2 Clement (Hoole translation)

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CHAPTER 1[edit]

1:1 Brethren, we ought so to think of our Lord Jesus Christ as of God, as of the judge of quick and dead, and we ought not to think meanly concerning our salvation;

1:2 for if we think meanly concerning him, we expect also that we shall receive mean things; and if we listen to it as though it were a small thing, we err, not knowing from whence we are called, nor by whom, nor unto what place, nor what great things Jesus Christ hath endured to suffer on our behalf.

1:3 What recompense, therefore, shall we give unto him, or what fruit worthy of that which he hath given unto us? How many things that help unto holiness hath he given unto us?

1:4 For he hath given us the light, he hath called us sons as though he were our father, he hath saved us when we were ready to perish.

1:5 What praise, therefore, shall we give unto him, or what recompense of reward for the things that we have received?

1:6 for we were maimed in our understanding, worshipping stocks and stones, and gold and silver and iron, the work of men, and our whole life was nothing but death. We, therefore, who were surrounded with darkness, and who had our sight filled with such gloom, have recovered our sight, having, according to his will, laid aside the cloud that was around us.

1:7 For he hath had compassion upon us, and, pitying us, hath saved us, having beheld in us much wandering and destruction, when we had no hope of salvation except that which is from him.

1:8 For he hath called us when as yet we were not, and hath willed us to be when we were nothing.

CHAPTER 2[edit]

2:1 Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and shout, thou that travailest not, for the desolate hath many more children than she that hath an husband. In that he said, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not, he hath spoken of us, for our church was barren before that children were given unto her.

2:2 But in that he said, Shout, thou that travailest not, he meaneth that we should offer our prayers to God with simplicity, that we faint not like women in travail.

2:3 But in that he said, The children of the desolate are many more than they of her that hath an husband, he meaneth that our people seemed to be deserted of God, and now, after that we have believed, we have become more in number than they which seemed to have God.

2:4 And another scripture saith, I came not to call the righteous but sinners.

2:5 He meaneth this, that it behoveth to save them that are perishing.

2:6 For this is great and wonderful, not to establish the things that are standing, but the things that are falling;

2:7 thus Christ willed to save the things that were perishing, and he saved many, having come and called us who were already perishing.

CHAPTER 3[edit]

3:1 Since, therefore, he hath showed such compassion unto us; first, that he hath caused that we who live should not sacrifice unto gods that are dead, neither worship them, but know through him the Father of truth. What is this knowledge of him except the not denying him through whom we know him?

3:2 For he himself saith, Whosoever hath confessed me before men, him will I confess before my Father.

3:3 This, therefore, is our reward if we confess him through whom we have been saved.

3:4 But whereby shall we confess him? Even by doing what he commandeth, and not disobeying his commandments, and honouring him not only with our lips but with our whole heart and whole understanding.

3:5 For he saith in Esaias, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

CHAPTER 4[edit]

4:1 Let us not, therefore, only call him Lord, for that will not save us.

4:2 For he saith, It is not every one that sayeth unto me, Lord, Lord! that shall be saved, but he that doeth righteousness.

4:3 Wherefore, brethren, let us confess him in our deeds, by loving one another, by not committing adultery, and not speaking ill of each other, neither being envious, but by being continent, compassionate, kind. We ought also to sympathize one with another, and to abstain from covetousness; it is by these works that we acknowledge him, and not by the contrary;

4:4 and we ought not to fear men but rather God.

4:5 Wherefore, if we do these things, the Lord hath said, Though ye have been gathered together with me in my bosom and do not my commandments I will cast you from me, and I will say unto you, Depart from me; I know you not whence ye are, ye workers of iniquity.

CHAPTER 5[edit]

5:1 Wherefore, brethren, having left our sojourning in this world, let us do the will of him who called us, and let us not fear to depart from this world.

5:2 For the Lord saith, Ye shall be as lambs in the midst of wolves.

5:3 But Peter answered and saith unto him, What, then, if the wolves rend the sheep?

5:4 Jesus saith unto Peter, Let not the lambs after that they are dead fear the wolves; and do not ye fear them that kill you but can do nothing more unto you, but fear him who after ye are dead hath authority over body and soul, even to cast them into hell fire.

5:5 And ye know, brethren, that the sojourning of our flesh in this world is but short and for a little while, but the promise of Christ is great and wonderful, even the rest of the kingdom which is to come, and of eternal life.

5:6 What, therefore, shall we do that we may attain unto them, except to lead a holy and just conversation, and to deem the things of this world to be alien unto us, and not to desire them?

5:7 for while we desire to obtain these things we fall from the right way.

CHAPTER 6[edit]

6:1 For the Lord saith, No servant can serve two masters. If, therefore, we wish to serve both God and Mammon, it is inexpedient for us;

6:2 for what advantage is it if a man gain the whole world, but lose his soul?

6:3 Now this life and the life to come are two enemies.

6:4 This life preacheth adultery, corruption, covetousness, and deceit; but the life that is to come renounceth these things.

6:5 We cannot, therefore, be friends to both; it behoveth us then to renounce the one and to use the other.

6:6 Let us consider, therefore, that it is better to hate the things that are here, as being small and short-lived and corruptible, but to love the things that are there, as being good and incorruptible.

6:7 If, therefore, we do the will of Christ, we shall find rest; but if not, nothing will deliver us from eternal punishment, if we obey not his commandments.

6:8 For the scripture saith in Ezekiel, If Noah, and Job, and Daniel should rise up, they shall not deliver their children in the captivity.

6:9 If, therefore, such righteous men as these cannot by their righteousness deliver their children, with what confidence shall we, if we keep not our baptism pure and undefiled, come unto the kingdom of God? or who shall be our advocate unless we be found having the works that are holy and just?

CHAPTER 7[edit]

7:1 Wherefore, my brethren, let us strive, knowing that the contest is at hand. We know, too, that many put in for corruptible contests, but all are not crowned, but they only who have laboured much and fought a good fight.

7:2 Let us, therefore, contend that we may all be crowned.

7:3 Let us run in the straight course, in the incorruptible contest; and let us be many that put into it, and let us so contend that we may also be crowned. And if we cannot all be crowned, let us at least come near to the crown.

7:4 It behoveth us to know that he who contendeth in a corruptible contest, if he be found acting unfairly is flogged, and taken away, and cast out of the course.

7:5 What think ye? what shall he suffer that acteth unfairly in an incorruptible contest?

7:6 For of them who have not kept their seal he saith, Their worm shall die not, and their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be for a spectacle to all flesh.

CHAPTER 8[edit]

8:1 While, therefore, we are upon the earth, let us repent.

8:2 For we are as clay in the hands of the workman. In like manner as the potter, if while he be making a vessel, it turn amiss in his hands, or be crushed, can mould it again, but if he have once cast it into the fiery furnace can no longer amend it; so let us, so long as we are in this world repent with all our hearts of the wickedness that we have committed in the flesh, that we may be saved of the Lord while as yet we have time for repentance.

8:3 For after that we are departed out of this world, we are no longer able there to confess or repent.

8:4 Wherefore, brethren, if we have done the will of the Father, and preserved our flesh pure, and kept the commandments of the Lord, we shall receive eternal life.

8:5 For the Lord saith in the Gospel, If ye have not kept that which is little, who shall give you that which is great? for I say unto you, he that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.

8:6 Doth he not, therefore, say this, Keep your flesh pure and your seal unspotted, that ye may inherit eternal life?

CHAPTER 9[edit]

9:1 And let not any one of you say that this our flesh is not judged nor raised again.

9:2 Consider this: in what were ye saved, in what did ye recover your sight, if not in this flesh?

9:3 We ought, therefore, to guard our flesh as the temple of God;

9:4 for in the same manner as ye were called in the flesh, in the flesh also shall ye come.

9:5 There is one Christ, our Lord who saved us, who being at the first spirit, was made flesh, and thus called us. So also shall we in this flesh receive the reward.

9:6 Let us, therefore, love one another, that we may all come to the kingdom of God.

9:7 While we have opportunity to be healed, let us give ourselves up unto God who healeth, giving a recompense unto him.

9:8 And of what kind? repentance from a sincere heart.

9:9 For he foreknoweth all things, and knoweth the things that are in our hearts.

9:10 Let us, therefore, give him praise, not from the mouth alone, but also from the heart, that he may receive us as sons.

9:11 For of a truth the Lord hath said, My brethren are they who do the will of my Father.

CHAPTER 10[edit]

10:1 Wherefore, my brethren, let us do the will of the Father who hath called us, that we may live; and let us the rather pursue virtue, and abandon vice which leadeth us into sins, and let us fly ungodliness lest evil seize us; for if we are zealous to do good peace shall pursue us.

10:2 For this cause it is not possible that a man should find peace.

10:3 For they introduce the fear of men, choosing rather the present enjoyment that is here than the future promise.

10:4 For they are ignorant how great a torment the enjoyment of this world bringeth, and what delight hath the future promise.

10:5 And if they themselves alone did these things it were endurable; but now they continue to instruct in evil innocent souls, not knowing that they will have a twofold condemnation -- both themselves and they that hearken to them.

CHAPTER 11[edit]

11:1 Let us, therefore, serve God with a pure heart, and we shall be righteous; but if we serve him not, because we believe not the promise of God, we shall be wretched.

11:2 For the prophetic word saith, Wretched are the double-minded who doubt in their heart, and say, We have heard these things of old, even in the time of our fathers, but we have seen none of them, though we expect them from day to day.

11:3 Ye fools, compare yourselves unto a tree; take for an example the vine. In the first place it sheddeth its leaves, then there cometh a shoot, after that the unripe grape, then the mature cluster.

11:4 In like manner my people hath in time past had disorder and trouble, but afterward it shall receive the things that are good.

11:5 Wherefore, my brethren, let us not be double-minded, but let us abide in hope, that we may obtain our reward.

11:6 Faithful is he that hath promised that he will give unto each the recompense of his works.

11:7 If, therefore, we do righteousness before God, we shall enter into his kingdom, and receive the promises which ear hath not heard nor eye seen, neither have entered into the heart of man.

CHAPTER 12[edit]

12:1 Let us, therefore, in love and righteousness expect every hour the kingdom of God, since we know not the day of the appearing of God.

12:2 For the Lord himself, when he was asked by a certain man when his kingdom should come, replied, When two shall be one, and that which is without as that which is within, and the male with the female neither male nor female.

12:3 Now two are one when we speak the truth one to another, and there is, without hypocrisy, one soul in two bodies.

12:4 And by that which is without being as that which is within, he meaneth this: He calleth the soul that which is within, and the body that which is without; in like manner, therefore, as thy body is visible, let thy soul be made manifest by good deeds.

12:5 And by the male with the female neither male nor female, he meaneth this: When a brother seeing a sister doth not in any way regard her as a female, nor doth she regard him as a male;

12:6 when ye do these things, he saith, the kingdom of my Father will come.

CHAPTER 13[edit]

13:1 My brethren, let us therefore repent forthwith; let us be sober and followers of what is good, for we are burdened with much folly and wickedness. Let us wipe out from among us our former sins, and repent sincerely and be saved. And let us not be pleasers of men, nor let us wish to please one another alone, but let us also please them that are without by our righteous conduct, that the Divine name may not be blasphemed on our account.

13:2 For the Lord saith, My name is continually blasphemed among all the Gentiles; and again, Wherefore is my name blasphemed, whereby is it blasphemed? in that ye do not the things that I will.

13:3 For the Gentiles, when they hear from our mouth the oracles of God, admire them as beautiful and weighty; but afterwards perceiving our deeds, that they are not worthy of the words that we say, they turn thereafter to blasphemy, saying that the matter is but fable and deceit.

13:4 For when they hear from us that God saith, There is no thanks for you if ye love them that love you, but there is thanks for you if ye love your enemies and them that hate you; when they hear these things, they wonder at the excess of the goodness. But when they see that we do not only not love those that hate us, but do not even love those that love us, they turn us to ridicule, and the Divine name is blasphemed.

CHAPTER 14[edit]

14:1 Wherefore, my brethren, by doing the will of our Father, God, we shall be of the first, the spiritual Church, which was founded before the sun and moon were made; but if we do not the will of the Lord, we shall be of the scripture that saith, My house hath become a den of thieves. Let us therefore choose to be of the Church of life that we may be saved.

14:2 But I do not think that you are ignorant that the living Church is the body of Christ. For the scripture saith, God made man, male and female. Now, the male signifieth Christ, the female the Church. Ye know also that both the Bible and the Apostles say that the Church is not new, but was from the beginning; for it was of a spiritual kind, as was also our Jesus, but was made manifest in the last days that it might save us.

14:3 But the Church, though spiritual, was manifested in the flesh of Christ, showing to us that if any one keep it in his flesh, and corrupt it not, he will receive it in the Holy Spirit; for this flesh is the counterpart of the Spirit; no one, therefore, who corrupteth the copy will receive the original in exchange. He therefore meaneth this, my brethren: Keep pure the flesh, that ye may partake of the Spirit.

14:4 But if we say that the flesh is the Church, and the Spirit, Christ, he then who doeth injury to the flesh doeth injury to the Church. Such an one therefore shall not partake of the Spirit, which is Christ.

14:5 Such life and immortality is this flesh able to partake of by the union of the Holy Spirit with it. Nor can any say or declare what the Lord hath prepared for his elect.

CHAPTER 15[edit]

15:1 Now, I do not think that I have given advice of little importance concerning temperance, which, if a man practice, he will not repent of it, but will save both himself and me who advise him. For it is no small service to convert a wandering and perishing soul to salvation.

15:2 For this recompense are we able to give in return to God who created us, if he who speaketh and heareth both speak and hear with faith and love.

15:3 Let us therefore remain with righteousness and holiness in the things in which we have believed, that we may with boldness ask of God, who saith, While thou art still speaking, I will say, Lo I am here.

15:4 For this saying is the token of a great promise. For the Lord saith of himself that he is more ready to give than him that asketh.

15:5 Since, therefore, we partake in so much goodness, let us not grudge ourselves the attaining of so many good things; for by so much as his words bring pleasure to those who do them, by so much do they bring condemnation to those who disobey them.

CHAPTER 16[edit]

16:1 Wherefore, brethren, since we have received no small opportunity for repentance, let us, while we have time, turn unto the God who hath called us, while we still have one who will receive us.

16:2 For if we bid farewell to the luxuries of this world, and conquer our soul so that we do not fulfil evil lusts, we shall partake of the mercy of Jesus.

16:3 But know that the day of judgment is already coming as a burning furnace, and certain of the heavens shall be melted, and the whole earth shall be as lead melting on the fire; and then shall both the secret and open deeds of men be made manifest.

16:4 Good, therefore, is almsgiving, as showing repentance from sin; better is fasting than prayer, and almsgiving than both; for love covereth a multitude of sins, and prayer that goeth forth from a good conscience saveth from death. Happy is every one who is found full of these things, for almsgiving becometh a lightening of sin.

CHAPTER 17[edit]

17:1 Let us therefore repent with our whole heart lest any of us perish by the way. For if we have received commandments and make this our business -- to tear men away from idols and instruct them -- how much more ought a soul not to perish that hath already come to a knowledge of God?

17:2 Let us therefore endeavour to elevate with regard to what is good them that are weak, to the end that we may all be saved; and let us convert one another and reprove one another.

17:3 And let us not seem to attend and believe now only, while we are being admonished by the presbyters, but also when we have departed to our homes, let us remember the commandments of the Lord; and let us not, on the other hand, be drawn aside by the lusts of the world, but let us endeavour, by coming more frequently, to make progress in the commandments of the Lord, to the end that we all being of one mind may be gathered together unto life.

17:4 For the Lord hath said, I come to gather together all the nations, tribes, and tongues. And this he saith of the day of his appearing, when he shall come and recompense each of us according to his works.

17:5 And the unbelieving shall behold his glory and strength, and shall be astonished when they see the kingdom of the world in the hands of Jesus, and shall say, Woe unto us, for thou wast and we knew it not, and did not believe, nor did we obey the presbyters who preached to us concerning our salvation. And their worm shall not die, nor their fire be quenched, and they shall be for a spectacle to all flesh.

17:6 He speaketh of that day of judgment when they shall see punished those among us who have lived ungodly and set at nought the commandments of Jesus Christ.

17:7 But the just, who have done well, and have abided the tests, and have hated the luxuries of the soul, when they behold those who have missed the way and have denied Jesus either by words or deeds, how they are punished with dreadful tortures in unquenchable fire, shall give glory to their God, saying, that there shall be a hope for him who hath served God with his whole heart.

CHAPTER 18[edit]

18:1 Let us, therefore, be of those who give thanks, of those who have served God, and not of the ungodly who are judged.

18:2 For I myself, being in all respects a sinner, and not having yet escaped temptation, but being still in the midst of the snares of the devil, yet endeavour to follow after righteousness, that I may be able, at any rate, to be near it, fearing the judgment to come.

CHAPTER 19[edit]

19:1 Wherefore, my brethren and sisters, after the reading of the words of the God of truth, I read also unto you an exhortation, to the end that ye should attend to what has been written, that ye may both save yourselves and him who preacheth among you; for I ask of you, as my reward, that ye should repent with your whole heart, gaining for yourselves salvation and life. For by so doing we shall offer an aim to all the young, who are willing to labour cheerfully for the worship and goodness of God.

19:2 And let not those of us who are unlearned be vexed or offended when one exhorteth us and turneth us from sin to righteousness. For we at times when doing what is wrong, know it not, from the doubt and unbelief that is in our hearts, and are blinded in our understanding by vain lusts.

19:3 Let us, therefore, practise righteousness, that we may be saved at the last. Blessed are they who obey these commands, for if for a short time they suffer in the world that now is, they shall gather hereafter the immortal fruit of the resurrection.

19:4 Let not, therefore, the pious man be vexed if he be afflicted in the times that now are, a blessed time awaiteth him. He shall live above again with the fathers, and shall rejoice without sorrow for ever.

CHAPTER 20[edit]

20:1 And let not even that trouble your mind, that we see the unjust prosperous and the servants of God in misery.

20:2 Let us have faith, my brethren and sisters. We are making trial of the living God, and contending in the present life that we may be crowned in the life to come.

20:3 For none of the just receiveth a speedy reward, but waiteth for it.

20:4 For if God gave speedily the reward of the righteous, we should forthwith practise gain and not godliness; for we should seem to be righteous, not on account of what is pious, but on account of what is profitable. And on this account hath the Divine judgment overtaken a spirit that is not righteous, and hath burdened it with chains.

20:5 Now to the only God, the invisible, the father of truth, who hath sent unto us the Saviour and leader of immortality, through whom he hath made known unto us the truth and the heavenly life, to him be the glory, world without end. Amen.

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.