Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. X:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Dogmatic Treatises, Ethical Works, and Sermons.: Chapter X. Men entrust their safety rather to a just than to a prudent man. But every one is wont to seek out the man who combines in himself the qualities of justice and prudence. Solomon gives us an example of this. (The words which the queen of Sheba spoke of him are explained.) Also Daniel and Joseph.
Men entrust their safety rather to a just than to a prudent man. But every one is wont to seek out the man who combines in himself the qualities of justice and prudence. Solomon gives us an example of this. (The words which the queen of Sheba spoke of him are explained.) Also Daniel and Joseph.
50. We entrust our case to the most prudent man we can find, and ask advice from him more readily than we do from others. However, the faithful counsel of a just 456 man stands first and often has more weight than the great abilities of the wisest of men: “For better are the wounds of a friend than the kisses of others.” 457 And just because it is the judgment of a just man, it is also the conclusion of a wise one: in the one lies the result of the matter in dispute, in the other readiness of invention.
51. And if one connects the two, there will be great soundness in the advice given, which is regarded by all with admiration for the wisdom shown, and with love for its justice. And so all will desire to hear the wisdom of that man in whom those two virtues are found together, as all the kings of the earth desired to see the face of Solomon and to hear his wisdom. Nay, even the queen of Sheba came to him and tried him with questions. She came and spoke of all the things that were in her heart, and heard all the wisdom of Solomon, nor did any word escape her. 458
52. Who she was whom nothing escaped, and that there was nothing which the truth-loving Solomon did not tell her, learn, O man, from this which thou hearest her saying: “It was a true report that I heard in p. 52 mine own land of thy words and of thy prudence, yet I did not believe those that told it me until I came, and mine eyes had seen it; and behold the half was not told me. Thou hast added good things over and above all that I heard in mine own land. Blessed are thy women and blessed thy servants, which stand before thee, and that hear all thy prudence.” 459 Recognize the feast of the true Solomon, and who are set down at that feast; recognize it wisely and think in what land all the nations shall hear the fame of true wisdom and justice, and with what eyes they shall see Him, beholding those things which are not seen. “For the things that are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 460
53. What women are blessed but those of whom it is said “that many hear the word of God and bring forth fruit”? 461 And again: “Whosoever doeth the word of God is My father and sister and mother.” 462 And who are those blessed servants, who stand before Him, but Paul, who said: “Even to this day I stand witnessing both to great and small;” 463 or Simeon, who was waiting in the temple to see the consolation of Israel? 464 How could he have asked to be let depart, except that in standing before the Lord he had not the power of departing, but only according to the will of God? Solomon is put before us simply for the sake of example, of whom it was eagerly expected that his wisdom should be heard.
54. Joseph also when in prison was not free from being consulted about matters of uncertainty. His counsel 465 was of advantage to the whole of Egypt, so that it felt not the seven years famine, and he was able even to relieve other peoples from their dreadful hunger.
55. Daniel, though one of the captives, was made the head of the royal counsellors. By his counsels he improved the present and foretold the future. 466 Confidence was put in him in all things, because he had frequently interpreted things, and had shown that he had declared the truth.
Cic. de Off. II. 9, § 34.51:457
Prov. xxvii. 6.51:458
1 Kings 10:2, 3.52:459
1 Kings 10.6-8.52:460
2 Cor. iv. 18.52:461
S. Luke xi. 28.52:462
S. Matt. xii. 50.52:463
Acts xxvi. 22.52:464
S. Luke ii. 25.52:465
Gen. xli. 9 ff.52:466
Next: Chapter XI. A third element which tends to gain any one's confidence is shown to have been conspicuous in Moses, Daniel, and Joseph.
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