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8.  The Principle of the Reckoning.

But you will here inquire whether all men can be called servants of the king, or some are servants whom he foreknew and fore-ordained, while there are others who transact business with the servants, and are called bankers. 6088   And in like manner you will inquire if there are those outside the number of the slaves from whom the householder declares that he will exact his own with usury, not only men alien from piety, but also some of the believers.  Now the servants alone are the stewards of the Word, but the king, making a reckoning with the servants, demands from those who have borrowed from the servants, whether a hundred measures of wheat or a hundred measures of oil, 6089 or whatever in point of fact those who are outside of the household of the king have received; for he who owed the hundred measures of wheat or the hundred measures of oil is not found to be, according to the parable, a fellow-servant of the unjust steward, as is evident from the question—how much owest thou to my lord? 6090   But mark with me that each deed which is good or seemly is like a gain and an increment, but a wicked deed is like a loss; and as there is a certain gain when the money is greater and another when it is less, and as there are differences of more or less, so according to the good deeds, there is as it were a valuing of gains more or less.  To reckon what work is a great gain, and what a less gain, and what a least, is the prerogative of him who alone knows to investigate such things, looking at them in the light of the disposition, and the word, and the deed, and from consideration of the things which are not in our power cooperating with those that are; and so also in the case of things opposite, it is his to say what sin, when a reckoning is made with the servants, is found to be a great loss, and what is less, and what, if we may so call it, is the loss of the very last mite, 6091 or the last farthing. 6092   The account, therefore, of the entire and whole life is exacted by that which is called the kingdom of heaven which is likened to a king, when “we must all stand before the judgment-sent of Christ that each one may receive the things done in the body according to what he hath done, whether good or bad;” 6093 and then when the reckoning is being made, shall there be brought into the reckoning that is made also every idle word that men shall speak, 6094 and any cup of cold water only which one has given to drink in the name of a disciple. 6095



Matt. xxv. 27.


Luke 16:6, 7.


Luke xvi. 5.


Luke xii. 59.


Matt. v. 26.


2 Cor. v. 10.


Matt. xii. 36.


Matt. x. 42.

Next: Chapter IX