God has given us an articulate voice to confess withal, and added to it a suitable tongue as an instrument to modulate withal Full Text Here.
A PRAYER FOR THE ASSISTANCE OF THE RIGHTEOUS.
XXXVIII. We give Thee thanks for all things, O Lord Almighty, that Thou hast not taken away Thy mercies and Thy compassions from us; but in every succeeding generation Thou dost save, and deliver, and assist, and protect for Thou didst assist in the days of Enos and Enoch, in the days of Moses and Joshua, in the days of the judges, in the days of Samuel and of Elijah and of the prophets, in the days of David and of the kings, in the days of Esther and Mordecai, in the days of Judith, in the days of Judas Maccabeus and his brethren, and in our days hast Thou assisted us by Thy great High Priest, Jesus Christ Thy Son. For He has delivered us from the sword, and hath freed us from famine, and sustained us; has delivered us from sickness, has preserved us from an evil tongue. For all which things do we give Thee thanks through Christ,who has given us an articulate voice to confess withal,And all these members dost Thou form from a little drop in the womb;
and added to it a suitable tongue as an instrument to modulate withal,
and a proper taste, and a suitable touch, and a sight for contemplation,and the hearing of sounds, and the smelling of vapours, and hands for work, and feet for walking.
and after the formation dost Thou bestow on it an immortal soul,
and producest it into the light as a rational creature, even man.
Thou hast instructed him by Thy laws, improved him by Thy statutes; and when Thou bringest on a dissolution for a while, Thou hast promised a resurrection. Wherefore what life is sufficient, what length of ages will be long enough, for men to be thankful? To do it worthily it is impossible, but to do it according to our ability is just and right.
For Thou hast delivered us from the impiety of polytheism, and from the heresy of the murderers of Christ; Thou hast delivered us from error and ignorance; Thou hast sent Christ among men as a man, being the only begotten God; Thou hast made the Comforter to inhabit among us; Thou hast set angels over us; Thou hast put the devil to shame; Thou hast brought us into being when we were not. Thou takest care of us when made; Thou measurest out life to us; Thou affordest us food; Thou hast promised repentance. Glory and worship be to Thee for all these things, through Jesus Christ,
(8) now and ever, and through all ages. Amen. Meditate on these things, brethren; and the Lord be With you upon earth, and in the kingdom of His Father, who both sent Him, and has "delivered us by Him from the bondage of corruption into His glorious liberty;" (19) and has promised life to those who through Him have believed in the God of the whole world.
VARIOUS CANONS OF PAUL THE APOSTLE CONCERNING THOSE THAT OFFER THEMSELVES TO BE BAPTIZED--WHOM WE ARE TO RECEIVE, AND WHOM TO REJECT.
XXXII. / also, Paul,
(7) the least of the apostles, do make the following constitutions for you, the bishops, and presbyters, and deacons, concerning canons. Those, that first come to the mystery of godliness, let them be brought to the bishop or to the presbyters by the deacons, and let them be examined as to the causes wherefore they come to the word of the Lord; and let those that bring them exactly inquire about their character, and give them their testimony.
Let their manners and their life be inquired into, and whether they he slaves or freemen. And if any one be a slave, let him be asked who is his master. If he be slave to one of the faithful, let his master be asked if he can give him a good character. If he cannot, let him be rejected, until he show himself to be worthy to his master. But if he does give him a good character, let him be admitted. But if he be household slave to an heathen, let him be taught to please his master, that the word be not blasphemed. If, then, he have a wife, or a woman hath an husband, let them be taught to be content with each other; but if they be unmarried, let them learn not to commit fornication, but to enter into lawful marriage. But if his master be one of the faithful, and knows that he is guilty of fornication, and yet does not give him a wife, or to the woman an husband, let him be separated; but if any one hath a demon, let him indeed be taught piety, but not received into communion before he be cleansed; yet if death be near, let him be received.
If any one be a maintainer of harlots, let him either leave off to prostitute women, or else let him be rejected. If a harlot come, let her leave off whoredom, or else let her be rejected. If a maker of idols come, let him either leave off his employment, or let him be rejected.
If one belonging to the theatre
(1) come, whether it be man or woman, or charioteer, or dueller, or racer, or player of prizes, or Olympic gamester, or one that plays on the pipe, on the lute, or on the harp at those games, or a dancing-master or an huckster,
(2) either let them leave off their employments, or let them be rejected. If a soldier come, let him be taught to "do no injustice, to accuse no man falsely, and to be content with his allotted wages:"
(3) if he submit to those rules, let him be received; but if he refuse them, let him be rejected. He that is guilty of sins not to be named, a sodomite, an effeminate person, a magician, an enchanter, an astrologer, a diviner, an user of magic verses, a juggler, a mountebank, one that makes amulets, a charmer, a soothsayer, a fortune-teller, an observer of palmistry; he that, when he meets you, observes defects in the eyes or feet of the birds or cats, or noises, or symbolical sounds:
let these be proved for some time, for this sort of wickedness is hard to be washed away; and if they leave off those practices, let them be received; but if they will not agree to that, let them be rejected. Let a concubine, who is slave to an unbeliever, and confines herself to her master alone, be received;
(4) but if she be incontinent with others, let her be rejected. If one of the faithful hath a concubine, if she be a bond-servant, let him leave off that way, and marry in a legal manner: if she be a free woman, let him marry her in a lawful manner; if he does not, let him be rejected. Let him that follows the Gentile customs, or Jewish fables, either reform, or let him be rejected.
If any one follows the sports of the theatre, their huntings, or horse-races, or combats, either let him leave them off, or let him be rejected.
Let him who is to be a catechumen be a catechumen for three years; but if any one be diligent, and has a good-will to his business, let him be admitted: for it is not the length of time, but the course of life, that is judged. Let him that teaches, although he be one of the laity, yet, if he be skilful in the word and grave in his manners, teach; for "they shall be all taught of God."
(5) Let all the faithful, whether men or women, when they rise from sleep, before they go to work, when they have washed themselves, pray; but if any catechetic instruction be held, let the faithful person prefer the word of piety before his work. Let the faithful person, whether man or woman, treat servants kindly, as we have ordained in the foregoing books, and have taught in our epistles. (6)