Clement notes that Christ was baptized because His
task was to model the way all are to become free of Sin. Christ
actually took on the sin of the whole world.
And do not reprehend me when I profess to know God; for
so it was deemed right to speak
to the Word, and He is free. John
For at the moment of the Lord's [baptism?] there
heaven, as a testimony to the Beloved, "Thou art My beloved
Son, to-day have I
Let us then ask the wise, Is
Christ, begotten to-day, already perfect, or-what were most
If the latter, there is some addition He
requires yet to make. But for Him to make any addition to His
knowledge is absurd, since He is
For none can be superior to the Word, or the
teacher of the only Teacher.
Will they not then own, though reluctant, that
the perfect Word born of the perfect Father was begotten in perfection,
according to oeconomic fore-ordination?
And if He was perfect, why was He,
the perfect one, baptized?
It was necessary, they say, to fulfil the profession that
pertained to humanity. Most excellent.
Well, I assert, simultaneously with
His baptism by John, He becomes perfect?
Manifestly. He did not then
learn anything more from him? Certainly not.
But He is perfected by the washing-of
baptism-alone, and is sanctified by the
Such is the case.
THE PROPHESY of Joshua or
Jesus or Jehovah- Saves.
AND he shewed me
Joshua the high priest
standing before the angel
of the Lord, and Satan
standing at his right hand to resist him. Zech 3:1
And the Lord said unto Satan,
The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan;
even the Lord that hath
chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Zech 3:2
Now Joshua was clothed with
filthy garments, and stood before the angel.
Filthy is well defined in
the Dead Sea Scroll version of Psalm 41 which prophesied the use of music
to panic Jesus into becoming a reproached (naked, showing the private
parts). As God lived in a body subjected to such extremes that he
would be covered by urine and excrement even before the cross,
(g6674) tso; or 6629 tso; from an unused root mean. to issue; soiled
(as if excrementitious): - filthy.
The garment includes some
(h899) behg'-ed; from 898; a covering, i. e. clothing; also
treachery or pillage: - apparel, cloth (-es, -ing), garment, lap,
rag, raiment, robe, *
very [treacherously], vesture, wardrobe.
And so Pilate,
willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and
delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. Mk 15:15
And they clothed him with purple,
and platted a crown of
thorns, and put it
about his head, Mk.15:17
And they smote him on the head
with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing
their knees worshipped him. Mk 15:19
And when they had mocked him,
off the purple from
him, and put his own
clothes on him, and led
him out to crucify him. Mk 15:20
And when they had crucified
him, they parted HIS
garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. Mk
The chief priests MOCKED Him.
The word is empaizo where those who PIPED trying to force Jesus to
sing and dance the Dionysus ritual, were defined as PAIS which defines the CHORUS LEADERS in the market
Back to the prophecy of
Jehovah- Saves in Zechariah:
And he (king or messenger) answered and spake unto those that stood
before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him.
And unto him he said, Behold, I
have caused thine
iniquity to pass from
thee, and I will clothe
thee with change of
raiment. Zech 3:4
And as he prayed,
the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white
and glistering. Lu.9:29
He that overcometh, the same
shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name
out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my
Father, and before his angels. Re.3:5
And to her was granted that she
should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen
is the righteousness of saints. Re.19:8
THE Lord reigneth, he is
clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it
If God in Christ (His right
hand) planned to redeem or buy back a tiny few who would FOLLOW Him,
he MUST die as a common criminal. Unless Jesus ASSUMED all sins He
should not be crucified.
And Jesus, when he
was baptized, went up straightway out
of the water: and, lo, the heavens were
opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove,
and lighting upon him: John 3:16
And lo a voice from
heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in
whom I am well pleased. John 3:17
God speaking through the
angel to Zechariah:
And I said, Let
them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon
his head, and clothed
him with garments. And
the angel of the Lord stood by. Zech 3:5
And the angel of the Lord
protested unto Joshua, saying, Zech 3:6
Thus saith the Lord of hosts;
If thou wilt walk in
my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also
keep my courts,
and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. Zech 3:7
John was of the priestly line and would prophetically
Priest. However, John
resisted baptizing Jesus because no human priest could annoint God.
However, God in Christ had taken on the sins of the world like a filthy garment. To carry out or FULLY PREACH the role of Baptism,
not be recognized as
the Son of the Father
God until He had submitted to water baptism.
And Jesus answering
said unto him, Suffer it to be so now:
for thus it becometh us to fulfil
all righteousness. Then he suffered him. Matthew 3:15
(g4137) play-ro'-o; from 4134.. execute (an office), finish (a period
or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), fully preach, perfect, supply.
Dikaiosune (g1343) dik-ah-yos-oo'-nay; from 1342; equity (of
character or act); spec. (Chr.) justification: - righteousness.
The common people would JUSTIFY
God and not, therefore, call Him a liar but the Pharisees and Doctors
of the Law would reject the PRE-COUNSEL of God:
And all the
people (laos, laity) that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. Luke
But the Pharisees and lawyers
rejected the counsel of God against themselves,
being not baptized of him. Luke 7:30
were CLERGY over the LAOS, but Jesus HATES them (Rev. 2:6)
Nikolaos (g3532) nik-ol'-ah-os; from 3534 and
2994; victorious over
the people; Nicolaus, a
heretic: - Nicolaus.
The NIKOS or clergy REJECTED
the predestinated plan of God because it would REMOVE the clergy
classes and put them out of doing CHURCH as BUSINESS.
(g114) ath-et-eh'-o; from a compound of 1 (as a neg. particle) and a
der. of 5087; to set aside, i.e. (by impl.) to disesteem, neutralize or violate: - cast off, despise,
disannul, frustrate, bring to nought, reject.
Of the Pharisees, Jesus
And he said to
them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in
order to observe [set up]
your own traditions! Mk
And he said unto them, Full
well ye reject the
commandment of God,
that ye may keep your own tradition. Mk.7:9KJV traditionary law
You are simply rejecting God's laws and trampling them under your feet for the sake of tradition. Mk 7:9LIV
The SPIRIT as a dove spoke of
the messenger of God. The SPIRIT on Jesus was prophesied to be the
SEVEN SPIRITS of knowledge represented by the Menorah or candlesticks
in the Holy Place where no rhetorician, singer or musician could go
on the penalty of death.
Joshua or Jesus had to SHOW
THE WAY into the Most Holy Place. This was was to take on the sins of
the whole world: past, present and future.
Therefore if any
man be in
Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all
things are become new. 2 Cor 5:17
For ye are all the children of God by faith
in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:26
For as many of you as have been baptized
into Christ have put on
Christ. Gal 3:27
This was God's ONLY
PREDESTINATED plan to reconcile both Jew and Gentile EFFECTIVELY when He broke down the middle wall of partition into
the MOST HOLY PLACE where neither non Levitical priests, singers or
musicians could go on the penalty of Death.
That wall is broken down
ONLY when the message of that PAST TENSE reconciliation is preached
resulting in Baptism.
And all things are
of God, who
reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ,
and hath given to us the
reconciliation; 2 Cor
To wit, that God was in
Christ, reconciling the world unto himself,
not imputing their trespasses unto them;
and hath committed unto us the
word of reconciliation. 2 Cor 5:19
Now then we are ambassadors for
Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christs
stead, be ye reconciled to God. 2 Cor 5:20
For he hath made him to be sin for
us, who knew no sin;
that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
The same also takes place in our case, whose
Being baptized, we are illuminated;
illuminated, we become sons; being made sons, we
are made perfect; being made perfect, we are made immortal. "I," says
He, "have said that ye are gods, and all sons of the Highest." Ps.
(g5461) fo-tid'-zo; from 5457; to shed rays, i.e. to shine or
(trans.) to brighten up (lit. or fig.): - enlighten, illuminate,
(bring to, give) light, make to see.
That was the true
Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
The eyes of your understanding
being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling,
and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
And to make all men
see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning
of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus
But is now made manifest by the
appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and
hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
But call to remembrance the
former days, in which, after ye were illuminated (made to see), ye endured a great fight of
afflictions; Hebrews 10:32
For it is impossible for those
who were once
enlightened, and have
tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made
partakers of the
Holy Ghost, Heb.6:4
And to make all men
see what is the fellowship of the mystery,
which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who
created all things by Jesus Christ: Ep.3:9
To the intent that
now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places
known by the church the
manifold wisdom of
God, Eph 3:10
That it might be fulfilled
which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my
parables; I will utter
things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the
Corinthians Gift of the Spirit Suneidesis
Mandaeands Sabians Iraq Christians
"Sabian" is a word derived from
the Aramaic-Mandic verb "Saba" which means "baptised" or "dyed",
"dMandaeans" is derived from "menda" which means in the mandiac
Sabians" means those who are baptised and who
know the religion of
This work is variously called
illumination, and perfection, and
which we cleanse away our
> grace, by which the
penalties accruing to transgressions are remitted; and
> illumination, by which
that holy light of salvation is beheld, that is,
by which we see God
Now we call that perfect which wants nothing. For what is
yet wanting to him who knows God? For it were truly monstrous that
that which is not
complete should be called a gift (or
act) of God's grace.
Being perfect, He consequently
bestows perfect gifts. As at His command all things were
so on His bare wishing to bestow
ensues the perfecting of His grace. For the future of time is anticipated by
the power of His volition.
Further release from evils is the beginning of
We then alone, who first have
the confines of life, are already
perfect; and we already live who are
accordingly, is the following of
"For that which is in Him is life. John i. 4.
Eternal life is in him, and this life gives light
to all mankind. John 1:4
It is the
spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Phos (g5457) foce; from an obsol. phao, (to
shine or make manifest, espec. by rays; comp. 5316, 5346);
luminousness (in the widest application, nat. or artificial,
abstr. or concr., lit. or fig.): - fire, light
Phaino (g5316) fah'ee-no; prol. for the base
of 5457; to lighten (shine), i.e. show (trans. or intrans., lit. or
fig.): - appear, seem, be seen, shine, * think.
light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the
bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee:
for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy
sorceries were all nations deceived. Re.18:23
Phemi (g5346) fay-mee'; prop. the same as the
base of 5457 and 5316; to show or make known one's thoughts, i.e.
speak or say: - affirm, say. Comp. 3004.
Lego (g3004) leg'-o; a prim. verb; prop. to
"lay" forth, i.e. (fig.) relate (in words [usually of systematic or set
discourse; whereas 2036
and 5346 generally refer to an individual expression or speech respectively; while 4482 is
prop. to break silence merely, and 2980 means an extended or random
harangue]); by impl. to mean: - ask, bid, boast, call, describe, give
out, name, put forth, say (- ing, on), shew, speak, tell, utter.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that
words, and believeth on
Him that sent Me, hath eternal life,
and cometh not into condemnation, but hath passed from death to
life."John v. 24.
Thus believing alone, and
regeneration, is perfection in life; for
God is never weak. For as His will is
work, and this (the result of his
will) is named the world; so also
His counsel is the salvation
of men, and this has been called the church.
> Regeneration to Clement is not
something mystical. For instance, when one is aroused from sleep they
are awake. In the same way, one who does not believe does not have
the capacity to obey God. He is as far away from spiritual knowledge
as he can be. However, when one hears the gospel, the Word or Seed of
life or Spirit (John 6:63) suddenly germinates and the seed is said
to be alive.
> However, once it is alive through the
"good news" it now has the capacity to put on maturity and burst
through the ground in a form of new birth.
> Only when born into the air does the
plant have the power or perfection to produce fruit and enjoy its
He knows, therefore, whom He has called, and
whom He has saved; and at one and the same time He called and saved
them. "For ye are," says the apostle, "taught of God." 1 Thess. iv. 9. It is not then allowable to think of
what is taught by Him as imperfect; and what is learned from Him is the
eternal salvation of the eternal Saviour, to whom be thanks for ever
and ever. Amen.
And he who is only regenerated-as the name
necessarily indicates-and is enlightened, is delivered
forthwith from darkness, and on the instant receives the light.
As, then, those who have shaken off sleep forthwith
become all awake within; or rather, as those who try to remove a film
that is over the eyes,
do not supply to them from without the light which they do not
but removing the obstacle from
the eyes, leave the pupil free; thus also
we who are baptized,
having wiped off the sins which
obscure the light of the Divine Spirit,
have the eye of the spirit free, unimpeded, and full of
by which alone we contemplate the Divine,
the Holy Spirit flowing down to us from above.
This is the eternal adjustment of the vision, which is able to see the eternal light, since like
loves like; and that which is holy, loves that from which holiness
proceeds, which has appropriately been termed light. "Once ye were
darkness, now are ye light in the Lord." Eph. v.8.
For ye were
sometimes darkness, but now are ye light
in the Lord: walk as children of light:
Baptism, which corresponds to
this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an
appeal to God for a
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 1 Peter 3:21
Suneidesis (g4893) soon-i'-day-sis; from a prol. form of 4894;
co- perception, i.e. moral consciousness; - conscience.
Suneido (g4894) soon-i'-do; from 4862 and 1492;
to see completely; used (like its prim.) only in two past tenses,
respectively mean. to understand or become aware, and to be conscious
or (clandestinely) informed of: - consider, know, be privy, be ware
And kept back part of the
price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the
apostles feet. Ac.5:2
For I know nothing by myself;
yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
Hence I am of opinion man was called by the
ancients phos. But he has not yet received, say they, the perfect
gift. I also assent to this; but he is in the light, and the
darkness comprehendeth him not.
And the light
shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Phos (g5457) foce; from an obsol. phao, (to
shine or make manifest, espec. by rays; comp. 5316, 5346);
luminousness (in the widest application, nat. or artificial,
abstr. or concr., lit. or fig.): - fire, light
There is nothing intermediate between light and
But the end is reserved till the
resurrection of those who believe; and it is not the
reception of some other thing, but the obtaining of the promise
previously made. For we do not say that both take place together at
the same time-both the arrival at the end, and the anticipation of
that arrival. For eternity and time are not the same, neither is the
attempt and the final result; but both have reference to the same
thing, and one and the same person is concerned in both.
- Faith, so
to speak, is the attempt generated in
- the final
result is the attainment of the
promise, secured for eternity.
Now the Lord Himself has most clearly revealed
the equality of salvation, when He said: "For this is the will of my
Father, that every one that seeth the Son, and
on Him, should have everlasting life; and I will raise him up in the
last day." John vi. 40.
Jesus answered and
said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born
again, he cannot
see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How
can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into
his mothers womb, and be born? John 3:4
Jesus answered, Verily, verily,
I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water
and of the Spirit,
enter into the kingdom
of God. John 3:5
As far as possible in this world, which is what
he means by the last day, and which is preserved till the time that
it shall end, we believe that we are made perfect. Wherefore He says,
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." John iii.
If, then, those who have believed
have life, what remains beyond the possession of eternal life?
Nothing is wanting to faith, as it is perfect
and complete in itself.
If aught is wanting to it, it is not wholly
perfect. But faith is not
lame in any respect; nor after our
departure from this world does it make us who have believed, and
received without distinction the earnest of future good, wait; but
having in anticipation grasped by faith that which is future, after
the resurrection we receive it as present, in order that that may be
fulfilled which was spoken, "Be it according to thy faith." Matt. ix.
29. And where faith is, there is the promise; and the consummation of
the promise is rest.
So that in
illumination what we receive is knowledge, and
the end of knowledge is rest-the last thing
conceived as the object of aspiration. As, then,
inexperience comes to an end by experience, and perplexity by finding
a clear outlet, so by illumination must darkness disappear. The
darkness is ignorance, through which we fall into sins, purblind as
to the truth. Knowledge, then, is the illumination we receive, which
makes ignorance disappear, and endows us with clear vision.
Further, the abandonment of what is
bad is the adopting of what is better.
For what ignorance has bound ill, is by
knowledge loosed well; those bonds are with all speed slackened by
human faith and divine
grace, our transgressions being taken
away by one Poeonian [Iliad, v. 401.] medicine, the baptism of the Word.
We are washed from all our sins, and are no
longer entangled in evil. This is the one grace of illumination, that
our characters are not the same as before our washing.
And since knowledge springs up with
illumination, shedding its beams around the mind,
the moment we hear, we who were
untaught become disciples.
Does this, I ask, take place on the
advent of this
instruction? You cannot tell the time.
For instruction leads to
the Holy Spirit.
AND there shall come forth a
rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his
roots: Isaiah 11:1
spirit of the
Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit
of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of
counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the
Lord; Isaiah 11: 2
And shall make him
of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge
after the sight
of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing
of his ears: Isaiah 11: 3
But with righteousness shall he judge the
poor, and reprove with
equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the
breath (Spirit h7307) of his lips
shall he slay the wicked. Isaiah 11: 4
They shall not hurt
nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be
full of the knowledge of
the Lord, as the waters
cover the sea. Isaiah 11:9
Not every one that saith unto
me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that
doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Mt.7:21
Many will say to me
in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in
thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful
For that faith is the one
universal salvation of humanity, and that there is the same equality before
the righteous and loving God,
and the same fellowship between
all, the apostle most clearly showed, speaking to the following effect:
"Before faith came, we were kept under the
law, shut up unto the faith which
should afterwards be revealed, so that the law became our
schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by
faith; but after that faith is come, we are no longer under a
Gal. iii. 23-25. [Here the
schoolmaster should be the child-guide; for the law leads us to the Master, says Clement,
and we are no longer under the disciplinary guide,
but "under the
Word, the master
of our free choice." The schoolmaster then is
the Word, and the law
merely led us to his school.]
Do you not hear that we are no longer under that law
which was accompanied with fear, but under the Word, the master of free choice?
Then he subjoined the utterance, clear of all partiality:
- For ye are
all the children of God through faith
in Christ Jesus.
- For as
many as were baptized into Christ
have put on Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is
neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are
all one in Christ Jesus." Gal. iii. 26-28.
There are not, then, in the same Word some
"illuminated (gnostics); and some animal (or natural) men; "but all
who have abandoned the desires of the flesh are equal and spiritual
before the Lord.
And again he writes in another place: "For by
are we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or
free, and we have all drunk of one cup." 1 Cor. xii. 13.
It is the spirit
that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Jn 6:63
That he might sanctify and
cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Nor were it absurd to employ the expressions of
those who call the
reminiscence of better things the
of the spirit, understanding by filtration the separation of what is
baser, that results from the reminiscence of what is better.
There follows of necessity, in him
who has come to the recollection of what is
better, repentance for what is worse. Accordingly, they
that the spirit in repentance retraces its steps.
In the same way, therefore, we also,
of our sins, renouncing our iniquities, purified
by baptism, speed back to the
eternal light, children to the Father.
Jesus therefore, rejoicing in the spirit, said:
"I thank Thee, O Father, God of
heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and
prudent, and hast revealed them to
Luke x. 21.
the Master and Teacher applying the name
babes to us, who are readier to embrace
salvation than the wise in the
world, who, thinking themselves
inflated with pride.
And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself
to take hold of
thee: for thou
hast hid thy face from
us, and hast
consumed us, because of our iniquities Is.64:7
At that time Jesus answered and
said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou
hast hid these
things from the
prudent, and hast
revealed them unto
Even so, Father; for so it
seemed good in thy sight. Matt 11:26
All things are delivered unto me of my
Father: and no man
knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father,
save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
Jesus said that the FATHER was
with Him. The THOUGHT is the "Father," The WORD is the "Son" and the
BREATH is the "Spirit."
But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Job 32:8
Neshamah (h5397) nesh-aw-maw'; fr. 5395; a puff, i. e. wind,
angry or vital breath, divine inspiration, intellect. or (concr.) an animal: - blast, (that)
breath (-eth), inspiration, soul, spirit.
For God giveth to a man
good in his sight
wisdom, and knowledge, and joy:
but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him
that is good before God. This also is vanity
and vexation of
TRAVAIL is LABOR
which is the Hebrew:
Anah (h6030) aw-naw'; a prim. root; prop. to
eye or (gen.) to heed, i. e. pay attention; by impl. to respond; by
extens. to begin to speak; spec. to sing,
shout, testify, announce: - give account, afflict [by mistake for 6031], (cause to, give) answer,
bring low [by mistake for 6030], cry, hear, Leannoth, lift up, say, * scholar, (give a) shout, sing (together by course), speak,
testify, utter, (bear) witness. See also 1042, 1043.
Anah (h6031) aw-naw'; a prim. root [possibly
rather ident. with 6030 through the idea of looking down or browbeating]; to depress, hurt, ravish, sing [by mistake for 6030], speak [by mistake for 6030],
submit self, weaken,
* in any wise.
Thus saith God the Lord, he
that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread
forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that
breath unto the people
upon it, and spirit
to them that walk therein: Isa 42:5
He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly,
and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is
above all. John 3:31
And what he hath seen and
heard, that he testifieth; and no man
testimony. John 3:32
That is, NO HUMAN can read
the Mind or Spirit of God. Only God can reveal Himself to
He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. John 3:33
Sphragizo (h4972) sfrag-id'-zo; from 4973; to stamp (with a
signet or private mark) for security or preservation (lit. or fig.);
by impl. to keep secret, to attest: - (set a, set to) seal up, stop.
And grieve not the
holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed
unto the day of redemption. Ep.4:30
Who hath also sealed us, and
given the earnest
of the Spirit
in our hearts.
Sphragis (G4973)sfrag-ece'; prob. strengthened
from 5420; a signet (as fencing in or protecting from
misappropriation); by impl. the stamp impressed (as a mark of
privacy, or genuineness), lit. or fig.: - seal.
AND the fifth angel
sounded, and I saw a star
fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the
key of the bottomless pit. Rev 9:1
And he opened the bottomless
pit; and there arose a smoke
out of the pit, as
the smoke of a great
furnace; and the
sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. Rev 9:2
And there came out of the
locusts upon the earth:
and unto them was given power,
as the scorpions of the earth have power. Rev 9:3
And it was
commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth,
neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal
of God in their foreheads. Rev 9:4
And to them it was given that
they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five
months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he
striketh a man. Rev 9:5
For he whom God hath sent
speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure
unto him. John 3:34
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that
believeth not the Son
shall not see life; but
the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36
WHEN therefore the Lord knew
how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more
disciples than John, John 4:1
Then said Paul, John verily
baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him
which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. Ac.19:4
Who also hath made us able
ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit
giveth life. 2Co.3:6
And He exclaims in
exultation and exceeding joy, as if
lisping with the children,
"Even so, Father; for so it seemed
good in Thy sight." Luke x. 21. Wherefore those things which have
been concealed from the wise and
prudent of this present world
have been revealed to babes.
Truly, then, are we the
children of God, who have put aside the
and stripped off the garment of wickedness, and
put on the immortality of
Christ; that we may become a new, holy
people by regeneration, and may keep the man undefiled. And a babe, as God's
little one, is cleansed from fornication and wickedness.
With the greatest clearness the blessed
solved for us this question in his First Epistle to the
Corinthians, writing thus:
"Brethren, be not children in
understanding; howbeit in malice be children, but in understanding be
men." 1 Cor. xiv. 20.
And the expression, "When I was a child, I
thought as a child, I spoke as a child," 1 Cor. xiii. 11. [A text
much misused by the heretical gnostics whom Clement confutes.] points
out his mode of life according to the law, according to which,
thinking childish things, he persecuted, and speaking childish things
he blasphemed the Word, not as having yet attained to the simplicity
of childhood, but as being in its folly; for the word nepios has two meanings.
"When I became a man," again Paul says, "I put away
childish things." 1 Cor. xiii. 11. It is not incomplete size of
stature, nor a definite measure of time, nor additional secret
teachings in things that are manly and more perfect, that the
who himself professes to be a preacher of childishness, alludes to
when he sends it, as it were, into banishment;
but he applies the name
"children" to those who are under the law, who are terrified by fear as
children are by bugbears; and "men" to us who are obedient to the
Word and masters of ourselves, who have believed, and are saved by
voluntary choice, and are rationally, not irrationally, frightened by
Of this the apostle himself shall testify,
calling as he does the Jews heirs according to the first covenant,
and us heirs according to promise: Now I
say, as long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing from a
servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors,
till the time appointed by the father. So also we, when we were
children, were in bondage under the rudiments of the world: but when
the fulness of the time was came, God sent forth His Son, made of a
woman, made under the law, to
redeem them that were under the law,
that we might receive the adoption of sons " Gal. iv. 1-5. by Him.
See how He has admitted those to be children
who are under fear and
sins; but has conferred manhood on
those who are under faith, by calling them sons, in contradistinction
from the children that are under the law:
"For thou art no more a servant,"
he says, "but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God." Gal.
iv. 7. What, then, is lacking to the son after inheritance? Wherefore
the expression, "When I was a child," may be elegantly expounded
thus: that is, when I was a Jew (for he was a Hebrew by extraction) I
thought as a child, when I followed the law; but after becoming a
man, I no longer entertain the sentiments of a child, that is, of the
law, but of a man, that is, of Christ, whom alone the Scripture calls
man, as we have said before. "I put away childish things."
But the childhood which is in
Christ is maturity, as compared with the law. Having reached this
point, we must defend our childhood. And we have still to explain
what is said by the apostle: "I have fed you with milk (as children
in Christ), not with meat; for ye were not able, neither yet are ye
now able." 1 Cor. iii. 2.
For it does not appear to me that the
expression is to be taken in a Jewish sense; for I shall oppose to it
also that Scripture, "I will bring you into that good land which
flows with milk and honey." Ex. iii. 8. A very great difficulty
arises in reference to the comparison of these Scriptures, when we
For if the infancy which is
characterized by the milk is the
beginning of faith in Christ, then it is disparaged as childish and imperfect. How is the rest that comes after the meat, the rest of
the man who is perfect and endowed with knowledge, again
distinguished by infant milk?
Does not this, as explaining a parable, mean
something like this, and is not the expression to be read somewhat to
the following effect: "I have fed you
with milk in Christ; "and after a
slight stop, let us add, "as children," that by
separating the words in reading we may make out some such sense as
this: I have instructed you in Christ with simple, true, and natural nourishment,-namely, that which is spiritual: for such is the
nourishing substance of milk swelling out from breasts of love. So
that the whole matter may be conceived thus: As nurses nourish
new-born children on milk, so do I also by the Word, the milk of
Christ, instilling into you spiritual nutriment.
Thus, then, the milk which is perfect is
perfect nourishment, and brings to that consummation which cannot
cease. Wherefore also the same milk and honey were promised in the
rest. Rightly, therefore, the Lord again promises milk to the
righteous, that the Word may be clearly shown to be both, "the Alpha
and Omega, beginning and end; " Rev. i. 8. the Word being
figuratively represented as milk. Something like this Homer
oracularly declares against his will, when he calls righteous men
milk-fed (galaktofa/goi). [Iliad, xiii. 6. S.] So also may we take
the Scripture: "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto
spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ; " 1 Cor.
iii. 1. so that the carnal may be understood as those recently
instructed, and still babes in Christ.
called those who had already
believed on the Holy Spirit
spiritual, and those newly instructed
and not yet purified carnal; whom with justice he calls still carnal, as
minding equally with the heathen the things of the
"For whereas there is among you
envy and strife, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? " 1 Cor. iii. 3.
"Wherefore also I have given you milk to
he says; meaning, I have instilled into you the
which, from instruction, nourishes up to life eternal. But the
expression, "I have given you to drink" (e0po/tisa), is the symbol of
For those who are full-grown are said to
babes to suck. "For my blood," says the Lord, "is true drink." John
vi. 55. In saying, therefore, "I have given you milk to drink," has
he not indicated the knowledge of the truth, the perfect gladness in
the Word, who is the milk? And what follows next, "not meat, for ye
were not able," may indicate the clear revelation in the future
world, like food, face to face. "For now we see as through a glass,"
the same apostle says, "but then
face to face." 1 Cor. xiii. 12.
Wherefore also he has added, "neither yet are
ye now able, for ye are still carnal," minding the things of the
flesh,-desiring, loving, feeling jealousy, wrath, envy. "For we are
no more in the flesh," Rom. viii. 9. as some suppose. For with it
[they say], having the face which is like an angel's, we shall see
the promise face to face. How then, if that is truly the promise
after our departure hence, say they that they know "what eye hath not
known, nor hath entered into the mind of man," who have not perceived
by the Spirit, but received from instruction "what ear hath not
heard," Cor. ii. 9. or that ear alone which "was rapt up into
the third heaven? " 2 Cor. xii. 2-4. But it even then was commanded to
preserve it unspoken.
But if human wisdom, as it remains to
understand, is the glorying in knowledge, hear the law of Scripture:
"Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, and let not the mighty man
glory in his might; but let him that glorieth glory in the Lord." er.
ix. 23; 1 Cor. i. 31; 2 Cor. x. 17.
But we are God-taught, and
the name of Christ. How then are we not to regard the apostle as attaching
this sense to the milk of the babes?
And if we who preside over the Churches are
shepherds after the image of the good Shepherd, and you the
sheep, are we not to regard the Lord as preserving consistency in the
use of figurative speech, when He speaks also of the milk of the flock?
And to this meaning we may secondly accommodate
the expression, "I have given you milk to drink, and not given you
food, for ye are not yet able," regarding the meat not as something
different from the milk, but the same in substance. For the very same
Word is fluid and mild as milk, or solid and compact as meat. And
entertaining this view, we may regard the proclamation of the Gospel,
which is universally diffused, as milk; and as meat, faith,
which from instruction is
compacted into a
foundation, which, being more
substantial than hearing, is likened to meat, and assimilates to the
soul itself nourishment of this kind.
Elsewhere the Lord, in the Gospel according to
John, brought this out by symbols, when He said:
"Eat ye my flesh, and drink my blood; " John vi. 34. describing
distinctly by metaphor the drinkable properties of faith and the promise,
by means of which the
like a human being consisting of many members,
is refreshed and grows, is welded together and compacted of both,-of
faith, which is the body, and of hope, which is the soul; as also the
Lord of flesh and blood.
For in reality the
blood of faith is hope, in which faith
is held as by a vital principle. And when hope expires, it is as if
blood flowed forth; and the vitality of faith is destroyed.
If, then, some would oppose, saying that by
milk is meant the first lesson"-as it were, the first food-and that
by meat is meant those spiritual cognitions to which they attain by
raising themselves to knowledge, let them understand that, in saying
that meat is solid food, and the flesh and blood of Jesus, they are
brought by their own vainglorious wisdom to the true simplicity. For
the blood is found to be an original product in man, and some have
consequently ventured to call it the substance of the soul. And this
blood, transmuted by a natural process of assimilation in the
pregnancy of the mother, through the sympathy of parental affection,
effloresces and grows old, in order that there may be no fear for the
child. Blood, too, is the moister part of flesh, being a kind of
liquid flesh; and milk is the sweeter and finer part of blood. For
whether it be the blood supplied to the foetus, and sent through the
navel of the mother, or whether it be the menses themselves shut out
from their proper passage, and by a natural diffusion, bidden by the
all-nourishing and creating God, proceed to the already swelling
breasts, and by the heat of the spirits transmuted, [whether it be
the one or the other] that is formed, into food desirable for the
babe, that which is changed is the blood. For of all the members, the
breasts have the most sympathy with the womb. When there is
parturition, the vessel by which blood was conveyed to the
cut off: there is an obstruction Of the flow, and the blood receives
an impulse towards the breasts; and on a considerable rush taking
place, they are distended, and change the blood to milk in a manner
analogous to the change of blood into pus in ulceration. Or if, on
the other hand, the blood from the veins in the vicinity of the
breasts, which have been opened in pregnancy, is poured into the
natural hollows of the breasts; and the spirit discharged from the
neighbouring arteries being mixed with it, the substance of the
blood, still remaining pure, it becomes white by being agitated like
a wave; and by an interruption such as this is changed by frothing
it, like what takes place with the sea, which at the assaults of the
winds, the poets say, "spits forth briny foam." Yet still the essence
is supplied by the blood.
In this way also the rivers, borne on with
rushing motion, and fretted by contact with the surrounding air,
murmur forth foam. The moisture in our mouth, too, is whitened by the
breath. What an absurdity is it, then, not to acknowledge that the
blood is converted into that very bright and white substance by the
breath! The change it suffers is in quality, not in essence. You will
certainly find nothing else more nourishing, or sweeter, or whiter
than milk. In every respect, accordingly, it is like spiritual
nourishment, which is sweet through grace, nourishing as life, bright
as the day of Christ.
The blood of the
Word has been also exhibited as milk.
Milk being thus provided in parturition, is supplied to the infant;
and the breasts, which till then looked straight towards the husband,
now bend down towards the child, being taught to furnish the
substance elaborated by nature in a way easily received for salutary
nourishment. For the breasts are not like fountains full of milk,
flowing in ready prepared; but, by effecting a change in the
nutriment, form the milk in themselves, and discharge it. And the
nutriment suitable and wholesome for the new-formed and new-born babe
is elaborated by God, the nourisher and the Father of all that are
generated and regenerated,-as manna, the celestial food of angels,
flowed down from heaven on the ancient Hebrews. Even now, in fact,
nurses call the first-poured drink of milk by the same name as that
food-manna. Further, pregnant women, on becoming mothers, discharge
milk. But the Lord Christ, the fruit of the Virgin, did not pronounce
the breasts of women blessed, nor selected them to give nourishment;
but when the kind and loving Father had rained down the Word, Himself
became spiritual nourishment to the good. O mystic marvel!
The universal Father is one,
and one the universal Word; and the
Holy Spirit is one and the same
everywhere, and one is the only virgin mother. I love to call her
This mother, when alone, had not milk, because
alone she was not a
woman. But she is once virgin and
mother-pure as a virgin, loving as a mother.
And calling her children to her, she nurses them with holy milk, viz., with the
childhood. Therefore she had not milk; for the milk was this child
fair and comely, the body of Christ, which nourishes by the Word the
young brood, which the Lord Himself brought forth in throes of the
flesh, which the Lord Himself swathed in His precious blood.
O amazing birth! O holy swaddling bands! The
all to the child, both father and mother and tutor and nurse. "Eat ye my flesh,"
He says, "and drink my blood."
John vi. 53,54.
Such is the suitable food which the Lord
ministers, and He offers His flesh and pours forth His blood, and
nothing is wanting for the children's growth.
O amazing mystery l We are enjoined to cast off
the old and carnal
corruption, as also the old nutriment, receiving
in exchange another new regimen, that of Christ, receiving Him if we
can, to hide Him within; and that, enshrining the Saviour in our souls, we may
correct the affections of our flesh.
But you are not inclined to understand it thus,
but perchance more generally.
Hear it also in the following way.
The flesh figuratively
represents to us the Holy Spirit; for the
flesh was created by Him.
The blood points
out to us the Word, for as rich blood
the Word has been infused into life; and the union of both is the
Lord, the food of the babes-the Lord who
is Spirit and Word.
The food-that is, the Lord Jesus-that is, the
Word of God, the Spirit made flesh, the heavenly flesh sanctified.
The nutriment is the milk of the Father, by which alone we infants
are nourished. The Word Himself, then, the beloved One, and our
nourisher, hath shed His own blood for us, to save humanity; and by
Him, we, believing on God, flee to the Word, "the care-soothing
breast" of the Father. And He alone, as is befitting, supplies us
children with the milk of love, and those only are truly Messed who
suck this breast.
What and if ye
shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? John
It is the
spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words
that I speak unto you, they are spirit,
and they are
life. John 6:63
Wherefore also Peter says: "Laying
therefore aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisy, and envy,
and evil speaking, as new-born babes,
- desire the milk of the word,
- that ye may grow by it to salvation;
- if ye have tasted that the Lord is
Christ." 1 Pet. ii. 1-3
And were one to concede to them that the
something different from the milk, then how shall they avoid being
transfixed on their own spit, through want of consideration of
nature? For in winter, when the air is condensed, and prevents the
escape of the heat enclosed within, the food, transmuted and digested
and changed into blood, passes into the veins, and these, in the
absence of exhalation, are greatly distended, and exhibit strong
pulsations; consequently also nurses are then fullest of milk.
And we have shown a little above, that on
pregnancy blood passes into milk by a change which does not affect
its substance, just as in old people yellow hair changes to grey. But
again in summer, the body, having its pores more open, affords
greater facility for diaphoretic action in the case of the food, and
the milk is least abundant, since neither is the blood full, nor is
the whole nutriment retained. If, then, the digestion of the food
results in the production of blood, and the blood becomes milk, then
blood is a preparation for milk, as blood is for a human being, and
the grape for the vine. With milk, then, the Lord's nutriment, we are
nursed directly we are born; and as soon as we are regenerated, we
are honoured by receiving the good news of the hope of rest, even the
Jerusalem above, in which it is written that milk and honey fall in
showers, receiving through what is material the pledge of the sacred
food. "For meats are done away with," 1 Cor. vi. 13. as the apostle
himself says; but this nourishment on milk leads to the heavens,
rearing up citizens of heaven, and members of the angelic choirs.
And since the Word is the
gushing fountain of life, and has been called a river of olive oil,
using appropriate figurative language, and calling Him
adds: "I have given you to drink; " 1 Cor. iii. 2.
for we drink in the word, the nutriment of the truth. In truth, also
liquid food is called drink; and the same thing may somehow be both
meat and drink, according to the different aspects in which it is
considered, just as cheese is the solidification of milk or milk
solidified; for I am not concerned here to make a nice selection of
an expression, only to say that one substance supplies both articles
of food. Besides, for children at the breast, milk alone suffices; it
serves both for meat and drink. "I," says the Lord, "have meat to eat
that ye know not of. My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me."
John iv. 32-34. You see another kind of food which, similarly with
milk, represents figuratively the will of God. Besides, also, the
completion of His own passion He called catachrestically "a cup,"
Matt. xx. 22,etc. when He alone had to drink and drain it. Thus to
Christ the fulfilling of His Father's will was food; and to us
infants,who drink the milk of the word of the heavens, Christ Himself
is food. Hence seeking is called sucking; for to those babes that
seek the Word, the Father's breasts of love supply milk.
Further, the Word declares Himself to
be the bread of heaven. "For Moses," He says, "gave you not that
bread from heaven, but My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is He that cometh down from heaven, and
giveth life to the world. And the bread which I will give is My flesh, which I will give
for the life of the world." John vi. 32,33,51.
It is the spirit
that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak
unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63
Here is to be noted the mystery of the bread, in
as much as He speaks of it as flesh, and as flesh, consequently, that
has risen through fire, as the wheat
springs up from decay and germination;
and, in truth, it has risen through fire for the joy of the
baked. But this will be shown by and by more clearly in the chapter
on the resurrection.
But since He said, "And the bread
which I will give is My flesh," and since flesh is moistened with
blood, and blood is figuratively termed
we are bidden to know that, as bread, crumbled
into a mixture of wine and water, seizes on the wine and
leaves the watery
portion, so also the flesh of Christ,
the bread of heaven absorbs the blood; that is, those among men who
are heavenly, nourishing them up to immortality, and leaving only to
destruction the lusts of the flesh.
Thus in many ways the Word is
figuratively described, as
Lord is all these, to give enjoyment to us who have believed on Him.
Let no one then think it strange,
when we say that the Lord's blood
is figuratively represented as milk.
For is it not figuratively
represented as wine? "Who washes," it is said, "His garment in wine, His
robe in the blood of the grape." Gen. xlix. 11.
In His Own Spirit He says He will deck the body of the Word; as certainly by
His own Spirit He will nourish those who
hunger for the Word.
And that the blood
is the Word, is testified by the blood
[Matt. xxiii. 35. S.] the righteous interceding with God. For the
blood would never have uttered a voice, had it not been
regarded as the Word: for the righteous man of old is the type of the new
righteous one; and the blood of old that interceded, intercedes in
the place of the new blood. And the blood that is the Word cries to
God, since it intimated that the Word was to suffer.
Further, this flesh, and the blood in it, are
by a mutual sympathy moistened and increased by the milk. And the
process of formation of the seed in conception ensues when it has
mingled with the pure residue of the menses, which remains. For the
force that is in the seed coagulating the substances of the blood, as
the rennet curdles milk, effects the essential part of the formative
process. For a suitable blending conduces to fruitfulness; but
extremes are adverse, and tend to sterility. For when the earth
itself is flooded by excessive rain, the seed is swept away, while in
consequence of scarcity it is dried up; but when the sap is viscous,
it retains the seed, and makes it germinate. Some also hold the
hypothesis, that the seed of an animal is in substance the foam of
the blood, which being by the natural heat of the male agitated and
shaken out is turned into foam, and deposited in the seminal veins.
For Diogenes Apollionates will have it, that hence is derived the
From all this it is therefore evident, that the
essential principle of the human body is blood. The contents of the
stomach, too, at first are milky, a coagulation of fluid; then the
same coagulated substance is changed into blood; but when it is
formed into a compact consistency in the womb,
by the natural and
warm spirit by which the embryo is fashioned, it
becomes a living
Further also, the child after birth is
nourished by the same blood. For the flow of milk is the product of
the blood; and the source of nourishment is the milk; by which a
woman is shown to have brought forth a child, and to be truly a
mother, by which also she receives a potent charm of affection.
Wherefore the Holy Spirit in the
apostle, using the voice of the Lord, says
mystically, "I have given you milk to drink." 1 Cor. iii. 2.
For if we have been regenerated unto Christ, He
who has regenerated us nourishes us with His own milk, the
it is proper that what has procreated should forthwith supply
nourishment to that which has been procreated. And as the
regeneration was conformably spiritual, so also was the nutriment of
man spiritual. In all respects, therefore, and in all things, we are
brought into union with Christ, into relationship through His blood,
by which we are redeemed; and into sympathy, in consequence of the
nourishment which flows from the Word; and into immortality, through
"Among men the bringing up of
Often produces stronger impulses to love
procreating of them."
The same blood and milk of the Lord is
therefore the symbol of the Lord's passion and teaching. Wherefore
each of us babes is permitted to make our boast in the Lord, while we
"Yet of a noble sire and noble
blood I boast me sprung."
[Il., xiv. 113] And that
milk is produced from blood by a change, is already clear; yet we may
learn it from the flocks and herds. For these animals, in the time of
the year which we call spring, when the air has more humidity, and
the grass and meadows are juicy. and moist, are first filled with
blood, as is shown by the distension of the veins of the swollen
vessels; and from the blood the milk flows more copiously. But in
summer again, the blood being burnt and dried up by the heat,
prevents the change, and so they have less milk.
Further, milk has a most natural affinity for
water, as assuredly the spiritual washing has for the spiritual
nutriment. Those, therefore, that swallow a little cold water, in
addition to the above-mentioned milk, straightway feel benefit; for
the milk is prevented from souring by its combination with water, not
in consequence of any antipathy between them, but in consequence of
the water taking kindly to the milk while it is undergoing
And such as is the union of the Word with baptism, is the agreement of milk with water;
for it receives it alone of all liquids, and admits of mixture with
water, for the purpose of
as baptism for the remission of
And it is mixed naturally with honey also, and
this for cleansing along with sweet nutriment. For the Word blended
with love at once cures our passions and cleanses our sins; and the
"Sweeter than honey flowed the
stream of speech,"
[Il., i. 248.] seems to me
to have been spoken of the Word, who is honey. And prophecy oft
extols Him "above honey and the honeycomb.' [ Ps. xix. 10.]
Furthermore, milk is mixed with sweet wine; and
the mixture is beneficial, as when suffering is mixed in the cup in
order to immortality. For the milk is curdled by the wine, and
separated, and whatever adulteration is in it is drained off. And in
the same way, the spiritual communion of faith with suffering man,
drawing off as serous matter the lusts of the flesh, commits man to
eternity, along with those who are divine, immortalizing him.
Further, many also use the fat of milk, called
butter, for the lamp, plainly indicating by this enigma the abundant
unction of the Word, since He alone it is who nourishes the infants,
makes them grow, and enlightens them. Wherefore also the Scripture
says respecting the Lord," He fed them with the produce of the
fields; they sucked honey from the rock, and oil from the solid rock,
butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs; " [Deut. xxxii.
13,14.] and what follows He gave them. But he that prophesies the
birth of the child says: "Butter and honey shall He eat.' [Isa. vii.
And it occurs to me to wonder how some dare
call themselves perfect and gnostics,
with ideas of themselves
above the apostle, inflated and
when Paul even owned respecting himself,
"Not that I have already attained, or am already perfect; but I
follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which I am apprehended
of Christ. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this
one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and
stretching forth to those that are before, I press toward the mark,
for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus.' [Phil. iii.
And yet he reckons himself perfect, because he
has been emancipated from his former life, and strives after the better
life, not as perfect in knowledge, but as aspiring after perfection.
Wherefore also he adds, "As many of us as are perfect, are thus
minded," [Phil. iii. 15.] manifestly describing perfection as the
renunciation of sin, and regeneration into the faith of the only
perfect One, and forgetting our former sins.
the Instructor Is, and Respecting His Instruction.
Since, then, we have shown that all of us are
by Scripture called children; and not only so, but that we who have
followed Christ are figuratively called babes; and that the Father
of all alone is perfect, for the Son is in Him, and the Father is in
the Son; it is time for us in due course to say who our Instructor
He is called Jesus: Sometimes He calls
Himself a shepherd, and says, "I am the good Shepherd." [John x. 11]
According to a metaphor drawn from shepherds, who lead the sheep, is
hereby understood the Instructor, who leads the
children-the Shepherd who tends the babes. For the babes are simple,
being figuratively described as sheep. "And they shall all," it is
said, "be one flock, and one shepherd." [John x. 16.]
The Word, then, who leads the
children to salvation, is appropriately called the Instructor
With the greatest clearness, accordingly, the
spoken respecting Himself by
Hosea: "I am your Instructor." [Hos. v.
Now piety is instruction, being the
learning of the service of God,
and training in the knowledge of the truth,
and right guidance which leads to heaven.
And the word "instruction" is employed
variously. For there is the instruction of him who is led and learns,
and that of him who leads and teaches; and there is, thirdly, the
guidance itself; and fourthly, what is taught, as the commandments
Now the instruction which is of God
is the right direction of truth to the contemplation of God, and the
exhibition of holy deeds in everlasting perseverance.
As therefore the general directs the phalanx,
consulting the safety of his soldiers, and the pilot steers the
vessel, desiring to save the passengers; so also the Instructor guides the
children to a saving course of
conduct, through solicitude for us;
and, in general,
whatever we ask in accordance with
reason from God to be done for us, will happen to those who believe
in the Instructor.
And just as the helmsman does not always yield
to the winds, but sometimes, turning the prow towards them, opposes
the whole force of the hurricanes;
so the Instructor never yields to the blasts that blow in this
world, nor commits the child to them like a
vessel to make shipwreck on a wild and licentious course of life;
but, wafted on by the favouring breeze of the
Spirit of truth, stoutly holds on to the child's helm,-his ears, I
mean,-until He bring him safe to anchor in the haven of
What is called by men an ancestral custom passes
away in a moment, but the divine
guidance is a possession which abides for ever.
They say that Phoenix was the instructor of
Achilles, and Adrastus of the children of Croesus; and Leonides of
Alexander, and Nausithous of Philip. But Phoenix was women-mad
Adrastus was a fugitive. Leonides did not curtail the pride of
Alexander, nor Nausithous reform the drunken Pellaean. No more was
the Thracian Zopyrus able to check the fornication of Alcibiades; but
Zopyrus was a bought slave, and Sicinnus, the tutor of the children
of Themistocles, was a lazy domestic. They say also that he invented
the Sicinnian dance. Those have not escaped our attention who are
called royal instructors among the Persians; whom, in number four,
the kings of the Persians select with the greatest care from all the
Persians and set over their sons. But the children only learn the use
of the bow, and on reaching maturity have sexual intercourse with
sisters, and mothers, and women, wives and courtesans innumerable,
practised in intercourse like the wild boars.
But our Instructor is the holy God Jesus, the
Word, who is the guide of all humanity. The loving God Himself is our
Instructor. Somewhere in song the Holy
Spirit says with regard to Him, "He
provided sufficiently for the people in the wilderness. He led him
about in the thirst of summer heat in a dry land, and instructed him,
and kept him as the apple of His eye, as an eagle protects her nest,
and shows her fond solicitude for her young, spreads abroad her
wings, takes them, and bears them on her back. The Lord alone led
them, and there was no strange god with
them." [Deut. xxxii. 10-12.] Clearly, I
trow, has the Scripture exhibited the Instructor in the account it
gives of His guidance.
Again, when He speaks in His own person, He
confesses Himself to be the Instructor: "I am the Lord
thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt."
Who, then, has the power of leading in and out?
Is it not the Instructor? This was He who appeared to Abraham, and said to him,
"I am thy God, be accepted before Me; " [Gen. xvii. 1,2] and in a way
most befitting an instructor, forms him into a faithful child,
saying, "And be blameless; and I will make My covenant between Me and
thee, and try seed." There is the communication of the Instructor's
friendship. And He most manifestly appears as Jacob's instructor. He
says accordingly to him, "Lo, I am with thee, to keep thee in all the
way in which thou shalt go; and I will bring thee back into this
land: for I will not leave thee till I do what I have told thee."
[Gen. xxviii. 15] He is said, too, to have wrestled with Him. "And
Jacob was left alone, and there wrestled with him a man (the
Instructor) till the morning." [Gen. xxxii. 24] This was the man who
led, and brought, and wrestled with, and anointed the athlete Jacob
against evil. [Or, "against the evil one."] Now that the Word was at
once Jacob's trainer and the Instructor of humanity [appears from
this]-"He asked," it is said, "His name, and said to him, Tell me
what is Try name." And he said, "Why is it that thou askest My name?
"For He reserved the new name for the new people-the babe; and was as
yet unnamed, the Lord God not having yet become man. Yet Jacob called
the name of the place, "Face of God." "For I have seen," he says,
"God face to face; and my life is preserved." [Gen. xxxii. 30] The
face of God is the Word by whom God is manifested and made known.
Then also was he named Israel, because he saw God the Lord. It was
God, the Word, the Instructor, who said to him again afterwards,
"Fear not to go down into Egypt." [Gen. xlvi. 3.] See how the
Instructor follows the righteous man, and how He anoints the athlete,
teaching him to trip up his antagonist.
It is He also who teaches Moses to act as
instructor. For the Lord says, "If any one sin before Me, him will I
blot out of My book; but now, go and lead this people into the place which
I told thee." [Ex. xxxii. 33,34.]
Here He is the teacher of the art of
instruction. For it was really the Lord that was the instructor of
the ancient people by Moses; but He is the instructor of the new
people by Himself, face to face. "For behold," He says to Moses, "My
angel shall go before thee," representing the evangelical and
commanding power of the
Word, but guarding the Lord's
prerogative. "In the day on which I will visit them,"
xxxii. 33,34.] He says, "I will bring their sins on them; that is, on
the day on which I will sit as judge I will render the recompense of
For the same who is Instructor is judge, and
judges those who disobey
Him; and the loving Word will not pass
over their transgression in silence.
He reproves, that they may repent. For "the
Lord willeth the repentance of the sinner rather than his death."
[Ezek. xviii. 23,32] And let us as babes, hearing of the sins of
others, keep from similar transgressions, through dread of the
threatening, that we may not have to undergo like sufferings. What,
then, was the sin which they committed? "For in their wrath they slew
men, and in their impetuosity they hamstrung bulls. Cursed be their
anger." [Gen. xlix. 6.] Who, then, would train us more lovingly than
He? Formerly the older people had an old covenant, and the law
disciplined the people with fear, and the Word was an angel; but to
the fresh and new people has also been given a new covenant, and the
Word has appeared, and fear is turned to love, and that mystic angel
is born-Jesus. For this same Instructor said then, "Thou shalt fear
the Lord God; " [Deut. vi. 2] but to us He has addressed the
exhortation, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God." [Matt. xxii. 37.]
Wherefore also this is enjoined on us: "Cease from your own works,
from your old sins; ""Learn to do well; ""Depart from evil, and do
good; ""Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity."
This is my new
covenant written in the old letter.
The newness of the word must not, then, be made
ground of reproach. But the Lord hath also said in Jeremiah: "Say not
that I am a youth: before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and
before I brought thee out of the womb I sanctified thee." [Jer. i. 7]
Such allusions prophecy can make to us, destined in the eye of God to
faith before the foundation of the world; but now babes, through the
recent fulfilment of the will of God, according to which we are born
now to calling and salvation. Wherefore also He adds, "I have set
thee for a prophet to the nations," [Jer. i. 5.] saying that he must
prophesy, so that the appellation of "youth" should not become a
reproach to those who are called babes.
Now the law is ancient grace given through
Moses by the Word. Wherefore also the Scripture says, "The law was
given through Moses," [John i. 17.] not by Moses, but by the Word, and through
Moses His servant.
Wherefore it was only temporary; but eternal
grace and truth were by Jesus Christ. Mark the expressions of
Scripture: of the law only is it said "was given; "but truth being
the grace of the Father, is the eternal work of the Word; and it is
not said to be given, but to be by Jesus, without whom
nothing was. [John i. 3] Presently,
therefore, Moses prophetically, giving place to the perfect
Instructor the Word, predicts both the name and the office of
Instructor, and committing to the people the commands of obedience,
sets before them the Instructor.
"A prophet," says he, "like Me
shall God raise up to you of your brethren," pointing out Jesus the Son of God,
by an allusion to Jesus the son of
Nun; (Joshua or Jehovah-Saves)
for the name of Jesus predicted in the law was
a shadow of Christ.
He adds, therefore, consulting the advantage of
the people, "Him shall ye hear; " [Deut. xviii. 15] and, "The man who
will not hear that Prophet," [Deut. xviii. 19.] him He threatens.
Such a name, then, he predicts as that of the Instructor, who is the
author of salvation.
Wherefore prophecy invests Him with a rod, a
rod of discipline, of rule, of authority; that those whom the
persuasive word heals not, the threatening may heal; and whom the
threatening heals not, the rod may heal; and whom the rod heals not,
the fire may devour. "There shall come forth," it is said, "a rod out
of the root of Jesse." [Isa. xi. 1,3,4.]
See the care, and wisdom, and power of the
Instructor: "He shall not judge according to
opinion, nor according to report; but He shall dispense judgment to
the humble, and reprove the sinners
of the earth."
And by David: "The Lord instructing, hath
instructed me, and not given me over to death." [Ps. cxviii. 18.] For
to be chastised of the Lord, and instructed, is deliverance from
death. And by the same prophet He says: "Thou shalt rule them with a
rod of iron." [Ps. ii. 9.] Thus also the apostle, in the
the Corinthians, being moved, says, "What will ye? Shall I come unto
you with a rod, or in love, in the spirit of meekness? " [1 Cor. iv.
21.] Also, "The Lord shall send the rod of strength out of Sion,"
[Ps. cx. 2] He says by another prophet. And this same rod of instruction, "Thy
rod and staff have comforted me," [Ps. xxiii. 4] said some one else.
Such is the power of the Instructor-sacred, soothing, saving.
VIII.-Against Those Who Think that What is Just is Not Good.
At this stage some rise up, saying that the
Lord, by reason of the rod, and threatening, and fear, is not good;
misapprehending, as appears, the Scripture which says, "And he that
feareth the Lord will turn to his heart; " [Ecclus. xxi. 6.] and most
of all, oblivious of His love, in that for us He became man. For more
suitably to Him, the prophet prays in these words: "Remember us, for
we are dust; " [Ps. ciii. 14.] that: is, Sympathize with us; for Thou
knowest from personal experience of suffering the weakness of the
flesh. In this respect, therefore, the Lord the Instructor is most
good and unimpeachable, sympathizing as He does from the exceeding
greatness of His love with the nature of each man. "For there is
nothing which the Lord hates." [Wisd. xi. 24] For assuredly He does
not hate anything, and yet wish that which He hates to exist Nor does
He wish anything not to exist, and yet become the cause of existence
to that which He wishes not to exist.
Nor does He wish anything not to exist which
yet exists. If, then, the Word hates anything, He does not wish it to
exist. But nothing exists, the cause of whose existence is not
supplied by God. Nothing, then, is hated by God, nor yet by the Word.
For both are one-that is, God. For He has said, "In the beginning the
Word was in God, and the Word was God." [John i. 1] If then He hates
none of the things which He has made, it follows that He loves them.
Much more than the rest, and with reason, will He love man, the
noblest of all objects created by Him, and a God-loving being.
Therefore God is loving; consequently the Word is loving.
But he who loves anything wishes to do it good. And
that which does good must be every way better than that which does
not good. But nothing is better than the Good. The Good, then, does
good. And God is admitted to be good. God therefore does good. And
the Good, in virtue of its being good, does nothing else than do
good. Consequently God does all good. And He does no good to man
without caring for him, and He does not care for him without taking
him. For that which does good purposely, is better than what does not
good purposely. But nothing is better than God. And to do good
purposely, is nothing else than to take care of man. God therefore
cares for man, and takes care of him. And He shows this practically,
in instructing him by the Word, who is the true coadjutor of God's
love to man. But the good is not said to be good, on account of its
being possessed of virtue; as also righteousness is not said to be
good on account of its possessing virtue-for it is itself virtue.-but
on account of its being in itself and by itself good.
In another way the useful is called good, not
on account of its pleasing, but of its doing good. All which,
therefore, is righteousness, being a good thing, both as virtue and
as desirable for its own sake, and not as giving pleasure; for it
does not judge in order to win favour, but dispenses to each
according to his merits. And the beneficial follows the useful.
Righteousness, therefore, has characteristics corresponding to all
the aspects in which goodness is examined, both possessing equal
properties equally. And things which are characterized by equal
properties are equal and similar to each other. Righteousness is
therefore a good thing.
"How then," say they, "if the Lord loves man,
and is good, is He angry and punishes? "We must therefore treat of
this point with all possible brevity; for this mode of treatment is
advantageous to the right training of the children, occupying the
place of a necessary help. For many of the passions are cured by
punishment, and by the inculcation of the sterner precepts, as also
by instruction in certain principles. For reproof is, as it were, the
surgery of the passions of the soul; and the passions are, as it
were, an abscess of the truth,which must be cut open by an incision
of the lancet of reproof.
Reproach is like the application of medicines,
dissolving the callosities of the passions, and purging the
impurities of the lewdness of the life; and in addition, reducing the
excrescences of pride, restoring the patient to the healthy and true
state of humanity.
Admonition. is, as it were, the regimen of the
diseased soul, prescribing what it must take, and forbidding what it
must not. And all these tend to salvation and eternal health.
Furthermore, the general of an army, by
inflicting fines and corporeal punishments with chains and the
extremest disgrace on offenders, and sometimes even by punishing
individuals with death, aims at good, doing so for the admonition of
the officers under him.
Thus also He who is our great General, the
Word, the Commander-in-chief of the universe by admonishing those who
throw off the restraints of His law, that He may effect their release
from the slavery, error, and captivity of the adversary, brings them
peacefully to the sacred concord of citizenship.
As, therefore in addition to persuasive
discourse, there is the hortatory and the consolatory form; so also,
in addition to the laudatory, there is the inculpatory and
reproachful. And this latter constitutes the art of censure. Now
censure is a mark of good-will, not of ill-will. For both he who is a
friend and he who is not, reproach; but the enemy does so in scorn,
the friend in kindness. It is not, then, from hatred that the Lord
chides men; for He Himself suffered for us, whom He might have
destroyed for our faults. For the Instructor also, in virtue of His
being good, with consummate art glides into censure by rebuke;
rousing the sluggishness of the mind by His sharp words as by a
scourge. Again in turn He endeavours to exhort the same persons. For
those who are not induced by praise are spurred on by censure; and
those whom censure calls not forth to salvation being as dead, are by
denunciation roused to the truth. "For the stripes and correction of
wisdom are in all time." "For teaching a fool is gluing a potsherd;
and sharpening to sense a hopeless blockhead is bringing earth to
sensation." [Ecclus. xxii. 6-8] Wherefore He adds plainly, "rousing
the sleeper from deep sleep," which of all things else is likest
Further, the Lord shows very clearly of
HimSelf, when, describing figuratively His manifold and in many ways
serviceable culture,-He says, "I am the true vine, and my Father is
the husbandman." Then He adds, "Every branch in me that beareth not
fruit He taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit He pruneth,
that it may bring forth more fruit." [John xv. 1,2] For the vine that
is not pruned grows to wood. So also man. The Word-the knife-clears
away the wanton shoots; compelling the impulses of the soul to
fructify, not to indulge in lust. Now, reproof addressed to sinners
has their salvation for its aim, the word being harmoniously adjusted
to each one's conduct; now with tightened, now. with relaxed cords.
Accordingly it was very plainly said by Moses," Be of good courage:
God has drawn near to try you, that His fear may be among you, that
ye sin not." [Ex. xx. 20] And Plato, who had learned from this
source, says beautifully: "For all who suffer punishment are in
reality treated well, for they are benefited; since the spirit of
those who are justly punished is improved." And if those who are
corrected receive good at the hands of justice, and, according to
Plato, what is just is acknowledged to be good, fear itself does
good, and has been found to be for men's good. "For the soul that
feareth the Lord shall live, for their hope is in Him who saveth
them." [Ecclus. xxxiv. 14,15.] And this same Word who inflicts
punishment is judge; regarding whom Esaias also says, "The Lord has
assigned Him to our sins," [Isa. liii. 6.] plainly as a corrector and
reformer of sins. Wherefore He alone is able to forgive our
iniquities, who has been appointed by the Father, Instructor of us
all; He alone it is who is able to distinguish between disobedience
and obedience. And while He threatens, He manifestly is unwilling to
inflict evil to execute His threatenings; but by inspiring men with
fear, He cuts off the approach to sin, and shows His love to man,
still delaying, and declaring what they shall suffer if they continue
sinners, and is not as a
serpent, which the moment it fastens on
its prey devours it.
God, then, is good. And the Lord speaks many a
time and oft before He proceeds to act. "For my arrows," He says,
"will make an end of them; they shall be consumed with hunger, and be
eaten by birds; and there shall be incurable tetanic incurvature. I
will send the teeth of wild beasts upon them, with the
rage of serpents creeping on the
earth. Without, the sword shall make
them childless; and out of their chambers shall be fear." [Deut.
xxxii. 23-25.] For the
Divine Being is not angry in the way that some
think; but often restrains, and always exhorts humanity, and shows
what ought to be done. And this is a good device, to terrify lest we
sin. "For the fear of the Lord drives away sins, and he that is
without fear cannot be justified," [Ecclus. i. 21,22] says the
Scripture. And God does not inflict punishment from wrath, but for
the ends of justice; since it is not expedient that justice should be
neglected on our account. Each one of us, who sins, with his own
free-will chooses punishment, and the blame lies with him who
chooses. [Plato, Rep., x. 617 E] God is without blame. "But if our
unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say?
Is God unrighteous, who taketh vengeance? God forbid." [Rom. iii.
5,6.] He says, therefore, threatening," I will sharpen my sword, and
my hand shall lay hold on judgment; and I will render justice to mine
enemies, and requite those who hate me. I will make mine arrows drunk
with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh from the blood of the
wounded." [Deut. xxxii. 41,42.] It is clear, then, that those who are
not at enmity with the truth, and do not hate the Word, will not hate
their own salvation, but will escape the punishment of enmity. "The
crown of wisdom," then as the book of Wisdom says, "is the fear of
the Lord." [Ecclus. i. 18.] Very clearly, therefore, by the prophet
Amos has the Lord unfolded His method of dealing, saying, "I have
overthrown you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah; and ye shall be
as a brand plucked from the fire: and yet ye have not returned unto
me, saith the Lord.' [Amos iv. 11.]
See how God, through His love of goodness,
seeks repentance; and by means of the plan He pursues of threatening
silently, shows His own love for man. "I will avert," He says, "My
face from them, and show what shall happen to them." [Deut. xxxii.
20.] For where the face of the Lord looks, there is peace and
rejoicing; but where it is averted, there is the introduction of
evil. The Lord, accordingly, does not wish to look on evil things;
for He is good. But on His looking away, evil arises spontaneously
through human unbelief. "Behold, therefore," says Paul, "the goodness
and severity of God: on them that fell severity; but upon thee,
goodness, if thou continue in His goodness," [Rom. xi. 22] that is,
in faith in Christ.
Now hatred of evil attends the good man, in
virtue of His being in nature good. Wherefore I will grant that He
punishes the disobedient (for punishment is for the good and
advantage of him who is punished, for it is the correction of a
refractory subject); but I will not grant that He wishes to take
vengeance. Revenge is retribution for evil, imposed for the advantage
of him who takes the revenge. He will not desire us to take revenge,
who teaches us "to pray for those that despitefully use us." [Matt.
v. 44.] But that God is good, all willingly admit; and that the same
God is just, I require not many more words to prove, after adducing
the evangelical utterance of the Lord; He speaks of Him as one, "That
they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that
they also may be one in Us: that the world also may believe that Thou
hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given
them; that they may be one, as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me,
that they may be made perfect in one." [John. xvii. 21-23.] God is
one, and beyond the one and above the Monad itself. Wherefore also
the particle "Thou," having a demonstrative emphasis, points out God,
who alone truly is, "who was, and is, and is to come," in which three
divisions of time the one name (o0 w !n); "who is," [Ex. iii. 14.]
has its place. And that He who alone is God is also alone and truly
righteous, our Lord in the Gospel itself shall testify, saying
"Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given Me be with Me
where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me:
For Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous
Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and
these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared to them
Thy name, and will declare it." [John xvii. 24-26] This is He "that
visits the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, to them that
hate Him, and shows mercy to those that love Him." [Ex. xx. 5,6] For
He who placed some "on the right hand, and others on the left,"
[Matt. xx. 21, xxv. 33] conceived as Father, being good, is called
that which alone He i"-"good; "
[Matt. xix. 17] but as He is the Son
in the Father, being his Word, from their mutual relation, the name
of power being measured by equality of love, He is called righteous.
"He will judge," He says, "a man according to his works," [Ecclus.
xvi. 12.] -a good balance, even God having made known to us the face
of righteousness in the person of Jesus, by whom also, as by even
scales, we know God. Of this also the book of Wisdom plainly says,
"For mercy and wrath are with Him, for He alone is Lord of both,"
Lord of propitiations, and pouring forth wrath according to the
abundance of His mercy. "So also is His reproof." [ Ecclus. xvi. 12] For
the aim of mercy and of reproof is the salvation of those who are
Now, that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
is good, the Word Himself will again avouch: "For He is kind to the
unthankful and the evil; "and further, when He says," Be merciful, as
your Father is merciful." [Luke vi. 35,36.] Still further also He
plainly says, "None is good, but My Father, who is in heaven." [Matt.
xix. 17] In addition to these, again He says, "My Father makes His
sun to shine on all." [Matt. v. 45.] Here it is to be noted that He
proclaims His Father to be good, and to be the Creator. And that the
Creator is just, is not disputed: And again he says," My Father sends
rain on the just, and on the unjust." In respect of His sending rain,
He is the Creator of the waters, and of the clouds. And in respect of
His doing so on all, He holds an even balance justly and rightly. And
as being good, He does so on just and unjust alike.
Very clearly, then, we conclude Him to be one
and the same God, thus. For the Holy Spirit has sung, "I will look to
the heavens, the works of Thy hands; " [Ps. viii. 4.] and, "He who
created the heavens dwells in the heavens; "and, "Heaven is Thy
throne." [Ps. ii. 4, xi. 5, ciii. 19.] And the Lord says in His
prayer, "Our Father, who art in heaven."1 [ Matt. vi. 9] And the heavens belong to Him, who created
the world. It is indisputable, then, that the Lord is the Son of the
Creator. And if, the Creator above all is confessed to be just, and
the Lord to be the Son of the Creator; then the Lord is the Son of
Him who is just. Wherefore also Paul says, "But now the
righteousness of God without the law is manifested; " [Rom. iii.
21,22.] and again, that you may better conceive of God, "even the
righteousness of God by the faith of Jesus Christ upon all that
believe; for there is no difference."
[Rom, iii. 26.] And, witnessing
further to the truth, he adds after a little, "through the
forbearance of God, in order to show that He is just, and that Jesus
is the justifier of him who is of faith." And that he knows that what
is just is good, appears by his saying, "So that the law is holy, and
the commandment holy, and just, and good," [Rom. vii. 12.] using both
names to denote the same power. But "no one is good," except His
Father. It is this same Father of His, then who being one is
manifested by many powers And this was the import of the utterance,
"No man knew the Father," [Luke x. 22; John xvii. 25] who was Himself
everything before the coming of the Son. So that it is veritably
clear that the God of all is only one good, just Creator, and the Son
in the Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen. But it is
not inconsistent with the saving Word, to administer rebuke dictated
by solicitude. For this is the medicine of the divine love to man, by
which the blush of modesty breaks forth, and shame at sin supervenes.
For if one must censure, it is necessary also to rebuke; when it is
the time to wound the apathetic soul not mortally, but salutarily,
securing exemption from everlasting death by a little pain.
Great is the wisdom displayed in His
instruction, and manifold the modes of His dealing in order to
salvation. For the Instructor testifies to the good, and summons
forth to better things those that are called; dissuades those that
are hastening to do wrong from the attempt, and exhorts them to turn
to a better life. For the one is not without testimony, when the
other has been testified to; and the grace which proceeds from the
testimony is very great. Besides, the feeling of anger (if it is
proper to call His admonition anger) is full of love to man, God
condescending to emotion on man's account; for whose sake also the
Word of God became man.
Chapter IX.-That It
is the Prerogative of the Same Power to Be Beneficent and to
Punish Justly. Also the Manner of the Instruction of the
With all His
power, therefore, the Instructor of humanity,
the Divine Word, using all the resources of wisdom, devotes Himself to the
saving of the children, admonishing,
upbraiding, blaming, chiding, reproving, threatening,
and as it were, by many reins,
curbing the irrational impulses of humanity.
To speak briefly, therefore, the Lord acts
towards us as we do towards our children. "Hast thou children?
correct them," is the exhortation of the book of Wisdom, "and bend
them from their youth. Hast thou daughters? attend to their body, and
let not thy face brighten towards them," [Ecclus. vii. 23,24]
-although we love our children exceedingly, both sons and daughters,
above aught else whatever. For those who speak with a man merely to
please him, have little love for him, seeing they do not pain him;
while those that speak for his good, though they inflict pain for the
time, do him good for ever after. It is not immediate pleasure, but
future enjoyment, that the Lord has in view.
Let us now proceed to consider the mode of His
loving discipline, with the aid of the prophetic testimony.
Admonition, then, is the censure of loving care, and produces
understanding. Such is the
in His admonitions, as when He says in the Gospel,
"How often would I have gathered
thy children, as a bird gathers her young ones under her wings, and
ye would not!" [Matt. xxiii. 37]
And again, the Scripture admonishes, saying,
"And they committed
adultery with stock and stone, and burnt incense to Baal."
[Jer. iii. 9, vii. 9, xi. 13, xxxii. 29]
For it is a very great proof of His
love, that, though knowing well the shamelessness of the people that
had kicked and bounded away, He notwithstanding exhorts them to
repentance, and says by Ezekiel, "Son of man, thou dwellest in the
midst of scorpions; nevertheless, speak to them, if peradventure they will
hear.' [ Ezek. ii. 6,7.]
Further, to Moses He says, "Go and tell Pharaoh
to send My people forth; but I know that he will not send them
forth." [Ex. iii. 18,19.] For He shows both things: both His divinity
in His foreknowledge of what would take place, and His love in
affording an opportunity for repentance to the self-determination of
He admonishes also by Esaias, in His care for
the people, when He says,
"This people honour Me with their lips,
but their heart is far from Me." What follows is reproving censure:
"In vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." [Isa. xxix. 13] Here His loving care, having
shown their sin, shows salvation side by side.
Upbraiding is censure on account of what is
base, conciliating to what is noble. This is shown by Jeremiah: "They
were female-mad horses; each one neighed after his neighbour's wife.
Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: shall not my soul
be avenged on such a nation as this? " [Jer. v. 8,9]
He everywhere interweaves fear, because
"the fear of the Lord is the beginning of sense." [Prov. i. 7] And
again, by Hosea, He says, "Shall I not visit them? for they
themselves were mingled with harlots, and sacrificed with the initiated; and
the people that understood embraced a harlot." [Hos. iv. 14:
"understood not" in the A.V.] He shows their offence to be clearer, by
declaring that they understood, and thus sinned wilfully.
Understanding is the eye of the soul; wherefore also Israel means,
"he that sees God"-that is, he that understands God.
Complaint is censure of those who are
regarded as despising or neglecting. He employs this form when He
says by Esaias: "Hear, O heaven; and give ear, O earth: for the Lord
hath spoken, I have begotten and brought up children, but they have
disregarded Me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's
crib: but Israel hath not known Me."
[Isa. i. 2,3] For how shall we not
regard it fearful, if he that knows God, shall not recognise the
Lord; but while the ox and the ass, stupid and foolish animals, will
know him who feeds them, Israel is found to be more irrational than
these? And having, by Jeremiah, complained against the people on many
grounds, He adds: "And they have forsaken Me, saith the Lord.' [Jer
i. 16,ii. 13, 29.]
Invective [Or, rebuke] is a reproachful
upbraiding, or chiding censure. This mode of treatment the Instructor
employs in Isaiah, when He says, "Woe to you, children revolters.
Thus saith the Lord, Ye have taken counsel, but not by Me; and made
compacts, but not by My Spirit." [Isa. xxx. 1] He uses the very
bitter mordant of fear in each case repressing the people, and at the
same time turning them to salvation; as also wool that is undergoing
the process of dyeing is wont to be previously treated with mordants,
in order to prepare it for taking on a fast colour.
Reproof is the bringing forward of sin, laying
it before one. This form of instruction He employs as in the highest
degree necessary, by reason of the feebleness of the faith of many.
For He says by Esaias, "Ye have forsaken the Lord, and have provoked
the Holy One of Israel to anger." [Isa. i. 4.] And He says also by
Jeremiah: "Heaven was astonished at this, and the earth shuddered
exceedingly. For My people have committed two evils; they have
forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and have hewn out to
themselves broken cisterns, which will not be able to hold water."
[Jer. ii. 12,13] And again, by the same: "Jerusalem hath sinned a
sin; therefore it became commotion. All that glorified her
dishonoured her, when they saw her baseness." [Lam. i. 8.] And He
uses the bitter and biting language of reproof in His consolations by
Solomon, tacitly alluding to the love for children that characterizes
His instruction: "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the
Lord; nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: for whom the Lord
loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth; "
[Prov. iii. 11,12.] "For a man who is a sinner escapes reproof."
[Ecclus. xxxii. 21] Consequently, therefore, the Scripture says, "Let
the righteous reprove and correct me; but let not the oil of the
sinner anoint my head." [Ps. cxli. 5.]
Bringing one to his senses (fre/nwsij) is
censure, which makes a man think. Neither from this form of
instruction does he abstain, but says by Jeremiah, "How long shall I
cry, and you not hear? So your ears are uncircumcised." [Jer. vi.
10.] O blessed forbearance! And again, by the same: "All the heathen
are uncircumcised, but this people is uncircumcised in heart: " [Jer.
ix. 26] "for the people are disobedient; children," says He, "in whom
is not faith." [Isa. xxx. 9.]
Visitation is severe rebuke. He uses this
species in the Gospel: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killest the
prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee!" The
reduplication of the name gives strength to the rebuke. For he that
knows God, how does he persecute God's servants? Wherefore He says,
"Your house is left desolate; for I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall
not see Me, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name
of the Lord." [Matt. xxiii. 37-39] For if you do not receive His
love, ye shall know His power.
Denunciation is vehement speech. And He employs
denunciation as medicine, by Isaiah, saying, "Ah, sinful nation,
lawless sons, people full of sins, wicked seed!" [Isa. i. 4.]
And in the Gospel by John He says,
"Serpents, brood of
vipers." [Nothing similar to this is
found in the fourth Gospel; the reference may be to the words of the
Baptist, Matt. iii. 7, Luke iii. 7.]
Accusation is censure of wrong-doers. This mode
of instruction He employs by David, when He says: "The people whom I
knew not served me, and at the hearing of the ear obeyed me.
Sons of strangers lied to me, and halted
from their ways." [Ps. xviii. 43-45] And by Jeremiah: "And I gave her
a writing of divorcement, and covenant-breaking Judah feared not."
[Jer. iii. 8] And again: "And the house of Israel disregarded Me; and
the house of Judah lied to the Lord." [Jer. v. 11,12.]
Bewailing one's fate is latent censure, and by
artful aid ministers salvation as under a veil. He made use of this
by Jeremiah: "How did the city sit solitary that was full of people!
She that ruled over territories became as a widow; she came under
tribute; weeping, she wept in the night." [Lam. i. 1,2]
Objurgation is objurgatory censure. Of this
help the Divine Instructor made use by Jeremiah, saying,
"Thou hadst a whore's forehead; thou
wast shameless towards all; and didst not call me to the house, who
am thy father, and lord of thy virginity." [Jer. iii. 3,4]
"And a fair and
graceful harlot skilled in
enchanted potions." [Nahum iii. 4.] With consummate art, after applying
to the virgin the opprobrious name of whoredom, He thereupon calls
her back to an honourable life by filling her with shame.
Indignation is a rightful upbraiding; or
upbraiding on account of ways exalted above what is right. In this
way He instructed by Moses, when He said, "Faulty children, a
generation crooked and perverse, do ye thus requite the Lord? This
people is foolish, and not wise. Is not this thy father who acquired
thee? " [Deut. xxxii. 5,6.] He says also by Isaiah, "Thy princes are
disobedient, companions of thieves, loving gifts, following after
rewards, not judging the orphans." [Isa. i. 23.]
In fine, the system He pursues to inspire fear
is the source of salvation. And it is the prerogative of goodness to
save: "The mercy of the Lord is on all flesh, while He reproves,
corrects, and teaches as a shepherd His flock. He pities those who
receive His instruction, and those who eagerly seek union with Him."
[Ecclus. xviii. 13, 14] And with such guidance He guarded the six
hundred thousand footmen that were brought together in the hardness
of heart in which they were found; scourging, pitying, striking,
healing, in compassion and discipline: "For according to the
greatness of His mercy, so is His rebuke." [Ecclus. xvi. 12] For it
is indeed noble not to sin; but it is good also for the sinner to
repent; just as it is best to be always in good health, but well to
recover from disease. So He commands by Solomon: "Strike thou thy son
with the rod, that thou mayest deliver his soul from death."
[ Prov. xxiii. 14] And again: "Abstain not from chastising
thy son, but correct him with the rod; for he will not die." [Prov.
For reproof and rebuke, as also the original
term implies, are the stripes of the soul, chastizing sins,
preventing death, and leading to self-control those carried away to
licentiousness. Thus also Plato, knowing reproof to be the greatest
power for reformation, and the most sovereign purification, in
accordance with what has been said, observes, "that he who is in the
highest degree impure is uninstructed and base, by reason of his
being unreproved in those respects in which he who is destined to be
truly happy ought to be purest and best."
For if rulers are not a terror to a good work,
how shall God, who is by nature good, be a terror to him who sins
not? "If thou doest evil, be afraid," [Rom. xiii. 3,4] says the
Wherefore the apostle himself also in
every case uses stringent language to the Churches, after the Lord's
example; and conscious of his own boldness, and of the weakness of
he says to the Galatians: "Am I
your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" [ Gal. iv. 16]
Thus also people in health do not require a
physician, do not require him as long as they are strong; but those
who are ill need his skill. Thus also we who in our lives are ill of
shameful lusts and reprehensible excesses, and other inflammatory
effects of the passions, need the Saviour. And He administers not
only mild, but also stringent medicines. The bitter roots of fear
then arrest the eating sores of our sins. Wherefore also fear is
salutary, if bitter. Sick, we truly stand in need of the Saviour;
having wandered, of one to guide us; blind, of one to lead us to the
light; thirsty, "of the fountain of life, of which whosoever
partakes, shall no longer thirst; " [John iv. 13,14.] dead, we need
life; sheep, we need a shepherd; we who are children need a tutor,
while universal humanity stands in need of Jesus; so that we may not
continue intractable and sinners to the end, and thus fall into
condemnation, but may be separated from the chaff, and stored up in
the paternal garner. "For the fan is in the Lord's hand, by which the
chaff due to the fire is separated from the wheat." [Matt. iii. 12;
Luke iii. 17] You may learn, if you will, the crowning wisdom of the
all-holy Shepherd and Instructor, of the omnipotent and paternal
Word, when He figuratively represents Himself as the Shepherd of the
sheep. And He is the Tutor of the children. He says therefore by
Ezekiel, directing His discourse to the elders, and setting before
them a salutary description of His wise solicitude: "And that which
is lame I will bind up, and that which is sick I will heal, and that
which has wandered I will turn back; and I will feed them on my holy
mountain." [Ezek. xxxiv. 14, 15, 16.] Such are the promises of the
Feed us, the children, as sheep. Yea, Master,
fill us with righteousness, Thine own pasture; yea, O Instructor,
feed us on Thy holy mountain the Church, which towers
aloft, which is above the clouds, which touches heaven. "And I will
be," He says, "their Shepherd," [Ezek. xxxiv. 14-16] and will be near
them, as the garment to their skin. He wishes to save my flesh by
enveloping it in the robe of immortality, and He hath anointed my
body. "They shall call Me," He says, "and I will say, Here am I."
[Isa. lviii. 9] Thou didst hear sooner than I expected, Master. "And
if they pass over, they shall not slip," [Isa. xliii. 2.] saith the
Lord. For we who are passing over to immortality shall not fall into
corruption, for He shall sustain us. For so He has said, and so He
has willed. Such is our Instructor, righteously good. "I came not,"
He says, "to be ministered unto, but to minister." [Matt. xx. 28;
Mark x. 45.] Wherefore He is introduced in the Gospel "wearied,"
[John iv. 6] because toiling for us, and promising "to give His life
a ransom for many." [Matt. xx. 28.] For him alone who does so He owns
to be the good shepherd. Generous, therefore, is He who gives for us
the greatest of all gifts, His own life; and beneficent exceedingly,
and loving to men, in that, when He might have been Lord, He wished
to be a brother man; and so good was He that He died for us.
Further, His righteousness cried, "If ye come
straight to me, I also will come straight to you but if ye walk
crooked, I also will walk crooked saith the Lord of hosts; " [Here
Clement gives the sense of various passages, e.g., Jer. vi., Lev.
xxvi.] meaning by the crooked ways the chastisements of sinners. For
the straight and natural way which is indicated by the <i>iota
of the name of Jesus is His goodness, which is firm and sure towards
those who have believed at hearing: "When I called, ye obeyed not,
saith the Lord; but set at nought my counsels, and heeded not my
reproofs." [Prov. i. 24, 25.] Thus the Lord's reproof is most
beneficial. David also says of them, "A perverse and provoking race;
a race which set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not
faithful with God: they kept not the covenant of God, and would not
walk in His law." [Ps. lxxviii. 8, 10]
Such are the causes of provocation for which
the Judge comes to inflict punishment on those that would not choose
a life of goodness. Wherefore also afterwards He assailed them more
roughly; in order, if possible, to drag them back from their
impetuous rush towards death. He therefore tells by David the most
manifest cause of the threatening: "They believed not in His
wonderful works. When He slew them, they sought after Him, and turned
and inquired early after God; and remembered that God was their
Helper, and God the Most High their Redeemer." [Ps. lxxviii. 32-35]
Thus He knew that they turned for fear, while they despised His love:
for, for the most part, that goodness which is always mild is
despised; but He who admonishes by the loving fear of righteousness
There is a twofold species of fear, the one
of which is accompanied with reverence, such as
citizens show towards good rulers, and we towards God, as also
right-minded children towards their fathers. "For an unbroken horse
turns out unmanageable, and a son who is let take his own way turns
out reckless." [Ecclus. xxx. 8]
The other species of fear is accompanied with
which slaves feel towards hard masters, and the Hebrews felt, who
made God a master, not a father. And as far as piety is concerned,
that which is voluntary and spontaneous differs much, nay entirely,
from what is forced. "For He," it iS said, "is merciful; He will heal
their sins, and not destroy them, and fully turn away His anger, and
not kindle all His wrath." [Ps. lxxviii. 38.] See how the justice of
the Instructor, which deals in rebukes, is shown; and the goodness of
God, which deals in compassions. Wherefore David-that is, the Spirit
by him-embracing them both, sings of God Himself, "Justice and
judgment are the preparation of His throne: mercy and truth shall go
before Thy face." [Ps. lxxxix. 14]
He declares that it belongs to the same power
both to judge and to do good. For there is power over both together,
and judgment separates that which is just from its opposite. And He
who is truly God is just and good; who is Himself all, and all is He;
for He is God, the only God.
The Guilt Clause
For as the mirror
is not evil to an ugly man because it shows him what like he
is; and as the physician is not evil to
the sick man because he tells him of his fever,-for the
physician is not the cause of the
fever, but only points out the
fever;-so neither is He, that reproves, ill-disposed
towards him who is diseased in soul.
For He does not put the transgressions on
him, but only shows the sins which are
there; in order to turn him away from similar practices. So God is
good on His own account, and just also on ours, and He is just
because He is good.
And His justice is shown to us by
His own Word from there from above, whence the Father was.
For before He became Creator He was God; He was
good. And therefore He wished to be Creator and Father.
And the nature of all that love was the source
of righteousness-the cause, too, of His lighting up His sun, and
sending down His own Son. And He first announced the good righteousness that is
from heaven, when He said,
"No man knoweth the Son, but the
Father; nor the Father, but the Son." [Luke x. 22]
This mutual and reciprocal knowledge is the
symbol of primeval justice. Then justice came down to men both in the
letter and in the body, in the Word and in the law, constraining
humanity to saving
repentance; for it was good. But do you
not obey God? Then blame yourself, who drag to yourself the
Chapter X.-That the
Same God, by the Same Word, Restrains from Sin by Threatening, and
Saves Humanity by Exhorting.
If, then, we have shown that the plan of
dealing stringently with humanity is good and salutary, and
necessarily adopted by the Word, and conducive to repentance and the
prevention of sins; we shall have now to look in order at the
mildness of the Word. For He has been demonstrated to be just. He
sets before us His own inclinations which invite to salvation; by
which, in accordance with the Father's will, He wishes to make known
to us the good and the useful. Consider these. The good (to\ kalo/n)
belongs to the panegyrical form of speech, the useful to the
persuasive. For the hortatory and the dehortatory are a form of the
persuasive, and the laudatory and inculpatory of the
For the persuasive style of sentence in one
form becomes hortatory, and in another dehortatory. So also the
panegyrical in one form becomes inculpatory, and in another
laudatory. And in these exercises the Instructor, the Just One, who
has proposed our advantage as His aim, is chiefly occupied. But the
inculpatory and dehortatory forms of speech have been already shown
us; and we must now handle the persuasive and the laudatory, and, as
on a beam, balance the equal scales of justice. The exhortation to
what is useful, the Instructor employs by Solomon, to the following
effect: "I exhort you, O men; and I utter my voice to the sons of
men. Hear me; for I will speak of excellent things; " [Prov. viii. 4,
6.] and so on. And He counsels what is salutary: for counsel has for
its end, choosing or refusing a certain course; as He does by David,
when He says, "Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsels of
the ungodly, and standeth not in the way of sinners, and sitteth not
in the chair of pestilences; but his will is in the law of the Lord."
[Ps. 1. 1, 2.]
And there are three departments of counsel:
That which takes examples from
as what the Hebrews suffered when
they worshipped the golden
calf, and what they suffered when they
committed fornication, and the like.
The second, whose meaning is
understood from the present times, as being apprehended by
as it was said to those who asked
the Lord, "If He was the Christ, or shall we wait for another? Go and
tell John, the blind receive their sight, the deaf hear, the lepers
are cle [Matt. xi. 3-6; Luke vii. 19, 22, 23.]
Such was that which David aid when he
prophesied, "As we have heard, so have we seen." [ Ps. xlviii. 8.]
And the third department of
counsel consists of what is future,
by which we are bidden guard against what
is to happen; as also that was said, "They that fall into sins shall
be cast into outer darkness, where there shall be wailing and
gnashing of teeth," [Matt. xxii. 13, xxv. 30.] and the like. So that
from these things it is clear that the Lord, going the round of all
the methods of curative treatment, calls humanity to
By encouragement He assuages
sins, reducing lust, and at the same time inspiring hope for
salvation. For He says by Ezekiel, "If ye return with your whole
heart, and say, Father, I will hear you, as a holy people." [Ezek.
xviii., xxxiii.] And again He says, "Come all to Me, who labour, and
are heavy laden, and I will give you rest; " [Matt. xi. 28.] and that
which is added the Lord speaks in His own person.
And very clearly He calls to goodness by
Solomon, when He says, "Blessed is the man who hath found wisdom, and the
mortal who hath found
understanding." [Prov. iii. 13] "For
the good is found by him who seeks
it, and is wont to be seen by him who
it." [In Prov. ii. 4, 5; iii. 15. Jer. ii. 24, we have the sense of
By Jeremiah, too, He sets forth prudence, when
he says, "Blessed are we, Israel; for what is pleasing to God is
known by us; [ Baruch iv. 4.] -and it is known by the Word, by whom we are
blessed and wise. For wisdom and knowledge are mentioned by the same
prophet, when he says, "Hear, O Israel, the commandments of
give ear to know understanding."
[Baruch iii. 9.]
By Moses, too, by reason of the love He has
to man, He promises a gift to those who hasten to salvation. For He
"And I will bring you into the good
land, which the Lord sware to your fathers. " [Deut xxxi. 20.]
- And further, "And I will bring you into the
holy mountain, and make you glad," [Isa. lvi. 7] He says by
And still another form of instruction is
benediction. "And blessed is he," He saith by David, "who has not
sinned; and he shall be as the tree
planted near the channels of the waters, which will yield its fruit in its season, and his
leaf shall not wither " [Ps. i. 1-3] (by this He made an allusion
to the resurrection); "and whatsoever he shall do shall prosper
Such He wishes us to be, that we
may be blessed. Again, showing the opposite scale of the balance of justice, He says, "But not so the ungodly-not
so; but as the dust which the wind sweeps away from the face of
the earth." [Ps. i. 4.]
By showing the punishment of sinners, and
their easy dispersion, and carrying off by the wind, the
Instructor dissuades from crime by means of punishment; and by
holding up the merited penalty, shows the benignity of His
beneficence in the most skilful way, in order that we may possess
and enjoy its blessings.
He invites us to knowledge also, when He
says by Jeremiah,
thou walked in the way of God, thou wouldst have dwelt for ever in
peace; " [Baruch iii.
13] for, exhibiting there the
reward of knowledge, He calls the wise to the love of it.
And, granting pardon to him who has erred, He
says, "Turn, turn, as a grape-gatherer to his basket." [Jer. vi. 9.]
Do you see the goodness of justice, in that it
counsels to repentance?
And still further, by Jeremiah, He
in the truth those who have erred.
"Thus saith the Lord,
Stand in the ways, and
look, and ask for the eternal paths of the Lord,
what is the good path, and walk in it, and ye shall find purification
for your souls." [Jer. vi. 16]
And in order to promote our salvation, He leads
us to repentance. Wherefore He says,
"If thou repent, the
Lord will purify thy heart, and the
heart of thy seed." [Deut. xxx.
We might have
adduced, as supporters on this
question, the philosophers who say that only the perfect man is
worthy of praise, and the bad man of blame.
But since some slander beatitude, as
neither itself taking any trouble, nor giving any to any one else,
thus not understanding its love to man; on their account, and on
account of those who do not associate justice with goodness, the
following remarks are added.
For it were a legitimate inference to say, that rebuke and censure are suitable to
since they say that all men are
alone is wise, from whom cometh wisdom,
and alone perfect, and therefore alone worthy of praise.
But I do not employ such language. I say, then,
that praise or blame, or whatever resembles praise or blame, are
medicines most essential of all to men.
Some are ill to cure, and, like iron, are
wrought into shape with fire, and hammer, and anvil, that is, with
threatening, and reproof, and chastisement; while others, cleaving to
faith itself, as self-taught, and as acting of their own free-will,
grow by praise:-
- "For virtue that is praised
- Grows like a tree."
And comprehending this, as it seems to me, the
Samian Pythagoras gives the injunction :-
- "When you have done base things, rebuke
- But when you have done good things, be
Chiding is also called admonishing; and the
etymology of admonishing (nouqe/thsij) is (nou= e0nqematismo/j)
putting of understanding into one; so that rebuking is bringing one
to one's senses.
But there are myriads of injunctions to be
found, whose aim is the attainment of what is good, and the avoidance
of what is evil. "For there is no peace to the wicked, saith the
Lord." [Isa. lvii. 21, xlviii. 22] Wherefore by Solomon He commands
the children to beware: "My son, let not sinners deceive thee, and go
not after their ways; and go not, if they entice thee, saying, Come
with us, share with us in innocent blood, and let us hide unjustly
the righteous man in the earth; let us put him out of sight, all
alive as he is into Hades." [Prov. i. 10-12] This is accordingly
likewise a prediction concerning the Lord's passion.
And by Ezekiel, the life supplies commandments:
"The soul that sinneth shall die;
but he that doeth righteousness shall be righteous. He eateth not
upon the mountains, and hath not set his eyes on the devices of the
house of Israel, and will not defile his neighbour's wife, and will
not approach to a woman in her separation, and will not oppress a
man, and will restore the debtor's pledge, and will not
take plunder: he will give his bread to the hungry, and clothe the
naked. His money he will not give on usury, and will not take
interest; and he will turn away his hand from wrong, and will execute
righteous judgment between a man and his neighbour. He has walked in
my statutes, and kept my judgments to do them. This is a righteous
man. He shall surely live, saith the Lord." (Ezek. xviii. 4-9.) These
words contain a description of the conduct of Christians, a notable
exhortation to the blessed life, which is the reward of a life of
the Word Instructed by the Law and the Prophets.
The mode of His love and His instruction we
have shown as we could. Wherefore He Himself, declaring Himself very
beautifully, likened Himself to a grain of mustard-seed; [Matt. xiii.
31; Luke xiii. 19.] and pointed out the spirituality of the word that is sown, and the productiveness of its
nature, and the magnificence and conspicuousness of the power of the
word; and besides,
intimated that the pungency and the
virtue of punishment are profitable on account of its sharpness.
By the little grain, as it is figuratively
called, He bestows salvation on all humanity abundantly. Honey, being
very sweet, generates bile, as goodness begets contempt, which is the
cause of sinning.
But mustard lessens bile, that is, anger, and
stops inflammation, that is, pride. From which Word springs the true
health of the soul, and its eternal happy temperament
Accordingly, of old He instructed by Moses, and
the prophets. Moses, too, was a prophet. For the law is the training
of refractory children. "Having feasted to the full," accordingly, it is said,
"they rose up to play; " [Ex. xxxii. 6; 1 Cor. x. 7] senseless repletion with
victuals being called (fodder), not (food).
And when, having senselessly
filled themselves, they senselessly
on that account the law was given them, and terror ensued for the prevention of
and for the promotion of right actions, securing attention, and so winning to obedience to the
true Instructor, being one and the same Word, and reducing to
conformity with the urgent demands of the law.
For Paul says that it was
given to be a "schoolmaster to bring us
to Christ." [Gal. iii. 24.] So that from this it is clear, that one
alone, true, good, just, in the image and likeness of the Father, His
Son Jesus, the Word of God, is our
Instructor; to whom God hath entrusted
us, as an affectionate father commits his children to a worthy
expressly charging us, "This is my beloved Son: hear Him." [Matt.
xvii. 5] The divine Instructor is trustworthy, adorned as He is with
three of the fairest ornament"-knowledge, benevolence, and
authority of utterance;-
with knowledge, for He is the
paternal wisdom: "All Wisdom is from the Lord, and with Him for
"-with authority of utterance,
for He is God and Creator: "For all things were made by Him, and
without Him was not anything made; " [John i. 3.]
-and with benevolence, for He alone
gave Himself a sacrifice for us: "For the good Shepherd giveth His
life for the sheep; " [John x. 11.] and He has so given it. Now,
benevolence is nothing but wishing to do good to one's neighbour for
Instructor Characterized by the Severity and
of Paternal Affection.
Having now accomplished those things, it were a
fitting sequel that our instructor Jesus should draw for us the model
of the true life, and train humanity in Christ.
Nor is the cast and character of the life He
enjoins very formidable ; nor is it made altogether easy by reason of
His benignity. He enjoins His
and at the same time gives them such a character that they may be
The view I take is, that He Himself
formed man of the dust,
- and regenerated him by
- and made him grow by his Spirit;
- and trained him by His word to adoption and
- directing him by sacred
in order that, transforming earth-born man into a holy and heavenly being by His
advent, He might fulfil to the utmost
that divine utterance, "Let Us make man in Our own image and
likeness." [Gen. i. 26] And, in truth, Christ became the perfect
realization of what God spake;
and the rest of humanity is
conceived as being created merely in His
But let us, O children of the good
Father-nurslings of the good Instructor-fulfil the Father's will,
listen to the Word, and take on the impress of the truly saving life of
our Saviour; and meditating on the
heavenly mode of life according to which we have been deified, let us anoint
ourselves with the perennial immortal bloom of gladness-that ointment
of sweet fragrance-having a clear example of immortality in the walk
and conversation of the Lord;
and following the footsteps of God, to whom
alone it belongs to consider, and whose care it is to see to, the way
and manner in which the life of men may be made more healthy.
Besides, He makes preparation for a self-sufficing mode of life, for
simplicity, and for girding up our loins, and for free and unimpeded
readiness of our journey; in order to the attainment of an eternity
of beatitude, teaching each one of us to be his own storehouse. For
He says, "Take no anxious thought for to-morrow," [Matt. vi. 34.]
meaning that the man who has devoted himself to Christ ought to be
sufficient to himself, and servant to himself, and moreover lead a
life which provides for each day by itself. For it is not in war, but
in peace, that we are trained. War needs great preparation, and
luxury craves profusion; but peace and love, simple and quiet
sisters, require no arms nor excessive preparation. The Word is their
Our superintendence in instruction and
discipline is the office of the
whom we learn frugality and humility, and all that pertains to love
of truth, love of man, and love of excellence. And so, in a word,
being assimilated to God by a participation in moral excellence, we
must not retrograde into carelessness and sloth. But labour, and
faint not. Thou shalt be what thou dost not hope, and canst not
conjecture. And as there is one mode of training for philosophers,
another for orators, and another for athletes; so is there a generous
disposition, suitable to the choice that is set upon moral
loveliness, resulting from the training of Christ. And in the case of
those who have been trained according to this influence, their gait
in walking, their sitting at table, their food, their sleep, their
going to bed, their regimen, and the rest of their mode of life,
acquire a superior dignity.
[The secondary, civilizing, and
socializing power of the Gospel, must have already produced all this
change from heathen manners, under Clement's own observation.]
For such a training as is pursued by the Word
is not over strained, but is of the right tension. Thus, therefore,
the Word has been called also the Saviour, seeing He has found out
for men those rational medicines which produce vigour of the senses
and salvation; and devotes Himself to watching for the favourable
moment, reproving evil, exposing the causes of evil affections, and
striking at the roots of irrational lusts, pointing out what we ought
to abstain from, and supplying all the antidotes of salvation to
those who are diseased. For the greatest and most regal work of God
is the salvation of humanity. The sick are vexed at a physician, who
gives no advice bearing on their restoration to health. But how shall
we not acknowledge the highest gratitude to the divine Instructor,
who is not silent, who omits not those threatenings that point
towards destruction, but discloses them, and cuts off the impulses
that tend to them; and who indoctrinates in those counsels which
result in the true way of living? We must confess, therefore, the
deepest obligations to Him. For what else do we say is incumbent on
the rational creature-I mean man-than the contemplation of the
Divine? I say, too, that it is requisite to contemplate human nature,
and to live as the truth directs, and to admire the Instructor and
His injunctions, as suitable and harmonious to each other. According
to which image also we ought, conforming ourselves to the Instructor,
and making the word and our deeds agree, to live a real life.
XIII.-Virtue Rational, Sin
Everything that is contrary to right reason is
sin. Accordingly, therefore, the philosophers think fit to define the
most generic passions thus: lust, as desire disobedient to reason ;
fear, as weakness disobedient to reason; pleasure, as an elation of
the spirit disobedient to reason. If, then, disobedience in reference
to reason is the generating cause of sin, how shall we escape the
conclusion, that obedience to reason-the Word-which we call faith,
will of necessity be the efficacious cause of duty? For virtue itself
is a state of the soul rendered harmonious by reason in respect to
the whole life. Nay, to crown all, philosophy itself is pronounced to
be the cultivation of right reason; so that, necessarily, whatever is
done through error of reason is transgression, and is rightly called,
(a9ma/rthma) sin. Since, then, the first man sinned and disobeyed
God, it is said, "And man became like to the beasts: " [Ps. xlix. 12,
20.] being rightly regarded as irrational, he is likened to the
beasts. Whence Wisdom says: "The horse for covering; the libidinous
and the adulturer is become like to an irrational beast." [Ecclus.
xxxiii. 6.] Wherefore also it is added: "He neighs, whoever may be
sitting on him." The man, it is meant, no longer speaks; for he who
transgresses against reason is no longer rational, but an irrational
animal, given up to lusts by which he is ridden (as a horse by his
But that which is done right, in obedience to
reason, the followers of the Stoics callprosh=kon and kaqh=kon, that
is, incumbent and fitting. What is fitting is incumbent. And
obedience is founded on commands. And these being,
as they are, the same as counsel-having truth for their aim, train up
to the ultimate goal of aspiration, which is conceived of as the
(te/loj). And the end of piety is eternal rest in God. And the
beginning of eternity is our end. The right operation of piety
perfects duty by works; whence, according to just reasoning, duties
consist in actions, not in sayings. And Christian conduct is the
Operation of the rational soul in accordance with a correct judgment
and aspiration after the truth, which attains its destined end
through the body, the soul's consort and ally. [Note this definition
in Christian ethics.]Virtue is a will in conformity to God and Christ
in life, rightly adjusted to life everlasting.
For the life of Christians, in which we are now
trained, is a system of reasonable
actions-that is, of those things taught
by the Word-an unfailing energy which we have called faith.
The system is the commandments of the Lord, which, being divine statues and
spiritual counsels, have been written for ourselves, being adapted for
ourselves and our neighbours.
Moreover, they turn back on us, as the
ball rebounds on him that throws it by the repercussion.
Whence also duties are essential for divine
discipline, as being enjoined by
God, and furnished for our salvation.
And since, of those things which
are necessary, some relate only to life here, and others, which
relate to the blessed life yonder, wing
flight hence; so, in an analogous
manner, of duties, some are ordained with reference to life, others
for the blessed life. The commandments issued with respect to natural
life are published to the multitude; but those that are suited for
living well, and from which eternal life springs, we have to
consider, as in a sketch, as we read them out of the
Clement of Alexandria on Baptism
Church Fathers Index
Counter added 11/10/04 1170
1 Ps. lxxiii. 1.
2 [See Exhortation to the Heathen, cap. xi. p. 203, supra.]
3 The paedagogus. [This
word seems to be used by Clement, with frequent alusion, at least, to
its original idea, of one who leads the child to his instructor;
which is the true idea, I suppose, in Gal. iii. 24.]
4 Num. vi. 9.
5 Num. vi. 12.
6 Ps. lxxxvi.
7 Mark ii. 11.
8 John xi. 43.
9 Matt. ix. 2.
10 Bishop Kaye
(Some Account of the Writings and
Opinions of Clement of Alexandria, p.
48) translates, "receiving from man that which made man (that on
account of which man was made)." But it seems more likely that
Clement refers to the ideal man in the divine mind, whom he
indentifies elsewhere with the Logos, the a!nqrwpoj a0paqh/j, of whom
man was the image. The reader will notice that Clement speaks of man
as existing in the divine mind before his creation, and creation is
represented by God's seeing what He had
previously within Him merely as a hidden power.
11 John xvi. 27.
12 John xvii. 23.
13 Matt. xv. 14.
14 John i. 14.
15 Luke xx. 34.
16 John xxi. 4,5.
17 Matt. xix. 14.
18 Matt. xviii.
19 [The dignity ascribed
to Christian childhood in this chapter is something noteworthy. The
Gospel glorifying children, sanctifies marriage, and creates the
20 Matt. xxi. 9.
21 Matt. xxi. 16; Ps.
22 John xiii. 33.
23 Matt. xi. 16,17. [In
the Peshitoi-Syraic version, where are probably found the very words
our Saviour thus quotes from children in Nazareth, this saying is
seen to be metrical and alliterative.]
24 Ps. cxiii. 1.
25 Isa. viii. 18.
26 Matt. xxv. 33.
27 Matt. x. 16.
28 Lev. xv. 29, xii. 8;
Luke ii. 24.
29 Matt. xxiii.
30 Isa. lxv.
31 Jer. v. 8.
32 Zech. ix. 9; Gen.
33 Isa. xl. 11.
34 Matt. xviii.
35 Theodoret explains
this to mean that, as the animal referred to has only one horn, so
those brought up in the practice of piety worship only one God. [It
might mean lovers of those promises which are introduced by these
words in the marvellous twenty-second Psalm.]
36 Matt. vi. 34.
37 Ps. v. 6.
38 2 Cor. xi. 2.
39 Eph. iv.
40 1 Thess. ii.
41 Isa. lxvi. 2.
42 Rom. xvi. 19.
43 Matt. xi. 27: Luke x.
44 Isa. lxvi.
45 Gen. xxvi. 8.
46 Isa. ix. 6.
47 Luke vii. 28.
48 John i. 29,36.
49 In allusion
apparently to John viii. 35,36.
50 Ps. lxxxii. 6.
52 John i. 4.
53 John v. 24.
54 viz., the result of
55 1 Thess. iv.
56 Eph. v. 8.
57 fwj, light; fw/j, a
58 John vi. 40.
59 John iii. 36.
60 Matt. ix. 29.
61 Migne's text has
a0poka/luyij. The emendation a0po/lhyij is preferable.
62 [Iliad, v. 401.]
63 Gal. iii. 23-25.
[Here the schoolmaster should be the child-guide; for the law
leads us to the Master, says Clement, and we are no longer under the
disciplinary guide, but "under the Word, the master of our free
choice." The schoolmaster then is the Word, and the law merely led us
to his school.]
64 Gal. iii.
65 1 Cor. xii.
66 Luke x. 21.
67 Luke x. 21.
68 [Clement here
considers all believers as babes, in the sense he explains; but the
tenderness towards children of the allusions running through this
chapter are not the less striking.]
69 1 Cor. xiv.
70 1 Cor. xiii. 11. [A
text much misused by the heretical gnostics whom Clement
71 viz., simple or
innocent as a child, and foolish
as a child.
72 1 Cor. xiii.
73 Gal. iv. 1-5.
74 Gal. iv. 7.
75 1 Cor. iii. 2.
76 Ex. iii. 8.
77 Rev. i. 8.
78 [Iliad, xiii. 6. S.]
79 1 Cor. iii. 1.
80 1 Cor. iii. 3.
81 John vi. 55.
82 1 Cor. xiii.
83 Rom. viii. 9.
84 Cor. ii. 9.
85 Cor. xii. 2-4.
86 Jer. ix. 23; 1 Cor.
i. 31; 2 Cor. x. 17.
87 John vi. 34.
88 The emendation
a0polh/rhsij is adopted instead of the reading in the text.
89 John vi.
90 1 Pet. ii. 1-3
Clement here reads Xristo/jChrist, for xrhsto/j, gracious, in Text.
91 [Clement here argues
from what was scientific in his day, introducing a curious, but to us
not very pertinent, episode.]
92 1 Cor. vi. 13.
93 1 Cor. iii. 2.
94 John iv.
95 Matt. xx.
96 John vi.
97 Gen. xlix. 11.
98 [Matt. xxiii. 35.
99 [i.e., Not from the
a0fro\j, of the sea, but of the blood.]
100 1 Cor. iii.
101 Il., xiv. 113.
102 Il., i. 248.
103 Ps. xix. 10.
104 Deut. xxxii.
105 Isa. vii. 15.
106 Phil. iii.
107 Phil. iii.
108 John x. 11.
109 John x. 16.
111 paideuth/j; Hos. v.
113 Deut. xxxii.
114 Ex. xx. 2.
115 Gen. xvii.
116 Gen. xxviii.
117 Gen. xxxii.
118 Or, "against the
119 Gen. xxxii.
120 Gen. xlvi. 3.
121 Ex. xxxii.
122 Ex. xxxii.
123 Ezek. xviii.
124 Gen. xlix. 6.
125 Deut. vi. 2.
126 Matt. xxii.
127 Jer. i. 7.
128 Jer. i. 5.
129 John i. 17.
130 John i. 3.
131 Deut. xviii.
132 Deut. xviii.
133 Isa. xi.
134 Ps. cxviii.
135 Ps. ii. 9.
136 1 Cor. iv.
137 Ps. cx. 2.
138 Ps. xxiii. 4.
139 Ecclus. xxi.
140 Ps. ciii. 14.
141 Wisd. xi. 24.
142 John i. 1.
143 For a0lhqei/aj,
there are the readings a0paqei/aj and a0timi/aj.
144 Ecclus. xxii.
145 John xv. 1,2.
146 Ex. xx. 20.
147 Ecclus. xxxiv.
148 Isa. liii. 6.
149 Deut. xxxii.
150 Ecclus. i.
151 Plato, Rep., x. 617
152 Rom. iii.
153 Deut. xxxii.
154 Ecclus. i.
155 Amos iv. 11.
156 Deut. xxxii.
157 Rom. xi. 22.
158 Matt. v. 44.
159 John. xvii.
160 Ex. iii. 14.
161 John xvii.
162 Ex. xx. 5,6.
163 Matt. xx. 21, xxv.
164 Matt. xix.
165 Ecclus. xvi.
166 Ecclus. xvi.
167 Luke vi.
168 Matt. xix.
169 Matt. v. 45.
170 Ps. viii. 4.
171 Ps. ii. 4, xi. 5,
172 Matt. vi. 9
173 Rom. iii.
174 Rom, iii. 26.
175 Rom. vii. 12.
176 Luke x. 22; John
177 Ecclus. vii.
178 Matt. xxiii.
179 Jer. iii. 9, vii. 9,
xi. 13, xxxii. 29.
180 Ezek. ii.
181 Ex. iii.
182 Isa. xxix.
183 Jer. v. 8,9.
184 Prov. i. 7.
185 Hos. iv. 14:
"understood not" in the A.V.
186 Isa. i. 2,3.
187 Jer i. 16,ii. 13,
188 Or, rebuke.
189 Isa. xxx. 1.
190 Lowth conjectures
e0pistomw=n or e0pistomi/zwn, instead of a0nastomw=n.
191 Isa. i. 4.
192 Jer. ii.
193 Lam. i. 8.
194 H. reads dhktiko/n,
for which the text has e0pideiktiko/n.
195 Prov. iii.
196 Ecclus. xxxii.
197 Ps. cxli. 5.
198 Jer. vi. 10.
199 Jer. ix. 26.
200 Isa. xxx. 9.
201 Matt. xxiii.
202 Isa. i. 4.
203 Nothing similar to
this is found in the fourth Gospel; the reference may be to the words
of the Baptist, Matt. iii. 7, Luke iii. 7.
204 Ps. xviii.
205 Jer. iii. 8.
206 Jer. v.
207 Lam. i. 1,2.
208 Jer. iii.
209 Nahum iii. 4.
210 Deut. xxxii.
211 Isa. i. 23.
212 Ecclus. xviii. 13,
213 Ecclus. xvi.
214 Prov. xxiii.
215 Prov. xxiii.
216 Rom. xiii.
217 Gal. iv. 16.
218 John iv.
219 Matt. iii. 12; Luke
220 Ezek. xxxiv. 14, 15,
221 Ezek. xxxiv.
222 Isa. lviii.
223 Isa. xliii.
224 Matt. xx. 28; Mark
225 John iv. 6.
226 Matt. xx. 28.
227 Here Clement gives
the sense of various passages, e.g., Jer. vi., Lev. xxvi.
228 Prov. i. 24,
229 Ps. lxxviii. 8,
230 Ps. lxxviii.
231 Ecclus. xxx.
232 Ps. lxxviii.
233 Ps. lxxxix.
234 Luke x. 22.
235 Prov. viii. 4,
236 Ps. 1. 1, 2.
237 Matt. xi. 3-6; Luke
vii. 19, 22, 23.
238 Ps. xlviii.
239 Matt. xxii. 13, xxv.
240 Ezek. xviii.,
241 Matt. xi. 28.
242 Prov. iii.
243 In Prov. ii. 4, 5;
iii. 15. Jer. ii. 24, we have the sense of these verses.
244 Baruch iv. 4.
245 Baruch iii.
246 Deut xxxi.
247 Isa. lvi. 7.
248 Ps. i. 1-3.
249 Ps. i. 4.
250 Baruch iii.
251 Jer. vi. 9.
252 Jer. vi. 16.
253 Deut. xxx. 6.
254 Isa. lvii. 21,
255 Prov. i.
256 Ezek. xviii.
257 Matt. xiii. 31; Luke
258 Ex. xxxii. 6; 1 Cor.
259 Gal. iii. 24.
260 Matt. xvii.
261 John i. 3.
262 John x. 11.
263 Gen. i. 26.
264 Matt. vi. 34.
265 [The secondary,
civilizing, and socializing power of the Gospel, must have already
produced all this change from heathen manners, under Clement's own
266 Ps. xlix. 12,
267 Ecclus. xxxiii.
268 [Note this
definition in Christian ethics.]