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The Instructions Of Commodianus by Commodianus

LXIV.--Of the Zeal of Concupiscence.

In desiring, thence thou perishest, whilst thou art burning with envy of thy neighbour. Thou extinguishest thyself, when thou inflamest thyself within. Thou art jealous, O envious man, of another who is struggling with evil, and desirest that thou mayest become equally the possessor of so much wealth. The law does not thus behold him when thou seekest to fall upon him. Depending on all things, thou livest in the lust of gain; and although thou art guilty to thyself, thou condemnest thyself by thy own judgment. The greedy survey of the eyes is never satisfied. Now, therefore, if thou mayest return and consider, lust is vain...whence God cries out, Thou fool, this night thou art summoned. Death rushes after thee. Whose, then, shall be those talents? By hiding the unrighteous gains in the concealed treasury, when the Lord shall supply to every one his daily life. Let another accumulate; do thou seek to live well. And when thy heart is conscious of God, thou shalt be victor over all things; yet I do not say that thou shouldest boast thyself in public, when thou art watching for thy day by living without fraud. The bird perishes in the midst of food, or carelessly sticks fast in the bird-lime. Think that in thy simplicity thou hast much to beware of. Let others trangress these bounds. Do thou always look forward.
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