1. "Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with
what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."
Aug.: Since when these temporal things are provided beforehand against
the future, it is uncertain with what purpose it is done, as it may be
with a single or double mind, He opportunely subjoins, "Judge not."
Pseudo-Chrys.: Otherwise; He has drawn out thus far the consequences
of his injunctions of almsgiving; He now takes up those respecting prayer.
And this doctrine is in a sort of continuation of that of the prayer; as
though it should run, "Forgive us our debts," and then should follow, "Judge
not, that ye be not judged."
Jerome: But if He forbids us to judge, how then does Paul judge the
Corinthian who had committed uncleanness? Or Peter convict Ananias and
Sapphira of falsehood?
Pseudo-Chrys.: But some explain this place after a sense, as though
the Lord did not herein forbid Christians to reprove others out of good
will, but only intended that Christians should not despise Christians by
making a show of their own righteousness, hating others often on suspicion
alone, condemning them, and pursuing private grudges under the show of
Chrys.: Wherefore He does not say, 'Do not cause a sinner to cease,'
but do not judge; that is, be not a bitter judge; correct him indeed, but
not as an enemy seeking revenge, but as a physician applying a remedy.
Pseudo-Chrys.: But that not even thus should Christians correct Christians
is shewn by that expression, "Judge not." [p. 265]
But if they do not thus correct, shall they therefore obtain forgiveness
of their sins, because it is said, "and ye shall not be judged?" For who
obtains forgiveness of a former sin, by not adding another thereto? This
we have said, desiring to shew that this is not here spoken concerning
not judging our neighbour who shall sin against God, but who may sin against
ourselves. For whoso does not judge his neighbour who has sinned against
him, him shall not God judge for his sin, but will forgive him his debt
even as he forgave.
Chrys.: Otherwise; He does not forbid us to judge all sin absolutely,
but lays this prohibition on such as are themselves full of great evils,
and judge others for very small evils. In like manner Paul does not absolutely
forbid to judge those that sin, but finds fault with disciples that judged
their teacher, and instructs us not to judge those that are above us.
Hilary: Otherwise; He forbids us to judge God touching His promises;
for as judgements among men are founded on things uncertain, so this judgment
against God is drawn from somewhat that is doubtful. And He therefore would
have us put away the custom from us altogether; for it is not here as in
other cases where it is sin to have given a false judgment; but here we
have begun to sin if we have pronounced any judgment at all.
Aug., Serm. in Mont., ii, 18: I suppose the command here to be no other
than that we should always put the best interpretation on such actions
as seem doubtful with what mind they were done. But concerning such as
cannot be done with good purpose, as adulteries, blasphemies, and the like,
He permits us to judge; but of indifferent actions which admit of being
done with either good or bad purpose, it is rash to judge, but especially
so to condemn.
There are two cases in which we should be particularly on our guard
against hasty judgments, when it does not appear with what mind the action
was done; and when it does not yet appear, what sort of man any one may
turn out, who now seems either good or bad. Wherefore he should neither
blame those things of which we know with what mind they are done, nor so
blame those things which are manifest, as though we despaired of recovery.
Here one may think there is difficulty is what follows, "With what judgment
ye judge ye shall be judged." [p. 266] If we judge a hasty judgment, will
God also judge us with the like? Or if we have measured with a false measure,
is there with God a false measure whence it may be measured to us again?
For by measure I suppose is here meant judgment. Surely this is only said,
that the haste in which you punish another shall be itself your punishment.
For injustice often does no harm to him who suffers the wrong; but must
always hurt him who does the wrong.
Aug., City of God, xxi, 11: Some say, How is it true that Christ says,
"And with what measure ye shall mete it shall be measured to you again,"
if temporal sin is to be punished by eternal suffering? They do not observe
that it is not said "the same measure," because of the equal space of time,
but because of the equal retribution - namely, that he who has done evil
should suffer evil, though even in that sense it might be said of that
of which the Lord spoke here, namely of judgments and condemnations. Accordingly,
he that judges and condemns unjustly, if he is judged and condemned, justly
receives in the same measure though not the same thing that he gave; by
judgment he did what was unjust, by judgment he suffers what is just.
3. "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye,
but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4. Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote
out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye;
and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's
Aug., Serm. in Mont., ii, 18: The Lord having admonished us concerning
hasty and unjust judgment; and because that they are most given to rash
judgment, who judge concerning things uncertain; and they most readily
find fault, who love rather to speak evil and to condemn than to cure and
to correct; a fault that spring either from pride or jealousy - therefore
He [p. 267] subjoins, "Why seest thou the mote in thy brother's eye, and
seest not the beam in thy own eye?"
Jerome: He speaks of such as though themselves guilty of mortal sin,
do not forgive a trivial fault in their brother.
Aug.: As if he perhaps have sinned in anger, and you correct him with
settled hate. For as great as is the difference between a beam and a mote,
so great is the difference between anger and hatred. For hatred is anger
become inveterate. It may be if you are angry with a man that you would
have him amend, not so if you hate him.
Chrys.: Many do this, if they see a Monk having a superfluous garment,
or a plentiful meal, they break out into bitter accusation, though themselves
daily seize and devour, and suffer from excess of drinking.
Pseudo-Chrys.: Otherwise; This is spoken to the doctors. For every sin
is either a great or a small sin according to the character of the sinner.
If he is a laic, it is small and a mote in comparison of the sin of a priest,
which is the beam.
Hilary: Otherwise; The sin against the Holy Spirit is to take from God
power which has influences, and from Christ substance which is of eternity,
through whom as God came to man, so shall man likewise come to God. As
much greater then as is the beam than the mote, so much greater is the
sin against the Holy Spirit than all other sins. As when unbelievers object
to others carnal sins, and secrete in themselves the burden of that sin,
to wit, that they trust not the promises of God, their minds being blinded
as their eye might be by a beam.
Pseudo-Chrys.: That is, with what face can you charge your brother with
sin, when yourself are living in the same or a yet greater sin?
Aug., Serm. in Mont., ii, 19: When then we are brought under the necessity
of finding fault with any, let us first consider whether the sin be such
as we have never had; secondly that we are yet men, and may fall into it;
then, whether it be one that we have had, and are now without, and then
let our common frailty come into our mind, that pity and not hate may go
before correction. Should we find ourselves in the same fault, let us not
reprove, but groan with the offender, and invite him to struggle with us.
Seldom indeed and in cases of great necessity is reproof to be employed;
and then only that the Lord may be served [p. 268] and not ourselves.
Pseudo-Chrys.: Otherwise; "How sayest thou to thy brother;" that is,
with what purpose? From charity, that you may save your neighbour? Surely
not, for you would first save yourself. You desire therefore not to heal
others, but by good doctrine to cover bad life, and to gain praise of learning
from men, not the reward of edifying from God, and you are a hypocrite;
as it follows, "Thou hypocrite, cast first the beam out of thine own eye."
Aug., Serm. in Mont., ii, 19: For to reprove sin is the duty of the
good, which when the bad do, they act a part, dissembling their own character,
and assuming one that does not belong to them.
Chrys.: And it is to be noted, that whenever He intends to denounce
any great sin, He begins with an epithet of reproach, as below, "Thou wicked
servant, I forgave thee all that debt;" [Matt 18:32] and so here, "Thou
hypocrite, cast out first." For each one knows better the things of himself
than the things of others, and sees more the things that be great, then
the things that be lesser, and loves himself more than his neighbour.
Therefore He bids him who is chargeable with many sins, not to be a
harsh judge of another's faults, especially if they be small. Herein not
forbidding to arraign and correct; but forbidding to make light of our
own sins, and magnify those of others. For it behoves you first diligently
to examine how great may be your own sins, and then try those of your neighbour;
whence it follows, "and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out
of thy brother's eye."
Aug.: For having removed from our own eye the beam of envy, of malice,
or hypocrisy, we shall see clearly to cast the beam out of our brother's