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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol II:
THEOPHILUS: Chapter IX.—Christian Doctrine of God and His Law.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter IX.—Christian Doctrine of God and His Law.

Now we also confess that God exists, but that He is one, the creator, and maker, and fashioner of this universe; and we know that all things are arranged by His providence, but by Him alone. And we have learned a holy law; but we have as lawgiver Him who is really God, who teaches us to act righteously, and to be pious, and to do p. 114 good. And concerning piety 647 He says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I am the Lord thy God.” 648 And of doing good He said: “Honour thy father and thy mother; that it may be well with thee, and that thy days may be long in the land which I the Lord God give thee.” Again, concerning righteousness: “Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, nor his land, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his beast of burden, nor any of his cattle, nor anything that is thy neighbour’s. Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of the poor in his cause. 649 From every unjust matter keep thee far. The innocent and righteous thou shalt not slay; thou shalt not justify the wicked; and thou shalt not take a gift, for gifts blind the eyes of them that see and pervert righteous words.” Of this divine law, then, Moses, who also was God’s servant, was made the minister both to all the world, and chiefly to the Hebrews, who were also called Jews, whom an Egyptian king had in ancient days enslaved, and who were the righteous seed of godly and holy men—Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob. God, being mindful of them, and doing marvellous and strange miracles by the hand of Moses, delivered them, and led them out of Egypt, leading them through what is called the desert; whom He also settled again in the land of Canaan, which afterwards was called judæa, and gave them a law, and taught them these things. Of this great and wonderful law, which tends to all righteousness, the ten heads are such as we have already rehearsed.



Or, right worship.


Ex. xx. 3.


Ex. xxiii. 6.

Next: Chapter X.—Of Humanity to Strangers.

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