But many in these times, even when they come to church, do not know what is read; whereas the eunuch [in Acts 8], even in public and riding in his chariot, applied himself to the reading of the Scriptures. Not so you: none takes the Bible in hand: nay, everything rather than the Bible.
Say, what are the Scriptures for? For as much as in you lies, it is all undone. What is the Church for? Tie up the Bibles: perhaps the judgment would not be such, not such the punishment: if one were to bury them in dung, that he might not hear them, he would not so insult them as you do now. For say, what is the insult there? That the man has buried them. And what here? That we do not hear them.
Say, when is a person most insulted-when he is silent, and one makes no answer, or, when he does speak (and is unheeded)? So that the insult is greater in the present case, when He does speak and thou wilt not hear: greater the contempt. 'Speak not to us' (Is. xxx. 10), we read, they said of old to the Prophets: but ye do worse, saying, Speak: we will not do....But what is the common excuse? 'It is always the same things over again.'
This it is most of all, that ruins you. Suppose you knew the things, even so you certainly ought not to turn away: since in the theatres also, is it not always the same things acted over again, and still you take no disgust? How dare you talk about 'the same things,' you who know not so much as the names of the Prophets? Are you not ashamed to say, that this is why you do not listen, because it is 'the same things over again,' while you do not know the names of those who are read, and this, though always hearing the same things? You have yourself confessed that the same things are said. Were I to say this as a reason for finding fault with you, you would need to have recourse to quite a different excuse, instead of this which is the very thing you find fault with.-Do not you exhort your son? Now if he should say, 'Always the same things!' would not you count it an insult? It would be time enough to talk of 'the same things,' when we both knew the things, and exhibited them in our practice. Or rather, even then, the reading of them would not be superfluous. What equal to Timothy? tell me that: and yet to him says Paul, 'Give attention to reading, to exhortation.' (1Tim. iv. 13.) For it is not possible, I say not possible, ever to exhaust the mind of the Scriptures. It is a well which has no bottom." (Homilies on Acts, 19)
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
... brought to you by me from a person a greatly admire: Jason Engwer. Where I am a fool and a harlequin, he's a prince and a bright guy. This citation from Chrysostem that Jason dug up is proof enough: