I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.
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Augustine of Hippo
11. "In the morning I destroyed all the ungodly that were in the land. That I may root out all wicked doers from the city of the Lord" (ver. 8). This is obscure. There are then wicked doers in the city of the Lord, and they at present, seemingly, spared. Why so? Because it is the season of mercy: but that of judgment will come; for the Psalm thus began, "Of mercy and judgment will I sing unto Thee, O Lord." ...
12. He at present spareth, He will then judge. But when will He judge? When night shall have passed away. For this reason He hath said: "In the morning." When the day shall at last have arrived, night having passed by. Why doth He spare them until the dawn? Because it was night. What meaneth, it was night? Because it was the season for mercy: He was merciful, while the hearts of men were hidden. Thou seest some one living ill; thou endurest him: for thou knowest not of what sort he will prove to be; since it is night; whether he who to-day liveth ill, to-morrow may live well;...
Morning. Without delay, (Worthington; Jeremias xxi. 12.; Haydock) and with a mind composed. (St. Isidore, Pelus i. ep. 321.)
The Jews explain this of the judgment of zeal, by which a person might kill a notorious criminal, without any trail, (Calmet) in imitation of Phinees and Mathathias, 1 Machabees ii. 24. (Haydock)
God alone will punish all malefactors at the last day. (St. Augustine)
The Fathers admonish us to resist temptations at the beginning. (Calmet) Principiis obsta; sero medicina paratur Cum mala per longas convaluere moras. (Ovid)