Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 8: 8.04.22 Pseudo-Clementine - Homilies - Part 3

Online Resource Library

Return to PrayerRequest.com | Commentary Index | Bible Index | Search | Prayer Request | Download

Church Fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 8: 8.04.22 Pseudo-Clementine - Homilies - Part 3



TOPIC: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 8 (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 8.04.22 Pseudo-Clementine - Homilies - Part 3

Other Subjects in this Topic:

Pseudo-Clementine Literature (Cont.)

The Clementine Homilies. (Cont.)

Homily III. (Cont.)

Chap. XLV. - Sacrifices.

“But that He is not pleased with sacrifices, is shown by this, that those who lusted after flesh were slain as soon as they tasted it, and were consigned to a tomb, so that it was called the grave of lusts.23 He then who at the first was displeased with the slaughtering of animals, not wishing them to be slain, did not ordain sacrifices as desiring them; nor from the beginning did He require them. For neither are sacrifices accomplished without the slaughter of animals, nor can the first-fruits be presented. But how is it possible for Him to abide in darkness, and smoke, and storm (for this also is written), who created a pure heaven, and created the sun to give light to all, and assigned the invariable order of their revolutions to innumerable stars? Thus, O Simon, the handwriting of God - I mean the heaven - shows the counsels of Him who made it to be pure and stable.





Chap. XLVI. - Disparagements of God.

“Thus the sayings accusatory of the God who made the heaven are both rendered void by the opposite sayings which are alongside of them, and are refuted by the creation. For they were not written by a prophetic hand. Wherefore also they appear opposite to the hand of God, who made all things.” Then said Simon: “How can you show this?”





Chap. XLVII. - Foreknowledge of Moses.

Then said Peter: “The law of God was given by Moses, without writing, to seventy wise men, to be handed down, that the government might be carried on by succession. But after that Moses was taken up, it was written by some one, but not by Moses. For in the law itself it is written, ‘And Moses died; and they buried him near the house of Phogor, (Deu_34:6, (Deu_34:6, LXX)) and no one knows his sepulchre till this day.’ But how could Moses write that Moses died? And whereas in the time after Moses, about 500 years or thereabouts, it is found lying in the temple which was built, and after about 500 years more it is carried away, and being burnt in the time of Nebuchadnezzar it is destroyed; and thus being written after Moses, and often lost, even this shows the foreknowledge of Moses, because he, foreseeing its disappearance, did not write it; but those who wrote it, being convicted of ignorance through their not foreseeing its disappearance, were not prophets.”24



Chap. XLVIII. - Test of Truth.

Then said Simon: “Since, as you say, we must understand the things concerning God by comparing them with the creation, how is it possible to recognise the other things in the law which are from the tradition of Moses, and are true, and are mixed up with these falsehoods?” Then Peter said: “A certain verse has been recorded without controversy in the written law, according to the providence of God, so as to show clearly which of the things written are true and which are false.” Then said Simon: “Which is that? Show it us.”





Chap. XLIX. - The True Prophet.

Then Peter said: “I shall tell you forthwith. It is written in the first book of the law, towards the end: ‘A ruler shall not fail from Judah, nor a leader from his thighs, until He come whose it is; and He is the expectation of the nations.’ (Gen_49:10) If, therefore, any one can apprehend Him who came after the failure of ruler and leader from Judah, and who was to be expected by the nations, he will be able by this verse to recognise Him as truly having come;25 and believing His teaching, he will know what of the Scriptures are true and what are false.” Then said Simon: “I understand that you speak of your Jesus as Him who was prophesied of by the scripture. Therefore let it be granted that it is so. Tell us, then, how he taught you to discriminate the I Scriptures.”





Chap. L. - His Teaching Concerning the Scriptures.

Then Peter: “As to the mixture of truth with falsehood,26 I remember that on one occasion He, finding fault with the Sadducees, said, ‘Wherefore ye do err, not knowing the true things of the Scriptures; and on this account ye are ignorant of the power of God.’27 But if He cast up to their that they knew not the true things of the Scriptures, it is manifest that there are false things in them. And also, inasmuch as He said, ‘Be ye prudent money-changers,’28 it is because there are genuine and spurious words. And whereas He said, ‘Wherefore do ye not 248 perceive that which is reasonable in the Scriptures?’ He makes the understanding of him stronger who voluntarily judges soundly.





Chap. LI. - His Teaching Concerning the Law.

“And His sending to the scribes and teachers of the existing Scriptures, as to those who knew the true things of the law that then was, is well known. And also that He said, ‘I am not come to destroy the law,’ (Mat_5:17) and yet that He appeared to be destroying it, is the part of one intimating that the things which He destroyed did not belong to the law. And His saying, ‘The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but one jot or one tittle shall not pass from the law,’ (Mat_5:18) intimated that the things which pass away before the heaven and the earth do not belong to the law in reality.





Chap. LII. - Other Sayings of Christ.

“Since, then, while the heaven and the earth still stand, sacrifices have passed away, and kingdoms, and prophecies among those who are born of woman, and such like, as not being ordinances of God; hence therefore He says, ‘Every plant which the heavenly Father has not planted shall be rooted up.’ (Mat_15:13) Wherefore He, being the true Prophet, said, ‘I am the gate of life; (Joh_10:9) he who entereth through me entereth into life,’ there being no other teaching able to save. Wherefore also He cried, and said, ‘Come unto me, all who labour,’ (Mat_11:28) that is, who are seeking the truth, and not finding it; and again, ‘My sheep hear my voice;’ (Joh_10:3) and elsewhere, ‘Seek and find,’ (Mat_7:7) since the truth does not lie on the surface.





Chap. LIII. - Other Sayings of Christ.

“But also a witnessing voice was heard from heaven, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear Him.’ (Mat_17:5) And in addition to this, willing to convict more fully of error the prophets from whom they asserted that they had learned, He proclaimed that they died desiring the truth, but not having learned it, saying, ‘Many prophets and kings desired to see what ye see, and to hear what you hear; and verily I say to you, they neither saw nor heard.’ (Mat_13:17; Luk_10:24) Still further He said, ‘I am he concerning whom Moses prophesied, saying, A Prophet shall the Lord our God raise unto you of your brethren, like unto me: Him hear in all things; and whosoever will not hear that Prophet shall die.’ (Deu_18:15-19; Act_3:22, Act_7:37)





Chap. LIV. - Other Sayings.

“Whence it is impossible without His teaching to attain to saving truth, though one seek it for ever where the thing that is sought is not. But it was, and is, in the word of our Jesus. Accordingly, He, knowing the true things of the law, said to the Sadducees, asking on what account Moses permitted to marry seven,29 “Moses gave you commandments according to your hard-heartedness; for from the beginning it was not so: for He who created man at first, made him male and female.’ (Mat_19:8; Mar_10:5,Mar_10:6)





Chap. LV. - Teaching of Christ.

“But to those who think, as the Scriptures teach, that God swears, He said, ‘Let your yea be yea, and nay, nay; for what is more than these is of the evil one.’ (Mat_5:37) And to those who say that Abraham and Isaac and Jacob are dead, He said, ‘God is not of the dead, but of the living.’ (Mat_22:32; Mar_12:27; Luk_20:38) And to those who suppose that God tempts, as the Scriptures say, He said, ‘The tempter is the wicked one,’ (Perhaps Mat_13:39) who also tempted Himself. To those who suppose that God does not foreknow, He said, ‘For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye need all these things before ye ask Him.’ (Mat_6:8,Mat_6:32) And to those who believe, as the Scriptures say, that He does not see all things, He said, ‘Pray in secret, and your Father, who seeth secret things, will reward you.’ (Mat_6:6)





Chap. LVI. - Teaching of Christ.

“And to those who think that He is not good, as the Scriptures say, He said, ‘From which of you shall his son ask bread, and he will give him a stone; or shall ask a fish, and he will give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask Him, and to those who do His will!’ (Mat_7:9-11) But to those who affirmed that He was in the temple, He said, ‘Swear not by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet.’ (Mat_5:34,Mat_5:35) And to those who supposed that God is pleased with sacrifices, He said, ‘God wishes mercy, and not sacrifices’ (Mat_9:33, Mat_12:7. [Comp. Hos_6:6. - R.]) - the knowledge of Himself, and not holocausts.





Chap. LVII. - Teaching of Christ.

“But to those who are persuaded that He is evil, as the Scriptures say, He said, ‘Call not 249 me good, for One only is good.’ (Mat_19:17; Mar_10:18; Luk_18:19) And again, ‘Be ye good and merciful, as your Father in the heavens, who makes the sun rise on good and evil men, and brings rain upon just and unjust.’ (Mat_5:44,Mat_5:45) But to those who were misled to imagine many gods, as the Scriptures say, He said, ‘Hear, O Israel; the Lord your God is one Lord.’” (Mar_12:29. [Comp. Deu_6:4 - R.])





Chap. LVIII. - Flight of Simon.

Therefore Simon, perceiving that Peter was driving him to use the Scriptures as Jesus taught, was unwilling that the discussion should go into the doctrine concerning God, even although Peter had changed the discussion into question and answer, as Simon himself asked. However, the discussion occupied three days.30 And while the fourth was dawning, he set off darkling as far as Tyre of Phoenicia.31 And not many days after, some of the precursors came and said to Peter: “Simon is doing great miracles in Tyre, and disturbing many of the people there; and by many slanders he has made you to be hated.”





Chap. LIX. - Peter’s Resolution to Follow.

Peter, hearing this, on the following night assembled the multitude of hearers; and as soon as they were come together, he said: “While I am going forth to the nations which say that there are many gods, to teach and to preach that God is one, who made heaven and earth, and all things that are in them, in order that they may love Him and be saved, evil has anticipated me, and by the very law of conjunction has sent Simon before me, in order that these men, if they shall cease to say that there are many gods, disowning those upon earth that are called gods, may think that there are many gods in heaven; so that, not feeling the excellency of the monarchy, they may perish with eternal punishment. And what is most dreadful, since true doctrine has incomparable power, he forestalls me with slanders, and persuades them to this, not even at first to receive me; lest he who is the slanderer be convicted of being himself in reality a devil, and the true doctrine be received and believed. Therefore I must quickly catch him up, lest the false accusation, through gaining time, wholly get hold of all men.





Chap. LX. - Successor to Be Appointed.

“Since, therefore, it is necessary to set apart some one instead of me to fill my place, let us all with one consent pray to God, that He would make manifest who amongst us is the best, that, sitting in the chair of Christ, he may piously rule His Church. Who, then, shall be set apart? For by the counsel of God that man is set forth as blessed, ‘whom his Lord shall appoint over the ministry of his fellow-servants, to give them their meat in their season, not thinking and saying in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming, and who shall not begin to beat his fellow-servants, eating and drinking with harlots and drunkards. And the Lord of that servant shall come in an hour when he doth not look for Him, and in a day when he is not aware, and shall cut him in sunder, and shall assign his unfaithful part with the hypocrites.’ (Mat_24:45-50)





Chap. LXI. - Monarchy.

“But if any one of those present, being able to instruct the ignorance of men, shrink from it, thinking only of his own ease, let him expect to hear this sentence: ‘O wicked and slothful servant, thou oughtest to have given my money to the exchangers, and I at my coming should have got my own. Cast out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness.’ (Mat_25:27-30) And with good reason; ‘for,’ says He, ‘it is thine, O man, to prove my words, as silver and money are proved among the exchangers.’32 Therefore the multitude of the faithful ought to obey some one, that they may live in harmony. For that which tends to the government of one person, in the form of monarchy, enables the subjects to enjoy peace by means of good order; but in case of all, through desire of ruling, being unwilling to submit to one only, they must altogether fall by reason of division.





Chap. LXII. - Obedience Leads to Peace.

“But, further, let the things that are happening before your eyes persuade you; how wars are constantly arising through there being now many kings all over the earth. For each one holds the government of another as a pretext for war. But if one were universal superior, he, having no reason why he should make war, would have perpetual peace. In short, therefore, to those who are thought worthy of eternal life, God appoints one universal King in the world that shall then be, that by means of monarchy there may be unfailing peace. It behoves all, therefore, to follow some one as a leader, honouring him as the image of God; and it behoves the leader to be acquainted with the road that entereth into the holy city. 250





Chap. LXIII. - Zacchæus Appointed.

“But of those who are present, whom shall I choose but Zacchæus,33 to whom also the Lord went in (Luk_19:5, etc.) and rested, judging him worthy to be saved?” And having said this, he laid his hand upon Zacchæus, who stood by, and forced him to sit down in his own chair. But Zacchæus, falling at his feet, begged that he would permit him to decline the rulership; promising, at the same time, and saying, “Whatever it behoves the ruler to do, I will do; only grant me not to have this name; for I am afraid of assuming the name of the rulership, for it teems with bitter envy and danger. “





Chap. LXIV. - The Bishopric.

Then Peter said: “If you are afraid of this, do not be called ruler, but the appointed one, the Lord having permitted you to be so called, when He said, ‘Blessed is that man whom his Lord shall appoint to the ministry of his fellow-servants.’ (Luk_12:42) But if you wish it to be altogether unknown that you have authority of administration, you seem to me to be ignorant that the acknowledged authority of the president has great influence as regards the respect of the multitude. For every one obeys him who has received authority, having conscience as a great constraint. And are you not well aware that you are not to rule as the rulers of the nations, but as a servant ministering to them, as a father to the oppressed, visiting them as a physician, guarding them as a shepherd, - in short, taking all care for their salvation? And do you think that I am not aware what labours I compel you to undertake, desiring you to be judged by multitudes whom it is impossible for any one to please? But it is most possible for him who does well to please God. Wherefore I entreat you to undertake it heartily, by God, by Christ, for the salvation of the brethren, for their ordering, and your own profit.





Chap. LXV. - Nolo Episcopari.

“And consider this other thing, that in proportion as there is labour and danger in ruling the Church of Christ, so much greater is the reward. And yet again the greater is also the punishment to him who can, and refuses. I wish, therefore, knowing that you are the best instructed of my attendants, to turn to account those noble powers of judging with which you have been entrusted by the Lord, in order that you may be saluted with the Well done, good and faithful servant, and not be found fault with, and declared liable to punishment, like him who hid the one talent. But if you will not be appointed a good guardian of the Church, point out another in your stead, more learned and more faithful than yourself. But you cannot do this; for you associated with the Lord, and witnessed His marvellous doings, and learned the administration of the Church.





Chap. LXVI. - Danger of Disobedience.

“And your work is to order what things are proper; and that of the brethren is to submit, and not to disobey. Therefore submitting they shall be saved, but disobeying they shall be punished by the Lord, because the president is entrusted with the place of Christ. Wherefore, indeed, honour or contempt shown to the president is handed on to Christ, and from Christ to God. And this I have said, that these brethren may not be ignorant of the danger they incur by disobedience to you, because whosoever disobeys your orders, disobeys Christ; and he who disobeys Christ offends God.





Chap. LXVII. - Duties of Church Office-Bearers.

“It is necessary, therefore, that the Church, as a city built upon a hill, have an order approved of God, and good government. In particular, let the bishop, as chief, be heard in the things which he speaks; and let the elders give heed that the things ordered be done. Let the deacons, going about, look after the bodies and the souls of the brethren, and report to the bishop. Let all the rest of the brethren bear wrong patiently; but if they wish judgment to be given concerning wrongs done to them, let them be reconciled in presence of the elders; and let the elders report the reconciliation to the bishop.





Chap. LXVIII. - “Marriage Always Honourable.”

“And let them inculcate marriage not only upon the young, but also upon those advanced in years, lest burning lust bring a plague upon the Church by reason of whoredom or adultery. For, above every other sin, the wickedness of adultery is hated by God, because it not only destroys the person himself who sins, but those also who eat and associate with him. For it is like the madness of a dog, because it has the nature of communicating its own madness. For the sake of chastity, therefore, let not only the elders, but even all, hasten to accomplish marriage. For the sin of him who commits adultery necessarily comes upon all. Therefore, to urge the brethren to be chaste, this is the first charity. For it is the healing of the soul. For the nourishment of the body is rest. 251





Chap. LXIX. - Not Forsaking the Assembling of Yourselves Together.”

“But if you love your brethren, take nothing from them, but share with them such things as ye have. Feed the hungry; give drink to the thirsty; clothe the naked; visit the sick; so far as you can, help those in prison; receive strangers gladly into your own abodes; hate no one. And how you must be pious, your own mind will teach you, judging rightly. But before all else, if indeed I need say it to you, come together frequently, if it were every hour, especially on the appointed days of meeting. For if you do this, you are within a wall of safety. For disorderliness is the beginning of perdition. Let no one therefore forsake the assembly on the ground of envy towards a brother. For if any one of you forsake the assembly, he shall be regarded as of those who scatter the Church of Christ, and shall be cast out with adulterers. For as an adulterer, under the influence of the spirit that is in him, he separates himself on some pretext, and gives place to the wicked one against himself, - a sheep for the stealing, as one found outside the fold.34



Chap. LXX. - “Hear the Bishop.”

“However, hear your bishop, and do not weary of giving all honour to him; knowing that, by showing it to him, it is borne to Christ, and from Christ it is borne to God; and to him who offers it, is requited manifold.35 Honour, therefore, the throne of Christ. For you are commanded even to honour the chair of Moses, and that although they who occupy it are accounted sinners. (Mat_23:2,Mat_23:3) And now I have said enough to you; and I deem it superfluous to say to him how he is to live unblameably, since he is an approved disciple of Him who taught me also.





Chap. LXXI. - Various Duties of Christians.

“But, brethren, there are some things that you must not wait to hear, but must consider of yourselves what is reasonable. Zacchæus alone having given himself up wholly to labour for you, and needing sustenance, and not being able to attend to his own affairs, how can he procure necessary support? Is it not reasonable that you are to take forethought for his living? not waiting for his asking you, for this is the part of a beggar. But he will rather die of hunger than submit to do this. And shall not you incur punishment, not considering that the workman is worthy of his hire? And let no one say: Is, then, the word sold which was freely given? Far be it. For if any one has the means of living, and takes anything, he sells the word; but if he who has not takes support in order to live - as the Lord also took at supper and among His friends, having nothing, though He alone is the owner of all things - he sins not. Therefore suitably honour elders, catechists, useful deacons, widows who have lived well, orphans as children of the Church. But wherever there is need of any provision for an emergency, contribute all together. Be kind one to another, not shrinking from the endurance of anything whatever for your own salvation.”





Chap. LXXII. - Ordination.

And having thus spoken, he placed his hand upon Zacchæus, saying, “O Thou Ruler and Lord of all, Father and God, do Thou guard the shepherd with the flock. Thou art the cause, Thou the power. We are that which is helped; Thou the helper, the physician, the saviour, the wall, the life, the hope, the refuge, the joy, the expectation, the rest. In a word, Thou art all things to us. In order to the eternal attainment of salvation, do Thou co-operate, preserve, protect. Thou canst do all things. For Thou art the Ruler of rulers, the Lord of lords, the Governor of kings. Do Thou give power to the president to loose what ought to be loosed, to bind what ought to be bound. Do Thou make him wise. Do Thou, as by His name, protect the Church of Thy Christ as a fair bride. For Thine is eternal glory. Praise to the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost to all ages. Amen.”





Chap. LXXIII. - Baptisms.

And having thus spoken, he afterwards said: “Whoever of yon Wish to be baptized, begin from to-morrow to fast, and have hands laid upon you day by day, and inquire about what matters you please. For I mean still to remain with you ten days.” And after three days, having begun to baptize, he called me, and Aquila, and Nicetas, and said to us: “As I am going to set out for Tyre after seven days, I wish you to go away this very day, and to lodge secretly with Bernice the Canaanite, the daughter of Justa, and to learn from her, and write accurately to me what Simon is about. For this is of great consequence to me, that I may prepare myself accordingly. Therefore depart straightway in peace.” And leaving him baptizing, as he commanded, we preceded him to Tyre of Phoenicia. 252







FOOTNOTES





23 That is, Kibroth-Hattaavah; Num_11:34

24 [It is curious to find the post-exilian theory of the Pentateuch in this place, put in the mouth of the Apostle Peter. - R.]

25 From the amended reading of Davis.

26 [Comp. Homily II. 40. The attitude of Peter, as here represented, disparaging the Old Testament, appearing to exalt the authority of Christ’s teaching, and yet ignoring the claims of His Person and Work, seeks its justification in rationalistic interpretation. The attitude is not an uncommon one at present. - R.]

27 Mat_22:29. [Misquoted and misapplied here, as in Homily II. 51. - R.]

28 This is frequently quoted as a saying of Christ. It is probably from one of the apocryphal Gospels. [Comp. Homily II. 51. - R]

29 [A curious confusion of two Gospel narratives, rnistaking the significance of both. - R.]

30 [The three days’ discussion is detailed in Recognitions, book ii. 20-iii. 48; the account here is confined to the first day. - R.]

31 [Comp. Recognitions, book iii. 73. The historical incidents of the two narratives vary greatly from this point onward. - R.]

32 Probably from an apocryphal Gospel.

33 [Comp. Recognitions, book iii. 66. The account here is much fuller. - R.]

34 There seems to be a corruption of the text here, but the general meaning is evident enough.

35 There are several conjectural readings of this sentence. We have not exactly followed any one of them, but have ventured on a conjecture of our own.



Homily IV.

Chap. I. - Bernice’s Hospitality.

Thus I Clement, departing from Cæsarea Stratonis, together with Nicetas and Aquila, entered into Tyre of Phoenicia;1 and according to the injunction of Peter, who sent us, we lodged with Bernice, the daughter of Justa the Canaanitess. She received us most joyfully; and striving with much honour towards me, and with affection towards Aquila and Nicetas, and speaking freely as a friend, through joy she treated us courteously, and hospitably urged us to take bodily refreshment. Perceiving, therefore, that she was endeavouring to impose a short delay upon us, I said: “You do well, indeed, to busy yourself in fulfilling the part of love; but the fear of our God must take the precedence of this. For, having a combat on hand on behalf of many souls, we are afraid of preferring our own ease before their salvation.





Chap. II. - Simon’s Practices.

“For we hear that Simon the magician, being worsted at Cæsarea in the discussion with our lord Peter, immediately hastened hither, and is doing much mischief. For he is slandering Peter, in opposition to truth, to all the adversaries, and stealing away the souls of the multitude. For he being a magician, calls him a magician; and he being a deceiver, proclaims him as a deceiver. And although in the discussions he was beaten in all points, and fled, yet he says that he was victorious; and he constantly charges them that they ought not to listen to Peter, - as if, forsooth, he were anxious that they may not be fascinated by a terrible magician.





Chap. III. - Object of the Mission.

“Therefore our lord Peter, having learned these things, has sent us to be investigators of the things that have been told him; that if they be so, we may write to him and let him know, so that he may come and convict him face to face of the accusations that he has uttered against him. Since, therefore, danger on the part of many souls lies before us, on this account we must neglect bodily rest for a short time; and we would learn truly from you who live here, whether the things which we have heard be true. Now tell us particularly.”





Chap. IV. - Simon’s Doings.

But Bernice, being asked, said: “These things are indeed as you have heard; and I will tell you other things respecting this same Simon, which perhaps you do not know. For he astonishes the whole city every day, by making spectres and ghosts appear in the midst of the market-place; and when he walks abroad, statues move, and many shadows go before him, which, he says, are souls of the dead. And many who attempted to prove him an impostor he speedily reconciled to him; and afterwards, under pretence of a banquet, having slain an ox, and given them to eat of it, he infected them with various diseases, and subjected them to demons. And in a word, having injured many, and being supposed to be a god, he is both feared and honoured.” ([Comp. Act_8:9-11. - R.])





Chap. V. - Discretion the Better Part of Valour.

“Wherefore I do not think that any one will be able to quench such a fire as has been kindled. For no one doubts his promises; but every one affirms that this is so. Wherefore, lest you should expose yourselves to danger, I advise you not to attempt anything against him until Peter come, who alone shall be able to resist such a power, being the most esteemed disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ. For so much do I fear this man, that if he had not elsewhere been vanquished in disputing with my lord Peter, I should counsel you to persuade even Peter himself not to attempt to oppose Simon.”





Chap. VI. - Simon’s Departure.

Then I said: “If our lord Peter did not know that he himself alone can prevail against this power, he would not have sent us before him with orders to get information secretly concerning Simon, and to write to him.” Then, as evening had come on, we took supper,2 and went to sleep. But in the morning, one of Bernice’s friends came and said that Simon had set sail for Sidon, and that he had left behind him Appion Pleistonices,3 - a man of Alexandria, a 253 grammarian by profession, whom I knew as being a friend of my father; and a certain astrologer, Annubion the Diospolitan, and Athenodorus the Athenian, attached to the doctrine of Epicurus. And we, having learned these things concerning Simon, in the morning wrote and despatched a letter to Peter, and went to take a walk.





Chap. VII. - Appion’s Salutation.

And Appion met us, not only with the two companions just named, but with about thirty other men. And as soon as he saw me, he saluted and kissed me, and said, “This is Clement, of whose noble birth and liberal education I have often told you; for he, being related to the family of Tiberius Cæsar, and equipped with all Grecian learning, has been seduced by a certain barbarian called Peter to speak and act after the manner of the Jews. Wherefore I beg of you to strive together with me for the setting of him right. And in your presence I now ask him. Let him tell me, since he thinks that he has devoted himself to piety, whether he is not acting most impiously, in forsaking the customs of his country, and falling away to those of the barbarians.”





Chap. VIII. - A Challenge.

I answered: “I accept, indeed, your kindly affection towards me, but I take exception to your ignorance. For your affection is kindly, because you wish to continue in those customs which you consider to be good. But your inaccurate knowledge strives to lay a snare for me, under the guise of friendship.” Then said Appion: “Does it seem to you to be ignorance, that one should observe the customs of his fathers, and judge after the manner of the Greeks?” Then I answered: “It behoves one who desires to be pious not altogether to observe the customs of his fathers; but to observe them if they be pious, and to shake them off if they be impious. For it is possible that one who is the son of an impious father, if he wishes to be pious, should not desire to follow the religion of his father.”4 Then answered Appion: “What then? Do you say that your father was a man of an evil life?” Then said I: “He was not of an evil life, but of an evil opinion.” Then Appion: “I should like to know what was his evil apprehension.” Then said I: “Because he believed the false and wicked myths of the Greeks.” Then Appion asked: “What are these false and evil myths of the Greeks?” Then I said: “The wrong opinion concerning the gods, which, if you will bear with me, you shall hear, with those who are desirous to learn.





Chap. IX. - Unworthy Ends of Philosophers.

“Wherefore, before beginning our conversation, let us now withdraw into some quieter place, and there I shall converse with you. And the reason why I wish to speak privately is this, because neither the multitude, nor even all the philosophers, approach honestly to the judgment of things as they are. For we know many, even of those who pride themselves on their philosophy, who are vainglorious, or who have put on the philosopher’s robe for the sake of gain, and not for the sake of virtue itself; and they, if they do not find that for which they take to philosophy, turn to mockery. Therefore, on account of such as these, let us choose some place fit for private conference.”





Chap. X. - A Cool Retreat.

And a certain one amongst them - a rich man, and possessing a garden of evergreen plants5 - said: “Since it is very hot, let us retire for a little from the city to my gardens.” Accordingly they went forth, and sat down in a place where there were pure streams of cool water, and a green shade of all sorts of trees. There I sat pleasantly, and the others round about me; and they being silent, instead of a verbal request made to me, showed by their eager looks to me that they required the proof of my assertion. And therefore I proceeded to speak thus: -





Chap. XI. - Truth and Custom.

“There is a certain great difference, O men of Greece, between truth and custom. For truth is found when it is honestly sought; but custom, whatsoever be the character of the custom received, whether true or false, is strengthened by itself without the exercise of judgment; and he who has received it is neither pleased with it as being true, nor grieved with it as false. For such an one has believed not by judgment, but by prejudice, resting his own hope on the opinion of those who have lived before him on a mere peradventure. And it is not easy to cast off the ancestral garment, though it be shown to himself to be wholly foolish and ridiculous.





Chap. XII. - Genesis.

“Therefore I say that the whole learning of the Greeks is a most dreadful fabrication of a wicked demon. For they have introduced many 254 gods of their own, and these wicked, and subject to all kinds of passion; so that he who wishes to do the like things may not be ashamed, which belongs to a man, having as an example the wicked and unquiet lives of the mythological gods. And through his not being ashamed, such an one affords no hope of his repenting. And others have introduced fate, which is called genesis, contrary to which no one can suffer or do anything. This, therefore, also is like to the first. For any one who thinks that no one has aught to do or suffer contrary to genesis easily falls into sin; and having sinned, he does not repent of his impiety, holding it as his apology that he was borne on by genesis to do these things. And as he cannot rectify genesis, he has no reason to be ashamed of the sins he commits.6



Chap. XIII. - Destiny.

“And others introduce an unforeseeing destiny, as if all things revolved of their own accord, without the superintendence of any master. But thus to think these things is, as we have said, the most grievous of all opinions. For, as if there were no one superintending and fore-judging and distributing to every one according to his deserving, they easily do everything as they can through fearlessness. Therefore those who have such opinions do not easily, or perhaps do not at all, live virtuously; for they do not foresee the danger which might have the effect of converting them. But the doctrine of the barbarous Jews, as you call them, is most pious, introducing One as the Father and Creator of all this world, by nature good and righteous; good, indeed, as pardoning sins to those who repent; but righteous, as visiting to every one after repentance according to the worthiness of his doings.





Chap. XIV. - “Doctrine According to Godliness.”

“This doctrine, even if it also be mythical, being pious, would not be without advantage for this life. For every one, in expectation of being judged by the all-seeing God, receives the greater impulse towards virtue. But if the doctrine be also true, it withdraws him who has lived virtuously from eternal punishment, and endows him with eternal and unspeakable blessings from God.





Chap. XV. - Wickedness of the Gods.

“But I return to the foremost doctrine of the Greeks, that which states in stories7 that there are gods many, and subject to all kinds of passions. And not to spend much time upon things that are clear, referring to the impious deeds of every one of those who are called gods, I could not tell all their amours; those of Zeus and Poseidon, of Pluto and Apollo, of Dionysus and Hercules, and of them all singly.8 And of these you are yourselves not ignorant, and have been taught their manners of life, being instructed in the Grecian learning, that, as competitors with the gods, you might do like things.





Chap. XVI. - Wickedness of Jupiter.

“But I shall begin with the most royal Zeus, whose father Kronos, having, as you say, devoured his own children, and having shorn off the members of his father Uranus with a sickle of adamant, showed to those who are zealous for the mysteries of the gods an example of piety towards parents and of love towards children. And Jupiter himself bound his own father, and imprisoned him in Tartarus; and he also punishes the other gods.9 And for those who wish to do things not to be spoken of, he begat Metis, and devoured her. But Metis was seed; for it is impossible to devour a child. And for an excuse to abusers of themselves with mankind, he carries away Ganymedes. And as a helper of adulterers in their adultery, he is often found an adulterer. And to those who wish to commit incest with sisters, he sets the example in his intercourse with his sisters Hera and Demeter, and the heavenly Aphrodite, whom some call Dodona.10 And to those who wish to commit incest with their daughters, there is a wicked example from his story, in his committing incest with Persephone. But in myriads of instances he acted impiously, that by reason of his excessive wickedness the fable of his being a god might be received by impious men.





Chap. XVII. - “Their Makers Are Like Unto Them.”

“You will hold it reasonable for ignorant men to be moderately indignant at these fancies. But what must we say to the learned, some of whom, professing themselves to be grammarians and sophists, affirm that these acts are worthy of gods? For, being themselves incontinent, they lay hold of this mythical pretext; and as imitators of the gods,11 they practise unseemly things with freedom.





Chap. XVIII. - Second Nature.

“On this account, they who live in the country sin much less than they do, not having been 255 indoctrinated in those things in which they have been indoctrinated who dare do these things, having learned from evil instruction to be impious. For they who from their childhood learn letters by means of such fables, while their soul is yet pliant, engraft the impious deeds of those who are called gods into their own minds; whence, when they are grown up, they ripen fruit, like evil seeds cast into the soul. And what is worst of all, the rooted impurities cannot be easily cut down, when they are perceived to be bitter by them when they have attained to manhood. For every one is pleased to remain in those habits which he forms in childhood; and thus, since custom is not much less powerful than nature, they become difficult to be converted to those good things which were not sown in their souls from the beginning.





Chap. XIX. - “Where Ignorance Is Bliss.”

“Wherefore it behoves the young not to be satisfied with those corrupting lessons, and those who are in their prime should carefully avoid listening to the mythologies of the Greeks. For lessons about their gods are much worse than ignorance, as we have shown from the case of those dwelling in the country, who sin less through their not having been instructed by Greeks. Truly, such fables of theirs, and spectacles, and books, ought to be shunned, and if it were possible, even their cities. For those who are full of evil learning, even with their breath infect as with madness those who associate with them, with their own passions. And what is worst, whoever is most instructed among them, is so much the more turned from the judgment which is according to nature.





Chap. XX. - False Theories of Philosophers.

“And some of those amongst them who even profess to be philosophers, assert that such sins are indifferent, and say that those who are indignant at such practices are senseless.12 For they say that such things are not sins by nature, but have been proscribed by laws made by wise men in early times, through their knowing that men, through the instability of their minds, being greatly agitated on these accounts, wage war with one another; for which reason, wise men have made laws to proscribe such things as sins. But this is a ridiculous supposition. For how can they be other than sins, which are the cause of tumults, and murders, and every confusion? For do not shortcomings of life13 and many more evils proceed from adultery?





Chap. XXI. - Evils of Adultery.

“But why, it is said, if a man is ignorant of his wife’s being an adulteress, is he not indignant, enraged, distracted? why does he not make war? Thus these things are not evil by nature, but the unreasonable opinion of men make them terrible. But I say, that even if these dreadful things do not occur, it is usual for a woman, through association with an adulterer, either to forsake her husband, or if she continue to live with him, to plot against him, or to bestow upon the adulterer the goods procured by the labour of her husband; and having conceived by the adulterer while her husband is absent, to attempt the destruction of that which is in her womb, through shame of conviction, and so to become a child-murderer; or even, while destroying it, to be destroyed along with it. But if while her husband is at home she conceives by the adulterer and bears a child, the child when he grows up does not know his father, and thinks that he is his father who is not; and thus he who is not the father, at his death leaves his substance to the child of another. And how many other evils naturally spring from adultery! And the secret evils we do not know. For as the mad dog destroys all that he touches, infecting them with the unseen madness, so also the hidden evil of adultery, though it be not known, effects the cutting off of posterity.





Chap. XXII. - A More Excellent Way.

“But let us pass over this now. But this we all know, that universally men are beyond measure enraged on account of it, that wars have been waged, that there have been overthrows of houses, and captures of cities, and myriads of other evils. On this account I betook myself to the holy God and law of the Jews, putting my faith in the well-assured conclusion that the law has been assigned by the righteous judgment of God, and that the soul must at some time receive according to the desert of its deeds.”





Chap. XXIII. - “Whither Shall I Go from Thy Presence?”

When I had thus spoken, Appion broke in upon my discourse. “What!” said he; “do not the laws of the Greeks also forbid wickedness, and punish adulterers?” Then said I: “Then the gods of the Greeks, who acted contrary to the laws, deserve punishment. But how shall I be able to restrain myself, if I suppose that the gods themselves first practised all wickednesses as well as adultery, and did not suffer punishment; whereas they ought the rather to have suffered, as not being slaves to lust? But if they were subject to it, how were they gods?” 256

Then Appion said: “Let us have in our eye not the gods, but the judges; and looking to them, we shall be afraid to sin.” Then I said: “This is not fitting, O Appion: for he who has his eye upon men will dare to sin, in hope of escaping detection; but he who sets before his soul the all-seeing God, knowing that he cannot escape His notice, will refrain from sinning even in secret.”





Chap. XXIV. - Allegory.

When Appion heard this, he said: “I knew, ever since I heard that you were consorting with Jews, that you had alienated your judgment. For it has been well said by some one, Evil communications corrupt good manners.’” Then said I: “Therefore good communications correct evil manners.” And Appion said: “Today I am fully satisfied to have learned your position; therefore I permitted you to speak first. But to-morrow, in this place, if it is agreeable to you, I will show, in the presence of these friends when they meet, that our gods are neither adulterers, nor murderers, nor corrupters of children, nor guilty of incest with sisters or daughters. But the ancients, wishing that only lovers of learning should know the mysteries, veiled them with those fables of which you have spoken. For they speak physiologically of boiling substance under the name of Zen, and of time under that of Kronos, and of the ever-flowing nature of water under that of Rhea. However, as I have promised, I shall to-morrow exhibit the truth of things, explaining them one by one to you when you come together in the morning.”14 In reply to this I said: “To-morrow, as you have promised, so do. But now hear something in opposition to what you are going to say.





Chap. XXV. - An Engagement for To-Morrow.

“If the doings of the gods, being good, have been veiled with evil fables, the wickedness of him who wove the veil is shown to have been great, because he concealed noble things with evil narratives, that no one imitate them. But if they really did things impious, they ought, on the contrary, to have veiled them with good narratives, lest men, regarding them as their superiors, should set about sinning in like manner.” As I spoke thus, those present were evidently beginning to be well-disposed towards the words spoken by me; for they repeatedly and earnestly asked me to come on the following day, and departed.







FOOTNOTES





1 [In the Recognitions (book iv. 1) mention is made of Clement and others accompanying Peter to Dora, Ptolemais, Tyre, Sidon, and Berytus (Beyrout), but there no record is made of any discourses. In Homily IV.-VII. details of this journey are given, but with a variation in some particulars. These Homilies are peculiar, in form, to this work; but much of the matter occurs in the Recognitions, in the final discussion with the father of Clement. - R.]

2 Literally, “partook of salt.”

3 This epithet means, “the conqueror of very many.” Suidas makes Appion the son of Pleistonices. [Comp. Recognitions, book x. 52. It is evident that the writer has in mind Apion, the opponent of the Jews, against whom Josephus wrote his treatise. Compare the statement of Homily V. 2. The entire discussion with Appion, extending over Homily IV.-VI. is peculiar to this narrative, though much of the argument occurs in the discussion of Clement with his father (Recognitions, book x.). Appion and Annubion are introduced in Recognitions, book x. 52, but not as disputants. The discussion here is constructed with much skill. - R.]

4 We have adopted the emendation of Wieseler, who reads σεβάσματι for σεβάσματα. He also proposes ἔθει (habit) instead of σεβάσματι. The readings in the mss. vary.

5 The text here is corrupt. If we adopt Lobeck’s emendation of παμμιούσων into παμπλουσιον, the literal translation is, “possessing a property around him continually rich in leaves.” [The offer of this man has a partial parallel in Recognitions, viii. 35-31. - R.]

6 [Compare the discussion on Genesis in Homily XIV. 3, etc., but especially the full arguments in Recognitions, book viii., ix. - R.]

7 μυθολογοῦσαν.

8 See Homily V. 11-15, and comp. Recognitions, book x. 20. - R.]

9 Wieseler proposes θείους instead of θεούς; and he punishes his uncles also, as in book vi. 2, 21.

10 This is properly regarded as a mistake for Dione, or Didone, which is another form of the name Dione.

11 Lit. “of those who are superior or better.”

12 [Compare the argument against the philosophers, as put in the mouth of the Apostle, in Recognitions, book x. 48-50 - R.]

13 The Vatican ms. inserts here, “upturning of houses, magic practices, deceptions, perplexities.

14 [See Homily VI. 1-10. Homily V. contains an account of Clement’s previous acquaintance with Appion.



Homily V.

Chap. I. - Appion Does Not Appear.

The next day, therefore, in Tyre, as we had agreed, I came to the quiet place, and there I found the rest, with some others also. Then I saluted them. But as I did not see Appion, I asked the reason of his not being present; and some one said that he had been unwell ever since last evening. Then, when I said that it was reasonable that we should immediately set out to visit him, almost all begged me first to discourse to them, and that then we could go to see him. Therefore, as all were of one opinion, I proceeded to say: