All Coptic Links - Coptic Directory - Orthodox Church Directory The Agbeya - The Coptic Book of Prayers (English Agbiya + Arabic Agpeya) English Bible + Holy Bible in other languages - Arabic, French, Ethiopian Amharic Holy Bible, ArabicBible, Enjeel Saint Takla dot org - Main page - English Photo and Image Gallery: Jesus - Mary - Saints - St. Takla - Church - Priests - Bible - Activities - pictures and Icons.. Download and listen to Hymns - Carols - Midnight Praise (Tasbeha) - Midis - Videos - Liturgies - Masses - Sermons - Online Streaming St-Takla.org   Coptic Church Website Logo of Saint Takla Haymanot the Ethiopian Coptic Orthodox Website - Alexandria - Egypt - موقع الأنبا تكلا هيمانوت القبطي الأرثوذكسي FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions and Answers - Coptic and Christan Q&A - Faith, Creed, Site, Youth, Family, Holy Bible Contact Us - Address - Map - Online Support Send a free Christian and Coptic Greeting Cards to your friends موقع الكنيسة القبطية باللغة العربية - الموقع العربي StTaklaorg Site News and Updates Downloads.. Winamp Skins - Coptic fonts - Agbeya - Software - Freeware - Icons - Gallery - Mp3s Feedback - Submit URL - ideas - Suggestions.. Kids' Corner - Coloring - Songs - Games - Stories Free Coptic Books - Christian Arabic Books, Orthodox English Books  


Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XII:
The Book of Pastoral Rule, and Selected Epistles, of Gregory the Great.: That the mind of those who wish for pre-eminence for the most part flatters itself with a feigned promise of good works.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter IX.

That the mind of those who wish for pre-eminence for the most part flatters itself with a feigned promise of good works.

But for the most part those who covet pastoral authority mentally propose to themselves some good works besides, and, though desiring it with a motive of pride, still muse how they will effect great things:  and so it comes to pass that the motive suppressed in the depths of the heart is one thing, another what the surface of thought presents to the muser’s mind.  For the mind itself lies to itself about itself, and feigns with respect to good work to love what it does not love, and with respect to the world’s glory not to love what it does love.  Eager for domination, it becomes timid with regard to it while in pursuit, audacious after attainment.  For, while advancing towards it, it is in trepidation lest it should not attain it; but all at once, on having attained, thinks what it has attained to be its just due.  And, when it has once begun to enjoy the office of its acquired dominion in a worldly way, it willingly forgets what it has cogitated in a religious way.  Hence it is necessary that, when such cogitation is extended beyond wont, the mind’s eye should be recalled to works already accomplished, and that every one should consider what he has done as a subordinate; and so may he at once discover whether as a prelate he will be able to do the good things he has proposed to do.  For one can by no means learn humility in a high place who has not ceased to be proud while occupying a low one:  one knows not how to fly from praise when it abounds, who has learnt to pant for it when it was wanting:  one can by no means overcome avarice, when advanced to the sustentation of many, whom his own means could not suffice for himself alone.  Wherefore from his past life let every one discover what he is, lest in his craving for eminence the phantom of his cogitation illude him.  Nevertheless it is generally the case that the very practice of good deeds which was maintained in tranquillity is lost in the occupation of government; since even an unskilful person guides a ship along a straight course in a calm sea; but in one disturbed by the waves of tempest even the skilled sailor is confounded.  For what is eminent dominion but a tempest of the mind, in which the ship of the heart is ever shaken by hurricanes of thought, is incessantly driven hither and thither, so as to be shattered by sudden excesses of word and deed, as if by opposing rocks?  In the midst of all these dangers, then, what course is to be followed, what is to be held to, except that one who abounds in virtues should accede to government under compulsion, and that one who is void of virtues should not, even under compulsion, approach it?  As to the former, let him beware lest, if he refuses altogether, he be as one who binds up in a napkin the money which he has received, and be judged for hiding it (Matth. xxv. 18).  For, indeed, to bind up in a napkin is to hide gifts received under the listlessness of sluggish torpor.  But, on the other hand, let the latter, when he craves government, take care lest, by his example of evil deeds, he become an obstacle to such as are journeying to the entrance of the kingdom, p. 7b after the manner of the Pharisees, who, according to the Master’s voice (Matth. xxiii. 13), neither go in themselves nor suffer others to go in.  And he should also consider how, when an elected prelate undertakes the cause of the people, he goes, as it were, as a physician to one that is sick.  If, then, ailments still live in his body, what presumption is his, to make haste to heal the smitten, while in his own face carrying a sore!


Next: What manner of man ought to come to rule.

Send this page to a friend

St. Takla Church - Main Index111111111 - Commentary on the New Testament by Matthew Henry تفسير العهد القديم - متى هنرى

Like & share St-Takla.org


© Saint Takla Haymanout Website: Coptic Orthodox Church - Alexandria, Egypt / URL: http://St-Takla.org / Contact us at

http://st-takla.org/books/en/ecf/212/2120243.html