image of ancient cross….Al-Hakim, Mithraism, and the sleeping emperor theme….

(Islamic Ismaili Secret Brotherhoods and the Advent of the final Antichrist)

Modern Secret Fraternities/ Brotherhoods such as Freemasonry are in the main infact Persian Mithraic Zoroastrianism channelled through the Secret Islamic Brotherhoods of Ismaili/ Druze Islam, which were systematically conveyed by Crusader converts and the Roman Monks from the Levant to Europe and beyond, via the Theosophical Unitarian syncretistic religion and initiation rites of the Druzes of Mount Hermon in present day Lebanon ( the Great White Brotherhood), and the Fatimid Ismaili Tradition of Egypt. All Initiatory Orders were and are known as “ religions of the handshake”..

Mithras, whom the Greeks worshipped as the daemon Phanes, or Protogonos, otherwise known as the “ spiritual/intellectual Apollo” ( the “ dark sun”, or Mercury/Hermes- the mediator and psychopomp of the Greeks), being associated with the realm of the mind and thought, the counterfeit mirific “ Logos/ Word of Power”, was also known to the Romans, in his martial aspect, as “ Sol Invictus”. The Viking Scandinavians, particularly the Danes, called themselves the “ sons/ warriors of Odin”, who was none other than the daemon Hermes/ Mithras/ Mercury; the “ dark sun”, and brother of the daemon Apollo.

His religion, in the first centuries of the Christian Era, was the GREAT counterfeit of the Christian religion, whose philosophical supporters in the centuries after the birth of Christianity were in the main of the NeoPlatonic/ Gnostic School that harkened back to Ammonius Saccas at Alexandria, and before him to Simon Magus the Samaritan. In more recent times, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, who was instrumental in the founding of the modern “ Theosophical Society”, having been initiated by her own admissions in the “ Great White Brotherhood of the Druzes” in Lebanon, during her travels, has successfully conveyed to the western world the tenets of Druze Fatimid Ismailism openly, as the “ externalization of the Druze hierarchy”, and the synthesizing religion of the coming Antichrist/ Emperor of Europe and the whole world, whose political platform is called “ SYNARCHY”… This Final Ismaili Muslim World Emperor/ Antichrist will reunite the world of the ancient boundaries of the Roman Empire, which included both Europe and the Middle East and North Africa, and, like the Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire since the time of Charlemagne, shall assume dictatorial power and rule after being anointed by the Final Great False Prophet, represented by the Papacy in Rome.

Mithraism was the Persian branch of the ancient Bactrian Zoroastrianism.. Zoroastrianism; the parent of “ Hegelian Religio-Political-Philosophical Dialectics” ( for a better term) was a religion of dualism, yet in Persia it sired Mithraism; which could perhaps best be described as a religion of “ Unitarianism”, very similar to that established in Egypt by Akhenaton.. Whereas Zoroastrianism elevated the Dualism of Ahriman and Ahura Mazda, Mithraism appears to have united BOTH extremes in the worship of Mithras/Phanes ( Hermes); the “ synthesis” of the original dialectic, and partaking of characteristics common to both of the opposing Zoroastrian deities.. The birthday of Mithras, as with the “ Sol Invictus” of the Romans, was the winter solstice; 25th of December…

The purported secret yet cyclical “ birth” of a counterfeit “ saviour”, in diabolical imitation of the Christion “ Logos” ( Word of God/ Christ), the daemon Mithras/ Phanes ( the Greek Hermes), from a rock in the Cave of a mountain, became a repeating theme amongst all the esoteric societies world-wide to such an extent that the tenets of Mithraism succeeded to permeate ALL religions that based their existence on “ the sword and the torch”, both in the West AND in the East… The theme of the “ sleeping emperor”, or the “ once and future king” is to be found in all nations that embraced the Unitarian/ Arian secrets of Mithraism/ Hermeticism at one time or another; from Nero to the Druid King Arthur, from Charlemagne to Ogier the Dane, from Fionn mac Cumhaill to Frederick Barbarossa and many others..

In modern Freemasonry ( according to “ Andersons Constitutions”) virtually all of these figures were associated with the Lodge as masters and even grandmasters. We must remember that the theme of the “ cave of initiation” is prominent in the legends surrounding Guatama Buddha, of Mahommad, of Christian Rosenkreutz ( founder of modern Rosicrucianism), and countless other Secret Initiatory Orders. It should also be noted that these pagan principles were inherited by the Fatimid Ismaili tradition in Islam, and expressed openly via the various Assassin, Sufi and Dervish Brotherhoods; both Sunni and Shia.

When Saint John Damascene declared in the last decades of the eighth century that the final Antichrist would come from the Arian Mahommadan tradition of Islam ( submission), he may indeed have foretold of the figure of their long-awaited, “ sleeping emperor”; their “ Imam Mahdi”, who would once again come forth at the end of time from his hiding place, and would put down all opposition to Islam, and establish the new “ Golden Age of Saturn”; the Ebionite/ Gnostic “ Theocratic Kingdom on Earth”, which the heretic Cerinthus prophesied of in the first century A.D…

To this day, the Ismaili Fatimid sect of the Druze await their “ sleeping emperor”, the Fatimid “ mad Caliph” Al-Hakim, who was the first to dare to attempt the full and complete annihilation of Christians in the middle east, and of Christianity itself, and to attempt to destroy all the known Christian Holy Places.. In 1005 AD he established in Cairo a “ secret Lodge” called the “ House of Knowledge”, the Dar al-Hikma, and subsequently proceeded to destroy the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in 1009, and even the Church of the Resurrection some time after. It is from this “ House of Knowledge” that various centres of secret missionary activity branched out to establish “ schools” and “ lodges” in Yemen ( Dhamar),Lebanon, Damascus, Bactria, Tibet, and eventually Germany itself through their disciple Christian Rosenkreutz. Al-Hakim was and is venerated by the Druzes of Lebanon and environs as “ God on Earth” to this day, whose return is expected at any moment by the sect, after his mysterious disappearance without a trace near Cairo in Egypt in 1021 AD… He is regarded as an incarnation of the “ sleeping emperor” by many, who shall emerge from a mountain cave, unify Islam, and destroy the infidel…

The Druzes, who call themselves “ Unitarians” ( the heresy of Bishop Arius, whose disciple, the monk Sergius, was the tutor of Mahhomad in his youth) and have secret Lodges and initiations identical to Hermetic Mithraism, interestingly, are a mixed race of, amongst others, Phoenician AND Jewish stock, namely the tribe of Dan, which resided in the northern parts of Palestine at the source of the Jordan and the foothills of Mount Hermon, as well as in Yemen, Sparta, and Bactria…

When the prophet Jeremiah prophesied that the Antichrist would come with his horses from the tribe of DAN ( as the early Church believed) could it be that he had in mind the “ sleeping emperor”, the “ Imam Mahdi” of Ismaili Islam? It can be, it seems, no other…..


Bishop Nemesius of Emesa and True Christian Anthropology and Medicine
Though remaining relatively obscure to subsequent history, Bishop Nemesius of Emesa in Syria, who flourished in the latter part of the 4th century A.D., was in his day an accomplished Christian Philosopher whose influence and teaching was bequeathed to Christian Orthodoxy via the formidable authority of Saint John Damascene.. Nemesius’ only surviving treatise, ” On The Nature of Man” was the major source for John Damascene’s physiologico-anthropological interpretations and views as found in his grand compendium ” On the Orthodox Faith”…

Mixed views were brandished about on Nemesius by all contending sides, none of which have been founded on solid ground.. When we read his work, as a philosopher in the tradition of Justyn Martyr, Nemesius is decidedly Orthodox… Indeed he quotes profusely from Origen, Galen, Plato, Aristotle and Porphyry, but solely for the purpose of denying their wayward speculations on the human nature any validity., or of qualifying and gently correcting their mistaken notions.. With dexterity and aplomb he philosophically strips the philosopher of his yellow robe, and displays him fully in his most vulnerable and naked state..

Yet in all his dexterity Nemesius remains calm and decidedly Christian and Orthodox.. His ” On The Nature of Man” was subsequently regarded as the true teaching, and most accurate basis, upon which an Orthodox understanding of human nature; psychology, pneumatology and physiology, could be based, to which fact Saint John Damascene’s approval of Nemesius unashamedly attests… As the legacy of the Muslim medico-physiological traditions of Avicenna and Averroes gained more and more acceptance in the West, with the revival of Hippocratic Galenism and later on Rosicrucian Paracelsianism, the legacy and memory of Nemesius began to wane and was soon extinguished…

His teachings, however, strike very little common ground with Hippocratic Galenism or Paracelsianism or the speculations of Avicenna and Averroes… Yet it is those very teachings that were for centuries regarded as normative in Christian Orthodoxy… Have things really changed that much to warrant the dismissal of Nemesius? Whose legacy should carry greater weight; the Christian Orthodoxy of Nemesius, or the word of Muslims such as Avicenna and Averroes, and the pagan Hippocrates and Galen, or Rosicrucians such as Paracelsus? Should a revival of Nemesius’ legacy benefit us in not only rediscovering the truth of the human nature and physiological, psychological, and pneumatological theology, but of combating the ” new priesthood” of the medical profession which not only seeks to dominate the health of the body, but now attempts to dominate the health of the mind and soul; both formally the duty and prerogatives of Christian Orthodox Clergy?

Nemesius; rejecting the doctrines of Origen and the Heathen Philosophers, particularly the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, was unjustly classed with the NeoPlatonic school of Ammonias Saccas and Origen ( the Alexandrian School in Egypt), against which school he expended considerable labours for the purpose of refutation. I have commenced to redact into today’s English the first edition of Nemesius ( in English), which was completed and published anonymously in London, 1657, and am including the first Five Sections below with a copy of the title page of the first edition (second printing).
The implications of a possible revival of Bishop Nemesius’ Philosophy are startling, and challenge wholescale the present wayward tenets of modern medicine, and most of the Nominalistic and Scholastic and Rationalistic Theological and Scientific misconceptions which have governed both Western and Eastern thought since the early middle ages; right down to the present day.
It is my intention to complete this small project of rendering the original English translation of Nemesius into a more modern and understandable format, over the coming months, and I would encourage the reader to study Nemesius’ work carefully; weighing every word and concept against the words of Scripture, from which he quotes copiously, and to which Apostolic tradition he remained ever true and entirely devoted.
It seems to me that it is quite impossible to fully grasp the complex Apostolic teachings on psychology, pneumatology, and physiology, without reference to this compendium of anthropological philosophy which the legacy of Nemesius, largely via the works of John of Damascus, has conveyed to the Christian “ lover of the truth”.
In Nemesius, all contradictions regarding anthropology, predestination, and theology in general, are reconciled in such a simple yet pertinent manner, that upon reading the work one is left with the lasting impression that herein lies the very legacy of the Apostles and their disciples; particularly Luke the Physician; the author of the book of Acts and the Gospel of that name.
The somewhat rough draft before us here will no doubt serve as a tasty morsel of “ better things to come”, and so I leave the reader to careful study of Bishop Nemesius’ incredible work: “ The Nature of Man”…. ( P.C./aka “ voxsolus”)

Nemesius, bp. of Emesa
Nemesius (4), bp. of Emesa in the latter half of 4th cent., of whom nothing is certainly known but that he wrote a rather remarkable treatise, περὶ φύσεως ἀνθρώπου, de Natura Hominis, of which cc. ii. and iii. wrongly appear as a separate work, entitled περὶ ψυχῆς, de Anima, among the writings of Gregory Nyssen. Le Quien (Or. Christ. ii. 839) places Nemesius fifth among the bishops of Emesa, between Paul I., who attended the council of Seleucia, a.d. 359, and Cyriacus, the friend of Chrysostom. The date of his writing is tolerably certain from his mentioning the doctrines of Apollinaris and Eunomius and the Origenists, but not those of Nestorius, Eutyches, or Pelagius. He could hardly have avoided mentioning Pelagius if his teaching had been known to him, in the part of his treatise relating to free will. That he was bp. of Emesa is stated in the title of his treatise in the various MS. copies, and by Maximus (ii. 153, ed. Combefis) and Anastasius Sinaita (Quaest. xviii. and xxiv.) in quoting his work. He is also quoted, though without his name, by Joannes Damascenus, Elias Cretensis, Meletius, Joannes Grammaticus, and others. The treatise is an interesting work which will well reward perusal, and has received much praise from able judges of style and matter. Nemesius establishes the immortality of the soul against the philosophers, vindicates free will, opposes fatalism, defends God’s providence, and proves by copious examples the wisdom and goodness of the Deity. He gives indications that he was not ignorant of the circulation of the blood and the functions of the bile (cc. xxiv. xxviii. pp. 242, 260, ed. Matthaei). The best ed. is by C. F. Matthaei (Halae, 1802), reprinted by Migne in Patr. Gk. The treatise has been translated into most modern European languages, into Italian by Pizzimenti (no date), English, G. Wilkes (1636 and 1657), German by Osterhammer (Salzburg, 1819), and French by J. R. Thibault (Paris, 1844). Cf. M. Evangelides, Nemesius und seine Quellen (Berlin, 1882).[E.V.]
( Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature by Wace & Percy)..

To the Reader

Courteous Readers,
This Book, which directs you to the knowledge of your Human Natures, ( which ought to be your continual studies) was Originally written in Greek, by the knowing Pen of Nemesius, surnamed the Philosopher, one of the chiefest Luminaries in the Ancient Church. To praise this Piece, were to derogate from its worth, the Title carrying the best commendation. Censure it if you please; but let your judgements be squared by reason, not biased by common opinions, which commonly raises those things to the greatest, which merit the least estimation.



Of the Nature of Man.

Cap.1. Sect.1.
I. The Definition of Man: A querie touching the Understanding; and the opinions of Plotinus, Apollinarius, Aristotle & Plato concerning the SOUL & BODY of MAN.
II. MAN partaking in somewhat with every Creature, is a medium knitting together the whole Creation, & a manifestation of the Unity of the CREATOR of all things.
III. The Agreement, and comely order of GOD’S Works, of all which MAN is the true Epitome.
Good men, ( and of those not a few) have defined Man to consist of an Understanding Soul and a Body; and so true is this Definition, that it may seem he could not otherwise be, well, defined. Yet, when we term him an Understanding soul, it may appear doubtful to some, whether the Understanding coming to the soul ( as one distinct thing comes to another) did beget Understanding in the Soul; Or, whether the Soul does naturally contain in itself this understanding, as the most excellent part thereof; and, as being the same to the Soul, which the Eye is to the Body.
There be some, ( and of this opinion is Plotinus) who thinking the Soul to be one thing, and the Body another, do therefore affirm, that MAN is composed of these three, a Soul, a Body, and Understanding. Of this mind also was Apollinarius Bishop of Laodicea: For, having laid this as the Foundation of his own opinion, he made the rest of his Building agreeable to the same Groundwork.
Others there are who divide not the Understanding from the Soul in this manner; but suppose rather, that the Understanding is a principal of the Soul’s essence. Aristotle conjectures that a certain potential understanding was made together with MAN, which might become actual in time; and that the Understanding which comes to us from without, ( and whereby we acquire an actual knowledge) pertains not to the actual Essence of the Soul; but, assists in the knowledge and speculation of things: By which means it comes to pass, that very few, or none, but men addicted to the study of Wisdom, are thought capable of this Actual understanding.
PLATO seems to affirm that MAN consists not of a double essence; that is to say, jointly of a Soul and a Body: but rather, that he is a soul, using ( as it were Instrumentally) such a Body: and perhaps by fixing the mind upon that only, which is the most excellent part of Man, he seeks to draw us to such a serious consideration of ourselves ( and of the divine nature) as might win us, the better, to pursue virtue, godliness, and such good things as are in the Soul: or else by persuading that we are ( essentially) nothing else but soul, he would, peradventure, allure us to renounce the desires of the Body, as things not primarily pertinent to MAN as MAN; but, chiefly belonging to him, as he is a living creature; and so, by consequence, appertaining to him as he is a Man, in regard Man is a living-creature.
And it is indeed confessed ( not much otherwise) of all men, that the soul is far more to be esteemed than the body: and that the body is but as it were an Instrument moved by the soul, as is evident in death. For if thereby the soul be divided from the body, it is immediately as much without motion, as a Workman’s Tools when he has cast them aside.
This is manifest that MAN in some things participates with creatures void of life, and that he is partaker also of life, as those living-creatures be, which are unreasonable: and that he is endowed likewise with understanding, as are Creatures reasonable. With inanimate creatures Man partakes in this, that he has a Body, and in his mixture of the four Elements. He agrees with Plants, not only in that which is afore-mentioned, but in having also both a nourishing and a seeding-power. His coherence with unreasonable Creatures ( over and above all the former particulars) is, in having a certain voluntary motion, appetite, anger, and a power enabling him to feel and breathe: for all these are common both to Men and unreasonable creatures. Furthermore, he communicates with Intelligent incorporeal Natures, in reasoning, understanding, judging, and in pursuing virtue and a good life, which is the chief end of all virtues.
These things considered, MAN stands in such a Being as comprehends the sensible and intelligible Nature. In respect of his Bodily powers, and of his Bodily substance ( which is subject unto sense) he agrees both with living-creatures, and with things void of life. In respect of his Reasonable part he communicates with Substances which are bodiless ( or spiritual) as has been said before: For, GOD, the Creator of all things, has seemed by little and little so to collect and knit together sundry differing natures, that all created things should become ONE. And indeed, it will be a manifest proof unto us, that there is but One Creator of all things, if we well consider how fitly he has united the substance of individual things by their particular parts; and all the several species ( throughout the world) by an excellent sympathy.
For, as in every living creature he has joined the parts insensible with such as have sense in them ( as bones, fat, hair, ( and other insensible parts) to the flesh and sinews ( which are sensible) compounding the Living-creature both of sensible and insensible portions; and declaring that all these together make but one living-creature: Even so he has joined one to another, every particular species which was created, by ordering and compounding that agreement and disagreement which is in their natures; In so much that things inanimate do not greatly differ from Plants which have in them a vegitative and nourishing life; neither are Plants wholly differing from sensible living creatures void of reason; nor are those unreasonable creatures so alienated in all things from creatures endowed with reason, as that they have no natural alliance or similitude, whereby they may be linked one to another.
For even in stones ( which are inanimate creatures, not having in them, for the most part, so much as a vegitative life) there is otherwise a certain power, making them to differ from each other even in their stony properties: but the Loadstone seems very far to exceed the nature and virtue of other stones, in that it both attracts Iron thereunto, and also detains it ( being so attracted) as if it would be nourished thereby. Neither does it exercise this virtue upon one piece of Iron alone; but, by that one piece, links fast another, and imparts his own power to all other pieces which are contiguous thereunto: yea Iron draws Iron, when it is touched by the Loadstone.
Moreover, when the CREATOR passed from Plants to living-creatures, he rushed not ( as we may say) all at once, into things whose nature is to remove from place to place; and, to such as are endowed with sense: but, he proceeded, rather, by degrees, and by a natural and most comely progression. For, the Shell-fishes called Pinnae, and Urticae, are so made as if they were certain Plants, having sense in them. For, he fastened them in the Sea with roots, and covered them also with shells as with bark. And, as therein he made them to participate with Plants; so, he gave them likewise ( in some measure) the feeling-sense, which is common to living-creatures. They agree with Plants in being rooted and fixed, and they communicate with living-creatures in their feeling. In like manner the Sponge ( though it be rooted in the Rocks) is of itself, opened and contracted, according as the passanger approaches toward it, or departs from it. And therefore, Wise men have anciently termed such things, in English, “ Life-Plants”, if by a new word I may so name that which is partly a living-creature, and partly a Plant.
After the Fishes called Pinnae, he proceeded unto those, which ( being unable to pass far from their station) do move only to and fro within some certain space, such as are the most part of those, which have shells, and are called the bowels of the earth. He went further, and added ( in the like manner,) something to everything in particular ( as to some things more senses; and to some other, more ability to remove themselves from place to place) and, came next to those unreasonable- creatures which are more-perfect. Those, I call more-perfect-creatures, which have obtained all the senses, and, can also remove themselves to places far distant.
And when GOD passed from unreasonable-creatures to MAN ( a Creature endowed with Reason) he did not perfect him in himself, ( and, as it were, all at once;) but, first, ingrafted into some other living-creatures, certain natural wiles, sleights, and devices for the saving of themselves, which, make them seem to be almost reasonable-creatures: And, having done all this, he, then, brought forth MAN, which is, indeed, the true Reasonable-Creature.
The same Order ( if it be well considered) will appear in the Voice, which from the noise of Horses and Oxen is brought, by little and little, from one plain simple sound, unto the voices of Crows and Nightingales, ( whose voices consist of many notes, can imitate what they are taught) and, so, by degrees it is terminated in the Articulate voice of MAN, which is distinct and perfect.
Furthermore, he made the various expressions of the Tongue to depend upon the Mind, and upon Reason; ordaining the speech to publish forth the motions of the Mind: And, in this wise, by a sweet Musical proportion, he ( collecting all things together) incorporated all into ONE as well, things intelligible, as things visible, and, made MAN as a means thereunto.
Section 2.
I. Why MAN was first made, and why he has in him somewhat of the Nature of all Creatures.
II. II. MAN is the Bounder between visible and Intellectual things, and becomes either an Earthly or Spiritual MAN, according as he is inclined to Good or Evil. A distinction between the Goods of the Mind and Body; and between the life of MAN as he is Man, and as he is merely a living-creature.
III. The opinion of the Hebrews touching the mortality and immortality of MAN.
These things considered, Moses in expressing the Creation of the World, did very properly affirm that MAN was last made. Not only, because all things being made for MAN, it was most convenient, that all such things ought first to be provided, which were necessarily pertinent to his use; and that he who was to have the use of them, should afterward be created: But, in respect both intellectual and visible substances, were created, it seemed also convenient, that One should be made, by whom those two Natures should be so united together, that the whole World might become ONE; and be in its own self so agreeable, that the same might not be at variance, or estranged from itself. Even to this end, was MAN made such a living-creature, as might join together both Natures, and ( to sum up all in a word) therein was manifested the admirable wisdom of the universal CREATOR.
Now MAN being placed ( as it were) in the Bounds between the Reasonable-nature, and that which is Irrational; if he incline to the Body, settling the main part of his affections upon corporeal things; he chooses and embraces the life of unreasonable-creatures; and, for that cause, shall be numbered among them, and be called ( as Saint Paul termed him) An earthly MAN, to whom it shall be thus said, “Earth thou art, and to Earth thou shalt return”: yea by this means he becomes ( as the Psalmist affirms) like the Beast which has no understanding. But, if he incline rather to the Reasonable part, and condemning Bodily lusts and pleasures, shall make choice to follow that blessed and divine life which is most agreeable unto MAN, he shall, then, be accounted a Heavenly MAN, according to that saying; “Such as the earth is, such are they that are earthly; such as the heavenly are, such are they that are heavenly”: and indeed that which principally pertains unto the Reasonable-Nature, is to avoid and oppose Evil, and love and follow that which is Good.
Of God things some are common both to the Soul and to the Body ( of which sort the Virtues are) and these have a relation unto the Soul, in respect of the use which it makes of the Body, being joined thereunto.
Some good things pertain to the soul only, by itself, ( so that it should not need the help of the body) as godliness, and the Contemplation of the nature of things: and therefore so many as are desirous to live the life of MAN as he is a MAN, ( and not only in that he is a living creature) do apply themselves to Virtue and Piety. But we will anon show distinctly what things pertain to Virtue, and what to Piety, when we come to discourse of the Soul and of the Body: For, seeing we do not yet know what our Soul is in respect of the substance thereof, it is not yet convenient for us to treat here, of those things that are wrought by it.
The Hebrews affirm that MAN was made from the beginning, neither altogether mortal, neither wholly immortal, but, as it were, in a state between both those natures, to the end that if he did follow the affections of the body, he should be liable to such alterations which belong to the body; But if he did prefer such good things as pertain to the soul, he should then be honoured with Immortality. For, if GOD had made MAD absolutely mortal from the beginning, he would not have condemned him to die after he had offended; because it had been a thing needless to make him mortal by condemnation, who was mortal before. And on the other side, if he had made Man absolutely immortal, he would not have caused him to stand in need of nourishment; for, nothing that is immortal needs bodily nourishment.
Moreover, it is not to be believed, that God would so hastily have repented himself, and made Him to be forthwith mortal, who was created absolutely immortal: For it is evident that he did not so in the Angels that sinned, but ( according to the nature which they obtained from the beginning) they remained immortal, undergoing for their offences, not the penalty of Death, but of some other punishment. It is better therefore, either to be of the first mentioned opinion touching this matter; or, else, thus to think, that MAN was indeed created mortal, but, yet, in such wise that if he were perfected by a virtuous and pious progression, he might become immortal: that is to say, he was made such a One, as had in him a potential ability to become immortal.

I. Our Author shows why the Tree of knowledge of good and evil was forbidden; &, that it was, at first, expedient for MAN to be ignorant of his own Nature.
II. MAN by the Transgression, attained that knowledge of himself, which diverted him from the way of perfection and Immortality.
III. The Elementary composition and nourishment of Man’s body: The reasons also why it needed feeding, clothing, caring, etc. and why MAN was made a Creature sensible, and capable of Arts and Sciences, etc.

It being inexpedient, rather than any way helpful, for MAN to know his own nature, before he came to his perfection, GOD forbade him to taste of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil: For there were, and doubtless as yet there are very great virtues in Plants; but at the first, ( in respect it was in the beginning of the world’s Creation) their virtues being ( before the curse) pure and void of all mixture, had in them a strong operation: and it is not therefore strange that there should be ( by God’s providence) the taste of a certain Tree, that should have a power given to engender in our first parents, the knowledge of their own nature.
The cause why God would not have MAN to know his own nature, before he had attained to perfection, was this: lest he knowing himself to stand in need of many things should ( as by the sequel we find it manifest) labour only to supply the wants of his Body, and utterly cast away the care of his Soul; and for this cause did God forbid him to taste of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil.
By disobeying this commandment, MAN attained to the knowledge of Himself, but thereby fell from the state of growing to perfection, and busied himself in taking care of such things as the body needed: For ( according to the words of Moses) as soon as he had eaten, He knew that he was naked, and immediately sought about to get a covering for his nakedness: whereas, until then, God kept him as it were in a Trance, and in such case that he knew not himself.
When he fell away from the state of growing to perfection. He fell also from his immortality, which by the mercy of his Creator he shall recover again at the last. In the meantime it was granted him that he should eat flesh ( whereas before his fall, God willed him to be content with such things only as grew out of the earth, all which he had provided for him in Paradise) yea the first means of growing to perfection being become desperate, it was permitted him to feed as he would.
Now, seeing MAN consisted of a Body ( as of one of his parts) and seeing every ( inferior compound) body is composed of the four Elements, it is necessary that such things should happen unto him, as the Elements are subject unto; That is to say, Cutting, mutation and flowing. By mutation I mean mutation in Quality; and I term it Flowing when he is emptied or purged of such things as are in him: For a living-creature has always his evacuations, both by such pores as are manifestly seen, and by such also as we see not; whereof I shall speak hereafter.
It is necessary therefore, that so much should be taken in again, as was evacuated; seeing else, the living-creature would perish through defect of what should re-enter to supply the want: And ( if the things evacuated be either dry, or moist, or spirits) it is as necessary that the living-creature should have a continual supply of dry and moist nourishments, and of spirits.
The meats and drinks which we receive, are made of those Elements, whereof we also are composed: for every thing is nourished with what is agreeable and like unto it, and ( in diseases) we are cured with what is contrary ( to the disease).
There be some of the Elements which we sometime receive into our Bodies immediately of themselves; and sometime use means unto the receiving of them; as for example, we sometime receive water of itself; sometime we use Wine and Oil, and all those that are called moist fruits, as a means to receiving of water. For wine is nothing else but a certain water coming from the Vine, and so or so qualified. In like manner we partake of Fire sometime immediately, as when we are warmed by it; sometime also by the means of such things as we eat and drink: for all things contain in them some portion of Fire, more or less. We are in like case partakers of Air: either immediately when we breathe it, and have it spread round about us, or draw it in by our eating and drinking; or else by means of such other things as we receive into us.
But as for the Earth, we seldom or never receive it immediately, but by certain means. For, we eat the corn which comes of the earth. Larks, Doves, and Partridges feed oftentimes upon the earth; but Man usually feeds on the earth by the means of seeds, fruits, berries, and by the flesh which proceeds from things nourished by the Earth.
And forasmuch as God respecting not only a decency, but also the furnishing of us with a very quick sense of feeling, ( in which man exceeds all other living-creatures) he has clothed us neither with a tough skin as Oxen and other beasts, that have a thick hide; neither with large thick set hair, as goats, hares and sheep; neither with scales, as fishes and serpents; neither with hard shells, as Tortoises and Oysters; neither with a more fleshy bark, as Lobsters; neither with feathers, as birds; and therefore ( wanting these coverings) it is necessary we should have Raiment [Clothing], to supply that in us, which nature has bestowed on other living creatures.
These are the causes why we stand in need of nourishment and clothing: And not only for the same ends are our houses become necessary; but also that we may escape the violence of wild beasts, which is none of their least commodities.
Moreover ( by reason of the distemperature of qualities in the human body) Physicians and their art are likewise needful, that thereby ( as often as occasion requires) those things which are rent asunder, may be fastened again together for the preservation of health. And whereas the alteration consists in the quality, it is necessary that we bring the state of the body to a just temperature by the contrary Quality: For, it is not the Phycian’s purpose ( as some think) to cool the Body which has been in a heat, but to change it into a temperate state; seeing if they should cool it, the disease turns ( not to the health, but) to the contrary sickness.
Now in regard of Arts and Sciences, ( and by the necessary use which we have of such things as they accomplish) it so comes to pass that we need the mutual assistance one of another, and by that need which we have each of other, many of us assembling together in common, do thereby the more conveniently bargain and contract for such things as may serve to supply the necessities of life.
This meeting and dwelling together, was anciently termed by the name of a City; by the near neighbourhood thereof, men received aid and profit by each other’s arts & labours, without the discommodities of long and far Travel. For. Man was naturally made to be such a living-creature, as should be sociable, & delighted in neighbourhood. And forasmuch as men could not otherwise be so conveniently provided of useful things; it is evident that the study of Arts, and the necessity of Traffic [Business] were the first occasions of erecting Cities.


I. Of the two Priviledges which MAN has obtained above all other Creatures, ( viz.) to be capable of the Forgiveness of sins, and Immortality: The Justice and Mercy of GOD in vouchsafing the pardon of sin to MAN, and denying the same to Angels.
II. Man only is a creature capable of learning Arts and Sciences: A Definition of Man, and Reasons justifying every branch of that Definition.
III. The World was not made for the Angels, nor for any other, but MAN only. To him was committed the government of the Universe, with a limitation to use, not abuse the Creatures.

There are also two Priviledges which Man has specially gotten above all other. One is, to obtain pardon by Repentance; the other is that his body being mortal should be brought to immortality. This ( priviledge) of the body, he gets by means of the soul; and the priviledge of the soul, by reason of the body: Yea, among Reasonable creatures, Man only has obtained this Peculiar, that God vouchsafes him the pardon of sin upon repentance: For neither the Devils nor the Angels are vouchsafed pardon, though they do repent.
Hereby the most exact Justice, and admirable mercy, of GOD is both fully proved and evidently declared: For, good cause is there why pardon should not be granted to Angels, though they do repent; because there is nothing in them, which naturally allures or draws them to sin; and in regard also that they ( of their own nature) are free from all passions, wants, and pleasures of the body.
But MAN, though he be endowed with Reason, yet he is also a bodily living creature, and therefore his wants ( in that he is such a living creature) together with his passions, do often blind and captivate his reason. And therefore ( when he returns again by repentance, and applies himself unto virtue) he obtains mercy and forgiveness: For as it is proper to the Essence of MAN to have the ability of laughing ( because it agrees to man only, to all men, and ever to man) so ( in respect of those things, which proceed from the grace of God) it is proper unto Man above all Creatures endued with Reason, to be delivered, by Repentance, from the accusation and guiltiness of all those things wherein he has formerly transgressed. Yea, this Grace is given to MAN only; to all men; and ever to man, during the continuence of his life in this world, and no longer: for after Death there is no more Forgiveness.
Some there be who give a reason why the Angels could no more obtain pardon by repentance after they had fallen; and it is this that follows. The Fall of Angels, was ( as they affirm) a kind of Death unto them; and God vouchsafed them the tender of a pardon before their uter falling away, when like account was to be made of them, as is made of Men during this life: But because they accepted not the grace offered, they received afterward ( as a just reward) punishment everlasting without pardon. And hereby it plainly appears that such as refuse Repentance, do reject that which is a special good gift of God, and peculiar to MAN.
This also is one of the things proper and peculiar unto MAN, that of all other living creatures only the body of MAN should arise again after Death, and aspire to Immortality. This priviledge the body gains in respect of the immortality of the soul; as likewise the soul obtains the other ( that is to say, pardon after Repentance) in respect that the Body, is weak and troubled with many passions.
It is a thing proper also, to MAN only, to learn Arts and Sciences, and to work according unto such Arts: For which cause they who define him, say thus; MAN is a living creature, endued with Reason, mortal, capable of Consideration and Science.
He is termed a living-creature, in that he is a substance having life endued with sense: for, that is the definition of a living-creature.
He is said to be endued with Reason, that he may be distinguished from unreasonable-creatures.
He is called mortal, to make a difference betwixt him and the Reasonable-creatures, that are immortal.
And this clause [capable of Consideration & Science] is added thereunto, because we come to Arts and Sciences by learning of them, having in us naturally a certain potential ability to receive both understanding and Arts; but, not actually attaining them save by study and practice.
There be some, who say that this last clause was lately added to the Definition; and that it had been good enough without the same, were it not, that some bring in their Nymphs, and other petty Deities of those kinds, who are said to live long, and yet not to be immortal; And to distinguish MAN from those, these words, Capable of consideration and science were judged needful; because, none of that sort are thought to learn anything; but, to know naturally, whatsoever they are said to know.
The Jews are of opinion that the whole World was made for MAN ( even immediately for his sake) as Oxen with other beasts for tillage, or to bear burdens; and, as grass was made for the Beasts. For, some things were made for their own sakes; and some for the sakes of others. All reasonable-creatures were made for their own sakes: Unreasonable-creatures and things without life, were ordained for others, not for themselves.
Now if such things were made in respect of others, let us consider for whom they were, indeed, created. Shall we think they were made for the Angels? Doubtless, no wise man will say that they were made for their sakes; because, the things made for the respect or sake of another, must concern either the making, or the continuance, or the recreation of those things for which they were made: For, they are made either in respect of the propagation and succession of their kind; or of their nourishment; or to cover them; or to cure them, or for their better welfare and rest.
Now the Angels need no such things; for they neither have any succession of their kind, neither want clothing, bodily nourishment, nor any thing else: And, if Angels have no need of such things, it is then evident that no other nature having place above the Angels; can have need of them; because by how much higher the place of it is, so much the less need has it of supply or assistance of another.
This being so, we must seek out a Nature which is endued with Reason, and yet needs such things as are aforementioned; and what other nature can be found of that sort, if MAN be passed over? Surely none: And if no other can be discovered, it follows by good reason that both things void of life, and unreasonable-creatures, were made for the sake of MAN; and if they were ordained for him ( as it is evident they were) then, that was likewise the cause why he was constituted the Governor also of those creatures.
Now, it is the duty of a Governor, to use those things which are put under his government, in such manner and measure as need and convenience shall require; and not to abuse them untemperately, or to serve voluptuously his own delicate Appetite. Neither ought he to bear himself tyrannously or ungently towards those whom he governs. For, they that so do ( yea and they that use not mercifully, their unreasonable-cattle) are therein great Offenders; neither performing the part of a Governor, nor of a just man, according to that which is written, “ The just man has compassion upon the life of his Beast”.


I. It is here proved, that neither things without-life, nor the unreasonable-creatures, were made for themselves; First, by arrangements taken from the consideration of the nature and use of things without life.
II. It is proved also by considering those creatures, which are void of reason, and which are ( for the most part) very serviceable to MAN.
III. And lastly, it is proved by considering those things which seem to be rather harmful than profitable to Mankind.

But some perhaps will say, that nothing was made in respect of another but everything in respect of itself. Therefore, distinguishing first between things inanimate and those that have life, let us observe whether things void of life are likely to have been created only for their own sake.
For if those things were made in respect of themselves, how, or upon what should living-creatures feed? We see that Nature out of the earth produces food both of fruits, and of plants, to every living-creature, some few excepted, whose feeding is upon flesh; yea, and those creatures which are nourished by eating flesh, do feed on such beasts as are sustained by eating the fruits of the earth: For, Lions and Wolves, feed on Lambs, Goats, Harts, and Swine. Eagles also, and all sorts of Hawks, devour Partridges, Doves, Hares, and such like; which are fed with what springs out of the ground.
Moreover, the nature of those Fishes which devour one another, does not so extend itself to all fishes, that they do generally devour the flesh of one another; but it breaks off in such as eat weeds and such other things as grow in the water. For, if all sorts of fishes had been inclined to eat the flesh of one another, so that no kind of them could feed on any thing else, but on the flesh of themselves, verily they could not have long continued ( no not for a small time) but would have been utterly destroyed, some of them each by other, and the rest for lack of meat.
To the intent then, that it might not so happen, certain Fishes were so made, that they might abstain from the flesh of the rest, and feed ( if I may so term it) on the grass of the Sea, that, by them, the other sorts of fishes might be preserved. These fishes feed upon weeds; other fishes feed upon them; Those, again, are food for other greater fishes. So, by the feeding on such fishes as last of all do eat the weeds of the Sea, ( which come of the slimy waters) the substance of the rest of the fishes is successively continued.
Having reasonably demonstrated, that the Plants were not created in respect of themselves, but in regard of the nourishment and nature both of Men & of other living-creatures, it will be thereby manifest that such things also were made in respect of Man and other living-creatures, which are means and causes of the increase and preservation of those inferior things: And if that be so, it will be as apparent that the motions of the stars, the firmament, the seasons of the year, the showers, and all such like things, were made in respect of those things without life afore-mentioned, and to the end that nourishment being continually administered unto them, the nature of such fruits might be perpetuated, and that Men and living-creatures also ( for whom those were ordained) might be preserved, by them.
It rests now to consider whether the nature of unreasonable-creatures, was made in respect of itself, or for MAN’S cause: and sure, it cannot but be very absurd, to affirm that things incapable of understanding, and living only by an instinct of Nature( yea, things groveling toward the earth, and by their very shape declaring their bondage) should be brought into the world for their own sake. Much might be spoken to prove the contrary, even so much as would spin out this one point to the length of a Treatise, if I should handle the same at large, and therefore I will briefly mention in this place, those things only which are of greatest weight.
By seriously considering ( as it were in a glass or image) those things which are without us by such things as are within us, we should make a plain demonstration hereof; yea, and by considering the very substance of the things themselves, which are in question. For, if we ponder in our mind that part of our selves, which is irrational, and the parts thereof ( I mean appetite and anger, which are ordained to serve the Reasonable-part) we shall there see, that Reason rules, and that the unreasonable-parts, are ruled; that Reason commands, and that the other are commanded, and serviceable to such uses, as Reason will have them to be subject unto; if MAN preserve that condition which does naturally appertain unto him.
Now then, if our part which is reasonable does bear rule over our unreasonable-parts, which are within us; seems it not much more probable, that our reasonable-part should have dominion over such unreasonable-things as are without us? And that such things were ordained to serve our necessities? Especially seeing it is according to the law of Nature that the unreasonable should be subject to the reasonable, as has been declared by those things which are in our selves?
This may be further manifested, by considering that diverse creatures are made even fit for the necessary services of MAN. For, Oxen and all bearing cattle are naturally fitted for the tillage of the earth, and for bearing of burdens. Sundry other beasts of the field also, and many fishes and fowls, for dainty feeding, yea, and singing birds for our delight and recreation.
And al-beit all things do not always serve to such pleasing uses, but that there are some which may seem rather to harm and destroy man; it is to be considered that when those things were created, the special end of whose creation was at first for man’s service; all other things which might be otherwise useful were then created also, that in the Creation there might be no defect, or want of such things whereof there might be afterward any use.
Neither were such things as are now accounted harmful, exempted utterly from the profitable fruition of man; but he by reason, does, or may, fruitfully employ to his advantage, even the most venomous things. For, he uses poisonous creatures to the curing of such harms as come by those, and other venomous beasts, and to the curing of many infirmities other ways occasioned. Such are the confections called …….( whereof our Triacle is one sort) which reason has invented, that by their own power those things might be made to concur themselves, and procure health and safety ( as it were) from conquered enemies.
Man has also many other things of great virtue given unto him by his Creator, which being contrary to those mischievious things, have in them a power to withstand or qualify their virulent operations; to remedy their hurts, and to defend him from their secret assaults. One thing serves to one use, other things to other uses, and God has so provided that all things should be helpful for the benefit and preservation of Man, yea and some things there be which are serviceable no way else.

SECTION 6…………. ( to be continued)……..



Any serious discussion on the similarities and/or differences between the Two Covenants; the Old and the New Testaments, must inevitably seek to understand, by “ rightly dividing the Word of Truth” the prophetic role of both the Nation of Israel; the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as the role of the Christian Church in History and Prophecy.. That the temporal promises to the literal Jews are actual and true, cannot be denied. Both Old ( Isaiah, Ezekiel, Zachariah, for example) AND New ( particularly Paul’s Epistles and John’s Apocalypse) Covenants attest to this fact. Even the Apostle to the Gentiles, Paul, warns the Christian Church of his day not to become too confident in prematurely assuming that the literal Jews had been done away with and had therefore been replaced by the Christian Economy.(Romans 11:1,2,19-28). Far from it, Paul, whilst confirming the fact that the Christian Church was indeed prophesied of by the Jewish prophets, and referred to in types by the Jewish Law and Ceremonies, and understood by both as “Israel” in a “ spiritual” manner only, consistently affirms that this spiritual “Israel of God”( Galatians 6:16) in NO wise replaces the promises, nor absorbs the promises, that God has given to the Literal Jewish Nation. We see from Paul’s statements that the covenantal promises made to temporal Israel are permanent, and any share in these promises by the Church of the New Covenant are solely to be considered “ in conjunction with” and not “ apart from” the future promises given to the literal Jews.
The Apostle Paul conveys five major vital points of concurrence between the promises made to the Literal Jews and the Christian Economy:
a) The “ blinding in part” of the Jewish people as an entire nation being the “ full sight of the Gentiles” ( Romans 11: 25);
b) The “ engrafting of the Gentiles”( the wild olive tree) into the “ spiritual seed of Abraham”( the good olive tree) ( Romans 11: 19-24);
c) The temporary casting out and rejection of the literal seed of Abraham, the Jews, and the fact of their future restoration to full covenant standing with God at Christ’s “ parousia” ( second coming) ( Romans 11: 26);
d) The “ dearness of the literal Israel ( seed of Abraham) to the Father”, and therefore the “ dearness of the spiritual (seed of Abraham) to the Son” ( Romans 11: 28);
e) The notion that the Church as typologically representative (in a spiritual manner) NOT of the entire Jewish Nation, but of the Levitical Priesthood only, who held no “ temporal inheritance” and were “ pilgrims on this earth”, is, once again, the ONLY spiritualizing Apostolic concession given to the Church, ( Hebrews 11: 13) and remains the key to a full understanding of how and why Christians ( the Church) are to be understood as a “ priesthood of all believers”, which was in the Old Testament represented by the Levitical Priesthood, whose tabernacle and temple service hearkened in type also to a still HIGHER order of priesthood; that of Melchizedek, the Gentile/Canaanite king of Salem, to whom even Abraham gave tithes… ( Hebrews 5: 9-11).
The thorough consideration and interplay of all of the above points must be considered when assumptions are made in favour of, or against, the notions that the church has replaced literal Israel, or that perhaps literal Israel has replaced the church, or that literal Israel has been discarded, or that the church has or will itself be eventually discarded. The correct doctrine is that the Old Covenant Jews always possessed a “ remnant” of believers who embodied and embraced the OT “ Faith of Abraham”, into which remnant, or “ seed of Abraham’s Promise”, the Gentile believers of the New Covenant have literally been “ ingrafted”. This implies, just as the Literal Israel of the Old Covenant were “ not all of Israel”, but only the “ remnant who held the Faith of Abraham” and “ hoped in the coming Messiah” ( the “ Emmanuel, or “ God-With-Us” of the OT prophet Isaiah), and were “ pilgrims in this earth”, that so in the case of the Literal Church of the New Covenant, only those who share in the “ Faith of Abraham” and “ await Christ’s appearing” and have “ no place to lay their head” in this wicked world, may actually be considered as co-heirs of “ Abraham’s Promise”.. This vital point also implies that just as the vast majority of the Jewish population were “ not all of Israel”, so the greater population of professed Christendom is “ not all of Christ’s”, but only the remnant, once again, who “ await His appearing”. Matthew 7: 21-23 conveys forever the frightening reality of the foregoing conclusions; that only a “ remnant” of Christendom ( just as a “ remnant” of Jewish Israel of the OT) will be saved, and that vast numbers of outward so-called believers ( who even claim to believe in Jesus “ as Lord”) will be cast out with the worldly and the wicked. “…..
MATTHEW 7: 21-27
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Matt 25:11; Luke 6:46; Luke 13:25; Acts 19:13; Rom 2:13; Jas 1:22); 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?( Jer 14:14; Jer 27:15; Luke 13:26); 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Ps 6:8; Matt 25:12; Matt 25:41; Luke 13:25; Luke 13:27); 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: (Jer 17:8; Luke 6:47; Rom 2:13; Jas 1:25); 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand (Ezek 13:11; Rom 2:13; Jas 1:23); 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Hebrews 10: 26-31 enforces the fearful finality of a relapse into habitual sin AFTER Baptism, Regeneration, and Cleansing by the Blood of Christ’s vicarious sacrifice, and explains the reasoning behind Jesus’ statement in Matthew 7:21-27:
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, (Num 15:30; Matt 12:31; Heb 6:4; 2Pet 2:20; 1John 5:16); 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: (Num 35:30; Deut 17:6; Deut 19:15; Matt 18:16; 2Cor 13:1); 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. (Deut 32:35; Deut 32:36; Rom 12:19); 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

And likewise James 2: 14-26 has the following to say to those who believe that one can be saved by Faith without that Faith being followed and “ perfected” by devout and godly Works of Righteousness:
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? (Matt 7:26; Jas 1:23); 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, (Luke 3:11; 1John 3:17); 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.7 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (Mark 1:24); 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? (Gen 22:10); 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. (Gen 15:6; Rom 4:3; Gal 3:6); 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? (Josh 2:1; Josh 6:23; Heb 11:31); 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

For the above mentioned reasons, and in light of the fact that the OT Church, as well as the NT Church, have always consisted of a “ remnant of Faithful Believers” which will be kept, whereas the majority of mere “ outward professors” will be discarded ( as depicted in Matthew 7 and elsewhere); both in the OLD as well as the NEW Dispensations, we come to the understanding that, since “ God is no respector of persons”, ANY attempt to attribute FULL rights of the Abrahamic Covenant and Promise to both outward Literal Israel AND outward Literal Christendom, must fail, and fail dismally.. Hence the confusion when attributing ALL the promises of Literal Israel to “ literal Israel”, and ALL the promises of literal Israel to “ Literal Christendom”; or even a “ spiritualized Christendom” for that matter… All of these must fail, since the “ seed of Abraham’s Promise” are the remnant of Faithful and Obedient believers scattered throughout the Old AND the NEW Covenant Dispensations, and do not comprise “ in toto” the complete body of professors to either the Jewish OR the Christian Covenantal outward body of believers. In the Old Covenant, those who possessed the “ Faith of Abraham” looked FORWARD to the source and fulfillment of that Faith in the coming Messiah nonetheless.. The New Covenant Faithfull, however, now look BACKWARD to the source and fulfillment of the same Faith in the Messiah who CAME, and who will also COME AGAIN…
The Covenant God made with Abraham is indeed an everlasting Covenant, but it is one which is qualified by FAITH and WORKS of RIGHTEOUSNESS ( according to James the Apostle), and NOT by racial descent only.. The Mosaic Covenant, however, was intimately associated with the race and people of literal Israel and, according to the prophet Zechariah who wrote his “burdens” and prophecies @ 518 B.C., at one point in their history ( some time after Zechariah’s days and before the time of the Maccabees’ cleansing of the second temple which Antiochus Epiphanes, the Syrian King, had defiled by entering the Holy of Holies and sacrificing a pig in honour of Jupiter/Zeus on the altar ) was actually “ broken” by God due to the great extent of national sin, only to be “ rejoined and renewed” AFTER the nation of Israel had been purged and chastised, and had finally fully repented and returned back to God the Father… Yet in the midst of the breaking of the national (Mosaic) Covenant, the everlasting Covenant made with Abraham’s “ Faithfull Seed”; the “ church of the Remnant of believers”, remained intact and inviolate.. So it is, that the everlasting Covenant God made with the spiritual seed of Abraham, both Jew AND Gentile, would continue only and always in the “ Remnant of the Faithfull” who awaited the Messiah’s appearing, and who “ do the will of God” and not their own will.
Zechariah 11 :
1 Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars. 2 Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down. 3 There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled.
4 Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter; 5 Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed be the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not. 6 For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbour’s hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them. 7 And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock. 8 Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me. 9 Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another. 10 And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. 11 And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD. 12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. (Matt 26:15; Matt 27:9); 13 And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD. 14 Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
15 And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd. 16 For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. 17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened. (Jer 23:1; Ezek 34:2; John 10:12);…..

Jameisson, Fausset and Brown, in their famous commentary on the Bible, had the following comments on the breaking of the covenant with the outward people of Israel during Zachariah’s day, as found in Zechariah 11: 11-12:

10. covenant which I made with all the people—The covenant made with the whole nation is to hold good no more except to the elect remnant. This is the force of the clause, not as MAURER, and others translate. The covenant which I made with all the nations (not to hurt My elect people, Ho 2:18). But the Hebrew is the term for the elect people (Ammim), not that for the Gentile nations (Goiim). The Hebrew plural expresses the great numbers of the Israelite people formerly (1Ki 4:20). The article is, in the Hebrew, all the or those peoples. His cutting asunder the staff “Beauty,” implies the setting aside of the outward symbols of the Jews distinguishing excellency above the Gentiles (see on Zec 11:7) as God’s own people.

11. poor . . . knew—The humble, godly remnant knew by the event the truth of the prediction and of Messiah’s mission. He had, thirty-seven years before the fall of Jerusalem, forewarned His disciples when they should see the city compassed with armies, to “flee unto the mountains.” Accordingly, Cestius Gallus, when advancing on Jerusalem, unaccountably withdrew for a brief space, giving Christians the opportunity of obeying Christ’s words by fleeing to Pella.
waited upon me—looked to the hand of God in all these calamities, not blindly shutting their eyes to the true cause of the visitation, as most of the nation still do, instead of referring it to their own rejection of Messiah. Isa 30:18-21 refers similarly to the Lord’s return in mercy to the remnant that “wait for Him” and “cry” to Him (Zeph 3:12; Zeph 3:13).

And in the time of the prophet Hosea, shortly before the fall of Samaria in the early 8th century B.C., a similar breaking-off had occurred between God and the literal people of Israel. Hosea 1: 8-11 describes the consequences as well as the final results ( the restoration to covenant favour) of this event, and the promise of a distant future restoration of the Jews under their Messiah as their “ one head”:

8 Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. 9 Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God. 10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. (Gen 32:12; Rom 9:25-26); 11 Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel. ( Isa 11:13; Jer 3:18; Ezek 37:16; Ezek 37:22; Eph 2:14-16);

Bishop Fausset expounds this event in his Bible Cyclopedia as follows:

(“not My people”.) Jezreel, Lo-ruhamah (“not loved”), and Lo-ammi are the three children of the prophet Hosea’s wife, Gomer, taken by God’s command. “Jezreel” symbolised the coming destruction of Jehu’s line, as Jehu had destroyed that of Ahab of Jezreel; also that as Jezreel means both God sows and God scatters, so God will yet sow Israel whom He now scatters (Hos 1:4-6; Hos 1:9-10; Hos 1:11), “great shall be the day of Jezreel,” i.e. great shall be the day when they shall be God’s seed planted in their own land by God (Jer 24:6; Jer 31:28; Jer 32:41; Amo 9:15; Hos 2:23). “I will sow her (Jezreel, the sown one, Hos 2:22) unto … Me in the earth.” Not only Judaea, but the whole earth shall be the seed plot wherein Gentile nations shall be the spiritual growth of the Jewish seed sown everywhere (Mic 5:7; Rom 11:12; Rom 11:15; Zec 10:9). Lo-ruhamah, changed into Ruhama, means that He will first withdraw His “loving mercy” and at last restore it. And Lo-ammi, changed into Ammi, that He will make Israel, now “not His people” owing to apostasy, to become again “His people.” The three children symbolize successive generations:
(1) Jezreel represents the dynasty of Jeroboam I, ending with Jehu’s shedding the blood of the last of the line at Jezreel;
(2) Lo-ruhamah, a daughter, represents the effeminate period which followed;
(3) Loammi, a son, represents Jeroboam II’s vigorous dynasty, which however brought no revival of religion; still Israel was not God’s people really, and so should be no longer so in name but cast away.

Some have attempted over the centuries to enforce the Covenantal promises to the literal seed of Abraham, by persecuting the New Covenant Church. In like manner, many have attempted to enforce the promises to the “ spiritual seed of Abraham” by persecuting literal Israel, and denying them any historical spiritual rights to being at least in part members of a “ Faithful Remnant Church” during the OT Dispensation. Others, like the pagan Roman Emperors, have denied any such rights to either, and have sporadically persecuted both. The “ remnant of the Faithfull”, though never a secret body of believers as some have implied, but always outward and openly ready to suffer for Messiah’s sake by “ letting their light shine forth” and “ not hiding their light under a bushel”, have perennially been the REAL subjects of ferreting, inquisition, persecution and attempted extermination.
Indeed, until shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70/71 AD, and the subsequent complete dispersion of the Jewish nation by the Emperor Hadrian, by the mid second century AD, shortly after the revolt of the false Messiah Bar Cochba, the wrath of the Jews against the very early Christian Church was still extreme, and hence the early Church, by Apostolic sanction, had to sever all symbiotic associations with unconverted Jews and Jewish heretics such as the Ebionites and the Elkasites, who had, until then, been their chief persecutors, and the first instigators of such persecution.
Subsequent to this dispersal of the power of the Jews and their banishment in the first half of the second century AD, the role of persecutor changed. The opportunity for the Jews to persecute the Christian Faith had dwindled, and the new opportunity was seized upon by the Emperors of Rome in imitation of Nero; the murderer of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and the first Roman Emperor to openly attempt the annihilation of the “ new sect of the Christians”…
(From McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia):
A Roman emperor, celebrated in the history of the world as a tyrant and a debauchee, figures in ecclesiastical annals chiefly because of the intolerant and persecuting spirit which he manifested towards the followers of Jesus in the Eternal City. His full name was Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus (originally Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus). He was the son of Domitius Ahenobarbus and of Agrippina, daughter of Germanicus, and was born in 37 at Antium. After the marriage of his mother, in third nuptials, with her uncle, the emperor Claudius, Nero was adopted by that prince, and Nero’s name changed as above given. His education was carefully looked after. He was placed under the tuition of the philosopher Seneca (q.v.), and appears to have improved his opportunities. He is said to have persevered in his studies, and to have made great progress especially in the Greek language, of which he exhibited a specimen in his sixteenth year by pleading in that tongue the rights or privileges of the Rhodians and of the inhabitants of Ilium; but he possessed little oratorical skill (Suetonius, Nero, c. 7; Tacitus, Annales, 12:58). Nero was so much trusted by Claudius that he finally married him to his daughter Octavia. When he was about seventeen years of age Nero’s abandoned mother poisoned her husband, Claudius, and by means of her criminal favors succeeded in raising her son to the throne (A.D. 54),………”
“Neronian Persecutions were really the first severe trials which the Christians of Rome had to endure. They occurred in A.D. 64, and were instigated by Nero (q.v.) himself. Although we possess no positive information as to the manner in which the first Christian community was established at Rome, it appears certain that it was not originally instituted by the apostles. It is more probable that the frequent intercourse of the Roman Jews with Palestine and Jerusalem led at an early time to the introduction of the new doctrines, the believers still remaining connected with the synagogues. They became gradually more numerous; and the frequent controversies which here, as in other cities, arose among the Jews, partly on their own tenets, partly concerning the person and the coming of Christ, led at last to open disturbances, and gave occasion to the emperor Claudius to publish in 41 a strict edict banishing all the Jews, including those who acknowledged Christ. The edict, however, did not receive a very severe execution, only the leaders, such as Aquila, whom we find mentioned in the N.T., being banished. As to the others, there was probably some alleviation made in the decree; but while allowed to remain at Rome, they were not permitted to assemble in the synagogues until a new edict, promulgated about the end of the same year, again restored them this privilege also, and guaranteed the Jews religious liberty throughout the empire. This temporary closing of the synagogues, however, led the Christians to organize places of worship for themselves, and to form an independent community. Their number now increased so rapidly that St. Paul, who had been informed of their position by Aquila at Corinth, expressed in his Epistle to the Romans the desire to visit them, which he fulfilled three years later, when he was led as a prisoner from Cesarea to Rome, remaining there a while, and laboring for the new religion with such success that Tacitus speaks of the Christians of Rome as “an immense multitude.” The rapid increase of the Christians made them of course unpopular at Rome. Suetonius, in his Nero (chap. 16), speaks of them as a “dangerous sect.” They were mistrusted because they abstained from participation in the sacrifices and other heathen ceremonies, and were hated because they were believed secretly at work against the peace of Roman citizens. They were accused of misanthropy, and were suspected of all manner of crimes. But no open intent to persecute them manifested itself until Nero ordered ceremonies after the great fire, and the Christians failed to participate. They were now accused as the authors of the conflagration; first, probably, by friends of the court, in order to turn public animosity from Nero, who was by many believed to have favored the burning of Rome. The emperor himself took up the public rumor, and acted upon it as a verity. “He inflicted,” says Tacitus, “the most exquisite tortures on those men, who, under the vulgar appellation of Christians, were already branded with deserved infamy,” and a vast multitude, or as Tacitus has it, “ingens multitudo,” were put to death in the most shocking manner. Indeed, it appears from the detailed accounts of Tacitus that Nero’s proceedings were quite different from mere capital executions according to the Roman law; for the Christian martyrs were not simply put to death, but their execution was made to gratify the bloodthirstiness of the tyrant, and to serve as an amusement to the people……….”
McClintock and Strong in the Cyclopedia also state the following concerning the Emperor Hadrian and the Jewish revolt under Bar Cochba:
“…..Hadrianus, P. Aemilius
the 14th Roman emperor (from A.D. 117-138), was a relative and the ward
of Trajan, and married Julia Sabina, the granddaughter of Marciana sister
of that emperor. In regard to the place of his birth, the statement of
Spartianus (De vita Hadricani, 1) that he was born at Rome Jan. 24, A.D.
76, is generally regarded as the more reliable, though others name Italica in
Spain, where his ancestors had settled in the time of Scipio (see Eutropius,
8:6, and Eusebius, Chronicon, No. 2155, p. 166, ed. Scaliger). Aided by
the preference of Trajan’s wife, Plotina, and showing himself capable in the
positions entrusted to him, he rose rapidly, and on the death of Trajan
succeeded to the empire,………”
“The peace of his reign was broken by one serious war. Among the Jews a
spirit of discontent had been kept alive ever since the capture of Jerusalem
by Titus. Wishing to eradicate this spirit by the destruction of the Jewish
nationality, Hadrian issued an edict forbidding the practice of circumcision,
and determined to erect on the ruins of Jerusalem a new Roman city, to be
called after himself, Aelia Capitolina. Consequently a furious revolt of the
Jews broke out under the lead of Bar Cochba, a pretended messiah, and it
was only after having suffered great losses, and having almost exterminated
the Jewish nation (500,000 Jews were said to have perished), that the
imperial armies succeeded in crushing the revolt, although the able general,
Julius Serverus, had been called from the distant shores of Britian to lead
them. Aelia Capitolina rose over the ruins of the Holy City, but the Jew
was forbidden, on the pain of death, to enter it, and from that time the race
was dispersed through the world. Antoninus Pius annulled the prohibition
of circumcision. Hadrian died at Baiae July 10, 138; but his last days had
been marked by such outrageous cruelties that Antoninus, his successor,
with difficulty secured the customary honors to his memory.…….”

The Ebionites, who were the first “ Judaizers” as recorded in the New Testament Scriptures, and the first to raise up persecution against Christians ( though themselves claiming in part the Faith of Christ) gave rise to a number of Judaizing sects, such as the Mandaeans and the Nasoreans shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.. But it was not until the arch-heretic Christian Priest ARIUS, a disciple of Lucian of Antioch, during the late 3rd and early 4th centuries A.D., who openly denied the Godhood of Christ, that the original Ebionite doctrines came into more universal acceptance within Christendom itself, and threatened to overwhelm almost the entire Roman Empire with their heresies and blasphemies against the person and nature of Christ/ Messiah. Within a few centuries of Arius’ advent, however, the great majority of the invading pagan nations which overran the Western Roman Empire converted to Arianism, whereas the Eastern Roman Empire remained at least nominally in catholic orthodoxy until @ 1453 A.D.; the time of the fall of Constantinople to the invading Turks. The Turks, however, brought with them merely a new form of Arianism; the doctrines of Mahommed and Islam, which differed very little from the Arianism of the Gothic invaders of the Western Roman Empire during their marauding conquests in the 5th century A.D…
(McKlintock and Strong had the following to say on the Ebionites):
a sect of Judaizing Christians who received the doctrines of the Gospel
very partially, and denied the divine nature of Christ. They do not appear
to have been at any time numerous, and it is doubtful whether they ever
obtained such consistency as to have a definite creed.

1. The Name. — The name is derived from the Hebrew ˆ/yb]a,, poor. This
term was anciently applied in derision to Christians in general (Epiphanius,
adv. Haer. 29:1), and came later to designate Jewish Christians (Origen,
cont. Celsum, 2:1).

2. History. — Dorner (Person of Christ, Edinb. translated 1:189 sq.) traces
the Ebionitish tendency as far back as the Epistle to the Hebrews. “From
that zeal for the law with which Paul had to contend, the Judaizing spirit
was led not at first to impeach the Christology, but rather the Soteriology,
or the work of Christ. But the consequence of the legal stand-point soon
showed itself. The party which the Epistle to the Hebrews had in view
must have over-estimated the law of the O.T. regarding holy times, places,
acts, and persons alike, and have been wanting in the Christian knowledge
which knows how to secure to the O.T. its abiding significancy, which it
has as a divine institute without imperiling the newness and conclusive
completeness of Christianity.” Epiphanius traces the origin of Ebionitism to
the Christians who fled to Pella after the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 66
(adv. Hoer. 29:1). According to Hegesippus (Hist. Ecclesiastes 4:22),
one Thebutis, at Jerusalem, about the beginning of the second century,
“began to corrupt the Church secretly on account of his not being made a
bishop.” “We find the sect of the Ebionites in Palestine and the surrounding
regions, on the island of Cyprus, in Asia Minor, and even in Rome. Though
it consisted mostly of Jews, Gentile Christians also sometimes attached
themselves to it. It continued into the fourth century, but at the time of
Theodoret was entirely extinct. It used a Hebrew Gospel, now lost, which
was probably a corruption of the Gospel of Matthew” (Schaff, Church
History, 1, § 68, page 214).

3. Doctrines. — Dr. Schaff sharply distinguishes Ebionism from
Gnosticism as follows: “Ebionism is a Judaizing, pseudo-Petrine
Christianity, or a Christianizing Judaism; Gnosticism is a paganizing or
pseudo-Pauline Christianity, or a pseudo-Christian heathenism. The former
is a particularistic contraction of the Christian religion; the latter a vague
expansion of it” (Church History, § 67). According to the same writer, “the
characteristic marks of Ebionism in all its forms are, degradation of
Christianity to the level of Judaism, the principle of the universal and
perpetual validity of the Mosaic law, and enmity to the apostle Paul. But,
as there were different sects in Judaism itself, we have also to distinguish at
least two branches of Ebionism, related to each other, as Pharisaism and
Essenism, or, to use a modern illustration, as the older deistic and the
speculative pantheistic rationalism in Germany, or the two schools of
Unitarianism in England and America.

1. The common Ebionites, who were by far the more numerous, embodied
the Pharisaic legal spirit, and were the proper successors of the Judaizers
opposed in the epistle to the Galatians. Their doctrine may be reduced to
the following propositions:
(a.) Jesus is, indeed, the promised Messiah, the son of David, and the
supreme lawgiver, yet a mere man, like Moses and David, sprung by
natural generation from Joseph and Mary. The sense of his Messianic
calling first arose in him at his baptism by John, when a higher spirit
joined itself to him. Hence Origen compared this sect to the blind man
in the Gospel who called to the Lord without seeing him, ‘Thou son of
David, have mercy on me!’
(b.) Circumcision and the observance of the whole ritual law of Moses
are necessary to salvation for all men.
(c.) Paul is an apostate and heretic, and all his epistles are to be
discarded. The sect considered him a native heathen, who came over to
Judaism in later life from impure motives.
(d.) Christ is soon to come again to introduce the glorious millennial
reign of the Messiah, with the earthly Jerusalem for its seat.

2. The second class of Ebionites, starting with Essenic notions, gave their
Judaism a speculative or theosophic stamp, like the errorists of the Epistle
to the Colossians. They form the stepping-stone to Gnosticism.
Among these belong the Elkesaites” (Schaff, Ch. Hist. 1, § 68, 214 sq.).
The pseudo-Clementine homilies teach a speculative form of Ebionism,
essentially Judaizing in spirit and aim.

4. Ebionism has reappeared, since the Reformation, in Socinianism (q.v.),
and in the other forms of what is called Unitarianism (q.v.). Some Unitarian
writers have undertaken to show that Ebionism was the original form of
Christian doctrine, and that the Church doctrine as to the person of Christ
was a later development;.. A far abler advocate of the Socinian view is Baur,
“Baur agrees with the old Socinians in the statement that the Jewish
Christianity of the apostolic age was Ebionite. But, unlike them, he holds
that we find within the canon a great departure from, and advance upon,
this humanitarian doctrine of Christ’s person. He professes to discover in
the New Testament the consecutive stages of a progress which, beginning
with the Unitarian creed terminates in the doctrine of Christ’s proper
divinity. There occurred at the end, or before the end, of the apostolic age,
a reaction of the Jewish Christianity, which with Baur is identical with the
Judaizing or Ebionite element; and this type of Christianity prevailed
through the larger part of the second century…..”

It is to the heretical doctrines of Arius and the Ebionite and Elkasaite Judaizers, by historically proven descent, that Mahommed and Islam receive their historical origin.
( From McClintock and Strong): Arianism:
“…..A heresy with regard to the person of Christ which spread widely in the church from the fourth to the seventh centuries. It took its name from Arius, a presbyter of Alexandria, said to have been a Libyan, and a man of subtle, but not profound mind. The most probable account is that he was educated in the school of Lucian the martyr at Antioch; and the doctrinal position of Lucian (scientifically nearer to the subsequent doctrine of Arius than of Athanasius) helps to explain not only how Arius’s view arose, but also how it happened to be so widely received (comp. Dorner, Person of Christ, div. 1, vol. 2, p. 490; Socrates, Hist. Eccl. 2, 10; Sozomen, Hist. Eccl. 3, 5). He is said to have favored Meletius (q.v.), who was deposed A.D. 306; but it appears that Peter, bishop of Alexandria, the great enemy of Meletius, ordained Arius deacon (Sozom. Hist. Eccl. 1:15) about A.D. 311, but soon, on account of his turbulent disposition, ejected him. When Peter was dead, Arius feigned penitence; and being pardoned by Achillas, who succeeded Peter, he was by him raised to the priesthood, and entrusted with the church of Baucalis, in Alexandria (Epiphan. Haeres, 68, 4). It is said that on the death of Achillas, A.D. 313, Arius was greatly mortified because Alexander was preferred before him, and made bishop, and that he consequently sought every occasion of exciting tumults against Alexander; but this story rests simply on a remark of Theodoret (Hist. Eccles. 1, 2) that Arius was envious of Alexander.
I. Ancient Arianism. —
1. First Period: to the Council of Nice. — The eloquence of Arius gained him popularity; and he soon began to teach a doctrine concerning the person of Christ inconsistent with His divinity. When Alexander had one day. been addressing his clergy, and insisting that the Son is co-eternal, coessential, and co-equal with the Father in, Theod. 1:11), Arius opposed him, accused him of Sabellianism, and asserted that there was a time when the Son was not, since the Father who begot must be before the Son who was begotten, and the latter, therefore, could not be eternal (Socrat. Hist. Eccl. 1, 5). Such is the account, by the early writers, of the origin of the controversy. But if it had not begun in this way, it must soon have began in some other. The points in question had not arrived at scientific precision in the mind of the church; and it was only during the Arian controversy, and by means of the earnest struggles invoked by it, carried on through many years, causing the convocation of many synods, and employing some of the most acute and profound intellects the church has ever seen, that a definite and permanent form of truth was arrived at (Dorner, Person of Christ, div. 1, vol. 2, p. 227)…..”
The famous Christian expositor and Apologist; John of Damascus, writing in the early 8th century, has the following to say on the Arian origin of Islam in his “ Fountain of Knowledge”: (ON HERESIES):
“…..Heresy 101. There is also the superstition of the Ishmaelites which to this day prevails and keeps people in error, being a forerunner of the Antichrist. They are descended from Ishmael, who was born to Abraham of Agar, and for this reason they are called both Agarenes and Ishmaelites. They are also called Saracens, which is derived from Zappocq KSVOL, or destitute of Sara, because of what Agar said to the angel: ‘Sara hath sent me away destitute.’ (99) These used to be idolaters and worshiped the morning star and Aphrodite, whom
in their own language they called Khabar, which means great. (100) ” And so down to the time of Heraclius they were very great idolaters. From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This man, after having chanced upon the Old and New Testaments and likewise, it seems, having conversed with an Arian monk,(101) devised his own heresy. Then, having insinuated himself into the good graces of the people by a show of seeming piety, he gave out that a certain book had been sent down to him from heaven. He had set down some ridiculous compositions in this book of his and he gave it to them as an object of veneration. He says that there is one God, creator of all things, who has neither been begotten nor has begotten. (102) He says that the Christ is the Word of God and His Spirit, but a creature and a servant, and that He was begotten, without seed, of Mary the sister of Moses and Aaron.(103)……”
[(99) Cf. Gen. 16.8. Sozomen also says that they were descended from Agar, but called themselves descendants of Sara to hide their servile origin
(Ecclesiastical History 6.38, PG 67.1412AB) .
(100) The Arabic kabirun means ‘great,’ whether in size or in dignity. Herodotus mentions the Arabian cult of the ‘Heavenly Aphrodite’ but says that the Arabs called her Alilat (Herodotus 1.131) .
(101) This may be the Nestorian monk Bahira (George or Sergius) who met the boy Mohammed at Bostra in Syria and claimed to recognize in him the sign of a prophet.
(102) Koran, Sura 112.
(103) Sura 19; 4.169.]
It ought to be noted that “ Aphrodite/ Venus/ Alilat/Allah” is a heathen deity representing the “ morning star”, which the Romans called “ son of Aurora ( Dawn), or “ Lucifer”…. ( please refer to the following definition by Sir William Smith; “Dictionary of Antiquity”, article: “Lucifer”:
“…..Lucifer, or Phosphorus, that is, the bringer of light, is the name of the planet Venus [ in Greek “ Aphrodite”], when seen in the morning before sunrise. The same planet was called Hesperus, Vesperugo, Vesper, Noctifer, or Nocturnus, when it appeared in the heavens after sunset. Lucifer as a personification is called a son of Astraeus and Aurora or Eos, of Cephalus and Aurora, or of Atlas. By Philonis he is said to have been the father of Ceyx. He is also called the father of Daedalion and of the Hesperides. Lucifer is also a surname of several Godesses of Light, as Artemis, Aurora, and Hecate…..”
The title of Venus/Aphrodite/Alilat/ Allah, in Arabic, of “ Akhbar” was anciently the same as “ Khabar”, both meaning “ great”. The name was contracted and applied also to the “ Kaaba” at Mecca where the ancient Arabs worship the “ stone of Aphrodite” believed to have fallen from the heavens. The Christian Church during the Dark Ages, at least in the East, firmly believed that Islam, which was generated from the heresy of Arius and the Ebionites and Elkasaites, was the forerunner of the final Antichristian movement, and would culminate in the last Antichrist.

For the first two centuries in the Western regions of the Roman Empire, and much longer in the East, the written language and theology of the Church was still Greek Gentile ( the entire New Testament being recorded in Greek), and NOT Hebrew or Latin. We must stress that the early tension between Christians and the Jews in the Roman Empire of the first two centuries of the Christian Era, and the rejection of Jewish influences in support of the New Covenant, was a very JUST and necessary tension, since the bloody animosity of the Jews against the early Church was so extreme and real, that Christians had no option but to remain separate and predominantly Gentile in nature… Yet about this time occurred three quite extraordinary stirrings within the Christian Church itself which were to have permanent repercussions for both Jew AND Gentile:
1) The revival of the GNOSTICISM of Simon Magus ( the Samaritan convert from Zoroastrian Magianism as recorded by Luke in the Book of Acts, who later apostasized and became the opponent of Saint Peter at Rome) and the fusion of the Gnosticism of Alexandria with the earlier Judaizing Ebionitism by the heretic Cerinthus;
“.…. Ever since the conquests of Alexander the Great, an intense interest had been felt throughout Asia Minor and Egypt in Hellenistic philosophy and Oriental theosophy; and while the old mythologic fables and professed systems of positive revelation had lost their authority, many thoughtful persons had discovered under these what they looked upon as a uniting bond of truth and the elements of a universal religion……. The result was that, near the time of the first promulgation of Christianity, a number of new systems of religious philosophy sprung up independently in different countries, and exhibited similar characteristics. They were usually formed by incorporating with the national religion what seemed attractive elements in foreign systems, and softening down what was harsh and incredible in the popular faith and worship. In this way we discover a nearly simultaneous origin of the Judaistic philosophy at Alexandria, of Essenism and Therapeutism in Egypt and southern Palestine, of the Cabbalistic literature in Syria and the East, and of New Platonism among the Hellenistic nations. These were all offshoots from the same general root, and not necessarily deriving anything original, but unquestionably drawing much assistance from one another. Similar circumstances everywhere called forth similar phenomena with no conscious interdependence….. We thus account for the origin of Gnosticism, and easily reconcile the conflicting views of different writers respecting it. As the early ecclesiastical writers were themselves acquainted almost exclusively with Occidental literature, they ware in the habit of ascribing the rise of Gnosticism to the study of Grecian philosophy, and especially of Platonism, and they appeal to the cosmogonies of Hesiod and others for the exemplars of the Gnostic speculations…….” (McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia: “Gnosticism”).
The first codification of “ Gnosticism” within the early Christian Church was made by Simon Magus ( as mentioned by Luke in the book of Acts of the Apostles), who apostasized from the Faith and became an opponent of the Apostle Peter at Rome. His later successor in the heresy was one “ Valentinus”, who brought the teachings of Simon Magus into a more popular form. Essentially, it consisted of the revival of the ancient Philosophies of the heathens, coupled with the initiation rites of the “ mystery religions”, particularly Zoroastrianism, Hermeticism and Mithraism, and is referred to in Scripture as the “ mystery of INIQUITY which doeth already work…” The legacy of Simon Magus was married to early Christian Judaizing tradition by the heretic Cerinthus who flourished in the late first century and early second century A.D., against whom the Apostles John, Paul and James raised an outcry in their Epistles….
“…..Cerinthus, a traditional opponent of St. John. It will probably always remain an open question whether his fundamentally Ebionite sympathies inclined him to accept Jewish rather than Gnostic additions. Modern scholarship has therefore preferred to view his doctrine as a fusing together and incorporating in a single system tenets collected from Jewish, Oriental, and Christian sources; but the nature of that doctrine is sufficiently clear, and its opposition to the instruction of St. John as decided as that of the Nicolaitanes.
Cerinthus was of Egyptian origin, and in religion a Jew. He received his education in the Judaeo-Philonic school of Alexandria. On leaving Egypt he visited Jerusalem, Caesarea, and Antioch. From Palestine he passed into Asia and there developed τῆς αὐτοῦ ἀπωλείας βάραθρον (Epiph. xxviii. 2). Galatia, according to the same authority, was selected as his headquarters, whence he circulated his errors. On one of his journeys he arrived at Ephesus, and met St. John in the public baths. The Apostle, hearing who was there, fled from the place as if for life, crying to those about him: “Let us flee, lest the bath fall in while Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is there.”
The value of this and other such traditions is confessedly not great—that of the meeting with St. John in the bath is told of “Ebion” as well as of Cerinthus;—but a stratum of fact probably underlies them, and they at least indicate the feeling with which the early “Churchmen” regarded him. Epiphanius, by whom the majority are preserved, derived the principal portion of his statements partly from Irenaeus, and partly, as Lipsius has shewn with high probability, from the now lost earlier work of Hippolytus on heresies.
His doctrines may be collected under the heads of his conception of the Creation, his Christology, and his Eschatology. His opinions upon two of these points, as preserved in existing works, support the usual view, that Cerinthus rather than Simon Magus is to be regarded as the predecessor of Judaeo-Christian Gnosticism.
Unlike Simon Magus and Menander, Cerinthus did not claim a sacred and mystic power. Caius the Presbyter can only assert against him that he pretended to angelic revelations (Eus., Theod.). But his mind, like theirs, brooded over the co-existence of good and evil, spirit and matter; and his scheme seems intended to free the “unknown God” and the Christ from the bare imputation of infection through contact with nature and man. Trained as he was in the philosophy of Philo, the Gnosis of Cerinthus did not of necessity compel him to start from opposition—in the sense of malignity—of evil to good, matter to spirit. He recognized opposition in the sense of difference between the one active perfect principle of life—God—and that lower imperfect passive existence which was dependent upon God; but this fell far short of malignity. He therefore conceived the material world to have been formed not by “the First God,” but by angelic Beings of an inferior grade of Emanation (Epiph.). More precisely still he described the main agent as a certain Power (δύναμις) separate and distinct from the “Principality” (ἡ ὑπὲρ τὰ ὅλα αὐθεντεία, v. Suicer, Thes. s.v. αὐθ.) and ignorant of τὸν ὑπὲρ πάντα θέον. He refused in the spirit of a true Jew to consider the “God of the Jews” identical with that author of the material world who was alleged by Gnostic teachers to be inferior and evil. He preferred to identify him with the Angel who delivered the Law (Epiph. and Philastr.). Neander and Ewald have pointed out that these are legitimate deductions from the teaching of Philo. The conception is evidently that of an age when hereditary and instinctive reverence for the law served as a check upon the system-maker. Cerinthus is a long way from the bolder and more hostile schools of later Gnosticism.
The Christology is of an Ebionite cast and of the same transition character. It must not be assumed that it is but a form of the common Gnostic dualism, the double-personality afterwards elaborated by Basilides and Valentinus. Epiphanius, the chief source of information, is to many a mere uncritical compiler, sometimes following Hippolytus, sometimes Irenaeus. Now it is Christ Who is born of Mary and Joseph (Epiph. xxviii. 1), now it is Jesus Who is born like other men, born of Joseph and Mary; He differs from others only in being more righteous, more prudent, and more wise; it is not till after baptism, when Jesus has reached manhood, that Christ, “that is to say, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove,” descends upon Jesus from above (ἄνωθεν ἐκ τοῦ ἄνω Θεοῦ· ἀπὸ τῆς ὑπὲρ τὰ ὅλα αὐθεντείας, Iren.), revealing to Him and through Him to those after Him the “unknown Father.” If, as Lipsius thinks (p. 119), Irenaeus has here been influenced by the later Gnostic systems, and has altered the original doctrine of Cerinthus as given in Hippolytus, that doctrine would seem to be that he considered “Jesus” and “Christ” titles given indifferently to that One Personality Which was blessed by the descent of the Holy Spirit, the Power on high (ἡ ἄνωθεν δύναμις). This Power enables Jesus to perform miracles, but forsakes Him at His Passion, “flying heavenwards.” So, again, it is Jesus, according to one passage of Epiphanius, Who dies and rises again, the Christ being spiritual and remaining impassible; according to a second, it is Christ Who dies, but is not yet risen, nor shall He rise till the general resurrection. That passage, however, which allows that the human body of Jesus had been raised from the dead separates its author completely from Gnostic successors…..” ( Wace: Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature)…

Epiphanius; Bishop of Salamis in the late 4th century, in his great apologetical work called the “ Panarion”, had the following to say on the origin and legacy of Cerinthus:
“…..Against Cerinthians or Merinthians,
1,1 Now Cerinthus in turn, the founder of the so-called Cerinthians, has come from this bestial seed, bringing the world his venom. But almost nothing different from Carpocrates [one of the early Gnostic heretics] is spouting out into the world, just the same harmful poisons.
1,2 For he slanderously gives the same account of Christ as Carpocrates, that he was born of Mary and Joseph’s seed, and likewise that the world was made by angels.3 In the inculcation of his teaching he differs from Carpocrates in no way except only in this, that he adhered in part to Judaism. He, however, claims that the Law and prophets have been given by the angels, and the law-giver is one of the angels who have made the world.
1.4 Cerinthus lived in Asia and began his preaching there. I have already said of him that he too preached that the world was not created by the first, supreme power—and that when “Jesus,” the offspring of Mary and the seed of Joseph, had grown up, “Christ,” meaning the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, came down to him in the Jordan4 from the God on high, revealing the unknowable Father to him, and through him to his companions. 1, And therefore, because a power had come to him from on high, he performed works of power.5 And when he suffered, the thing that had come from above flew away from Jesus to the heights.6 Jesus has suffered and risen again but the Christ who had come to him from above flew away without suffering7—that is, the thing which had descended in the form of a dove—and Jesus is not Christ. 2,1 But he too has come to grief, as all you lovers of the truth can see. He claims that the law-giver is not good, but he sees fit to be obedient to his Law—plainly, as to a good one. (2) How can the evil one have given the good Law? If it is good not to commit adultery and good not to murder, how much more must the giver of these commandments be better—if it be granted that the person who does not do these things is good! And how can someone who advises what is good, and gives a good Law, be accused of doing evil? The man who takes this sort of line is crazy!
2,3 Now this man is one of the ones who caused the trouble in the apostles’ time when James wrote the letter to Antioch and said, “We know that certain which went out from us have come unto you and troubled you with words, to whom we gave no such commandment.”
(4) He is also one of those who opposed St. Peter because he had gone to St. Cornelius when Cornelius had been vouchsafed a vision of an angel and had sent for Peter. And Peter was dubious and saw the vision of the sheet and the things that were in it, and was told by the Lord to call nothing common or unclean.
(5) And so Cerinthus stirred the circumcised multitudes up over Peter on his return to Jerusalem by saying, “He went in to men uncircumcised.”
(6) Cerinthus did this before preaching his doctrine in Asia and falling into the deeper pit of his destruction. For, because he was circumcised himself he sought an excuse, through circumcision if you please, for his opposition to the uncircumcised believers.
3,1 But because the Lord unfailingly cares for mankind, safeguards the clarity of the truth in the sons of the truth, and has granted the holy apostle Peter to give the refutation of Cerinthus and his party, the stupidity of Cerinthus becomes evident. (2) St. Peter said, “I was in the city of Joppa, and at midday, about the sixth hour, I saw a sheet let down, knit at the four corners, wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts and creeping things. And he said unto me, Slay and eat. And I said, Not so, Lord; for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth. But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. And, behold, immediately there were two men already come unto the house, and the Spirit said unto me, Go with them, nothing doubting.”
3,3 And then he explained how this had been said to him as a parable and how he had been doubtful at the time, till the Lord showed him plainly the things he was teaching him through the words and images. (4) For the instant he opened his mouth when he had come to Caesarea, the Holy Spirit fell upon Cornelius. And seeing this, Peter said, “Can any man forbid water to these, which have been counted worthy to receive the Holy Ghost as we were at the beginning?” (5) But all this was a mystery and an act of God’s lovingkindness, so that St. Peter and everyone else would realize that the salvation of the gentiles is not of man but of God. God had granted the gift of the Holy Spirit, the vision of the angel, and the acceptance of Cornelius’ prayer, fasting and alms, beforehand, so that the apostles—St. Peter especially, and the other apostles—would deprive no one truly called by God of that with which they had been entrusted.
4,1 But these doings took place then at the instigation of that false apostle Cerinthus. Another time too, he and his friends caused a discord at Jerusalem itself, when Paul arrived with Titus, and Cerinthus said, “He hath brought in men uncircumcised with him”—speaking now of Titus—“and polluted the holy place.” (2) And so Paul says, “But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. But because of the false brethren, unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ, to whom we gave place by subjection not even temporarily.” And he used to command the uncircumcised, “Be not circumcised. For if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.” (3) Circumcision was a temporary expedient until the greater circumcision arrived, that is, the laver of regeneration—as is plain to everyone, and is shown more clearly by the things the apostles said, especially the holy apostle Paul. For he insists, “To them we gave place by subjection, not even temporarily.”
4,4 But to anyone who is willing to observe what the apostles went through at that time, it is amazing how the things a spirit of imposture inspired this faction to do betray the character of those who caused the commotion among the apostles with their heresies. (5) For, as I have said, no slight disturbance arose then, after they had rebelled, become false apostles, sent other false apostles—first to Antioch, as I have said already, and to other places—to say, “Except ye be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses, ye cannot be saved.” (6) And these are the ones the apostle Paul calls “false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.”
5,1 For they use the Gospel according to Matthew—in part and not in its entirety, but they do use it for the sake of the physical genealogy—and they cite the following as a proof-text, arguing from the Gospel, “ ‘It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master.’ (2) What does this mean?” they say, “Christ was circumcised; be circumcised yourself ! Christ lived by the Law; you too do the same.” And therefore some of them are convinced by those specious arguments as though overcome by deadly drugs, because of the circumcision of Christ. (3) They discount Paul, however, because he did not obey the circumcised. Moreover they reject him for saying, “Whosoever of you are justified by the Law, ye are fallen from grace,” and, “If ye be circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.”
6,1 In turn this Cerinthus, fool and teacher of fools that he is, ventures to maintain that Christ has suffered and been crucifi ed but has not risen yet, but he will rise when the general resurrection of the dead comes. (2) Now this position of theirs is untenable, both the words and the ideas. And so, in astonishment at those who did not believe in the coming resurrection of the dead, the apostle said, “If the dead rise not, then is Christ not raised; “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” and, “Be not deceived; evil communications corrupt good manners.” (3) Again, he likewise gives their refutation to those who say that Christ is not risen yet by saying, “If Christ be not raised, our preaching is vain and our faith is vain. And we also are found false witnesses against God, that he raised up Christ, if so be that he raised him not up.” , as though it was apostolic preaching that Christ was not risen and the dead are not raised (at all).
6,4 For their school reached its height in this country, I mean Asia, and in Galatia as well. And in these countries I also heard of a tradition which said that when some of their people died too soon, without baptism, others would be baptized for them in their names, so that they would not be punished for rising unbaptized at the resurrection and become the subjects of the authority that made the world. (5) And the tradition I heard of says that this is why the same holy apostle said, “If the dead rise not at all, why are they baptized for them?” But others explain the text satisfactorily by saying that, as long as they are catechumens, the dying are allowed baptism before they die because of this hope, showing that the person who has died will also rise, and therefore needs the forgiveness of his sins through baptism.
6,6 Some of these people have preached that Christ is not risen yet, but will rise together with everyone; others, that the dead will not rise at all.(7) Hence the apostle has come forward and given the refutation of both these groups and the rest of the sects at once on . And in the testimonies that he gave in full he produced the sure proof of the resurrection, salvation and hope of the dead (8) by saying, “This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality,” and again, “Christ is risen, the firstfruits of them that slept.” This was to refute both kinds of sects at once and truly impart the unsullied doctrine of his teaching to anyone who wanted to know God’s truth and saving doctrine.
7,1 Hence it can be observed at every point that Cerinthus, with his supporters, is pathetically mistaken and has become responsible for the ruin of others, since the sacred scriptures explain it all to us, clearly and in detail. (2) For neither is Christ the product of Joseph’s seed—for how could the “product” be a sign and, further, how will be words of Isaiah be upheld, “Behold, the Virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,” and so on?
(3) Further, how can the holy Virgin’s words to Gabriel, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” be fulfilled—and his answer, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee,” and so on? (4) And once more, how can their stupidity not be exposed when the Gospel plainly says, “Before they came together she was found with child?”
7,5 But that they did not come together at all is plain to see. Heaven preserve us from saying so! Otherwise, he would not have made provision to entrust her to the holy virgin John after the crucifi xion, as he says, “Behold thy mother”—and to her, “Behold thy son.” (6) He should have entrusted her to her relatives, or to Joseph’s sons, if they were his sons by her—I mean James, Joses, Jude and Simon, Joseph’s sons by another wife. Joseph had no relations with the Virgin, heaven forbid—after childbearing the Virgin is found inviolate…..”
2) The arrival of the MONTANIST movement is the second great influence in the 2nd century A.D. to which attention must be drawn in relation to the forementioned developments;
“……Montanus (1), a native of Ardabau, a village in Phrygia, who, in the latter half of the 2nd cent., originated a widespread schism, of which traces remained for centuries.
I. Rise of Montanism.—The name Montanus was not uncommon in the district. It is found in a Phrygian inscription (Le Bas, 755) and in three others from neighbouring provinces (Boeckh—3662 Cyzicus, 4071 Ancyra, 4187 Amasia). Montanus had been originally a heathen, and according to Didymus (de Trin. iii. 41) an idol priest. The epithets “abscissus” and “semivir” applied to him by Jerome (Ep. ad Marcellam, vol. i. 186) suggest that Jerome may have thought him a priest of Cybele. That after his conversion he became a priest or bishop there is no evidence. He taught that God’s supernatural revelations did not end with the apostles, but that even more wonderful manifestations of the divine energy might be expected under the dispensation of the Paraclete. It is asserted that Montanus claimed himself to be the Paraclete; but we believe this to have merely arisen out of the fact that he claimed to be an inspired organ by whom the Paraclete spoke, and that consequently words of his were uttered and accepted as those of that Divine Being. We are told that Montanus claimed to be a prophet and spoke in a kind of possession or ecstasy. He held that the relation between a prophet and the Divine Being Who inspired him was the same as between a musical instrument and he who played upon it; consequently the inspired words of a prophet were not to be regarded as those of the human speaker. In a fragment of his prophecy preserved by Epiphanius he says, “I have come, not an angel or ambassador, but God the Father.” See also Didymus (u.s.). It is clear that Montanus here did not speak in his own name, but uttered words which he supposed God to have put into his mouth; and if he spoke similarly in the name of the Paraclete it does not follow that he claimed to be the Paraclete.
His prophesyings were soon outdone by two female disciples, Prisca or Priscilla and Maximilla, who fell into strange ecstasies, delivering in them what Montanus and his followers regarded as divine prophecies. They had been married, left their husbands, were given by Montanus the rank of virgins in the church, and were widely reverenced as prophetesses. But very different was the sober judgment formed of them by some of the neighbouring bishops. Phrygia was a country in which heathen devotion exhibited itself in the most fanatical form, and it seemed to calm observers that the frenzied utterances of the Montanistic prophetesses were far less like any previous manifestation of the prophetic gift among Christians than they were to those heathen orgiasms which the church had been wont to ascribe to the operation of demons. The church party looked on the Montanists as wilfully despising our Lord’s warning to beware of false prophets, and as being in consequence deluded by Satan, in whose power they placed themselves by accepting as divine teachers women possessed by evil spirits. The Montanists looked on the church leaders as men who did despite to the Spirit of God by offering the indignity of exorcism to those whom He had chosen as His organs for communicating with the church. It does not appear that any offence was taken at the substance of the Montanistic prophesyings. On the contrary, it was owned that they had a certain plausibility; when with their congratulations and promises to those who accepted them they mixed a due proportion of rebukes and warnings, this was ascribed to the deeper art of Satan. What condemned the prophesyings in the minds of the church authorities was the frenzied ecstasy in which they were delivered.
The question as to the different characteristics of real and pretended prophecy was the main subject of discussion in the first stage of the Montanist controversy. It may have been treated of by Melito in his work on prophecy; it was certainly the subject of that of Miltiades περὶ τοῦ μὴ δεῖν προφήτηϖ ἐν ἐκστάσει λαλεῖν; it was touched on in an early anonymous writing against Montanism , of which large fragments are preserved by Eusebius (v. 16, 17). Some more of this polemic is almost certainly preserved by Epiphanius, who often incorporates the labours of previous writers and whose section on Montanism contains a discussion which is clearly not Epiphanius’s own, but a survival from the first stage of the controversy. We learn that the Montanists brought as Scripture examples of ecstasy the text “the Lord sent a deep sleep (ἔκστασιν) upon Adam,” that David said in his haste (ἐν ἐκστάσει) “all men are liars,” and that the same word is used of the vision which warned Peter to accept the invitation of Cornelius. The orthodox opponent points out that Peter’s “not so” shews that in his ecstasy he did not lose his individual judgment and will. Other similar instances are quoted from O.T…..”

The following very revealing and disturbing quotation from John of Damascus on the Montanistic practices is worthy of careful consideration.. Montanus was a priest of Cybele, according to Jerome, and the tradition of Cybele was inherited by the Roman “ Sybils”, particularly the “ Sybil of Thyatira” historically known as “ Sambatha” to which the Apocalypse of John alludes. The prophetic utterances and traditions of the Sybils ( the daughters of Je-Zebel, of “ Ahab” fame) are to this day held in esteem and are perpetuated by the Roman Papacy and Church:
“…..48. The Cataphrygians, or Montanists, or Ascodrugites accept the Old and New Testaments, but they also introduce other prophets of whom they make much a certain Montanus and a Priscilla.
49. The Pepuzians, who are also called Quintillians, and with whom the Artotyrites * are connected, constitute a distinct heresy. Although they belong to the Cataphrygians, they hold other things which these last do not. Pepuza, which is a certain town lying between Galatia and Cappadocia and Phrygia, they hold sacred. In fact, they claim that it is Jerusalem. There is, however, still another Pepuza. Furthermore, they permit women to hold authority and to officiate as priests. And they celebrate certain mysteries during the course of which they pierce a new-born child with bronze needles, as is the custom of the Cataphrygians. Then, having mixed flour with its blood, they bake a host of which they partake as communion. They also tell a mythical tale of Christ revealing Himself there in Pepuza to Quintilla or Priscilla, in female form. They use both the Old and New Testaments, altering them in conformance with their own ideas.
* The correct form is Tascodrugite. According to Epiphanius, it is a name of Phrygian origin meaning ‘nose-pegger/ from their custom of putting the forefinger to the nose while praying (Panarion, Heresy 48.14, PG 41.877B) . (also) * ‘Bread and cheese eaters’……….”
( It ought to be noted that during the revival of Montanism at the time of the Reformation in Europe by the Radical Militant AnaBaptists of Thomas Muntzer and his predecessors, the rallying cry for the AnaBaptist peasants was “ BREAD and CHEESE”.. Their battle standard was the “ Rainbow”, which has continued to this day in the form of the “ new Rainbow Movement”; the “ New Age Movement” and the “rainbow alliance”…. Montanism was also a prominent feature of the French Revolutionaries ( to which the present “ New Age Movement also appeals), who, being largely drawn from the French Martinist Masonic Lodges, donned the “ red Phrygian cap” as their disctinctive symbol of historical allegiance, under the pretense of the “ emancipation of the peasants and lower class”… Engels, of Marx and Engels fame, wrote an entire book on the historical connections between the AnaBaptist Revolution in Europe, the French Revolution, and the Socialist Revolutions of 1848; the precursors of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.. The Communist president of former Yugoslavia; Tito, who held sway over Yugoslavia for many decades, proudly draped a scene from Muntzer’s AnaBaptist Peasant Revolt in Germany as a backdrop in his office, in honour of Engels’ and Marx’s legacies…..)
3. The advent of the Montanist Tertullian and the commencement of Latin Christianity from the cradle of Montanism is the third great influence to arise from the forementioned developments…
The first two of the above influences to arise in the second century A.D. had in common the desire to establish a “ kingdom of God on earth” and to inaugurate a “ new millennium” utopia which would be presided over by the adherents of the respective twain heresies.. Cerinthus had been the first to revive the Ebionite Judaizing claims for a literal kingdom of the Jews on earth in express imitation of the TRUE, which was accurately depicted by the Apostle John in the Apocalypse. Cerinthus presented, however, a counterfeit kingdom on earth to the world, and qualified and permeated it with a thorough Gnostic heretical element and theology that stemmed from the NeoPlatonic Gnostic school at Alexandria, and was in effect the revival of the ancient “ Golden Age” pagan aspirations, which sought to bring back the “ lost age of Saturn”… This mix of Judaizing Ebionite Heresy and Gnosticism, was regarded by the later Nicean Bishops of the Patristic Church as such an aberration, that they threw the TRUE baby out with the bathwater at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, and placed in the Nicean Creed an anti-Cerinthian clause which denied in effect the possibility of a “genuine” and literal kingdom to the Jews ( the Millenium). The famous clause of “ and His Kingdom shall have no end” was specifically designed to counter Cerinthus’ Gnostic Ebionite Jewish Kingdom-on-earth theories..
“…..The Chiliastic eschatology of Cerinthus is very clearly stated by Theodoret, Caius, Dionysius (Eus.), and Augustine, but not alluded to by Irenaeus. His silence need perhaps cause no surprise: Irenaeus was himself a Chiliast of the spiritual school, and in his notes upon Cerinthus he is only careful to mention what was peculiar to his system. The conception of Cerinthus was highly coloured. In his “dream” and “phantasy” the Lord shall have an earthly kingdom in which the elect are to enjoy pleasures, feasts, marriages, and sacrifices. Its capital is Jerusalem and its duration 1000 years: thereafter shall ensue the restoration of all things. Cerinthus derived this notion from Jewish sources. His notions of eschatology are radically Jewish: they may have originated, but do not contain, the Valentinian notion of a spiritual marriage between the souls of the elect and the Angels of the Pleroma…..” ( Wace: Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature; “ Cerinthus”).

The pre ( ante)- Nicene Church, however, including church Fathers such as Barnabas, Irenaeus, Justyn Martyr, Papias and Hippolytus, in the main firmly believed and taught that there would be a literal Jewish kingdom of Messiah/Christ on earth ( the millenium), but that it would NOT have anything in common with the Gnostic-Ebionite “ Golden Age of Saturn” Kingdom of Cerinthus, whose teachings on the subject were understood to be the very ones that would in the last days usher in the final Antichrist, who was regarded universally to be an Apostate Jew descended from the Jewish tribe of DAN ( according to Jeremiah’s prophecy to that effect), and whom the entire Jewish nation would eventually receive and embrace UNTIL the time when, having rebuilt their temple, he would proclaim himself to be God, and thereby abominate the latter-day sanctuary/temple of the Jews..

Jeremiah 8:14-17 proceeds thus (original KJV):
14 Why doe wee sit still? Assemble your selues, and let vs enter into the defenced cities, and let vs be silent there: for the Lord our God hath put vs to silence, and giuen vs waters of gall to drink, because we haue sinned against the Lord. (Jer 4:5; Jer 9:15; Jer 23:15); 15 We looked for peace, but no good came: and for a time of health, and behold trouble. (Jer 14:19);
16 The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan: the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones, for they are come and haue deuoured the land, and all that is in it, the citie, and those that dwell therein. (Jer 4:15);
17 For behold, I wil send serpents, cockatrices among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you; saith the Lord. Ps 58:4-5;…..”

“…….Cerinthus denied also the resurrection of Christ. He adhered in part to
Judaism, and considered the Mosaic law binding on Christians. He taught
that the righteous would enjoy a paradise of delights in Palestine, and that
the man Jesus, through the power of the Logos again coming upon him, as
the Messiah, would reign a thousand years” (Farrar, Ecclesiastes Dict.
s.v.). It is supposed that Cerinthus and his doctrines are alluded to in John’s
Gospel. The system of Cerinthus seems to combine Ebionitism with Gnosticism, and the Judaeo-Christian millenarianism……” ( McClintock and Strong’s article on “Cerinthus”).

The despised doctrine of the future Millenial Rule of Christ Jesus from the throne of David in Jerusalem in a revived Jewish Kingdom based in Palestine ( as believed in by the Apostles and their earliest disciples) became despised precisely because of its counterfeiting by the heretic Cerinthus. It became scornfully referred to as “ Chiliasm”, and after the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., only a handful of Bishops such as Methodius of Olympus, were to find any degree of success in promulgating it… Bishop Fausset in his “ Bible Dictionary” had the following to say on the true Millenium:
“The millennium. The period of Christ’s coming reign with His saints over this earth, delivered from Satan’s presence. As Satan and His kingdom in successive stages sink, Christ and His kingdom rise (Revelation 19-20). Satan, having been foiled in his last desperate attempt to overthrow Christ’s kingdom by Antichrist or the beast, shall by the just law of necessary retributive consequence be bound immediately afterward and imprisoned in the bottomless pit a thousand years. On the same just principle they who have suffered for Christ, and not worshipped the God-opposed world power, shall come to life again and reign with Christ (2Ti 2:12), at His coming, a thousand years. Their resurrection is “the first resurrection.” “The rest of the dead live not again until the thousand years are finished: blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
Ten, the “world number”, raised to the third power, the “divine number”, expresses the world pervaded by God. Possibly the “thousand” may extend much longer than the literal number. So also (Phi 3:10.) Paul’s ambition was to “attain the resurrection from out of the rest of the dead” (exanastasis). So our Lord declares (Luk 20:35), “they who shall be accounted worthy to obtain the resurrection from the dead cannot die any more, for they are equal unto the angels, and are children of God, being children of the resurrection.” Again, to the apostles (Luk 22:18), “ye are they who have continued with Me in My temptations, and I appoint unto you a kingdom as My Father hath appointed unto Me, that ye may eat and drink with Me at My table, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Again (Mat 19:28), “ye that have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit upon the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Those “beheaded (virtually or actually, literally, hatcheted) for Jesus and for the word of God” stand first; then they” who have not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands,” i.e. did not treat the world’s riches, ambitions, and pleasures as their portion. Jesus implies, in reply to the request of Zebedee’s two sons, that there are places of peculiar honour reserved by the Father for those who drink Christ’s bitter cup (Mat 20:22-23). Thus, “whosoever shall lose his life for Christ’s sake (in will or deed) shall save it” (Mar 8:35). Satan thought to destroy God’s people by persecutions (just as previously to destroy Christ, Revelation 12); but the church is not destroyed from the earth, but raised to rule over it; Satan himself is shut up for a thousand years in the “abyss” (” bottomless pit”), preparatory to the “lake of fire,” his final doom. As before, by Christ’s ascension, he ceased to be accuser of the brethren in heaven, so during the millennium he ceases to be seducer and persecutor on earth.
As long as he rules in the darkness of the world we live in an atmosphere tainted with evil physical and spiritual (Eph 2:2). Christ’s coming will purify the world (Mal 3:3). Sin will not wholly cease, for men shall be still in the flesh, and therefore death will come, but at long intervals, life being vastly prolonged as in the days of the patriarchs (Isa 65:20); but sin will not be that almost universal power that it is now. Satan will no longer seduce the flesh, nor be the “god” and “prince of this world” (Joh 14:30; 2Co 4:4), which now “lieth in the wicked one” (1Jo 5:19). The flesh, untempted from without, shall become more and more subject to the spirit. Christ with His saints, in transfigured bodies, will reign over men in the flesh. The millennial nations will be prepared for a higher state, as Adam would have been in paradise, had he never fallen (Rev 21:1-24; Rev 21:26).
This will be the manifestation of “the world (“age”, aion) to come” already set up invisibly in the saints in “this world” (Heb 2:5; Heb 5:5). As each seventh year was Israel’s year of remission, so of the world’s seven thousands the seventh shall be its sabbatism (Heb 4:9, margin). Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Cyprian, expected an earthly millennial kingdom; not until millennial views carnally confounded the state of the transfigured king-priests with that of the subject nations in the flesh, and the church itself sought a present visible kingdom with Rome as its center, instead of hoping for it only when Christ shall come, was the doctrine abandoned by the church and apostasy set in. Earth, not becoming transfigured until after the millennium, shall not be, during it, the meet home for the transfigured saints; but from heaven they with Christ rule the earth, the comparatively free communion between the heavenly and earthly churches being typified by Christ’s communion at short intervals with His disciples during the 40 days between His resurrection and ascension.
Old Testament prophecy everywhere anticipates Christ’s kingdom at Jerusalem: Jer 3:17; Isa 4:3; Isa 11:9; Isa 35:8; Isa 60:61; Isa 60:65-66; Ezekiel 37 to 48, etc., etc. He confirms His disciples’ expectation of it, but corrects their impatience to know the time (Act 1:6-8). The kingdom begins, not as the carnal Jews thought, from without, but from within, spiritually; then when Christ shall be manifested it shall be manifested outwardly (Col 3:4; 1Jo 3:2). The papacy blasphemously anticipates the visible headship which Christ shall then assume, “reigning as kings” without Christ (1Co 4:8).
“When Christianity became a worldly power under Constantine, the future hope was weakened by joy over present success” (Bengel); the church becoming a harlot ceased to be the bride going to meet her Bridegroom. The saints’ future priesthood unto God and Christ “in His temple” (Rev 1:6; Rev 5:10; Rev 7:15; Rev 20:6) is the ground of their kingship toward men. Men will be willing subjects of the transfigured priest-kings whose power is the attraction that wins the heart, not counteracted by devil or beast. Church and state will be coextensive; and the church and the world no longer in mutual repulsion. The distinction between them shall cease, for the church will be co-extensive with the world. The veil shall be taken off Israel first, then off all people, and the kingdoms of this world shall be the kingdoms of Christ (Rev 11:15; Isa 25:7). Christ’s glorious appearing, the church’s transfiguration, antichrist’s destruction, and Satan’s binding, will dispose the nations to embrace the gospel.
As a regeneration of elected individuals “taken out” from Jews and Gentiles (Act 15:14) goes on now, so a regeneration of nations then. As the church begins at Christ’s ascension, so the visible kingdom at His second advent. What the transfigured priest-kings shall be in heaven, that the Israelite priest-kings shall be on earth. A blessed chain of giving and receiving: God, Christ, the transfigured bride, i.e. the translated church, Israel, the world of nations. The outpouring of the Spirit on Israel (Zec 12:10) will usher in the new period of revelation, which has been silent so long as Israel, God’s chosen mediator of revelations, and of establishing His manifested kingdom on earth, has been in the background. God from the first, in dividing to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam, set their bounds “according to the number of the children, of Israel” (Deu 32:8). Now is the time of preaching; then shall be the time of liturgy of “the great congregation” (Psa 22:25; Ezekiel 40 to 48; Zec 14:16-21; Isa 2:3).
Art and music will be the handmaids to spiritual worship, instead of drawing off the soul to sensuousness. Society will be pervaded by the Spirit of Christ. Earthly and heavenly glories shall be united in the twofold election: elect Israel in the flesh shall stand at the head of the earthly nations; the elect spiritual church, in the heavenly kingdom, shall reign over both. These elections are for the good of those to whom they minister respectively; compare, as to Israel’s mediating blessedness to the nations, Rom 11:12; Rom 11:15; Mic 5:7. The extent of rule (the “ten” or “five cities”) is proportioned to the degree of faithfulness, as the parable teaches (Luk 19:13; Luk 19:15; Luk 19:17; Luk 19:19); all vessels of glory are filled, but those of larger dimensions are of larger capacity for glory (2Ti 2:20-21; Isa 22:24).
Peter (2Pe 1:16-18) makes the transfiguration the earnest of Christ’s coming in glory (Matthew 17); it is the miniature specimen of the millennial kingdom: first, Christ in glory, then Moses a specimen of those raised from the dead at Christ’s coming, then Elijah a specimen of those who never taste death, but being found alive are transfigured in a moment (1Co 15:51-52); finally Peter, James, and John, the specimen of Israel and the nations in the flesh who shall desire the tabernacling among them of Christ and the transfigured saints: “Lord, it is good to be here,” etc. The privilege of our high calling in Christ is limited to the time of Satan’s reign; when he is bound there will be no scope for suffering for, and so no longer the reward of reigning with, Him (Rev 3:21; 1Co 6:2.).
Even during the millennium there is a separation between heaven and earth, humanity transfigured and humanity in the flesh. Hence, apostasy can take place at its close; out of the one element of evil in it, the flesh, man’s birthsin the only influence then preventing the saving of all souls. In the judgment on this, the world of nature is destroyed and renewed, as the world of history was before the millennium. Only then the new heaven and earth are perfected. The millennial heaven and earth, connected but separate, are but a foretaste of the everlasting state, when the upper and lower congregations shall be no longer separate and new Jerusalem shall descend from God out of heaven. The millennium shall be the last season of grace; for what can move him in whom the church’s visible glory, evil being circumscribed on all sides, evokes no longing for communion with the church’s King? As the history of nations ended with the church’s millennial manifestation in glory, so that of mankind in general shall end with the separation of the just from the wicked. (Auberlen, Daniel and Revelation.)
As “kings” the transfigured saints shall have subjects; as “priests” they shall have people to whom they shall mediatorially minister blessings from God, namely, the men on earth. The scene of the kingdom is not in, but “under, heaven”; on or over the earth (Rev 5:10; Dan 7:27). The kingdom shall be where the tares once were (Mat 13:41), i.e. on earth. “The meek shall inherit the earth”; like Caleb, alone faithful among the faithless, inheriting the very Mount Hebron on which his feet trod 40 years before (Mat 5:5; Num 14:23-24; Jos 14:9). It will be a time of Sabbath peace, uninterrupted by war (Heb 4:9; Isa 2:4; Zec 9:10; Hos 2:18). Even the savage animals shall lose their ferocity (Isa 11:6-9; Isa 65:25). Christ’s king-priesthood (Zec 6:13) shall be explained in the services of the glorious temple at Jerusalem (Ezekiel 40-48).
The marriage of the Lamb and bride, then begun in heaven, shall unfold the mysteries of the now obscure Song. The theocracy, or rule of God in Christ, shall supersede the misrule of earthly potentates who ruled for self. Finally, when the corrupt flesh and Satan shall have been cast out forever after the millennium, the general resurrection, judgment, and regeneration of our home shall follow.The same Spirit regenerates the believer’s soul now (Rom 8:11), his body at Christ’s coming, and his home (Psa 104:30; Rev 21:1) after the millennium. The earth, once baptized with water, shall be baptized with fire (2Pe 3:7; 2Pe 3:10-13). Earth and nature shall be regenerated, as the nations were previously in the millennium.
The saints not merely, as in it, reign from heaven over the earth; but the heavenly Jerusalem, having the glory of God, shall descend on earth, far eclipsing Israel’s Jerusalem in the millennium. The saints shall be God’s city and bride, God causing His glory to shine out through them, as the flame through a jasper colored lamp (Rev 21:10-11-23). “The nations of them which are saved,” namely, during the millennium (which will be the age of the regeneration of nations as this is the age of the regeneration of individual souls) “shall walk in the light of” the heavenly Jerusalem, i.e. the wife of the Lamb; for the elect church shall hold the primacy among the redeemed throughout eternity, because she alone shall have witnessed for Christ in the face of an opposing world and the prince of darkness (Rev 21:24).
In the primitive paradise there was but a garden with a solitary pair; but in the final paradise and the regenerated earth city and garden shall be combined, the perfect communion of saints with individual blessedness and perfection. Satan loosed no more; the saints under the blessed necessity of sinning no more; the groans of nature hushed (Rom 8:18-23); no more sea, literal or figurative (Dan 7:2-3; Isa 57:20; Rev 21:1; Rev 21:4); no more pain, crying, death. When Christ shall have accomplished the purpose of His mediatorial kingdom by bringing all things into subjection to the Father, God will be all in all. The unity of the Godhead will then be prominent, as His Trinity is now; “His name will be one,” and He will come then first into direct communion with His redeemed. Lord, hasten it in Thine own time (Zec 14:9; 1Co 15:24)……”



Much has been touted over the last decade in various conspiracy circles concerning the role that the doctrine of Synarchy has played in the formation of the European Union.. Most of it has substance and is infact accurate, yet some of it stems from quarters that are themselves Neo-Platonic and Nominalistic in origin, and therefore somewhat dubious in motivation… What most mere conspiracy theories ( as opposed to conspiracy facts) fail to recognize is the telling fact that the doctrine of “Synarchy”, or “ Joint Rule” ( according to Webster’s Dictionary) has mainly stemmed from Neo-Platonic circles, due to its emphasis on social control through the use of Republican Socialism, which the Greek Philosopher Plato expounded in his famous “ Republic”.. By inference, if indeed society has been polarized by a conspiracy going back thousands of years, as our modern Comparative Philosophers claim, where Aristotelianism represents the “Active” life, and Platonism represents the “ Contemplative” life; namely, into Active and Contemplative camps; left wing and right wing; low and high; we must understand SYNARCHY as NOT consisting of EITHER a Platonic or Aristotelian bent, but of being a FUSION and SYNTHESIS ( to use Hegel’s terminology) of the twain.
The Philosopher Hegel, who was an avid student and follower of the Bohemian/ German Rosicrucian Theosopher Jakob Boehme, codified this historical “ polarized tension” as the right wing and the left wing of politics. Boehme had much earlier, @ 1612, adumbrated the very same in his “ Aurora”, the “ Mysterium Magnum” and the “ Three Principles of the Divine Essence” and other works, which both Hegel AND Louis Claude de Saint Martin ( the founder of the Martinist Order of Freemasonry, whose lodges were the first to openly support and actively promote the cause of the American Revolution and the Bavarian Illuminism of 1776, the French Revolution of 1789, and the Socialist European Revolutions of 1848) later expounded in their systems. Boehme’s “ Three Principles” were the basis of Hegel’s “ Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis”; and herein lies the key to all social, political, religious, ideological, psychological control..
The cardinal Masonic motto; “ OUT OF CHAOS; ORDER”, is an ancient adage that goes back not merely to Adam Weishaupt and the Jesuit Illuminism of Bavaria, or to Hegel and Boehme, but to the time of the first heathen King/Prophet: Zoroaster/ Nimrod; the founder of ancient Babylon, and the first Ceasar, Pharaoh and Emperor of the known world. It was the trade of the HUNT that brought the wily Ethiopean Giant Nimrod/ Zoroaster into prominence and world dominion about 4100 years ago; for Nimrod was the “ great Osiris/Orion”, the “ hunter of men”, whose skill lay in the secret of conquest by an initial “division into polarized camps” and then FUSION through the final great “ synthesis”, or “ alchemical work”, namely SOCIAL SYNARCHY and Joint Rule by a cabal ( UNIONISM) which consisted of ONE Emperor-King, and ONE anointing PRIEST, and a “ Venetian-like” retinue, or Collegia, of several (TEN was the original number of supporting National Kings or Rulers, according to the number of the Kings of Phoenician/Etruscan Atlantis) of “ Philosopher-Kings”, who gave their unequivocal support and allegiance to the Emperor VIA the Priest-Prophet, or “ Pontifex Maximus”..
Synarchy is, therefore, BOTH Aristotelian AND Platonic, and cannot exist as one without the other.. In it’s idealistic form, it embodies the teachings of Socrates who, after Zoroaster, Hermes/ Hiram Abiff, and Pythagoras, was regarded as the quintessential “ Philosopher from the Heavens”, and whose mantle finally fell on the shoulders of Apollonius of Tyana: the evil magician and imposter of the first century, who in the early years of the Christian Era was compared to our Lord Jesus Christ himself, being a worker of counterfeit miracles and an advisor of Emperors; much in the same vein as Simon Magus,( who is depicted as the author of “ simony” ( trading in spiritual things), in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, written by Saint Luke), and of the Druid Priest/Prophet/ Magician “ Merlin”, in the days of Prince/King “ Arthur”, some 500 years after Apollonius of Tyana.
It remains an undeniable fact that the present-day European Union, which was infact founded by Venetian supporters of Saint Yves d’Alveydrey’s politico-spiritistic ( and undeniably Machiavellian) “ occult” doctrine called SYNARCHY, is the precursor of the FINAL 10-Horned European Kingdom of Apocalyptic Prophecy, which once again shall straddle the ancient borders of the Roman Empire in its greatest extent, and shall be the cause for the unification of the entire globe under a single Emperor/Tyrant, who will be supported by a final Pope/False Prophet, and backed up by a Collegia of Kings drawn from the boundaries of the old Roman Empire, in imitation of the 10 Kings of ancient Babylon and the Phoenician/Etruscan Atlantis of Plato fame( as described by the Philosopher Plato in his works), and, in more recent times, patterned after the Doge of Venice’s Kingdom; his supporting Bishop, and his retinue of 10 governing Princes.
The political ecumenism of Venice, from whose bosom Machiavellianism has spread over the entire Western world ( having brought to the Western world modern Masonry and Rosicrucianism from the Middle East in the form of Druze Ismaili Theosophy during it’s various conquests and escapades from the time of the Crusades and onwards), has been the great catalyst for the unification of Europe and the revival of ancient SYNARCHIC Imperialism. From Venice; like some revived horned beast from the sea, has spread the concept of Imperial unity for the European Continent and, by extension, the entire world itself. It remains to be seen which small nation of the NORTH ( for the final Antichrist will stem from a small northern European Kingdom, and will be descended from the Jewish tribe of Dan) of Europe will in the very near future supply that “ unjust world judge” at whose coattail the Jewish nation will tug seeking revenge against her historical enemies…… In Luke 18: 1-8 we have a clear depiction of the coming relationship between the final Emperor/Antichrist of Europe, as a “ World Judge” ( Dan, in Hebrew, means a “ Judge”), and the nation of Israel represented by a widow:
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;( Rom 12:12; Eph 6:18; Col 4:2; 1Thess 5:17); 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? (Rev 6:10); 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Though the following excerpt from Jeffrey Steinberg comes from a quarter which harbours insufficient understanding regarding the true origin and agenda of SYNARCHY, nevertheless the following information is a very accurate account, though only brief, of the intimate links between both Socialism AND Imperialism and the coming world SYNARCHY. It must be noted that Synarchy is NOT a “ Jewish Conspiracy” or “ invention”, but has its origin in the Tower-Building-World-Unifying strategies that were initiated by Nimrod/Zoroaster over 4000 years ago, and that were inherited by a chain of willing successors that included the Jewish tribe of Dan via Hiram Abiff and the Ismaili/Druze tradition in Islam:

“…..The Pan European Union
( written by Jeffrey Steinberg, and quoted from the Internet-based “ Modern History Project”):
In 1922, Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi launched the Pan European Union, at a founding convention in Vienna, attended by more than 6,000 delegates. Railing against the “Bolshevist menace” in Russia, the Venetian Count called for the dissolution of all the nation-states of Western Europe and the erection of a single, European feudal state, modeled on the Roman and Napoleonic empires.
“There are Europeans,” Coudenhove-Kalergi warned, who are “naive enough to believe that the opposition between the Soviet Union and Europe can be bridged by the inclusion of the Soviet Union in the United States of Europe. These Europeans need only to glance at the map to persuade themselves that the Soviet Union in its immensity can, with the help of the [Communist] Third International, very quickly prevail over little Europe. To receive this Trojan horse into the European union would lead to perpetual civil war and the extermination of European culture. So long, therefore, as there is any will to survive subsisting in Europe, the idea of linking the Soviet Union with Pan Europe must be rejected. It would be nothing less than the suicide of Europe.”
Elsewhere, Coudenhove-Kalergi echoed the contemporaneous writings of British Fabian Roundtable devotees H.G. Wells and Lord Bertrand Russell, declaring:
“This eternal war can end only with the constitution of a world republic…. The only way left to save the peace seems to be a politic of peaceful strength, on the model of the Roman Empire, that succeeded in having the longest period of peace in the west thanks to the supremacy of his legions.”
The launching of the Pan European Union was bankrolled by the Venetian-rooted European banking family, the Warburgs. Max Warburg, scion of the German branch of the family, gave Coudenhove-Kalergi 60,000 gold marks to hold the founding convention. Even more revealing, the first mass rally of the Pan European Union in Berlin, at the Reichstag, was addressed by Hjalmar Schacht, later the Reichsbank head, Economics Minister and chief architect of the Hitler coup. A decade later, in October 1932, Schacht delivered a major address before another PanEuropa event, in which he assured Coudenhove-Kalergi and the others:
“In three months, Hitler will be in power…. Hitler will create PanEuropa. Only Hitler can create PanEuropa.”
According to historical documents, Italy’s Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was initially skeptical about the PanEuropa idea, but was “won over” to the scheme, following a meeting with Coudenhove-Kalergi, during which, in the Count’s words, “I gave him a complete harvest of Nietzsche’s quotes for the United States of Europe…. My visit represented a shift in the behavior of Mussolini towards PanEuropa. His opposition disappeared.”
At the founding congress of the Pan European Union in Vienna, the backdrop behind the podium was adorned with portraits of the movement’s leading intellectual icons: Immanuel Kant, Napoleon Bonaparte, Giuseppe Mazzini, and Friedrich Nietzsche…..”
The Apocalypse of Saint John sums the matter up succinctly:
(Revelation Chapter 13):
1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea,[note that Mercury, in Hermetic emblemata, is depicted as being “ born from the sea” P.C.] having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.( Dan 7:20; Rev 17:3); 2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. 3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. 4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? (Rev 18:18); 5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. (Rev 11:2); 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. (Dan 7:21; Rev 11:7); 8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Exod 32:33; Phil 4:3; Rev 3:5; Rev 17:8; Rev 20:12; Rev 21:27); 9 If any man have an ear, let him hear. 10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. (Gen 9:6; Matt 26:52; Rev 14:12);
11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.( Rev 11:7); 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. (Rev 13:3; Rev 19:20); 13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,[ note that Thor, or Jupiter, is regarded by the ancients to preside over all prophecy AND to cause “ fire to come down from heaven.The Priest of Rome, the Pontifex Maximus, was a priest of Jupiter. P.C.] (2Thess 2:9; Rev 16:14); 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. (Deut 13:1; Matt 24:24; Rev 16:14; Rev 19:20); 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. (Rev 19:20); 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:( Rev 19:20); 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.( Rev 14:11); 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (Rev 17:9);



“….So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith without works and I will show you faith by my works. You believe that God is one; well and good. Even the demons believe that – and tremble with fear. (Mark 1:24); But would you like evidence, you empty fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? (Gen 22:10); You see that his faith was working together with his works and his faith was perfected by works. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Now Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend….”


The express statements in the Book of James, and the various passages by the Apostle Paul, which unequivocally convey the truth that we are justified INITIALLY by Faith alone ( as Clement of Rome also confirms in his Epistle to the Corinthians) and CONTEMPORANEOUSLY ( as well as subsequently) by meritorious Works ( of “Righteousness”, in OPPOSITION to futile Mosaic “ Works of the Law”), clear up all presumptions and suppositions adequately. The polarization of the Western Christian world since the time of the Reformation into two opposing camps where NEITHER side has the full and actual truth on the subject of “ Justification”, shows clearly the depth of ignorance that has prevailed, and continues to prevail, on this matter amongst Theologians, Ministers of Religion, and Christians in general. This “ bone of contention” has been gnawed by the two parties from both ends simultaneously, yet neither has managed to tug the bone from the jaws of the other, and in the minds of the average Christian, the matter remains a concern of “ lobe-splitting” proportions. Converts from “ Faith to Works” ( from the Reformed point of view to the Roman Catholic one), or from “ Works to Faith” ( from the Roman Catholic to the Reformed view) interchange constantly. This two party system in Theology and Religion, with it’s final goal of doctrinal “ synthesis” for the purpose of an ecumenical “ status quo”, or “ peace”, has proven to be a bane to one and all, and has served to divide not only congregations, but entire nations, into warring camps that are entirely devoid of the complete truth. The confusion in the minds of Believers between the futile and now abrogated “ Works of the Law (of Moses)”, and the very necessary “ Works of Righteousness” subsequent to Faith and Regeneration ( which are essentially “personal” in nature and NOT merely “ imputed” to the individual), has not been allayed in the Western Churches to this day. The Greek Orthodox Church and some of the other Eastern Orthodox Churches have ( though neglecting their rich doctrinal inheritance in many, if not most, other areas), however, maintained in large degree a thorough and accurate definition and stance regarding the intricate relationship between Faith and Works in Justification.. To quote from McClintock and Strong’s “ Cyclopedia” again:
“….2. The Greek Church. — Little discussion and little controversy has occurred on this doctrine in the Greek Church. Faith and works together are regarded as the conditions of salvation. The words of James are referred to first, yet faith is declared to be the stock from which the good works come as the fruits. The description of faith proceeds from the definition in the Epistle to the Hebrews to the acceptance of the entire ecclesiastical tradition. Man is said to participate in the merit of the Mediator not only through faith, but also through good works. Among the latter are comprised the fulfilment of the commandments of God and of the Church, and, in particular, prayers, fastings, pilgrimages, and monastic life. They are considered useful and necessary not only as a means of promoting sanctification, but also as penances and satisfaction….”
McClintock and Strong’s article, in their “ Cyclopedia”, is a reasonable synopsis of the definition and historical interpretation of the doctrine of “Justification”..

(some form of the verbs צָדִקδικαιόω), a forensic term equivalent to acquittal, and opposed to condemnation; in an apologetic sense it is often synonymous with vindication or freeing from unjust imputation of blame.
I. Dogmatic Statement. — This term, in theological usage, is employed to designate the judicial act of God by which he pardons all the sins of the sinner who believes in Christ, receiving him into favor, and regarding him as relatively righteous, notwithstanding his past actual unrighteousness. Hence justification, and the remission or forgiveness of sin, relate to one and the same act of God, to one and the same privilege of his believing people (Act 13:38-39; Rom 4:5; Rom 4:8). So, also, “the justification of the ungodly,” the “covering of sins,” “not visiting for sin,” “not remembering sin,” and “imputing not inequity,” mean to pardon sin and to treat with favor, and express substantially the same thing which is designated by “imputing or counting faith for righteousness.”
Justification, then, is an act of God, not in or upon man, but for him and in his favor; an act which, abstractly considered, respects man only as its object, and translates him into another relative state; while sanctification respects man as its subject, and is a consequent of this act of God, and inseparably connected with it.
The originating cause of justification is the free grace and spontaneous love of God towards fallen man (Rom 15:3; Rom 15:24; Tit 2:11; Tit 3:4-5). Our Lord Jesus Christ is the sole meritorious cause of our justification, inasmuch as it is the result of his atonement for us. The sacrificial death of Christ is an expedient of infinite wisdom, by which the full claims of the law may be admitted, and yet the penalty avoided, because a moral compensation or equivalent has been provided by the sufferings of him who died in the sinner’s stead (Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; Rev 5:9). Thus, while it appears that our justification is, in its origin, an act of the highest grace, it is also, in its mode, an act most perfectly consistent with God’s essential righteousness, and demonstrative of his inviolable justice. It proceeds not on the principle of abolishing the law or its penalty, for that would have implied that the law was unduly rigorous either in its precepts or in its sanctions.
Faith is the instrumental cause of justification, present faith in him who is able to save, faith actually existing and exercised. The atonement of Jesus is not accepted for us, to our individual justification, until we individually believe, nor after we cease to live by faith in him.
The immediate results of justification are the restoration of amity and intercourse between the pardoned sinner and the pardoning God (Rom 5:1; Jam 2:23); the adoption of the persons justified into the family of God, and their consequent right to eternal life (Rom 8:17); and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Act 2:38; Gal 3:14; Gal 4:6), producing tranquillity of conscience (Rom 8:15-16), power over sin (Rom 8:1) and a joyous hope of heaven (Rom 15:13; Gal 5:3).
We must not forget that the justification of a sinner does not in the least degree alter or diminish the evil nature and desert of sin. Though by an act of divine clemency the penalty is remitted, and the obligation to suffer that penalty is dissolved, still it is naturally due, though graciously remitted. Hence appear the propriety and duty of continuing to confess and lament even pardoned sin with a lowly and contrite heart (Eze 16:62).
II. History of the Doctrine. —
1. The early Church Fathers and the Latin Church. — Ecclesiastical science, from the beginning of its development, occupied itself with a discussion on the relation of faith to knowledge; but even those who attributed the greatest importance to the latter recognized faith as the foundation. A merely logical division into subjective and objective faiths and an intimation of a distinction between a historic and a rational faith (in Clemens Alexandrinus, Stromata. 2, 454; Augustine, De Trinitate, 13, 2), were of little consequence. Two conceptions became prevailing: Faith as a general religious conviction, particularly as confidence in God, and the acceptance of the entire doctrine of the Church, fides catholica. The formula that faith alone without the works justifies is found in the full Pauline sense in Clemens Romanus (1 ad Corinthios. c. 32) and is sometimes used by Augustine polemically in order to defend the freedom of grace and the priority of faith. More generally it is used as an argument against the necessity of the Jewish law (Irenaeus, 4:25 Tertullian, adv. Marcell. 5, 3). The oecumenical synods were instrumental in gradually giving to the conception of fides catholica the new sense that salvation could be found only by adherence to ecclesiastical orthodoxy. But as a mere acceptance was possible without a really, Christian sentiment, and as the Pauline doctrine was misused by heretics in an antinomian sense, it was demanded that faith, be proved by works. Church discipline developed this idea with regard to the sins of the faithful, so as to demand a satisfaction through penances and good works (Augustine, Serm. 151, 12). It became, therefore, the doctrine of the Church that such faith alone works salvation as shows itself in acts of charity, while to merely external works faith or charity is opposed as something accessory. Pelagius assumed only a relative distinction between naturally good works and the good works that proceed from faith; in opposition to which Augustine insisted that the difference is absolute, and that without faith no good works at all are possible. As salvation was thought to be conditioned by works also, it was, even when it was represented as being merely an act of God, identified with sanctification. The importance attributed to abstention created gradually a distinction between commands and advices, and the belief that through the fulfilment of the latter a virtue greater than required would arise (Hermas, Pastor Simil. 3, 5, 3; Origen, In Epistolam, ad Romans 3; Ambrose, De Viduis, 4, 508).
2. The Greek Church. — Little discussion and little controversy has occurred on this doctrine in the Greek Church. Faith and works together are regarded as the conditions of salvation. The words of James are referred to first, yet faith is declared to be the stock from which the good works come as the fruits. The description of faith proceeds from the definition in the Epistle to the Hebrews to the acceptance of the entire ecclesiastical tradition. Man is said to participate in the merit of the Mediator not only through faith, but also through good works. Among the latter are comprised the fulfilment of the commandments of God and of the Church, and, in particular, prayers, fastings, pilgrimages, and monastic life. They are considered useful and necessary not only as a means of promoting sanctification, but also as penances and satisfaction.
3. Doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church during the Middle Ages. — The Scholastics regarded faith as an acceptance of the supersensual as far as it belongs to religion, differing both from intuition and from knowledge; and although essentially of a theoretic character, yet conditioned by the consent of the will; which, however, in the description of faith, is reduced to a minimum. Originally only God is an object of faith, but mediately also the holy Scriptures; as a summary of the Biblical doctrines, the Apostles Creed, and, as its explication, the entire doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. As an accurate knowledge of the doctrines of the Church cannot be expected from every one, the subjective distinction was made between fides implicita and explicita; the former sufficient for the people, yet with the demand of a developed belief in some chief articles. There was, however, a difference of opinion on what these articles were, and even Thomas Aquinas wavered in his views. Faith may, even upon earth, partly become a science, and appears in this respect only as the popular form of religion. It is a condition of salvation, but becomes a virtue only when love, as animating principle [forma], pervades it [fides formata]; with a mere faith [informis] one may be damned. The fides formata includes the necessity of the good works for salvation, but they must be founded in pious sentiment. All other works not proceeding from faith, are dead though not entirely useless. The necessity of good works is fully carried out only by the inculcation of penance as satisfactiones, but with constant reference to a union of the soul with Christ, and the moral effect of the good works. Justification, according to Thomas Aquinas, is a movement from the state of injustice into the state of justice, in which the remission of sins is the main point, though it is conditioned by an infusion of grace which actually justifies men. As an act of God which establishes in man a new state [habitus], it is accomplished in a moment. Among the people the Pelagian views prevailed, that man, by merely outward works, had to gain his salvation, and the Church became, especially through the traffic in indulgences, a prey to the immoral and insipid worship of ceremonies. In opposition to this corruption, many of the pious Mystics pointed to the Pauline doctrine of faith.
4. Doctrine of the Reformers of the 16th Century and the old Protestant Dogmatics. — The Reformation of the 16th century renewed the Pauline doctrine of justification by faith alone, emphasizing in the sense of Augustine, the entire helplessness of man, and made it the fundamental doctrine of the Reformed Church. This faith is represented as not merely an acceptance of historic facts, but is distinguished as fides specialis from the general religious conviction, arising amidst the terrors of conscience, and consisting in an entire despair of one’s own merit and a confident surrender to the mercy of God in the atoning death of Christ. Worked by God, it does not work as virtue or merit, but merely through the apprehension of the merit of Christ. Its necessity lies in the impossibility of becoming reconciled with God through one’s own power. Hence this reconciliation is impossible through good works, which are not necessary for salvation, though God rewards them, according to his promise, upon earth and in heaven; but, as a necessary consequence, the really good works will flow forth from faith freely and copiously. The opinion of Amsdorf, that good works are an obstacle to salvation, was regarded as an unfortunate expression, which may be taken in a true sense, though it is false if understood in a general sense. As man is unable to satisfy the law supererogatory works and a satisfaction through one’s own works are impossible. Justification through love is impossible, because man cannot love God truly amidst the terrors of conscience. Hence justification is a divine judicial act, which, through the apprehension of the justice of Christ, apprehended in faith, accepts the sinner as just, though he is not just. This strict distinction between justification and sanctification was maintained on the one hand against Scholasticism, which, through its Pelagian tendencies, seemed to offend against the honor of Christ, and to be unable to satisfy conscience, and on the other hand against Osiander, who regarded justification as being completed only in sanctification. The works even of the regenerated, according to the natural side, were regarded by the Reformers as sins. The Reformed theology in general agreed with the doctrine of justification as stated above, yet did not make it to the same extent the fundamental doctrine of the whole theology. According to Calvin, justification and sanctification took place at the same time. The dogmatic writers of the Lutheran Church distinguished in faith knowledge, assent, and, confidence, assigning the former two to the intellect, the latter to the will. From the fides generalis they distinguished the justifying faith (specialis seu salvifica), and rejected the division into fides informis et formata. As a distinguishing mark, they demanded from a true faith that it be efficient in charity. For works they took the Decalogue as a rule; a certain necessity of works was strictly limited. But, however firmly they clung in general to the conception of justification as something merely external (actus forensis) and foreign (imputatio justitiae Christi), some dogmatic writers held that justification had really changed something in man, and indeed presupposed it as changed. Hollaz pronounced this doctrine openly and incautiously, while Quenstedt designated these preceding acts as merely preparatory to conversion.
5. Doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church since the Reformation. — The Council of Trent, in order to make a compromise with the Pauline formula, recognized faith as the beginning and the foundation of justification, but the full sense which Protestantism found in it was rejected. This faith is the general belief in divine revelation, though in transition to a special faith, yet a mere knowledge which still gives room to mortal sins. Justification is remission of sins and sanctification, through an infusion of the divine grace, in as far as the merit of Christ is not merely imputed, but communicated. It is given through grace, but as a permanent state it grows through the merit of good works according to the commandments of God and the Church, through which works the justified, always aided by the grace of God in Christ, have to render satisfaction for the temporal punishment of their sins and to deserve salvation. Not all the works done before justification are sins, and to the justified the fulfilment of the commandments of God is quite possible, although even the saints still commit small, venial sins. A further development of this doctrine is found in the writings of Bellarmine. He admits faith only as fides generalis, as a matter of the intellect, yet as a consent, not a knowledge. Though only the first among many preparations for justification a certain merit is ascribed to faith. The Council of Trent had rejected the imputation of the merits of Christ only as the exclusive ground of justification; Bellarmine rejected it altogether. He explicitly proclaimed the necessity of good works for salvation, though only a relative salvation. “The opera supererogationis, which were not mentioned at Trent, though they remained unchanged in tradition and practice, are further developed by Bellarmine. According to him, they go beyond nature, are not destined for all, and not commanded under penalties.
6. Modern Protestantism. — Socinus denied any foreign imputation, also that of the merit of Christ. When supranaturalism in general declined, the points of difference from the Roman Catholic Church were frequently lost sight of Kant found in the doctrine of justification the relation of the always unsatisfactory reality of our moral development to the future perfection recognized in the intuition of God. De Wette declared it to be the highest moral confidence which is founded on the communion with Christ, and turns from an unhappy past to a better future. Modern mystics have often found fault with the Protestant doctrine as being too outward, and approached the doctrine of the Roman Church. The Hegelian School taught that justification is the reception of the subject into the spirit, i.e. the knowledge of the subject of his unity with the absolute spirit or, according to Strauss, with the concrete idea of mankind. According to Schleiermacher, it is the reception into the communion of life with both the archetypal and historical Christ, and the appropriation of his perfection. Justification and sanctification are to him only different sides of the carrying out of the same divine decree. Many of the recent dogmatic writers of Germany have again proclaimed this doctrine to be the essential principle of Protestantism, some taking justification in the sense of a new personality founded in Christ, others in the sense that God, surveying the whole future development of the principle which communion with Christ establishes in the believer, views him as righteous. One of the last dogmatic manuals of the Reformed Church distinguishes conversion and sanctification as the beginning and progress of a life of salvation, and assigns justification to the former.

Bishop A.R.Fausset, in his “ Cyclopedia”, has the following definition and exposition of the term “Faith”:


Heb 11:1, “the substance of things hoped for (i.e., it substantiates God’s promises, the fulfillment of which we hope, it makes them present realities), the evidence (elengchos, the ‘convincing proof’ or ‘demonstration’) of things not seen.” Faith accepts the truths revealed on the testimony of God (not merely on their intrinsic reasonableness), that testimony being to us given in Holy Scripture. Where sight is, there faith ceases (Joh 20:29; 1Pe 1:8). We are justified (i.e. counted just before God) judicially by God (Rom 8:33), meritoriously by Christ (Isa 53:11; Rom 5:19), mediately or instrumentally by faith (Rom 5:1), evidentially by works. Loving trust. Jam 2:14-26, “though a man say he hath faith, and have not works, can (such a) faith save him?” the emphasis is on “say,” it will be a mere saying, and can no more save the soul than saying to a “naked and destitute brother, be warmed and filled” would warm and fill him.
“Yea, a man (holding right views) may say, Thou hast faith and I have works, show (exhibit to) me (if thou canst, but it is impossible) thy (alleged) faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.” Abraham believed, and was justified before God on the ground of believing (Gen 15:6). Forty years afterward, when God did” tempt,” i.e. put him to the test, his justification was demonstrated before the world by his offering Isaac (Genesis 22). “As the body apart from (chooris) the spirit is dead, so faith without the works (which ought to evidence it) is dead also.” We might have expected faith to answer to the spirit, works to the body. As James reverses this, he must mean by “faith” here the FORM of faith, by “works” the working reality. Living faith does not derive its life from works, as the body does from its animating spirit.
But faith, apart from the spirit of faith, which is LOVE (whose evidence is works), is dead, as the body is dead without the spirit; thus James exactly agrees with Paul, 1Co 13:2, “though I have all faith … and have not charity (love), I am nothing.” In its barest primary form, faith is simply crediting or accepting God’s testimony (1Jo 5:9-13). Not to credit it is to make God a “liar”! a consequence which unbelievers may well start back from. The necessary consequence of crediting God’s testimony (pisteuoo Theoo) is believing in (pisteuoo eis ton huion, i.e. “trusting in”) the Son of God; for He, and salvation in Him alone, form the grand subject of God’s testimony. The Holy Spirit alone enables any man to accept God’s testimony and accept Jesus Christ, as his divine Savior, and so to “have the witness in himself” (1Co 12:3). Faith is receptive of God’s gratuitous gift of eternal life in Christ.
Faith is also an obedience to God’s command to believe (1Jo 3:23); from whence it is called the “obedience of faith” (Rom 1:5; Rom 16:26; Act 6:7), the highest obedience, without which works seemingly good are disobediences to God (Heb 11:6). Faith justifies not by its own merit, but by the merit of Him in whom we believe (Rom 4:3; Gal 3:6). Faith makes the interchange, whereby our sin is imputed to Him and His righteousness is imputed to us (2Co 5:19; 2Co 5:21; Jer 23:6; 1Co 1:30)…..

McClintock and Strong in their “ Cyclopedia” have the following definition of the term “ Works” (of the Law as well as of Righteousness):

(ἔργα), “works, or deeds, of the law,” is equivalent to the works which the law requires, or the entire performance of those works which the moral law, whether written or unwritten, i.e., law in general, whether applicable to Gentile or Jew, demands (Rom 2:15; Rom 3:20; Rom 9:12; Rom 9:32; Rom 10:6; Rom 11:3; Gal 2:16; Gal 3:2; Gal 3:5; Gal 3:10; Eph 2:9). On the ground of works, i.e., of perfect obedience and therefore of merit, none can be justified, because “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” If, then, any are justified at all, it must be of grace; but this grace, although freely bestowed and without any just claims on the part of the sinner, is still not unconditionally bestowed. Faith in him who died to save sinners is requisite to prepare one for the reception of pardon; and he who is justified in this way, as a consequence of his faith, is still justified in a manner altogether gratuitous. The reader will mark the difference between the phrase “works of the law,” in the above passages, and the expression “work of faith” or “good works” (1Th 1:3; 2Th 1:11; 2Co 9:8; Eph 2:10; Col 1:10; 1Ti 5:10; 1Ti 5:25; 1Ti 6:18; 2Ti 3:17; Tit 1:6; Tit 2:7; Tit 2:14; Tit 3:1; Tit 3:8; Tit 3:14).
In the writings of Paul, works of the law always designates the idea of perfect obedience, i.e., doing all which the law requires. But works of faith or good works are the fruits of sanctification by the Spirit of God; the good works which Christians perform, and which are sincere, are therefore acceptable to God under a dispensation of grace, although they do not fulfil all the demands of the law. On the ground of the first, Paul earnestly contends, at length, in his epistles to the Romans and Galatians, that no one can be justified. The latter he everywhere treats as indispensable to the Christian character. So also the apostle James, when disputing with those who make pretensions to Christian faith, and mere pretensions, maintains that no man has any good claim to the faith of a Christian who does not at the same time exhibit good works; in other words, he avers that a mere speculative faith is not a real Christian faith (Jam 2:14-26). In a word, Paul has taught us that justification is not on the ground of merit, but of grace: James has taught us that a faith which will entitle one to hope for justification must be accompanied with evangelical obedience. Both are true and faithful teachers; the doctrines of both are equally the doctrines of the gospel. Good works, in the gospel sense of these words, are an essential condition of our acceptance with God; but on the ground of perfect obedience to the divine law, no one ever was or ever will be accepted.
In an evangelical sense, good works are those actions which spring from pure principles, and are conformable to truth, justice, and propriety; whether natural, civil, relative, moral, or religious. The phrase is often used of acts of charity. The qualities of a good work, in the Scriptural sense of the term, are,
(1) That it be according to the will of God; (2) that it spring from love to God (1Ti 1:5); (3) that it be done in faith (Rom 14:23); (4) that it be done to the glory of God (1Co 10:31; Php 1:11).
The causes of good works are,
(1) God himself (Heb 13:21); (2) union with Christ (Eph 2:10); (3) through faith (Heb 11:4; Heb 11:6); (4) by the word and spirit (Isa 3:3; Luk 8:15; 2Ti 3:16).
As to the nature and properties of good works in this world,
(1) They are imperfect (Ecc 7:20; Rev 3:2; (2) not meritorious (Luk 17:10; Tit 3:5); (3) yet found only in the regenerate (Mat 7:17). The necessary uses of good works,
(1) They show our gratitude (Psa 116:12-13); (2) are an ornament to our profession (Tit 2:10); (3) evidence our regeneration (Job 15:5); (4) are profitable to others (Tit 3:8).
Perhaps we should not allow Scripture itself to remain silent for too long on the matter of the correct reception of the “ mustard seed of Faith”. Truth so often is conveyed, at least in the infallible Word of God, through parables..

“So listen to the parable of the sower: (Mark 4:13; Luke 8:11); When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches what was sown in his heart; this is the seed sown along the path. (Matt 4:23); The seed sown on rocky ground is the person who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. But he has no root in himself and does not endure; when trouble or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the person who hears the word, but worldly cares and the seductiveness of wealth choke the word, so it produces nothing. (Matt 19:23; Mark 10:23; Luke 18:24; 1Tim 6:9); But as for the seed sown on good soil, this is the person who hears the word and understands. He bears fruit, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.”

Matthew 13: 18-23 ( NET BIBLE TRANSLATION)

The following passage from James 2: 14-26 conveys the most remarkable Scriptural concert of truth on the real relationship between Faith and Works ( of Righteousness). It remains to this day, along with the expositions on the subject by the Apostle Paul, the only full Scriptural exposition, and forms the foundation of a thorough reconciliation between Faith and Works in Justification.
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? (Matt 7:26; Jas 1:23); 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, (Luke 3:11; 1John 3:17); 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.7 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.8 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (Mark 1:24); 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? (Gen 22:10); 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?9 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. (Gen 15:6; Rom 4:3; Gal 3:6); 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? (Josh 2:1; Josh 6:23; Heb 11:31); 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Clement, Bishop of Rome, writing in the first century A.D., conveys the Apostolic teachings on the matter accurately in the following excerpt from the Ante-Nicene Fathers of the First Century:

Chapter XXXI.—Let us see by what means we may obtain the divine blessing. Let us cleave then to His blessing, and consider what are the means of possessing it. Let us think over the things which have taken place from the beginning. For what reason was our father Abraham blessed? was not because he wrought righteousness and truth through faith? Isaac, with perfect confidence, as if knowing what was to happen, cheerfully yielded himself as a sacrifice. Jacob, through reason of his brother, went forth with humility from his own land, and came to Laban and served him; and there was given to him the sceptre of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Chapter XXXII.—We are justified not by our own works, but by faith. Whosoever will candidly consider each particular, will recognise the greatness of the gifts which were given by him. For from him have sprung the priests and all the Levites who minister at the altar of God. From him also [was descended] our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh. From him [arose] kings, princes, and rulers of the race of Judah. Nor are his other tribes in small glory, inasmuch as God had promised, “Thy seed shall be as the stars of heaven.” All these, therefore, were highly honoured, and made great, not for their own sake, or for their own works, or for the righteousness which they wrought, but through the operation of His will. And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart;
but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Chapter XXXIII.—But let us not give up the practice of good works and love. God Himself is an example to us of good works. What shall we do, then, brethren? Shall we become slothful in well-doing, and cease from the practice of love? God forbid that any such course should be followed by us! But rather let us hasten with all energy and readiness of mind to perform every good work. For the Creator and Lord of all Himself rejoices in His works. For by His infinitely great power He established the heavens, and by His incomprehensible wisdom He adorned them. He also divided the earth from the water which surrounds it, and fixed it upon the immoveable foundation of His own will. The animals also which are upon it He commanded by His own word into existence. So likewise, when He had formed the sea, and the living creatures which are in it, He enclosed them [within their proper bounds] by His own power. Above all, with His holy and undefiled hands He formed man, the most excellent [of His creatures], and truly great through the understanding given him— the express likeness of His own image. For thus says God: “Let us make man in Our image, and after Our likeness. So God made man; male and female He created them.” Having thus finished all these things, He approved them, and blessed them, and said, “Increase and multiply.” We see, then, how all righteous men have been adorned with good works, and how the Lord Himself, adorning Himself with His works, rejoiced. Having therefore such an example, let us without delay accede to His will, and let us work the work of righteousness with our whole strength.
Chapter XXXIV.—Great is the reward of good works with God. Joined together in harmony, let us implore that reward from Him. The good servant receives the bread of his labour with confidence; the lazy and slothful cannot look his employer in the face. It is requisite, therefore, that we be prompt in the practice of well-doing; for of Him are all things. And thus He forewarns us: “Behold, the Lord [cometh], and His reward is before His face, to render to every man according to his work.” He exhorts
us, therefore, with our whole heart to attend to this, that we be not lazy or slothful in any good work. Let our boasting and our confidence be in Him. Let us submit ourselves to His will. Let us consider the whole multitude of His angels, how they stand ever ready to minister to His will. For the Scripture saith, “Ten thousand times ten thousand stood around Him, and thousands of thousands ministered unto Him, and cried, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the Lord of Sabaoth; the whole creation is full of His glory.” And let us therefore, conscientiously gathering together in harmony, cry to
Him earnestly, as with one mouth, that we may be made partakers of His great and glorious promises. For [the Scripture] saith, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which He hath prepared for them that wait for Him.”
Chapter XXXV.—Immense is this reward. How shall we obtain it? How blessed and wonderful, beloved, are the gifts of God! Life in immortality, splendour in righteousness, truth in perfect confidence, faith in assurance, selfcontrol in holiness! And all these fall under the cognizance of our understandings [now]; what then shall those things be which are prepared for such as wait for Him? The Creator and Father of all worlds, the Most Holy, alone knows their amount and their beauty. Let us therefore earnestly strive to be found in the number of those that wait for Him, in order that we may share in His promised gifts. But how, beloved, shall this be done? If our understanding be fixed by faith towards God; if we earnestly seek the things which are pleasing and acceptable to Him; if we do the things which are in harmony with His blameless will; and if we follow the way of truth, casting away from us all unrighteousness and iniquity, along with all covetousness, strife, evil practices, deceit,
whispering, and evil-speaking, all hatred of God, pride and haughtiness, vainglory and ambition. For they that do such things are hateful to God; and not only they that do them, but also those that take pleasure in them that do them. For the Scripture saith, “But to the sinner God said, Wherefore dost thou declare my statutes, and take my covenant into thy mouth, seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee? When thou sawest a thief, thou consentedst with him, and didst make thy portion with adulterers. Thy mouth has abounded with wickedness, and thy tongue contrived deceit. Thou sittest, and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son. These things thou hast done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest, wicked one, that I should be like to thyself. But I will reprove thee, and set thyself before thee. Consider now these things, ye that forget God, lest He tear you in pieces, like a lion, and there be none to deliver. The sacrifice of praise will glorify Me, and a way is there by which I will show him the salvation of God.”

CLEMENT OF ROME First Letter to the
Corinthians Chapters 31,32,33,34,35..

So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith without works and I will show you faith by my works. You believe that God is one; well and good. Even the demons believe that – and tremble with fear. Mark 1:24; But would you like evidence, you empty fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? (Gen 22:10); You see that his faith was working together with his works and his faith was perfected by works. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Now Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend…


Then Jesus said to him, “‘If you are able?’ All things are possible for the one who believes.” Luke 17:6;

Immediately the father of the boy cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
MARK 9: 23-24 (NET)

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” LUKE 17:5 (NET)

He told them, “It was because of your little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17:20 ( NET)

Jesus answered them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen…
Matthew 21:21 (NET)….


image of ancient cross


“…..if my people, who belong to me, humble themselves, pray, seek to please me, and repudiate their sinful practices, then I will respond from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land……”        2 Chronicles Chapter 7 Verse 14 ( NET Bible Translation)




It is a common error of Christians, Ministers, and Theologians, to somehow minimize the dire necessity and recognition of a  “process” within the concept and act of individual as well as corporate repentance, into a mere “ change of mind”, or perhaps a simple “ acknowledgement of the past”, or even an “ about face” from one’s previous actions and/ or thoughts. This neglect of a recognition that there is much more to repentance than the above mentioned, for a better word, mere “ tokens” of the repentance process, has advertently or inadvertently allowed complete and extreme laxity to enter the hallowed confines of the Christian Congregation of the Faithful, and has placed the souls of both believer and unbeliever in peril by an unqualified acceptance of partial repentance, or even no repentance at all.. The Holy, Infallible Scriptures, however, are not to be blamed for this confusion, as many would allege, since they are quite clear and explicit in conveying to one and all the true rudiments of repentance.. Whether found in the Old Testament or the New Testament, the doctrine of repentance must be understood as a series of several steps that commence with unfeigned recognition of God’s Fatherhood as Creator, and end with full healing of spirit and soul, with entrance into the “ Promised Land” of Holiness and Righteousness.. The key to this progression is found in the Book of Second Chronicles, Chapter 7 Verse 14. It is best classed in the following manner:


a)     A RECOGNITION that God is one’s Father and Creator, to whom one is answerable as a created being;

b)    A Complete Contrition and HUMILITY before God with recognition of one’s sins and need;

c)     A Pleading for Mercy through PRAYER to God the Father;

d)    A Sincere desire to PLEASE GOD by Fearing Him and seeking His Will;


f)       A  BELIEVING and full Reliance on God’s Promised RESPONSE; His “ HEAVENLY GIFT”; the Vicarious Sacrifice of His Only-Begotten Son;  Jesus Christ, on behalf of the repentant sinner/ individual;

g)     A BELIEVING ACCEPTANCE of Christ’s ATONING SACRIFICE on the Cross of Calvary and His shed Blood for the Remission of one’s sins, and a CONFIDENCE that God is able to FORGIVE and accomplish what the individual is unable to himself;

h)    A thorough confidence in the HEALING of the individual’s Spirit AND Soul, and of his entry into the now-cleansed spiritual “ Promised Land” of God’s Holiness and Righteousness…



In the ancient Christian Church, all of the above steps were carefully considered and taught to the prospective seeker and convert. Though the steps may not always have been systematically edumbrated as above, the overall and general method and process was always adhered to in order to ensure that true and abiding Faith would be given all opportunity to be sown in “ good ground”, and to encourage the Fear of God, without which it is “ impossible to please God”, and which Scripture speaks of as being the “ beginning of true Wisdom”..


Clement of Rome, writing in the first century A.D., had the following to say on the theme of Repentance:



These things, beloved, we write unto you, not merely to admonish you of your duty, but also to remind ourselves. For we are struggling on the same arena, and the same conflict is assigned to both of us. Wherefore let us give up vain and fruitless cares, and approach to the glorious and venerable rule of our holy calling. Let us attend to what is good, pleasing, and acceptable in the sight of Him who formed us. Let us look stedfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious that blood is to God, which, having been shed for our salvation, has set the grace of repentance before the whole world. Let us turn to every age that has passed, and learn that, from generation to generation, the Lord has granted a place of repentance to all such as would be converted unto Him. Noah preached repentance, and as many as listened

to him were saved. Jonah proclaimed destruction to the Ninevites; but they, repenting of their sins, propitiated God by prayer, and obtained salvation, although they were aliens [to the covenant] of God. The ministers of the grace of God have, by the Holy Spirit, spoken of repentance; and the Lord of all things has himself declared with an oath regarding it, “As I live, saith the Lord, I desire not the death of the sinner, but rather his repentance;” adding, moreover, this gracious declaration, “Repent, O house of Israel, of your iniquity. Say to the children of My people, Though your sins reach from earth to heaven, I and though they be redder than scarlet, and blacker than sackcloth, yet if ye turn to Me with your whole heart, and say, Father! I will listen to you, as to a holy people.” And in another place He speaks thus: “Wash you, and become clean; put away the wickedness of your souls from before mine eyes; cease from your evil ways, and learn to do well; seek out judgment, deliver the oppressed, judge the fatherless, and see that justice is done to the widow; and come, and let us reason together. He declares, Though your sins be like crimson, I will make them white as snow; though they be like scarlet, I will whiten them like wool. And if ye be willing and obey Me, ye shall eat the good of the land; but if ye refuse, and will not hearken unto Me, the sword shall devour you, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken these things.” Desiring, therefore, that all His beloved should be partakers of repentance, He has, by His almighty will, established [these declarations].


CLEMENT OF ROME First Epistle to the Corinthians Chapters 7 & 8…


And King Solomon of old has the following warnings, exhortations to repentance and  lamentations for the foolish who refused to repent:


20 Wisdom calls out in the street, she shouts loudly in the plazas;

21 at the head of the noisy streets she calls in the entrances of the gates in the city she utters her words:

22 “How long will you simpletons love naiveté? How long will mockers delight in

mockery and fools hate knowledge?

23 If only you will respond to my rebuke, then I will pour out my thoughts to you and I will make my words known to you.

24 However, because I called but you refused to listen, because I stretched out my hand but no one paid attention, (Isa 65:12; Isa 66:4; Jer 13:10;)

25 because you neglected all my advice, and did not comply with my rebuke,

26 so I myself will laugh when disaster strikes you I will mock when what you dread comes,

27 when what you dread comes like a whirlwind, and disaster strikes you like a

devastating storm, when distressing trouble comes on you. (Job 27:9; Job 35:12; Isa 1:15; Jer 11:11; Jer 14:12; Ezek 8:18; Mic 3:4;)

28 Then they will call to me, but I will not answer, they will diligently seek me, but they will not find me.

29 Because1 they hated moral knowledge, and did not choose to fear the LORD,

30 they did not comply with my advice, they spurned all my rebuke.

31 Therefore they will eat from the fruit of their way, and they will be stuffed full of their own counsel.

32 For the waywardness of the simpletons will kill them, and the careless ease of fools will destroy them.

33 But the one who listens to me will live in security, and will be at ease from the dread of harm.


PROVERBS OF SOLOMON Chapter 1 Verses 20 – 33… ( NET Bible Translation)



Since then all things are seen and heard [by God], let us fear Him, and forsake those wicked works which proceed from evil desires; so that, through His mercy, we may be protected from the judgments to come. For whither can any of us flee from His mighty hand? Or what world will receive any of those who run away from Him? For the Scripture saith in a certain place, “Whither shall I go, and where shall I be hid

from Thy presence? If I ascend into heaven, Thou art there; if I go away even to the uttermost parts of the earth, there is Thy right hand; if I make my bed in the abyss, there is Thy Spirit.” Whither, then, shall any one go, or where shall he escape from Him who comprehends all things?


CLEMENT OF ROME First Epistle to the Corinthians Chapter 28…




Seeing, therefore, that we are the portion of the Holy One, let us do all those things which pertain to holiness, avoiding all evil-speaking, all abominable and impure embraces, together with all drunkenness, seeking after change, all abominable lusts, detestable adultery, and execrable pride. “For God,” saith [the Scripture], “resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.” Let us cleave, then, to those to whom grace has been given by God. Let us clothe ourselves with concord and humility, ever exercising self-control, standing far off from all whispering and evil-speaking, being justified by our works, and not our words. For [the Scripture] saith, “He that speaketh much, shall also hear much in answer. And does he that is ready in speech deem himself righteous? Blessed is he that is born of woman, who liveth but a short time: be not given to much speaking.” Let our praise be in God, and not of ourselves; for God hateth those that commend themselves. Let testimony to our good deeds be borne by others, as it was in the case of our righteous forefathers. Boldness, and arrogance, and audacity belong to those that are accursed of God; but moderation, humility, and meekness to such as are blessed by Him.


CLEMENT OF ROME First Epistle to the

Corinthians Chapter 30…



“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Matthew Chapter 3: 2 ( NET Bible Translation)



image of ancient cross
The great product and issue stemming from the first Apostolic Council held at Jerusalem, as recorded by Saint Luke in the Book of Acts of the Apostles, was the definitive rule of the Christian Faith as ” Once Given”, known as the ” Constitutions of the Holy Apostles”. History attests to the fact that it was compiled by Clement of Rome, who was regarded as the scribe/ secretary of that greatest of all Christian Councils, and who compiled the oracles and determinations of that Apostolic Council in a series of eight books. The earliest form of the Christian Liturgy is included in this document also, known as the ” Clementine Liturgy”. The document in its entirety was lost for many centuries. It is alluded to and quoted from by Saint Basil; one of the Cappadocian Fathers, and copiously referenced by Barnabas in his Epistle. It was the basis of the Canons of Hippolytus and the Canons of the majority of the Ecumenical Councils including that of Nicea in 325 A.D., though the Nicean and post-Nicean Councils and Bishops chose to redact and change the original Apostolic document, and substituted the Canons with their own inventions and modifications. Finally, the Councils rejected the Document wholescale and successfully repressed it’s influence to such a degree that most copies were systematically destroyed, only to be rediscovered hundreds of years afterwards, and finally rendered into English a few centuries ago. Apart from the Scriptures and Apocrypha of the Old Testament, and the Books of the New Testament, this Document is perhaps to be regarded as the most important, since it conveys the entire set of doctrines, practice, liturgy, as well as the entire rule, of the Christian Life and Church for all time. As implied by the word ” Constitution”, it is a Document that the Apostles never would have allowed, nor ever have intended, to be modified or changed.. The telling fact that the Apocalypse of Saint John had not as yet been written nor recorded as part of the Canon of Scripture, as recorded in the Apostolic Constitutions; nor had the Apocalypse been alluded to at all in the list of spurious works by the ” Constitutions”, indicates definitively that the Constitutions of the Apostles are of great antiquity and preceed the Apocalypse of John, which was penned between 95 and 96 A.D. during the reign and persecutions of the Emperor Domitian, by a considerable span of time. It’s authenticity ought not to be denied nor the compilation date extended far beyond the time recorded by Luke in the Book of Acts of the Apostles.. Clement of Rome himself confirms the fact of the compilation by his own hand, and history has held the belief in common, at least until the advent and time of the schools of Rationalism and Criticism in Germany, that the compiling work was indeed that of Clement of Rome and, in source, that of the Apostles themselves.

The Document is here reproduced verbatim with all original notes, and in its entirety, from The “ Ante-Nicene Fathers” Volume Seven: “ Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries ”, translated by the Rev. Alexander Roberts, D.D., and James Donaldson, LL.D., T&T Clark “ American Reprint” edition.

Constitutions of the Holy Apostles

Book I.1

Concerning the Laity.

Sec. I. — General Commandments.

The apostles and elders to all those who from among the Gentiles have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; grace and peace from Almighty God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, be multiplied unto you in the acknowledgment of Him.

The Catholic Church is the plantation of God and His beloved vineyard; (Isa 5:7, Isa 5:2) containing those who have believed in His unerring divine religion; who are the heirs by faith of His everlasting kingdom; who are partakers of His divine influence, and of the communication of the Holy Spirit; who are armed through Jesus, and have received His fear into their hearts; who enjoy the benefit of the sprinkling of the precious and innocent blood of Christ; who have free liberty to call Almighty God, Father; being fellow-heirs and joint-partakers of His beloved Son: hearken to this holy doctrine, you who enjoy His promises, as being delivered by the command of your Saviour, and agreeable to His glorious words. Take care, ye children of God, to do all things in obedience to God; and in all things please Christ our Lord.2 For if any man follows unrighteousness, and does those things that are contrary to the will of God, such a one will be esteemed by God as the disobedient heathen.


I. Concerning Covetousness.

Abstain, therefore, from all unlawful desires and injustice. For it is written in the law, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his field, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour’s;” (Exo 20:17) for all coveting of these things is from the evil one. For he that covets his neighbour’s wife, or his man-servant, or his maid-servant, is already in his mind an adulterer and a thief; and if he does not repent, is condemned by our Lord Jesus Christ: through whom3 glory be to God for ever, Amen. For He says in the Gospel, recapitulating, and confirming, and fulfilling the ten commandments of the law: “It is written in the law, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, that is, I said in the law, by Moses. But now I say unto you myself, Whosoever shall look on his neighbour’s wife to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Mat 5:28) Such a one is condemned of adultery, who covets his neighbour’s wife in his mind. But does not he that covets an ox or an ass design to steal them? to apply them to his own use, and to lead them away? Or, again, does not he that covets a field, and continues in such a disposition, wickedly contrive how to remove the landmarks, and to compel the possessor to part with somewhat for nothing? For as the prophet somewhere speaks: “Woe to those who join house to house, and lay field to field, that they may deprive their neighbour of somewhat which was his.” (Isa 5:8) Wherefore he says: “Must you alone inhabit the earth? For these things have been heard in the ears of the Lord of hosts.” And elsewhere: “Cursed be he who removeth his neighbour’s landmarks: and all the people shall say, Amen.” (Deu 27:17) Wherefore Moses says: “Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmarks (Deu 19:14) which thy fathers have set.”4 Upon this account, therefore, terrors, death, tribunals, and condemnations follow such as these from God. But as to those who are obedient to God, there is one law of God, simple,4 true, living, which is this: “Do not that to another which thou hatest another should do to thee.” (Tob. 4:16) Thou wouldst not that any one should look upon thy wife with an evil design to corrupt her; do not thou, therefore, look upon thy neighbour’s wife with a wicked intention. Thou wouldst not that thy garment should be taken away; do not thou therefore, take away another’s. Thou wouldst not be beaten, reproached, affronted; do not thou, therefore, serve any other in the like manner.


II. That We Ought Not to Return Injuries, Nor Revenge Ourselves on Him That Does Us Wrong.

But if any one curse thee, do thou bless him. For it is written in the book of Numbers: “He that blesseth thee is blessed, and he that curseth thee is cursed.” (Num 24:9) In the same manner it is written in the Gospel: “Bless them that curse you.” (Luk 6:28) Being injured, do not avenge yourselves, but bear it with patience; for the Scripture speaks thus: “Say not thou, I will avenge myself on my enemy for what injuries he has offered me; but acquiesce under them, that the Lord may right thee, and bring vengeance upon him who injures thee.” (Pro 20:22) For so says He again in the Gospel: “Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; and ye shall be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to shine on the evil and on the good, and raineth on the just and unjust.” (Mat 5:44, Mat 5:45) Let us therefore, beloved, attend to these commandments, that we may be found to be the children of light by doing them. Bear, therefore, with one another, ye servants and sons of God.


Sec. II. — Commandments to Men.

III. Concerning the Adornment of Ourselves, and the Sin Which Arises from Thence.

Let the husband not be insolent nor arrogant towards his wife; but compassionate, bountiful, willing to please his own wife alone,4 and treat her honourably and obligingly, endeavouring to be agreeable to her; (III.) not adorning thyself in such a manner as may entice another woman to thee. For if thou art overcome by her, and sinnest with her, eternal death will overtake thee from God; and thou wilt be punished with sensible and bitter torments. Or if thou dost not perpetrate such a wicked act, but shakest her off, and refusest her, in this case thou art not wholly innocent, even though thou art not guilty of the crime itself, but only in so far as through thy adorning thou didst entice the woman to desire thee. For thou art the cause that the woman was so affected, and by her lusting after thee was guilty of adultery with thee: yet art thou not so guilty, because thou didst not send to her, who was ensnared by thee; nor didst thou desire her. Since, therefore, thou didst not deliver up thyself to her, thou shalt find mercy with the Lord thy God, who hath said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” and, “Thou shalt not covet.” (Exo 20:14, Exo 20:17) For if such a woman, upon sight of thee, or unseasonable meeting with thee, was smitten in her mind, and sent to thee, but thou as a religious person didst refuse her,5 if she was wounded in her heart by thy beauty, and youth, and adorning, and fell in love with thee, thou wilt be found guilty of her transgressions, as having been the occasion of scandal to her, (Mat 18:7) and shalt inherit a woe.6 Wherefore pray thou to the Lord God that no mischief may befall thee upon this account: for thou art not to please men, so as to commit sin; but God, so as to attain holiness of life, and be partaker of everlasting rest. That beauty which God and nature has bestowed on thee, do not further beautify; but modestly diminish it before men. Thus, do not thou permit the hair of thy head to grow too long, but rather cut it short; lest by a nice combing thy hair, and wearing it long, and anointing thyself, thou draw upon thyself such ensnared or ensnaring women. Neither do thou wear over-fine garments to seduce any; neither do thou, with an evil subtilty, affect over-fine stockings or shoes for thy feet, but only such as suit the measures of decency and usefulness. Neither do thou put a gold ring upon thy fingers; for all these ornaments are the signs of lasciviousness, which if thou be solicitous about in an indecent manner, thou wilt not act as becomes a good man: for it is not lawful for thee, a believer and a man of God, to permit the hair of thy head to grow long, and to brush it up together, nor to suffer it to spread abroad, nor to puff it up, nor by nice combing and platting to make it curl and shine; since that is contrary to the law, which says thus, in its additional precepts: “You shall not make to yourselves curls and round rasures.” (Lev 19:27, Lev 21:5) Nor may men destroy the hair of their beards, and unnaturally change the form of a man. For the law says: “Ye shall not mar your beards.” (Lev 19:27, Lev 21:5) For God the Creator has made this decent for women, but has determined that it is unsuitable for men. But if thou do these things to please men, in contradiction to the law, thou wilt be abominable with God, who created thee after His own image. If, therefore, thou wilt be acceptable to God, abstain from all those things which He hates, and do none of those things that are unpleasing to Him.


IV. That We Ought Not to Be Over-Curious About Those Who Live Wickedly, but to Be Intent upon Our Own Proper Employment.

Thou shalt not be as a wanderer and gadder abroad, rambling about the streets, without just cause, to spy out such as live wickedly. But by minding thy own trade and employment, endeavour to do what is acceptable to God. And keeping in mind the oracles of Christ, meditate in the same continually. For so the Scripture says to thee: “Thou shalt meditate in His law day and night; when thou walkest in the field, and when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up, that thou mayest have understanding in all things.” (Jos 1:8; Deu 6:7) Nay, although thou beest rich, and so dost not want a trade for thy maintenance, be not one that gads about, and walks abroad at random; but either go to some that are believers, and of the same religion, and confer and discourse with them about the lively oracles of God: —


V. What Books of Scripture We Ought to Read.

Or if thou stayest at home, read the books of the Law, of the Kings, with the Prophets; sing the hymns of David; and peruse diligently the Gospel, which is the completion of the other.


VI. That We Ought to Abstain from All the Books of Those That Are Out of the Church.

Abstain from all the heathen books. For what hast thou to do with such foreign discourses, or laws, or false prophets, which subvert the faith of the unstable? For what defect dost thou find in the law of God, that thou shouldest have recourse to those heathenish fables? For if thou hast a mind to read history, thou hast the books of the Kings; if books of wisdom or poetry, thou hast those of the Prophets, of Job, and the Proverbs, in which thou wilt find greater depth of sagacity than in all the heathen poets and sophisters, because these are the words of the Lord, the only wise God. If thou desirest something to sing, thou hast the Psalms; if the origin of things, thou hast Genesis; if laws and statutes, thou hast the glorious law of the Lord God. Do thou therefore utterly abstain from all strange and diabolical books. Nay, when thou readest the law, think not thyself bound to observe the additional precepts; though not all of them, yet some of them. Read those barely for the sake of history, in order to the knowledge of them, and to glorify God that He has delivered thee from such great and so many bonds. Propose to thyself to distinguish what rules were from the law of nature, and what were added afterwards, or were such additional rules as were introduced and given in the wilderness to the Israelites after the making of the calf; for the law contains those precepts which were spoken by the Lord God before the people fell into idolatry, and made a calf like the Egyptian Apis — that is, the ten commandments. But as to those bonds which were further laid upon them after they had sinned, do not thou draw them upon thyself: for our Saviour came for no other reason but that He might deliver those that were obnoxious thereto from the wrath which was reserved far them, that7 He might fulfil the Law and the Prophets, and that He might abrogate or change those secondary bonds which were superadded to the rest of the law. For therefore did He call to us and say, “Come unto me,7 all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will dive you rest.” (Mat 11:28) When, therefore, thou hast read the Law, which is agreeable to the Gospel and to the Prophets, read also the books of the Kings, that thou mayest thereby learn which of the kings were righteous, and how they were prospered by God, and how the promise of eternal life continued with them from Him; but those kings which went a-whoring from God did soon perish in their apostasy by the righteous judgment of God, and were deprived of His life, inheriting, instead of rest, eternal punishment. Wherefore by reading these books thou wilt be mightily strengthened in the faith, and edified in Christ, whose body and member thou art. Moreover, when thou walkest abroad in public, and hast a mind to bathe, make use of that bath which is appropriated to men, lest, by discovering thy body in an unseemly manner to women, or by seeing a sight not seemly for men, either thou beest ensnared, or thou ensnarest and enticest to thyself those women who easily yield to such temptations.7 Take care, therefore, and avoid such things, lest thou admit a snare upon thy own soul.


VII. Concerning a Bad Woman.

For let us learn what the sacred word says in the book of Wisdom: “My son, keep my words, and hide my commandments with thee. Say unto Wisdom, Thou art my sister; and make understanding familiar with thee: that she may keep thee from the strange and wicked woman, in case such a one accost thee with sweet words. For from the window of her house she looks into the street, to see if she can espy some young man among the foolish children, without understanding, walking in the market-place, in the meeting of the street near her house, and talking in the dusk of the evening, or in the silence and darkness of the night. A woman meets him in the appearance of an harlot, who steals away the hearts of young persons. She rambles about, and is dissolute; her feet abide not in her house; sometimes she is without, sometimes in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner. Then she catches him, and kisses him, and with an impudent face says unto him, I have peace-offerings with me; this day do I pay my vows: therefore came I forth to meet thee; earnestly I have desired thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings; with tapestry from Egypt have I adorned it. I have perfumed my bed with saffron, and my house with cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning; come, let us solace ourselves with love,” etc. To which he adds: “With much discourse she seduced him, with snares from her lips she forced him. He goes after her like a silly bird.” (Pro 7:1, etc.) And again: “Do not hearken to a wicked woman; for though the lips of an harlot are like drops from an honey-comb, which for a while is smooth in thy throat, yet afterwards thou wilt find her more bitter than gall, and sharper than any two-edged sword.” (Pro 5:3, Pro 5:4) And again: “But get away quickly, and tarry not; fix not thine eyes upon her: for she hath thrown down many wounded; yea, innumerable multitudes have been slain by her.” (Pro 7:25, Pro 7:26) “If not,” says he, “yet thou wilt repent at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, and wilt say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart has avoided the reproofs of the righteous! I have not hearkened to the voice of my instructor, nor inclined mine ear to my teacher. I have almost been in all evil.” (Pro 5:11, etc.) But we will make no more quotations; and if we have omitted any, be so prudent as to select the most valuable out of the Holy Scriptures, and confirm yourselves with them, rejecting all things that are evil, that so you may be found holy with God in eternal life.


Sec. III. — Commandments to Women.

VIII. Concerning the Subjection of a Wife to Her Husband, and that She Must Be Loving and Modest.

Let the wife be obedient to her own proper husband, because “the husband is the head of the wife.” (1 Cor.1Co 11:3) But Christ is the head of that husband who walks in the way of righteousness; and “the head of Christ is God,” even His Father. Therefore, O wife, next after the Almighty, our God and Father, the Lord of the present world and of the world to come, the Maker of everything that breathes, and of every power; and after His beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom8 glory be to God, do thou fear thy husband, and reverence him, pleasing him alone, rendering thyself acceptable to him in the several affairs of life, that so on thy account thy husband may be called blessed, according to the Wisdom of Solomon, which thus speaks: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for such a one is more precious than costly stones. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that she shall have no need of spoil: for she does good to her husband all the days of her life. She buyeth wool and flax, and worketh profitable things with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships, she bringeth her food from far. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth” meat to her household, and food to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it; with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She tasteth that it is good to labour; her lamp goeth not out all the whole night. She stretcheth out her arms for useful work, and layeth her hands to the spindle. She openeth her hands to the needy; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the poor. Her husband takes no care of the affairs of his house; for all that are with her are clothed with double garments. She maketh coats for her husband, clothings of silk and purple. Her husband is eminent in the gates, when he sitteth with the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it to the Phœnicians, and girdles to the Canaanites. She is clothed with glory and beauty, and she rejoices in the last days. She openeth her mouth with wisdom and discretion, and puts her words in order. The ways of her household are strict; she eateth not the bread of idleness. She will open her mouth with wisdom and caution, and upon her tongue are the laws of mercy. Her children arise up and praise her for her riches, and her husband joins in her praises. Many daughters have obtained wealth and done worthily, but thou surpassest and excellest them all. May lying flatteries and the vain beauty of a wife be far from thee. For a religious wife is blessed. Let her praise the fear of the Lord:9 give her of the fruits of her lips, and let her husband be praised in the gates.” (Pro 31:10, etc.) And again: “A virtuous wife is a crown to her husband.” (Pro 12:4) And again: “Many wives have built an house.”10 You have learned what great commendations a prudent and loving wife receives from the Lord God. If thou desirest to be one of the faithful, and to please the Lord, O wife, do not superadd ornaments to thy beauty, in order to please other men; neither affect to wear fine broidering, garments, or shoes, to entice those who are allured by such things. For although thou dost not these wicked things with design of sinning thyself, but only for the sake of ornament and beauty, yet wilt thou not so escape future punishment, as having compelled another to look so hard at thee as to lust after thee, and as not having taken care both to avoid sin thyself, and the affording scandal to others. But if thou yield thyself up, and commit the crime, thou art both guilty of thy own sin, and the cause of the ruin of the other’s soul also. Besides, when thou hast committed lewdness with one man, and beginnest to despair, thou wilt again turn away from thy duty, and follow others, and grow past feeling; as says the divine word: “When a wicked man comes into the depth of evil, he becomes a scorner, and then disgrace and reproach come upon him.” (Pro 18:3) For such a woman afterward being wounded, ensnares without restraint the souls of the foolish. Let us learn, therefore, how the divine word, triumphs over such women, saying: “I hated a woman who is a snare and net to the heart of men worse than death; her hands are fetters.” (Ecc 7:26) And in another passage: “As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is beauty in a wicked woman.” (Pro 11:22) And again: “As a worm in wood, so does a wicked woman destroy her husband.” (Pro 12:4, LXX) And again: “It is better to dwell in the corner of the house-top, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” (Pro 21:9, Pro 21:19) You, therefore, who are Christian women, do not imitate such as these. But thou who designest to be faithful to thine own husband, take care to please him alone. And when thou art in the streets, cover thy head; for by such a covering thou wilt avoid being viewed of idle persons. Do not paint thy face, which is God’s workmanship; for there is no part of thee which wants ornament, inasmuch as all things which God has made are very good. But the lascivious additional adorning of what is already good is an affront to the bounty of the Creator. Look downward when thou walkest abroad, veiling thyself as becomes women.


IX. That a Woman Must Not Bathe with Men.

Avoid also that disorderly practice of bathing in the same place with men; for many are the nets of the evil one. And let not a Christian woman bathe with an hermaphrodite; for if she is to veil her face, and conceal it with modesty from strange men, how can she bear to enter naked into the bath together with men? But if the bath be appropriated to women, let her bathe orderly, modestly, and moderately. But let her not bathe without occasion, nor much, nor often, nor in the middle of the day, nor, if possible, every day; and let the tenth hour of the day be the set time for such seasonable bathing. For it is convenient that thou, who art a Christian woman, shouldst ever constantly avoid a curiosity which has many eyes.


X. Concerning a Contentious and Brawling Woman.

But as to a spirit of contention, be sure to curb it as to all men, but principally as to thine husband; lest, if he be an unbeliever or an heathen, he may have an occasion of scandal or of blaspheming God, and thou be partaker of a woe from God. For, says He, “Woe to him by whom My name is blasphemed among the Gentiles;” (Isa 52:5) and lest, if thy husband be a Christian, he be forced, from his knowledge of the Scriptures, to say that which is written in the book of Wisdom: “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” (Pro 21:19) You wives, therefore, demonstrate your piety by your modesty and meekness to all without the Church, whether they be women or men, in order to their conversion and improvement in the faith. And since we have warned you, and instructed you briefly, whom we do esteem our sisters, daughters, and members, as being wise yourselves, persevere all your lives in an unblameable course of life. Seek to know such kind of learning whereby you may arrive at the kingdom of our Lord, and please Him, and so rest for ever and ever. Amen.







1 [On the titlepage of the Edinburgh edition is subjoined: “by Clement, bishop and citizen of Rome.”]

2 The reading of the V. mss. The others read, “Christ our God.”

3 “To whom” in V. mss., and “to God” is omitted.

4 Omitted in V. mss.

5 The V. mss. add: “didst abstain from her, and didst not sin against her.”

6 Not in V. mss.

7 Omitted in V. mss.

8 “To whom be glory,” V. mss.

9 [The incorrect rendering of the LXX. is here cited, as given in the text. — R.]

10 [A.V. “Every wise woman buildeth her house.” — R.] Pro 14:1.






















Constitutions of the Holy Apostles. (Cont.)

Book II.

Of Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons.

Sec. I. — On Examining Candidates for the Episcopal Office.


I. That a Bishop Must Be Well Instructed and Experienced in the Word.

But concerning bishops, we have heard from our Lord, that a pastor who is to be ordained a bishop for the churches in every parish, must be unblameable, unreprovable, free from all kinds of wickedness common among men, not under fifty years of age; for such a one is in good part past youthful disorders, and the slanders of the heathen, as well as the reproaches which are sometimes cast upon many persons by some false brethren, who do not consider the word of God in the Gospel: “Whosoever speaketh an idle word shall give an account thereof to the Lord in the day of judgment.” (Mat 12:36) And again: “By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Mat 12:37) Let him therefore, if it is possible, be well educated; but if he be unlettered, let him at any rate be1 skilful in the word, and of competent age. But if in a small parish one advanced in years is not to be found,2 let some younger person, who has a good report among his neighbours, and is esteemed by them worthy of the office of a bishop, — who has carried himself from his youth with meekness and regularity, like a much elder person, — after examination, and a general good report, be ordained in peace. For Solomon at twelve years of age was king of Israel, (1Ki 12:1-33, LXX) and Josiah at eight years of age reigned righteously, (2Ki 22:1) and in like manner Joash governed the people at seven years of age. (2Ch 24:1; 2Ki 11:3, 2Ki 11:4) Wherefore, although the person be young, let him be meek, gentle, and quiet. For the Lord God says by Esaias: “Upon whom will I look, but upon him who is humble and quiet, and always trembles at my words?” (Isa 66:2) In like manner it is in the Gospel also: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (Mat 5:5) Let him also be merciful; for again it is said: “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” (Mat 5:7) Let him also be a peacemaker; for again it is said: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the sons of God.”3 Let him also be one of a good conscience, purified from all evil, and wickedness, and unrighteousness; for it is said again: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Mat 5:8)


II. What Ought to Be the Characters of a Bishop and of the Rest of the Clergy.

Let him therefore be sober, prudent, decent, firm, stable, not given to wine; no striker, but gentle; not a brawler, not covetous; “not a novice, test, being puffed up with pride, he fall into condemnation, and the snare of the devil: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased.” (1Ti 3:6; Luk 14:11) Such a one a bishop ought to be, who has been the “husband of one wife,” (1Ti 3:2) who also has herself had no other husband, “ruling well his own house.” (1Ti 3:4) In this manner let examination be made when he is to receive ordination, and to be placed in his bishopric, whether he be grave, faithful, decent; whether he hath a grave and faithful-wife, or has formerly had such a one; whether he hath educated his children piously, and has “brought them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord;” (Eph 6:4) whether his domestics do fear and reverence him, and are all obedient to him: for if those who are immediately about him for worldly concerns are seditious and disobedient, how will others not of his family, when they are under his management, become obedient to him?


III. In What Things a Bishop Is to Be Examined Before He Is Ordained.

Let examination also be made whether he be unblameable as to the concerns of this life; for it is written: “Search diligently for all the faults of him who is to be ordained for the priesthood.” (Lev 21:17, etc.)


Sec. II. — On the Character and Teaching of the Bishop.

On which account let him also be void of anger; for Wisdom says: “Anger destroys even the prudent.” (Pro 15:1, LXX) Let him also be merciful, of a generous and loving temper; for our Lord says: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another.” (Joh 13:35) Let him be also ready to give, a lover of the widow and the stranger; ready to serve, and minister, and attend; resolute in his duty; and let him know who is the most worthy of his assistance.


IV. That Charitable Distributions Are Not to Be Made to Every Widow, but that Sometimes a Woman Who Has a Husband Is to Be Preferred: And that No Distributions Are to Be Made to Any One Who Is Given to Gluttony, Drunkenness, and Idleness.

For if there be a widow who is able to support herself, and another woman who is not a widow, but is needy by reason of sickness, or the bringing up many children, or infirmity of her hands, let him stretch out his hand in charity rather to this latter. But if any one be in want by gluttony, drunkenness, or idleness, he does not deserve any assistance, or to be esteemed a member of the Church of God. For the Scripture, speaking of such persons, says: “The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom, and is not able to bring it to his mouth again.” (Pro 19:24) And again: “The sluggard folds up his hands, and eats his own flesh.” (Ecc 4:5) “For every drunkard and whoremonger shall come to poverty, and every drowsy person shall be clothed with tatters and rags.”4 And in another passage: “If thou give thine eyes to drinking and cups, thou shalt afterwards walk more naked than a pestle.”5 For certainly idleness is the mother of famine.


V. That a Bishop Must Be No Accepter of Persons in Judgment; That He Must Possess a Gentle Disposition, and Be Temperate in His Mode of Life.

A bishop must be no accepter of persons; neither revering nor flattering a rich man contrary to what is right, nor overlooking nor domineering over a poor man. For, says God to Moses, “Thou shalt not accept the person of the rich, nor shalt thou pity a poor man in his cause: for the judgment is the Lord’s.” (Lev 19:15; Exo 23:3) And again: “Thou shalt with exact justice follow that which is right” (Deu 1:17, Deu 16:20) Let a bishop be frugal, and contented with a little in his meat and drink, that he may be ever in a sober frame, and disposed to instruct and admonish the ignorant; and let him not be costly in his diet, a pamperer of himself, given to pleasure, or fond of delicacies. Let him be patient and gentle in his admonitions, well instructed himself, meditating in and diligently studying the Lord’s books, and reading them frequently, that so he may be able carefully to interpret the Scriptures, expounding the Gospel in correspondence with the prophets and with the law; and let the expositions from the law and the prophets correspond to the Gospel. For the Lord Jesus says: “Search the Scriptures; for they are those which testify of me.” (Joh 5:39) And again: “For Moses wrote of me.” (Joh 5:46) But, above all, let him carefully distinguish between the original law and the additional precepts, and show which are the laws for believers, and which the bonds for the unbelievers, lest any should fall under those bonds. Be careful, therefore, O bishop, to study the word, that thou mayest be able to explain everything exactly, and that thou mayest copiously nourish thy people with much doctrine, and enlighten them with the light of the law; for God says: “Enlighten yourselves with the light of knowledge, while we have yet opportunity.” (Hos 10:12)


VI. That a Bishop Must Not Be Given to Filthy Lucre, nor Be a Surety nor an Advocate.

Let not a bishop be given to filthy lucre, especially before the Gentiles, rather suffering than offering injuries; not covetous, nor rapacious; no purloiner; no admirer of the rich, nor hater of the poor; no evil-speaker, nor false witness; not given to anger; no brawler; not entangled with the affairs of this life; not a surety for any one, nor an accuser in suits about money; not ambitious; not double-minded, nor double-tongued; not ready to hearken to calumny or evil-speaking; not a dissembler; not addicted to the heathen festivals; not given to vain deceits; not eager after worldly things, nor a lover of money. For all these things are opposite to God, and pleasing to demons. Let the bishop earnestly give all these precepts in charge to the laity also, persuading them to imitate his conduct. For, says He, “Do ye make the children of Israel pious.” (Lev 15:31) Let him be prudent, humble, apt to admonish with the instructions of the Lord, well-disposed, one who has renounced all the wicked projects of this world, and all heathenish lusts; let him be orderly, sharp in observing the wicked, and taking heed of them, but yet a friend to all; just, discerning; and whatsoever qualities are commendable among men, let the bishop possess them in himself. For if the pastor be unblameable as to any wickedness, he will compel his own disciples, and by his very mode of life press them to become worthy imitators of his own actions. As the prophet somewhere says, “And it will be, as is the priest, so is the people;” (Hos 4:9) for our Lord and Teacher Jesus Christ, the Son6 of God, began first to do, and then to teach, as Luke somewhere says: (Act 1:1) “which Jesus began to do and to teach.6 Wherefore he says: “Whosoever shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of God.” (Matt.Mat 5:19) For you bishops are to be guides and watchmen to the people, as you yourselves have Christ for your guide and watchman. Do you therefore become good guides and watchmen to the people of God. For the Lord says by Ezekiel, speaking to every one of you: “Son of man, I have given thee for a watchman to the house of Israel; and thou shalt hear the word from my mouth, and shalt observe, and shalt declare it from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his wickedness, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, and his blood will I require at thine hand. But if thou warn the wicked from his way, that he may turn from it, and he does not turn from it, he shall die in his iniquity, and thou hast delivered thy soul.” (Eze 33:7, etc.) “In the same manner, if the sword of war be approaching, and the people set a watchman to watch, and he see the same approach, and does not forewarn them, and the sword come and take one of them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood shall be required at the watchman’s hand, because he did not blow the trumpet. But if he blew the trumpet, and he who heard it would not take warning, and the sword come and take him away, his blood shall be upon him, because he heard the trumpet and took not warning. But he who took warning has delivered his soul; and the watchman, because he gave warning, shall surely live.” (Eze 33:2, etc.) The sword here is the judgment; the trumpet is the holy Gospel; the watchman is the bishop, who is set in the Church, who is obliged by his preaching to testify and vehemently to forewarn6 concerning that judgment. If ye do not declare and testify this to the people, the sins of those who are ignorant of it will be found upon you. Wherefore do you warn and reprove the uninstructed with boldness, teach the ignorant, confirm those that understand, bring back those that go astray. If we repeat the very same things on the same occasions, brethren, we shall not do amiss. For by frequent hearing it is to be hoped that some will be made ashamed, and at least do some good action, and avoid some wicked one. For says God by the prophet: “Testify those things to them; perhaps they will hear thy voice.” (Jer 26:1-24) And again: “If perhaps they will hear, if perhaps they will submit.” (Eze 2:7, Eze 3:11) Moses also says to the people: “If hearing thou wilt hear the Lord God, and do that which is good and right in His eyes.” (Exo 15:26) And again:6 “Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.” (Deu 6:4; Mar 12:29) And our Lord is often recorded in the Gospel to have said: “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mat 11:1-30, Mat 13:1-58) And wise Solomon says: “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and reject not the laws of thy mother.” (Pro 1:8) And, indeed, to this day men have not heard; for while they seem to have heard, they have not heard aright, as appears by their having left the one and only true God, and their being drawn into destructive and dangerous heresies, concerning which we shall speak again afterwards.


Sec. III. — How the Bishop Is to Treat the Innocent, the Guilty, and the Penitent.

VII. What Ought to Be the Character of the Initiated.

Beloved, be it known to you that those who are baptized into the death of our Lord Jesus are obliged to go on no longer in sin; for as those who are dead cannot work wickedness any longer, so those who are dead with Christ cannot practise wickedness. We do not therefore believe, brethren, that any one who has received the washing of life continues in the practice of the licentious acts of transgressors. Now he who sins after his baptism, unless he repent and forsake his sins, shall be condemned to hell-fire.


VIII. Concerning a Person Falsely Accused, or a Person Convicted.

But if any one be maliciously prosecuted by the heathen, because he will not still go along with them to the same excess of riot, let him know that such a one is blessed of God, according as our Lord says in the Gospel: “Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, or persecute you, or say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for your reward is great in heaven.” (Mat 5:11, Mat 5:12) If, therefore, any one be slandered and falsely accused, such a one is blessed; for the Scripture says, “A man that is a reprobate is not tried by God.”7 But if any one be convicted as having done a wicked action, such a one not only hurts himself, but occasions the whole body of the Church and its doctrine to be blasphemed; as if we Christians did not practise those things that we declare to be good and honest, and we ourselves shall be reproached by the Lord, that “they say and do not.” (Mat 23:3) Wherefore the bishop must boldly reject such as these upon full conviction, unless they change their course of life.


IX. That a Bishop Ought Not to Receive Bribes.

For the bishop must not only himself give no offence, but must be no respecter of persons; in meekness instructing those that offend. But if he himself has not a good conscience, and is a respecter of persons for the sake of filthy lucre, and receiving of bribes, and spares the open offender, and permits him to continue in the Church, he disregards the voice of God and of our Lord, which says, “Thou shalt exactly execute right judgment.” (Deu 16:20, Deu 1:17) “Thou shalt not accept persons in judgment: thou shalt not justify the ungodly.” (Exo 23:7, LXX) “Thou shalt not receive gifts against any one’s life; for gifts do blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.” (Exo 23:8) And elsewhere He says: “Take away from among yourselves that wicked person.” (Deu 27:25, Deu 16:19, Deu 17:7) And Solomon says in his Proverbs: “Cast out a pestilent fellow from the congregation, and strife will go out along with him.” (Pro 22:10)


X. That a Bishop Who by Wrong Judgment Spares an Offender Is Himself Guilty.

But he who does not consider these things, will, contrary to justice, spare him who deserves punishment; as Saul spared Agag, (1Sa 15:1-35) and Eli (1Sa 2:1-36) his sons, “who knew not the Lord.” Such a one profanes his own dignity, and that Church of God which is in his parish. Such a one is esteemed unjust before God and holy men, as affording occasion of scandal to many of the newly baptized, and to the catechumens; as also to the youth of both sexes, to whom a woe belongs, add “a mill-stone about his neck,” (Mat 18:6, Mat 18:7) and drowning, on account of his guilt. For, observing what a person their governor is, through his wickedness and neglect of justice they will grow sceptical, and, indulging the same disease, will be compelled to perish with him; as was the case of the people joining with Jeroboam, (1Ki 12:1-33) and those which were in the conspiracy with Corah. (Num 16:1-50) But if the offender sees that the bishop and deacons are innocent and unblameable, and the flock pure, he will either not venture to despise their authority, and to enter into the Church of God at all, as one smitten by his own conscience: or if he values nothing, and ventures to enter in, either he will be convicted immediately, as Uzza (2Sa 6:1-23) at the ark, when he touched it to support it; and as Achan, (Jos 7:1-26) when he stole the accursed thing; and as Gehazi, (2Ki 5:1-27) when he coveted the money of Naaman, and so will be immediately punished: or else he will be admonished by the pastor, and drawn to repentance. For when he looks round the whole Church one by one, and can spy no blemish, neither in the bishop nor in the people who are under his care, he will be put to confusion, and pricked at the heart, and in a peaceable manner will go his way with shame and many tears, and the flock will remain pure. He will apply himself to God with tears, and will repent of his sins, and have hope. Nay, the whole flock, at the sight of his tears, will be instructed, because a sinner avoids destruction by repentance.


XI. How a Bishop Ought to Judge Offenders.

Upon this account, therefore, O bishop, endeavour to be pure in thy actions, and to adorn thy place and dignity, which is that of one sustaining the character of God among men, as being set over all men, over priests, kings, rulers, fathers, children, teachers, and in general over all those who are subject to thee: and so sit in the Church when thou speakest, as having authority to judge offenders. For to you, O bishops, it is said: “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mat 18:18)


XII. Instruction as to How a Bishop Ought to Behave Himself to the Penitent.

Do thou therefore, O bishop, judge with authority like God, yet receive the penitent; for God is a God of mercy. Rebuke those that sin, admonish those that are not converted, exhort those that stand to persevere in their goodness, receive the penitent; for the Lord God has promised with an oath to afford remission to the penitent for what things they have done amiss. For He says by Ezekiel: “Speak unto them, As I live, saith the Lord, I would not the death of a sinner, but that the wicked turn from his evil way, and live. Turn ye therefore from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Eze 33:11) Here the word8 affords hope to sinners, that if they will repent they shall have hope of salvation, lest otherwise out of despair they yield themselves up to their transgressions; but that, having hope of salvation, they may be converted, and may address to God with tears, on account of their sins, and may repent from their hearts, and so appease His displeasure towards them; so shall they receive a pardon from Him, as from a merciful Father.


XIII. That We Ought to Beware How We Make Trial of Any Sinful Course.

Yet it is very necessary that those who are yet innocent should continue so, and not make an experiment what sin is, that they may not have occasion for trouble, sorrow, and those lamentations which are in order to forgiveness. For how dost thou know, O man, when thou sinnest, whether thou shalt live any number of days in this present state, that thou mayest have time to repent? For the time of thy departure out of this world is uncertain; and if thou diest in sin, there will remain no repentance for thee; as God says by David, “In the grave who will confess to Thee?” (Psa 6:5) It behoves us, therefore, to be ready in the doing of our duty, that so we may await our passage into another world without sorrow. Wherefore also the Divine Word exhorts, speaking to thee by the wise Solomon,8 “Prepare thy works against thy exit, and provide all beforehand in the field,” (Pro 24:27) lest some of the things necessary to thy journey be wanting; as the oil of piety was deficient in the five foolish virgins (Mat 25:1-46) mentioned in the Gospel, when they, on account of their having extinguished their lamps of divine knowledge, were shut out of the bride-chamber. Wherefore he who values the security of his soul will take care to be out of danger, by keeping free from sin, that so he may preserve the advantage of his former good works to himself. Do thou, therefore, so judge as executing judgment for God. For, as the Scripture says, “the judgment is the Lord’s.” (Deu 1:17) In the first place, therefore, condemn the guilty person with authority; afterwards try to bring him home with mercy and compassion, and readiness to receive him, promising him salvation if he will change his course of life, and become a penitent; and when he does repent, and has submitted to his chastisement, receive him: remembering that our Lord has said, “There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.” (Luk 15:7)


XIV. Concerning Those Who Affirm that Penitents Are Not to Be Received into the Church. That a Righteous Person, Although He Converse with a Sinner, Will Not Perish with Him. That No Person Is Punished for Another, but Every One Must Give an Account of Himself. That We Must Assist Those Who Are Weak in the Faith; And that a Bishop Must Not Be Governed by Any Turbulent Person Among the Laity.

But if thou refusest to receive him that repents, thou exposest him to those who lie in wait to destroy, forgetting what David says: “Deliver not my soul, which confesses to Thee, unto destroying beasts.” (Psa 74:19) Wherefore Jeremiah, when he is exhorting men to repentance, says thus: “Shall not he that falleth arise? or he that turneth away, cannot he return? Wherefore have my people gone back by a shameless backsliding? and they are hardened in their purpose. (Jer 8:4, Jer 8:5) Turn, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.” (Jer 3:22) Receive, therefore, without any doubting, him that repents. Be not hindered by such unmerciful men, who say that we must not be defiled with such as those, nor so much as speak to them: for such advice is from men that are unacquainted with God and His providence, and are unreasonable judges, and unmerciful brutes. These men are ignorant that we ought to avoid society with offenders, not in discourse, but in actions: for “the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” (Eze 18:20) And again: “If a land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, and I stretch out my hand upon it, and break the staff of bread upon it, and send famine upon it, and destroy man and beast therein: though these three men, Noah, Job, and Daniel, were in the midst of it, they shall only save their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.” (Eze 14:13, Eze 14:14) The Scripture most clearly shows that a righteous man that converses with a wicked man does not perish with him. For in the present world the righteous and the wicked are mingled together in the common affairs of life, but not in holy communion: and in this the friends and favourites of God are guilty of no sin. For they do but imitate “their Farther which is in heaven, who maketh His sun to rise on the righteous and unrighteous, and sendeth His rain on the evil and on the good;” (Mat 5:45) and the righteous man undergoes no peril on this account. For those who conquer and those who are conquered are in the same place of running, but only those who have bravely undergone the race are where the garland is bestowed; and “no one is crowned, unless he strive lawfully.” (2Ti 2:5) For every one shall give account of himself, and God will not destroy the righteous with the wicked; for with Him it is a constant rule, that innocence is never punished. For neither did He drown Noah, nor burn up Lot, nor destroy Rahab for company. And if you desire to know how this matter was among us, Judas was one of us, and took the like part of the ministry which we had; and Simon the magician received the seal of the Lord. Yet both the one and the other proving wicked, the former hanged himself, and the latter, as he flew in the air in a manner unnatural, was dashed against the earth. Moreover, Noah and his sons with him were in the ark; but Ham, who alone was found wicked, received punishment in his son.9 But if fathers are not punished for their children, nor children for their fathers, it is thence clear that neither will wives be punished for their husbands, nor servants for their masters, nor one relation for another, nor one friend for another, nor the righteous for the wicked. But every one will be required an account of his own doing. For neither was punishment inflicted on Noah for the world, nor was Lot destroyed by fire for the Sodomites, nor was Rahab slain for the inhabitants of Jericho, nor Israel for the Egyptians. For not the dwelling together, but the agreement in their sentiments, alone could condemn the righteous with the wicked. We ought not therefore to hearken to such persons who call for death, and hate mankind, and love accusations, and under fair pretences bring men to death. For one man shall not die for another, but “every one is held with the chains of his own sins.” (Pro 5:22) And, “behold, the man and his work is before his face.” (Isa 62:11) Now we ought to assist those who are with us,10 and are in danger, and fall, and, as far as lies in our power, to reduce them to sobriety by our exhortations, and so save them from death. For “the whole have no need of the physician, but the sick;” (Mat 9:12) since “it is not pleasing in the sight of your Father that one of these little ones should perish.” (Mat 18:14) For we ought not to establish the will of hard-hearted men, but the will of the God and Father of the universe, which is revealed to us by Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

For it is not equitable that thou, O bishop, who art the head, shouldst submit to the tail, that is, to some seditious person among the laity, to the destruction of another, but to God alone. For it is thy privilege to govern those under thee, but not to be governed by them. For neither does a son, who is subject by the course of generation, govern his father; nor a slave, who is subject by law, govern his master; nor does a scholar govern his teacher, nor a soldier his king, nor any of the laity his bishop. For that there is no reason to suppose that such as converse with the wicked, in order to their instruction in the word, are defiled by or partake of their sins, Ezekiel, as it were on purpose preventing the suspicions of ill-disposed persons, says thus: “Why do you speak this proverb concerning the land of Israel? The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not henceforth have occasion to use this proverb in Israel. For all souls are mine, in like manner as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. But the man who is righteous, and does judgment and justice” (and so the prophet reckons up the rest of the virtues, and then adds for a conclusion, “Such a one is just”), “he shall surely live, saith the Lord God. And if he beget a son who is a robber, a shedder of blood, and walks not in the way of his righteous father” (and when the prophet had added what follows, he adds in the conclusion), “he shall certainly not live: he has done all this wickedness; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him. Yet they will ask thee, Why? Does not the son bear the iniquity of the father; or his righteousness, having exercised righteousness and mercy himself? And thou shalt say unto them, The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, and the father shall not bear the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” (Eze 18:2, etc.) And a little after he says: “When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, all his righteousness, by reason of all his wickedness which he has committed, shall not be mentioned to him: in his iniquity which he hath committed, and in his sin which he hath sinned, in them shall he die.” And a little after he adds: “When the wicked turneth away from his wickedness which he hath committed, and doth judgment and justice, he hath preserved his soul, he hath turned away from all his ungodliness which he hath done; he shall surely live, he shall not die.” And afterwards: “I will judge every one of you according to his ways, O house of Israel, saith the Lord God.”


XV. That a Priest Must Neither Overlook Offences, nor Be Rash in Punishing Them.

Observe, you who are our beloved sons, how merciful yet righteous the Lord our God is; how gracious and kind to men; and yet most certainly “He will not acquit the guilty:” (Nah 1:3) though He welcomes the returning sinner, and revives him, leaving no room for suspicion to such as wish to judge sternly and to reject offenders entirely, and to refuse to vouchsafe to them exhortations which might bring them to repentance. In contradiction to such, God by Isaiah says to the bishops: “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, ye priests: speak comfortably to Jerusalem.” It therefore behoves you, upon hearing those words of His, to encourage those who have offended, and lead them to repentance, and afford them hope, and not vainly to suppose that you shall be partakers of their offences on account of such your love to them. Receive the penitent with alacrity, and rejoice over them, and with mercy and bowels of compassion judge the sinners. For if a person was walking by the side of a river, and ready to stumble, and thou shouldest push him and thrust him into the river, instead of offering him thy hand for his assistance, thou wouldst be guilty of the murder of thy brother; whereas thou oughtest rather to lend thy helping hand as he was ready to fall, lest he perish without remedy, that both the people may take warning, and the offender may not utterly perish. It is thy duty, O bishop, neither to overlook the sins of the people, nor to reject those who are penitent, that thou mayst not unskilfully destroy the Lord’s flock, or dishonour His new name, which is imposed on His people, and thou thyself beest reproached as those ancient pastors were, of whom God speaks thus to Jeremiah: “Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard; they have polluted my heritage.” (Jer 12:10) And in another passage: “My anger is waxed hot against the shepherds, and against the lambs shall I have indignation.” (Zec 10:3) And elsewhere: “Ye are the priests that dishonour my name.” (Mal 1:6)


XVI. Of Repentance, the Manner of It, and Rules About It.

When thou seest the offender, with severity command him to be cast out; and as he is going out, let the deacons also treat him with severity, and then let them go and seek for him, and detain him out of the Church; and when they come in, let them entreat thee for him. For our Saviour Himself entreated His Father for those who had sinned, as it is written in the Gospel: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luk 23:34) Then order the offender to come in; and if upon examination thou findest that he is penitent, and fit to be received at all into the Church when thou hast afflicted him his days of fasting, according to the degree of his offence — as two, three, five, or seven weeks — so set him at liberty, and speak such things to him as are fit to be said in way of reproof, instruction, and exhortation to a sinner for his reformation, that so he may continue privately in his humility, and pray to God to be merciful to him, saying: “If Thou, O Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who should stand? For with Thee there is propitiation.” (Psa 130:3) Of this sort of declaration is that which is said in the book of Genesis to Cain: “Thou hast sinned; be quiet;” (Gen 4:7, LXX) that is, do not go on in sin. For that a sinner ought to be ashamed for his own sin, that oracle of God delivered to Moses concerning Miriam is a sufficient proof, when he prayed that she might be forgiven. For says God to him: “If her father had spit in her face, should she not be ashamed? Let her be shut out of the camp seven days, and afterwards let her come in again.” (Num 12:14. — R.) We therefore ought to do so with offenders, when they profess their repentance, — namely, to separate them some determinate time, according to the proportion of their offence, and afterwards, like fathers to children, receive them again upon their repentance.


XVII. That a Bishop Must Be Unblameable, and a Pattern for Those Who Are Under His Charge.

But if the bishop himself be an offender, how will he be able any longer to prosecute the offence of another? Or how will he be able to reprove another, either he or his deacons, if by accepting of persons, or receiving of bribes, they have not all a clear conscience? For when the ruler asks, and the judge receives, judgment is not brought to perfection; but when both are “companions of thieves, and regardless of doing justice to the widows,” (Isa 1:23) those who are under the bishop will not be able to support and vindicate him: for they will say to him what is written in the Gospel, “Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” (Luk 6:41) Let the bishop, therefore, with his deacons, dread to hear any such thing; that is, let him give no occasion for it. For an offender, when he sees any other doing as bad as himself, will be encouraged to do the very same things; and then the wicked one, taking occasion from a single instance, works in others, which God forbid: and by that means the flock will be destroyed. For the greater number of offenders there are, the greater is the mischief that is done by them: for sin which passes without correction grows worse and worse, and spreads to others; since “a little leaven infects the whole lump,” (Gal 5:9) and one thief spreads the abomination over a whole nation, and “dead flies spoil the whole pot of sweet ointment;” (Ecc 10:1) and “when a king hearkens to unrighteous counsel, all the servants under him are wicked.” (Pro 29:12) So one scabbed sheep, if not separated from those that are whole, infects the rest with the same distemper; and a man infected with the plague is to be avoided by all men; and a mad dog is dangerous to every one that he touches. If, therefore, we neglect to separate the transgressor from the Church of God, we shall make the “Lord’s house a den of thieves.” (Mat 21:13) For it is the bishop’s duty not to be silent in the case of offenders, but to rebuke them, to exhort them, to beat them down, to afflict them with fastings, that so he may strike a pious dread into the rest: for, as He says, “make ye the children of Israel pious.” (Lev 15:31) For the bishop must be one who discourages sin by his exhortations, and sets a pattern of righteousness, and proclaims those good things which are prepared by God, and declares that wrath which will come at the day of judgment, lest he contemn and neglect the plantation of God; and, on account of his carelessness, hear that which is said in Hosea: “Why have ye held your peace at impiety, and have reaped the fruit thereof?” (Hos 10:13, LXX)


XVIII. That a Bishop Must Take Care that His People Do Not Sin, Considering that He Is Set for a Watchman Among Them.

Let the bishop, therefore, extend his concern to all sorts of people: to those who have not offended, that they may continue innocent; to those who offend, that they may repent. For to you does the Lord speak thus: “Take heed that ye offend not one of these little ones.” (Mat 18:10) It is your duty also to give remission to the penitent. For as soon as ever one who has offended says, in the sincerity of his soul, “I have sinned against the Lord,” the Holy Spirit answers, “The Lord also hath forgiven thy sin; be of good cheer, thou shalt not die.” (2Sa 12:13) Be sensible, therefore, O bishop, of the dignity of thy place, that as thou hast received the power of binding, so hast thou also that of loosing. Having therefore the power of loosing, know thyself, and behave thyself in this world as becomes thy place, being aware that thou hast a great account to give. “For to whom,” as the Scripture says, “men have entrusted much, of him they will require the more.” (Luk 12:48) For no one man is free from sin, excepting Him that was made man for us; since it is written: “No man is pure from filthiness; no, not though he be but one day old.” (Job 14:4, LXX) Upon which account the lives and conduct of the ancient holy men and patriarchs are described; not that we may reproach them from our reading, but that we ourselves may repent, and have hope that we also shall obtain forgiveness. For their blemishes are to us both security and admonition, because we hence learn, when we have offended, that if we repent we shall have pardon. For it is written: “Who can boast that he has a clean heart? and who dare affirm that he is pure from sin?” (Pro 20:9) No man, therefore, is without sin. Do thou therefore labour to the utmost of thy power to be unblameable; and be solicitous of all the parts of thy flock, lest any one be scandalized on thy account, and thereby perish. For the layman is solicitous only for himself, but thou for all, as having a greater burden, and carrying a heavier load. For it is written: “And the Lord said unto Moses, Thou and Aaron shall bear the sins of the priesthood.” (Num 18:1) Since, therefore, thou art to give an account of all, take care of all. Preserve those that are sound, admonish those that sin; and when thou hast afflicted them with fasting, give them ease by remission; and when with tears the offender begs readmission, receive him, and let the whole Church pray for him; and when by imposition of thy hand thou hast admitted him, give him leave to abide afterwards in the flock. But for the drowsy and the careless, do thou endeavour to convert and confirm, and warn and cure them, as sensible how great a reward thou shalt have for doing so, and how great danger thou wilt incur if thou beest negligent therein. For Ezekiel speaks thus to those overseers who take no care of the people: “Woe unto the shepherds of Israel, for they have fed themselves; the shepherds feed not the sheep, but themselves. Ye eat the milk, and are clothed with the wool; ye slay the strong, ye do not feed the sheep. The weak have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but, violently ye chastised them with insult: and they, were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became meat to all the beasts of the forest.” And again: “The shepherds did not search for my sheep; and the shepherds fed themselves, but they fed not my sheep.” And a little after: “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hands, and cause them to cease from feeding my sheep, neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; and I will deliver my sheep out of their hands, and they shall not be meat for them.” And he also adds, speaking to the people: “Behold, I will judge between sheep and sheep, and between rams and rams. Seemed it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, and to have trodden down with your feet the residue of your pasture, and that the sheep have eaten what was trodden down with your feet?” And a little after He adds: “And ye shall know that I am the Lord, and you the sheep of my pasture; ye are my men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God.” (Eze 34:2, etc.)


XIX. That a Shepherd Who Is Careless of His Sheep Will Be Condemned, and that a Sheep Which Will Not Be Led by the Shepherd Is to Be Punished.

Hear, O ye bishops; and hear, O ye of the laity, how God speaks: “I will judge between ram and ram, and between sheep and sheep.” And He says to the shepherds: “Ye shall be judged for your unskilfulness, and for destroying the sheep.” That is, I will judge between one bishop and another, and between one lay person and another, and between one ruler and another (for these sheep and these rams are not irrational, but rational creatures): lest at any time a lay person should say, I am a sheep and not a shepherd, and I am not concerned for myself; let the shepherd look to that, for he alone will be required to give an account for me. For as that sheep that will not follow its good shepherd is exposed to the wolves, to its destruction; so that which follows a bad shepherd is also exposed to unavoidable death, since his shepherd will devour him. Wherefore care must be had to avoid destructive shepherds.


XX. How the Governed Are to Obey the Bishops Who Are Set Over Them.

As to a good shepherd, let the lay person honour him, love him, reverence him as his lord, as his master, as the high priest of God, as a teacher of piety. For he that heareth him, heareth Christ; and he that rejecteth him, rejecteth Christ; and he who does not receive Christ, does not receive His God and Father: for, says He, “He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that rejecteth you, rejecteth me; and he that rejecteth me, rejecteth Him that sent me.” (Luk 10:16) In like manner, let the bishop love the laity as his children, fostering and cherishing them with affectionate diligence; as eggs, in order to the hatching of young ones; or as young ones, taking them in his arms, to the rearing them into birds: admonishing all men; reproving all who stand in need of reproof; reproving, that is, but not striking; beating them down to make them ashamed, but not overthrowing them; warning them in order to their conversion: chiding them in order to their reformation and better course of life; watching the strong, that is, keeping him firm in the faith who is already strong; feeding the people peaceably; strengthening the weak, that is, confirming with exhortation that which is tempted; healing that which is sick, that is, curing by instruction that which is weak in the faith through doubtfulness of mind; binding up that which is broken, that is, binding up by comfortable admonitions that which is gone astray, or wounded, bruised, or broken by their sins, and put out of the way; easing it of its offences, and giving hope: by this means restore it in strength to the Church, bringing it back into the flock. Bring again that which is driven away, that is, do not permit that which is in its sins, and is cast out by way of punishment, to continue excluded; but receiving it, and bringing it back, restore it to the flock, that is, to the people of the undefiled Church. Seek for that which is lost, that is, do not suffer that which desponds of its salvation, by reason of the multitude of its offences, utterly to perish. Do thou search for that which is grown sleepy, drowsy, and sluggish, and that which is unmindful of its own life, through the depth of its sleep, and which is at a great distance from its own flock, so as to be in danger of falling among the wolves, and being devoured by them. Bring it back by admonition, exhort it to be watchful; and insinuate hope, not permitting it to say that which was said by some: “Our impieties are upon us, and we pine away in them; how shall we then live?” (Eze 33:10) As far as possible, therefore, let the bishop make the offence his own, and say to the sinner, Do thou but return, and I will undertake to suffer death for thee, as our Lord suffered death for me, and for all men. For “the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep; but he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, that is, the devil, and he leaveth the sheep, and fleeth, and the wolf seizes upon them.” (Joh 10:11, Joh 10:12) We must know, therefore, that God is very merciful to those who have offended, and hath promised repentance with an oath. But he who has offended, and is unacquainted with this promise of God concerning repentance, and does not understand His long-suffering and forbearance, and besides is ignorant of the Holy Scriptures, which proclaim repentance, inasmuch as he has never learned them from you, perishes through his folly. But do thou, like a compassionate shepherd, and a diligent feeder of the flock, search out, and keep an account of thy flock. Seek that which is wanting; (Mat 18:12) as the Lord God our gracious Father has sent His own Son, the good Shepherd and Saviour, our Master Jesus, and has commanded Him to “leave the ninety-nine upon the mountains, and to go in search after that which was lost, and when He had found it, to take it upon His shoulders, and to carry it into the flock, rejoicing that He had found that which was lost.” (Luk 15:4, etc.) In like manner, be obedient, O bishop, and do thou seek that which was lost, guide that which has wandered out of the right way, bring back that which is gone astray: for thou hast authority to bring them back, and to deliver those that are broken-hearted by remission. For by thee does our Saviour say to him who is discouraged under the sense of his sins, “Thy sins are forgiven thee: thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” (Luk 5:20; Mat 9:2; Mar 5:34) But this peace and haven of tranquillity is the Church of Christ, into which do thou, when thou hast loosed them from their sins, restore them, as being now sound and unblameable, of good hope, diligent, laborious in good works. As a skilful and compassionate physician, heal all such as have wandered in the ways of sin; for “they that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick. For the Son of man came to save and to seek that which was lost.” (Mat 9:12; Luk 19:10) Since thou art therefore a physician of the Lord’s Church, provide remedies suitable to every patient’s case. Cure them, heal them by all means possible; restore them sound to the Church. Feed the flock, “not with insolence and contempt, as lording it over them,” (Eze 34:4) but as a gentle shepherd, “gathering the lambs into thy bosom, and gently leading those which are with young.” (Mat 20:25; Isa 40:11)


XXI. That It Is a Dangerous Thing to Judge Without Hearing Both Sides, or to Determine of Punishment Against a Person Before He Is Convicted.

Be gentle, gracious, mild, without guile, without falsehood; not rigid, not insolent, not severe, not arrogant, not unmerciful, not puffed up, not a man-pleaser, not timorous, not double-minded, not one that insults over the people that are under thee, not one that conceals the divine laws and the promises to repentance, not hasty in thrusting out and expelling, but steady, not one that delights in severity, not heady. Do not admit less evidence to convict any one than that of three witnesses, and those of known and established reputation; inquire whether they do not accuse out of ill-will or envy: for there are many that delight in mischief, forward in discourse, slanderous, haters of the brethren, making it their business to scatter the sheep of Christ; whose affirmation if thou admittest without nice scanning the same, thou wilt disperse thy flock, and betray it to be devoured by wolves, that is, by demons and wicked men, or rather not men, but wild beasts in the shape of men — by the heathen, by the Jews, and by the atheistic heretics. For those destroying wolves soon address themselves to any one that is cast out of the Church, and esteem him as a lamb delivered for them to devour, reckoning his destruction their own gain. For he that is “their father, the devil, is a murderer.” (Joh 8:44) He also who is separated unjustly by thy want of care in judging will be overwhelmed with sorrow, and be disconsolate, and so will either wander over to the heathen, or be entangled in heresies, and so will be altogether estranged from the Church and from hope in God, and will be entangled in impiety, whereby thou wilt be guilty of his perdition: for it is not fair to be too hasty in casting out an offender, but slow in receiving him when he returns; to be forward in cutting off, but unmerciful when he is sorrowful, and ought to be healed. For of such as these speaks the divine Scripture: “Their feet run to mischief; they are hasty to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways, and the way of peace have they not known. The fear of God is not before their eyes.” (Pro 1:16; Isa 59:7, Isa 59:8; Psa 36:1; Rom 3:15) Now the way of peace is our Saviour Jesus Christ, who has taught us, saying: “Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. Give, and it shall be given to you;” (Luk 6:37, Luk 6:38) that is, give remission of sins, and your offences shall be forgiven you. As also He instructed us by His prayer to say unto God: “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Mat 6:12) If, therefore, you do not forgive offenders, how can you expect the remission of your own sins? Do not you rather bind yourselves faster, by pretending in your prayers to forgive, when you really do not forgive? Will you not be confronted with your own words, when you say you forgive and do not forgive? For know ye, that he who casts out one who has not behaved himself wickedly, or who will not receive him that returns, is a murderer of his brother, and sheds his blood, as Cain did that of his brother Abel, and his “blood cries to God,” (Gen 4:10) and will be required. For a righteous man unjustly slain by any one will be in rest with God for ever. The same is the case of him who without cause is separated by his bishop. He who has cast him out as a pestilent fellow when he was innocent, is more furious than a murderer. Such a one has no regard to the mercy of God, nor is mindful of His goodness to those that are penitent, nor keeping in his eye the examples of those who, having been once great offenders, received forgiveness upon their repentance. Upon which account, he who casts off an innocent person is more cruel than he that murders the body. In like manner, he who does not receive the penitent, scatters the flock of Christ, being really against Him. For as God is just in judging of sinners, so is He merciful in receiving them when they return. For David, the man after God’s own heart, in his hymns ascribes both mercy and judgment to Him.





1 The words in italics occur only in the V. mss.

2 The V. mss. read: “But if in a small parish one advanced in years is not to be found whom his neighbors testify to be worthy of the office of bishop, and wise enough to be appointed to it, and if there be a young man who has carried,” etc.

3 From the V. mss.; Mat 5:9.

4 Not in V. mss. Pro 23:21.

5 Pro 23:31 (LXX). The word translated “pestle” has also been rendered “upper room,” and some suppose it corrupt.

6 Not in V. mss.

7 This passage is not found in Scripture. Some compare Jam 1:12 and Heb 12:8.

8 Not in V. mss.

9 A various reading gives: “Ham, one of his sons, who alone was found wicked, received punishment.”

10 One V. mss. reads: “those who are sick.”








Constitutions of the Holy Apostles. (Cont.)

Book II. (Cont.)

Sec. III. – How the Bishop Is to Treat the Innocent, the Guilty, and the Penitent.


XXII. That David, the Ninevites, Hezekiah, and His Son Manasseh, Are Eminent Examples of Repentance. The Prayer of Manasseh King of Judah.

It is also thy duty, O bishop, to have before thine eyes the examples of those that have gone before, and to apply them skilfully to the cases of those who want words of severity or of consolation. Besides, it is reasonable that in thy administration of justice thou shouldest follow the will of God; and as God deals with sinners, and with those who return, that thou shouldest act accordingly in thy judging. Now, did not God by Nathan reproach David for his offence? And yet as soon as he said he repented, He delivered him from death, saying, “Be of good cheer; thou shalt not die.” (2Sa 12:13) So also, when God had caused Jonah (Jon 1:17 and Jon 2:1-10) to be swallowed up by the sea and the whale, upon his refusal to preach to the Ninevites, when yet he prayed to Him out of the belly of the whale, He retrieved his life from corruption. And when Hezekiah had been puffed up for a while, yet, as soon as he prayed with lamentation, He remitted his offence. But, O ye bishops, hearken to an instance useful upon this occasion. For it is written thus in the fourth book of Kings and the second book of Chronicles: “And Hezekiah died; and Manasseh his son reigned. He was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Hephzibah. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord: he did not abstain from the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord destroyed from the face of the children of Israel. And Manasseh returned and built the high places which Hezekiah his father had overthrown; and he reared pillars for Baal, and set up an altar for Baal, and made groves, as did Ahab king of Israel. And he made altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord spake to David and to Solomon his son, saying, Therein will I put my name. And Manasseh set up altars, and by them served Baal, and said, My name shall continue for ever.11 And he built altars to the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord; and he made his children pass through the fire in a place named Ge Benennom;12 and he consulted enchanters, and dealt with wizards and familiar spirits, and with conjurers and observers of times, and with teraphim. And he sinned exceedingly in the eyes of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. And he set a molten and a graven image, the image of his grove, which he made in the house of the Lord, wherein the Lord had chosen to put His name in Jerusalem, the holy city, for ever, and had said, I will no more remove my foot from the land of Israel, which I gave to their fathers; only if they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the precepts that my servant Moses commanded them. And they hearkened not. And Manasseh seduced them to do more evil before the Lord than did the nations whom the Lord cast out from the face of the children of Israel. And the Lord spake concerning Manasseh and concerning His people by the hand of His servants the prophets, saying, Because Manasseh king of Judah has done all these wicked abominations in a higher degree than the Amorite did which was before him, and hath made Judah to sin with his idols, thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Behold, I bring evils upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of them, both his ears shall tingle. And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab; and I will blot out Jerusalem as a table-book is blotted out by wiping it. And I will turn it upside down; and I will give up the remnant of my inheritance, and will deliver them into the hands of their enemies, and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies, because of all the evils which they have done in mine eyes, and have provoked me to anger from the day that I brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt even until this day. Moreover, Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, beside his sins wherewith he made Judah to sin in doing evil in the sight of the Lord. And the Lord brought upon him the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, and they caught Manasseh in bonds, and they bound him in fetters of brass, and brought him to Babylon; and he was bound and shackled with iron all over in the house of the prison. And bread made of bran was given unto him scantily, and by weight, and water mixed with vinegar but a little and by measure, so much as would keep him alive; and he was in straits and sore affliction. And when he was violently afflicted, he besought the face of the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the face of the Lord God of his fathers. And he prayed unto the Lord, saying, O Lord, almighty God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and of their righteous seed, who hast made heaven and earth, with all the ornament thereof, who hast bound the sea by the word of Thy commandment, who hast shut up the deep, and sealed it by Thy terrible and glorious name, whom all men fear and tremble before Thy power; for the majesty of Thy glory cannot be borne, and Thine angry threatening towards sinners is insupportable. But Thy merciful promise is unmeasurable and unsearchable; for Thou art the most high Lord,13 of great compassion, long-suffering, very merciful, and repentest of the evils of men. Thou, O Lord, according to Thy great goodness, hast promised repentance and forgiveness to them that have sinned against Thee, and of Thine infinite mercy hast appointed repentance unto sinners, that they may be saved. Thou therefore, O Lord, that art the God of the just, has not appointed repentance to the just as to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, which have not sinned against Thee; but Thou hast appointed repentance unto me that am a sinner: for I have sinned above the number of the sands of the sea. My transgressions, O Lord, are multiplied; my transgressions are multiplied, and I am not worthy to behold and see the height of heaven for the multitude of mine iniquity. I am bowed down with many iron bands; for I have provoked Thy wrath, and done evil before Thee, setting up abominations, and multiplying offences. Now, therefore, I bow the knee of mine heart, beseeching Thee of grace. I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, and I acknowledge mine iniquities; wherefore I humbly beseech Thee, forgive me, O Lord, forgive me, and destroy me not with mine iniquities. Be not angry with me for ever, by reserving evil for me; neither condemn me into the lower part of the earth. For Thou art the God, even the God of them that repent, and in me Thou wilt show Thy goodness; for Thou wilt save me that am unworthy, according to Thy great mercy. Therefore I will praise Thee for ever all the days of my life; for all the powers of the heavens do praise Thee, and Thine is the glory for ever and ever. Amen. And the Lord heard his voice, and had compassion upon him. And there appeared a flame of fire about him, and all the iron shackles and chains which were about him fell off; and the Lord healed Manasseh from his affliction, and brought him back to Jerusalem unto his kingdom: and Manasseh knew that the Lord He is God alone. And he worshipped the Lord God alone with all his heart, and with all his soul, all the days of his life; and he was esteemed righteous. And he took away the strange gods and the graven image out of the house of the Lord, and all the altars which he had built in the house of the Lord, and all the altars in Jerusalem, and he cast them out of the city. And he repaired the altar of the Lord, and sacrificed thereon peace-offerings and thank-offerings. And Manasseh spake to Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel. And he slept in peace with his fathers; and Amon his son reigned in his stead. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord according to all things that Manasseh his father had done in the former part of his reign. And he provoked the Lord his God to anger.” (2Ki 20:1-21, 2Ki 21:1-26; 2Ch 32:1-33, 2Ch 33:1-25)

Ye have heard, our beloved children, how the Lord God for a while punished him that was addicted to idols, and had slain many innocent persons; and yet that He received him when he repented, and forgave him his offences, and restored him to his kingdom. For He not only forgives the penitent, but reinstates them in their former dignity.


XXIII. Amon Maybe an Example to Such as Sin with an High Hand.

There is no sin more grievous than idolatry, for it is an impiety against God: and yet even this sin has been forgiven, upon sincere repentance. But if any one sin in direct opposition, and on purpose to try whether God will punish the wicked or not, such a one shall have no remission, although he say with himself, “All is well, and I will walk according to the conversation of my evil heart.” Such a one was Amon the son of Manasseh. For the Scripture says: “And Amon reasoned an evil reasoning of transgression, and said, My father from his childhood was a great transgressor, and repented in his old age; and now I will walk as my soul lusteth, and afterwards I will return unto the Lord. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him. And the Lord God soon destroyed him utterly from His good land. And his servants conspired against him, and slew him in his own house, and he reigned two years only.”


XXIV. That Christ Jesus Our Lord Came to Save Sinners by Repentance.

Take heed, therefore, ye of the laity, lest any one of you fix the reasoning of Amon in his heart, and be suddenly cut off, and perish. In the same manner, let the bishop take all the care he can that those which are yet innocent may not fall into sin; and let him heal and receive those which turn from their sins. But if he is pitiless, and will not receive the repenting sinner, he will sin against the Lord his God, pretending to be more just than God’s justice, and not receiving him whom He has received, through Christ; for whose sake He sent His Son upon earth to men, as a man; for whose sake God was pleased that He, who was the Maker of man and woman, should be born of a woman; for whose sake He did not spare Him from the cross, from death, and burial, but permitted Him to die, who by nature could not suffer, His beloved Son, God the Word, the Angel of His great council, that he might deliver those from death who were obnoxious to death. Him do those provoke to anger who do not receive the penitent. For He was not ashamed of me, Matthew, who had been formerly a publican; and admitted of Peter, when he had through fear denied Him three times, but had appeased Him by repentance, and had wept bitterly; nay, He made him a shepherd to His own lambs. Moreover, He ordained Paul, our fellow-apostle, to be of a persecutor an apostle, and declared him a chosen vessel, even when he had heaped many mischiefs upon us before, and had blasphemed His sacred name. He says also to another, a woman that was a sinner: “Thy sins, which are many, are forgiven, for thou lovest much.” (Luk 7:47) And when the elders had set another woman which had sinned before Him, and had left the sentence to Him, and were gone out, our Lord, the Searcher of the hearts, inquiring of her whether the elders had condemned her, and being answered No, He said unto her: “Go thy way therefore, for neither do I condemn thee.” (Joh 8:11) This Jesus, O ye bishops, our Saviour, our King, and our God, ought to be set before you as your pattern; and Him you ought to imitate, in being meek, quiet, compassionate, merciful, peaceable, without passion, apt to teach, and diligent to convert, willing to receive and to comfort; no strikers, not soon angry, not injurious, not arrogant, not supercilious, not wine-bibbers, not drunkards, not vainly expensive, not lovers of delicacies, not extravagant, using the gifts of God not as another’s, but as their own, as good stewards appointed over them, as those who will be required by God to give an account of the same.


Sec. IV. – On the Management of the Resources Collected for the Support of the Clergy, and the Relief of the Poor.

Let the bishop esteem such food and raiment sufficient as suits necessity and decency. Let him not make use of the Lord’s goods as another’s, but moderately; “for the labourer is worthy of his reward.” (Luk 10:7) Let him not be luxurious in diet, or fond of idle furniture, but contented with so much alone as is necessary for his sustenance.


XXV. Of First-Fruits and Tithes, and After What Manner the Bishop Is Himself to Partake of Them, or to Distribute Them to Others.

Let him use those tenths and first-fruits, which are given according to the command of God, as a man of God; as also let him dispense in a right manner the free-will offerings which are brought in on account of the poor, to the orphans, the widows, the afflicted, and strangers in distress, as having that God for the examiner of his accounts who has committed the disposition to him. Distribute to all those in want with righteousness, and yourselves use the things which belong to the Lord, but do not abuse them; eating of them, but not eating them all up by yourselves: communicate with those that are in want, and thereby show yourselves unblameable before God. For if you shall consume them by yourselves, you will be reproached by God, who says to such unsatiable people, who alone devour all, “Ye eat up the milk, and clothe yourselves with the wool;” (Eze 34:3) and in another passage, “Must you alone live upon the earth?” (Isa 5:8) Upon which account you are commanded in the law, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Lev 19:18) Now we say these things, not as if you might not partake of the fruits of your labours; for it is written, “Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox which treadeth out the corn;” (Deu 25:4; 1Co 9:9) but that you should do it with moderation and righteousness. As, therefore, the ox that labours in the threshing-floor without a muzzle eats indeed, but does not eat all up; so do you who labour in the threshing-floor, that is, in the Church of God, eat of the Church: which was also the case of the Levites, who served in the tabernacle of the testimony, which was in all things a type of the Church. Nay, further, its very name implied that that tabernacle was fore-appointed for a testimony of the Church. Here, therefore, the Levites also, who attended upon the tabernacle, partook of those things that were offered to God by all the people, – namely, gifts, offerings, and first-fruits, and tithes, and sacrifices, and oblations, without disturbance, they and their wives, and their sons and their daughters. Since their employment was the ministration to the tabernacle, therefore they had not any lot or inheritance in the land among the children of Israel, because the oblations of the people were the lot of Levi, and the inheritance of their tribe. You, therefore, O bishops, are to your people priests and Levites, ministering to the holy tabernacle, the holy Catholic Church; who stand at the altar of the Lord your God, and offer to Him reasonable and unbloody sacrifices through Jesus the great High Priest. You are to the laity prophets, rulers, governors, and kings; the mediators between God and His faithful people, who receive and declare His word, well acquainted with the Scriptures. Ye are the voice of and witnesses of His will, who bear the sins of all, and intercede for all; whom, as you have heard, the word severely threatens if you hide the key of knowledge from men, who are liable to perdition if you do not declare His will to the people that are under you; who shall have a certain reward from God, and unspeakable honour and glory, if you duly minister to the holy tabernacle. For as yours is the burden, so you receive as your fruit the supply of food and other necessaries. For you imitate Christ the Lord; and as He “bare the sins of us all upon the tree” at His crucifixion, the innocent for those who deserved punishment, so also you ought to make the sins of the people your own. For concerning our Saviour it is said in Isaiah, “He bears our sins, and is afflicted for us.” (Isa 53:4) And again: “He bare the sins of many, and was delivered for our offences.” (Isa 53:12) As, therefore, you are patterns for others, so have you Christ for your pattern. As, therefore, He is concerned for all, so be you for the laity under you. For do not thou imagine that the office of a bishop is an easy or light burden. As, therefore, you bear the weight, so have you a right to partake of the fruits before others, and to impart to those that are in want, as being to give an account to Him, who without bias will examine your accounts. For those who attend upon the Church ought to be maintained by the Church, as being priests, Levites, presidents, and ministers of God; as it is written in the book of Numbers concerning the priests: “And the Lord said unto Aaron, Thou, and thy sons, and the house of thy family, shall bear the iniquities of the holy things of priesthood.” (Num 18:1) “Behold, I have given unto you the charge of the first-fruits, from all that are sanctified to me by the children of Israel; I have given them for a reward to thee, and to thy sons after thee, by an ordinance for ever. This shall be yours out of the holy things, out of the oblations, and out of the gifts, and out of all the sacrifices, and out of every trespass-offering, and sin-offerings; and all that they render unto me out of all their holy things, they shall belong to thee, and to thy sons: in the sanctuary shall they eat them.” (Num 18:8, etc.) And a little after: “All the first-fruits of the oil, and of the wine, and of the wheat, all which they shall give unto the Lord, to thee have I given them; and all that is first ripe, to thee have I given it, and every devoted thing. Every first-born of man and of beast, clean and unclean, and of sacrifice, with the breast, and the right shoulder, all these appertain to the priests, and to the rest of those belonging to them, even to the Levites.” (Num 18:12, etc.)

Hear this, you of the laity also, the elect Church of God. For the people were formerly called “the people of God,” (Exo 19:5, Exo 19:6) and “an holy nation.” (Heb 12:23) You, therefore, are the holy and sacred “Church of God, enrolled in heaven, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people,” (1Pe 2:9) a bride adorned for the Lord God, a great Church, a faithful Church. Hear attentively now what was said formerly: oblations and tithes belong to Christ our High Priest, and to those who minister to Him. Tenths of salvation are the first letter of the name of Jesus. Hear, O thou Holy Catholic Church, who hast escaped the ten plagues, and hast received the ten commandments, and hast learned the law, and hast kept the faith, and hast believed in Jesus, and hast known the decad, and hast believed in the iota which is the first letter of the name of Jesus,14 and art named after His name, and art established, and shinest in the consummation of His glory. Those which were then the sacrifices now are prayers, and intercessions, and thanksgivings. Those which were then first-fruits, and tithes, and offerings, and gifts, now are oblations, which are presented by holy bishops to the Lord God, through Jesus Christ, who has died for them. For these are your high priests, as the presbyters are your priests, and your present deacons instead of your Levites; as are also your readers, your singers, your porters, your deaconesses, your widows, your virgins, and your orphans: but He who is above all these is the High Priest.


XXVI. According to What Patterns and Dignity Every Order of the Clergy Is Appointed by God.

The bishop, he is the minister of the word, the keeper of knowledge, the medieator between God and you in the several parts of your divine worship. He is the teacher of piety; and, next after God, he is your father, who has begotten you again to the adoption of sons by water and the Spirit. He is your ruler and governor; he is your king and potentate; he is, next after God, your earthly god, who has a right to be honoured by you. For concerning him, and such as he, it is that God pronounces, “I have said, Ye are gods; and ye are all children of the Most High.” (Psa 82:6) And, “Ye shall not speak evil of the gods.” (Exo 22:28) For let the bishop preside over you as one honoured with the authority of God, which he is to exercise over the clergy, and by which he is to govern all the people. But let the deacon minister to him, as Christ does to His Father;15 and let him serve him unblameably in all things, as Christ does nothing of Himself, but does always those things that please His Father. Let also the deaconess be honoured by you in the place of the Holy Ghost, and not do or say anything without the deacon; as neither does the Comforter say or do anything of Himself, but gives glory to Christ by waiting for His pleasure. And as we cannot believe on Christ without the teaching of the Spirit, so let not any woman address herself to the deacon or bishop without the deaconess. Let the presbyters be esteemed by you to represent us the apostles, and let them be the teachers of divine knowledge; since our Lord, when He sent us, said, “Go ye, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” (Mat 28:19) Let the widows and orphans be esteemed as representing the altar of burnt-offering; and let the virgins be honoured as representing the altar of incense, and the incense itself.


XXVII. That It Is a Horrible Thing for a Man to Thrust Himself into Any Sacerdotal Office, as Did Corah and His Company, Saul and Uzziah.

As, therefore, it was not lawful for one of another tribe, that was not a Levite, to offer anything, or to approach the altar without the priest, so also do you do nothing without the bishop;16 for if any one does anything without the bishop, he does it to no purpose. For it will not be esteemed as of any avail to him. For as Saul, when he had offered without Samuel, was told, “It will not avail for thee;” (1Sa 13:13) so every person among the laity, doing anything without the priest, labours in vain. And as Uzziah the king, (2Ch 26:1-23) who was not a priest, and yet would exercise the functions of the priests, was smitten with leprosy for his transgression; so every lay person shall not be unpunished who despises God, and is so mad as to affront His priests, and unjustly to snatch that honour to himself: not imitating Christ, “who glorified not Himself to be made an high priest;” (Heb 5:5) but waited till He heard from His Father, “The Lord sware, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek.” (Psa 110:4) If, therefore, Christ did not glorify Himself without the Father, how dare any man thrust himself into the priesthood who has not received that dignity from his superior, and do such things which it is lawful only for the priests to do? Were not the followers of Corah, even though they were of the tribe of Levi, consumed with fire, because they rose up against Moses and Aaron, and meddled with such things as did not belong to them? And Dathan and Abiram went down quick into hell; and the rod that budded put a stop to the madness of the multitude, and demonstrated who was the high priest ordained by God. (Num 16:1-50) You ought therefore, brethren, to bring your sacrifices and your oblations to the bishop, as to your high priest, either by yourselves or by the deacons; and do you bring not those only, but also your first-fruits, and your tithes, and your free-will offerings to him. For he knows who they are that are in affliction, and gives to every one as is convenient, that so one may not receive alms twice or oftener the same day, or the same week, while another has nothing at all. For it is reasonable rather to supply the wants of those who really are in distress, than of those who only appear to be so.


XXVIII. Of an Entertainment, and After What Manner Each Distinct Order of the Clergy Is to Be Treated by Those Who Invite Them to It.

If any determine to invite elder women to an entertainment of love, or a feast, as our Saviour calls it, (Luk 14:13) let them most frequently send to such a one whom the deacons know to be in distress. But let what is the pastor’s due, I mean the first-fruits,17 be set apart in the feast for him, even though he be not at the entertainment, as being your priest, and in honour of that God who has entrusted him with the priesthood. But as much as is given to every one of the elder women, let double so much be given to the deacons, in honour of Christ. Let also a double portion be set apart for the presbyters, as for such who labour continually about the word and doctrine, upon the account of the apostles of our Lord, whose place they sustain, as the counsellors of the bishop and the crown of the Church. For they are the Sanhedrim and senate of the Church. If there be a reader there, let him receive a single portion, in honour of the prophets, and let the singer and the porter have as much. Let the laity, therefore, pay proper honours in their presents, and utmost marks of respect to each distinct order. But let them not on all occasions trouble their governor, but let them signify their desires by those who minister to him, that is, by the deacons, with whom they may be more free. For neither may we address ourselves to Almighty God, but only by Christ. In the same manner, therefore, let the laity make known all their desires to the bishop by the deacon, and accordingly let them act as he shall direct them. For there was no holy thing offered or done in the temple formerly without the priest. “For the priest’s lips shall keep knowledge, and they shall seek the law at his mouth,” as the prophet somewhere says, “for he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty.” (Mal 2:7) For if the worshippers of demons, in their hateful, abominable, and impure performances, imitate the sacred rules till this very day (it is a wide comparison indeed. and there is a vast distance between their abominations and God’s sacred worship), in their mockeries of worship they neither offer nor do anything without their pretended priest, but esteem him as the very mouth of their idols of stone, waiting to see what commands he will lay upon them. And whatsoever he commands them, that they do, and without him they do nothing; and they honour him, their pretended priest, and esteem his name as venerable in honour of lifeless statues, and in order to the worship of wicked spirits. If these heathens, therefore, who give glory to lying vanities, and place their hope upon nothing that is firm, endeavour to imitate the sacred rules, how much more reasonable is it that you, who have a most certain faith and undoubted hope, and who expect glorious, and eternal, and never-failing promises, should honour the Lord God in those set over you, and esteem your bishop to be the mouth of God!


XXIX. What Is the Dignity of a Bishop and of a Deacon.

For if Aaron, because he declared to Pharaoh the words of God from Moses, is called a prophet; and Moses himself is called a god to Pharaoh, on account of his being at once a king and a high priest, as God says to him, “I have made thee a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet;” (Exo 7:1) why do not ye also esteem the mediators of the word to be prophets, and reverence them as gods?


XXX. After What Manner the Laity Are to Be Obedient to the Deacon.

For now the deacon is to you Aaron, and the bishop Moses. If, therefore, Moses was called a god by the Lord, let the bishop be honoured among you as a god, and the deacon as his prophet. For as Christ does nothing without His Father, so neither does the deacon do anything without his bishop; and as the Son without His Father is nothing, so is the deacon nothing without his bishop; and as the Son is subject to His Father, so is every deacon subject to his bishop; and as the Son is the messenger and prophet of the Father, so is the deacon the messenger and prophet of his bishop. Wherefore let all things that he is to do with any one be made known to the bishop, and be finally ordered by him.


XXXI. That the Deacon Must Not Do Anything Without the Bishop.

Let him not do anything at all without his bishop, nor give anything without his consent. For if he gives to any one as to a person in distress without the bishop’s knowledge, he gives it so that it must tend to the reproach of the bishop, and he accuses him as careless of the distressed. But he that casts reproach on his bishop, either by word or deed, opposes God, not hearkening to what He says: “Thou shalt not speak evil of the gods.” (Exo 22:28) For He did not make that law concerning deities of wood and of stone, which are abominable, because they are falsely called gods, but concerning the priests and the judges, to whom He also said, “Ye are gods, and children of the Most High.” (Psa 82:6)


XXXII. That the Deacon Must Not Make Any Distributions Without the Consent of the Bishop, Because That Will Turn to the Reproach of the Bishop.

If therefore, O deacon, thou knowest any one to be in distress, put the bishop in mind of him, and so give to him; but do nothing in a clandestine way, so as may tend to his reproach, lest thou raise a murmur against him; for the murmur will not be against him, but against the Lord God: and the deacon, with the rest, will hear what Aaron and Miriam heard, when they spake against Moses: “How is it that ye were not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” (Num 12:8) And again, Moses says to those who rose up against him: “Your murmuring is not against us, but against the Lord our God.” (Exo 16:8) For if he that calls one of the laity Raka, (Mat 5:22) or fool, shall not be unpunished, as doing injury to the name18 of Christ, how dare any man speak against his bishop, by whom the Lord gave the Holy Spirit among you upon the laying on of his hands, by whom ye have learned the sacred doctrines, and have known God, and have believed in Christ, by whom ye were known of God, by whom ye were sealed with the oil of gladness and the ointment of understanding, by whom ye were declared to be the children of light, by whom the Lord in your illumination testified by the imposition of the bishop’s hands, and sent out His sacred voice upon every one of you, saying, “Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee?” (Psa 2:7) By thy bishop, O man, God adopts thee for His child. Acknowledge, O son, that right hand which was a mother to thee. Love him who, after God, is become a father to thee, and honour him.


XXXIII. After What Manner the Bishops Are to Be Honoured, and to Be Reverenced as Our Spiritual Parents.

For if the divine oracle says, concerning our parents according to the flesh, “Honour thy father and thy mother, that it may be well with thee;” (Exo 20:12) and, “He that curseth his father or his mother, let him die the death;” (Exo 21:17) how much more should the word exhort you to honour your spiritual parents, and to love them as your benefactors and ambassadors with God, who have regenerated you by water, and endued you with the fulness of the Holy Spirit, who have fed you with the word as with milk, who have nourished you with doctrine, who have confirmed you by their admonitions, who have imparted to you the saving body and precious blood of Christ, who have loosed you from your sins, who have made you partakers of the holy and sacred eucharist, who have admitted you to be partakers and fellow-heirs of the promise of God! Reverence these, and honour them with all kinds of honour; for they have obtained from God the power of life and death, in their judging of sinners, and condemning them to the death of eternal fire, as also of loosing returning sinners from their sins, and of restoring them to a new life.


XXXIV. That Priests Are to Be Preferred Before Rulers and Kings.

Account these worthy to be esteemed your rulers and your kings, and bring them tribute as to kings; for by you they and their families ought to be maintained. As Samuel made constitutions for the people concerning a king, (1Sa 8:1-22) in the first book of Kings, and Moses did so concerning priests in Leviticus, so do we also make constitutions for you concerning bishops. For if there the multitude distributed the inferior services in proportion to so great a king, ought not therefore the bishop much more now to receive of you those things which are determined by God for the sustenance of himself and of the rest of the clergy belonging to him? But if we may add somewhat further, let the bishop receive more than the other received of old: for he only managed the affairs of the soldiery, being entrusted with war and peace for the preservation of men’s bodies; but the other is entrusted with the exercise of the priestly office in relation to God, in order to preserve both body and soul from dangers. By how much, therefore, the soul is more valuable than the body, so much the priestly office is beyond the kingly. For it binds and looses those that are worthy of punishment or of remission. Wherefore you ought to love the bishop as your father, and fear him as your king, and honour him as your lord, bringing to him your fruits and the works of your hands, for a blessing upon you, giving to him your first-fruits, and your tithes, and your oblations, and your gifts, as to the priest of God; the first-fruits of your wheat, and wine, and oil, and autumnal fruits, and wool,19 and all things which the Lord God gives thee. And thy offering shall be accepted as a savour of a sweet smell to the Lord thy God; and the Lord will bless the works of thy hands, and will multiply the good things of the land. “For a blessing is upon the head of him that giveth.” (Pro 11:26)


XXXV. That Both the Law and the Gospel Prescribe Offerings.

Now you ought to know, that although the Lord has delivered you from the additional bonds, and has brought you out of them to your refreshment, and does not permit you to sacrifice irrational creatures for sin-offerings, and purifications, and scapegoats, and continual washings and sprinklings, yet has He nowhere freed you from those oblations which you owe to the priests, nor from doing good to the poor. For the Lord says to you in the Gospel: “Unless your righteousness abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall by no means enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Mat 5:20) Now herein will your righteousness exceed theirs, if you take greater care of the priests, the orphans, and the widows; as it is written: “He hath scattered abroad; he hath given to the poor; his righteousness remaineth for ever.” (Psa 112:9) And again: “By acts of righteousness and faith iniquities are purged.” (Pro 16:6) And again: “Every bountiful soul is blessed.” (Pro 11:25) So therefore shalt thou do as the Lord has appointed, and shalt, give to the priest what things are due to him, the first-fruits of thy floor, and of thy wine-press, and sin-offerings, as to the mediator between God and such as stand in need of purgation and forgiveness. For it is thy duty to give, and his to administer, as being the administrator and disposer of ecclesiastical affairs. Yet shalt thou not call thy bishop to account, nor watch his administration, how he does it, when, or to whom, or where, or whether he do it well or ill, or indifferently; for he has One who will call him to an account, the Lord God, who put this administration into his hands, and thought him worthy of the priesthood of so great dignity.


XXXVI. The Recital of the Ten Commandments, and After What Manner They Do Here Prescribe to Us.

Have before thine eyes the fear of God, and always remember the ten commandments of God, – to love the one and only Lord God with all thy strength; to give no heed to idols, or any other beings, as being lifeless gods, or irrational beings or dæmons. Consider the manifold workmanship of God, which received its beginning through Christ. Thou shalt observe the Sabbath, on account of Him who ceased from His work of creation, but ceased not from His work of providence: it is a rest for meditation of the law, not for idleness of the hands. Reject every unlawful lust, everything destructive to men, and all anger. Honour thy parents, as the authors of thy being. Love thy neighbour as thyself. Communicate the necessaries of life to the needy. Avoid swearing falsely, and swearing often, and in vain; for thou shalt not be held guiltless. Do not appear before the priests empty, and offer thy free-will offerings continually. Moreover, do not leave the church of Christ; but go thither in the morning before all thy work, and again meet there in the evening, to return thanks to God that He has preserved thy life. Be diligent, and constant, and laborious in thy calling. Offer to the Lord thy free-will offerings; for says He, “Honour the Lord with the fruit of thy honest labours.” (Pro 3:9) If thou art not able to cast anything considerable into the Corban,20 yet at least bestow upon the strangers one, or two, or five mites. “Lay up to thyself heavenly treasure, which neither the moth nor thieves can destroy.” (Mat 6:20) And in doing this, do not judge thy bishop, or any of thy neighbours among the laity; for if thou judge thy brother, thou becomest a judge, without being constituted such by anybody, for the priests are only entrusted with the power of judging. For to them it is said, “Judge righteous judgment;” (Deu 1:16, Deu 16:18) and again “Approve yourselves to be exact money-changers.” (Zec 7:9) For to you this is not entrusted; for, on the contrary, it is said to those who are not of the dignity of magistrates or ministers: “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged.” (Luk 6:37)


Sec. V. – On Accusations, and the Treatment of Accusers.

XXXVII. Concerning Accusers and False Accusers, and How a Judge Is Not Rashly Either to Believe Them or Disbelieve Them, but After an Accurate Examination.

But it is the duty of the bishop to judge rightly, as it is written, “Judge righteous judgment;” (Joh 7:24) and elsewhere, “Why do ye not even of yourselves judge what is right?” (Luk 12:57) Be ye therefore as skilful dealers in money: for as these reject bad money, but take to themselves what is current, in the same manner it is the bishops’s duty to retain the unblameable, but either to heal, or, if they be past cure, to cast off those that are blameworthy, so as not to be hasty in cutting off, nor to believe alI accusations; for it sometimes happens that some, either through passion or envy, do insist on a false accusation against a brother, as did the two elders in the case of Susanna in Babylon, (Hist. Susanna) and the Egyptian woman in the case of Joseph. (Gen 39:1-23) Do thou therefore, as a man of God, not rashly receive such accusations, lest thou take away the innocent and slay the righteous; for he that will receive such accusations is the author of anger rather than of peace. But where there is anger, there the Lord is not; for that anger, which is the friend of Satan – I mean that which is excited unjustly by the means of false brethren – never suffers unanimity to be in the Church. Wherefore, when you know such persons to be foolish, quarrelsome, passionate, and such as delight in mischief, do not give credit to them; but observe such as they are, when you hear anything from them against their brother: for murder is nothing in their eyes, and they cast a man down in such a way as one would not suspect. Do thou therefore consider diligently the accuser,21 wisely observing his mode of life, what, and of what sort it is; and in case thou findest him a man of veracity, do according to the doctrine of our Lord, (Mat 18:15) and taking him who is accused, rebuke him, that he may repent, when nobody is by. But if he be not persuaded, take with thee one or two more, and so show him his fault, and admonish him with mildness and instruction; for “wisdom will rest upon an heart that is good, but is not understood in the heart of the foolish.” (Pro 14:32)


XXXVIII. That Sinners Are Privately to Be Reproved, and the Penitent to Be Received, According to the Constitution of Our Lord.

If, therefore, he be persuaded by the mouth of you three, it is well. But if any one hardens himself, “tell it to the Church: but if he neglects to hear the Church, let him be to thee as an heathen man and a publican;” (Mat 18:17) and receive him no longer into the Church as a Christian, but reject him as an heathen. But if he be willing to repent, receive him. For the Church does not receive an heathen or a publican to communion, before they every one repent of their former impieties; for our Lord Jesus, the Christ of God, has appointed place for the acceptance of men upon their repentance.


XXXIX. Examples of Repentance.

For I Matthew, one of those twelve which speak to you in this doctrine, am an apostle, having myself been formerly a publican, but now have obtained mercy through believing, and have repented of my former practices, and have been vouchsafed the honour to be an apostle and preacher of the word. And Zacchæus, whom the Lord received upon his repentance and prayers to Him, was also himself in the same manner a publican at first. And, besides, even the soldiers and multitude of publicans, who came to hear the word of the Lord about repentance, heard this from the prophet John, after he had baptized them: “Do nothing more than that which is appointed you.” (Luk 3:13) In like manner, life is not refused to the heathen, if they repent and cast away their unbelief. Esteem, therefore, every one that is convicted of any wicked action, and has not repented, as a publican or an heathen. But if he afterward repents, and turns from his error, then, as we receive the heathen, when they wish to repent, into the Church indeed to hear the word, but do not receive them to communion until they have received the seal of baptism, and are made complete Christians; so do we also permit such as these to enter only to hear, until they show the fruit of repentance, that by hearing the word they may not utterly and irrecoverably perish. But let them not be admitted to communion in prayer; and let them depart after the reading of the law, and the prophets, and the Gospel, that by such departure they may be made better in their course of life, by endeavouring to meet every day about the public assemblies, and to be frequent in prayer, that they also may be at length admitted, and that those who behold them may be affected, and be more secured by fearing to fall into the same condition.


XL. That We Are Not to Be Implacable to Him Who Has Once or Twice Offended.

But yet do not thou, O bishop, presently abhor any person who has fallen into one or two offences, nor shalt thou exclude him from the word of the Lord, nor reject him from common intercourse, since neither did the Lord refuse to eat with publicans and sinners; and when He was accused by the Pharisees on this account, He said: “They that are well have no need of the physician, but they that are sick.” (Mat 9:12) Do you, therefore, live and dwell with those who are separated from you for their sins; and take care of them, comforting them, and confirming them, and saying to them: “Be strengthened, ye weak hands and feeble knees.” (Isa 35:3) For we ought to comfort those that mourn, and afford encouragement to the fainthearted, lest by immoderate sorrow they degenerate into distraction, since “he that is fainthearted is exceedingly distracted.” (Pro 14:29, LXX)


XLI. After What Manner We Ought to Receive a Penitent; How We Ought to Deal With Offenders, and When They Are to Be Cut Off from the Church.

But if any one returns, and shows forth the fruit of repentance, then do ye receive him to prayer, as the lost son, the prodigal, who had consumed his father’s substance with harlots, who fed swine, and desired to be fed with husks, and could not obtain it. This son, when he repented, and returned to his father, and said, “I have sinned against Heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son;” (Luk 15:21) the father, full of affection to his child, received him with music, and restored him his old robe, and ring, and shoes, and slew the fatted calf, and made merry with his friends. Do thou therefore, O bishop, act in the same manner. And as thou receivest an heathen after thou hast instructed and baptized him, so do thou let all join in prayers for this man, and restore him by imposition of hands to his ancient place among the flock, as one purified by repentance; and that imposition of hands shall be to him instead of baptism: for by the laying on of our hands the Holy Ghost was given to believers. And in case some one of those brethren who had stood immoveable accuse thee, because thou art reconciled to him, say to him: “Thou art always with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet to make merry and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” For that God does not only receive the penitent, but restores them to their former dignity, holy David is a sufficient witness, who, after his sin in the matter of Uriah, prayed to God, and said: “Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and uphold me with Thy free Spirit.” (Psa 51:1-19) And again: “Turn Thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine offences. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit in my inward parts. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.” Do thou therefore, as a compassionate physician, heal all that have sinned, making use of saving methods of cure; not only cutting and searing, or using corrosives, but binding up, and putting in tents, and using gentle healing medicines, and sprinkling comfortable words. If it be an hollow wound, or great gash, nourish it with a suitable plaister, that it may be filled up, and become even with the rest of the whole flesh. If it be foul, cleanse it with corrosive powder, that is, with the words of reproof. If it have proud flesh, eat it down with a sharp plaister – the threats of judgment. If it spreads further, sear it, and cut off the putrid flesh, mortifying him with fastings. But if, after all that thou hast done, thou perceivest that from the feet to the head there is no room for a fomentation, or oil, or bandage, but that the malady spreads and prevents all cure, as a gangrene which corrupts the entire member; then, with a great deal of consideration, and the advice of other skilful physicians, cut off the putrefied member, that the whole body of the Church be not corrupted. Be not therefore ready and hasty to cut off, nor do thou easily have recourse to the saw, with its many teeth; but first use a lancet to lay open the wound, that the inward cause whence the pain is derived being drawn out, may keep the body free from pain. But if thou seest any one past repentance, and he is become insensible, then cut off the incurable from the Church with sorrow and lamentation. For: “Take out from among yourselves that wicked person.” (Deu 17:7) And: “Ye shall make the children of Israel to fear.” (Lev 15:31) And again: “Thou shalt not accept the persons of the rich in judgment.” (Deu 1:17; Lev 19:15) And: “Thou shalt not pity a poor man in his cause: for the judgment is the Lord’s.” (Exo 23:3)


XLII. That a Judge Must Not Be a Respecter of Persons.

But if the slanderous accusation be false, and youthat are the pastors, with the deacons, admit of that falsehood for truth, either by acceptance of persons or receiving of bribes, as willing to do that which will be pleasing to the devil, and so you thrust out from the Church him that is accused, but is clear of the crime, you shall give an account in the day of the Lord. For it is written: “The innocent and the righteous thou shalt not slay.” (Exo 23:7, Exo 23:8) “Thou shalt not take girls to smite the soul: for gifts blind the eyes of the wise, and destroy the words of the righteous.” (Deu 27:25, Deu 16:19) And again: “They that justify the wicked for gifts, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him.” (Isa 5:23) Be careful, therefore, not to condemn any persons unjustly, and so to assist the wicked. For “woe to him that calls evil good, and good evil; bitter sweet, and sweet bitter; that puts light for darkness, and darkness for light.” (Isa 5:20) Take care, therefore, lest by any means ye become acceptors of persons, and thereby fall under this voice of the Lord.22 For if you condemn others unjustly, you pass sentence against yourselves. For the Lord says: “With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and as you condemn, you shall be condemned.” (Mat 7:2; Luk 6:37) If, therefore, ye judge without respect of persons, ye will discover that accuser who bears false witness against his neighbour, and will prove him to be a sycophant, a spiteful person, and a murderer, causing perplexity by accusing the man as if he were wicked, inconstant in his words, contradicting himself in what he affirms, and entangled with the words of his own mouth; for his own lips are a dangerous snare to him: whom, when thou hast convicted him of speaking falsely, thou shalt judge severely, and shalt deliver him to the fiery sword, and thou shalt do to him as he wickedly proposed to do to his brother; for as much as in him lay he slew his brother, by forestalling the ears of the judge. (Deu 19:19) Now it is written, that “he that sheddeth man’s blood, for that his own blood shall be shed.” (Gen 9:6) And: “Thou shalt take away that innocent blood, which was shed without cause, from thee.” (Gen 19:13)


XLIII. After What Manner False Accusers Are to Be Punished.

Thou shalt therefore cast him out of the congregation as a murderer of his brother. Some time afterwards, if he says that he repents, mortify him with fastings, and afterwards ye shall lay your hands upon him and receive him, but still securing him, that he does not disturb anybody a second time. But if, when he is admitted again, he be alike troublesome, and will not cease to disturb and to quarrel with his brother, spying faults out of a contentious spirit, cast him out as a pernicious person, that he may not lay waste the Church of God. For such a one is the raiser of disturbances in cities; for he, though he be within, does not become the Church, but is a superfluous and vain member, casting a blot, as far as in him lies, on the body of Christ. For if such men as are born with superfluous members of their body, which hang to them as fingers, or excrescences of flesh, cut them away from themselves on account of their indecency, whereby the unseemliness vanishes, and the man recovers his natural good shape by the means of the surgeon; how much more ought you, the pastors of the Church (for the Church is a perfect body, and sound members; of such as believe in God, in the fear of the Lord, and in love), to do the like when there is found in it a superfluous member with wicked designs, and rendering the rest of the body unseemly, and disturbing it with sedition, and war, and evil-speaking; causing fears, disturbances, blots, evil-speaking, accusations, disorders, and doing the like works of the devil, as if he were ordained by the devil to cast a reproach on the Church by calumnies, and mighty disorders, and strife, and division! Such a one, therefore, when he is a second time cast out of the Church, is justly cut off entirely from the congregation of the Lord. And now the Church of the Lord will be more beautiful than it was before, when it had a superfluous, and to itself a disagreeable member. Wherefore henceforward it will be free from blame and reproach, and become clear of such wicked, deceitful, abusive, unmerciful, traitorous persons; of such as are “haters of those that are good, lovers of pleasure,” (2Ti 3:3, 2Ti 3:4) affecters of vainglory, deceivers, and pretenders to wisdom; of such as make it their business to scatter, or rather utterly to disperse, the lambs of the Lord.





11 From “said” to “ever” is not in Scripture.

12 Taken from 2Ch 23:3, LXX., instead of the reading of the mss., “Gebanai.”

13 Not in mss.

14 Inserted from V. mss.

15 The V. mss. read, “as the powers do to God,” which, Ültzen remarks, is an orthodox correction of an Arian opinion.

16 One V. mss. reads “priest.”

17 [Compare Teaching, chap. xiii. p. 381. – R.]

18 Capellius reads, “the law of Christ.”

19 One V. mss. reads “olives” instead of “wool.”

20 The V. mss. read: “Casting into the treasury whatever you can bestow.”

21 The mss. read, “the accused.”

22 This sentence follows the passage from Isa 5:23 in most mss. One V. ms. has the order adopted in the text.





















Constitutions of the Holy Apostles. (Cont.)

Book II. (Cont.)

Sec. VI. – The Disputes of the Faithful to Be Settled by the Decisions of the Bishop, and the Faithful to be Reconciled.

Do thou therefore, O bishop, together with thy subordinate clergy, endeavour rightly to divide the word of truth. For the Lord says: “If you walk cross-grained to me, I will walk cross-grained to you.” (Lev 26:27, Lev 26:28) And elsewhere: “With the holy Thou wilt be holy, and with the perfect man Thou wilt be perfect, and with the froward Thou wilt be froward.” (Psa 18:26) Walk therefore holily, that you may rather appear worthy of praise from the Lord than of complaint from the adversary.


XLIV. That the Deacon Is to Ease the Burthen of the Bishops, and to Order the Smaller Matters Himself.

Be ye of one mind, O ye bishops, one with another, and be at peace with one another; sympathize with one another, love the brethren, and feed the people with care; with one consent teach those that are under you to be of the same sentiments and to be of the same opinions about the same matters, “that there may be no schisms among you; that ye may be one body and one spirit, perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment,” (1Co 1:10; Eph 4:4) according to the appointment of the Lord. And let the deacon refer all things to the bishop, as Christ does to His Father. But let him order such things as he is able by himself, receiving power from the bishop, as the Lord did from His Father the power of creation and of providence. But the weighty matters let the bishop judge; but let the deacon be the bishop’s ear, and eye, and mouth, and heart, and soul, that the bishop may not be distracted with many cares, but with such only as are more considerable, as Jethro did appoint for Moses, and his counsel was received. (Exo 18:1-27)


XLV. That Contentions and Quarrels Are Unbecoming Christians.

It is therefore a noble encomium for a Christian to have no contest with any one; (1Co 6:1, etc.) but if by any management or temptation a contest arises with any one, let him endeavour that it may be composed, though thereby he be obliged to lose somewhat; and let it not come before an heathen tribunal. Nay, indeed, you are not to permit that the rulers of this world should pass sentence against your people; for by them the devil contrives mischief to the servants of God, and occasions a reproach to be cast upon us, as though we had not “one wise man that is able to judge between his brethren,” or to decide their controversies.


XLVI. That Believers Ought Not to Go to Law Before Unbelievers; Nor Ought Any Unbeliever to Be Called for a Witness Against Believers.

Let not the heathen therefore know of your differences among one another, nor do you receive unbelievers as witnesses against yourselves, nor be judged by them, nor owe them anything on account of tribute or fear; but “render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s,” (Mat 22:21) as tribute, taxes, or poll-money, as our Lord by giving a piece of money was freed from disturbance. (Mat 17:24, etc.) Choose therefore rather to suffer harm, and to endeavour after those things that make for peace, not only among the brethren, but also among the unbelievers. For by suffering loss in the affairs of this life, thou wilt be sure not to suffer in the concerns of piety, and wilt live religiously, and according to the command of Christ.23 But if brethren have lawsuits one with another, which God forbid, you who are the rulers ought thence to learn that such as these do not do the work of brethren in the Lord, but rather of public enemies; and one of the parties will be found to be mild, gentle, and the child of light; but the other unmerciful, insolent, and covetous. Let him, therefore, who is condemned be rebuked, let him be separated, let him undergo the punishment of his hatred to his brother. Afterwards, when he repents, let him be received; and so, when they have learned prudence, they will ease your judicatures. It is also a duty to forgive each other’s trespasses – not the duty of those that judge, but of those that have quarrels; as the Lord determined when I Peter asked Him, “How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?” He replied, “I say not unto thee, Until seven times, but until seventy times seven.” (Mat 18:21, Mat 18:22) For so would our Lord have us to be truly His disciples, and never to have anything against anybody; as, for instance, anger without measure, passion without mercy, covetousness without justice, hatred without reconciliation. Draw by your instruction those who are angry to friendship, and those who are at variance to agreement. For the Lord says: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” (Mat 5:9)


XLVII. That the Judicatures of Christians Ought to Be Held on the Second Day of the Week.

Let your judicatures be held on the second day of the week, that if any controversy arise about your sentence, having an interval till the Sabbath,24 you may be able to set the controversy right, and to reduce those to peace who have the contests one with another against the Lord’s day. Let also the deacons and presbyters be present at your judicatures, to judge without acceptance of persons, as men of God, with righteousness. When, therefore, both the parties are come, according as the law says, (Deu 19:17) those that have the controversy shall stand severally in the middle of the court; and when you have heard them, give your votes holily, endeavouring to make them both friends before the sentence of the bishop, that judgment against the offender may not go abroad into the world; knowing that he has in the court the Christ of God as conscious of and confirming his judgment. But if any persons are accused by any one, and their fame suffers as if they did not walk uprightly in the Lord, in like manner you shall hear both parties – the accuser and accused; but not with prejudice, nor with hearkening to one part only, but with righteousness, as passing a sentence concerning eternal life or death. For says God: “He shall prosecute that which is right justly.” (Deu 16:20) For he that is justly punished and separated by you is rejected from eternal life and glory; he becomes dishonourable among holy men, and one condemned of God.


XLVIII. That the Same Punishment Is Not to Be Inflicted for Every Offence, but Different Punishments for Different Offenders.

Do not pass the same sentence for every sin, but one suitable to each crime, distinguishing all the several sorts of offences with much prudence, the great from the little. Treat a wicked action after one manner, and a wicked word after another; a bare intention still otherwise. So also in the case of a contumely or suspicion. And some thou shalt curb by threatenings alone; some thou shalt punish with fines to the poor; some thou shalt mortify with fastings; and others thou shalt separate according to the greatness of their several crimes. For the law did not allot the same punishment to every offence, but had a different regard to a sin against God, against the priest, against the temple, or against the sacrifice; from a sin against the king, or ruler, or a soldier, or a fellow-subject; and so were the offences different which were against a servant, a possession, or a brute creature. And again, sins were differently rated according as they were against parents and kinsmen, and those differently which were done on purpose from those that happened involuntarily. Accordingly the punishments were different: as death either by crucifixion or by stoning, fines, scourgings, or the suffering the same mischiefs they had done to others. Wherefore do you also allot different penalties to different offences, lest any injustice should happen, and provoke God to indignation. For of what unjust judgment soever you are the instruments, of the same you shall receive the reward from God. “For with what judgment ye judge ye shall be judged.” (Mat 7:2)


XLIX. What Are to Be the Characters of Accusers and Witnesses.

When, therefore, you are set down at your tribunal, and the parties are both of them present (for we will not call them brethren until they receive each other in peace), examine diligently concerning those who appear before you; and first concerning the accuser, whether this be the first person he has accused, or whether he has advanced accusations against some others before, and whether this contest and accusation of theirs does not arise from some quarrel, and what sort of life the accuser leads. Yet, though he be of a good conscience, do not give credit to him alone, for that is contrary to the law; but let him have others to join in his testimony, and those of the same course of life. As the law says: “At the mouth of two or three witnesses everything shall be established.” (Deu 19:15) But why did we say that the character of the witnesses was to be inquired after, of what sort it is? Because it frequently happens that two and more testify for mischief, and with joint consent prefer a lie; as did the two elders against Susanna in Babylon, (Susanna 28) and the sons of transgressors against Naboth in Samaria, (1Ki 21:1-29) and the multitude of the Jews against our Lord at Jerusalem, (Mat 26:1-75) and against Stephen His first martyr. (Act 6:1-15 and Act 7:1-60) Let the witnesses therefore be meek, free from anger, full of equity, kind, prudent, continent, free from wickedness, faithful, religious; for the testimony of such persons is firm on account of their character, and true on account of their mode of life. But as to those of a different character, do not ye receive their testimony, although they seem to agree together in their evidence against the accused; for it is ordained in the law: “Thou shalt not be with a multitude for wickedness; thou shalt not receive a vain report; thou shalt not consent with a multitude to pervert judgment.” (Exo 23:2) You ought also particularly to know him that is accused; what he is in his course and mode of life; whether he have a good report as to his life; whether he has been unblameable; whether he has been zealous in holiness; whether he be a lover of the widows, a lover of the strangers, a lover of the poor, and a lover of the brethren; whether he be not given to filthy lucre; whether he be not an extravagant person, or a spendthrift; whether he be sober, and free from luxury, or a drunkard, or a glutton; whether he be compassionate and charitable.


L. That Former Offences Do Sometimes Render After Accusations Credible.

For if he has been before addicted to wicked works, the accusations which are now brought against him will thence in some measure appear to be true, unless justice do plainly plead for hint. For it may be, that though he had formerly been an offender, yet that he may not be guilty of this crime of which he is accused. Wherefore be exactly cautious about such circumstances, and so render your sentences, when pronounced against the offender convicted, safe and firm. And if, after his separation, he begs pardon, and falls down before the bishop, and acknowledges his fault, receive him. But neither do you suffer a false accuser to go unpunished, that he may not calumniate another who lives well, or encourage some other person to do like him. Nor, to be sure, do ye suffer a person convicted to go off clear, lest another be ensnared in the same crimes. For neither shall a witness of mischiefs be unpunished, nor shall he that offends be without censure.


LI. Against Judging Without Hearing Both Sides.

We said before that judgment ought not to be given upon hearing only one of the parties; for if you hear one of them when the other is not there, and so cannot make his defence to the accusation brought against him, and rashly give your votes for condemnation, you will be found guilty of that man’s destruction, and partaker with the false accuser before God, the just Judge. For “as he that holdeth the tail of a dog, so is he that presides at unjust judgment.” (Pro 26:17) But if ye become imitators of the elders in Babylon, who, when they had borne witness against Susanna, unjustly condemned her to death, you will become obnoxious to their judgment and condemnation. For the Lord by Daniel delivered Susanna from the hand of the ungodly, but condemned to the fire those elders who were guilty of her blood, and reproaches you by him, saying: “Are ye so foolish, ye children of Israel? Without examination, and without knowing the truth, have ye condemned a daughter of Israel? Return again to the place of judgment, for these men have borne false witness against her.” (Susanna 48)


LII. The Caution Observed at Heathen Tribunals Before the Condemnation of Criminals Affords Christians a Good Example.

Consider even the judicatures of this world, by whose power we see murderers, adulterers, wizards, robbers of sepulchres, and thieves brought to trial; and those that preside, when they have received their accusations from those that brought them, ask the malefactor whether those things be so. And though he does not deny the crimes, they do not presently send him out to punishment; but for several days they make inquiry about him with a full council, and with the veil interposed. And he that is to pass the final decree and suffrage of death against him, lifts up his hands to the sun, and solemnly affirms that he is innocent of the blood of the man. Though they be heathens, and know not the Deity, nor the vengeance which will fall upon men from God on account of those that are justly condemned, they avoid such unjust judgments.


LIII. That Christians Ought Not to Be Contentious One With Another.

But you who know who our God is, and what are His judgments, how can you bear to pass an unjust judgment, since your sentence will be immediately known to God? And if you have judged righteously, you will be deemed worthy of the recompenses of righteousness, both now and hereafter; but if unrighteously, you will partake of the like. We therefore advise you, brethren, rather to deserve commendation from God than rebukes; for the commendation of God is eternal life to men, as is His rebuke everlasting death. Be ye therefore righteous judges, peacemakers, and without anger. For “he that is angry with his brother without a cause is obnoxious to the judgment.” (Mat 5:22) But if it happens that by any one’s contrivance you are angry at anybody, “let not the sun go down upon your wrath;” (Eph 4:26) for says David, “Be angry and sin not;” (Psa 4:4) that is, be soon reconciled, lest your wrath continue so long that it turn to a settled hatred, and work sin. “For the souls of those that bear a settled hatred are to death,” (Pro 12:28, LXX) says Solomon. But our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ says in the Gospels: “If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift to God.” (Mat 5:23, Mat 5:24) Now the gift to God is every one’s prayer and thanksgiving. If, therefore, thou hast anything against thy brother, or he has anything against thee, neither will thy prayers be heard, nor will thy thanksgivings be accepted, by reason of that hidden anger. But it is your duty, brethren, to pray continually. Yet, because God hears not those which are at enmity with their brethren by unjust quarrels, even though they should pray three times an hour, it is our duty to compose all our enmity and littleness of soul, that we may be able to pray with a pure and unpolluted heart. For the Lord commanded us to love even our enemies, and by no means to hate our friends. And the lawgiver says: “Thou shalt not hate any man; thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy mind. Thou shalt certainly reprove thy brother, and not incur sin on his account.” (Lev 19:17) “Thou shalt not hate an Egyptian, for thou wast a sojourner with him. Thou shalt not hate an Idumæan, for he is thy brother.” (Deu 23:7) And David says: “If I have repaid those that requited me evil.” (Psa 7:4) Wherefore, if thou wilt be a Christian, follow the law of the Lord: “Loose every band of wickedness;” (Isa 58:6) for the Lord has given thee authority to remit those sins to thy brother which he has committed against thee as far as “seventy times seven,” (Mat 18:22) that is, four hundred and ninety times. How oft, therefore, hast thou remitted to thy brother, that thou art unwilling to do it now, when thou also hast heard Jeremiah saying, “Do not any of you impute the wickedness of his neighbour in your hearts?” (Zec 8:17) But thou rememberest injuries, and keepest enmity, and comest into judgment, and art suspicious of His anger, and thy prayer is hindered. Nay, if thou hast remitted to thy brother four hundred and ninety times, do thou still multiply thy acts of gentleness more, to do good for thy own sake. Although he does not do so, yet, however, do thou endeavour to forgive thy brother for God’s sake, “that thou mayest be the son of thy Father which is in heaven,” (Mat 5:45) and when thou prayest, mayest be heard as a friend of God.


LIV. That the Bishops Must by Their Deacon Put the People in Mind of the Obligation They Are Under to Live Peaceably Together.

Wherefore, O bishop, when you are to go to prayer after the lessons, and the psalmody, and the instruction out of the Scriptures, let the deacon stand nigh you, and with a loud voice say: Let none have any quarrel with another; let none come in hypocrisy; that if there be any controversy found among any of you, they may be affected in conscience, and may pray to God, and be reconciled to their brethren. For if, upon coming into any one’s house, we are to say, “Peace be to this house,” (Mat 10:12) like sons of peace bestowing peace on those who are worthy, as it is written, “He came and preached peace to you that are nigh, and them that are far off, whom the Lord knows to be His,” (Isa 57:19; Eph 2:17; 2Ti 2:19) much more is it incumbent on those that enter into the Church of God before all things to pray for the peace of God. But if he prays for it upon others, much more let himself be within the same, as a child of light; for he that has it not within himself is not fit to bestow it upon others. Wherefore, before all things, it is our duty to be at peace in our own minds; for he that does not find any disorder in himself will not quarrel with another, but will be peaceable, friendly, gathering the Lord’s people, and a fellow-worker with him, in order to the increasing the number of those that shall be saved in unanimity. For those who contrive enmities, and strifes, and contests, and lawsuits, are wicked, and aliens from God.


LV. An Enumeration of the Several Instances of Divine Providence, and How in Every Age from the Beginning of the World God Has Invited All Men to Repentance.

For God, being a God of mercy from the beginning, called every generation to repentance by righteous men and prophets. He instructed those before the flood by Abel and Sem, and Seth, also by Enos, and by Enoch that was translated; those at the flood by Noah; the inhabitants of Sodom by hospitable Lot; those after the flood by Melchizedek, and the patriarchs, and Job the beloved of God; the Egyptians by Moses; the Israelites by him, and Joshua, and Caleb, and Phineas, and the rest; those after the law by angels and prophets, and the same by His own incarnation25 of the Virgin; those a little before His bodily appearance by John His forerunner, and the same by the same person after Christ’s birth, saying, “Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand;” (Mat 3:2) those after His passion by us, the twelve apostles, and Paul the chosen vessel. We therefore, who have been vouchsafed the favour of being the witnesses of His appearance, together with James the brother of our Lord, and the other seventy-two disciples, and his seven deacons, have heard from the mouth of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by exact knowledge declare “what is the will of God, that good, and acceptable, and perfect will” (Rom 12:2) which is made known to us by Jesus; that none should perish, but that all men with one accord should believe in Him, and send unanimously praise to Him, and thereby live for ever.


LVI. That It Is The Will of God that Men Should Be of One Mind in Matters of Religion, in Accord with the Heavenly Powers.

For this is that which our Lord taught us when we pray to say to His Father, “Thy will be done, as in heaven, so upon earth;” (Mat 6:10) that as the heavenly natures of the incorporeal powers do all glorify God with one consent, so also upon earth all men with one mouth and one purpose may glorify the only, the one, and the true God, by Christ His only-begotten. It is therefore His will that men should praise Him with unanimity, and adore Him with one consent.26 For this is His will in Christ, that those who are saved by Him may be many; but that you do not occasion any loss or diminution to Him, nor to the Church, or lessen the number by one soul of man, as destroyed by you, which might have been saved by repentance; and which therefore perishes not only by its own sin, but also by your treachery besides, whereby you fulfil that which is written, “He that gathereth not with me, scattereth.” (Mat 12:30) Such a one is a disperser of the sheep, an adversary, an enemy of God, a destroyer of those lambs whose Shepherd was the Lord, and we were the collectors out of various nations and tongues, by much pains and danger, and perpetual labour, by watchings, by fastings, by lyings on the ground, by persecutions, by stripes, by imprisonments, that we might do the will of God, and fill the feast-chamber with guests to sit down at His table, that is, the holy and Catholic Church, with joyful and chosen people, singing hymns and praises to God that has called them by us to life. And you, as much as in you lies, have dispersed them. Do you also of the laity be at peace with one another, endeavouring like wise men to increase the Church, and to turn back, and tame, and restore those which seem wild. For this is the greatest reward by His promise from God, “If thou fetch out the worthy and precious from the unworthy, thou shalt be as my mouth.” (Jer 15:19)


Sec. VII. – On Assembling in the Church.

LVII. An Exact Description of a Church and the Clergy, and What Things in Particular Every One Is to Do in the Solemn Assemblies of the Clergy and Laity for Religious Worship.

But be thou, O bishop, holy, unblameable, no striker, not soon angry, not cruel; but a builder up, a converter, apt to teach, forbearing of evil, of a gentle mind, meek, long-suffering, ready to exhort, ready to comfort, as a man of God.

When thou callest an assembly of the Church as one that is the commander of a great ship, appoint the assemblies to be made with all possible skill, charging the deacons as mariners to prepare places for the brethren as for passengers, with all due care and decency. And first, let the building be long, with its head to the east, with its vestries on both sides at the east end, and so it will be like a ship. In the middle let the bishop’s throne be placed, and on each side of him let the presbytery sit down; and let the deacons stand near at hand, in close and small girt garments, for they are like the mariners and managers of the ship: with regard to these, let the laity sit on the other side, with all quietness and good order. And let the women sit by themselves, they also keeping silence. In the middle, let the reader stand upon some high place: let him read the books of Moses, of Joshua the son of Nun, of the Judges, and of the Kings and of the Chronicles, and those written after the return from the captivity; and besides these, the books of Job and of Solomon, and of the sixteen prophets. But when there have been two lessons severally read, let some other person sing the hymns of David, and let the people join at the conclusions of the verses. Afterwards let our Acts be read, and the Epistles of Paul our fellow-worker, which he sent to the churches under the conduct of the Holy Spirit; and afterwards let a deacon or a presbyter read the Gospels, both those which I Matthew and John have delivered to you, and those which the fellow-workers of Paul received and left to you, Luke and Mark. And while the Gospel is read, let all the presbyters and deacons, and all the people, stand up in great silence; for it is written: “Be silent, and hear, O Israel.” (Deu 27:9) And again: “But do thou stand there, and hear.” (Deu 5:31) In the next place, let the presbyters one by one, not all together, exhort the people, and the bishop in the last place, as being the commander. Let the porters stand at the entries of the men, and observe them. Let the deaconesses also stand at those of the women, like shipmen. For the same description and pattern was both in the tabernacle of the testimony and in the temple of God.27 But if any one be found sitting out of his place, let him be rebuked by the deacon, as a manager of the foreship, and be removed into the place proper for him; for the Church is not only like a ship, but also like a sheepfold. For as the shepherds place all the brute creatures distinctly, I mean goats and sheep, according to their kind and age, and still every one runs together, like to his like; so is it to be in the Church. Let the young persons sit by themselves, if there be a place for them; if not, let them stand upright. But let those that are already stricken in years sit in order. For the children which stand, let their fathers and mothers take them to them. Let the younger women also sit by themselves, if there be a place for them; but if there be not, let them stand behind the women. Let those women which are married, and have children, be placed by themselves; but let the virgins, and the widows, and the elder women, stand or sit before all the rest; and let the deacon be the disposer of the places, that every one of those that comes in may go to his proper place, and may not sit at the entrance. In like manner, let the deacon oversee the people, that nobody may whisper, nor slumber, nor laugh, nor nod; for all ought in the church to stand wisely, and soberly, and attentively, having their attention fixed upon the word of the Lord. After this, let all rise up with one consent, and looking towards the east, after the catechumens and penitents are gone out, pray to God eastward, who ascended up to the heaven of heavens to the east; remembering also the ancient situation of paradise in the east, from whence the first man, when he had yielded to the persuasion of the serpent, and disobeyed the command of God, was expelled. As to the deacons, after the prayer is over, let some of them attend upon the oblation of the Eucharist, ministering to the Lord’s body with fear. Let others of them watch the multitude, and keep them silent. But let that deacon who is at the high priest’s hand say to the people, Let no one have any quarrel against another; let no one come in hypocrisy. Then let the men give the men, and the women give the women, the Lord’s kiss. But let no one do it with deceit, as Judas betrayed the Lord with a kiss. After this let the deacon pray for the whole Church, for the whole world, and the several parts of it, and the fruits of it; for the priests and the rulers, for the high priest and the king, and the peace of the universe. After this let the high priest pray for peace upon the people, and bless them, as Moses commanded the priests to bless the people, in these words: “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make His face to shine upon thee,28 and give thee peace.” (Num 6:24, etc.) Let the bishop pray for the people, and say: “Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thine inheritance, which Thou hast obtained with the precious blood of Thy Christ, and hast called a royal priesthood, and an holy nation.” (Psa 28:9; Act 20:28; 1Pe 1:19, 1Pe 2:9) After this let the sacrifice follow, the people standing, and praying silently; and when the oblation has been made, let every rank by itself partake of the Lord’s body and precious blood in order, and approach with reverence and holy fear, as to the body of their king. Let the women approach with their heads covered, as is becoming the order of women; but let the door be watched, lest any unbeliever, or one not yet initiated, come in.29


LVIII. Of Commendatory Letters in Favour of Strangers, Lay Persons, Clergymen, and Bishops; And that Those Who Come into the Church Assemblies Are to Be Received Without Regard to Their Quality.

If any brother, man or woman, come in from another parish, bringing recommendatory letters, let the deacon be the judge of that affair, inquiring whether they be of the faithful, and of the Church? whether they be not defiled by heresy? and besides, whether the party be a married woman or a widow? And when he is satisfied in these questions, that they are really of the faithful, and of the same sentiments in the things of the Lord, let him conduct every one to the place proper for him. And if a presbyter comes from another parish, let him be received to communion by the presbyters; if a deacon, by the deacons; if a bishop, let him sit with the bishop, and be allowed the same honour with himself; and thou, O bishop, shalt desire him to speak to the people words of instruction: for the exhortation and admonition of strangers is very acceptable, and exceeding profitable. For, as the Scripture says, “no prophet is accepted in his own country.” (Luk 4:24; Joh 4:44) Thou shalt also permit him to offer the Eucharist; but if, out of reverence to thee, and as a wise man, to preserve the honour belonging to thee, he will not offer, at least thou shalt compel him to give the blessing to the people. But if, after the congregation is sat down, any other person comes upon you of good fashion and character in the world, whether he be a stranger, or one of your own country, neither do thou, O bishop, if thou art speaking the word of God, or hearing him that sings or reads, accept persons so far as to leave the ministry of the word, that thou mayest appoint an upper place for him; but continue quiet, not interrupting thy discourse, nor thy attention. But let the brethren receive him by the deacons; and if there be not a place, let the deacon by speaking, but not in anger, raise the junior, and place the stranger there. And it is but reasonable that one that loves the brethren should do so of his own accord; but if he refuse, let him raise him up by force, and set him behind all, that the rest may be taught to give place to those that are more honourable. Nay, if a poor man, or one of a mean family, or a stranger, comes upon you, whether he be old or young, and there be no place, the deacon shall find a place for even these, and that with all his heart; that, instead of accepting persons before men, his ministration towards God may be well-pleasing. The very same thing let the deaconess do to those women, whether poor or rich, that come unto them.


LIX. That Every Christian Ought to Frequent the Church Diligently Both Morning and Evening.

When thou instructest the people, O bishop, command and exhort them to come constantly to church morning and evening every day, and by no means to forsake it on any account, but to assemble together continually; neither to diminish the Church by withdrawing themselves, and causing the body of Christ to be without its member. For it is not only spoken concerning the priests, but let every one of the laity hearken to it as concerning himself, considering that it is said by the Lord: “He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” (Mat 12:30) Do not you therefore scatter yourselves abroad, who are the members of Christ, by not assembling together, since you have Christ your head, according to His promise, present, and communicating to you.30 Be not careless of yourselves, neither deprive your Saviour of His own members, neither divide His body nor disperse His members, neither prefer the occasions of this life to the word of God; but assemble yourselves together every day, morning and evening, singing psalms and praying in the Lord’s house: in the morning saying the sixty-second Psalm, and in the evening the hundred and fortieth, but principally on the Sabbath-day. And on the day of our Lord’s resurrection, which is the Lord’s day, meet more diligently, sending praise to God that made the universe by Jesus, and sent Him to us, and condescended to let Him suffer, and raised Him from the dead. Otherwise what apology will he make to God who does not assemble on that day to hear the saving word concerning the resurrection, on which we pray thrice standing in memory of Him who arose in three days, in which is performed the reading of the prophets, the preaching of the Gospel, the oblation of the sacrifice, the gift of the holy food?


LX. The Vain Zeal Which the Heathens and Jews Show in Frequenting Their Temples and Synagogues Is a Proper Example and Motive to Excite Christians to Frequent the Church.

And how can he be other than an adversary to God, who takes pains about temporary things night and day, but takes no care of things eternal? who takes care of washings and temporary food every day, but does not take care of those that endure for ever? How can such a one even now avoid hearing that word of the Lord, “The Gentiles are justified more than you?” (Eze 16:52) as He says, by way of reproach, to Jerusalem, “Sodom is justified rather than thou.” For if the Gentiles every day, when they arise from sleep, run to their idols to worship them, and before all their work and all their labours do first of all pray to them, and in their feasts and in their solemnities do not keep away, but attend upon them; and not only those upon the place, but those living far distant do the same; and in their public shows all come together, as into a synagogue: in the same manner those which are vainly called Jews, when they have worked six days, on the seventh day rest, and come together into their synagogue, never leaving nor neglecting either rest from labour or assembling together, while yet they are deprived of the efficacy of the word in their unbelief, nay, and of the force of that name Judah, by which they call themselves, – for Judah is interpreted Confession, – but these do not confess to God (having unjustly occasioned the suffering on the cross), so as to be saved on their repentance; – if, therefore, those who are not saved frequently assemble together for such purposes as do not profit them, what apology wilt thou make to the Lord God who forsakest His Church, not imitating so much as the heathen, but by such thy absence growest slothful, or turnest apostate, or actest wickedness? To whom the Lord says by Jeremiah: “Ye have not kept my ordinances; nay, ye have not walked according to the ordinances of the heathen, and you have in a manner exceeded them.” (Eze 5:7, Eze 16:47) And again: “Israel has justified his soul more than treacherous Judah.” (Jer 3:11) And afterwards: “Will the Gentiles change their gods which are not gods?31 Wherefore pass over to the isles of Chittim, and behold, and send to Kedar, and observe diligently whether such things have been done. For those nations have not changed their ordinances; but,” says He, “my people has changed its glory for that which will not profit.” (Jer 2:11, Jer 2:10) How, therefore, will any one make his apology who has despised or absented himself from the church of God?


LXI. That We Must Not Prefer the Affairs of This Life to Those Which Concern the Worship of God.

But if any one allege the pretence of his own work, and so is a despiser, “offering pretences for his sins,” let such a one know that the trades of the faithful are works by the by, but the worship of God is their great work. Follow therefore your trades as by the by, for your maintenance, but make the worship of God your main business; as also our Lord said: “Labour not for the meat which perishes, but for that which endureth unto everlasting life.” (Joh 6:27) And again: “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” (Joh 6:29) Endeavour therefore never to leave the Church of God; but if any one overlooks it, and goes either into a polluted temple of the heathens, or into a synagogue of the Jews or heretics, what apology will such a one make to God in the day of judgment, who has forsaken the oracles of the living God, and the living and quickening oracles, such as are able to deliver from eternal punishment, and has gone into an house of demons, or into a synagogue of the murderers of Christ, or the congregation of the wicked? – not hearkening unto him that says: “I have hated the congregation of the wicked, and I will not enter with the ungodly. I have not sat with the assembly of vanity, neither will I sit with the ungodly.” (Psa 26:5, Psa 26:4) And again: “Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, and hath not sat in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law will he meditate day and night.” (Psa 1:1, Psa 1:2) But thou, forsaking the gathering together of the faithful, the Church of God, and His laws, hast respect to those “dens of thieves,” calling those things holy which He has called profane, and making such things unclean which He has sanctified. And not only so, but thou already runnest after the pomps of the Gentiles, and hastenest to their theatres, being desirous to be reckoned one of those that enter into them, and to partake of unseemly, not to say abominable words; not hearkening to Jeremiah, who says, “O Lord, I have not sat in their assemblies, for they are scorners; but I was afraid because of Thy hand;” (Jer 15:17) nor to Job, who speaks in like manner, “If I have gone at any time with the scornful; for I shall be weighed in a just balance.” (Job 31:5, Job 31:6) But why wilt thou be a partaker of the heathen oracles, which are nothing but dead men declaring by the inspiration of the devil deadly things, and such as tend to subvert the faith, and to draw those that attend to them to polytheism? Do you therefore, who attend to the laws. of God, esteem those laws more honourable than the necessities of this life, and pay a greater respect to them, and run together to the Church of the Lord, “which He has purchased with the blood of Christ, the beloved, the first-born of every creature.” (Vid. Act 20:28; Col 1:15) For this Church is the daughter of the Highest, which has been in travail of you by the word of grace, and has “formed Christ in you,” of whom you are made partakers, and thereby become His holy and chosen members, “not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but as being holy and unspotted in the faith, ye are complete in Him, after the image of God that created you.” (Eph 5:27)


LXII. That Christians Must Abstain from All the Impious Practices of the Heathens.

Take heed, therefore, not to join yourselves in your worship with those that perish, which is the assembly of the Gentiles, to your deceit and destruction. For there is no fellowship between God and the devil; for he that assembles himself with those that favour the things of the devil,
will be esteemed one of them, and will inherit a woe. Avoid also indecent spectacles: I mean the theatres and the pomps of the heathens; their enchantments, observations of omens, soothsayings, purgations, divinations, observations of birds; their necromancies and invocations. For it is written: “There is no divination in Jacob, nor soothsaying in Israel.” (Num 23:23) And again: “Divination is iniquity.” (1Sa 15:23, LXX) And elsewhere: “Ye shall not be soothsayers, and follow observers of omens, nor diviners, nor dealers with familiar spirits. Ye shall not preserve alive wizards.” (Lev 19:26; Deu 18:10) Wherefore Jeremiah exhorts, saying: “Walk ye not according to the ways of the heathen, and be not afraid of the signs of heaven.”32 So that it is the duty of a believer to avoid the assemblies of the ungodly, of the heathen, and of the Jews, and of the rest of the heretics, lest by uniting ourselves to them we bring snares upon our own souls; that we may not by joining in their feasts, which are celebrated in honour of demons, be partakers with them in their impiety. You are also to avoid their public meetings, and those sports which are celebrated in them. For a believer ought not to go to any of those public meetings, unless to purchase a slave, and save a soul,32 and at the same time to buy such other things as suit their necessities. Abstain, therefore, from all idolatrous pomp and state, all their public meetings, banquets, duels, and all shows belonging to demons.


Sec. VIII. – On the Duty of Working for a Livelihood.

LXIII. That a Christian Who Will Not Work Must Not Eat, as Peter and the Rest of the Apostles Were Fishermen, but Paul and Aquila Tentmakers, Jude the Son of James an Husbandman.

Let the young persons of the Church endeavour to minister diligently in all necessaries: mind your business with all becoming seriousness, that so you may always have sufficient to support yourselves and those that are needy, and not burden the Church of God. For we ourselves, besides our attention to the word of the Gospel, do not neglect our inferior employments. For some of us are fishermen, some tentmakers, some husbandmen, that so we may never be idle. So says Solomon somewhere: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways diligently, and become wiser than she. For she, having neither field, overseer, nor ruler, prepareth her food in the summer, and layeth up a great store in the harvest. Or else go to the bee, and learn how laborious she is, and her work how valuable it is, whose labours both kings and mean men make use of for their health. She is desirable and glorious, though she be weak in strength, yet by honouring wisdom she is improved, etc. How long wilt thou lie on thy bed, O sluggard? When wilt thou awake out of thy sleep? Thou sleepest awhile thou liest down awhile, thou slumberest awhile, thou foldest thy hands on thy breast to sleep awhile. Then poverty comes on thee like an evil traveller, and want as a swift racer. But if thou beest diligent, thy harvest shall come as a fountain, and want shall fly from thee as an evil runagate.” (Pro 6:6, etc., LXX) And again: “He that manageth his own land shall be filled with bread.” (Pro 12:11) And elsewhere he says: “The slothful has folded his own hands together, and has eaten his own flesh.” (Ecc 4:5) And afterwards: “The sluggard hides his hand; he will not be able to bring it to his mouth.” (Pro 19:24) And again: “By slothfulness of the hands a floor will be brought low.” (Ecc 10:18) Labour therefore continually; for the blot of the slothful is not to be healed. But “if any one does not work, let not such a one eat” (2Th 3:10) among you. For the Lord our God hates the slothful. For no one of those who are dedicated to God ought to be idle.



(To purchase a slave, and save a soul)

The calm and patient course of the Church in gradually obliterating slavery has been well defended by the pious Spanish Ultramontane writer Jacques Balmès.33 Of course, he imagines that “the Catholic Church,” which wrought the change, was his own Tridentine Communion.34 Lecky’s remarks on the gladiators and slavery as the product of famines and distress are worthy of note, and even he is forced to recognise the ameliorating influences of Christianity from the beginning.35 He says: –

“Christianity for the first time made charity a rudimentary virtue, giving it a foremost place in the moral type and in the exhortations of its teachers. Besides its general influence in stimulating the affections, it effected a complete revolution in this sphere, by representing the poor as the special representatives of the Christian founder, and thus making the love of Christ rather than the love of man the principle of charity. Even in the days of persecution, collections for the relief of the poor were made at the Sunday meetings. The agapae, or feasts of love, were intended mainly for the poor; and food that was saved by the fasts was devoted to their benefit. A vast organization of charity, presided over by the bishops, and actively directed by the deacons, soon ramified over Christendom, till the bond of charity became the bond of unity, and the most distant sections of the Christian Church corresponded by the interchange of mercy.36 Long before the era of Constantine it was observed that the charities of the Christians were so extensive – it may perhaps be said so excessive – that they drew very many impostors to the Church; and, when the victory of Christianity was achieved, the enthusiasm for charity displayed itself in the erection of numerous institutions that were altogether unknown to the pagan world.”







23 One V. ms. reads “God” instead of “Christ.”

24 [i.e., Saturday.]

25 One V. mss. inserts, “of the Holy Spirit and.”

26 “And adore him with one consent” is omitted in one V. ms.

27 Deu 23:1. “And in the temple of God” is omitted in one V. mss.

28 One V. ms. inserts, “and pity thee: the Lord lift His countenance upon thee.”

29 [Note all this as bearing upon the ceremonial of the Latin Mass, which reverses these primitive precepts in divers points.]

30 Mat 28:1-20:30. [Compare vol. 1. pp. 185, 186, this series.]

31 One V. ms. inserts here, “and elsewhere through another.”

32 Jer 10:2. [Slaves were bought to be baptized. Elucid., p. 425.]

33 See his chapter (xvii.) Moyens employès par l’èglise pour affrachir les esclaves, Civilisation Europèene, vol. i. p. 222, Paris, 1851.

34 The countrymen of Balmès, on the contrary, were the authors of the negro slavery of modern times.

35 History of European Morals, vol. ii. p. 84.

36 See also Elucidation XII. vol. 5. p. 563.






Constitutions of the Holy Apostles. (Cont.)

Book III.

Sec. I. — Concerning Widows.

I. The Age at Which Widows Should Be Chosen.

Choose your “widows not under sixty years of age,” (Vid. 1Ti 5:9) that in some measure the suspicion of a second marriage may be prevented by their age. But if you admit one younger into the order of widows, and she cannot bear her widowhood in her youth, and marries, she will procure indecent reflections on the glory of the order of the widows, and shall give an account to God; not because she married a second time, but because she has “waxed wanton against Christ,” (1Ti 5:11) and not kept her promise, because she did not come and keep her promise with faith and the fear of God.1 Wherefore such a promise ought not to be rashly made, but with great caution: “for it is better for her not to vow, than to vow and not to pay.” (Ecc 5:5) But if any younger woman, who has lived but a while with her husband, and has lost him by death or some other occasion, and remains by herself, having the gift of widowhood, she will be found to be blessed, and to be like the widow of Sarepta, belonging to Sidon, with whom the holy prophet of God, Elijah, (1Ki 17:9) lodged. Such a one may also be compared to “Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser, which departed not from the temple, but continued in supplications and prayers night and day, who was fourscore years old, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity, who glorified the coming of Christ, and gave thanks to the Lord, and spake concerning Him to all those who looked for redemption in Israel.” (Luk 2:36, etc.) Such a widow will have a good report, and will be honoured, having both glory with men upon earth, and eternal praise with God in heaven.


II. That We Must Avoid the Choice of Younger Widows, Because of Suspicion.

But let not the younger widows be placed in the order of widows, lest, under pretence of inability to contain in the flower of their age, they come to a second marriage, and become subject to imputation. But let them be assisted and supported, that so they may not, under pretence of being deserted, come to a second marriage, and so be ensnared in an unseemly imputation. For you ought to know this, that once marrying according to the law is righteous, as being according to the will of God; but second marriages, after the promise, are wicked, not on account of the marriage itself, but because of the falsehood. Third marriages are indications of incontinency. But such marriages as are beyond the third are manifest fornication, and unquestionable uncleanness. For God in the creation gave one woman to one man; for “they two shall be one flesh.” (Gen 2:24) But to the younger women let a second marriage be allowed after the death of their first husband, lest they fall into the condemnation of the devil, and many snares, and foolish lusts, which are hurtful to souls, and which bring upon them punishment rather than rest.


III. What Character the Widows Ought to Be of, and How They Ought to Be Supported by the Bishop.

But the true widows are those which have had only one husband, having a good report among the generality for good works; widows indeed, sober, chaste, faithful, pious, who have brought up their children well, and have entertained strangers unblameably, which are to be supported as devoted to God. Besides, do thou, O bishop, be mindful of the needy, both reaching out thy helping hand and making provision for them as the steward of God, distributing seasonably the oblations to every one of them, to the widows, the orphans, the friendless, and those tried with affliction.


IV. That We Ought to Be Charitable to All Sorts of Persons in Want.

For what if some are neither widows nor widowers, but stand in need of assistance, either through poverty or some disease, or the maintenance of a great number of children? It is thy duty to oversee all people, and to take care of them all. For they that give gifts do not of their own head give them to the widows, but barely bring them in, calling them free-will offerings, that so thou that knowest those that are in affliction mayest as a good steward give them their portion of the gift. For God knows the giver, though thou distributest it to those in want when he is absent. And he has the reward of well-doing, but thou the blessedness of having dispensed it with a good conscience. But do thou tell them who was the giver, that they may pray for him by name. For it is our duty to do good to all men, not fondly preferring one or another, whoever they be. For the Lord says: “Give to every one that asketh of thee.” (Luk 6:30) It is evident that it is meant of every one that is really in want, whether he be friend or foe, whether he be a kinsman or a stranger, whether he be single or married. For in all the Scripture the Lord gives us exhortations about the needy, saying first by Isaiah: “Deal thy bread to the hungry, and bring the poor which have no covering into thine house. If thou seest the naked, do thou cover him; and thou shalt not overlook those which are of thine own family and seed.” (Isa 58:7) And then by Daniel He says to the potentate: “Wherefore, O king, let my counsel please thee, and purge thy sins by acts of mercy, and thine iniquities by bowels of compassion to the needy.” (Dan 4:27) And He says by Solomon: “By acts of mercy and of faith iniquities are purged.” (Pro 16:6) And He says again by David: “Blessed is he that has regard to the poor and needy; the Lord shall deliver him in the evil day.” (Psa 41:1) And again: “He hath dispersed abroad, he hath given to the needy, his righteousness remaineth for ever.” (Psa 112:9) And Solomon says: “He that hath mercy on the poor lendeth to the Lord;2 according to his gift it shall be repaid him again.” (Pro 19:17) And afterwards: “He that stoppeth his ear, that he may not hear him that is in want, he also shall call himself, and there shall be none to hear him.” (Pro 21:13)


V. That the Widows Are to Be Very Careful of Their Behavior.

Let every widow be meek, quiet, gentle, sincere, free from anger, not talkative, not clamorous, not hasty of speech, not given to evil-speaking, not captious, not double-tongued, not a busybody. If she see or hear anything that is not right, let her be as one that does not see, and as one that does not hear. And let the widow mind nothing but to pray for those that give, and for the whole Church; and when she is asked anything by any one, let her not easily answer, excepting questions concerning the faith, and righteousness, and hope in God, remitting those that desire to be instructed in the doctrines of godliness to the governors. Let her only answer so as may tend to the subversion of the error of polytheism, and let her demonstrate the assertion concerning the monarchy of God. But of the remaining doctrines let her not answer anything rashly, lest by saying anything unlearnedly she should make the word to be blasphemed. For the Lord has taught us that the word is like “a grain of mustard seed,” (Mat 13:31) which is of a fiery nature, which if any one uses unskilfully, he will find it bitter. For in the mystical points we ought not to be rash, but cautious; for the Lord exhorts us, saying: “Cast not your pearls before swine, lest they trample them with their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Mat 7:6) For unbelievers, when they hear the doctrine concerning Christ not explained as it ought to be, but defectively, and especially that concerning His incarnation or His passion, will rather reject it with scorn, and laugh at it as false, than praise God for it. And so the aged women will be guilty of rashness, and of causing blasphemy, and will inherit a woe. For says He, “Woe to him by whom my name is blasphemed among the Gentiles.” (Isa 52:5)


VI. That Women Ought Not to Teach, Because It Is Unseemly; And What Women Followed Our Lord.

We do not permit our “women to teach in the Church,” (1Co 14:34) but only to pray and hear those that teach; for our Master and Lord, Jesus Himself, when He sent us the twelve to make disciples of the people and of the nations, did nowhere send out women to preach, although He did not want such. For there were with us the mother of our Lord and His sisters; also Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Martha and Mary the sisters of Lazarus; Salome, and certain others. For, had it been necessary for women to teach, He Himself had first commanded these also to instruct the people with us. For “if the head of the wife be the man,” (1Co 11:3) it is not reasonable that the rest of the body should govern the head. Let the widow therefore own herself to be the “altar of God,” and let her sit in her house, and not enter into the houses of the faithful, under any pretence, to receive anything; for the altar of God never runs about, but is fixed in one place. Let, therefore, the virgin and the widow be such as do not run about, or gad to the houses of those who are alien from the faith. For such as these are gadders and impudent: they do not make their feet to rest in one place, because they are not widows, but purses ready to receive, triflers, evil-speakers, counsellors of strife, without shame, impudent, who being such, are not worthy of Him that called them. For they do not come to the common station of the congregation on the Lord’s day,3 as those that are watchful; but either they slumber, or trifle, or allure men, or beg, or ensnare others, bringing them to the evil one; not suffering them to be watchful in the Lord, but taking care that they go out as vain as they came in, because they do not hear the word of the Lord either taught or read. For of such as these the prophet Isaiah says: “Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: for the heart of this people is waxen gross, (Isa 6:9, Isa 6:10) and they hear heavily with their ears.”4


VII. What Are the Characters of Widows Falsely So Called.

In the same manner, therefore, the ears of the hearts of such widows as these are stopped, that they will not sit within in their cottages to speak to the Lord, but will run about with the design of getting, and by their foolish prattling fulfil the desires of the adversary. Such widows, therefore, are not affixed to the altar of Christ: for there are some widows which esteem gain their business; and since they ask without shame, and receive without being satisfied, render the generality more backward in giving. For when they ought to be content with their subsistence from the Church, as having moderate desires, on the contrary, they run from one of their neighbours’ houses5 to another, and disturb them, heaping up to themselves plenty of money, and lend at bitter usury, and are only solicitous about mammon, whose bag is their god; who prefer eating and drinking before all virtue, saying, “Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die;” (Isa 22:13; 1Co 15:32) who esteem these things as if they were durable and not perishing things. For she that uses herself to nothing but talking of money, worships mammon instead of God, — that is, is a servant to gain, but cannot be pleasing to God, nor resigned to His worship; not being able to intercede with Him continuously on account that her mind and disposition run after money: for “where the treasure is, there will the heart be also.” (Mat 6:21) For she is thinking in her mind whither she may go to receive, or that a certain woman her friend has forgot her, and she has somewhat to say to her. She that thinks of such things as these will no longer attend to her prayers, but to that thought which offers itself; so that though sometimes she would pray for anybody, she will not be beard, because she does not offer her petition to the Lord with her whole heart, but with a divided mind. But she that will attend to God will sit within, and mind the things of the Lord day and night, offering her sincere petition with a mouth ready to utter the same without ceasing. As therefore Judith, most famous for her wisdom, and of a good report for her modesty, “prayed to God night and day for Israel;” (Judith 9:1, etc.) so also the widow who is like to her will offer her intercession without ceasing for the Church to God. And He will hear her, because her mind is fixed on this thing alone, and is not disposed to be either insatiable, or covetous, or expensive; when her eye is pure, and her hearing clean, and her hands undefiled, and her feet quiet, and her mouth prepared for neither gluttony nor trifling, but speaking the things that are fit, and partaking of only such things as are necessary for her maintenance. So, being grave, and giving no disturbance, she will be pleasing to God; and as soon as she asks anything, the gift will come to her: as He says, “While thou art speaking, I will say, Behold, I am here.” (Isa 58:9) Let such a one also be free from the love of money, free from arrogance, not given to filthy lucre, not insatiable, not gluttonous, but continent, meek, giving nobody disturbance, pious, modest, sitting at home, singing, and praying, and reading, and watching, and fasting; speaking to God continually in songs and hymns. And let her take wool, and rather assist others than herself want from them; being mindful of that widow who is honoured in the Gospel with the Lord’s testimony, who, coming into the temple, “cast into the treasury two mites, which make a farthing. And Christ our Lord and Master, and Searcher of hearts, saw her, and said, Verily I say unto you, that this widow hath cast into the treasury more than they all: for all they have cast in of their abundance, but this woman of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.” (Mar 12:42; Luk 21:3, Luk 21:4)

The widows therefore ought to be grave, obedient to their bishops, and their presbyters, and their deacons, and besides these to the deaconesses, with piety, reverence, and fear; not usurping authority, nor desiring to do anything beyond the constitution without the consent of the deacon: as, suppose, the going to any one to eat or drink with him, or to receive anything from anybody. But if without direction she does any one of these things, let her be punished with fasting, or else let her be separated on account of her rashness.


VIII. That the Widows Ought Not to Accept of Alms from the Unworthy No More than the Bishop, or Any Other of the Faithful.

For how does such a one know of what character the person is from whom she receives? or from what sort of ministration he supplies her with food, whether it does not arise from rapine or some other ill course of life? while the widow does not remember that if she receives in a way unworthy of God, she must give an account for every one of these things. For neither will the priests at any time receive a free-will offering from such a one, as, suppose, from a rapacious person or from a harlot. For it is written, “Thou shalt not covet the goods that are thy neighbour’s;” (Exo 20:17) and, “Thou shalt not offer the hire of an harlot to the Lord God.” (Deu 23:18) From such as these no offerings ought to be accepted, nor indeed from those that are separated from the Church. Let the widows also be ready to obey the commands given them by their superiors, and let them do according to the appointment of the bishop, being obedient to him as to God; for he that receives from such a one who is worthy of blame, or from one excommunicated, and prays for him, while he purposes to go on in a wicked course, and while he is not willing at any time to repent, holds communion with him in prayer, and grieves Christ, who rejects the unrighteous, and confirms them by means of the unworthy gift, and is defiled with them, not suffering them to come to repentance, so as to fall down before God with lamentation, and pray to Him.


IX. That Women Ought Not to Baptize, Because It Is Impious, and Contrary to the Doctrine of Christ.

Now, as to women’s baptizing, we let you know that there is no small peril to those that undertake it. Therefore we do not advise you to it; for it is dangerous, or rather wicked and impious. For if the “man be the head of the woman,” (1Co 11:3) and he be originally ordained for the priesthood, it is not just to abrogate the order of the creation, and leave the principal to come to the extreme part of the body. For the woman is the body of the man, taken from his side, and subject to him, from whom she was separated for the procreation of children. For says He, “He shall rule over thee.” (Gen 3:16) For the principal part of the woman is the man, as being her head. But if in the foregoing constitutions we have not permitted them to teach, how will any one allow them, contrary to nature, to perform the office of a priest? For this is one of the ignorant practices of the Gentile atheism, to ordain women priests to the female deities, not one of the constitutions of Christ. For if baptism were to be administered by women, certainly our Lord would have been baptized by His own mother, and not by John; or when He sent us to baptize, He would have sent along with us women also for this purpose. But now He has nowhere, either by constitution or by writing, delivered to us any such thing; as knowing the order of nature, and the decency of the action;6 as being the Creator of nature, and the Legislator of the constitution.


X. That a Layman Ought Not to Do Any Office of the Priesthood: He Ought Neither to Baptize, nor Offer, nor Lay On Hands, nor Give the Blessing.

Neither do we permit the laity to perform any of the offices belonging to the priesthood; as, for instance, neither the sacrifice, nor baptism, nor the laying on of hands, nor the blessing, whether the smaller or the greater: for “no one taketh this honour to himself, but he that is called of God.” (Heb 5:4) For such sacred offices are conferred by the laying on of the hands of the bishop. But a person to whom such an office is not committed, but he seizes upon it for himself, he shall undergo the punishment of Uzziah. (2Ch 26:1-23)


XI. That None but a Bishop and Presbyter, None Even of the Inferior Ranks of the Clergy, Are Permitted to Do the Offices of the Priests; That Ordination Belongs Wholly to the Bishop, and to Nobody Else.

Nay, further, we do not permit to the rest of the clergy to baptize, — as, for instance, neither to readers, nor singers, nor porters, nor ministers, — but to the bishops and presbyters alone, yet so that the deacons are to minister to them therein. But those who venture upon it shall undergo the punishment of the companions of Corah. (Num 16:1-50) We do not permit presbyters to ordain deacons, or deaconesses, or readers, or ministers, or singers, or porters, but only bishops; for this is the ecclesiastical order and harmony.


XII. The Rejection of All Uncharitable Actions.

Now, as concerning envy, or jealousy, or evil-speaking, or strife, or the love of contention, we have said already to you, that these are alien from a Christian, and chiefly in the case of widows. But because the devil, who works in men, is in his conduct cunning, and full of various devices, he goes to those that are not truly widows, as formerly to Cain (for some say they are widows, but do not perform the injunctions agreeable to the widowhood; as neither did Cain discharge the duties due to a brother: for they do not consider how it is not the name of widowhood that will bring them to the kingdom of God, but true faith and holy7 works). But if any one possesses the name of widowhood, but does the works of the adversary, her widowhood will not be imputed, but she will be thrust out of the kingdom, and delivered to eternal punishment. For we hear that some widows are jealous, envious calumniators, and envious at the quiet of others. Such widows as these are not the disciples of Christ, nor of His doctrine; for it becomes them, when one of their fellow-widows is clothed by any one, or receives money, or meat, or drink, or shoes, at the sight of the refreshment of their sister to say: —


XIII. How the Widows Are to Pray for Those that Supply Their Necessities.

Thou art blessed, O God, who hast refreshed my fellow-widow. Bless, O Lord, and glorify him that has bestowed these things upon her, and let his good work ascend in truth to Thee, and remember him for good in the day of his visitation. And as for my bishop, who has so well performed his duty to Thee, and8 has ordered such a seasonable alms to be bestowed on my fellow-widow, who was naked, do Thou increase his glory, and give him a8 crown of rejoicing in the day of the revelation of Thy visitation. In the same manner, let the widow who has received the alms join with the other in praying for him who ministered to her.


XIV. That She Who Has Been Kind to the Poor Ought Not to Make a Stir and Tell Abroad Her Name, According to the Constitution of the Lord.

But if any woman has been good, let her, as a prudent person, conceal her own name, not sounding a trumpet before her, that her alms may be with God in secret, as the Lord says: “Thou, when thou doest thine alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth, that thine alms may be in secret.” (Mat 6:3, Mat 6:4) And let the widow pray for him that gave her the alms, whosoever he be, as being the holy altar of Christ;9 and “the Father, who seeth in secret, will render to him that did good openly.” But those widows which will not live according to the command of God, are solicitous and inquisitive what deaconess it is that gives the charity, and what widows receive it. And when she has learned those things, she murmurs at the deaconess who distributed the charity, saying, Dost not thou see that I am in more distress, and want of thy charity? Why, therefore, hast thou preferred her before me? She says these things foolishly, not understanding that this does not depend on the will of man, but the appointment of God. For if she is herself a witness that she was nearer, and, upon inquiry, was in greater want, and more naked than the other, she ought to understand who it is that made this constitution, and to hold her peace, and not to murmur at the deaconess who distributed the charity, but to enter into her own house, and to cast herself prostrate on her face to make supplication to God that her sin may be forgiven her. For God commanded the deaconess who brought the charity not to proclaim the same, and this widow murmured because she did not publish her name, that so she might know it, and run to receive; nay, did not only murmur, but also cursed her, forgetting Him that said: “He that blesseth thee is blessed, and he that curseth thee is cursed.” (Gen 27:29) But the Lord says: “When ye enter into an house, say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it; but if it be not worthy, your peace shall return to you.” (Luk 10:5, Luk 10:6; Mat 10:12, Mat 10:13)


XV. That It Does Not Become Us to Revile Our Neighbours, Because Cursing Is Contrary to Christianity.

If, therefore, peace returns upon those that sent it, nay, upon those that before had actually given it, because it did not find persons fit to receive it, much rather will a curse return upon the head of him that unjustly sent it, because he to whom it was sent was not worthy to receive it: for all those who abuse others without a cause curse themselves, as Solomon says: “As birds and sparrows fly away, so the curse causeless shall not come upon any one.” (Pro 26:2) And again he says: “Those that bring reproaches are exceeding foolish.” (Pro 10:18) But as the bee, a creature as to its strength feeble, if she stings any one, loses her sting, and becomes a drone; in the same manner you also, whatsoever injustice you do to others, will bring it upon yourselves. “He hath graven and digged a pit, and he shall fall into the same ditch that he has made.” (Psa 7:15) And again: “He that diggeth a pit for his neighbour, shall fall into it.” (Pro 26:27) Wherefore he that avoids a curse, let him not curse another; for “what thou hatest should be done to thee, do not thou to another.” (Tob. 4:16) Wherefore admonish the widows that are feeble-minded, strengthen those of them that are weak, and praise such of them as walk in holiness. Let them rather bless, and not calumniate. Let them make peace, and not stir up contention.


Sec. II. — On Deacons and Deaconesses, the Rest of the Clergy, and on Baptism.

Let not therefore either a bishop, or a presbyter, or a deacon, or any one else of the sacerdotal catalogue, defile his tongue with calumny, lest he inherit a curse instead of a blessing; and let it also be the bishop’s business and care that no lay person utter any curse: for he ought to take care of all, — of the clergy, of the virgins, of the widows, of the laity. For which reason, O bishop, do thou ordain thy fellow-workers, the labourers for life and for righteousness, such deacons as are pleasing to God, such whom thou provest to be worthy among all the people, and such as shall be ready for the necessities of their ministration. Ordain also a deaconess who is faithful and holy, for the ministrations towards women. For sometimes he cannot send a deacon, who is a man, to the women, on account of unbelievers. Thou shalt therefore send a woman, a deaconess, on account of the imaginations of the bad. For we stand in need of a woman, a deaconess, for many necessities; and first in the baptism of women, the deacon shall anoint only their forehead with the holy oil, and after him the deaconess shall anoint them: (Compare Jam 5:14) for there is no necessity that the women should be seen by the men; but only in the laying on of hands the bishop shall anoint her head, as the priests and kings were formerly anointed, not because those which are now baptized are ordained priests, but as being Christians, or anointed, from Christ the Anointed, “a royal priesthood, and an holy nation, the Church of God, the pillar and ground of the marriage-chamber,” (1Pe 2:9; 1Ti 3:15) who formerly were not a people, but now are beloved and chosen, upon whom is called His new name,10 as Isaiah the prophet witnesses, saying: “And they shall call the people by His new name, which the Lord shall name for them.” (Isa 62:2)


XVI. Concerning the Sacred Initiation of Holy Baptism.

Thou therefore, O bishop, according to that type, shalt anoint the head of those that are to be baptized, whether they be men or women, with the holy oil, for a type of the spiritual baptism. After that, either thou, O bishop, or a presbyter that is under thee, shall in the solemn form name over them the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, and shall dip them in the water; and let a deacon receive the man, and a deaconess the woman, that so the conferring of this inviolable seal may take place with a becoming decency. And after that, let the bishop anoint those that are baptized with ointment.


XVII. What Is the Meaning of Baptism into Christ, and on What Account Everything Is There Said or Done.

This baptism, therefore, is given into the death of Jesus: (Vid. Rom 6:3) the water is instead of the burial, and the oil instead of the Holy Ghost; the seal instead of the cross; the ointment is the confirmation of the confession; the mention of the Father as of the Author and Sender; the joint mention of the Holy Ghost as of the witness; the descent into the water the dying together with Christ; the ascent out of the water the rising again with Him. The Father is the God over all; Christ is the only-begotten God, the beloved Son, the Lord of glory; the Holy Ghost is the Comforter, who is sent by Christ, and taught by Him, and proclaims Him.


XVIII. Of What Character He Ought to Be Who Is Initiated.

But let him that is to be baptized be free from all iniquity; one that has left off to work sin, the friend of God, the enemy of the devil, the heir of God the Father, the fellow-heir of His Son; one that has renounced Satan, and the demons, and Satan’s deceits; chaste, pure, holy, beloved of God, the son of God, praying as a son to his father, and saying, as from the common congregation of the faithful, thus: “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven; give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one: for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Mat 6:9, etc.)


XIX. What Are the Characters of a Deacon.

Let the deacons be in all things unspotted, as the bishop himself is to be, only more active; in number according to the largeness of the Church, that they may minister to the infirm as workmen that are not ashamed. And let the deaconess be diligent in taking care of the women; but both of them ready to carry messages, to travel about, to minister, and to serve, as spake Isaiah concerning the Lord, saying: “To justify the righteous, who serves many faithfully.” (Isa 53:11, LXX) Let every one therefore know his proper place, and discharge it diligently with one consent, with one mind, as knowing the reward of their ministration; but let them not be ashamed to minister to those that are in want, as even our “Lord Jesus Christ came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mat 20:28) So therefore ought they also to do, and not to scruple it, if they should be obliged to lay down their life for a brother. For the Lord and our Saviour Jesus Christ did not scruple to “lay down His life,” as Himself says, “for His friends.” (Joh 15:13) If, therefore, the Lord of heaven and earth underwent all His sufferings for us, how then do you make a difficulty to minister to such as are in want, who ought to imitate Him who underwent servitude, and want, and stripes, and the cross for us? We ought therefore also to serve the brethren, in imitation of Christ. For says He: “He that will be great among you, let him be your minister; and he that will be first among you, let him be your servant.” (Mat 20:26, Mat 20:27) For so did He really, and not in word only, fulfil the prediction of, “serving many faithfully.” (Isa 53:11) For “when He had taken a towel, He girded Himself. Afterward He puts water into a basin; and as we were sitting at meat, He came and washed the feet of us all, and wiped them with the towel.” (Joh 13:4, Joh 13:5) By doing this He demonstrated to us His kindness and brotherly affection, that so we also might do the same to one another. If, therefore, our Lord and Master so humbled Himself, how can you, the labourers of the truth, and administrators of piety, be ashamed to do the same to such of the brethren as are weak and infirm? Minister therefore with a kind mind, not murmuring nor mutinying; for ye do not do it on the account of man, but on the account of God, and shall receive from Him the reward of your ministry in the day of your visitation. It is your duty who are deacons to visit all those who stand in need of visitation. And tell your bishop of all those that are in affliction; for you ought to be like his soul and senses — active and attentive in all things to him11 as to your bishop, and father11 and master.


XX. That a Bishop Ought to Be Ordained by Three or by Two Bishops, but Not by One; For that Would Be Invalid.

We command that a bishop be ordained by three bishops, or at least by two; but it is not lawful that he be set over you by one; for the testimony of two or three witnesses is more firm and secure. But a presbyter and a deacon are to be ordained by one bishop and the rest of the clergy. Nor must either a presbyter or a deacon ordain from the laity into the clergy; but the presbyter is only to teach, to offer, to baptize, to bless the people, and the deacon is to minister to the bishop, and to the presbyters, that is, to do the office of a ministering deacon, but not to meddle with the other offices.







1 Not in one V. ms.

2 Instead of “Lord,” one V. ms. reads “God.”

3 “On the Lord’s day” not in one V. ms.

4 Inserted from one V. ms.

5 Probably the reading should be, “they go round the houses of the rich.”

6 [“The eternal fitness of things.”]

7 Instead of “holy,” one V. ms. reads “divine.”

8 Not in one V. ms.

9 Instead of “Christ,” one V. ms. reads “of God.”

10 The words from “upon whom” to the end of the chapter are omitted in one V. ms.

11 The portions in italics are not in one V. ms.








Constitutions of the Holy Apostles. (Cont.)

Book IV.

Sec. I. — On Helping the Poor.

I. Those Who Have No Children Should Adopt Orphans, and Treat Them as Their Own Children.

When any Christian becomes an orphan, whether it be a young man or a maid, it is good that some one of the brethren who is without a child should take the young man, and esteem him in the place of a son; and he that has a son about the same age, and that is marriageable, should marry the maid to him: for they which do so perform a great work, and become, fathers to the orphans, and shall receive the reward of this charity from the Lord God. But if any one that walks in the way of man-pleasing is rich, and therefore is ashamed of orphans, the Father of orphans and Judge of widows will make provision for the orphans, but himself shall have such an heir as will spend what he has spared; and it shall happen to him according as it is said: “What things the holy people have not eaten, those shall the Assyrians eat.” As also Isaiah says: “Your land, strangers devour it in your presence,” (Isa 1:7)


II. How the Bishop Ought to Provide for the Orphans.

Do you therefore, O bishops, be solicitous about their maintenance, being in nothing wanting to them; exhibiting to the orphans the care of parents; to the widows the care of husbands; to those of suitable age, marriage; to the artificer, work; to the unable, commiseration; to the strangers, an house; to the hungry, food; to the thirsty, drink; to the naked, clothing; to the sick, visitation; to the prisoners, assistance. Besides these, have a greater care of the orphans, that nothing may be wanting to them; and that as to the maiden, till she arrives at the age of marriage, and ye give her in marriage to a brother: to the young man assistance, that he may learn a trade, and may be maintained by the advantage arising from it; that so, when he is dextrous in the management of it, he may thereby be enabled to buy himself the tools of his trade, that so he may no longer burden any of the brethren, or their sincere love to him, but may support himself: for certainly he is a happy man who is able to support himself, and does not take up the place of the orphan, the stranger, and the widow.


III. Who Ought to Be Supported According to the Lord’s Constitution.

Since even the Lord said: “The giver was happier than the receiver.” (Act 20:35) For it is again said by Him: “Woe to those that have, and receive in hypocrisy; or who are able to support themselves, yet will receive of others: for both of them shall give an account to the Lord God in the day of judgment.” But an orphan who, by reason of his youth, or he that by the feebleness of old age, or the incidence of a disease, or the bringing up of many children, receives alms, such a one shall not only not be blamed, but shall be commended: for he shall be esteemed an altar to God, and be honoured by God, because of his zealous and constant prayers for those that give to him; not receiving idly, but to the uttermost of his power recompensing what is given him by his prayer. Such a one therefore shall be blessed by God in eternal life. But he that hath, and receives in hypocrisy or through idleness, instead of working and assisting others, shall be obnoxious to punishment before God, because he has snatched away the morsel of the needy.1


IV. Of the Love of Money.

For he that has money and does not bestow it upon others, nor use it himself, is like the serpent, which they say sleeps over the treasures; and of him is that scripture true which says, “He has gathered riches of which he shall not taste;” (Job 20:18, LXX.; Pro 11:4) and they will be of no use to him when he perishes justly. For it says, “Riches will not profit in the day of wrath.” For such a one has not believed in God, but in his own gold; esteeming that his God, and trusting therein. Such a one is a dissembler of the truth, an accepter of persons, unfaithful, cheating, fearful, unmanly, light, of no value, a complainer, ever in pain, his own enemy, and nobody’s friend. Such a one’s money shall perish, and a man that is a stranger shall consume it, either by theft while he is alive, or by inheritance when he is dead. “For riches unjustly gotten shall be vomited up.” (Job 20:15, LXX.)


V. With What Fear Men Ought to Partake of the Lord’s Oblations.

We exhort, therefore, the widows and orphans to partake of those things that are bestowed upon them with all fear, and all pious reverence, and to return thanks to God who gives food to the needy, and to lift up their eyes to Him. For, says He, “Which of you shall eat, or who shall drink without Him? For He openeth His hand, and filleth every living thing with His kindness: giving wheat to the young men, and wine to the maidens, and oil for the joy of the living, grass for the cattle, and green herb for the service of men, flesh for the wild beasts, seeds for the birds, and suitable food for all creatures.” (Ecc 2:25, LXX.; Psa 145:16; Zec 4:1-14:17, LXX.; Psa 104:14, Psa 104:15) Wherefore the Lord says:2 “Consider the fowls of heaven,3 that they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns, and your Father feedeth them. Are not ye much better than they? Be not therefore solicitous, saying, What shall we eat? or what shall we drink? For your Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” (Mat 6:26, Mat 6:31, Mat 6:32) Since ye therefore enjoy such a providential care from Him, and are partakers of the good things that are derived from Him, you ought to return praise to Him that receives the orphan and the widow, to Almighty God, through His beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord; through whom4 glory be to God in spirit and truth for ever. Amen.


VI. Whose Oblations Are to Be Received, and Whose Not to Be Received.

Now the bishop ought to know whose oblations he ought to receive, and whose he ought not. For he is to avoid corrupt dealers, and not receive their gifts. “For, a corrupt dealer. shall not be justified from sin.” (Ecclus. 26:29) For of them it was that Isaiah reproached Israel, and said, “Thy corrupt dealers mingle wine with water.” (Isa 1:22) He is also to avoid fornicators, for “thou shall not offer the hire of an harlot to the Lord.” (Deu 23:18) He is also to avoid extortioners, and such as covet other men’s goods, and adulterers; for the sacrifices of such as these are abominable with God. Also those that oppress the widow and overbear the orphan, and fill prisons with the innocent, and abuse their own servants wickedly, I mean with stripes, and hunger, and hard service, nay, destroy whole cities; do thou, O bishop, avoid such as these, and their odious oblations. Thou shalt also refuse rogues, and such pleaders that plead on the side of injustice, and idol-makers, and thieves, and unjust publicans, and those that deceive by false balances and deceitful measures, and a soldier who is a false accuser and not content with his wages, but does violence to the needy, a murderer, a cut-throat, and an unjust judge, a subverter of causes, him that lies in wait for men, a worker of abominable wickedness, a drunkard, a blasphemer, a sodomite, an usurer, and every one that is wicked and opposes the will of God. For the Scripture says that all such as these are abominable with God. For those that receive from such persons, and thereby support the widows and orphans, shall be obnoxious to the judgment-seat of God; as Adonias the prophet, in the book of Kings, when he disobeyed God, and both “eat bread and drank water in the place which the Lord had forbid him,” (1Ki 13:1-34) because of the impiety of Jeroboam, was slain by a lion. For the bread which is distributed to the widows from labour is better, though it be short and little, than that from injustice and false accusation, though it be much and fine. For the Scripture says: “Better is a little to the righteous, than much riches of the sinners.” (Psa 37:16) Now, although a widow, who eats and is filled from the impious, pray for them, she shall not be heard. For God, who knows the heart, with judgment has declared concerning the impious, saying, “If Moses and Samuel stand before my face in their behalf, I will not hear them;” (Jer 15:1) and, “Pray thou not for this people, and do not ask mercy for them, and do not intercede with me for them, for I will not hear thee.” (jER. Isa 7:16)


VII. That the Obligations of the Unworthy, While They Are Such, Do Not Only Not Propitiate God, but, on the Contrary Provoke Him to Indigation.

And not these only, but those that are in sin and have not repented, will only not be heard when they pray, but will provoke God to anger, as putting Him in mind of their own wickedness. Avoid therefore such ministrations, as you would the price of a dog and the hire of an harlot; for both of them are forbidden by the laws. For neither did Elisha receive the presents which were brought by Hazael,5 nor Ahijah those from Jeroboam; (1Ki 14:1-31) but if the prophets of God did not admit of presents from the impious, it is reasonable, O bishops, that neither should you. Nay, when Simon the magician offered money to me Peter and John, (Act 8:1-40) and tried to obtain the invaluable grace by purchase, we did not admit it, but bound him with everlasting maledictions, because he thought to possess the gift of God, not by a pious mind towards God, but by the price of money. Avoid therefore such oblations to God’s altar as are not from a good conscience. For says He: “Abstain from all injustice, and thou shalt not fear, and trembling shall not come nigh thee.” (Isa 54:14)


VIII. That It Is Better to Afford, Though It Be Inconsiderable and Few, Contributions to the Widows from Our Own Labours, than Those Which Are Many and Large Received from the Ungodly; For It Is Better to Perish by Famine than to Receive an Oblation from the Ungodly.

But if ye say that those who give alms are such as these, and if we do not receive from them, whence shall we administer to the widows? And whence shall the poor among the people be maintained? Ye shall hear from us, that therefore have ye received the gift of the Levites, the oblations of your people, that ye might have enough for yourselves, and for those that are in want; and that ye might not be so straitened as to receive from the wicked. But if the churches be so straitened, it is better to perish than to receive anything from the enemies of God, to the reproach and abuse of His friends. For of such as these the prophet speaks: “Let not the oil of a sinner moisten my head.” (Psa 141:5) Do ye therefore examine such persons, and receive from such as walk holily, and supply the afflicted. But receive not from those that are excommunicated, until they are thought worthy to become the members of the Church. But if a gift be wanting, inform the brethren, and make a collection from them, and thence minister to the orphans and widows in righteousness.


IX. That the People Ought to Be Exhorted by the Priest to Do Good to the Needy, as Says Solomon the Wise.

Say unto the people under thee what Solomon the wise says: “Honour the Lord out of thy just labours, and pay thy first-fruits to Him out of thy fruits of righteousness, that thy garners may be filled with fulness of wheat, and thy presses may burst out with wine.” (Pro 3:9, etc.) Therefore maintain and clothe those that are in want from the righteous labour of the faithful. And such sums of money as are collected from them in the manner aforesaid, appoint to be laid out in the redemption of the saints, the deliverance of slaves, and of captives, and of prisoners, and of those that have been abused, and of those that have been condemned by tyrants to single combat and death on account of the name of Christ. For the Scripture says: “Deliver those that are led to death, and redeem those that are ready to be slain, do not spare.” (Pro 24:11)


X. A Constitution, that if Any One of the Ungodly by Force Will Cast Money to the Priests, They Spend It in Wood and Coals, but Not in Food.

But if at any time you be forced unwillingly to receive money from any ungodly person, lay it out in wood and coals, that so neither the widow nor the orphan may receive any of it, or be forced to buy with it either meat or drink, which it is unfit to do. For it is reasonable that such gifts of the ungodly should be fuel for the fire, and not food for the pious. And this method is plainly appointed by the law, (Lev 19:6) when it calls a sacrifice kept too long a thing not fit to be eaten, and commands it to be consumed with fire. For such oblations are not evil in their nature, but on account of the mind of those that bring them. And this we ordain, that we may not reject those that come to us, as knowing that the common conversation of the pious has often been very profitable to the ungodly, but religious communion with them is alone hurtful. And so much, beloved, shall suffice to have spoken to you in order to your security.


Sec. II. — On Domestic and Social Life.

XI. Of Parents and Children.

Ye fathers, educate your children in the Lord, bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; and teach them such trades as are agreeable and suitable to the word, lest they by such opportunity become extravagant, and continue without punishment from their parents, and so get relaxation before their time, and go astray from that which is good. Wherefore be not afraid to reprove them, and to teach them wisdom with severity. For your corrections will not kill them, but rather preserve them. As Solomon says somewhere in the book of Wisdom: “Chasten thy son, and he will refresh thee; so wilt thou have good hope of him. Thou verily shalt smite him with the rod, and shall deliver his soul from death.” (Pro 29:17, Pro 19:18, Pro 23:14) And again, says the same Solomon thus, “He that spareth his rod, hateth his son;” (Pro 13:24) and afterwards, “Beat his sides whilst he is an infant, lest he be hardened and disobey thee.” (Ecclus. 30:12) He, therefore, that neglects to admonish and instruct his own son, hates his own child. Do you therefore teach your children the word of the Lord. Bring them under with cutting stripes, and make them subject from their infancy, teaching them the Holy Scriptures, which are Christian and divine, and delivering to them every sacred writing, “not giving them such liberty that they get the mastery,” (Ecclus. 30:11) and act against your opinion, not permitting them to club together for a treat with their equals. For so they will be turned to disorderly courses, and will fall into fornication; and if this happen by the carelessness of their parents, those that begat them will be guilty of their souls. For if the offending children get into the company of debauched persons by the negligence of those that begat them, they will not be punished alone by themselves; but their parents also will be condemned on their account. For this cause endeavour, at the time when they are of an age fit for marriage, to join them in wedlock, and settle them together, lest in the heat and fervour of their age their course of life become dissolute, and you be required to give an account by the Lord God in the day of judgment.


XII. Of Servants and Masters.

But as to servants, what can we say more than that the slave bring a good will to his master, with the fear of God, although he be impious and wicked, (See Eph 6:5; 1Pe 2:18) but yet not to yield any compliance as to his worship? And let the master love his servant, although he be his superior. Let him consider wherein they are equal, even as he is a man. And let him that has a believing master (Col 4:1. See 1Ti 6:2) love him both as his master, and as of the same faith, and as a father, but still with the preservation of his authority as his master: “not as an eye-servant, but as a lover of his master; as knowing that God will recompense to him for his subjection.” (Eph 6:6; Col 3:22, Col 3:24) In like manner, let a master who has a believing servant love him as a son or as a brother, on account of their communion in the faith, but still preserving the difference of a servant.


XIII. In What Things We Ought to Be Subject to the Rulers of This World.

Be ye Subject to all royal power and dominion in things which are pleasing to God, as to the ministers of God, and the punishers of the ungodly. (See 1Pe 2:13; Tit 3:1) Render all the fear that is due to them, all offerings, all customs, all honour, gifts, and taxes. (Rom 13:1, Rom 13:4, Rom 13:7) For this is God’s command, that you owe nothing to any one but the pledge of love, which God has commanded by Christ. (Rom 13:8)


XIV. Of Virgins.

Concerning virginity we have received no commandment; (See 1Co 7:25) but we leave it to the power of those that are willing, as a vow: exhorting them so far in this matter that they do not promise anything rashly; since Solomon says, “It is better not to vow, than to vow and not pay.” (Ecc 5:5) Let such a virgin, therefore, be holy in body and soul, as the temple of God, (1Co 7:34) as the house of Christ, as the habitation of the Holy Spirit. For she that vows ought to do such works as are suitable to her vow; and to show that her vow is real, and made on account of leisure for piety, not to cast a reproach on marriage. Let her not be a gadder abroad, nor one that rambles about unseasonably; not double-minded, but grave, continent, sober, pure, avoiding the conversation of many, and especially of those that are of ill reputation.6







1 [The early Church had a constant struggle with professional paupers. This entire book is a valuable contribution to social ethics. The problem of today confronted the Church then. Few wiser counsels have been recorded. — R.]

2 One V. ms. reads, “Thus also did the Lord exhort His disciples, saying.”

3 The words in italics are not in one V. ms.

4 One V. ms. reads, “with whom be glory to Him, with the Spirit.”

5 2Ki 8:1-29. [Offerings to God are privileges of saints.]

6 [The absence of any marked ascetic tone in this passage is in sharp contrast with the pseudo-Clementine Epistles concerning virginity. See vol. 8. — R.]
























Constitutions of the Holy Apostles. (Cont.)

Book V.

Sec. I. — Concerning the Martyrs.

I. That It Is Reasonable for the Faithful to Supply the Wants of Those Who Are Afflicted for the Sake of Christ by the Unbelievers, According to the Constitution of the Lord.

If any Christian, on account of the name of Christ, and love and faith towards God, be condemned by the ungodly to the games, to the beasts, or to the mines, do not ye overlook him; but send to him from your labour and your very sweat for his sustenance, and for a reward to the soldiers, that he may be eased and be taken care of; that, as far as lies in your power, your blessed brother may not be afflicted: for he that is condemned for the name of the Lord God is an holy martyr, a brother of the Lord, the son of the Highest, a receptacle of the Holy Spirit, by whom every one of the faithful has received the illumination of the glory of the holy Gospel, by being vouchsafed the incorruptible crown, and the testimony of Christ’s sufferings, and the fellowship of His blood, to be made conformable to the death of Christ for the adoption of children. For this cause do you, all ye of the faithful, by your bishop, minister to the saints of your substance and of your labour. But if any one has not, let him fast a day, and set apart that, and order it for the saints. But if any one has superfluities, let him minister more to them according to the proportion of his ability. But if he can possibly sell all his livelihood, and redeem them out of prison, he will be blessed, and a friend of Christ. For if he that gives his goods to the poor be perfect, supposing his knowledge of divine things, much more is he so that does it on account of the martyrs. For such a one is worthy of God, and will fulfil His will by supplying those who have confessed Him before nations and kings, and the children of Israel; concerning whom our Lord declared, saying: “Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father.” (Mat 10:32) And if these be such as to be attested to by Christ before His Father, you ought not to be ashamed to go to them in the prisons. For if you do this, it will be esteemed to you for a testimony, because the real trial was to them a testimony; and your readiness will be so to you, as being partakers of their combat: for the Lord speaks somewhere to such as these, saying: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungry, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer, and say, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, and fed Thee? or thirsty, and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee naked, and clothed Thee? or sick, and visited Thee? When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? or in prison, and came unto Thee? And He will answer and say unto them, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. And these shall go away into life everlasting. Then shall He say unto them on His left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer and say, Lord when saw we Thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee? Then shall He answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have not done it unto one of the least of these, neither have ye done it unto me. And these shall go away unto everlasting punishment.”1



II. That We Are to Avoid Intercourse with False Brethren When They Continue in Their Wickedness.

But if any one who calls himself a brother is seduced by the evil one, and acts wickedness, and is convicted and condemned to death as an adulterer, or a murderer, depart from him, that ye may be secure, and none of you may be suspected as a partner in such an abominable practice; and that no evil report may be spread abroad, as if all Christians took a pleasure in unlawful actions. Wherefore keep far from them. But do you assist with all diligence those that for the sake of Christ are abused by the ungodly and shut up in prison, or who are given over to death, or bonds, or banishment, in order to deliver your fellow-members from wicked hands. And if any one who accompanies with them is caught, and falls into misfortune, he is blessed, because he is partaker with the martyr, and is one that imitates the sufferings of Christ; for we ourselves also, when we oftentimes received stripes from Caiaphas, and Alexander, and Annas, for Christ’s sake, “went out rejoicing that we were counted worthy to suffer such things for our Saviour.” (Act 4:6, Act 5:40, Act 5:41) Do you also rejoice when ye suffer such things, for ye shall be blessed in that day. (Vid. Luk 6:22, Luk 6:23)


III. That We Ought to Afford an Helping Hand to Such as Are Spoiled for the Sake of Christ, Although We Should Incur Danger Ourselves.

Receive also those that are persecuted on account of the faith, and who “fly from city to city” (Mat 10:23) on account of the Lord’s commandment; and assist them as martyrs, rejoicing that ye are made partakers of their persecution, as knowing that they are esteemed blessed by the Lord; for Himself says: “Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, because your reward is great in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before us.” (Mat 5:11, Mat 5:12) And again: “If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” (Joh 15:20) And afterwards: “If they persecute you in this city, flee ye to another. For in the world ye have tribulation: for they shall deliver you into the synagogues; and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, and for a testimony to them.” (Mat 10:23, Mat 10:17; Joh 16:33) And, “He that endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Mat 10:22) For he that is persecuted for the sake of the faith, and bears witness in regard to Him, Christ, and endures, is truly a man of God.


IV. That It Is an Horrible and Destructive Thing to Deny Christ.

But he that denies himself to be a Christian, that he may not be hated of men, and so loves his own life more than he does the Lord, in whose hand his breath is, is wretched and miserable, as being detestable and abominable, who desires to be the friend of men, but is the enemy of God, having no longer his portion with the saints, but with those that are accursed; choosing instead of the kingdom of the blessed, that eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels: not being any longer hated by men, but rejected by God, and cast out from His presence. For of such a one our Lord declared, saying: “Whosoever shall deny me before men, and shall be ashamed of my name, I also will deny and be ashamed of him before my Father which is in heaven.” (Mat 10:33; Luk 9:26) And again He speaks thus to us ourselves, His disciples: “He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mat 10:37, Mat 16:26) And afterwards: “Fear not them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Mat 10:28)


V. That We Ought to Imitate Christ in Suffering, and with Zeal to Follow His Patience.

Every one therefore who learns any art, when he sees his master by his diligence and skill perfecting his art, does himself earnestly endeavour to make what he takes in hand like to it. If he is not able, he is not perfected in his work. We therefore who have a Master, our Lord Jesus Christ, why do we not follow His doctrine? — since He renounced repose, pleasure, glory, riches, pride, the power of revenge, His mother and brethren, nay, and moreover His own life, on account of His piety towards His Father, and His love to us the race of mankind; and suffered not only persecution and stripes, reproach and mockery, but also crucifixion, that He might save the penitent, both Jews and Gentiles. If therefore He for our sakes renounced His repose, was not ashamed of the cross, and did not esteem death inglorious, why do not we imitate His sufferings, and renounce on His account even our own life, with that patience which He gives us? For He did all for our sakes, but we do it for our own sakes: for He does not stand in need of us, but we stand in need of His mercy. He only requires the sincerity and readiness of our faith, as the Scripture says: “If thou beest righteous, what doest thou give to Him? or what will He receive at thy hand? Thy wickedness is to a man like thyself, and thy righteousness to a son of man.”2


VI. That a Believer Ought Neither Rashly to Run into Danger Through Security, Nor to Be Over-Timorous Through Pusillanimity, but to Fly Away for Fear; Yet That if He Does Fall into the Enemy’s Hand, to Strive Earnestly, upon Account of the Crown that Is Laid Up for Him.

Let us therefore renounce our parents, and kinsmen, and friends, and wife, and children, and possessions, and all the enjoyments of life, when any of these things become an impediment to piety. For we ought to pray that we may not enter into temptation; but if we be called to martyrdom, with constancy to confess His precious name, and if on this account we be punished, let us rejoice, as hastening to immortality. When we are persecuted, let us not think it strange; let us not love the present world, nor the praises which come from men, nor the glory and honour of rulers, according as some of the Jews wondered at the mighty works of our Lord, yet did not believe on Him, for fear of the high priests and the rest of the rulers: “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (Joh 12:43) But now, by confessing a good confession, we not only save ourselves, but we confirm those who are newly illuminated, and strengthen the faith of the catechumens. But if we remit any part of our confession, and deny godliness by the faintness of our persuasion, and the fear of a very short punishment, we not only deprive ourselves of everlasting glory, but we shall also become the causes of the perdition of others; and shall suffer double punishment, as affording suspicion, by our denial that that truth which we gloried in so much before is an erroneous doctrine. Wherefore neither let us be rash and hasty to thrust ourselves into dangers, for the Lord says: “Pray that ye fall not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”3 Nor let us, when we do fall into dangers, be fearful or ashamed of our profession. For if a person, by the denial of his own hope, which is Jesus the Son of God, should be delivered from a temporary death, and the next day should fall dangerously sick upon his bed, with a distemper in his bowels, his stomach, or his head, or any of the incurable diseases, as a consumption, or gangrene, or looseness, or iliac passion, or dropsy, or colic, and has a sudden catastrophe, and departs this life; is not he deprived of the things present, and loses those eternal? Or rather, he is within the verge of eternal punishment, “and goes into outer darkness, where is weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Mat 8:12) But let him who is vouchsafed the honour of martyrdom rejoice with joy in the Lord, as obtaining thereby so great a crown, and departing out of this life by his confession. Nay, though he be but a catechumen, let him depart without trouble; for his suffering for Christ will be to him a more genuine baptism, because he does really die with Christ, but the rest only in a figure. Let him therefore rejoice in the imitation of his Master, since is it thus ordained: “Let every one be perfect, as his Master is.” (Luk 6:40) Now his and our Master, Jesus the Lord, was smitten for our sake: He underwent reproaches and revilings with long-suffering. He was spit upon, He was smitten on the face, He was buffeted; and when He had been scourged, He was nailed to the cross. He had vinegar and gall to drink; and when He had fulfilled all things that were written, He said to His God and Father, “Into Thy hands I commend my spirit.” (Luk 23:46) Wherefore let him that desires to be His disciple earnestly follow His conflicts: let him imitate His patience, knowing that, although he be burned in the fire by men, he will suffer nothing, like the three children; (Dan 3:1-30) or if he does suffer anything, he shall receive a reward from the Lord, believing in the one and the only true God and Father, through Jesus Christ, the great High Priest, and Redeemer of our souls, and rewarder of our sufferings. To whom be glory for ever. Amen.


VII. Several Demonstrations Concerning the Resurrection, Concerning the Sibyl, and What the Stoics Say Concerning the Bird Called the Phœnix.

For the Almighty God Himself will raise us up through our Lord Jesus Christ, according to His infallible promise, and grant us a resurrection with all those that have slept from the beginning of the world; and we shall then be such as we now are in our present form, without any defect or corruption. For we shall rise incorruptible: whether we die at sea, or are scattered on the earth, or are torn to pieces by wild beasts and birds, He will raise us by His own power; for the whole world is held together by the hand of God. Now He says: “An hair of your head shall not perish.” (Luk 21:18) Wherefore He exhorts us, saying: “In your patience possess ye your souls.” (Luk 21:19) But as concerning the resurrection of the dead, and the recompense of reward for the martyrs, Gabriel speaks to Daniel: “And many of them that sleep shall arise out of the dust of the earth, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that understand shall shine as the sun, and as the firmament, and as the stars.” (Dan 12:2, Dan 12:3) Therefore the most holy Gabriel foretold that the saints should shine like the stars: for His sacred name did witness to them, that they might understand the truth. Nor is a resurrection only declared for the martyrs, but for all men, righteous and unrighteous, godly and ungodly, that every one may receive according to his desert. For God, says the Scripture, “will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.” (Ecc 12:14) This resurrection was not believed by the Jews, when of old they said, “Our bones are withered, and we are gone.” (Eze 37:11, etc.) To whom God answered, and said: “Behold, I open your graves, and will bring you out of them; and I will put my Spirit into you, and ye shall live: and ye shall know that I the Lord have spoken it, and will do it.” And He says by Isaiah: “The dead shall rise, and those that are in the graves shall be raised up. And those that rest in the earth shall rejoice, for the dew which is from Thee shall be healing to them.” (Isa 36:19) There are indeed many and various things said concerning the resurrection, and concerning the continuance of the righteous in glory, and concerning the punishment of the ungodly, their fall, rejection, condemnation, shame, “eternal fire, and endless worm.” (Isa 46:1-13:24) Now that, if it had pleased Him that all men should be immortal, it was in His power, He showed in the examples of Enoch and Elijah, while He did not suffer them to have any experience of death. Or if it had pleased Him in every generation to raise those that died, that this also He was able to do He hath made manifest both by Himself and by others; as when He raised the widow’s son (1Ki 17:1-24) by Elijah, and the Shunammite’s son (2Ki 4:1-44) by Elisha. But we are persuaded that death is not a retribution of punishment, because even the saints have undergone it; nay, even the Lord of the saints, Jesus Christ, the life of them that believe, and the resurrection of the dead. Upon this account, therefore, according to the ancient practice, for those who live in the great city, after the combats He brings a dissolution for a while, that, when He raises up every one, He may either reject him or crown him. For He that made the body of Adam out of the earth will raise up the bodies of the rest, and that of the first man, after their dissolution, (to pay what is owing to the rational nature of man; we mean the continuance in being through all ages. He, therefore, who brings on the dissolution, will Himself procure the resurrection. And He that said, “The Lord took dust from the ground, and formed man, and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul,” (Gen 2:7) added after the disobedience, “Earth thou art, and unto earth shalt thou return;” (Gen 3:19) the same promised us a resurrection afterwards.4) For says He: “All that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live.” (Joh 5:13) Besides these arguments, we believe there is to be a resurrection also from the resurrection of our Lord. For it is He that raised Lazarus, when he had been in the grave four days, (Joh 11:1-57) and Jairus’ daughter, (Mar 5:1-43) and the widow’s son. (Luk 7:1-50) It is He that raised Himself by the command of the Father in the space of three days, who is the pledge of our resurrection. For says He: “I am the resurrection and the life.” (Joh 11:25) Now He that brought Jonas (Jon 2:1-10) in the space of three days, alive and unhurt, out of the belly of the whale, and the three children out of the furnace of Babylon, and Daniel out of the mouth of the lions, (Dan 3:1-30, Dan 6:1-28) does not want power to raise us up also. But if the Gentiles laugh at us, and disbelieve our Scriptures, let at least their own prophetess Sibylla5 oblige them to believe, who says thus to them in express words: —

“But when all things shall be reduced to dust and ashes,

 And the immortal God who kindled the fire shall have quenched it,

 God shall form those bones and that ashes into a man again,

 And shall place mortal men again as they were before.

 And then shall be the judgment, wherein God will do justice,

 And judge the world again. But as many mortals as have sinned through impiety

 Shall again be covered under the earth;

 But so many as have been pious shall live again in the world. When God puts His Spirit into them, and gives those
 at once that are godly both life and favour,

 Then shall all see themselves.”6

If, therefore, this prophetess confesses the resurrection, and does not deny the restoration of all things, and distinguishes the godly from the ungodly, it is in vain for them to deny our doctrine. Nay, indeed, they say they can show a resemblance of the resurrection, while they do not themselves believe the things they declare: for they say that there is a bird single in its kind which affords a copious demonstration of the resurrection, which they say is without a mate, and the only one in the creation. They call it a phœnix, and relate that every five hundred years it comes into Egypt, to that which is called the altar of the sun, and brings with it a great quantity of cinnamon, and cassia, and balsam-wood, and standing towards the east, as they say, and praying to the sun, of its own accord is burnt, and becomes dust; but that a worm arises again out of those ashes, and that when the same is warmed it is formed into a new-born phœnix; and when it is able to fly, it goes to Arabia, which is beyond the Egyptian countries. If, therefore, as even themselves say, a resurrection is exhibited by the means of an irrational bird, wherefore do they vainly disparage our accounts, when we profess that He who by His power brings that into being which was not in being before, is able to restore this body, and raise it up again after its dissolution? For on account of this full assurance of hope we undergo stripes, and persecutions, and deaths. Otherwise we should to no purpose undergo such things if we had not a full assurance of these promises, whereof we profess ourselves to be the preachers. As, therefore, we believe Moses when he says, “In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth;” (Gen 1:1) and we know that He did not want matter, but by His will alone brought those things into being which Christ was commanded to make; we mean the heaven, the earth, the sea, the light, the night, the day, the luminaries, the stars, the fowls, the fishes, and four-footed beasts, the creeping things, the plants, and the herbs; so also will He raise all men up by His will, as not wanting any assistance. For it is the work of the same power to create the world and to raise the dead. And then He made man, who was not a man before, of different parts, giving to him a soul made out of nothing. But now He will restore the bodies, which have been dissolved, to the souls that are still in being: for the rising again belongs to things laid down, not to things which have no being. He therefore that made the original bodies out of nothing, and fashioned various forms of them, will also again revive and raise up those that are dead. For He that formed man in the womb out of a little seed, and created in him a soul which was not in being before, — as He Himself somewhere speaks to Jeremiah, “Before I formed thee in the womb I knew thee;” (Jer 1:5) and elsewhere, “I am the Lord who established the heaven, and laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the spirit of man in him,” (Zec 12:1) — will also raise up all men, as being His workmanship; as also the divine Scripture testifies that God said to Christ, His only-begoten, “Let us make man after our image, and after our likeness. And God made man: after the image of God made He him; male and female made He them.” (Gen 1:26, Gen 1:27) And the most divine and patient Job, of whom the Scripture says that it is written, that “he was to rise again with those whom the Lord raises up,”7 speaks to God thus: “Hast not Thou milked me like milk, and curdled me like cheese? Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews. Thou hast granted me life and favour, and Thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. Having these things within me, I know that Thou canst do all things, and that nothing is impossible with Thee.” (Job 10:10) Wherefore also8 our Saviour and Master Jesus Christ says, that “what is impossible with men is possible with God.” (Luk 18:27) And David, the beloved of God, says: “Thine hands have made me, and fashioned me.” (Psa 119:13) And again: “Thou knowest my frame.” (Psa 103:14) And afterward: “Thou hast fashioned me, and laid Thine hand upon me. The knowledge of Thee is declared to be too wonderful for me; it is very great, I cannot attain unto it.” (Psa 139:5, Psa 139:6) “Thine eyes did see my substance, being yet imperfect; and all men shall be written in Thy book.” (Psa 139:16) Nay, and Isaiah says in his prayer to Him: “We are the clay, and Thou art the framer of us.” (Isa 64:8) If, therefore, man be His workmanship, made by Christ, by Him most certainly will he after he is dead be raised again, with intention either of being crowned for his good actions or punished for his transgressions. But if He, being the legislator, judges with righteousness; as He punishes the ungodly, so does He do good to and saves the faithful. And those saints who for His sake have been slain by men, “some of them He will make light as the stars, and make others bright as the luminaries,” (Dan 12:3) as Gabriel said to Daniel. All we of the faithful, therefore, who are the disciples of Christ, believe His promises. For He that has promised it cannot lie; as says the blessed prophet David: “The Lord is faithful in all His words, and holy in all His works.” (Psa 145:17) For He that framed for Himself a body out of a virgin, is also the Former of other men. And He that raised Himself from the dead, will also raise again all that are laid down. He who raises wheat out of the ground with many stalks from one grain, He who makes the tree that is cut down send forth fresh branches, He that made Aaron’s dry rod put forth buds, (Num 17:8) will raise us up in glory; He that raised Him up that had the palsy whole, (Mat 9:2, etc.) and healed him that had the withered hand, (Mar 3:1, etc.) He that supplied a defective part to him that was born blind from clay and spittle, (Joh 9:1, etc.) will raise us up; He that satisfied five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes, and caused a remainder of twelve baskets, (Mat 14:17, etc.) and out of water made wine, (Joh 2:3, etc.) and sent a piece of money out of a fish’s mouth (Mat 17:24, etc.) by me Peter to those that demanded tribute, will raise the dead. For we testify all these things concerning Him, and the prophets testify the other. We who have eaten and drunk with Him, and have been spectators of His wonder fill works, and of His life, and of His conduct, and of His words, and of His sufferings, and of His death, and of His resurrection from the dead, and who associated with Him forty days after His resurrection, (Act 1:3) and who received a command from Him to preach the Gospel to all the world, and to make disciples of all nations, (Mat 28:19) and to baptize them into His death by the authority of the God of the universe, who is His Father, and by the testimony of the Spirit, who is His Comforter, — we teach you all these things which He appointed us by His constitutions, before “He was received up in our sight into heaven,” (Act 1:9) to Him that sent Him. And if you will believe, you shall be happy; but if you will not believe, we shall be found innocent, and clear from your incredulity.


VIII. Concerning James the Brother of the Lord, and Stephen the First Martyr.

Now concerning the martyrs, we say to you that they are to be had in all honour with you, as we honour the blessed James the bishop, and the holy Stephen our fellow-servant. For these are reckoned blessed by God, and are honoured by holy men, who were pure from all transgressions, immoveable when tempted to sin, or persuaded from good works, without dispute deserving encomiums: of whom also David speaks, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His holy ones;” (Psa 116:15) and Solomon says, “The memory of the just is with encomiums:” (Pro 10:7) of whom also the prophet speaks, “Righteous men are taken away.” (Isa 57:1, LXX.)


IX. Concerning False Martyrs.

These things we have said concerning those that in truth have been martyrs for Christ, but not concerning false martyrs, concerning whom the oracle speaks, “The name of the ungodly is extinguished.” (Pro 10:7) For “a faithful witness will not lie, but an unjust witness inflames lies.” (Pro 14:5) For he that departs this life in his testimony without lying, for the sake of the truth, is a faithful martyr, worthy to be believed in such things wherein he strove for the word of piety by his own blood.


Sec. II. — All Association with Idols Is to Be Avoided.

X. Amoral Admonition, that We Are to Abstain from Vain Talking, Obscene Talking, Jesting, Drunkenness, Lasciviousness, and Luxury.

Now we exhort you, brethren and fellow-servants, to avoid vain talk and obscene discourses, and jestings, drunkenness, lasciviousness, luxury, unbounded passions, with foolish discourses, since we do not permit you so much as on the Lord’s days, which are days of joy, to speak or act anything unseemly; for the Scripture somewhere says: “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice unto Him with trembling.” (Psa 2:11) Even your very rejoicings therefore ought to be done with fear and trembling: for a Christian who is faithful ought neither to repeat an heathen hymn nor an obscene song, because he will be obliged by that hymn to make mention of the idolatrous names of demons; and instead of the Holy Spirit, the wicked one will enter into him.


XI. An Admonition Instructing Men to Avoid the Abominable Sin of Idolatry.

You are also forbidden to swear by them, or to utter their abominable names through your mouth, and to worship them, or fear them as gods; for they are not gods, but either wicked demons or the ridiculous contrivances of men. For somewhere God says concerning the Israelites: “They have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods.” (Jer 5:7) And afterwards: “I will take away the names of your idols out of their mouth.” (Zec 13:2) And elsewhere: “They have provoked me to jealousy with them that are no gods; they have provoked me to anger with their idols.” (Deu 32:21) And in all the Scriptures these things are forbidden by the Lord God.


XII. That We Ought Not to Sing an Heathen or an Obscene Song, nor to Swear by an Idol Because It Is an Impious Thing, and Contrary to the Knowledge of God.

Nor do the legislators give us only prohibitions concerning idols, but also warn us concerning the luminaries, not to swear by them, nor to serve them. For they say: “Lest, when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, thou shouldest be seduced to worship them.” (Deu 4:19) And elsewhere: “Do not ye learn to walk after the ways of the heathen, and be not afraid of the signs of heaven.” (Jer 10:2) For the stars and the luminaries were given to men to shine upon them, but not for worship; although the Israelites, by the perverseness of their temper, “worshipped the creature instead of the Creator,” (Rom 1:25) and acted insultingly to their Maker, and admired the creature more than is fit. And sometimes they made a calf, as in the wilderness; (Exo 32:4) sometimes they worshipped Baalpeor; (Num 25:3) another time Baal, (Jdg 2:13) and Thamuz, (Eze 8:14) and Astarte of Sidon; (1Ki 11:5) and again Moloch and Chamos; (1Ki 11:7) another time the sun, (Eze 8:16) as it is written in Ezekiel; nay, and besides, brute creatures, as among the Egyptians Apis, and the Mendesian goat, and gods of silver and gold, as in Judea. On account of all which things He threatened them, and said by the prophet: “Is it a small thing to the house of Judah to do these abominations which they have done? For they have filled the land with their wickedness, to provoke me to anger: and, behold, they are as those that mock. And I will act with anger. Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have mercy; and they shall cry in mine ears with a great voice, and I will not hearken unto them.”(Eze 8:17, Eze 8:18) Consider, beloved, how many things the Lord declares against idolaters, and the worshippers of the sun and moon. Wherefore it is the duty of a man of God, as he is a Christian, not to swear by the sun, or by the moon, or by the stars; nor by the heaven, nor by the earth, by any of the elements, whether small or great. For if our Master charged us not to swear by the true God, that our word might be firmer than an oath, nor by heaven itself, for that is a piece of heathen wickedness, nor by Jerusalem, nor by the sanctuary of God, nor the altar, nor the gift, nor the gilding of the altar, nor one’s own head, (Mat 5:34, Mat 23:16) for this custom is a piece of Judaic corruption, and on that account was forbidden; and if He exhorts the faithful that their yea be yea, and their nay, nay, and says that “what is more than these is of the evil one,” how much more blameable are those who appeal to deities falsely so called as the objects of an oath, and who glorify imaginary beings instead of those that are real, whom God for their perverseness “delivered over to foolishness, to do those things that are not convenient!” (Rom 1:28)





1 Mat 25:24, etc. Portions of the passage from Matthew are omitted in one V. ms.: and the conclusion, beginning with “Then shall they also,” is entirely omitted. [The citation is quite accurate; ver. 46 is divided, doubtless for the sake of emphasis, and slightly modified. — R.]

2 Job 35:7, Job 35:8. One V. ms. reads “piety,” instead of “wickedness,” in the last sentence.

3 Mat 26:41. [See de Fuga, vol. 4. p. 119, sec. 5.]

4 The part within parentheses is not in one of the V. mss.

5 [Compare pp. 256, 257, supra.]

6 Orac. Sibyl., 1. iv. in fin. [See p. 324, supra.]

7 In fin. Job in LXX.

8 The words from “Wherefore also” to “possible with God” are omitted in one V. ms., and noticed as spurious in the other.


















Constitutions of the Holy Apostles. (Cont.)

Book V. (Cont.)

Sec. III. — On Feast Days and Fast Days.

XIII. A Catalogue of the Feasts of the Lord Which Are to Be Kept, and When Each of Them Ought to Be Observed.

Brethren, observe the festival days; and first of all the birthday which you are to celebrate on the twenty-fifth of the ninth month; after which let the Epiphany be to you the most honoured, in which the Lord made to you a display of His own Godhead, and let it take place on the sixth of the tenth month; after which the fast of Lent is to be observed by you as containing a memorial of our Lord’s mode of life and legislation. But let this solemnity be observed before the fast of the passover, beginning from the second day of the week, and ending at the day of the preparation. After which solemnities, breaking off your fast, begin the holy week of the passover, fasting in the same all of you with fear and trembling, praying in them for those that are about to perish.


XIV. Concerning the Passion of Our Lord, and What Was Done on Each Day of His Sufferings; And Concerning Judas, and that Judas Was Not Present When the Lord Delivered the Mysteries to His Disciples.

For they began to hold a council against the Lord on the second day of the week, in the first month, which is Xanthicus; and the deliberation continued on the third day of the week; but on the fourth day they determined to take away His life by crucifixion. And Judas knowing this, who for a long time had been perverted, but was then smitten by the devil himself with the love of money, although he had been long entrusted with the purse. (Joh 12:6) and used to steal what was set apart for the needy, yet was he not cast off by the Lord, through much long-suffering; nay, and when we were once feasting with Him, being willing both to reduce him to his duty and instruct us in His own foreknowledge, He said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you will betray me;” and every one of us saying, “Is it I?” (Mat 26:21, Mat 26:22; Joh 13:21, etc.) And the Lord being silent, I, who was one of the twelve, and more beloved by Him than the rest, arose up from lying in His bosom. and besought Him to tell who it should be that should betray Him. Yet neither then did our good Lord declare His name, but gave two signs of the betrayer: one by saying, “he that dippeth with me in the dish;” a second, “to whom I shall give the sop when I have dipped it.” Nay, although he himself said, “Master, is it I?” the Lord did not say Yes, but, “Thou hast said.” And being willing to affright him in the matter, He said: “Woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for him if he had never been born. Who, when he had heard that, went his way, and said to the priests, What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you? And they bargained with him for thirty pieces of silver.” (Mat 26:15) And the scripture was fulfilled, which said, “And they took9 the thirty pieces of silver, the price of Him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value, and gave them for the house of the potter.” (Mat 27:9, Mat 27:10) And on the fifth day of the week, when we had eaten the passover with Him, and when Judas had dipped his hand into the dish, and received the sop, and was gone out by night, the Lord said to us: “The hour is come that ye shall be dispersed, and shall leave me alone;” (Joh 16:32; Mat 26:31) and every one vehemently affirming that they would not forsake Him, I Peter adding this promise, that I would even die with Him, He said, “Verily I say unto thee, Before the cock crows, thou shall thrice deny that thou knowest me.” (Luk 22:34) And when He had delivered to us the representative mysteries of His precious body and blood, Judas not being present with us, He went out to the Mount of Olives, near the brook Cedron, where there was a garden; (Joh 18:1) and we were with Him, and sang an hymn according to the custom. (Mat 26:30) And being separated not far10 from us, He prayed to His Father, saying: “Father, remove this cup away from me; yet not my will, but Thine be done.” (Luk 22:42; Mat 26:39, Mat 26:42) And when He had done this thrice, while we out of despondency of mind were fallen asleep, He came and said: “The hour is come, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. And behold Judas, and with him a multitude of ungodly men,” (Luk 22:47; Mat 26:47) to whom he shows the signal by which he was to betray Him — a deceitful kiss. But they, when they had received the signal agreed on, took hold of the Lord; and having bound Him, they led Him to the house of Caiaphas the high priest, wherein were assembled many, not the people, but a great rout, not an holy council, but an assembly of the wicked and council of the ungodly, who did many things against Him, and left no kind of injury untried, spitting upon Him, cavilling at Him, beating Him, smiting Him on the face, reviling Him, tempting Him, seeking vain divination instead of true prophecies from Him, calling Him a deceiver, a blasphemer, a transgressor of Moses, a destroyer of the temple, a taker away of sacrifices, an enemy to the Romans, an adversary to Cæsar. And these reproaches did these bulls and dogs (Psa 22:12, Psa 22:16) in their madness cast upon Him, till it was very early in the morning, and then they lead Him away to Annas, who was father-in-law to Caiaphas; and when they had done the like things to Him there, it being the day of the preparation, they delivered Him to Pilate the Roman governor, accusing Him of many and great things, none of which they could prove. Whereupon the governor, as out of patience with them, said: “I find no cause against Him.” (Luk 23:14; Joh 18:38) But they bringing two lying witnesses, wished to accuse the Lord falsely; but they being found to disagree, and so their testimony not conspiring together, they altered the accusation to that of treason, saying, “This fellow says that He is a king, and forbids to give tribute to Cæsar.” (Luk 23:2) And themselves became accusers, and witnesses, and judges, and authors of the sentence, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him;” (Luk 23:21) that it might be fulfilled which is written by the prophets concerning Him, “Unjust witnesses were gathered together against me, and injustice lied to itself;” (Psa 27:12) and again, “Many dogs compassed me about, the assembly of the wicked laid siege against me;” (Psa 22:16) and elsewhere, “My inheritance became to me as a lion in a wood, and has sent forth her voice against me.” (Jer 12:8) Pilate therefore, disgracing his authority by his pusillanimity, convicts himself of wickedness by regarding the multitude more than this just person, and bearing witness to Him that He was innocent, yet as guilty delivering Him up to the punishment of the cross, although the Romans had made laws that no man unconvicted should be put to death. But the executioners took the Lord of glory and nailed Him to the cross, crucifying Him indeed at the sixth hour, but having received the sentence of His condemnation at the third hour. After this they gave to Him vinegar to drink, mingled with gall. Then they divided His garments by lot. Then they crucified two malefactors with Him, on each side one, that it might be fulfilled which was written: “They gave me gall to eat, and when I was thirsty they gave me vinegar to drink.” (Psa 69:21) And again: “They divided my garment among themselves, and upon my vesture have they cast lots.” (Psa 22:18) And in another place: “And I was reckoned with the transgressors.” (Isa 53:12) Then there was darkness for three hours, from the sixth to the ninth, and again light in the evening; as it is written: “It shall not be day nor night, and at the evening there shall be light.”11 All which things,12 when those malefactors saw that were crucified with Him, the one of them reproached Him as though He was weak and unable to deliver Himself; but the other rebuked the ignorance of his fellow and turning to the Lord, as being enlightened by Him, and acknowledging who He was that suffered, he prayed that He would remember him in His kingdom hereafter. (Luk 23:39, etc.) He then presently granted him the forgiveness of his former sins, and brought him into paradise to enjoy the mystical good things; who also cried out about the ninth hour, and said to His Father: “My God! my God! why hast Thou forsaken me?” (Mat 27:46) And a little afterward, when He had cried with a loud voice, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” (Luk 23:34) and had added, “Into Thy hands I commit my spirit,” He gave up the ghost, (Luk 23:46) and was buried before sunset in a new sepulchre. But when the first day of the week dawned He arose from the dead, and fulfilled those things which before His passion He foretold to us, saying: “The Son of man must continue in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.” (Mat 12:40) And when He was risen from the dead, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, then to Cleopas in the way, and after that to us His disciples, who had fled away for fear of the Jews, but privately were very inquisitive about Him. (Mar 16:9; Joh 20:11, etc.; Luk 24:18; Mar 16:14) But these things are also written in the Gospel.


XV. Of the Great Week, and on What Account They Enjoin Us to Fast on Wednesday and Friday.

He therefore charged us Himself to fast these six days on account of the impiety and transgression of the Jews, commanding us withal to bewail over them, and lament for their perdition. For even He Himself “wept over them, because they knew not the time of their visitation.” (Luk 19:44) But He commanded us to fast on the fourth and sixth days of the week; the former on account of His being betrayed, and the latter on account of His passion. But He appointed us to break our fast on the seventh day at the cock-crowing, but to fast on the Sabbath-day. Not that the Sabbath-day is a day of fasting, being the rest from the creation, but because we ought to fast on this one Sabbath only, while on this day the Creator was under the earth. For on their very feast-day they apprehended the Lord, that that oracle might be fulfilled which says: “They placed their signs in the middle of their feast, and knew them not.” (Psa 74:4) Ye ought therefore to bewail over them, because when the Lord came they did not believe on Him, but rejected His doctrine, judging themselves unworthy of salvation. You therefore are happy who once were not a people, but are now an holy nation, delivered from the deceit of idols, from ignorance, from impiety, who once had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy through your hearty obedience: for to you, the converted Gentiles, is opened the gate of life, who formerly were not beloved, but are now beloved; a people ordained for the possession of God, to show forth His virtues, concerning whom our Saviour said, “I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest to them that asked not after me. I said, Behold me, to a nation which did not call upon my name.” (Isa 65:1) For when ye did not seek after Him, then were ye sought for by Him; and you who have believed in Him have hearkened to His call, and have left the madness of polytheism, and have fled to the true monarchy, to Almighty God, through Christ Jesus, and are become the completion of the number of the saved — “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;” (Dan 7:10) as it is written in David, “A thousand13 shall fall beside thee, and ten thousand at thy right hand;” (Psa 91:7) and again, “The chariots of God are by tens of thousands, and thousands of the prosperous.” (Psa 68:17) But unto unbelieving Israel He says: “All the day long have I stretched out mine hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people, which go in a way that is not good, but after their own sins, a people provoking me before my face.” (Isa 65:2)


XVI. An Enumeration of the Prophetical Predictions Which Declare Christ, Whose Completion Though the Jews Saw, yet out of the Evil Temper of Their Mind They Did Not Believe He Was the Christ of God, and Condemned the Lord of Glory to the Cross.

See how the people provoked the Lord by not believing in Him! Therefore He says: “They provoked the Holy Spirit, and He was turned to be their enemy.” (Isa 63:10) For blindness is cast upon them, by reason of the wickedness of their mind, because when they saw Jesus they did not believe Him to be the Christ of God, who was before all ages14 begotten of Him, His only-begotten Son, God the Word, whom they did not own through their unbelief, neither on account of His mighty works, nor yet on account of the prophecies which were written concerning Him. For that He was to be born of a virgin, they read this prophecy: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emanuel.” (Isa 7:14; Matt.Mat 1:23) “For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, whose government is upon His shoulders; and His name is called the Angel of His Great Council, the Wonderful Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Potentate, the Prince of Peace, the Father of the Future Age.”15 Now, that because of their exceeding great wickedness they would not believe in Him, the Lord shows in these words: “Who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (Isa 53:1) And afterward: “Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for the heart of this people is waxed gross.” (Isa 6:9, Isa 6:10) Wherefore knowledge was taken from them, because seeing they overlooked, and hearing they heard not. But to you, the converted of the Gentiles, is the kingdom given, because you, who knew not God, have believed by preaching, and “have known Him, or rather are known of Him,” (Gal 4:9) through Jesus, the Saviour and Redeemer of those that hope in Him. For ye are translated from your former vain and tedious mode of life, and have contemned the lifeless idols, and despised the demons, which are in darkness, and have run to the “true light,” (Joh 1:9) and by it have “known the one and only true God and Father,” (Joh 17:3) and so are owned to be heirs of His kingdom. For since ye have “been baptized into the Lord’s death,” (Rom 6:3) and into His resurrection, as “new-born babes,” (1Pe 2:2) ye ought to be wholly free from all sinful actions; “for you are not your own, but His that bought you” (1Co 6:19, 1Co 6:20) with His own blood. For concerning the former Israel the Lord speaks thus, on account of their unbelief: “The kingdom of God shall be taken from them, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof;” (Mat 21:43) that is to say, that having given the kingdom to you, who were once far estranged from Him, He expects the fruits of your gratitude and probity. For ye are those that were once sent into the vineyard, and did not obey, but these they that did obey; (Mat 21:28, etc.) but you have repented of your denial, and you work therein now. But they, being uneasy on account of their own covenants, have not only left the vineyard uncultivated, but have also killed the stewards of the Lord of the vineyard, (Mat 21:35) — one with stones, another with the sword; one they sawed asunder, (Heb 11:37) another they slew in the holy place, “between the temple and the altar;” (Mat 23:35) nay, at last they “cast the Heir Himself out of the vineyard, and slew Him.” (Mat 21:39) And by them He was rejected as an unprofitable stone, (Mat 21:42) but by you was received as the corner-stone. Wherefore He says concerning you: “A people whom I knew not have served me, and at the hearing of the ear have they obeyed me.” (Psa 18:43, Psa 18:44)


XVII. How the Passover Ought to Be Celebrated.

It is therefore your duty, brethren, who are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, to observe the days of the passover exactly, with all care, after the vernal equinox, lest ye be obliged to keep the memorial of the one passion twice in a year. Keep it once only in a year for Him that died but once.

Do not you yourselves compute, but keep it when your brethren of the circumcision do so: keep it together with them; and if they err in their computation, be not you concerned. Keep your nights of watching in the middle of the days of unleavened bread. And when the Jews are feasting, do you fast and wail over them, because an the day of their feast they crucified Christ; and while they are lamenting and eating unleavened bread in bitterness, do you feast.16 But no longer be careful to keep the feast with the Jews, for we have now no communion with them; for they have been led astray in regard to the calculation itself, which they think they accomplish perfectly, that they may be led astray on every hand, and be fenced off from the truth. But do you observe carefully the vernal equinox, which occurs on the twenty-second of the twelfth month, which is Dystros (March), observing carefully until the twenty-first of the moon, lest the fourteenth of the moon shall fall on another week, and an error being committed, you should through ignorance celebrate the passover twice in the year, or celebrate the day of the resurrection of our Lord on any other day than a Sunday.


XVIII. A Constitution Concerning the Great Passover Week.

Do you therefore fast on the days of the passover, beginning from the second day of the week until the preparation, and the Sabbath, six days, making use of only bread, and salt, and herbs, and water for your drink; but do you abstain on these days from wine and flesh, for they are days of lamentation and not of feasting. Do ye who are able fast the day of the preparation and the Sabbath-day entirely, tasting nothing till the cock-crowing of the night; but if any one is not able to join them both together, at least let him observe the Sabbath-day; for the Lord says somewhere, speaking of Himself: “When the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, in those days shall they fast.” (Mat 9:15; Mar 2:20; Luk 5:35) In these days, therefore, He was taken from us by the Jews, falsely so named, and fastened to the cross, and “was numbered among the transgressors.” (Isa 53:12)


XIX. Concerning the Watching All the Night of the Great Sabbath, and Concerning the Day of the Resurrection.

Wherefore we exhort you to fast on those days, as we also fasted till the evening, when He was taken away from us; but on the rest of the days, before the day of the preparation, let every one eat at the ninth hour, or at the evening, or as every one is able. But from the even of the fifth day till cock-crowing break your fast when it is daybreak of the first day of the week, which is the Lord’s day. From the even till cock-crowing keep awake, and assemble together in the church, watch and pray, and entreat God; reading, when you sit up all night, the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms, until cock-crowing, and baptizing your catechumens, and reading the Gospel with fear and trembling, and speaking to the people such things as tend to their salvation: put an end to your sorrow, and beseech God that Israel may be converted, and that He will allow them place of repentance, and the remission of their impiety; for the judge, who was a stranger, “washed his hands, and said, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. But Israel cried out, His blood be on us, and on our children.” (Mat 27:24, Mat 27:25) And when Pilate said, “Shall I crucify your king? they cried out, We have no king but Cæsar: crucify Him, crucify Him; for every one that maketh himself a king speaketh against Cæsar.” And, “If thou let this man go, thou art not Cæsar’s friend.” (Joh 19:15, Joh 19:6, Joh 19:12) And Pilate the governor and Herod the king commanded Him to be crucified; and that oracle was fulfilled which says, “Why did the Gentiles rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ;” (Psa 2:1, Psa 2:2) and, “They cast away the Beloved, as a dead man, who is abominable.” (Isa 14:19) And since He was crucified on the day of the Preparation, and rose again at break of day on the Lord’s day, the scripture was fulfilled which saith, “Arise, O God; judge the earth: for Thou shalt have an inheritance in all the nations;” (Psa 82:8) and again, “I will arise, saith the Lord; I will put Him in safety, I will wax bold through Him;” (Psa 12:5) and,” But Thou, Lord, have mercy upon me, and raise me up again, and I shall requite them.” (Psa 41:10) For this reason do you also, now the Lord is risen, offer your sacrifice, concerning which He made a constitution by us, saying, “Do this for a remembrance of me;” (Luk 22:19) and thenceforward leave off your fasting, and rejoice, and keep a festival, because Jesus Christ, the pledge of our resurrection, is risen from the dead. And let this be an everlasting ordinance till the consummation of the world, until the Lord come. For to Jews the Lord is still dead, but to Christians He is risen: to the former, by their unbelief; to the latter, by their full assurance of faith. For the hope in Him is immortal and eternal life. After eight days let there be another feast observed with honour, the eighth day itself, on which He gave me Thomas, who was hard of belief, full assurance, by showing me the print of the nails, and the wound made in His side by the spear. (Joh 12:25) And again, from the first Lord’s day count forty days, from the Lord’s day till the fifth day of the week, and celebrate the feast of the ascension of the Lord, whereon He finished all His dispensation and constitution, and returned to that God and Father that sent Him, and sat down at the right hand of power, and remains there until His enemies are put under His feet; who also will come at the consummation of the world with power and great glory, to judge the quick and the dead, and to recompense to every one according to his works. And then shall they see the beloved Son of God whom they pierced; (Zec 12:10; Joh 19:37) and when they know Him, they shall mourn for themselves, tribe by tribe, and their wives apart.17


XX. A Prophetic Prediction Concerning Christ Jesus.

For even now, on the tenth day of the month Gorpiæus, when they assemble together, they read the Lamentations of Jeremiah, in which it is said, “The Spirit before our face, Christ the Lord was taken in their destructions;” (Lam 4:20) and Baruch, in whom it is written, “This is our God; no other shall be esteemed with Him. He found out every way of knowledge, and showed it to Jacob His son, and Israel His beloved. Afterwards He was seen upon earth, and conversed with men.” (Bar. 3:35-37) And when they read them, they lament and bewail, as themselves suppose, that desolation which happened by Nebuchadnezzar; but, as the truth shows, they unwillingly make a prelude to that lamentation which will overtake them. But after ten days from the ascension, which from the first Lord’s day is the fiftieth day, do ye keep a great festival: for on that day, at the third hour, the Lord Jesus sent on us the gift of the Holy Ghost, and we were filled with His energy, and we “spake with new tongues, as that Spirit did suggest to us;” (Act 2:4) and we preached both to Jews and Gentiles, that He is the Christ of God, who is “determined by Him to be the Judge, of quick and dead.” (Act 10:42) To Him did Moses bear witness, and said: “The Lord received fire from the Lord, and rained it down.” (Gen 19:24) Him did Jacob see as a man, and said: “I have seen God face to face, and my soul is preserved.” (Gen 32:30) Him did Abraham entertain, and acknowledge to be the Judge, and his Lord. (Gen 18:25, Gen 18:27) Him did Moses see in the bush; (Exo 3:2) concerning Him did he speak in Deuteronomy: “A Prophet will the Lord your God raise up unto you out of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things, whatsoever He shall say unto you. And it shall be, that every soul that will not hear that Prophet, shall be destroyed from among his people.” (Deu 18:15) Him did Joshua the son of Nun see, as the captain of the Lord’s host, in armour, for their assistance against Jericho; to whom he fell down, and worshipped, as a servant does to his master. (Jos 5:14) Him Samuel knew as the “Anointed of God,” (1Sa 12:3) and thence named the priests and the kings the anointed. Him David knew, and sung an hymn concerning Him, “A song concerning the Beloved;” (Psa 45:1-17) and adds in his person, and says, “Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O Thou who art mighty in Thy beauty and renown: go on, and prosper, and reign, for the sake of truth, and meekness, and righteousness; and Thy right hand shall guide Thee after a wonderful manner. Thy darts are sharpened, O Thou that art mighty; the people shall fall under Thee in the heart of the king’s enemies. Wherefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.” Concerning Him also spake Solomon, as in His person: “The Lord created me the beginning of His ways, for His works: before the world He founded me, in the beginning before He made the earth, before the fountains of waters came, before the mountains were fastened; He begat me before all the hills.” (Pro 8:22-25) And again: “Wisdom built herself an house.” (Pro 9:1) Concerning Him also Isaiah said: “A Branch shall come out of the root of Jesse, and a Flower shall spring out of his root.” And, “There shall be a root of Jesse; and He that is to rise to reign over the Gentiles, in Him shall the Gentiles trust.” (Is. Isa 11:1, Isa 11:10) And Zechariah says: “18 Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, just, and having salvation; meek, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass.” (Zec 9:9) Him Daniel describes as “the Son of man coming to the Father,” (Dan 7:13) and receiving all judgment and honour from Him; and as “the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, and becoming a great mountain, and filling the whole earth,” (Dan 2:34) dashing to pieces the many governments of the smaller countries, and the polytheism of gods, but preaching the one God, and ordaining the monarchy of the Romans. Concerning Him also did Jeremiah prophesy, saying: “The Spirit
before His face, Christ the Lord, was taken in their snares: of whom we said, Under His shadow we shall live among the Gentiles.” (Lam 4:20) Ezekiel also, and the following prophets, affirm everywhere that He is the Christ, the Lord, the King, the Judge, the Lawgiver, the Angel of the Father, the only-begotten God. Him therefore do we also preach to you, and declare Him to be God the Word, who ministered to His God and Father for the creation of the universe. By believing in Him you shall live, but by disbelieving you shall be punished. For “he that is disobedient to the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (Joh 3:36) Therefore, after you have kept the festival of Pentecost, keep one week more festival, and after that fast; for it is reasonable to rejoice for the gift of God, and to fast after that relaxation: for both Moses and Elijah fasted forty days, and Daniel for “three weeks of days did not eat desirable bread, and flesh and wine did not enter into his mouth.” (Exo 34:28; 1Ki 19:8; Dan 10:2, Dan 10:3) And blessed Hannah, when she asked for Samuel, said: “I have not drunk wine nor strong drink, and I pour out my soul before the Lord.” (1Sa 1:15) And the Ninevites, when they fasted three days and three nights, (Jon 3:5) escaped the execution of wrath. And Esther, and Mordecai, and Judith, (Est 4:16; Judith 8:6) by fasting, escaped the insurrection of the ungodly Holofernes and Haman. And David says: “My knees are weak through fasting, and my flesh faileth for want of oil.” (Psa 109:24) Do you therefore fast, and ask your petitions of God. We enjoin you to fast every fourth day of the week, and every day of the preparation, and the surplusage of your fast bestow upon the needy; every Sabbath-day excepting one, and every Lord’s day, hold your solemn assemblies, and rejoice: for he will be guilty of sin who fasts on the Lord’s day, being the day of the resurrection, or during the time of Pentecost, or, in general, who is sad on a festival day to the Lord. For on them we ought to rejoice, and not to mourn.







9 The words from “And they took” to “house of the potter” are wanting in one V. ms. The other reads “field” of the potter, instead of “house.”

10 “Not far,” the reading of the V. mss. The others read: “And being separated from us, He prayed earnestly.”

11 Zec 14:7. The V. mss. read: “On that day there will not be light, but there will be cold and frost for one day.”

12 The words from “All which things” to “mystical good things” are omitted in one V. ms.

13 The words from “A thousand” to “of the prosperous” are not in the V. mss.

14 One V. ms. omits “ages.” and the other “begotten of Him.”

15 Isa 9:6. [Justyn Martyr, p. 236, vol. 1., this series.]

16 This italicized passage does not occur in the mss., but is taken from Epiphanius. It is believed to be genuine, in which case what follows must be regarded as the work of the interpolater. [See Epipanius, tom. iv. p. 29, ed. Oehler, 1861.]

17 The words “and their wives apart” are not in one V. ms.

18 One V. ms. inserts: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion.”
























Constitutions of the Holy Apostles. (Cont.)

Book VI.

Sec. I. — On Heresies.

I. Who They Were that Ventured to Make Schisms, and Did Not Escape Punishment.

Above all things, O bishop, avoid the sad and dangerous and most atheistical heresies, eschewing them as fire that burns those that come near to it. Avoid also schisms: for it is neither lawful to turn one’s mind towards wicked heresies, nor to separate from those of the same sentiment out of ambition. For some who ventured to set up such practices of old did not escape punishment. For Dathan and Abiram, (Num 16:1-50) who set up in opposition to Moses, were swallowed up into the earth. But Corah, and those two hundred and fifty who with him raised a sedition against Aaron, were consumed by fire. Miriam also, who reproached Moses, was cast out of the camp for seven days; for she said that Moses had taken an Ethiopian to wife. (Num 12:1) Nay, in the case of Azariah and Uzziah, (2Ch 26:1-23) the latter of which was king of Judah, but venturing to usurp the priesthood, and desiring to offer incense, which it was not lawful for him to do, was hindered by Azariah the high priest, and the fourscore priests; and when he would not obey he found the leprosy to arise in his forehead, and he hastened to go out, because the Lord had reproved him.


II. That It Is Not Lawful to Rise Up Either Against the Kingly or the Priestly Office.

Let us therefore, beloved, consider what sort of glory that of the seditious is, and what their condemnation. For if he that rises up against kings is worthy of punishment, even though he be a son or a friend, how much more he that rises up against the priests! For by how much the priesthood is more noble than the royal power, as having its concern about the soul, so much has he a greater punishment who ventures to oppose the priesthood, than he who ventures to oppose the royal power, although neither of them goes unpunished. For neither did Absalom nor Abdadan (2 Sam. 18-20) escape without punishment; nor Corah and Dathan. (Num 16:1-50) The former rose against David, and strove concerning the kingdom; the latter against Moses, concerning pre-eminence. And they both spake evil; Absalom of his father David, as of an unjust judge, saying to every one: “Thy words are good, but there is no one that will hear thee, and do thee justice. Who will make me a ruler?” (2Sa 15:3) But Abdadan: “I have no part in David, nor any inheritance in the son of Jesse.” (2Sa 20:1) It is plain that he could not endure to be under David’s government, of whom God spake: “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my heart, who will do all my commands.” (Act 13:22) But Dathan and Abiram, and the followers of Corah, said to Moses: “Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us out of the land of Egypt, out of a land flowing with milk and honey? And why hast thou put out our eyes? And wilt thou rule over us?” And they gathered together against him a great congregation; and the followers of Corah said: “Has God spoken alone to Moses? Why is it that He has given the high-priesthood to Aaron alone? Is not all the congregation of the Lord holy? And why is Aaron alone possessed of the priesthood?” (Num 16:13, Num 12:2, Num 16:3) And before this, one said: “Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?” (Exo 2:14)


III. Concerning the Virtue of Moses and the Incredulity of the Jewish Nation, and What Wonderful Works God Did Among Them.

And they raised a sedition against Moses the servant of God, the meekest of all men, (Num 12:3) and faithful, and affronted1 so great a man with the highest ingratitude; him who was their lawgiver, and guardian, and high priest, and king, the administrator of divine things; one that showed as a creator the mighty works of the Creator; the meekest man, freest from arrogance, and full of fortitude, and most benign in his temper; one who had delivered them from many dangers, and freed them from several deaths by his holiness; who had done so many signs and wonders from God before the people, and had performed glorious and wonderful works for their benefit; who had2 brought the ten plagues upon the Egyptians; who had divided the Red Sea, and had separated the waters as a wall on this side and on that side, and had led the people through them as through a dry wilderness, (Exo 7:1-25, etc.) and had drowned Pharaoh and the Egyptians, and all that were in company with them; (Exo 14:28) and had made the fountain sweet for them with wood, and had brought water out of the stony rock for them when they were thirsty; (Exo 17:6) and had given them manna out of heaven, and had distributed flesh to them out of the air; (Exo 16:1-36) and had afforded them a pillar of fire in the night to enlighten and conduct them, and a pillar of a cloud to shadow them in the day, by reason of the violent heat of the sun; (Exo 13:21) and had exhibited to them the law of God, engraven from the mouth, and hand, and writing of God, in tables of stone, the perfect number of ten commandments; (Exo 31:1-18, etc.) “to whom God spake face to face, as if a man spake to his friend;” (Exo 33:11) of whom He said, “And there arose not a prophet like unto Moses.” (Deu 34:10) Against him arose the followers of Corah, and the Reubenites, (Num 14:10) and threw stones at Moses, who prayed, and said: “Accept not Thou their offering.” (Num 16:15) And the glory of God appeared, and sent some down into the earth, and burnt up others with fire; and so, as to those ringleaders of this schismatical deceit which said, “Let us make ourselves a leader,” (Num 14:5) the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed them up, and their tents, and what appertained to them, and they went down alive into hell; but He destroyed the followers of Corah with fire.


Sec. II. — History and Doctrines of Heresies.

IV. That Schism Is Made Not by Him Who Separates Himself from the Ungodly, but Who Departs from the Godly.

If therefore God inflicted punishment immediately on those that made a schism on account of their ambition, how much rather will He do it upon those who are the leaders of impious heresies! Will not He inflict severer punishment on those that blaspheme His providence or His creation? But do you, brethren, who are instructed out of the Scripture, take care not to make divisions in opinion, nor divisions in unity. For those who set up unlawful opinions are marks of perdition to the people. In like manner, do not you of the laity come near to such as advance doctrines contrary to the mind of God; nor be you partakers of their impiety. For says God: “Separate yourselves from the midst of these men, lest you perish together with them.” (Num 16:21) And again: “Depart from the midst of them, and separate yourselves, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you.” (2Co 6:17)


V. Upon What Account Israel, Falsely So Named, Is Rejected by God, Demonstrated from the Prophetic Predictions.

For those are most certainly to be avoided who blaspheme God. The greatest part of the ungodly, indeed, are ignorant of God; but these men, as fighters against God, are possessed with a wilful evil disposition, as with a disease. For from the wickedness of these heretics “pollution is gone out upon all the earth,” (Jer 23:15) as says the prophet Jeremiah. For the wicked synagogue is now cast off by the Lord God, and His house is rejected by Him, as He somewhere speaks: “I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine inheritance.” (Jer 12:7) And again, says Isaiah: “I will neglect my vineyard, and it shall not be pruned nor digged, and thorns shall spring up upon it, as upon a desert; and I will command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.” (Isa 5:6) He has therefore “left His people as a tent in a vineyard, and as a garner in a fig or olive yard, and as a besieged city.” (Isa 1:8) He has taken away from them the Holy Spirit, and the prophetic rain, and has replenished His Church with spiritual grace, as the “river of Egypt in the time of first-fruits;” (See Ecclus 24:25) and has advanced the same “as an house upon an hill, or as an high mountain; as a mountain fruitful for milk and fatness, wherein it has pleased God to dwell. For the Lord will inhabit therein to the end.” (Psa 68:16) And He says in Jeremiah: “Our sanctuary is an exalted throne of glory.” (Jer 17:12) And He says in Isaiah: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord shall be glorious, and the house of the Lord shall be upon the top of the mountains, and shall be advanced above the hills.” (Isa 2:2) Since, therefore, He has forsaken His people, He has also left His temple desolate, and rent the veil of the temple, and took from them the Holy Spirit; for says He, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” (Mat 23:38) And He has bestowed upon you, the converted of the Gentiles, spiritual grace, as He says by Joel: “And it shall come to pass after these things, saith God, that I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons shall prophesy, and your daughters shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” (Joe 2:28) For God has taken away all the power and efficacy of His word, and such like visitations, from that people, and has transferred it to you, the converted of the Gentiles. For on this account the devil himself is very angry at the holy Church of God: he is removed to you, and has raised against you adversities, seditions, and reproaches, schisms, and heresies. For he had before subdued that people to himself, by their slaying of Christ. But you who have left his vanities he tempts in different ways, as he did the blessed Job. (Job 1:1-22, etc.) For indeed he opposed that great high priest Joshua the son of Josedek; (Zec 3:1) and he oftentimes sought to sift us, that our faith might fail. (Luk 22:31) But our Lord and Master, having brought him to trial, said unto him: “The Lord rebuke thee, O devil; and the Lord, who hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee. Is not this plucked out of the fire as a brand?” (Zec 3:2, etc.) And who said then to those that stood by the high priest, “Take away his ragged garments from him;” and added, “Behold, I have taken thine iniquities away from thee;” He will say now, as He said formerly of us when we were assembled together, “I have prayed that your faith may not fail.” (Luk 22:32)


VI. That Even Among the Jews There Arose the Doctrine of Several Heresies Hateful to God.

For even the Jewish nation had wicked heresies: for of them were the Sadducees, who do not confess the resurrection of the dead; and the Pharisees, who ascribe the practice of sinners to fortune and fate; and the Basmotheans, who deny providence, and say that the world is made by spontaneous motion, and take away the immortality of the soul; and the Hemerobaptists, who every day, unless they wash, do not eat, — nay, and unless they cleanse their beds and tables, or platters and cups and seats, do not make use of any of them; and those who arc newly risen amongst us, the Ebionites, who will have the Son of God to be a mere man, begotten by human pleasure, and the conjunction of Joseph and Mary. There are also those that separate themselves from all these, and observe the laws of their fathers, and these are the Essenes. These, therefore, arose among the former people. And now the evil one, who is wise to do mischief, and as for goodness, knows no such good thing, has cast out some from among us, and has wrought by them heresies and schisms.


VII. Whence the Heresies Sprang, and Who Was the Ringleader of Their Impiety.

Now the original of the new heresies began thus: the devil entered into one Simon, of a village called Gitthæ, a Samaritan, by profession a magician, and made him the minister of his wicked design. (Act 8:1-40) For when Philip our fellow-apostle,3 by the gift of the Lord and the energy of His Spirit, performed the miracles of healing in Samaria, insomuch that the Samaritans were affected, and embraced the faith of the God of the universe, and of the Lord Jesus, and were baptized into His name; nay, and that Simon himself, when he saw the signs and wonders which were done without any magic ceremonies, fell into admiration, and believed, and was baptized, and continued in fasting and prayer, — we heard of the grace of God which was among the Samaritans by Philip, and came down4 to them; and enlarging much upon the word of doctrine, we laid our hands upon all that were baptized, and we conferred upon them the participation of the Spirit. But when Simon saw that the Spirit was given to believers by the imposition of our hands, he took money, and offered it to us, saying, “Give me also the power, that on whomsoever I also shall lay my hand, he may receive the Holy Ghost;” (Act 8:19) being desirous that as the devil5 deprived Adam by his tasting of the tree of that immortality which was promised him, so also that Simon might entice us by the receiving of money, and might thereby cut us off from the gift of God,6 that so by exchange we might sell to him for money the inestimable gift of the Spirit. But as we were all troubled at this offer, I Peter, with a fixed attention on that malicious serpent which was in him, said to Simon: “Let thy money go with thee to perdition, because thou hast thought to purchase the gift of God with money. Thou hast no part in this matter, nor lot in this faith; for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray to the Lord, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive thou art in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity.” (Act 8:20, etc.) But then Simon was terrified, and said: “I entreat you, pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of those things which ye have spoken come upon me.” (Act 8:24)


VIII. Who Were the Successors of Simon’s Impiety, and What Heresies They Set Up.

But when we went forth among the Gentiles to preach the word of life, then the devil wrought in the people to send after us false apostles to the corrupting of the word; and they sent forth one Cleobius, and joined him with Simon, and these became disciples to one Dositheus, whom they despising, put him down from the principality. Afterwards also others were the authors of absurd doctrines: Cerinthus, and Marcus, and Menander, and Basilides, and Saturnilus. Of these some own the doctrine of many gods, some only of three, but contrary to each other, without beginning, and ever with one another, and some of an infinite number of them, and those unknown ones also. And some reject marriage; and their doctrine is, that it is not the appointment of God; and others abhor some kinds of food: some are impudent in uncleanness, such as those who are falsely called Nicolaitans. And Simon meeting me Peter, first at Cæsarea Stratonis (where the faithful Cornelius, a Gentile, believed on the Lord Jesus by me), endeavoured to pervert the word of God; there being with me the holy children, Zacchæus, who was once a publican, and Barnabas; and Nicetas and Aquila, brethren of Clement the bishop and citizen of Rome, who was the disciple of Paul, our fellow-apostle and fellow-helper in the Gospel. I thrice discoursed before them with him concerning the true Prophet, and concerning the monarchy of God; and when I had overcome him by the power of the Lord, and had put him to silence, I drove him away into Italy.


IX. How Simon, Desiring to Fly by Some Magical Arts, Fell Down Headlong from on High at the Prayers of Peter, and Brake His Feet, and Hands, and Ankle-Bones.

Now when he was in Rome, he mightily disturbed the Church, and subverted many, and brought them over to himself, and astonished the Gentiles with his skill in magic, insomuch that once, in the middle of the day, he went into their theatre, and commanded the people that they should bring me also by force into the theatre, and promised he would fly in the air; and when all the people were in suspense at this, I prayed by myself. And indeed he was carried up into the air by demons, and did fly on high in the air, saying that he was returning into heaven, and that he would supply them with good things from thence. And the people making acclamations to him, as to a god, I stretched out my hands to heaven, with my mind, and besought God through the Lord Jesus to throw down this pestilent fellow, and to destroy the power of those demons that made use of the same for the seduction and perdition of men, to dash him against the ground, and bruise him, but not to kill him. And then, fixing my eyes on Simon, I said to him: “If I be a man of God, and a real apostle of Jesus Christ, and a teacher of piety, and not of deceit, as thou art, Simon, I command the wicked powers of the apostate from piety, by whom Simon the magician is carried, to let go their hold, that he may fall down headlong from his height, that he may be exposed to the laughter of those that have been seduced by him.” When I had said these words, Simon was deprived of his powers, and fell down headlong with a great noise, and was violently dashed against the ground, and had his hip and ankle-bones broken; and the people cried out, saying, “There is one only God, whom Peter rightly preaches in truth.” And many left him; but some who were worthy of perdition continued in his wicked doctrine. And after this manner the most atheistical heresy of the Simonians was first established in Rome; and the devil wrought by the rest of the false apostles7 also.


X. How the Heresies Differ from Each Other, and from the Truth.

Now all these had one and the same design of atheism, to blaspheme Almighty God, to spread their doctrine that He is an unknown being, and not the Father of Christ, nor the Creator of the world; but one who cannot be spoken of, ineffable, not to be named, and begotten by Himself; that we are not to make use of the law and the prophets; that there is no providence and no resurrection to be believed; that there is no judgment nor retribution; that the soul is not immortal; that we must only indulge our pleasures, and turn to any sort of worship without distinction. Some of them say that there are many gods, some that there are three gods without beginning, some that there are two unbegotten gods, some that there are innumerable Æons. Further, some of them teach that men are not to marry, and must abstain from flesh and wine, affirming that marriage, and the begetting of children, and the eating of certain foods, are abominable; that so, as sober persons, they may make their wicked opinions to be received as worthy of belief. And some of them absolutely prohibit the eating of flesh, as being the flesh not of brute animals, but of creatures that have a rational soul, as though those that ventured to slay them would be charged with the crime of murder. But others of them affirm that we must only abstain from swine’s flesh, but may eat such as are clean by the law; and that we ought to be circumcised, according to the law, and to believe in Jesus as in an holy man and a prophet. But others teach that men ought to be impudent in uncleanness, and to abuse the flesh, and to go through all unholy practices, as if this were the only way for the soul to avoid the rulers of this world. Now all these are the instruments of the devil, and the children of wrath.


Sec. III. — The Heresies Attacked by the Apostles.

XI. An Exposition Of The Preaching Of The Apostles.

But we, who are the children of God and the sons of peace, do preach the holy and right word of piety, and declare one only God, the Lord of the law and of the prophets, the Maker of the world, the Father of Christ; not a being that caused Himself, or begat Himself, as they suppose, but eternal, and without original, and inhabiting light inaccessible; not two or three, or manifold, but eternally one only; not a being that cannot be known or spoken of, but who was preached by the law and the prophets; the Almighty, the Supreme Governor of all things, the All-powerful Being; the God and Father of the Only-begotten, and of the First-born of the whole creation; one God, the Father of one Son, not of many; the Maker of one Comforter by Christ, the Maker of the other orders, the one Creator of the several creatures by Christ, the same their Preserver and Legislator by Him; the cause of the resurrection, and of the judgment, and of the retribution which shall be made by Him: that this same Christ was pleased to become man, and went through life without sin, and suffered, and rose from the dead, and, returned to Him that sent Him. We also say that every creature of God is good, and nothing abominable; that everything for the support of life, when it is partaken of righteously, is very good: for, according to the Scripture, “all things were very good.” (Gen 1:31) We believe that lawful marriage, and the begetting of children, is honourable and undefiled; for difference of sexes was formed in Adam and Eve for the increase of mankind. We acknowledge with us a soul that is incorporeal and immortal, — not corruptible as bodies are, but immortal, as being rational and free. We abhor all unlawful mixtures, and that which is practised by some against nature as wicked and impious. We profess there will be a resurrection both of the just and unjust, and a retribution. We profess that Christ is not a mere man, but God the Word, and man the Mediator between God and men, the High Priest of the Father; nor are we circumcised with the Jews, as knowing that He is come “to whom the inheritance was reserved,” (Gen 49:10) and on whose account the families were kept distinct — “the expectation of the Gentiles,” Jesus Christ, who sprang out of Judah, (Gen 49:9) the Son from the branch, the flower from Jesse, whose government is upon His shoulder. (Isa 11:1, Isa 9:6)


XII. For Those That Confess Christ, but Are Desirous to Judaize.

But because this heresy did then seem the more powerful to seduce men, and the whole Church was in danger, (Act 15:1-41) we the twelve assembled together at Jerusalem (for Matthias was chosen to be an apostle in the room of the betrayer, and took the lot of Judas; as it is said, “His bishopric8 let another take”). We deliberated, together with James the Lord’s brother, what was to be done; and it seemed good to him and to the elders to speak to the people words of doctrine. For certain men likewise went down from Judea to Antioch, and taught the brethren who were there, saying: “Unless ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, and walk according to the other customs which he ordained, ye cannot be saved.” (Act 15:1) When, therefore, there had been no small dissension and disputation, the brethren which were at Antioch, when they knew that we were all met together about this question, sent out unto us men who were faithful and understanding in the Scriptures to learn concerning this question. And they, when they were come to Jerusalem, declared to us what questions were arisen in the church of Antioch, — namely, that some said men ought to be circumcised, and to observe the other purifications. And when some said one thing, and some another, I Peter stood up, and said unto them: “Men and brethren, ye know how that from ancient days God made choice among you that the Gentiles should hear the word of the Gospel by my mouth, and believe; and God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness. (Act 15:7, Act 15:8) For an angel of the Lord appeared on a certain time to Cornelius, (Act 10:1-48) who was a centurion of the Roman government, and spake to him concerning me, that he should send for me, and hear the word of life from my mouth. He therefore sent for me from Joppa to Cæsarea Stratonis; and when I was ready to go to him, I would have eaten. And while they made ready I was in the upper room praying; and I saw heaven opened, and a vessel, knit at the four corners like a splendid sheet, let down to the earth, wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts, and creeping things of the earth, and fowls of the heaven. And there came a voice out of heaven to me, saying, Arise, Peter; kill, and eat. And I said, By no means, Lord: for I have never eaten anything common or unclean. And there came a voice a second time, saying, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. And this was done thrice, and the vessel was received up again into heaven. But as I doubted what this vision should mean, the Spirit said to me, Behold, men seek thee; but rise up, and go thy way with them, nothing doubting, for I have sent them. (Act 10:13, etc.) These men were those which came from the centurion, and so by reasoning I understood the word of the Lord which is written: ‘Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (Joe 2:32) And again: ‘All the ends of the earth shall remember, and turn unto the Lord, and all the families of the heathen shall worship before Him: for the kingdom is in the Lord’s, and He is the governor of the nations.’ (Psa 22:27, Psa 22:28) And observing that there were expressions everywhere concerning the calling of the Gentiles, I rose up, and went with them, and entered into the man’s house. And while I was preaching the word, the Holy ‘Spirit fell upon him, and upon those that were with him, as it did upon us at the beginning; and He put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. And I perceived that God is no respecter of persons; but that in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, will be accepted with Him. But even the believers which were of the circumcision were astonished at this. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to lay an heavy yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear? But by the grace of the Lord, we believe we shall be saved, even as they. (Act 11:15, Act 10:34, Act 10:35, Act 10:45, Act 15:9, Act 15:10) For the Lord has loosed us from our bonds, and has made our burden light, and has loosed the heavy yoke from us by His clemency.” While I spake these things, the whole multitude kept silence. But James the Lord’s brother answered and said: “Men and brethren, hearken unto me; Simeon hath declared how God at first visited to take out a people from the Gentiles for His name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written: ‘Afterwards I will return, and will raise again and rebuild the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will rebuild its ruins, and will again set it up, that the residue of men may seek after the Lord, and all the nations upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doth these things.’ (Amo 9:11) Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my sentence is, that we do not trouble those who from among the Gentiles turn unto God: but to charge them that they abstain from the pollutions of the Gentiles, and from what is sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; which laws were given to the ancients who lived before the law, under the law of nature, Enos, Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, Job, and if there be any other of the same sort.” (Act 15:13, etc.) Then it seemed good to us the apostles, and to James the bishop, and to the elders, with the whole Church, to send men chosen from among our own selves, with Barnabas, and Paul of Tarsus, the apostle of the Gentiles, and Judas who was called Barsabbas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren, and wrote by their hand, as follows: “The apostles, and elders, and brethren,9 to the brethren of Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia of the Gentiles, send greeting: Since we have heard that some from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, to whom we gave no such commandment, it has seemed good to us, when we were met together with one accord, to send chosen men to you, with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men that have hazarded their lives for our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom ye sent unto us. We have sent also with them Judas and Silas, who shall themselves declare the same things by mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay no other burden upon you than these necessary things; that ye abstain from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which things if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” (Act 15:23, etc.) We accordingly sent this epistle; but we ourselves remained in Jerusalem many days, consulting together for the public benefit, for the well ordering of all things.


XIII. That We Must Separate from Heretics.

But after a long time we visited the brethren, and confirmed them with the word of piety, and charged them to avoid those who, under the name of Christ and Moses, war against Christ and Moses, and in the clothing of sheep hide the wolf. For these are false Christs, and false prophets, and false apostles, deceivers and corrupters, portions of foxes, the destroyers of the herbs of the vineyards: “for whose sake the love of many will wax cold. But he that endureth stedfast to the end, the same shall be saved. (Mat 24:12, Mat 24:13) Concerning whom, that He might secure us, the Lord declared, saying: “There will come to you men in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits; take care of them. For false Christs and false prophets shall arise and shall deceive many.” (Mat 7:15, Mat 24:24)


XIV. Who Were the Preachers of the Catholic Doctrine, and Which Are the Commandments Given by Them.

On whose account also we, who are now assembled in one place, — Peter and Andrew; James and John, sons of Zebedee; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew; James the son of Alphæus, and Lebbæus who is surnamed Thaddæus; and Simon the Canaanite, (Mat 10:2) and Matthias, who instead of Judas was numbered with us; and James the brother of the Lord and bishop of Jerusalem, and Paul the teacher of the Gentiles, the chosen vessel, having all met together, have written to you this Catholic doctrine for the confirmation of you, to whom the oversight of the universal Church is committed: wherein we declare unto you, that there is only one God Almighty, besides whom there is no other, and that you must worship and adore Him alone, through Jesus Christ our Lord, in the most holy Spirit;10 that you are to make use of the sacred Scriptures, the law, and the prophets; to honour your parents; to avoid all unlawful actions; to believe the resurrection and the judgment, and to expect the retribution; and to use all His creatures with thankfulness, as the works of God, and having no evil in them; to marry after a lawful manner, for such marriage is unblameable. For “the woman is suited to the man by the Lord;” (Pro 19:14) and the Lord says: “He that made them from the beginning, made them male and female; and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they two shall be one flesh.” (Mat 19:4, Mat 19:5) Nor let it be esteemed lawful after marriage to put her away who is without blame. For says He: “Thou shalt take care to thy spirit, and shalt not forsake the wife of thy youth; for she is the partner11 of thy life, and the remains of thy spirit. I and no other have made her.” (Mal 2:15, Mal 2:14) For the Lord says: “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” (Mat 19:6) For the wife is the partner of life, united by God unto one body from two. But he that divides that again into two which is become one, is the enemy of the creation of God, and the adversary of His providence. In like manner, he that retains her that is corrupted is a transgressor of the law of nature; since “he that retains an adulteress is foolish and impious.” (Pro 18:22) For says He, “Cut her off from thy flesh;” (Ecclus. 25:26) for she is not an help, but a snare, bending her mind from thee to another. Nor be ye circumcised in your flesh, but let the circumcision which is of the heart by the Spirit suffice for the faithful; for He says, “Be ye circumcised to your God, and be circumcised in the foreskin of your heart.” (Jer 4:4)


XV. That We Ought Not to Rebaptize, Nor to Receive That Baptism Which Is Given by the Ungodly, Which Is Not Baptism, but a Pollution.

Be ye likewise contented with one baptism alone, that which is into the death of the Lord; not that which is conferred by wicked heretics, but that which is conferred by unblameable priests, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” (Mat 28:19) and let not that which comes from the ungodly be received by you, nor let that which is done by the godly be disannulled by a second. For as there is one God, one Christ, and one Comforter, and one death of the Lord in the body, so let that baptism which is unto Him be but one. But those that receive polluted baptism from the ungodly will become partners in their opinions. For they are not priests. For God says to them: “Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee from the office of a priest to me.”12 Nor indeed are those that are baptized by them initiated, but are polluted, not receiving the remission of sins, but the bond of impiety. And, besides, they that attempt to baptize those already initiated crucify the Lord afresh, slay Him a second time, laugh at divine and ridicule holy things, affront the Spirit, dishonour the sacred blood of Christ as common blood, are impious against Him that sent, Him that suffered, and Him that witnessed. Nay, he that, out of contempt, will not be baptized, shall be condemned as an unbeliever, and shall be reproached as ungrateful and foolish. For the Lord says: “Except a man be baptized of water and of the Spirit, he shall by no means enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Joh 3:5) And again: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mar 16:16) But he that says, When I am dying I will be baptized, lest I should sin and defile my baptism, is ignorant of God, and forgetful of his own nature. For “do not thou delay to turn unto the Lord, for thou knowest not what the next day will bring forth.” (Ecclus. 5:7; Pro 27:1, Pro 3:28) Do you also baptize your infants, and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of God. For says He: “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not.” (Mat 19:14)


XVI. Concerning Books with False Inscriptions.

We have sent all these things to you, that ye may know our opinion, what it is; and that ye may not receive those books which obtain in our name, but are written by the ungodly. For you are not to attend to the names of the apostles, but to the nature of the things, and their settled opinions. For we know that Simon and Cleobius, and their followers, have compiled poisonous books under the name of Christ and of His disciples, and do carry them about in order to deceive you who love Christ, and us His servants. And among the ancients also some have written apocryphal books of Moses, and Enoch, and Adam, and Isaiah, and David, and Elijah, and of the three patriarchs, pernicious and repugnant to the truth. The same things even now have the wicked heretics done, reproaching the creation, marriage, providence, the begetting of children, the law, and the prophets; inscribing certain barbarous names, and, as they think, of angels, but, to speak the truth, of demons, which suggest things to them: whose doctrine eschew, that ye may not be partakers of the punishment due to those that write such things for the seduction and perdition of the faithful and unblameable disciples of the Lord Jesus.


XVII. Matrimonial Precepts Concerning Clergymen.

We have already said, that a bishop, a presbyter, and a deacon, when they are constituted, must be but once married, whether their wives be alive or whether they be dead; and that it is not lawful for them, if they are unmarried when they are ordained, to be married afterwards; or if they be then married, to marry a second time, but to be content with that wife which they had when they came to ordination. (1Ti 3:2, 1Ti 3:12; Tit 1:6) We also appoint that the ministers, and singers, and readers, and porters, shall be only once married. But if they entered into the clergy before they were married, we permit them to many, if they have an inclination thereto, lest they sin and incur punishment.13 But we do not permit any one of the clergy to take to wife either a courtesan, or a servant, or a widow, or one that is divorced, as also the law says. Let the deaconess be a pure virgin; or, at the least, a widow who has been but once married, faithful, and well esteemed. (Lev 21:7, Lev 21:14; 1Ti 5:9)


XVIII. An Exhortation Commanding to Avoid the Communion of the Impious Heretics.

Receive ye the penitent, for this is the will of God in Christ. Instruct the catechumens in the elements of religion, and then baptize them. Eschew the antheistical heretics, who are past repentance, and separate them from the faithful, and excommunicate them from the Church of God, and charge the faithful to abstain entirely from them, and not to partake with them either in sermons or prayers: for these are those that are enemies to the Church, and lay snares for it; who corrupt the flock, and defile the heritage of Christ, pretenders only to wisdom, and the vilest of men; concerning whom Solomon the wise said: “The wicked doers pretend to act piously.” For, says he, “there is a way which seemeth right to some, but the ends thereof look to the bottom of hell.” (Pro 14:12) These are they concerning whom the Lord declared His mind with bitterness and severity, saying that “they are false Christs and false teachers;” (Mat 24:24) who have blasphemed the Spirit of grace, and done despite to the gift they had from Him after the grace of baptism, “to whom forgiveness shall not be granted, neither in this world nor in that which is to come;” (Mat 12:32) who are both more wicked than the Jews and more atheistical than the Gentiles; who blaspheme the God over all, and tread under foot His Son, and do despite to the doctrine of the Spirit; who deny the words of God, or pretend hypocritically to receive them, to the affronting of God, and the deceiving of those that come among them; who abuse the Holy Scriptures, and as for righteousness, they do not so much as know what it is; who spoil the Church of God, as the “little foxes do the vineyard;” (Vid. Son 2:15) whom we exhort you to avoid, lest you lay traps for your own souls. “For he that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but he that walketh with the foolish shall be known.” (Pro 13:20) For we ought neither to run along with a thief, nor put in our lot with an adulterer; since holy David says: “O Lord, I have hated them that hate Thee, and I am withered away on account of Thy enemies. I hated them with a perfect hatred: they were to me as enemies.” (Psa 139:21, Psa 139:2) And God reproaches Jehoshaphat with his friendship towards Ahab, and his league with him and with Ahaziah, by Jonah the prophet: “Art thou in friendship with a sinner? Or dost thou aid him that is hated by the Lord?” (2Ch 19:2) “For this cause the wrath of the Lord would be upon thee suddenly, but that thy heart is found perfect with the Lord. For this cause the Lord hath spared thee; yet are thy works shattered, and thy ships broken to pieces.” (2Ch 20:37) Eschew therefore their fellowship, and estrange yourselves from their friendship. For concerning them did the prophet declare, and say: “It is not lawful to rejoice with the ungodly,” (Vid. Isa 57:21) says the Lord. For these are hidden wolves, dumb dogs, that cannot bark, who at present are but few, but in process of time, when the end of the world draws nigh, will be more in number and more troublesome, of whom said the Lord, “Will the Son of man, when He comes, find faith on the earth?” (Luk 18:8) and, “Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold;” and, “There shall come false Christs and false prophets, and shall show signs in the heaven, so as, if it were possible, to deceive the elect:” (Mat 24:12, Mat 24:24) from whose deceit God, through Jesus Christ, who is our hope, will deliver us. For we ourselves, as we passed through the nations, and confirmed the churches. curing some with much exhortation and healing words, restored them again when they were in the certain way to death. But those that were incurable we cast out from the flock, that they might not infect the lambs, which were found with their scabby disease, but might continue before the Lord God pure and undefiled, sound and unspotted. And this we did in every city, everywhere through the whole world, and have left to you the bishops and to the rest of the priests this very Catholic doctrine worthily and righteously, as a memorial or confirmation to those who have believed in God; and we have sent it by our fellow-minister Clement, our most faithful and intimate son in the Lord, together with Barnabas, and Timothy our most dearly beloved son, and the genuine Mark, together with whom we recommend to you also Titus and Luke, and Jason and Lucius, and Sosipater. (Rom 16:21)


Sec. IV. — Of the Law.

By whom also we exhort you in the Lord to abstain from your old conversation, vain bonds, separations, observances, distinction of meats, and daily washings: for “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2Co 5:17)


XIX. To Those That Speak Evil of the Law.

For since ye have known God through Jesus Christ, and all His dispensation, as it has been from the beginning, that He gave a plain law to assist the law of nature, (Isa 8:20, LXX) such a one as is pure, saving, and holy, in which His own name was inscribed, (Deu 12:5) perfect, which is never to fail, being complete in ten commands, unspotted, converting souls; (Psa 19:7) which, when the Hebrews forgot, He put them in mind of it by the prophet Malachi, saying, “Remember ye the law of Moses, the man of God, who gave you in charge commandments and ordinances.” (Mal 4:4) Which law is so very holy and righteous, that even our Saviour, when on a certain time He healed one leper, and afterwards nine, said to the first, “Go, show thyself to the high priest, and offer the gift which Moses commanded for a testimony unto them;” (Mat 8:4; Mar 1:44) and afterwards to the nine, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” (Luk 17:14) For He nowhere has dissolved the law, as Simon pretends, bat fulfilled it; for He says: “One iota, or one tittle, shall not pass from the law until all be fulfilled.” For says He, “I come not to dissolve the law, but to fulfil it.” (Mat 5:18, Mat 5:17) For Moses himself, who was at once the lawgiver, and the high priest, and the prophet, and the king, and Elijah, the zealous follower of the prophets, were present at our Lord’s transfiguration in the mountain, (Luk 9:30) and witnesses of His incarnation and of His sufferings, as the intimate friends of Christ, but not as enemies and strangers. Whence it is demonstrated that the law is good and holy, as also the prophets.


XX. Which Is the Law of Nature, and Which Is That Afterwards Introduced, and Why It Was Introduced.

Now the law is the decalogue, which the Lord promulgated to them with an audible voice, (Exo 20:1-26) before the people made that calf which represented the Egyptian Apis. (Exo 32:1-35) And the law is righteous, and therefore is it called the law, because judgments are thence made according to the law of nature, which the followers of Simon abuse, supposing they shall not be judged thereby, and so shall escape punishment. This law is good, holy, and such as lays no compulsion in things positive. For He says: “If thou wilt make me an altar, thou shalt make it of earth.” (Exo 20:24) It does not say, “Make one,” but, “If thou wilt make.” It does not impose a necessity, but gives leave to their own free liberty. For God does not stand in need of sacrifices, being by nature above all want. But knowing that, as of old, Abel, beloved of God, and Noah and Abraham, and those that succeeded, without being required, but only moved of themselves by the law of nature, did offer sacrifice to God out of a grateful mind; so He did now permit the Hebrews, not commanding, but, if they had a mind, permitting them; and if they offered from a right intention, showing Himself pleased with their sacrifices. Therefore He says: “If thou desirest to offer, do not offer to me as to one that stands in need of it, for I stand in need of nothing; for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.” (Psa 50:12) But when this people became forgetful of that, and called upon a calf as God, instead of the true God, and to him did ascribe the cause of their coming out of Egypt, saying, “These are thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt;” (Exo 32:4) and when these men had committed wickedness with the “similitude of a calf that eateth hay,” and denied God who had visited them by Moses (Exo 4:1-31, etc.) in their afflictions, and had done signs with his hand and rod, and had smitten the Egyptians with ten plagues; who had divided the waters of the Red Sea into two parts; who had led them in the midst of the water, as a horse upon the ground; who had drowned their enemies, and those that laid wait for them; who at Marah had made sweet the bitter fountain; who had brought water out of the sharp rock till they were satisfied; who had overshadowed them with a pillar of a cloud on account of the immoderate heat, and with a pillar of fire which enlightened and guided them when they knew not which way they were to go; who gave them manna from heaven, and gave them quails for flesh from the sea; (Num 11:31) who gave them the law in the mountain; whose voice He had vouchsafed to let them hear; Him did they deny, and said to Aaron, “Make us gods who shall go before us;” (Exo 32:1) and they made a molten calf, and sacrificed to an idol; — then was God angry, as being ungratefully treated by them, and bound them with bonds which could not be loosed, with a mortifying burden and a hard collar, and no longer said, “If thou makest,” but, “Make an altar,” and sacrifice perpetually; for thou art forgetful and ungrateful. Offer burnt-offerings therefore continually, that thou mayest be mindful of me. For since thou hast wickedly abused thy power, I lay a necessity upon thee for the time to come, and I command thee to abstain from certain meats; and I ordain thee the distinction of clean and unclean creatures, although every creature is good, as being made by me; and I appoint thee several separations, purgations, frequent washings and sprinklings, several purifications, and several times of rest; and if thou neglectest any of them, I determine that punishment which is proper to the disobedient, that being pressed and galled by thy collar, thou mayest depart from the error of polytheism, and laying aside that, “These are thy gods, O Israel,”(Exo 32:4) mayest be mindful of that, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one Lord;” (Deu 6:4) and mayest run back again to that law which is inserted by me in the nature of all men, “that there is only one God in heaven and on earth, and to love Him with all thy heart, and all thy might, and all thy mind,” and to fear none but Him, nor to admit the names of other gods into thy mind, nor to let thy tongue utter them out of thy mouth. He bound them for the hardness of their hearts, that by sacrificing, and resting, and purifying themselves, and by similar observances, they might come to the knowledge of God, who ordained these things for them.


XXI. That We Who Believe in Christ Are Under Grace, and Not Under the Servitude of That Additional Law.

“But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.” (Mat 13:16) Yours, I say, who have believed in the one God, not by necessity, but by a sound understanding, in obedience to Him that called you. For you are released from the bonds, and freed from the servitude. For says He:14 “I call you no longer servants, but friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father have I made known unto you.” (Joh 15:15) For to them that would not see nor hear, not for the want of those senses, but for the excess of their wickedness, “I gave statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they would not live;” (Eze 20:25) they are looked upon as not good, as burnings and a sword, and medicines are esteemed enemies by the sick, and impossible to be observed on account of their obstinacy: whence also they brought death upon them being not obeyed.


XXII. That the Law for Sacrifices Is Additional, Which Christ When He Came Took Away.

You therefore are blessed who are delivered from the curse, For Christ, the Son of God, by His coming has confirmed and completed the law, but has taken away the additional precepts, although not all of them, yet at least the more grievous ones; having confirmed the former, and abolished the latter, and has again set the free-will of man at liberty, not subjecting him to the penalty of a temporal death, but giving laws to him according to another constitution. Wherefore He says: “If any man will come after me, let him come.” (Mat 16:24) And again: “Will ye also go away?” (Joh 6:67) And besides, before His coming He refused the sacrifices of the people, while they frequently offered them, when they sinned against Him, and thought He was to be appeased by sacrifices, but not by repentance. For thus He speaks: “Why dost thou bring to me frankincense from Saba, and cinnamon from a remote land? Your burnt-offerings are not acceptable, and your sacrifices are not sweet to me.” (Jer 6:20) And afterwards: “Gather your burnt-offerings, together with your sacrifices, and eat flesh. For I did not command you, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt-offerings and sacrifices.” (Jer 7:21, Jer 7:22) And He says by Isaiah: “To what purpose do ye bring me a multitude of sacrifices? saith the Lord. I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and I will not accept the fat of lambs, and the blood of bulls and of goats. Nor do you come and appear before me; for who hath required these things at your hands? Do not go on to tread my courts any more. If you bring me fine flour, it is vain: incense is an abomination unto me: your new moons, and your Sabbaths, and your great day, I cannot bear them: your fasts, and your rests, and your feasts, my soul hateth them; I am over-full of them.” (Isa 1:11, etc.) And He says by another: “Depart from me; the sound of thine hymns, and the psalms of thy musical instruments, I will not hear.” (Amo 5:23) And Samuel says to Saul, when he thought to sacrifice: “Obedience is better than sacrifice, and hearkening than the fat of rams. For, behold, the Lord does not so much delight in sacrifice, as in obeying Him.” (1Sa 15:22) And He says by David: “I will take no calves out of thine house, nor he-goats out of thy flock. If I should be hungry, I would not tell thee; for the whole world is mine, and the fulness thereof. Shall I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Sacrifice to God the sacrifice of praise, and pay thy vows to the Most High.” (Psa 50:9, Psa 50:12, etc.) And in all the Scriptures in like manner He refuses their sacrifices on account of their sinning against Him. For “the sacrifices of the impious are an abomination with the Lord, since they offer them in an unlawful manner.” (Pro 21:27) And again: “Their sacrifices are to them as bread of lamentation; all that eat of them shall be defiled.” (Hos 9:4) If, therefore, before His coming He sought for “a clean heart and a contrite spirit” (Psa 51:10, Psa 51:17) more than sacrifices, much rather would He abrogate those sacrifices, I mean those by blood, when He came. Yet He so abrogated them as that He first fulfilled them. For He was both circumcised, and sprinkled, and offered sacrifices and whole burnt-offerings, and made use of the rest of their customs. And He that was the Lawgiver became Himself the fulfilling of the law; not taking away the law of nature, but abrogating those additional laws that were afterwards introduced, although not all of them neither.


XXIII. How Christ Became a Fulfiller of the Law, and What Parts of It He Put a Period to, or Changed, or Transferred.

For He did not take away the law of nature, but confirmed it. For He that said in the law, “The Lord thy God is one Lord;” (Deu 6:4) the same says in the Gospel, “That they might know Thee, the only true God.” (Joh 17:3) And He that said, “Thou shalt love thy neighhour as thyself,” (Lev 19:18) says in the Gospel, renewing the same precept, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another.” (Joh 13:34) He who then forbade murder, does now forbid causeless anger. (Mat 5:22) He that forbade adultery, does now forbid all unlawful lust. He that forbade stealing, now pronounces him most happy who supplies those that are in want out of his own labours. (Act 20:35) He that forbade hatred, now pronounces him blessed that loves his enemies. (Mat 5:7) He that forbade revenge, now commands long-suffering; (Mat 5:43) not as if just revenge were an unrighteous thing, but because long-suffering is more excellent. Nor did He make laws to root out our natural passions, but only to forbid the excess of them. (Mat 5:38) He who had commanded to honour our parents, was Himself subject to them. (Luk 2:51) He who had commanded to keep the Sabbath, by resting thereon for the sake of meditating on the laws, has now commanded us to consider of the law of creation, and of providence every day, and to return thanks to God. He abrogated circumcision when He had Himself fulfilled it. For He it was “to whom the inheritance was reserved, who was the expectation of the nations.” (Gen 49:10) He who made a law for swearing rightly, and forbade perjury, has now charged us not to swear at all. (Mat 5:33) He has in several ways changed baptism, sacrifice, the priesthood, and the divine service, which was confined to one place: for instead of daily baptisms, He has given only one, which is that into His death. Instead of one tribe, He has appointed that out of every nation the best should be ordained for the priesthood; and that not their bodies should be examined for blemishes, but their religion and their lives. Instead of a bloody sacrifice, He has appointed that reasonable and unbloody mystical one of His body and blood, which is performed to represent the death of the Lord by symbols. Instead of the divine service confined to one place, He has commanded and appointed that He should be glorified from sun-rising to sunsetting in every place of His dominion. (Psa 113:3; Mal 1:11) He did not therefore take away the law from us, but the bonds. For concerning the law Moses says: “Thou shalt meditate on the word which I command thee, sitting in thine house, and rising up, and walking in the way.” (Deu 6:6) And David says: “His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law will he meditate day and night.” (Psa 1:2) For everywhere would he have us subject to His laws, but not transgressors of them. For says He: “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that search out His testimonies; with their whole heart shall they seek Him.” (Psa 119:1, Psa 119:2) And again: “Blessed are we, O Israel, because those things that are pleasing to God are known to us.” (Bar. 4:4) And the Lord says: “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” (Joh 13:17)


XXIV. That It Pleased the Lord that the Law of Righteousness Should Be Demonstrated by the Romans.

Nor does He desire that the law of righteousness should only be demonstrated by us; but He is pleased that it should appear and shine by means of the Romans. For these Romans, believing in the Lord, left off their polytheism and injustice, and entertain the good, and punish the bad. But they hold the Jews under tribute, and do not suffer them to make use of their own ordinances.


XXV. How God, on Account of Their Impiety Towards Christ, Made the Jews Captives, and Placed Them Under Tribute.

Because, indeed, they drew servitude upon themselves voluntarily, when they said, “We have no king but Cæsar;” (Joh 14:15) and, “If we do not slay Christ, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and will take away both our place and nation.” (Joh 11:48) And so they prophesied unwittingly. For accordingly the nations believed on Him, and they themselves were deprived by the Romans of their power, and of their legal worship; and they have been forbidden to slay whom they please, and to sacrifice when they will. Wherefore they are accursed, as not able to perform the things they are commanded to do. For says He: “Cursed be he that does not continue in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them.” (Deu 27:26; Gal 3:10) Now it is impossible in their dispersion, while they are among the heathen, for them to perform all things in their law. For the divine Moses forbids both to rear an altar out of Jerusalem, and to read the law out of the bounds of Judea.15 Let us therefore follow Christ, that we may inherit His blessings. Let us walk after the law and the prophets by the Gospel. Let us eschew the worshippers of many gods, and the murderers of Christ, and the murderers of the prophets, and the wicked and atheistical heretics. Let us be obedient to Christ as to our King, as having authority to change several constitutions, and having, as a legislator, wisdom to make new constitutions in different circumstances; yet so that everywhere the laws of nature be immutably preserved.





1 The words from “and affronted” to “by his holiness” are not in one V. ms.

2 The words from “who had” to “Egyptians” are not in one V. ms.

3 [Either an ignorant error or a peculiar use of a technical word (p. 383, supra) to signify a missionary. See the note, book viii. sec. 3, cap 17, infra.]

4 [Were sent, rather. See Act 8:14.]

5 “The devel:” this reading is adopted from the V. mss.

6 The V. mss. insert here: “Simon, therefore, being moved by the devil, brought the money.”

7 [2Co 11:13. See p 457, infra.]

8 Psa 109:8; Act 1:20. [The name common to apostles and elders.]

9 [Compare Elucidation III. vol. 5. p.411, this series.]

10 One V. ms. reads as follows: “And our Lord Jesus Christ, and the most holy Spirit.”

11 The words from “for she is the partner” to “made her” are omitted in one V. ms.

12 Hos 4:6. [Compare vol. 5. p. 565, this series.]

13 [See Elucidation XIII, vol. 5. p. 160, this series.]

14 One V. ms. reads: “Thus also said the Lord to us His disciples.”

15 Deu 12:1-32. [see on Liturgies, infra.]










Constitutions of the Holy Apostles. (Cont.)

Book VI. (Cont.)

Sec. V. — The Teaching of the Apostles in Opposition to Jewish and Gentile Superstitions, Especially in Regard to Marriage and Funerals.

XXVI. That We Ought to Avoid the Heretics as the Corrupters of Souls.

Do you therefore, O bishops, and ye of the laity, avoid all heretics who abuse the law and the prophets. For they are enemies to God Almighty, and disobey Him, and do not confess Christ to be the Son of God. For they also deny His generation according to the flesh; they are ashamed of the cross; they abuse His passion and His death; they know not His resurrection; they take away His generation before all ages. Nay, some of them are impious after another manner, imagining the Lord to be a mere man, supposing Him to consist of a soul and body. But others of them suppose that Jesus Himself is the God over all, and glorify Him as His own Father, and suppose Him to be both the Son and the Comforter; than which doctrines what can be more detestable? Others, again, of them do refuse certain meats, and say that marriage with the procreation of children is evil, and the contrivance of the devil; and being ungodly themselves, they are not willing to rise again from the dead on account of their wickedness. Wherefore also they ridicule the resurrection, and say, We are holy people, unwilling to eat and to drink; and they fancy that they shall rise again from the dead demons without flesh, who shall be condemned for ever in eternal fire. Fly therefore from them, lest ye perish with them in their impieties.


XXVII. Of Some Jewish and Gentile Observances.

Now if any persons keep to the Jewish customs and observances concerning the natural emission and nocturnal pollutions, and the lawful conjugal acts, (Lev 15:1-33) let them tell us whether in those hours or days, when they undergo any such thing, they observe not to pray, or to touch a Bible, or to partake of the Eucharist? And if they own it to be so, it is plain they are void of the Holy Spirit, which always continues with the faithful. For concerning holy persons Solomon says: “That every one may prepare himself, that so when he sleeps it may keep him, and when he arises it may talk with him.” (Pro 6:22) For if thou thinkest, O woman, when thou art seven days in thy separation, that thou art void of the Holy Spirit, then if thou shouldest die suddenly thou wilt depart void of the Spirit, and without assured hope in God; or else thou must imagine that the Spirit always is inseparable from thee, as not being in a place. But thou standest in need of prayer and the Eucharist, and the coming of the Holy Ghost, as having been guilty of no fault in this matter. For neither lawful mixture, nor child-bearing, nor the menstrual purgation, nor nocturnal pollution, can defile the nature of a man, or separate the Holy Spirit from him. Nothing but impiety and unlawful practice can do that. For the Holy Spirit always abides with those that are possessed of it, so long as they are worthy; and those from whom it is departed, it leaves them desolate, and exposed to the wicked spirit. Now every man is filled either with the holy or with the unclean spirit; and it is not possible to avoid the one or the other, unless they can receive opposite spirits. For the Comforter hates every lie, and the devil hates all truth. But every one that is baptized agreeably to the truth is separated from the diabolical spirit, and is under the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit remains with him so long as he is doing good, and fills him with wisdom and understanding, and suffers not the wicked spirit to approach him, but watches over his goings. Thou therefore, O woman, if, as thou sayest, in the days of thy separation thou art void of the Holy Spirit, thou art then filled with the unclean one; for by neglecting to pray and to read thou wilt invite him to thee, though he were unwilling. For this spirit, of all others, loves the ungrateful, the slothful, the careless, and the drowsy, since he himself by ingratitude was distempered with evil mind, and was thereby deprived by God his dignity; having rather chosen to be a devil than an archangel. Wherefore, O woman, eschew such vain words, and be ever mindful of God that created thee, and pray to Him. For He is thy Lord, and the Lord of the universe; and meditate in His laws without observing any such things, such as the natural purgation, lawful mixture, child-birth, a miscarriage, or a blemish of the body; since such observations are the vain inventions of foolish men, and such inventions as have no sense in them. Neither the burial of a man, nor a dead man’s bone, nor a sepulchre, nor any particular sort of food, nor the nocturnal pollution, can defile the soul of man; but only impiety towards God, and transgression, and injustice towards one’s neighbour; I mean rapine, violence, or if there be anything contrary to His righteousness, adultery or fornication. Wherefore, beloved, avoid and eschew such observations, for they are heathenish. For we do not abominate a dead man, as do they, seeing we hope that he will live again. Nor do we hate lawful mixture; for it is their practice to act impiously in such instances. For the conjunction of man and wife, if it be with righteousness, is agreeable to the mind of God. “For He that made them at the beginning made them male and female; and He blessed them, and said, Increase and multiply, and fill the earth.” (Mat 19:4; Gen 1:28) If, therefore, the difference of sexes was made by the will of God for the generation of multitudes, then must the conjunction of male and female be also acceptable to His mind.


XXVIII. Of the Love of Boys, Adultery, and Fornication.

But we do not say so of that mixture that is contrary to nature, or of any unlawful practice; for such are enmity to God. For the sin of Sodom is contrary to nature, as is also that with brute beasts. But adultery and fornication are against the law; the one whereof is impiety, the other injustice, and, in a word, no other than a great sin. But neither sort of them is without its punishment in its own proper nature. For the practisers of one sort attempt the dissolution of the world, and endeavour to make the natural course of things to change for one that is unnatural; but those of the second sort — the adulterers — are unjust by corrupting others’ marriages, and dividing into two what God hath made one, rendering the children suspected, and exposing the true husband to the snares of others. And fornication is the destruction of one’s own flesh, not being made use of for the procreation of children, but entirely for the sake of pleasure, which is a mark of incontinency, and not a sign of virtue. All these things are forbidden by the laws; for thus say the oracles: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind.” (Lev 18:22) “For such a one is accursed, and ye shall stone them with stones: they have wrought abomination.” (Lev 20:13) “Every one that lieth with a beast, slay ye him: he has wrought wickedness in his people.” (Exo 22:19) “And if any one defile a married woman, slay ye them both: they have wrought wickedness; they are guilty; let them die.” (Lev 20:10; Deu 22:22) And afterwards: “There shall not be a fornicator among the children of Israel, and there shall not be an whore among the daughters of Israel. Thou shalt not offer the hire of an harlot to the Lord thy God upon the altar, nor the price of a dog.” (Deu 23:17, Deu 23:18) “For the vows arising from the hire of an harlot are not clean.” (Pro 19:13, LXX) These things the laws have forbidden, but they have honoured marriage, and have called it blessed, since God has blessed it, who joined male and female together. (Gen 1:28) And wise Solomon somewhere says: “A wife is suited to her husband by the Lord.” (Proc. 19:14) And David says: “Thy wife is like a flourishing vine in the sides of thine house; thy children like olive-branches round about thy table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord.” (Psa 128:3, Psa 128:4) Wherefore “marriage is honourable” (Heb 13:4) and comely, and the begetting of children pure, for there is no evil in that which is good. Therefore neither is the natural purgation abominable before God, who has ordered it to happen to women within the space of thirty days for their advantage and healthful state, who do less move about, and keep usually at home in the house. Nay, moreover, even in the Gospel, when the woman with the perpetual purgation of blood (Mat 9:22) touched the saving border of the Lord’s garment in hope of being healed, He was not angry at her, nor did complain of her at all; but, on the contrary, He healed her, saying, “Thy faith hath saved thee.” When the natural purgations do appear in the wives, let not their husbands approach them, out of regard to the children to be begotten; for the law has forbidden it, for it says: “Thou shalt not come near thy wife when she is in her separation.” (Lev 18:19; Eze 18:6) Nor, indeed, let them frequent their wives’ company when they are with child.16 For they do this not for the begetting of children, but for the sake of pleasure. Now a lover of God ought not to be a lover of pleasure.


XXIX. How Wives Ought to Be Subject to Their Own Husbands, and Husbands Ought to Love Their Own Wives.

Ye wives, be subject to your own husbands, and have them in esteem, and serve them with fear and love, as holy Sarah honoured Abraham. For she could not endure to call him by his name, but called him lord, when she said, “My lord is old.” (1Pe 3:6) In like manner, ye husbands, love your own wives as your own members, as partners in life, and fellow-helpers for the procreation of children. For says He, “Rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her conversation be to thee as a loving hind, and a pleasant foal; let her alone guide thee, and be with thee at all times: for if thou beest every way encompassed with her friendship, thou wilt be happy in her society.” (Pro 5:18, etc.) Love them therefore as your own members, as your very bodies; for so it is written, “The Lord has testified between thee and between the wife of thy youth; and she is thy partner, and another has not made her: and she is the remains of thy spirit;” and, “Take heed to your spirit, and do not forsake the wife of thy youth.” (Mal 2:14, Mal 2:15, Mal 2:16) An husband, therefore, and a wife, when they company together in lawful marriage, and rise from one another, may pray without any observations, and without washing are clean. But whosoever corrupts and defiles another man’s wife, or is defiled with an harlot, when he arises up from her, though he should wash himself in the entire ocean and all the rivers, cannot be clean.


Sec. VI. — Conclusion of the Work.

XXX. That It Is the Custom of Jews and Gentiles to Observe Natural Purgations, and to Abominate the Remains of the Dead; But that All This Is Contrary to Christianity.

Do not therefore keep any such observances about legal and natural purgations, as thinking you are defiled by them. Neither do you seek after Jewish separations, or perpetual washings, or purifications upon the touch of a dead body. But without such observations assemble in the dormitories, reading the holy books, and singing for the martyrs which are fallen asleep, and for all the saints from the beginning of the world, and for your brethren that are asleep in the Lord, and offer the acceptable Eucharist, the representation of the royal body of Christ, both in your churches and in the dormitories; and in the funerals of the departed, accompany them with singing, if they were faithful in Christ. For “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” (Psa 116:15) And again: “O my soul, return unto thy rest, for the Lord hath done thee good.” (Psa 116:7) And elsewhere: “The memory of the just is with encomiums.” (Pro 10:7) And, “The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God.” (Wisd. 3:1) For those that have believed in God, although they are asleep, are not dead. For our Saviour says to the Sadducees: “But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which is written, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God, therefore, is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to Him.” (Exo 3:6; Luk 20:38) Wherefore, of those that live with God, even their very relics are not without honour. For even Elisha the prophet, after he was fallen asleep, raised up a dead man who was slain by the pirates of Syria. (2Ki 13:21) For his body touched the bones of Elisha, and he arose and revived. Now this would not have happened unless the body of Elisha were holy. And chaste Joseph embraced Jacob after he was dead upon his bed; (Gen 50:1) and Moses and Joshua the son of Nun carried away the relics of Joseph, (Exo 13:19; Jos 24:32) and did not esteem it a defilement. Whence you also, O bishops, and the rest, who without such observances touch the departed, ought not to think yourselves defiled. Nor abhor the relics of such persons, but avoid such observances, for they are foolish. And adorn yourselves with holiness and chastity, that ye may become partakers of immortality, and partners of the kingdom of God, and may receive the promise of God, and may rest for ever, through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

To Him, therefore, who is able to open the ears of your hearts to the receiving the oracles of God administered to you both by the Gospel and by the teaching of Jesus Christ of Nazareth; who was crucified under Pontius Pilate and Herod, and died, and rose again from the dead, and will come again at the end of the world with power and great glory, and will raise the dead, and put an end to this world, and distribute to every one according to his deserts: to Him that has given us Himself for an earnest of the resurrection; who was taken up into the heavens by the power of His God and Father in our sight, who ate and drank with Him for forty days after He arose from the dead; who is sat down on the right hand of the throne of the majesty of Almighty God upon the cherubim; to whom it was said, “Sit Thou on my right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool;” (Psa 110:1) whom the most blessed Stephen saw standing at the right hand of power, and cried out, and said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God,” (Act 7:56)as the High Priest of all the rational orders, — through Him, worship, and majesty, and glory be given to Almighty God, both now and for evermore.17 Amen.







16 [But if this be otherwise done, it may be well to compare Lactantius as to a question of actual crime. See p. 190, n. 164, supra.]

17 One V. ms. reads: “to Him be worship, and majesty, and glory, along with the Father and the co-eternal Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.”






Constitutions of the Holy Apostles. (Cont.)

Book VII.

Concerning the Christian Life, and the Eucharist, and the Initiation into Christ.

Sec. I. – On the Two Ways,1 – The Way of Life and the Way of Death.

I. That There Are Two Ways, – The One Natural, of Life, and the Other Introduced Afterwards, of Death; And that the Former Is from God, and the Latter of Error, from the Snares of the Adversary.

The lawgiver Moses said to the Israelites, “Behold, I have set before your face the way of life and the way of death;” (Deu 30:15) and added, “Choose life, that thou mayest live.” (Deu 30:19) Elijah the prophet also said to the people: “How long will you halt with both your legs? If the Lord be God, follow Him.” (1Ki 18:21) The Lord Jesus also said justly: “No one can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.” (Mat 6:24) We also, following our teacher Christ, “who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe,” (1Ti 4:10) are obliged to say that there are two ways – the one of life, the other of death;2 which have no comparison one with another, for they are very different,2 or rather entirely separate; and the way of life is that of nature, but that of death was afterwards introduced, – it not being according to the mind of God, but from the snares of the adversary.3


II. Moral Exhortations of the Lord’s Constitutions Agreeing with the Ancient Prohibitions of the Divine Laws. The Prohibition of Anger, Spite, Corruption, Adultery, and Every Forbidden Action.

The first way, therefore, is that of life; and is this,4 which the law also does appoint: “To love the Lord God with all thy mind, and with all thy soul, who is the one and only God, besides whom there is no other;” (Deu 6:5; Mar 12:32) “and thy neighbour as thyself.” (Lev 19:18) And whatsoever thou wouldest not should be done to thee, that do not thou to another.” (Tob. 4:15) “Bless them that curse you; pray for them that despitefully use you.” (Mat 5:44) “Love your enemies; for what thanks is it if ye love those that love you? for even the Gentiles do the same.” (Luk 6:32; Mat 5:46, Mat 5:47) “But do ye love those that hate you, and ye shall have no enemy.” For says He, “Thou shalt not hate any man; no, not an Egyptian, nor an Edomite;” (Deu 23:7) for they are all the workmanship of God. Avoid not the persons, but the sentiments, of the wicked. “Abstain from fleshly and worldly lusts.” (1Pe 2:11) “If any one gives thee a stroke on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Mat 5:39; Luk 6:29) Not that revenge is evil, but that patience is more honourable. For David says, “If I have made returns to them that repaid me evil.” (Psa 7:4) “If any one compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” (Mat 5:41) And, “He that will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.” (Mat 5:40; Luk 6:29) “And from him that taketh thy goods, require them not again.” (Luk 6:30) “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee do not shut thy hand.” (Mat 5:42) For “the righteous man is pitiful, and lendeth.” (Psa 112:5) For your Father would have you give to all, who Himself “maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth His rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Mat 5:45) It is therefore reasonable to give to all out of thine own labours; for says He, “Honour the Lord out of thy righteous labours,” (Pro 3:9) but so that the saints be preferred. (Gal 6:10) “Thou shalt not kill;”5 that is, thou shalt not destroy a man like thyself: for thou dissolvest what was well made. Not as if all killing were wicked, but only that of the innocent: but the killing which is just is reserved to the magistrates alone. “Thou shalt not commit adultery:” for thou dividest one flesh into two. “They two shall be one flesh:” (Gen 2:24) for the husband and wife are one in nature, in consent, in union, in disposition, and the conduct of life; but they are separated in sex and number. “Thou shall not corrupt boys:” (Lev 18:22) for this wickedness is contrary to nature, and arose from Sodom, which was therefore entirely consumed with fire sent from God. (Gen 19:1-38) “Let such a one be accursed: and all the people shall say, So be it.” (Deu 27:1-26) “Thou shall not commit fornication:” for says He, “There shall not be a fornicator among the children of Israel.” (Deu 23:17) “Thou shalt not steal:” for Achan, when he had stolen in Israel at Jericho, was stoned to death; (Jos 7:1-26) and Gehazi, who stole, and told a lie, inherited the leprosy of Naaman; (2Ki 5:1-27) and Judas, who stole the poor’s money, betrayed the Lord of glory to the Jews, (Joh 12:6) and repented, and hanged himself, and burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out; (Mat 27:5; Act 1:18) and Ananias, and Sapphira his wife, who stole their own goods, and “tempted the Spirit of the Lord,” were immediately, at the sentence of Peter our fellow-apostle, struck dead. (Act 5:1-42)


III. The Prohibition of Conjuring, Murder of Infants, Perjury, and False Witness.

Thou shalt not use magic.6 Thou shalt not use witchcraft; for He says, “Ye shall not suffer a witch to live.” (Exo 22:18) Thou shall not slay thy child by causing abortion, nor kill that which is begotten; for “everything that is shaped, and has received a soul from God, if it be slain, shall be avenged, as being unjustly destroyed.” (Exo 21:23, LXX.) “Thou shalt not covet the things that belong to thy neighbour, as his wife, or his servant, or his ox, or his field.” “Thou shalt not forswear thyself; for it is said, “Thou shalt not swear at all.” (Mat 5:34) But if that cannot be avoided, thou shalt swear truly; for “every one that swears by Him shall be commended.” (Psa 63:11) “Thou shalt not bear false witness;” for “he that falsely accuses the needy provokes to anger Him that made him.” (Pro 14:31)


IV. The Prohibition of Evil-Speaking and Passion, of Deceitful Conduct, or Idle Words, Lies, Covetousness, and Hypocrisy.

Thou shall not speak evil;7 for says He, “Love not to speak evil, lest thou beest taken away.” Nor shalt thou be mindful of injuries; for “the ways of those that remember injuries are unto death.” (Pro 12:28, LXX.) Thou shall not be double-minded nor double-tongued; for “a man’s own lips are a strong snare to him,” (Pro 6:2) and “a talkative person shall not be prospered upon earth.” (Psa 140:11) Thy words shall not be vain; for “ye shall give an account of every idle word.” (Mat 12:36; Lev 19:11) Thou shalt not tell lies: for says He, “Thou shalt destroy all those that speak lies.” (Psa 5:6) Thou shalt not be covetous nor rapacious: for says He, “Woe to him that is covetous towards his neighbour with an evil covetousness.” (Hab 2:9)


V. The Prohibition of Malignity, Acceptation of Persons, Wrath, Malice, and Envy.

Thou shalt not be an hypocrite, lest thy “portion be with them.” (Mat 24:51) Thou shalt not be ill-natured nor proud: for “God resisteth the proud.” (1Pe 5:5) “Thou shalt not accept persons in judgment; for the judgment is the Lord’s.” “Thou shalt not hate any man; thou shalt surely reprove thy brother, and not become guilty on his account;” (Deu 1:17; Lev 19:17) and, “Reprove a wise man, and he will love thee.” (Pro 9:8) Eschew all evil, and all that is like it: for says He, “Abstain from injustice, and trembling shall not come nigh thee.” (Isa 54:14) Be not soon angry, nor spiteful, nor passionate, nor furious, nor daring, lest thou undergo the fate of Cain, and of Saul, and of Joab: for the first of these slew his brother Abel, because Abel was found to be preferred before him with God, and because Abel’s sacrifice was preferred; (Gen 4:1-26) the second persecuted holy David, who had slain Goliah the Philistine, being envious of the praises of the women who danced; (1Sa 17:1-58, 1Sa 18:1-30) the third slew two generals of armies – Abner of Israel, and Amasa of Judah. (2Sa 3:1-39, 2Sa 20:1-26)


VI. Concerning Augury and Enchantments.

Be not a diviner, for that leads to idolatry;8 for says Samuel, “Divination is sin;” (1Sa 15:23) and, “There shall be no divination in Jacob, nor soothsaying in Israel.” (Num 23:23) Thou shalt not use enchantments or purgations for thy child. Thou shall not be a soothsayer nor a diviner by great or little birds. Nor shalt thou learn wicked arts; for all these things has the law forbidden. (Lev 19:26, Lev 19:31; Deu 18:10, Deu 18:11) Be not one that wishes for evil, for thou wilt be led into intolerable sins. Thou shalt not speak obscenely, nor use wanton glances, nor be a drunkard; for from such causes arise whoredoms and adulteries. Be not a lover of money, lest thou “serve mammon instead of God.” (Mat 6:24) Be not vainglorious, nor haughty, nor high-minded. For from all these things arrogance does spring. Remember him who said: “Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: I have not exercised myself in great matters, nor in things too high for me; but I was humble.” (Psa 131:1)


VII. The Prohibition of Murmuring, Insolence, Pride, and Arrogance.

Be not a murmurer, remembering the punishment which those underwent who murmured against Moses. Be not self-willed, be not malicious, be not hard-hearted, be not passionate, be not mean-spirited; for all these things lead to blasphemy. But be meek, as were Moses and David, (Num 12:3; Psa 131:1) since “the meek shall inherit the earth.” (Mat 5:5)


VIII. Concerning Long-Suffering, Simplicity, Meekness, and Patience.

Be slow to wrath; for such a one is very prudent, since “he that is hasty of spirit is a very fool.” (Pro 14:29, LXX.) Be merciful; for “blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” (Mat 5:7) Be sincere, quiet, good, “trembling at the word of God.” (Isa 66:2) Thou shalt not exalt thyself, as did the Pharisee; for “every one that exalteth himself shall be abased,” (Luk 18:14) and “that which is of high esteem with man is abomination with God.” (Luk 16:15) Thou shalt not entertain confidence in thy soul; for “a confident man shall fall into mischief.” (Pro 13:17, LXX.) Thou shalt not go along with the foolish, but with the wise and righteous; for “he that walketh9 with wise men shall be wise, but he that walketh with the foolish shall be known.” (Pro 13:20) Receive the afflictions that fall upon thee with an even mind, and the chances of life without over-much sorrow, knowing that a reward shall be given to thee by God, as was given to Job and to Lazarus. (Job 42:1-17; Luk 16:1-31)


IX. That It Is Our Duty to Esteem Our Christian Teachers Above Our Parents – The Former Being the Means of Our Well-Being, the Other Only of Our Being.

Thou shalt honour him that speaks to thee the word of God, and be mindful of him day and night; and thou shalt reverence him,10 not as the author of thy birth, but as one that is made the occasion of thy well-being. For where the doctrine concerning God is, there God is present. Thou shalt every day seek the face of the saints, that thou mayest acquiesce in their words.


X. That We Ought Not to Divide Ourselves from the Saints, but to Make Peace Between Those That Quarrel, to Judge Righteously, and Not to Accept Persons.

Thou shalt not make schisms among the saints, but be mindful of the followers of Corah. (Num 16:1-50) Thou shalt make peace between those that are at variance, as Moses did when he persuaded them to be friends. (Exo 2:13) Thou shalt judge righteously; for “the judgment is the Lord’s.” (Deu 1:17) Thou shalt not accept persons when thou reprovest for sins; but do as Elijah and Micaiah did to Ahab, and Ebedmelech the Ethiopian to Zedekiah, and Nathan to David, and John to Herod. (1Ki 18:1-46, 1Ki 21:1-29, 1Ki 22:1-53; 2Sa 12:1-31; Mat 14:1-36)


XI. Concerning Him That Is Double-Minded and Desponding.

Be not of a doubtful mind in thy prayer, whether it shall be granted or no. For the Lord said to me Peter upon the sea: “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Mat 14:31) “Be not thou ready to stretch out thy hand to receive, and to shut it when thou shouldst give.” (Ecclus. 4:31)


XII. Concerning Doing Good.

If thou hast by the work of thy hands, give, that thou mayest labour for the redemption of thy sins; for “by alms and acts of faith sins are purged away.” (Pro 16:6; Dan 4:27) Thou shalt not grudge to give to the poor, nor when thou hast given shalt thou murmur; for thou shalt know who will repay thee thy reward. For says he: “He that hath mercy on the poor man lendeth to the Lord; according to his gift, so shall it be repaid him again.” (Pro 19:17) Thou shalt not turn away from him that is needy; for says he: “He that stoppeth his ears, that he may not hear the cry of the needy, himself also shall call, and there shall be none to hear him.” (Pro 21:13) Thou shall communicate in all things to thy brother, and shall not say thy goods are thine own; for the common participation of the necessaries of life is appointed to all men by God. Thou shalt not take off thine hand from thy son or from thy daughter, but shalt teach them the fear of God from their youth; for says he: “Correct thy son, so shall he afford thee good hope.” (Pro 19:18)


XIII. How Masters Ought to Behave Themselves to Their Servants, and How Servants Ought to Be Subject.

Thou shall not command thy man-servant, or thy maid-servant, who trust in the same God, with bitterness of soul, lest they groan against thee, and wrath be upon thee from God. And, ye servants, “be subject to your masters,” (Eph 6:5) as to the representatives of God, with attention and fear, “as to the Lord, and not to men.” (Eph 6:7)


XIV. Concerning Hypocrisy, and Obedience to the Laws, and Confession of Sins.

Thou shalt hate all hypocrisy; and whatsoever is pleasing to the Lord, that shalt thou do. By no means forsake the commands of the Lord. But thou shalt observe what things thou hast received from Him, neither adding to them nor taking away from them. “For thou shalt not add unto His words, lest He convict thee, and thou becomest a liar.” (Pro 30:6) Thou shalt confess thy sins unto the Lord thy God; and thou shalt not add unto them, that it may be well with thee from the Lord thy God, who willeth not the death of a sinner, but his repentance.


XV. Concerning the Observance Due to Parents.

Thou shalt be observant to thy father and mother as the causes of thy being born, that thou mayest live long on the earth which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Do not overlook thy brethren or thy kinsfolk; for “thou shalt not overlook those nearly related to thee.” (Isa 58:7)


XVI. Concerning the Subjection Due to the King and to Rulers.

Thou shalt fear the king, knowing that his appointment is of the Lord. His rulers thou shalt honour as the ministers of God, for they are the revengers of all unrighteousness; to whom pay taxes, tribute, and every oblation with a willing mind.


XVII. Concerning The Pure Conscience of Those That Pray.

Thou shalt not proceed to thy prayer in the day of thy wickedness, before thou hast laid aside thy bitterness. This is the way of life, in which may ye be found, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


XVIII. That the Way Which Was Afterward Introduced by the Snares of the Adversary Is Full of Impiety and Wickedness.

But the way of death11 is known by its wicked practices: for therein is the ignorance of God, and the introduction of many evils, and disorders, and disturbances; whereby come murders, adulteries, fornications, perjuries, unlawful lusts, thefts, idolatries, magic arts, witchcrafts, rapines, false-witnesses, hypocrisies, double-heartedness, deceit, pride, malice, insolence, covetousness, obscene talk, jealousy, confidence, haughtiness, arrogance, impudence, persecution of the good, enmity to truth, love of lies, ignorance of righteousness. For they who do such things do not adhere to goodness, or to righteous judgment: they watch not for good, but for evil; from whom meekness and patience are far off, who love vain things, pursuing after reward, having no pity on the poor, not labouring for him that is in misery, nor knowing Him that made them; murderers of infants, destroyers of the workmanship of God, that turn away from the needy, adding affliction to the afflicted, the flatterers of the rich, the despisers of the poor, full of sin. May you, children, be delivered from all these.


XIX. That We Must Not Turn from the Way of Piety Either to the Right Hand or to the Left. An Exhortation of the Lawgiver.

See that no one seduce thee12 from piety; for says He: “Thou mayst not turn aside from it to the right hand, or to the left, that thou mayst have understanding in all that thou doest.” (Deu 5:32) For if thou dost not turn out of the right way, thou wilt not be ungodly.


Sec. II. – On the Formation of the Character of Believers, and on Giving of Thanks to God.

XX. That We Ought Not to Despise Any of the Sorts of Food That Are Set Before Us, but Gratefully and Orderly to Partake of Them.

Now concerning the several sorts of food, the Lord says to thee, “Ye shall eat the good things of the earth;” (Isa 1:19) and, “All sorts of flesh shall ye eat, as the green herb;” (Gen 9:3) but, “Thou shalt pour out the blood.” (Deu 15:23) For “not those things that go into the mouth, but those that come out of it, defile a man;” (Mat 15:11) I mean blasphemies, evil-speaking, and if there be any other thing of the like nature. (Mar 7:22) But “do thou eat the fat of the land with righteousness.” (Zec 9:17) For “if there be anything pleasant, it is His; and if there be anything good, it is His. Wheat for the young men, and wine to cheer the maids.” For “who shall eat or who shall drink without Him?” (Ecc 2:25, LXX.) Wise Ezra13 does also admonish thee and say: “Go your way, and eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and be not sorrowful.” (Neh 8:10)


XXI. That We Ought to Avoid the Eating of Things Offered to Idols.

But do ye abstain from things offered to idols; (1Co 10:20) for they offer them in honour of demons, that is, to the dishonour of the one God, that ye may not become partners with demons.


XXII. A Constitution of Our Lord, How We Ought to Baptize, and into Whose Death.

Now concerning baptism,14 O bishop, or presbyter, we have already given direction, and we now say, that thou shalt so baptize as the Lord commanded us, saying: “Go ye, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you):” (Mat 28:19) of the Father who sent, of Christ who came, of the Comforter who testified. But thou shalt beforehand anoint the person with the holy oil, and afterward baptize him with the water, and in the conclusion shall seal him with the ointment; that the anointing with oil may be the participation of the Holy Spirit, and the water the symbol of the death of Christ, and the ointment the seal of the covenants. But if there be neither oil nor ointment, water is sufficient both for the anointing, and for the seal, and for the confession of Him that is dead, or indeed is dying together with Christ. But before baptism, let him that is to be baptized fast; for even the Lord, when He was first baptized by John, and abode in the wilderness, did afterward fast forty days and forty nights. (Mat 3:1-17, Mat 4:1-25) But He was baptized, and then fasted, not having Himself any need of cleansing, or of fasting, or of purgation, who was by nature pure and holy; but that He might testify the truth to John, and afford an example to us. Wherefore our Lord was not baptized into His own passion, or death, or resurrection – for none of those things had then happened – but for another purpose. Wherefore He by His own authority fasted after His baptism, as being the Lord of John. But he who is to be initiated into His death ought first to fast, and then to be baptized. For it is not reasonable that he who has been buried with Christ, and is risen again with Him, should appear dejected at His very resurrection. For man is not lord of our Saviour’s constitution, since one is the Master and the other the servant.


XXIII. Which Days of the Week We Are to Fast, and Which Not, and for What Reasons.

But let not your fasts be with the hypocrites;15 for they fast on the second and fifth days of the week. But do you either fast the entire five days, or on the fourth day of the week, and on the day of the Preparation, because on the fourth day the condemnation went out against the Lord, Judas then promising to betray Him for money; and you must fast on the day of the Preparation, because on that day the Lord suffered the death of the cross under Pontius Pilate. But keep the Sabbath, and the Lord’s day festival; because the former is the memorial of the creation, and the latter of the resurrection. But there is one only Sabbath to be observed by you in the whole year, which is that of our Lord’s burial, on which men ought to keep a fast, but not a festival. For inasmuch as the Creator was then under the earth, the sorrow for Him is more forcible than the joy for the creation; for the Creator is more honourable by nature and dignity than His own creatures.


XXIV. What Sort of People Ought to Pray That Prayer That Was Given by the Lord.

Now, “when ye pray, be not ye as the hypocrites;” (Mat 6:5) but as the Lord has appointed us in the Gospel, so pray ye: “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth; give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Thine is the kingdom for ever. Amen.” (Mat 6:9, etc.) Pray thus thrice in a day, preparing yourselves beforehand, that ye may be worthy of the adoption of the Father; lest, when you call Him Father unworthily, you be reproached by Him, as Israel once His first-born son was told: “If I be a Father, where is my glory? And if I be a Lord, where is my fear?” (Mal 1:6) For the glory of fathers is the holiness of their children, and the honour of masters is the fear of their servants, as the contrary is dishonour and confusion. For says He: “Through you my name is blasphemed among the Gentiles.” (Isa 52:5)


XXV. A Mystical Thanksgiving.

Be ye always thankful, as faithful and honest servants; and concerning the eucharistical thanksgiving say thus:16 We thank Thee, our Father, for that life which Thou hast made known to us by Jesus Thy Son, by whom Thou madest all things, and takest care of the whole world; whom Thou hast sent to become man for our salvation; whom Thou hast permitted to suffer and to die; whom Thou hast raised up, and been pleased to glorify, and hast set Him down on Thy right hand; by whom Thou hast promised us the resurrection of the dead. Do thou, O Lord Almighty, everlasting God, so gather together Thy Church from the ends of the earth into Thy kingdom, as this corn was once scattered, and is now become one loaf. We also, our Father, thank Thee for the precious blood of Jesus Christ, which was shed for us, and for His precious body, whereof we celebrate this representation, as Himself appointed us, “to show forth His death.” (1Co 11:26) For through Him glory is to be given to Thee for ever. Amen. Let no one eat of these things that is not initiated; but those only who have been baptized into the death of the Lord. But if any one that is not initiated conceal himself, and partake of the same, “he eats eternal damnation;”17 because, being not of the faith of Christ, he has partaken of such things as it is not lawful for him to partake of, to his own punishment. But if any one is a partaker through ignorance, instruct him quickly, and initiate him, that he may not go out and despise you.


XXVI. A Thanksgiving at the Divine Participation.

After the participation,18 give thanks in this manner: We thank thee, O God and Father of Jesus our Saviour, for Thy holy name, which Thou hast made to inhabit among us; and that knowledge, faith, love, and immortality which Thou hast given us through Thy Son Jesus. Thou, O Almighty Lord, the God of the universe, hast created the world, and the things that are therein, by Him; and hast planted a law in our souls, and beforehand didst prepare things for the convenience of men. O God of our holy and blameless fathers, Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, Thy faithful servants; Thou, O God, who art powerful, faithful, and true, and without deceit in Thy promises; who didst send upon earth Jesus Thy Christ to live with men, as a man, when He was God the Word, and man, to take away error by the roots: do Thou even now, through Him, be mindful of this Thy holy Church, which Thou hast purchased with the precious blood of Thy Christ, and deliver it from all evil, and perfect it in Thy love and Thy truth, and gather us all together into Thy kingdom which Thou hast prepared. Let this Thy kingdom come.19 “Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed be He that cometh in the name of the Lord”20 – God the Lord, who was manifested to us in the flesh. If any one be holy, let him draw near; but if any one be not such, let him become such by repentance. Permit also to your presbyters to give thanks.


XXVII. A Thanksgiving About the Mystical Ointment.

Concerning the ointment give thanks in this manner: We give Thee thanks, O God, the Creator of the whole world, both for the fragrancy of the ointment, and for the immortality which Thou hast made known to us by Thy Son Jesus. For Thine is the glory and the power for ever. Amen. Whosoever comes to you,21 and gives thanks in this manner, receive him as a disciple of Christ. But if he preach another doctrine, different from that which Christ by us has delivered to you, such a one you must not permit to give thanks; for such a one rather affronts God than glorifies Him.


XXVIII. That We Ought Not to Be Indifferent About Communicating.

But whosoever comes to you, let him be first examined, and then received: for ye have understanding, and are able to know the right hand from the left,22 and to distinguish false teachers from true teachers. But when a teacher comes to you, supply him with what he wants with all readiness. And even when a false teacher comes, you shall give him for his necessity, but shall not receive his error. Nor indeed may ye pray together with him, lest ye be polluted as well as he. Every true prophet or teacher23 that comes to you is worthy of his maintenance, as being a labourer in the word of righteousness. (Mat 10:41)


XXIX. A Constitution Concerning Oblations.

All the first-fruits of the winepress, the threshing-floor, the oxen, and the sheep, shalt thou give to the priests, (Num 18:1-32) that thy storehouses and garners and the products of thy land may be blessed, and thou mayst be strengthened with corn and wine and oil, and the herds of thy cattle and flocks of thy sheep may be increased. Thou shalt give the tenth of thy increase to the orphan, and to the widow, and to the poor, and to the stranger. All the first-fruits of thy hot bread, of thy barrels of wine, or oil, or honey, or nuts, or grapes, or the first-fruits of other things, shalt thou give to the priests; but those of silver, and of garments, and of all sort of possessions, to the orphan and to the widow.


XXX. How We Ought to Assemble Together, and to Celebrate the Festival Day of Our Saviour’s Resurrection.

On the day of the resurrection of the Lord,24 that is, the Lord’s day, assemble yourselves together, without fail, giving thanks to God, and praising Him for those mercies God has bestowed upon you through Christ, and has delivered you from ignorance, error, and bondage, that your sacrifice may be unspotted, and acceptable to God, who has said concerning His universal Church: “In every place shall incense and a pure sacrifice be offered unto me; for I am a great King, saith the Lord Almighty, and my name is wonderful among the heathen.” (Mal 1:11, Mal 1:14)


XXXI. What Qualifications They Ought to Have Who Are to Be Ordained.

Do you first ordain bishops worthy of the Lord,25 and presbyters and deacons, pious men, righteous, meek, free from the love of money, lovers of truth, approved, holy, not accepters of persons, who are able to teach the word of piety, and rightly dividing the doctrines of the Lord. (2Ti 2:15) And do ye honour such as your fathers, as your lords, as your benefactors, as the causes of your well-being. Reprove ye one another, not in anger, but in mildness, with kindness and peace. Observe all things that are commanded you by the Lord. Be watchful for your life.26 “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning, and ye like unto men who wait for their Lord, when He will come, at even, or in the morning, or at cock-crowing, or at midnight. For at what hour they think not, the Lord will come; and if they open to Him, blessed are those servants, because they were found watching. For He will gird Himself, and will make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” (Luk 12:35, Luk 12:37; Mar 13:35) Watch therefore, and pray, that ye do not sleep unto death. For your former good deeds will not profit you, if at the last part of your life you go astray from the true faith.


XXXII. A Prediction Concerning Futurities.

For in the last days false prophets shall be multiplied, and such as corrupt the word; and the sheep shall be changed into wolves, and love into hatred: for through the abounding of iniquity the love of many shall wax cold. For men shall hate, and persecute, and betray one another. And then shall appear the deceiver of the world, the enemy of the truth, the prince of lies, (2Th 2:1-17) whom the Lord Jesus “shall destroy with the spirit of His mouth, who takes away the wicked with His lips; and many shall be offended at Him. But they that endure to the end, the same shall be saved. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven;” (Isa 11:4; Mat 24:1-51) and afterwards shall be the voice of a trumpet by the archangel; (1Th 4:16) and in that interval shall be the revival of those that were asleep. And then shall the Lord come, and all His saints with Him, (Zec 14:5. – R.) with a great concussion above the clouds, with the angels of His power, (Mat 16:27) in the throne of His kingdom, to condemn the devil, the deceiver of the world, and to render to every one according to his deeds. “Then shall the wicked go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous shall go into life eternal,” (Mat 25:46) to inherit those things “which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, such things as God hath prepared for them that love Him;” (1Co 2:9) and they shall rejoice in the kingdom of God, which is in Christ Jesus. Since we are vouchsafed such great blessings from Him, let us become His suppliants, and call upon Him by continual prayer, and say: –


XXXIII. A Prayer Declarative of God’s Various Providence.

Our eternal Saviour, the King of gods, who alone art almighty, and the Lord, the God of all beings, and the God of our holy and blameless fathers, and of those before us; the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob; who art merciful and compassionate, long-suffering, and abundant in mercy; to whom every heart is naked, and by whom every heart is seen, and to whom every secret thought is revealed: to Thee do the souls of the righteous cry aloud, upon Thee do the hopes of the godly trust, Thou Father of the blameless, Thou hearer of the supplication of those that call upon Thee with uprightness, and who knowest the supplications that are not uttered: for Thy providence reaches as far as the inmost parts of mankind; and by Thy knowledge Thou searchest the thoughts of every one, and in every region of the whole earth the incense of prayer and supplication is sent up to Thee. O Thou who hast appointed this present world as a place of combat to righteousness, and hast opened to all the gate of mercy, and hast demonstrated to every man by implanted knowledge, and natural judgment, and the admonitions of the law, how the possession of riches is not everlasting, the ornament of beauty is not perpetual, our strength and force are easily dissolved; and that all is vapour and vanity; and that only the good conscience of faith unfeigned passes through the midst of the heavens, and returning with truth, takes hold of the right hand of the joy27 which is to come. And withal, before the promise of the restoration of all things is accomplished, the soul itself exults in hope, and is joyful. For from that truth which was in our forefather Abraham, when he changed his way Thou didst guide him by a vision, and didst teach him what kind of state this world is; and knowledge went before his faith, and faith was the consequence of his knowledge; and the covenant did follow after his faith. For Thou saidst: “I will make thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is by the seashore.” (Gen 13:6, Gen 22:17) Moreover, when Thou hadst given him Isaac, and knewest him to be like him in his mode of life, Thou wast then called his God, saying: “I will be a God to thee, and to thy seed after thee.” (Gen 26:3) And when our father Jacob was sent into Mesopotamia, Thou showedst him Christ, and by him speakest, saying: “Behold, I am with thee, and I will increase thee, and multiply thee exceedingly.” (Gen 17:7, Gen 28:15, Gen 48:4) And so spakest Thou to Moses, Thy faithful and holy servant, at the vision of the bush: “I am He that is; this is my name for ever, and my memorial for generations of generations.” (Exo 3:14, Exo 3:15) O Thou great protector of the posterity of Abraham, Thou art blessed for ever.


XXXIV. A Prayer Declarative of God’s Various Creation.

Thou art blessed, O Lord, the King of ages, who by Christ hast made the whole world, and by Him in the beginning didst reduce into order the disordered parts; who dividedst the waters from the waters by a firmament, and didst put into them a spirit of life; who didst fix the earth, and stretch out the heaven, and didst dispose every creature by an accurate constitution. For by Thy power, O Lord, the world is beautified, the heaven is fixed as an arch over us, and is rendered illustrious with stars for our comfort in the darkness. The light also and the sun were begotten for days and the production of fruit, and the moon for the change of seasons, by its increase and diminutions; and one was called Night, and the other Day. And the firmament was exhibited in the midst of the abyss, and Thou commandedst the waters to be gathered together, and the dry land to appear. But as for the sea itself, who can possibly describe it, which comes with fury from the ocean, yet runs back again, being stopped by the sand at Thy command? For Thou hast said: “Thereby shall her waves be broken.” (Job 38:11) Thou hast also made it capable of supporting little and great creatures, and made it navigable for ships. Then did the earth become green, and was planted with all sorts of flowers, and the variety of several trees; and the shining luminaries, the nourishers of those plants, preserve their unchangeable course, and in nothing depart from Thy command. But where Thou biddest them, there do they rise and set for signs of the seasons and of the years, making a constant return of the work of men. Afterwards the kinds of the several animals were created – those belonging to the land, to the water, to the air, and both to air and water; and the artificial wisdom of Thy providence does still impart to every one a suitable providence. For as He was not unable to produce different kinds, so neither has He disdained to exercise a different providence towards every one. And at the conclusion of the creation Thou gavest direction to Thy Wisdom, and formedst a reasonable creature as the citizen of the world, saying, “Let us make man after our image, and after our likeness;” (Gen 1:26) and hast exhibited him as the ornament of the world, and formed him a body out of the four elements, those primary bodies, but hadst prepared a soul out of nothing, and bestowedst upon him his five senses, and didst set over his sensations a mind as the conductor of the soul. And besides all these things, O Lord God, who can worthily declare the motion of the rainy clouds, the shining of the lightning, the noise of the thunder, in order to the supply of proper food, and the most agreeable temperature of the air? But when man was disobedient, Thou didst deprive him of the life which should have been his reward. Yet didst Thou not destroy him for ever, but laidst him to sleep for a time; and Thou didst by oath call him to a resurrection, and loosedst the bond of death, O Thou reviver of the dead, through Jesus Christ, who is our hope.


XXXV. A Prayer, with Thanksgiving, Declarative of God’s Providence over the Beings He Has Made.

Great art thou, O Lord Almighty, and great is Thy power, and of Thy understanding there is no number. Our Creator and Saviour, rich in benefits, long-suffering, and the bestower of mercy, who dost not take away Thy salvation from Thy creatures: for Thou art good by nature, and sparest sinners, and invitest them to repentance; for admonition is the effect of Thy bowels of compassion. For how should we abide if we were required to come to judgment immediately, when, after so much long-suffering, we hardly get clear of our miserable condition? The heavens declare Thy dominion, and the earth shakes with earthquakes, and, hanging upon nothing, declares Thy unshaken stedfastness. The sea raging with waves, and feeding a flock of ten thousand creatures, is bounded with sand, as standing in awe at Thy command, and compels all men to dry out: “How great are Thy works, O Lord! in wisdom hast Thou made them all: the earth is full of Thy creation.” (Psa 104:24) And the bright host of angels and the intellectual spirits say to Palmoni,28 “There is but one holy Being;”29 and the holy seraphim, together with the six-winged cherubim, who sing to Thee their triumphal song, cry out with never-ceasing voices, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts! heaven and earth are full of Thy glory;” (Isa 6:3) and the other multitudes of the orders, angels archangels, thrones, dominions, principalities, authorities, and powers cry aloud, and say, “Blessed be the glory of the Lord out of His place.” (Eze 3:12) But Israel, Thy Church on earth, taken out of the Gentiles, emulating the heavenly powers night and day, with a full heart and a willing soul sings, “The chariot of God is ten thousandfold thousands of them that rejoice: the Lord is among them in Sinai, in the holy place.” (Psa 67:1-7:17) The heaven knows Him who fixed it as a cube of stone, in the form of an arch, upon nothing, who united the land and water to one another, and scattered the vital air all abroad, and conjoined fire therewith for warmth, and the comfort against darkness. The choir of stars strikes us with admiration, declaring Him that numbers them, and showing Him that names them; the animals declare Him that puts life into them; the trees show Him that makes them grow: all which creatures, being made by Thy word, show forth the greatness of Thy power. Wherefore every man ought to send up an hymn from his very soul to Thee, through Christ, in the name of all the rest, since He has power over them all by Thy appointment. For Thou art kind in Thy benefits, and beneficent in Thy bowels of compassion, who alone art almighty: for when Thou willest, to be able is present with Thee; for Thy eternal power both quenches flame, and stops the mouths of lions, and tames whales, and raises up the sick, and overrules the power of all things, and overturns the host of enemies, and casts down a people numbered in their arrogance. Thou art He who art in heaven, He who art on earth, He who art in the sea, He who art in finite things, Thyself unconfined by anything. For of Thy majesty there is no boundary; for it is not ours, O Lord, but the oracle of Thy servant, who said, “And thou shalt know in thine heart that the Lord thy God He is God in heaven above, and on earth beneath, and there is none other besides Thee:” (Deu 4:39) for there is no God besides Thee alone, there is none holy besides Thee, the Lord, the God of knowledge, the God of the saints, holy above all holy beings; for they are sanctified by Thy hands. Thou art glorious, and highly exalted, invisible by nature, and unsearchable in Thy judgments; whose life is without want, whose duration can never alter or fail, whose operation is without toil, whose greatness is unlimited, whose excellency is perpetual, whose habitation is inaccessible, whose dwelling is unchangeable, whose knowledge is without beginning, whose truth is immutable, whose work is without assistants, whose dominion cannot be taken away, whose monarchy is without succession, whose kingdom is without end, whose strength is irresistible, whose army is very numerous: for Thou art the Father of wisdom, the Creator of the creation, by a Mediator, as the cause; the Bestower of providence, the Giver of laws, the Supplier of want, the Punisher of the ungodly, and the Rewarder of the righteous; the God and Father of Christ, and the Lord of those that are pious towards Him, whose promise is infallible, whose judgment without bribes, whose sentiments are immutable, whose piety is incessant, whose thanksgiving is everlasting, through whom30 adoration is worthily due to Thee from every rational and holy nature.


XXXVI. A Prayer Commemorative of the Incarnation of Christ, and His Various Providence to the Saints.

O Lord Almighty Thou hast created the world by Christ, and hast appointed the Sabbath in memory thereof, because that on that day Thou hast made us rest from our works, for the meditation upon Thy laws. Thou hast also appointed festivals for the rejoicing of our souls, that we might come into the remembrance of that wisdom which was created by Thee; how He submitted to be made of a woman on our account; (Pro 8:22, LXX.) He appeared in life, and demonstrated Himself in His baptism; how He that appeared is both God and man; He suffered for us by Thy permission, and died, and rose again by Thy power: on which account we solemnly assemble to celebrate the feast of the resurrection on the Lord’s day, and rejoice on account of Him who has conquered death, and has brought life and immortality to light. For by Him Thou hast brought home the Gentiles to Thyself for a peculiar people, the true Israel, beloved of God, and seeing God. For Thou O Lord, broughtest our fathers out of the land of Egypt, and didst deliver them out of the iron furnace, from clay and brick-making, and didst redeem them out of the hands of Pharaoh, and of those under him, and didst lead them through the sea as through dry land, and didst bear their manners in the wilderness, and bestow on them all sorts of good things. Thou didst give them the law or decalogue, which was pronounced by Thy voice and written with Thy hand. Thou didst enjoin the observation of the Sabbath, not affording them an occasion of idleness, but an opportunity of piety, for their knowledge of Thy power, and the prohibition of evils; having limited them as within an holy circuit for the sake of doctrine, for the rejoicing upon the seventh period. On this account was there appointed one week, and seven weeks, and the seventh month, and the seventh year, and the revolution of these, the jubilee, which is the fiftieth year for remission, that men might have no occasion to pretend ignorance. (Lev 23:1-44, Lev 25:1-55) On this account He permitted men every Sabbath to rest, that so no one might be willing to send one word out of his mouth in anger on the day of the Sabbath. For the Sabbath is the ceasing of the creation, the completion of the world, the inquiry after laws, and the grateful praise to God for the blessings He has bestowed upon men. All which the Lord’s day excels,31 and shows the Mediator Himself, the Provider, the Lawgiver, the Cause of the resurrection, the First-born of the whole creation, God the Word, and man, who was born of Mary alone, without a man, who lived holily, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and died, and rose again from the dead. So that the Lord’s day commands us to offer unto Thee, O Lord, thanksgiving for all.32 For this is the grace afforded by Thee, which on account of its greatness has obscured all other blessings.


XXXVII. A Prayer Containing the Memorial of His Providence, and an Enumeration of the Various Benefits Afforded the Saints by the Providence of God Through Christ.

Thou who hast fulfilled Thy promises made by the prophets, and hast had mercy on Zion, and compassion on Jerusalem, by exalting the throne of David, Thy servant, in the midst of her, by the birth of Christ, who was born of his seed according to the flesh, of a virgin alone; do Thou now, O Lord God, accept the prayers which proceed from the lips of Thy people which are of the Gentiles, which call upon Thee in truth, as Thou didst accept of the gifts of the righteous in their generations. In the first place Thou did respect the sacrifice of Abel, (Gen 4:1-26) and accept it as Thou didst accept of the sacrifice of Noah when he went out of the ark; (Gen 8:1-22) of Abraham, when he went out of the land of the Chaldeans; (Gen 12:1-20) of Isaac at the Well of the Oath; (Gen 26:1-35) of Jacob in Bethel; (Gen 35:1-29) of Moses in the desert; (Exo 3:1-22) of Aaron between the dead and the living; (Num 16:1-50) of Joshua the son of Nun in Gilgal; (Jos 5:1-15) of Gideon at the rock, and the fleeces, before his sin; (Jdg 6:1-40, Jdg 8:1-35) of Manoah and his wife in the field; of Samson in his thirst before the transgression; (Jedg. 13, 15, 16) of Jephtha in the war before his rash vow; of Barak and Deborah in the days of Sisera; (Jdg 11:1-40, Jdg 4:1-24) of Samuel in Mizpeh; (1Sa 7:1-17) of David in the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite; (1Ch 21:1-30) of Solomon in Gibeon and in Jerusalem: (1Ki 3:1-28, 1Ki 8:1-66) of Elijah in Mount Carmel; (1Ki 18:1-46) of Elisha at the barren fountain; (2Ki 11:1-21) of Jehoshaphat in war; (2Ch 18:1-34) of Hezekiah in his sickness, and concerning Sennacherib;33 of Manasseh in the land of the Chaldeans, after his transgression; (2Ch 33:1-25) of Josiah in Phassa;34 of Ezra at the return; (Ezr 8:1-36) of Daniel in the den of lions; (Dan 6:16) of Jonah in the whale’s belly; (Jon 2:1-10) of the three children in the fiery furnace; (Dan 3:1-30) of Hannah in the tabernacle before the ark; (1Sa 1:1-28) of Nehemiah at the rebuilding of the walls; (Neh 3:1-32) of Zerubbabel; of Mattathias and his sons in their zeal; (1 Macc. 1, etc.) of Jael in blessings. Now also do Thou receive the prayers of Thy people which are offered to Thee with knowledge, through Christ in the Spirit.


XXXVIII. A Prayer for the Assistance of the Righteous.

We give Thee thanks for all things, O Lord Almighty, that Thou hast not taken away Thy mercies and Thy compassions from us; but in every succeeding generation Thou dost save, and deliver, and assist, and protect for Thou didst assist in the days of Enos and Enoch, in the days of Moses and Joshua, in the days of the judges, in the days of Samuel and of Elijah and of the prophets, in the days of David and of the kings, in the days of Esther and Mordecai, in the days of Judith, in the days of Judas Maccabeus and his brethren, and in our days hast Thou assisted us by Thy great High Priest, Jesus Christ Thy Son. For He has delivered us from the sword, and hath freed us from famine, and sustained us; has delivered us from sickness, has preserved us from an evil tongue. For all which things do we give Thee thanks through Christ, who has given us an articulate voice to confess withal, and added to it a suitable tongue as an instrument to modulate withal, and a proper taste, and a suitable touch, and a sight for contemplation, and the hearing of sounds, and the smelling of vapours, and hands for work, and feet for walking. And all these members dost Thou form from a little drop in the womb; and after the formation dost Thou bestow on it an immortal soul, and producest it into the light as a rational creature, even man. Thou hast instructed him by Thy laws, improved him by Thy statutes; and when Thou bringest on a dissolution for a while, Thou hast promised a resurrection. Wherefore what life is sufficient, what length of ages will be long enough, for men to be thankful? To do it worthily it is impossible, but to do it according to our ability is just and right. For Thou hast delivered us from the impiety of polytheism, and from the heresy of the murderers of Christ; Thou hast delivered us from error and ignorance; Thou hast sent Christ among men as a man, being the only begotten God; Thou hast made the Comforter to inhabit among us; Thou hast set angels over us; Thou hast put the devil to shame; Thou hast brought us into being when we were not. Thou takest care of us when made; Thou measurest out life to us; Thou affordest us food; Thou hast promised repentance. Glory and worship be to Thee for all these things, through Jesus Christ,35 now and ever, and through all ages. Amen. Meditate on these things, brethren; and the Lord be with you upon earth, and in the kingdom of His Father, who both sent Him, and has “delivered us by Him from the bondage of corruption into His glorious liberty;” (Rom 8:21) and has promised life to those who through Him have believed in the God of the whole world.





1 [See pp. 377, etc., supra.]

2 [See Teaching, i. 1. – R.]

3 The Greek words properly mean: “Introduced was the way of death; not of that death which exists according to the mind of God, but that which has arisen from the plots of the adversary.”

4 [The larger half of chap. i., Teaching, is found in the first half of this chapter; but the matter peculiar to each is of about the same extent. – R.]

5 [Exo 20:13. Five brief precepts, of which this is the first, are common to Teaching, ii. 2, and the rest of this chapter. – R.]

6 [Seven brief clauses of Teaching, ii. 2, 3, are found in this chapter. – R.]

7 [Chap. iv. also contains seven clauses found in Teaching (ii. 3-6), while chap. v. has but five and a verbal resemblance; chap. ii. of the Teaching is, however, almost entirely given in these passages. – R.]

8 [Chaps. vi.-viii. contain passages parallel to nearly one-half of chap. iii., Teaching, and in the same order. – R.]

9 The words from “for he that walketh” to “be known” are omitted in one V. ms.

10 [Chaps. ix.-xvii. contain nearly every clause of Teaching, chap. iv., in the same order, and with every appearance of a designed enlargement of that passage. – R.]

11 [For the remarkable agreement of this chapter with Teaching, chap. v., see the latter; comp. also Barnabas, xx. – R.]

12 [Chaps. xix.-xxi. have few parallels with the Teaching. – R.]

13 The words from “Wise Ezra” to “sorrowful” are not in one V. ms.

14 [Comp. with this chapter, Teaching, chap. vii. – R.

15 [Comp. the few but remarkable resemblances of Teaching, chap. viii., with chaps. xxiii., xxiv., here. – R.]

16 [See the eucharistic prayer in Teaching, chap. ix. The correspondance and divergence are alike interesting. – R.]

17 1Co 11:1-34:59. [See Elucidation I. p. 382, supra.]

18 [Comp. Teaching, chap. x. – R.]

19 [“Maran atha,” as in Teaching. – R.]

20 1Co 16:22; Mat 21:9; Mar 11:10. [Comp. Joh 12:13 – R.]

21 [Comp. Teaching, chap. xi., where, however, only a few phrases correspond. – R.]

22 [This sentence is found in Teaching, chap. xii. – R.]

23 [Part of this sentence has a parallel in Teaching, chap. xiii., but there is an obvious difference of circumstances. Chap. xxix. presents more parallel passages. – R.]

24 [The resemblance to Teaching, chap. xiv. is marked. – R.]

25 [Comp. text and notes, Teaching, chap. xv. – R.]

26 [This clause is found verbatim in Teaching, chap. xvi. There is a resemblance also, in order of topics, from this point down to the phrase “above the clouds;” see chap. xxxii. No further correspondances appear. – R.]

27 A conjecture of Cotelerius is adopted. The mss. read “nourishment” instead of “joy.”

28 [i.e., “the wonderful Numberer:” Eng. marg.]

29 Dan 8:13. [Not according to Heb. nor LXX. as now.]

30 One V. ms. reads “with whom.”

31 [Vol. 6. p. 149, note 25, this series.]

32 [Justin Martyr, vol. 1. p. 186, this series.]

33 2Ki 20:1-21, 2Ki 19:1-37. [Curiously enough, the chronological order, according to the best recent authorities, is that indicated above; the sickness (2Ki 20:1-21) preceded the invasion of Sennacherib (2Ki 19:1-37). Monumental evidence confirms this view. – R.]

34 2Ch 35:1-27. Cotelerius conjectures “in his passover,” instead of “in Phassa.” [A very probable textual emendation. – R.]

35 One V. ms. reads, “with Christ and the Holy Spirit.”












Constitutions of the Holy Apostles. (Cont.)

Book VII. (Cont.)

Sec. III. – On the Instruction of Catechumens, and Their Initiation into Baptism.

Now, after what manner those ought to live that are initiated into Christ, and what thanksgivings they ought to send up to God through Christ, has been said in the foregoing directions. But it is reasonable not to leave even those who are not yet initiated without assistance.


XXXIX. How the Catechumens Are to Be Instructed in the Elements.

Let him, therefore, who is to be taught the truth in regard to piety be instructed before his baptism in the knowledge of the unbegotten God, in the understanding of His only begotten Son, in the assured acknowledgment of the Holy Ghost. Let him learn the order of the several parts of the creation, the series of providence, the different dispensations of Thy laws. Let him be instructed why the world was made, and why man was appointed to be a citizen therein; let him also know his own nature, of what sort it is; let him be taught how God punished the wicked with water and fire, and did glorify the saints in every generation – I mean Seth, and Enos, and Enoch, and Noah, and Abraham and his posterity, and Melchizedek, and Job, and Moses, and Joshua, and Caleb, and Phineas the priest, and those that were holy in every generation; and how God still took care of and did not reject mankind, but called them from their error and vanity to the acknowledgment of the truth at various seasons, reducing them from bondage and impiety unto liberty and piety, from injustice to righteousness, from death eternal to everlasting life. Let him that offers himself to baptism learn these and the like things during the time that he is a catechumen; and let him who lays his hands upon him adore God, the Lord of the whole world, and thank Him for His creation, for His sending Christ His only begotten Son, that He might save man by blotting out his transgressions, and that He might remit ungodliness and sins, and might “purify him from all filthiness of flesh and spirit,” (2Co 7:1) and sanctify man according to the good pleasure of His kindness, that He might inspire him with the knowledge of His will, and enlighten the eyes of his heart to consider of His wonderful works, and make known to him the judgments of righteousness, that so he might hate every way of iniquity, and walk in the way of truth, that he might be thought worthy of the laver of regeneration, to the adoption of sons, which is in Christ, that “being planted together in the likeness of the death of Christ,” (Rom 6:5) in hopes of a glorious communication, he may be mortified to sin, and may live to God, as to his mind, and word, and deed, and may be numbered together in the book of the living. And after this thanksgiving, let him instruct him in the doctrines concerning our Lord’s incarnation, and in those concerning His passion, and resurrection from the dead, and assumption.


XL. A Constitution How the Catechumens Are to Be Blessed by the Priests in Their Initiation, and What Things Are to Be Taught Them.

And when it remains that the catechumen is to be baptized, let him learn what concerns the renunciation of the devil, and the joining himself with Christ; for it is fit that he should first abstain from things contrary, and then be admitted to the mysteries. He must beforehand purify his heart from all wickedness of disposition, from all spot and wrinkle, and then partake of the holy things; for as the skilfullest husbandman does first purge his ground of the thorns which are grown up therein, and does then sow his wheat, so ought you also to take away all impiety from them, and then to sow the seeds of piety in them, and vouchsafe them baptism. For even our Lord did in this manner exhort us, saying first, “Make disciples of all nations;” (Mat 28:19) and then He adds this, “and baptize them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Let, therefore, the candidate for baptism declare thus in his renunciation:36


XLI. The Renunciation of the Adversary, and the Dedication to the Christ of God.

I renounce Satan, and his works, and his pomps, and his worships, and his angels, and his inventions, and all things that are under him. And after his renunciation let him in his consociation say: And I associate myself to Christ, and believe, and am baptized into one unbegotten Being, the only true God Almighty, the Father of Christ, the Creator and Maker of all things, from whom are all things; and into the Lord Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, the First-born of the whole creation, who before the ages was begotten by the good pleasure of the Father, by whom all things were made, both those in heaven and those on earth, visible and invisible; who in the last days descended from heaven, and took flesh, and was born of the holy Virgin Mary, and did converse holily according to the laws of His God and Father, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and died for us, and rose again from the dead after His passion the third day, and ascended into the heavens, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father, and again is to come at the end of the world with glory to judge the quick and the dead, of whose kingdom there shall be no end. And I am baptized into the Holy Ghost, that is, the Comforter, who wrought in all the saints from the beginning of the world, but was afterwards sent to the apostles by the Father, according to the promise of our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ; and after the apostles, to all those that believe in the Holy Catholic Church; into the resurrection of the flesh, and into the remission of sins, and into the kingdom of heaven, and into the life of the world to come. And after this vow, he comes in order to the anointing with oil.


XLII. A Thanksgiving Concerning the Anointing with the Mystical Oil.

Now this is blessed by the high priest for the remission of sins, and the first preparation for baptism. For he calls thus upon the unbegotten God, the Father of Christ, the King of all sensible and intelligible natures, that He would sanctify the oil in the name of the Lord Jesus, and impart to it spiritual grace and efficacious strength, the remission of sins, and the first preparation for the confession of baptism, that so the candidate for baptism, when he is anointed may be freed from all ungodliness, and may become worthy of initiation, according to the command of the Only-begotten.


XLIII. A Thanksgiving Concerning the Mystical Water.

After this he comes to the water, and blesses and glorifies the Lord God Almighty, the Father of the only begotten God;37 and the priest returns thanks that He has sent His Son to become man on our account, that He might save us; that He has permitted that He should in all things become obedient to the laws of that incarnation, to preach the kingdom of heaven, the remission of sins, and the resurrection of the dead. Moreover, he adores the only begotten God Himself, after His Father, and for Him, giving Him thanks that He undertook to die for all men by the cross, the type of which He has appointed to be the baptism of regeneration. He glorifies Him also, for that God who is the Lord of the whole world, in the name of Christ and by His Holy Spirit, has not cast off mankind, but has suited His providence to the difference of seasons: at first giving to Adam himself paradise for an habitation of pleasure, and afterwards giving a command on account of providence, and casting out the offender justly, but through His goodness not utterly casting him off, but instructing his posterity in succeeding ages after various manners; on whose account, in the conclusion of the world, He has sent His Son to become man for man’s sake, and to undergo all human passions without sin. Him, therefore, let the priest even now call upon in baptism, and let him say: Look down from heaven, and sanctify this water, and give it grace and power, that so he that is to be baptized, according to the command of Thy Christ, may be crucified with Him, and may die with Him, and may be buried with Him, and may rise with Him to the adoption which is in Him, that he may be dead to sin and live to righteousness. And after this, when he has baptized him in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, he shall anoint him with ointment, and shall add as follows: –


XLIV. A Thanksgiving Concerning the Mystical Ointment.

O Lord God, who art without generation, and without a superior, the Lord of the whole world, who hast scattered the sweet odour of the knowledge of the Gospel among all nations, do Thou grant at this time that this ointment may be efficacious upon him that is baptized, that so the sweet odour of Thy Christ may continue upon him firm and fixed; and that now he has died with Him, he may arise and live with Him. Let him say these and the like things, for this is the efficacy of the laying on of hands on every one; for unless there be such a recital made by a pious priest over every one of these, the candidate for baptism does only descend into the water as do the Jews, and he only puts off the filth of the body, not the filth of the soul. After this let him stand up, and pray that prayer which the Lord taught us. But, of necessity, he who is risen again ought to stand up and pray, because he that is raised up stands upright. Let him, therefore, who has been dead with Christ, and is raised up with Him, stand up. But let him pray towards the east.38 For this also is written in the second book of the Chronicles, that after the temple of the Lord was finished by King Solomon, in the very feast of dedication the priests and the Levites and the singers stood up towards the east, praising and thanking God with cymbals and psalteries, and saying, “Praise the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever.” (2Ch 5:13)


XLV. A Prayer For The New Fruits.

But let him pray thus after the foregoing prayer, and say: O God Almighty, the Father of Thy Christ, Thy only begotten Son, give me a body undefiled, a heart pure, a mind watchful, an unerring knowledge, the influence of the Holy Ghost for the obtaining and assured enjoying of the truth, through Thy Christ, by whom39 glory be to Thee, in the Holy Spirit, for ever. Amen. We have thought it reasonable to make these constitutions concerning the catechumens.


Sec. IV. – Enumeration Ordained by Apostles.

XLVI. Who Were They that the Holy Apostles Sent and Ordained?

Now concerning those bishops which have been ordained in our lifetime, we let you know that they are these: – James the bishop of Jerusalem, the brother of our Lord;40 upon whose death the second was Simeon the son of Cleopas; after whom the third was Judas the son of James. Of Cæsarea of Palestine, the first was Zacchæus, who was once a publican; after whom was Cornelius, and the third Theophilus. Of Antioch, Euodius, ordained by me Peter; and Ignatius by Paul. Of Alexandria, Annianus was the first, ordained by Mark the evangelist; the second Avilius by Luke, who was also an evangelist. Of the church of Rome, Linus the son of Claudia was the first, ordained by Paul; (2Ti 4:21) and Clemens, after Linus’ death, the second, ordained by me Peter.41 Of Ephesus, Timotheus, ordained by Paul; and John, by me John. Of Smyrna, Aristo the first; after whom Stratæas the son of Lois; (2Ti 1:5) and the third Aristo. Of Pergamus, Gaius. Of Philadelphia, Demetrius, by me. Of Cenchrea, Lucius, by Paul. Of Crete, Titus. Of Athens, Dionysius. Of Tripoli in Phœnicia, Marathones. Of Laodicea in Phrygia, Archippus.42 Of Colossæ, Philemon. (Phm 1:1) Of Borea in Macedonia, Onesimus, once the servant of Philemon. (Phm 1:10. – R.) Of the churches of Galatia, Crescens. (Comp. 2Ti 4:10. – R.) Of the parishes of Asia, Aquila and Nicetas. Of the church of Æginæ, Crispus. These are the bishops who are entrusted by us with the parishes in the Lord; whose doctrine keep ye always in mind, and observe our words. And may the Lord be with you now, and to endless ages, as Himself said to us when He was about to be taken up to His own God and Father. For says He, “Lo, I am with you all the days, until the end of the world. Amen.” (Mat 28:20)


Sec. V. – Daily Prayers.

XLVII. A Morning Prayer.

“Glory be to God in the highest, and upon earth peace, good-will among men.” (Luk 2:14) We praise Thee, we sing hymns to Thee, we bless Thee; we glorify Thee, we worship Thee by Thy great High Priest; Thee who art the true God, who art the One Unbegotten, the only inaccessible Being. For Thy great glory, O Lord and heavenly King, O God the Father Almighty, O Lord God,43 the Father of Christ the immaculate Lamb, who taketh away the sin of the world, receive our prayer, Thou that sittest upon the cherubim. For Thou only art holy, Thou only art the Lord Jesus, the Christ of the God of all created nature, and our King, by whom glory, honour, and worship be to Thee.


XLVIII. An Evening Prayer.

“Ye children, praise the Lord: praise the name of the Lord.” (Psa 113:1) We praise Thee, we sing hymns to Thee, we bless Thee for Thy great glory, O Lord our King, the Father of Christ the immaculate Lamb, who taketh away the sin of the world. Praise becomes Thee, hymns become Thee, glory becomes Thee, the God and Father,44 through the Son, in the most holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen. “Now, O Lord, lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word; for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light for the revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.” (Luk 2:29, etc.)


XLIX. A Prayer at Dinner.

Thou art blessed, O Lord, who nourishest me from my youth, who givest food to all flesh. Fill our hearts with joy and gladness, that having always what is sufficient for us, we may abound to every good work, in Christ Jesus our Lord, through whom45 glory, honour, and power be to Thee for ever. Amen.


General Note.

Comparing the Teaching with chapters xxv. and xxvi. of these Constitutions, it seems to me that the nature of the eucharistic (thanksgiving) prayers becomes apparent. They presuppose the formulas to be found in the eighth book of the Constitutions,46 and are such instructions as were imparted only to catechumens; the part peculiar to presbyters being withheld, of course, as esoteric mysteries, until further knowledge was canonically appropriate. See Elucidation IV. vol. 6. p. 236; and in this volume, Elucidation I. p. 382. The Bryennios ms. is cleared from nearly all difficulties by Dr. Riddle’s lucid notes, when compared with corresponding passages in the Constitutions, or illustrated by such as are supplementary.







36 [Compare Justin Martyr, vol. 1. p. 183, this series.]

37 One V. ms. has “Son” instead of “God.” Cotelerius remarks that this change was made in the interests of orthodoxy; for the expression “only begotten God” had become common with the Arians. [Comp. Joh 1:18, where the most weighty ancient authorities read μονγενὴς θεός instead of ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός; see Revised Version, margin, in loco. – R.]

38 [Compare vol. 2. p. 535 and vol. 3. p. 31.]

39 One V. ms. reads, “with whom glory be to Thee, along with the Holy Spirit.”

40 [An incidental proof of the early origin of this compilation is furnished by the clear distinction it makes between James the son of Alphæus and James the brother of our Lord. The theory of Jerome, which identifies them, was later. – R.]

41 [Noteworthy, and to be recalled hereafter. See vol. 3. p. 258.]

42 [Comp. Col 4:16, Col 4:17, whence this is probably derived. – R.]

43 One V. ms. gives a more orthodox form to this prayer: “O Lord, only begotten Son, and Holy Spirit, Lord God, the Lamb of God, the Son of the Father, who takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Thou who sittest at the right hand of the Father, have mercy upon us, for Thou only art holy: Thou only art Christ, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.”

44 One V. ms. omits “the God and;” then reads, “to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”

45 One V. ms. reads, “with whom.”

46 Beginning p. 479, infra.








Constitutions of the Holy Apostles. (Cont.)

Book VIII.

Concerning Gifts, and Ordinations, and the Ecclesiastical Canons.

Sec. I. – On the Diversity of Spiritual Gifts.

I. On Whose Account the Powers of Miracles Are Performed.

Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour, delivered to us the great mystery of godliness, and called both Jews and Gentiles to the acknowledgment of the one and only1 true God His Father,2 as Himself somewhere says, when He was giving thanks for the salvation of those that had believed, “I have manifested Thy name to men, I have finished the work Thou gavest me;” (Joh 17:6, Joh 17:4) and said concerning us to His Father, “Holy Father, although the world has not known Thee, yet have I known Thee; and these have known Thee.” (Joh 17:11, Joh 17:25) With good reason did He say to all of us together, when we were perfected concerning those gifts which were given from Him by the Spirit: “Now these signs shall follow them that have believed in my name: they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall by no means hurt them: they shall lay their hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mar 16:17, Mar 16:18) These gifts were first bestowed on us the apostles when we were about to preach the Gospel to every creature, and afterwards were of necessity afforded to those who had by our means believed; not for the advantage of those who perform them, but for the conviction of the unbelievers, that those whom the word did not persuade, the power of signs might put to shame: for signs are not for us who believe, but for the unbelievers, both for the Jews and Gentiles. For neither is it any profit to us to cast out demons, but to those who are so cleansed by the power of the Lord; as the Lord3 Himself somewhere instructs us, and shows, saying: “Rejoice ye, not because the spirits are subject unto you; but rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luk 10:20) Since the former is done by His power, but this by our good disposition and diligence, yet (it is manifest) by His assistance. It is not therefore necessary that every one of the faithful should cast out demons, or raise the dead, or speak with tongues; but such a one only who is vouchsafed this gift, for some cause which may be advantage to the salvation of the unbelievers, who are often put to shame, not with the demonstration of the world, but by the power of the signs; that is, such as are worthy of salvation: for all the ungodly are not affected by wonders; and hereof God Himself is a witness, as when He says in the law: “With other tongues will I speak to this people, and with other lips, and yet will they by no means believe.” (Isa 28:11; 1Co 14:21) For neither did the Egyptians believe in God, when Moses had done so many signs and wonders; (Exo 7:1-25 and Exo 4:1-31) nor did the multitude of the Jews believe in Christ, as they believed Moses, who yet had healed every sickness and every disease among them. (Deu 18:15, etc.) Nor were the former shamed by the rod which was turned into a living serpent, nor by the hand which was made white with leprosy, nor by the river Nile turned into blood; nor the latter by the blind who recovered their sight, nor by the lame who walked, nor by the dead who were raised. (Mat 11:5) The one was resisted by Jannes and Jambres, the other by Annas and Caiaphas. (2Ti 3:8) Thus signs do not shame all into belief, but only those of a good disposition; for whose sake also it is that God is pleased, as a wise steward of a family, to appoint miracles to be wrought, not by the power of men, but by His own will. Now we say these things, that those who have received such gifts may not exalt themselves against those who have not received them; such gifts, we mean, as are for the working of miracles. For otherwise there is no man who has believed in God through Christ,4 that has not received some spiritual gift: for this very thing, having been delivered from the impiety of polytheism, and having believed in God the Father through Christ,5 this is a gift of God. And the having cast off the veil of Judaism, and having believed that, by the good pleasure of God, His only begotten Son, who was before all ages,6 was in the last time born of a virgin,7 without the company of a man, and that He lived as a man, yet without sin, and fulfilled all that righteousness which is of the law; and that, by the permission of God, He who was God the Word endured the cross, and despised the shame; and that He died, and was buried, and rose within three days; and that after His resurrection, having continued forty days with His apostles, and completed His whole constitutions, He was taken up in their sight to His God and Father, who sent Him: he who has believed these things, not at random and irrationally, but with judgment and full assurance, has received the gift of God. So also has He who is delivered from every heresy. Let not, therefore, any one that works signs and wonders judge any one of the faithful who is not vouchsafed the same: for the gifts of God which are bestowed by Him through Christ are various; and one man receives one gift, and another another. For perhaps one has the word of wisdom, and another the word of knowledge; (1Co 12:8) another, discerning of spirits; another, foreknowledge of things to come; another, the word of teaching; another, long-suffering; another, continence according to the law: for even Moses, the man of God, when he wrought signs in Egypt, did not exalt himself against his equals: and when he was called a god, he did not arrogantly despise his own prophet Aaron. (Exo 7:1) Nor did Joshua the son of Nun, who was the leader of the people after him, though in the war with the Jebusites he had made the sun stand still over against Gibeon, and the moon over against the valley of Ajalon (Jos 10:1-43) because the day was not long enough for their victory, insult over Phineas or Caleb. Nor did Samuel, who had done so many surprising things, disregard David the beloved of God: yet they were both prophets, and the one was high priest, and the other was king. And when there were only seven thousand holy men in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal, (1Ki 19:18; Rom 11:4) Elijah alone among them, and his disciple Elisha, were workers of miracles. Yet neither did Elijah despise Obadiah the steward, who feared God, but wrought no signs; nor did Elisha despise his own disciple when he trembled at the enemies. (2Ki 6:1-33) Moreover, neither did the wise Daniel who was twice delivered from the mouths of the lions, nor the three children who were delivered from the furnace of fire, (Dan 6:16, Dan 3:1-30) despise the rest of their fellow-Israelites: for they knew that they had not escaped these terrible miseries by their own might; but by the power of God did they both work miracles, and were delivered from miseries. Wherefore let none of you exalt himself against his brother, though he be a prophet, or though he be a worker of miracles: for if it happens that there be no longer an unbeliever, all the power of signs will thenceforwards be superfluous. For to be pious is from any one’s good disposition; but to work wonders is from the power of Him that works them by us: the first of which respects ourselves; but the second respects God that works them, for the reasons which we have already mentioned. Wherefore neither let a king despise his officers that are under him, nor the rulers those who are subject. For where there are none to be ruled over, rulers are superfluous; and where there are no officers, the kingdom will not stand. Moreover, let not a bishop be exalted against his deacons and presbyters, nor the presbyters against the people: for the subsistence of the congregation depends on each other. For the bishops and the presbyters are the priests with relation to the people; and the laity are the laity with relation to the clergy. And to be a Christian is in our own power; but to be an apostle, or a bishop, or in any other such office, is not in our own power, but at the disposal of God, who bestows the gifts. And thus much concerning those who are vouchsafed gifts and dignities.


II. Concerning Unworthy Bishops and Presbyters.

We add, in the next place, that neither is every one that prophesies holy, nor every one that casts out devils religious: for even Balaam the son of Beor the prophet did prophesy, (Num 23:1-30 and Num 24:1-25) though he was himself ungodly; as also did Caiaphas, the falsely-named high priest.8 Nay, the devil foretells many things, and the demons, about Him; and yet for all that, there is not a spark of piety in them: for they are oppressed with ignorance, by reason of their voluntary wickedness. It is manifest, therefore, that the ungodly, although they prophesy, do not by their prophesying cover their own impiety; nor will those who cast out demons be sanctified by the demons being made subject to them: for they only mock one another, as they do who play childish tricks for mirth, and destroy those who give heed to them. For neither is a wicked king any longer a king, but a tyrant; nor is a bishop oppressed with ignorance or an evil disposition a bishop, but falsely so called, being not one sent out by God, but by men, as Ananiah and Samœah in Jerusalem, and Zedekiah and Achiah the false prophets in Babylon. (Jer 28:1-17 and Jer 29:1-32) And indeed Balaam the prophet, when he had corrupted Israel by Baal-peor, suffered punishment; (Num 25:1-18 and Num 31:1-54) and Caiaphas at last was his own murderer; and the sons of Sceva, endeavouring to cast out demons, were wounded by them, and fled away in an unseemly manner; (Act 19:14) and the kings of Israel and of Judah, when they became impious, suffered all sorts of punishments. It is therefore evident how bishops and presbyters, also falsely so called, will not escape the judgment of God. For it will be said to them even now: “O ye priests that despise my name, (Mal 1:6) I will deliver you up to the slaughter, as I did Zedekiah and Achiah, whom the king of Babylon fried in a frying-pan,” as says Jeremiah the prophet. (Jer 29:22) We say these things, not in contempt of true prophecies, for we know that they are wrought in holy men by the inspiration of God, but to put a stop to the boldness of vainglorious men; and add this withal, that from such as these God takes away His grace: for “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.” (1Pe 5:5) Now Silas and Agabus prophesied in our times; (Act 11:28, Act 15:32, Act 21:10) yet did they not equal themselves to the apostles, nor did they exceed their own measures though they were beloved of God. Now women prophesied also. Of old, Miriam the sister of Moses and Aaron, (Exo 15:20) and after her Deborah, (Jdg 4:4) and after these Huldah (2Ki 22:14) and Judith (Judith 8) – the former under Josiah, the latter under Darius. The mother of the Lord did also prophesy, and her kinswoman Elisabeth, and Anna; (Luk 1:1-80 and Luk 2:1-52) and in our time the daughters of Philip: (Act 21:9) yet were not these elated against their husbands, but preserved their own measures.9 Wherefore if among you also there be a man or a woman, and such a one obtains any gift let him be humble that God ma be pleased with him. For says He: “Upon whom will I look, but upon him that is humble and quiet, and trembles at my words?” (Isa 66:2)


Sec. II. – Election and Ordination of Bishops: Form of Service on Sundays.

III. That to Make Constitutions About the Offices to Be Performed in the Churches Is of Great Consequence.

We have now finished the first part of this discourse concerning gifts, whatever they be, which God has bestowed upon men according to His own will; and how He rebuked the ways of those who either attempted to speak lies, or were moved by the spirit of the adversary; and that God often employed the wicked10 For prophecy and the performance of wonders. But now our discourse hastens as to the principal part, that is, the constitution of ecclesiastical affairs, that so, when ye have learned this constitution from us, ye who are ordained bishops by us at the command of Christ, may perform all things according to the commands delivered you, knowing that he that heareth us heareth Christ, and he that heareth Christ heareth His God and Father, (Luk 10:16) to whom be glory for ever. Amen.


IV. Concerning Ordinations.

Wherefore we, the twelve apostles of the Lord, who are now together, give you in charge those divine constitutions concerning every ecclesiastical form, there being present with us Paul the chosen vessel, our fellow-apostle, and James the bishop, and the rest of the presbyters, and the seven deacons.11 In the first place, therefore, I Peter say,12 that a bishop ordained is to be, as we have already, all of us, appointed, unblamable in all things, a select person,13 chosen by the whole people, who, when he is named and approved, let the people assemble, with the presbytery and bishops that are present, on the Lord’s day, and let them give their consent. And let the principal of the bishops ask the presbytery and people whether this be the person whom they desire for their ruler. And if they give their consent, let him ask further whether he has a good testimony from all men as to his worthiness for so great and glorious an authority; whether all things relating to his piety towards God be right; whether justice towards men has been observed by him; whether the affairs of his family have been well ordered by him; whether he has been unblameable in the course of his life. And if all the assembly together do according to truth, and not according to prejudice, witness that he is such a one, let them the third time, as before God the Judge, and Christ, the Holy Ghost being also present, as well as all the holy and ministering spirits, ask again whether he be truly worthy of this ministry, that so “in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” (Mat 18:16) And if they agree the third time that he is worthy, let them all be demanded their vote; and when they all give it willingly, let them be heard. And silence being made, let one of the principal bishops, together with two others, stand near to the altar, the rest of the bishops and presbyters praying silently, and the deacons holding the divine Gospels open upon the head of him that is to be ordained, and say to God thus:14


V. The Form of Prayer for the Ordination of a Bishop.


O Thou the great Being, O Lord God Almighty, who   alone art unbegotten, and ruled over by none; who always art, and wast before   the world; who standest in need of nothing, and art above all cause and   beginning; who only art true, who only art wise; who alone art the most high;   who art by nature invisible; whose knowledge is without beginning; who only   art good, and beyond compare; who knowest all things before they are; who art   acquainted with the most secret things; who art inaccessible, and without a   superior; the God and Father of Thy only begotten Son, of our God and   Saviour; the Creator of the whole world by Him; whose providence provides for   and takes the care of all; the Father of mercies, and God of all consolation;   (2Co 1:3) who dwellest in the highest heavens, (Psa 113:5) and   yet lookest down on things below: Thou who didst appoint the rules of the   Church, by the coming of Thy Christ in the flesh; of which the Holy Ghost is   the witness, by Thy apostles, and by us the bishops, who by Thy grace are   here present; who hast fore-ordained priests from the beginning for the   government of Thy people – Abel in the first place, Seth and Enos, and Enoch   and Noah, and Melchisedec and Job; who didst appoint Abraham, and the rest of   the patriarchs, with Thy faithful servants Moses and Aaron, and Eleazar and   Phineas; who didst choose from among them rulers and priests in the   tabernacle of Thy testimony; who didst choose Samuel for a priest and a   prophet; who didst not leave Thy sanctuary without ministers; who didst   delight in those whom Thou chosest to be glorified in. Do Thou, by us, pour   down the influence of Thy free Spirit, through the mediation of Thy Christ,   which is committed to Thy beloved Son Jesus Christ; which He bestowed   according to Thy will on the holy apostles of Thee the eternal God. Grant by   Thy name, O God, who searchest the hearts, that this Thy servant, whom Thou   hast chosen to be a bishop, may feed Thy holy flock, and discharge the office   of an high priest to Thee, and minister to Thee, unblameably night and day;   that he may appease Thee, and gather together the number of those that shall   be saved, and may offer to Thee the gifts of Thy holy Church. Grant to him, O   Lord Almighty, through Thy Christ, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, that so   he may have power to remit sins according to Thy command; to give forth lots   according to Thy command; to loose every bond, according to the power which   Thou gavest the apostles; that he may please Thee in meekness and a pure   heart, with a sledfast, unblameable, and unreprovable mind; to offer to Thee   a pure and unbloody sacrifice, which by Thy Christ Thou hast appointed as the   mystery of the new covenant, for a sweet savour, through Thy holy child Jesus   Christ, our God and Saviour, through whom16 glory, honour, and   worship be to Thee in the Holy Spirit, now and always, and for all ages. And   when he has prayed for these things, let the rest of the priests add, Amen;   and together with them all the people. And after the prayer let one of the   bishops elevate the sacrifice upon the hands of him that is ordained, and   early in the morning let him be placed in his throne, in a place set apart   far him among the rest of the bishops, they all giving him the kiss in   the Lord.17 And after the reading of the Law18   and the Prophets, and our Epistles, and Acts, and the Gospels, let him   that is ordained salute the Church, saying, The grace of our Lord Jesus   Christ, the love of God and the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost,   be with you all; and let them all answer, and with Thy Spirit. And after   these words let him speak to the people the words of exhortation; and when he   has ended his word of doctrine (I Andrew19 the brother of   Peter speak), all standing up, let the deacon ascend upon some high seat,   and proclaim, Let none of the hearers, let none of the unbelievers   stay; and silence being made, let him say: –

OXFORD MS.15 God and Father of our Lord   Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who knowest   all things before they take place; Thou who didst appoint the rules of the   Church through the word of Thy grace; who didst appoint beforehand the race   righteous from the beginning that came from Abraham to be rulers, and didst   constitute them priests, not leaving Thy sanctuary without ministers; who   from the foundation of the world didst delight in those whom Thou chosest to   be glorified in; and now pour down the influence of Thy free Spirit, which   through Thy beloved Son Jesus Christ Thou hast bestowed on Thy holy apostles,   who set up the Church in the place of the sanctuary, to unending glory and   praise of Thy name: O Thou, who knowest the hearts of all, grant that this   Thy servant whom Thou hast chosen to the holy office of Thy bishop, may   discharge the duty of a high priest to Thee, and minister to Thee unblameably   night and day; that he may appease Thee unceasingly, and present to Thee the   gifts of Thy holy Church, and in the spirit of the high-priesthood have power   to remit sins according to Thy commandment, to give lots according to Thy   injunction, to loose every bond according to the power which Thou hast given   to the apostles, and be well-pleasing to Thee, in meekness and a pure heart   offering a smell of sweet savour through Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, with   whom to Thee be glory, power, and honour, along with the Holy Spirit, now and   for ever. Amen.


VI. The Divine Liturgy, Wherein Is the Bidding Prayer for the Catechumens.

Ye catechumens, pray, and let all the faithful pray for them in their mind, saying: Lord, have mercy upon them. And let the deacon bid prayers for them, saving: Let us all pray unto God for the catechumens, that He that is good, He that is the lover of mankind, will mercifully hear their prayers and their supplications, and so accept their petitions as to assist them and give them those desires of their hearts which are for their advantage, and reveal to them the Gospel of His Christ; give them illumination and understanding, instruct them in the knowledge of God, teach them His commands and His ordinances, implant in them His pure and saving fear, open the ears of their hearts, that they may exercise themselves in His law day and night; strengthen them in piety, unite them to and number them with His holy flock; vouchsafe them the laver of regeneration, and the garment of incorruption, which is the true life; and deliver them from all ungodliness, and give no place to the adversary against them; “and cleanse them from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and dwell in them, and walk in them, by His Christ; bless their goings out and their comings in, and order their affairs for their good.” (2Co 7:1, 2Co 6:16; Psa 121:8) Let us still earnestly put up our supplications for them, that they may obtain the forgiveness of their transgressions by their admission, and so may be thought worthy of the holy mysteries, and of constant communion with the saints. Rise up, ye catechumens, beg for yourselves the peace of God through His Christ, a peaceable day, and free from sin, and the like for the whole time of your life, and your Christian ends of it; a compassionate and merciful God; and the forgiveness of your transgressions. Dedicate yourselves to the only unbegotten God, through His Christ. Bow down your heads, and receive the blessing. But at the naming of every one by the deacon, as we said before, let the people say, Lord, have mercy upon him; and let the children say it first. And as they have bowed down their heads, let the bishop who is newly ordained bless them with this blessing: O God Almighty, unbegotten and inaccessible, who only art the true God, the God and Father of Thy Christ, Thy only begotten Son; the God20 of the Comforter, and Lord of the whole world; who by Christ didst appoint Thy disciples to be teachers for the teaching of piety; do Thou now also look down upon Thy servants, who are receiving instruction in the Gospel of Thy Christ, and “give them a new heart, and renew a right spirit in their inward parts, (Psa 51:10) that they may both know and do Thy will with full purpose of heart, and with a willing soul. Vouchsafe them an holy admission, and unite them to Thy holy Church, and make them partakers of Thy divine mysteries, through Christ, who is our hope, and who died for them; by whom glory and worship be given to Thee in the Holy Spirit for ever. Amen. And after this, let the deacon say: Go out, ye catechumens, in peace. And after they are gone out, let him say: Ye energumens, afflicted with unclean spirits, pray, and let us all earnestly, pray for them, that God, the lover of mankind, will by Christ rebuke the unclean and wicked spirits, and deliver His supplicants from the dominion of the adversary. May He that rebuked the legion of demons, and the devil, the prince of wickedness, (Mar 5:9; Zec 3:2) even now rebuke these apostates from piety, and deliver His own workmanship from his power, and cleanse those creatures which He has made with great wisdom. Let us still pray earnestly for them. Save them, O God, and raise them up by Thy power. Bow down your heads, ye energumens, and receive the blessings. And let the bishop add this prayer, and say: –


VII. For the Energumens.

Thou, who hast bound the strong man, and spoiled all that was in his house, who hast given us power over serpents and scorpions to tread upon them, and upon all the power of the enemy; (Mat 12:29; Luk 10:19) who hast delivered the serpent, that murderer of men, bound to us, as a sparrow to children, whom all things dread, and tremble before the face of Thy power; (Job 40:24, LXX.) who hast cast him down as lightning from heaven to earth, (Luk 10:18) not with a fall from a place, but from honour to dishonour, on account of his voluntary evil disposition; whose look dries the abysses, and threatening melts the mountains, and whose truth remains for ever; whom the infants praise, and sucking babes bless; whom angels sing hymns to, and adore; who lookest upon the earth, and makest it tremble; who touchest the mountains, and they smoke; who threatenest the sea, and driest it up, and makest all its rivers as desert, and the clouds are the dust of His feet; who walkest upon the sea as upon the firm ground; (Psa 106:9; Isa 51:10; Psa 97:5; Isa 64:1; Psa 117:2, Psa 8:2, Psa 97:4, Psa 104:32; Nah 1:4, Nah 1:3; Job 9:8, LXX.) Thou only begotten God,21 the Son of the great Father, rebuke these wicked spirits, and deliver the works of Thy hands from the power of the adverse spirit. For to Thee is due glory, honour, and worship, and by Thee to Thy Father, in the Holy Spirit, for ever. Amen. And let the deacon say: Go out, ye energumens. And after them, let him cry aloud: Ye that are to be illuminated, pray. Let all us, the faithful, earnestly pray for them, that the Lord will vouchsafe that, being initiated into the death of Christ, they may rise with Him, and become partakers of His kingdom, and may be admitted to the communion of His mysteries; unite them to, number them among, those that are saved in His holy Church. Save them, and raise them up by Thy grace. And being sealed to God through His Christ, let them bow down their heads, and receive this blessing from the bishop: –


VIII. For the Baptized.

Thou who hast formerly said by Thy holy prophets to those that be initiated, “Wash ye, become clean,” (Isa 1:16) and hast appointed spiritual regeneration by Christ, do Thou now also look down upon these that are baptized, and bless them, and sanctify them, and prepare them that they may become worthy of Thy spiritual gift, and of the true adoption of Thy spiritual mysteries, of being gathered together with those that are saved through Christ our Saviour; by whom glory, honour, and worship be to Thee, in the Holy Ghost, for ever. Amen. And let the deacon say: Go out, ye that are preparing for illumination. And after that let him proclaim: Ye penitents, pray; let us all earnestly pray for our brethren in the state of penitence, that God, the lover of compassion, will show them the way of repentance, and accept their return and their confession, and bruise Satan under their feet suddenly, (Rom 16:20) and redeem them from the snare of the devil, and the ill-usage of the demons, and free them from every unlawful word, and every absurd practice and wicked thought; forgive them all their offences, both voluntary and involuntary, and blot out that handwriting which is against them, (Col 2:13, Col 2:14) and write them in the book of life; (Phi 4:3) cleanse them from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, (2Co 7:1) and restore and unite them to His holy flock. For He knoweth our frame. For who can glory that he has a clean heart? And who can boldly say, that he is pure from sin? (Pro 20:9) For we are all among the blameworthy. Let us still pray for them more earnestly, for there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, (Luk 15:7) that, being converted from every evil work, they may be joined to all good practice; that God, the lover of mankind, will suddenly accept their petitions, will restore22 to them the joy of His salvation, and strengthen them with His free Spirit; (Psa 51:12) that they may not be any more shaken,23 but be admitted to the communion of His most holy things, and become partakers of His divine mysteries, that appearing worthy of His adoption, they may obtain eternal life. Let us all still earnestly say on their account: Lord, have mercy upon them. Save them, O God, and raise them up by Thy mercy. Rise up, and bow your heads to God through His Christ, and receive the blessings. Let the bishop then add this prayer: –


IX. Imposition of Hands; Prayer for Penitents.

Almighty, eternal God, Lord of the whole world, the Creator and Governor of all things, who hast exhibited man as the ornament of the world through Christ, and didst give him a law both naturally implanted and written, that he might live according to law, as a rational creature; and when he had sinned, Thou gavest him Thy goodness as a pledge in order to his repentance: Look down upon these persons who have bended the neck of their soul and body to Thee; for Thou desirest not the death of a sinner, but his repentance, that he turn from his wicked way, and live. (Eze 18:1-32 and Eze 33:1-33) Thou who didst accept the repentance of the Ninevites, who willest that all men be saved, and come to the acknowledgment of the truth; (Jon 3:1-10; 1Ti 2:4) who didst accept of that son who had consumed his substance in riotous living, (Luk 15:1-32) with the bowels of a father, on account of his repentance; do Thou now accept of the repentance of Thy supplicants: for there is no man that will not sin; for “if Thou, O Lord, markest iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? For with Thee there is propitiation.” (Psa 130:3, Psa 130:4. – R.) And do Thou restore them to Thy holy Church, into their former dignity and honour, through Christ our God and Saviour, by whom glory and adoration be to Thee, in the Holy Ghost, for ever. Amen. Then let the deacon say, Depart, ye penitents; and let him add, Let none of those who ought not to come draw near. All we of the faithful, let us bend our knee: let us all entreat God through His Christ; let us earnestly beseech God through His Christ.


X. The Bidding Prayer for the Faithful.

Let us pray for the peace and happy settlement of the world, and of the holy churches; that the God of the whole world may afford us His everlasting peace, and such as may not be taken away from us; that He may preserve us in a full prosecution of such virtue as is according to godliness. Let us pray for the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church which is spread from one end of the earth to the other; that God would preserve and keep it unshaken, and free from the waves of this life, until the end of the world, as founded upon a rock; and for the holy parish in this place, that the Lord of the whole world may vouchsafe us without failure to follow after His heavenly hope, and without ceasing to pay Him the debt of our prayer. Let us pray for every episcopacy which is under the whole heaven, of those that rightly divide the word of Thy truth. And let us pray for our bishop James,24 and his parishes; let us pray for our bishop Clement, and his parishes; let us pray for our bishop Euodius, and his parishes; let us pray for our bishop Annianus, and his parishes: that the compassionate God may grant them to continue in His holy churches in health, honour, and long life, and afford them an honourable old age in godIiness and righteousness. And let us pray for our presbyters, that the Lord may deliver them from every unreasonable and wicked action, and afford them a presbyterate in health and honour. Let us pray for all the deacons and ministers in Christ, that the Lord may grant them an unblameable ministration. Let us pray for the readers, singers, virgins, widows, and orphans. Let us pray for those that are in marriage and in child-bearing, that the Lord may have mercy upon them all. Let us pray for the eunuchs who walk holily. Let us pray for those in a state of continence and piety. Let us pray for those that bear fruit in the holy Church, and give alms to the needy. And let us pray for those who offer sacrifices and oblations to the Lord our God, that God, the fountain of all goodness, may recompense them with His heavenly gifts, and “give them in this world an hundredfold, and in the world to come life everlasting;” (Mat 19:29) and bestow upon them for their temporal things, those that are eternal; for earthly things, those that are heavenly. Let us pray for our brethren newly enlightened, that the Lord may strengthen and confirm them. Let us pray for our brethren exercised with sickness, that the Lord may deliver them from every sickness and every disease, and restore them sound into His holy Church. Let us pray for those that travel by water or by land. Let us pray for those that are in the mines, in banishments, in prisons, and in bonds, for the name of the Lord. Let us pray for those that are afflicted with bitter servitude. Let us pray for our enemies, and those that hate us. Let us pray for those that persecute us for the name of the Lord, that the Lord may pacify their anger, and scatter their wrath against us. Let us pray for those that are without, and are wandered out of the way, that the Lord may convert them. Let us be mindful of the infants of the Church, that the Lord may perfect them in His fear, and bring them to a complete age. Let us pray one for another, that the Lord may keep us and preserve us by His grace to the end, and deliver us from the evil one, and from all the scandals of those that work iniquity, and preserve us unto His heavenly kingdom. Let us pray for every Christian soul. Save us, and raise us up, O God, by Thy mercy. Let us rise up, and let us pray earnestly, and dedicate ourselves and one another to the living God, through His Christ. And let the high priest add this prayer, and say: –


XI. The Form of Prayer for the Faithful.

O Lord Almighty, the Most High, who dwellest on high, the Holy One, that restest among the saints, without beginning, the Only Potentate, who hast given to us by Christ the preaching of knowledge, to the acknowledgment of Thy glory and of Thy name, which He has made known to us, for our comprehension, do Thou now also look down through Him upon this Thy flock, and deliver it from all ignorance and wicked practice, and grant that we may fear Thee in earnest, and love Thee with affection, and have a due reverence of Thy glory. Be gracious and merciful to them, and hearken to them when they pray unto Thee; and keep them, that they may be unmoveable, unblameable, and unreprovable, that they may be holy in body and spirit, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that they may be complete, and none of them may be defective or imperfect. O our support, our powerful God, who dost not accept persons, be Thou the assister of this Thy people,25 which Thou hast redeemed with the precious blood of Thy Christ; be Thou their protector, aider, provider, and guardian, their strong wall of defence, their bulwark and security. For “none can snatch out of Thy hand:” (Joh 10:29) for there is no other God like Thee; for on Thee is our reliance. “Sanctify them by Thy truth: for Thy word is truth.” (Joh 17:17) Thou who dost nothing for favour, Thou whom none can deceive, deliver them from every sickness, and every disease, and every offence, every injury and deceit, “from fear of the enemy, from the dart that flieth in the day, from the mischief that walketh about in darkness;” (Psa 64:1, Psa 91:5, Psa 91:6) and vouchsafe them that everlasting life which is in Christ Thy only begotten Son, our God and Saviour, through whom glory and worship be to Thee, in the Holy Spirit, now and always, and for ever and ever. Amen. And after this let the deacon say, Let us attend. And let the bishop salute the church, and say, The peace of God be with you all. And let the people answer, And with thy spirit; and let the deacon say to all, Salute ye one another with the holy kiss. And let the clergy salute the bishop, the men of the laity salute the men, the women the women. And let the children stand at the reading-desk; and let another deacon stand by them, that they may not be disorderly.26 And let other deacons walk about and watch the men and women, that no tumult may be made, and that no one nod, or whisper, or slumber; and let the deacons27 stand at the doors of the men, and the sub-deacons at those of the women, that no one go out, nor a door be opened, although it be for one of the faithful, at the the of the oblation. But let one of the sub-deacons bring water to wash the hands of the priests, which is a symbol of the purity of those souls that are devoted to God.


XII. The Constitution of James the Brother of John, the Son of Zebedee.

And I James,28 the brother of John, the son of Zebedee, say, that the deacon shall immediately say, Let none of the catechumens, let none of the hearers, let none of the unbelievers, let none of the heterodox, stay here. You who have prayed the foregoing prayer, depart.29 Let the mothers receive their children; let no one have anything against any one; let no one come in hypocrisy; let us stand upright before the Lord with fear and trembling, to offer. When this is done, let the deacons bring the gifts to the bishop at the altar; and let the presbyters stand on his right hand, and on his left, as disciples stand before their Master. But let two of the deacons, on each side of the altar, hold a fan, made up of thin membranes, or of the feathers of the peacock, or of fine cloth, and let them silently drive away the small animals that fly about, that they may not come near to the cups. Let the high priest, therefore, together with the priests, pray30 by himself; and let him put on his shining garment, and stand at the altar, and make the sign of the cross upon his forehead with his hand,31 and say: The grace of Almighty God, and the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. And let all with one voice say: And with thy spirit. The high priest: Lift up your mind. All the people: We lift it up unto the Lord. The high priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord. All the people: It is meet and right so to do. Then let the high priest say: It is very meet and right before all things to sing an hymn to Thee, who art the true God, who art before all beings, “from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named;” (Eph 3:15) who only art unbegotten, and without beginning, and without a ruler, and without a master; who standest in need of nothing; who art the bestower of everything that is good; who art beyond all cause and generation; who art alway and immutably the same; from whom all things came into being, as from their proper original. For Thou art eternal knowledge, everlasting sight, unbegotten hearing, untaught wisdom, the first by nature, and the measure of being, and beyond all number; who didst bring all things out of nothing into being by Thy only begotten Son, but didst beget Him before all ages by Thy will, Thy power, and Thy goodness, without any instrument, the only begotten Son, God the Word, the living Wisdom, “the First-born of every creature, the angel of Thy Great Counsel,” (Col 1:15; Isa 9:6, LXX.) and Thy High Priest, but the King and Lord of every intellectual and sensible nature, who was before all things, by whom were all things. For Thou, O eternal God, didst make all things by Him, and through Him it is that Thou vouchsafest Thy suitable providence over the whole world; for by the very same that Thou bestowedst being, didst Thou also bestow well-being: the God and Father of Thy only begotten Son, who by Him didst make before all things the cherubim and the seraphim, the æons and hosts, the powers and authorities, the principalities and thrones, the archangels and angels; and after all these, didst by Him make this visible world, and all things that are therein. For Thou art He who didst frame the heaven as an arch, and “stretch it out like the covering of a tent,” (Gen 1:1-31; 4 Esd. 16:60; Psa 104:2) and didst found the earth upon nothing by Thy mere will; who didst fix the firmament, and prepare the night and the day; who didst bring the light out of Thy treasures, and on its departure didst bring on darkness, for the rest of the living creatures that move up and down in the world; who didst appoint the sun in heaven to rule over the day, and the moon to rule over the night, and didst inscribe in heaven the choir of stars to praise Thy glorious majesty; who didst make the water for drink and for cleansing, the air in which we live for respiration and the affording of sounds, by the means of the tongue, which strikes the air, and the hearings which co-operates therewith, so as to perceive speech when it is received by it, and falls upon it; who madest fire for our consolation in darkness, for the supply of our want, and that we might be warmed and enlightened by it; who didst separate the great sea from the land, and didst render the former navigable and the latter fit for walking, and didst replenish the former with small and great living creatures, and filledst the latter with the same, both tame and wild; didst furnish it with various plants, and crown it with herbs, and beautify it with flowers, and enrich it with seeds; who didst ordain the great deep, and on every side madest a mighty cavity for it, which contains seas of salt waters heaped together, (Job 38:1-41) yet didst Thou every way bound them with barriers of the smallest sand; (Jer 5:22) who sometimes dost raise it to the height of mountains by the winds, and sometimes dost smooth it into a plain; sometimes dost enrage it with a tempest, and sometimes dost still it with a calm, that it may be easy to seafaring men in their voyages; who didst encompass this world, which was made by Thee through Christ, with rivers, and water it with currents, and moisten it with springs that never fail, and didst bind it round with mountains for the immoveable and secure consistence of the earth: for Thou hast replenished Thy world, and adorned it with sweet-smelling and with healing herbs, with many and various living creatures, strong and weak, for food and for labour, tame and wild; with the noises of creeping things, the sounds of various sorts of flying creatures; with the circuits of the years, the numbers of months and days, the order of the seasons, the courses of the rainy clouds, for the production of the fruits and the support of living creatures. Thou hast also appointed the station of the winds, which blow when commanded by Thee, and the multitude of the plants and herbs. And Thou hast not only created the world itself, but hast also made man for a citizen of the world, exhibiting him as the ornament of the world; for Thou didst say to Thy Wisdom: “Let us make man according to our image, and according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowls of the heaven.” (Gen 1:26) Wherefore also Thou hast made him of an immortal soul and of a body liable to dissolution – the former out of nothing, the latter out of the four elements – and hast given him as to his soul rational knowledge, the discerning of piety and impiety, and the observation of right and wrong; and as to his body, Thou hast granted him five senses and progressive motion: for Thou, O God Almighty, didst by Thy Christ plant a paradise in Eden, (Gen 2:8) in the east, adorned with all plants fit for food, and didst introduce him into it, as into a rich banquet. And when Thou madest him, Thou gavest him a law implanted within him, that so he might have at home and within himself the seeds of divine knowledge; and when Thou hadst brought him into the paradise of pleasure, Thou allowedst him the privilege of enjoying all things, only forbidding the tasting of one tree, in hopes of greater blessings; that in case he would keep that command, he might receive the reward of it, which was immortality. But when he neglected that command, and tasted of the forbidden fruit, by the seduction of the serpent and the counsel of his wife, Thou didst justly cast him out of paradise. Yet of Thy goodness Thou didst not overlook him, nor suffer him to perish utterly, for he was Thy creature; but Thou didst subject the whole creation to him, and didst grant him liberty to procure himself food by his own sweat and labours, whilst Thou didst cause all the fruits of the earth to spring up, to grow, and to ripen. But when Thou hadst laid him asleep for a while, Thou didst with an oath call him to a restoration again, didst loose the bond of death, and promise him life after the resurrection. And not this only; but when Thou hadst increased his posterity to an innumerable multitude, those that continued with Thee Thou didst glorify, and those who did apostatize from Thee Thou didst punish. And while Thou didst accept of the sacrifice of Abel (Gen 4:1-26) as of an holy person, Thou didst reject the gift of Cain, the murderer of his brother, as of an abhorred wretch. And besides these, Thou didst accept of Seth and Enos, (Ecclus. 49:16) and didst translate Enoch: (Gen 4:1-26 and Gen 5:1-32) for Thou art the Creator of men, and the giver of life, and the supplier of want, and the giver of laws, and the rewarder of those that observe them, and the avenger of those that transgress them; who didst bring the great flood upon the world by reason of the multitude of the ungodly, (Gen 6:1-22 and Gen 7:1-24) and didst deliver righteous Noah from that flood by an ark, (1Pe 3:20) with eight souls, the end of the foregoing generations, and the beginning of those that were to come; who didst kindle a fearful fire against the five cities of Sodom, and “didst turn a fruitful land into a salt lake for the wickedness of them that dwelt therein,” (Gen 19:1-38; Wisd. 10:6; Psa 107:34) but didst snatch holy Lot out of the conflagration. Thou art He who didst deliver Abraham from the impiety of his fore-fathers, and didst appoint him to be the heir of the world, and didst discover to him Thy Christ; who didst aforehand ordain Melchisedec an high priest for Thy worship; (Gen 12:1-20, etc.) who didst render Thy patient servant Job the conqueror of that serpent who is the patron of wickedness; who madest Isaac the son of the promise, and Jacob the father of twelve sons, and didst increase his posterity to a multitude, and bring him into Egypt with seventy-five souls. (Gen 46:27, LXX.) Thou, O Lord, didst not overlook Joseph, but grantedst him, as a reward of his chastity for Thy sake, the government over the Egyptians. Thou, O Lord, didst not overlook the Hebrews when they were afflicted by the Egyptians, on account of the promises made unto their fathers; but Thou didst deliver them and punish the Egyptians. (Exo 1:1-22, etc.) And when men had corrupted the law of nature, and had sometimes esteemed the creation the effect of chance, and sometimes honoured it more than they ought, and equalled it to the God of the universe, Thou didst not, however, suffer them to go astray, but didst raise up Thy holy servant Moses, and by him didst give the written law for the assistance of the law of nature, (See Isa 8:20, LXX.) and didst show that the creation was Thy work, and didst banish away the error of polytheism. Thou didst adorn Aaron and his posterity with the priesthood, and didst punish the Hebrews when they sinned, and receive them again when they returned to Thee. Thou didst punish the Egyptians with a judgment of ten plagues, and didst divide the sea, and bring the Israelites through it, and drown and destroy the Egyptians who pursued after them. Thou didst sweeten the bitter water with wood; Thou didst bring water out of the rock of stone; Thou didst rain manna from heaven, and quails, as meat out of the air; Thou didst afford them a pillar of fire by night to give them light, and a pillar of a cloud by day to overshadow them from the heat; Thou didst declare Joshua to be the general of the army, and didst overthrow the seven nations of Canaan by him; (Jos 3:10, etc.) Thou didst divide Jordan, and dry up the rivers of Etham; (Psa 74:15) Thou didst overthrow walls without instruments or the hand of man. (Jos 6:1-27) For all these things, glory be to Thee, O Lord Almighty. Thee do the innumerable hosts of angels, archangels, thrones, dominions, principalities, authorities, and powers, Thine everlasting armies, adore. The cherubim and the six-winged seraphim, with twain covering their feet, with twain their heads, and with twain flying, (Isa 6:2) say, together with thousand thousands of archangels, and ten thousand times ten thousand of angels, (Dan 7:10) incessantly, and with constant and loud voices, and let all the people say it with them: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord of hosts, heaven and earth are full of His glory: be Thou blessed for ever. Amen.” (Isa 6:3; Rom 1:25) And afterwards let the high priest say: For Thou art truly holy, and most holy, the highest and most highly exalted for ever. Holy also is Thy only begotten Son our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, who in all things ministered to His God and Father, both in Thy various creation and Thy suitable providence, and has not overlooked lost mankind. But after the law of nature, after the exhortations in the positive law, after the prophetical reproofs and the government of the angels, when men had perverted both the positive law and that of nature, and had cast out of their mind the memory of the flood, the burning of Sodom, the plagues of the Egyptians, and the slaughters of the inhabitants of Palestine, and being just ready to perish universally after an unparalleled manner, He was pleased by Thy good will to become man, who was man’s Creator; to be under the laws, who was the Legislator; to be a sacrifice, who was an High Priest; to be a sheep, who was the Shepherd. And He appeased Thee, His God and Father, and reconciled Thee to the world, and freed all men from the wrath to come, and was made of a virgin, and was in flesh, being God the Word, the beloved Son, the first-born of the whole creation, and was, according to the prophecies which were foretold concerning Him by Himself, of the seed of David and Abraham, of the tribe of Judah. And He was made in the womb of a virgin, who formed all mankind that are born into the world; He took flesh, who was without flesh; He who was begotten before time, was born in time; He lived holily, and taught according to the law; He drove away every sickness and every disease from men, and wrought signs and wonders among the people; and He was partaker of meat, and drink, and sleep, who nourishes all that stand in need of food, and “fills every living creature with His goodness;” (Psa 105:16) “He manifested His name to those that knew it not;” (Joh 17:6, Joh 17:4) He drave away ignorance; He revived piety, and fulfilled Thy will; He finished the work which Thou gavest Him to do; and when He had set all these things right, He was seized by the hands of the ungodly, of the high priests and priests, falsely so called, and of the disobedient people, by the betraying of him who was possessed of wickedness as with a confirmed disease; He suffered many things from them, and endured all sorts of ignominy by Thy permission; He was delivered to Pilate the governor, and He that was the Judge was judged, and He that was the Saviour was condemned; He that was impassible was nailed to the cross, and He who was by nature immortal died, and He that is the giver of life was buried, that He might loose those for whose sake He came from suffering and death, and might break the bonds of the devil, and deliver mankind from his deceit. He arose from the dead the third day; and when He had continued with His disciples forty days, He was taken up into the heavens, and is sat down on the right hand of Thee, who art His God and Father. Being mindful, therefore, of those things that He endured for our sakes, we give Thee thanks, O God Almighty, not in such a manner as we ought, but as we are able, and fulfil His constitution: “For in the same night that He was betrayed, He took bread” (1Co 11:23) in His holy and undefiled hands, and, looking up to Thee His God and Father, “He brake it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, This is the mystery of the new covenant: take of it, and eat. This is my body, which is broken for many, for the remission of sins.” (Mat 26:1-75; Mar 14:1-72; Luk 22:1-71) In like manner also “He took the cup,” and mixed it of wine and water, and sanctified it, and delivered it to them, saying: “Drink ye all of this; for this is my blood which is shed for many, for the remission of sins: do this in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show forth my death until I come.” Being mindful, therefore, of His passion, and death, and resurrection from the dead, and return into the heavens, and His future second appearing, wherein He is to come with glory and power to judge the quick and the dead, and to recompense to every one according to his works, we offer to Thee, our King and our God, according to His constitution, this bread and this cup, giving Thee thanks, through Him, that Thou hast thought us worthy to stand before Thee, and to sacrifice to Thee; and we beseech Thee that Thou wilt mercifully look down upon these gifts which are here set before Thee, O Thou God, who standest in need of none of our offerings. And do Thou accept them, to the honour of Thy Christ, and send down upon this sacrifice Thine Holy Spirit, the Witness of the Lord Jesus’ sufferings, that He may show this bread to be the body of Thy Christ, and the cup to be the blood of Thy Christ, that those who are partakers thereof may be strengthened for piety, may obtain the remission of their sins, may be delivered from the devil and his deceit, may be filled with the Holy Ghost, may be made worthy of Thy Christ, and may obtain eternal, life upon Thy reconciliation to them, O Lord Almighty. We further pray unto Thee, O Lord, for thy holy Church spread from one end of the world to another, which Thou hast purchased with the precious blood of Thy Christ, that Thou wilt preserve it unshaken and free from disturbance until the end of the world; for every episcopate who rightly divides the word of truth. We further pray to Thee for me, who am nothing, who offer to Thee, for the whole presbytery, for the deacons and all the clergy, that Thou wilt make them wise, and replenish them with the Holy Spirit. We further pray to Thee, O Lord, “for the king and all in authority,” (1Ti 2:2) for the whole army, that they may be peaceable towards us, that so, leading the whole time of our life in quietness and unanimity, we may glorify Thee through Jesus Christ, who is our hope. We further offer to Thee also for all those holy persons who have pleased Thee from the beginning of the world – patriarchs, prophets, righteous men, apostles, martyrs, confessors, bishops, presbyters, deacons, sub-deacons, readers, singers, virgins, widows, and lay persons, with all whose names Thou knowest. We further offer to Thee for this people, that Thou wilt render them, to the praise of Thy Christ, “a royal priesthood and an holy nation;” (1Pe 2:9) for those that are in virginity and purity; for the widows of the Church; for those in honourable marriage and child-bearing; for the infants of Thy people, that Thou wilt not permit any of us to “become castaways.” We further beseech Thee also for this city and its inhabitants; for those that are sick; for those in bitter servitude; for those in banishments; for those in prison; for those that travel by water or by land; that Thou, the helper and assister of all men, wilt be their supporter. We further also beseech Thee for those that hate us and persecute us for Thy name’s sake; for those that are without, and wander out of the way; that Thou wilt convert them to goodness, and pacify their anger. We further also beseech Thee for the catechumens of the Church, and for those that are vexed by the adversary, and for our brethren the penitents, that Thou wilt perfect the first in the faith, that Thou wilt deliver the second from the energy of the evil one, and that Thou wilt accept the repentance of the last, and forgive both them and us our offences. We further offer to Thee also for the good temperature of the air, and the fertility of the fruits, that so, partaking perpetually of the good things derived from Thee, we may praise Thee without ceasing, “who gavest food to all flesh.” (Psa 136:26) We further beseech Thee also for those who are absent on a just cause, that Thou wilt keep us all in piety, and gather us together in the kingdom of Thy Christ, the God of all sensible and intelligent nature, our King that Thou wouldst keep us immoveable, unblameable, and unreprovable: for to Thee belongs all glory and worship, and thanksgiving, honour and adoration, the Father, with the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, both now and always, and for everlasting, and endless ages for ever. And let all the people say, Amen. And let the bishop say, “The peace of God be with you all.” And let all the people say, “And with thy spirit.” And let the deacon proclaim again: –





1 The words “one and only” are omitted in the Syriac and Coptic.

2 One V. ms. omits “His Father.” The Syriac and Coptic have “the only Father.”

3 The Coptic reads “our God.”

4 Instead of “Christ,” the Coptic reads, “through His Holy Son.”

5 The Coptic reads, “and in Christ and the Holy Spirit.”

6 The Coptic reads, “and His only begotten Son, who was with the Father and the life-giving Holy Spirit before all the ages.”

7 The Coptic reads, “spotless virgin.”

8 Joh 11:51. [See on the Sybillina, passim.]

9 [The compiler has forgotten that few of these had husbands, at least at the time when they are reported to have prophesied. – R.]

10 We have adopted the reading of one V. ms., ἀπεχρήσατο. It means more than is in the text – that God used the wicked in a way in which they would not be naturally used; lit., “abused,” or “misused.” The other mss. and the Coptic read ἀπεχαρίσατο, “gave His gifts to the wicked for prophecy.” Whiston has tried to make sense by giving a new meaning to ἀπεχαρίσατο, “taking away His grace from the wicked.”

11 The Coptic and one V. ms. omit from the commencement of the chapter to “deacons.” The V. ms. has: “Peter, the chief of the apostles, proclaimed the Gospel to Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, Bithynia, and finally in Rome, where he was crucified by the prefect in the reign of Nero, and where also he is buried.”

12 From this to the end of ch. xxvi., only small portions of what is now in the received text occur in the Coptic version. The Oxford ms. is also deficient. It has only a portion of the fifth, nothing of ch. vi. to xvi., and only a single sentence in ch. xxii. The portions in Coptic are printed in italics.

13 Omitted in one V. ms.

14 The Coptic has, “let the bishop pray for him.”

15 The Oxford ms. has this chapter in an abbreviated form as in the parallel columns.

16 One V. ms. reads, “with whom.”

17 The Coptic inserts, “let the holy Gospels be read.”

18 The Coptic reads “Gospel” instead of “Law.”

19 One V. ms. had the following note: “Andrew the brother of Peter preaches the Gospel to the Scythians, Sogdiani, and Thracians, who on account of preaching Christ is crowned with the martyrdom of the cross by Ægæa the proconsul, and was buried in Patræ. Afterwards he was removed to Constantinople by the Emperor Constantine.”

20 One V. ms. has προβολεύς, “the sender forth,” or “producer,” instead of “God.”

21 [Comp. note 37, p. 477, book vii. chap. xliii. – R.]

22 The V. mss. read, “restore them to their former position, and give them the joy,” etc.

23 The V. mss. add, “in their footsteps, but may be deemed worthy to be admitted,” etc.

24 [This is “James, the Lord’s brother;” Gal 1:19. An incidental proof of the Eastern and Ante-Nicene origin of book viii. also. – R.]

25 The V. mss. insert, “whom Thou hast selected out of myriads.”

26 The meaning in Coptic seems to be uncertain.

27 The Coptic reads, “sub-deacons.”

28 One V. ms. gives the following note: “James the son of Zebedee, brother of John, preached the Gospel to Judea, was slain with the sword by Herod the tetrarch, and lies in Cæsarea.”

29 [N.B. – No non=communicating attendance permitted.]

30 The Coptic adds, “over the oblation, that the Holy Spirit may descend upon it, making the bread the body of Christ, and the cup the blood of Christ; and prayers being ended.” It then goes on with the words in italics in ch. xiii.

31 The common text has, “before all the people,” omitted by one V. ms.











Constitutions of the Holy Apostles. (Cont.)

Book VIII. (Cont.)

XIII. The Bidding Prayer for the Faithful After the Divine Oblation.

Let us still further beseech God through His Christ, and let us beseech Him on account of the gift which is offered to the Lord God, that the good God will accept it, through the mediation of His Christ, upon His heavenly altar, for a sweet-smelling savour. Let us pray for this church and people. Let us pray for every episcopate, every presbytery, all the deacons and ministers in Christ, for the whole congregation, that the Lord will keep and preserve them all. Let us pray “for kings and those in authority,” that they may be peaceable toward us, “that so we may have and lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (1Ti 2:2) Let us be mindful of the holy martyrs, that we may be thought worthy to be partakers of their trial. Let us pray for those that are departed in the faith. Let us pray for the good temperature of the air, and the perfect maturity of the fruits. Let us pray for those that are newly enlightened, that they may be strengthened in the faith, and all may be mutually comforted by one another.32 Raise us up, O God, by Thy grace. Let us stand up, and dedicate ourselves to God, through His Christ. And let the bishop say: O God, who art great, and whose name is great, who art great in counsel and mighty in works, the God and Father of Thy holy child Jesus, our Saviour; look down upon us, and upon this Thy flock, which Thou hast chosen by Him to the glory of Thy name; and sanctify our body and soul, and grant us the favour to be “made pure from all filthiness of flesh and spirit,” (2Co 7:1) and may obtain the good things laid up for us, and do not account any of us unworthy; but be Thou our comforter, helper, and protector, through Thy Christ, with whom glory, honour, praise, doxology, and thanksgiving be to Thee and to the Holy Ghost for ever. Amen. And after that all have said Amen, let the deacon say: Let us attend. And let the bishop speak thus to the people: Holy things for holy persons. And let the people answer: There is One that is holy; there is one Lord, one Jesus Christ, blessed for ever, to the glory of God the Father. Amen. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will among men. Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed be He that cometh in the name of the Lord,” being the Lord God who appeared to us, “Hosanna in the highest.” (Luk 2:14; Mat 21:9) And after that, let the bishop partake, then the presbyters, and deacons, and33 sub-deacons, and the readers, and the singers, and the ascetics; and then of the women, the deaconesses, and the virgins, and the widows; then the children; and then all the people in order, with reverence and godly fear, without tumult. And let the bishop give the oblation, saying, The body of Christ; and let him that receiveth say, Amen. And let the deacon take the cup; and when he gives it, say, The blood of Christ, the cup of life; and let him that drinketh say, Amen.34 And let the thirty-third psalm be said, while the rest are partaking; and when all,35 both men and women, have partaken, let the deacons carry what remains into the vestry. And when the singer has done, let the deacon say:


XIV. The Bidding Prayer After the Participation.

Now we have received the precious body and the precious blood of Christ, let us give thanks to Him who has thought us worthy to partake of these His holy36 mysteries; and let us beseech Him that it may not be to us for condemnation, but for salvation, to the advantage of soul and body, to the preservation of piety, to the remission of sins, and to the life of the world to come. Let us arise, and by the grace of Christ let us dedicate ourselves to God, to the only unbegotten God, and to His Christ. And let the bishop give thanks: —


XV. The Form of Prayer After the Participation.

O Lord God Almighty, the Father of Thy Christ, Thy blessed Son, who hearest those who call upon Thee with uprightness, who also knowest the supplications of those who are silent; we thank Thee that Thou hast thought us worthy to partake of Thy holy mysteries, which Thou hast bestowed upon us, for the entire confirmation of those things we have rightly known, for the preservation of piety, for the remission of our offences; for the name of thy Christ is called upon us, and we are joined To Thee. O Thou that hast separated us froth the communion of the ungodly, unite us with those that are consecrated to Thee in holiness; confirm us in the truth, by the assistance of Thy Holy Spirit; reveal to us what things we are ignorant of, supply what things we are defective in, confirm us in what things we already know, preserve the priests blameless in Thy worship; keep the kings in peace, and the rulers in righteousness, the air in a good temperature, the fruits in fertility, the world in an all-powerful providence; pacify the warring nations, convert those that are gone astray, sanctify Thy people, keep those that are in virginity, preserve those in the faith that are in marriage, strengthen those that are in purity, bring the infants to complete age, confirm the newly admitted; instruct the catechumens, and render them worthy of admission; and gather us all together into Thy kingdom of heaven, by Jesus Christ our Lord, with whom glory, honour, and worship be to Thee, in the Holy Ghost, for ever. Amen. And let the deacon say: Bow down to37 God through His Christ, and receive the blessing. And let the bishop add this prayer, and say: O God Almighty, the true God, to whom nothing can be compared, who art everywhere, and present in all things, and art in nothing as one of the things themselves; who art not bounded by place, nor grown old by time; who art not terminated by ages, nor deceived by words; who art not subject to generation, and wantest no guardian; who art above all corruption, free from all change, and invariable by nature; “who inhabitest light inaccessible;” (1Ti 6:16) who art by nature invisible, and yet art known to all reasonable natures who seek Thee with a good mind, and art comprehended by those that seek after Thee with a good mind; the God of Israel, Thy people which truly see, and which have believed in Christ: Be gracious to me, and hear me, for Thy name’s sake, and bless those that bow down their necks unto Thee, and grant them the petitions of their hearts, which are for their good, and do not reject any one of them from Thy kingdom; but sanctify, guard, cover, and assist them; deliver them from the adversary and every enemy; keep their houses, and guard “their comings in and their goings out.” (Psa 121:8) For to Thee belongs the glory, praise, majesty, worship, and adoration, and to Thy Son Jesus, Thy Christ, our Lord and God and King, and to the Holy Ghost, now and always, for ever and ever. Amen. And38 the deacon shall say, Depart in peace.39 These constitutions concerning this mystical worship, we, the apostles, do ordain for you, the bishops, presbyters, and deacons.


Sec. III. — Ordination and Duties of the Clergy.

XVI. Concerning the Ordination of Presbyters — The Constitution of John, Who Was Beloved by the Lord.

Concerning the ordination of presbyters, I40 who am loved by the Lord make this constitution for you the bishops: When thou ordainest a presbyter, O bishop, lay thy hand upon his head, in the presence of the presbyters and deacons,41 and pray, saying: O Lord Almighty, our God, who hast created all things by Christ, and dost in like manner take care of the whole world by Him; for He who had power to make different creatures, has also power to take care of them, according to their different natures; on which account, O God, Thou takest care of immortal beings by bare preservation, but of those that are mortal by succession — of the soul by the provision of laws, of the body by the supply of its wants. Do Thou therefore now also look down upon Thy holy Church, and increase the same, and multiply those that preside in it, and grant them power, that they may labour both in word and work for the edification of Thy people. Do Thou now also look down upon this Thy servant, who is put into the presbytery by the vote and determination of the whole clergy; and do Thou replenish him with the Spirit of grace and counsel, to assist and govern Thy people with a pure heart, in the same manner as Thou didst look down upon Thy chosen people, and didst command Moses to choose elders, whom Thou didst fill with Thy Spirit. (Exo 18:1-27, Exo 24:1-18, Exo 28:1-43) Do Thou also now, O Lord, grant this, and preserve in us the Spirit of Thy grace, that this person, being filled with the gifts of healing and the word of teaching, may in meekness instruct Thy people, and sincerely serve Thee with a pure mind and a willing soul, and may fully discharge the holy ministrations for Thy people, through Thy Christ, with whom glory, honour, and worship be to Thee, and to the Holy Ghost, for ever. Amen.


XVII. Concerning The Ordination of Deacons — The Constitution of Philip.

Concerning the ordination of deacons, I Philip42 make this constitution: Thou shalt ordain a deacon, O bishop, by laying thy hands upon him in the presence of the whole presbytery, and of the deacons, and shall pray, and say: —


XVIII. The Form of Prayer for the Ordination of a Deacon.

O God Almighty, the true and faithful God, who art rich unto all that call upon Thee in truth, who art fearful in counsels, and wise in understanding, who art powerful and great, hear our prayer, O Lord, and let Thine ears receive our supplication, and “cause the light of Thy countenance to shine upon this Thy servant,” who is to be ordained for Thee to the office of a deacon; and replenish him with Thy Holy Spirit, and with power, as Thou didst replenish Stephen, who was Thy martyr, and follower of the sufferings of Thy Christ. (Act 6:1-15 and Act 7:1-60) Do Thou render him worthy to discharge acceptably the ministration of a deacon, steadily, unblameably, and without reproof, that thereby he may attain an higher degree, through the mediation of Thy only begotten Son, with whom glory, honour, and worship be to Thee and the Holy Spirit for ever. Amen.


XIX. Concerning the Deaconess — The Constitution of Bartholomew.

Concerning a deaconess, I Bartholomew43 make this constitution: O bishop, thou shalt lay thy hands upon her in the presence of the presbytery, and of the deacons and deaconesses, and shall say: —


XX. The Form of Prayer for the Ordination of a Deaconess.

O Eternal God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator of man and of woman, who didst replenish with the Spirit Miriam, and Deborah, and Anna, and Huldah; (Exo 15:20; Jdg 4:4; Luk 2:36; 2Ki 22:14) who didst not disdain that Thy only begotten Son should be born of a woman; who also in the tabernacle of the testimony, and in the temple, didst ordain women to be keepers of Thy holy gates, — do Thou now also look down upon this Thy servant, who is to be ordained to the office of a deaconess, and grant her Thy Holy Spirit, and “cleanse her from all filthiness of flesh and spirit,” (2Co 7:1) that she may worthily discharge the work which is committed to her to Thy glory, and the praise of Thy Christ, with whom glory and adoration be to Thee and the Holy Spirit for ever. Amen.


XXI. Concerning the Sub-Deacons — The Constitution of Thomas.

Concerning the sub-deacons, I Thomas44 make this constitution for you the bishops:45 When thou dost ordain a sub-deacon,46 O bishop, thou shalt lay thy hands upon him, and say: O Lord God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things that are therein; who also in the tabernacle of the testimony didst appoint overseers and keepers of Thy holy vessels; (Num 3:1-51; 1Ch 6:1-81) do Thou now look down upon this Thy servant, appointed a sub-deacon; and grant him the Holy Spirit, that he may worthily handle the vessels of Thy ministry, and do Thy will always, through Thy Christ, with whom glory, honour, and worship be to Thee and to the Holy Spirit for ever. Amen.


XXII. Concerning the Readers — The Constitution of Matthew.

Concerning readers,47 I Matthew, also called Levi, who was once a tax-gatherer, make a constitution: Ordain a reader by laying thy hands upon him, and pray unto God, and say: O Eternal God, who art plenteous in mercy and compassions, who hast made manifest the constitution of the world by Thy operations therein, and keepest the number of Thine elect, do Thou also now look down upon Thy servant, who is to be entrusted to read Thy Holy Scriptures to Thy people, and give him Thy Holy Spirit, the prophetic Spirit. Thou who didst instruct Esdras Thy servant to read Thy laws to the people, (Neh 8:1-18) do Thou now also at our prayers instruct Thy servant, and grant that he may without blame perfect the work committed to him, and thereby be declared worthy of an higher degree, through Christ, with whom glory and worship be to Thee and to the Holy Ghost for ever. Amen.


XXIII. Concerning the Confessors — The Constitution of James the Son of Alpheus.

And I James, the son of Alphæus, make a constitution in regard to confessors: A confessor is not ordained; for he is so by choice and patience, and is worthy of great honour, as having confessed the name of God, and of His Christ, before nations and kings. But if there be occasion, he is to be ordained48 either a bishop, priest, or deacon. But if any one of the confessors who is not ordained snatches to himself any such dignity upon account of his confession, let the same person be deprived and rejected; for he is not in such an office, since he has denied the constitution of Christ, and is “worse than an infidel.” (1Ti 5:8)


XXIV. The Same Apostle’s Constitution Concerning Virgins.

I, the same, make a constitution in regard to virgins: A virgin is not ordained, for we have no such command from the Lord; (1Co 7:25) for this is a state of voluntary trial, not for the reproach of marriage, but on account of leisure for piety.


XXV. The Constitution Of Lebbæus, Who Was Surnamed Thaddæus, Concerning Widows.

And I Lebbaeus,49 surnamed Thaddaeus, make this constitution in regard to widows: A widow is not ordained; yet if she has lost her husband a great while, and has lived soberly and unblameably, and has taken extraordinary care of her family, as Judith (Judith 16:21, 23) and Anna (Luk 2:36, etc.) — those women of great reputation — let her be chosen into the order of widows. But if she has lately lost her yokefellow, let her not be believed, but let her youth be judged of by the time; for the affections do sometimes grow aged with men, if they be not restrained by a better bridle.


XXVI. The Same Apostle Concerning the Exorcist.

I the same make a constitution in regard to an exorcist. An exorcist is not ordained. For it is a trial of voluntary goodness, and of the grace of God through Christ by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For he who has received the gift of healing is declared by revelation from God, the grace which is in him being manifest to all. But if there be occasion for him, he must be ordained50 a bishop, or a presbyter, or a deacon.


XXVII.51 Simon the Canaanite Concerning the Number Necessary for the Ordination of a Bishop.

And I Simon the Canaanite52 make a constitution to determine by how many a bishop ought to be elected. Let a bishop be ordained by three or two bishops; but if any one be ordained by one bishop, let him be deprived, both himself and he that ordained him. But if there be a necessity that he have only one to ordain him, because more bishops cannot come together, as in time of persecution, or for such like causes, let him bring the suffrage of permission from more bishops.


XXVIII. The Same Apostle’s Canons Concerning Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, and the Rest of the Clergy.

Concerning53 the canons I the same make a constitution. A bishop blesses, but does not receive the blessing. He lays on hands, ordains, offers, receives the blessing from bishops, but by no means from presbyters. A bishop deprives any clergyman who deserves deprivation, excepting a bishop; for of himself he has not power to do that. A presbyter blesses, but does not receive the blessing; yet does he receive the blessing from the bishop or a fellow-presbyter. In like manner does he give it to a fellow-presbyter. He lays on hands, but does not ordain; he does not deprive, yet does he separate those that are under him, if they be liable to such a punishment. A deacon does not bless, does not give the blessing, but receives it from the bishop and presbyter: he does not baptize, he does not offer; but when a bishop or presbyter has offered, he distributes to the people, not as a priest, but as one that ministers to the priests. But it is not lawful for any one of the other clergy to do the work of a deacon. A deaconess does not bless, nor perform anything belonging to the office of presbyters or deacons, but only is to keep the doors, and to minister to the presbyters in the baptizing of women, on account of decency. A deacon separates a sub-deacon, a reader, a singer, and a deaconess, if there be any occasion, in the absence of a presbyter. It is not lawful for a sub-deacon to separate either one of the clergy or laity; nor for a reader, nor for a singer, nor for a deaconess, for they are the ministers to the deacons.


Sec. IV. — Certain Prayers and Laws.

XXIX.54 Concerning the Blessing of Water and Oil — The Constitution of Matthias.

Concerning the water and the oil, I Matthias make a constitution. Let the bishop bless the water, or the oil. But if he be not there, let the presbyter bless it, the deacon standing by. But if the bishop be present, let the presbyter and deacon stand by, and let him say thus: O Lord of hosts, the God of powers, the creator of the waters, and the supplier of oil, who art compassionate, and a lover of mankind, who hast given water for drink and for cleansing, and oil to give man a cheerful and joyful countenance; (Psa 104:15) do Thou now also sanctify this water and this oil through Thy Christ, in the name of him or her that has offered them, and grant them a power to restore health, to drive away diseases, to banish demons, and to disperse all snares through Christ our hope, with whom glory, honour, and worship be to Thee, and to the Holy Ghost, for ever. Amen.


XXX. The Same Apostle’s Constitution Concerning First-Fruits and Tithes.

I55 the same make a constitution in regard to first-fruits and tithes. Let all first-fruits be brought to the bishop, and to the presbyters. and to the deacons,56 for their maintenance; but let all the tithe be for the maintenance of the rest of the clergy, and of the virgins and widows, and of those under the trial of poverty. For the first-fruits belong to the priests, and to those deacons that minister to them.


XXXI. The Same Apostle’s Constitutions Concerning the Remaining Oblations.

I the same make a constitution in regard to remainders. Those eulogies which remain at the mysteries, let the deacons distribute them among the clergy, according to the mind of the bishop or the presbyters: to a bishop; four parts; to a presbyter, three57 parts; to a deacon, two58 parts; and to the rest of the sub-deacons, or readers, or singers, or deaconesses, one part. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God, that every one be honoured according to his dignity; for the Church is the school, not of confusion, but of good order.


XXXII. Various Canons of Paul the Apostle Concerning Those That Offer Themselves to Be Baptized — Whom We Are to Receive, and Whom to Reject.

I also, Paul,59 the least of the apostles, do make the following constitutions for you, the bishops, and presbyters, and deacons, concerning canons. Those that first come to the mystery of godliness, let them be brought to the bishop or to the presbyters by the deacons, and let them be examined as to the causes wherefore they come to the word of the Lord; and let those that bring them exactly inquire about their character, and give them their testimony. Let their manners and their life be inquired into, and whether they he slaves or freemen. And if any one be a slave, let him be asked who is his master. If he be slave to one of the faithful, let his master be asked if he can give him a good character. If he cannot, let him be rejected, until he show himself to be worthy to his master. But if he does give him a good character, let him be admitted. But if he be household slave to an heathen, let him be taught to please his master, that the word be not blasphemed. If, then, he have a wife, or a woman hath an husband, let them be taught to be content with each other; but if they be unmarried, let them learn not to commit fornication, but to enter into lawful marriage. But if his master be one of the faithful, and knows that he is guilty of fornication, and yet does not give him a wife, or to the woman an husband, let him be separated; but if any one hath a demon, let him indeed be taught piety, but not received into communion before he be cleansed; yet if death be near, let him be received. If any one be a maintainer of harlots, let him either leave off to prostitute women, or else let him be rejected. If a harlot come, let her leave off whoredom, or else let her be rejected. If a maker of idols come, let him either leave off his employment, or let him be rejected. If one belonging to the theatre60 come, whether it be man or woman, or charioteer, or dueller, or racer, or player of prizes, or Olympic gamester, or one that plays on the pipe, on the lute, or on the harp at those games, or a dancing-master or an huckster,61 either let them leave off their employments, or let them be rejected. If a soldier come, let him be taught to “do no injustice, to accuse no man falsely, and to be content with his allotted wages:” (Luk 3:14) if he submit to those rules, let him be received; but if he refuse them, let him be rejected. He that is guilty of sins not to be named, a sodomite, an effeminate person, a magician, an enchanter, an astrologer, a diviner, an user of magic verses, a juggler, a mountebank, one that makes amulets, a charmer, a soothsayer, a fortune-teller, an observer of palmistry; he that, when he meets you, observes defects in the eyes or feet of the birds or cats, or noises, or symbolical sounds: let these be proved for some time, for this sort of wickedness is hard to be washed away; and if they leave off those practices, let them be received; but if they will not agree to that, let them be rejected. Let a concubine, who is slave to an unbeliever, and confines herself to her master alone, be received;62 but if she be incontinent with others, let her be rejected. If one of the faithful hath a concubine, if she be a bond-servant, let him leave off that way, and marry in a legal manner: if she be a free woman, let him marry her in a lawful manner; if he does not, let him be rejected. Let him that follows the Gentile customs, or Jewish fables, either reform, or let him be rejected. If any one follows the sports of the theatre, their huntings, or horse-races, or combats, either let him leave them off, or let him be rejected. Let him who is to be a catechumen be a catechumen for three years; but if any one be diligent, and has a good-will to his business, let him be admitted: for it is not the length of time, but the course of life, that is judged. Let him that teaches, although he be one of the laity, yet, if he be skilful in the word and grave in his manners, teach; for “they shall be all taught of God.” (Joh 6:45) Let all the faithful, whether men or women, when they rise from sleep, before they go to work, when they have washed themselves, pray; but if any catechetic instruction be held, let the faithful person prefer the word of piety before his work. Let the faithful person, whether man or woman, treat servants kindly, as we have ordained in the foregoing books, and have taught in our epistles. (Eph 6:1-24; Col 4:1-18; Philem.)


XXXIII. Upon Which Days Servants Are Not to Work.

I Peter and Paul do make the following constitutions. Let the slaves work five days; but on the Sabbath-day and the Lord’s day let them have leisure to go to church for instruction in piety. We have said that the Sabbath is on account of the creation, and the Lord’s day of the resurrection. Let slaves rest from their work all the great week, and that which follows it — for the one in memory of the passion, and the other of the resurrection; and there is need they should be instructed who it is that suffered and rose again, and who it is permitted Him to suffer, and raised Him again. Let them have rest from their work on the Ascension, because it was the conclusion of the dispensation by Christ. Let them rest at Pentecost, because of the coming of the Holy Spirit, which was given to those that believed in Christ. Let them rest on the festival of His birth, because on it the unexpected favour was granted to men, that Jesus Christ, the Logos of God, should be born of the Virgin Mary,63 for the salvation of the world.64 Let them rest on the festival of Epiphany, because on it a manifestation took place of the divinity of Christ, for the Father bore testimony to Him at the baptism; and the Paraclete, in the form of a dove, pointed out to the bystanders Him to whom testimony was borne. Let them rest on the days of the apostles: for they were appointed your teachers to bring you to Christ, and made you worthy of the Spirit. Let them rest on the day of the first65 martyr Stephen, and of the other holy martyrs who preferred Christ to their own life.


XXXIV. At What Hours, and Why, We Are to Pray.

Offer up your prayers in the morning, at the third hour, the sixth, the ninth, the evening, and at cock-crowing: in the morning, returning thanks that the Lord has sent you light, that He has brought you past the night, and brought on the day; at the third hour, because at that hour the Lord received the sentence of condemnation from Pilate; at the sixth, because at that hour He was crucified;66 at the ninth, because all things were in commotion at the crucifixion of the Lord, as trembling at the bold attempt of the impious Jews, and not bearing the injury offered to their Lord; in the evening, giving thanks that He has given you the night to rest from the daily labours; at cock-crowing, because that hour brings the good news of the coming on of the day for the operations proper for the light. But if it be not possible to go to the church on account of the unbelievers, thou, O bishop, shalt assemble them in a house, that a godly man may not enter into an assembly of the ungodly. For it is not the place that sanctifies the man, but the man the place. And if the ungodly possess the place, do thou avoid it, because it is profaned by them. For as holy priests sanctify a place, so do the profane ones defile it. If it be not possible to assemble either in the church or in a house, let every one by himself sing, and read, and pray, or two or three together. For “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”67 Let not one of the faithful pray with a catechumen, no, not in the house: for it is not reasonable that he who is admitted should be polluted with one not admitted. Let not one of the godly pray with an heretic, no, not in the house. For “what fellowship hath light with darkness?”68 Let Christians, whether men or women, who have connections with slaves, either leave them off, or let them be rejected.


XXXV. The Constitution of James the Brother of Christ Concerning Evening Prayer.

I James,69 the brother of Christ according to the flesh, but His servant as the only begotten God, and one appointed bishop of Jerusalem by the Lord Himself, and the Apostles, do ordain thus: When it is evening, thou, O bishop, shall assemble the church; and after the repetition of the psalm at the lighting up the lights, the deacon shall bid prayers for the catechumens, the energumens, the illuminated, and the penitents, as we have formerly said. But after the dismission of these, the deacon shall say: So many as are of the faithful, let us pray to the Lord. And after the bidding prayer, which is formerly set down, he shall say: —


XXXVI. The Bidding Prayer for the Evening.

Save us, O God, and raise us up by Thy Christ. Let us stand up, and beg for the mercies of the Lord, and His compassions, for the angel of peace, for what things are good and profitable, for a Christian departure out of this life, an evening and a night of peace, and free from sin; and let us beg that the whole course of our life may be unblameable. Let us dedicate ourselves and one another to the living God through His Christ. And let the bishop add this prayer, and say: —


XXXVII. The Thanksgiving for the Evening.

O God, who art without beginning and without end, the Maker of the whole world by Christ, and the Provider for it, but before all70 His God and Father, the Lord71 of the Spirit, and the King of intelligible and sensible beings; who hast made the day for the works of light, and the night for the refreshment of our infirmity, — for “the day is Thine, the night also is Thine: Thou hast prepared the light and the sun,” (Psa 74:16) — do Thou now, O Lord, Thou lover of mankind, and Fountain of all good, mercifully accept of this our evening thanksgiving. Thou who hast brought us through the length of the day, and hast brought us to the beginnings of the night, preserve us by Thy Christ, afford us a peaceable evening, and a night free from sin, and vouchsafe us everlasting life by Thy Christ, through whom glory, honour, and worship be to Thee in72 the Holy Spirit for ever. Amen. And let the deacon say: Bow down for the laying on of hands. And let the bishop say: O God of our fathers, and Lord of mercy, who didst form man of Thy wisdom a rational creature, and beloved of God more than the other beings upon this earth, and didst give him authority to rule over the creatures upon the earth, and didst ordain by Thy will rulers and priests — the former for the security of life, the latter for a regular worship, — do Thou now also look down, O Lord Almighty, and cause Thy face to shine upon Thy people, who bow down the neck of their heart, and bless them by Christ; through whom Thou hast enlightened us with the light of knowledge, and hast revealed Thyself to us; with whom worthy adoration is due from every rational and holy nature to Thee, and to the Spirit, who is the Comforter, for ever. Amen. And let the deacon say: “Depart in peace.” In like manner, in the morning, after the repetition of the morning psalm, and his dismission of the catechumens, the energumens, the candidates for baptism, and the penitents, and after the usual bidding of prayers, that we may not again repeat the same things, let the deacon add after the words, Save us, O God, and raise us up by Thy grace: Let us beg of the Lord His mercies and His compassions, that this morning and this day may be with peace and without sin, as also all the time of our sojourning; that He will grant us His angel of peace, a Christian departure out of this life, and that God will be merciful and gracious. Let us dedicate ourselves and one another to the living God through His Only-begotten. And let the bishop add this prayer, and say: —


XXXVIII. The Thanksgiving for the Morning.

O God, the God of spirits and of all flesh, who art beyond compare, and standest in need of nothing, who hast given the sun to have rule over the day, and the moon and the stars to have rule over the night, do Thou now also look down upon us with gracious eyes, and receive our morning thanksgivings, and have mercy upon us; for we have not “spread out our hands unto a strange God;” (Psa 44:20) for there is not among us any new God, but Thou, the eternal God, who art without end, who hast given us our being through Christ, and given us our well-being through Him. Do Thou vouchsafe us also, through Him, eternal life; with whom glory, and honour, and worship be to Thee and to the Holy Spirit for ever. Amen. And let the deacon say: Bow down for the laying on of hands. And let the bishop add this prayer, saying: —


XXXIX. The Imposition of Hands for the Morning.

O God, who art faithful and true, who “hast mercy on thousands and ten thousands of them that love Thee,” (Exo 34:1-35 and Exo 20:1-26) the lover of the humble, and the protector of the needy, of whom all things stand in need, for all things are subject to Thee; look down upon this Thy people, who bow down their heads to Thee, and bless them with spiritual blessing. “Keep them as the apple of an eye,” (Psa 17:8) preserve them in piety and righteousness, and vouchsafe them eternal life in Christ Jesus Thy beloved Son, with whom glory, honour, and worship be to Thee and to the Holy Spirit, now and always, and for ever and ever. Amen. And let the deacon say: “Depart in peace.” And when the first-fruits are offered, the bishop gives thanks in this manner: —


XL. The Form of Prayer for the First-Fruits.

We give thanks to Thee, O Lord Almighty, the Creator of the whole world, and its Preserver, through Thy only begotten Son Jesus Christ our Lord, for the first-fruits which are offered to Thee, not in such a manner as we ought, but as we are able. For what man is there that can worthily give Thee thanks for those things Thou hast given them to partake of? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, and of all the saints, who madest all things fruitful by Thy word, and didst command the earth to bring forth various fruits for our rejoicing and our food; who hast given to the duller and more sheepish sort of creatures juices — herbs to them that feed on herbs, and to some flesh, to others seeds, but to us corn, as advantageous and proper food, and many other things — some for our necessities, some for our health, and some for our pleasure. On all these accounts, therefore, art Thou worthy of exalted hymns of praise for Thy beneficence by Christ, through whom73 glory, honour, and worship be to Thee, in the Holy Spirit, for ever. Amen. Concerning those that are at rest in Christ: After the bidding prayer, that we may not repeat it again, the deacon shall add as follows: —


XLI. The Bidding Prayer for Those Departed.

Let us pray for our brethren that are at rest74 in Christ, that God, the lover of mankind, who has received his soul, may forgive him every sin, voluntary and involuntary, and may be merciful and gracious to him, and give him his lot in the land of the pious that are sent into the bosom of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, with all those that have pleased Him and done His will from the beginning of the world, whence all sorrow, grief, and lamentation are banished. Let us arise, let us dedicate ourselves and one another to the eternal God, through that Word which was in the beginning. And let the bishop say: O Thou who art by nature immortal, and hast no end of Thy being, from whom every creature, whether immortal or mortal, is derived; who didst make man a rational creature, the citizen of this world, in his constitution mortal, and didst add the promise of a resurrection; who didst not suffer Enoch and Elijah to taste of death: “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, who art the God of them, not as of dead, but as of living persons: for the souls of all men live with Thee, and the spirits of the righteous are in Thy hand, which no torment can touch;” (Mat 22:32; Wisd. 3:1) for they are all sanctified under Thy hand: do Thou now also look upon this Thy servant, whom Thou hast selected and received into another state, and forgive him if voluntarily or involuntarily he has sinned, and afford him merciful angels, and place him in the bosom of the patriarchs, and prophets, and apostles, and of all those that have pleased Thee from the beginning of the world, where there is no grief, sorrow, nor lamentation; but the peaceable region of the godly, and the undisturbed land of the upright, and of those that therein see the glory of Thy Christ; by whom75 glory, honour, and worship, thanksgiving, and adoration be to Thee, in the Holy Spirit, for ever. Amen. And let the deacon say: Bow down, and receive the blessing. And let the bishop give thanks for them, saying as follows: “O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance,” (Psa 28:9) which Thou hast purchased with the precious blood of Thy Christ. Feed them under Thy right hand, and cover them under Thy wings, and grant that they may “fight the good fight, and finish their course, and keep the faith” (2Ti 4:7) immutably, unblameably, and unreprovably, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, with whom glory, honour, and worship be to Thee and to the Holy Spirit for ever. Amen.


XLII. How and When We Ought to Celebrate the Memorials of the Faithful Departed, and That We Ought Then to Give Somewhat out of Their Goods to the Poor.

Let the third day of the departed be celebrated with psalms, and lessons, and prayers, on account of Him who arose within the space of three days; and let the ninth day be celebrated in remembrance of the living, and of the departed; and the fortieth76 day according to the ancient pattern: for so did the people lament Moses, and the anniversary day in memory of him.77 And let alms be given to the poor out of his goods for a memorial of him.78


XLIII. That Memorials or Mandates Do Not at All Profit the Ungodly Who Are Dead.

These things we say concerning the pious; for as to the ungodly, if thou givest all the world to the poor, thou wilt not benefit him at all. For to whom the Deity was an enemy while he was alive, it is certain it will be so also when he is departed; for there is no unrighteousness with Him. For “the Lord79 is righteous, and has loved righteousness.” (Psa 11:7) And, “Behold the man and his work.” (Isa 62:11)


XLIV. Concerning Drunkards.

Now, when you are invited to their memorials, do you feast with good order, and the fear of God, as disposed to intercede for those that are departed. For since you are the presbyters and deacons of Christ, you ought always to be sober, both among yourselves and among others, that so you may be able to warn the unruly. Now the Scripture says, “The men in power are passionate. But let them not drink wine, lest by drinking they forget wisdom, and are not able to judge aright.” (Pro 31:4, LXX.) Wherefore80 both the presbyters and the deacons are those of authority in the Church next to God Almighty and His beloved Son.81 We say this, not they are not to drink at all, otherwise it would be to the reproach of what God has made for cheerfulness, but that they be not disordered with wine. For the Scripture does not say, Do not drink wine; but what says it? “Drink not wine to drunkenness;” and again, “Thorns spring up in the hand of the drunkard.” (Pro 23:1-35; Ecclus. 31:25-31; Eph 5:18; Pro 26:9) Nor do we say this only to those of the clergy, but also to every lay Christian, upon whom the name of our Lord Jesus Christ is called. For to them also it is said, “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath uneasiness? who hath babbling? who hath red eyes? who hath wounds without cause? Do not these things belong to those that tarry long at the wine, and that go to seek where drinking meetings are?” (Pro 23:29, Pro 23:30)


XLV. Concerning the Receiving Such as Are Persecuted for Christ’s Sake.

Receive ye those that are persecuted82 on account of the faith, and who fly from city to city, (Mat 10:23) as mindful of the words of the Lord. For, knowing that though “the spirit be willing, the flesh is weak,” (Mat 26:41) they fly away, and prefer the spoiling of their goods, that they may preserve the name of Christ in themselves without denying it. Supply them therefore with what they want, and thereby fulfil the commandment of the Lord.





32 This is not a fair translation of the Greek, which, as the text stands, does not make sense. One V. ms. reads, “Let us beseech in behalf of one another.”

33 The Coptic adds, “the rest of the clergy in their order.”

34 The Coptic has, “and let them sing psalms during the distribution until the whole congregation has received it.”

35 The Coptic has, “let all the women receive it also.”

36 The Coptic, “these His holy and immortal mysteries, which are numbered in heaven.”

37 The Coptic has, “the Lord.”

38 The Coptic adds, “And let the presbyters and deacons watch the few fragments that are left, that they may perceive that there is nothing superfluous; lest they fall into the great judgment, like the sons of Aaron and Eli, whom the Holy Spirit destroyed, because they did not refrain from despising the sacrifice of the Lord: how much more those who despise the body and blood of the Lord, thinking that to be merely material food which they receive, and not spiritual!”

39 The Coptic inserts, “when they have been blessed.”

40 One V. ms. has this note; “John the evangelist, the brother of James, was banished by Domitian to the island of Patmos, and there composed the Gospel according to him. He died a natural death, in the third year of Trajan’s reign, in Ephesus. His remains were sought, but have not been found.”

41 The Coptic adds: “While you pray, he is ordained; and thou shalt ordain the deacon also according to this constitution alone.”

42 One V. ms. has the following note: “Philip having proclaimed the life-giving word to the Asiatic diocese, has been buried in Hierapolis of Phrygia along with his daughters, having been crowned with martyrdom in the reign of the Emeror Domitian. Philip, who has the daughters, is one of the seven; it was he also who baptized the eunuch.”

43 One V. ms. has the following note: “Bartholomew preached the Gospel according to Matthew to the Indians, who also have been buried in India.”

44 One V. ms. has the following note: “Thomas preached to the Parthians, Medes, Persians, Germans, Hyrcanians, Bactrians, Bardians, who also, having been a martyr, lies in Edessa of Osdroene.”

45 The words “for you the bishops” are omitted in the Oxford ms.

46 [See vol. 5. Elucidation XIV. p. 417.]

47 The Oxford ms. has no part of this chapter. It reads: “A reader is appointed when the bishop gives him a book; for there is no imposition of hands.”

48 The Coptic reads, “let him be ordained.”

49 The two V. mss. have the following note: “Thaddæus, also called Lebbæus, and who was surnamed Judas the Zealot, preached the truth to the Edessenes and the people of Mesopotamia when Abrarus ruled over Edessa, and has been buried in Berytus of Phœnicia.”

50 The Coptic has, “let him be ordained.”

51 Ch. xxvii., xxviii., xxx.-xxiv., and ch. xlii.-xlvii., occur in Syriac and Coptic, as well as in the Greek mss.

52 One V. ms. has the following note: “Simon the Canaanite, preacher of the truth, is crowned with martyrdom in Judea in the reign of Domitian.”

53 The words from “concerning” to “constitution” are omitted in the Oxford ms., in Syriac, and Coptic.

54 This chapter is not found in the Coptic and Syriac. One V. ms. has the following note: “Matthew (probably a mistake for Matthias) taught the doctrines of Christ in Judea, and was one of the seventy disciples. After the ascension of Christ he was numbered with the twelve apostles, instead of Judas, who was the betrayer. He lies in Jerusalem.”

55 The Oxford ms. reads: “I the same, Simon, the Canaanite, make a constitution.”

56 “Deacons” omitted in Oxford ms. and in Coptic.

57 “Two,” Oxford ms.

58 “One,” Oxford ms.

59 One V. ms. has the following instead of the title: “Paul, the teacher of the Gentiles, having proclaimed the Gospel of Christ to the Gentiles from Jerusalem even to Illyricum, was cut off in Rome while teaching the truth, by Nero and King Agrippa, being beheaded, and has been buried in Rome itself.”

60 [Note the uniform testimony against theatricals in all forms.]

61 [Purveyors to the play-house.]

62 [Compare vol. 5. p. 130, note 33.]

63 The Coptic adds, “the holy mother of God.”

64 [Compare vol. 3. pp. 164, 352.]

65 One V. ms., Coptic and Syriac omit “first.”

66 The Syriac and Coptic add: “and His side being wounded, blood and water came forth.”

67 Mat 18:20. [A token that much of these constitutions is truly primitive.]

68 2Co 6:14. [Compare p. 483, supra: Energumens?]

69 The words from “I James” to “ordain thus” are omitted in the V. mss., and the following words are given instead in the two V. mss.: “James, the brother of the Lord, has been killed with stones (the other ms. reads, ‘with sticks’) by the Jews in Jerusalem on account of the doctrines of Christ.” Ch. xxxv.-xli. are omitted in the Oxford ms., and in Syriac and Coptic.

70 “Before all” is omitted in one V. ms.

71 One V. ms. reads “sender forth” instead of “Lord.”

72 One V. ms. reads “with” instead of “in.”

73 One V. ms. reads, “with whom,” and “with the Holy Spirit.”

74 [They are “at rest.” Yet this prayer, and wherefore? See St. Augustine, Confessions (ed. Migne), p. 765, Nebridius.]

75 “With shom,” one V. ms.

76 The Syriac and a Greek marginal reading give “the thirtieth.”

77 Deu 34:8. [Comp. Aug., Confess. (ed Migne), p. 778.]

78 [The “month’s mind” was anciently of this sort, with no reference to purgatorial penalties. “Credo jam feceris quod rogo.” — Aug.]

79 The Syriac and the Oxford ms. read “God” instead of “Lord.”

80 The Syriac, the Coptic, and the Oxford ms. add, “the bishops.” The Coptic omits “the deacons.”

81 The Coptic adds, “Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.”

82 [A token of the early origin of what is genuine in these interpolated Constitutions.]







Constitutions of the Holy Apostles. (Cont.)

Book VIII. (Cont.)

Sec. V. – All the Apostles Urge the Observance of the Order of the Church.

XLVI. That Every One Ought to Remain in That Rank Wherein He Is Placed, but Not Snatch Such Offices to Himself Which Are Not Entrusted to Him.

Now this we all in common do charge you, that every one remain in that rank which is appointed him, and do not transgress his proper bounds; for they are not ours, but God’s. For says the Lord: “He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that heareth me, heareth Him that sent me.” And, “He that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth Him that sent me.” (Luk 10:16; Mat 10:40; Joh 13:20) For if those things that are without life do observe good order, as the night, the day, the sun, the moon, the stars, the elements, the seasons, the months, the weeks, the days, and the hours, and are subservient to the uses appointed them, according to that which is said, “Thou hast set them a bound which they shall not pass;” (Psa 104:9) and again, concerning the sea, “I have set bounds thereto, and have encompassed it with bars and gates; and I said to it, Hitherto shalt thou come, and thou shalt go no farther;” (Job 38:10, Job 38:11) how much more ought ye not to venture to remove those things which we, according to God’s will, have determined for you! But because many think this a small matter, and venture to confound the orders, and to remove the ordination which belongs to them severally, snatching to themselves dignities which were never given them, and allowing themselves to bestow that authority in a tyrannical manner which they have not themselves, and thereby provoke God to anger (as did the followers of Corah and King Uzziah, (Num 16:1-50; 2Ch 26:1-23) who, having no authority, usurped the high-priesthood without commission from God; and the former were burnt with fire, and the latter was struck with a leprosy in his forehead); and provoke Christ Jesus to anger, who has made this constitution; and also grieve the Holy Spirit, and make void His testimony: therefore, foreknowing the danger that hangs over those who do such things, and the neglect about the sacrifices and eucharistical offices which will arise from their being impiously offered by those who ought not to offer them; who think the honour of the high-priesthood, which is an imitation of the great High Priest Jesus Christ our King, to be a matter of sport; we have found it necessary to give you warning in this matter also. For some are already turned aside after their own vanity. We say that Moses the servant of God (“to whom God spake face to face, as if a man spake to his friend;” (Num 12:7, Num 12:8; Exo 33:11, Exo 33:17) to whom He said, “I know thee above all men;” to whom He spake directly, and not by obscure methods, or dreams, or angels, or riddles), – this person, when he made constitutions and divine laws, distinguished what things were to be performed by the high priests, what by the priests, and what by the Levites; distributing to every one his proper and suitable office in the divine service. And those things which are allotted for the high priests to do, those might not be meddled with by the priests; and what things were allotted to the priests, the Levites might not meddle with; but every one observed those ministrations which were written down and appointed for them. And if any would meddle beyond the tradition, death was his punishment. And Saul’s example does show this most plainly, who, thinking he might offer sacrifice without the prophet and high priest Samuel, (1Sa 13:1-23) drew upon himself a sin and a curse without remedy. Nor did even his having anointed him king discourage the prophet. But God showed the same by a more visible effect in the case of Uzziah, (2Ch 26:1-23) when He without delay exacted the punishment due to this transgression, and he that madly coveted after the high-priesthood was rejected from his kingdom also. As to those things that have happened amongst us, you yourselves are not ignorant of them. For ye know undoubtedly that those that are by us named bishops, and presbyters, and deacons, were made by prayer, and by the laying on of hands; and that by the difference of their names is showed the difference of their employments. For not every one that will is ordained, as the case was in that spurious and counterfeit priesthood of the calves under Jeroboam; (1Ki 13:33) but he only who is called of God. For if there were no rule or distinction of orders, it would suffice to perform all the offices under one name. But being taught by the Lord the series of things, we distributed the functions of the high-priesthood to the bishops, those of the priesthood to the presbyters, and the ministration under them both to the deacons; that the divine worship might be performed in purity. For it is not lawful for a deacon to offer the sacrifice, or to baptize, or to give either the greater or the lesser blessing. Nor may a presbyter perform ordination; for it is not agreeable to holiness to have this order perverted. For “God is not the God of confusion,”83 that the subordinate persons should tyrannically assume to themselves the functions belonging to their superiors, forming a new scheme of laws to their own mischief, not knowing that “it is hard for them to kick against the pricks;”84 for such as these do not fight against us, or against the bishops, but against the universal Bishop and the High Priest of the Father, Jesus Christ our Lord.85 High priests, priests, and Levites were ordained by Moses, (Exo 28:1-43 and Exo 29:1-46) the most beloved of God. By our Saviour86 were we apostles, thirteen in number, ordained; and by the apostles I James, and I Clement, and others with us, were ordained, that we may not make the catalogue of all those bishops over again. And in common, presbyters, and deacons, and sub-deacons, and readers, were ordained by all of us. The great High Priest therefore, who is so by nature, is Christ the only begotten; not having snatched that honour to Himself, but having been appointed such by the Father; who being made man for our sake, and offering the spiritual sacrifice to His God and Father, before His suffering gave it us alone in charge to do this, although there were others with us who had believed in Him. But he that believes is not presently appointed a priest, or obtains the dignity of the high-priesthood. But after His ascension we offered, according to His constitution, the pure and unbloody sacrifice; and ordained bishops, and presbyters, and deacons, seven in number: one of which was Stephen, (Act 6:1-15 and Act 7:1-60) that blessed martyr, who was not inferior to us as to his pious disposition of mind towards God; who showed so great piety towards God, by his faith and love towards our Lord Jesus Christ, as to give his life for Him, and was stoned to death by the Jews, the murderers of the Lord. Yet still this so great and good a man, who was fervent in spirit, who saw Christ on the right hand of God, and the gates of heaven opened, does nowhere appear to have exercised functions which did not appertain to his office of a deacon, nor to have offered the sacrifices, nor to have laid hands upon any, but kept his order of a deacon unto the end. For so it became him, who was a martyr for Christ, to preserve good order. But if some do blame Philip87 our deacon, and Ananias (Act 8:1-40 and Act 9:1-43) our faithful brother, that the one did baptize the eunuch, and the other me Paul, these men do not understand what we say. For we have affirmed only that no one snatches the sacerdotal dignity to himself, but either receives it from God, as Melchisedec and Job, or from the high priest, as Aaron from Moses. Wherefore Philip and Ananias did not constitute themselves, but were appointed by Christ, the High Priest of that God to whom no being is to be compared.


XLVII. The Ecclesiastical Canons of the Same Holy Apostles.88

1. Let a bishop be ordained by two or three bishops.

2. A presbyter by one bishop, as also a deacon, and the rest of the clergy.89

3. If any bishop or presbyter, otherwise than our Lord has ordained concerning the sacrifice, offer other things at the altar of God, as honey, milk, or strong beer instead of wine, any necessaries, or birds, or animals, or pulse, otherwise than is ordained, let him be deprived; excepting grains of new corn, or ears of wheat, or bunches of grapes in their season.90

4. For it is not lawful to offer anything besides these at the altar, and oil for the holy lamp, and incense in the time of the divine oblation.

5. But let all other fruits be sent to the house of the bishop, as first-fruits to him and to the presbyters, but not to the altar. Now it is plain that the bishop and presbyters are to divide them to the deacons and to the rest of the clergy.

6. Let not a bishop, a priest, or a deacon91 cast off his own wife under pretence of piety; but if he does cast her off, let him be suspended. If he go on in it, let him be deprived.

7. Let not a bishop, a priest, or deacon undertake the cares of this world; but if he do, let him be deprived.92

8. If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon shall celebrate the holiday of the passover before the vernal equinox with the Jews, let him be deprived.93

9. If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or any one of the catalogue of the priesthood, when the oblation is over, does not communicate, let him give his reason; and if it be just, let him be forgiven; but if he does not do it, let him be suspended, as becoming the cause of damage to the people, and occasioning a suspicion against him that offered, as of one that did not rightly offer.94

10. All those of the faithful that enter into the holy church of God, and hear the sacred Scriptures, but do not stay during prayer and the holy communion, must be suspended, as causing disorder in the church.

11. If any one, even in the house, prays with a person excommunicate, let him also be suspended.

12. If any clergyman prays with one deprived as with a clergyman, let himself also be deprived.

13. If any clergyman or layman who is suspended, or ought not to be received,95 goes away, and is received in another city without commendatory letters, let both those who received him and he that was received be suspended. But if he be already suspended, let his suspension be lengthened, as lying to and deceiving the Church of God.

14. A bishop ought not to leave his own parish and leap to another, although the multitude should compel him, unless there be some good reason forcing him to do this, as that he can contribute much greater profit to the people of the new parish by the word of piety; but this is not to be settled by himself, but by the judgment of many bishops, and very great supplication.

15. If any presbyter or deacon, or any one of the catalogue of the clergy, leaves his own parish and goes to another, and, entirely removing himself, continues in that other parish without the consent of his own bishop, him we command no longer to go on in his ministry, especially in case his bishop calls upon him to return, and he does not obey, but continues in his disorder. However, let him communicate there as a layman.

16. But if the bishop with whom they are undervalues the deprivation decreed against them, and receives them as clergymen, let him be suspended as a teacher of disorder.

17. He who has been twice married after his baptism, or has had a concubine, cannot be made a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or indeed any one of the sacerdotal catalogue.96

18. He who has taken a widow, or a divorced woman, or an harlot, or a servant, or one belonging to the theatre, cannot be either a bishop, priest, or deacon, or indeed any one of the sacerdotal catalogue.

19. He who has married two sisters, or his brother’s or sister’s daughter, cannot be a clergyman.

20. Let a clergyman who becomes a surety be deprived.

21. Let an eunuch, if he be such by the injury of men, or his virilia were taken away in the persecution, or he was born such, and yet is worthy of episcopacy, be made a bishop.

22. Let not him who has disabled himself be made a clergyman; for he is a self-murderer, and an enemy to the creation of God.97

23. If any one who is of the clergy disables himself, let him be deprived, for he is a murderer of himself.

24. Let a layman who disables himself be separated for three years, for he lays a snare for his own life.98

25. Let a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon who is taken in fornication, or perjury, or stealing, be deprived, but not suspended; far the Scripture says: “Thou shall not avenge twice for the same crime by affliction.”99

26. In like manner also as to the rest of the clergy.

27. Of those who come into the clergy unmarried, we permit only the readers and singers, if they have a mind, to marry afterward.100

28. We command that a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon who strikes the faithful that offend, or the unbelievers who do wickedly, and thinks to terrify them by such means, be deprived, for our Lord has nowhere taught us such things. On the contrary, “when Himself was stricken, He did not strike again; when He was reviled, He reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not.”101

29. If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon who is deprived justly for manifest crimes, does venture to meddle with that ministration which was once entrusted to him, let the same person be entirely cut off from the Church.

30. If any bishop obtains that dignity by money, or even a presbyter or deacon, let him and the person that ordained him be deprived; and let him be entirely cut off from communion, as Simon Magus was by me Peter.102

31. If any bishop makes use of the rulers of this world, and by their means obtains to be a bishop of a church, let him be deprived and suspended, and all that communicate with him.

32. If any presbyter despises his own bishop, and assembles separately, and fixes another altar, when he has nothing to condemn in his bishop either as to piety or righteousness, let him be deprived as an ambitious person; for he is a tyrant, and the rest of the clergy, whoever join themselves to him. And let the laity be suspended. But let these things be done after one and a second, or even a third admonition from the bishop.103

33. If any presbyter or deacon be put under suspension by his bishop, it is not lawful for any other to receive him, but for him only who put him under suspension, unless it happens that he who put him under suspension die.

34. Do not ye receive any stranger, whether bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, without commendatory letters; and when such are offered, let them be examined. And if they be preachers of piety, let them be received; but if not, supply their wants, but do not receive them to communion: for many things are done by surprise.

35. The bishops of every country ought to know who is the chief among them, and to esteem him as their head, and not to do any great thing without his consent; but every one to manage only the affairs that belong to his own parish, and the places subject to it. But let him not do anything without the consent of all; for it is by this means there will be unanimity, and God will be glorified by Christ, in the Holy Spirit.

36. A bishop must not venture to ordain out of his own bounds for cities or countries that are not subject to him. But if he be convicted of having done so without the consent of such as governed those cities or countries, let him be deprived, both the bishop himself and those whom he has ordained.

37. If any bishop that is ordained does not undertake his office, nor take care of the people committed to him, let him be suspended until he do undertake it; and in the like manner a presbyter and a deacon. But if he goes, and is not received, not because of the want of his own consent, but because of the ill temper of the people, let him continue bishop; but let the clergy of that city be suspended, because they have not taught that disobedient people better.

38. Let a synod of bishops be held twice in the year, and let them ask one another the doctrines of piety; and let them determine the ecclesiastical disputes that happen – once in the fourth week of Pentecost, and again on the twelfth of the month Hyperberetæus.

39. Let the bishop have the care of ecclesiastical revenues, and administer them as in the presence of God. But it is not lawful for him to appropriate any part of them to himself, or to give the things of God to his own kindred. But if they be poor, let him support them as poor; but let him not, under such pretences, alienate the revenues of the Church.

40. Let not the presbyters and deacons do anything without the consent of the bishop, for it is he who is entrusted with the people of the Lord, and will be required to give an account of their souls. Let the proper goods of the bishop, if he has any, and those belonging to the Lord, be openly distinguished, that he may have power when he dies to leave his own goods as he pleases, and to whom he pleases; that, under pretence of the ecclesiastical revenues, the bishop’s own may not come short, who sometimes has a wife and children, or kinsfolk, or servants. For this is just before God and men, that neither the Church suffer any loss by the not knowing which revenues are the bishop’s own, nor his kindred, under pretence of the Church, be undone, or his relations fall into lawsuits, and so his death be liable to reproach.104

41. We command that the bishop have power over the goods of the Church; for if he be entrusted with the precious souls of men, much more ought he to give directions about goods, that they all be distributed to those in want, according to his authority, by the presbyters and deacons, and be used for their support with the fear of God, and with all reverence. He is also to partake of those things he wants, if he does want them, for his necessary occasions, and those of the brethren who live with him, that they may not by any means be in straits: for the law of God appointed that those who waited at the altar should be maintained by the altar; since not so much as a soldier does at any time bear arms against the enemies at his own charges.

42. Let a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon who indulges himself in dice or drinking, either leave off those practices, or let him be deprived.105

43. If a sub-deacon, a reader, or a singer does the like, either let him leave off, or let him be suspended; and so for one of the laity.

44. Let a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon who requires usury of those he lends to, either leave off to do so, or let him be deprived.

45. Let a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon who only prays with heretics, be suspended; but if he also permit them to perform any part of the office of a clergyman, let him be deprived.106

46. We command that a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon who receives the baptism, or the sacrifice of heretics, be deprived: “For what agreement is there between Christ and Belial? or what part hath a believer with an infidel?”107

47. If a bishop or presbyter rebaptizes him who has had true baptism, or does not baptize him who is polluted by the ungodly, let him be deprived, as ridiculing the cross and the death of the Lord, and not distinguishing between real priests and counterfeit ones.

48. If a layman divorces his own wife, and takes another, or one divorced by another, let him be suspended.108

49. If any bishop or presbyter does not baptize according to the Lord’s constitution, into the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, but into three beings without beginning, or into three Sons, or three Comforters, let him be deprived.109

50. If any bishop or presbyter does not perform the three immersions of the one admission, but one immersion, which is given into the death of Christ, let him be deprived; for the Lord did not say, “Baptize into my death,” but, “Go ye and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Do ye, therefore, O bishops, baptize thrice into one Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost, according to the will of Christ, and our constitution by the Spirit.110

51. If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or indeed any one of the sacerdotal catalogue, abstains from marriage, flesh, and wine, not for his own exercise, but because he abominates these things, forgetting that “all things were very good,” (Gen 1:31) and that “God made man male and female,” (Gen 1:26) and blasphemously abuses the creation, either let him reform, or let him be deprived, and be cast out of the Church; and the same for one of the laity.111

52. If any bishop or presbyter does not receive him that returns from his sin, but rejects him, let him be deprived; because he grieves Christ, who says, “There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.” (Luk 15:7)

53. If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon does not on festival days partake of flesh or wine, let him be deprived, as “having a seared conscience,” (1Ti 4:2) and becoming a cause of scandal to many.

54. If any one of the clergy be taken eating in a tavern, let him be suspended, excepting when he is forced to bait at an inn upon the road.112

55. If any one of the clergy abuses his bishop unjustly, let him be deprived; for says the Scripture, “Thou shall not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.” (Exo 22:28)

56. If any one of the clergy abuses a presbyter or a deacon, let him be separated.

57. If any one of the clergy mocks at a lame, a deaf, or a blind man, or at one maimed in his feet, let him be suspended; and the like for the laity.

58. Let a bishop or presbyter who takes no care of the clergy or people, and does not instruct them in piety, be separated; and if he continues in his negligence, let him be deprived.113

59. If any bishop or presbyter, when any one of the clergy is in want, does not supply his necessity, let him be suspended; and if he continues in it, let him be deprived, as having killed his brother.114

60. If any one publicly reads in the Church the spurious books of the ungodly, as if they were holy, to the destruction of the people and of the clergy, let him be deprived.115

61. If there be an accusation against a Christian for fornication, or adultery, or any other forbidden action, and he be convicted, let him not be promoted into the clergy.

62. If any one of the clergy for fear of men, as of a Jew, or a Gentile, or an heretic, shall deny the name of Christ, let him be suspended; but if he deny the name of a clergyman, let him be deprived; but when he repents, let him be received as one of the laity.116

63. If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or indeed any one of the sacerdotal catalogue, eats flesh with the blood of its life, or that which is torn by beasts, or which died of itself, let him be deprived; for this the law itself has forbidden. (Gen 9:1-29; Lev 17:1-16) But if he be one of the laity, let him be suspended.117

64. If any one of the clergy be found to fast on the Lord’s day, or on the Sabbath-day, excepting one only, let him be deprived; but if he be one of the laity, let him be suspended.118

65. If any one, either of the clergy or laity, enters into a synagogue of the Jews or heretics to pray, let him be deprived and suspended.119

66. If any one of the clergy strikes one in a quarrel, and kills him by that one stroke, let him be deprived, on account of his rashness; but if he be one of the laity, let him be suspended.120

67. If any one has offered violence to a virgin not betrothed, and keeps her, let him be suspended. But it is not lawful for him to take another to wife; but he must retain her whom he has chosen, although she be poor.121

68. If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, receives a second ordination from any one, let him be deprived, and the person who ordained him, unless he can show that his former ordination was from the heretics; for those that are either baptized or ordained by such as these, can be neither Christians nor clergymen.122

69. If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or reader, or singer, does not fast the fast of forty days, or the fourth day of the week, and the day of the Preparation, let him be deprived, except he be hindered by weakness of body. But if he be one of the laity, let him be suspended.123

70. If any bishop, or any other of the clergy, fasts with the Jews, or keeps the festivals with them, or accepts of the presents from their festivals, as unleavened bread or some such thing, let him be deprived; but if he be one of the laity, let him be suspended.124

71. If any Christian carries oil into an heathen temple, or into a synagogue of the Jews, or lights up lamps in their festivals, let him be suspended.

72. If any one, either of the clergy or laity, takes away from the holy Church an honeycomb, or oil, let him be suspended, and let him add the fifth part to that which he took away.125

73. A vessel of silver, or gold, or linen, which is sanctified, let no one appropriate to his own use, for it is unjust; but if any one be caught, let him be punished with suspension.126

74. If a bishop be accused of any crime by credible and faithful persons, it is necessary that he be cited by the bishops; and if he comes and makes his apology, and yet is convicted, let his punishment be determined. But if, when he is cited, he does not obey, let him be cited a second time, by two bishops sent to him. But if even then he despises them, and will not come, let the synod pass what sentence they please against him, that he may not appear to gain advantage by avoiding their judgment.127

75. Do not ye receive an heretic in a testimony against a bishop; nor a Christian if he be single. For the law says, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.”128

76. A bishop must not gratify his brother, or his son, or any other kinsman, with the episcopal dignity, or ordain whom he pleases; for it is not just to make heirs to episcopacy, and to gratify human affections in divine matters. For we must not put the Church of God under the laws of inheritance; but if any one shall do so, let his ordination be invalid, and let him be punished with suspension.129

77. If any one be maimed in an eye, or lame of his leg, but is worthy of the episcopal dignity, let him be made a bishop; for it is not a blemish of the body that can defile him, but the pollution of the soul.130

78. But if he be deaf and blind, let him not be made a bishop; not as being a defiled person, but that the ecclesiastical affairs may not be hindered.

79. If any one hath a demon, let him not be made one of the clergy. Nay, let him not pray with the faithful; but when he is cleansed, let him be received; and if he be worthy, let him be ordained.131

80. It is not right to ordain him bishop presently who is just come in from the Gentiles, and baptized; or from a wicked mode of life: for it is unjust that he who has not yet afforded any trial of himself should be a teacher of others, unless it anywhere happens by divine grace.132

81. We have said that a bishop ought not to let himself into public administrations, but to attend on all opportunities upon the necessary affairs of the Church.133 Either therefore let him agree not to do so, or let him be deprived. For, “no one can serve two masters,” (Mat 6:24) according to the Lord’s admonition.134

82. We do not permit servants to be ordained into the clergy without their masters’ consent; for this would grieve those that owned them. For such a practice would occasion the subversion of families. But if at any time a servant appears worthy to be ordained into an high office, such as our Onesimus appeared to be, and if his master allows of it, and gives him his freedom, and dismisses him from his house, let him be ordained.135

83. Let a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, who goes to the army, and desires to retain both the Roman government and the sacerdotal administration, be deprived. For “the things of Cæsar belong to Cæsar, and the things of God to God.”136

84. Whosoever shall abuse the king137 or the governor unjustly, let him suffer punishment; and if he be a clergyman, let him be deprived; but if he be a layman, let him be suspended.

85. Let the following books be esteemed venerable and holy by you, both of the clergy and laity. Of the Old Covenant: the five books of Moses – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy; one of Joshua the son of Nun, one of the Judges, one of Ruth, four of the Kings, two of the Chronicles, two of Ezra, one of Esther, one of Judith, three of the Maccabees, one of Job, one hundred and fifty psalms; three books of Solomon – Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs; sixteen prophets. And besides these, take care that your young persons learn the Wisdom of the very learned Sirach. But our sacred books, that is, those of the New Covenant, are these: the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; the fourteen Epistles of Paul; two Epistles of Peter, three of John, one of James, one of Jude; two Epistles of Clement; and the Constitutions dedicated to you the bishops by me Clement, in eight books; which it is not fit to publish before all, because of the mysteries contained in them; and the Acts of us the Apostles.138

Let these canonical rules be established by us for you, O ye bishops; and if you continue to observe them, ye shall be saved, and shall have peace; but if you be disobedient, you shall be punished, and have everlasting war one with another, and undergo a penalty suitable to your disobedience.

Now, God who alone is unbegotten, and the Maker of the whole world, unite you all through His peace, in the Holy Spirit; perfect you unto every good work, immoveable, unblameable, and unreprovable; and vouchsafe to you eternal life with us, through the mediation of His beloved Son Jesus Christ our God and Saviour; with whom glory be to Thee, the God over all, and the Father, in the Holy Spirit the Comforter, now and always, and for ever and ever. Amen.

The end of the Constitutions of the Holy Apostles by Clement, which are the Catholic doctrine.




(The Bidding Prayer, etc.)

The Pauline Norm.139

1. Supplications.

2. Prayers, Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs.

3. Intercessions.

4. General Thanksgiving. The Kiss of Peace.

5. Anaphora.140

The Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread:

And when He had given thanks, He brake it,

And said, Take, eat: this is my Body, which is broken for you:

This do in remembrance of Me.

After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped,

Saying, This cup is the New Testament in my Blood:

This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.

For as often as ye eat this Bread, and drink this Cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come.

6. Our Father, etc.141

7. Communion.

Let us note also that the Apostle had “delivered” unto the Corinthians (1Co 11:23), as doubtless to others (1Co 7:17), certain institutions which he ordained in all the churches, and for departing from which he censures the Corinthians in this place (ver. 17 compared with ver. 2) in certain particulars. In 1Co 14:1-40. at ver. 40, he refers to these ordinances as a τάξις, in the performance of which they were to proceed (κοσμίως) with due order, becomingly; not with mere decency, but with a beautiful decorum of service.

Finally, let me suggest that there are fragments of the Apostle’s (παράδοσεις) instructions everywhere scattered through his Epistles, such as the minute canon142 concerning the veiling of women in acts of worship, insisting upon it with a length of argument which in one of the Apostolic Fathers would be considered childish. He also insisted that his τάξις is from the Lord.Fragments of the primitive hymns are also scattered through the Apostles’ writings, as, e.g., –

Ἔγειραι ὁ καθεύδων,

 καὶ ἀνάστα ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν,

 καὶ ἐπιφαύσει σοι ὁ Χριστός. (Eph 5:14)

Of such passages the formula (διο λέγει) “It saith” seems to be a frequent index.

May we not conclude also that the sublime prayer and doxology of Eph 3:14-21 is a quotation from the Apostle’s own eucharistic τάξις for the whole state of Christ’s Church militant?

Might not the same be more constantly used in our days as an intercession for the whole flock of the one Shepherd?



(Fulfil His constitution)

The Pauline Norm being borne in mind, we shall best comprehend this Clementine liturgy, as to its primitive claims, by taking the testimony of Justin, writing in Rome to the Antonines a.d. 160. Referring to the Apology in our first volume, we observe that the order kept up in his day was this: –

1. Prayers for all estates of men.

2. The kiss of peace.

3. Oblation of bread and wine.

4. Thanksgiving.

5. Words of institution.

6. The prayer ending with Amen.

7. Communion.

Now, a century later, we may suppose the original of this Clementine to have taken a fuller shape; of which still later this Clementine is the product.143

Bear in mind that the early Roman use was (Greek) borrowed wholly from the East;144 and, comparing the testimony of Justin with the Pauline Norm, may we not suppose that this norm in Rome was augmented by the Eastern uses, and so preserves a true name in that of the first Bishop of Rome, who accepted it from Jerusalem or Antioch?



(That He may show this bread, etc.)

From a recent essay by Dr. Williams, the erudite bishop of Connecticut, I am permitted to cite, as follows: –

Compare the original texts thus: –




ὀπως άποφηνῃ τὸν ἁρτον τοῦτον σῶμα τοῦ Χριστοῦ σου καὶ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτον αἰμα τοῦ Χριστοῦ σου ινα οἱ μεταλαβόντες, κ.τ.λ.

ὅπως άποφηνῃ τὴν θυσίαν ταύτην, καὶ τὸν ἄρτον σῶμα τοῦ Χριστοῦ, καὶ τὸ ποτήριον τὸ αἰμα του Χριστοῦ ἵνα οἱ μεταλαβόντες, κ.τ.λ.

Bishop Williams then proceeds to inquire: –

“How is this striking agreement to be explained? Does Irenæus quote from the Clementine, or the Clementine from him? Or is it not much more likely that they are independent witnesses to primitive uses, going back to the period of the persecutions, and extending ‘far beyond the limits of Syria or Palestine’?”147

I shall recur to these passages in the elucidations to Early Liturgies (infra): but here I beg the reader to consult Pfaff, to whom we owe the discovery of the fragment cited from Irenæus; also Grabe, in the same volume of Pfaff, whom I have already introduced to the reader.148



The American editor had been promised the aid of his beloved friend the Rev. Dr. Hobart in the elucidation of the liturgies; but a sudden and almost fatal prostration of his health has deprived the reader of the admirable comments with which he would have enriched these pages, had Providence permitted.





83 1Co 14:33. [See p. 500, note 87, infra.]

84 Act 9:5. [See Act 26:14, where the clause is genuine. In Act 9:5 it is a later interpolation of the Vulgate and Erasmus. – R.]

85 The Coptic adds, “the Son of God, and true God.”

86 The Coptic adds “God.”

87 One V. ms. has the following note: “that he who baptized the Ethiopian eunuch was not the Apostle Philip, but one of those who were chosen along with St. Stephen to be deacons, and who also had four daughters, as says Luke in the Acts.” [See pp. 452, 492, supra.]

88 [The brief notes on these canons have been mainly derived from the text and notes appended to Hefele’s History of Christian Councils, vol. i. pp. 450-492, Edinburgh translation. – R.]

89 [Comp. Apostolic Constitutions, iii. 20, viii. 4, 27, on these two canons. – R.]

90 [This canon, and the two following ones, which explains it, point to some early heretical customs. The Apostolic Constitutions furnish no exact parallel. Canon 4 was joined with 3 in the Greek text. Dionysius divided them: hence a variation in number exists from this point. – R.]

91 [Dionysius omits aut diaconus. – R.]

92 [Comp. Apostolic Constitutions, ii. 6, – R.]

93 [This points to a discussion in the third century. – R.]

94 [Canons 9-16 agree those of the Council of Antioch, a.d. 341; but there is a difference of opinion on the question of priority. – R.]

95 Dionysius Exiguus translates “communicanus,” in which case the Greek reading must be δεκτός, or “who can be received.”

96 [Canons 17, 18, 20, agree with Apostolic Constitutions, vi. 17, ii. 6. – R.]

97 [After Origen. Comp. Melito, vol 8., this series.]

98 [Canons 21-24 agree with the first of the Nicene Council (Hefele, Christian Councils, i. pp. 375, 376). Some hold that canon to refer to these: others find in the enlarged application of Canon 24 a proof of the later date of this collection. – R.]

99 Nah 1:9. [Canons 25,26, are referred to by Basil the Great (Ad Amphilochium, iii.). In the Greek collection 26 is joined with 25. – R.]

100 [Apostolic Constitutions, vi. 17. – R.]

101 1Pe 2:23. [This canon seems of late origin; probably from Synod of Constantinople, a.d. 394. – R.]

102 [The closing clause points to a comparatively late date, as do the contents of Canon 31. – R.]

103 [Canons 32-41 also agree with those of Antioch; see note on Canon 9. Some of the regulations have, however, an earlier date: whether they existed in this form before that time, is open to discussion. – R.]

104 [This canon is divided by most editors of the Greek text; froming, in their enumeration, Canons 38 and 39. – R.]

105 [Hefele, and others regard Canons 42-44 as among the most ancient of this collection, and of unknown origien. – R.]

106 [The substance of this canon is very ancient, Hefele thinks; but Drey derives it from Canons 9, 33, 34, of the Synod of Laocicea, about a.d. 363. – R.]

107 2Co 6:5. [Drey regards this as very ancient; but Hefele derives it and the following one from the Apostolic Constitutions, vi. 15. – R.]

108 [Very ancient, of unknown origin; repeated in canons of Elvira and Aries. – R.]

109 [From Apostolic Constitutions, vi. 11, 26. – R.]

110 [This Canon, the last of those in the collection of Dionysius, is regarded as among the most recent. Of unknown origin. – R.] At the end of the canon, in the collection of John of Antioch, the following words are added: “Let him that is baptized be taught that the Father was not crucified, nor endured to be born of man, nor indeed that the Holy Spirit became man, or even endured suffering, for He was not made flesh; but the only begotten Son ransomed the world from the wrath which lay upon it: for He became man through His love of man, having fashioned a body for Himself from a virgin. For Wisdom built a house for herself as a Creator; but He willingly endured the cross, and rescured the world from the wrath that lies on it, namely, those who are baptized into the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But let those who do not thus baptize be suspended, as being ignorant of the mystery of piety.” The same collection gives the following as Canon 51: “He who says that the Father suffered is more impious than the Jews, nailing along with Christ the Father also. He who denies that the only begotten Son was made flesh for us, and endured the cross, fights with God, and is an enemy of the saints. He that names the Holy Spirit Father or Son, is ignorant and foolish; for the Son is Creator along with the Father, and has the same throne, and is Lawgiver along with Him, and Judge, and the cause of the resurrection; and the Holy Spirit is the same in substance: for the Godhead had three Persons, the same in substance. For in our day Simon the magician gave forth his doctrines, drawing the speechless, delusive, unstable, and wicked spirit to himself, and babbling that there is one God with three names, and sometimes erasing the passion and birth of Christ. Do you, then, most beloved ones, baptize into one Father, and Son, and the Holy Spirit as third, according to the will of the Lord, and our constitution made in the spirit.”

111 [Canons 51-53 are from the Apostolic Constituions; the first from vi. 8, 10, 26; the second from ii. 12, 13; the third from v. 20. – R.]

112 [Canons 54-57 are of unknown origin: the first is deemed ancient, while the conduct forbidden in the others points to a more recent date. Drey thinks the distinctions of the clergy also point to a later date. – R.]

113 [Canon 58 is supposed to refer to the absence of bishops at the imperial city, which prevailed in the middle of the fourth century. – R.]

114 [Canon 59 resembles the twenty-fifth canon of Synod of Antioch: see on Canon 9. – R.]

115 [Of doubtful origin, but resembling Apostolic Constitutions, vi. 16, though probably of later date. – R.]

116 [Canons 61, 62, are of unknown origin. – R.]

117 [Canon 53 is regarded as very ancient. – R.]

118 [Canon 64 is numbered 66 in Hefele’s edition, being preceded by Canons 65 and 66 as given above. It is from Apostolic Constitutions, v. 20. – R.]

119 [Canon 65 is from Apostolic Constitutions, ii. 61. – R.]

120 [Of unknown but probably late origin. – R.]

121 [Drey makes this one of the most recent canons of the collection. – R.]

122 [Of unknown origin, probably recent. – R.]

123 [Drey considers Canon 69 to be bery ancient, but also intimates that it and Canon 70 were taken from the pseudo-Ignatian Epistle to the Philippians: see the same, chap. xiii., latter half, vol 1. of this series. – R.]

124 [With Canons 70, 71, compare Synod of Elvira (a.d. 305 or 306), Canons 49, 50, in Hefele, vol. i. pp. 158, 159. Drey, however, derives them from Canons 37-39 of Laodicea (a.d. 363). – R.]

125 Lev 5:16. [It is argued from the theft forbidden that this canon is more recent: its origin is unknown. – R.]

126 [The wealth here implied points to a comparatively late origin: Hefele assigns it to the second half of the third century, but Drey gives a later date. – R.]

127 [Hefele things both this and the follwoing canon to be later than the Nicæan Council. Drey, however, derives Canon 74 from the council at Chalcedon (a.d. 451), a view opposed by both Bickell and Hefele. – R.]

128 Deu 19:15. [According to Drey this canon is from the Council of Constantinople (sixth canon), in a.d. 381. – R.]

129 [Drey derives this from Canon 23, Synod of Antioch, a.d. 341. – R.]

130 [Hefele: “The Canons 77-79, inclusive, belong to the first three centuries of the Church; their origin is unknown.” – R.]

131 [Comp. Apostolic Constitutions, viii. 32, p. 495, from which this may have been taken. – R.]

132 [Drey regards Canon 80, as an imitation of the second canon of Nicæa, which is, however, much fuller: comp. Hefele, i. p. 377. On this principle, comp. 1Ti 3:6 and similar passages. – R.]

133 Can. iv. prius.

134 [The contents of this canon point to a late date. Drey regards it as an abridgment of the third canon of Chalcedon (a.d. 451). – R.]

135 [Of unknown origin and date. – R.]

136 Mat 22:21. [This also Dreay traces to the Council of Chalcedon, a.d. 451 (Canon 7); but Hefele opposes this view here, as in the case of the other canons (30, 67, 74, 81) which Drey derives from that source. – R.]

137 [Or rather, “the emperor” (βασιλέα having that sense). Hefele refers this to the time of the Arian struggle, when the emperors were involved in ecclesiastical controversies. – R.]

138 [Hefele: “This is probably the least ancient canon in the whole collection.” With this opinion there is general concurrence, since the mention of the Constitutions among the canonical books indicates the hand fo the last compiler of that collection of writings. Whoever he was, he was not Clement of Rome. – R.]

139 1Ti 2:1-3. Compare (ποιεῖσθαι) the Greek here with that of the LXX. in Exo 29:36, Exo 29:38, Exo 29:39, Exo 29:41; also Exo 10:25, and so throughout the Old Testament. Note also Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16; and the kiss, 1Co 16:20.

140 1Co 11:23. To me there is a great significance in the fact that the Apostle received this as an original Gospel from the Lord Himself. Truly (2Co 11:5) he was not “a whit behind” even that chief Apostle who inclined in the bosom of the Great High Priest and adorable Lamb of God as He instituted the feast.

141 Mat 6:9. for this we have the important testimony of Gregory the Great, as preserved to his day: that the Apostles (SS. Peter and Paul must have been primarily in his mind, of course) delivered no other “custom” to the churches (i.e.; as essential) than the words of Institution and the Lord’s Prayer. He says: –

“Orationem Dominicam, mox post precem, dicimus, quia neos Apostolorum erat, ad ipsam selummodo orationem oblationis hostiam consecrare.” – Epist. ad Joann, Episc. Syrac., lib. ix. Opp., tom. p. 958, ed. Migne.

Now, for the sense of post precem in the above, we have Justin Martyr for a primative witness of Roman usage. He speaks of the words of Institution expressly (vol. 1. cap. lxvi. p. 185.) as “the Prayer of the Logos” (δι ̓ ἐυχῆς Λόγου), in the use of which he makes the essential act of the Oblation to consist. Liturgic fulness may or may not require more, but the essentials are thus simple. So far, the Roman Missal to this day sustains the words of Gregory. It is overloaded with ceremonial, but does not include the noble features on which the Greeks lay so great stess; i.e., the conjoint Oblation and Invocation. See 1Pe 2:5.

142 1Co 11:5, 1Co 11:6. Here men are equally enjoined not to follow the Jewish rite of covering their heads in prayer.

143 See the Greek in Hammond, p. 3, and the learned Introduction, p. lxx.

144 Hammond, Introduction, p lxix.

145 See translation, p. 489, supra.

146 See translation, vol. 1. (Fragment xxxvii.) p. 574, this series.

147 For purposes of comparison on many points connected with this inquiry, see the Fragments of an Ancient East-Syrian Liturgy in Hammond’s Appendix, published separately, Oxford, 1879.

148 Concerning Pfaff, see p. 536, infra, and vol. 1. p. 574, note 38, this series.














The following ancient Tract on Christ and Antichrist is included here in order to illustrate the extremely advanced state of Eschatological awareness possessed by the Ancient Christian Church, and their perpetual relevance to all subsequent students of the “ End Times”, and the much needed study of the soon return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, to establish His Father’s Kingdom on a future “renovated” earth. The Tract is here reproduced verbatim with all original notes, and in its entirety, from The “ Ante-Nicene Fathers” Volume Five: “ Fathers of the Third Century: Hippolytus”, translated by the Rev. Alexander Roberts, D.D., and James Donaldson, LL.D., T&T Clark “ American Reprint” edition.

It ought to be noted that Bishop Hippolytus taught, according to the tradition handed down by the Apostles through Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon in Gaul ( France), that the Church must pass through the first 3 1/2 years of persecution under the final Antichrist, but be removed ( ” translated”) at the end of these 3 1/2 years and before the time of God’s wrath, which is to be poured out in the subsequent period of 3 1/2 years in fulfillment of the 70th “week of years” of the prophet Daniel’s prophecy to that effect. Victorinus of Pettau, following in the footsteps of Hippolytus and Irenaeus, in his “Commentary of the Apocalypse” written several decades after Hippolytus’ treatise on Christ and Antichrist, unequivocally confirms that the saints ( the Church) will experience the persecution of Antichrist for the first half of the final seven years, but will ” escape” the wrath of God in the second half of this ” week of years”.All three of the above Church Fathers were greatly persecuted due to their avowed premillenialism.                                            



Part II.-Dogmatical and Historical.

Treatise on Christ and Antichrist.

1. As it was your desire, my beloved brother Theophilus,2 to be thoroughly informed on those topics which I put summarily before you, I have thought it right to set these matters of inquiry clearly forth to your view, drawing largely from the Holy Scriptures themselves as from a holy fountain, in order that you may not only have the pleasure of hearing them on the testimony of men,3 but may also be able, by surveying them in the light of (divine) authority, to glorify God in all. For this will be as a sure supply furnished you by us for your journey in this present life, so that by ready argument applying things ill understood and apprehended by most, you may sow them in the ground of your heart, as in a rich and clean soil.4 By these, too, you will be able to silence those who oppose and gainsay the word of salvation. Only see that you do not give these things over to unbelieving and blasphemous tongues, for that is no common danger. But impart them to pious and faithful men, who desire to live holily and righteously with fear. For it is not to no purpose that the blessed apostle exhorts Timothy, and says, “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called; which some professing have erred concerning the faith.”5 And again, “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me in many exhortations, the same commit thou to faithful men,6 who shall be able to teach others also.”7 If, then, the blessed (apostle) delivered these things with a pious caution, which could be easily known by all, as he perceived in the spirit that “all men have not faith,”8 how much greater will be our danger, if, rashly and without thought, we commit the revelations of God to profane and unworthy men?

2. For as the blessed prophets were made, so to speak, eyes for us, they foresaw through faith the mysteries of the word, and became ministers of these9 things also to succeeding generations, not only reporting the past, but also announcing I the present and the future, so that the prophet might not appear to be one only for the time being, but might also predict the future for all generations, and so be reckoned a (true) prophet. For these fathers were furnished with the Spirit, and largely honoured by the Word Himself; and just as it is with instruments of music. so had they the Word always, like the plectrum,10 in union with them, and when moved by Him the prophets announced what God willed. For they spake not of their own power11 (let there be no mistake as to that12 ), neither did they declare what pleased themselves. But First of all they were endowed with wisdom by the Word, and then again were rightly instructed in the future by means of visions. And then, when thus themselves fully convinced, they spake those things which13 were revealed by God to them alone, and concealed from all others. For with what reason should the prophet be called a prophet, unless he in spirit foresaw the future? For if the prophet spake of any chance event, he would not be a prophet then in speaking of things which were under the eye of aIl. But one who sets forth in detail things yet to be, was rightly judged a prophet. Wherefore prophets were with good reason called from the very first “seers.”14 And hence we, too, who are rightly instructed in what was declared aforetime by them, speak not of our own capacity. For we do not attempt to made any change one way or another among ourselves in the words that were spoken of old by them, but we make the Scriptures in which these are written public, and read them to those who can believe rightly; for that is a common benefit for both parties: for him who speaks, in holding in memory and setting forth correctly things uttered of old;15 and for him who hears, in giving attention to the things spoken. Since, then, in this there is a work assigned to both parties together, viz., to him who speaks, that he speak forth faithfully without regard to risk,16 and to him who hears, that he hear and receive in faith that which is spoken, I beseech you to strive together with me in prayer to God.

3. Do you wish then to know in what manner the Word of God, who was again the Son of God,17 as He was of old the Word, communicated His revelations to the blessed prophets in former times? Well, as the Word shows His compassion and His denial of all respect of persons by all the saints, He enlightens them18 and adapts them to that which is advantageous for us, like a skilful physician, understanding the weakness of men. And the ignorant He loves to teach, and the erring He turns again to His own true way. And by those who live by faith He is easily found; and to those of pure eye and holy heart, who desire to knock at the door, He opens immediately. For He casts away none of His servants as unworthy of the divine mysteries. He does not esteem the rich man more highly than the poor, nor does He despise the poor man for his poverty. He does not disdain the barbarian, nor does He set the eunuch aside as no man.19 He does not hate the female on account of the woman’s act of disobedience in the beginning, nor does He reject the male on account of the man’s transgression. But He seeks all, and desires to save all, wishing to make all the children of God, and calling all the saints unto one perfect man. For there is also one Son (or Servant) of God, by whom we too, receiving the regeneration through the Holy Spirit, desire to come all unto one perfect and heavenly man.20

4. For whereas the Word of God was without flesh,21 He took upon Himself the holy flesh by the holy Virgin, and prepared a robe which He wove for Himself, like a bridegroom, in the sufferings of the cross, in order that by uniting His own power with our moral body, and by mixing22 the incorruptible with the corruptible, and the strong with the weak, He might save perishing man. The web-beam, therefore, is the pass on of the Lord upon the cross, and the warp on it is the power of the Holy Spirit, and the woof is the holy flesh wrought (woven) by the Spirit, and the thread is the grace which by the love of Christ binds and unites the two in one, and the combs or (rods) are the Word; and the workers are the patriarchs and prophets who weave the fair, long, perfect tunic for Christ; and the Word passing through these, like the combs or (rods), completes through them that which His Father willeth.23

5. But as time now presses for the consideration of the question immediately in hand, and as what has been already said in the introduction with regard to the glory of God, may suffice, it is proper that we take the Holy Scriptures themselves in hand, and find out from them what, and of what manner, the coming of Antichrist is; on what occasion and at what time that implores one shall be revealed; and whence and from what I tribe (he shall come); and what his name is, which is indicated by the number in the Scripture; and how he shall work error among the people, gathering them from the ends of the earth; and (how) he shall stir up tribulation and persecution against the saints; and how he shall glorify himself as God; and what his end shall be; and how the sudden appearing of the Lord shall be revealed froth heaven; and what the conflagration of the whole world shall be; and what the glorious and heavenly kingdom of the saints is to be, when they reign together with Christ; and what the punishment of the wicked by fire.

6. Now, as our Lord Jesus Christ, who is also God, was prophesied of under the figure of a lion,24 on account of His royalty and glory, in the same way have the Scriptures also aforetime spoken of Antichrist as a lion, on account of his tyranny and violence. For the deceiver seeks to liken himself in all things to the Son of God. Christ is a lion, so Antichrist is also a lion; Christ is a king,25 so Antichrist is also a king. The Saviour was manifested as a lamb;26 so he too, in like manner, will appear as a lamb, though within he is a wolf. The Saviour came into the World in the circumcision, and he will come in the same manner. The Lord sent apostles among all the nations, and he in like manner will send false apostles. The Saviour gathered together the sheep that were scattered abroad,27 and he in like manner will bring together a people that is scattered abroad. The Lord gave a seal to those who believed on Him, and he will give one like manner. The Saviour appeared in the form of man, and he too will come in the form of a man. The Saviour raised up and showed His holy flesh like a temple,28 and he will raise a temple of stone in Jerusalem. And his seductive arts we shall exhibit in what follows. But for the present let us turn to the question in hand.

7. Now the blessed Jacob speaks to the following effect in his benedictions, testifying prophetically of our Lord and Saviour: “Judah, let thy brethren praise thee: thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the shoot, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as a lion’s whelp; who shall rouse him up? A ruler shall not depart from Judah, nor a leader from his thighs, until he come for whom it is reserved; and he shall be the expectation of the nations. Binding his ass to a vine, and his ass’s colt to the vine tendril; he shall wash his garment in wine, and his clothes in the blood of the grapes. His eyes shall be gladsome as with wine, and his teeth shall be whiter than milk.”29

8. Knowing, then, as I do, how to explain these things in detail, I deem it right at present to quote the words themselves. But since the expressions themselves urge us to speak of them. I shall not omit to do so. For these are truly divine and glorious things, and things well calculated to benefit the soul. The prophet, in using the expression, a lion’s whelp, means him who sprang from Judah and David according to the flesh, who was not made indeed of the seed of David, but was conceived by the (power of the) Holy Ghost, and came forth30 from the holy shoot of earth. For Isaiah says, “There shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall grow up out of it.”31 That which is called by Isaiah a flower, Jacob calls a shoot. For first he shot forth, and then he flourished in the world. And the expression, “he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as a lion’s whelp,” refers to the three days’ sleep (death, couching) of Christ; as also Isaiah says, “How is faithful Sion become an harlot! it was full of judgment; in which righteousness lodged (couched); but now murderers.”32 And David says to the same effect, “I laid me down (couched) and slept; I awaked: for the Lord will sustain me; “33 in which words he points to the fact of his sleep and rising again. And Jacob says, “Who shall rouse him up? “And that is just what David and Paul both refer to, as when Paul says, “and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead.”34

9. And in saying, “A ruler shall not depart from Judah, nor a leader from his thighs, until he come for whom it is reserved; and he shall be the expectation of the nations,” he referred the fulfilment (of that prophecy) to Christ. For He is our expectation. For we expect Him, (and) by faith we behold Him as He comes from heaven with power.

10. “Binding his ass to a vine: “that means that He unites His people of the circumcision with His own calling (vocation). For He was the vine.35 “And his ass’s colt to the vine-tendril: “that denotes the people of the Gentiles, as He calls the circumcision and the uncircumcision unto one faith.

11. “He shall wash his garment in wine,” that is, according to that voice of His Father which came down by the Holy Ghost at the Jordan.36 “And his clothes in the blood of the grape.” In the blood of what grape, then, but just His own flesh, which hung upon the tree like a cluster of grapes?-from whose side also flowed two streams, of blood and water, in which the nations are washed and purified, which (nations) He may be supposed to have as a robe about Him.37

12. “His eyes gladsome with wine.” And what are the eyes of Christ but the blessed prophets, who foresaw in the Spirit, and announced beforehand, the sufferings that were to befall Him, and rejoiced in seeing Him in power with spiritual eyes, being furnished (for their vocation) by the word Himself and His grace?

13. And in saying, “And his teeth (shall be) whiter than milk,” he referred to the commandments that proceed from the holy mouth of Christ, and which are pure (purify) as milk.

14. Thus did the Scriptures preach before-time of this lion and lion’s whelp. And in like manner also we find it written regarding Antichrist. For Moses speaks thus: “Dan is a lion’s whelp, and he shall leap from Bashan.”38 But that no one may err by supposing that this is said of the Saviour, let him attend carefully to the matter. “Dan,” he says, “is a lion’s whelp; “and in naming the tribe of Dan, he declared clearly the tribe from which Antichrist is destined to spring. For as Christ springs from the tribe of Judah, so Antichrist is to spring from the tribe of Dan.39 And that the case stands thus, we see also from the words of Jacob: “Let Dan be a serpent, lying upon the ground, biting the horse’s heel.”40 What, then, is meant by the serpent but Antichrist, that deceiver who is mentioned in Genesis,41 who deceived Eve and supplanted Adam (pterni/saj, bruised Adam’s heel)? But since it is necessary to prove this assertion by sufficient testimony, we shall not shrink from the task.

15. That it is in reality out of the tribe of Dan, then, that that tyrant and king, that dread judge, that son of the devil, is destined to spring and arise, the prophet testifies when he says, “Dan shall judge his people, as (he is) also one tribe in Israel.”42 But some one may say that this refers to Samson, who sprang from the tribe of Dan, and judged the people twenty years. Well, the prophecy had its partial fulfilment in Samson, but its complete fulfilment is reserved for Antichrist. For Jeremiah also speaks to this effect: “From Dan we are to hear the sound of the swiftness of his horses: the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing, of the driving of his horses.”43 And another prophet says: “He shall gather together all his strength, from the east even to the west. They whom he calls, and they whom he calls not, shall go with him. He shall make the sea white with the sails of his ships, and the plain black with the shields of his armaments. And whosoever shall oppose him in war shall fall by the sword.”44 That these things, then, are said of no one else but that tyrant, and shameless one, and adversary of God, we shall show in what follows.

16. But Isaiah also speaks thus: “And it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed His whole work upon Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will punish (visit) the stout mind, the king of Assyria, and the greatness (height) of the glory of his eyes. For he said, By my strength will I do it, and by the wisdom of my understanding I will remove the bounds of the peoples, and will rob them of their strength: and I will make the inhabited cities tremble, and will gather the whole world in my hand like a nest, and I will lift it up like eggs that are left. And there is no one that shall escape or gainsay me, and open the mouth and chatter. Shall the axe boast itself without him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself without him that shaketh (draweth) it? As if one should raise a rod or a staff, and the staff should lift itself up: and not thus. But the Lord shall send dishonour unto thy honour; and into thy glory a burning fire shall burn. And the light of Israel shall be a fire, and shall sanctify him in flame, and shall consume the forest like grass.”45

17. And again he says in another place: “How bath the exactor ceased, and how hath the oppressor ceased!46 God hath broken the yoke of the rulers of sinners, He who smote the people in wrath, and with an incurable stroke: He that strikes the people with an incurable stroke, which He did not spare. He ceased (rested) confidently: the whole earth shouts with rejoicing. The trees of Lebanon rejoiced at thee, and the cedar of Lebanon, (saying), Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us. Hell from beneath is moved at meeting thee: all the mighty ones, the rulers of the earth, are gathered together-the lords from their thrones. All the kings of the nations, all they shall answer together, and shall say, And thou, too, art taken as we; and thou art reckoned among us. Thy pomp is brought down to earth, thy great rejoicing: they will spread decay under thee; and the worm shall be thy covering.47 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!48 He is cast down to the ground who sends off to all the nations. And thou didst say in thy mind, I will ascend into heaven, I will set my throne above the stars of heaven: I will sit down upon the lofty mountains towards the north: I will ascend above the clouds: I will be like the Most High. Yet now thou shalt be brought down to hell, and to the foundations of the earth! They that see thee shall wonder at thee, and shall say, This is the man that excited the earth, that did shake kings, that made the whole world a wilderness, and destroyed the cities, that released not those in prison.49 All the kings of the earth did lie in honour, every one in his own house; but thou shall be cast out on the mountains like a loathsome carcase, with many who fall, pierced through with the sword, and going down to hell. As a garment stained with blood is not pure, so neither shall thou be comely (or clean); because thou hast destroyed my land, and slain my people. Thou shalt not abide, enduring for ever, a wicked seed. Prepare thy children for slaughter, for the sins of thy father, that they rise not, neither possess my land.”50

18. Ezekiel also speaks of him to the same effect, thus: “Thus saith the Lord God, Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the sea; yet art thou a man, and not God, (though) thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God. Art thou wiser than Daniel? Have the wise not instructed thee in their wisdom? With thy wisdom or with thine understanding hast thou gotten thee power, and gold and silver in thy treasures? By thy great wisdom and by thy traffic51 hast thou increased thy power? Thy heart is lifted up in thy power. Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God: behold, therefore I will bring strangers52 upon thee, plagues from the nations: and they shall draw their swords against thee, and against the beauty of thy wisdom; and they shall level thy beauty to destruction; and they shall bring thee down; and thou shall die by the death of the wounded in the midst of the sea. Wilt thou yet say before them that slay thee, I am God? But thou art a man, and no God, in the hand of them that wound thee. Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord.”53

19. These words then being thus presented, let us observe somewhat in detail what Daniel says in his visions. For in distinguishing the kingdoms that are to rise after these things, he showed also the coming of Antichrist in the last times, and the consummation of the whole world. In expounding the vision of Nebuchadnezzar, then, he speaks thus: “Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image standing before thy face: the head of which was of fine gold, its arms and shoulders of silver, its belly and its thighs of brass, and its legs of iron, (and) its feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest, then, till that a stone was cut out without hands, and smote the image upon the feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to an end. Then were the clay, the iron, the brass, the silver, (and) the gold broken, and became like the chaff from the summer threshing-floor; and the strength (fulness) of the wind carried them away, and there was no place found for them. And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.”54

20. Now if we set Daniel’s own visions also side by side with this, we shall have one exposition to give of the two together, and shall (be able to) show how concordant with each other they are, and how true. For he speaks thus: “I Daniel saw, and behold the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first (was) like a lioness, and had wings as of an eagle. I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. And behold a second beast like to a bear, and it was made stand on one part, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it.55 I beheld, and lo a beast like a leopard, and it had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl, and the beast had four heads. After this I saw, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; it had iron teeth and claws of brass,56 which devoured and brake in pieces, and it stamped the residue with the feet of it; and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I considered its horns, and behold there came up among them another little horn, and before it there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots; and behold in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.”57

21. “I beheld till the thrones were set, and the Ancient of days did sit: and His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool: His throne was a flame of fire, His wheels were a burning fire. A stream of fire flowed before Him. Thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood around Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then, because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake, till the beast was slain and perished, and his body given to the burning of fire. And the dominion of the other beasts was taken away.”58

22. “I saw in the night vision, and, behold, one like the Son of man was coming with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and was brought near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and honour, and the kingdom; and all peoples, tribes, and tongues shall serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom shall not be destroyed.”59

23. Now since these things, spoken as they are with a mystical meaning, may seem to some hard to understand, we shall keep back nothing fitted to impart an intelligent apprehension of them to those who are possessed of a sound mind. He said, then, that a “lioness came up from the sea,” and by that he meant the kingdom of the Babylonians in the world, which also was the head of gold on the image. In saying that “it had wings as of an eagle,” he meant that Nebuchadnezzar the king was lifted up and was exalted against God. Then he says, “the wings thereof were plucked,” that is to say, his glory was destroyed; for he was driven out of his kingdom. And the words, “a man’s heart was given to it, and it was made stand upon the feet as a man,” refer to the fact that he repented and recognised himself to be only a man, and gave the glory to God.

24. Then, after the lioness, he sees a “second beast like a bear,” and that denoted the Persians. For after the Babylonians, the Persians held the sovereign power And in saving that there were “three ribs in the mouth of it,” he pointed to three nations, viz., the Persians, and the Medes, and the Babylonians; which were also represented on the image by the silver after the gold. Then (there was) “the third beast, a leopard,” which meant the Greeks. For after the Persians, Alexander of Macedon obtained the sovereign power on subverting Darius, as is also shown by the brass on the image. And in saying that it had “four wings of a fowl,” he taught us most clearly how the kingdom of Alexander was partitioned. For in speaking of “four heads,” he made mention of four kings, viz., those who arose out of that (kingdom).60 For Alexander, when dying, partitioned out his kingdom into four divisions.

25. Then he says: “A fourth beast, dreadful and terrible; it had iron teeth and claws of brass.” And who are these but the Romans? which (kingdom) is meant by the iron-the kingdom which is now established; for the legs of that (image) were of iron. And after this, what remains, beloved, but the toes of the feet of the image, in which part is iron and part clay, mixed together? And mystically by the toes of the feet he meant the kings who are to arise from among them; as Daniel also says (in the words), “I considered the beast, and lo there were ten horns behind it, among which shall rise another (horn), an offshoot, and shall pluck up by the roots the three (that were) before it.” And under this was signified none other than Antichrist, who is also himself to raise the kingdom of the Jews. He says that three horns are plucked up by the root by him, viz., the three kings of Egypt, and Libya, and Ethiopia, whom he cuts off in the array of battle. And he, after gaining terrible power over all, being nevertheless a tyrant,61 shall stir up tribulation and persecution against men, exalting himself against them. For Daniel says: “I considered the horn, and behold that horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them, till the beast was slain and perished, and its body was given to the burning of fire.”62

26. After a little space the stone63 will come from heaven which smites the image and breaks it in pieces, and subverts all the kingdoms, and gives the kingdom to the saints of the Most High. This is the stone which becomes a great mountain, and fills the whole earth, of which Daniel says: “I saw in the night visions, and behold one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and was brought near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom; and all peoples, tribes, and languages shall serve Him: and His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom shall not be destroyed.”64 He showed all power given by the Father to the Son,65 who is ordained Lord of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth, and Judge of all:66 of things in heaven, because He was born, the Word of God, before all (ages); and of things on earth, because He became man in the midst of men, to re-create our Adam through Himself; and of things under the earth, because He was also reckoned among the dead, preaching the Gospel to the souls of the saints,67 (and) by death overcoming death.

27. As these things, then, are in the future, and as the ten toes of the image are equivalent to (so many) democracies,68 and the ten horns of the fourth beast are distributed over ten kingdoms, let us look at the subject a little more closely, and consider these matters as in the clear light of a personal survey.69

28. The golden head of the image and the lioness denoted the Babylonians; the shoulders and arms of silver, and the bear, represented the Persians and Medes; the belly and thighs of brass, and the leopard, meant the Greeks, who held the sovereignty from Alexander’s time; the legs of iron, and the beast dreadful and terrible, expressed the Romans, who hold the sovereignty at present; the toes of the feet which were part clay and part iron, and the ten horns, were emblems of the kingdoms that are yet to rise; the other little horn that grows up among them meant the Antichrist in their midst; the stone that smites the earth and brings judgment upon the world was Christ.

29. These things, beloved, we impart to you with fear, and yet readily, on account of the love of Christ, which surpasseth all. For if the blessed prophets who preceded us did not choose to proclaim these things, though they knew them, openly and boldly, lest they should disquiet the souls of men, but recounted them mystically in parables and dark sayings, speaking thus, “Here is the mind which hath wisdom,”70 how much greater risk shall we run in venturing to declare openly things spoken by them in obscure terms! Let us look, therefore, at the things which are to befall this unclean harlot in the last days; and (let us consider) what and what manner of tribulation is destined to visit her in the wrath of God before the judgment as an earnest of her doom.

30. Come, then, O blessed Isaiah; arise, tell us clearly what thou didst prophesy with respect to the mighty Babylon. For thou didst speak also of Jerusalem, and thy word is accomplished. For thou didst speak boldly and openly: “Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire; your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate as overthrown by many strangers.71 The daughter of Sion shall be left as a cottage in a vineyard, and as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.”72 What then? Are not these things come to pass? Are not the things announced by thee fulfilled? Is not their country, Judea, desolate? Is not the holy place burned with fire? Are not their walls cast down? Are not their cities destroyed? Their land, do not strangers devour it? Do not the Romans rule the country? And indeed these impious people hated thee, and did saw thee asunder, and they crucified Christ. Thou art dead in the world, but thou livest in Christ.

31. Which of you, then, shall I esteem more than thee? Yet Jeremiah, too, is stoned. But if I should esteem Jeremiah most, yet Daniel too has his testimony. Daniel, I commend thee above all; yet John too gives no false witness. With how many mouths and tongues would I praise you; or rather the Word who spake in you! Ye died with Christ; and ye will live with Christ. Hear ye, and rejoice; behold the things announced by you have been fulfilled in their time. For ye saw these things yourselves first, and then ye proclaimed them to all generations. Ye ministered the oracles of God to all generations. Ye prophets were called, that ye might be able to save all. For then is one a prophet indeed, when, having announced beforetime things about to be, he can afterwards show that they have actually happened. Ye were the disciples of a good Master. These words I address to you as if alive, and with propriety. For ye hold already the crown of life and immortality which is laid up for you in heaven.73

32. Speak with me, O blessed Daniel. Give me full assurance, I beseech thee. Thou dost prophesy concerning the lioness in Babylon;74 for thou wast a captive there. Thou hast unfolded the future regarding the bear; for thou wast still in the world, and didst see the things come to pass. Then thou speakest to me of the leopard; and whence canst thou know this, for thou art already gone to thy rest? Who instructed thee to announce these things, but He who formed75 thee in (from) thy mother’s womb?76 That is God, thou sayest. Thou hast spoken indeed, and that not falsely. The leopard has arisen; the he-goat is come; he hath smitten the ram; he hath broken his horns in pieces; he hath stamped upon him with his feet. He has been exalted by his fall; (the) four horns have come up from under that one.77 Rejoice, blessed Daniel! thou hast not been in error: all these things have come to pass.

33. After this again thou hast told me of the beast dreadful and terrible. “It had iron teeth and claws of brass: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it.”78 Already the iron rules; already it subdues and breaks all in pieces; already it brings all the unwilling into subjection; already we see these things ourselves. Now we glorify God, being instructed by thee.

34. But as the task before us was to speak of the harlot, be thou with us, O blessed Isaiah. Let us mark what thou sayest about Babylon. “Come down, sit upon the ground, O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit, O daughter of the Chaldeans; thou shalt no longer be called tender and delicate. Take the millstone, grind meal, draw aside thy veil,79 shave the grey hairs, make bare the legs, pass over the rivers. Thy shame shall be uncovered, thy reproach shall be seen: I will take justice of thee, I will no more give thee over to men. As for thy Redeemer, (He is) the Lord of hosts, the Holy One of Israel is his name. Sit thou in compunction, get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: thou shall no longer be called the strength of the kingdom.

35. “I was wroth with my people; I have polluted mine inheritance, I have given them into thine hand: and thou didst show them no mercy; but upon the ancient (the elders) thou hast very heavily laid thy yoke. And thou saidst, I shall be a princess for ever: thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember thy latter end. Therefore hear now this, thou that art delicate; that sittest, that art confident, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and there is none else; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children. But now these two things shall come upon thee in one day, widowhood and the loss of children: they shall come upon thee suddenly in thy sorcery, in the strength of thine enchantments mightily, in the hope of thy fornication. For thou hast said, I am, and there is none else. And thy fornication shall be thy shame, because thou hast said in thy heart, I am. And destruction shall come upon thee, and thou shalt not know it. (And there shall be) a pit, and thou shalt full into it; and misery shall fall upon thee, and thou shalt not be able to be made clean; and destruction shall come upon thee, and thou shalt not know it. Stand now with thy enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, which thou hast learned from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to be profited. Thou art wearied in thy counsels. Let the astrologers of the heavens stand and save thee; let the star-gazers announce to thee what shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall all be as sticks for the fire; so shall they be burned, and they shall not deliver their soul from the flame. Because thou hast coals of fire, sit upon them; so shall it be for thy help. Thou art wearied with change from thy youth. Man has gone astray (each one) by himself; and there shall be no salvation for thee.”80 These things does Isaiah prophesy for thee. Let us see now whether John has spoken to the same effect.

36. For he sees, when in the isle Patmos, a revelation of awful mysteries, which he recounts freely, and makes known to others. Tell me, blessed John, apostle and disciple of the Lord, what didst thou see and hear concerning Babylon? Arise, and speak; for it sent thee also into banishment.81 “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters; with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. And he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet-coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold, and precious stone,82 and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, full of abominations and filthiness83 of the fornication of the earth. Upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.

37. “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and the ten horns. The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder (whose name was not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world) when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet shall be.84

38. “And here is the mind that has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not ye come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was and is not, (even he is the eighth,) and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings; and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

39. “And he saith to me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. And the ten horns which thou sawest, and85 the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

40. “After these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily86 with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues: for her sins did cleave even unto heaven,87 and God hath remembered her l iniquities.

41. “Reward her even as she rewarded (you), and double unto her double, according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication, and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas! that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man shall buy their merchandise88 any more. The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, and cinnamon, and spices,89 and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and goats,90 and horses, and chariots, and slaves (bodies), and souls of men. And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly have perished91 from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich92 by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, Alas, alas! that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! for in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, and cried, when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city? And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas! that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her fatness!93 for in one hour is she made desolate.

42. “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye angels,94 and apostles, and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers and musicians, and of pipers and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; and the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.”95

43. With respect, then, to the particular judgment in the torments that are to come upon it in the last times by the hand of the tyrants who shall arise then, the clearest statement has been given in these passages. But it becomes us further diligently to examine and set forth the period at which these things shall come to pass, and how the little horn shall spring up in their midst. For when the legs of iron have issued in the feet and toes, according to the similitude of the image and that of the terrible beast, as has been shown in the above, (then shall be the time) when the iron and the clay shall be mingled together. Now Daniel will set forth this subject to us. For he says, “And one week will make96 a covenant with many, and it shall be that in the midst (half) of the week my sacrifice and oblation shall cease.”97 By one week, therefore, he meant the last week which is to be at the end of the whole world of which week the two prophets Enoch and Elias will take up the half. For they will preach 1, 260 days clothed in sackcloth, proclaiming repentance to the people and to all the nations.

44. For as two advents of our Lord and Saviour are indicated in the Scriptures, the one being His first advent in the flesh, which took place without honour by reason of His being set at nought, as Isaiah spake of Him aforetime, saying, “We saw Him, and He had no form nor comeliness, but His form was despised (and) rejected (lit. = deficient) above all men; a man smitten and familiar with bearing infirmity, (for His face was turned away); He was despised, and esteemed not.”98 But His second advent is announced as glorious, when He shall come from heaven with the host of angels, and the glory of His Father, as the prophet saith, “Ye shall see the King in glory;
99 and, “I saw one like the Son of man coming with the clouds of heaven; and he came to the Ancient of days, and he was brought to Him. And there were given Him dominion, and honour, and glory, and the kingdom; all tribes and languages shall serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away.”100 Thus also two forerunners were indicated. The first was John the son of Zacharias, who appeared in all things a forerunner and herald of our Saviour, preaching of the heavenly light that had appeared in the world. He first fulfilled the course of forerunner, and that from his mother’s womb, being conceived by Elisabeth, in order that to those, too, who are children from their mother’s womb he might declare the new birth that was to take place for their sakes by the Holy Ghost and the Virgin.

45. He, on hearing the salutation addressed to Elisabeth, leaped with joy in his mother’s womb, recognising God the Word conceived in the womb of the Virgin. Thereafter he came forward preaching in the wilderness, proclaiming the baptism of repentance to the people, (and thus) announcing prophetically salvation to the nations living in the wilderness of the world. After this, at the Jordan, seeing the Saviour with his own eye, he points Him out, and says, “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world!”101 He also first preached to those in Hades,102 becoming a forerunner there when he was put to death by Herod, that there too he might intimate that the Saviour would descend to ransom the souls of the saints from the hand of death.

46. But since the Saviour was the beginning of the resurrection of all men, it was meet that the Lord alone should rise from the dead, by whom too the judgment is to enter for the whole world, that they who have wrestled worthily may be also crowned worthily by Him, by the illustrious Arbiter, to wit, who Himself first accomplished the course, and was received into the heavens, and was set down on the right hand of God the Father, and is to be manifested again at the end of the world as Judge. It is a matter of course that His forerunners must appear first, as He says by Malachi and the angel,103 “I will send to you Elias the Tishbite before the day of the Lord, the great and notable day, comes; and he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, lest I come and smite the earth utterly.”104 These, then, shall come and proclaim the manifestation of Christ that is to be from heaven; and they shall also perform signs and wonders, in order that men may be put to shame and turned to repentance for their surpassing wickedness and impiety.

47. For John says, “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.”105 That is the half of the week whereof Daniel spake. “These are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the Lord of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire will proceed out of their mouth, and devour their enemies; and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy; and have power over waters, to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their course and their testimony,” what saith the prophet? “the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them,”106 because they will not give glory to Antichrist. For this is meant by the little horn that grows up. He, being now elated in heart, begins to exalt himself, and to glorify himself as God, persecuting the saints and blaspheming Christ, even as Daniel says, “I considered the horn, and, behold, in the horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things; and he opened his mouth to blaspheme God. And that born made war against the saints, and prevailed against them until the beast was slain, and perished, and his body was given to be burned.”107

48. But as it is incumbent on us to discuss this matter of the beast more exactly, and in particular the question how the Holy Spirit has also mystically indicated his name by means of a number, we shall proceed to state more clearly what bears upon him. John then speaks thus: “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns, like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exercised all the power of the first beast before him; and he made the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he did great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast, saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast which had the wound by a sword and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their forehead; and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for if is the number of a man, and his number is six hundred threescore and six.”108

49. By the beast, then, coming up out of the earth, he means the kingdom of Antichrist; and by the two horns he means him and the false prophet after him.109 And in speaking of “the horns being like a lamb,” he means that he will make himself like the Son of God, and set himself forward as king. And the terms, “he spake like a dragon,” mean that he is a deceiver, and not truthful. And the words, “he exercised all the power of the first beast before him, and caused the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed,” signify that, after the manner of the law of Augustus, by whom the empire of Rome was established, he too will rule and govern, sanctioning everything by it, and taking greater glory to himself. For this is the fourth beast, whose head was wounded and healed again, in its being broken up or even dishonoured, and partitioned into four crowns; and he then (Antichrist) shall with knavish skill heal it, as it were, and restore it. For this is what is meant by the prophet when he says, “He will give life unto the image, and the image of the beast will speak.” For he will act with vigour again, and prove strong by reason of the laws established by him; and he will cause all those who will not worship the image of the beast to be put to death. Here the faith and the patience of the saints will appear, for he says: “And he will cause all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their forehead; that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” For, being full of guile, and exalting himself against the servants of God, with the wish to afflict them and persecute them out of the world, because they give not glory to him, he will order incense-pans110 to be set up by all everywhere, that no man among the saints may be able to buy or sell without first sacrificing; for this is what is meant by the mark received upon the right hand. And the word-“in their forehead”-indicates that all are crowned, and put on a crown of fire, and not of life, but of death. For in this wise, too, did Antiochus Epiphanes the king of Syria, the descendant of Alexander of Macedon, devise measures against the Jews. He, too, in the exaltation of his heart, issued a decree in those times, that “all should set up shrines before their doors, and sacrifice, and that they should march in procession to the honour of Dionysus, waving chaplets of ivy; “and that those who refused obedience should be put to death by strangulation and torture. But he also met his due recompense at the hand of the Lord, the righteous Judge and all-searching God; for he died eaten up of worms. And if one desires to inquire into that more accurately, he will find it recorded in the books of the Maccabees.111

50. But now we shall speak of what is before us. For such measures will he, too, devise, seeking to afflict the saints in every way. For the prophet and apostle says: “Here is wisdom, Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man, and his number is six hundred threescore and six.” With respect to his name, it is not in our power to explain it exactly, as the blessed John understood it and was instructed about it, but only to give a conjectural account of it;112 for when he appears, the blessed one will show us what we seek to know. Yet as far as our doubtful apprehension of the matter goes, we may speak. Many names indeed we find,113 the letters of which are the equivalent of this number: such as, for instance, the word Titan,114 an ancient and notable name; or Evanthas,115 for it too makes up the same number; and many others which might be found. But, as we have already said,116 the wound of the first beast was healed, and he (the second beast) was to make the image speak,117 that is to say, he should be powerful; and it is manifest to all that those who at present still hold the power are Latins. If, then, we take the name as the name of a single man, it becomes Latinus. Wherefore we ought neither to give it out as if this were certainly his name, nor again ignore the fact that he may not be otherwise designated. But having the mystery of God in our heart, we ought in fear to keep faithfully what has been told us by the blessed prophets, in order that when those things come to pass, we may be prepared for them, and not deceived. For when the times advance, he too, of whom these thing are said, will be manifested.118

51. But not to confine ourselves to these words and arguments alone, for the purpose of convincing those who love to study the oracles of God, we shall demonstrate the matter by many other proofs. For Daniel says, “And these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.”119 Ammon and Moab120 are the children born to Lot by his daughters, and their race survives even now. And Isaiah says: “And they shall fly in the boats of strangers, plundering the sea together, and (they shall spoil) them of the east: and they shall lay hands upon Moab first; and the children of Ammon shall first obey them.”121

52. In those times, then, he shall arise and meet them. And when he has overmastered three horns out of the ten in the array of war, and has rooted these out, viz., Egypt, and Libya, and Ethiopia, and has got their spoils and trappings, and has brought the remaining horns which suffer into subjection, he will begin to be lifted up in heart, and to exalt himself against God as master of the whole world. And his first expedition will be against Tyre and Berytus, and the circumjacent territory. For by storming these cities first he will strike terror into the others, as Isaiah says, “Be thou ashamed, O Sidon; the sea hath spoken, even the strength of the sea hath spoken, saying, I travailed not, nor brought forth children; neither did I nurse up young men, nor bring up virgins. But when the report comes to Egypt, pain shall seize them for Tyre.”122

53. These things, then, shall be in the future, beloved; and when the three horns are cut off, he will begin to show himself as God, as Ezekiel has said aforetime: “Because thy heart has been lifted up, and thou hast said, I am God.”123 And to the like effect Isaiah says: “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of heaven: I will be like the Most High. Yet now thou shall be brought down to hell (Hades), to the foundations of the earth.”124 In like manner also Ezekiel: “Wilt thou yet say to those who slay thee, I am God? But thou (shall be) a man, and no God.”125

54. As his tribe, then, and his manifestation, and his destruction, have been set forth in these words, and as his name has also been indicated mystically, let us look also at his action. For he will call together all the people to himself, out of every country of the dispersion, making them his own, as though they were his own children, and promising to restore their country, and establish again their kingdom and nation, in order that he may be worshipped by them as God, as the prophet says: “He will collect his whole kingdom, from the rising of the sun even to its setting: they whom he summons and they whom he does not summon shall march with him.”126 And Jeremiah speaks of him thus in a parable: “The partridge cried, (and) gathered what he did not hatch, making himself riches without judgment: in the midst of his days they shall leave him, and at his end he shall be a fool.”127

55. It will not be detrimental, therefore, to the course of our present argument, if we explain the art of that creature, and show that the prophet has not spoken128 without a purpose in using the parable (or similitude) of the creature. For as the partridge is a vainglorious creature, when it sees near at hand the nest of another partridge with young in it, and with the parent-bird away on the wing in quest of food, it imitates the cry of the other bird, and calls the young to itself; and they, taking it to be their own parent, run to it. And it delights itself proudly in the alien pullets as in its own. But when the real parent-bird returns, and calls them with its own familiar cry, the young recognise it, and forsake the deceiver, and betake themselves to the real parent. This thing, then, the prophet has adopted as a simile, applying it in a similar manner to Antichrist. For he will allure mankind to himself, wishing to gain possession of those who are not his own, and promising deliverance to all, while he is unable to save himself.

56. He then, having gathered to himself the unbelieving everywhere throughout the world, comes at their call to persecute the saints, their enemies and antagonists, as the apostle and evangelist says: “There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: and there was a widow in that city, who came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her.”129

57. By the unrighteous judge, who fears not God, neither regards man, he means without doubt Antichrist, as he is a son of the devil and a vessel of Satan. For when he has the power, he will begin to exalt himself against God, neither in truth fearing God, nor regarding the Son of God, who is the Judge of all. And in saying that there was a widow in the city, he refers to Jerusalem itself, which is a widow indeed, forsaken of her perfect, heavenly spouse, God. She calls Him her adversary, and not her Saviour; for she does not understand that which was said by the prophet Jeremiah: “Because they obeyed not the truth, a spirit of error shall speak then to this people and to Jerusalem.”130 And Isaiah also to the like effect: “Forasmuch as the people refuseth to drink the water of Siloam that goeth softly, but chooseth to have Rasin and Romeliah’s son as king over you: therefore, lo, the Lord bringeth up upon you the water of the river, strong and full, even the king of Assyria.”131 By the king he means metaphorically Antichrist, as also another prophet saith: “And this man shall be the peace from me, when the Assyrian shall come up into your land, and when he shall tread in your mountains.”132

58. And in like manner Moses, knowing beforehand that the people would reject and disown the true Saviour of the world, and take part with error, and choose an earthly king, and set the heavenly King at nought, says: “Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures? In the day of vengeance I will recompense (them), and in the time when their foot shall slide.”133 They did slide, therefore, in all things, as they were found to be in harmony with the truth in nothing: neither as concerns the law, because they became transgressors; nor as concerns the prophets, because they cut off even the prophets themselves; nor as concerns the voice of the Gospels, because they crucified the Saviour Himself; nor in believing the apostles, because they persecuted them. At all times they showed themselves enemies and betrayers of the truth, and were found to be haters of God, and not lovers of Him; and such they shall be then when they find opportunity: for, rousing themselves against the servants of God, they will seek to obtain vengeance by the hand of a mortal man. And he, being puffed up with pride by their subserviency, will begin to despatch missives against the saints, commanding to cut them all off everywhere, on the ground of their refusal to reverence and worship him as God, according to the word of Esaias: “Woe to the wings of the vessels of the land,134 beyond the rivers of Ethiopia: (woe to him) who sendeth sureties by the sea, and letters of papyrus (upon the water; for nimble messengers will go) to a nation135 anxious and expectant, and a people strange and bitter against them; a nation hopeless and trodden down.”136

59. But we who hope for the Son of God are persecuted and trodden down by those unbelievers. For the wings of the vessels are the churches; and the sea is the world, in which the Church is set, like a ship tossed in the deep, but not destroyed; for she has with her the skilled Pilot, Christ. And she bears in her midst also the trophy (which is erected) over death; for she carries with her the cross of the Lord.137 For her prow is the east, and her stern is the west, and her hold138 is the south, and her tillers are the two Testaments; and the ropes that stretch around her are the love of Christ, which binds the Church; and the net139 which she bears with her is the layer of the regeneration which renews the believing, whence too are these glories. As the wind the Spirit from heaven is present, by whom those who believe are sealed: she has also anchors of iron accompanying her, viz., the holy commandments of Christ Himself, which are strong as iron. She has also mariners on the right and on the left, assessors like the holy angels, by whom the Church is always governed and defended. The ladder in her leading up to the sailyard is an emblem of the passion of Christ, which brings the faithful to the ascent of heaven. And the top-sails140 aloft141 upon the yard are the company of prophets, martyrs, and apostles, who have entered into their rest in the kingdom of Christ.

60. Now, concerning the tribulation of the persecution which is to fall upon the Church from the adversary, John also speaks thus: “And I saw a great and wondrous sign in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. And she, being with child, cries, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man-child, who is to rule all the nations: and the child was caught up unto God and to His throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath the place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. And then when the dragon saw it, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man-child. And to the woman were given two wings of the great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast (out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast) out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the saints of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus.”142

61. By the woman then clothed with the sun,” he meant most manifestly the Church, endued with the Father’s word,143 whose brightness is above the sun. And by the “moon under her feet” he referred to her being adorned, like the moon, with heavenly glory. And the words, “upon her head a crown of twelve stars,” refer to the twelve apostles by whom the Church was founded. And those, “she, being with child, cries, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered,” mean that the Church will not cease to bear from her heart144 the Word that is persecuted by the unbelieving in the world. “And she brought forth,” he says, “a man-child, who is to rule all the nations; “by which is meant that the Church, always bringing forth Christ, the perfect man-child of God, who is declared to be God and man, becomes the instructor of all the nations. And the words, “her child was caught up unto God and to His throne,” signify that he who is always born of her is a heavenly king, and not an earthly; even as David also declared of old when he said, “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at my right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.”145 “And the dragon,” he says, “saw and persecuted the woman which brought forth the man-child. And to the woman were given two wings of the great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”146 That refers to the one thousand two hundred and threescore days (the half of the week) during which the tyrant is to reign and persecute the Church,147 which flees from city to city, and seeks conceal-meat in the wilderness among the mountains, possessed of no other defence than the two wings of the great eagle, that is to say, the faith of Jesus Christ, who, in stretching forth His holy hands on the holy tree, unfolded two wings, the right and the left, and called to Him all who believed upon Him, and covered them as a hen her chickens. For by the mouth of Malachi also He speaks thus: “And unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings.”148

62. The Lord also says, “When ye shall see the abomination of desolation stand in the holy place (whoso readeth, let him understand), then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains, and let him which is on the housetop not come down to take his clothes; neither let him which is in the field return back to take anything out of his house. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved.”149 And Daniel says, “And they shall place the abomination of desolation a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand two hundred and ninety-five days.”150

63. And the blessed Apostle Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, says: “Now we beseech you, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together at it,151 that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letters as from us, as that the day of the Lord is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means; for (that day shall not come) except there come the falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped: so that he sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who now letteth (will let), until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: (even him) whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”152 And Esaias says, “Let the wicked be cut off, that he behold not the glory of the Lord.”153

64. These things, then, being to come to pass, beloved, and the one week being divided into two parts, and the abomination of desolation being manifested then, and the two prophets and forerunners of the Lord having finished their course, and the whole world finally approaching the consummation, what remains but the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ from heaven, for whom we have looked in hope? who shall bring the conflagration and just judgment upon all who have refused to believe on Him. For the Lord says, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”154 “And there shall not a hair of your head perish.”155 “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.”156 Now the fall157 took place in paradise; for Adam fell there. And He says again, “Then shall the Son of man send His angels, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds of heaven.”158 And David also, in announcing prophetically the judgment and coming of the Lord, says, “His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and His circuit unto the end of the heaven: and there is no one hid from the heat thereof.”159 By the heat he means the conflagration. And Esaias speaks thus: “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chamber, (and) shut thy door: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation of the Lord be overpast.”160 And Paul in like manner: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth of God in unrighteousness.”161

65. Moreover, concerning the resurrection and the kingdom of the saints, Daniel says, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall arise, some to everlasting life, (and some to shame and everlasting contempt).”162 Esaias says, “The dead men shall arise, and they that are in their tombs shall awake; for the dew from thee is healing to them.”163 The Lord says, “Many in that day shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live.”164 And the prophet says, “Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”165 And John says, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power.”166 For the second death is the lake of fire that burneth. And again the Lord says, “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun shineth in his glory.”167 And to the saints He will say, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”168 But what saith He to the wicked? “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels, which my Father hath prepared.” And John says, “Without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever maketh and loveth a lie; for your part is in the hell of fire.”169 And in like manner also Esaias: “And they shall go forth and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me. And their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be for a spectacle to all flesh.”170

66. Concerning the resurrection of the righteous, Paul also speaks thus in writing to the Thessalonians: “We would not have you to be ignorant concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive (and) remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice and trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive (and) remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”171

67. These things, then, I have set shortly before thee, O Theophilus, drawing them from Scripture itself,172 in order that, maintaining in faith what is written, and anticipating the things that are to be, thou mayest keep thyself void of offence both toward God and toward men, “looking for that blessed hope and appearing of our God and Saviour,”173 when, having raised the saints among us, He will rejoice with them, glorifying the Father. To Him be the glory unto the endless ages of the ages. Amen.




  1. Gallandi, Bibl. vet. Patr., 2. p. 417, Venice, 1765.
  2. Perhaps the same Theophilus whom Methodius, a contemporary of Hippolytus, addresses as Epiphanius. [See vol. vi., this series.] From his introduction, too, it is clear that they are in error who take this book to be a homily. (Fabricius.)
  3. In the text the reading is twn ontwn, for which twn wtwn = of the ears, is proposed by some, and anqrwpwn = of men, by others. In the manuscripts the abbreviation anwn is often found for anqrwpwn.
  4. In the text we find wj piwn kaqara gh, for which grammar requires wj pioni kaqara gh. Combefisius proposes wsper oun kaqara gh = as in clean ground. Others would read wj puron, etc., = like a grain in clean ground.
  5. 1 Tim. 6. 20, 21.
  6. This reading, paraklhsewn for marturwn (= witnesses), which is peculiar to Hippolytus alone, is all the more remarkable as so thoroughly suiting Paul’s meaning in the passage.
  7. 2 Tim. 2. 1, 22.
  8. 2 Thess. 3. 2.
  9. The text reads atina = which. Gudius proposes tina = some.
  10. The plectrum was the instrument with which the lyre was struck. The text is in confusion here. Combefisius corrects it, as we render it, ooganwn dikhn hnwmenon exontej en eautoij.
  11. 2 Pet. 1. 21.
  12. The text reads mh planw (= that I may not deceive). Some propose wj planoi = as deceivers. 
  13. This is according to the emendation of Combefisius. [And note this primitive theory of inspiration as illustrating the words, “who spake by the prophets,” in the Nicene Symbol.]
  14. 1 Sam. 9. 9.
  15. In the text it is prokeimena (= things before us or proposed to us), for which Combefisius proposes, as in our rendering, proeirhmena.
  16. The original is akindunon.
  17. Isa. 42. 1; Matt. 12. 18. The text is auto palin o tou qeou pai. See Macarius, Dininitas D. N. S. C., book 4. ch. 13. p. 460, and Grabe on Bull’s Defens. fid. Nic., p. 101.
  18. Reading autouj for auton.
  19. [Isa. 56. 3, 44.]
  20. Eph. 4. 13.
  21. The text has wn = being, for which read hn = was.
  22. micaj. Thomassin, De Incarnatione Verbi, 3. 5, cites the most distinguished of the Greek and Latin Fathers, who taught that a mingling ( commistio), without confusion indeed, but yet most thorough, of the two natures, is the bond and nexus of the personal unity.
  23. [This analogy of weaving is powerfully employed by Gray (” Weave the warp, and weave the woof,” etc.). See his Pindaric ode, The Bard.] 
  24. Rev. 5. 5; [also Gen. 49. 8. See below, 7, 8]
  25. John 18. 37.
  26. John 1. 29.
  27. John 11. 52.
  28. John 2. 19.
  29. Gen. 49. 8-12.
  30. The text has toutou-proerxomenou, for which we read, with Combefisius, proerxomenon.
  31. Isa. 11. 1.
  32. Isa. 1. 21.
  33. Ps. 3. 5.
  34. Gal. 1. 1.
  35. John 15. 1.
  36. The text gives simply, thn tou agiou. etc., = the paternal voice of the Holy Ghost, etc. As this would seem to represent the Holy Ghost as the Father of Christ, Combefisius proposes, as in our rendering, kata thn dia tou agiou, etc. The wine, therefore, is taken as a figure of His deity, and the garment as a figure of His humanity; and the sense would be, that He has the latter imbued with the former in a way peculiar to Himself-even as the voice at the Jordan declared Him to be the Father’s Son, not His Son by adoption, but His own Son, anointed as man with divinity itself.
  37. The nations are compared to a robe about Christ, as something foreign to Himself, and deriving all their gifts from Him. 
  38. Deut. 33. 22.
  39. [See Irenaeus, vol. 1. p. 559. Dan’s name is excepted in Rev. vii., and this was always assigned as the reason. The learned Calmet ( sub voce Dan) makes a prudent reflection on this idea. The history given in Judg. 18. is more to the purpose.]
  40. Gen. 49. 17.
  41. Gen. 3. 1.
  42. Gen. 49. 16.
  43. Jer. 8. 16.
  44. Perhaps from an apocryphal book, as also below in ch. liv.
  45. Isa. 10. 12 – 17.
  46. epispoudasthj.
  47. katakalumma; other reading, kataleimma = remains.
  48. Lit., that risest early. 
  49. The text gives epagwgh. Combefisius prefers apagwgh = trial.
  50. Isa. 14. 4-21.
  51. i.e., according to the reading, emporia. The text is empeiria = experience.
  52. There is another reading, limouj (= famines) twn eqnwn.
  53. Ezek. 28. 2-10.
  54. Dan. 2. 31-35.
  55. Combefisius adds, “between the teeth of it; and they said thus to it, Arise, devour much flesh.”
  56. Combefisius inserted these words, because he thought that they must have been in the vision, as they occur subsequently in the explantation of the vision (v. 19).
  57. Dan. 7. 2-8. 
  58. Dan. 7. 9-12.
  59. Dan. 7. 13, 14.
  60. See Curtius, 10. 10. That Alexander himself divided his kingdom is asserted by Josephus Gorionides (iii.) and Cyril of Jerusalem ( Catech., 4, De Sacra Scriptura) and others.
  61. For omwj = nevertheless, Gudius suggests wmoj = savage.
  62. Dan. 7. 21, 11.
  63. Dan. 2. 34, 45.
  64. Dan. 7. 13, 14.
  65. Matt. 28. 18.
  66. Phil. 2. 10.
  67. 1 Pet. 3. 19.
  68. [Deserving of especial note. Who could have foreseen the universal spirit of democracy in this century save by the light of this prophecy? Comp. 2 Tim. 3. 1-3.] 
  69. ofqalmofanwj.
  70. Rev. 17. 9.
  71. For upo pollwn Combefisius has upo lawn = by peoples.
  72. Isa. 1. 7, 8.
  73. 2 Tim. 4. 8.
  74. Dan. 7. 4.
  75. For plasaj Gudius proposes agiasaj (sanctified) or kalesaj(called).
  76. Jer. 1. 5.
  77. Dan. 8. 2-8.
  78. Dan. 7. 6. 
  79. For anacurison others read anakaluyai = uncover.
  80. Isa. 47. 1-15.
  81. [Note this token, that, with all his prudence, he identifies “Babylon” with Rome.]
  82. “Stones,” rather.
  83. ta akaqarta, for the received akaqartothtoj.
  84. kai parestai, for the received kaiper esti. 
  85. kai, for the received epi.
  86. isxura for en isxui.
  87. ekollhqhsan, for the received hkolouqhsan.
  88. agorasei, for the received agorazei.
  89. amwmon, omitted in the received text.
  90. kai tragouj, omitted in the received text.
  91. apwleto, for the received aphlqen.
  92. ploutisantej, for the received plouthsantej.
  93. piothtoj, for the received timiothtoj.
  94. kai oi aggeloi, which the received omits.
  95. Rev. xvii., Rev. 18. 
  96. diaqhsei = will make; others, dunamwsei = will confirm.
  97. Dan. 9. 27.
  98. Isa. 53. 2-5.
  99. Isa. 33. 17.
  100. Dan. 7. 13, 14.
  101. John 1. 29.
  102. It was a common opinion among the Greeks, that the Baptist was Christ’s forerunner also among the dead. See Leo Allatius, De libris Eccles. Graecorum, p. 303.
  103. Or it may be, “Malachi, even the messenger.” Aggelou is the reading restored by Combefisius instead of Aggaiou. The words of the angel in Luke 1. 17 (” and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just “) are thus inserted in the citation from Malachi; and to that Hippolytus may refer in the addition “and the angel.” Or perhaps, as Combefisius rather thinks, the addition simply refers to the meaning of the name Malachi, viz., messenger.
  104. Mal. 4. 5, 6.
  105. Rev. 11. 3. 
  106. Rev. 11. 4-6.
  107. Dan. 7. 8, 9.
  108. Rev. 13. 11-18.
  109. The text is simply kai ton met auton = the false prophet after him. Gudius and Combefisius propose as above, kai auton te kai ton met auton, or met autou = him and the false prophet with him.
  110. pureia = censers, incense-pans, or sacrificial tripods.This offering of incense was a test very commonly proposed by the pagans to those whose religion they suspected.
  111. [Not referred to as Scripture, but as authentic history.] 
  112. oson monon uponohsai.
  113. isoyhfa.
  114. Teitan. Hippolytus here follows his master Irenaeus, who in his Contra Haeres., 5. go, § 3, has the words,” Titan…et antiquum et fide degnum et regale…nomen” = Titan… both an ancient and good and royal… name. [See this series, vol. 1. p. 559.]
  115. /Eanqaj, mentioned also by Irenaeus in the passage already referred to.
  116. proefqhmen, the reading proposed by Fabricius instead of proefhmen.
  117. poihsei, Combef. epoihse.
  118. [Let us imitate the wisdom of our author, whose modest commentary upon his master Irenaeus cannot be too much applauded. The mystery, however, does seem to turn upon something in the Latin race and its destiny.]
  119. Dan. 11. 41.
  120. Gen. 19. 37, 38.
  121. Isa. 11. 14.
  122. Isa. 23. 4, 5.
  123. Ezek. 28. 2.
  124. Isa. 14. 13-15.
  125. Ezek. 28. 9.
  126. Quoted already in chap. 15. as from one of the prophets.
  127. Jer. 17. 11. 
  128. Reading apefhnato for apekrinato.
  129. Luke 18. 2-5.
  130. Jer. 4. 11.
  131. Isa. 8. 6, 7.
  132. Mic. 5. 5. The Septuagint reads auth = And (he) shall be the peace to it. Hippolytus follows the Hebrew, but makes the pronoun feminine, auth referring to the peace. Again Hippolytus reads orh = mountains, where the Septuagint has xwran = land, and where the Hebrew word = fortresses or palaces. [He must mean that “the Assyrian” = Antichrist. “The peace” is attributable only to the “Prince of peace.” So the Fathers generally.]
  133. Deut. 32. 34, 35.
  134. ouai ghj ploiwn pterugej.
  135. metewpon.
  136. Isa. 18. 1, 2.
  137. Wordsworth, reading wj iston for wj ton, would add, like a mast. See his Commentary on Acts 27. 40.
  138. kutoj, a conjecture of Combefisius for kuklon. 
  139. linon, proposed by the same for ploion, boat.
  140. yhfaroi, a term of doubtful meaning. May it refer to the karxhsia?
  141. The text reads here ainoumenoi, for which airoumenoi is proposed, or better, hwroumenoi.
  142. Rev. 12. 1-6, etc.
  143. ton Aogon ton IIatraon.
  144. gennwsa ek kardiaj.
  145. Ps. 110. 1.
  146. Rev. 11. 3.
  147. [Concerning Antichrist, two advents, etc., see vol. 4. p. 219, this series]
  148. Mal. 4. 2. 
  149. Matt. 24. 15-22; Mark 13. 14-20; Luke 21. 20-23.
  150. Dan. 11. 31, Dan. 12. 11, 12. The Hebrew has 1,335 as the number in the second verse.
  151. Hippolytus reads here ep authj instead of ep auton, and makes the pronoun therefore refer to the coming.
  152. 2 Thess. 2. 1-11.
  153. Isa. 26. 10.
  154. Luke 21. 28.
  155. Luke 21. 18.
  156. Matt. 24. 27, 28.
  157. The word ptwma, used in the Greek as = carcase, is thus interpreted by Hippolytus as = fall, which is its literal sense.
  158. Matt. 24. 31.
  159. Ps. 19. 6.
  160. Isa. 26. 20.
  161. Rom. 1. 17.
  162. Dan. 12. 2.
  163. Isa. 26. 19.
  164. John 5. 25.
  165. Eph. 5. 14. Epiphanius and others suppose that the words thus cited by Paul are taken from the apocryphal writings of Jeremiah: others that they are a free version of Isa. 60. 1. [But their metrical form justifies the criticism that they are a quotation from a hymn of the Church, based, very likely, on the passage from Isaiah.]
  166. Rev. 20. 6.
  167. Matt. 13. 43.
  168. Matt. 25. 34. 
  169. Rev 22. 15.
  170. Isa. 66. 24.
  171. 1 Thess. 4. 12.
  172. [The immense value of these quotations, authenticating the Revelations and other Scriptures, must be apparent. Is not this treatise a voice to our own times of vast significance?]
  173. Tit. 2. 13.