The suppressed Gospels and Epistles of the original New Testament of Jesus the Christ/Chapter 10
- 1 THE FIRST EPISTLE OF CLEMENT TO THE CORINTHIANS.
- 1.1 CHAPTER I.
- 1.2 CHAPTER II.
- 1.3 CHAPTER III.
- 1.4 CHAPTER IV.
- 1.5 CHAPTER V.
- 1.6 CHAPTER VI.
- 1.7 CHAPTER VII.
- 1.8 CHAPTER VIII.
- 1.9 CHAPTER IX.
- 1.10 CHAPTER X.
- 1.11 CHAP. XI.
- 1.12 CHAPTER XII.
- 1.13 CHAPTER XIII.
- 1.14 CHAPTER XIV.
- 1.15 CHAPTER XV.
- 1.16 CHAPTER XVI.
- 1.17 CHAPTER XVII.
- 1.18 CHAPTER XVIII.
- 1.19 CHAPTER XIX.
- 1.20 CHAPTER XX.
- 1.21 CHAPTER XXI.
- 1.22 CHAPTER XXII.
- 1.23 CHAPTER XXIII.
- 1.24 CHAPTER XXIV
- 2 REFERENCES TO CLEMENT'S FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS.
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF CLEMENT TO THE CORINTHIANS.
- Clement commends them for their excellent order and piety in Christ, before their schism broke out.
THE Church of God which is at Rome, to the Church of God which is at Corinth, elect, sanctified by the will of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord: grace and peace from the Almighty God, by Jesus Christ, be multiplied unto you.
2 Brethren, the sudden and unexpected dangers and calamities that have fallen upon us, have, we fear, made us the more slow in our consideration of those things which you inquired of us:
3 As also of that wicked and detestable sedition, so unbecoming the elect of God, which a few headstrong and self-willed men have fomented to such a degree of madness, that your venerable and renowned name, so worthy of all men to be beloved, is greatly blasphemed thereby.
4 For who that has ever been among you has not experienced the firmness of your faith, and its fruitfulness in all good works; and admired the temper and moderation of your religion in Christ; and published abroad the magnificence of your hospitality; and thought you happy in your perfect and certain knowledge of the Gospel?
5 For ye did all things without respect of persons, and walked according to the laws of God; being subject to those who had the rule over you, and giving the honour that was fitting to the aged among you.
6 Ye commanded the young men to think those things that were modest and grave.
7 The women ye exhorted to do all things with an unblameable, and seemly, and pure conscience; loving their own husbands, as was fitting: and that keeping themselves within the bounds of a due obedience, they should order their houses gravely, with all discretion.
8 Ye were all of you humble- minded, not boasting of anything desiring rather to be subject than to govern; to give than to receive; being a content with the portion God hath dispensed to you:
9 And hearkening diligently to his word, ye were enlarged in your bowels, having his sufferings always before your eyes.
10 Thus a firm, and blessed, and profitable peace was given unto you: and an unsatiable desire of doing good; and a plentiful effusion of the Holy Ghost was upon all of you.
11 And being full of good designs, ye did with, great readiness of mind, and with a religious confidence stretch forth your hands to God Almighty; beseeching him to be merciful unto you, if in anything ye had unwillingly sinned against him.
12 Ye contended day and night for the whole brotherhood; that with compassion and a good conscience, the number of his elect might be saved.
13 Ye were sincere, and without offence towards each other; not mindful of injuries; all sedition and schism was an abomination unto you.
14 Ye bewailed every one his neighbours' sins, esteeming their defects your own.
15 Ye were kind one to another without grudging; being ready to every good work. And being adorned with a conversation altogether virtuous and religious, ye did all things in the fear of God; whose I commandments were written upon the tables of your heart.
- How their divisions began.
ALL honour and enlargement was given unto you; and so was fulfilled that which is written, my beloved did eat and drink, he was enlarged and waxed fat, and he kicked.
2 From hence came emulation, and envy, and strife, and sedition; persecution and disorder, war and captivity.
3 So they who were of no renown, lifted up themselves against the honourable; those of no reputation against those who were in respect; the foolish against the wise; the young men against the aged.
4 Therefore righteousness and peace are departed from you, because every one hath forsaken the fear of God; and is grown blind in his faith; nor walketh by the rule of God's commandments nor liveth as is fitting in Christ:
5 But every one follows his own wicked lusts: having taken up an unjust and wicked envy, by which death first entered into the world.
- Envy and emulation the original of all strife and disorder. Examples of the mischiefs they have occasioned.
FOR thus it is written, And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof:
2 And the Lord had respect unto Abel, and to his offering. But unto Cain and unto his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very sorrowful, and his countenance fell.
3 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou sorrowful? And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou shalt offer aright, but not divide aright, hast thou not sinned? Hold thy peace: unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
4 And Cain said unto Abel his brother, Let us go down into the field. And it came to pass, as they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
5 Ye see, brethren, how envy and emulation wrought the death of a brother. For this, our father Jacob fled from the face of his brother Esau.
6 It was this that caused Joseph to be persecuted even unto death, and to come into bondage. Envy forced "Moses to flee from the face of Pharoah king of Egypt, when he heard, his own countryman ask him, "Who made thee a Judge, and a ruler over us? Wilt thou kill me as thou didst the Egyptian yesterday?
7 Through envy Aaron and Miriam were shut out of the camp, from the rest of the congregation seven days.
8 Emulation's sent Dathan and Abiram quick into the grave because they raised up a sedition against Moses the servant of God.
9 For this, David was not only hated of strangers, but was persecuted even by Saul the king of Israel.
10 But not to insist upon ancient examples, let us come to those worthies that have been nearest to us; and take the brave examples of our own age.
11 Through zeal and envy, the most faithful and righteous pillars of the church have been persecuted even to the most grevious deaths.
12 Let us set before our eyes, the holy Apostles; Peter by unjust envy underwent not one or two, but many sufferings; till at last being martyred, he went to the place of glory that was due unto him.
13 For the same cause did Paul in like manner receive the reward of his patience. Seven times he was in bonds; he was whipped, was stoned; he preached both in the East and in the West; leaving behind him the glorious report of his faith:
14 And so having taught the whole world righteousness, and for that end travelled even to the utmost bounds of the West; he at last suffered martyrdom by the command of the governors,
15 And departed out of the world, and went unto his holy place; having become a most eminent pattern of patience unto all ages.
16 To these Holy Apostles were joined a very great number of others, who having through envy undergone in like manner many pains and torments, have left a glorious example to us.
17 For this, not only men but women have been persecuted; and having suffered very grievous and cruel punishments, have finished the course of their faith with firmness; and though weak in body, yet received a glorious reward.
18 This has alienated the minds even of women from their husbands; and changed what was once said by our father Adam; This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.
19 In a word, envy and strife, have overturned whole cities, and rooted out great nations from off the earth.
- 4 He exhorts them to live by holy rules, and repent of their divisions, and they shall be forgiven.
THESE things, beloved, we write unto you, not only for your instruction, but also for our own remembrance.
2 For we are all in the same lists, and the same combat is prepared for us all.
3 Wherefore let us lay aside all vain and empty cares; and let us come up to the glorious and venerable rule of our holy calling.
4 Let us consider what is good, and acceptable and well-pleasing in the sight of him that made us.
5 Let us look steadfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious his blood is in the sight of God: which being shed for our salvation, has obtained the grace of repentance for all the world.
6 Let us search into all the ages that have gone before us; and learn that our Lord has in every one of them still given place for repentance to all such as would turn to him.
7 Noah preached repentance; and as many as hearkened to him were saved. Jonah denounced destruction against the Ninevites.
8 Howbeit they repenting of their sins, appeased God by their prayers: and were saved, though they were strangers to the covenant of God.
9 Hence we find how all the ministers of the grace of God have spoken by the Holy Spirit of repentance. And even the Lord of all, has himself declared with an oath concerning it;
10 As I live, saith the Lord, I desire not the death of a sinner, but that he should repent. Adding farther this good sentence, saying Turn from your iniquity, O house of Israel.
11 Say unto the children of my people, though your sins should reach from earth to heaven; and though they shall be redder than scarlet, and blacker than sackcloth yet if ye shall turn to me with all your heart, and shall call me father, I will hearken to you, as to a holy people.
12 And in another place he saith on this wise: wash ye, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
13 Come now and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be as red as crimson, they shall be as wool.
14 If ye be willing and obedient ye shall eat the good of the land but, if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
15 These things has God established by his Almighty will, desiring that all his beloved should come to repentance.
- 1 He sets before them the examples of holy men, whose piety is recorded in the Scripture.
WHEREFORE let us obey his excellent and glorious will; and imploring his mercy and goodness, let us fall down upon our faces before him, and cast ourselves upon his mercy; laying aside all vanity, and contention, and envy which leads unto death.
2 Let us look up to those who have the most perfectly ministered to his excellent glory. Let us take Enoch for our example; who being found righteous in obedience, was translated, and his death was not known.
3 Noah being proved to be faithful, did by his ministry, preach regeneration to the world; and the Lord saved by him all the living creatures, that went with one accord into the ark.
4 Abraham, who was called God's friend, was in like manner found faithful; inasmuch as he obeyed the commands of God.
5 By obedience he went out of his own country, and from his own kindred, and from his father's house; that so forsaking a small country, and a weak affinity, and a little house, he might inherit the promises of God.
6 For thus God said unto him; "get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee."
7 "And, I will make thee a great nation, and will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be blessed. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed,"
8 And again when he separated himself from Lot, God said unto him; I Lift up now thine eves, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward, for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
9 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
10 And again he saith: and God brought forth Abraham, and said unto him; look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: so shall thy seed be.
11 And Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.
12 Through faith and hospitality he had a son given him in his old age; and through obedience he offered him up in sacrifice to God, upon one of the mountains which God showed into him.
- 1 Redemption for such as have been eminent for their faith, kindness, and charity to their neighbours.
BY hospitality and goodliness was Lot saved out of Sodom, when all the country round about was destroyed by fire and brimstone.
2 The Lord thereby making it manifest, that he will not forsake those that trust in him; but will bring the disobedient to punishment and correction.
3 For his wife who went out with him, being of a different mind, and not continuing in the same obedience, was for that reason set forth for an example, being turned into a pillar of salt unto this day.
4 That so all men may know, that those who are double minded, and distrustful of the power of God, are prepared for condemnation, and to be a sign to all succeeding ages.
5 By faith and hospitality was Rahab the harlot saved. For when the spies were sent by Joshua the son of Nun to search out Jericho, and the king of Jericho knew that they were come to spy out his country, he sent men to take them, so that they might be put to death.
6 Rahab therefore, being hospitable, received them, and hid them under the stalks of flax, on the top of her house.
7 And when the messengers that were sent by the king came unto her, and asked her, saying, There came men unto thee to spy out the land, bring them forth, for so hath the king commanded: She answered, The two men whom ye seek came unto me, but presently they departed, and are gone: Not discovering them unto them.
8 Then she said to the spies, I know that the Lord your God has given this city into your hands; for the fear of you is fallen upon all that dwell therein. When, therefore, ye shall have taken it, ye shall save me and my father's house.
9 And they answered her, saying, It shall be as thou hast spoken unto us, Therefore, when thou shalt know that we are near, thou shalt gather all thy family together, upon the house-top and they shall be saved: but all that shall be found without thy house shall be destroyed.
10 And they gave her moreover a sign, that she should hang out of her house a scarlet rope, showing thereby, that by the blood of our Lord, there should be redemption to all that believe and hope in God. Ye see, beloved, how there was not only faith, but prophesy too in this woman.
- 1 What rules are given for leading a holy life.
LET us, therefore, humble ourselves, brethren, laying aside all pride, and boasting, and foolishness, and anger: And let us do as it is written.
2 For thus saith the Holy Spirit; Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, nor the strong man in his strength, nor the rich man in his riches; but let him that glorieth, glory in the Lord, to seek him, and to do judgment and justice.
3 Above all, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, which he spake concerning equity and long suffering, saying,
4 Be ye merciful, and ye shall obtain mercy; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven; as ye do, so shall it be done unto you; as ye give, so shall it be given unto you; as ye judge, so shall ye be judged; as ye are kind to others, so shall God be kind to you; with what measure ye mete, with the same shall it be measured to you again.
5 By this command, and by these rules, let us establish ourselves, that so we may always walk obediently to his holy words; being humble minded:
6 For so says the Holy Scripture; upon whom shall I look, even upon him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and that trembles at my word.
7 It is, therefore, just and righteous, men and brethren, that we should become obedient unto God, rather than follow such as through pride and sedition, have made themselves the ring-leaders of a detestable emulation.
8 For it is not an ordinary harm that we shall do ourselves, but rather a very great danger that we shall run, if we shall rashly give up ourselves to the wills of men, who promote strife and seditions, to turn us aside from that which is fitting.
9 But let us be kind to one another, according to the compassion and sweetness of him that made us.
10 For it is written, The merciful shall inherit the earth; and they that are without evil shall be left upon it: but the transgressors shall perish from off the face of it.
11 And again be saith, I have seen the wicked in great power and spreading himself like the cedar of Libanus. I passed by, and lo! he was not; I sought his place, but it could not be found.
12 Keep innocently, and do the thing that is right, for there shall be a remnant to the peaceable man.
13 Let us, therefore, hold fast to those who religiously follow peace; and not to such as only pretend to desire.
14 For he saith in a certain place, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
15 And again, They bless with their mouths, but curse in their hearts.
16 And again he saith, They loved him with their mouths, and with their tongues they lied to him. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they faithful in his covenant.
17 Let all deceitful lips become dumb, and the tongue that speaketh proud things. Who have said, with our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own, who is Lord over us?
18 For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise saith the Lord; I will set him in safety, I will deal confidently with him.
- He advises then, to be humble, and, follow the examples of Jesus, and of holy men in all ages.
FOR Christ is theirs who are humble, and not who exalt themselves over his flock. The sceptre of the majesty of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, came not in the show of pride and arrogance, though he could have done so; but with humility as the Holy Ghost had before spoken concerning him.
2 For thus he saith, Lord, who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed; For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground;
3 He hath no form or comeliness, and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
4 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
5 And we hid, as it were, our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
6 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
7 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
8 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
9 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
10 He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare this generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
11 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
12 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper m his hand.
13 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
14 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors, and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
15 And again he himself saith, I am a worm and no man, a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn; they shoot out their lips, they shake their heads, saying; He trusted in the Lord that he would deliver him, let him deliver him seeing he delighted in him.
16 Ye see, beloved, what the pattern is that has been given to us. For if the Lord thus humbled himself, what should we do who are brought by him under the yoke of his grace?
17 Let us be followers of those who went about in goat-skins, and sheep-skins; preaching the coming of Christ.
18 Such were Elias, and Eliaxus, and Ezekiel, the prophets, And let us add to these, such others as have received the like testimony.
19 Abraham has been greatly witnessed of; having been called the friend of God. And yet he steadfastly beholding the glory of God, says with all humility, I am dust and ashes.
20 Again of Job, it is thus written, That he was just, and without blame, true; one that served God, and abstained from all evil. Yet he accusing himself, said, No man is free from pollution, no, not though he should live but one day.
21 Moses was called faithful in all God's House; and by his conduct the Lord punished Israel by stripes and plagues.
22 And even this man, though thus greatly honoured, spake not greatly of himself; but when the oracle of God was delivered to him out of the bush, he said, Who am I, that thou dost send me? I am of a slender voice, and a slow tongue.
23 And again he saith, I am as the smoke of the pot.
24 And what shall we say of David, so highly testified of in the Holy Scriptures? To whom God said, I have found a man after my own heart, David the son of Jesse, with my holy oil have I anointed him.
25 But yet he himself saith unto God, Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness; according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.
26 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
27 Against Thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight; that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest; and be clear when thou judgest.
28 Behold I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
29 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
30 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
31 Make me to hear joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
32 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
34 Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy spirit from me.
35 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free spirit.
36 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
37 Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
38 O Lord open thou my lips, and my mouth shall. show forth thy praise.
39 For thou desirest not sacrifice, else would I give it; thou delightest not in burnt-offerings.
40 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
- He again persuades them to compose their divisions.
THUS has the humility and godly fear of these great and excellent men recorded in the Scriptures, through obedience, made not only us, but also the generations before us better; even as many as have received his holy oracles with fear and truth.
2 Having therefore so many, and such great and glorious examples, let us return to that peace which was the mark that from the beginning was set before us;
3 Let us look up to the Father and Creator of the whole world; and let us hold fast to his glorious and exceeding gifts and benefits of peace.
4 Let us consider and behold with the eyes of our understanding his long suffering will; and think how gentle and patient he is towards his whole creation.
5 The heavens moving by his appointment, are subject to him in peace.
6 Day and night accomplish the courses that he has allotted unto them, not disturbing one another.
7 The sun and moon, and all the several companies and constellations of the stars, run the courses that he has appointed to them in concord, without departing in the least from them.
8 The fruitful earth yields its food plentifully in due season both to man and beast, and to all animals that are upon it, according to his will; not disputing, nor altering any thing of what was ordered by him.
9 So also the unfathomable and unsearchable floods of the deep, are kept in by his command;
10 And the conflux of the vast sea, being brought together by his order into its several collections, passes not the bounds that he has set to it;
11 But as he appointed it, so it remains. For he said, Hitherto shalt then come, and thy floods shall be broken within thee.
12 The ocean impassable to mankind, and the worlds that are beyond it are governed by the same commands of their great master.
13 Spring and summer, autumn and winter, give place peaceably to each other.
14 The several quarters of the winds fulfil their work in their seasons, without offending one another.
15 The ever-flowing fountains, made both for pleasure and health, never fail to reach out their breasts to support the life of men.
16 Even the smallest creatures live together in peace and concord with each other.
17 All these has the Great Creator and Lord of all, commanded to observe peace and concord; being good to all.
18 But especially to us who flee to his mercy through our Lord Jesus Christ; to whom be glory and majesty for ever and ever. Amen.
- He exhorts them to obedience, from the consideration of the goodness of God, and of his presence in every place.
TAKE heed, beloved, that his many blessings be not to our condemnation; except we shall walk worthy of him, doing with one consent what is good and pleasing in his sight.
2 The spirit of the Lord is a candle, searching out the inward parts of the belly.
3 Let us therefore consider how near he is to us; and how that none of our thoughts, or reasonings which we frame within ourselves, are hid from him,
4 It is therefore just that we should not forsake our rank, by doing contrary to his will.
5 Let us choose to offend a few foolish and inconsiderate men, lifted up and glorying in their own pride, rather than God.
6 Let us reverence our Lord Jesus Christ whose blood was given for us.
7 Let us honour those who are set over us; let us respect the aged that are amongst us; and let us instruct the younger men, in the discipline and fear of the LORD.
8 Our wives let us direct, to do that which is good.
9 Let them show forth a lovely habit of purity, in all their conversation; with a sincere affection of meekness.
10 Let the government of their tongues be made manifest by their silence.
11 Let their charity be without respect of persons, alike towards all such as religiously fear God.
12 Let your children be bred up in the instruction of Christ:
13 And especially let them learn how great a power humility has with God; how much a pure and holy charity avails with him; how excellent and great his fear is; and how it will save all such as turn to him with holiness in a pure mind.
14 For he is the searcher of the thoughts and counsels of the heart; whose breath is in us, and when he pleases he can take it from us.
- Of faith: and particularly what we are to believe as to the Resurrection.
BUT all these things must be confirmed by the faith which is in Christ; for so He himself bespeaks us by the Holy Ghost;
2 Comeye children and hearken unto me, and I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is there that desireth life, and loveth to see good days?
3 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips that they speak no guile.
4 Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
5 The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers.
6 But the face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
7 The righteous cried, and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his troubles.
8 Many are the troubles of the wicked; but they that trust in the Lord mercy shall encompass them about.
9 Our all-merciful and beneficent Father hath bowels of compassion towards them that fear him: and kindly and lovingly bestows his graces upon all such as come to him with a simple mind.
10 Wherefore let us not waver, neither let us have any doubt in our hearts, of his excellent and glorious gifts.
11 Let that be far from us which is written, Miserable are the double-minded, and those who are doubtful in their hearts;
12 Who say these things have we heard, and our fathers have told us these things. But behold we are grown old, and none of them has happened unto us.
13 O ye fools consider the trees: take the vine for an example. First it sheds its leaves; then it buds; after that it spreads its leaves; then it flowers; then come the sour grapes; and after them follows the ripe fruit. See how in a little time the fruit of the trees comes to maturity.
14 Of a truth yet a little while and his will shall suddenly be accomplished.
15 The Holy Scripture itself bearing witness, that He shall quickly come and not tardy, and that the Lord shall suddenly come to his temple, even the 3 holy ones whom ye look for.
16 Let us consider, beloved, how the Lord does continually show us, that there shall be a future resurrection; of which he has made our Lord Jesus Christ the first fruits, raising him from the dead.
17 Let us contemplate, beloved, the resurrection that is continually made before our eyes.
18 Day and night manifest a resurrection to us. The night lies down, and the day arises: again the day departs and the night comes on.
19 Let us behold the fruits of the earth. Every one sees how the seed is sown. The sower goes forth, and casts it upon the earth; and the seed which when it was sown fell upon the earth dry and naked, in time dissolves.
20 And from the dissolution, the great power of the providence of the Lord rises it again; and of one seed many arise, and bring forth fruit.
- The Resurrection further proved.
LET us consider that wonderful type of the resurrection which is seen in the Eastern countries: that is to say, in Arabia.
2 There is a certain bird called a Phoenix; of this there is never but one at a time: and that lives five hundred years. And when the time of its dissolution draws near, that it must die, it makes itself a nest of frankincense, and myrrh, and other spices into which when its time is fulfilled it enters and dies.
3 But its flesh putrifying, breeds a certain worm, which being nourished with the juice of the dead bird brings forth feathers; and when it is grown to a perfect state, it takes up the nest in which the bones of its parent lie, and carries it from Arabia into Egypt, to a city called Heliopolis:
4 And flying in open day in the sight of all men, lays it upon the altar of the sun, and so returns from whence it came.
5 The priests then search into the records of the time: and find that it returned precisely at the end of five hundred years.
6 And shall we then think it to be any very great and strange thing for the Lord of all to raise up those that religiously serve him in the assurance of a good faith, when even by a bird he shows us the greatness of his power to fulfil his promise?
7 For he says in a certain place, Thou shalt raise me up and I shall confess unto thee.
8 And again, I laid me down and slept, and awaked, because thou art with me.
9 And again, Job says, Thou shalt raise up this flesh of mine, that has suffered all these things.
10 Having therefore this hope, let us hold fast to him who is faithful in all his promises, and righteous in all his judgments; who has commanded us not to lie, how much more will he not himself lie?
11 For nothing is impossible with God but to lie.
12 Let his faith then be stirred up again in us; and let us consider that all things are nigh unto him.
13 By the word of his power he made all things: and by the same word he is able, (whenever he will,) to destroy them.
14 Who shall say unto him, what dost thou? or who shall resist the power of his strength?
15 When, and as he pleased, he will do all things; and nothing shall pass away of all that has been determined by him.
16 All things are open before him; nor can anything be hid from his counsel.
17 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handy work. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.
- It is impossible to escape the vengeance of God, if we continue in sin.
SEEING then all things are seen and heard by God, let us fear him, and let us lay aside our wicked works which proceed from ill desires; that through his mercy we may be delivered from the condemnation to come.
2 For whither can any of us flee from his mighty hand? Or what world shall receive any of those who run away from him?
3 For thus saith the Scripture in a certain place. Whither shall I flee from thy spirit, or where shall I hide myself from thy presence?
4 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I shall go to the uttermost parts of the earth, there is thy right hand: if I shall make my bed in the deep, thy Spirit is there.
5 Whither then shall any one go; or whither shall he run from him that comprehends all things?
6 Let us therefore come to him with holiness of heart, lifting up chaste and undefiled hands unto him; loving our gracious and merciful Father, who has made us to partake of his election.
7 For so it is written, When the Most High divided the nations; when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the nations, according to the number of his angels; his people Jacob became the portion of the Lord, and Israel the lot of his inheritance.
8 And in another place he saith, Behold the Lord taketh unto himself a nation, out of the midst of the nations, as a man taketh the first- fruits of his flour; and the Most Holy shall come out of that nation.
- How we must live that we may please God.
WHEREFORE we being apart of the Holy One: let us do all those things that pertain unto holiness:
2 Fleeing all evil-speaking against one another; all filthy and impure embraces, together with all drunkenness, youthful lusts, abominable concupiscences, detestable adultery, and execrable pride.
3 For God saith, he resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.
4 Let us therefore hold fast to those to whom God has given his grace.
5 And let us put on concord, being humble, temperate; free from all whispering and detraction; and justified by our actions, not our words.
6 For he saith, Doth he that speaketh and heareth many things, and is of a ready tongue, suppose that he is righteous? Blessed is he that is born of a woman, that liveth but a few days: use not therefore much speech.
7 Let our praise be of God, not of ourselves; for God hateth those that commend themselves.
8 Let the witness of our good actions be given to us by others, as it was given to the holy men that went before us.
9 Rashness, and arrogance, and confidence, belong to them who are accursed of God: but equity, and humility, and mildness, to such as are blessed by him.
10 Let us then lay hold of his blessing, and let as consider what are the ways by which we may attain unto it.
11 Let us look back upon those things that have happened from the beginning.
12 For what was our Father Abraham blessed? Was it not because that through faith he wrought righteousness and truth?
13 Isaac being fully persuaded of what he knew was to come, cheerfully yielded himself up for a sacrifice. Jacob with humility departed out of his own country, fleeing from his brother, and went unto Laban and served him; and so the sceptre of the twelve tribes of Israel was given unto him.
14 Now what the greatness of this gift was, will plainly appear, if we shall take the pains distinctly to consider all the parts of it.
15 For, from him came the priests and Levites; who all ministered at the altar of God.
16 From him came our Lord Jesus Christ, according to the flesh.
17 From him came the kings, and princes, and rulers in Judah.
18 Nor were the rest of his tribes in any little glory: God having promised that their seed shall be as the stars of heaven.
19 They were all therefore greatly glorified, not for their own sake, or for their own works, or for the righteousness that they themselves wrought, but through his will.
20 And we also being called by the same will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, neither by our own wisdom, or knowledge, or piety, or the works which we have done in the holiness of our hearts.
21 But by that faith, by which God Almighty has justified all men from the beginning; to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen.
- We are justified by faith; yet this must not lessen our care to live a virtuous life, nor our pleasure in it.
WHAT shall we do therefore, brethren? Shall we be slothful in well-doing, and lay aside our charity? God forbid that any such thing should be done by us.
2 But rather let us hasten with all earnestness and readiness of mind, to perfect every good work. For even the Creator and Lord of all things himself rejoices in his own works.
3 By his Almighty power he fixed the heavens, and by his incomprehensible wisdom he adorned them.
4 He also divided the earth from the water, with which it is encompassed: and fixed it as a secure tower, upon the foundation of his own will.
5 He also by his appointment, commanded all the living creatures that are upon it, to exist.
6 So likewise the sea, and all the creatures that are in it; having first created them, he enclosed them therein by his power.
7 And above all, he with his holy and pure hands, formed man, the most excellent; and, as to his understanding, truly the greatest of all other creatures; the character of his own image.
8 For thus God says; Let us make man in our image, after our own likeness; so God created man, male and female created he them.
9 And having thus finished all these things, he commended all that he had made, and blessed them, and said, increase and multiply.
10 We see how all righteous men have been adorned with good works Wherefore even the Lord himself, having adorned himself with his works, rejoiced.
11 Having therefore such an example, let us without delay, fulfil his will; and with all our strength, work the work of righteousness.
- A virtuous life enforced from the examples of the holy angels, and from the exceeding greatness of that reward which God has prepared for us.
THE good workman with confidence receives the bread of his labour; but the sluggish and lazy cannot look him in the face that set him on work.
2 We must therefore be ready and forward in well-doing: for from him are all things.
3 And thus he foretels us, behold the Lord cometh, and his reward is with him, even before his face, to render to everyone according to his work.
4 He warns us therefore beforehand, with all his heart to this end, that we should not be slothful and negligent in well-doing.
5 Let our boasting, therefore, and our confidence be in God let us submit ourselves to his will, Let us consider the whole multitude of his angels, how ready they stand to minister unto his will.
6 As saith the Scripture, thousands of thousands stood before him and ten thousand times ten thousand ministered unto him. And they cried, saying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of his glory.
7 Wherefore let us also, being conscientiously gathered together in concord with one another; as it were with one mouth, cry, earnestly unto him, that he would make us partakers of his great and glorious promises.
8 For he saith, a Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that wait for him,
- 1 We must attain the gifts of God by faith and obedience, which we must carry on in an orderly pursuing of the duties of our several stations, without envy or contention.
- 24 The necessity of different orders among men.
- 33 We have none of us anything but what we received of God: whom therefore we ought in every condition thankfully to obey.
HOW blessed and wonderful, beloved, are the gifts of God.
2 Life in immortality! brightness in righteousness! truth in full assurance! faith in confidence! temperance in holiness!
3 And all this has God subjected to our understandings:
4 What therefore shall those things be which he has prepared for them that wait for him?
5 The Creator and Father of spirits, the Most Holy; he only knows both the greatness and beauty of them,
6 Let us therefore strive with all earnestness, that we may be found in the number of those that wait for him, that so we may receive the reward which he has promised.
7 But how, beloved, shall we do this? We must fix our minds by faith towards God, and seek those things that are pleasing and acceptable unto him.
8 We must act conformably to his holy will; and follow the way of truth, casting off from us all unrighteousness and iniquity, together with all covetousness, strife, evil manners, deceit, whispering, detractions; all hatred of God, pride and boasting; vain-glory and ambition;
9 For they that do these things are odious to God; and not only they that do them, but also all such as approve of those that do them.
10 For thus saith the Scripture, But unto the wicked, God said, What hast thou to do to declare my statute, or that thou shouldst take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing that thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.
11 When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him; thou hast been partaker with adulterers, Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.
12 These things hast thou done and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
13 Now consider this ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.
14 Whose offereth praise, gloryfieth me; And to him that disposeth his way aright, will I show the salvation of God.
15 This is the way, beloved, in which we may find our Saviour, even Jesus Christ, the high-priest of all our offerings, the defender and helper of our weakness.
16 By him we look up to the highest heavens; and behold, as in a glass, his spotless and most excellent visage.
17 By him are the eyes of our hearts opened; by him our foolish and darkened understanding rejoiceth to behold his wonderful light.
18 By him would God have us to taste the knowledge of immortality: who being the brightness of his glory, is by so much greater than the angels, as he has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
19 For so it is written, who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire:
20 But to his son, thus saith the Lord, Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten thee.
21 Ask of me and I will give thee the heathen for thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.
22 And again he saith unto him, Sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy foot-stool.
23 But who are his enemies? even the wicked, and such who oppose their own wills to the will of God.
24 Let us therefore march-on, men and brethren, with all earnestness in his holy laws.
25 Let us consider those who fight under our, earthly governors How orderly, how readily, and with what exact obedience they perform those things that are commanded them.
26 All are not generals, nor colonels, nor captains, nor inferior officers:
27 But everyone in his respective rank does what is commanded him by the king, and those who have the authority over him.
28 They who are great, cannot subsist without those that are little; nor the little without the great;
29 But there must be a mixture in all things, and then there will be use and profit too.
30 Let us, for example, take our body: the head without the feet is nothing, neither the feet without the head.
31 And even the smallest members of our body are yet both necessary and useful to the whole body.
32 But all conspire together, and are subject to one common use, namely, the preservation of the whole body.
33 Let therefore our whole body by saved in Christ Jesus; and let everyone be subject to his neighbour, according to the order in which he is placed by the gift of God.
34 Let not the strong man despise the weak; and let the weak see that he reverence the strong.
35 Let the rich man distribute to the necessity of the poor; and let the poor bless God, that he has given one unto him, by whom his want may be supplied.
36 Let the wise man show forth his wisdom, not in words, but in good works.
37 Let him that is humble, not bear witness to himself, but let him leave it to another to bear witness of him.
38 Let him that is pure in the flesh, not grow proud of it, knowing that it was from another that he received the gift of continence.
39 Let us consider therefore, brethren, whereof we are made; who, and what kind of men we came into the world, as it were out of a sepulchre, and from outer darkness.
40 He hath made us, and formed us, brought us into his own world; having presented us with his benefits, even before we were born.
41 Wherefore, having received all these things from him, we ought in everything to give thanks unto him, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
- Clement therefore exhorts them to do everything orderly in the Church, as the only way to please God.
FOOLISH and unwise men, who have neither prudence, nor learning, may mock and deride us; being willing to setup themselves in their own conceits.
2 But what can a mortal man do? Or what strength is there in him that is made out of the dust?
3 For it is written, there was no shape before mine eyes; only I heard a sound and a voice.
4 For what? Shall man be pure before the Lord? Shall he be blameless in his works?
5 Behold, he trusteth not in his servants; and his angels he chargeth with folly.
6 Yes, the heaven is not clean in his sight, how much less they that dwell in houses of clay; of which also we ourselves were made?
7 He smote them as a moth: and from morning even unto the evening they endure not. Because they were not able to help themselves, they perished; he breathed upon them and they died, because they had no wisdom.
8 Call now if there be any that will answer thee; and to which of the angels wilt thou look?
9 For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth him that is in error.
10 I have seen the foolish taking root, but lo, their habitation was presently consumed.
11 Their children were far from safety, they perished at the gates of those who were lesser than themselves: and there was no man to help them.
12 For what was prepared for them, the righteous did eat; and they shall not be delivered from evil.
13 Seeing then these things are manifest unto us, it will behove us to take care that looking into the depths of the divine knowledge, we do all things in order, whatsoever our Lord has commanded us to do.
14 And particularly that we perform our offerings and service to God, at their appointed seasons for these he has commanded to be done, not rashly and disorderly, but at certain determinate times and hours.
15 And therefore he has ordained by his supreme will and authority, both where, and by what persons, they are to be performed; that so all things being piously done unto all well-pleasing, they may be acceptable unto him.
16 They therefore who make their offerings at the appointed seasons, are happy and accepted; because through obeying the commandments of the Lord, they are free from sin.
17 And the same care must be had of the persons that minister unto him.
18 For the chief-priest has his proper services; and to the priest their proper place is appointed; and to the Levites appertain their proper ministries; and the layman is confined within the bounds of what is commanded to laymen.
19 Let every one of you therefore, brethren, bless God in his proper station, with a good conscience, and with all gravity, not exceeding the rule of his service that is appointed to him.
20 The daily sacrifices are not offered everywhere; nor the peace- offerings, nor the sacrifices appointed for sins and transgressions; but only at Jerusalem: nor in any place there, but only at the altar before the temple; that which is offered being first diligently examined by the high-priest and the other minister we before mentioned.
21 They therefore who do any thing which is not agreeable to his will, are punished with death.
22 Consider, brethren, that by how much the better knowledge God has vouchsafed unto us, by so much the greater danger are we exposed to.
- The orders of Ministers in Christ's Church established by the Apostles, according to Christ's command,
- 7 after the example of Moses.
- 16 Therefore they who have been duly placed in the ministry according to their order, cannot without great sin be put out of it.
THE Apostles have preached to us from the Lord Jesus Christ Jesus Christ from God.
2 Christ therefore was sent by God, the Apostles by Christ; so both were orderly sent, according to the will of God.
3 For having received their command, and being thoroughly assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and convinced by the word of God, with the fulness of the Holy Spirit, they went abroad, publishing, That the kingdom of God was at hand.
4 And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first fruits of their conversion to be bishops and ministers over such as should afterwards believe, having first proved them by the Spirit.
5 Nor was this any new thing; seeing that long before it was written concerning bishops and deacons.
6 For thus saith the Scripture, in a certain place; I will appoint their overseers in righteousness, and their ministers in faith.
7 And what wonder if they, to whom such a work was committed by God in Christ, established such officers as we before mentioned; when even that blessed and faithful servant in all his house, Moses, set down in the Holy Scriptures all things that were commanded him.
8 Whom also all the rest of the prophets followed, bearing witness with one consent to those things that were appointed by him.
9 For he, perceiving an emulation to arise among the tribes concerning the priesthood, and that there was a strife about it, which of them should be adorned with that glorious name; commanded their twelve captains to bring to him twelve rods; every tribe being written upon its rod, according to its name,
10 And he took them and bound them together, and sealed them with the seals of the twelve princes of the tribes: and laid them up in the tabernacle of witness, upon the table of God.
11 And when he had shut the door of the tabernacle, he sealed up the keys of it, in like manner as he had done the rods; and said unto them, Men and brethren, whichsoever tribe shall have its rod blossom, that tribe has God chosen to perform the office of a priest, and to minister unto him in holy things.
12 And when the morning was come, he called together all Israel, six hundred thousand men; and showed to the princes their seals and opened the tabernacle of witness; and brought forth the rods.
13 And the rod of Aaron was found not only to have blossomed, but also to have fruit upon it.
14 What think you, beloved? Did not Moses before know what should happen?
15 Yes verily: but to the end there might be no division, nor tumult in Israel, he did in this manner, that the name of the true and only God might be glorified; to whom be honour for ever and ever, Amen.
16 So likewise our Apostles knew by our Lord Jesus Christ, that there should contentions arise, upon account of the ministry.
17 And therefore having a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed persons, as we have before said, and then a gave direction, how, when they should die, other chosen and approved men should succeed in their ministry.
18 Wherefore we cannot think that those may justly be thrown out of their ministry, who were either appointed by them, or afterwards chosen by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole church; and who have with all lowliness and innocency ministered to the flock of Church, in peace, and without self-interest, and were for a long time commended by all.
19 For it would be no small sin in us, should we cast off those from their ministry, who holily and without blame fulfil the duties of it.
20 Blessed are those priests, who having finished their course before these times, have obtained a fruitful and perfect dissolution for they have no fear, lest any one should turn them out of the place which is now appointed for them.
21 But we see how you have put out some, who lived reputably among you, from the ministry, which by their innocence they had adorned.
- He exerts them to peace from examples out of the Holy Scriptures,
- 20 particularly from St. Paul's exhortation to them.
YE are contentious, brethren, and zealous for things that pertain not unto salvation.
2 Look into the Holy Scriptures, which are the true words of the Holy Ghost. Ye know that there is nothing unjust or counterfeit written in them.
3 There you shall not find that righteous men were ever cast off by such as were good themselves.
4 They were persecuted, but it was by the wicked and unjust.
5 They were cast into prison, but they were cast in by those that were unholy.
6 They were stoned, but it was by transgressors.
7 They were killed, but by accursed men, and such as had taken up an unjust envy against them.
8 And all these things they underwent gloriously.
9 For what shall we say, brethren? Was Daniel cast into the den of lions, by men fearing God? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were they cast into the fiery furnace by men, professing the excellent and glorious worship of the Most High? God forbid.
10 What kind of persons then were they that did these things? They were men abominable, full of all wickedness; who were incensed; to so great a degree, as to bring those into sufferings, who with a holy and unblameable purpose of mind worshipped God: not knowing that the Most High is the protector and defender of all such as with a pure conscience serve his holy name: to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen.
11 But they who with a full persuasion have endured these things, are made partakers of glory and honour: and are exalted and lifted up by God for a memorial throughout all ages, Amen.
12 Wherefore it will behove us also, brethren, to follow such examples as these; for it is written, Hold fast to such as are holy; for they that do so shall be sanctified.
13 And again in another place he saith, With the pure, thou shalt be pure (and with the elect thou shalt be elect,) but with, the perverse man thou shalt be perverse.
14 Let us therefore join ourselves to the innocent and righteous; for such are the elect of God.
15 Wherefore are there strifes, and anger, and divisions, and schisms, and wars, among us?
16 Have we not all one God, and one Christ? Is not one spirit of grace poured out upon us all? Have we not one calling in Christ.
17 Why then do we rent and tear in pieces the members of Christ; and raise seditious against our own body? And are come to such a height of madness, as to forget that we were members one of another?
18 Remember the words of our Lord Jesus, (how he said, Woe to that man by whom offences come). It, were better for him that he had never been born, than that he should have offended one of my elect. It were better for him, that a mill-stone should be tied about his neck, and he should be cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of my little ones.
19 Your schism has perverted many, has discouraged many: it has caused diffidence in many, and grief in us all. And yet your sedition continues still.
20 Take the Epistle of the blessed Paul the Apostle into your hands; What was It that he wrote to you at his first preaching the Gospel among you?
21 Verily he did by the spirit admonish you concerning himself, and Cephas, and Apollos, because that even then ye had begun to fall into parties and factions among yourselves.
22 Nevertheless your partiality then led you into a much less sin forasmuch as ye placed your affections upon Apostles, men of eminent reputation in the church; and upon another, who was greatly tried and approved of by them.
23 But consider, we pray you, who are they that have now led you astray; and lessened the reputation of that brotherly love that was so eminent among you;
24 It is a shame, my beloved, yea, a very great shame, and unworthy of your Christian profession, to hear that the most firm and ancient church of the Corinthians should, by one or two persons, be led into a sedition against its priests.
25 And this report is come not only to us, but to those also that differ from us.
26 Insomuch that the name of the Lord is blasphemed through your folly; and even ye yourselves are brought into danger by it.
27 Let us therefore with all haste put an end to this sedition; and let us fall down before the Lord, and beseech him with tears that he would be favourably reconciled to us, and restore us again to a seemly and holy course of brotherly love.
28 For this is the gate of righteousness, opening unto life: As it is written, I Open unto me the gates of righteousness; I will go into them and will praise the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord, the righteous shall enter into it.
29 Although therefore many gates are opened, yet this gate of righteousness is that gate in Christ at which blessed are they that enter in, and direct their way in holiness and righteousness; doing all things without disorder.
30 Let a man be faithful, let him be powerful in the utterance of knowledge; let him be wise in making an exact judgment of words; let him be pure in all his actions.
31 But still by how much the more he seems to be above others, by reason of these things, by so much the more will it behove him to be humble-minded; and to seek what is profitable to all men, and not his own advantage.
- 1 The value which God, puts upon love and unity: the effects of a true charity,
- 8 which is the gift of God, and must be obtained by prayer.
HE that has the love that is in Christ, let him keep the commandments of Christ.
2 For who is able to express the obligation of the love of God? What man is sufficient to declare, and is fitting, the excellency of its beauty?
3 The height to which charity leads, is inexpressible.
4 Charity unites us to God; charity covers the multitude of sins: charity endures all things; is long-suffering in all things.
5 There is nothing base and sordid in charity: charity lifts not itself up above others; admits of no divisions; is not seditious; but does all things in peace and concord.
6 By charity were all the elect of God made perfect: Without it nothing is pleasing and acceptable in the sight of God.
7 Through charity did the Lord join us into himself; whilst for the love that he bore towards us, our Lord Jesus Christ gave his own blood for us, by the will of God; his flesh for our flesh; his soul for our souls.
8 Ye see, beloved, how great and wonderful a thing charity is; and how that no expressions are sufficient to declare its perfection.
9 But who is fit to be found in it? Even such only as God shall vouchsafe to make so.
10 Let us therefore pray to him, and beseech him, that we may be worthy of it; that so we may live in charity; being unblamable, without human propensities, without respect of persons.
11 All the ages of the world, from Adam, even unto this day, are passed away; but they who have been made perfect in love, have by the grace of God obtained a place among the righteous; and shall be made manifest in the judgment of the kingdom of Christ.
12 For it is written, Enter into thy chambers for a little space, till my anger and indignation shall pass away: And I will remember the good day, and, will raise you up out of your graves.
13 Happy then shall we be, beloved, if we shall have fulfilled the commandments of God, in the unity of love; that so, through love, our sins may be forgiven us.
14 For so it is written, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth no sin, and in whose mouth there is no guile.
15 Now this blessing is fulfilled in those who are chosen by God through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen.
- 1 He exhorts such as have been concerned in these divisions to repent, and return to their unity, confessing their sin to God,
- 7 which he enforces from the example of Moses,
- 10 and of many among the heathen,
- 23 and of Judith and Esther among the Jews.
LET us therefore, as many as have transgressed by any of the suggestions of the adversary, beg God's forgiveness.
2 And as for those who have been the heads of the sedition and faction among you, let them look to the common end of our hope.
3 For as many as are endued with fear and charity, would rather they themselves should fall into trials than their neighbours: And choose to be themselves condemned, rather than that the good and just charity delivered to us, should suffer.
4 For it is seemly for a man to confess wherein he has transgressed.
5 And not to harden his heart, as the hearts of those were hardened, who raised up sedition against Moses the servant of God whose punishment was manifest unto all men, for they went down alive into the grave; death swallowed them up.
6 Pharaoh and his host, and all the rulers of Egypt, their chariots also and their horsemen, were for no other cause drowned in the bottom of the Red Sea, and perished; but because they hardened their foolish hearts, after so many signs done in the land of Egypt, by Moses the servant of God.
7 Beloved, God is not indigent of anything; nor does he demand anything of us, but that we should confess our sins unto him.
8 For so says the Holy David, I will confess unto the Lord, and it shall please him better than a young bullock that hath horns and hoof. Let the poor see it and be glad.
9 And again he saith, Offer unto God the sacrifice of praise, and pay thy vows unto the Most Highest. And call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit.
10 Ye know, beloved, ye know full well, the Holy Scriptures; and have thoroughly searched into the oracles of God: call them therefore to your remembrance.
11 For when Moses went up into the mount, and tarried there forty days and forty nights in fasting and humiliation; God said unto him, Arise, Moses, and get thee down quickly from hence, for thy people whom thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have committed wickedness: they have soon transgressed the way that I commanded them, and have made to themselves graven images.
12 And the Lord said unto him, I have spoken unto thee several times, saying, I have seen this people, and behold it is a stiff- necked people: let me therefore destroy them, and put out their name from under heaven. And I will make unto thee a great and a wonderful nation, that shall be much larger than this.
13 But Moses said, Not so, Lord: Forgive now this people their sin; or if thou wilt not, blot me also out of the book of the living. O admirable charity! O insuperable perfection! The servant speaks freely to his Lord: He beseeches him either to forgive the people, or to destroy him together with them.
14 Who is there among you that is generous? Who that is compassionate? Who that has any charity? Let him say, if this sedition, this contention, and these schisms, be upon my account, I am ready to depart; to go away whithersoever you please; and do whatsoever ye shall command me: Only let the flock of Christ be in peace, with the elders that are set over it.
15 He that shall do this, shall get to himself a very great honour in the Lord; and there is no place but what will be ready to receive him: For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.
16 These things, they who have their conversation towards God not to be repented of, both have done, and will always be ready to do.
17 Nay and even the Gentiles themselves have given us examples of this kind.
18 For we read, How many kings and princes, in times of pestilence, being warned by their oracles, have given up themselves unto death; that by their own blood, they might deliver their country from destruction.
19 Others have forsaken their cities, so that they might put an end to the seditions of them.
20 We know how many among ourselves, have given up themselves unto bonds, that thereby they might free others from them.
21 Others have sold themselves into bondage, that they might feed their brethren with the price of themselves.
22 And even many women, being strengthened by the grace of God, have done many glorious and manly things on such occasions.
23 The blessed Judith, when her city was besieged, desired the elders, that they would suffer her to go into the camp of their enemies; and she went out exposing herself to danger, for the love she bare to her country and her people that were besieged: and the Lord delivered Holofernes into the hands of a woman.
24 Nor did Esther, being perfect in faith, expose herself to any less hazard, for the delivery of the twelve tribes of Israel, in danger of being destroyed. For by fasting and humbling herself, she entreated the Great Maker of all things, the God of spirits; so that beholding the humility of her soul, he delivered the people, for whose sake she was in peril.
- The benefit of mutual advice and correction.
- He entreats them to follow that which is here given to them.
WHEREFORE let us also pray for such as are fallen into sin. That being endued with humility and moderation, they may submit not unto us, but to the wish of God.
2 For by this means they shall obtain a fruitful and perfect remembrance, with mercy, both in our prayers to God, and in our mention of them before his saints.
3 Let us receive correction, at which no man ought to repine.
4 Beloved, the reproof and the correction which we exercise towards one another, is good, and exceeding profitable: for it unites us the more closely to the will of God.
5 For, so says the Holy Scripture, The Lord corrected me, but he did not deliver me over unto death. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
6 The righteous, saith he, shall instruct me in mercy and reprove me; but let not oil of sinners make fat my head.
7 And again he saith, Happy is the man whom God correcteth; therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty.
8 For he maketh gore and bindeth up; he woundeth and his hands make whole.
9 He shall deliver thee in six troubles; yea in seven there shall no evil touch thee. In famine he shall redeem thee from death; and in war from the power of the sword.
10 Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue; neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh.
11 Thou shalt laugh at the wicked and sinners; neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth. The wild beast shall be at peace with thee.
12 Then shalt thou know that thy house shall be in peace; and the habitation of thy tabernacle shall not err. Then shalt know also that thy seed shall be great and thy offspring as the grass of the earth.
13 Thou shalt come to thy grave as the ripe corn, that is taken in due time: like as a shock of corn cometh in, in its season.
14 Ye see, beloved, how there shall be a defence to those that are corrected of the Lord. For being a good instructor, he is willing to admonish us by his holy, diaipline.
15 Do ye therefore who laid the first foundation of this sedition, submit yourselves unto your priests; and be instructed unto repentance, bending the knees of your hearts.
16 Learn to be subject, laying aside all proud and arrogant boasting of your tongues.
17 For it is better for you to be found little, and approved, in the sheepfold of Christ, than to seem to yourselves better than others, and be cast out of his fold.
18 For thus speaks the excellent and all-virtuous wisdom, Behold I will pour out the word of my spirit upon you, I will make known my speech unto you.
19 Because I called and ye would not hear, I stretched out my hand and ye regarded not.
20 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof. I will also laugh at your calamity, and mock when your fear cometh.
21 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction as a whirlwind, when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
22 Then shall ye call upon me but I will not hear you: the wicked shall seek me but they shall not find me. For that they hated knowledge, and did not seek the fear of the Lord.
23 They would not hearken unto my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own ways; and be filled with their own wickedness.
- 1 Recommends them to God. Desires speedily to hear that this Epistle has had a good effect upon them.
- 4 Conclusion.
NOW God, the inspector of all things, the Father of Spirits, and the Lord of all flesh, who hath chosen our Lord Jesus Christ, and us by him, to be his peculiar people;
2 Grant to every soul of man that calleth upon his glorious and holy name, faith, fear, peace, long-suffering, patience, temperance, holiness and sobriety, unto all well-pleasing in his sight; through our High-Priest and Protector Jesus Christ, by whom be glory and majesty, and power, and honour unto him now and for ever more, Amen.
3 The messengers whom we have sent unto you, Claudius, Ephebus, and Valerios Bito, with Fortunatus, send back to us again with all speed, in peace and with joy, that they may the sooner acquaint us with your peace and concord, so much prayed for and desired by us: and that we may rejoice in your good order.
4 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, and with all that are any where called by God through him: To whom be honour and glory, and might and injesty, and eternal dominion, by Christ Jesus, from everlasting to everlasting, Amen.
REFERENCES TO CLEMENT'S FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS.
[Clement was a disciple of Peter, and afterwards Bishop of Rome. Clemens Alexandrinus calls him an apostle. Jerome says he was an apostolic man, and Rafinus that he was almost an apostle. Eusebius calls this the wonderful Epistle of St. Clement, and says that it was publicly read in the assemblies of the primitive church. It is included in one of the ancient collections of the Canon Scripture. Its genuineness has been much questioned, particularly by Photius, patriarch of Constantinople in the ninth century, who objects that Clement speaks of worlds beyond the ocean: that he has not written worthily of the divinity of Christ; and that to prove the possibility of a future resurrection, he introduces the fabulous story of the phoenix's revival from its own ashes. To the latter objection, Archbishop Wake replies that the generality of the ancient Fathers have made use of the same instance in proof of the same point; and asks, if St. Clement really believed that there was such a bird, and that it did revive out of the cinders of the body after burning, where was the, great harm either in giving credit to such a wonder, or, believing it, to make rich a use as he here does of it?--The present is the Archbishop's translation from the ancient Greek copy of the Epistle, which is at the end of the celebrated Alexandrine MS. of the Septuagint and New Testament, presented by Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, to King Charles the First, now in the British Museum. The Archbishop, in prefacing his translation, esteems it a great blessing that this "Epistle" was at last so happily found out, for the increase and confirmation both of our faith and our charity.]