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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:
Two Epistles Concerning Virginity.: Chapter XIII

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XIII.—What Priests Should Be and Should Not Be.

Beloved brethren! that a man should build up and establish the brethren on the faith in one God, this also is manifest and well-known.  This too, again, is comely, that a man should not be envious of his neighbour.  And moreover, again, it is suitable and comely that all those who work the works of the Lord should work the works of the Lord in the fear of God.  Thus is it required of them to conduct themselves.  That “the harvest is great, but the workmen are few,” this also is well-known and manifest.  Let us, therefore, “ask of the Lord of the harvest” that He would send forth workmen into the harvest; 421 such workmen as “shall skilfully dispense the word of truth;” workmen “who shall not be ashamed;” 422 faithful workmen; workmen who shall be “the light of the world;” 423 workmen who “work not for the food that perisheth, but for that food which abideth unto life eternal;” 424 workmen who shall be such as the apostles; workmen who imitate the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit; who are concerned for the salvation of men; not “hireling” 425 workmen; not workmen to whom the fear of God and righteousness appear to be gain; not workmen who “serve their belly;” not workmen who “with fair speeches and pleasant words mislead the hearts of the innocent;” 426 not workmen who imitate the children of light, while they are not light but darkness—“men whose end is destruction;” 427 not workmen who practise iniquity and wickedness and fraud; not “crafty workmen;” 428 not workmen “drunken” and “faithless;” 429 nor workmen who traffic in Christ; 430 not misleaders; not “lovers of money; not malevolent.” 431

Let us, therefore, contemplate and imitate the faithful who have conducted themselves well in the Lord, as is becoming and suitable to our calling and profession.  Thus let us do service before God in justice and righteousness, and without blemish, “occupying ourselves with things good and comely before God and also before men.” 432   For this is comely, that God be glorified in us in all things.

Here endeth the first Epistle of Clement.



Matt. 9:37, 38.


Lit. “without shame,” 2 Tim. ii. 15.


Matt. v. 14.


John vi. 27.


John 10:12, 13.


Rom. xvi. 18.


Phil. iii. 9.


2 Cor. xi. 13.


See Matt. xxiv. 45-51.


[Comp. the term χριστέμπορος “Christ-monger,” “Christ-trafficker,” in Teaching, chap. xii. 5, vol. vii. p. 381.—R.]


1 Tim. 3:3, Titus 1:7.


Rom. xii. 17.

Next: The Second Epistle of the Same Clement.

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