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There is no malady for which the Scriptures do not present a remedy.
Have you seen, O beloved, how everything written in the divine Scripture was recorded for no other purpose than for our profit, and for the salvation of the human race P Reflecting upon this, let each of us thence apply to himself his peculiar remedy. For upon this account it is freely exposed to all, and it is permitted to him who wills it to o, the fittin remedy to the disease whic troubles him, and to receive speedy health (or soundness) provided he does not separate the cure from the medicine, but displays his own candour. For there is not one of the spiritual or bodily sufferings which afflicts human nature which cannot thence receive a cure.
The great advantage of reading the Scriptures; the Holy Spirit will interpret them to us.
The reading of the divine Scriptures, my beloved, is a great good. This renders the soul desirous of wisdom, this transfers the mind to heaven, this makes a man grateful, this causes him to fear nothing present, this makes us fix our calculations there, and do all things looking to the recompense of the Lord, and undertake with great eagerness the labours of virtue. For there we ma learn accurately, by a o: perception, the Providence of God, the fortitude of the just, the goodness of the Lord, and the greatness of the rewards. Therein we may be excited to the emulation and imitation of the wisdom of the nobleminded, and not to be torpid respecting the struggles of virtue, but to gather courage before the event from the promises of God. Wherefore let us, I exhort you, practise the reading of the divine Scriptures with all possible haste; for we shall thus attain the knowledge of them if we continually approach their contents. Foritcannot be that he who peruses these divine writings with desire and great eagerness can ever be overlooked, but although we may have no man as our instructor, the Lord himself from abore
entering our hearts, will enlighten our minds, illumine our reason, reveal those things that are hidden, and instruct us in the things of which we are ignorant, provided only we contribute our own faculties. For, he says, ye shall call no man master upon earth. When, therefore, we take the spiritual book into our hands, exerting our minds and collecting our thoughts, and expelling all earthly reflections, let us thus practise the reading with much circumspection and with much attention, in order that we may be guided by the Holy Spirit into the understanding of the things that are written, and may thence derive much profit. For that barbarian eunuch of the Queen of Ethiopia, who lived in such splendour, and was carried in his chariot, did not at that season neglect the reading, but holding the Prophet in his hands, he employed much diligence in reading, and this he did not understanding the contents.t
You see how good a thing it is to prosecute the divine Scriptures with attention and
* The Romanists remind us that the eunuch would not have understood the Scriptures without Philip as an interpreter; but we reply, that in the New Testament the Apostles interpreted the prophecies which foretold Christ, and salvation by Christ, and we remind them, as Chrysostom did the Christians in his day, that we have the Holy Spirit as our guide and
ł Here a page of the original is omitted as superfluous.
earnestness. For this reason I have introduced to you this story of the barbarian, that we may none of us be Miao of emulating the Ethiopian eunuch, who neglected not the reading even on his journey. For this barbarian is fit to be an instructor to us all, to those who have selected a private life, to those who are engaged in the army, to those who live in splendour, and, in fine, to all persons whatsoever, not men only, but women, as well to those who spend their time at home, as to those who have chosen the monastic life, that all may learn that no season is an impediment to the reading of the divine Word; but that it is possible not only for those who are at home, but for those who go to the forum and are journeying, and for those who are mixed up with the crowd, and for those who are involved in business, to be eagerly occupied with them, so that, applying our own faculties, we may quickly obtain a guide. For the Lord seeing our earnestness about spiritual things, will not overlook it, but will afford illumination from above, and enlighten our understanding. Let us not, then, neglect, I exhort you, this reading, but whether we understand the force of what is said, or are ignorant of it, let us perseveringly quentl
pursue them; for perpetual meditation makes the recollection indelible, and frewhat we have not been able to discover to-day, when we have returned to it on the morrow, we have found clear, God, who loves mankind, enlightening our understanding.
Chrys. on the 5th chapter of John's Gospel, Sermon xxxvi. vol. viii. p. 227.
Great is the gain from the holy Scriptures, and abundantis the profitableness. And Paul witnessing this, said, “Whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of ages have come, that through patience and comfort of the Scriptures we may have hope.” For the divine Word is a treasure of every kind of medicine, so that if it is needful to extinguish folly, or to calm passion, or to expel the love of riches, or to despise grief, or to infuse courage, or to furnish patience, one may find therein ample resources.
He who does not enter the sheepfold by the Scriptures is a thief. Chrys. in cap. x. Evang. Joan. Hom. lviii. tom. viii. p. 371.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that entereth not b the door into the sheepfold,