Bring forth therefore fruits befitting for repentance:
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However, he stops not at the rebuke, but introduces advice also. For, Bring forth, says he, fruits meet for repentance.
For to flee from wickedness is not enough, but you must show forth also great virtue. For let me not have that contradictory yet ordinary case, that refraining yourselves for a little while, you return unto the same wickedness. For we are not come for the same objects as the prophets before. Nay, the things that are now are changed, and are more exalted, forasmuch as the Judge henceforth is coming, His very self, the very Lord of the kingdom, leading unto greater self-restraint, calling us to heaven, and drawing us upward to those abodes. For this cause do I unfold the doctrine also touching hell, because both the good things and the painful are for ever. Do not therefore abide as you are, neither bring forward the accustomed pleas, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the noble race of your ancestors.
And these things he said, not as forbidding them to say that they were sprung from those holy men, but as forbidding them to put confidence in this, while they were neglecting the virtue of the soul; at once bringing forward publicly what was in their minds, and foretelling things to come. Because after this they are found to say, We have Abraham to our father, and were never in bondage to any man. John 8:33 Since then it was this, which most of all lifted them up with pride and ruined them, he first puts it down.
And see how with his honor paid to the patriarch he combines his correction touching these things. Namely, having said, Think not to say, We have Abraham to our father, he said not, for the patriarch shall not be able to profit you anything, but somehow in a more gentle and acceptable manner he intimated the self-same thing, by saying,