Golden Chain 3634
3634 (Mt 6,34)
Gloss., ap. Anselm: Having forbid anxiety for the things of the day, He now forbids anxiety for future things, such a fruitless care as proceeds from the fault of men, in these words, "Be not ye anxious about the morrow."
Jerome: Tomorrow in Scripture signifies time future, as Jacob in Genesis says, "Tomorrow shall my righteousness hear me." (Gn 35,33) And in the phantasm of Samuel the Pythoness says to Saul, "Tomorrow (p. 262) shalt thou be with me." (1S 28,19)
He yields therefore unto them that they should care for things present, though He forbids them to take thought for things to come. For sufficient for us is the thought of time present; let us leave to God the future which is uncertain. And this is that He says, "The morrow shall be anxious for itself;" that is, it shall bring its own anxiety with it. "For sufficient for the day is the evil thereof." By evil He means here not that which is contrary to virtue, but toil, and affliction, and the hardships of life.
Chrys.: Nothing brings so much pain to the spirit as anxiety and cark. That He says, "The morrow shall be anxious for itself," comes of desire to make more plain what He speaks; to that end employing a prosopopeia of time, after the practice of many in speaking to the rude populace; to impress them the more, He brings in the day itself complaining of its too heavy cares. Has not every day a burden enough of its own, in its own cares? why then do you add to them by laying on those that belong to another day?
Pseudo-Chrys.: Otherwise; By "today" are signified such things as are needful for us in this present life; "Tomorrow" denotes those things that are superfluous. "Be not ye therefore anxious for the morrow," thus means, Seek not to have aught beyond that which is necessary for your daily life, for that which is over and above, i.e. Tomorrow, shall care for itself.
"Tomorrow shall be anxious for itself," is as much as to say, when you have heaped up superfluities, they shall care for themselves, you shall not enjoy them, but they shall find many lords who shall care for them. Why then should you be anxious about those things, the property of which you must part with?
"Sufficient for the day is its own evil," as much as to say, The toil you undergo for necessaries is enough, do not toil for things superfluous.
Aug.: Or otherwise; Tomorrow is said only of time where future succeeds to past. When then we work any good work, we think not of earthly but of heavenly things. "The morrow shall be anxious for itself," that is, Take food and the like, when you ought to take it, that is when necessity begins to call for it.
"For sufficient for the day is its own evil," that is, it is enough that necessity shall compel to take these things; He calls it "evil," because it is penal, inasmuch as it pertains to our mortality, which we earned (p. 263) by sinning. To this necessity then of worldly punishment, add not further weight, that you may not only fulfil it, but may even so fulfil it as to shew yourself God's soldier.
But herein we must be careful, that, when we see any servant of God endeavouring to provide necessaries either for himself, or those committed to his care, we do not straight judge him to sin against this command of the Lord in being anxious for the morrow. For the Lord Himself, to whom Angels ministered, thought good to carry a bag for example sake. And in the Acts of the Apostles it is written, that food necessary for life was provided for future time, at a time when famine threatened. What the Lord condemns therefore, is not the provision of these things after the manner of men, but if a man because of these things does not fight as God's soldier.
Hilary: This is further comprehended under the full meaning of the Divine words. We are commanded not to be careful about the future, because sufficient for our life is the evil of the days wherein we live, that is to say, the sins, that all our thought and pains be occupied in cleansing this away. And if our care be slack, yet will the future be careful for itself, in that there is held out to us a harvest of eternal love to be provided by God.
3701 (Mt 7,1-2)
(p. 264) Aug.: Since when these temporal things are provided beforehand against the future, it is uncertain with what purpose it is done, as it may be with a single or double mind, He opportunely subjoins, "Judge not."
Pseudo-Chrys.: Otherwise; He has drawn out thus far the consequences of his injunctions of almsgiving; He now takes up those respecting prayer. And this doctrine is in a sort of continuation of that of the prayer; as though it should run, "Forgive us our debts," and then should follow, "Judge not, that ye be not judged."
Jerome: But if He forbids us to judge, how then does Paul judge the Corinthian who had committed uncleanness? Or Peter convict Ananias and Sapphira of falsehood?
Pseudo-Chrys.: But some explain this place after a sense, as though the Lord did not herein forbid Christians to reprove others out of good will, but only intended that Christians should not despise Christians by making a show of their own righteousness, hating others often on suspicion alone, condemning them, and pursuing private grudges under the show of piety.
Chrys.: Wherefore He does not say, 'Do not cause a sinner to cease,' but do not judge; that is, be not a bitter judge; correct him indeed, but not as an enemy seeking revenge, but as a physician applying a remedy.
Pseudo-Chrys.: But that not even thus should Christians correct Christians is shewn by that expression, "Judge not." (p. 265)
But if they do not thus correct, shall they therefore obtain forgiveness of their sins, because it is said, "and ye shall not be judged?" For who obtains forgiveness of a former sin, by not adding another thereto? This we have said, desiring to shew that this is not here spoken concerning not judging our neighbour who shall sin against God, but who may sin against ourselves. For whoso does not judge his neighbour who has sinned against him, him shall not God judge for his sin, but will forgive him his debt even as he forgave.
Chrys.: Otherwise; He does not forbid us to judge all sin absolutely, but lays this prohibition on such as are themselves full of great evils, and judge others for very small evils. In like manner Paul does not absolutely forbid to judge those that sin, but finds fault with disciples that judged their teacher, and instructs us not to judge those that are above us.
Hilary: Otherwise; He forbids us to judge God touching His promises; for as judgements among men are founded on things uncertain, so this judgment against God is drawn from somewhat that is doubtful. And He therefore would have us put away the custom from us altogether; for it is not here as in other cases where it is sin to have given a false judgment; but here we have begun to sin if we have pronounced any judgment at all.
Aug., Serm. in Mont., ii, 18: I suppose the command here to be no other than that we should always put the best interpretation on such actions as seem doubtful with what mind they were done. But concerning such as cannot be done with good purpose, as adulteries, blasphemies, and the like, He permits us to judge; but of indifferent actions which admit of being done with either good or bad purpose, it is rash to judge, but especially so to condemn.
There are two cases in which we should be particularly on our guard against hasty judgments, when it does not appear with what mind the action was done; and when it does not yet appear, what sort of man any one may turn out, who now seems either good or bad. Wherefore he should neither blame those things of which we know with what mind they are done, nor so blame those things which are manifest, as though we despaired of recovery.
Here one may think there is difficulty is what follows, "With what judgment ye judge ye shall be judged." (p. 266) If we judge a hasty judgment, will God also judge us with the like? Or if we have measured with a false measure, is there with God a false measure whence it may be measured to us again? For by measure I suppose is here meant judgment. Surely this is only said, that the haste in which you punish another shall be itself your punishment. For injustice often does no harm to him who suffers the wrong; but must always hurt him who does the wrong.
Aug., City of God, xxi, 11: Some say, How is it true that Christ says, "And with what measure ye shall mete it shall be measured to you again," if temporal sin is to be punished by eternal suffering? They do not observe that it is not said "the same measure," because of the equal space of time, but because of the equal retribution - namely, that he who has done evil should suffer evil, though even in that sense it might be said of that of which the Lord spoke here, namely of judgments and condemnations. Accordingly, he that judges and condemns unjustly, if he is judged and condemned, justly receives in the same measure though not the same thing that he gave; by judgment he did what was unjust, by judgment he suffers what is just.
3703 (Mt 7,3-5)
Aug., Serm. in Mont., ii, 18: The Lord having admonished us concerning hasty and unjust judgment; and because that they are most given to rash judgment, who judge concerning things uncertain; and they most readily find fault, who love rather to speak evil and to condemn than to cure and to correct; a fault that spring either from pride or jealousy - therefore He (p. 267) subjoins, "Why seest thou the mote in thy brother's eye, and seest not the beam in thy own eye?"
Jerome: He speaks of such as though themselves guilty of mortal sin, do not forgive a trivial fault in their brother.
Aug.: As if he perhaps have sinned in anger, and you correct him with settled hate. For as great as is the difference between a beam and a mote, so great is the difference between anger and hatred. For hatred is anger become inveterate. It may be if you are angry with a man that you would have him amend, not so if you hate him.
Chrys.: Many do this, if they see a Monk having a superfluous garment, or a plentiful meal, they break out into bitter accusation, though themselves daily seize and devour, and suffer from excess of drinking.
Pseudo-Chrys.: Otherwise; This is spoken to the doctors. For every sin is either a great or a small sin according to the character of the sinner. If he is a laic, it is small and a mote in comparison of the sin of a priest, which is the beam.
Hilary: Otherwise; The sin against the Holy Spirit is to take from God power which has influences, and from Christ substance which is of eternity, through whom as God came to man, so shall man likewise come to God. As much greater then as is the beam than the mote, so much greater is the sin against the Holy Spirit than all other sins. As when unbelievers object to others carnal sins, and secrete in themselves the burden of that sin, to wit, that they trust not the promises of God, their minds being blinded as their eye might be by a beam.
Pseudo-Chrys.: That is, with what face can you charge your brother with sin, when yourself are living in the same or a yet greater sin?
Aug., Serm. in Mont., ii, 19: When then we are brought under the necessity of finding fault with any, let us first consider whether the sin be such as we have never had; secondly that we are yet men, and may fall into it; then, whether it be one that we have had, and are now without, and then let our common frailty come into our mind, that pity and not hate may go before correction. Should we find ourselves in the same fault, let us not reprove, but groan with the offender, and invite him to struggle with us. Seldom indeed and in cases of great necessity is reproof to be employed; and then only that the Lord may be served (p. 268) and not ourselves.
Pseudo-Chrys.: Otherwise; "How sayest thou to thy brother;" that is, with what purpose? From charity, that you may save your neighbour? Surely not, for you would first save yourself. You desire therefore not to heal others, but by good doctrine to cover bad life, and to gain praise of learning from men, not the reward of edifying from God, and you are a hypocrite; as it follows, "Thou hypocrite, cast first the beam out of thine own eye."
Aug., Serm. in Mont., ii, 19: For to reprove sin is the duty of the good, which when the bad do, they act a part, dissembling their own character, and assuming one that does not belong to them.
Chrys.: And it is to be noted, that whenever He intends to denounce any great sin, He begins with an epithet of reproach, as below, "Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt;" (Mt 18,32) and so here, "Thou hypocrite, cast out first." For each one knows better the things of himself than the things of others, and sees more the things that be great, then the things that be lesser, and loves himself more than his neighbour.
Therefore He bids him who is chargeable with many sins, not to be a harsh judge of another's faults, especially if they be small. Herein not forbidding to arraign and correct; but forbidding to make light of our own sins, and magnify those of others. For it behoves you first diligently to examine how great may be your own sins, and then try those of your neighbour; whence it follows, "and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother's eye."
Aug.: For having removed from our own eye the beam of envy, of malice, or hypocrisy, we shall see clearly to cast the beam out of our brother's eye.
3706 (Mt 7,6)
Aug.: Because the simplicity to which He had been directing in the foregoing precepts might lead some wrongly to conclude that it was equally wrong to hide the truth as to utter what was false, He well adds, "Give not that which is (p. 269) holy to the dogs, and cast not your pearls before swine."
Pseudo-Chrys.: Otherwise; The Lord had commanded us to love our enemies, and to do good to those that sin against us. That from this Priests might not think themselves obliged to communicate also the things of God to such, He checked any such thought saying, "Give not that which is holy to the dogs;" as much as to say, I have bid you love your enemies, and do them good out of your temporal goods, but not out of My spiritual goods, without distinction. For they are your brethren by nature but not by faith, and God gives the good things of this life equally to the worthy and the unworthy, but not so spiritual graces.
Aug., Serm. in Mont., ii, 20: Let us see now what is the holy thing, what are the dogs, what the pearls, what the swine? The holy thing is all that it were impiety to corrupt; a sin which may be committed by the will, though the thing itself be undone. The pearls are all spiritual things that are to be highly esteemed. Thus though one and the same thing may be called both the holy thing and a pearl, yet it is called holy because it is not to be corrupted; and called a pearl because it is not be contemned.
Pseudo-Chrys.: Otherwise; "That which is holy" denotes baptism, the grace of Christ's body, and the like; but the mysteries of the truth are intended by the pearls. For as pearls are inclosed in shells, and such in the deeps of the sea, so the divine mysteries inclosed in words are lodged in the deep meaning of Holy Scripture.
Chrys.: And to those that are right-minded and have understanding, when revealed they appear good; but to those without understanding, they seem to be more deserving reverence because they are not understood.
Aug.: The dogs are those that assault the truth; the swine we may not unsuitably take for those that despise the truth. Therefore because dogs leap forth to rend in pieces, and what they rend, suffer not to continue whole, He said, "Give not that which is holy to the dogs;" because they strive to the utmost of their power to destroy the truth. The swine though they do not assault by biting as dogs, yet do they defile by trampling upon, and therefore He said, "Cast not your pearls before swine."
Rabanus: Or; The dogs are returned to their vomit; the swine not yet returned, but wallowing in the mire of vices.
Pseudo-Chrys.: Otherwise; (p. 270) The dog and the swine are unclean animals; the dog indeed in every respect, as he neither chews the cud, nor divides the hoof; but swine in one respect only, seeing they divide the hoof, though they do not chew the cud. Hence I think that we are to understand by the dog, the Gentiles who are altogether unclean, both in their life, and in their faith; but by the swine are to be understood heretics, because they seem to call upon the name of the Lord.
"Give not therefore that which is holy to the dogs," for that baptism and the other sacraments are not to be given but to them that have the faith. In like manner the mysteries of the truth, that is, the pearls, are not to be given but to such as desire the truth and live with human reason. If then you cast them to the swine, that is, to such as are grovelling in impurity of life, they do not understand their preciousness, but value them like to other worldly fables, and tread them under foot with their carnal life.
Aug.: That which is despised is said to be trodden under foot: hence it is said, "Lest perchance they tread them under foot."
Gloss. interlin.: He says, "Lest perchance," because it may be that they will wisely turn from their uncleanness. (ed. note: the gloss. has 'guia non possunt.')
Aug.: That which follows, "Turn again and rend you," He means not the pearls themselves, for these they tread under foot, and when they turn again that they may hear something further, then they rend him by whom the pearls on which they had trode had been cast. For you will not easily find what will please him who has despised things god by great toil. Whoever then undertake to teach such, I see not how they shall not be trode upon and rent by those they teach.
Pseudo-Chrys.: Or; The swine not only trample upon the pearls by their carnal life, but after a little they turn, and by disobedience rend those who offend them. Yea often when offended they bring false accusation against them as sowers of new dogmas. The dogs also having trode upon holy things by their impure actions, by their disputings rend the preacher of truth.
Chrys.: Well is that said, "Lest they turn;" for they feign meekness that they may learn; and when they have learned, they attack.
Pseudo-Chrys.: With good reason He forbade pearls to be given to swine. For if they are not to be set before swine that are the less unclean, how much more are (p. 271) they to be withhold from dogs that are so much more unclean. But respecting the giving that which is holy, we cannot hold the same opinion; seeing we often give the benediction to Christians who live as the brutes; and that not because they deserve to receive it, but lest perchance being more grievously offended they should perish utterly.
Aug.: We must be careful therefore not to explain ought to him who does not receive it; for men the rather seek that which is hidden than that which is opened. He either attacks from ferocity as a dog, or overlooks from stupidity as swine.
But it does not follow that if the truth be kept hid, falsehood is uttered. The Lord Himself who never spoke falsely, yet sometimes concealed the truth, as in that, "I have yet many things to say unto you, the which ye are not now able to bear." (Jn 16,12) But if any is unable to receive these things because of his filthiness, we must first cleanse him as far as lays in our power either by word or deed.
But in that the Lord is found to have said some things which many who heard Him did not receive, but either rejected or contemned them, we are not to think that therein He gave the holy thing to the dogs, or cast His pearls before swine. He gave to those who were able to receive, and who were in the company, whom it was not fit should be neglected for the uncleanness of the rest. And though those who tempted Him might perish in those answers which He gave to them, yet those who could receive them by occasion of these inquiries heard many useful things.
He therefore who knows what should be answered ought to make answer, for their sakes at least who might fall into despair should they think that the question proposed is one that cannot be answered. But this only in the case of such matters as pertain to instruction of salvation; of things superfluous or harmful nothing should be said; but it should then be explained for what reason we ought not to make answer in such points to the enquirer.
3707 (Mt 7,7-8)
Jerome: Having before forbidden us to pray for things of the flesh, He now shews what we ought to ask, saying, "Ask, and it shall be given you."
Aug.: Otherwise; when He commanded not to give the holy thing to dogs, and not to cast pearls before swine, the hearer conscious of his own ignorance might say, Why do you thus bid me not give the holy thing to dogs, when as yet I see not that I have any holy thing
He therefore adds in good season, "Ask, and ye shall receive."
Pseudo-Chrys.: Otherwise; Having given them some commands for the sanctification of prayer, saying, "Judge not," He adds accordingly, "Ask, and it shall be given unto you," as though He were to say, If ye observe this mercy towards your enemies, whatever seems to your shut, "knock, and it shall be opened to you."
Ask therefore in prayer, praying day and night; seek with care and toil; for neither by toiling only in the Scriptures do we gain knowledge without God's grace, nor do we attain to grace without study, lest the gift of God should be bestowed on the careless. But knock with prayer, and fasting, and alms. For as one who knocks at a door, not only cries out with his voice, but strikes with his hand, so he who does good works, knocks with his works.
But you will say, this is what I pray that I may know and do, how then can I do it, before I receive? Do what you can that you may become able to do more, and keep what you know that you may come to know more.
Or otherwise; having above commanded all men to love their enemies, and after enjoined that we should not under pretext of love give holy things to dogs; He here gives good counsel, that they should pray God for them, and it shall be granted them; let them seek out those that are lost in sins, and they shall find them; let them knock at those who are shut up in errors, and God shall open to them that their word may have access to their souls.
Or otherwise; Since the precepts given above were beyond the reach of human virtue, He sends them to God to whose grace nothing is impossible, saying, "Ask, and it shall be given you," that what cannot be performed by men may be fulfilled through the grace of God. For when God furnished the other animals with swift foot, or swift wing, with claws, teeth, or horns, He so made man that He Himself should be man's only strength (margin note: virtus, see Ps 18,1) that forced by reason of his own weakness (p. 273) he might always have need of his Lord.
Gloss. ord.: We ask with faith, we seek with hope, we knock with love. You must first ask that you may have; after that seek that you may find; and lastly, observe what you have found that you may enter in.
Aug., Serm. in Mont., ii, 21: Asking, is that we may get healthiness of soul that we may be able to fulfil the things commanded us; seeking, pertains to the discovery of the truth. But when any has found the true way, he will then come into actual possession, which however is only opened to him that knocks.
Aug., Retract., i, 19: How these three differ from one another, I have thought good to unfold with this travail; but it were better to refer them all to instant prayer; wherefore He afterwards concludes, saying, "He will give good things to them that ask him."
Chrys.: And in that He adds "seek," and "knock," HE bids us ask with much importunateness and strength. For one who seeks, casts forth all other things from his mind, and is turned to that thing singly which he seeks; and he that knocks comes with vehemence and warm soul.
Pseudo-Chrys.: He had said, "Ask, and ye shall receive;" which sinners hearing might perchance say, The Lord herein exhorts them that are worthy, but we are unworthy. Therefore He repeats it that He may commend the mercy of God to the righteous as well as to sinners; and therefore declares that "every one that asketh receiveth;" that is, whether he be righteous or a sinner, let him not hesitate to ask; that it may be fully seen that none is neglected but he who hesitates to ask of God. For it is not credible that God should enjoin on men that work of piety which is displayed is doing good to our enemies, and should not Himself (being good) act so.
Aug., Tract. in Joan. 44, 13: Wherefore God hears sinners; for if He do not hear sinners, the Publican said in vain, "Lord, be merciful to me a sinner;" (Lc 18,13) and by that confession merited justification.
Aug., Prosper, Sent. 212: He who in faith offers supplication to God for the necessities of this life is heard mercifully, and not heard mercifully. For the physician knows better than the sick man what is good for his sickness. But if he asks that which God both promises and commands, his prayer shall be granted, for love shall receive what truth provides.
Aug., Ep. 31, 1: But the Lord is good, who often gives us not what we would, that He may give us what we should rather prefer.
Aug., Serm. in Mont., ii, 21: There is need moreover of perseverance, that we may receive what we ask for.
Aug., Serm. 61. 5: In that God sometimes delays His gifts, He but recommends, and does not deny them. For that which is long looked for is sweeter when obtained; but that is held cheap, which comes at once. Ask then and seek things righteous. For by asking and seeking grows the appetite of taking. God reserves for you those things which He is not willing to give you at once, that you may learn greatly to desire great things. Therefore we ought always to pray and not to fail.
3709 (Mt 7,9-11)
Aug., Serm. in Mont., ii, 21: As above He had cited the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, that our hopes may rise from the less to the greater; so also does He in this place, when He says, "Or what man among you?"
Pseudo-Chrys.: Lest perchance any one considering how great is the difference between God and man, and weighing his own sins should despair of obtaining, and so never take in hand to ask; therefore He proposes a comparison of the relation between father and son; that should we despair because of our sins, we may hope because of God's fatherly goodness.
Chrys.: There are two things behoveful for one that prays; that he ask earnestly; and that he ask such things as he ought to ask. And those are spiritual things; as Solomon, because he asked such things as were right, received speedily.
Pseudo-Chrys.: And what are the things that we ought to ask, he shews under the likeness of a loaf, and a fish. The loaf is the word concerning the knowledge of God the Father. The stone is all falsehood that has a stumbling-block of offence to the soul.
Remig.: By the fish we may understand the word concerning Christ, by the serpent the Devil (p. 275) himself.
Or by the loaf may be understood spiritual doctrine; by the stone ignorance; by the fish the water of Holy Baptism; by the serpent the wiles of the Devil, or unbelief.
Rabanus: Or; bread which is the common food signifies charity, without which the other virtues are of no avail. The fish signifies faith, which is born of the water of baptism, is tossed in the midst of the waves of this life and yet lives. Luke adds a third thing, "an egg," (Lc 11,12) which signifies hope; for an egg is the hope of the animal. To charity, He opposes "a stone," that is, the hardness of hatred; to faith, "a serpent," that is, the venom of treachery; to hope, "a scorpion," that is, despair, which stings backward, as the scorpion.
Remig.: The sense therefore is: we need not fear that should we ask of God our Father bread, that is doctrine or love, He will give us a stone; that is, that He will suffer our heart to be contracted either by the frost of hatred or by hardness of soul; or that when we ask for faith, He will suffer us to die of the poison of unbelief.
Thence it follows, "If then ye being evil."
Chrys.: This He said not detracting from human nature, nor confessing the whole human race to be evil; but He calls paternal love "evil" when compared with His own goodness. Such is the superabundance of His love towards men.
Pseudo-Chrys.: Because in comparison of God who is preeminently good, all men seem to be evil, as all light shews dark when compared with the sun.
Jerome: Or perhaps he called the Apostles evil, in their person condemning the whole human race, whose heart is set to evil from his infancy, as we read in Genesis. Nor is it any wonder that He should call this generation, "evil," as the Apostle also speaks, "Seeing the days are evil."
Aug.: Or He calls "evil" those who are lovers of this age; (margin note: Ep 5,16) whence also the good things which they give are to be called good according to their sense who esteem them as good; nay, even in the nature of things they are goods, that is, temporal goods, and such as pertain to this weak life.
Aug., Serm., 61, 3: For that good thing which makes men good is God. Gold and silver are good things not as making you good, but as with them you may do good. If then we be evil, yet as having a Father who is good let us not remain ever evil.
Aug., Serm. in Mont., ii, 21: If then we being evil, know how to give that which is asked (p. 276) of us, how much more is it to be hoped that God will give us good things when we ask Him?
Pseudo-Chrys.: He says "good things," because God does not give all things to them that ask Him, but only good things.
Gloss. ord.: For from God we receive only such things as are good, of what kind soever they may seem to us when we receive them; for all things work together for good to His beloved.
Remig.: And be it known that where Matthew says, "He shall give good things," Luke has, "shall give his Holy Spirit." (Lc 11,13) But this ought not to seem contrary, because all the good things which man receives from God, are given by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
3712 (Mt 7,12)
Aug.: Firmness and strength of walking by the way of wisdom in good habits is thus set before us, by which men are brought to purity and simplicity of heart; concerning which having spoken a long time, He thus concludes, "All things whatsoever ye would, &c." For there is no man who would that another should act towards him with a double heart.
Pseudo-Chrys.: Otherwise; He had above commanded us in order to sanctify our prayers that men should not judge those who sin against them. Then breaking the thread of his discourse He had introduced various other matters, wherefore now when He returns to the command with which He had begun, He says, "All things whatsoever ye would, &c." That is; I not only command that ye judge not, but "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye unto them;" and then you will be able to pray so as to obtain.
Gloss. ord.: Otherwise; The Holy Spirit is the distributor of all spiritual goods, that the deeds of charity may be fulfilled; whence He adds, "All things therefore, &c."
Chrys.: Otherwise; The Lord desires to teach that men ought to seek aid from above, but at the same time to contribute what lays in their power; wherefore when He had said, "Ask, seek, and knock," He proceeds to teach openly (p. 277) that men should be at pains for themselves, adding, "Whatsoever ye would &c."
Aug., Serm., 61. 7: Otherwise; The Lord had promised that He would give good things to them that ask Him. But that He may own his petitioners, let us also own ours. For they that beg are in every thing, save having of substance, equal to those of whom they beg. What face can you have of making request to your God, when you do not acknowledge your equal? This is said in Proverbs, "Whoso stoppeth his ear to the cry of the poor, he shall cry and shall not be heard." (Pr 21,13) What we ought to bestow on our neighbour when he asks of us, that we ourselves may be heard of God, we may judge by what we would have others bestow upon us; therefore He says, "All things whatsoever ye would."
Chrys.: He says not, "All things whatsoever," simply, but "All things therefore," as though He should say, If ye will be heard, besides those things which I have now said to you, do this also. And He said not, Whatsoever you would have done for you by God, do that for your neighbour; lest you should say, But how can I? but He says, Whatsoever you would have done to you by your fellow-servant, do that also to your neighbour.
Aug., Serm. in Mont., ii, 22: Some Latin copies add here, "good things," (ed. note: So also S. Cyprian de Orat. (Tr. vii. 18. fin.) and the Latin MSS.) which I suppose was inserted to make the sense more plain. For it occurred that one might desire some crime to be committed for his advantage, and should so construe this place, that he ought first to do the like to him by whom he would have it done to him. It were absurd to think that this man had fulfilled this command. Yet the thought is perfect, even though this be not added.
For the words, "All things whatsoever ye would," are not to be taken in their ordinary and loose signification, but in their exact and proper sense. For there is no will but only in the good (margin note: but see Retract. i. 9. n. 4); in the wicked it is rather named desire, and not will. Not that the Scriptures always observe this propriety; but where need is, there they retain the proper word so that none other need be understood.
Cyprian, Tr. vii: Since the Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ came to all men, He summed up all his commands in one precept, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them;" and adds, "for this is the Law and the Prophets."
Pseudo-Chrys.: For whosoever (p. 278) the Law and the Prophets contain up and down through the whole Scriptures, is embraced in this one compendious precept, as the innumerable branches of a tree spring from one root.
Greg., Mor., x, 6: He that thinks he ought to do to another as he expects that others will do to him, considers verily how he may return good things for bad, and better things for good.
Chrys.: Whence what we ought to do is clear, as in our own cases we all know what is proper, and so we cannot take refuge in our ignorance.
Aug., Serm. in Mont., ii, 22: This precept seems to refer to the love of our neighbour, not of God, as in another place He says, there are two commandments on which hang the Law and the Prophets. But as He says not here, The whole Law, as He speaks there, He reserves a place for the other commandment respecting the love of God.
Aug., De Trin., viii, 7: Otherwise; Scripture does not mention the love of God, where it says, "All things whatsoever ye would;" because he who loves his neighbour must consequently love Love itself above all things; but God is Love; therefore he loves God above all things.
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