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Chapter XXI.

When, then, the letter of the law promises riches to the just, Celsus may follow the letter which killeth, and understand it of worldly riches, which blind men; but we say that it refers to those riches which enlighten the eyes, and which enrich a man “in all utterance and in all knowledge.”  And in this sense we “charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate.”47154715    1 Tim. vi. 17, 18.  For, as Solomon says, “riches” are the true good, which “are the ransom of the life of a man;” but the poverty which is the opposite of these riches is destructive, for by it “the poor cannot bear rebuke.”47164716    Prov. xiii. 8.  And what has been said of riches applies to dominion, in regard to which it is said, “The just man shall chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight.”47174717    Deut. xxxii. 30.  Now if riches are to be taken in the sense we have just explained, consider if it is not according to God’s promise that he who is rich in all utterance, in all knowledge, in all wisdom, in all good works, may not out of these treasures of utterance, of wisdom, and of knowledge, lend to many nations.  It was thus that Paul lent to all the nations that he visited, “carrying the Gospel of Christ from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum.”47184718    Rom. xv. 19.  And as the divine knowledge was given to him by revelation, and his mind was illumined by the Divine Word, he himself therefore needed to borrow from no one, and required not the ministry to any man to teach him the word of truth.  Thus, as it had been written, “Thou shalt have dominion over many nations, and they shall not have dominion over thee,” he ruled over the Gentiles whom he brought under the teaching of Jesus Christ; and he never “gave place by subjection to men, no, not for an hour,”47194719    Gal. ii. 5. as being himself mightier than they.  And thus also he “filled the earth.”


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