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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XI:
The Works of John Cassian.: Chapter X. Of the sun, of which it is said that it should not go down upon your wrath.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter X.

Of the sun, of which it is said that it should not go down upon your wrath.

And of this sun God clearly makes mention by the prophet, when He says, “But to those that fear my name the sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings.” 935 And this again is said to “go down” at midday on sinners and false prophets, and those who are angry, when the prophet says, “Their sun is gone down at noon.” 936 And at any rate “tropically” 937 the mind, that is the νοῦς or reason, which is fairly called the sun because it looks over all the thoughts and discernings of the heart, should not be put out by the sin of anger: lest when it “goes down” the shadows of disturbance, together with the devil their author, fill all the feelings of our hearts, and, overwhelmed by the shadows of wrath, as in a murky night, we know not what we ought to do. In this sense it is that we have brought forward this passage of the Apostle, handed down to us by the teaching of the elders, because it was needful, even at the risk of a somewhat lengthy discourse, to show how they felt with regard to anger, for they do not permit it even for a moment to effect an entrance into our heart: observing with the utmost care that saying of the gospel: “Whosoever is angry with his brother is in danger of the judgment.” 938 But if it be lawful to be angry up till sunset, the surfeit of our wrath and the vengeance of our anger will be able to give full play to passion and dangerous excitement before that sun inclines towards its setting. 939



Mal. iv. 2.


Amos viii. 9.


On the different senses of Scripture see the note on Conference XIV. viii.


S. Matt. v. 22.


Petschenig’s text is as follows: Ceterum si usque ad occasum solis licitur sit irasci, ante furoris satietas et ultrices iræ—commotionem poterunt noxiæ perturbationis explere, quam sol iste ad locum sui vergat occasus. That of Gazæus has “ante perturbationes noxiæ poterunt furoris satietatem et ultricis iræ commotionem explere, etc.”

Next: Chapter XI. Of those to whose wrath even the going down of the sun sets no limit.

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