375 – 380 AD
The Apostolic Constitutions (or Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, lat. Constitutiones Apostolorum)
By Clement, Bishop And Citizen Of Rome (Pseudonym)
The Work Claiming To Be The Constitutions Of The Holy Apostles, Including The Canons; William Whiston’s Version, Revised From The Greek;
Irah Chase, Otto Krabbe
D. Appleton and company, 1848
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Table of Contents
- BOOK I. Concerning The Laity
- Book II. Concerning Bishops, Presbyters, And Deacons
- Book III. Concerning Widows
- Book IV. Concerning Orphans
- Book V. Concerning Martyrs
- Book VI. Concerning Schisms
- Book VII. Concerning Deportment, And The Eucharist, And Initiation Into Christ
- Book VIII. Concerning Gifts, And Ordinations, And Ecclesiastical Canons
BOOK I. Concerning The Laity
- Concerning Covetousness
- That we ought not to return injuries, nor revenge ourselves on him that doeth us wrong
- Concerning the adornment of ourselves, and the sin which ariseth thence
- That we ought not to be over curious about such as live wickedly, but to be intent upon our own proper employment
- What books of Scripture we ought to read
- That we ought to abstain from all the books of those that are out of the church
- Concerning a bad woman
- Concerning the subjection of a wife to her husband, and that she must be loving and modest
- That a woman must not bathe with men
- Concerning a contentious and brawling woman
Book II. Concerning Bishops, Presbyters, And Deacons
- In what things a Bishop is to be examined before he is ordained
- 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 anyone who is given to gluttony, drunkenness, and idleness
- That a Bishop must be no accepter of persons in judgment; that he must be gentle in his conversation, and temperate in his diet
- That a Bishop must not be given to filthy lucre, nor be a surety, nor an advocate
- What ought to be the character of the initiated
- Concerning a person falsely accused, or, on the other hand, a person convicted
- That a Bishop ought not to receive bribes
- That a Bishop, who, by wrong judgment, spareth an offender, is himself guilty
- How a Bishop ought to judge offenders
- An Instruction, how a Bishop ought to behave himself to the Penitent
- That we ought to beware how we make trial of any sinful course
- Concerning those who affirm that a Penitent is not to be received into the church. That a righteous person, although he converse with a sinner, Avill 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
- That the Priest must neither overlook offences, nor be rash in punishing them
- Of Penance. The manner of it, and rules concerning it
- That a Bishop must be unblamable, and a pattern for those who are under his charge
- That a Bishop must take care that his people do not sin, considering that he is a watchman
- That a shepherd who is careless of his sheep incurreth penalty; and that a sheep who doth not obey the shepherd is punished
- How the governed are to obey the Bishops who are set over them
- That it is a dangerous thing to judge without hearing both sides, or to determine punishment against a person before he is convicted
- That David, the Ninevites, Hezekiah, and his son Manasseh are eminent examples of repentance
- Amon may be an example to such as sin with a high hand
- That Christ Jesus our Lord came to save sinners by repentance
- Of first-fruits and tithes; and after what manner the Bishop is himself to partake of them, or to distribute them to others
- According to what pattern and dignity every order of the clergy is appointed by God
- 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
- Of an entertainment; and how each distinct order of the clergy is to be treated by those who invite them to it
- What is the dignity of a Bishop and of a Deacon
- After what manner the laity are to be obedient to the Deacon
- That the Deacon must not do anything without the Bishop
- That the Deacon must not make any distributions without the consent of the Bishop, because that will turn to the reproach of the Bishop
- After what manner the Priests are to be honored and to be reverenced as our spiritual parents
- That the Priests are to be preferred before the rulers and kings
- That both the Law and the Gospel prescribe offerings
- Mention of the Ten Commandments; and after what manner they prescribe
- Concerning accusers and false accusers; and how a judge is not rashly either to believe them or to disbelieve them, but after an accurate examination
- That they who sin are to be privately reproved, and the Penitent to be received according to the Constitution of our Lord
- Examples of repentance
- That we are not to be implacable towards him who hath once or twice offended
- How we ought to receive the Penitent, and how to bear with them that sin, and when to cut them off from the church
- That a judge must not be a respecter of persons
- How false accusers are to be punished
- That the Deacon is to ease the burden of the Bishops, and to order the smaller matters himself
- That contentions and quarrels are unbecoming Christians
- That believers ought not to go to law before unbelievers; nor ought any unbeliever to be called for a witness against believers
- That the judicatures of Christians ought to be held on the second day of the week
- That the same punishment is not to be inflicted forevery offence, but different punishments for different offenders
- What are to be the characters of accusers and witnesses
- That former offences sometimes render subsequent ones credible
- Against judging without hearing both sides
- The caution observed at heathen tribunals before the condemnation of criminals, affordeth Christians a good example
- That Christians ought not to have contentions one with another
- That the Bishops must, by their Deacon, put the people in mind of the obligation they are under to live peaceably together
- An enumeration of several instances of divine Providence, and how, in every age, from the beginning, God hath invited all men to repentance
- That it is the will of God that men should be of one mind, in matters of religion, like the heavenly Powers
- An exact description of a church, and the clergy: and what things in particular, everyone is to do in the solemn assemblies of the clergy and laity for religious worship
- Of commendatory letters in favor 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
- That every Christian ought to frequent the church diligently both morning and evening
- The vain zeal which the heathen and the Jews show in frequenting their temples and synagogues is a proper example and motive to excite Christians to frequent the church
- That we must not prefer the affairs of this life to those which concern the worship of God
- That Christians must abstain from all the impious practices of the heathen
- That no Christian who will not work must eat; as Peter and the rest of the apostles were fishermen, Paul and Aquila, tentmakers; and Jude the son of James, a husbandman
Book III. Concerning Widows
- That those who are chosen widows ought to be not under sixty years of age
- That we must avoid the choice of younger widows, because of suspicion
- in. Of what character the widows ought to be, and how they ought to be supported by the Bishop
- That we ought to be charitable to all sorts of persons in want
- That the widows are to be very careful of their deportment
- That women ought not to teach, because it is unseemly; and what women followed our Lord
- What are the characters of widows falsely so called
- That a widow ought not to accept of alms from the unworthy, nor ought a Bishop, nor any other of the faithful
- That women ought not to baptize; because it is impious, and contrary to the doctrine of Christ
- That a layman ought not to perform a priestly work, baptism, or sacrifice, or laying on of hands, or blessing
- That none but a Bishop or a Presbyter, none even of the inferior ranks of the clergy are permitted to do the offices of the Priests; that ordination belongeth wholly to the Bishop, and to no other person
- The rejection of all uncharitable actions
- How the widows are to pray for those who supply their necessities
- That she who hath been kind to the poor ought not to boast, and tell abroad her name, according to the Constitution of the Lord
- That it doth not become us to revile our neighbors, because cursing is contrary to Christianity
- Concerning the divine initiation of holy baptism
- What is the meaning of baptism into Christ 5 and on what account everything therein is said and done
- Of what character he ought to be who is initiated
- Of what character a Deacon ought to be
- That a Bishop ought to be ordained by three or by two Bishops, but not by one; for that would be invalid
Book IV. Concerning Orphans
- That it is highly commendable to receive orphans kindly, and adopt them
- How the Bishop ought to provide for the orphans
- Who ought to be supported, according to the Lord’s Constitution
- Concerning the love of money
- With what fear men ought to partake of the Lord’s oblations
- Whose oblations are to be received, and whose are not to be received
- That the oblations of the unworthy, while they are such, do not only not propitiate God, but, on the contrary, provoke him to indignation
- That it is better to present to the widows from our own labors, though it be inconsiderable and few contributions, than to presenfthose 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
- That the people ought to be exhorted by the Priest to do good to the needy, as saith Solomon the wise
- A Constitution, that if anyone of the ungodly by force will cast money to the Priests, they spend it in wood and coals, but not in food
- Of Parents and Children
- Of Servants and Masters
- In what things we ought to be subject to the rulers of this world
- Of Virgins
Book V. Concerning Martyrs
- That it is reasonable for the faithful to supply, according to the Constitution of the Lord, the wants of those who, by the unbelievers, are afflicted for the sake of Christ
- That we are to avoid intercourse with false brethren, when they continue in their perversity
- That we ought to afford a helping hand to such as are plundered for the sake of Christ, although we should incur danger ourselves
- That it is a horrible and destructive thing to deny Christ
- That we ought to imitate Christ in suffering, and with zeal to follow his patience
- 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, if he fall into the enemy’s hand, to strive earnestly on account of the crown that is laid up for him
- Several demonstrations concerning the resurrection, concerning the Sibyl, and what the Stoics say concerning the bird called the Phoenix
- Concerning James the brother of the Lord, and Stephen the first martyr
- Concerning false Martyrs
- A moral admonition, that we are to abstain from vain talking, obscene talking, jesting, drunkenness, lasciviousness, and luxury
- An admonition, instructing men to avoid the abominable sin of idolatry
- That we ought not to sing a heathen or an obscene song 5 nor to swear by an idol, because it is an impious thing, and contrary to the knowledge of God
- A catalogue of the feasts of the Lord which are to be kept; and when each of them ought to be observed
- 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
- Of the great week; and on what account they enjoin us to fast on Wednesday and Friday
- 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
- How the Passover ought to be celebrated
- A Constitution concerning the great Passover week
- Concerning the watching all the night of the great Sabbath, and concerning the day of the resurrection
- A prophetic prediction concerning Christ Jesus
Book VI. Concerning Schisms
- Who they were that ventured to make schisms, and did not escape punishment
- That it is not lawful to rise up against either the kingly or the priestly office
- Concerning the virtue of Moses, and the incredulity of the Jewish nation, and what wonderful works God did among them
- That he maketh schism, not who separateth himself from the wicked, but who departeth from the godly
- On what account Israel, falsely so named, is rejected, a demonstration from the prophetic predictions
- That even among the Jews there arose the doctrine of several heresies, hateful to God
- Whence the heresies sprang, and who was the ringleader of their impiety
- Who were the successors of Simon’s impiety, and what heresies they set up
- How Simon, desiring to fly by some magical arts, fell down headlong from on high, at the prayers of Peter, and broke his feet, and hands, and ankle-bones
- How the heresies differ from each other, and from the truth
- An exposition of apostolical preaching
- To those that confess Christ, but are desirous to judaize
- That we must separate from heretics
- Who were the preachers of the catholic doctrine, and which are the commandments given by them
- That we ought neither to rebaptize, nor to receive that baptism which is given by the wicked; which is not baptism, but a pollution
- Concerning books with false inscriptions
- Matrimonial precepts concerning clergymen
- An exhortation commanding to avoid the communion of the impious heretics
- To those who speak evil of the Law
- Which is the law of nature, and which is that afterwards introduced, and why it was introduced
- That we who believe in Christ are under grace, and not under the servitude of that additional law
- That the law for sacrifices is additional; which Christ, when he came, took away
- How Christ became a fulfiller of the law; and what parts of it he caused to cease, or changed, or transferred
- That it pleased the Lord, that the law of righteousness should be manifested also by Romans
- How God, on account of their impiety towards Christ, made the Jews captives, and placed them under tribute
- That we ought to avoid the heretics, as the corrupters of souls
- Of some Jewish and Gentile observances
- Of the love of boys, adultery, and fornication
- How wives ought to be subject to their own husbands; and husbands ought to love their own wives
- 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
Book VII. Concerning Deportment, And The Eucharist, And Initiation Into Christ
- That there are two ways; the one natural, of life, and the other introduced afterwards, of death; and that the former is from God, and the latter of error, from the snares of the adversary
- Moral exhortations of the Lord’s Constitutions agreeing with the ancient prohibitions of the divine laws. The prohibition of anger, envy, corruption, adultery, and every forbidden action
- Prohibition of conjuring, murder of infants, perjury, and false witness
- Prohibition of evil speaking, and wrath, of deceitful conduct, idle words, falsehood, covetousness, and hypocrisy
- Prohibition of malignity, acceptation of persons, prolonged anger, misanthropy, and detraction
- Concerning augury and enchantments
- Prohibition of murmuring, arrogance, pride, and audacity
- Of long-suffering, simplicity, meekness, and patience
- That it is our duty to esteem our Christian teachers above our parents; the former being the means of our well-being, the other only of our being
- That we ought not to separate ourselves from the saints, but to make peace between those that quarrel, to judge righteously, and not to accept persons
- Concerning him that is double-minded, or of little faith
- Of doing good
- How masters ought to behave themselves to their servants; and how servants ought to be subject
- Concerning hypocrisy, and obedience to the laws, and confession of sins
- Concerning the regard due to parents
- Concerning the subjection due to the king and to rulers
- Concerning the pure conscience of those that pray
- That the way which was afterwards introduced by the snares of the adversary, is full of impiety and wickedness
- That we must not turn from the way of piety, either to the right hand or to the left, is the exhortation of the lawgiver
- That we ought not to despise any of the sorts of food that are set before us, but gratefully and orderly to partake of them
- That we ought to avoid the eating of things offered to idols
- A Constitution of our Lord, how we ought to baptize, and into whose death
- Which days of the week we ought to fast, and which not, and for what reasons
- What sort of people they ought to be who offer the prayer that was given by the Lord
- A mystical thanksgiving
- A thanksgiving at the divine participation
- A thanksgiving in respect to the mystical ointment
- That we ought not to be indifferent about fellowship
- A Constitution concerning oblations
- How we ought to assemble together and celebrate the festival day of our Saviours resurrection
- What qualifications they ought to have who are to be ordained
- A prediction concerning events which are to occur
- A prayer declarative of God’s various Providence
- A prayer declarative of God’s various creation
- A prayer with thanksgiving declarative of God’s care over the beings He hath made
- A prayer commemorative of the incarnation of Christ; and his various Providence to the saints
- A prayer containing a memorial of Providence, and an enumeration of the various benefits afforded to the saints by the Providence of God through Christ
- A prayer for the assistance of the righteous
- How the Catechumens are to be instructed in the elements
- A Constitution, how the Catechumens are to be blessed by the priests in initiation j and what things are to be taught them
- The renunciation of the adversary, and the dedication to the Christ of God
- A thanksgiving in respect to the anointing with the mystical oil
- A thanksgiving concerning the mystical water
- A thanksgiving concerning the mystical ointment
- A prayer of the newly initiated
- Who they were whom the Holy Apostles sent and ordained
- A morning prayer
- An evening prayer
- A prayer at dinner
Book VIII. Concerning Gifts, And Ordinations, And Ecclesiastical Canons
- On whose account the miraculous powers are put forth
- Concerning unworthy Bishops and Presbyters
- That to make Constitutions concerning those things which are to be performed in the churches, is of great consequence
- Concerning Ordinations
- Form of prayer for the ordination of a Bishop
- The Divine liturgy in which is the bidding prayer for the Catechumens.
- Prayer for the Energumens
- Prayer for the persons about to be baptized
- The imposition of hands, and prayer for the Penitents
- The bidding prayer for the faithful
- Form of prayer for the faithful
- A Constitution of James, the brother of John, the son of Zebedee
- The bidding prayer for the faithful, after the Divine oblation
- The bidding prayer after the participation
- Form of prayer after the participation
- Concerning the ordination of Presbyters, a Constitution of John, who was beloved by the Lord
- Concerning the ordination of Deacons, a Constitution of Philip
- Form of prayer for the ordination of a Deacon
- Concerning a Deaconess, a Constitution of Bartholomew
- Form of prayer for the ordination of a Deaconess
- Concerning Sub-deacons, a Constitution of Thomas
- Concerning Readers, a Constitution of Matthew
- Concerning Confessors, a Constitution of James the son of Alpheus
- The same Apostle’s Constitution concerning Virgins
- The Constitution of Lebbeus, who was surnamed Thaddeus, concerning Widows
- The same Apostle concerning an Exorcist
- Simon the Cananite, concerning the number necessary for the ordination of a Bishop
- The same Apostle’s Canons concerning Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, and the rest of the clergy
- Concerning the blessing of water and of oil, a Constitution of Matthias
- The same Apostle’s Constitution concerning first-fruits and tithes
- The same Apostle’s Constitution concerning the remaining oblations
- Various canons of Paul the Apostle concerning those that present them selves to be baptized; whom we are to receive, and whom to reject
- On what days servants are not to work
- At what hours, and why we are to pray
- A Constitution of James the brother of Christ, concerning evening prayer
- A bidding prayer for the evening
- A thanksgiving for the evening
- A thanksgiving for the morning
- A prayer, with imposition of hands for the morning
- Form of prayer for the first-fruits
- A bidding prayer for those who have fallen asleep
- How and when we ought to celebrate the memorials of the faithful departed; and that we ought then to give somewhat out of their goods to the poor
- That memorials or mandates do not at all profit those who die wicked
- Concerning drunkards
- Of receiving those who are persecuted for Christ’s sake
- That every one ought to remain in that rank in which he is placed, and not seize for himself the offices which are not intrusted to him
- The Ecclesiastical Canons
Constitutions Of The Holy Apostles
By Clement, Bishop And Citizen Of Rome; Or, Catholic Doctrine
BOOK I – Concerning The Laity
THE Apostles and Elders to all those who from among the Gentiles have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace from the Almighty God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, be multiplied to you in the acknowledgment of him.
The catholic church is the plantation of God, and his beloved vineyard; 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 and inwardly strengthened with his fear, through Jesus; who enjoy the benefit of the sprinkling of the precious and innocent blood of Christ; who have free liberty to call the Almighty God, Father; being fellow-heirs and joint partakers of his beloved Son. Hearken to the holy doctrine, ye 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, who is our Lord. For if any man follow unrighteousness, and do those things that are contrary to the will of God, such a person will be accounted by God as the disobedient heathen.
Chapter I – Against Covetousness
ABSTAIN, therefore, from all unlawful desires and from injustice. For it is written in the Law, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his field, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s; because all coveting of these things is from the evil one. For he that coveteth his neighbor’s wife, or his man-servant, or his maid-servant, is already in his mind an adulterer and a thief; and if he do not repent, he is condemned by our Lord Jesus Christ; through whom glory be to God forever. Amen. For he saith 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 neighbor’s wife to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Such a man is condemned of adultery who coveteth his neighbor’s wife in his mind. But he that coveteth an ox or an ass, doth not he design to steal them? To apply them to his own use, and to lead them away? Or again, he that coveteth a field, and continueth in such a disposition, doth not he wickedly contrive how to remove the landmarks, and so compel the possessor to part with somewhat for nothing? For the prophet somewhere saith, Woe to those who join house to house, and lay field to field, that they may deprive their neighbor of somewhat which was his. Wherefore it is said, Must ye 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 neighbor’s landmarks; and all the people shall say Amen. Wherefore Moses saith, Thou shalt not remove thy neighbor’s landmarks, which thy fathers have set.
Upon this account, therefore, terrors, death, tribunals, and condemnations from God, follow such as these. But as to those who are obedient to God, there is one law of God, simple, true, living, which is this: Do not that to another which Thou hatest another should do to thee. Thou wouldst not that anyone should look upon thy wife with an evil design to corrupt her. Do not thou, therefore, look upon thy neighbor’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, insulted. Do not thou, therefore, treat any other in the like manner.
Chapter II – That we ought not to return injuries, nor revenge ourselves on him that doeth us wrong
But if anyone 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. In the same manner it is written in the Gospel, Bless them that curse you. Being injured, do not avenge yourselves, but bear it with patience; for the Scripture speaketh thus: Say not thou, I will avenge myself on mine enemy for what injuries he hath done me: but wait; that the Lord may right thee, and bring vengeance upon him who hath injured thee. For, again, in the Gospel he saith, Love your enemies; do good to them that hate you; and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you; and ye shall be children of your Father who is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Let us, therefore, beloved, attend to these commandments, that, doing them, we may be found to be children of light.
Bear, therefore, with one another, ye servants and sons of God. Let the husband not be insolent nor arrogant towards his wife; but compassionate, bountiful, desiring to please his own wife, and treat her honorably and obligingly, endeavoring to be agreeable to her.
Chapter III – Concerning the adornment of ourselves, and the sin which ariseth thence
Do not adorn 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 are not guilty of the crime itself, but only of ensnaring her by thine embellishment to desire thee; for thou art the cause that she was so affected, that by her desire after thee she was guilty of adultery with thee; yet thou art 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. 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; yet, because she was wounded in her heart by thy beauty, and youth, and adorning, so that she fell in love with thee, thou wilt be found guilty of her transgression, as having been a cause of her stumbling; and shalt inherit a woe. Wherefore, pray thou to the Lord God, that no mischief may befall thee on 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 by nature hath bestowed on thee, do not further beautify; but modestly diminish it before men. Thus do not permit the hair of thy head to grow too long, but rather cut it short; lest, by nicely combing thy hair, and wearing it long, and anointing thyself, thou draw upon thyself such ensnared or ensnaring women. Nor do thou wear over-fine garments, to seduce any; nor do thou, with evil subtilty, affect over-fine stockings or shoes for thy feet, but only such as suit the measures of decency and usefulness. Nor do thou put upon thy fingers a ring that hath a golden bezel. For all these ornaments are signs of lasciviousness; and if them be solicitous about them, in an improper manner, thou wilt not act as becometh 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 collect it into a tuft or a braided crown, nor so to separate it as to keep it divided, nor to puff it up, nor by nice combing and platting to make it curl, nor to tinge it with yellow; since the Law forbiddeth, saying in its additional precepts, Ye shall not make to yourselves curls and round rasures. Nor is it right to destroy the hair of the chin, and unnaturally change the form of a man. For the Law saith, Ye shall not mar your beards. God the Creator hath made it seemly for women to have no beard, but he hath 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 hateth; and do none of those things that are displeasing to him.
Chapter IV – That we ought not to be over-curious about such as live wickedly, but to be intent upon our own proper employment
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 thine own trade and employment, endeavor to do what is acceptable to God. And, keeping in mind the oracles of Christ, meditate on them continually. For the Scripture saith 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. Nay, although thou be rich, and do not need a trade for thy maintenance, be not one that wandereth about, and walketh 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.
Chapter V – What books of Scripture we ought to read
If thou stay at home, read the Law, the books of the Kings, and the Prophets; sing the Hymns of David; and peruse diligently the Gospel, which is the completion of the Scriptures that have been mentioned.
Chapter VI – That we ought to abstain from all the books of those that are out of the church
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? What defect dost thou find in the Law of God, that thou shouldst have recourse to those heathenish fables? For if thou hast a mind to read history, thou hast the books of the Kings; of works of wisdom and 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 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. Abstain from them; if not from all of them, yet from some of them, that are of this character. Read them only for the sake of history, in order to the knowledge of them, and to glorify God, that he hath delivered thee from so 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 to the Israelites after the making of the calf. For the Law containeth 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 draw them upon thy self. For our Saviour came for no other reason than that he might deliver those that were obnoxious thereto from that wrath which was reserved for them; that 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 doth he call to us, and say, Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
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 who departed from God soon perished 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 much 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 be ensnared, or thou ensnare and entice to thyself those women who easily yield to such temptations. Take care, therefore, and avoid such things, lest thou admit a snare upon thine own soul.
Chapter VII – Concerning a bad woman
For let us learn what the sacred Word saith, 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 an one accost thee with sweet words. For from the window of her house she looketh 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 meeteth him with the appearance of a harlot, who stealeth away the hearts of young men. She rambleth 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 catcheth him, and kisseth him, and with an impudent face saith 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 I have 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.
And it is added, With much discourse she seduced him; with snares from her lips she forced him. He goeth after her like a silly bird. And again: Do not hearken to a wicked woman; for though the lips of a harlot are like drops from a honey-comb, which for a while is smooth in thy throat, yet afterwards thou wilt find her more litter than gall, and sharper than any two-edged sword. And again: But get away quickly, and tarry not. Fix not thine eyes upon her. For she hath cast down many wounded, and they are innumerable whom she hath slain. But if thou regard not this warning, it saith, 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 hath avoided the reproof of the righteous! I have not hearkened to the voice of my instructer, nor inclined mine ear to my teacher. I was almost in all evil.
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 ye may be found holy with God in eternal life.
Chapter VIII – Concerning the subjection of a wife to her husband, and that she must be loving and modest
Let the wife be obedient to her own husband, because the husband is the head of the wife. But Christ is the head of that husband who walketh in the way of righteousness; and the head of Christ is God, even the Father. Therefore, 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 breatheth, and of every power, and after his beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom 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; so that on thine account thy husband may be deemed happy, according to the Wisdom of Solomon, which speaketh thus:
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 doeth 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 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 strengthened her arms. She tasteth that it is good to labor; her lamp goeth not out 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 taketh 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, garments 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 Pheniciam, and girdles to the Canaanites. She is clothed with glory and beauty; and she rejoiceth in the last days. She openeth her mouth with wisdom and discretion, and putteth 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 rise up, and praise her for her riches, and her husband joineth 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; give her of the fruit of her lips; and let her husband be praised in the gates.
And again: A virtuous wife is a crown to her husband.
And again: Many wives have built a house.
Ye have learned what great commendations a prudent and loving wife receiveth from the Lord God. If thou desirest to be one of the faithful, and to please the Lord, wife, do not beautify thyself in order to please other men, nor imitate the wearing of a harlot’s plaited locks, or garments, or shoes, to entice those who are allured by such things. For although thou doest not these reprehensible acts with design of sinning thyself, but only for the sake of ornament and beauty, yet thou wilt not so escape future punishment; as having compelled another to be so attracted to thee as to desire thee, and as not having taken care both to avoid sin thyself, and to prevent others from stumbling. But if thou yield thyself up, and commit the crime, thou art both guilty of thine 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 saith the divine Word: When a wicked man cometh into the depth of evil, he becometh a scorner, and then disgrace and reproach come upon him. For such a woman afterwards, being wounded, ensnareth without restraint the souls of the foolish.
Let us learn, therefore, how the divine Word plainly describeth and condemneth 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. And in another passage: As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is beauty in a wicked woman. And again: As a worm in wood, so doth a wicked woman destroy her husband. And again: It is better to dwell in the corner of the house-top, than with a contentious and angry woman. Ye, therefore, who are Christian women, imitate not 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 by idle persons. Paint not thy face, which is God’s workmanship; for there is no part of thee which wanteth ornament, inasmuch as all things which God hath 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 becometh women.
Chapter IX – That a woman must not bathe with men
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 the exciting of curiosity, which hath many eyes.
Chapter X – Concerning a contentious and brawling woman
But as to a spirit of contention, be sure to curb it as to all men, but principally as to thy husband; lest, if he be an unbeliever or a heathen, he may have an occasion of stumbling, and blaspheme God, and thou be partaker of a woe from God. For he saith, Woe to him by whom my name is blasphemed among the Gentiles; and lest, if thy husband be a Christian, he be forced, by 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 angry woman.
Ye 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 esteem our sisters, daughters, and members, as being wise yourselves, persevere all your lives in an unblamable course of life. Seek to know those kinds of learning by which ye may arrive at the kingdom of our Lord, and please him, and so rest forever and ever. Amen.
END OF BOOK I
BOOK II – Concerning Bishops, Presbyters, And Deacons
Chapter I – That a Bishop must be well instructed, and experienced in the Word
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 blameless, unreprovable, free from all kinds of wickedness common among men, and not under fifty years of age. For such a man, in good part, is past youthful irregularities, and the slanders of them that are without, as well as the reproaches which are sometimes cast upon many persons by certain false brethren, who do not consider the word of God in the Gospel, Whosoever shall speak an idle word, shall give account thereof to the Lord in the day of judgment. And again: By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Let him, therefore, be well instructed and skilful in the Word, and of competent age.
But if, in a small parish, one advanced in years is not to be found, let some younger person, who hath a good report among his neighbors, and is esteemed by them worthy of the office of a Bishop; who, from his youth, hath carried himself with meekness and regularity, like a much older person; after examination and a general good report, be ordained in peace. For Solomon at twelve years of age was king of Israel, and Josiah at eight years of age reigned righteously; and in like manner Joash governed the people at seven years of age. Wherefore, although the person be young, let him be meek, gentle, and quiet. For the Lord God saith by Isaiah, Upon whom will I look but upon him who is humble and quiet, and always trembleth at my words? In like manner it is in the Gospel also, Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Let him also be merciful; for it is said, Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. 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.
Chapter II – What ought to be the character of a Bishop, and of the rest of the Clergy
Let him, therefore, be sober, prudent, decorous, firm, not easily perturbed, not given to wine, no striker, but gentle; not a brawler, not covetous; not a novice, lest, being puffed up with pride, he fall into condemnation, and the snare of the devil. Forevery one who exalteth himself shall be abased. A Bishop, moreover, ought to be a man who hath been the husband of one wife, who also herself hath had no other husband, ruling well his own house. 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, decorous; whether he hath a grave and faithful wife, or hath formerly had such a one; whether he hath educated his children piously, and hath brought them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; whether his domestics fear and reverence 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?
Chapter III – In what things a Bishop is to be examined before he is ordained
Let examination also be made, whether he be unblamable as to the concerns of this life. For it is written, Search diligently to ascertain whether he who is to be ordained for the priesthood, be free from blemish. On which account, let him also be void of anger; for Wisdom saith, Anger destroyeth even the prudent. Let him also be merciful, of a generous and loving temper; for our Lord saith, By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another. Let him also be ready to give; a lover of the widow and stranger, ready to serve and minister; indefatigable, undaunted; and let him know who is the most worthy of his assistance.
Chapter IV – That charitable distributions are not to be made to every widow, but that sometimes a woman who hath a husband is to be preferred; and that no distributions are to be made to one who is given to gluttony, drunkenness, and idleness
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 of many children, or infirmity of her hands, let him stretch out his hand in charity rather to this latter. But if anyone be in want by gluttony, drunkenness, or idleness, he doth not deserve to be assisted, nor to be a member of the church of God. For the Scripture, speaking of such persons, saith, The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom, and is not able to bring it to his mouth. And again: The sluggard foldeth up his hands, and eateth his own flesh. Forevery drunkard and whoremonger shall come to poverty, and every drowsy person shall be clothed with tatters and rags. And in another passage, If thou give thine eyes to bowls and cups, thou shalt afterwards walk more naked than a pestle. For, certainly, idleness is the mother of famine.
Chapter V – That a Bishop must be no accepter of persons in judgment; that he must be gentle in his conversation, and temperate in his diet
A Bishop must be no accepter of persons. He must not fear any; nor basely flatter a rich man; nor forsake, nor domineer over, a poor man. For God saith 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. And again: Thou shalt with exact justice follow that which is right. 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 lavish in his expenses, nor a pamperer of himself, nor given to pleasure, nor fond of delicacies. Let him be patient and gentle in his admonitions, well instructed himself, pondering 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 with the Gospel. For the Lord Jesus saith, Search the Scriptures, for they are they which testify of me. And again: For Moses wrote of me.
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 unbelievers; lest any should fall under those bonds. Be careful, therefore, Bishop, to study the word of God, 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 saith, Enlighten yourselves with the light of knowledge, while there is yet opportunity.
Chapter VI – That a Bishop must not be given to filthy lucre, nor be a surety, nor an advocate
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 anyone, 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 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 deportment. For the Scripture saith, Make ye the children of Israel pious. Let him be prudent, humble, apt to admonish with the instructions of the Lord, well-disposed, one who hath renounced all the wicked projects of this world, and all heathenish lusts. Let him be orderly, sharp in observing the wicked and taking heed of them, but yet a friend to all; just and discerning; and, whatsoever qualities are commendable among men, let the Bishop possess them in himself.
For if the Pastor be unblamable as to any wickedness, he will compel his disciples, and, by his manner of life, press them to become worthy imitators of his own actions; as the prophet somewhere saith, And it will be, As is the priest, so is the people. For our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, the Son of God, began first to do, and then to teach; as Luke somewhere saith: Which Jesus began to do and to teach. Wherefore he saith, Whosoever shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of God. For it becometh you, Bishops, to be guides and watchmen to the people, as ye yourselves have Christ for your guide and watchman. Be ye, therefore, good guides and watchmen to the people of God.
For the Lord saith by Ezekiel, speaking to every one of you: I have given thee for a watchman to the house of Israel, and thou shall hear the word from my mouth, and shalt observe, and shalt declare it from me. When I 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 thy hand. But if thou warn the wicked from his way, that he may turn from it, and he do not turn from it, he shall die in his iniquity, and thou hast delivered thy soul. 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 do not give warning, 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 blow the trumpet, and he who heareth it take not warning, and the sword come and take him away, his blood shall be upon himself, because he heard the trumpet, and took not warning. But he who hath taken warning hath delivered his soul; and the watchman, because he gave warning, shall surely live.
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 in his preaching to testify and vehemently to forewarn 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, warn and reprove with boldness those who are perverse through want of instruction; 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 saith God by the prophet, Testify those things to them; perhaps they will hear thy voice. And again: If perhaps they will hear, if perhaps they will submit.
Moses also saith to the people, If hearing thou wilt hear the Lord God, and do that which is good and right in his eyes. And again: Hear, Israel, the Lord thy God is one Lord. And our Lord is often recorded in the Gospel to have said, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And wise Solomon saith, My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and reject not the laws of thy mother. 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 unto destruction and dangerous heresies, concerning which we shall speak again.
Chapter VII – What ought to be the character of the initiated
Be it known to you, beloved, that those who are baptized into the death of our Lord Christ, ought no longer to commit sin. For as those who are dead cannot practise wickedness any longer, so those who are dead with Christ cannot act in a sinful manner. It is incredible, therefore, brethren, that anyone who hath received the washing of life, perpetrateth the dissolute acts of transgressors. But he who sinneth after his baptism, unless he repent, and forsake his sins, will be condemned to hell.
Chapter VIII – Concerning a person falsely accused; or, on the other hand, a person convicted
If, now, anyone be maliciously prosecuted by the heathen, because he will not go along with them to the same excess of riot, let him know that such a one is blessed of God, as our Lord saith 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. If, therefore, anyone be slandered and falsely accused, such a one is blessed; for the Scripture saith, A man that is a reprobate is not tried by God. But if anyone be convicted, having done a wicked action, such a one not only hurteth himself, but occasioneth the whole body of the church and its doctrine to be blasphemed; as if we Christians did not practise those things which we declare to be good and honest; and we ourselves shall be reproached by the Lord, that, They say, and do not. Wherefore the Bishop must boldly reject such as these on full conviction, unless they change their life.
Chapter IX – That a Bishop ought not to receive bribes
For the Bishop must not only himself give no offence, but must be no respecter of persons; in kindness admonishing those that sin. But if he himself hath not a good conscience, and is a respecter of persons and a receiver of bribes, he will spare the open offender, permitting him to continue in the church, and disregarding the voice of God and the Lord, which saith, Thou shalt execute right judgment. Thou shalt not accept persons in judgment. Thou shalt not justify the wicked. Thou shalt not receive gifts against anyone’s life; for gifts do blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. And elsewhere he saith, Put away from among yourselves that wicked person. And Solomon, in his Proverbs, saith, Cast out a pestilent fellow from the congregation, and strife will go out along with him.
Chapter X – That a Bishop who, by wrong judgment, spareth an offender, is himself guilty
But he who doth not consider these things, will, contrary to justice, spare him who deserveth punishment; as Saul spared Agag, and Eli his sons, who knew not the Lord. Such a one profaneth his own dignity, and that church of God which is in his parish. Such a one is esteemed unjust before God and good men, as affording occasion of scandal to many of the newly baptized and to the catechumens, as also to the youth of both sexes; and to him a woe belongeth, and a millstone about his neck, and drowning, on account of his guilt. For, observing what a person their ruler is, through his wickedness and neglect of justice, they will grow skeptical, and, indulging the same disease, will be compelled to perish with him; as was the case of the people joining with Jeroboam, and those who were in the conspiracy with Corah.
But if the offender see that the Bishop and Deacons are innocent and unblamable, 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 value nothing, and venture to enter in, either he will be convicted immediately, as Uzza at the ark, when he touched it to support it, and as Joshua, | Achan when he stole the accursed thing, and as Gehazi 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 looketh round the whole church, one by one, and can spy no blemish, either in the Bishop, or 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 avoideth destruction by repentance.
Chapter XI – How a Bishop ought to judge offenders
On this account, therefore, Bishop, endeavor to be pure in thine actions, and to adorn thy place and dignity, as sustaining the character of God among men in ruling over all men, over priests, kings, rulers, fathers, children, masters, 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, Bishops, is it said, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.
Chapter XII – An Instruction how a Bishop ought to behave himself to the penitent
Do thou, therefore, Bishop, judge with authority, like God; yet receive the penitent. For God is a God of mercy. Rebuke those that sin; admonish those that do not turn; exhort those that stand to persevere in the things that are commendable; receive the penitent; because the Lord God hath promised with an oath to afford remission to the penitent for what things they have done amiss. And he saith 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. Tarn ye, therefore, from your evil ways; for why will ye die, house of Israel? Here the Word affordeth hope to sinners, that, if they repent, they shall have hope of salvation; lest, despairing, they yield themselves up to their transgressions; but, having hope of salvation, they may be converted, and come to God with tears on account of their sins: so shall they receive pardon from him, as from a merciful Father.
Chapter XIII – That we ought to beware how we make trial of any sinful course
Yet it is very necessary that those who are 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, 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 die in sin, there will remain no repentance for thee; as God saith by David, In the grave, who will confess to thee? It becometh 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 sacred Word, speaking to thee by the wise Solomon, exhorteth, Prepare thy works against thine exit, and provide all beforehand in the field; lest some of the things necessary to thy journey be wanting; as the oil of piety was deficient in the five foolish virgins 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 valueth the security of his soul will take care to be out of danger, by keeping free from sin, that so he may preserve to himself the advantage of his former good works. Do thou, therefore, so judge as executing judgment for God. For, as the Scripture saith, The judgment is the Lord’s. 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 come to repentance; and when he is penitent, do thou with thoughtfulness and solemnity receive him, remembering the Lord, who hath said there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.
Chapter XIV – Concerning those who affirm that a penitent is not to be received into the church; and concerning a righteous person, though he converse with a sinner
But if thou refuse to receive him that is penitent, thou exposest him to those who lie in wait to destroy, forgetting what David saith, Deliver not my soul, which confesseth to thee, unto destroying beasts. Wherefore Jeremiah, when he is exhorting men to repentance, saith, 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. Turn, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Receive, therefore, him that is penitent, without any doubting. Be not hindered by those who unmercifully say that we must not be found with such, nor so much as speak to them. For these counsels are from men that are unacquainted with God and his providence, and from unreasonable judges and inexorable beasts. They 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. 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 by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.
The Scripture hath most clearly shown, that a righteous man that is with a wicked man doth 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 of God are guilty of no sin. For they do but imitate their Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise on the righteous and on the unrighteous, and sendeth his rain on the evil and on the good; and the righteous man undergoeth no peril on this account. For they who conquer, and they who are conquered, are in the same place of running; but only they who have nobly contended are where the garland is bestowed. And, No one is crowned, unless he strive lawfully. Foreveryone 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 ye desire to know how this matter was among us, Judas was one of us, and participated with us in the ministry; 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 wicked, received punishment in his son. 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 everyone 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 Israel for the Egyptians. For not a person’s dwelling with the wicked, but his agreeing with them in disposition, condemneth him. We ought not, therefore, to hearken to those 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 everyone is held with the chains of his own sins. And, Behold the man, and his work is before his face. Now, we ought to assist those who are with us, and are in danger, and fall; and, as far as lieth in our power, to bring them back to sobriety by our exhortations, and to save them from death. For they that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. Since it is not pleasing in the sight of your Father that one of these little ones should perish. 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 forever. Amen.
For it is not equitable that thou, Bishop, who art the head, shouldst submit to the tail; that is, to some seditious person among the laity unto the destruction of another, but to God alone. It is thy privilege to govern those under thee, but not to be governed by them. For neither doth a son, who is subject by the course of generation, govern his father; nor a servant, who is subject by law, govern his master; nor doth 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 such as converse with the wicked, in order to their instruction in the Word, to be denied by or to partake of their sins, Ezekiel, as it were on purpose, preventing the suspicions of ill-disposed persons, saith thus: Why do ye speak this proverb concerning the land of Israel? The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. As I live, saith the Lord God, 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 doeth judgment and justice (and so the prophet reckoneth up the rest of the virtues, and then addeth 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 walketh not in the way of his righteous father (and when the prophet had added what followeth, he addeth in the conclusion), he shall certainly not live; he hath done all this wickedness; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him. Yet they will ask thee. Why? Doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father, or his righteousness, having exercised righteousness 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. And a little after he saith, When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness and committeth iniquity, all his righteousness, by reason of all his wickedness which he hath committed, shall not be remembered. 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 addeth, When the wicked turneth away from his wickedness which he hath committed, and doeth 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, house of Israel, saith the Lord.
Chapter XV – That the Priest must neither overlook offences, nor be rash in punishing them
Observe, ye 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; but he admitteth the returning sinner, and reviveth him, leaving no room for suspicion to such as would be savage in judging, and utterly reject offenders, and not vouchsafe them so much as any exhortations which might bring them to repentance. In contradiction to such, God. by Isaiah, saith to the Bishops, Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, ye Priests; speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem. It therefore behooveth you, upon hearing these words of his, to encourage those who have offended, and lead them to repentance, and afford them hope, and not vainly suppose that ye shall be partakers of their offences on account of love to such persons. 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 shouldst 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, Bishop, neither to overlook the sins of the people, nor to reject those who are penitent, that thou mayest not unskilfully destroy the Lord’s flock, nor dishonor his new name, which is put on his people, and thou thyself be reproached as those ancient Pastors were, of whom God speaketh thus to Jeremiah: Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard; they have polluted my heritage; and in another passage, My anger is waxed hot against the shepherds, and against the lambs shall I have indignation; and elsewhere, Ye are the Priests that dishonor my name.
Chapter XVI – Of Penance, The manner of it, and rules about it
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. Then order the offender to come in; and if upon examination thou find 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 suitable 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, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, Lord, who should stand? For with thee there is propitiation. Of this sort of declaration is that which is said in the book of Genesis to Cain: Thou hast sinned, be quiet; 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 saith 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 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.
Chapter XVII – That a Bishop must be unblamable, and a pattern for those who are under his charge
But if the Bishop himself be an offender, how will he be able any longer to prosecute the offence of another? Or how will he be able to reprove another, while either he or his deacons, by the accepting of persons or the receiving of bribes, have not a clear conscience? For when the ruler asketh, and the judge receiveth, judgment is not brought to perfection; but when both are companions of thieves, and regardless of doing justice to the widows, 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?
Let the Bishop, therefore, with his deacons, dread to hear any such thing; that is, let him give no occasion for it. For an offender, when he seeth 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, worketh in others (which God forbid); and by that means the flock will be destroyed. For the more offenders there are, the greater is the mischief that is done by them. Sin which passeth without correction groweth worse and worse, and spreadeth to others; since a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump; and one thief spreadeth the wickedness over a whole nation; and dead flies spoil the whole pot of sweet ointment; and when a king hearkeneth to unrighteous counsel, all the servants under him are wicked. So one scabby sheep, if not separated from those that are whole, infecteth 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 everyone that he toucheth. If therefore we neglect to separate the transgressor from the church of God, we shall make the Lord’s house a den of thieves. For it is the Bishop’s duty not to be silent in the case of offenders, but to convince them, to admonish them, to press them down, to afflict them with fastings; that so he may strike a pious dread into the rest. For the Scripture saith, Make ye the children of Israel pious. The Bishop must be one who discourageth sin by his exhortations, and setteth a pattern of righteousness, and proclaimeth those good things which are prepared by God, and declareth 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?
Chapter XVIII – That a Bishop must take care that his people do not sin, considering that he is a watchman
Let the Bishop, therefore, extend his concern to all; to those who have not offended, that they may continue innocent; and to those who have offended, that they may repent. For to you the Lord saith, Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones. It is your duty also to give remission to the penitent. For as soon as one who hath offended saith in the sincerity of his soul, I have sinned against the Lord, the Holy Spirit answereth, The Lord also hath forgiven thy sin; be of good cheer; thou shalt not die. Be sensible, therefore, 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, come forth and behave thyself in this life as becometh thy place, knowing that thou hast a great account to give. For to whom, as the Scripture saith, men have entrusted much, of him they will require the more. For no man is free from sin, excepting him who was made man for us; since it is written, No man is pure from filthiness, no, not though he be but a day old. On which account, the lives and conversations 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; since it is written, Who can boast that he hath a clean heart, and who dareth affirm that he is pure from sin? No man, therefore, is without sin. Do thou therefore labor to the utmost of thy power to be unblamable; and be careful in respect to all, lest anyone be made to stumble on thine 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.
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 beggeth readmission, receive him, and let the whole church pray for him; and, when by imposition of thy hand thou hast admitted him, give him leave to abide afterwards in the flock.
But the drowsy and the careless convert, strengthen, exhort, heal; knowing how great a reward thou shalt have for doing so, and how great danger thou wilt incur if thou neglect these duties. For Ezekiel speaketh thus to those overseers who take no care of the people:
Woe unto the shepherds of Israel, 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; yc do not feed the sheep. The weak have ye not strengthened, nor have ye healed that which was sick, nor have ye bound up that which was broken, nor have ye brought again that which was driven away, nor have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and insult have ye ruled over them; 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; nor 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 addeth, 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 addeth, And ye shall know that I am the Lord, and ye, the sheep of my pasture, are my men, saith the Lord God.
Chapter XIX – That a shepherd who is careless of his sheep, incurreth penalty; and that a sheep which doth not obey the shepherd, is punished
Hear, ye Bishops, and hear, ye of the laity, how God speaketh: I will judge between ram and ram, and between sheep and sheep. And he saith to the shepherds, Ye shall be judged for your unsldlfulness, 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 sheep herd, 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 which will not follow its good shepherd is exposed to the wolves unto its destruction; so that which followeth a bad sheep herd is also exposed to unavoidable death, since his shepherd will devour him. Wherefore, care must be had to avoid destructive shepherds.
Chapter XX – How the governed are to obey the Bishops who are set over them
As to a good shepherd, let the lay person honor him, love him, revere him as his Lord, as his Master, as a 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 doth not receive Christ, doth not receive his God and Father; for, saith he, He that heareth you heareth me, and he that rejecteth you rejecteth me, and he that rejecteth me rejecteth him that sent me.
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, and rearing them into birds; admonishing all men, reproving all who stand in need of reproof; reproving, but not striking; pressing 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 sins, and put out of the way; easing it of its offences, and giving hope: one that is thus invigorated, restore to the church; bring back to 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 despondeth of its salvation, by reason of the multitude of its offences, utterly to perish. Search thou 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 distance 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?
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 layeth down his life for the sheep; but he that is a hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, that is, the devil, and leaveth the sheep and fleeth, and the wolf catcheth them. We must know, therefore, that God is very merciful to those who offend, and hath promised repentance with an oath. But he who hath offended, and is unacquainted with this promise of God concerning repentance, and doth not understand his long-suffering and forbearance; and besides, is ignorant of the Holy Scriptures, which proclaim repentance, and hath never learned them, perisheth through his folly.
But do thou, like a compassionate shepherd, and a diligent feeder of the flock, search out, and keep an account of the flock. Seek that which is wanting, as the Lord God our gracious Father hath sent his own Son, the good Shepherd and Saviour, our Master Jesus, and I hath commanded him to leave the ninety and 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.
In like manner be obedient, Bishop, and seek that which was lost; guide that which wandereth 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. By thee the Saviour saith to him who is discouraged under the sense of his sins, Thy sins are forgiven thee; thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. 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, being now sound and unblamable, of good hope, diligent, laborious in good works. As a skilful and compassionate physician, heal all such as wander 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. Since thou art, therefore, a physician of the Lord’s church, provide remedies suit able 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, but as a gentle shepherd, gathering the lambs into thy bosom, and gently leading those which are with young.
Chapter XXI – That it is a dangerous thing to judge without hearing both sides, or to determine punishment against a person before he is convicted
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 insulteth over the people that are under thee; not one that concealeth the divine laws, and the promises to repentance; not hasty in thrusting out and expelling, but cautious; not delighting in severity, nor rash. Do not admit less evidence to convict anyone 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, that are forward in discourse, slanderous, haters of the brethren, making it their business to scatter the sheep of Christ; whose affirmation if thou admittest without a careful scanning, 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 impious heretics. For those destroying wolves soon address themselves to anyone 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.
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 among the heathen, or be entangled in heresies, and so be altogether estranged from the church, and from hope in God, and will be entangled in wickedness, 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 returneth; to be forward in cutting off, but unmerciful when he is sorrowful, and ought to be healed. For of such as these the divine Scripture saith, Their feet run to mischief; they are hasty to shed innocent blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. The fear of God is not before their eyes. Now, the way of peace is our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath taught us, saying, Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven; give, and it shall be given to you. 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, For give us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
If, therefore, ye do not forgive offenders, how can ye expect the remission of your own sins? Do ye not rather bind yourselves more firmly, by pretending in your prayers to forgive, when ye really do not forgive? Will ye not be confronted with your own words, when ye say ye forgive, and do not forgive? For know ye, that he who casteth out one that hath not behaved himself wickedly, or who will not receive him that returneth, is a murderer of his brother, and sheddeth his blood, as Cain did that of his brother Abel; and his blood crieth to God, and will be required. For a righteous man unjustly slain by anyone will be in rest with God forever. The same is the case of him who, without cause, is separated by his Bishop. He who hath cast him out as a pestilent fellow, when he was innocent, is more furious than a murderer. Such a one hath no regard to the mercy of God, nor is mindful of his goodness to those that are penitent, not keeping in his eye the examples of those who, having been once great offenders, received forgiveness upon their repentance. On which account, he who casteth off an innocent person is more cruel than he that murdereth the body. In like manner, he who doth not receive the penitent scattereth the flock of Christ, being really against him. For as God is just in judging sinners, so is he merciful in receiving them when they return; for David, the man after God’s own heart, sang to him both of mercy and of judgment.
Chapter XXII – That David, the Ninevites, Hezekiah, and his son Manasseh, are eminent examples of repentance
It is thy duty, 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 need words of severity or of consolation. Besides, it is reasonable that, in thine administration of justice, thou shouldst follow the will of God; and as God dealeth with sinners, and with those who return, that thou shouldst act accordingly in thy judging. Now did not God, by Nathan, reproach David for his offence? And yet, as soon as he said that he repented, he delivered him from death, saying, Be of good dicer, thou shalt not die. So also when God had caused Jonah to be swallowed up by the sea and the whale, upon his refusing to preach to the Ninevites; 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. Moreover, ye Bishops, hearken to an instance useful on 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; and 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 Manasseh set up altars, and by them served Baal, and said, My name shall continue forever. 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 the valley of the son of Hinnom; 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 forever, 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, hath done all these wicked abominations in a higher degree than the Amorite did who was before him, and hath made Judah to sin with his idols; thus saith the Lord God of Israel, 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 tablet is blotted out by wiping it. And I will turn it upside down, and I will give up the remnant of mine 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; besides 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:
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 things fear, and they trem ble 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, of great compassion, long-suffering, very merciful, and repentest thee at the calamities of men. Thou, Lord, according to thy great goodness, hast promised 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, Lord, that art the God of the just, hast not appointed repentance to the just, as to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, who 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, 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 iniquities. I am bowed down with many iron bands, so that I cannot lift up my head, nor have any release; for I have provoked thy wrath, and done evil be fore thee. I did not thy will, nor kept thy commandments. I have set up abominations, and have multiplied offences. Now, therefore, I bow the knee of my heart, imploring thy grace. I have sinned, Lord, I have sinned, and I acknowledge mine iniquities. Wherefore,
1 humbly beseech thee, forgive me, Lord, forgive me, and destroy me not with mine iniquities. Be not angry with me forever, by reserving evil for me; nor 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 all thy goodness; for thou wilt save me that am unworthy, according to thy great mercy. Therefore I will praise thee forever all the days of my life; for all the powers of the heavens do praise thee, and thine is the glory forever 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 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 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 he 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.’
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 vet that he received him when he repented, and forgave him his offences, and restored him to his kingdom. For he not only forgiveth the penitent, but reinstateth them in their former dignity.
Chapter XXIII – Amon may be an example to such as sin with a high hand
There is no sin more grievous than idolatry; for it is an impiety against God; and yet even this sin hath been forgiven, upon sincere repentance. But if anyone 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 mine evil heart. Such a one was Amon, the son of Manasseh. For the Scripture saith, 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 listeth; 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 con spired against him, and slew him in his own house; and he reigned two years only.
Chapter XXIV – That Christ Jesus our Lord came to save sinners by repentance
Take heed, therefore, ye of the laity, lest anyone 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 who are yet innocent may not fall into sin. And let him heal and receive those who 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 hath 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 was formerly a publican; and admitted Peter, who 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 saith also to another, a woman that was a sinner, Thy sins are many, are forgiven; for thou lovedst much. And when the elders, setting before him another woman who had sinned, had left the sentence to him, and were gone out, our Lord, the searcher of 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.
Ye Bishops, this Jesus, our Saviour, our King, and our God, ought to be set before you as a pattern; and him ye ought to imitate, in being meek, quiet, compassionate, merciful, peaceable, free from anger, 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 one’s own; as good stewards appointed over them, as those who will be required by God to give an account of the same. Let the Bishop esteem such food and raiment sufficient as suit necessity and decency. Let him not make use of the Lord’s goods as another’s, but moderately; for the laborer is worthy of his reward. Let him not be luxurious in diet, nor fond of idle furniture; but let him desire those things only which belong to his condition.
Chapter XXV – Of first-fruits and tithes; and after what manner the Bishop is him
self to partake of them, or to distribute them to others
Let him use those tenths and first-fruits which are given according to the command of God, as a man of God. Let him dispense in a right manner the freewill offerings which are brought in on account of the poor, the orphans, the widows, the afflicted, and strangers in distress, as having that God for the examiner of his accounts who hath committed the disposition to him. Moreover, distribute with righteousness to all those who are in want; and use, yourselves, 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 unblamable before God. For if ye shall consume them by yourselves, ye will be reproached by God, who saith, as to insatiable and selfish devourers. Ye eat up the milk, and clothe yourselves with the wool; and in another passage, Must ye alone live upon the earth. On which account ye are commanded in the law, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Now we say these things, not as if ye might not partake of the fruits of your labors; for it is written, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox which treadeth out the corn; but that ye should do it with moderation and righteousness. As therefore the ox that laboreth in the threshing-floor without a muzzle, eateth indeed, but doth not eat all up; so do ye who labor in the threshing-floor, that is, in the church of God, 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.
Moreover, also, its very name implied that that tabernacle was fore-appointed for a testimony of the church. Here, therefore, the Levites, who attended upon the tabernacle, partook of those things which 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 of the tabernacle, therefore they had not any lot or inheritance in the land among the children of Israel, because the oblations of the people were the lot of Levi, and the inheritance of their tribe.
Ye, therefore, at the present day, 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. Ye 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 God, and witnesses of his will, who bear the sins of all, and intercede for all; whom, as ye have heard, the Word severely threateneth, if ye hide from men the key of knowledge, who are liable to perdition, if ye do not declare his will to the people that are under you; who shall have a sure reward from God, and unspeakable honor and glory, if ye duly minister to the holy tabernacle. For as yours is the burden, so ye receive, as your fruit, the supply of food and other necessaries. For ye 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 ye ought to make the sins of the people your own. For concerning our Saviour, it is said in Isaiah, He beareth our sins, and is afflicted for us. And again, He bare the sins of many, and was delivered for their offences. As therefore ye are patterns for others, so ye have Christ for your pattern; as therefore he himself is the pattern for you all, so are ye for the laity under you. Think not that the office of a Bishop is an easy or light burden. As therefore ye bear the weight, so ye have a right to partake of the fruits before others, and to impart to those that are in want, as having to give an account to Him who without bias will examine your accounts.
For they 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 sanctuary and of your priesthood. Behold, I have given unto you the charge of the first-fruits. From all that are sanctified to me by the children of Israel; I have given them for a reward to thee, and to thy sons after thee, by an ordinance forever. 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-offering, 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. And a little after: All the first-fruits of the oil, and of the wine, and of the wheat, and all that 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 the breast and the right shoulder of a sacrifice, appertain to the priests, and to the rest who continue with them, namely, the Levites.
Hear this, ye of the laity also, the elect church of God. For the people were formerly called, the people of God, and a holy nation. Ye, therefore, are the holy and sacred church of God, enrolled in heaven, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, 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. Tithes of salvation are the first letter of the name of Jesus. Hear, 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 art named after his name, and art established, and shinest in the consummation of his glory. Those which were then the sacrifices are now prayers, and intercessions, and thanksgivings. Those which were then first-fruits, and tithes, and offerings, and gifts, are now oblations, which are presented by holy Bishops to the Lord God, through Jesus Christ, who hath died for them. For these are your high priests, as the presbyters are your priests; and your present deacons are instead of the 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.
Chapter XXVI – According to what pattern and dignity every order of the clergy is appointed by God
The Bishop is the minister of the Word, the keeper of knowledge, the mediator 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 hath 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 hath a right to be honored by you. For concerning him and such as he, it is that God pronounceth, I have said, Ye are gods, and ye are all children of the Most High; and, Ye shall not speak evil of the gods.
Let the Bishop, therefore, preside over you as one honored 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 doth to his Father, and let him serve him unblamably in all things, as Christ doeth nothing of himself, but doeth always those things that please his Father. Let also the deaconess be honored by you in the place of the Holy Ghost, and not do nor say anything without the deacon; as neither doth the Comforter say nor do anything of himself, but giveth 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 to the 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. Let the widows and orphans be esteemed as representing the altar of burnt-offering; and let the virgins be honored as representing the altar of incense, and the incense itself.
Chapter XXVII – That it is a horrible thing for a man to thrust himself into any sacerdotal office, as did Corall and his company, Saul, and Uzziah
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 ye nothing without the Bishop. But if anyone doeth anything without the Bishop, he doeth 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; so every person among the laity, doing anything without the priest, laboreth in vain. And as Uzziah the king, 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 be punished who despiseth God, and, raging against his priests, snatcheth the honor to himself; not imitating Christ, who glorified not himself to be made a High Priest, but waited till he heard from his Father, The Lord sware, and will not repent, Thou art a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedek. If, therefore, Christ did not glorify himself without God the Father, how dareth any man thrust himself into the priesthood who hath not received that dignity from his superior, and do those things which it is lawful only for the priests to do? Were not the followers of Corah, even they who 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 madness of the multitude, and showed who was the high priest ordained by God.
Ye 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 bring to him not those only, but also your first-fruits, and your tithes, and your free-will offerings. For He knoweth who they are that are in affliction, and giveth to every one as is convenient, so that one may not receive alms twice or oftener the same day or the same week, while another hath nothing at all. For it is reasonable rather to supply the wants of those who are really in distress, than of those who only appear to be so.
Chapter XXVIII – Of an entertainment; and how each distinct order of the clergy is to be treated by those who invite them to it
If any determine to invite elder women to an entertainment of love or a feast, as our Saviour hath denominated it, let them most frequently send to her whom the deacons know to be in distress.
But let what is the pastor’s due, I mean the first-fruits, be set apart in the feast for him (even though he be not at the entertainment), as being your priest, and in honor of that God who hath entrusted him with the priesthood. But whatever be the portion given to each of the elder women, let double be given to the deacons, in honor of Christ. Let also a double portion be set apart for the presbyters, as for those who labor about the Word and doctrine, on 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 honor of the prophets; and let the singer and the porter have as much.
Let the laity, therefore, pay to each distinct order the proper honor, in gifts and in respectful deportment. But let them not on all occasions trouble their ruler; 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 saith; for he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty. For if the worshippers of demons, in their hateful, abominable, and impure performances till this very day, imitate the sacred rules (it is a wide comparison indeed, and there is a vast distance between their abominations and God’s sacred worship), they neither offer nor do anything in their delusive acts of worship, without their pretended priest; but they esteem him as the very mouth of their idols of stone, waiting to see what commands he will lay upon them. And whatsoever he commandeth them, that they do; and without him they do nothing; and they honor their pretended priest himself, and esteem his name as venerable in honor 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 on nothing that is firm, endeavor to imitate the sacred rules, how much more reasonable is it that ye, who have a most certain faith and undoubted hope, and who expect glorious, and eternal, and never-failing promises, should honor the Lord God in those who are set over you, and esteem the Bishops to be the mouth of God!
Chapter XXIX – What is the dignity of a Bishop and of a Deacon
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 saith to him, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet; why do not ye also esteem the mediators of the word to be prophets, and revere them as gods?
Chapter XXX – After what manner the Laity are to be obedient to the Deacon
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 honored among you as a god, and the Deacon as his prophet. For as Christ doeth nothing without his Father, so neither doeth the Deacon 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 anyone be made known to the Bishop, and by him be perfected.
Chapter XXXI – That the Deacon must not do anything without the Bishop
Let him not do anything at all without his Bishop, nor give anything without his consent. For if he give to anyone as to a person in distress, without the Bishop’s knowledge, he will give it so that it must tend to the reproach of the Bishop, and will accuse him as careless of the distressed. But he that casteth reproach on his Bishop, either by word or by deed, opposeth God, not hearkening to what he saith, Thou shalt not speak evil of the gods. For he did not make that law concerning deities of wood and of stone, which are abominable, because they are falsely called gods; but concerning the priests and the judges, to whom God also said, Ye are gods and children of the Most High.
Chapter XXXII – That the Deacon must not make any distributions without the consent of the Bishop, because that will turn to the reproach of the Bishop
If, therefore, Deacon, thou knowest anyone to be in distress, put the Bishop in mind of him, and so give to him; but do nothing in a clandestine way, tending 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? And again, Moses saith to those who rose up against him, Your murmuring is not against us, but against the Lord our God. For if he that calleth one of the laity Raca, or fool, shall be punished as doing injury to the name of Christ, how dareth 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. By thy Bishop, man, God adopteth thee for his child. Acknowledge, son, that right hand which was a mother to thee. Love him who, after God, is become a father to thee, and honor him.
Chapter XXXIII – After what manner the Priests are to be honored and to be reverenced as our spiritual parents
For if the Divine Oracle saith concerning our parents according to the flesh, Honor thy father and thy mother, that it may be well with thee; and, He that curseth his father or his mother, let him die the death; how much more should the Word exhort you to honor 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 you 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 honor them with all kinds of honor; for they have received from God the power of life and death in judging sinners and condemning them to the death of eternal fire, as also in loosing the penitent from their sins, and restoring them to a new life.
Chapter XXXIV – That the Priests are to be preferred before the Rulers and Kings
Account these worthy to be esteemed your rulers and 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, in the first book of Kings, and Moses, 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 divinely determined for the sustenance of himself, and of the rest of the clergy with him? But, if anything further ought to be said, let the Bishop receive more than the other received of old. For he only managed the affairs of the soldiery, being intrusted with war and peace for the preservation of men’s bodies; but the other is intrusted 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 bindeth and looseth those that are worthy of punishment or of remission. Wherefore, ye ought to love the Bishop as your father, and fear him as your king, and honor 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, and all things which the Lord God giveth thee. And thine offering shall be accepted as a savor 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 thy land. For a blessing is upon the head of him that giveth.
Chapter XXXV – That both the Law and the Gospel prescribe offerings
Now ye ought to know, that although the Lord hath delivered you from the additional bonds, and hath brought you out of them to your refreshment, and doth not permit you to sacrifice irrational creatures for sin-offerings, and purifications, and scape-goats, and continual washings and sprinklings, yet hath he nowhere freed you from those oblations which ye owe to the priests, nor from doing so to the poor. For the Lord saith 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. Now herein will your righteousness exceed theirs, if ye 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 forever. And again, By acts of righteousness and faith, iniquities are purged. And again, Every bountiful soul is blessed.
So, therefore, shalt thou do as the Lord hath 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 purification and forgiveness. For it is thy duty to give, and his to administer, as being the administrator and disposer of ecclesiastical affairs.
Yet thou shalt not call thy Bishop to account, nor watch his administration, how he performeth it, when, or to whom, or where, or whether he do it well or ill, or indifferently; for he hath 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.
Chapter XXXVI – Mention of the ten commandments; and after what manner they prescribe
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 such like, as being lifeless gods, or irrational beings, or demons. 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. Honor thy parents, as the authors of thy being. Love thy neighbor 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. Appear not before the priests empty; and offer thy free-will offerings continually. Moreover, do not neglect 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 hath preserved thy life. Be diligent, and constant, and laborious in thy calling. Offer to the Lord thy free-will offerings; for saith he, Honor the Lord with the fruit of thine honest labors. If thou art not able to cast anything considerable into the sacred treasury, yet at least bestow upon the strangers one or two or five mites. Lay up for thyself heavenly treasure, which neither the moth nor thieves can destroy. And, in doing this, judge not thy Bishop, nor any of thy neighbors among the laity; for if thou judge thy brother, thou becomest a judge, without being constituted such by anybody; for the priests only are intrusted with the power of judging. For to them it is said, Judge righteous judgment; and again, Approve yourselves to be exact money-changers. For to you this is not intrusted; 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.
Chapter XXXVII – Concerning accusers and false accusers; and how a judge is not rashly either to believe them or to disbelieve them, but after an accurate examination
But it is the duty of the Bishop to judge rightly; as it is written, Judge righteous judgment; and elsewhere, Why do ye not even of yourselves, judge what is right? 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 Bishop’s duty to retain the unblamable, 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 all accusations. For it sometimes happeneth that some, either through passion or envy, insist on a false accusation against a brother; as did the two elders in the case of Susanna, in Babylon, and the Egyptian woman in the case of Joseph. 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 suffereth unanimity to be in the church. Wherefore, when ye know such persons to be foolish, quarrelsome, passionate, and delighting in mischief, do not give credit to them; but observe such as they are, when ye 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, wisely observing his conversation, what, and of what sort, it is; and in case thou find him a man of veracity, do according to the doctrine of the Lord; and, taking him who is accused, rebuke him privately, that he may repent. But, if he be not persuaded, take with thee one or two more, and thus show him his fault, and admonish him with mildness and instruction; for wisdom will rest upon a heart that is good, but is not understood in the heart of the foolish.
Chapter XXXVIII – That they who sin are to be privately reproved, and the penitent to be received, according to the constitution of our Lord
If, therefore, he be persuaded by the mouth of you three, it is well. But if anyone harden himself, Tell it to the church. But if he neglect to hear the church, let him be to thee as a heathen man and a publican; and receive him no longer into the church as a Christian, but reject him as a heathen. But if he be willing to repent, receive him. For the church doth not receive a heathen or a publican to communion, before they every one repent of their former iniquities. For our Lord Jesus, the Christ of God, hath appointed place for the acceptance of men upon their repentance.
Chapter XXXIX – Examples of Repentance
For I, Matthew, one of the twelve who 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 accounted worthy to be an apostle, and preacher of the word. And Zaccheus, 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 concerning repentance, heard this from the prophet John, after he had baptized them, Do nothing more than that which is appointed you. 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 a heathen. But if he afterwards repent, and turn from his error, then as we receive them into the church indeed to hear the word, but do not receive them to communion, until they, having received the seal, 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 endeavoring 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.
Chapter XL – That we are not to be implacable towards him who hath once or twice offended
But yet do not thou, Bishop, presently abhor any person who hath 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 a physician , but they that are sick. Converse and dwell, therefore, with those who are separated from you for their sins, and take care of them, comforting them, and confirming them, and saying, Be strengthened, ye weak hands and feeble knees. For ye ought to comfort those that mourn, and afford encouragement to the faint-hearted, lest by immoderate sorrow they degenerate into distraction; since he that is faint-hearted is exceedingly distracted.
Chapter XLI – How we ought to receive the penitent, and how to bear with them that sin, and when to cut them off from the church
But if anyone return, and show forth the fruit of repentance, then Deceive 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 them. When this son 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; the father, full of affection to his child, received him with music, and restored to him his former robe, and ring, and shoes, and slew the fatted calf, and made merry with his friends.
Do thou, therefore, Bishop, act in the same manner; and as thou receivest a 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 someone of those brethren who had stood immovable 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 doth not only receive the penitent, but restoreth 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. And again, Turn thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine offences. Create in me a clean heart, God, and renew a right spirit in mine inward parts. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy spirit from me.
As a compassionate physician, therefore, do thou heal all that sin, making use of saving methods of cure; not only cutting and searing, or using corrosives, but binding up, and dressing with lint, and using gentle healing medicines, and sprinkling comfortable words. If it be a hollow wound or great gash, nourish it with a suitable plaster, 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, cut it down with a sharp plaster, the threats of judgment. If it spread farther, sear it, and cut off the putrid flesh, subduing it 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 spreadeth, and preventeth all cure, as a gangrene, which corrupteth the entire member; then, with a great deal of consideration, and the advice of other skilful physicians, cut off the putrified 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 anyone past repentance, and he hath become insensible, then, with sorrow and lamentation, cut off from the church the incurable. For, Put away from among yourselves that wicked person. And, Ye shall make the children of Israel circumspect. And, again, Thou shalt not accept the persons of the rich in judgment. And, Thou shalt not pity a poor man in his cause; for the judgment is the Lord’s.
Chapter XLII – That a Judge must not be a respecter of persons
But if the slanderous accusation be false, and ye that are the pastors, with the deacons, admit that falsehood for truth, either by acceptance of persons or by receiving bribes, as willing to do that which will be pleasing to the devil; and so ye thrust out him that is accused, but is clear of the crime; ye shall give an account in the day of the Lord. For it is written, The innocent and the righteous thou shalt not slay. Thou shalt not take gifts to smite the soul; for gifts blind the eyes of the wise , and destroy the words of the righteous. And, again, They that justify the wicked for gifts , and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him.
Take care, therefore, lest by any means ye become accepters of persons, and thereby fall under this voice of the Lord. Be careful therefore not to condemn any unjustly, and so to assist the wicked. For, Woe to him that calleth evil good, and good evil, bitter sweet, and sweet bitter; that putteth light for darkness, and darkness for light. For if ye condemn others unjustly, ye pass sentence against yourselves. For the Lord saith, With what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged; and as ye condemn, ye shall be condemned.
If, therefore, ye judge without respect of persons, ye will discover that accuser who beareth false witness against his neighbor, 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 affirmeth, 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 purposed to do to his brother. For, as much as in him lay, he slew his brother, by forestalling the ears of the judge. Now, it is written, that He that sheddeth man’s blood, for that his own blood shall be shed. And, Thou shalt take away from thee that innocent blood which was shed without cause.
Chapter XLIII – How false accusers are to be punished
Thou shalt, therefore, cast him out of the congregation as a murderer of his brother. Sometime afterwards, if he say that he repenteth, mortify him with fastings; and afterwards ye shall lay your hands upon him, and receive him; but still securing him, that he do not disturb anyone 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 a raiser of disturbances in cities; for he, though he be within, doth not become the church, but is a superfluous and vain member, casting a blot, as far as in him lieth, 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 unseemliness, and nothing that is unseemly cometh any more, the man recovering his natural good shape by means of the surgeon; how much more ought ye, the pastors of the church (for the church is a perfect body and sound members, such as believe 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 render ing the rest of the body unseemly, and disturbing it with sedition, and war, and evil speaking; causing fears, disturbances, blots, calumnies, accusations, disorders, and doing the like works of the devil, as if he were ordained by the devil to cast reproach on the church by slanders, and much disorder, 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 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, affecters of vain glory, deceivers, and pretenders to wisdom, such as make it their business to scatter, or rather utterly to disperse, the lambs of the Lord.
Do thou, therefore, Bishop, together with thy subordinate clergy, endeavor rightly to divide the word of truth. For the Lord saith, If ye walk cross-grained to me, I will walk cross-grained to you. And elsewhere, With the holy thou wilt be holy, and with the perfect man thou wilt be perfect, and with the reward thou wilt be rewarded. Proceed, therefore, in a holy manner, that ye may rather appear worthy of praise from the Lord, than, on the contrary, of reproach.
Chapter XLIV – That the Deacon is to ease the burden of the Bishops, and to order the smaller matters himself
Being, therefore, unanimous among yourselves, ye Bishops, be at peace with one another; be sympathetic, and be filled with brotherly love. Feed the people with care; teach, with one consent, 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, according to the appointment of the Lord.
And let the Deacon refer all things to the Bishop, as Christ doth to his Father. 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 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 appointed for Moses, and his counsel was received.
Chapter XLV – That contentions and quarrels are unbecoming Christians
It is indeed a beautiful encomium for a Christian to have no contest with anyone. But if, by any management or temptation, a contest arise with anyone, let him endeavor that it may be composed, though thereby he be obliged to lose somewhat; and let it not come before a heathen tribunal. Still further, ye are not to permit that the rulers of this world pass sentence against your people. For by them the devil contriveth mischief to the servants of God, and causeth 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.
Chapter XLVI – That believers ought not to go to law before unbelievers; nor ought any unbeliever to be called for a witness against believers
Let not the heathen, therefore, know of your differences with one another, nor receive ye unbelievers as witnesses against yourselves, nor be judged by them; nor owe them anything on account of imposts or taxes; but, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s, as taxes or tribute, or what was levied on every Jew; as our Lord, by giving a piece of money, was freed from disturbance. Choose, therefore, rather to suffer harm, and to endeavor 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. But if brethren have lawsuits one with another, which God forbid, ye who are the rulers ought thence to learn that such as these perform the work, not 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.
He, therefore, who is condemned, let him be punished, let him be separated, let him undergo the punishment of his hatred to his brother. Afterward, when he repenteth, 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. For so would our Lord have us to be truly his disciples, and never to have anything against anyone; as, for instance, anger without measure, passion without mercy, covetousness without justice, or hatred without reconciliation. By your instruction draw those who are angry to friendship, and those who are at variance to agreement. For the Lord saith, Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God.
Chapter XLYII – That the judicatures of Christians ought to be held on the second day of the week
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, ye may be able to set the controversy right, and to bring the contending parties to peace, 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 saith, they shall both stand in the middle of the court; and when ye have heard them, give your votes religiously, endeavoring 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 (the Bishop) hath in the court the Christ of God, observing and approving his judgment. But if any persons are accused by anyone, and their fame suffereth, as if they did not walk uprightly in the Lord; in like manner, ye shall hear both parties, the accuser and the accused, but not with prejudice, nor with hearkening to one party only, but with righteousness, as passing a sentence concerning eternal life or death. For, saith God, He shall prosecute that which is right justly. For he that is justly punished and separated by you is rejected from eternal life and glory. He becometh dishonorable among holy men, and one condemned of God.
Chapter XLVIII – That the same punishment is not to be inflicted forevery offence, but different punishments for different offenders
Do not pass the same sentence forevery sin, but one suitable to each crime, distinguishing, with much prudence, all the several sorts of offences, the small and the great. Treat a wicked action after one manner, and a wicked word after another, and a base intention still otherwise. So also in the case of a contumely or a suspicion. And some thou shalt curb by threatenings alone; some thou shalt punish by 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, or a possession, or an irrational 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 of the same mischiefs which the criminal had done to others.
Wherefore do ye also allot different penalties to different offences, lest any injustice should happen, and provoke God to indignation. For of what unjust judgment soever ye are the instruments, of the same ye shall receive the reward from God. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.
Chapter XLIX – What are to be the characters of accusers and witnesses
When, therefore, ye are seated in 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 hath accused, or whether he hath advanced accusations against some others before; and whether this contest and accusation do not arise from some quarrel of the parties; and what is the general conduct of the accuser. 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 saith, At the, mouth of two or three witnesses everything shall be established.
But why did we say that the life of the witnesses was to be inquired after, of what sort it is? Because it frequently happeneth that two and more testify for mischief, and with joint consent prefer a lie, as did the two elders against Susanna, in Babylon, and sons as transgressors against Naboth, in Samaria, and the multitude of the Jews against our Lord, at Jerusalem, and against Stephen, his first martyr. 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 deportment. But as to those of a different character, receive not 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.
Ye ought also particularly to know him that is accused, what he is in his course of life and in his deportment, whether he hath a good report as to his life, whether he hath been unblamable, whether he hath been zealous in holiness, whether he is a lover of the widows, a lover of the strangers, a lover of the poor, and a lover of the brethren; whether he is not given to filthy lucre; whether he is not an extravagant person, or a spendthrift; whether he is sober, and free from luxury, or a drunkard, or a glutton; whether he is compassionate and liberal.
Chapter L – That former offences sometimes render subsequent ones credible
For if he hath 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 him. 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 thoroughly cautious about such circumstances, and so render your sentences, when pronounced against an offender convicted, safe and firm. And if, after his separation, he beg pardon, and fall down before the Bishop, and acknowledge his fault, receive him. But suffer not a false accuser to go unpunished, lest he either calumniate another who liveth virtuously, or encourage some other person to do like himself. On the other hand, indeed, suffer not 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 offendeth be without censure.
Chapter LI – Against judging without hearing both sides
We said before that judgment ought not to be given upon hearing only one of the parties. For if ye hear one of them when the other is not present, and so cannot make his defence to the accusation brought against him, and rashly give your notes for condemnation, ye will be found guilty of that man’s destruction, and partakers with the false accuser before God, the just Judge. For, As he that holdeth the tail of a dog, so is he that presideth 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, ye 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 he reproacheth you by him, saying, Are ye so foolish, ye children of Israel? Without examination, and without knowing the truth, ye have condemned a daughter of Israel. Return again to the place of judgment; for these men have borne false witness against her.
Chapter LII – The caution observed at heathen tribunals before the condemnation of criminals, affordeth Christians a good example
Consider even the judicatures of this world, by whose power we see murderers, adulterers, wizards, robbers of sepulchres, and thieves, brought to trial; for those that preside, when they have received their accusations from those that brought them, ask the malefactor whether those things are so. And though he acknowledge the crime, they do not presently send him out to punishment, but for several days they make inquiry concerning 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, lifteth up his hands to the sun, and solemnly amrmeth that he is innocent of the blood of the man. Though they are heathens, and know not the Deity, nor the vengeance which will fall upon men from God, on account of those that are unjustly condemned, yet they avoid such unjust judgments.
Chapter LIII – That Christians ought not to have contentions one with another
But ye who know who our God is, and what are his judgments, how can ye bear to pass an unjust judgment, since your sentence will be immediately known to God? And if ye have judged righteously, ye will be deemed worthy of the recompenses of righteousness, both now and hereafter; but, if unrighteously, ye 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, peace-makers, and without anger. For He that is angry without a cause is obnoxious to the judgment. But if it happen, that by anyone’s contrivance ye are angry at any body, Let not the sun go down upon your wrath. For, saith David, Be angry, and sin not; 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, saith Solomon. But our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ saith in the Gospels, If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught 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. Now the gift is every one’s eucharistical prayer and thanksgiving. If, therefore, thou hast anything against thy brother, or he hath 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 heareth not those who 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 bitterness 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 saith, Thou shalt not hate tliy brother in thy mind. Thou shalt certainly reprove thy brother, and not incur sin on his account. Thou shalt not hate an Egyptian, for thou wast a sojourner with him. Thou shalt not hate an Idumaean, for he is thy brother. And David saith, If I have repaid those that requited me evil.
Wherefore, if thou wilt be a Christian, follow the Law of the Lord: Loose every band of wickedness. For the Lord hath given thee authority to remit to thy brother those sins which he hath committed against thee, as far as seventy times seven, that is, four hundred and ninety times. How often, therefore, hast thou remitted to thy brother, that thou art unwilling to do it now? when thou hast heard Jeremiah saying, Do not any of you impute the wickedness of his neighbor in your hearts. But thou rememberest injuries, 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 thine acts of gentleness more to do good for thine own sake. Although he may not do so, yet do thou endeavor to forgive thy brother for God’s sake, that thou mayest be the son of thy Father who is in heaven; and, when thou prayest, mayest be heard of God.
Chapter LIV – That the Bishops must by their Deacon put the people in mind of the obligation they are under to live peaceably together
Wherefore, Bishops, when ye 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 no one have any quarrel against another; let no one 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 anyone’s house, we are to say, Peace be to this house, like sons of peace bestowing peace on those who are worthy, as it is written, To them that are nigh, and to them that are far off, whom the Lord knoweth to be his; 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 one pray for it upon others, much more let himself be within the same, as a child of light; for he that hath it not within himself is not fit to bestow it upon others. On which account, before all things, it is our duty to be at peace in our own minds; for he that doth 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 increase 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.
Chapter LV – An enumeration of several instances of Divine Providence, and how, in every age from the beginning, God hath invited all men to repentance
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 Shem, 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 Melchisedek, 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 proceeding from the Holy Spirit and from the Virgin; those a little before his bodily appearance, 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; those after his passion, by us the twelve apostles, and Paul, the chosen vessel.
We, therefore, who have been accounted worthy of being the witnesses of his appearance, together with James, the brother of our Lord, and the 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 accept able, and perfect will, 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 up to him harmonious praise, and thus have ever lasting life.
Chapter LVI – That it is the will of God that men should be of one mind in matters of religion, like the heavenly powers
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; 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 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. For this is his will in Christ, that those who are saved by him may be many; but that ye do not occasion any loss or diminution to him, nor to the church, nor lessen the number by one soul of man, as destroyed by you, which might have been saved by repentance; and which, therefore, perisheth not only by its own sin, but also by your treachery, whereby ye fulfil that which is written, He that gathereth not with me scattereth.
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 labor, 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 table, that is, the holy catholic church, with joyful and chosen people, singing hymns and praises to God, who hath called them by us to life. And ye, as much as in you lieth, have dispersed them.
Moreover, do ye also of the laity be at peace with one another; endeavoring, like wise men, to increase the church, and to turn back, and tame, and restore those who 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.
Chapter LVII – An exact description of a church, and the clergy; and what things particular everyone is to do in the solemn assemblies of the clergy and laity for religious worship
But be thou, Bishop, holy, unblamable, no striker, not soon angry, not cruel; but one that buildeth up, a converter, apt to teach, firm in enduring 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 decorum.
And first, indeed, 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. Through the care of these, let the laity sit in the other part, with all quietness and good order; and let the women sit by themselves, keep ing 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 guidance 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 Luke and Mark, the fellow-workers of Paul, received and left to you.
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, Israel. And again, But do Thou stand there and hear.
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 ship-men. For the same description and pattern was both in the tabernacle of the testimony and in the temple of God. But if anyone be found sitting out of his place, let him be rebuked by the Deacon, as a messenger of the fore-ship, and be removed into the place proper for him. For the church is not only like a ship, but also like a sheep-fold; for as the shepherds place all the irrational animals distinctly, I mean goats and sheep, according to their kind and age; and still every one runneth 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 up. But let those who are already stricken in years sit in order. As to the children that stand, let their fathers and mothers take them to themselves. 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 who are married, and have children, be placed by themselves. But let the virgins, and the widows, and the elder women, stand first of all, or sit; and let the Deacon be the disposer of the places, that every one of those that come in may go to his proper place, and may not sit at the entrance. In like manner let the Deacon oversee the people, that no one may whisper, nor slumber, nor laugh, nor nod. For in the church all ought 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 the 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, 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. 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 for universal peace. After this, let the High Priest pray for peace upon the people, and bless them in these words: The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; the Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and give thee peace. Let the Bishop pray for the people, and say, Save thy people, Lord, and bless thine inheritance, which thou hast obtained with the precious blood of thy Christ, and hast called a royal priesthood and a holy nation.
Then let the sacrifice follow, all the people standing, and praying silently; and, when the oblation hath 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. Moreover, let the door be watched, lest there come in any unbeliever, or one not yet initiated.
Chapter LVIII – Of commendatory letters in favor 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
If anyone, a brother or a sister, come in from another parish, bringing recommendatory letters, let the Deacon be the judge of that affair, inquiring whether they are of the faithful, and of the church; whether they are not denied by heresy; and, besides, whether the sister is 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 come 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 honor with himself. And thou, Bishop, shalt desire him to speak to the people words of instruction; for the exhortation and admonition of strangers is very acceptable, and exceedingly profitable. For, as the Scripture saith, No prophet is accepted in his own country. Thou shalt also permit him to offer the Eucharist. But if, out of reverence to thee, and as a wise man, to preserve the honor 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 are seated, any other person come upon you, of good fashion and character in the world, whether he be a stranger, or one of your own country, neither do thou, Bishop, if thou art speaking the word of God, or hearing him that singeth, or that readeth, 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 thine 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, cause some younger person to rise, and place the stranger there. And it is but reasonable that one who loveth 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 who are more honorable. Nay, if a poor man, or one of a low family, or a stranger, come upon you, whether he be old or young, and there be no place, the Deacon shall find a place even for these, with all his heart; that, instead of accepting persons before men, his ministration may be well pleasing to God. The very same thing let the Deaconess do for those women that come, whether they be poor or rich.
Chapter LIX – That every Christian ought to frequent the church diligently, both morning and evening
When thou instructest the people, 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; nor to diminish the church by withdrawing themselves, and causing the body of Christ to be without its members. For it is spoken not only 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. Do not ye, therefore, scatter yourselves abroad, who are the members of Christ, by not assembling together; since, according to his promise, ye have Christ, your Head, present, and communicating to you. Be not careless of yourselves, nor deprive your Saviour of his own members, nor divide his body, nor disperse his members, nor 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 up 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 to God will he make, who doth not assemble on that day to hear the saving word concerning the resurrection? On which day we pray thrice, standing, in memory of him who arose in three days; and on which are the reading of the prophets, the preaching of the gospel, the oblation of the sacrifice, and the gift of the holy food.
Chapter LX – The vain zeal which the Heathen and the Jews show, in frequenting their temples and synagogues, is a proper example and motive to excite Christians to frequent the church
What, moreover, but an adversary to God can he be who taketh pains about temporary things night and day, but taketh no care of things eternal? Who taketh care of washings and temporary food every day, but doth not take care of interests that endure forever? How can such a one, even now, avoid hearing that word of the Lord, The Gentiles are justified more than you, as he saith 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 first of all pray to them, before all their work and all their labors; and in their feasts and in their solemnities do not keep away, but attend upon them; and not only those at 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 who are vainly called Jews, resting from work after every period of six days, come together into their synagogue on the seventh day, never leaving nor neglecting either rest from labor 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, having un justly occasioned the suffering on the cross, do not confess to God, 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 to the Lord God wilt thou make, who forsakest his church, not imitating so much as the heathen, but by thine absence growest slothful, or turnest apostate, or committest iniquity? To whom the Lord saith by Jeremiah, Ye have not kept mine ordinances; nay, ye have not walked according to the ordinances of the heathen, and ye have in a manner exceeded them. And again, Israel hath justified his soul more than treacherous Judah. And afterwards, Will the Gentiles change their gods, which are not gods? 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, saith he, my people have changed its glory for that which will not profit.
How, therefore, will anyone make his apology, who hath despised or absented himself from the church of God?
Chapter LXI – That we must not prefer the affairs of this life to those which concern the worship of God
But if anyone bring forward 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, Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto everlasting life. And, again, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
Endeavor, therefore, never to forsake the church of God. But, if anyone neglect it, and go either into a polluted temple of the heathen, or into a synagogue of the Jews, or of the heretics, what apology will such a one make in the day of judgment, who hath forsaken the oracles of the living God, that are living and quickening, and able to deliver from eternal punishment, and hath gone into a house of demons, or into a synagogue of the murderers of Christ, or the congregation of the wicked? not hearkening to him that saith, 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, nor will I sit with the ungodly. And again, Blessed is the 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. 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 hath called profane, and making those things unclean which he hath 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 saith, Lord, I have not sat in their assemblies, for they are scorners; but I was afraid, because of thy hand; nor to Job, who speaketh in like manner, if I have gone at any time with the scornful; for I shall be weighed in a just balance. 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 to polytheism those that attend to them?
Do ye, therefore, who attend to the laws of God, esteem those laws more honorable than the necessities of life, and pay a greater respect to them, and run together to the church of the Lord. which he hath purchased with the blood of Christ, the beloved, the first-born of every creature. For this church is the daughter of the Highest, which hath been in travail of you by the word of grace, and hath formed Christ in you; of whom ye 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.
Chapter LXII – That Christians must abstain from all the impious practices of the heathen
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 assemble th himself with those that savor the things of the devil, will be esteemed one of them, and will inherit a woe.
Avoid also unbecoming spectacles, I mean the theatres and the pomps of the heathen, their enchantments, observations of omens, soothsayings, purifications, divinations, observations of birds, their necromancies, and invocations. For it is written, There is no divination in Jacob, nor soothsaying in Israel. And again, Divination is iniquity. 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. Wherefore Jeremiah exhorteth, saying, Walk ye not according to the ways of the heathen, and be not afraid of the signs of heaven. So that it is the duty of a believer to avoid the assemblies of the impious heathen and 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 honor of demons, be partakers with them in their impiety. Ye 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 our necessities.
Abstain, therefore, from all idolatrous pomp and display, the festival assembly, competitions, duels, and all shows belonging to demons.
Chapter LXIII – That no Christian who will not work must eat; as Peter and the rest of the apostles were fishermen; Paul and Aquila, tent-makers; and Jude, the son of James, a husbandman
Let the young persons of the church endeavor to minister diligently in all necessaries. Attend to your business with all becoming seriousness, that so ye 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 tent-makers, some husbandmen, that so we may never be idle. So saith Solomon somewhere, Go to the ant, thou sluggard, and 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 labors both kings and private men make use of for their health. She is desirable and glorious: though she be weak in strength, yet, by honoring wisdom, she is improved. How long wilt thou lie on thy bed, sluggard? When wilt thou awake out of thy sleep? Thou sleepest a while, thou liest down a while, thou slumberest a while, thou foldest thy hands on thy breast to sleep a while. Then poverty cometh on thee like an evil traveller, and want as a swift racer. But if thou be diligent, thy harvest shall come as a fountain; and want, as a bad man, shall fly from thee. And again, He that manageth his own land shall be filled with bread. And elsewhere he saith, The slothful hath folded his hands together, and hath eaten his own flesh. And afterwards, The sluggard hideth his hand; he will not be a Wasp to bring it to his mouth. And again, By slothfulness of the hands a fool will be brought low.
Labor, therefore, continually; for the lot of the slothful is not to be healed. But if anyone do not work, let him not eat among you. For the Lord our God hateth the slothful, and no one of those who worship him ought to be idle.
End of book II
BOOK III – Concerning Widows
Chapter I – That those who are chosen widows ought to be not under sixty years of age
Choose your widows not under sixty years of age, that in some measure the suspicion of a second marriage may be prevented by their age. But if ye admit one younger into the order of widows, and she cannot bear her widowhood in her youth, and marrieth, 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 hath waxed wanton against Christ, and not kept her promise. 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. But if any younger woman, who hath lived only a little while with her husband, and hath lost him by death, or some other occasion, remain by herself, having the gift of widowhood, she will be found to be blessed, and to be like the widow of Serepta, belonging to Sidon, with whom the holy prophet of God, Elijah, was entertained as a guest. Such a one may also be compared to Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser, who departed not from the temple, but continued in supplications and prayers, night and day; who was fourscore years old, and had lived with a 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. Such a widow will have a good report, and will be honored, having both glory with men upon earth, and eternal praise with God in heaven.
Chapter II – That we must avoid the choice of younger widows, because of suspicion
But let not the younger widows be placed in the order of widows, lest, under pretence of inability to be continent in the flower of their age, they accede to a second marriage, and become embarrassed. 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 embarrassment. For ye 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 be cause 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.
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.
Chapter III – Of what character the widows ought to be, and how they ought to be supported by the Bishop
But the true widows are those who 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 unblamably; who are to be supported, as devoted to God.
Besides, do thou, Bishop, be mindful of the needy, both reaching out thy helping hand, and making provision 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 who are tried with affliction.
Chapter IV – That we ought to be charitable to all sorts of persons in want
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 bestow gifts do not immediately, and without the use of discretion, give them to the widows, but barely bring them in, calling them free-will offerings, that so thou, who knowest those that are in affliction, mayest, as a good steward, give them their portion of the gift.
For God knoweth the giver, though thou distributest it to those in want, when he is absent. And he hath the reward of well-doing, but thou the blessedness of a just distribution of it. 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 may be. For the Lord saith, Give to every one that asketh thee. 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 giveth us exhortations in respect to the needy, saying, first by Isaiah, Deal thy bread to the hungry, and bring the poor who have no covering into thy house. If thou seest the naked, do thou cover him; and thou shalt not overlook those who are of thine own family and seed. And then by Daniel he saith to the potentate, Wherefore, king, let my connsel please thee, and purge thy sins by acts of mercy, and thine iniquities by bowels of compassion to the needy. And he saith by Solomon, By acts of mercy and of faith, iniquities are purged.
And he saith again by David, Blessed is he that hath regard to the poor and needy; the Lord shall deliver him in the evil day. And again, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the needy; his righteousness remaineth forever. And Solomon saith, He that hath mercy on the poor lendeth to the Lord; according to his gift it shall be paid him again. And afterwards, He that stoppeth his ear, that he may not hear him that is in want, he also himself shall call, and there shall be none to hear him.
Chapter V – That the widows are to be very careful of their deportment
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 busy-body. If she see or hear anything that is not right, let her be as one that doth not see, and as one that doth 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 anyone, let her not easily answer, except questions concerning faith, and righteousness, and hope in God; remitting to the rulers those that desire to be instructed in the doctrines of godliness. Let her answer only so as may tend to subvert the error of polytheism, and demonstrate the doctrine concerning the monarchy of God. But of the remaining doctrines, let her not answer anything rashly, lest, by saying anything unlearnedly, she should cause the Word to be blasphemed.
For the Lord hath taught us, that the Word is like a grain of mustard seed, which is of a fiery nature; and, if anyone useth it unskilfully, he will find it bitter. For in the mystical points we ought not to be rash, but cautious. For the Lord exhorteth us, saying, Cast not your pearls before swine, lest they trample them with their feet, and turn again and rend you. 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, saith he, Woe to him by whom my name is blasphemed among the gentiles.
Chapter VI – That women ought not to teach, because it is unseemly; and what women followed our Lord
We do not permit our women to teach in the church, but only to pray, and to hear those that teach. For our Master and Lord, Jesus Christ 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 Magdalen; 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 would have first commanded these also to instruct the people with us. For, if the head of the wife be the man, 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 runneth 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 resting place of the congregation on the Lord’s day, as those that are watchful. But they either 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 saith, 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.
Chapter VII – What are the characters of widows, falsely so called
In the same manner, therefore, the ears of the hearts of such widows as these are stopped, so 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 who esteem gain in their business; and. since they ask without shame, and receive without being satisfied, they 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 the house of one of their neighbors to that of another, and disturb them, heaping up to themselves plenty of money, and lend at bitter usury; and are solicitous only 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; who esteem these things as if they were durable, and not transitory. For she that useth herself to nothing but talking of money, worshipped Mammon instead of God; that is, she is a servant to gain, but cannot be pleasing to God, nor resigned to his worship; not being able to intercede with him, because her mind and disposition run after money; for where the treasure is, there will the heart be also. For she is thinking in her mind whither she may go to receive, or that a certain woman, her friend, hath forgotten her, and she hath somewhat to say to her. She that thinketh of such things as these will no longer attend to her prayers, but to that thought which offereth itself; so that, although sometimes she may wish to pray for someone, she will not be heard, because she doth not offer her petition to the Lord with the whole heart.
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; so also the widow who is like her, will offer her intercession, without ceasing, for the church of God; and he will hear her, because her mind is fixed on this thing alone, and is disposed to be neither insatiable nor 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 asketh anything, the gift will anticipate her; as he saith, While thou art speaking, I will say, Behold I am here. Let such a one also be free from the love of money, free from arrogance, not given to filthy lucre, not insatiable nor 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 assist others, rather than herself be in need of anything; being mindful of that widow who is honored 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 abundance; but this woman of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.
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 anyone to eat or drink with him, or to receive anything from any body; but, if without direction she do anyone of these things, let her be punished with fasting, or else let her be separated on account of her rashness.
Chapter VIII – That a widow ought not to accept of alms from the unworthy; nor ought a Bishop , nor any other of the faithful
For how doth such a one know of what character the person is from whom she receiveth; or from what sort of ministration he supplieth her with food, whether it doth not arise from rapine, or some other ill course of life, while the widow is unmindful, that, if she receive in a way unworthy of God, she must give an account forevery 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 those things that are thy neighbor’s; and, Thou shalt not offer the hire of a harlot to the Lord God. 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 receiveth from one so deserving of blame, or from one excommunicated, and prayeth for him while he purposeth to go on in a wicked course, and while he is not willing at any time to repent, holdeth communion with him in prayer, and grieveth Christ, who rejecteth the unrighteous; and he confirmeth them by means of the unworthy gift, and is denied with them, not suffering them to come to repentance, so as to fall down before God with lamentation, and pray to him.
Chapter IX – That women ought not to baptize; because it is impious , and contrary to the doctrine of Christ
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 do it; for it is dangerous, or, rather, wicked and impious. For if the man be the head of the woman, and he be originally ordained for the priesthood, it is not just to abrogate the order of the creation, and, leaving the ruler, to come to the subordinate body. For the woman is the body of the man, taken from his side, and subject to him, from whom also she was separated for the procreation of children. For the Scripture saith, He shall ride over thee. For the man is ruler of the woman, as being her head. But if in the foregoing Constitutions we have not permitted them to teach, how will anyone 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.
But, 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 hath 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; as being the Creator of nature, and the Legislator of the constitution.
Chapter X – That a Layman ought not to perform a priestly work, baptism, or sacrifice, or laying on of hands, or blessing
Nor 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 himself, but he that is called of God. 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 who seizeth upon it for himself, shall undergo the punishment of Uzziah.
Chapter XI – That none but a Bishop or a Presbyter , none even of the inferior ranks of the clergy, are permitted to do the offices of the Priests; that ordination belongeth wholly to the Bishop, and to no other person
Nay farther, we do not permit to the rest of the clergy to baptize; as, for instance, either to Readers, or Singers, or Porters, or Ministers, but only to the Bishops and Presbyters; yet so that the Deacons are to minister to them therein. But those who venture upon it shall undergo the punishment of the companions of Corah. We do not permit Presbyters, but only Bishops, to ordain Deacons, or Deaconesses, or Readers, or Servants, or Singers, or Porters. For this is the ecclesiastical order and harmony.
Chapter XII – The rejection of all uncharitable actions
Now concerning envy, or passion, or evil speaking, or strife, or the love of contention, we have already said to you, that these are alien from a Christian, and chiefly in the case of widows. But because the devil, who worketh in men, is in his conduct cunning, and full of various devices, he goeth 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 that it is not the name of widowhood that will bring them to the kingdom of God, but true faith and holy works.
But if anyone possesseth the name of widowhood, but performeth 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, cavilling at the comforts of others. Such widows as these are not the disciples of Christ, nor of his doctrine. For it becometh them, when one of their fellow-widows is clothed by anyone, or receiveth money, or food, or drink, or shoes, at the sight of the refreshment of their sister, to say
Chapter XIII – How the widows are to pray for those who supply their necessities
Thou art blessed, God, who hast refreshed my fellow-widow. Bless, Lord, and glorify him who hath 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 hath so well performed his duty to thee, and hath ordered such a reasonable alms to be bestowed on my fellow-widow, in need of clothing, do thou increase his glory, and give him a crown of rejoicing in the day when thy visitation shall be revealed.
In the same manner, let the widow who hath received the favor join with the other in praying for him who bestowed it.
Chapter XIV – That she who hath been kind to the poor ought not to boast, and tell abroad her name, according to the constitution of the Lord
But if any woman hath done a kindness, 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 saith, When thou doest thine alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth, that thine alms may be in secret. And let the widow pray for him that gave her the alms, whosoever he be, as she is the holy altar of Christ; and the Father, who seeth in secret, will reward openly him that did good.
But those widows who will not live according to the command of God, are solicitous and inquisitive what Deaconess it is that hath administered the charity, and what widows have received it. And when such a one hath learned those things, she murmureth at the Deaconess who distributed the charity, saying, Dost not thou see that I am in more distress and in greater want of thy charity? Why, therefore, hast thou preferred her before me? She saith these things foolishly, not understanding that this doth not depend on the will of man, but on the appointment of God. For if she is herself a witness that she was nearer, and proved herself in greater want and more in need of clothing, 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 her who did the kindness not to proclaim it; and this widow murmured, because proclamation was not made, so that she might know, 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. But the Lord saith, When ye enter into a 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.
Chapter XV – That it doth not become us to revile our neighbors, because cursing is
contrary to Christianity
If, therefore, peace returneth 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 cause, curse themselves; as Solomon saith, As birds and sparrows fly away, so the curse causeless shall not come upon anyone. And again he saith, Those that bring reproaches are exceeding foolish. But as the bee, a creature as to its strength feeble, if she stingeth anyone, loseth her sting, and becometh a drone; in the same manner, ye also, whatsoever injustice I do to others, will bring it upon yourselves. He hath excavated and digged a pit; and he shall fall into the ditch that he hath made. And again, He that diggeth a pit for his neighbor shall fall into it. Let him, therefore, who would avoid a curse, not curse another. For what thou hatest should be done to thee, do not thou to another.
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. Nor let a Bishop, nor a Presbyter, nor a Deacon, nor anyone 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 a curse . For he ought to take care of the Clergy, of the Virgins, of the Widows, of the Laity.
For which reason, Bishop, do thou ordain thy fellow-workers, the laborers for life and for righteousness, such Deacons as are pleasing to God, such as 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 to the women. For sometimes thou canst not send a Deacon, who is a man, to the women in certain houses, on account of the unbelievers. Thou shalt therefore send a woman, a Deaconess, on account of the imaginations of the bad.
And we stand in need of a woman, a Deaconess, for many occasions; and first in the baptism of women, the Deacon shall anoint their forehead with the holy oil, and after him the Deaconess shall anoint them. 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 who are now baptized are ordained priests, but as being Christians, or anointed, from Christ the Anointed; a royal priesthood and a holy nation; the church of God, the pillar and ground of the present light; who formerly were not a people, but now are beloved and chosen; upon whom is called his new name, as Isaiah the prophet testifieth, And they shall call the people by his new name, which the Lord shall name for them.
Chapter XVI – Concerning the divine Initiation of holy Baptism
Thou, therefore, 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. Then, either thou, Bishop, or a Presbyter that is under thee, shall pronounce over them the sacred name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the 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 be done with a becoming decency. And, after this, let the Bishop anoint those that are baptized with ointment.
Chapter XVII – What is the meaning of Baptism into Christ; and on what account everything therein is said and done
This baptism, therefore, is given into the death of Jesus. The water is instead of the burial; and the oil, instead of the Holy Ghost; the seal, instead of the cross; the ointment, 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, and is taught by him, and proclaimeth him.
Chapter XVIII – Of what character he ought to be who is Initiated
And let him who is to be baptized be free from all iniquity, one that is not disposed to sin; the friend of God, the enemy of the devil; the heir of God the Father, the fellow-heir of his Son; one that hath renounced Satan, and the demons, and Satan’s deceits; chaste, pure, holy, beloved of God, a son of God, praying as a son to his Father, and saying, as from the common congregation of the faithful, thus: Our Father who 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 forever. Amen.
Chapter XIX – Of what character a Deacon ought to be
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 woman appointed be diligent in taking care of the women. Moreover, let both the Deacons and the Deaconesses be ready to carry messages, to travel about, to minister and serve; as spake Isaiah concerning the Lord, saying, To justify the righteous, who serveth many faithfully.
Let all, therefore, know their proper place, and perform their duty 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. So therefore ought they also to do, and not to hesitate, if it should be needful to lay down their life for a brother. For our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ did not hesitate to lay down his life, as himself saith, for his friends. If, therefore, the Lord of heaven and earth underwent all his sufferings for us, how then do ye make a difficulty to minister to such as are in want; ye who ought to imitate him that under went for us servitude, and want, and stripes, and the cross? It is therefore a duty that we, too, serve the brethren, in imitation of Christ. For he saith, 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. For so did he really, and not in word only, fulfil the prediction of serving many faithfully. For when he had taken a towel, he girded himself. After that, he poureth water into a basin; and, as we were sitting at meat, he came and washed the feet of us all, and wiped them with the towel. By doing this he indicated to us the affectionateness of brotherly love, that we also might do the same to one another.
If, therefore, our Lord and Master so humbled himself, how can ye, the laborers 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, affectionately, not murmuring nor mutinying; for ye do not do it on account of man, but on account of God; and ye shall receive from him the reward of your ministry in the day of your visitation. Ye, therefore, who are Deacons, ought to visit all those who stand in need of being visited. And tell your Bishop of all those that are in affliction. For ye ought to be his soul and sensation; being active and attentive in all things to him, as to your Bishop, and father, and master.
Chapter XX – That a Bishop ought to be ordained by three or by two Bishops, but not by one; for that would be invalid
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, and the rest of the clergy, are to be ordained by one Bishop. 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, and 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, and not to meddle with the other offices.
END OF BOOK III
BOOK IV – Concerning Orphans
Chapter I -That it is highly commendable to receive orphans kindly, and adopt them
WHEN any Christian is left an orphan, whether a boy or a girl, it is good that someone of the brethren, who is without a child, should take the lad, and esteem him in the place of a son; and that he who hath a son of an age corresponding with that of the maid, should connect her with him, when she is marriageable. For they who 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 anyone that walketh in the way of man-pleasing, being rich, is ashamed of the orphan members, the Father of orphans and Judge of widows will make provision for the orphan; but himself shall have such an heir as will spend what was laid up by his parsimony. 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 saith, Your land strangers devour it in your presence.
Chapter II – How the Bishop ought to provide for the orphans
Do ye, therefore, Bishops, be solicitous about their maintenance, being in nothing wanting to them; exhibiting to the orphans the care of parents, and to widows the care of husbands; to those of suitable age, marriage; to the artificer, work; to the unable, commiseration; to the strangers, a 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; to the maid, indeed, till she arrive at the age of marriage, and ye give her in marriage to a brother; and assist ye the lad, that he may learn a trade, and may be maintained by the advantage arising from it, that, when he is dexterous in its management, he may thereby be enabled to buy himself the tools of his trade, so that 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 doth not take up the place of the orphan, the stranger, and the widow.
Chapter III – Who ought to be supported, according to the Lords Constitution
Since even the Lord said, that the giver is happier than the receiver. 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 who by the feebleness of old age, or the incidence of a disease, or the bringing up of many children, receiveth 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 honored by God, since he is zealously and constantly praying for those that give to him; not receiving idly, but to the utmost of his power recompensing by his prayer what is bestowed upon him. Such a one, therefore, shall be blessed by God in eternal life. But he that hath, and receiveth in hypocrisy or through idleness, instead of working, and assisting others, shall be obnoxious to punishment before God, because he hath snatched away the morsel of the needy.
Chapter IV – Concerning the love of money
For he that hath money, and doth not bestow it upon others, nor use it himself, is like the serpent, which, they say, sleepeth over the treasures; and of him is that Scripture true which saith, He hath gathered riches of which he shall not taste; and they will be of no use to him when he perisheth justly. For it saith, Riches will not profit in the day of wrath. For such a one hath 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 person’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.
Chapter V – With what fear men ought to partake of the Lord’s oblations
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 giveth food to the needy, and lift up their eyes to him. For the Scripture saith, Who of you shalt eat or who shalt 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. Wherefore the Lord saith, Consider the fowls of heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and your Father feedeth them. Are ye not 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.
Since ye therefore enjoy such a providential care from him, and are partakers of the good things that are derived from him, ye ought to return praise to Him that receiveth the orphan and the widow, to Almighty God, through his beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord; through whom glory be to God in spirit and truth, forever. Amen.
Chapter VI – Whose oblations are to be received, and whose are not to be received
Now it behooveth the Bishop 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. For of them it was that Isaiah reproached Israel, and said, Thy corrupt dealers mingle wine with water. He is also to avoid fornicators; for, Thou shalt not offer the hire of a harlot to the Lord. He is also to avoid extortioners, and those that 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, Bishop, avoid such as these, and their odious oblations.
Thou shalt also refuse rogues, and such advocates as 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 that is a false accuser, and not content with his wages, but doeth violence to the needy; a murderer, an executioner, and an unjust judge, a subverter of causes, him that lieth in wait for men, a worker of abominable wickedness, a drunkard, a blasphemer, a Sodomite, an usurer, and every one that is vicious and opposeth the will of God. For the Scripture saith that with God all such as these are abominable. Those that receive from such persons, and thereby support the widows and the orphans, shall be obnoxious to the tribunal of God; as Adonias the prophet, in the book of Kings, when he disobeyed God, and both ate bread and drank water in the place which the Lord had forbidden him, because of the wickedness of Jeroboam, was slain by a lion.
For the bread which is distributed to the widows from labor is better, though it be short and little, than that from injustice and false accusation, though it be much and fine. For the Scripture saith, Better is a little to the righteous, than great riches of the sinners. Now, although a widow who eateth and is filled from the wicked, pray for them, she shall not be heard; for God, who knoweth the heart, with judgment hath declared concerning the unrighteous, saying, If Moses and Samuel stand before my face in their behalf, I will not hear them. 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.
Chapter VII – That the oblations of the unworthy, while they are such, do not only not propitiate God, but, on the contrary, provoke him to indignation
And not these only, but those that are in sin, and have not repented, will not only not be 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 a harlot; for both of them are forbidden in the laws. For neither did Elisha receive the presents of Kings, which were brought by Hazael, nor Ahijah those from Jeroboam. If now the prophets of God did not admit of presents from the ungodly, it is reasonable, Bishops, that neither should you. Nay, when Simon the magician offered money to me, Peter, and John, and endeavored 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 not from a good conscience. For saith he, Abstain from all injustice, and thou shalt not fear, and trembling shall not come nigh thee.
Chapter VIII – That it is better to present to the widows from our own labors, though it be inconsiderable and few contributions, than to present 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
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 for this purpose ye have 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 speaketh, Let not the oil of a sinner moisten my head.
Be ye therefore examiners of such persons, and receive from such as walk piously, and supply the afflicted. But receive not from those that are excommunicated, until they are thought worthy to become 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.
Chapter IX – That the people ought to be exhorted by the Priest to do good to the
needy, as saith Solomon the Wise
Say unto the people under thee what Solomon the Wise saith, Honor the Lord out of thy just labors, 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. Therefore maintain and clothe those that are in want, from the righteous labor of the faithful. And the sums of money collected, as we have before said, from them, 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 who by tyrants have been condemned to single combat and death. For the Scripture saith, Deliver those that are led to death, and redeem those that are ready to be slain, do not spare.
Chapter X – A Constitution, that if anyone of the ungodly force will cast money to the Priests, they spend it in wood and coals, but not in food
But if at any time ye 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 under the necessity of buying with it either food or drink, which it is unfit to do. For it is reasonable that such gifts of the ungodly be fuel for fire, and not food for the pious. And this method is plainly appointed by the Law, when it calleth a sacrifice kept too long a thing not fit to be eaten, and commandeth 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 repel those who come to us; for we know that intercourse with the pious hath often been very profitable to the ungodly, but that only religious communion with them is hurtful. Let so much, therefore, be spoken to you, beloved, in order to your security.
Chapter XI – Of Parents and Children
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 they, becoming extravagant through opportunity, and remaining without correction from their parents, having had their liberty prematurely, break away from virtue. 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 saith some where 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 shalt deliver his soul from death. And again saith the same Solomon thus: He that spareth his rod hateth his son; and afterwards, Beat his sides while he is an infant, lest he be hardened, and disobey thee.
He, therefore, who neglecteth to admonish and instruct his son, hateth his own child. Do ye, therefore, teach your children the Word of the Lord. Moreover, bring them under, even with stripes, and make them subject from their infancy, teaching them the Holy Scriptures, both ours and divine, and delivering to them every sacred writing, not giving such liberty that they get the mastery, and act against your judgment; not permitting them to club together for a drinking party 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; but their parents also will be condemned on their account. For this cause, endeavor, at the time when they are of an age fit for marriage, to join them in wedlock, and settle them together, lest, in the heat and fervor of their age, their course of life become dissolute, and ye be required by the Lord God to give an account in the day of judgment.
Chapter XII – Of Servants and Masters
But as to servants, what can we say more, than that the servant bring a good will to his master, with the fear of God, although he be impious and wicked; yet, indeed, let him not 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 he that hath a believing master, the master’s authority being preserved, let him love him, both as his master, and as of the same faith, and as a father; not as an eye-servant, but as a lover of his master, as knowing that God will recompense him for his service. In like manner, let a master who hath a believing servant, the service being continued, love him as a son, or as a brother, on account of their communion in the faith.
Chapter XIII – In what things we ought to be subject to the rulers of this world
Be ye subject to all royal power and dominion, in things that are pleasing to God, as to the ministers of God, and the punishers of the wicked. Render all the fear that is due to them, all offerings, all customs, all honor, gifts and taxes. For this is God’s command, that ye owe nothing to anyone, but the pledge of love, which God hath commanded by Christ.
Chapter XIV – Concerning Virgins
Concerning virginity we have received no commandment; 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 saith, It is better not to vow, than to vow and not pay.
Let such a virgin, therefore, be holy in body and soul, as a temple of God, as a house of Christ, as a habitation of the Holy Spirit. For she that voweth 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 rambleth about unseasonably; not double-minded; but grave, continent, sober, pure, avoiding the conversation of many, and especially of those that are of ill reputation.
END OF BOOK IV
BOOK V – CONCERNING MARTYRS.
Chapter I – That it is reasonable for the faithful to supply, according to the constitution of the Lord, the wants of those who, by the unbelievers, are afflicted for the sake of Christ
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, neglect him not; but send to him from your labor 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 lieth in your power, your blessed brother may not be afflicted. For he that is condemned for the name of the Lord God is a holy martyr, a brother of the Lord, a son of the Highest, a receptacle of the Holy Spirit (by whom every one of the faithful hath received the illumination of the glory of the holy Gospel), in being accounted worthy of the incorruptible crown, and the testimony of Christ’s sufferings, and the fellowship of his blood, that he might be made conformable to the death of Christ, and be adopted as a child.
For this cause, all ye of the faithful, by your Bishop, minister to the saints from your substance and from your labor. But if anyone hath not, let him fast a day, and set apart what is thus saved, and order it for the saints. If, however, anyone hath abundance, 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 giveth his goods to the poor be perfect, after a knowledge of divine things, much rather is he that giveth them on account of the martyrs. For such a one is worthy of God, and will do 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. And if these be such as to be attested to by Christ before his Father, ye ought not to be ashamed to go to them in the prisons. For if ye do this, it will be esteemed to you for a testimony; because their testimony was what they actually experienced, and yours will be your zealous good will, as being partakers of their combat. For the Lord speaketh 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 hungry, and ye gave me to eat; 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 hungry, 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 ansiver 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 food. 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 ansiver and say, ‘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 into everlasting punishment.
Chapter II – That we are to avoid intercourse with false brethren, when they continue in their perversity
But if anyone who calleth himself a brother is seduced by the evil one, and doeth 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 the abominable crime, 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 with all diligence assist those who, 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 anyone who accompanieth with them is taken, and falleth under ill-treatment, blessed is he; because he is partaker with the martyr, and is one that imitateth the sufferings of Christ. For we ourselves also, when we often received stripes from Caiaphas, and Alexander, and Annas, went out rejoicing that we were counted worthy to suffer such things for our Saviour. Do ye also rejoice when ye suffer such things: for ye shall be blessed in that day.
Chapter III -That we ought to afford a helping hand to such as are plundered for the sake of Christ, although we should incur danger ourselves
Receive also those that are persecuted on account of the faith, and that flee from city to city on account of the Lord’s commandment; and assist them as martyrs, rejoicing that ye are made partakers of their persecution, knowing that they are declared by our Lord to be blessed. For himself saith, 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 who were before us. And again, If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; 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. And, He that endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved. For he that is persecuted for the sake of the faith, and beareth witness to Christ, and endureth, this person is truly a man of God.
Chapter IV – That it is a horrible and destructive thing to deny Christ
But he that denieth his being Christ’s, that he may not be hated of men, and so loveth his own life more than the Lord, in whose hand his breath is, this person is wretched and miserable, as being detestable and abominable, who desireth 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 who is in heaven.
And again, he speaketh thus to 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 My 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? 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.
Chapter V – That we ought to imitate Christ in suffering, and with zeal to follow his patience
Every one, therefore, who learneth any art, when he seeth his master, by his diligence and skill, perfecting his art, doth himself earnestly endeavor to make what he taketh in hand, similar to the article made by his master. 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 human family; 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 sake, renounced his repose, was not ashamed of the cross, and did not esteem death inglorious, why do we not imitate his sufferings, and renounce, on his account, even our own life, with that patience which he giveth us? For he did all for our sake, but we for our own sake; for he doth not stand in need of us, but we stand in need of his mercy. He requireth only the sincerity and readiness of our faith, as saith the Scripture, If thou art righteous, what dost thou give to him? or what will he receive at thy hand? Thy wickedness is to a man like thyself, and thy righteousness is to a son of man.
Chapter VI – 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, if he fall into the enemy’s hand, to strive earnestly on account of the crown that is laid up for him
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 honor of rulers; 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.
But now, by avowing a good confession, we not only save our selves, 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 in which we gloried so much before is an erroneous doctrine.
Wherefore, neither let us be rash and hasty to thrust ourselves into dangers; for the Lord saith, Pray that ye fall not into temptation; the spirit, indeed, is willing, but the flesh is weak; 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 malady 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 cholic, and have a sudden catastrophe, and depart this life; is he not deprived of the things present, and doth he not lose those which are eternal? Or, rather, is he not within the verge of eternal punishment, and gone into outer darkness, where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth?
But he who is deemed worthy of the honor of martyrdom, let him 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 but a catechumen, let him depart without trouble; for his suffering for Christ will be to him a more genuine baptism, because he dieth with Christ in reality, but the rest only in a figure. Let him therefore rejoice in the invitation of his Master; since it is thus ordained, Let every one be perfect, as his Master. Now, his and our Master, Jesus the Lord, was smitten for our sake. He under went 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. Wherefore, let him that desireth 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, as the three children; or, if he suffer anything, he shall receive a reward from the Lord, believing in the one and 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 forever. Amen.
Chapter VII – Several demonstrations concerning the Resurrection, concerning the
Sibyl, and what the Stoics say concerning the bird called Phoenix
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; since we shall rise incorruptible. For 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; because the whole world is held together by the hand of God. Moreover, he saith, A hair of your head shall not perish. Wherefore he exhorteth us, saying, In your patience possess ye your souls.
Besides, concerning the resurrection of the dead, and the recompense of reward for the martyrs, Gabriel saith 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. Therefore the most holy Gabriel foretold that the saints should shine like the stars; for his sacred name testified to them that they might understand the truth.
Nor is a resurrection declared only for the martyrs, but for all men, righteous and unrighteous, godly and ungodly, that every one may receive according to his desert. For God, saith the Scripture, will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. This resurrection was not believed by the Jews, when of old they said, Our bones are withered, and we are gone. To whom God answered, and said, Behold, I open your graves, and will bring you out of them, and 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 saith 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.
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 wicked, their fall, rejection, condemnation, shame, eternal fire, and endless worm. And 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 by Elijah, and the Shunamite’s son 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. On this account, therefore, as if [to exhibit a spectacle] for those who live in a great city, after the combats he bringeth a dissolution for a little while, that, when he raiseth up everyone, he may either reject 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 the dissolution, to pay what is owing to the rational nature of man; we mean the continuance in being through all ages. He, therefore, who bringeth on the dissolution will himself also procure the resurrection. And he who 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; and who added, after the disobedience, Earth thou art, and unto earth shalt thou return; himself promised us a resurrection afterwards, For, saith he, All that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live.
Besides these arguments, we believe, even from the resurrection of our Lord, that there is to be a resurrection. For he himself who raised Lazarus, when he had been in the grave four days, and Jairus’s daughter, and the widow’s son; and who, by the command by the Father, raised himself in the space of three days, is the pledge of our resurrection. For, saith he, l am the resurrection and the life. He that brought Jonah, 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, will be in no want of power also to awake us.
But if the Gentiles laugh at us, and disbelieve our Scriptures, let at least their own prophetess, the Sibyl, oblige them to believe, who saith thus to them, in so many words:
But when all things shall be reduced to dust and ashes,
And the immortal God, who kindled the fire, shall have quenched it,
Bones and ashes God himself shall again form into a man,
And shall place mortals again as they were before.
And then, indeed, shall be a judgment, in which God himself will render justice,
Judging the world again; and whoever have impiously sinned,
These the earth again shall cover;
But all the pious shall live again in the world,
God giving spirit, life, and favor to them, the devout.
Then, moreover, all shall see themselves.
Orac. Sibyl B. IV. (end.)
If, therefore, this prophetess herself confesseth the resurrection, and doth not deny the restoration of all things, and distinguisheth 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 believe the things which they themselves declare). For they say that there is a bird, single in its kind, which affordeth a rich evidence of the resurrection. This bird, they affirm, is without a mate, and the only one in the creation. They call it a Phoenix, and relate that, every five hundred years, it cometh into Egypt, to what is called the altar of the sun, and bringeth 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 becometh dust; but that a worm ariseth again out of those ashes; and when this is warmed, it is formed into a new-born Phoenix; and when it is able to fly, it goeth to Arabia, which is beyond the Egyptian countries. If now, as even themselves say, a resurrection is exhibited by means of an irrational bird, why do they vainly disparage our accounts, when we profess that He who, by his power, bringeth that into being which was not in being before, is able also 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, of which we profess ourselves to be the preachers. As, therefore, we believe Moses, when he saith, In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth; and we know that he was not in need of 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, the four-footed beasts, the creeping things, the plants, and the herbs; so also will he raise all men up by his will, 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 belongeth to things laid down, not to things which have no being. The same Being, therefore, that made the original matter out of nothing, and out of it formed various bodies, will also vivify and again 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 himself somewhere saith to Jeremiah, Before I formed thee in the womb, I knew thee; 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; he himself will also raise up all men, as being his workmanship; as also the divine Scripture testifieth that God said to Christ, his only-begotten, 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. And the most divine and patient Job, of whom the Scripture saith, It is written that he shall rise again with those whom the Lord raiseth up, thus addresseth God: Hast thou not milked me like milk, and curdled me like cheese? Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast formed me with bones and sinews. Thou hast granted me life and favor, 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. Wherefore, also, our Saviour and Master, Jesus Christ, saith, that what is impossible with men is possible with God. And David, the beloved of God, saith, Thy hands have made me, and fashioned me. And again, Thou knowest my frame; and afterwards, Thou hast fashioned me, and laid thy hand upon me. The knowledge of thee is declared to be too wonderful for me. It is very great; I cannot attain unto it. Thine eyes did see my substance, being yet imperfect; and all men shall be written in thy look. But also Isaiah saith in his prayer to him, We are the clay, and thou art the Framer of us. If, therefore, man be his workmanship, made by Christ, by him most certainly will he, after he is dead, be raised again, for the purpose of being either crowned for his good actions, or punished for his transgressions. But if, being the lawgiver, he judgeth with righteousness, as he punisheth the wicked, so doth he do good to and save the faithful. And those saints who, for his sake, have been slain by men, some of them he will cause to shine as the stars, and others he will make bright as the luminaries; as Gabriel said to Daniel.
All we of the faithful, therefore, who are the disciples of Christ, believe his promises. For he that hath promised, cannot lie. But, saith the blessed prophet David, The Lord is faithful in all his words, and holy in all his works. 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 lying in death. He who raiseth wheat out of the ground, with many stalks from one grain; he who maketh the tree that is cut down, send forth fresh branches; he who made Aaron’s dry rod put forth buds, will himself also raise us up in glory. He who raised up to perfect health him that had the palsy, and healed him that had the withered hand; he who, from clay and spittle, supplied a defective part to him who was born blind, the same will also raise us up. He that satisfied five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes, and caused a remainder of twelve baskets; and out of the water made wine, and sent a piece of money out of a fish’s mouth, by me Peter, to those who demanded tribute; he also 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 wonderful works, and of his life, and of his deportment, and of his words, and of his sufferings, and of his death, and of his resurrection from the dead, and who conversed with him forty days after his resurrection, and who received a command from him to preach the Gospel to all the world, and to make disciples of all nations, 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 the Comforter, we teach you all these things which he appointed us by his constitutions, before he was received up in our sight into heaven, to him that sent him. And if ye will believe, ye shall be happy; but if ye will not believe, we shall be found innocent, and clear from your incredulity.
Chapter VIII – Concerning James, the brother of the Lord, and Stephen, the first Martyr
Now, concerning the martyrs, we say to you, that they are to be held in all honor with you, as we honor the blessed James, the Bishop, and the holy Stephen, our fellow-servant. For these are accounted by God to be blessed, and are honored by holy men, as being pure from all transgressions, immovable, when tempted to sin, or persuaded from good works; undoubtedly entitled to encomiums. Of whom also David said, Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his holy ones; and Solomon, The memory of the just is with praise. Of whom also the prophet said, Righteous men are taken away.
Chapter IX – Concerning False Martyrs
These things we have said concerning those who, in truth, have been martyrs for Christ, but not concerning false martyrs, concerning whom the oracle saith, The name of the wicked is extinguished. For, A faithful witness will not lie, but an unfaithful witness inflameth lies. For he that departeth this life in testimony for the truth, without falsification, is a faithful martyr, worthy to be believed in those things in which he strove, by his own blood, for the word of piety.
Chapter X – A moral admonition that we are to abstain from vain talking, obscene talking, jesting, drunkenness, lasciviousness, and luxury
Moreover, we exhort you, brethren and fellow-servants, to avoid vain talk, and obscene discourses, and jesting, drunkenness, lasciviousness, luxury, and unbounded passions, with foolish talking; since neither on the Lord’s days, which are days of joy, do we permit you to speak or act anything unseemly. For the Scripture somewhere saith, Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice unto him with trembling. Even your very rejoicings, therefore, ought to be done with fear and trembling. For a Christian who is faithful ought neither to repeat a 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.
Chapter XI – An admonition, instructing men to avoid the abominable sin of Idolatry
Ye 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 saith concerning the Israelites, They have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods; and afterwards, I will take away the names of the idols out of their mouth; and elsewhere, They have provoked me to jealousy with them that are no gods; they have provoked me to anger with their idols. And in all the Scriptures these things are forbidden by the Lord God.
Chapter XII – That we ought not to sing a heathen or an obscene song; nor to swear by an idol, because it is an impious thing, and contrary to the knowledge of God
But not only concerning idols do our holy statutes give us prohibitions, but also concerning the luminaries. They admonish us 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 shouldst be seduced to worship them; and elsewhere, Learn not to walk after the ways of the heathen, and be not afraid of the signs of heaven. 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, and became injurious to their Maker, and admired the creature more than was fit. And sometimes they made a calf in the wilderness; sometimes they worshipped Baal-peor; another time, Baal, and Thammuz, and Astarte of Sidon; and again, Moloch and Chamos; another time, the sun, as it is written in Ezekiel; nay, and besides, irrational creatures, as, amongst the Egyptians, apes 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 are as those that mock. But I will act with anger; mine eye shall not spare, nor 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 manythings the Lord declareth 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, nor by the moon, nor by the stars, nor by the heaven, nor by the earth, nor 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 heathenish impiety, 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; for this custom is a piece of Jewish corruption, and on that account it was forbidden; and if he enjoined upon the faithful that their yea be yea, and their nay nay; and said that what is more than these is of the evil one; how much more blamable 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.
Chapter XIII – A catalogue of the feasts of the Lord which are to be kept; and
when each of them ought to observed
Brethren, observe the festival days, and first indeed the birth-day of our Lord, which is to be celebrated by you on the twenty-fifth of the ninth month. After which, let Epiphany be to you the most honorable, in which the Lord made to us a manifestation of his own divinity; but let this festival be observed on the sixth of the tenth month. Subsequently the Quadragesimal fast (Lent) is to be observed by you, as containing a memorial both of our Lord’s deportment and of his legislation. But let this fast 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 those days for the perishing.
Chapter XIV – 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
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 long been entrusted with the purse, and used to steal what was set apart for the needy, yet was not cast off by the Lord, through much long-suffering. Besides, when we were once feasting with him, being willing both to bring him back to his duty, and to 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? 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 gracious Lord declare his name, but gave two signs of the betrayer; one by saying, He that dippeth with me in the dish; and a second, To whom I shall give the sop when I have dipped it. Although even he said, Master, is it I?, the Lord did not say yes, but Thou hast said. And being willing to terrify 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. And having heard these things, he went away, 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. And the Scripture was fulfilled which saith, And they took 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.
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. And every one vehemently affirming that we 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 croweth, thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. 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; and we were with him, and sang a hymn, according to the custom; and being separated from us, he prayed earnestly to his Father, saying, Father, remove this cup away from me; yet not my will, but thine, be done. And when he had done this thrice, while we out of despondency 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, to whom he showeth 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, in which were assembled many, not the people, but a rabble, not a holy council of elders, but an assembly of the wicked, and senate of the ungodly, who did manythings against him, and left no kind of injury untried, spitting upon him, deriding 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 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, in their madness, cast upon him, till it was very early in the morning; and then they led 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.
Upon which, the governor, being out of patience with them, said, I find no cause against him. But they brought two false witnesses, and wished thus to substantiate a slanderous accusation against him; but, these being found disagreeing, they referred the matter to loyalty, saying, This fellow saith that he is a king, and forbiddeth to give tribute to Caesar. And themselves became accusers, and witnesses, and judges, and authors of the sentence, saying Crucify him, crucify him; that it might be fulfilled which is written by the prophets concerning him, Unjust witnesses were gathered together against me, and in justice lied to itself. And again, Many dogs compassed me about; the assembly of the wicked laid siege against me. And elsewhere, My heritage hath become to me as a lion in a forest, and hath sent forth her voice against me. Pilate, therefore, disgracing his authority by his pusillanimity, convicteth himself of wickedness, by regarding the multitude more than this just person, and bearing witness to him as innocent, yet delivering him up, as guilty, to the punishment of the cross; although the Romans had made laws that no man unconvicted should be put to death.
But the executioners took the Lord of glory, and nailed him to the cross, crucifying him indeed at the tenth hour, but having received the sentence of his condemnation at the third hour. After this they gave 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. And again, They divided my garments among themselves, and upon my vesture they have cast lots. And in another place, And I was reckoned with the transgressors. 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.
All which things when those malefactors saw that were crucified with him, one of them reproached him, as though he was weak, and unable to deliver himself; but the other rebuked the ignorance of his companion, 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. The Lord then immediately granted him the forgiveness of his former sins, and brought him into Paradise to enjoy the mystical good things. He also, about the ninth hour, cried out and said to his Father, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And a little afterwards, when he had cried with a loud voice, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do; and had added, Into thy hands I commend my spirit, he gave up the ghost; and, before sunset, he was buried 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. And when he was risen from the dead, he appeared first to Mary Magdalen, 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 concerning him. 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.
He therefore himself charged us to fast these six days, on account of the impiety and transgression of the Jews; commanding us to mourn over them, and lament for their perdition. For even he himself wept over them, because they knew not the time of their visitation. But he commanded us to fast on the fourth day of the week (Wednesday), and on the Preparation (Friday), 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 during the Sabbath itself; not that the Sabbath is a day of fasting, it being the rest from the creation, but because we ought to fast this one Sabbath only, while on this day the Creator was yet under the earth. For on their very Feast day they apprehended the Lord, that that oracle might be fulfilled which saith, They placed their signs in the middle of their feast, and knew them not. Ye ought, therefore, to mourn over them, because when the Lord came they did not believe on him, but rejected his doctrine, judging themselves unworthy of salvation.
Consequently, ye are blessed, who once were not a people, but are now a 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; 1 was made manifest to them that asked not after me. I said, Behold me, to a nation that did not call upon my name. For when they did not seek after him, then were they sought for by him; and ye 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; as it is written in David, A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand. And again, The chariots of God are by tens of thousands, and thousands of the prosperous. But to unbelieving Israel he saith, All the day long have I stretched out my hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people, which go in a way that is not good, hit after their own sins; a people provoking me before my face.
Chapter XVI – 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
See how the people provoked the Lord by not believing in him. Therefore he saith, They provoked the Holy Spirit, and he was turned to be their enemy. 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 begotten of him, his only-begotten Son, God the Word, whom they did not own, through their unbelief, neither on 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 Immanuel. 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 the great Council, the Wonderful Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Potentate, the Prince of Peace, the Father of the future age. Moreover, that through their exceedingly great wickedness, they would not believe in him, the Scripture saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? And afterwards, 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.
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 ye, who knew not God, have believed by preaching, and have known him, or rather are known of him, through Jesus, the Saviour and Redeemer of those that hope in him. For ye are translated from your former vain and tedious customs, and have contemned the lifeless idols, and despised the demons which are in darkness, and have hastened to the true light, and by it have known the one and only true God and Father, and so are owned to be heirs of his kingdom. We have been baptized into the Lord’s death, and into his resurrection, as new-born babes, ye ought to be icon, wholly free from all sinful actions. For ye are not your own, but his that bought you with his own blood. For concerning the formar Israel, the Lord said, on account of their unbelief, that the kingdom of God shall be taken from them, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof; that is to say, that, having given the kingdom to you who were once for estranged from him, he expecteth 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; but ye have repented of your denial, and ye 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; one with stones, another with the sword; one they sawed asunder, another they slew in the holy place, between the temple and the altar; nay, at last they cast the heir himself out of the vineyard, and slew him. And by them he was rejected as an unprofitable stone; but by you he was received as a corner-stone. Wherefore he saith concerning you, A people whom I knew not have served me; and at the hearing of the ear they obeyed me.
Chapter XVII – How the Passover ought to be celebrated
Therefore, brethren, ye, who are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, ought diligently to celebrate the days of the Passover, with all carefulness, after the equinox, that ye keep not the memorial of the one passion twice in a year, but once only in a year for him that died but once; no longer indeed scrupulously caring to celebrate the feast with the Jews; for with them we now have no fellowship. For they are deceived in respect to the computation itself, which they think to carry into effect; as on every side they are deceived, and are separated from the truth. But do ye regard attentively the vernal equinox, which occurreth on the twenty-second day of the twelfth month (which is March) , watching carefully until the twenty-first day of the moon, lest the fourteenth day of the moon fall on another week; and, an error being made, ye through ignorance celebrate the Passover twice in the year; or keep the feast commemorative of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, on some other than the Lord’s day.
Chapter XVIII – A Constitution concerning the great Passover Week
In the days, therefore, of the Passover, fast, beginning from the second day of week until the Preparation and the Sabbath, six days; making use of only bread, and salt, and herbs, and water for your drink; but abstain from wine and flesh on these days; for they are days of lamentation, and not of feasting. Do ye who are able fast the day of the Preparation and the Sabbath entirely, tasting nothing till the cock-crowing of the night; but if anyone is not able to join them both together, at least let him retain the Sabbath; for the Lord saith somewhere, speaking of himself, When the bride-groom shall be taken away from them, in those days shall they fast. In these days, therefore, he was taken from the Jews, falsely so named, and fastened to the cross, and was numbered among the transgressors.
Chapter XIX – Concerning the watching all the night of the great Sabbath, and concerning the day of the Resurrection
Wherefore we exhort you to fast on those days, till the evening, as we also fasted 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 on the Sabbath, extending the fast till cock-crowing, discontinue it at the dawning of the first day of the week, which is the Lord’s day. From the evening till cock-crowing keep awake, and assemble together in the church; watch, praying and entreating God; reading, when ye 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 foreigner, 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. And when Pilate said, Shall I crucify your king? they cried We have no king but Caesar; crucify him, crucify him; forevery one that maketh himself a king, speaketh against Caesar. And, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend. And Pilate the governor, and Herod the king, commanded him to be crucified; and that oracle was fulfilled which saith, Why did the Gentiles rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the riders were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. And, They cast away the beloved, as a dead man, who is abominable.
And since he was crucified on the day of the Preparation, and rose again at the break of day on the Lord’s day, the Scripture was fulfilled which saith, Arise, God, judge the earth; for thou shalt have an inheritance in all the nations. And again, I will arise, saith the Lord; I will put him in safety; I will wax bold through him. And, But thou, Lord, have mercy upon me, and raise me up again, and I shall requite them. For this reason do ye also, now the Lord is risen, offer your sacrifice, concerning which he made a constitution by us, saying, This do in remembrance of me; 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 the 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 honor, 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.
And again, from the first Lord’s 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, in which he finished all his dispensation and constitution, and returned to the God and Father who had sent him; sitting down at the right hand of power, and remaining there until his enemies be put under his feet. He will also come at the end of the world, with power and great glory, to judge the living and the dead, and to recompense every one according to his works. And then shall they see the beloved Son of God, whom they pierced; and when they know him, they shall mourn for themselves, tribe by tribe, and their wives apart.
Chapter XX – A Prophetic Prediction concerning Christ Jesus
For even now, on the tenth day of the month September, 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; 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 Israel his beloved. Afterwards he was seen upon earth, and conversed with men. And when they read them, they lament and bewail, as themselves suppose, that desolation which happened by Nebuchadnezzar; but, as the truth showeth, 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, let there be to you 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 suggested to us; 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 the living and the dead. To him did Moses bear witness, saying, The Lord received fire from the Lord, and rained it down. Him Jacob saw as a man, and said, I have seen God face to face, and my soul is preserved. Him Abraham entertained, and acknowledged to be the Judge and his own Lord. Him Moses saw in the bush. Concerning him he said 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. Him did Joshua, the son of Nun, see, as the captain of the Lord’s host, in armor, for his assistance against Jericho; to whom he fell down and worshipped, as a servant doth to his master. Him Samuel knew, as the anointed of God, and thence named the priests and the kings the anointed. Him David knew, and sung a hymn concerning him, saying, A song concerning the Beloved; and, addressing it to his person, he said, Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, 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 sharp, 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 spake Solomon, as in his person: The Lord created me the beginning of his ways, for his glorics. 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, before all the hills, he begat me.
And again, Wisdom built herself a house. 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. And Zechariah saith, Behold thy king cometh unto thee, just, and having salvation, meek, and riding upon an ass, even a colt, the foal of an ass. Him Daniel describeth as the Son of Man coming to the Father, and receiving all judgment and honor from him; and as the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, and becoming a great mountain, and filling the whole earth, dashing to pieces the many governments of the smaller countries, and the polytheism of the gods; but preaching the one God, and ordaining the monarchy of the Romans.
Concerning him also prophesieth Jeremiah, saying, The Spirit before his face, Christ the Lord, was taken in their snares, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the Gentiles. Ezekiel also, and the subsequent 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 to be God the Word, who ministered to his God and Father for the creation of the universe. Believing in him, ye shall live; but not believing, ye shall be punished. For he that is disobedient to the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Therefore, after ye have kept the festival of the Pentecost, keep festival one week more; and after that, fast one; for it is reasonable to rejoice for the gift of God, and to fast after that relaxation. For both Moses and Elias 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; 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; and the Ninevites, when they fasted three days and three nights, escaped the execution of wrath. And Esther, and Mordecai, and Judith, by fasting escaped the insurrection of the ungodly Holofernes and Haman. And David saith, My knees are weak through fasting, and my flesh faileth for want of oil.
Do ye, 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 what is saved by your fasting bestow upon the needy. Every Sabbath except one, and every Lord’s day, hold your religious assemblies, and rejoice; for he will be guilty of sin who fasteth on the Lord’s day, it 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 then we ought to rejoice, and not to mourn.
END OF BOOK V
BOOK VI – CONCERNING SCHISMS.
Chapter I – Who they were that ventured to make Schisms, and did not escape punishment
ABOVE all things, Bishops, avoid the sad, and dangerous, and lawless heresies, eschewing them as fire that burneth those who come near it. Avoid also schisms; for it is neither lawful to turn one’s mind towards wicked heresies, nor, out of ambition, to separate from the men who agree with you in sentiment. For, in ancient times, certain persons who ventured to do thus, did not escape punishment. Dathan and Abiram, who set up in opposition to Moses, were swallowed down into the earth. And 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 alleged that Moses had married an Ethiopian woman. Nay, there is the case of Azariah and Uzziah; the latter of whom 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 forbidden by Azariah, the high priest, and the fourscore priests; and when he would not obey, he perceived the leprosy to rise in his forehead; and he hastened to go out, because the Lord had reproved him.
Chapter II – That it is not lawful to rise up against either the kingly or the priestly office
Let us, therefore, beloved, consider what sort of glory that of the seditious is, and what their condemnation. For if he that riseth up against kings is worthy of punishment, even though he be a son or a friend; how much more he that riseth 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 hath he a greater punishment who ventureth to oppose the priesthood, than he who ventureth to oppose the royal power, although neither of them goeth unpunished. For neither did Absalom and Abedadan escape without punishment; nor Corah and Dathan. The former two rose against David, and strove concerning the kingdom; the latter, against Moses, concerning preeminence. And they 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? and Abedadan said, I have no part in David, nor any inheritance in the son of Jesse. 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. 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, Hath God spoken alone to Moses? Why is it that he hath 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? And, before this, one said, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?
Chapter III – Concerning the virtue of Moses, and the incredulity of the Jewish nation, and what wonderful works God did among them
And they raised a sedition against Moses, the servant of God, the meekest of all men, and faithful, and affronted so great a man with the highest ingratitude; him who was their lawgiver, and guardian, and high priest, and king, the administrator 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 brought the ten plagues upon the Egyptians; who had divided the Red Sea, and had separated the waters as a wall on this side and on that side, and had led the people through them, as through a dry wilderness, and had drowned Pharaoh and the Egyptians, and all that were in company with them, and had made the fountain sweet for them with wood, and had brought water out of the abrupt rock for them when they were thirsty, and had given them manna out of heaven, and had distributed flesh to them out of the air, 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, on account of the violent heat of the sun, 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; to whom God spake face to face, as if a man spake to his friend; of whom he said, And there arose not a Prophet like unto Moses. Against him arose the followers of Corah, and the Reubenites, and threw stones at Moses, who prayed and said, Accept not thou their offering. 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 error, who said, Let us make ourselves a leader, the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed them up, and their, tents, and what appertained to them; and they went down alive into hell. Moreover, he destroyed the followers of Corah with fire.
Chapter IV – That he maketh schism, not who separateth himself from the wicked, but who departeth from the godly
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 he not inflict severer punishment on those that blaspheme his providence or his creation? But do ye, brethren, who are instructed out of the Scripture, take care not to make divisions in opinion, nor divisions in your unity. For those who set up unlawful opinions are harbingers of perdition to the people. In like manner, ye of the laity, come not near such as advance doctrines contrary to the mind of God, nor be ye partakers of their impiety. For, saith God, Separate yourselves from the midst of these men., lest ye perish together with them. And again, Depart from the midst of them, and separate yourselves, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you.
Chapter V – On what account Israel, falsely so named, is rejected, a demonstration from the prophetic predictions
For those most certainly are 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 the heretics, Pollution is gone out upon all the land, as saith the prophet Jeremiah. Accordingly, the wicked synagogue is now cast off by the Lord God, and his house is rejected by him, as he somewhere saith, I have forsaken my house; I have left mine inheritance. And again, saith 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 to send no rain upon it. He hath therefore left his people, as a tent in a vineyard, and as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, and as a besieged city. He hath taken away from them the Holy Spirit, and the prophetic rain, and hath replenished his church with spiritual grace, as the river of Egypt in the time of first-fruits; and hath exceedingly exalted it, as a house upon a hill, or as a high mountain; as a mountain swelling into eminences, and fertile; in which it hath pleased God to dwell; yea, the Lord will establish his habitation there forever. And he saith in Jeremiah, Our sanctuary is an exalted throne of glory; and he saith 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 be upon the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills.
Since, therefore, he hath forsaken his people, he hath also left his temple desolate, and rent the veil of the temple, and took from them the Holy Spirit. For saith he, Behold, your house is left unto you desolate; and he hath bestowed upon you, the converted of the Gentiles, spiritual grace; as he saith by Joel, And it shall come to pass, after these things, saith Crod, 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. For God hath taken away all the power and efficacy of his word, and such like visitations, from that people, and hath transferred them to you, the converted of the Gentiles. On this account, the devil, being very angry at the holy church of God, hath betaken himself to you, and hath raised against you afflictions, persecutions, seditions, reproaches, schisms, heresies. For he had before subdued that people to himself, by their slaying of Christ. But you, who have left his vanities, he tempteth in different ways, as he did the blessed Job. And, indeed, he opposed that great high priest, Joshua, the son of Josedek; and he sometimes sought to sift us, that our faith might fail. But our Lord and Master, having brought him to trial, said to him, The Lord rebuke thee, Satan, even the Lord who hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee. Is not this plucked out of the fire, as a brand? And he who then said 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 now say, as he formerly said of us, when we were assembled together, I have prayed that your faith may not fail.
Chapter VI – That even among the Jews there arose the doctrine of several heresies, hateful to God
Verily, 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 Hasmotheans, 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 bathe, do not eat; nay, unless they cleanse their couches, and tables, or platters, and cups, and seats, do not make use of any of them; and those who have recently appeared in our time, 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 the Essenes, who separate themselves from all these, and observe the laws of their fathers.
The sects, then, which have been mentioned, arose among the former people. And now, the evil one, who is wise to do mischief, and never knoweth to do any good whatever, hath overcome some from among us, and by them hath wrought heresies and schisms.
Chapter VII – Whence the heresies sprang, and who was the ringleader of their impiety
Now, the origin of the new heresies was thus: The devil entered into one Simon, of the village called Gitthae, a Samaritan, by profession a magician, and made him the minister of his wicked design. For when Philip, our fellow-apostle, by the gift of the Lord, and the energy of his Spirit, performed the miracles of healing in Samaria, so that the Samaritans were astonished, and embraced the faith of the God of the universe, and of the Lord Jesus, and were baptized into his name; and when already Simon, also himself, seeing 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 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; being desirous that, as the devil deprived Adam, by the tasting of the tree, of that immortality which was promised, so also he might entice us by the receiving of money, and thereby cut us off from the gift of God, that so by exchange we might give away 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 than hast thought to purchase the gift of God with money. Thou hast no part in this matter, nor lot in this faith; for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent, therefore, of this thy wickedness, and pray to the Lord, if perhaps the thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. 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.
Chapter VIII – Who were the successors of Simon’s impiety, and what heresies they set up
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; and they sent forth one Cleobius, and joined him with Simon; and these became disciples to one Dositheus, whom they, having surpassed, thrust away from being the leader. 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 gods infinite in number, and unknown. And some reject marriage, thinking that it is not the appointment of God; others abhor some kinds of food; and some are impudent in uncleanness, such as those who are falsely called Nicolaitans.
But Simon, indeed, meeting me, Peter, first at Caesarea of Strato (where the faithful Cornelius, a Gentile, believed on the Lord Jesus by me), endeavored to pervert the word of God; there being with me the holy children, Zaccheus, who was once a publican; and Barnabas, and Nicetas, and Aquila, who were brethren, and 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.
Chapter IX – How Simon, desiring to fly by some magical arts, fell down head long from on high, at the prayers of Peter, and broke his feet, and hands, and ankle-bones
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 I also be brought into the theatre, and promised that he would fly in the air. And when all the people were insus pense at this, I prayed by myself. And indeed he was carried up into the air by demons, and flew 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 who made use of it 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 those wicked powers of the apostate from piety, by which Simon the magician is carried, to let go their hold, that he may fall down headlong from his height, and be exposed to the laughter of those who 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 God only, whom Peter rightfully preacheth in truth. And many left him; but some, who were worthy of perdition, continued in his wicked doctrine. And thus this most atheistical heresy was fixed in Rome. The devil wrought also by the rest of the false apostles.
Chapter X – How the Heresies differ from each other, and from the truth
But 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; that we are not to believe in a resurrection; that there is no judgment nor retribution; that the soul is not immortal; that we must indulge only 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. And some of them teach that men are not to marry, and must abstain 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. But some of them prohibit the eating of flesh, as being the flesh, not of irrational animals, but of creatures that have a rational soul, and as if those that ventured to slay them would be charged with the crime of murder. Others of them, however, affirm that we must abstain only from swine’s flesh, but may eat such kinds as are clean by the Law; and that we ought to be circumcised, according to the Law, and to believe in Jesus, as in a holy man and a prophet. But others teach men 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.
Chapter XI – An exposition of Apostolic preaching
But we, who are the children of God and the sons of peace, preach the holy and right word of piety, and declare one God only, 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 origin, and dwelling in light inaccessible; not second, or third, or one of many, but the only one eternally; not unknown, or that must not be spoken of, but that was preached by the Law and the Prophets; the Almighty, the Supreme Governor of all things, having authority over all; 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 Source sending forth 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 author of the resurrection and of the judgment, and of the retribution which shall be made by him; and that this Son himself was pleased to become man, and lived among men 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 partaken of righteously, is excellent. For, according to the Scripture, all things were very good. We believe that lawful marriage, and the begetting of children, is honorable and undefiled; for difference of sexes in Adam and Eve was formed for the increase of mankind. We abhor all unlawful mixtures, and that which is practised by some against nature, as wicked and impious.
We acknowledge a soul within us, incorporeal and immortal; not corruptible, as bodies are, but immortal, as being rational and free. We profess that there will be a resurrection, both of the just and of the unjust, and a retribution. We profess that Christ is not a mere man, but God the Word and man, the Mediator between God and man, the High Priest of the Father. Nor are we circumcised with the Jews; since we know that he is come to whom it was reserved, and on whose account the families were kept distinct, the expectation of the Gentiles, Jesus Christ, who sprang out of Judah, the Son from the Branch, the Flower from Jesse, whose government is upon his shoulder.
Chapter XII – To those that confess Christ, but are desirous to Judaize
But because this heresy seemed then to be the more powerful to seduce men, and the whole church was in danger, we, the Twelve, being assembled 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 let another take), 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 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.
There having been, therefore, no small dissension and disputation, the brethren who were at Antioch, when they knew that we were all met together about this question, sent forth unto us men who were faithful and understanding in the Scriptures, to learn concerning this question. And these, when they were come to Jerusalem, declared to us what questions had 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 to 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, who knoweth the hearts, bare them witness. For an angel of the Lord appeared on a certain time to Cornelius, 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 of Strato; 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-footed 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 with them, nothing doubting; for I have sent them.
These men were those who 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. 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 the Lord’s, and he is the Governor of the nations. 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 on him, and on those that were with him, as it did on 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, who were of the circumcision, were astonished at this. Now, therefore, why tempt ye God to lay a heavy yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear? But we believe that, through the grace of the Lord, we shall be saved even as they. For the Lord hath loosed us from our bonds, and hath made our burden light, and hath 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 to 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 doeth these things. 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 that we write to 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, Melchisedek, Job, and if there be any other of the same sort.
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 we wrote by their hand as followeth: The Apostles and Elders to the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia, 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 hath 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 who have hazarded their lives for our Lord Jesus Christ, and 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.
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.
Chapter XIII – That we must separate from Heretics
But after a long time we visited the brethren, and confirmed them with the word of piety, 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 steadfast to the end, the same shall be saved. 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. Beware of them. For false Christs and false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many.
Chapter XIV – Who were the preachers of the Catholic Doctrine, and which are the commandments given by them
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 Alpheus, and Lebbeus who was surnamed Thaddeus, and Simon the Cananite, and Matthias, who, instead of Judas, was numbered with us; James the brother of the Lord, and Bishop of Jerusalem, and Paul the teacher of the Gentiles, the chosen vessel, all being present, have written to you this Catholic Doctrine, for the confirmation of you to whom the oversight of the church universal is committed; wherein we declare to you that there is only one God Almighty, besides whom there is no other; and that ye must worship and adore him only, through Jesus Christ our Lord, in the most Holy Spirit; that ye are to make use of the Sacred Scriptures, the Law and the Prophets; to honor your parents; to avoid all unlawful actions; to believe in 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; and to marry after a lawful manner, for such marriage is unblamable. For the woman is suited to the man by the Lord. And the Lord saith, 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 to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. Nor let it be esteemed lawful after marriage to put her away who is without blame. For, saith he, Thou shalt take heed to thy spirit, and shalt not forsake the wife of thy youth; for she is the partner of thy life, and the remains of thy spirit. I, and no other, have made her. For the Lord saith, What God hath joined together let not man put asunder.
For the wife is the partner of life, united by God into one body from two. But he that divideth 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 retaineth her that is corrupted, is a transgressor of the law of nature; since he that retaineth an adulteress is foolish and wicked. For the Scripture saith, Cut her off from thy flesh; for she is not a 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 the Scripture saith, Be ye circumcised to your God; and circumcise the foreskin of your hearts.
XV – That we ought neither to rebaptize, nor to receive that baptism which is given by the wicked; which is not baptism, but pollution
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 unblamable priests in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and let not that which cometh from the ungodly be received by you, nor let that which is done by the godly be annulled 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 the baptism which is given into that death be one. But those that receive polluted baptism from the ungodly, will become partners in their opinions. For they are not priests; for God saith to them, Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee from the office of a priest to me. Nor indeed are those that are baptized by them initiated, but polluted; not receiving the remission of sins, but the bond of impiety. And besides, they that attempt to rebaptize those who are already initiated, crucify the Lord afresh; slay him a second time; laugh at divine and ridicule holy things; affront the Spirit; dishonor the sacred blood of Christ, as common blood; are impious against Him that sent, Him that suffered, and Him that witnessed.
But also 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 saith, Except a man be baptized of water and of the Spirit, he shall by no means enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again, He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.: But he that saith, 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, Delay not to turn unto the Lord; for thou knowest not what the next day will bring forth.
Moreover, baptize your children, and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of God. For the Saviour saith, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not.
Chapter XVI – Concerning books with false inscriptions
We have written all these things to you, that ye may know our decree, what it is; and that ye may not receive those books which have been fabricated in our name by the ungodly. For ye are not to attend to the names of the apostles, but to the nature of the things, and the correct decision. For we know that Simon and Cleobius, and their followers, have compiled poisonous books under the name of Christ and of his disciples, and carry them about in order to deceive you 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 Elias, and of the three patriarchs; pernicious, and repugnant to the truth. And such things 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, who suggest things to them: whose doctrine eschew, that ye may not be partakers of the punishment due to those who write such things for the seduction and perdition of the faithful and unblamable disciples of the Lord Jesus.
Chapter XVII – Matrimonial precepts concerning Clergymen
We have said that a Bishop, and 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 be unmarried when they are ordained, to be married afterwards; or if they be then already married, to be married a second time; but that they should be content with the wife whom they had when they came to ordination.
We also command that the Attendants, and the Singers, and the Readers, and the Porters, be only once married. But if they entered into the clergy before they were married, we permit them to marry, if they have an inclination thereto, lest they sin, and incur punishment.
But we do not permit anyone of the clergy to marry a prostitute, or a slave, or a widow, or one that is divorced; as also saith the Law.
Let the Deaconess be a pure virgin, or, at the least, a widow who hath been but once married, faithful, and well-esteemed.
Chapter XVIII – An exhortation commanding to avoid the communion of the impious Heretics
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 atheistical 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 in prayers. For these men are enemies to the church, and lay snares for it; men who corrupt the flock, and defile the heritage of Christ; pretenders only to wisdom, and wholly depraved: concerning whom Solomon the Wise said, The wicked doers pretend to act piously. For, saith he, There is a way which seemeth right to some, but the ends thereof look to the bottom of hell. These are they concerning whom the Lord declared his mind with bitterness and severity, saying that they are false Christs and false prophets, who have blasphemed the Spirit of grace, and done despite to the gift 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; 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, know not what it is; who spoil the church of God, as the little foxes do the vineyards; whom we exhort you to avoid, lest ye lay traps for your own souls.
Indeed, He that walketh with wise men shall be wise; but he that walketh with the foolish shall be known. For we ought neither to run along with a thief, nor put in our lot with an adulterer; since holy David saith, Lord, I have hated them that hate thee; and I am withered away on account of thine enemies. I hated them with a perfect hatred: they were to me as enemies. And God reproacheth Jehosaphat with his friendship towards Ahab, and his league with him, and with Ahaziah, by the prophet Jehu, the son of Hanani, saying, Art thou in friendship with a sinner? or dost thou aid him that is hated by the Lord? 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.
Eschew, therefore, their fellowship, and be estranged from peace with them. For concerning them the prophet declared, saying, it is not lawful to rejoice with the ungodly, saith 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 draweth nigh, they will be more in number and more troublesome; concerning whom the Lord said, Will the Son of man, when he comeih, find faith on the earth? 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 heaven, so as, if it were possible, to deceive even the elect; but from their deceit God, through Jesus Christ, who is our hope, will deliver us.
And indeed, as we passed through the nations and confirmed the churches, curing some with much exhortation and with healing discourse, we brought them back 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 with their scabby disease the lambs which were sound; but that these 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 catholic doctrine worthily and righteously, as a memorial of confirmation to those who have believed in God; and we have sent it by our fellow-minister Clement, our most faithful and like-minded 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; by whom also we exhort you in the Lord to abstain from your old manner of life, vain bonds, separations, observances, distinction of meats, and daily washings. For old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Chapter XIX – To those who speak evil of the Law
For since ye have known God, through Jesus Christ, and all his dispensation, as it hath been from the beginning; that he gave a plain Law to assist the law of nature, such a one as is pure, salutary, and holy, in which he inscribed his own name; perfect, unfailing, complete in ten commands, unspotted, converting souls; 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. 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; and afterwards to the nine, Go, show yourselves to the priests.
For nowhere hath he abrogated the Law, as Simon pretendeth, but he hath fulfilled it; for he saith, One jot or one tittle shall not pass from the law, until all be fulfilled. For, saith he, I came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it. And indeed Moses himself, who was at once the lawgiver and the high priest, and the prophet and the king, and Elias, the zealous follower of the prophets, were present at our Lord’s transfiguration on the mountain, and witnesses of his incarnation and of his sufferings, as the friends and familiars of Christ, but not as enemies and strangers. Whence it is manifest that the Law is good and holy, as also the prophets.
Chapter XX – Which is the Law of Nature, and which is that afterwards introduced; and why it was introduced
Now the Law is the Decalogue, which the Lord promulgated to them with an audible voice, before the people made that calf which represented the Egyptian Apis. And the Law is righteous, and therefore is called the Law because its judgments are rightly made, according to nature; but the followers of Simon despise it, supposing that they shall not be judged thereby, and so shall escape punishment. This Law is good, holy, not forced; for it saith, If If thou wilt, make me an altar, thou shalt make it of earth. It doth not say, Make one; but, If thou wilt make. It doth not impose a necessity, but gave leave to their power as being free. For God needeth not sacrifices, since he is 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, offered sacrifice to God, out of a grateful mind; so he now permitted the Hebrews, not commanding, but if they chose, permitting them; and, if they offered from a right intention, showing himself pleased with their sacrifices. Therefore he saith, If thou desirest to offer, do not offer to me as to one that needeth, for I stand in need of nothing; for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.
But when the people became forgetful of this, and called upon a calf as God, instead of the true God, and to him ascribed the cause of their coming out of Egypt, saying, These are thy gods, Israel, who have brought thee out of the land of Egypt; 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, in their afflictions, and had done signs with his hand and rod, and had smitten the Egyptians with ten plagues; who had 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 plain; who had drowned their enemies, and those that lay in wait for them; who, at Marah, had made sweet the bitter fountain; who had brought water out of the abrupt 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; who gave them the Law in the mountain; whose voice they were deemed worthy to hear.
Him they denied, saying to Aaron, Make us gods who shall go before us. And they made a molten calf, and sacrificed to an idol. Then God was angry, as being ungratefully treated by them; and he 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, and several times of rest; and if thou neglect 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 the declaration, These are thy gods, Israel, mayest be mindful of this, Hear, Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord; and mayest hasten back again to that law which is imparted by me to all men naturally, That there is only one God in heaven and on earth; and that it is thy duty 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.
On account of the hardness of their hearts, he bound them, that by sacrificing, and by resting, and by purifications, and the like, they might come to the knowledge of God, who ordained these things for them.
Chapter XXI – That we, who believe in Christ, are under grace, and not under the
servitude of that additional Law
Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear; ye who have believed in the one God, not by necessity, but by a sound understanding, in obedience to Him that called you. For ye are released from the bonds, and freed from the servitude. For, saith he, I call you no longer servants, but friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father, have I made known unto you. For to them that would not see nor hear, not for the want of those senses, but for the excess of their wickedness, have statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; “not good,” however, in their view: as instruments for burning, and the knife, and medicines, are esteemed enemies by the sick; and “impossible to be observed,” on account of their obstinacy. Whence also those statutes brought death upon them, being not obeyed.
Chapter XXII – That the Law for sacrifices is additional, which Christ, when he came, took away
Ye, therefore, are blessed, who are delivered from the curse; for Christ, the Son of God, by his coming, hath strengthened and completed the Law. He hath taken away the additional precepts, although not all of them, yet, at least, the more grievous ones; having confirmed the Law, and having caused these to cease; and he hath again set free the self-government of men, not subjecting it to the punishment of a temporal death, but requiring an account in another state. Wherefore he saith, If any man will come after me, let him. And again, Will ye also go away?
And, besides, before his coming, he refused the sacrifices of the people, while they frequently offered them, when they sinned against him, and thought that he was to be appeased by sacrifices, and not by repentance. For he saith thus, 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. And afterwards, Gather your burnt-offerings together, with your sacrifices, and eat flesh; because I did not command you, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt-offerings and sacrifices. And he saith by Isaiah, To what purpose do ye bring me a multitude of sacrifices? 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 come ye to appear before me; for who hath required these things at your hands? Tread my courts no more. If ye 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 endure. Your fasts, and your rests, and your feasts, my soul hateth. I am overfull of them. And he saith by another, Depart from me. The sound of thy hymns, and the psalms of thy musical instruments, I will not hear. And Samuel said to Saul, when he thought to sacrifice, Obedience is better than sacrifice; and hearkening, than the fat of rams. For, behold, the Lord doth not so much delight in sacrifice, as in obeying him. And he saith by David, I will take no calves out of thy 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.
And in all the Scriptures, in like manner, he refuseth their sacrifices on account of their sinning against him. For the sacrifices of the wicked are an abomination with the Lord, since they offer them in an unlawful manner. And again, Their sacrifices are to them as bread of lamentation. All that eat of them shall be defiled. If, therefore, before his coming, he sought for a clean heart and a contrite spirit, more than sacrifices, much rather did he abrogate those sacrifices, we 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 he offered sacrifices and whole burnt-offerings, and made use of the rest of the customs. And he that was the lawgiver became himself the fulfilling of the Law, not taking away the natural law, but abrogating those additional precepts that were afterwards introduced, although not all of them.
Chapter XXIII – How Christ became a Fulfiller of the Law; and what parts of it he caused to cease, or changed, or transferred
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, the same said in the Gospel, That they might know thee the only true God. And he that said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, saith in the Gospel, renewing the same precept, A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another. He who then forbade murder, now forbiddeth causeless anger. He that forbade adultery, now forbiddeth all unlawful lust. He that forbade stealing, now pronounceth him most happy who, out of his own labors, supplieth the needy. He that forbade hatred, now requireth love, even towards enemies. He that limited retaliation, now requireth long-suffering, not as if just retaliation were an unjust thing, but because long-suffering is better. Nor did he make laws to destroy our natural passions, but only to forbid the excess of them. He who had commanded to honor parents, was himself subject to them. He who commanded to keep the Sabbath, by resting thereon, for the sake of meditating on the laws, hath now commanded us to consider the law of creation and of providence every day, and give 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.
He who made a law for swearing rightly, and forbade perjury, hath now charged us not to swear at all. He hath in several ways changed baptism, sacrifice, the priesthood, and the divine service, which was confined to one place. For, instead of daily baptisms, he hath given only one, which is that into his death. Instead of one tribe, he hath appointed that, out of every nation, the best be ordained for the priesthood; and that not their bodies be examined for blemishes, but their religion and their lives. Instead of a bloody sacrifice, he hath appointed that reasonable, and unbloody, and mystical one of his body and blood, which is performed to represent by symbols the death of the Lord. Instead of the divine service confined to one place, he hath commanded and deemed it fitting that he should be glorified from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same, in every place of his dominion.
He did not, therefore, take away the Law from us, but the bonds. For concerning the Law, Moses saith, Thou shalt meditate on the word which I command thee, when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou risest up, and when thou walkest in the way. And David saith, His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law will he meditate day and night. Foreverywhere would he have us subject to his laws, but not transgressors of them. For saith 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. And again, Blessed are we, Israel, because those things that are pleasing to God are known to us. And the Lord saith, If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Chapter XXIV – That it pleased the Lord that the law of righteousness should be manifested also by Romans
Nor doth he desire that the law of righteousness should be exhibited through us only; but he is pleased that through Romans also it should appear and shine. For these also, when they have believed on the Lord, have withdrawn both from polytheism and from injustice; and they approve 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 .
Chapter XXV – How God, on account of their impiety towards Christ, made the Jews captives , and placed them under tribute
Because, indeed, they drew servitude upon themselves voluntarily, wnen they said, We have no king but Ccesar. And, If we do not slay Christ, all men will believe on him; and the Romans will come, and will take away both our place and nation. And so they prophesied unwittingly; for, indeed, the Gentiles have believed on him; and they themselves have been deprived by the Romans of their power and of their legal worship. They are also forbidden to slay whom they please, and to sacrifice when they will. Wherefore they are accursed, not being able to perform the things commanded. For saith the Scripture, Cursed is he that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Now, it is impossible for them, in their dispersion, while they are among the heathen, to perform all things in their law. For the divine Moses forbiddeth both to rear an altar out of Jerusalem, and to read the law out of the bounds of Judea.
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 various 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.
Chapter XXVI – That we ought to avoid the heretics, as the corrupters of souls
Therefore, Bishops, and ye of the laity, avoid all heretics, who abuse the Law and the Prophets. For they are enemies to Almighty God, and disobey him, and do not confess Christ to be the Son of God. For they also deny his generation according to the flesh; they are ashamed of his cross; they abuse his passion and death; they know not his resurrection; they take away his generation before all ages. Besides, some of them are impious after another manner, imagining the Lord to be a mere man; supposing him to consist of a soul and a body. But others of them suppose that Jesus himself is the God over all, and glorify him as being his own Father, and suppose him to be both the Son and the Comforter; than which doctrines what can be more impious? Others, again, of them 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, 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 from the dead they shall arise, spirits without flesh, who shall be condemned forever in eternal fire. Fly, therefore, from them, lest ye perish with them in their impieties.
Chapter XXVII – Of some Jewish and Gentile observances
Now if any persons keep to the Jewish observances concerning gonorrhoeas and nocturnal pollutions, and the lawful conjugal acts; 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 sacred book, or to partake of the Eucharist? And if they own it to be so, it is plain that they are void of the Holy Spirit, which always continueth with the faithful. For concerning holy persons Solomon saith, That every one may prepare himself, that so when he sleepeth, it may keep him; and when he ariseth, it may talk with him.
For if thou thinkest, woman, when thou art seven days in thy separation, that thou art void of the Holy Spirit, then, if thou die suddenly, thou wilt depart void of the Spirit, and without assured hope in God. Or indeed thou hast the Spirit altogether inseparable, as not being in a place. And it is suitable for thee to offer prayer, and receive the Eucharist, and enjoy the coming of the Holy Spirit, 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 wickedness and unlawful practice can do that. For the Holy Spirit always abideth with those who are possessed of it, so long as they are worthy; and those from whom it is departed, it leaveth 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 both the one and the other, unless they can receive opposite spirits. For the Comforter hateth every lie, and the devil hateth 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 remaineth with him, so long as he is doing good, and filleth him with wisdom and understanding, and suffereth not the wicked spirit to approach him, but watcheth over his goings.
If, therefore, woman, as thou sayest, thou art, in the days of thy separation, void of the Holy Spirit, thou art 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, if any other, loveth the ungrateful, the slothful, the careless, and the drowsy, since he himself by ingratitude was distempered with an evil mind, and was deprived by God of his dignity; having chosen to be a devil, instead of an archangel. Wherefore, 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 on his laws, observing nothing superstitiously, neither the natural purgation, nor lawful mixture, nor childbirth, nor a miscarriage, nor a blemish of the body; since such observances are the vain and unreasonable inventions of foolish men.
Neither the burial of a man, nor a dead man’s bone, nor a sepulchre, nor any particular sort of food, nor nocturnal pollution, can defile the soul of man; but only impiety towards God, and transgression and injustice towards one’s neighbor; I mean rapine, violence, or if there be anything contrary to his righteousness, as adultery or fornication.
Wherefore, beloved, avoid and eschew such observances; for they are heathenish. For we do not abominate a dead man as the heathen do, since we hope that he will live again. Nor do we hate lawful mixture; for it is their practice to be wicked in such things. 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. 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 agreeable to his mind.
Chapter XXVIII – Of the love of boys, adultery, and fornication
But we do not say so of that mixture which 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 irrational animals; but adultery and fornication are against the Law. Of which vices the first-mentioned are impieties; one of the others is an injustice, and the last is a sin. But none of them is without its punishment according to its own nature.
For the practisers of the first sort of lewdness attempt the dissolution of the world, and endeavor to make the natural course of things change for one that is unnatural. But those of the second sort, 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, as it is done not for the procreation of children, but entirely for the sake of pleasure; which is a mark of incontinency, and not a sign of virtue.
Moreover, all these things are forbidden by the Law; for thus say the oracles: Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; for such a one is accursed; and ye shall stone them with stones. They have wrought abomination. Everyone that lieth with a beast, slay ye him. He hath wrought wickedness in his people. And if anyone defile a married woman, slay ye them both. They have wrought wickedness; they are guilty; let them die. And afterwards, There shall not be a fornicator among the sons of Israel, and there shall not be a fornicatress among the daughters of Israel. Thou shalt not offer the hire of a harlot to the Lord thy God upon the altar, nor the price of a dog. For the vows arising from the hire of a harlot are not clean.
These things the laws have forbidden; but they have honored marriage, and have called it blessed; since God hath blessed it, who joined male and female together. And wise Solomon somewhere saith, A wife is suited to her husband by the Lord; and David saith, Thy wife is like a flourishing vine by the sides of thy house; thy children, like olive branches round about thy table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord.
Wherefore marriage is honorable, 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 hath ordered it to happen to women within the space of thirty days for their advantage and healthful state, who are more confined than men, as keeping usually at home in the house. Nay more, in the Gospel, where the woman with the perpetual purgation of blood touched the saving border of the Lord’s garment, in hope of being healed, he was not angry at her, nor did he complain of her at all. But, on the contrary, he healed her, saying, Thy faith hath saved thee. When the natural purgations appear in the wives, let not their husbands approach them, out of regard to the children to be begotten; for the Law hath forbidden it. For it saith, Thou shalt not come near your wife when she is in her separation, or indeed let them frequent their wives’ company when they are with child. 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.
Chapter XXIX – How Wives ought to be subject to their own Husbands, and Husbands to love their own Wives
Ye wives, be subject to your own husbands, and have them in esteem, and serve them with fear and love, as holy Sarah honored Abraham. For she could not endure to call him by his name; but called him Lord, when she said My Lord is old. 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 the Scripture saith, 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 be every way encompassed with her friendship, thou wilt be happy in her society. Love them, therefore, as your own members, as your very bodies; for so it is written, Ttie Lord hath testified between thee and between the wife of thy youth. And she is thy partner; and another hath not made her; and she is the remains of thy spirit. And, Take ye heed to your spirit; and forsake not thou the wife of thy youth.
A husband, therefore, and a wife, when they company together in lawful marriage, and rise from one another, may pray without any observances; and, without washing, are clean. But whoever corrupteth and defileth another man’s wife, or is defiled with a harlot; when he ariseth up from her, though he wash himself in the entire ocean and all the rivers, cannot be clean.
Chapter XXX – 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
Be not scrupulous, therefore, about things ceremonial and natural, as thinking that ye are defiled by them. Nor seek after Jewish separations, nor perpetual washings, nor purifications upon the touch of a dead body. But, without such observances, assemble in the cemeteries, reading the holy books, and singing for the martyrs who are fallen asleep in the Lord, 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 cemeteries; and, at the funerals of the departed, accompany them forth with songs if they were faithful in Christ. For, Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. And again, my soul, return unto thy rest; for the Lord hath done thee good. And elsewhere, The memory of the just is with encomiums. And, The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God. For those that have believed in God, although they are asleep, are not dead. For our Saviour saith 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. Wherefore of those that live with God, even the very relics are not without honor. For even Elisha the prophet, after he was fallen asleep, raised up a dead man who had been slain by the pirates of Syria. For his body touched the bones of Elisha, and he arose and lived. Now this would not have happened, unless the body of Elisha were holy. And chaste Joseph embraced Jacob after he was deceased, upon his bed. And Moses and Joshua the son of Nun, carried away the relics of Joseph, and did not esteem this a defilement. Whence ye also, Bishops, and the rest, who, without such observances, touch the departed, ought not to think yourselves defiled. Nor abhor the relics of these 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 forever, through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
To him, therefore, who is able to open the ears of your hearts to the receiving of the oracles of God administered to you, both by the Gospel, and by the doctrine 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 everyone according to his deserts; to him who hath 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, we having eaten and drunk 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; 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, as the High Priest of all the rational orders; through him, worship, and majesty, and glory, be given to Almighty God, both now and forever. Amen.
END OF BOOK VI
BOOK VII – Concerning Deportment, And The Eucharist, And Initiation Into Christ.
Chapter I – That there are two ways; the one natural, of life, and the other introduced afterwards, of death; and that the former is from God, and the latter of error, from the snares of the adversary
THE lawgiver Moses said to the Israelites, Behold, I have set before your face the way of life and the way of death; and added, Choose life, that thou mayest live. Elijah the prophet also said to the people, How long will ye halt with both your legs? If the Lord be God, follow him. The Lord Jesus also said justly, No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. We also, following our Master Christ, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe, are obliged to say that there are two ways, the one of life, the other of death: which have no comparison one with another; for they are very different, or rather entirely separate. And the way of life is natural, but that of death was afterwards introduced; it not being according to the mind of God, but from the snares of the adversary.
Chapter II – Moral exhortations of the Lord’s constitutions agreeing with the ancient prohibitions of the divine Law; The prohibition of anger, corruption, adultery, and every forbidden action
The first way, therefore, is that of life, and is this, which the Law also appointeth, To love the Lord God with all thy mind, and with all thy soul, who is the one and only God, besides whom there is no other; and thy neighbor as thyself. And whatsoever thou art unwilling to have done to thee, that do not thou to another. Bless them that curse you; Pray for them that despitefully use you. Love your enemies . For what thanks is it if ye love those that love you? For even the Gentiles do the same. But love ye those that hate you, and ye shall have no enemy. For it saith, Thou shalt not hate any man, no, not an Egyptian, nor an Edomite. For they are all the workmanship of God. Avoid not the persons, but the sentiments, of the wicked. Abstain from fleshly and worldly lusts.
If anyone smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. Not that retaliation is evil, but that patience is more honorable. For David saith, If I have made returns to them that repaid me evil. If anyone compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. And he that will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And from him that taketh thy goods require them not again.
Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away and shut thy hand. For the righteous man is compassionate, and lendeth. For your Father would have you give to all, who himself maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth his rain on the just and on the unjust. It is therefore reasonable to give to all out of thine own labors. For the Scripture saith, Honor the Lord out of thy righteous labors; but so that the saints be preferred.
Thou shalt not kill; that is, thou shalt not destroy a man like thyself; for thou dissolvest what was well made. Not as if all killing were wicked, but only that of the innocent; but the killing which is just, is reserved to the magistrates alone.
Thou shalt not commit adultery; for thou dividest one flesh into two. They two shall be one flesh. For the husband and wife are one in nature, in consent, in union, in disposition, and the conduct of life. But they are separated in sex and in number.
Thou shalt not corrupt boys; for this wickedness is contrary to nature, and arose from Sodom, which was consumed with fire sent from God. Let such a one be accursed; and all the people shall say, So be it.
Thou shalt not commit fornication. For the Scripture saith, There shall not be a fornicator among the sons of Israel.
Thou shalt not steal. For Achan, when he had stolen in Israel at Jericho, was stoned to death; and Gehazi, who stole, and told a lie, inherited the leprosy of Naaman; and Judas, who stole the money of the poor, betrayed the Lord of glory to the Jews, and repented, and hanged himself, and burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out; and Ananias and Sapphira his wife, who stole their own goods, and tempted the Spirit of the Lord, were immediately, at the sentence of Peter our fellow-apostle, struck dead.
Chapter III – Prohibition of conjuring, murder of infants, perjury, and false witness
Thou shalt not use magic. Thou shalt not use witchcraft. For the Scripture saith, Ye shall not suffer those to live who practise sorcery.
Thou shalt not slay thy child by causing abortion, nor kill that which is begotten. Foreverything that is shaped, and hath received a soul from God, if it be slain, shall be avenged, as being unjustly destroyed.
Thou shalt not covet the things that belong to thy neighbor, as his wife, or his servant, or his ox, or his field.
Thou shalt not forswear thyself; for it is said, Swear not at all. But if that cannot be, thou shalt swear piously and truly. Everyone that sweareth by him shall be commended.
Thou shalt not bear false witness. For he that falsely accuseth the needy provoketh to anger him that made him.
Chapter IV – Prohibition of evil speaking, and wrath, of deceitful conduct, idle words, falsehood, covetousness, and hypocrisy
Thou shalt not speak evil. For the Scripture saith, Love not to speak evil, lest thou be taken away. Nor shalt thou be mindful of injuries; for the ways of those that remember injuries are unto death.
Thou shalt not be double-minded nor double-tongued. For a man’s own lips are a strong snare to him; and a talkative person shall not be prospered upon the earth.
Thy words shall not be vain. For ye shall give account of every idle word.
Thou shalt not lie. For the Scripture saith, Thou wilt destroy all those that speak lies.
Thou shalt not be covetous nor rapacious. For it saith, Woe to him that is covetous towards his neighbor, with an evil covetousness.
Thou shalt not be a hypocrite, lest thy portion be with them.
Chapter V – Prohibition of malignity, acceptation of persons, prolonged anger, and detraction
Thou shalt not be ill-natured nor proud. For God resisteth the proud.
Thou shalt not accept persons in judgment; for the judgment is the Lord’s.
Thou shalt not hate any man; thou shalt surely reprove thy brother, and not become guilty on his account. And, Reprove a wise man, and he will love thee. Eschew all evil, and all that is like it. For, saith the Scripture, Abstain from injustice, and trembling shall not come nigh thee.
Be not soon angry, nor spiteful, nor passionate, nor furious, nor daring, lest thou undergo the fate of Cain, and of Saul, and of Joab; for the first of these slew his brother Abel, because Abel was found to be preferred before him with God, and because Abel’s sacrifice was preferred; the second persecuted holy David, who had slain Goliath the Philistine, being envious upon the praises of the women who danced; the third slew two generals of armies, Abner of Israel, and Amasa of Judah.
Chapter VI – Concerning augury and enchantments
Be not a diviner; for that leadeth to idolatry. Besides, Divination, saith Samuel, is a sin. And, There shall be no divination in Jacob, nor soothsaying in Israel. Thou shalt not use enchantments or purifications for thy child. Thou shalt not be a soothsayer, nor a diviner by great or little birds. Nor shalt thou learn wicked arts. For all these things the law hath forbidden.
Long not for what is evil; for thou wilt be led into much sin.
Speak not obscenely, nor use wanton glances, nor be a drunkard. For from such causes arise whoredoms and adulteries.
Be not a lover of money, lest thou serve mammon, instead of God.
Be not vain-glorious, nor elated, nor haughty; for hence spring manifestations of arrogance. Remember him who said, Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty; I have not exercised myself in great matters, nor in things too high for me. Surely I was humble.
Chapter VII – Prohibition of murmuring, arrogance, pride, and audacity
Be not a murmurer, remembering the punishment which they underwent who murmured against Moses. Be not self-willed; be not malicious; be not hard-hearted; be not passionate; be not pusillanimous. For all these things lead to blasphemy. But be meek, as were Moses and David; since the meek shall inherit the earth.
Chapter VIII – Of Long-suffering , simplicity, meekness, and patience
Be slow to wrath; for such a one is very prudent; since he that is hasty of spirit is a very fool.
Be merciful; for blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Be sincere, quiet, good, trembling at the word of God.
Thou shalt not exalt thyself, as did the Pharisee; foreveryone that exalteth himself shall be abased. And that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination with God.
Thou shalt not entertain temerity in thy soul; for a rash man shall fall into mischief.
Thou shalt not go along with the foolish; but with the wise and righteous. For he that walketh with wise men shall be wise; but he that walketh with the foolish shall be known.
Receive the afflictions that befall thee, with an even mind; and reverses, without overmuch sorrow; knowing that a reward shall be given to thee from God, as was given to Job and to Lazarus.
Chapter IX – That it is our duty to esteem our Christian teachers above our parents; the former being the means of our well-being, the other only of our being.
Thou shalt honor him that speaketh to thee the Word of God, and be mindful of him, day and night; and thou shalt reverence him, not as the cause of thy being, but as the cause of thy well-being. For where the doctrine concerning God is, there God is present. Thou shalt every day seek the face of the saints, that thou mayest acquiesce in their words.
Chapter X – That we ought not to separate ourselves from the saints, but to make peace between those that quarrel, to judge righteously, and not to accept persons
Thou shalt not make schisms among the saints, but be mindful of the followers of Corah.
Thou shalt make peace between those that are at variance, as Moses did, when he persuaded them to be friends.
Thou shalt judge righteously; for the judgment is the Lord’s. Thou shalt not accept persons when thou reprovest for sins; but do as Elijah and Micaiah did to Ahab; and Ebedmelech the Ethiopian to Zedekiah, and Nathan to David, and John to Herod.
Chapter XL – Concerning him that is double-minded, or of little faith
Be not of a doubtful mind in thy prayer, whether it shall be granted or not. For the Lord said to me, Peter, upon the sea, thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? Be not thou ready to stretch out thy hand to receive, and to shut it when thou shouldst give.
Chapter XII – Of doing good
If thou hast by the work of thy hands, give, that thou mayest labor for the redemption of thy sins. For by alms and acts of faith, sins are purged away. Thou shalt not grudge to give to the poor; nor, when thou hast given, shalt thou murmur. For thou shalt know who will repay thee thy reward; for the Scripture saith, He that hath pity on the poor, lendeth to the Lord; and according to his gift so it shall be repaid him again. Thou shalt not turn away from him that is needy. For it saith, He that stoppeth his ears, that he may not hear the cry of the needy, himself also shall call, and there shall be none to hear him. Thou shalt communicate in all things to thy brother, and shalt not say that they are thine own. For the common participation of the necessaries of life is prepared by God for all men. Thou shalt not take off thy hand from thy son, or from thy daughter, but shalt teach them the fear of God from their youth. For it saith, Correct thy son; so shall he afford thee good hope.
Chapter XIII – How masters ought to behave themselves to their servants; and how
servants ought to be subject
Thy man-servant or thy maid-servant, who trust in the same God, thou shalt not command with bitterness of spirit; lest they groan against thee, and wrath be upon thee from God. And ye servants, be subject to your masters, as to the representatives of God, with attention and fear, as to the Lord, and not to men.
Chapter XIV – Concerning hypocrisy, and obedience to the laws, and confession of sins
Thou shalt hate all hypocrisy; and thou shalt do whatsoever is pleasing to the Lord. By no means forsake the commands of the Lord; but observe the things which thou hast received from him, neither adding to them, nor taking away from them. For thou shalt not add unto his words, lest he convict thee, and thou become a liar.
Thou shalt confess thy sins to the Lord thy God; and thou shalt not add to them anymore, that it may be well with thee from the Lord thy God, who willeth not the death of a sinner, but his repentance.
Chapter XV – Concerning the regard due to parents
Thou shalt be observant to thy father and mother, as the causes of thy being born; that thou mayest live long on the earth, which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Overlook not thy brethren and thy kindred. For thou shalt not overlook those who are nearly related to thee.
Chapter XVI – Concerning the subjection due to the king and to rulers
Thou shalt fear the king, knowing that his appointment is of the Lord. His rulers thou shalt honor, as the ministers of God; for they are the avengers of all unrighteousness; to whom pay taxes, tribute, and every oblation, with a willing mind.
Chapter XVII – Concerning the pure conscience of those that pray
Thou shalt not proceed to thy prayer in the day of thy wickedness, before thou hast laid aside thy bitterness. This is the way of life; in which may ye be found, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Chapter XVIII – That the way which was afterwards introduced by the snares of the adversary, is full of impiety and wickedness
But the way of death is known by its wicked practices; for in it are ignorance of God, and the introduction of many evils, and disorders, and disturbances; through which come murders, adulteries, fornications, perjuries, unlawful lusts, thefts, idolatries, magic arts, witchcrafts, rapines, false testimonies, hypocrisies, double-heartedness, deceit, pride, malice, insolence, covetousness, obscene talk, jealousy, rashness, haughtiness, arrogance, impudence, persecution of the good, enmity to truth, love of lies, ignorance of righteousness. For they who do such things adhere not to goodness, nor to righteous judgment. They watch not for good, but for evil; from whom meekness and patience are far off; who love vain things, pursuing after reward, having no pity on the poor, not laboring for him that is in misery, nor knowing Him that made them; murderers of infants, destroyers of the workmanship of God; who turn away from the needy, adding affliction to the afflicted; the flatterers of the rich; the despisers of the poor; full of sin.
May you, children, be delivered from all these.
Chapter XIX – That we must not turn from the way of piety, either to the right nor to the left
See that no one seduce thee from piety. For, saith God, Thou mayest not turn aside from it, to the right hand nor to the left; that thou mayest have understanding in all that thou doest. For if thou turn not out of the right way, thou wilt not be wicked.
Chapter XX – That we ought not to despise any of the sorts of food that are set before us, but gratefully and orderly to partake of them
Now, concerning the several sorts of food, the Lord saith to thee, Ye shall eat the good things of the earth. And all sorts of flesh shall ye eat, as the green herb; but thou shalt pour out the blood. For not those things that go into the mouth, but those that come out of it, defile a man: I mean blasphemies, evil-speaking, and if there be any other thing of the like nature. But do thou eat the fat of the land, with righteousness.
For if there be anything pleasant, it is His; and if there be anything good, it is His: wheat for the young men, and wine to cheer the maids. For who shall eat, or who shall drink, without him? And wise Ezra admonisheth thee, saying, Go your way, and eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and be not sorrowful.
Chapter XXI – That we ought to avoid the eating of things offered to idols
But abstain from things offered to idols, that ye may not become partners with demons; for the Gentiles offer those things in honor of demons, that is, to the dishonor of the one God.
Chapter XXII – A constitution of our Lord, how we ought to baptize, and into whose death
Now, concerning baptism, bishop or presbyter, we have already given direction; and we now say that thou shalt so baptize as the Lord commanded us, saying, Go ye, and teach 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: of the Father who sent; of Christ who came; of the Comforter who testified.
But thou shalt first anoint the person with the holy oil, and afterwards thou shalt baptize him with water, and in the conclusion thou seal him with ointment; that the anointing with oil may be the participation of the Holy Spirit, and the water the symbol of the death of Christ, and the ointment the seal of the covenants. But if there be neither oil nor ointment, water is sufficient, both for the anointing and for the seal, and for the confession of him that is dying, namely, dying together with [Christ] .
Moreover, before baptism, let him that is to be baptized, fast. For even the Lord, when he was first baptized by John, and abode in the wilderness, afterwards fasted forty days and forty nights. But he was baptized, and then fasted, not having himself any need of cleansing, or of fasting, or of purification, who was, by nature, pure and holy; but that he might both testify the truth to John, and afford to us an example. Wherefore our Lord was not baptized into his own passion, or death, or resurrection; for none of those things had then happened; but for another purpose. On which account he, by his own authority, fasted after his baptism, as being the Lord of John.
But he who is to be initiated into his death, ought first to fast, and then to be baptized. For it is not reasonable that he who has been buried with Christ, and is risen again with him, should appear dejected at his very resurrection. For man is not Lord of our Saviour’s constitution, since one is the Master, and the other the servant.
Chapter XXIII – Which days of the week we ought to fast, and which not, and for what reasons
But let not your fasts be with the hypocrites; for they fast on the second and fifth days of the week. But do ye fast either the five days, or the fourth day and the day of the Preparation, because on the fourth day the condemnation went out against the Lord, Judas then promising to betray him for money; and ye must fast the day of the Preparation, because on that day the Lord suffered the death of the cross, under Pontius Pilate. Yet the Sabbath and the Lord’s day keep as festivals, because the former is the memorial of the creation, and the latter of the resurrection. And in the whole year there is only one Sabbath to be otherwise observed by you, that of our Lord’s burial, on which men ought to keep a fast, but not a festival. For inasmuch as the Creator was then under the earth, the sorrow for him is more forcible than the joy for the creation; because the Creator is more honorable by nature and dignity than his own creatures.
Chapter XXIV – What sort of people they ought to be who offer the prayer that was given by the Lord
Now when ye pray, be not as the hypocrites; but as the Lord hath appointed us in the Gospel, so pray ye: Our Father who 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 evil. For thine is the kingdom forever. Amen.
Pray thus thrice in a day, preparing yourselves beforehand, that ye may be worthy of the adoption of the Father, lest, when ye call him Father unworthily, ye be reproached by him, as Israel once his first-born son was told, If I be a Father, where is my glory?
And if I be a Lord, where is my fear? For the glory of fathers is the holiness of their children, and the honor of masters is the fear of their servants; as the contrary is dishonor and confusion. For saith he, Through you my name is blasphemed among the Gentiles.
Chapter XXV – A Mystical Thanksgiving
But be ye always thankful, as faithful and honest servants; and, in respect to the Eucharist, say thus:
We thank thee, our Father, for that life which thou hast made known to us by Jesus thy Son, by whom thou madest all things, and takest care of the whole world; whom thou hast sent to become man for our salvation; whom thou hast permitted to suffer and to die; whom thou hast raised up, and been pleased to glorify, and hast seated at thy right hand; by whom also thou hast promised us the resurrection of the dead. Do thou, Lord Almighty, everlasting God, so gather together thy church from the ends of the earth into thy kingdom, as THIS was once scattered, and is now become one loaf. We also, our Father, thank thee for the precious blood of Jesus Christ, which was shed for us, and for his precious body, of which we celebrate these representations, as he himself appointed us, to shoiv forth his death. For through him glory shall be given to thee forever. Amen.
Let no one eat of them that is not initiated; but those only who have been baptized into the death of the Lord.
But if anyone that is not initiated conceal himself, and partake, he eateth eternal condemnation; because, being not of the faith of Christ, he hath partaken of such things as it is not lawful for him to partake of, to his own punishment. But if anyone be a partaker through ignorance, instruct him quickly, and initiate him, that he may not go out a despiser.
XXVI – A Thanksgiving at the divine participation
After the participation, give thanks in this manner: We thank thee, God and Father of Jesus our Saviour, for thy holy name which thou hast caused to dwell among us, and for the knowledge, faith, love, and immortality, which thou hast given us through thy Son Jesus. Thou, Almighty Lord, the God of the universe, hast by him created the world, and the things that are therein; and hast planted a law in our souls, and beforehand hast prepared things for the convenience of men. God of our holy and blameless fathers, Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, thy faithful servants; thou, God, who art powerful, faithful, and true, and without deceit in thy promises; who didst send upon earth Jesus thy Christ to converse with men, as a man, when he was God the Word, and Man, to take away error by the roots; do thou thyself even now through him be mindful of this thy holy church, which thou hast purchased with the precious blood of thy Christ, and deliver it from all evil, and perfect it in thy love and thy truth, and gather us all together into thy kingdom which thou hast prepared. Maranatha: Our Lord is come. Hosanna to the Son of David, Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord (God the Lord, who was manifested to us in the flesh.) If anyone be holy, let him draw near; but if anyone be not such, let him become such by repentance. Permit also your Presbyters to give thanks.
XXVII – A Thanksgiving in respect to the mystical ointment
Concerning the ointment, give thanks in this manner:
We give thee thanks, God, the Creator of the whole world, both for the fragrancy of the ointment, and for the immortality which thou hast made known to us by thy Son Jesus; since thine are the glory and the power, forever. Amen.
Whosoever cometh to you, and giveth thanks in this manner receive him as a disciple of Christ. But if he preach another doctrine, different from that which Christ by us hath delivered to you, ye must not permit him to give thanks; for such a one insulteth God rather than glorifieth him.
Chapter XXVIII – That we ought not to be indifferent about fellowship
But whosoever cometh to you, let him be first examined, and then received; for ye have understanding, and are able to know the right hand from the left, and to distinguish false teachers from the true. But when a teacher cometh to you, supply him cordially with what he needeth. And even when a false teacher cometh, ye shall give him for his necessity, but shall not receive his error. Nor indeed may ye pray together with him, lest ye be polluted with him.
Every true prophet or teacher that cometh to you is worthy of his maintenance, as being a laborer in the word of righteousness.
Chapter XXIX – A constitution concerning oblations
All the first-fruits of the wine-press, the threshing-floor, the oxen, and the sheep, thou shalt give to the Priests, that thy store houses and garners, and the products of thy land, may be blessed; and that thou mayest be strengthened with corn, and wine, and oil; and that the herds of thy cattle, and the flocks of thy sheep, may be increased. Thou shalt give the tenth of thine increase to the orphan, and to the widow, and to the poor, and to the stranger. All the first-fruits of thy hot bread, of thy barrels of wine or oil, or honey, or nuts, or grapes, or the first-fruits of other things, thou shalt give to the Priests; but those of silver, and of garments, and of every kind of possessions, to the orphan and to the widow.
Chapter XXX – How we ought to assemble together, and celebrate the festival day of
our Saviour’s resurrection
On the day of the resurrection of the Lord, that is, the Lord’s day, assemble yourselves together, without fail; giving thanks to God, and praising him for those mercies which God hath bestowed upon you, through Christ, in delivering you from ignorance, error, and bondage; that your sacrifice may be unspotted, and acceptable to God, who hath said concerning his church universal, In every place shall incense and a pure sacrifice be offered unto me; for l am a great king, saith the Lord Almighty, and my name is Wonderful among the heathen.
Chapter XXXI – Priesthood Holders – What qualifications they ought to have, who are to be ordained
Moreover, elect Bishops worthy of the Lord, and Presbyters, and Deacons, pious men, righteous, meek, free from the love of money, lovers of truth, approved, holy, impartial, able to teach the word of piety, and rightly dividing the doctrines of the Lord. And honor ye them as your fathers, as your lords, as your benefactors, as the causes of your well-being. Reprove ye one another, not in anger, but in mildness, with kindness and peace.
Observe all things that are commanded you by the Lord. Be watchful for your life. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men who wait for their Lord, when he will come; at even, or in the morning, or at cock-crowing, or at midnight. For at what hour they think not the Lord will come. And if they open to him, blessed are those servants, because they were found watching. For he will gird himself, ,and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth, and serve them.
Watch, therefore, and pray, that ye do not sleep unto death. For your former good deeds will not profit you, if at the last part of your life ye go astray from the true faith.
Chapter XXXII – A Prediction concerning events which are to occur
For in the last days false prophets shall be multiplied, and such as corrupt the word; and the sheep shall be changed into wolves, and love into hatred; for, through the abounding of iniquity, the love of many shall wax cold. For men shall hate, and persecute and betray one another. And then shall appear the deceiver of the world, the enemy of the truth, the prince of lies, whom the Lord Jesus shall destroy with the Spirit of his mouth; who taketh away the wicked with his lips. And many shall be offended at him. But they that endure to the end, the same shall be saved. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven. Thereupon shall be the voice of a trumpet by the archangel, and immediately the revival of those that were asleep. And then shall the Lord come, and all his saints with a great concussion above the clouds, with the angels of his power, on the throne of his kingdom, to condemn the deceiver of the world, and to render to every one according to his deeds. Then shall the wicked go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous shall go into life eternal, to inherit those things which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man such things as God hath prepared for them that love him; and they shall rejoice in the kingdom of God, which is in Christ Jesus.
Since now we have been honored with so great blessings from him, let us become his supplicants, and call upon him by continual prayer, saying:
Chapter XXXIII – A Prayer declarative of God’s various providence
Eternal Saviour, the king of gods, who alone art almighty, and the Lord, the God of all beings, and the God of our holy and blameless fathers, and of those before us; the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob; who art merciful and compassionate, long-suffering, and abundant in mercy; to whom every heart is naked, and by whom every heart is seen, and to whom every secret thought is revealed: to thee do the souls of the righteous cry aloud; upon thee do the hopes of the godly trust, thou Father of the blameless, thou hearer of the supplications of those that call upon thee with uprightness, and who knowest the supplications that are not uttered. For thy providence reacheth to the inmost parts of men, and by thy knowledge thou searchest the thoughts of every one; and in every region of the whole earth the incense of prayer and supplication is sent up to thee.
Thou who hast appointed this present world as a place of combat to righteousness, and hast opened to all the gate of mercy, and hast shown to every man, by implanted knowledge, and natural judgment, and the admonitions of the Law, that the possession of riches is not everlasting, the ornament of beauty is not perpetual, our strength and force are easily dissolved; all indeed is vapor and vanity; and nothing but consciousness of faith unfeigned passeth through the midst of the heavens, and, returning with truth, taketh hold of the right hand of the joy which is to come. And, withal, before the promise of the restoration of all things is accomplished, the soul itself exulteth in hope, and is joyful. For from the beginning, when our forefather Abraham was laboring after the way of truth, thou, by a vision, didst guide him, teaching him what kind of a state this world is; and knowledge went before his faith, and faith ensued upon his knowledge, and the covenant was a consequence of his faith. For thou saidst, I will make thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is by the sea-shore. Still further, when thou hadst, given him Isaac, and knewest him to be similar in his character, thou wast called also his God, saying, I will be a God to thee, and to thy seed after thee.
And when our father Jacob was sent into Mesopotamia, thou showedst him Christ, and by him spakest, saying, Behold, I am with thee, and I will increase thee, and multiply thee exceedingly. And thus spakest thou to Moses, thy faith ful and holy servant, at the vision of the bush, I am he that is. This is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. thou Protector of the posterity of Abraham, blessed art thou forever.
XXXIV – A Prayer declarative of God’s various creation
Blessed art thou, Lord, the King of ages, who, through Christ, hast made the whole world, and through him, in the beginning, didst reduce into order the disordered parts; who didst divide the waters from the waters by a firmament, and didst put into them a spirit of life; who didst fix the earth, and stretch out the heaven, and didst dispose every creature by an accurate constitution. For by thy power, Lord, the world is beautified; the heaven is fixed as an arch over us, and is rendered illustrious with stars, for our comfort in the darkness. The light, also, and the sun, were produced for days, and for the production of fruits; and the moon for the change of seasons, by its increase and diminutions; and night and day received their respective names. The firmament, moreover, was exhibited in the midst of the abyss; and thou didst command the waters to be gathered together, and the dry land to appear. But, as for the sea itself, who can possibly describe it? which cometh with fury from the ocean, yet runneth back again from the sand of the shore, being stopped at thy command; for thou hast said, Thereby shall her waves be broken. Thou hast also made it capable of supporting little and great creatures, and made it navigable for ships.
Then did the earth become green, and was planted with all sorts of flowers, and the variety of different trees; and the shining luminaries, the nourishers of those plants, preserve their unchangeable course, and in nothing depart from thy command. But where thou biddest them, there they rise and set, for signs of the seasons, and of the years, making a constant return of the work of men.
Afterwards the kinds of the several animals were created: those belonging to the land, to the water, to the air, and both to air and water; and the skilful wisdom of thy providence bestoweth upon each a suitable provident care. For as it was not unable to produce various kinds, so neither hath it disdained to provide variously for each.
And at the conclusion of the creation, thou gavest direction to thy Wisdom, and formedst a rational living creature, as the citizen of the world, saying, Let us make man after our image, and after our likeness; and hast exhibited him as the ornament of the world, and formed him a body out of the four elements, those primary bodies, but hast prepared a soul out of nothing, and hast bestowed upon him his five senses, and set over his sensations a mind, as the conductor of the soul.
And besides all these things, Lord God, who can worthily declare the motion of the rainy clouds, the shining of the lightning, the noise of the thunder, in order to the supply of proper food, and the most agreeable temperature of the air?
But, when man was disobedient, thou didst deprive him of the life proposed for his reward; yet thou didst not utterly destroy him, but laidest him to sleep for a time; and thou hast by oath called him to a resurrection, and hast loosed the bond of death, thou Reviver of the dead, through Jesus Christ, who is our hope.
XXXV – Prayer with thanksgiving, declarative of God’s care over the beings he hath made
Great art thou, Lord Almighty, and great is thy power; and to thine understanding there is no limit; our Creator and Saviour, rich in benefits, long-suffering, and the Bestower of mercy, who dost not take away thy salvation from thy creatures; for thou art good by nature, and sparest sinners, and invitest them to repentance; for admonition is the effect of thy bowels of compassion. For how should we abide if we were required to come to judgment immediately, when, after so much long-suffering, we hardly emerge from our miserable condition!
The heavens declare thy dominion, and the earth shaketh with earthquakes, and, hanging upon nothing, declare thine unshaken steadfastness. The sea, raging with waves, and feeding a flock of ten thousand creatures, is bounded with sand, as standing in awe at thy will; and it compelleth all men to cry out, How great are thy works, Lord! In wisdom hast Thou made them all. The earth is full of what thou hast created.
And the bright host of angels, and the intellectual spirits, say to Him, One is holy! And the holy seraphim, together with the six-winged cherubim, who sing to thee their triumphal song, cry never-ceasing voices, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of thy glory. And the other multitudes of the orders, angels, archangels, thrones, dominions, principalities, authorities, and powers, cry aloud, and say, Blessed be the glory of the Lord out of his place. But Israel, thy church on earth, taken out of the Gentiles, emulating the heavenly Powers, night and day, with a full heart and a willing soul, singeth, the chariot of God is ten thousand fold, thousands of them that rejoice. The Lord is among them in Sinai, in the holy place.
The heaven knoweth Him who fixed it as a cube of stone, in the form of an arch, upon nothing; who united the land and the water to one another, and scattered the vital air all abroad, and conjoined fire therewith for warmth, and for the mitigation of darkness. The choir of stars striketh us with admiration, declaring Him that numbereth them, and showing Him that nameth them; the animals declare Him that putteth life into them; the trees, Him that maketh them grow; all which creatures, being made by thy word, show forth the greatness of thy power. Wherefore, every man, since by thine appointment he hath power over them all, ought, from his very soul, to send up a hymn to thee, through Christ, in the name of them all.
For thou art kind in thy benefits, and beneficent in thy bowels of compassion; who alone art almighty; for when thou willest, to be able is present with thee. For thine eternal power quencheth flame, and stoppeth the mouths of lions, and tameth whales, and raiseth up the sick, and over-ruleth the power of all things, and overturneth the host of enemies, and casteth down a people numbered in their arrogance. Thou art He who art in heaven, He who art on earth, He who art in the sea, He who art in finite things, thy self unconfined by anything. For of thy majesty there is no boundary; for it is not ours, Lord, but the oracle of thy servant, who said, And thou shalt know in thy heart that the Lord thy God is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath; and there is none other besides him. For there is no God besides thee alone; there is none holy besides thee, the Lord, the God of knowledge, the God of the saints, holy above all holy beings; for they are sanctified by thy hands.
Thou art glorious, and highly exalted, invisible by nature, and unsearchable in thy judgments; whose life is without want; whose duration can never fail; whose operation is without toil; whose greatness is unlimited; whose excellency is perpetual; whose habitation is inaccessible; whose dwelling is unchangeable; whose knowledge is without beginning; whose truth is immutable; whose work is without assistant; whose dominion cannot be taken away; whose monarchy is without succession; whose kingdom is without end; whose strength is irresistible; whose army is most numerous. For thou art the Father of wisdom, the Creator, as the primary Author, of the creation, by a Mediator; the Bestower of providence; the Giver of laws; the Supplier of want; the Punisher of the wicked, and the Rewarder of the righteous; the God and Father of Christ, and the Lord of those that are pious towards him, [thine anointed One;] whose promise is infallible; whose judgment is without bribes; whose sentiments are immutable; whose piety is incessant; whose thanksgiving is perpetual; and through whom worthy adoration is due to thee from every rational and holy nature.
XXXVI – A Prayer commemorative of the Incarnation of Christ; and his various providence to the saints
Lord Almighty, thou hast created the world by Christ, and hast appointed the Sabbath in memory thereof; since thou hast made us rest on that day from our works, for meditation upon thy laws. Thou hast also appointed festivals for the rejoicing of our souls, that we might come into the remembrance of the Wisdom that was created by thee; how he, for our sake, submitted to be born of a woman. He appeared in life, manifesting himself in his baptism, that he who thus came forth is God and man. He suffered and died for us by thy permission, and rose again by thy power; on which account, we, solemnly assembling to celebrate the festival of the Resurrection on the Lord’s day, rejoice concerning Him who hath conquered death, and hath brought life and immortality to light. For by him thou hast brought home the Gentiles to thyself, for a peculiar people, the true Israel, beloved of God, and seeing God. For thou, Lord, broughtest our fathers out of the land of Egypt, and didst deliver them out of the iron furnace, from clay and brick-making, and didst redeem them out of the hands of Pharaoh, and of those under him; and didst lead them through the sea, as through dry land; and didst bear their manners in the wilderness, and bestow on them all sorts of good things. Thou didst give them the Law, or Decalogue, which was pronounced by thy voice, and written with thy hand. Thou didst enjoin the observance of the Sabbath, not affording them an occasion of idleness, but an opportunity of piety, for their knowledge of thy power, and the restraint of evils; having enclosed the people, as within a holy circuit, for the sake of instruction, so that they might rejoice on the seventh day. On this account were appointed one week, and seven weeks, and the seventh month, and the seventh year; and the sevenfold revolution of this, the jubilee, which is the fiftieth year, for remission; that men might have no occasion to pretend ignorance.
(For this purpose he permitted men, every Sabbath, to rest, that no one might be disposed to utter a word out of his mouth in anger on the day of the Sabbath. For the Sabbath is the ceasing of the creation, the completion of the world, the inquiry after laws, and the grateful praise to God for the blessings he hath bestowed upon men.)
All which appointed times the Lord’s day excelleth, and showeth the Mediator himself, the Provider, the Lawgiver, the Author of the Resurrection, the First-born of the whole creation, God the Word, and Man; who was born of Mary alone, without a man; who lived a holy life; who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and died, and rose again from the dead; so that the Lord’s day commandeth us to offer unto thee, Lord, thanksgiving for all. For thus is the grace afforded by thee, which, on account of its greatness, hath obscured all other blessings.
Chapter XXXVII – A Prayer containing a memorial of providence, and an enumeration of the various, benefits afforded to the saints by the providence of God through Christ
Thou who hast fulfilled thy promises made by the prophets, and hast had mercy on Zion, and compassion on Jerusalem, by exalting the throne of David, thy servant, in the midst of her, by the birth of Christ, who was born of his seed, according to the flesh, of a virgin alone; do thou now, Lord God, accept the prayers which proceed from the lips of thy people, who are of the Gentiles, who call upon thee in truth, as thou didst accept of the gifts of the righteous in their generations. In the first place, thou didst respect the sacrifice of Abel, and accept it, as thou didst accept the sacrifice of Noah, when he went out of the ark; of Abraham, when he went out of the land of the Chaldeans; of Isaac, at the well of the oath; of Jacob, in Bethel; of Moses, in the desert; of Aaron, between the dead and the living; of Joshua, the son of Nun in Gilgal; of Gideon, at the rock, and the fleeces, before his sin; of Manoah and his wife, in the field; of Samson, in his thirst, before his transgression; of Jephthah, in the war, before his rash vow; of Barak and Deborah, in the days of Sisera; of Samuel, in Mizpeh; of David, in the threshing-floor of Oman the Jebusite; of Solomon, in Gibeon, and in Jerusalem; of Elijah, in Mount Carmel; of Elisha, at the barren fountain; of Jehosaphat, in war; of Hezekiah, in his sickness, and concerning Sennacherib; of Manasseh, in the land of the Chaldeans, after his transgression; of Josiah, in his Passover; of Ezra, at the return; of Daniel, in the den of lions; of Jonah, in the whale’s belly; of the three children in the fiery furnace; of Hannah, in the tabernacle before the ark; of Nehemiah, at the rebuilding of the walls; of Zerubbabel; of Mattathias and his sons, in their zeal; of Jael, in blessings. And now, therefore, accept the prayers of thy people, which are offered to thee with knowledge, through Christ, in the Spirit.
Chapter XXXVIII – A Prayer for the assistance of the righteous
We give thee thanks for all things, Lord Almighty, that thou hast not taken away from us thy mercies and thy compassions; but in every succeeding generation thou dost save, and deliver, and assist, and protect. For thou didst assist in the days of Enos and Enoch; in the days of Moses and Joshua; in the days of the judges; in the days of Samuel, and of Elijah, and of the prophets; in the days of David, and of the kings; in the days of Esther and Mordecai; in the days of Judith; in the days of Judas Maccabeus and his brethren. And in our days thou hast assisted us by thy great High Priest, Jesus Christ, thy Son. For he hath delivered us from the sword, and hath freed us from famine, and sustained us; hath delivered us from sickness, and hath preserved us from an evil tongue. For all which things we give thee thanks, through Christ, who hath given us an articulate voice for confession, and added to it a suitable tongue, as an instrument to modulate withal, and a proper taste, and a well-adapted feeling, and sight for seeing, and the hearing of sounds, and the smelling of exhalations, and hands for work, and feet for walking. And all these members thou formest from a little drop in the womb; and, after the formation, thou bestowest on it an immortal soul, and bringest it forth into the light. The rational creature, man, thou hast instructed by thy laws, thou hast purified by thy statutes; and though thou bringest on a dissolution for a little while, thou hast promised a resurrection.
Wherefore, what life is sufficient, what length of ages will be long enough, for men to render thanks? To do it worthily is impossible; but to do it according to our ability, is just and right. For thou hast delivered us from the impiety of polytheism, and from the heresy of the murderers of Christ. Thou hast delivered us from error and ignorance. Thou hast sent Christ among men, as a man, being the only-begotten God. Thou hast sent the Comforter to dwell in us. Thou hast set angels over us. Thou hast put the devil to shame. Thou hast brought us into being when we were not; thou takest care of us when made; thou measurest out life to us; thou suppliest us with food; thou hast promised repentance.
Glory and worship be to thee, for all these things, through Jesus Christ, now and ever, and throughout all ages. Amen.
Meditate on these things, brethren; and the Lord be with you upon earth, and in the kingdom of his Father, who both sent him, and hath delivered us, by him, from the bondage of corruption into his glorious liberty; and hath promised life to those who, through him, have believed in the God of the universe.
Now, after what manner those ought to live that are initiated into Christ, and what thanksgivings they ought to send up to God through Christ, have been mentioned in the foregoing directions. But it is reasonable not to leave, without assistance, even those who are not yet initiated.
Chapter XXXIX – How the Catechumens are to be instructed in the elements
He, therefore, who is to be catechized in the word of piety, let him be instructed before his baptism in the knowledge of the unbegotten God, in the understanding of his only-begotten Son, in the assured acknowledgment of the Holy Spirit. Let him learn the order of the several parts of the creation, the series of providence, the different dispensations of the laws. Let him be instructed why the world was made, and why man was appointed to be a citizen therein. Let him also know his own nature; of what sort it is. Let him be taught how God punished the wicked with water; and how he glorified the saints in each generation; I mean Seth, and Enos, and Enoch, and Noah, and Abraham and his posterity, and Melchisedek, and Job, and Moses, and Joshua, and Caleb, and Phineas the priest, and those that were holy in each generation; and how God still took care of and did not reject mankind, but, at various times, called them from their error and vanity to the acknowledgment of the truth; bringing them back from bondage and impiety to liberty and piety, from injustice to righteousness, from death eternal to everlasting life.
Let him who is coming to baptism learn these and the like things, in his catechetical instruction; and let him who layeth his hands upon him, adore God, the Lord of the universe, and thank him in behalf of his creature, for sending Christ, his only-begotten Son, that he might save man, blotting out his transgressions; and that he might remit ungodliness and sins, and might purify him from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and sanctify man according to the good pleasure of his kindness, that he might inspire him with the knowledge of his will, and enlighten the eyes of his heart to consider of his wonderful works, and make known to him the judgments of righteousness; that so he might hate every way of iniquity, and walk in the way of truth; that he might be thought worthy of the laver of regeneration, to the adoption of sons, which is in Christ; that, being planted together in the likeness of the death of Christ, in hope of a glorious participation, he may be dead to sin, and may live to God, as to his mind, and word, and deed, and may be numbered together in the book of the living.
And, after this thanksgiving, let him instruct him in the doctrines concerning our Lord’s incarnation, and in those concerning his passion, and his resurrection from the dead, and his assumption.
Chapter XL – A constitution how the Catechumens are to be blessed by the Priests, in their initiation; and what things are to be taught them
And when the catechumen is just at the point of being baptized, let him learn what concerneth the renunciation of the devil, and the joining himself with Christ. For it is fit that he should first abstain from things contrary, and then be admitted to the mysteries. He must, beforehand, purify his heart from all wickedness of disposition, from all spot and wrinkle, and then partake of the holy things. For as the most skilful husbandman first cleareth his ground of the thorns which are grown up therein, and then soweth his wheat, so ought ye also to take away all impiety from them [the catechumens]; and then to sow the seeds of piety in them, and bestow baptism. For thus our Lord exhorted us, saying, first, Make disciples of all nations; and then he added this, and baptize them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Let, therefore, the candidate for baptism declare, in his renunciation,
Chapter XLI – The renunciation of the adversary, and the dedication to the Christ of God
I renounce Satan, and his works, and his pomps, and his worship, and his angels, and his inventions, and all things that are under him.
And, after this renunciation, let him, in his dedication, say, And I associate myself with Christ, and believe in and am baptized into one unbegotten Being, the only true God Almighty, the Father of Christ, the Creator and Maker of all things, from whom are all things; and into the Lord Jesus Christ, his only-begotten Son, the First-born of the whole creation, who, before the ages, was, by the good pleasure of the Father, begotten, not created; through whom all things were made, both those in heaven and those on earth, visible and invisible; who, in the last days, descended from heaven, and took flesh, and was born of the holy virgin Mary, and lived a holy life, according to the laws of his God and Father, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and died for us; and rose again from the dead, after his Passion, the third day, and ascended into the heavens, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father; and again is to come at the end of the world, with glory, to judge the living and the dead; of whose kingdom there shall be no end. I am baptized also into the Holy Ghost, that is, the Comforter, who wrought in all the saints from the beginning of the world, but was afterwards sent to the apostles by the Father, according to the promise of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ, and, after the apostles, to all who believe, in the holy Catholic church; into the resurrection of the flesh, and into the remission of sins, and into the kingdom of heaven, and into the life of the world to come.
And, after this declaration, he cometh in order to the anointing with oil.
Chapter XLII – A Thanksgiving in respect to the anointing with the mystical oil
Now this is blessed by the high priest for the remission of sins and the preparative for baptism. For he invoketh the unbegotten God, the Father of Christ, the King of all sensible and intelligent natures, that he would sanctify the oil in the name of the Lord Jesus, and bestow spiritual grace, and efficacious strength, the remission of sins, and the preparation for the confession of baptism; that so the candidate for baptism, when he is anointed, may be freed from all ungodliness, and may become worthy of initiation, according to the command of the Only-begotten.
Chapter XLII – A Thanksgiving concerning the mystical water
After this, he cometh to the water. The priest blesseth and glorifieth the Lord God Almighty, the Father of the only-begotten God; returning thanks, that he sent his Son to become man on our account, that he might save us; that he permitted him to become obedient, in all things, to the laws of that incarnation, to preach the kingdom of heaven, the remission of sins, and the resurrection of the dead.
Moreover, he adoreth the only-begotten God himself (after the Father, and for him), giving him thanks that he undertook to suffer death by the cross for all men; an emblem of which death he hath appointed to be the baptism of regeneration.
He giveth glory also, that, in the name, of Christ, God, the Lord of the universe, in the Holy Spirit, hath not cast off mankind, but hath suited his providence to the difference of times; first giving to Adam himself, with a regard to his enjoyment, Paradise, as a habitation; then, with a regard to provident care, delivering to him a command, but justly expelling him when he had transgressed; yet not utterly casting him off, but instructing his posterity, in succeeding ages, in various ways; and, on his account, towards the conclusion of the world, he hath sent his Son to become man for man’s sake, and to be subject to all human affections without sin. Him, therefore, let the priest even now implore at the baptism, and let him say, Look down from heaven, and sanctify this water; and bestow grace and power, so that he who is to be baptized, according to the command of thy Christ, may be crucified with him, and may die with him, and may be buried with him, and may rise with him to the adoption which is in him, by being made dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto righteousness.
And after this, when he hath baptized him in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, he shall anoint him with ointment, and shall add as followeth:
Chapter XLIV – A Thanksgiving concerning the, mystical ointment
Lord God, who art without generation, and without a superior. the Lord of the universe, who hast scattered the fragrance of the knowledge of the Gospel among all nations, do thou grant, at this time, that this ointment may be efficacious upon him that is baptized, so that the sweet odor of thy Christ may continue upon him firm and fixed, and that, having died with him, he may rise with him, and live with him.
Let him say these and the like things; for this is the efficacy of the laying of hands on each. For, unless there be such an invocation made by a pious priest over every one of these, the candidate for baptism only descendeth into the water, as do the Jews; and he putteth off only the filth of the body, not the filth of the soul.
After this, let him stand up, and pray that prayer which the Lord taught us; for, of necessity, he who is risen again ought to stand up and pray; because he that is raised up standeth upright. Let him, therefore, who hath been dead with Christ, and is raised up with him, stand up. But let him pray towards the east. For this also is written in the second book of the Chronicles, that, after the temple of the Lord was finished by king Solomon, in the very Feast of Dedication, the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, stood up towards the east, praising and thanking God, with cymbals and psalteries, and saying, Praise the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever.
Chapter XLV – A Prayer of the newly initiated
Moreover, let him pray thus after the foregoing prayer, and say, God Almighty, the Father of thy Christ, thine only-begotten Son, give me a body undefiled, a heart pure, a mind watchful, an unerring knowledge, the influence of the Holy Spirit for the obtaining and the full assurance of the truth, through thy Christ; by whom glory be to thee, in the Holy Spirit, forever. Amen.
These constitutions we have thought it right to make concerning the catechumens.
Chapter XLVI – Who they were whom the holy apostles sent and ordained
Now concerning those Bishops who have been ordained in our lifetime, we make known to you that they are these: Of Jerusalem, James, the brother of our Lord; upon whose death the second was Symeon, the son of Cleopas; after whom, Judas, the son of James. Of Caesarea in Palestine, the first was Zaccheus, who was once a publican; after whom was Cornelius; and the third, Theophilus. Of Antioch, Euodius, by me, Peter; and Ignatius, by Paul. Of Alexandria, Annianus was the first, by Mark the Evangelist; the second, Avilius, by Luke, who also was an evangelist.
Of the church of Rome, Linus, the son of Claudia, was the first, by Paul; and Clement, after Linus’s death, the second, by me, Peter. Of Ephesus, Timothy, by Paul; and John, by me, John. Of Smyrna, Aristo was the first; after whom, Strataeas, the son of Lois; and the third, Aristo. Of Pergamos, Gaius. Of Philadelphia, Demetrius, by me [John]. Of Cenchrea, Lucius, by Paul. Of Crete, Titus. Of Athens, Dionysius. Of Tripoli in Phoenicia, Marathones. Of Laodicea in Phrygia, Archippus of Colosse, Philemon. Of Beroea in Macedonia, Onesimus, once the servant of Philemon. Of the churches of Galatia, Crescens. Of the parishes of Asia, Aquila and Nicetas. Of the church of Egina, Crispus.
These are the Bishops who have been intrusted by us with the parishes in the Lord; whose doctrine keep ye always in mind, and observe our words. And may the Lord be with you now, and to endless ages; as he himself said to us, when he was about to be taken up to his own God and Father. For, Lo (he saith), I am with you all the days, until the end of the world. Amen.
Chapter XLVII – A Morning Prayer
Glory be to God in the highest; and upon earth, peace, good will among men. We praise thee, we sing hymns to thee, we bless thee, we glorify thee, we worship thee, by thy great High Priest; thee, who art the true God, who art the One unbegotten, the only inaccessible Being. For thy great glory, Lord and heavenly King, God, the Father Almighty, Lord God, the Father of Christ, the immaculate Lamb, who taketh away the sin of the world, receive our prayer, thou that sittest upon the cherubim; since thou only art holy. Thou only, Jesus, art our Lord, the Christ of the God of all that hath been brought forth, of the God our King. Through this our Lord, glory be to thee, and honor, and worship.
Chapter XLVIII – An Evening Prayer
Ye children, praise the Lord; praise the name of the Lord. We praise thee, we sing hymns to thee, we bless thee for thy great glory, Lord, our King, the Father of Christ, the immaculate Lamb, that taketh away the sin of the world. Praise becometh thee, hymns become thee, glory becometh thee, the God and Father, through the Son, in the most Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.
Now, Lord, lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
Chapter XLIX – A Prayer at Dinner
Blessed art thou, Lord, who dost nourish me from my youth; who givest food to all flesh. Fill our hearts with joy and gladness, that, having always what is sufficient for us, we may abound to every good work, in Christ Jesus, our Lord; through whom glory, honor, and power, be to thee forever. Amen.
End of Book VII
BOOK VIII – Concerning Gifts, And Ordinations, And Ecclesiastical Canons.
Chapter I – On whose account the miraculous powers are put forth
JESUS CHRIST, our God and Saviour, having delivered to us the great mystery of godliness, and called both Jews and Gentiles to the acknowledgment of the one and only true God his Father, as he himself somewhere saith, when he was giving thanks for the salvation of those that had believed, I have manifested thy name to men; I have finished the work which thou gavest me; and having said concerning us to his Father, Holy Father, although the world hath not known thee, yet I have known thee; and these have known thee; he with good reason said to all of us together, when we were perfected, concerning those gifts which were given from him by the Spirit, Now these signs shall follow them that have believed in my name: They shall cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. They shall lay their hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
These gifts were first bestowed on us the apostles, when we were about to preach the Gospel to every creature; but afterwards they were of necessity afforded to those who through us had believed, not for the advantage of those who perform them, but for the conviction of the unbelievers; that those whom the word did not persuade, the power of signs might put to shame. For signs are not for us who believe, but for the unbelievers, both of the Jews and of the Gentiles. For neither is it any profit to us to cast out demons, but to those who are so cleansed by the power of the Lord; as the Lord himself somewhere instructeth us, and showeth, saying, Rejoice not that the spirits are subject unto you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven: since the former is done by his power, but this by our good will and diligence; we, it is evident, being assisted by him.
It is not therefore necessary, that every one of the faithful should cast out demons, or raise the dead, or speak with tongues; but that he should, on whom this gift has been bestowed for some useful object, in respect to the salvation of the unbelievers, who are often put to shame, not by the convincing proof of words, but by the power of signs; that is, such as are worthy of salvation. For all the ungodly are not converted by miracles; and this God himself testifieth, as when he saith in the Law, With other tongues will I speak to this people, and with other lips, and yet they will not believe. For neither did the Egyptians believe in God, when Moses had done so many signs and wonders; nor did the multitude of the Jews believe in Christ (who was like Moses), when he healed every sickness and every disease among them; nor were the former shamed by the rod which was turned into a living serpent, nor by the hand which was made white with leprosy, nor by the river Nile turned into blood; nor the latter by the blind who recovered their sight, nor by the lame who walked, nor by the dead who were raised. Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses; Annas and Caiaphas, Christ. Thus signs do not shame all into belief, but only those of a good disposition; for whose sake also it is that God is pleased, as a wise superintendent, to appoint miracles to be wrought, not by the power of men, but by his own will.
Now we say these things, that those who have received such gifts may not exalt themselves against those who have not received them; such gifts, we mean, as are for the working of miracles; since there is no man who hath believed in God, through Christ, that hath not received some spiritual gift. For this very thing, to have been delivered from the impiety of Polytheism, and to have believed in God the Father, through Christ, is a gift of God; as also it is to have cast off the veil of Judaism, and to have believed that, by the good pleasure of God, his only-begotten Son, who was before all ages, was in the later time born of a virgin, without the company of a man; , and that he lived as a man, yet without sin, and fulfilled all that righteousness which is of the law; and that, by the permission of God, he who was God the Word endured the cross, and despised the shame; and that he died, and was buried, and rose within three days; and that, after his resurrection, having continued forty days with his apostles, and completed his whole constitutions, he was taken up in their sight to his God and Father who had sent him. He who hath believed these things, not at random, nor irrationally, but with judgment and full assurance, hath received a gift from God. So also hath he who is delivered from every heresy.
Let not, therefore, anyone that worketh signs and wonders judge anyone of the faithful who is not honored with the gift of working them. For the gifts of God which are bestowed by him through Christ, are various. And thou, indeed, hast received this gift, but that man, some other: for perhaps one hath the word of wisdom; another, the word of knowledge; another, discerning of spirits; another, foreknowledge of things to come; another, the word of teaching; another, patience; another, continence according to the law. For even Moses, the man of God, when he wrought signs in Egypt, did not exalt himself against the men of his nation; and when he was called a god, he did not arrogantly despise his own prophet Aaron. Nor did Joshua, the son of Nun, who was the leader of the people after him, though, in the war with the Jebusites, he had made the sun stand still over against Gibeon, and the moon over against the valley of Ajalon, because the day was not long enough for the victory, insult over Phineas or Caleb. Nor did Samuel, who had done so many surprising things, disregard David, the beloved of God; yet they were both prophets, and the one was high priest, and the other was king.
And when there were only seven thousand holy men in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal, Elijah alone among them, and his disciple Elisha, were workers of miracles; yet neither did Elijah despise Abdiah the steward, who feared God, but wrought no signs; nor did Elisha despise his own disciple, when he trembled at the enemies. Moreover, neither did the wise Daniel, who was twice delivered from the mouths of the lions, nor the three children who were delivered from the furnace of fire, despise the rest of their nation. For they knew that they had not escaped these terrible miseries by their own might, but that they both performed miracles, and were delivered from miseries, by the power of God.
Therefore let none of you exalt himself against his brethren, though he be a prophet, or though he be a worker of miracles. For if it happen that there be no longer an unbeliever, all the power of signs will thenceforward be superfluous; and to be pious is from one’s good will, but to work wonders is from the power of Him that worketh them by us; the first of which respecteth ourselves, but the second respecteth God that worketh them, for the reasons which we have already mentioned.
Therefore, neither let a king despise the officers that are under him; nor rulers, their subjects. For where there are none to be ruled over, rulers are superfluous; and where there are no officers, the kingdom will not stand.
Moreover, let not a Bishop be exalted against the Deacons and the Presbyters; nor the Presbyters against the people; for from each and all of these is the composition of the congregation; for the Bishops and the Presbyters are Priests of certain persons, and the Laity are laymen of certain persons. And, indeed, to be a Christian is in our own power; but to be an Apostle, or a Bishop, or in any other such office, is not in our own power, but at the disposal of God who bestoweth the gifts.
Thus much on account of those who have been deemed worthy of gifts and dignities.
Chapter II – Concerning unworthy Bishops and Presbyters
But to our discourse we add, that neither is every one that prophesieth holy, nor every one that casteth out demons, religious; for even Balaam the son of Beor, the prophet, prophesizes, though he was himself wicked; as also did Caiaphas, the falsely named high priest. Indeed, even the devil foretelleth manythings, and the demons about him; and yet, for all that, there is not a spark of piety in them; for they are oppressed with ignorance, by reason of their voluntary wickedness. It is manifest, therefore, that the ungodly, although they prophesy, do not, by their prophesying, cover their own impiety; nor will they who cast out demons be sanctified by the demons’ being made subject to them; for they only mock one another, as they do who play childish tricks for mirth; and they destroy those who give heed to them. Nor is a wicked king any longer a king, but a tyrant; nor is a Bishop oppressed with ignorance or an evil disposition, a Bishop, but falsely so called, being not one sent out by God, but by men, as Hananiah and Shemaiah in Jerusalem, and Zedekiah and Achiah, the false prophets in Babylon. And, indeed, Balaam, when he had corrupted Israel by Baal-Peor, suffered punishment; and Caiaphas at last was his own murderer; and the sons of Sceva, endeavoring to cast out demons, were wounded by them, and fled away in an unseemly manner; and the kings of Israel and Judah, when they became wicked, suffered many kinds of punishment.
It is therefore evident that Bishops and Presbyters, also, falsely so called, will not escape the judgment of God. For it will be said to them even now, ye Priests that despise my name, will deliver you up to the slaughter, as I did Zedekiah and Achiah, whom the Ung of Babylon fried in a frying-pan, as saith Jeremiah the prophet. We say these things, not in contempt of true prophecies, for we know that they are wrought in holy men by the inspiration of God; but to repress the audacity of vain-glorious men. And we add this withal, that from such as these God taketh away his grace. For God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble, Indeed, Silas and Agabus have prophesied in our times; yet they have not claimed to be equal to the apostles, nor have they exceeded their own measures, though they are beloved of God. Besides, women also have prophesied: of old, Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron; and, after her, Deborah; and, after these, Huldah and Judith; the former under Josiah, the latter under Darius. The mother of our Lord, likewise, prophesied, and her kinswoman Elizabeth, and Anna; and, in our times, the daughters of Philip. Yet these were not elated against their husbands, but preserved their own measures. Therefore, if among you also there be a man or a woman, and such a one obtain any gift, let him be humble, that God may be pleased with him. For, saith he, Upon whom will I look, but upon him that is humble and quiet, and trembleth at my words?
Chapter III – That to make constitutions concerning those things which are to be performed in the churches, is of great consequence
We have indeed set forth the first part of this discourse concerning gifts, whatever they may be, which God hath bestowed upon men, according to his own will; and how he rebuked the ways of those who either attempted to speak lies, or were moved by the spirit of the adversary; and that, from the wicked, God often taketh away his grace, both as to prophecy and as to the performance of miracles.
But now our discourse hasteneth us to the principal part of the portraiture of ecclesiastical affairs, that so, when ye have learned this constitution from us, ye who have been ordained Bishops by us, conformably to the will of Christ, may perform all things according to the commands delivered to us; knowing that he who heareth us heareth Christ, and he who heareth Christ heareth his God and Father; to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Chapter IV – Concerning Ordinations
Wherefore, we the Twelve Apostles of the Lord, who are now together, give you in charge these our Divine Constitutions concerning every ecclesiastical form; there being present with us Paul the chosen vessel, our fellow-apostle, and James the Bishop, and the rest of the Presbyters, and the seven Deacons.
In the first place, therefore, I Peter say, that a Bishop to be ordained is to be, as we have already all of us appointed, unblamable in all things, a select person, chosen by the whole people. And when he is named and approved, let the people assemble, with the Presbytery and Bishops that are present, on the Lord’s day; and let them give their consent. And let him who is preferred among the rest ask the Presbytery and the people, whether this is the person whom they desire for their ruler. And if they give their consent, let him ask further, whether he hath a good testimony from all men, as to his worthiness for so great and glorious an authority; whether all things relating to his piety towards God are right; whether justice towards men hath been observed by him; whether the affairs of his family have been well ordered by him; whether he hath been unblamable in the course of his life.
And if all the assembly together do, according to truth and not according to prejudice, testify that he is such a one, let them, the third time, as before God the Judge, and Christ, the Holy Ghost also assuredly being present, and all the holy ministering spirits, ask again, whether he is truly worthy of this ministry; that so, if in the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word may be established. And if they agree, the third time, that he is worthy, let them all be demanded their vote; and when they all give it willingly, let them be heard. And, silence being made, let one of the principal Bishops, together with two others, stand near the altar; the rest of the Bishops and Presbyters praying silently, and the Deacons holding the holy Gospels open upon the head of him that is to be ordained; and say to God,
Chapter V – Form of Prayer for the ordination of a Bishop
Thou the Great Being, thou Supreme Ruler, Lord, God Almighty, who alone art unbegotten and independent; who always art, and wast before the worlds; who needest nothing, and art above all cause and beginning; who only art true, who only art wise; who only art Most High; who art by nature invisible; whose knowledge is without beginning; who only art good and incomparable; who knowest all things before they are; who art acquainted with the most secret things; who art inaccessible, and without a superior; the God and Father of thine only-begotten Son, of our God and Saviour; the Creator of the universe by him; the Provider, the Guardian; the Father of mercies, and God of all consolation; who dwellest in the highest heavens, and yet lookest down on things below; thou who didst appoint the rules of the church by the coming of thy Christ in the flesh, under the Comforter as witness, by thine apostles, and by us the Bishops, who by thy grace are here present; who hast foreordained priests from the beginning, for the government of thy people; Abel in the first place, Seth and Enos, and Enoch and Noah, and Melchisedek and Job; who didst appoint Abraham, and the rest of the patriarchs, with thy faithful servants Moses and Aaron, and Eleazar and Phineas; who didst choose from among them rulers and priests in the tabernacle of thy testimony; who didst choose Samuel for a priest and a prophet; who didst not leave thy sanctuary without ministers; who didst delight in those whom thou chosest to be glorified in; do thou thyself, by the mediation of thy Christ, through us, pour down at this time the influence of thy free Spirit, which is administered by thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ; which he bestowed, according to thy will, on the holy apostles of thee, the eternal God. Grant by thy name, God, who searchest the hearts, that this thy servant, whom thou hast chosen to be a Bishop, may feed thy holy flock, and discharge the office of a high priest to thee, and minister to thee unblamably, night and day; that he may appease thee, and gather together the number of those that shall be saved, and may offer to thee the gifts of thy holy church. Grant to him, Lord Almighty, through thy Christ, the communion of the Holy Spirit, that so he may have power to remit sins according to thy command; to distribute clerical offices according to thine ordinance; to loose every bond, according to the power which thou gavest to the apostles; that he may please thee, in meekness and a pure heart, steadfastly, unblamably, irreproachably, while he offereth to thee a pure and unbloody sacrifice, which, by thy Christ, thou hast appointed as the mystery of the new covenant, for a sweet savor, through thy holy child Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour; through whom glory, honor, and worship, be to thee, in the Holy Spirit, now and always, and for all ages.
And when he hath prayed for these things, let the rest of the priests add, Amen; and, together with them, all the people.
And, after the prayer, let one of the Bishops elevate the sacrifice upon the hands of him that is ordained; and early in the morning let him be enthroned, in a place set apart for him, among the rest of the Bishops, they all giving him the kiss in the Lord. And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, and our Epistles, and Acts, and the Gospels, let him that is ordained salute the church, saying, The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of our God and Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with you all; and let them all answer, And with thy spirit. And, after the salutation, let him speak to the people the words of exhortation; and when he hath ended his instructive discourse, I Andrew, the brother of Peter, say, that, while all, having risen, are standing up, let the Deacon ascend to some high place and proclaim, Let none of the hearers, let none of the unbelievers stay. And silence being made, let him say,
Chapter VI – The Divine Liturgy, in which is the bidding Prayer for the Catechumens
Ye catechumens, pray; and let all the faithful pray for them in their mind, saying, Lord, have mercy on them. And let the Deacon bid prayers for them, saying, Let us all implore God for the catechumens, that He that is good, He that is the lover of mankind, may mercifully hear their prayers and supplications, and so accept their petitions as to assist them, and give them those desires of their hearts which are for their advantage; and reveal to them the gospel of his Christ, give them illumination and understanding, instruct them in the knowledge of God, teach them his commands and his ordinances, implant in them his saving and holy fear, open the ears of their hearts, that they may exercise themselves in his law day and night; strengthen them in piety, unite them to and number them with his flock, deeming them worthy of the laver of regeneration, and the garment of incorruption, which is the true life; and deliver them from all ungodliness, and give no place to the adversary against them, but cleanse them from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and dwell in them, and walk in them by his Christ; bless their coming in and their going out, and order their affairs for their good. Let us still earnestly supplicate for them, that they, obtaining by their initiation the forgiveness of their transgressions, may be esteemed worthy of the holy mysteries, and of continuance with the saints.
Rise up, ye catechumens. Pray ye that ye may have the peace of God through Christ; a peaceful day, and without sin; and that such may be the whole time of your life. Pray that yours may be a Christian death. Seek a compassionate and merciful God, and the forgiveness of your transgressions. Dedicate yourselves to the only unbegotten God, through his Christ. Bow down your heads, and receive the blessing.
But upon the mention of each of these particulars which the Deacon uttereth in bidding to pray, as we said before, let the people say, Lord, have mercy; and let the children say it first.
And as the catechumens have bowed down their heads, let the Bishop who is newly ordained bless them with this blessing:
God Almighty, unbegotten and inaccessible, who only art the true God, the God and Father of thy Christ, thine only-begotten Son; the God of the Comforter, and Lord of the universe; who by Christ didst appoint the disciples to be teachers, that men might learn piety; do thou thyself even now look down upon thy servants who are catechized in the gospel of thy Christ, and give them a new heart, and renew a right spirit in their inward parts, that they may both know and do thy will with full purpose of heart, and with a willing soul. Account them worthy of the holy initiation, and unite them to thy holy church, and make them partakers of the holy mysteries, through Christ, our hope, who for them suffered death; through whom glory and worship be given to thee in the Holy Spirit, forever. Amen.
And, after this, let the Deacon say, Go out, ye catechumens, in peace.
And after they are gone out, let him say, Ye energumens afflicted with unclean spirits, pray; and let us all earnestly pray for them, that God, the lover of mankind, may by Christ rebuke the unclean and wicked spirits, and deliver his supplicants from the dominion of the adversary. He that rebuked the legion of demons, and the prince of wickedness, the devil, may he himself even now rebuke these apostates from piety, and deliver his own workmanship from their power, and cleanse those whom he hath made with much wisdom. Let us still pray earnestly for them. Save them, God, and raise them up by thy power.
Bow down your heads, ye energumens, and receive the blessing.
And let the Bishop add a prayer, saying,
Chapter VII – Prayer for the Energumens
Thou who hast bound the strong man, and spoiled all that was in his house; who hast given us power over serpents and scorpions to tread upon them, and upon all the power of the enemy; who hast delivered the serpent, the murderer of men, bound, to us, as a parent to children; thou whom all things dread, trembling before the face of thy power; who hast cast him down as lightning from heaven to earth; not with a fall from a place, but from honor to dishonor, on account of his voluntary evil disposition; thou whose look drieth the abysses, and whose threatening melteth the mountains, and whose truth remaineth forever; whom the infants praise, and sucking babes whom angels sing hymns to and adore; who lookest upon the earth, and makest it tremble; who touchest the mountains, and they smoke; who threatenest the sea, and driest it up, and makest all its rivers as a desert, and whose clouds are the dust of thy feet; who walkest upon the sea as upon firm ground; thou only-begotten God, the Son of the great Father, rebuke these wicked spirits, and deliver the works of thy hands from the power of the adverse spirit.
For to thee belong glory, honor, and worship, and through thee to thy Father, in the Holy Spirit, forever. Amen.
And let the Deacon say, Go out, ye energumens; and, after they have gone out, let him cry aloud, Ye that are about to be illuminated, pray. Let all of us the faithful earnestly pray for them, that the Lord may deem them worthy, after being initiated into the death of Christ, to rise with him, and become partakers of his kingdom, and communicants of his mysteries; may unite them to and number them among those that are saved in his holy church. Save them, and raise them up in thy grace.
Having sealed themselves to God through his Christ, and having bowed down their heads, let them receive this blessing from the Bishop:
Chapter VIII – Prayer for the persons about to be baptized
Thou who hast formerly said by thy prophets to those that were to be initiated, Wash ye, become clean; and hast through Christ appointed the spiritual regeneration; do thou thyself even now look upon these that are about to be baptized, and bless them, and sanctify them, and prepare them, that they may become worthy of thy spiritual gift, and of the true adoption; of thy spiritual mysteries; of being gathered together with those that are saved through Christ our Saviour; through whom glory, honor, and worship, be to thee, in the Holy Spirit, forever. Amen.
And let the Deacon say, Go out, ye that are about to be illuminated.
And, after this, let him proclaim, Ye penitents, pray; and let us all earnestly pray for our brethren in the state of penance; that God, the lover of compassion, may show to them the way of repentance, and accept their return and their confession, and bruise Satan under their feet shortly; and redeem them from the snare of the devil, and the ill-usage of the demons; and free them from every unlawful word, and every absurd practice and wicked thought; forgive them all their offences, both voluntary and involuntary, and blot out the handwriting which is against them, and write them in the Book of Life; cleanse them from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and restore and unite them to his holy flock. For He knoweth our frame; for who can say that he hath a clean heart? And who can boldly say, that he is pure from sin? For we are all under penalties. Let us still pray for them more earnestly (for there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth); that, being converted from every evil work, they may be joined to all good practice; that God, the lover of mankind, may soon accept their supplications propitiously; restore to them the joy of his salvation, and strengthen them with his free spirit; that they may not be any more shaken, but be admitted to the communion of his most holy things, and become partakers of the divine mysteries; that, appearing worthy of his adoption, they may obtain eternal life. Let us all still earnestly say on their account, Lord, have mercy. Save them, God, and raise them up by thy mercy.
When ye have risen up, bow your heads to God, through his Christ, and receive the blessing.
Let the Bishop then add this prayer:
Chapter IX – The imposition of hands, and Prayer for the Penitent
Almighty, eternal God, Lord of the universe, the Creator and Governor of all things; who hast exhibited man as the ornament of the world through Christ, and didst give him a law both naturally implanted and written, that he might live according to law, as a rational creature; and, when he had sinned, thou gavest him thy goodness as a pledge, in order to his repentance. Look upon these persons, who have bowed the neck of their soul and body to thee. You desirest not the death of a sinner, but his repentance, that he turn from his wicked way and live. Thou who didst accept the repentance of the Ninevites; who willest that all men be saved, and come to the acknowledgement of the truth; who didst accept of that son who had consumed his substance in riotous living, with the bowels of a father, on account of his repentance; do thou thyself also now accept of the repentance of thy supplicants; because there is no man that sinneth not; for if thou, Lord, markest iniquities, Lord, who shall stand? because with thee there is propitiation. And do thou restore them to thy holy church, into their former dignity and honor, through Christ, our God and Saviour, through whom glory and adoration be to thee, in the Holy Spirit, forever. Amen.
Then let the Deacon say, Depart, ye Penitents.
And let him add, Let no one of those who have not a right, draw near. All we of the faithful, let us bow the knee. Let us entreat God, through his Christ; let us all earnestly beseech God, through his Christ.
Chapter X – The bidding Prayer for the Faithful
Let us pray for the peace and welfare of the world, and of the holy churches; that the God of the universe may afford us his everlasting peace, and such as may not be taken away from us; that he may preserve us in a full prosecution of such virtue as is according to godliness. Let us pray for the holy Catholic and Apostolic church, which is spread from one end of the earth to the other; that the Lord may preserve and keep it unshaken, and free from the waves of this life until the end of the world, as founded upon a rock; and let us pray for this holy parish, that the Lord of the universe may deem us worthy, without failure, to follow after the heavenly hope, and, without ceasing, to pay him the debt of our prayer. Let us pray forevery Episcopate which is under the whole heaven, of those that rightly divide the word of thy truth. And let us pray for our bishop James, and his parishes. Let us pray for our bishop Clement, and his parishes. Let us pray for our bishop Euodius, and his parishes. Let us pray for our bishop Annianus, and his parishes; that the compassionate God may grant them to continue in his holy churches in health, honor, and long life, and afford them an honorable old age, in godliness and righteousness. And let us pray for our Presbyters, that the Lord may deliver them from every unreasonable and wicked action, and afford them a Presbyterate in health and honor. Let us pray for all the Deacons and subordinate servants of the church, that the Lord may grant them an unblamable reputation. Let us pray for the Readers, Singers, Virgins, Widows, and Orphans.
Let us pray for those that are in marriage and child-bearing; that the Lord may have mercy upon them all. Let us pray for the eunuchs, leading a life of sanctity. Let us pray for those persons that are in a state of continency and religious abstinence. Let us pray for those that bear fruit in the holy church, and give alms to the needy. And let us pray for those who offer sacrifices and oblations to the Lord our God; that God, the fountain of all goodness, may recompense them with his heavenly gifts, and give them in this world a hundred-fold, and in the world to come life everlasting; and bestow upon them, for their temporal things, those that are eternal; for earthly things, those that are heavenly.
Let us pray for our brethren newly enlightened, that the Lord may strengthen and confirm them. Let us pray for our brethren afflicted with sickness, that the Lord may deliver them from every disease and every malady, and restore them sound to his holy church. Let us pray for those that travel by water or by land. Let us pray for those that are in the mines, in banishment, in prisons, and in bonds, for the name of the Lord. Let us pray for those that are worn down with toil in bitter servitude. Let us pray for our enemies, and those that hate us. Let us pray for those that persecute us for the name of the Lord, that the Lord may pacify their anger, and cause their wrath against us to pass away. Let us pray for those that are without, and have wandered out of the way, that the Lord may convert them. Let us be mindful of the infants of the church; that the Lord may perfect them in his fear, and bring them to a complete age. Let us pray one for another; that the Lord may keep us by his grace to the end, and deliver us from the evil one, and from all the scandals of those that work iniquity, and preserve us unto his heavenly kingdom. Let us pray forevery Christian soul.
Save us, and raise us up, God, by thy mercy.
Let us rise up, and let us pray earnestly, and dedicate ourselves and one another to the living God, through his Christ.
Moreover, let the High Priest offer a prayer, and say,
Chapter XI – Form of Prayer for the Faithful
Lord Almighty, the Most High, who dwellest on high, the Holy One, that restest among the saints, without beginning, the Only Potentate; who hast given to us, through Christ, the preaching of knowledge, to the acknowledgment of thy glory, and of thy name, which he hath made known to us for our comprehension. Do thou thyself even now look down, through him, upon this thy flock; and deliver it from all ignorance and wicked practices; and grant that we may fear thee in earnest, and love thee with affection, and have a due reverence of thy glory. Be gracious and merciful to them, and hearken to them when they pray unto thee, and keep them, that they may be immovable, blameless, and irreproachable; that they may be holy in body and soul, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that they may be complete, and no one among them may be defective or imperfect. Thou powerful Defender, who dost not accept persons, be thou the assister of this thy people, which thou hast redeemed with the precious blood of thy Christ; be thou their protector, helper, provider, and guardian, their strong wall of defence, their bulwark and security; because none can snatch out of thy hand; for there is no other God like thee; because on thee is our reliance. Sanctify them through thy truth; for thy word is truth. Thou who doest nothing for favor, thou whom none can deceive, deliver them from every disease and every malady, and every offence, every injury and deceit, from fear of the enemy, from the dart that flieth in the day, from the mischief that walketh about in darkness; and account them worthy of that everlasting life which is in Christ, thine only-begotten Son, our God and Saviour; through whom glory and worship be to thee, in the Holy Spirit, now and always, and forever. Amen.
After this, let the Deacon say, Let us attend. And let the Bishop salute the church and say, The peace of God be with you all. And let the people answer, And with thy spirit. And let the Deacon say to all, Salute ye one another with a holy kiss. And let the clergy salute the Bishop; the men of the laity, the men; the women, the women.
Moreover, let the children stand at the reading-desk; and let another Deacon stand by them, that they may not be disorderly. And let other Deacons walk about, and watch the men and women, that no tumult be made, and that no one nod, or whisper, or slumber; and let the Deacons stand at the doors of the men, and the Subdeacons at those of the women; that no one go out, nor a door be opened, although it be for one of the faithful, at the time of the oblation. And let one of the Subdeacons bring water to wash the hands of the Priests; which is a symbol of the purity of those souls that are devoted to God.
Chapter XII – A constitution of James, the brother of John, the son of Zebedee
Now I also, James, the brother of John, the son of Zebedee, say that the Deacon shall immediately proclaim, Let none of the Catechumens stay here; let none of the Hearers; let none of the Unbelievers; let none of the Heterodox. Ye who have prayed the first prayer, draw near. Let the mothers receive their children. Let no one have anything against anyone; let no one come in hypocrisy; let us stand upright before the Lord with fear and trembling, to offer.
When this is done, let the Deacons bring the gifts to the Bishop at the altar; and let the Presbyters stand on his right hand and on his left, as disciples stand before their master. But let two of the Deacons, on each side of the altar, hold a fan, made of thin membranes, or of the feathers of a peacock, or of fine cloth, and let them silently drive away the small animals that fly about, that so they may not come near to the cups.
Let now the High Priest, simultaneously with the Priests, pray by himself. And let him put on his shining garments, and stand at the altar, and make the sign of the cross upon his forehead, with his hand, before all the people, and say,
The grace of Almighty God, and the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. And let all with one voice say, And with thy spirit.
The high priest, Lift up your mind.
All the people, We lift it up unto the Lord.
The high priest, Let us give thanks to the Lord.
All the people, It is meet and right so to do.
Then let the High Priest say, is very meet and right before all things to sing a hymn to thee, who art the true God, who art before all beings; from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named; who only art unbegotten, and without beginning, independent, and without a master; who needest nothing; who art the bestower of everything that is good; who art above all cause and generation; who art always and immutably the same; from whom, as from a grand starting place, all things came into being. For thou art eternal knowledge, everlasting sight, unbegotten hearing, untaught wisdom, the first by nature, and the law to being, and superior to all number; who didst bring all things out of nothing into being, through thine only-begotten Son, but didst before all ages, by thy will, thy power, and thy goodness, without any intermediate agent beget him, the only-begotten Son, God the Word, the living Wisdom, the First-born of every creature, the Angel of thy great Council; and thy high priest, but the king and Lord of every intellectual and sensible nature; who was before all things, and through whom were all things.
For thou, eternal God, didst through him make all things, and through him thou dost account the universe worthy of thy suitable providence; for by the very same by whom thou didst bestow being, thou didst also bestow well- being; thou, the God and Father of thine only-begotten Son; who by him didst make, before all things, the cherubim and the seraphim, the aeons and hosts, the powers and authorities, the principalities and thrones, the archangels and angels; and, after all these, didst by him make this visible world, and all things that are therein. For thou art He who didst frame the heaven as an arch, and stretch it out like the covering of a tent, and didst found the earth upon nothing, by thy mere will; who didst fix the firmament, and prepare the night and the day; who didst bring the light out of thy treasures, and on its departure didst bring on darkness, for the rest of the living creatures that move up and down in the world; who didst appoint the sun in heaven to rule over the day, and the moon to rule over the night; and didst inscribe in heaven the choir of stars to praise thy glorious majesty; who didst make the water for drink, and for cleansing; the air in which we live, for respiration, and for the emission of voice, by means of the tongue, which striketh the air, and for hearing, which cooperateth under the impulse of the air, so that, receiving, it perceiveth the speech that falleth upon it; who madest fire for our consolation in darkness, for the supply of our want, and that by it we might be warmed and enlightened; who didst separate the great sea from the land, and didst render the former navigable, and the latter fit for walking; and didst replenish the former with living creatures, small and great, and fill the latter with tame ones and with wild, didst adorn it with various plants, and crown it with herbs, and beautify it with flowers, and enrich it with seeds; who didst ordain the great deep, bestow upon it a mighty amplitude; seas of salt water heaped together, yet didst bound it with barriers of the smallest sand; who sometimes dost raise it to the height of mountains by the winds, and sometimes dost smoothe it into a plain; sometimes dost enrage it into a tempest, and sometimes dost still it with a calm, that it may be easy to seafaring men in their voyages; who didst encompass this world, which was made by thee through Christ, with rivers, and water it with currents, and moisten it with springs that never fail, and didst bind it round with mountains, for the immovable and secure consistence of the earth. For thou hast replenished thy world, and adorned it with sweet-smelling and with healing herbs, with many and various living creatures, strong and weak, for food and for labor, tame and wild, with the noises of creeping things, the sounds of various sorts of flying creatures, with the circuits of the years, the numbers of months and days, the order of the seasons, the courses of the rainy clouds, for the production of the fruits, and the support of living creatures. Thou hast also appointed the station of the winds, which blow when commanded by thee, and the multitude of the plants and herbs.
Adam and Eve in Paradise
And thou hast not only created the world, but hast also made man for a citizen of the world, exhibiting him as its ornament. For thou didst say to thy Wisdom, Let us make man according to our image, and according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowls of the heaven. Wherefore, also, thou hast made him of an immortal soul, and of a body liable to dissolution; the former out of nothing, the latter out of the four elements; and hast given him, as to his soul, rational discernment, the distinction of piety and impiety, the observing of right and wrong; and, as to his body, thou hast granted him five senses, and progressive motion. For thou, God Almighty, didst, by thy Christ, plant a paradise in Eden, in the East, adorned with various plants, suitable for food, and didst introduce man into it, as into a rich banquet; and, when thou madest him, thou gavest him a law, implanted within him, that so he might have at home, and within himself, the seeds of the knowledge of God. Moreover, when thou hadst brought him into the delightful paradise, thou allowedst him the privilege of enjoying all things, only forbidding the tasting of one tree, in hope of greater blessings; that, in case he would keep that command, he might receive the reward of it, which was immortality: but when he neglected that command, and tasted of the forbidden fruit, by the seduction of the serpent, and the counsel of his wife, thou didst justly cast him out of paradise; yet, of thy goodness, thou didst not overlook him, nor suffer him to perish utterly; for he was thy creature. But thou didst subject to him the whole creation, and didst grant him liberty to procure himself food by his own sweat and labors; while thou didst cause all the fruits of the earth to spring up, to grow, and to ripen. And when thou hadst laid him asleep for a little while, thou didst with an oath call him to a restoration, didst loose the bond of death, and promise him life after the resurrection. And not this only, but when thou hadst increased his posterity to an innumerable multitude, those that continued with thee thou didst glorify, and those that apostatized from thee thou didst punish; and while thou didst accept the sacrifice of Abel, as of a holy person, thou didst reject the gift of Cain, the murderer of his brother, as of one that was abhorred. And, besides these, thou didst accept of Seth and Enos, and didst translate Enoch. For thou art the Creator of men, and the giver of life, and the supplier of want, and the giver of laws, and the rewarder of those that observe them, and the avenger of those that transgress them.
Old Testament; Salvation of Righteous, Destruction of Wicked
who didst bring the great flood upon the world, by reason of the multitude of the ungodly, and didst deliver righteous Noah from that flood by an ark, with eight souls, the end of the foregoing generations, and the beginning of those that were to come; who didst kindle a fearful fire against the five cities of Sodom, and didst turn a fruitful land into a salt lake, for the wickedness of them that dwelt therein, but didst snatch holy Lot out of the conflagration. Thou art He who didst deliver Abraham from the impiety of his forefathers, and didst appoint him to be the heir of the world, and didst cause thy Christ to appear to him; who didst ordain Melchisedek a high priest for thy worship; who didst render thy patient servant Job the conqueror of that serpent who is the patron of wickedness; who madest Isaac the son of promise, and Jacob the father of twelve sons; and didst increase his posterity to a multitude, and bring him into Egypt with seventy-five souls.
Thou, Lord, didst not overlook Joseph, but didst grant him, as a reward of his chastity for thy sake, the government over the Egyptians. Thou, Lord, didst not overlook the Hebrews when they were afflicted by the Egyptians, but didst deliver them, on account of the promises made to their fathers, and didst punish the Egyptians. And when men had corrupted the law of nature, and had sometimes esteemed the creation the effect of chance, and sometimes honored it more than they ought, and equalled it to the God of the universe, thou didst not suffer them to go astray, but didst raise up thy servant Moses, and by him didst give the written law, for the assistance of the law of nature, and didst show that the creation was thy work, and didst banish away the error of polytheism. Thou didst adorn Aaron and his posterity with the priesthood, and didst punish the Hebrews when they sinned, and receive them again when they returned to thee. Thou didst punish the Egyptians with a judgment of ten plagues, and didst divide the sea, and bring the Israelites through it, and drown and destroy the Egyptians, who pursued them. Thou didst sweeten the bitter water with wood. Thou didst bring water out of the hard rock. Thou didst rain manna from heaven, and quails, for food, out of the air. Thou didst afford them a pillar of fire by night to give them light, and a pillar of a cloud by day, to overshadow them from the heat. Thou didst declare Joshua to be the general of the army, and by him didst overthrow the seven nations of Canaan. Thou didst divide the Jordan, and dry up the rivers of Etham. Thou didst over throw walls without instruments, or the hand of man.
Heavenly Hosts and Choirs
For all these things, glory be to thee, Lord Almighty. Thee do the innumerable hosts of angels, archangels, thrones, dominions, principalities, authorities, and powers, thine everlasting armies, adore. The cherubim, and the six-winged seraphim, with twain covering their feet, with twain their heads, and with twain flying, say, together with thousand thousands of archangels, and ten thousand times ten thousand of angels, incessantly, and with constant and loud voices, and let all the people say it with them, Holy, holy, holy. Lord of hosts; heaven and earth are full of his glory. Be thou blessed forever. Amen.
And afterwards let the High Priest say, For thou art truly holy, and most holy, the highest and most highly exalted forever.
Life of Jesus Christ
Holy also is thine only-begotten Son, our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, who in all things ministered to his God and Father, both in thy various creations and in thy suitable providence, and hath not overlooked lost mankind. But after the law of nature, after the admonitions in the positive law, after the prophetical reproofs, and the attentions of the angels, when men had perverted both the positive law and that of nature, and had cast out of their mind the memory of the flood, the burning of Sodom, the plagues of the Egyptians, and the slaughters of the inhabitants of Palestine, and were just ready to perish universally, after an unparalleled manner, he himself was pleased by thy good will to become man, who was man’s Creator; to be under the laws, who was the legislator; to be a sacrifice, who was a High Priest; to be a sheep, who was the shepherd: and he appeased thee, his God and Father, and reconciled thee to the world, and freed all men from the impending wrath, being born of a virgin, and made in flesh, God the Word, the beloved Son, the First-born of the whole creation, according to the prophecies which were foretold concerning him by himself, of the seed of David and Abraham, of the tribe of Judah. And in the womb of a virgin He was made, who formed all mankind that are born into the world. He took flesh, who was without flesh. He who was begotten before time, was born in time. He lived holily, and taught according to the law. He drove away every sickness and every disease from men, and wrought signs and wonders among the people; and He was partaker of meat, and drink, and sleep, who nourisheth all that are in need of food, and filleth every living creature with goodness. He manifested his name to those that knew him not. He banished ignorance; he revived piety; he fulfilled thy will. He finished the work which thou gavest him to do.
Jesus Christ’s Atonement
And when he had set all these things right, he was seized by the hands of the ungodly, of the high priests and priests, falsely so called, and of the disobedient people, through the treachery of him who was possessed with wickedness as with a confirmed disease. He suffered manythings from them, and endured every ignominy, by thy permission. He was delivered to Pilate, the governor; and He who was the Judge, was judged; and He who was the Saviour, was condemned. He who was impassible, was nailed to the cross; and He who was by nature immortal, died; and He who was the Giver of life, was buried: that he might deliver from suffering and death those for whose sake he came, and might break the bonds of the devil, and deliver mankind from his deceit. He rose from the dead, the third day; and when he had continued with his disciples forty days, he was taken up into the heavens, and is seated at the right hand of thee, who art his God and Father.
Christ’s Institution of the Eucharist
Being mindful, therefore, of those things which he endured for our sake, we give thee thanks, Almighty God, not in such a manner as we ought, but as we are able, and fulfil his constitution. For in the same night in which he was betrayed, he took bread in his holy and undefiled hands; and, looking up to Thee, his God and Father, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, This is the mystery of the new covenant. Take of it, and eat. This is my body, which is broken for many for the remission of sins. In like manner also he took the cup, and mixed it of wine and water, and sanctified it, and delivered it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood which is shed for many, for the remission of sins. Do this in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show forth my death till I come.
Being mindful, therefore, of his Passion, and death, and resurrection from the dead, and return into the heavens, and his future second advent, in which he is to come with glory and power to judge the living and the dead, and to recompense to everyone according to his works, we offer to thee, our King and our God, according to his constitution, this bread and this cup; giving thee thanks, through him, that thou hast thought us worthy to stand before thee, and to sacrifice; and we beseech thee to look propitiously upon these gifts, which are here set before thee, thou God, who needest none of our offerings, and to accept them to the honor of thy Christ, and send down thy Holy Spirit, the Witness of the sufferings of the Lord Jesus, that he may show this bread to be the body of thy Christ, and the cup to be the blood of thy Christ, in order that those who are partakers thereof may be strengthened for piety, may obtain the remission of their sins, may be delivered from the devil and his deceit, may be filled with the Holy Ghost, may be made worthy of thy Christ, and may obtain eternal life upon thy reconciliation to them, Lord Almighty.
We further pray unto thee, Lord, for thy holy church, spread from one end of the world to another, which thou hast purchased with the precious blood of thy Christ; that thou wilt preserve it unshaken, and free from disturbance, until the end of the world; and forevery episcopate that rightly divideth the word of truth.
We further implore thee, for me, who am nothing, who offer to thee; for the whole presbytery, for the deacons, and all the clergy, that thou wilt make them wise, and replenish them with the Holy Spirit.
We further implore thee, Lord, for the king, and all in authority, and for the whole army; that they may be peaceable towards us, that so, leading the whole time of our life in quietness and unanimity, we may glorify thee, through Jesus Christ, who is our hope.
We further offer to thee, also, for all those holy persons who have pleased thee from the beginning of the world, patriarchs, prophets, righteous men, apostles, martyrs, confessors, bishops, presbyters, deacons, subdeacons, readers, singers, virgins, widows, lay persons, and all whose names thou thyself knowest.
We further offer to thee, for this people, that thou wilt render them to the praise of thy Christ, a royal priesthood, a holy nation; for those that are in virginity and purity; for the widows of the church; for those persons who are in honorable marriage and child-bearing; and for the infants of thy people; that thou wilt cast none of us away.
We further beseech thee, also, for this city and its inhabitants; for those that are sick; for those that are in bitter servitude; for those that are in banishment; for those that are in prison; for those that travel by water or by land; that thou, the Helper and Assister of all men, wilt be their Supporter.
We further implore thee, also, for those that hate us and persecute us for thy name’s sake; for those that are without, and wander out of the way; that thou wilt convert them to goodness, and pacify their anger.
We further implore thee, also, for the catechumens of the church; and for those that are vexed by the adversary; and for our brethren, the penitents: that thou wilt perfect the first in the faith; that thou wilt deliver the second from the energy of the evil one; and that thou wilt accept the repentance of the last, and forgive both them and us our offences.
We further offer to thee, also, for the good temperature of the air, and the fertility of the fruits; that so, partaking perpetually of the good things derived from thee, we may praise thee without ceasing, who givest food to all flesh.
We further implore thee, also, for those who are absent on a just cause; that thou wilt keep us all in piety, and gather us together in the kingdom of the Anointed of thee, the God of all nature, perceptible and conceivable, our King; that thou wilt keep us immovable, blameless, irreproachable. For to thee belong all glory, worship, and thanksgiving, honor and adoration, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and always, and foreverlasting and endless ages.
And let all the people say, Amen. And let the Bishop say, The peace of God be with you all. And let all the people say, And with thy spirit.
And let the Deacon proclaim again,
XIII – The Bidding Prayer for the Faithful, after the divine Oblation
Let us still further beseech God, through his Christ, for the gift which is offered to the Lord God, that the good God may accept it, through the mediation of his Christ, upon his heavenly altar, for a sweet-smelling savor.
Let us pray for this church and people. Let us pray for every Episcopate, for every Presbytery, for all the Deacons and Ministers in Christ, for the whole body of the church, that the Lord may keep and preserve them all.
Let us pray for kings, and those who are in authority, that they may be peaceable towards us, that so we may have and lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
Let us be mindful of the holy martyrs, that we may be thought worthy to be partakers of their trial.
Let us pray for those that are departed in the faith.
Let us pray for the good temperature of the air, and the perfect maturity of the fruits.
Let us pray for those that are newly enlightened, that they may all be strengthened in the faith.
Let us pray for one another. Raise us up, God, in thy grace.
Let us stand up, and dedicate ourselves to God, through his Christ.
And let the Bishop say, God, who art great, and whose name is great, who art great in counsel, and mighty in works, the God and Father of thy holy child Jesus, our Saviour; look upon us, and upon this thy flock, which thou hast chosen through him, to the glory of thy name; and sanctify our body and our soul, and grant us the power to be made pure from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and to obtain the good things laid up for us, and account no one of us unworthy; but be thou our Comforter, Helper, and Protector, through thy Christ, with whom glory, honor, praise, doxology, and thanksgiving be to thee, and to the Holy Spirit, forever.
And after all have said Amen, let the Deacon say, Let us attend. And let the Bishop speak thus to the people, Holy things for holy persons. And let the people answer, There is One that is holy; there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, blessed forever, to the glory of God the Father. Amen. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace; good will among men. Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed be he God the Lord that cometh in the name of the Lord, and hath appeared to us. Hosanna in the highest.
And after that, let the Bishop partake; then the Presbyters, and the Deacons and Subdeacons, and the Readers, and the Singers, and the Ascetics; and, of the women, the Deaconesses, and the Virgins, and the Widows; afterwards the children, and then all the people in order, with reverence and godly fear, without tumult.
And let the Bishop give the oblation, saying, The body of Christ; and let him that receiveth it say, Amen. And let the Deacon take the cup, and when he giveth it, let him say, The blood of Christ, the cup of life; and let him that drinketh say, Amen. And let the thirty-third Psalm be said, while all the rest are partaking.
Psalm 33 (New King James Version)
The Sovereignty of the LORD in Creation and History
1 Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous!
For praise from the upright is beautiful.
2 Praise the LORD with the harp;
Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
3 Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
4 For the word of the LORD is right,
And all His work is done in truth.
5 He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;[a]
He lays up the deep in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
9 For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.
11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
The plans of His heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
13 The LORD looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men.
14 From the place of His dwelling He looks
On all the inhabitants of the earth;
15 He fashions their hearts individually;
He considers all their works.
16 No king is saved by the multitude of an army;
A mighty man is not delivered by great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for safety;
Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength.
18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope in His mercy,
19 To deliver their soul from death,
And to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the LORD;
He is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart shall rejoice in Him,
Because we have trusted in His holy name.
22 Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us,
Just as we hope in You.
And when all, both men and women, have communicated, let the deacons take what remains and carry it into the sacristy.
And when all, both men and women, have partaken, let the Deacons carry what remaineth into the private apartments of the church.
And when the Singer hath done, let the Deacon say,
Chapter XIV – The Bidding Prayer after the Participation
Having partaken of the precious body and of the precious blood of Christ, let us give thanks to Him who hath thought us worthy to partake of these his holy mysteries; and let us implore him that it may not be to us for condemnation, but for salvation, to the advantage of soul and body, to the preservation of piety, to the remission of sins, and to the life of the world to come. Let us arise. In the grace of Christ let us dedicate ourselves to God, to the only unbegotten God, and to his Christ.
And let the Bishop give thanks:
Chapter XV – Form of Prayer after the Participation
Lord God Almighty, the Father of thy Christ, thy blessed Son, who hearest those that call upon thee with uprightness, who also knowest the supplications of those that are silent; we thank thee that thou hast accounted us worthy to partake of thy holy mysteries, which thou hast bestowed upon us, for the entire confirmation of those things which we have rightly known, for the preservation of piety, for the remission of our offences; because the name of thy Christ is called upon us, and we are joined to thee.
Thou that hast separated us from the communion of the ungodly, unite us with those that are consecrated to thee in holiness; confirm us in the truth by the assistance of thy Holy Spirit. Reveal to us the things of which we are ignorant; supply to us the things in which we are defective; confirm us in the things which we already know. Preserve the priests blameless in thy worship; keep the kings in peace, and the rulers in righteousness; the air, in a good temperature; the fruits, in fertility; the world, in an all-powerful Providence. Pacify the warring nations. Convert those that are gone astray. Sanctify thy people. Keep those that are in virginity. Preserve those in fidelity that are in marriage. Strengthen those that are in purity. Bring to maturity the little ones; confirm the newly perfected; instruct the catechumens, and render them worthy of admission; and gather us all together into thy kingdom of heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord; with whom glory, honor, and worship, be to thee, and to the Holy Spirit, forever. Amen.
And let the Deacon say, Bow down to God, through his Christ, and receive the blessing.
And let the Bishop add this prayer, and say, God Almighty, the true God, to whom nothing can be compared; who art everywhere, and present in all things, and art in nothing as one of the things themselves; who art not bounded by place, nor grown old by time; who art not terminated by ages, nor deceived by words; who art not subject to generation, and needest no guard; who art above all corruption, free from all change, and invariable by nature; who dwellest in light inaccessible; who by nature art invisible, and yet art known to all reasonable natures who seek thee with a good mind; who art discovered by those that seek after thee with a good mind; the God of Israel, thy people which truly see, and which have believed in Christ. Be gracious to me, and hear me, for thy name’s sake; and bless those that bow down their necks to thee, and grant them the petitions of their hearts, which are for their good, and reject no one of them from thy kingdom. But sanctify, watch over, protect, and assist them; deliver them from the adversary, and every enemy; keep their houses, and guard their coming in and their going out. For to thee belongeth the glory, praise, majesty, worship, and adoration, and to thy Son Jesus, thy Christ, our Lord and God and King, and to the Holy Spirit, now, and always, and forever. Amen.
And the Deacon shall say, Depart in peace.
These constitutions concerning this mystical worship, we the Apostles ordain for you the Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.
(End Of Eucharist)
Chapter XVI – Concerning the ordination of Presbyters, a constitution of John who was beloved by the Lord
Concerning the ordination of Presbyters, I, who was beloved by the Lord, make this constitution for you the Bishops:
When thou ordainest a Presbyter, Bishop, lay thy hand upon his head, in the presence of the Presbyters and Deacons, and pray, saying,
Lord Almighty, our God, who hast created all things by Christ, and dost in like manner take care of the universe by him; for he who had power to make different creatures, hath also power to take care of them, according to their different natures. On which account, God, thou takest care of immortal beings by preservation alone, but of those that are mortal, by succession; of the soul, by the provision of laws; of the body, by the supply of its wants. Do thou thyself, therefore, even now look upon thy holy church, aNd increase it, and multiply those that preside in it, and grant them power, that they may labor in word and deed for the edification of thy people. Do thou thyself also now look upon this thy servant, who is put into the Presbytery by the vote and determination of the whole clergy. And do thou replenish him with the spirit of grace and counsel, to assist and govern thy people with a pure heart, in the same manner in which thou didst look upon thy chosen people, and didst command Moses to choose elders, whom thou didst fill with thy Spirit. And now, Lord, bestow and preserve in us the spirit of thy grace, that this person, being filled with the gifts of healing and the word of teaching, may in meekness instruct thy people, and sincerely serve thee with a pure mind and a willing soul; and may fully discharge the holy ministrations for thy people, through thy Christ, with whom glory, honor, and worship, be to thee and to the Holy Spirit forever. Amen.
Chapter XVII – Concerning the ordination of Deacons, a constitution of Philip
Concerning the ordination of Deacons, I Philip make this constitution: Thou shalt ordain a Deacon, Bishop, by laying thy hands upon him in the presence of the whole Presbytery and of the Deacons, and shalt pray, saying,
Chapter XVIII – Form of Prayer for the ordination of a Deacon
God, the Almighty, the true and faithful, who art rich unto all that call upon thee in truth; who art fearful in counsels, and wise in understanding; who art powerful and great; hear our prayer, Lord, and let thine ears receive our supplication, and cause the light of thy countenance to shine upon this thy servant, who is appointed for thee to the office of a Deacon; and replenish him with thy Holy Spirit and with power, as thou didst replenish Stephen, who was thy martyr, and follower of the sufferings of thy Christ. And grant that he may discharge acceptably the ministration of a Deacon, steadily, unblamably, and without reproof, and be accounted worthy of a higher degree; through the mediation of thine only-begotten Son, with whom glory, honor, and worship, be to thee, and to the Holy Spirit, forever. Amen.
Chapter XIX – Concerning a Deaconess, a constitution of Bartholomew
Concerning a Deaconess, I Bartholomew make this constitution: Bishop, thou shalt lay thy hands upon her in the presence of the Presbytery, and of the Deacons and Deaconesses; and shalt say,
Chapter XX – Form of Prayer for the ordination of a Deaconess
Eternal God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator man and woman; who didst with the Spirit replenish Miriam, and Deborah, and Anna, and Huldah; who didst not disdain that thine only-begotten Son should be born of a woman; who also, in the tabernacle of the testimony and in the temple, didst ordain women to be keepers of thy holy gates; do thou thyself also now look upon this thy handmaid, appointed to the office of a Deaconess; and grant her the Holy Spirit, and cleanse her from all filthiness of flesh and spirit; that she may worthily discharge the work which is committed to her, unto thy glory, and the praise of thy Christ; with whom glory and adoration be to thee, and to the Holy Spirit, forever. Amen.
Chapter XXI – Concerning Subdeacons, a constitution of Thomas
Concerning Subdeacons, I Thomas make this constitution for you the Bishops: When thou dost ordain a Subdeacon, Bishop, thou shalt lay thy hands upon him, and say,
Lord God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things that are therein; who also, in the tabernacle of the testimony, didst appoint overseers and keepers of thy holy vessels; do thou thyself also now look upon this thy servant, appointed a Sub- deacon; and grant him the Holy Spirit, that he may worthily handle the vessels consecrated to thy service, and do thy will always, through thy Christ, with whom glory, honor, and worship, be to thee, and to the Holy Spirit, forever. Amen.
Chapter XXII – Concerning Readers, a constitution of Matthew
Concerning Readers, I Matthew, who am also Levi, formerly a publican, make this constitution: Ordain a Reader by laying thy hands upon him, and pray to God, saying,
Eternal God, who art plenteous in mercy and compassions; who hast made manifest the constitution of the world by the things that are effectuated, and keepest the number of thine elect; do thou thyself also now look upon thy servant, intrusted to read thy Holy Scriptures to thy people; and grant to him that Holy Spirit which was in the prophets. Thou who didst instruct Ezra thy servant to read thy laws to thy people, now also instruct thy servant, in answer to our prayers; and grant that he may without blame perform the work committed to him, and be proved worthy of a higher degree, through Christ; with whom glory and worship be to thee, and to the Holy Spirit, forever. Amen.
Chapter XXIII – Concerning Confessors, a constitution of James the son of Alpheus
And I James, the son of Alpheus, make this constitution concerning Confessors: A Confessor is not appointed. For this is a matter of voluntariness and of patience; and he is worthy of great honor, as having confessed the name of God and of his Christ before nations and kings. If, however, there be occasion, he is to be ordained either a Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon. But if anyone of the Confessors, who is not ordained, snatch to himself any such dignity, on account of his confession, let this person be deposed and rejected; for he is not what he pretendeth to be, since he hath denied the constitution of Christ, and is worse than an infidel.
Chapter XXIV – The same apostle’s constitution concerning Virgins
Concerning Virgins, I, the same apostle, make this constitution: A Virgin is not appointed; for we have no such command from the Lord. The prize pertaineth to a voluntary trial, not for the reproach of marriage, but on account of leisure and piety.
Chapter XXV – The constitution of Lebbeus, who was surnamed Thaddeus, concerning Widows
And I Lebbeus, surnamed Thaddeus, make this constitution concerning Widows: A Widow is not appointed; yet if she hath lost her husband a long time, and hath lived soberly and unblamably, and hath taken extraordinary care of her family, as Judith and Anna, those women of great reputation, let her be enrolled in the order of Widows. But if she hath lately lost her companion, let her not be confided in, but let her youth be judged of by time; for the passions sometimes grow aged with persons, if they be not restrained by a better bridle.
Chapter XXVI – The same apostle concerning an Exorcist
Concerning an Exorcist, I, the same apostle, make this constitution: An Exorcist is not appointed; for the prize pertaineth to voluntary goodness and the grace of God, through Christ, by the influence of the Holy Spirit. For he who hath received the gift of healing is declared by revelation from God, the grace that is in him being manifest to all. But if there be need of him for a Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, he is appointed accordingly.
Chapter XXVII – Simon the Cananite, concerning the number necessary for the ordination of a Bishop
And I, Simon the Cananite, make this constitution determining by how many a Bishop ought to be ordained: Let a Bishop be ordained by three Bishops, or by two. But if anyone be ordained by one Bishop, let him be deposed, both himself and the Bishop that ordained him. If, however, there be a necessity that he have only one to ordain him, because more Bishops cannot come together, as in time of persecution, or for other similar cause, let him bring the suffrage of permission from more Bishops.
Chapter XXVIII – The same apostle’s canons concerning Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, and the rest of the clergy
In respect to canons, I, the same apostle, make this constitution: A Bishop blesseth, but doth not receive the blessing. He layeth on hands, ordaineth, offereth, receiveth the blessing from Bishops, but by no means from Presbyters. A Bishop deposeth any clerical person deserving to be deposed, except a Bishop; for of himself he hath not power to do that.
A Presbyter blesseth, but doth not receive the blessing; yet he receiveth the blessing from the Bishop, or from a fellow-Presbyter. In like manner he giveth it to a fellow-Presbyter. He layeth on hands, but doth not ordain. He doth not depose; yet he suspendeth from communion those that are under him, if they be liable to such a punishment.
A Deacon doth not bless, doth not give the blessing, but receiveth it from the Bishop and the Presbyter. He doth not baptize; he doth not offer: but, when a Bishop or a Presbyter hath offered, he distributeth to the people, not as a Priest, but as one that ministereth to the Priests. But it is not lawful for anyone of the other clergy to do the work of a Deacon.
A Deaconess doth not bless, nor perform anything belonging to the office of Presbyters or Deacons; but is only to keep the doors, and to minister to the Presbyters in the baptizing of women, on account of decency.
A Deacon suspendeth a Subdeacon, a Reader, a Singer, or a Deaconess, if there be any occasion, in the absence of a Presbyter.
It is not lawful for a Subdeacon to suspend anyone, whether a clerical or a lay person; nor for a Reader, nor for a Singer, nor for a Deaconess; for they are only attendants, ministering to the Deacons.
Chapter XXIX – Concerning the blessing of water and of oil, a constitution of Matthias
Concerning the water and the oil, I, Matthias, make this constitution: Let the Bishop bless the water or the oil. If, however, he be not present, let the Presbyter bless it; the Deacon standing by. But when the Bishop is present, let the Presbyter and the Deacon stand by, and let him say thus:
Lord of hosts, the God of powers, the Creator of the waters, and the Supplier of oil; who art compassionate, and a Lover of mankind; who hast given water for drink and for cleansing, and oil to give man a cheerful and joyous countenance; do thou thyself also now sanctify this water and this oil, through thy Christ, in the name of him or her that hath offered them; and grant them a power to restore health, to drive away diseases, to banish demons, and to disperse all snares, through Christ, our hope; with whom glory, honor, and worship, be to thee, and to the Holy Spirit, forever. Amen.
XXX – The same apostle’s constitution concerning first-fruits and tithes
Concerning first-fruits and tithes, I, the same apostle, further enjoin, that all first-fruits be brought to the Bishop, and to the Presbyters, and to the Deacons, for their maintenance; but let all the tithe be for the maintenance of the rest of the clergy, and of the virgins and widows, and of those under the trial of poverty. For the first-fruits belong to the Priests, and to the Deacons that minister to them.
XXXI – The same apostle’s constitution concerning the remaining oblations
Concerning the residue, I, the same apostle, make this constitution: Those blessed oblations which remain at the Mysteries, let the Deacons distribute among the clergy, according to the mind of the Bishop, or of the Presbyters: to a Bishop, four parts; to a Presbyter, three parts; to a Deacon, two parts; and to the rest, the Sub- deacons, or Readers, or Singers, or Deaconesses, one part. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God, that every one be honored according to his dignity; for the church is the school, not of confusion, but of good order.
Chapter XXXII – Various canons of Paul the Apostle, concerning those that present themselves to be baptized; whom we are to receive, and whom to reject
And I, Paul, the least of the Apostles, make the following constitutions for you, the Bishops, and Presbyters, and Deacons, in respect to canons: Let those that are beginning to come to the mystery of godliness be brought by the Deacons to the Bishop, or to the Presbyters; and let them be examined as to the causes of their coming to the word of the Lord. And let those that bring them inquire carefully about their character, and give them their testimony. Let their habits and their life be inquired into; and whether they are servants or free persons. And if anyone be a servant, let him be asked who is his master. If he be servant to one of the faithful, let his master be asked if he can give him a good character. If he cannot, let him be rejected, until he show himself to his master to be worthy. But if he give him a good character, let him be admitted. If he be a servant to a heathen, let him be taught to please his master, that the Word be not blasphemed. If, then, he have a wife, or a woman have a husband, let them be taught to be content with each other. But if they be unmarried, let them learn not to commit fornication, but to enter into lawful marriage. But if his master be one of the faithful, and know that he is guilty of fornication, and yet do not give to him a wife, or to the woman a husband, let him be suspended.
Moreover, if anyone have a demon, let him indeed be taught piety, but not received into communion before he be cleansed; yet if death be near, let him be received.
If anyone be a maintainer of harlots, let him either leave off to prostitute women, or let him be rejected. If a prostitute come, let her cease from her lewdness, or let her be rejected. If a maker of idols come, let him either desist from his employment, or let him be rejected. If one belonging to the theatre come, whether it be man or woman; or a charioteer, or a dueller, or a racer, or a superintendent of sports, or an Olympic gamester; or one that playeth on the pipe, or on the lute, or on the harp, at those games; or a pantomimic dancing-master; or a keeper of a grog-shop; let them desist, or them be rejected. If a soldier come, let him be taught to do no injustice, to accuse no man falsely, and to be content with his allotted stipend. If he comply, let him be received; but if he refuse, let him be rejected. He that is guilty of sins not to be named, a sodomite, an effeminate person, a magician, an enchanter, an astrologer, a diviner, a user of magic verses, a juggler, a mountebank, one that maketh amulets, one that goeth round with heathenish ceremonies for purification, a soothsayer, a fortune-teller, an observer of palmistry; he that, when he meeteth another, observeth defects of the eyes or of the feet, an observer of birds, or of cats, or of noises, or of symbolical sounds; let these be proved by time, for the wickedness is hard to be washed away. And if they leave off those practices, let them be received; but, if they do not agree to that, let them be rejected.
Let a concubine, who is servant to an unbeliever, and confineth herself to her master alone, be received; but, if she be incontinent with others, let her be rejected. If one of the faithful have a concubine, if she be a bond-servant, let him leave off that way, and marry lawfully. If she be a free woman, let him marry her lawfully. If he do not, let him be rejected.
He that followeth the Gentile customs, or the Jewish fables, either let him reform, or let him be rejected. If anyone follow the sports of the theatre, or hunting with dogs, or horse-races, or combats, either let him desist, or let him be rejected.
Let him who is to be catechized, be catechized three years. But if anyone be diligent, and have a good will in respect to the business, let him be admitted; for it is not the length of time, but the course of life, that is judged.
He that teacheth, although he be one of the laity, yet, if he be skilful in the Word, and grave in his manners, let him teach. For they shall be all taught of God.
Every one of the faithful, whether male or female, when they rise from sleep, before they go to work, when they have washed themselves, let them pray. If, moreover, any catechetical instruction be held, let the faithful person prefer to his work the word of piety.
Let the believer, whether man or woman, treat servants kindly, as we have ordained in the foregoing books, and have taught in our Epistles.
Chapter XXXIII – On what days servants are not to work
I Paul, and I Peter, make this constitution: Let the servants work five days; but on the Sabbath, and on the Lord’s day, let them have leisure to go to church, for the doctrine of piety. We have said that the Sabbath is on account of the creation, but the Lord’s day on account of the resurrection. Let servants rest from their work all the Great Week, and that which followeth it; for the one is in memory of the Passion, and the other of the Resurrection. And there is need of their being instructed who it is that suffered, and rose again; and who it is that permitted him to suffer, and raised him again. Let them have rest from their work on the Ascension, because it was the conclusion of the dispensation by Christ. Let them rest at Pentecost, on account of the coming of the Holy Spirit, which was given to those that believed in Christ. Let them rest on the festival of his Birth; for then the unexpected favor was bestowed on men, that the Word of God, Jesus Christ, was born of the virgin Mary, for the salvation of the world. Let them rest on the festival of the Epiphany; for then there was made a manifestation of the divinity of Christ, the Father bearing him testimony at his baptism; and the Comforter, in the form of a dove, indicating to those who were present, the individual respecting whom the testimony was borne. Let them rest on the days of the Apostles; for they were constituted your teachers in respect to Christ, and have deemed you worthy of the Spirit. Let them rest on the day of Stephen, the first martyr; and on the days of the other holy martyrs, who have esteemed Christ more precious than their own life.
Chapter XXXIV – At what hours, and why, we are to pray
Offer up your prayers at the dawn of day, and at the third hour, and the sixth, and the ninth, and at evening, and at cock-crowing: at the dawn, returning thanks, because the Lord hath sent you light, hath led away the night, and brought on the day; at the third hour, because at that hour the Lord received the sentence of condemnation from Pilate; at the sixth, because at that hour he was crucified; at the ninth, because all things were in commotion at the crucifixion of the Lord, as trembling at the bold attempt of the wicked Jews, and not bearing the injury offered to the Lord; at evening, giving thanks, because he hath given you the night, a season of repose from the daily labors; and at cock-crowing, because that hour bringeth the good news of the coming of the day, for the performance of works requiring the light.
But if it be not possible to go to the church, on account of the unbelievers, thou, Bishop, shalt assemble the faithful in some house, that a godly man may not enter into an assembly of the ungodly. For it is not the place that sanctifieth the man, but the man the place. And if the ungodly possess the place, avoid thou it, because it is profaned by them; for as holy priests sanctify a place, so the profane defile it. If it be not possible to assemble either in the church or in a house, let everyone by himself sing, and read, and pray, or two or three together. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Let not one of the faithful pray with a catechumen; no, not even privately. For it is not reasonable that he who is initiated should be polluted with one not initiated.
Let not one of the godly pray with a heretic; no, not even privately. For what fellowship hath light with darkness?
Let believers, man or woman, connected with servants, withdraw themselves from the illicit intercourse, or be rejected from the church.
Chapter XXXV – A constitution of James, the brother of Christ, concerning Evening Prayer
I James, the brother of Christ according to the flesh, but his servant as the only-begotten God, and one appointed Bishop of Jerusalem by the Lord himself and the apostles, ordain thus:
When it is evening, thou, Bishop, shalt assemble the church; and, after the repetition of the Psalm at the lighting-up of the lights. the Deacon shall bid prayers for the catechumens, the energumens, the persons about to be baptized, and the penitents, as we have before said. But after the dismission of these, the Deacon shall say, So many as are of the faithful, let us pray to the Lord. And after he hath bidden the suppl