Chrysostom, Archbishop Of Constantinople, Viewed As A Preacher -- By: H. J. Ripley

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 004:16 (Nov 1847)
Article: Chrysostom, Archbishop Of Constantinople, Viewed As A Preacher
Author: H. J. Ripley

Chrysostom, Archbishop Of Constantinople, Viewed As A

H. J. Ripley

[The original, of which the following is a free translation, is an Article in Paniel’s Geschichte der Christlichen Beredsamkeit. It is a fair and impartial view of Chrysostom. The author is neither his eulogist, nor his apologist; he sees blemishes as well as beauties.

My aim has been in the translation to do justice to the original and yet to. make a readable English article. I have also, at certain points, abbreviated the original essay.

The extracts from Chrysostom’s discourses are here translated, and in some instances enlarged, from the original Greek, of the Paris edition of 1836. In the references to Chrysostom’s Works, the Roman numerals indicate the volume, the Arabic the page. —H. J. R.]

Among the early preachers, no one’s life and fortunes were determined so much by his eloquence as were Chrysostom’s. It was the cause both of his elevation and of his abasement; of the high respect he acquired while living, and of the still higher and more enduring renown which has been awarded to him since his death. His proper name was John. The surname, Chrysostom

(golden-mouthed), became appropriated to him in after times; yet certainly before the year 636, since Isidore of Hispala, who died in that year, speaks of him under this name.1 As, however, it doubtless originated in the East, not in the West, he must have been known by it before the time of Isidore, though neither the early ecclesiastical historians, Socrates and Sozomen, nor Palladius, in his Greek biography of Chrysostom, make mention of it.

Biographical Sketch of Chrysostom

Chrysostom was born, probably, about the year 347, at Antioch, of a distinguished and wealthy family. Soon after his birth he lost his father, Secundus, who held an important place in the staff of the highest military commander of the Roman Asiatic provinces. But his pious and excellent mother, Anthusa, who from love to her son and her deceased husband was disinclined to enter again the marriage-state, watched over his youthful years with most devoted and judicious solicitude. Though warmly attached to the Christian faith, she yet avoided the fault committed by other mothers of eminent teachers in the church, of devoting her son from his birth to the ministry, or to monastic life, and, in consequence, of giving him a contracted ascetic education; and, contrary to the practice of other women of high rank who obtained for their sons only some slight instruction in Latin literature and in Roman law, she rather provided for him the means of a general and thoro...

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