The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop its mouth.
Read Chapter 107
Augustine of Hippo
9. "And they became few, and were vexed" (ver. 39). Whence this? From athwart? Nay, from within. For that they should "become few," "They went out from us, but they were not of us." But therefore he speaketh as of these, of whom he spake before, that they may be discerned with understanding; because he speaketh as if of the same, because of the sacraments they have in common. For they belong to the people of God, though not by the virtue, yet surely by the appearance of piety: for concerning them we have heard the Apostle, "In the last times there shall come grievous times, for there shall be men lovers of themselves." The first evil is, "lovers of themselves;" that is, as being pleased with themselves. Would that they were not pleasing to themselves, and were pleasing to God: would that they would cry out in their difficulties, and be freed from their distresses. But while they presumed greatly on themselves, "they were made few." It is manifest, brethren: all who separate themselves from unity become few. For they are many; but in unity, while they are not parted from unity. For when the multitude of unity hath begun no more to belong to them, in heresy and schism, they are few. "And they were vexed, from distress of miseries and grief." "Contempt was poured on princes" (ver. 40). For they were rejected by the Church of God, and the more because they wished to be princes, therefore they were despised, and became salt that had lost its savour, cast out abroad, so that it is trodden under foot of men. "And He led them astray in the pathless place, and not in a way." Those above in the way, those directed to a city, and finally led thither, not led astray; but these, where there was no way, led astray. What is, "Led them astray"? God "gave them up to their own hearts' lusts." For "led astray" means this, gave them up to themselves. For if thou enquire closely, it is they that lead themselves astray. ..."And He helped the poor out of beggary" (ver. 41). What meaneth this, brethren? Princes are despised, and the poor helped. The proud are cast aside, and the humble provided for. ..."And made him households like sheep." Thou understandest one poor man and one beggar of him concerning whom he said, "He hath helped the poor out of misery:" thispoor man is now many households, this poor man is many nations; many Churches are one Church, one nation, one household, one sheep. These are great mysteries, great types, how profound, how full of hidden meanings; how sweetly discovered, since long hidden. Therefore, "the righteous will consider this, and rejoice: and the mouth of all wickedness shall be stopped" (ver. 42). That wickedness that doth prate against unity, and compelleth truth to be made manifest, shall be convicted, and have its mouth stopped.