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20. History of his disobeying it.

Now I ask again, whence have my accusers obtained this letter also? I would learn of them who it was that put it into their hands? Do you cause them to answer. By this you may perceive that they have forged this, as they spread abroad also the former letter, which they published against me, with reference to the ill-named Magnentius. And being convicted in this instance also, on what pretence next will they bring me to make my defence? Their only concern is, to throw everything into disorder and confusion; and for this end I perceive they exercise their zeal. Perhaps they think that by frequent repetition of their charges, they will at last exasperate you against me. But you ought to turn away from such persons, and to hate them; for such as themselves are, such also they imagine those to be who listen to them; and they think that their calumnies will prevail even before you. The accusation of Doeg 1345 prevailed of old against the priests of God: but it was the unrighteous Saul, who hearkened unto him. And Jezebel was able to injure the most religious Naboth 1346 by her false accusations; but then it was the wicked and apostate Ahab who hearkened unto her. But the most holy David, whose example it becomes you to follow, as all pray that you may, favours not such men, but was wont to turn away from them and avoid them, as raging dogs. He says, ‘Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I destroy 1347 .’ For he kept the commandment which says, ‘Thou shalt not receive a false report 1348 .’ And false are the reports of these men in your sight. You, like Solomon, have required of the Lord (and you ought to believe yourself to have obtained your desire), that it would seem good unto Him to remove far from you vain and lying words 1349 .



1 Sam. xxii. 9.


1 Kings xxi. 10.


Ps. ci. 5.


Ex. xxiii. 1.


Prov. xxx. 8.

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