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Lightfoot's Apostolic Fathers In English - J. B. Lightfoot, D. D., D.C. L., LL. D.

I told thee,’ saith he, ‘that the creatures of God are twofold; for temperance also is twofold. For in some things it is right to be temperate, but in other things it is not right.’ 2‘Make known unto me, Sir,’ say I, ‘in what things it is right to be temperate, and in what things it is not right.’ ‘Listen,’ saith he. ‘Be temperate as to what is evil, and do it not; but be not temperate as to what is good, but do it. For if thou be temperate as to what is good, so as not to do it, thou committest a great sin; but if thou be temperate as to what is evil, so as not to do it, thou doest great righteousness. Be temperate therefore in abstaining from all wickedness, and do that which is good.’ 3‘What kinds of wickedness, Sir,’ say I, ‘are they from which we must be temperate and abstain?’ ‘Listen,’ saith he; ‘from adultery and fornication, from the lawlessness of drunkenness, from wicked luxury, from many viands and the costliness of riches, and vaunting and haughtiness and pride, and from falsehood and evil-speaking and hypocrisy, malice and all blasphemy. 4These works are the most wicked of all in the life of men. From these works therefore the servant of God must be temperate and abstain; for he that is not temperate so as to abstain from these cannot live unto God. Listen then to what follows upon these.’ 5‘Why, are there still other evil deeds, Sir?’ say I. ‘Aye,’ saith he, ‘there are many, from which the servant of God must be temperate and abstain; theft, falsehood, deprivation, false witness, avarice, evil desire, deceit, vain-glory, boastfulness, and whatsoever things are like unto these. 6Thinkest thou not that these things are wrong, yea, very wrong,’ [saith he,] ‘for the servants of God? In all these things he that serveth God must exercise temperance. Be thou temperate, therefore, and refrain from all these things, that thou mayest live unto God, and be enrolled among those who exercise self-restraint in them. These then are the things from which thou shouldest restrain thyself. 7Now hear,’ saith he, ‘the things, in which thou shouldest not exercise self-restraint, but do them. Exercise no self-restraint in that which is good, but do it.’ 8‘Sir,’ say I, ‘show me the power of the good also, that I may walk in them and serve them, that doing them it may be possible for me to be saved.’ ‘Hear,’ saith he, ‘the works of the good likewise, which thou must do, and towards which thou must exercise no self-restraint. 9First of all, there is faith, fear of the Lord, love, concord, words of righteousness, truth, patience; nothing is better than these in the life of men. If a man keep these, and exercise not self-restraint from them, he becomes blessed in his life. 10Hear now what follow upon these; to minister to widows, to visit the orphans and the needy, to ransom the servants of God from their afflictions, to be hospitable (for in hospitality benevolence from time to time has a place), to resist no man, to be tranquil, to show yourself more submissive than all men, to reverence the aged, to practise righteousness, to observe brotherly feeling, to endure injury, to be long-suffering, to bear no grudge, to exhort those who are sick at soul, not to cast away those that have stumbled from the faith, but to convert them and to put courage into them, to reprove sinners, not to oppress debtors and indigent persons, and whatsoever actions are like these. 11Do these things,’ saith he, ‘seem to thee to be good?’ ‘Why, what, Sir,’ say I, ‘can be better than these?’ ‘Then walk in them,’ saith he, ‘and abstain not from them, and thou shalt live unto God. 12Keep this commandment therefore. If thou do good and abstain not from it, thou shalt live unto God; yea, and all shall live unto God who act so. And again if thou do not evil, and abstain from it, thou shalt live unto God; yea, and all shall live unto God, who shall keep these commandments, and walk in them.’








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