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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part I: Chapter XXVIII.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXVIII.

With such dainties as these let the devil’s guests be feasted. The places and the times, the inviter too, are theirs. Our banquets, our nuptial joys, are yet to come. We cannot sit down in fellowship with them, as neither can they with us.  Things in this matter go by their turns.  Now they have gladness and we are troubled. “The world,” says Jesus, “shall rejoice; ye shall be sorrowful.” 374 Let us mourn, then, while the heathen are merry, that in the day of their sorrow we may rejoice; lest, sharing now in their gladness, we share then also in their grief. Thou art too dainty, Christian, if thou wouldst have pleasure in this life as well as in the next; nay, a fool thou art, if thou thinkest this life’s pleasures to be really pleasures. The philosophers, for instance, give the name of pleasure to quietness and repose; in that they have their bliss; in that they find entertainment: they even glory in it. You long for the goal, and the stage, and the dust, and the place of combat!  I would have you answer me this question: Can we not live without pleasure, who cannot but with pleasure die? For what is our wish but the apostle’s, to leave the world, and be taken up into the fellowship of our Lord? 375 You have your joys where you have your longings.


Footnotes

90:374

John xvi. 20.

90:375

Phil. i. 23.


Next: Chapter XXIX.

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