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Chapter IV.—The Harvest Plenteous.

Then Peter, filled with admiration, said:721721    [With chaps. 4–11 compare Homily VIII. 4–11.  The correspondence is quite close.—R.]  “You see, brethren, how every word of the Lord spoken prophetically is fulfilled.  For I remember that He said, ‘The harvest indeed is plenteous, but the labourers are few; ask therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send out labourers into His harvest.’722722    Matt. ix. 37, 38.  Behold, therefore, the things which are foretold in a mystery are fulfilled.  But whereas He said also, ‘Many shall come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and shall recline in the bosom of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob;’723723    Luke xiii. 29; Matt. viii. 11. this also is, as you see, in like manner fulfilled.  Wherefore I entreat you, my fellow-servants and helpers, that you would learn diligently the order of preaching, and the ways of absolutions, that ye may be able to save the souls of men, which by the secret power of God acknowledge whom they ought to love, even before they are taught.  For you see that these men, like good servants, long for him whom they expect to announce to them the coming of their Lord, that they may be able to fulfil His will when they have learned it.  The desire, therefore, of hearing the word of God, and inquiring into His will, they have from God; and this is the beginning of the gift of God, which is given to the Gentiles, that by this they may be able to receive the doctrine of truth.


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