Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VII:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Second Epistle of Clement: The Homily
The Homily. 3848
Chap. i.—we ought to think highly of christ.
Brethren, it is fitting that you should think of Jesus Christ as of God,—as the Judge of the living and the dead. And it does not become us 3849 to think lightly 3850 of our salvation; for if we think little 3851 of Him, we shall also hope but to obtain little from Him. And those of us 3852 who hear carelessly of these things, as if they were of small importance, commit sin, not knowing whence we have been called, and by whom, and to what place, and how much Jesus Christ submitted to suffer for our sakes. What return, then, shall we make to Him? or what fruit that shall be worthy of that which He has given to us? For, 3853 indeed, how great are the benefits 3854 which we owe to Him! He has graciously given us light; as a Father, He has called us sons; He has saved us when we were ready to perish. What praise, then, shall we give to Him, or what return shall we make for the things which we have received? 3855 We were deficient 3856 in understanding, worshipping stones and wood, and gold, and silver, and brass, the works of mens hand; 3857 and our whole life was nothing else than death. Involved in blindness, and with such darkness 3858 before our eyes, we have received sight, and through His will have laid aside that cloud by which we were enveloped. For He had compassion on us, and mercifully saved us, observing the many errors in which we were entangled, as well as the destruction to which we were exposed, 3859 and that we had 3860 no hope of salvation except it came to us from Him. For He called us when we were not, 3861 and willed that out of nothing we should attain a real existence. 3862
Chap. ii.—the church, formerly barren, is now fruitful.
“Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for she that is desolate hath many more children than she that hath an husband.” 3863 In that He said, “Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not,” He referred to us, for our Church was barren before that children were given to her. But when He said, “Cry out, thou that travailest not,” He means this, that we should sincerely offer up our prayers to God, and should not, like women in travail, show signs of weakness. 3864 And in that He said, “For she that is desolate hath many more children than she that hath an husband,” He means that 3865 our people seemed to be outcast from God, but now, through believing, have become more numerous than those who are reckoned to possess God. 3866 And another Scripture saith, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” 3867 This means that those who are perishing must be saved. For it is indeed a great and admirable thing to establish, not the things which are standing, but these that are falling. Thus also did Christ desire 3868 to save the things which were perishing, 3869 and has saved many by coming and calling us when hastening to destruction. 3870 p. 518
Chap. iii.—the duty of confessing christ.
Since, then, He has displayed so great mercy towards us, and especially in this respect, that we who are living should not offer sacrifices to gods that are dead, or pay them worship, but should attain through Him to the knowledge of the true Father, 3871 whereby shall we show that we do indeed know Him, 3872 but by not denying Him through whom this knowledge has been attained? For He Himself declares, 3873 “Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him will I confess before My Father.” 3874 This, then, is our reward if we shall confess Him by whom we have been saved. But in what way shall we confess Him? By doing what He says, and not transgressing His commandments, and by honouring Him not with our lips only, but with all our heart and all our mind. 3875 For he says 3876 in Isaiah, “This people honoureth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” 3877
Chap. iv.—true confession of christ.
Let us, then, not only call Him Lord, for that will not save us. For He saith, “Not every one that saith to Me, Lord, Lord, shall be saved, but he that worketh righteousness.” 3878 Wherefore, brethren, let us confess Him by 3879 our works, by loving one another, by not committing adultery, or speaking evil of one another, or cherishing envy; but being continent, compassionate, and good. We ought also to sympathize with one another, and not be avaricious. By such 3880 works let us confess Him, 3881 and not by those that are of an opposite kind. And it is not fitting that we should fear men, but rather God. For this reason, if we should do such wicked things, the Lord hath said, “Even though ye were gathered together to Me 3882 in My very bosom, yet if ye were not to keep My commandments, I would cast you off, and say unto you, Depart from Me; I know you not whence ye are, ye workers of iniquity.” 3883
Chap. v.—this world should be despised.
Wherefore, brethren, leaving willingly our sojourn in this present world, let us do the will of Him that called us, and not fear to depart out of this world. For the Lord saith, “Ye shall be as lambs in the midst of wolves.” 3884 And Peter answered and said unto Him, 3885 “What, then, if the wolves shall tear in pieces the lambs?” Jesus said unto Peter, “The lambs have no cause after they are dead to fear 3886 the wolves; and in like manner, fear not ye them that kill you, and can do nothing more unto you; but fear Him who, after you are dead, has power over both soul and body to cast them into hell-fire.” 3887 And consider, 3888 brethren, that the sojourning in the flesh in this world is but brief and transient, but the promise of Christ is great and wonderful, even the rest of the kingdom to come, and of life everlasting. 3889 By what course of conduct, then, shall we attain these things, but by leading a holy and righteous life, and by deeming these worldly things as not belonging to us, and not fixing our desires upon them? For if we desire to possess them, we fall away from the path of righteousness. 3890
Chap. vi.—the present and future worlds are enemies to each other.
Now the Lord declares, “No servant can serve two masters.” 3891 If we desire, then, to Serve both God and mammon, it will be unprofitable for us. “For what will it profit if a man gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” 3892 This world and the next are two enemies. The one urges to 3893 adultery and corruption, avarice and deceit; the other bids farewell to these things. We cannot therefore be the friends of both; and it behoves us, by renouncing the one, to make sure 3894 of the other. Let us reckon 3895 that it is better to hate the things present, since they are trifling, and transient, and corruptible; and to love those which are to come, as being good and incorruptible. For if we do the will of Christ, we shall find rest; otherwise, nothing shall deliver us from eternal punishment, if we disobey His commandments. For thus also saith the Scripture in Ezekiel, “If Noah, Job, and Daniel should rise up, they should not deliver their children in captivity.” 3896 Now, if men p. 519 so eminently righteous 3897 are not able by their righteousness to deliver their children, how can we hope to 3898 enter into the royal residence 3899 of God unless we keep our baptism holy and undefiled? Or who shall be our advocate, unless we be found possessed of works of holiness and righteousness? 3900
Chap. vii.—we must strive in order to be crowned.
Wherefore, then, my brethren, let us struggle 3901 with all earnestness, knowing that the contest is in our case close at hand, and that many undertake long voyages to strive for a corruptible reward; 3902 yet all are not crowned, but those only that have laboured hard and striven gloriously. Let us therefore so strive, that we may all be crowned. Let us run the straight 3903 course, even the race that is incorruptible; and let us in great numbers set out 3904 for it, and strive that we may be crowned. And should we not all be able to obtain the crown, let us at least come near to it. We must remember 3905 that he who strives in the corruptible contest, if he be found acting unfairly, 3906 is taken away and scourged, and cast forth from the lists. What then think ye? If one does anything unseemly in the incorruptible contest, what shall he have to bear? For of those who do not preserve the seal 3907 unbroken, the Scripture saith, 3908 “Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be a spectacle to all flesh.” 3909
Chap. viii.—the necessity of repentance while we are on earth.
As long, therefore, as we are upon earth, let us practice repentance, for we are as clay in the hand of the artificer. For as the potter, if he make a vessel, and it be distorted or broken in his hands, fashions it over again; but if he have before this cast it into the furnace of fire, can no longer find any help for it: so let us also, while we are in this world, repent with our whole heart of the evil deeds we have done in the flesh, that we may be saved by the Lord, while we have yet an opportunity of repentance. For after we have gone out of the world, no further power of confessing or repenting will there belong to us. Wherefore, brethren, by doing the will of the Father, and keeping the flesh holy, and observing the commandments of the Lord, we shall obtain eternal life. For the Lord saith in the Gospel, “If ye have not kept that which was small, who will commit to you the great? For I say unto you, that he that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much.” 3910 This, then, is what He means: “Keep the flesh holy and the seal undefiled, that ye 3911 may receive eternal life.” 3912
Chap. ix.—we shall be judged in the flesh.
And let no one of you say that this very flesh shall not be judged, nor rise again. Consider ye 3913 in what state ye were saved, in what ye received sight, 3914 if not while ye were in this flesh. We must therefore preserve the flesh as the temple of God. For as ye were called in the flesh, ye shall also come to be judged in the flesh. As Christ 3915 the Lord who saved us, though He was first a Spirit, 3916 became flesh, and thus called us, so shall we also receive the reward in this flesh. Let us therefore love one another, that we may all attain to the kingdom of God. While we have an opportunity of being healed, let us yield ourselves to God that healeth us, and give to Him a recompense. Of what sort? Repentance out of a sincere heart; for He knows all things beforehand, and is acquainted with what is in our hearts. Let us therefore give Him praise, 3917 not with the mouth only, but also with the heart, that He may accept us as sons. For the Lord has said, “Those are My brethren who do the will of My Father.” 3918
Chap. x.—vice is to be forsaken, and virtue followed.
Wherefore, my brethren, let us do the will of the Father who called us, that we may live; and let us earnestly 3919 follow after virtue, but forsake p. 520 every wicked tendency 3920 which would lead into transgression; and flee from ungodliness, lest evils overtake us. For if we are diligent in doing good, peace will follow us. On this account, such men cannot find it, i.e., peace, as are 3921 influenced by human terrors, and prefer rather present enjoyment to the promise which shall afterwards be fulfilled. For they know not what torment present enjoyment incurs, or what felicity is involved in the future promise. And if, indeed, they themselves only did such things, it would be the more tolerable; but now they persist in imbuing innocent souls with their pernicious doctrines, 3922 not knowing that they shall receive a double condemnation, both they and those that hear them.
Chap. xi.—we ought to serve god, trusting in his promises.
Let us therefore serve God with a pure heart, and we shall be righteous; but if we do not serve Him, because we believe not the promise of God, we shall be miserable. For the prophetic word also declares, “Wretched are those of a double mind, and who doubt in their heart, who say, All these things have we heard even in the times of our fathers; but though we have waited day by day, we have seen none of them accomplished. Ye fools! compare yourselves to a tree; take, for instance, the vine. First of all it sheds its leaves, then the bud appears; after that the sour grape, and then the fully-ripened fruit. So, likewise, my people have borne disturbances and afflictions, but afterwards shall they receive their good things.” 3923 Wherefore, my brethren, let us not be of a double mind, but let us hope and endure, that we also may obtain the reward. For He is faithful who has promised that He will bestow on every one a reward according to his works. If, therefore, we shall do righteousness in the sight of God, we shall enter into His kingdom, and shall receive the promises, “which ear hath not heard, nor eye seen, neither have entered into the heart of man.” 3924
Chap. xii.—we are constantly to look for the kingdom of god.
Let us expect, therefore, hour by hour, the kingdom of God in love and righteousness, since we know not the day of the appearing of God. For the Lord Himself, being asked by one when His kingdom would come, replied, “When two shall be one, and that which is without as that which is within, and the male with the female, neither male nor female.” 3925 Now, two are one when we speak the truth one to another, and there is unfeignedly one soul in two bodies. And “that which is without as that which is within” meaneth this: He calls the soul “that which is within,” and the body “that which is without.” As, then, thy body is visible to sight, so also let thy soul be manifest by good works. And “the male with the female, neither male nor female,” this 3926 …
[The newly recovered portion follows: ] 3927 —
… meaneth, 3928 that a brother seeing a sister should think nothing 3929 about her as of a female, nor she 3930 think anything about him as of a male. If ye do these things, saith He, 3931 the kingdom of my Father shall come.
Chap. xiii.—disobedience causeth gods name to be blasphemed. 3932
Therefore, brethren, 3933 let us now at length repent; let us be sober unto what is good; for we are full of much folly and wickedness. Let us blot out from us our former sins, and repenting from the soul let us be saved; and let us not become 3934 men-pleasers, nor let us desire to please only one another, 3935 but also the men that are without, by our righteousness, that the Name 3936 p. 521 be not blasphemed on account of us. 3937 For the Lord also saith “Continually 3938 My name is blasphemed among all the Gentiles,” 3939 and again, “Woe 3940 to him on account of whom My name is blasphemed.” Wherein is it blasphemed? In your not doing what I desire. 3941 For the Gentiles, when they hear from our mouth the oracles of God, 3942 marvel at them as beautiful and great; afterwards, when they have learned that our works are not worthy of the words we speak, they then turn themselves to blasphemy, saying that it is some fable and delusion. For when they hear from us that God saith, 3943 “There is no thank unto you, if ye love them that love you; but there is thank unto you, if ye love your enemies and them that hate you;” 3944 when they hear these things, they marvel at the excellency of the goodness; but when they see that we not only do not love them that hate us, but not even them that love us, they laugh us to scorn, and the Name is blasphemed.
Chap. xiv.—the living church is the body of christ.
Wherefore, 3945 brethren, if we do the will of God our father, we shall be of the first Church, that is, spiritual, that hath been created before the sun and moon; 3946 but if we do not the will of the Lord, we shall be of the scripture that saith, “My house was made a den of robbers.” 3947 So then let us choose to be of the Church of life, 3948 that we may be saved. I do not, however, suppose ye are ignorant that the living Church is the body of Christ; 3949 for the scripture saith, “God made man, male and female.” 3950 the male is Christ, the female is the Church. And the Books 3951 and the Apostles plainly declare 3952 that the Church is not of the present, but from the beginning. 3953 For she was spiritual, as our Jesus also was, but was manifested in the last days that He 3954 might save us. Now the Church, being spiritual, was manifested in the flesh of Christ, thus signifying to us that, if any of us keep 3955 her in the flesh and do not corrupt her, he shall receive her again 3956 in the Holy Spirit: for this flesh is the copy of the spirit. No one then who corrupts the copy, shall partake of the original. 3957 This then is what He meaneth, “Keep the flesh, 3958 that ye may partake of the spirit.” But if we say that the flesh is the church and the spirit Christ, 3959 then he that hath shamefully used the flesh hath shamefully used the Church. Such a one then shall not partake of the spirit, which is Christ. Such life and incorruption this flesh 3960 can partake of, when the Holy Spirit is joined to it. No one can utter or speak “what the lord hath prepared” for his elect. 3961
Chap. xv.—faith and love the proper return to god.
Now I do not think I have given you any light counsel concerning self-control, 3962 which if any one do he will not repent of it, but will save both himself and me who counselled him. For it is no light reward to turn again a wandering and perishing soul that it may be saved. 3963 For this is the recompense 3964 we have to return to God who created us, if he that speaketh and heareth both speaketh and heareth with faith and love. Let us therefore abide in the things which we believed, righteous and holy, that with boldness we may ask of God who saith, “While thou art yet speaking, I will say, Lo, I am here.” 3965 For this saying is the sign of a great promise; for the Lord saith of Himself that He is more ready to give than he that asketh to ask. 3966 3967 Being p. 522 therefore partakers of so great kindness, let us not be envious of one another 3968 in the obtaining of so many good things. For as great as is the pleasure which these sayings have for them that have done them, so great is the condemnation they have for them that have been disobedient.
Chap. xvi.—the excellence of almsgiving.
Wherefore, brethren, having received no small occasion 3969 for repentance, while we have the opportunity, 3970 3971 let us turn unto God that called us, while we still have Him as One that receiveth us. For if we renounce 3972 these enjoyments and conquer our soul in not doing these its evil desires, we shall partake of the mercy of Jesus. But ye know that the day of judgment even now “cometh as a burning oven,” 3973 3974 and some “of the heavens shall melt,” and all the earth shall be as lead melting on the fire, 3975 3976 and then the hidden and open works of men shall appear. Almsgiving therefore is a good thing, as repentance from sin; fasting is better than prayer, but almsgiving than both; 3977 3978 “but love covereth a multitude of sins.” 3979 3980 But prayer out of a good conscience delivereth from death. Blessed is every one that is found full of these; for alms-giving lighteneth the burden of sin. 3981 3982
Chap. xvii.—the danger of impenitence.
Let us therefore repent from the whole heart, that no one of us perish by the way. For if we have commandments that we should also practice this, 3983 to draw away men from idols and instruct them, how much more ought a soul already knowing God not to perish! Let us therefore assist one another that we may also lead up those weak as to what is good, 3984 in order that all may be saved; and let us convert and admonish one another. 3985 3986 And let us not think to give heed and believe now only, while we are admonished by the presbyters, but also when we have returned home, 3987 3988 remembering the commandments 3989 of the Lord; and let us not be dragged away by worldly lusts, but coming 3990 more frequently let us attempt to make advances in the commandments of the Lord, that all being of the same mind 3991 we may be gathered together unto life. For the Lord said, “I come to gather together all the nations, tribes, and tongues.” 3992 This He speaketh of the day of His appearing, when He shall come and redeem us, each one according to his works. 3993 And the unbelievers “shall see His glory,” and strength; and they shall think it strange when they see the sovereignty 3994 of the world in Jesus, saying, Woe unto us, Thou wast He, 3995 and we did not know and did not believe, and we did not obey the presbyters when they declared unto us concerning our salvation. And “their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched, and they shall be for a spectacle unto all flesh.” 3996 He speaketh of that day of judgment, when they shall see those among us 3997 that have been ungodly and acted deceitfully with the commandments of Jesus Christ. But the righteous who have done well and endured torments and hated the enjoyments of the soul, when they shall behold those that have gone astray and denied Jesus through their words or through their works, how that they are punished with grievous torments in unquenchable fire, shall be giving glory to God, saying, There will be hope for him that hath served God with his whole heart.
Chap. xviii.—the preacher confesseth his own sinfulness.
Let us also become of the number of them that give thanks, that have served God, and not of the ungodly that are judged. For I myself also, being an utter sinner, 3998 3999 and not yet escaped from temptation, but still being in the midst of the engines 4000 of the devil, give diligence to follow p. 523 after righteousness, that I may have strength to come even near it, 4001 fearing the judgment to come.
Chap. xix.—he justifieth his exhortation.
Wherefore, brethren and sisters, 4002 after the God of truth hath been heard, 4003 I read to you an entreaty 4004 that ye may give heed to the things that are written, in order that ye may save both yourselves and him that readeth among you. For as a reward I ask of you that ye repent with the whole heart, thus giving to yourselves salvation and life. For by doing this we shall set a goal 4005 for all the young who are minded to labour 4006 on behalf of piety and the goodness of God. And let us not, unwise ones that we are, be affronted and sore displeased, whenever some one admonisheth and turneth us from iniquity unto righteousness. For sometimes while we are practising evil things we do not perceive it on account of the double-mindedness and unbelief that is in our breasts, and we are “darkened in our understanding” 4007 by our vain lusts. Let us then practice righteousness that we may be saved unto the end. Blessed are they that obey these ordinances. Even if for a little time they suffer evil in the world, 4008 they shall enjoy the immortal fruit of the resurrection. Let not then the godly man be grieved, if he be wretched in the times that now are; a blessed time waits for him. He, living again above with the fathers, shall be joyful for an eternity without grief.
Chap. xx.—concluding word of consolation. doxology.
But neither let it trouble your understanding, that we see the unrighteous having riches and the servants of God straitened. Let us therefore, brethren and sisters, be believing: we are striving in the contest 4009 of the living God, we are exercised by the present life, in order that we may be crowned by that to come. No one of the righteous received fruit speedily, but awaiteth it. For if God gave shortly the recompense of the righteous, straightway we would be exercising ourselves in business, not in godliness; for we would seem to be righteous, while pursuing not what is godly but what is gainful. And on this account Divine judgment surprised a spirit that was not righteous, and loaded it with chains. 4010
To the only God invisible, 4011 the Father of truth, who sent forth to us the Saviour and Prince of incorruption, 4012 through whom also He manifested to us the truth and the heavenly life, to Him be the glory for ever and ever. Amen. 4013
No title, not even a letter, is preserved in the ms. [In C (= ms. at Constantinople found by Bryennios) the title is Κλήμεντος πρὸς Κορινθίους B, corresponding to that of the First Epistle. In S (= Syriac ms. at Cambridge) there is a subscription to the First Epistle ascribing it to Clement, then these words: “Of the same the second Epistle to the Corinthians.” At the close this subscription occurs: “Here endeth the Second Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians.”—R.]517:3849
[C has here, and in many other places, ὑμᾶς instead of ἡμᾶς. This substitution of the second person plural is one of its marked peculiarities.—R.]517:3850
[Literally, “little things;” Lightfoot, “mean things.”—R.]517:3851
[Literally, “little things;” Lightfoot, “mean things.”—R.]517:3852
[Lightfoot follows the Syriac, and renders: “And they that listen, as concerning mean things, do wrong; and we ourselves do wrong, not knowing,” etc. But the briefer reading of the Greek mss. is lectio difficilior —R.]517:3853
[Only S has γάρ. A has δέ, which the Edinburgh translators have rendered “for.” So twice in chap. iii.—R.]517:3854
Literally, “holy things.”517:3855
Comp. Ps. cxvi. 12.517:3856
Literally “of men.” [Compare Arnobius, vol. vi. p. 423.]517:3858
Literally, “being full of such darkness in our sight.”517:3859
Literally, “having beheld in us much error and destruction.”517:3860
[C, S (apparently), and recent editors have ἕχοντας, “even when we had,” instead of ἕχοντες (A), as above paraphrased.—R.]517:3861
Comp. Hos. ii. 23; Rom. iv. 17, ix. 25.517:3862
Literally, “willed us from not being to be.” [Comp. n. 4, p. 365.]517:3863
Isa. liv. 1; Gal. iv. 27. [R. V., “the husband.”—R.]517:3864
Some render, “should not cry out, like women in travail.” The text is doubtful. [Lightfoot: “Let us not, like women in travail, grow weary of offering up our prayers with simplicity to God.”—R.]517:3865
[ἐπει, “since;” hence Lightfoot renders, “He so spake, because.”—R.]517:3866
It has been remarked that the writer here implies he was a Gentile.517:3867
Matt. ix, 13; Luke v. 32. [The briefer form given above is that of the correct text in Matthew and Mark (ii. 17), not Luke.—R.]517:3868
[ἠθέλησε, “willed.”—R.] [Noteworthy. 2 Pet. iii. 9.]517:3869
Comp. Matt. xviii. 11. [Luke xix. 10.—R.]517:3870
Literally, “already perishing.” [Rev. iii. 2.]518:3871
[Literally, “the Father of the truth.” The best editions have a period here.—R.]518:3872
Literally, “what is the knowledge which is towards Him.” [C, with Bryennios. Hilgenfeld reads τη̑ς ἀληθείας, “what is the knowledge of the truth,” instead of ἡ πρὸς αὐτόν, A, S, Lightfoot, and earlier editors.—R.]518:3873
[λέγει δὲ καὶ αυτός, “Yea, He Himself saith,” Lightfoot.—R.]518:3874
Matt. x. 32.518:3875
Comp. Matt. xxii. 37.518:3876
[“Now He saith also.”—R.]518:3877
Isa. xxix. 13.518:3878
Matt. vii. 21, loosely quoted.518:3879
[A defect in A was thus supplied, but “these” is now accepted; so C, S.—R.]518:3881
Some read “God.” [“Him” is correct.—R.]518:3882
Or, “with Me.” [This is the more exact rendering of μετ' ἐμου̑.—R.]518:3883
The first part of this sentence is not found in Scripture; for the second, comp. Matt. vii. 23, Luke xiii. 27. [The first part is not even identified as a citation from an apocryphal book.—R.]518:3884
Matt. x. 16.518:3885
No such conversation is recorded in Scripture. [Comp. note 13.—R.]518:3886
Or, “Let not the lambs fear.”518:3887
Matt. x. 28; Luke 12:4, 5.518:3888
The text and translation are here doubtful. [All doubt has been removed; the above rendering is substantially correct.—R.]518:3890
[More exactly, “the righteous path,” τη̑ς ὁδοῦ τη̑ς δικαίας.—R.]518:3891
Matt. vi. 24; Luke xvi. 13.518:3892
Matt. xvi. 26. [The citation is not exactly according to any evangelist. Literally, “For what advantage is it, if any one gain the whole (Comits whole) world, but forfeit his life,” or “soul.”—R.]518:3893
Literally, “speaks of.” [So Lightfoot.—R].518:3894
Or, “enjoy.” [Lightfoot: “but must bid farewell to the one and hold companionship with the other;” thus preserving the correspondence with the preceding sentence.—R.]518:3895
The ms. has, “we reckon.” [So C and S, but Lightfoot retains the subjunctive.—R.]518:3896
Ezek. 14:14, 20.519:3897
[Literally, “But if even such righteous men.”—R.]519:3898
Literally, “with what confidence shall we.”519:3899
Wake translates “kingdom,” as if the reading had been βασιλείαν; but the ms. has βασίλειον, “palace.” [Lightfoot gives the former rendering, though accepting βασίλειον.—R.]519:3900
[Literally, “holy and righteous works.”—R.]519:3901
[ἀγωνισωμεθα, “let us strive,” as in the games.—R.]519:3902
Literally, “that many set sail for corruptible contests,” referring probably to the concourse at the Isthmian games.519:3903
Or, “Let us place before us.” [The latter rendering is that of the reading found in A and C, and now accepted by many editors (θω̑μεν); but Lightfoot adheres to θέωμεν (so S), and holds the former reading to be a corruption.—R.]519:3904
Or, “set sail.”519:3905
Literally “if he be found corrupting.”519:3907
Baptism is probably meant. [See Eph. i. 13 and Acts xix. 6.]519:3908
[Or, “He saith;” “unbroken” is not necessary.—R.]519:3909
Isa. lxvi. 24.519:3910
Comp. Luke xvi. 10-12.519:3911
ms. has “we,” which is corrected by all editors as above. [The newly discovered authorities have the second person; most recent editors, however, adopt the first person, as lectio difficilior. So Lightfoot; but Hilgenfeld restores ἀπολάβητε in his second edition.—R.]519:3912
Some have thought this a quotation from an unknown apocryphal book, but it seems rather an explanation of the preceding words.519:3913
[Editors differ as to the punctuation. Lightfoot: “Understand ye. In what were ye saved? In what did ye recover your sight? if ye were not in the flesh.” Hilgenfeld puts a comma after γνω̑τε (understand ye), and a period after ἐσώθητε (saved).—R.]519:3914
Literally, “looked up.” [Both senses of ἀναβλέπειν occur in New Testament.—R.]519:3915
The ms. has εἷς, “one,” which Wake follows, but it seems clearly a mistake for ὡς. [Lightfoot reads ει,with a Syriac fragment; both C and S have εἷς—R.]519:3916
[C has here the curious reading λόγος instead of πνευ̑μα, but all editors retain the latter.—R.]519:3917
[A reads “eternal,” and C, S, “praise;” Lightfoot and others combine the two, “eternal praise,”—R.]519:3918
Matt. xii. 50.519:3919
Literally, “malice, as it were, the precursor of our sins.” Some deem the text corrupt.520:3921
Literally, according to the ms., “it is not possible that a man should find it who are”—the passage being evidently corrupt. [The evidence of C and S does not clear up the difficulty here, the reading of these authorities being substantially that of A. Lightfoot renders: “For for this cause is a man unable to attain happiness, seeing that they call in the fears of men,” etc. Hilgenfeld (2d ed.) assumes here a considerable gap in all the authorities, and inserts two paragraphs, cited in other authors as from Clement. The first and longer passage is from John of Damascus, and it may be accounted for as a loose citation from chap. xx. in the recovered portion of this Epistle. The other is from pseudo-Justin (Questions to the Orthodox, 74) This was formerly assigned by both Hilgenfeld and Lightfoot (against Harnack) to the First Epistle of Clement, lviii., in that portion wanting in A. But the recovered chapters (lviii.-lxiii.) contain, according to C and S, no such passage. Lightfoot thinks the reference in pseudo-Justin is to chap. xvi. of this homily, and that the mention of the Sibyl in the same author is not necessarily part of the citation from Clement. Comp. Lightfoot, pp. 308, 447, 448, 458, 459, and Hilgenfeld, 2d ed., pp. xlviii., 77.—R.]520:3922
[Lightfoot, more literally, “but now they continue teaching evil to innocent souls.”—R.]520:3923
The same words occur in Clements first epistle, chap. xxiii.520:3924
1 Cor. ii. 9.520:3925
These words are quoted (Clem. Alex., Strom., iii. 9, 13) from the Gospel according to the Egyptians, no longer extant.520:3926
Thus ends the ms., but what followed will be found in Clem. Alex. as just cited.520:3927
For details respecting the version here given, see Introductory Notice, pp. 514, 515.520:3928
Or, more correctly, both here and above, “by this He meaneth.”520:3929
All editors read οὐδὲν φρονη̑, but C has φρονει̑ which is ungrammatical. In this clause, after ἵνα we would expect μηδέν; but as Lightfoot suggests, οὐδὲν may be combined as a substantive idea with θηλυκόν; comp. the use of οὐ with participles.520:3930
For μηδέ (so C) Gebhardt would substitute μηδ' ἥδε, while S supplies in full, quum soror videbit fratrem, an obvious interpretament.520:3931
This seems to be an explanation of the saying above referred to, and not a citation; similar cases occur in the homily.520:3932
The headings to the chapters have been supplied by the editor, but in so rambling a discourse they are in some cases necessarily unsatisfactory.520:3933
Hilgenfeld reads μου instead of οὗν; so S apparently. The chapters are usually introduced with οὗν (nine times) or ὤστε (five times).520:3934
γινώμεθα; Lightfoot, “be found.”520:3935
Literally, “ourselves,” ἑαυτοι̑ς; but the reciprocal sense is common in Hellenistic Greek, and is here required by the context.520:3936
Comp. Acts v. 41, where the correct text omits αὺτου̑. The Revised Version properly capitalizes “Name” in that passage.521:3937
C here, and in many other cases, reads ὑμα̑ς; comparison of mss. shows that it is a correction of the scribe.521:3938
Lightfoot renders διὰ παντός, “every way;” but the temporal sense is common in Hellenistic Greek, and here required by the Hebrew.521:3939
Isa. lii. 5, with πασι̑ν inserted.521:3940
Lightfoot reads, καὶ πάλιν Οὐαί, following the Syriac. C has καὶ Διό. There is difficulty in identifying this second quotation: comp. Ezek. xxxvi. 20-23. Lightfoot thinks it probable that the preacher used two different forms of Isa. lii. 5.521:3941
This sentence is not part of the citation, but an explanation, the words being used as if spoken by God. The Syriac text seeks to avoid this difficulty by reading, “by our not doing what we say.”521:3942
Here τὰ λόγια του̑ Θεου̑ is used of the Scriptures, and with distinct reference to the New Testament; see next note.521:3943
In view of the connection, this must mean “God in His oracles;” a significant testimony to the early belief in the inspiration of the Gospels.521:3944
Luke 6:27, 32, freely combined; comp. Matt. 5:44, 46. The use of χάρις υἠμιν shows that the quotation is from the former Gospel.521:3945
ὤστε, as at the beginning of chs. vii., x.521:3946
Comp. Ps. lxxii. (LXX. lxxi.) 5, 17.521:3947
Jer. vii. 11. Comp. Matt. xii. 13; Mark xi. 17; Luke xix. 46.521:3948
Harnack says, “The Jewish synagogue is the church of death.” Lightfoot, more correctly, accepts a contrast “between mere external membership in the visible body and spiritual communion in the celestial counterpart.”521:3949
Comp. Eph. i. 23 and many similar passages.521:3950
Gen. i. 27; comp. Eph. v. 31-33.521:3951
The reference is here is probably to the Old-Testament “books,” while the term “Apostles” may mean the New Testament in whole or part. The more direct reference probably is to Genesis and Ephesians.521:3952
Lightfoot inserts in brackets λέγουσιν, δῆλον, rendering as above. Hilgenfield suggests φασὶν οἴδατε, “Ye know that the books, etc., say that.” Byrennios joins this sentence to the preceding, taking the whole as dependent on ἀγνοεῖν. Ropes renders accordingly, making a parenthesis from “for the Scripture” to “the Church.” In any case a verb of saying must be supplied, as in the Syriac.521:3953
ἄνωθεν has a local and a temporal sense; the latter is obviously preferable here.521:3954
“Jesus” is the subject of the latter part of the sentence.521:3955
“Keep her pure;” comp. chap. viii. Lightfoot renders τηρεῖν, “guard,” here and elsewhere.521:3956
The verb corresponds with that rendered “partake” in what follows.521:3957
“Copy,” ἀντίτυπος, ἀντίτυπον. Comp. Heb. ix. 24; 1 Pet. iii. 21. Our use of “antitype” is different. The antithesis here is αὐθεντικόν, the original, or archetype. This mystical interpretation has a Platonic basis.521:3958
Comp. the close of chap. viii.521:3959
Lightfoot calls attention to the confusion of metaphors; but there is also evidence of that false exegesis which made “flesh” and “spirit” equivalent to “body” and “soul,”—an error which always leads to further mistakes.521:3960
Here the word “flesh” is used in an ambiguous sense.521:3961
1 Cor. ii. 9.521:3962
περὶ ἐγκρατείας, “temperance” in the wide New-Testament sense. Lightfoot, “continence;” in these days the prominent danger was from libidinous sins.521:3963
Comp. Jas. 5:19, 20, with which our passage has many verbal correspondences.521:3964
“A favorite word with our author, especially in this connection.”—Lightfoot.521:3965
Isa. lviii. 9, LXX.521:3966 521:3967
είς τὸ διδόναι του̑ αίτου̑ντος; the sense of the elliptical construction is obviously as above.522:3968
ἑαυτοι̑ς. Here again in the reciprocal sense; comp. chap. xiii.522:3969
ἀφορμὴν λαβόντες, as in Rom. 7:8, 11.522:3970 522:3971
καιρὸν ἔχοντες, “seeing that we have time” (Lightfoot). But “opportunity” is more exact.522:3972
ἀποταξώμεθα, “bid farewell to;” comp. chap. vi.522:3973 522:3974
Comp. Mal. iv. 1.522:3975 522:3976
Comp. Isa. xxxiv. 4, which resembles the former clause, and 2 Pet. iii. 7, 10, where the same figures occur. The text seems to be corrupt: τινες (“some”) is sustained by both the Greek and the Syriac, but this limitation is so peculiar as to awaken suspicion; still, the notion of several heavens might have been in the authors mind.522:3977 522:3978
Comp. Tob. 12:8, 9; but the position given to almsgiving seems to be contradicted by the next sentence. Lightfoot seems to suspect a corruption of text here also, but in the early Church there was often an undue emphasis placed upon almsgiving.522:3979 522:3980
1 Pet. iv. 8. Comp. Prov. x. 12; Jas. v. 20.522:3981 522:3982
Literally, “becometh a lightener (κούφισμα) of sin;” comp. Ecclus. iii. 30.522:3983
Lightfoot, with Syriac, reads ἵνα καὶ του̑το πράσσωμεν. Comits ἵνα, and reads πράσσομεν, “If we have commandments and practise this.”522:3984
Here Lightfoot thinks a verb has probably fallen out of the text.522:3985
Bryennios thus connects: “in order that all may be saved, and may convert,” etc.522:3986 522:3987
“This clearly shows that the work before us is a sermon delivered in church” (Lightfoot). The preacher is himself one of “the presbyters;” comp. chap. xix. It is possible, but cannot be proven, that he was the head of the presbyters, the parochial bishop.522:3988 522:3989
ἐνταλμάτων, not the technical word for the commandments of the Decalogue (ἐντολαι).522:3990
Syriac, “praying,” which Lightfoot thinks may be correct; but προσερχόμενοι might very easily be mistaken for προσευχόμενοι. The former means coming in worship: comp. Heb. 10:1, 22.522:3991
2 Cor. xiii. 11; Phil. ii. 2.522:3992
Isa. lxvi. 18. But “tribes” is inserted; comp. Dan. iii. 7. The phrase “shall see His glory” is from the passage in Isaiah, The language seems to be put into the mouth of Christ by the preacher.522:3993
This implies various degrees of reward among these redeemed.522:3994
τὸ βασίλειον; not exactly “the kingdom,” rather “the kingly rule.” ἐν τῷ 'Ιησου̑ is rightly explained by Lightfoot, “in the hands, in the power, of Jesus;” ξενισθήσονται is rendered above “shall think it strange,” as in 1 Pet. 4:4, 12.522:3995
“He” is properly supplied as frequently in the Gospels. There seems to be a reminiscence of John viii. 24 and similar passages.522:3996
Isa. lxvi. 24; comp. chap. vii. above.522:3997
C reads ὑμιν, as often, for ἡμι̑ν, Syriac, accepted by all editors.522:3998 522:3999
πανθαμαρτολός; occurring only here; but a similar word, παρθαμάρτητος, occurs in the Teaching, v. 2, Apostolical Constitutions, vii. 18, and Barnabas, xx.522:4000
τοι̑ς ὀργάνοις; comp. Ignat., Rom., iv., Ante-Nicene Fathers, i. p. 75, where the word is rendered “instruments,” and applied to the teeth of the wild beasts in the amphitheatre. Here Lightfoot renders “engines,” regarding the metaphor as military.523:4001
The phrase κἂν ἑγγὺς αυἠτη̑ς implies a doubt of attaining the aim, in accord with the tone of humility which obtains in this chapter.523:4002
Comp. the opening sentence of Barnabas, “Sons and daughters,” Ante-Nicene Fathers, i. p. 137; see also chap. xx.523:4003
If any doubt remained as to the character of this writing, it would be removed by this sentence. The passage is elliptical, μετὰ τὸν θεὸν τῆς ἀλνθείας, but there is no doubt as to the meaning. The Scripture was read, and listening to it was regarded as hearing the voice of God, whose words of truth were read. Then followed the sermon or exhortation; comp. Justin, First Apology, chap. lxvii. (vol. i. p. 186). That lessons from some at least of the New Testament were included at the date of this homily, seems quite certain; comp. the references to the New Testament in chaps. ii., iii., iv., and elsewhere. It is here implied that this homily was written and “read.”523:4004
The word ἒντευζις, here used, means intercession, or supplication, to God (comp. 1 Tim. ii. 1, iv. 5) in early Christian literature: but the classical sense is “entreaty:” so in the opening sentence of Justin, First Apology (vol. i. p. 163, where it is rendered “petition”).523:4005
Lightfoot, with Syriac and most editors, reads σκοπόν; but C has κόπον, so Bryennios.523:4006
C had originally φιλοσοφει̑ν (accepted by Hilgenfeld), but was corrected to φιλοπονει̑ν. The latter is confirmed by the Syriac, and now generally accepted, though Hilgenfeld uses the other reading to support his view that Clement of Alexandria was the author.523:4007
Eph. iv. 18.523:4008
C inserts τούτω; so Bryennios, Hilgenfeld, and others. Lightfoot omits, with Syriac. The punctuation above given is that of Bryennios and Lightfoot. Hilgenfeld joins this clause with what precedes.523:4009
πει̑ραν ἀθλου̑μεν; the construction is classical, and the figure common in all Greek literature.523:4010
The verbs here are aorists, and have been rendered by the English past tense; the present participle (μὴ ὂν δίκαιον) describing the character of the “spirit” must, according to English usage, conform to the main verbs. Lightfoot says, “The aorist here has its common gnomic sense;” and he therefore interprets the passage as a general statement: “Sordid motives bring their own punishment in a judicial blindness.” But this gnomic sense of the aorist is not common. C reads δεσμός, which yields this sense: “and a chain weighed upon him.” Hilgenfeld refers the passage to those Christians who suffered persecution for other causes than those of righteousness. Harnack thinks the author has in mind Satan, as the prince of avarice, and regards him as already loaded with chains. If the aorist is taken in its usual sense, this is the preferable explanation; but the meaning is obscure.523:4011
1 Tim. i. 17.523:4012
Acts iii. 15, v. 31; comp. Heb. ii. 10.523:4013
The doxology is interesting, as indicating the early custom of thus closing a homily. The practice, fitting in itself, naturally followed the examples in the Epistles.
Next: The Nicene Creed
Like & share St-Takla.org
© Saint Takla Haymanout Website: Coptic Orthodox Church - Alexandria, Egypt / URL: https://st-takla.org / Contact us at