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

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter IV.—The Golden Rule.

“Ye are the image of the invisible God. 1127   Whence let not those who would be pious say that idols are images of God, and therefore that it is right to worship them.  For the image of God is man.  He who wishes to be pious towards God does good to man, because the body of man bears the image of God.  But all do not as yet bear His likeness, but the pure mind of the good soul does.  However, as we know that man was made after the image and after the likeness of God, we tell you to be pious towards him, that the favour may be accounted as done to God, whose image he is.  Therefore it behoves you to give honour to the image of God, which is man—in this wise:  food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothing to the naked, care to the sick, shelter to the stranger, and visiting him who is in prison, to help him as you can.  And not to speak at length, whatever good things any one wishes for himself, so let him afford to another in need, and then a good reward can be reckoned to him as being pious towards the image of God.  And by like reason, if he will not undertake to do these things, he shall be punished as neglecting the image.



[Most of the matter in chaps. 4–18 is found in Recognitions, v. 23–36.—R.]

Next: Chapter V