Fragments of Clemens Alexandrinus.
[Translated by Rev. William Wilson, M.A.]
I.—From the Latin Translation of
| 3712 [M. Aurelius
Cassiodorus (whose name is also Senator) was an author and public man
of the sixth century, and a very voluminous writer. He would shine
with a greater lustre were he not so nearly lost in the brighter light
of Boëthius, his illustrious contemporary. After the death of his
patron, Theodoric, he continued for a time in the public service, and in
high positions, but, at seventy years of age, began another career, and
for twenty years devoted himself to letters and the practice of piety in a
monastery which he established in the Neopolitan kingdom, near his native
Squillace. Died about a.d.
On the First Epistle of Peter.
| 3713 Comments, i.e., Adumbrationes. Cassiodorus says that he had in his translation corrected what he considered erroneous in the original. So Fell states: and he is also inclined to believe that these fragments are from Clement’s lost work, the Ὑποτυπώσεις, of which he believes The Adumbrationes of Cassiodorus to be a translation.|
Chap. i. 3.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who by
His great mercy hath regenerated us.” For if God generated us of
matter, He afterwards, by progress in life, regenerated us.
“The Father of our Lord, by the resurrection
of Jesus Christ:” who, according to your faith, rises again
in us; as, on the other hand, He dies in us, through the operation
of our unbelief. For He said again, that the soul never returns
a second time to the body in this life; and that which has become
angelic does not become unrighteous or evil, so as not to have the
opportunity of again sinning by the assumption of flesh; but that in
the resurrection the soul3714
returns to the body, and both are joined to one another according to their
peculiar nature, adapting themselves, through the composition of each,
by a kind of congruity like3715
“Utramque” is the reading, which is plainly corrupt. We
have conjectured “animam.” The rest of the sentence is so
ungrammatical and impracticable as it stands, that it is only by taking
considerable liberties with it that it is translateable at all.|
a building of stones.
The text here has like a drag-net or (sicut sagena vel),
which we have omitted, being utterly incapable of divining any conceivable
resemblance or analogy which a drag-net can afford for the re-union of the
soul and body. “Sagena” is either a blunder for something
else which we cannot conjecture, or the sentence is here, as elsewhere,
mutilated. But it is possible that it may have been the union of the
blessed to each other, and their conjunction with one another according to
their affinities, which was the point handled in the original sentences,
of which we have only these obscure and confusing remains. [A very good
conjecture, on the strength of which the text might have been let as it
Besides, Peter says,3716 “Ye also, as living stones, are built
up a spiritual house;” meaning the place of the angelic abode,
guarded in heaven3717
. “For you,” he says,
“who are kept by the power of God, by faith and contemplation,
to receive the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
“Cœli,” plainly a mistake for “cœlo”
or “cœlis.” There is apparently a hiatus
here. “The angelic abode, guarded in heaven,” most probably
is the explanation of “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled,
reserved in heaven.”|
Hence it appears that the soul is not naturally
immortal; but is made immortal by the grace of God, through faith and
righteousness, and by knowledge. “Of which salvation,” he
“the prophets have inquired and searched diligently,” and
what follows. It is declared by this that the prophets spake with wisdom,
and that the Spirit of Christ was in them, according to the possession
of Christ, and in subjection to Christ. For God works through archangels
and kindred angels, who are called spirits of Christ.
“Which are now,” he says,3719 “reported unto you by them that
have preached the Gospel unto you.” The old things which were done
by the prophets and escape the observation of most, are now revealed
to you by the evangelists. “For to you,” he says,3720
“they are manifested by the Holy Ghost, who was sent;” that
is the Paraclete, of whom the Lord said, “If I go not away, He
will not come.”3721
it is said, “the angels
desire to look;” not the apostate angels, as most suspect, but,
what is a divine truth, angels who desire to obtain the advantage of
“By precious blood,” he says,3723
“as of a lamb without blemish
and without spot.” Here he touches on the ancient Levitical and
sacerdotal celebrations; but means a soul pure through righteousness
which is offered to God.
“Verily foreknown before the foundation of the
Inasmuch as He was
foreknown before every creature, because He was Christ.
“But manifested in the last
times” by the generation of a body. “Being born again, not of
soul, then, which is produced along with the body is corruptible, as
“But the word of the Lord,” he
“endureth for ever:”
as well prophecy as divine doctrine.
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal
That we are a chosen race by the election of God is abundantly clear. He
says royal, because we are called to sovereignty and belong to Christ;
and priesthood on account of the oblation which is made by prayers and
instructions, by which are gained the souls which are offered to God.
“Who, when He was reviled,”
not; when He suffered, threatened not.” The Lord acted so in His
goodness and patience. “But committed Himself to him that judged
whether Himself, so that, regarding Himself in this way,
there is a transposition.3730
He indeed gave Himself up to those who judged
according to an unjust law; because He was unserviceable to them,
inasmuch as He was righteous: or, He committed to God those who judged
unrighteously, and without cause insisted on His death, so that they
might be instructed by suffering punishment.
“For he that will love life, and see good
who wishes to become eternal and immortal. And He calls the Lord life,
and the days good, that is holy.
“For the eyes of the Lord,”
he says, “are upon the righteous, and His ears on their
prayers:” he means the manifold inspection of the Holy
Spirit. “The face of the Lord is on them that do evil;”3732
that is, whether judgment, or
vengeance, or manifestation.
“But sanctify the Lord
Christ,” he says, “in your hearts.”3733
For so you have in the
Lord’s prayer, “Hallowed be Thy name.”3734
“For Christ,” he says,3735
“hath once suffered
for our sins, the just for the unjust, that he might present3736
us to God; being put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the
spirit.” He says these things, reducing them to their faith. That
is, He became alive in our spirits.
“Coming,” he says,3737 “He preached to
those who were once unbelieving.” They saw not His form, but they
heard His voice.
“When the long-suffering of God”3738
out. God is so good, as to work the result by the teaching of
“By the resurrection,” it is
“of Jesus Christ:” that, namely, which is effected in us by
“Angels being subjected to Him,”3740
which are the
first order; and “principalities” being subject, who are of
the second order; and “powers” being also
subject, which are said to belong to the third order.
“Who shall give account,” he
“to Him who is ready to judge the quick and the dead.”
These are trained through previous
Therefore he adds, “For this cause was the Gospel preached also
to the dead”—to us, namely, who were at one time
unbelievers. “That they might be judged according to men,”
“in the flesh, but live according to God
in the spirit.” Because, that is, they have fallen away from faith;
whilst they are still in the flesh they are judged according to
preceding judgments, that they might repent. Accordingly, he also adds,
saying, “That they might live according to God in the
spirit.” So Paul also; for he, too, states something of this
nature when he says, “Whom I have delivered to Satan, that he
might live in the spirit;”3744
that is, “as good
stewards of the manifold grace of God.” Similarly also Paul says,
“Variously, and in many ways, God of old spake to our
“Rejoice,” it is said,3746
“that ye are
partakers in the sufferings of Christ:” that is, if ye are
righteous, ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, as Christ suffered
for righteousness. “Happy are ye, for the Spirit of God, who is
the Spirit of His glory and virtue, resteth on you.” This
possessive “His” signifies also an an angelic spirit:
inasmuch as the glory of God those are, through whom, according to faith
and righteousness, He is glorified, to honourable glory, according to
the advancement of the saints who are brought in. “The Spirit of
God on us,” may be thus understood; that is, who through faith
comes on the soul, like a gracefulness of mind and beauty of soul.
“Since,” it is said,3747 “it is time for judgment
beginning at the house of God.” For judgment will overtake these
in the appointed persecutions.
“But the God of all grace,” he says.3748
“Of all grace,”
he says, because He is good, and the giver of all good things.
“Marcus, my son, saluteth you.”3749 Mark, the follower of Peter, while Peter
publicly preached the Gospel at Rome before some of Cæsar’s
equites, and adduced many testimonies to Christ, in order that thereby
they might be able to commit to memory what was spoken, of what was spoken
by Peter, wrote entirely what is called the Gospel according to Mark. As
Luke also may be recognised3750
by the style, both to have composed the Acts of the Apostles, and to
have translated Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews.
The reading is “agnosceret.” To yield any sense it must have
been “agnoscatur” or “agnosceretur.”|
II.—Comments on the Epistle of Jude.
Jude, who wrote the Catholic Epistle, the brother
of the sons of Joseph, and very religious, whilst knowing the near
relationship of the Lord, yet did not say that he himself was His
brother. But what said he?3751
a servant of Jesus Christ,”—of Him as Lord; but
“the brother of James.” For this is true; he was His
brother, (the son)3752
of Joseph. “For3753
certain men have entered unawares,
ungodly men, who had been of old ordained and predestined to the judgment
of our God;” not that they might become impious, but that, being now
impious, they were ordained to judgment. “For the Lord God,”
delivered a people out of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed
not;” that is, that He might train them through punishment. For
they were indeed punished, and they perished on account of those that
are saved, until they turn to the Lord. “But the angels,”
“that kept not
their own pre-eminence,” that, namely, which they received
through advancement, “but left their own habitation,”
meaning, that is, the heaven and the stars, became, and are called
apostates. “He hath reserved these to the judgment of the great day,
in chains, under darkness.” He means the place near the earth,3756
the dark air. Now he called “chains” the loss of the honour in
which they had stood, and the lust of feeble things; since, bound by their
own lust, they cannot be converted. “As Sodom and Gomorrha,”
… By which the Lord
signifies that pardon had been granted;3758
and that on being disciplined
they had repented. “Similarly3759
| 3758 “Quibus significat Dominus remissius
esse,” the reading here, defies translation and emendation. We
suppose a hiatus here, and change “remissius” into
“remissum” to get the above sense. The statement cannot
apply to Sodom and Gomorrha.|
to the same,”
dreamers,”—that is, who dream in their imagination lusts
and wicked desires, regarding as good not that which is truly good, and
superior to all good,—“defile the flesh, despise dominion,
and speak evil of majesty,” that is, the only Lord,3761
who is truly our Lord, Jesus Christ, and alone worthy
of praise. They “speak evil of majesty,” that is, of the
“When Michael, the archangel,3762
disputing with the devil, debated about
the body of Moses.” Here he confirms the assumption of Moses. He
is here called Michael, who through an angel near to us debated with
“But these,” he says,3763 “speak evil of those things which
they know not; but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in these
things they corrupt themselves.” He means that they eat, and drink,
and indulge in uncleanness, and says that they do other things that are
common to them with animals, devoid of reason.
“Woe unto them!” he says,3764 “for they have gone in
the way of Cain.” For so also we lie under Adam’s sin
through similarity of sin. “Clouds,” he says,3765
“without water; who do not
possess in themselves the divine and fruitful word.” Wherefore,
he says, “men of this kind are carried about both by winds and
“Trees,” he says, “of autumn,
without fruit,”—unbelievers, that is, who bear no fruit
of fidelity. “Twice dead,” he says: once, namely, when
they sinned by transgressing, and a second time when delivered
up to punishment, according to the predestined judgments of God;
inasmuch as it is to be reckoned death, even when each one does not
forthwith deserve the inheritance. “Waves,” he says,3767
“of a raging sea.” By these
words he signifies the life of the Gentiles, whose end is abominable
“Wandering stars,”—that is, he means those who err
and are apostates are of that kind of stars which fell from the seats of
the angels—“to whom,” for their apostasy, “the
blackness of darkness is reserved for ever. Enoch also, the seventh from
Adam,” he says,3769
| 3768 The reading
is “agnosceret.” To yield any sense it myst have been
“agnoscatur” or “agnosceretur.”|
“prophesied of these.” In these words he verities the
“Those,” he says,3770 “separating” the faithful
from the unfaithful, be convicted according to their own unbelief. And
again those separating from the flesh.3771
He says, “Animal3772
| 3771 “Discernentes a carnibus,”—a
sentence which has got either displaced or corrupted, or both.|
the spirit;” that is, the
spirit which is by faith, which supervenes through the practice of
“But ye, beloved,” he says,3773
“building up yourselves on your
most holy faith, in the Holy Spirit.” “But some,”
“save, plucking them from the fire;”3775
“but of some have
compassion in fear,” that is, teach those who fall into
the fire to free themselves. “Hating,” he says,3776
“that spotted garment, which is
carnal:” that of the soul, namely; the spotted garment is a spirit
| 3777 By a
slight change of punctuation, and by substituting “maculata”
for “macula,” we get the sense as above. Animæ videlicet
tunica macula est” is the reading of the text.|
“Now to Him,” he says,3778 “who is able to keep you
without stumbling, and present you faultless before the presence of
His glory in joy.” In the presence of His glory: he means in
the presence of the angels, to be presented faultless, having become
When Daniel speaks
of the people and comes into the presence of the Lord, he does not say
this, because he saw God: for it is impossible that any one whose heart
is not pure should see God; but he says this, that everything that the
people did was in the sight of God, and was manifest to Him; that is,
that nothing is hid from the Lord.
| 3779 We have here
with some hesitation altered the punctuation. In the text, “To be
presented” begins a new sentence.|
Now, in the Gospel according to Mark, the Lord being
interrogated by the chief of the priests if He was the Christ, the Son of
the blessed God, answering, said, “I am;3780
and ye shall see the Son of man sitting
at the right hand of power.”3781
| 3780 Mark xiv. 62. There is blundering here as to the
differences between the evangelists’ accounts, as a comparison
of them shows.|
holy angels. Further, when He says “at the right hand of God,”
He means the self-same [beings], by reason of the equality and likeness
of the angelic and holy powers, which are called by the name of God. He
says, therefore, that He sits at the right hand; that is, that He rests
in pre-eminent honour. In the other Gospels, however, He is said not
to have replied to the high priest, on his asking if He was the Son of
God. But what said He? “You say.”3783
Answering sufficiently well. For had He said, It is as you understand, he
would have said what was not true, not confessing Himself to be the Son
of God; [for] they did not entertain this opinion of Him; but by saying
| 3783 Matt. xxvi. 64: “Thou has said: nevertheless,
I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the
right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”|
He spake truly. For what they had no
knowledge of, but expressed in words, that he confessed to be true.
i.e., It is as you say.|
III.—Comments on the First Epistle of John.
1. “That which was from the beginning; which we have
seen with our eyes; which we have heard.”
Following the Gospel according to John, and
in accordance with it, this Epistle also contains the spiritual
What therefore he says, “from the
beginning,” the Presbyter explained to this effect, that
the beginning of generation is not separated from the beginning
of the Creator. For when he says, “That which was from the
beginning,” he touches upon the generation without beginning of the
Son, who is co-existent with the Father. There was; then, a Word importing
an unbeginning eternity; as also the Word itself, that is, the Son of God,
who being, by equality of substance, one with the Father, is eternal and
uncreate. That He was always the Word, is signified by saying, “In
the beginning was the Word.” But by the expression, “we have
seen with our eyes,” he signifies the Lord’s presence in the
flesh, “and our hands have handled,” he says, “of the
Word of life.” He means not only His flesh, but the virtues of the
Son, like the sunbeam which penetrates to the lowest places,—this
sunbeam coming in the flesh became palpable to the disciples. It is
accordingly related in traditions, that John, touching the outward body
itself, sent his hand deep down into it, and that the solidity of the
flesh offered no obstacle, but gave way to the hand of the disciple.
“And our hands have handled of the Word of
life;” that is, He who came in the flesh became capable of being
touched. As also,
“The life was manifested.” For in the Gospel he thus speaks:
“And what was made, in Him was life, and the life was the light of
“And we show unto you that eternal life,
which was with the Father, and was manifested unto you.”
He signifies by the appellation of Father, that
the Son also existed always, without beginning.
Ver. 5. “For God,” he says, “is
He does not express the divine essence, but wishing
to declare the majesty of God, he has applied to the Divinity what is
best and most excellent in the view of men. Thus also Paul, when he
speaks of “light inaccessible.”3786
But John himself also in this
same Epistle says, “God is love:”3787
pointing out the excellences
of God, that He is kind and merciful; and because He is light, makes
men righteous, according to the advancement of the soul,
through charity. God, then, who is
ineffable in respect of His substance, is light.
“And in Him is no darkness at
all,”—that is, no passion, no keeping up of evil respecting
any one, [He] destroys no one, but gives salvation to all. Light moreover
signifies, either the precepts of the Law, or faith, or doctrine. Darkness
is the opposite of these things. Not as if there were another way;
since there is only one way according to the divine precepts. For the
work of God is unity. Duality and all else that exists, except unity,
arises from perversity of life.
Ver. 7. “And the blood of Jesus Christ His
Son,” he says, “cleanses us.” For the doctrine of the
Lord, which is very powerful, is called His blood.
10. “If we say that we have
not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” His
doctrine, that is, or word is truth.
1. “And if any man sin,”
he says, “we have an advocate3788
with the Father, Jesus
Christ.” For so the Lord is an advocate with the Father for us.
So also is there, an advocate, whom, after His assumption, He vouchsafed
to send. For these primitive and first-created virtues are unchangeable
as to substance, and along with subordinate angels and archangels, whose
names they share, effect divine operations. Thus also Moses names the
virtue of the angel Michael, by an angel near to himself and of lowest
grade. The like also we find in the holy prophets; but to Moses an angel
appeared near and at hand. Moses heard him and spoke to him manifestly,
face to face. On the other prophets, through the agency of angels,
an impression was made, as of beings hearing and seeing.
On this account also, they alone heard,
and they alone saw; as also is seen in the case of Samuel.3789
Elisæus also alone heard the voice by which he was called.3790
the voice had been open and common, it would have been heard by all. In
this instance it was heard by him alone in whom the impression made by
the angel worked.
2. “And not only for
our sins,”—that is for those of the faithful,—is
the Lord the propitiator, does he say, “but also for the whole
world.” He, indeed, saves all; but some [He saves], converting them
by punishments; others, however, who follow voluntarily [He saves] with
dignity of honour; so “that every knee should bow to Him, of things
in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth;”3791
that is, angels, men, and souls that before His advent have departed
from this temporal life.
3. “And by this we know that we know Him, if we keep
His commandments.” For the Gnostic3792
[he who knows] also does the Works which
pertain to the province of virtue. But he who performs the works is not
necessarily also a Gnostic. For a man may be a doer of right works,
and yet not a knower of the mysteries of science. Finally, knowing
that some works are performed from fear of punishment, and some on
account of the promise of reward, he shows the perfection of the man
gifted with knowledge, who fulfils his works by love. Further, he adds,
| 3792 “Intellector” in Latin translation. [See
p. 607, footnote.]|
5. “But whoso keepeth His word,
in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are
in Him,”—by faith and love.
7. “I write no new
commandment unto you, but an old commandment, which ye had from the
beginning,”—through the Law, that is, and the prophets; where
it is said, God is one. Accordingly, also, he infers, “For the
old commandment is the word which ye have heard.”
Again, however, he says:—
8. “This is the commandment;
for the darkness” of perversion, that is, “has passed away,
and, lo, the true light hath already shone,”—that is, through
faith, through knowledge, through the Covenant working in
men, through prepared judgments.
9. “He that saith he is in the
light,”—in the light, he means in the truth,—“and
hateth,” he says, “his brother.” By his brother, he
means not only his neighbour, but also the Lord. For unbelievers hate
Him and do not keep His commandments. Therefore also he infers:—
10. “He that loveth his
brother abideth in the light; and there is none occasion of stumbling
12–14. He then indicates the stages of advancement and
progress of souls that are still located in the flesh; and calls those
whose sins have been forgiven, for the Lord’s name’s sake,
“little children,” for many believe on account of the
name only. He styles “fathers” the perfect, “who
have known what was from the beginning,” and received with
understanding,—the Son, that is, of whom he said above, “that
which was from the beginning.”
“I write,” says he, “to you,
young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one.” Young man
strong in despising pleasures. “The wicked one” points out
the eminence of the devil. “The children,” moreover, know the
Father; having fled from idols and gathered together to the one God.
15. “For the world,” he says, “is in the
wicked one.” Is not the world,
and all that is in the world, called God’s creation and very
good? Yes. But,
16. “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and
the ambition of the world,” which arise from the perversion of life,
“are not of the Father, but of the world,” and of you.
17. “Therefore also the world shall pass away, and
the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God” and His
commandments “abideth for ever.”
19. “They went out from us; but they were not
of us”—neither the apostate angels, nor men falling
away;—“but that they may be manifested that they are not of
us.” With sufficient clearness he distinguishes the class of the
elect and that of the lost, and that which remaining in faith “has
an unction from the Holy One,” which comes through faith. He that
abideth not in faith.
22. “A liar” and “an
antichrist, who denieth that Jesus is the Christ.” For Jesus,
Saviour and Redeemer, is also Christ the King.
23. “He who denies the Son,” by ignoring Him,
“has not the Father, nor does he know Him.” But he who knoweth
the Son and the Father, knows according to knowledge, and when the Lord
shall be manifested at His second advent, shall have confidence and not
be confounded. Which confusion is heavy punishment.
Ver. 29. “Every one,” he says,
“who doeth righteousness is born of God;” being regenerated,
that is, according to faith.
1. “For the world knoweth us
not, as it knew Him not.” He means by the world those who live a
worldly life in pleasures.
2. “Beloved,” says he,
“now are we the sons of God,” not by natural affection,
but because we have God as our Father. For it is the greater love that,
seeing we have no relationship to God, He nevertheless loves us and calls
us His sons. “And it hath not yet appeared what we shall be;”
that is, to what kind of glory we shall attain. “For if He shall be
manifested,”—that is, if we are made perfect,—“we
shall be like Him,” as reposing and justified, pure in virtue,
“so that we may see Him” (His countenance) “as He
is,” by comprehension.
8. “He that doeth
unrighteousness is of the devil,” that is, of the devil as his
father, following and choosing the same things. “The devil sinneth
from the beginning,” he says. From the beginning from which he
began to sin, incorrigibly persevering in sinning.
9. He says, “Whosoever is
born of God does not commit sin, for His seed remaineth in him;”
that is, His word in him who is born again through faith.
10. “Thus we know the children
of God, as likewise the children of the devil,” who choose things
like the devil; for so also they are said to be of the wicked one.
15. “Every one who hateth his
brother is a murderer.” For in him through unbelief Christ dies.
Rightly, therefore, he continues, “And ye know that no murderer
and unbeliever hath eternal life abiding in him.” For the living
abides in the
| 3793 The text reads
“Christi,” which yields no suitable sense, and or which
we have substituted “Christus.”|
16. “For He Himself laid
down His life for us;” that is, for those who believe; that is,
for the apostles. If then He laid down His life for the apostles, he
means His apostles themselves: us if he said, We, I say, the apostles,
for whom He laid down His life, “ought to lay down our lives for
the brethren;” for the salvation of their neighbours was the glory
of the apostles.
20. He says, “For God is
greater than our heart;” that is, the virtue of God [is greater]
than conscience, which will follow the soul. Wherefore he continues,
and says, “and knoweth all things.”
21. “Beloved, if our heart
condemn us not, it will have confidence before God.”
24. “And hereby we know that
He dwelleth in us by His Spirit, which He hath given us;” that is,
by superintendence and foresight of future events.
18. He says, “Perfect
love casteth out fear.” For the perfection of a believing man
6. He says, “This is He who came by water and
blood;” and again,—
8. “For there are three
that bear witness, the spirit,” which is life, “and
the water,” which is regeneration and faith, “and the
blood,” which is knowledge; “and these three are one.”
For in the Saviour are those saving virtues, and life itself exists in
His own Son.
14. “And this is the confidence
which we have towards Him, that if we ask anything according to His will,
He will hear us.” He does not say absolutely what we shall ask,
but what we ought to ask.
19. “And the whole word lieth
in the wicked one;” not the creation, but worldly men, and those
who live according to their lusts.
20. “And the Son of God hath
come and given us understanding,” which comes to us, that is,
by faith, and is also called the Holy Spirit.
IV.—Comments on the Second Epistle of John.
The second Epistle of John, which is written to
Virgins, is very simple. It was written to a Babylonian lady, by name
Electa, and indicates
the election of the holy Church. He
establishes in this Epistle that the following out of the faith is not
without charity, and so that no one divide Jesus Christ; but only to
believe that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. For he who has the
Son by apprehension in his intellect knows also the Father, and grasps
with his mind intelligibly the greatness of His power working without
beginning of time.
10. He says, “If any come
unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house,
neither bid him God speed; for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker
of his evil deeds.” He forbids us to salute such, and to receive
them to our hospitality. For this is not harsh in the case of a man of
this sort. But he admonishes them neither to confer nor dispute with
such as are not able to handle divine things with intelligence, lest
through them they be seduced from the doctrine of truth, influenced by
plausible reasons. Now, I think that we are not even to pray with such,
because in the prayer which is made at home, after rising from prayer,
the salutation of joy is also the token of peace.
| 3794 [His Catena on Job
was edited by Patrick Young, London, 1637.]|
From His Catena.
I.—Job i. 21.
But Job’s words may be more elegantly
understood of evil and sin thus: “Naked” was formed from the
earth at the beginning, as if from a “mother’s womb: naked to
the earth shall I also depart;” naked,3795
of possessions, for that were a trivial and common thing, but of evil
and sin, and of the unsightly shape which follows those who have led
bad lives. Obviously, all of us human beings are born naked, and again
are buried naked, swathed only in grave-clothes. For God hath provided for
us another life, and made the present life the way for the course which
leads to it; appointing the supplies derived from what we possess merely
as provisions for the way; and on our quitting this way, the wealth,
consisting of the things which we possessed, journeys no farther with
us. For not a single thing that we possess is properly our own: of one
possession alone, that is godliness, are we properly owners. Of this,
death, when it overtakes us, will not rob us; but from all else it will
eject us, though against our will. For it is for the support of life that
we all have received what we possess; and after enjoying merely the use
of it, each one departs, obtaining from life a brief remembrance. For
this is the end of all prosperity; this is the conclusion of the good
things of this life. Well, then, does the infant, on opening its eyes,
after issuing from the womb, immediately begin with crying, not with
laughter. For it weeps, as if bewailing life, at whose hands from the
outset it tastes of deadly gifts. For immediately on being born its
hands and feet are swaddled; and swathed in bonds it takes the breast. O
introduction to life, precursor of death! The child has but just entered
on life, and straightway there is put upon it the raiment of the dead:
for nature reminds those that are born of their end. Wherefore also the
child, on being born, wails, as if crying plaintively to its mother. Why,
O mother, didst thou bring me forth to this life, in which prolongation
of life is progress to death? Why hast thou brought me into this
troubled world, in which, on being born, swaddling bands are my first
experience? Why hast thou delivered me to such a life as this, in which
both a pitiable youth wastes away before old age, and old age is shunned
as under the doom of death? Dreadful, O mother, is the course of life,
which has death as the goal of the runner. Bitter is the road of life
we travel, with the grave as the wayfarer’s inn. Perilous the sea
of life we sail; for it has Hades as a pirate to attack us. Man alone
is born in all respects naked, without a weapon or clothing born with
him; not as being inferior to the other animals, but that nakedness and
your bringing nothing with you may produce thought; and that thought may
bring out dexterity, expel sloth, introduce the arts for the supply of
our needs, and beget variety of contrivances. For, naked, man is full
of contrivances, being pricked on by his necessity, as by a goad, how
to escape rains, how to elude cold, how to fence off blows, how to till
the earth, how to terrify wild beasts, how to subdue the more powerful
of them. Wetted with rain, he contrived a roof; having suffered from
cold, he invented clothing; being struck, he constructed a breastplate;
bleeding his hands with the thorns in tilling the ground, he availed
himself of the help of tools; in his naked state liable to become a prey
to wild beasts, he discovered from his fear an art which frightened what
frightened him. Nakedness begat one accomplishment after another; so that
even his nakedness was a gift and a master-favour. Accordingly, Job also
being made naked of wealth, possessions, of the blessing of children,
of a numerous offspring, and having lost everything in a short time,
uttered this grateful exclamation: “Naked came I out of the womb,
naked also shall I depart thither;”—to God, that is, and to
that blessed lot and rest.
| 3795 This down to “lives” is quoted in
Strom., book iv. ch. xxv. p. 439, supra.|
II.—From the Same.
Job v. 7. Calmness is a thing which, of all other
things, is most to be prized. As an example
of this, the word proposes to us
the blessed Job. For it is said of him, “What man is like Job,
who drinketh up scorning like water?” For truly enviable, and,
in my judgment, worthy of all admiration, a man is, if he has attained
to such a degree of long-suffering as to be able with ease to grapple
with the pain, truly keen, and not easily conquered by everybody, which
arises from being wronged.
III.—From Nicetas’ Catena on Matthew.
Matt. v. 42. Alms are to be
given, but with judgment, and to the deserving, that we may obtain a
recompense from the Most High. But woe to those who have and who take
under false pretences, or who are able to help themselves and want to
take from others. For he who has, and, to carry out false pretences or
out of laziness, takes, shall be condemned.
IV.—From the Same.
Matt. xiii. 31. The word which
proclaims the kingdom of heaven is sharp and pungent as mustard, and
represses bile, that is, anger, and checks inflammation, that is, pride;
and from this word the soul’s true health and eternal soundness3796
flow. To such increased size did the growth of the word come, that the
tree which sprang from it (that is the Church of Christ established over
the whole earth) filled the world, so that the fowls of the air—that
is, divine angels and lofty souls—dwelt in its branches.
V.—From the Same.
Matt. xiii. 46. A pearl, and that
pellucid and of purest ray, is Jesus, whom of the lightning flash of
Divinity the Virgin bore. For as the pearl, produced in flesh and the
oyster-shell and moisture, appears to be a body moist and transparent,
full of light and spirit; so also God the Word, incarnate, is intellectual
sending His rays, through a body luminous
| 3797 Φωτός
here has probably taken the place of φωτεινοῦ.
[This passage is in the Stromata; and also a similar figure,
p. 347, this series.]|
III.—From the Catena on Luke, Edited by Corderius.
Luke iii. 22. God here assumed
the “likeness” not of a man, but “of a dove,”
because He wished, by a new apparition of the Spirit in the likeness of
a dove, to declare His simplicity and majesty.
Luke xvi. 17. Perhaps by
the iota and tittle His righteousness cries, “If ye come right
unto Me, I will also come right to you; but if crooked, I also will
come crooked, saith the Lord of hosts;” intimating that the ways
of sinners are intricate and crooked. For the way right and agreeable
to nature which is intimated by the iota of Jesus, is His goodness,
which constantly directs those who believe from hearing. “There
shall not, therefore, pass from the law one iota or one tittle,”
neither from the right and good the mutual promises, nor from the crooked
and unjust the punishment assigned to them. “For the Lord doeth
good to the good, but those who turn aside into crooked ways God will
lead with the workers of iniquity.”3798
IV.—From the Books of the Hypotyposes.
Œcumenius from Book III. On 1 Cor. xi. 10.
“Because of the angels.” By the angels
he means righteous and virtuous men. Let her be veiled then, that she
may not lead them to stumble into fornication. For the real angels in
heaven see her though veiled.
“And if we have known Christ after the
flesh.” As “after the flesh” in our case is being
in the midst of sins, and being out of them is “not after the
flesh;” so also “after the flesh” in the case of Christ
was His subjection to natural affections, and His not being subject to
them is to be “not after the flesh.” But, he says, as He
was released, so also are we.
“Our heart is enlarged,” to teach you
all things. But ye are straitened in your own bowels, that is, in love
to God, in which ye ought to love me.
The Same, Book V. On Gal. v. 24.
“And they that are Christ’s [have
crucified] the flesh.” And why mention one aspect of virtue
after another? For there are some who have crucified themselves as
far as the passions are concerned, and the passions as far as respects
themselves. According to this interpretation the “and” is not
superfluous. “And they that are Christ’s”—that
is, striving after Him—“have crucified their own
Moschus: Spiritual Meadow, Book V. Chap. 176.
Yes, truly, the apostles were baptised, as Clement
the Stromatist relates in the fifth book of the Hypotyposes. For, in
explaining the apostolic statement, “I thank God that I baptised
none of you,” he says, Christ is said to have baptised Peter alone,
and Peter Andrew, and Andrew John, and they James and the rest.3799
| 3799 [See Kaye, p. 442, and the
eleventh chapter entire.]|
Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History, Book VI. II. 1.
Now Clement, writing in the sixth book of the
Hypotyposes, makes this statement. For he says that Peter and James and
John, after the Saviour’s ascension, though pre-eminently honoured
by the Lord, did not contend for glory, but made James the Just, bishop
Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History, II. 15.
So, then, through the visit of the divine word to
them, the power of Simon was extinguished, and immediately was destroyed
along with the man himself. And such a ray of godliness shone forth on
the minds of Peter’s hearers, that they were not satisfied with the
once hearing or with the unwritten teaching of the divine proclamation,
but with all manner of entreaties importuned Mark, to whom the Gospel is
ascribed, he being the companion of Peter, that he would leave in writing
a record of the teaching which had been delivered to them verbally;
and did not let the man alone till they prevailed upon him; and so to
them we owe the Scripture called the “Gospel by Mark.” On
learning what had been done, through the revelation of the Spirit, it
is said that the apostle was delighted with the enthusiasm of the men,
and sanctioned the composition for reading in the Churches. Clemens
gives the narrative in the sixth book of the Hypotyposes.
Then, also, as the divine Scripture says, Herod,
on the execution of James, seeing that what was done pleased the Jews,
laid hands also on Peter; and having put him in chains, would have
presently put him to death, had not an angel in a divine vision appeared
to him by night, and wondrously releasing him from his bonds, sent him
away to the ministry of preaching.
Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History, VI. 14.
And in the Hypotyposes, in a word, he has made
abbreviated narratives of the whole testamentary Scripture; and has
not passed over the disputed books,—I mean Jude and the rest of
the Catholic Epistles and Barnabas, and what is called the Revelation
of Peter. And he says that the Epistle to the Hebrews is Paul’s,
and was written to the Hebrews in the Hebrew language; but that Luke,
having carefully translated it, gave it to the Greeks, and hence the
same colouring in the expression is discoverable in this Epistle and
the Acts; and that the name “Paul an Apostle” was very
properly not prefixed, for, he says, that writing to the Hebrews, who
were prejudiced against him and suspected, he with great wisdom did not
repel them in the beginning by putting down his name.
Eusebius: Book VII.
1 Tim. ii. 6. “In his times;” that is,
when men were in a condition of fitness for faith.
1 Tim. iii. 16. “Was seen of angels.”
O mystery! The angels saw Christ while He was with us, not having seen
Him before. Not as by men.
1 Tim. v. 8. “And especially those of
his own house.” He provides for his own and those of his own
house, who not only provides for his relatives, but also for himself,
by extirpating the passions.
1 Tim. v. 10. “If she have washed the
feet of saints;” that is, if she has performed without shame the
meanest offices for the saints.
1 Tim. v. 21. “Without
that is, without falling under the doom and punishment of disobedience
through making any false step.
| 3800 προκρίματος,
“without preferring one before another.”—A.V.|
1 Tim. vi. 13. “Who witnessed before Pontius
Pilate.” For He testified by what he did that He was Christ the
Son of God.
2 Tim. ii. 2. “By many witnesses;”3801
that is, the law and the prophets. For
these the apostle made witnesses of his own preaching.
Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History, Book. VII. II. 1.
To James the Just, and John and Peter,
the Lord after His resurrection imparted knowledge (τὴν
γνῶσιν.) These imparted it to
the rest of the apostles, and the rest of the apostles to the Seventy,
of whom Barnabas was one.
Eusebius: the Same, II. 2.
And of this James, Clement also relates an anecdote
worthy of remembrance in the seventh book of the Hypotyposes, from a
tradition of his predecessors. He says that the man who brought him to
trial, on seeing him bear his testimony, was moved, and confessed that he
was a Christian himself. Accordingly, he says, they were both led away
together, and on the way the other asked James to forgive him. And he,
considering a little, said, “Peace be to thee” and kissed
him. And so both were beheaded together.
Eusebius: the Same, VI. 14.
And now, as the blessed Presbyter used to say, since
the Lord, as the Apostle of the Almighty, was sent to the Hebrews, Paul,
as having been sent to the Gentiles, did not subscribe himself apostle
of the Hebrews, out of modesty and reverence for the Lord, and because,
being the herald and apostle of the Gentiles, his writing to the Hebrews
was something over and above [his assigned function.]
Eusebius: the Same.
Again, in the same books Clement has set down a
tradition which he had received from the elders before him, in regard
to the order of the Gospels, to the following effect. He says that the
Gospels containing the genealogies were written first, and that the Gospel
according to Mark was composed in the following circumstances:—
Peter having preached the word publicly at Rome, and by the Spirit
proclaimed the Gospel, those who were present, who were numerous,
entreated Mark, inasmuch as he had attended him from an early period,
and remembered what had been said, to write down what had been spoken. On
his composing the Gospel, he handed it to those who had made the request
to him; which coming to Peter’s knowledge, he neither hindered nor
encouraged. But John, the last of all, seeing that what was corporeal
was set forth in the Gospels, on the entreaty of his intimate friends,
and inspired by the Spirit, composed a spiritual Gospel.
V.—From the Book on Providence.
S. Maximus, Vol. II. 114.
Being is in God. God is divine being, eternal
and without beginning, incorporeal and illimitable, and the cause of
what exists. Being is that which wholly subsists. Nature is the truth
of things, or the inner reality of them. According to others, it is the
production of what has come to existence; and according to others, again,
it is the providence of God, causing the being, and the manner of being,
in the things which are produced.
S. Maximus: in the Same, p. 152.
Willing is a natural power, which desires what is
in accordance with nature. Willing is a natural appetency, corresponding
with the nature of the rational creature. Willing is a natural spontaneous
movement of the self-determining mind, or the mind voluntarily moved about
anything. Spontaneity is the mind moved naturally, or an intellectual
self-determining movement of the soul.
VI.—From the Book on the Soul.
Maximus and Antonius Melissa.3802
| 3802 Sermon 53. On The Soul, p. 156. [Anton. Melissa, a Greek monk of the twelfth century, has left works not infrequently referred to by modern authors. Flourished a.d. 1140.]|
Souls that breathe free of all things, possess life,
and though separated from the body, and found possessed of a longing for
it, are borne immortal to the bosom of God: as in the winter season the
vapours of the earth attracted by the sun’s rays rise to him.
The Barocc. ms.3803
| 3803 143, fol. 181, p. 1, chapter On Care For The Soul.|
All souls are immortal, even those of the wicked,
for whom it were better that they were not deathless. For, punished with
the endless vengeance of quenchless fire, and not dying, it is impossible
for them to have a period put to their misery.
VII.—Fragment from the Book on Slander.
Antonius Melissa, Book. II. Sermon 69.3804
| 3804 On Slanderers and Insult. The evidence on which this is ascribed to Clement is very slender.|
Never be afraid of the slanderer who addresses
you. But rather say, Stop, brother; I daily commit more grievous errors,
and how can I judge him? For you will gain two things, healing with
one plaster both yourself and your neighbour. He shows what is really
evil. Whence, by these arguments, God has contrived to make each
one’s disposition manifest.
Antonius Melissa, Book I. Sermon 64, and Book II. Sermon 87. Also Maximus, Sermon 59, p. 669; John of Damascus, Book II.
It is not abstaining from deeds that justifies
the believer, but purity and sincerity of thoughts.
VIII.—Other Fragments from Antonius Melissa.
I.—Book I. Sermon 17, on Confession.
Repentance then becomes capable of wiping out every
sin, when on the occurrence of the soul’s fault it admits no delay,
and does not let the impulse pass on to a long space of time. For it
is in this way that evil will be unable to leave a trace in us, being
plucked away at the moment of its assault like a newly planted plant.
As the creatures called crabs are easy to catch,
from their going sometimes forward and sometimes backward; so also the
soul, which at one time is laughing, at another weeping, and at another
giving way to luxury, can do no good.
He who is sometimes grieving, and is sometimes
enjoying himself and laughing, is like a man pelting the dog of
voluptuousness with bread, who chases it in appearance, but in fact
invites it to remain near him.
2. Book I. Sermon 51, on Praise.
Some flatterers were congratulating a wise man. He
said to them, If you stop praising me, I think myself something great
after your departure; but if you do not stop praising me, I guess my
Feigned praise is worth less than true censure.
3. Book II. Sermon 46, on the Lazy and Indolent.
To the weak and infirm, what is moderate appears
4. Book II. Sermon 55, on Your Neighbour—That You are to Bear His Burdens, Etc.
The reproof that is given with knowledge is very
faithful. Sometimes also the knowledge of those who are condemned is
found to be the most perfect demonstration.
5. Book II. Sermon 74, on the Proud, and Those Desirous of Vainglory.
To the man who exalts and magnifies himself is
attached the quick transition and the fall to low estate, as the divine
6. Book II. Sermon 87.
Pure speech and a spotless life are the throne
and true temple of God.
Maximus, Sermon III. p. 538, on Modesty and Chastity. Also, John of Damascus, Book III.—Parallel Chap. 27.
It is not only fornication, but also the giving
in marriage prematurely, that is called fornication; when, so to speak,
one not of ripe age is given to a husband, either of her own accord or
by her parents.
X.—Fragments of Other Lost Books.
Maximus, Sermon 2.—John of Damascus, II. Chap. 70.—Antonius Melissa, Book I. Sermon 52.
Flattery is the bane of friendship. Most men are
accustomed to pay court to the good fortune of princes, rather than to
the princes themselves.
Maximus, Sermon 13, p. 574.—Antonius Melissa, Sermon 32, p. 45, and Sermon 33, p. 57.
The lovers of frugality shun luxury as the bane
of soul and body. The possession and use of necessaries has nothing
injurious in quality, but it has in quantity above measure. Scarcity of
food is a necessary benefit.
Maximus, Sermon 52, p. 654.—Antonius Melissa, Book I. Sermon 54.
The vivid remembrance of death is a check upon
diet; and when the diet is lessened, the passions are diminished along
Maximus, Sermon 55, p. 661.
Above all, Christians are not allowed to correct
with violence the delinquencies of sins. For it is not those that abstain
from wickedness from compulsion, but those that abstain from choice, that
God crowns. It is impossible for a man to be steadily good except by his
own choice. For he that is made good by compulsion of another is not good;
for he is not what he is by his own choice. For it is the freedom of each
one that makes true goodness and reveals real wickedness. Whence through
these dispositions God contrived to make His own disposition manifest.
XI.—Fragments Found in Greek Only in the Oxford Edition.
From the Last Work on the Passover. (Quoted in the Paschal Chronicle.)
Accordingly, in the years gone by, Jesus went to
eat the passover sacrificed by the Jews, keeping the feast. But when he
had preached He who was the Passover, the Lamb of God, led as a sheep
to the slaughter, presently taught His disciples the mystery of the
type on the thirteenth day, on which also they inquired, “Where
wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the passover?”3805
It was on this day, then, that both the consecration of the unleavened
bread and the preparation for the feast took place. Whence John naturally
describes the disciples as already previously prepared to have their
feet washed by the Lord. And on the following day our Saviour suffered,
He who was the Passover, propitiously sacrificed by the Jews.
Suitably, therefore, to the fourteenth day,
on which He also suffered, in the morning, the chief priests and the
scribes, who brought Him to Pilate, did not enter the Prætorium,
that they might not be defiled, but might freely eat the passover in
the evening. With this precise determination of the days both the whole
Scriptures agree, and the Gospels harmonize. The resurrection also attests
it. He certainly rose on the third day, which fell on the first day of
the weeks of harvest, on which the law prescribed that the priest should
offer up the sheaf.
Macarius Chrysocephalus: Parable of the Prodigal Son, Luke xv., Oration on Luke xv., Towards the Close.
1. What choral dance and high festival is held
in heaven, if there is one that has become an exile and a fugitive from
the life led under the Father, knowing not that those who put themselves
far from Him shall perish; if he
has squandered the gift, and substance, and inheritance of the Father;
if there is one whose faith has failed, and whose hope is spent, by
rushing along with the Gentiles into the same profligacy of debauchery;
and then, famished and destitute, and not even filled with what the
swine eat, has arisen and come to his Father!
But the kind Father waits not till the son comes
to Him. For perchance he would never be able or venture to approach,
did he not find Him gracious. Wherefore, when he merely wishing, when he
straightway made a beginning, when he took the first step, while he was
yet a great way off, He [the Father] was moved with compassion, and ran,
and fell upon his neck and kissed him. And then the son, taking courage,
confessed what he had done.
Wherefore the Father bestows on him the glory and
honour that was due and meet, putting on him the best robe, the robe of
immortality; and a ring, a royal signet and divine seal,—impress
of consecration, signature of glory, pledge of testimony (for it is
said, “He hath set to his seal that God is true,”)3806
and shoes, not those perishable ones which he hath set his foot on
holy ground is bidden take off, nor such as he who is sent to preach
the kingdom of heaven is forbidden to put on, but such as wear not,
and are suited for the journey to heaven, becoming and adorning the
heavenly path, such as unwashed feet never put on, but those which are
washed by our Teacher and Lord.
Many, truly, are the shoes of the sinful soul,
by which it is bound and cramped. For each man is cramped by the
cords of his own sins. Accordingly, Abraham swears to the king of
Sodom, “I will not take of all that is thine, from a thread to a
On account of these being defiled and polluted
on the earth, every kind of wrong and selfishness engrosses life. As
the Lord reproves Israel by Amos, saying, “For three iniquities of
Israel, yea, for four, I will not turn him back; because they have given
away the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes, which
tread upon the dust of the ground.”3808
2. Now the shoes which the Father bids the servant
give to the repentant son who has betaken himself to Him, do not impede
or drag to the earth (for the earthly tabernacle weighs down the anxious
mind); but they are buoyant, and ascending, and waft to heaven, and
serve as such a ladder and chariot as he requires who has turned his mind
towards the Father. For, beautiful after being first beautifully adorned
with all these things without, he enters into the gladness within. For
“Bring out” was said by Him who had first said, “While
he was yet a great way off, he ran and fell upon his neck.”
For it is here3809
that all the preparation for entrance to the marriage to
which we are invited must be accomplished. He, then, who has been made
ready to enter will say, “This my joy is fulfilled.”3810
We have ventured to substitute ἐνταῦθα
instead of ἐντεὺθεν.
He is showing that the preparation must be made before we go
But the unlovely and unsightly man will hear, “Friend, how
camest thou in here, without having a wedding garment?”3811
And the fat and unctuous food,—the delicacies abundant and sufficing
of the blessed,—the fatted calf is killed; which is also again
spoken of as a lamb (not literally); that no one may suppose it small;
but it is the great and greatest. For not small is “the Lamb of God
who taketh away the sin of the world,”3812
who “was led as a sheep
to the slaughter,” the sacrifice full of marrow, all whose fat,
according to the sacred law, was the Lord’s. For He was wholly
devoted and consecrated to the Lord; so well grown, and to such excessive
size, as to reach and extend over all, and to fill those who eat Him and
feed upon Him. For He is both flesh and bread, and has given Himself as
both to us to be eaten.
To the sons, then, who come to Him, the
Father gives the calf, and it is slain and eaten. But those who do
not come to Him He pursues and disinherits, and is found to be a
most powerful bull. Here, by reason of His size and prowess, it is
said of Him, “His glory is as that of an unicorn.”3813
And the prophet Habakkuk sees Him bearing horns, and celebrates
His defensive attitude—“horns in His hands.”3814
Wherefore the sign shows His power and authority,—horns that pierce
on both sides, or rather, on all sides, and through everything. And those
who eat are so strengthened, and retain such strength from the life-giving
food in them, that they themselves are stronger than their enemies, and
are all but armed with the horns of a bull; as it is said, “In
thee shall we butt our enemies.”3815
3. Gladness there is, and music, and dances;
although the elder son, who had ever been with and ever obedient to the
Father, takes it ill, when he who never had himself been dissipated or
profligate sees the guilty one made happy.
Accordingly the Father calls him, saying,
“Son, thou art ever with me.” And what greater joy and
feast and festivity can be than being continually with God, standing by
His side and serving Him? “And all that is mine is thine.”
And blessed is the heir of God, for whom the
Father holds possession,—the
faithful, to whom the whole world of possessions belongs.
“It was meet that we should be glad, and
rejoice; for thy brother was dead, and is alive again.” Kind Father,
who givest all things life, and raisest the dead. “And was lost,
and is found.” And “blessed is the man whom Thou hast chosen
and whom having sought, Thou dost find.
“Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, whose sins
It is for man to repent of sins; but let this
be accompanied with a change that will not be checked. For he who does
not act so shall be put to shame, because he has acted not with his
whole heart, but in haste.
And it is ours to flee to God. And let us
endeavour after this ceaselessly and energetically. For He says,
“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will
give you rest.”3818
And prayer and confession with humility are
voluntary acts. Wherefore it is enjoined, “First tell thy sins,
that thou mayest be justified.”3819
What afterwards we shall
obtain, and what we shall be, it is not for us to judge.
4. Such is the strict meaning of the parable.3820
The repentant son came to the pitying Father, never hoping for these
things,—the best robe, and the ring, and the shoes,—or
to taste the fatted calf, or to share in gladness, or enjoy music and
dances; but he would have been contented with obtaining what in his own
estimation he deemed himself worth. “Make me,” he had made
up his mind to say, “as one of thy hired servants.” But when
he saw the Father’s welcome meeting him, he did not say this,
but said what he had in his mind to say first, “Father, I have
sinned against Heaven, and before thee.” And so both his humility
and his accusation became the cause of justification and glory. For the
righteous man condemns himself in his first words. So also the publican
departed justified rather than the Pharisee. The son, then, knew not
either what he was to obtain, or how to take or use or put on himself
the things given him; since he did not take the robe himself, and put
it on. But it is said, “Put it on him.” He did not himself
put the ring on his finger, but those who were bidden “Put a ring
on his hand.” Nor did he put the shoes on himself, but it was they
who heard, “and shoes on his feet.”
| 3820 Here Grabe notes that what
follows is a new exposition of the parable, and is by another and a later
hand, as is shown by the refutation of Novatus towards the end.|
And these things were perhaps incredible to him
and to others, and unexpected before they took place; but gladly received
and praised were the gifts with which he was presented.
5. The parable exhibits this thought, that the
exercise of the faculty of reason has been accorded to each man. Wherefore
the prodigal is introduced, demanding from his father his portion,
that is, of the state of mind, endowed by reason. For the possession
of reason is granted to all, in order to the pursuit of what is good,
and the avoidance of what is bad. But many who are furnished by God
with this make a bad use of the knowledge that has been given them,
and land in the profligacy of evil practices, and wickedly waste the
substance of reason,—the eye on disgraceful sights, the tongue
on blasphemous words, the smell on fœtid licentious excesses of
pleasures, the mouth on swinish gluttony, the hands on thefts, the feet on
running into plots, the thoughts on impious counsels, the inclinations on
indulgence on the love of ease, the mind on brutish pastime. They preserve
nothing of the substance of reason unsquandered. Such an one, therefore,
Christ represents in the parable,—as a rational creature, with his
reason darkened, and asking from the Divine Being what is suitable to
reason; then as obtaining from God, and making a wicked use of what had
been given, and especially of the benefits of baptism, which had been
vouchsafed to him; whence also He calls him a prodigal; and then, after
the dissipation of what had been given him, and again his restoration
by repentance, [He represents] the love of God shown to him.
6. For He says, “Bring hither the fatted calf,
kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son”—a
name of nearest relationship, and significative of what is given to the
faithful—“was dead and lost,”—an expression of
extremest alienation; for what is more alien to the living than the lost
and dead? For neither can be possessed any more. But having from the
nearest relationship fallen to extremest alienation, again by repentance
he returned to near relationship. For it is said, “Put on him
the best robe,” which was his the moment he obtained baptism. I
mean the glory of baptism, the remission of sins, and the communication
of the other blessings, which he obtained immediately he had touched
“And put a ring on his hand.” Here
is the mystery of the Trinity; which is the seal impressed on those
“And put shoes on his feet,”
for “the preparation of the Gospel of peace,”3821
and the whole course that leads to good actions.
7. But whom Christ finds lost, after sin committed
since baptism, those Novatus, enemy of God, resigns to destruction. Do not
let us then reckon any fault if we repent; guarding against falling, let
us, if we have fallen, retrace our steps. And while dreading to offend,
let us, after offending,
avoid despair, and be eager to be
confirmed; and on sinking, let us haste to rise up again. Let us obey the
Lord, who calls to us, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour, and I will
give you rest.”3822
Let us employ the gift of reason for actions
of prudence. Let us learn now abstinence from what is wicked, that
we may not be forced to learn in the future. Let us employ life as a
training school for what is good; and let us be roused to the hatred
of sin. Let us bear about a deep love for the Creator; let us cleave
to Him with our whole heart; let us not wickedly waste the substance
of reason, like the prodigal. Let us obtain the joy laid up, in which
Paul exulting, exclaimed, “Who shall separate us from the love
To Him belongs glory and honour, with the
Father and the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.
Therefore God does not here take the semblance
of man, but of a dove, because He wished to show the simplicity and
gentleness of the new manifestation of the Spirit by the likeness of the
dove. For the law was stern, and punished with the sword; but grace is
joyous, and trains by the word of meekness. Hence the Lord also says
to the apostles, who said that He should punish with fire those who
would not receive Him, after the manner of Elias: “Ye know not
what manner of spirit ye are of.”3824
From the Same.—Book XIII. Chap. IX.
Possibly by the “iota and the tittle”
His righteousness exclaims, “If ye come right to me, I also will
come right to you; if ye walk crooked, I also will walk crooked, saith the
Lord of hosts,”3825
alluding to the offences of sinners under
the name of crooked ways. For the straight way, and that according to
nature, which is pointed out by the iota of Jesus, is His goodness,
which is immoveable towards those who have obediently believed. There
shall not then pass away from the law neither the iota nor the tittle;
that is, neither the promise that applies to the straight in the way,
nor the punishment threatened against those that diverge. For the
Lord is good to the straight in the way; but “those that turn
aside after their crooked ways He shall lead forth with those that
“And with the innocent He is innocent,
and with the froward He is froward;”3827
and to the crooked He sends
His own luminous image God impressed as with a seal, even
the greatest,—on man made in His likeness, that he might be ruler
and lord over all things, and that all things might serve him. Wherefore
God judges man to be wholly His, and His own image. He is invisible;
but His image, man, is visible. Whatever one, then, does to man, whether
good or bad, is referred to Himself. Wherefore from Him judgment shall
proceed, appointing to all according to desert; for He will avenge His
XII.—Fragments Not Given in the Oxford Edition.
1. In Anastasius Sinaita, Quest. 96.
As it is possible even now for man to form men,
according to the original formation of Adam, He no longer now creates, on
account of His having granted once for all to man the power of generating
men, saying to our nature, “Increase, and multiply, and replenish
So also, by His omnipotent and omniscient power, He
arranged that the dissolution and death of our bodies should be effected
by a natural sequence and order, through the change of their elements,
in accordance with His divine knowledge and comprehension.
2. Joannes Veccus, Patriarch of Constantinople, on the Procession of the Spirit. In Leo Allatius, Vol. I. p. 248.
Further, Clement the Stromatist, in the various
definitions which he framed, that they might guide the man desirous of
studying theology in every dogma of religion, defining what spirit is,
and how it is called spirit, says: “Spirit is a substance, subtle,
immaterial, and which issues forth without form.”
3. From the Unpublished Disputation Against Iconoclasts, of Nicephorus of Constantinople; Edited in Greek and Latin by Le Nourry in His Apparatus to the Library of the Fathers, Vol. I. p. 1334 a.b. From Clement the Presbyter of Alexandria’s Book Against Judaizers.
Solomon the son of David, in the books styled
“The Reigns of the Kings,” comprehending not only that the
structure of the true temple was celestial and spiritual, but had also a
reference to the flesh, which He who was both the son and Lord of David
was to build up, both for His own presence, where, as a living image,
He resolved to make His shrine, and for the church that was to rise
up through the union of faith, says expressly, “Will God in very
deed dwell with men on the earth?”3829
He dwells on the earth clothed in flesh, and
His abode with men is effected by the conjunction and harmony which
obtains among the righteous, and which build and rear a new temple. For
the righteous are the earth, being still encompassed with the earth;
and earth, too, in comparison with the greatness of the Lord. Thus
also the blessed Peter hesitates not to say, “Ye also, as living
stones, are built up, a spiritual house, a holy temple, to offer up
spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”3830
And with reference to the body, which by
circumscription He consecrated as a hallowed place for Himself upon earth,
He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up
again. The Jews therefore said, In forty-six years was this temple built,
and wilt thou raise it up in three days? But He spake of the temple
of His body.”3831
4. From ms. Marked 2431 in the Library of the Most Christian King.—Ibid. p. 1336 a. From the Very Holy and Blessed Clement, Presbyter of Alexandria, the Stromatist’s Book on Providence.
What is God? “God,” as the Lord saith,
“is a Spirit.” Now spirit is properly substance, incorporeal,
and uncircumscribed. And that is incorporeal which does not consist
of a body, or whose existence is not according to breadth, length,
and depth. And that is uncircumscribed3832
which has no place, which is wholly in all,
and in each entire, and the same in itself.
| 3832 With an exclamation of surprise at the Latin
translator giving a translation which is utterly unintelligible,
Capperonn amends the text, substituting
οὐδεὶς τῷ, etc., for
τό, etc., and translates accordingly. The
emendation is adopted, with the exception of the τῷ, instead of which
5. From the Same ms.—Ibid. 1335 D.
(nature) is so called from τὸ
be born). The first substance is everything which subsists by itself,
as a stone is called a substance. The second is a substance capable of
increase, as a plant grows and decays. The third is animated and sentient
substance, as animal, horse. The fourth is animate, sentient, rational
substance, as man. Wherefore each one of us is made as consisting of all,
having an immaterial soul and a mind, which is the image of God.
6. In John of Damascus—Parallel—Vol. II. p. 307.
The fear of God, who is impassible, is free
of perturbation. For it is not God that one dreads, but the falling
away from God. He who dreads this, dreads falling into what is evil,
and dreads what is evil. And he that fears a fall wishes himself to be
immortal and passionless.
7. The Same, p. 341.
Let there be a law against those who dare to look
at things sacred and divine irreverently, and in a way unworthy of God,
to inflict on them the punishment of blindness.
8. The Same, p. 657.
Universally, the Christian is friendly to solitude,
and quiet, and tranquillity, and peace.
9. From the Catena on the Pentateuch, Published in Latin by Francis Zephyrus, p. 146.
That mystic name which is called the
Tetragrammaton, by which alone they who had access to the Holy of
Holies were protected, is pronounced Jehovah, which means, “Who
is, and who shall be.” The candlestick which stood at the south
of the altar signified the seven planets, which seem to us to revolve
around the meridian,3833
on either side of which rise three branches; since the sun also like the
lamp, balanced in the midst of the planets by divine wisdom, illumines
by its light those above and below. On the other side of the altar was
situated the table on which the loaves were displayed, because from that
quarter of the heaven vital and nourishing breezes blow.
See Stromata, book v. chap. vi. p. 452,
which is plainly the source from which this extract is taken.|
10. From J. A. Cramer’s Catenæ Græcorum Patrum in Nov. Test. Oxford 1840 Vol. III.
On Acts vii. 24. The mystics say that it was by his
word alone that Moses slew the Egyptian; as certainly afterwards it is
related in the Acts that [Peter] slew with his word those who kept back
part of the price of the land, and lied.
II. The Same, Vol. IV. p. 291.
On Rom. viii. 38. “Or life, that of our
present existence,” and “death,”—that caused
by the assault of persecutors, and “angels, and principalities,
and powers,” apostate spirits.
12. p. 369, Chap. x. 3.
And having neither known nor done the requirement
of the law, what they conceived, that they also thought that the law
required. And they did not believe the law, as prophesying, but the
bare word; and followed it from fear, but not with their disposition
and in faith.
13. Vol. VI. p. 385.
On 2 Cor. v. 16. “And if we have known
Christ after the flesh.”
And so far, he says, no one any longer lives after
the flesh. For that is not life, but death. For Christ also, that He might
ceased to live after the flesh. How? Not by putting off the body! Far
be it! For with it as His own He shall come, the Judge of all. But by
divesting Himself of physical affections, such as hunger, and thirst,
and sleep, and weariness. For now He has a body incapable of suffering
and of injury.
| 3834 We omit ὅτι,
which the text has after δείξῃ, which seems
to indicate the omission of a clause, but as it stands is superfluous. The
Latin translator retains it; and according to the rendering, the
translation would be, “showed that He ceased.”|
As “after the flesh” in our case is
being in the midst of sins, and being out of them is to be “not
after the flesh;” so also after the flesh, in the case of Christ,
was His subjection to natural affections, and not to be subject to
them was not to be “after the flesh.” “But,”
he says, “as He was released, so also are we.”3835
Let there be no longer, he says,
subjection to the influences of the flesh. Thus Clement, the fourth book
of the Hypotyposes.
| 3835 This extract, down to
“are we,” has already been given among the extracts from the
Hypotyposes, p. 578.|
14. From the Same, p. 391.
On 2 Cor. vi. 11. “Our heart is
For as heat is wont to expand, so also love. For
love is a thing of warmth. As if he would say, I love you not only with
mouth, but with heart, and have you all within. Wherefore he says:
“ye are not straitened in us, since desire itself expands the
soul.” “Our heart is enlarged” to teach you all things;
“but ye are straitened in your own bowels,” that is, in love
to God, in which you ought to love me.
Thus Clement, in the fourth book of the
15. From Vol. III. V. 286.
Heb. i. 1. “At sundry times and divers
Since the Lord, being the Apostle of the Almighty,
was sent to the Hebrews, it was out of modesty that Paul did not subscribe
himself apostle of the Hebrews, from reverence for the Lord, and because
he was the herald and apostle of the Gentiles, and wrote the Epistle to
the Hebrews in addition [to his proper work].3836
| 3836 This extract, almost verbatim, has been already
given from Eusebius, among the extracts from the Hypotyposes,
16. From the Same.
The same work contains a passage from The
Instructor, book i. chap. vi.3837
The passage is that beginning, “For
the blood is found to be,” down to “potent charms of
affection.” Portions, however, are omitted. There are a good many
various readings; but although the passage in question, as found in
Cramer’s work, is printed in full in Migne’s edition, on the
alleged ground of the considerable variation from the text of Clement,
the variation is not such as to make a translation of the passage as
found in Cramer of any special interest or value.
| 3837 See p. 219, and the argument following,
We have noted the following readings:—
where, the verb being omitted, we have inserted is: There is an
tubes, instead of σήραγγας
(hollows), hollows of the breasts.
interruption (such as this).
occurs as in the text, for which
the emendation ἀπολήρησις,
as specified in the note, has been adopted.
ἐστί, omitted here, which is “sweet
through grace,” is supplied.
milk, instead of μάννα, manna,
(that food) manna.
(but it is necessary to consider nature), for οὐ
τ. φ., through
want of consideration of nature.
agreeing with food, for κατακλειομένω,
agreeing with heat (enclosed within).
for γὰρ (which is untranslated),
(the blood) is (a preparation) for milk.
is supplied, and εἰκότως
omitted in the clause, Paul using appropriate figurative language.
is supplied before ἀλλὰ τὸ
έν αὐτῇ, and the blood in it,
etc., is omitted.
“For Diogenes Apolloniates
will have it” is omitted.
“in all respects,” is connected with the preceding
τοίνυν, for Ὡς δ᾽.
And that (milk is produced).
in the clause, “and the
grass and meadows are juicy and
moist,” not translated.
above mentioned (milk), omitted.
omitted before γλυκεῖ,
sweet (wine), and καθάπερ,
“as, when suffering.”
λιπαρόν for τῷ
in the sentence: “Further, many use the fat of milk, called butter,
for the lamp, plainly,” etc.
[Le Nourry decides that the Adumbrations
were not translated from the Hypotyposes, but Kaye (p. 473)
thinks on insufficient grounds. See, also (p. 5), Kaye’s learned
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