strife, slanders, accusations, falsehood, hypocrisy, intrigues . . . love of praise, desire of honour . . . contempt of the poor, paying court to the rich' (3.9). The virtuous life of priests, who are pastors and teachers, is in principle no different from the ideal held before all Christians. 'For this is the perfection of teaching when the teachers both by what they do, and by what they say as well, bring their disciples to that blessed state of life which Christ appointed for them' (4.8).

Ambrose, like Chrysostom, seems more concerned with the moral than with the spiritual life. The pastor must exemplify the life of virtue (2.60):

... when it comes to obtaining good advice, it is uprightness of life, an obvious preference for all the best virtues, a steady practice of goodwill, and a pleasant and courteous manner that are the qualities which matter most. After all, who would look for a spring in a patch of mud? If all we find in an individual is decadence, a lack of temperance, and a medley of every imaginable vice, who would suppose there should be a single good draught to be drawn from such a source?

Prudence or wisdom, as we have seen, is the spiritual source of moral virtue. And it is the second cardinal virtue, justice, that Ambrose treats most fully (1.130-74). Justice primarily refers to 'promoting the fellowship of the human race' and 'furthering community' (1.130). This has a direct bearing upon how we should understand property. God's plan was that 'the earth would be . . . the common possession of us all. Nature produced common rights, then; it is greed that has established private rights' (1.132). Private property is the consequence of the fallen state in which humans find themselves. While it cannot be abolished, its right use for the common good is necessary for justice. Chrysostom agrees that almsgiving is a central feature of the virtuous life. Ambrose most clearly Christianises his account of justice by insisting upon non-retaliation (1.131). Here we find a tension with his treatment of courage, where he recognises the possibility of a just war (1.175-209). His discussion of temperance leads him to discuss chastity and the ideal of clerical celibacy (1.68-9, 76-80, 248-9; 2.27).

All three writers attack pastors who fall short ofthe ideal and who use their office to gain power or wealth for themselves. Nevertheless, repudiating these instances of vainglory does not mean that they fail to argue that the pastor must be set over his flock. To be sure, pastoral authority must be largely persuasive and must involve the paradox of patronage. That is, the pastor as patron must be both above his clients and at the same time fully identified with their interests. One of the things this means is that the cure of souls must

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