Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Tertullian: Part III: The Seventh or Final Clause.
Chapter VIII.—The Seventh or Final Clause.
For the completeness of so brief a prayer He added—in order that we should supplicate not touching the remitting merely, but touching the entire averting, of acts of guilt—“Lead us not into temptation:” that is, suffer us not to be led into it, by him (of course) who tempts; but far be the thought that the Lord should seem to tempt, 8816 as if He either were ignorant of the faith of any, or else were eager to overthrow it. Infirmity 8817 and malice 8818 are characteristics of the devil. For God had commanded even Abraham to make a sacrifice of his son, for the sake not of tempting, but proving, his faith; in order through him to make an example for that precept of His, whereby He was, by and by, to enjoin that he should hold no pledges of affection dearer than God. 8819 He Himself, when tempted by the devil, demonstrated who it is that presides over and is the originator of temptation. 8820 This passage He confirms by subsequent ones, saying, “Pray that ye be not tempted;” 8821 yet they were tempted, (as they showed) by deserting their Lord, because they had given way rather to sleep than prayer. 8822 The final clause, therefore, is consonant, and interprets the sense of “Lead us not into temptation;” for this sense is, “But convey us away from the Evil One.”
See James i. 13.684:8817
Implied in the one hypothesis—ignorance.684:8818
Implied in the other—wishing to overthrow faith.684:8819
i.e. no children even. The reference is apparently to Matt. 10:37, Luke 14:26, with which may be compared Deut. 13:6, Deut. 33:9. If Oehlers reading, which I have followed, be correct, the precept, which is not verbally given till ages after Abraham, is made to have a retrospective force on him.684:8820
See Matt. 4:10, Luke 4:8.684:8821
Luke 22:40, Matt. 26:41, Mark 14:31.684:8822
Routh refers us to De Bapt. c. 20, where Tertullian refers to the same event. [Note also his reference to De Fuga, cap. ii.]
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