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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:
JUSTIN MARTYR: Chapter XVI.—Concerning patience and...

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XVI.—Concerning patience and swearing.

And concerning our being patient of injuries, and ready to serve all, and free from anger, this is what He said: “To him that smiteth thee on the one cheek, offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak or coat, forbid not. And whosoever shall be angry, is in danger of the fire. And every one that compelleth thee to go with him a mile, follow him two. And let your good works shine before men, that they, seeing them, may glorify your Father which is in heaven.” 1794 For we ought not to strive; neither has He desired us to be imitators of wicked men, but He has exhorted us to lead all men, by patience and gentleness, from shame and the love of evil. And this indeed is proved in the case of many who once were of your way of thinking, but have changed their violent and tyrannical disposition, being overcome either by the constancy which they have witnessed in their neighbours’ lives, 1795 or by the extraordinary forbearance they have observed in their fellow-travellers when defrauded, or by the honesty of those with whom they have transacted business.

And with regard to our not swearing at all, and always speaking the truth, He enjoined as follows: “Swear not at all; but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” 1796 And that we ought to worship God alone, He thus persuaded us: “The greatest commandment is, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shall thou serve, with all thy heart, and with all thy strength, the Lord God that made thee.” 1797 And when a certain man came to Him and said, “Good Master,” He answered and said, “There is none good but God only, who made all things.” 1798 And let those who are not found living as He taught, be understood to be no Christians, even though they profess with the lip the precepts of Christ; for not those who make profession, but those who do the works, shall be saved, according to His word: “Not every one who saith to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. For whosoever heareth Me, and doeth My sayings, heareth Him that sent Me. And many will say unto Me, Lord, Lord, have we not eaten and drunk in Thy name, and done wonders? And then will I say unto them, Depart from Me, ye workers of iniquity. Then shall there be wailing and gnashing of teeth, when the righteous shall shine as the sun, and the wicked are sent into everlasting fire. For many shall come in My name, clothed outwardly in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly being ravening wolves. By their works ye shall know them. And every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down and cast into the fire.” 1799 And as to those who are not living pursuant to these His teachings, and are Christians only in name, we demand that all such be punished by you.


Footnotes

168:1794

Luke vi. 29; Matt. 6:22, 41, 16.

168:1795

i.e., Christian neighbours.

168:1796

Matt. 5:34, 27.

168:1797

Mark xii. 30.

168:1798

Matt. 19:6, 17.

168:1799

Matt. vii. 21, etc.; Luke xiii. 26; Matt. xiii. 42, Matt. 7:15, 16, 19.


Next: Chapter XVII.—Christ taught civil...

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