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Bloodshed during councils


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#121 Rob Bergen

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 11:19 PM

What computerized debate lacks is the use of vocal expression, and perhaps a clarity of thoughtful argument. It could well be that often we talk past each-other without really getting to the essence of what is actually being said. More often then not, I get into debates like this one, only to realize much later that what was being debated was two sides of the same coin.

Be not discouraged!

#122 Brian McDonald

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 02:50 PM

Sacha says:

I would have no qualms in defending my loved ones. But I see that issue and the one we are discussing as entirely distinct. One deals with enemies who desire to kill us and our loved ones, the other with believers who disagree with us on doctrine but do not want to harm us.


Sacha, I see that we’re agreed that pacifism is neither fully germane to the limited focus of this forum topic nor something either of us would endorse in its strict form. Let me note in passing, however, that I’m a bit surprised at your views here since your insistence on a strict and “straightforward” reading of the Sermon on the Mount would seem to require the kind of total pacifism of the Anabaptists. I know that most of my Mennonite friends won’t allow that violent self-defense is acceptable in any circumstances.

To segue to another topic that’s been stirring the waters here: from what I know of the Amish kids I went to school with, their pacifist parents clearly did not view physical rebuke of their children as an act of violence. Of course as several posts have noted, no one in the l950’s, when I was growing up, equated physical discipline with violence. (Still, if my parents and friends’ parents were typical, a clear distinction was drawn between a couple of hard swats on the rump and abusive beating.)

As for the “believer on believer” violence that has sometimes occurred in Church councils and throughout history, who could support that? We read with sinking hearts the following from the great and impartial l9th century historian of the Church, Phillip Schaff:

At the third general council, at Ephesus, 431, all accounts agree that shameful intrigue, uncharitable lust of condemnation, and coarse violence of conduct were almost as prevalent as in the notorious robber-council of Ephesus in 449; though with the important difference, that the former synod was contending for truth, the latter for error.


Note that we need to read both parts of what Schaff says: on the one hand, “coarse violence” in battling for truth. On the other, there was a real truth to be battled for: Schaff goes on to write:

In all these outbreaks of human passion, however, we must not forget that the Lord was sitting in the ship of the church, directing her safely through the billows and storms. The Spirit of truth, who was not to depart from her, always triumphed over error at last, and even glorified himself through the weaknesses of his instruments. Upon this unmistakable guidance from above, only set out by the contrast of human imperfections, our reverence for the councils must be based. (History of the Christian Church. Vol III: Nicene and Post Nicene Christianity. 5th Edition. 1910. Reprint. Grand Rapids: Erdmans, 1985. 348.)


Does the Lord spurn to fill the earthen and sinful vessels of His Church with the treasure of his truth? If so, as St. Paul says in another context: “we of all men are most miserable” because the only kind of humans the Lord could reveal himself to are sinners. As Rob Bergen puts it so well.

If we say that the Spirit does not work in those who sin, then we preclude the whole human race from ever reaching that divine union through the grace (Spirit of Truth) of God. Likewise, if we say that the "violent" behavior of those in the past precludes the "correctness" of the decisions of the councils, we subscribe ourselves to the rejection of God's love and grace for the sinner.



#123 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 03:37 PM

Rdr Brian McDonald wrote:

Note that we need to read both parts of what Schaff says: on the one hand, “coarse violence” in battling for truth. On the other, there was a real truth to be battled for: Schaff goes on to write:

In all these outbreaks of human passion, however, we must not forget that the Lord was sitting in the ship of the church, directing her safely through the billows and storms. The Spirit of truth, who was not to depart from her, always triumphed over error at last, and even glorified himself through the weaknesses of his instruments. Upon this unmistakable guidance from above, only set out by the contrast of human imperfections, our reverence for the councils must be based. (History of the Christian Church. Vol III: Nicene and Post Nicene Christianity. 5th Edition. 1910. Reprint. Grand Rapids: Erdmans, 1985. 348.)


Philip Schaff's ecclesiology from what I can see is not Orthodox (which is no surprise since he was Protestant). That Christ directs the Church even though its members are weak is true. However from the first testimony of the Apostles meeting in council as given by Acts, we can see that Christ guides the Church, precisely through the active participation & guidance of its human members in the Holy Spirit. This is what makes it a true council in the first place.

In other words for Orthodox ecclesiology the below quote from Schaff is a contradiction in terms since a passion dominated gathering can never lead to a true council as guided by the Holy Spirit. This doesn't mean that controversy wouldn't take place and argument, or even tempers rise. But it does mean that at the end of the day that the fact it was accepted as a true council for the guidance of the wider Church, means that its human members came to their basic resolutions as the result of actively seeking Christ's truth in a manner worthy of Him. Otherwise in Orthodox terms there is no reason to accept such a council as being of and for the Church.

At the third general council, at Ephesus, 431, all accounts agree that shameful intrigue, uncharitable lust of condemnation, and coarse violence of conduct were almost as prevalent as in the notorious robber-council of Ephesus in 449


Apart from the fact that all accounts do not agree that the 3rd Council was an event of 'shameful intrigue...' (the accounts found in the Lives of the Saints for example would portray it in quite a different fashion) it could be said again that the Church when it resolves matters, whether through active rebuke (and what council didn't actively rebuke some sort of doctrinal or disciplinary matter?) or active urging, achieves this not as the result of intrigue & passion, but through the godly life of Her members.

Otherwise again we end up with a clear contradiction in terms, ie the Church being guided by Christ despite the life of Her own members.

In Christ-
Fr Raphael

#124 Brian McDonald

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 05:13 PM

Father Raphael wrote

Philip Schaff's ecclesiology from what I can see is not Orthodox (which is no surprise since he was Protestant). That Christ directs the Church even though its members are weak is true. However from the first testimony of the Apostles meeting in council as given by Acts, we can see that Christ guides the Church, precisely through the active participation & guidance of its human members in the Holy Spirit.


Phillip Schaff was a Protestant (and the implication that the adjective “Protestant” is in itself sufficient to disqualify a statement troubles me a bit), but he was also sympathetic to Orthodoxy: so much so that it hurt him professionally. Before I go on to respond, I’d like to bring up something Rob said:

What computerized debate lacks is the use of vocal expression, and perhaps a clarity of thoughtful argument. It could well be that often we talk past each-other without really getting to the essence of what is actually being said. More often then not, I get into debates like this one, only to realize much later that what was being debated was two sides of the same coin.


Boy is that true! Forum debates vs. face-to-face conversation are like the difference between gross and fine motor movement. Getting things straightened out and clarified between apparently competing points of view is such a laborious and clumsy process!

With that in mind, let me make clear that I agree completely that “Christ guides the Church, precisely through the active participation & guidance of its human members in the Holy Spirit.” I no longer accept (if I ever did) the crypto-Calvinist view that human beings are simply passive lumps of clay whom God kneads this way or that, let along the fathers of the Ecumenical Councils. I was emphasizing—perhaps over-emphasizing—the personal and individual fallibility of the council fathers in order to make a point to Sacha that the presence of elements of coercion, rivalry, and even violence in some of the councils does not automatically invalidate the truth of their dogmatic decrees. I thought that on this point I was in disagreement only with him. Am I also I disagreement with you, Father? Do you believe that some of events and tactics of, say, the third ecumenical council arose to no more than heated debates or justifiably forceful actions? If so, I think most church historians would not agree with you, and that not on the grounds of their Protestantism, Catholicism or secularism, but simply on the grounds of their thorough scholarship. The two historians I’ve referred to in my post are both such scholars and are as fair-minded as it is possible to be.

So back to my question: do you agree with Sacha that if history should show that some members of the great Ecumenical councils were sometimes overcome by their passions (whatever their virtues) that this would be a prima facie argument against their truth? If so, then I think I must (and very respectfully) demur. Or do you believe that quite a good deal of human failure in a council is not incompatible with God’s guiding men to the truth? If so, I think we’re in agreement.

Along these lines, is it relevant that Gregory of Nazianzus—who was forced out of the presidency of the 2nd Ecumenical Council wrote later:

To tell the truth, I am inclined to shun every collection of bishops, because I have never yet seen that a synod came to a good end, or abated evils instead of increasing them. For in those assemblies (and I do not think I express myself too strongly here) indescribable contentiousness and ambition prevail, and it is easier for one to incur the reproach of wishing to set himself up as judge of the wickedness of others, than to attain any success in putting the wickedness away. Therefore I have withdrawn myself, and have found rest to my soul only in solitude.


There is of course a note of personal bitterness here (Gregory was very capable of that); but that’s sort of my point.

#125 Sacha

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 07:58 PM

Rdr Brian wrote:

I no longer accept (if I ever did) the crypto-Calvinist view that human beings are simply passive lumps of clay whom God kneads this way or that, let along the fathers of the Ecumenical Councils. I was emphasizing—perhaps over-emphasizing—the personal and individual fallibility of the council fathers in order to make a point to Sacha that the presence of elements of coercion, rivalry, and even violence in some of the councils does not automatically invalidate the truth of their dogmatic decrees. I thought that on this point I was in disagreement only with him.


Just to clarify: I do not dispute the final outcome of Chalcedon and the 3 preceding councils. What I dispute is whether the Holy Spirit was truly present in the proceedings, because I fail to see the fruit of the Spirit in those councils.

Let me use Calvin as an example, whom I also reject as a teacher (pls understand the distinction between discerning who we ought to listen on the basis of their fruit/Jesus' warning and judging, I believe it is our prerogative to do the former but not the latter) completely for his violence and cruelty to others. Calvin rightfully pointed out the abuse of penance and other works by the catholic church in his day. He came to the right conclusion there. But was such necessarily inspired by the Spirit? Not necessarily so, it could have been the result of the flesh. Even the Greeks, without the aid of the Spirit arrived at certain truths that advanced them closer to the Truth without knowing Christ. But it was done in the flesh.

So to me, while certain councils may have reached a conclusion satisfactory to most, it's not necessarily true therefore that the process by which that conclusion was reached is one that God approved of. To argue otherwise is necessarily a circular and infalsifiable proposition. I call that process (not the outcome) into question, and I am not alone in pointing to some serious issues there, see Gregory of Nazianzus' own words on the matter (above).

#126 Anna Stickles

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 08:09 PM

Rdr Brian,

I was emphasizing—perhaps over-emphasizing—the personal and individual fallibility of the council fathers in order to make a point to Sacha that the presence of elements of coercion, rivalry, and even violence in some of the councils does not automatically invalidate the truth of their dogmatic decrees.
...
do you agree with Sacha that if history should show that some members of the great Ecumenical councils were sometimes overcome by their passions (whatever their virtues) that this would be a prima facie argument against their truth?


The bigger question that has to be come to terms with is how individual passion is understood in relation to the Church at large. One thing that we have to do if we are to understand Orthodox ecclesiology correctly is make the effort to put the individual into a place of less importance and understand things on the larger level of the Body of Christ.

Both ecclesiologies would say that the individual and individual sin is not automatically going to invalidate the working of God in the Church. However, and this is a big however, the way in which this is perceived to be working is very different. In one God is working despite the individual, in the other God is working through the Body of Christ as a whole, within which different individual's may be playing various parts. The individual is not given the place of primacy such that God has to work either through or despite them. Rather the sacramental reality of the Body of Christ - this Mystery- is given the primacy as that which all the individuals are participating in and which God is working through.

I have not nearly done this justice and Father Raphael will no doubt answer for himself, but still with this in mind please read again what Father has written above. He says a passion dominated gathering can never lead to a true council as guided by the Holy Spirit.

Whereas you are interpreting him as saying that a gathering of individuals who are something less then wholly dispassionate can never lead to a true council as guided by the Holy Spirit.

hopefully you can see the difference. Maybe some of the answers given by various Church Fathers during the Donatist debates would be helpful here.

#127 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 09:16 PM

Dear Rdr Brian,

I didn't mean that being a Protestant disqualified Philip Schaff's statement. I meant rather that I didn't find his ecclesiology to be Orthodox but that this is understandable given that he is Protestant.

In Christ-
Fr Raphael

#128 Rob Bergen

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 01:57 PM

I have not nearly done this justice and Father Raphael will no doubt answer for himself, but still with this in mind please read again what Father has written above. He says a passion dominated gathering can never lead to a true council as guided by the Holy Spirit.

Whereas you are interpreting him as saying that a gathering of individuals who are something less then wholly dispassionate can never lead to a true council as guided by the Holy Spirit.

hopefully you can see the difference. Maybe some of the answers given by various Church Fathers during the Donatist debates would be helpful here.


Thank you Anna! This makes much more sense in the scope of everything that we have been talking about! You really have a gift for clarifying things on this online forum.

Peace,

Rob

#129 Brian McDonald

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 02:00 AM

Anna Stickles writes:

Both ecclesiologies would say that the individual and individual sin is not automatically going to invalidate the working of God in the Church. However, and this is a big however, the way in which this is perceived to be working is very different. In one God is working despite the individual, in the other God is working through the Body of Christ as a whole, within which different individuals may be playing various parts. The individual is not given the place of primacy such that God has to work either through or despite them. Rather the sacramental reality of the Body of Christ - this Mystery- is given the primacy as that which all the individuals are participating in and which God is working through.


I have not nearly done this justice and Father Raphael will no doubt answer for himself, but still with this in mind please read again what Father has written above. He says a passion dominated gathering can never lead to a true council as guided by the Holy Spirit.



I must offer a heartfelt thanks to Anna who seems to have a gift of hitting the nail on the head. I suspect that Fr. Raphael would agree with her but will let him answer for himself. As for myself, I’ll simply say that this is how I would have put it if I were as clear and articulate as Anna.

That means, Sacha, that while I am glad to see you and I are not as far apart as I had initially supposed, we’re probably still on different sides on this particular issue.

#130 Fabio Lins

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 01:46 PM

Thomas Aquinas wrote the Cathena Aurea, where he put side by side the verses of the NT and Patristic comments he had available. Concerning St. John 2:14, this is what he collected:


BEDE; Those however, who came from a distance, being unable to bring with them the animals required for sacrifice, brought the money instead. For their convenience the Scribes and Pharisees ordered animals to be sold in the temple, in order that, when the people had bought and offered them afterwards, they might sell them again, and thus make great profits. And changers of money sitting; changers of money sat at the table to supply change to buyers and sellers. But our Lord disapproving of any worldly business in His house, especially one of so questionable a kind, drove out all engaged in it.

AUG. He who was to be scourged by them, was first of all the scourger; and when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple.

THEOPEHYL. Nor did He cast out only those who bought and sold, but their goods also: The sheep, and the oxen and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables, i.e. of the money changers, which were coffers of pence.

ORIGEN; Should it appear something out of the order of things, that the Son of God should make a scourge of small cords, to drive them out of the temple? We have one answer in which some take refuge, viz. the divine power of Jesus, Who, when He pleased, could extinguish the wrath of His enemies however innumerable, and quiet the tumult of their minds: The Lord brings the counsel of the heathen to nought. This act indeed exhibits no less power, than His more positive miracles; nay rather, more than the miracle by which water was converted into wine: in that there the subject-matter was inanimate, here, the minds of so many thousands of men are overcome.

AUG. It is evident that this was done on two several occasions; the first mentioned by John, the last by the other three.

ORIGEN; John says here that He drove out the sellers from the temple; Matthew, the sellers and buyers. The number of buyers was much greater than of the sellers: and therefore to drive them out was beyond the power of the carpenter's Son, as He was supposed to be, had He not by His divine power put all things under Him, as it is said.

Of St. Luke 19:45-46


GREG. When He had related the evils that were to come upon the city, He straightway entered the temple, that He might cast out them that bought and sold in it. Showing that the destruction of the people arose chiefly from the guilt of the priests.

AMBROSE; For God wishes not His temple to be a house of traffic, but the dwelling-place of holiness, nor does He fix the priestly service in a salable performance of religion, but in a free and willing obedience

CYRIL; Now there were in the temple a number of sellers who sold animals, by the custom of the law, for the sacrificial victims, but the time was now come for the shadows to pass away, and the truth of Christ to shine forth. Therefore Christ, who together with the Father was worshipped in the temple, commanded the customs of the law to be reformed, but the temple to become a house of prayer; as it is added, My house, &c.

GREG. For they who sat in the temple to receive money would doubtless sometimes make exaction to the injury of those who gave them none.

THEOPHYL. The same thing our Lord did also at the beginning of His preaching, as John relates; and now He did it a second time, because the crime of the Jews was much increased by their not having been chastened by the former warning.

AUG. Now mystically, you must understand by the temple; Christ Himself, as man in His human nature, or with His body united to Him, that is, the Church. Put inasmuch as He is the Head of the Church, it was said, Destroy this temple, and I will raise it up in three days. Inasmuch as the Church is joined to Him, is the temple understood, of which He seems to have spoken in the same place, Take these away from hence; signifying that there would be those in the Church who would rather be pursuing their own interest, or find a shelter therein to conceal their wickedness, than follow after the love of Christ, and by confession of their sills receiving pardon be restored.

Of St. Mark 11:15-18


BEDE; What the Lord had done in figure, when He cursed the barren fig tree, He now shows more openly, by casting out the wicked from the temple. For the fig tree was not at fault, in not having fruit before its time, but the priests were blamable; wherefore it is said, And they count to Jerusalem; and Jesus went in to the temple, and began to cast out them, that sold and bought in the temple. Nevertheless, it is probable that He found them buying and selling in the temple things which were necessary for its ministry. In them the Lord forbids men to carry on in the temple worldly matters, which they might freely do any where else, how much more do they deserve a greater portion of the anger of Heaven, who carry on in the temple consecrated to Him those things, which are unlawful wherever they may be done. It goes on: and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers.

THEOPHYL. He calls moneychangers, changers of a particular sort of money, for the word means a small brass coin. There follows, and the seats of them that sold doves.

BEDE; Because the Holy Spirit appeared over the Lord in the shape of a dove, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are fitly pointed out under the name of doves. The Dove therefore is sold, when the laying on of hands by which the Holy Spirit is received is sold for a price. Again, He overturns the seats of them who sell doves, because they who sell spiritual grace, are derived of their priesthood, either before men, or in the eyes of God.

THEOPHYL. But if a man by sinning gives up to the devil the grace and purity of baptism, he has sold his Dove, and for this reason is cast out of the temple. There follows, And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.

BEDE; He speaks of those vessels which were carried there for the purpose of merchandise. But God forbid that it should be taken to mean, that the Lord cast out of the temple, or forbade men to bring into it the vessels consecrated to God; for here He shows a type of the judgment to come, for He thrusts away the wicked from the Church, and restrains them by His everlasting word from ever again coming in to trouble the Church. Furthermore, sorrow, sent into time heart from above, takes away from the souls of the faithful those sins which were in them, and Divine grace assists them so that they should never again commit them. It goes on: And he taught, saying to them, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer.

PSEUDO-JEROME; According to Isaiah: But you have made it a den of thieves, according to Jeremiah.

BEDE; He says, to all nations, not to the Jewish nation alone, nor in the city of Jerusalem alone, but over the whole world; and he does not say a house of bulls, goats, and rams, but of prayer.

THEOPHYL. Further, He calls the temple, a den of thieves, on account of the money gained there; for thieves always troop together for gain. Since them they sold those animals which were offered in sacrifice for the sake of gain, He called them thieves.

BEDE; For they were in the temple for this purpose, either that they might persecute with corporal pains those who did not bring gifts, or spiritually kill those who did. The mind and conscience of the faithful is also the temple and the house of God, hut if it puts forth perverse thoughts, to the hurt of any one, it may be said that thieves haunt it as a den; therefore the mind of the faithful becomes the den of a thief, when leaving the simplicity of holiness, it plans that which may hurt others.

AUG. John, however, relates this in a very different order, wherefore it is manifest that not ounce only, but twice, this was done by the Lord, and that the first time was related by John, this last, by all the other three.

THEOPHYL. Which also turns to the greater condemnation of the Jews, because though the Lord did this so many times, nevertheless they did not correct their conduct.

AUG. In this again Mark does not keep the same order as Matthew, because how ever Matthew connects the facts together by this sentence And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany, returning from whence in the morning, according to his relation, Christ cursed the tree, therefore it is supposed with greater probability that he rather has kept to the order of time, as to the ejection from the temple of the buyers and sellers. Mark therefore passed over what was done the first day when He entered into the temple, and on remembering it inserted it, when he had said that He found nothing on the fig tree but leaves, which was done on the second day, as both testify.

GLOSS. But the Evangelist sinews what effect the correction of the Lord had on the ministers of the temple, when He adds: And the Scribes and Chief Priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him; according to that saying of Amos: They hate him that rebukes in the gate, and they abhor him that speaks uprightly. From this wicked design, however, they were kept back for a time solely by fear. Wherefore it is added, For they feared him, because all the people were astonished at his doctrine. For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the Scribes and Pharisees, as is said elsewhere.

Finally of St. Mathew 21:12-13

JEROME; And he cast out all them that sold and bought. It should be known that in obedience to the Law, in the Temple of the Lord venerated throughout the whole world, and resorted to by Jews out of every quarter, innumerable victims were sacrificed, especially on festival days, bulls, rams, goats; the poor offering young pigeons and turtle-doves, that they might not omit all sacrifice. But it would happen that those who came from a distance would have no victim. The Priests therefore contrived a plan for making a gain out of the people, selling to such as had no victim the animals which they had need of for sacrifice, and themselves receiving them back again as soon as sold.

But this fraudulent practice was often defeated by the poverty of the visitors, who lacking means had neither victims, nor whence to purchase them. They therefore appointed bankers who might lend to them under a bond. But because the Law forbade usury, and money lent without interest was profitless, besides sometimes a loss of the principal, they bethought themselves of another scheme; instead of bankers they appointed collybistæ, a word for which the Latin has no equivalent. Sweetmeats and other trifling presents they called 'collyba,' such, for example, as parched pulse, raisins, and apples of divers sorts. As then they could not take usury, they accepted the value in kind, taking things that are bought with money, as if this was not what Ezekiel preached of, saying, You shall not receive usury nor increase. This kind of traffic, or cheating rather, the Lord seeing in is His Father's house, and moved thereat with spiritual zeal, cast out of the Temple this great multitude of men.

ORIGEN; For in that they ought neither to sell nor to buy, but to give their time to prayer, being assembled in a house of prayer, whence it follows, And he said to them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer.

AUG; Let no one therefore do ought in the oratory, but that for which it was made and whence it got its name. It follows, But you have made it a den of thieves.

JEROME; For he is indeed a thief, and turns the temple of God into a den of thieves, who makes a gain of his religion. Among all the miracles wrought by our Lord, this seems to me the most wonderful, that one man, and He at that time mean to such a degree that He was afterwards crucified, and while the Scribes and Pharisees were exasperated against Him seeing their gains thus cut off, was able by the blows of one scourge to cast out so great a multitude. Surely a flame and starry ray darted from his eyes, and the majesty of the Godhead was radiant in his countenance.

AUG; It is manifest that the Lord did this thing not once but twice; the first time is told by John, this second occasion by the other three.

CHRYS; Which aggravates the fault of the Jews, who after He had done the same thing twice, yet persisted in their hardness.

ORIGEN; Mystically; The Temple of God is the Church of Christ, wherein are many, who live not, as they ought, spiritually, but after the flesh; and that house of prayer which is built of living stones they make by their actions to be a den of thieves. But if we must express more closely the three kinds of men cast out of the Temple, we may say thus. Whoever among a Christian people spend their time in nothing else but buying and selling, continuing but little in prayers or in other right actions, these are the buyers and sellers in the Temple of God.

Deacons who do not lay out well the funds of their Churches, but grow rich out of the poor man's portion, these are the money-changers whose tables Christ overturns. But that the deacons preside over the tables of Church money, we learn from the Acts of the Apostles. Bishops who commit Churches to those they ought not, are they that sell the doves, that is, the grace of the Holy Spirit, whose seats Christ overturns.

JEROME; But, according to the plain sense, the doves were not in seats, but in cages; unless indeed the sellers of the doves were sitting in seats; but that were absurd, for the seat denotes the dignity of the teacher, which is brought down to nothing when it is mixed with covetousness. Mark also, that through the avarice of the Priests, the altars of God are called tables of money-changers. What we have spoken of Churches let each man understand of himself, for the Apostle says, You are the temple of God. Let there not be therefore in the abode of your breast the spirit of bargaining, nor the desire of gifts, lest Jesus, entering in anger and sternness, should purify His temple not without scourging, that from a den of thieves He should make it a house of prayers.

ORIGEN; Or, in His second coming He shall cast forth and overturn those whom He shall find unworthy in God's temple.

PSEUDO-CHRYS; For this reason also He overturns the tables of the money-changers, to signify that in the temple of God ought to be no coin save spiritual, such as bears the image of God, not an earthly image. He overturns the seats of those that sold doves, saying by that deed, What make in My temple so many doves for sale, since that one Dove descended of free gift upon the temple of My Body? What the multitude had proclaimed by their shouts, the Lord shows in deeds; whence it follows, And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.

ORIGEN; For in the temple of God, that is in the Church, all have not eyesight, nor do all walk uprightly, but only they who understand that there is need of Christ and of none other to heal them; they coming to the Word of God are healed.

REMIG; That they are healed in the Temple signifies, that men cannot be healed but in the Church, to which is given the power of binding and loosing.

JEROME; For had He not overthrown the tables of the money-changers and the seats of them that sold doves, the blind and the lame would not have deserved that their wonted sight and power of motion should be restored to them in the temple.

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