Way of Essenic Studies
The first six books are an adaptation of the Didascalia Apostolorum, written in Syria about AD 250. They deal with Christian ethics, the duties of the clergy, the eucharistic liturgy, and various church problems and rituals.
In modern times it is generally accepted that the constitutions were actually written in Syria about AD 380 and that they were the work of one compiler, probably an Arian (one who believes that Christ, the Son of God, is not divine but rather a created being). While defining the role of the Deaconess, they also claim that the Deaconess fulfulls the role of the Holy Spirit.
J. Quasten writes (Patrology, vol. 2, pp. 147-148):
The Didascalia, or the Catholic Teaching of the Twelve Apostles and Holy Disciples of Our Saviour, is a Church Order, composed, according to recent investigations, in the first part, perhaps even the first decades, of the third century, for a community of Christian converts from paganism in the northern part of Syria. The work is modelled on the Didache (cf. vol. I, pp. 29-39) and forms the main source of the first six books of the Apostolic Constitutions.
The unknown author of the Didascalia seems to have been of Jewish descent. A bishop with a considerable knowledge of medicin, he lacked special theological training. He makes ample use of Holy Scripture and borrows from the Didache, Hermas, Irenaeus, the Gospel of Peter and the Acts of Paul.
The text can be reconstructed from the Apostolic Constitutions, a few Greek fragments, a complete Syriac translation, an old Latin translation of about half, and the Arabic and Ethiopic Didascalia that depend on the Didascalia Apostolorum.
CONCERNING THE LAITY.
SEC. I.--GENERAL COMMANDMENTS.
THE apostles and elders to all those who from among the Gentiles have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; grace and peace from Almighty God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, be multiplied unto you in the acknowledgment of Him.
The Catholic Church is the plantation of God and His beloved vineyard; (2) containing those who have believed in His unerring divine religion; who are the heirs by faith of His everlasting kingdom; who are partakers of His divine influence, and of the communication of the Holy Spirit; who are armed through Jesus, and have received His fear into their hearts; who enjoy the benefit of the sprinkling of the precious and innocent blood of Christ; who have free liberty to call Almighty God, Father; being fellow-heirs and joint-partakers of His beloved Son: hearken to this holy doctrine, you who enjoy His promises, as being delivered by the command of your Saviour, and agreeable to His glorious words. Take care, ye children of God, to do all things in obedience to God; and in all things please Christ our Lord. (3) For if any man follows unrighteousness, and does those things that are contrary to the will of God, such a one will be esteemed by God as the disobedient heathen.
I. Abstain, therefore, from all unlawful desires and injustice. For it is written in the law, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his field, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour's;" (4) for all coveting of these things is from the evil one. For he that covets his neighbour's wife, or his man-servant, or his maid-servant, is already in his mind an adulterer and a thief; and if he does not repent, is condemned by our Lord Jesus Christ: through whom s glory be to God for ever, Amen. For He says in the Gospel, recapitulating, and confirming, and fulfilling the ten commandments of the law: "It is written in the law, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, that is, I said in the law, by Moses. But now I say unto you myself, Whosoever shall look on his neighbour's wife to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (6) Such a one is condemned of adultery, who covets his neighbour's wife in his mind. But does not he that covets an ox or an ass design to steal them to apply them to his own use, and to lead them away? Or, again, does not he that covets a field, and continues in such a disposition, wickedly contrive how to remove the landmarks, and to compel the possessor to part with somewhat for nothing? For as the prophet somewhere speaks: "Woe to those who join house to house, and lay field to field, that they may deprive their neighbour of somewhat which was his." (7) Wherefore he says: "Must you alone inhabit the earth? For these things have been heard in the ears of the Lord of hosts." And elsewhere: "Cursed be he who removeth his neighbour's landmarks: and all the people shall say, Amen." (8) Wherefore Moses says: "Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmarks (9) which thy fathers have set." (10) Upon this account, therefore, terrors, death, tribunals, and condemnations follow such as these from God. But as to those who are obedient to God, there is one law of God, simple, (10) true, living, which is this: "Do not that to another which thou hatest another should do to thee." (
11) Thou 392 wouldst not that any one should look upon thy wife with an evil design to corrupt her; do not thou, therefore, look upon thy neighbour's wife with a wicked intention. Thou wouldst not that thy garment should be taken away; do not thou therefore, take away another's. Thou wouldst not be beaten, reproached, affronted; do not thou, therefore, serve any other in the like manner.
THAT WE OUGHT NOT TO RETURN INJURIES, NOR REVENGE OURSELVES ON HIM THAT DOES US WRONG.
11. But if any one curse thee, do thou bless him. For it is written in the book of Numbers: "He that blesseth thee is blessed, and he that curseth thee is cursed." (1) In the same manner it is written inn the Gospel: "Bless them that curse you." (2) Being injured, do not avenge yourselves, but bear it with patience; for the Scripture speaks thus: "Say not thou, I will avenge myself on my enemy for what injuries he has offered me; but acquiesce under them, that the Lord may right thee, and bring vengeance upon him who injures thee." (3) For so says He again in the Gospel: "Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; and ye shall be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to shine on the evil and on the good, and raineth on the just and unjust." (4) Let us therefore, beloved, attend to these commandments, that we may be found to be the children of light by doing them. Bear, therefore, with one another, ye servants and sons of God.
SEC. II.--COMMANDMENTS TO MEN.
CONCERNING THE ADORNMENT OF OURSELVES, AND THE SIN WHICH ARISES FROM THENCE.
Let the husband not be insolent nor arrogant towards his wife; but compassionate, bountiful, willing to please his own wife alone, (5) and treat her honourably and obligingly, endeavouring to be agreeable to her; (III.) not adorning thyself in such a manner as may entice another woman to thee. For if thou art overcome by her, and sinnest with her, eternal death will overtake thee from God; and thou wilt be punished with sensible and bitter torments. Or if thou dost not perpetrate such a wicked act, but shakest her off, and refusest her, in this case thou art not wholly innocent, even though thou art not guilty of the crime itself, but only in so far as through thy adorning thou didst entice the woman to desire thee. For thou art the cause that the woman was so affected, and by her lusting after thee was guilty of adultery with thee: yet art thou not so guilty, because thou didst not send to her, who was ensnared by thee; nor didst thou desire her. Since, therefore, thou didst not deliver up thyself to her, thou shalt find mercy with the Lord thy God, who hath said, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," and, "Thou shalt not covet." (6) For if such a woman, upon sight of thee, or unseasonable meeting with thee, was smitten in her mind, and sent to thee, but thou as a religious person didst refuse her, (7) if she was wounded in her heart by thy beauty, and youth, and adorning, and fell in love with thee, thou wilt be found guilty of her transgressions, as having been the occasion of scandal to her, (8) and shalt inherit a woe. (9) Wherefore pray thou to the Lord God that no mischief may befall thee upon this account: for thou art not to please men, so as to commit sin; but God, so as to attain holiness of life, and be partaker of everlasting rest. That beauty which God and nature has bestowed on thee, do not further beautify; but modestly diminish it before men. Thus, do not thou permit the hair of thy head to grow too long, but rather cut it short; lest by a nice combing thy hair, and wearing it long, and anointing thyself, thou draw upon thyself such ensnared or ensnaring women. Neither do thou wear over-fine garments to seduce any; neither do thou, with an evil subtilty, affect over-fine stockings or shoes for thy feet, but only such as suit the measures of decency and usefulness. Neither do thou put a gold ring upon thy fingers; for all these ornaments are the signs of lasciviousness, which if thou be solicitous about in an indecent manner, thou wilt not act as becomes a good man: for it is not lawful for thee, a believer and a man of God, to permit the hair of thy head to grow long, and to brush it up together, nor to suffer it to spread abroad, nor to puff it up, nor by nice combing and platting to make it curl and shine; since that is contrary to the law, which says thus, in its additional precepts: "You shall not make to yourselves curls and round rasures." (10) Nor may men destroy the hair of their beards, and unnaturally change the form of a man. For the law says: "Ye shall not mar your beards." (10) For God the Creator has made this decent for women, but has determined that it is unsuitable for men. But if thou do these things to please men, in contradiction to the law, thou wilt be abominable with God, who created thee after His own image.
If, therefore, thou wilt be acceptable to God, abstain from all those things which He hates, and do none of those things that are unpleasing to Him.
THAT WE OUGHT NOT TO BE OVER-CURIOUS ABOUT THOSE WHO LIVE WICKEDLY, BUT TO BE INTENT UPON OUR OWN PROPER EMPLOYMENT.
IV. Thou shalt not be as a wanderer and gadder abroad, rambling about the streets, without just cause, to spy out such as live wickedly. But by minding thy own trade and employment, endeavour to do what is acceptable to God. And keeping in mind the oracles of Christ, meditate in the same continually. For so the Scripture says to thee: "Thou shalt meditate in His law day and night; when thou walkest in the field, and when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up, that thou mayest have understanding in all things." (1) Nay, although thou beest rich, and so dost not want a trade for thy maintenance, be not one that gads about, and walks abroad at random; but either go to some that are believers, and of the same religion, and confer and discourse with them about the lively oracles of God:- WHAT BOOKS OF SCRIPTURE WE OUGHT TO READ.
V. Or if thou stayest at home, read the books of the Law, of the Kings, with the Prophets; sing the hymns of David; and peruse diligently the Gospel, which is the completion of the other.
THAT WE OUGHT TO ABSTAIN FROM ALL THE BOOKS OF THOSE THAT ARE OUT OF THE CHURCH.
VI. Abstain from all the heathen books. For what hast thou to do with such foreign discourses, or laws, or false prophets, which subvert the faith of the unstable?
For what defect dost thou find in the law of God, that thou shouldest have recourse to those heathenish fables?
For if thou hast a mind to read history, thou hast the books of the Kings; if books of wisdom or poetry, thou hast those of the Prophets, of Job, and the Proverbs, in which thou wilt find greater depth of sagacity than in all the heathen poets and sophisters, because these are the words of the Lord, the only wise God.
If thou desirest something to (hymn) sing, thou hast the Psalms;
if the origin of things, thou hast Genesis;
if laws and statutes, thou hast the glorious law of the Lord God.
Do thou therefore utterly abstain from all strange and diabolical books.
Nay, when thou readest the law, think not thyself bound to observe the additional precepts; though not all of them, yet some of them. Read those barely for the sake of history, in order to the knowledge of them, and to glorify God that He has delivered thee from such great and so many bonds.
Propose to thyself to distinguish what rules were from the law of nature, and what were added afterwards, or were such additional rules as were introduced and given in the wilderness to the Israelites after the making of the calf;
for the law contains those precepts which were spoken by the Lord God
before the people fell into idolatry, and made a calf like the Egyptian Apis--that is, the ten commandments.
But as to those bonds which were further laid upon them after they had sinned, do not thou draw them upon thyself:
for our Saviour came for no other reason but
(1) that He might deliver those that were obnoxious thereto from the wrath which was reserved far them, that
(2) He might fulfil the Law and the Prophets, and that He might abrogate or change those secondary bonds which were superadded to the rest of the law. For therefore did He call to us and say, "Come unto me,
(2) all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will dive you rest."
(3) When, therefore, thou hast read the Law, which is agreeable to the Gospel and to the Prophets, read also the books of the Kings, that thou mayest thereby learn which of the kings were righteous, and how they were prospered by God, and how the promise of eternal life continued with them from Him;
but those kings which went a--whoring from God did soon perish in their apostasy by the righteous judgment of God, and were deprived of His life, inheriting, instead of rest, eternal punishment. Wherefore by reading these books thou wilt be mightily strengthened in the faith, and edified in Christ, whose body and member thou art. Moreover, when thou walkest abroad in public, and hast a mind to bathe, make use of that bath which is appropriated to men, lest, by discovering thy body in an unseemly manner to women, or by seeing a sight not seemly for men, either thou beest ensnared, or thou ensnarest and enticest to thyself those women who easily yield to such temptations. (2) Take care, therefore, and avoid such things, lest thou admit a snare upon thy own soul.
CONCERNING A BAD WOMAN.
VII. For let us learn what the sacred word says in the book of Wisdom: "My son, keep my words, and hide my commandments with thee. Say unto Wisdom, Thou art my sister; and make understanding familiar with thee: that she may keep thee from the strange and wicked woman, in case such a one accost thee with sweet words.
For from the window of her house she looks into the street, to see if she can espy some young man among the foolish children, without Understanding, walking in the market-place, in the meeting of the street near her house, and talking in the dusk of the evening, or in the silence and darkness of the night. A woman meets him in the appearance of an harlot, who steals away the hearts of young persons. She rambles about and is dissolute; her feet abide not in her house sometimes she is without, sometimes in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner. Then she catches him, and kisses him, and with an impudent face says unto him, I have peace-offerings with me; this day do I pay my vows: therefore came I forth to meet thee; earnestly I have desired thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings; with tapestry from Egypt have I adorned it. I have perfumed my bed with saffron, and my house with cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning; come, let us solace ourselves with love," etc. To which he adds: "With much discourse she seduced him, with snares from her lips she forced him. He goes after her like a silly bird."
(1) And again: "Do not hearken to a wicked woman; for though the lips of an harlot are like drops from an honey-comb, which for a while is smooth in thy throat, yet afterwards thou wilt find her more bitter than gall, and sharper than any two-edged sword."
(2) And again: "But get away quickly, and tarry not fix not thine eyes upon her: for she hath thrown down many wounded; yea, innumerable multitudes have been slain by her."
(3) "If not," says he, "yet thou wilt repent at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, and wilt say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart has avoided the reproofs of the righteous! I have not hearkened to the voice of my instructor, nor inclined mine ear to my teacher. I have almost been in all evil."
(4) But we will make no more quotations; and if we have omitted any, be so prudent as to select the most valuable out of the Holy Scriptures, and confirm yourselves with them, rejecting all things that are evil, that so you may be found holy with God in eternal life.
SEC. III.--COMMANDMENTS TO WOMEN.
CONCERNING THE SUBJECTION OF A WIFE TO HER HUSBAND, AND THAT SHE MUST BE LOVING AND MODEST.
VIII. Let the wife be obedient to her own proper husband, because "the husband is the head of the wife." (5) But Christ is the head of that husband who walks in the way of righteousness; and "the head of Christ is God," even His Father. Therefore, O wife, next after the Almighty, our God and Father, the Lord of the present world and of the world to come, the Maker of everything that breathes, and of every power; and after His beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom (6) glory be to God, do thou fear thy husband, and reverence him, pleasing him alone, rendering thyself acceptable to him in the several affairs of life, that so on thy account thy husband may be called blessed, according to the Wisdom of Solomon, which thus speaks: "Who can find a virtuous woman? for such a one is more precious than costly stones. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that she shall have no need of spoil: for she does good to her husband all the days of her life. She buyeth wool and flax, and worketh profitable things-with her hands. She is like the merchants ships, she bringeth her food from far. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth" meat to her household, and food to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it; with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She tasteth that it is good to labour; her lamp goeth not out all the whole night. She stretcheth out her arms for useful work, and layeth her hands to the spindle. She openeth her hands to the needy; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the poor. Her husband takes no care of the affairs of his house; for all that are with her are clothed with double garments. She maketh coats for her husband, clothings of silk and purple. Her husband is eminent in the gates, when he sitteth with the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it to the Phoenicians, and girdles to the Canaanites.
She is clothed with glory and beauty, and she rejoices in the last days. She openeth her mouth with wisdom and discretion, and puts her words in order. The ways of her household are strict; she eateth not the bread of idleness. She will open her mouth with wisdom and caution, and upon her tongue are the laws of mercy. Her children arise up and praise her for her riches, and her husband joins in her praises. Many daughters have obtained wealth and done worthily, but thou surpassest and excellest them all. May lying flatteries and the vain beauty of a wife be far from thee. For a religious wife is blessed. Let her praise the fear of the Lord: (7) give her of the fruits of her lips, and let her husband be praised in the gates." (8) And again: "A virtuous wife is a crown to her husband." (9) And 395
again: "Many wives have built an house." (1) You have learned what great commendations a prudent and loving wife receives from the Lord God. If thou desirest to be one of the faithful, and to please the Lord, O wife, do not superadd ornaments to thy beauty, in order to please other men; neither affect to wear fine broidering, garments, or shoes, to entice those who are allured by such things. For although thou dost not these wicked things with design of sinning thyself, but only for the sake of ornament and beauty, yet wilt thou not so escape future punishment, as having compelled another to look so hard at thee as to lust after thee, and as not having taken care both to avoid sin thyself, and the affording scandal to others. But if thou yield thyself up, and commit the crime, thou art both guilty of thy own sin, and the cause of the ruin of the other's soul also. Besides, when thou hast committed lewdness with one man, and beginnest to despair, thou wilt again turn away from thy duty, and follow others, and grow past feeling; as says the divine word: "When a wicked man comes into the depth of evil, he becomes a scorner, and then disgrace and reproach come upon him." (2) For such a woman afterward being wounded, ensnares without restraint the souls of the foolish. Let us learn, therefore, how the divine word, triumphs over such women, saying: "I hated a woman who is a snare and net to the heart of men worse than death; her hands are fetters." (3) And in another passage: "As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is beauty in a wicked woman." (4) And again: "As a worm in wood, so does a wicked woman destroy her husband." (5) And again: "It is better to dwell in the corner of the house-top, than with a contentious and an angry woman." (6) You, therefore, who are Christian women, do not imitate such as these. But thou who designest to be faithful to thine own husband, take care to please him alone. And when thou art in the streets, cover thy head; for by such a covering thou wilt avoid being viewed of idle persons. Do not paint thy face, which is God's workmanship; for there is no part of thee which wants ornament, inasmuch as all things which God has made are very good. But the lascivious additional adorning of what is already good is an affront to the bounty of the Creator. Look downward when thou walkest abroad, veiling thyself as becomes women.
THAT A WOMAN MUST NOT BATHE WITH MEN.
IX. Avoid also that disorderly practice of bathing in the same place with men; for many are the nets of the evil one. And let not a Christian woman bathe with an hermaphrodite; for if she is to veil her face, and conceal it with modesty from strange men, how can she bear to enter naked into the bath together with men? But if the bath be appropriated to women, let her bathe orderly, modestly, and moderately. But let her not bathe without occasion, nor much, nor often, nor in the middle of the day, nor, if possible, every day; and let the tenth hour of the day be the set time for such seasonable bathing. For it is convenient that thou, who art a Christian woman, shouldst ever constantly avoid a curiosity which has many eyes.
CONCERNING A CONTENTIOUS AND BRAWLING WOMAN.
X. But as to a spirit of contention, be sure to curb it as to all men, but principally as to thine husband; lest, if he be an unbeliever or an heathen, he may have an occasion of scandal or of blaspheming God, and thou be partaker of a woe from God. For, says He, "Woe to him by whom My name is blasphemed among the Gentiles;" (7) and lest, if thy husband be a Christian, he be forced, from his knowledge of the Scriptures, to say that which is written in the book of Wisdom: "It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman." (8) You wives, therefore, demonstrate your piety by your modesty and meekness to all without the Church, whether they be women or men, in order to their conversion and improvement in the faith. And since we have warned you, and instructed you briefly, whom we do esteem our sisters, daughters, and members, as being wise yourselves, persevere all your lives in an unblameable course of life. Seek to know such kind of learning whereby you may arrive at the kingdom of our Lord, and please Him, and so rest for ever and ever. Amen.
CONSTITUTIONS OF THE HOLY APOSTLES
OF BISHOPS, PRESBYTERS, AND DEACONS.
SEC. I.--ON EXAMINING CANDIDATES FOR THE EPISCOPAL OFFICE.
THAT A BISHOP MUST BE WELL INSTRUCTED AND EXPERIENCED IN THE WORD.
I. BUT concerning bishops, we have heard from our Lord, that a pastor who is to be ordained a bishop for the churches in every parish, must be unblameable, unreprovable, free from all kinds o wickedness common among men, not under fifty years of age; for such a one is in good part past youthful disorders, and the slanders of the heathen, as well as the reproaches which are sometimes cast upon many persons by some false brethren, who do not consider the word of God in the Gospel: "Whosoever speaketh an idle word shall give an account thereof to the Lord in the day of judgment." (1) And again: "By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (2) Let him therefore, if it is possible, be well educated; but if he be unlettered, let him at any rate be (3) skilful in the word, and of competent age. But if in a small parish one advanced in years is not to be found, (4) let some younger person, who has a good report among his neighbours, and is esteemed by them worthy of the office of a bishop,--who has carried himself from his youth with meekness and regularity, like a much elder person,--after examination, and a general good report, be ordained in peace.
For Solomon at twelve years of age was king of Israel, (5) and Josiah at eight years of age reigned righteously, (6) and in like manner Joash governed the people at seven years of age. (7) Wherefore, although the person be young, let him be meek, gentle, and quiet. For the Lord God says by Esaias: "Upon whom will I look, but upon him who is humble and quiet, and always trembles at my words?" (8) In like manner it is in the Gospel also: "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." (9) Let him also be merciful; for again it is said: "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." (10) Let him also be a peacemaker; for again it is said: " Blessed sons of God." (11) Let him also be one of a good conscience, purified from all evil, and wickedness, and unrighteousness; for it is said again: "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." (12)
WHAT OUGHT TO BE THE CHARACTERS OF A BISHOP AND OF THE REST? OF THE CLERGY.
II. Let him therefore be sober, prudent, decent, firm, stable, not given to wine; no striker, but gentle; not a brawler, not covetous; "not a novice, test, being puffed up with pride, be fall into condemnation, and the snare of the devil: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abused." (13) Such a one a bishop ought to be, who has been the "husband of one wife," (14) who also has herself had no other husband, "ruling well his own house." (15) In this manner let examination be made when he is to receive ordination, and to be placed in his bishopric, whether he be grave, faithful, decent; whether he hath a grave and faithful-wife, or has formerly had such a one; whether he hath educated his children piously, and has "brought them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord;" (16) whether his domestics do fear and reverence 397
him, and are all obedient to him: for if those who are immediately about him for worldly concerns are seditious and disobedient, how will others not of his family, when they are under his management, become obedient to him?
IN WHAT THINGS A BISHOP IS TO BE EXAMINED BEFORE HE IS ORDAINED.
III. Let examination also be made whether he be unblameable as to the concerns of this life; for it is written: "Search diligently for all the faults of him who is to be ordained for the priesthood." (1)
SEC. II.--ON THE CHARACTER AND TEACHING OF THE BISHOP.
On which account let him also be void of anger; for Wisdom says: "Anger destroys even the prudent." (2) Let him also be merciful, of a generous and loving temper; for our Lord says: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another." (3) Let him be also ready to give, a lover of the widow and the stranger; ready to serve, and minister, and attend; resolute in his duty; and let him know who is the most worthy of his assistance.
THAT CHARITABLE DISTRIBUTIONS ARE NOT TO BE MADE TO EVERY WIDOW, BUT THAT SOMETIMES A WOMAN WHO HAS A HUSBAND IS TO BE PREFERRED: AND THAT NO DISTRIBUTIONS ARE TO BE MADE TO ANY ONE WHO IS GIVEN TO GLUTTONY, DRUNKENNESS, AND IDLENESS.
IV. For if there be a widow who is able to support herself, and another woman who is not a widow, but is needy by reason of sickness, or the bringing up many children, or infirmity of her hands, let him stretch out his hand in charity rather to this latter. But if any one be in want by gluttony, drunkenness, or idleness, he does not deserve any assistance, or to be esteemed a member of the Church of God. For the Scripture, speaking of such persons, says: "The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom, and is not able to bring it to his mouth again." (4) And again: "The sluggard folds up his hands, and eats his own flesh." (5) "For every drunkard and whoremonger shall come to poverty, and every drowsy person shall be clothed with tatters and rags." (6) And in another passage: "If thou give thine eyes to drinking and cups, thou shalt afterwards walk more naked than a pestle." (7) For certainly idleness is the mother of famine.
THAT A BISHOP MUST BE NO ACCEPTER OF PERSONS IN JUDGMENT; THAT HE MUST POSSESS A GENTLE DISPOSITION, AND BE TEMPERATE IN HIS MODE OF LIFE.
V. A bishop must be no accepter of persons; neither revering nor flattering a rich man contrary to what is right, nor overlooking nor domineering over a poor man. For, says God to Moses, "Thou shalt not accept the person of the rich, nor shalt thou pity a poor man in his cause: for the judgment is the Lord's." (8) And again: "Thou shalt with exact justice follow that which is right"
(9) Let a bishop be frugal, and contented with a little in his meat and drink, that he may be ever in a sober frame, and disposed to instruct and admonish the ignorant; and let him not be costly in his diet, a pamperer of himself, given to pleasure, or fond of delicacies. Let him he patient and gentle in his admonitions, well instructed himself, meditating in and diligently studying the Lord's books, and reading them frequently, that so he may be able carefully to interpret the Scriptures, expounding the Gospel in correspondence with the prophets and with the law; and let the expositions from the law and the prophets correspond to the Gospel.
For the Lord Jesus says: "Search the Scriptures; for they are those which testify of me." (10) And again: "For Moses wrote of 'me." (11) But, above all, let him carefully distinguish between the original law and the additional precepts, and show which are the laws for believers, and which the bonds for the unbelievers, lest any should fall under those bonds.
Be careful, therefore, O bishop, to study the word, that thou mayest be able to explain everything exactly, and that thou mayest copiously nourish thy people with much doctrine, and enlighten them with the light of the law; for God says: "Enlighten yourselves with the light of knowledge, while we have yet opportunity." (12)
THAT A BISHOP MUST NOT BE GIVEN TO FILTHY LUCRE, NOR BE A SURETY NOR AN ADVOCATE.
VI. Let not a bishop be given to filthy lucre, especially before the Gentiles, rather suffering than offering injuries; not covetous, nor rapacious; no purloiner; no admirer of the rich, nor hater of the poor; no evil-speaker, nor false witness; not given to anger; no brawler; not entangled with the affairs of this life; not a surety for any one, nor an accuser in suits about money; not ambitious; not double-minded, nor double-tongued; not ready to hearken to calumny or evil-speaking; not a dissembler; not addicted to the heathen festivals; not given to vain 398 deceits; not eager after worldly things, nor a lover of money. For all these things are opposite to God, and pleasing to demons. Let the bishop earnestly give all these precepts in charge to the laity also, persuading them to imitate his conduct. For, says He, "Do ye make the children of Israel pious." (1) Let him be prudent, humble, apt to admonish with the instructions of the Lord, well-disposed, one who has renounced all the wicked projects of this world, and all heathenish lusts; let hint be orderly, sharp in observing the wicked, and taking heed of them, but yet a friend to all; just, discerning; and whatsoever qualities are commendable among men, let the bishop possess them in himself. For if the pastor be unblameable as to any wickedness, he will compel his own disciples, and by his very mode of life press them to become worthy imitators of his own actions. As the prophet somewhere says, "And it will be, as is the priest, so is the people;"
(2) for our Lord and Teacher Jesus Christ, the San
(3) of God, began first to do, and then to teach, as Luke somewhere. "which Jesus began to do and to teach." (3) says:
(4) Wherefore he says: "Whosoever shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of God."
(5) For you bishops are to be guides and watchmen to the people, as you yourselves have Christ for your guide and watchman. Do you therefore become good guides and watchmen to the people of God. For the Lord says by Ezekiel, speaking to every one of you: "Son of man, I have given thee for a watchman to the house of Israel; and thou shalt hear the word from my mouth, and shalt observe, and shalt declare it from me. When t say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his wickedness, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, and his blood will I require at thine hand. But if thou warn the wicked from his way, that he may turn from it, and he does not turn from it, he shall die in his iniquity, and thou hast delivered thy soul." (6) "In the same manner, if the sword of war be approaching, and the people set a watchman to watch, and he see the same approach, and does not forewarn them, and the sword come and take one of them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood shall be required at the watchman's hand, because he did not blow the trumpet. But if he blew the trumpet, and he who heard it would not take warning, and the sword come and take him away, his blood shall be upon him, because he heard the trumpet and took not warning. But he who took warning has delivered his soul; and the watchman, because he gave warning, shall surely live." (7) The sword here is the judgment; the trumpet is the holy Gospel; the watchman is the bishop, who is set in the Church, who is obliged by his preaching to testify and vehemently to forewarn (3) concerning that judgment. If ye do not declare and testify this to the people, the sins of those who are ignorant of it will be found upon you. Wherefore do you warn and reprove the uninstructed with boldness, teach the ignorant, confirm those that understand, bring back those that go astray. If we repeat the very same things on the same occasions, brethren, we shall not do amiss. For by frequent hearing it is to be hoped that some will be made ashamed, and at least do some good action, and avoid some wicked one. For says God by the prophet: "Testify those things to them; perhaps they will hear thy voice." (8) And again: "If perhaps they will hear, if perhaps they will submit." (9) Moses also says to the people: "If hearing thou wilt hear the Lord God, and do that which is good and fight in His eyes." (10) And again: (3) "Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord." (11) And our Lord is often recorded in the Gospel to have said: "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." (12) And wise Solomon says: "My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and reject not the laws of thy mother." (13) And, indeed, to this day men have not heard; for while they seem to have heard, they have not heard aright, as appears by their having left the one and only true God, and their being drawn into destructive and dangerous heresies, concerning which we shall speak again afterwards.
SEC. III.--HOW THE BISHOP IS TO TREAT THE INNOCENT, THE GUILTY, AND THE PENITENT.
WHAT OUGHT TO BE THE CHARACTER OF THE INITIATED.
VII. Beloved, be it known to you that those who are baptized into the death of our Lord Jesus are obliged to go on no longer in sin; for as those who are dead cannot work wickedness any longer, so those who are dead with Christ cannot practise wickedness. We do not therefore believe, brethren, that any one who has received the washing of life continues in the practice of the licentious acts of transgressors. Now he who sins after his baptism, unless he repent and forsake his sins, shall be condemned to hell-fire.
CONCERNING A PERSON FALSELY ACCUSED, OR A PERSON CONVICTED.
VIII. But if any one be maliciously prosecuted by the heathen, because he will not still go along with them to the same excess of riot, let him know that such a one is blessed of God, according as our Lord says in the Gospel: "Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, or persecute you, or say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for your reward is great in heaven." (1) If, therefore, any one be slandered and falsely accused, such a one is blessed; for the Scripture says, "A man that is a reprobate is not tried by God." (2) But if any one be convicted as having done a wicked action, such a one not only hurts himself, but occasions the whole body of the Church and its doctrine to be blasphemed; as if we Christians did not practise those things that we declare to be good and honest, and we ourselves shall be reproached by the Lord, that "they say and do not." (3) Wherefore the bishop must boldly reject such as these upon full conviction, unless they change their course of life.
THAT A BISHOP OUGHT NOT TO RECEIVE BRIBES.
IX. For the bishop must not only himself give no offence, but must be no respecter of persons; in meekness instructing those that offend. But if he himself has not a good conscience, and is a respecter of persons for the sake of filthy lucre, and receiving of bribes, and spares the open offender, and permits him to continue in the Church, he disregards the voice of God and of our Lord, which says, "Thou shalt exactly execute right judgment." (4) "Thou shalt not accept persons in judgment: thou shalt not justify the ungodly." (5)
"Thou shalt not receive gifts against any one's life; for gifts do blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous." (6) And elsewhere He says: "Take away from among yourselves that wicked person." (7) And Solomon says in his Proverbs: "Cast out a pestilent fellow from the congregation, and strife will go out along with him." (8)
THAT A BISHOP WHO BY WRONG JUDGMENT SPARES AN OFFENDER IS HIMSELF GUILTY.
x. But he who does not consider these things, will, contrary to justice, spare him who deserves punishment; as Saul spared Agag, (9) and Eli (10) his sons, "who knew not the Lord." Such a one profanes his own dignity, and that Church of God which is in his parish. Such a one is esteemed unjust before God and holy men, as affording occasion of scandal to many of the newly baptized, and to the catechumens; as also to the youth of both sexes, to whom a woe belongs, add "a mill-stone about his neck," (11) and drowning, on account of his guilt. For, observing what a person their governor is, through his wickedness and neglect of justice they will grow sceptical, and, indulging the same disease, will be compelled to perish with him; as was the case of the people joining with Jeroboam, (12) and those which were in the conspiracy with Corah.
(13) But if the offender sees that the bishop and deacons are innocent and unblameable, and the flock pure, he will either not venture to despise their authority, and to enter into the Church of God at all, as one smitten by his own conscience: or if he values nothing, and ventures to enter in, either he will be convicted immediately, as Uzza
(14) at the ark, when he touched it to support it; and as Achan, (15) when he stole the accursed thing; and as Gehazi, (16) when he coveted the money of Naaman, and so will be immediately punished: or else he will be admonished by the pastor, and drawn to repentance. For when he looks round the whole Church one by one, and can spy no blemish, neither in the bishop nor in the people who are under his care, he will be put to confusion, and pricked at the heart, and in a peaceable manner will go his way with shame and many tears, and the flock will remain pure. He will apply himself to God with tears, and will repent of his sins, and have hope. Nay, the whole flock, at the sight of his tears, will be instructed, because a sinner avoids destruction by repentance.
HOW A BISHOP OUGHT TO JUDGE OFFENDERS.
XI. Upon this account, therefore, O bishop, endeavour to be pure in thy actions, and to adorn thy place and dignity, which is that of one sustaining the character of God among men, as being set over all men, over priests, kings, rulers, fathers, children, teachers, and in general over all those who are subject to thee: and so sit in the Church when thou speakest, as having authority to judge offenders. For to you, O bishops, it is said: "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (17)
INSTRUCTION AS TO HOW A BISHOP OUGHT TO BEHAVE HIMSELF TO THE PENITENT.
XII. Do thou therefore, O bishop, judge with authority like God, yet receive the penitent; for God is a God of mercy. Rebuke those that sin, admonish those that are not converted, exhort those that stand to persevere in their goodness, receive the penitent; for the Lord God has promised with an oath to afford remission to the penitent for what things they have done amiss. For He says by Ezekiel: "Speak unto them, As I live, saith the Lord, I would not the death of a sinner, but that the wicked turn from his evil way, and live. Turn ye therefore front your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" (1) Here the word (2) affords hope to sinners, that if they will repent they shall have hope of salvation, lest otherwise out of despair they yield themselves up to their transgressions; but that, having hope of salvation, they may he converted, and may address to God with tears, on account of their sins, and may repent from their hearts, and so appease His displeasure towards them; so shall they receive a pardon from Him, as from a merciful Father.
THAT WE OUGHT TO BEWARE HOW WE MAKE TRIAL OF ANY SINFUL COURSE.
XIII. Yet it is very necessary that those who are yet innocent should continue so, and not make an experiment what sin is, that they may not have occasion for trouble, sorrow, and those lamentations which are in order to forgiveness. For how dost thou know, O man, when thou sinnest, whether thou shalt live any number of days in this present state, that thou mayest have time to repent? For the time of thy departure out of this world is uncertain; and if thou diest in sin, there will remain no repentance for thee; as God says by David, "In the grave who will confess to Thee?" (3) It behoves us, therefore. to be ready in the doing of our duty, that so we may await our passage into another world without sorrow. Wherefore also the Divine Word exhorts, speaking to thee by the wise Solomon, (2) "Prepare thy works against thy exit, and provide all beforehand in the field," (4) lest some of the things necessary to thy journey be wanting; as the oil of piety was deficient in the five foolish virgins (5) mentioned in the Gospel, when they, on account of their having extinguished their lamps of divine knowledge, were shut out of the bride-chamber. Wherefore he who values the security of his soul will take care to be out of danger, by keeping free from sin, that so he may preserve the advantage of his former good works to himself. Do thou, therefore, so judge as executing judgment for God. For, as the Scripture says, "the judgment is the Lord's." (6) In the first place, therefore, condemn the guilty person with authority; afterwards try to bring him home with mercy and compassion, and readiness to receive him, promising him salvation if he will change his course of life, and become a penitent; and when he does repent, and has submitted to his chastisement, receive him: remembering that our Lord has said, "There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth." (7)
CONCERNING THOSE WHO AFFIRM THAT PENITENTS ARE NOT TO BE RECEIVED INTO THE CHURCH. THAT A RIGHTEOUS PERSON, ALTHOUGH HE CONVERSE WITH A SINNER, WILL NOT PERISH WITH HIM. THAT NO PERSON IS PUNISHED FOR ANOTHER, BUT EVERY ONE MUST GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF. THAT WE MUST ASSIST THOSE WHO ARE WEAK IN THE FAITH; AND THAT A BISHOP MUST NOT BE GOVERNED BY ANY TURBULENT PERSON AMONG THE LAITY.
XIV. But if thou refusest to receive him that repents, thou exposest him to those who lie in wait to destroy, forgetting what David says: "Deliver not my soul, which confesses to Thee, unto destroying beasts." (8) Wherefore Jeremiah, when he is exhorting men to repentance, says thus: "Shall not he that falleth arise? or he that turneth away, cannot he return? Wherefore have my people gone back by a shameless backsliding? and they are hardened in their purpose. (9) Turn, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings." (10) Receive, therefore, without any doubting, him that repents. Be not hindered by such unmerciful men, who say that we must not be defiled with such as those, nor so much as speak to them: for such advice is from men that are unacquainted with God and His providence, and are unreasonable judges, and unmerciful brutes. These men are ignorant that we ought to avoid society with offenders, not in discourse, but in actions: for "the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him." (11) And again: "If a land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, and I stretch out my hand upon it, and break the staff of bread upon it, and send famine upon it, and destroy man and beast therein: though these three men, Noah, Job, and Daniel, were in the midst of it, they shall only save their own souls 401
by their righteousness, saith the Lord God." (1) The Scripture most clearly shows that a righteous man that converses with a wicked man does not perish with him. For in the present world the righteous and the wicked are mingled together in the common affairs of life, but not in holy communion: and in this the friends and favourites of God are guilty of no sin. For they do but imitate "their Farther which is in heaven, who maketh His sun to rise on the righteous and unrighteous, and sendeth His rain on the evil and on the good;" (2) and the righteous man undergoes no peril on this account. For those who conquer and those who are conquered are in the same place of running, but only those who have bravely undergone the race are where the garland is bestowed; and "no one is crowned, unless he strive lawfully." (3) For every one shall give account of himself, and God will not destroy the righteous with the wicked; for with Him it is a constant rule, that innocence is never punished.
For neither did He drown Noah, nor burn up Lot, nor destroy Rahab for company.
And if you desire to know how this matter was among us, Judas was one of us, and took the like part of the ministry which we had; and Simon the magician received the seal of the Lord. Yet both the one and the other proving wicked, the former hanged himself, and the latter, as he flew in the air in a manner unnatural, was dashed against the earth. Moreover, Noah and his sons with him were in the ark; but Ham, who alone was found wicked, received punishment in his son. (4) But if fathers are not punished for their children, nor children for their fathers, it is thence clear that neither will wives be punished for their husbands, nor servants for their masters, nor one relation for another, nor one friend for another, nor the righteous for the wicked. But every one will be required an account of his own doing. For neither was punishment inflicted on Noah for the world, nor was Lot destroyed by fire for the Sodomites, nor was Rahab slain for the inhabitants of Jericho, nor lsrael for the Egyptians. For not the dwelling together, but the agreement in their sentiments, alone could condemn the righteous with the wicked. We ought not therefore to hearken to such persons who call for death, and hate mankind, and love accusations, and under fair pretences bring men to death. For one man shall not die for another, but "every one is held with the chains of his own sins." (5) And, "behold, the man and his work is before his face." (6) Now we ought to assist those who are with us, (7) and are in danger, and fall, and, as far as lies in our power, to reduce them to sobriety by our exhortations, and so save them from death. For "the whole have no need of the physician, but the sick;" (8) since "it is not pleasing in the sight of your Father that one of these little ones should perish." (9) For we ought not to establish the will of hard-hearted men, but the will of the God and Father of the universe, which is revealed to us by Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
For it is not equitable that thou, O bishop, who art the head, shouldst submit to the tail, that is, to some seditious person among the laity, to the destruction of another, but to God alone. For it is thy privilege to govern those under thee, but not to be governed by them. For neither does a son, who is subject by the course of generation, govern his father; nor a slave, who is subject by law, govern his master; nor does a scholar govern his teacher, nor a soldier his king, nor any of the laity his bishop. For that there is no reason to suppose that such as converse with the wicked, in order to their instruction in the word, are defiled by or partake of their sins, Ezekiel, as it were on purpose preventing the suspicions of ill-disposed persons, says thus: "Why do you speak this proverb concerning the land of lsrael? The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge. As I
live, saith the Lord Coot, ye shall not henceforth have occasion to use this proverb in Israel. For all souls are mine, in like manner as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. But the man who is righteous, and does judgment and justice" (and so the prophet reckons up the rest of the virtues, and then adds for a conclusion, "Such a one is just"), "he shall surely live, saith the Lord God. And if he beget a son who is a robber, a shedder of blood, and walks not in the way of his righteous father" (and when the prophet had added what follows, he adds in the conclusion), "he shall certainly not live: he has done all this wickedness; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him. Yet they will ask thee, Why? Does not the son bear the iniquity of the father; or his righteousness, having exercised righteousness and mercy himself? And thou shalt say unto them, The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, and the father shall not bear the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him." (1) And a little after he says: "When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, all his righteousness, by reason of all his wickedness which he has committed, shall not be mentioned to him: in his iniquity which he hath committed, and in his sin which he hath sinned, in them shall he die." And a little after he adds: "When the wicked turneth away from his wickedness which he hath committed, and doth judgment and justice, he hath preserved his soul, he hath turned away from all his ungodliness which he hath done; he shall surely live, he shall not die." And afterwards: "I will judge every one of you according to his ways, O house of Israel, saith the Lord God."
THAT A PRIEST MUST NEITHER OVERLOOK OFFENCES, NOR BE RASH IN PUNISHING THEM.
XV. Observe, you who are our beloved sons, how merciful yet righteous the Lord our God is; how gracious and kind to men; and yet most certainly "He will not acquit the guilty:" (2) though He welcomes the returning sinner, and revives him, leaving no room for suspicion to such as wish to judge sternly and to reject offenders entirely, and to refuse to vouchsafe to them exhortations which might bring them to repentance. In contradiction to such, God by Isaiah says to the bishops: "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, ye priests: speak comfortably to Jerusalem." It therefore behoves you, upon hearing those words of His, to encourage those who have offended, and lead them to repentance, and afford them hope, and not vainly to suppose that you shall be partakers of their offences on account of such your love to them. Receive the penitent with alacrity, and rejoice over them, and with mercy and bowels of compassion judge the sinners. For if a person was walking by the side of a river, and ready to stumble, and thou shouldest push him and thrust him into the river, instead of offering him thy hand for his assistance, thou wouldst be guilty of the murder of thy brother; whereas thou oughtest rather to lend thy helping hand as he was ready to fall, lest he perish without remedy, that both the people may take warning, and the offender may not utterly perish. It is thy duty, O bishop, neither to overlook the sins of the people, nor to reject those who are penitent, that thou mayst not unskilfully destroy the Lord's flock, or dishonour His new name, which is imposed on His people, and thou thyself beest reproached as those ancient pastors were, of whom God speaks thus to Jeremiah: "Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard; they have polluted my heritage." (3) And in another passage: "My anger is waxed hot against the shepherds, and against the lambs shall I have indignation." (4) And elsewhere: "Ye are the priests that dishonour my name." (5)
OF REPENTANCE, THE MANNER OF IT, AND RULES ABOUT IT.
XVI. When thou seest the offender, with severity command him to be cast out; and as he is going out, let the deacons also treat him with severity, and then let them go and seek for him, and detain him out of the Church; and when they come in, let them entreat thee for him. For our Saviour Himself entreated His Father for those who had sinned, as it is written in the Gospel: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (6) Then order the offender to come in; and if upon examination thou findest that he is penitent, and fit to be received at all into the Church when thou hast afflicted him his days of fasting, according to the degree of his offence--as two, three, five, or seven weeks--so set him at liberty, and speak such things to him as are fit to be said in way of reproof, instruction, and exhortation to a sinner for his reformation, that so he may continue privately in his humility, and pray to God to be merciful to him, saying: "If Thou, O Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who should stand? For with Thee there is propitiation." (7) Of this sort of declaration is that which is said in the book of Genesis to Cain: "Thou hast sinned; be quiet;" (8) that is, do not go on in sin. For that a sinner ought to be ashamed for his own sin, that oracle of God delivered to Moses concerning Miriam is a sufficient proof, when he prayed that she might be forgiven. For says God to him: "If her father had spit in her face, should she not be ashamed? Let her be shut out of the camp seven days, and afterwards let her come in again." (9) We therefore ought to do so with offenders, when they profess their repentance,--namely, to separate them some determinate time, according to the proportion of their offence, and afterwards, like fathers to children, receive them again upon their repentance.
THAT A BISHOP MUST BE UNBLAMEABLE, AND A PATTERN FOR THOSE WHO ARE UNDER HIS CHARGE.
XVII. But if the bishop himself be an offender, how will he be able any longer to prosecute the 403
offence of another? Or how will he be able to reprove another, either he or his deacons, if by accepting of persons, or receiving of bribes, they have not all a clear conscience? For when the ruler asks, and the judge receives, judgment is not brought to perfection; but when both are "companions of thieves, and regardless of doing justice to the widows," (1) those who are under the bishop will not be able to support and vindicate him: for they will say to him what is written in the Gospel, "Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" (2) Let the bishop, therefore, with his deacons, dread to bear any such thing; that is, let him give no occasion for it. For an offender, when he sees any other doing as bad as himself, will be encouraged to do the very same things; and then the wicked one, taking occasion from a single instance, works in others, which God forbid: and by that means the flock will be destroyed. For the greater number of offenders there are, the greater is the mischief that is done by them: for sin which passes without correction grows worse and worse, and spreads to others; since "a little leaven infects the whole lump," (3) and one thief spreads the abomination over a whole nation and "dead flies spoil the whole pot of sweet ointment;" (4) and "when a king hearkens to unrighteous counsel, all the servants under him are wicked." (5) So one scabbed sheep, if not separated from those that are whole, infects the rest with the same distemper; and a man infected with the plague is to be avoided by all men; and a mad dog is dangerous to every one that he touches. If, therefore, we neglect to separate the transgressor from the Church of God, we shall make the "Lord's house a den of thieves." (6) For it is the bishop's duty not to be silent in the case of offenders, but to rebuke them, to exhort them, to beat them down, to afflict them with fastings, that so he may strike a pious dread into the rest: for, as He says, "make ye the children of Israel pious." (7) For the bishop must be one who discourages sin by his exhortations, and sets a pattern of righteousness, and proclaims those good things which are prepared by God, and declares that wrath which will come at the day of judgment, lest he contemn and neglect the plantation of God; and, on account of his carelessness, hear that which is said in Hosea: "Why have ye held your peace at impiety, and have reaped the fruit thereof?" (8)
THAT A BISHOP MUST TAKE CARE THAT HIS PEOPLE DO NOT SIN, CONSIDERING THAT HE IS SET FOR A WATCHMAN AMONG THEM.
XVIII. Let the bishop, therefore, extend his concern to all sorts of people: to those who have not offended, that they may continue innocent; to those who offend, that they may repent. For to you does the Lord speak thus: "Take heed that ye offend not one of these little ones." (9) It is your duty also to give remission to the penitent. For as soon as ever one who has offended says, in the sincerity of his soul, "I have sinned against the Lord," the Holy Spirit answers, "The Lord also hath forgiven thy sin; be of good cheer, thou shalt not die." (10) Be sensible, therefore, O bishop, of the dignity of thy place, that as thou hast received the power of binding, so hast thou also that of loosing. Having therefore the power of loosing, know thyself, and behave thyself in this world as becomes thy place, being aware that thou hast a great account to give. "For to whom," as the Scripture says, "men have entrusted much. of him they will require the more." (11) For no one man is free from sin, excepting Him that was made man for us; since it is written: "No man is pure from filthiness; no, not though he be but one day old." (12) Upon which account the lives and conduct of the ancient holy men and patriarchs are described; not that we may reproach them from our reading, but that we ourselves may repent, and have hope that we also shall obtain forgiveness. For their blemishes are to us both security and admonition, because we hence learn, when we have offended, that if we repent we shall have pardon. For it is written: "Who can boast that he has a clean heart? and who dare affirm that he is pure from sin?" (13) No man, therefore, is without sin. Do thou therefore labour to the utmost of thy power to be unblameable; and be solicitous of l all the parts of thy flock, lest any one be scandalized on thy account, and thereby perish. For the layman is solicitous only for himself, but thou for all, as having a greater burden, and carrying a heavier load. For it is written: "And the Lord said unto Moses, Thou and Aaron shall bear the sins of the priesthood." (14) Since, therefore, thou art to give an account of all, take care of all. Preserve those that are sound, admonish those that sin; and when thou hast afflicted them with fasting, give them ease by remission; and when with tears the offender begs readmission, receive him, and let the whole Church pray for him; and when by imposition 404
of thy hand thou hast admitted him, give him leave to abide afterwards in the flock. But for the drowsy and the careless, do thou endeavour to convert and confirm, and warn and cure them, as sensible how great a reward thou shalt have for doing so, and how great danger thou wilt incur if thou beest negligent therein. For Ezekiel speaks thus to those overseers who take no care of the people: "Woe unto the shepherds of lsrael, for they have fed themselves; the shepherds feed not the sheep, but themselves. Ye eat the milk, and are clothed with the wool; ye slay the strong, ye do not feed the sheep. The weak have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but, violently ye chastised them with insult: and they, were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became meat to all the beasts of the forest." And again: "The shepherds did not search for my sheep; and the shepherds fed themselves, but they fed not my sheep." And a little after: "Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hands, and cause them to cease from feeding my sheep, neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; and I will deliver my sheep out of their hands, and they shall not be meat for them." And he also adds, speaking to the people: "Behold, I will judge between sheep and sheep, and between rams and rams. Seemed it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, and to have trodden down with your feet the residue of your pasture, and that the sheep have eaten what was trodden down with your feet?" And a little after He adds: "And ye shall know that I am the Lord, and you the sheep of my pasture; ye are my men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God." (1)
THAT A SHEPHERD WHO IS CARELESS OF HIS SHEEP WILL BE CONDEMNED, AND THAT A SHEEP WHICH WILL NOT BE LED BY THE SHEPHERD IS TO BE PUNISHED.
XIX. Hear, O ye bishops; and hear, O ye of; the laity, how God speaks: "I will judge between ram and ram, and between sheep and sheep." And He says to the shepherds: "Ye shall be judged for your unskilfulness, and for destroying the sheep." That is, I will judge between one bishop and another, and between one lay person and another, and between one ruler and another (for these sheep and these rams are not irrational, but rational creatures): lest at any time a lay person should say, I am a sheep and not a shepherd, and I am not concerned for myself; let the shepherd look to that, for he alone will be required to give an account for me. For as that sheep that will not follow its good shepherd is exposed to the wolves, to its destruction; so that which follows a bad shepherd is also exposed to unavoidable death, since his shepherd will devour him. Wherefore care must be had to avoid destructive shepherds.
HOW THE GOVERNED ARE TO OBEY THE BISHOPS WHO ARE SET OVER THEM.
XX. As to a good shepherd, let the lay person honour him, love him, reverence him as his lord, as his master, as the high priest of God, as a teacher of piety. For he that heareth him, heareth Christ; and he that rejecteth him, rejecteth Christ; and he who does not receive Christ, does not receive His God and Father: for, says He, "He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that rejecteth you, rejecteth me; and he that rejecteth me, rejecteth Him that sent me." (2) In like manner, let the bishop love the laity as his children, fostering and cherishing them with affectionate diligence; as eggs, in order to the hatching of young ones; or as young ones, taking them in his arms, to the rearing them into birds: admonishing all men; reproving all who stand in need of reproof; reproving, that is, but not striking; beating them down to make them ashamed, but not overthrowing them; warning them in order to their conversion: chiding them in order to their reformation and better course of life; watching the strong, that is, keeping him firm in the faith who is already strong; feeding the people peaceably; strengthening the weak, that is, confirming with exhortation that which is tempted; healing that which is sick, that is, curing by instruction that which is weak in the faith through doubtfulness of mind; binding up that which is broken, that is, binding up by comfortable admonitions that which is gone astray, or wounded, bruised, or broken by their sins, and put out of the way; leasing it of its offences, and giving hope: by this means restore it in strength to the Church, bringing it back into the flock. Bring again that which is driven away, that is, do not permit that which is in its sins, and is cast out by way of punishment, to continue excluded; but receiving it, and bringing it back, restore it to the flock, that is, to the people of the undefiled Church. Seek for that which is lost, that is, do not suffer that which desponds of its salvation, by reason of the multitude of its offences, utterly to perish. Do thou search for that which is grown sleepy, drowsy, and sluggish, and that which is unmindful of its own life, through the depth of its sleep, and which is at a great dis 405
tance from its own flock, so as to be in danger of falling among the wolves, and being devoured by them. Bring it back by admonition, exhort it to be watchful; and insinuate hope, not permitting it to say that which was said by some: "Our impieties are upon us, and we pine away in them; how shall we then live?" (1) As far as possible, therefore, let the bishop make the offence his own, and say to the sinner, Do thou but return, and I will undertake to suffer death for thee, as our Lord suffered death for me, and for all men. For "the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep; but he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, that is, the devil, and he leaveth the sheep, and fleeth, and the wolf seizes upon them." (1) We must know, therefore, that God is very merciful to those who have offended, and hath promised repentance with an oath. But he who has offended, and is unacquainted with this promise of God concerning repentance, and does not understand His long-suffering and forbearance, and besides is ignorant of the Holy Scriptures, which proclaim repentance, inasmuch as he has never learned them from you, perishes through his folly. But do thou, like a compassionate shepherd, and a diligent feeder of the flock, search out, and keep an account of thy flock. Seek that which is wanting; (3) as the Lord God our gracious Father has sent His own Son, the good Shepherd and Saviour, our Master Jesus, and has commanded Him to "leave the ninety-nine upon the mountains, and to go in search after that which was lost, and when He had found it, to take it upon His shoulders, and to carry it into the flock, rejoicing that He had found that which was lost." (4) In like manner, be obedient, O bishop, and do thou seek that which was lost, guide that which has wandered out of the right way, bring back that which is gone astray: for thou hast authority to bring them back, and to deliver those that are broken-hearted by remission. For by thee does our Saviour say to him who is discouraged under the sense of his sins, "Thy sins are forgiven thee: thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace." (5) But this peace and haven of tranquillity is the Church of Christ, into which do thou, when thou hast loosed them from their sins, restore them, as being now sound and unblameable, of good hope, diligent, laborious in good works. As a skilful and compassionate physician, heal all such as have wandered in the ways of sin; for "they that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick.
For the Son of man came to save and to seek that which was lost." (6) Since thou art therefore a physician of the Lord's Church, provide remedies suitable to every patient's case. Cure them, heal them by all means possible; restore them sound to the Church. Feed the flock, "not with insolence and contempt, as lording it over them," (7) but as a gentle shepherd, "gathering the lambs into thy bosom, and gently leading those which are with young." (8)
THAT IT IS A DANGEROUS THING TO JUDGE WITHOUT HEARING BOTH SIDES, OR TO DETERMINE OF PUNISHMENT AGAINST A PERSON BEFORE HE IS CONVICTED.
XXI. Be gentle, gracious, mild, without guile, without falsehood; not rigid, not insolent, not severe, not arrogant, not unmerciful, not puffed up, not a man-pleaser, not timorous, not double-minded, not one that insults over the people that are under thee, not one that conceals the divine laws and the promises to repentance, not hasty in thrusting out and expelling, but steady, not one that delights in severity, not heady. Do not admit less evidence to convict any one than that of three witnesses, and those of known and established reputation; inquire whether they do not accuse out of ill-will or envy: for there are many that delight in mischief, forward in discourse, slanderous, haters of the brethren, making it their business to scatter the sheep of Christ; whose affirmation if thou admittest without nice scanning the same, thou wilt disperse thy flock, and betray it to be devoured by wolves, that is, by demons and wicked men, or rather not men, but wild beasts in the shape of men--by the heathen, by the Jews, and by the atheistic heretics. For those destroying wolves soon address themselves to any one that is cast out of the Church, and esteem him as a lamb delivered for them to devour, reckoning his destruction their own gain. For he that is "their father, the devil, is a murderer." (9) He also who is separated unjustly by thy want of care in judging will be overwhelmed with sorrow, and be disconsolate, and so will either wander over to the heathen, or be entangled in heresies, and so will be altogether estranged from the Church and from hope in God, and will be entangled in impiety, whereby thou wilt be guilty of his perdition: for it is not fair to be too hasty in casting out an offender, but slow in receiving him when he returns; to be forward in cutting off, but unmerciful when he is sorrowful, and ought to be healed. For of such as these speaks the divine Scripture: "Their feet run to mischief; they are hasty to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their 406
ways, and the way of peace have they not known. The fear of God is not before their eyes." (1) Now the way of peace is our Saviour Jesus Christ, who has taught us, saying: "Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. Give, and it shall be given to you;" (2) that is, give remission of sins, and your offences shall be forgiven you. As also He instructed us by His prayer to say unto God: "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." (3) If, therefore, you do not forgive offenders, how can you expect the remission of your own sins? Do not you rather bind yourselves faster, by pretending in your prayers to forgive, when you really do not forgive? Will you not be confronted with your own words, when you say you forgive and do not forgive? For know ye, that he who casts out one who has not behaved himself wickedly, or who will not receive him that returns, is a murderer of his brother, and sheds his blood, as Cain did that of his brother Abel, and his "blood cries to God," (4) and will be required. For a righteous man unjustly slain by any one will be in rest with God for ever. The same is the case of him who without cause is separated by his bishop. He who has cast him out as a pestilent fellow when he was innocent, is more furious than a murderer. Such a one has no regard to the mercy of God, nor is mindful of His goodness to those that are penitent, nor keeping in his eye the examples of those who, having been once great offenders, received forgiveness upon their repentance. Upon which account, he who casts off an innocent person is more cruel than he that murders the body. In like manner, he who does not receive the penitent, scatters the flock of Christ, being really against Him. For as God is just in judging of sinners, so is He merciful in receiving them when they return.
For David, the man after God's own heart, in his hymns ascribes both mercy and judgment to Him.
THAT DAVID, THE NINEVITES, HEZEKIAH, AND HIS SON MANASSEH, ARE EMINENT EXAMPLES OF REPENTANCE,THE PRAYER OF MANASSEH KING OF JUDAH.
XXII. It is also thy duty, O bishop, to have before thine eyes the examples of those that have gone before, and to apply them skilfully to the cases of those who want words of severity or of consolation. Besides, it is reasonable that in thy administration of justice thou shouldest follow the will of God; and as God deals with sinners, and with those who return, that thou shouldest act accordingly in thy judging. Now, did not God by Nathan reproach David for his offence? And yet as soon as he said he repented, He delivered him from death, saying, "Be of good cheer; thou shalt not die." (5) So also, when God had caused Jonah (6) to be swallowed up by the sea and the whale, upon his refusal to preach to the Ninerites, when yet he prayed to Him out of the belly of the whale, He retrieved his life from corruption. And when Hezekiah had been puffed up for a while, yet, as soon as he prayed with lamentation, He remitted his offence. But, O ye bishops, hearken to an instance useful upon this occasion. For it is written thus in the fourth book of Kings and the second book of Chronicles: "And Hezekiah died; and Manasseh his son reigned. He was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Hephzibah. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord: he did not abstain from the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord destroyed from the face of the children of Israel. And Manasseh returned and built the high places which Hezekiah his father had overthrown; and he reared pillars for Baal, and set up an altar for Baal, and made groves, as did Ahab king of Israel. And he made altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord spake to David and to Solomon his son, saying, Therein will I put my name.
And Manas-seh set up altars, and by them served Baal, and said, My name shall continue for ever. (7) And he built altars to the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord; and he made his children pass through the fire in a place named Ge Benennom;
(8) and he consulted enchanters, and dealt with wizards and familiar spirits, and with conjurers and observers of times, and with teraphim. And he sinned exceedingly in the eyes of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. And he set a molten and a graven image, the image of his grove, which he made in the house of the Lord, wherein the Lord had chosen to put His name in Jerusalem, the holy city, for ever, and had said, I will no more remove my foot from the land of Israel, which I gave to their fathers; only if they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the precepts that my servant Moses commanded them. And they hearkened not. And Manasseh seduced them to do more evil before the Lord than did the nations whom the Lord cast out from the face of the children of Israel. And the Lord spake concerning Manasseh and concerning His people by the hand of His servants the prophets, saying, Because Manasseh king of Judah 407
has done all these wicked abominations in a higher degree than the Amorite did which was before him, and hath made Judah to sin with his idols, thus saith the Lord God of lsrael, Behold, I bring evils upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of them, both his ears shall tingle. And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab; and I will blot out Jerusalem as a table-book is blotted out by wiping it. And I will turn it upside down; and I will give up the remnant of my inheritance, and will deliver them into the hands of their enemies, and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies, because of all the evils which they have done in mine eyes, and have provoked me to anger from the day that I brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt even until this day. Moreover, Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, beside his sins wherewith he made Judah to sin in doing evil in the sight of the Lord. And the Lord brought upon him the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, and they caught Manasseh in bonds, and they bound him in fetters of brass, and brought him to Babylon; and he was bound and shackled with iron all over in the house of the prison. And bread made of bran was given unto him scantily, and by weight, and water mixed with vinegar but a little and by measure, so much as would keep him alive; and he was in straits and sore affliction. And when he was violently afflicted, he besought the face of the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the face of the Lord God of his fathers. And he prayed unto the Lord, saying, O Lord, almighty God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and of their righteous seed, who hast made heaven and earth, with all the ornament thereof, who hast bound the sea by the word of Thy commandment, who hast shut up the deep, and sealed it by Thy terrible and glorious name, whom all men fear and tremble before Thy power; for the majesty of Thy glory cannot be borne, and Thine angry threatening towards sinners is insupportable. But Thy merciful promise is unmeasurable and unsearchable; for Thou art the most high Lord, (1) of great compassion, long-suffering, very merciful, and repentest of the evils of men. Thou, O Lord, according to Thy great goodness, hast promised repentance and forgiveness to them that have sinned against Thee, and of Thine infinite mercy hast appointed repentance unto sinners, that they may be saved. Thou therefore, O Lord, that art the God of the just, has not appointed repentance to the just as to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, which have not sinned against Thee; but Thou hast appointed repentance unto me that am a sinner: for I have sinned above the number of the sands of the sea. My transgressions, O Lord, are multiplied; my transgressions are multiplied, and I am not worthy to behold and see the height of heaven for the multitude of mine iniquity. I am bowed down with many iron bands; for I have provoked Thy wrath, and done evil before Thee, setting up abominations, and multiplying offences. Now, therefore, I bow the knee of mine heart, beseeching Thee of grace. I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, and I acknowledge mine iniquities; wherefore I humbly beseech Thee, forgive me, O Lord, forgive me, and destroy me not with mine iniquities. Be not angry with me for ever, by reserving evil for me; neither condemn me into the lower part of the earth. For Thou art the God, even the God of them that repent, and in me Thou wilt show Thy goodness; for Thou wilt save me that am unworthy, according to Thy great mercy. Therefore I will praise Thee for ever all the days of my life; for all the powers of the heavens do praise Thee, and Thine is the glory for ever and ever. Amen. And the Lord heard his voice, and had compassion upon him. And there appeared a flame of fire about him, and all the iron shackles and chains which were about him fell off; and the Lord healed Manasseh from his affliction, and brought him back to Jerusalem unto his kingdom: and Manasseh knew that the Lord He is God alone. And he worshipped the Lord God alone with all his heart, and with all his soul, all the days of his life; and he was esteemed righteous. And he took away the strange gods and the graven image out of the house of the Lord, and all the altars which he had built in the house of the Lord, and all the altars in Jerusalem, and he cast them out of the city. And he repaired the altar of the Lord, and sacrificed thereon peace-offerings and thank-offerings. And Manasseh spake to Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel. And he slept in peace with his fathers; and Amon his son reigned in his stead. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord according to all things that Manasseh his father had done in the former part of his reign. And he provoked the Lord his God to anger." (2)
Ye have heard, our beloved children, how the Lord God for a while punished him that was addicted to idols, and had slain many innocent persons; and yet that He received him when he repented, and forgave him his offences, and restored him to his kingdom. For He not only forgives the penitent, but reinstates them in their former dignity.
AMON MAYBE AN EXAMPLE TO SUCH AS SIN WITH AN HIGH HAND.
XXIII. There is no sin more grievous than idolatry, for it is an impiety against God: and yet even this sin has been forgiven, upon sincere repentance. But if any one sin in direct opposition, and on purpose to try whether God will punish the wicked or not, such a one shall have no remission, although he say with himself, "All is well, and I will walk according to the conversation of my evil heart." Such a one was Amon the son of Manasseh. For the Scripture says: "And Amon reasoned an evil reasoning of transgression, and said, My father from his childhood was a great transgressor, and repented in his old age; and now I will walk as my soul lusteth, and afterwards I will return unto the Lord. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him. And the Lord God soon destroyed him utterly from His good land. And his servants conspired against him, and slew him in his own house, and he reigned two years only."
THAT CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD CAME TO SAVE SINNERS BY REPENTANCE.
XXIV. Take heed, therefore, ye of the laity, lest any one of you fix the reasoning of Amon in his heart, and be suddenly cut off, and perish. In the same manner, let the bishop take all the care he can that those which are vet innocent may not fall into sin; and let him heal and receive those which turn from their sins. But if he is pitiless, and will not receive the repenting sinner, he will sin against the Lord his God, pretending to be more just than God's justice, and not receiving him whom He has received, through Christ; for whose sake He sent His Son upon earth to men, as a man; for whose sake God was pleased that He, who was the Maker of man and woman, should be born of a woman; for whose sake He did not spare Him from the cross, from death, and burial, but permitted Him to die, who by nature could not suffer, His beloved Son, God the Word, the Angel of His great council, that he might deliver those from death who were obnoxious to death. Him do those provoke to anger who do not receive the penitent. For He was not ashamed of me, Matthew, who had been formerly a publican; and admitted of Peter, when he had through fear denied Him three times, but had appeased Him by repentance, and had wept bitterly; nay, He made him a shepherd to His own lambs. Moreover, He ordained Paul, our fellow-apostle, to be of a persecutor an apostle, and declared him a chosen vessel, even when he had heaped many mischiefs upon us before, and had blasphemed His sacred name. He says also to another, a woman that was a sinner: "Thy sins, which are many, are forgiven, for thou lovest much." (1) And when the elders had set another woman which had sinned before Him, and had left the sentence to Him, and were gone out, our Lord, the Searcher of the hearts, inquiring of her whether the elders had condemned her, and being answered No, He said unto her: "Go thy way therefore, for neither do I condemn thee." (2) This Jesus, O ye bishops, our Saviour, our King, and our God, ought to be set before you as your pattern; and Him you ought to imitate, in being meek, quiet, compassionate, merciful, peaceable, without passion, apt to teach, and diligent to convert, willing to receive and to comfort; no strikers, not soon angry, not injurious, not arrogant, not supercilious, not wine-bibbers, not drunkards, not vainly expensive, not lovers of delicacies, not extravagant, using the gifts of God not as another's, but as their own, as good stewards appointed over them, as those who will be required by God to give an account of the same.
SEC. IV.--ON THE MANAGEMENT OF THE RESOURCES COLLECTED FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE CLERGY, AND THE RELIEF OF THE POOR.
Let the bishop esteem such food and raiment sufficient as suits necessity and decency. Let him not make use of the Lord's goods as another's, but moderately; "for the labourer is worthy of his reward." (3) Let him not be luxurious in diet, or fond of idle furniture, but contented with so much alone as is necessary for his sustenance.
OF FIRST-FRUITS AND TITHES, AND AFTER WHAT MANNER THE BISHOP IS HIMSELF TO PARTAKE OF THEM, OR TO DISTRIBUTE THEM TO OTHERS.
XXV. Let him use those tenths and first-fruits, which are given according to the command of God, as a man of God; as also let him dispense in a right manner the free-will offerings which are brought in on account of the poor, to the orphans, the widows, the afflicted, and strangers in distress, as having that God for the examiner of his accounts who has committed the disposition to him. Distribute to all those in want with righteousness, and yourselves use the things which belong to the Lord, but do not abuse them; eating of them, but not eating them all up by yourselves: communicate with those that are in want, and thereby show yourselves unblameable before God. For if you shall consume them by yourselves, you will be reproached by God, who says to such unsatiable people, who 409
alone devour all, "Ye eat up the milk, and clothe yourselves with the wool;" (1) and in another passage, "Must you alone live upon the earth Upon which account you are commanded in the law, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Now we say these things, not as if you might not partake of the fruits of your labours; for it is written, "Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox which treadeth out the corn;" (4) but that you should do it with moderation and righteousness. As, therefore, the ox that labours in the threshing-floor without a muzzle eats indeed, but does not eat all up; so do you who labour in the threshing-floor, that is, in the Church eat of the Church: which was also the case of the Levites, who served in the tabernacle of the testimony, which was in all things a type of the Church.
Nay, further, its very name implied that that tabernacle was fore-appointed for a testimony of the Church. Here, therefore, the Levites also, who attended upon the tabernacle partook of those things that were offered to God by all the people,--namely, gifts, offerings, and first-fruits, and tithes, and sacrifices, and oblations, without disturbance, they and their wives, and their sons and their daughters. Since their employment was the ministration to the tabernacle, therefore they had not any lot or inheritance in the land among the children of lsrael, because the oblations of the people were the lot of Levi, and the inheritance of their tribe. You, therefore, O bishops, are to your people priests and Levites, ministering to the holy tabernacle, the holy Catholic Church; who stand at the altar of the Lord your God, and offer to Him reasonable and unbloody sacrifices through Jesus the great High Priest. You are to the laity prophets, rulers, governors, and kings; the mediators between God and His faithful people, who receive and declare His word, well acquainted with the Scriptures. Ye are the voice of and witnesses of His will, who bear the sins of all, and intercede for all; whom, as you have heard, the word severely threatens if you hide the key of knowledge from men, who are liable to perdition if you do not declare His will to the people that are under you; who shall have a certain reward from God, and unspeakable honour and glory, if you duly minister to the holy tabernacle. For as yours is the burden, so you receive as your fruit the supply of food and other. necessaries. For you imitate Christ the Lord; and as He "bare the sins of us all upon the tree" at His crucifixion, the innocent for those who deserved punishment, so also you ought to make the sins of the people your own. For concerning our Saviour it is said in Isaiah, "He bears our sins, and is afflicted for us." (5) And again:
"He bare the sins of many, and was delivered for our offences." (6) As, therefore, you are patterns for others, so have you Christ for your pattern.
As, therefore, He is concerned for all, so be you for the laity under you. For do not thou imagine that the office of a bishop is an easy or light burden.
As, therefore, you bear the weight, so have you a right to partake of the fruits before others, and to impart to those that are in want, as being to give an account to Him, who without bias will examine your accounts. For those who attend upon the Church ought to be maintained by the Church, as being priests, Levites, presidents, and ministers of God; as it is written in the book of Numbers concerning the priests: "And the Lord said unto Aaron, Thou, and thy sons, and the house of thy family, shall bear the iniquities of the holy things of priesthood." (7) "Behold, I have given unto you the charge of the first-fruits, from all that are sanctified to me by the children of lsrael; I have given them for a reward to thee, and to thy sons after thee, by an ordinance for ever. This shall be yours out of the holy things, out of the oblations, and out of the gifts, and out of all the sacrifices, and out of every trespass-offering, and sin-offerings; and all that they render unto me out of all their holy things, they shall belong to thee, and to thy sons: in the sanctuary shall they eat them." (8) And a little after: "All the first-fruits of the oil, and of the wine, and of the wheat, all which they shall give unto the Lord, to thee have I given them; and all that is first ripe, to thee have I given it, and every devoted thing. Every first-born of man and of beast, clean and unclean, and of sacrifice, with the breast, and the right shoulder, all these appertain to the priests, and to the rest of those belonging to them, even to the Levites." (9)
Hear this, you of the laity also, the elect Church of God. For the people were formerly called "the people of God," (10) and "an holy nation." (11) You, therefore, are the holy and sacred "Church of God, enrolled in heaven, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people," (12) a bride adorned for the Lord God, a great Church, a faithful Church. Hear attentively now what was said formerly: oblations and tithes belong to Christ our High Priest, and to those who minister to Him. Tenths of salvation are the first letter of the name of Jesus. Hear, O thou Holy Catholic Church, who hast escaped the ten plagues, and hast received the ten commandments, and hast learned the law, and hast kept the faith, and hast believed in Jesus, and hast known the decad, and hast believed in the iota which is the first letter of the name of Jesus, (1) and art named after His name, and art established, and shinest in the consummation of His glory. Those which were then the sacrifices now are prayers, and intercessions, and thanksgivings. Those which were then first-fruits, and tithes, and offerings, and gifts, now are oblations, which are presented
by holy bishops to the Lord God, through Jesus Christ, who has died for them.
For these are your high priests, as the presbyters are your priests,
and your present deacons instead of your Levites; as are also your readers, your singers, your porters, your deaconesses, your widows, your virgins, and your orphans:
but He who is above all these is the High Priest.
ACCORDING TO WHAT PATTERNS AND DIGNITY EVERY ORDER OF THE CLERGY IS APPOINTED BY GOD.
XXVI. The bishop, he is the minister of the word, the keeper of knowledge, the medieator between God and you in the several parts of your divine worship. He is the teacher of piety; and,
next after God, he is your father, who has begotten you again to the adoption of sons by water and the Spirit.
He is your ruler and governor; he is your king and potentate;
he is, next after God, your earthly god, who has a right to be honoured by you.
For concerning him, arid such as he, it is that God pronounces, "I have said, Ye are gods; and ye are all children of the Most High." (2) And, "Ye shall not speak evil of the gods." (3) For let the bishop preside over you as one honoured with the authority of God, which he is to exercise over the clergy, and by which he is to govern all the people.
But let the deacon minister to him, as Christ does to His Father; (4) and let him serve him unblameably in all things, as Christ does nothing of Himself, but does always those things that please His Father.
- Let also the deaconess be honoured by you
- in the place of the Holy Ghost,
- and not do or say anything without the deacon;
- as neither does the Comforter say or do anything of Himself,
- but gives glory to Christ by waiting for His pleasure.
- And as we cannot believe on Christ without the teaching of the Spirit,
- so let not any woman address herself to the deacon or bishop
- without the deaconess.
Let the presbyters be esteemed by you to represent us the apostles, and let them be the teachers of divine knowledge; since our Lord, when He sent us, said, "Go ye, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." (5) Let the widows and orphans be esteemed as representing the altar of burnt-offering; and let the virgins be honoured as representing the altar of incense, and the incense itself.
THAT IT IS A HORRIBLE THING FOR A MAN TO THRUST HIMSELF INTO ANY SACERDOTAL OFFICE, AS DID CORAH AND HIS COMPANY, SAUL AND UZZIAH.
XXVII. As, therefore, it was not lawful for one of another tribe, that was not a Levite, to offer anything, or to approach the altar without the priest, so also do you do nothing without the bishop; (6) for if any one does anything without the bishop, he does it to no purpose. For it will not be esteemed as of any avail to him. For as Saul, when he had offered without Samuel, was told, "It will not avail for thee;" (7) so every person among the laity, doing anything without the priest, labours in vain. And as Uzziah the king, (8) who was not a priest, and yet would exercise the functions of the priests, was smitten with leprosy for his transgression; so every lay person shall not be unpunished who despises God, and is so mad as to affront His priests, and unjustly to snatch that honour to himself: not imitating Christ, "who glorified not Himself to be made an high priest;" (9) but waited till He heard from His Father, "The Lord sware, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek." (10) If, therefore, Christ did not glorify Himself without the Father, how dare any man thrust himself into the priesthood who has not received that dignity from his superior, and do such things which it is lawful only for the priests to do?
Were not the followers of Corah, even though they were of the tribe of Levi, consumed with fire, because they rose up against Moses and Aaron, and meddled with such things as did not belong to them? And Dathan and Abiram went down quick into hell; and the rod that budded put a stop to the readiness of the multitude, and demonstrated who was the high priest ordained by God. (11) You ought therefore, brethren, to bring your sacrifices and your oblations to the bishop, as to your high priest, either by yourselves or by the deacons; and do you bring not those only, but also your first-fruits, and your tithes, and your free-will offerings to him. For he knows who they are that are in affliction, and gives to every one as is convenient, 411 that so one may not receive alms twice or oftener the same day, or the same week, while another has nothing at all. For it is reasonable rather to supply the wants of those who really are in distress, than of those who only appear to be so.
OF AN ENTERTAINMENT, AND AFTER WHAT MANNER EACH DISTINCT ORDER OF THE CLERGY IS TO BE TREATED BY THOSE WHO INVITE THEM TO IT.
XXVIII. If any determine to invite elder women to an entertainment of love, or a feast, as our Saviour calls it, (1) let them most frequently send to such a one whom the deacons know to be in distress. But let what is the pastor's due, I mean the first-fruits, (2) be set apart in the feast for him, even though he be not at the entertainment, as being your priest, and in honour of that God who has entrusted him with the priesthood. But as much as is given to every one of the eider women, let double so much be given to the deacons, in honour of Christ. Let also a double portion be set apart for the presbyters, as for such who labour continually about the word and doctrine, upon the account of the apostles of our Lord, whose place they sustain, as the counsellors of the bishop and the crown of the Church. For they are the Sanhedrim and senate of the Church. If there be a reader there, let him receive a single portion, in honour of the prophets, and let the singer and the porter have as much. Let the laity, therefore, pay proper honours in their presents, and utmost marks of respect to each distinct order. But let them not on all occasions trouble their governor, but let them signify their desires by those who minister to him, that is, by the deacons, with whom they may be more free. For neither may we address ourselves to Almighty God, but only by Christ. In the same manner, therefore, let the laity make known all their desires to the bishop by the deacon, and accordingly let them act as he shall direct them. For there was no holy thing offered or done in the temple formerly without the priest. "For the priest's lips shall keep knowledge, and they shall seek the law at his mouth," as the prophet somewhere says, "for he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty." (3) For if the worshippers of demons, in their hateful, abominable, and impure performances, imitate the sacred rules till this very day (it is a wide comparison indeed. and there is a vast distance between their abominations and God's sacred worship), in their mockeries of worship they neither offer nor do anything without their pretended priest, but esteem him as the very mouth of their idols of stone, waiting to see what commands he will lay upon them. And whatsoever he commands them, that they do, and without him they do nothing; and they honour him, their pretended priest, and esteem his name as venerable in honour of lifeless statues, and in order to the worship of wicked spirits. If these heathens, therefore, who give glory to lying vanities, and place their hope upon nothing that is firm, endeavour to imitate the sacred rules, how much more reasonable is it that you, who have a most certain faith and undoubted hope, and who expect glorious, and eternal, and never-failing promises, should honour the Lord God in those set over you, and esteem your bishop to be the mouth of God!
WHAT IS THE DIGNITY OF A BISHOP AND OF A DEACON.
XXIX. For if Aaron, because he declared to Pharaoh the words of God from Moses, is called a prophet; and Moses himself is called a god to Pharaoh, on account of his being at once a king and a high priest, as God says to him, "I have made thee a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet;" (4) why do not ye also esteem the mediators of the word to be prophets, and reverence them as gods?
AFTER WHAT MANNER THE LAITY ARE TO BE OBEDIENT TO THE DEACON.
XXX. For now the deacon is to you Aaron, and the bishop Moses. If, therefore, Moses was called a god by the Lord, let the bishop be honoured among you as a god, and the deacon as his prophet. For as Christ does nothing without His Father, so neither does the deacon do anything without his bishop; and as the Son without His Father is nothing, so is the deacon nothing without his bishop; and as the Son is subject to His Father, so is every deacon subject to his bishop; and as the Son is the messenger and prophet of the Father, so is the deacon the messenger and prophet of his bishop. Wherefore let all things that he is to do with any one be made known to the bishop, and be finally ordered by him.
THAT THE DEACON MUST NOT DO ANYTHING WITHOUT THE BISHOP.
XXXI. Let him not do anything at all without his bishop, nor give anything without his consent. For if he gives to any one as to a person in distress without the bishop's knowledge, he gives it so that it must tend to the reproach of the bishop, and he accuses him as careless of the distressed. But he that casts reproach on his bishop, either by word or deed, opposes God, not hearkening to what He says: "Thou shalt not speak evil of the gods." (5) For He did not make that law concerning deities of wood and 412
of stone, which are abominable, because they are falsely called gods, but concerning the priests and the judges, to whom He also said, "Ye are gods, and children of the Most High." (1)
THAT THE DEACON MUST NOT MAKE ANY DISTRIBUTIONS WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE BISHOP, BECAUSE THAT WILL TURN TO THE REPROACH OF THE BISHOP.
XXXII. If therefore, O deacon, thou knowest any one to be in distress, put the bishop in mind of him, and so give to him; but do nothing in a clandestine way, so as may tend to his reproach, lest thou raise a murmur against him; for the murmur will not be against him, but against the Lord God: and the deacon, with the rest, will hear what Aaron and Miriam heard, when they spake against Moses: "How is it that ye were not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?" (2) And again, Moses says to those who rose up against him: "Your murmuring is not against us, but against the Lord our God." (3) For if he that calls one of the laity Raka, (4) or fool, shall not be unpunished, as doing injury to the name (5) of Christ, how dare any man speak against his bishop, by whom the Lord gave the Holy Spirit among you upon the laying on of his hands, by whom ye have learned the sacred doctrines, and have known God, and have believed in Christ, by whom ye were known of God, by whom ye were sealed with the oil of gladness and the ointment of understanding, by whom ye were declared to be the children of light, by whom the Lord in your illumination testified by the imposition of the bishop's hands, and sent out His sacred voice upon every one of you, saying, "Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee?" (6) By thy bishop, O man, God adopts thee for His child. Acknowledge, O son, that right hand which was a mother to thee. Love him who, after God, is become a father to thee, and honour him.
AFTER WHAT MANNER THE BISHOPS ARE TO BE HONOURED, AND TO BE REVERENCED AS OUR SPIRITUAL PARENTS.
XXXIII. For if the divine oracle says, concerning our parents according to the flesh, "Honour thy father and thy mother, that it may be well with thee;" (7) and, "He that curseth his father or his mother, let him die the death;" (8) how much more should the word exhort you to honour your spiritual parents, and to love them as your benefactors and ambassadors with God, who have regenerated you by water, and endued you with the fulness of the Holy Spirit, who have fed you with the word as with milk, who have nourished yon with doctrine, who have confirmed you by their admonitions, who have imparted to you the saving body and precious blood of Christ, who have loosed you from your sins, who have made you partakers of the holy and sacred eucharist, who have admitted you to be partakers and fellow-heirs of the promise of God! Reverence these, and honour them with all kinds of honour; for they have obtained from God the power of life and death, in their judging of sinners, and condemning them to the death of eternal fire, as also of loosing returning sinners from their sins, and of restoring them to a new life.
THAT PRIESTS ARE TO BE PREFERRED BEFORE RULERS AND KINGS.
XXXIV. Account these worthy to be esteemed your rulers and your kings, and bring them tribute as to kings; for by you they and their families ought to be maintained. As Samuel made constitutions for the people concerning a king, (9) in the first book of Kings, and Moses did so concerning priests in Leviticus, so do we also make constitutions for you concerning bishops. For if there the multitude distributed the inferior services in proportion to so great a king, ought not therefore the bishop much more now to receive of you those things which are determined by God for the sustenance of himself and of the rest of the clergy belonging to him? But if we may add somewhat further, let the bishop receive more than the other received of old: for he only managed the affairs of the soldiery, being entrusted with war and peace for the preservation of men's bodies; but the other is entrusted with the exercise of the priestly office in relation to God, in order to preserve both body and soul from dangers. By how much, therefore, the soul is more valuable than the body, so much the priestly office is beyond the kingly. For it binds and looses those that are worthy of punishment or of remission. Wherefore you ought to love the bishop as your father, and fear him as your king, and honour him as your lord, bringing to him your fruits and the works of your hands, for a blessing upon you, giving to him your first-fruits, and your tithes, and your oblations, and your gifts, as to the priest of God; the first-fruits of your wheat, and wine, and oil, and autumnal fruits, and wool, (10) and all things which the Lord God gives thee. And thy offering shall be accepted as a savour of a sweet smell to the Lord thy God; and the Lord will bless the works of thy hands, and will multiply the good things of the land. "For a blessing is upon the head of him that giveth." (1)
THAT BOTH THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL PRESCRIBE OFFERINGS.
XXXV. Now you ought to know, that although the Lord has delivered you from the additional bonds, and has brought you out of them to your refreshment, and does not permit you to sacrifice irrational creatures for sin-offerings, and purifications, and scapegoats, and continual washings and sprinklings, yet has He nowhere freed you from those oblations which you owe to the priests, nor from doing good to the poor. For the Lord says to you in the Gospel: "Unless your righteousness abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall by no means enter into the kingdom of heaven." (2) Now herein will your righteousness exceed theirs, if you take greater care of the priests, the orphans, and the widows; as it is written: "He hath scattered abroad; he hath given to the poor; his righteousness remaineth for ever." (3) And again: "By acts of righteousness and faith iniquities are purged." (4) And again: "Every bountiful soul is blessed." (5) So therefore shalt thou do as the Lord has appointed, and shalt, give to the priest what things are due to him, the first-fruits of thy floor, and of thy wine-press, and sin-offerings, as to the mediator between God and such as stand in need of purgation and forgiveness. For it is thy duty to give, and his to administer, as being the administrator and disposer of ecclesiastical affairs. Yet shalt thou not call thy bishop to account, nor watch his administration, how he does it, when, or to whom, or where, or whether he do it well or ill, or indifferently; for he has One who will call him to an account, the Lord God, who put this administration into his hands, and thought him worthy of the priesthood of so great dignity.
THE RECITAL OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, AND AFTER WHAT MANNER THEY DO HERE PRESCRIBE TO US.
XXXVI. Have before thine eyes the fear of God, and always remember the ten commandments of God,--to love the one and only Lord God with all thy strength; to give no heed to idols, or any other beings, as being lifeless gods, or irrational beings or daemons. Consider the manifold workmanship of God, which received its beginning through Christ. Thou shalt observe the Sabbath, on account of Him who ceased from His work of creation, but ceased not from His work of providence: it is a rest for meditation of the law, not for idleness of the hands. Reject every unlawful lust, everything destructive to men, and all anger. Honour thy parents, as the authors of thy being. Love thy neighbour as thyself. Communicate the necessaries of-life to the needy. Avoid swearing falsely, and swearing often, and in vain; for thou shalt not be held guiltless. Do not appear before the priests empty, and offer thy free-will offerings continually. Moreover, do not leave the church of Christ; but go thither in the morning before all thy work, and again meet there in the evening, to return thanks to God that He has preserved thy life. Be diligent, and constant, and laborious in thy calling. Offer to the Lord thy free-will offerings; for says He, "Honour the Lord with the fruit of thy honest labours." (6) If thou art not able to cast anything considerable into the Corban, (7) yet at least bestow upon the strangers one, or two, or five mites. "Lay up to thyself heavenly treasure, which neither the moth nor thieves can destroy." (8) And in doing this, do not judge thy bishop, or any of thy neighbours among the laity; for if thou judge thy brother, thou becomest a judge, without being constituted such by anybody, for the priests are only entrusted with the power of judging. For to them it is said, "Judge righteous judgment;" (9) and again "Approve yourselves to be exact money-changers." (10) For to yon this is not entrusted; for, on the contrary, it is said to those who are not of the dignity of magistrates or ministers: "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged." (11)
SEC. V.--ON ACCUSATIONS, AND THE TREATMENT OF ACCUSERS.
CONCERNING ACCUSERS AND FALSE ACCUSERS, AND HOW A JUDGE IS NOT RASHLY EITHER TO BELIEVE THEM OR DISBELIEVE THEM, BUT AFTER AN ACCURATE EXAMINATION.
XXXVII. But it is the duty of the bishop to judge rightly, as it is written, "Judge righteous judgment;" (12) and elsewhere, "Why do ye not even of yourselves judge what is right?" (13) Be ye therefore as skilful dealers in money: for as these reject bad money, but take to themselves what is current, in the same manner it is the bishops's duty to retain the unblameable, but either to heal, or, if they be past cure, to cast off those that are blameworthy, so as not to be hasty in cutting off, nor to believe alI accusations; for it sometimes happens that some, either 414
through passion or envy, do insist on a false accusation against a brother, as did the two elders in the case of Susanna in Babylon, (1) and the Egyptian woman in the case of Joseph. (2) Do thou therefore, as a man of God, not rashly receive such accusations, lest thou take away the innocent and slay the righteous; for he that will receive such accusations is the author of anger rather than of peace. But where there is anger, there the Lord is not; for that anger, which is the friend of Satan--I mean that which is excited unjustly by the means of false brethren--never suffers unanimity to be in the Church. Wherefore, when you know such persons to be foolish, quarrelsome, passionate, and such as delight in mischief, do not give credit to them; but observe such as they are, when you hear anything from them against their brother: for murder is nothing in their eyes, and they cast a man down in such a way as one would not suspect. Do thou therefore consider diligently the accuser, (3) wisely observing his mode of life, what, and of what sort it is; and in case thou findest him a man of veracity, do according to the doctrine of our Lord, (4) and taking him who is accused, rebuke him, that he may repent, when nobody is by. But if he be not pervaded, take with thee out or two more, and so show him his fault, and admonish him with mildness and instruction; for "wisdom will rest upon an heart that is good, but is not understood in the heart of the foolish." (5)
THAT SINNERS ARE PRIVATELY TO BE REPROVED, AND THE PENITENT TO BE RECEIVED, ACCORDING TO THE CONSTITUTION OF OUR LORD.
XXXVIII. If, therefore, he be persuaded by the mouth of you three, it is well. But if any one hardens himself, "tell it to the Church: but if he neglects to hear the Church, let him be to thee as an heathen man and a publican;" (6) and receive him no longer into the Church as a Christian, but reject him as an heathen. But if he be willing to repent, receive him. For the Church does not receive an heathen or a publican to communion, before they every one repent of their former impieties; for our Lord Jesus, the Christ of God, has appointed place for the acceptance of men upon their repentance.
EXAMPLES OF REPENTANCE.
XXXIX. For I Matthew, one of those twelve which speak to you in this doctrine, am an apostle, having myself been formerly a publican, but now have obtained mercy through believing, and have repented of my former practices, and have been vouchsafed the honour to be an apostle and preacher of the word. And Zacchaeus, whom the Lord received upon his repentance and prayers to Him, was also himself in the same manner a publican at first. And, besides, even the soldiers and multitude of publicans, who came to hear the word of the Lord about repentance, heard this from the prophet John, after he had baptized them: "Do nothing more than that which is appointed you." (7) In like manner, life is not refused to the heathen, if they repent and cast away their unbelief. Esteem, therefore, every one that is convicted of any wicked action, and has not repented, as a publican or an heathen. But if he afterward repents, and turns from his error, then, as we receive the heathen, when they wish to repent, into the Church indeed to hear the word, but do not receive them to communion until they have received the seal of baptism, and are made complete Christians; so do we also permit such as these to enter only to hear, until they show the fruit of repentance, that by hearing the word they may not utterly and irrecoverably perish. But let them not be admitted to communion in prayer; and let them depart after the reading of the law, and the prophets, and the Gospel, that by such departure they may be made better in their course of life, by endeavouring to meet every day about the public assemblies, and to be frequent in prayer, that they also may be at length admitted, and that those who behold them may be affected, and be more secured by fearing to fall into the same condition.
THAT WE ARE NOT TO BE IMPLACABLE TO HIM WHO HAS ONCE OR TWICE OFFENDED.
XL. But yet do not thou, O bishop, presently abhor any person who has fallen into one or two offences, nor shalt thou exclude him from the word of the Lord, nor reject him from common intercourse, since neither did the Lord refuse to eat with publicans and sinners; and when He was accused by the Pharisees on this account, He said: "They that are well have no need of the physician, but they that are sick." (8) Do you, therefore, live and dwell with those who are separated from you for their sins; and take care of them, comforting them, and confirming them, and saying to them: "Be strengthened, ye weak hands and feeble knees." (9) For we ought to comfort those that mourn, and afford encouragement to the fainthearted, lest by immoderate sorrow they degenerate into distraction, since "he that is fainthearted is exceedingly distracted." (10)
AFTER WHAT MANNER WE OUGHT TO RECEIVE A PENITENT; HOW WE OUGHT TO DEAL WITH OFFENDERS, AND WHEN THEY ARE TO BE CUT OFF FROM THE CHURCH.
XLI. But if any one returns, and shows forth the fruit of repentance, then do ye receive him to prayer, as the lost son, the prodigal, who had consumed his father's substance with harlots, who fed swine, and desired to be fed with husks, and could not obtain it. This son, when he repented, and returned to his father, and said, "I have sinned against Heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son;" (1) the father, full of affection to his child, received him with music, and restored him his old robe, and ring, and shoes, and slew the fatted calf, and made merry with his friends. Do thou therefore, O bishop, act in the same manner. And as thou receivest an heathen after thou hast instructed and baptized him, so do thou let all join in prayers for this man, and restore him by imposition of hands to his ancient place among the flock, as one purified by repentance; and that imposition of hands shall be to him instead of baptism: for by the laying on of our hands the Holy Ghost was given to believers. And in case some one of those brethren who had stood immoveable accuse thee, because thou art reconciled to him, say to him: "Thou art always with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet to make merry and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found." For that God does not only receive the penitent, but restores them to their former dignity, holy David is a sufficient witness, who, after his sin in the matter of Uriah, prayed to God, and said: "Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and uphold me with Thy free Spirit." (2) And again: "Turn Thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine offences. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit in my inward parts. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me." Do thou therefore, as a compassionate physician, heal all that have sinned, making use of saving methods of cure; not only cutting and searing, or using corrosives, but binding up, and putting in tents, and using gentle healing medicines, and sprinkling comfortable words. If it be an hollow wound, or great gash, nourish it with a suitable plaister, that it may be filled up, and become even with the rest of the whole flesh. If it be foul, cleanse it with corrosive powder, that is, with the words of reproof. If it have proud flesh, eat it down with a sharp plaister--the threats of judgment. If it spreads further, sear it, and cut off the putrid flesh, mortifying him with fastings. But if, after all that thou hast done, thou perceivest that from the feet to the head there is no room for a fomentation, or oil, or bandage, but that the malady spreads and prevents all cure, as a gangrene which corrupts the entire member; then, with a great deal of consideration, and the advice of other skilful physicians, cut off the putrefied member, that the whole body of the Church be not corrupted.
Be not therefore ready and hasty to cut off, nor do thou easily have recourse to the saw, with its many teeth; but first use a lancet to lay open the wound, that the inward cause whence the pain is derived being drawn out, may keep the body free from pain. But if thou seest any one past repentance, and he is become insensible, then cut off the incurable from the Church with sorrow and lamentation. For: "Take out from among yourselves that wicked person." (3) And:
"Ye shall make the children of Israel to fear." (4) And again: "'Thou shalt not accept the persons of the rich in judgment." (5) And: "Thou shalt not pity a poor man in his cause: for the judgment is the Lord's." (6)
THAT A JUDGE MUST NOT BE A RESPECTER OF PERSONS.
XLII. But if the slanderous accusation be false, and youthat are the pastors, with the deacons, admit of that falsehood for truth, either by acceptance of persons or receiving of bribes, as willing to do that which will he pleasing to the devil, and so you thrust out from the Church him that is accused, but is clear of the crime, you shall give an account in the day of the Lord. For it is written: "The innocent and the righteous thou shalt not slay." (7) "Thou shalt not take girls to smite the soul: for gifts blind the eyes of the wise, and destroy the words of the righteous." (8) And again: "They that justify the wicked for gifts, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him." (9) Be careful, therefore, not to condemn any persons unjustly, and so to assist the wicked. For "woe to him that calls evil good, and good evil; bitter sweet, and sweet bitter; that puts light for darkness, and darkness for light." (10) Take care, therefore, lest by any means ye become acceptors of persons, and thereby fall under this voice of the Lord. (11) For if you condemn others unjustly, you pass sentence against yourselves. For the Lord says: "With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and as you condemn, you shall be 416
condemned." (1) If, therefore, ye judge without respect of persons, ye will discover that accuser who bears false witness against his neighbour, and will prove him to be a sycophant, a spiteful person, and a murderer, causing perplexity by accusing the man as if he were wicked, inconstant in his words, contradicting himself in what he affirms, and entangled with the words of his own mouth; for his own lips are a dangerous, snare to him: whom, when thou hast convicted him of speaking falsely, thou shalt judge severely, and shalt deliver him to the fiery sword, and thou shalt do to him as he wickedly proposed to do to his brother; for as much as in him lay he slew his brother, by forestalling the ears of the judge. (2) Now it is written, that "he that sheddeth man's blood, for that his own blood shall be shed." (3) And: "Thou shalt take away that innocent blood, which was shed without cause, from thee." (4)
AFTER WHAT MANNER FALSE ACCUSERS ARE TO BE PUNISHED.
XLIII. Thou shalt therefore cast him out of the congregation as a murderer of his brother. Some time afterwards, if he says that he repents, mortify him with fastings, and afterwards ye shall lay your hands upon him and receive him, but still securing him, that he does not disturb anybody a second time. But if, when he is admitted again, he be alike troublesome, and will not cease to disturb and to quarrel with his brother, spying faults out of a contentious spirit, cast him out as a pernicious person, that he may not lay waste the Church of God. For such a one is the raiser of disturbances in cities; for he, though he be within, does not become the Church, but is a superfluous and vain member, casting a blot, as far as in him lies, on the body of Christ. For if such men as are born with superfluous members of their body, which hang to them as fingers, or excrescences of flesh, cut them away from themselves on account of their indecency, whereby the unseemliness vanishes, and the man recovers his natural good shape by the means of the surgeon; how much more ought you, the pastors of the Church (for the Church is a perfect body, and sound members; of such as believe in God, in the fear of the Lord, and in love), to do the like when there is found in it a superfluous member with wicked designs, and rendering the rest of the body unseemly, and disturbing it with sedition, and war, and evil-speaking; causing fears, disturbances, blots, evil-speaking, accusations, disorders, and doing the like works of the devil, as if he were ordained by the devil to cast a reproach on the Church by calumnies, and mighty disorders, and strife, and division! Such a one, therefore, when he is a second time cast out of the Church, is justly cut off entirely from the congregation of the Lord. And now the Church of the Lord will be more beautiful than it was before, when it had a superfluous, and to itself a disagreeable member. Wherefore henceforward it will be free from blame and reproach, and become clear of such wicked, deceitful, abusive, unmerciful, traitorous persons; of such as are "haters of those that are good, lovers of pleasure," (5) affecters of vainglory, deceivers, and pretenders to wisdom; of such as make it their business to scatter, or rather utterly to disperse, the lambs of the Lord.
SEC. VI.--THE DISPUTES OF THE FAITHFUL TO BE SETTLED BY THE DECISIONS OF THE BISHOP, AND THE FAITHFUL TO BE RECONCILED.
Do thou therefore, O bishop, together with thy subordinate clergy, endeavour rightly to divide the word of truth. For the Lord says: "If you walk cross-grained to me, I will walk cross-grained to you." (6) And elsewhere: "With the holy Thou wilt be holy, and with the perfect man Thou wilt be perfect, and with the froward Thou wilt be froward." (7) Walk therefore holily, that you may rather appear worthy of praise from the Lord than of complaint from the adversary.
THAT THE DEACON IS TO EASE THE BURTHEN OF THE BISHOPS, AND TO ORDER THE SMALLER MATTERS HIMSELF.
XLIV. Be ye of one mind, O ye bishops, one with another, and be at peace with one another; sympathize with one another, love the brethren, and feed the people with care; with one consent teach those that are under you to be of the same sentiments and to be of the same opinions about the same matters, "that there may be no schisms among you; that ye may be one body and one spirit, perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment," (8) according to the appointment of the Lord. And let the deacon refer all things to the bishop, as Christ does to His Farther. But let him order such things as he is able by himself, receiving power from the bishop, as the Lord did from His Father the power of creation and of providence. But the weighty matters let the bishop judge; but let the deacon be the bishop's ear, and eye, and mouth, and heart, and soul, that the bishop may not be distracted with many cares, but with such only as are more considerable, as Jethro did appoint for Moses, and his counsel was received. (9)
THAT CONTENTIONS AND QUARRELS ARE UNBECOMING CHRISTIANS.
XLV. It is therefore a noble encomium for a Christian to have no contest with any one; (1) but if by any management or temptation a contest arises with any one, let him endeavour that it may be composed, though thereby he be obliged to lose somewhat; and let it not come before an heathen tribunal. Nay, indeed, you are not to permit that the rulers of this world should pass sentence against your people; for by them the devil contrives mischief to the servants of God, and occasions a reproach to be cast upon us, as though we had not "one wise man that is able to judge between his brethren," or to decide their controversies.
THAT BELIEVERS OUGHT NOT TO GO TO LAW BEFORE UNBELIEVERS; NOR OUGHT ANY UNBELIEVER TO BE CALLED FOR A WITNESS AGAINST BELIEVERS.
XLVI. Let not the heathen therefore know of your differences among One another, nor do you receive unbelievers as witnesses against yourselves, nor be judged by them, nor owe them anything on account of tribute or fear; but "render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's," (2) as tribute, taxes, or poll-money, as our Lord by giving a piece of money was freed from disturbance. (3) Choose therefore rather to suffer harm, and to endeavour after those things that make for peace, not only among the brethren, but also among the unbelievers. For by suffering loss in the affairs of this life, thou wilt be sure not to suffer in the concerns of piety, and wilt live religiously, and according to the command of Christ. (4) But if brethren have lawsuits one with another, which God forbid, you who are the rulers ought thence to learn that such as these do not do the work of brethren in the Lord, but rather of public enemies; and one of the parties will be found to be mild, gentle, and the child of light; but the other unmerciful, insolent, and covetous. Let him, therefore, who is condemned be rebuked, let him be separated, let him undergo the punishment of his hatred to his brother. Afterwards, when he repents, let him be received; and so, when they have learned prudence, they will ease your judicatures. It is also a duty to forgive each other's trespasses--not the duty of those that judge, but of those that have quarrels; as the Lord determined when I Peter asked Him, "How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?" He replied, "I say not unto thee, Until seven times, but until seventy times seven." (5) For so would our Lord have us to be truly His disciples, and never to have anything against anybody; as, for instance, anger without measure, passion without mercy, covetousness without justice, hatred without reconciliation. Draw by your instruction those who are angry to friendship, and those who are at variance to agreement. For the Lord says: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." (6)
THAT THE JUDICATURES OF CHRISTIANS OUGHT TO BE HELD ON THE SECOND DAY OF THE WEEK.
XLVII. Let your judicatures be held on the second day of the week, that if any controversy arise about your sentence, having an interval till the Sabbath, (7) you may be able to set the controversy right, and to reduce those to peace who have the contests one with another against the Lord's day. Let also the deacons and presbyters be present at your judicatures, to judge without acceptance of persons, as men of God, with righteousness. When, therefore, both the parties are come, according as the law says, (8) those that have the controversy shall stand severally in the middle of the court; and when you have heard them, give your votes holily, endeavouring to make them both friends before the sentence of the bishop, that judgment against the offender may not go abroad into the world; knowing that he has in the court the Christ of God as conscious of and confirming his judgment. But if any persons are accused by any one, and their fame suffers as if they did not walk uprightly in the Lord. in like manner you shall hear both parties--the accuser and accused; but not with prejudice, nor with hearkening to one part only, but with righteousness, as passing a sentence concerning eternal life or death. For says God: "He shall prosecute that which is right justly." (9) For he that is justly punished and separated by you is rejected from eternal life and glory; he becomes dishonourable among holy men, and one condemned of God.
THAT THE SAME PUNISHMENT IS NOT TO BE INFLICTED FOR EVERY OFFENCE, BUT DIFFERENT PUNISHMENTS FOR DIFFERENT OFFENDERS.
XLVIII. Do not pass the same sentence for every sin, but one suitable to each crime, distinguishing all the several sorts of offences with much prudence, the great from the little. Treat a wicked action after one manner, and a wicked word after another; a bare intention still other 418
wise. So also in the case of a contumely or suspicion. And some thou shalt curb by threatenings alone; some thou shalt punish with fines to the poor; some thou shalt mortify with fastings; and others thou shalt separate according to the greatness of their several crimes. For the law did not allot the same punishment to every offence, but had a different regard to a sin against God, against the priest, against the temple, or against the sacrifice; from a sin against the king, or ruler, or a soldier, or a fellow-subject; and so were the offences different which were against a servant, a possession, or a brute creature. And again, sins were differently rated according as they were against parents and kinsmen, and those differently which were done on purpose from those that happened involuntarily.
Accordingly the punishments were different: as death either by crucifixion or by stoning, fines, scourgings, or the suffering the same mischiefs they had done to others. Wherefore do you also allot different penalties to different offences, lest any injustice should happen, and provoke God to indignation. For of what unjust judgment soever you are the instruments, of the same you shall receive the reward from God. "For with what judgment ye judge ye shall be judged." (1)
WHAT ARE TO BE THE CHARACTERS OF ACCUSERS AND WITNESSES.
XLIX. When, therefore, you are set down at your tribunal, and the parties are both of them present (for we will not call them brethren until they receive each other in peace), examine diligently concerning those who appear before you; and first concerning the accuser, whether this be the first person he has accused, or whether he has advanced accusations against some others before, and whether this contest and accusation of theirs does not arise from some quarrel, and what sort of life the accuser leads. Yet, though he be of a good conscience, do not give credit to him alone, for that is contrary to the law; but let him have others to join in his testimony, and those of the same course of life. As the law says: "At the mouth of two or three witnesses everything shall be established." (2) But why did we say that the character of the witnesses was to be inquired after, of what sort it is? Because it frequently happens that two and more testify for mischief, and with joint consent prefer a lie; as did the two elders against Susanna in Babylon, (3) and the sons of transgressors against Naborb in Samaria, (4) and the multitude of the Jews against our Lord at Jerusalem, (5) and against Stephen His first martyr. (6) Let the witnesses therefore be meek, free from anger, full of equity, kind, prudent, continent, free from wickedness, faithful, religious; for the testimony of such persons is firm on account of their character, and true on account of their mode of life. But as to those of a different character, do not ye receive their testimony, although they seem to agree together in their evidence against the accused; for it is ordained in the law: "Thou shalt not be with a multitude for wickedness; thou shalt not receive a vain report; thou shalt not consent with a multitude to pervert judgment." (7) You ought also particularly to know him that is accused; what he is in his course and mode of life; whether he have a good report as to his life; whether he has been unblameable; whether he has been zealous in holiness; whether he be a lover of the widows, a lover of the strangers, a lover of the poor, and a lover of the brethren; whether he be not given to filthy lucre; whether he be not an extravagant person, or a spendthrift; whether he be sober, and free from luxury, or a drunkard, or a glutton; whether he be compassionate and charitable.
THAT FORMER OFFENCES DO SOMETIMES RENDER AFTER ACCUSATIONS CREDIBLE.
L. For if he has been before addicted to wicked works, the accusations which are now brought against him will thence in some measure appear to be true, unless justice do plainly plead for hint. For it may be, that though he had formerly been an offender, yet that he may not be guilty of this crime of which he is accused. Wherefore be exactly cautious about such circumstances, and so render your sentences, when pronounced against the offender convicted, safe and firm. And if, after his separation, he begs pardon, and falls down before the bishop, and acknowledges his fault, receive him. But neither do you suffer a false accuser to go unpunished, that he may not calumniate another who lives well, or encourage some other person to do like him. Nor, to be sure, do ye suffer a person convicted to go off clear, lest another be ensnared in the same crimes. For neither shall a witness of mischiefs be unpunished, nor shall he that offends be without censure.
AGAINST JUDGING WITHOUT HEARING BOTH SIDES.
LI. We said before that judgment ought not to be given upon hearing only one of the parties; for if you hear one of them when the other is not there, and so cannot make his defence to the accusation brought against him, and rashly 419
give your votes for condemnation, you will be found guilty of that man's destruction, and partaker with the false accuser before God, the just Judge. For "as he that holdeth the tail of a dog, so is he that presides at unjust judgment." But if ye become imitators of the elders in Babylon, who, when they had borne witness against Susanna, unjustly condemned her to death, you will become obnoxious to their judgment and condemnation. For the Lord by Daniel delivered Susanna from the hand of the ungodly, but condemned to the fire those elders who were guilty of her blood, and reproaches you by him, saying: "Are ye so foolish, ye children of Israel? Without examination, and without knowing the truth, have ye condemned a daughter of Israel? Return again to the place of judgment, for these men have borne false witness against her." (2)
THE CAUTION OBSERVED AT HEATHEN TRIBUNALS BEFORE THE CONDEMNATION OF CRIMINALS AFFORDS CHRISTIANS A GOOD EXAMPLE.
LII. Consider even the judicatures of this world, by whose power we see murderers, adulterers, wizards, robbers of sepulchres, and thieves brought to trial; and those that preside, when they have received their accusations from those that brought them, ask the malefactor whether those things be so. And though he does not deny the crimes, they do not presently send him out to punishment; but for several days they make inquiry about him with a full council, and with the veil interposed. And he that is to pass the final decree and suffrage of death against him, lifts up his hands to the sun, and solemnly affirms that he is innocent of the blood of the man. Though they be heathens, and know not the Deity, nor the vengeance which will fall upon men from God on account of those that are justly condemned, they avoid such unjust judgments.
THAT CHRISTIANS OUGHT NOT TO BE CONTENTIOUS ONE WITH ANOTHER.
LIII. But you who know who our God is, and what are His judgments, how can you bear to pass an unjust judgment, since your sentence will be immediately known to God? And if you have judged righteously, you will be deemed worthy of the recompenses of righteousness, both now and hereafter; but if unrighteously, you will partake of the like. We therefore advise you, brethren, rather to deserve commendation from God than rebukes; for the commendation of God is eternal life to men, as is His rebuke everlasting death. Be ye therefore righteous judges, peacemakers, and without anger. For "he that is angry with his brother without a cause is obnoxious to the judgment." (3) But if it happens that by any one's contrivance you are angry at anybody, "let not the sun go down upon your wrath;" (4) for says David, "Be angry and sin not;" (5) that is, be soon reconciled, lest your wrath continue so long that it turn to a settled hatred, and work sin. "For the souls of those that bear a settled hatred are to death," (6) says Solomon. But our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ says in the Gospels: "If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift to God." (7) Now the gift to God is every one's prayer and thanksgiving. If, therefore, thou hast anything against thy brother, or he has anything against thee, neither will thy prayers be heard, nor will thy thanksgivings be accepted, by reason of that hidden anger. But it is your duty, brethren, to pray continually. Yet, because God hears not those which are at enmity with their brethren by unjust quarrels, even though they should pray three times an hour, it is our duty to compose all our enmity and littleness of soul, that we may be able to pray with a pure and unpolluted heart. For the Lord commanded us to love even our enemies, and by no means to hate our friends. And the lawgiver says: "Thou shalt not hate any man; thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy mind. Thou shalt certainly reprove thy brother, and not incur sin on his account." (8) "Thou shalt not hate an Egyptian, for thou wast a sojourner with him. Thou shalt not hate an Idumaean, for he is thy brother." (9) And David says: "If I have repaid those that requited me evil." (10) Wherefore, if thou wilt be a Christian, follow the law of the Lord: "Loose every band of wickedness; for the Lord has given thee authority to remit those sins to thy brother which he has committed against thee as far as "seventy times seven," (12) that is, four hundred and ninety times. How oft, therefore, hast thou remitted to thy brother, that thou art unwilling to do it now, when thou also hast heard Jeremiah saying, "Do not any of you impute the wickedness of his neighbour in your hearts?" (13) But thou rememberest in juries, and keepest enmity, and comest into judgment, and art suspicious of His anger and thy prayer is hindered. Nay, if thou hast remitted to thy brother four hundred and ninety times, do thou still multiply thy acts of gentleness more, to do good for thy own sake. Although he does not do so, yet, however, do thou endeavour to forgive thy brother for God's sake, "that thou mayest be the son of thy Father which is in heaven," (1) and when thou prayest, mayest be heard as a friend of God.
THAT THE BISHOPS MUST BY THEIR DEACON PUT THE PEOPLE IN MIND OF THE OBLIGATION THEY ARE UNDER TO LIVE PEACEABLY TOGETHER.
LIV. Wherefore, O bishop,
when you are to go to prayer after the lessons,
and the psalmody, and
the instruction out of the Scriptures,
let the deacon stand nigh you, and with a loud voice say: Let none have any quarrel with another; let none come in hypocrisy; that if there be any controversy found among any of you, they may be affected in conscience, and may pray to God, and be reconciled to their brethren. For if, upon coming into any one's house, we are to say, "Peace be to this house," (2) like sons of peace bestowing peace on those who are worthy, as it is written, "He came and preached peace to you that are nigh, and them that are far off, whom the Lord knows to be His," (3) much more is it incumbent on those that enter into the Church of God before all things to pray for the peace of God. But if he prays for it upon others, much more let himself be within the same, as a child of light; for he that has it not within himself is not fit to bestow it upon others. Wherefore, before all things, it is our duty to be at peace in our own minds; for he that does not find any disorder in himself will not quarrel with another, but will be peaceable, friendly, gathering the Lord's people, and a fellow-worker with him, in order to the increasing the number of those that shall be saved in unanimity. For those who contrive enmities, and strifes, and contests, and lawsuits, are wicked, and aliens from God.
AN ENUMERATION OF THE SEVERAL INSTANCES OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE, AND HOW IN EVERY AGE FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD GOD HAS INVITED ALL MEN TO REPENTANCE.
LV. For God, being a God of mercy from the beginning, called every generation to repentance by righteous men and prophets. He instructed those before the flood by Abel and Sem, and Seth, also by Enos, and by Enoch that was translated; those at the flood by Noah; the inhabitants of Sodom by hospitable Lot; those after the flood by Melchizedek, and the patriarchs, and Job the beloved of God; the Egyptians by Moses; the Israelites by him, and Joshua, and Caleb, and Phineas, and the rest; those after the law by angels and prophets, and the same by His own incarnation (4) of the Virgin; those a little before His bodily appear- ance by John His forerunner, and the same by the same person after Christ's birth, saying, "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand;" (5) those after His passion by us, the twelve apostles, and Paul the chosen vessel. We therefore, who have been vouchsafed the favour of being the witnesses of His appearance, together with James the brother of our Lord, and the other seventy-two disciples, and his seven deacons, have heard from the mouth of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by exact knowledge declare "what is the will of God, that good, and acceptable, and perfect will" (6) which is made known to us by Jesus; that none should perish, but that all men with one accord should believe in Him, and send unanimously praise to Him, and thereby live for ever.
THAT IT IS THE WILL OF GOD THAT MEN SHOULD BE OF ONE MIND IN MATTERS OF RELIGION, IN ACCORD WITH THE HEAVENLY POWERS.
LVI. For this is that which our Lord taught us when we pray to say to His Father, "Thy will be done, as in heaven, so upon earth;" (7) that as the heavenly natures of the incorporeal powers do all glorify God with one consent, so also upon earth all men with one mouth and one purpose may glorify the only, the one, and the true God, by Christ His only-begotten. It is therefore His will that men should praise Him with unanimity, and adore Him with one consent. (8) For this is His will in Christ, that those who are saved by Him may be many; but that you do not occasion any loss or diminution to Him, nor to the Church, or lessen the number by one soul of man, as destroyed by you, which might have been saved by repentance; and which therefore perishes not only by its own sin, but also by your treachery besides, whereby you fulfil that which is written, "He that gathereth not with me, scattereth."
(9) Such a one is a disperser of the sheep, an adversary, an enemy of God, a destroyer of those lambs whose Shepherd was the Lord, and we were the collectors out of various nations and tongues, by much pains and danger, and perpetual labour, by watchings, by fastings, by lyings on the ground, by persecutions, by stripes, by imprisonments, that we might do the will of God, and fill the feast-chamber with guests to sit down at His 421 table, that is, the holy and Catholic Church,
with joyful and chosen people, singing hymns and praises to God that has called them by us to life.
And you, as much as in you lies, have dispersed them. Do you also of the laity be at peace with one another, endeavouring like wise men to increase the Church, and to turn back, and tame, and restore those which seem wild. For this is the greatest reward by His promise from God, "If thou fetch out the worthy and precious from the unworthy, thou shalt be as my mouth." (1)
SEC. VII.--ON ASSEMBLING IN THE CHURCH.
AN EXACT DESCRIPTION OF A CHURCH AND THE CLERGY, AND WHAT THINGS IN PARTICULAR EVERY ONE IS TO DO IN THE SOLEMN ASSEMBLIES OF THE CLERGY AND LAITY FOR, RELIGIOUS WORSHIP.
LVII. But be thou, O bishop, holy, unblameable, no striker, not soon angry, not cruel; but a builder up, a converter, apt to teach, forbear-ing of evil, of a gentle mind, meek, long-suffering, ready to exhort, ready to comfort, as a man of God. When thou callest an assembly of the Church as one that is the commander of a great ship, appoint the assemblies to be made with all possible skill,
charging the deacons as mariners to prepare places for the brethren as for passengers, with all due care and decency.
And first, let the building be long, with its head to the east, with its vestries on both sides at the east end, and so it will be like a ship. In the middle let the bishop's throne be placed,
and on each side of him let the presbytery sit down; and let the deacons stand near at hand, in close and small girt garments, for they are like the mariners and managers of the ship: with regard to these,
let the laity sit on the other side, with all quietness and good order.
And let the women sit by themselves, they also keeping silence.
In the middle, let the reader stand upon some high place: let him read the books of Moses, of Joshua the son of Nun, of the Judges, and of the Kings and of the Chronicles, and those written after the return from the captivity; and besides these, the books of Job and of Solomon, and of the sixteen prophets.
But when there have been two lessons severally read,
- let some other person sing the hymns of David,
- and let the people join at the conclusions of the verses.
Afterwards let our Acts be read, and the Epistles of Paul our fellow-worker, which he sent to the churches under the conduct of the Holy Spirit; and afterwards let a deacon or a presbyter read the Gospels, both those which I Matthew and John have delivered to you, and those which the fellow-workers of Paul received and left to you, Luke and Mark. And while the Gospel is read, let all the presbyters and deacons, and all the people, stand up in great silence; for it is written: "Be silent, and hear, O lsrael." (2) And again: "But do thou stand there, and hear." (3) In the next place, let the presbyters one by one, not all together, exhort the people, and the bishop in the last place, as being the commander.
Let the porters stand at the entries of the men, and observe them.
Let the deaconesses also stand at those of the women, like shipmen.
For the same description and pattern was both in the tabernacle of the testimony and in the temple of God.
(4) But if any one be found sitting out of his place, let him be rebuked by the deacon, as a manager of the foreship, and be removed into the place proper for him; for the Church is not only like a ship, but also like a sheepfold.
For as the shepherds place all the brute creatures distinctly, I mean goats and sheep, according to their kind and age, and still every one runs together, like to his like; so is it to be in the Church.
Let the young persons sit by themselves, if there be a place for them; if not, let them stand upright. But let those that are already stricken in years sit in order. For the children which stand, let their fathers and mothers take them to them.
Let the younger women also sit by themselves, if there be a place for them; but if there be not, let them stand behind the women. Let those women which are married, and have children, be placed by themselves; but let the virgins, and the widows, and the elder women, stand or sit before all the rest; and let the deacon be the disposer of the places, that every one of those that comes in may go to his proper place, and may not sit at the entrance.
In like manner, let the deacon oversee the people, that nobody may whisper, nor slumber, nor laugh, nor nod;
for all ought in the church to stand wisely, and soberly, and attentively, having their attention fixed upon the word of the Lord.
After this, let all rise up with one consent, and looking towards the east, after the catechumens and penitents are gone out, pray to God eastward, who ascended up to the heaven of heavens to the east; remembering also the ancient situation of paradise in the east, from whence the first man, when he had yielded to the persuasion of the serpent, and disobeyed the command of God, was expelled. As to the deacons, after the prayer is over, let some of them attend upon the oblation of the Eucharist, ministering to the Lord's body with fear. Let others of them watch the multitude, and keep them silent. But let that deacon who is at the high priest's hand say to the people, Let no one have any quarrel against another; let no one come in hypocrisy. Then let the men give the men, and the women give the women, the Lord's kiss. But let no one do it with deceit, as Judas betrayed the Lord with a kiss. After this let the deacon pray for the whole Church, for the whole world, and the several parts of it, and the fruits of it; for the priests and the rulers, for the high priest and the king, and the peace of the universe. After this let the high priest pray for peace upon the people, and bless them, as Moses commanded the priests to bless the people, in these words: "The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make His face to shine upon thee, (1) and give thee peace." (2) Let the bishop pray for the people, and say: "Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thine inheritance, which Thou hast obtained with the precious blood of Thy Christ, and hast called a royal priesthood, and an holy nation." (3) After this let the sacrifice follow, the people standing, and praying silently; and when the oblation has been made, let every rank by itself partake of the Lord's body and precious blood in order, and approach with reverence and holy fear, as to the body of their king. Let the women approach with their heads covered, as is becoming the order of women; but let the door be watched, lest any unbeliever, or one not yet initiated, come in. (4)
OF COMMENDATORY LETTERS IN FAVOUR OF STRANGERS, LAY PERSONS, CLERGYMEN, AND BISHOPS; AND THAT THOSE WHO COME INTO THE CHURCH ASSEMBLIES ARE TO BE RECEIVED WITHOUT REGARD TO THEIR QUALITY.
LVIII. If any brother, man or woman, come in from another parish, bringing recommendatory letters, let the deacon be the judge of that affair, inquiring whether they be of the faithful, and of the Church? whether they be not defiled by heresy? and besides, whether the party be a married woman or a widow? And when he is satisfied in these questions, that they are really of the faithful, and of the same sentiments in the things of the Lord, let him conduct every one to the place proper for him. And if a presbyter comes from another parish, let him be received to communion by the presbyters; if a deacon, by the deacons; if a bishop, let him sit with the bishop, and be allowed the same honour with himself; and thou, O bishop, shalt desire him to speak to the people words of instruction: for the exhortation and admonition of strangers is very acceptable, and exceeding profitable. For, as the Scripture says, "no prophet is accepted in his own country." (5) Thou shalt also permit him to offer the Eucharist; but if, out of reverence to thee, and as a wise man, to preserve the honour belonging to thee, he will not offer, at least thou shalt compel him to give the blessing to the people. But if, after the congregation is sat down, any other person comes upon you of good fashion and character in the world, whether he be a stranger, or one of your own country, neither do thou, O bishop, if thou art speaking the word of God, or hearing him that sings or reads, accept persons so far as to leave the ministry of the word, that thou mayest appoint an upper place for him; but continue quiet, not interrupting thy discourse, nor thy attention. But let the brethren receive him by the deacons; and if there be not a place, let the deacon by speaking, but not in anger, raise the junior, and place the stranger there. And it is but reasonable that one that loves the brethren should do so of his own accord; but if he refuse, let him raise him up by force, and set him behind all, that the rest may be taught to give place to those that are more honourable.
Nay, if a poor man, or one of a mean family, or a stranger, comes upon you, whether he be old or young, and there be no place, the deacon shall find a place for even these, and that with all his heart; that, instead of accepting persons before men, his ministration towards God may be well-pleasing.
The very same thing let the deaconess do to those women, whether poor or rich, that come unto them.
THAT EVERY CHRISTIAN OUGHT TO FREQUENT THE CHURCH DILIGENTLY BOTH MORNING AND EVENING.
LIX. When thou instructest the people, O bishop, command and exhort them to come constantly to church morning and evening every day, and by no means to forsake it on any account, but to assemble together continually; neither to diminish the Church by withdrawing themselves, and causing the body of Christ to be without its member. For it is not only spoken concerning the priests, but let every one of the laity hearken to it as concerning himself, considering that it is said by the Lord: "He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." (6) Do not you therefore scatter yourselves abroad, who are the members of Christ, by not assembling together, since you have Christ your head, according to His promise, present, and communicating to you. (7) Be not careless of yourselves, neither deprive your Saviour of His own members, neither divide His body nor disperse His members, neither prefer the occasions of this life to the word of God; but assemble yourselves together every day, morning and evening, singing psalms and praying in the Lord's house: in the morning saying the sixty-second Psalm, and in the evening the hundred and fortieth, but principally on the Sabbath-day.
And on the day of our Lord's resurrection, which is the Lord's day, meet more diligently, sending praise to God that made the universe by Jesus, and sent Him to us, and condescended to let Him suffer, and raised Him from the dead. Otherwise what apology will he make to God who does not assemble on that day to hear the saving word concerning the resurrection, on which we pray thrice standing in memory of Him who arose in three days, in which is performed the reading of the prophets, the preaching of the Gospel, the oblation of the sacrifice, the gift of the holy food?
THE VAIN ZEAL WHICH THE HEATHENS AND JEWS SHOW IN FREQUENTING THEIR TEMPLES AND SYNAGOGUES IS A PROPER EXAMPLE AND MOTIVE TO EXCITE CHRISTIANS TO FREQUENT THE CHURCH.
LX. And how can he be other than an adversary to God, who takes pains about temporary things night and day, but takes no care of things eternal? who takes care of washings and temporary food every day, but does not take care of those that endure for ever? How can such a one even now avoid hearing that word of the Lord, "The Gentiles are justified more than you?" (1) as He says, by way of reproach, to Jerusalem, "Sodom is justified rather than thou." For if the Gentiles every day, when they arise from sleep, run to their idols to worship them, and before all their work and all their labours do first of all pray to them, and in their feasts and in their solemnities do not keep away, but attend upon them; and not only those upon the place, but those living far distant do the same; and in their public shows all come together, as into a synagogue: in the same manner those which are vainly called Jews, when they have worked six days.
On the seventh day rest, and come together into their synagogue, never leaving nor neglecting either rest from labour or assembling together, while yet they are deprived of the efficacy of the word in their unbelief, nay, and of the force of that name Judah, by which they call themselves,--for Judah is interpreted Confession,--but these do not confess to God (having unjustly occasioned the suffering on the cross), so as to be saved on their repentance;--if, therefore, those who are not saved frequently assemble together for such purposes as do not profit them, what apology wilt thou make to the Lord God who forsakest His Church, not imitating so much as the heathen, but by such thy absence growest slothful, or turnest apostate, or actest wickedness? To whom the Lord says by Jeremiah: "Ye have not kept my ordinances; nay, ye have not walked according to the ordinances of the heathen, and you have in a manner exceeded them." (2) And again: "lsrael has justified his soul more than treacherous Judah." (3) And afterwards: "Will the Gentiles change their gods which are not gods? (4) Wherefore pass over to the isles of Chittim, and behold, and send to Kedar, and observe diligently whether such things have been done. For those nations have not changed their ordinances; but," says He, "my people has changed its glory for that which will not profit." (5) How, therefore, will any one make his apology who has despised or absented himself from the church of God?
THAT WE MUST NOT PREFER THE AFFAIRS OF THIS LIFE TO THOSE WHICH CONCERN THE WORSHIP OF GOD.
LXI. But if any one allege the pretence of his own work, and so is a despiser, "offering pretences for his sins," let such a one know that the trades of the faithful are works by the by, but the worship of God is their great work. Follow therefore your trades as by the by, for your maintenance, but make the worship of God your main business; as also our Lord said: "Labour not for the meat which perishes, but for that which endureth unto everlasting life." (6) And again: "This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent." (7) Endeavour therefore never to leave the Church of God; but if any one overlooks it, and goes either into a polluted temple of the heathens, or into a synagogue of the Jews or heretics, what apology will such a one make to God in the day of judgment, who has forsaken the oracles of the living God, and the living and quickening oracles, such as are able to deliver from eternal punishment, and has gone into an house of demons, or into a synagogue of the murderers of Christ, or the congregation of the wicked?--not hearkening unto him that says: "I have hated the congregation of the wicked, and I will not enter with the ungodly. I have not sat with the assembly of vanity, neither will I sit with the ungodly." (8) And again: "Blessed is the 424
man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, and hath not sat in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law will he meditate day and night."
(1) But thou, forsaking the gathering together of the faithful, the Church of God, and His laws, hast respect to those "dens of thieves," calling those things holy which He has called profane, and making such things unclean which He has sanctified. And not only so, but thou already runnest after the pomps of the Gentiles, and hastenest to their theatres, being desirous to be reckoned one of those that enter into them, and to partake of unseemly, not to say abominable words; not hearkening to Jeremiah, who says, "O Lord, I have not sat in their assemblies, for they are scorners; but I was afraid because of Thy hand;"
(2) nor to Job, who speaks in like manner, "If I have gone at any time with the scornful; for I shall be weighed in a just balance." (3) But why wilt thou be a partaker of the heathen oracles, which are nothing but dead men declaring by the inspiration of the devil deadly things, and such as tend to subvert the faith, and to draw those that attend to them to polytheism? Do you therefore, who attend to the laws. of God, esteem those laws more honourable than the necessities of this life, and pay a greater respect to them, and run together to the Church of the Lord, "which He has purchased with the blood of Christ, the beloved, the first-born of every creature." (4) For this Church is the daughter of the Highest, which has been in travail of you by the word of grace, and has "formed Christ in you," of whom you are made partakers, and thereby become His holy and chosen members, "not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but as being holy and unspotted in the faith, ye are complete in Him, after the image of God that created you." (5)
THAT CHRISTIANS MUST ABSTAIN FROM ALL THE IMPIOUS PRACTICES OF THE HEATHENS.
LXII. Take heed, therefore, not to join yourselves in your worship with those that perish, which is the assembly of the Gentiles, to your deceit and destruction. For there is no fellowship between God and the devil; for he that assembles himself with those that favour the things of the devil, will be esteemed one of them, and will inherit a woe.
Avoid also indecent spectacles: I mean the theatres and the pomps of the heathens; their enchantments, observations of omens, soothsayings, purgations, divinations, observations of birds; their necromancies and invocations. For it is written: "There is no divination in Jacob, nor soothsaying in Israel." (6) And again: "Divination is iniquity." (7) And elsewhere: "Ye shall not be soothsayers, and follow observers of omens, nor diviners, nor dealers with familiar spirits. Ye shall not preserve alive wizards." (8) Wherefore Jeremiah exhorts, saying: "Walk ye not according to the ways of the heathen, and be not afraid of the signs of heaven." (9) So that it is the duty of a believer to avoid the assemblies of the ungodly, of the heathen, and of the Jews, and of the rest of the heretics, lest by uniting ourselves to them we bring snares upon our own souls; that we may not by joining in their feasts, which are celebrated in honour of demons, be partakers with them in their impiety. You are also to avoid their public meetings, and those sports which are celebrated in them.
For a believer ought not to go to any of those public meetings, unless to purchase a slave, and save a soul? and at the same time to buy such other things as suit their necessities. Abstain, therefore, from all idolatrous pomp and state, all their public meetings, banquets, duels, and all shows belonging to demons.
SEC. VIII.--ON THE DUTY OF WORKING FOR A LIVELIHOOD.
THAT A CHRISTIAN WHO WILL NOT WORK MUST NOT EAT, AS PETER AND THE REST OF THE APOSTLES WERE FISHERMEN, BUT PAUL AND AQUILA TENTMAKERS, JUDE THE SON OF JAMES AN HUSBANDMAN.
LXIII. Let the young persons of the Church endeavour to minister diligently in all necessaries: mind your business with all becoming seriousness, that so you may always have sufficient to support yourselves and those that are needy, and not burden the Church of God. For we ourselves, besides our attention to the word of the Gospel, do not neglect our inferior employments. For some of us are fishermen, some tentmakers, some husbandmen, that so we may never be idle. So says Solomon somewhere: "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways diligently, and become wiser than she. For she, having neither field, overseer, nor ruler, prepareth her food in the summer, and layeth up a great store in the harvest. Or else go to the bee, and learn how laborious she is, and her work how valuable it is, whose labours both kings and mean men make use of for their health. She is desirable and glorious, though she be weak in strength, yet by honouring wisdom she is improved, etc. How long wilt thou lie on thy bed, O sluggard? When wilt thou 425
awake out of thy sleep? Thou sleepest awhile thou liest down awhile, thou slumberest awhile, thou foldest thy hands on thy breast to sleep awhile. Then poverty comes on thee like an evil traveller, and want as a swift racer. But if thou beest diligent, thy harvest shall come as a fountain, and want shall fly from thee as an evil runagate." (1) And again: "He that manageth his own land shall be filled with bread." (2) And elsewhere he says: "The slothful has folded his own hands together, and has eaten his own flesh." (3) And afterwards: "The sluggard hides his hand; he will not be able to bring it to his mouth." (4) And again: "By slothfulness of the hands a floor will be brought low." (5) Labour therefore continually; for the blot of the slothful is not to be healed. But "if any one does not work, let not such a one eat" (6) among you. For the Lord our God hates the slothful. For no one of those who are dedicated to God ought to be idle.
CONSTITUTIONS OF THE HOLY APOSTLES
SEC. I.--CONCERNING WIDOWS. THE AGE AT WHICH WIDOWS SHOULD BE CHOSEN.
I. CHOOSE your "widows not under sixty years of age," (1) that in some measure the suspicion of a second marriage may be prevented by their age. But if you admit one younger into the order of widows, and she cannot bear her widowhood in her youth, and marries, she will procure indecent reflections on the glory of the order of the widows, and shall give an account to God; not because she married a second time, but because she has "waxed wanton against Christ," (2) and not kept her promise, because she did not came and keep her promise with faith and the fear of God. (3) Wherefore such a promise ought not to be rashly made, but with great caution: "for it is better for her not to vow, than to vow and not to pay." (4) But if any younger woman, who has lived but a while with her husband, and has lost him by death or some other occasion, and remains by herself, having the gift of widowhood, she will be found to be blessed, and to be like the widow of Sarepta, belonging to Sidon, with whom the holy prophet of God, Elijah, (5) lodged. Such a one may also be compared to "Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser, which departed not from the temple, but continued in supplications and prayers night and day, who was fourscore years old, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity, who glorified the coming of Christ, and gave thanks to the Lord, and spake concerning Him to all those who looked for redemption in Israel." (6) Such a widow will have a good report, and will be honoured, having both glory with men upon earth, and eternal praise with God in heaven.
THAT WE MUST AVOID THE CHOICE OF YOUNGER WIDOWS, BECAUSE OF SUSPICION.
II. But let not the younger widows be placed in the order of widows, lest, under pretence of inability to contain in the flower of their age, they come to a second marriage, and become subject to imputation. But let them be assisted and supported, that so they may not, under pretence of being deserted, come to a second marriage, and so be ensnared in an unseemly imputation. For you ought to know this, that once marrying according to the law is righteous, as being according to the will of God; but second marriages, after the promise, are wicked, not on account of the marriage itself, but because of the falsehood. Third marriages are indications of incontinency. But such marriages as are beyond the third are manifest fornication, and unquestionable uncleanness. For God in the creation gave one woman to one man; for "they two shall be one flesh." (7) But to the younger women let a second marriage be allowed after the death of their first husband, lest they fall into the condemnation of the devil, and many snares, and foolish lusts, which are hurtful to souls, and which bring upon them punishment rather than rest.
WHAT CHARACTER THE WIDOWS OUGHT TO BE OF, AND HOW THEY OUGHT TO BE SUPPORTED BY THE BISHOP.
III. But the true widows are those which have had only one husband, having a good report among the generality for good works; widows indeed, sober, chaste, faithful, pious, who have brought up their children well, and have entertained strangers unblameably, which are to be supported as devoted to God. Besides, do thou, O bishop, be mindful of the needy, both reaching Gilt thy helping hand and making provision 427
for them as the steward of God, distributing seasonably the oblations to every one of them, to the widows, the orphans, the friendless, and those tried with affliction.
THAT WE OUGHT TO BE CHARITABLE TO ALL SORTS OF PERSONS IN WANT.
IV. For what if some are neither widows nor widowers, but stand in need of assistance, either through poverty or some disease, or the maintenance of a great number of children? It is thy duty to oversee all people, and to take care of them all. For they that give gifts do not of their own head give them to the widows, but barely bring them in, calling them free-will offerings, that so thou that knowest those that are in affliction mayest as a good steward give them their portion of the gift. For God knows the giver, though thou distributest it to those in want when he is absent. And he has the reward of well-doing, but thou the blessedness of having dispensed it with a good conscience. But do thou tell them who was the giver, that they may pray for him by name. For it is our duty to do good to all men, not fondly preferring one or another, whoever they be. For the Lord says: "Give to every one that asketh of thee." (1) It is evident that it is meant of every one that is really in want, whether he be friend or foe, whether he be a kinsman or a stranger, whether he be single or married. For in all the Scripture the Lord gives us exhortations about the needy, saying first by Isaiah: "Deal thy bread to the hungry, and bring the poor which have no covering into thine house. If thou seest the naked, do thou cover him; and thou shalt not overlook those which are of thine own family and seed." (2) And then by Daniel He says to the potentate: "Wherefore, O king, let my counsel please thee, and purge thy sins by acts of mercy, and thine iniquities by bowels of compassion to the needy." (3) And He says by Solomon: "By acts of mercy and of faith iniquities are purged." (4) And He says again by David: "Blessed is he that has regard to the poor and needy; the Lord shall deliver him in the evil day." (5) And again:
"He hath dispersed abroad, he hath given to the needy, his righteousness remaineth for ever." (6) And Solomon says: "He that hath mercy on the poor lendeth to the Lord; (7) according to his gift it shall be repaid him again." (8) And afterwards: "He that stoppeth his ear, that he may not hear him that is in want, he also shall call himself, and there shall be none to hear him." (9)
THAT THE WIDOWS ARE TO BE VERY CAREFUL OF THEIR BEHAVIOR.
V. Let every widow be meek, quiet, gentle, sincere, free from anger, not talkative, not clamorous, not hasty of speech, not given to evil-speaking, not captious, not double-tongued, not a busybody. If she see or hear anything that is not right, let her be as one that does not see, and as one that does not hear. And let the widow mind nothing but to pray for those that give, and for the whole Church; and when she is asked anything by any one, let her not easily answer, excepting questions concerning the faith, and righteousness, and hope in God, remitting those that desire to be instructed in the doctrines of godliness to the governors. Let her only answer so as may tend to the subversion of the error of polytheism, and let her demonstrate the assertion concerning the monarchy of God. But of the remaining doctrines let her not answer anything rashly, lest by saying anything unlearnedly she should make the word to be blasphemed. For the Lord has taught us that the word is like "a grain of mustard seed," (10) which is of a fiery nature, which if any one uses unskilfully, he will find it bitter. For in the mystical points we ought not to be rash, but cautious; for the Lord exhorts us, saying: "Cast not your pearls before swine, lest they trample them with their feet, and turn again and rend you." (11) For unbelievers, when they hear the doctrine concerning Christ not explained as it ought to be, but defectively, and especially that concerning His incarnation or His passion, will rather reject it with scorn, and laugh at it as false, than praise God for it. And so the aged women will be guilty of rashness, and of causing blasphemy, and will inherit a woe. For says He, "Woe to him by whom my name is blasphemed among the Gentiles." (12)
THAT WOMEN OUGHT NOT TO TEACH, BECAUSE IT IS UNSEEMLY; AND WHAT WOMEN FOLLOWED OUR LORD.
VI. We do not permit our "women to teach in the Church," (13) but only to pray and hear those that teach; for our Master and Lord, Jesus Himself, when He sent us the twelve to make disciples of the people and of the nations, did nowhere send out women to preach, although He did not want such. For there were with us the mother of our Lord and His sisters; also Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Martha and Mary the sisters of Lazarus; Salome, and certain others. For, had it been necessary for women to teach, He Himself had first commanded these also to instruct the people with us. For "if the head of the wife be the man," (1) it is not reasonable that the rest of the body should govern the head. Let the widow therefore own herself to be the "altar of God," and let her sit in her house, and not enter into the houses of the faithful, under any pretence, to receive anything; for the altar of God never runs about, but is fixed in one place. Let, therefore, the virgin and the widow be such as do not run about, or gad to the houses of those who are alien from the faith. For such as these are gadders and impudent: they do not make their feet to rest in one place, because they are not widows, but purses ready to receive, triflers, evil-speakers, counsellors of strife, without shame, impudent, who being such, are not worthy of Him that called them.
For they do not come to the common station of the congregation on the Lord's day, (2) as those that are watchful; but either they slumber, or trifle, or allure men, or beg, or ensnare others, bringing them to the evil one; not suffering them to be watchful in the Lord, but taking care that they go out as vain as they came in, because they do not hear the word of the Lord either taught or read. For of such as these the prophet Isaiah says: "Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: for the heart of this people is waxen gross, (3) and they hear heavily with their ears." (4)
WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERS OF WIDOWS FALSELY SO CALLED.
VII. In the same manner, therefore, the ears of the hearts of such widows as these are stopped, that they will not sit within in their cottages to speak to the Lord, but will run about with the design of getting, and by their foolish prattling fulfil the desires of the adversary. Such widows, therefore, are not affixed to the altar of Christ: for there are some widows which esteem gain their business; and since they ask without shame, and receive without being satisfied, render the generality more backward in giving. For when they ought to be content with their subsistence from the Church, as having moderate desires, on the contrary, they run from one of their neighbours' houses (5) to another, and disturb them, heaping up to themselves plenty of money, and lend at bitter usury, and are only solicitous about mammon, whose bag is their god; who prefer eating and drinking before all virtue, saying, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die;" (6) who esteem these things as if they were durable and not perishing things. For she that uses herself to nothing but talking of money, worships mammon instead of God,--that is, is a servant to gain, but cannot be pleasing to God, nor resigned to His worship; not being able to intercede with Him continuously on account that her mind and disposition run after money: for "where the treasure is, there will the heart be also." (7) For she is thinking in her mind whither she may go to receive, or that a certain woman her friend has forgot her, and she has somewhat to say to her. She that thinks of such things as these will no longer attend to her prayers, but to that thought which offers itself; so that though sometimes she would pray for anybody, she will not be beard, because she does not offer her petition to the Lord with her whole heart, but with a divided mind. But she that will attend to God will sit within, and mind the things of the Lord day and night, offering her sincere petition with a mouth ready to utter the same without ceasing. As therefore Judith, most famous for her wisdom, and of a good report for her modesty, "prayed to God night and day for Israel;" (8) so also the widow who is like to her will offer her intercession without ceasing for the Church to God. And He will hear her, because her mind is fixed on this thing alone, and is not disposed to be either insatiable, or covetous, or expensive; when her eye is pure, and her hearing clean, and her hands undefiled, and her feet quiet, and her mouth prepared for neither gluttony nor trifling, but speaking the things that are fit, and partaking of only such things as are necessary for her maintenance. So, being grave, and giving no disturbance, she will be pleasing to God; and as soon as she asks anything, the gift will come to her: as He says, "While thou art speaking, I will say, Behold, I am here."
(9) Let such a one also be free from the love of money, free from arrogance, not given to filthy lucre, not insatiable, not gluttonous, but continent, meek, giving nobody disturbance, pious, modest, sitting at home, singing, and praying, and reading, and watching, and fasting;
speaking to God continually in songs and hymns.
And let her take wool, and rather assist others than herself want from them; being mindful of that widow who is honoured in the Gospel with the Lord's testimony, who, coming into the temple, "cast into the treasury two mites, which make a farthing. And Christ our Lord and Master, and Searcher of hearts, saw her, and said, Verily I say unto you, that this widow hath cast into the treasury more than they all: for all they have cast in of their 429 abundance, but this woman of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had." (1)
The widows therefore ought to be grave, obedient to their bishops, and their presbyters, and their deacons, and besides these to the deaconesses, with piety, reverence, and fear; not usurping authority, nor desiring to do anything beyond the constitution without the consent of the deacon: as, suppose, the going to any one to eat or drink with him, or to receive anything from anybody. But if without direction she does any one of these things, let her be punished with fasting, or else let her be separated on account of her rashness.
THAT THE WIDOWS OUGHT NOT TO ACCEPT OF ALMS FROM THE UNWORTHY NO MORE THAN THE BISHOP, OR ANY OTHER OF THE FAITHFUL.
VIII. For how does such a one know of what character the person is from whom she receives? or from what sort of ministration he supplies her with food, whether it does not arise from rapine or some other ill course of life? while the widow does not remember that if she receives in a way unworthy of God, she must give an account for every one of these things. For neither will the priests at any time receive a free-will offering from such a one, as, suppose, from a rapacious person or from a harlot. For it is written, "Thou shalt not covet the goods that are thy neighbour's;" (2) and, "Thou shalt not offer the hire of an harlot to the Lord God." (3) From such as these no offerings ought to be accepted, nor indeed from those that are separated from the Church. Let the widows also be ready to obey the commands given them by their superiors, and let them do according to the appointment of the bishop, being obedient to him as to God; for he that receives from such a one who is worthy of blame, or from one excommunicated, and prays for him, while he purposes to go on in a wicked course, and while he is not willing at any time to repent, holds communion with him in prayer, and grieves Christ, who rejects the unrighteous, and confirms them by means of the unworthy gift, and is defiled with them, not suffering them to come to repentance, so as to fall down before God with lamentation, and pray to Him.
THAT WOMEN OUGHT NOT TO BAPTIZE, BECAUSE IT IS IMPIOUS, AND CONTRARY TO THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST.
IX. Now, as to women's baptizing, we let you know that there is no small peril to those that undertake it. Therefore we do not advise you to it; for it is dangerous, or rather wicked and impious. For if the "man be the head of the woman," (4) and he be originally ordained for the priesthood, it is not just to abrogate the order of the creation, and leave the principal to come to the extreme part of the body. For the woman is the body of the man, taken from his side, and subject to him, from whom she was separated for the procreation of children. For says He, "He shall rule over thee." (5) For the principal part of the woman is the man, as being her head. But if in the foregoing constitutions we have not permitted them to teach, how will any one allow them, contrary to nature, to perform the office of a priest? For this is one of the ignorant practices of the Gentile atheism, to ordain women priests to the female deities, not one of the constitutions of Christ. For if baptism were to be administered by women, certainly our Lord would have been baptized by His own mother, and not by John; or when He sent us to baptize, He would have sent along with us women also for this purpose. But now He has nowhere, either by constitution or by writing, delivered to us any such thing; as knowing the order of nature, and the decency of the action; (6) as being the Creator of nature, and the Legislator of the constitution.
THAT A LAYMAN OUGHT NOT TO DO ANY OFFICE OF THE PRIESTHOOD: HE OUGHT NEITHER TO BAPTIZE, NOR OFFER, NOR LAY ON HANDS, NOR GIVE THE BLESSING.
X. Neither do we permit the laity to perform any of the offices belonging to the priesthood; as, for instance, neither the sacrifice, nor baptism, nor the laying on of hands, nor the blessing, whether the smaller or the greater: for "no one taketh this honour to himself, but he that is called of God." (7) For such sacred offices are conferred by the laying on of the hands of the bishop. But a person to whom such an office is not committed, but he seizes upon it for himself, he shall undergo the punishment of Uzziah. (8)
THAT NONE BUT A BISHOP AND PRESBYTER, NONE EVEN OF THE INFERIOR RANKS OF THE CLERGY, ARE PERMITTED TO DO THE OFFICES OF THE PRIESTS; THAT ORDINATION BELONGS WHOLLY TO THE BISHOP, AND TO NOBODY ELSE.
XI. Nay, further, we do not permit to the rest of the clergy to baptize,--as, for instance, neither to readers, nor singers, nor porters, nor ministers,--but to the bishops and presbyters alone, yet so that the deacons are to minister to them 430
therein. But those who venture upon it shall undergo the punishment of the companions of Corah. (1) We do not permit presbyters to ordain deacons, or deaconesses, or readers, or ministers, or singers, or porters, but only bishops; for this is the ecclesiastical order and harmony.
THE REJECTION OF ALL UNCHARITABLE ACTIONS.
XII. Now, as concerning envy, or jealousy, or evil-speaking, or strife, or the love of contention, we have said already to you, that these are alien from a Christian, and chiefly in the case of widows. But because the devil, who works in men, is in his conduct cunning, and full of various devices, he goes to those that are not truly widows, as formerly to Cain (for some say they are widows, but do not perform the injunctions agreeable to the widowhood; as neither did Cain discharge the duties due to a brother: for they do not consider how it is not the name of widowhood that will bring them to the kingdom of God, but true faith and holy (2) works). But if any one possesses the name of widowhood, but does the works of the adversary, her widowhood will not be imputed, but she will be thrust out of the kingdom, and delivered to eternal punishment. For we hear that some widows are jealous, envious calumniators, and envious at the quiet of others. Such widows as these are not the disciples of Christ, nor of His doctrine; for it becomes them, when one of their fellow-widows is clothed by any one, or receives money, or meat, or drink, or shoes, at the sight of the refreshment of their sister to say:-
HOW THE WIDOWS ARE TO PRAY FOR THOSE THAT SUPPLY THEIR NECESSITIES.
XIII. Thou art blessed, O God, who hast refreshed my fellow-widow. Bless, O Lord, and glorify him that has bestowed these things upon her, and let his good work ascend in truth to Thee, and remember him for good in the day of his visitation. And as for my bishop, who has so well performed his duty to Thee, and (3) has ordered such a seasonable alms to be bestowed on my fellow-widow, who was naked, do Thou increase his glory, and give him a (3) crown of rejoicing in the day of the revelation of Thy visitation. In the same manner, let the widow who has received the alms join with the other in praying for him who ministered to her.
THAT SHE WHO HAS BEEN KIND TO THE POOR OUGHT NOT TO MAKE A STIR AND TELL ABROAD HER NAME, ACCORDING TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE LORD.
XIV. But if any woman has been good, let her, as a prudent person, conceal her own name, not sounding a trumpet before her, that her alms may be with God in secret, as the Lord says: "Thou, when thou doest thine alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand cloth, that thine alms may be in secret." (4) And let the widow pray for him that gave her the alms, whosoever he be, as being the holy altar of Christ; (5) and "the Father, who seeth in secret, will render to him that did good openly."
But those widows which will not live according to the command of God, are solicitous and inquisitive what deaconess it is that gives the charity, and what widows receive it.
And when she has learned those things, she murmurs at the deaconess who distributed the charity, saying, Dost not thou see that I am in more distress, and want of thy charity? Why, therefore, hast thou preferred her before me? She says these things foolishly, not understanding that this does not depend on the will of man, but the appointment of God. For if she is herself a witness that she was nearer, and, upon inquiry, was in greater want, and more naked than the other, she ought to understand who it is that made this constitution, and to hold her peace, and not to murmur at the deaconess who distributed the charity, but to enter into her own house, and to cast herself prostrate on her face to make supplication to God that her sin may be forgiven her.
For God commanded the deaconess who brought the charity not to proclaim the same, and this widow murmured because she did not publish her name, that so she might know it, and run to receive; nay, did not only murmur, but also cursed her, forgetting Him that said: "He that blesseth thee is blessed, and he that curseth thee is cursed." (6) But the Lord says: "When ye enter into an house, say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it; but if it be not worthy, your peace shall return to you." (7)
THAT IT DOES NOT BECOME US TO REVILE OUR NEIGHBOURS, BECAUSE CURSING IS CONTRARY TO CHRISTIANITY.
XV. If, therefore, peace returns upon those that sent it, nay, upon those that before had actually given it, because it did not find persons fit to receive it, much rather will a curse return upon the head of him that unjustly sent it, because he to whom it was sent was not worthy to receive it: for all those who abuse others without a cause curse themselves, as Solomon says: "As birds and sparrows fly away, so the curse causeless shall not come upon any one." (8) And again he says: "Those that bring reproaches are exceeding foolish." (1) But as the bee, a creature as to its strength feeble, if she stings any one, loses her sting, and becomes a drone; in the same manner you also, whatsoever injustice you do to others, will bring it upon yourselves. "He hath graven and digged a pit, and he shall fall into the same ditch that he has made." (2) And again: "He that diggeth a pit for his neighbour, shall fall into it." (3) Wherefore he that avoids a curse, let him not curse another; for "what thou hatest should be done to thee, do not thou to another." (4) Wherefore admonish the widows that are feeble-minded, strengthen those of them that are weak, and praise such of them as walk in holiness. Let them rather bless, and not calumniate. Let them make peace, and not stir up contention.
SEC. II.--ON DEACONS AND DEACONESSES, THE REST OF THE CLERGY, AND ON BAPTISM.
Let not therefore either a bishop, or a presbyter, or a deacon, or any one else of the sacerdotal catalogue, defile his tongue with calumny, lest he inherit a curse instead of a blessing; and let it also be the bishop's business and care that no lay person utter any curse: for he ought to take care of all,--of the clergy, of the virgins, of the widows, of the laity. For which reason, O bishop, do thou ordain thy fellow-workers, the labourers for life and for righteousness, such deacons as are pleasing to God, such whom thou provest to be worthy among all the people, and such as shall be ready for the necessities of their ministration.
Ordain also a deaconess who is faithful and holy, for the ministrations towards women. For sometimes he cannot send a deacon, who is a man, to the women, on account of unbelievers.
Thou shalt therefore send a woman, a deaconess, on account of the imaginations of the bad.
For we stand in need of a woman, a deaconess, for many necessities; and first in the baptism of women, the deacon shall anoint only their forehead with the holy oil, and after him the deaconess shall anoint them: (5) for there is no necessity that the women should be seen by the men; but only in the laying on of hands the bishop shall anoint her head, as the priests and kings were formerly anointed, not because those which are now baptized are ordained priests, but as being Christians, or anointed, from Christ the Anointed, "a royal priesthood, and an holy nation, the Church of God, the pillar and ground of the marriage-chamber," (6) who formerly were not a people, but now are beloved and chosen, upon whom is called His new name? as Isaiah the prophet witnesses, saying: "And they shall Call the people by His new name, which the Lord shall name for them." (8)
CONCERNING THE SACRED INITIATION OF HOLY BAPTISM.
XVI. Thou therefore, O bishop, according to that type, shalt anoint the head of those that are to be baptized, whether they be men or women, with the holy oil, for a type of the spiritual baptism. After that, either thou, O bishop, or a presbyter that is under thee, shall in the solemn form name over them the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit,
and shall dip them in the water; and let a deacon receive the man, and a deaconess the woman, that so the conferring of this inviolable seal may take place with a becoming decency. And after that, let the bishop anoint those that are baptized with ointment.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF BAPTISM INTO CHRIST, AND ON WHAT ACCOUNT EVERYTHING IS THERE SAID OR DONE.
XVII. This baptism, therefore, is given into the death of Jesus: (9) the water is instead of the burial, and the oil instead of the Holy Ghost; the seal instead of the cross; the ointment is the confirmation of the confession; the mention of the Father as of the Author and Sender; the joint mention of the Holy Ghost as of the witness;
the descent into the water the dying together with Christ; the ascent out of the water the rising again with Him. The Father is the God over all; Christ is the only-begotten God, the beloved Son, the Lord of glory; the Holy Ghost is the Comforter, who is sent by Christ, land taught by Him, and proclaims Him.
OF WHAT CHARACTER HE OUGHT TO BE WHO IS INITIATED.
XVIII. But let him that is to be baptized be free from all iniquity; one that has left off to work sin, the friend of God, the enemy of the devil, the heir of God the Father, the fellow-heir of His Son; one that has renounced Satan, and the demons, and Satan's deceits; chaste, pure, holy, beloved of God, the son of God, praying as a son to his father, and saying, as from the common congregation of the faithful, thus: "Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven; give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one: for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." (1)
WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERS OF A DEACON.
XIX. Let the deacons be in all things unspotted, as the bishop himself is to be, only more active; in number according to the largeness of the Church, that they may minister to the infirm as workmen that are not ashamed.
And let the deaconess be diligent in taking care of the women; but both of them ready to carry messages, to travel about, to minister, and to serve, as spake Isaiah concerning the Lord, saying: "To justify the righteous, who serves many faithfully."
(2) Let every one therefore know his proper place, and discharge it diligently with one consent, with one mind, as knowing the reward of their ministration; but let them not be ashamed to minister to those that are in want, as even our" Lord Jesus Christ came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give His life a ransom for many." (3) So therefore ought they also to do, and not to scruple it, if they should be obliged to lay down their life for a brother. For the Lord and our Saviour Jesus Christ did not scruple to "lay down His life," as Himself says, "for His friends." (4) If, therefore, the Lord of heaven and earth underwent all His sufferings for us, how then do you make a difficulty to minister to such as are in want, who ought to imitate Him who underwent servitude, and want, and stripes, and the cross for us? We ought therefore also to serve the brethren, in imitation of Christ. For says He: "He that will be great among you, let him be your minister; and he that will be first among you, let him be your servant." (5) For so did He really, and not in word only, fulfil the prediction of, "serving many faithfully." (6) For "when He had taken a towel, He girded Himself. Afterward He puts water into a bason; and as we were sitting at meat, He came and washed the feet of us all, and wiped them with the towel." (7) By doing this He demonstrated to us His kindness and brotherly affection, that so we also might do the same to one another. If, therefore, our Lord and Master so humbled Himself, how can you, the labourers of the truth, and administrators of piety, be ashamed to do the same to such of the brethren as are weak and infirm? Minister therefore with a kind mind, not murmuring nor mutinying; for ye do not do it on the account of man, but on the account of God, and shall receive from Him the reward of your ministry in the day of your visitation. It is your duty who are deacons to visit all those who stand in need of visitation. And tell your bishop of all those that are in affliction; for you ought to be like his soul and senses--active and attentive in all things to hint (8) as to your bishop, and father s and master.
THAT A BISHOP OUGHT TO BE ORDAINED BY THREE OR BY TWO BISHOPS, BUT NOT BY ONE; FOR THAT WOULD BE INVALID.
XX. We command that a bishop be ordained by three bishops, or at least by two; but it is not lawful that he be set over you by one; for the testimony of two or three witnesses is more firm and secure. But a presbyter and a deacon are to be ordained by one bishop and the rest of the clergy. Nor must either a presbyter or a deacon ordain from the laity into the clergy; but the presbyter is only to teach, to offer, to baptize, to bless the people, and the deacon is to minister to the bishop, and to the presbyters, that is, to do the office of a ministering deacon, but not to meddle with the other offices.
CONSTITUTIONS OF THE HOLY APOSTLES
SEC. I.--ON HELPING THE POOR.
THOSE WHO HAVE NO CHILDREN SHOULD ADOPT ORPHANS, AND TREAT THEM AS THEIR OWN CHILDREN.
I. WHEN any Christian becomes an orphan, whether it be a young man or a maid, it is good that some one of the brethren who is without a child should take the young man, and esteem him in the place of a son; and he that has a son about the same age, and that is marriageable, should marry the maid to him: for they which do so perform a great work, and become, fathers to the orphans, and shall receive the reward of this charity from the Lord God. But if any one that walks in the way of man-pleasing is rich, and therefore is ashamed of orphans, the Father of orphans and Judge of widows will make provision for the orphans, but himself shall have such an heir as will spend what he has spared; and it shall happen to him according as it is said: "What things the holy people have not eaten, those shall the Assyrians eat." As also Isaiah says: "Your land, strangers devour it in your presence," (1)
HOW THE BISHOP OUGHT TO PROVIDE FOR THE ORPHANS.
II. Do you therefore, O bishops, be solicitous about their maintenance, being in nothing wanting to them; exhibiting to the orphans the care of parents; to the widows the care of husbands; to those of suitable age, marriage; to the artificer, work; to the unable, commiseration; to the strangers, an house; to the hungry, food; to the thirsty, drink; to the naked, clothing; to the sick, visitation; to the prisoners, assistance. Besides these, have a greater care of the orphans, that nothing may be wanting to them; and that as to the maiden, till she arrives at the age of marriage, and ye give her in marriage to a brother: to the young man assistance, that he may learn a trade, and may be maintained by the advantage arising from it; that so, when he is dextrous in the management of it, he may thereby be enabled to buy himself the tools of his trade, that so he may no longer burden any of the brethren, or their sincere love to him, but may support himself: for certainly he is a happy man who is able to support himself, and does not take up the place of the orphan, the stranger, and the widow.
WHO OUGHT TO BE SUPPORTED ACCORDING TO THE LORD'S CONSTITUTION.
III. Since even the Lord said: "The giver was happier than the receiver." (2) For it is again said by Him: "Woe to those that have, and receive in hypocrisy; or who are able to support themselves, yet will receive of others: for both of them shall give an account to the Lord God in the day of judgment." But an orphan who, by reason of his youth, or he that by the feebleness of old age, or the incidence of a disease, or the bringing up of many children, receives alms, such a one shall not only not be blamed, but shall be commended: for he shall be esteemed an altar to God, and be honoured by God, because of his zealous and constant prayers for those that give to him; not receiving idly, but to the uttermost of his power recompensing what is given him by his prayer. Such a one therefore shall be blessed by God in eternal life. But he that hath, and receives in hypocrisy or through idleness, instead of working and assisting others, shall be obnoxious to punishment before God, because he has snatched away the morsel of the needy. (3)
OF THE LOVE OF MONEY.
IV. For he that has money and does not bestow it upon others, nor use it himself, is like the serpent, which they say sleeps over the treasures; and of him is that scripture true which says, "He has gathered riches of which he shall not 434
taste;" (1) and they will be of no use to him when he perishes justly. For it says, "Riches will not profit in the day of wrath." For such a one has not believed in God, but in his own gold; esteeming that his God, and trusting therein. Such a one is a dissembler of the truth, an accepter of persons, unfaithful, cheating, fearful, unmanly, light, of no value, a complainer, ever in pain, his own enemy, and nobody's friend. Such a one's money shall perish, and a man that is a stranger shall consume it, either by theft while he is alive, or by inheritance when he is dead. "For riches unjustly gotten shall be vomited up." (2)
WITH WHAT FEAR MEN OUGHT TO PARTAKE OF THE LORD'S OBLATIONS.
V. We exhort, therefore, the widows and orphans to partake of those things that are bestowed upon them with all fear, and all pious reverence, and to return thanks to God who gives food to the needy, and to lift up their eyes to Him. For, says He, "Which of you shall eat, or who shall drink without Him? For He openeth His hand, and filleth every living thing with His kindness: giving wheat to the young men, and wine to the maidens, and oil for the joy of the living, grass for the cattle, and green herb for the service of men, flesh for the wild beasts, seeds for the birds, and suitable food for all creatures." (3) Wherefore the Lord says: (4) "Consider the fowls of heaven, (5) that they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns, and your Father feedeth them. Are not ye much better than they? Be not therefore solicitous, saying, What shall we eat? or what shall we drink? For your Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things." (6) Since ye therefore enjoy such a providential care from Him, and are partakers of the good things that are derived from Him, you ought to return praise to Him that receives the orphan and the widow, to Almighty God, through His beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord; through whom (7) glory be to God in spirit and truth for ever. Amen.
WHOSE OBLATIONS ARE TO BE RECEIVED, AND WHOSE NOT TO BE RECEIVED.
VI. Now the bishop ought to know whose oblations he ought to receive, and whose he ought not. For he is to avoid corrupt dealers, and not receive their gifts. "For, a corrupt dealer. shall not be justified from sin." (8)For of them it was that Isaiah reproached lsrael, and said, "Thy corrupt dealers mingle wine with water." (9) He is also to avoid fornicators, for "thou shall not offer the hire of an harlot to the Lord." (10) He is also to avoid extortioners, and such as covet other men's goods, and adulterers; for the sacrifices of such as these are abominable with God. Also those that oppress the widow and overbear the orphan, and fill prisons with the innocent, and abuse their own servants wickedly, I mean with stripes, and hunger, and hard service, nay, destroy whole cities; do thou, O bishop, avoid such as these, and their odious oblations. Thou shalt also refuse rogues, and such pleaders that plead on the side of injustice, and idol-makers, and thieves, and unjust publicans, and those that deceive by false balances and deceitful measures, and a soldier who is a false accuser and not content with his wages, but does violence to the needy, a murderer, a cut-throat, and an unjust judge, a subverter of causes, him that lies in wait for men, a worker of abominable wickedness, a drunkard, a blasphemer, a sodomite, an usurer, and every one that is wicked and opposes the will of God. For the Scripture says that all such as these are abominable with God. For those that receive from such persons, and thereby support the widows and orphans, shall be obnoxious to the judgment-seat of God; as Adonias the prophet, in the book of Kings, when he disobeyed God, and both "eat bread and drank water in the place which the Lord had forbid him," (11) because of the impiety of Jeroboam, was slain by a lion. For the bread which is distributed to the widows from labour is better, though it be short and little, than that from injustice and false accusation, though it be much and fine. For the Scripture says: "Better is a little to the righteous, than much riches of the sinners." (12) Now, although a widow, who eats and is filled from the impious, pray for them, she shall not be heard. For God, who knows the heart, with judgment has declared concerning the impious, saying, "If Moses and Samuel stand before my face in their behalf, I will not hear them;" (13) and, "Pray thou not for this people, and do not ask mercy for them, and do not intercede with me for them, for I will not hear thee." (14)
THAT THE OBLIGATIONS OF THE UNWORTHY, WHILE THEY ARE SUCH, DO NOT ONLY NOT PROPITIATE GOD, BUT ON THE CONTRARY PROVOKE HIM TO INDIGATION.
VII. And not these only, but those that are in sin and have not repented, will only not be 435
heard when they pray, but will provoke God to anger, as putting Him in mind of their own wickedness. Avoid therefore such ministrations, as you would the price of a dog and the hire of an harlot; for both of them are forbidden by the laws. For neither did Elisha receive the presents which were brought by Hazael, (1) nor Ahijah those from Jeroboam; (2) but if the prophets of God did not admit of presents from the impious, it is reasonable, O bishops, that neither should you. Nay, when Simon the magician offered money to me Peter and John, (3) and tried to obtain the invaluable grace by purchase, we did not admit it, but bound him with everlasting maledictions, because he thought to possess the gift of God, not by a pious mind towards God, but by the price of money. Avoid therefore such oblations to God's altar as are Hot from a good conscience. For says He: "Abstain from all injustice, and thou shalt not fear, and trembling shall not come nigh thee." (4)
THAT IT IS BETTER TO AFFORD, THOUGH IT BE INCONSIDERABLE AND FEW, CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE WIDOWS FROM OUR OWN LABOURS, THAN THOSE WHICH ARE MANY AND LARGE RECEIVED FROM THE UNGODLY; FOR IT IS BETTER TO PERISH BY FAMINE THAN TO RECEIVE AN OBLATION FROM THE UNGODLY.
VIII. But if ye say that those who give alms are such as these, and if we do not receive from them, whence shall we administer to the widows? And whence shall the poor among the people be maintained? Ye shall hear from us, that therefore have ye received the gift of the Levites, the oblations of your people, that ye might have enough for yourselves, and for those that are in want; and that ye might not be so straitened as to receive from the wicked. But if the churches be so straitened, it is better to perish than to receive anything from the enemies of God, to the reproach and abuse of His friends. For of such as these the prophet speaks: "Let not the oil of a sinner moisten my head." (5) Do ye therefore examine such persons, and receive from such as walk holily, and supply the afflicted. But receive not from those that are excommunicated, until they are thought worthy to become the members of the Church. But if a gift be wanting, inform the brethren, and make a collection from them, and thence minister to the orphans and widows in righteousness.
THAT THE PEOPLE OUGHT TO BE EXHORTED BY THE PRIEST TO DO GOOD TO THE NEEDY, AS SAYS SOLOMON THE WISE.
IX. Say unto the people under thee what Solomon the wise says: "Honour the Lord out of thy just labours, and pay thy first-fruits to Him out of thy fruits of righteousness, that thy garners may be filled with fulness of wheat, and thy presses may burst out with wine." (6) Therefore maintain and clothe those that are in want from the righteous labour of the faithful. And such sums of money as are collected from them in the manner aforesaid, appoint to be laid out in the redemption of the saints, the deliverance of slaves, and of captives, and of prisoners, and of those that have been abused, and of those that have been condemned by tyrants to single combat and death on account of the name of Christ. For the Scripture says: "Deliver those that are led to death, and redeem those that are ready to be slain, do not spare." (7)
A CONSTITUTION, THAT IF ANY ONE OF THE UNGODLY BY FORCE WILL CAST MONEY TO THE PRIESTS, THEY SPEND IT IN WOOD AND COALS, BUT NOT IN FOOD.
X. But if at any time you be forced unwillingly to receive money from any ungodly person, lay it out in wood and coals, that so neither the widow nor the orphan may receive any of it, or be forced to buy with it either meat or drink, which it is unfit to do. For it is reasonable that such gifts of the ungodly should be fuel for the fire, and not food for the pious. And this method is plainly appointed by the law, (8) when it calls a sacrifice kept too long a thing not fit to be eaten, and commands it to be consumed with fire. For such oblations are not evil in their nature, but on account of the mind of those that bring them. And this we ordain, that we may not reject those that come to us, as knowing that the common conversation of the pious has often been very profitable to the ungodly, but religious communion with them is alone hurtful. And so much, beloved, shall suffice to have spoken to you in order to your security.
SEC. II.--ON DOMESTIC AND SOCIAL LIFE. OF PARENTS AND CHILDREN.
XI. Ye fathers, educate your children in the Lord, bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; and teach them such trades as are agreeable and suitable to the word, lest 436
they by such opportunity become extravagant, and continue without punishment from their parents, and so get relaxation before their time, and go astray from that which is good. Wherefore be not afraid to reprove them, and to teach them wisdom with severity. For your corrections will not kill them, but rather preserve them. As Solomon says somewhere in the book of Wisdom: "Chasten thy son, and he will refresh thee; so wilt thou have good hope of him. Thou verily shalt smite him with the rod, and shall deliver his soul from death." (1) And again, says the same Solomon thus, "He that spareth his rod, hateth his son;" (2) and afterwards, "Beat his sides whilst he is an infant, lest he be hardened and disobey thee." (3) He, therefore, that neglects to admonish and instruct his own son, hates his own child. Do you therefore teach your children the word of the Lord. Bring them under with cutting stripes, and make them subject from their infancy, teaching them the Holy Scriptures, which are Christian and divine, and delivering to them every sacred writing, "not giving them such liberty that they get the mastery," (4) and act against your opinion, not permitting them to club together for a treat with their equals. For so they will be turned to disorderly courses, and will fall into fornication; and if this happen by the carelessness of their parents, those that begat them will be guilty of their souls. For if the offending children get into the company of debauched persons by the negligence of those that begat them, they will not be punished alone by themselves; but their parents also will be condemned on their account. For this cause endeavour, at the time when they are of an age fit for marriage, to join them in wedlock, and settle them together, test in the heat and fervour of their age their course of life become dissolute, and you be required to give an account by the Lord God in the day of judgment.
OF SERVANTS AND MASTERS.
XII. But as to servants, what can we say more than that the slave bring a good will to his master, with the fear of God, although he be impious and wicked, (5) but yet not to yield any compliance as to his worship? And let the master love his servant, although he be his superior. Let him consider wherein they are equal, even as he is a man. And let him that has a believing master (6) love him both as his master, and as of the same faith, and as a father, but still with the preservation of his authority as his master: "not as an eye-servant, but as a lover of his master; as knowing that God will recompense to him for his subjection." (7) In like manner, let a master who has a believing servant love him as a son or as a brother, on account of their communion in the faith, but still preserving the difference of a servant.
IN WHAT THINGS WE OUGHT TO BE SUBJECT TO THE RULERS OF THIS WORLD.
XIII. Be ye Subject to all royal power and dominion in things which are pleasing to God, as to the ministers of God, and the punishers of the ungodly. (8) Render all the fear that is due to them, all offerings, all customs, all honour, gifts, and taxes. (9) For this is God's command, that l you owe nothing to any one but the pledge of love, which God has commanded by Christ. (10)
XIV. Concerning virginity we have received no commandment; (11) but we leave it to the power of those that are willing, as a vow: exhorting them so far in this matter that they do not promise anything rashly; since Solomon says, "It is better not to vow, than to vow and not pay." (12) Let such a virgin, therefore, be holy in body and soul, as the temple of God, (13) as the house of Christ, as the habitation of the Holy Spirit. For she that vows ought to do such works as are suitable to her vow; and to show that her vow is real, and made on account of leisure for piety, not to cast a reproach on marriage. Let her not be a gadder abroad, nor one that rambles about unseasonably; not double-minded, but grave, continent, sober, pure, avoiding the conversation of many, and especially of those that are of ill reputation. (14)
CONSTITUTIONS OF THE HOLY APOSTLES
SEC. I.--CONCERNING THE MARTYRS.
THAT IT IS REASONABLE FOR THE FAITHFUL TO SUPPLY THE WANTS OF THOSE WHO ARE AFFLICTED FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST BY THE UNBELIEVERS, ACCORDING TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE LORD.
I. IF any Christian, on account of the name of Christ, and love and faith towards God, be condemned by the ungodly to the games, to the beasts, or to the mines, do not ye overlook him; but send to him from your labour and your very sweat for his sustenance, and for a reward to the soldiers, that he may be eased and be taken care of; that, as far as lies in your power, your blessed brother may not be afflicted: for he that is condemned for the name of the Lord God is an holy martyr, a brother of the Lord, the son of the Highest, a receptacle of the Holy Spirit, by whom every one of the faithful has received the illumination of the glory of the holy Gospel, by being vouchsafed the incorruptible crown, and the testimony of Christ's sufferings, and the fellowship of His blood, to be made conformable to the death of Christ for the adoption of children. For this cause do you, all ye of the faithful, by your bishop, minister to the saints of your substance and of your labour. But if any one has not, let him fast a day, and set apart that, and order it for the saints. But if any one has superfluities, let him minister more to them according to the proportion of his ability. But if he can possibly sell all his livelihood, and redeem them out of prison, he will be blessed, and a friend of Christ. For if he that gives his goods to the poor be perfect, supposing his knowledge of divine things, much more is he so that does it on account of the martyrs. For such a one is worthy of God, and will fulfil His will by supplying those who have confessed Him before nations and kings, and the children of Israel; concerning whom our Lord declared, saying: "Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father." (1) And if these be such as to be attested to by Christ before His Father, you ought not to be ashamed to go to them in the prisons. For if you do this, it will be esteemed to you for a testimony, because the real trial was to them a testimony; and your readiness will be so to you, as being partakers of their combat: for the Lord speaks somewhere to such as these, saying: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungry, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer, and say, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, and fed Thee? or thirsty, and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee naked, and clothed Thee? or sick, and visited Thee? When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? or in prison, and came unto Thee? And He will answer and say unto them, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. And these shall go away into life everlasting. Then shall He say unto them on His left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer and say, Lord when saw we Thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee? Then shall He answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have not done it unto one of the least of these, neither have ye done it unto me. And these shall go away unto everlasting punishment." (2)
THAT WE ARE TO AVOID INTERCOURSE WITH FALSE BRETHREN WHEN THEY CONTINUE IN THEIR WICKEDNESS.
II. But if any one who calls himself a brother is seduced by the evil one, and acts wickedness, and is convicted and condemned to death as an adulterer, or a murderer, depart from him, that ye may be secure, and none of you may be suspected as a partner in such an abominable practice; and that no evil report may be spread abroad, as if all Christians took a pleasure in unlawful actions. Wherefore keep far from them. But do you assist with all diligence those that for the sake of Christ are abused by the ungodly and shut up in prison, or who are given over to death, or bonds, or banishment, in order to deliver your fellow-members from wicked hands. And if any one who accompanies with them is caught, and falls into misfortune, he is blessed, because he is partaker with the martyr, and is one that imitates the sufferings of Christ; for we ourselves also, when we oftentimes received stripes from Caiaphas, and Alexander, and Annas, for Christ's sake, "went out rejoicing that we were counted worthy to suffer such things for our Saviour." (1) Do you also rejoice when ye suffer such things, for ye shall be blessed in that day. (2)
THAT WE OUGHT TO AFFORD AN HELPING HAND TO SUCH AS ARE SPOILED FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST, ALTHOUGH WE SHOULD INCUR DANGER OURSELVES.
III. Receive also those that are persecuted on account of the faith, and who "fly from city to city" (3) on account of the Lord's commandment; and assist them as martyrs, rejoicing that ye are made partakers of their persecution, as knowing that they are esteemed blessed by the Lord; for Himself says: "Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, because your reward is great in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before us." (4) And again: "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you." (5) And afterwards: "If they persecute you in this city, flee ye to another. For in the world ye have tribulation: for they shall deliver you into the synagogues; and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, and for a testimony to them." (6) And, "He that endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved." (7) For he that is persecuted for the sake of the faith, and bears witness in regard to Him, Christ, and endures, is truly a man of God.
THAT IT IS AN HORRIBLE AND DESTRUCTIVE THING TO DENY CHRIST.
IV. But he that denies himself to be a Christian, that he may not be hated of men, and so loves his own life more than he does the Lord, in whose hand his breath is, is wretched and miserable, as being detestable and abominable, who desires to be the friend of men, but is the enemy of God, having no longer his portion with the saints, but with those that are accursed; choosing instead of the kingdom of the blessed, that eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels: not being any longer hated by men, but rejected by God, and cast out from His presence. For of such a one our Lord declared, saying: "Whosoever shall deny me before men, and shall be ashamed of my name, I also will deny and be ashamed of him before my Father which is in heaven." (8) And again He speaks thus to us ourselves, His disciples: "He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own souL? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (9) And afterwards: "Fear not them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (10)
THAT WE OUGHT TO IMITATE CHRIST IN SUFFERING, AND WITH ZEAL TO FOLLOW HIS PATIENCE.
V. Every one therefore who learns any art, when he sees his master by his diligence and skill perfecting his art, does himself earnestly endeavour to make what he takes in hand like to it. If he is not able, he is not perfected in his work. We therefore who have a Master, our Lord Jesus Christ, why do we not follow His doctrine?--since He renounced repose, pleasure, glory, riches, pride, the power of revenge, His mother and brethren, nay, and moreover His own life, on account of His piety towards His Father, and His love to us the race of mankind; and suffered not only persecution and stripes, reproach and mockery, but also crucifixion, that He might save the penitent, both Jews and Gentiles. If therefore He for our sakes renounced His repose, was not ashamed of the cross, and did not esteem death inglorious, why do not we imitate His sufferings, and renounce on His account even our own life, with that patience which He gives us? For He did all for our sakes, but we do it for our own sakes: for He does not stand in need of us, but we stand in need of His mercy. He only requires the sincerity and readiness of our faith, as the Scripture says: "If thou beest righteous, what doest thou give to Him? or what will He receive at thy hand? Thy wickedness is to a man like thyself, and thy righteousness to a son of man." (1)
THAT A BELIEVER OUGHT NEITHER RASHLY TO RUN INTO DANGER THROUGH SECURITY, NOR TO BE OVER-TIMOROUS THROUGH PUSILLANIMITY, BUT TO FLY AWAY FOR FEAR; YET THAT IF HE DOES FALL INTO THE ENEMY'S HAND, TO STRIVE EARNESTLY, UPON ACCOUNT OF THE CROWN THAT IS LAID UP FOR HIM.
VI. Let us therefore renounce our parents, and kinsmen, and friends, and wife, and children, and possessions, and all the enjoyments of life, when any of these things become an impediment to piety. For we ought to pray that we may not enter into temptation; but if we be called to martyrdom, with constancy to confess His precious name, and if on this account we be punished, let us rejoice, as hastening to immortality. When we are persecuted, let us not think it strange; let us not love the present world, nor the praises which come from men, nor the glory and honour of rulers, according as some of the Jews wondered at the mighty works of our Lord, yet did not believe on Him, for fear of the high priests and the rest of the rulers: "For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God." (2) But now, by confessing a good confession, we not only save ourselves, but we confirm those who are newly illuminated, and strengthen the faith of the catechumens. But if we remit any part of our confession, and deny godliness by the faintness of our persuasion, and the fear of a very short punishment, we not only deprive ourselves of everlasting glory, but we shall also become the causes of the perdition of others; and shall suffer double punishment, as affording suspicion, by our denial that that truth which we gloried in so much before is an erroneous doctrine. Wherefore neither let us be rash and hasty to thrust ourselves into dangers, for the Lord says: "Pray that ye fall not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (3) Nor let us, when we do fall into dangers, be fearful or ashamed of our profession.
For if a person, by the denial of his own hope, which is Jesus the Son of God, should be delivered from a temporary death, and the next day should fall dangerously sick upon his bed, with a distemper in his bowels, his stomach, or his head, or any of the incurable diseases, as a consumption, or gangrene, or looseness, or iliac passion, or dropsy, or colic, and has a sudden catastrophe, and departs this life; is not he deprived of the things present, and loses those eternal? Or rather, he is within the verge of eternal punishment, "and goes into outer darkness, where is weeping and gnashing of teeth." (4) But let him who is vouchsafed the honour of martyrdom rejoice with joy in the Lord, as obtaining thereby so great a crown, and departing out of this life by his confession. Nay, though he be trot a catechumen, let him depart without trouble; for his suffering for Christ will be to him a more genuine baptism, because he does really die with Christ, but the rest only in a figure. Let him therefore rejoice in the imitation of his Master, since is it thus ordained: "Let every one be perfect, as his Master is." (5) Now his and our Master, Jesus the Lord, was smitten for our sake: He underwent reproaches and revilings with long-suffering. He was spit upon, He was smitten on the face, He was buffeted; and when He had been scourged, He was nailed to the cross. He had vinegar and gall to drink; and when He had fulfilled all things that were written, He said to His God and Father, "Into Thy hands I commend my spirit." (6) Wherefore let him that desires to be His disciple earnestly follow His conflicts: let him imitate His patience, knowing that, although he be burned in the fire by men, he will suffer nothing, like the three children; (7) or if he does suffer anything, he shall receive a reward from the Lord, believing in the one and the only true God and Father, through Jesus Christ, the great High Priest, and Redeemer of our souls, and rewarder of our sufferings. To whom be glory for ever. Amen.
SEVERAL DEMONSTRATIONS CONCERNING THE RESURRECTION, CONCERNING THE SIBYL, AND WHAT THE STOICS SAY CONCERNING THE BIRD CALLED THE PHOENIX.
VII. For the Almighty God Himself will raise us up through our Lord Jesus Christ, according to His infallible promise, and grant us a resurrection with all those that have slept from the beginning of the world; and we shall then be such as we now are in our present form, without any defect or corruption. For we shall rise incorruptible: whether we die at sea, or are scattered on the earth, or are torn to pieces by wild beasts and birds, He will raise us by His own power; for the whole world is held together by the hand of God. Now He says: "An hair of your head shall not perish." (1) Wherefore He exhorts us, saying: "In your patience possess ye your souls." (2) But as concerning the resurrection of the dead, and the recompense of reward for the martyrs, Gabriel speaks to Daniel: "And many of them that sleep shall arise out of the dust of the earth, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that understand shall shine as the sun, and as the firmament, and as the stars." (3) Therefore the most holy Gabriel foretold that the saints should shine like the stars: for His sacred name did witness to them, that they might understand the truth. Nor is a resurrection only declared for the martyrs, but for all men, righteous and unrighteous, godly and ungodly, that every one may receive according to his desert. For God, says the Scripture, "will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil." (4) This resurrection was not believed by the Jews, when of old they said, "Our bones are withered, and we are gone." (5) To whom God answered, and said: "Behold, I open your graves, and will bring you out of them; and I will put my Spirit into you, and ye shall live: and ye shall know that I the Lord have spoken it, and will do it." And He says by Isaiah: "The dead shall rise, and those that are in the graves shall be raised up. And those that rest in the earth shall rejoice, for the dew which is from Thee shall be healing to them." (6) There are indeed many and various things said concerning the resurrection, and concerning the continuance of the righteous in glory, and concerning the punishment of the ungodly, their fall, rejection, condemnation, shame, "eternal fire, and endless worm." (7) Now that, if it had pleased Him that all men should be immortal, it was in His power, He showed in the examples of Enoch and Elijah, while He did not suffer them to have any experience of death. Or if it had pleased Him in every generation to raise those that died, that this also He was able to do He hath made manifest both by Himself and by others; as when He raised the widow's son (8) by Elijah, and the Shunammite's son (9) by Elisha.
But we are persuaded that death is not a retribution of punishment, because even the saints have undergone it; nay, even the Lord of the saints, Jesus Christ, the life of them that believe, and the resurrection of the dead. Upon this account, therefore, according to the ancient practice, for those who live in the great city, after the combats He brings a dissolution for a while, that, when He raises up every one, He may either reject him or crown him. For He that made the body of Adam out of the earth will raise up the bodies of the rest, and that of the first man, after their dissolution, (to pay what is owing to the rational nature of man; we mean the continuance in being through all ages. He, therefore, who brings on the dissolution, will Himself procure the resurrection. And He that said, "The Lord took dust from the ground, and formed man, and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul," (10) added after the disobedience, "Earth thou art, and unto earth shalt thou return;" (11) the same promised us a resurrection afterwards. (12)) For says He: "All that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live." (13) Besides these arguments, we believe there is to be a resurrection also from the resurrection of our Lord. For it is He that raised Lazarus, when he had been in the grave four days, (14) and Jairus' daughter, (15) and the widow's son. (16) It is He that raised Himself by the command of the Father in the space of three days, who is the pledge of our resurrection. For says He: "I am the resurrection and the life." (17) Now He that brought Jonas (18) in the space of three days, alive and unhurt, out of the belly of the whale, and the three children out of the furnace of Babylon, and Daniel out of the mouth of the lions, (19) does not want power to raise us up also. But if the Gentiles laugh at us, and disbelieve our Scriptures, let at least their own prophetess Sibylla (20) oblige them to believe, who says thus to them in express words:- "But when all things shall be reduced to dust and ashes, And the immortal God who kindled the fire shall have quenched it, God shall form those bones and that ashes into a man again, And shall place mortal men again as they were before.
And then shall be the judgment, wherein God will do justice, And judge the world again. But as many mortals as have sinned through impiety Shall again be covered under the earth; But so many as have been pious shall live again in the world.
When God puts His Spirit into them, and gives those at once that are godly both life and favour, Then shall all see themselves." (1) If, therefore, this prophetess confesses the resurrection, and does not deny the restoration of all things, and distinguishes the godly from the ungodly, it is in vain for them to deny our doctrine. Nay, indeed, they say they can show a resemblance of the resurrection, while they do not themselves believe the things they declare: for they say that there is a bird single in its kind which affords a copious demonstration of the resurrection, which they say is without a mate, and the only one in the creation. They call it a phoenix, and relate that every five hundred years it comes into Egypt, to that which is called the altar of the sun, and brings with it a great quantity of cinnamon, and cassia, and balsam-wood, and standing towards the east, as they say, and praying to the sun, of its own accord is burnt, and becomes dust; but that a worm arises again out of those ashes, and that when the same is warmed it is formed into a new-born phoenix; and when it is able to fly, it goes to Arabia, which is beyond the Egyptian countries. If, therefore, as even themselves say, a resurrection is exhibited by the means of an irrational bird, wherefore do they vainly disparage our accounts, when we profess that He who by His power brings that into being which was not in being before, is able to restore this body, and raise it up again after its dissolution? For on account of this full assurance of hope we undergo stripes, and persecutions, and deaths. Otherwise we should to no purpose undergo such things if we had not a full assurance of these promises, whereof we profess ourselves to be the preachers. As, therefore, we believe Moses when he says, "In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth;" (2) and we know that He did not want matter, but by His will alone brought those things into being which Christ was commanded to make; we mean the heaven, the earth, the sea, the light, the night, the day, the luminaries, the stars, the fowls, the fishes, and four-footed beasts, the creeping things, the plants, and the herbs; so also will He raise all men up by His will, as not wanting any assistance. For it is the work of the same power to create the world and to raise the dead. And then He made man, who was not a man before, of different parts, giving to him a soul made out of nothing. But now He will restore the bodies, which have been dissolved, to the souls that are still in being: for the rising again belongs to things laid down, not to things which have no being. He therefore that made the original bodies out of nothing, and fashioned various forms of them, will also again revive and raise up those that are dead. For He that formed man in the womb out of a little seed, and created in him a soul which was not in being before,--as He Himself somewhere speaks to Jeremiah, "Before I formed thee in the womb I knew thee;" (3) and elsewhere, "I am the Lord who established the heaven, and laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the spirit of man in him," (4)--will also raise up all men, as being His workmanship; as also the divine Scripture testifies that God said to Christ, His only-begoten, "Let us make man after our image, and after our likeness. And God made man: after the image of God made He him; male and female made He them." (5) And the most divine and patient Job, of whom the Scripture says that it is written, that "he was to rise again with those whom the Lord raises up," (6) speaks to God thus: "Hast not Thou milked me like milk, and curdled me like cheese? Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews. Thou hast granted me life and favour, and Thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. Having these things within me, I know that Thou canst do all things, and that nothing is impossible with Thee." (7) Wherefore also (8) our Saviour and Master Jesus Christ says, that "what is impossible with men is possible with God." (9) And David, the beloved of God, says: "Thine hands have made me, and fashioned me." (10) And again: "Thou knowest my frame." (11) And afterward: "Thou hast fashioned me, and laid Thine hand upon me. The knowledge of Thee is declared to be too wonderful for me; it is very great, I cannot attain unto it." (12) "Thine eyes did see my substance, being yet imperfect; and all men shall be written in Thy book." (13) Nay, and Isaiah says in his prayer to Him: "We are the clay, and Thou art the framer of us." (14) If, therefore, man be His workmanship, made by Christ, by Him most certainly will he after he is dead be raised again, with intention either of being crowned for his good actions or punished for his transgressions. But if He, being the legislator, judges with righteousness; as He punishes the ungodly, so does He do good to and saves the faithful. And those saints who for His sake have been slain by men, "some of them He will make light as the stars, and make others bright as the luminaries," (15) as Gabriel said to Daniel.
All we of the faithful, therefore, who are the disciples of Christ, believe His promises. For He that has promised it cannot lie; as says the blessed prophet David: "The Lord is faithful in all His words, and holy in all His works." (1) For He that framed for Himself a body out of a virgin, is also the Former of other men. And He that raised Himself from the dead, will also raise again all that are laid down. He who raises wheat out of the ground with many stalks from one grain, He who makes the tree that is cut down send forth fresh branches, He that made Aaron's dry rod put forth buds, (2) will raise us up in glory; He that raised Him up that had the palsy whole, (3) and healed him that had the withered hand, (4) He that supplied a defective part to him that was born blind from clay and spittle, (5) will raise us up; He that satisfied five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes, and caused a remainder of twelve baskets, (6) and out of water made wine, (7) and sent a piece of money out of a fish's mouth (8) by me Peter to those that demanded tribute, will raise the dead. For we testify all these things concerning Him, and the prophets testify the other. We who have eaten and drunk with Him, and have been spectators of His wonder fill works, and of His life, and of His conduct, and of His words, and of His sufferings, and of His death, and of His resurrection from the dead, and who associated with Him forty days after His resurrection, (9) and who received a command from Him to preach the Gospel to all the world, and to make disciples of all nations, (10) and to baptize them into His death by the authority of the God of the universe, who is His Father, and by the testimony of the Spirit, who is His Comforter,--we teach you all these things which He appointed us by His constitutions, before "He was received up in our sight into heaven," (11) to Him that sent Him. And if you will believe, you shall be happy; but if you will not believe, we shall be found innocent, and clear from your incredulity.
CONCERNING JAMES THE BROTHER OF THE LORD, AND STEPHEN THE FIRST MARTYR.
VIII. Now concerning the martyrs, we say to you that they are to be had in all honour with you, as we honour the blessed James the bishop, and the holy Stephen our fellow-servant. For these are reckoned blessed by God, and are honoured by holy men, who were pure from all transgressions, immoveable when tempted to sin, or persuaded from good works, without dispute deserving encomiums: of whom also David speaks, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His holy ones;" (12) and Solomon says, "The memory of the just is with encomiums:" (13) of whom also the prophet speaks, "Righteous men are taken away." (14)
CONCERNING FALSE MARTYRS.
IX. These things we have said concerning those that in truth have been martyrs for Christ, but not concerning false martyrs, concerning whom the oracle speaks, "The name of the ungodly is extinguished." (13) For "a faithful witness will not lie, but an unjust witness inflames lies." (15) For he that departs this life in his testimony without lying, for the sake of the truth, is a faithful martyr, worthy to be believed in such things wherein he strove for the word of piety by his own blood.
SEC. II.--ALL ASSOCIATION WITH IDOLS IS TO BE AVOIDED.
AMORAL ADMONITION, THAT WE ARE TO ABSTAIN FROM VAIN TALKING, OBSCENE TALKING, JESTING, DRUNKENNESS, LASCIVIOUSNESS, AND LUXURY.
X. Now we exhort you, brethren and fellow-servants, to avoid vain talk and obscene discourses, and jestings, drunkenness, lasciviousness, luxury, unbounded passions, with foolish discourses, since we do not permit you so much as on the Lord's days, which are days of joy, to speak or act anything unseemly; for the Scripture somewhere says: "Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice unto Him with trembling." (16) Even your very rejoicings therefore ought to be done with fear and trembling: for a Christian who is faithful ought neither to repeat an heathen hymn nor an obscene song, because he will be obliged by that hymn to make mention of the idolatrous names of demons; and instead of the Holy Spirit, the wicked one will enter into him.
AN ADMONITION INSTRUCTING MEN TO AVOID THE ABOMINABLE SIN OF IDOLATRY.
XI. You are also forbidden to swear by them, or to utter their abominable names through your mouth, and to worship them, or fear them as gods; for they are not gods, but either wicked demons or the ridiculous contrivances of men. For somewhere God says concerning the Israelites: "They have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods." (17) And afterwards: "I will take away the names of your idols out of their mouth." (1) And elsewhere: "They have provoked me to jealousy with them that are no gods; they have provoked me to anger with their idols." (2) And in all the Scriptures these things are forbidden by the Lord God.
THAT WE OUGHT NOT TO SING AN HEATHEN OR AN OBSCENE SONG, NOR TO SWEAR BY AN IDOL BECAUSE IT IS AN IMPIOUS THING, AND CONTRARY TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.
XII. Nor do the legislators give us only prohibitions concerning idols, but also warn us concerning the luminaries, not to swear by them, nor to serve them. For they say: "Lest, when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, thou shouldest be seduced to worship them." (3) And elsewhere: "Do not ye learn to walk after the ways of the heathen, and be not afraid of the signs of heaven." (4) For the stars and the luminaries were given to men to shine upon them, but not for worship; although the Israelites, by the perverseness of their temper, "worshipped the creature instead of the Creator," (5) and acted insultingly to their Maker, and admired the creature more than is fit.
And sometimes they made a calf, as in the wilderness; (6) sometimes they worshipped Baalpeor; (7) another time Baal, (8) and Thamuz, (9) and Astarte of Sidon; (10) and again Moloch and Chamos;
(11) another time the sun,
(12) as it is written in Ezekiel; nay, and besides, brute creatures, as among the Egyptians Apis, and the Mendesian goat, and gods of silver and gold, as in Judea. On account of all which things He threatened them, and said by the prophet: "Is it a small thing to the house of Judah to do these abominations which they have done? For they have filled the land with their wickedness, to provoke me to anger: and, behold, they arc as those that mock. And I will act with anger. Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have mercy; and they shall cry in mine ears with a great voice, and I will not hearken unto them."
Consider, beloved, how many things the Lord declares against idolaters, and the worshippers of the sun and moon. Wherefore it is the duty of a man of God, as he is a Christian, not to swear by the sun, or by the moon, or by the stars; nor by the heaven, nor by the earth, by any of the elements, whether small or great. For if our Master charged us not to swear by the true God, that our word might be firmer than an oath, nor by heaven itself, for that is a piece of heathen wickedness, nor by Jerusalem, nor by the sanctuary of God, nor the altar, nor the gift, nor the gilding of the altar, nor one's own head, (14) for this custom is a piece of Judaic corruption, and on that account was forbidden; and if He exhorts the faithful that their yea be yea, and their nay, nay, and says that "what is more than these is of the evil one," how much more blameable are those who appeal to deities falsely so called as the objects of an oath, and who glorify imaginary beings instead of those that are real, whom God for their perverseness "delivered over to foolishness, to do those things that are not convenient!" (15)
SEC. III.--ON FEAST DAYS AND FAST DAYS.
A CATALOGUE OF THE FEASTS OF THE LORD WHICH ARE TO BE KEPT, AND WHEN EACH OF THEM OUGHT TO BE OBSERVED.
XIII. Brethren, observe the festival days; and first of all the birthday which you are to celebrate on the twenty-fifth of the ninth month; after which let the Epiphany be to you the most honoured, in which the Lord made to you a display of His own Godhead, and let it take place on the sixth of the tenth month; after which the fast of Lent is to be observed by you as containing a memorial of our Lord's mode of life and legislation. But let this solemnity be observed before the fast of the passover, beginning from the second day of the week, and ending at the day of the preparation. After which solemnities, breaking off your fast, begin the holy week of the passover, fasting in the same all of you with fear and trembling, praying in them for those that are about to perish.
CONCERNING THE PASSION OF OUR LORD, AND WHAT WAS DONE ON EACH DAY OF HIS SUFFERINGS; AND CONCERNING JUDAS, AND THAT JUDAS WAS NOT PRESENT WHEN THE LORD DELIVERED THE MYSTERIES TO HIS DISCIPLES.
XIV. For they began to hold a council against the Lord on the second day of the week, in the first month, which is Xanthicus; and the deliberation continued on the third day of the week; but on the fourth day they determined to take away His life by crucifixion.
And Judas knowing this, who for a long time had been perverted,
but was then smitten by the devil himself with the love of money, although he had been long entrusted with the purse. (16)
and used to steal what was set apart for the needy, yet was he not cast off by the Lord, through much long-suffering; nay, and when we were once feasting with Him, being willing both to reduce him to his duty and instruct us in His own foreknowledge, He said: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you will betray me;" and every one of us saying, "Is it I?"
(1) And the Lord being silent, I, who was one of the twelve, and more beloved by Him than the rest, arose up from lying in His bosom. and besought Him to tell who it should be that should betray Him. Yet neither then did our good Lord declare His name, but gave two signs of the betrayer: one by saying, "he that dippeth with me in the dish;" a second, "to whom I shall give the sop when I have dipped it." Nay, although he himself said, "Master, is it I?" the Lord did not say Yes, but, "Thou hast said." And being willing to affright him in the matter, He said: "Woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for him if he had never been born. Who, when he had heard that, went his way, and said to the priests, What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you? And they bargained with him for thirty pieces of silver."
(2) And the scripture was fulfilled, which said, "And they took (
3) the thirty pieces of silver, the price of Him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value, and gave them for the house of the potter."
(4) And on the fifth day of the week, when we had eaten the passover with Him, and when Judas had dipped his hand into the dish, and received the sop, and was gone out by night, the Lord said to us: "The hour is come that ye shall be dispersed, and shall leave me alone;" (5) and every one vehemently affirming that they would not forsake Him, I Peter adding this promise, that I would even die with Him, He said, "Verily I say unto thee, Before the cock crows, thou shall thrice deny that thou knowest me." (6) And when He had delivered to us the representative mysteries of His precious body and blood, Judas not being present with us, He went out to the Mount of Olives, near the brook Cedron, where there was a garden; (7) and we were with Him, and sang an hymn according to the custom. (8) And being separated not far (9) from us, He prayed to His Father, saying: "Father, remove this cup away from me; yet not my will, but Thine be done." (10) And when He had done this thrice, while we out of despondency of mind were fallen asleep, He came and said: "The hour is come, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. And behold Judas, and with him a multitude of ungodly men," (11) to whom he shows the signal by which he was to betray Him--a deceitful kiss. But they, when they had received the signal agreed on, took hold of the Lord; and having bound Him, they led Him to the house of Caiaphas the high priest, wherein were assembled many, not the people, but a great rout, not an holy council, but an assembly of the wicked and council of the ungodly, who did many things against Him, and left no kind of injury untried, spitting upon Him, cavilling at Him, beating Him, smiting Him on the face, reviling Him, tempting Him, seeking vain divination instead of true prophecies from Him, calling Him a deceiver, a blasphemer, a transgressor of Moses, a destroyer of the temple, a taker away of sacrifices, an enemy to the Romans, an adversary to Caesar. And these reproaches did these bulls and dogs (12) in their madness cast upon Him, till it was very early in the morning, and then they lead Him away to Annas, who was father-in-law to Caiaphas; and when they had done the like things to Him there, it being the day of the preparation, they delivered Him to Pilate the Roman governor, accusing Him of many and great things, none of which they could prove. Whereupon the governor, as out of patience with them, said: "I find no cause against Him." (13) But they bringing two lying witnesses, wished to accuse the Lord falsely; but they being found to disagree, and so their testimony not conspiring together, they altered the accusation to that of treason, saying, "This fellow says that He is a king, and forbids to give tribute to Caesar." (14) And themselves became accusers, and witnesses, and judges, and authors of the sentence, saying, "Crucify Him, crucify Him;" (15) that it might be fulfilled which is written by the prophets concerning Him,
"Unjust witnesses were gathered together against me, and injustice lied to itself;" (16) and again, "Many dogs compassed me about, the assembly of the wicked laid siege against me;" (17) and elsewhere, "My inheritance became to me as a lion in a wood, and has sent forth her voice against me." (18) Pilate therefore, disgracing his authority by his pusillanimity, convicts himself of wickedness by regarding the multitude more than this just person, and bearing witness to Him that He was innocent, yet as guilty delivering Him up to the punishment of the cross, although the Romans had made laws that no man unconvicted should be put to death. But 445
the executioners took the Lord of glory and nailed Him to the cross, crucifying Him indeed at the sixth hour, but having received the sentence of His condemnation at the third hour. After this they gave to Him vinegar to drink, mingled with gall. Then they divided His garments by lot. Then they crucified two malefactors with Him, on each side one, that it might be fulfilled which was written: "They gave me gall to eat, and when I was thirsty they gave me vinegar to drink." (1) And again: "They divided my garment among themselves, and upon my vesture have they cast lots." (2) And in another place: "And I was reckoned with the transgressors." (3) Then there was darkness for three hours, from the sixth to the ninth, and again light in the evening; as it is written: "It shall not be day nor night, and at the evening there shall be light." (4) All which things, (5) when those malefactors saw that were crucified with Him the one of them reproached Him as though He was weak and unable to deliver Himself; but the other rebuked the ignorance of his fellow and turning to the Lord, as being enlightened by Him, and acknowledging who He was that suffered, he prayed that He would remember him in His kingdom hereafter. (6) He then presently granted him the forgiveness of his former sins, and brought him into paradise to enjoy the mystical good things; who also cried out about the ninth hour, and said to His Father: "My God! my God!
why hast Thou forsaken me?" (7) And a little afterward, when He had cried with a loud voice, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," (8) and had added, "Into Thy hands I commit my spirit," He gave up the ghost, (9) and was buried before sunset in a new sepulchre. But when the first day of the week dawned He arose from the dead, and fulfilled those things which before His passion He foretold to us, saying: "The Son of man must continue in the heart of the earth three days and three nights." (10) And when He was risen from the dead, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, then to Cleopas in the way, and after that to us His disciples, who had fled away for fear of the Jews, but privately were very inquisitive about Him. (11) But these things are also written in the Gospel.
OF THE GREAT WEEK, AND ON WHAT ACCOUNT THEY ENJOIN US TO FAST ON WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY.
XV. He therefore charged us Himself to fast these six days on account of the impiety and transgression of the Jews, commanding us withal to bewail over them, and lament for their perdition. For even He Himself "wept over them, because they knew not the time of their visitation." (12) But He commanded us to fast on the fourth and sixth days of the week; the former on account of His being betrayed, and the latter on account of His passion. But He appointed us to break our fast on the seventh day at the cock-crowing, but to fast on the Sabbath-day. Not that the Sabbath-day is a day of fasting, being the rest from the creation, but because we ought to fast on this one Sabbath only, while on this day the Creator was under the earth. For on their very feast-day they apprehended the Lord, thai that oracle might be fulfilled which says: "They placed their signs in the middle of their feast, and knew them not." (13) Ye ought therefore to bewail over them, because when the Lord came they did not believe on Him, but rejected His doctrine, judging themselves unworthy of salvation. You therefore are happy who once were not a people, but are now an holy nation, delivered from the deceit of idols, from ignorance, from impiety, who once had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy through your hearty obedience: for to you, the converted Gentiles, is opened the gate of life, who formerly were not beloved, but are now beloved; a people ordained for the possession of God, to show forth His virtues, concerning whom our Saviour said, "I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest to them that asked not after me. I said, Behold me, to a nation which did not call upon my name." (14) For when ye did not seek after Him, then were ye sought for by Him; and you who have believed in Him have hearkened to His call, and have left the madness of polytheism, and have fled to the true monarchy, to Almighty God, through Christ Jesus, and are become the completion of the number of the saved--"ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;" (15) as it is written in David, "A thousand (16) shall fall beside thee, and ten thousand at thy right hand;" (17) and again, "The chariots of God are by tens of thousands, and thousands of the prosperous." (18) But unto unbelieving lsrael
He says: "All the day long have I stretched out mine hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people, which go in a way that is not good, but after their own sins, a people provoking me before my face." (1)
AN ENUMERATION OF THE PROPHETICAL PREDICTIONS WHICH DECLARE CHRIST, WHOSE COMPLETION THOUGH THE JEWS SAW, YET OUT OF THE EVIL TEMPER OF THEIR MIND THEY DID NOT BELIEVE HE WAS THE CHRIST OF GOD, AND CONDEMNED THE LORD OF GLORY TO THE CROSS.
XVI. See how the people provoked the Lord by not believing in Him! Therefore He says: "They provoked the Holy Spirit, and He was turned to be their enemy." (2) For blindness is cast upon them, by reason of the wickedness of their mind, because when they saw Jesus they did not believe Him to be the Christ of God, who was before all ages (3) begotten of Him, His only-begotten Son, God the Word, whom they did not own through their unbelief, neither on account of His mighty works, nor yet on account of the prophecies which were written concerning Him. For that He was to be born of a virgin, they read this prophecy: "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emanuel." (4) "For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, whose government is upon His shoulders; and His name is called the Angel of His Great Council, the Wonderful Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Potentate, the Prince of Peace, the Father of the Future Age." (5) Now, that because of their exceeding great wickedness they would not believe in Him, the Lord shows in these words: "Who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?" (6) And afterward: "Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for the heart of this people is waxed gross." (7) Wherefore knowledge was taken from them, because seeing they overlooked, and hearing they heard not. But to you, the converted of the Gentiles, is the kingdom given, because you, who knew not God, have believed by preaching, and "have known Him, or rather are known of Him," (8) through Jesus, the Saviour and Redeemer of those that hope in Him.
For ye are translated from your former vain and tedious mode of life and have contemned the lifeless idols, and despised the demons, which are in darkness, and have run to the "true light," (9) and by it have "known the one and only true God and Father," (10) and so are owned to be heirs of His kingdom. For since ye have "been baptized into the Lord's death," (11) and into His resurrection, as "new-born babes," (12) ye ought to be wholly free from all sinful actions; "for you are not your own, but His that bought you" (13) with His own blood. For concerning the former Israel the Lord speaks thus, on account of their unbelief: "The kingdom of God shall be taken from them, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof;" (14) that is to say, that having given the kingdom to you, who were once far estranged from Him, He expects the fruits of your gratitude and probity. For ye are those that were once sent into the vineyard, and did not obey, but these they that did obey; (15) but you have repented of your denial, and you work therein now. But they, being uneasy on account of their own covenants, have not only left the vineyard uncultivated, but have also killed the stewards of the Lord of the vineyard, (16)--one with stones, another with the sword; one they sawed asunder, (17) another they slew in the holy place, "between the temple and the altar;" (18) nay, at last they "cast the Heir Himself out of the vineyard, and slew Him." (19) And by them He was rejected as an unprofitable stone, (20) but by you was received as the corner-stone. Wherefore He says concerning you: "A people whom I knew not have served me, and at the hearing of the ear have they obeyed me." (21)
HOW THE PASSOVER OUGHT TO BE CELEBRATED.
XVII. It is therefore your duty, brethren, who are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, to observe the days of the passover exactly, with all care, after the vernal equinox, lest ye be obliged to keep the memorial of the one passion twice in a year. Keep it once only in a year for Him that died but once.
Do not you yourselves compute, but keep it when your brethren of the circumcision do so: keep it together with them; and if they err in their computation, be not you concerned. Keep your nights of watching in the middle of the days of unleavened bread. And when the Jews are feasting, do you fast and wail over them, because an the day of their feast they crucified Christ; 447 and while they are lamenting and eating unleavened bread in bitterness, do you feast.
(1) But no longer be careful to keep the feast with the Jews, for we have now no communion with them; for they have been led astray in regard to the calculation itself, which they think they accomplish perfectly, that they may be led astray on every hand, and be fenced off from the truth.
But do you observe carefully the vernal equinox, which occurs on the twenty-second of the twelfth month, which is Dystros (March), observing carefully until the twenty-first of the moon, test the fourteenth of the moon shall fall on another week, and an error being committed, you should through ignorance celebrate the passover twice in the year, or celebrate the day of the resurrection of our Lord on any other day than a Sunday.
A CONSTITUTION CONCERNING THE GREAT PASSOVER WEEK.
XVIII. Do you therefore fast on the days of the passover, beginning from the second day of the week until the preparation, and the Sabbath, six days, making use of only bread, and salt, and herbs, and water for your drink; but do you abstain on these days from wine and flesh, for they are days of lamentation and not of feasting. Do ye who are able fast the day of the preparation and the Sabbath-day entirely, tasting nothing till the cock-crowing of the night; but if any one is not able to join them both together, at least let him observe the Sabbath-day; for the Lord says somewhere, speaking of Himself: "When the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, in those days shall they fast."
(2) In these days, therefore, He was taken from us by the Jews, falsely so named, and fastened to the cross, and "was numbered among the transgressors."
CONCERNING THE WATCHING ALL THE NIGHT OF THE GREAT SABBATH, AND CONCERNING THE DAY OF THE RESURRECTION.
XIX. Wherefore we exhort you to fast on those days, as we also fasted till the evening, when He was taken away from us; but on the rest of the days, before the day of the preparation, let every one eat at the ninth hour, or at the evening, or as every one is able.
But from the even of the fifth day till cock-crowing break your fast when it is daybreak of the first day of the week, which is the Lord's day.
From the even till cock-crowing keep awake, and assemble together in the church, watch and pray, and entreat God; reading, when you sit up all night, the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms, until cock-crowing, and baptizing your catechumens, and reading the Gospel with fear and trembling,
and speaking to the people such things as tend to their salvation: put an end to your sorrow, and beseech God that Israel may be converted, and that He will allow them place of repentance, and the remission of their impiety; for the judge, who was a stranger, "washed his hands, and said, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. But Israel cried out, His blood be on us, and on our children."
(4) And when Pilate said, "Shall I crucify your king? they cried out, We have no king but Caesar: crucify Him, crucify Him; for every, one that maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar." And, "If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend."
(5) And Pilate the governor and Herod the king commanded Him to be crucified; and that oracle was fulfilled which says, "Why did the Gentiles rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ;"
(6) and, "They cast away the Beloved, as a dead man, who is abominable."
(7) And since He was crucified on the day of the Preparation, and rose again at break of day on the Lord's day, the scripture was fulfilled which saith, "Arise, O God; judge the earth: for Thou shalt have an inheritance in all the nations;"
(8) and again, "I will arise, saith the Lord; I will put Him in safety, I will wax bold through Him;"
(9) and," But Thou, Lord, have mercy upon me, and raise me up again, and I shall requite them."
(10) For this reason do you also, now the Lord is risen, offer your sacrifice, concerning which He made a constitution by us, saying, "Do this for a remembrance of me;"
(11) and thenceforward leave off your fasting, and rejoice, and keep a festival, because Jesus Christ, the pledge of our resurrection, is risen from the dead. And let this be an everlasting ordinance till the consummation of the world, until the Lord come. For to Jews the Lord is still dead, but to Christians He is risen: to the former, by their unbelief; to the latter, by their full assurance of faith. For the hope in Him is immortal and eternal life. After eight days let there be another feast observed with honour, the eighth day itself, on which He gave me Thomas, who was hard of belief, full assurance, by showing me the print of the nails, and the wound made in His side by the spear.
(12) And again, from the first Lord's 448 day count forty days, from the Lord's day till the fifth day of the week, and celebrate the feast of the ascension of the Lord, whereon He finished all His dispensation and constitution, and returned to that God and Father that sent Him, and sat down at the right hand of power, and remains there until His enemies are put under His feet; who also will come at the consummation of the world with power and great glory, to judge the quick and the dead, and to recompense to every one according to his works. And then shall they see the beloved Son of God whom they pierced; (1) and when they know Him, they shall mourn for themselves, tribe by tribe, and their wives apart. (2)
A PROPHETIC PREDICTION CONCERNING CHRIST JESUS.
XX. For even now, on the tenth day of the month Gorpiaeus, when they assemble together, they read the Lamentations of Jeremiah, in which it is said, "The Spirit before our face, Christ the Lord was taken in their destructions;" (3) and Baruch, in whom it is written, "This is our God; no other shall be esteemed with Him. He found out every way of knowledge, and showed it to Jacob His son, and lsrael His beloved. Afterwards He was seen upon earth, and conversed with men." (4) And when they read them, they lament and bewail, as themselves suppose, that desolation which happened by Nebuchadnezzar; but, as the truth shows, they unwillingly make a prelude to that lamentation which will overtake them. But after ten days from the ascension, which from the first Lord's day is the fiftieth day, do ye keep a great festival: for on that day, at the third hour, the Lord Jesus sent on us the gift of the Holy Ghost, and we were filled with His energy, and we "spake with new tongues, as that Spirit did suggest to us;" (5) and we preached both to Jews and Gentiles, that He is the Christ of God, who is "determined by Him to be the Judge, of quick and dead." (6) To Him did Moses bear witness, and said: "The Lord received fire from the Lord, and rained it down." (7) Him did Jacob see as a man, and said: "I have seen God face to face, and my soul is preserved." (8) Him did Abraham entertain, and acknowledge to be the Judge, and his Lord. (9) Him did Moses see in the bush; (10) concerning Him did he speak in Deuteronomy: "A Prophet will the Lord your God raise up unto you out of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things, whatsoever He shall say unto you. And it shall be, that every soul that will not hear that Prophet, shall be destroyed from among his people." (11) Him did Joshua the son of Nun see, as the captain of the Lord's host, in armour, for their assistance against Jericho; to whom he fell down, and worshipped, as a servant does to his master. (12) Him Samuel knew as the "Anointed of God," (13) and thence named the priests and the kings the anointed. Him David knew, and sung an hymn concerning Him, "A song concerning the Beloved;" (14) and adds in his person, and says, "Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O Thou who art mighty in Thy beauty and renown: go on, and prosper, and reign, for the sake of truth, and meekness, and righteousness; and Thy right hand shall guide Thee after a wonderful manner. Thy darts are sharpened, O Thou that art mighty; the people shall fall under Thee in the heart of the king's enemies. Wherefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows."
Concerning Him also spake Solomon, as in His person: "The Lord created me the beginning of His ways, for His works: before the world He founded me, in the beginning before He made the earth, before the fountains of waters came, before the mountains were fastened; He begat me before all the hills." (15) And again: "Wisdom built herself an house." (16) Concerning Him also Isaiah said: "A Branch shall come out of the root of Jesse, and a Flower shall spring out of his root." And, "There shall be a root of Jesse; and He that is to rise to reign over the Gentiles, in Him shall the Gentiles trust." (17) And Zechariah says: " (18) Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, just, and having salvation; meek, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass." (19) Him Daniel describes as "the Son of man coming to the Father," (20) and receiving all judgment and honour from Him; and as "the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, and becoming a great mountain, and filling the whole earth," (21) dashing to pieces the many governments of the smaller countries, and the polytheism of gods, but preaching the one God, and ordaining the monarchy of the Romans. Concerning Him also did Jeremiah prophesy, saying: "The Spirit before His face, Christ the Lord, was taken in their snares: of whom we said, Under His shadow 449
we shall live among the Gentiles." (1) Ezekiel also, and the following prophets, affirm everywhere that He is the Christ, the Lord, the King, the Judge, the Lawgiver, the Angel of the Father, the only-begotten God. Him therefore do we also preach to you, and declare Him to be God the Word, who ministered to His God and Father for the creation of the universe. By believing in Him you shall live, but by disbelieving you shall be punished.
For "he that is disobedient to the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him." (2) Therefore, after you have kept the festival of Pentecost, keep one week more festival, and after that fast; for it is reasonable to rejoice for the gift of God, and to fast after that relaxation:
for both Moses and Elijah fasted forty days, and Daniel for "three weeks of days did not eat desirable bread, and flesh and wine did not enter into his mouth." (3) And blessed Hannah, when she asked for Samuel, said: "I have not drunk wine nor strong drink, and I pour out my soul before the Lord." (4) And the Ninevites, when they fasted three days and three nights, (5) escaped the execution of wrath. And Esther, and Mordecai, and Judith, (6) by fasting, escaped the insurrection of the ungodly Holofernes and Haman. And David says: "My knees are weak through fasting, and my flesh faileth for want of oil." (7) Do you therefore fast, and ask your petitions of God. We enjoin you to fast every fourth day of the week, and every day of the preparation, and the surplusage of your fast bestow upon the needy; every Sabbath-day excepting one, and every Lord's day, hold your solemn assemblies, and rejoice: for he will be guilty of sin who fasts on the Lord's day, being the day of the resurrection, or during the time of Pentecost, or, in general, who is sad on a festival day to the Lord. For on them we ought to rejoice, and not to mourn.
CONSTITUTIONS OF THE HOLY APOSTLES
SEC. I.--ON HERESIES.
WHO THEY WERE THAT VENTURED TO MAKE SCHISMS, AND DID NOT ESCAPE PUNISHMENT.
I. ABOVE all things, O bishop, avoid the sad and dangerous and most atheistical heresies, eschewing them as fire that burns those that come near to it. Avoid also schisms: for it is neither lawful to turn one's mind towards wicked heresies, nor to separate from those of the same sentiment out of ambition. For some who ventured to set up such practices of old did not escape punishment. For Dathan and Abiram, (1) who set up in opposition to Moses, were swallowed up into the earth. But Corah, and those two hundred and fifty who with him raised a sedition against Aaron, were consumed by fire. Miriam also, who reproached Moses, was cast out of the camp for seven days; for she said that Moses had taken an Ethiopian to wife. (2) Nay, in the case of Azariah and Uzziah, (3) the latter of which was king of Judah, but venturing to usurp the priesthood, and desiring to offer incense, which it was not lawful for him to do, was hindered by Azariah the high priest, and the fourscore priests; and when he would not obey he found the leprosy to arise in his forehead, and he hastened to go out, because the Lord had reproved him.
THAT IT IS NOT lAWFUL TO RISE UP EITHER AGAINST THE KINGLY OR THE PRIESTLY OFFICE.
II. Let us therefore, beloved, consider what sort of glory that of the seditious is, and what their condemnation. For if he that rises up against kings is worthy of punishment, even though he be a son or a friend, how much more he that rises up against the priests! For by how much the priesthood is more noble than the royal power, as having its concern about the soul, so much has he a greater punishment who ventures to oppose the priesthood, than he who ventures to oppose the royal power, although neither of them goes unpunished.
For neither did Absalom nor Abdadan (4) escape without punishment; nor Corah and Dathan. (1) The former rose against David, and strove concerning the kingdom; the latter against Moses, concerning pre-eminence. And they both spake evil; Absalom of his father David, as of an unjust judge, saying to every one: "Thy words are good, but there is no one that will hear thee, and do thee justice. Who will make me a ruler?" (5) But Abdadan: "I have no part in David, nor any inheritance in the son of Jesse." (6) It is plain that he could not endure to be under David's government, of whom God spake: "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my heart, who will do all my commands." (7)
But Dathan and Abiram, and the followers of Corah, said to Moses: "Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us out of the land of Egypt, out of a land flowing with milk and honey? And why hast thou put out our eyes? And wilt thou rule over us?" And they gathered together against him a great congregation; and the followers of Corah said: "Has God spoken alone to Moses? Why is it that He has given the high-priesthood to Aaron alone? Is not all the congregation of the Lord holy? And why is Aaron alone possessed of the priesthood?" (8) And before this, one said: "Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?" (9)
CONCERNING THE VIRTUE OF MOSES AND THE INCREDULITY OF THE JEWISH NATION, AND WHAT WONDERFUL WORKS GOD DID AMONG THEM.
III. And they raised a sedition against Moses the servant of God, the meekest of all men, (10) and faithful, and affronted (11) so great a man with the highest ingratitude; him who was their lawgiver, and guardian, and high priest, and king, the ad 451
ministrator of divine things; one that showed as a creator the mighty works of the Creator; the meekest man, freest from arrogance, and full of fortitude, and most benign in his temper; one who had delivered them from many dangers, and freed them from several deaths by his holiness; who had done so many signs and wonders from God before the people, and had performed glorious and wonderful works for their benefit; who had (1) brought the ten plagues upon the Egyptians; who had divided the Red Sea, and had separated the waters as a walt on this side and on that side, and had led the people through them as through a dry wilderness, (2) and had drowned Pharaoh and the Egyptians, and all that were in company with them; (3) and had made the fountain sweet for them with wood, and had brought water out of the stony rock for them when they were thirsty; (4) and had given them manna out of heaven, and had distributed flesh to them out of the air; (5) and had afforded them a pillar of fire in the night to enlighten and conduct them, and a pillar of a cloud to shadow them in the day, by reason of the violent heat of the sun; (6) and had exhibited to them the law of God, engraven from the mouth, and hand, and writing of God, in tables of stone, the perfect number of ten commandments; (7) "to whom God spake face to face, as if a man spake to his friend;" (8) of whom He said, "And there arose not a prophet like unto Moses." (9) Against him arose the followers of Corah, and the Reubenites, (10) and threw stones at Moses, who prayed, and said: "Accept not Thou their offering." (11) And the glory of God appeared, and sent some down into the earth, and burnt up others with fire; and so, as to those ringleaders of this schismatical deceit which said, "Let us make ourselves a leader," (12) the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed them up, and their tents, and what appertained to them, and they went down alive into hell; but tie destroyed the followers of Corah with fire.
SEC. II.--HISTORY AND DOCTRINES OF HERESIES.
THAT SCHISM IS MADE. NOT BY HIM WHO SEPARATES HIMSELF FROM THE UNGODlY, BUT WHO DEPARTS FROM THE GODLY.
IV. If therefore God inflicted punishment immediately on those that made a schism on account of their ambition, how much rather will He do it upon those who are the leaders of impious heresies! Will not He inflict severer punishment on those that blaspheme His providence or His creation? But do you, brethren, who are instructed out of the Scripture, take care not to make divisions in opinion, nor divisions in unity. For those who set up unlawful opinions are marks of perdition to the people. In like manner, do not you of the laity come near to such as advance doctrines contrary to the mind of God; nor be you partakers of their impiety. For says God: "Separate yourselves from (he midst of these men, lest you perish together with them." (13) And again: "Depart from the midst of them, and separate yourselves, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you." (14)
UPON WHAT ACCOUNT ISRAEL, FALSELY SO NAMED, IS REJECTED BY GOD, DEMONSTRATED FROM THE PROPHETIC PREDICTIONS.
V. For those are most certainly to be avoided who blaspheme God. The greatest part of the ungodly, indeed, are ignorant of God; but these men, as fighters against God, are possessed with a wilful evil disposition, as with a disease. For from the wickedness of these heretics "pollution is gone out upon all the earth," (15) as says the prophet Jeremiah. For the wicked synagogue is now cast off by the Lord God, and His house is rejected by Him, as He somewhere speaks: "I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine inheritance." (16) And again, says Isaiah: "I will neglect my vineyard, and it shall not be pruned nor digged, and thorns shall spring up upon it, as upon a desert; and I will command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it." (17) He has therefore "left His people as a tent in a vineyard, and as a garner in a fig or olive yard, and as a besieged city." (18) He has taken away from them the Holy Spirit, and the prophetic rain, and has replenished His Church with spiritual grace, as the "river of Egypt in the time of first-fruits;" (19) and has advanced the same "as an house upon an hill, or as an high mountain; as a mountain fruitful for milk and fatness, wherein it has pleased God to dwell. For the Lord will inhabit therein to the end." (20) And He says in Jeremiah: "Our sanctuary is an exalted throne of glory." (21) And He says in Isaiah: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord shall be glorious, and the house of the Lord shall 452
be upon the top of the mountains, and shall be advanced above the hills." (1) Since, therefore, He has forsaken His people, He has also left His temple desolate, and rent the veil of the temple, and took from them the Holy Spirit; for says He, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." (2) And He has bestowed upon you, the converted of the Gentiles, spiritual grace, as He says by Joel: "And it shall come to pass after these things, saith God, that I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons shall prophesy, and your daughters shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams." (3) For God has taken away all the power and efficacy of His word, and such like visitations, from that people, and has transferred it to you, the converted of the Gentiles. For on this account the devil himself is very angry at the holy Church of God: he is removed to you, and has raised against you adversities, seditions, and reproaches, schisms, and heresies. For he had before subdued that people to himself, by their slaying of Christ. But you who have left his vanities he tempts in different ways, as he did the blessed Job. (4) For indeed he opposed that great high priest Joshua the son of Josedek; (5) and he oftentimes sought to sift us, that our faith might fail. (6) But our Lord and Master, having brought him to trial, said unto him: "The Lord rebuke thee, O devil; and the Lord, who hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee. Is not this plucked out of the fire as a brand?" (7) And who said then to those that stood by the high priest, "Take away his ragged garments from him;" and added, "Behold, I have taken thine iniquities away from thee;" He will say now, as He said formerly of us when we were assembled together, "I have prayed that your faith may not fail." (8)
THAT EVEN AMONG THE JEWS THERE AROSE THE DOCTRINE OF SEVERAL HERESIES HATEFUL TO GOD.
VI. For even the Jewish nation had wicked heresies: for of them were the Sadducees, who do not confess the resurrection of the dead; and the Pharisees, who ascribe the practice of sinners to fortune and fate; and the Basmotheans, who deny providence, and say that the world is made by spontaneous motion, and take away the immortality of the soul; and the Hemerobaptists, who every day, unless they wash, do not eat,--nay, and unless they cleanse their beds and tables, or platters and cups and seats, do not make use of any of them; and those who arc newly risen amongst us, the Ebionites, who will have the Son of God to be a mere man, begotten by human pleasure, and the conjunction of Joseph and Mary. There are also those that separate themselves from all these, and observe the laws of their fathers, and these are the Essenes. These, therefore, arose among the former people. And now the evil one, who is wise to do mischief, and as for goodness, knows no such good thing, has cast out some from among us, and has wrought by them heresies and schisms.
WHENCE THE HERESIES SPRANG, AND WHO WAS THE RINGLEADER OF THEIR IMPIETY.
VII. Now the original of the new heresies began thus: the devil entered into one Simon, of a village called Gitthae, a Samaritan, by profession a magician, and made him the minister of his wicked design. (9) For when Philip our fellow-apostle, (10) by the gift of the Lord and the energy of His Spirit, performed the miracles of healing in Samaria, insomuch that the Samaritans were affected, and embraced the faith of the God of the universe, and of the Lord Jesus, and were baptized into His name; nay, and that Simon himself, when he saw the signs and wonders which were done without any magic ceremonies, fell into admiration, and believed, and was baptized, and continued in fasting and prayer,--we heard of the grace of God which was among the Samaritans by Philip, and came down (11) to them; and enlarging much upon the word of doctrine, we laid our hands upon all that were baptized, and we conferred upon them the participation of the Spirit. But when Simon saw that the Spirit was given to believers by the imposition of our hands, he took money, and offered it to us, saying, "Give me also the power, that on whomsoever I also shall lay my hand, he may receive the Holy Ghost;" (12) being desirous that as the devil (13) deprived Adam by his tasting of the tree of that immortality which was promised him, so also that Simon might entice us by the receiving of money, and might thereby cut us off from the gift of God, (14) that so by exchange we might sell to him for money the inestimable gift of the Spirit.
But as we were all troubled at this offer, I Peter, with a fixed attention on that malicious serpent which was in him, said to Simon: "Let thy money go with thee to perdition, because thou hast thought to purchase the gift of God with money. Thou hast no part in this matter, nor lot in this faith; 453
for thy heart is not fight in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray to the Lord, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive thou art in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity." (1) But then Simon was terrified, and said: "I entreat you, pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of those things which ye have spoken come upon me." (2)
WHO WERE THE SUCCESSORS OF SIMON'S IMPIETY, AND WHAT HERESIES THEY SET UP.
VIII. But when we went forth among the Gentiles to preach the word of life, then the devil wrought in the people to send after us false apostles to the corrupting of the word; arid they sent forth one Cleobius, and joined him with Simon, and these became disciples to one Dositheus, whom they despising, put him down from the principality. Afterwards also others were the authors of absurd doctrines: Cerinthus, and Marcus, and Menander, and Basilides, and Saturnilus. Of these some own the doctrine of many gods, some only of three, but contrary to each other, without beginning, and ever with one another, and some of an infinite number of them, and those unknown ones also. And some reject marriage; and their doctrine is, that it is not the appointment of God; and others abhor some kinds of food: some are impudent in uncleanness, such as those who are falsely called Nicolaitans. And Simon meeting me Peter, first at Caesarea Stratonis (where the faithful Cornelius, a Gentile, believed on the Lord Jesus by me), endeavoured to pervert the word of God; there being with me the holy children, Zacchaeus, who was once a publican, and Barnabas; and Nicetas and Aquila, brethren of Clement the bishop and citizen of Rome, who was the disciple of Paul, our fellow-apostle and fellow-helper in the Gospel. I thrice discoursed before them with him concerning the true Prophet, and concerning the monarchy of God; and when I had overcome him by the power of the Lord, and had put him to silence, I drove him away into Italy.
HOW SIMON, DESIRING TO FLY BY SOME MAGICAL ARTS, FELL DOWN HEADLONG FROM ON HIGH AT THE PRAYERS OF PETER, AND BRAKE HIS FEET, AND HANDS, AND ANKLE-BONES.
IX. Now when he was in Rome, he mightily disturbed the Church, and subverted many, and brought them over to himself, and astonished the Gentiles with his skill in magic, insomuch that once, in the middle of the day, he went into their theatre, and commanded the people that they should bring me also by force into the theatre, and promised he would fly in the air; and when all the people were in suspense at this, I prayed by myself. And indeed he was carried up into the air by demons, and did fly on high in the air, saying that he was returning into heaven, and that he would supply them with good things from thence. And the people making acclamations to him, as to a god, I stretched out my hands to heaven, with my mind, and besought God through the Lord Jesus to throw down this pestilent fellow, and to destroy the power of those demons that made use of the same for the seduction and perdition of men, to dash him against the ground, and bruise him, but not to kill him. And then, fixing my eyes on Simon, I said to him: "If I be a man of God, and a real apostle of Jesus Christ, and a teacher of piety, and not of deceit, as thou art, Simon, I command the wicked powers of the apostate from piety, by whom Simon the magician is carried, to let go their hold, that he may fall down headlong from his height, that he may be exposed to the laughter of those that have been seduced by him." When I had said these words, Simon was deprived of his powers, and fell down headlong with a great noise, and was violently dashed against the ground, and had his hip and ankle-bones broken; and the people cried out, saying, "There is one only God, whom Peter rightly preaches in truth." And many left him; but some who were worthy of perdition continued in his wicked doctrine. And after this manner the most atheistical heresy of the Simonians was first established in Rome; and the devil wrought by the rest of the false apostles (3) also.
HOW THE HERESIES DIFFER FROM EACH OTHER, AND FROM THE TRUTH.
X. Now all these had one and the same design of atheism, to blaspheme Almighty God, to spread their doctrine that He is an unknown being, and not the Father of Christ, nor the Creator of the world; but one who cannot be spoken of, ineffable, not to be named, and begotten by Himself; that we are not to make use of the law and the prophets; that there is no providence and no resurrection to be believed; that there is no judgment nor retribution; that the soul is trot immortal; that we must only indulge our pleasures, and turn to any sort of worship without distinction. Some of them say that there are many gods, some that there are three gods without beginning, some that there are two unbegotten gods, some that there are innumerable AEons. Further, some of them teach that men are not to marry, and must ab 454
stain from flesh and wine, affirming that marriage, and the begetting of children, and the eating of certain foods, are abominable; that so, as sober persons, they may make their wicked opinions to be received as worthy of belief. And some of them absolutely prohibit the eating of flesh, as being the flesh not of brute animals, but of creatures that have a rational soul, as though those that ventured to slay them would be charged with the crime of murder. But others of them affirm that we must only abstain from swine's flesh, but may eat such as are clean by the law; and that we ought to be circumcised, according to the law, and to believe in Jesus as in an holy man and a prophet. But others teach that men ought to be impudent in uncleanness, and to abuse the flesh, and to go through all unholy practices, as if this were the only way for the soul to avoid the rulers of this world. Now all these are the instruments of the devil, and the children of wrath.
SEC. III.--THE HERESIES ATTACKED BY THE APOSTLES.
AN EXPOSITION OF THE PREACHING OF THE APOSTLES.
XI. But we, who are the children of God and the sons of peace, do preach the holy and right word of piety, and declare one only God, the Lord of the law and of the prophets, the Maker of the world, the Father of Christ; not a being that caused Himself, or begat Himself, as they suppose, but eternal, and without original, and inhabiting light inaccessible; not two or three, or manifold, but eternally one only; not a being that cannot be known or spoken of, but who was preached by the law and the prophets; the Almighty, the Supreme Governor of all things, the All-powerful Being; the God and Father of the Only-begotten, and of the First-born of the whole creation; one God, the Father of one Son, not of many; the Maker of one Comforter by Christ, the Maker of the other orders, the one Creator of the several creatures by Christ, the same their Preserver and Legislator by Him; the cause of the resurrection, and of the judgment, and of the retribution which shall be made by Him: that this same Christ was pleased to become man, and went through life without sin, and suffered, and rose from the dead, and, returned to Him that sent Him. We also say that every creature of God is good, and nothing abominable; that everything for the support of life, when it is partaken of righteously, is very good: for, according to the Scripture, "all things were very good." (1) We believe that lawful marriage, and the begetting of children, is honourable and undefiled; for difference of sexes was formed in Adam and Eve for the increase of mankind. We acknowledge with us a soul that is incorporeal and immortal,--not corruptible as bodies are, but immortal, as being rational and free. We abhor all unlawful mixtures, and that which is practised by some against nature as wicked and impious. We profess there will be a resurrection both of the just and unjust, and a retribution. We profess that Christ is not a mere man, but God the Word, and man the Mediator between God and men, the High Priest of the Father; nor are we circumcised with the Jews, as knowing that He is come "to whom the inheritance was reserved," (2) and on whose account the families were kept distinct-"the expectation of the Gentiles," Jesus Christ, who sprang out of Judah, (3) the Son from the branch, the flower from Jesse, whose government is upon His shoulder. (4)
FOR THOSE THAT CONFESS CHRIST, BUT ARE DESIROUS TO JUDAIZE.
XII. But because this heresy did then seem the more powerful to seduce men, and the whole Church was in danger, (5) we the twelve assembled together at Jerusalem (for Matthias was chosen to be an apostle in the room of the betrayer, and took the lot of Judas; as it is said, "His bishopric (6) let another take"). We deliberated, together with James the Lord's brother, what was to be done; and it seemed good to him and to the elders to speak to the people words of doctrine. For certain men likewise went down from Judea to Antioch, and taught the brethren who were there, saying: "Unless ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, and walk according to the other customs which he ordained, ye cannot be saved." (7) When, therefore, there had been no small dissension and disputation, the brethren which were at Antioch, when they knew that we were all met together about this question, sent out unto us men who were faithful and understanding in the Scriptures to learn concerning this question. And they, when they were come to Jerusalem, declared to us what questions were arisen in the church of Antioch,--namely, that some said men ought to be circumcised, and to observe the other purifications. And when some said one thing, and some another, I Peter stood up, and said unto them: "Men and brethren, ye know how that from ancient days God made choice among you that the Gentiles should hear the word of the Gospel by my mouth, and believe; and God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness. (1) For an angel of the Lord appeared on a certain time to Cornelius, (2) who was a centurion of the Roman government, and spake to him concerning me, that he should send for me, and hear the word, of life from my mouth. He therefore sent for me from Joppa to Caesarea Stratonis; and when I was ready to go to him, I would have eaten. And while they made ready I was in the upper room praying; and I saw heaven opened, and a vessel, knit at the four corners like a splendid sheet, let down to the earth, wherein were all manner of four-looted beasts, and creeping things of the earth, and fowls of the heaven. And there came a voice out of heaven to me, saying, Arise, Peter; kill, and eat. And I said, By no means, Lord: for I have never eaten anything common or unclean. And there came a voice a second time, saying, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. And this was done thrice, and the vessel was received up again into heaven. But as I doubted what this vision should mean, the Spirit said to me, Behold, men seek thee; but rise up, and go thy way with them, nothing doubting, for I have sent them. (3) These men were those which came from the centurion, and so by reasoning I understood the word of the Lord which is written: 'Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' (4) And again: 'All the ends of the earth shall remember, and turn unto the Lord, and all the families of the heathen shall worship before Him: for the kingdom is in the Lord's, and He is the governor of the nations.' (5) And observing that there were expressions everywhere concerning the calling of the Gentiles, I rose up, and went with them, and entered into the man's house. And while I was preaching the word, the Holy 'Spirit fell upon him, and upon those that were with him, as it did upon us at the beginning; and He put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. And I perceived that God is no respecter of persons; but that in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, will be accepted with Him. But even the believers which were of the circumcision were astonished at this. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to lay an heavy yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear? But by the grace of the Lord, we believe we shall be saved, even as they. (6) For the Lord has loosed us from our bonds, and has made our burden light, and has loosed the heavy yoke from us by His clemency." While I spake these things, the whole multitude kept silence. But James the Lord's brother answered and said: "Men and brethren, hearken unto me; Simeon hath declared how God at first visited to take out a people from the Gentiles for His name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written: 'Afterwards I will return, and will raise again and rebuild the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will rebuild its ruins, and will again set it up, that the residue of men may seek after the Lord, and all the nations upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doth these things.' (7) Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my sentence is, that we do not trouble those who from among the Gentiles turn unto God: but to charge them that they abstain from the pollutions of the Gentiles, and from what is sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; which laws were given to the ancients who lived before the law, under the law of nature, Enos, Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, Job, and if there be any other of the same sort." (8) Then it seemed good to us the apostles, and to James the bishop, and to the elders, with the whole Church, to send men chosen from among our own selves, with Barnabas, and Paul of Tarsus, the apostle of the Gentiles, and Judas who was called Barsabbas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren, and wrote by their hand, as follows: "The apostles, and elders, and brethren, (9) to the brethren of Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia of the Gentiles, send greeting: Since we have heard that some from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, to whom we gave no such commandment, it has seemed good to us, when we were met together with one accord, to send chosen men to you, with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men that have hazarded their lives for our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom ye sent unto us. We have sent also with them Judas and Silas, who shall themselves declare the same things by mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay no other burden upon you than these necessary things; that ye abstain from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which things if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well." (10) We accordingly sent this epistle; but we ourselves remained in Jerusalem many days, consulting together for the public benefit, for the well ordering of all things.
THAT WE MUST SEPARATE FROM HERETICS.
XIII. But after a long time we visited the brethren, anti confirmed them with the word ofpiety, and charged them to avoid those who, under the name of Christ and Moses, war against Christ and Moses, and in the clothing of sheep hide the wolf. For these are false Christs, and false prophets, and false apostles, deceivers and corrupters, portions of foxes, the destroyers of the herbs of the vineyards: "for whose sake the love of many will wax cold. But he that endureth stedfast to the end, the same shall be saved. (1) Concerning whom, that He might secure us, the Lord declared, saying: "There will come to you men in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits; take care of them. For false Christs and false prophets shall arise and shall deceive many." (2)
WHO WERE THE PREACHERS OF THE CATHOLIC DOCTRINE, AND WHICH ARE THE COMMANDMENTS GIVEN BY THEM.
XIV. On whose account also we, who are now assembled in one place,--Peter and Andrew; James and John, sons of Zebedee; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus who is surnamed Thaddaeus; and Simon the Canaanite, (3) and Matthias, who instead of Judas was numbered with us; and James the brother of the Lord and bishop of Jerusalem, and Paul the teacher of the Gentiles, the chosen vessel, having all met together, have written to you this Catholic doctrine for the confirmation of you, to whom the oversight of the universal Church is committed: wherein we declare unto you, that there is only one God Almighty, besides whom there is no other, and that you must worship and adore Him alone, through Jesus Christ our Lord, in the most holy Spirit; (4) that you are to make use of the sacred Scriptures, the law, and the prophets; to honour your parents; to avoid all unlawful actions; to believe the resurrection and the judgment, and to expect the retribution; and to use all His creatures with thankfulness, as the works of God, and having no evil in them; to marry after a lawful manner, for such marriage is unblameable. For "the woman is suited to the man by the Lord;" (5) and the Lord says: "He that made them from the beginning, made them male and female; and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they two shall be one flesh." (6) Nor let it be esteemed lawful after marriage to put her away who is without blame. For says He: "Thou shalt take care to thy spirit, and shalt not forsake the wife of thy youth; for she is the partner (7) of thy life, and the remains of thy spirit. I and no other have made her." (8) For the Lord says: "What God has joined together, let no man put asunder." (9) For the wife is the partner of life, united by God unto one body from two. But he that divides that again into two which is become one, is the enemy of the creation of God, and the adversary of His providence. In like manner, he that retains her that is corrupted is a transgressor of the law of nature; since "he that retains an adulteress is foolish and impious." (10) For says He, "Cut her off from thy flesh;" (11) for she is not an help, but a snare, bending her mind from thee to another. Nor be ye circumcised in your flesh, but let the circumcision which is of the heart by the Spirit suffice for the faithful; for He says, "Be ye circumcised to your God, and be circumcised in the foreskin of your heart." (12)
THAT WE OUGHT NOT TO REBAPTIZE, NOR TO RECEIVE THAT BAPTISM WHICH IS GIVEN BY THE UNGODLY, WHICH IS NOT BAPTISM, BUT A POLLUTION.
XV. Be ye likewise contented with one baptism alone, that which is into the death of the Lord; not that which is conferred by wicked heretics, but that which is conferred by unblameable priests, "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" (13) and let not that which comes from the ungodly be received by you, nor let that which is done by the godly be disannulled by a second. For as there is one God, one Christ, and one Comforter, and one death of the Lord in the body, so let that baptism which is unto Him be but one. But those that receive polluted baptism from the ungodly will become partners in their opinions. For they are not priests. For God says to them: "Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee from the office of a priest to me." (14) Nor indeed are those that are baptized by them initiated, but are polluted, not receiving the remission of sins, but the bond of impiety. And, besides, they that attempt to baptize those already initiated crucify the Lord afresh, slay Him a second time, laugh at divine and ridicule holy things, affront the Spirit, dishonour the sacred blood of Christ as common blood, are impious against Him that sent, Him that suffered, and Him that witnessed. Nay, he that, out of contempt, will not be baptized, shall be condemned as an unbeliever, and shall be reproached as ungrateful and foolish. For the Lord says: "Except a man be baptized of water and of the Spirit, he shall by no means enter into the kingdom of heaven." (1) And again: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (2) But he that says, When I am dying I will be baptized, lest I
should sin and defile my baptism, is ignorant of God, and forgetful of his own nature. For "do not thou delay to turn unto the Lord, for thou knowest not what the next day will bring forth." (3) Do you also baptize your infants, and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of God. For says He: "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not." (4)
CONCERNING BOOKS WITH FALSE INSCRIPTIONS.
XVI. We have sent all these things to you, that ye may know our opinion, what it is; and that ye may not receive those books which obtain in our name, but are written by the ungodly. For you are not to attend to the names of the apostles, but to the nature of the things, and their settled opinions. For we know that Simon and Cleobius, and their followers, have compiled poisonous books under the name of Christ and of His disciples, and do carry them about in order to deceive yon who love Christ, and us His servants. And among the ancients also some have written apocryphal books of Moses, and Enoch, and Adam, and Isaiah, and David, and Elijah, and of the three patriarchs, pernicious and repugnant to the truth. The same things even now have the wicked heretics done, reproaching the creation, marriage, providence, the begetting of children, the law, and the prophets; inscribing certain barbarous names, and, as they think, of angels, but, to speak the truth, of demons, which suggest things to them: whose doctrine eschew, that ye may not be partakers of the punishment due to those that write such things for the seduction and perdition of the faithful and unblameable disciples of the Lord Jesus.
MATRIMONIAL PRECEPTS CONCERNING CLERGYMEN.
XVII. We have already said, that a bishop, a presbyter, and a deacon, when they are constituted, must be but once married, whether their wives be alive or whether they be dead; and that it is not lawful for them, if they are unmarried when they are ordained, to be married afterwards; or if they be then married, to marry a second time, but to be content with that wife. which they had when they came to ordination. (5) We also appoint that the ministers, and singers, and readers, and porters, shall be only once married. But if they entered into the clergy before they were married, we permit them to many, if they have an inclination thereto, lest they sin and incur punishment. (6) But we do not permit any one of the clergy to take to wife either a courtesan, or a servant, or a widow, or one that is divorced, as also the law says. Let the deaconess be a pure virgin; or, at the least, a widow who has been but once married, faithful, and well esteemed. (7)
AN EXHORTATION COMMANDING TO AVOID THE COMMUNION OF THE IMPIOUS HERETICS.
XVIII. Receive ye the penitent, for this is the will of God in Christ. Instruct the catechumens in the elements of religion, and then baptize them. Eschew the antheistical heretics, who are past repentance, and separate them from the faithful, and excommunicate them from the Church of God, and charge the faithful to abstain entirely from them, and not to partake with them either in sermons or prayers: for these are those that are enemies to the Church, and lay snares for it; who corrupt the flock, and defile the heritage of Christ, pretenders only to wisdom, and the vilest of men; concerning whom Solomon the wise said: "The wicked doers pretend to act piously." For, says he, "there is a way which seemeth right to some, but the ends thereof look to the bottom of hell." (8) These are they concerning whom the Lord declared His mind with bitterness and severity, saying that "they are false Christs and false teachers;" (9) who have blasphemed the Spirit of grace, and done despite to the gift they had from Him after the grace of baptism, "to whom forgiveness shall not be granted, neither in this world nor in that which is to come;" (10) who are both more wicked than the Jews and more atheistical than the Gentiles; who blaspheme the God over all, and tread under foot His Son, and do despite to the doctrine of the Spirit; who deny the words of God, or pretend hypocritically to receive them, to the affronting of God, and the deceiving of those that come among them; who abuse the Holy Scriptures, and as for righteousness, they do not so much as know what it is; who spoil the Church of God, as the "little foxes do the vineyard;" (11) whom we exhort you to avoid, lest you lay traps for your own souls. "For he that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but he that walketh with the foolish shall be known." (1) For we ought neither to run along with a thief, nor put in our lot with an adulterer; since holy David says: "O Lord, I have hated them that hate Thee, and I am withered away on account of Thy enemies. I hated them with a perfect hatred: they were to me as enemies." (2) And God reproaches Jehoshaphat with his friendship towards Ahab, and his league with him and with Ahaziah, by Jonah the prophet: "Art thou in friendship with a sinner? Or dost thou aid him that is hated by the Lord?" (3) "For this cause the wrath of the Lord would be upon thee suddenly, but that thy heart is found perfect with the Lord. For this cause the Lord hath spared thee; yet are thy works shattered, and thy ships broken to pieces." (4) Eschew therefore their fellowship, and estrange yourselves from their friendship. For concerning them did the prophet declare, and say: "It is not lawful to rejoice with the ungodly," (5) says the Lord. For these are hidden wolves, dumb dogs, that cannot bark, who at present are but few, but in process of time, when the end of the world draws nigh, will be more in number and more troublesome, of whom said the Lord, "Will the Son of man, when He comes, find faith on the earth?" (6) and, "Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold;" and, "There shall come false Christs and false prophets, and shall show signs in the heaven, so as, if it were possible, to deceive the elect:" (7) from whose deceit God, through Jesus Christ, who is our hope, will deliver us. For we ourselves, as we passed through the nations, and confirmed the churches. curing some with much exhortation and healing words, restored them again when they were in the certain way to death. But those that were incurable we cast out from the flock, that they might not infect the lambs, which were found with their scabby disease, but might continue before the Lord God pure and undefiled, sound and unspotted. And this we did in every city, everywhere through the whole world, and have left to you the bishops and to the rest of the priests this very Catholic doctrine worthily and righteously, as a memorial or confirmation to those who have believed in God; and we have sent it by our fellow-minister Clement, our most faithful and intimate son in the Lord, together with Barnabas, and Timothy our most dearly beloved son, and the genuine Mark, together with whom we recommend to you also Titus and Luke, and Jason and Lucius, and Sosipater. (8)
SEC. IV.--OF THE LAW.
By whom also we exhort you in the Lord to abstain from your old conversation, vain bonds, separations, observances, distinction of meats, and daily washings: for "old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (9)
TO THOSE THAT SPEAK EVIL OF THE LAW,
XIX. For since ye have known God through Jesus Christ, and all His dispensation, as it has been from the beginning, that He gave a plain law to assist the law of nature, (10) such a one as is pure, saving, and holy, in which His own name was inscribed, (11) perfect, which is never to fail, being complete in ten commands, unspotted, converting souls; (12) which, when the Hebrews forgot, He put them in mind of it by the prophet Malachi, saying, "Remember ye the law of Moses, the man of God, who gave you in charge commandments and ordinances." (13) Which law is so very holy and righteous, that even our Saviour, when on a certain time He healed one leper, and afterwards nine, said to the first, "Go, show thyself to the high priest, and offer the gift which Moses commanded for a testimony unto them;" (14) and afterwards to the nine, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." (15) For He nowhere has dissolved the law, as Simon pretends, bat fulfilled it; for He says: "One iota, or one tittle, shall not pass from the law until all be fulfilled." For says He, "I come not to dissolve the law, but to fulfil it." (16) For Moses himself, who was at once the lawgiver, and the high priest, and the prophet, and the king, and Elijah, the zealous follower of the prophets, were present at our Lord's transfiguration in the mountain, (17) and witnesses of His incarnation and of His sufferings, as the intimate friends of Christ, but not as enemies and strangers. Whence it is demonstrated that the law is good and holy, as also the prophets.
WHICH IS THE LAW OF NATURE, AND WHICH iS THAT AFTERWARDS INTRODUCED, AND WHY IT WAS INTRODUCED.
XX. Now the law is the decalogue, which the Lord promulgated to them with an audible voice, (18) before the people made that calf which represented the Egyptian Apis. (19) And the law is righteous, and therefore is it called the law, because judgments are thence made according 459 to the law of nature, which the followers of Simon abuse, supposing they shall not be judged thereby, and so shall escape punishment. This law is good, holy, and such as lays no compulsion in things positive.
For He says: "If thou wilt make me an altar, thou shalt make it of earth."
(1) It does not say, "Make one," but, "If thou wilt make." It does not impose a necessity, but gives leave to their own free liberty.
For God does not stand in need of sacrifices, being by nature above all want. But knowing that, as of old,
Abel, beloved of God, and Noah and Abraham, and those that succeeded, without being required, but only moved of themselves by the law of nature, did offer sacrifice to God out of a grateful mind;
so He did now permit the Hebrews, not commanding, but, if they had a mind, permitting them; and if they offered from a right intention, showing Himself pleased with their sacrifices.
Therefore He says: "If thou desirest to offer, do not offer to me as to one that stands in need of it, for I stand in need of nothing; for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof."
(2) But when this people became forgetful of that, and called upon a calf as God, instead of the true God, and to him did ascribe the cause of their coming out of Egypt, saying, "These are thy gods, O lsrael, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt;"
(3) and when these men had committed: wickedness with the "similitude of a calf that eateth hay;" and denied God who had visited them by Moses
(4) in their afflictions, and had done signs with his hand and rod, and had smitten the Egyptians with ten plagues; who bad divided the waters of the Red Sea into two parts; who had led them in the midst of the water, as a horse upon the ground; who had drowned their enemies, and those that laid wait for them; who at Marah had made sweet the bitter fountain; who had brought water out of the sharp rock till they were satisfied; who had overshadowed them with a pillar of a cloud on account of the immoderate heat, and with a pillar of fire which enlightened and guided them when they knew not which way they were to go; who gave them manna from heaven, and gave them quails for flesh from the sea;
(5) who gave them the law in the mountain; whose voice He had vouchsafed to let them hear; Him did they deny, and said to Aaron, "Make us gods who shall go before us;"
(6) and they made a molten calf, and sacrificed to an idol;--then was God angry, as being ungratefully treated by them,
and bound them with bonds which could not be loosed, with a mortifying burden and a hard collar,
and no longer said, "If thou makest," but, "Make an altar," and sacrifice perpetually; for thou art forgetful and ungrateful.
Offer burnt-offerings therefore continually, that thou mayest be mindful of me.
For since thou hast wickedly abused thy power, I lay a necessity upon thee for the time to come, and I command thee to abstain from certain meats; and I ordain thee the distinction of clean and unclean creatures, although every creature is good, as being made by me; and I appoint thee several separations, purgations, frequent washings and sprinklings, several purifications, and several times of rest;
and if thou neglectest any of them,
I determine that punishment which is proper to the disobedient,
that being pressed and galled by thy collar, thou mayest depart from the error of polytheism, and laying aside that, "These are thy gods, O Israel," mayest be mindful of that, "Hear, O lsrael, the Lord thy God is one Lord;"
(7) and mayest run back again to that law which is inserted by me in the nature of all men, "that there is only one God in heaven and on earth, and to love Him with all thy heart, and all thy might, and all thy mind," and to fear none but Him, nor to admit the names of other gods into thy mind, nor to let thy tongue utter them out of thy mouth. He bound them for the hardness of their hearts, that by sacrificing, and resting, and purifying themselves, and by similar observances, they might come to the knowledge of God, who ordained these things for them.
THAT WE WHO BELIEVE IN CHRIST ARE UNDER GRACE, AND NOT UNDER THE SERVITUDE OF THAT ADDITIONAL LAW.
XXI. "But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear."
(8) Yours, I say, who have believed in the one God, not by necessity, but by a sound understanding, in obedience to Him that called you. For you are released from the bonds, and freed from the servitude. For says He:
(9) "I call you no longer servants, but friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father have I made known unto you."
(10) For to them that would not see nor hear, not for the want of those senses, but for the excess of their wickedness, "I gave statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they would not live;"
(11) they are looked upon as not good, as burnings and a sword, and medicines are esteemed enemies by the sick, and impossible to be observed on account of their obstinacy: whence also they brought death upon them being not obeyed.
THAT THE LAW FOR SACRIFICES IS ADDITIONAL, WHICH CHRIST WHEN HE CAME TOOK AWAY.
XXII. You therefore are blessed who are delivered from the curse, For Christ, the Son of God, by His coming has confirmed and completed the law, but has taken away the additional precepts, although not all of them, yet at least the more grievous ones; having confirmed the former, and abolished the latter, and
has again set the free-will of man at liberty, not subjecting him to the penalty of a temporal death, but giving laws to him according to another constitution. Wherefore He says: "If any man will come after me, let him come."
(1) And again: "Will ye also go away?"
(2) And besides, before His coming He refused the sacrifices of the people, while they frequently offered them, when they sinned against Him, and thought He was to be appeased by sacrifices, but not by repentance.
For thus He speaks: "Why dost thou bring to me frankincense from Saba, and cinnamon from a remote land? Your burnt-offerings are not acceptable, and your sacrifices are not sweet to me."
(3) And afterwards: "Gather your burnt-offerings, together with your sacrifices, and eat flesh. For I did not command you, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt-offerings and sacrifices."
(4) And He says by Isaiah: "To what purpose do ye bring me a multitude of sacrifices? saith the Lord. I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and I will not accept the fat of lambs, and the blood of bulls and of goats. Nor do you come and appear before me; for who hath required these things at your hands? Do not go on to tread my courts any more. If you bring me fine flour, it is vain: incense is an abomination unto me: your new moons, and your Sabbaths, and your great day, I cannot bear them: your fasts, and your rests, and your feasts, my soul hateth them; I am over-full of them."
(5) And He says by another: "Depart from me; the sound of thine hymns, and the psalms of thy musical instruments, I will not hear."
(6) And Samuel says to Saul, when he thought to sacrifice: "Obedience is better than sacrifice, and hearkening than the fat of rams. For, behold, the Lord does not so much delight in sacrifice, as in obeying Him."
(7) And He says by David: "I will take no calves out of thine house, nor he-goats out of thy flock.
If I should be hungry, I would not tell thee;
for the whole world is mine, and the fulness thereof. Shall I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Sacrifice to God the sacrifice of praise, and pay thy vows to the Most High."
(8) And in all the Scriptures in like manner He refuses their sacrifices on account of their sinning against Him.
For "the sacrifices of the impious are an abomination with the Lord, since they offer them in an unlawful manner."
(9) And again: "Their sacrifices are to them as bread of lamentation; all that eat of them shall be defiled."
(10) If, therefore, before His coining He sought for "a clean heart and a contrite spirit"
(11) more than sacrifices, much rather would He abrogate those sacrifices, I mean those by blood, when He came. Yet He so abrogated them as that He first fulfilled them. For He was both circumcised, and sprinkled, and offered sacrifices and whole burnt-offerings, and made use of the rest of their customs.
And He that was the Lawgiver became Himself the fulfilling of the law; not taking away the law of nature,
but abrogating those additional laws that were afterwards introduced, although not all of them neither.
HOW CHRIST BECAME A FULFILLER OF THE LAW, AND WHAT PARTS OF IT HE PUT A PERIOD TO, OR CHANGED, OR TRANSFERRED.
XXIII. For He did not take away the law of nature, but confirmed it. For He that said in the law, "The Lord thy God is one Lord;"
(12) the same says in the Gospel, "That they might know Thee, the only true God."
(13) And He that said, "Thou shalt love thy neighhour as thyself,"
(14) says in the Gospel, renewing the same precept, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another."
(15) He who then forbade murder, does now forbid causeless anger.
(16) He that forbade adultery, does now forbid all unlawful lust. He that forbade stealing, now pronounces him most happy who supplies those that are in want out of his own labours.
(17) He that forbade hatred, now pronounces him blessed that loves his enemies.
(18) He that forbade revenge, now commands long-suffering;
(19) not as if just revenge were an unrighteous thing, but because long-suffering is more excellent. Nor did He make laws to root out our natural passions, but only to forbid the excess of them.
(20) He who had commanded to honour our parents, was Himself subject to them.
(1) He who had commanded to keep the Sabbath, by resting thereon for the sake of meditating on the laws, has now commanded us to consider of the law of creation, and of providence every day, and to return thanks to God, He abrogated circumcision when He had Himself fulfilled it. For He it was "to whom the inheritance was reserved, who was the expectation of the nations."
(2) He who made a law for swearing rightly, and forbade perjury, has now charged us not to swear at all.
(3) He has in several ways changed baptism, sacrifice, the priesthood, and the divine service, which was confined to one place: for instead of daily baptisms, He has given only one, which is that into His death. Instead of one tribe, He has appointed that out of every nation the best should be ordained for the priesthood; and that not their bodies should be examined for blemishes, but their religion and their lives. Instead of a bloody sacrifice, He has appointed that reasonable and unbloody mystical one of His body and blood, which is performed to represent the death of the Lord by symbols. Instead of the divine service confined to one place, He has commanded and appointed that He should be glorified from sun-rising to sunsetting in every place of His dominion.
(4) He did not therefore take away the law from us, but the bonds. For concerning the law Moses says: "Thou shalt meditate on the word which I command thee, sitting in thine house, and rising up, and walking in the way."
(5) And David says: "His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law will he meditate day and night."
(6) For everywhere would he have us subject to His laws, but not transgressors of them. For says He: "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that search out His testimonies; with their whole heart shall they seek Him."
(7) And again: "Blessed are we, O Israel, because those things that are pleasing to God are known to us."
(8) And the Lord says: "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."
THAT IT PLEASED THE LORD THAT THE LAW OF RIGHTEOUSNESS SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED BY THE ROMANS.
XXIV. Nor does He desire that the law of righteousness should only be demonstrated by us; but He is pleased that it should appear and shine by means of the Romans.
For these Romans, believing in the Lord, left off their polytheism and injustice, and entertain the good, and punish the bad. But they hold the Jews under tribute, and do not suffer them to make use of their own ordinances.
HOW GOD, ON ACCOUNT OF THEIR IMPIETY TOWARDS CHRIST, MADE THE JEWS CAPTIVES, AND PLACED THEM UNDER TRIBUTE.
XXV. Because, indeed, they drew servitude upon themselves voluntarily, when they said,
(9) "We have no king but Caesar;"
(10) and, "If we do not slay Christ, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and will take away both our place and nation."
(11) And so they prophesied unwittingly. For accordingly the nations believed on Him, and they themselves were deprived by the Romans of their power, and of their legal worship; and they have been forbidden to slay whom they please, and to sacrifice when they will. Wherefore they are accursed, as not able to perform the things they are commanded to do. For says He: "Cursed be he that does not continue in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them."
(12) Now it is impossible in their dispersion, while they are among the heathen, for them to perform all things in their law. For the divine Moses forbids both to rear an altar out of Jerusalem, and to read the law out of the bounds of Judea.
(13) Let us therefore follow Christ, that we may inherit His blessings. Let us walk after the law and the prophets by the Gospel. Let us eschew the worshippers of many gods, and the murderers of Christ, and the murderers of the prophets, and the wicked and atheistical heretics. Let us be obedient to Christ as to our King, as having authority to change several constitutions, and having, as a legislator, wisdom to make new constitutions in different circumstances; yet so that everywhere the laws of nature be immutably preserved.
SEC. V.--THE TEACHING OF THE APOSTLES IN OPPOSITION TO JEWISH AND GENTILE SUPERSTITIONS, ESPECIALLY IN REGARD TO MARRIAGE AND FUNERALS.
THAT WE OUGHT TO AVOID THE HERETICS AS THE CORRUPTERS OF SOULS.
XXVI. Do you therefore, O bishops, and ye of the laity, avoid all heretics who abuse the law and the prophets. For they are enemies to God Almighty, and disobey Him, and do not confess 462
Christ to be the Son of God. For they also deny His generation according to the flesh; they are ashamed of the cross; they abuse His passion and His death; they know not His resurrection; they take away His generation before all ages. Nay, some of them are impious after another manner, imagining the Lord to be a mere man, supposing Him to consist of a soul and body. But others of them suppose that Jesus Himself is the God over all, and glorify Him as His own Father, and suppose Him to be both the Son and the Comforter; than which doctrines what can be more detestable? Others, again, of them do refuse certain meats, and say that marriage with the procreation of children is evil, and the contrivance of the devil; and being ungodly themselves, they are not willing to rise again from the dead on account of their wickedness. Wherefore also they ridicule the resurrection, and say, We are holy people, unwilling to eat and to drink; and they fancy that they shall rise again from the dead demons without flesh, who shall be condemned for ever in eternal fire. Fly therefore from them, lest ye perish with them in their impieties.
OF SOME JEWISH AND GENTILE OBSERVANCES.
XXVII. Now if any persons keep to the Jewish customs and observances concerning the natural emission and nocturnal pollutions, and the lawful conjugal acts, (1) let them tell us whether in those hours or days, when they undergo any such thing, they observe not to pray, or to touch a Bible, or to partake of the Eucharist? And if they own it to be so, it is plain they are void of the Holy Spirit, which always continues with the faithful. For concerning holy persons Solomon says: "That every one may prepare himself, that so when he sleeps it may keep him, and when he arises it may talk with him." (2) For if thou thinkest, O woman, when thou art seven days in thy separation, that thou art void of the Holy Spirit, then if thou shouldest die suddenly thou wilt depart void of the Spirit, and without assured hope in God; or else thou must imagine that the Spirit always is inseparable from thee, as not being in a place. But thou standest in need of prayer and the Eucharist, and the coming of the Holy Ghost, as having been guilty of no fault in this matter. For neither lawful mixture, nor child-bearing, nor the menstrual purgation, nor nocturnal pollution, can defile the nature of a man, or separate the Holy Spirit from him. Nothing but impiety and unlawful practice can do that. For the Holy Spirit always abides with those that are possessed of it, so long as they are worthy; and those from whom it is departed, it leaves them desolate, and exposed to the wicked spirit. Now every man is filled either with the holy or with the unclean spirit; and it is not possible to avoid the one or the other, unless they can receive opposite spirits. For the Comforter hates every lie, and the devil hates all truth. But every one that is baptized agreeably to the truth is separated from the diabolical spirit, and is under the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit remains with him so long as he is doing good, and fills him with wisdom and understanding, and suffers not the wicked spirit to approach him, but watches over his goings. Thou therefore, O woman, if, as thou sayest, in the days of thy separation thou art void of the Holy Spirit, thou art then filled with the unclean one; for by neglecting to pray and to read thou wilt invite him to thee, though he were unwilling. For this spirit, of all others, loves the ungrateful, the slothful, the careless, and the drowsy, since he himself by ingratitude was distempered with evil mind, and was thereby deprived by God his dignity; having rather chosen to be a devil than an archangel. Wherefore, O woman, eschew such vain words, and be ever mindful of God that created thee, and pray to Him. For He is thy Lord, and the Lord of the universe; and meditate in His laws without observing any such things, such as the natural purgation, lawful mixture, child-birth, a miscarriage, or a blemish of the body; since such observations are the vain inventions of foolish men, and such inventions as have no sense in them. Neither the burial of a man, nor a dead man's bone, nor a sepulchre, nor any particular sort of food, nor the nocturnal pollution, can defile the soul of man; but only impiety towards God, and transgression, and injustice towards one's neighbour; I mean rapine, violence, or if there be anything contrary to His righteousness, adultery or fornication. Wherefore, beloved, avoid and eschew such observations, for they are heathenish. For we do not abominate a dead man, as do they, seeing we hope that he will live again. Nor do we hate lawful mixture; for it is their practice to act impiously in such instances. For the conjunction of man and wife, if it be with righteousness, is agreeable to the mind of God. "For He that made them at the beginning made them male and female; and He blessed them, and said, Increase and multiply, and fill the earth." (3) If, therefore, the difference of sexes was made by the will of God for the generation of multitudes, then must the conjunction of male and female be also acceptable to His mind.
OF THE LOVE OF BOYS, ADULTERY, AND FORNICATION.
XXVIII. But we do not say so of that mixture that is contrary to nature, or of any unlawful practice; for such are enmity to God. For the sin of Sodom is contrary to nature, as is also that with brute beasts. But adultery and fornication are against the law; the one whereof is impiety, the other injustice, and, in a word, no other than a great sin. But neither sort of them is without its punishment in its own proper nature. For the practisers of one sort attempt the dissolution of the world, and endeavour to make the natural course of things to change for one that is unnatural; but those of the second son--the adulterers--are unjust by corrupting others' marriages, and dividing into two what God hath made one, rendering the children suspected, and exposing the true husband to the snares of others. And fornication is the destruction of one's own flesh, not being made use of for the procreation of children, but entirely for the sake of pleasure, which is a mark of incontinency, and not a sign of virtue. All these things are forbidden by the laws; for thus say the oracles: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind." (1) "For such a one is accursed, and ye shall stone them with stones: they have wrought abomination." (2) "Every one that lieth with a beast, slay ye him: he has wrought wickedness in his people." (3) "And if any one defile a married woman, slay ye them both: they have wrought wickedness; they are guilty; let them die." (4) And afterwards: "There shall not be a fornicator among the children of Israel, and there shall not be an whore among the daughters of Israel. Thou shalt not offer the hire of an harlot to the Lord thy God upon the altar, nor the price of a dog." (5) "For the vows arising from the hire of an harlot are not clean." (6) These things the laws have forbidden, but they have honoured marriage, and have called it blessed, since God has blessed it who joined male and female together. (7) And wise Solomon somewhere says: "A wife is suited to her husband by the Lord." (8) And David says: "Thy wife is like a flourishing vine in the sides of thine house; thy children like olive-branches round about thy table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord." (9) Wherefore "marriage is honourable" (10) and comely, and the begetting of children pure, for there is no evil in that which is good. Therefore neither is the natural purgation abominable before God, who has ordered it to happen to women within the space of thirty days for their advantage and healthful state, who do less move about, and keep usually at home in the house. Nay, moreover, even in the Gospel, when the woman with the perpetual purgation of blood (11) touched the saving border of the Lord's garment in hope of being healed, He was not angry at her, nor did complain of her at all; but, on the contrary, He healed her, saying, "Thy faith hath saved thee." When the natural purgations do appear in the wives, let not their husbands approach them, out of regard to the children to be begotten; for the law has forbidden it, for it says: "Thou shalt not come near thy wife when she is in her separation." (12) Nor, indeed, let them frequent their wives' company when they are with child. (13) For they do this not for the begetting of children, but for the sake of pleasure. Now a lover of God ought not to be a lover of pleasure.
HOW WIVES OUGHT TO BE SUBJECT TO THEIR OWN HUSBANDS, AND HUSBANDS OUGHT TO LOVE THEIR OWN WIVES.
XXXIX. Ye wives, be subject to your own husbands, and have them in esteem, and serve them with fear and love, as holy Sarah honoured Abraham. For she could not endure to call him by his name, but called him lord, when she said, "My lord is old." (14) In like manner, ye husbands, love your own wives as your own members, as partners in life, and fellow-helpers for the procreation of children. For says He, "Rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her conversation be to thee as a loving hind, and a pleasant foal; let her alone guide thee, and be with thee at all times: for if thou beest every way encompassed with her friendship, thou wilt be happy in her society." (15) Love them therefore as your own members, as your very bodies; for so it is written, "The Lord has testified between thee and between the wife of thy youth; and she is thy partner, and another has not made her: and she is the remains of thy spirit;" and, "Take heed to your spirit, and do not forsake the wife of thy youth." (16) An husband, therefore, and a wife, when they company together in lawful marriage, and rise from one another, may pray without any observations, and without washing are clean. But whosoever corrupts and defiles another man's wife, or is defiled with an harlot, when he arises up from her, though he should wash himself in the entire ocean and all the rivers, cannot be clean.
SEC. VI.--CONCLUSION OF THE WORK.
THAT IT IS THE CUSTOM OF JEWS AND GENTILES TO OBSERVE NATURAL PURGATIONS, AND TO ABOMINATE THE REMAINS OF THE DEAD; BUT THAT ALL THIS IS CONTRARY TO CHRISTIANITY.
XXX. Do not therefore keep any such observances about legal and natural purgations, as thinking you are defiled by them. Neither do you seek after Jewish separations, or perpetual washings, or purifications upon the touch of a dead body.
But without such observations assemble in the dormitories, reading the holy books, and singing for the martyrs which are fallen asleep, and for all the saints from the beginning of the world, and for your brethren that are asleep in the Lord, and offer the acceptable Eucharist, the representation of the royal body of Christ, both in your churches and in the dormitories; and in the funerals of the departed, accompany them with singing,
if they were faithful in Christ. For "precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."
(1) And again: "O my soul, return unto thy rest, for the Lord hath done thee good."
(2) And elsewhere: "The memory of the just is with encomiums." (3) And, "The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God." (4) For those that have believed in God, although they are asleep, are not dead. For our Saviour says to the Sadducees: "But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which is written, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God, therefore, is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to Him." (5) Wherefore, of those that live with God, even their very relics are not without honour. For even Elisha the prophet, after he was fallen asleep, raised up a dead man who was slain by the pirates of Syria. (6) For his body touched the bones of Elisha, and he arose and revived. Now this would not have happened unless the body of Elisha were holy. And chaste Joseph embraced Jacob after he was dead upon his bed; (7) and Moses and Joshua the son of Nun carried away the relics of Joseph, (8) and did not esteem it a defilement. Whence you also, O bishops, and the rest, who without such observances touch the departed, ought not to think yourselves defiled. Nor abhor the relics of such persons, but avoid such observances, for they are foolish. And adorn yourselves with holiness and chastity, that ye may become partakers of immortality, and partners of the kingdom of God, and may receive the promise of God, and may rest for ever, through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
To Him, therefore, who is able to open the ears of your hearts to the receiving the oracles of God administered to you both by the Gospel and by the teaching of Jesus Christ of Nazareth; who was crucified under Pontius Pilate and Herod, and died, and rose again from the dead, and will come again at the end of the world with power and great glory, and will raise the dead, and put an end to this world, and distribute to every one according to his deserts: to Him that has given us Himself for an earnest of the resurrection; who was taken up into the heavens by the power of His God and Father in our sight, who ate and drank with Him for forty days after He arose from the dead; who is sat down on the right hand of the throne of the majesty of Almighty God upon the cherubim; to whom it was said, "Sit Thou on my right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool;" (9) whom the most blessed Stephen saw standing at the right hand of power, and cried out, and said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God," (10)as the High Priest of all the rational orders,--through Him, worship, and majesty, and glory be given to Almighty God, both now and for evermore. (11) Amen.
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