Though he heap up silver as the dust, and pile up clothing as the clay;
Read Chapter 27
Gregory The Dialogist
24. Silver is used to be interpreted the clearness of sacred Writ, as it is elsewhere said; The words of the Lord are pure wo1.ds: as silver tried in a furnace of earth. [Ps. 12, 6] And because there are those that long to have the Word of God not inwardly in the exemplifying but externally in the displaying, therefore it is said by the Prophet, All they that are clothed in silver a1.e cut off, being those, who by the word of God do not fill themselves with the interior refreshment, but array themselves in the outward exhibition. Hence their ‘silver,’ i.e. the word of heretics, is compared to ‘earth,’ because touching the subject of Holy Writ, that there may be something that they know, they toil and strain from the coveting of earthly applause. And these, too, ‘prepare raiment as the mud,’ because they make up testimonies of Holy Scripture loosely and bedaubingly, whereby they would defend themselves, He shall ‘prepare’ indeed, ‘but the just shall put them on,’ because the person who is full of right faith, which is used to be accounted to the Saints for righteousness, gathers together those selfsame testimonies of Holy Writ, which the heretic adduces, and therefrom he charges home the obstinacy of that one’s error. For whereas they fetch against us the testimonies of the Sacred Law, they bring with them unto us that whereby they may be defeated. And hence David representing a type of the Lord, but Goliath the pride of Heretics, they spake that in deeds, which we are disclosing in words. Thus Goliath came to battle with a sword, but David with a shepherd’s scrip, but David, defeating that same Goliath, with his own sword slew him. Which thing we likewise do, who by His deigning have obtained to be made members of the promised David [al. ‘the promised members of David.’]. For when heretics full of pride, and advancing sentences of Holy Writ, we defeat by the same words and sentences, which they bring forward, we as it were behead Goliath in his pride with his own sword. And so ‘the just puts on those same garments,’ which the unjust man ‘prepares,’ because the holy man employs in the service of truth those same sentences by which the bad man strives to exhibit himself a master of learning in opposition to the truth.