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Particulars of Christianity:
401 First Eight Writers' Consensus


9-12: Excommunication; Divorce;
Sabbath; Tithing/Communal


Early Church Confirmation Rubric
Early Church Consensus: Introduction
1: Nature of the Godhead
2: Covenants & O.T. Saints Relationship to the Church
3: Kingdom (Hell), Timing of 2nd Advent and Kingdom
4-5: Age of the World (6000 Years); Communion Meal
6: Baptisms
7-8: Law of Christ; Repentance
9-12: Excommunication; Divorce; Sabbath; Tithing
13: Freewill (A) Against Original Sin and Total Depravity
13: Freewill (B) Against Unconditional Election
13: Freewill (C-D) Against Ltd. Atmt.; Ir. Grace, OSAS
14-15: Church Authority; Roles of Men and Women
16-18: Charismatic Gifts; Civil Gov't., War; Men & Angels
Addendum 1: Eternal Begetting - Irenaeus and Ignatius
Addendum 2: Eternal Begetting - Justin Martyr



Full Catalog

 

9) View of Excommunication

Excommunication was social and spiritual separation from those who were called Christians but who either spoke or lived in rejection of Jesus’ teaching, whether conceptual or moral teaching. If such persons did not respond to correction with repentance, they were excommunicated, which symbolized their rejection of Christ’s teaching and their removal from the fellowship (i.e. sharing) of eternal life. If a person later repented after being excommunicated, they could be restored to fellowship.

 

Polycarp –

THE EPISTLE OF POLYCARP TO THE PHILIPPIANS(1)

 

CHAP. VI. …Let us be zealous in the pursuit of that which is good, keeping ourselves from causes of offence, from false brethren, and from those who in hypocrisy bear the name of the Lord, and draw away vain men into error.

 

Barnabas –

THE EPISTLE OF BARNABAS(1)

 

CHAP.IV. It therefore behoves us, who inquire much concerning events at hand,(11) to search diligently into those things which are able to save us. Let us then utterly flee from all the works of iniquity, lest these should take hold of us; and let us hate the error of the present time, that we may set our love on the world to come: let us not give loose reins to our soul, that it should have power to run with sinners and the wicked, lest we become like them.

 

CHAP. X. Now, wherefore did Moses say, "Thou shalt not eat the swine, nor the eagle, nor the hawk, nor the raven, nor any fish which is not possessed of scales?"(7) He embraced three doctrines in his mind [in doing so]. Moreover, the Lord saith to them in Deuteronomy, "And I will establish my ordinances among this people."(8) Is there then not a command of God they should not eat [these things]? There is, but Moses spoke with a spiritual reference.(9) For this reason he named the swine, as much as to say, "Thou shalt not join thyself to men who resemble swine." For when they live in pleasure, they forget their Lord; but when they come to want, they acknowledge the Lord. And [in like manner] the swine, when it has eaten, does not recognize its master; but when hungry it cries out, and on receiving food is quiet again. "Neither shalt thou eat," says he "the eagle, nor the hawk, nor the kite, nor the raven." "Thou shalt not join thyself," he means, "to such men as know not how to procure food for themselves by labour and sweat, but seize on that of others in their iniquity, and although wearing an aspect of simplicity, are on the watch to plunder others."(10) So these birds, while they sit idle, inquire how they may devour the flesh of others, proving themselves pests [to all] by their wickedness. "And thou shalt not eat," he says, "the lamprey, or the polypus, or the cuttlefish." He means, "Thou shalt not join thyself or be like to such men as are ungodly to the end, and are condemned(11) to death." In like manner as those fishes, above accursed, float in the deep, not swimming [on the surface] like the rest, but make their abode in the mud which lies at the bottom…Moses then issued(15) three doctrines concerning meats with a spiritual significance; but they received them according to fleshly desire, as if he had merely spoken of [literal] meats. David, however, comprehends the knowledge of the three doctrines, and speaks in like manner: "Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly,"(16) even as the fishes [referred to] go in darkness to the depths [of the sea]; "and hath not stood in the way of sinners," even as those who profess to fear the Lord, but go astray like swine; "and hath not sat in the seat of scorners,"(17) even as those birds that lie in wait for prey. Take a full and firm grasp of this spiritual(18) knowledge. But Moses says still further, "Ye shall eat every animal that is cloven-footed and ruminant." What does he mean? [The ruminant animal denotes him] who, on receiving food, recognizes Him that nourishes him, and being satisfied by Him,(19) is visibly made glad. Well spake [Moses], having respect to the commandment. What, then, does he mean? That we ought to join ourselves to those that fear the Lord, those who meditate in their heart on the commandment which they have received, those who both utter the judgments of the Lord and observe  them, those who know that meditation is a work of gladness, and who ruminate(1)  upon the word of the Lord. But what means the cloven-footed? That the righteous man also walks in this world, yet looks forward to the holy state(2)  [to come]. Behold how well Moses legislated. But how was it possible for them to understand or comprehend these things? We then, rightly understanding his commandments,(3) explain them as the Lord intended. For this purpose He circumcised our ears and our hearts, that we might understand these things.

 

Barnabas –

THE EPISTLE OF BARNABAS(1)

 

CHAP. XIX. The way of light, then, is as follows. If any one desires to travel to the appointed place, he must be zealous in his works. The knowledge, therefore, which is given to us for the purpose of walking in this way, is the following. Thou shalt love Him that created thee:(3) thou shalt glorify Him that redeemed thee from death. Thou shalt be simple in heart, and rich in spirit. Thou shalt not join thyself to those who walk in the way of death…Thou shalt not commit fornication: thou shalt not commit adultery: thou shalt not be a corrupter of youth. Thou shalt not let the word of God issue from thy lips with any kind of impurity.(6) Thou shalt not accept persons when thou reprovest any one for transgression. Thou shalt be meek: thou shalt be peaceable. Thou shalt tremble at the words which thou hearest.(7) Thou shalt not be mindful of evil against thy brother. Thou shalt not be of doubtful mind(8) as to whether a thing shall be or not. Thou shalt not take the name(9) of the Lord in vain. Thou shalt love thy neighbour more than thine own soul.(10) Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born. Thou shalt not withdraw thy hand from thy son, or from thy daughter, but from their infancy thou shalt teach them the fear of the Lord.(11) Thou shalt not covet what is thy neighbour's, nor shalt thou be avaricious. Thou shalt not be joined in soul with the haughty, but thou shalt be reckoned With the righteous and lowly. Receive thou as good things the trials(12) which come upon thee.(13)…Thou shalt preserve what thou hast received [in charge], neither adding to it nor taking from it. To the last thou shalt hate the wicked(26) [one].(27) Thou shalt judge righteously. Thou shalt not make a schism, but thou shalt pacify those that contend by bringing them together. Thou shalt confess thy sins. Thou shalt not go to prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of light.(1)

 

 

Clement –

THE FIRST EPISTLE OF CLEMENT TO THE CORINTHIANS

 

CHAP. XLVI. Such examples, therefore, brethren, it is right that we should follow;(13) since it is written, "Cleave to the holy, for those that cleave to them shall [themselves] be made holy."(14) And again, in another place, [the Scripture] saith, "With a harmless man thou shalt prove(15) thyself harmless, and with an elect man thou shalt be elect, and with a perverse man thou shalt show(16) thyself perverse."(17)

 

 

Ignatius –

THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE EPHESIANS

 

CHAP. VII.  For some are in the habit of carrying about the name[of Jesus Christ] in wicked guile, while yet they practise things unworthy of God, whom ye must flee as ye would wild beasts. For they are ravening dogs, who bite secretly, against whom ye must be on your guard, inasmuch as they are men who can scarcely be cured. There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first possible and then impossible,[7] even Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Ignatius –

THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE TRALLIANS

 

CHAP. XI. Flee, therefore, those evil offshoots [of Satan], which produce death-bearing fruit, whereof if any one tastes, he instantly dies. For these men are not the planting of the Father. For if they were, they would appear as branches of the cross, and their fruit would be incorruptible. By it(9) He calls you through His passion, as being His members. The head, therefore, cannot be born by itself, without its members; God, who is [the Saviour] Himself, having promised their union.(10)

 

 

Ignatius –

THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE PHILADELPHIANS

 

CHAP. II. Wherefore, as children of light and truth, flee from division and wicked doctrines; but where the shepherd is, there do ye as sheep follow. For there are many wolves that appear worthy of credit, who, by means of a pernicious pleasure, carry captives those that are running towards God; but in your unity they shall have no place. CHAP. III. Keep yourselves from those evil plants which Jesus Christ does not tend, because they are not the planting of the Father. Not that I have found any division among you, but exceeding purity. For as many as are of God and of Jesus Christ are also with the bishop. And as many as shall, in the exercise of repentance, return into the unity of the Church, these, too, shall belong to God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ. Do not err, my brethren. If any man follows him that makes a schism in the Church, he shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If any one walks according to a strange(5) opinion, he agrees not with the passion [of Christ.].

 

 

Ignatius –

THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE SMYRNAEANS 

 

CHAP. IV. I give you these instructions, beloved, assured that ye also hold the same opinions[as I do]. But I guard you beforehand from those beasts in the shape of men, whom you must not only not receive, but, if it be possible, not even meet with; only you must pray to God for them, if by any means they may be brought to repentance, which, however, will be very difficult. Yet Jesus Christ, who is our true life, has the power of [effecting] this.

 

CHAP. VII. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer,(7) because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death(11) in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect,(13) that they also might rise again. It is fitting, therefore, that ye should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of(15) them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion[of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved.(16) But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils.

 

 

Justin Martyr –

THE FIRST APOLOGY OF JUSTIN

 

CHAP. III. But lest any one think that this is an unreasonable and reckless utterance, we demand that the charges against the Christians be investigated, and that, if these be substantiated, they be punished as they deserve; [or rather, indeed, we ourselves will punish them.]

 

CHAP. LXVI. And this food is called among us Eukaristia(5) [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined.

 

NOTE: In the quote below, Justin describes excommunicating those Christians who attempt to convince others that in order to be saved they have to keep the Law of Moses, including such things as the Sabbath. What is interesting is that Justin states he will not associate with such persons, he asserts that such persons “may probably be saved” as long as they maintain their belief in Christ.

 

CHAP. XLIII. "As, then, circumcision began with Abraham, and the Sabbath and sacrifices and offerings and feasts with Moses, and it has been proved they were enjoined on account of the hardness of your people's heart, so it was necessary, in accordance with the Father's will, that they should have an end in Him who was born of a virgin, of the family of Abraham and tribe of Judah,  and of David; in Christ the Son of God, who was proclaimed as about to come to all the world, to be the everlasting law and the everlasting covenant, even as the forementioned prophecies show. … XLVII. And Trypho again inquired, "But if some one, knowing that this is so, after he recognises that this man is Christ, and has believed in and obeys Him, wishes, however, to observe these [institutions], will he be saved?" I said, "In my opinion, Trypho, such an one will be saved, if he does not strive in every way to persuade other men,--I mean those Gentiles who have been circumcised from error by Christ, to observe the same things as himself, telling them that they will not be saved unless they do so. …But if some, through weak-mindedness, wish to observe such institutions as were given by Moses, from which they expect some virtue, but which we believe were appointed by reason of the hardness of the people's hearts, along with their hope in this Christ, and [wish to perform] the eternal and natural acts of righteousness and piety, yet choose to live with the Christians and the faithful, as I said before, not inducing them either to be circumcised like themselves, or to keep the Sabbath, or to observe any other such ceremonies, then I hold that we ought to join ourselves to such, and associate with them in all things as kinsmen and brethren. But if, Trypho," I continued, "some of your race, who say they believe in this Christ, compel those Gentiles who believe in this Christ to live in all respects according to the law given by Moses, or choose not to associate so intimately with them, I in like manner do not approve of them. But I believe that even those, who have been persuaded by them to observe the legal dispensation along with their confession of God in Christ, shall probably be saved.

 

 

Irenaeus –

AGAINST HERESIES, BOOK I

 

CHAP. XIII. 3. It appears probable enough that this man possesses a demon as his familiar spirit, by means of whom he seems able to prophesy,(6) and also enables as many as he counts worthy to be partakers of his Charis themselves to prophesy… 4. But already some of the most faithful women, possessed of the fear of God, and not being deceived (whom, nevertheless, he did his best to seduce like the rest by bidding them prophesy), abhorring and execrating him, have withdrawn from such a vile company of revellers.

 

CHAP. XVI. 3. But as many as separate from the Church, and give heed to such old wives' fables as these, are truly self-condemned; and these men Paul commands us, "after a first and second admonition, to avoid."(8) And John, the disciple of the Lord, has intensified their condemnation, when he desires us not even to address to them the salutation of "good-speed;" for, says he, "He that bids them be of good-speed is a partaker with their evil deeds;"(1) and that with reason, "for there is no good-speed to the ungodly,"(2) saith the Lord. Impious indeed, beyond all impiety, are these men, who assert that the Maker of heaven and earth, the only God Almighty, besides whom there is no God, was produced by means of a defect, which itself sprang from another defect, so that, according to them, He was the product of the third defect.(3) Such an opinion we should detest and execrate, while we ought everywhere to flee far apart from those that hold it...

 

CHAP. XXV. 3. These men, even as the Gentiles, have been sent forth by Satan(5) to bring dishonour upon the Church, so that, in one way or another, men hearing the things which they speak, and imagining that we all are such as they, may turn away their ears from the preaching of the truth; or, again, seeing the things they practise, may speak evil of us all, who have in fact no fellowship with them, either in doctrine or in morals, or in our daily conduct.

 

 

Irenaeus –

AGAINST HERESIES, BOOK II

 

CHAP. XXXI. 2. Moreover, those also will be thus confuted who belong to Simon and Carpocrates, and if there be any others who are said to perform miracles--who do not perform what they do either through the power of God, or in connection with the truth, nor for the well-being of men, but for the sake of destroying and misleading mankind, by means of magical deceptions, and with universal deceit, thus entailing greater harm than good on those who believe them, with respect to the point on which they lead them astray. For they can neither confer sight on the blind, nor hearing on the deaf, nor chase away all sorts of demons--[none, indeed,] except those that are sent into others by themselves, if they can even do so much as this. Nor can they cure the weak, or the lame, or the paralytic, or those who are distressed in any other part of the body, as has often been done in regard to bodily infinity. Nor can they furnish effective remedies for those external accidents which may occur. And so far are they from being able to raise the dead, as the Lord raised them, and the apostles did by means of prayer, and as has been frequently done in the brotherhood on account of some necessity... 3. But they are altogether full of deceit of every kind, apostate inspiration, demoniacal working, and the phantasms of idolatry, and are in reality the predecessors of that dragon(5) who, by means of a deception of the same kind, will with his tail cause a third part of the stars to fall from their place, and will cast them down to the earth. It behoves us to flee from them as we would from him; and the greater the display with which they are said to perform [their marvels], the more carefully should we watch them, as having been endowed with a greater spirit of wickedness.

 

 

Irenaeus –

AGAINST HERESIES, BOOK III

 

CHAP. III. 4. There are also those who heard from him that John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, exclaiming, "Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within." And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, "Dost thou know me?" "I do know thee, the first-born of Satan." Such was the horror which the apostles and their disciples had against holding even verbal communication with any corrupters of the truth; as Paul also says, "A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself."(3)

 

CHAP. IV. 1. Since therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth: so that every man, whosoever will, can draw from her the water of life.(1) For she is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account are we bound to avoid them, but to make choice of the thing pertaining to the Church with the utmost diligence, and to lay hold of the tradition of the truth. have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth… 2. Those who, in the absence of written documents,(4) have believed this faith, are barbarians, so far as regards our language; but as regards doctrine, manner, and tenor of life, they are, because of faith, very wise indeed; and they do please God, ordering their conversation in all righteousness, chastity, and wisdom. If any one were to preach to these men the inventions of the heretics, speaking to them in their own language, they would at once stop their ears, and flee as far off as possible, not enduring even to listen to the blasphemous address… 3. For Valentinus came to Rome in the time of Hyginus, flourished under Pius, and remained until Anicetus. Cerdon, too, Marcion's predecessor, himself arrived in the time of Hyginus, who was the ninth bishop.(5) Coming frequently into the Church, and making public confession, he thus remained, one time teaching in secret, and then again making public confession; but at last, having been denounced for corrupt teaching, he was excommunicated(6) from the assembly of the brethren.

 

CHAP. XV. 2. By these words they entrap the more simple, and entice them, imitating our phraseology, that these [dupes] may listen to them the oftener; and then these are asked(9) regarding us, how it is, that when they hold doctrines similar to ours, we, without cause, keep ourselves aloof from their company; and [how it is, that] when they say the same things, and hold the same doctrine, we call them heretics? When they have thus, by means of questions, overthrown the faith of any...

 

 

Irenaeus –

AGAINST HERESIES, BOOK IV

 

CHAP. XXVI. 2. Wherefore it is incumbent to obey the presbyters who are in the Church,--those who, as I have shown, possess the succession from the apostles; those who, together with the succession of the episcopate, have received the certain gift of truth, according to the good pleasure of the Father. But [it is also incumbent] to hold in suspicion others who depart from the primitive succession, and assemble themselves together in any place whatsoever, [looking upon them] either as heretics of perverse minds, or as schismaries puffed up and self-pleasing, or again as hypocrites, acting thus for the sake of lucre and vainglory. For all these have fallen from the truth...3. Those, however, who are believed to be presbyters by many, but serve their own lusts, and, do not place the fear of God supreme in their hearts, but conduct themselves with contempt towards others, and are puffed up with the pride of holding the chief seat, and work evil deeds in secret, saying, "No man sees us," shall be convicted by the Word, who does not judge after outward appearance (secundum gloriam), nor looks upon the countenance, but the heart...4. From all such persons, therefore, it behoves us to keep aloof, but to adhere to those who, as I have already observed, do hold the doctrine of the apostles, and who, together with the order of priesthood (presbyterii ordine), display sound speech and blameless conduct for the confirmation and correction of others.(12) In this way, Moses, to whom such a leadership was entrusted, relying on a good conscience, cleared himself before God, saying, "I have not in covetousness taken anything belonging to one of these men, nor have I done evil to one of them."(13) In this way, too, Samuel, who judged the people so many years, and bore rule over Israel without any pride, in the end cleared himself, saying, "I have walked before you from my childhood even unto this day: answer me in the sight of God, and before His anointed (Christi ejus); whose ox or whose ass of yours have I taken, or over whom have I tyrannized, or whom have I oppressed? or if I have received from the hand of any a bribe or [so much as] a shoe, speak out against me, and I will restore it to you."(1) And when the people had said to him, "Thou hast not tyrannized, neither hast thou oppressed us neither hast thou taken ought of any man's hand," he called the Lord to witness, saying, "The Lord is witness, and His Anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they said to him, He is witness." In this strain also the Apostle Paul, inasmuch as he had a good conscience, said to the Corinthians: "For we are not as many, who corrupt the Word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ;"(2) "We have injured no man, corrupted no man, circumvented no man."(3) 5. Such presbyters does the Church nourish, of whom also the prophet says: "I will give thy rulers in peace, and thy bishops in righteousness."(4) Of whom also did the Lord declare, "Who then shall be a faithful steward (actor), good and wise, whom the Lord sets over His household, to give them their meat in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his Lord, when He cometh, shall find so doing."(5) Paul then, teaching us where one may find such, says, "God hath placed in the Church, first, apostles; secondly, prophets; thirdly, teachers."(6) Where, therefore, the gifts of the Lord have been placed, there it behoves us to learn the truth, [namely,] from those who possess that succession of the Church which is from the apostles and among whom exists that which is sound and blameless in conduct, as well as that which is unadulterated and incorrupt in speech.

 

CHAP. XXVII. 4. As then the unrighteous, the idolaters, and fornicators perished, so also is it now: for both the Lord declares, that such persons are sent into eternal fire;(4) and the apostle says, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, not effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."(5) And as it was not to those who are without that he said these things, but to us, lest we should be cast forth from the kingdom of God, by doing any such thing, he proceeds to say, "And such indeed were ye; but  ye are washed, but ye are sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God." And just as then, those who led vicious lives, and put other people astray, were condemned and cast out, so also even now the offending eye is plucked out, and the foot and the hand, lest the rest of the body perish in like manner.(6) And we have the precept: "If any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, with such an one no not to eat."(7) And again does the apostle say, "Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the sons of mistrust. Be not ye therefore partakers with them."(8) And as then the condemnation of sinners extended to others who approved of them, and joined in their society; so also is it the case at present, that "a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump."(9)

 

CHAP. XXXIII. I. A spiritual disciple of this sort truly receiving the Spirit of God, who was from the beginning, in all the dispensations of God, present with mankind, and announced things future, revealed things present, and narrated things past--[such a man] does indeed "judge all men, but is himself judged by no man."(11)…7. He shall also judge those who give rise to schisms, who are destitute of the love of God, and who look to their own special advantage rather than to the unity of the Church; and who for trifling reasons, or any kind of reason which occurs to them, cut in pieces and divide the great and glorious body of Christ, and so far as in them lies, [positively] destroy it,--men who prate of peace while they give rise to war, and do in truth strain out a gnat, but swallow a camel.(2) For no reformation of so great importance can be effected by them, as will compensate for the mischief arising from their schism. He shall also judge all those who are beyond the pale of the truth, that is, who are outside the Church; but he himself shall be judged by no one. For to him all things are consistent: he has a full faith in one God Almighty, of whom are all things; and in the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord, by whom are all things, and in the dispensations connected with Him, by means of which the Son of God became man; and a firm belief in the Spirit of God, who furnishes us with a knowledge of the truth, and has set forth the dispensations of the Father and the Son, in virtue of which He dwells with every generation of men,(3) according to the will of the Father. 8. True knowledge(4) is [that which consists in] the doctrine of the apostles, and the ancient constitution(5) of the Church throughout all the world, and the distinctive manifestation of the body(6) of Christ according to the successions of the bishops, by which they have handed down that Church which exists in every place, and has come even unto us, being guarded and preserved(7) without any forging of Scriptures, by a very complete system(8) of doctrine, and neither receiving addition nor [suffering] curtailment [in the truths which she believes]; and [it consists in] reading [the word of God] without falsification, and a lawful and diligent exposition in harmony with the Scriptures, both without danger and without blasphemy; and [above all, it consists in] the pre-eminent gift of love,(9) which is more precious than knowledge, more glorious than prophecy, and which excels all the other gifts [of God]. …15. Those, on the other hand, who depart from Him, and despise His precepts, and by their deeds bring dishonour on Him who made them, and by their opinions blaspheme Him who nourishes them, heap up against themselves most righteous judgment.(3) He therefore (i.e., the spiritual man) sifts and tries them all, but he himself is tried by no man:(4) he neither blasphemes his Father, nor sets aside His dispensations, nor inveighs against the fathers, nor dishonours the prophets...

 

 

 

10) View of Divorce and Remarriage Forbidden

Divorce was not permitted in the church and everyone who was in a second marriage while their original spouse was still alive was seen to be an unrepentant sinner on the level as any standard, unrepentant adulterer or adulteress.

 

Clement –

THE FIRST EPISTLE OF CLEMENT TO THE CORINTHIANS

 

CHAP. VI. Envy has alienated wives from their husbands, and changed that saying of our father Adam, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh."

 

Justin Martyr –

THE FIRST APOLOGY OF JUSTIN

 

CHAP. XV. Concerning chastity, He uttered such sentiments as these:(3) "Whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart before God." And, "If thy right eye offend thee, cut it out; for it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of heaven with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into everlasting fire." And, "Whosoever shall many her that is divorced from another husband, committeth adultery."(4) And, "There are some who have been made eunuchs of men, and some who were born eunuchs, and some who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake; but all cannot receive this saying."(5) So that all who, by human law, are twice married,(6) are in the eye of our Master sinners, and those who look upon a woman to lust after her. For not only he who in act commits adultery is rejected by Him, but also he who desires to commit adultery: since not only our works, but also our thoughts, are open before God. And many, both men and women, who have been Christ's disciples from childhood, remain pure at the age of sixty or seventy years; and I boast that I could produce such from every race of men. For what shall I say, too, of the countless multitude of those who have reformed intemperate habits, and learned these things? For Christ called not the just nor the chaste to repentance, but the ungodly, and the licentious, and the unjust; His words being, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."(7) For the heavenly Father desires rather the repentance than the punishment of the sinner.

 

NOTE: It is important to note that in the quote below, the unbelieving husband had already left his wife, committing adultery elsewhere, when she gave him a bill of divorce to formalize that situation, which arose by his decision to leave. This episode described below fits perfectly into Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians 7:1-5, 10-15. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul states that if the unbelieving spouse leaves the marriage, the Christian spouse is not bound to that marriage or to render due benevolence. Consequently, this passage does not constitute an occasion where a Christian initiates separation from an unbelieving spouse who is content to remain faithful and living with them. And also the woman does not marry anew after her separation from her first husband. As such, this passage also does not constitute an instance where a Christian marries someone new after separation from their spouse who has left.

 

Justin Martyr –

THE SECOND APOLOGY OF JUSTIN

 

CHAP. II. A certain woman lived with an intemperate(4) husband; she herself, too, having formerly been intemperate. But when she came to the knowledge of the teachings of Christ she became sober-minded, and endeavoured to persuade her husband likewise to be temperate, citing the teaching of Christ, and assuring him that there shall be punishment in eternal fire inflicted upon those who do not live temperately and conformably to right reason. But he, continuing in the same excesses, alienated his wife from him by his actions. For she, considering it wicked to live any longer as a wife with a husband who sought in every way means of indulging in pleasure contrary to the law of nature, and in violation of what is right, wished to be divorced from him. And when she was overpersuaded by her friends, who advised her still to continue with him, in the idea that some time or other her husband might give hope of amendment, she did violence to her own feeling and remained with him. But when her husband had gone into Alexandria, and was reported to be conducting himself worse than ever, she--that she might not, by continuing in matrimonial connection with him, and by sharing his table and his bed, become a partaker also in his wickednesses and impieties--gave him what you call a bill of divorce,(5) and was separated from him. But this noble husband of hers,--while he ought to have been rejoicing that those actions which formerly she unhesitatingly committed with the servants and hirelings, when she delighted in drunkenness and every vice, she had now given up, and desired that he too should give up the same,--when she had gone from him without his desire, brought an accusation against her, affirming that she was a Christian.

 

 

Dialogue of Justin –

PHILOSOPHER AND MARTYR, WITH TRYPHO, A JEW

 

CHAP. XV. "Learn, therefore, to keep the true fast of God, as Isaiah says, that you may please God. Isaiah has cried thus: …This is not the fast which I have chosen, saith the Lord; but loose every unrighteous bond, dissolve the terms of wrongous covenants, let the oppressed go free, and avoid every iniquitous contract.

 

NOTE: In the quote below, even “consenting with” or “partaking with adulterers” is considered a sin.

 

CHAP. XXII. And that you may learn that it was for the sins of your own nation, and for their idolatries and not because there was any necessity for such sacrifices, that they were likewise enjoined, listen to the manner in which He speaks of these by Amos… And again by Jeremiah: …But thou hast hated instruction, and cast My words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, thou consentedst with him; and hast been partaker with the adulterer.

 

CHAP. CXXXIV. "If, then, the teaching of the prophets and of Himself moves you, it is better for you to follow God than your imprudent and blind masters, who even till this time permit each man to have four or five wives; and if any one see a beautiful woman and desire to have her, they quote the doings of Jacob [called] Israel, and of the other patriarchs, and maintain that it is not wrong to do such things; for they are miserably ignorant in this matter.

 

 

Irenaeus –

AGAINST HERESIES, BOOK I

 

CHAP. XXVI. 3. They lead lives of unrestrained indulgence. The character of these men is very plainly pointed out in the Apocalypse of John, [when they are represented] as teaching that it is a matter of indifference to practise adultery, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

 

 

Irenaeus –

AGAINST HERESIES, BOOK II

 

CHAP. XXXII. 1. Moreover, this impious opinion of theirs with respect to actions--namely, that it is incumbent on them to have experience of all kinds of deeds, even the most abominable--is refuted by the teaching of the Lord, with whom not only is the adulterer rejected, but also the man who desires to commit adultery;(1) and not only is the actual murderer held guilty of having killed another to his own damnation, but the man also who is angry with his brother without a cause.

 

 

11) View of Sabbath Keeping and Holy Days

The Law of Christ did not require keeping a weekly holy day, particularly the Jewish Sabbath (which is the modern Saturday). However, early Christians met frequently throughout the week, including most prominently on Sundays.

 

Mathetes –

THE EPISTLE OF MATHETES TO DIOGNETUS

 

CHAP. IV. But as to their scrupulosity concerning meats, and their superstition as respects the Sabbaths, and their boasting about circumcision, and their fancies about fasting and the new moons, which are utterly ridiculous and unworthy of notice,--I do not[3] think that you require to learn anything from me. For, to accept some of those things which have been formed by God for the use of men as properly formed, and to reject others as useless and redundant,--how can this be lawful?

 

 

Barnabas –

THE EPISTLE OF BARNABAS(1)

 

CHAP. XV. Further,(16) also, it is written concerning the Sabbath in the Decalogue which [the Lord] spoke, face to face, to Moses on Mount Sinai, "And sanctify ye the Sabbath of the Lord with clean hands and a pure heart."(17) And He says in another place, "If my sons keep the Sabbath, then will I cause my mercy to rest upon them."(18) The Sabbath is mentioned at the beginning of the creation [thus]: "And God made in six days the works of His hands, and made an end on the seventh day, and rested on it, and sanctified it."(19) Attend, my children, to the meaning of this expression, "He finished in six days." This implieth that the Lord will finish all things in six thousand years, for a day is(20) with Him a thousand years. And He Himself testifieth,(21) saying, "Behold, to-day(22) will be as a thousand years."(23) Therefore, my children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, all things will be finished. "And He rested on the seventh day." This meaneth: when His Son, coming [again], shall destroy the time of the wicked man,(24) and judge the ungodly, and change the-sun, and the moon,(25) and the stars, then shall He truly rest on the seventh day. Moreover, He says, "Thou shalt sanctify it with pure hands and a pure heart." If, therefore, any one can now sanctify the day which God hath sanctified, except he is pure in heart in all things,(1) we are deceived.(2) Behold, therefore:(3) certainly then one properly resting sanctifies it, when we ourselves, having received the promise, wickedness no longer existing, and all things having been made new by the Lord, shall be able to work righteousness.(4) Then we shall be able to sanctify it, having been first sanctified ourselves.(5) Further, He says to them, "Your new moons and your Sabbath I cannot endure."(6) Ye perceive how He speaks: Your present Sabbaths are not acceptable to Me, but that is which I have made, [namely this,] when, giving rest to all things, I shall make a beginning of the eighth day, that is, a beginning of another world. Wherefore, also, we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead.(7) And(8) when He had manifested Himself, He ascended into the heavens.

 

 

Clement –

THE FIRST EPISTLE OF CLEMENT TO THE CORINTHIANS

 

CHAP. XL. These things therefore being manifest to us, and since we look into the depths of the divine knowledge, it behoves us to do all things in [their proper] order, which the Lord has commanded us to perform at stated times.(1) He has enjoined offerings [to be presented] and service to be performed [to Him], and that not thoughtlessly or irregularly, but at the appointed times and hours. Where and by whom He desires these things to be done, He Himself has fixed by His own supreme will, in order that all things being piously done according to His good pleasure, may be acceptable unto Him.(2) Those, therefore, who present their offerings at the appointed times, are accepted and blessed; for inasmuch as they follow the laws of the Lord, they sin not. For his own peculiar services are assigned to the high priest, and their own proper place is prescribed to the priests, and their own special ministrations devolve on the Levites. The layman is bound by the laws that pertain to laymen. CHAP. XLI. Let every one of you, brethren, give thanks to God in his own order, living in all good conscience, with becoming gravity, and not going beyond the rule of the ministry prescribed to him. Not in every place, brethren, are the daily sacrifices offered, or the peace-offerings, or the sin-offerings and the trespass-offerings, but in Jerusalem only. And even there they are not offered in any place, but only at the altar before the temple, that which is offered being first carefully examined by the high priest and the ministers already mentioned. Those, therefore, who do anything beyond that which is agreeable to His will, are punished with death. Ye see,(3) brethren, that the greater the knowledge that has been vouchsafed to us, the greater also is the danger to which we are exposed.

 

 

Ignatius –

THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE MAGNESIANS

 

CHAP. IX.  If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things[7] have come to the possession of a new[8] hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance[10] of the Lord's Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him and by His death--whom some deny, by which mystery we have obtained faith,[12] and therefore endure, that we may be found the disciples of Jesus Christ, our only Master--how shall we be able to live apart from Him, whose disciples the prophets themselves in the Spirit did wait for Him as their Teacher? And therefore He whom they rightly waited for, being come, raised them from the dead.[16]

 

 

Justin Martyr –

THE FIRST APOLOGY OF JUSTIN

 

CHAP. LXVII. And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday,(1) all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability,(2) and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given,(3) and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need.

 

 

Dialogue of Justin –

PHILOSOPHER AND MARTYR, WITH TRYPHO, A JEW

 

CHAP. X. And when they ceased, I again addressed them thus: "Is there any other matter, my friends, in which we are blamed, than this, that we live not after the law, and are not circumcised in the flesh as your forefathers were, and do not observe sabbaths as you do? …"This is what we are amazed at," said Trypho, that you, professing to be pious, and supposing yourselves better than others, are not in any particular separated from them, and do not alter your mode of living from the nations, in that you observe no festivals or sabbaths, and do not have the rite of circumcision; and further, resting your hopes on a man that was crucified, you yet expect to obtain some good thing from God, while you do not obey His commandments. Have you not read, that soul shall be cut off from his people who shall not have been circumcised on the eighth day? And this has been ordained for strangers and for slaves equally. But you, despising this covenant rashly, reject the consequent duties, and attempt to persuade  yourselves that you know God, when, however, you perform none of those things which they do who fear God. If, therefore, you can defend yourself on these points, and make it manifest in what way you hope for anything whatsoever, even though you do not observe the law, this we would very gladly hear from you, and we shall make other similar investigations."

 

CHAP. XII. I also adduced another passage in which   Isaiah exclaims: "'Hear My words, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given Him for a witness to the people: nations which know not Thee shall call on Thee; peoples who know not Thee shall escape to Thee, because of thy God, the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified Thee.'(3) This same law you have despised, and His new holy covenant you have slighted; and now you neither receive it, nor repent of your evil deeds. 'For your ears are closed, your eyes are blinded, and the heart is hardened,' Jeremiah(4) has cried; yet not even then do you listen. The Lawgiver is present, yet you do not see Him; to the poor the Gospel is preached, the blind see, yet you do not understand. You have now need of a second circumcision, though you glory greatly in the flesh. The new law requires you to keep perpetual sabbath, and you, because you are idle for one day, suppose you are pious, not discerning why this has been commanded you: and if you eat unleavened bread, you say the will of God has been fulfilled. The Lord our God does not take pleasure in such observances: if there is any perjured person or a thief among you, let him cease to be so; if any adulterer, let him repent; then he has kept the sweet and true sabbaths of God. If any one has impure hands, let him wash and be pure.

 

CHAP. XVIII. "For since you have read, O Trypho, as you yourself admitted, the doctrines taught by our Saviour, I do not think that I have done foolishly in adding some short utterances of His to the prophetic statements. Wash therefore, and be now clean, and put away iniquity from your souls, as God bids you be washed in this laver, and be circumcised with the true circumcision. For we too would observe the fleshly circumcision, and the Sabbaths, and in short all the feasts, if we did not know for what reason they were enjoined you,--namely, on account of your transgressions and the hardness of your hearts. For if we patiently endure all things contrived against us by wicked men and demons, so that even amid cruelties unutterable, death and torments, we pray for mercy to those who inflict such things upon us, and do not wish to give the least retort to any one, even as the new Lawgiver commanded us: how is it, Trypho, that we would not observe those rites which do not harm us,--I speak of fleshly circumcision, and Sabbaths, and feasts?

 

CHAP. XIX. For if it were necessary, as you suppose, God would not have made Adam uncircumcised would not have had respect to the gifts of Abel when, being uncircumcised, he offered sacrifice and would not have been pleased with the uncircumcision of Enoch, who was not found, because God had translated him. Lot, being uncircumcised, was saved from Sodom, the angels themselves and the Lord sending him out. Noah was the beginning of our race; yet, uncircumcised, along with his children he went into the ark. Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High, was uncircumcised; to whom also Abraham the first who received circumcision after the flesh, gave tithes, and he blessed him: after whose order God declared, by the mouth of David, that He would establish the everlasting priest. Therefore to you alone this circumcision was necessary, in order that the people may be no people, and the nation no nation; as also Hosea,(1) one of the twelve prophets, declares. Moreover, all those righteous men already mentioned, though they kept no Sabbaths,(2) were pleasing to God; and after them Abraham with all his descendants until Moses, under whom your nation appeared unrighteous and ungrateful to God, making a calf in the wilderness: wherefore God, accommodating Himself to that nation, enjoined them also to offer sacrifices, as if to His name, in order that you might not serve idols. Which precept, however, you have not observed; nay, you sacrificed your children to demons. And you were commanded to keep Sabbaths, that you might retain the memorial of God.

 

CHAP. XXXIII. "But if we do not admit this, we shall be liable to fall into foolish opinions, as if it were not the same God who existed in the times of Enoch and all the rest, who neither were circumcised after the flesh, nor observed Sabbaths, nor any other rites, seeing that Moses enjoined such observances… Remain as you were born. For if there was no need of circumcision before Abraham, or of the observance of Sabbaths, of feasts and sacrifices, before Moses; no more need is there of them now, after that, according to the will of God, Jesus Christ the Son of God has been born without sin, of a virgin sprung from the stock of Abraham. For when Abraham himself was in un-circumcision, he was justified and blessed by reason of the faith which he reposed in God, as the Scripture tells. Moreover, the Scriptures and the facts themselves compel us to admit that He received circumcision for a sign, and not for righteousness. So that it was justly recorded concerning the people, that the soul which shall not be circumcised on the eighth day shall be cut off from his family. And, furthermore, the inability of the female sex to receive fleshly circumcision, proves that this circumcision has been given for a sign, and not for a work of righteousness.

 

CHAP. XXIV. "Now, sirs," I said, "it is possible for us to show how the eighth day possessed a certain mysterious import, which the seventh day did not possess, and which was promulgated by God through these rites.

 

CHAP. XXVI. And Trypho remarked, "What is this you say? that none of us shall inherit anything on the holy mountain of God?" CHAP. XXVI. And I replied, "I do not say so; but those who have persecuted and do persecute Christ, if they do not repent, shall not inherit anything on the holy mountain. But the Gentiles, who have believed on Him, and have repented of the sins which they have committed, they shall receive the inheritance along with the patriarchs and the prophets, and the just men who are descended from Jacob, even although they neither keep the Sabbath, nor are circumcised, nor observe the feasts. Assuredly they shall receive the holy inheritance of God. For God speaks by Isaiah thus: 'I, the Lord God, have called Thee in righteousness, and will hold Thine hand, and will strengthen Thee; and I have given Thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out them that are bound from the chains, and those who sit in darkness from the prison-house.'(4) And again: 'Lift up a standard s for the people; for, lo, the Lord has made it heard unto the end of the earth. Say ye to the daughters of Zion, Behold, thy Saviour has come; having His reward, and His work before His face: and He shall call it a holy nation, redeemed by the Lord. And thou shalt be called a city sought out, and not forsaken.

 

CHAP. XXVII. For, tell me, did God wish the priests to sin when they offer the sacrifices on the Sabbaths? or those to sin, who are circumcised and do circumcise on the Sabbaths; since He commands that on the eighth day--even though it happen to be a Sabbath--those who are born shall be always circumcised? or could not the infants be operated upon one day previous or one day subsequent to the Sabbath, if He knew that it is a sinful act upon the Sabbaths? Or why did He not teach those--who are called righteous and pleasing to Him, who lived before Moses and Abraham, who were not circumcised in their foreskin, and observed no Sabbaths--to keep these institutions?"

 

CHAP. XXIX. Be not offended at, or reproach us with, the bodily uncircumcision with which God has created us; and think it not strange that we drink hot water on the Sabbaths, since God directs the government of the universe on this day equally as on all others; and the priests, as on other days, so on this, are ordered to offer sacrifices; and there are so many righteous men who have performed none of these legal ceremonies, and yet are witnessed to by God Himself.

 

CHAP. XLIII. "As, then, circumcision began with Abraham, and the Sabbath and sacrifices and offerings and feasts with Moses, and it has been proved they were enjoined on account of the hardness of your people's heart, so it was necessary, in accordance with the Father's will, that they should have an end in Him who was born of a virgin, of the family of Abraham and tribe of Judah,  and of David; in Christ the Son of God, who was proclaimed as about to come to all the world, to be the everlasting law and the everlasting covenant, even as the forementioned prophecies show. … XLVII. And Trypho again inquired, "But if some one, knowing that this is so, after he recognises that this man is Christ, and has believed in and obeys Him, wishes, however, to observe these [institutions], will he be saved?" I said, "In my opinion, Trypho, such an one will be saved, if he does not strive in every way to persuade other men,--I mean those Gentiles who have been circumcised from error by Christ, to observe the same things as himself, telling them that they will not be saved unless they do so. …But if some, through weak-mindedness, wish to observe such institutions as were given by Moses, from which they expect some virtue, but which we believe were appointed by reason of the hardness of the people's hearts, along with their hope in this Christ, and [wish to perform] the eternal and natural acts of righteousness and piety, yet choose to live with the Christians and the faithful, as I said before, not inducing them either to be circumcised like themselves, or to keep the Sabbath, or to observe any other such ceremonies, then I hold that we ought to join ourselves to such, and associate with them in all things as kinsmen and brethren. But if, Trypho," I continued, "some of your race, who say they believe in this Christ, compel those Gentiles who believe in this Christ to live in all respects according to the law given by Moses, or choose not to associate so intimately with them, I in like manner do not approve of them. But I believe that even those, who have been persuaded by them to observe the legal dispensation along with their confession of God in Christ, shall probably be saved. And I hold, further, that such as have confessed and known this man to be Christ, yet who have gone back from some cause to the legal dispensation, and have denied that this man is Christ, and have repented not before death, shall by no means be saved. Further, I hold that those of the seed of Abraham who live according to the law, and do not believe in this Christ before death, shall likewise not be saved, and especially those who have anathematized and do anathematize this very Christ in the synagogues, and everything by which they might obtain salvation and escape the vengeance of fire.

 

 

NOTE: The quotes below are included because often in the debate about which holidays a Christian may adopt, an analogous comparison is made to eating meat sacrificed to idols. Specifically, it is argued that Christians had liberty to eat such meat and the same should be true of any holiday a Christian wants to adopt. However, the quote below attests that Christians could not eat meat sacrificed to idols, thereby breaking down the analogy and the related, erroneous conclusion. 

                     

CHAP. XXXV. And Trypho said, "I believe, however, that many of those who say that they confess Jesus, and are called Christians, eat meats offered to idols, and declare that they are by no means injured in consequence." And I replied, "The fact that there are such men confessing themselves to be Christians, and admitting the crucified Jesus to be both Lord and Christ, yet not teaching His doctrines, but those of the spirits of error, causes us who are disciples of the true and pure doctrine of Jesus Christ, to be more faithful and stedfast in the hope announced by Him.

 

Irenaeus –

AGAINST HERESIES, BOOK I

 

CHAP. XXVI. 3. They lead lives of unrestrained indulgence. The character of these men is very plainly pointed out in the Apocalypse of John, [when they are represented] as teaching that it is a matter of indifference to practise adultery, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

 

CHAP. XXVIII. 2. Others, again, following upon Basilides and Carpocrates, have introduced promiscuous intercourse and a plurality of wives, and are indifferent about eating meats sacrificed to idols, maintaining that God does not greatly regard such matters. But why continue? For it is an impracticable attempt to mention all those who, in one way or another, have fallen away from the truth.

 

 

 

12) View of Tithing and Communal Living and Christian Giving

The New Covenant abolished the tithe of the Mosaic Law and replaced it with a command for believers to live communally, sharing all they had with one another as needed. The tithe in neither required nor instructed for Christians under the New Covenant.

 

Barnabas –

THE EPISTLE OF BARNABAS(1)

 

CHAP. XIX. Thou shalt communicate in all things with thy neighbour; thou shalt not call(20) things thine own; for if ye are partakers in common of things which are incorruptible,(21) how much more [should you be] of those things which are corruptible!(22) Thou shalt not be hasty with thy tongue, for the mouth is a snare of death. As far as possible, thou shalt be pure in thy soul. Do not be ready to stretch forth thy hands to take, whilst thou contractest them to give. Thou shalt love, as the apple of thine eye, every one that speaketh to thee the word of the Lord. Thou shalt remember the day of judgment, night and day. Thou shalt seek out every day the faces of the saints,(23) either by word examining them, and going to exhort them, and meditating how to save a soul by the word,(24) or by thy hands thou shalt labour for the redemption of thy sins. Thou shalt not hesitate to give, nor murmur when thou givest. "Give to every one that asketh thee,"(25) and thou shalt know who is the good Recompenser of the reward. Thou shalt preserve what thou hast received [in charge], neither adding to it nor taking from it. To the last thou shalt hate the wicked(26) [one].(27) Thou shalt judge righteously. Thou shalt not make a schism, but thou shalt pacify those that contend by bringing them together. Thou shalt confess thy sins. Thou shalt not go to prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of light.(1)

 

 

Clement –

THE FIRST EPISTLE OF CLEMENT TO THE CORINTHIANS

 

CHAP. XXXVIII. Let the rich man provide for the wants of the poor; and let the poor man bless God, because He hath given him one by whom his need may be supplied.

 

 

Ignatius –

THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE SMYRNAEANS

 

CHAP. VI. Let no man deceive himself. Both the things which are in heaven, and the glorious angels,(7) and rulers, both visible and invisible, if they believe not in the blood of Christ, shall, in consequence, incur condemnation.(1) "He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."(2) Let not [high] place puff any one up: for that which is worth all is a faith and love, to which nothing is to be preferred. But consider those who are of a different opinion with respect to the grace of Christ which has come unto us, how opposed they are to the will of God. They have no regard for love; no care for the widow, or the orphan, or the oppressed; of the bond, or of the free; of the hungry, or of the thirsty.

 

 

Ignatius –

THE EPISTLE OF  IGNATIUS TO POLYCARP

 

Chapter IV. Let not widows be neglected. Be thou, after the Lord, their protector [1084] and friend. Let nothing be done without thy consent; neither do thou anything without the approval of God, which indeed thou dost not, inasmuch as thou art stedfast. Let your assembling together be of frequent [1085] occurrence: seek after all by name. [1086] Do not despise either male or female slaves, yet neither let them be puffed up with conceit, but rather let them submit themselves [1087] the more, for the glory of God, that they may obtain from God a better liberty. Let them not long to be set free [from slavery] at the public expense, that they be not found slaves to their own desires.

 

 

Justin Martyr –

THE FIRST APOLOGY OF JUSTIN

 

CHAP. XIV. …we who valued above all things the acquisition of wealth and possessions, now bring what we have into a common stock, and communicate to every one in need

 

CHAP. XV. …And that we should communicate to the needy, and do nothing for glory, He said, "Give to him that asketh, and from him that would borrow turn not away; for if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what new thing do ye? even the publicans do this.

 

CHAP. LXVII. And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday,(1) all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability,(2) and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given,(3) and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need.

 

 

Dialogue of Justin –

PHILOSOPHER AND MARTYR, WITH TRYPHO, A JEW

 

Deal thy bread to the hungry, and lead the homeless poor under thy dwelling; if thou seest the naked, clothe himand shalt give heartily thy bread to the hungry, and shalt satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light arise in the darkness, and thy darkness shall be as the noon-day: and thy God shall be with thee continually…

 

 

Irenaeus –

AGAINST HERESIES, BOOK III

 

CHAP. XIV. 3. ...He taught His disciples not to aspire to the uppermost rooms; how we should invite the poor and feeble, who cannot recompense us...

 

 

Irenaeus –

AGAINST HERESIES, BOOK IV

 

CHAP. XII. 5. Now, that the law did beforehand teach mankind the necessity of following Christ, He does Himself make manifest, when He replied as follows to him who asked Him what he should do that he might inherit eternal life: "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."(8) But upon the other asking "Which?"" again the Lord replies: "Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honour father and mother, and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,"--setting as an ascending series (velut gradus) before those who wished to follow Him, the precepts of the law, as the entrance into life; and What He then said to one He said to all. But when the former said, "All these have I done" (and most likely he had not kept them, for in that case the Lord would not have said to him, "Keep the commandments"), the Lord, exposing his covetousness, said to him, "If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell all that thou hast, and distribute to the poor; and come, follow me;" promising to those who would act thus, the portion belonging to the apostles (apostolorum partem)…But He taught that they should obey the commandments which God enjoined from the beginning, and do away with their former covetousness by good works,(9) and follow after Christ. But that possessions distributed to the poor do annul former covetousness, Zaccheus made evident, when he said, "Behold, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one, I restore fourfold."(1)

 

CHAP. XIII. 3. And for this reason did the Lord, instead of that [commandment], "Thou shalt not commit adultery," forbid even concupiscence; and instead of that which runs thus, "Thou shalt not kill," He prohibited anger; and instead of the law enjoining the giving of tithes, [He told us] to share(7) all our possessions with the poor; and not to love our neighbours only, but even our enemies; and not merely to be liberal givers and bestowers, but even that we should present a gratuitous gift to those who take away our goods.

 

CHAP. XVIII. 2. And for this reason they (the Jews) had indeed the tithes of their goods consecrated to Him, but those who have received liberty set aside all their possessions for the Lord's purposes, bestowing joyfully and freely not the less valuable portions of their property, since they have the hope of better things [hereafter]; as that poor widow acted who cast all her living into the treasury of God.(1)

 

CHAP. XXX. 1. For in some cases there follows us a small, and in others a large amount of property, which we have acquired from the mammon of unrighteousness. For from what source do we derive the houses in which we dwell, the garments in which we are clothed, the vessels which we use, and everything else ministering to our every-day life, unless it be from those things which, when we were Gentiles, we acquired by avarice, or received them from our heathen parents, relations, or friends who unrighteously obtained them?--not to mention that even now we acquire such things when we are in the faith. For who is there that sells, and does not wish to make a profit from him who buys? Or who purchases anything, and does not wish to obtain good value from the seller? Or who is there that carries on a trade, and does not do so that he may obtain a livelihood thereby? …and to those who have not, does not each one of these [Christians] give according to his ability? …3. For, because He knew that we would make a good use of our substance which we should possess by receiving it from another, He says, "He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise."(2) And, "For I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink; I was naked and ye clothed Me."(3)