VI. On Susannah
"With two maids only." For when the Church desires to take the laver according to use, she must of necessity have two handmaids to accompany her. For it is by faith on Christ and love to God that the Church confesses and receives the layer.
"And they saw not the elders." For as of old the devil was concealed in the serpent in the garden, so now too, concealed in the elders. he fired them with his own lust, that he might again a second time corrupt Eve.
"And we are in love with thee." Why, ye lawless, do ye strive to gain over a chaste anti guileless soul by deceitful words, in order to satisfy your own lust?
"I am straitened on every side." Behold the words of a chaste woman, and one dear to God: "I am straitened on every side." For the Church is afflicted and straitened, not only by the Jews, but also by the Gentiles, and by those who are called Christians, but are not such in reality. For they, observing her chaste and happy life, strive to ruin her.
"For if I do this thing, it is death to me." For to be disobedient to God, and obedient to men, works eternal death and punishment.
"And if I do it not, I cannot escape your hands." And this indeed is said with truth. For they who are brought into judgment for the sake of God's name, if they do what is commanded them by men, die to God, and shall live in the world. But if they refuse to do what is commanded them by men, they escape not the hands of their judges, but are condemned by them.
"And the two elders cried out against her." For the wicked never cease to cry out against us, and to say: Away with such from off the earth, for it is not fit that they should live. In an evangelical sense, Susannah despised them who kill the body, in order that she might save her soul from death. Now sin is the death of the soul, and especially (the sin of) adultery. For when the soul that is united with Christ forsakes its faith, it is given over to perpetual death, viz., eternal punishment. And in confirmation of this, in the case of the transgression and violation of marriage unions in the flesh, the law has decreed the penalty of death.
To all these things, therefore, we ought to give heed, beloved, fearing lest any one be overtaken in any transgression, and risk the loss of his soul, knowing as we do that God is the Judge of all; and the Word Himself is the Eye which nothing that is done in the world escapes. Therefore, always watchful in heart and pure in life, let us imitate Susannah.