SELECTIONS FROM EARLY CHRISTIAN WRITERS: ILLUSTRATIVE OF CHURCH HISTORY TO THE TIME OF CONSTANTINE by Henry Melvill Gwatkin, M.A. First Edition, Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1893. Reprinted with additions and corrections, 1897, 1902, 1905. Prepared for katapi by Paul Ingram, 2013.
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XIV a. JOHN OF DAMASCUS (?) Vita Barlaam et Joasaph, p.252.


The Apology of Aristides


Imperatori Hadriano Caesari et Aristide philosopho Atheniensi.

Καὶ οὖτοί εἰσιν οἱ ὑπερ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη τῆς γῆς εὑρόντες τὴν ἀλήθειαν· γινώσκουσι γὰρ τὸν θεόν, κτίστην καὶ δημιονργὸν τῶν ἁπάντων ἐν Υἱῷ μονογενεῖ καὶ Πνεύματι ἁγίῳ, καὶ ἄλλον θεὸν πλὴν τούτου οὐ σέβονται. Ἔχουσι τὰς ἐντολὰs αὐτοῦ τοῦ Κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις κεχαραγμένας, καὶ ταύτας φυλάττουσι, προσδοκῶντες ἀνάστασιν νεκρῶν καὶ ζωὴν τοῦ μέλλοντος αἰῶνος, Οὐ μοιχεύουσιν, οὐ πορνεύουσιν, οὺ ψευδομαρτυροῦσιν, οὐκ ἐπιθυμοῦσι τὰ ἀλλότρια, τιμῶσι πατέρα καὶ μητέρα, καὶ toὺs πλησίον φίλοῦσι, δίκαια κρίνουσιν, ὅσα οὐ θέλουσιν αὑτοῖς γίνεσθαι ἑτίρω οὐ ποιοῦσι, τοὺς ἀδικοῦντας αὐτοὺς παρακαλοῦσι καὶ προσφιλεῖς αὐτοὺς ἐαυτοῖς ποιοῦσι, toὺς ἐχθροὺς εὐεργετεῖν σπουδάζουσι, πραεῖς εἰσι καὶ ἐπιεικεῖς, ἀπὸ πάσης συνουσίας ἀνόμου καὶ ἀπὸ πάσης ἀκαθαρσίaς ἐγκρατεύονται, χήραν οὐχ ὑπερορῶσιν, ὀρφανὸν οὐ λυποῦσιν· ὁ ἔχων τῷ μὴ ἔχοντι ἀφθόνως ἐπιχορηγεῖ· ξένον ἐὰν ἴδωσιν, ὑπὸ στέγην εἰσάγουσι, καὶ γαίρουσιν ἐπ' αὐτῶ ὡς ἐπὶ ἀδελφῶ ἀληθινῷ· οὐ γὰρ κατὰ σάρκα ἀδελφοὺς ἐαυτοὺς καλοῦσιν, ἀλλὰ. κατὰ πνεῦμα. Ἕτοιμοί εἰσιν ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ τὰς ψνχὰς αὐτῶν προέσθαι· τὰ γὰρ προστάγματα αὐτοῦ ἀσφαλῶς φυλάττουσιν, ὁσίως καὶ δικαίως ζῶντας, καθὼς Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς αὐτοῖς προέσταξεν, εὐχαριστοῦντες αὐτῷ κατὰ πᾶσαν ὥραν ἐν παντὶ βρώματι καὶ ποτῷ καὶ τοῖς λοιποῖς ἀγaθoῖς. Ὄντως οἆν αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ ὁδὸς τῆς ἀληθείας ἥτις toὺς ὁδεύοντας αὐτὴν eἰς τὴν αἰώνιον χειραγωγεῖ βασιλείαν, τὴν ἐπηγγελμένην παρὰ Χριστοῦ ἐv tῇ μελλούσῃ ζωῇ.

... Caesar Titus Hadrianus Antoninus, Worshipful and Clement, from Marcianus Aristides, philosopher of Athens.

And these are they who more than all the nations of the earth have found the truth, for they know God the maker and creator in His only Son and Holy Spirit, and other god than Him they worship not. For they have the commands of the Lord Himself, even Jesus Christ, written in their hearts, and these they keep, looking for the resurrection of the dead and life of the age to come. They commit no adultery or fornication, they bear no false witness, they covet not other men's goods, they honour father and mother and love their neighbours, they judge righteously, and whatsoever things they would not have done to themselves they do not to another. They exhort them that do them wrong, and make them friendly to themselves, they strive to do good to their enemies, are meek and moderate, restrain themselves from all unlawful intercourse and from all uncleanness, they do not despise a widow, and they do not grieve an orphan. He that has gives help ungrudgingly to him that has not. If they see a stranger, they bring him under their roof, and rejoice over him as over a brother of their own, for they call not themselves brethren after the flesh, but after the spirit. They are ready to give up their lives for Christ, for they keep His commands firmly, living holily and righteously as the Lord God commanded them, giving thanks to Him every hour at all meat and drink and all other good things.


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