation is promised to us as the end of 
all action, and the eternal perfection of our joys, of which 
John speaks, We shall see him as he is. ^ *^""" 

Jerome ; Let the thoughtful reader observe that punishments 
are eternal, and that that continuing life has thenceforward no 
fear of fall. Greg. They say that He held out empty terrors to Greg. 
deter them from sin. We answer, if He threatened falsely to ^'*: 
check unrighteousness, then He promised falsely to promote 19. 
good conduct. Thus while they go out of the way to prove 
God merciful, they are not afraid to charge Him with fraud. 
But, they urge, finite sin ought not to be visited with infinite 
punishment ; we answer, that this argument would be just, 
if the righteous .Judge considered men's actions, and not 
their hearts. Therefore it belongs to the righteousness of 
an impartial Judge, that those whose heart would never | 

be without sin in this life, should never be without punish- 
ment. Aug. And the lustice of no law is concerned to Aug. 
provide that the duration of each man's punishment should jj^j J^^^ 
be the same with the sin which drew that punishment uponH- 
him. There never was any man, who held that the torment 
of him, who committed a murder or adultery, should be 
compressed within the same space of time as the commission 
of the act. And when for any enormous crime a man is 
punished with death, does the law estimate his punishment 
by the delay that takes place in putting him to death, and 
not rather by this, that they remove him for ever from the 
society of the living .? And fines, disgrace, exile, slavery, 
when they are inflicted without any hopes of mercy, do they 
not seem like eternal punishments in proportion to the length 
of this life ? They are only therefore not eternal, because 
the life which suffers them is not itself eternal. But they 
say, How then is that true which Christ says, IVith what Matt. 7, 
measure ye mete, it shall he measured to you again, if tem- * 
poral sin is punished with eternal pain ? They do not 
observe that this is said with a view, not to the equality of 
the period of time, but of the retribution of evil, i. e. that 
he that has done evil should suffer evil. Man was made 
worthy of everlasting evil, because he destroyed in himself 
that good which might have eternal. Greg. But they say, Greg. 
no just man takes pleasure in cruelties, and the guilty servant"*^* ^^"^-^ 


was scourged to correct his fault. But when the wicked 

are given over to hell fire, to what purpose shall they burn 

there for ever ? We reply, that Almighty God, seeing He is 

good, does not delight in the torments of the wretched ; but 

forasmuch as He is righteous, He ceases not from taking 

vengeance on the wicked ; yet do the wicked burn not without 

some purpose, namely, that the righteous may acknowledge 

how they are debtors for eternity to Divine grace, when they 

see the wicked sulFering for eternity misery, which themselves 

have escaped only by the assistance of that Divine grace. 

■Aug. Aug. But, they assert, nobody can be at once capable of 

Dei, ' suffering pain, and incapable of death. It must be that one 

XXI. 3. ijyg jjj pain, but it need not be that pain kill him ; for not 

even these mortal bodies die from every pain ; but the reason 

that some pain causes their death is, that the connection 

between the soul and our present body is such that it gives 

way to extreme pain. But then the soul shall be united 

to such a body, and in such a way, that no pain shall be 

able to overcome the connection. There will not then be 

no death, but an everlasting death, the soul being unable 

to live, as being without God, and equally unable to rid itself 

lb. 17. of the pains of body by dying. Among ihese impugners 

of the eternity of punishment, Origen is the most merciful, 

who believed that the Devil himself and his Angels, after 

sufferings proportioned to their deserts, and a long endurance, 

should be delivered from those torments, and associated with 

the holy Angels. But for these and other things he was not 

undeservedly rebuked by the Church, because even his 

seeming mercy was thrown away, making for the saints real 

pains in which their sins were to be expiated, and fictitious 

blessedness, if the joys of the good were not to be secure 

and endless. In quite another way does the mercy of others 

err through their humane sympathies, who think that the 

sufferings of those men who are condemned by this sentence 

will be temporal, but that the happiness of those who are 

set fi'ee sooner or later will be eternal. Why does their 

charity extend to the whole race of man, but dries up when 

Greg, they come to the angelic race ? Greg. But they say, How 

ubi sup. ^rj^^ ^^gy -^Q called Saints, if they shall not pray for their 

enemies whom they see then burning .? They do not indeed 

VER. 46. ST. MATTHEW. 871 

pray for their enemies, so long as there is any possibility of 
converting their hearts to a profitable penitence, but how 
shall they pray for them when any change from their wicked- 
ness is no longer possible ? Aug. So some there are who Aug. de 
hold out liberation from punishment not to all men, but to pel 
those only who have been washed in Christ's Baptism, and ^^'- ^-^ 
have been partakers of His Body, let them have lived as 
they will ; because of that which the Lord speaks, 1/ anij John 6, 
man eat of this bread, he shall not die eternally. Again, ^^* 
others promise this not to all who have Christ's sacrament, 
but to Catholics only, however ill their lives, who have eaten 
Christ's Body, not in sacrament only, but in verity, (inas- 
much as they are set in the Church, which is His Body,) even 
though they should afterwards have fallen into heresy or 
idolatry of the Gentiles. And others again, because of what 
is written above. He that shall endure to the end, the same Matt. 
shall be saved, promise this only to those who persevere in^^'^^' 
the Catholic Church, that by the worthiness of their founda- 
tion, that is, of their faith, they shall be saved by fire. All. 
these the Apostle opposes when he says, TJie works of the Gal. 6, 
Jlesh are manifest, which are these, imcleanness, fornication, ^^' 
and the lilce ; of whiclt I tell you before, that they whiclt 
do sucli things shall not inherit the kingdom of God, Who- 
ever in his heart prefers temporal things to Christ, Christ 
is not his foundation, though he seem to have the faith of 
Christ. How much more then is he, who has committed 
things unlawful, convicted of not preferring Christ, but 
preferring other thhigs to Him ? I have also met with some 
who thought that only those would burn in eternal torments 
who neglected to give alms proportioned to their sins ; and 
for this reason they think that the Judge Himself here 
mentions nothing else that He shall make enquiry of, but 
of the giving or not giving alms. But whoso gives alms 
worthily for his sins, first begins with himself; for it were 
unmeet that he should not do that to himself which he does to 
others when he has heard the words of God, Thou shall love Matt. 
thy neighbour as thyself, and hears likewise. Be merciful ^^' ^^• 
to thy soul in pleasing God'? He then who does not to his 30^^24! 
own soul this alms of pleasing God, how can he be said to 
give alms meet for his sins 1 Why we are to give alms then 


is only that when we pray for mercy for sins past, we may 
be heard ; not that we may purchase thereby license for 
continuing in sin. And the Lord forewarns us that He 
will put alms done on the right hand, and on the left alms 
not done, to hew us how mighty are alms to do away 
former sins, not to give impunity to a continuance in sin. 

Origen ; Or, It is not one kind of righteousness only that 
is rewarded, as many think. In whatsoever matters any one 
does Christ's commands, he gives Christ meat and drink, 
Who feeds ever upon the truth and righteousness of His 
faithful people. So do we weave raiment for Christ when cold, 
when taking wisdom's web, we inculcate upon others, and put 
upon them bowels of mercy. Also when we make ready with 
divers virtues our heart for receiving Him, or those who 
are His, we take Him in a stranger into the home of our 
bosom. Also when we visit a brother sick either in faith 
or in good works, with doctrine, reproof, or comfort, we visit 
Christ Himself Moreover, all that is here, is the prison 
of Christ, and of them that are His, who live in this world, 
as though chained in the prison of natural necessity. When 
we do a good work to these, we visit them in prison, and 
Christ in them. 


1. And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished 
all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, 

2. Ye know that after two days is the feast of the 
Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be 

Hilary; After the discourse in which the Lord had 
declared that He should return in splendour, He announces 
to them His approaching Passion, that they might learn the 
close connection between the sacrament of the Cross, and the 
glory of eternity. Raban. All these sayings, i. e. about the 
consummation of the woild, and the day of judgment. Or, 
finished, because He had fulfilled in doing and preaching all 
things from the beginning of the Gospel to His Passion. 
Origen ; Yet it is not all barely, but all these ; for there 
were other sayings which He must speak before He should be 
delivered up. Aug. We gather from John's account, that six Aug. de 
days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, and thence Ev. ii. 
entered Jerusalem sitting upon the ass, after which were done ^^* 
the things related to have been done at Jerusalem. We under- 
stand therefore that four days elapsed from His coming to 
Bethany, to make this two days before the Passover. The 
difference between the Passover and the feast of unleavened v. 17. 
bread is this ; the name Passover is given to that one day on 
which the lamb was slain in the evening, that is, the fourteenth 
moon of the first month ; and on the fifteenth moon, the day 
that the people came out of Egypt, followed the festival of 
unleavened bread. But the Evangelists seem to use the^id. 

Acts 12 

terms indifferently. Jerome; The Passover, called in Hebrew 3. ' 


Phase, does not come as most think from ircLrryiiv ' to suffer,' but 
from the Hebrew word signifying ' to pass over ;' because the 
destroyer passed over when he saw the blood on the doors of 
the Israehtes, and smote them not; or the Lord Himself walked 
on high, succouring His people. Remig. Or, because by the 
help of the Lord the Israelitish people, freed from Egyptian 
bondage, passed forth into liberty. Origen; He said not, After 
two days will be, or will come, the feast of the Passover, but 
not meaning the ordinary annual Passover, but that Passover 

I TO such as had never before been, the Passover will he offered^. 

rraa-)crc Remig. Mystlcallv, that is called the Passover, because 
on that day Christ passed out of the world to His Father, 
from corruption to incorruption, from life to death, or 
because He redeemed the world by causing it savingly 
to pass from the slavery of the Devil. Jerome ; After 
the two days of the shining light of the Old and of the 
New Testament, the true Passover is slain for the world. 
Also our Passover is celebrated when we leave the things of 
earth, and hasten to the things of heaven. 

Origen; He foretels His crucifixion to His disciples, add- 
ing, And the Son of Man shall be delivered to becrucijled; thus 
fortifying them against that shock of surprise, which the sight 
of their Master, led forth to crucifixion, would otherwise have 
occasioned them. And He expresses it impersonally shall 
be delivered, because God delivered Him up in mercy to the 
human race, Judas from covetousness, the Priest for envy, the 
Devil through fear that through His teaching the human race 
would be plucked out of His hand, little aware how much 
more that would be effected by His death, than either by His 
teaching or miracles. 

3. Then assembled together the Chief Priests, and 
the Scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the 
palace of the High Priest, who was called Caiaphas, 

4. And consulted that they might take Jesus by 
subtilty, and kill him. 

5. But they said. Not on the feast day, lest there 
be an uproar among the people. 

Giosrf. Gloss. Then the Evancrelist lays before us the hidden 

non occ. *-* '' 

VER. 3 — 5. ST. MATTHEW. 875 

springs and machinery by which the Lord's Passion was 
brought to pass. Remig. This, then, is to be referred to the 
preceding words, and means before the Feast of the Passover. 
Origen ; Not true Priests and elders, but Priests and elders 
of what seemed the people of God, but was indeed the people 
of Gomorrah ; these, not knowing God's High Priest, laid a 
plot against Him, not recognising the Jirslhorn of the whole ^°^- ^ •> 
creation, yea, even against Him that was elder than them all, 
did they take counsel. Chrys. With such ill designs they 
came to the chief Priest, seeking a sanction whence a prohi- 
bition should have issued. There were at that time several 
Chief Priests, while the Law allowed but of one, whence it 
was manifest that the dissolution of the Jewish state was having 
its beginning. For Moses had commanded that there should be 
one Chief Priest, whose office should be filled up at death; but 
in process of time it grew to be annual. All those then who 
had been Chief Priests *, are here called Chief Priests. Remig. Wa^j rW 
They are condemned both because they were gathered ''^^"^^'*"' 
together, and because they were the Chief Priests; for the 
more the numbers, and the higher the rank and station of 
those who band together for any villany, the greater the 
enormity of what they do, and the heavier the punishment 
stored up for them. To shew the Lord's innocence and 
openness, the Evangelist adds, that they might take Jesus by 
suhtilty, and kill him. Chrys. For what then did they 
conspire, to seize Him secretly, or put Him to death.? For 
both ; but they feared the people, and therefore waited till 
the feast was over, for they said, not on the feast-day. For 
the Devil would not that Christ should suffer at the Passover, 
that His Passion might not be notorious. The Chief Priests 
had no fear in respect of God, namely, that their guilt might 
be aggravated by the season, but took into account human 
things only. Lest there be an uproar among the people, 
Origen ; 13y reason of the parties among the populace, those 
who favoured and those who hated Christ, those who believed 
and those who believed not. Leo ; This precaution of the Leo, 
Chief Priests arose not from reverence for the festival, but f^^^' 
from care for the success of their plot ; they feared an insur- 
rection at that season, not because of the guilt the populace 
might thereby incur, but because they might rescue Christ. 
Chrys. But their fury set aside their caution, and finding a 


betrayer, they put Christ to death in the middle of the feast. 
^^^^ Leo ; We recognise here a providential arrangement whereby 
58, 1. the chief men of the Jews, who had often sought occasion of 
effecting their cruel purposes against Christ, could never 
yet succeed till the days of the paschal celebration. For it 
behoved that the things which had long been promised in 
symbol and mystery should be accomplished in manifest 
reality, that the typical lamb should be displaced by the true, 
and one sacrifice embrace the whole catalogue of the varied 
victims. That shadows should give way to substance, and 
copies to the presence of the original ; victim is commuted for 
victim, blood is abolished by blood, and the festival of the 
Law is at once fiilfilled and changed. 

6. Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house 
of Simon the leper, 

7. There came unto him a woman having an ala- 
baster box of very precious ointment, and poured it 
on his head, as he sat at meat. 

8. But when his disciples saw it, they had indigna- 
tion, saying, To what purpose is this waste? 

9. For this ointment might have been sold for much, 
and given to the poor. 

10. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them. 
Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a 
good work upon me. 

1 1 . For ye have the poor always with you ; but me 
ye have not always. 

1 2. For in that she hath poured this ointment on 
my body, she did it for my burial. 

13. Verily I say unto you. Wheresoever this Gos- 
pel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall 
also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a 
memorial of her. 

Gloss. Gloss. Having set before us the counsels of the chief of 
non occ. ^}^g Jews concerning the death of Christ, the Evangelist would 
proceed to follow out their execution, and to relate the bar- 
gain of Judas with the Jews to deliver Him up, but he first 

VER. 6 — 13. ST. MATTHEW. 877 

shews the cause of this betrayal. He was grieved that the 
ointment which the woman poured upon Christ's head had 
not been sold that he might have carried off something out of 
the price it brought, and to make up this loss he was willing 
to betray his Master. And therefore he proceeds, Now when 
Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper. 
Jerome; Not that he was a leper yet, but having been so, 
and having been healed by the Saviour, he retained the ap- 
pellation to shew forth the power of Him who healed him. 
Raban. Alabaster is a kind of marble, white but marked with 
veins of different colours, which was in use for vessels to hold 
ointment, because it was said to preserve it from corruption. 
Jerome ; Another Evangelist instead of * alabastrum' has John 
^ nardum pisticam,' that is, genuine, unadulterated. Raban. '^* 
From the Greek tt/o-tij, faith, whence ' pisticus,' faithful. For 
this ointment was pure, unadulterated. 

Origen; Some one may perhaps think that there are four dif- 
ferent women of whom the Evangelists have written, but I rather 
agree with those who think that they are only three ; one of whom 
Matthew and Mark wrote, one of whom Luke, another of whom 
John. Jerome ; For let no one think that she who anointed His 
head and she who anointed His feet were one and the same ; 
for the latter washed His feet with her tears, and wiped them 
with her hair, and is plainly said to have been a harlot. But 
of this woman nothing of this kind is recorded, and indeed a 
harlot could not have at once been made deserving of the Lord's 
head. Ambrose; It is possible therefore that they were dif- Am- 
ferent persons, and so all appearance of contradiction between ^ °J' '" 
the Evangelists is removed. Or it is possible that it was the 37. 
same woman at two different times and two different stages of 
desert; first while yet a sinner, afterwards more advanced. 
Chrys. And in this way it may be the same in the three chyrs. 
Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And not without ,^""^- 

° ' ' \ , Ixxx. 

good reason does the Evangelist mention Simon's leprosy, to 
shew what gave this woman confidence to come to Christ. 
The leprosy was an unclean disease; when then she saw that 
Jesus had healed the man with whom He now lodged, she 
trusted that He could also cleanse the uncleanness of her 
soul; and so whereas other women came to Christ to be healed 
in their bodies, she came only for the honour and the he 


of her soul, having nothing diseased in her body; and for 

this she is worthy our highest admiration. But she in John 

is a different woman, the wonderful sister of Lazarus. 

Origen; Matthew and Mark relate that this was done in the 

house of Simon the leper ; but John says that Jesus came to 

a house where Lazarus was; and that not Simon, but Mary 

and Martha served. Further, according to John, six days 

before the Passover, He came to Bethany where Mary and 

Martha made Him a supper. But here it is in the house of 

Simon the leper, and two days before the Passover. And in 

Matthew and Mark, it is the disciples that have indignation 

with a good intent; in John, Judas alone with intent to steal; 

Greg, in Luke, no one finds fault. Greg. Or, we may think that 

^ om. in ^^^^ ^g ^-^Q same woman whom Luke calls a sinner, and John 

xxxiii. names Mary. Aug. Though the action described in Luke 

Aug. is the same as that described here, and the name of him with 

de Cons, yyijom the Lord supped is the same, for Luke also names 
Ev. u. ^ \^ _ ' 

79. Simon; yet because it is not contraiy to either nature or cus- 
tom for two men to bear the same name, it is more probable 
that this was another Simon, not the leper, in whose house in 
Bethany these things were done. I would only suppose that 
the woman who on that occasion came near to Jesus' feet, and 
this woman, were not two different persons, but that the same 
Mary did this twice. The first time is that narrated by Luke; 
for John mentions it in praise of Mary before Christ's coming 
John to Bethany, It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with 
^^' ^* ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother 
Lazarus was sick. Mary therefore had done this before. 
That she did afterwards in Bethany is distinct from Luke's 
account, but is the same event that is recorded by all three, 
John, Matthew, and Mark. That Matthew and Mark say it 
was the Lord's head that she anointed, and John His feet, is 
reconciled by supposing that she anointed both. Against 
this one might raise a cavil from what Mark says, that she 
anointed His head by breaking the box over it, so that 
there could be none of the ointment left with which to anoint 
His feet also. Let such caviller understand, that His feet 
tvere first anointed before the box was broken, and there re- 
mained in it, yet whole, enough wherewith to anoint the head 
by breaking the box and shedding the contents. 


VER. 6 — 13. ST. MATTHEW. 870 

Id. But let not any suppose that llie Lord's feet were by this Aug. de 
woman bathed in ointment after the manner which the luxuri- chHst. 
ous and debauched use. In all things of this nature, it is not the "^* 12. 
thing itself, but the mind of him who uses it, that is in fault. 
Whoso uses things after such sort as to pass the bounds ob- 
served by good men with whom he lives, either has some 
meaning* in what he does, or is vicious. What then is vice in 1 aliquid 
others, in a divine or prophetic person is a sign of some great ^'^°^" 
thing. The good odour is the good report which one has 
gained by the works of a good life, and in following Christ's 
footsteps sheds a most precious odour on His feet. Id. Still Aug. de 
there may seem to be some discrepancy between the narra- ^°°?; 
tive of Matthew and Mark, who say, that after two days is the 78. 
feast of the Passover, and then bring Jesus to Bethany; and 
that of John, who, relating this history of the ointment, says 
Six days before the Passover. They who urge this do not 
understand that the events in Bethany are in Matthew and 
Mark inserted out of their place, a little later than the time of 
their occurrence. Neither of them, it is to be observed, intro- 
duce their account with ' afterwards.' Chrys. The disciples 
had heard their Master say, / will have mercy, and not sacri- Matt. 9 
Jice, wherefore they thought among themselves, If He accepts ^^• 
not burnt-offerings, much less will He the application of such 
ointment as this. Jerome ; I know that some raise a cavil 
here, because John says that Judas alone was giieved be- 
cause he had the bag, and was a thief from the beginning; but 
Matthew, that all the disciples were sorrowful. These know 
not the figure syllepsis, by which one name is put for many, 
and many for one; as Paul in the Epistle to the, 
says, They were sawn asunder, when it is thought that one^^* 
only, Esaias namely, was so. Aug. We may however under- Aug. de 
stand that the other disciples thought or said the same, or ^^""i: 
that they assented to what Judas said, and thus Matthew and 79. 
Mark have described their common consent. But Judas said 
it because he was a thief, the others out of their care for the 
poor; and John desired to mention it only in the case of 
him whose thievish propensity he thought ought to be re- 
corded. Chrys. The disciples then thought thus, but Jesus, 
who saw the thoughts of the woman, suffered it. For her 
piety was gr<3at, and her ardour unspeakable, wherefore He 


condescended to suffer her to pour the ointment on His head. 
As the Father admitted the smoke and odour of the slain 
victim, so also Christ admitted this votive anointing of His 
head, though the disciples, who saw not her heart, murmured. 
Remig. He clearly shews that the Apostles had uttered some- 
thing harsh against her, when He says, Why trouble ye the 
woman? And beautifully He adds, She hath wrought a good 
work in me; as much as to say, It is not a waste of ointment, 
as ye say, but a good work, that is, a service of piety and de- 
votion. Chrys. And He says not merely, She hath wrought 
a good work, but says first, Why trouble ye the ivoman ? to 
teach us that every good act that is wrought by any, even 
though it lack somewhat of exact propriety, yet we ought to 
receive, cherish, and cultivate it, and not to require strict cor- 
rectness in a beginner. If He had been asked before this was 
done by the woman. He w^ould not have directed its doing; 
but when it was done, the rebuke of the disciples had no 
longer any place, and He Himself to guard the woman 
from importunate attacks speaks these things for her comfort. 
Remig. For the poor ye have ever with you. The Lord 
shews in these words as of set purpose, that they were not to 
be blamed who ministered of their substance to Him while 
He dwelt in a mortal body ; forasmuch as the poor were ever in 
the Church, to whom the believers might do good whensoever 
they would, but He would abide in the body with them but 
a very short time; whence it follows. But me ye shall not 
have always. Jerome; Here a question arises how the Lord 
Matt, should have said elsewhere to His disciples, ho, I am with you 
' * always, even to the end of the world; but here, Me ye shall 
not have always. I suppose that in this place He speaks of 
His bodily presence, which shall not be with them after the 
resurrection in daily intercourse and friendship, as it is now. 
Remig. Or, it is to be explained by supposing this spoken to 
Judas only; and He said not, Ye have not, but Ye shall not 
have, because this was spoken in the person of Judas to all 
his followers. And He says. Not always, though they have 
it at no time, because the wicked seem to have Christ in this 
present world, while they mix among His members and ap- 
proach His table, but they shall not always so have Him when 
Matt. He shall say to His elect, Come, ye blessed of my Father. It 

VER. 6 — 13. ST. MATTHEW. 8Bl 

was the custom among this people to embalm the bodies of Matt. 
the dead with divers spices, to the end that they might be kept ' 
from corruption as long as possible. And as this woman was 
desirous of embalming the Lord's dead Body, and would not 
be able because she would be anticipated by His resurrection, 
it was therefore arranged by Divine Providence that she 
should anoint the Lord's living Body. This then is what He 
says, In that site hath poured, that is. By anointing My living 
Body she shews forth My death and burial. Chrys. That 
this mention of His death and burial might not cause her to 
despond, He comforts her by what follows. Verily I say unto 
you, Wheresoever S^c. Raban. That is, To whatsoever place 
throughout the whole world the Chiu-ch shall be propagated? 
there this also that she hath done shall be told. That also that 
is added signifies, that as Judas by his reproof of her has earned 
evil character of treachery, so has she also earned the glory 
of pious devotedness. Jerome; Note His knowledge of 
things to come, how though about to suffer death within two 
days. He knows that His Gospel will be preached throughout 
the whole world. Chrys. Behold the accomplishment of this 
saying; to whatsoever part of the world you go, you will find 
this woman famous, and this has been wrought by the power 
of Him who spake this word. How many victories of kings 
and captains have passed into oblivion ; how many who built 
cities and enslaved many nations are now known neither by 
report nor by name; but the deed of this woman pouring 
forth ointment in the house of a leper in the presence of twelve 
men, this resounds throughout the world, and though so much 
time has elapsed, the memory of that which was done is not 
effaced. But why promised He no spiritual gift to this 
woman, but everlasting remembrance only } Because this He 
did promise made her confident of receiving the other also; 
whereas she wrought a good work, it is clear that she shall 
receive an adequate reward. 

Jerome ; Mystically ; The Lord, about to suffer for the 
whole world, sojourns in Bethany, in the house of obedience, 
which once was that of Simon the leper. Simon also is 
interpreted ' obedient,' or, according to another interpretation, 
* the world,' in whose house the Church is healed. Origen ; 
Oil is throughout Scripture put for the work of mercy, with 

VOL. I. 3 L 


which the lamp of the word is fed ; or for doctrine, the 
hearing of which sustains the word of faith when once kindled. 
All with which men anoint is comprehensively called oil ; 
and one kind of oil is unguent, and one kind of unguent 
is precious. So all righteous acts are called good works ; 
and of good works there is one kind which we do for, or to, 
men ; another which we do for, or to, God. And this like- 
wise that we do for God, in part only advances the good 
of men, in part, the glory of God. For example, one does 
a kindness to a man out of feelings of natural righteousness, 
not for God's sake, as the Gentiles sometime did ; such a 
work is common oil of no fine savour, yet is it acceptable 
to God, forasmuch, as Peter says in Clement, the good 
works that the unbelievers do, profit them in this world, 
but avail not to gain them eternal life in another. They 
who do the same for God's sake, profit thereby not in this 
world only but in the next also, and that they do is ointment 
of good savour. Another sort is that done for the good 
of men, as alms, and the like. He who does this to Chris- 
tians, anoints the Lord's feet, for they are the Lord's feet ; 
and this penitents are most found to do for remission 
of their sins. He who devotes himself to chastity, and 
continues in fastings and prayers, and other things 
which conduce to God's glory only, this is the ointment 
which anoints the Lord's head, and with whose odour the 
whole Church is filled ; this is the work meet not for peni- 
tents, but for the perfect, or the doctrine which is necessary 
for men; but the acknowledgment of the faith which belongs 
to God alone, is the ointment with which the head of 
Rom. 6, Christ is anointed, with which we are buried together with 
Christ hy baptism into death. Hilary; In this woman 
is prefigured the people of the Gentiles, who gave glory to 
God in Christ's passion ; for she anointed His head, but the 
head of Christ is God, and ointment is the firuit of good 
works. But the disciples, anxious for the salvation of Israel, 
say that this ought to have been sold for the use of the poor; 
designating by a prophetic instinct the Jews, who lacked 
faith, by the name of the poor. The Lord answers that there 
« is abundant time in which they may shew their care for 
the poor, but that salvation cannot be extended to the Gentiles 

VER. 14 16. ST. MATTHEW. 883 

but by obedience to His command, if, that is, by the pouring 
out of this woman's ointment they are buried together with 
Him, because regeneration can only be given to those who 
are dead in the profession of baptism. And this her work 
shall be told wherever this Gospel is preached, because when 
Israel draws back, the glory of the Gospel is preached by 
the belief of the Gentiles. 

14. Then one of the twelve, called Judas Tscariot, 
went unto the Chief Priests, 

15. And said unto them, What will ye give me, 
and I will deliver him unto you ? And they cove- 
nanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. 

16. And from that time he sought opportunity to 
betray him. 

Gloss. Having described the occasion of his treachery. Gloss. 
the Evangelist proceeds to recount the manner of it. Chrys. ^^'^ °°°' 
Then, when, that is, he heard that this Gospel should be 
preached every where ; for that made him afraid, as it was 
indeed a mark of unspeakable power. Aug. The order of Aug. 
the narrative is this. The Lord says, Ye know that <{/^^^Ev. ii.^ 
two daystvill he the feast of the Passover ; . . . then assemhled'^^- 
together the Chief Priests and Scribes; . . . then went one of 
the twelve. Thus the nari'ative of what took place at Bethany 
is inserted by way of digression, respecting an earlier time 
between that, Lest there be an uproar, and. Then one qf the 
twelve, Origen; Went, against that one high priest, who 
was made a Priest for ever, to many high priests, to sell 
for a price Him who sought to redeem the whole world. 
Raban. Went, he says, because he was neither compelled, 
nor invited, but of his own free will formed the wicked design. 
Chrys. One of the twelve, as much as to say, of that first 
band who are elected for preeminent merit ^. Gloss. He adds ' a^i*"ri- 
his distinctive appellation, Scarioth, for there was another, ' *^"' 
Judas. Remig. So called from the village Scariotha, from Gloss. 
which he came. Leo ; He did not out of any fear forsake Christ, l^JJ, ^'^^* 
but through lust of money cast Him off; for in comparison ^^^n^- 
of the love of money all our affections are feeble ; the soul ' 
athirst for gain fears not to die for a very little ; there is no 

3 l2 


trace of righteousness in that heart in which covetousness 
has once taken up its abode. The traitor Judas, intoxicated 
with this bane, in his thirst for kicre was so fooHshly hardened, 
as to sell his Lord and Master. Jerome; The wretched 
Judas would fain replace, by the sale of his Master, that 
loss which he supposed he had incurred by the ointment. 
And he does not demand any fixed sum, lest his treachery 
should seem a gainful thing, but as though delivering up a 
worthless slave, he left it to those who bought, to determine 
how much they would give. Origen ; The same do all 
who take any material or worldly things to cast out of their 
thoughts the Saviour and the word of truth which was in 
them. And they covenanted itith him for thirty pieces of 
silver, as many pieces as the Saviour had dwelt years in the 
world \ Jerome; Joseph was not sold as many, following 
Gen.37 ^^^ LXX, think for twenty pieces of gold, but as the Hebrew 
28' text has for twenty pieces of silver, for it could not be that 
Aug. the servant should be more valuable than his Master. Aug. 
Quffist. ^\^^^ ^Q Lord was sold for thirty pieces of silver by Judas, 
41 denotes the unrighteous Jews, who pursuing things carnal 

and temporal, which belong to the five bodily senses, refuse 
to have Christ ; and forasmuch as they did this in the sixth 
age of the world, their receiving five times six as the price 
of the Lord is thus signified ; and because the Lord's words 
are silver, but they understood even the Law carnally, they 
had, as it were, stamped on silver the image of that worldly 
dominion which they held to when they renounced the Lord. 
Origen; The opportunity which Judas sought is further 
Luke explained by Luke, how he might betray him in the absence 
' ■ of the multitude ; when the populace was not with Him, 
but He was withdrawn with His disciples. And this 
he did, delivering Him up after supper, when He was 
withdrawn to the garden of Gethsemane. And from that 
time forward, such has been the season sought for by 
those that would betray the word of God in time of per- 

^ i. e. Before He began His ministry, before this commentary on S. Matt, 

as what follows in Origen shews. For was written. In it he more than once 

though Origen had at one time consi- mentions three years as the probable 

dered the duration of Our Lord's ministry period, vid. Comm. in Matt. Ser, 

not to have exceeded one year and a few §. 40, 
jnonths, he had changed that opinion 

VER. 17 — 19. ST. MATTHEW. 885 

secution, when the multitude of believers is not around the 
word of truth. 

17. Now the first day of the feast of unleavened 
bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him. 
Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the 
Passover ? 

18. And he said. Go into the city to such a man, 
and say unto him. The Master saith. My time is 
at hand ; I will keep the Passover at thy house with 
my disciples. 

19. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed 
them ; and they made ready the Passover. 

Gloss. The Evangelist having gone through the events 
preliminary to the Passion, namely, the announcement of it, non occ. 
the counsel of the Chief Priests, and the covenant for His 
betrayal, prosecutes the history in the order of events, saying, 
On the first day of unleavened bread. Jerome; The first 
day of unleavened bread is the fourteenth day of the first 
month, when the lamb is killed, the moon is at full, and 
leaven is put away. Remig. And observe that with the Jews, 
the Passover is celebrated on the first day, and the following 
seven are called the days of unleavened bread ; but here 
the first day of unleavened bread means the day of the Pass- 
over. Chrys. Or, by the first day, he means the day before^ 
the days of unleavened bread. For the Jews always reckoned Hom. 
their day from the evening ; and this day of which he speaks ^^^'' 
was that on the evening of which they were to kill the 
Passover, namely, the fifth day of the week\ Remig. But 
perhaps some one will say, If that typical lamb bore a type 
of this the true lamb, how did not Christ suffer on the night 
on which this was always killed } It is to be noted, that on 
this night, He committed to His disciples the mysteries of 
His flesh and blood to be celebrated, and then also being 
seized and bound by the Jews, He hallowed the commence- 
ment of His sacrifice, i. e. His Passion. The disciples came 

^ This passage has been altered by * Vel banc primam diem azymorumdicit 
the text of S. Chrys. The Catena has, quia septem dies azymorum erant. 


unto him ; among these no doubt was the traitor Judas. 
Chrys. Hence it is evident that He had neither house nor 
lodging. Nor, I conclude, had the disciples any, for they 
Aug. would surely have invited Him thither. Aug. Go into the 
'E\.\\. cHy t^ such a man, Him whom Mark and Luke call the 
^^' good-man of the house, or the master of the house. And 
when Matthew says, to such a m,an, he is to be understood 
to say this as from himself for brevity's sake ; for every one 
knows that no man speaks thus, Go ye to such a man. And 
Matthew adds these words, to such a man, not that the Lord 
used the very expression, but to convey to us that the disciples 
were not sent to any one in the city, but to some certain 
person. Chrys. Or, we may say that this, to such a maUy 
shews that He sent them to some person unknown to them, 
teaching them thereby that He was able to avoid His Passion. 
For He who prevailed with this man to entertain Him, how 
could He not have prevailed with those who crucified Him, 
had He chosen not to sulfer ? Indeed, I marvel not only 
that he entertained Him, being a stranger, but that he did 
it in contempt of the hatred of the multitude. Hilary ; 
Or, Matthew does not name the man in whose house Christ 
would celebrate the Passover, because the Christian name was 
not yet held in honour by the believers. Raban. Or, he omits 
the name, that all who would fain celebrate the true Passover, 
and receive Christ within the dwelling place of their own 
minds, should understand that the opportunity is afforded 
them. Jerome ; In this also the New Scripture observes 
the practice of the Old, in which we frequently read, ' He 
said unto him,' and ' In this or that place,' without any name 
of person or place. Chrys, My time is at hand, this He 
said, both by so manifold announcements of His Passion, 
fortifying His disciples against the event, and at the same 
time shewing that He undertook it voluntarily. / will keep 
the Passover at thy house, wherein we see, that to the very 
last day He was not disobedient to the Law. With my 
disciples. He adds, that there might be sufficient preparation 
made, and that he to whom He sent might not think that He 
e. g. desired to be concealed. Origen ; Some one may argue, 
Ebion- ^^^ because Jesus kept the Passover with Jewish observances, 
ites. we ought to do the same as followers of Christ, not remem- 
bering that Jesus was made under the Latv, though not that He 

VER. 20 25. ST. MATTHEW. 887 

should leave under the Law those who were under it, butGral.4,4. 
should lead them out of it ; how much less fitting then is it, 
that those who before were without the Law, should after- 
wards enter in ? We celebrate spiritually the things which 
were carnally celebrated in the Law, keeping the Passover 
in the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, according i Cor. 
to the will of the Lamb, who said, Except ye eat niy Jlesh j'^^^ g 
and drink my blood, ye shall not have life in you. 53. 

20. Now when the even w^as come, he sat down 
with the twelve. 

21. And as they did eat, he said. Verily I say 
unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 

22. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began 
every one of them to say unto him. Lord, is it I ? 

23. And he answered and said. He that dippeth 
his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray 

24. The Son of man goeth as it is written of him : 
but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is 
betrayed ! it had been good for that man if he had 
not been born. 

25. Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered 
and said, Master, is it I ? He said unto him. Thou 
hast said. 

Jerome ; The Lord had above foretold His Passion, 
He now foretels who is to be the traitor ; thus giving 
him place of repentance, when he should see that his 
thoughts and the secret designs of his heart were known. 
Remig. With the twelve, it is said, for Judas was per- 
sonally among them, though he had ceased to be so in 
merit. Jerome; Judas acts in every thing to remove all 
suspicion of his treachery. Remig. And it is beautiiully 
said, When even was come, because it was in the evening 
that the Lamb was wont to be slain. Raban. For this 


reason also, because in Christ's Passion, wherein the true 
sun hasted to his setting, eternal refreshment was made ready 
for all believers. Chrys. The Evangelist relates how as they 
sat at meat, Jesus declares Judas' treachery, that the wicked- 
ness of the betrayer may be more apparent from the season 
Leo, and the circumstances. Leo ; He shews that the conscience 
5I' 3* of His betrayer was known to Him, not meeting his wickedness 
with a harsh and open rebuke, that penitence might find a 
readier way to one who had not been disgraced by public 
dismissal. Origen; Or, He spoke generally, to prove the 
nature of each of their hearts, and to evince the wickedness 
of Judas, who would not believe in One who knew his heart. 
I suppose that at first he supposed that the thing was hid from 
Him, deeming Him man, which was of unbelief; but when 
he saw that his heart was known, he embraced the conceal- 
ment offered by this general way of speaking, which was 
shamelesness. This also shews the goodness of the disciples, 
that they believed Christ's words more than their own con- 
scienceSfJor Ihey began each to say^ Lord, is it I? For they 
knew by what Jesus had taught them that human nature is 
Eph. 6, readily turned to evil, and is in continual struggle with the 
^^- rulers of the darkness of this world; whence they ask as in 
fear, for by reason of our weakness the future is an object of 
dread to us. When the Lord saw the disciples thus alarmed 
for themselves. He pointed out the traitor by the mark of the 
Ps. 41 prophetic declaration, He that hath eaten thread tvith me 
^* hath wantonly overthrown me. Jerome; O wonderful 

endurance of the Lord, He had said before. One of you sliall 
betray me. The traitor perseveres in his wickedness; He 
designates him more particularly, yet not by name. For 
Judas, while the rest were sorrowful, and withdrew their hands, 
and bid away the food from their mouths, with the same 
hardihood and recklessness which led him to betray Him, 
reached forth his hand into the dish with his Master, passing 
off his audacity as a good conscience. Chrys. I rather 
think that Christ did this out of regard for him, and to bring 
him to a better mind. Raban. What Matthew calls 
* paropsis,' Mark calls ' catinus.' The ' paropsis' is a square 
dish for meat, ' catinus,' an earthen vessel for containing 
fluids ; this then might be a square earthen vessel. Origen ; 

VER. 20 — 25. ST. MATTHEW. 889 

Such is the wont of men of exceeding wickedness, to plot 
against those of whose bread and salt they have partaken, 
and especially those who have no enmity against them. 
But if we take it of the spiritual table, and the spiritual 
food, we shall see the more abundant and overflowing 
measure of this man's wickedness, who called to mind 
neither his Master's love in providing carnal goods, nor 
His teaching in things spiritual. Such are all in the 
Church who lay snares for their brethren whom they con- 
tinually meet at the same table of Christ's Body. Jerome; 
Judas, not withheld by either the first or second warning, 
perseveres in his treachery ; the Lord's long-suffering nou- 
rishes his audacity. Now then his punishment is foretold, that 
denunciations of wrath may correct where good feeling has no 
power. Remig. It belongs to human nature to come and go. 
Divine nature remains ever the same. So because His 
human nature could suffer and die, therefore of the Son of 
Man it is well said that he goetli. He says plainly, As it is 
icritten of him, for all that He suffered had been foretold by 
the Prophets. Chrys. This He said to comfort His disciples, 
that they might not think that it was through weakness that 
He suffered; and at the same time for the con'cction of His 
betrayer. And notwithstanding His Passion had been foretold, 
Judas is still guilty ; and not his betrayal wrought our salva- 
tion, but God's providence, which used the sins of others to 
our profit. Origen ; He said not, By whom iJie Son of Man 
is behayed, but through uJiom., pointing out another, to wit^ John 
the Devil, as the author of His betrayal, Judas as the min- ^^' ^* 
ister. But woe also to all betrayers of Christ ! and such is 
every one who betrays a disciple of Christ. Remig. Woe 
also to all who draw near to Christ's table with an evil and 
defiled conscience! who though they do not deliver Christ to 
the Jews to be crucified, deliver Him to their own sinful 
members to be taken. He adds, to give more emphasis. Good 
were it for that man if he had never been born. Jerome; 
We are not to infer from this that man has a being before birth ; 
for it cannot be well with any man till he has a being; it simply 
implies that it is better not to be, than to be in evil. Aug. And Aug. 
if it be contended that there is a life before this life, that will §"*?*• 
prove that not only not for Judas, but for none other is it good to 40. 


have been bom. Can it mean, that it were better for him 
not to have been born to the Devil, namely, for sin ? Or does 
it mean that it had been good for him not to have been 
born to Christ athis calling, that he should now become apostate? 
Origen; After all the Apostles had asked, and after Christ 
had spoken of him, Judas at length enquired of himself, with 
the crafty design of concealing his treacherous purpose by 
asking the same question as the rest; for real sorrow brooks 
not suspense. Jerome; His question feigns either great re- 
spect, or a hypocritical incredulousness. The rest who were 
not to betray Him, said only Lord ; the actual traitor ad- 
dresses Him as Master, as though it were some excuse that 
he denied Him as Lord, and betrayed a Master only. Origen ; 
Or, out of sycophancy he calls Him Master, while he holds 
Him unworthy of the title. Chrys. Though the Lord could 
have said. Hast thou covenanted to receive silver, and darest 
to ask Me this? But Jesus, most merciful, said nothing of 
all this, therein laying down for us rules and landmarks of 
endurance of evil. He saith unto him, Thou hast said, 
Remig. Which may be understood thus ; Thou sayest it, and 
thou sayest what is true; or, Thou hast said this, not I; 
leaving him room for repentance so long as his villainy was 
not publicly exposed. Raban. This might have been so said 
by Judas, and answered by the Lord as not to be overheard 
by the rest. 

26. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and 
blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, 
and said. Take, eat; this is my body. 

Jerome; When the typical Passover was concluded, and 
He had partaken of the Lamb with His Apostles, He comes 

Gen.i4, to the true paschal sacrament; that, as Melchisedech, Priest 
of the most high God, had done in foreshadowing Christ, 
offering bread and wine, He also should offer the present 

Aug. verity of His Body and Bloods Aug. And as they were eating, 


^ Many of the passages here quoted compilation. "Whenever they can be 

appear to have been taken by S. Thomas found, the originals are referred to in 

from the Decretum of Gratian, though the mai'gin, and the important diflFer- 

the Catena gives no reference to this ences or additions are noticed in the note. 

VER. 26. ST. MATTHEW. 891 

whereby it is clearly seen that at their first partaking of the 
Lord's Body and Blood, the disciples did not partake fasting. 
But are we therefore to except against the practice of the 
whole Church, of receiving fasting? It has seemed good to 
the Holy Ghost, that for the better honour of so great a Sacra- 
ment, the Lord's Body should enter the Christian's mouth 
before other food. For to commend more mightily the depth of 
this mystery, the Saviour chose this as the last thing He 
would imprint on the hearts and memory of His disciples, 
from whom He was to depart to His Passion. But He did 
not direct in what order it should thenceforth be taken, that 
He might reserve that for the Apostles by whom He would 
regulate His Church. Gloss. Christ delivered to us His Flesh Gloss. 
and Blood under another kind, and ordained them to be"°"°^*^* 
thenceforth so received, that faith might have its merit, which 
isofthino^s that are not seen. Ambrose*^; And that we might Ambr. 
not be shocked by the sight of blood, while it at the same time ^^ jT^*^* 
wrought the price of our redemption. Aug. The Lord com- Aug. in 
mitted His Body and Blood to substances which are foraied a ^^^25 
homogeneous compound out of many. Bread is made of many 
grains, wine is produced out of many berries. Herein the 227 i. 
Lord Jesus Christ signified us, and hallowed in His own 
table the mystery of our peace and unity. Remig. Fittingly 
also did He offer fruit of the earth, to shew thereby that He 
came to take away the curse wherewith the earth was cursed 
for the sin of the first man. Also He bade be offered the 
produce of the earth, and the things for which men chiefly 
toil, that there might be no difficulty in procuring them, and 
that men might offer sacrifice to God of the work of their 
hands. Ambrose; Hence learn that the Christian mysteries Ambr. 
were before the Jewish. Melchisedech offered bread andj^ g^*^'^* 
wine, being in all things like the Son of God, to Whom it isp^ ^^^ 
said, TJtoii art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchise-^- 
dech; and of Whom it is here said, Jesus took bread. 2^^ ' 

The present passage from S. Jerome (in cause it is placed in the Ben. ed. among 

loo.) is found in Gratian. de Cons. ii. the genuine works of S. Ambrose, and 

88 ; that which follows from S. Augus- not in the Appendix. Bnt there seems 

tine, ibid. 53. The next passage headed to be little doubt of its spuriousness. 

' Gloss.' cannot be found any where. S'ee Jenkyns' note to Cranmer's ' De- 

d S. Ambrose's name has been re- fence, &c.' in Cranmer's Works, ii. 

tained at the head of the passages out 326. 
of the Treatise ' De Sacramentis,' be- 


Gloss. Gloss. This' we must understand to be wheat bread, for the 

non occ. j^^j,^ compared Himself to a grain of wheat, saying, Except a 
corn fall into the ground S^c. Such bread also is suitable for 
the Sacrament, because it is in common use; bread of other 
kinds being only made when this fails. But forasmuch as 
Christ up to the very last day, to use the words of Chrysostom 

p. 886. as above, shewed that He did nothing contrary to the Law, and 
the Law commanded that unleavened bread should be eaten in 
the evening when the Passover was slain, and that all leavened 
should be put away, it is manifest that the bread which the Lord 

^^^S' took and gave to His disciples was unleavened. Greg. It has 

non occ. . 

given trouble to divers persons, that in the Church some offer 

unleavened and others leavened bread. The Roman Church 

offers unleavened, because the Lord took flesh without any 

•com- pollution ' ; other* Churches offer leavened bread, because the 

^^Q ^' Word of the Father took flesh upon Him, and is Very God, 

2 GrsecEe and Very Man ; and so the leaven is mingled with the flour, 

But whether we receive leavened or unleavened, we are made 

Ambr. Q^e body of the Lord our Saviour. Ambrose ; This bread 

iv. 4. before the sacramentary words, is the bread in common use ; 

after consecration it is made of bread Christ's flesh. And 

what are the words, or whose are the phrases of consecration, 

save those of the Lord Jesus? For if His word had power to 

make those things begin to be which were not, how much 

rather will it notbe efficacious to cause them to remain what they 

are, while they are at the same time changed into somewhat else ? 

For if the heavenly word has been effectual in other matters, 

is it ineffectual in heavenly sacraments? Therefore of the 

bread is made the Body of Christ, and the wine is made blood 

by the consecration of the heavenly word^ Dost thou 

enquire after the manner ? Learn. The course of nature 

* This Gloss is partly from the Gloss which were not, how much rather is it 

on Gratian de Cons. d. ii. c. 5. The not efficacious to make those things," 

next passage is headed ' Gregorius in i. e. the bread, not begin, but " continue 

Registro' in the editions, and is so to be, which were already, and are 

quoted by S. Thomas, Summa 3. q. 74. but changed into something else?" 

art. 4. but cannot be found in S. Greg. 2. Next he illustrates the change by our 

^ ap. Grat. ibid. 54. On this re- own change in regeneration. " Tu 

markable passage it may be observed, ipse eras, sed eras vetus creatura ; 

first, S. Ambrose is referring to the postea quam consecratus es, nova crea- 

creation, and his meaning is, '' If his tura esse cepisti." 3. There is no in- 

word had power to make these things," troduction of the word substance, i. e. 

i. e. heaven and earth, "begin to be, no assertion of transubstantiation* 

VER, 26. ST. MATTHEW. 893 

is, that a man is not born but of man and woman, but by 
God's will Christ was bom of the Holy Spirit and a Virgin . 
Paschasius ; As then real flesh was created by the Holy 
Spirit without sexual union, so by the same Holy Spirit 
the substance of bread and wine are consecrated into the 
Body and Blood of Christ. And because this consecration 
is made by the Lord's word, it is added. He blessed^. Remig. 
Hereby He shewed also that He together with the Father 
and the Holy Spirit has filled human nature with the grace 
of His divine power, and enriched it with the boon of 
immortality. And to shew that His Body was not subject 
to passion but of His own will, it is added. And brake. 
Lanfranc; When the host is broken, when the blood is 
poured from the cup into the mouth of the faithful, what else 
is denoted but the offering of the Lord's Body on the cross, 
and the shedding of His Blood out of His side^ ? Dionysius; Dionys. 
In this is also shewn, that the one and uncompounded Word ^^^^ ^ 
of God came to us compounded and visible by taking human in fin. 
nature upon Him, and drawing to Himself our society, 
made us partakers of the spiritual goods which He distri- 
buted, as it follows. And gave to his disciples. Leo; Not Leo, 
excluding the traitor even from this mystery, that it might 58"3' 
be made manifest that Judas was provoked by no wrong, but 
that he had been foreknown in voluntary impiety. Aug. Peter Aug. 

and Judas received of the same bread, but Peter to life, Judas 'rl^ '^°^°* 

ir. oy. 

to death. Chrys. And this John shews when he says. After chrys. 
the sop, Satan entered into him. For his sin was aggravated p°™:. 
in that he came near to these mysteries with such a heart, Johni3, 
and that having come to them, he was made better neither^ 
by fear, kindness, nor honour. Christ hindered him not, 
though He knew all things, that you may learn that He 
omits nothing which serves for correction. Remig. In so 
doing He left an example to the Church, that it should 

i This passage is quoted in the ninth century, ' De Corpore et San- 

Bodl. MS. and early editions of the guine Dom.' 4. 

Cat., as' Augustinus in Verb. Dom.' ^ This is quoted in the early editions, 

Gratian also (de Cons. d. ii. 72.) gives and in Gratian de Cons. ii. 37. as 

it as Augustine's, but the earliest Augustinus ' in Libro Sent. Prosper.' 

author in whom it is found is Pas- but does not occur in that collection of 

chanius Radbertus, Abbot of Cor- Prosper as we have it. It is found in 

bey, and a well-known writer of the Lanfranc cont. Bereng. 13, 


sever no one from its fellowship, or from the communion of 
the Body and Blood of the Lord, but for some notorious 
and public crime. Hilary; Or, The Passover was con- 
cluded by the taking the cup and breaking the bread without 
Judas, for he was unworthy the communion of eternal sacra- 
ments. And that he had left them we learn from thence, that 
he returns with a multitude. 

Aug. 'And said, Take, eat; The Lord invites His servants 

to set before them Himself for food. But who would dare 

to eat his Lord ? This food when eaten refreshes, but fails 

not; He lives after being eaten. Who rose again after being 

put to death. Neither when we eat Him do we divide His 

substance; but thus it is in this Sacrament. The faithful 

know how they feed on Christ's flesh, each man receives a 

part for himself. He is divided into parts in the Sacrament, 

yet He remains whole; He is*all in heaven. He is all in thy 

heart. They are called Sacraments, because in them what is 

seen is one thing, what is understood is another; what is 

seen has a material form, what is understood has spiritual 

Aug. fruit. Id. Let us not eat Christ's flesh only in the Sacra- 

Tr. 27° ™^^*' for that do many wicked men, but let us eat to spiritual 

11- participation, that we may abide as members in the Lord's 

Ambr. body, that we may be quickened by His Spirit. Ambrose ; 

iy 5 * Before consecration, it is bread ; after Christ's words. This is 

my body, have been pronounced, it is Christ's Body. 

27. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and 
gave it to them, saying. Drink ye all of it ; 

28. For this is my blood of the new testament, 
which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 

29. But I say unto you, I will not drink hence- 
forth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when 
I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. 

Remig. The Lord having given His disciples His Body 

* This passage, headed ' Augustinus' to which Augustine's narae is there 

in the Bodl. MS., and ' Aug de Verb, prefixed. It has not been found in S. 

Dom.' in the earlier editions, is appa- Augustine's works. But it is found in 

rentiy taken from two canons in the Bede on 1 Cor. x. who also quotes it 

3d pt. of Gratian, viz. c. 70. and c. 58. from ' Aug. de verb. Evang.' 

VER. 27 29. ST. MATTHEW. 895 

under the element of bread*, well gives the cup of His 'sub 
Blood to them likewise; shewing what joy He has in ourp^^^g^ 
salvation, seeing He even shed His Blood for us. Chrys. He 
gave thanks to instruct us after what manner we ought to 
celebrate this mystery, and shewed also thereby that He 
came not to His Passion against His will. Also He taught 
us to bear whatsoever we suffer with thanksgiving, and 
infused into us good hopes. For if the type of this sacri- 
fice, to wit, the offering of the paschal lamb, became the 
dehverance of the people from Egyptian bondage, much 
more shall the reality thereof be the deliverance of the world. 
Afid gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it. That 
they should not be distressed at hearing this. He first drank 
His own blood to lead them without fear to the communion 
of these mysteries. Jerome ; Thus then the Lord Jesus Hieron. 
was at once guest and feast, the eater and the things eaten^. acfke-* 
Chrys. This is my blood of the new testament; that is, <iib. 
the new promise, covenant, law ; for this blood was promised 
from of old, and this guarantees the new covenant ; for as 
the Old Testament had the blood of sheep and goats, so the 
New has the Lord's Blood. Remig. For thus it is read, 
Behold the hlood of the covenant which the Lord hath made Exod. 
with you. Chrys. And in calUng it blood. He foreshews ' " 
His Passion, My hlood . . , whicJt shall be shed for many. 
Also the purpose for which He died, adding. For the remission 
of sins ; as much as to say. The blood of the lamb was shed 
in Egypt for the salvation of the first born of the Israelites, 
this My Blood is shed for the remission of sins. Remig. 
And it is to be noted, that He says not. For a few, nor, 
For all, but. For many ; because He came not to redeem 
a single nation, but many out of all nations. Chrys. Thus 
saying, He shews that His Passion is a mystery of the 
salvation of men, by which also He comforts His disciples. 
And as Moses said. This shall be an ordinance to thee for Ex. 12, 
ever, so Christ speaks as Luke relates. This do in remem- ^^j^^ 
brance of me. Remig. And He taught us to offer not bread 22, 19. 
only, but wine also, to shew that they who hungered and 
thirsted after righteousness were to be refi'eshed by these 

mysteries. Gloss. As the refreshment of the body is wrought Gloss. 

nori occ. 
k ap, Consecr. d. ii. 87. 


by means of meat and drink, so under the form of meat 
and drink the Lord has provided for us spiritual refreshment. 
And it was suitable that for the shewing forth the Lord's 
Passion this Sacrament should be instituted under both kinds. 
For in His Passion He shed His Blood, and so His Blood 
was separated from His Body. It behoved therefore, that 
for representation of His Passion, bread and wine should 
be separately set forth, which are the Sacrament of the Body 
and Blood. But it should be known, that under both kinds 
the whole of Christ is contained ; under the bread is contained 
the Blood, together with the Body; under the wine, the Body 

Ambr. together with the Blood. Ambrosiast. And for this reason also 

11 26. * ^^ ^'^ celebrate under both kinds, because that which we re- 

Cyp.Ep. ceive avails for the preservation of both body and soul . Cyprian; 

Capdl. "^^^ ^"P ^^ ^^^ Lord is not w^ater only, or wine only, but the 
two are mixed ; so the Lord's Body cannot be either flour 

Ambr. Only, or water only, but the two are combined^ Ambrose; 

^e^aer. j^ Melchisedech offered bread and wine, what means this 
mixing of water } Hear the reason. Moses struck the rock, and 
the rock gave forth abundance of water, but that rock was 
Christ. Also one of the soldiers with his spear pierced 
Christ's side, and out of His side flowed water and blood, 
the water to cleanse, the blood to redeem™. Remig. For 

Rev. 17, it should be known, that as John speaks, The many waters 
are nations and people. And because we ought always to 
abide in Christ and Christ in us, wine mixed with water is 
offered, to shew that the head and the members, that is, 
Christ and the Church, are one body; or to shew that neither 
did Christ suffer without a love for our redemption, nor we 
can be saved without His Passion. Chrys. And having 
spoken of His Passion and Cross, He proceeds to speak of 
His resurrection, / say unto you^ I will not drink hence- 
forth, &c. By the kingdom He means His resurrection. 
And He speaks this of His resurrection, because He would 
then drink with the Apostles, that none might suppose His 

* To signify, as S. Cyprian proceeds people begin to be without Christ." 

to say, the union between Christ and This passage of Cyprian is quoted in 

His faithful people; '^ For if one offer Gratian. de Cons. ii. 7. 

wine only, the blood of Christ begins •" ap. Gratian. de Cons. d. ii. 83. cf. 

to be without us; if water only, the Paschas. de Corp. et Sang. 11. 

VER. 30 35. ST. MATTHEW. 897 

resurrection a phantasy. Thus when they would convince 
any of His resurrection, they said, We did eat arid drink with Acts lo, 
him after he rose from the dead. This tells them that 
they shall see Him after He is risen, and that He will be 
again with them. That He says, New, is plainly to b€ 
understood, after a new manner. He no longer having a 
passible body, or needing food. For after His resurrection 
He did not eat as needing food, but to evidence the reality 
of the resurrection. And forasmuch as there are some 
heretics who use water instead of wine in the sacred mys- 
teries", He shews in these words, that when He now gave 
them these holy mysteries, He gave them wine, and drank 
the like after He was risen; for He says. Of this fruit of the 
vine, but the vine produces wine, and not water. Jerome; 
Or otherwise ; From carnal things the Lord passes to 
spiritual. Holy Scripture speaks of the people of Israel as Ps.80,8. 
of a vine brought up out of Egypt ; of this vine it is then ^J^""* ^' 
that the Lord says He will drink no more except in His 
Father's kingdom. His Father's kingdom I suppose to mean 
the faith of the believers. When then the Jevvs shall receive 
His Father's kingdom, then the Lord will drink of their vine. 
Observe that He says. Of my Father, not. Of God, for to 
name the Father is to name the Son. As much as to say. 
When they shall have believed on God the Father, and 
He has brought them to the Son. Remig. Or otherwise ; 
/ will not drink of the fruit of this vine, i. e. I will no 
longer take pleasure in the carnal oblations of the Synagogue, 
among which the immolation of the Paschal lamb held an 
eminent place. But the time of My resurrection is at hand, 
and the day in which exalted in the Father's kingdom, 
that is, raised in immortal glory, / shall drink it new iviih 
you, i. e. I shall rejoice as with a new joy in the salvation of 
that people then renewed by the water of baptism. Aug. Or Au^. 
otherwise; When He says, / sliall drink it new with nou.^^^\' 
He gives us to understand that this is old. Seeing then 
that He took body of the race of Adam, who is called the 
old man, and was to give up to death that Body in His 
Passion, (whence also He gave us His Blood in the sacra- 

" e. g. The Encratites, followers of Century. See Can. Apost. 43 and 45 
Saturninus and Tatian in the second of Johnson's Translation. 

VOL. I. 3 M 


menl of wine,) what else can we understand by the new 
wine than the immortality of renewed bodies. In saying, 
/ will drink it with you^ He promises to them likewise a 
resmTection of their bodies for the putting on of immortality. 
TVith you is not to be understood of time, but of a like 
renewal, as the Apostle speaks, that we are risen with Christ, 
the hope of the future bringing a present j oy . That that which 
He shall drink new shall also be of this fruit of the vine, 
signifies that the very same bodies shall rise after the heavenly 
renewal, which shall now die after the earthly decay. Hilary ; 
It seems from this that Judas had not drunk with Him, 
because He was not to drink hereafter in the kingdom; but 
He promises to all who partook at this time of this fruit of 
Gloss, the vine that they should drink with Him hereafter. Gloss. 
'But in support of the opinion of other saints, that Judas 
did receive the sacraments from Christ, it is to be said, that 
the words with you may refer to the greater part of them, 
and not necessarily to the whole. 

30. And when they had sung an hymn, they went 
out into the mount of Olives. 

31. Then saith Jesus unto them. All ye shall be 
offended because of me this night ; for it is written, 
I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock 
shall be scattered abroad. 

32. But after I am risen again, I will go before 
you into Galilee. 

33. Peter answered and said unto him. Though 
all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I 
never be offended. 

34. Jesus said unto him. Verily 1 say unto thee. 
That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt 
deny me thrice. 

35. Peter said unto him. Though I should die 
with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also 
said all the disciples. 

VER. 30 85. ST. MATTHEW. 899 

Origen; When the disciples had eaten the bread of bless- 
ing, and drunk of the cup of thanksgiving, the Lord instructs 
them in return for these things to sing a hymn to the Father. 
And they go to the Mount of Olives, that they may pass from 
height to height, because the believer can do nought in the 
valley. '^ [Bede ; Beautifully after the disciples have been Bede in 
filled with the Sacraments of His Body and Blood, and 22 39^* 
commended to the Father in a hymn of pious intercession, 
does He lead them into the mount of Olives; thus by type 
teaching us how we ought, by the working of His Sacra- 
ments, and the aid of His intercession, mount up to the 
higher gifts of the virtues and the graces of the Holy Spirit, 
with which we are anointed in our hearts. Raban. This 
hymn may be that thanksgiving which in John, Our Lord'^-i''- 
offers up to the Father, when He lifted up His eyes and 
prayed for His disciples, and those who should believe 
through their word. This is that of which the Psalm speaks, 
TUe poor shall eat and be Jilled, they shall praise the Lord,^ Ps. 22, 
Chrys. Let them hear this, who like swine with no thought ^^* 
but of eating rise from the table drunk, when they should 
have given thanks, and closed with a hymn. Let them hear 
who will not tarry for the final prayer in the sacred mysteries; 
for the last prayer of the mysteries represents that hymn. 
He gave thanks before He delivered the holy mysteries to 
the disciples, that we also might give thanks; lie sung a 
hymn after He had delivered them, that we also should do 
the like. Jerome ; After this example of the Saviour, who- 
soever is filled and is drunken upon the bread and cup of 
Christ, may praise God and ascend the Mount of Olives, 
where is refreshment after toil, solace of grief, and knowledge 
of the true light. Hilary ; Hereby He shews that men con- 
firmed by the powers of the Divine mysteries, are exalted 
to heavenly glory in a common joy and gladness. Origen ; 
Suitably also was the mount of mercy chosen whence to 
declare the offence of His disciples' weakness, by One even 
then prepared not to reject the disciples who forsook Him, 
but to receive them when they returned to Him. Jerome ; 

o The passages between brackets are MS. They appear to have been inserted 
not found in the earlier Editions of the by Nicolai, 
Catena, in the ed. pr. nor the Bodl. 

3 m2 


He foretels what they should suffer, that they might not after 
it had befallen them despair of salvation; but doing penitence 
might be set free. Chrys. In this we see what the disciples 
were both before and after the cross. They who could not 
stand with Christ whilst He was crucified, became after the 
death of Christ harder than adamant. This flight and fear 
of the disciples is a demonstration of Christ's death against 
those who are infected with the heresy of Marcion. If He 
had been neither bound nor crucified, whence arose the terror 
of Peter and the rest .^ Jerome; And He adds emphatically 

iThess. this nigJit, because as they that are drunken are drunken 
' * by night, so they that are scandalized are scandahzed by 
night, and in the dark. Hilary ; The credit of this pre- 
diction is supported by the authority of old prophecy ; It is 
written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep ofthejlock 
shall be scattered abroad. Jerome ; This is found in Zacharias 
in words different; it is said to God in the person of the 

Zech. Prophet, Smite the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered 
' ' abroad. The good Shepherd is smitten, that He may lay down 
His life for His sheep, and that of many flocks of divers errors 
should be made one flock, and one Shepherd. Chrys. He 
produces this prophecy to teach them to attend to the things 
that are written, and to shew that His crucifixion was according 
to the counsel of God, and (as He does throughout) that He 
was not a stranger to the Old Testament, but that it prophesied 
of Him. But He did not suffer them to continue in sorrow, 
but announces glad tidings, saying. When I am risen again, 

1 will go before you into Galilee. After His resurrection 
He does not appear to them immediately from heaven, nor 
depart into any far country, but in the very same nation in 
which He was crucified, almost in the very place, giving 
them thereby assurance, that He who was crucified was the 
same as He who rose again, thereby to cheer their cast-down 
countenances. He fixes upon Galilee, that, being delivered 
from fear of the Jews, they might believe what He spoke to 
them. Origen; Also He foretels this to them, that they 
who now were somewhat dispersed in consequence of 
the offence, should be after gathered together by Christ 
rising again, and going before them into Galilee of the 
Gentiles. Hilary; But Peter was carried so far by his 

VER. 30 — 35. ST. MATTHEW. 901 

zeal and affection for Christ, that he regarded neither the 
weakness of his flesh nor the truth of the Lord's words ; as 
if what He spake must not come to pass, Veier answered 
and said unto him. Though all should he ojf ended because 
of thee, yet will J never he offended. Chrys. What say est 
thou, Peter ? The Prophet says, The sheep shall he scattered 
abroad, and Christ has confirmed it, yet thou sayest. Never. 
When He said, One of you shall betray me, thou fearedst 
for thyself, although thou wert not conscious of such a 
thought; now when He openly aflirms. All ye shall he 
offended, you deny it But because when he was relieved 
of the anxiety he had concerning the betrayal, he grew con- 
fident concerning the rest, he therefore says thus, / tvill 
never be offended. Jerome; It is not wilfulness, not false- 
hood, but the Apostle''s faith, and ardent attachment towards 
the Lord his Saviour. Remig. What the One affirms by 
His power of foreknowledge, the other denies through love ; 
whence we may take a practical lesson, that in proportion as 
we are confident of the warmth of our faith, we should be 
in fear of the weakness of our flesh. Peter seems culpable, 
first, because he contradicted the Lord's words; secondly, 
because he set himself before the rest ; and thirdly, because 
he attributed every thing to himself as though he had power 
to persevere strenuously. His fall then was permitted to 
heal this in him ; not that he was driven to deny, but left to 
himself, and so convinced of the frailty of his human nature*". 
Origen; Whence the other disciples were offended in Jesus, 
but Peter was not only offended, but what is much more, 
was suffered to deny Him thrice. Aug. Perplexity may Aug. de 
be occasioned to some bv the orreat difference, not in words S°°?.*. , 

" ° ' ^ JiiV. 111.4. 

only, but in substance, of the speeches in which Peter is 
forewarned by Our Lord, and which occasion his pre- 
sumptuous declaration of dying with or for the Lord. Some 
would oblige us to understand that he thrice expressed his 
confidence, and the Lord thrice answered him that he w^ould 
deny Him thrice before cock-crowing ; as after His resur- 
rection He thrice asked him if he loved Him, and as often 
gave him command to feed His sheep. For what in lan- 
guage or matter has Matthew like the expressions of Peter 

r Remigius has borrowed this from S. Chrysostom, in loc. 


in either Luke or John ? Mark indeed relates it in nearly the 
same words as Matthew, only marking more precisely in the 
Mark Lord's words the manner in which it should fall in, Verily 
' * / say unto thee, that this day, in the night, before the cock 
crota twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. Whence some 
inattentive persons think that there is a discrepancy between 
Mark and the rest. For the sum of Peter's denials is three; 
if the first then had been after the first cock-crowing, the 
other three Evangelists must be wrong when they make 
the Lord say that Peter should deny Him before the cock 
crow. But, on the other hand, if he had made all three 
denials before the cock began to crow, it would be super- 
fluous in Mark to say, Before the cock crow twice. Foras- 
much as this threefold denial was begun before the first cock- 
crow, the three Evangelists have marked, not when it was to 
be concluded, but how often it v/as to happen, and when to 
begin, that is, before cock-crow. Though indeed if we 
understand it of Peter's heart we may well say, that the whole 
denial was complete before the first cock-crow, seeing that 
before that his mind was seized with that great fear w^hich 
wrought upon him to the third denial. Much less therefore 
ought it to disquiet us, how the three-fold denial in three 
distinct speeches was begun, but not finished before cock- 
crow. Just as though one should say. Before cock-crow 
you will write me a letter, in which you will revile me three 
times ; if the letter were begun before any cock-crow, but 
not finished till after the first, we should not therefore say 
that the prediction w^as false. Origen ; But you will ask, 
whether it were possible that Peter should not have been 
offended, when once the Saviour had said, All ye shall he 
offended in me. To which one will answer, what is foretold 
by Jesus must of necessity come to pass ; and another will 
say, that He who at the prayer of Ninevites turned away the 
wrath He had denounced by Jonas, might also have averted 
Peter's offence at his entreaty. But his presumptuous con- 
fidence, prompted by zeal indeed but not a cautious zeal, 
became the cause not only of offence but of a thrice repeated 
denial. And since He confirmed it with the sanction of an 
oath, some one will say that it was not possible that he 
should not have denied Him. For Christ would have 

VER. 36 38. ST. MATTHEW. 903 

spoken falsely when he said, Verily I say unto ihee^ if 
Peter's assertion, / will not deny thee^ had been true. It 
seems to me that the other disciples having in view not that 
which was first said. All ye shall be offended, but that which 
was said to Peter, Verily I say unto thee, S^c. made a like 
promise with Peter because they were not comprehended in 
the prophecy of denial. Peter said unto him, Though I 
should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise 
also said all the disciples. Here again Peter knows not 
what he says ; he could not die with Him who was to die for all 
mankind, who were all in sin, and had need of some one to 
die for them, not that they should die for others. Raban. 
Peter understood the Lord to have foretold that he should 
deny Him under terror of death, and therefore he declares 
that though death were imminent, nothing could shake him 
from his faith ; and the other Apostles in like manner in the 
warmth of their zeal, valued not the infliction of death, but 
human presumption is vain without Divine aid. Chrys. 
[I suppose also that Peter fell into these words through 
ambition and boastfulness. And they had disputed at supper 
which of them should be greatest, whence we see that the 
love of empty glory disturbed them much. And so to deliver 
him fi'om such passions, Christ withdrew His aid from him. 
Moreover observe how after the resurrection, taught by his 
fall he speaks to Christ more humbly, and does not any more 
resist His words. All this his fall wrought for him ; for 
before he had attributed all to himself, when he ought 
rather to have said, I will not deny Thee if Thou succour me 
with Thy aid. But afterwards he shews that every thing is 
to be ascribed to Godj Wliy look ye so earnestly upon us, as Acts 3, 
though by our own power and holiness ue had made this^^' 
7nan to walkf]'^ Hence then we learn the great doctrine, 
that man's wish is not enough, unless he enjoys Divine 

36. Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place 
called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples. Sit 
ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 

•1 Here again Nicolai has inserted a passage. 


37. And he took with him Peter and the two 
sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and 
very heavy. 

38. Then saith he unto them. My soul is exceeding 
sorrowful, even unto death : tarry ye here, and watch 
with me. 

Remig. The Evangelist had said a little above, that when 
they had sung an hymn they went out to the mount of 
Olives; to point out the part of the mount to which they 
took their way, he now adds. Then came Jesus with them 
Luke to a garden called Gethsemane. Raban. Luke says, To the 
Joiin ^nount of Olives^ and John, IVent forth over the brook 
18, 1. Cedron, where was a garden, which is the same as this 
Gethsemane, and is a place where He prayed at the foot of 
mount Olivet, where is a garden, and a Church now built". 
Jerome ; Gethsemane is interpreted, ' The rich valley ;' 
and there He bade His disciples sit a little while, and wait 
His return whilst He prayed alone for all. Origen ; For 
it was not fitting that He should be seized in the place 
where He had sate and eaten the Passover with His dis- 
ciples. Also He must first pray, and choose a place pure 
Chrvs. fo^ prayer. Chrys. He says, Sit ye here, while I go and 
Horn, pray yonder, because the disciples adhered inseparably to 
Christ ; but it was His practice to pray apart fi:om them, 
therein teaching us to study quiet and retirement for our 
Dam.dePi'^yers. Damascenus; But seeing that prayer is the Sending 
^^- ... up the understanding to God, or the asking of God things 
24. fitting, how did the Lord pray? For His understanding 
needed not to be lifted up to God, having been once united 
hypostatically to God the Word. Neither could He need to 
ask of God things fitting, for the One Christ is both God and 
Man. But giving in Himself a pattern to us, He taught us 
to ask of God, and to lift up our minds to Him. As He took 
on Him our passions, that by triumphing over them Himself, 
He might give us also the victory over them, so now He prays 

^ This is probably from Arculfus' tis, c. 23. (ap. Act. Benedict, iv. 602.) 
account in Adamnanus de Locis Sane- as he quoted him by name above, p. 96. 

VER. 36 38. ST. MATTHEW. 005 

to open to us the way to that lifting up to God, to fulfil for 
us all righteousness, to reconcile His Father to us, to pay- 
honour to Him as the First Cause, and to shew that He is 
not against God. Raban. When the Lord prayed in the 
mountain, He taught us to make supplication for heavenly 
things; when He prays in the garden, He teaches us to study 
humility in our prayer. And beautifully, as He draws 
near His Passion, does He pray in the ' valley of fatness,' 
shewing that through the valley of humility, and the richness 
of charity, He took upon Him death for our sakes. The 
practical instruction which we may also learn from this is, 
that we should not suffer our heart to dry up from the rich- 
ness of charity. Remtg. He had accepted the disciples' faith 
and the devotedness of their will, but He foresaw that they 
would be troubled and scattered abroad, and therefore bade 
them sit still in their places; for to sit belongs to one at ease, 
but they would be grievously troubled that they should hav^e 
denied Him. In what fashion He went forward it describes. 
And takiiig with him Peter and the two sons of Zehedee, he 
began to he sorrowful and very heavy ; the same to whom He 
had shewn His glory in the mount. Hilary ; These words, 
He began to be sorrow fid and very heavy ^ are interpreted 
by heretics that fear of death assailed the Son of God, being 
(as they allege) neither begotten from eternity, nor existing 
in the Father's infinite substance, but produced out of nothing 
by Him who created all things ; and that hence He was 
liable to anguish of grief, and fear of death. And He who 
can fear death can also die; and He who can die, though He 
shall exist after death, yet is not eternal through Him who 
begot Him in past time. Had these faith to receive the 
Gospels, they would know that the Word was in the begin- 
ning God, and from the beginning with God, and that the 
eternity of Him who begets and Him who is begotten is one 
and the same. But if the assumption of flesh infected with 
its natural infirmity the virtue of that incorruptible substance, 
so that it became subject to pain, and shrinking from death, 
it would also become thereby liable to corruption, and thus 
its immortality being changed into fear, that which is in it is 
capable of at some time ceasing to be. But God ever is 
without measure of time, and such as He is, He continues to 


be eternally. Nolbing then in God can die, nor can God 
Hieron. jj^yg ^ny fear sprinerinsj out of Himself. Jerome : But we 
say that passible man was so taken by God the Son, that His 
Deity remained impassible. Indeed the Son of God suffered, 
not by imputation but actually, all that Scripture testifies, in 
respect of that part of Him which could suffer, viz. in respect 
Hii. de of the substance that He had taken on Him. Hilary ; 1 
jq""*^* suppose that there are some who offer here no other cause of 
His fear than His passion and death. I ask those who 
think thus, whether it stands with reason that He should 
have feared to die, who banished from the Apostles all fear 
of death, and exhorted them to the glory of martyrdom.? 
How can we suppose Him to have felt pain and grief in the 
sacrament of death, who rewards with life those who die 
for Him? And what pangs of death could He fear, who 
came to death of the free choice of His own power? And 
if His Passion was to do Him honour, how could the fear 
Hil. in of His Passion make Him sorrowful? Id. Since then we 
°^* read that the Lord was sorrowful, let us discover the causes 
of His agony. He had forewarned them all that they would 
be offended, and Peter that he would thrice deny his Lord ; 
and taking him and James and John, He began to be sorrow- 
ful. Therefore He was not soiTowful till He took them, but all 
His fear began after He had taken them ; so that His agony 
was not for Himself, but for them whom He had taken. 
Jerome; The Lord therefore sorrowed not from fear of suf- 
fering, for for this cause He had come that He should suffer, 
Matt, and had rebuked Peter for his fearfulness ; but for the wretched 
14, 40. jucias, for the offence of the rest of the Apostles, for the re- 
jection and reprobation of the Jewish nation, and the over- 
Dam, throw of unhappy Jerusalem. Damas. Or otherwise; All 
Orth.iii. things which have not yet been brought into existence by 
^'^' their Maker have a natural desire of existence, and naturally 
shun non-existence. God the Word then, having been made 
Man, had this desire, through which He desired food, drink, 
and sleep, by which life is supported, and naturally used 
them, and contrariwise shunned the things that are destructive 
of life. Hence in the season of His Passion which He 
endured voluntarily, He had the natural fear and sorrow for 
death. For there is a natural fear wherewith the soul shrinks 

VER. 36 — 38. ST. MATTHEW. 907 

from separation from the body, by reason of that close sym- 
pathy implanted from the first by the Maker of all things. 
Jerome ; Our Lord therefore sorrowed to prove the reality of 
the Man which He had taken upon Him; but that passion 
might bear no sway in His mind, He began to he sorrowful 
by pro-passion'; for it is one thing to be sorrowful, and 
another to be very sorrowful. Remig. By this place are 
overthrown the Manichseans, who said that He took an unreal 
body; and those also who said that He had not a real soul, 
but His Divinity in place of a soul^. Aug. We have the * e. g. 
narratives of the Evangelists, by which we know that Christ jj^^ris.^' 
was both born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was seized by ^yg- 
the Jews, scourged, crucified, put to death, and buried in a Qu^st. 
tomb, all which cannot be supposed to have taken place ^•^^* 
without a body, and not even the maddest will say that these 
things are to be understood figuratively, when they are told 
by men who wrote what they remembered to have happened. 
These then are witnesses that He had a body, as those affec- 
tions which cannot be without mind prove Him to have had 
a mind, and which we read in the accounts of the same 
Evangelists, that Jesus wondered, was angry, was sorrowful. 
Id. Since then these things are related in the Evangelists, Aug. de 
they are not surely false, but as when He willed He became p'^^'^j^^ 
Man, so likewise when He willed He took into His humane- 
soul these passions for the sake of adding assurance to the 
dispensation. We indeed have these passions by reason of 
the weakness of our human nature; not so the Lord Jesus, 
whose weakness was of power. Damas. Wherefore the pas- Dam. 
sions of our nature were in Christ both by nature and beyond ^'^' 
nature. By nature, because He left His flesh to suffer the iii. 20. 
things incidental to it; beyond nature, because these natural 
emotions did not in Him precede the will. For in Christ 
nothing befel of compulsion, but all was voluntary; with His 
will He hungered, with His will He feared, or was sorrowful. 
Here His sorrow is declared, TJien saith he unto them, My 
soul is sorrowful even unto death. Ambrose; He is sorrow- Amb. in 
ful, yet not Himself, but His soul; not His Wisdom, not His 43"^"' ' 
divine Substance, but His soul, for He took upon Him 

^ On this word see above, p. 185, note. 


my soul, and my body. Jerome ; He is sorrowful not 
because of death, but unto death, until He has set the 
Apostles free by His Passion. I^et those who imagine Jesus 
to have taken an irrational soul, say how it is that He is 
thus sorrowful, and knows the season of His sorrow, for 
though the brute animals have sorrow, yet they know neither 
the causes of it, nor the time for which it must endure. 
Origen ; Or otherwise ; My soul is sorrowful even unto 
death ; as much as to say. Sorrow is begun in me, but not 
to endure for ever, but only till the hour of death ; that when 
I shall die for sin, I shall die also to all sorrow, whose begin- 
nings only are in me. Tarry ye here, and watch with me ; 
as much as to say. The rest I bade sit yonder as weak, 
removing them from this struggle ; but you I have brought 
hither as being stronger, that ye may toil with me in watching 
and prayer. But abide you here, that every man may stay 
in his own rank and station ; since all grace, however great, 
has its superior. Jerome; Or the sleep which He would 
have them forego is not bodily rest, for which at this critical 
time there was no room, but mental torpor, the sleep of 

39. And he went a little farther, and fell on his 
face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be pos- 
sible, let this cup pass from me : nevertheless not as 
I will, but as thou wilt. 

40. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth 
them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye 
not watch with me one hour ? 

41. Watch and pray, that ye enter not into tempt- 
ation : the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is 

42. He went away again the second time, and 
prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not 
pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be 

43. And he came and found them asleep again : 
for their eyes were heavy. 

VER. 39 — 44. ST. MATTHEW. 909 

44. And he left them, and went away again, and 
prayed the third time, saying the same words. 

Origen ; He took with Him the self-confident Peter, and 
the others, that they might see Him falling on His face and 
praying, and might learn not to think great things, but Httle 
things of themselves, and not to be hasty in promising, but 
careful in prayer. And therefore, He went forward a little, 
not to go far from them, but that He might be near them in 
His prayer. Also, He who had said above, Learn of me, 
for I am meek and lotvly in heart, now commendably 
humbhng Himself, falls on His face. But He shews His 
devotion in His prayer, and as beloved and well-pleasing to 
His Father, He adds. Not as I will, hut as thou wilt, teaching 
us that we should pray, not that our own will, but that God's 
will, should be done. And as He began to have fear and 
sorrow, He prays accordingly that the cup of His Passion 
may pass from Him, yet not as He wills, but as His 
Father wills ; wills, that is, not according to His Divine 
and impassible Substance, but according to His human and 
weak nature. For in taking upon Him the nature of human 
flesh. He fulfilled all the properties thereof, that it might be 
seen that He had flesh not in appearance only, but in reality. 
The believer indeed must in the first instance be loth to 
incur pain, seeing it leads to death, and he is a man of flesh; 
but if it be God's will, he acquiesces because he is a believer. 
For as we ought not to be too confident that we may not 
seem to make a boast of our own strength ; so neither ought 
we to be distrustful, lest we should seem to charge God our 
helper with weakness. It is to be observed that Mark and 
Luke write the same, but John does not introduce this prayer 
of Jesus', that this cup may pass from Him, because the 
first three are rather occupied about Him, according to His 
human nature, John according to His divine. Otherwise ; 
Jesus makes this petition, because He sees what the Jews 
will suffer for requiring His death. Jerome; Whence He 
says emphatically. This cup, that is, of this people of the 
Jews, who, if they shall put Me to death, can have no excuse 
for their ignorance, seeing they have the Law and the Pro- 


phets, who speak of Me. Origen; Then again considering 
the benefit that would accrue to the whole world from His 
Passion, He says, But not as I will, but as thou wilt ; i. e. 
If it be possible for all these benefits which shall result from 
My Passion to be procured without it, let it pass from Me, 
and both the world be saved, and the Jews not be condemned 
in putting Me to death. But if the salvation of many cannot 
be procured without the destruction of a few, saving Thy 
justice, let it not pass away. Scripture, in many places, 
speaks of passion as a cup that is drained ; and it is drained 
by him, who in testimony suffers whatever is inflicted upon 
him. He sheds it, on the contrary, who denies in order to avoid suffering. Aug. And that none might think that 
Ev!iii.4. -^^ limited His Father's power, He said not. If thou canst 
do it, but If it may he, or, // it be possible ; as much as to 
say, If thou wilt. For whatever God wills can be done, 
as Luke expresses more plainly ; for he says not. If it be 
possible, but If thou wilt. Hilary ; Otherwise ; He says 
not, Let this cup pass away from Me, for that would be the 
speech of one who feared it ; but He prays that it may pass 
not so as that He should be passed over, but that when it 
has passed from Him, it may go to another. His whole fear 
then is for those who were to suffer, and therefore He prays 
for those who were to suffer after Him, saying. Let this cup 
pass from me, i. e. as it is drunk by Me, so let it be drunk by 
these, without mistrust, without sense of pain, without fear 
of death. He says. If it be possible, because flesh and 
blood shrink from these things, and it is hard for human 
bodies not to sink beneath their infliction. That He says, 
Not as I will, but as thou wilt. He would fain indeed that 
they should not suffer, lest their faith should fail in their 
sufferings, if indeed we might attain to the glory of our joint 
inheritance with Him without the hardship of sharing in His 
Passion. He says. Not as I tvill, but as thou wilt, because 
it is the Father's will that strength to drink of the cup should 
pass from Him to them, that the Devil might be vanquished 
Aug. in not so much by Christ as by His disciples also. Aug. Christ 
enar. 2. *^^^ ^^ ^^^^^ shews a certain private human will, in which He 
who is our head figures both His own will and ours when 
He says, Let it pass from me. For this was His human will 

VER. 39 44. ST. MATTHEW. 911 

choosing something as apart for Hhnself. But because as 
man He would be righteous and guide Himself by God's 
will, He adds, Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt ; 
as much as to say to us, Man, behold thyself in Me, that thou 
canst will somewhat apart of thyself, and though God's will is 
other, this is permitted to human frailty. Leo ; This speech Leo, 
of the Head is the health of the whole body, this saying is 5I ^[ 
instruction to the faithful, animates the confessor, crowns the 
martyr. For who could vanquish the hatred of the world, or 
the whirlwind of temptations, or the terrors of the persecutors, 
if Christ did not in all and for all say to the Father, Thy 
will be done. Let all the sons of the Church then utter 
this prayer, that when the pressure of some mighty tempta- 
tion lies upon them, they may embrace endurance of the 
suffering, disregarding its terrors. Origen; And though 
Jesus went but a little forward, they could not watch 
one hour in His absence ; let us therefore pray that Jesus 
may never depart even a little from us. Chrys. He Jinds 
them sleeping, both because it was a late hour of the night, 
and their eyes were heavy with sorrow. Hilary; When 
then He returned to His disciples and found them sleeping, 
He rebukes Peter, Coidd ye not watch one hour with me ? 
He addresses Peter rather than the rest, because he had most 
loudly boasted that he would not be offended. Chrys. But 
as they had all said the same, He charges them all with 
weakness; they had chosen to die with Christ, and yet could 
not even watch with Him. Origen; Finding them thus 
sleeping, He rouses them with a word to hearken, and com- 
mands them to watch; Watch and pray, that ye enter not 
into temptation ; that first we should watch, and so watching 
pray. He watches who does good works, and is careful that 
He does not run into any dark doctrine, for so the prayer of 
the watchful is heard. Jerome ; It is impossible that the 
human mind should not be tempted, therefore He says not 
Watch and pray that ye be not tempted, but that ye enter 
not into temptation, that is, that temptation vanquish you 
not. Hilary; And why He thus encouraged them to pray 
that they might not enter into temptation. He adds, For the 
spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak; this He says 
not of Himself, but addrcvsses them. Jerome; This is 


against those rash persons who think that whatever they 
believe they can perform. The more confident we are of 
our zeal, the more mistrustful should we be of the frailty of 
the flesh. Origen; Here it should be enquired, whether as 
all men's flesh is weak, so all men's spirit is willing, or 
whether only that of the saints; and whether in unbelievers 
the spirit is not also dull, as the flesh is weak. In another 
sense the flesh of those only is weak whose spirit is willing, 
and who with their willing spirit do mortify the deeds of the 
flesh. These then He would have watch and pray that they 
should not enter into temptation, for the more spiritual any 
one may be, the more careful should he be that his goodness 
should not suffer a great fall. Remig. Otherwise; In these 
words He shews that He took real flesh of the Virgin, and 
had a real soul, saying that His spirit is willing to suffer, but 
His flesh weak in fearing the pain of Passion. 

Origen ; There were, I conclude, two ways in which this 
cup of Passion might pass from the Lord. If He should 
drink it, it would pass away from Him, and afterwards from 
the whole race of mankind also ; if He should not drink it, 
it would perhaps pass from Him, but from men it would not 
pass. He would fain therefore that it should so pass from 
Him as that He should not at all taste its bitterness, yet only 
if it were possible, saving the righteousness of God. If it 
were not possible. He was rather willing to drink it, that so 
it might pass from Him, and from the whole race of man- 
kind rather than against His Father's will shun the drinking 
thereof. Chrys. That He prays for this a second and a 
third time, comes of the feelings belonging to human frailty, 
through which also He feared death, thus giving assurance 
that He was truly made man. For in Scripture when any 
thing is repeated a second and third time, that is the greatest 
proof of its truth and reality; as, for example, when Joseph 

^^"- says to Pharaoh, And for that thou sawedst it twice, it is 
' * proof of the thing being established by God. Jerome; Or 
otherwise ; He prays a second time that if Nineveh, or the 
Gentile world, cannot be saved unless the gourd, i. e. the 
Jews, be withered, His Father's will may be done, which is 
not contrary to the Son's will, who Himself speaks by the 

Ps. 40, prQp]^gt, / am content to do thy will, O God. Hilary; 

VER. 45, 46. vST. MATTHEW. 913 

Otherwise, He bare in His own body all the infirmities of 
us His disciples who should suffer, and nailed to His cross 
all wherein we are distressed ; and therefore that cup cannot 
pass from Him, unless He drink it, because we cannot suffer, 
except by His passion. Jerome : Christ singly prays for all, 
as He singly suffers for all. Their eyes were heavy, i. e. an 
oppression and stupefaction came on as their denial drew 
near. Origen; And I suppose that the eyes of their body 
were not so much affected as the eyes of their mind, because 
the Spirit was not yet giv^en them. Wherefore He does not 
rebuke them, but goes again and prays, teaching us that 
we should not faint but should persevere in prayer, until we 
obtain what we have begun to ask. Jerome ; He prayed 
the third time, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses 
every word might be established. Raban. Or, The Lord 
prayed thrice, to teach us to pray for pardon of sins past, 
defence against present evil, and provision against future 
perils, and that we should address every prayer to Father, 
Son, and Holy Spirit, and that our spirit, soul, and body 
should be kept in safety. Aug. Nor is that an absurd Aug. 
interpretation which makes Our Lord pray thrice because Ev*^47, 
of the threefold temptation of His Passion. To the tempta- 
tion of curiosity is opposed the fear of death ; for as the 
one is a yearning for the knowledge of things, so the 
other is the fear of losing such knowledge. To the 
desire of honour or applause is opposed the dread of 
disgrace and insult. To the desire of pleasure is opposed 
the fear of pain. Remig. Or, He prays thrice for the 
Apostles, and for Peter in particular, who was to deny 
Him thrice. 

45. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith 
unto them. Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, 
the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed 
into the hands of sinners. 

46. Rise, let us be going : behold, he is at hand 
that doth betray me. 

Hilary ; , After His persevering prayer, after His de- 

VOL.I 3 N 


partures and several returns, He takes away their fear, 
restores their confidence, and exhorts them to sleep on, and 
take their rest. Chrys. Indeed it behoved them then to 
watch, but He said this to shew that the prospect of coming 
evils v^as more than they would bear, that He had no need 
of their aid, and that it must needs be that He should be 
delivered up. Hilary; Or, He bids them sleep on, and 
take their rest, because He now confidently awaited His 
Father's will concerning the disciples, concerning which He 
had said. Thy ivill he done, and in obedience to which He 
drunk the cup that was to pass from Him to us, diverting 
upon Himself the weakness of our body, the terrors of dismay, 
and even the pains of death itself. Origen ; Or, the sleep 
He now bids His disciples take is of a different sort from 
that which is related above to have befallen them. Then 
He found them sleeping, not taking repose, but because 
their eyes were heavy, but now they are not merely to sleep, 
but to take their rest, that this order may be rightly ob- 
served, namely, that we first watch with prayer that we enter 
not into temptation, and afterwards sleep and take our rest, 
Ps. 132 when having found a place for the Lord, a tabernacle for 
^' the God of Jacob, we may go up into our bed, and give sleep 

to our eyes. It may be also that the soul, unable to sustain 
a continual energy by reason of its union with the flesh, 
may blamelessly admit some relaxations, which may be the 
moral interpretation of slumbers, and then again after due 
time be quickened to new energy. Hilary; And whereas, 
when He returned and found them sleeping, He rebukes 
them the first time, the second time says nothing, the third 
time bids them take their rest; the interpretation of this is, 
that at the first after His resurrection, when He finds them 
dispersed, distrustful, and timorous. He rebukes them ; the 
second time, when their eyes were heavy to look upon the 
liberty of the Gospel, He visited them, sending them the 
Spirit, the Paraclete; for, held back by attachment to the 
Law, they slumbered in respect of faith ; but the third time, 
when He shall come in His glory, He shall restore them to 
quietness and confidence. Origen; When He had roused 
them from sleep, seeing in the Spirit Judas drawing near to 
betray Him, though the disciples could not yet see him, He 

VER. 47 — 50. ST. MATTHEW. 915 

says, Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is 
betrayed into the hands of sinners. Chrys. The words, 
the hour is at hand, point out that all that has been done 
was by Divine interference ; and that, into the hands of 
sinners, shew that this was the work of their wickedness, not 
that He was guilty of any crime. Origen; And even now 
Jesus is betrayed into the hands of sinners, when those who 
seem to believe in Jesus, continue to sin while they have 
Him in their hands. Also whenever a righteous man, who 
has Jesus in Him, is put into the power of sinners, Jesus is 
delivered into the hands of sinners. Jerome ; Having con- 
cluded His third prayer, and having obtained that the 
Apostles' terror should be corrected by subsequent penitence. 
He goes forth undaunted by the prospect of His own Passion 
to meet His pursuers, and offers Himself voluntarily to be 
sacrificed. Arise, let us be going ; as much as to say. Let 
them not find you trembling, let us go forth willingly to 
death, that they may see us confident and rejoicing in suf- 
fering; Lo, he that shall betray me draweth near. Origen; 
He says not, Draws near to thee, for indeed the traitor was 
not near Him, but had removed himself far off through his 
sins. Aug. This speech as Matthew has it seems self-con- Aug. de 
tradictory. For how could He say, Steep on, and take your ■^^l(^,^ 
rest, and immediately continue. Rise, let us be going. This 
contradiction some have endeavoured to reconcile by sup- 
posing the words, Sleep on, and take your rest, to be an 
ironical rebuke, and not a permission ; it might be rightly 
so taken if need were. But as Mark records it, when He 
had said. Sleep on, and take your rest. He added, it is enough, 
and then continued. The hour is come, behold, the Son of man Mark 
is betrayed into the hands of sinners ; we clearly understand ^^' ^^' 
the Lord to have been silent some time after He had said. 
Sleep on, to allow of their doing so, and then after some 
interval to have roused them with. Behold, the hour is at hand. 
And as Mark fills up the sense with, it is enough, that is, 
ye have had rest enough. 

47. And while he yet spake, lo, Judas^ one of the 
twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with 

3 N 2 


swords and staves, from the Chief Priests and elders 
of the people. 

48. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, 
saying. Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he : 
hold him fast. 

49. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said. 
Hail, Master ; and kissed him. 

50. And Jesus said unto him. Friend, wherefore 
art thou come ? Then came they, and laid hands on 
Jesus, and took him. 

Gloss. Gloss. Havinsr said above that the Lord offered Himself of 

non occ. . " , 

His own accord to His pursuers, the Evangehst proceeds 
to relate how He was seized by them. Remig. One of the 
titelve, by association of name, not of desert. This shews 
the monstrous wickedness of the man who from the dignity 
of the Apostleship became the traitor. To shew that it was 
out of envy that they seized Him, it is added, A great multi- 
tude sent by the Chief Priests and elders of the people. 
Origen ; Some may say that a great multitude came, because 
of the great multitude of those who already beUeved, who, 
they feared, might rescue Him out of their hands ; but I 
think there is another reason for this, and that is, that they 
who thought that He cast out daemons through Beelzebub, 
supposed that by some magic He might escape the hands of 
those who sought to hold Him. Even now do many fight 
against Jesus with spiritual weapons, to wit, with divers and 
shifting dogmas concerning God. It deserves enquiry why, 
when He was known by face to all who dwelt in Judaea, he 
should have given them a sign, as though they were unac- 
quainted with His person. But a tradition to this effect has 
come down to us, that not only had He two different forms, 
one under which He appeared to men, the other into which 
He was transfigured before His disciples in the mount, but 
also that He appeared to each man in such degree as the 
beholder was worthy ; in like manner as we read of the 
manna, that it had a flavour adapted to every variety of use, 
and as the word of God shews not alike to all. They re- 

VER. 51 — 54. ST. MATTHEW. 917 

quired therefore a sign by reason of this His transfiguration. 
Chrys. Or, because whenever they had hitherto attempted 
to seize Him, He had escaped them they knew not how ; as 
also He might then have done had He been so minded. 
Raban. The Lord suffered the traitor's kiss, not to teach us 
to dissemble, but that He might not seem to shrink from 
His betrayal. Origen ; If it be asked why Judas betrayed 
Jesus with a kiss, according to some it was because He 
desired to keep up the reverence due to his Master, and did 
not dare to make an open assault upon Him ; according to 
others, it was out of fear that if he came as an avowed enemy, 
he might be the cause of His escape, which he believed 
Jesus had it in His power to effect. But I think that all 
betrayers of truth love to assume the guise of truth, and to 
use the sign of a kiss. Like Judas also, all heretics call 
Jesus Rabbi, and receive from Him mild answer. And 
Jesus said unto him, Friend, ivherefore art thou come i He 
says, Friend, upbraiding his hypocrisy; for in Scripture we 
never find this term of address used to any of the good, but 
as above, Friend, how earnest thou in hither ? and. Friend, I Maitt. 
do thee no wrong. Aug. He says. Wherefore art thou come? Matt^ 
as much as to say, Thy kiss is a snare for Me; I know 20, 13. 
wherefore thou art come; thou feignest thyself My friend, noJfocc. 
being indeed My betrayer. Remig. Or, after Friend, for 
what thou art come, that do, is understood. Then came 
they, and laid their hands on Jesus, and held him. Then, 
that is, when He suffered them, for ofttimes they would have 
done it, but were not able. Pseudo-Aug. Exult, Christian, Pseudo- 
you have gained by this bargain of your enemies; whatg"^' , 
Judas sold, and what the Jews bought, belongs to you. Symb. 

ad Ca- 
tech. 6. 

51. And, behold, one of them which were with 
Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, 
and struck a servant of the High Priest's, and smote 
off his ear. 

52. Then said Jesus unto him. Put up again thy 
swdor into his place : for all they that take the sword 
shall perish with the sword. 


53. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my 
Father, and he shall presently give me more than 
twelve legions of angels ? 

54. But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, 
that thus it must be ? 

Chrys. Chrys. So Luke relates, the Lord had said to His dis- 
ix"jd' ciples at supper, He that hath a purse, let him take it, and 
l^vike22, likewise his scriyp ; and he that hath no sword, let him sell 
his garment and buy one; and the disciples answered, Lo, 
here are two swords. It was natural that there should be 
swords there for the paschal lamb which they had been 
eating. Hearing then that the pursuers were coming to 
apprehend Christ, when they went out from supper they took 
these swords, as though to fight in defence of their Master 
John 18, against His pursuers. Jerome; In another Gospel, Peter 
is represented as having done this, and with his usual hastiness ; 
and that the servant's name w^as Malchus, and that the 
ear was the right ear. In passing we may say, that Malchus, 
i. e. one who should have been king of the Jews, was 
made the slave of the ungodliness and the greediness of 
the Priests, and lost his right ear so that he might hear 
only the worlhlessness of the letter in his left. Origen ; 
For though they seem even now to hear the Law, yet is 
it only v/ith the left ear that they hear the shadow of a 
tradition concerning the Law, and not the truth. The people 
of the Gentiles is signified by Peter; for by believing in 
Christ, they become the cause of cutting off the Jews' right 
ear. Raban. Or, Peter does not take away the sense of 
understanding from them that hear, but opens to the careless 
that which by a divine sentence was taken away from them ; 
but this same right ear is restored to its original function 
in those who out of this nation believed. Hilary ; Other- 
wise ; The ear of the High Priest's servant is cut off by the 
Apostle, that is, Christ's disciple cuts off' the disobedient 
hearing of a people which were the slaves of the Priesthood, 
the ear which had refused to hear is cut of}' so that it is no 
l-eo, longer capable of hearing. Leo ; The Lord of the zealous 


VER. 51 — 54. ST. MATTHEW. 919 

Apostle will not suffer his pious feeling to proceed farther, 
Then saith Jesus unto hun, Pat up again tliy sword into his 
place. For it was contrary to the sacrament of our redemp- 
tion that He, who had come to die for all, should refuse 
to be apprehended. He gives therefore licence to their fury 
against Him, lest by putting off the triumph of His glorious 
Cross, the dominion of the Devil should be made longer, and 
the captivity of men more enduring. Raban. It behoved 
also that the Author of grace should teach the faithful 
patience by His own example, and should rather train them 
to endure adversitv with fortitude, than incite them to self- 
defence. Chrys. To move the disciple to this. He adds 
a threat, saying, All they that take the sword, shall perish 
by the sword. Aug. That is, every one who uses the sword. Aug. 
And he uses the sword, who, without the command or sanction j?^y*j. 
of any superior, or legitimate authority, arms himself against xxii. 70. 
man's life. For truly the Lord had given commandment to 
His disciples to take the sword, but not to smite with the 
sword. Was it then at all unbeseeming that Peter after this 
sin should become ruler of the Church, as Moses after 
smiting the Egyptian was made ruler and chief of the Syna- 
gogue ? For both transgressed the rule not through hard- 
ened ferocity, but through a warmth of spirit capable of 
good; both through hatred of the injustice of others ; both 
sinned through love, the one for his brother, the other for 
his Lord, though a carnal love. Hilary ; But all who use 
the sword do not perish by the sword ; of those who have 
used the sword either judicially, or in self-defence against 
robbers, fever or accident carries off the greater part. Though 
if according to this every one who uses the sword shall 
perish by the sword, justly was the sword now drawn against 
those who were using the same for the promotion of crime. 
Jerome ; With what sword then shall he perish, that takes 
the sword ? By that fiery sword which waves before the gate 
of paradise, and that sword of the Spirit which is described 
in the armour of God. Hilary ; The Lord then bids him 
return his sword into its sheath, because He would destroy 
them by no weapon of man, but by the sword of His mouth. 
Remig. Otherwise; Every one who uses the sword to put 
man to death perishes first by the sword of his own wicked- 


ness. Chrys. He not only soothed His disciples, by this 
declaration of punishment against His enemies, but con- 
vinced them that it was voluntarily that He suffered, Tliinkest 
thou that I cannot fray to my Father^ ^c. Because He had 
shewn many qualities of human infirmity, He would have 
seemed to say what was incredible, if He had said that He 
had power to destroy them, therefore He says, Thinkest 
thou that I cannot noiv pray to my Father? Jerome j 
That is to say, I need not the aid of the Apostles, though 
all the twelve should fight for me, seeing 1 could have twelve 
legions of the Angelic army. The complement of a legion 
among the ancients was six thousand men ; twelve legions 
then are seventy-two thousand Angels, being as many as 
the divisions of the human race and language *. Origen ; 
This shews that the armies of heaven have divisions into 
legions like earthly armies, in the warfare of the Angels 
against the legions of the daemons. This He said not as 
though He needed the aid of the Angels, but speaking in 
accordance with the supposition of Peter, who sought to give 
Him assistance. Truly the Angels have more need of the 
help of the Only-begotten Son of God, than He of theirs. 
Remig. We might also understand by the Angels the Roman 
armies, for with Titus and Vespasian all languages had risen 
Wisd. 5, against Judaea, and that was fulfilled. The whole world shall 
fight for him against those foolish men. Chrys. And He 
quiets their fears not thus only, but by reference to Scripture, 
How then shall the Scriptures he fulfilled that thus it must 
he ? Jerome ; This speech shews a mind willing to suffer ; 
vainly would the Prophets have prophesied truly, unless the 
Lord asserts their truth by His suffering. 

bb. In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, 
Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and 
staves for to take me ? I sat daily with you in the 
temple, and ye laid no hold on me. 

t Tt was generally supposed that in that is the number of the heads of 

the dispersion at Babel, mankind was families enumerated in the genealogy, 

divided into seventy-two nations, each in Gen. xi. See Aug. de Civ. Dei, xvi. 

speaking a different language. For 6. 

VER. 55 — 58. ST. MATTHEW. 921 

56. But all this was done, that the Scriptures of 
the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples 
forsook him, and fled. 

57. And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him 
away to Caiaphas the High Priest, where the Scribes 
and the elders were assembled. 

58. But Peter followed him afar off unto the High 
Priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, 
to see the end. 

Origen ; Having commanded Peter to put up his sword, 
which was an instance of patience, and having (as another j^^te 
Evangehst writes) healed the ear that was cut off, which was 22, 5i. 
an instance of the greatest mercy, and of Divine power, it 
now follows, In that hour said Jesus to the multitudes^ (to 
the end that if they could not remember His past goodness, 
they might at least confess His present,) Ai-e ye come out as 
against a thief with swords and staves for to take me ? 
Remig. As much as to say. Robbers assault and study con- 
cealment; I have injured no one, but have healed many, and 
have ever taught in your synagogues. Jerome ; It is folly 
then to seek with swords and staves Him who offers Him- 
self to your hands, and with a traitor to hunt out, as though 
lurking under cover of night, one who is daily teaching in 
the temple. Chrys. They did not lay hands on Him in the 
temple because they feared the multitude, therefore also the 
Lord went forth that He might give them place and oppor- 
tunity to take Him. This then teaches them, that if He had 
not suffered them of His own free choice, they would never 
have had strength to take Him. Then the Evangelist assigns 
the reason why the Lord was willing to be taken, adding. 
All this was done that the Scriptures of the Prophets might 
be fulfilled. Jerome ; They pierced my hands and my pg 22 
feet; and in another place, He is led as a sheep to the^^- 
slaughter; and, By the iniquities of my people tt^as He led to 7, s. ' 
death. Remig. For because all the Prophets had foretold 
Christ's Passion, he does not cite any particular place, but 
says generally that the prophecies of all the Prophets were 
being fulfilled. Chrys. The disciples who had remained 


when the Lord was apprehended, fled when He spoke these 
things to the multitudes, Then all the disciples forsook him 
andjied; for they then understood that He could not escape 
but rather gave Himself up voluntarily. Remig. In this 
act is shewn the Apostles' frailty ; in the first ardour of their 
faith they had promised to die with Him, but in their fear 
they forgot their promise and fled. The same we may see 
in those who undertake to do great things for the love of 
God, but fail to fulfil what they undertake ; they ought not 
to despair, but to rise again with the Apostles, and recover 
themselves by penitence. Kaban. Mystically, As Peter, 
who by tears washed away the sin of his denial, figures the 
recovery of those who lapse in time of martyrdom ; so the 
flight of the other disciples suggests the precaution of flight 
Aug. deto such as feel themselves unfit to endure torments. Aug. 
j^^"']jj They that had laid hold on Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas 
6. the Higli Priest. But He was first taken to Annas, father- 

in-law to Caiaphas, as John relates. And He was taken 
bound, there being with that multitude a tribune and cohort 
John 18, as John also records. Jerome; But Josephus writes", that 
^^* this Caiaphas had purchased the priesthood of a single year, 
notwithstanding that Moses, at God's command, had directed 
that High Priests should succeed hereditarily, and that in the 
Priests likewise succession by birth should be followed up. 
No wonder then that an unrighteous High Priest should 
judge unrighteously. Raban. And the action suits his 
name ; Caiaphas, i. e. ' contriving,' or, ' politic,' to execute 
his villainy; or ' vomiting from his mouth,' because of his 
audacity in uttering a lie, and bringing about the murder. 
They took Jesus thither, that they might do all advisedly; as 
it follows. Where the Scribes and the Elders were assembled. 
Origen ; Where Caiaphas the High Priest is, there are 
Miterati assembled the Scribes, that is, the men of the letter^, who 
preside over the letter that killeth ; and Elders, not in truth, 
but in the obsolete ancientness of the letter. It follows, 
Peter followed Him afar off, He would neither keep close to 
Him, nor altogether leave Him, but followed afar off. 

" ^' Josephus (Ant. xviii. 3 and 4,) but we do not find that he purchased 
twice mentions this Caiaphas as the the High Priesthood of Herod." Val- 
suecessor of Simon the son of Camithes, larsi. 

VER. 59 68. ST. MATTHEW. 923 

Chrys. Great was the zeal of Peter, who fled not when He 
saw the others fly, but remained, and entered in. For 
though John also went in, yet he was known to the Chief 
Priest. He followed afar ojf, because he was about to deny 
his Lord. Remig. For had he kept close to his Lord's side, 
he could never have denied Him. This also shews that 
Peter should follow his Lord's Passion, that is, imitate it. 
Aug. And also that the Church should follow, i. e. imitate, Aug. 
the Lord's Passion, but with great difference. For the e^. j. * 
Church suffers for itself, but Christ for the Church. Jerome; ^6. 
He went in, either out of the attachment of a disciple, or 
natural curiosity, seeking to know what sentence the High 
Priest would pass, whether death, or scourging. 

59. Now the Chief Priests, and elders, and all the 
council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him 
to death ; 

60. But found none : yea, though many false wit- 
nesses came, yet found they none. At the last came 
two false witnesses, 

61. And said. This fellow said, I am able to 
destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three 

62. And the High Priest arose, and said unto him, 
Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness 
against thee ? 

63. But Jesus held his peace. And the High 
Priest answered and said unto him, 1 adjure"* thee by 
the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the 
Christ, the Son of God. 

64. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said : never- 
theless I say unto you. Hereafter shall ye see the Son 
of man sitting on the right hand of power, and 
coming in the clouds of heaven. 

^'j. Then the High Priest rent his clothes, saying. 
He hath spoken blasphemy ; what further need have 


we of witnesses ? behold, now ye have heard his 

66. What think ye ? They answered and said. He 
is guilty of death. 

67. Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted 
him; and others smote him with the palms of their 

68. Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who 
is he that smote thee ? 

Chrys- When the Chief Priests were thus assembled, this 
conventicle of ruffians sought to give their conspiracy the 
character of a legal trial. But it was entirely a scene of 
confusion and uproar, as what follows shews, Though many 
false witnesses came, yet found they none. Origen; False 
witnesses have place when there is any good colour for their 
testimony. But no pretext was found which could further 
their falsehoods against Jesus; notwithstanding there were 
many desirous to do a favour to the Chief Priests. This 
then is a great testimony in favour of Jesus, that He had 
lived and taught so irreproachably, that though they were 
many, and crafty, and wicked, they could find no semblance 
of fault in Him. Jerome; At last came two false witnesses. 
How are they false witnesses, when they repeat only what we 
read that the Lord spoke ? A false witness is one who takes 
what is said in a different sense from that in which it was 
said. Now this the Lord had spoken of the temple of His 
Body, and they cavil at His expressions, and by a slight 
change and addition produce a plausible charge. The Lord's 
John 2, words were. Destroy this temple; this they make into, I can 
destroy the Temple of God. He said, Destroy^ not * I will 
destroy,' because it is unlawful to lay hands on ourselves. 
Also they phrased it, And build it again , making it apply to 
the temple of the Jews ; but the Lord had said, And 1 will 
raise it vp again, thus clearly pointing out a living and 
breathing temple. For to build again, and to raise again, are 
two different things. Chrys. Why did they not bring forward 
now His breaking the Sabbath ? Because He had so often 


VER. 59 — 68. ST. MATTHEW. 925 

confuted them on this point. Jerome ; Headlong and un- 
controlled rage, unable to find even a false accusation, moves 
the High Priest from his throne, the motion of his body 
shewing the emotion of his mind. And the High Priest 
arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing to the 
things which these witness against Thee ? Chrys. He said 
this with a design to draw from Him some indefensible answer 
which might be made a snare for Him. But Jesus held his 
peace, for defence had availed nothing when none would 
listen to it. For here was only a mockery of justice, it was 
in truth nothing more than the anarchy of a den of robbers. 
Origen ; This place teaches us to contemn the clamours of 
slanderers and false witnesses, and not to consider those who 
speak unbeseeming things of us worthy of an answer ; but 
then, above all, when it is greater to be manfully and reso- 
lutely silent, than to plead our cause in vain. Jerome ; For 
as God, He knew that whatever He said would be twisted 
into an accusation against Him. But at this His silence before 
false witnesses and ungodly Priests, the High Priest was 
exasperated, and summons Him to answer, that from anything 
He says he may raise a charge against Him. Origen; Under 
the Law, we do indeed find many instances of this adjm*ation; Numb. 
but I judge that a man who would live according to the '^' J^?* 
Gospel should not adjure another; for if we are not permitted 22, 16. 
to swear, surely not to adjure. But he that regards Jesus 
commanding the daemons, and giving His disciples power 
over them, will say, that to address the daemons by the power 
given by the Saviour, is not to adjure them. But the High 
Priest did sin in laying a snare for Jesus; imitating his father, 
who twice asked the Saviour, If thou be Christ the Son o/Matt. 4. 
God. Hence one might rightly say, that to doubt concerning 
the Son of God, whether Christ be He, is the work of the 
Devil. It was not fit that the Lord should answer the High 
Priest's adjuration as though under compulsion, wherefore He 
neither denied nor confessed Himself to be the Son of God. 
For he was not worthy to be the object of Christ's teaching, 
therefore He does not instruct him, but taking up his own 
words retorts them upon him. This sitting of the Son of Man 
seems to me to denote a certain regal security ; by the power of 
God, Who is the only power, is He securely seated to Whom 


is given by His Father all power in heaven as in earth. 

And there will come a time when the enemies shall see this 

establishment. Indeed this has begun to be fulfilled from 

the earliest time of the dispensation ; for the disciples saw 

Him rising from the dead, and thereby saw Him seated on 

the right hand of power. Or, In respect of that eternity of 

duration which is with God, from the beginning of the world 

to the end of it is but one day ; it is therefore no wonder that 

the Saviour here says, Shortly, signifying that there is but 

short time before the end come. He prophesies moreover, 

that they should not only see Him sitting at the right hand 

of poioer, but also coming in the clouds of heaven. These 

clouds are the Prophets and Apostles, whom He commands 

to rain when it is required, they are the clouds that pass not 

1 Cor. away, but hearing the image of the heavenly, are worthy to be 

Rom. 8 the throne of God, as heirs of God, and joint-heirs with 

^'^' . Christ. Jerome ; The same fury which drew the High 

Priest from his seat, impels him now to rend his clothes ; for 

so it was customary with the Jews to do whenever they heard 

any blasphemy, or any thing against God. Chrys. This He 

did to give weight to the accusation, and to confirm by deeds 

what He taught in words. Jerome; And by this rending his 

garments, he shews that the Jews have lost the priestly glory, 

and that their High Priest's throne was vacant. For by 

rending his garment he rent the veil of the Law which 

covered him. Chrys. Then, after rending his garment, he 

did not give sentence of himself, but asked of others, saying, 

TVhat think ye ? As was always done in undeniable cases of 

sin, and manifest blasphemy, and as by force driving them to 

a certain opinion, he anticipates the answer. What need we 

any further witnesses ? Behold, now ye have heard his 

blasphemy. What was this blasphemy ? For before He 

had interpreted to them as they were gathered together that 

Matt, text. The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right 

' * hand, and they had held their peace, and had not contradicted 

Him. How then do they call what He now says blasphemy? 

They answered and said. He is guilty of death, the same 

persons at once accusers, examiners, and sentencers. Origen ; 

How great their error! to pronounce the principle of all 

men's life to be guilty of death, and not to acknowledge by 

VER. 69 75. ST. MATTHEW. 027 

the testimony of the resurrection of so many, the Fount of 
life, from Whom life flows to all that rise again. Chrys. As Chrys. 
hunters who have started tlieir game, so they exhibit a wildixxxv. 
and drunken exultation. Jerome ; They spit in his face, 
and hujfeted him, to fulfil the prophecy of Esaias, I gave 7?ij/is^.50, 
cheek to the sniiters, and turned not away viy face from ' 
shame and spitting. Gloss. Prophesy unto us is said in Gloss, 
ridicule of His claim to be held as a Prophet by the people. ^^ * 
Jerome ; But it would have been foolish to have answered 
them that smote Him, and to have declared the smiter, 
seeing that in their madness they seem to have stnick Him 
openly. Chrys. Observe how circumstantially the Evangelist 
recounts all those particulars even which seem most disgrace- 
ftil, hiding or extenuating nothing, but thinking it the highest 
glory that the Lord of the earth should endure such things 
for us. This let us read continually, let us imprint in our 
minds, and in these things let us boast. Aug. That, tliey Aug. 
did spit in his face, signifies those who reject His proffered ^"®^** 
grace. They likewise buffet Him who prefer their own 
honour to Him ; and they smite Him on the face, who, blinded 
with unbelief, affirm that He is not yet come, disowning and 
rejecting His person. 

69. Now Peter sat without m the palace : and a 
damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with 
Jesus of Galilee. 

70. But he denied before them all, saying, I know 
not what thou sayest. 

71. And when he was gone out into the porch, 
another maid saw him, and said unto them that were 
there. This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. 

72. And again he denied with an oath, I do not 
know the man. 

73. And after a while came unto him they that 
stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one 
of them ; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. 

74. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying. 


1 know not the nnan. And immediately the cock 

75. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, 
which said unto him. Before the cock crow, thou 
shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept 

Ang. de AuG. Among the other insults offered to our Lord was the 
Ev.iii.6. threefold denial of Peter, which the several Evangelists relate 
in different order. Luke puts Peter's trial first, and the ill- 
usage of the Lord after that ; Matthew and Mark reverse the 
order. Jerome; Peter sat without, that he might see the 
event, and not excite suspicion by any approach to Jesus. 
Chrys. And he, who, when he saw his Master laid hands on, 
drew his sword and cut off the ear, now when he sees Him 
enduring such insults becomes a denier, and cannot with- 
stand the taunts of a mean servant girl. A damsel came 
unto him, saying. Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. 
Raban. What means this, that a handmaid is the first to tax 
him, when men would be more likely to recognise him, 
except that this sex might seem to sin somewhat in the 
Lord's death, that they might be redeemed by His passion ? 
He denied before them all, because he was afraid to 
reveal himself; that he said, / k7iow not, shews that he 
Leo, was not yet willing to die for the Saviour. Leo ; For this 
^q"J' reason it should seem he was permitted to waver, that 
the remedy of penitence might be exhibited in the head 
of the Church, and that none should dare to trust in 
his own strength, when even the blessed Peter could not escape 
the danger of frailty. Chrys. But not once, but twice and 
Aug. thrice did he deny within a short time. Aug. We understand 
sup. ^^^ having gone out after his first denial, the cock crowed 
the first time as Mark relates. Chrys. To shew that the 
sound did not keep him from denial, nor bring his promise 
Aug. to mind. Aug. The second denial was not outside the door, 
but after he had returned to the fire ; for the second maid 
did not see him after he had gone out, but as he was going 
out; his getting up to go out drew her attention, and she 
said to them that were there, that is, to those that were 

VER. 69 — 75. ST. MATTHEW. 929 

standing round the fire in the hall, Tliis fellow also was iciih 
Jesus of Nazareth. He who had gone out, having heard this 
returned, that he might by denial vindicate himself. Or, as 
is more likely, he did not hear what Was said of him as he 
went out, but it was after he came back that the maid, and 
the other man whom Luke mentions, said to him, And thou 
also art one of them, Jerome; And again he denied with 
an oath, I do not know the man. I know that some out 
of a feeling of piety towards the Apostle Peter have inter- 
preted this place to signify that Peter denied the Man and 
not the God, as though he meant, ' I do not know the Man^ 
because I know the God\' But the intelligent reader will 
see that this is trifling, for if he denied not, the Lord spoke 
falsely when He said, TJiou shalt deny me thrice. Ambrose ; Amb. in 
I had rather that Peter deny, than that the Lord be made 57, ' ' 
out false. Raban. In this denial of Peter we afl[irm that 
Christ is denied not only by him who denies that He is 
Christ, but who denies himself to be a Christian. 

Aug. Let us now come to the third denial; And after Awg. 
a while came they that stood hy, and said to Peter, Surely^^ ^ ^"^* 
ihou also art one of them, (Luke's words are. About theLnke 
^pace of one hour after,) for thy speech hewrayeth thee. ' * 
Jerome; Not that Peter was of a different speech or nation, 
but a Hebrew as his accusers v, ere ; but every province and 
every district has its peculiarities, and he could not disguise 
his native pronunciation. Remig. Observe how baneful 
are communications with evil men; they even drove Peter 
to deny the Lord whom he had before confessed to be the 
Son of God. Raban. Observe, that he said the first time, 
/ know not what thou sayest ; the second time, He denied 
with an oath; the third time. He began to curse and to 
swear that he knew not the man. For to persevere in 
sinning increases sinfulness, and he who disregards light 
sins, falls into greater. 

Remig. Spiritually; By Peter's denial before the cock- 

* e.g. S. Ambrose (in Luc.) says, yet seeing through infirmity of the flesh, 
" He well denied him as man, for he he had at least doubted, he therefore 
knew him as God." And S. Hilary, wept bitterly when he remembered that 
(in loc.) " Almost without sin did he he had not been able, even after warn- 
now deny the man, who had been the ing, to avoid the sin of that fearful- 
first to acknowledge him as Son of God ; ness." 

VOL. I. 3 o 


crow, are denoted those who before Christ's resurrection did 
not believe Him to be God, being perplexed by His death. 
In his denial after the first cock-crow, are denoted those who 
are in error concerning both Christ's natures, His human 
and divine. By the first handmaid is signified desire ; by the 
second, carnal delight; by them that stood by, the daemons; 
for by them men are led to a denial of Christ. Origen; 
Or, By the first handmaid is understood the Synagogue of 
the Jews, which oft compelled the faithful to deny; by the 
second, the congregations of the Gentiles, who even perse- 
cuted the Christians; they that stood in the hall signify 
the ministers of divers heresies, who also compel men to 
Aug. deny the truth of Christ. Aug. Also Peter thrice denied, 
EV.T45. because heretical error concerning Christ is limited to three 
kinds; they are in error respecting His divinity, His hu- 
manity, or both. Raban. After the third denial comes the 
cock-crow; by which we may understand a Doctor of the 
Church who with chiding rouses the slumbering, saying, 
1 Cor. Awake, ye righteous, and sin not. Thus Holy Scripture uses 
15, 14. ^Q denote the merit of divers cases * by fixed periods, as Peter 

• men- ^ _ ^ j r y 

turn cau- sinned at midnight and repented at cock-crow. Jerome; 

sarum. j^ another Gospel we read, that after Peter's denial and the 

Luke cock-crow, the Saviour looked upon Peter, and by His look 

"' ' called forth those bitter tears ; for it might not be that he on 

whom the Light of the world had looked should continue in 

the darkness of denial, wherefore, he went out, and wept 

bitterly. For he could not do penitence sitting in Caiaphas' 

hall, but went forth from the assembly of the wicked, that he 

might wash away in bitter tears the pollution of his timid 

I^eo denial. Leo; Blessed tears, O holy Apostle, which had the 

Serm. virtue of holy Baptism in washing off the sin of thy denial. 

The right hand of the Lord Jesus Christ was with thee to 

hold thee up before thou wast quite thrown down, and in 

the midst of thy perilous fall, thou receivedst strength to stand. 

The Rock quickly returned to its stability, recovering so great 

fortitude, that he who in Christ's passion had quailed, should 

endure his own subsequent suffering with fearlessness and 



1. When the morning was come, all the Chief 
Priests and elders of the people took counsel against 
Jesus to put him to death : 

2. And when they had bound him, they led him 
away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the 

3. Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he 
saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and 
brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the Chief 
Priests and elders, 

4. Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed 
the innocent blood. And they said. What is that to 
us? see thou to that. 

5. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the 
temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. 

Aug. The Evangelist had above brought down his history, Aug. de 
of what was done to the Lord as far as early morning ;£°°^i^^ 
he then turned back to relate Peter's denial, after which he 
returned to the morning to continue the course of events, 
When the morning was come, S^c. Origen ; They supposed 
that by His death they should crush His doctrine, and the 
belief in Hhn of those who believed Him to be the Son of 
God. With such purpose against Him they bound Jesus, vid. Isa. 
Who looses them that are bound. Jerome ; Observe the evil ' * 
zeal of the Chief Priests ; they watched the whole night with 
a view to this murder. And they gave Him up to Pilate 
bound, for such was their practice to send bound to the 
judge any whom they had sentenced to death. Raban. 

3 o 2 


Though it should be observed that they did not now first 
bind Him, but before, when they first laid hands upon Him 
John 18, in the garden, as John relates. Chrys. They did not put 
Chrys. Him to death in secret, because they sought to destroy His 
Horn, reputation, and the wonder with which He was regarded by 
many. For this reason they were minded to put Him to 
death openly before all, and therefore they led Him to the 
governor. Jerome; Judas, when he saw that the Lord was 
condemned to death, returned the money to the Priests, as 
though it had been in his power to change the minds of His 
persecutors. Origen ; Let the propounders of those fables 
concerning intrinsically evil natures^ answer me here, whence 
Judas came to the acknowledgment of his sin, / have sinned 
in that I have betrayed righteous blood, except through the 
good mind originally implanted in him, and that seed of 
virtue which is sown in every rational soul? But Judas did 
not cherish this, and so fell into this sin. But if ever any 
man was made of a nature that was to perish, Judas w^as yet 
more of such a nature. If indeed he had done this after 
Christ's resurrection, it might have been said, that the power 
of the resurrection brought him to repentance. But he 
repented when he saw Christ delivered up to Pilate, perhaps 
remembering the things Jesus had so often spoken of His 
John 13 resurrection. Or, perhaps Satan who had entered into him 
2^* continued with him till Jesus was given up to Pilate, and 
then, having accomplished his purpose, departed from him; 
whereupon he repented. But how could Judas know that 
He was condemned, for He had not yet been examined by 
Pilate ? One may perhaps say, that he foreboded the event 
in his own mind from the very first, when he saw Him 
delivered up, Another may explain the words, when he saw 
that he was condemned, of Judas himself, that he then per- 
ceived his evil case, and saw that he himself was condemned. 
■LgQ. Leo; When he says, I have sinned, in that I have betrayed 
Serm. innocent blood, he persists in his wicked treachery, seeing 
' * that amid the last struggles of death he believed not Jesus to 
be the Son of G od, but merely man of our rank ; for had he 
not thus denied His omnipotence, he would have obtained 
His mercy. Chrys. Observe that he repents only when his 

p viid. S, Basil, Re^. Brev. 84, 

V£n. 1 — 5. &T. MATTHliW. 933 

sin is finished and complete; for so the Devil suffers not 
those who are not watchful to see the evil before they bring 
it to an end. Remig. But they said^ What is that to us? 
that is to say, What is it to us that He is righteous ? See 
thou to it, i. e. to thy own deed what will come of it. 
Though some would read these in one^, What must we think i Quid 
of you, when you confess that the man whom yourself have^^^^^g_ 
betrayed is innocent? Origen ; But when the Devil leaves ris? 
any one, he watches his time for return, and having taken it, he 
leads him into a second sin, and then watches for opportunity 
for a third deceit. So the man who had married his father's l Cor. 6, 
wife afterwards repented him of this sin, but again the Devil 
resolved so to augment this very sorrow of repentance, that 
his sorrow being made too abundant might swallow up the 
sorrower. Something like this took place in Judas, who after 
his repentance did not preserve his own heart, but received 
that more abundant sorrow supplied to him by the Devil, 
who sought to swallow him up, as it follows, And he went 
out, and hanged himself. But had he desired and looked for 
place and time for repentance, he would perhaps have found 
Him who has said, / have no pleasure in the death of the Ezek. 
wicked. Or, perhaps, he desired to die before his Master on ' * 
His way to death, and to meet Him with a disembodied 
spirit, that by confession and deprecation he might obtain 
mercy ; and did not see that it is not fitting that a serv^ant of 
God should dismiss himself from life, but should wait God's 
sentence. Raban. He hung himself, to shew that he was 
hateful to both heaven and earth. Pseudo-Aug. Since the J^i^* 
Chief Priests were employed about the murder of the Lordy.etN. 
from the morning to the ninth hour, how is this proved that J*^^^- 1* 
before the crucifixion Judas returned them the money he had 
received, and said to them in the temple, / have sinned, in 
that I have betrayed innocent blood ? Whereas it is manifest 
that the Chief Priests and Elders were never in the temple 
before the Lord's crucifixion, seeing that when He was 
hanging on the Cross they were there to insult Plim. Nor 
indeed can this be proved hence, because it is related before 
the Lord's Passion, for many things which were manifestly 
done before, are related after, that, and the reverse. It might 
have been done after the ninth hour, when Judas, seeing the 


Saviour dead and the veil of the temple rent, the earthquake, 
the bursting of the rocks, and the elements terrified, was 
seized with fear and sorrow thereupon. But after the ninth 
hour the Chief Priests and Elders were occupied, as I 
suppose, in the celebration of the Passover; and on the 
Sabbath, the Law would not have allowed him to bring 
money. Therefore it is to me as yet unproved on w^hat day 
or at what time Judas ended his life by hanging. 

6. And the Chief Priests took the silver pieces, 
and said. It is not lawful for to put them into the 
treasury, because it is the price of blood. 

7. And they took counsel, and bought with them 
the potter's field, to bury strangers in. 

8. Wherefore that field was called. The field of 
blood, unto this day. 

9. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by 
Jeremy the prophet, saying. And they took the thirty 
pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, 
whom they of the children of Israel did value ; 

10. And gave them for the potter's field, as the 
Lord appointed me. 

Chrys. The Chief Priests knowing that they had purchased 

a murder were condemned by their own conscience; they 

said, // is the price of blood. Jerome ; Truly straining out 

the gnat, and swallowing the camel ; for if they would not 

put the money into the treasury, because it was the price of 

blood, why did they shed the blood at all ? Origen ; They 

thought it meet to spend upon the dead that money which 

was the price of blood. But as there are differences even in 

burial places, they used the price of Jesus' blood in the 

purchase of some potter's field, where foreigners might be 

buried, not as they desired in the sepulchres of their fathers. 

Aug. Aug. It was brought about, I conceive, by God's providence, 

Se^rm. ^^^^ ^1^^ Saviour's price should not minister means of excess 

80. 1. to sinners, but repose to foreigners, that thence Christ might 

both redeem the living by the shedding of His blood, and 

VER. 6 10. ST. MATTHEW. 935 

harbour the dead by the price of His passion. Therefore 
with the price of the Lord's blood the potter's field is 
purchased. We read in Scripture that the salvation of the 
whole human race has been purchased by the Saviour's 
blood. This field then is the whole world. The potter who 
is the Lord of the soil, is He who has formed of clay the 
vessels of our bodies. This potter's field then was purchased 
by Christ's blood, and to strangers who without country or 
home wander over the whole world, repose is provided by 
Christ's blood. These foreigners are the more devout Chris- 
tians, who have renounced the world, and have no possession 
in it, and so repose in Christ's blood ; for the burial of Christ 
is nothing but the repose of a Christian; for as the Apostle 
says, TVe are buried with him hy baptism into death. We Rom. 6, 
are in this life then as foreigners. Jerome ; Also we, who 
were strangers to the Law and the Prophets, have profited 
by the perverse temper of the Jews to obtain salvation for 
ourselves. Origen ; Or, the foreigners are they who to the 
end are aliens fi'om God, for the righteous are buried with 
Christ in a new tomb hewn out in the rock. But they who 
are aliens from God, even to the end, are buried in the field 
of a potter, a worker in clay, which being bought by the 
price of blood, is called the field of blood. Gloss. To this Gloss. 
day means to the time when the Evangelist was then writing. "^^^ °^^* 
He then confirms the event by the testimony of the Prophet; 
Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the 
Prophet, Sfc. Jerome ; This is not found at all in Hieremias; 
but in Zacharias, who is the last but one of the twelve Pro- Zech. 

11 IS 

phets, something hke it is told, and though the sense is not ' * 
very different, yet the arrangement and the words are different. 
Aug. But if any one thinks this lowers the historian's credit, Aug. de 
first let him know that not all the copies of the Gospels have ^""?;. - 
the name Hieremias, but some simply by the Prophet. But 
I do not like this defence, because the more, and the more 
ancient, copies have Hieremias, and there could be no reason 
for adding the name, and thus making an error. But its 
erasure is well accounted for by the hardihood of ignorance 
having heard the foregoing objection urged. It might be 
then, that the name Hieremias occurred to the mind of 
Matthew as he wrote, instead of the name Zacharias, as so 


often happens ; and that he would have straightway con*ected 
it, when pointed out to him by such as read this while he yet 
lived in the flesh, had he not thought that his memory, being 
guided by the Holy Spirit, would not thus have called up to 
him one name instead of another, had not the Lord determined 
that it should thus be written. And why He should have so 
determined, the first reason is, that it would convey the 
wonderful consent of the Prophets, who all spake by one 
Spirit, which is much greater than if all the words of all the 
Prophets had been uttered through the mouth of one man ; 
so that we receive without doubt whatever the Holy Spirit 
spake through them, each word belongs to all in common, 
and the whole is the utterance of each. Suppose it to 
happen at this day, that in repeating another's words one 
should mention not the speaker's name, but that of some 
other person, who however was the other's greater friend, 
and then immediately recollecting himself should correct 
himself, he might yet add. Yet am I right, if you only think 
of the close unanimity that exists between the two. How 
much more is this to be observed of the holy Prophets [ 
There is a second reason why the name Hieremias should 
be suffered to remain in this quotation from Zacharias^ or 
rather why it should have been suggested by the Holy 
Jer. 32, Spirit. It is said in Hieremias, that he bought a field of 
' • his brother's son, and gave him silver for it, though not 

indeed the sum stated in Zacharias, thirty pieces of silver. 
That the Evangelist has here adapted the thirty pieces of 
silver in Zacharias to this transaction in the Lord's history, 
is plain; but he may also wish to convey that what Hiere- 
mias speaks of the field is mystically alluded to here, and 
therefore he puts not the name of Zacharias who spoke of 
the thirty pieces of silver, but of Hieremias who spoke of 
the purchase of the field. So that in reading the Gospel 
and finding the name of Hieremias, but not finding there 
the passage respecting the thirty pieces of silver, but the 
account of the purchase of the field, the reader might be 
induced to compare the two together, and so extract from 
them the sense of the prophecy, how far it refers to what 
was now accomplished in the Lord. For what Matthew 
adds to the prophecy. Whom they of the children of Israel 

VER. 11 — 14. ST. MATTHEW. 937 

did value, and gave them for the potter'' s field, as the Lord 
appointed me, this, as the Lord appointed me, is found 
neither in Zacharias nor Hieremias. It must then be taken 
in the person of the Evangelist as inserted with a mystic 
meaning, that he had learned by revelation that the prophecy 
referred to this matter of the price for which Christ was 
betrayed. Jerome; Far be it then from a follower of Christ Hieron. 
to suppose him guilty of falsehood, whereas his business was ^ Ij^' 
not to pry into words and syllables, but to lay down the 7. 
staple of doctrine. Id. I have lately read in a Hebrew book Hieron. 
given me by a Hebrew of the Nazarene sect, an apocryphal ^" ^°°* 
Hieremias, in which I find the very words here quoted. After 
all, I am rather inclined to think that the j)assage was taken 
by Matthew out of Zacharias, in the usual manner of the 
Apostles and Evangelists when they quote from the Old 
Testament, neglecting the words, and attending only to the 

11. And Jesus stood before the governor: and the 
governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of 
the Jews ? And Jesus said unto him. Thou sayest. 

12. And when he was accused of the Chief Priests 
and elders, he answered nothing. 

13. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not 
how many things they witness against thee ? 

14. And he answered him to never a word; inso- 
much that the governor marvelled greatly. 

Aug. Matthew, having- finished his digression 
the traitor Judas, returns to the course of his narrative, 9°°.!: ^ 
saying, Jesus stood before the governor. Origen; Mark 
how He that is ordained by His Father to be the Judge of 
the whole creation, humbled Himself, and was content to 
stand before the judge of the land of Judaea, and to be 
asked by Pilate either in mockery or doubt, Art thou the 
King of the Jews? Chrys. Pilate asked Christ that which chrys. 
His enemies were continually casting in His teeth, for^""^'. 
because they knew that Pilate cared not for matters of their 


Law, they had recourse to a public charge. Oeigen ; Or, 
Pilate spoke this affirmatively, as he afterwards wrote in the 
inscription. The King of the Jews. By answering to the 
Chief Priest, Thou hast said, He indirectly reproved his 
doubts, but now He turns Pilate's speech into an affirmative, 
Jesus saith unto him, Thou sayest it, Chrys. He acknow- 
ledges Himself to be a King, but a heavenly one, as it is 
John 18, more expressly said in another Gospel, My kingdom is not of 
this world, so that neither the Jews nor Pilate were excusable 
for insisting on this accusation. Hilary ; Or, when asked 
by the High Priest whether He were Jesus the Christ, He 
answered. Thou hast said, because He had ever maintained 
out of the Law that Christ should come, but to Pilate who 
was ignorant of the Law, and asks if He were the King of the 
Jews, He answers. Thou sayest, because the salvation of the 
Gentiles is through faith of that present confession. Jerome ; 
But observe, that to Pilate who asked the question unwillingly 
He did answer somewhat; but to the Chief Priests and 
Priests He refiised to answer, judging them unworthy of a 
word ; And when he was accused by the Chief Priests and 
Aug. ^^JiJlders, he ansu-ered nothing. Aug. Luke explains what 
Ev.iii.8. were the accusations alleged against Him, And they began 
2^ 2 ^^ accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the 
nation, and forbidding to give tribute to C^sar, saying that 
he himself is Christ a King, But it is of no consequence to 
the truth in what order they relate the history, or that one 
omits what another inserts. Origen ; Neither then nor 
now did Jesus make any reply to their accusations, for the 
word of God was not sent to them, as it was formerly to the 
Prophets. Neither was Pilate worthy of an answer, as he 
had no fixed or abiding opinion of Christ, but veered about 
to contradictory suppositions. Hearest thou not how many 
things they witness against thee? Jerome; Thus though it 
is a Gentile who sentences Jesus, he lays the cause of His 
condemnation upon the Jews. Chrys. He said this out of 
a wish to release Him, if He should justify Himself in His 
answer. But the Jews, though they had so many practical 
proofs of His power. His meekness and humbleness, were 
yet enraged against Him, and urged on by a perverted judg- 
ment. Wherefore He answers nothing, or if He makes any 

VER. 15 — *26. ST. MATTHEW. 939 

answer He says little, that total silence might not be construed 
into obstinacy. Jerome ; Or, Jesus would not make any 
answer, lest if He cleared Himself the governor should have 
let Him go, and the benefit of His cross should have been 
deferred. Origen ; The governor marvelled at His en- 
durance, as knowing that he had power to condemn Him, 
He yet continued in a peaceful, placid, and immovable 
pnidence and gravity. He marvelled greatly, for it seemed 
to him a great miracle that Christ, produced before a criminal 
tribunal, stood thus fearless of death, which all men think so 

15. Now at that feast the governor was wont to 
release unto the people a prisoner, whom they 

16. And they had then a notable prisoner, called 

17. Therefore when they were gathered together, 
Pilate said unto them. Whom will ye that I release 
unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? 

18. For he knew that for envy they had delivered 

19. When he was set down on the judgment seat, 
his wife sent unto him, saying. Have thou nothing to 
do with that just man : for I have suffered many things 
this day in a dream because of him. 

20. But the Chief Priests and elders persuaded 
the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and 
destroy Jesus. 

21. The governor answered and said unto them. 
Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? 
They said, Barabbas. 

22. Pilate saith unto them. What shall T do then 
with Jesus which is called Christ ? They all say unto 
him. Let him be crucified. 

23. And the governor said. Why, what evil hath 


he done ? But they cried out the more, saying. Let 
him be crucified. 

24. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, 
but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, 
and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, 
I am innocent of the blood of this just person ; see 
ye to it. 

25. Then answered all the people, and said. His 
blood be on us, and on our children. 

26. Then released he Barabbas unto them : and 
when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be 

Chrys. Because Christ had answered nothing to the 
accusations of the Jews, by which Pilate could acquit Him 
of what was alleged against Him, he contrives other means 
of saving Him. Now on the feast day the governor was 
wont to release unto the people a prisoner ivhom they would, 
Origen ; Thus do the Gentiles shew favours to those whom 
they subject to themselves, until their yoke is riveted. Yet 
1 Sam. did this practice obtain also among the Jews, Saul did not 
put Jonathan to death, because all the people sought his hfe. 
Chrys. And he sought to rescue Christ by means of this 
practice, that the Jews might not have the shadow of an 
excuse left them, A convicted murderer is put in comparison 
with Christ, Barabbas, whom he calls not merely a robber, 
but a notable one, that is, renowned for crime. Jerome; 
In the Gospel entitled ' according to the Hebrews,' Barabbas 
is interpreted, ' The son of their master,' who had been con- 
demned for sedition and murder. Pilate gives them the 
choice between Jesus and the robber, not doubting but that 
Jesus would be the rather chosen. Chrys. Whom will ye 
that I release unto you? 8^c. As much as to say. If ye 
will not let Him go as innocent, at least, yield Him, as 
convicted, to this holy day. For if you would have released 
one of whose guilt there was no doubt, much more should 
you do so in doubtful cases. Observe how circumstances 
are reversed. It is the populace who are wont to petition 


VER. 15 26. ST. MATTHEW. 041 

for the condemned, and the prince to grant, but here it 
is the reverse, the prince asks of the people, and renders 
them thereby more violent. Gloss. The Evangelist adds Gloss, 
the reason why Pilate sought to deliver Christ, For lie knew^^^^^^' 
that for enry they had delivered him. Remig. John 
explains what their envy was, when he says, Behold, I he John 
world is gone offer him; and, If we let him thns alone, ^t^^]^^^^^' 
men will believe on him. Observe also that in place of what ii, 48. 
Matthew says, Jesus, who is called Christ, Mark says. Will Mark 
ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For the ' 
kings of the Jews alone were anointed, and from that anointing 
were called Christs. Chrys. Then is added something else 
which alone was enough to deter all from putting Him to 
death ; When he was set on the judgment seat, his wife sent 
unto him, saying, Have thou notliing to do with that just man. 
For joined with the proof afforded by the events themselves, 
a dream was no light confirmation. Raban. It is to be 
noted, that the bench (tribunal) is the seat of the judge, the 
throne (solium) of the king, the chair (cathedra) of the 
master. In visions and dreams the wife of a Gentile under- 
stood what the Jews when awake would neither believe nor 
understand. Jerome ; Observe also that visions are often 
vouchsafed by God to the Gentiles, and that the confession 
of Pilate and his wife that the Lord was innocent is a testi- 
mony of the Gentile people. Chrys. But why did Pilate 
himself not see this vision } Because his wife was more 
worthy ; or because if Pilate had seen it, he would not have 
had equal credit, or perhaps would not have told it ; where- 
fore it is provided by God that his wife should see it, and 
thus it be made manifest to all. And she not merely sees it, 
but suffers many tilings because of him, so that sympathy 
with his wife would make the husband more slack to put 
Him to death. And the time agreed well, for it was the 
same night that she saw it. Id. Thus then the judge is cjjj.ys 
terrified through his wife, and that he might not consent in Hom.iii. 
the judgment to the accusation of the Jews, himself endured Dom. 
judgment in the affliction of his wife ; the judge is judged, 
and tortured before he tortures. Raban. Or otherwise; The 
devil now at last understanding that he should lose his 
trophies through Christ, as he had at the first brought in 


death by a woman, so by a woman he would deliver Christ 
out of the hands of His enemies, lest through His death he 
should lose the sovereignty of death. Chrys. But none of the 
foregoing things moved Christ's enemies, because envy had 
altogether blinded them, and of their own wickedness they 
corrupt the people, for they persuaded the people that they 
should ask Barahhas, and destroy Jesus. Ortgen ; Thus it is 
plainly seen how the Jewish people is moved by its elders and 
the doctors of the Jewish system, and stiiTed up against Jesus 
Gloss, to destroy Him. Gloss. Pilate is said to make this answer, 
non occ. pj/^^^/^^^ ^ fj^^ twain will ye that I release unto you ? 
either to the message of his wife, or the petition of the 
people, with whom it was a custom to ask such release on 
the feast-day. Origen ; But the populace, like wild beasts 
that rage the open plains, would have Barabbas released to 
them. For this people had seditions, murders, robberies, 
practised by some of their own nation in act, and nourished 
by all of them who believe not in Jesus, inwardly in their 
mind. Where Jesus is not, there are strifes and fight- 
ings ; where He is, there is peace and all good things. All 
those who are like the Jews either in doctrine or life desire 
Barabbas to be loosed to them ; for whoso does evil, Barabbas 
is loosed in his body, and Jesus bound ; but he that does 
good has Christ loosed, and Barabbas bound. Pilate sought 
to strike them with shame for so great injustice, TVhat shall 
I do then with Jesus that is called Christ ? And not that 
only, but desiring to fill up the measure of their guilt. But 
neither do they blush that Pilate confessed Jesus to be the 
Christ, nor set any bounds to their impiety, Tliey all say 
unto him, Let him he cmcified. Thus they multiplied the 
sum of their vrickedness, not only asking the life of a murderer, 
but the death of a righteous man, and that the shameful death 
of the cross. Raban. Those who were crucified being sus- 
pended on a cross, by nails driven into the wood through 
their hands and feet, perished by a lingering death, and 
lived long on the cross, not that they sought longer life, 
but that death was deferred to prolong their sufferings. The 
Jews indeed contrived this as the worst of deaths, but it had 
been chosen by the Lord without their privity, thereafter to 
place upon the foreheads of the faithful the same cross as a 

VER. 15 — 26. ST. MATTHEW. 943 

trophy of His victory over the Devil. Jerome ; Yet even 
after this answer of theirs, Pilate did not at once assent, but 
in accordance with his wife's suggestion. Have thou nothing 
to do with that just man, he answered, Why, what evil hath 
he done ? This speech of Pilate's acquits Jesus. But they 
cried out the more, saying. Let him he crucified; that it 
might be fulfilled which is said in the Psalm, Many dogs Ps. 22, 
have compassed me, the congregation of the wicked hath 
inclosed me ; and also that of Hieremias, Mine heritage is Jer. 12, 
unto me as a lion in the forest, they have given forth their ' 
voice against me, Aug. Pilate many times pleaded with the Aug. de 
Jews, desiring that Jesus might be released, which Matthew EvYii.s. 
witnesses in very few words, when he says, Pilate seeing 
that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was 
made. He would not have spoken thus, if Pilate had not 
striven much, though how many efforts he made to release 
Jesus he does not mention. Remig. It was customary among 
the ancients, when one would refuse to participate in any 
crime, to take water and wash his hands before the people. 
Jerome ; Pilate took water in accordance with that, / will Ps. 26, 
wash my hands in innocency, in a manner testifying and 
saying, I indeed have sought to deliver this innocent man, 
but since a tumult is rising, and the charge of treason to 
Caesar is urged against me, I am innocent of the blood of 
this just man. The judge then who is thus compelled to give 
sentence against the Lord, does not convict the accused, 
but the accusers, pronouncing innocent Him who is to be 
crucified. See ye to it, as though he had said, I am th6 
law's minister, it is your voice that has shed this blood. 
Tlien answered all the people and said. His blood be on us and 
on our children. This imprecation rests at the present day 
upon the Jews, the Lord's blood is not removed from them. 
Chrys. Observe here the infatuation of the Jews; their head- 
long haste, and destructive passions will not let them see 
what they ought to see, and they curse themselves, saying, 
His blood be upon us, and even entail the curse upon their 
children. Yet a merciful God did not ratify this sentence, 
but accepted such of them and of their children as repented; 
for Paul was of them, and many thousands of those who in 
Jerusalem believed. Leo ; The impiety of the Jews then ^^°> 

59. 2.* 


exceeded the faull of Pilate; but he was not guiltless, seeing 

he resigned his own jurisdiction, and acquiesced in the 

injustice of others. Jerome; It should be known that Pilate 

administered the Roman law, which enacted that every one 

who was crucified should first be scourged. Jesus then is 

given up to the soldiers to be beaten, and they tore with 

whips that most holy body and capacious bosom of God. 

ChryH. Chrys. See the Lord is made ready for the scourge, see 

jj^^JJJ^'now it descends upon Him ! That sacred skin is torn by the 

Dom. fury of the rods ; the cruel might of repeated blows lacerates 

His shoulders. Ah me ! God is stretched out before man, 

and He, in whom not one trace of sin can be discerned, 

suffers punishment as a malefactor. Jerome ; This was 

done that we might be delivered from those stripes of which 

Ps. 32, it is said, Many stripes shall he to the wicked. Also in the 

washing of Pilate's hands all the works of the Gentiles are 

cleansed, and we are acquitted of all share in the impiety of 

the Jews, 

Hilary; At the desire of the Priests the populace chose 
Barabbas, which is interpreted ' the son of a Father,' 
thus shadowing forth the unbelief to come when Antichrist 
the son of sin should be preferred to Christ. Raban. 
Barabbas also, who headed a sedition among the people, is 
released to the .Jews, that is the Devil, who to this day reigns 
among them, so that they cannot have peace, 

27. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus 
into the common hall, and gathered unto him the 
whole band of soldiers. 

28. And they stripped him, and put on him a 
scarlet robe. 

29. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, 
they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right 
hand : and they bowed the knee before him, and 
mocked him, saying, Hail, king of the Jews ! 

30. And they spit upon him, and took the reed, 
and smote him on the head. 

Aug. de Aug. After the Lord's trial comes His Passion, which 

Cons. ' 

Ev. iii. 


VER. 27 — 30. ST. MATTHEW. 945 

Matthew thus begins, Then the soldiers of the governor took 
Jesus into the common hall, 8^c. Jerome ; He had been 
styled King of the Jews, and the Scribes and Priests had 
brought this charge against Him, that He claimed sovereignty 
over the Jewish nation ; hence this mockery of the soldiers, 
taking away His own garments, they put on Him a scarlet 
cloak to represent that purple fringe which kings of old used 
to wear, for the diadem they put on Him a crown of thorns, 
and for the regal sceptre give Him a reed, and perform 
adoration to Him as to a kinor. Aug. Hence we understand Aug. 
what Mark means hy clothed him with purple; instead of Mark 
the royal purple, this scarlet cloak was used in mockery ; and ^^j ^^• 
there is a shade of purple which is very like scarlet. Or it 
may be, that Mark spoke of the purple which the cloak 
contained, thoush its colour was scarlet. Chrys. WhatChrys. 


should we henceforth care if any one insults us, after Christ ixxxvii. 
has thus suffered ? The utmost that cruel outrage could do 
was put in practice against Christ ; and not one member 
only, but His whole body suffered injuries; His head from 
the crown, the reed, and the buffetings ; His face which was 
spit upon ; His cheeks which they smote with the palms of 
their hands ; His whole body from the scourging, the strip- 
ping to put on the cloak, and the mockery of homage ; His 
hands from the reed which they put into them in mimicry of 
a sceptre; as though they were afraid of omitting aught of 
indignity. Aug. But Matthew seems to introduce this here as Aug. 
recollected from above, not that it was done at the time Pilate "^' "^'P* 
gave Him up for crucifixion. For John puts it before He is 
given up by Pilate. 

Jerome ; All these things we may understand mystically. 
For as Caiaphas said that it is expedient that one man should Johnii, 
die for the people, not knowing what he said, so these, * 
in all they did, furnished sacraments to us who believe, 
though they did them with other intention. In the scarlet 
robe He bears the bloody works of the Gentiles ; by the 
crown of thorns He takes away the ancient curse ; with 
the reed He destroys poisonous animals ; or He held the reed 
in His hand wherewith to write down the sacrilege of the 
Jews. Hilary ; Or otherwise; The Lord having taken upon 
Him all the infirmities of our body, is then covered with the 

VOL. I. 3p 


scarlet coloured blood of all the martyrs, to whom is due the 
kingdom with Him ; He is crowned with thorns, that is, with 
the sins of the Gentiles who once pierced Him, for there is a 
prick in thorns of which is woven the crown of victory for 
Christ. In the reed, He takes into His hand and supports 
the weakness and frailty of the Gentiles; and His head is 
smitten therewith that the weakness of the Gentiles sus- 
tained by Christ's hand may rest on God the Father, who is 
His head. Origen ; Or, The reed was a mystery signifying 
that before we beheved we trusted in that reed of Egypt, or 
Babylon, or of some other kingdom opposed to God, which He 
took that He might triumph over it with the wood of the cross. 
With this reed they smite the head of Christ, because this king- 
dom ever beats against God the Father, who is the head of the 
Saviour. Remig. Or otherwise, By the scarlet robe is denoted 
the Lord's flesh, which is spoken of as red by reason of shedding 
of His blood ; by the crown of thorns His taking upon Him 
Rom. 8, our sins, because He appeared in the likeness of sinful flesh. 


Raban. They smite the head of Christ with a reed, who speak 

against His divinity, and endeavour to maintain their error by 

the authority of Holy Scripture, which is written by a reed. 

They spit upon His face who reject in abominable words the 

presence of His grace, and deny that Jesus is come in the 

flesh. And they mock Him with adoration who believe on 

Aug. Him, but despise Him with perverse works. Aug. That they 

Quspst. took from off' the Lord in His passion His own garment, and 

in fin. put on Him a coloured robe, denotes those heretics who said 

that He had a shadowy, and not a real body. 

31. And after that they had mocked him, they 
took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment 
on him, and led him away to crucify him. 

32. And as they came out, they found a man of 
Cyrene, Simon by name : him they compelled to bear 
his cross. 

33. And when they were come unto a place called 
Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, 

34. They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall : 
and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. 

VER. 31 — 34. ST. MATTHEW, 947 

Gloss. After the Evangelist had narrated what concerned Gloss. 

the mocking of Christ, he proceeds to His crucifixion. Aug. 

This is to be understood to have been done at the end of all- ^°°!: ^ 


when He was led off to crucifixion after Pilate had delivered 
Him up to the Jews. Jerome ; It is to be noted, that when 
Jesus is scourged and spit upon. He has not on His own 
garments, but those which He took for our sins; but when 
He is crucified, and the show of His mockery is completed, 
then He takes again His former garments, and His own 
dress, and immediately the elements are shaken, and the 
creature gives testimony to the Creator. Origen ; Of the 
cloak it is mentioned that they took it off Him, but of the 
crown of thorns the Evangelists have not spoken, so that 
there are now no longer those ancient thorns of ours, since 
Jesus has taken them from us upon His revered head. Chrys. Chrys, 


The Lord would not suffer under a roof, or in the Jewish ^ °u™! 
Temple, that you should not suppose that He was offered ?t Lat. 
for that people alone ; but without the city, without the walls, 
that you might know that the sacrifice was common, that it was 
the offeringof the whole earth,that the purification was general. 
Jerome; Let none think that John's narrative contradicts 
this place of the Evangelist. John says that the Lord went 
forth from the praetorium bearing His cross ; Matthew tells, 
that they found a man of Cyrene upon whom they laid Jesus' 
cross. We must suppose that as Jesus went out of the 
praetorium, He was bearing His cross, and that afterwards 
they met Simon, whom they compelled to bear it. Origen; 
Or, as they went out, they laid hold of Simon, but when they 
drew near to the place in which they would cnicify Him, they 
laid the cross upon Him that He might bear it. Simon ob- 
tained not this office by chance, but was brought to the spot by 
God's providence, that he might be found worthy of mention in 
the Scriptures of the Gospel, and of the ministry of the cross 
of Christ. And it was not only meet that the Saviour should 
cany His cross, but meet also that we should take part therein, 
filling a carriage so beneficial to us. Yet would it not have so siyycc- 
profited us to take it on us, as we have profited by His taking^"** 
it upon Himself 

Jerome ; Figuratively, the nations take up the cross, and the 
foreigner by obedience bears the ignominy of the Saviour. 

3 p 2 


Hilary ; For a Jew was not worthy to bear Christ's cross, but 
it wasi'eserved for the faith of the Gentiles both to take the 
cross, and to suffer with Him. Remig. For this Simon was 
not a man of Jerusalem, but a foreigner, and denizen, being a 
Cyrenean ; Cyrene is a town of Lybia. Simon is interpreted 
* obedient,' and a Cyrenean ' an heir;' whence he well denotes 
the people of the Gentiles, which was strange to the testa- 
ments of God, but by believing became a fellow-citizen of 
Greg, the saints, of the household, and an heir of God. Greg. Or 
^y^ ' ' otherwise ; By Simon who bears the burden of the Lord's 
XXX11.3. (>fQgg a|.Q denoted those who are abstinent and proud; these 
by their abstinence afflict their flesh, but seek not within the 
fruit of abstinence. Thus Simon bears the cross, but does 
not die thereon, as these afflict the body, but in desire of 
vain -glory live to the world. 

Raban. Golgotha is a Syriac word, and is interpreted 

Calvary. Jerome ; I have heard Calvary expounded^ as the 

spot in which Adam was buried, as though it had been so 

called from the head of the old man being buried there. A 

plausible interpretation, and agreeable to the ears of the 

people, yet not a true one. Without the city outside the 

gate are the places where criminals are executed, and these 

have got the name of Calvary, that is, of the beheaded. And 

Jesus was crucified there, that where the plot of criminals 

had been, there might be set up the flag of martyrdom. But 

Adam was buried near Ebron and Arbee, as we read in the 

volume of Jesus the son of Nave*'. Hilary; Such is the 

place of the cross, set up in the centre of the earth, that it 

might be equally free to all nations to attain the knowledge 

Aug. de of God. Aug. And they gave him to drink wine mingled 

Ev° Ui. ^*^^' 9^^^' Mark says, mingled with myrrh. Matthew put 

11. gall io express bitterness, but wine mingled with myrrh is 

15 23. ^^^y bitter; though indeed it might be, that gall together 

^ He probably refers to an anony- is buried in Calvary, so that as in 

mous disputant, of whom he speaks Adam all die, so in Christ may all be 

more at length in his Commentary on made alive." And to the same efifect 

Ephesians 5, 14 ; but a tradition to the Epiphanius cont. Tatian, and the 

same effect is mentioned by Origen, Pseudo-Cyprian. ' De Resur. Christi.' 
whose words, as preserved in a MS. ^ Josh. 14, 16. in the Vulgate, 

Catena quoted by Ruseus, are, "A ' Adam maximus ibi inter Enacim 

tradition has come down to ns, preserved situs est;' departing from both the 

by the Hebrews, that the body of Adam Heb. and LXX. 

VER. 35 — 38. ST. MATTHEW. 949 

with myrrh would make the most bitter. Jerome; The 
bitter vine makes bitter wine ; this they gave the Lord Jesus 
to drink, that that might be fulfilled which was written, 
They gave me also gall for my meat. And God addresses Ps. 69, 
Jerusalem, / had planted there a true vine^ how art thou jg'j. ^ 
turned into the bitterness of a strange vinef Aug. And^^* 
when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. Thatubi pup. 
Mark says. But he received it not, we understand to mean 
that He would not receive it to drink thereof. For that He 
tasted it Matthew bears witness; so that Matthew's, He could 
not drink thereof means exactly the same as Mark's, He 
received it not ; only Mark does not mention His tasting it. 

That He tasted but would not drink of it, signifies that He 
tasted the bitterness of death for us, but rose again the third 
day. Hilary; Or, He therefore refused the wine mingled 
with gall, because the bitterness of sin is not mingled with the 
in corruption of eternal glory. 

35. And they crucified him, and parted his gar- 
ments, casting lots : that it might be fulfilled which 
was spoken by the prophet. They parted my gar- 
ments among them, and upon my vesture did they 
cast lots. 

36. And sitting down they watched him there ; 

37. And set up over his head his accusation written. 
This is Jesus the King of the Jews. 

38. Then were there two thieves crucified with 
him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. 

Gloss. Having described how Christ was led to the scene Gloss. 
of His Passion, the Evangehst proceeds to the Passion itself, "^^"^ °°^* 
describing the kind of death ; And they crucified him. Aug. Aug. 
The Wisdom of God took upon Him man, to give us an Qyg^g^^' 
example how we might live rightly. It pertains to right life 1- 25. 
not to fear things that are not to be feared. But some men 
who do not fear death in itself, yet dread some kinds of death. 
That no sort of death is to be feared by the man who lives 
aright, was to be shewn by this Man's cross. For of all the 


modes of death none was more horrible and fearful than this. 
Aug. in Aug. Let your holiness consider of what might is the 
non occ. power of the cross. Adam set at nought the commandment, 
taking the apple from the tree ; but all that Adam lost, Christ 
found upon the cross. The ark of wood saved the human 
race from the deluge of waters ; when God's people came out 
of Egypt, Moses divided the sea with his rod, overwhelmed 
Pharaoh, and redeemed God's people. The same Moses 
changed the bitter water into sweet by casting wood into it. 
By the rod the refreshing stream was drawn out of the rock ; 
that Amalech might be overcome, Moses' outstretched hands 
were supported upon his rod; the Law of God is entrusted to 
the wooden ark of the covenant, that thus, by these steps we 
Chrys. Hiay come at last to the wood of the cross. Chrys. He g^^gj.g^ ou a loftv cross, and not under a roof, to the end 

Cruc. et . . . , 

Lat. ii. that the nature of the air might be purified ; the earth also 
partook a like benefit, being cleansed by the blood that 
Gloss, dropped from His side. Gloss. The shape of the cross 
Aiiselm. seems also to signify the Church spread through the four 
quarters of the earth. Raban. Or, according to the practical 
exposition, the cross in respect of its broad transverse piece 
signifies the joy of him that works, for sorrow produces 
straitness; for the broad part of the cross is in the transverse 
beam to which the hands are fastened, and by the hands we 
understand works. By the upper part to which the head is 
fastened is denoted our looking for retribution from the 
supreme righteousness of God. The perpendicular part on 
which the body is stretched denotes endurance, whence the 
longa- patient are called ' long-suffering.' The point that is fixed 
mines jj^^^ ^\^q ground shadows forth the invisible part of a sacra- 
ment. Hilary ; Thus on the tree of life the salvation and 
life of all is suspended. 
Aug. de Aug. Matthew shortly says, They parted his garments, 
Ev. iii. caiiiing lots; but John explains more fully how it was done. 
^2- The soldiers, when they had crucified him, took his garments, 
19, 23, and made four parts, to every soldier a part ; and also his 
coat ; now the coat was without seam. Chrys. It is to be 
noted, that this is no small degradation of Christ. For they 
did this as to one utterly abject and worthless, yet for the 
thieves they did not the same. For they share the garments 

VER. 35 38. ST. MATTHEW. 951 

only in the case of condemned persons so mean and poor 
as to possess nothing more. Jerome ; This which was now 
done to Christ had been prophesied in the Psalm, They Ps. 22, 

] 8 

parted my garinenta amony them, and cast lots upon my 
vesture. It proceeds, And sitting down, they watched him 
there. This watchfulness of the soldiers and of the Priests 
has proved of use to us in making the power of His resurrec- 
tion greater and more notorious. And they set up over his 
head his accusation written, This is Jesus, the King of the 
Jews. I cannot sufficiently wonder at the enormity of the 
thing, that having purchased false witnesses, and having 
stin*ed up the unhappy people to riot and uproar, they found 
no other plea for putting Him to death, than that He was 
King of the Jews ; and this perhaps they set up in mockery. 
Remig. It was divinely provided that this title should be set 
up over His head, that the Jews might learn that not even by 
putting Him to death could they avoid having Him for their 
King; for in the very instrument of His death He not only 
did not lose, but rather confirmed His sovereignty. Origen; 
The High Priest also in obedience to the letter of the Law 
wore on his head the writing, ' Holiness to the Lord,' but the 
true High Priest and King, Jesus, bears on His cross the title, 
Tliis is the King of the Jews; when ascending to His Father, 
instead of His own name with its proper letters. He has the 
Father Himself Raban. For because He is at once King 
and Priest, when He would offer the sacrifice of His flesh 
on the altar of the cross, His title set forth His regal dignity. 
And it is set over and not beneath the cross, because though 
He suffered for us on the cross with the weakness of man, 
the majesty of the King was conspicuous above the cross ; 
and this He did not lose, but rather confirmed, by the cross. 

Jerome ; As Christ was made for us a curse of the cross Hieron. 
so for the salvation of all He is crucified as guilty among the"°"°^^* 
guilty. Leo; Two thieves were crucified with him, one onJ^eo-, 
the right hand and one on the left, that in the figure 5^™* 
of His cross might be represented that separation of all man- 
kind which shall be made in His judgment. The Passion 
then of Christ contains a sacrament of our salvation, and of 
that instrument which the wickedness of the Jews provided 
for His punishment, the power of the Redeemer made a step 


to glory. Hilary ; Or otherwise ; Two thieves are set up 

on His right and left hand, to signify that the entire human 

race is called to the Sacrament of the Lord's Passion ; but 

because there shall be a division of believers to the right, and 

unbelievers to the left, one of the two who is set on His right 

Remig. hand is saved by the justification of faith. Remig. Or, by 

Gloss. t^G t^'o thieves are denoted all those who strive after the 

°^^- continence of a strict life. They who do this with a single 

intention of pleasing God, are denoted by him who was 

crucified on the right hand ; they who do it out of desire of 

human praise or any less worthy motive, are signified by him 

who was crucified on the left. 

39. And they that passed by reviled him, wagging 
their heads, 

40. And saying, ,Thou that destroyest the temple, 
and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou 
be the Son of God, come down from the cross. 

41. Likewise also the Chief Priests mocking him, 
with the Scribes and elders, said, 

42. He saved others; himself he cannot save. If 
he be the King of Israel, let him now come down 
from the cross, and we will believe him. 

43. He trusted in God ; let him deliver him now, 
if he will have him : for he said, I am the Son of 

44. The thieves also, which were crucified with 
him, cast the same in his teeth. 

Chrys. Having stripped and crucified Christ, they go yet 
further, and seeing Him on the cross revile Him. Jerome ; 
They revile him because they passed by that way, and would 
not walk in the true way of the Scriptures. They wagged 
their heads, because they had just before shifted their feet, 
and stood not upon a rock. The foolish rabble cast the same 
taunt against Him that the false witnesses had invented. Aha! 
thou thai destroyest the temple of God and rebuildest it in 
three days, Remig. Aha I is an interjection of taunt and 

VER. 39 — 44. ST. MATTHKW. 953 

mockery. Hilary ; What forgiveness then for them, when by 
the resurrection of His body they shall see the temple of God 
rebuilt within three days } Chrys. And as beginning to exte- 
nuate His former miracles, they add, Save thyself; if thou 
he the Son of God, come down from the cross. Id. But j^J^^* 
He, on the contrary, does not come down from the cross, de Cruc. 
because He is the Son of God; for He therefore came that^j 
He might be crucified for us. Jerome ; Even the Scribes 
and Pharisees reluctantly confess that He saved others. 
Your own judgment then condemns you, for in that He 
saved others. He could if He would have saved Himself 
Pseudo-Chrys. ^ But attend to this speech of these children 
of the Devil, how they imitate their father's speech. The 
Devil said, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down ; andg '^ * ' 
they say now. If thoa he the Son of God, come down from 
the cross. Leo; From what source of error, O Jews, have ye^^^^^ 
sucked in the poison of such blasphemies? What teacher 55. 2. 
delivered it to you? What learning moved you to think that 
the true King of Israel, that the veritable Son of God, would 
be He who would not suffer Himself to be crucified, and 
would set free His ^body from the fastenings of the nails? 
Not the hidden meaning of the Law, not the mouths of the 
Prophets. Had ye indeed ever read, / Jiid not my face from Y' ^^' 
the shame of spitting ; or that again. They pierced my hands Fs. 2% 
and my feet, they told all my hones. Where have ye ever 
read that the Lord came down from the cross ? But ye have 
read. The Lord hath reigned from the tree ^. Raban. Had He 
then been prevailed on by their taunts to leave the cross. He 
would not have proved to us the power of endurance ; but He 
waited enduring their mockery; and He who would not come 
down from the cross, rose again from the tomb. Jerome ; 
But unworthy of credit is that promise, Atid 7fe will believe 
him. For which is greater, to come down while yet alive 
from the cross, or to rise from the tomb when dead ? Yet this 
He did, and ye believed not; therefore neither would ye have 
believed if He had come down from the cross. It seems to 
me that this was a suggestion of the daemons. For imme- 

*! Horn, de Cruce et Latr. in the ligno,' in the old Italic Version ; and 

Latin Chrys. (ed. Paris. 1588.) vol. iii. so Tertullian adv. Marc, iii. The 

p. 750. Vulg. follows the Heb. 

« Ps. 96, 10. ' Dominua regnavit a 


diately when the Lord was crucified they felt the power of 
the cross, and perceived that their strength was broken, and 
therefore contrive this to move Him to come down from the 
cross. But the Lord, aware of the designs of His foes, remains 
on the cross that He may destroy the Devil. Chrys. He 
trusted in God, let him now deliver him, if he will. O most 
foul ! Were they therefore not Prophets or righteous men, 
because God did not deliver them out of their perils ? But if 
He would not oppose their glory, which accrued to them out 
of the perils which you brought upon them, much more in this 
man ought you not to be offended because of what He suffers ; 
what He has ever said ought to remove any such suspicion. 
When they add. Because he said, I am the Son of God, they 
desire to intimate that He suffered as an impostor and se- 
ducer, and as making high and false pretences. And not only 
the Jews and the soldiers from below, but from above likewise. 
The thieves, which were crucijied with him, cast the same in 
Aug. ^ehis teeth. Aug. It may seem that Luke contradicts this, 
Ev. iii. when he describes one of the robbers as reviling Him, and as 
^^* therefore rebuked by the other. But we may suppose that 
Matthew, shortly alluding to the circumstance, has used the 
plural for the singular, as in the Epistle to the Hebrews we 
Heb.ii,have, Have stopped the mouths of lions, when Daniel only is 
spoken of. And what more common way of speaking than 
for one to say. See the country people insult me, when it is 
one only who has done so. If indeed Matthew had said that 
both the thieves had reviled the Lord, there would be some 
discrepancy ; but when he says merely, The thieves, without 
adding * both,' we must consider it as that common form of 
speech in which the singular is signified by the plural. 
Jerome ; Or it may be said that at first both reviled Him ; 
but when the sun had withdrawn, the earth was shaken, the 
rocks were rent, and the darkness increased, one believed on 
Jesus, and repaired his former denial by a subsequent 
confession. Chrys. At first both reviled Him, but afterwards 
not so. For that you should not suppose that the thing was 
arranged by any collusion, and that the thief was not a thief, 
he shews you by his wanton reproaches, that even after he 
was crucified he was a thief and a foe, but was afterwards 
totally changed. 

VER. 45 50. ST. MATTHEW. 955 

Hilary; That both the thieves cast in His teeth the manner 
of His Passion, shews that the cross should be an offence to 
all mankind, even to the faithful. Jerome; Or, in the two 
thieves both nations, Jews and Gentiles, at first blasphemed 
the Lord ; afterwards the latter terrified by the multitude of 
signs did penitence, and thus rebukes the Jews, who blas- 
pheme to this day. Origen; The thief who was saved may 
be a sign of those who after many sins have believed on 

45. Now from the sixth hour there was darkness 
over all the land unto the ninth hour. 

46. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a 
loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is 
to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 

47. Some of them that stood there, when they 
heard that, said. This man calleth for Elias. 

48. And straightway one of them ran, and took a 
spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a 
reed, and gave him to drink. 

49. The rest said. Let be, let us see whether Elias 
will come to save him. 

50. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud 
voice, yielded up the ghost. 

Pseudo-Chrys. Creation could not bear the outrage offered Pseudo- 
to the Creator; whence the sun withdrew his beams, that he j^ Horn, 
might not look upon the crime of these impious men. Origen; '^'^^''"c® 
Some take occasion from this text to cavil against the truth ubi sup', 
of the Gospel. For indeed from the beginning eclipses of 
the sun have happened in their proper seasons; but such an 
eclipse as would be brought about by the ordinary course of 
the seasons could only be at such time as the sun and moon 
come together, when the moon passing beneath intercepts 
the sun's rays. But at the time of Christ's passion it is 
clear that this was not the case, because it was the pas- 
chal feast, which it was customary to celebrate when the 
moon was full. Some believers, desiring to produce some 


answer to this objection, have said, that this eclipse in accord- 
ance with the other prodigies was an exception to the 
Pionys. established laws of nature. Dionys. When we were together 
ad Poly- at Heliopolis, we both observed such an interference of the 
Ep. 7. moon with the sun quite unexpectedly, for it was not the sea- 
son of their conjunction; and then from the ninth hour until 
evening, beyond the power of nature, continuing in a direct 
line between us and the sun. And this obscuration we saw 
begin from the east, and so pass to the extreme of the sun's 
orb, and again return back the same way, being thus the 
Chrys. ^^^J reverse of an ordinary eclipse. Chrys. This darkness 
Horn, lasted three hours, whereas an eclipse is transient, and not 


enduring, as they know who have studied the matter. 
Origen; Against this the children of this world urge. 
How is it that of the Greeks and Barbarians, who have 
made obseiTations of these things, not one has recorded so 
remarkable a phenomenon as this.^ Phlegon indeed has re- 
corded such an event as happening in the time of Tiberius 
Caesar, but he has not mentioned that it was at the full 
moon. I think therefore that, like the other miracles which 
took place at the Passion, the rending of the veil, and the 
earthquake, this also was confined to Jerusalem. Or, if any 
one chooses, it may be extended to the whole of Judaea ; as 
1 Kings in the book of Kings, Abdias said to Elias, As the Lord thy 
18, 10. Q^fi liveth, there is no nation or kingdom whither my lord 
hath not sent to seek thee, meaning that he had been sought 
in the countries round about Judaea. Accordingly we might 
suppose many and dense clouds to have been brought 
together over Jerusalem and Judaea, enough to produce thick 
darkness from the sixth to the ninth hour. For we under- 
stand that there were two creatures created on the sixth day, 
the beasts before the sixth hour, man on the sixth ; and there- 
fore it was fitting that He who died for the salvation of man 
should be crucified at the sixth hour, and for this cause that 
darkness should be over the whole earth from the sixth to the 
ninth hour. And as by Moses stretching out his hands to- 
w^ards heaven darkness w^as brought upon the Egyptians who 
held the servants of God in bondage, so likewise when at the 
sixth hour Christ stretched out his hands on the cross to 
heaven, darkness came over all the people who had cried out, 

VER. 45 — 50. ST. MATTHEW. 057 

Crucify him, and they were deprived of all light as a sign of the 
darkness that should come, and that should envelop the whole 
people of the Jews. Further, under Moses there was dark- 
ness over the land of Egypt three days, but all the children 
of Israel had light; so under Christ there was darkness over 
all Judaea for three hours, because for their sins they were 
deprived of the light of God the Father, the splendour of 
Christ, and the illumination of the Holy Spirit. But over 
the rest of the earth there is light, which every where illu- 
mines the Church of God in Christ. And if to the ninth 
hour there was darkness over Judaea, it is manifest tliat light 
returned to them again after that; so, when the fulness of Rom, 
the Gentiles shall have entered in, then all Israel shall be^^^^^' 
saved. Chrys. Or otherwise; The wonder was in this, that 
the darkness was over the whole earth, which had never come 
to pass before, save only in Egypt what time the Passover 
was celebrated; for the things done then were a type of these. 
And consider the time when this is done; at mid-day, while 
over the whole world it was day, that all the dwellers on the 
earth might perceive it. This is the sign He promised to 
them that asked Him, An evil and adulterous generation Matt. 
seeketlt a sign, and there shall no sign be given it save the^^>^^' 
sign of Jonas the Prophet, alluding to His cross and resur- 
rection. And it was a much greater marvel that this should 
come to pass when He was fastened to the cross, than when 
He was walking at large on the earth. Surely here was 
enough to convert them, not by the greatness of the miracle 
alone, but because it was done not till after all these instances of 
their frenzy, when their passion was past, when they had 
uttered all that they would, and were satiated with taunts and 
gibes. But how did they not all marvel and conclude Him 
to be God } Because the human race was at that time plunged 
in exceeding sluggishness and vice, and this wonder was 
but one, and quickly past away, and none cared to search out 
its cause, or perhaps they attributed it to eclipse, or some other 
physical consequence. And on this account He shortly after- 
wards lifts up His voice to shew that He yet lives, and 
Himself wrought this miracle ; And about the ninth hour 
Jesus cried with a loud voice, S^c. Jerome ; He employed 

the beginning of the twenty -first Psalm. That clause in the Ps. 22, 

1. Vulg. 


middle of the verse, Look upon me, is superfluous ; for the 
Hebrew has only 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani,' that is, My God, 
my God, why hast thou forsaken me ? It is impiety therefore 
to think that this Psalm was spoken in the character of David 
or Esther or Mardocheus, when passages taken out of it by 
the Evangelist are understood of the Saviour ; as. They parted 
my garments among them, and. They pierced my hands. 
Chrys. He uttered this word of prophecy, that He might 
bear witness to the very last hour to the Old Testament, and 
that they might see that He honours the Father, and is not 
against God. And therefore too. He used the Hebrew 
tongue, that what He said might be intelligible to them. 
Ortgen ; But it must be asked. What means this, that Christ 
is forsaken of God ? Some, unable to explain how Christ 
could be forsaken of God, say that this was spoken out of 
humility. But you will be able clearly to comprehend His 
meaning if you make a comparison of the glory which He 
had with the Father with the shame which He despised when 
Hil. de He endured the cross. Hilary ; From these words heretical 
5o"&c^ spirits contend either that God the Word was entirely absorbed 
into the soul at the time it discharged the function of a soul 
in quickening the body ; or that Christ could not have been 
born man, because the Divine Word dwelt in Him after 
the manner of a prophetical spirit. As though Jesus Christ 
was a man of ordinary soul and body, having His beginning 
then when He began to be man, and thus now deserted upon 
the withdrawal of the protection of God's word cries out. 
My God^ my God, why hast thou forsaken me ? Or at least 
that the nature of the Word being transmuted into soul, 
Christ, who had depended in all things upon His Father's 
support, now deserted and left to death, mourns over this 
desertion, and pleads with Him departing. But amidst these 
impious and feeble opinions, the faith of the Church imbued 
with Apostolic teaching does not sever Christ that He should 
be considered as Son of God and not as Son of Man. The 
complaint of His being deserted is the weakness of the dying 
man ; the promise of Paradise is the kingdom of the living 
God. You have Him complaining that He is left to death, 
and thus He is Man ; you have Him as He is dying declaring 
that He reigns in Paradise ; and thus He is God. Wonder 

VER. 46 — 50. ST. MATTHEW. 959 

not then at the humility of these words, when you know the 
form of a servant, and see the offence of the cross. Gloss. Gloss. 
God is said to have forsaken Him in death because He ex- 
posed Him to the power of His persecutors ; He withdrew 
His protection, but did not break the union. Origen ; 
When He saw darkness over the whole land of Judaea He 
said this, Father, why hast thou forsaken me f meaning, 
Why hast thou given Me over exhausted to such sufferings } 
that the people who were honoured by Thee may receive 
the things that they have dared against Me, and should be 
deprived of the light of Thy countenance. Also, Thou hast 
forsaken Me for the salvation of the Gentiles. But what 
good have they of the Gentiles who have believed done, that 
I should deliver them from the evil one by shedding My 
precious blood on the ground for them ? Or will they, for 
whom I suffer these things, ever do aught worthy of them ? 
Or foreseeing the sins of those for whom He suffered. He said, 
Why hast thou forsaken me ? that I should become as one that Mic. 9, 
gathereth stubble in the harvest, and gleanings in the vintage. 
But you must not imagine that the Saviour said this after 
the manner of men by reason of the misery which encom- 
passed Him on the cross ; for if you take it so you will not 
hear His loud voice and mighty words which poini, to some- 
thing great hidden. Raban. Or, The Saviour said this as 
bearing about with Him our feelings, who when placed in 
dangers think ourselves forsaken by God. Human nature was 
forsaken by God because of its sins, and the Son of God 
becoming our Advocate laments the miseiy of those whose 
guilt He took upon Him ^; therein shewing how they who sin 
ought to mourn, when He who never sinned did thus mourn. 
Jerome ; It follows. Some of them that stood by, 8fc. ; some, 
not all ; whom I suppose to have been Roman soldiers, 
ignorant of Hebrew, but from the words Eli, Eli, thought that 
He called upon Elias. But if we prefer to suppose them 
Jews, they do it after their usual manner, that they may accuse 
the Lord of weakness in thus invoking Elias. Pseudo-Chrys. Pseudo- 
Thus the Source of living water is made to drink vinegar, ^^^^^* . 

f " These words He uttered as re- the overlooked ; whence He said this x^ K^f?.* 

presenting the person of men. For He as representing us." Damasc. Fid. ^ "** 

was never forsaken by His Divine Orth. iii. 24. and so Theophylact. P* ^^33.) 

nature ; but we were the forsaken, and 


the Giver of honey is fed with gall ; Forgiveness is scourged, 
Acquittance is condemned, Majesty is mocked, Virtue 
ridiculed, the Bestower of showers is repaid with spitting. 
Hilary ; Vinegar is wine, which has turned sour either from 
neglect, or the fault of the vessel. Wine is the honour of 
immortality, or virtue. When this then had been turned 
sour in Adam, He took and drunk it at the hands of the 
Gentiles. It is offered to Him on a reed and a spunge ; 
that is. He took from the bodies of the Gentiles immortahty 
spoiled and corrupted, and transfused in Himself into a mix- 
ture of immortality that in us which was spoiled. Remig. 
Or otherwise ; The Jews as degenerating from the wine of 
the Patriarchs and Prophets were vinegar ; they had deceitful 
hearts, like to the winding holes and hollows in spunge. 
By the reed. Sacred Scripture is denoted, which was fulfilled 
in this action ; for as we call that which the tongue utters, 
the Hebrew tongue, or the Greek tongue, for example ; so 
the writing, or letters w^hich the seed produces, we may call 
a reed. Origen ; And perhaps all who know the ecclesias- 
tical doctrine, but live amiss, have given them to drink wine 
mingled with gall ; but they who attribute to Christ untrue 
opinions, these filling a sponge with vinegar, put it upon 
the reed of Scripture, and put it to His mouth. Raban. 
The soldiers misunderstanding the sound of the Lord's words, 
foolishly looked for the coming of Elias. But God, w^hom 
the Saviour thus invoked in the Hebrew tongue, He had 
Aug. in ever inseparably with Him. Aug. When now nought of 
Serm. suffering: remains to be endured, death still lingers, knowing 
that it has nothing there. The ancient foe suspected some- 
what unusual. This man, first and only, he found having 
no sin, free from guilt, ovving nothing to the laws of his 
jurisdiction. But leagued with Jewish madness. Death 
comes again to the assault, and desperately invades the 
Life-giver. Ai?d Jesus, when he had cried again with a 
loud voice, yielded up the ghost. Wherefore should we 
be offended that Christ came from the bosom of the Father 
to take upon Him our bondage, that He might confer on us 
His freedom ; to take upon Him our death, that we might 
be set free by His death ; by despising death He exalted us 
mortals into Gods, counted them of earth worthy of things 

non occ. 

VER. 45 50. ST. MATTHEW. VfGl 

in heaven ? For seeing the Divine power shines forth so 
brilliant in the contemplation of its works, it is an argument 
of boundless love, that it suffers for its subjects, dies for its 
bondsmen. This then was the first cause of the Lord's 
Passion, that He would have it known how great God's love 
to man, Who desired rather to be loved than feared. The 
second was that He might abolish with yet more justice the 
sentence of death which He had with justice passed. For 
as the first man had by guilt incurred death through God's sen- 
tence, and handed down the same to his posterity, the second 
Man, who knew no sin, came from heaven that death might 
be condemned, which, when commissioned to seize the 
guilty, had presumed to touch the Author of sinlessness. 
And it is no wonder if for us He laid down what He had 
taken of us, His life, namely, when He has done other so 
great things for us, and bestowed so much on us. Pseudo-Aug. Vigil. 
Far be from the faithful any suspicion that Christ experienced p°^^. 
our death in such sort that life (as far as it can) ceased to num. 14. 
live. Had this been so, how could aught have been said to 
live during that three days, if the Fountain of Life itself was 
dried up .? Therefore Christ's Godhead experienced death 
through its partaking of humanity or of human feeling, which 
it had voluntarily taken on it ; but it lost not the properties 
of its nature by which it gives life to all things. For when 
we die, without doubt the loss of life by the body is not the 
destruction of the soul, but the soul quitting the body loses 
not its own properties, but only lets go what it had quickened, 
and as far as in it lays produces the death of somewhat else, 
but itself defies death. To speak now of the Saviour's soul ; 
it might depart without being itself destroyed from His body 
for this thVee days' space, even by the common laws of death, 
and without taking into account the indwelling Godhead, 
and His singular righteousness. For I believe that the Son 
of God died not in punishment of unrighteousness which 
He had not at all, but according to the law of that nature 
which He took upon Him for the redemption of the human 
race. Damasc. Although He died as man, and His holyj) , 
soul was separated from His unstained body, yet His God- Fid. 
head remained inseparate from either body or soul. Yet 27? "** 
was not the one Person divided into two ; for as both 
VOL. I. 3 Q 



body and soul had from the beginnhig an existence in the 

Person of the Word, so also had they in death. For 

neither soul nor body had ever a Person of their own, besides 

the Person of the Word. Jerome ; It was a mark of 

Divine power in Him thus to dismiss the Spirit as Himself 

John 10, had said, No man can take my life from me, hut I lay it 

^^' down and take it again. For by the gliost in this place we 

understand the soul ; so called either because it is that which 

makes the body quick or spiritual, or because the substance 

of the soul itself is spirit, according to that which is written, 

Ps. 104, Thou takest away thei?- hi'eath, and they die. Chrys. Also 

for this reason He cried out with a loud voice to shew that 

this is done by His own power. For by crying out with a 

loud voice when dying. He shewed incontestably that He was 

the true God; because a man in dying can scarcely utter 

Aug. deeven a feeble sound. Aug. Luke mentions the words which 

j;°°^j*-j He thus cries out. Father, into thy hands I commend my 

18. Spirit. Hilary; Or, He gave up the ghost with a loud voice, 

in grief that He was not carrying the sins of all men. 

51. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent 
in twain from the top to the bottom ; and the earth 
did quake, and the rocks rent ; 

52. And the graves were opened ; and many bodies 
of the saints which slept arose, 

53. And came out of the graves after his resurrec- 
tion, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto 

54. Now when the centurion, and they that were 
with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and 
those things that were done, they feared greatly, 
saying. Truly this was the Son of God. 

55. And many women were there beholding afar 
off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering 
unto him : 

56. Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary 
the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of 
Zehedee's children. 

VlSB. 51 — 56. ST. MATTHEW. 96^ 

Origen; Great things were done at the moment that Jesus 
cried with a great voice. Aug. The wording sufficiently shews Aug. de 
that the veil was rent just when He gave up the ghost. If Ev"^iii. 
he had not added, And, lo ! but had merely said, And the veil 19- 
of the temple was rent, it would have been uncertain whether 
Mattliew and Mark had not inserted it here out of its place 
as they recollected, and Luke had observed the right order, 
who having said, And the sun ivas darkened, adds. And the Luke 
veil of the temple was rent in twain ; or, on the contrary, ' * 
Luke had returned to what they had inserted in its place. 
Origen; It is understood that there were two veils; one 
veiling the Holy of Holies, the other, the outer part of the 
tabernacle or temple. In the Passion then of our Lord and 
Saviour, it was the outer veil which was rent from the top to 
the bottom, that by the rending of the veil from the beginning 
to the end of the world, the mysteries might be published 
which had been hid with good reason until the Lord's 
coming. But when that which is perfect is come, then the i Cor. 
second veil also shall be taken away, that we may see the ' ^^' 
things that are hidden within, to wit, the true Ark of the 
Testament, and behold the Cherubim and the rest in their 
real nature. Hilary; Or, The veil of the temple is rent, 
because from this time the nation was dispersed, and the 
honour of the veil is taken away with the guardianship of the 
protecting Angel. Leo; The sudden commotion in the ele-^Leo, in 
ments is a sufficient sign in witness of His venerable Passion, ^^^™;'^® 
The earth quaked, and the rocks rent, and the graves were non oce. 
opened. Jerome ; It is not doubtful to any what these great 
signs signify according to the letter, namely, that heaven and 
earth and all things should bear witness to their crucified 
Lord, Hilary; The ear tit quaked, hecdixx^e it was unequal 
to contain such a body; the rocks rent, for the Word of God 
that pierces all strong and mighty things, and the virtue of the 
eternal Power had penetrated them ; the graves were opened, 
for the bands of death were loosed. And ynany bodies of the 
saints which slept arose, for illumining the darkness of death, 
and shedding light upon the gloom of Hades, He robbed the 
spirits of death. Chrys. When He remained on the cross 
they had said tauntingly. He saved others, himself he cannot 
save. But what He would not do for Himself, that He did 

3 Q 2 


and more than that for the bodies of the Saints. For if it was 
a great thing to raise Lazarus after four days, much more was 
it that they who had long slept should now shew themselves 
alive; this is indeed a proof of the resurrection to come. 
But that it might not be thought that that which was done 
was an appearance merely, the Evangelist adds, And came 
out of the graves after his resurrectio)!, and went into the 
holy city, and appeared unto many. Jerome; As Lazarus 
rose from the dead, so also did many bodies of the Saints rise 
again to shew forth the Lord's resurrection ; yet notwithstand- 
ing that the graves were opened, they did not rise again before 
the Lord rose, that He might be the first-born of the resurrection 
from the dead. The holy city in which they were seen after 
they had risen may be understood to mean either the heavenly 
Jerusalem, or this earthly, which once had been holy. For 
the city of Jerusalem was called Holy on account of the 
Temple and the Holy of Holies, and to distinguish it from 
other cities in which idols were worshipped. When it is 
said, And appeared unto m^any, it is signified that this was 
not a general resurrection which all should see, but special, 
seen only by such as were worthy to see it. Remig. But 
some one will ask, what became of those who rose again when 
the Lord rose. We must believe that they rose again to be 
witnesses of the Lord's resurrection. Some have said that 
they died again, and were turned to dust, as Lazarus and the 
rest whom the Lord raised. But we must by no means give 
credit to these men's sayings, since if they were to die again, 
it would be greater torment to them, than if they had not 
risen again. We ought therefore to believe without hesitation 
that they who rose from the dead at the Lord's resurrection, 
ascended also into heaven together with Him. 

Origen; These same mighty works are still done every day ; 
the veil of the temple is rent for the Saints, in order to reveal 
the things that are contained within. The earth quakes, that is, 
all flesh because of the new word and new things of the New 
Testament. The rocks are rent, i. e. the mystery of the Pro- 
phets, that we may see the spiritual mysteries hid in their 
depths. The graves are the bodies of sinful souls, that is, 
souls dead to God; but when by God's grace these souls have 
been raised, their bodies which before were graves, become 

VER. 51 — 56. ST. MATTHEW. 965 

bodies of Saints, and appear to go out of themselves, and 
follow Him who rose again, and walk with Him in newness 
of life; and such as are worthy to have their conversation in 
heaven enter into the Holy City at divers times, and appear 
unto many who see their good works. 

Aug. It is no contradiction here that Matthew says, that Aug. de 
The centurion and they that were with him,, watching Jesus ^ Ev. iii. 
feared when they saw the earthquake, and the things that ^^' 
were done; while Luke says, that he wondered at the giving 
up the ghost with a loud voice. For when Matthew adds, 
the things that were done, this gives full scope for Luke's 
expression, that he wondered at the Lord's death, for this 
among the rest was wonderful. Jerome; Observe, that in the 
very midst of the offence of His passion the Centurion 
acknowledges the Son of God, while Arius in the Church 
proclaims Him a creature. Raban. Whence with good 
reason by the Centurion is denoted the faith of the Church, 
which, when the veil of heavenly mysteries had been rent by 
the Lord's death, immediately asserts Jesus to be both very 
Man, and truly Son of God, while the Synagogue held its 
peace. Leo ; From this example then of the Centurion let L°o, 
the substance of the earth tremble in the punishment of its g!''™' 
Redeemer, let the rocks of unbelieving minds be rent, and 
those who were pent up in these sepulchres of mortality 
leap forth, bursting the bonds that would detain them ; and 
let them shew themselves in the Holy City, i. e. the Church 
of God, as signs of the Resurrection to come ; and thus let 
that take place in the heart, which we must believe takes 
place in the body. 

Jerome; It was a Jewish custom, and held no disgrace, 
according to the manners of the people of old, for women to 
minister of their substance, food, and clothing to their 
teachers. This Paul says, that he refused, because it might 
occasion scandal among the Gentiles. They ministered to 
the Lord of their substance, that He might reap their carnal 
things, of whom they reaped spiritual things. Not that the 
Lord needed food of the creature, but that He might set an 
example for the teacher, that He should be content to receive 
food and clothing from His disciples. But let us see what 
sort of attendants He had ; Among whom ivas Mary Magda- 


lene, and Mary the mother' of James and Joseph, and the 
mother of Zehedee's children. Origen; In Mark the third 
is called Salome. Chrys. These women thus watching the 
things that are done are the most compassionate, the most 
sorrowful. They had followed Him ministering, and re- 
mained by Flim in danger, shewing the highest courage, for 
Hieron. when the disciples fled they remained. Jerome ; ' See,' says 
Helvid. Helvidius, * Jacob and Joseph are the sons of Mary the Lord's 
Mark 6, mother, whom the Jews call the brethren of Christ. He is also 
^* called James the less, to distinguish him from James the 

greater, who was the son of Zebedee.' And he urges that ' it 
were impious to suppose that His mother Mary would be 
absent, when the other women were there ; or that we should 
have to invent some other third unknown person of the name 
of Mary, and that too when John's Gospel witnesses that 
His mother was present.' O blind folly! mind perverted 
to its own destruction ! Hear what the Evangelist John says : 
John 19, There stood hy the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his 
mother'' s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary 
Magdalene. No one can doubt that there were two Apostles 
called James ; the son of Zebedee, and the son of Alpheus. 
This unknown James the less, whom Scripture mentions as 
the son of Mary, if he is an Apostle, is the son of Alpheus ; 
if he is not an Apostle, but a third unknown James, how can 
he be supposed to be the Lord's brother, and why should he 
be styled ' The Less,' to distinguish him from ' The Greater?' 
For The Greater and The Less are epithets which distinguish 
two persons, but not three. And that the James, the Lord's 
Gal. 1, brother, was an Apostle, is proved by Paul, Other of the 
Apostles saw I none, save James the Lord^s brother. But 
that you should not suppose this James to be the son of 
Acts 12, Zebedee, read the Acts, where he was put to death by Herod. 
Tid. sup. The conclusion then remains, that this Mary, who is described 
13, 55. j^g ^Q mother of James the less, was wife of Alpheus, and 
sister of Mary the Lord's mother, called by John, Mary the 
wife of Cleophas. But should you incline to think them 
two different persons, because in one place she is called 
Mary the mother of James the less, and in another place 
Mary the wife of Cleo])has, you will learn the Scripture 
custom of calling the same man by different names; as 

VER. 57 — 61. ST. MATTHEW. 967 

Raguel Moses' father-in-law is called Jethro. In like manner 
then, Mary the wife of Cleophas is called the wife of Alpheus, 
and the mother of James the less. For if she had been the 
Lord's mother, the Evangelist would here, as in all other 
places, have called her so, and not described her as the 
mother of James, when he meant to designate the mother of 
the Lord. But even if Mary thfe wife of Cleophas, and Mary 
the mother of James and Joses, were different persons, it is still 
certain, that Mary the mother of James and Joses was not the 
Lord's mother. Aug. We mighthave supposed that some of the Aug. 
women stood afar ojf^ as three Evangelists say, and others near ^ ^ ""P* 
the cross, as John says, had not Matthew and Mark reckoned 
Mary Magdalen among those that stood afar off, while John 
puts her among those that stood near. This is reconciled if 
we understand the distance at which they were to be such 
that they might be said to be near, because they were in His 
sight ; but far off in comparison of the crowd who stood 
nearer with the centurion and soldiers. We might also 
suppose that they who were there together with the Lord's 
mother, began to depart after He had commended her to the 
disciple, that they might extricate themselves from the crowd, 
and looked on from a distance at the other things which 
were done, so that the Evangelists, who speak of them after 
the Lord's death, speak of them as standing afar off. 

57. When the even was come, there came a rich 
man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself 
was Jesus' disciple : 

58. He went to Pilate, and begged the body of 
Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be 

59. And when Joseph had taken the body, he 
wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 

60. And laid it in his own new tomb, which he 
had hewn out in the rock : and he rolled a great 
stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. 

61. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other 
Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre. 


Gloss. Gloss. When the Evaiigehst had finished the order of the 
'Lord's Passion and death, he treats of His burial. Remig. 
Arimathea is the same as Ramatha, the city of Helcana and 
Samuel, and is situated in the Chananitic country near 
Diospolis. This Joseph was a man of great dignity in 
respect of worldly station, but has the praise of much higher 
merit in God's sight, seeing he is described as righteous. 
Indeed he that should have the burial of the Lord's body 
ought to have been such, that he might be deserving of that 
office by righteous merit. Jerome; He is described as rich, 
not out of any ambition on the part of the writer to represent 
so noble and rich a man as Jesus' disciple, but to shew how 
he was able to obtain the body of Jesus from Pilate. For 
poor and unknown individuals would not have dared to 
approach Pilate, the representative of Roman power, and ask 
the body of a crucified malefactor. In another Gospel this 
Joseph is called a counsellor ; and it is supposed that the 
Pe. 1, i.fii*st Psalm has reference to him. Blessed is the man that 
walketh not in the counsel of the uu godly, Chrys. Consider 
this man's courage; he risked his life, and took upon him 
many enmities in order to render this service ; and not only 
dares to ask for Christ's body, but also to bury it. Jerome ; 
By this simple burial of the Lord is condemned the ostenta- 
tion of the rich, who cannot dispense with lavish expense 
even in their tombs. But we may also consider in a spiritual 
sense, that the Lord's body was wrapped not in gold, jewels, 
or silk, but in clean linen; and that he who wrapped it, 
is he who embraces Jesus with a pure heart. Remig. Or, 
otherwise; The linen is grown out of the ground, and is 
bleached to whiteness with great labour, and thus this sig- 
nifies that His body which was taken of the earth, that is of 
a Virgin, through the toil of passion came to the whiteness of 
immortality. Raban. From this also has prevailed in the 
Church the custom of celebrating the sacrifice of the altar 
not in silk, or in coloured robes, but in linen grown from 
the earth, as we read, was ordered by the Holy Pope Sil- 
Pseudo- vester. Pseudo-Aug. The Saviour was laid in a tomb 
Serni. belonging to another man, because He died for the salvation 
^PP- of others. For why should He who in Himself had no 

248. 4. 

death, have been laid in His own tomb 1 Or He whose place 

VER. 57 61. ST. MATTHEW. 969 

was reserved for Him in heaven, have had a monument upon 
earth ? He who remained but three days space in the tomb, 
not as dead, but as resting on His bed ? A tomb is the neces- 
sary abode of death ; Christ then, who is our hfe, could not 
have an abode of death ; He that ever liveth had no need of 
the dwelhng of the departed. Jerome ; He is laid in a new 
tomb, lest after His resurrection it should be pretended that 
it was some other who had risen when they saw the other 
bodies there remainino^. The new tomb may also signify 
the virgin womb of Mary. And He was laid in a tomb 
hewn out of the rock, lest had it been one raised of many 
stones, it might have been said that He was stolen away by 
undermining the foundations of the pile. Pseudo-Aug. Had ' 
the tomb been in the earth, it might have been said theyuouocc. 
undermined the place, and so earned Him off. Had a small 
stone been laid thereon, they might have said, They carried 
Him off while we slept, Jerome ; That a great stone was 
rolled there, shews that the tomb could not have been re- 
opened without the united strength of many. Hilary ; 
Mystically, Joseph affords a figure of the Apostles. He 
wraps the body in a clean linen cloth, in which same linen 
sheet were let down to Peter out of heaven all manner of 
living creatures ; w^hence we understand, that under the 
representation of this linen cloth the Church is buried 
together with Christ. The Lord's body moreover is laid 
in a chamber hewn out of rock, empty and new ; that is, 
by the teaching of the Apostles, Christ is conveyed into the 
hard breast of the Gentiles hewn out by the toil of teaching, 
rude and new, hitherto unpenetrated by any fear of God. 
And for that besides Him ought nothing to enter our breasts, 
a stone is rolled to the mouth, that as before Him we had 
received no author of divine knowledge, so after Him we 
should admit none. Origen ; This is no casual mention of 
the circumstances that the body was wrapped in clean linen, 
and laid in a new tomb, and a great stone rolled to the 
mouth, but that every thing' touching the body of Jesus 
is clean, and new, and very great. Remig. When the Lord's 
body was buried, and the rest returned to theu* own places, 
the women alone, who had loved Him more attachedly 
adhered to Him, and with anxious care noted the place 


where the Lord's body was laid, that at fit time they might 
perform the service of their devotion to him. Origen; The 
mother of the sons of Zebedee is not mentioned as having 
sat over against the sepulchre. And perhaps she was able 
to endure as far as the cross only, but these as stronger in 
love were not absent even from the things that were afterwards 
done. Jerome ; Or, when the rest left the Lord, the women 
continued in their attendance, looking for what Jesus had 
promised ; and therefore they deserved to be the first to see 
Matt, the resurrection, because he that endureth to the end shall 
' ' he saved. Remig. And to this day the holy women, that 
is, the lowly souls of the saints, do the like in this present 
world, and with pious assiduity wait while Christ's passion 
is being completed. 

62. Now the next day^ that followed the day of 
the preparation, the Chief Priests and Pharisees 
came together unto Pilate, 

63. Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver 
said, w^hile he was yet alive. After three days I will 
rise again. 

64. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made 
sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by 
night, and steal him away, and say unto the people. 
He is risen from the dead : so the last error shall be 
worse than the first. 

^5 Pilate said unto them. Ye have a watch : go 
your way, make it as sure as ye can. 

QQ So they went and made the sepulchre sure, 
sealing the stone, and setting a watch. 

JerOxM e ; It was not enough for the Chief Priests to have 
crucified the Lord the Saviour, if they did not guard the 
sepulchre, and do their utmost to lay hands on Him as He 
rose from the dead. Raban. By the Parasceve is meant 
* preparation ;' and they gave this name to the sixth day of 
the week, on which they made ready the things needed for 

VER. 62 66. ST. MATTHEW. 971 

the Sabbath, as was commanded respecting the manna, On Exod. 
the sixth day they gathered twice as much. Because on 
the sixth day man was made, and on the seventh God 
rested; therefore on the sixth day Jesus died for man, and 
rested the Sabbath day in the tomb. The Chief Priests 
although in putting the Lord to death they had committed 
a heinous crime, yet were they not satisfied unless even after 
His death they carried on the venom of their malice once 
begun, traducing His character, and calUng one, whom they 
knew to be gwXoiQ^s, a deceiver. But as Caiaphas prophe- Johnii, 
sied without knowing it, that it is expedient that one man ' 
should die for the people, so now, Christ was a deceiver^, not • seduc- 
from truth into error, but leading men from error to truth, 
from vices to virtue, from death to life. Remig. They say 
that He had declared. After three days I ivill 7'ise again, in 
consequence of that He said above. As Jonas was three days Matt. 
and three nights in the whale's belly, 8^c. But let us see in ' ' 
what way He can be said to have risen again after three 
days. Some would have the three hours of darkness under- 
stood as one night, and the light succeeding the darkness as 
a day, but these do not know the force of figurative language. 
The sixth day of the week on which He suffered compre- 
hended the foregoing night; then follows the night of the 
Sabbath with its own day, and the night of the Lord's day 
includes also its own day ; and hence it is true that He rose 
again after three days. Aug. lie rose again after three days, <^^ ^^ 
to signify the consent of the whole Trinity in the passion of Serm.' 
the Son; the three days' space is read figuratively, because 
the Trinity which in the beginning made man, the same in 
the end restores man by the passion of Christ. 

Raban. Command therefore that the sepulchre he made 
sure until the third day. For Christ's disciples were 
spiritually thieves ; stealing from the unthankful Jews the 
writings of the New and Old Testament, they bestowed 
them to be used by the Church ; and while they slept, that 
is, while the Jews were sunk in the lethargy of unbelief, they 
carried off the promised Saviour, and gave Him to be believed 
on by the Gentiles. Hilary; Their fear lest the body should 
be stolen, the setting a watch on the tomb, and sealing it, 
are marks of folly and unbelief, that they should have sought 


to seal up the tomb of One at whose bidding they had seen a 
dead man raised from the tomb. Raban. When they say, 
A)?d the last error will he ivorse than the firsts they utter a 
truth unwittingly, for their contempt of penitence was worse 
Tj ^y®' for the Jews than was their oiTor of ignorance. Chrys. 

Moin. o 

Ixxxix. Observ'e how against their will they concert to demonstrate 
the truth, for by their precautions irrefragable demonstration 
of the resurrection was attained. The sepulchre was watched, 
and so no fraud could have been practised ; and if there was 
no collusion, it is certain that the Lord rose again. Raban. 
Pilate's answer to their request is as much as to say, Be it 
enough for you that ye have conspired the death of an 
innocent man, henceforth let your error remain with you. 
Chrys. Pilate will not suffer that the soldiers alone should 
seal. But as though he had learnt the truth concerning 
Christ, he was no longer willing to be partner in their acts, 
and says. Seal it as ye will yovu^selves, that ye may not be 
able to accuse others. For had the soldiers alone sealed, 
, they might have said that the soldiers had suffered the dis- 
ciples to steal the body, and so given the disciples a handle 
to forge a tale concerning the resurrection ; but this could 
they not say now, when they themselves had sealed the 


1. In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn 
toward the first day of the week, came Mary Mag-* 
dalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 

2. And, behold, there was a great earthquake : for 
the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and 
came and rolled back the stone from the door, and 
sat upon it. 

3. His countenance was like lightning, and his 
raiment white as snow : 

4. And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and 
became as dead men. 

5. And the angel answered and said unto the 
women, Fear not ye : for I know that ye seek Jesus, 
which was crucified. 

6. He is not here : for he is risen, as he said. 
Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 

7. And go quickly and tell his disciples that he is 
risen from the dead ; and, behold, he goeth before 
you into Galilee ; there shall ye see him : lo, I have 
told you. 

Pseudo-Chrys. After the mockings and scourgings, after the Pseudo- 
mingled draughts of vinegar and gall, the pains of the cross, ^^JiJI^de 
and the wounds, and finally after death itself and Hades, Resur. 
there rose again from the grave a renewed flesh, there re- 
turned from obstruction a hidden life, health chained up in 
death broke forth, with fresh beauty from its ruin. Aug. Aug. de 
Concerning the hour when the women came to the sepujidarg^j^.^-, '^^^^ 

^/ 6T. MlCHAtL'S \ ^ 
^ V COLLEGE y ^ 


there arises a question not to be overlooked. Matthew here 
says, On the evening of the Sabbath, What then means that 

Mark of Mark, Very early in the morning,, thejirst day of the tveek ? 

16, 2. Xruly Matthew, by naming the first part of the night, to wit, 
the evening, denotes the whole night in the end of which 
they come to the sepulchre. But seeing the Sabbath hindered 
them from doing this before, he designates the whole night 
by the earliest portion of it in which it became lawful for 
them to do whatever, during some period of the night, they 
designed to do. Thus, On the evening of the sabbath, is 
just the same as if he had said. On the night of the sabbath, 
i. e. the night which follows the day of the sabbath, which is 
sufficiently proved by the words which follow. As it began to 
dawn towards the first day of the week. This could not be 
if we understood only the first portion of the night, its be- 
ginning, to be conveyed by the word, evening. For the 
evening or beginning of the night does not begin to dawn 
towards the first day of the week, but only the night which 
is concluded by the dawn. And this is the usual mode of 
speaking in Holy Scripture, to express the whole by a part. 
By evening therefore he implied the night, in the end of 

Beda in which they came to the sepulchre. Bede; Otherwise; It 
may be understood that they began to come in the evening, 
but that it was the dawn of the first day of the week when 
they reached the sepulchre ; that is, that they prepared the 
spices for anointing the Lord's body in the evening, but that 
they took them to the sepulchre in the morning. This has 
been so shortly described by Matthew, that it is not quite 
clear in his account, but the other Evangelists give the order 
more distinctly. The Lord was buried on the sixth day of 
the week, and the women returning from the sepulchre 
prepared spices and ointments as long as it was lawful to 
work; on the sabbath they rested, according to the command- 
ment, as Luke plainly declares ; and when the Sabbath was 
past and the evening was come, and the season of labour 
returned, with zealous devotion they proceeded to purchase 
such spices as they yet lacked, (this is implied in Mark's 
words, when the sabbath was past, that they might go and 
anoint Jesus, for which purpose they come early in the 
morning to the sepulchre. Jerome ; Or, otherwise ; This 


VER. 1 — 7. ST. MATTHEW. 975 

apparent discrepancy in the Evangelists as to the times of 
their visits is no mark of falsehood, as wicked men urge, but 
shews the sedulous duty and attention of the women, often 
going and coming, and not enduring to be long absent from 
the sepulchre of their Lord. 

Remig. It is to be known that Matthew designs to hint 
to us a mystical meaning, of how great worthiness this most 
holy night drew from the noble conquest of death, and the 
Resurrection of Our Lord. With this purpose he says, On 
the evening of the Sahhath. For whereas according to the 
wonted succession of the hours of the day, evening does not 
dawn towards day, but on the contrary darkens towards 
night, these words shew that the Lord shed, by the light of 
His resurrection joy and brilhance over the whole of this 
night. Bede; For from the beginning of the creation of theBeda, 
world until now, the course of time has followed this arrange- ^gt.'i. 
ment, that the day should go before the night, because man, 
fallen by sin from the light of paradise, has sunk into the 
darkness and misery of this world. But now most fitly 
night goes before day, when, through faith in the resurrection, 
we are brought back from the darkness of sin and the shadow 
of death to the light of life, by the bounty of Christ. Chry- Chrys. 
SOLOGUS*^. Because the sabbath is illuminated, not taken ?^^"™' 
away, by Christ, Who said, / am not come to destroij the Matt. 5, 
Law, hut to fulfil it. It is illuminated that it may lighten 
into the Lord's day, and shine forth in the Church, when it 
had hitherto burnt dim, and been obscured by the Jews in 
the Synagogue. 

It follows. Came Mary Magdalen, and the other Mary, 
8^0. Late runs woman for pardon, who had run early to sin; 
in paradise she had taken up unbelief, from the sepulchre 
she hastes to take up faith; she now hastens to snatch 
life from death, who had before snatched death from life. 
And it is not, They come, but came, (in the singular,) for in 
mystery and not by accident, the two came under one name. 
She came, but altered ; a woman, changed in life, not in name ; 
in virtue, not in sex. The women go before the Apostles, 
bearing to the Lord's sepulchre a type of the Churches ; the 

s The Sermons of S. Peter of quoted in the Catena under the name 
Ravenna, surnamed Chrysologus, are Severianus. 


two MarySi to wit. For Mary is the name of Christ's mother; 
and one name is twice repeated for two women, because 
herein is figured the Church coming out of the two nations, 
the Gentiles and the Jew^s, and being yet one. Mary came 
to the sepulchre, as to the womb of the resuiTection, that 
Christ might be the second time born out of the sepulchre of 
faith, who after the flesh had been born of her womb; and 
that as a virgin had borne Him into this life present, so a 
sealed sepulchre might bring Him forth into life eternal. It 
is proof of Deity to have left a womb virgin after birth, and 
no less to have come forth in the body from a closed sepul- 
chre. Jerome; And, behold, there was a great earthquake. 
Our Lord, Son at once of God and man, according to His two- 
fold nature of Godhead and of flesh, gives a sign one while of 
His greatness, another w^hile of Flis lowliness. Thus, though 
now it was man wdio was crucified, and man who was buried, 
yet the things that were done around shew the Son of God. 
HiL. The earthquake is the might of the resurrection, when 
the sting of death being blunted, and its darkness illuminated, 
there is stirred up a quaking of the powers beneath, as the 
Lord of the heavenly powers rises again. Chrys. Or the 
earthquake was to rouse and waken the women, who had 
come to anoint the body; and as all these things were done 
in the night-time, it was probable that some of them had 
Beda, fallen asleep. Bede; The earthquake at the Resurrection, as 
ubi sup. ^|g^ ^^ ^^^ Crucifixion, signifies that worldly hearts must be 
first moved to penitence by a health-giving fear through 
Chrysol. belief in His Passion and Resurrection. Chrysol. If the earth 
776^74 *^^^^ quaked when the Lord rose again to the pardon of the 
Saints, how will it quake when He shall rise again to the 
Ps. 7Q, punishment of the wicked ? As the Prophet speaks, The 
earth trembled when the Lord rose again to judgment. And 
how will it endure the Lord's presence, when it was unable to 
endure the presence of His Angel.? And the Angel of the 
Lord descended from heaven. For when Christ arose, death 
was destroyed, commerce with heaven is restored to things 
on the earth; and woman, who had of old held communication 
to death with the Devil, now holds communication to life 
with the Angel. Hil. This is an instance of the mercy of 
God the Father, to supply the ministry of heavenly power to 

VER. 1 — 7. ST. MATTHEW. 977 

the Son on His resurrection from the grave; and he is there- 
fore the proclaimer of this first resurrection, that it may be 
heralded by some attendant token of the Father's good plea- 
sure. Bede; Forasmuch as Christ is both God andBeda 
man, therefore there lack not amidst the acts of His " * ^^^^' 
humanity the ministrations of Angels, due to Him as God. 
And came and rolled back the stone ; not to open the door 
for the Lord to come forth, but to give evidence to men that 
He was already come forth. For He who as mortal had 
power to enter the world through the closed womb of a 
Virgin, He when become immortal, was able to depart out 
of the world by rising from a sealed sepulchre. Remig. 
The rolling back of the stone signifies the opening of Christ's 
sacraments, which were covered by the letter of the Law. 
For the Law having been writen on stones, is here denoted 
by the stone. Chrysol. He said not ^ rolled,' but rolledback; Chrys. 
because the rolling to of the stone was a proof of death ; 74. 
the rolling it back asserted the resurrection. The order 
of things is changed; The Tomb devours death, and 
not the dead ; the house of death becomes the mansion of 
life; a new law is imposed upon it, it receives a dead, and 
renders up a living, man. It follows, And sat thereon. He 
sat down, who was incapable of weariness; but sat as a 
teacher of the faith, a master of the Resurrection; upon 
the stone, that the firmness of his seat might assure the sted- 
fastness of the believers; the Angel rested the foundations 
of the Faith upon that rock, on which Christ was to found 
His Church. Or, by the stone of the sepulchre may be 
denoted death, under which we all lay ; and by the Angel 
sitting thereon, is shewn that Christ hath by His might sub- 
dued death. Bede; And rightly did the Angel appear Beda 
standing, who proclaimed the Lord's coming into the world, ^ ' '^"^'* 
to shew that the Lord should come to vanquish the prince of 
this world. But the Herald of the Resurrection is related to have 
been seated, to shew that now He had overcome him that had 
the power of death. He had mounted the throne of the everlast- 
ing kingdom. He sate upon the stone, now rolled back, where- 
with the mouth of the sepulchre had been closed, to teach 
that He by His might had burst the bonds of the tomb. Aug. 
Aug. It may disquiet some, how it is that according to Mat- £^. \y^' 
VOL. I. 3 R 24. 


thew the Angel sate upon the stone after it had been rolled 
back from the sepulchre, whereas Mark says that the women 
having gone into the sepulchre, saw a young man sitting on 
the right hand. Either we may suppose that they saw two, 
and that Matthew has not mentioned him whom they saw 
within, nor Mark him whom they saw without the sepulchre ; 
but that they heard from each severally what the Angels said 
Mark concerning Jesus. Or the words, entering into the sepulchre, 
' • may mean entering into some enclosed place, which pro- 
bably there might be in front of the rock out of which 
the sepulchre was hewn; and thus it might be the same 
Angel whom they saw sitting on the right hand, whom 
Matthew describes as sitting on the stone which he had rolled 
Chrysol. back. Chrysol. The splendour of his countenance is distinct 
75 ■ from the shining of his raiment ; his countenance is compared 
to lightning, his raiment to snow ; for the lightning is in 
Ps. 148, heaven, snow on the earth ; as the Prophet saith, Praise 
the Lord from the earth ; fire and hail, snow and vapours. 
Thus in the Angel's countenance is preserved the splendour 
of his heavenly nature ; in his raiment is shewn the grace 
of human communion. For the appearance of the Angel 
that talked with them is so ordered, that eyes of flesh might 
endure the still splendour of his robes, and by reason of his 
shining countenance they might tremble before the messenger 
Chrysol. of their Maker. Id. But what means this raiment where 
^^J^' there is no need of a covering ? The Angel figures our dress, 
our shape, our likeness in the Resurrection, when man is 
sufficiently clothed by the splendour of his own body. 
Jerome ; The Angel in white raiment signifies the glory 
Greg, of His triumph. Greg. Or otherwise ; Lightning inspires 
^°™- ^P terror ; snow is an emblem of equity; and as the Almighty 
4. God is terrible to sinners and mild to the righteous, so this 

Angel is rightly a witness of His resurrection, and is exhibited 
with a comitenance as lightning, and with raiment as snow, 
that by His presence He might terrify the wicked, and 
comfort the good ; and so it follows. And for fear of him 
the keepers did shake. Raban. These who had not the 
faith of love were shaken with a panic fear ; and they who 
would not believe the truth of the resurrection become them- 
Chrys^ol. selves as dead men. Chrysol. For they kept watch 


VER. 1 — 7. ST. MATTHEW. 979 

over Him with a purpose of cruelty, not with the solicitude 
of affection. And no man can stand who is forsaken by 
his own conscience, or troubled with a sense of guilt. Hence 
the Angel confounds the wicked, and comforts the good. 
Jerome ; The guards lay like dead men in a trance of terror, 
but the Angel speaks comfort not to them, but to the women, 
saying. Fear not ye ; as much as to say. Let them fear with 
whom unbelief abides ; but do ye who seek the crucified 
Jesus hear that He has risen again, and has accomplished 
what He promised. Chrysol. For their faith had been Chrys. 
bowed by the cruel storm of His Passion, so that they^^'^'"' 
sought Him yet as crucified and dead ; / know that ye seek 
Jesus which was crucified ; the weight of the trial had bent 
them to look for the Lord of heaven in the tomb, but, He 
is not here. Raban. His fleshly presence, that is; for His 
spiritual presence is absent from no place. He is risen, as 
he said. Chrys. As much as to say, If ye believe me not, 
remember His own words. And then follows further proof, 
when he adds. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 
Jerome ; That if my words fail to convdnce you, the empty 
tomb may. Chrysol. Thus the Angel first announces His Chrys. 
name, declares His Cross, and confesses His Passion: but^!!'^"' 

... ' /o. 

straightway proclaims Him risen and their Lord. An Angel 
after such sufferings, after the grave acknowledges Him Lord ; 
how then shall man judge that the Godhead was diminished 
by the flesh, or that His Might failed in His Passion. He 
says. Which was crucified, and points out the place where 
the Lord was laid, that they should not think that it was 
another, and not the same, who had risen from the dead. 
And if the Lord reappears in the same flesh, and gives 
evidence of His resurrection, why should man suppose that 
he himself shall reappear in other flesh } Or why should 
a slave disdain his own flesh, seeing the Lord did not 
change ours .? Raban. And this glad tiding is given not 
to you alone for the secret comfort of your own hearts, but 
ye must extend it to all who love Him ; Go quickly, and 
tell his disciples. Chrysol. As much as to say. Woman, Chrys. 
now thou art healed, return to the man, and persuade him 7?""' 
to faith, whom thou didst once persuade to treachery. Carry 
to man the proof of the Resurrection, to whom thou didst 

3 r2 


once carry counsel of destruction. Chrys. And, behold, he 
shall go be/ore you, that is, to save you from danger, lest 
fear should prevail over faith. 

Jerome ; Mystically ; He shall go be/ore you into Galilee, 

1 voluta- that is, into the wallowing stye^ of the Gentiles, where before was 

wandering and stumbling, and the foot had no firm and steady 

Beda, resting-place. Bede ; The Lord is rightly seen by His 

ubi sup. disciples in Galilee, forasmuch as He had already passed 

from death to life, from corruption to incorruption ; for such 

is the interpretation of Galilee, ' Transmigration.' Happy 

women ! who merited to announce to the world the triumph 

of the Resurrection ! More happy souls, who in the day of 

judgment, when the reprobate are smitten with terror, shall 

have merited to enter the joy of the blessed resurrection ! 

8. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre 
with fear and great joy ; and did run to bring his 
disciples word. 

9. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, 
Jesus met them, saying. All hail. And they came 
and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. 

10. Then said Jesus unto them. Be not afraid: 
go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and 
there shall they see me. 

Hilary ; The women having been comforted by the Angel, 

are straightway met by the Lord, that when they should 

proclaim His resurrection to the disciples, they should speak 

Aug. de rather from Christ's own mouth than from an Angel's. Aug. 

^°°^.!. They departed forth of the tomb, that is, from that spot of 

23. the garden which was before the tomb hewn in the rock. 

Jerome ; A twofold feeling possessed the minds of the women, 

fear and joy ; fear, at the greatness of the miracle ; joy, in 

their desire of Him that was risen ; but both added speed 

to their women's steps, as it follows, And did run to bring 

his disciples word. They went to the Apostles, that through 

them might be spread abroad the seed of the faith. They 

who thus desired, and who thus ran, merited to have their 

VER. 8 — 10. ST. MATTHEW. 981 

rising Lord come to meet them ; whence it follows, And, 
behold, Jesus met them, saijing, All hail. Raban. Hereby 
He shewed that He will meet with His help all those who 
begin the ways of virtue, and enable them to attain to 
everlasting salvation. Jerome ; The women ought first 
to hear this Hail, that the curse of the woman Eve may be 
removed in these women. 

Chrysol. That in these women is contained a full figure Chrysol. 
of the Church is shewn hereby, that Christ convinces His>rg™* 
disciples when in doubt concerning the Resurrection, and 
confirms them when in fear ; and when He meets them He 
does not terrify them by His power, but prevents them with 
the ardour of love. And Christ in His Church salutes 
Himself, for He has taken it into His own Body. Aug. Aug. 
We conclude that they had speech of Angels twice at the ^ ^* 
sepulchre ; when they saw one Angel, of whom Matthew 
and Mark speak ; and again when they saw two Angels, as 
Luke and John relate. And twice in like manner of the 
Lord ; once at that time when Mary supposed Him to be the John 
gardener, and now again when He met them in the way ' * 
to confirm them by repetition, and to restore them from their 
faintness. Chrysol. Then Mary was not suffered to touch Chrysol. 
Him ; now she has permission not only to touch, but to hold^* ^ ^"P* 
Him altogether ; they came and held him by the feet, and 
worshipped him. Raban. It was told above how He rose 
when the sepulchre was closed, to shew that that body 
which had been shut up therein dead, was now become 
immortal. He now offers His feet to be held by the women, 
to shew that He had real flesh, which can be touched by 
mortal creatures. Chrysol. They hold Chiist's feet, who Chrysol. 
in the Church present the type of Evangelic preaching, and ^"P* 
merit this privilege by their running to Him ; and by faith 
so detain their Saviour's footsteps, that they may come 
to the honour of His perfect Godhead. She is deservedly 
bid to touch me not, who mourns her Lord upon earth, 
and so seeks Him dead in the tomb, as not to know 
that He reigns in heaven with the Father. This, that 
the same Mary, one while exalted to the summit of faith, 
touches Christ, and holds Him with entire and holy affec- 
tion; and again, cast down in weakness of flesh, and 


womanly infirmity, doubts, undeserving to touch her Lord, 
causes us no difficulty. For that is of mystery, this of her 
sex; that is of divine grace, this of human nature. And 
so also we, when we have knowledge of divine things, live 
unto God ; when we are wise in human things, we are blinded 
Chrysol. by our own selves. Id. They held His feet to shew that the 
yo * head of Christ is the man, but that the woman is in Christ's 
feet, and that it was given to them through Christ, not to go 
before, but to follow the man. Christ also repeats what the 
Angel had said, that what an Angel had made sure, Christ 
might make yet more sure. It follows. Then saith Jesus unto 
theniy Fear not. Jerome ; This may be always observed, both 
in the Old and New Testament, that when there is an 
appearance of any majestic person, the first thing done is to 
banish fear, that the mind being tranquillized may receive 
the things that are said. Hilary ; The same order as of 
old now followed in the reversal of our woe, that whereas 
death began from the female sex, the same should now first 
see the glory of the Resurrection, and be made the messenger 
thereof. Whence the Lord adds, Go tell my brethren that 
C\ivyso\. they go into Galilee, there shall they see me. Chrysol. 
sup. -j^^ calls them brethren whom He has made akin to His 
own body; bretliren whom the generous Heir has made 
His co-heirs ; brethren, whom He has adopted to be sons 
Aug. de of His own Father. Aug. That the Lord, both by His 
EvMii. o^'^ mouth, and by the Angel, directs them to seek for Him, 
ult. not in that place in which He was to shew Himself first, 
but in Galilee, makes every believer anxious to understand 
in what mystery it is spoken. Galilee is interpreted ' trans- 
migration,' or ' revelation ".' And according to the first inter- 
pretation what meaning offers itself, save this, that the grace 
of Christ was to pass from the people of Israel to the Gentiles, 
who would not believe when the Apostles should preach 
the Gospel to them, unless the Lord Himself should first 
make ready their way in the hearts of men. This is the 
signification of that. He shall go before you into Galilee. 
There shall ye see him, means, there shall ye find His 

* According to the two different senses coming from the primitive notion of 
of the Hebrew root hVJI ' migrating ' making bare.' 
from a country,' or ' revealing,' both 

VER. 11 — 15. ST. MATTHEW. ^)^3 

members, there shall ye perceive His living Body in such 
as shall receive you. According to the other interpretation, 
* revelation,' it is to be understood, ye shall see him no longer 
in the form of a servant, but in that in which He is equal 
with the Father. That revelation will be the true Galilee, 
when we shall he like him^ and shall see him as he is. Thati Jo^" 
will be the blessed passing from this world to that eternity. 

11. Now when they were going, behold, some of 
the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the 
Chief Priests all the things that were done. 

12. And when they were assembled with the elders, 
and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto 
the soldiers, 

13. Saying, Say ye. His disciples came by night, 
and stole him away while we slept. 

14. And if this come to the governor's ears, we 
will persuade him, and secure you. 

15. So they took the money, and did as they were 
taught : and this saying is commonly reported among 
the Jews until this day. 

Chrys. Of the signs which were shewn around Christ, Cbrys. 
some were common to the whole world, as the darkness; some " 
pecuUar to the watch, as the wonderful apparition of Angels, 
and the earthquake, which were wrought for the soldiers' 
sake, that they might be stunned with amazement, and bear 
testimony to the truth. For when truth is proclaimed by its 
adversaries, it adds to its brightness. Which befel now; 
Some of the watch came into the city, and shelved tnito the 
Chief Priests all the things that were done. Raban. Simple 
minds, and unlearned country-folk, often make manifest 
without guile the truth of a matter, as the thing is ; but oni 
the other hand, a crafty wickedness studies how to recom- 
mend falsehood by glosing words. Jerome ; Thus the Chief 
Priests, who ought to have been by this turned to penitence, 
and to seek Jesus risen, persevere in their wickedness, and 
convert the money which was given for the use of the Temple 


to the purchase of a lie, as before they had given thirty pieces 
Chrys. of silver to the traitor Judas. Ckrysol. Not content to have 
put the Master to death, they plot how they may destroy 
the disciples, and make the Master's power matter of charge 
against His disciples. The soldiers indeed lost Him, the 
Jews missed Him, but the disciples carried Him away, not 
by theft, but by faith ; by. virtue, and not by fraud ; by 
holiness, and not by wickedness ; alive, and not dead. Chrys. 
How should the disciples carry Him away by stealth, men 
poor, and of no station, and who scarcely dared to shew 
themselves } They fled when afterwards they saw Christ 
alive, how, when He was dead, would they not have feared 
so great a multitude of soldiers } How were they to remove 
the door of the sepulchre ? One might have done it unper- 
ceived by the guard. But a large stone was rolled to the 
mouth requiring many hands. And was not the seal thereon ? 
And why did they not attempt it the first night, when there 
was none at the sepulchre ? For it was on the Sabbath 
that they begged the body of Jesus. Moreover, what mean 
these napkins which Peter sees laid here? Had the disciples 
stolen the Body, they would never have stripped it, both 
because it might so receive hurt, and cause unnecessary 
delay to themselves, and so expose them to be taken by the 
watch ; especially since the Body and clothes were covered 
with myn'h, a glutinous spice, which would cause them 
to adhere. The allegation of the theft then is improbable. 
So that their endeavours to conceal the Resurrection do but 
make it more manifest. For when they say. His disciples 
stole the body, they confess that it is not in the sepulchre. 
And as they thus confess that they had not the Body, and 
as the watch, the sealing, and the fears of the disciples, make 
the theft improbable, there is seen evidence of the Resur- 
rection not to be gainsaid. Remig. But if the guards 
.slept, how saw they the theft ? And if they saw it not, how 
could they witness thereto ? So that what they desire to shew, 
Gloss, they cannot shew. Gloss. That the fear of the Governor 
non occ. j^ig]^^ not restrain them from this lie, they promise them 
impunity. Chrys. See how all are corrupted; Pilate per- 
suaded; the people stirred up; the soldiers bribed; as 'it 
follows. And they look the money, and did as they were 

VER. 16 20. ST. MATTHEW. 985 

instructed. If money prevailed with a disciple so far as to 
make him become the betrayer of his Master, what wonder 
that the soldiers are overcome by it. Hilary ; The con- 
cealment of the Resurrection, and the false allegation of 
theft, is pm'chased by money ; because by the honour of this 
world, which consists in money and desire, Christ's glory 
is denied. Raban. But as the guilt of His blood, which 
they imprecated upon themselves and their children, presses 
them down with a heavy weight of sin, so the purchase of 
the lie, by which they deny the truth of the Resun-ection, 
charges this guilt upon them for ever; as it follows. And 
this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this 
day, Chrysol. Among the Jews, not among the Christians ; Chrysol. 
what in Judaea the Jew concealed by his gold, is by faith ^^^ ^"P* 
blazed abroad throughout the world. 

Jerome ; All who abuse to other purposes the money of 
the Temple, and the contributions for the use of the Church, 
purchasing with them their own pleasure, are like the Scribes 
and Priests who bought this lie, and the blood of the Saviour. 

16. Then the eleven disciples went away into 
Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed 

17. And when they saw him, they worshipped 
him: but some doubted. 

18. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying. 
All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 

19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, bap- 
tizing them in the name of the Father, and of the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghost : 

20. Teaching them to observe all things whatso- 
ever I have commanded you : and, lo, I am with you 
alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 

Bede; When Saint Matthew has vindicated the Lord's <Beda, 

Resurrection as declared by the Ansrel, he relates the vision ^"Hom. 

. . o 7 non occ. 

of the Lord which the disciples had. Then the eleven disci- 
ples went into Galilee into a mountain where Jesus had 

986 oosrEL according to chap, xxviii. 

appointed them. For when coming to His Passion the Lord 

Matt, had said to His disciples, After I am risen I will go before 

' * you into Galilee; and the Angel said the same to the women. 

Therefore the disciples obey the command of their Master. 

Eleven only go, for one had already perished. Jerome; 

After His Resurrection, Jesus is seen and worshipped in the 

mountain in Galilee; though some doubt, their doubting 

confirms our faith. Remig. This is more fully told by Luke; 

how when the Lord after the Resun'ection appeared to the dis- 

Beda, ciples, in their terror they thought they saw a spirit. Bede ^. 

JEstAn "^^^ Lord appeared to them in the mountain to signify, that 

Fer. vi, His Body which at His Birth He had taken of the common 

dust of the human race, He had by His Resurrection exalted 

above all earthly things; and to teach the faithful that if they 

desire there to see the height of His Resurrection, they must 

endeavour here to pass from low pleasures to high desires. 

And He goes before His disciples into Galilee, because 

1 Cor. Christ is risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that slept. 

' * And they that are Christ's follow Him, and pass in their order 

from death to life, contemplating Him as He appears with His 

proper Divinity. And it agrees with this that Galilee is inter- 

Aug. preted ' revelation.' Aug. But it is to be considered, how the 

deCons.LQP(j could be seen bodily in Galilee. For that it was not 

Ev. 111. . "^ . 

25. the day of the Resurrection is manifest; for He was seen that 
day in Jerusalem in the beginning of the night, as Luke and 
John evidently agree. Nor was it in the eight following 
days, after which John says that the Lord appeared to His 
disciples, and when Thomas first saw Him, who had not 
seen Him on the day of the Resurrection. For if within these 
eight days the eleven had seen Him on a mountain in Galilee, 
Thomas, who was one of the eleven, could not have seen Him 
first after the eight days. Unless it be said, that the eleven 
there spoken of were eleven out of the general body of the 
disciples, and not the eleven Apostles. But there is another 
difficulty. John having related that the Lord was seen not 
in the mountain, but at the sea of Tiberias, by seven who 
John were fishing, adds, Tliis is now the third time that Jesus 
21) 1^' shewed himself to his disciples after he was risen from the 

b This Homily of Bede (torn. vii. the Commentary of Rabanus on this 
p. 12.) is word for word, the same with part of S. Matthew. 

VER. IG — 20. ST. MATTHEW. 987 

dead. So that if we understand the Lord to have been seen 
within those eight days by eleven of the disciples, this mani- 
festation at the sea of Tiberias will be the fourth, and not the 
third, appearance. Indeed, to understand John's account at 
all it must be observed, that he computes not each appear- 
ance, but each day on which Jesus appeared, though He may 
have appeared more than once on the same day ; as He did 
three times on the day of His Resurrection. We are then 
obliged to understand that this appearance to the eleven dis- 
ciples on the mountain in Galilee took place last of all. In 
the foiu" Evangelists we find in all ten distinct appearances of 
Our Lord after His Resurrection. 1. At the sepulchre to 
the women. 2. To the same women on their way back from 
the sepulchre. 3. To Peter. 4. To two disciples as they 
went into the country. 5. To many together in Jerusalem; 
6. when Thomas was not with them. 7. At the sea of TibC' 
rias. 8. At the mountain in Galilee, according to Matthew. 
9. To the eleven as they sat at meat, because they should not Mark 
again eat with Him upon earth, related by Mark. 10. On the ^^' ^^' 
day of His Ascension, no longer on the earth, but raised aloft 
in a cloud, as related by both Mark and Luke. But all is not 
written, as John confesses, for He had much conversation 
with them during forty days before His ascension, being see?i Acta l, 
of them, and speaking ttnto them of the things pertaining to * 
the kingdom of God, 

Remig. The disciples then, when they saw Him, knew 
the Lord ; and worshipped Him, bowing their faces to the 
ground. And He their affectionate and merciful Master, that 
He might take away all doubtfulness from their hearts, 
coming to them, strengthened them in their belief; as it 
follows, And Jesus came and spake to them, saying^ All 
power is given unto me in heaven and in earth, Jerome; 
Power is given to Him, Who but a little before was crucified. 
Who was buried, but Who afterwards rose again. Bede ; Beda, 
This He speaks not from the Deity coetemal with the Father, 
but from the Humanity which He took upon Him, according 
to which He was made a little lower than the Angels^UeKQ 
Chrysol. The Son of God conveyed to the Son of the Virgin,^* 

the God to the Man, the Deity to the Flesh, that which He Serm. 

1 . . Art 

had ever together with the Father. Jerome ; Power is given * 


in heaven and in earth, that He who before reigned in heaven, 

should now reign on earth by the faith of the believers. 

Remig. What the Psalmist says of the Lord at His rising 

Ps. 8,6. again, Thou madest him to have dominion over the icorks of 

thy hands, this the Lord now says of Himself, All power is given 

unto me in heaven and in earth. And here it is to be noted, 

that even before His resurrection the Angels knew that they 

were subjected to the man Christ. Christ then desiring that 

it should be also known to men that all power was committed 

to Him in heaven and in earth, sent preachers to make known 

the word of life to all nations; whence it follows, Go ye there- 

*Beda;ybre, a7id teach all nations. Bede ; He who before His 

lion occ Passion had said. Go not into the way of the Gentiles, now. 

Matt, when rising from the dead, says. Go and teach all nations. 

' * Hereby let the Jews be put to silence, who say that Christ's 

coming is to be for their salvation only. Let the Donatists 

also blush, who, desiring to confine Christ to one place, have 

said that He is in Africa only, and not in other countries. 

Jerome ; They first then teach all nations, and when 
taught dip them in water. For it may not be that the body 
receive the sacrament of Baptism, unless the soul first receive 
the truth of the Faith. In the name of the Father, the Son, 
and the Holy Ghost, that they whose Godhead is one should 
be conferred at once, to name this Trinity, being to name 
Chrysol.One God. Chrysol. Thus all nations are created a second 
gl^''^' time to salvation by that one and the same Power, which 
Didymi created them to being. Jerome; And though some one 
de S Vr t^6^^ ^ay ^^ ^^ ^^ averse a spirit as to undertake to baptize 
Sanct. in such sort as to omit one of these names, therein con- 
tradicting Christ Who ordained this for a law, his baptism 
will effect nothing ; those who are baptized by him will not 
be at all delivered from their sins. From these words we 
gather how undivided is the substance of the Trinity, that 
the Father is verily the Father of the Son, and the Son verily 
the Son of the Father, and the Holy Spirit the Spirit of both 
the Father and the Son, and also the Spirit of wisdom and of 
truth, that is, of the Son of God. This then is the salvation 
of them that believe, and in this Trinity is wrought the perfect communication of ecclesiastical discipline. Hilary; 
1 &°* "* ^^^ what part of the salvation of men is there that is not 

VER. 16 20. ST. MATTHKW. .989 

contained in this Sacrament.^ All things are full and perfect, as 
proceeding from Him who is full and perfect. The nature of 
His relation is expressed in the title Father; but He is nothing 
but Father ; for not after the manner of men does He derive 
from somewhat else that He is Father, being Himself Unbe- 
gotten, Eternal, and having the source of His being in Himself, 
known to none, save the Son. The Son is the Offspring of the 
Unbegotten, One of the One, True of the True, Living of the 
Living, Perfect of the Perfect, Strength of Strength, Wisdom 
of Wisdom, Glory of Glory; the Image of the Unseen God, 
the Form of the Unbegotten Father. Neither can the Holy 
Spirit be separated from the confession of the Father and the 
Son. And this consolation of our longing desires is absent 
from no place. He is the pledge of our hope in the effects 
of His gifts, He is the light of our minds, He shines in our 
souls. These things as the heretics cannot change, they 
introduce into them their human explanations. As Sabellius 
who identifies the Father with the Son, thinking the distinc- 
tion to be made rather in name than in person, and setting 
forth one and the same Person as both Father and Son. As 
Ebion, who derivirfg the beginning of His existence from 
Mary, makes Him not Man of God, but God of man. As 
the Arians, who derive the form, the power, and the wisdom 
of God out of nothing, and in time. What wonder then that 
men should have diverse opinions about the Holy Spirit, who 
thus rashly after their own pleasure create and change the 
Son, by whom that Spirit is bestowed ? 

Jerome; Observe the order of these injunctions. He bids 
the Apostles first to teach all nations, then to wash them 
with the sacrament of faith, and after faith and baptism then 
to teach them what things they ought to observe ; Teaching 
them to observe all tJiivgs ivhatsoever I have commanded 
you. Raban. For as the body without the spirit is dead, James 
so faith without works is dead also. Chrys. And because ^' ^®* 
what He had laid upon them was great, therefore to exalt 
their spirits He adds. And, to, I am ivith you alway, even unto 
the end of the world. As much as to say. Tell Me not of 
the difficulty of these things, seeing 1 am with you. Who can 
make all things easy. A like promise He often made to the 
Prophets in the Old Testament, to Jeremiah who pleaded his 


youth, to Moses, and to Ezekiel, when they would have 
shunned the office imposed upon them. And not with them 
only does He say that He will be, but with all who shall 
believe after them. For the Apostles were not to continue 
till the end of the world, but He says this to the faithful as 
to one body. Raban. Hence we understand that to the end 
of the world shall not be wanting those who shall be worthy 
of the Divine indwelling. Chrys. He brings before them 
the end of the world, that He may the more draw them on, 
and that they may not look merely to present inconveniences, 
but to the infinite goods to come. As much as to say, The 
grievous things which you shall undergo, terminate with this 
present life, seeing that even this world shall come to an end, 
but the good things which ye shall enjoy endure for ever. 
< Beda ^ Bede ; It is made a question how He says here, / am with 
uonoccZ/^^) when we read elsewhere that He said, / go unto him 
John ijf^fj^i gg^f ^Q What is said of His human nature is distinct 
fi*om what is said of His divine nature. He is going to 
His Father in His human nature, He abides with His 
disciples in that form in which He is equal with the Father. 
When He says, to the end of the worthy He expresses the 
infinite by the finite ; for He who remains in this present 
world with His elect, protecting them, the same will con- 
tinue with them after the end, rewarding them. Jerome ; 
He then who promises that He will be with His disciples 
to the end of the world, shews both that they shall 
live for ever, and that He will never depart from those 
Leo, that believe. Leo ; For by ascending into heaven He 
72™ ^^^^ ^^^ desert His adopted; but from above strengthens 
to endurance, those whom He invites upwards to glory. 
Of which glory may Christ make us partakers. 
Who is the King of glory, 
God blessed for ever, 




BS 2555 .A2 T513 18b^ v.L 

Pt.3 IMS . ^ 
Thomas Aquinas, Saint 
Catena aurea