The Egyptian Contribution to Christianity 303 at Alexandria, or at any rate of certain sections of that Church. We note that Clement writes for a public which is plainly in possession of some wealth and leisure and of a not inconsiderable measure of mental cultivation.1 To present the Christian faith in relation to the thinkers of the age is a paramount necessity if it is to hold its own in the society amid which Clement lives and moves. His own Christianity is sincere and deep; he is a convinced believer in the Church's rule of faith, and he appeals continuously to the Scriptures both of the Old and the New Testament. But he is so far influenced by the great Gnostic teachers, who in the earlier part of the second century had grafted upon the common Christianity of the multitude an esoteric doctrine of redemption, that he, too, made a distinction between the simple believers who were the body of the Church and those fully enlightened Christians who for him. were the true Gnostics. Clement's Gnostic is not less truly a believer in the common faith than others, but he has learned to advance from mere faith to a higher stage in the knowledge of God in virtue of which he and his like constitute the Church's soul. This exaltation of Gnosis, 'knowledge', combined with a rejec- tion of the heretical tendencies of the older teachers, gives Clement's teaching its distinctive character. It had been Clement's aim to crown his writings on Christian education and Christian ethics, the Paedagogus and the Stroma- tiis, with a systematic exposition of the deeper principles of the true Gnosis. This aim he never attained. His mind was too little disciplined and too weak in constructive ability to allow of his achieving a coherent doctrinal expression of the faith that was in him. Where Clement was weak his successor Origen was strong. Origen had studied systematically the Platonism which was the chief intellectual force of his age, and he had imbibed the genuine Greek spirit of philosophical inquiry. He is never the mere dogmatist. He follows reason whither it leads and 1 See, e.g., Quis Dives^ cxi et passim.