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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:
Pseudo-Clementine Literature.: Chapter II

Early Church Fathers  Index     

p. 166 Chapter II.—Genesis.

Then the old man proceeded to say:  “I saw you bathe in the sea, and afterwards retire into a secret place; wherefore observing, without your noticing me, what you were doing, I saw you praying.  Therefore, pitying your error, I waited till you came out, that I might speak to you, and instruct you not to err in an observance of this sort; because there is neither any God, nor any worship, neither is there any providence in the world, but all things are done by fortuitous chance and genesis, as I have discovered most clearly for myself, being accomplished beyond others in the discipline of learning. 807   Do not err, therefore:  for whether you pray, or whether you do not pray, whatever your genesis contains, that shall befall you.”  Then I Clement was affected, I know not how, in my heart, recollecting many things in him that seemed familiar to me; for some one says well, that that which is sprung from any one, although it may be long absent, yet a spark of relationship is never extinguished. 808   Therefore I began to ask of him who and whence he was, and how descended.  But he, not wishing to answer these questions, said:  “What has that to do with what I have told you?  But first, if you please, let us converse of those matters which we have propounded; and afterwards, if circumstances require, we can disclose to one another, as friends to friends, our names, and families, and country, and other things connected with these.”  Yet we all admired the eloquence of the man, and the gravity of his manners, and the calmness of his speech.



[In Homily XIV. 2–5 there is a discussion somewhat similar to the beginning of this one, but reported by the Apostle to the family of Clement.—R.]


[There are a number of indications, like this, in the narrative, foreshadowing the recognition of the old man as the father.  In the Homilies nothing similar appears.—R.]

Next: Chapter III

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