Jesus Christ, Lord Jesus Christ, understanding, iniquity, Lord Jesus, chastisement of our peace, the word of God, deceitful lips, thy presence, The heavens declare the glory of God, Christ Jesus
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF CLEMENT TO THE CORINTHIANS Kirsopp Lake, translator The Church of God which sojourns in Rome to the Church of God which sojourns in Corinth, to those who are called and sanctified by the will of God through our Lord Jesus Christ
. Grace and peace from God Almighty be multiplied to you through Jesus Christ. 1. Owing to the sudden and repeated misfortunes and calamities which have befallen us, we consider that our attention has been somewhat delayed in turning to the questions disputed among you, beloved, and especially the abominable and unholy sedition, alien and foreign to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-willed persons have made blaze up to such a frenzy that your name, venerable and famous, and worthy as it is of all men's love, has been much slandered. For who has stayed with you without making proof of the virtue and stedfastness of your faith? Who has not admired the sobriety and Christian gentleness of your piety? Who has not reported your character so magnificent in its hospitality? And who has not blessed your perfect and secure knowledge? For you did all things without respect of persons, and walked in the laws of God, obedient to your rulers, and paying all fitting honour to the older among you. On the young, too, you enjoined temperate and seemly thoughts, and to the women you gave instruction that they should do all things with a blameless and seemly and pure conscience, yielding a dutiful affection to their husbands. And you taught them to remain in the rule of obedience and to manage their households with seemliness, in all circumspection. 2. And you were all humble-minded and in no wise arrogant, yielding subjection rather than demanding it, "giving more gladly than receiving," satisfied with the provision of Christ, and paying attention to his words you stored them up carefully in your hearts, and kept his sufferings before your eyes. Thus a profound and rich peace was given to all, you had an insatiable desire to do good, and the Holy Spirit
was poured out in abundance on you all. You were full of holy plans, and with pious confidence you stretched out your hands to Almighty God in a passion of goodness, beseeching him to be merciful towards any unwilling sin. Day and night you strove on behalf of the whole brotherhood that the number of his elect should be saved with mercy and compassion. You were sincere and innocent, and bore no malice to one another. All sedition and all schism was abominable to you. You mourned over the transgressions of your neighbours; you judged their shortcomings as your own. You were without regret in every act of kindness, "ready unto every good work." You were adorned by your virtuous and honourable citizenship and did all things in the fear of God. The commandments and ordinances of the Lord were "written on the tables of your heart." 3. All glory and enlargement was given to you, and that which was written was fulfilled, "My Beloved ate and drank, and he was enlarged and waxed fat and kicked." From this arose jealousy and envy, strife and sedition, persecution and disorder, war and captivity. Thus "the worthless" rose up "against those who were in honour," those of no reputation against the renowned, the foolish against the prudent, the "young against the old." For this cause righteousness and peace are far removed, while each deserts the fear of God and the eye of faith in him has grown dim, and men walk Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.
neither in the ordinances of his commandments nor use their citizenship worthily of Christ, but each goes according to the lusts of his wicked heart, and has revived the unrighteousness and impious envy, by which also "death came into the world." 4. For it is written thus:"And it came to pass after certain days that Cain offered to God a sacrifice of the fruits of the earth, and Abel himself also offered of the first-born of the sheep and of their fat. And God looked on Abel and his gifts, but he had no respect to Cain and his sacrifices. And Cain was greatly grieved and his countenance fell. And God said to Cain, Why art thou grieved, and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou offeredst rightly, but didst not divide rightly, didst thou not sin? Be still: he shall turn to thee, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain said to Abel his brother, Let us go unto the plain. And it came to pass that, while they were in the plain, Cain rose up against Abel his brother and slew him." You see, brethren,jealousy and envy wrought fratricide. Through jealousy our father Jacob ran from the face of Esau his brother. Jealousy made Joseph to be persecuted to the death, and come into slavery. Jealousy forced Moses to fly from the face of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, when his fellow countryman said to him, "Who made thee a judge or a ruler over us? Wouldest thou slay me as thou didst slay the Egyptian yesterday?" Through jealousy Aaron and Miriam were lodged outside the camp. Jealousy brought down Dathan and Abiram alive into Hades, because they rebelled against Moses the servant of God. Through jealousy David incurred envy not only from strangers, but suffered persecution even from Saul, King of Israel. 5. But, to cease from the examples of old time, let us come to those who contended in the days nearest to us; let us take the noble examples of our own generation. Through jealousy and envy the greatest and most righteous pillars of the Church were persecuted and contended unto death. Let us set before our eyes the good apostles: Peter, who because of unrighteous jealousy suffered not one or two but many trials, and having thus given his testimony went to the glorious place which was his due. Through jealousy and strife Paul showed the way to the prize of endurance; seven times he was in bonds, he was exiled, he was stoned, he was a herald both in the East and in the West, he gained the noble fame of his faith, he taught righteousness to all the world, and when he had reached the limits of the West he gave his testimony before the rulers, and thus passed from the world and was taken up into the Holy Place,the greatest example of endurance. 6. To these men with their holy lives was gathered a great multitude of the chosen, who were the victims of jealousy and offered among us the fairest example in their endurance under many indignities and tortures. Through jealousy women were persecuted as Danaids and Dircae, suffering terrible and unholy indignities; they stedfastly finished the course of faith, and received a noble reward, weak in the body though they were. Jealousy has estranged wives from husbands, and made of no effect the saying of our father Adam, "This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh." Jealousy and strife have overthrown great cities, and rooted up mighty nations. 7. We are not only writing these things to you, beloved, for your admonition, but also to remind ourselves; for we are in the same arena, and the same struggle is before us. Wherefore let us put aside empty and vain cares, and let us come to the glorious and venerable rule of our tradition, and let us what is good and pleasing and acceptable in Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.
the sight of our Maker. Let us fix our gaze on the Blood of Christ, and let us know that it is precious to his Father, because it was poured out for our salvation, and brought the grace of repentance to all the world. Let us review all the generations, and let us learn that in generation after generation the Master has given a place of repentance to those who will turn to him. Noah reached repentance and those who obeyed were saved. Jonah foretold destruction to the men of Nineveh, but when they repented they received forgiveness of their sins from God in answer to their prayer, and gained salvation, though they were aliens to God. 8. The ministers of the grace of God spoke through the Holy Spirit concerning repentance, and even the Master of the universe himself spoke with an oath concerning repentance; "For as I live, said the Lord, I do not desire the death of the sinner so much as his repentance," and he added a gracious declaration, "Repent, O house of Israel, from your iniquity. Say to the sons of my people, If your sins reach from the earth to Heaven, and if they be redder than scarlet, and blacker than sackcloth, and ye turn to me with all your hearts and say `Father,' I will listen to you as a holy people." And in another place he speaks thus, "Wash you, and make you clean, put away your wickedness from your souls before my eyes, cease from your wickedness, learn to do good, seek out judgment, rescue the wronged, give judgment for the orphan, do justice to the widow, and come and let us reason together, saith the LORD
; and if your sins be as crimson, I will make them white as snow, and if they be as scarlet, I will make them white as wool, and if ye be willing and hearken to me, ye shall eat the good things of the land, but if ye be not willing, and hearken not to me, a sword shall devour you, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken these things." Thus desiring to give all his beloved a share in repentance, he established it by his Almighty will. 9. Wherefore let us obey his excellent and glorious will; let us fall before him as suppliants of his mercy and goodness; let us turn to his pity, and abandon the vain toil and strife and jealousy which leads to death. Let us fix our gaze on those who have rendered perfect service to his excellent glory. Let us take Enoch, who was found righteous in obedience, and was translated, and death did not befall him. Noah was found faithful in his service, in foretelling a new beginning to the world, and through him the Master saved the living creatures which entered in concord into the Ark. 10. Abraham, who was called "the Friend", was found faithful in his obedience to the words of God. He in obedience went forth from his country and from his kindred and from his father's house, that by leaving behind a little country and a feeble kindred and a small house he might inherit the promises of God. For God says to him, "Depart from thy land and from thy kindred and from thy father's house to the land which I shall show thee, and I will make thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and I will magnify thy name, and thou shalt be blessed; and I will bless those that bless thee, and I will curse those that curse thee, and all the tribes of the earth shall be blessed in thee." And again, when he was separated from Lot, God said to him, "Lift up thine eyes and look from the place where thou art now, to the North and to the South and to the East and to the West; for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth. If a man can number the dust of the earth thy seed shall also be numbered." And again he says, "God led forth Abraham, and said to him, `Look up to the heaven and number the stars, if thou canst number them; so shall thy seed be.' And Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.
for righteousness." Because of his faith and hospitality a son was given him in his old age, and in his obedience he offered him as a sacrifice to God on the mountain which he showed him. 11. For his hospitality and piety Lot was saved out of Sodom when the whole countryside was judged by fire and brimstone
, and the Master made clear that he does not forsake those who hope in him, but delivers to punishment and torture those who turn aside to others. For of this a sign was given when his wife went with him, but changed her mind and did not remain in agreement with him, so that she became a pillar of salt unto this day, to make known to all, that those who are double-minded, and have doubts concerning the power of God, incur judgment and become a warning to all generations. 12. For her faith and hospitality Rahab the harlot was saved. For when the spies were sent to Jericho by Joshua the son of Nun, the King of the land knew that they had come to spy out his country, and sent men to take them, that they might be captured and put to death. So the hospitable Rahab took them in, and hid them in the upper room under the stalks of flax. And when the king's men came and said, "The spies of our land came in to thee, bring them out, for the king orders thus," she answered "The men whom ye seek did indeed come to me, but they went away forthwith, and are proceeding on their journey," and pointed in the wrong direction. And she said to the men, "I know assuredly that the Lord God is delivering to you this land; for the fear and dread of you has fallen on those who dwell in it. When therefore it shall come to pass, that ye take it, save me and my father's house." And they said to her, "It shall be as thou hast spoken to us; when therefore thou knowest that we are at hand, thou shalt gather all thy folk under thy roof, and they shall be safe; for as many as shall be found outside the house shall perish." And they proceeded to give her a sign, that she should hang out a scarlet thread from her house, foreshowing that all who believe and hope on God shall have redemption through the blood of the Lord. You see, beloved, that the woman is an instance not only of faith but also of prophecy. 13. Let us, therefore, be humble-minded, brethren, putting aside all arrogance and conceit and foolishness and wrath, and let us do that which is written (for the Holy Spirit says, "Let not the wise man boast himself in his wisdom, nor the strong man in his strength, nor the rich man in his riches, but he that boasteth let him boast in the Lord, to seek him out and to do judgment and righteousness"), especially remembering the words of the Lord Jesus
which he spoke when he was teaching gentleness and longsuffering. For he spoke thus: "Be merciful, that ye may obtain mercy. Forgive, that ye may be forgiven. As ye do, so shall it be done unto you. As ye give, so shall it be given unto you. As ye judge, so shall ye be judged. As ye are kind, so shall kindness be shewn you. With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you." With this commandment and with these injunctions let us strengthen ourselves to walk in obedience to his hallowed words and let us be humble-minded, for the holy word says, "On whom shall I look, but on the meek and gentle and him who trembles at my oracles." 14. Therefore it is right and holy, my brethren, for us to obey God rather than follow those who in pride and unruliness are the instigators of an abominable jealousy. For we shall incur no common harm, but great danger, if we rashly yield ourselves to the purposes of men who rush into strife and sedition, to estrange us from what is right. Let us Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.
be kind to one another, according to the compassion and sweetness of our Maker. For it is written, "The kind shall inhabit the land, and the guiltless shall be left on it, but they who transgress shall be destroyed from off it." And again he says: "I saw the ungodly lifted high, and exalted as the cedars of Lebanon. And I went by, and behold he was not; and I sought his place, and I found it not. Keep innocence, and look on uprightness; for there is a remnant for a peaceable man." 15. Moveover let us cleave to those whose peacefulness is based on piety and not to those whose wish for peace is hypocrisy. For it says in one place: "This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me." And again, "They blessed with their mouth, but cursed in their hearts." And again it says "they lovedhim with their mouth, but they lied unto him with their tongue, and their heart was not right with him, nor were they faithful in his covenant." Therefore "let the deceitful lips be dumb which speak iniquity against the righteous." And again, "May the Lord destroy all the deceitful lips, a tongue that speaketh great things, those who say, Let us magnify our tongue, our lips are our own, who is lord over us? For the misery of the poor and groaning of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord, I will place him in safety, I will deal boldly with him." 16. For Christ is of those who are humble-minded, not of those who exalt themselves over His flock. The sceptre of the greatness of God, the Lord Jesus Christ
, came not with the pomp of pride or of arrogance, for all his power, but was humble-minded, as the Holy Spirit spake concerning him. For it says, "Lord, who has believed our report, and to whom was the arm of the Lord revealed? We declared him before the Lord as a child, as a root in thirsty ground; there is no form in him, nor glory, and we saw him, and he had neither form nor beauty, but his form was without honour, less than the form of man, a man living among stripes and toil, and acquainted with the endurance of weakness; for his face was turned away, he was dishonoured, and not esteemed. He it is who beareth our sins, and is pained for us, and we regarded him as subject to pain, and stripes and affliction, but he was wounded for our sins and he has suffered for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him; with his bruises were we healed. All we like sheep went astray, each man went astray in his path; and the Lord delivered him up for our sins, and he openeth not his mouth because of his affliction. As a sheep he was brought to the slaughter, and as a lamb dumb before its shearer, so he openeth not his mouth. In humiliation his judgment was taken away. Who shall declare his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth. For the iniquities of my people is he come to death. And I will give the wicked for his burial, and the rich for his death; for he wrought no iniquity, nor was guile found in his mouth. And the Lord's will is to purify him from stripes. If ye make an offering for sin, your soul shall see a long-lived seed. And the Lord's will is to take of the toil of his soul, to show him light and to form him with understanding, to justify a righteous man who serveth many well. And he himself shall bear their sins. For this reason shall he inherit many, and he shall share the spoils of the strong; because his soul was delivered to death, and he was reckoned among the transgressors. And he bore the sins of many, and for their sins was he delivered up." And again he says himself, "But I am a worm and no man, a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they who saw me mocked me, they spoke with their lips, they shook their heads; He hoped on the Lord, let him deliver him, let him save him, for he hath pleasure in him." You see, Beloved, what is the example which is Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.
given to us; for if the Lord was thus humble-minded, what shall we do, who through him have come under the yoke of his grace? 17. Let us also be imitators of those who went about "in the skins of goats and sheep," heralding the coming of Christ
; we mean Elijah and Elisha, and moreover Ezekiel, the prophets, and in addition to them the famous men of old. Great fame was given to Abraham, and he was called the Friend of God, and he, fixing his gaze in humility on the Glory of God, says, "But I am dust and ashes." Moreover it is also written thus concerning Job:"Now Job was righteous and blameless, true, a worshipper of God, and kept himself from all evil." But he accuses himself, saying, "No man is clean from defilement, not even if his life be but for a single day." Moses was called "Faithful with all his house," and through his ministry God judged Egypt with their scourges and torments; but he, though he was given great glory, did not use great words, but, when an oracle was given to him from the bush, said:"Who am I that thou sendest me? Nay, I am a man of feeble speech, and a slow tongue." And again he says, "But I am as smoke from a pot." 18. But what shall we say of the famous David? Of him said God, "I have found a man after my own heart, David, the son of Jesse, I have anointed him with eternal mercy;" but he too says to God "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy great mercy, and according to the multitude of thy compassions, blot out my transgression. Wash me yet more from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin; for I know my iniquity, and my sin is ever before me. Against thee only did I sin, and did evil before thee, that thou mightest be justified in thy words, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. For lo, I was conceived in iniquity, and in sin did my mother bear me. For, behold, thou hast loved truth, thou didst make plain to me the secret and hidden things of thy wisdom. Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed; thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Thou shalt make me hear joy and gladness; the bones which have been humbled shall rejoice. Turn thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create a clean heart in me, O God, and renew a right spirit in my inmost parts. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Give me back the gladness of thy salvation, strengthen me with thy governing spirit. I will teach the wicked thy ways, and the ungodly shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation. My tongue shall rejoice in thy righteousness. O Lord, thou shalt open my mouth, and my lips shall tell of thy praise. For if thou hadst desired sacrifice, I would have given it; in whole burnt offerings thou wilt not delight. The sacrifice unto God is a broken spirit, a broken and a humbled heart God shall not despise." 19. The humility and obedient submission of so many men of such great fame, have rendered better not only us, but also the generations before us, who received his oracles in fear and truth. Seeing then that we have received a share in many great and glorious deeds, let us hasten on to the goal of peace, which was given us from the beginning, and let us fix our gaze on the Father and Creator of the whole world and cleave to his splendid and excellent gifts of peace, and to his good deeds to us. Let us contemplate him with our mind, let us gaze with the eyes of our soul on his long-suffering purpose, let us consider how free from wrath he is towards all his creatures. Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.
20. The heavens moving at his appointment are subject to him in peace; day and night follow the course allotted by him without hindering each other. Sun and moon and the companies of the stars roll on, according to his direction, in harmony, in their appointed courses, and swerve not from them at all. The earth teems according to his will at its proper seasons, and puts forth food in full abundance for men and beasts and all the living things that are on it, with no dissension, and changing none of his decrees. The unsearchable places of the abysses and the unfathomable realms of the lower world are controlled by the same ordinances. The hollow of the boundless sea is gathered by his working into its allotted places, and does not pass the barriers placed around it, but does even as he enjoined on it; for he said "Thus far shalt thou come, and thy waves shall be broken within thee." The ocean, which men cannot pass, and the worlds beyond it, are ruled by the same injunctions of the Master. The seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter give place to one another in peace. The stations of the winds fulfil their service without hindrance at the proper time. The everlasting springs, created for enjoyment and health, supply sustenance for the life of man without fail; and the smallest of animals meet together in concord and peace. All these things did the great Creator and Master of the universe ordain to be in peace and concord, and to all things does he do good, and more especially to us who have fled for refuge to his mercies through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory and the majesty for ever and ever, Amen. 21. Take heed, beloved, lest his many good works towards us become a judgment on us, if we do not good and virtuous deeds before him in concord, and be citizens worthy of him. For he says in one place:"The Spirit of the Lord is a lamp searching the inward parts." Let us observe how near he is, and that nothing escapes him of our thoughts or of the devices which we make. It is right, therefore, that we should not be deserters from his will. Let us offend foolish and thoughtless men, who are exalted and boast in the pride of their words, rather than God. Let us reverence the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was given for us, let us respect those who rule us, let us honor the aged, let us instruct the young, in the fear of God, let us lead our wives to that which is good. Let them exhibit the lovely habit of purity, let them show forth the innocent will of meekness, let them make the gentleness of their tongue manifest by their silence, let them not give their affection by factious preference, but in holiness to all equally who fear God. Let our children share in the instruction which is in Christ, let them learn the strength of humility before God, the power of pure love before God, how beautiful and great is his fear and how it gives salvation to all who live holily in it with a pure mind. For he is a searcher of thoughts and desires; his breath is in us, and when he will he shall take it away. 22. Now the faith which is in Christ confirms all these things, for he himself through his Holy Spirit calls us thus:"Come, Children, hearken to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is the man that desireth life, that loveth to see good days? Make thy tongue cease from evil, and thy lips that they speak no guile. Depart from evil, and do good. Seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their petition; but the face of the Lord is against those that do evil, to destroy the memory of them from off the earth. The righteous cried, and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his afflictions. Many are the scourges of the sinner, but mercy shall encompass those that hope on the Lord." Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.
23. The all-merciful and beneficent Father has compassion on those that fear him, and kindly and lovingly bestows his favours on those that draw near to him with a simple mind. Wherefore let us not be double-minded, nor let our soul be fanciful concerning his excellent and glorious gifts. Let this scripture be far from us in which he says "Wretched are the double-minded, who doubt in their soul and say `We have heard these things even in the days of our fathers, and behold we have grown old, and none of these things has happened to us.' Oh, foolish men, compare yourself to a tree: take a vine, first it sheds its leaves, then there comes a bud, then a leaf, then a flower, and after this the unripe grape, then the full bunch." See how in a little time the fruit of the tree comes to ripeness. Truly his will shall be quickly and suddenly accomplished, as the Scripture also bears witness that "he shall come quickly and shall not tarry; and the Lord shall suddenly come to his temple, and the Holy One for whom ye look." 24. Let us consider, beloved, how the Master continually proves to us that there will be a future resurrection, of which he has made the first-fruits, by raising the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. Let us look, beloved, at the resurrection which is taking place at its proper season. Day and night show us a resurrection. The night sleeps, the day arises: the day departs, night comes on. Let us take the crops: how and in what way does the sowing take place? "The sower went forth" and cast each of the seeds into the ground, and they fall on to the ground, parched and bare, and suffer decay; then from their decay the greatness of the providence of the Master raises them up, and from one grain more grow and bring forth fruit. 25. Let us consider the strange sign which takes place in the East, that is in the districts near Arabia. There is a bird which is called the Phoenix. This is the only one of its kind, and lives 500 years; and when the time of its dissolution in death is at hand, it makes itself a sepulchre of frankincense and myrrh and other spices, and when the time is fulfilled it enters into it and dies. Now, from the corruption of its flesh there springs a worm, which is nourished by the juices of the dead bird, and puts forth wings. Then, when it has become strong, it takes up that sepulchre, in which are the bones of its predecessor, and carries them from the country of Arabia as far as Egypt until it reaches the city called Heliopolis, and in the daylight in the sight of all it flies to the altar of the Sun, places them there, and then starts back to its former home. Then the priests inspect the registers of dates, and they find that it has come at the fulfilment of the 500th year. 26. Do we then consider it a great and wonderful thing that the creator of the universe will bring about the resurrection of those who served him in holiness, in the confidence of a good faith, when he shows us the greatness of his promise even through a bird? For he says in one place "And thou shalt raise me up and I will praise thee," and "I laid me down and slept, I rose up, for thou art with me." And again Job says "And thou shalt raise up this my flesh which has endured all these things." 27. In this hope then let our souls be bound to him who is faithful in his promises and righteous in his judgments. He who has commanded not to lie shall much more not be a liar himself; for nothing is impossible with God save to lie. Let therefore faith in him be kindled again in us, and let us consider that all things are near him. By the word of His Majesty
did he establish all things, and by his word can he destroy them. "Who shall say to him what hast thou done, or who shall resist the might of his strength?" When he will, and as he will, he will do all things, and none of his decrees shall pass away. All is Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.
in his sight and nothing has escaped from his counsel, since "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament telleth his handiwork, day uttereth speech unto day, and night telleth knowledge to night. And there are neither words nor speeches, and their voices are not heard." 28. Since then all things are seen and heard by him, let us fear him, and leave off from foul desires of evil deeds, that we may be sheltered by his mercy from the judgments to come. For whither can any of us fly from his mighty hand? And what world shall receive those who seek to desert from him? For the Writing says in one place: "Where shall I go and where shall I hide from thy presence? If I ascend into heaven thou art there, if I depart to the ends of the earth there is thy right hand; If I make my bed in the abyss there is thy spirit." Whither then shall a man depart or where shall he escape from him who embraces all things? 29. Let us then approach him in holiness of soul, raising pure and undefiled hands to him, loving our gracious and merciful Father, who has made us the portion of his choice for himself. For thus it is written: "When the most high divided the nations, when he scattered the sons of Adam, he established the bounds of the nations according to the number of the angels of God. His people Jacob became the portion of the Lord, Israel was the lot of his inheritance."And in another place he says "Behold the Lord taketh to himself a nation from the midst of nations, as a man taketh the first-fruit of his threshing-floor, and the Holy of Holies shall come forth from that nation." 30. Seeing then that we are the portion of one who is holy, let us do all the deeds of sanctification, fleeing from evil-speaking, and abominable and impure embraces, drunkenness, and youthful lusts, and abominable passion, detestable adultery, and abominable pride. "For God," he says, "resisteth the proud but giveth grace to the humble." Let us then join ourselves to those to whom is given grace from God; let us put on concord in meekness of spirit and continence, keeping ourselves far from all gossip and evil speaking and be justified by deeds, not by words. For he says "He that speaketh much shall also hear much; or doth he that is a good speaker think that he is righteous? Blessed is he that is born of woman and hath a short life. Be not profuse in speech." Let our praise be with God, and not from ourselves, for God hates those who praise themselves. Let testimony to our good deeds be given by others, as it was given to our fathers, the righteous. Frowardness and arrogance and boldness belong to those that are accursed by God, gentleness and humility and meekness are with those who are blessed by God. 31. Let us cleave, then, to his blessing and let us consider what are the paths of blessing. Let us unfold the deeds of old. Why was our father Abraham
blessed? Was it not because he wrought righteousness and truth through faith? Isaac in confident knowledge of the future was gladly led as a sacrifice. Jacob departed from his country in meekness because of his brother, and went to Laban and served him, and to him was given the sceptre of the twelve tribes of Israel. 32. And if anyone will candidly consider this in detail, he will recognize the greatness of the gifts given by him. For from him come the priests and all the Levites, who serve the altar of God, from him comes the Lord Jesus according to the flesh, from him come THE KINGS
and rulers and governors in the succession of Judah, and the other sceptres of his Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.
tribes are in no small renown seeing that God promised that "thy seed shall be as the stars of heaven." All of them therefore were all renowned and magnified, not through themselves or their own works or the righteous actions which they had wrought, but through his will; and therefore we who by his will have been called in Christ Jesus
, are not made righteous by ourselves, or by our wisdom or understanding or piety or the deeds which we have wrought in holiness of heart, but through faith, by which Almighty God has justified all men from the beginning of the world; to him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 33. What shall we do, then, brethren? Shall we be slothful in well-doing and cease from love? May the Master forbid that this should happen, at least to us, but let us be zealous to accomplish every good deed with energy and readiness. For the Creator and Master of the universe himself rejoices in his works. For by his infinitely great might did he establish the heavens, and by his incomprehensible understanding did he order them; and he separated the earth from the water that surrounds it, and fixed it upon the secure foundation of his own will; and the animals that move in it did he command to exist by his own decree; the sea and the living things in it did he make ready, and enclosed by his own power. Above all, man, the most excellent and from his intellect the greatest of his creatures, did he form in the likeness of his own image by his sacred and faultless hands. For God spake thus: "Let us make man according to our image and likeness
; and God made man, male and female made he them." So when he had finished all these things he praised them and blessed them and said, "Increase and multiply." Let us observe that all the righteous have been adorned with good works; and the Lord himself adorned himself with good works and rejoiced. Having therefore this pattern let us follow his will without delay, let us work the work of righteousness with all our strength. 34. The good workman receives the bread of his labour with boldness; the lazy and careless cannot look his employer in the face. Therefore we must be prompt in welldoing: for all things are from him. For he warns us: "Behold the Lord cometh, and his reward is before his face, to pay to each according to his work." He exhorts us therefore if we believe on him with our whole heart not to be lazy or careless "in every good work." Let our glorying and confidence be in him; let us be subject to his will; let us consider the whole multitude of his angels, how they stand ready and minister to his will. For the Scripture says "Ten thousand times ten thousand stood by him, and thousand thousands ministered to him, and they cried Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Sabaoth, the whole creation is full of his glory." Therefore, we too must gather together with concord in our conscience and cry earnestly to him, as it were with one mouth, that we may share in his great and glorious promises, or he says: "Eye hath not seen, and ear hath not heard, and it hath not entered into the heart of man, what things the Lord hath prepared for them that wait for him." 35. How blessed and wonderful, beloved, are the gifts of God! Life in immortality, splendour in righteousness, truth in boldness, faith in confidence, continence in holiness: and all these things are submitted to our understanding. What, then, are the things which are being prepared for those who wait for him? The Creator and Father of the ages, the All-holy one, himself knows their greatness and beauty. Let us then strive to be found among the number of those that wait, that we may receive a share of the promised gifts. But how shall this be, beloved? If our understanding be fixed faithfully Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.
on God; if we seek the things which are well-pleasing and acceptable to him; if we fulfil the things which are in harmony with his faultless will, and follow the way of truth, casting away from ourselves all iniquity and wickedness, covetousness, strife, malice and fraud, gossiping and evil speaking, hatred of God, pride and arrogance, vain-glory and inhospitality. For those who do these things are hateful to God, and "not only those who do them, but also those who take pleasure in them." For the Scripture says: "But to the sinner said God: Wherefore dost thou declare my ordinances, and takest my covenant in thy mouth? Thou hast hated instruction, and cast my words behind thee. If thou sawest a thief thou didst run with him, and thou didst make thy portion with the adulterers. Thy mouth hath multiplied iniquity, and thy tongue did weave deceit. Thou didst sit to speak evil against thy brother, and thou didst lay a stumbling-block in the way of thy mother's son. Thou hast done these things and I kept silent; thou didst suppose, O wicked one, that I shall be like unto thee. I will reprove thee and set thyself before thy face. Understand then these things, ye who forget God, lest he seize you as doth a lion, and there be none to deliver. The sacrifice of praise shall glorify me, and therein is a way in which I will show to him the salvation of God." 36. This is the way, beloved, in which we found our salvation, Jesus Christ, the high priest of our offerings, the defender and helper of our weakness. Through him we fix our gaze on the heights of heaven, through him we see the reflection of his faultless and lofty countenance, through him the eyes of our hearts were opened, through him our foolish and darkened understanding blossoms towards the light, through him the Master willed that we should taste the immortal knowledge; "who, being the brightness of his majesty is by so much greater than angels as he hath inherited a more excellent name." For it is written thus "Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire." But of his son the Master said thus "Thou art my son: to-day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the ends of the earth for thy possession." And again he says to him "Sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies a footstool of thy feet." Who then are the enemies? Those who are wicked and oppose his will. 37. Let us then serve in our army, brethren, with all earnestness, following his faultless commands. Let us consider those who serve our generals, with what good order, habitual readiness, and submissiveness they perform their commands. Not all are prefects, nor tribunes, nor centurions, nor in charge of fifty men, or the like, but each carries out in his own rank the commands of the emperor and of the generals. The great cannot exist without the small, nor the small without the great; there is a certain mixture among all, and herein lies the advantage. Let us take our body; the head is nothing without the feet, likewise the feet are nothing without the head; the smallest members of our body are necessary and valuable to the whole body, but all work together and are united in a common subjection to preserve the whole body. 38. Let, therefore, our whole body be preserved in Christ Jesus, and let each be subject to his neighbour, according to the position granted to him. Let the strong care for the weak and let the weak reverence the strong. Let the rich man bestow help on the poor and let the poor give thanks to God, that he gave him one to supply his needs; let the wise manifest his wisdom not in words but in good deeds; let him who is humbleminded not testify to his own humility, but let him leave it to others to bear him witness; let not him who is pure in the flesh be boastful, knowing that it is another who Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.
bestows on him his continence. Let us consider, then, brethren, of what matter we were formed, who we are, and with what nature we came into the world, and how he who formed and created us brought us into his world from the darkness of a grave, and prepared his benefits for us before we were born. Since, therefore, we have everything from him we ought in everything to give him thanks, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 39. Foolish, imprudent, silly, and uninstructed men mock and deride us, wishing to exalt themselves in their own conceits. For what can mortal man do, or what is the strength of him who is a child of earth? For it is written "There was no shape before mine eyes, but I heard a sound and a voice. What then? Shall a mortal be pure before the Lord? Or shall a man be blameless in his deeds, seeing that he believeth not in his servants, and hath noted perversity in his angels? Yea, the heaven is not pure before him. Away then, ye who inhabit houses of clay, of which, even of the same clay, we ourselves were made. He smote them as a moth, and from morning until evening they do not endure; they perished, without being able to help themselves. He breathed on them and they died because they had no wisdom. But call now, if any shall answer thee, or if thou shalt see any of the holy angels; for wrath destroyeth the foolish, and envy putteth to death him that is in error. I have seen the foolish taking root, but their habitation was presently consumed. Let their sons be far from safety; let them be mocked in the gates of those less than they, with none to deliver; for what was prepared for them the righteous shall eat, and they themselves shall not be delivered from evil." 40. Since then these things are manifest to us, and we have looked into the depths of the divine knowledge, we ought to do in order all things which the Master commanded us to perform at appointed times. He commanded us to celebrate sacrifices and services, and that it should not be thoughtlessly or disorderly, but at fixed times and hours. He has himself fixed by his supreme will the places and persons whom he desires for these celebrations, in order that all things may be done piously according to his good pleasure, and be acceptable to his will. So then those who offer their oblations at the appointed seasons are acceptable and blessed, for they follow the laws of the Master and do no sin. For to the High Priest his proper ministrations are allotted, and to the priests the proper place has been appointed, and on Levites their proper services have been imposed. The layman is bound by the ordinances for the laity. 41. Let each one of us, brethren, be well pleasing to God in his own rank, and have a good conscience, not transgressing the appointed rules of his ministration, with all reverence. Not in every place, my brethren, are the daily sacrifices offered or the freewill offerings, or the sin-offerings and trespass-offerings, but only in Jerusalem; and there also the offering is not made in every place, but before the shrine, at the altar, and the offering is first inspected by the High Priest and the ministers already mentioned. Those therefore who do anything contrary to that which is agreeable to his will suffer the penalty of death. 4. You see, brethren, that the more knowledge we have been entrusted with, the greater risk do we incur. 42. The Apostles received the Gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ, Jesus the Christ was sent from God. The Christ therefore is from God and the Apostles from the Christ. In both ways, then, they were in accordance with the appointed order of God's will. Having therefore received their commands, and being fully assured by the resurrection Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.
of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with faith confirmed by the word of God, they went forth in the assurance of the Holy Spirit preaching the good news that the Kingdom of God is coming. They preached from district to district, and from city to city, and they appointed their first converts, testing them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of the future believers. And this was no new method, for many years before had bishops and deacons been written of; for the scripture says thus in one place "I will establish their bishops in righteousness, and their deacons in faith." 43. And what wonder is it if those who were in Christ, and were entrusted by God with such a duty, established those who have been mentioned? Since the blessed Moses also "A faithful servant in all his house" noted down in the sacred books all the injunctions which were given him; and the other prophets followed him, bearing witness with him to the laws which he had given. For when jealousy arose concerning the priesthood, and the tribes were quarrelling as to which of them was adorned with that glorious title, Moses himself commanded the rulers of the twelve tribes to bring him rods, with the name of a tribe written on each; and he took them, and bound them, and sealed them with the rings of the rulers of the tribes, and put them away in the Tabernacle of Testimony on the table of God. And he shut the Tabernacle, and sealed the keys, as he had done with the rods, and he said to them, "Brethren, of whichsoever tribe the rod shall bud, this has God chosen for his priesthood and ministry." And when it was daylight he called together all Israel, six hundred thousand men, and showed the seals to the rulers of the tribes, and opened the Tabernacle of Testimony, and took forth the rods, and the rod of Aaron was found not only to have budded, but also to be bearing fruit. What do you think, beloved? That Moses did not know beforehand that this was going to happen? Assuredly he knew, but he acted thus that there should be no disorder in Israel, to glorify the name of the true and only God, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen. 44. Our Apostles also knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife for the title of bishop. For this cause, therefore, since they had received perfect foreknowledge, they appointed those who have been already mentioned, and afterwards added the codicil that if they should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed to their ministry. We consider therefore that it is not just to remove from their ministry those who were appointed by them, or later on by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and have ministered to the flock of Christ without blame, humbly, peaceably, and disinterestedly, and for many years have received a universally favourable testimony. For our sin is not small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily offered its sacrifices. Blessed are those Presbyters who finished their course before now, and have obtained a fruitful and perfect release in the ripeness of completed work, for they have now no fear that any shall move them from the place appointed to them. For we see that in spite of their good service you have removed some from the ministry which they fulfilled blamelessly. 45. You are contentious, brethren, and zealous for the things which lead to salvation. You have studied the Holy Scriptures, which are true, and given by the Holy Spirit. You know that nothing unjust or counterfeit is written in them. You will not find that the righteous have been cast out by holy men. The righteous were persecuted; but it was by the wicked. They were put in prison; but it was by the unholy. They were stoned by law-breakers, they were killed by men who had conceived foul and unrighteous envy. Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.
These things they suffered, and gained glory by their endurance. For what shall we say, brethren? Was Daniel cast into the lions' den by those who feared God? Or were Ananias, Azarias, and Misael shut up in the fiery furnace by those who ministered to the great and glorious worship of the Most High? God forbid that this be so. Who then were they who did these things? Hateful men, full of all iniquity, were roused to such a pitch of fury, that they inflicted torture on those who served God with a holy and faultless purpose, not knowing that the Most High is the defender and protector of those who serve his excellent name with a pure conscience, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. But they who endured in confidence obtained the inheritance of glory and honour; they were exalted, and were enrolled by God in his memorial for ever and ever. Amen. 46. We also, brethren, must therefore cleave to such examples. For it is written, "Cleave to the holy, for they who cleave to them shall be made holy." And again in another place it says, "With the innocent man thou shalt be innocent, and with the elect man thou shalt be elect, and with the perverse man thou shalt do perversely." Let us then cleave to the innocent and righteous, for these are God's elect. Why are there strife and passion and divisions and schisms and war among you? Or have we not one God, and one Christ, and one Spirit of grace poured out upon us? And is there not one calling in Christ? Why do we divide and tear asunder the members of Christ, and raise up strife against our own body, and reach such a pitch of madness as to forget that we are members one of another? Remember the words of the Lord Jesus; for he said, "Woe unto that man: it were good for him if he had not been born, than that he should offend one of my elect; it were better for him that a millstone be hung on him, and he be cast into the sea, than that he should turn aside one of my elect." Your schism has turned aside many, has cast many into discouragement, many to doubt, all of us to grief; and your sedition continues. 47. Take up the epistle of the blessed Paul the Apostle
. What did he first write to you at the beginning of his preaching? With true inspiration he charged you concerning himself and Cephas and Apollos, because even then you had made yourselves partisans. But that partisanship entailed less guilt on you; for you were partisans of Apostles of high reputation, and of a man approved by them. But now consider who they are who have perverted you, and have lessened the respect due to your famous love for the brethren. It is a shameful report, beloved, extremely shameful, and unworthy of your training in Christ, that on account of one or two persons the stedfast and ancient church of the Corinthians is being disloyal to the presbyters. And this report has not only reached us, but also those who dissent from us, so that you bring blasphemy on the name of the Lord through your folly, and are moreover creating danger for yourselves. 48. Let us then quickly put an end to this, and let us fall down before the Master, and beseech him with tears that he may have mercy upon us, and be reconciled to us, and restore us to our holy and seemly practice of love for the brethren. For this is the gate of righteousness which opens on to life, as it is written "Open me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter into them and praise the Lord; this is the gate of the Lord, the righteous shall enter in by it." So then of the many gates which are opened, that which is in righteousness is the one in Christ, in which are blessed all who enter and make straight their way in holiness and righteousness, accomplishing all things without disorder. Let a man be faithful, let him have power to utter "Knowledge," let him be Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.
wise in the discernment of arguments, let him be pure in his deeds; for the more he seems to be great, the more ought he to be humble-minded, and to seek the common good of all and not his own benefit. 49. Let him who has love in Christ perform the commandments of Christ. Who is able to explain the bond of the love of God? Who is sufficient to tell the greatness of its beauty? The height to which love lifts us is not to be expressed. Love unites us to God. "Love covereth a multitude of sins. Love beareth all things, is long-suffering in all things. There is nothing base, nothing haughty in love; love admits no schism, love makes no sedition, love does all things in concord. In love were all the elect of God made perfect. Without love is nothing well pleasing to God. In love did the Master receive us; for the sake of the love which he had towards us did Jesus Christ our Lord give his blood by the will of God for us, and his flesh for our flesh, and his soul for our souls." 50. See, beloved, how great and wonderful is love, and that of its perfection there is no expression. Who is able to be found in it save those to whom God grants it? Let us then beg and pray of his mercy that we may be found in love, without human partisanship, free from blame. All the generations from Adam until this day have passed away; but those who were perfected in love by the grace of God have a place among the pious who shall be made manifest at the visitation of the Kingdom of Christ. For it is written, "Enter into thy chambers for a very little while, until my wrath and fury pass away, and I will remember a good day, and will raise you up out of your graves." Blessed are we, beloved, if we perform the commandments of God in the concord of love, that through love our sins may be forgiven. For it is written "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not reckon, and in whose mouth is no guile." This blessing was given to those who have been chosen by God through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen. 51. Let us then pray that for our transgressions, and for what we have done through any attacks of the adversary, forgiveness may be granted to us. And those also who were the leaders of sedition and disagreement are bound to consider the common hope. For those who live in fear and love are willing to suffer torture themselves rather than their neighbours, and they suffer the blame of themselves, rather than that of our tradition of noble and righteous harmony, for it is better for man to confess his transgressions than to harden his heart, even as the heart of those was hardened who rebelled against God's servant Moses
, and their condemnation was made manifest, for "they went down into Hades alive" and "death shall be their shepherd." Pharaoh and his army and all the rulers of Egypt, "the chariots and their riders," were sunk in the Red Sea, and perished for no other cause than that their foolish hearts were hardened, after that signs and wonders had been wrought in the land of Egypt by God's servant Moses. 52. The Master, brethren, is in need of nothing: he asks nothing of anyone, save that confession be made to him. For David the chosen says:"I will confess to the Lord, and it shall please him more than a young calf that groweth horns and hoofs: let the poor see it and be glad." And again he says "Sacrifice to God a sacrifice of praise, and pay to the Highest thy vows; and call upon me in the day of thy affliction, and I will deliver thee and thou shalt glorify me. For the sacrifice of God is a broken spirit." Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.
53. For you have understanding, you have a good understanding of the sacred scriptures
, beloved, and you have studied the oracles of God. Therefore we write these things to remind you. For when Moses went up into the mountain, and passed forty days and forty nights in fasting and humiliation, God said to him:"Go down hence quickly, for thy people, whom thou didst bring out of the land of Egypt, have committed iniquity; they have quickly gone aside out of the way which thou didst command them; they have made themselves molten images." And the Lord said to him:"I have spoken to thee once and twice, saying, I have seen this people, and behold it is stiffnecked; suffer me to destroy them, and I will wipe out their name from under heaven, and thee will I make into a nation great and wonderful and much more than this." And Moses said, "Not so, Lord; pardon the sin of this people, or blot me also out of the book of the living." O great love! O unsurpassable perfection! The servant is bold with the Lord, he asks forgiveness for the people, or begs that he himself may be blotted out together with them. 54. Who then among you is noble, who is compassionate, who is filled with love? Let him cry:"If sedition and strife and divisions have arisen on my account, I will depart, I will go away whithersoever you will, and I will obey the commands of the people; only let the flock of Christ have peace with the presbyters set over it." He who does this will win for himself great glory in Christ, and every place will receive him, for "the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness of it." This has been in the past, and will be in the future, the conduct of those who live without regrets as citizens in the city of God. 55. Let us also bring forward examples from the heathen. Many kings and rulers, when a time of pestilence has set in, have followed the counsel of oracles, and given themselves up to death, that they might rescue their subjects through their own blood. Many have gone away from their own cities, that sedition might have an end. We know that many among ourselves have given themselves to bondage that they might ransom others. Many have delivered themselves to slavery, and provided food for others with the price they received for themselves. Many women have received power through the grace of God and have performed many deeds of manly valour. The blessed Judith, when her city was besieged, asked the elders to suffer her to go out into the camp of the strangers. So she gave herself up to danger, and went forth for love of her country and her people in their siege, and the Lord delivered over Holofernes by the hand of a woman. Not less did Esther also, who was perfect in faith, deliver herself to danger, that she might rescue the nation of Israel from the destruction that awaited it; for with fasting and humiliation she besought the all-seeing Master of the Ages, and he saw the meekness of her soul, and rescued the people for whose sake she had faced peril. 56. Let then us also intercede for those who have fallen into any transgression, that meekness and humility be given to them, that they may submit, not to us, but to the will of God; for so will they have fruitful and perfect remembrance before God and the saints, and find compassion. Let us receive correction, which none should take amiss, beloved. The admonition which we make one to another is good and beyond measure helpful, for it unites us to the will of God. For the holy word says thus: "With chastisement did the Lord chastise me, and he delivered me not over unto death; for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." "For," he says, "the righteous shall chasten me with mercy, and reprove me, but let not the oil of sinners anoint my head." And again he says "Blessed is the man whom the Lord did Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.
reprove; and reject not thou the admonition of the Almighty, for he maketh to suffer pain and again he restoreth; he wounded, and his hands healed. Six times shall he deliver thee from troubles, and the seventh time evil shall not touch thee. In famine he shall rescue thee from death, and in war he shall free thee from the hand of the sword. And he shall hide thee from the scourge of the tongue and thou shalt not fear when evils approach. Thou shalt laugh at the unrighteous and wicked, and thou shalt not be afraid of wild beasts; for wild beasts shall be at peace with thee. Then thou shalt know that thy house shall have peace, and the habitation of thy tabernacle shall not fail. And thou shalt know that thy seed shall be many and thy children like the herb of the field. And thou shalt come to the grave like ripened corn that is harvested in its due season, or like a heap on the threshing-floor which is gathered together at the appointed time." You see, beloved, how great is the protection given to those that are chastened by the Master, for he is a good father and chastens us that we may obtain mercy through his holy chastisement. 57. You therefore, who laid the foundation of the sedition, submit to the presbyters, and receive the correction of repentance, bending the knees of your hearts. Learn to be submissive, putting aside the boastful and the haughty self-confidence of your tongue, for it is better for you to be found small but honourable in the flock of Christ, than to be pre-eminent in repute but to be cast out from his hope. For "the excellent wisdom" says thus:"Behold I will bring forth to you the words of my spirit, and I will teach you my speech, since I called and ye did not obey, and I put forth my words and ye did not attend, but made my counsels of no effect, and disobeyed my reproofs; therefore will I also laugh at your ruin, and I will rejoice when destruction cometh upon you, and when sudden confusion overtaketh you and catastrophe cometh as a storm, or when persecution or siege cometh upon you. For it shall come to pass when ye call upon me, I will not hear you. The evil shall seek me and they shall not find me. For they hated wisdom and they chose not the fear of the Lord, neither would they attend to my counsels but mocked my reproofs. Therefore shall they eat the fruits of their own way, and shall be filled with their own wickedness; for because they wronged the innocent they shall be put to death, and inquisition shall destroy the wicked. But he who heareth me shall tabernacle with confidence in his hope, and shall be in rest with no fear of any evil." 58. Let us then be obedient to his most holy and glorious name, and escape the threats which have been spoken by wisdom aforetime to the disobedient, that we may tabernacle in confidence on the most sacred name of his majesty. Receive our counsel, and there shall be nothing for you to regret, for as God lives and as the Lord Jesus Christ lives and the Holy Spirit, the faith and hope of the elect, he who with lowliness of mind and eager gentleness has without backsliding performed the decrees and commandments given by God shall be enrolled and chosen in the number of those who are saved through Jesus Christ, through whom is to him the glory for ever and ever. Amen. 59. But if some be disobedient to the words which have been spoken by him through us, let them know that they will entangle themselves in transgression and no little danger; but we shall be innocent of this sin, and will pray with eager entreaty and supplication that the Creator of the Universe may guard unhurt the number of his elect that has been numbered in all the world through his beloved child Jesus Christ, through whom he called us from darkness to light, from ignorance to the full knowledge of the glory of his Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.
name. Grant us to hope on thy name, the source of all creation, open the eyes of our heart to know thee, that thou alone art the highest in the highest and remainest holy among the holy. Thou dost humble the pride of the haughty, thou dost destroy the imaginings of nations, thou dost raise up the humble and abase the lofty, thou makest rich and makest poor, thou dost slay and make alive, thou alone art the finder of spirits and art God of all flesh, thou dost look on the abysses, thou seest into the works of man, thou art the helper of those in danger, the saviour of those in despair, the creator and watcher over every spirit; thou dost multiply nations upon earth and hast chosen out from them all those that love thee through Jesus Christ thy beloved child, and through him hast thou taught us, made us holy, and brought us to honour. We beseech thee, Master, to be our "help and succour." Save those of us who are in affliction, have mercy on the lowly, raise the fallen, show thyself to those in need, heal the sick, turn again the wanderers of thy people, feed the hungry, ransom our prisoners, raise up the weak, comfort the faint-hearted; let all "nations know thee, that thou art God alone," and that Jesus Christ is thy child, and that "we are thy people and the sheep of thy pasture." 60. For thou through thy operations didst make manifest the eternal fabric of the world; thou, Lord, didst create the earth. Thou that art faithful in all generations, righteous in judgment, wonderful in strength and majesty, wise in thy creation, and prudent in establishing thy works, good in the things which are seen, and gracious among those that trust in thee, O "merciful and compassionate," forgive us our iniquities and unrighteousness, and transgressions, and short-comings. Reckon not every sin of thy servants and handmaids, but cleanse us with the cleansing of thy truth, and "guide our steps to walk in holiness of heart, to do the things which are good and pleasing before thee" and before our rulers. Yea, Lord, "make thy face to shine upon us" in peace "for our good" that we may be sheltered by thy mighty hand, and delivered from all sin by "thy uplifted arm," and deliver us from them that hate us wrongfully. Give concord and peace to us and to all that dwell on the earth, as thou didst give to our fathers who called on thee in holiness with faith and truth, and grant that we may be obedient to thy almighty and glorious name, and to our rulers and governors upon the earth. 61. Thou, Master, hast given the power of sovereignty to them through thy excellent and inexpressible might, that we may know the glory and honour given to them by thee, and be subject to them, in nothing resisting thy will. And to them, Lord, grant health, peace, concord, firmness that they may administer the government which thou hast given them without offence. For thou, heavenly Master, king of eternity, hast given to the sons of men glory and honour and power over the things which are on the earth; do thou, O Lord, direct their counsels according to that which is "good and pleasing" before thee, that they may administer with piety in peace and gentleness the power given to them by thee, and may find mercy in thine eyes. O thou who alone art able to do these things and far better things for us, we praise thee through Jesus Christ, the high priest and guardian of our souls, through whom be glory and majesty to thee, both now and for all generations and for ever and ever. Amen. 62. We have now written to you, brethren, sufficiently touching the things which befit our worship, and are most helpful for a virtuous life to those who wish to guide their steps in piety and righteousness. For we have touched on every aspect of faith and repentance and true love and self-control and sobriety and patience, and reminded you that you are bound to please almighty God with holiness in righteousness and truth Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.
and long-suffering, and to live in concord, bearing no malice, in love and peace with eager gentleness, even as our fathers, whose example we quoted, were well-pleasing in their humility towards God, the Father and Creator, and towards all men. And we had the more pleasure in reminding you of this, because we knew quite well that we were writing to men who were faithful and distinguished and had studied the oracles of the teaching of God. 63. It is therefore right that we should respect so many and so great examples, and bow the neck, and take up the position of obedience, so that ceasing from vain sedition we may gain without any fault the goal set before us in truth. For you will give us joy and gladness; if you are obedient to the things which we have written through the Holy Spirit, and root out the wicked passion of your jealousy according to the entreaty for peace and concord which we have made in this letter. And we have sent faithful and prudent men, who have lived among us without blame from youth to old age, and they shall be witnesses between you and us. We have done this that you may know that our whole care has been and is directed to your speedy attainment of peace. 64. Now may God, the all-seeing, and the master of spirits, and the Lord of all flesh, who chose out the Lord Jesus Christ, and us through him for "a peculiar people," give unto every soul that is called after his glorious and holy name, faith, fear, peace, patience and long-suffering, self-control, purity, sobriety, that they may be well-pleasing to his name through our high priest and guardian Jesus Christ, through whom be to him glory and majesty, might and honour, both now and to all eternity. Amen. 65. Send back quickly to us our messengers Claudius Ephebus and Valerius Vito and Fortunatus, in peace with gladness, in order that they may report the sooner the peace and concord which we pray for and desire, that we also may the more speedily rejoice in your good order. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you and with all, in every place, who have been called by God through him, through whom be to him glory, honour, power and greatness and eternal dominion, from eternity to eternity. Amen. Obtained from Didache.com. No Reproduction or Distribution without Permission.