But He came to the borders of Judaea, and not to the middle of it, but, as it were, to the outermost parts, where great multitudes followed Him,
Vos autem non legistis, quod protoplasto Deus dixit: `Eritis duo in carne una? Quare qui dimittit uxorem, praeterquam fornicationis causa, facit eam moechari.
But grant that these argumentations may be thought to be forced and founded on conjectures, if no dogmatic teachings have stood parallel with them which the Lord uttered in treating of divorce, which, permitted formerly, He now prohibits, first because "from the beginning it was not so," like plurality of marriage; secondly, because "What God hath conjoined, man shall not separate,"
-for this reason, indeed, because He who had "made them male and female" had likewise said, "They twain shall become one flesh; what therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
Our Lord and Saviour, indeed, in the words, "He who made them at the beginning, made them male and female,"
And Christ confirms the taking of these things as they are written, when, to the question of the Pharisees about putting away a wife, He answers: "Have ye not read that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female; and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father,"
and the Lord says: "He that made them from the beginning, made them male and female; and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they two shall be one flesh."
"For He that made them at the beginning made them male and female; and He blessed them, and said, Increase and multiply, and fill the earth."
Let them see to that, who, among the rest of their perversities, teach the disjoining of the "one flesh in twain; "
one discipline, one and the same service? Both (are) brethren, both fellow servants, no difference of spirit or of flesh; nay, (they are) truly "two in one flesh."
Matt. 19:5 - NIV, NAB - in Pseudo-Cyprian Of the Discipline and Advantage of Chastity
And in such wise it is said, "Two shall be in one flesh,"
And when a certain man came to Him and said, "Good Master," He answered and said, "There is none good but God only, who made all things."
Quid enim? annon licet etiam continenter uti matrimonio, et non conari dissolvere, quod "conjunxit Deus? "
Primum quidem, propriam sponsam habuit Ecclesiam: deinde vero, nec homo erat communis, ut opus haberet etiam adjutore aliquo secundum carnem; neque erat ei necesse procreare filios, qui manet in aeternum, et natus est solus Dei Filius. Hic ipse autem Dominus dicit: "Quod Deus conjunxit, homo ne separet."
Quomodo autem vetus quidera est solum matrimonium et legis inventum, alienum autem est, quod est ex Domino, matrimonium, cum idem Deus servetur a nobis? "Non" enim"quod Deus conjunxit, homo" jure"dissolverit; "
And accordingly, those whom God "from the beginning" conjoined, "two into one flesh," man shall not at the present day separate.
For the Lord says: "What God has joined together, let no man put asunder."
And, as tending to convince them that they should not put away their wife for every cause, is it said," What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
And not only so, but the Lord also showed that certain precepts were enacted for them by Moses, on account of their hardness [of heart], and because of their unwillingness to be obedient, when, on their saying to Him, "Why then did Moses command to give a writing of divorcement, and to send away a wife? "He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts he permitted these things to you; but from the beginning it was not so; "
There, while prohibiting divorce, He has given us a solution of this special question respecting it: "Moses," says He, "because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you to give a bill of divorcement; but from the beginning it was not so"
So true, moreover, is it that divorce "was not from the beginning," that among the Romans it is not till after the six hundredth year from the building of the city that this kind of "hard-heartedness"
Matt. 19:8 - NIV, NAB - in Pseudo-Cyprian Of the Discipline and Advantage of Chastity
For both her own husband belongs to the woman, for the reason that besides him she may know no other; and the woman is given to the man for the purpose that, when that which had been his own had been yielded to him, he should seek for nothing belonging to another.
`Moses gave you commandments according to your hard-heartedness; for from the beginning it was not so: for He who created man at first, made him male and female.'
For it is not necessary for adultery or any such great indecency to write a bill of divorcement and give it into the hands of the wife; but indeed perhaps Moses called every sin an unseemly thing, on the discovery of which by the husband in the wife, as not finding favour in the eyes of her husband, the bill of divorcement is written, and the wife is sent away from the house of her husband; "but from the beginning it hath not been so."
" And I said to him, "What then, sir, is the husband to do, if his wife continue in her vicious practices? "And he said, "The husband should put her away, and remain by himself. But if he put his wife away and marry another, he also commits adultery."
"For whosoever puts away his wife," says He, "and marries another, commits adultery; "
every species of salutary discipline, what wonder that she likewise ministers to Repentance, (accustomed as Repentance is to come to the rescue of such as have fallen, ) when, on a disjunction of wedlock (for that cause, I mean, which makes it lawful, whether for husband or wife, to persist in the perpetual observance of widowhood),
nesciunt quod, postquam de divortio esset locutus, cum quidam rogassent: "Si sic sit causa uxoris, non expedit homini uxorem ducere; "tunc dixit Dominus: "Non omnes capiunt vetbum hoc, sed quibus datum est."
Ac Valentiniani quidem, qui desuper ex divinis emissionibus deduxere conjugationes, acceptum habent matrimonium: Basilidis autem sectatores, "Cum interrogassent, inquiunt, apostoli, nun sit melius uxorem non ducere, dicunt respondisse Dominum: `Non omnes capiunt verbum hoc, Bunt enim eunuchi alii a nativitate, alii vero a necessitate.'"
Qui autem regni sempiterni gratia seipsos castrarunt, id ad declinandas, inquiunt, conjugii molestias fecerunt, quod procurandae rei familiaris onus ac sollicitudinem timerent. Et illud: `Melius est nubere quam uri, '
Illud autem: "Non omnes capiunt verbum hoc: sunt enim eunuchi, qui sic nati sunt; et sunt eunuchi, qui castrati sunt ab hominibus; et sunt eunuchi, qui seipsos castrarunt propier regnum coelorum. Qui potest capere, capiat; "
Strait and narrow is the way through which we enter into life, but excellent and great is the reward when we enter into glory. Let those who have once made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven
For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb; and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men; and there are eunuchs which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake."
Matt. 19:11 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
Of this same thing in the Gospel according to Matthew: "All men do not receive the word, but they to whom it is given: for there are some eunuchs who were born so from their mother's womb, and there are eunuchs who have been constrained by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He who can receive it, let him receive it."
Matt. 19:11 - NIV, NAB - in Archelaus Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes
Not all receive the word of God, but only those to whom it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.
For many who thought that to repress vehement lascivious desires constituted chastity, neglecting other duties connected with it, failed also in this, and have brought blame
"He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."
Unless he believes that Christ Jesus has lived in the flesh, and shall confess His cross and passion, and the blood which He shed for the salvation of the world, he shall not obtain eternal life, whether he be a king, or a priest, or a ruler, or a private person, a master or a servant, a man or a woman. "He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."
And, "There are some who have been made eunuchs of men, and some who were born eunuchs, and some who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake; but all cannot receive this saying."
[Keep the commandments of the Lord, and you will be approved, and inscribed amongst the number of those who observe His commands.] And if you do any good beyond what is commanded by God,
Nay, you would find many among us, both men and women, growing old unmarried, in hope of living in closer communion with God.
" Nos ergo propter dilectionem in Dominum, et propter ipsum honestum, amplectimur continentiam, templum Spiritus sanctificantes. Honestum enim est, "propter regnum coelorum seipsum castrare"
qui est sterilis, et non fert fructum, nec vitro institutione, nec sermone. Sed "qui se" quidem "castrarunt" ab omni peccato "propter regnum coelorum,"
"Exsecranda" autem "dies in qua natus sum, et ut non sit optanda,"
Subjungit itaque: "Cur enim natus sum ut viderem labores et dolores, et in perpetuo probro fuerunt dies mei? "
-indicating, of course, virgins, and such as have become "eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake."
and raises the self-made eunuch to the realms of heaven.
, and seal themselves up to eunuchhood for the sake of the kingdom of God,
How many are there who from the moment of their baptism set the seal (of virginity) upon their flesh? How many, again, who by equal mutual consent cancel the debt of matrimony-voluntary eunuchs
" This (even) broader assertion we make: that even if the Paraclete had in this our day definitely prescribed a virginity or continence total and absolute, so as not to permit the heat of the flesh to foam itself down even in single marriage, even thus He would seem to be introducing nothing of "novelty; "seeing that the Lord Himself opens "the kingdoms of the heavens" to "eunuchs,"
for, "each one shall die in his own sin; "and "eunuchs" not only have lost ignominy, but have even deserved grace, being invited into "the kingdoms of the heavens: "
while He associates with these (children) others who, after marriage, remained (or became)virgins; "
But He has withal premised that "the Spirit is prompt," in order that the Spirit may vanquish the flesh-that the weak may yield to the stronger. For again He says, "Let him who is able to receive, receive (it); "
These things, my brother, seem to you perhaps harsh and not to be endured; but recall that God has said, "He who receives it, let him receive it,"
Matt. 19:12 - NIV, NAB - in A Fragment of a Work of Pierius on the First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians
added this remark: In saying this, Paul, without disguise, preaches celibacy.
according to the infallible words of the Lord; since it is not given to all to attain that undefiled state of being a eunuch for the sake of the kingdom of heaven,
who devote themselves to preserve virginity "for the sake of the kingdom of heaven; "
Why should I speak of Sagaris, bishop and martyr, who rests at Laodicea? of the blessed Papirius, moreover? and of Melito the eunuch,
is it that He Himself withal should set upon His own official chair men who were mindful rather to enjoin-(but) not likewise to practise-sanctity of the flesh, which (sanctity) He had in all ways recommended to their teaching and practising?-first by His own example, then by all other arguments; while He tells (them) that "the kingdom of heavens" is "children's; "
therefore, no one will perish; for although any of them be tempted by the most wicked devil, and commit sin, he will quickly return to his Lord. I deem you happy, I, who am the messenger of repentance, whoever of you are innocent as children,
"And they brought to Him," it is said, "children, that He might put His hands on them and bless them; and when His disciples hindered them, Jesus said, Suffer the children, and forbid them not to come to Me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
? The Lord does indeed say, "Forbid them not to come unto me."
Do you also baptize your infants, and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of God. For says He: "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not."
Annon aperte indicat, quod sicut mundus componitur ex contrariis, nempe ex calido et frigido, humido et sicco, ita etiam ex iis qui dant, et ex iis qui accipiunt? Et rursus cum dixit: "Si vis perfectus esse, vende quae habes, et da pauperibus," refellit eum qui gloriabatur quod "omnia a juventute praecepta servaverat; "non enim impleverat illud: "Diliges proximum tuum sicut teipsum: "
go his way who had not "received" the precept of dividing his substance to the needy, and was abandoned by the Lord to his own opinion.
" And Peter said: "I shall explain to you how goodness itself is just. Our teacher Himself first said to the Pharisee who asked Him,
`Enter ye through the strait and narrow way, through which ye shall enter into life.' And somewhere else, when one asked Him,
] Yea, He was always of such a character, and still is, and will ever be, kind and good, and free from wrath, and true, and the only one who is [absolutely] good;
Now, that the law did beforehand teach mankind the necessity of following Christ, He does Himself make manifest, when He replied as follows to him who asked Him what he should do that he might inherit eternal life: "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."
" And I said to him, "It is for this reason, sir, that I inquire carefully into all things, especially because I am a sinner; that I may know what works I should do, that I may live: for my sins are many and various." And he said to me, "You shall live if you keep my commandments,
conceived as Father, being good, is called that which alone He i"-"good; "
Still further also He plainly says, "None is good, but My Father, who is in heaven."
"But," say they, "God is `good, 'and `most good, '
There still remains to them, however, that saying of the Lord in the Gospel, which they think is given them in a special manner as a shield, viz., "There is none good but one, God the Father."
And here I may employ this illustration, as beating upon this point: Our Lord and Saviour, heating Himself on one occasion addressed as "Good Master,"
He says that this (one) alone is good, and that what is spoken by the Saviour
and as Himself acknowledges: "Why call ye me good? there is one good,"
But how can we possess immortality, unless we keep those commands of Christ whereby death is driven out and overcome, when He Himself warns us, and says, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments? "
Matt. 19:17 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
The young man saith unto Him, All these things have I observed: what lack I yet? Jesus saith unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."
Moreover, the Lord Himself: "Why askest thou me concerning that which is good? God alone is good."
For he said to some one, as I learn,
At once, then, state to me whether you maintain that the framer of the world is the same as the lawgiver or not? If, then, he is the lawgiver, he is just; but if he is just, he is not good. But if he is not good, then it was another that Jesus proclaimed, when he said,
Naaman, then, is still in error, and does not see how far inferior other rivers are to the Jordan for the cure of the suffering; he extols the rivers of Damascus, Arbana, and Pharpha, saying, "Are not Arbana and Pharpha, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Shall I not wash in them and be clean? "For as none is good
Are we to paint ourselves out that our neighbours may perish? Where, then, is (the command), "Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself? "
Now, just Lot (for I pass over at present the account of the economy of regeneration
And for this reason did the Lord, instead of that [commandment], "Thou shalt not commit adultery," forbid even concupiscence; and instead of that which runs thus, "Thou shalt not kill," He prohibited anger; and instead of the law enjoining the giving of tithes, [He told us] to share
And ff he speaks thus of marriage, in reference to which God says, "Multiply," how do you not think that senseless display is by the Lord's authority to be banished? Wherefore also the Lord says, "Sell what thou hast, and give to the poor; and come, follow me."
Matt. 19:21 - NIV, NAB - in Clement of Alexandria Who is the Rich Man that Shall Be Saved?
X. "If thou wilt be perfect."
"My work was my subsistence." Nay, but "all things are to be sold, and divided to the needy."
And therefore the Lord the teacher of good things, forewarning for the future time, says, "If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me."
He said, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me."
For as it is disagreeable to walk among thistles with naked feet, so also it is hard for such to enter the kingdom of God.
Again, "Don't sail on land" is a Pythagorean saw, and shows that taxes and similar contracts, being troublesome and fluctuating, ought to be declined. Wherefore also the Word says that the tax-gatherers shall be saved with difficulty.
joys?-which, indeed, is chiefly found among the wealthier; for the more any is rich, and inflated with the name of "matron," the more capacious house does she require for her burdens, as it were a field wherein ambition may run its course. To such the churches look paltry. A rich man is a difficult thing (to find) in the house of God;
From what has been said, it is clear then that Jesus, "the man of Nazareth," did not promulgate laws opposed to those just considered in regard to riches, when He said, "It is hard for the rich man to enter into the kingdom of God; "
If we say that He affords us light, it is seen by us, and we have it; and if riches, they exist and appear in this world, and we name them, since it has been said, With difficulty will a rich man enter into the kingdom of the heavens.
" Much more, then, is the Scripture to be believed which says, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man "
Matt. 19:24 - NIV, NAB - in Clement of Alexandria Who is the Rich Man that Shall Be Saved?
For some, merely hearing, and that in an off-hand way, the utterance of the Saviour, "that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven,"
In the next place, with regard to the declaration of Jesus against rich men, when He said, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God,"
What dost thou say? Peter says to him: One thing I say unto thee: it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to go into the kingdom of heaven.
And that it is better to believe even what is impossible to our own nature and to men, than to be unbelieving like the rest of the world, we have learned; for we know that our Master Jesus Christ said, that "what is impossible with men is possible with God,"
? [You ask] "How many have fulfilled these conditions? "But what with men is difficult, with God is easy.
How is it, then, that we read, "With men these things are impossible, but with God all things are possible; "
, but they hold neither the Father nor the Son. Well, but "with God nothing is impossible."
. Parents, wives, children, will have to be left behind, for God's sake.
10 Like him, have all things left,
Matt. 19:27 - NIV, NAB - in Victorinus Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John
For to the apostles, when they asked, saying, "We have forsaken all that we had, and followed Thee: what shall we have? "our Lord replied, "When the Son of man shall sit upon the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
For I have proved that it was Jesus who appeared to and conversed with Moses, and Abraham, and all the other patriarchs without exception, ministering to the will of the Father; who also, I say, came to be born man by the Virgin Mary, and I lives for ever. For the latter is He after
For avoiding it, remedies cannot be lacking; since, even if they be lacking, there remains that one by which you will be made a happier magistrate, not in the earth, but in the heavens.
thou shalt judge the twelve tribes of Israel.
Then the Saviour spoke to them, saying: Before I ascended to my Father I promised to you, saying that you who have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit upon the throne of His majesty, will sit, you also, upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And I think that the twelve baskets were in the possession of the disciples to whom it was said "Ye shall sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
And again He says, "Whosoever shall have left lands, or houses, or parents, or brethren, or children because of Me, he shall receive in this world an hundred-fold, and in that to come he shall inherit eternal life."
For instance, the Lord says in the Gospel, "Whosoever shall leave father, or mother, or brethren," and so forth, "for the sake of the Gospel and my name,"
And let us pray for those who offer sacrifices and oblations to the Lord our God, that God, the fountain of all goodness, may recompense them with His heavenly gifts, and "give them in this world an hundredfold, and in the world to come life everlasting; "
For blessed is he who is able to endure trial, because the Lord will give him in requital sevenfold reward in the world to come.
For this reason did the Lord declare that the first should in truth be last, and the last first.
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