Exhortation to the Heathen
By Clement


1 The Greek is u9perta/thn, lit. highest. Potter appeals to the use of u9e/rteroj in Sophocles, Electr. 455, in the sense of stronger, as giving a clue to the meaning here. The scholiast in Klotz takes the words to mean that the hand is held over them.

2 Isa. ii. 3.

3 Ps. xcvi. 1, xvciii. 1.

4 Odyssey, iv. 220.

5 Matt. iii. 9; Luke iii. 8.

6 Matt. iii. 7; Luke iii. 7.

7 Tit. iii. 3-5.

8 Probably a quotation from a hymn.

9 Ps. cx. 3. Septuagint has, "before the morning star."

10 John i. 1.

11 Tit. ii. 11-13.

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.]

13 Eph. ii. 2.

14 Phil. ii. 6, 7.

15 John i. 23.

16 Isa. xl. 3.

17 Isa. liv. 1.

18 This may be translated, "of God the Christ."

19 John x. 9.

20 Matt. xi. 27.

21 What this is, is not known; but it is likely that the word is a corruption of i\era\n dru=n, the sacred oak.

22 a!xrhsta xrhsth/ia.

23 The text has a0nie/rou, the imperative of a0niero/w, which in classical Greek means "to hallow;" but the verb here must be derived from the adjective a0ni/eroj, and be taken in the sense "deprive of their holiness," "no longer count holy." Eusebius reads a0nie/rouj: "unholy interpreters."

24 The cernos some take to be a vessel containing poppy, etc., carried in sacrificial processions. The scholiast says that it is a fan. [I have marked this as a quotation. See below: Eleusinian rites.]

25 Proserpine or Pherephatta.

26 The scholiast takes the r9i/mboj to mean a piece of wood attached to a cord, and swung round so as to cause a whistling noise.

27 [See supra, p. 175, where I have affixed quotation-marks, and adopted the word "tokens" (instead of "signs") to harmonize these two places]

28 This sentence is read variously in various editions.

29 [A scathing retort upon those who called Christians atheists, and accused them of shameful rites.]

30 Eph. ii. 12.

31 Euripides.

32 Eph. ii. 3-5.

33 Illiad, v. 31.

34 Illiad, v. 385.

35 Illiad, xviii. 411.

36 Illiad, iii. 243. Lord Derby's translation is used in extracts from the Illiad.

37 The mss.. read "small," but the true reading is doubtless "tall."

38 Illiad, i. 528

39 Odyss., viii. 324.

40 Meursius proposed to read, "at Agra."

41 The beams of Sol or the Sun is an emendation of Potter's. The mss. read "the Elean Augeas."

42 Odyss., xix. 163.

43 So Liddell and Scott. Commentators are generally agreed that the epithet is an obscene one, though what its precise meaning is they can only conjecture.

44 An obscene epithet, derived from xoi=roj, a sow, and qli/bw, to press.

45 Hesiod, Works and Days, 1. i. 250.

46 Illiad, iv. 48.

47 Plutarch, xx.

48 Illiad, iii. 33.

49 If we read xarie/steron, this is the only sense that can be put on the words. But if we read xaristh/rion, we may translate "a memorial of gratified lust."

50 Odyss., xx. 351.

51 Vulg., Sibyllini, p. 253.

52 [The Trent Creed makes the saints and their images objects of worship. It is evident that Clement never imagined the existence of an image among Christians. See p. 188, infra.]

53 [The Trent Creed makes the saints and their images objects of worship. It is evident that Clement never imagined the existence of an image among Christians. See p. 188, infra.]

54 Pantarkes is said to have been the name of a boy loved by Phidias: but as the word signifies "all-assisting," "all-powerful," it might also be made to apply to Zeus.

55 Illiad, xvi. 433.

56 Illiad, i. 221; meta\ dai/monaj allouj.

57 Odyss., viii. 266.

58 [Is not this a rebuke to many of the figures and pictures which vulgarize abodes of wealth in America?]

59 Sibyl. Justin Martyr, Cohort. ad Graecos, p. 81. See p. 280, vol. i of this series.

60 Ex. xx. 4. [Clement even regards the art of painters and sculptors as unlawful for Christians.]

61 Ps. xcvi. 5.

62 Ps. xxxiii. 6.

63 Ps. viii. 3.

64 Gal. iv. 9.

65 Timaeus.

66 Deut. xxv. 13, 15.

67 [This great truth comes forcibly from an Attic scholar. Let me refer to a very fine passage in another Christian scholar, William Cowper (Task, book ii.): "All truth is from the sempiternal source," etc.]

68 The Sibyl.

69 Or Asseus, native of Asso.

70 Il., iii. 406.

71 Il., vi 132.

72 Orestes, 590.

73 Ion., 442.

74 [Note her remarkable accord with inspiration, clearly distinguishing between such and the oracles of God. But see, supra, p. 132 and p. 145.]

75 [Having shown what truth there is to be found in heathen poets, he ascends to the Sibyl, and thus comes to the prophets; showing them how to climb upward in this way, and cleverly inducing them to make the best use of their own prophets and poets, by following them to the sources of their noblest ideas.]

76 [How sublimely he now introduces the oracles of truth.]

77 Jer. xxiii. 23.

78 Isa. xl. 12.

79 Isa. lxiv. 1, 2.

80 Isa. lxvi. 1.

81 Jer. viii. 2. xxx. 20, iv. 6.

82 Deut. xxxii. 39.

83 Amos iv. 13.

84 Isa. xlv. 19, 20.

85 Isa. xlv. 21-23.

86 Isa. xl. 18, 19.

87 Isa. x. 10, 11.

88 Isa. x. 14.

89 Prov. viii. 22.

90 Prov. ii. 6.

91 Prov. vi. 9.

92 Prov. vi. 11.

93 Prov. vi. 23.

94 Jer. x. 12.

95 Deut. vi. 4, 13, x. 20.

96 Ps. ii. 10, 12.

97 Ps. iv. 2.

98 Rom. i. 21, 23, 25.

99 Gen. i. 1.

100 This is made up of several passages, as Isa. xiii. 10, Ezek. xxxii. 7, Joel ii. 10, 31, iii. 15.

101 Matt. v. 18.

102 Prov. iii. 11.

103 Heb. xii. 21.

104 Matt. xxv. 41, 46.

105 Eph. iv. 17-19.

106 Eph. v. 14.

107 Ps. cx. 3.

108 Ps. xcv. 8, 9.

109 Ps. xcv. 9-11

110 Ps. xcv. 7.

111 1 Tim. iv. 8.

112 1 Tim. iv. 10.

113 2 Tim. iii. 15.

114 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17. [Here note the testimony of Clement to the universal diffusion and study of the Scriptures.]

115 Matt. iv. 17.

116 Phil. iv. 5.

117 Ps. xxxiv. 8, where Clem. has read risto/j for xrhsto/j.

118 Ps. xxxiv. 11.

119 [Here seems to be a running allusion to the privileges of the Christian Church in its unity, and to the "Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, " which were so charming a feature of Christian worship. Bunsen, Hippolytus, etc., vol. ii. p. 157.]

120 Zech. iii. 2.

121 Illiad, ii. 315.

122 Isa. i. 3.

123 Isa. liv. 17.

124 Isa. liv. 17, where Sept.reads, "ye shall be righteous."

125 Isa. lv. 1.

126 1 Cor. ii. 9.

127 Deut. xxx. 15.

128 Isa. i. 19.

129 Isa. i. 20, xxxiii. 11.

130 Minerva.

131 Gen. i. 26.

132 [Immersion was surely the form of primitive baptism, but these words, if not a reference to that sacrament, must recall Isa. lii. 15.]

133 [This fine passage will be recalled by what Clement afterward, in the Stromata, says of prayer. Book vii. vol. ii. p. 432. Edin.]

134 John iii. 19.

135 Odyss., xiii. 203.

136 A translation in accordance with the Latin version would run thus: "While a certain previous conception of divine power is nevertheless discovered within us." But adopting that in the text the argument is: there is unquestionably a providence implying the exertion of divine power. That power is not exercised by idols or heathen gods. The only other alternative is, that it is exercised by the one self-exitent God.

137 Ps. xxiv. 1; 1 Cor. x. 26,28.

138 [1 Pet. ii. 17. This appeal in behalf of the sanctity of man as man, shows the workings of the apostolic precept.]

139 The expression "conquered by brass or iron" is borrowed from Homer (Il., viii. 534). Brass, or copper, and iron were the metals of which arms were made.

140 Matt. vi. 20,21.

141 Ps. lviii. 4,5. [It was supposed that adders deafened themselves by laying one ear on the earth, and closing the other with the tail.]

142 "They" seems to refer to sanctity and the word.

143 Ps. lviii. 4,5. [It was supposed that adders deafened themselves by laying one ear on the earth, and closing the other with the tail.]

144 Ps. lxii. 9.

145 Ps. lxii. 8.

146 [The impact of the Gospel on the slavery and helotism of the Pagans.]

147 Ps. lxx. 4.

148 [See above, p. 201, and below, the command "thou shalt love thy neighbor."]

149 Ex. xx. 13-16; Deut. vi. 5.

150 Luke vi. 29.

151 Matt. v. 28.

152 [Good will to men made emphatic. Slavery already modified, free-schools established, and homes created. As soon as persecution ceased, we find the Christian hospital. Forster ascribes the first foundation of this kind to Ephraim Syrus. A friend refers me to his Mohammedanism Unveiled, vol. i. p. 283.]

153 [The Catholic instinct is here; and an all-embracing benevolence is its characteristic, not worldly empire.]

154 Gal. iii. 28, vi. 15.

155 [He seems to be thinking of 1 Tim. vi. 6, and 1 Tim. iv. 8.]

156 Illiad, v. 128.

157 Ps. xix. 10.

158 Ps. xxii. 22.

159 [Eph. v. 14, is probably from a hymn of the Church, which is here referred to as His, as it is adopted into Scripture.]

160 Rom. viii. 17.

161 Heb. ii. 11.

162 [A quotation from another hymn, in all probability.]

163 Aratus.

164 Heb. viii. 10-12; Jer. xxxi. 33,34.

165 Il., vi. 236. [The exchange of Glaucus.]

166 Eph. vi. 14-17.

167 Isa. lviii. 9.

168 Odyss., xii. 219.

169 Odyss., xii. 184.

170 1 Cor. ii. 9.

171 Eurip., Bacch., 918.

172 [Here are references to baptism and the Eucharist, and to the Trisagion, "Therefore with angels and archangels," which was universally diffused in the Christian Church. Bunsen, Hippol., iii. 63.]

173 Matt. xi. 28,29,30.

174 ["Who is this that cometh from Edom," seems to be in mind. Isa. lxiii. 1.]

175 Clement here draws a distinction, frequently made by early Christian writers, between the image and the likeness of God. Man never loses the image of God; but as the likeness consists in moral resemblance, he may lose it, and he recovers it only when he becomes righteous, holy, and wise.

176 Ps. lxxxii. 6.

177 [Let me quote from an excellent author: "We ought to give the Fathers credit for knowing what arguments were best calculated to affect the minds of those whom they were addressing. It was unnecessary for them to establish, by a long train of reasoning, the probability that a revelation may be made from heaven to man, or to prove the credibility of miracles... The majority, both of the learned and unlearned, were fixed in the belief that the Deity exercised an immediate control over the human race, and consequently felt no predisposition to reject that which purported to be a communication of His will... . Accustomed as they were, however, to regard the various systems proposed by philosophers as matters of curious speculation, designed to exercise the understanding, not to influence the conduct, the chief difficulty of the advocate of Christianity was to prevent them from treating it with the same levity, and to induce them to view it in its true light as a revelation declaring truths of the highest practical importance."

This remark of Bishop Kaye is a hint of vast importance in our study of the early Apologists. It is taken from that author's Account of the Writings of Clement of Alexandria (London, 1835), to which I would refer the student, as the best introduction to these works that I know of. It is full of valuable comment and exposition I make only sparing reference to it, however, in these pages, as otherwise I should hardly know what to omit, or to include.]

home quodlibet journal theo blog sermons theology e-texts church history forum home