Anf-03 v.iv.iii.xviii Pg 4 Therefore, in the meanwhile, the commission of wrong was to be checked2914
Deut. xxxii. 35; Rom. xii. 19.
2914 Repastinaretur. by the fear of a retribution immediately to happen; and so the permission of this retribution was to be the prohibition of provocation, that a stop might thus be put to all hot-blooded2915
2915 Æstuata. injury, whilst by the permission of the second the first is prevented by fear, and by this deterring of the first the second fails to be committed. By the same law another result is also obtained,2916
2916 Qua et alias. even the more ready kindling of the fear of retaliation by reason of the very savour of passion which is in it. There is no more bitter thing, than to endure the very suffering which you have inflicted upon others. When, again, the law took somewhat away from men’s food, by pronouncing unclean certain animals which were once blessed, you should understand this to be a measure for encouraging continence, and recognise in it a bridle imposed on that appetite which, while eating angels’ food, craved after the cucumbers and melons of the Egyptians. Recognise also therein a precaution against those companions of the appetite, even lust and luxury, which are usually chilled by the chastening of the appetite.2917
2917 Ventris. For “the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.”2918
Anf-03 v.iv.v.xvi Pg 15 He thereby teaches that patience calmly waits for the infliction of vengeance. Therefore, inasmuch as it is incredible4048
Deut. xxxii. 35; comp. Rom. xii. 19 and Heb. x. 30.
4048 Fidem non capit. that the same (God) should seem to require “a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye,” in return for an injury, who forbids not only all reprisals, but even a revengeful thought or recollection of an injury, in so far does it become plain to us in what sense He required “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,”—not, indeed, for the purpose of permitting the repetition of the injury by retaliating it, which it virtually prohibited when it forbade vengeance; but for the purpose of restraining the injury in the first instance, which it had forbidden on pain of retaliation or reciprocity;4049
4049 Talione, opposito. so that every man, in view of the permission to inflict a second (or retaliatory) injury, might abstain from the commission of the first (or provocative) wrong. For He knows how much more easy it is to repress violence by the prospect of retaliation, than by the promise of (indefinite) vengeance. Both results, however, it was necessary to provide, in consideration of the nature and the faith of men, that the man who believed in God might expect vengeance from God, while he who had no faith (to restrain him) might fear the laws which prescribed retaliation.4050
4050 Leges talionis. [Judicial, not personal, reprisals.] This purpose4051
4051 Voluntatem. of the law, which it was difficult to understand, Christ, as the Lord of the Sabbath and of the law, and of all the dispensations of the Father, both revealed and made intelligible,4052
4052 Compotem facit. That is, says Oehler, intellectus sui. when He commanded that “the other cheek should be offered (to the smiter),” in order that He might the more effectually extinguish all reprisals of an injury, which the law had wished to prevent by the method of retaliation, (and) which most certainly revelation4053
4053 Prophetia. had manifestly restricted, both by prohibiting the memory of the wrong, and referring the vengeance thereof to God. Thus, whatever (new provision) Christ introduced, He did it not in opposition to the law, but rather in furtherance of it, without at all impairing the prescription4054
4054 Disciplinas: or, “lessons.” of the Creator. If, therefore,4055
4055 Denique. one looks carefully4056
4056 Considerem, or, as some of the editions have it, consideremus. into the very grounds for which patience is enjoined (and that to such a full and complete extent), one finds that it cannot stand if it is not the precept of the Creator, who promises vengeance, who presents Himself as the judge (in the case). If it were not so,4057
4057 Alioquin.—if so vast a weight of patience—which is to refrain from giving blow for blow; which is to offer the other cheek; which is not only not to return railing for railing, but contrariwise blessing; and which, so far from keeping the coat, is to give up the cloak also—is laid upon me by one who means not to help me,—(then all I can say is,) he has taught me patience to no purpose,4058
4058 In vacuum. because he shows me no reward to his precept—I mean no fruit of such patience. There is revenge which he ought to have permitted me to take, if he meant not to inflict it himself; if he did not give me that permission, then he should himself have inflicted it;4059
4059 Præstare, i.e., debuerat præstare. since it is for the interest of discipline itself that an injury should be avenged. For by the fear of vengeance all iniquity is curbed. But if licence is allowed to it without discrimination,4060
4060 Passim. it will get the mastery—it will put out (a man’s) both eyes; it will knock out4061
4061 Excitatura. every tooth in the safety of its impunity. This, however, is (the principle) of your good and simply beneficent god—to do a wrong to patience, to open the door to violence, to leave the righteous undefended, and the wicked unrestrained! “Give to every one that asketh of thee”4062
Anf-03 vi.vii.x Pg 13 that is, Leave patience to me, and I will reward patience. For when He says, “Judge not, lest ye be judged,”9122
Deut. xxxii. 35; Ps. xciv. 1; Rom. xii. 19; Heb. x. 30.
Anf-01 viii.iv.cxxx Pg 2 and I added what follows of the passage: “ ‘Rejoice, O ye nations, with His people, and let all the angels of God be strengthened in Him: for the blood of His sons He avenges, and will avenge, and will recompense His enemies with vengeance, and will recompense those that hate Him; and the Lord will purify the land of His people.’ And by these words He declares that we, the nations, rejoice with His people, —to wit, Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the prophets, and, in short, all of that people who are well-pleasing to God, according to what has been already agreed on between us. But we will not receive it of all your nation; since we know from Isaiah2459
Deut. xxxii. 43.
2459 Isa. lxvi. 24. that the members of those who have transgressed shall be consumed by the worm and unquenchable fire, remaining immortal; so that they become a spectacle to all flesh. <index subject1="Israel applied to Chirst" title="265" id="viii.iv.cxxx-p3.2"/>But in addition to these, I wish, sirs,” said I, “to add some other passages from the very words of Moses, from which you may understand that God has from of old dispersed all men according to their kindreds and tongues; and out of all kindreds has taken to Himself your kindred, a useless, disobedient, and faithless generation; and has shown that those who were selected out of every nation have obeyed His will through Christ,—whom He calls also Jacob, and names Israel, —and these, then, as I mentioned fully previously, must be Jacob and Israel. For when He says, ‘Rejoice, O ye nations, with His people,’ He allots the same inheritance to them, and does not call them by the same name;2460
2460 The reading is, “and calls them by the same name.” But the whole argument shows that the Jews and Gentiles are distinguished by name. [But that Gentiles are also called (Israel) by the same name is the point here.] but when He says that they as Gentiles rejoice with His people, He calls them Gentiles to reproach you. For even as you provoked Him to anger by your idolatry, so also He has deemed those who were idolaters worthy of knowing His will, and of inheriting His inheritance.