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The Martyrdom of Polycarp

The Martyrdom of Polycarp, Bishop at Smyrna and Holy Martyr

The Church of God which sojourns at Smyrna, to the Church of God sojourning in Philomelium, and to all the congregations of the Holy and Catholic Church in every place: Mercy, peace, and love from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, be multiplied.

Chapter I.  Subject of which we write.

We have written to you, brethren, as to what relates to the martyrs, and especially to the blessed Polycarp, who put an end to the persecution, having, as it were, set a seal upon it by his martyrdom. For almost all the events that happened previously [to this one], took place that the Lord might show us from above a martyrdom becoming the Gospel. For he waited to be delivered up, even as the Lord had done, that we also might become his followers, while we look not merely at what concerns ourselves but have regard also to our neighbors. For it is the part of a true and well-founded love, not only to wish one’s self to be saved, but also all the brethren.

Chapter II.  The wonderful constancy of the martyrs.

All the martyrdoms, then, were blessed and noble which took place according to the will of God. For it becomes us who profess greater piety than others, to ascribe the authority over all things to God. And truly, who can fail to admire their nobleness of mind, and their patience, with that love towards their Lord which they displayed?  who, when they were so torn with scourges, that the frame of their bodies, even to the very inward veins and arteries, was laid open, still patiently endured, while even those that stood by pitied and bewailed them. But they reached such a pitch of magnanimity, that not one of them let a sigh or a groan escape them; thus proving to us all that those holy martyrs of Christ, at the very time when they suffered such torments, were absent from the body, or rather, that the Lord then stood by them, and communed with them. And, looking to the grace of Christ, they despised all the torments of this world, redeeming themselves from eternal punishment by [the suffering of] a single hour. For this reason the fire of their savage executioners appeared cool to them. For they kept before their view escape from that fire which is eternal and never shall be quenched, and looked forward with the eyes of their heart to those good things which are laid up for such as endure; things “which ear has not heard, nor eye seen, neither have entered into the heart of man,” but were revealed by the Lord to them, inasmuch as they were no longer men, but had already become angels. And, in like manner, those who were condemned to the wild beasts endured dreadful tortures, being stretched out upon beds full of spikes, and subjected to various other kinds of torments, in order that, if it were possible, the tyrant might, by their lingering tortures, lead them to a denial [of Christ].

Chapter III.  The constancy of Germanicus. The death of Polycarp is demanded.

For the devil did indeed invent many things against them; but thanks be to God, he could not prevail over all. For the most noble Germanicus strengthened the timidity of others by his own patience, and fought heroically with the wild beasts. For, when the proconsul sought to persuade him, and urged him to take pity upon his age, he attracted the wild beast towards himself, and provoked it, being desirous to escape all the more quickly from an unrighteous and impious world. But upon this the whole multitude, marveling at the nobility of mind displayed by the devout and godly race of Christians, cried out, “Away with the Atheists; let Polycarp be sought out!”

Chapter IV.  Quintus the apostate.

Now one named Quintus, a Phrygian, who was but lately come from Phrygia, when he saw the wild beasts, became afraid. This was the man who forced himself and some others to come forward voluntarily [for trial]. Him the proconsul, after many entreaties, persuaded to swear and to offer sacrifice. Wherefore, brethren, we do not commend those who give themselves up [to suffering], seeing the Gospel does not teach so to do.

Chapter V.  The departure and vision of Polycarp.

But the most admirable Polycarp, when he first heard [that he was sought for], was in no measure disturbed, but resolved to continue in the city. However, in deference to the wish of many, he was persuaded to leave it. He departed, therefore, to a country house not far distant from the city. There he stayed with a few [friends], engaged in nothing else night and day than praying for all men, and for the Churches throughout the world, according to his usual custom. And while he was praying, a vision presented itself to him three days before he was taken; and, behold, the pillow under his head seemed to him on fire. Upon this, turning to those that were with him, he said to them prophetically, “I must be burnt alive.”

Chapter VI.  Polycarp is betrayed by a servant.

And when those who sought for him were at hand, he departed to another dwelling, whither his pursuers immediately came after him. And when they found him not, they seized upon two youths [that were there], one of whom, being subjected to torture, confessed. It was thus impossible that he should continue hid, since those that betrayed him were of his own household. The Irenarch then (whose office is the same as that of the Cleronomus), by name Herod, hastened to bring him into the stadium. [This all happened] that he might fulfill his special lot, being made a partaker of Christ, and that they who betrayed him might undergo the punishment of Judas himself.

Chapter VII.  Polycarp is found by his pursuers.

His pursuers then, along with horsemen, and taking the youth with them, went forth at supper-time on the day of the preparation with their usual weapons, as if going out against a robber. And being come about evening [to the place where he was], they found him lying down in the upper room of a certain little house, from which he might have escaped into another place; but he refused, saying, “The will of God be done.” So when he heard that they were come, he went down and spake with them. And as those that were present marveled at his age and constancy, some of them said. “Was so much effort made to capture such a venerable man?” Immediately then, in that very hour, he ordered that something to eat and drink should be set before them, as much indeed as they cared for, while he besought them to allow him an hour to pray without disturbance. And on their giving him leave, he stood and prayed, being full of the grace of God, so that he could not cease for two full hours, to the astonishment of them that heard him, insomuch that many began to repent that they had come forth against so godly and venerable an old man.

Chapter VIII.  Polycarp is brought into the city.

Now, as soon as he had ceased praying, having made mention of all that had at any time come in contact with him, both small and great, illustrious and obscure, as well as the whole Catholic Church throughout the world, the time of his departure having arrived, they set him upon an ass, and conducted him into the city, the day being that of the great Sabbath. And the Irenarch Herod, accompanied by his father Nicetes (both riding in a chariot), met him, and taking him up into the chariot, they seated themselves beside him, and endeavored to persuade him, saying, “What harm is there in saying, Lord Caesar, and in sacrificing, with the other ceremonies observed on such occasions, and so make sure of safety?” But he at first gave them no answer; and when they continued to urge him, he said, “I shall not do as you advise me.” So they, having no hope of persuading him, began to speak bitter words unto him, and cast him with violence out of the chariot, insomuch that, in getting down from the carriage, he dislocated his leg [by the fall]. But without being disturbed, and as if suffering nothing, he went eagerly forward with all haste, and was conducted to the stadium, where the tumult was so great, that there was no possibility of being heard.

Chapter IX.  Polycarp refuses to revile Christ.

Now, as Polycarp was entering into the stadium, there came to him a voice from heaven, saying, “Be strong, and show thyself a man, O Polycarp!” No one saw who it was that spoke to him; but those of our brethren who were present heard the voice. And as he was brought forward, the tumult became great when they heard that Polycarp was taken. And when he came near, the proconsul asked him whether he was Polycarp. On his confessing that he was, [the proconsul] sought to persuade him to deny [Christ], saying, “Have respect to thy old age,” and other similar things, according to their custom, [such as], “Swear by the fortune of Caesar; repent, and say, Away with the Atheists.” But Polycarp, gazing with a stern countenance on all the multitude of the wicked heathen then in the stadium, and waving his hand towards them, while with groans he looked up to heaven, said, “Away with the Atheists.” Then, the proconsul urging him, and saying, “Swear, and I will set thee at liberty, reproach Christ;” Polycarp declared, “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?”

Chapter X.  Polycarp confesses himself a Christian.

And when the proconsul yet again pressed him, and said, “Swear by the fortune of Caesar,” he answered, “Since you are vainly urgent that, as you sayest, I should swear by the fortune of Caesar, and pretend not to know who and what I am, hear me declare with boldness, I am a Christian. And if you wish to learn what the doctrines of Christianity are, appoint me a day, and you shall hear them.” The proconsul replied, “Persuade the people.” But Polycarp said, “To you I have thought it right to offer an account [of my faith]; for we are taught to give all due honor (which entails no injury upon ourselves) to the powers and authorities which are ordained of God. But as for these, I do not deem them worthy of receiving any account from me.”

Chapter XI.  No threats have any effect on Polycarp.

The proconsul then said to him, “I have wild beasts at hand; to these will I cast you, except you repent.” But he answered, “Call them then, for we are not accustomed to repent of what is good in order to adopt that which is evil; and it is well for me to be changed from what is evil to what is righteous.” But again the proconsul said to him, “I will cause you to be consumed by fire, seeing you despise the wild beasts, if you will not repent.” But Polycarp said, “You threaten me with fire which burns for an hour, and after a little is extinguished, but art ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why tarriest you? Bring forth what you wilt.”

Chapter XII.  Polycarp is sentenced to be burned.

While he spoke these and many other like things, he was filled with confidence and joy, and his countenance was full of grace, so that not merely did it not fall as if troubled by the things said to him, but, on the contrary, the proconsul was astonished, and sent his herald to proclaim in the midst of the stadium thrice, “Polycarp has confessed that he is a Christian.” This proclamation having been made by the herald, the whole multitude both of the heathen and Jews, who dwelt at Smyrna, cried out with uncontrollable fury, and in a loud voice, “This is the teacher of Asia, the father of the Christians, and the overthrower of our gods, he who has been teaching many not to sacrifice, or to worship the gods.” Speaking thus, they cried out, and besought Philip the Asiarch to let loose a lion upon Polycarp. But Philip answered that it was not lawful for him to do so, seeing the shows of wild beasts were already finished. Then it seemed good to them to cry out with one consent, that Polycarp should be burnt alive. For thus it behooved the vision which was revealed to him in regard to his pillow to be fulfilled, when, seeing it on fire as he was praying, he turned about and said prophetically to the faithful that were with him, “I must be burnt alive.”

Chapter XIII.  The funeral pile is erected.

This, then, was carried into effect with greater speed than it was spoken, the multitudes immediately gathering together wood and fagots out of the shops and baths; the Jews especially, according to custom, eagerly assisting them in it. And when the funeral pile was ready, Polycarp, laying aside all his garments, and loosing his girdle, sought also to take off his sandals,  a thing he was not accustomed to do, inasmuch as every one of the faithful was always eager who should first touch his skin. For, on account of his holy life, he was, even before his martyrdom, adorned [455] with every kind of good. Immediately then they surrounded him with those substances which had been prepared for the funeral pile. But when they were about also to fix him with nails, he said, “Leave me as I am; for He that giveth me strength to endure the fire, will also enable me, without your securing me by nails, to remain without moving in the pile.”

Chapter XIV.  The prayer of Polycarp.

They did not nail him then, but simply bound him. And he, placing his hands behind him, and being bound like a distinguished ram [taken] out of a great flock for sacrifice, and prepared to be an acceptable burnt-offering unto God, looked up to heaven, and said, “O Lord God Almighty, the Father of thy beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of Thee, the God of angels and powers, and of every creature, and of the whole race of the righteous who live before thee, I give Thee thanks that Thou hast counted me, worthy of this day and this hour, that I should have a part in the number of Thy martyrs, in the cup of thy Christ, to the resurrection of eternal life, both of soul and body, through the incorruption [imparted] by the Holy Ghost. Among whom may I be accepted this day before Thee as a fat and acceptable sacrifice, according as Thou, the ever-truthful God, hast foreordained, hast revealed beforehand to me, and now hast fulfilled. Wherefore also I praise Thee for all things, I bless Thee, I glorify Thee, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, with whom, to Thee, and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen.”

Chapter XV.  Polycarp is not injured by the fire.

When he had pronounced this amen, and so finished his prayer, those who were appointed for the purpose kindled the fire. And as the flame blazed forth in great fury, we, to whom it was given to witness it, beheld a great miracle, and have been preserved that we might report to others what then took place. For the fire, shaping itself into the form of an arch, like the sail of a ship when filled with the wind, encompassed as by a circle the body of the martyr. And he appeared within not like flesh which is burnt, but as bread that is baked, or as gold and silver glowing in a furnace. Moreover, we perceived such a sweet odor [coming from the pile], as if frankincense or some such precious spices had been smoking there.

Chapter XVI.  Polycarp is pierced by a dagger.

At length, when those wicked men perceived that his body could not be consumed by the fire, they commanded an executioner to go near and pierce him through with a dagger. And on his doing this, there came forth a dove, and a great quantity of blood, so that the fire was extinguished; and all the people wondered that there should be such a difference between the unbelievers and the elect, of whom this most admirable Polycarp was one, having in our own times been an apostolic and prophetic teacher, and bishop of the Church which is in Smyrna. For every word that went out of his mouth either has been or shall yet be accomplished.

Chapter XVII.  The Christians are refused Polycarp’s body.

But when the adversary of the race of the righteous, the envious, malicious, and wicked one, perceived the impressive nature of his martyrdom, and [considered] the blameless life he had led from the beginning, and how he was now crowned with the wreath of immortality, having beyond dispute received his reward, he did his utmost that not the least memorial of him should be taken away by us, although many desired to do this, and to become possessors of his holy flesh. For this end he suggested it to Nicetes, the father of Herod and brother of Alce, to go and entreat the governor not to give up his body to be buried, “lest,” said he, “forsaking Him that was crucified, they begin to worship this one.” This he said at the suggestion and urgent persuasion of the Jews, who also watched us, as we sought to take him out of the fire, being ignorant of this, that it is neither possible for us ever to forsake Christ, who suffered for the salvation of such as shall be saved throughout the whole world (the blameless one for sinners), nor to worship any other. For Him indeed, as being the Son of God, we adore; but the martyrs, as disciples and followers of the Lord, we worthily love on account of their extraordinary affection towards their own King and Master, of whom may we also be made companions and fellow-disciples!

Chapter XVIII.  The body of Polycarp is burned.

The centurion then, seeing the strife excited by the Jews, placed the body in the midst of the fire, and consumed it. Accordingly, we afterwards took up his bones, as being more precious than the most exquisite jewels, and more purified than gold, and deposited them in a fitting place, whither, being gathered together, as opportunity is allowed us, with joy and rejoicing, the Lord shall grant us to celebrate the anniversary of his martyrdom, both in memory of those who have already finished their course, and for the exercising and preparation of those yet to walk in their steps.

Chapter XIX.  Praise of the martyr Polycarp.

This, then, is the account of the blessed Polycarp, who, being the twelfth that was martyred in Smyrna (reckoning those also of Philadelphia), yet occupies a place of his own in the memory of all men, insomuch that he is everywhere spoken of by the heathen themselves. He was not merely an illustrious teacher, but also a pre-eminent martyr, whose martyrdom all desire to imitate, as having been altogether consistent with the Gospel of Christ. For, having through patience overcome the unjust governor, and thus acquired the crown of immortality, he now, with the apostles and all the righteous [in heaven], rejoicingly glorifies God, even the Father, and blesses our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of our souls, the Governor of our bodies, and the Shepherd of the Catholic Church throughout the world.

Chapter XX.  This epistle is to be transmitted to the brethren.

Since, then, ye requested that we would at large make you acquainted with what really took place, we have for the present sent you this summary account through our brother Marcus. When, therefore, ye have yourselves read this Epistle, be pleased to send it to the brethren at a greater distance, that they also may glorify the Lord, who makes such choice of His own servants. To Him who is able to bring us all by His grace and goodness  into his everlasting kingdom, through His only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, to Him be glory, and honour, and power, and majesty, for ever. Amen. Salute all the saints. They that are with us salute you, and Evarestus, who wrote this Epistle, with all his house.

Chapter XXI.  The date of the martyrdom.

Now, the blessed Polycarp suffered martyrdom on the second day of the month Xanthicus just begun, the seventh day before the Kalends of May, on the great Sabbath, at the eighth hour. He was taken by Herod, Philip the Trallian being high priest, Statius Quadratus being proconsul, but Jesus Christ being King for ever, to whom be glory, honour, majesty, and an everlasting throne, from generation to generation. Amen.

Chapter XXII.  Salutation.

We wish you, brethren, all happiness, while you walk according to the doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; with whom be glory to God the Father and the Holy Spirit, for the salvation of His holy elect, after whose example the blessed Polycarp suffered, following in whose steps may we too be found in the kingdom of Jesus Christ!

These things Caius transcribed from the copy of Irenaeus (who was a disciple of Polycarp), having himself been intimate with Irenaeus. And I Socrates transcribed them at Corinth from the copy of Caius. Grace be with you all.

And I again, Pionius, wrote them from the previously written copy, having carefully searched into them, and the blessed Polycarp having manifested them to me through a revelation, even as I shall show in what follows. I have collected these things, when they had almost faded away through the lapse of time, that the Lord Jesus Christ may also gather me along with His elect into His heavenly kingdom, to whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Polycarp to the Philippians

The Epistle of Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna and Holy Martyr, to the Philippians

Polycarp, and the presbyters1 with him, to the Church of God sojourning at Philippi: Mercy to you, and peace from God Almighty, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, be multiplied.

Chapter I.  Praise of the Philippians.

I have greatly rejoiced with you in our Lord Jesus Christ, because you have followed the example 2 of true love [as displayed by God], and have accompanied, as became you, those who were bound in chains, the fitting ornaments of saints, and which are indeed the diadems of the true elect of God and our Lord; and because the strong root of your faith, spoken of in days 3 long gone by, endures even until now, and brings forth fruit to our Lord Jesus Christ, who for our sins suffered even unto death, [but] “whom God raised from the dead, having loosed the bands of the grave.” 4 “In whom, though now you see Him not, you believe, and believing, rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory;” 5 into which joy many desire to enter, knowing that “by grace you are saved, not of works,” 6 but by the will of God through Jesus Christ.

Chapter II.  An exhortation to virtue.

“Wherefore, girding up your loins,” 7 “serve the Lord in fear” 8 and truth, as those who have forsaken the vain, empty talk and error of the multitude, and “believed in Him who raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and gave Him glory,” 9 and a throne at His right hand. To Him all things 10 in heaven and on earth are subject. Him every spirit serves. He comes as the Judge of the living and the dead. 11 His blood will God require of those who do not believe in Him. 12 But He who raised Him up from the dead will raise 13 up us also, if we do His will, and walk in His commandments, and love what He loved, keeping ourselves from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of money, evil speaking, false witness; “not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing,” 14 or blow for blow, or cursing for cursing, but being mindful of what the Lord said in His teaching: “Judge not, that you be not judged; 15 forgive, and it shall be forgiven unto you; 16 be merciful, that you may obtain mercy; 17 with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again;” 18 and once more, “Blessed are the poor, and those that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God.” 19

Chapter III.  Expressions of personal unworthiness.

These things, brethren, I write to you concerning righteousness, not because I take anything upon myself, but because you have invited me to do so. For neither I, nor any other such one, can come up to the wisdom 20 of the blessed and glorified Paul. He, when among you, accurately and steadfastly taught the word of truth in the presence of those who were then alive. And when absent from you, he wrote you a letter, 21 which, if you carefully study, you will find to be the means of building you up in that faith which has been given you, and which, being followed by hope, and preceded by love towards God, and Christ, and our neighbor, “is the mother of us all.” 22 For if any one be inwardly possessed of these graces, he hath fulfilled the command of righteousness, since he that hath love is far from all sin.

Chapter IV.  Various exhortations.

“But the love of money is the root of all evils.” 23 Knowing, therefore, that “as we brought nothing into the world, so we can carry nothing out,” 24 let us arm ourselves with the armor of righteousness; 25 and let us teach, first of all, ourselves to walk in the commandments of the Lord. Next, [teach] your wives [to walk] in the faith given to them, and in love and purity tenderly loving their own husbands in all truth, and loving all [others] equally in all chastity; and to train up their children in the knowledge and fear of God. Teach the widows to be discreet as respects the faith of the Lord, praying continually 26 for all, being far from all slandering, evil-speaking, false-witnessing, love of money, and every kind of evil; knowing that they are the altar 27 of God, that He clearly perceives all things, and that nothing is hid from Him, neither reasonings, nor reflections, nor any one of the secret things of the heart.

Chapter V.  The duties of deacons, youths, and virgins.

Knowing, then, that “God is not mocked,” 28 we ought to walk worthy of His commandment and glory. In like manner should the deacons be blameless before the face of His righteousness, as being the servants of God and Christ, 29 and not of men. They must not be slanderers, double-tongued, 30 or lovers of money, but temperate in all things, compassionate, industrious, walking according to the truth of the Lord, who was the servant 31 of all. If we please Him in this present world, we shall receive also the future world, according as He has promised to us that He will raise us again from the dead, and that if we live 32 worthily of Him, “we shall also reign together with Him,” 33 provided only we believe. In like manner, let the young men also be blameless in all things, being especially careful to preserve purity, and keeping themselves in, as with a bridle, from every kind of evil. For it is well that they should be cut off from 34 the lusts that are in the world, since “every lust wars against the spirit;” 35 and “neither fornicators, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, shall inherit the kingdom of God,” 36 nor those who do things inconsistent and unbecoming. Wherefore, it is needful to abstain from all these things, being subject to the presbyters and deacons, as unto God and Christ. The virgins also must walk in a blameless and pure conscience.

Chapter VI.  The duties of presbyters and others.

And let the presbyters be compassionate and merciful to all, bringing back those that wander, visiting all the sick, and not neglecting the widow, the orphan, or the poor, but always “providing for that which is becoming in the sight of God and man;” 37 abstaining from all wrath, respect of persons, and unjust judgment; keeping far off from all covetousness, not quickly crediting [an evil report] against any one, not severe in judgment, as knowing that we are all under a debt of sin. If then we entreat the Lord to forgive us, we ought also ourselves to forgive; 38 for we are before the eyes of our Lord and God, and “we must all appear at the judgment-seat of Christ, and must every one give an account of himself.” 39 Let us then serve Him in fear, and with all reverence, even as He Himself has commanded us, and as the apostles who preached the Gospel unto us, and the prophets who proclaimed beforehand the coming of the Lord [have alike taught us]. Let us be zealous in the pursuit of that which is good, keeping ourselves from causes of offense, from false brethren, and from those who in hypocrisy bear the name of the Lord, and draw away vain men into error.

Chapter VII.  Avoid the Docetae, and persevere in fasting and prayer.

“For whosoever does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is antichrist;” 40 and whosoever does not confess the testimony of the cross, 41 is of the devil; and whosoever perverts the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts, and says that there is neither a resurrection nor a judgment, he is the first-born of Satan. 42 Wherefore, forsaking the vanity of many, and their false doctrines, let us return to the word which has been handed down to us from 43 the beginning; “watching unto prayer,” 44 and persevering in fasting; beseeching in our supplications the all-seeing God “not to lead us into temptation,” 45 as the Lord has said: “The spirit truly is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 46

Chapter VIII.  Persevere in hope and patience.

Let us then continually persevere in our hope, and the earnest of our righteousness, which is Jesus Christ, “who bore our sins in His own body on the tree,” 47 “who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth,” 48 but endured all things for us, that we might live in Him. 49 Let us then be imitators of His patience; and if we suffer 50 for His name’s sake, let us glorify Him. 51 For He has set us this example 52 in Himself, and we have believed that such is the case.

Chapter IX.  Patience inculcated.

I exhort you all, therefore, to yield obedience to the word of righteousness, and to exercise all patience, such as you have seen [set] before your eyes, not only in the case of the blessed Ignatius, and Zosimus, and Rufus, but also in others among yourselves, and in Paul himself, and the rest of the apostles. [This do] in the assurance that all these have not run 53 in vain, but in faith and righteousness, and that they are [now] in their due place in the presence of the Lord, with whom also they suffered. For they loved not this present world, but Him who died for us, and for our sakes was raised again by God from the dead.

Chapter X.  Exhortation to the practice of virtue. 54

Stand fast, therefore, in these things, and follow the example of the Lord, being firm and unchangeable in the faith, loving the brotherhood, 55 and being attached to one another, joined together in the truth, exhibiting the meekness of the Lord in your intercourse with one another, and despising no one. When you can do good, defer it not, because “alms delivers from death.” 56 Be all of you subject one to another 57 “having your conduct blameless among the Gentiles,” 58 that you may both receive praise for your good works, and the Lord may not be blasphemed through you. But woe to him by whom the name of the Lord is blasphemed! 59 Teach, therefore, sobriety to all, and manifest it also in your own conduct.

Chapter XI.  Expression of grief on account of Valens.

I am greatly grieved for Valens, who was once a presbyter among you, because he so little understands the place that was given him [in the Church]. I exhort you, therefore, that you abstain from covetousness, 60 and that you be chaste and truthful. “Abstain from every form of evil.” 61 For if a man cannot govern himself in such matters, how shall he enjoin them on others? If a man does not keep himself from covetousness, 62 he shall be defiled by idolatry, and shall be judged as one of the heathen. But who of us are ignorant of the judgment of the Lord? “Do we not know that the saints shall judge the world?” 63 as Paul teaches. But I have neither seen nor heard of any such thing among you, in the midst of whom the blessed Paul labored, and who are commended 64 in the beginning of his Epistle. For he boasts of you in all those Churches which alone then knew the Lord; but we [of Smyrna] had not yet known Him. I am deeply grieved, therefore, brethren, for him (Valens) and his wife; to whom may the Lord grant true repentance! And be you then moderate in regard to this matter, and “do not count such as enemies,” 65 but call them back as suffering and straying members, that you may save your whole body. For by so acting you shall edify yourselves. 66

Chapter XII.  Exhortation to various graces.

For I trust that you are well versed in the Sacred Scriptures, and that nothing is hid from you; but to me this privilege is not yet granted. 67 It is declared then in these Scriptures, “Be you angry, and sin not,” 68 and, “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” 69 Happy is he who remembers 70 this, which I believe to be the case with you. But may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ Himself, who is the Son of God, and our everlasting High Priest, build you up in faith and truth, and in all meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, forbearance, and purity; and may He bestow on you a lot and portion among His saints, and on us with you, and on all that are under heaven, who shall believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, and in His Father, who “raised Him from the dead.” 71 Pray for all the saints. Pray also for kings, 72 and potentates, and princes, and for those that persecute and hate you, 73 and for the enemies of the cross, that your fruit may be manifest to all, and that you may be perfect in Him.

Chapter XIII.  Concerning the transmission of epistles.

Both you and Ignatius 74 wrote to me, that if any one went [from this] into Syria, he should carry your letter 75 with him; which request I will attend to if I find a fitting opportunity, either personally, or through some other acting for me, that your desire may be fulfilled. The Epistles of Ignatius written by him 76 to us, and all the rest [of his Epistles] which we have by us, we have sent to you, as you requested. They are subjoined to this Epistle, and by them you may be greatly profited; for they treat of faith and patience, and all things that tend to edification in our Lord. Any 77 more certain information you may have obtained respecting both Ignatius himself, and those that were 78 with him, have the goodness to make known 79 to us.

Chapter XIV.  Conclusion.

These things I have written to you by Crescens, whom up to the present 80 time I have recommended unto you, and do now recommend. For he has acted blamelessly among us, and I believe also among you. Moreover, you will hold his sister in esteem when she comes to you. Be you safe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with you all. 81 Amen.

1 Or, “Polycarp, and those who with him are presbyters.”

2 Literally, “you have received the patterns of true love.”

3 Phil. 1:5.

4 Acts 2:24. Literally, “having loosed the pains of Hades.”

5 1 Pet.1:8.

6 Eph. 2:8,9.

7 Comp. 1 Pet. 1:13; Eph. 6:14.

8 Ps. 2:11.

9 1 Pet. 1:21

10 Comp. 1 Pet. 3:22; Phil. 2:10.

11 Comp. Acts 18:31.

12 Or, “who do not obey him.”

13 Comp 1 Cor. 6:14; 2 Cor. 4:14; Rom. 8:11.

14 1 Pet. 3:9.

15 Matt. 7:1.

16 Matt. 6:12, 14; Luke 6:37.

17 Luke 6:36.

18 Matt. 7:2; Luke 6:38.

19 Matt. 5:3, 10; Luke 6:20.

20 Comp. 2 Pet. 3:15.

21 The form is plural, but one Epistle is probably meant. [So, even in English, “letters” may be classically used for a single letter, as we say “by these presents.” But even we might speak of St. Paul as having written his Epistles to us; so the Epistles to Thessalonica and Corinth might more naturally still be referred to here].

22 Comp. Gal. 4:26.

23 1 Tim. 6:10.

24 1 Tim. 6:7.

25 Comp. Eph. 6:11.

26 Comp. 1 Thess. 5:17.

27 Some here read, “altars.”

28 Gal. 6:7.

29 Some read, “God in Christ.”

30 Comp. 1 Tim. 3:8.

31 Comp. Matt. 2:28.

32 Politeusometha, referring to the whole conduct; comp. Phil. 1:27.

33 2 Tim. 2:12.

34 Some read, anakuptesthai, “to emerge from.” [So Chevallier, but not Wake nor Jacobson. See the note of latter, ad loc.]

35 1 Pet. 2:11.

36 1 Cor. 6:9, 10.

37 Rom. 12:17; 2 Cor. 8:31.

38 Matt. 6:12-14.

39 Rom. 14:10-12; 2 Cor. 5:10.

40 1 John 4:3.

41 Literally, “the martyrdom of the cross,” which some render, “His suffering on the cross.”

42 [The original, perhaps, of Eusebius (Hist. 4. cap. 14). It became a common-place expression in the Church.]

43 Comp. Jude 3

44 1 Pet. 4:7.

45 Matt. 6:13; Matt. 26:41.

46 Matt. 26:41; Mark 14:38.

47 1 Pet. 2:24.

48 1 Pet. 2:22.

49 Comp. 1 John 4:9.

50 Comp. Acts 5:41; 1 Pet. 4:16

51 Some read, “we glorify Him.”

52 Comp. 1 Pet. 2:21.

53 Comp. Phil. 2:16; Gal. 2:2.

54 This and the two following chapters are preserved only in a Latin version. [See Jacobson, ad loc.]

55 Comp. 1 Pet. 2:17.

56 Tobit 4:10, Tobit 12:9.

57 Comp. 1 Pet. 5:5.

58 1 Pet. 2:12.

59 Isa. 52:5.

60 Some think that incontinence on the part of the Valens and his wife is referred to. [For many reasons I am glad the translators have preferred the reading pleonexias. The next word, chaste, sufficiently rebukes the example of Valens. For once I venture not to coincide with Jacobson’s comment.]

61 1 Thess. 5:22.

62 Some think that incontinence on the part of the Valens and his wife is referred to. [For many reasons I am glad the translators have preferred the reading pleonexias. The next word, chaste, sufficiently rebukes the example of Valens. For once I venture not to coincide with Jacobson’s comment.]

63 1 Cor. 6:2.

64 Some read, “named;” comp. Phil. 1:5.

65 2 Thess. 3:15.

66 Comp. 1 Cor. 7:26.

67 This passage is very obscure. Some render it as follows: “But at present it is not granted unto me to practise that which is written, Be you angry,” etc.

68 Ps. 4:5.

69 Eph. i5:26.

70 Some read, “believes.”

71 Gal. 1:1.

72 Comp. 1 Tim. 2:2.

73 Matt. v. 44.

74 Comp. Ep. of Ignatius to Polycarp, chap. viii.

75 Or, “letters.”

76 Reference is here made to the two letters of Ignatius, one to Polycarp himself, and the other to the church at Smyrna.

77 Henceforth, to the end, we have only the Latin version.

78 The Latin version reads “are,” which has been corrected as above.

79 Polycarp was aware of the death of Ignatius (chap. 4.), but was as yet apparently ignorant of the circumstances attending it. [Who can fail to be touched by these affectionate yet entirely calm expressions as to his martyred friend and brother? Martyrdom was the habitual end of Christ’s soldiers, and Polycarp expected his own; hence his restrained and temperate words of interest.]

80 Some read, “in this present Epistle.”

81 Others read, “and in favor with all yours.”

Clement of Rome to the Corinthians

CLEMENT OF ROME, First Epistle

Letter of Clement to the Corinthians

1: SALUTATION, AND PRAISE FOR THE CORINTHIANS BEFORE SCHISM BROKE FORTH AMONG THEM.

The Church of God which sojourns at Rome, to the Church of God sojourning at Corinth, to those who are called and sanctified by the will of God, through our Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace, from Almighty God through Jesus Christ, be multiplied.

Owing, dear brethren, to the sudden and successive calamitous events which have happened to ourselves, we feel that we have been somewhat tardy in turning our attention to the points respecting which you consulted us; and especially to that shameful and detestable sedition, utterly abhorrent to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-confident persons have kindled to such a pitch of frenzy, that your venerable and illustrious name, worthy to be universally loved, has suffered grievous injury. For who ever dwelt even for a short time among you, and did not find your faith to be as fruitful of virtue as it was firmly established? Who did not admire the sobriety and moderation of your godliness in Christ? Who did not proclaim the magnificence of your habitual hospitality? And who did not rejoice over your perfect and well-grounded knowledge? For you did all things without respect of persons, and walked in the commandments of God, being obedient to those who had the rule over you, and giving all fitting honor to the presbyters among you. You enjoined young men to be of a sober and serious mind; you instructed your wives to do all things with a blameless, becoming, and pure conscience, loving their husbands as in duty bound; and you taught them that, living in the rule of obedience, they should manage their household affairs becomingly, and be in every respect marked by discretion.

2: PRAISE OF THE CORINTHIANS CONTINUED.

Moreover, you were all distinguished by humility, and were in no respect puffed up with pride, but yielded obedience rather than extorted it, and were more willing to give than to receive? Content with the provision which God had made for you, and carefully attending to His words, you were inwardly filled with His doctrine, and His sufferings were before your eyes. Thus a profound and abundant peace was given to you all, and you had an insatiable desire for doing good, while a full outpouring of the Holy Spirit was upon you all. Full of holy designs, and with true earnestness of mind and a godly confidence, you stretched forth your hands to God Almighty, beseeching Him to be merciful to you, if you had been guilty of any involuntary transgression. Day and night you were anxious for the whole brotherhood, that the number of God’s elect might be saved with mercy and a good conscience. You were sincere and uncorrupted, and forgetful of injuries between one another. Every kind of faction and schism was abominable in your sight. You mourned over the transgressions of your neighbors: their deficiencies you deemed your own. You never grudged any act of kindness, being “ready to every good work.” Adorned by a thoroughly virtuous and religious life, you did all things in the fear of God. The commandments and ordinances of the Lord were written upon the tablets of your hearts.

3: THE SAD STATE OF THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH AFTER SEDITION AROSE IN IT FROM ENVY AND EMULATION.

Every kind of honor and happiness was bestowed upon you, and then was fulfilled that which is written, “My beloved ate and drink, and was enlarged and became fat, and kicked.” Hence flowed emulation and envy, strife and sedition, persecution and disorder, war and captivity. So the worthless rose up against the honored, those of no reputation against such as were renowned, the foolish against the wise, the young against those advanced in years. For this reason righteousness and peace are now far departed from you, inasmuch as every one abandons the fear of God, and is become blind in His faith, neither walks in the ordinances of His appointment, nor acts a part becoming a Christian, but walks after his own wicked lusts, resuming the practice of an unrighteous and ungodly envy, by which death itself entered into the world.

4: MANY EVILS HAVE ALREADY FLOWED FROM THIS SOURCE IN ANCIENT TIMES.

For thus it is written: “And it came to pass after certain days, that Cain brought of the fruits of the earth a sacrifice to God; and Abel also brought of the firstlings of his sheep, and of the fat thereof. And God had respect to Abel and to his offerings, but Cain and his sacrifices He did not regard. And Cain was deeply grieved, and his countenance fell. And God said to Cain, Why are you grieved, and why is your countenance fallen? If you offer rightly, but do not divide rightly, have you not sinned? Be at peace: your offering returns to yourself, and you shall again possess it. And Cain said to Abel his brother, Let us go into the field. And it came to pass, while they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and killed him.” You see, brethren, how envy and jealousy led to the murder of a brother. Through envy, also, our father Jacob fled from the face of Esau his brother. Envy made Joseph be persecuted unto death, and to come into bondage. Envy compelled Moses to flee from the face of Pharaoh king of Egypt, when he heard these words from his fellow countryman, “Who made you a judge or a ruler over us? Will you kill me, as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?” On account of envy, Aaron and Miriam had to make their home outside of the camp. Envy brought down Dathan and Abiram alive to Hades, through the sedition which they excited against God’s servant Moses. Through envy, David underwent the hatred not only of foreigners, but was also persecuted by Saul king of Israel.

5: NO LESS EVILS HAVE ARISEN FROM THE SAME SOURCE IN THE MOST RECENT TIMES. THE MARTYRDOM OF PETER AND PAUL.

But not to dwell upon ancient examples, let us come to the most recent spiritual heroes. Let us take the noble examples furnished in our own generation. Through envy and jealousy, the greatest and most righteous pillars [of the Church] have been persecuted and put to death. Let us set before our eyes the illustrious apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labors, and when he had finally suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him. Owing to envy, Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity, compelled to flee, and stoned. After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects. Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself a striking example of patience.

6: CONTINUATION. SEVERAL OTHER MARTYRS.

To these men who spent their lives in the practice of holiness, there is to be added a great multitude of the elect, who, having through envy endured many indignities and tortures, furnished us with a most excellent example. Through envy, those women, the Danaids and Dircae, being persecuted, after they had suffered terrible and unspeakable torments, finished the course of their faith with steadfastness, and though weak in body, received a noble reward. Envy has alienated wives from their husbands, and changed that saying of our father Adam, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.” Envy and strife have overthrown great cities and rooted up mighty nations.

7: AN EXHORTATION TO REPENTANCE.

These things, beloved, we write to you, not merely to admonish you of your duty, but also to remind ourselves. For we are struggling in the same arena, and the same conflict is assigned to both of us. So let us give up vain and fruitless cares, and approach to the glorious and venerable rule of our holy calling. Let us attend to what is good, pleasing, and acceptable in the sight of Him who formed us. Let us look steadfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious that blood is to God, which, having been shed for our salvation, has set the grace of repentance before the whole world. Let us turn to every age that has passed, and learn that, from generation to generation, the Lord has granted a place of repentance to all who would be converted to Him. Noah preached repentance, and as many as listened to him were saved. Jonah proclaimed destruction to the Ninevites; but they, repenting of their sins, propitiated God by prayer, and obtained salvation, although they were aliens [to the covenant] of God.

8: CONTINUATION RESPECTING REPENTANCE.

The ministers of the grace of God have, by the Holy Spirit, spoken of repentance; and the Lord of all things has himself declared with an oath regarding it, “As I live, says the Lord, I desire not the death of the sinner, but rather his repentance;” adding, moreover, this gracious declaration: “Repent O house of Israel, of your iniquity. Say to the children of My people, Though your sins reach from earth to heaven, and though they be redder than scarlet, and blacker than sackcloth, if you turn to Me with your whole heart, and say, Father! I will listen to you, as to a holy people.” And in another place He says: “Wash, and become clean; put away the wickedness of your souls from before my eyes; cease from your evil ways, and learn to do well; seek out judgment, deliver the oppressed, judge the fatherless, and see that justice is done to the widow; and come, and let us reason together. He declares, “Though your sins be like crimson, I will make them white as snow; though they be like scarlet, I will whiten them like wool. And if you are willing and obey Me, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse, and will not listen to Me, the sword shall devour you, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken these things.” Desiring, therefore, that all His beloved should be partakers of repentance, He has, by His almighty will, established [these declarations].

9: EXAMPLES OF THE SAINTS.

So let us yield obedience to His excellent and glorious will; and imploring His mercy and loving-kindness, while we forsake all fruitless labors, and strife, and envy, which leads to death, let us turn and have recourse to His compassions. Let us steadfastly contemplate those who have perfectly ministered to His excellent glory. Let us take (for instance) Enoch, who, being found righteous in obedience, was translated, and death was never known to happen to him? Noah, being found faithful, preached regeneration to the world through his ministry; and the Lord saved by him the animals which, with one accord, entered into the ark.

10: CONTINUATION OF THE ABOVE.

Abraham, called “the friend,” was found faithful, inasmuch as he obeyed the words of God. He, in the exercise of obedience, went out from his own country, and from his kindred, and from his father’s house, in order that, by forsaking a small territory, and a weak family, and an insignificant house, he might inherit the promises of God. For God said to him, “Leave your country, and your kindred, and your father’s house, and go into the land which I shall show you. And I will make you a great nation, and will bless you, and make your name great, and you shall be blessed. And I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you; and in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” And again, on his departing from Lot, God said to him. “Lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you now are, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see, to you will I give it, and to your seed for ever. And I will make your seed as the dust of the earth, [so that] if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall your seed also be numbered.” And again [the Scripture] says, “God brought forth Abram, and said to him, Look up now to heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them; so shall your seed be. And Abram believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.” On account of his faith and hospitality, a son was given him in his old age; and in the exercise of obedience, he offered him as a sacrifice to God on one of the mountains which He showed him.

11: CONTINUATION. LOT.

On account of his hospitality and godliness, Lot was saved out of Sodom when all the country around him was punished by means of fire and brimstone, the Lord thus making it manifest that He does not forsake those who hope in Him, but gives up those who depart from Him to punishment and torture. For Lot’s wife, who went forth with him, being of a different mind from himself and not continuing in agreement with him [as to the command which had been given them], was made an example of, so as to be a pillar of salt to this day. This was done that all might know that those who are of a double mind, and who distrust the power of God, bring down judgment on themselves, and become a sign to all succeeding generations.

12: THE REWARDS OF FAITH AND HOSPITALITY. RAHAB.

On account of her faith and hospitality, Rahab the harlot was saved. For when spies were sent by Joshua, the son of Nun, to Jericho, the king of the country ascertained that they had come to spy out their land, and sent men to seize them, in order that, when taken, they might be put to death. But the hospitable Rahab received them, and hid them on the roof of her house under some stalks of flax. And when the men sent by the king arrived and said “There came men to you who are to spy out our land; bring them forth, for so the king commands,” she answered them, “The two men whom you seek came to me, but quickly departed again and are gone,” thus not discovering the spies to them. Then she said to the men, “I know assuredly that the Lord your God has given you this city, for the fear and dread of you have fallen on its inhabitants. When therefore you shall have taken it, keep me and the house of my father in safety.” And they said to her, “It shall be as you have spoken to us. As soon, therefore, as you know that we are at hand, you shall gather all your family under your roof, and they shall be preserved, but anyone found outside of your dwelling shall perish.” Moreover, they gave her a sign to this effect, that she should hang forth from her house a scarlet thread. And thus they made it manifest that redemption should flow through the blood of the Lord to all those who believe and hope in God. You see, beloved, that there was not only faith, but prophecy, in this woman.

13: AN EXHORTATION TO HUMILITY.

Let us therefore, brethren, be of humble mind, laying aside all haughtiness, and pride, and foolishness, and angry feelings; and let us act according to that which is written (for the Holy Spirit says, “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, neither let the rich man Story in his riches; but let him that glories glory in the Lord, in diligently seeking Him, and doing judgment and righteousness” ), being especially mindful of the words of the Lord Jesus which He spoke, teaching us meekness and long-suffering. For thus He spoke: “Be merciful, that you may obtain mercy; forgive, that it may be forgiven to you; as you do, so shall it be done to you; as you judge, so shall you be judged; as you are kind, so shall kindness be shown to you; with what measure you measure, with the same it shall be measured to you.” By this precept and by these rules let us establish ourselves, that we walk with all humility in obedience to His holy words. For the holy word says, “On whom shall I look, but on him that is meek and peaceable, and who trembles at My words?”

14: WE SHOULD OBEY GOD RATHER THAN THE AUTHORS OF SEDITION.

It is right and holy therefore, men and brethren, to obey God rather than to follow those who, through pride and sedition, have become the leaders of a detestable emulation. For we shall incur no slight injury, but rather great danger, if we rashly yield ourselves to the inclinations of men who aim at exciting strife and tumults, so as to draw us away from what is good. Let us be kind one to another after the pattern of the tender mercy and benignity of our Creator. For it is written, “The kind-hearted shall inhabit the land, and the guiltless shall be left upon it, but transgressors shall be destroyed from off the face of it.” And again [the Scripture] says, “I saw the ungodly highly exalted, and lifted up like the cedars of Lebanon: I passed by, and, behold, he was not; and I diligently sought his place, and could not find it. Preserve innocence, and look on equity: for there shall be a remnant to the peaceful man.”

15: WE MUST ADHERE TO THOSE WHO CULTIVATE PEACE, NOT TO THOSE WHO MERELY PRETEND TO DO SO.

Let us cleave, therefore, to those who cultivate peace with godliness, and not to those who hypocritically profess to desire it. For [the Scripture] says in a certain place, “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” And again: “They bless with their mouth, but curse with their heart.” And again it says, “They loved Him with their mouth, and lied to Him with their tongue; but their heart was not right with Him, neither were they faithful in His covenant.” “Let the deceitful lips become silent,” [and “let the Lord destroy all the lying lips,] and the boastful tongue of those who have said, Let us magnify our tongue; our lips are our own; who is lord over us? For the oppression of the poor, and for the sighing of the needy, will I now arise, says the Lord: I will place him in safety; I will deal confidently with him.”

16: CHRIST AS AN EXAMPLE OF HUMILITY.

For Christ is of those who are humble-minded, and not of those who exalt themselves over His flock. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Scepter of the majesty of God, did not come in the pomp of pride or arrogance, although He might have done so, but in a lowly condition, as the Holy Spirit had declared regarding Him. For He says, “Lord, who has believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? We have declared [our message] in His presence: He is, as it were, a child, and like a root in thirsty ground; He has no form nor glory, yea, we saw Him, and He had no form nor comeliness; but His form was without eminence, yea, deficient in comparison with the [ordinary] form of men. He is a man exposed to stripes and suffering, and acquainted with the endurance of grief: for His countenance was turned away; He was despised, and not esteemed. He bears our iniquities, and is in sorrow for our sakes; yet we supposed that [on His own account] He was exposed to labour, and stripes, and affliction. But He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we were healed. All we, like sheep, have gone astray; [every] man has wandered in his own way; and the Lord has delivered Him up for our sins, while He in the midst of His sufferings opens not His mouth. He was brought as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before her shearer is dumb, so He opens not His mouth. In His humiliation His judgment was taken away; who shall declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth. For the transgressions of my people was He brought down to death. And I will give the wicked for His sepulcher, and the rich for His death, because He did no iniquity, nor was guile found in His mouth. And the Lord is pleased to purify Him by stripes. If you make an offering for sin, your soul shall see a long-lived seed. And the Lord is pleased to relieve Him of the affliction of His soul, to show Him light, and to form Him with understanding, to justify the Just One who ministers well to many; and He Himself shall carry their sins. On this account He shall inherit many, and shall divide the spoil of the strong; because His soul was delivered to death, and He was reckoned among the transgressors, and He bare the sins of many, and for their sins was He delivered.” And again He says, “I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All who see Me have derided Me; they have spoken with their lips; they have wagged their head, [saying] He hoped in God, let Him deliver Him, let Him save Him, since He delights in Him.” You see, beloved, what is the example which has been given us; for if the Lord thus humbled Himself, what shall we do who have through Him come under the yoke of His grace?

17: THE SAINTS AS EXAMPLES OF HUMILITY.

Let us be imitators also of those who in goat-skins and sheep-skins went about proclaiming the coming of Christ; I mean Elijah, Elisha, and Ezekiel among the prophets, with those others to whom a like testimony is borne [in Scripture]. Abraham was specially honored, and was called the friend of God; yet he, earnestly regarding the glory of God, humbly declared, “I am but dust and ashes.” Moreover, it is thus written of Job, “Job was a righteous man, and blameless, truthful, God-fearing, and one that kept himself from all evil.” But bringing an accusation against himself, he said, “No man is free from defilement, even if his life be but of one day.” Moses was called faithful in all God’s house; and through his instrumentality, God punished Egypt with plagues and tortures. Yet he, though thus greatly honored, did not adopt lofty language, but said, when the divine oracle came to him out of the bush, “Who am I, that You send me? I am a man of a feeble voice and a slow tongue.” And again he said, “I am but as the smoke of a pot.”

18: DAVID AS AN EXAMPLE OF HUMILITY.

But what shall we say concerning David, to whom such testimony was borne, and of whom God said, “I have found a man after My own heart, David the son of Jesse; and in everlasting mercy have I anointed him?” Yet this very man says to God, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, according to Your great mercy; and according to the multitude of Your compassions, blot out my transgression. Wash me still more from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my iniquity, and my sin is ever before me. Against You only have I sinned, and done that which was evil in Your sight; that You may be justified in Your sayings, and may overcome when You are judged. For, behold, I was conceived in transgressions, and in my sins did my mother conceive me. For, behold, You have loved truth; the secret and hidden things of wisdom have You shown me. you shall sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed; you shall wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. you shall make me to hear joy and gladness; my bones, which have been humbled, shall exult. Turn away Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and establish me by Your governing Spirit. I will teach transgressors Your ways, and the ungodly shall be converted to You. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation: my tongue shall exult in Your righteousness. O Lord, you shall open my mouth, and my lips shall show forth Your praise. For if You had desired sacrifice, I would have given it; You will not delight in burnt-offerings. The sacrifice [acceptable] to God is a bruised spirit; a broken and a contrite heart God will not despise.”

19: IMITATING THESE EXAMPLES, LET US SEEK AFTER PEACE.

Thus the humility and godly submission of so great and illustrious men have rendered not only us, but also all the generations before us, better; even as many as have received His oracles in fear and truth. So, having so many great and glorious examples set before us, let us turn again to the practice of that peace which from the beginning was the mark set before us; and let us look steadfastly to the Father and Creator of the universe, and cleave to His mighty and surpassingly great gifts and benefactions, of peace. Let us contemplate Him with our understanding, and look with the eyes of our soul to His long-suffering will. Let us reflect how free from wrath He is towards all His creation.

20: THE PEACE AND HARMONY OF THE UNIVERSE.

The heavens, revolving under His government, are subject to Him in peace. Day and night run the course appointed by Him, in no way hindering each other. The sun and moon, with the companies of the stars, roll on in harmony according to His command, within their prescribed limits, and without any deviation. The fruitful earth, according to His will, brings forth food in abundance, at the proper seasons, for man and beast and all the living beings upon it, never hesitating, nor changing any of the ordinances which He has fixed. The unsearchable places of abysses, and the indescribable arrangements of the lower world, are restrained by the same laws. The vast unmeasurable sea, gathered together by His working into various basins, never passes beyond the bounds placed around it, but does as He has commanded. For He said, “Thus far shall you come, and your waves shall be broken within you.” The ocean, impassible to man, and the worlds beyond it, are regulated by the same enactments of the Lord. The seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter, peacefully give place to one another. The winds in their several quarters fulfill, at the proper time, their service without hindrance. The ever-flowing fountains, formed both for enjoyment and health, furnish without fail their breasts for the life of men. The very smallest of living beings meet together in peace and concord. All these the great Creator and Lord of all has appointed to exist in peace and harmony; while He does good to all, but most abundantly to us who have fled for refuge to His compassions through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory and majesty for ever and ever. Amen. xxxxx

21: LET US OBEY GOD, AND NOT THE AUTHORS OF SEDITION.

Take heed, beloved, lest His many kindnesses lead to the condemnation of us all. [For thus it must be] unless we walk worthy of Him, and with one mind do those things which are good and well-pleasing in His sight. For [the Scripture] says in a certain place, “The Spirit of the Lord is a candle searching the secret parts of the belly.” Let us reflect how near He is, and that none of the thoughts or reasonings in which we engage are hid from Him. It is right, therefore, that we should not leave the post which His will has assigned us. Let us rather offend those men who are foolish, and inconsiderate, and lifted up, and who glory in the pride of their speech, than [offend] God. Let us reverence the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was given for us; let us esteem those who have the rule over us; let us honor the aged among us; let us train up the young men in the fear of God; let us direct our wives to that which is good. Let them exhibit the lovely habit of purity [in all their conduct]; let them show forth the sincere disposition of meekness; let them make manifest the command which they have of their tongue, by their manner of speaking; let them display their love, not by preferring one to another, but by showing equal affection to all that piously fear God. Let your children be partakers of true Christian training; let them learn of how great avail humility is with God: how much the spirit of pure affection can prevail with Him: how excellent and great His fear is, and how it saves all those who walk in it with a pure mind. For He is a Searcher of the thoughts and desires [of the heart]: His breath is in us; and when He pleases, He will take it away.

22: THESE EXHORTATIONS ARE CONFIRMED BY THE CHRISTIAN FAITH, WHICH PROCLAIMS THE MISERY OF SINFUL CONDUCT.

Now the faith which is in Christ confirms all these [admonitions]. For He Himself by the Holy Ghost thus addresses us: “Come, you children, listen to Me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desires life, and loves to see good days? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are [open] to their prayers. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cried, and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his troubles.” “Many are the stripes [appointed for] the wicked; but mercy shall compass those about who hope in the Lord.”

23: BE HUMBLE, AND BELIEVE THAT CHRIST WILL COME AGAIN.

The all-merciful and beneficent Father has bowels [of compassion] towards those who fear Him, and kindly and lovingly bestows His favours upon those who come to Him with a simple mind. So let us not be double-minded; neither let our soul be lifted up on account of His exceedingly great and glorious gifts. Far from us be that which is written, “Wretched are they who are of a double mind, and of a doubting heart; who say, These things we have heard even in the times of our fathers; but, behold, we have grown old, and none of them has happened to us..” You foolish ones! compare yourselves to a tree: take [for instance] the vine. First of all, it sheds its leaves, then it buds, next it puts forth leaves, and then it flowers; after that comes the sour grape, and then follows the ripened fruit. You perceive how in a little time the fruit of a tree comes to maturity. Of a truth, soon and suddenly shall His will be accomplished, as the Scripture also bears witness, saying, “Speedily will He come, and will not tarry;” and, “The Lord shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Holy One, for whom you look.”

24: GOD CONTINUALLY SHOWS US IN NATURE THAT THERE WILL BE A RESURRECTION.

Let us consider, beloved, how the Lord continually proves to us that there shall be a future resurrection, of which He has rendered the Lord Jesus Christ the first-fruits by raising Him from the dead. Let us contemplate, beloved, the resurrection which is at all times taking place. Day and night declare to us a resurrection. The night sinks to sleep, and the day arises; the day [again] departs, and the night comes on. Let us behold the fruits [of the earth], how the sowing of grain takes place. The sower goes forth, and casts it into the ground; and the seed being thus scattered, though dry and naked when it fell upon the earth, is gradually dissolved. Then out of its dissolution the mighty power of the providence of the Lord raises it up again, and from one seed many arise and bring forth fruit.

25: THE PHOENIX AN EMBLEM OF OUR RESURRECTION.

Let us consider that wonderful sign [of the resurrection] which takes place in Eastern lands, that is, in Arabia and the countries round about. There is a certain bird which is called a phoenix. This is the only one of its kind, and lives five hundred years. And when the time of its dissolution draws near that it must die, it builds itself a nest of frankincense, and myrrh, and other spices, into which, when the time is fulfilled, it enters and dies. But as the flesh decays a certain kind of worm is produced, which, being nourished by the juices of the dead bird, brings forth feathers. Then, when it has acquired strength, it takes up that nest in which are the bones of its parent, and bearing these it passes from the land of Arabia into Egypt, to the city called Heliopolis. And, in open day, flying in the sight of all men, it places them on the altar of the sun, and having done this, hastens back to its former abode. The priests then inspect the registers of the dates, and find that it has returned exactly as the five hundredth year was completed.

26: WE SHALL RISE AGAIN, THEN, AS THE SCRIPTURE ALSO TESTIFIES.

Do we then deem it any great and wonderful thing for the Maker of all things to raise up again those who have piously served Him in the assurance of a good faith, when even by a bird He shows us the mightiness of His power to fulfil His promise? For [the Scripture] says in a certain place, “You shall raise me up, and I shall confess to You;” and again, “I laid down, and slept; I awaked, because You are with me;” and again, Job says, “you shall raise up this flesh of mine, which has suffered all these things.”

27: IN THE HOPE OF THE RESURRECTION, LET US CLEAVE TO THE OMNIPOTENT AND OMNISCIENT GOD.

Having then this hope, let our souls be bound to Him who is faithful in His promises, and just in His judgments. He who has commanded us not to lie, shall much more Himself not lie; for nothing is impossible with God, except to lie. Let His faith therefore be stirred up again within us, and let us consider that all things are nigh unto Him. By the word of His might He established all things, and by His word He can overthrow them. “Who shall say to Him, What have you done? or, Who shall resist the power of His strength?” When and as He pleases He will do all things, and none of the things determined by Him shall pass away? All things are open before Him, and nothing can be hidden from His counsel. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handy-work. Day to day utters speech, and night to night shows knowledge. And there are no words or speeches of which the voices are not heard.”

28: GOD SEES ALL THINGS: THEREFORE LET US AVOID TRANSGRESSION.

Since then all things are seen and heard [by God], let us fear Him, and forsake those wicked works which proceed from evil desires; so that, through His mercy, we may be protected from the judgments to come. For whither can any of us flee from His mighty hand? Or what world will receive any of those who run away from Him? For the Scripture says in a certain place, “Whither shall I go, and where shall I be hid from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I go away even to the uttermost parts of the earth, there is Your right hand; if I make my bed in the abyss, there is Your Spirit.” Whither, then, shall any one go, or where shall he escape from Him who comprehends all things?

29: LET US ALSO DRAW NEAR TO GOD IN PURITY OF HEART.

Let us then draw near to Him with holiness of spirit, lifting up pure and undefiled hands to Him, loving our gracious and merciful Father, who has made us partakers in the blessings of His elect. For thus it is written, “When the Most High divided the nations, when He scattered the sons of Adam, He fixed the bounds of the nations according to the number of the angels of God. His people Jacob became the portion of the Lord, and Israel the lot of His inheritance.” And in another place [the Scripture] says, “Behold, the Lord takes to Himself a nation out of the midst of the nations, as a man takes the first-fruits of his threshing-floor; and from that nation shall come forth the Most Holy.

30: LET US DO THOSE THINGS THAT PLEASE GOD, AND FLEE FROM THOSE HE HATES, THAT WE MAY BE BLESSED.

Seeing, therefore, that we are the portion of the Holy One, let us do all those things which pertain to holiness, avoiding all evil-speaking, all abominable and impure embraces, together with all drunkenness, seeking after change, all abominable lusts, detestable adultery, and execrable pride. “For God,” says [the Scripture], “resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Let us cleave, then, to those to whom grace has been given by God. Let us clothe ourselves with concord and humility, ever exercising self-control, standing far off from all whispering and evil-speaking, being justified by our works, and not our words. For [the Scripture] says, “He that speaks much, shall also hear much in answer. And does he that is ready in speech deem himself righteous? Blessed is he that is born of woman, who lives but a short time: be not given to much speaking.” Let our praise be in God, and not of ourselves; for God hates those who commend themselves. Let testimony to our good deeds be borne by others, as it was in the case of our righteous forefathers. Boldness, and arrogance, and audacity belong to those that are accursed of God; but moderation, humility, and meekness to such as are blessed by Him.

31: LET US SEE BY WHAT MEANS WE MAY OBTAIN THE DIVINE BLESSING.

Let us cleave then to His blessing, and consider what are the means of possessing it. Let us think over the things which have taken place from the beginning. For what reason was our father Abraham blessed? was it not because he wrought righteousness and truth through faith? Isaac, with perfect confidence, as if knowing what was to happen, cheerfully yielded himself as a sacrifice. Jacob, through reason of his brother, went forth with humility from his own land, and came to Laban and served him; and there was given to him the scepter of the twelve tribes of Israel.

32: WE ARE JUSTIFIED NOT BY OUR OWN WORKS, BUT BY FAITH.

Whosoever will candidly consider each particular, will recognise the greatness of the gifts which were given by him. For from him have sprung the priests and all the Levites who minister at the altar of God. From him also [was descended] our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh. From him [arose] kings, princes, and rulers of the race of Judah. Nor are his other tribes in small glory, inasmuch as God had promised, “Your seed shall be as the stars of heaven.” All these, therefore, were highly honored, and made great, not for their own sake, or for their own works, or for the righteousness which they wrought, but through the operation of His will. And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

33: BUT LET US NOT OWE UP THE PRACTICE OF GOOD WORKS AND LOVE. GOD HIMSELF IS AN EXAMPLE TO US OF GOOD WORKS.

What shall we do, then, brethren? Shall we become slothful in well-doing, and cease from the practice of love? God forbid that any such course should be followed by us! But rather let us hasten with all energy and readiness of mind to perform every good work. For the Creator and Lord of all Himself rejoices in His works. For by His infinitely great power He established the heavens, and by His incomprehensible wisdom He adorned them. He also divided the earth from the water which surrounds it, and fixed it upon the immoveable foundation of His own will. The animals also which are upon it He commanded by His own word into existence. So likewise, when He had formed the sea, and the living creatures which are in it, He enclosed them [within their proper bounds] by His own power. Above all, with His holy and undefiled hands He formed man, the most excellent [of His creatures], and truly great through the understanding given him: the express likeness of His own image. For thus says God: “Let us make man in Our image, and after Our likeness. So God made man; male and female He created them.” Having thus finished all these things, He approved them, and blessed them, and said, “Increase and multiply.” We see, then, how all righteous men have been adorned with good works, and how the Lord Himself, adorning Himself with His works, rejoiced. Having therefore such an example, let us without delay accede to His will, and let us work the work of righteousness with our whole strength.

34: GREAT IS THE REWARD OF GOOD WORKS WITH GOD. JOINED TOGETHER IN HARMONY, LET US IMPLORE THAT REWARD FROM HIM.

The good servant receives the bread of his labour with confidence; the lazy and slothful cannot look his employer in the face. It is requisite, therefore, that we be prompt in the practice of well-doing; for of Him are all things. And thus He forewarns us: “Behold, the Lord [comes], and His reward is before His face, to render to every man according to his work.” He exhorts us, therefore, with our whole heart to attend to this, that we be not lazy or slothful in any good work. Let our boasting and our confidence be in Him. Let us submit ourselves to His will. Let us consider the whole multitude of His angels, how they stand ever ready to minister to His will. For the Scripture says, “Ten thousand times ten thousand stood around Him, and thousands of thousands ministered to Him, and cried, Holy, holy, holy, the Lord of Sabaoth; the whole creation is full of His glory.” And let us therefore, conscientiously gathering together in harmony, cry to Him earnestly, as with one mouth, that we may be made partakers of His great and glorious promises. For [the Scripture] says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which He has prepared for those who wait for Him.”

35: IMMENSE IS THIS REWARD. HOW SHALL WE OBTAIN IT?

How blessed and wonderful, beloved, are the gifts of God! Life in immortality, splendor in righteousness, truth in perfect confidence, faith in assurance, self-control in holiness! And all these fall under the cognizance of our understandings [now]; what then shall those things be which are prepared for such as wait for Him? The Creator and Father of all worlds, the Most Holy, alone knows their amount and their beauty. Let us therefore earnestly strive to be found in the number of those who wait for Him, in order that we may share in His promised gifts. But how, beloved, shall this be done? If our understanding be fixed by faith rewards God; if we earnestly seek the things which are pleasing and acceptable to Him; if we do the things which are in harmony with His blameless will; and if we follow the way of truth, casting away from us all unrighteousness and iniquity, along with all covetousness, strife, evil practices, deceit, whispering, and evil-speaking, all hatred of God, pride and haughtiness, vainglory and ambition. For they that do such things are hateful to God; and not only they that do them, but also those who take pleasure in those who do them. For the Scripture says, “But to the sinner God said, Why do you declare my statutes, and take my covenant into your mouth, seeing you hate instruction, and cast my words behind you? When you saw a thief, you consented with him, and made your portion with adulterers. Your mouth has abounded with wickedness, and your tongue contrived deceit. You sit, and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son. These things you have done, and I kept silence; you thought, wicked one, that I should be like you. But I will reprove you, and set yourself before you. Consider now these things, you who forget God, lest He tear you in pieces, like a lion, and there be none to deliver. The sacrifice of praise will glorify Me, and a way is there by which I will show him the salvation of God.”

36: ALL BLESSINGS ARE GIVEN TO US THROUGH CHRIST.

This is the way, beloved, in which we find our Savior, even Jesus Christ, the High Priest of all our offerings, the defender and helper of our infirmity. By Him we look up to the heights of heaven. By Him we behold, as in a glass, His immaculate and most excellent visage. By Him are the eyes of our hearts opened. By Him our foolish and darkened understanding blossoms up anew towards His marvelous light. By Him the Lord has willed that we should taste of immortal knowledge, “who, being the brightness of His majesty, is by so much greater than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” For it is thus written, “Who makes His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire.” But concerning His Son the Lord spoke thus: “You are my Son, today have I begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the heathen for Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Your possession.” And again He says to Him, “Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool.” But who are His enemies? All the wicked, and those who set themselves to oppose the will of God.

37: CHRIST IS OUR LEADER, AND WE HIS SOLDIERS.

Let us then, men and brethren, with all energy act the part of soldiers, in accordance with His holy commandments. Let us consider those who serve under our generals, with what order, obedience, and submissiveness they perform the things which are commanded them. All are not prefects, nor commanders of a thousand, nor of a hundred, nor of fifty, nor the like, but each one in his own rank performs the things commanded by the king and the generals. The great cannot subsist without the small, nor the small without the great. There is a kind of mixture in all things, and thence arises mutual advantage. Let us take our body for an example. The head is nothing without the feet, and the feet are nothing without the head; yea, the very smallest members of our body are necessary and useful to the whole body. But all work harmoniously together, and are under one common rule for the preservation of the whole body.

38: LET THE MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH SUBMIT THEMSELVES, AND NO ONE EXALT HIMSELF ABOVE ANOTHER.

Let our whole body, then, be preserved in, Christ Jesus; and let every one be subject to his neighbor, according to the special gift bestowed upon him. Let the strong not despise the weak, and let the weak show respect to the strong. Let the rich man provide for the wants of the poor; and let the poor man bless God, because He has given him one by whom his need may be supplied. Let the wise man display his wisdom, not by [mere] words, but through good deeds. Let the humble not bear testimony to himself, but leave witness to be borne to him by another. Let him that is pure in the flesh not grow proud of it, and boast, knowing that it was another who bestowed on him the gift of continence. Let us consider, then, brethren, of what matter we were made,: who and what manner of beings we came into the world, as it were out of a sepulcher, and from utter darkness. He who made us and fashioned us, having prepared His bountiful gifts for us before we were born, introduced us into His world. Since, therefore, we receive all these things from Him, we ought for everything to give Him thanks; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

39: THERE IS NO REASON FOR SELF-CONCEIT.

Foolish and inconsiderate men, who have neither wisdom nor instruction, mock and deride us, being eager to exalt themselves in their own conceits. For what can a mortal man do? or what strength is there in one made out of the dust? For it is written, “There was no shape before mine eyes, only I heard a sound, and a voice [saying], What then? Shall a man be pure before the Lord? or shall such an one be [counted] blameless in his deeds, seeing He does not confide in His servants, and has charged even His angels with perversity? The heaven is not clean in His sight: how much less they that dwell in houses of clay, of which also we ourselves were made! He smote them as a moth; and from morning even until evening they endure not. Because they could furnish no assistance to themselves, they perished. He breathed upon them, and they died, because they had no wisdom. But call now, if any one will answer you, or if you will look to any of the holy angels; for wrath destroys the foolish man, and envy kills him that is in error. I have seen the foolish taking root, but their habitation was presently consumed. Let their sons be far from safety; let them be despised before the gates of those less than themselves, and there shall be none to deliver. For what was prepared for them, the righteous shall eat; and they shall not be delivered from evil.”

40: LET US PRESERVE IN THE CHURCH THE ORDER APPOINTED BY GOD.

These things therefore being manifest to us, and since we look into the depths of the divine knowledge, it behoves us to do all things in [their proper] order, which the Lord has commanded us to perform at stated times. He has enjoined offerings [to be presented] and service to be performed [to Him], and that not thoughtlessly or irregularly, but at the appointed times and hours. Where and by whom He desires these things to be done, He Himself has fixed by His own supreme will, in order that all things being piously done according to His good pleasure, may be acceptable to Him. Those, therefore, who present their offerings at the appointed times, are accepted and blessed; for inasmuch as they follow the laws of the Lord, they sin not. For his own peculiar services are assigned to the high priest, and their own proper place is prescribed to the priests, and their own special ministrations devolve on the Levites. The layman is bound by the laws that pertain to laymen.

41: CONTINUATION OF THE SAME SUBJECT.

Let every one of you, brethren, give thanks to God in his own order, living in all good conscience, with becoming gravity, and not going beyond the rule of the ministry prescribed to him. Not in every place, brethren, are the daily sacrifices offered, or the peace-offerings, or the sin-offerings and the trespass-offerings, but in Jerusalem only. And even there they are not offered in any place, but only at the altar before the temple, that which is offered being first carefully examined by the high priest and the ministers already mentioned. Those, therefore, who do anything beyond that which is agreeable to His will, are punished with death. You see, brethren, that the greater the knowledge that has been vouchsafed to us, the greater also is the danger to which we are exposed.

42: THE ORDER OF MINISTERS IN THE CHURCH.

The apostles have preached the Gospel to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ [has done sol from God. Christ therefore was sent forth by God, and the apostles by Christ. Both these appointments, then, were made in an orderly way, according to the will of God. Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established in the word of God, with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labors], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus says the Scripture a certain place, “I will appoint their bishops s in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.”

43: MOSES OF OLD STILLED THE CONTENTION WHICH AROSE CONCERNING THE PRIESTLY DIGNITY.

And what wonder is it if those in Christ who were entrusted with such a duty by God, appointed those [ministers] before mentioned, when the blessed Moses also, “a faithful servant in all his house,” noted down in the sacred books all the injunctions which were given him, and when the other prophets also followed him, bearing witness with one consent to the ordinances which he had appointed? For, when rivalry arose concerning the priesthood, and the tribes were contending among themselves as to which of them should be adorned with that glorious title, he commanded the twelve princes of the tribes to bring him their rods, each one being inscribed with the name of the tribe. And he took them and bound them [together], and sealed them with the rings of the princes of the tribes, and laid them up in the tabernacle of witness on the table of God. And having shut the doors of the tabernacle, he sealed the keys, as he had done the rods, and said to them, Men and brethren, the tribe whose rod shall blossom has God chosen to fulfill the office of the priesthood, and to minister to Him. And when the morning was come, he assembled all Israel, six hundred thousand men, and showed the seals to the princes of the tribes, and opened the tabernacle of witness, and brought forth the rods. And the rod of Aaron was found not only to have blossomed, but to bear fruit upon it. What think you, beloved? Did not Moses know beforehand that this would happen? Undoubtedly he knew; but he acted thus, that there might be no sedition in Israel, and that the name of the true and only God might be glorified; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

44: THE ORDINANCES OF THE APOSTLES, THAT THERE MIGHT BE NO CONTENTION RESPECTING THE PRIESTLY OFFICE.

Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and who have blamelessly served the flock of Christ in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that you have removed some men of excellent behavior from the ministry, which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honor.

45: IT IS THE PART OF THE WICKED TO VEX THE RIGHTEOUS.

You are fond of contention, brethren, and full of zeal about things which do not pertain to salvation. Look carefully into the Scriptures, which are the true utterances of the Holy Spirit. Observe that nothing of an unjust or counterfeit character is written in them. There you will not find that the righteous were cast off by men who themselves were holy. The righteous were indeed persecuted, but only by the wicked. They were cast into prison, but only by the unholy; they were stoned, but only by transgressors; they were slain, but only by the accursed, and such as had conceived an unrighteous envy against them. Exposed to such sufferings, they endured them gloriously. For what shall we say, brethren? Was Daniel s cast into the den of lions by such as feared God? Were Ananias, and Azarias, and Mishael shut up in a furnace of fire by those who observed the great and glorious worship of the Most High? Far from us be such a thought! Who, then, were they that did such things? The hateful, and those full of all wickedness, were roused to such a pitch of fury, that they inflicted torture on those who served God with a holy and blameless purpose [of heart], not knowing that the Most High is the Defender and Protector of all such as with a pure conscience venerate” His all-excellent name; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. But they who with confidence endured [these things] are now heirs of glory and honor, and have been exalted and made illustrious by God in their memorial for ever and ever. Amen.

46: LET US CLEAVE TO THE RIGHTEOUS: YOUR STRIFE IS PERNICIOUS.

Such examples, therefore, brethren, it is right that we should follow; since it is written, “Cleave to the holy, for those who cleave to them shall [themselves] be made holy.” And again, in another place, [the Scripture] says, “With a harmless man you shall prove thyself harmless, and with an elect man you shall be elect, and with a perverse man you shall show thyself perverse.” Let us cleave, therefore, to the innocent and righteous, since these are the elect of God. Why are there strifes, and tumults, and divisions, and schisms, and wars among you? Have we not [all] one God and one Christ? Is there not one Spirit of grace poured out upon us? And have we not one calling in Christ? Why do we divide and tear to pieces the members of Christ, and raise up strife against our own body, and have reached such a height of madness as to forget that “we are members one of another?” Remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, how He said, “Woe to that man [by whom offenses come]! It were better for him that he had never been born, than that he should cast a stumbling-block before one of my elect. Yea, it were better for him that a millstone should be hung about [his neck], and he should be sunk in the depths of the sea, than that he should cast a stumbling-block before one of my little ones. Your schism has subverted [the faith of] many, has discouraged many, has given rise to doubt in many, and has caused grief to us all. And still your sedition continues.

47: YOUR RECENT DISCORD IS WORSE THAN THE FORMER WHICH TOOK PLACE IN THE TIMES OF PAUL.

Take up the epistle of the blessed Apostle Paul. What did he write to you at the time when the Gospel first began to be preached? Truly, under the inspiration of the Spirit, he wrote to you concerning himself, and Cephas, and Apollos, because even then parties had been formed among you. But that inclination for one above another entailed less guilt upon you, inasmuch as your partialities were then shown towards apostles, already of high reputation, and towards a man whom they had approved. But now reflect who those are that have perverted you, and lessened the renown of your far-famed brotherly love. It is disgraceful, beloved, yea, highly disgraceful, and unworthy of your Christian profession, that such a thing should be heard of as that the most steadfast and ancient Church of the Corinthians should, on account of one or two persons, engage in sedition against its presbyters. And this rumour has reached not only us, but those also who are unconnected with us; so that, through your infatuation, the name of the Lord is blasphemed, while danger is also brought upon yourselves.

48: LET US RETURN TO THE PRACTICE OF BROTHERLY LOVE.

Let us therefore, with all haste, put an end s to this [state of things]; and let us fall down before the Lord, and beseech Him with tears, that He would mercifully be reconciled to us, and restore us to our former seemly and holy practice of brotherly love. For [such conduct] is the gate of righteousness, which is set open for the attainment of life, as it is written, “Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go in by them, and will praise the Lord: this is the gate of the Lord: the righteous shall enter in by it.” Although, therefore, many gates have been set open, yet this gate of righteousness is that gate in Christ by which blessed are all they that have entered in and have directed their way in holiness and righteousness, doing all things without disorder. Let a man be faithful: let him be powerful in the utterance of knowledge; let him be wise in judging of words; let him be pure in all his deeds; yet the more he seems to be superior to others [in these respects], the more humble-minded ought he to be, and to seek the common good of all, and not merely his own advantage.

49: THE PRAISE OF LOVE.

Let him who has love in Christ keep the commandments of Christ. Who can describe the [blessed] bond of the love of God? What man is able to tell the excellence of its beauty, as it ought to be told? The height to which love exalts is unspeakable. Love unites us to God. Love covers a multitude of sins. Love bears all things, is long-suffering in all things. There is nothing base, nothing arrogant in love. Love admits of no schisms: love gives rise to no seditions: love does all things in harmony. By love have all the elect of God been made perfect; without love nothing is well-pleasing to God. In love has the Lord taken us to Himself. On account of the Love he bore us, Jesus Christ our Lord gave His blood for us by the will of God; His flesh for our flesh, and His soul for our souls.

50: LET US PRAY TO BE THOUGHT WORTHY OF LOVE.

You see, beloved, how great and wonderful a thing is love, and that there is no declaring its perfection. Who is fit to be found in it, except such as God has vouchsafed to render so? Let us pray, therefore, and implore of His mercy, that we may live blameless in love, free from all human partialities for one above another. All the generations from Adam even to this day have passed away; but those who, through the grace of God, have been made perfect in love, now possess a place among the godly, and shall be made manifest at the revelation of the kingdom of Christ. For it is written, “Enter into thy secret chambers for a little time, until my wrath and fury pass away; and I will remember a propitious day, and will raise you up out of your graves.” Blessed are we, beloved, if we keep the commandments of God in the harmony of love; that so through love our sins may be forgiven us. For it is written, “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not impute to him, and in whose mouth there is no guile.” This blessedness comes upon those who have been chosen by God through Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

51: LET THE PARTAKERS IN STRIFE ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR SINS.

Let us therefore implore forgiveness for all those transgressions which through any [suggestion] of the adversary we have committed. And those who have been the leaders of sedition and disagreement ought to have respect to the common hope. For such as live in fear and love would rather that they themselves than their neighbors should be involved in suffering. And they prefer to bear blame themselves, rather than that the concord which has been well and piously handed down to us should suffer. For it is better that a man should acknowledge his transgressions than that he should harden his heart, as the hearts of those were hardened who stirred up sedition against Moses the servant of God, and whose condemnation was made manifest [to all]. For they went down alive into Hades, and death swallowed them up. Pharaoh with his army and all the princes of Egypt, and the chariots with their riders, were sunk in the depths of the Red Sea, and perished, for no other reason than that their foolish hearts were hardened, after so many signs and wonders had been wrought in the land of Egypt by Moses the servant of God.

52: SUCH A CONFESSION IS PLEASING TO GOD.

The Lord, brethren, stands in need of nothing; and He desires nothing of any one, except that confession be made to Him. For, says the elect David, “I will confess to the Lord; and that will please Him more than a young bullock that has horns and hoofs. Let the poor see it, and be glad.” And again he says, “Offer to God the sacrifice of praise, and pay your vows to the Most High. And call upon Me in the day of your trouble: I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” For “the sacrifice of God is a broken spirit.”

53: THE LOVE OF MOSES TOWARDS HIS PEOPLE.

You understand, beloved, you understand well the Sacred Scriptures, and you have looked very earnestly into the oracles of God. Call then these things to your remembrance. When Moses went up into the mount, and abode there, with fasting and humiliation, forty days and forty nights, the Lord said to him, “Moses, Moses, get down quickly from here; for your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have committed iniquity. They have quickly departed from the way in which I commanded them to walk, and have made to themselves molten images.” And the Lord said to him, “I have spoken to you once and again, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff-necked people: let Me destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make you a great and wonderful nation, and one much more numerous than this.” But Moses said, “Far be it from You, Lord: pardon the sin of this people; else blot me also out of the book of the living.” O marvelous love! O insuperable perfection! The servant speaks freely to his Lord, and asks forgiveness for the people, or begs that he himself might perish along with them.

54: HE WHO IS FULL OF LOVE WILL INCUR EVERY LOSS, THAT PEACE MAY BE RESTORED TO THE CHURCH.

Who then among you is noble-minded? who compassionate? who full of love? Let him declare, “If on my account sedition and disagreement and schisms have arisen, I will depart, I will go away whithersoever you desire, and I will do whatever the majority commands; only let the flock of Christ live on terms of peace with the presbyters set over it.” He that acts thus shall procure to himself great glory in the Lord; and every place will welcome him. For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.” These things they who live a godly life, that is never to be repented of, both have done and always will do.

55: EXAMPLES OF SUCH LOVE.

To bring forward some examples from among the heathen: Many kings and princes, in times of pestilence, when they had been instructed by an oracle, have given themselves up to death, in order that by their own blood they might deliver their fellow-citizens [from destruction]. Many have gone forth from their own cities, that so sedition might be brought to an end within them. We know many among ourselves who have given themselves up to bonds, in order that they might ransom others. Many, too, have surrendered themselves to slavery, that with the price which they received for themselves, they might provide food for others. Many women also, being strengthened by the grace of God, have performed numerous manly exploits. The blessed Judith, when her city was besieged, asked of the elders permission to go forth into the camp of the strangers; and, exposing herself to danger, she went out for the love which she bare to her country and people then besieged; and the Lord delivered Holofernes into the hands of a woman. Esther also, being perfect in faith, exposed herself to no less danger, in order to deliver the twelve tribes of Israel from impending destruction. For with fasting and humiliation she entreated the everlasting God, who sees all things; and He, perceiving the humility of her spirit, delivered the people for whose sake she had encountered peril.

56. LET US ADMONISH AND CORRECT ONE ANOTHER.

Let us then also pray for those who have fallen into any sin, that meekness and humility may be given to them, so that they may submit, not to us, but to the will of God. For in this way they shall secure a fruitful and perfect remembrance from us, with sympathy for them, both in our prayers to God, and our mention of them to the saints. Let us receive correction, beloved, on account of which no one should feel displeased. Those exhortations by which we admonish one another are both good [in themselves] and highly profitable, for they tend to unite us to the will of God. For thus says the holy Word: “The Lord has severely chastened me, yet has not given me over to death.” “For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” “The righteous,” it says, “shall chasten me in mercy, and reprove me; but let not the oil of sinners make fat my head.” And again he says, “Blessed is the man whom the Lord reproves, and reject not the warning of the Almighty. For He causes sorrow, and again restores [to gladness]; He wounds, and His hands make whole. He shall deliver you in six troubles, yea, in the seventh no evil shall touch you. In famine He shall rescue you from death, and in war He shall free you from the power of the sword. From the scourge of the tongue will He hide you, and you shall not fear when evil comes. you shall laugh at the unrighteous and the wicked, and shall not be afraid of the beasts of the field. For the wild beasts shall be at peace with you: then shall you know that your house shall be in peace, and the habitation of your tabernacle shall not fail? You shall know also that your seed shall be great, and your children like the grass of the field. And you shall come to the grave like ripened corn which is reaped in its season, or like a heap of the threshing-floor which is gathered together at the proper time.” You see, beloved, that protection is afforded to those who are chastened of the Lord; for since God is good, He corrects us, that we may be admonished by His holy chastisement.

57: LET THE AUTHORS OF SEDITION SUBMIT THEMSELVES.

You therefore, who laid the foundation of this sedition, submit yourselves to the presbyters, and receive correction so as to repent, bending the knees of your hearts. Learn to be subject, laying aside the proud and arrogant self-confidence of your tongue. For it is better for you that you should occupy a humble but honorable place in the flock of Christ, than that, being highly exalted, you should be cast out from the hope of His people. For thus speaks all-virtuous Wisdom: “Behold, I will bring forth to you the words of My Spirit, and I will teach you My speech. Since I called, and you did not hear; I held forth My words, and you regarded not, but set at naught My counsels, and yielded not at My reproofs; therefore I too will laugh at your destruction; yes, I will rejoice when ruin comes upon you, and when sudden confusion overtakes you, when overturning presents itself like a tempest, or when tribulation and oppression fall upon you. For it shall come to pass, that when you call upon Me, I will not hear you; the wicked shall seek Me, and they shall not find Me. For they hated wisdom, and did not choose the fear of the Lord; nor would they listen to My counsels, but despised My reproofs. So they shall eat the fruits of their own way, and they shall be filled with their own ungodliness.” . . .

58: BLESSINGS SOUGHT FOR ALL THAT CALL UPON GOD.

May God, who sees all things, and who is the Ruler of all spirits and the Lord of all flesh: who chose our Lord Jesus Christ and us through Him to be a peculiar people: grant to every soul that calls upon His glorious and holy Name, faith, fear, peace, patience, long-suffering, self-control, purity, and sobriety, to the well-pleasing of His Name, through our High Priest and Protector, Jesus Christ, by whom be to Him glory, and majesty, and power, and honor, both now and for evermore. Amen.

59: THE CORINTHIANS ARE EXHORTED SPEEDILY TO SEND BACK WORD THAT PEACE HAS BEEN RESTORED. THE BENEDICTION.

Send back speedily to us in peace and with joy these our messengers to you: Claudius Ephebus and Valerius Bito, with Fortunatus: that they may the sooner announce to us the peace and harmony we so earnestly desire and long for [among you], and that we may the more quickly rejoice over the good order re-established among you. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, and with all everywhere that are the called of God through Him, by whom be to Him glory, honor, power, majesty, and eternal dominion, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen.

The Didache: Teachings of the Twelve

1 There Are Two Ways

1:1 There are two ways, one of life and one of death! and there is a great difference between the two ways.

1:2 The way of life is this: First, you shall love God who made you. And second, love your neighbor as yourself, and do not do to another what you would not want done to you.

1:3 The meaning of these sayings is this: Bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you. For what reward is there for loving those who love you? Do not the heathens do the same? But you should love those who hate you, and then you shall have no enemies.

1:4 Abstain from fleshly and bodily lusts: If someone strikes your right cheek, turn the other also, and be perfect. If someone forces you to go one mile, go two. If someone takes your cloak, give also your coat. If someone takes from you what is yours, don’t ask for it back. You really cannot.

1:5 Give to every one who asks you, and don’t ask for it back. The Father wants his blessings shared. Happy is the giver who lives according to this rule, for that one is guiltless. But the receiver must beware; for if one receives who has need, he is guiltless, but if one receives not having need, he shall stand trial, answering why he received and for what use. If he is found guilty he shall not escape until he pays back the last penny.

1:6 However, concerning this, there is a saying: “Let your alms sweat in your hands until you know to whom to give them.”

2 The Second Commandment

2:1 The second commandment of the teaching is this:

2:2 Do not commit murder; do not commit adultery; do not corrupt boys; do not have illicit sex; do not steal; do not practice magic; do not practice witchcraft; you shall not murder a child, whether it be born or unborn. Do not covet the things of your neighbor.

2:3 Do not swear or bear false witness. Do not speak evil of others; do not bear grudges.

2:4 You should not be double-minded or double-tongued, for a double-tongue is a deadly snare.

2:5 Your speech should not be false nor empty, but fulfilled by action.

2:6 Do not be covetous, or greedy, or hypocritical, or malicious, or arrogant. Do not have designs against your neighbor.

2:7 Hate no one; correct some, pray for others, and some you should love more than your own life.

3 My Child, Flee Evil

3:1 My child, flee evil of all kinds, and everything like it.

3:2 Don’t be prone to anger, for anger leads to murder. Don’t be jealous or quarrelsome or hot-tempered, for all these things lead to murder.

3:3 My child, don’t be lustful, for lust leads to illicit sex. Don’t be a filthy talker or allow your eyes a free reign, for these lead to adultery.

3:4 My child, don’t observe omens, since it leads to idolatry. Don’t be an enchanter, or an astrologer, or a purifier, or be willing to see or hear about these things, for these all lead to idolatry.

3:5 My child, don’t be a liar, since a lie leads to theft. Don’t love money or seek glory, for these things lead to thievery.

3:6 My child, don’t grumble, since it leads to blasphemy, and don’t be self-willed or evil-minded, for all these things lead to blasphemy.

3:7 On the contrary, be gentle, since the gentle will inherit the earth.

3:8 Be long-suffering and pitiful and guileless and gentle and good, and with trembling, treasure the words you have received.

3:9 Don’t exalt yourself or open your heart to overconfidence. Don’t be on intimate terms with mighty people, but with just and lowly ones.

3:10 Accept whatever happens to you as a blessing, knowing that nothing comes to pass apart from God.

4 My Child, Remember

[4:1 My child, remember day and night him who speaks the word of God to you, and honor him as the Lord. For wherever his lordship is spoken of, there he is.]

4:2 Seek each day the faces of the saints, in order that you may be refreshed by their words.

4:3 Do not initiate divisions, but rather bring peace to those who contend against one another. Judge righteously, and do not take social status into account when reproving for transgressions.

4:4 Do not waver in your decisions.

4:5 Do not be one who opens his hands to receive, or closes them when it is time to give.

4:6 If you have anything, by your hands you should give ransom for your sins.

4:7 Do not hesitate to give, and do not complain about it. You will know in time who is the good Rewarder.

4:8 Do not turn away from one who is in want; rather, share all things with your brother, and do not say that they are your own. For if you are sharers in what is imperishable, how much more in things which perish!

4:9 Do not remove your hand from your son or daughter; teach them the fear of God from their youth.

4:10 Do not give orders to your servants when you are angry, for they hope in the same God, and they may lose the fear of God, who is over both of you. God is surely not coming to call on us according to our outward appearance or station in life, but to them whom the Spirit has prepared.

4:11 And you, servants, be subject to your masters as to God’s image, in modesty and fear.

4:12 You should hate all hypocrisy and everything which is not pleasing to the Lord.

4:13 Do not in any way neglect the commandments of the Lord, but keep what you have received, neither adding nor taking away anything.

4:14 In your gatherings, confess your transgressions, and do not come for prayer with a guilty conscience.

This is the way of life!

5 The Way of Death

5:1 The way of death, on the other hand, is this: It is evil and accursed—murders, adulteries, lust, illicit sex, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, sorceries, robberies, false testimonies, hypocrisy,double-heartedness,deceit, haughtiness, depravity, self-will, greediness, filthy talking, jealousy, over-confidence, loftiness, boastfulness—those who do not fear God.

5:2 The way of death is the way of those who persecute the good, hate the truth, love lies, and do not understand the reward for righteousness. They do not cleave to good or righteous judgment; they do not watch for what is good, but for what is evil. They are strangers to meekness and patience, loving vanities, pursuing revenge, without pity for the needy and oppressed. They do not know their Creator; they are murderers of children, destroyers of God’s image. They turn away from those who are in need, making matters worse for those who are distressed. They are advocates for the rich, unjust judges of the poor. In a word, the way of death is full of those who are steeped in sin. Be delivered, children, from all of this!

6 See That No One Leads You Astray

6:1 See that no one leads you astray from the way of this teaching, since all other teachings train you without God.

6:2 For if you are able to bear the entire yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect; but if you are not able, then at least do what you can.

6:3 Concerning food, do what you are able to do and be on guard against meat offered to idols, for that is to worship dead gods.

7 Concerning Baptism

7:1 Concerning baptism, you should baptize this way: After first explaining all things, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in flowing water.

7:2 But if you have no running water, baptize in other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, then in warm.

7:3 If you have very little, pour water three times on the head in the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit.

7:4 Before the baptism, both the baptizer and the candidate for baptism, plus any others who can, should fast. The candidate should fast for one or two days beforehand.

8 Your Fasts and prayers

8:1 Your fasts should not be with the hypocrites, for they fast on Mondays and Thursdays. You should fast on Wednesdays and Fridays.

8:2 And do not pray like the hypocrites, but rather as the Lord commanded in the gospel: Our Father in heaven, holy be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us enough bread day-by-day. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.

8:3 Pray this three times each day.

9 Concerning the Eucharist

9:1 Concerning the Eucharist, give thanks this way.

9:2 First, concerning the cup: We thank you, our Father, for the holy vine of David your servant, which you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be the glory forever.

9:3 Next, concerning the broken bread: We thank you, our Father, for the life and knowledge which you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be the glory forever.

9:4 Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let your church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. To you is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ forever.

9:5 Allow no one to eat or drink of your Eucharist, unless they have been baptized in the name of the Lord. For concerning this, the Lord has said, “Do not give what is holy to dogs.”

10 After the Eucharist

10:1 After the Eucharist when you are filled, give thanks this way:

10:2 We thank you, holy Father, for your holy name which you enshrined in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality that you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be the glory forever.

10:3 You, Master Almighty, have created all things for your name’s sake. You gave food and drink to all people for enjoyment, that they might give thanks to you; but to us you freely give spiritual food and drink and life eternal through Jesus, your servant.

10:4 Before all things we thank you because you are mighty. To you be the glory forever.

10:5 Remember, Lord, your church. Deliver it from all evil and make it perfect in your love, and gather it from the four winds sanctified for your kingdom which you have prepared for it. For Yours is the power and the glory forever.

10:6 Let grace come, and let this world pass away!

Hosanna to the Son of David! If anyone is holy, let him come; if anyone is not holy, let him repent. Maranatha! Amen.

[10:7 But permit the prophets to make thanksgiving as much as they desire.]

11 Welcome the Teacher

11:1 Welcome the teacher when he comes to instruct you in all that has been said.

11:2 But if he turns and trains you in another tradition to the destruction of this teaching, do not listen. If he teaches so as to increase righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as the Lord.

11:3 Act according to the precepts of the gospel concerning all apostles and prophets:

11:4 Let every apostle who comes to you be received as the Lord.

11:5 But he must not remain more than one day, or two, if there’s a need. If he stays three days, he is a false prophet.

11:6 And when the apostle goes away, let him take nothing but bread to last him until his next night of lodging. If he asks for money, he is a false prophet.

11:7 In addition, if any prophet speaks in the Spirit, you shall not try or judge him; for every sin will be forgiven, but this sin cannot be forgiven.

11:8 But not everyone who speaks in the Spirit is a prophet; only he is a prophet who has the ways of the Lord about him. By their ways will the false prophet and the prophet be known.

11:9 Any prophet who orders a meal in the Spirit does not eat it; if he does, he is indeed a false prophet.

11:10 And any prophet who teaches the truth, but does not do what he teaches, is a false prophet.

11:11 When a prophet, proved true, works for the mystery of the church in the world but does not teach others to do what he himself does, he will not be judged among you, for his judgment is already before God. The ancient prophets acted in this way, also.

11:12 But whoever says in the Spirit, “Give me money,”or something else like this, you must not listen to him. But if he tells you to give for the sake of others who are in need, let no one judge him.

12 Welcome Anyone Coming in the Name of the Lord

12:1 Welcome anyone coming in the name of the Lord. Receive everyone who comes in the name of the Lord, but then, test them and use your discretion.

12:2 If he who comes is a transient, assist him as far as you are able; but he should not remain with you more than two or three days, if need be.

12:3 If he wants to stay with you, and is a craftsman, let him work for his living.

12:4 But if he has no trade, use your judgment in providing for him; for a Christian should not live idle in your midst.

12:5 If he is dissatisfied with this sort of an arrangement, he is a Christ peddler. Watch that you keep away from such people.

13 Every Genuine prophet

13:1 Every genuine prophet who wants to live among you is worthy of support.

13:2 So also, every true teacher is, like a workman, entitled to his support.

13:3 Every first fruit, therefore, of the products of vintage and harvest, of cattle and of sheep, should be given as first fruits to the prophets, for they are your high priests.

13:4 But if you have no prophet, give it all to the poor.

13:5 If you bake bread, take the first loaf and give it according to the commandment.

13:6 If you open a new jar of wine or of oil, take the first fruit and give it to the prophets.

13:7 If you acquire money or cloth or any other possession, set aside a portion first, as it may seem good to you, and give according to the commandment.

14 On the Lord’s Day

14:1 On the Lord’s day, gather yourselves together and break bread, give thanks, but first confess your sins so that your sacrifice may be pure.

14:2 However, let no one who is at odds with his brother come together with you, until he has reconciled, so that your sacrifice may not be profaned.

14:3 For this is what the Lord has said: “For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the of hosts. . . . For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name is reverenced among the nations.”

15 Appoint Bishops for Yourselves

15:1 Appoint bishops for yourselves, as well as deacons, worthy of the Lord, of meek disposition, unattached to money, truthful and proven; for they also render to you the service of prophets and teachers.

15:2 Do not despise them, after all, for they are your honored ones, together with the prophets and teachers.

15:3 And reprove one another, not in anger, but in peace, as you have it in the gospel. But to anyone who acts amiss against another, let no one speak to him, nor let him hear anything from you until he repents. But your prayers and alms and all your deeds so do, as you have it in the gospel of our Lord.

16 Watch Over Your Life

16:1 Watch over your life, that your lamps are never quenched, and that your loins are never unloosed. Be ready, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.

16:2 Come together often, seeking the things that are good for your souls. A life of faith will not profit you if you are not made perfect at the end of time.

16:3 For in the last days false prophets and corrupters will be plenty, and the sheep will be turned into wolves, and love will be turned into hate.

16:4 When lawlessness increases, they will hate and persecute and betray one another, and then the world-deceiver will appear claiming to be the Son of God, and he will do signs and wonders, and the earth will be delivered into his hands, and he will do iniquitous things that have not been seen since the beginning of the world.

16:5 Then humankind will enter into the fire of trial, and many will be made to stumble and many will perish; but those who endure in their faith will be saved from under the curse itself.

16:6 And then the signs of the truth will appear: the first sign, an opening of the heavens; the second sign, the sounding of the trumpet; and the third sign, the resurrection of the dead—

16:7 not of every one, but as it is said: “Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.”

16:8 Finally, “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory.”

Translated into modern English by Tony Jones