Friday, March 20, 2015

A Voice from the Past - Chrysostom

What do you see so wonderful, and able to fix your eyes upon them? these gold-harnessed horses, these lackeys, partly savages, and partly eunuchs, and costly raiment, and the soul that is getting utterly soft in all this, and the haughty brow, and the bustlings, and the noise? And wherein do these things deserve wonder? what are they better than the beggars that dance and pipe in the market-place? For these too being taken with a sore famine of virtue, dance a dance more ridiculous than theirs, led and carried round at one time to costly tables, at another to the lodging of prostitute women, and at another to a swarm of flatterers and a host of hangers-on. But if they do wear gold, this is why they are the most pitiable, because the things which are nothing to them, are most the subject of their eager desire. Do not now, I pray, look at their raiment, but open their soul, and consider if it is not full of countless wounds, and clad with rags, and destitute, and defenceless.

John Chrysostom, Homilies of the Epistle to the Romans, Homily 4, 1:26,27 (translated by Rev. J. B. Morris and Rev. W. H. Simcox, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Philip Schaff, T& T Clark, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Series 1, Vol. XI)

How do we distinguish between the impressive-looking things of the world and what God wants us to do? Is this always an easy distinction to make? 

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