If the spirit of the ruler rises up against you, leave not your post; for yielding pacifies great offences.
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Ambrose of Milan
Do not say of your God, “He is grievous to me,” or of your position, “It is useless to me,” for it is written, “Leave not your place.” The devil wishes to take it from you, he wishes to carry you away, for he is jealous of your hope and jealous of your task. Letter , To His Clergy.
He who sins gives place to the devil, taking no heed of him who said, “Do not give place to the devil,” or to Ecclesiastes, “If the spirit of him that has power ascends upon you, leave not your place.” Let us, then, who are in the Lord and who, as much as we are able, observe closely his wonders, so draw joy to our hearts from the contemplation of them. Homilies on the Psalms (Psalm ).
You alone are not the source of the trouble, but there is also one who instigates you, the accursed devil. He makes his suggestions to all, but he does not prevail by force over those who do not give way to him. Therefore Ecclesiastes says, “Should the anger of the ruler burst upon you, forsake not your place.” If you shut your door, you will be out of his reach and he will not harm you. But if you are so careless as to admit the lustful thought, reflection will cause it to strike roots within you; it will capture your mind and drag you down into an abyss of sins.
“If the anger of the ruler rises against you”—if he seems to have power over you, it is only because you have subjected yourself to him. For as “sin reigns in the mortal bodies” of those who want to “obey their passions,” and as someone is ruled over if he is ruled by mammon and has focused his thinking on the desire for money, so he [the ruler] has power over the one who subjects himself as slave.
We also read in Ecclesiastes, “If the spirit of him that has power, ascend upon your heart, leave not your place.” From this it is clearly evident that we have committed a sin if we surrender our place to him who ascends upon us and if we have not cast down headlong the enemy ascending upon the walls. However, it seems to me that when you call down upon the heads of your brothers, that is to say, upon your slanderers, eternal fires with the devil, you are not so much dashing your brothers to the ground as you are elevating the devil, since he is to be punished in the same fires as Christians.