And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.
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Ambrose of Milan
The church has gold, not stored up but to lay out and to spend on those who need. What necessity is there to guard what is of no good? Do we not know how much gold and silver the Assyrians took out of the temple of the Lord? Is it not much better that the priests should melt it down for the sustenance of the poor, if other supplies fail, than that of a sacrilegious enemy should carry it off and defile it? Would not the Lord say, Why did you allow so many needy to die of hunger? Surely you had gold? You should have given them sustenance. Why are so many captives brought to the slave market, and why are so many unredeemed left to be slain by the enemy? It had been better to preserve living vessels than gold ones. - "Duties of the Clergy 2.28.137"
There is an illustration of this—namely, of the fact that when vainglory makes its appearance the vice of fornication is expelled, as we have said—that is put in beautiful and clear language in the book of Kings. It occurs when Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, has come up from Egypt and taken the captive people of Israel away from Neco, king of Egypt, to his own country, not in order to restore to them their former freedom and their birthplace but to lead those who would be transported to his own land, which was still further away than where they had been held captive in the land of Egypt. This illustration can be well understood in the following way. Although it is more tolerable to be subject to the vice of vainglory than to that of fornication, yet it is more difficult to escape from the domination of vainglory. For, so to say, one who has been held captive for a relatively long time will return less easily to his native soil and to his old-established freedom, and rightly is ...