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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:
CLEMENT OF ROME: Chapter XXXIX.—There is no reason...

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXXIX.—There is no reason for self-conceit.

Foolish and inconsiderate men, who have neither wisdom 170 nor instruction, mock and deride us, being eager to exalt themselves in their own conceits. For what can a mortal man do? or what strength is there in one made out of the dust? For it is written, “There was no shape before mine eyes, only I heard a sound, 171 and a voice [saying], What then? Shall a man be pure before the Lord? or shall such an one be [counted] blameless in his deeds, seeing He does not confide in His servants, and has charged 172 even His angels with perversity? The heaven is not clean in His sight: how much less they that dwell in houses of clay, of which also we ourselves were made! He smote them as a moth; and from morning even until evening they endure not. Because they could furnish no assistance to themselves, they perished. He breathed upon them, and they died, because they had no wisdom. But call now, if any one will answer thee, or if thou wilt look to any of the holy angels; for wrath destroys the foolish man, and envy killeth him that is in error. I have seen the foolish taking root, but their habitation was presently consumed. Let their sons be far from safety; let them be despised 173 before the gates of those less than themselves, and there shall be none to deliver. For what was prepared for them, the righteous shall eat; and they shall not be delivered from evil.” 174



Literally, “and silly and uninstructed.”


Literally, “a breath.”


Or, “has perceived.”


Some render, “they perished at the gates.”


Job iv. 16-18, Job xv. 15, Job iv. 19-21, Job v. 1-5.

Next: Chapter XL.—Let us preserve in the...

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