Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Pseudo-Clementine Literature.: Chapter VI
Chapter VI.—The Love of Man.
And Peter answered: “You have deemed unjust what is most just. If you are inclined, will you listen to me?” And my father said: “With all my heart.” And Peter said: “What is your opinion? Suppose that there were two kings, enemies to each other, and having their countries cut off from each other; and suppose that some one of the subjects of one of them were to be caught in the country of the other, and to incur the penalty of death on this account: now if he were let off from the punishment by receiving a blow instead of death, is it not plain that he who let him off is a lover of man?” And our father said: “Most certainly.” And Peter said: “Now suppose that this same person were to steal from some one something belonging to him or to another; and if when caught he were to pay double, instead of suffering the punishment that was due to him, namely, paying four times the amount, and being also put to death, as having been caught in the territories of the enemy; is it not your opinion that he who accepts double, and lets him off from the penalty of death, is a lover of man?” And our father said: “He certainly seems so.” And Peter said: “Why then? Is it not the duty of him who is in the kingdom of another, and that, too, a hostile and wicked monarch, to be pleasing to all 1234 for the sake of life, and when force is applied to him, to yield still more, to accost those who do not accost him, to reconcile enemies, not to quarrel with those who are angry, to give his own property freely to all who ask, and such like?” And our father said: “He should with reason endure all things rather, if he prefers life to them.”
Lit., “to flatter.”
Next: Chapter VII
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