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

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXXIII.—Fear and Love.

But I, hearing this, said:  “These things, indeed, it is impossible to do; but to do good to enemies, bearing all their insolences, I do not think can possibly be in human nature.”  Then Peter answered:  “You have said truly; for philanthropy, being the cause of immortality, is given for much.”  Then I said, “How then is it possible to get it in the mind?”  Then Peter answered:  “O beloved Clement, the way to get it is this:  if any one be persuaded that enemies, ill-using for a time those whom they hate, become the cause to them of deliverances from eternal punishment; and forthwith he will ardently love them as benefactors.  But the way to get it, O dear Clement, is but one, which is the fear of God.  For he who fears God cannot indeed from the first love his neighbour as himself; for such an order does not occur to the soul.  But by the fear of God he is able to do the things of those who love; and thus, while he does the deeds of love, the bride Love is, as it were, brought to the bridegroom Fear.  And thus this bride, bringing forth philanthropic thoughts, makes her possessor immortal, as an accurate image of God, which cannot be subject in its nature to corruption.”  Thus while he expounded to us the doctrine of philanthropy, the evening having set in, we turned to sleep.

Next: Homily XIII