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  • Sec. I.—On the Two Ways,—The Way of Life and the Way of Death

    Sec. I.—On the Two Ways,3343

    3343 [See pp. 377, etc., supra]  

    —The Way of Life and the Way of Death.

    That There are Two Ways,—The One Natural, of Life, and the Other Introduced Afterwards, of Death; And that the Former is from God, and the Latter of Error, from the Snares of the Adversary.

    I. The lawgiver Moses said to the Israelites, “Behold, I have set before your face the way of life and the way of death;”3344

    3344 Deut. xxx. 15  

    and added, “Choose life, that thou mayest live.”3345

    3345 Deut. xxx. 19  

    Elijah the prophet also said to the people: “How long will you halt with both your legs? If the Lord be God, follow Him.”3346

    3346 1 Kings xviii. 21.  

    The Lord Jesus also said justly: “No one can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.”3347

    3347 Matt. vi. 24.  

    We also, following our teacher Christ, “who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe,”3348

    3348 1 Tim. iv. 10.  

    are obliged to say that there are two ways—the one of life, the other of death;3349

    3349 [See Teaching, i. 1.—R.]  

    which have no comparison one with another, for they are very different,3350

    3350 [Teaching, i. 1.—R.]  

    or rather entirely separate; and the way of life is that of nature, but that of death was afterwards introduced,—it not being according to the mind of God, but from the snares of the adversary.3351

    3351 The Greek words properly mean: “Introduced was the way of death; not of that death which exists according to the mind of God, but that which has arisen from the plots of the adversary.”  


    Moral Exhortations of the Lord’s Constitutions Agreeing with the Ancient Prohibitions of the Divine Laws. The Prohibition of Anger, Spite, Corruption, Adultery, and Every Forbidden Action.

    II. The first way, therefore, is that of life; and is this,3352

    3352 [The larger half of chap. i., Teaching, is found in the first half of this chapter; but the matter peculiar to each is of about the same extent.—R.]  

    which the law also does appoint: “To love the Lord God with all thy mind, and with all thy soul, who is the one and only God, besides whom there is no other;”3353

    3353 Deut. vi. 5; Mark xii. 32  

    “and thy neighbour as thyself.”3354

    3354 Lev. xix. 18  

    And whatsoever thou wouldest not should be done to thee, that do not thou to another.”3355

    3355 Tob. iv. 15.  

    Bless them that curse you; pray for them that despitefully use you.”3356

    3356 Matt. v. 44.  

    Love your enemies; for what thanks is it if ye love those that love you? for even the Gentiles do the same.”3357

    3357 Luke vi. 32; Matt. v. 46, 47.  

    “But do ye love those that hate you, and ye shall have no enemy.” For says He, “Thou shalt not hate any man; no, not an Egyptian, nor an Edomite;”3358

    3358 Deut. xxiii. 7  

    for they are all the workmanship of God. Avoid not the persons, but the sentiments, of the wicked. “Abstain from fleshly and worldly lusts.”3359

    3359 1 Pet. ii. 11  

    “If any one gives thee a stroke on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”3360

    3360 Matt. v. 39; Luke vi. 29  

    Not that revenge is evil, but that patience is more honourable. For David says, “If I have made returns to them that repaid me evil.”3361

    3361 Ps. vii. 4.  

    “If any one compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”3362

    3362 Matt. v. 41.  

    And, “He that will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.”3363

    3363 Matt. v. 40; Luke vi. 29.  

    “And from him that taketh thy goods, require them not again.”3364

    3364 Luke vi. 30.  

    “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee do not shut thy hand.”3365

    3365 Matt. v. 42.  

    For “the righteous man is pitiful, and lendeth.”3366

    3366 Ps. cxii. 5.  

    For your Father would have you give to all, who Himself “maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth His rain on the just and on the unjust.”3367

    3367 Matt. v. 45.  

    It is therefore reasonable to give to all out of thine own labours; for says He, “Honour the Lord out of thy righteous labours,”3368

    3368 Prov. iii. 9  

    but so that the saints be preferred.3369

    3369 Gal. vi. 10  

    “Thou shalt not kill;”3370

    3370 [Ex. xx. 13 Five brief precepts, of which this is the first, are common to Teaching, ii. 2, and the rest of this chapter.—R.]  

    that is, thou shalt not destroy a man like thyself: for thou dissolvest what was well made. Not as if all killing were wicked, but only that of the innocent: but the killing which is just is reserved to the magistrates alone. “Thou shalt not commit adultery:” for thou dividest one flesh into two. “They two shall be one flesh:”3371

    3371 Gen. ii. 24.  

    for the husband and wife are one in nature, in consent, in union, in disposition, and the conduct of life; but they are separated in sex and number. “Thou shall not corrupt boys:”3372

    3372 Lev. xviii. 22.  

    for this wickedness is contrary to nature, and arose from Sodom, which was therefore entirely consumed with fire sent from God.3373

    3373 Gen. xix.  

    “Let such a one be accursed: and all the people shall say, So be it.”3374

    3374 Deut. xxvii.  

    “Thou shall not commit fornication:” for says He, “There shall not be a fornicator among the children of Israel.”3375

    3375 Deut. xxiii. 17.  

    “Thou shalt not steal:” for Achan, when he had stolen in Israel at Jericho, was stoned to death;3376

    3376 Josh. vii.  

    and Gehazi, who stole, and told a lie, inherited the leprosy of Naaman;3377

    3377 2 Kings v.  

    and Judas, who stole the poor’s money, betrayed the Lord of glory to the Jews,3378

    3378 John xii. 6.  

    and repented, and hanged himself, and burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out;3379

    3379 Matt. xxvii. 5; Acts i. 18.  

    and Ananias, and Sapphira his wife, who stole their own goods, and “tempted the Spirit of the Lord,” were immediately, at the sentence of Peter our fellow-apostle, struck dead.3380

    3380 Acts v.  


    The Prohibition of Conjuring, Murder of Infants, Perjury, and False Witness.

    III. Thou shalt not use magic.3381

    3381 [Seven brief clauses of Teaching, ii. 2, 3, are found in this chapter.—R.]  

    Thou shalt not use witchcraft; for He says, “Ye shall not suffer a witch to live.”3382

    3382 Ex. xxii. 18  

    Thou shall not slay thy child by causing abortion, nor kill that which is begotten; for “everything that is shaped, and has received a soul from God, if it be slain, shall be avenged, as being unjustly destroyed.”3383

    3383 Ex. xxi. 23., LXX.  

    “Thou shalt not covet the things that belong to thy neighbour, as his wife, or his servant, or his ox, or his field.” “Thou shalt not forswear thyself; for it is said, “Thou shalt not swear at all.”3384

    3384 Matt. v. 34.  

    But if that cannot be avoided, thou shalt swear truly; for “every one that swears by Him shall be commended.”3385

    3385 Ps. lxiii. 11.  

    “Thou shalt not bear false witness;” for “he that falsely accuses the needy provokes to anger Him that made him.”3386

    3386 Prov. xiv. 31.  


    The Prohibition of Evil-Speaking and Passion, of Deceitful Conduct, or Idle Words, Lies, Covetousness, and Hypocrisy.

    IV. Thou shall not speak evil;3387

    3387 [Chap. iv. also contains seven clauses found in Teaching (ii. 3–6), while chap. v. has but five and a verbal resemblance; chap. ii. of the Teaching is, however, almost entirely given in these passages.—R.]  

    for says He, “Love not to speak evil, lest thou beest taken away.” Nor shalt thou be mindful of injuries; for “the ways of those that remember injuries are unto death.”3388

    3388 Prov. xii. 28., LXX.  

    Thou shall not be double-minded nor double-tongued; for “a man’s own lips are a strong snare to him,”3389

    3389 Prov. vi. 2.  

    and “a talkative person shall not be prospered upon earth.”3390

    3390 Ps. cxl. 11.  

    Thy words shall not be vain; for “ye shall give an account of every idle word.”3391

    3391 Matt. xii. 36; Lev. xix. 11.  

    Thou shalt not tell lies: for says He, “Thou shalt destroy all those that speak lies.”3392

    3392 Ps. v. 6.  

    Thou shalt not be covetous nor rapacious: for says He, “Woe to him that is covetous towards his neighbour with an evil covetousness.”3393

    3393 Hab. ii. 9.  


    The Prohibition of Malignity, Acceptation of Persons, Wrath, Malice, and Envy.

    V. Thou shalt not be an hypocrite, lest thy “portion be with them.”3394

    3394 Matt. xxiv. 51  

    Thou shalt not be ill-natured nor proud: for “God resisteth the proud.”3395

    3395 1 Pet. v. 5  

    “Thou shalt not accept persons in judgment; for the judgment is the Lord’s.” “Thou shalt not hate any man; thou shalt surely reprove thy brother, and not become guilty on his account;”3396

    3396 Deut. i. 17; Lev. xix. 17  

    and, “Reprove a wise man, and he will love thee.”3397

    3397 Prov. ix. 8  

    Eschew all evil, and all that is like it: for says He, “Abstain from injustice, and trembling shall not come nigh thee.”3398

    3398 Isa. liv. 14  

    Be not soon angry, nor spiteful, nor passionate, nor furious, nor daring, lest thou undergo the fate of Cain, and of Saul, and of Joab: for the first of these slew his brother Abel, because Abel was found to be preferred before him with God, and because Abel’s sacrifice was preferred;3399

    3399 Gen. iv  

    the second persecuted holy David, who had slain Goliah the Philistine, being envious of the praises of the women who danced;3400

    3400 1 Sam. xvii., xviii  

    the third slew two generals of armiesAbner of Israel, and Amasa of Judah.3401

    3401 2 Sam. iii., xx  


    Concerning Augury and Enchantments.

    VI. Be not a diviner, for that leads to idolatry;3402

    3402 [Chaps. vi.-viii. contain passages parallel to nearly one-half of chap. iii., Teaching, and in the same order.—R.]  

    for says Samuel, “Divination is sin;”3403

    3403 1 Sam. xv. 23.  

    and, “There shall be no divination in Jacob, nor soothsaying in Israel.”3404

    3404 Num. xxiii. 23.  

    Thou shalt not use enchantments or purgations for thy child. Thou shall not be a soothsayer nor a diviner by great or little birds. Nor shalt thou learn wicked arts; for all these things has the law forbidden.3405

    3405 Lev. xix. 26; 31; Deut. xviii. 10, 11.  

    Be not one that wishes for evil, for thou wilt be led into intolerable sins. Thou shalt not speak obscenely, nor use wanton glances, nor be a drunkard; for from such causes arise whoredoms and adulteries. Be not a lover of money, lest thou “serve mammon instead of God.”3406

    3406 Matt. vi. 24.  

    Be not vainglorious, nor haughty, nor high-minded. For from all these things arrogance does spring. Remember him who said: “Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: I have not exercised myself in great matters, nor in things too high for me; but I was humble.”3407

    3407 Ps. cxxxi. 1.  


    The Prohibition of Murmuring, Insolence, Pride, and Arrogance.

    VII. Be not a murmurer, remembering the punishment which those underwent who murmured against Moses. Be not self-willed, be not malicious, be not hard-hearted, be not passionate, be not mean-spirited; for all these things lead to blasphemy. But be meek, as were Moses and David,3408

    3408 Num. xii. 3; Ps. cxxxi. 1.  

    since “the meek shall inherit the earth.”3409

    3409 Matt. v. 5.  


    Concerning Long-Suffering, Simplicity, Meekness, and Patience.

    VIII. Be slow to wrath; for such a one is very prudent, since “he that is hasty of spirit is a very fool.”3410

    3410 Prov. xiv. 29., LXX.  

    Be merciful; for “blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”3411

    3411 Matt. v. 7.  

    Be sincere, quiet, good, “trembling at the word of God.”3412

    3412 Isa. lxvi. 2.  

    Thou shalt not exalt thyself, as did the Pharisee; for “every one that exalteth himself shall be abased,”3413

    3413 Luke xviii. 14.  

    and “that which is of high esteem with man is abomination with God.”3414

    3414 Luke xvi. 15.  

    Thou shalt not entertain confidence in thy soul; for “a confident man shall fall into mischief.”3415

    3415 Prov. xiii. 17., LXX.  

    Thou shalt not go along with the foolish, but with the wise and righteous; for “he that walketh3416

    3416 The words from “for he that walketh” to “be known” are omitted in one V. ms.  

    with wise men shall be wise, but he that walketh with the foolish shall be known.”3417

    3417 Prov. xiii. 20.  

    Receive the afflictions that fall upon thee with an even mind, and the chances of life without over-much sorrow, knowing that a reward shall be given to thee by God, as was given to Job and to Lazarus.3418

    3418 Job xlii.; Luke xvi.  


    That It is Our Duty to Esteem Our Christian Teachers Above Our Parents—The Former Being the Means of Our Well-Being, the Other Only of Our Being.

    IX. Thou shalt honour him that speaks to thee the word of God, and be mindful of him day and night; and thou shalt reverence him,3419

    3419 [Chaps. ix.-xvii. contain nearly every clause of Teaching, chap. iv., in the same order, and with every appearance of a designed enlargement of that passage.—R.]  

    not as the author of thy birth, but as one that is made the occasion of thy well-being. For where the doctrine concerning God is, there God is present. Thou shalt every day seek the face of the saints, that thou mayest acquiesce in their words.  

    That We Ought Not to Divide Ourselves from the Saints, But to Make Peace Between Those that Quarrel, to Judge Righteously, and Not to Accept Persons.

    X. Thou shalt not make schisms among the saints, but be mindful of the followers of Corah.3420

    3420 Num. xvi  

    Thou shalt make peace between those that are at variance, as Moses did when he persuaded them to be friends.3421

    3421 Ex. ii. 13  

    Thou shalt judge righteously; for “the judgment is the Lord’s.”3422

    3422 Deut. i. 17  

    Thou shalt not accept persons when thou reprovest for sins; but do as Elijah and Micaiah did to Ahab, and Ebedmelech the Ethiopian to Zedekiah, and Nathan to David, and John to Herod.3423

    3423 1 Kings xviii., xxi., xxii.; 2 Sam. xii.; Matt. xiv.  


    Concerning Him that is Double-Minded and Desponding.

    XI. Be not of a doubtful mind in thy prayer, whether it shall be granted or no. For the Lord said to me Peter upon the sea: “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”3424

    3424 Matt. xiv. 31.  

    “Be not thou ready to stretch out thy hand to receive, and to shut it when thou shouldst give.”3425

    3425 Ecclus. iv. 31.  


    Concerning Doing Good.

    XII. If thou hast by the work of thy hands, give, that thou mayest labour for the redemption of thy sins; for “by alms and acts of faith sins are purged away.”3426

    3426 Prov. xvi. 6; Dan. iv. 27.  

    Thou shalt not grudge to give to the poor, nor when thou hast given shalt thou murmur; for thou shalt know who will repay thee thy reward. For says he: “He that hath mercy on the poor man lendeth to the Lord; according to his gift, so shall it be repaid him again.”3427

    3427 Prov. xix. 17.  

    Thou shalt not turn away from him that is needy; for says he: “He that stoppeth his ears, that he may not hear the cry of the needy, himself also shall call, and there shall be none to hear him.”3428

    3428 Prov. xxi. 13.  

    Thou shall communicate in all things to thy brother, and shall not say thy goods are thine own; for the common participation of the necessaries of life is appointed to all men by God. Thou shalt not take off thine hand from thy son or from thy daughter, but shalt teach them the fear of God from their youth; for says he: “Correct thy son, so shall he afford thee good hope.”3429

    3429 Prov. xix. 18.  


    How Masters Ought to Behave Themselves to Their Servants, and How Servants Ought to Be Subject.

    XIII. Thou shall not command thy man-servant, or thy maid-servant, who trust in the same God, with bitterness of soul, lest they groan against thee, and wrath be upon thee from God. And, ye servants, “be subject to your masters,”3430

    3430 Eph vi. 5.  

    as to the representatives of God, with attention and fear, “as to the Lord, and not to men.”3431

    3431 Eph. vi. 7.  


    Concerning Hypocrisy, and Obedience to the Laws, and Confession of Sins.

    XIV. Thou shalt hate all hypocrisy; and whatsoever is pleasing to the Lord, that shalt thou do. By no means forsake the commands of the Lord. But thou shalt observe what things thou hast received from Him, neither adding to them nor taking away from them. “For thou shalt not add unto His words, lest He convict thee, and thou becomest a liar.”3432

    3432 Prov. xxx. 6.  

    Thou shalt confess thy sins unto the Lord thy God; and thou shalt not add unto them, that it may be well with thee from the Lord thy God, who willeth not the death of a sinner, but his repentance.  

    Concerning the Observance Due to Parents.

    XV. Thou shalt be observant to thy father and mother as the causes of thy being born, that thou mayest live long on the earth which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Do not overlook thy brethren or thy kinsfolk; for “thou shalt not overlook those nearly related to thee.”3433

    3433 Isa. lviii. 7.  


    Concerning the Subjection Due to the King and to Rulers.

    XVI. Thou shalt fear the king, knowing that his appointment is of the Lord. His rulers thou shalt honour as the ministers of God, for they are the revengers of all unrighteousness; to whom pay taxes, tribute, and every oblation with a willing mind.  

    Concerning the Pure Conscience of Those that Pray.

    XVII. Thou shalt not proceed to thy prayer in the day of thy wickedness, before thou hast laid aside thy bitterness. This is the way of life, in which may ye be found, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  

    That the Way Which Was Afterward Introduced by the Snares of the Adversary is Full of Impiety and Wickedness.

    XVIII. But the way of death3434

    3434 [For the remarkable agreement of this chapter with Teaching, chap. v., see the latter; comp. also Barnabas, xx.—R.]  

    is known by its wicked practices: for therein is the ignorance of God, and the introduction of many evils, and disorders, and disturbances; whereby come murders, adulteries, fornications, perjuries, unlawful lusts, thefts, idolatries, magic arts, witchcrafts, rapines, false-witnesses, hypocrisies, double-heartedness, deceit, pride, malice, insolence, covetousness, obscene talk, jealousy, confidence, haughtiness, arrogance, impudence, persecution of the good, enmity to truth, love of lies, ignorance of righteousness. For they who do such things do not adhere to goodness, or to righteous judgment: they watch not for good, but for evil; from whom meekness and patience are far off, who love vain things, pursuing after reward, having no pity on the poor, not labouring for him that is in misery, nor knowing Him that made them; murderers of infants, destroyers of the workmanship of God, that turn away from the needy, adding affliction to the afflicted, the flatterers of the rich, the despisers of the poor, full of sin. May you, children, be delivered from all these.  

    That We Must Not Turn from the Way of Piety Either to the Right Hand or to the Left. An Exhortation of the Lawgiver.

    XIX. See that no one seduce thee3435

    3435 [Chaps. xix.-xxi. have few parallels with the Teaching.—R.]  

    from piety; for says He: “Thou mayst not turn aside from it to the right hand, or to the left, that thou mayst have understanding in all that thou doest.”3436

    3436 Deut. v. 32  

    For if thou dost not turn out of the right way, thou wilt not be ungodly.  


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