Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh who corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
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Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence. Again, [he reasons] from their own experiences, from what they themselves suffered. For as he says above, Call to mind the former days Hebrews 10:32, so here also God (he says) deals with you as with sons, and you could not say, We cannot bear it: yea, as with sons tenderly beloved. For if they reverence their fathers of the flesh, how shall not you reverence your heavenly Father?
However the difference arises not from this alone, nor from the persons, but also from the cause itself, and from the fact. For it is not on the same grounds that He and they inflict chastisement: but they [did it] with a view to what seemed good to them, that is, fulfilling [their own] pleasure oftentimes, and not always looking to what was expedient. But here, that cannot be said. For He does this not for any interest of His own but for you, and for your benefit alone. They [did it] that you might be useful to themselves also, oftentimes without reason; but here there is nothing of this kind. Do you see that this also brings consolation? For we are most closely attached to those [earthly parents], when we see that not for any interests of their own they either command or advise us: but their earnestness is, wholly and solely, on our account. For this is genuine love, and love in reality, when we are beloved though we be of no use to him who loves us—not that he may receive, but that he may impart. He chastens, He does everything, He uses all diligence, that we may become capable of receiving His benefits.