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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:
Pseudo-Clementine Literature.: Chapter IV

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter IV.—His Increasing Disquiet.

Being therefore straitened in the discovery of things, I said to myself, Why do we labour in vain, since the end of things is manifest?  For if after death I shall be no more, my present torture is useless; but if there is to be for me a life after death, let us keep for that life the excitements that belong to it, lest perhaps some sadder things befall me than those which I now suffer, unless I shall have lived piously and soberly; and, according to the opinions of some of the philosophers, I be consigned to the stream of dark-rolling Phlegethon, or to Tartarus, like Sisyphus and Tityus, and to eternal punishment in the infernal regions, like Ixion and Tantalus.  And again I would answer to myself:  But these p. 78 things are fables; or if it be so, since the matter is in doubt, it is better to live piously.  But again I would ponder with myself, How should I restrain myself from the lust of sin, while uncertain as to the reward of righteousness?—and all the more when I have no certainty what righteousness is, or what is pleasing to God; and when I cannot ascertain whether the soul be immortal, and be such that it has anything to hope for; nor do I know what the future is certainly to be.  Yet still I cannot rest from thoughts of this sort.

Next: Chapter V