Sacred Texts  Christianity  Early Church Fathers  Index  Previous  Next 

Chapter XXXII.—Invitation.

“Wherefore begin now with better understanding to resist yourselves in those things which you do not rightly desire; 742 if so be that you can in any way repair and restore in yourselves that purity of religion and innocence of life which at first were bestowed upon man by God, that thereby also the hope of immortal blessings may be restored to you.  And give thanks to the bountiful Father of all, by Him whom He has constituted King of peace, and the treasury of unspeakable honours, that even at the present time your sins may be washed away with the water of the fountain, or river, or even sea:  the threefold name of blessedness being called over you, that by it not only evil spirits may be driven out, if any dwell in you, but also that, when you have forsaken your sins, and have with entire faith and entire purity of mind believed in God, you may drive out wicked spirits and demons from others also, and may be able p. 142 to set others free from sufferings and sicknesses.  For the demons themselves know and acknowledge those who have given themselves up to God, and sometimes they are driven out by the mere presence of such, as you saw a little while ago, how, when we had only addressed to you the word of salutation, straightway the demons, on account of their respect for our religion, began to cry out, and could not bear our presence even for a little.



[To chaps. 32, 33, a close parallel is found in Homily IX. 19–21.—R.]

Next: Chapter XXXIII