Yea, for it was removal of punishment,
and remission of sins,
and “righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption,”
and adoption, and an inheritance of Heaven,
and a relationship unto the Son of God,
which he came declaring unto all;
to enemies, to the perverse,
to them that were sitting in darkness.
What then could ever be equal to these good tidings?
God on earth, man in Heaven;
and all became mingled together,
angels joined the choirs of men,
men had fellowship with the angels, and with the other powers above:
and one might see the long war brought to an end,
and reconciliation made between God and our nature,
the devil brought to shame, demons in flight,
death destroyed, Paradise opened,
the curse blotted out, sin put out of the way,
error driven off, truth returning,
the word of godliness everywhere sown, and flourishing in its growth,
the polity of those above planted on the earth,
those powers in secure intercourse with us,
and on earth angels continually haunting,
and hope abundant touching things to come.
Therefore he hath called the history good tidings,
forasmuch as all other things surely are words only without substance;
as, for instance, plenty of wealth, greatness of power, kingdoms,
and glories, and honors, and whatever other things among men are accounted to be good:
but those which are published by the fishermen would be legitimately and properly called good tidings:
not only as being sure and immoveable blessings, and beyond our deserts,
but also as being given to us with all facility.
For not by laboring and sweating,
not by fatigue and suffering,
but merely as being beloved of God,
we received what we have received.
John Chrysostom, Homilies on Matthew