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88 Goods of this world are really good, only evil in their use.
LECT. Son, and His One Holy Ghost, are not included; all things which are His servants, rather serve their Lord through the One Son and in the Holy Ghost. God therefore has dominion over all things, and endures of His long-suffering even murderers, robbers, and fornicators; having appointed a set day for recompensing every one, that they may incur heavier sentence, if after a longer respite they have still impenitent John 19, hearts. Earthly rulers are kings of men, yet not so without power from above. And this Nebuchadnezzar knew by Dan. 4, proof, when he said, His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation.
(3.) 6. Riches, gold and silver, are not, as some think, the devil's Prov. 17, property; for the whole world of riches is the faithful man's, 6. Sept. but not but the unbelieving hath no peace: and nothing is more reaccord- moved from faith than the devil. Also God saith plainly by the ing to the Alex- Prophet, The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine; and his, to andrian whomsoever I will give it. Do thou but use it well, and Hag 2, there will be nothing to condemn in silver; but when thou usest a good thing ill, then, not choosing to blame thy management of it, thou impiously blamest its Maker. A man Mat. 25, may even be justified by means of opulence. I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat; that is, from being opulent; I was naked, and ye clothed me; that is, by being opulent; nay, wouldest thou be told that riches may become a door Mat. 19, of the kingdom of heaven? Sell, He says, that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven.
7. Now I have made these remarks because of those heretics, who lay possessions, and riches, and the body under a curse: for I wish thee neither to be a slave to riches, nor yet to treat as enemies what is given thee of God to use. Never then say, that riches are the devil's: for though he say, Mat. 4, All these things will I give Thee, for they are delivered unto me, yet one may even deny the assumption; for we must not believe the lying spirit. Perhaps however, compelled by the power of His presence, he spake the truth; for he said not, "All these things will I give Thee, because they are mine," but "because they have been delivered unto me." For he grasped not at the lordship of them, but he professed to have them in a certain sense committed to him, and to dispense
Heretics have denied God's omnipotence.
them. However, this point concerning his speaking truth or not, deserves consideration of expositors at a fit time".
8. There is then one God the Father, the Almighty, whom the tribe of heretics have dared to blaspheme; yea, they raïdes. have dared to blaspheme the Lord of Sabaoth, who sitteth above the Cherubim; they have dared to blaspheme the sovereign Lord; they have dared to blaspheme Him who rested on the Prophets, the Almighty God. But thou, worship One, the Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Fly from the error of many Gods; fly from all heresy, and say with Job, I will call upon the Almighty Job 5, 8. Lord, who doeth great things and unsearchable, glorious 9. Sept. things and marvellous, without number; and For all these Job 37, things, is honour from the Almighty, to whom be glory for 21. Sept.
ever and ever.
b The Fathers speak as if the Devil were originally the head of that order of Angels to whom the administration of this world was committed. On sinning, he made use of what power was left to
him over it against his Maker, seducing
vid. MS. Alexan.
ON GOD, THE CREATOR OF ALL THINGS.
JOB XXXviii. 2, 3.
Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man ; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou Me.
1. WITH the eyes of the flesh it is impossible to behold God; for the incorporeal cannot be subject to fleshly sight, and the Only-begotten Son of God Himself hath testified, John 1, saying, No man hath seen God at any time. Should however any one, from a passage in Ezekiel, understand, that Ezekiel saw Him, let him inquire what that Scripture says; Ezek. 1, He saw the likeness of the glory of the Lord, not the Lord Himself; nay, the likeness of His glory, not the glory itself, as it is in truth; and beholding only the likeness of the glory, he fell to the earth with fear. But if the sight of the likeness of the glory, and not of the glory itself, wrought fear and distress in the prophets, any one who should attempt to behold God Himself, would to a certainty lose his life, Exod. according to the text, There shall no man see Me and live. 33, 20. Wherefore, of His exceeding loving-kindness, God has spread out the heaven to be the veil of His proper Godhead, Is. 64,1. lest we perish: this is not my word, but the prophet's, If Sept. thou shouldest open the heavens, trembling would take hold of the mountains from thee, and they would melt away. And what wonder if Ezekiel, seeing the similitude of the glory, fell down? since Daniel, when Gabriel the servant of the Lord appeared, straightway shuddered and fell on his face, and, prophet as he was, dared not answer him, until the Angel turned himself into the likeness of a son of man. For if the sight of Gabriel wrought trembling in the prophets,
God seen only in His works, according to the measure of each. 91 had God Himself appeared according as He is, would they not all have perished?
2. The Divine Nature then with the eyes of the flesh we (2.) cannot see, but from the Divine works we may obtain some idea of His power; according to the saying of Solomon, For by the greatness and beauty of the creatures, proportion- Wisd. ably the Maker of them is seen. For he says not that from the creatures, the Maker is seen, but hath added, " proportionably;" for so much the greater does God appear to each, as the man hath attained a large survey of the creatures; and when by that large survey his soul is raised aloft, he gains a more excellent conception of God.
3. Wouldest thou know that the nature of God is incomprehensible? The Three Children, singing praises to God in the fiery furnace, say, Blessed art Thou that beholdest the Song 3 depths, and sittest upon the Cherubim. Tell me the nature dren,32. of the Cherubim, and then look upon Him who sitteth upon them. And yet Ezekiel the prophet has made a description of them, as far as could be; saying, that every one had four Vid. faces, the face of a man, and of a lion, and of an eagle, and 6. 10, of a calf; and that every one had six wings, and eyes on 1. &c. every side, and under each a wheel with four parts; yet though the prophet has so described, we are not yet able, even if we read it, to comprehend it. But if we cannot comprehend the throne which the prophet has declared, how shall we be able to comprehend Him who sits upon it, the Invisible and Ineffable God? Curiously to scan the nature of God is impossible; but we are able to offer glory to Him from His works that are seen.
4. These things I say to you because of what comes next in the Creed, and because we say, "We believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things both Visible and Invisible;" that we may remember that the same is both the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Maker of heaven and earth, and thus secure ourselves against the bye paths of ungodly heretics, who have dared to speak evil of the All-wise Artificer of all this world, and who, though they see with the eyes of the flesh, are blinded in the eyes of their mind.
5. For what fault have they to find in this, the greatest of
Wonders of the heaven, stars, and sun.
LECT. the works of God? Truly they ought to have been struck dumb, when they viewed the vaultings of the heavens, and worshipped Him who has reared the sky as an arch, who out of the fluid waters has made the immoveable subGen. 1, stance of the heavens. For God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters. God spake once, and it stood fast, and does not fall. The sky is water, and those orbs in it, sun, moon, and stars are of fire; and how run those fiery bodies in the water? But if any one is perplexed, from fire and water being of such opposite natures, let him remember the fire which in Egypt in the time of Moses flamed in the hail. Let him also behold the all-wise workmanship of God; for since there would be need of water, for tilling the earth, He made the heaven above of water, that when the region of the earth should require watering by means of showers, the heaven from its own nature might be ready for this purpose.
6. What? is there not much to wonder at in the sun, which being small to look on, contains in it an intensity of power, appearing from the east, and shooting his light even to the The Psalmist describes his rising at dawn, when he Ps.19,5. says, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber. This is a description of his pleasant and comely array on first appearing to men; for when he rides at high noon we are wont to flee from his blaze; but at his rising he is welcome to all, as a bridegroom to look on. Behold also how he proceeds; (or rather not he, but one who has by his bidding determined his course ;) how in summer time aloft in the heavens, he finishes off longer days, giving men due time for their works; while in winter he straitens his course, lest the day's cold last too long, and that the nights lengthening, conduce both to the rest of men, and to the fruitfulness of the earth's productions. And see likewise in what order the days correspond to each other, in summer increasing, in winter diminishing, but in spring and autumn affording one another an uniform length; and the nights again in like Ps. 19,2. manner. And as the Psalmist saith concerning them, Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. For to the heretics, who have no ears, they almost shout aloud, and by their order say, that there is no