(c. 150-215)
  Engl: Ante-Nicene Fathers: Volume 2 (pp. 137-149). Greek: Stromata (TLG 555.4): Clemens Alexandrinus, ed. O. Stählin, L. Früchtel, U. Treu, vol.s 2, 3rd edn. and 3, 2nd edn. (Akademie-Verlag Berlin, 2:1960; 3:1970) pp : 3-518; 3-102; ser Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller 15 & 17, Bk. 1-6: vol. 2 Bk 7-8: vol. 3.Protrepticus (TLG 555.2), Clément d'Alexandrie. Le protreptique, ser. Sources chrétiennes (Cerf: Paris) pp. 52-193



On the Value of Philosophy for Christians

(so much for Tertullian!)

Stromata, 6, 10.—The Gnostic Avails Himself of the Help of All Human Knowledge.

  6.10 80.1

10. FOR to him knowledge (gnosis) is the principal thing. Consequently, therefore, he applies to the subjects that are a training for knowledge, taking from each branch of study its contribution to the truth. Prosecuting, then, the proportion of harmonies in music; and in arithmetic noting the increasing and decreasing of numbers, and their relations to one another, and how the most of things fall under some proportion of numbers;

Κατ' ἐπακολούθημα τοίνυν καὶ τοῖς εἰς γνῶσιν γυμνάζουσιν αὐτὸν προσανάκειται, παρ' ἑκάστου μαθήματος τὸ πρόσφορον τῇ .80.2 ἀληθείᾳ λαμβάνων, τῆς μὲν οὖν μουσικῆς τὴν ἐν τοῖς ἡρμοσμένοις ἀναλογίαν διώκων, ἐν δὲ τῇ ἀριθμητικῇ τὰς αὐξήσεις καὶ μειώσεις τῶν ἀριθμῶν παρασημειούμενος καὶ τὰς πρὸς ἀλλήλους σχέσεις καὶ ὡς τὰ πλεῖστα ἀναλογίᾳ τινὶ ἀριθμῶν ὑποπέπτωκεν,

studying geometry, which is abstract essence, he perceives a continuous distance, and an immutable essence which is different from these bodies. And by astronomy, again, raised from the earth in his mind, he is elevated along with heaven, and will revolve with its revolution; studying ever divine things, and their harmony with each other; from which Abraham starting, ascended to the knowledge of Him who created them.

<ἐν δὲ> τῇ γεωμετρικῇ οὐσίαν αὐτὴν ἐφ' ἑαυτῆς θεωρῶν καὶ ἐθιζόμενος συνεχές τι διάστημα νοεῖ<ν> καὶ οὐσίαν ἀμετάβλητον, ἑτέραν τῶνδε τῶν σωμά .80.3 των οὖσαν· ἔκ τε αὖ τῆς ἀστρονομίας γῆθεν αἰωρούμενος [τε] τῷ νῷ συνυψωθήσεται οὐρανῷ καὶ τῇ περιφορᾷ συμπεριπολήσει, ἱστορῶν ἀεὶ τὰ θεῖα καὶ τὴν πρὸς ἄλληλα συμφωνίαν, ἀφ' ὧν ὁρμώ .80.4 μενοςἈβραὰμ εἰς τὴν τοῦ κτίσαντος ὑπεξανέβη γνῶσιν.

Further, the Gnostic will avail himself of dialectics, fixing on the distinction of genera into species, and will master the distinction of existences, till he come to what are primary and simple.

ἀλλὰ καὶ τῇ διαλεκτικῇ προσχρήσεται ὁ γνωστικός, τὴν εἰς εἴδη τῶν γενῶν ἐκλεγόμενος διαίρεσιν, καὶ τὴν τῶν ὄντων προσήσεται διάκρισιν. .80.5 μέχρις ἂν τῶν πρώτων καὶ ἁπλῶν ἐφάψηται.

        But the multitude are frightened at the Hellenic philosophy, as children are at masks, being afraid lest it lead them astray. But if the faith (for I cannot call it knowledge) which they possess be such as to be dissolved by plausible speech, let it be by all means dissolved,135 and let them confess that they will not retain the truth. For truth is immoveable; but false opinion dissolves. We choose, for instance, one purple by comparison with another purple. So that, if one confesses that he has not a heart that has been made right, he has not the table of the money-changers or the test of words. And how can he be any longer a money-changer, who is not able to prove and distinguish spurious coin, even offhand?

οἱ πολλοὶ δὲ καθάπερ οἱ παῖδες τὰ μορμολυκεῖα, οὕτως δεδίασι τὴνἙλληνικὴν φιλοσοφίαν, .81.1 φοβούμενοι μὴ ἀπαγάγῃ αὐτούς. εἰ δὲ τοιαύτη παρ' αὐτοῖς ἐστιν ἡ πίστις (οὐ γὰρ ἂν γνῶσιν εἴποιμι), ἵνα λυθῇ πιθανολογίᾳ, λυθήτω, διὰ τούτου μάλιστα ὁμολογούντων οὐχ ἕξειν τὴν ἀλήθειαν· ἀνίκητος γάρ, φησίν, ἡ ἀλήθεια, ψευδοδοξία δὲ καταλύεται. αὐτίκα πορφύραν .81.2 ἐξ ἀντιπαραθέσεως ἄλλης πορφύρας ἐκλεγόμεθα. ὥστ' εἴ τις ὁμολογεῖ καρδίαν μὴ ἔχειν διηρθρωμένην, τράπεζαν οὐκ ἔχει τὴν τῶν ἀργυραμοιβῶν οὐδὲ μὴν τὸ κριτήριον τῶν λόγων. καὶ πῶς ἔτι τραπεζίτης οὗτος, δοκιμάσαι μὴ δυνάμενος καὶ διακρῖναι τὸ ἀκίβδηλον .81.3 νόμισμα τοῦ παραχαράγματος;

        Now David cried, “The righteous shall not be shaken for ever; ”137 neither, consequently, by deceptive speech nor by erring pleasure. Whence he shall never be shaken from his own heritage. “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; “138 consequently neither of unfounded calumny, nor of the false opinion around him. No more will he dread cunning words, who is capable of distinguishing them, or of answering rightly to questions asked. Such a bulwark are dialectics, that truth cannot be trampled under foot by the Sophists. “For it behoves those who praise in the holy name of the Lord,” according to the prophet, “to rejoice in heart, seeking, the Lord. Seek then Him, and be strong. Seek His face continually in every way.”139For, having spoken at sundry times and in divers manners,140 it is not in one way only that He is known.

κέκραγεν δὲ ὁ Δαβίδ· "ὅτι εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα οὐ σαλευθήσεται δίκαιος·" οὔτ' οὖν ἀπατηλῷ λόγῳ οὐδὲ μὴν πεπλανημένῃ ἡδονῇ, ὅθεν οὐδὲ τῆς οἰκείας κληρονομίας σαλευθή .81.4 σεται. "ἀπὸ ἀκοῆς ἄρα πονηρᾶς οὐ φοβηθήσεται." οὔτ' οὖν διαβολῆς κενῆς οὐδὲ μὴν ψευδοδοξίας τῆς περὶ αὑτόν, ἀλλ' οὐδὲ τοὺς πανούργους δεδίξεται λόγους ὁ διαγνῶναι τούτους δυνάμενος [ἢ] πρός τε τὸ ἐρωτᾶν ὀρθῶς καὶ ἀποκρίνασθαι· οἷον θριγκὸς γάρ ἐστι διαλεκτική, ὡς μὴ καταπατεῖσθαι πρὸς τῶν σοφιστῶν τὴν ἀλήθειαν. .81.5 ἐπαινουμένους γὰρ χρὴ ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι τῷ ἁγίῳ τοῦ κυρίου κατὰ τὸν προφήτην εὐφραίνεσθαι τὴν καρδίαν ζητοῦντας τὸν κύριον. .81.6 "ζητήσατε οὖν αὐτὸν καὶ κραταιώθητε, ζητήσατε τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ διὰ παντὸς" παντοίως. πολυμερῶς γὰρ καὶ πολυτρόπως λαλήσας οὐχ ἁπλῶς γνωρίζεται.

        It is, then, not by availing himself of these as virtues that our Gnostic will be deeply learned. But by using them as helps in distinguishing what is common and what is peculiar, he will admit the truth. For the cause of all error and false opinion, is inability to distinguish in what respect things are common, and in what respects they differ. For unless, in things that are distinct, one closely watch speech, he will inadvertently confound what is common and what is peculiar And where this takes place, he must of necessity fall into pathless tracts and error.

82.1 Οὔκουν ὡς ἀρεταῖς ταύταις συγχρώμενος ἡμῖν ὁ γνωστικὸς πολυμαθὴς ἔσται, ἀλλὰ συνεργοῖς τισι, κἀν τῷ διαστέλλειν τά τε κοινὰ καὶ τὰ ἴδια προσήσεται τὴν ἀλήθειαν· ἔστι γὰρ πάσης πλάνης καὶ ψευδοδοξίας αἴτιον τὸ μὴ δύνασθαι διακρίνειν, πῇ τε ἀλλήλοις τὰ .82.2 ὄντα κοινωνεῖ καὶ πῇ διενήνοχεν. εἰ δὲ μὴ κατὰ τὰ διωρισμένα τις τὸν λόγον ἐφοδεύοι, λήσεται συγχέας τά τε κοινὰ καὶ τὰ ἴδια, τού .82.3 του δὲ γινομένου εἰς ἀνοδίαν καὶ πλάνην ἐμπίπτειν ἀναγκαῖον.


Protreptikos 1 and 11 Chapter 1, pp. 173-174


(joining the End to the Beginning – Irenaeus)


        […] This is the New Song,12 the manifestation of the Word that was in the beginning, and before the beginning. The Saviour, who existed before, has in recent days appeared. He, who is in Him that truly is, has appeared; for the Word, who “was with God,” and by whom all things were created, has appeared as our Teacher. The Word, who in the beginning bestowed on us life as Creator when He formed us, taught us to live well when He appeared as our Teacher; that as God He might afterwards conduct us to the life which never ends.

Τοῦτό ἐστι τὸ ᾆσμα τὸ καινόν, ἡ ἐπιφάνεια ἡ νῦν ἐκλάμψασα ἐν ἡμῖν τοῦ ἐν ἀρχῇ ὄντος καὶ προόντος λόγου· ἐπεφάνη δὲ ἔναγχος ὁ προὼν σωτήρ, ἐπεφάνη ὁ ἐν τῷ ὄντι ὤν, ὅτι "ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν," διδάσκαλος, ἐπεφάνη ᾧ τὰ πάντα δεδημιούργηται λόγος· καὶ τὸ ζῆν ἐν ἀρχῇ μετὰ τοῦ πλάσαι παρασχὼν ὡς δημιουργός, τὸ εὖ ζῆν ἐδίδαξεν ἐπιφανεὶς ὡς διδάσκαλος, 1.7.4 ἵνα τὸ ἀεὶ ζῆν ὕστερον ὡς θεὸς χορηγήσῃ.

Christ the Good Physician


        […] Some men He mourns over, others He addresses with the voice of song, just as a good physician treats some of his patients with cataplasms, some with rubbing, some with fomentations; in one case cuts open with the lancet, in another cauterizes, in another amputates, in order if possible to cure the patient’s diseased part or member. The Saviour has many tones of voice, and many methods for the salvation of men; by threatening He admonishes, by upbraiding He converts, by bewailing He pities, by the voice of song He cheers. He spake by the burning bush, for the men of that day needed signs and wonders.

τοὺς δὲ καὶ θρηνεῖ τῶν ἀνθρώπων· ᾄδει δὲ ἄλλοις, καθάπερ ἰατρὸς ἀγαθὸς τῶν νοσούντων σωμάτων τὰ μὲν καταπλάττων, τὰ δὲ καταλεαίνων, τὰ δὲ καταντλῶν, τὰ δὲ καὶ σιδήρῳ διαιρῶν, ἐπικαίων δὲ ἄλλα, ἔστι δ' οὗ καὶ ἀποπρίων, εἴ πως οἷόν τε 1.8.3 κἂν παρὰ μέρος ἢ μέλος τὸν ἄνθρωπον ὑγιᾶναι. Πολύφωνός γε ὁ σωτὴρ καὶ πολύτροπος εἰς ἀνθρώπων σωτηρίαν· ἀπειλῶν νουθετεῖ, λοιδορούμενος ἐπιστρέφει, θρηνῶν ἐλεεῖ, ψάλλων παρακαλεῖ, διὰ βάτου λαλεῖ (σημείων ἐκεῖνοι καὶ τεράτων ἔχρῃζον) καὶ τῷ πυρὶ δεδίττεται τοὺς ἀνθρώπους,

        He awed men by the fire when He made flame to burst from the pillar of cloud—a token at once of grace and fear: if you obey, there is the light; if you disobey, there is the fire; but. since humanity is nobler than the pillar or the bush, after them the prophets uttered their voice,—the Lord Himself speaking in Isaiah, in Elias,—speaking Himself by the mouth of the prophets. But if you do not believe the prophets, but suppose both the men and the fire a myth, the Lord Himself shall speak to thee, “who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but humbled Himself,”14 —He, the merciful God, exerting Himself to save man. 

ἀνάπτων ἐκ κίονος τὴν φλόγα, δεῖγμα ὁμοῦ χάριτος καὶ φόβου· ἐὰν ὑπακούσῃς, τὸ φῶς, ἐὰν παρακούσῃς, τὸ πῦρ.Ἐπειδὴ δὲ καὶ κίονος καὶ βάτου ἡ σὰρξ τιμιωτέρα, προφῆται μετ' ἐκεῖνα φθέγγονται, αὐτὸς ἐνἩσαΐᾳ ὁ κύριος λαλῶν, 1.8.4 αὐτὸς ἐνἨλίᾳ, ἐν στόματι προφητῶν αὐτός· σὺ δὲ ἀλλ' εἰ προφήταις μὴ πιστεύεις, μῦθον δ' ὑπολαμβάνεις καὶ τοὺς ἄνδρας καὶ τὸ πῦρ, αὐτός σοι λαλήσει ὁ κύριος, "ὃς ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ· ἐκένωσεν δὲ ἑαυτόν" ὁ φιλοικτίρμων θεός, σῶσαι τὸν ἄνθρωπον γλιχόμενος·̈

Protreptikos 1 (Theosis 1)

     And now the Word Himself clearly speaks to thee, Shaming thy unbelief; yea, I say, καὶ αὐτὸς ἤδη σοὶ ἐναργῶς ὁ λόγος λαλεῖ, δυσωπῶν τὴν ἀπιστίαν, ναί φημι,  




ὁ λόγος ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ ἄνθρωπος γενόμενος͵

 ἵνα δὴ καὶ σὺ παρὰ ἀνθρώπου μάθῃς͵

πῇ ποτε ἄρα ἄνθρωπος γένηται θεός.

 Is it not then monstrous, my friends, that while God is ceaselessly exhorting us to virtue, we should spurn His kindness and reject salvation?  1.9.1 Εἶτ' οὐκ ἄτοπον, ὦ φίλοι, τὸν μὲν θεὸν ἀεὶ προτρέπειν ἡμᾶς ἐπ' ἀρετήν, ἡμᾶς δὲ ἀναδύεσθαι τὴν ὠφέλειαν καὶ ἀναβάλλεσθαι τὴν σωτηρίαν;

Protreptikos 9 (Theosis 2)

… But the rest, round whom the world’s growths have fastened, as the rocks on the sea-shore are covered over with sea-weed, make light of immortality, like the old man of Ithaca, eagerly longing to see, not the truth, not the fatherland in heaven, not the true light, but smoke. Οἱ δὲ ἄλλοι περιπεφυκότες τῷ κόσμῳ͵ οἷα φυκία τινὰ ἐνάλοις πέτραις͵ ἀθανασίας ὀλιγωροῦσιν͵ καθάπερ ὁ Ἰθακήσιος γέρων οὐ τῆς ἀληθείας καὶ τῆς ἐν οὐρανῷ πατρίδος͵ πρὸς δὲ καὶ τοῦ ὄντως ὄντος ἱμειρόμενοι φωτός͵ ἀλλὰ τοῦ καπνοῦ.
Θεοσέβεια δὲ ἐξομοιοῦσα τῷ θεῷ κατὰ τὸ δυνατὸν τὸν ἄνθρωπον κατάλληλον ἐπιγράφεται διδάσκαλον θεὸν


τὸν καὶ μόνον ἀπεικάσαι κατ΄ ἀξίαν δυνάμενον ἄνθρωπον θεῷ.
This teaching the apostle knows as truly divine. “Thou, O Timothy,” he says, “from a child hast known the holy letters, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith that is in Christ Jesus.”(2 Tim. 3:15) 9.87.1 Ταύτην ὁ ἀπόστολος τὴν διδασκαλίαν θείαν ὄντως ἐπιστάμενος σὺ δέ͵ ὦ Τιμόθεε͵ φησίν͵ ἀπὸ βρέφους ἱερὰ γράμματα οἶδας͵ τὰ δυνάμενά σε σοφίσαι εἰς σωτηρίαν διὰ πίστεως ἐν Χριστῷ.
FOR TRULY HOLY   Ἱερὰ γὰρ ὡς ἀληθῶς


 τὰ ἱεροποιοῦντα 9.87.2 καὶ θεοποιοῦντα γράμματα
  and the writings or volumes that consist of those holy letters and syllables, the same apostle consequently calls “inspired of God, being profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17) No one will be so impressed by the exhortations of any of the saints, as he is by the words of the Lord Himself, the lover of man. For this, and nothing but this, is His only work—the salvation of man. Therefore He Himself, urging them on to salvation, cries, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mat. 4:17) Those men that draw near through fear, He converts. Thus also the apostle of the Lord, beseeching the Macedonians, becomes the interpreter of the divine voice, when he says, “The Lord is at hand; take care that ye be not apprehended empty.” (Phil. 4:5) But are ye so devoid of fear, or rather of faith, as not to believe the Lord Himself, or Paul, who in Christ’s stead thus entreats: “Taste and see that Christ is God? ” (Ps 34:8) Faith will lead you in; experience will teach you; Scripture will train you, for it says, “Come hither, O children; listen to me, and I will teach you the fear of the LORD.” Then, as to those who already believe, it briefly adds, “What man is he that desires life, that loves to see good days? ”(Ps 34:11) It is we, we shall say—we who are the devotees of good, we who eagerly desire good things. Hear, then, ye who are far off, hear ye who are near: the word has not been hidden from any; light is common, it shines “on all men.” No one is a Cimmerian in respect to the word. ͵ ἐξ ὧν γραμμάτων καὶ συλλαβῶν τῶν ἱερῶν τὰς συγκειμένας γραφάς͵ τὰ συντάγματα͵ ὁ αὐτὸς ἀκολούθως ἀπόστολος θεοπνεύστους καλεῖ͵ ὠφελίμους οὔσας πρὸς διδασκαλίαν͵ πρὸς ἔλεγχον͵ πρὸς ἐπανόρθωσιν͵ πρὸς παιδείαν τὴν ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ͵ ἵνα ἄρτιος ᾖ ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ ἄνθρωπος πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἐξηρτημένος. 9.87.3 Οὐκ ἄν τις οὕτως ἐκπλαγείη τῶν ἄλλων ἁγίων τὰς προτροπὰς ὡς αὐτὸν τὸν κύριον τὸν φιλάνθρωπον· οὐδὲν γὰρ ἀλλ΄ ἢ τοῦτο ἔργον μόνον ἐστὶν αὐτῷ σῴζεσθαι τὸν ἄνθρωπον. Βοᾷ γοῦν ἐπείγων εἰς σωτηρίαν αὐτὸς ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν· ἐπιστρέφει τοὺς ἀνθρώπους πλησιάζοντας 9.87.4 τῷ φόβῳ.       Ταύτῃ καὶ ὁ ἀπόστολος τοῦ κυρίου παρακαλῶν τοὺς Μακεδόνας ἑρμηνεὺς γίνεται τῆς θείας φωνῆς͵ ὁ κύριος ἤγγικεν λέγων͵ εὐλαβεῖσθε μὴ καταληφθῶμεν κενοί. Ὑμεῖς δὲ ἐς τοσοῦτον ἀδεεῖς͵ μᾶλλον δὲ ἄπιστοι͵ μήτε αὐτῷ πειθόμενοι τῷ κυρίῳ μήτε τῷ Παύλῳ͵ καὶ ταῦτα ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ δεομένῳ. 9.88.1 Γεύσασθε καὶ ἴδετε ὅτι χρηστὸς ὁ θεός. Ἡ πίστις εἰσάξει͵ ἡ πεῖρα διδάξει͵ ἡ γραφὴ παιδαγωγήσει δεῦτε͵ ὦ τέκνα͵ λέγουσα͵ ἀκούσατέ μου͵ φόβον κυρίου διδάξω ὑμᾶς. Εἶτα ὡς ἤδη πεπιστευκόσι συντόμως ἐπιλέγει τίς ἐστιν ἄνθρωπος ὁ θέλων ζωήν͵ ἀγαπῶν ἡμέρας ἰδεῖν ἀγα θάς; Ἡμεῖς ἐσμεν͵ φήσομεν͵ οἱ τἀγαθοῦ προσκυνηταί͵ οἱ 9.88.2 τῶν ἀγαθῶν ζηλωταί. Ἀκούσατε οὖν οἱ μακράν͵ ἀκούσατε οἱ ἐγγύς· οὐκ ἀπεκρύβη τινὰς ὁ λόγος· φῶς ἐστι κοινόν͵ ἐπιλάμπει πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις· οὐδεὶς Κιμμέριος ἐν λόγῳ·
Let us haste to salvation, to regeneration; let us who are many haste that we may be brought together into one love, according to the UNION of the essential unity; σπεύσωμεν εἰς σωτηρίαν͵ ἐπὶ τὴν παλιγγενεσίαν· εἰς μίαν ἀγάπην συναχθῆναι οἱ πολλοὶ κατὰ τὴν τῆς μοναδικῆς οὐσίας ἕνωσιν σπεύσωμεν.
and let us, by being made good, conformably follow after UNION, SEEKING AFTER THE GOOD MONAD. Ἀγαθοεργούμενοι ἀναλόγως 9.88.3 ἑνότητα διώκωμεν͵ τὴν ἀγαθὴν ἐκζητοῦντες μονάδα.

Protreptikos 11 (Theosis 3)

let us contemplate the only true God, first raising our voice in this hymn of praise: Hail, O light! τὸν ὄντως ὄντα θεὸν ἐποπτεύσωμεν͵ ταύτην αὐτῷ πρῶτον ἀνυμνήσαντες τὴν φωνήν χαῖρε φῶς·
For in us, buried in darkness, shut up in the shadow of death, light has shone forth from heaven, purer than the sun, sweeter than life here below. That light is eternal life; and whatever partakes of it lives. [...] φῶς ἡμῖν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ τοῖς ἐν σκότει κατορωρυγμένοις καὶ ἐν σκιᾷ θανάτου κατακεκλεισμένοις ἐξέλαμψεν ἡλίου καθαρώ 11.114.2 τερον͵ ζωῆς τῆς ἐνταῦθα γλυκύτερον. Τὸ φῶς ἐκεῖνο ζωή ἐστιν ἀίδιος͵ καὶ ὅσα μετείληφεν αὐτοῦ͵ ζῇ͵
He has raised him to the skies, transplanting mortality into immortality, and translating earth to heaven—He, the husbandman of God, [...] προσεκρέμασεν αἰθέρι͵ μεταφυτεύων τὴν φθορὰν εἰς ἀφθαρσίαν καὶ γῆν μεταβάλλων εἰς οὐρανούς͵ ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ γεωργός͵

Pointing out the favourable signs and rousing the nations

δεξιὰ σημαίνων͵ λαοὺς δ΄ ἐπὶ ἔργον ἀγαθὸν

To good works, putting them in mind of the true sustenance;(Aratus)

ἐγείρων͵ μιμνῄσκων βιότοιο

having bestowed on us the truly great, divine, and inalienable inheritance of the Father, ἀληθινοῦ͵ καὶ τὸν μέγαν ὄντως καὶ θεῖον καὶ ἀναφαίρετον τοῦ πατρὸς κλῆρον χαρι ζόμενος ἡμῖν͵


οὐρανίῳ διδασκαλίᾳ
θεοποιῶν τὸν ἄνθρωπον͵
putting His laws into our minds, and writing them on our hearts. What laws does He inscribe? “That all shall know God, from small to great; ”and, “I will be merciful to them,” says God, “and will not remember their sins.” (Heb. 8. 10–12; Jer. 31. 33,34.) Let us receive the laws of life, let us comply with God’s expostulations; let us become acquainted with Him, that He may be gracious. And though God needs nothing let us render to Him the grateful recompense of a thankful heart and of piety, as a kind of house-rent for our dwelling here below. διδοὺς νόμους εἰς τὴν διάνοιαν αὐτῶν καὶ ἐπὶ καρδίαν 11.114.5 γράφων αὐτούς. Τίνας ὑπογράφει νόμους; ῞οτι πάντες εἴσονται τὸν θεὸν ἀπὸ μικροῦ ἕως μεγάλου͵ καὶ ἵλεως͵ φησὶν ὁ θεός͵ ἔσομαι αὐτοῖς καὶ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν αὐτῶν οὐ μὴ μνησθῶ. 11.115.1 Δεξώμεθα τοὺς νόμους τῆς ζωῆς͵ πεισθῶμεν προτρε πομένῳ θεῷ͵ μάθωμεν αὐτόν͵ ἵνα ἵλεως ᾖ͵ ἀποδῶμεν καὶ μὴ δεομένῳ μισθὸν εὐχάριστον͵ εὐπείθειαν͵ οἷόν τι ἐνοίκιον [τὴν εὐσέβειαν] τῷ θεῷ τῆς ἐνταῦθα ἐνοικήσεως.

 (apophatic “exercises”)

1] NATURE (phusis)

Strom Bk 5, Ch.11 & Ch. 12


        11. […] [p. 461] It is not then without reason that in the mysteries that obtain among the Greeks, [A] purifications (lustrations) hold the first place; as also the laver (ceremonial washbasin) among the Barbarians. After these are the minor130 mysteries, which have some foundation of instruction and of preliminary preparation for what is to come after; and [B] the great mysteries, in which nothing remains to be learned of the universe, but only to contemplate and comprehend [1] nature (phusin) and [2]  things (pragmata) . οὐκ ἀπεικότως ἄρα καὶ τῶν μυστηρίων τῶν παρ'Ἕλλησιν ἄρχει 571.1 μὲν τὰ καθάρσια, καθάπερ καὶ τοῖς βαρβάροις τὸ λουτρόν. μετὰ ταῦτα δ' ἐστὶ τὰ μικρὰ μυστήρια διδασκαλίας τινὰ ὑπόθεσιν ἔχοντα καὶ προπαρασκευῆς τῶν μελλόντων, τὰ δὲ μεγάλα περὶ τῶν συμπάντων, οὗ μανθάνειν <οὐκ>έτι ὑπολείπεται, ἐποπτεύειν δὲ καὶ περινοεῖν 71.2 τήν τε φύσιν καὶ τὰ πράγματα.

We shall understand [:]

[a] the mode of PURIFICATION
by confession,

[b] and that of CONTEMPLATION
by analysis,

λάβοιμεν δ' ἂν τὸν

μὲν καθαρτικὸν τρόπον ὁμολογίᾳ,

τὸν δὲ  ἐποπτικὸν ἀναλύσει

   [1]  advancing by analysis to the first noesis [notion], beginning with the properties underlying it; 

̈ἐπὶ τὴν πρώτην νόησιν προχωροῦντες, δι' ἀναλύσεως ἐκ τῶν ὑποκειμένων αὐτῷ τὴν ἀρχὴν ποιούμενοι


    [2]  abstracting from the body its physical properties,  ἀφελόντες μὲν τοῦ σώματος τὰς φυσικὰς ποιότητας

   [a] taking away the dimension of depth, 

περιελόντες δὲ τὴν εἰς τὸ βάθος διάστασιν

   [b] then that of breadth, 

εἶτα τὴν εἰς τὸ πλάτος

   [c] and then that of length. 

καὶ ἐπὶ τούτοις τὴν εἰς τὸ μῆκος·̈
    [3]  For the point which remains is a unit, so to speak, having position;  τὸ γὰρ ὑπολειφθὲν σημεῖόν ἐστι μονὰς ὡς εἰπεῖν θέσιν ἔχουσα
    [4]  from which if we abstract position, there is the conception of unity. ἧς ἐὰν περιέλωμεν τὴν θέσιν, νοεῖται μονάς.

    [5]  If, then, abstracting all that belongs to bodies and things called incorporeal, we cast ourselves into the greatness of Christ, and thence advance into immensity by holiness, we may reach somehow to the conception of the Almighty,  εἰ τοίνυν, ἀφελόντες πάντα ὅσα πρόσεστι τοῖς σώμασιν καὶ τοῖς λεγομένοις ἀσωμάτοις, ἐπιρρίψαιμεν ἑαυτοὺς εἰς τὸ μέγεθος τοῦ Χριστοῦ κἀκεῖθεν εἰς τὸ ἀχανὲς ἁγιότητι προΐοιμεν, τῇ νοήσει τοῦ παντοκράτορος ἁμῇ γέ πῃ προσάγοιμεν <ἄν>
knowing not what He is, but what He is not. οὐχ ὅ ἐστιν, 71.4 ὃ δὲ μή ἐστι γνωρίσαντες·

 And form and motion, or standing, or a throne, or place, or right hand or left, are not at all to be conceived as belonging to the Father of the universe, although it is so written. But what each of these means will be shown in its proper place.

̈σχῆμα δὲ καὶ κίνησιν ἢ στάσιν ἢ θρόνον ἢ τόπον ἢ δεξιὰ ἢ ἀριστερὰ τοῦ τῶν ὅλων πατρὸς οὐδ' ὅλως ἐννοητέον, καίτοι καὶ ταῦτα γέγραπται· ἀλλ' ὃ βούλεται δηλοῦν αὐτῶν 5 ἕκαστον, κατὰ τὸν οἰκεῖον ἐπιδειχθήσεται τόπον.

The First Cause is not then in space, but above both

and time,
and name,
and noesis

οὔκουν ἐν τόπῳ τὸ πρῶτον αἴτιον, ἀλλ' ὑπεράνω

 καὶ τόπου
καὶ χρόνου
καὶ ὀνόματος
καὶ νοήσεως.

[Moses ascends into the darkness;
 the Divine cannot be uttered

Clement comments on a text dear to MiddlePlatonism: 


Book 5.11-12 [pp. 462-463]


11. For is it both a [difficult] task to discover the Father and Maker of this universe; and having found Him, it is impossible to declare Him to all.(Timaeus 28c)

78.1 "Τὸν γὰρ πατέρα καὶ ποιητὴν τοῦδε τοῦ παντὸς εὑρεῖν τε ἔργον καὶ εὑρόντα εἰς πάντας ἐξειπεῖν ἀδύνατον.

For this is by no means capable of expression, like the other subjects of instruction, (Letter 7.341c.5)

 ῥητὸν γὰρ οὐδαμῶς  78.2  ἐστιν ὡς τἄλλα μαθήματα",

              says the truth-loving Plato.

ὁ φιλαλήθης λέγει Πλάτων.
N.B. Here Clement conflates two different saying of Plato:  

Now to discover the Maker and Father of this Universe were a task indeed;
and having discovered Him, to declare Him unto all men were a thing impossible.

τὸν μὲν οὖν ποιητὴν καὶ πατέρα τοῦδε τοῦ παντὸς εὑρεῖν τε ἔργον
καὶ εὑρόντα εἰς πάντας ἀδύνατον λέγειν:

However, let us return and inquire further concerning the Cosmos,—after which of the Models did its Architect construct it? Timaeus 28c

 τόδε δ᾽ οὖν πάλιν ἐπισκεπτέον περὶ αὐτοῦ, πρὸς πότερον τῶν παραδειγμάτων ὁ τεκταινόμενος αὐτὸν [29α] ἀπηργάζετο,
The added phrase occurs in Letter 7. 341c5 as part of a discussion on :  

There does not exist, nor will there ever exist, any treatise of mine dealing with [these things].

οὔκουν ἐμόν γε περὶ αὐτῶν ἔστιν σύγγραμμα οὐδὲ μήποτε γένηται·

For [there is in philosophy that which] does not at all admit of verbal expression like other studies,

ῥητὸν γὰρ οὐδαμῶς ἐστιν ὡς ἄλλα μαθήματα͵ κ

but, as a result of continued application to the subject itself and communion therewith, it is brought to birth in the soul on a sudden,2 

ἀλλ΄ ἐκ πολλῆς συνουσίας γιγνομένης περὶ τὸ πρᾶγμα αὐτὸ καὶ τοῦ συζῆν ἐξαίφνης͵

as light that is kindled [341d] by a leaping spark [fire], and thereafter it nourishes itself.

οἷον ἀπὸ πυρὸς 341.d πηδήσαντος ἐξαφθὲν φῶς͵ ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ γενόμενον αὐτὸ ἑαυτὸ ἤδη τρέφει.
For he that had heard right well that the all-wise Moses, ascending the mount for holy contemplation, to the summit of intellectual [noetic] objects, necessarily commands that the whole people do not accompany him. And when the Scripture says, ἀκήκοεν γὰρ εὖ μάλα ὡς ὁ πάνσοφος Μωυσῆς εἰς τὸ ὄρος ἀνιὼν (διὰ τὴν ἁγίαν θεωρίαν ἐπὶ τὴν κορυφὴν τῶν νοητῶν) ἀναγκαίως δια 78.3 στέλλεται μὴ τὸν πάντα λαὸν συναναβαίνειν ἑαυτῷ· καὶ ὅταν λέγῃ ἡ γραφὴ
Moses entered into the thick darkness where God was, "εἰσῆλθεν δὲ Μωυσῆς εἰς τὸν γνόφον οὗ ἦν ὁ θεός",
this shows to those capable of understanding, that God is invisible and beyond expression [by words], τοῦτο δηλοῖ τοῖς συνιέναι δυναμένοις, ὡς ὁ θεὸς ἀόρατός ἐστι καὶ ἄρρητος,
And “the darkness —which is, in truth,the  γνόφος δὲ ὡς ἀληθῶς ἡ

unbelief and

τῶν πολλῶν ἀπιστία τε

ignorance of the multitude—

καὶ ἄγνοια

  obstructs the gleam of truth. And again Orpheus, the theologian, aided from this quarter, says:—

 τῇ 78.4 αὐγῇ τῆς ἀληθείας ἐπίπροσθε φέρεται.Ὀρφεύς τε αὖ ὁ θεολόγος ἐντεῦθεν ὠφελημένος εἰπών·

“One is perfect in himself, and all things are made the progeny of one,”or, “are born; ”for so also is it written.
He adds:—
“Him No one of mortals has seen, but He sees all.”

εἷς ἔστ', αὐτοτελής, ἑνὸς ἔκγονα πάντα τέτυκται (ἢ "πέφυκεν", γράφεται γὰρ καὶ οὕτως), ἐπιφέρει· οὐδέ τις αὐτὸν εἰσοράᾳ θνητῶν, αὐτὸς δέ γε πάντας ὁρᾶται. 78.5 σαφέστερον δὲ ἐπιλέγει· αὐτὸν δ' οὐχ ὁρόω·

And he adds more clearly:—
“Him see I not, for round about, a cloud
Has settled; for in mortal eyes are small,
And mortal pupils—only flesh and bones grow there.”

περὶ γὰρ νέφος ἐστήρικται. πᾶσι<ν> γὰρ θνητοῖς θνηταὶ κόραι εἰσὶν ἐν ὄσσοις μικραί, ἐπεὶ σάρκες τε καὶ ὀστέα [ἐμπεφυῖα] ἐμπεφύασιν.
        To these statements the apostle will testify: “I know a man in Christ, caught up into the third heaven, and thence into Paradise, 79.1 μαρτυρήσει τοῖς εἰρημένοις ὁ ἀπόστολος, "οἶδα" λέγων "ἄνθρωπον ἐν Χριστῷ ἁρπαγέντα ἕως τρίτου οὐρανοῦ", κἀκεῖθεν "εἰς τὸν παράδεισον,

who heard unutterable words which it is not lawful for a man to speak,”

ὃς ἤκουσεν ἄρρητα ῥήματα, ἃ οὐκ ἐξὸν ἀνθρώπῳ λαλῆσαι,"
—intimating thus the impossibility of expressing God, and indicating that what is divine is unutterable by human power;  τὸ ἄρρητον τοῦ θεοῦ οὕτως αἰνισσόμενος, οὐ νόμῳ καὶ φόβῳ παραγγελίας τινὸς τὸ "οὐκ ἐξὸν" προστιθείς, δυνάμει δὲ ἀνθρωπείᾳ ἄφθεγκτον εἶναι τὸ θεῖον μηνύων,
 if, indeed, he begins to speak above the third heaven, as it is lawful to initiate the elect souls in the mysteries there. εἴ γε ὑπὲρ οὐρανὸν τὸν τρίτον ἄρχεται λαλεῖσθαι, ὡς θέμις, τοῖς ἐκεῖ μυσταγωγοῦσιν τὰς ἐξειλεγμένας 79.2 ψυχάς.

        For I know what is in Plato (for the examples from the barbarian philosophy, which are many, are suggested now by the composition which, in accordance with promises previously given, waits the suitable time). For doubting, in Timaeus, whether we ought to regard several worlds as to be understood by many heavens, or this one, he makes no distinction in the names, calling the world and heaven by the same name. But the words of the statement are as follows: “Whether, then, have we rightly spoken of one heaven, or of many and infinite? It were more correct to say one, if indeed it was created according to the model.” Further, in the Epistle of the Romans to the Corinthians143 it is written, “An ocean illimitable by men and the worlds after it.” Consequently, therefore, the noble apostle exclaims, “Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!”144

οἶδα γὰρ ἐγὼ καὶ παρὰ Πλάτωνι (τὰ γὰρ ἐκ τῆς βαρβάρου φιλοσοφίας παραδείγματα πολλὰ ὄντα ὑπερτίθεταί μοι νῦν ἡ γραφή, κατὰ τὰς πρώτας ὑποσχέσεις τὸν καιρὸν ἀναμένουσα) πολλοὺς οὐρα 79.3 νοὺς νοουμένους. ἀπορήσας γοῦν ἐν τῷ Τιμαίῳ, εἰ χρὴ πλείονας κόσμους ἢ τοῦτον ἕνα νομίζειν, ἀδιαφορεῖ περὶ τὰ ὀνόματα, συνωνύμως κόσμον τε καὶ οὐρανὸν ἀποκαλῶν· τὰ δὲ τῆς λέξεως ὧδε 79.4 ἔχει· "πότερον οὖν ὀρθῶς ἕνα οὐρανὸν εἰρήκαμεν ἢ πολλοὺς καὶ ἀπείρους ἦν λέγειν ὀρθότερον; ἕνα, εἴπερ κατὰ τὸ παράδειγμα ἔσται δεδημιουργημένος." 80.1Ἀλλὰ κἀν τῇ πρὸς ΚορινθίουςῬωμαίων ἐπιστολῇ "ὠκεανὸς 80.2 ἀπέραντος ἀνθρώποις" γέγραπται "καὶ οἱ μετ' αὐτὸν κόσμοι". ἀκολούθως τοίνυν πάλιν ἐπιφθέγγεται "ὢ βάθος πλούτου καὶ σοφίας 80.3 καὶ γνώσεως θεοῦ" ὁ γενναῖος ἀπόστολος.

        And was it not this which the prophet meant, when he ordered unleavened cakes145 to be made, intimating that the truly sacred mystic word, respecting the unbegotten and His powers, ought to be concealed? In confirmation of these things, in the Epistle to the Corinthians the apostle plainly says: “Howbeit we speak wisdom among those who are perfect, but not the wisdom of this world, or of the princes of this world, that come to nought. But we speak the wisdom of God hidden in a mystery.”146 And again in another place he says: “To the acknowledgment of the mystery of God in Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”147

καὶ μή τι τοῦτ' ἦν ὃ ᾐνίσσετο ὁ προφήτης, "ἐγκρυφίας" κελεύων ποιεῖν "ἀζύμους", μηνύων ὅτι τὸν ἱερὸν ὡς ἀληθῶς περὶ τοῦ ἀγενήτου καὶ τῶν δυνάμεων 80.4 αὐτοῦ μύστην λόγον ἐπικεκρύφθαι δεῖ. βεβαιῶν ταῦτα ἐν τῇ πρὸς Κορινθίους ἐπιστολῇ ὁ ἀπόστολος ἀναφανδὸν εἴρηκεν· "σοφίαν δὲ λαλοῦμεν ἐν τοῖς τελείοις, σοφίαν δὲ οὐ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου οὐδὲ τῶν ἀρχόντων τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου τῶν καταργουμένων· ἀλλὰ λαλοῦ 80.5 μεν θεοῦ σοφίαν ἐν μυστηρίῳ, τὴν ἀποκεκρυμμένην." καὶ πάλιν ἀλλαχοῦ λέγει· "εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν τοῦ μυστηρίου τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν Χριστῷ, ἐν ᾧ εἰσι πάντες οἱ θησαυροὶ τῆς σοφίας καὶ τῆς γνώσεως ἀπόκρυφοι." 80.6

        These things the Saviour Himself seals when He says: “To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.”148 And again the Gospel says that the Saviour spake to the apostles the word in a mystery. For prophecy says of Him: “He will open His mouth in parables, and will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.”149 And now, by the parable of the leaven, the Lord shows concealment; for He says, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”150

                ἐπισφραγίζεται ταῦτα ὁ σωτὴρ ἡμῶν αὐτὸς ὧδέ πως λέγων· "ὑμῖν δέδοται γνῶναι τὸ μυστήριον τῆς βασιλείας τῶν οὐρανῶν." 80.7 καὶ πάλιν φησὶ τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, ὡς ὁ σωτὴρ ἡμῶν ἔλεγεν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις τὸν λόγον ἐν μυστηρίῳ· καὶ γὰρ ἡ προφητεία περὶ αὐτοῦ φησιν· "ἀνοίξει ἐν παραβολαῖς τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐξερεύξεται τὰ 80.8 ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου κεκρυμμένα." ἤδη δὲ καὶ διὰ τῆς περὶ τὴν ζύμην παραβολῆς τὴν ἐπίκρυψιν ὁ κύριος δηλοῖ· φησὶ γάρ· "ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ζύμῃ, ἣν λαβοῦσα γυνὴ ἐνέκρυψεν εἰς 80.9 ἀλεύρου σάτα τρία, ἕως οὗ ἐζυμώθη ὅλον."

FOR the tripartite soul is saved by[:]

[1]  obedience,

[2]  through the spiritual power hidden in it by faith; or

[3]  because the power of the word which is given to us, being strong151 and powerful, draws to itself secretly and invisibly every one who receives it,

and keeps it within himself, and brings his whole system into unity.

ἤτοι γὰρ ἡ τριμερὴς καθ'

 ὑπακοὴν σῴζεται ψυχὴ

διὰ τὴν ἐγκρυβεῖσαν αὐτῇ κατὰ τὴν πίστιν πνευματικὴν δύναμιν,

ἢ ὅτι ἡ ἰσχὺς τοῦ λόγου ἡ δοθεῖσα ἡμῖν, σύντονος οὖσα καὶ δυνατή, πάντα τὸν καταδεξάμενον καὶ ἐντὸς ἑαυτοῦ κτησάμενον αὐτὴν ἐπικεκρυμμένως τε

καὶ ἀφανῶς πρὸς ἑαυτὴν 81.1 ἕλκει καὶ τὸ πᾶν αὐτοῦ σύστημα εἰς ἑνότητα συνάγει.

On Prayer Interwoven with Compassion
and Deeds of Charity 


Stromateis Bk. 7, 12 80


        […] His whole life is prayer and converse with God [homilia pros theon] .107 And if he be pure from sins, he will by all means obtain what he wishes. For God says to the righteous man, “Ask, and I will give thee; think, and I will do.” If beneficial, he will receive it at once; and if injurious, he will never ask it, and therefore he will not receive it. So it shall be as he wishes.

εὐχὴ γὰρ αὐτῷ ὁ βίος ἅπας καὶ ὁμιλία πρὸς θεόν, κἂν καθαρὸς ᾖ ἁμαρτημάτων, πάντως οὗ βούλεται τεύξεται. λέγει γὰρ ὁ θεὸς τῷ δικαίῳ· "αἴτησαι, 73.2 καὶ δώσω σοί· ἐννοήθητι, καὶ ποιήσω." ἐὰν μὲν οὖν συμφέροντα ᾖ, παραχρῆμα λήψεται· ἀσύμφορα δὲ οὐδέποτε αἰτήσεται, διὸ οὐδὲ λή 73.3 ψεται. οὕτως ἔσται ὃ βούλεται.

        In the act of contemplating the souls of the brethren, he beholds the beauty of the flesh also, with the soul itself, which has become habituated to look solely upon that which is good, without carnal pleasure

αὐτίκα τῶν ἀδελφῶν τὰς ψυχὰς θεωρῶν καὶ τῆς σαρκὸς τὸ κάλλος αὐτῇ βλέπει τῇ ψυχῇ, τῇ μόνον τὸ καλὸν ἄνευ τῆς σαρκικῆς ἡδονῆς ἐπισκοπεῖν εἰθισμένῃ. 77.1¨

Condition of election = source of Divine Will in them.  Analogous to conscience and Natural Law: here linked to contemplation of brethren's souls.

Contemplation of Nature (phusis)
and things / ethics (pragmata)

And they are really brethren; in as much as, by reason of their elect creation, and their oneness of character, and the nature of their deeds, they do, and think, and speak the same holy and good works, in accordance with the sentiments with which the Lord wished them as elect to be inspired. […] Αδελφοὶ δ' εἰσὶ τῷ ὄντι κατὰ τὴν κτίσιν τὴν ἐξειλεγμένην καὶ κατὰ τὴν ὁμοήθειαν καὶ κατὰ τὴν τῶν ἔργων ὑπόστασιν, τὰ αὐτὰ ποιοῦντες καὶ νοοῦντες καὶ λαλοῦντες ἐνεργήματα ἅγια καὶ καλά, ἃ 77.2 ὁ κύριος αὐτοὺς ἠθέλησεν ἐκλεκτοὺς ὄντας φρονεῖν.

        For faith shows itself in their making choice of the same things; and knowledge, in learning and thinking the same things; and hope, in desiring the same things. […]

πίστις μὲν γὰρ ἐν τῷ τὰ αὐτὰ αἱρεῖσθαι, γνῶσις δὲ ἐν τῷ τὰ αὐτὰ μεμαθηκέναι καὶ φρονεῖν, ἐλπὶς δὲ ἐν τῷ τὰ αὐτὰ ποθεῖν.

        He impoverishes himself, in order that he may never overlook a brother who has been brought into affliction, through the perfection that is in love, especially if he know that he will bear want himself easier than his brother.

αὐτὸς ἑαυτὸν μειονεκτεῖ πρὸς τὸ μὴ ὑπεριδεῖν ποτε ἐν θλίψει γενόμενον ἀδελφὸν διὰ τὴν ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ τελείωσιν, ἐὰν ἐπίστηται μάλιστα ῥᾷον ἑαυτὸν τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ τὴν ἔνδειαν οἴσοντα.

Self-sacrifice based on discernment of other's limitation = EMPATHY 


        He considers, accordingly, the other’s pain his own grief; and if, by contributing from his own indigence in order to do good, he suffer any hardship, he does not fret at this, but augments his beneficence still more. For he possesses in its sincerity the faith which is exercised in reference to the affairs of life, and praises the Gospel in practice and contemplation. And, in truth, he wins his praise “not from men, but from God,”119 by the performance of what the Lord has taught. […]

78,1Ἡγεῖται γοῦν τὴν ἀλγηδόνα ἐκείνου ἴδιον ἄλγημα· κἂν ἐκ τῆς ἑαυτοῦ ἐνδείας παρεχόμενος δι' εὐποιίαν πάθῃ τι δύσκολον, οὐ δυσχεραίνει ἐπὶ τούτῳ, προσαύξει δὲ ἔτι μᾶλλον τὴν εὐεργεσίαν. 78,2 ἔχει γὰρ ἄκρατον πίστιν τὴν περὶ τῶν πραγμάτων, τὸ εὐαγγέλιον δι' ἔργων καὶ θεωρίας ἐπαινῶν. καὶ δὴ "οὐ τὸν ἔπαινον παρὰ ἀνθρώπων, ἀλλὰ παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ" καρποῦται, ἃ ἐδίδαξεν ὁ κύριος, ταῦτα 78,3 ἐπιτελῶν.

      So is he always pure for prayer. He also prays in the society of angels, as being already of angelic rank, and he is never out of their holy keeping; and though he pray alone, he has the choir of the saints121 standing with him. […]

ταύτῃ καθαρὸς εἰς εὐχὴν 78,6 πάντοτε.ὃ δὲ καὶ μετ' ἀγγέλων εὔχεται, ὡς ἂν ἤδη καὶ "ἰσάγγελος", οὐδὲ ἔξω ποτὲ τῆς ἁγίας φρουρᾶς γίνεται· κἂν μόνος εὔχηται, τὸν τῶν ἁγίων χορὸν συνιστάμενον ἔχει.

        And the form of his prayer is thanksgiving for the past, for the present, and for the future as already through faith present. This is preceded by the reception of knowledge. And he asks to live the allotted life in the flesh as a Gnostic, as free from the flesh, and to attain to the best things, and flee from the worse. He asks, too, relief in those things in which we have sinned, and conversion to the acknowledgment of them.123

τὸ δὲ εἶδος αὐτὸ τῆς εὐχῆς εὐχαριστία ἐπί τε τοῖς προγεγονόσιν ἐπί τε τοῖς ἐνεστῶσιν ἐπί τε τοῖς μέλλουσιν, ὡς ἤδη διὰ τὴν πίστιν παροῦσιν· τούτου δὲ ἡγεῖται τὸ εἰληφέναι τὴν 79,3 γνῶσιν. καὶ δὴ καὶ αἰτεῖται οὕτως ζῆσαι τὸν ὡρισμένον ἐν τῇ σαρκὶ βίον, ὡς γνωστικός, ὡς ἄσαρκος, καὶ τυχεῖν μὲν τῶν ἀρίστων, φυγεῖν 79,4 δὲ τὰ χείρονα. αἰτεῖται δὲ καὶ ἐπικουφισμὸν περὶ ὧν ἡμαρτήσαμεν ἡμεῖς καὶ ἐπιστροφὴν εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν·

        He follows, on his departure, Him who calls, as quickly, so to speak, as He who goes before calls, hasting by reason of a good conscience to give thanks; and having got there with Christ shows himself worthy, through his purity, to possess, by a process of blending, the power of God communicated by Christ. For he does not wish to be warm by participation in heat, or luminous by participation in flame, but to be wholly light. […]

οὕτως ὀξέως ἑπόμενος τῷ καλοῦντι κατὰ τὴν ἔξοδον ὡς ἐκεῖνος καλεῖ, προάγων ὡς εἰπεῖν διὰ τὴν ἀγαθὴν συνείδησιν, σπεύδων ἐπὶ τὸ εὐχαριστῆσαι κἀκεῖ, σὺν Χριστῷ γενόμενος, ἄξιον ἑαυτὸν παρασχὼν διὰ καθαρότητα, κατὰ ἀνάκρασιν ἔχειν τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ θεοῦ τὴν διὰ τοῦ Χριστοῦ 79,5 χορηγουμένην. οὐ γὰρ μετουσίᾳ θερμότητος θερμὸς οὐδὲ πυρὸς φωτεινός, ἀλλ' εἶναι ὅλος φῶς βούλεται.

        He having acquired the habit of doing good, exercises beneficence well, quicker than speaking; praying that he may get a share in the sins of his brethren, in order to obtain confession and conversion on the part of his kindred; and eager to give a share to those dearest to him of his own good things. And so these are to him, friends. Promoting, then, the growth of the seeds deposited in him, according to the husbandry enjoined by the Lord, he continues free of sin, and becomes continent, and lives in spirit with those who are like him, among the choirs of the saints, though still detained on earth. […]

οὗτος οἶδεν ἀκριβῶς τὸ εἰρημένον· "ἐὰν μὴ μισήσητε τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὴν μητέρα, πρὸς ἔτι δὲ καὶ τὴν ἰδίαν ψυχήν, καὶ ἐὰν μὴ τὸ σημεῖον βαστάσητε. " 79,6 τάς τε γὰρ προσπαθείας τὰς σαρκικὰς πολὺ τῆς ἡδονῆς τὸ φίλτρον ἐχούσας μεμίσηκεν καὶ καταμεγαλοφρονεῖ πάντων τῶν εἰς δημιουργίαν καὶ τροφὴν τῆς σαρκὸς οἰκείων, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς σωματικῆς ψυχῆς κατεξανίσταται, στόμιον ἐμβαλὼν ἀφηνιάζοντι τῷ 79,7 ἀλόγῳ πνεύματι, ὅτι "ἡ σὰρξ ἐπιθυμεῖ κατὰ τοῦ πνεύματος".

On Apatheia 


Stromateis Bk. 6, 9. 73-74


        So that on these accounts he is compelled to become like his Teacher in impassibility. For the Word of God is intellectual, according as the image of mind is seen129 in man alone. Thus also the good man is godlike in form and semblance as respects his soul. And, on the other hand, God is like man. For the distinctive form of each one is the mind by which we are characterized. Consequently, also, those who sin against man are unholy and impious. For it were ridiculous to say that the gnostic and perfect man must not eradicate anger and courage, in as much as without these he will not struggle against circumstances, or abide what is terrible. But if we take from him desire; he will be quite overwhelmed by troubles, and therefore depart from this life very basely. Unless possessed of it, as some suppose, he will not conceive a desire for what is like the excellent and the good. If, then, all alliance with what is good is accompanied with desire, how, it is said, does he remain impassible who desires what is excellent?

ὥστε ἕνεκά γε τούτων ἐξομοιοῦσθαι βιάζεται τῷ διδασκάλῳ εἰς ἀπάθειαν· νοερὸς γὰρ ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ, καθ' ὃ ὁ τοῦ νοῦ εἰκονισμὸς ὁρᾶται ἐν μόνῳ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ, ᾗ καὶ θεοειδὴς καὶ θεοείκελος ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἀνὴρ κατὰ ψυχὴν ὅ τε αὖ θεὸς ἀνθρωποειδής· τὸ γὰρ εἶδος ἑκάστου ὁ νοῦς, ᾧ χαρακτηριζόμεθα. παρ' ὃ καὶ οἱ εἰς ἄνθρωπον ἁμαρτάνοντες ἀνόσιοί τε καὶ ἀσεβεῖς. λῆρος γὰρ καὶ τὸ φάσκειν τὸν γνωστικὸν καὶ τέλειον μὴ δεῖν ἀφαιρεῖν θυμοῦ καὶ θάρσους, ὡς μὴ καὶ ἄνευ τούτων κατεξαναστησο6.9.73.1 μένου τῶν περιστάσεων οὐδ' ὑπομενοῦντος τὰ δεινά, ἀλλ', εἰ καὶ τὴν εὐθυμίαν ἀφέλοιμεν αὐτοῦ, [ὡς] πάντως ὑπὸ τῶν λυπηρῶν συγχεθησομένου καὶ διὰ τοῦτο κάκιστα ἀπαλλάξοντος. τοῦ τε ζήλου εἰ μὴ μετείη αὐτῷ, ᾗ τισιν ἔδοξεν, οὐκ ἂν τῶν ὁμοίων τοῖς καλοῖς κἀγαθοῖς ἔργων ἔφεσιν λάβοι. εἰ γοῦν ἡ πᾶσα οἰκείωσις ἡ πρὸς τὰ καλὰ μετ' ὀρέξεως γίνεται, πῶς ἀπαθὴς μένει, φασίν, ὁ τῶν καλῶν ὀρεγόμενος; ἀλλ' οὐκ ἴσασιν, ὡς ἔοικεν, οὗτοι τὸ θεῖον τῆς ἀγάπης

        But these people know not, as appears, the divinity of love. For love is not desire on the part of him who loves; but is a relation of affection, restoring the Gnostic to the unity of the faith,—independent of time and place. But he who by love is already in the midst of that in which he is destined to be, and has anticipated hope by knowledge, does not desire anything, having, as far as possible, the very thing desired. Accordingly, as to be expected, he continues in the exercise of gnostic love, in the one unvarying state.

οὐ γάρ ἐστιν ἔτι ὄρεξις τοῦ ἀγαπῶντος ἡ ἀγάπη, στερκτικὴ δὲ οἰκείωσις, "εἰς τὴν ἑνότητα τῆς πίστεως" ἀποκαθεστακυῖα τὸν γνωστικόν, χρόνου καὶ τόπου μὴ προσδεόμενον. ὃ δ' ἐν οἷς ἔσται, δι' ἀγάπης ἤδη γενόμενος, τὴν ἐλπίδα προειληφὼς διὰ τῆς γνώσεως, οὐδὲ ὀρέγεταί τινος, ἔχων ὡς οἷόν τε αὐτὸ τὸ ὀρεκτόν. εἰκότως τοίνυν ἐν τῇ μιᾷ ἕξει μένει τῇ ἀμεταβόλῳ γνωστικῶς ἀγαπῶν,

        Nor will he, therefore, eagerly desire to be assimilated to what is beautiful, possessing, as he does, beauty by love. What more need of courage and of desire to him, who has obtained the affinity to the impassible God which arises from love, and by love has enrolled himself among the friends of God?

οὐδ' ἄρα ζηλώσει ἐξομοιω6.9.73.6 θῆναι τοῖς καλοῖς <τὸ> εἶναι δι' ἀγάπης ἔχων τοῦ κάλλους. θάρσους τε καὶ ἐπιθυμίας τίς ἔτι τούτῳ χρεία, τὴν ἐκ τῆς ἀγάπης οἰκείωσιν πρὸς τὸν ἀπαθῆ θεὸν ἀπειληφότι καὶ διὰ τῆς ἀγάπης ἑαυτὸν εἰς τοὺς φίλους ἐγγεγραφότι;

        We must therefore rescue the gnostic and perfect man from all passion of the soul. For knowledge (gnosis) produces practice, and practice habit or disposition; and such a state as this produces impassibility, not moderation of passion. And the complete eradication of desire reaps as its fruit impassibility. But the Gnostic does not share either in those affections that are commonly celebrated as good, that is, the good things of the affections which are allied to the passions: such, I mean, as gladness, which is allied to pleasure; and dejection, for this is conjoined with pain; and caution, for it is subject to fear. Nor yet does he share in high spirit, for it takes its place alongside of wrath; although some say that these are no longer evil, but already good. For it is impossible that he who has been once made perfect by love, and feasts eternally and insatiably on the boundless joy of contemplation, should delight in small and grovelling things. For what rational cause remains any more to the man who has gained “the light inaccessible,”130 for revering to the good things of the world? Although not yet true as to time and place, yet by that gnostic love through which the inheritance and perfect restitution follow, the giver of the reward makes good by deeds what the Gnostic, by gnostic choice, had grasped by anticipation through love.

ἐξαιρετέον ἄρα τὸν γνωστικὸν ἡμῖν καὶ τέλειον ἀπὸ παντὸς ψυχικοῦ πάθους· ἡ μὲν γὰρ γνῶσις συνάσκησιν, ἡ συνάσκησις δὲ ἕξιν ἢ διάθεσιν, ἡ κατάστασις δὲ ἡ τοιάδε ἀπάθειαν ἐργάζεται, οὐ μετριοπάθειαν· ἀπάθειαν γὰρ καρποῦται παντελὴς τῆς ἐπιθυμίας ἐκκοπή. ἀλλ' οὐδὲ ἐκείνων τῶν θρυλουμένων ἀγαθῶν, τουτέστι τῶν παρακειμένων τοῖς πάθεσιν παθητικῶν ἀγαθῶν, μετα- λαμβάνει ὁ γνωστικός, οἷον εὐφροσύνης λέγω (ἥτις παράκειται τῇ ἡδονῇ) καὶ κατηφείας (αὕτη γὰρ τῇ λύπῃ παρέζευκται) καὶ εὐλαβείας (ὑπέσταλκεν γὰρ τῷ φόβῳ), ἀλλ' οὐδὲ θυμοῦ (παρὰ τὴν ὀργὴν οὗτος τέτακται), κἂν λέγωσί τινες μηκέτ' εἶναι ταῦτα κακά, ἀλλ' ἤδη ἀγαθά. ἀδύνατον γὰρ τὸν ἅπαξ τελειωθέντα δι' ἀγάπης καὶ τὴν ἀπλήρωτον τῆς θεωρίας εὐφροσύνην ἀιδίως καὶ ἀκορέστως ἑστιώμενον ἐπὶ τοῖς μικροῖς καὶ χαμαιζήλοις ἔτι τέρπεσθαι· τίς γὰρ ὑπολείπεται ἔτι τούτῳ εὔλογος αἰτία ἐπὶ τὰ κοσμικὰ παλινδρομεῖν ἀγαθὰ τῷ τὸ "ἀπρόσιτον" ἀπειληφότι "φῶς", κἂν μηδέπω κατὰ τὸν χρόνον καὶ τὸν τόπον, ἀλλ' ἐκείνῃ γε τῇ γνωστικῇ ἀγάπῃ, δι' ἣν καὶ ἡ κληρονομία καὶ ἡ παντελὴς ἕπεται ἀποκατάστασις,




137 Ps. cxii. 6.

138 Ps. cxii. 7.

139 Ps. cv. 3, 4.

140 Heb. i. 1.

12 [Isa. xlii. 10. Note that in all the Psalms where this expression is used, there is a foretaste of the New Covenant and of the manifestation of the Word.]

14 Phil. ii. 6, 7.

130 [Analogies in Bunsen, Hippol., iii. 75, and notes, p. 123.]

143 [i.e., as written by St. Clement of Rome. See vol. i, p. 10. S.]

144 Rom. xi. 33.

145 Alluding to Gen. xviii. 6; the word used is, which Clement, following Philo, from its derivation, takes to signify occult mysteries.

146 1 Cor. ii. 6, 7.

147 Col. ii. 2, 3.

148 Matt. xiii. 11; Mark iv. 11; Luke viii. 10.

149 Ps. lxxviii. 2.

150 Matt. xiii. 33.

119 Rom. ii. 29.

123 Luke xviii. 18.

130 1 Tim. vi. 16.

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