Eager Concerning Doctrines

“Our fathers worshipped in this mountain,” (meaning Abraham and his family, for thither they say that he led up his son,) “and how say ye that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship?” John 4:20

Let us now after this be ashamed, and blush. A woman who had had five husbands, and who was of Samaria, was so eager concerning doctrines, that neither the time of day, nor her having come for another purpose, nor anything else, led her away from inquiring on such matters but we not only do not inquire concerning doctrines, but towards them all our dispositions are careless and indifferent. Therefore everything is neglected.

For which of you when in his house takes some Christian book in hand and goes over its contents, and searches the Scriptures? None can say that he does so, but with most we shall find draughts and dice, but books nowhere, except among a few. And even these few have the same dispositions as the many; for they tie up their books, and keep them always put away in cases, and all their care is for the fineness of the parchments, and the beauty of the letters, not for reading them. For they have not bought them to obtain advantage and benefit from them, but take pains about such matters to show their wealth and pride. Such is the excess of vainglory.

St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on St. John, Homily 32, NPNF 1st series, Vol. 14, p. 114

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