CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA - MORE FRAGMENTS
I.--NICETAS BISHOP OF HERACLEA.
FROM HIS CATENA.
I.--JOB I. 21.
But Job's words may be more elegantly understood of evil and sin thus: "Naked" was formed from the earth at the beginning, as if from a "mother's womb: naked to the earth shall I also depart;" naked, not of possessions, for that were a trivial and common thing, but of evil and sin, and of the unsightly shape which follows those who have led bad lives. Obviously, all of us human beings are born naked, and again are buried naked, swathed only in grave-clothes. For God hath provided for us another life, and made the present life the way for the course which leads to it; appointing the supplies derived from what we possess merely as provisions for the way; and on our quitting this way, the wealth, consisting of the things which we possessed, journeys no farther with us. For not a single thing that we possess is properly our own: of one possession alone, that is godliness, are we properly owners. Of this, death, when it overtakes us, will not rob us; but from all else it will eject us, though against our will. For it is for the support of life that we all have received what we possess; and after enjoying merely the use of it, each one departs, obtaining from life a brief remembrance. For this is the end of all prosperity; this is the conclusion of the good
things of this life. Well, then, does the infant, on opening its eyes, after issuing from the womb, immediately begin with crying, not with laughter. For it weeps, as if bewailing life, at whose hands from the outset it tastes of deadly gifts. For immediately on being bern its hands and feet are swaddled; and swathed in bonds it takes the breast. O introduction to life, precursor of death! The child has but just entered on life, and straightway there is put upon it the raiment of the dead: for nature reminds those that are born of their end. Wherefore also the child, on being born, wails, as if crying plaintively to its mother. Why, O mother, didst thou bring me forth to this life, in which prolongation of life is progress to death? Why hast thou brought me into this troubled world, in which, on being born, swaddling bands are my first experience? Why hast thou delivered me to such a life as this, in which both a pitiable youth wastes away before old age, and old age is shunned as under the doom of death? Dreadful, O mother, is the course of life, which has death as the goal of the runner. Bitter is the road of life we travel, with the grave as the wayfarer's inn. Perilous the sea of life we sail; for it has Hades as a pirate to attack us. Man alone is born in all respects naked, without a weapon or clothing born with him; not as being inferior to the other animals, but that nakedness and your bringing nothing with you may produce thought; and that thought may bring out dexterity, expel sloth, introduce the arts for the supply of our needs, and beget variety of contrivances. For, naked, man is full of contrivances, being pricked on by his necessity, as by a goad, how to escape rains, how to elude cold, how to fence off blows, how to till the earth, how to terrify wild beasts; how to subdue the more powerful of them. Wetted with rain, he contrived a roof; having suffered from cold, he invented clothing; being struck, he constructed a breastplate; bleeding his hands with the thorns in tilling the ground, he availed himself of the help of tools; in his naked state liable to become a prey to wild beasts, he discovered from his fear an art which frightened what frightened him. Nakedness begat one accomplishment after another; so that even his nakedness was a gift and a master-favour. Accordingly, Job also being made naked of wealth, possessions, of the blessing of children, of a numerous offspring, and having lost everything in a short time, uttered this grateful exclamation: "Naked came I out of the womb, naked also shall I depart thither;"--to God, that is, and to that blessed lot and rest.
II.-- FROM THE SAME.
Job xxxiv. 7. Calmness is a thing which, of all other things, is most to be prized. As an exam-
ple of this, the word proposes to us the blessed Job. For it is said of him, "What man is like Job, who drinketh up scorning like water?" For truly enviable, and, in my judgment, worthy of all admiration, a man is, if he has attained to such a degree of long-suffering as to be able with ease to grapple with the pain, truly keen, and not easily conquered by everybody, which arises from being wronged.
III.--FROM NICETAS CATENA ON MATTHEW.
Matt. v. 42. Alms are to be given, but with judgment, and to the deserving, that we may Obtain a recompense from the Most Hitch. But woe to those who have and who take under false pretences, or who are able to help themselves and want to take from others. For he who has, and, to carry out false pretences or out of laziness, takes, shall be condemned.
IV.--FROM THE SAME.
Matt xiii. 31, 32. The word which proclaims the kingdom of heaven is sharp and pungent as mustard, and represses bile, that is, anger, and checks inflammation, that is, pride; and from this word the soul's true health and eternal soundness flow. To such increased size did the growth of the word come, that the tree which sprang from it (that is the Church of Christ established over the whole earth) filled the world, so that the fowls of the air--that is, divine angels and lofty souls--dwelt in its branches.
V.--FROM THE SAME.
Matt. xiii. 46. A pearl, and that pellucid and of purest ray, is Jesus, whom of the lightning flash of Divinity the Virgin bore. For as the pearl, produced in flesh and the oyster-shell and moisture, appears to be a body moist and transparent, full of light and spirit; so also God the Word, incarnate, is intellectual light, sending His rays, through a body luminous and moist.
III.--FROM THE CATENA ON LUKE, EDITED BY CORDERIUS.
Luke iii. 22. God here assumed the "likeness"
not of a man, but "of a dove," because He
wished, by a new apparition of the Spirit in the likeness
of a dove, to declare His simplicity and majesty.
Luke xvi. 17. Perhaps by the iota and tittle His righteousness cries, "If ye come right unto Me, I will also come right to you; but if crooked, I also will come crooked, saith the Lord of hosts;" intimating that the ways of sinners are intricate and crooked. For the way right and agreeable to nature which is intimated by the iota of Jesus, is His goodness, which constantly directs those who believe from hearing, "There shall not, therefore, pass from the law one iota or one tittle," neither from the right and good the mutual promises, nor from the crooked and unjust the punishment assigned to them. "For the Lord doeth good to the good, but those who turn aside into crooked ways God will lead with the workers. of iniquity."
IV.--FROM THE BOOKS OF THE HYPOTYPOSES.
OECUMENIUS FROM BOOK III. ON I COR. XI. 10.
"Because of the angels." By the angels he means righteous and virtuous men. Let her be veiled then, that she may not lead them to stumble into fornication. For the real angels in heaven see her though veiled.
THE SAME, BOOK IV. ON 2 COR. V. 16.
"And if we have known Christ after the flesh." As "after the flesh" in our case is being in the midst of sins, and being out of them is "not after the flesh;" so also" after the flesh" in the case of Christ was His subjection to natural affections, and His not being subject to them is to be "not after the flesh." But, he says, as He was released, so also are we.
THE SAME, BOOK IV. ON 2 COR. VI. 11.
"Our heart is enlarged," to teach you all things. But ye are straitened in your own bowels, that is, in love to God, in which ye ought to love me.
THE SAME, BOOK V. ON GAL. V. 24.
"And they that are Christ's [have crucified] the flesh." And why mention one aspect of virtue after another? For there are some who have crucified themselves as far as the passions are concerned, and the passions as far as respects themselves. According to this interpretation the "and" is not superfluous. "And they that are Christ's"--that is, striving after Him -"have crucified their own flesh."
MOSCHUS: SPIRITUAL MEADOW, BOOK V. CHAP. 176.
Yes, truly, the apostles were baptised, as Clement the Stromatist relates in the fifth book of the Hypotyposes. For, in explaining the apostolic statement, "I thank God that I baptised none of you," he says, Christ is said to have baptised Peter alone, and Peter Andrew, and Andrew John, and they James and the rest.
EUSEBIUS: ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY, BOOK VI. ii. X.
Now Clement, writing in the sixth book of the Hypotyposes, makes this statement. For he says that Peter and James and John, after the Saviour's ascension, though pre-eminently honoured by the Lord, did not contend for glory, but made James the Just, bishop of Jerusalem.
EUSEBIUS: ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY, II. 15.
So, then, through the visit of the divine word to them, the power of Simon was extinguished, and immediately was destroyed along with the man himself. And such a ray of godliness shone forth on the minds of Peter's hearers, that they were not satisfied with the once hearing or with the unwritten teaching of the divine proclamation, but with all manner of entreaties importuned Mark, to whom the Gospel is ascribed, he being the companion of Peter, that he would leave in writing a record of the teaching which had been delivered to them verbally; and did not let the man alone till they prevailed upon him; and so to them we owe the Scripture called the "Gospel by Mark." On learning what had been done, through the revelation of the Spirit, it is said that the apostle was delighted with the enthusiasm of the men, and sanctioned the composition for reading in the Churches. Clemens gives the narrative in the sixth book of the Hypotyposes.
Then, also, as the divine Scripture says, Herod, on the execution of James, seeing that what was done pleased the Jews, laid hands also on Peter; and having put him in chains, would have presently put him to death, had not an angel in a divine vision appeared to him by night, and wondrously releasing him from his bonds, sent him away to the ministry of preaching.
EUSEBIUS: ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY, VI. 14.
And in the Hypotyposes, in a word, he has made abbreviated narratives of the whole testamentary Scripture; and has not passed over the disputed books,--I mean Jude and the rest of the Catholic Epistles and Barnabas, and what is called the Revelation of Peter. And he says that the Epistle to the Hebrews is Paul's, and was written to the Hebrews in the Hebrew language; but that Luke, having carefully translated it, gave it to the Greeks, and hence the same colouring in the expression is discoverable in this Epistle and the Acts; and that the name "Paul an Apostle" was very properly not pre-fixed, for, he says, that writing to the Hebrews, who were prejudiced against him and suspected, he with great wisdom did not repel them in the beginning by putting down his name.
EUSEBIUS: BOOK VII.
I Tim. ii. 6. "In his times;" that is,
when men were in a condition of fitness for faith.
I Tim. iii. 16. "Was seen of angels." O mystery! The angels saw Christ while He was with us, not having seen Him before. Not as by men.
I Tim. v. 8. "And especially those of his own house." He provides for his own and those of his own house, who not only provides for his relatives, but also for himself, by extirpating the passions.
I Tim. v. 10. "If she have washed the feet of saints;" that is, if she has performed without shame the meanest offices for the saints.
I Tim. v. 21. "Without prejudice;" that is, without falling under the doom and punishment of disobedience through making any false step.
I Tim. vi. 13. "Who witnessed before Pontius Pilate." For He testified by what he did that He was Christ the Son of God.
2 Tim. ii. 2. "By many witnesses;" that is, the law and the prophets. For these the apostle made witnesses of his own preaching.
EUSEBIUS: ECCLESIASTCAL HISTORY, BOOK. VII. ii. 1.
To James the Just, and John and Peter, the Lord after His resurrection imparted knowledge (<greek>thn</greek> <greek>gnwsin</greek>.) These imparted it to the rest of the apostles, and the rest of the apostles to the Seventy, of whom Barnabas was one.
EUSEBIUS: THE SAME, II. 2.
And of this James, Clement also relates an anecdote worthy of remembrance in the seventh book of the Hypotyposes, from a tradition of his predecessors. He says that the man who brought him to trial, on seeing him bear his testimony, was moved, and confessed that he was a Christian himself. Accordingly, he says, they were both led away together, and on the way the other asked James to forgive him. And he, considering a little, said, "Peace be to thee" and kissed him. And so both were beheaded together.
EUSEBIUS: THE SAME, VI. 14.
And now, as the blessed Presbyter used to say, since the Lord, as the Apostle of the Almighty, was sent to the Hebrews, Paul, as having been sent to the Gentiles, did not subscribe himself apostle of the Hebrews, out of modesty and reverence for the Lord, and because, being the herald and apostle of the Gentiles, his writing to the Hebrews was something over and above [his assigned function.]
EUSEBIUS: THE SAME.
Again, in the same books Clement has set down a
tradition which he had received from the elders before
him, in regard to the order of the Gospels, to the
following effect. He says that the Gospels containing
the genealogies were written first, and that the Gospel
according to Mark was composed in the following circumstances:--
Peter having preached the word publicly at Rome, and by the Spirit proclaimed the Gospel, those who were present, who were numerous, entreated Mark, inasmuch as he had attended him from an early period, and remembered what had been said, to write down what had been spoken. On his composing the Gospel, he handed it to those who had made the request to him; which coming to Peter's knowledge, he neither hindered nor encouraged. But John, the last of all, seeing that what was corporeal was set forth in the Gospels, on the entreaty of his intimate friends, and inspired by the Spirit, composed a spiritual Gospel.
V.--FROM THE BOOK ON PROVIDENCE.
S. MAXIMUS, VOL. II. 114.
Being is in God. God is divine being, eternal and without beginning, incorporeal and illimitable, and the cause of what exists. Being is that which wholly subsists. Nature is the truth of things, or the inner reality of them. According to others, it is the production of what has come to existence; and according to others, again, it is the providence of God, causing the being, and the manner of being, in the things which are produced.
S. MAXIMUS: IN THE SAME, P. 152.
Willing is a natural power, which desires what is in accordance with nature. Willing is a natural appetency, corresponding with the nature of the rational creature. Willing is a natural spontaneous movement of the self-determining mind, or the mind voluntarily moved about anything. Spontaneity is the mind moved naturally, or an intellectual self-determining movement of the soul.
VI.--FROM THE BOOK ON THE SOUL.
MAXIMUS AND ANTONIUS MELISSA.
Souls that breathe free of all things, possess life, and though separated from the body, and found possessed of a longing for it, are borne immortal to the bosom of God: as in the winter season the vapours of the earth attracted by the sun's rays rise to him.
THE BAROCC. MS.
All souls are immortal, even those of the wicked, for whom it were better that they were not deathless. For, punished with the endless vengeance of quenchless fire, and not dying, it is impossible for them to have a, period put to their misery.
VII.--FRAGMENT FROM THE BOOK ON SLANDER.
ANTONIUS MELISSA, BOOK. II. SERMON 69.
Never be afraid of the slanderer who addresses you. But rather say, Stop, brother; I daily commit more grievous errors, and how can I judge him? For you will gain two things, healing with one plaster both yourself and your neighbour. He shows what is really evil. Whence, by these arguments, God has contrived to make each one's disposition manifest.
ANTONIUS MELISSA, BOOK I. SERMON 64, AND BOOK II. SERMON 87. ALSO MAXIMUS, SERMON 59, P. 669; JOHN OF DAMASCUS, BOOK II.
It is not abstaining from deeds that justifies the believer, but purity and sincerity of thoughts.
VIII.--OTHER FRAGMENTS FROM ANTONIUS MELISSA.
I.--BOOK I. SERMON 17, ON CONFESSION.
Repentance then becomes capable of wiping out every
sin, when on the occurrence of the soul's fault it
admits no delay, and does not let the impulse pass
on to a long space of time. For it is in this way that
evil will be unable to leave a trace in us, being plucked
away at the moment of its assault like a newly planted
As the creatures called crabs are easy to catch, from their going sometimes forward and sometimes backward; so also the soul, which at one time is laughing, at another weeping, and at another giving way to luxury, can do no good.
He who is sometimes grieving, and is sometimes enjoying himself and laughing, is like a man pelting the dog of voluptuousness with bread, who chases it in appearance, but in fact invites it to remain near him.
2. BOOK I. SERMON 51, ON PRAISE.
Some flatterers were congratulating a wise man.
He said to them, If you stop praising me, I think myself
something great after your departure; but if you do
not stop praising me, I guess my own impurity.
Feigned praise is worth less than true censure.
3. BOOK II. SERMON 46, ON THE LAZY AND INDOLENT.
To the weak and infirm, what is moderate appears excessive.
4.BOOK II. SERMON 55, ON YOUR NEIGHBOUR--THAT YOU ARE TO BEAR HIS BURDENS, ETC.
The reproof that is given with knowledge is very faithful. Sometimes also the knowledge of those who are condemned is found to be the most perfect demonstration.
5. BOOK IL SERMON 74, ON THE PROUD, AND THOSE DESIROUS OF VAINGLORY.
To the man who exalts and magnifies himself is attached the quick transition and the fall to low estate, as the divine word teaches.
6. BOOK II. SERMON 87.
Pure speech and a spotless life are the throne and true temple of God.
IX.--FRAGMENT OF THE TREATISE ON MARRIAGE.
MAXIMUS, SERMON III. P. 538, ON MODESTY AND CHASTITY. ALSO, JOHN OF DAMASCUS, BOOK III.--PARALLEL CHAP. 27.
It is not only fornication, but also the giving in marriage prematurely, that is called fornication; when, so to speak, one not of ripe age is given to a husband, either of her own accord or by her parents.
X.--FRAGMENTS OF OTHER LOST BOOKS.
MAXIMUS, SERMON 2.--JOHN OF DAMASCUS, II. CHAP. 70.--ANTONIUS MELISSA, BOOK I. SERMON 52.
Flattery is the bane of friendship. Most men are accustomed to pay court to the good fortune of princes, rather than to the princes themselves.
MAXIMUS, SERMON 13, P. 574.--ANTONIUS MELISSA, SERMON 32, P. 45, AND SERMON 33, P. 57.
The lovers of frugality shun luxury as the bane of soul and body. The possession and use of necessaries has nothing injurious in quality, but it has in quantity above measure. Scarcity of food is a necessary benefit.
MAXIMUS, SERMON 52, P. 654.--ANTONIUS MELISSA, BOOK I. SERMON 54.
The vivid remembrance of death is a check upon diet; and when the diet is lessened, the passions are diminished along with it.
MAXIMUS, SERMON 55, P. 661.
Above all, Christians are not allowed to correct with violence the delinquencies of sins. For it is not those that abstain from wickedness from compulsion, but those that abstain from choice, that God crowns. It is impossible for a man to be steadily good except by his own choice. For he that is made good by compulsion of another is not good; for he is not what he is by his own choice. For it is the freedom of each one that makes true goodness and reveals real wickedness. Whence through these dispositions God contrived to make His own disposition manifest.
XI.--FRAGMENTS FOUND IN GREEK ONLY IN THE OXFORD EDITION.
FROM THE LAST WORK ON THE PASSOVER.
Quoted in the Paschal Chronicle.
Accordingly, in the years gone by, Jesus went to eat the passover sacrificed by the Jews, keeping the feast. But when he had preached He who was the Passover, the Lamb of God, led as a sheep to the slaughter, presently taught His disciples the mystery of the type on the thirteenth day, on which also they inquired, "Where wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the passover?" It was on this day, then, that both the consecration of the unleavened bread and the preparation for the feast took place. Whence John naturally describes the disciples as already previously prepared to have their feet washed by the Lord. And on the following day our Saviour suffered, He who was the Passover, propitiously sacrificed by the Jews.
Suitably, therefore, to the fourteenth day, on which He also suffered, in the morning, the chief priests and the scribes, who brought Him to Pilate, did not enter the Praetorium, that they might not be defiled, but might freely eat the passover in the evening. With this precise determination of the days both the whole Scriptures agree, and the Gospels harmonize. The resurrection also attests it. He certainly rose on the third day, which fell on the first day of the weeks of harvest, on which the law prescribed that the priest should offer up the sheaf.
MACARIUS CHRYSOCEPHALUS: PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON, LUKE XV. ORATION ON LUKE XV., TOWARDS THE CLOSE.
1. What choral dance and high festival is held in heaven, if there is one that has become an exile and a fugitive from the life led under the Father, knowing not that those who put them-
selves far from Him shall perish; if he has squandered
the gift, and substance, and inheritance of the Father;
if there is one whose faith has failed, and whose hope
is spent, by rushing along with the Gentiles into the
same profligacy of debauchery; and then, famished and
destitute, and not even filled with what the swine
eat, has arisen and come to his Father!
But the kind Father waits not till the son comes to Him. For perchance he would never be able or venture to approach, did he not find Him gracious. Wherefore, when he merely wishing, when he straightway made a beginning, when he took the first step, while he was yet a great way off, He [the Father] was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell upon his neck and kissed him. And then the son, taking courage, confessed what he had done.
Wherefore the Father bestows on him the glory and honour that was due and meet, putting on him the best robe, the robe of immortality; and a ring, a royal signet and divine seal,--impress of consecration, signature of glory, pledge of testimony (for it is said, "He hath set to his seal that God is true,") and shoes, not those perishable ones which he hath set his foot on holy ground is bidden take off, nor such as he who is sent to preach the kingdom of heaven is forbidden to put on, but such as wear not, and ate suited for the journey to heaven, becoming and adorning the heavenly path, such as unwashed feet never put on, but those which are washed by our Teacher and Lord.
Many, truly, are the shoes of the sinful soul, by which it is bound and cramped. For each man is cramped by the cords of his own sins. Accordingly, Abraham swears to the king of Sodom, "I will not take of all that is thine, from a thread to a shoe-latchet." On account of these being defiled and polluted on the earth, every kind of wrong and selfishness engrosses life. As the Lord reproves Israel by Amos, saying, "For three iniquities of Israel, yea, for four, I will not turn him back; because they have given away the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes, which tread upon the dust of the ground."
2. Now the shoes which the Father bids the servant give to the repentant son who has be-taken himself to Him, do not impede or drag to the earth (for the earthly tabernacle weighs down the anxious mind); but they are buoyant, and ascending, and waft to heaven, and serve as such a ladder and chariot as he requires who has turned his mind towards the Father. For, beautiful after being first beautifully adorned with all these things without, he enters into the
gladness within. For "Bring out" was said
by Him who had first said, "While he was yet a
great way off, he ran and fell upon his neck."
For it is here that all the preparation for entrance
to the marriage to which we are invited must be accomplished.
He, then, who has been made ready to enter will say,
"This my joy is fulfilled." But the unlovely
and unsightly man will hear, "Friend, how camest
thou in here, without having a wedding garment?"
And the fat and unctuous food,--the delicacies abundant
and sufficing of the blessed,--the fatted calf is killed;
which is also again spoken of as a lamb (not literally);
that no one may suppose it small; but it is the great
and greatest. For not small is "the Lamb of God
who taketh away the sin of the world," who
"was led as a sheep to the slaughter," the
sacrifice full of marrow, all whose fat, according
to the sacred law, was the Lord's. For He was wholly
devoted and consecrated to the Lord; so well grown,
and to such excessive size, as to reach and extend
over all, and to fill those who eat Him and feed upon
Him. For He is both flesh and bread, and has given
Himself as both to us to be eaten.
To the sons, then, who come to Him, the Father gives the calf, and it is slain and eaten. But those who do not come to Him He pursues and disinherits, and is found to be a most powerful bull. Here, by reason of His size and prowess, it is said of Him, "His glory is as that of an unicorn." And the prophet Habakkuk sees Him bearing horns, and celebrates His defensive attitude--"horns in His hands." Wherefore the sign shows His power and authority,--horns that pierce on both sides, or rather, on all sides, and through everything. And those who eat are so strengthened, and retain such strength from the life-giving food in them, that they themselves are stronger than their enemies, and are all but armed with the horns of a bull; as it is said, "In thee shall we butt our enemies."
3. Gladness there is, and music, and dances; although the eider son, who had ever been with and ever obedient to the Father, takes it ill, when he who never had himself been dissipated or profligate sees the guilty one made happy.
Accordingly the Father calls him, saying, "Son, thou art ever with me." And what greater joy and feast and festivity can be than being continually with God, standing by His side and serving Him? "And all that is mine is thine." And blessed is the heir of God, for whom the
Father holds possession,--the faithful, to whom the
whole world of possessions belongs.
"It was meet that we should be glad, and rejoice; for thy brother was dead, and is alive again." Kind Father, who givest all things life, and raisest the dead. "And was lost, and is found." And "blessed is the man whom Thou hast chosen and accepted," and whom having sought, Thou dost find. "Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, whose sins are covered." It is for man to repent of sins; but let this be accompanied with a change that will not be checked. For he who does not act so shall be put to shame, because he has acted not with his whole heart, but in haste.
And it is ours to flee to God. And let us endeavour after this ceaselessly and energetically. For He says, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." And prayer and confession with humility are voluntary acts. Wherefore it is enjoined, "First tell thy sins, that thou mayest be justified." What afterwards we shall obtain, and what we shall be, it is not for us to judge.
4. Such is the strict meaning of the parable. The repentant son came to the pitying Father, never hoping for these things,--the best robe, and the ring, and the shoes,--or to taste the fatted calf, or to share in gladness, or enjoy music and dances; but he would have been contented with obtaining what in his own estimation he deemed himself worth. "Make me," he had made up his mind to say, "as one of thy hired servants." But when he saw the Father's welcome meeting him, he did not say this, but said what he had in his mind to say first, "Father, I have sinned against Heaven, and before thee." And so both his humility and his accusation became the cause of justification and glory. For the righteous man condemns himself in his first words. So also the publican departed justified rather than the Pharisee. The son, then, knew not either what he was to obtain, or how to take or use or put on himself the things given him; since he did not take the robe himself, and put; it on. But it is said, "Put it on him." He did not himself put the ring on his finger, but those who were bidden "Put a ring on his hand." Nor did he put the shoes on himself, but it was they who heard, "and shoes on his feet."
And these things were perhaps incredible to him and to others, and unexpected before they took place; but gladly received and praised were the gifts with which he was presented.
5. The parable exhibits this thought, that the
exercise of the faculty of reason has been accorded
to each man. Wherefore the prodigal is introduced,
demanding from his father his portion, that is, of
the state of mind, endowed by reason. For the possession
of reason is granted to all, in order to the pursuit
of what is good, and the avoidance of what is bad.
But many who are furnished by God with this make a
bad use of the knowledge that has been given them,
and land in the profligacy of evil practices, and wickedly
waste the substance of reason,--the eye on disgraceful
sights, the tongue on blasphemous words, the smell
on foetid licentious excesses of pleasures, the mouth
on swinish gluttony, the hands on thefts, the feet
on running into plots, the thoughts on impious counsels,
the inclinations on indulgence on the love of ease,
the mind on brutish pastime. They preserve nothing
of the substance of reason unsquandered. Such an one,
therefore, Christ represents in the parable,--as a
rational creature, with his reason darkened, and asking
from the Divine Being what is suitable to reason; then
as obtaining from God, and making a wicked use of what
had been given, and especially of the benefits of baptism,
which had been vouchsafed to him; whence also He calls
him a prodigal; and then, after the dissipation of
what had been given him, and again his restoration
by repentance, [He represents] the love of God shown
6. For He says, "Bring hither the fatted calf, kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son"--a name of nearest relationship, and significative of what is given to the faithful--"was dead and lost,"--an expression of extremest alienation; for what is more alien to the living than the lost and dead? For neither can be possessed any more. But having from the nearest relationship fallen to extremest alienation, again by repentance he returned to near relationship. For it is said, "Put on him the best robe," which was his the moment he obtained baptism. I mean the glory of baptism, the remission of sins, and the communication of the other blessings, which he obtained immediately he had touched the font.
"And put a ring on his hand." Here is the mystery of the Trinity; which is the seal impressed on those who believe.
"And put shoes on his feet," for "the preparation of the Gospel of peace," and the whole course that leads to good actions.
7. But whom Christ finds lost, after sin committed since baptism, those Novatus, enemy of God, resigns to destruction. Do not let us then reckon any fault if we repent; guarding against falling, let us, if we have fallen, retrace our steps. And while dreading to offend, let us, after offend-
ing, avoid despair, and be eager to be confirmed; and on sinking, let us haste to rise up again. Let us obey the Lord, who calls to us, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour, and I will give you rest." Let us employ the gift of reason for actions of prudence. Let us learn now abstinence from what is wicked, that we may not be forced to learn in the future. Let us employ life as a training school for what is good; and let us be roused to the hatred of sin. Let us bear about a deep love for the Creator; let us cleave to Him with our whole heart; let us not wickedly waste the substance of reason, like the prodigal. Let us obtain the joy laid up, in which Paul exulting, exclaimed, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" To Him belongs glory and honour, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.
MACARIUS CHRYSOCEPHALUS: ORATION VIII. ON MATT. VIII., AND BOOK VII. ON LUKE XIII.
Therefore God does not here take the semblance of man, but of a dove, because He wished to show the simplicity and gentleness of the new manifestation of the Spirit by the likeness of the dove. For the law was stem, and punished with the sword; but grace is joyous, and trains by the word of meekness. Hence the Lord also says to the apostles, who said that He should punish with fire those who would not receive Him, after the manner of Elias: "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of."
FROM THE SAME.--BOOK XIII. CHAP. IX.
Possibly by the "iota and the tittle" His righteousness exclaims, "If ye come right to me, I also will come right to you; if ye walk crooked, I also will walk crooked, saith the Lord of hosts," alluding to the offences of sinners under the name of crooked ways. For the straight way, and that according to nature, which is pointed out by the iota of Jesus, is His goodness, which is immoveable towards those who have obediently believed. There shall not then pass away from the law neither the iota nor the tittle; that is, neither the promise that applies to the straight in the way, nor the punishment threatened against those that diverge. For the Lord is good to the straight in the way; but "those that turn aside after their crooked ways He shall lead forth with those that work iniquity." "And with the innocent He is innocent, and with the froward He is froward; " and to the crooked He sends crooked ways.
His own luminous image God impressed as with a seal, even the greatest,--on man made in His likeness, that he might be ruler and lord over all things, and that all things might serve him. Wherefore God judges man to be wholly His, and His own image. He is invisible; but His image, man, is visible. Whatever one, then, does to man, whether good or bad, is referred to Himself. Wherefore from Him judgment shall proceed, appointing to all according to desert; for He will avenge His own image.
XII.--FRAGMENTS NOT GIVEN IN THE OXFORD EDITION.
1. IN ANASTASIUS SINAITA, QUEST. 96.
As it is possible even now for man to form men, according to the original formation of Adam, He no longer now creates, on account of His having granted once for all to man the power of generating men, saying to our nature, "Increase, and multiply, and replenish the earth." So also, by His omnipotent and omniscient power, He arranged that the dissolution and death of our bodies should be effected by a natural sequence and order, through the change of their elements, in accordance with His divine knowledge and comprehension.
2. JOANNES VECCUS, PATRIARCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE, ON THE PROCESSION OF THE SPIRIT. IN LEO ALLATIUS, VOL. I. P. 248.
Further, Clement the Stromatist, in the various definitions which he framed, that they might guide the man desirous of studying theology in every dogma of religion, defining what spirit is, and how it is called spirit, says: "Spirit is a substance, subtle, immaterial, and which issues forth without form."
3. FROM THE UNPUBLISHED DISPUTATION AGAINST ICONOCLASTS, OF NICEPHORUS OF CONSTANTINOPLE; EDITED IN GREEK AND LATIN BY LE NOURRY IN HIS APPARATUS TO THE LIBRARY OF THE FATHERS, VOL. I. P. 1334 A.B. FROM CLEMENT THE PRESBYTER OF ALEXANDRIA'S BOOK AGAINST JUDAIZERS.
Solomon the son of David, in the books styled "The Reigns of the Kings," comprehending not only that the structure of the true temple was celestial and spiritual, but had also a reference to the flesh, which He who was both the son and Lord of David was to build up, both for His own presence, where, as a living image, He resolved to make His shrine, and for the church that was to rise up through the union of faith, says expressly, "Will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth?"
Please choose an option. He dwells
on the earth clothed in flesh, and His abode with men
is effected by the conjunction and harmony which obtains
among the righteous, and which build and rear a new
temple. For the righteous are the earth, being still
encompassed with the earth; and earth, too, in comparison
with the greatness of the Lord. Thus also the blessed
Peter hesitates not to say, "Ye also, as living
stones, are built up, a spiritual house, a holy temple,
to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God
by Jesus Christ."
And with reference to the body, which by circumscription He consecrated as a hallowed place for Himself upon earth, He said," Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again. The Jews therefore said, In forty-six years was this temple built, and wilt thou raise it up in three days ? But He spake of the temple of His body."
4. FROM MS. MARKED 2431 IN THE LIBRARY OF THE MOST CHRISTIAN KING.--IBID. P. 1336
A. FROM THE VERY HOLY AND BLESSED CLEMENT, PRESBYTER OF ALEXANDRIA, THE STROMATIST'S BOOK ON PROVIDENCE.
What is God? "God," as the Lord saith, "is a Spirit." Now spirit is properly substance, incorporeal, and uncircumscribed. And that is incorporeal which does not consist of a body, or whose existence is not according to breadth, length, and depth. And that is uncircumscribed which has no place, which is wholly in all, and in each entire, and the same in itself.
5. FROM THE SAME MS.--IB1D. 1335 <greek>Fusis</greek> (nature) is so called from <greek>to</greek> <greek>pefukenai</greek> (to be born). The first substance is everything which subsists by itself, as a stone is called a substance. The second is a substance capable of increase, as a plant grows and decays. The third is animated and sentient substance, as animal, horse. The fourth is animate, sentient, rational substance, as man. Wherefore each one of us is made as consisting of all, having an immaterial soul arid a mind, which is the image of God.
6. IN JOHN OF DAMASCUS--PARALLEL--VOL. II.
The fear of God, who is impassible, is free of perturbation. For it is not God that one dreads, but the falling away from God. He who dreads this, dreads falling into what is evil, and dreads what is evil. And he that fears a fall wishes himself to be immortal and passionless.
7.THE SAME, P. 341.
Let there be a law against those who dare to look at things sacred and divine irreverently, and in a way unworthy of God, to inflict on them the punishment of blindness.
8. THE SAME, P. 657.
Universally, the Christian is friendly to solitude, and quiet, and tranquillily, and peace.
9. FROM THE CATENA ON THE PENTATEUCH, PUBLISHED IN LATIN BY FRANCIS ZEPHYRUS, P. 146.
That mystic name which is called the Tetragrammaton, by which alone they who had access to the Holy of Holies were protected, is pronounced Jehovah, which means, "Who is, and who shall be." The candlestick which stood at the south of the altar signified the seven planets, which seem to us to revolve around the meridian,  on either side of which rise three branches; since the sun also like the lamp, balanced in the midst of the planets by divine wisdom, illumines by its light those above and below. On the other side of the altar was situated the table on which the loaves were displayed, because from that quarter of the heaven vital and nourishing breezes blow.
10. FROM J. A. CRAMER'S CATENAE GRAECORUM PATRUM IN NOV. TEST. OXFORD 1840 VOL. III.
On Acts vii. 24, 25. The mystics say that it was by his word alone that Moses slew the Egyptian ; as certainly afterwards it is related in the Acts that [Peter] slew with his word those who kept back part of the price of the land, and lied.
II. THE SAME, VOL. IV. P. 291.
On Rom. viii. 38. "Or life, that of our present existence," and "death,"--that caused by the assault of persecutors, and "angels, and principalities, and powers," apostate spirits.
12. P. 369, CHAP. X. 3.
And having neither known nor done the requirement of the law, what they conceived, that they also thought that the law required. And they did not believe the law, as prophesying, but the bare word; and followed it from fear, but not with their disposition and in faith.
13. VOL. VI . P. 385.
On 2 Cor. v. 16. "And if we have known Christ
after the flesh."
And so far, he says, no one any longer lives after
the flesh. For that is not life, but death. For Christ
also, that He might show this, ceased to live after
the flesh. How? Not by putting off the body! Far be
it! For with it as His own He shall come, the Judge
of all. But by divesting Himself of physical affections,
such as hunger, and thirst, and sleep, and weariness.
For now He has a body incapable of suffering and of
As "after the flesh" in our case is being in the midst of sins, and being out of them is to be "not after the flesh;" so also after the flesh, in the case of Christ, was His subjection to natural affections, and not to be subject to them was not to be "after the flesh." "But," he says, "as He was released, so also are we." Let there be no longer, he says, subjection to the influences of the flesh. Thus Clement, the fourth book of the Hypotyposes.
14. FROM THE SAME, P. 391.
On 2 Cor. vi. 11. "Our heart is enlarged." For as heat is wont to expand, so also love. For love is a thing of warmth. As if he would say, I love you not only with mouth, but with heart, and have you all within. Wherefore he says: "ye are not straitened in us, since desire itself expands the soul." "Our heart is enlarged" to teach you all things; "but ye are straitened in your own bowels," that is, in love to God, in which you ought to love me. Thus Clement, in the fourth book of the Hypotyposes.
15. FROM VOL. III. v. 286.
Heb. i. I. "At sundry times and divers man Since the Lord, being the Apostle of the Almighty, was sent to the Hebrews, it was out of modesty that Paul did not subscribe himself apostle of the Hebrews, from reverence for the Lord, and because he was the herald and apostle of the Gentiles, and wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews in addition [to his proper work].
16. FROM THE SAME.
The same work contains a passage from The Instructor,
book i. chap. vi. The passage is that beginning,
"For the blood is found to be," down to "potent
charms of affection."
Portions, however, are omitted. There are a good many various readings; but although the passage in question, as found in Cramer's work, is printed in full in Migne's edition, on the alleged ground of the considerable variation from the text of Clement, the variation is not such as to make a translation of the passage as found in Cramer of any special interest or value. We have noted the following readings:--
<greek>ginetai</greek>, where, the verb being omitted, we have inserted is: There is an obstruction, etc.
<greek>suriggas</greek>, tubes, instead of <greek>s</greek>,s212><greek>raggas</greek> (hollows), hollows of the breasts. <greek>geitniaxouswn</greek>, for <greek>getniouswn</greek> neighbouring (arteries).
<greek>epilhyei</greek>, for interruption (such as this).
<greek>apoklhrw</greek>,<greek>s</greek>,<greek>is</greek> occurs as in the text,for which the emendation <greek>apolhrhsis</greek>, as specified in the note, has been adopted. <greek>htis</greek> <greek>esti</greek>, omitted here, which is "sweet through grace," is supplied.
<greek>gala</greek>, milk, instead of <greek>manna</greek>, manna, (that food) manna.
(but it is necessary to consider nature), for <greek>ou</greek>
<greek>f</greek>., through want of consideration
of nature. <greek>katakleiomenh</greek>,
agreeing with food, for <greek>katakleiomenw</greek>,
agreeing with heat (enclosed within).
<greek>ginetai</greek> for <greek>gar</greek> (which is untranslated), (the blood) is (a preparation) for milk.
<greek>toinun</greek> <greek>ton</greek> <greek>logon</greek> is supplied, and <greek>eikotws</greek> omitted in the clause, Paul using appropriate figurative language.
<greek>plhn</greek> is supplied before <greek>alla</greek> <greek>to</greek> <greek>en</greek> <greek>auth</greek>, and the blood in it, etc., is omitted.
"For Diogenes Apolloniates will have it"
<greek>panth</greek>, rendered "in all respects," is connected with the preceding sentence.
for <greek>Ws</greek> <greek>d</greek>.
And that (milk is produced).
<greek>thnikauta</greek> for <greek>thnikade</greek> in the clause, "and the
grass and meadows are juicy and moist," not translated.
mentioned (milk), omitted.
<greek>trufhs</greek> for <greek>trofhs</greek>, (sweet) nutriment.
<greek>tw</greek> omitted before <greek>glukei</greek>, sweet (wine), and <greek>kaqaper</greek>, "as, when suffering."
<greek>to</greek> <greek>liparon</greek> for <greek>tw</greek> <greek>liparw</greek>, and <greek>aridhlws</greek> for <greek>aridhlou</greek>, in the sentence: "Further, many use the fat of milk, called butter, for the lamp, plainly," etc.
[Le Nourry decides that the Adumbrations were not translated from the Hypotyposes, but Kaye (p. 473) thinks on insufficient grounds. See, also (p. 5), Kaye's learned note.]
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The Real Jesus:
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archaeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the "historical Jesus" -- a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archaeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regretably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
This presentation explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views.
Presented in ten parts -- perfect for individual, family and classroom study -- viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history -- "the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
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|The Beast of Revelation: IDENTIFIED
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation? Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry's insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation -- and even more importantly -- amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue -- but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
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|Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism
Over four hours of instruction!
Just what is “Calvinism?” Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
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