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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol II:
CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA: Chap. II.—On Hope.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chap. II.—On Hope.

Respecting faith we have adduced sufficient testimonies of writings among the Greeks. But in order not to exceed bounds, through eagerness to collect a very great many also respecting hope and love, suffice it merely to say that in the Crito Socrates, who prefers a good life and death to life itself, thinks that we have hope of another life after death.

Also in the Phœdrus he says, “That only when in a separate state can the soul become partaker of the wisdom which is true, and surpasses human power; and when, having reached the end of hope by philosophic love, desire shall waft it to heaven, then,” says he, “does it receive the commencement of another, an immortal life.” And in the Symposium he says, “That there is instilled into all the natural love of generating what is like, and in men of generating men alone, and in the good man of the generation of the counterpart of himself. But it is impossible for the good man to do this without possessing the perfect virtues, in which he will train the youth who have recourse to him.” And as he says in the Theœtetus,“He will beget and finish men. For some procreate by the body, others by the soul;” since also with the barbarian philosophers to teach and enlighten is called to regenerate; and “I have begotten you in Jesus Christ,” 2975 says the good apostle somewhere.

Empedocles, too, enumerates friendship among the elements, conceiving it as a combining love:—

“Which do you look at with your mind; and don’t sit gaping with your eyes.”

Parmenides, too, in his poem, alluding to hope, speaks thus:—

p. 448
“Yet look with the mind certainly on what is absent as present,
For it will not sever that which is from the grasp it has of that which is
Not, even if scattered in every direction over the world or combined.”

Footnotes

447:2975

1 Cor. iv. 15.


Next: Chapter III.—The Objects of Faith and Hope Perceived by the Mind Alone.

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