1 Clement 43-58

(43.1) And how wonderful that those in Christ, having been entrusted with such a work by God, appointed the aforementioned.

(43.2) For when that jealously fell out concerning the priesthood, and the tribes, rebelling as to which might be adorned with that glorious name, he commanded the twelve tribal leaders to bring to him rods, each inscribed with the name of a tribe. And having taken them, he bound and sealed them with the rings of the tribal leaders, and laid them down in the Tent of Meeting, by the table of God.

(43.3) And having locked the Tent, he sealed the keys in similar manner to the rods.

(43.4) And he said to them, “Men, brethren, whichever tribe whose rod may have sprouted, God has chosen to be priests and to minister to Him.”

(43.5) When it was morning, he called together all Israel, six hundred thousands, and pointed out the seals of the tribal leaders. Then he opened the Tent of Witness, and brought out the rods. And it was found that the rod of Aaron, having not only blossomed, indeed even bore fruit.

(43.6) What do you think, beloved? Did not Moses previously know this would happen? Certainly he would have known. But in order that there be no disorder in Israel, he did it this way, so that the Name might be glorified of the true and only God, to whom be glory to the ages of ages, Amen.

(44.1) And our apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife about the name of the office of bishop.

(44.2) So, for this reason, having received perfect foreknowledge, they appointed the aforementioned, and afterward set a rule, that whenever they may have fallen asleep, other approved men would receive their ministry.

(44.3) Therefore, those having been appointed by them, or afterward by other reputable men, are approved by the whole Church. And having ministered blamelessly to the flock of Christ with humble-mindedness, quietly and unselfishly having been borne witness of many times by everyone, we think these men cannot be righteously thrown out of the ministry.

(44.4) For our sin will not be small if those who have been blamelessly and in a holy manner presenting the gifts of the office of bishop are thrown out.

(44.5) Blessed are the elders who, having gone on before, have had a fruitful and perfect departure, for they are not concerned that someone might depose them from their appointed seating place.

(44.6) For we see that you have removed some who have been conducting themselves well from the ministry blamelessly honored by them.

(45.1) You are quarrelsome, brothers, and zealots about things unrelated to salvation.

(45.2) Look closely into the Holy Scriptures, which are truly of the Holy Spirit.

(45.3) Understand that nothing unrighteous or misleading has been written in them. You will not find the righteous thrown out by holy men.

(45.4) The righteous were persecuted, but by the lawless. They were imprisoned, but by the unholy; stoned by lawbreakers; slain by the wretched, and those bearing unrighteous jealousy.

(45.5) Undergoing punishment, they gloriously endured these things.

(45.6) What should we say, brethren? Was Daniel thrown into the den of lions by those fearing God?

(45.7) Were Ananias and Azarias and Misael enclosed in the furnace of fire by worshippers of the magnificent and glorious religion of the Most High? Certainly not! So who did such things? The hateful, and those full of every evil, carried their rebellion to such a fury that they inflicted torture on those who in holy and blameless purpose subjected themselves to God, not knowing that the Most High is a Champion and Defender of those who in clean conscience serve the excellent name of Him to whom be glory to the ages of ages, Amen.

(45.8) But those who endure have inherited glory and honor, having been exalted and having been inscribed by God in His memory to the ages of ages, Amen.

(46.1) So, brethren, it is necessary for us to stick to such examples.

(46.2) For it is written, “Stick to the holy, for those who stick to them will be made holy.”

(46.3) And again, in another place it says, “With an innocent man, you will be innocent; and with the chosen, you will be chosen; and with the crooked, you will be crooked.”

(46.4) So let us stick to the innocent and righteous, for these are the chosen of God.

(46.5) Why are there strifes, and angers, and dissensions and schisms and war among you?

(46.6) Do we not have one God and one Christ? And one Spirit of grace poured out upon us? And one calling in Christ?

(46.7) Why do we divide and tear apart the members of Christ, and rebel against our own Body, and are coming to such a madness as to forget we are members of one another? Remember the words of the Lord Jesus.

(46.8) For He said, “Woe to that man! It would be better for him if he had not been born, than to put a stumbling-block before one of my chosen ones. It would be better for him to have a millstone placed around (his neck) and to be thrown into the sea than to mislead one of my chosen ones.”

(46.9) Your schism has misled many, has thrown many into discouragement, many into doubt, all of us into great sorrow. And your rebellion is continuing.

(47.1) Take up the epistle of the blessed Paul, the Apostle.

(47.2) What did he first write to you in the beginning of the good news?

(47.3) In truth, he Spiritually instructed you by letter about himself and also Kephas, and also Apollos, because even then preferences had been established among you.

(47.4) But that preference brought less sin to you. For you preferred apostles borne witness of, and men appointed by them.

(47.5) But now observe those who have misled you and lessened your notable and well-known brotherly love.

(47.6) Brethren it is shameful, indeed exceedingly shameful and unworthy of a way of life in Christ for it to be heard of the strong and ancient Church of the Corinthians, that, because of one or two people, it rebels against the elders.

(47.7) And this has reached not only our own hearing, but also to those who are inclined against us, so that even blasphemy is brought upon the name of the Lord through your own mindlessness, in addition to causing danger.

(48.1) So, let us remove this in haste and fall at the feet of the Master, and let us weep, beseeching Him that He might, being merciful, be reconciled to us, and restore to us our honorable, pure way of life of brotherly love.

(48.2) For this gate of righteousness is opened to life, as it is written, “Open to me the gates of righteousness so I may enter them; I will praise the Lord.”

(48.3) This is the gate of the Lord. The righteous will enter by it.

(48.4) So, though many gates are open, this one of righteousness is the one in Christ in which the blessed, all having entered and having directed their journey in holiness and righteousness, are finishing everything without disturbance.

(48.5) Let one be faithful. Let him be powerful to express knowledge. Let him be wise in discerning words. Let him be pure in works.

(48.6) For however great he may seem to be, one must be humble-minded, and seek the common good of all, and not just his own.

(49.1) Whoever has love in Christ, let him follow the precepts of Christ.

(49.2) Who is able to explain the bond of the love of God?

(49.3) Who is capable to express the greatness of His beauty?

(49.4) The height to which love leads is indescribable.

(49.5) Love joins us to God. “Love covers a multitude of sins.” Love endures all things, is patient in all things. There is nothing inferior in love, nothing arrogant in love. Love has no schism, doesn’t rebel. Love does all things in harmony. By love all the chosen ones of God have been made perfect. Without love, nothing is acceptable to God.

(50.1) In love, the Master has received us. By the love which he bore toward us, our Lord Jesus Christ has given His blood because of us, by the will of God, even His flesh for our flesh, and His soul for our souls.

(50.1) Beloved, see how great and wonderful love is, and there is no explanation of its perfection.

(50.2) Who is sufficient to be found in it, except who God considers worthy? So let us ask and request of His mercy that we may be found in love, without human preferences and blameless.

(50.3) All the generations from Adam until this day have passed away. But those who, by the grace of God, were made perfect in love, having a place with the pious, will be revealed in the appearance of the Kingdom of Christ.

(50.4) For it is written, “Enter into your secret rooms just a little while, until my anger and wrath will have passed by. And I will remember a good day, and I will raise you up from your graves.”

(50.5) Beloved, blessed are we if we keep the commandments of God in the harmony of love, so that through love our sins will be forgiven.

(50.6) For it is written, “Blessed are those whose lawlessnesses are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not count sin, nor in whose mouth is any deceit.”

(50.7) This blessedness happened to those chosen by God through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory to the ages of ages, Amen.

(51.1) So, however we have gone astray, and whatever we have done through the insidious plot of the Adversary, let us ask that we be forgiven. And whoever those leaders of the factions and dissensions have been ought to look to the common hope.

(51.2) For those who conduct their lives with fear and love would rather fall into tortures themselves than their neighbors. They would rather bear their own condemnation than that of the harmony well and righteously handed down to us.

(51.3) It is better for a person to confess his transgressions, rather than to harden his heart, as those rebelling against the servant of God, Moses, hardened their hearts, whose judgment was evident.

(51.4) For they went down living into Hades, and Death swallowed them.

(51.5) Pharaoh and his army and all the leaders of Egypt, and the chariots and their drivers, not for any other reason, were sunk in the Red Sea, and perished, because of hardening their senseless hearts, after the signs and portents happened in Egypt through the servant of God, Moses.

(52.1) Brethren, the Master is self-sufficient, having need of nothing from anyone, except to confess to Him.

(52.2) For David, the chosen one, says, “I will confess to the Lord, and it will please Him more than a young bull bearing horns and hooves. Let the poor see, and let them be glad.”

(52.3) And again, he says, “Sacrifice to God a sacrifice of praise, and pay your vows to the Most High. And call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you, and you will glorify Me.”

(52.4) For, “The sacrifice to God is a broken spirit.”

(53.1) For you understand, beloved. You understand well the Holy Scripture, and have looked closely into the words of God. Let us write these things as a reminder.

(53.2) For Moses went up into the mountain, and did forty days and forty nights in fasting and humbleness. God said to him, “Descend quickly, for your people whom you brought out of Egypt have acted lawlessly. They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves cast metal images.

(53.3) “And the Lord said to him, ‘I have spoken to you once and twice, saying, “I have seen this people, and it is stiff-necked. Let me utterly destroy them, and wipe out their name from under heaven, and I will make you into a great and wonderful nation, and much greater than this.”’

(53.4) “And Moses said, ‘Certainly not, Lord! Forgive the sins of this people, or else wipe me out of the Book of the Living.’”

(53.5) O great love! O unsurpassed perfection! The servant speaks freely to the Lord, asking forgiveness for the multitude, or that he might be considered worthy to be wiped out with them.

(54.1) So, who among you is noble? Who compassionate? Who completely filled with love?

(54.2) Let him say, “If because of me there are rebellion and strife and schisms, I will leave. I will go wherever you want, and do whatever the multitude commands. Only let the flock of Christ live in peace with the appointed elders.”

(54.3) He who does this will gain for himself great fame in Christ, and every place will welcome him. For, “The earth is the Lord’s, and its fulness.”

(54.4) Those who live their lives in God’s unregrettable way of life do and will do these things.

(55.1) And now to produce some examples from the Gentiles: many kings and leaders, when some pestilential time is occurring, follow an oracular response given to them, in order to rescue the blood of their own citizens. Many have departed from their own cities, so that they might not be rebelling any more.

(55.2) We understand that many of us have handed themselves over to bonds so that others will be freed. Many have handed themselves over to slavery, and having taken their price, they fed others.

(55.3) Many women, empowered by the grace of God, accomplished many manly deeds.

(55.4) The blessed Judith, when her city was being besieged, asked from the elders for her to be permitted to go out into the camp of the foreigners.

(55.5) So, handing herself over to danger, she went out through love of her homeland and of the people in the siege. And the Lord handed over Olophernes into the hands of a woman.

(55.6) And no less, Esther, perfect according to faith, exposed herself to danger in order to rescue the nation of Israel from coming to be destroyed. For through her fasting and humbleness, she requested the all-seeing Master of the Ages, Who, having seen the humility of her soul, rescued the people for whose sake she was in danger.

(56.1) So, let us also intercede for those who are in any transgression, so that gentleness and humble-mindedness may be given to them, for them to yield, not to us, but rather to the will of God. For in this way, there will be a fruitful and perfect remembrance of them with compassion before God and the saints.

(56.2) Beloved, let us receive discipline, on account of which no one should be angry. The warnings we make toward one another are good and immeasurably profitable, for they join us to the will of God.

(56.3) For thus says the Holy Word, “The Lord has certainly disciplined me, and has not handed me over to death.

(56.4) “For who the Lord loves, he disciplines, and He whips every son he receives.”

(56.5) For it says, “The Righteous One will discipline me in mercy, and correct me; but do not let the oil of sinners anoint my head.”

(56.6) And again it says, “Blessed is the person the Lord corrects, and do not reject the warning of the Almighty. For He causes pain, and restores again to health.

(56.7) “He wounds, and His hands heal.

(56.8) “From six calamities He will deliver you, and in the eighth evil will not touch you.

(56.9) “In hunger, He will rescue you from death; and in war he will loosen you from the hand of the sword.

(56.10) “And from the whip of the tongue He will hide you, and you will not fear when evils approach.

(56.11) “You will laugh at the unrighteous and the lawless, and of the beasts of the fields you will not be afraid.

(56.12) “For the beasts of the fields will be at peace with you.

(56.13) “Then you will know that your house will live in peace, and the dwelling-place of your tent will not fail.

(56.14) “And you will know that your seed will be many, and your children like the plants covering the field.

(56.15) “And you will come to your grave like ripe wheat, reaped in its season, or like a heap on a threshing-floor, gathered in its hour.”

(56.16) Beloved, you see how there is protection for those being disciplined by the Master, for He is a good Father Who disciplines in order that we may be shown mercy because of His holy discipline.

(57.1) Therefore, you who made the foundations of the rebellion, submit yourselves to the elders, and receive discipline toward repentance, “bending the knees of your heart.”

(57.2) Learn to subject yourselves, giving up the boastful and arrogant willfulness of your language, for it is better for you to find yourselves small and included in the flock of Christ, than, being superior in reputation, to be driven away from His hope.

(57.3) For thus speaks the most excellent Wisdom, “Behold, I will bring forth to you the speech of my breath, and I will teach you my word.

(57.4) “When I called, you did not listen; I stretched out the words, and you did not pay attention, but you made my plans useless, and you disbelieved my corrections. For that reason, I too will laugh at your destruction, and I will rejoice when ruin comes to you, and when turmoil suddenly reaches you, and catastrophe passes by like a storm, or when trouble and siege come to you.

(57.5) “For it will happen that when you call me, I will not listen to you. The wicked will seek me and not find, for they hated wisdom, and did not choose the fear of the Lord, nor did they pay attention to my plans, but despised my corrections.

(57.6) “For this reason, they will eat the fruits of their own way, and be filled with their own ungodliness.

(57.7) “For in return for what unrighteousness they did to infants, they will be killed, and an inquiry will destroy the impious. But he who hears me will live, trusting in hope, and live quietly, in no fear from any evil.”

(58.1) Therefore, let us obey His all-holy and glorious Name, fleeing the aforementioned threats by Wisdom to the disobedient, so we may live, trusting in His most holy and magnificent Name.

(58.2) Accept our advice, and it will not be regretted by you. For as God lives, and as the Lord Jesus Christ lives, and the Holy Spirit, the faith and the hope of the chosen ones, that He who did the righteous deeds and commandments given by God in humble-mindedness, eager with kindness, and without regret, this one will have been enrolled and be included in the number of those saved by Jesus Christ, through whom is to Him glory to the ages of ages, Amen.

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