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Canon IV.

To those who are altogether reprobate, and unrepentant, who possess the Ethiopian’s unchanging skin,22872287    Jer. iii. 23. and the leopard’s spots, it shall be said, as it was spoken to another fig-tree, “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever; and it presently withered away.”22882288    Matt. xxi. 19. For in them is fulfilled what was spoken by the Preacher: “That which is crooked cannot be made straight; and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.”22892289    Eccles. i. 15. For unless that which is crooked shall first be made straight, it is impossible for it to be adorned; and unless that which is wanting shall first be made up, it cannot be numbered. Hence also, in the end, will happen unto them what is spoken by Esaias the prophet: “They shall look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against Me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”22902290    Isa. lxvi. 24. Since as by the same also has been predicted, “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”22912291    Isa. lvii. 20, 21.

Balsamon. What has been previously said of the lapsed, has been said of the repentant. But against those who are unrepentant, he brings forward the cursing of another fig-tree, to which the Lord said, because of its unprofitableness, “No fruit grow on thee hence-forward for ever.”

Zonaras. What has been previously said of the lapsed, has been said of the repentant. Against those whom, from desperation or depraved opinion, are impenitent, and carry about with them perpetually the inherent and indelible blackness of sin, as of an Ethiopian’s skin, or the leopard’s spots, he brings forward the cursing of another fig-tree. To which the Lord said for 271its barrenness, “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.” And he says that in them must be fulfilled that word of the Preacher: “That which is crooked cannot be made straight; and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.” Then having explained these things, he subjoins the words of Isaiah.


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