Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume VI/Peter of Alexandria/Canonical Epistle/Canon VI
In the case of those who have sent Christian slaves to offer sacrifice for them, the slaves indeed as being in their master’s hands, and in a manner themselves also in the custody of their masters, and being threatened by them, and from their fear having come to this pass and having lapsed, shall during the year show forth the works of penitence, learning for the future, as the slaves of Christ, to do the will of Christ and to fear Him, listening to this especially, that “whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”
Balsamon. The slaves who under the commands and threatenings of their masters offered sacrifice, this father punishes with a year’s exclusion; yet he pardons them as having acted under the orders of a master, and does not inflict a heavy punishment upon them. But yet since they are much more the servants of Christ, even as they ought to fear Him more, he imposes on them a moderate punishment; for, as says the great Paul, “whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”
Zonaras. Some have sent their own Christian servants, even against their will, to offer sacrifice in their stead. These servants, therefore, although not of their own free-will, but being compelled by their masters, they offered sacrifice, this father ordains shall pass a year in penance, and enjoins them to remember that, being of the number of the faithful, they are the servants of Christ, and that Him they ought rather to fear; for “whatsoever any man doeth,” says the great apostle, “the same shall he receive, whether he be bond or free.”
- Eph. vi. 8.