Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Pseudo-Clementine Literature.: Chapter VI
p. 184 Chapter VI.—Arrangements of the World for the Exercise of Virtue.
“Therefore the Creator, knowing that no one would come to the contest of his own accord, while labour is shunned,—that is, to the practice of those professions which we have mentioned, by means of which either the justice or the mercy of every one can be manifested,—made for men a body susceptible of hunger, and thirst, and cold, in order that men, being compelled for the sake of supporting their bodies, might come down to all the professions which we have mentioned, by the necessity of livelihood. For we are taught to cultivate every one of these arts, for the sake of food, and drink, and clothing. And in this the purpose of each ones mind is shown, whether he will supply the demands of hunger and cold by means of thefts, and murders, and perjuries, and other crimes of that sort; or whether, keeping justice and mercy and continence, he will fulfil the service of imminent necessity by the practice of a profession and the labour of his hands. For if he supply his bodily wants with justice, and piety, and mercy, he comes forth as a victor in the contest set before him, and is chosen as a friend of the Son of God. But if he serve carnal lusts, by frauds, iniquities, and crimes, he becomes a friend of the prince of this world, and of all demons; by whom he is also taught this, to ascribe to the courses of the stars the errors of his own evil doings, although he chose them of purpose, and willingly. For arts are learned and practised, as we have said, under the compulsion of the desire of food and drink; which desire, when the knowledge of the truth comes to any one, becomes weaker, and frugality takes its place. For what expense have those who use water and bread, and only expect it from God?
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