Chapter 5. The Death


{284} WHENCE is this devotion to St. John Chrysostom, which leads me to dwell upon the thought of him, and makes me kindle at his name, when so many other great Saints, as the year brings round their festivals, command indeed my veneration, but exert no personal claim upon my heart? Many holy men have died in exile, many holy men have been successful preachers; and what more can we write upon St. Chrysostom's monument than this, that he was eloquent and that he suffered persecution? He is not an Athanasius, expounding a sacred dogma with a luminousness which is almost an inspiration; nor is he Athanasius, again, in his romantic life-long adventures, in his sublime solitariness, in his ascendency over all classes of men, in his series of triumphs over material force and civil tyranny. Nor, except by the contrast, does he remind us of that Ambrose who kept his ground obstinately in an imperial city, and fortified himself against the heresy of a court by the living rampart of a devoted population. Nor is he Gregory or Basil, rich in the literature and philosophy of Greece, and embellishing the Church with the spoils of heathenism. Again, he is not an Augustine, devoting long years to one masterpiece of thought, and {285} laying, in successive controversies, the foundations of theology. Nor is he a Jerome, so dead to the world that he can imitate the point and wit of its writers without danger to himself or scandal to his brethren. He has not trampled upon heresy, nor smitten emperors, nor beautified the house or the service of God, nor knit together the portions of Christendom, nor founded a religious order, nor built up the framework of doctrine, nor expounded the science of the Saints; yet I love him, as I love David or St. Paul.

How am I to account for it? It has not happened to me, as it might happen to many a man, that I have devoted time and toil to the study of his writings or of his history, and cry up that upon which I have made an outlay, or love what has become familiar to me. Cases may occur when our admiration for an author is only admiration of our own comments on him, and when our love of an old acquaintance is only our love of old times. For me, I have not written the life of Chrysostom, nor translated his works, nor studied Scripture in his exposition, nor forged weapons of controversy out of his sayings or his doings. Nor is his eloquence of a kind to carry any one away who has ever so little knowledge of the oratory of Greece and Rome. It is not force of words, nor cogency of argument, nor harmony of composition, nor depth or richness of thought, which constitutes his power,—whence, then, has he this influence, so mysterious, yet so strong?

I consider St. Chrysostom's charm to lie in his intimate sympathy and compassionateness for the whole world, not only in its strength, but in its weakness; in the lively regard with which he views every thing that comes before him, taken in the concrete, whether as made after its own kind or as gifted with a nature higher than its {286} own. Not that any religious man,—above all, not that any Saint,—could possibly contrive to abstract the love of the work from the love of its Maker, or could feel a tenderness for earth which did not spring from devotion to heaven; or as if he would not love every thing just in that degree in which the Creator loves it, and according to the measure of gifts which the Creator has bestowed upon it, and pre-eminently for the Creator's sake. But this is the characteristic of all Saints; and I am speaking, not of what St. Chrysostom had in common with others, but what he had special to himself; and this specialty, I conceive, is the interest which he takes in all things, not so far as God has made them alike, but as He has made them different from each other. I speak of the discriminating affectionateness with which he accepts every one for what is personal in him and unlike others. I speak of his versatile recognition of men, one by one, for the sake of that portion of good, be it more or less, of a lower order or a higher, which has severally been lodged in them; his eager contemplation of the many things they do, effect, or produce, of all their great works, as nations or as states; nay, even as they are corrupted or disguised by evil, so far as that evil may in imagination be disjoined from their proper nature, or may be regarded as a mere material disorder apart from its formal character of guilt. I speak of the kindly spirit and the genial temper with which he looks round at all things which this wonderful world contains; of the graphic fidelity with which he notes them down upon the tablets of his mind, and of the promptitude and propriety with which he calls them up as arguments or illustrations in the course of his teaching as the occasion requires. Possessed though he be by the fire of divine charity, he has not lost one fibre, he does {287} not miss one vibration, of the complicated whole of human sentiment and affection; like the miraculous bush in the desert, which, for all the flame that wrapt it round, was not thereby consumed.

Such, in a transcendent perfection, was the gaze, as we may reverently suppose, with which the loving Father of all surveyed in eternity that universe even in its minutest details which He had decreed to create; such the loving pity with which He spoke the word when the due moment came, and began to mould the finite, as He created it, in His infinite hands; such the watchful solicitude with which he now keeps His catalogue of the innumerable birds of heaven, and counts day by day the very hairs of our head and the alternations of our breathing. Such, much more, is the awful contemplation with which He encompasses incessantly every one of those souls on whom He heaps His mercies here, in order to make them the intimate associates of His own eternity hereafter. And we too, in our measure, are bound to imitate Him in our exact and vivid apprehension of Himself and of His works. As to Himself, we love Him, not simply in His nature, but in His triple personality, lest we become mere pantheists. And so, again, we choose our patron Saints, not for what they have in common with each other (else there could be no room for choice at all), but for what is peculiar to them severally. That which is my warrant, therefore, for particular devotions at all, becomes itself my reason for devotion to St. John Chrysostom. In him I recognize a special pattern of that very gift of discrimination. He may indeed be said in some sense to have a devotion of his own for every one who comes across him,—for persons, ranks, classes, callings, societies, considered as divine works and the subjects of his good {288} offices or good will, and therefore I have a devotion for him.

It is this observant benevolence which gives to his exposition of Scripture its chief characteristic. He is known in ecclesiastical literature as the expounder, above all others, of its literal sense. Now in mystical comments the direct object which the writer sets before him is the Divine Author Himself of the written Word. Such a writer sees in Scripture, not so much the works of God, as His nature and attributes; the Teacher more than the definite teaching, or its human instruments, with their drifts and motives, their courses of thought, their circumstances and personal peculiarities. He loses the creature in the glory which surrounds the Creator. The problem before him is not what the inspired writer directly meant, and why, but, out of the myriad of meanings present to the Infinite Being who inspired him, which it is that is most illustrative of that Great Being's all-holy attributes and solemn dispositions. Thus, in the Psalter, he will drop David and Israel and the Temple together, and will recognise nothing there but the shadows of those greater truths which remain for ever. Accordingly, the mystical comment will be of an objective character; whereas a writer who delights to ponder human nature and human affairs, to analyse the workings of the mind, and to contemplate what is subjective to it, is naturally drawn to investigate the sense of the sacred writer himself, who was the organ of the revelation, that is, he will investigate the literal sense. Now, in the instance of St. Chrysostom, it so happens that literal exposition is the historical characteristic of the school in which he was brought up; so that if he commented on Scripture at all, he any how would have adopted that method; still, there have been many literal {289} expositors, but only one Chrysostom. It is St. Chrysostom who is the charm of the method, not the method that is the charm of St. Chrysostom.

That charm lies, as I have said, in his habit and his power of throwing himself into the minds of others, of imagining with exactness and with sympathy circumstances or scenes which were not before him, and of bringing out what he has apprehended in words as direct and vivid as the apprehension. His page is like the table of a camera lucida, which represents to us the living action and interaction of all that goes on around us. That loving scrutiny, with which he follows the Apostles as they reveal themselves to us in their writings, he practises in various ways towards all men, living and dead, high and low, those whom he admires and those whom he weeps over. He writes as one who was ever looking out with sharp but kind eyes upon the world of men and their history; and hence he has always something to produce about them, new or old, to the purpose of his argument, whether from books or from the experience of life. Head and heart were full to overflowing with a stream of mingled "wine and milk," of rich vigorous thought and affectionate feeling. This is why his manner of writing is so rare and special; and why, when once a student enters into it, he will ever recognize him, wherever he meets with extracts from him.


But I must go on with the history of his banishment, which I have left in order to enlarge upon the character of his mind and of his teaching. The evils which he first denounced at Antioch came to a crisis at Constantinople, and he himself was the principal victim of them. His cause was that of the strict party in the Church, {290} and the fire of envy and malice, of which he had spoken, burst forth against him as its representative. For a time, in a city which boasted that it never had been pagan, the goodly fabric of Christianity was little better than a heap of ruins. The transportation of its saintly Bishop was the signal for a schism which it took years to heal; and, worse still, it was a triumph of the secular party, which has never been reversed down to this day. In the present state of the Greek Church we read the moral of the conflict in which St. Chrysostom was engaged. Accordingly, there was much of significance in the coincidence that, on the very day on which he was carried over to Asia, fire literally did break out in the cathedral, where he had so lately preached, and in his very pulpit. "There suddenly appeared," to use the words of Fleury, "a great flame in the church, from the pulpit from which he used to preach. The fire ascended to the roof, and then burst forth on the outside, so that it was burnt to the ground. The flames, driven by a violent wind, spanned the square like a bridge, seized upon the palace where the senate assembled, and burnt it down in three hours. The Catholics looked upon it as a miracle; some accused the schismatical party of it; they, and after them the pagans, imputed it to the Catholics." However originating, it typified the spiritual devastation of the Church of Constantinople.

The court party would perhaps give the catastrophe a different application; they might see in it the fortunes of St. Chrysostom himself. Thus blazed and burnt out, they might say, the glories of that eloquent preacher, who had been so hastily brought to the imperial city. It was a great pity that he had ever left Antioch; for what had he done since he came but create confusion in the Church? No one denied his oratorical powers; but {291} he had neither discretion nor patience; and, after two or three years, here was the end of it. As some brilliant meteor, he had glared and disappeared. He thought, forsooth, to get back from banishment; but that never would be. His enemies were far too strong and too determined to allow him the chance of it. They were resolved utterly to blot out his name and his memory; he would be written in the sand; posterity would not know him, except as one who had caused great scandals, and had undergone the penalty of them.

Such anticipations, plausible as they were, have been falsified by the event; the cause of truth and sanctity cannot utterly be defeated, however poor be the measure of justice which is accorded to it even on the long-run. The Saint, however, was over-sanguine, as we have seen, in his anticipations of a contrary kind. Certainly at length he was brought back in triumph to his see; but he was brought back in his coffin. That first momentary presentiment, when he took leave of his deaconesses at Constantinople, was the true one. His earthly career was coming to an end. Here, then, we are come round to the point from which I have digressed, and I resume the narrative where I left off.


The reader may recollect that St. Chrysostom got to Cucusus in the autumn. His enemies seemed to have hoped that the winter would complete for them what they had begun; he, on the contrary, looked forward to it with cheerfulness. Both parties were disappointed; it did not kill him, but it inflicted on him great suffering; it told most for his enemies, for they would infer that he could not possibly bear the recurrence of many such trials. {292}

In the early spring of the following year (405) he wrote to Olympias thus:

"I write to you after a recovery from the very gates of death; on this account it was a great joy to me that your servants have not reached me till now, when I am getting into port; for, had they come while I was still tossing out at sea, and shipping the heavy waves of my illness, it would not have been easy for me to deceive you with good tidings, when there could only be bad. The winter was more severe than usual, and brought on, what was worse than itself, my stomach complaint; and for two whole months I was no better than the dead, or even worse. So far I lived as to be alive to the miseries that encompassed me; day-dawn, and noon, all were night to me; I was confined to my bed all day. With a thousand contrivances, I could not avoid the mischief which the cold did me; though I had a fire, and submitted to the oppressive smoke, and imprisoned myself in one room, and had coverings without number, and never ventured to pass the threshold, nevertheless I used to suffer in the most grievous way from continual vomitings, headache, disgust at food, and obstinate sleeplessness, through the long interminable nights. But I will not distress you longer with this account of my troubles; I am now rid of them all"—Ep. 6.

Later in the spring he reports that the marauding bands had again made their appearance:


"It was no slight relief in the desolateness of this place to be able to write frequently to you; but even this resource has been cut off by the circumstance of these Isaurian troubles. For, as soon as spring came, the brigands shot forth with it, and spread themselves out over all the roads, to the stoppage of all traffic. Free women were carried off and men slain. I know how anxious you are to know about my health. After serious suffering in the past winter, I am now somewhat getting round, though I am still distressed by the changes in the weather. Winter is in force even now; however, I look forward to be rid of the remains of my illness when summer is fairly come. Indeed, nothing so tries me as cold, {293} nothing does me so much good as summer and the comfort of being warm."—Ep. 140.

In thus speaking hopefully of the approaching summer, he did but show his cheerful temper; for, when it actually came, he was forced to confess to some friends, "The summer distresses me not less than the cold."—Ep. 146. Earth and sea temper the sky for us, and keep the atmosphere in a due medium of heat and cold. But Chrysostom was in a desert country, which gave him no protection against weather of any kind, neither against the sun nor against the frost.

Yet his spirit did not sink under his disappointing experience of the climate, as the following letter shows:


"I know well it will be a great pleasure to you to learn how I fare. I am rid of my weakness of stomach; I am well; and, in spite of beleaguering, raids, loneliness, and a host of misfortunes, I am in no depression or trouble of mind, and am in the enjoyment of security, leisure, quiet, and keep your matters daily in my thoughts, and talk of them with all who visit me."—Ep. 130.

However, as autumn drew on, and his first year was completed, the face of things altered. Whether the barbarians were stronger, or the garrison at Cucusus had been weakened or removed; whether it was some scheme of the Saint's enemies to bring about a death which as yet they had not effected, so it was, that at the beginning of winter he was persuaded, or he found, that he was not safe at Cucusus; the gates of the city were thrown open to him, and he was advised or obliged to leave it for the mountain region in the neighbourhood. Old as he was, enfeebled by recent illness, ignorant of the country and sensitive to the climate, and, as it would {294} appear, without attendants, he had to face the wild winter as he best could, and to wander from village to village, according as the alarm of the Isaurians chased him to and fro. In this way he advanced at length to the distance of sixty miles from Cucusus, to a city called Arabissus. He knew the Bishop of this place, and it was professedly defended by a fortress, which at least served for its own defence. Into this fortress he threw himself; it was a prison rather than a place of refuge, but at least it was secure; and when he fell ill again of the cold there, he got some sort of medical aid, though medicines were not to be procured. At this time he writes as follows:


"Lately I have been flitting from place to place in the very depth of winter, now in towns, now in ravines and woods, driven to and fro by the inroads of the Isaurians. When this disturbance had at length abated a little, I left these desolate places, and betook myself to Arabissus; not to the town, for that is quite as unsafe as they are, but to the fortress, which, however, in spite of its being safer, was a worse dwelling than any prison. And, besides the imminent prospect of death day by day from the Isaurians, who were making their attacks in every direction, and destroying human beings and houses by fire and sword, I am in dread of famine too, from our want of resources, and the number who have taken refuge here. And I have had to endure a tedious illness, brought on by the winter and my incessant wanderings, and I still carry the remains of it, though I have recovered from its violence."—Ep. 69.

And to Polybius:

"I lament your separation from me as a heavier trial than this desolateness, my illness, and the winter. The winter, indeed, has added to it; for it has deprived me of that intercourse by letter, which was my sole relief of your most painful absence; roads being blocked up by vast drifts of snow, and the passage interrupted, {295} whether from the outward world hither, or from hence to you. And now the same obstruction is caused by fear of the Isaurians; nay, much greater, increasing the desolateness, putting into confusion, flight, and exile the whole population. No one any longer endures to remain at home; all leave their dwellings and scamper off. The cities are but walls and roofs; and the ravines and woods are cities. We, who dwell in Armenia, are obliged to run from place to place day after day, living the life of nomads and strollers, from fear to settle any where; such confusion reigns. When the plunderers come up, they slaughter, burn, enslave; when they are even rumoured, they put to flight the inhabitants of the cities, nay, I may say, murder them also; for the young children, who have been suddenly forced to fly, as if smoked out of their houses, in the dead of night, often in hard frost, have needed no Isaurian sword, but have been frozen to death in the snow."—Ep. 127.

To another friend he says, "In whatever direction you go, you will see torrents of blood, heaps of corpses, houses demolished, cities sacked."—Ep. 68. He seems to have been besieged at Arabissus, from the following passage:


"The troubles of the siege increase daily, and here we are seated in this fort as in a trap. Just at midnight, when no one expected it, a band of three hundred Isaurians spread through the city, and were all but getting possession of me. However, the hand of God took them off again before I knew any thing about it, so that I escaped the alarm as well as the danger; and, when day was come, then at last I heard what had chanced"—Ep. 133.

At length the storm blew over, and he was in comparative security, and he remained in the place for nearly the whole of his second year of exile (A.D. 406). He was able to employ himself in teaching the poor people, and he contrived, as I have said before, by means of the money sent him by friends, to relieve their wants when {296} a famine set in. Before the year was over, he returned to Cucusus.

A third winter came, and brought its usual hardships along with it. We find the Saint again weak and suffering at the beginning of A.D. 407; but by this time he was in some measure acclimated to the place, and he was able to express content at the state of his health:


"I have learned at last to bear the Armenian winter, with some suffering, indeed, such as may be expected in the instance of so feeble a frame, but still with real success. This is, by means of rigidly confining myself indoors when the cold is unbearable. As to the other seasons, I find them most pleasant and enjoyable, so as to enable me comfortably to recover from the illness brought on by the winter."—Ep. 142.

And to Olympias:

"Do not be anxious on my account. It is true that the winter was what the season is in Armenia; one need say no more; but it has not done me any great harm, since I take great precautions against it. I keep up a constant fire, and have every part of my small room closed. I put on a great deal of clothing, and I never stir out. A few days ago, nothing would stay on my stomach, from the severity of the weather. I took, among other remedies, the medicine which Syncletium gave me, and, after using it, I got well by the end of three days. I had a second attack; I used it again, and got completely well. Do not, then, make yourself anxious about my wintering here, for I feel much easier and better than I did last year."—Ep. 4.

It was at this date that he wrote to the same correspondent the striking letter, part of which I quoted in my foregoing Chapter; in which he confidently foretells his return from banishment, on the ground of his having been so wonderfully preserved hitherto, and enabled to triumph over the accumulated trials which bodily weakness, {297} the seasons, and his wanderings and privations brought upon him. So hopefully for him, so unsatisfactorily for his enemies, opened the third year of his exile at the place which was to have been his death.


But the fairer were his prospects, the more certain was their disappointment. He was in their hands; they had sentenced him to die, and only hesitated how his death was to be brought about. They had no wish to do the deed themselves, if it could be done without them; but do it they must, if circumstances would not do it for them. Cucusus promised to spare them the odium of his murder; and doubtless they would listen with complacency to the complaints about his discomforts and his ailments which from time to time he transmitted to Constantinople. It was easy to fancy them the tokens of a broken spirit, and the harbingers of the consummation they desired, when they were but his protests against injustice and cruelty, and the spontaneous relief of a soul too great to care about being misinterpreted. When time went on, and the end did not come, when even his wanderings in the mountains and his flight to Arabissus did not subdue him, they were prompted to more violent and summary dealings with him.

He must be carried off to some still more inhospitable region; he must undergo the slow torture of a still more exhausting journey. Cold and heat, wind and rain, night-air, bad lodging, unwholesome water, long foot-marches, rough-paced mules,—these were to be the instruments of his martyrdom. He was to die by inches; want of sleep, want of rest, want of food and medicine, and the collapse certain to follow, were to extinguish the brave spirit which hitherto had risen {298} superior to all sorrows. A rescript was gained from the Emperor Arcadius, banishing him to Pityus upon the north-east coast of the Euxine.

In that sentence the curtain falls upon the history of the Saint. His correspondence ceases; the letter, so full of sunshine, to which I have several times referred, was apparently his last. He leaves us with the language of hope upon his lips. It is well that he should thus close the great drama, in which he was the chief actor. Bright, pleasant thoughts, nought but what is radiant, nought but what is enlivening and consolatory, attaches to the historical memory of St. Chrysostom. But the devout heart seeks to lift the veil; it desires even amid the changes of mortality notas audire et reddere voces: it would fain be near to comfort him in his agony, and to hear his last cry.

It may not be; when his letters would be most precious, they are, as I have said, denied to us. In the case of a Saint, we are left to faith. It has been otherwise with others. There was a Protestant missionary, in the first years of this century, who, after attempting the conversion of a Mahometan country, was committed to the rough charge of a Tartar courier, not for exile, but for return to his own England. Hurried on by forced journeys, and having at the time a deadly malady upon him, he gradually sank under the cruel punishment, and breathed out his wearied spirit at the very spot which, 1400 years before, had witnessed the death of John Chrysostom. Let us trust that that zealous preacher came under the shadow of the Catholic doctor, that he touched the bones of Eliseus, and that, all errors forgiven, he lives to God through the intercession of the Confessor, to whom in place and manner of death he was united. The friends of Henry Martyn are in possession {299} of his journal up to within ten days of his death; for us, we must wait till we are admitted to the company of St. Chrysostom above, if such be our blessedness, before we know the last sufferings, the last thoughts, the prayers and consolations, the patience, sweetness, gentleness, and charity in his death, of that great mind.


Let us glean what we can from history and tradition of that last unknown journey.

First, we know that Pityus is on the very verge of the Roman empire, to the north of Colchis, close to Sarmatia, and under the Caucasus. It had been a large and rich city in an earlier century, and was situated in a region so peculiarly a border country, that in Dioscurias, which lay south of it, as many as seventy languages or dialects were spoken. From that city it was distant about fifty miles, and Dioscurias was distant as much as 280 miles from Trapezus [Note 1]. This portion, however, of his journey was held in reserve for the Saint's destruction: he never got so far as Trapezus; and it concerns us more to consider how he travelled towards it. There were three routes from Cucusus thither; the most direct lay through Melitene and Satala; but this he certainly did not pursue, or he could not have died in the neighbourhood of Neocæsarea. To direct his course to Neocæsarea, he must have passed through Sebaste, and Sebaste he might reach by either of two routes,—by Cæsarea or by Melitene. Both of these were high military roads, and beyond Sebaste he might be helped on still further by another high road at least as far as Sebastopolis, which is either 365 or 330 miles from Cucusus, according to the route which was chosen for {300} him. Thus we may say, that it took, more or less, 400 miles to kill him. The narrative which I shall presently transcribe says that his journey lasted three months, which is hardly conceivable, unless he was detained from time to time by illness or other causes on the way.

So much for his route; next, as to the place of his death, we have historical information that he died at Comana in Pontus; and thence it was that his sacred body was conveyed some years afterwards to Constantinople.

Then, as to the day: Socrates tells us that it was the 14th of September, the day since set apart, in consequence of the events of later history, as the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

So far we can speak without hesitation; but when we set ourselves to trace the occurrences of his closing months, and the particulars of his journey, we find ourselves without any materials for the undertaking. We have neither public documents nor the private letters of himself or of his friends to assist us in the task. The narrative which commonly, and by great authorities, is received as authentic, is written by one of his contemporaries and friends; but he was no eye-witness of what he relates, nor does he tell us how he got his information. However, I present it to the reader as it stands:


"The rescript," said Palladius, "ordered that he should be transported to Pityus, a most wild place of the Tyanians, lying on the coast of the Euxine. And the Prætorian soldiers, who conveyed him, urged him forward on his journey with such haste, saying that it was according to their orders, that it appeared as if their promotion depended on his dying in the course of it. {301} One, indeed, of them, having less solicitude for this earthly warfare, secretly showed him some sort of kindness; but the other carried his brutality so far as even to take as an affront the very attentions which were shown to himself by strangers, with the hope of softening him towards his prisoner, having this solicitude, and no other, that John should miserably die. So, when rain was profuse, the man went on, not caring for it, so that floods of water poured down the bishop's back and breast; and again, the fierce heat of the sun he considered a treat, as knowing that the bald head of blessed Eliseus would suffer from it. Moreover at city or village, where the refreshment of a bath was to be found, the wretch would not consent to stop for a moment.

"And all these sufferings the Saint endured for three months, travelling that most difficult way with the brightness of a star, baked red by the sun as fruit upon the top branches of a tree. And when they came to Comana, they passed through it as if its street were no more than a bridge, and halted outside the walls at the shrine, which is five or six miles in advance.

"In that very night the martyr of the place stood before him, Basiliscus by name, who had been Bishop of Comana, and died by martyrdom in Nicomedia, in the reign of Maximinus, together with Lucian of Bithynia, who had been a priest of Antioch. And he said, 'Be of good heart, brother John, for tomorrow we shall be together.' It is said that the martyr had already made the same announcement to the priest of the place: 'Prepare the place for brother John, for he is coming.' And John, believing the divine oracle, upon the morrow besought his guards to remain there until the fifth hour. They refused, and set forward; but when they had proceeded about thirty stadia, he was so ill that they returned {302} back to the martyr's shrine whence they had started.

"When he got there, he asked for white vestments, suitable to the tenor of his past life; and taking off his clothes of travel, he clad himself in them from head to foot, being still fasting, and then gave away his old ones to those about him. Then, having communicated in the symbols of the Lord, he made the closing prayer 'On present needs.' He said his customary words, 'Glory be to God for all things;' and having concluded it with his last Amen, he stretched forth those feet of his which had been so beautiful in their running, whether to convey salvation to the penitent or reproof to the hardened in sin ... And being gathered to his fathers, and shaking off this mortal dust, he passed to Christ."

The translation of his relics to Constantinople took place a little more than thirty years afterwards. "A great multitude of the faithful," says Theodoret, "crowded the sea in vessels, and lighted up a part of the Bosphorus, near the mouth of the Propontis, with torches. These sacred treasures were brought to the city by the present emperor (Theodosius the Younger). He laid his face upon the coffin, and entreated that his parents might be forgiven for having so unadvisedly persecuted the Bishop." [Note 2]

So died, and so was buried, St. John Chrysostom, one of that select company whom men begin to understand and honour when they are removed from them. It is the general law of the world, which the new law of the Gospel has not reversed:

       "Virtutem incolumem odimus,
Sublatam ex oculis quærimus, invidi."

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1. Smith's Dictionary.
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2. Bohn's transl.
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