ST. CLEMENT, A.D. 97.
FROM THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST. CLEMENT TO THE CORINTHIANS (CHAP. V)
"Let us take the noble examples furnished in our own generation. Let us set before our eyes the illustrious Apostles Peter .... endured not one or two but numerous labours, and when he had at length suffered martyrdom departed, to the place of glory due to him .... Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity, compelled to flee, and stoned. After preaching both in the East and West, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the West, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects."
FROM THE "RECOGNITIONS OF CLEMENT"
(Possibly dating from A.D. 90 in the original. The work has come to us in the form of a translation by Rufinus of Aquileia, written in A.D. 410)
"A certain report which took its rise in the regions of the East in the reign of Tiberius Caesar gradually reached us" (in Rome).
"For it was spread over all places .... that there was a certain person in Judea who .... was preaching the Kingdom of God to the Jews, and saying that those should receive it who should observe .... His commandments and His doctrine .... He made the deaf to hear and the blind to see and the lame to stand erect, and expelled every infirmity and all demons from men; yea, He even raised dead persons who were brought to Him.
At length meetings began to be held in various places in the city and this subject to be discussed in conversation .... until about the same year a certain man, standing in a most crowded place in the city, made proclamation to the people, saying:
Hear me, O ye citizens of Rome. The Son of God is now in the regions of Judea, promising eternal life to every one who will hear Him, but upon condition that he shall regulate his actions according to the will of Him by whom He hath been sent, even of God the Father. Wherefore turn ye from evil things to good, from things temporal to things eternal....
Now, the man who spoke these things to the people was from the regions of the East, by nation a Hebrew, by name Barnabas, who said that he himself was one of His disciples, and that he was sent for this end, that he should declare these things to those who would hear them. He did not confirm his assertions by the force of arguments, but produced from the people who stood round about him many witnesses of the sayings and marvels which he related. As the day was declining to evening I laid hold of Barnabas by the right hand and led him away, although reluctantly, to my house, and there I made him remain less perchance any of the rude rabble should lay hands on him. While we were thus placed in contact for a few days, I gladly heard him discoursing the word of truth; yet he hastened his departure, saying that he must by all means celebrate at Judea a festal day of his religion which was approaching.
At length I said to him, 'If you wish it, I will even sail along with you, for I am extremely desirous to see Judea, and perhaps I shall remain with you always.' To this he answered, 'If, indeed, you wish to see our country and to learn those things which you desire, set sail with me even now; or, if there be anything that detains you now, I shall leave with you directions to my dwelling, so that when you please to come you may easily find me, for tomorrow I shall set out on my journey.' When I saw him determined I went down with him to the harbour, and carefully took from him the directions which he gave me to find his dwelling. I told him that (but for the necessity of getting some money that was due to me) I should not at all delay, but that I should speedily follow him....
Having then stopped for a few days, and having in some measure finished the business of collecting what was owing to me .... I set sail for Judea, and after fifteen days landed at Caesarea Stratonis, which is the largest city in Palestine. When I had landed and was seeking for an Inn I learned from the conversation of the people that one Peter, an approved disciple of Him who appeared in Judea .... was going to hold a discussion ... the next day with one Simon, a Samaritan. Having heard this I asked to be shown his lodging; and having found it and standing before the door, I informed the doorkeeper who I was and whence I came; and, behold, Barnabas coming out, as soon as he saw me rushed into my arms, weeping for joy, and seizing me by the hand, led me to Peter .... 'This', said he, 'is Peter, of whom I spoke to you as the greatest in the wisdom of God, and to whom also I have spoken constantly of you .... Enter, therefore, as one well known to him .... Therefore I present you to him today as a great gift.' At the same time presenting me he said, 'This, O Peter, is Clement.'
But Peter, most kindly, when he heard my name, immediately ran to me and kissed me...." (Book I).
"When the day dawned .... Peter, rising at the first cock-crowing, aroused us also, for we were sleeping in the same apartment, thirteen of us in all, of whom next to Peter Zaccheus was first, then Sophonius, Joseph and Michaeus, Eliesdrus, Phineas, Lazarus and Elisaeus; after these I (Clement) and Nicodemus; then Niceta and Aquila, who .... were converted to the faith of Christ under the teaching of Zaccheus. Of the women there was no one present. As the evening light was still lasting we all sat down, and Peter having saluted us, immediately began to speak" (Book II).
"At this announcement all the people wept, hearing that he was going to leave them; and Peter, sympathizing with them, also shed tears and, looking up to heaven, he said:
To Thee, O God, who hast made heaven and earth and all things that are in them, we pour out the prayer of supplication that Thou wouldest comfort those who have recourse to Thee in their tribulation. For by reason of the affection that they have towards Thee, they do love me who have declared to them Thy truth. Wherefore guard them with the right hand of Thy compassion; for neither Zaccheus nor any other man can be a sufficient guardian to them.
When he had said this and more to the same effect, he laid his hands upon Zaccheus and prayed that he might blamelessly discharge the duties of his bishopric. Then he ordained twelve presbyters and four deacons, and said:
I have ordained you this Zaccheus as a bishop, knowing that he has the fear of God and is expert in the Scripture. You ought, therefore, to honour him as holding the place of Christ, obeying him for your salvation, and knowing that whatever honour and whatever injury is done to him redounds to Christ and from Christ to God. Hear him, therefore, with all attention, and receive from him the doctrine of faith, and from the presbyters the monitions of life, and from the deacons the order of discipline. Have a religious care of widows, vigorously assist orphans, take pity on the poor, teach the young modesty and, in a word, sustain one another as circumstances shall demand. Worship God, who created heaven and earth; believe in Christ; love one another; be compassionate to all; and fulfil charity not only in word but in act and deed. " (Book III, cp. 66.)
TO BE CONTINUED