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

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XX.—Pain and Death the Result of Sin.

And Peter said:  “We remember that our Lord and Teacher, commanding us, said, ‘Keep the mysteries for me and the sons of my house.’  Wherefore also He explained to His disciples privately the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. 1458   But to you who do battle with us, and examine into nothing else but our statements, whether they be true or false, it would be impious to state the hidden truths.  But that none of the bystanders may imagine that I am contriving excuses, 1459 because I am unable to reply to the assertions made by you, I shall answer you by first putting the question, If there had been a state of painlessness, what is the meaning of the statement, ‘The evil one was?’”  And Simon said:  “The words have no meaning.”  And Peter:  “Is then evil the same as pain and death?”  And Simon:  “It seems so.”  And Peter said:  “Evil, then, does not exist always, yea, it canp. 337 not even exist at all substantially; for pain and death belong to the class of accidents, neither of which can co-exist with abiding strength.  For what is pain but the interruption of harmony?  And what is death but the separation of soul from body?  There is therefore no pain when there is harmony.  For death does not even at all belong to those things which substantially exist:  for death is nothing, as I said, but the separation of soul from body; and when this takes place, the body, which is by nature incapable of sensation, is dissolved; but the soul, being capable of sensation, remains in life and exists substantially.  Hence, when there is harmony there is no pain, no death, no, not even deadly plants nor poisonous reptiles, nor anything of such a nature that its end is death.  And hence, where immortality reigns, all things will appear to have been made with reason.  And this will be the case when, on account of righteousness, man becomes immortal through the prevalence of the peaceful reign of Christ, when his composition will be so well arranged as not to give rise 1460 to sharp impulses; and his knowledge, moreover, will be unerring, so as that he shall not mistake 1461 evil for good; and he will suffer no pain, so that he will not be mortal.” 1462


Footnotes

336:1458

Mark iv. 34.  [More probably, Matt. xiii. 11.—R.]

336:1459

We have adopted an emendation of Wieseler’s.

337:1460

The words in italics supplied by conjecture.

337:1461

The words in italics supplied by conjecture.

337:1462

This last sentence has two blanks, which are filled up by conjectures:  and one emendation has been adopted.


Next: Chapter XXI

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