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6. And. that some men, when they do not receive punishment here equivalent to the magnitude of their offences, are punished both here and hereafter, hear what Christ saith concerning the Sodomites. For having said, "Whosoever will not receive you, shake off the dust from your feet," (Luke ix. 5; x. 11,) He proceeds to say, "It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in 75 the day of judgment than for that city," (Luke x. 12.) The expression more tolerable shows this, that they will be punished indeed, but more lightly, since also here they paid the penalty. And that there are some who, in this world suffer no ill, but in the next world endure the full punishment, the case of this rich man teaches us, who there underwent such unmitigated punishment, as not even to enjoy the consolation of a drop of water; for the whole infliction was to be meted out to him there. As therefore, of those who commit sin, they who suffer no ill here, undergo greater punishment hereafter; thus also, of those who live righteously, they who suffer many ills here, enjoy greater honour there. And if there be two sinners, the one punished here, the other not punished; the one who is punished is more fortunate than the one unpunished. Again, if there be two righteous men, of whom one endures more, and the other fewer trials; he that endures the most is the most fortunate, since to each will be rendered according to his work.

What then? Is it not possible, they say, to enjoy ease both here and hereafter? This, O man, is unattainable; it is one of the things impossible. It cannot, it cannot be, that he who here enjoys ease and plenty, and continually indulges in every luxury----who lives a vain and aimless life----can also enjoy honour hereafter. At the same time, if he be not troubled by poverty, he still is troubled by desire, and from this cause suffers restraint----a cause which gives rise to no small amount of trouble, Again, if disease do not afflict him, yet evil passion burns within, and it is no slight pain that springs from wrath; also, if trials be not laid upon him, yet wicked thoughts 76 constantly arise to vex him. It is by no means a trivial matter to restrain lawless desire, to put a stop to vainglorious thoughts, to check insensate pride, to refrain from excess, to live in self-denial. And he who does not accomplish these things, and such as these, can never attain salvation. For that they who live luxuriously are not saved, hear what St Paul says concerning widows, "She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth," (1 Tim. v. 6.) And if this is said concerning a widow, much more is it true concerning a man. Again, that it is not possible for one living a dissipated life to reach heaven, even Christ has made quite plain, when He declares, "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it," (Matt. vii. 4.) How is it then that it is said, "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light"? (Matt. xi. 30.) For if the way be narrow and confined, how can it again be called light and easy? We answer: The former is true, because of the very nature of trial; the latter, because of the determination of him who endures trial. For it is possible that that which is by nature unendurable, may become light, when we bear it willingly. As, therefore, the apostles, being beaten, returned rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of the Lord, though the nature of such trial always causes tribulation and pain, still the previous determination of those who received the stripes, even overcame the nature of things. With respect to this same thing, St Paul says, "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution," (2 Tim. iii. 12.) So that if man do not persecute, the devil fights against us, and we have need of much 77 philosophy and great perseverance, in order that, with the aid of prayer, we may be sober and watchful,----that we may not covet the possessions of others,----that we may be willing to distribute of our substance to those who are in need,----that we may bid farewell to all self-indulgence, both with respect to dress and with respect to food,----that we may avoid covetousness,----that we may flee drunkenness, and evil-speaking,----that we may have the tongue in subjection,----that we may not utter any unbecoming word, (for "let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you," Eph. iv. 31,)----that we may not speak base or deceitful words. There is no small labour requisite to exhibit perfect observance of all these things. And in order that you may learn how great a thing it is to live wisely, and that it is a work which admits no repose, hear what St Paul saith, "I keep under my body, and bring it unto subjection," (1 Cor. ix. 27.) By these words he intimates the force and great effort which it is needful to put forth in order to render the body obedient in all things. Christ also said to His disciples, "In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world," (John xvii. 33.) This very tribulation, it is said, procures for you rest. The present life is an arena, and he that is to be crowned can have no rest while in the arena, and engaged in contest. Thus also, if any one be desirous to be crowned, he must adopt a hard and laborious mode of life, in order that having toiled here for a short period, he may hereafter enjoy perpetual repose.

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