Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Early Christian Quotes on Christian Character

Early Christian Quotes on Christian Character


 The Shepherd of Hermas

(1st or 2nd Century)

Vision 3, Chapter 8:


The angel said, “Faith leads to Self-restraint, which leads to Humility, which leads to Truthfulness, which leads to Sexual Purity, which leads to Wisdom, which leads to Love.”



The Shepherd of Hermas

(1st or 2nd Century)

Similitude 9, Chapter 15:


The angel said, “Hear the names of the stronger virgins who stood at the corners. The first is Faith, the second Self-Control, the third Power, the fourth Patience. And the others standing in the midst of these have the following names: Simplicity, Innocence, Purity, Cheerfulness, Truth, Understanding, Harmony, Love. He who bears these names and that of the Son of God will be able to enter into the kingdom of God.”



Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs

(1st or 2nd Century)

Testament 5, Paragraph 4:


Listen to me, my children, and walk in purity of heart, for I have seen what is well-pleasing to the Lord. The pure man does not covet gold, does not cheat his neighbor, does not long for fancy food, does not delight in different kinds of clothes, does not dream about having a long life – but only waits to see what God’s will is.


And the erring spirits have no power over him. For he keeps thoughts of female beauty out of his mind so that he doesn’t corrupt his mind. He does not allow thoughts of envy or jealousy to eat away at his soul. He does not dwell on gaining money.



Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs

(1st or 2nd Century)

Testament 10, Paragraph 1:


If a person takes pleasure in good, all his actions are done in righteousness. But even if he does sin, he repents right away. For, having his mind set on righteousness and casting away any desire to harm others, he overthrows the evil in him and tears sin out by the roots.


But if his mind turns aside toward evil, all his doings are done with a desire to hurt others, and he drives away the good and embraces the evil and is ruled by Beliar. And even if he does something good, he perverts it with evil.



Ignatius’ Letter to the Ephesians

(Late 1st Century or Early 2nd Century)

Chapter 14:


The beginning is faith, and the next step is love. Being inseparably connected together, these two come from God, while all other things that are required for a holy life come after them.


No man who truly makes a profession of faith continues to sin, and the one who loves does not hate anyone.



The Epistle of the Apostles

(Mid-2nd Century)

Chapters 43-44:


Jesus said, “And you will be like the wise virgins who watched and did not sleep, but went with the Lord into the bridechamber. The foolish virgins were not able to keep watch  but had fallen asleep.


And we said to Him, “Lord, who are the wise and who are the foolish?”


He said to us, “There are five wise and five foolish. These are they of whom the prophet has spoken: they are the Sons of God. Listen to their names.”


But we wept and were troubled for those who slept.


He said to us, “The five wise are Faith and Love and Grace and Peace and Hope. Now they of the faithful who possesses these will guide those who have believed in Me and in Him who sent Me. For I am the Lord, and I am the bridegroom whom they have received, and they have entered into the house of the bridegroom and have laid down with Me in the bridal chamber rejoicing. But the five foolish, when they had slept and had woken up, came to the door of the bridal chamber and knocked, for the doors were shut. Then they wept and lamented because no man opened the door for them.”


We said to Him, “Lord, did their wise sisters who were inside the bridegroom's house continue the celebration without opening the door for them? Did they not mourn for the sake of the foolish sisters nor beg the bridegroom to open the door for them?”


He answered us, saying, “They were not yet able to obtain favor for them.”


We said to him, “Lord, when will the foolish sisters enter into the chamber for their sisters' sake?”


Then He said to us, “He who is shut out, is shut out.”


And we said to Him, “Lord, is this word final? Who then are the foolish?”


He said to us, “Hear their names. They are Knowledge, Understanding, Obedience, Patience, and Compassion. These are those who have fallen asleep. They have believed in Me and confessed their faith in Me but have not fulfilled My commandments. Those who fallen asleep will remain outside the kingdom and outside the fold of the Shepherd and His sheep. And those who live outside the sheepfold will be devoured by wolves, condemned, and die in much suffering. He will be ripped to pieces and devoured in long and evil torment and will he not be able to obtain death quickly.”



Justin Martyr’s Discourse to the Greeks

(Mid-2nd Century)

Chapter 5:


For our own Ruler, God, the Divine Word, who continues to help us, does not desire the strength of our body or any the beauty of our features, nor does He want the high spirit of earth’s royalty. He wants a pure soul, fortified and strengthened by holiness, and the motto of our King is holy actions, for through the Word (Jesus) power passes into the soul. Peace to the soul that is at war! It is a weapon that makes sins flee! It is the guidance that satisfies the innate fire of the soul! The Word does not make poets: it does not equip philosophers nor skilled speakers, but by its instruction, it makes mortals immortal, mortals gods; and from the earth transports them to the realms above Olympus.



The Acts of John

(Mid to Late 2nd Century)

Paragraph 69:


Is it right that a body should be praised as beautiful when it is stripped naked? Or a general as great when he has accomplished every promise of the war? And a physician as excellent when he has succeeded in curing everything? And a soul as full of faith and worthy of God when it has paid its promise in full?


Not that soul which began well but gave in to earthly desires and fell away, nor that which is numb, having made an effort to earn better things and then is stripped down to worldly things, nor that which has itched for the things of earthly life more than those of eternity, nor that which exchanges things that do not last, nor that which has honored the works of dishonor that deserve shame, nor that which takes the oath of Satan, nor that which has received the devil into its own house, nor that which suffers scolding for God’s sake and then is ashamed, nor that which the mouth says yes, but the soul knows is not right: but that which has succeeded in not being made weak by inappropriate pleasure, has not been overcome by light-mindedness, has not been caught by the bait of the love of money, has not been betrayed by strength of body or wrath.


No comments:

Post a Comment