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claims : “ Behold I was conceived in iniquities, and in sins did my mother conceive me" (Ps. 1. 7); nor the prophet who saith, “In thy sight shall no man living be justified” (Ib. cxlii. 2); hence Solomon says, “ There is no just man on the earth who doeth good and sinneth not" (Eccles. vii. 10); hence St. John says, “ If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John i. 8); and hence St. James: “In many things we all offend." (James iii. 2.) For we are all conceived in the lust of the flesh; in all of us the prince of this world has part, in action, or word, or deed, or thought, But yet he cannot snatch us away or hold us. For He who hath paid the debt of death for us hath loosed us froin our debts; so that the enemy by right no longer holds our debts as his ; which the Mediator between God and man—the man Christ Jesus, hath freely given what he owed not; who delivered himself to death for us, that he might free the debts of our soul from death: therefore he saith, “ The prince of this world cometh, and in me he hath not anything." (St. John xiv. 30.) Hence we must be cured; hence, with daily tears, we must meditate how severe and terrible shall be the accusation of the prince of this world against us; when even he came against Him at his death, " in whom he could find nothing." What, then, shall we wretched say ? what shall we do, after the numberless evils we have committed ? what shall we say to the accusing adversary of the many things of his that he shall find in us? But only that we have a sure refuge and solid hope set before us in Him, namely, in whom the prince of this world had no part,—who alone is “free among the dead," and hath loosed us from the service of sin to true liberty, that we may be united truly free with him. For we cannot deny, but must needs confess, that the prince of this world has much in us, and yet he cannot prevail over us in the hour of death, provided we be members of Him in whom he had no part.
But what will it profit us to be united to our Redeemer by faith only, if we be disjoined from Him by our morals, for he himself says, “ Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” (St. Matthew vii. 21.) Good works must be joined with a correct faith. Let us, then, by daily lamentations wash away evils; let good works, springing from the love of God and our neighbour, overpass our past iniquities ; let us assist our brethren in all the good that we can. For by none other means shall we bers of our Redeemer; except by dwelling in God, and by having compassion for our neighbour.
But as example rather than words are, for the most part, wont to move the hearts of hearers to the love of God and their neighbour; I will tell you this for charity's sake, which my son Ephiphanius, now beside me, a deacon of the province of Isauria, told me, of a miracle that was wrought in Lycaonia. He relates that there was a certain man, by name Martyrius, a mouk of a most reverential life, who made a visit from his own to another monastery, at the command of his spiritual father. As he went on his journey, he met on the way a certain leper, whom a terrific disease running through all his limbs in deep wounds, had made a most loathsome object, and who was desirous to return to his hospice, but could not through weariness. It happened that that very hospice where the monk Martyrius was hastening had refused to have him; but the man of God had pity on the leper's weariness ; so he forthwith took off and spread out his cloak which covered him, on the ground; and placing the leper thereon, and tying him well in, lifted him on his shoulders, and set forth on his return. And, now,
when he came near the gates of his monastery, the spiritual superior began to cry out with a loud voice : “Run, open the gates of the convent, for here comes our brother, Martyrius, carrying our Lord.” And, behold, immediately as he came to the porch of the monastery, he whom he took to be a leper, leaped off his back; and appearing to him as the Redeemer of the human race is wont to be recognised, the Man-Christ Jesus returned, in the sight of Martyrius, to Heaven; as he ascended, he said, Martyrius, thou hast not been ashamed of me on earth,—I shall not be ashamed of thee in Heaven.” When the holy man entered the monastery, his superior said, “ Brother Martyrius, where is he whom you carried ?" And he replied, “ Had I known who he was, I should have taken hold of his feet.” Then he told, how when he carried Him, he had felt no burthen. And no wonder, - for how should he feel His weight who carried Him who beareth all ?
In this tale, let us reflect how profitable brotherly compassion is. How closely the bowels of mercy unite us with Almighty God. Hereafter we shall all draw near to Him who is above all, so let us, by brotherly compassion, as it were, carry him on our shoulders. As no one reaches a material height, but he that ascends, so, in spiritual things, it is certain, that the more we are given to pity the more truly do we draw near to things above. Our Lord and Redeemer, in the last day, would not have said, “As long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me," (St. Matthew xxv. 40) unless
he would show us before the Judgment, that whosoever doeth good works to those in need, are done unto him, if done through his love, and that the greater his reward shall be, the more humiliating the office done. For what in human flesh is higher than the flesh of Christ, which is exalted above the angels ? and what in human flesh is more abject tban leprous flesh, which is cloven with swelling wounds, and filled with exhaling stench ? But, behold! he appeared in the likeness of a leper; and he who is to be reverenced above all disdained not to appear despised below all. And why this ?- but that he would admonish us who are slow of apprehension; that so far as any one would help Him who is in Heaven, he must not refuse to be humble on the earth, and to have compassion even on the most abject and despicable of his brethren.
I have spoken to your charity briefly, lest a longer discourse should not be retained. And may He of whom we have spoken grant it a good disposal, who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth for ever and ever. Amen.
HOMILY OF ST. AUGUSTINE, ON THE GOSPEL FOR
THE TENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST.
Gospel-Luke xviii. 9-14.-At that time, Jesus spake this parable to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others. Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one was a pharisee, and the other a publican. The pharisee, standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks, that I am not as the rest of men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican; I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven: but struck his breast, saying: 0 God, be merciful to me a sinner. I say to you, that man went down to his house, justitied rather than the other, because every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
The reading of the Holy Gospel is edifying both in regard to prayer
what means he by“ like the rest of men," but that all except myself— I-he saith, am just; the rest are sinners. “ I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers,” &c.; and behold he sees the neighbouring publican, and forthwith takes occasion for greater pride : “ I am not as the rest of men, as also is this publican; I am alone; he is of the rest of men; I am not such as he; by my righteousness I am not wicked as he; “ I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I possess." Seek in all this for what he asked of God, you will find nothing; he went up to pray, but he besought nothing of God; he went up to praise himself. It is not only little not to ask, but to praise himself is to insult above measure him whom he should have asked.
“ And the publican standing afar off would not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven;" yet God drew near unto him; his conscience kept him back, and God's mercy sought him out. “ The publican stood afar off," but God himself drew near unto him. “ For the Lord is high, and looketh on the low, and the high he knoweth afar off.” (Ps. cxxxvii. 6.) The pharisee was high; he was known afar off, but not pardoned. Behold, on the other hand, the humility of the publican; he not only stood afar off, but would not so much as lift up
his heaven. He dared not to raise up his eyes; his conscience pressed him down; but hope came to belp him, and again : “ He beat his breast, saying, O God, be merciful to me a sinner.” See what be asks, and wonder not that God pardons one whom he already knoweth.
You have heard the case of both stated, now listen to the sentence. You have heard the proud accuser, and the humble plead guilty. Hear now the judge : “ Amen I say to you, the publican went down to his house justified rather than the pharisee.” And why, O Lord, is this that the publican should leave the temple justified rather than the other?—“ Because every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled, -and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." You hear the sentence, beware ye of the evil cause. In other words, you have heard the sentence, beware of pride. Hear this now, hear ye this, ye who impiously prate and plume thyself on thy virtues. Hear ye this, ye who say, God hath made me man, I will make myself just. O worse and more hateful than the pharisee! The pharisee proudly said that he was just, but yet he thanked God for it. “I thank thee, O God, that I am not like the rest of men.” He
thanks to God that he was not like the rest of men, but yet he was cast out for his pride and swelling thought; not that he gave thanks to God, but because he
sought for nothing else from Him. " I thank thee that I am not as other men,” therefore thou art just, therefore thou asketh nothing, therefore thou art full. Therefore man's life is not a temptation on the earth; therefore thou art full; therefore thou aboundest in all things; therefore thou hast no occasion to say, forgive us our debts.” Alas ! what shall happen to those who impiously impugn God's grace, if he is blamed who proudly giveth thanks to God?
Now attend to what follows the sentence, “ They brought unto him little children, that Jesus might touch them”—why to be touched but by the physician ? Were they not mad who brought little children to be touched by him ?— By whom ?—By the SavioUR; and if by the Saviour that they might be saved by him, " who came to seek and to save them that were lost.” And how were these lost-those that properly were innocent?- The Apostle tells us, “ By one man sin entered into the world.” (Rom. v. 12.) By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so wrath passed through all men, by him in whom all had sinned.
Let the little ones come; let them speak, let us hear; our Lord saith : “ Suffer the little children to come to me;" let the little ones come; let the sick come to their physician ; let the lost come to the Redeemer; let them come; and let no man forbid them, In the branch they had as yet committed no sin, yet had they sinned in the root. Therefore let our Lord bless the little with the great; let the physician touch both the little and the great. We have commended the cause of the little ones to the more advanced. Loquimini pro tacentibus ; orate pro flentibus."—Weep ye for those that are silent; pray ye for those that weep. That your more advanced years may not be in vain ; be ye their defenders ; watch ye as guides over them who as yet cannot plead their own cause. The ruin was common; so also let the recovery be; we all perished together; let us be found all together in Christ; the merit is unlike, but the grace is common. They have no evil but what flowed to them from the fountain ; they have no evil but what they have contracted from their origin: let us not hinder them from salvation, who have added much to that which they have drawn from the root. He that is greater in age is greater in iniquity; but the grace of God blotteth out what thou hast contracted; it blotteth out also what thou hast added, for " where sin hath abounded, grace also hath more abounded.” (Rom. v. 21.)