FROM MAXIMUS, SERMON 13, P. 574.-ANTONIUS MELISSA, SERMON 32, P. 45, AND SERMON 33, P.57:
The lovers of frugality shun luxury as the bane of soul and body. The possession and use of necessaries has nothing injurious in quality, but it has in quantity above measure. Scarcity
of food is a necessary benefit.
MAXIMUS, SERMON 52, P. 654.-ANTONIUS MELISSA, BOOK I. SERMON 54:
The vivid remembrance of death is a check upon diet; and when the diet is lessened, the passions are diminished along with it.
Who is the Rich Man that Shall Be Saved?
Riches, then, which benefit also our neighbours, are not to be thrown away. For they
are possessions, in as much as they are possessed, and goods, in as much as they are useful
and provided by God for the use of men; and they lie to our hand, and are put under our
power, as material and instruments which are for good use to those who know the
instrument. If you use it skilfully, it is skilful; if you are deficient in skill, it is affected by
your want of skill, being itself destitute of blame. Such an instrument is wealth. Are you
able to make a right use of it? It is subservient to righteousness. Does one make a wrong
use of it? It is, on the other hand, a minister of wrong. For its nature is to be subservient,
not to rule. That then which of itself has neither good nor evil, being blameless, ought not
to be blamed; but that which has the power of using it well and ill, by reason of its
possessing voluntary choice. And this is the mind and judgment of man, which has freedom
in itself and self-determination in the treatment of what is assigned to it. So let no man
destroy wealth, rather than the passions of the soul, which are incompatible with the better
use of wealth. So that, becoming virtuous and good, he may be able to make a good use of
these riches. The renunciation, then, and selling of all possessions, is to be understood as
spoken of the passions of the soul.