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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part III: The Patience of the Heathen Very Different from Christian Patience. Theirs Doomed to Perdition. Ours Destined to Salvation.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XVI.—The Patience of the Heathen Very Different from Christian Patience. Theirs Doomed to Perdition. Ours Destined to Salvation.

This is the rule, this the discipline, these the works of patience which is heavenly and true; that is, of Christian patience, not false and disgraceful, like as is that patience of the nations of the earth. For in order that in this also the devil might rival the Lord, he has as it were quite on a par (except that the very diversity of evil and good is exactly on a par with their magnitude 9181 ) taught his disciples also a patience of his own; that, I mean, which, making husbands venal for dowry, and teaching them to trade in panderings, makes them subject to the power of their wives; which, with feigned affection, undergoes every toil of forced complaisance, 9182 with a view to ensnaring the childless; 9183 which makes the slaves of the belly 9184 submit to contumelious patronage, in the subjection of their liberty to their gullet. Such pursuits of patience the Gentiles are acquainted with; and they eagerly seize a name of so great goodness to apply it to foul practises:  patient they live of rivals, and of the rich, and of such as give them invitations; impatient of God alone. But let their own and their leader’s patience look to itself—a patience which the subterraneous fire awaits! Let us, on the other hand, love the patience of God, the patience of Christ; let us repay to Him the patience which He has paid down for us! Let us offer to Him the patience of the spirit, the patience of the flesh, believing as we do in the resurrection of flesh and spirit.



One is finite, the other infinite.




And thus getting a place in their wills.


i.e. professional “diners out.” Comp. Phil. iii. 19.

Next: Elucidations.

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