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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part III: Apostrophe.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XIV.—Apostrophe.

Albeit Israel washed daily all his limbs over, yet is he never clean.  His hands, at all events, are ever unclean, eternally dyed with the blood of the prophets, and of the Lord Himself; and on that account, as being hereditary culprits from their privity to their fathers’ crimes, 8846 they do not dare even to raise them unto the Lord, 8847 for fear some Isaiah should cry out, 8848 for fear Christ should utterly shudder.  We, however, not only raise, but even expand them; and, taking our model from the Lord’s passion 8849 even in prayer we confess 8850 to Christ.



See Matt. 23:31, Luke 11:48.


I do not know Tertullian’s authority for this statement.  Certainly Solomon did raise his hands (1 Kings viii. 54), and David apparently his (see Ps. 43:6, Ps. 28:2, Ps. 62:4, etc.). Compare, too, Exod. 17:11, 12. But probably he is speaking only of the Israel of his own day. [Evidently.]


Isa. i. 15.


i.e. from the expansion of the hands on the cross.


Or, “give praise.”

Next: Of Putting Off Cloaks.

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