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Chapter XV.

Of the manifold grace of men’s calls.

And by this it is clearly shown that God’s “judgments are inscrutable and His ways past finding out,” 1843 by which He draws mankind to salvation. And this too we can prove by the instances of calls in the gospels. For He chose Andrew and Peter and the rest of the apostles by the free compassion of His grace when they were thinking nothing of their healing and salvation. Zacchæus, when in his faithfulness he was struggling to see the Lord, and making up for his littleness of stature by the height of the sycamore tree, He not only received, but actually honoured by the blessing of His dwelling with him. Paul even against his will and resisting He drew to Him. Another He charged to cleave to Him so closely that when he asked for the shortest possible delay in order to bury his father He did not grant it. To Cornelius when constantly attending to prayers and alms the way of salvation was shown by way of recompense, and by the visitation of an angel he was bidden to summon Peter, and learn from him the words of salvation, whereby he might be saved with all his. And so the manifold wisdom of God grants with manifold and inscrutable kindness salvation to men; and imparts to each one according to his capacity the grace of His bounty, so that He wills to grant His healing not according to the uniform power of His Majesty but according to the measure of the faith in which He finds each one, or as He Himself has imparted it to each one. For when one believed that for the cure of his leprosy the will of Christ alone was sufficient He healed him by the simple consent of His will, saying: “I will, be thou clean.” 1844 When another prayed that He would come and raise his dead daughter by laying His hands on her, He entered his house as he had hoped, and granted what was asked of Him. When another believed that what was essential for his salvation depended on His command, and answered: “Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed,” 1845 He restored to their former strength the limbs that were relaxed, by the power of a word, saying: “Go thy way, and as thou hast believed so be it unto thee.” 1846 To others hoping for restoration from the touch of His hem, He granted rich gifts of healing. To some, when asked, He bestowed remedies for their diseases. To others He afforded the means of healing unasked: others He urged on to hope, saying: “Willest thou to be made whole?” 1847 to others when they were without hope He brought help spontaneously. The desires of some He searched out before satisfying their wants, saying: “What will ye that I should do for you?” 1848 To another who knew not the way to obtain what he desired, He showed it in His kindness, saying: “If thou believest thou shalt see the glory of God.” 1849 Among some so richly did He pour p. 433 forth the mighty works of His cures that of them the Evangelist says: “And He healed all their sick.” 1850 But among others the unfathomable depth of Christ’s beneficence was so stopped up, that it was said: “And Jesus could do there no mighty works because of their unbelief.” 1851 And so the bounty of God is actually shaped according to the capacity of man’s faith, so that to one it is said: “According to thy faith be it unto thee:” 1852 and to another: “Go thy way, and as thou hast believed so be it unto thee;” 1853 to another “Be it unto thee according as thou wilt,” 1854 and again to another: “Thy faith hath made thee whole.” 1855



Rom. xi. 33.


S. Matt. viii. 3.


Matt. 8.8.


Matt. 8.13.


S. John v. 6.


S. Matt. xx. 32.


S. John xi. 40.


S. Matt. xiv. 14.


S. Mark 6:5, 6.


S. Matt. ix. 29.


S. Matt. viii. 13.


S. Matt. xv. 28.


S. Luke xviii. 42.

Next: Chapter XVI. Of the grace of God; to the effect that it transcends the narrow limits of human faith.