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"mit as much as I possibly can; I wink at a great

many things, from the ardent desire I have to reunite our brethren to us. I do not even examine with all “the severity which piety and the Christian religion

require, sich offences as have been committed “ against God; and I commit sin perhaps myself in too "easily remitting the sin of others. I embrace, with “ the ardor and the tenderness of an entire charity, " those who return with sentiments of penitence, those “ who confess theirsins, and atone for them with humi“ lity, and simplicity of heart. But if some think to

enter again into the church by threats, and not by prayers; and to force open the doors of it by terror, and not to gain admittance by atonement and

tears; they are to know, that the church is for ever “shut against such persons; and that the invincible

; camp of Christ Jesus, fortified by the almighty

power of God, who is the protector of it, is not to “ be forced by human insolence. The priest of the “ Lord, who follows the precepts of the gospel, may “ be killed; but he cannot be overcome. Sacerdos " Dei erangelium tenens, 8: Christi præcepta custo

diens, occidi potest, non vinci.

In my opinion this extract, which displays both the paternal mildness of a holy bishop, and the invincible courage of a martyr, may be proposed as a perfect model of the strongest and most sublime Eloquence, equal in every respect to that of Demosthenes. EXTRACTS FROM ST. JOIN CHRYSOSTOM AGAINST

OATHS. St. Chrysostom, in his homilies to the inhabitants of Antioch, often exclaims against those, who for temporal interest, obliged their brethren to swear on the altar, and by that means often occasioned their taking of false oaths.“[f] What are you do

' ing, wicked wretch, says he? You require an oath on the holy table; and you sacrifice cruelly your “ brother, on the same altar where Jesus Christ, lwho [f] Homil, xy, ad Pop. Antioch.

" sacrificed

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"sacrificed himself for you, lies. Thieves assassinate, “ but then they do it in secret; but you, in presence

of the church, our common parent, murder one of “ her children, in which you are more wicked than Cain; for he concealed his guilt in the desert, and

only deprived his brother of a transitory life; but

you plunge your neighbour into everlasting death, “and that in the midst of the temple, and before the “ face of the Creator ! Was then the Lord's house “ built for swearing, and not for prayer? Is the sacred “altar to occasion the committing of crimes, instead “ of expiating them? But if every other religious sen“timent is extinguished in you, revere, at least, the "holy book, with which you present your brother to

swear upon. Open the holy Gospel, on which you " are going to make him swear; and upon hearing what Christ Jesus says of swearing, tremble and “ withdraw. And what does Christ say there? It has been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not "forswear thyself.... But I say unto you, Swear " not at all. [8] How ! you make people swear

on that very book which forbids the taking of “ oaths! Impious procedure! horrid sacrilege! This " is making the legislator, who condemns murder, an accomplice in the guilt of it.

“I shed fewer tears when I hear that a person has “ been murdered on the highway, than when I see a “man go up to the altar, lay his hand on the holy " book of the Gospels, and take his oath aloud. On “this occasion it is impossible for me to keep from

changing colour, from trembling, and shivering, “ both for him who administers, and for him who “ takes the oath. Miserable wretch ! to secure to “thyself a doubtful sum of money, thou losest thy “ soul! Can the benefit, thou reapest, be put in com“petition with thine and thy brother's loss? If thou “knowest, that he from whom thou exactest an oath, is a good man, why then art thou not contented “ with his word ? But if he is not, why dost thou " force him to forswear himself?

[8] Matt, v. 33, 34

But “But here you will answer, that without this your proof would have been imperfect, and you

would not have been believed. What is that to the pur

pose? It is in fearing to require the oath that you " will appear worthy of belief, and be easy


your “mind. For, in fine, when you are got home, does

not your conscience reproach you? Don't you say

to yourself, Was I in the right to exact an oath from “him? Is he not forsworn? Am I not the cause of “his committing so dreadful a crime? On the other

side, what a consolation must it be, when, being re“ turned home, you can say to yourself, Blessed be “God, I put a restraint upon myself; I have pre“vented my brother from committing a crime, and “ possibly from taking a false oath! May all the gold,

all the riches in the universe perish, rather than that " I infringe the law, to force others to”

[h] In the foregoing homily, St. Chrysostom, after having related to his auditors in what manner St. John Baptist had been put to death, because of the oath that Herod had made, exhorts them to preserve theremembrance of so tragical an event, and to take warning by so dreadful an example; on which occasion he employs the most lively and sublime figures. “I bid “ each of you yesterday bring into his house the still “ bleeding head of St. John Baptist, and to imagine to “yourselves bis eyes

animated with a holy zeal against “ oaths, and his voice, which, still raising itself against " that criminal custom, seems to speak thus to you: Fly, and detest swearing; for this cost me my life, "and occasions the greatest crimes. And indeed, “continues St. Chrysostom, what neither the gene“rous liberty of the holy fore-runner (the Baptist) “nor the violent anger of the king, who saw himself

publicly reproved, could effect, was yet brought

to pass by the ill-grounded fear of perjury; and St. “ John's death was the effect and consequence of the "oath. I again repeat the same thing to you : Represent to yourselves perpetually that holy head, [!] Homii. xiv.

" which is for ever reproaching blasphemers; and this "reflection alone will be as a salutary bridle to your

tongues, and keep them from venting blasphemies."



Eutropius was favourite to the emperor Arcadius, and had an absolute ascendant over his master. This monarch, who discovered as much weakness when his ministers stood in need of his protection, as imprudence in raising them, was forced, in spite of himself, to abandon his favourite. Eutropius thereupon fell from the highest pitch of grandeur into an abyss of misery. The only friend he then found was St. John Chrysostom, whom he often had treated injuriously, and who yet had the pious generosity to receive him in the sacred asylum of the altars, which he had endeavoured to abolish, by various laws he had enacted against them, and to which he nevertheless fled in his calamity. The next day, on which the holy mysteries were to be celebrated, the people ran in crouds to the church, there to behold in Eutropius a livelyimage of human weakness, and of the vanity of worldly grandeur. The holy bishop treated this subject in so lively and moving a manner, that he changed the hatred and aversion which the people had for Eutropius, into compassion, and drew tears from the whole congregation. We are to observe, that it was usual with St. Chrysostom to address the great, and the powerful, even in the height of their prosperity, with a strength and liberty truly episcopal.

“[i] If ever there was reason to cry, Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, it is certainly on this occasion. Where is now that splendor of the most exalted dignities? Where are those marks of honour and dis

tinction ? What is become of that pomp of feasting " and rejoicings ? What is the issue of those frequent

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" acclamations, and extravagantly flattering encomi

ums, lavished by a whole people assembled in the Circus to see the public shews ? A single blast of “ wind has stripped that proud tree of all its leaves;

and, after shaking its very roots, has forced it in an

instant out of the earth. Where are those false “ friends, those vile flatterers, those parasites so assi“ duous in making their court, and in discovering a “servile attachment by their words and actions? All “this is gone and fied away like a dream, like a flower, “ like a shadow. We therefore cannot too often re

peat these words of the Holy Spirit, l'anity of ranities, all is vanity. They ought to be written in the most shining letters, in all places of public resort,

on the doors of houses, and in all their apartments; “ but much more ought they to be engraved in our

hearts, and be the perpetual subject of our medi

« tation.

“Had I not just reason, says St. Chrysostom, addressing himself to Eutropius, to set before you the “ inconstancy of riches ? You now have found, by “your own experience, that, like fugitive slaves, they “ have abandoned you ; and are become, in some

measure, traitors and murderers with regard to you, “since they are the principal canse of your fall. I often “ repeated to you, that you ought to have a greater

regard to my reproaches, how grating soever they

might appear, than to the insipid praises which “flatterers were perpetually lavishing on you, because

[k] Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Had I not just rea“son to address you in this manner? What is become “ of the croud of courtiers ? They have turned their “ backs; they have renounced your friendship; and " are solely intent upon their own interest and security,

even at the expence of yours. We submitted to your violence in the meridian of your fortune, and,

now you are fallen, we support you to the utmost of “our power. The church, against which


have [k] Prov. xxvii. 6.


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