Early Church Fathers
13 Ps. lv. 17.
14 Ps. xxxiv. 1.
15 Deut. vi. 7.
16 Prov. xxv. 16.
17 Eccles. iii. 1.
18 The course of the chariot races in the Greek Games was round the Hippodrome a certain number of times. To facilitate this arrangement, a party wall was built down the middle, and at either end of it certain posts were set up called nu/ssai, or in Latin Metae, round which the cars were to turn. The object of the charioteers was to turn round these as close as possible, to save distance; and to do this well it was necessary to have the horses under perfect control, as well as perfectly trained, to make the semicircle at full gallop almost on the axis of the car. The horses that got out of hand and galloped wildly round a large circle would almost certainly lose distance enough to lose the race, while the driver would be laughed at for his unskilfulness.
19 Dan. iii. 12.
20 The allusion is to the Arian and Euomian habit of gossiping about the most sacred subjects in every-sort of place or company or time, in order to promote their heresy.
21 Such expressions as Generation and the like would certainly be understood in a material sense by the heathen; and so would place an unnecessary stumbling-block in the way of their conversion.
22 Luke viii. 31.
23 S. John Chrysostom, consecrated Archbishop of Constantinople in 397, incurred much unpopularity among his clergy by insisting on the revival of the Night Hours of prayer.
24 Jer. ix. 21.
25 Job xxxviii. 3.
26 Job xxxviii. 1.
27 Matt. vii. 14.
28 1 Cor. xii. 29.
29 The disciples of Pythagoras were made to keep silence absolutely for five years as a qualification for initiation into the mysteries of his order. Further, they were bidden to abstain from eating beans, as these were said to be one receptacle of human souls in the course of their peregrinations; and when asked for proof of their peculiar doctrines, contented themselves with the reply, "au'to\j e!qa" "the master said so."
30 Plato taught that all things that exist are copies of certain objective arhetypal Forms, emanations from the Mind of God, which God copied in creation. He also taught a doctrine of transmigration of souls.
31 Epicurus, an Athenian philosopher, of a materialistic type, taught that God had no existence, and that the world was made by a fortuitous concourse of innumerable atoms of matter, which are self-existent; and he placed the highest good in pleasure, which he defined as the absence of pain.
32 The Stoa, a school of philosophers opposed to the Epicureans, took their name from a certain Colonnade at Athens, in which Zeno, their founder, used to teach. Their highest good consisted in the complete subdual of all feeling; and so they were not unnaturally characterized by a haughty affectation of indifference.
1 A marginal reading noted by the Benedictines gives "sobbing" or "panting," which is a better sense.
2 Jerem. iv. 3.
3 Matt. xiii. 7.
4 Isa. xxviii. 25.
5 Exod. xxiv. 1.
6 Ib. xix. 14.
7 Ib. xix. 16-18.
8 Jer. xiii. 23.
9 1 Pet. v. 8.
10 Matt. vii. 6.
11 Arabian: So the LXX.. renders the word which in A.V. Jer. v. 6, is translated "of the evening," and in the Vulg. "at evening." R. V. gives as an alternative, "of the deserts."
12 The LXX.. in Cant xi. 15, admits of this translation as well as of that followed by A.V.
13 Exod. xxxiii. 23.
14 This veil of the Mercy Seat, spoken of in Exod. xxvi. 31, signifies in Gregory's sense the denial of contemplation of that Highest Nature.
15 Ps. viii. 1.
16 The Face of God signifies His Essence and Deity, which were before all worlds: His back parts are Creation and Providence, by which He reveals Himself.
17 Exod. iv. 2.
18 2 Cor. xii. 2.
19 Plato, Tim., 28 E.
20 No one doubts, say the Benedictine Editors, that the Angels do see God, and that men, too, will see Him, when they attain to Eternal Bliss. S. Thomas (Summa I. qu. xii. 4) argues that the Angels have cognition of God's Essence not b nature but by grace: but yet (Ib. qu. lvi. 3) that they have by nature a certain cognition of Him, as represented and as it were mirrored in their own essence; though not the actual vision of His Essence. The Angel, he says again (Ib. qu. lxiv. 1) has a higher cognition of God than man has, on account of the perfection of his intellect; and this cognition remains even n the fallen Angels.
21 Phil. iv. 7.
22 Isa. lxiv. 4; 1 Cor. ii. 9.
23 Ps. viii. 3.
24 1 Cor. xv. 19.
25 Ps. xcix. 21.
26 1 Cor. ii. 10.
27 Jer. xxiii. 24.
28 Wisd. i. 7.
29 Epicurus taught that Matter is eternal, and consists of an indefinite number of Atoms or indivisible units, floating about in space, and mutually attracting and repelling each other; and that all that exists is due to some chance meeting and coalition of these atoms.
30 This is a speculation of Aristotle, who imagined a Fifth Eelment, consisting of formless matter.
31 Petavius (De Trin. IV. ii. 7) notes that u 9po/stasij seems used here of the Essence and Nature common to the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity.
32 Nowhere is in this passage used in an ambiguous sense. As asserted of God, it means that His being is in no way limited by place: not that He has no existence in place, for He is everywhere, and He transcends all place. Before the creation of the Universe He existed, and He created Place, which therefore cannot be the seat of His Being.
33 v. 1. Affected. The allusion is especially to the ostentatious dialectics and tedious arguments of Aëtius and his followers, Eunomius and others.
34 Luke vi. 44.
35 cf. Dan. v. 12.
36 Plato, Tim., 10.
37 v. 1. Most Akin to Himself. Combefis.
38 Isa. l. 11.
39 Rom. xi. 33.
40 Exod. xiv. 20.
41 Ps. xviii. 11.Referring to the mythical partition of the Universe, which gave heaven to Zeus, the sea to Poseidon, and the infernal regions to Aidoneus.
42 Lam. iii. 34.Rom. i. 23.
43 Referring to the mythical partion of the Universe, which gave Zeus, the sea too Poseidon, and the infernal regions too Aidoneus.
44 Rom. i. 23.
45 It was a very general belief in the early Church that the gods whom the heathen worshipped were in reality actual evil spirits; and this belief is certainly supported by S. Paul's argument about ei'dwlo/quton in 1 Cor. x. 19-21.
46 1 Cor. xiii. 12, but with a reading e'pigw/sesqe, which is not in the New Testament.
47 Gen. iv. 26. The verb has by some been taken as passive, and not middle, "hoped that the Name of the Lord would be called upon."
48 Ib. v. 24, , xlix. 14.
49 Gen. vi. 8.
50 Ib. xviii. 18.
51 Ib. xxviii. 2.
52 Gen. xviii. 2. Elias Cretensis sees in this occurrence a foreshadowing of the Incarnation; and also with many others, a revelation of the Trinity, in that Abraham saw Three and conversed with One.