Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 8: 8.04.03 Pseudo-Clementine - Recognitions Book 1 40-End

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Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 8: 8.04.03 Pseudo-Clementine - Recognitions Book 1 40-End



TOPIC: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 8 (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 8.04.03 Pseudo-Clementine - Recognitions Book 1 40-End

Other Subjects in this Topic:

Pseudo-Clementine Literature (Cont.)

Recognitions of Clement. (Cont.)

Book I. (Cont.)

Chap. XL. — Advent of the True Prophet.

“These things therefore having been fore-arranged, He who was expected comes, bringing signs and miracles as His credentials by which He should be made manifest. But not even so did the people believe, though they had been trained during so many ages to the belief of these things. And not only did they not believe, but they added blasphemy to unbelief, saying that He was a gluttonous man and a belly-slave, and that He was actuated by a demon, (Mat_9:1-38; Joh_7:1-53) even He who had come for their salvation. To such an extent does wickedness prevail by the agency of evil ones; so that, but for the Wisdom of God assisting those who love the truth, almost all would have been involved in impious delusion. Therefore He chose us twelve, (Mat_10:1-42) the first who believed in Him, whom He named apostles; and afterwards other seventy-two most approved disciples, (Luk_10:1-42) that, at least in this way recognising the pattern of Moses, (Num_11:16) the multitude might believe that this is He of whom Moses foretold, the Prophet that was to come. (Deu_18:15)



Chap. XLI. — Rejection of the True Prophet.

“But some one perhaps may say that it is possible for any one to imitate a number; but what shall we say of the signs and miracles which He wrought? For Moses had wrought miracles and cures in Egypt. He also of whom he foretold that He should rise up a prophet like unto himself, though He cured every sickness and infirmity among the people, wrought innumerable miracles, and preached eternal life, was hurried by wicked men to the cross; which deed was, however, by His power turned to good. In short, while He was suffering, all the world suffered with Him; for the sun was darkened, the mountains were torn asunder, the graves were opened, the veil of the temple was rent, (Mat_27:45,Mat_27:51,Mat_27:52) as in lamentation for the destruction impending over the place. And yet, though all the world was moved, they themselves are not even now moved to the consideration of these so great things.



Chap. XLII. — Call of the Gentiles.

“But inasmuch as it was necessary that the Gentiles should be called into the room of those who remained unbelieving,20 so that the number might be filled up which had been shown to Abraham, (Gen_15:1-21; Act_13:1-52) the preaching of the blessed kingdom of God is sent into all the world. On this account worldly spirits are disturbed, who always oppose those who are in quest of liberty, and who make use of the engines of error to destroy God’s building; while those who press on to the glory of safety and liberty, being rendered braver by their resistance to these spirits, and by the toil of great struggles against them, attain the crown of safety not without the palm of victory. Meantime, when He had suffered, and darkness had overwhelmed the world from the sixth even to the ninth hour, (Mat_27:45) as soon as the sun shone out again, and things were returned to their usual course, even wicked men returned to themselves and their former practices, their fear having abated. For some of them, watching the place with all care, when they could not prevent His rising again, said that He was a magician; others pretended that he was stolen away. (Mat_28:13) 89



Chap. XLIII. — Success of the Gospel.

“Nevertheless, the truth everywhere prevailed; for, in proof that these things were done by divine power, we who had been very few became in the course of a few days, by the help of God, far more than they. So that the priests at one thee were afraid, lest haply, by the providence of God, to their confusion, the whole of the people should come over to our faith. Therefore they often sent to us, and asked us to discourse to them concerning Jesus, whether He were the Prophet whom Moses foretold, who is the eternal Christ. (Joh_12:34) For on this point only does there seem to be any difference between us who believe in Jesus, and the unbelieving Jews. But while they often made such requests to us, and we sought for a fitting opportunity, a week of years was completed from the passion of the Lord, the Church of the Lord which was constituted in Jerusalem was most plentifully multiplied and grew, being governed with most righteous ordinances by James, who was ordained bishop in it by the Lord.



Chap. XLIV. — Challenge by Caiaphas.

“But when we twelve apostles, on the day of the passover, had come together with an immense multitude, and entered into the church of the brethren, each one of us, at the request of James,21 stated briefly, in the hearing of the people, What we had done in every place.22 While this was going on, Caiaphas, the high priest, sent priests to us, and asked us to come to him, that either we should prove to him that Jesus is the eternal Christ, or he to us that He is not, and that so all the people should agree upon the one faith or the other; and this he frequently entreated us to do. But we often put it off, always seeking for a more convenient time.” Then I, Clement, answered to this: “I think that this very question, whether He is the Christ, is of great importance for the establishment of the faith; otherwise the high priest would not so frequently ask that he might either learn or teach concerning the Christ.” Then Peter: “You have answered rightly, O Clement; for as no one can see without eyes, nor hear without ears, nor smell without nostrils, nor taste without a tongue, nor handle anything without hands, so it is impossible, without the true Prophet, to know what is pleasing to God.” And I answered: “I have already learned from your instruction that this true prophet is the Christ; but I should wish to learn what the Christ means, or why He is so called, that a matter of so great importance may not be vague and uncertain to me.”



Chap. XLV. — The True Prophet: Why Called the Christ.

Then Peter began to instruct me in this manner:23 “When God had made the world, as Lord of the universe, He appointed chiefs over the several creatures, over the trees even, and the mountains, and the fountains, and the rivers, and all things which He had made, as we have told you; for it were too long to mention them one by one. He set, therefore, an angel as chief over the angels, a spirit over the spirits, a star over the stars, a demon over the demons, a bird over the birds, a beast over the beasts, a serpent over the serpents, a fish over the fishes, a man over men, who is Christ Jesus. But He is called Christ by a certain excellent rite of religion; for as there are certain names common to kings, as Arsaces among the Persians, Cæsar among the Romans, Pharaoh among the Egyptians, so among the Jews a king is called Christ And the reason of this appellation is this: Although indeed He was the Son of God, and the beginning of all things, He became man; Him first God anointed with oil which was taken from the wood of the tree of life: from that anointing therefore He is called Christ. Thence, moreover, He Himself also, according to the appointment of His Father, anoints with similar oil every one of the pious when they come to His kingdom, for their refreshment after their labours, as having got over the difficulties of the way; so that their light may shine, and being filled with the Holy Spirit, they may be endowed with immortality.24 But it occurs to me that I have sufficiently explained to you the whole nature of that branch from which that ointment is taken.



Chap. XLVI. — Anointing.

“But now also I shall, by a very short representation, recall you to the recollection of all these things. In the present life, Aaron, the first high priest, (Exo_29:1-46; Lev_8:1-36) was anointed with a composition of chrism, which was made after the pattern of that spiritual ointment of which we have spoken before. He was prince of the people, and as a king received first-fruits and tribute from the people, man by man; and having undertaken the office 90 of judging the people, he judged of things clean and things unclean. But if any one else was anointed with the same ointment, as deriving virtue from it, he became either king, or prophet, or priest. If, then, this temporal grace, compounded by men, had such efficacy, consider now how potent was that ointment extracted by God from a branch of the tree of life, when that which was made by men could confer so excellent dignities among men. For what in the present age is more glorious than a prophet, more illustrious than a priest, more exalted than a king?”



Chap. XLVII. — Adam Anointed a Prophet.

To this, I replied: “I remember, Peter, that you told me of the first man that he was a prophet; but you did not say that he was anointed. If then there be no prophet without anointing, how could the first man be a prophet, since he was not anointed?” Then Peter, smiling, said: “If the first man prophesied, it is certain that he was also anointed. For although he who has recorded the law in his pages is silent as to his anointing, yet he has evidently left us to understand these things. For as, if he had said that he was anointed, it would not be doubted that he was also a prophet, although it were not written in the law; so, since it is certain that he was a prophet, it is in like manner certain that he was also anointed, because without anointing he could not be a prophet. But you should rather have said, If the chrism was compounded by Aaron, by the perfumer’s art, how could the first man be anointed before Aaron’s time, the arts of composition not yet having been discovered?” Then I answered, “Do not misunderstand me, Peter; for I do not speak of that compounded ointment and temporal oil, but of that simple and eternal ointment, which you told me was made by God, after whose likeness you say that that other was compounded by men.”



Chap. XLVIII. — The True Prophet, a Priest.

Then Peter answered, with an appearance of indignation: “What! do you suppose, Clement, that all of us can know all things before the thee? But not to be drawn aside now from our proposed discourse, we shall at another time, when your progress is more manifest, explain these things more distinctly.

“Then, however, a priest or a prophet, being anointed with the compounded ointment, putting fire to the altar of God, was held illustrious in all the world. But after Aaron, who was a priest, another is taken out of the waters. I do not speak of Moses, but of Him who, in the waters of baptism, was called by God His Son. (Mat_3:17) For it is Jesus who has put out, by the grace of baptism, that fire which the priest kindled for sins; for, from the thee when He appeared, the chrism has ceased, by which the priesthood or the prophetic or the kingly office was conferred.



Chap. XLIX. — Two Comings of Christ.

“His coming, therefore, was predicted by Moses, who delivered the law of God to men; but by another also before him, as I have already informed you. He therefore intimated that He should come, humble indeed in His first coming, but glorious in His second. And the first, indeed, has been already accomplished; since He has come and taught, and He, the Judge of all, has been judged and slain. But at His second coming He shall come to judge, and shall indeed condemn the wicked, but shall take the pious into a share and association with Himself in His kingdom. Now the faith of His second coming depends upon His first. For the prophets — especially Jacob and Moses — spoke of the first, but some also of the second. But the excellency of prophecy is chiefly shown in this, that the prophets spoke not of things to come, according to the sequence of things; otherwise they might seem merely as wise men to have conjectured what the sequence of things pointed out.



Chap. L. — His Rejection by the Jews.

“But what I say is this: It was to be expected that Christ should be received by the Jews, to whom He came, and that they should believe on Him who was expected for the salvation of the people, according to the traditions of the fathers; but that the Gentiles should be averse to Him, since neither promise nor announcement concerning Him had been made to them, and indeed he had never been made known to them even by name. Yet the prophets, contrary to the order and sequence of things, said that He should be the expectation of the Gentiles, and not of the Jews. (Gen_49:10) And so it happened. For when He came, he was not at all acknowledged by those who seemed to expect Him, in consequence of the tradition of their ancestors; whereas those who had heard nothing at all of Him, both believe that He has come, and hope that he is to come. And thus in all things prophecy appears faithful, which said that He was the expectation of the Gentiles. The Jews, therefore, have erred concerning the first coming of the Lord; and on this point only there is disagreement betwixt us and them. For they themselves know and expect that Christ shall come; but that he has come already in humility — even he who is called Jesus — they do not know. And this is a great confirmation of His coming, that all do not believe on Him. 91



Chap. LI. — The Only Saviour.

“Him, therefore, has God appointed in the end of the world; because it was impossible that the evils of men could be removed by any other, provided that the nature of the human race were to remain entire, i.e., the liberty of the will being preserved. This condition, therefore, being preserved inviolate, He came to invite to His kingdom all righteous ones, and those who have been desirous to please Him. For these He has prepared unspeakable good things, and the heavenly city Jerusalem, which shall shine above the brightness of the sun, for the habitation of the saints. But the unrighteous, and the wicked and those who have despised God, and have devoted the life given them to diverse wickednesses, and have given to the practice of evil the thee which was given them for the work of righteousness He shall hand over to fitting and condign vengeance. But the rest of the things which shall then be done, it is neither in the power of angels nor of men to tell or to describe. This only it is enough for us to know, that God shall confer upon the good an eternal possession of good things.”



Chap. LII. — The Saints Before Christ’s Coming.

When he had thus spoken, I answered: “If those shall enjoy the kingdom of Christ, whom His coming shall final righteous, shall then those be wholly deprived of the kingdom who have died before His coming?” Then Peter says: “You compel me, O Clement, to touch upon things that are unspeakable. But so far as it is allowed to declare them, I shall not shrink from doing so. Know then that Christ, who was from the beginning, and always, was ever present with the pious, though secretly, through all their generations: especially with those who waited for Him, to whom He frequently appeared. But the thee was not yet that there should be a resurrection of the bodies that were dissolved; but this seemed rather to be their reward from God, that whoever should be found righteous, should remain longer in the body; or, at least, as is clearly related in the writings of the law concerning a certain righteous man, that God translated him. (Gen_5:24) In like manner others were dealt with, who pleased His will, that, being translated to Paradise, they should be kept for the kingdom. But as to those who have not been able completely to fulfil the rule of righteousness, but have had some remnants of evil in their flesh, their bodies are indeed dissolved, but their souls are kept in good and blessed abodes, that at the resurrection of the dead, when they shall recover their own bodies, purified even by the dissolution, they may obtain an eternal inheritance in proportion to their good deeds. And therefore blessed are all those who shall attain to the kingdom of Christ; for not only shall they escape the pains of hell, but shall also remain incorruptible, and shall be the first to see God the Father, and shall obtain the rank of honour among the first in the presence of God.



Chap. LIII. — Animosity of the Jews.

“Wherefore there is not the least doubt concerning Christ; and all the unbelieving Jews are stirred up with boundless rage against us, fearing lest haply He against whom they have sinned should be He. And their fear grows all the greater, because they know that, as soon as they fixed Him on the cross, the whole world showed sympathy with Him; and that His body, although they guarded it with strict care, could nowhere be found; and that innumerable multitudes are attaching themselves to His faith. Whence they, together with the high priest Caiaphas, were compelled to send to us again and again, that an inquiry might be instituted concerning the truth of His name. And when they were constantly entreating that they might either learn or teach concerning Jesus, whether He were the Christ, it seemed good to us to go up into the temple, and in the presence of all the people to bear witness concerning Him, and at the same thee to charge the Jews with many foolish things which they were doing. For the people was now divided into many parties, ever since the days of John the Baptist.



Chap. LIV. — Jewish Sects.

“For when the rising of Christ was at hand for the abolition of sacrifices, and for the bestowal of the grace of baptism, the enemy, understanding from the predictions that the thee was at hand, wrought various schisms among the people, that, if haply it might be possible to abolish the former sin,25 the latter fault might be incorrigible. The first schism, therefore, was that of those who were called Sadducees, which took their rise almost in the thee of John. These, as more righteous than others, began to separate themselves from the assembly of the people, and to deny the resurrection of the dead, (Mat_22:23) and to assert that by an argument of infidelity, saying that it was unworthy that God should be worshipped, as it were, under the promise of a reward. The first author of this opinion was Dositheus;26 the second was Simon. Another schism is that of the Samaritans; for 92 they deny the resurrection of the dead, and assert that God is not to be worshipped in Jerusalem, but on Mount Gerizim. They indeed rightly, from the predictions of Moses, expect the one true Prophet; but by the wickedness of Dositheus they were hindered from believing that Jesus is He whom they were expecting. The scribes also, and Pharisees, are led away into another schism; but these, being baptized by John, and holding the word of truth received from the tradition of Moses as the key of the kingdom of heaven, have hid it from the hearing of the people. (Luk_11:52) Yea, some even of the disciples of John, who seemed to be great ones, have separated themselves from the people, and proclaimed their own master as the Christ. But all these schisms have been prepared, that by means of them the faith of Christ and baptism might be hindered.



Chap. LV. — Public Discussion.

“However, as we were proceeding to say, when the high priest had often sent priests to ask us that we might discourse with one another concerning Jesus; when it seemed a fit opportunity, and it pleased all the Church, we went up to the temple, and, standing on the steps together with our faithful brethren, the people kept perfect silence; and first the high priest began to exhort the people that they should hear patiently and quietly, and at the same thee witness and judge of those things that were to be spoken. Then, in the next place, exalting with many praises the rite or sacrifice which had been bestowed by God upon the human race for the remission of sins, he found fault with the baptism of our Jesus, as having been recently brought in in opposition to the sacrifices. But Matthew,27 meeting his propositions, showed clearly, that whosoever shall not obtain the baptism of Jesus shall not only be deprived of the kingdom of heaven, but shall not be without peril at the resurrection of the dead, even though he be for-titled by the prerogative of a good life and an upright disposition. Having made these and such like statements, Matthew stopped.



Chap. LVI. — Sadducees Refuted.

“But the party of the Sadducees, who deny the resurrection of the dead, were in a rage, so that one of them cried out from amongst the people, saying that those greatly err who think that the dead ever arise. In opposition to him, Andrew, my brother, answering, declared that it is not an error, but the surest matter of faith, that the dead rise, in accordance with the teaching of Him of whom Moses foretold that He should come the true Prophet. ‘Or if,’ says he, ‘you do not think that this is He whom Moses foretold, let this first be inquired into, so that when this is clearly proved to be He, there may be no further doubt concerning the things which He taught.’ These, and many such like things, Andrew proclaimed, and then stopped.



Chap. LVII. — Samaritan Refuted.

“But a certain Samaritan, speaking against the people and against God, and asserting that neither are the dead to rise, nor is that worship of God to be maintained which is in Jerusalem, but that Mount Gerizim is to be reverenced, added also this in opposition to us, that our Jesus was not He whom Moses foretold as a Prophet to come into the world. Against him, and another who supported him in what he said, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, strove vigorously; and although they had a command not to enter into their cities, (Mat_10:5) nor to bring the word of preaching to them, yet, lest their discourse, unless it were confined, should hurt the faith of others, they replied so prudently and so powerfully, that they put them to perpetual silence. For James made an oration concerning the resurrection of the dead, with the approbation of all the people; while John showed that if they would abandon the error of Mount Gerizim, they should consequently acknowledge that Jesus was indeed He who, according to the prophecy of Moses, was expected to come; since, indeed, as Moses wrought signs and miracles, so also did Jesus. And there is no doubt but that the likeness of the signs proves Him to be that prophet of whom he said that He should come, ‘like himself.’ Having declared these things, and more to the same effect, they ceased.



Chap. LVIII. — Scribes Refuted.

“And, behold, one of the scribes, shouting silt from the midst of the people, says: ‘The signs and miracles which your Jesus wrought, he wrought not as a prophet, but as a magician.’ Him Philip eagerly encounters, showing that by this argument he accused Moses also. For when Moses wrought signs and miracles in Egypt, in like manner as Jesus also did in Judæa, it cannot be doubted that what was said of Jesus might as well be said of Moses. Having made these and such like protestations, Philip was silent.



Chap. LIX. — Pharisees Refuted.

“Then a certain Pharisee, hearing this, chid Philip because he put Jesus on a level with Moses. 93 To whom Bartholomew, answering, boldly declared that we do not only say that Jesus was equal to Moses, but that He was greater than he, because Moses was indeed a prophet, as Jesus was also, but that Moses was not the Christ, as Jesus was, and therefore He is doubtless greater who is both a prophet and the Christ, than he who is only a prophet. After following out this train of argument, he stopped. After him James the son of Alphæus gave an address to the people, with the view of showing that we are not to believe on Jesus on the ground that the prophets foretold concerning Him, but rather that we are to believe the prophets, that they were really prophets, because the Christ bears testimony to them; for it is the presence and coming of Christ that show that they are truly prophets: for testimony must be borne by the superior to his inferiors, not by the inferiors to their superior. After these and many similar statements, James also was silent. After him Lebbæus began vehemently to charge it upon the people that they did not believe in Jesus, who had done them so much good by teaching them the things that are of God, by comforting the afflicted, healing the sick, relieving the poor; yet for all these benefits their return had been hatred and death. When he had declared these and many more such things to the people, he ceased.



Chap. LX. — Disciples of John Refuted.

“And, behold, one of the disciples of John asserted that John was the Christ, and not Jesus, inasmuch as Jesus Himself declared that John was greater than all men and all prophets. (Mat_11:9, Mat_11:11) ‘If, then,’ said he, ‘he be greater than all, he must be held to be greater than Moses, and than Jesus himself. But if he be the greatest of all, then must he be the Christ.’ To this Simon the Canaanite, answering, asserted that John was indeed greater than all the prophets, and all who are born of women, yet that he is not greater than the Son of man. Accordingly Jesus is also the Christ, whereas John is only a prophet: and there is as much difference between him and Jesus, as between the forerunner and Him whose forerunner he is; or as between Him who gives the law, and him who keeps the law. Having made these and similar statements, the Canaanite also was silent. After him Barnabas,28 who also is called Matthias, who was substituted as an apostle in the place of Judas, began to exhort the people that they should not regard Jesus with hatred, nor speak evil of Him. For it were far more proper, even for one who might be in ignorance or in doubt concerning Jesus, to love than to hate Him. For God has affixed a reward to love, a penalty to hatred. ‘For the very fact,’ said he, ‘that He assumed a Jewish body, and was born among the Jews, how has not this incited us all to love Him?’ When he had spoken this, and more to the same effect, he stopped.



Chap. LXI. — Caiaphas Answered.

“Then Caiaphas attempted to impugn the doctrine of Jesus, saying that He spoke vain things, for He said that the poor are blessed; (Mat_5:3; Luk_6:20) and promised earthly rewards; and placed the chief gift in an earthly inheritance; and promised that those who maintain righteousness shall be satisfied with meat and drink; and many things of this sort He is charged with teaching. Thomas, in reply, proves that his accusation is frivolous; showing that the prophets, in whom Caiaphas believes, taught these things much more, and did not show in what manner these things are to be, or how they are to be understood; whereas Jesus pointed out how they are to be taken. And when he had spoken these things, and others of like kind, Thomas also held his peace.



Chap. LXII. — Foolishness of Preaching.

“Therefore Caiaphas, again looking at me, and sometimes in the way of warning and sometimes in that of accusation, said that, I ought for the future to refrain from preaching Christ Jesus, lest I should do it to my own destruction, and lest, being deceived myself, I should also deceive others. Then, moreover, he charged me with presumption, because, though I was unlearned, a fisherman, and a rustic, I dared to assume the office of a teacher. As he spoke these things, and many more of like kind, I said in reply, that I incurred less danger, if, as he said, this Jesus were not the Christ, because I received Him as a teacher of the law; but that he was in terrible danger if this be the very Christ, as assuredly He is: for I believe in Him who has appeared; but for whom else, who has never appeared, does he reserve his faith? But if I, an unlearned and uneducated man, as you say, a fisherman and a rustic, have more understanding than wise elders, this, said I, ought the more to strike terror into you. For if I disputed with any learning, and won over you wise and learned men, it would appear that I had acquired this power by long learning, and not by the grace of divine power; but now, when, as I have said, we unskilled men convince and overcome you wise men, who that has any sense does not perceive that this is not a work of human subtlety, but of divine will and gift? 94



Chap. LXIII. — Appeal to the Jews.

“Thus we argued and bore witness; and we who were unlearned men and fishermen, taught the priests concerning the one only God of heaven; the Sadducees, concerning the resurrection of the dead; the Samaritans, concerning the sacredness of Jerusalem (not that we entered into their cities, but disputed with them in public); the scribes and Pharisees, concerning the kingdom of heaven; the disciples of John, that they should not suffer John to be a stumbling-block to them; and all the people, that Jesus is the eternal Christ. At last, however, I warned them, that before we should go forth to the Gentiles, to preach to them the knowledge of God the Father, they should themselves be reconciled to God, receiving His Son; for I showed them that in no way else could they be saved, unless through the grace of the Holy Spirit they hasted to be washed with the baptism of threefold invocation, and received the Eucharist of Christ the Lord, whom alone they ought to believe concerning those things which He taught, that so they might merit to attain eternal salvation; but that otherwise it was utterly impossible for them to be reconciled to God, even if they should kindle a thousand altars and a thousand high altars to Him.



Chap. LXIV. — Temple to Be Destroyed.

“‘For we.’ said I, ‘have ascertained beyond doubt that God is much rather displeased with the sacrifices which you offer, the thee of sacrifices having now passed away; and because ye will not acknowledge that the thee for offering victims is now past, therefore the temple shall be destroyed, and the abomination of desolation (Dan_9:27; Mat_24:15) shall stand in the holy place; and then the Gospel shall be preached to the Gentiles for a testimony against you, that your unbelief may be judged by their faith. For the whole world at different times suffers under divers maladies, either spreading generally over all, or affecting specially. Therefore it needs a physician to visit it for its salvation. We therefore bear witness to you, and declare to you what has been hidden from every one of you. It is for you to consider what is for your advantage.’



Chap. LXV. — Tumult Stilled by Gamaliel.

“When I had thus spoken, the whole multitude of the priests were in a rage, because I had foretold to them the overthrow of the temple. Which when Gamaliel, a chief of the people, saw — who was secretly our brother in the faith, but by our advice remained among them — because they were greatly enraged and moved with intense fury against us, he stood up, and said, (Act_5:35-39) ‘Be quiet for a little, O men of Israel, for ye do not perceive the trial which hangs over you. Wherefore refrain from these men; and if what they are engaged in be of human counsel, it will soon come to an end; but if it be from God, why will you sin without cause, and prevail nothing? For who can overpower the will of God? Now therefore, since the day is declining towards evening. I shall myself dispute with these men to-morrow, in this same place, in your hearing, so that I may openly oppose and clearly confute every error.’ By this speech of his their fury was to some extent checked, especially in the hope that next day we should be publicly convicted of error; and so he dismissed the people peacefully.



Chap. LXVI. — Discussion Resumed.

“Now when we had come to our James, while we detailed to him all that had been said and done, we supped, and remained with him, spending the whole night in supplication to Almighty God, that the discourse of the approaching disputation might show the unquestionable truth of our faith. Therefore, on the following day, James the bishop went up to the temple with us, and with the whole church. There we found a great multitude, who had been waiting for us from the middle of the night. Therefore we took our stand in the same place as before, in order that, standing on an elevation, we might be seen by all the people. Then, when profound silence was obtained, Gamaliel, who, as we have said, was of our faith, but who by a dispensation remained amongst them, that if at any thee they should attempt anything unjust or wicked against us, he might either check them by skillfully adopted counsel, or might warn us, that we might either be on our guard or might turn it aside ; — he therefore, as if acting against us, first of all looking to James the bishop, addressed him in this manner: —



Chap. LXVII. — Speech of Gamaliel.

“‘If I, Gamaliel, deem it no reproach either to my learning or to my old age to learn something from babes and unlearned ones, if haply there be anything which it is for profit or for I safety to acquire (for he who lives reasonably knows that nothing is more precious than the soul), ought not this to be the object of love and desire to all, to learn what they do not know, and to teach what they have learned? For it is most certain that neither friendship, nor kindred, nor lofty power, ought to be more precious to men than truth. Therefore you, O brethren, if ye know anything more, shrink not from laying it 95 before the people of God who are present, and also before your brethren; while the whole people shall willingly and in perfect quietness hear what you say. For why should not the people do this, when they see even me equally with themselves willing to learn from you, if haply God has revealed something further to you? But if you in anything are deficient, be not ye ashamed in like manner to be taught by us, that God may fill up whatever is wanting on either side. But if any fear now agitates you on account of some of our people whose minds are prejudiced against you, and if through fear of their violence you dare not openly speak your sentiments, in order that I may deliver you from this fear, I openly swear to you by Almighty God, who liveth for ever, that I will suffer no one to lay hands upon you. Since, then, you have all this people witnesses of this my oath, and you hold the covenant of our sacrament as a fitting pledge, let each one of you, without any hesitation, declare what he has learned; and let us, brethren, listen eagerly and in silence.’



Chap. LXVIII. — The Rule of Faith.

“These sayings of Gamaliel did not much please Caiaphas; and holding him in suspicion, as it seemed, he began to insinuate himself cunningly into the discussions: for, smiling at what Gamaliel had said, the chief of the priests asked of James, the chief of the bishops,29 that the discourse concerning Christ should not be drawn but from the Scriptures; ‘that we may know,’ said he, ‘whether Jesus be the very Christ or no.’ Then said James, ‘We must first inquire from what Scriptures we are especially to derive our discussion.’ Then he, with difficulty, at length overcome by reason, answered, that it must be derived from the law; and afterwards he made mention also of the prophets.



Chap. LXIX. — Two Comings of Christ.

“To him our James began to show, that whatsoever things the prophets say they have taken from the law, and what they have spoken is in accordance with the law. He also made some statements respecting the books of the Kings in: what way, and when, and by whom they were written, and how they ought to be used. And when he had discussed most fully concerning the law, and had, by a most clear exposition, brought into light whatever things are in it concerning Christ, he showed by most abundant proofs that Jesus is the Christ, and that in Him are fulfilled all the prophecies which related to His humble advent. For he showed that two advents of Him are foretold: one in humiliation, which He has accomplished; the other in glory, which is hoped for to be accomplished, when He shall come to give the kingdom to those who believe in Him, and who observe all things which He has commanded. And when he had plainly taught the people concerning these things, he added this also: That unless a man be baptized in water, in the name of the threefold blessedness, as the true Prophet taught, he can neither receive remission of sins nor enter into the kingdom of heaven; and he declared that this is the prescription of the unbegotten God. To which he added this also: ‘Do not think that we speak of two unbegotten Gods, or that one is divided into two, or that the same is made male and female. But we speak of the only-begotten Son of God, not sprung from another source, but ineffably self-originated; and in like manner we speak of the Paraclete.30 But when he had spoken some things also concerning baptism, through seven successive days he persuaded all the people and the high priest that they should hasten straightway to receive baptism.



Chap. LXX. — Tumult Raised by Saul.

“And when matters were at that point that they should come and be baptized, some one of our enemies,31 entering the temple with a few men, began to cry out, and to say, ‘What mean ye, O men of Israel? Why are you so easily hurried on? Why are ye led headlong by most miserable men, who are deceived by Simon, a magician?’ While he was thus speaking, and adding more to the same effect, and while James the bishop was refuting him, he began to excite the people and to raise a tumult so that the people might not be able to hear what was said. Therefore he began to drive all into confusion with shouting, and to undo what had been arranged with much labour, and at the same time to reproach the priests, and to enrage them with revilings and abuse, and, like a madman, to excite every one to murder, saying, ‘What do ye? Why do ye hesitate? Oh sluggish and inert, why do we not lay hands upon them, and pull all these fellows to pieces?’ When he had said this, he first, seizing a strong brand from the altar, set the example of smiting. Then others also, seeing him, were carried away with like readiness. Then ensued a tumult on either side, of the beating and the beaten. Much blood is shed; there is a confused flight, in the midst of which that enemy attacked James, and threw him headlong from the top of the steps; and supposing him to be dead, he cared not to inflict further violence upon him. 96



Chap. LXXI. — Flight to Jericho.

“But our friends lifted him up, for they were both more numerous and more powerful than the others; but, from their fear of God, they rather suffered themselves to be killed by an inferior force, than they would kill others. But when the evening came the priests shut up the temple, and we returned to the house of James, and spent the night there in prayer. Then before daylight we went down to Jericho, to the number of 5000 men. Then after three days one of the brethren came to us from Gamaliel, whom we mentioned before, bringing to us secret tidings that that enemy had received a commission from Caiaphas, the chief priest, that he should arrest all who believed in Jesus, and should go to Damascus with his letters, and that there also, employing the help of the unbelievers, he should make havoc among the faithful; and that he was hastening to Damascus chiefly on this account, because he believed that Peter had fled thither.32 And about thirty days thereafter he stopped on his way while passing through Jericho going to Damascus. At that time we were absent, having gone out to the sepulchres of two brethren which were whitened of themselves every year, by which miracle the fury of many against us was restrained, because they saw that our brethren were had in remembrance before God.



Chap. LXXII. — Peter Sent to Cæsarea.

“While, therefore, we abode in Jericho, and gave ourselves to prayer and fasting, James the bishop sent for me, and sent me here to Cæsarea, saying that Zacchæus had written to him from Cæsarea, that one Simon, a Samaritan magician, was subverting many of our people, asserting that he was one Stans,33 — that is, in other words, the Christ, and the great power of the high God, which is superior to the Creator of the world; at the same time that he showed many miracles, and made some doubt, and others fall away to him. He informed me of all things that had been ascertained respecting this man from those who had formerly been either his associates or his disciples, and had afterwards been converted to Zacchæus. ‘Many therefore there are, O Peter,’ said James,’ for whose safety’s sake it behoves you to go and to refute the magician, and to teach the word of truth. Therefore make no delay; nor let it grieve yon that you set out alone, knowing that God by Jesus will go with you, and will help you, and that soon, by His grace, you will have many associates and sympathizers. Now be sure that you send me in writing every year an account of you sayings and doings, and especially at the end of every seven years.’ With these expressions he dismissed me, and in six days I arrived at Cæsarea.34



Chap. LXXIII. — Welcomed by Zacchæus.

“When I entered the city, our most beloved brother Zacchæus met me; and embracing me, brought me to this lodging, in which he himself stayed, inquiring of me concerning each of the brethren, especially concerning our honourable brother James. And when I told him that he was still lame on one foot, on his immediately asking the cause of this, I related to him all that I have now detailed to you, how we had been called by the priests and Caiaphas the high priest to the temple, and how James the archbishop, standing on the top of the steps, had for seven successive days shown the whole people from the Scriptures of the Lord that Jesus is the Christ; and how, when all were acquiescing that they should be baptized by him in the name of Jesus, an enemy did all those things which I have already mentioned, and which I need not repeat.



Chap. LXXIV. — Simon Magus Challenges Peter.

“When Zacchæus had heard these things, he told me in return of the doings of Simon; and in the meantime Simon himself — how he heard of my arrival I do not know — sent a message to me, saying, ‘Let us dispute to-morrow in the hearing of the people.’ To which I answered, ‘Be it so, as it pleaseth you.’ And this promise of mine was known over the whole city, so that even you, who arrived on that very day, learned that I was to hold a discussion with Simon on the following day, and having found out my abode, according to the directions which yon had received from Barnabas, came to me. But I so rejoiced at your coming, that my mind, moved I know not how, hastened to expound all things quickly to you, yet especially that which is the main point in our faith, concerning the true Prophet, which alone, I doubt not, is a sufficient foundation for the whole of our doctrine. Then, in the next place, I unfolded to you the more secret meaning of the written law, through its several heads, which there was occasion to unfold; neither did I conceal from you the good things of the traditions. But what remains, beginning from to-morrow, you shall hear from day to day in connection with the questions which will be raised in the discussion with Simon, 97 until by God’s favour we reach that city of Rome to which we believe that our journey is to be directed.”

I then declared that I owed him all thanks for what he had told me, and promised that I would most readily do all that he commanded. Then, having taken food, he ordered me to rest, and he also betook himself to rest.







FOOTNOTES





20 [Chaps. 42, 43, show little of the Ebionitic tendency, except in the attempt to reduce the difference between Jews and Christians to the single point of belief in the Messiahship of Jesus. — R.]

21 [Evidently “the Lord’s brother.” Comp. chap. 68. — R.]

22 [This account of occurrences in Jerusalem (chaps. 45-70) is probably meant to supplement Act_5:1-42 and Act_8:1-40. The date tallies with the stoning of Stephen, to which there is no allusion. The whole bears abundant marks of “manipulation” of the New-Testament record. — R.]

23 [The discourse of chaps. 45-52 is interesting from its christological consistency. The doctrine, while showing Ebionitic origin, is closer to the Catholic view than that of the Homilies. — R.]

24 [The references to oil in chaps. 45-48, particularly the connection of anointing with baptism, have been regarded, since the discovery of the full text of Hippolytus, as showing traces of relationship to the system of the Elkesaites. See Introductory Notice. In the forms given by Hippolytus (see Ante-Nicene Fathers 5. pp. 132, 133) the oil is represented as one of “seven witnesses” to be adjured by the subject of baptism. — R.]

25 That is, the sin of sacrifice.

26 [Comp. book ii. 8-11 and Homily II. 24. The writer here confuses the later Dositheus with an earlier teacher, whose disciple Zadok was the founder of the sect of the Sadducees. — R.]

27 [Here we encounter that favourite notion of apocryphal writers, that each Apostle must be represented as contributing his portion to the statement and defence of the faith. — R.]

28 We should doubtless read “Barsabas.”

29 [This title is consistent with the position accorded to James the Lord’s brother in the entire pseudo-Clementine literature. — R.]

30 [This sentence seems to have been framed to accord with the Catholic doctrine. — R.]

31 A marginal note in one of the manuscripts states that this enemy was Saul. [This is confirmed by chap. 71. — R.]

32 Act_22:5 [There is an evident attempt to cast a slur upon the Apostle Paul, but the suppression of the name is significant. — R.]

33 [Comp. Recognitions, book ii. 7 and Homily II. 22,24. — R.]

34 [The visit of Peter to Cæsarea narrated in Act_10:1-48 was for a very different purpose. It is probable that the author of the Recognitions connected the persecution by Saul and the sorceries of Simon because of the similar juxtaposition in Act_8:1-40. — R.]