And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for his hand is heavy upon us, and upon Dagon our god.
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When those who delight in idolatry see the power of Christ against their own gods, they do not wish to embrace faith in him, lest on account of their faith alone they be compelled to reject the whole pantheon of their gods. When false Christians see that because of their faith in Christ the sins which they love are now forbidden to them, they ward off with all their might the very piety called forth by their faith, so that they might not end up being ordered at the behest of their faith to quench the desires they serve instead of God. The citizens of Ashdod are worthy of the name of excessiveness, dissoluteness and passions, since they do not want to know the precepts of sacred Scripture so that they do not have to carry them out, once they have learned them. Just as our Lord said that those who fail to carry out his will out of ignorance shall receive fewer blows of the scourge than those who knew it, so they do not wish to know what things they ought to do. They do not understand tha...