OF DOING EVIL
The very act
of not doing good is in itself doing evil. Tell me, if thou hadst a
servant who should neither steal nor insult thee, who, moreover, should keep
from drunkenness and every other kind of vice, and yet should sit
perpetually in idleness and not doing one of those duties which a servant
owes to his master, wouldst thou not chastise him? Wouldst thou not
put him to the rack? Doubtless, thou wilt say -- I would. And
yet, forsooth, he has done no evil . No, but this is in itself doing
But let us apply
this to other cases in life. Suppose, then, that of a husbandman.
He does no damage to our property; he lays no plots against us, and he is
not a thief; he only ties his hands behind him and sits at home.
He neither sows, nor cuts a single furrow, nor harnesses an ox to the yoke,
nor looks after a vine, nor in fact discharges any one of those labours
required in husbandry. Now, I ask, should we not chastise such a man?
And yet, he has done no wrong to anyone; we have no charge whatever to make
against him. No; but by this very thing has he done wrong. He
does wrong in that he does not contribute his own share to the common stock
St. John Chrysostom