John 3:30

He must increase, but I must decrease.
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Clement Of Alexandria

AD 215
Says the Tragic Muse somewhere. "I must decrease "said the prophet John,

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
He must increase, viz, by the flocking of the people to Him, by the abundance and glory of His miracles, in adoration and worship, that the whole world may love and worship Him as Christ. So S. Cyril, to whom listen. "So long as the profundity of the æther is obscured by the shades of night, every one speaks with the greatest admiration of the morning star, as it shines with the full glory of its golden splendour. But when the sun is seen to hasten to his rising, and when his light somewhat illumines this our earth, the day star yields gradually to the greater luminary, and the words of John might not improperly he applied, He must increase, but I must decrease." Likewise S. Chrysostom says "Christ increases in that He by degrees manifests Himself by signs and miracles: not because He makes increase in virtue, - God forbid; for this would be the madness of Nestorius." But I must decrease: not in virtue, Wisdom of Solomon , or merit. For in these John constantly increased until he rece...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
He convicts his disciples of being yet troubled about trifles, and of taking unseasonable offence at what they by no means ought, and of not yet knowing accurately, Who and whence Emmanuel is. For not thus far, saith he, shall His Deeds be marvelled at, nor because more are baptized by Him, shall He for this alone surpass my honour, but He shall attain to so great a measure of honour, as befitteth God. For He must needs come to increase of glory, and, through daily additions of miracles, ever mount up to the greater, and shine forth with greater splendour to the world: but I must decrease, abiding in that measure wherein I appear, not sinking from what was once given me, but in such a degree inferior to Him That advanceth ever to an increase of glory, as He hasteth and passeth on. And this the blessed Baptist interpreteth to us. But our discourse will advance profitably through examples, making the force of what has been said clearer. Let then a stake two cubits long be fixed in the...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
He (Christ) must increase, not in virtue and perfection, with which he is replenished, but in the opinion of the world, when they begin to know him, and believe in him: and in like manner, I must be diminished, when they know how much he is above me. (Witham)

John Chrysostom

AD 407
That is to say, What is mine has now come to a stand, and has henceforth ceased, but what is His increases; for that which you fear shall not be now only, but much more as it advances. And it is this especially which shows what is mine the brighter; for this end I came, and I rejoice that what is His has made so great progress, and that those things have come to pass on account of which all that I did was done. Do you see how gently and very wisely he softened down their passion, quenched their envy, showed them that they were undertaking impossibilities, a method by which wickedness is best checked? For this purpose it was ordained, that these things should take place while John was yet alive and baptizing, in order that his disciples might have him as a witness of the superiority of Christ, and that if they should not believe, they might be without excuse. For John came not to say these words of his own accord, nor in answer to other enquirers, but they asked the question themselves...

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
But all John's doings were laid as groundwork for Christ, until, when "He had increased "-just as the same John used to fore-announce "that it was needful "that "He should increase and himself decrease"

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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