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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:
JUSTIN MARTYR: Chapter IV.—Why the Christians do...

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter IV.—Why the Christians do not kill themselves.

But lest some one say to us, “Go then all of you and kill yourselves, and pass even now to God, and do not trouble us,” I will tell you why we do not so, but why, when examined, we fearlessly confess. We have been taught that God did not make the world aimlessly, but for the sake of the human race; and we have before stated that He takes pleasure in those who imitate His properties, and is displeased with those that embrace what is worthless either in word or deed. If, then, we all kill ourselves we shall become the cause, as far as in us lies, why no one should be born, or instructed in the divine doctrines, or even why the human race should not exist; and we shall, if we so act, be ourselves acting in opposition to the will of God. But when we are examined, we make no denial, because we are not conscious of any evil, but count it impious not to speak the truth in all things, which also we know is pleasing to God, and because p. 190 we are also now very desirous to deliver you from an unjust prejudice.

Next: Chapter V.—How the angels...

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