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0H OF Pfi/:v3^

. FEB 19 1964

BR 60 .L52 V.9

John Chrysostom, d. A07.

The homilies of S. John

Chrysostom on the statues













































Little can be added to the account of the following
Homilies, which Montfaucon has given in the Preface to the
Benedictine Edition. The principal notes of time had been
akeady collected by Tillemont, and where he has missed any
thing of importance, Montfaucon has almost always supplied
it. In particular, he seems to be right in objecting to the
changes which Tillemont would make in the order of the
Homilies; this, however, cannot be considered as certainly
determined throughout. In reading them, the mixed cha-
racter of the congregation should he kept always in view ;
and indeed it can scarcely be lost sight of. The general
distress drove numbers to the Church, who were little ac-
customed to religious thoughts or practices. It should also
be remembered, that the expression of feeling on the part of
the congregation was almost unrestrained, and that the
Preacher was constantly measuring his words to their powers
of reception, as if conversing with them. A remarkable
instance of his management in this way is found in the
introduction of the subject of Natural Theology in the
eleventh Homily, and in his retreat from some startling
speculations about the waters above the firmament. His oc-
casional remarks on the private practices of the people, as
well as his visiting the prisoners, and some acts of discipline
which he threatens, shew that he exercised an active and
authoritative superintendence over his flock.

The present Translation, including that of Montfaucon's
Preface, was preparing for the press by the Rev. E. Budge,
A.B. of Christ's College, Cambridge, Vicar of Manaccan, and
was to have been published by subscription, and dedicated
to the Lord Bishop of Exeter. It was placed in the hands
of the Editors to avoid double labour on the same ground,



and has been carefully revised and corrected. Such notes
as have been adopted entire, or in substance from those of
the Translator, are marked Tr. " ; some have been much
abridged to suit the plan of the Library. The Translation
was made from the Paris reprint of the Benedictine Edition,
which is very little altered from that of Montfaucon. It has
been looked over with Savile's Edition, which has been
collated with the Benedictine, and with a Ms. of the 11th
century in the Bodleian Library, the readings of which are
marked M. A Ms. in New Coll. Library, from which the
first Edition was printed by Harmar, is marked N. That in
the Bodleian, given by Savile, from which his text is chiefly
taken, is marked O. Another used by Savile is marked P.
Those marked Q and R are more recent Mss. in the
Bodleian Library. The 20th Homily is not in any of these
except N, and M alone has been collated throughout.
Collations are making in foreign Libraries with a view to
an Edition of the Original, but only those from Venice, made
by Dr. Heyse, are yet come to hand. Every departure fi'om
the Benedictine Text has been noticed, except, perhaps, a
few cases of different punctuation. Many various readings of
Savile are necessarily passed by, but most of them affect the
sense very slightly. It is hoped that the original text of
these Homilies may be published next year, and shortly
followed by some of St. Chrysostom's Commentaries, the
text of which has been already in part collated. For a
general sketch of the life of St. Chrysostom, see the Preface
to the Commentary on the first Epistle to the Corinthians.
The only material difficulty in the Chronology having been
removed, a Table of the probable dates of the several
Homilies has been added.

C. M.

» This mark will be easily dis- Library, in which it is always followed
tinguiflhed by the context from the by the 'page.
reference to other Translations in this





1. Among the events which occurred in the time of
John Chrysostom, there is none more memorable than that
sedition of the inhabitants of Antioch, in which the Statues
of the Emperor Theodosius and Flacilla his wife were thrown
down and dragged about the city, at which Theodosius was
so exasperated, as even to think of destroying the city en-
tirely. This afforded ample matter for our Chrysostom to
exercise his powers of preaching. For as the people of
Antioch were fluctuating between hope and fear, (sudden
accidents offering of course daily some fresh cause for
hope or alarm,) Chrysostom, compelled as he was to adapt his
style to circumstances as they arose, almost always without
preparation, delivered on the spur of the occasion these
Homilies, which are certainly well deserving of admiration.
At one time his object here is to console a people struggling
with present distress ; at another, to strengthen minds that
were sinking under the extremity of danger ; and above all,
by repeated admonition, to persuade the people of Antioch,
on occasion of the threatened calamities, to correct the vices
and to wipe away the crimes that had thus provoked God's
wrath ; which endeavour on the part of Chrysostom certainly
ended in results agreeable to his desire, as he sometimes

2. But the cause of this great sedition was, according to
the testimony of Zosimus, excess of taxation, which was

h 2


daily inventing new imposts; an exaction required either
for the celebration of the fifth year upon which Arcadius had
entered, from the time he was proclaimed under the title of
Augustus, and the tenth year of the Emperor Theodosius,
commencing in the year 388, or for the expenses of the war
against the tyrant Maximus, or on account of both these
events, as \v;ell as for other necessities of the state. The
peo])le of Antioch, that is to say, the superior class of the
citizens, dismayed at the burden of this impost, first approach
the prefect, and with tears lament the excess of the tax that
has been announced, and implore the Divine assistance. And
next, a multitude of vagabonds and foreigners of the lowest
class of the people, in a state of excited feeling, break out
^into deeds of violence. At first they turn every thing upside
down in the public baths ; hence they proceed to the prefect's
palace, and attack the doors and windows, and are scarcely
repelled, when they turn their rage in another direction, and
attack the painted tablets of the Emperors with stones, cover
them with filth, and reduce them to a ruinous condition,
while they load the Augusti themselves with curses and re-
proaches. At length they throw down the Statues of the Em-
peror Theodosius and Flacilla his deceased wife% and drag
them through the streets of the city ; and had already com-
menced further outrages, when they were put down by a band
of archers, dispatched from the prefect. The sedition being
thus extinguished, fear took the place of madness, and the
expectation of impending punishment caused the burden-
some tax that had been imposed to be entirely forgotten.
What followed aftei'wards will be narrated below in the
review of the Homilies. Something must now be said as to
the year of the sedition, in which these Homilies were

3. Dismissing the narrative of Sozomen and Theodoret,
according to whose account, this sedition, and the delivery
of these discourses, must have been after the war against

=* See Horn. xxi. where St. Chrysostnm speaks of him as especially pained at


Maximus, learned men, and Tillemont, especially, at length
in note 27 appended to his Life of the Emperor Theodosiu;*
have proved from far more certain notes of time, that these
events took place before the war against Maximus. In opposi-
tion to that former opinion, he produces a most convincing
argument from Chrysostom's own words, who in the sixteenth
Homily, No. (2.) testifies that this was the second year since
he had began to preach; but he began when he was first
ordained presbyter at the end of the year 385, or at the
beginning of 886. Wherefore these discourses ought to be
attributed either to the year 388, or rather 387. For the
former opinion Baronius contends, and after him, Petavius
and Henry Valesius, who assign them to the year 388, for
this reason, that the tenth year of the reign of Theodosius
then commenced, for the celebration of which the tax before
mentioned was imposed. But what is adduced from Liba-
nius for the defence of this opinion is full of perplexity *",
and is capable of being twisted to support either opinion.
A still more certain indication than any of these is gathered
from the circumstance, that the Emperor Theodosius was
certainly at Constantinople during the winter and Lent of
the year 387, in which year also the sedition must necessarily
have occurred ; for at the time of the sedition he was most
certainly staying at Constantinople % but on the other hand
at the same season in the year immediately following, he was
living at Thessalonica. But what is alleged to the contrary
fi-om the celebration of the tenth year of Theodosius, which
commenced in the year 388, amounts, as I said, to nothing ;
since it is evident from the Fasti of Idatius and of Marcel-
linus, that he anticipated by one year the celebration of the
tenth year of his reign, in order that he might celebrate his
tenth together with his son Arcadius, who entered upon the
fifth year of his reign in 387 ; just in the same manner as

b i. e. so far as the inference is con- c gee the opening of the oration of

cerned. His testimony is explicit to the Libanius, written as if to be delivered

fact that the tax was levied for that by him there, and Horn. xvii. 6.

purpose, and he was on the spot, p. 284. and Horn, xxi. (2.) p. ;?51 .


Maximiaiius Herculius did, when he celebrated the twentieth,
though it was only the eighteenth, year of his reign, along
with Diocletian, whose twentieth year of empire it was.
But on this point more fully in our Life of St. John

4. But another and not a less difficulty arises, which has
been already treated of in the Preface to the work, " Against
the Jews ;" viz. that in a certain discourse against the Jews,
held in the month of September of the year 386, Chiysostom
in reproving many of the Christians at Antioch who fasted
and kept Easter*^ with the Jews, or at the time observed by
the Jews, " Behold," saith he, " the first day of unleavened
bread in this year falls on Sunday, and it is necessary that we
should fast throughout the whole week, and after the Passion
is past, and the Cross and the Resurrection arrived*, we
should continue fasting; and very often the same thing
occurs, that after the Passion has passed away, and the
Cross and the ResuiTection arrived, we are still keeping the
fast, the week being not yet finished." From these words it
is further evident, that those Christians, who acted as Jews in
keeping the fast and celebrating the Passover, must some-
times have fasted when other Christians were celebrating the
Paschal feast, and at other times not so ; for example, they
fasted on the day of the Resurrection when the Jews
celebrated the feast of the Passover later than the rest
of the Christians did, but they did not fast when the Jews

*• Pascha is either Passover or Easter. Tilleinont is at a loss to explain the

St. Thos. Aquinas, in the Hymn Lauda title of the 3d Homily against the Jews.

Sion^ appropriates it to the Christian '■ Agamst those icho would fast the first

Festival, calling the Jewish Phase Passover.^ It may mean either the

vetus. original, or that which then happened

« i. e. the actual days of them on the to be the earlier. The word fast is
Jewish computation. This appears the explained by taking it as their ex-
true answer to the difficulty. The Jews pression for /ceep. He thinks it neces-
kept the Passover this year earlier than sary to tell them that the true Passover
the Christians ; viz. on the 14th day of is not fasting, but the Boly Com-
the moon, or April 18. See I' Art. de mimion. Ben. t. i. p. Gil. b. And
Verifier les Dates on the year. Thus this agrees with what he says is the
the supposed difficulty becomes a con- common case, viz. tliat the Christian
firmation of the date otherwise deter- Easter is so much later as is required
mined. Montfaucon understood it, ' we to complete the week,
must ... if we follow the .Fudaizers.' »


celebrated the same feast earlier than the Christians. But in
the discourse of Chrysostom above mentioned, and held
about the month of September of the year 386, he is
doubtless treating of Lent and Easter of the year 387. But
in that year according to the Paschal tables, the feast fell on
the 25th of April, that is to say, as late as it can possibly
occur. How then could these judaizing Christians be
fasting this year during the Paschal feast, and celebrate
that feast too late, when this could not occur later than
on the 25th of April, on which day the other non-judaizing
Christians celebrated it this year, at least if the Paschal
tables are to be relied upon ? This is certainly a very great
difficulty ; but one which, as Tillemont himself confesses, is
not sufficient to overturn the marks of the period by which
we assign the Homily, " Against the Jews," to the month of
September, in the year 386. For as we have said in the
Preface to the Homilies against the Jews, it has not yet
been made out to us so certainly; whether the people of
Antioch always followed by an invariable rule the Alex-
andrian reckoning as to the Feast of the Lord's Passover,
and if they had alw^ays followed it, can we affirm that they
never fell into error in their reckoning } Certainly the
persons best skilled in the Paschal reckonings, whom I have
consulted, have admitted that an error of this sort sometimes
does happen in such reckonings, and did happen not many
years since ; and that it is not always safe to prefer the
Paschal indications to any other notes of time.

5. Tillemont, however, who notices this kind of difficulty,
and discusses it in his notes to the Life of Chiysostom, where
he treats of the Homilies against the Jews, has not mentioned
it in the notes to the Life of the Emperor Theodosius, where
he arranges these Homilies of Chrysostom to the people of
Antioch as if the Feast of Easter had fallen on the 25th of
April, as the Paschal tables have it. The first Homily there-
fore he places a little before the sedition ; but the sedition
on the 26th of February, ten days before Lent, which at
Antioch began on the Monday of our Quinquagesima, falling


that year on the 8th of March. The second Homily either
on the Thursday, or the Saturday before Lent ; viz. on the
6th of March, the eighth day after the sedition. The third
on the following Sunday, the 7th of March, or thereabout.
The fourth, on the Monday following, Maich 8. The fifth,
on Tuesday, March 9. The sixth, about the next Wednesday,
or March 10. The seventh, on Thursday, March 11. The
eighth, on Friday, March 12. The ninth on the Monday of the
second week in Lent, March 15. The tenth, after the lapse
of a few days. The eleventh, (considering it transposed,) on
the Monday of the fourth week in Lent, March 29. The
twelfth, on the following Tuesday, March 30. The thirteenth,
on the following Wednesday, March 31. The fourteenth, a
little after that one which is numbered the eighteenth, which
was delivered on the fifth Sunday in Lent, April 5. The
fifteenth, on the Saturday of the second week in Lent, or
March 20. The sixteenth, on the third Saturday in Lent,
March 21. The seventeenth, about the end of the fourth
week in Lent. The eighteenth, Sunday, April 5, or there-
about. The nineteenth, after the fourteenth, about April 11.
The twentieth, on Easter Day, April 25. The twenty-first,
about the same time as the twenty-second following it, which
was delivered on the Friday after Passion Sunday', April 16.
Thus does Tillemont endeavour to restore with the utmost
accuracy the deranged order of these Homilies. Whilst how-
ever we agree with him in many things, we are compelled to
differ from him in others. The order of the Homilies, as he
lays it down, we may here further represent in one tabular
view. **■

Tillcmont's 1 st is pTaced in Edition of Fronto Ducseus First

2d Second

3d Third

4th Fourth

5th Fifth

* The second before Easter. It haa Week,' but this name belongs to the
lately become common to call the week week before it. The proper title of the
immediately before Easter ' Passion last is the ' Great' or ' Holy' Week.


Tillemont's 6th is placed in Edition of Fronto Ducseus Sixth

7th Seventh

8th Eighth

9th Ninth

10th Tenth

11th Fifteenth

12th Sixteenth

13th Eleventh

14th Twelfth

15th Thirteenth

16th Seventeenth

17th Eighteenth

18th Fourteenth

19th Nineteenth

20th Twenty-second

21st Twenty-first

22d Twentieth

But before we discourse singly of the Homilies, and make a
few observations as to the order as well as the argument of
each, it may be worth while to remark, that from the title of
the Homily which formerly was numbered the twenty-second,
but now the twentieth, which title it has in the notes of
Fronton, and in our Mss. ; it must hav^e been spoken ten days
before Easter; and that from these words likewise, just before
the end of the Homily, " Forty days have already passed
away," Tillemont justly infers, that Lent among the people
of Antioch began on the Monday after Quinquagesima ; and
that among them the whole Lent extended through seven
weeks ; and he rightly assigns this Homily to a Friday during
Lent^; so that that day was both the fortieth from the be-
ginning of the fast, and the tenth before Easter. Hence we
hold it as a thing established, that Lent, which in divers
Churches was defined by various limits, was observed at
Antioch during seven'' weeks.

Moreover, since for the causes before related, we may ac-

8 ' Feriani sextam Quadragpsimfe.' Latins do not count the week in whicli

This looks like a misprint, as he is Ash-Wednesday is, as not being a

more definite, whole one. See p. 90, note 1.

^ As now in the Gfreek Church. The


count the diurnal paschal tables, which place the Easter of
the year 387 upon the 25th of April, as of doubtful autho-
rity', at least those for the use of the Church at Antioch ; we
have not discovered with certainty on what day the people of
Antioch kept Easter in this year 387, we shall abstain from .
mentioning the day of the month in the review of the
Homilies, and we shall account it sufficient to have indi-
cated, when that may be safely done, on what day of the
week the Homilies were spoken.

The first Homily, then, was delivered a few days before
the sedition at Antioch, as is discoverable from these words
in No. (3.) of the second Homily; " I lately protracted a long
discourse to your charity .... and I have received ^ a reward
for my labours. But what was the reward } To punish the
blasphemers in the city, and to chastise those who treat God
with contempt, and to restrain the violent." Without doubt
these words have reference to the first Homily, one of great
length, on the subject of the sorrows of the Saints, and the
providence of God towards His Elect, who are tormented in
this life, where at last he thus expresses himself in a manner
certainly worthy of observation. " But since our discourse has
now turned to the subject of blasphemy, I desire to ask one
favour of you all in return for this address and speaking with
you, which is, that you will coiTect on my behalf those who
blaspheme in this city. And should you hear any one in the
public thoroughfare, or in the midst of the forum, blas-
pheming God ; go up to him, rebuke him ; and should it be
necessary to inflict blows, spare not to do so. Smite him on
the face; strike his mouth; sanctify thy hand with the blow'."
Which truly would be a mode of correction not suited to
modern usage.

The second Homily, Tillemont refers either to the Thurs-
day or to the Saturday before Lent; but it may more safely
be pronounced to have been spoken about that time, seven

' It has been shewn, in a former '' ' accepi,' it should be, :is in Text,
note, that there is no reason for this ' exegi,' ' 1 demanded.' See p. 37.
doubt. Se« p. vi. 1 See sec. 30. p. 28. Trans.


days "' having been completed as Chrysostom himself says,
since the sedition, during which he declares that he had
been silent, because the people of Antioch, being in con-
sternation from the mighty calamity and from the immensity
of the danger, were in no fit state for the hearing of Ser-
mons; moreover, that this evil was one sent from God, on
account of their having neglected the correction of their
blaspheming brethren; and after he has draw^n a beautiful
picture of their state, he concludes the discourse, after having
preached at length on liches, the use of riches, alms-giving,
and poverty-

The third Homily follows close on the second. But we
suppose with Tillemont, that it was delivered on Quinqua-
gesima Sunday, (to speak according to modern custom.)
Chrysostom treats here of the departure of Flavian the
Bishop of Antioch to Constantinople for the purpose of
appeasing the Emperor, and consoles the people with the
hope of his succeeding. He then proves at length that there
is no utility in fasting, unless there be an abstinence from
vices. But after making a few remarks on avoiding slander,
he deplores the. present calamity, and relates some harsh
severities. " Some," saith he, " have perished by the sword,
some by fire ; some given to wild beasts ; and not men
only but children. And neither this immaturity of age, nor
the tumult of the people, nor the circumstance that they were
infuriated by demons when they perpetrated such deeds,
nor that the exaction was thought to be intolerable, nor
poverty, nor having offended in company with all, nor
promising that they would never hereafter dare to repeat
such deeds, nor any thing else could at all rescue them;
but they were led away to the pit without reprieve, armed
soldiers conducting and guarding them on either side, lest
any one should carry off the criminals ; whilst mothers also
followed afar off, seeing their children beheaded", but not

"1 p. 31. " Lat. dragged away.


daring to bewail their calamity ; for terror conquered grief,
and fear overcame nature °."

All these evils were inflicted on the people of Antioch by
the Prefects or Magistrates before Theodosius had heard any
thing of the sedition, as Chrysostom says in the same place''.
But he concludes the address by admonishing that they
should abstain from slander, from enmities, and from oaths.

The fourth Homily, delivered as it seems on the Monday,
which was the beginning of Lent, describes the advantages
gained from the calamity. He speaks of the people of
Antioch as changed and brought back from their former
habits. But at the close he again repeats the same admo-
nition, which he reminds them that he had given in the
foregoing Homily, that is to say, concerning slanders,
enmities, and oaths. But in No. (6.) '^, he says, that he
should speak throughout this week concerning oaths.

The fifth Homily was pronounced on the day following,
that is, on the Tuesday, as Chrysostom says at the beginning
of it. In this Chrysostom consoles the people of Antioch as

Online LibrarySaint John ChrysostomThe homilies of S. John Chrysostom on the statues : or, To the people of Antioch (Volume 9) → online text (page 1 of 46)