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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. X:
Dogmatic Treatises, Ethical Works, and Sermons.: Chapter VI. The Spirit rebukes just as do the Father and the Son; and indeed judges could not judge without Him, as is shown by the judgments of Solomon and Daniel, which are explained in a few words, by the way; and no other than the Holy Spirit inspired Daniel.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter VI.

The Spirit rebukes just as do the Father and the Son; and indeed judges could not judge without Him, as is shown by the judgments of Solomon and Daniel, which are explained in a few words, by the way; and no other than the Holy Spirit inspired Daniel.

35. Why do we reject like words when we assert the oneness of power, since the oneness of power extends so far that the Spirit rebukes, as the Father rebukes, and as the Son rebukes. For so it is written: “O Lord, rebuke me not in Thine anger, neither chasten me in Thy displeasure.” 1274 Then in the forty-ninth [fiftieth] Psalm, the Lord speaks thus: “I will rebuke thee, and will set thy sins before thy face.” 1275 And in like manner the Son said of the Holy Spirit: “When I go away, I will send the Paraclete to you. And He, when He is come, will rebuke the world, concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment.” 1276

36. But whither is the madness of faithless men leading us, so that we appear to be proving, as if it were a matter of doubt, that the Holy Spirit rebukes, whereas judges themselves are unable to judge, except through the Spirit. Lastly, that famous judgment of Solomon, when, amongst the difficulties arising from those who were contending, as one, having overlain the child which she had borne, wished to claim the child of another, and the other was protecting her own son, he both discovered deceit in the very hidden thoughts, and affection in the mother’s heart, was certainly so admirable only by the gift of the Holy Spirit. For no other sword would have penetrated the hidden feeling of those women, except the sword of the Spirit, of which the Lord says: “I am not come to send peace but a sword.” 1277 For the inmost mind cannot be penetrated by steel, but by the Spirit: “For the Spirit of understanding is holy, one only, manifold, subtle, lively,” and, farther on, “overseeing all things.” 1278

37. Consider what the prophet says, that He oversees all things. And so Solomon also oversaw, so that he ordered that sword to be brought, because while pretending that he intended to divide the infant, he reflected that the true mother would have more regard for her son than for her comfort, and would set kindness before right, not right before kindness. But that she who feigned the feelings of a mother, blinded by the desire of gaining her end, would think little of the destruction of him in regard to whom she felt no outgoing of tenderness. And so that spiritual man, that he might judge all things (for he that is spiritual judgeth all things), 1279 sought in the feelings the natural disposition which was concealed in the language, and questioned tenderness that he might set forth the truth. So the mother overcame by the affection of love, which is a fruit of the Spirit.

38. He judges in a prophet, for the word of wisdom is given by the Spirit; 1280 how, then, do men deny that the Spirit can rebuke the world concerning judgment, Who removes doubt from judgment, and grants the successful issue?

39. Daniel also, unless he had received the Spirit of God, would never have been able to discover that lustful adultery, that fraudulent lie. For when Susanna, assailed by the conspiracy of the elders, saw that the mind of the people was moved by consideration for the old men, and destitute of all help, alone amongst men, conscious of her chastity she prayed God to judge; it is written: “The Lord heard her voice, when she was being led to be put to death, and the Lord raised up the Holy Spirit of a young youth, whose name was Daniel.” 1281 And so according to the grace of the Holy Spirit received by him, he discovered the varying evidence of the treacherous, for it was none other than the operation of divine power, that his voice should make them whose inward feelings were concealed to be known.

41. Understand, then, the sacred and heavenly miracle of the Holy Spirit. She who preferred to be chaste in herself, rather than in the opinion of the people, she who preferred to hazard [the reputation of] her innocence, rather than her modesty, who p. 141 when she was accused was silent, when she was condemned held her peace, content with the judgment of her own conscience, who preserved regard for her modesty even in peril, that they who were not able to force her chastity might not seem to have forced her to petulance; when she called upon the Lord, she obtained the Spirit, Who made known the hidden consciousness of the elders.

42. Let the chaste learn not to dread calumny. For she who preferred chastity to life did not suffer the loss of life, and retained the glory of chastity. So, too, Abraham, once bidden to go to foreign lands, and not being held back either by the danger to his wife’s modesty, nor by the fear of death before him, preserved both his own life and his wife’s chastity. 1282 So no one has ever repented of trusting God, and chastity increased devotion in Sarah, and devotion chastity.

43. And lest any one should perhaps think that, as the Scripture says, “God raised up the Holy Spirit of a young youth,” the Spirit in him was that of a man, not the Holy Spirit, let him read farther on, and he will find that Daniel received the Holy Spirit, and therefore prophesied. Lastly, too, the king advanced him because he had the grace of the Spirit. For he speaks thus: “Thou, O Daniel, art able, forasmuch as the Holy Spirit of God is in thee.” 1283 And farther on it is written: “And Daniel was set over them, because an excellent Spirit was in him.” 1284 And the Spirit of Moses also was distributed to those who were to be judges. 1285


Footnotes

140:1274

Ps. vi. 1.

140:1275

Psa. 50.21.

140:1276

S. John 16:7, 8.

140:1277

S. Matt. x. 34.

140:1278

Wis. 7:22, 23.

140:1279

1 Cor. ii. 15.

140:1280

1 Cor. xii. 8.

140:1281

Sus. 1:44, 45.

141:1282

Gen. xx. 1 ff.

141:1283

Dan. v. 14.

141:1284

Dan. vi. 3.

141:1285

Num. xi. 25.


Next: Chapter VII. The Son Himself does not judge or punish without the Spirit, so that the same Spirit is called the Sword of the Word. But inasmuch as the Word is in turn called the Sword of the Spirit, the highest unity of power is thereby recognized in each.

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