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TRACTS FOR THE TIMES.
we are taught in plain words, that God in the beginning planted the tree of life in the midst of Paradise, showing that knowledge is the way to life ; and they who did not use it aright at first, were robbed by the deceits of the serpent. For life cannot be separate from knowledge ; nor can any knowledge be perfect, unless the true life be with it. For this cause they were planted side by side ; and the Apostle perceiving this intent, and condemning all knowledge that is pursued otherwise than with a view to discovering the conditions of eternal life, says : knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth. For he who thinks that he knows any thing, apart from the true knowledge which is attested by having the life within it, is without knowledge, deceived by the serpent, and a hater of life. But he who learns with fear, and studies to attain unto life, plants in hope, and may look for the fruit. Let your heart be a heart of knowledge, and in life perceive that understanding is granted, true and simple ; its tree shall rise within you, and of its fruit you shall be filled with those enjoyments which are in the hand of God: which the serpent never touches, nor does any deceit come nigh: no Eve betrays them, but she to whom they are committed is the Virgin Church. Hereby is salvation manifested, and hence the Apostles find wisdom ; while the Easter-feast of our Lord is solemnized, and congregations are gathered together in decency and order, and the Word, by whom the Father is glorified, teaches His saints with joy. To whom be glory everlasting. Amen.
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Address of St. Clement of Alexandria to the heathen. THE HOLY SPIRIT says, “ Despise not thou, my son, the training of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him." What surpassing condescension ! How gently does He deal with us; not as a teacher with his disciples, nor as a master with his servants, nor as a God towards His creatures, but as a father instructs his sons ! Moses confessed that he exceedingly feared and quaked when he heard concerning the word of God; but thou, who hearest that Word Himself, hast thou no dread, no distress of mind ? no reverence, and earnestness withal to learn the truth ? earnestness for salvation, fear of his wrath, delight in his promises, anxiety for acceptance, to rescue thee from condemnation ? Come ye, O come, my band of young ones! Young ones, I say, for unless ye be born again as children, regenerated, as Scripture says, ye will not receive Him who is your own Father, nor will ever at any time gain entrance into the kingdom of heaven. To a stranger this is impossible ; but when he has been enrolled by name and made a citizen, and submits to a new Father, then shall he be in the number of that Father's sons; then shall he be thought worthy of the inheritance. Thus is formed the first begotten Church, being made up of many holy children. These are “the first-born, whose names are written in heaven,” who hold their “general assembly” with “ an innumerable company of angels." Such are we, the nurslings of qur GOD, true “ friends” by kindred of the First-Begotten, as
being the first of all men, to have discerned Almighty God, saved ourselves from sin, and abjured the Devil. ....
This is his sole work, to save man. Therefore he cries aloud, as urging us himself, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He converts men by means of fear. His apostle, in like manner, exhorting the Philippians, takes up his holy tidings, and repeats them. “ The LORD is at hand,” he says, “ see well that we be not found wanting.” But, alas ! ye are all so fearless, nay, unbelieving, that ye listen neither to the LORD, nor to holy Paul, though he prays you in Christ's stead to taste and see that Christ is God. It is faith that must bring you in, experience must teach you, and the Scripture must lead you on in knowledge, according to its word : “ Come, ye children, hearken to me; and I will teach you the fear of the LORD.” Then it briefly addresses those who have already believed : “ What man is there who lusteth to live, who would fain see good days?" We make answer, It is we; who worship him who is our happiness, and who copy those who are like him. Hear, then, both ye who afar off, and ye who are nigh. The word is hid from no one; it is a light in common; it lighteth every man; in it there is no darkness. Let us hasten to our salvation, even to our regeneration, so that, many though we be, we may be brought close together by one love, according to that oneness which the one God imparts. Let us hasten, as having received a benefit; as seeking out our sole happiness. Let us follow after unity, till from many voices, loud and scattered to and fro, one divine harmony arises, led by one guide and teacher, the Divine Word, finding rest and fulness in the truth itself, and saying, Abba Father.
“ Ye who thirst, come ye to the water," says the LORD; “ all ye that have no silver, come and buy, yea, drink without silver.” Thus does he exhort men to the holy bath, to their salvation, to their illumination, almost crying out to them, “ Child, I give unto thee earth, and sea, and heaven; yea, all that is therein, I freely grant to thee: only, O'my child, thirst for thy Father's presence. God will reveal himself to thee without price ; truth is not dealt out as by a trader. He gives thee all things that fy, and swim, and walk the earth ; all these things has thy
TRACTS FOR THE TIMES.
Father framed for thy enjoyment, so take and be thankful. Those who are but spurious born are forced to buy their possessions with silver; sons of perdition, willing slaves of mammon. But into thine hands he gives thine own.". Thus speaks he to his true seed, to him who loves his Father, for whose sake he worketh still, to whom alone he pledges, that the earth shall be given as a lasting foundation, which is not promised to corruption : "For mine is all the earth ;" it is thine, if thou receive thy God; and therefore Scripture proclaims as good tidings, to those who have believed, “ The saints of the LORD shall inherit the glory of God, and his power.”.
“ Hope in him," it is written," all the assembly of the people ; pour out your heart before him.”. He speaks to those who have newly turned from wickedness. He pities and fills them with righteousness. Trust, O mortal, in him who is both God and man; who suffered and is worshipped, even a living God. Ye servants, put your trust in him who was dead; yea, all men, trust in him who out of all men alone is God. Believe and receive salvation as your reward; seek out God, and your soul shall live. . .. The most sublime philosophers could but guess, and speak darkly about wisdom, but the disciples of Christ have seen and proclaimed it. Nay, and Christ in all portions of him (so to say) is one and the same undivided; so that there is neither barbarian, Jew, nor Greek, male, nor female, but one new man refashioned by the Holy Ghost. , , ...; I do but ask you to accept salvation. What does Christ desire, but freely to give you life? But who is he? The Word of truth, the builder of the inward temple, that God may dwell with men. Sanctify that temple; pleasures and comforts, leave them, as flowers of the day, to the wind, and to the fire. . ... The Word of God shall guide thee, and the Holy SPIRIT settle thee in the peaceful dwelling of the heavens. There thou shalt enjoy the presence of the Christian's God, and be initiated in his holy mysteries. Come, O heathen reveller, lean not on thy thyrsus ', bind not on thine ivy. Cast away thy turban, and thy fawnskin; put off folly. I will show to thee the Word of God, and 1 1 A spear, or staff, surrounded with garlands of ivy and vine leaves, carried by the heathen revellers.