Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume VI/Peter of Alexandria/Canonical Epistle/Canon XII
Against those who have given money that they might be entirely undisturbed by evil, an accusation cannot be brought. For they have sustained the loss and sacrifice of their goods that they might not hurt or destroy their soul, which others for the sake of filthy lucre have not done; and yet the Lord says, “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” and again, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” In these things, then, they have shown themselves the servants of God, inasmuch as they have hated, trodden under foot, and despised money, and have thus fulfilled what is written: “The ransom of a man’s life are his riches.” For we read also in the Acts of the Apostles that those who in the stead of Paul and Silas were dragged before the magistrates at Thessalonica, were dismissed with a heavy fine. For after that they had been very burdensome to them for his name, and had troubled the people and the rulers of the city, “having taken security,” he says, “of Jason, and of the others, they let them go. And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea.”
Balsamon. After that the saint had finished his discourse concerning those who of their own accord had offered themselves to martyrdom, he said that those were not to be reprehended who by a sum of money paid down freed themselves from the affliction of persecution. For they preferred to make a sacrifice of their money rather than of their souls. Then he confirms this, and brings forward different Scripture examples from the Acts of the Apostles concerning the blessed apostle Paul and others.
Zonaras. But those, he says, are not to be reprehended who have paid money down, and thus escaped, and maintained their piety, nor for this thing may any one bring an accusation against them. For they have preferred to lose their money rather than their souls, and have shown that they wish to serve God and not mammon; that is, riches. And he brings forward the words of Scripture, and the example, as in the Acts of the Apostles, of the blessed apostle Paul and others. Now, when it is said that they have been undisturbed by all evil, it is to be so taken, either that they have been left undisturbed, so far as the denial of the faith is concerned, which overcomes all evil, or he means the afflictions of persecutions.
- Matt. xvi. 26.
- Matt. vi. 24.
- Prov. xiii. 8.
- Acts xvii. 9, 10.
- By κακίας.