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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. X:
Dogmatic Treatises, Ethical Works, and Sermons.: Chapter XI. A third element which tends to gain any one's confidence is shown to have been conspicuous in Moses, Daniel, and Joseph.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XI.

A third element which tends to gain any one’s confidence is shown to have been conspicuous in Moses, Daniel, and Joseph.

56. But a third point seems also to have been noted in the case of those who were thought worthy of admiration 467 after the example of Joseph, Solomon, and Daniel. For what shall I say of Moses whose advice all Israel always waited for, 468 whose life caused them to trust in his prudence and increased their esteem for him? Who would not trust to the counsel of Moses, to whom the elders reserved for decision whatever they thought beyond their understanding and powers?

57. Who would refuse the counsel of Daniel, of whom God Himself said: “Who is wiser than Daniel?” 469 How can men doubt about the minds of those to whom God has given such grace? By the counsel of Moses wars were brought to an end, and for his merit’s sake food came from heaven and drink from the rock.

58. How pure must have been the soul of Daniel to soften the character of barbarians and to tame the lions! 470 What temperance was his, what self-restraint in soul and body! Not unworthily did he become an object of admiration to all, when—and all men do admire this,—though enjoying royal friendships, he sought not for gold, nor counted the honour given him as more precious than his faith. For he was willing to endure danger for the law of God rather than to be turned from his purpose in order to gain the favour of men.

59. And what, again, shall I say of the chastity and justice of Joseph, whom I had almost passed by, whereby on the one hand he rejected the allurements of his mistress and refused rewards, on the other he mocked at death, repressed his fear, and chose a prison? Who would not consider him a fit person to give advice in a private case, whose fruitful spirit and fertile mind enriched the barrenness of the time with the wealth of his counsels and heart? 471


Footnotes

52:467

Cic. de Off. II. 10, § 36.

52:468

Ex. xviii. 13.

52:469

Ezek. xxviii. 3.

52:470

Bel and the Dragon v. 39.

52:471

Gen. xli. 33 ff.


Next: Chapter XII. No one asks counsel from a man tainted with vice, or from one who is morose or impracticable, but rather from one of whom we have a pattern in the Scriptures.

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