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/7 c 

Clement of Alexandria 




Efje JFat!)er« for ^ngUsff i^ealier«* 

Clement of Alexandria 


e^V ; BY 






vice-chancellor's prizeman in greek AND LATIN 






BRIGHTON : 129, north street. 
NEW YORK : E. & J. B. YOUNG & CO. 


Richard Clay & Sons, Limited, 
London & Bungay. 



• CfiAP. PAGE 

I. Clement's home ; the city of Alexan- 


XL Clement's home and its varying 




IV. Clement's early religious surround- 
ings AND the COPTIC CHURCH . 24 

V. clement and the jews . . '31 









CHARACTER . . . . .63 







vii. exhortation to the gentiles . . 96 

viii. the instructor of righteousness . 99 

ix. some customs and symbols of early ' 
christians referred to in 
Clement's works . . . .107 

tinued) . . . . . • 117 




MATEIS' 130 







VI. Clement's theory of god . . .165 



VIII. Clement's theories of the world 

AND man 179 

IX. Clement's gospel of the incarnation 185 
X. soteriology of clement: doctrine 

OF SALVATION . . . .193 



INDEX 277 






** Nam tibi, quo die 
Portus Alexandria supplex 
£t vacuam patefecit aulam, 

Fortuna lustro prospera tertio 
Belli secundos reddidit exitus, 
Laudemque et optatum peractis 
Imperiis decus arrogavit." 

HoR., Od,, iv. 14. 

The life and work of Clement of Alexandria could 
not, perhaps, be more favourably introduced to the 
notice of our readers than by a brief account of the 
historic city in which that life was lived and that work 
was done, and a general summary of the various 
influences that helped to mould and develop the 
character and genius of the man. 

The city was founded by the great Alexander whose 
name it bore. Having crushed the Persian power 



for ever on the plains of Issus, 333 B.C., the Mace- 
donian conqueror had paused for a short breathing- 
space in his career of victory to settle affairs in 
Palestine and Egypt, During this period of rest he 
founded Alexandria, an extensive and regular city, 
built on a beautiful and commodious site, and destined 
to become the great emporium of the East. 

On the north side its walls were washed by the 
blue waves of the Mediterranean, while the fine lake 
Mareotis formed its boundary on the south. The 
city, moreover, had the advantage of possessing two 
harbours, one facing the north-east and the other the 
south-west, so that it was possible for ships to sail in 
and out in all weathers, and was also connected with 
the interior of the country by a large canal. 

Thus Alexandria w^as admirably situated for com- 
merce ; and as a large proportion of its inhabitants 
consisted of enterprising Jews and Greeks, it soon 
came to the front in the trade of the world. It has 
been said that the East and West met together in this 
centre to buy and sell and get gain. It was no wonder 
then, considering its great natural advantages, that the 
city very rapidly assumed vast proportions, covering in 
its prosperous days as much ground as modern Paris, 
registering nearly half-a-million free citizens,-^ and 
having at its disposal more capital even than Rome. 

^ Diodorus, who visited the city 60 A. D., informs us that the 
registers showed a population of 300,000 free citizens, and that 
tljere were as many slaves, 

Clement's home 9 

In the days of the Empire, it was the corn-export 
from this great sea-port that supplied the Roman 
granaries ; so much so, that many a time the Imperial 
city lay at the mercy of the Prefect of Egypt, who 
might easily have starved it out, by detaining the corn- 
fleet in the harbours of Alexandria ; a fact which helps 
us to appreciate the charge so frequently made against 
Athanasius of conspiring to delay the corn from Africa. 

In spite of all this wealth and influence, Alexandria 
could not have been called a beautiful city. The 
climate was mild, being tempered by the fresh Etesian 
breezes from the sea. And the buildings were hand- 
some and massive, conspicuous among them being 
the synagogue of the Jews, the colossal Temple of 
Serapis, the extensive museum containing the famous 
library founded by Ptolemy Philadelphus, with adja- 
cent parks for foreign animals, the Botanical Gardens, 
and the Observatory, from which the great Eratosthenes 
calculated the orbits of the planets. But there was 
little variety of shadow and sunlight, and there were 
no mountains to relieve the dull monotony of the 
unchanging coast-line. The city itself, however, was 
nobly planned. As one approached its southern gate, 
which was called the Moon Gate,^ there was a fine view 
of the limpid lake Mareotis, with its ferry-boats, barges, 

^ A fine description of Alexandria in the second century A. D. 
is to be found in the love story Clitipho and Leucippe of Achilles 
Tatius, in which the splendour, extent, and population of the 
city are described in flowing language. 


and winged Egyptian craft plying backwards and 
forwards between the city and the interior of the 
country ; while the busy scene on the quays, where the 
stately Roman galleys were being laden with com by a 
motley crowd of Copts, Nubians, Greeks, and Jews, 
lent a certain interest and animation to the outlook. 

Leaving behind him this Babel of tongues and 
bustling confusion, the visitor would arrive at the 
Moon Gate, and passing beneath its noble portal 
would enter the spacious streets of this great world- 
city. For, indeed, it was a world in miniature, being 
cosmopolitan in every respect. Men and women of 
every colour, condition, religion, and phase of thought 
might be seen on each side — a pleasing contrast to 
the uniformity of the city. 

One great street ran from the south gate to the 
northern, flanked on either side by spacious colon- 
nades — a special feature of this town — ^which afforded 
a pleasant promenade to the citizens in the hot 
weather, when they could enjoy the pleasure of a 
country stroll in the very heart of the city.^ It were 
easy to imagine the picturesque effect of the scene at 
night in those broad porticoes, when the torches 
carried hither and thither by the votaries of religion or 
pleasure flashed in the darkness like broken gleams of 
another sun, as their own poet has described it,^ and 
made the lofty arches yet more vast ; while on either 

^ Mflfios iiiroBfifila (Achilles Tatius, Book V.). 
^ f}Xtos KaTaK9piJLaTi(»y {ibid,). 

Clement's home ii 

hand noble edifices, temples, synagogues, churches, 
palaces, and towers towered aloft. 

The great shadowy mass that rose high above the 
roofs of the city buildings into the bosom of the sky 
was the superb Temple of Serapis, the God of Pontus, 
carried from Sinope by the first Ptolemy to share the 
majesty of Isis. This mighty structure, celebrated by 
Ammianus and Rufinus as one of the wonders of the 
world, erected on a basis a hundred feet high, and 
surrounded by a quadrangular portico that rested on 
four hundred monolithic columns — one of which alone 
remains the solitary guardian of past glories — ^was no 
mean rival of the grandeur of the Roman Capitol. 
Within its stately halls, in Clement's day, were pre- 
served rare treasures of gold and silver, and yet more 
precious than all these — a valuable library.^ 

^ Two centuries later, 391 A.D., this building was ruthlessly 
destroyed by Theophilus, Archbishop of Alexandria, and the 
Christians, in a fray with the votaries of Serapis, and the gigantic 
image of Serapis shared the fate of his magnificent shrine. For 
a time, indeed, the people were held back from destroying it by 
an old tradition, that if the image were treated with impiety, the 
heaven and the earth would return to their primeval chaos. At 
last the sentiment fiat justitiay mat ccehim prevailed, and a 
soldier placing a ladder against the huge statue, mounted it, and 
reaching the top of the sitting idol smote heavily upon its bronze 
cheek with a battle-axe, and shivered it to pieces. And while 
the crowd below were expecting a sudden thunderstorm to break 
over their unhappy heads, the intrepid soldier continued to 
hammer until he laid the colossal image even with the 
■dust. Thereupon a great swarm of rats issued from its gloomy 
recesses, and the spectators expressed their contempt for the idol 


Passing by this magnificent edifice, which was still 
standing in all its glory in the second century, and 
advancing still further up the main street, one came 
to a great open space, or piazza, formed by the inter- 
section of the two principal thoroughfares of the city, 
and named Alexander's Place after the great conqueror 
(Achilles Tatius). From this point, the so-called 
Omphalos of the city, the great seaport could be seen to 
its best advantage. Still proceeding in the shelter of the 
cloisters, after an hour's walk one stood beneath the 
grand arch of the Gate of the Sun, and gazed upon the 
deep-blue waves of the great midland sea, sparkling in 
the rays of the sun and studded with the white sails of 
myriads of galleys. Yonder out to sea, by the left horn 
of the crescent-shaped harbour, stood the tall white 
tower of Pharos,^ the ancient lighthouse, on its own 

whose power they had secretly dreaded, and the frauds of whose 
ministers were at last revealed. It is a pity that the fiiry of the 
populace did not spare the noble library which contained so many 
valuable manuscripts and collections of art and literature. 

^ Besides being of great height, and raised on a marvellous 
substructure (magni altitudine, mirificis operibus exstructa, 
Cses. B.C. 3, 112), this tower possessed great historic interest 
from having been intimately connected some two centuries 
previous with the fortunes of Julius Caesar. In the year 59 B.c. 
Caesar landed with a small force in Alexandria to levy money 
and supplies on the Egyptians. But the townfolk, encouraged 
by the smallness of his escort, besieged him in the palace 
by the harbour. In this building Caesar sought to entrench 
himself, and at the same time to maintain communication with 


island, connected by moat and drawbridge with the 
pier; while on the right side of the harbour, as one 
faced the sea, the Csesareum, formerly a temple, in 
Clement's day a church, rose in view, guarded by 
two tall obelisks, similar to that now standing on 
the Thames Embankment, which in Egyptian fashion 
stood sentinel before the sanctuary of Isis. Along* 
side this building was a great high-walled enclosure, 
the Bruchium, the royal quarter. Within these 
precincts lay the palaces of the Ptolemies, and the 
world-renowned Museum (University), with its statues, 
pillars, and frescoes, the wonder of the world. But, 
alas ! the famous library, founded by Ptolemy Soter 
on the suggestion of Demetrius Phalereus, was no 
more. It had been completely destroyed during the 
siege of the city by Csesar.* Clement, however, had 
the advantage of being able to study in the library of 
the Serapeum, the nucleus of which consisted of some 
500,000 volumes, which Antony had sent as a present 
to Cleopatra from Pergamum. 

It was within the walls of the Bruchium that that 

the sea by the lighthouse pier. In the latter project he failed, 
for the pier was captured by the Egyptians, and was only 
recovered after a desperate struggle, in which the Romans were 
repulsed again and again, and Csesar was nearly drowned, being 
thrown into the sea. A few days later Csesar was relieved, and 
enabled, by fetching a compass, to join his forces with the relieving 
army on the Lake Mareotis. 

^ Vide Gibbon, Decline and Fall^ vol. ii. p. 255^ 


ill-starred general and the fickle Queen of the Nile 
celebrated their premature triumph over Parthia and 
the world. 

These are some of the interesting facts that are 
known of this proud metropolis of kings and illus- 
trious home of scholars. Such were the surroundings 
of the obscure life of the retiring teacher of Alex- 
andria. Within those city walls his placid days were 
spent; and in the shadow of those colonnades the 
gentle student often paced the marble pavement, and 
turned his thoughtful, tearful eyes to gaze upon 
the proud relics of a not inglorious past 

Clement's home and its varying fortunes 

In this chapter we shall say something of the opu- 
lence of the city and the character of its citizens. 
Alexandria certainly occupied the place of Athens in 
intellectual life, but in its magnificence and luxury, in 
its marts, bazaars, processions, and troops of slaves, 
it reminded one of an Oriental capital. Under the 
Ptolemies the monarchy of Egypt was restored, and 
the fine arts flourished under the most generous of 

In the pages of Athenaeus one reads a very interest- 
ing account of the coronation feast of Ptolemy Phila- 
delphus, in whose praise Theocritus composed his 
seventeenth idyll. In the inner pavilion, where the 
king sat enthroned (the historian informs us), a 
sumptuous repast was spread under awnings of scarlet, 
richly dight, suspended fi-om pillars stately as the palm. 
Under these hangings one hundred and thirty-five 
couches of beautiful and cosily workmanship were 
placed for the guests of the royal party; while on 



the silken tapestry that draped the walls with its folds 
of silver and gold, were inwoven the adventures of 
the gods. Above this ran a frieze of gold and silver 
shields, in the niches of which were placed in half- 
relief comic, tragic, and satyric groups. The ground, 
although the season was midwinter, was literally 
strewn with roses ; while around the pavilion stood a 
hundred marble effigies, to say nothing of the untold 
wealth of flagons, vases, jewelled vessels, and precious 
metals that were displayed in lavish profusion. 
The masquerade commenced with a procession of the 
morning star Heosphorus, followed by a masque of 
kings and gods, satyrs, maidens, poets, Dionysus, and 
Maenads; while the company of the evening star, 
Hesperus, brought the show to an end. During this 
performance sixteen hundred waiters, clad in white, 
with ivy wreaths around their brows, handed around 
silver and golden cups of wine to the guests. 

That exhibition, the magnificence of which almost 
beggars description, gives us some idea of the opulence 
of the city, which in after years brought in nearly 
;^7,ooo,ooo sterling in the way of revenue to the 
emperor's private purse. 

The Copts, the native inhabitants, accustomed to 
be pampered with gifts and shows of such a nature, 
were, as might be expected, fickle, unruly, and danger- 
ous. They frequently became embroiled in strife with 
the Jews, whose wealth excited their cupidity, and at 
such times the Delta, the Jewish quarter, literally ran 


red with Hebrew blood. On several occasions tumults 
of a very terrible nature were enkindled, and by the 
most trivial causes: notably the civil war, which was 
caused in later years by a dispute between a soldier 
and a citizen about a pair of shoes, and which ended 
in the complete destruction of the Bruchium and its 

Juvenal in his fifteenth satire — a poetical version of 
a village fight between Ombos (identified by Professor 
Petrie with Nubt-Ombos) and Tentyra — gives a grue- 
some account of the barbarous cruelty of the Egyptians, 
who deemed it a sacrilege to taste a leek, but would not 
abstain from eating raw human flesh when excited by 
faction fury. Theocritus likewise describes, in a mannet 
that makes one's blood curdle, the Egyptian marauder 
lurking in a dark passage ready to pounce out upon 
the unsuspecting passer-by and throttle him. irapipTrwv 
AtyuTTTtoTt (Theoc. XV. 48). 

The Egyptians indeed do not bear an enviable 
reputation in the Greek and Latin classics. There 
are frequent comments on their dishonesty and secret 
violence, of which the following will sufl&ce — 

^€ivo\ ir\4K€iv roi fifixf^^^s Aiyiimoi {y^scAy. frag.)* 
Noxia Alexandrea dolis aptissima tellus {Property 4. 10.33). 

Such was the general character of the populace of 
Alexandria, who were ever ready to take part in a 
street riot or a faction fight, but were entirely wanting 
in any true military spirit. **Imbelle vulgus" is 
Juvenal's accurate description of them. Still, they 



were a very industrious people on the whole, both 
sexes being engaged in the different factories, where 
a brisk trade in glass-blowing, linen-weaving, and 
papyrus-making was carried oh. In some of their 
ways the Egyptians presented a strange contrast to 
the habits of other nations. Herodotus tells us (2. 55) 
that their women buy and sell in the market, while 
the men sit at home plying the loom. Of this state- 
ment we find an echo in Soph. (Ed, 335, where 
CEdipus, contrasting the faithful energy of his daughters 
with the selfish worthlessness of his sons, exclaims — 

** Oh like in all things, both in nature's bent 
And mode of life, to Eg)rpt's evil ways, 
"Where men indoors sit weaving at the loom. 
And wives outdoors must earn their daily bread." ^ 

The modern town, called by the Turks Skanderieh, 
has very little traces of its former grandeur, except a 
column wrongly called Pompey's Pillar. This, a 
monolithic block of red granite, about sixty-seven feet 
high and weighing about 276 tons, stands on a mound 
of earth some forty feet high. The capital and base 
are very rude and unfinished. A Greek inscription 
on the plinth shows that it was erected in honour of 
Diocletian by some prefect, of whose name only the 
two letters P O are legible. 

Alexandria indeed fared ill when the fierce Arabs 
conquered the land. The ancient granary of Rome, 
the storied seat of philosophy and the early stronghold 

1 Translated by E. H. Plumptre. 

Clement's home 19 

of Christianity, it rapidly sank to the position of a 
third-rate city when the Fatimite caliphs built New 
Cairo (967). For many centuries it remained in that 
dishonoured state, until, in very recent times, the 
importance of its position, lying as it does directly on 
the route to India, has restored to the city something 
of its ancient prestige and trade. Thus it has again 
become the chief commercial town of Egypt. To it 
are conveyed from Cairo the principal products of the 
interior, cotton, coffee, linseed, wool, senna, rice, gum, 
feathers, hides, beans, and corn, by rail, river, and 
canal. During the past ninety years the city has 
made wonderful progress. When Napoleon made his 
celebrated campaign in Egypt, it consisted of nothing 
but a congeries of Arab huts, old ruins, and fortifications. 

The modern town does not, however, occupy exactly 
the same site as the ancient home of Clement. It 
is built on the peninsula — once the mole or pier on 
which Caesar was well-nigh killed — which connects 
the ancient isle of Pharos with the mainland. Thanks 
to the Etesian winds the climate is as salubrious as 
ever; but the Turkish quarter of the town, as one 
might expect, is a standing reproach to civilization. 

Of the two harbours the western is the better, being 
protected by a line of reefs from the sea. It could, 
however, only be approached with great difficulty,, 
until at length an English company constructed a 
breakwater and docks, and thus converted it into a 
safe port. 



It was probably in the Museum,^ the University of 
Alexandria, that the youthful Clement was educated. 
Here, under excellent tutors, the boy would read the 
famous Anthology, the turgid epic of Apollonius 
Rhodius, the didactic poem of Aratus on the weather, 
the Epigrams and the " Causes " (Atrta) of Calli- 
machus, with its love story of Acontius and Cydippe 
(remarkable as being the first appearance of the 
sentimental romance in literature), and, above all, 
the sweet Bucolics and elaborate court poems of 

These works formed the fashionable course of study 
at the time when Homer was regarded as common- 
place, and the Greek drama was thought to be 
unnatural by the hypercritical and insipid mind of 
the day. With an egotism wprthy of modem days, 
each president of the University, in his turn, sought 
to make his "forte" the " rage" of literary circles. 

' fiovfftHov = abode of the Muses. 

University life in Alexandria 21 

Under Callimachus the epigram became very 
popular among a certain class. Apollonius, who suc- 
ceeded him, caused the bias of public opinion to turn 
in favour of the epic; while the rustic idyll of 
Theocritus carried the young students by storm, and 
caused many to aspire to the dignity of a Bucolic poet. 
Modem taste, however, has reversed the process, 
and restored the old classics to their proper place, 
thanks to the excellent judgment and indefatigable 
labours of the great Aristarchus, once librarian in this 

During his University career, Clement also pursued 
some of the more solid, if less artistic, studies in 
science that had been founded by Euclid on geometry, 
Eratosthenes on geography, and Hipparchus on 
astronomy. These names are sufficient in themselves, 
that of Euclid being well known to every school-boy, 
for his weal or his woe, to show the importance of the 
science school at the Alexandrian University. It 
was, indeed, the most distinguished mathematical 
college in the world, and in Clement's day was ap- 
pointed by the mutual consent of all the Churches to 
calculate the time at which the movable feast of 
Easter should be celebrated in each year. 

We can easily believe that the average student 
trained in the wisdom of such great masters would, 
on the whole, be a more thoughtful and intelligent 
specimen than the ordinary pass-man, or even honour- 
man of the modern Universities. 


The prominence of this Museum in the intellectual 
world was originally due to the great advantages, 
held out by the former kings of Egypt, to any scholar 
or student who would pursue his studies in the great 
library which Ptolemy had founded in his metropolis. 
This academy was founded on the principles of the 
schools in Athens, the precursors of all mediaeval and 
modern universities and colleges.^ We are informed 
that the foundation of Ptolemy contained a common 
hall, courts, cloisters, and gardens, and that it was 
under the presidency of a principal who was a priest, 
but whose religious duties were apparently confined to 
the formal cult of the Muses, a feature borrowed from 
the Academy at Athens. 

In addition to this magnificent establishment there 
was also a Jewish school, in which the works of Philo, 
the Septuagint, and the books of Wisdom were care- 
fully studied. 

But there was now rising into fame a school destined 
to eclipse both these, the famous Catechetical School 
of the Christians, in which Pantaenus was the first to 
occupy the chair of Divinity; Clement, his pupil, 
was the second; and the famous Origen was the 

With these literary and religious institutions, exercis- 
ing an incalculable influence upon the life and tone of 
her citizens, Alexandria for many years flourished as a 
seat of learning and culture. However, its intellectual 

^ Greek Life and Thought ^ by Professor MahafFy, p. 193. 


life and lustre received a death-blow when Caliph 
Omar (early in the seventh century) sacked the city and 
burnt its books, saying that " they were useless if they 
agreed with the Koran, and also useless if they differed 
from it." 

We are glad to say, that he did not succeed 
altogether in his infamous purpose, for one of the 
most valuable MSS. of the ancient library is now in 
the possession of the British Museum. It is called 
the Codex Alexandrinus, the manuscript of Alexandria. 
In the year 1628 Cyrillus Lucaris, patriarch of that 
diocese, sent as a present to Charles I. this MS., 
which contains the Septuagint almost complete, the 
whole of the New Testament with the exception of 
St. Matthew i. — xxv. 6 ; St. John vi. 50 — viii. 52 ; and 
2 Cor. iv. 13 — xii. 6, and with the additional epistle of 
Clement to the Corinthians. 

This priceless treasure was deposited in the British 
Museum, 1753. It consists of four volumes of large 
quarto size, written on vellum in double columns, with 
usual capital letters without spaces and accents.^ 

This ancient and valuable relic surely gives the 
British student an increased interest in the illustrious 
University of Alexandria and its noble libraries. 

^ This MS. of the New Testament is now regarded as one of 
the best extant. Dr. Scrivener places the date of the first hand 
that can be traced in it at the middle of the fifth century a.d. 

Clement's early RELiGioys surroundings 


In the early days of the Roman occupation, the 
natives of Egypt were devoted to the worship of Isis, 
Osiris, Serapis, and Anubis. And although, at first, 
the Romans were very much opposed to this form of 
religion, and demolished their temples by order of the 
Senate, so great a revulsion of feeling afterwards set in 
that in 43 B.C. the Triumvirs built a temple to Isis for 
public worship. 

The worship of Isis became very fashionable in 
Rome on account of the licentious character of her 
festivals. And from the time of Vespasian she was 
an established Roman divinity. Domitian built the 
temples to her and Serapis in the Campus Martius. 

But Isis was especially a goddess of the sea, as we 
may gather from the remark of Juvenal, which refers 
to a custom very much in vogue among Roman 
sailors — 

** Pictores quis nescit ab Iside pasci ? " 

Artists indeed carried on a lucrative trade with 
sailors, who were supposed to be under the protection 



of Isis. When a sailor had a narrow escape from 
drowning, as soon as he got ashore he had a picture 
of the disaster painted and hung it up with the 
dripping garments in a temple of Neptune or Isis as 
a tribute-offering for his salvation. 

This custom has been immortalized by the verses of 
Horace — 

* * Me tabula sacer 
Votiva paries indicat uvida 

Suspendisse potenti 
Vestimenta maris deo."^ — HoR., Car., iv. 15. 

The story is told by Lucian that Zeus ordered 
Hermes to take lo across the seas to Egypt and 
make her into Isis, saying, " Let her be a goddess of 
the country ; and let her be the dispenser of the winds 
and the saviour of the voyagers." Thus it came to 
pass that Isis became the favourite deity of sailors. 
And so when Tibullus ventured on a sea-voyage, his 
beloved Delia made a vow to Isis, and the poet in the 
storm exclaimed — 

** Of what use is your Isis to me now, my Delia? " 

Such was the ancient deity of those Copts who 
afterwards embraced Christianity in large numbers, and 
adhered to it through trial and persecution with their 
proverbial zeal and fury. 

The monks and hermits and ascetics of Egypt were 

^ The sacred wall on which a tablet hangs 
And vestments dripping from the brine, 
These I have hung with supplication 
An offering to strong Sea-God's shrine. 

^6 Clement of Alexandria 

Copts, and always the most terrible champions of 

what they held to be the orthodox views. Antony, 

the founder of the monastic system, was the friend of 

Athanasius, the national hero, around whom the 

Anchorites rallied whenever his life or doctrine was 

assailed. In their caves and convents on the banks 

of the Nile, the great Coptic bishop, who stood 

alone against the world, ever found a secure retreat. 

On one occasion when he sought refuge among them, 

they came in their hundreds out of their cells to 

welcome him as a persecuted patriot, and he cried out 

in wonderment, " Who are these that fly as a cloud 

and as doves to their cotes ? " Then the abbot took 

the bridle of his ass, and by the light of a thousand 

torches, led him to their home in the sandy hills, where 

he was far beyond the reach of his persecutors. 

Thus it was a strong national feeling which instigated 

the Copts to side with their national bishop against 

the Arians, who were essentially Greek. For Arius ^ 

the heresiarch himself had been a pupil in the school 

of Lucian of Antioch, which was famous for its 

grammatical and rationalistic exegesis of scripture. 

We may infer this from the fact that he addressed 

Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, in a letter preserved 

by Epiphanius as aryXXovKULVLo-rrj^, himself fellow- 

^ Epiphanius speaks of him as a native of Libya, while Cave 
quotes Photius as authority for the statement that Arius was bom 
in Alexandria. This, however, is but an inference from the 
letter of Constantine giving permission to the exiled heretic to 
return "to his own country," ue. Alexandria (Socrates, ZT. £.). 


pupil of Lucian. And in all their dissensions, 
riots, and schisms, they clung to their country- 
man with a wonderful tenacity. It was, indeed, a 
red-letter day in the annals of Alexandria, when the 
exiled bishop was allowed to return to his diocese for 
a time (346 a.d.). Then the people passed out in 
vast numbers to receive him, as he rode over the 
flower-strewn and carpeted streets, with such illuminar 
tions, acclamations, and festal rejoicings, that the 
saying, " It is like the day when the Pope Athanasius 
came home,'' passed into a proverb. The Christian 
Copts of to-day retain this old feud with the Greek 
Church. Indeed, it is said that the whole Nubian 
Church became Moslem rather than join the Church 
at Constantinople. 

There is a great deal of truth in that saying. For 
the Copts were so exasperated by the canons of the 
Council of Chalcedon that they would never be 
reconciled with the heterodox adherents — as they con- 
sidered them — of the Greek Church, and even 
preferred to fall into the hands of the Saracens. 
Indeed they hated the Greek Church and the Greek 
Empire of Byzantium so much, that they abjured the 
manners and language of the Greeks, refused to inter- 
marry with them, and would not perform the 
commonest offices of humanity for them. 

Yet we must not look on the Church of Egypt as 
only a remnant of the sect of Jacobites.^ " It is the 

^ The members of this sect of the great Church of Syria which 


only living representative " (writes Dean Stanley) " of 
the most venerable nation of all antiquity." It con- 
tains, he asserts, all that is left of the lore and lineage 
of Egypt. And its ancient liturgies, which are written 
in the dialect of the Pharaohs, retain the ancient name 
of the city of Alexandria — Rhacotis, 

The Coptic form of service is very primitive. The 
congregation exchange a universal kiss of peace, 
the worshippers wear turbans on their heads, and 
remove their slippers; while chUdren, acting as 
deacons, remind one of that scene witnessed by the 
aged Bishop of Alexandria. As that prelate was 
sitting one day in a turret which commanded a view of 
the great Mediterranean Sea, he saw some little boys 
playing in a very solemn way upon the beach. Sum- 
moning them to his presence, he questioned them, and 
found that they had been playing at " baptism," and 
that one of their number, duly elected, had followed 
the prescribed ritual, and dipped each of them in the 
water with the usual formula. The venerable bishop 
pronounced the ceremony valid, and never lost sight 
of the boy-bishop, whom he afterwards made his Arch- 
deacon. The bishop was Alexander; the boy was 

produced Ignatius, John Chrysostom, and John of Damascus 
have a Patriarch who lives at Diarbekir, and hold the Monophy- 
site heresy. It is uncertain whether they are called after James 
the Apostle or after James of Nisibis, called Baradaeus (the man 
in rags), the heresiarch of the sixth century. 


Alexandria, once the chief sanctuary of the country, 
was now, in the time of Clement, the Patriarchal see 
of Egypt It was said to have been founded by St. 
Mark, and its bishop was the only one who bore the 
name of "Pope" in the earlier centuries of the 
Christian era. After the Council of Nicaea, he was 
called the " Judge of the World " from his decision 
concerning the date of Easter, and was generally 
regarded with the veneration paid in later days to the 
Bishop of Rome. 

Indeed, Gregory of Nazianzus said that the head 
of the Alexandrian Church is the head of the 

The patriarch of that diocese was the Metropolitan 
of all Egypt, and allowed no other bishop to ordain in 
his jurisdiction. While in civil matters ** he had 
gradually usurped the state and authority of a civil 
magistrate . . . and the Prefects of Egypt were awed 
or provoked by the Imperial power of these Christian 
Pontiffs " (Gibbon). 

So much for the position and importance of the 
Alexandrian patriarchate of which Athanasius was the 
first conspicuous representative. 

The patriarch at the present day has a residence in 
Cairo. Ten other bishops, the representatives of some 
three hundred of older days, dwell in the same city. 
And only forty monasteries out of six hundred have 
survived the destructive work of the Arab, while the 
Copts, themselves, have been reduced to some 30,000 


families. *' They are a race of illiterate beggars," says 
Gibbon, " whose only consolation is derived from the 
superior wretchedness of the Greek patriarch and his 
diminutive congregation." This statement is partly 
true, for it was a great source of sorrow to Cyril 
Lucar,! the Patriarch of Constantinople, to know that 
the heretics were ten times more numerous than his 
orthodox Greek. 

The Coptic Church is Monophysite,^ that is, it was 
so vehemently opposed to the Arian heresy, which 
denied the divine nature of our Lord, and to the 
Nestorian theory by which His two natures were 
divided, that it maintained that Christ had one nature 
alone, and that a mixture of the human and the 

* Cyril makes use of the Homeric phrase to give point to his 
comparison — 

noAXat K€y 8c/c(i86s Bevolaro olvox&oio. 

HOM., //., ii. 128. 

" Indeed many decades would lack their cupbearer." 
' Monophysitism " is to be traced to Eutychianism, from which 
it sprang, though by no means identical with it." " Eutyches not 
only attributed but one nature to Christ after His Incarnation, but 
held that Christ's body, being the body of God, was not identical 
with the human body." "The Monophysites, in distinction, 
held that the two natures were so united that although * the one 
Christ' was partly human and partly divine. His two natures 
became by their union only one nature. This modification of the 
Eutychian' doctrine was taught by Dioscorus, the successor of St. 
Cyril in the Patriarchate of Alexandria" {Cyclopedia of Biblical 
and Theological Literature^ McClintock and Strong, New York). 



The campaigns of the great world-conqueror, 
Alexander of Macedon, prepared the minds of men, 
in a general way, for the doctrines of the Gospel, 
some three centuries before it was preached, by 
spreading Greek culture, thought, and language in the 
most distant countries of the world, and so fusing 
into one Greek and Barbarian. But, in a more 
particular manner, this end was attained in Alex- 
andria, his new city, where the conqueror invited the 
Jews, to whom he was very partial, to settle in great 

'^ere, in the very heart of civilization, where the 
culture of the Greek, the mystic lore of the Copt, the 
discipline of the Roman, and the religiousness of the 
Jew were blended together, a cosmopolitan form of 
thought developedy^hich, in spite of certain peculi- 
arities, afterwards became a soil admirably prepared' 
for the seed of life. 
There is a very interesting account of the first 



meeting of the Jews and the Macedonian hero in the 
History of Josephus. After their return from captivity, 
the Jews had remained the loyal subjects of the 
"Great King.^* Nehemiah, it seems, was the last 
governor sent from the Court of Persia. After his 
death, Judea was placed under the control of the 
Satrap of Ccele-Syria, to whom the high-priest was 
responsible for the administration of affairs. The 
history of this period is without any striking incident 
until we come to the priesthood of Jaddua, when 
news of the invasion of Asia, and the overthrow 
of the Persian monarch, their suzerain, in the 
decisive battles at the Granicus (334 b.c.), and at 
Issus (333 B.C.), spread a panic among the well- 
affected inhabitants of Palestine, which was increased 
tenfold when the invader turned his all-powerful arms 
in the direction of Syria, captured Damascus, carried 
Sidon by assault, and laid siege to the great city of 
Tyre. From that place he sent^ a message to Jeru- 
salem to demand an oath of submission and supplies 
from the high-priest. These were refused. The king 
vowed vengeance, and after the fall of Tyre, marched 
straight to the Holy City. 

In the meantime the Jews were in terrible conster- 
nation, and Jaddua was greatly troubled. However, 
reassured by a dream, in which he was advised to 
receive the approaching Alexander as a friend, he 
ordered the city to be decorated with flags and gar- 
lands for the reception of the conqueror, and went 



forth in full pontifical attire, followed by an imposing 
procession of the priests, to meet the king on the 
march, or ever he drew nigh the city walls. 

But when the great victor beheld the holy name 
Jahveh inscribed ii) golden letters on the tiara of the 
high-priest, it is said that he fell down and worshipped, 
to the great astonishment of the Chaldean princes 
and the indignation of his own friends, who scoffingly 
inquired why he, who had " made the whole world do 
him homage, knelt before the Jewish priest " ? 

** It is not the high-priest whom I worship," re- 
turned Alexander, ** but his God Who gave him the 
priesthood. In a vision at Dios in Macedonia, X saw 
Him arrayed in those robes, and when I was con- 
sidering how I might conquer Asia, He urged me to 
cross the sea without delay, saying that He would 
Himself lead my army and give me the victory." 

Then the king, rising from his knees, took the 
high-priest by the hand, and entering the city, sacri- 
ficed before the people in the Temple. This story 
may be a myth. 

It is, however, a fact, that Alexander dealt very 
leniently with the Jews, to whom he granted their 
ancient privileges and liberdes. And when a few 
months afterwards he founded his city of Alexandria 
in Egypt, he gave the Jewish settlers the preference. 

For a long period the Jewish colony in Egypt had 

rest, and multiplied ; and as usual grew very rich, and 

lent large sums of money at interest to the uncircum- 



cised. They were governed by one of their own 
princes, called the Alabarch, and by a Sanhedrim, and 
occupied two of the five districts (Nomi) of the city. 
Moreover, Ptolemy Philadelphus conferred additional 
advantages upon the flourishing house of Israel. Nor 
were they long without a temple. For during the 
dark days when Antiochus the Syrian was working 
off his rage on the country of Judea, and seeking by 
every indignity, pollution, and oppression, to destroy 
the Jewish Law and Worship, we read that Onias, the 
son of the high-priest, escaped to Egypt, and there 
obtained the permission of Ptolemy Philometer to 
erect a temple in the Heliopolitan nome, after the 
same pattern as the Temple of Jerusalem, and to con- 
secrate Levites and priests to its service. It is said 
that Onias quoted the following prediction of Isaiah 
(xix. 1 8, 19) to Ptolemy as a plea for the building of 
this temple — 

" In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt 
speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the Lord 
of hosts ; one shall be called. The city of Heres.^ In 
that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the 
midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border 
thereof to the Lord." 

This temple of Heliopolis, built by Onias, though 
somewhat smaller, was similar in design to the ancient 
fane in Jerusalem. It stood on a foundation 60 
feet high, but instead of the massive golden candle- 

* The city of Heres=the city of the Sun (Heliopolis). 

Clement and the jews 35 

stick, a golden lamp was suspended by a golden 
chain from the vaulted roof; it was also adorned 
with votive gifts. This temple remained standing 
until the time of Vespasian, who ordered it to be 
demolished in consequence of a tumult raised by the 
Jews in Egypt. 

Moreover, the Jews had a celebrated synagogue in 
Alexandria, which was built on a magnificent scale, 
and in which seventy golden chairs, studded with 
gems, were placed for the Sanhedrim. This edifice 
was burnt down in the time of Trajan. 

Needless to say, the Jews in Egypt soon forgot their 
ancient tongue, and the recension of their scriptures 
by Ezra. They found it more convenient to have a 
translation in the Greek language. This translation 
— the origin of which is wrapt in mystery — is called 
the Septuagint version, from the tradition (now uni- 
versally rejected) of Aristeas, who stated that it was 
made in seventy-two days by seventy learned Jews. 
These, the story goes, were sent by Eleazar the high- 
priest to Ptolemy Philadelphus, who was then engaged 
in founding his magnificent library at Alexandria 
(283 B.C.). On their arrival, the Egyptian monarch, 
with a view to test their inspiration, shut them up by 
pairs in cells, and on the completion of the translations, 
which agreed verbatim with one another, is said by 
Josephus to have given the translators half a million 
sterling for their work. 

Clement, following Irenseus (L. 3, c. 25), gives 


the same account of the origin of the Septuagint 
version of the Old Testament. In the Stromateis 
(l xxii.) he writes : " They say that the Scriptures both 
of the law and of the prophets were translated from 
the Hebrew into the Greek language in the reign of 
Ptolemy, the son of Lagos, or according to others in 
that of Ptolemy Philadelphus, and that Demetrius 
Phalereus displayed the greatest zeal and accuracy in 
superintending this work." 

He then proceeds to relate the story we have just 
told, which he firmly believed, regarding such an 
origin as the result of a special intervention of Provi- 
dence on behalf of the Greeks. "For it need not 
occasion wonder," he says, **that the God who 
inspired the prophecy should inspire the translation. 
For when the Scriptures had been lost in the captivity 
of Nabuchodonosor, Esdras (Ezra) the Levite and 
priest under divine inspiration restored them in the 
reign of Artaxerxes." 

Clement then quotes from the work of Aristobulus, 
addressed to Philometor, in order to show that Plato 
was versed in the Jewish law. The passage runs to 
the effect that even before the time of Demetrius, 
previous to the time of the Persians and of Alexander, 
the account of the Exodus from Egypt and the Jewish 
code of laws had been translated into Greek, so that 
they were well known both to Pythagoras and to 
Plato, "the Atticizing Moses," as Noumenius the 
Pythagorean philosopher styled him. 


This Story, however, although attested by such an 
authority as Clement, is evidently an invention. The 
translation was originally made for the use of the 
Alexandrian Jews, and was the work of various authors, 
who, to judge from the introduction of Coptic words, 
were natives of Egypt. 

Dr. Edersheim suggests (History of Jewish NatioUy 
p. 425) that both the Samaritan and the Septuagint 
translations of the Pentateuch are based on an old 
Aramaean Targum or Paraphrase. He cites several 
passages in the LXX, version, which can only be 
understood with the help of the Hagada^ the apo- 
cryphal Prophets, and the Halacah^ the apocryphal 

For example, he takes the translation of the book 
of Joshua, and shows that the Greek of chapter xiii. 
22 — Kfxi Tov BaXaot/i tov tov Becii|0 tov fidyriv AvriKTEivay 
iv TJ poTfj (in the /ai/) — can only be understood in the 
light of the Hagadic story, that Balaam had by magic 
flown into the air, but that Phinehas threw him to the 
ground and killed him in the fall. And the remark- 
able addition in the Septuagint version to Joshua 
xxiv. 30 — " There they placed with him on the tomb, 
in which they buried him there, the stone knives 
with which he had the children of Israel circumcised 
in Galilee, when he led them out of Egypt, as the 
Lord had appointed them " — ^is also due to the same 
spurce of legend — the Jewish Hagada. 

These passages prove that this Greek translation 


was made under the combined influences ot the 
Jewish Targums, ancient paraphrases of the text, 
and the Talmud, the collection of oral traditions and 
interpretations on the law, and were only committed 
to writing in the second century after Christ, but 
existed for centuries before in the memory of indi- 
viduals. Be this as it may, the translation shows 
abundant traces of mistakes, corrections, additions, 
and omissions. 

Though it was, at first, intended only for the 
Egyptian, it came to be used very largely by the 
Palestinian, Jews ; and came to be regarded as a work 
of the highest authority until that sacred race, unable 
to answer the arguments which the Christians based 
upon it, disowned it, and made use of a very literal 
version by Aquila, especially written from the national 
standpoint, about 160 a.d. 

A well-known version of this work, which had 
gradually become full of errors by reason of the 
inaccuracy of transcribers, was undertaken by Origen 
in the beginning of the third century. 

This great scholar of Alexandria spent twenty-eight 
years in collating the Greek text with the original 
Hebrew, and three other Greek translations, the literal 
rendering of Aquila, the moderate one of Theodotion, 
and the free one of Symmachus, Ebionite Jews. 

This recension is variously termed the Tetrapla 
(which contains the four Greek versions of Aquila, 
Symmachus, the Septuagint, and Theodotion), and the 


Hexapla (which contains two additional columns, 
the Hebrew text in its original characters, and also 
in Greek characters). Origen marked all the changes 
he made in the text very carefully. 

A long time after his death, Eusebius and Pamphilus 
found this great work in an obscure place in the city 
of Tyre, and removed it to the library of Pamphilus 
the martyr, where Jerome saw it a hundred years 
later. It is supposed to have perished in the sack of 
the city by the Arabs, a.d. 653. 

There were three further recensions of the Septua- 
gint, one by Eusebius from the Hexaplar text of 
Origen, one revision of the common Greek text by 
Lucian, and another by Hesychius. Upon these 
three recensions all MSS. and printed editions of the 
Septuagint now in use are based. 

This much will suffice to show the important posi- 
tion of the great Jewish colony in Alexandria (in the 
world of letters as well as in worldly riches), and to 
prepare us for the great problem its noblest sons 
endeavoured to solve — the reconciliation of Greek 
philosophy and Jewish tradition. . 



In order to understand the position and influence 
of an Alexandrian Jew, let us take the case of Philo 
(who was already advanced in years, a.d. 40), when he 
undertook an embassy to Caligula on behalf of the 
Jews. He was a man of wealth, position, and learning, 
and the brother of the Alabarch Alexander, who lent 
fabulous sums of money to Agrippa. Brought up 
from his infancy to believe in the divine source of 
every letter of the Septuagint version of the Old 
Testament, made by the Jews of Alexandria, and in 
after years becoming a firm adherent of the Platonic 
philosophy, he found it hard to reconcile his reason 
and his faith. He instinctively held to the Scriptures, 
while his reason assented to the philosophy. 

To deliver himself from this dilemma, he set himself 
to seek for universal principles of thought in the Old 
Testament. Needless to say, he did not find them. 
And this failure was due in a large measure to his 
uncritical method of study. For he did not adhere 



to the recognized rules of interpretation, and paid no 
heed whatever to the grammar, history, logical de- 
velopment, textual and comparative criticism of the 
works he studied. Having failed, then, to find the 
principles of Greek philosophy in the Pentateuch of 
Moses, he arrived at the extraordinary conclusion that 
everything in Scripture was allegorical ; that nothing 
was to be literally interpreted, but that the most 
abstruse and far-fetched meaning was the most 

Thus the letter of the text was spirited away by 
Philo, while the so-called spirit was retained. In this 
way Philo thought he would be able to find his Greek 
universals in the law of Moses, and so to defend the 
sacred literature of his countrymen from the sneers of 
heathen moralists and the jeers of Pagan sceptics. 
While, on the other hand, he fondly hoped to satisfy 
the narrow-minded literalism of the Pharisees, who 
worshipped the letter, but disregarded the spirit of the 

If he succeeded in doing this, he would achieve the 
darling project of his heart — the reconciliation of 
Greek philosophy and Jewish tradition. 

But, of course, consistently with the Greek theories 
he incorporated in his system, Philo could not conceive 
the Deity as having any sensible or human quality or 
feeling. He identified Him with the Absolute Being, 
undefinable and supreme, Who manifests Himself to 
the mind that soars upwards, disengaging itself from 


everything sensible, and so attains to an intellectual 
intuition of Him. Such a one loves the Supreme 
Being for His own sake, and longs to do His will 
because he apprehends Him not as man but as 

There are others, Philo writes, who know God only 
after the analogy of man, and attribute to Him feelings 
of anger, etc. These have to be trained to virtue by 
the hope of reward or fear of punishment, whereas the 
members of the former class apprehend God im- 
mediately rising to an intellectual insight of His Being, 
and so are actuated by love ; while they who form the 
second class know God only indirectly through the 
medium of His Creation and His revealed word, and 
so are sons of the word rather than of the true Being. 

Thus Philo held that there was an inner and an 
outer circle of believers, and introduced the Pagan 
distinction of esoteric and exoteric into that religion 
which is for all alike, the millionaire and the beggar, 
the peasant and the peer, the ignorant and the learned. 

This spiritualistic conception of God was directly 
opposed to the materialistic view the Alexandrian 
Jews, in general, had of their Jahveh. 

One extreme had led to the other; and in this case, 
the mean, as ever, is right. 

For the objective qualities of the Heavenly Father, 
which were dimly revealed to the Old Testament 
saints, but in these latter days more fully revealed in 
the person of His Only-Begotten Son, cannot be 


explained away in this manner. And, after all, the 
religion of Philo and his school was but an intellectual 
interpretation of Judaism, with all the features of a 
spiritualized worship, asceticism, contemplation, 
rapture, and isolation* 

Intimately connected with this new departure of 
Judaism, which presented many attractions to the 
philosophical, however distasteful it may have been to 
the Conservative, Jew, was the sect of the Therapeutae, 
which some identify with the older Essenes, but which 
is, perhaps with more reason, to be regarded as a 
practical exposition of the contemplative life, solemnly 
advocated by many of the Jews in Egypt, the land of 
the mystic and the anchorite. 

These Therapeutae were the Contemplatists. They 
lived, like the later anchorites, in cells by the Lake 
Mareotis. To this place, from all quarters men and 
women had come, leaving their households and 
breaking with all their natural ties, in order to meditate 
together upon the Being of God, and to study the law 
according to the new allegorical method. 

They used to fast for three days out of the seven, 
and every Sabbath-day met together to hold a solemn 
convocation and to partake of a simple meal. 

Such was the soil in which Gnosticism naturally 
took root. 

For when, influenced by the new doctrine, the 
members of this sect professed Christianity, as a 
general rule, they understood it only after an unreal 


manner, and imagined that their intellectual know- 
ledge of God was sufficient to atone for all their sin. 

It was essentially the mystical nature of the rising 
religion which commended it to them, and so the 
truth, when they did embrace it, became in their hands 
imbued with such extraneous elements as theosophy, 
angel worship, legal righteousness, the prerogatives of 
high descent, and the mystery of numbers. 

We must bear in mind that there was a certain class 
of Jews always hostile to Christianity — the proselytes 
of righteousness who had been circumcised, and who 
conformed to the stern ritual of Moses in the strictest 

Of these Justin Martyr wrote — '* They do not only 
not believe, but, twice as much as the heathen, blas- 
pheme the name of Christ." 

Whereas the proselytes of the Gate, who simply 
pledged themselves to abstain from the worship of 
idols and pagan excesses, and to adore the one God, 
found an especial attraction in the new Gospel, which 
threw a fuller light upon the nature and work of God. 

Moreover, Philo had prepared the way for the 
doctrine of the Incarnation and Redemption by his 
idea of a mediating divine Word — which he, however, 
regarded as a manifestation of a person rather than as 
a personal manifestation — through which, according to 
him, the world was connected with God. 

It is very instructive, indeed, to compare thi* 
imperfect Logos-theory of Philo with the true theory 


of " the Word become flesh '' in the Gospel of St. John. 
The Logos of St. John is real, present, and sub- 
stantial, while the word of Philo is shadowy, distant, 
and indistinct. 

The Alexandrian philosopher indeed spoke of the 
Word as the First-born Son, but on the subject of His 
Personality he is altogether silent or vague. According 
to Dorner and Dollinger he did not speak of this 
Word (Logos) as if He were a distinct Person ; while 
Dr. Jowett declared that Philo had not made up his 
own mind on the subject, for at one time he treated 
his Word as personal, and at another as impersonal. 

In this controversy we must bear in mind that the 
word " person " is applied to God in a different sense 
from that in which it is applied to man. And yet 
there is bound to be one element at least in common 
between the personality of God and the personality of 
man, and that is self-consciousness. 

The argument therefore turns on this, whether or no 
the Word (Logos) of Philo was regarded by him as a 
self-conscious Being, aware of His distinctness and 
individuality as the Word of St. John manifestly 

The Word of Philo, as has been said already, is a 
mediating Word, through which God the Abstract, the 
Intangible One, deals with men and manifests Himself 
in the world. But in another passage he spoke of this 
Word as the ''Shadow of God, by which, as an instru- 
ment, he used to make the worlds," that is, a shadowy 


instrument, which can be nothing more than a mani- 
festation of God. 

The Word, Philo goes on to say, fills all things, is 
the "bond " of creation, is the ** Eldest Son " and the 
'* Archangel." He is the ** spiritual food of man," and 
the "Intercessor" by whose mediating words the 
Creator is brought into touch with His Creation. 
Yet we can hardly believe that Philo is speaking here 
of anything more than a certain attribute of God, 
as, for example, His wisdom made incarnate in the 

If we take another definition of this Word, " The 
word of God is the Idea of Ideas," we have a 
reminiscence, or rather a reproduction of the Platonic 
theory of the Intelligence (no^s). The " Intelligence " 
is the centre of causality, the agent of creation in the 
system of the Greek, while the Word (Logos) is the 
centre of causality, the agent of creation in the 
system of the Jew. But the No<is,i '* the Royal Mind," 
in the philosophy of Plato is merely a principle of 
Intelligence in the nature of the Supreme God, and is 
not therefore a self-conscious personality. Now the 

1 Plato, Philebus, 30, CD. ** In the nature of Zeus (the living 
organism of the Cosmos) you will say that there is a royvXpsyMy 
but that a royal mind evinces itself on account of the power of 
the cause " — ohKovv iv rri rov A*bs ipets ip^xrti fiaffiXiK^v /ity 
^vxh^ $€un\tKhy 5« vovv iy^lyveaOai Std r^v rrjs airias B^yafj^tv, 
Again, Plato says in another passage, *' Mind is cause ; mind 
rules the whole ; mind belongs to that class which is called the 
cause of all things." 


** Word " of Philo has evidently been founded upon 
the " Intelligence " of Plato, and as it has been proved 
abundantly from the writings of Plato that he did not 
regard his " Intelligence *' as a person, it would be a 
straining of the point to read a self-conscious person- 
ality into the Philonic Word, or to assert that St. John, 
whose Word is truly a Person manifested in His Work 
and Thought, distinct from the Father, and at the 
same time One with Him, borrowed his perfect con- 
ception from the imperfect idea of Philo.^ 

^ Westcott {Gospel of St, John^ Introduction, p. xv) writes, 
'* The doctrine of the Word as it is presented in the Prologue, 
when taken in connection with the whole Gospel, seems to show 
clearly that the writer was of Palestinian and not of Hellenistic 
training." Bishop Westcott notices that it often happens in the 
history of thought that ** the same terms and phrases are used by 
schools which have no direct affinity, in senses which are 
essentially distinct while they have a superficial likeness." 
He takes the use of the word Logos to prove this point. This 
term is a cardinal one in the philosophy of Philo, as we have 
shown above : it was also the essential doctrine of St. John. 
There is, however, a marked difference in the way these authors 
made use of this word, which may be briefly expressed by saying 
that Philo, who was as well acquainted with the Memra and 
Debura (both of these terms mean Word = e. g. Gen. vii. i6 
is thus read in the Jewish paraphrase of Onkelos, " The Lord 
protected Noah by His Word (Memra) when he entered the 
ark ; " and Numbers vii. 89 is thus explained in the Targum of 
Jerusalem, "The Word (Debura) was talking with him") of the 
Talcums as he was with the Platonic theory of the Reason, read 
the Jewish Scriptures in the light of Greek thought, and so lost 
sight of the concrete fact of the Incarnation in the . cloud of 
abstract metaphysics ; while, on the other hand, St. John, 



Philo's problem, as stated in the beginning of this 
chapter, was the reconciliation of Jewish traditioi) and 
Greek philosophy. 

Thus it was that he was led to clothe his Greek 
theory of an abstract intangible Deity in a Jewish 
form, and to represent his Jahveh as the one supreme, 
intellectual, and living Being, manifesting Himself 
through the mediation of an Intelligence which, in its 
turn, was manifested through its ideas. 

according to the bent of his Jewish mind, grasping the ethical 
And practical nature of the Word, represented Him as the 
Incarnate Son of God, and the actual Revealer of His Will to 
man. Thus it was that the Personality of the Word was a 
matter of indifference to the Alexandrian, while it was the one 
absorbing thought of the disciple. 






In a previous chapter, a very brief allusion was 
made to the prominent position in intellectual pursuits 
which was won by the Catechetical School of Alex- 
andria- This school was established under the best 
auspices. The grand problem which ever engaged the 
attention of its professors was the reconciliation of 
the enlightenment of the age with the Christian 
doctrine of the Incarnation. One cannot say that 
their eflforts in this line were entirely crowned with 
success, but they, at any rate, helped to give a 
Christian tone to the new Cosmic philosophy. 

Eusebius, the great ecclesiastical historian, speaks 
of a school of theology which existed in the city from 
very ancient times. This school was connected with 
the diocese of Alexandria, and the appointment of 
the professor consequently lay in the hands of the 

Very high qualifications were of necessity required 

49 D 



in the catechist of this school, which had a higher aim 
than mere scriptural exposition, and a larger scope 
even than the allegorical interpretation of the Sacred 

The end the teachers had before them was to show 
the reasonableness of Christianity to men of reasoning 
minds, and thus to establish the Christian faith upon 
a rational basis. 

The Catechist should then be familiar with Grecian 
lore, philosophy, and religion, in order to cope with 
the wit and intelligence of a highly cultured race; and 
at the same time, to train up a class of students who 
were preparing for the different offices of the Christian 

So it was that Clement, who succeeded Pantaenus 
in the chair of theology, freely used every possible 
means of helping his pupils; exploring both the 
ancient and the recent classical authors, and studying 
every theory of life, creation, and God, that was to be 
found in the collective wisdom of the Greeks, and in 
the illumined page of Scripture. 

" All learning,'^ he tells us, " is useful, but the study 
of the Holy. Scriptures is particularly essential to 
enable us to verify what we teach, especially when our 
pupils come primed with Greek erudition." 

Even the learned and ready Origen, Clemenfs 
disciple and successor in the chair of divinity, ex- 
perienced this very thing, and often found much _ 
difficulty in answering the various questions and 


quibbles that were put to him by the Greek students, 
who apparently derived a great pleasure from the 
confusion of their lecturer. 

Under these circumstances, we are not surprised to 
find that in the highly intellectual training college, the 
Articles of the Christian faith were first formulated and 
arranged as a system of philosophy, with which we all 
are familiar under the name of the gnosis, or science 
of Alexandria. 

Of Pantaenus, ^ the predecessor of Clement in the 
professorship in the Christian school, very little is 
known beyond the fact that he commenced life as a 
Stoic, and that when he became a Christian he inspired 
all his pupils with an intense thirst for that knowledge 
which he could impart so well, instructing them all in 

the tradition of the holy teaching directly handed 


^ This Pantaenus resigned his post in Alexandria for a term 
of ten years, in order to conduct a mission in some remote part 
of India. It came about in this way. Some Indian envoys came 
to Demetrius, the Bishop of Alexandria, and asked him to send 
them a man who could preach Christ and Him crucified to an 
ignorant and idolatrous nation. Pantaenus, having heard of the 
request, at once volunteered his services. After spending a 
number of years in a land not altogether ignorant of Christian- 
ity (for it is said* that he found in India the Gospel of St. 
Matthew, which had been carried there by Bartholomew, the 
first preacher of the new religion in those parts), and doubtless 
enduring much privation, he returned, as many of our mission- 
aries do, and resumed his educational work in the training- 
school of Alexandria. 

* Eusebius, H. E. v. lo. 


down by fathet to son, from the Apostles Peter, James> 
John, and Paul. 

The work his master so well commenced, Clement 
continued, because, as he tells us, "Knowledge is 
intended for use, and rusts when disused, just as wells, 
when pumped, yield a purer stream of water than 

The remaining chapters of this book will be devoted 
to a sketch of the life and a summary of the teaching 
of the second, and perhaps the most distinguished, of 
the three distinguished lecturers of the Catechetical 
School of Alexandria. 




" I espouse neither this nor that philosophy, neither the Stoic, 
nor the Platonic, nor the Epicurean, nor that of Aristotle ; 
but whatever any of these sects hath said, that is fit and just 
whatever teaches righteousness with a divine and religious 
knowledge, all this I select and call it philosophy." — 
Stromateis^ 1. i. 

Prepared by the foregoing account, poor and 
imperfect as it is, of the various influences that 
mouldeci the education and thought of his country- 
men and himself, we are in a better position to 
understand and appreciate the character and genius 
of Clement. 

The life of Titus Flavius Clemens, evidently a mem- 
ber of the great Flavia gens,^ and perhaps descended 
from Titus Flavius Clemens, a nephew of Vespasian, 

^ Flavia gens quantum tibi tertius abstulit heres ! 
Psene fuit tanti non habuisse duos. 

Mart., Epig. Liber ^ xxxiii. 

This quotation is found in the introduction to the Epig. called 
Liber Epigrammaton (Schneidewin). 



Consul 95 A.D., is wrapt in obscurity.^ It is un- 
„. ^ , certain where and when he was born, and when 

Birthplace. . , 

and where he died. Of him Epiphanius 
wrote : "Some say he was a citizen of Alexandria, while 
others maintain that he was an Athenian/' He 
certainly studied in Athens, but his literary style lacks 
the finish and grace of the native Athenian. And so 
it has been thought, that the surname of Alexandrinus 
indicates the scene of his life if not of his birth. 

He was a young man in 195 a.d., the probable 
date of the Stromateisy which does not belong to an 
earlier period of history than the reign of Commodus,^ 
and professes to be the work of a man in the prime of 
life, ** storing up treasures of intellect for his old age.*' 

It has been supposed that he was originally a 
pagan, which is not improbable, to judge from a 
chance expression he lets fall in his writings, to the 
effect that " he abjured his old opinions." 

In early life he was deeply learned in the philo- 

* In the following chapters the few facts that are known of 
the private and official life of Clement will be narrated at greater 

^ Eusebius informs us {H, E. vi. 6) that Clement in his first 
book of the Stromateis brings all his dates down to the death of 
Commodus, 193 a.d., so that it is clear that these volumes were 
elaborated by him in the reign of Severus, 193-21 1. The same 
writer in H, E. v. 28, quotes a passage from an unknown author, 
in which Clement is mentioned as one of the defenders of the 

1 faith before the time of Victor, Pope of Rome, 193-202 A. D. ; so 
that we are pretty safe in saying that Clement was in the full 

; vigour of his powers between 190 and 210 a.d. 



sophy of the Stoics, and the idealistic theories of 
Plato. But in after years, as he tells us, he was led 
to embrace Christianity by Pantaenus, the Principal 
of the catechetical school in Alexandria. 

In the first chapter of his Miscellanies he gives an 
interesting account of his studies and his teachers ; 

" This work," he writes, ** is not elaborated accord- 
ing to the rules of art for show, but it consists _ , 

. . Teachers. 

of records stored up in my mmd, a remedy 
for the forgetfulness of age. It is merely a picture and 
shadowy outline of those clear and lively discourses 
which I had the honour to hear from the lips of 
saintly and illustrious men. 

** Of these one was an Ionian ^ who lived in Greece. 
Others came from Magna Graecia (the Greek plant- 
ation in Southern Italy). One belonged to Coele- 
Syria, and another hailed from Egypt. Of those I fell 
in with in the East, one was a Hebrew of Palestine, and 
another was an Assyrian.^ But the last I was to meet 
was the first in merit. Having found him living in 
obscurity in Egypt, I ceased from my travels in search 
of the truth. He was the * Sicilian Bee,* ^ who 
gathered the flowers of the prophetic and apostolic 

mead, and created in the souls of his pupils an 


^ *\(ovik6s. Some render it, a member of the Ionian sect. 

' Perhaps Tatian, to whom he refers in his Stromateisy the author 
of the Diatessaron^ the first harmony of the Gospels. 

^ Pantaenus is referred to. He was the head of the Christian 
School in Alexandria, and was succeeded by Clemens. — Eusebius, 
H, E, V. II. 


imperishable element of knowledge. These men 
indeed preserved the true tradition of the blessed 
doctrine immediately from the Apostles St, Peter, St 
James, St. John, and St. Paul, as a child keeps what 
he hath learned of his father (how few there are 
like them 1), and came to us by the will of God, to 
deposit in our breasts the Apostolic seed they them- 
selves received from their predecessors." 

The greater number of these teachers are unknown 
to us. However, the order in which they are men- 
tioned, the Ionian Greek first, and the Egyptian 
Pantaenus last, has given some ground for the plausible 
hypothesis that as Athens was the starting-point, Alex- 
andria was the final goal of his literary investigations. 
It is supposed by some that Thales, the Ionian 
^ philosopher, was the principal master he 

studied in Greece, as he frequently quotes 
his opinions ; In one passage writing of him : " He i$ 
the only man who seems to be conversant with the 
Egyptian prophets; we dp not read that any bath 
been his master." 

And in another connection, daying, that when 
Thales was asked to define God's nature, he replied : 
" It is that which hath neither beginning nor end," 

The same philosopher, he relates, when replying to 
the query, if it were possible for man to hide his 
actions from God : ** How can that be, since we can- 
hot hide our thoughts from Him ? " 
The Assyrian teacher is supposed to have been 


Tatian, the disciple of Justin Martyr. The Jewish 
teacher was perhaps Theodotion, an extract of whose 
"Eastern doctrine" is to be found at the end of 
Clement's works. 

But the Jast teacher, beyond all doubt, was Pantaenus.^ 
Having received such a varied education, and „ 

- . Pantaenus. 

having consequently become steeped in the 
lore of Greeks and Barbarians, Jews and Gentiles, we 
are not surprised to find that the philosophy of 
Clement was the eclectic sort. That is to say, he 
selected from the works he read, and the ,^ . . 

' Their in- 

lectures he heard, the theories and hypotheses fluence on 
that suited his type of mind, and formulated . ^"^^^ ' 
them into a system of his own. And this accounts 
for the fact that we find so many interesting echoes of 
the wisdom of Plato and the Stoics in his Christian 

"The Barbarian," he said, "and the Greek Philo- 
sophy took the fragments of eternal truths which it 
contains, not out of the Mythology of Bacchus, but 
from the Reason that did always exist. He, therefore, 
that would join again what had been divided, and would 
make a system of it, might be sure of knowing the truth." 

^ Clement gives us an instructive "note" which he took down 
at a lecture of that celebrated catechist. Pantaenus was explain- 
ing the peculiar prophetic perfect in Hebrew which expressed 
in a most vivid way the certainty of the speaker, and finished by 
saying, as Clement relates, * * The prophets usually express them- 
selves by the aorist, and prefer the present to the future and 
preterite tenses." 


Accordingly, Clement did not despise philosophy. 

g- For it was God, he wrote, who gave philosophy 

his method to the Greeks by the ministry of inferior angels 

(8ta Twv vTToSccoTcpcDv dyycA-wv), but Christians 

were instructed by the ministry of the Son. 

Acting on this principle, he lectured his junior 
classes on the Greek Philosophy. 

The lecturer thus describes his method of teaching : 

** As plowmen cast the seed into the ground only 
after watering it, so we take out of tlie writings of the 
Grecians wherewith to water what is earthly in those 
we instruct, to prepare them for the seed of the 
Gospel. The light of nature is presupposed by the 
light of the Gospel. Christ and his Apostles did not 
undertake to give a new system of philosophy, which 
would show up every error by contrast. They took 
for granted that we were already supplied with several 
principles of thought upon which we could reason.*' 

The Stromateis is his most ambitious work. It 
. . . is, as the name suggests, a compilation of 
principal miscellaneous notes, arranged without method 
which ^ o^* taste, as the author himself tells us. For 
Christian j^^ aptly compared it with " a thickly planted 
and Greek mountain where fruit and other trees are 
phy are' grouped in a confused way together, so as to- 
blended, baffle the plunderer; whereas the careful 
gardener would be able to find out and arrange in 
their natural orders such as were wholesome for the 
palate or adapted for ornamentation." 


" For it is thus, that the mysteries of the Christian 
faith, veiled from impertinent and ignorant curiosity 
in this work (which was especially written for those 
who had already been initiated in the faith), will only 
discover their rich treasures to the honest and diligent 
seeker of the Truth." 

The number of paradoxes, which bristle through 
the treatise, recall the aphorisms of the Stoics, which 
he knew so well. For example : " No one but a 
Christian is rich,'* seems indeed to be an echo of 
" The wise man alone is rich, and a king." 

The arguments and theories of Plato, whose works 
he had studied, are also inwoven in a wonderful 
manner with the principles of the Christian faith. 
Indeed Clement seemed to think that Plato's doctrine 
of the Trinity, which was afterwards very carefully 
reproduced in the Enneades of Plotinus, was identical 
with that of the Christian. Porphyry tells us that 
Plato taught that the divine essence extended itself to 
three hypostases, to wit, the Supreme Divinity or the 
Good itself; then, the Creator; and, thirdly, the Soul 
of the World. And Plotinus, in the century after 
Clement, wrote an elaborate treatise on the Trinity of 
Plato, consisting of the Being, the Spirit or the Reason 
of Being, and the Soul of the World, three principles 
essentially united but practically separate. 

Our author spoke of the Divinity of our Lord as 
these Platonists spoke of "Reason." "The nature 
of the Son," according to him, " is the most perfect, 




the most holy." " He is that excellent nature which 
governs all things according to the Father's 
of Plato will, which rules the world well, which acts by 
in^oeAain ^^ Unexhausted and unwearied power, and 
peculiar which sees the most secret thoughts/' More- 

opinions, ° 

over, Clement always endeavoured to eluci- 
date a Christian doctrine by a parallel from the Greek 

He believed that the " fire," which is spoken of in 
the New Testament, was the same as that " fiery 
ordeal " which Plato imagined was finally destined to 
purge the sin from the soul. And when the pagan 
writers spoke of Hades and Tartarus, he held that 
they were speaking prophetically of Gehenna. 

A strange conception of the humanity of Christ 
is to be found in the writings of this teacher. Not 
considering, as he said, that his Lord was inferior to 
the heathen deities, who only required ambrosia, he 
believed that Jesus Christ needed no milk when He 
came into the world, and was not nourished by the 
meat of which He partook in condescension to 

In many respects Clement was decidedly the 
and in the child of his age. He was not fettered by 
genial mediaeval doctrines of fatalism and necessity, 
of his The will is perfectly free, according to him. 
oug t, u Neither praises, nor censures, nor rewards, 
nor punishments, are just, if the soul have not the 
power of sinning or of not sinning." Nor was the 


nature of man to be held responsible for original sin, 
in his opinion. " Let them tell us," he wrote, " how 
a new-born child hath sinned, or how he who hath 
done nothing yet, is fallen under Adam's curse." No 
wonder, then, that this great-hearted teacher was 
spoken of in the highest terms of praise by writers 
of almost every school of thought. Testi- 

His learning and his piety are subjects ciem^xt^ 
of most noble encomiums. learning. 

Alexander, the Bishop of Jerusalem, writing to 
Origen after the death of their beloved master, says of 
him : " We both acknowledge for Fathers those 
blessed men who have gone out of this life before us, 
and with whom we shall be in a short time, the 
blessed Pantaenus and the /fious Clement, from whom 
I have received great assistance." ^ 

Eusebius says that his books are full of much 
learning. And St. Jerome, the severe critic, writes : 
"Clemens, Priest of the Church of Alexandria, the 
most learned of our authors, in my opinion, wrote 
eight books of Stromateis^ as many of the Hypotyposeis^ 
a book against the Pagans, and three volumes entitled 
the Fcedagogus. There is nothing in his books but is 
full of learning, and taken from the soul of philosophy." 

Cyril of Alexandria tells us that Clement was a 
man of wonderful learning, who dived to the bottom 
of Greek learning. with greater exactness than any of 
his predecessors. 

^ Eusebius, H. E. vi. 14. 


The last testimony we shall quote is that of Theo- 
doret, who said of Clement : * * That holy man sur- 
passed all others in extent of learning." 

Popular opinion made Clement a saint of the 
Church. And he was, as a matter of fact, comme- 
Testimony morated on December 4, in the early Western 
^o^^^v^^yf'Martyrologies, Baronius, however, omitted 
his name from the Martyrology published during the 
episcopate of Clement VIII., Bishop of Rome. 

There seems to have been a great number of 
protests against this omission, which Benedict XIV., 
Bishop of Rome, defended in his letter to John V., 
King of Portugal, 1748, on the ground, that some of 
Clement's doctrines were open to suspicion, and that 
he was therefore not entitled to a place in the Roman 

The memory of Clement, however, has suffered 
nothing from this repudiation. For he is now uni- 
versally esteemed wherever adoration has stooped to 
reason^ and reason has risen to adore. 



Having devoted the previous chapter to an account 
of the education and philosophical studies of Clement, 
we shall now tell all we know of the private life and 
character of the man. 

It is greatly to be regretted that so little is known 
of the private life and personal character of one who 
was, in the highest sense of the term, a scholar and a 
saint. Thelfew facts that history records of so prominent 
a champion of orthodoxy and Christianity deserve 
to be enshrined in the memories of all. But if we 
would know the man as he deserves to be known, we 
must supplement this brief sketch of his life by a 
careful study of his works. As we have already seen, 
he began life as a pagan philosopher in Alexandria ; 
but having been brought under the influence of 
Pantaenus, he became a Christian, and succeeded his 
master as Principal of the training college in that 


city. Among his pupils were the famous Origen and 
Alexander, the saintly Bishop of Jerusalem. 

While at Alexandria Clement was made a pres- 
byter ; but when the persecution of Severus (202 b.c.) 
burst forth upon the Christians, Clement left that city, 
and sought quiet and leisure for his studies and 
writings for a time in Jerusalem, and afterwards in 

Perhaps it may interest our readers to have some 
account of this persecution, which so greatly affected 
the fortunes of our teacher. 

It is believed that when Severus, in his early days, 
was Governor of Lyons, under Marcus Aurelius, he 
treated the Christians with much harshness. The 
names of Pothirius, the aged bishop, and of Blandina, 
the slave girl, both of whom were tortured and put to 
death under most revolting circumstances, have ever 
been associated with that infamous rule. 

But having been cured of some disorder by one 
Proculus, a Christian, Severus felt, or rather pre- 
tended to fe6l, favourably disposed to the new sect 
for some years. However, shortly after his investiture 
in the purple, he gave the Christians more cause to 

^ Clement defended his withdrawal from Alexandria in the hour 
of danger by quoting the verse, "When they persecute you in 
one city flee ye into another." He said he could do no good to 
the cause by remaining to be tortured ; and he condemned those 
who voluntarily provoked martyrdom in the strongest terms. 
**For such/' he argued, "help as much as in them lies the 
wickedness of the persecutors." 


remember that name of Severus which suited him so 
well, by ordering them, under pain of the direst 
punishment, to desist from propagating their religion. 

This edict was given about the year 202 a.d., 
and was immediately enforced. But the Christians, 
in spite of the prescribed penalties, refused to obey. 
Accordingly furor artna ntinistrat. Inquisitions and 
tortures were everywhere put into operation against 
them, and new and horrible methods of murder were 

The fury and deadly malignity of the persecution 
claimed many innocent victims in Carthage, notably 
Perpetua and her friends, who were gored to death 
by a mad bull in the arena of the amphitheatre before 
the delighted eyes of the sleek Roman citizens. But 
the devilish animosity and cruelty of the persecutor 
seemed to concentrate itself upon the unhappy city of 
Alexandria in particular. There numbers suffered 
martyrdom, and among these was Leonidas, the 
father of Origen, the famous pupil of Clement. But 
Clement himself wisely sought refuge in flight. 

Having reached Jerusalem in safety, he put up at 
the house of Alexander the bishop, his old pupil, 
who was then undergoing imprisonment for the faith. 
Now this Alexander had been a bishop in Cappa- 
docia, but he was subjected to many hardships for 
having confessed Christ, and at length had to fly for 
his life to Jerusalem. Here he was received by 
Narcissus, a man of very great devotion, who asso- 



dated the exile with himself in the care of the Church 
in that city. 

Eusebius gives us a small fragment of one of Alex- 
ander's letters, which is abundant proof of the fetct 
that these two men were joint pastors in Jerusalem. 

** Narcissus greets you who governed this diocese 
before me; and now being an hundred and sixteen 
years old, prayeth with me, and that very seriously^ 
for the state of the Church, and beseeches you to be 
of one mind with me." 

Moreover, we find an interesting light thrown on the 
relations of Clement and Alexander in the following 
epistle from that bishop to the Church of Antioch : 

" Alexander, a servant of God, and a prisoner of 
Jesus Christ, to the blessed Church at Antioch, in the 
Lord, sendeth greeting. Our Lord has made my 
bonds in this time of my imprisonment light for me ; 
because I understand that Asclepiades, a person 
admirably qualified by his eminency in the faith, has 
by Divine providence become bishop of your holy 
Church of Antioch. These letters I have sent you by 
Clement, the blessed presbyter, a man of approved 
integrity, whom ye do know already, and shall know 
more intimately. By the providence of God he hath 
been with us, and hath much established and aug- 
mented the Church." 

From this letter we learn that Clement was a wise 
administrator as well as a devout scholar. We also 
gather from it that he had already paid a visit to the 


Syrian capital, and that he was about to return there. 
For it would materially strengthen the hands of the 
new Bishop of Antioch to have by his side, when 
taking up his diocesan duties, a man of the weight 
and judgment of the Alexandrian Clement 

It is said that after finishing his work in Antioch, 
the catechist returned to his school, and died in his 
native city, 222 a.d. This is practically all that we 
know of the life of one who lived in the light of the 
Word of life, and laboured modestly and with great 
success for the Church of Christ. 

His general temper may be inferred from the tone 
of his writings, which is at once mild and exalted, 
generous and strong. Indeed, it might be truly said 
of him, that the greatness of his heart was only sur- 
passed by the breadth of his mind. 



EusEBius {IT, E, vi. xiii) devotes a whole chapter 
to the writings of Clement. Of the Siromateis he tells 
us all the eight books are preserved, and bear this 
inscription, "Miscellaneous Gnostic notes by Titus 
Flavius Clement on the true philosophy." Rufinus 
translated the word Stromateis by opus varie contextum 
(Patchwork). Theodoret, in his book on the fables of 
the Heretics, tells us that Clement received the name 
of the Stromatist from this compilation. 

In the Stromateis we find not merely the flowers of 
Scripture, but a promiscuous collection of everything 
that has been well said by Greeks and barbarians. 
Moreover, Clement extends his historical investigation 
over a long period, confuting the false teaching of the 
heretics, and affording his readers abundant informa- 
tion on general topics. In the very first book he 
describes himself as one who has followed on the 
heels of the successors of the Apostles, and promises 
to write a commentary on the Book of Genesis. 



More will be said on the subject of the Strotnateis in 
a following chapter. 

We shall also reserve for another occasion our 
remarks on the tract, Who is the Rich Man that is 
seeking Salvation?^ the Exhortation to the Gentiles 
(literally Greeks), and the three books of the 
Pcedagogue^ and shall now tell all that we know about 
the Hypotyposeis^ OutKnes; a name familiar to the 
student of philosophy as the title of the work of 
Sextus Empiricus on the system of Pyrrho. There 
were originally eight books of the Hypotyposeis^ as 
Eusebius informs us. In these the author expressly 
mentions Pantaenus as his teacher, and quotes his 
expositions at length. "The Outlines,'^ Eusebius 
says, " consist more or less of abridged discourses on 
the canonical Scriptures, not omitting the disputed 
epistles, I mean that of Jude, and the other catholic 
epistles, as well as the Epistle of Barnabas and the 
so-called Apocalypse of Peter." 

The historian proceeds to retail some of the 
opinions of Clement, which he says were to be 
found in this work. First with reference to the 
Epistle to the Hebrews : this epistle, according to 
Eusebius, Clement said was from Paul, was written 
to the Hebrews in the Hebrew language, but Luke, 
with his usual zeal, interpreted it and brought out 
a Greek edition, somewhat similar in style to the 
Acts of the Apostles. Paul, however, did not com- 
mence with his usual form of address, ** Paul 


apostle,'' and naturally enough, as Clement said : for 
when writing to the Hebrews, who had taken a 
prejudice against him and suspected him, he showed 
his wisdom in not offending them at the outset by 
mentioning his name. A little lower down Clement 
observes, '* As the blessed presbyter used to say, since 
the Lord, the messenger of the Almighty, was sent 
to the Hebrews, Paul, by reason of his modesty as 
one sent to the Gentiles, did not describe himself 
* the Apostle of the Hebrews,' partly out of reverence 
for his Lord, and partly because it was a superfluous 
thing for him, an apostle and preacher to the 
Gentiles, to send a letter to the Hebrews as well." 

In this same work, Eusebius tells us that Clement 
gave an account of the order of the Gospels which 
he received from the presbyters before him. The 
genealogical portion, according to Clement, was 
written first. His remarks on the Gospel of St. 
Mark will be quoted in another chapter (c. viii.). 

Migne, in his Patrologia^ has published some 
fragments of the Outlines of the Catholic Epistles. 
These consist of a Latin version of notes on separate 
verses of i Peter, Jude, and i and 2 John, most 
probably the work of Cassiodorus, who tells us {Inst, 
Div, Liu, 8) that Clement made some remarks on 
I Peter, i John, and James, which were often subtle, 
but sometimes so wild that he had to modify 
them considerably when translating. This statement 
receives support from the fact that Photius — though 


we cannot trust him much — condemned as impious 
most of the opinions expressed in these Outlines. 

There is a fragment of a work on Marriage in 
which this profound remark occurs : — " A girl is not 
only ruined when deceived by man ; she is ruined 
when she is given in marriage before her time by her 

Eusebius mentions the title of another book, the 
Ecclesiastical Canon y or a treatise against the Judaizers, 
which was dedicated to Alexander, bishop of Jeru- 
salem. All that we have left of it is a short passage, 
in which the transitory condition of Solomon's 
Temple is contrasted with the abiding nature of the 
true Temple, the Body of Christ. In the Sixth Book 
of the Stromateis (p. 803) he defines the Ecclesiastical 
Canon, which may have had some connection with 
this lost work, as " the harmony and agreement of 
the law and the prophets with the covenant which 
was given at the appearance of our Lord." 

Antonius Melissa cites a fragment from Clement 
supposed to be a part of the Treatise on Scandal 
which Eusebius speaks of. "Never respect him," it 
runs, " who speaks evil of another to you ; but rather 
admonish him, saying, * Cease, brother; daily I make 
more mistakes, and how can I blame him ? For so 
doing you will gain two, by one and the same salve, 
yourself and your neighbour." 

Two very important fragments of the lost Treatise 
on the Passover have been preserved by Petavius, 


From these we learn that Clement did not look upon 
the Supper in the Upper Room as the Passover 
meal, but regarded it as that which was to take 
the place of and finally to supersede the Jewish 
Passover, being partaken of on the evening preceding 
the feast-day. 

" In former years," he says, ** our Lord when 
keeping the Passover supped on the lamb that was 
sacrificed by the Jews. But now, when He pro- 
claimed Himself to be the Paschal Lamb of God, 
being led as a sheep to the slaughter, He taught His 
disciples the mystery of the type on the 13th day of 
Nisan, when they inquired of Him : * Where wilt 
Thou that we prepare the Passover?' On this day 
the consecration of the unleavened bread and the 
preparation of the feast took place, and so John tells 
us that the disciples were prepared on that day by the 
washing of their feet. 

"And on the following day, the 14th Nisan, the 
Saviour suffered, being Himself the Passover, offered 
in sacrifice by the Jews. And on the 14th Nisan, 
when the Lord suffered, early in the morning, the 
chief priests and scribes who led Him to Pilate would 
not enter the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, 
and prevented from eating the Passover that evening. 

" All the Scriptures agree in this point of chronology, 
and the Gospels are in harmony with them. The 
Resurrection is a further evidence : for He rose on 
the third day, which day fell on the first week of the 


Harvest, on which the high-priest had to present the 
sheaf of first-fruits." 

There are some copious notes, supposed to be 
Clement's, on the Prodigal Son, among the works of 
Macarius Chrysocephalus. 

Antonius Melissa preserves these two important 
passages from the Treatise on the Soul: "The souls 
live freed from all unrest Although separated from 
the body and yearning to be restored to it, they are 
borne immortal into the bosom of God ; just as after 
rain the moisture of the earth, attracted by the rays of 
the sun, is drawn upwards towards it." And "All 
souls are immortal, even the souls of the impious ; 
but it were better for these latter that they were not 
everlasting. For being tortured by the endless 
punishment of the fire that is not quenched, they can 
not die nor end their existence." 

In the works of St. Maximus we find this short 
passage of Clement's work on Providence : " There 
is substance in God. God is divine substance, ever- 
lasting and without beginning, incorporeal and 
unconfined, and the cause of all things. Substance is 
that which is everywhere existent. Nature is the 
reality of things or their substance^ according to 
some it is the generation of the things which are 
brought into existence ; according to others it is the 
Providence of God imparting the fact and the manner 
of existence to the things that are created." 

There are some other works which have been 


ascribed to Clement, but without much authority. 
Of these, the Summaries of Theodotus contain a 
great many opinions concerning which we are un- 
certain whether Clement has put them forward to 
confute or confirm; while the Selections from the 
Prophets consist of sundry reflections on Knowledge, 
Faith, and the Creation. 

We may bring this chapter to a close with a few of 
Clement's aphorisms, which are as pointed as they are 

Flattery is the bane of friendship. 

The majority are more attached to the possessions of their 
princes than to their persons. 

Moderate diet is a necessary good. 

God crowneth those wrho abstain from sin not from necessity 
/ but from settled purpose. 

It is not possible to be constant in virtue unless of freewill. 
He is not good who is compelled to be so. . . . Goodness is a 
quality of the will. 

Lovers of sobriety avoid luxury as the ruin of body and 



The genuine character of this tracts — the Greek 
nanie of which is Tk o o-cd^^o/xcvos irXova-io^; and the 
Latin "Quis dives salvetur?" — is not only attested 
by the dignified tone of the work itself, but also by 
the important witness of the historian Eusebius, who 
praised this discourse in' his Church History^ and 
copied verbatim from it in his third book (c. 23) the 
touching story of St. John and the Robber. Jerome 
mentions this dissertation in his Catalogue as the work 
of Clement; and Photius, Clement's unfavourable 
critic, the famous Patriarch of Constantinople, who 
excommunicated the Pope of Rome 867 a.d., quotes 
from it in his Bibliotheca. 

Moreover there is a Clementine ring in several 
remarkable expressions which occur in this book, such 

cKXcicTorcpoi, /ivo-raywyciv, and several others. 

If we open the treatise we are at once struck by the 
simplicity of the language and the clearness of the 



argument. As the work is divided into different 
sections, and concludes with an able peroration in the 
form of a " story which is no story," and an elaborate 
ascription, it is thought by many to have been originally 
delivered as a sermon. 

It begins with a general denunciation of those who 
pay court to the rich. Such, according to the author, 
are not merely base flatterers but impious sinners : 
inasmuch as they give the glory which belongs to 
God to men, who are subject to the divine judgments. 
By so doing they encourage the rich in the pursuit 
and love of riches, and instead of reclaiming them 
from their love of gain, harden them in the pursuit of 
it. But to him it seemed a far more humane course, 
instead of flattering the rich for the evil they have 
done, to try to secure for them by every possible 
method, their salvation. 

"There are several reasons," he proceeds to say, 
" why the rich find it harder to attain salvation than 
the needy. For some having heard the words of the 
Saviour, * It is easier for a camel to pass through the 
eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the 
kingdom of heaven,' without thinking of the hidden 
sense of this expression, straightway despair of salvation, 
and give themselves up altogether to the pleasures of 
this world, as if this were the only life left for them. 
In their unsettled state, they depart still farther from 
'that way,' not troubling to find out what sort of 
people our Lord was speaking of, nor remembering 


that 'what is impossible with man is possible with 
God.' While others have indeed understood these 
words correctly, but thinking little of the things that 
make for salvation have not made the necessary 
preparation for it." 

"It is meet then," he observes, "that those who 
have a right regard for truth and brotherhood, who 
are neither unjustly severe upon the so-called rich nor 
too submissive to them from selfish motives, should 
encourage them by the word, and prove to them by a 
clear exposition of the oracles of God, that they are 
not excluded from the kingdom of heaven, provided 
only they keep the commandments of God. One 
must then proceed to instruct them in the works and 
affections which are the preparatory discipline to 
which every one who desires to attain the crown must 
submit ; even as the athletes — if one dare compare 
the things temporal with the things eternal — must 
submit to a hard and long course of training if they 
wish to win the prizes in the arena." 

Clement now takes up, his text, the words of the 
Master to the rich young man (Mark x. 17, f.). At the 
outset, he bids us remember that our Saviour said 
nothing in a carnal way, but that all His teaching is 
characterized by a divine and mysterious wisdom. 
" We are not then to interpret His words literally, but 
to search out their hidden meaning. One should 
do this especially in the case of those matters which 
He explained to His disciples. 


"Now the question which the young man asked, 
* What shall I do to inherit eternal life ? ^ was one 
most suitable and agreeable to the Lord. For the 
Life is asked concerning life, the Saviour concerning 
salvation, the Teacher concerning the sum and 
substance of doctrine, the Truth concerning real 
immortality, the Word concerning the Father's word, 
the Perfect concerning perfect rest, and the Incor- 
ruptible concerning complete incorruption. Being 
called * good,' He takes advantage of this opening word 
to turn the mind of the inquirer to the Good God, 
the final and only Dispenser of eternal Hfe, which the 
Son receiving from Him confers on us. The first step, 
then, in the path of eternal life is to know God, Whom 
the Son has revealed, for not to know Him were death ; 
whereas knowledge of Him, affinity to Him, love centred 
in Him, and likeness to Him is the only life. The next 
step is to know the greatness of the Saviour and the 
newness of the grace, of which the Apostle (John i. 17) 
says — * The law was given by Moses, but grace and 
truth came through Jesus Christ.' For that which is 
given by a faithful servant is not equal to that which 
is given by a true Son. If the law of Moses could 
bestow eternal life, surely our Saviour had come and 
suffered for us, and fulfilled the course of human life 
from infancy to manhood in vain. 

** Moreover, he who had fulfilled all the commands 
of the law from his youth would be wasting time while 
seeking the rewards of eternal life from another. In 


the matter of righteousness, the youth was conscious 
of no deficiency ; it was life that he needed Therefore 
he asks it from the only One- who can give it. 

♦* ' If thou wilt be perfect.' The young man was not 
perfect ; for there are no degrees in perfection ; and 
that divine expression, *if thou wilt,' shows us the 
freedom of man's will in this matter. Man has the 
choice, for he is free. God has the gift at His 
disposal, for He is the Lord. He gives it to those who 
desire to have it, but He forces no one to receive. 

" * One thing thou lackest.' And that was the only 
thing that is permanent, the only thing that is good, 
that which the law giveth not, that which belongs 
to the living. For the youth bad been invited to yield 
his life to the teaching of the Master, and he accepted 
it not." 

In this way Clement moralizes on the spiritual 
condition of the young man. He now proceeds to 
make some general remarks on the use and responsi- 
bility of property. The Christians, he says, are not 
called upon to live in penury, if they hope to obtain 
salvation, but they must not be too engrossed in the 
pursuit of riches or too anxious about the things 
of this life. *' It is haider," he observes, " to control 
our passions than to curtail our possessions. And 
one who has always to think of the ways and means 
of life can hardly fix his thoughts on the things of 
eternity. Besides this, if one were to give up his 
property, he would find it impossible to feed the 


hungry and clothe the naked. The poverty our Lord 
dommended is poverty of spirit His new doctrine, 
His life-giving teaching, that which was peculiarly 
His own, was not concerned with the outward actions 
of men, but with something higher, more divine and 
more perfect, namely, the principle, that all which is 
foreign to the soul should be torn up by the roots and 
cast away." 

Clement now introduced the parable of the good 
Samaritan, in order to press home upon his hearers 
man's duty towards his neighbour. The rich man who 
desires to be saved must love God with all his heart 
and his neighbour as himself. 

Clement now goes on to speak of the manifestation 
of that love in charity. It is interesting to find him 
discussing in this connection one of the burning 
questions of our own day, the distribution of relief. 
If he erred in his solution, he erred on the right side, the 
humane. " It is difficult," he says, " to know who are 
really needy ^ and who are not, but it is better that 
unworthy persons should be helped than one worthy 
person should go empty away." 

^ The different parochial organizations of the early Church in 
several respects were far more efficient than those of our own 
time. There were several fraternities, through the medium of 
which the poor of every class and condition could be reached. 
We may instance the copiatcB of Constantinople and the 
paraAolani of Alexandria. The latter were so called from the 
hazardous occupation they followed, visiting the slums and 
tending the sick. 


" Among our neighbours," he goes on to say, " all 
believers are to be reckoned ; among such are some 
who are more elect than the elect who are called in 
Scripture * the light of the world/ and * the salt of 
the earth.' They are the seed, the image and likeness 
of God, His true children and heirs sent here, as it 
were, on a certain exile in the great economy of the 
Father. While they remain all things shall be pre- 
served ; but there shall be a general dissolution, when 
they shall be gathered together." 

Clement concludes this homily on brotherly love 
with "the story which is no story," of St. John and the 
robber, which one may find in the Church History of 
Eusebius. The story is this. St. John had returned 
from Patmos, the scene of his exile, to Ephesus, and 
was engaged in consecrating bishops, founding 
Churches, and setting apart men for the ministry ; 
when one day, in a small town near Ephesus, he 
chanced to see a young man of remarkable beauty 
and intelligence, and at once entrusted him, in the 
most solemn terms, to the care of the bishop. St. 
John having gone on his way, the latter took the 
youth to his own home and educated him with all 
care. He then baptized him, and having set upon 
him the seal ^ of the Lord, he straightway relaxed his 
supervision, deeming that his charge was now secure 
from all danger. Whereupon the young man, being 
left very much to himself, fell in with bad companions, 

^ ^irttrT^tras t^v trtppaylha rov Kvplov, 


who succeeded in making him worse than themselves, 
and at last he became the chieftain of a robber-band. 

Some years after this sad occurrence the Evangelist 
came back to the town to demand an account of the 
trust. " Come now, bishop," he said, " return me the 
deposit I entrusted to you in the presence of Christ 
and the Church." Then the old man in tears told 
everything. When he had heard all, St. John, calling 
for a horse and a guide, at once proceeded to the 
robbers' haunt, allowed himself to be taken prisoner, 
only demanding that he should be brought to the 
chief. But when the chief saw him he fled, the saint 
following him and crying, " Why do you fly from me, 
my son ? Pity me. My son, you have still the hope 
of life. I shall give account for you to Christ. I 
shall give my life for you. Stop — believe — Christ sent 

Then the brigand stopped running, returned, threw 
himself at the Apostle's feet, and with tears, as it were 
a second baptism, atoned for his guilt. For some 
time the bandit concealed his right hand ; but when 
the old man noticed this, he drew it from the sin- 
stained bosom and covered it with kisses. Thus 
assuring him of the forgiveness of God, he led back 
his lost son to the Church. 

This narrative, graphically and pathetically told, 
forms the climax of the argument, and the conclusion 
of this beautiful discourse. 


Clement's writings 

Three of Clement's literary compositions^ remain, 
and these are supposed to have originally been parts 
of one work. They are respectively called the 
Exhortation to the Heathen^ the Instructor or Paida- 
gogus, and the Stromateis, In these works is displayed 
the most varied and extensive erudition. They 
teem with references and allusions to ancient authors 
of every branch of literature, philosophy, and science. 
In fact, such works as these could not be com- 
piled by any one save a professor of divinity, who 
had abundance of leisure time, the advantage of a 
magnificent library — such as Clement had in Alex- 
andria — as well as an excellent training in the Greek 
classics. In the course of our studies we shall take 
up these different works in their turn and discuss 
their many points of merit. But by way of intro- 
duction to this study, we may here say that the key- 
note of Clement's Christian philosophy is the Logos : 
the Word of God. 

^ The other works attributed to him have already been 



This Word, according to Clement, is in the world 
inspiring every thought that is good, every sentiment 
that is chaste, and every desire that is pure, in Christian 
and pagan, without distinction of person. This is the 
secret of Clement's great sympathy with the heathen 
philosophy, which he looked upon as being similar to 
the Jewish religion in so far as they both were revela- 
tions of the same God to man, and were both economies 
(dispensations) divinely given to prepare the race for 

** Philosophy was given," he wrote, " as their peculiar 
covenant to the Greeks, just as the law was given to 
the Jews, a stepping-stone to the philosophy which is 
in Christ, and a schoolmaster to bring to Him the 
Hellenic minds." 

Thus he regarded Greek philosophy and Jewish law 
alike as fragments ^ of the eternal truth of Christ. And 
we shall see in the course of our study how he worked 
out his grand theory that it is God indwelling in man's 
reason Who educates and disciplines him for a higher 
life. Looked at from this point of view life becomes 
a process of education under the guidance of an im- 

^ In the Stromateis (349) he compared the different schools of 
philosophy, Jewish and Grecian, with the Bacchantes, who rent 
in pieces the body of one man, Pentheus, and carried off the 
pieces in triumph. **Each one," he said, "boasts that the 
morsel which has fallen to his lot is all the Truth. Yet by the 
rising of the light all things are lightened, and he that agaii| 
combines the divided parts and unites the Word in a perfect 
whole will certainly contemplate the truth securely." 

Clement's writings 85 

manent deity — a truly noble conception of life, and 
one that is given by the great fact that lies at the 
basis of our religion, the Incarnation of the Son of 

The leading thought, therefore, that we must keep 
before us in the study of Clement is, that life is an 
education superintended by the Son of God, the Word 
of Life,^ 

If we adhere faithfully to this noble hypothesis, we 
shall experience little difficulty, and feel much interest 
in following the line of our author's arguments. 

The Exhortation to the Gentiles^ being his earliest 
work, must now engage our attention. The design of 
this treatise is to convince the pagans of the folly of 
idolatry and immorality, and to win them to the service 
of Christ, the living Word of God. Clement begins 
by contrasting the principles of Jesus Christ with those 
of Orpheus and other heathen teachers. In the first 
chapter he entreats the heathen to give up the unholy 
mysteries of idolatry, and adore the Divine Word and 
God the Father. He introduces the subject to the 
notice of those he addresses in a truly fascinating 
manner. " Amphion of Thebes and Arion of Me- 
thymna," he wrote, ** were bards told of in story. To 
this day they furnish the themes of the Greek choral 
odes. With melody one charmed the finny tribe and 
the other raised the walls of a city, while he of 
Thrace, a past master in his art, subdued savage 
beasts by the might of his minstrelsy." 


But these fables, Clement advises the heathen to 
banish to Helicon and Cithseron. "For Orpheus, 
Arion, and Amphion were but deceivers after all. 
They corrupted human life under the pretext of poetry. 
They celebrated crimes in their rites, and captivated 
men by the sweetness of their song in order to entice 
them to the worship of stones ; and at last succeeded 
in making them as silly and senseless as the stocks 
they bowed before/' 

But the song Clement sings is not of this sort. " It 
is the NEW SONG, the manifestation of that Word which 
was in the beginning and before the beginning. This 
song alone has changed man and made him tractable. 
It has made men out of stones and turned beasts into 
men. For the New Song is the great Teacher of men, 
the Word Who was from the first and Who in the 
beginning gave men life^ and loved them so much 
that finally He took their nature upon Him to save 
them from sin.*' 

" He desires not to enslave men, but to open the 
eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf, to guide 
them in the paths of righteousness, to teach God to 
the foolish, and to reconcile the disobedient" 

" From the beginning He was man's ally, and gave 
him revelations by prophecy : but now He summons to 
salvation. Different men He treats in different ways. 
Just as a good physician adapts his treatment to the 
nature of his patient, so the Great Healer varies His 
method to suit the needs of the soul. By threats He 


reproves, by expostulations He turns, by words of pity 
He wins, and by song He soothes." 

" Thus the merciful God puts forth His power to save 
men, and became the Author of every blessing to us. 
But chiefly He taught us to live well Why do we 
not believe ? Does not the Word of God put us to 
shame, the Word of God Who became man that we 
might learn from man how man may become God ? *' ^ 

This was the method of exhortation Clement 
followed in his discourses. He sought to win men by 
the love of God in Christ rather than to terrify them 
by the fear of future punishment. 

When we have read a little more of him we shall 
find that he regarded the judgments and penalties 
that God inflicts upon man in the light of remedies, 
seeing in them the hand of God moulding the will of 
the unruly son and touching him into shape. 

In this manner Clement reconciled the love and 
justice of God. God punishes man to make him 
better, and because He loves him. He teaches him by 
punishment. Thus Divine justice is resolved into 
Divine love, and Divine anger into the outcome of 

" To^God therefore alone it belongs to consider, and 
His case is to see in what way and manner the life of 
man may be made more sound." 

The very words with which Clement closes the first 

^ %va. 8^ KcX ffh iraph avOpJoirov /idBys, tttj irore Upa AvOpwiros 
yivrjrai BeSs. (C, c. i. p. 7.) 


chapter of his Exhortation to the Heathen show us how 
clearly he comprehended the great truth that Christ 
is the only Revealer of the things of God to man, 

" If thou longest truly to see God thou must take 
worthy means of purification, not the laurel fillets the 
heathen worshippers wear, but the crown of righteous- 
ness, and the wreath of temperance. Then seek 
Christ with all your heart. * For I am the door,' He 
says, and He who opens the door will reveal what we 
could not otherwise have known, had we not entered 
in by Him, through Whom alone God is beheld. 

" For by faith alone we can enter the gates of 
heaven, which are intellectual^ In these parting words 
Clement marks the difference of his standpoint from 
that of the Gnostic philosophers of Alexandria. For 
while they held that faith and knowledge were essen- 
tially opposite forces and contradictory ideas, he 
maintained that faith was the real basis of all Chris- 
tian knowledge and the true condition of all intellect- 
ual and spiritual growth. 



In the second chapter of this treatise, Clement 
endeavours to prove the absurdity of the Pagan rites, 
and the impiety of their fables, to those he would fain 
turn from the darkness of heathendom to the light of 

Now nearly every one has heard or read something 
of the myths of the classic gods, the poetic fount- 
ain of Castalia, the divine oracles of the Delphic 
tripod, the speaking oaks of Dodona, the snake- 
crowned Bacchantes, the Eleusinian mysteries and 
processions, the foam-born goddess Aphrodite, the 
rape of Proserpina, the unseemly orgies of Demeter 
and Dionysus, the dread Pallas Athene, the terrible 
Eumenides that avenge crimes, and the three awful 
forms, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, that control 
the fate of man. Writing to the Pagans, Clement 
entreats them to put all these things away — their 
false gods and their absurd traditions, and im- 
plores them to embrace the living Word by which 



the children of wrath are quickened together with 
Christ. "Whereas those who believe not are still 
children of wrath. What can they see in these gods 
to venerate, to love, or admire? Human failings, 
employments, and fortunes, without any redeeming 
virtues or excellencies, are attributed to these gods of 
yours. Search heaven and earth for them, and see if 
you can find them," he ironically remarks. And then 
he presses home this argument in words like these : 

" Surely they who are represented as being full of sin 
themselves cannot keep you from sin. They cannot 
guard you or love you ; nay, such demons are intent 
upon your ruin, and they prey upon your substance. 
Look at the sacrifices you offer them ; holocausts of 
human beings to appease their wrath. They are in 
very sooth true lovers of humanity and fine saviours 
of the race who persuade men to murder and slay 
each other for their amusement ! And then, how 
absurd and disgraceful are the statues and images 
that are erected to the gods ! Art, indeed, has made 
those figures elaborate and beautiful, but it has 
degraded and deformed more than ever the minds of 
the worshippers. The skill of man can produce 
houses, ships, cities, and designs, but who can tell 
what God creates ? The whole universe is His handi- 
work ; the heaven, the sun, angels and men are made 
by Him. He willed and the world was made, because 
He alone is God. Philosophers say truly that man was 


made to contemplate celestial things. But they err 
when they worship the visible objects around them 
which were made for man's use, and not for his 
worship. Cease then to adore the sun ; lift up your 
hearts to the Creator of that sun. For the Maker of 
the universe — not the universe — is the goal of our 
hopes, the centre of our thoughts, the giver of that 
divine wisdom which alone saves man from the power 
of demons." 

In his fifth chapter of this work, Clement gives an 
interesting risume of the different theories of Greek 

" Among these," he writes, " we find, indeed, many 
extravagant utterances about the gods, but the 
philosophers do bear witness to the Truth." 

Their fundamental error lay in their regarding as 
divine certain first principles which were after all 
but weak and beggarly elements. These they rever- 
enced, being ignorant of the First Cause, the Maker of 
all things. For instance, Thales of Miletus regarded 
water as the first principle ; Anaximenes considered 
that air was the beginning of all things ; Parmenides 
believed that earth and fire were divine ; the famous 
Heraclitus taught that fire alone was the source of all 
created things ; while Empedocles of Agrigentum held 
that life in all its various forms was evolved from the 
mutual agreement or disagreement of four primary 
principles —earth, fire, air, and water. 

All these, Clement says, were atheists. They did 


not bow down to stocks and stones, yet they 
worshipped matter. 

Nor were they even original in this, Clement 
remarks. The Persian Magi were fire-worshippers. 
They sacrificed under the open sky, and at first 
regarded fire and water as the only images of the 
gods, but afterwards they had images of human 

But to pass on to those philosophers who sought 
after something higher than the mere • elements of 
nature. Anaximander and Anaxagoras, who lectured 
on " the Infinite,*' head this list. The latter of these 
made a great advance beyond the standpoint of 
Thales and the elementary school, when he asserted 
that mind (vovs) set the matter in motion. Then came 
the material philosophers, Leucippus and Democritus,^ 
who believed that the world and its life and changes 
are the result of atoms eternally moving, dashing 
together, and again separating without pause or stay 

^ Clement mentions, in passing, a peculiar theory which 
Democritus put forth about images. All objects, according to 
that philosopher, emitted effluvia or minute particles which first 
stamped their impressions on the intervening air, and then upon 
the eye beyond. Thus images are formed, some of which are 
workers of good, while others are productive of evil. It is 
through these that we have sensation and perception. Demo- 
critus, however, did not consider that these ^images were 
imperishable, although he believed that they foretold the future 
to man. It is interesting to read Locke on Sensations with this 
theory before us. 


in empty space, which, according to this theory, was 
just as real as plenitude. 

Clement is very indignant with another philosopher, 
Alcm^eon the F3)thagorean, for daring to teach that 
the stars are living and divine. In this his first 
literary work he makes a contemptuous allusion to the 
Stoic philosophy, and its fundamental hypothesis, that 
all matter is pervaded by Deity. But when his ideas 
on this subject became more matured he did ample 
justice to the Stoic theory, that the world is full of the 
presence of the living God, who indwells in creation, 
and is the cause of motion, life, thought, and activity. 

Last of all, he favours the Peripatetics with a brief 
notice. These were the disciples of Aristotle, and 
believed that the Highest was the Soul of the Universe. 
Clement seems glad to forget the name of Epicurus, 
who carried impiety to such lengths that he actually 
denied that the gods took any interest in the world, or 
in the fortunes of man. The opinion of Epicurus has 
been immortalized by Horace in his well-known 
words (Serm, i. v. loi) : 

* * credat Judoeus Apella, 
Non ego ; namque deos didici securum agere sevum.*' 

And yet, in spite of many of their fantastic notions, 
these philosophers, he admits, occasionally by a divine 
inspiration hit upon the truth. Therefore Clement 
does not disown them. " Listen to Plato," he says ; 
'* hear his answer to the question, ' How is God to be 
found ? ' * To find the Father and Creator of this 


universe/ Plato replied, * is exceedingly hard ; and 
when one has found Him, it is impossible to declare 
him fully.'" 

Again, he says, " The King of all things is the centre 
of all, and the cause of all that is Good. For God, 
according to the proverb, is the beginning, the middle, 
and the end of all that is in being." So far Plato. 

** Whence hath this man this wisdom ? " asks 
Clement. " He derived his geometry from the Egyp- 
tians, his astronomy from the Babylonians, his medical 
skill from the Thracians, but the laws of truth and the 
thoughts of God he took from the Hebrews, *who 
adore the Eternal King, Jahveh, the only God,' and by 
whom the highest and best thoughts of Greek Philo- 
sophy had been anticipated centuries before." 

Then Clement brings forward other sayings of these 
Greek philosophers, in order to show, that, with all 
their false doctrines, some of them had found the truth. 
For example, Antisthenes said that " God is not like 
anything, therefore one cannot know Him through an 
image." Cleanthes,^ the Stoic, in a passage of great 
beauty, informs us that the nature of the Good, which 
is God, is " regular, just, holy, pious, self-governing, 

^ This Cleanthes commenced his career as a pugilist. Chancing 
to hear Zeno lecturing in the Porch one day, he abandoned the 
ag6n in favour of philosophy. But in the meantime, having 
nothing to live on through the loss of his profession, he supported 
himself by carrying vessels of water to the public gardens at 
night, while he attended the lectures of Zeno by day. Here is 
^ genuine case of a seeker after" truth. 


useful, grave, independent, and always beneficial." 
Clement concludes this view of Greek Philosophy with 
a quotation from the aphorisms of the Pythagoreans, 
to wit, that " God is one, and He is not outside the 
frame of things, but within. He is the Author of all 
His works and His forces, the Light-giver, the Mind, 
Energy, and Life of the World, and the Mover of all 

This quotation shows us how deep and comprehen- 
sive, if somewhat obscure, was the view these old 
Pagan teachers had of the mighty God, the Great 
Creator, the Centre of Light, Life, and Liberty, and 
the Heavenly Father of the human family. 



The true doctrine, however, which is so obscured ia 
the pagan philosophers and poets, Clement assures us, 
is to be found in the prophets and sacred writers of 

They tell us how God is not a God far oflf, but is 

One Who fills heaven and earth (Jeremiah xxiii. 24) ; 

Who measures heaven with a span, and the whole 

earth with His hand (Isaiah xl. 12) ; Whose throne is 

heaven and Whose footstool is the earth (Isaiah Ixvi. i). 

He will not allow idolatry to pass unpunished. '* The 

idolaters shall be made a spectacle in the face of the 

sun, and their carcases shall be meat for the fowls of 

heaven and the wild beasts of the earth, and they 

shall rot before the sun and moon, which they have 

loved and served ; and their city shall be burned 

down " (Jeremiah viii. 2). " Hear, O Israel : the Lord 

thy God is one Lord, and thou shalt worship the Lord 

thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve " (Deut. vi. 4). 

Pleading with the heathen to give up their idolatry, he 



says that he can quote ten thousand scriptures of 
which not " one tittle shall pass away until all be 
fulfilled." Do not, he entreats them, despise the 
chastening of the Lord. And then he makes a 
most touching appeal to them to abandon their 
present life, and embrace the truth as it is in Christ. 
For God is a loving God; He speaks to men, not 
as a teacher addressing his pupils, not as a master 
ordering his domestics, but as a Father advising his 

In Christ, he points out, there is life, freedom, and 
salvation. If such gifts were to be sold, all the gold 
and silver in the world would not be a sufficient price 
for them. And now they are offered for living faith 
and love. 

And these gifts are for all, young and old, rich and 
poor. They who come to God, who believe in one 
God Who is both God and Man, are brought together 
into one love, become one sympathy in the Word, the 
express Image of God, and so are restored to the 
image and likeness of God. 

Once more he reminded them how great are the 
benefits Christ has conferred on man, — wisdom, light, 
and eternal life. But who is this Christ ? one may 
ask. The Word of Truth, Clement replies ; the Word 
of Immortality that regenerates man by bringing him 
back to the truth. He who builds up the temple of 
God in men, that he may induce God to take up His 
abode in them. Will you not cleanse this temple? 

•> ■> . ^ - 


Cultivate the habit of temperance, and present your 
bodies a living sacrifice unto the Lord.^ "On the 
whole, the life of men who have come to the knowledge 
of Christ is excellent. I have said enough ; although 
by reason of my love for humanity I had even gone 
farther, pouring out what has been given me of God, 
that I might exhort men to seek the greatest of all 
possessions — salvation. For it is difficult to finish a 
discourse which sets forth the life that knows no end. 
But this is left for you — to Xva-trckovv kXicrOai ^ Kpicriv 
7) -xpipiv — to choose the profitable, judgment or grace. 
To me there can be no doubt in this matter. Nor, 
indeed, may one dare to compare life with destruction.*' 
In some such words as these, which recall to our 
memories the lines of Carlyle, translated from Goethe : 

** Choose well, your choice is 
Brief and yet endless," 

Clement concludes this most instructive and stirring 
exhortation to the heathen. 

Clement's quotations from the Gospels already show differ- 
ences between the Eastern and Western te^^ts. 



Throughout the whole of his writings Clement 
bears witness to the unique position and currency of 
the Gospels, expressly distinguishing the four Gospels 
which have been handed dowii to us^ from the 
apocryphal " Gospel according to the Egyptians," 
and making an interesting statement with regard to 
the composition of St. Mark's Gospel, which has been 
preserved for us in the work of Eusebius.^ In the 

1 Strom, iii. 13. 

^ Eusebius, H, E. vi. 14. — "Now the Gospel of Mark had 
the following origin : When Peter had preached the word 
publicly at Rome, and had declared the Gospel by the Spirit, 
the many who were present urged Mark, who had followed Peter 
from afar and remembered what had been said, to put his words 
into writing. So he composed his Gospel, and gave it to those 
who had made the request. And when Peter heard it, he 
neither expressly forbade the work nor gave it encouragement. 
But last of all, John, seeing that the human had been sufficiently 
set forth in the Gospels, urged by his friends and inspired by the 
Spirit, composed a spiritual Gospel." 




course of our reading we shall see how faithful he was 
to the character, personality, and divinity of Him who 
is portrayed in that fourfold record. 

We shall now take up the next work of Clement, the 
second in order of thought and time, his Pcedagogus^ 
or Instructor. In this work the author addresses 
those who have already left the darkness of paganism 
and come to the light of Christianity ; some of them 
most probably influenced by the powerful exhortation 
we have just laid down. As we would naturally 
expect under the circumstances, Clement gives a 
rather minute account of the creed and duties of 
Christians. In the first Book he puts before the new 
converts the office, the character, the work, and the 
love of the Great Instructor, Who is the Son of God. 
And in the two following books he delivers somewhat 
caustic but necessary lectures on Christian morals and 

The office of the Instructor is the subject of the very 
first chapters. After rousing man from his lethargy to 
seek salvation, the Instructor proceeds to initiate 
them more deeply in the mysteries of God. Therefore 
he has been called the tutor or Paedagogue. But as 
his object is not so much to teach men as to train 
them to live a virtuous life, he requires of us the 
practice of Christian virtues and duties, that so we 
may attain unto a right temperament and character. 
Accordingly, this method of imparting instruction is 
twofold, being by example as well as by precept. 


But before we can be taught we must be healed. For 
just as they who suffer from bodily ailments cannot 
learn any branch of knowledge until they have 
recovered; in like manner they who are diseased in 
soul at first require a paedagogue to heal their 
maladies, and afterwards an instructor to train and 
lead their minds into a more perfect knowledge of the 
Word of Life. 

And the Word of God, taking this into account, 
beautifully adapts His methods to our needs, first 
exhorting, then training, and finally teaching. 

This Instructor cures the unnatural passions of the 
soul by His exhortations. The physician may heal 
diseases of the body, but the Great Physician, the 
Wisdom, the Word of the Father, heals both body and 
soul. And so by precept and spiritual gifts He makes 
man, His greatest work, every whit whole. 

As God, He forgives our sins, and as man he trains 
us to avoid sin ; for man is very dear to Him. God 
made His other works by the word of His command 
only, but man He framed by His own Hand, and 
breathed into him what was peculiar to Himself. 

And God fashioned man after His own likeness, 
because man was desirable for His own sake. For 
God loves what is good and lovable, and man has 
proved himself to be both. It is therefore meet that 
man should return the great love wherewith God loves 
us, not from fear, but from conviction. 

The name of man comprehends both men and 


women. The virtue of man and woman is the same. 
They have one God, one Master, one Church, one 
temperance, one modesty. Their food and gifts are 
the same. And they who have a common life, have a 
common love and salvation. Men and women alike 
are children of God if they walk in the truth, and 
their training is one and the same. 

With reference to our training, it must be observed, 
Clement remarks, that it is no "childish business." 
Being baptized, we are illuminated ; being illuminated, 
we are made sons; becoming sons, we are made 
perfect; arid being made perfect, we are made im- 
mortal. This work is variously styled grace, illumin- 
ation, perfection, and washing. We are perfect because 
we want nothing ; for what can we lack who knows 
God ? Release from sins is the beginning of salvation. 
We are already .perfect when we reach the line of life, 
and we are already alive when we are separated from 
death. Salvation then is the imitation of Christ, " for 
that which is in him is life.** 

Accordingly, the word ** children" conveys no dis- 
paragement. But we are children because we are fed 
with the spiritual food our heavenly Father gives us, 
even the milk of the word. We are not perfect in the 
sense of having perfect knowledge of Him, Whom to 
know is life eternal, but in the sense of being 
emancipated from the former life and groping after a 
better one; not as being perfected already, but as 
striving after perfection. Such, according to Clement, 


is the character of our childhood and training ; let us 
now glance at the Instructor and His instruction. 

He is sometimes called Jesus, sometimes the Good 
Shepherd, and sometimes the Instructor. In the fifth 
chapter of the prophet Hosea, He says, I am your 
Instructor (TratScvr^?). Now He instructs in various 
ways. He trains men in piety, that is, in the service of 
God, and He leads us in the Jtnowledge of the trufh, 
and He directs our wandering thoughts to God. 
Accordingly His work is not confined to the intellectual 
sphere. He is Judge, and judges those who disobey 

He is the Word of love, but yet He does not pass 
over transgressions. He reproves^ that we may repent 
For saith the Lord : " Have 1 any pleasure at all that 
the wicked should die ; and not that he should return 
from his ways and live ? " (Ezekiel xviii. 23). 

The Lord instructs men for their weal and for their 
eternal salvation. 

"The Lord," wrote David, "instructing hath in- 
structed me, and hath not given me over unto death " 
(Ps. cxviii. 18). 

This is Clement's correct rendering of the verse. 
The word translated " chastened " in the Authorized 
Version means originally to bind, then to tame, then 
to chastise, and then to instruct (lpl). 

The simplest mind can trace the expansion and 
connection of the meanings of this word. Binding 
tames, but the way to bind and so tame moral agents 


is to chastise and instruct them ; in a word, to subject 
them to moral discipline. 

According to Clement, the rod with which the 
' Saviour is invested is the rod of discipline, rule, and 
authority, at the same time a rod of iron and a rod of 
comfort, while the power of Him who wields it is at 
once sacred, soothing, and saving. Thus we see how 
God*s love and justice can be reconciled without 
making His love a failure or His justice an unreality. 

Some people indeed think because the Lord 
chastens. He is not good, and does not love the race. 
Btit this is not true, ** For there is nothing which the 
Lord hates " (Wisdom xi. 24). If the Lord hated any^ 
thing, He would not wish it to exist. Now, nothing 
exists but in so far as God allows and gives it existence. 
When God allows a thing to exist, we must believe 
that He does not hate it. Nothing then is hated by 
God, or by His Word, for both are one. If He hates 
none of these things He has created. He must love 
them all. And above the rest, He will love man, the 
noblest of all created things; a God-loving being, a 
creature made in the image of God. 

But why does He punish us if He loves us ? This 
is a sensible question, and Clement gives a sensible 
answer to it. 

He who loves a thing wishes to do it good. Now 
love is shown when one who cares for a person takes 
care of him. But parents show their care for their 
children by punishing them. In fact, punishment is 


necessary to the right training of children. Many of 
the passions are cured by punishment, as well as by 
instruction in certain principles. Moreover, good 
generals inflict corporal punishment on offenders, 
having in view the good of the whole army. 

In the same way God, Who has before Him the 
salvation of men — His children — seeks to move them 
to repentance by severity as well as by forbearance. 
The Divine anger is therefore full of love to man, and 
punishes him for his good. This fs the answer to the 
question, " Why does God punish us if He loves us ? " 
for it is the prerogative of the same power to be 
beneficent and to be just. 

Now our Instructor has various ways of instructing 
the human soul ; ** sometimes He threatens, sometimes 
He entreats, sometimes He reproves, sometimes He 
consoles, and sometimes He exhorts.'^ According to 
the state in which He finds the soul, so is His 
treatment. And He is trustworthy, having three of 
the fairest ornaments — knowledge, authority, and 

He has knowledge, because He is the Wisdom of 
the Father. He has authority, because He is God and 
Creator. **A11 things were made by Him." He has 
benevolence, for He alone gave Himself a sacrifice 
for us. But He still uses His power in our behalf to 
train us in Himself, that so we who have been made 
in the image of God may grow into the likeness of 
His Son. For in Christ we have a perfect example of 


what the diviile character is, as well as a perfect 
Insttuctor in righteousness. 

** It was some such truth as this for which Plutarch 
had been yearning, which he and many other noble 
heathens Wete iii vain trying to extract from the old 
polytheism. Had Marcus Aurelius known of such a 
teacher as Clement described, it would seem as though 
thfe Inmost need of his being must have been met and 
satisfied." ^ 

^ Allen's Continuity of Christian Thought ^ p. 69. 





Having finished his exposition on the nature of our 
Instructor, which we have reviewed in the briefest 
possible way, Clement gives his converts some very 
remarkable lectures on eating, drinking, feasting, 
laughter, sleep, speech, clothes, shoes, jewels, and 
other such matters of every-day life. 

As it may interest a great many of our readers to 
learn something of the manners and the symbols of 
the second century, some of the most striking and 
light-giving remarks of Clement will be retailed in 
this chapter. 

** Some men," he observes, " live to eat," whereas 
the Instructor bids us to eat that we may live. Our 
food, then, is not to be taken for its own sake. Remarks 
and should be plain and simple, as that sort on Diet, 
of diet most of all conduces to health and strength 
of body and mind. 

In pressing this upon his people, Clement makes a 



remark which the enlightened Christian conscience of 
the nineteenth century would refuse to endorse, to 
wit, that "cookery is an unhappy art.'* 

But Clement is right in pouring out the vials of his 
wrath upon the gluttons and the epicures of his time, 
who had the sea and land ransacked for dainties to 
tickle their languishing palate. 

In the works of Horace and Juvenal, the classic 
writers on the ways of good society in the first century, 
we have been made familiar with various kinds of 
mussels, mullets, eels, turbots, beetroot, cockles, 
oysters, lampreys, figs, honey-cakes, and omelets. In 
fact, as all classical scholars know to their great vexa- 
tion, the dishes of the fashionable epicures were legion. 
But what was worse than the luxurious living of the 
heathen, was the conduct of the Christians, who gave 
the name of Agapae (or love-feasts) to the most 
extravagant and worldly entertainments. 

This name was used as a cloke to hide the real 
object of the supper, which was not love, not charity, 

- but feasting. Whereas ** the true Agape, or 

of the love-feast, is not a carnal supper, but a con- 
^^P^' templation of the truth, a partaking of the 
divine good that Christ gives." 

To understand these words of Clement, we must 
remember that the early Christians, after celebrating 
the Lord's Supper, entertained their poorer brethren 
at a feast which they called Agape, or love feast. This 
custom had led to various abuses even in the time of 


St. Paul, who wrote to the Corinthians condemning 
in very strong terms the disrespect they paid the 
consecrated element of bread and wine by using them 
as ordinary bread and wine in the love-feast, eating 
and drinking judgment to themselves, not discerning 
the Lord's body. 

All excess is dangerous, Clement goes on to say. 
Temperance in diet is, therefore, the thing to be aimed 
at by all. Clement paused to make a quaint remark 
which throws a good deal of light on the social 
manners of some of the Christians who were not very 
refined. " It is very absurd," he writes, " to see 
people raising themselves on their couches, thrusting 
their faces into the dishes, stretching their hands 
eagerly across the table, besmirching their fingers in 
the condiments, constantly helping themselves to 
sauce, and eating without moderation."^ 

Clement has a wise remark on the subject of wine. 
" The Apostle indeed said to Timothy, * Use a little 
wine for thy stomach^s sake,' meaning that it was to 
be taken as a tonic, and in small quantities. 
But the natural beverage for the thirsty is 
water. The young and vigorous do not require wine 
at all. It tends to inflame still more their already 
excitable nature." 

^ To understand this remark, which has been considerably 
softened in the translation, we roust remember that it was the 
Roman custom at meals to recline 011 couches ranged round the 
three sides of a low square table. So by leaning on the left 
elbow, one could easily stretch his right hand across the table. 


With regard to ornaments, he observes : The wear- 
ing of gold and of soft apparel is not to be prohibited, 

Orna- ^^^ extravagance in these matters always 

ments. leads to vanity. And then the work of the 
Instructor will be made more difficult. For He drives, 
as it were, our life, which consists figuratively of a 
team of horses, one steed being the rational, the other 
the irrational part of our nature. No easy task for 
the latter ; the human horse, being bent on pleasure, 
rears and plunges, and threatens to upset the chariot, 

" It is well, then, to allow no opportunity to the 
heathen to reproach us ; but let them rather, behold- 
ing your good works, glorify God'* (i Pet ii. 12). 

With regard to clothes, they should be simple and 
white, as being especially appropriate to the peaceful 
and enlightened nature of the wearers. 

Clement cannot see why people do violence to 
Jewellery nature by boring holes in their ears, from 
and rin^s. ^hich to hang ear-rings. They might as 
well, he remarks, bore holes in their noses. Finger- 
rings are permitted, he says, by the Word. They 
are to be worn, however, not for ornament, but for 
the purpose of sealing valuables. If all the servants 
in a household were well trained, there would be no 
need to seal one's property, and then one could do 
without rings. But since some people are not trust- 
worthy, we require seals. Signet-rings are then the 
only rings to be worn by men. Women who wear 
gold ornaments appear to Clement to do so lest 


any one should mistake them for their maids. With 
regard to men, Clement sanctions the wearing of 
a ring on the little finger at its root, not on the 
joint — for that is an effeminate habit. For then 
the signet will not easily fall off. The seal on the 
signet-ring should be a dove, a fish, a ship in full 
sail, a musical lyre, or an anchor. The figures 
of idols, swords, bows, or drinking-cups, such as the 
heathen wear in their rings, are expressly forbidden 
to the Christian.^ 

It would perhaps be well to pause here for a 
moment, in order to explain more fully the -^^^ ^^^^ 
meaning of these Christian symbols, which as an 
Clement is one of the first to notice. The 
symbol of the dove seems to have been primarily a 

^ The Romans used tHeir rings chiefly for sealing letters and 
papere ; also cellars, chests, casks, etc. , e.£^. 

** Obsignate cellas ; referte anuliim ad me." 

Plaut., Cos., ii. i, lo. 

The Romans had their rings set with precious stones {gemma) 
of various kinds: as jasper {iaspis), sardonyx, etc., on which 
were usually engraved the images of some ancestor or patron or 
friend ; some signal event, as victory, or deed of prowess. 
The seal in the ring described by Plautus {Curculto, iii. 54) 
was a soldier cutting an elephant in two with a sword : 

** Clypeatus elephantum ubi machaeri dissicit." 

Pompey had three trophies engraved on his ring as emblems 
of his three victories. Caesar affected an **armed Venus.'* 
Augustus at first wore a Sphinx, afterwards his own image, 
which was used by succeeding emperors. 


figurative representation of the Holy Spirit, and then 
came to be a sign of the soul that is filled with the 

In the Catacombs (the refuge of the Christians in 
the early centuries of our era) we find the dove joined 
with other symbols. It is variously depicted as 
climbing a vase, pecking grapes, or bearing an olive- 
branch in its beak. In the first place it is supposed 
to represent a soul drinking eternal happiness, while 
in the latter instance it is a symbol of peace. 

In his Confessions, Augustine makes the following 
quaint remark concerning his friend Nebridius, which 
can only be understood in the light of this explan- 
ation : " Now he puts his spiritual lips to thy fountain, 
O Lord, and drinks as much as he can." ^ 

The Greek words — * 

nt€ CV ©€(3, 

"Drink in God," 

found on some drinking-vases, are an excellent com- 
mentary on this expression of Augustine. 
With regard to the figure of a ship under full 

The ship ^^^^> ^^ ^^ ^ symbol that is mentioned by De 

as Rossi in his great work on the Catacombs, 

as being found in conjunction with a fish ; 

and in this connection probably signifies the Church 

as borne by Christ. 


^ *'Jam ponit spirituale os ad fontem tuum et bibit quantum* 


The anchor also is a symbol very frequently found 
in the Catacombs. It signifies hope. In j,^^ 
Hebrews vi. 19, we read, "which hope we anchor as 
have as an anchor of the soul, both sure 
and steadfast." This symbol is often found in- 
scribed on gravestones, an allegory of the hope in 
the Resurrection, and is sometimes found so drawn 
as to represent the Cross, the foundation of our 

It is not difficult to know what is meant by a 
musical lyre. The lyre had seven strings, ^j^^ j 
and was held to be the most virile of all as 
musical instruments. It is not associated 
with the dirge of the wild Phrygian strain, but denotes 
happiness, peace, and harmony. And so it is a fitting 
symbol of the soul which is at peace with God and 
man, filled with a happiness that is at once manly 
and harmonious. 

But with regard to the most important emblem of 
all — ^the fish.^ This represents Christ and The fish 
the Christian. It was the most ancient sign as 
of all, but gradually became less and less 
frequent. De Rossi says it was not used in any theo- 

* TertuUian {circ. 200 a.d.) in his treatise on baptism says : 
" Nos pisciculi secundum IxO^y nostrum, Jesum Christum in 
aqud nascimur" (We small fishes, after the example of our Fish, 
Jesus Christ, are bom in water). 

Optatus (arc, 350 A.D.), Bishop of Mileve in North Africa 
pointed out that the word ix^^s is formed of the initials of 
the titles of Christ. Piscis nomen, secundum appellationem 



logical sense after the third century. It is, however, 
found as late as the sixth century carved on the fonts 
and readers' desks (ambones) in the churches of 
Ravenna. The other figures, however, that are found 
in connection with it there are not allegorical. The 
fish probably ceased to exist as a symbol after the 
fourth century, while crowns, palms, birds, sheep, 
crosses, and monograms still continued to be in 

It is believed that the fish was a symbol of Christ, 
and some think that this sign was originated by the 
acrostic quoted by Eusebius, the initial letters of which 
make up the words 


The initial letters of which in their turn form the word 
tx^vs, fish. But the symbol was clearly used in the 
early patristic age, and instead of being derived from 
this acrostic, rather gave rise to it. 

This view is corroborated by the following lines, 
the initial letters of which give us oravpos (cross) : — 

grsecam in uno nomine per singulas litteras turbam sanctorum 
nominum continet, IX0TS quod est latine Jesus Christus Dei 
Filius Salvator (Optat. Milev. in Bibl, Pairum), 

Augustine says that 1%^^^ is formed of the initial letters of the 
Greek words \t\<ro\}i XP^^*^^^ ^^^^ ^'^^ ffur^ip, and that in this 
word Christ is mystically expressed because He descended into 
the depths of this mortal life, into the abyss of waters {De 
Civitate Dei^ xviii. 23). 


IS rjfAa 8c roi r6re vaffi fiporois i-piBelKtroVf oTov 
T h ^^\ov iv iriffTois rh K^pas rh trodouficvov fcTOt* 
A v^pwv thaffifau C^^t frp^tTKOfAfid re KSfffiov, 
' T Sa<n <f>wrlCov iritrrovs 4v 8(i6$£ica TrT;7or$* 
P dBHos iroifiaiuovtra ffiZripciri 76 Kpariiffei, 
O Ztos 6 vvv irpoypa<f>€\s iv itKpoffrixiois dehs rifiav 
2 orifpj adivaTos fiairiXevs 6 vaditv ^vij^ rifxav.^ 

For the Christians certainly had not to wait for 
this acrostic before they used the symbol ^j^g ^^^^ 
of the cross,2 which is mentioned in all the J? 
early Christian writers. Clement says that 
cross was a signum Christie a sign of Christ, and 
Tertullian shows that the Christians loved this 
symbol {De Corona Milit c. 3). At any rate Clement 
is the earliest witness of the symbol of the fish, 
which originated in Alexandria when the Church 
was composed of Jewish converts ; it being the 
custom of the Jews to coin names for their leaders 
by combining the initial letters of some legend or 

For example, the name of Maccabaeus was formed 
by the initial letters of Judas' motto, " Who is like 
unto Thee among the strong, O Lord ? " However, 
whether these sibylline verses quoted above originated 
this idea, or were themselves suggested by it, the 

* This acrostic is given in Latin and Greek in Eusebius, 
Oratio Constant, ad CasL Sanct., c. 18. The Latin translation 
is to be found in Augustine, De Civitate^ jcviii. 23. In olden 
times it was customary to sing these sibylline verses in church 
at Christmas. — Martene, De Ant, EccL Rit, 4, xii. 13. 

* Vide Neander, i. 192, 201, 406. 


mystical meaning of the fish grew up, and in many 
monuments it represents our Lord. But it is seldom 
found alone. 

Now it is depicted as bearing a ship on its back, 

The fish in ^ *yP^ ^^ Christ bearing the Church ; now it is 

conjunc- represented with a dove : and now in con- 

tion with . . . , , , - . , . , , , 

other junction With bread, which is most probably 
symbols. ^ f^g^j.^ Qf ^j^g Lord's Supper ; the fish being 

the reality, viz. Christ typified by bread, the outward 

But the fish also frequently stands for the Christian, 
the fisher of men. In the Greek liturgies we find 
this metaphor kept up in such expressions as the " rod 
of the Cross," the "book of preaching,*' the "bait of 
Charity,'' and the " draught of fishes." 

We shall now, after this somewhat tedious but 
necessary digression, elicited by Clement's remark on 
rings, proceed in our next chapter to finish o\xr precis 
of Clement's lectures to his converts. 



Clement lays down some peculiar regulations con- 
cerning the hair. **It seems right," he Regula- 
asserts, " that men should shave their hair * ^iv and" ^ 
unless it is curly. Ringlets should not be beard, 
worn, but the beard should be allowed to grow long 
and full. A close tonsure of the chin is also repre- 
hensible. For the Psalmist rejoiced in the beard of 
Aaron, and sang of the ointment that ran down unto 
the beard. Accordingly, on no pretext whatever is the 
hair on the chin to be removed. It gives no incon- 
venience at meals, and lends a dignified and venerable 
appearance to the countenance. " For,*' he reasons, 
"we cut our hair not from elegance, but from necessity." 

Clement is very severe on the habit of wearing wigs. 
He assumes that it is only women who do ^• 
so, and that they do it solely with a view to 
embellish their persons. " Old age is not to be con- 
cealed," says Clement, "for it is a mark of God's 

honour, and the sight of white hairs has often subdued 



boisterous youth. Grey hair should not therefore be 
dyed. Clement had a true eye for the beautiful ; for 
nothing is so beautiful as silver locks among the gold. 

Our lecturer now proceeds to give his pupils a 
short homily on the art of walking. "With regard 
to walking," he writes, "one should not rush 
through the streets, elbowing every one out of his 
path; nor yet should one linger unduly, but walk 
sedately, without swaggering and staring everybody out 
of countenance." 

Moreover, Clement spoke as an authority on the 
^ subject of conveyances. He did not approve 

sedans, of the wealthy, when in the vigour of health, 
making such frequent use of the lectica (the 
modern " sedan-chair '*). Juvenal, in his Satires^ was 
fond of picturing the Mcecenas supinus reclining at 
ease on his velvet cushions, while his stalwart Nubians 
carried him from post to pillar. Chariots were fancied 
by the jeunesse doreCy and sedate cobs by men who 
preferred exercise to show; while the sedan-chairs 
were considered to be the luxury of the rich. 

Clement was equally firm against the passion of 

gambling. It is from frivolity and idleness, he 

says, that men waste their time with the dice. 

It were very much better for them to cultivate the 

society of good men, and learn to make a profitable 

use of their leisure hours. 

For the same reason they are not to become vulgar 
gossips, and spend their hours in the barbers' shops 


and refreshment-rooms. This advice was very much 

needed at a time when the barber was the Barbers' 

great scandal-monger and professional news- ^^^P^* 

retailer of the age. While he himself was a good 

substitute for a daily journal, his rooms answered the 

purpose of a rendezvous for the idle men about town. 

There it was usual of a morning to find a group of 

fashionable men of all ages, whose whole thought in 

life seemed to be concentrated upon the cut of their 

beards and the trimming of their moustachios, freely 

discussing the latest news of State and the tit-bits of 

social scandal, in the pfesence of the barber, whose 

ears were quite as quick as his fingers. Against these 

matinees Clement warns his converts, and pursuing the 

same theme, forbids them attend the heathen spectacles 

and plays which were notorious for naughtiness and 

shameless frivolity. 

With regard to mirth and merriment, Clement took 

up a sound position and laid down this general 

principle, which he based on the teaching and example 

of the Master : '* Whatever things come naturally to 

men, these are by no means to be discouraged, but 

they are to be kept within due bounds '* {Peed, ii. 196). 

Clement is now hastening to the end of this series of 

lectures, and summarizing his precepts, observes that 

the fast God requires from men is " to abstain 

. The fast, 

from wickedness, and to do good," quoting the 

words of Isaiah Iviii. 5 — 7 : " Is not this the fast which 

I have chosen, saith the Lord, to loose the bands of 


wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the 
oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke ? Is 
it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou 
bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? 
when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him ? " 

"Now it is time," says Clement, "for me to cease, and 
for you to listen to the words of the true Instructor. 
For you are now made fit to receive instruction 
from Him. He will teach you the oracles of God. 
He will accomplish our training by assisting us to 
bring to perfection the likeness of God, in which we 
have been created, and so to reach a true knowledge 
of the good God who created us." 

Clement concludes this lecture with an exquisite 
hymn of praise to the God of peace and salvation, of 
which the following rendering was made by the late 
Dean of Wells : 

"Curb for the stubborn steed, 
Making its will give heed ; 
Wing that directed right 
The wild bird's wandering flight ; 
Helm for the ships that keep 
Their pathway on the deep ; 
Our stay when cares annoy, 
Giver of endless joy : 

Jesus, hear 1 r 

Thine infant children seek, 
With baby lips all weak, 
Filled with the Spirit's dew 
From that dear bosom tn;e 


Thy praises pure to sing, 
Hymns meet for Thee, their King : 
O Jesus, hear ! 

We, heirs of peace unpriced, 
We who are bom in Christ, 
A people pure from stain, 
Praise we our God again : 
O Jesus, hear ! 

We have now finished the Fcedagogus of Clement, 
which may be briefly characterized as a series of 
lectures such as might very appropriately come from 
the chair of Pastoral Theology in the Divinity School 
of Alexandria, in the second century of our era, when 
voluptuousness, ease, and luxury were the predominant 
features of the age. 

There is one lesson we should all carry away with 
us from the study of this excellent work, and it is 
this, that we ought to make our religion 4 matter of 
every-day concern. In the words of Clement, ** we 
should all philosophize," that is, we should all giye 
heed to the words of divine wisdom, and fraijie our 
lives accordingly. This is surely the highest sphere, 
the noblest ideal, and the truest mission of philpsopjiy. 



This would seem to be the most suitable connection 
in which to introduce a short rhutnk of Clement's 
teaching on the subject of asceticism, and kindred 

The Gnostic, as the true believer is called in these 
lectures, fasts according to the law, by abstaining from 
evil deeds, and, according to the Gospel, by putting 
away evil thoughts. He fasts from covetousness and 
voluptuousness, from which all vices grow. However, 
the Gnostic is not an anchorite ; he lives in the world, 
doing good to all he can reach. And though he has 
his body under control, and devotes only as much 
time and thought as is absolutely necessary, to his food, 
still he is not necessarily an ascetic nor a celibate. 

For abstinence, according to Clement, has reference, 
not to some particular thing, such as drink or meat, 
but consists in despising money, taming the tongue, 
and securing, with the help of reason, the mastery 
over sin. For from such all men should abstain, even 



though they are not philosophers, because all are 
striving after the higher life. Belief in God is, after 
all, the best philosophy ; and Faith may be learned 
without the Scriptures, for there is one scripture that 
is adapted to the most ignorant minds, and that 
is love. 

The business of life may be conducted in a holy 
manner, but as to renunciation of worldly goods and 
isolation from the world, this is not to be thought of 
at all. 

In his tract, Who is the Rich Man that is seeking 
Salvation ? which we have already spoken of, Clement 
shows that Christ requires, above all things, the 
affection of the heart. 

A man may give away his goods, and still long for 
them in his soul, having deprived himself of the very 
necessaries of life. 

" Besides, what charity could be exercised if one 
had nothing to bestow ? " Clement pertinently asks. 
Property and wealth of every kind are therefore to be 
regarded as the means and instrument of good, and 
not to be rashly given away. 


Clement ever raised his voice against those who 
would make Christianity an external affair. 

" It is not the place," he tells us in the Stromateis 
(i. 175), **but the congregation of the faithful that I 
call the Church." In the Pcedagogus (i. iii) he 


declares that the followers of Christ ought to be as 
respectable in their lives as they appear to be in the 
church ; they should really be, and not merely seem to 
be, gentle, devout, and amiable. " I know not how 
it is,'* he says, "that, with the place, they change their 
habits and manners, just as the polypus is said to 
change its colour according to the nature of the rock 
to which it chngs. They have no sooner left the 
church than they put off the devotional manner 
which they put on there, and become just like the 
others with whom they live. They convict themselves 
of hypocrisy when they lay aside the mask of decorum 
which they assume, and leave behind them, in the 
place where they hear it, the word of God." Clement 
was equally firm against the heathen practises that 
were invading the worship as well as the religion of 
the Christians. 

With reference to the use of images, he writes — 
" We must not adhere to the sensuous, but we must 
rise to the spiritual. Daily familiarity lowers the 
dignity of the divine, and to honour a spiritual being 
by means of earthly matter is to debase it by making 
it an object for the senses." He warns the Christians 
not to place too high a value on their personal 
appearance. " Our Lord," he remarks, " is said to 
have been without beauty in His person ; and who is 
better than our Lord ? But He did not manifest in 
Himself that beauty of body which consists in the 
outward appearance, but the true beauty which is of 


soul as well as body ; that of the soul in good deeds, 
and that of the body in its immortal destiny/' 

The spiritual direction of Clement's mind is apparent 
in his exquisite commentary on prayer. " Prayer,'' 
he says, " if one may speak boldly, is intercourse with 
God. Though we but lisp, and even if we do not 
move our lips in such communion, still we cry to Him 
from the deepest recesses of the heart, for He ever 
heeds the straining of the inward soul after Himself." 

" The devout Christian," Clement tells us, " is one 
who will pray in every place, but not openly to be 
seen of men. In his walks, during his conversations 
with others, when silently reading or thinking, he finds 
opportunity for prayer. And although he is ohly 
thinking about God in the chamber of the soul, and 
calling upon His Father with silent aspirations, God 
is near the praying one, and with him all the time." 

It is true that there were a great many in the days of 
Clement who would reply to his godly admonitions 
in such terms — ** We cannot all be philosophers ; we 
have not all learnt to read." To these Clement would 
reply {FcedagoguSy i. in) — "What sayest thou? Are 
we not all striving after life? How art thou then a 
believer ? How lovest thou God and thy neighbour ? 
Is not that philosophy ? Thou sayest, * I have not 
learned to read.' But if thou hast not learned to read, 
still thou canst not plead the excuse that thou hast not 
heard. All hear the word preached and read in the 
church. But faith is not the exclusive possession of 


the wise of this world, but of the wise in God." Even 
the ordinary affairs of life can be managed in an 
orderly and yet a godly manner. 

*AAA.& KvX rh, iv KOfffi^ KOfffuws Kordt Behv h,7ciytiv oh K^K^Xurtu, 

Accordingly tradespeople and tavern-keepers should 
practise philosophy." 

In this manner Clement upheld the spiritual calling 
of all believers. And yet he was not a leveller like 
Carpocrates. He recognized different stages in the 
life of the genuine Gnostic ; and he distinguished the 
coarse-minded self-pleasers from those refined spirits 
who had won the mastery over self, and had attained 
to the pure contemplation of God's purpose. 

He showed that Christ was a lover of all men, in 
opposition to those Gnostics who spoke of an inner 
circle of elect people ; yet, at the same time dread- 
ing so much as the profanation of the Scriptures 
by rude handling, he had the idea of a select number 
of refined and devoted men who might be trained to 
understand those truths which were beyond the reach 
of others. 

Clement saw in the ascetic discipline, which he 
advocated so warmly, a means of separating the carnal 
from the spiritual in man, and of giving him the self- 
washing so essential to the inner illumination of the 
soul. To set men free from the bondage of sin, 
selfishness, and idolatry, and to edify the Christian 
life, was his grand purpose. 


He advocated modesty and devotion on all 
occasions, recommending the married to begin the 
day with prayer and the reading of the Scriptures; 
and advising men and women to go to church in 
becoming attire, quietly and silently, with love in 
their hearts, pure in body and heart, and so prepared 
to pray to God. 


It is interesting to find this burning topic of our 
day, which is ever on the lips of those who say not as 
of old, ** All mine is thine," but " All thine is mine," 
discussed by an Alexandrian divine of the second 
century. ' 

In lus opinion, community of goods was repugnant 
to the divine purpose. " For just as the world is 
composed of opposites — such as hot and cold, moist 
and dry — so it is made up of givers and receivers.'' 
A peculiar argument, containing more truth than at 
first appears, if one may see in it the conception of 
humanity as a race, whose members sympathize with, 
help, and supplement one another. 

Of course Clement's teaching on the subject of 
fasting must be considered as a reaction from the 
extreme views of the Montanists, who sought to 
impose new fasts and new regulations of abstinence 
on the Church. 

With regard to celibates, Clement gives the palm to 
the husband, inasmuch as he has more temptations 


and a severer and therefore better discipline in pro- 
viding for his wife and household than a bachelor. 

in truth, writes Clement, it is not in the solitary life 
one shows one's self a man. The bachelor is inferior 
to the man who, having more to oppose him in 
working out his own salvation, still fulfils more duties 
in social life, and truly exhibits in his own family a 
miniature of providence itself. 

But neither condition of life is of any benefit to us 
without knowledge. Only virtuous actions done with 
knowledge — a true consideration of the motive, the 
end, and the ethical value of the act — are profitable. 

An argument is quoted by Clement as brought 
against Christianity by Pagan and Jew alike, which is 
remarkable in this, that the very same is generally 
urged by Romanists against Anglican Protestants 
to-day. It is this : " If Christianity is true, how is it 
that there are so many sects of Christianity ? Can the 
truth be divided ? " 

This argument Clement answers by saying that 
" among the Jews and philosophers many sects have 
sprung up, and yet they do not say that one ought to 
give up philosophy or Judaism because the many sects 
do not agree." 

Besides, our Lord foretold that "tares would be 
sown among the wheat'* The few are not therefore to 
give up the truth because the many go wrong. There 
are many schools of medicine which teach different 
methods, yet no one hesitates to call in a physician. 


Moreover, the Apostle wrote to the Church of Corinth 
(i Cor. xi. 19) that there must be heresies among 
them, that they which are approved may be made 
manifest, that is, distinguished as genuine from the 
spurious beUever, who set up self-chosen opinions, of 
their own in the place of the truth. 

For the truth, being arduous to approach and diffi- 
cult to retain, is a test of character when men seek it 
and hold fast to it. Besides this, heresies assist us in 
the discovery of truth, calling for a deeper inquiry and 
greater diligence on the part of the student. 

Finally, Clement urges the heretics to study the 
Word of God, to use their reason, and to hearken to 
the Divine Instructor. 






In his Stromateis or Miscellaneous Notes, the work 
by which our author is best known, and which has 
given him the title of *' the Stromatist," Clement de- 
scribes at great length the nature of the true gnosis, 
and the education of the genuine Gnostic, who, in his 
phraseology, is one who has a sincere faith based 
upon a sound knowledge of the principles of his 

But before we enter upon the details of that truly 
comprehensive work, we may here explain that the 
relation of faith to knowledge in Clement's system is 
not clearly drawn. For at one time our author states 
that faith is the basis of knowledge, because it im- 
parts the divine life which penetrates and cleanses 
the soul, and gives a new faculty for discerning divine 
things. While on another occasion he seems to 

understand by " pistis ^' (ttio-ti?), faith, a carnal faith 



which adheres to the letter of authority. This 
apparent contradiction may be got over by the care- 
ful student. For when Clement uses the term "faith" 
in the former sense, he is generally speaking of the 
proper, the rational, and the spiritual faith. And when 
he uses the word in the latter sense, he is clearly using 
the word in its ordinary acceptation. 

In a succeeding chapter we shall enter more fully 
into the subject, but this much by way of preamble 
must suffice for the present. 

The usefulness of Philosophy in preparing the 
heathen for the reception of Christianity is the noble 
burden of the first book of these notes. This line of 
reasoning, very interesting and instructive in itself, is 
rather spoiled by Clement's very peculiar idea, that 
all the good of pagan philosophy was derived from 
Hebrew influence. 

The first lecture of this work begins with a defence 
of the written composition. Clement had evidently 
delivered his lectures before his divinity class from 
notes which he afterwards revised and elaborated for 
publication and transmission to posterity. 

"If heathen and atheistical writers, such as Epicurus, 
who founded the famous sect of the Epicureans ; 
Hipponax, who invented the Ionic a minore verse; 
and Archilochus, whose page worked itself out in 
iambic measures, were allowed to write their composi- 
tions, why,'^ he asks, '* should any one object to the 
publication of a Christian writer ? " 


"There seem to be two ways of proclaiming the 
truth," he goes on to say ; ** the one by the spoken, 
the other by the written word. And each soul has its 
own proper food. Some thrive on erudition and 
science, while others feed on the Greek philosophy^ 
the kernel of which alone is eatable." 

The word of life, however, is not to be entrusted, 
according to him, to those whose minds are already 
occupied with the methods of the various schools. 
For such are not yet open to the truth. We must 
first acquire faith, which is here defined as a power of 
judging according to reason. For it is only then that 
we can receive divine w^ords. And this, says Clement, 
is the meaning of the saying: "If ye believe not, 
neither shall ye understand " (Isaiah iii. 9). He then 
exhorts his readers to study the Word of God, which 
" kindles the living spark of the soul, and elevates the 

But yet our author will not shrink, as he informs 
his pupils, from making use of all that is good and 
excellent in philosophy, and in every other form of 
instruction. For Just as St. Paul became a Greek for 
the sake of the Greeks, so it is right to set forth the 
opinions that appeal to the Greek reason, if we are to 
gain them. 

But, as Clement charily observes, " A composition 
is exXiemeiy fortunate that escapei; the censure of 
the revie#er." He will therefore strive to do his best 
to give his critics no reasonable pretext for fJwiU- 


finding, and will accordingly only deal" with the 
kernel of that Greek philosophy which is covered 
over with a thick and hard shell of error. 

Of course he is prepared for those who will object 
that such an investigation is foolish and superfluous ; 
for those that will say that it is quite sufficient to 
occupy oneself with the necessary and vital truths of 
religion, and also for others who go further and assert 
that philosophy is one of Satan^s inventions to lead 
away men from the truth. But he hopes to show 
these objectors, if they will lend him a patient hearing, 
that evil has an evil nature, and consequently cannot 
produce aught that is good, and, therefore, since 
philosophy is good to a certain degree, it cannot be 
the wotk of the Evil One, but must be the work of 



We shall now dip more deeply into the volume of 
miscellaneous wisdom, so appropriately styled the 

From these lectures we learn that the same narrow- 
ness of intellect and dimness of vision which pre- 
vails in certain Christian circles — rapidly decreasing 
we are happy to say — of to-day, was predominant 
in a small section of the Alexandrian community. 
Clement evinces great skill in dealing with these 
ignorant and obstinate people, who condemned a 
philosophy as useless and hell-begotten which they 
had never taken the trouble to investigate. "If 
Philosophy were indeed useless," he argues, "it 
would be a useful thing to show up its uselessness. 
But it is absurd for any one who has not an intimate 
knowledge of it to condemn it." 

So far from ruining life by being the cause of false 
practices and base deeds, philosophy is " the clear 
image of truth, a divine gift to the Greeks." Nor 



does it draw one away from the faith; nay, rather, it 
helps to support it by calling into play the reason, the 
basis of knowledge. And yet a great many so-called 
philosophers deride and scoff at the truth. Such are 
the Sophists, who are called Sophistai^ or Sophoiy 
because they are versed in logomachy or wordy strife. 
Of these the Scripture says : " I will destroy the 
wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the under- 
standing of the prudent " (Isaiah xxix. 14). But 
wisdom is manifold, and every form and degree of 
wisdom is from God, Who manifests His Power and 
Intelligence in many departments and in many modes, 
in art and science as well as in theology. Here we 
find an echo of Hebrews i. i : 

" God, Who at sundry times and in divers manners 
(TToKvyi^p^ fcai ?roXvrpo?ro>9) Spake in times past unto 
the fathers by the prophets." 

Before our Lord came, philosophy was the school- 
master of the Greeks in righteousness, and now it 
conduces to piety, being an excellent preparation and 
discipline in religion. Philosophy then is a good 
thing, Clement reasons. But God is the cause of all 
good things, therefore philosophy is from God ; per- 
haps not as immediately as the Old and New Testa- 
ments, but surely given to bring the Greek mind 
to Christ, even as the law was the school-master 
(watSayoryos) to lead the Hebrews to Him. 

For Truth is like a river. It has one principal 
channel, but streams flow into it from all sides. 


Accordingly, when our Saviour uttered the never-to-be- 
forgotten words, ** Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often 
would I have gathered thy children to me {hrurwa- 
yayeiv), as the mother bird gathers her fledglings to 
her under her wings*' (Matt, xxiii. 37), He made 
allusion to the manifold ways in which the Spirit of 
God, Who fills the world, was pleading with and train- 
ing the Jews to discern the truth in Him who said, 
" I am the Truth/' 

While the inferior branches of study contribute 
• their quota to philosophy their mistress. Philosophy 
herself is the study of wisdom, and wisdom is the 
knowledge of things human and divine. And these, 
in their turn, find their consummation, their fulfilment 
in Christ. 

This is Clement's general line of argument, by 
which philosophy is shown to be the handmaid of 
theology, because it gives men an aptitude for and a 
keen insight into the truth, and so trains men to receive 
the Christ. 

Now, according to Clement, culture improves the 
mind. Accordingly, the man who has been trained in 
demonstration and reasoning has acquired a facility 
for understanding the nature and relations of things, 
which will prove useful to him, not only by refining 
and sharpening his wits, but also by purging the soul 
and enabling it to see the truth clearly. Besides^ 
noble natures are always benefited by a noble training. 
Indeed it is not by nature but by training, Clement 


believes, that people become noble and good, just as 
the vine and the horse require a great deal of care 
before they can give satisfaction. Of course he does 
not deny that certain people have a natural predis- 
position or leaning towards virtue. But his point is, 
that such people always require a careful training, if 
their aptitude is to corae to anything ; while others, 
not naturally so gifted, if they obtain the education, 
generally attain excellence. 

Man, indeed, was created by God naturally social 
and just. But the good in him required to be educed 
or evolved by precept and commandment. And so 
the law was given. Of course even without learning 
a man may be a believer; but according to Clement 
it is impossible for an unlearned man to understand 
the articles of the faith. Consequently he was un- 
willing to disclose our fundamental principles. For 
it is easier, he said, to attain unto virtue after previous 
training; and than instruction in philosophy and 
literature, there is no more excellent training. 

Greek culture and philosophy must then have come 
down from heaven, not directly, it may be, but just as 
the rain falls on good land and bad, or as the seed is 
everywhere scattered by the hand of the sower. This 
is the conclusion of this able argument. 

Now Clement does not limit the term philosophy 
to any special school, such as the Stoic, the Epicurean, 
the Platonic, or the Aristotelian, but " whatever has 
been well said by each of these sects, this eclectic 


whole I call Philosophy.*' But he does not regard as 
divine the false inferences of men. 

** There are many ways to righteousness," he says, 
** for God is good and saves in many ways. But Christ 
Himself is the Gate ; by Him the happy ones enter, 
and are led into the sanctuary of knowledge." 

But sophistry, which refines away the meaning of 
words; which embellishes falsehood with the flower of 
rhetoric ; which tends only to glorification, never to 
edification ; which persuades men to regard the pro- 
bable as the true, Clement believes, has been justly 
called an " evil art " by Plato, and a " dishonest wit " 
by Aristotle. To such the Apostle refers in his Epistle 
to Timothy, when he speaks of a kind of teaching of 
little depth, but of a " pale cast of thought," busied 
with questions about words. 

Such a method of reasoning is indeed a disease. 
And by such sound doctrine and holy knowledge will 
never be attained. There are some people, however, 
who think themselves so naturally endowed, that they 
do not require either philosophy or logic. " Faith 
alone is necessary," they say. 

But, as Clement aptly remarks, these people are like 
to men who would pluck the clusters from the vine 
without having spent any pains on rearing and 
training it. 

" And, after all," he pointedly asks, "how comes it to 
pass that training and experience, which are held to be 
essential in every other sphere of life and labour, are 


regarded as unessential in the highest department of 
all— the study of God's Word ? " 

He only is to be called really learned who brings 
everything to bear upon the truth, and he is best able 
to defend the faith who knows how to select what is 
useful in every human art and science. The scholar 
who can quote examples from Greek and foreign his- 
tory and philosophy is, in Clement's opinion, like the 
touchstone which tests the genuine metal. And if 
such knowledge be necessary in mundane matters, 
how much more essential is it in celestial themes ? 
Even in Holy Scripture, the ambiguous expressions of 
the prophets demand an intelligent exposition. 

Of course, the Christian is not to practise a shallow 
and uncertain form of speech, but that style of 
oratory which instructs and edifies. This is what the 
Apostle means when he warns us ** not to strive about 
words which are not profitable" (2 Tim. ii. 14), and 
exhorts us to beware " lest any man spoil us through 
philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, 
after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." 

In this passage St. Paul refers not to the true philo- 
sophy, but to that false teaching which declared the 
elements of life superior and anterior to the efficient 
cause of life — the Creator. 

That Apostle, observes Clement, when dealing with 
the Greeks, always recognized what was true in Greek 
Philosophy. For example, when he uttered the words 
" For in Him we live and move and have our being, 


as some of your poets have said, *For we are His 

offspring * " — Tov yap koI yevo? ia-fiev. 

But in the passage which is at present under our 
consideration, he is speaking of that false philosophy 
which is after the tradition of men, which worships 
the elements of life, air, fire, and water, and not the 
Word, the Creator of life. 

For philosophy in general is not to be set aside and 
rejected, because the Stoics say that the Deity being 
corporeal pervades the vilest matter, or because the 
Epicureans banish Providence and exalt Pleasure to 
the throne of the Universe. Indeed, all schools of 
philosophy, to a certain extent, are illuminated by the 
dawn of Light, " The light that, coming into the world, 
lighteth every man." 

The universal mistake of the leaders of the different 
schools of philosophy is to parade that portion of truth 
which has fallen to their lot, as if it w^re the whole 

It is right, then, in spite of this general failing, that 
all should recognize and understand the germs of 
truth that are to be found in every sect of philosophy. 

Here Clement passes in review the different Greek 
philosophers who have already been mentioned in 
these papers, and seeks to prove that Paul was ac- 
quainted with Greek literature from his quotation : 

1LpfJT€i del i^cvorai, Kaxa Orjpta, yaorlpcs apyal^ 
which is a well-known hexameter line in Epimenides, 


whom Paul describes to Titus as a " prophet " of their 
own, whose witness is true. 

St. Paul does indeed ascribe truth to the Greeks ; 
and it is certain from these quotations, and from 
that which occurs in the first Epistle to the Corinthian 
Church — ff>B€Lpov(nv t^Otj xPV^^ ofiiXCai kokol ("Evil 
communications corrupt good manners") — that he 
had some acquaintance with the noble classics of 

Clement concludes by saying that there are many 
similar instances of Greek maxims and expressions 
made use of by the sacred writers, who evidently did 
not regard these classical authors as altogether false 
and unprofitable servants of the Lord. 



With all his admiration for that Greek philosophy 
which he assimilated in the very heart of his teaching, 
Clement put forward a special plea for the superiority 
of the Jewish law on the grounds of its greater 
antiquity and originality. 

Clement here commits the fault of comparing a 
great many things which cannot be compared; for 
example, Jewish morality and Greek metaphysics, 
religious feeling and intellectual insight, natural 
science and philosophic thought. These subjects 
cannot be compared with one another, for it is only 
things of a like nature that can be, logically speaking, 

We shall now listen to Clement's arguments against 
the antiquity and originality of the philosophy he 

** It is a great mistake," he writes, " to suppose that it 

is only the Greeks who are acquainted with philosophy, 

or can philosophize. For most of the founders of 



the various Greek schools of thought were foreigners, 
or 'Barbarians,' as the Greeks would call them. 
Pythagoras was a Samian, and Thales was a Mile- 
sian. They both studied in Egypt, conversing with 
Chaldean sages, and exploring the ancient science of 
the country. Plato, likewise, though a true-born 
son of Hellas, went to Egypt, and found much to 
learn and admire among the so-called Barbarians. 
Indeed, philosophy is of great antiquity; it first 
flourished among the Barbarians, and afterwards 
it was brought into Greece. Foremost in the ranks 
of learning stand the Egyptian wise men, the 
Chaldean sages, the Gaulish Druids, the Persian 
Magi, and the gymnosophists, or nude philosophers 
of India." 

These latter, Clement writes, are divided into two 
classes ; one class being called the Samanaei, and the 
other Hylobii, because they lived in the woods. 
Some of these Indians, he observes, follow the 
teaching of Buddha, who was deified on account of 
his personal holiness. But the oldest of all philoso- 
phers are those of the heathen race. For example, 
he bids us look at the antiquity of Moses, and con- 
trast it with the different epochs of Greek philosophy. 
Moreover, it was Barbarians, not Greeks, who founded 
the various arts and sciences. For instance, the 
Egyptians introduced astrology and geometry,^ the 
Arabs augury, the Etruscans the trumpet, Cadmus 

^ He might have added Algebra. 


letters, the Phrygians the flute, Atlas was the first to 
build ships; Apis, an Egyptian — not ^sculapius — was 
the inventor of the healing art. Again, Phrygians 
discovered iron and the tempering of brass; the 
Tuscans were the first to mould clay; while the musical 
art and its instruments, if fable speaks true, were 
invented and embellished by Mysians, Phrygians, and 
Lydians, not by Greeks. 

After this digression from his subject, Clement 
again returns to philosophy, and admits that Greek 
philosophy, whatever be its origin and however partial 
its light, prepares the way for the royal teaching of 
Christ. It is a training and discipline, he asserts, that 
moulds the character and fashions the heart of him 
who believes in Providence to receive the Truth. 
Besides, he says, it would be absurd to call philosophy 
an invention of the devil, seeing that it has been 
borrowed to a large extent from the Hebrews. In the 
first place, he takes for granted that it will be admitted 
by all that the laws and institutions of the Jews are of 
higher antiquity than the mental and moral science of 
the Greeks. For Ptolemy, the Egyptian, placed the 
Exodus of the Israelites in the reign of Amosis, which 
would correspond with that of Inachus in Argos, an 
epoch some forty generations previous to the found- 
ation of Athens, the mother of philosophy, by 

Then Clement enters into a comparison of dates, to 
prove that the antiquity of the Hebrew prophets and 


historians is greater thaji that of the Greek poets and 

This summary of very dry facts and uninteresting 
numbers is somewhat relieved by an agreeable dis- 
cussion on dialects, which, though it has nothing to 
say to the question, may serve to lighten the labour of 
working through this chapter. 

'* Euphorbus," he says, "and other historians hold 
that there are seventy-five nations and tongues, because 
of the statement of Moses, that all the souls that 
followed Jacob into Egypt were seventy-five : while 
Plato, the Greek philosopher, says the gods speak in 
a certain dialect, and that even irrational creatures 
have a dialect of their own, which is understood by all 
the members of the genus. Thus, when an elephant 
falls into the mud he bellows out, and some other 
elephant, which happens to be near, comes at once to 
his help, bringing others with him. And when a 
scorpion does not succeed in biting a man, it goes 
away to collect other scorpions, and these, by forming 
a chain of their bodies, obstruct the man's path and 
bite him. These creatures, according to Clement, use 
a dialect of their own.'' 

After these irrelevant remarks, our lecturer counts 
bacl; to Adam from the death of Commodus, and 
computes the number of intervening years as amount- 
ing to 5784. 

This point of time, as already noticed, gives us the 
probable date of the composition. Commodus died 



195 A.D., and these lectures were most probably 
delivered in the following year, 194 a.d. 

Indeed Clement had a weakness for numbers, which 
is a proof in itself that he must have been trained in 
the mathematical school of Alexandria. He could 
not, therefore, desist from some explanation of the 
two thousand three hundred days mentioned by 
Daniel the prophet, as destined to elapse before the 
sanctuary would be cleansed. These two thousand 
three hundred days, according to him, make up six 
years and four months, during one-half of which 
Nero misruled. "And it was half a week;" while 
during the other half Galba, Otho, and Vitellius dis- 
graced the high office of Emperor. Recent attempts to 
'explain these numbers lend some interest to this very 
early and equally as rational interpretation of them. 

Having now shown the undoubted priority of 
Moses in point of time, Clement essays to prove the 
superiority of the law delivered to Moses to that of 
the Greeks. 

But some of his statements are very rash and 
unscholarly. For instance, it is an almost incredible 
assertion that Plato was indebted to the writings of 
Moses. But it is, on the other hand, an excellent 
interpretation of the law which sees in it not merely 
an engine for correction and punishment, but also a 
healthy training and discipline for the soul. For the 
law was surely given with a view to redeem the 
character of men, as well as to punish them for their 


faults. Therefore, before we open the second 
volume of these notes, it may be well to pause for a 
moment to review Clement's position with regard to 

One of his great statements, to wit, that philosophy 
owed whatever truth it possessed to divine inspiration, 
will be admitted by all who accept the utterance of 
the Master Himself, " I am the Light of the world ; " 
and who recognize the work of God in the education 
of the race. But the other statement put forward 
by him, that philosophy was borrowed from the 
teaching of the Hebrews, is rashly absurd, as any 
one may see who will take the trouble to compare 
the Hebrew mind with the Greek. For the Greek 
intellect was essentially philosophical, being deeply 
interested in all the problems and questions of life 
and thought and God. Their mind was peculiarly 
curious and inquisitive, and delighted in searching 
out causes and tracing consequences, while arguing 
from given premises by middle terms to conclusions, 
and inferring the general from the particular. 
Syllogism and Induction were their logical modes of 

But, on the other hand, the Jewish bent of mind 
was anything but inteliectual. * It was wholly and 
solely religious. Their law, their sacrifices, their 
commandments, truly emphasizing the moral and 
spiritual fact of siuy which finds but feeble expression 


in the Greek philosophy; the manuscripts in which 
these were set forth, and the various interpretations 
and expositions of their sacred books, occupied their 
every thought. God, His Law and His Worship, were 
to them what Truth and its Investigation ' were to 
the Greeks. And as to logic, the Jews had none. 
Allegory, analogy, and comparison in their system 
occupy the place of induction, deduction, and defini- 
tion. The Jewish mind was impressed by types and 
shadows, which pointed them to antitypes and sub- 
stances, between which the Greeks would see no 
logical connection. 

It is true that Jewish allegory was blended with 
Greek reasoning by Origen, but it was an unnatural 
compound, as his exaggerations and fanciful interpret- 
ations amply prove. In fact, there could be nothing 
whatever in common between two such radically 
opposite types of mind, one of which was occupied 
with symbols, and the other with dialectics. There- 
fore Greek philosophy did not and could not flow from 
Jewish sources ; although in a great measure, in its 
undiluted state, it was an expression of the Wisdom of 
Him — the Word of God — Who manifests Himself " in 
many parts and in many manners.'* " Who is," wrote 
Clement, " the teacher of all things born ; the Assessor 
of God Who knoweth all things beforehand ? Verily 
He, from the foundation of the world, in many ways 
and many parts has been engaged in educating and 


bringing to perfection the race of man." It was much 
that Clement understood this. 

In another part of the StromateiSy Clement makes the 
true remark that Philosophy was to the Hellenes what 
the Law was to the Hebrews — a preparatory discipline 
leading to Christ. 



We shall now glance hurriedly over the stray notes 
of the second volume of the Stromateis, They are 
chiefly on the subject of faith and repentance. In 
the first place, Clement shows that the knowledge of 
God can only be attained through faith, quoting 
Isaiah : " Except ye believe, neither shall ye under- 
stand : " whereas it was the constant practice of the 
Gnostics, Basilides and Valentinus, to set faith at 
nought, as being a useless quantity ; but our Clement 
put it forward in the very front of the battle as 
the foundation of all knowledge. For it is, as the 
writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews said, "the 
substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things 

In one passage he seems to say that this faith is 
not established by demonstration, quoting the words 
of the Master : " Blessed therefore are those who, not 
having seen, have yet believed." And yet he implies, 



throughout the whole treatise, that faith is not a blind 
choice, but a rational volition. 

How are we to reconcile these apparently contra- 
dictory statements ? 

The task may not perhaps be as hard as it seems. 
For Clement says that faith apprehends the first 
principles. Now it is a well-known fact and an oft- 
repeated maxim, that first principles are not capable 
of demonstration. 

Faith, then, according to Clement, is not to be 
established by demonstration, moving as it does in a 
higher sphere, apprehending the first cause of the 
Universe, soaring into a higher plane than practical 
wisdom, and comprehending the eternal realities, the 
unchanging basis of change. 

It is easy to see, therefore, that faith occupies 
the same place in the theology of Clement that rovs 
or intuition holds in the metaphysical system of 

It is a spiritual instinct, a ghostly intuition instilled 
in men by the unceasing Word of Truth. In this 
sense, faith is higher than knowledge, which is of 
things that can be demonstrated. For faith alone 

^ Vide Niconiackean Ethics^ Book VII. chap. vi. , where it 
is shown to be the province of Noils to take in first principles 
(ipX^O* This is a general statement, for it is true that in some 
passages Clement used the word faith in the sense of Creed: 
e,g. in StromcUeiSy vii. 732, where he says, ** The first saving 
change from heathenism is faith, that is, a compendious knowledge 
of all that is necessary to salvation.*' 



iprehend God. To use Clement's own words : 
her can God be apprehended by demonstrative 
science, for such science is from things precedent and 
more knowable, whereas nothing exists before that 
which is self-existent." ^ 

Consequently the first cause of the Universe can be 
grasped by Faith alone. 

In this way Clement placed knowledge ^ on the 
basis of faith, in apparent opposition to the teaching 
of the Gnostics of the city of Alexandria, who treated 
the blind faith of the unreasoning multitudes with the 
greatest contempt, and held out promises of a deeper 
and inner knowledge of religion to the more 
thoughtful classes. 

But Clement's faith was not a mere blind, unques- 
tioning belief founded on authority, but the highest 
faculty of the transcendental reason engaged in ques- 
tions that lie beyond the sphere of sense and the 

^ In another sense he gives the superiority to knowledge, by 
which he means the knowledge which is reached by and 
perfected through faith, i.e. the true gnosis of the true gnostic. 
For he says in the Siromateis, vi. 795 : '* But knowledge 
implies more than belief; just as it is more than salvation 
to receive the highest honour after salvation ; " and in 
Stromateis, vii. 795, we read: **The first change is from 
heathendom to faith ; the second from faith to knowledge, and 
the third to love." 

^ Str. vii. 732. Gnosis is the strong and stable demonstration 
of the things received by faith, erected on the foundations of 
faith, through the doctrine of our Lord, by which faith is raised 
to a certainty of science. 


realm of experience. Nor did he regard faith as 
sufficient by itself. He would have science employed 
in the service of faith. " If we wish to get any fruit 
from the vine," he says, " we must work, by pruning, 
digging, and training, and must employ the hook, the 
hoe, and other implements used in the culture of the 


Nor is Clement's gnosis a mere intellectual doctrine, 
but it is a "divine science " which by reason of faith 
must express itself in the life {Strom, ii. 381). 

'*Thus knowing and living here become one." 
True gnosis, then, is that spiritual wisdom which 
springs from a spiritual insight into the Being of God, 
and manifests itself in spirituality of the life. 

Thus we have three fair flowers growing on one 
stem — Faith, Wisdom, and Life. And this combina- 
tion of three divine principles throws a new light on 
the mysterious words : "It is eternal life to know 
Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom 
Thou hast sent." 

Now the knowledge is given to those who are 
worthy of it, as a deposit, on the principle that " to him 
that hath shall be given." Thus** to faith shall be 
added knowledge, and to knowledge love, and to love 
the inheritance." 

** Faith is, then, so to speak, a comprehensive know- 
ledge of the essentials, and knowledge is the strong 


and sure demonstration of what is received by faith 
and built upon faith by the Lord's teaching, which 
conducts the soul to certainty, science, and under- 
standing" {Strom, vii. 732). Thus from one step to 
another we ascend in this ladder of discipline, until 
perfect gnoseis are reached by the student and 
blended together in his life. 


Finally, Clement illustrates the manner in which 
these two principles, faith and knowledge, become 
harmonized in the Gnostic, the real Christian, and 
work together for his good. Such a one begins as a 
pupil of the Lord, and an eager and believing student 
in spiritual things. Then he grows in the knowledge 
of God, and of His Will, until gradually advancing in 
the comprehension of the essences and the things per 
sey he is able to bring his soul to what is essential, and 
to see a general principle in a particular precept, and 
a universal idea in a single instance : in a word, to 
read, with the help of the illuminating presence of the 
Word, the facts of God, human life and thought as 
they really are, not as they seem to be. 

Sin therefore has no seducing influence over him, 
because he sees in it its true nature as disease. 
Death has no terror for him who regards it as a 
necessity of creation which cannot affect him. 

He hates no one who has wronged him, but rather 


pities him on account of his ignorance, and because 
of the love for his Master that fills his own soul. 

His one thought is to attain to completeness of 
knowledge, and so he can afford to despise the good 
as well as the bad things of the world. 

He is serene and courteous, but strong to resist 
temptation. He is a man without passions, having 
transcended the whole life of emotion. He is 
rationally brave and self-controlled, and so is master 
of himself, and able to make use of the opportunity, 
because he loves God, and is counted a friend of 
God, and because his life is spent in prayer and 
converse with his Heavenly Father. 

Truly this character-drawing is very like the de- 
scription of the wise man of the Stoics, and is indeed 
to a large extent borrowed from that classical ideal. 

The Christian saint, however, had an incalculable 
advantage over the pagan sage, by reason of his 
possession of the true motive-power of the soul, the 
true standard of human action, and the true goal of 
human effort. 




Clement's declared purpose in compiling the 
Stromatets was, to describe the true .Gnostic, and to 
guard his pupils from the misrepresentations of the 
pseudo-Gnostics, of whom he mentions Valentinus, 
Basileides, Cassianus, Marcion, Prodicus and Hera- 

As a general rule the teachers of Alexandria made 
the Word,^ or the Wisdom of God, the subject of 
their discussions. By Him they imagined that they 
had been chosen to proclaim God to the world, and 
from Him they believed that all the wisdom of the 
Gentiles had come. 

Among the great preachers of the Gospel we find 
ApoUos of Alexandria, "an eloquent man and 
mighty in the Scriptures " (Acts xviii. 24), who for a 
season was the successful rival of St. Paul in Corinth. 
We can trace the influence of Alexandrian thought, 

St. John claimed these truths for Christianity when he 
affirmed that the Word was with God, and that the Word was 
God, and that all light was from Him. 



notably its distinction between the, letter and the 
spirit in the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistle of 
Barnabas, and in the Gospel according to the Egyp- 
tians, a work that was most probably used by Coptic 
Christians who were not of Jewish connection. 

We also find reminiscences of the Christian philo- 
sophy of Alexandria in the lately discovered Logia 
(so-called) which have been unearthed with many 
other documents at Oxyrhynchus. One of these 
sayings has a distinctly Encratite ^ ring. It runs so — 
" Except ye fast in regard to the world, ye shall not 
find the kingdom of God ; and except ye keep the 
Sabbath rightly (lit. sabbatize the Sabbath), ye shall 
not see the Father.'' 

We have also the conception of the omnipresent 
Christ in the two sayings : " I stepped into the midst 
of the world, and in the flesh I appeared unto them ; " 
and " Raise the stone and thou shalt find me, cleave 
the wood and I am there." 

The Gnostic teachers of Alexandria, concerning 
whom Clement is our best authority, gave the city an 
important position in the world of letters. One of 
the first of these was Basileides, who belongs to the 
reigns of Hadrian (117 — 138 a.d.) and Antonius 
Pius. According to Epiphanius, Syria, the native 
land of the Gnostic systems, was his birthplace. 

^ The Encratites were a sect of Egyptian ascetics of the 
second century, who abstained from marriage, wine, and animal 


Basileides himse)f mentioned Glaucus, a scribe pf St. 
Peter, as his teacher; while some of his followers 
boasted that Matthias, the apostle, was their founder. 

This philosopher believed that the knowledge of 
God was the highest blessing which man can attain, 
and that he was intended to reach it. He therefore 
sought to construct a system of the knowledge of 

But he defeated his own purpose, by making the 
God whom he desired to know, a mere portion of his 
system ; and by treating the Word or Wisdom of God 
as but one of the many agencies (Dynameis) that 
acted upon men, and but one of the many faculties 
by which man apprehended God. God became more 
and more indistinct and shadowy to him who regarded 
Him as some vague abstraction, a certain Pleroma or 
Fulness, and looked upon the cross as a fiction. 
Although we have reason to believe that the seeker 
was honest, he ended exactly where he began in the 
search for knowledge. 

The morality of Basileides leaves little to be 
desired. He respected marriage and recommended 
some men to marry, and is not, therefore, to be held 
accountable for the perversions and excesses of his 
followers ; some of whom went so far as to say that 
they were born to salvation and must be saved, no 
matter how they lived. 

Such a deduction from his father's system Isidorus 
his son repudiated with all his heart. Still the 2^ro- 


astrian distinction between the kingdom of Ahriman 
and Ormuzd, — which are thus described by the 
Persian Bundehesch : 

** Ormuzd is the light ; 
The light is without beginning ; 
Ormuzd is on high, 
Ormuzd is Holy, 
Onnuzd hath all knowledge. 
Ahriman is in darkness ; 
This darkness is without beginning ; 
Ahriman is in the depths ; 
Ahriman delighteth in strife ; 
Ahriman hath only a derived knowledge " — 

was so fundamental to his philosophy, that Clement 
had some reason for his accusation that Basileides 
" deified the devil/' 

Valentinus,^ another Gnostic philosopher, to whom 
there are numerous references in Clement's works, 
lived in Alexandria at a somewhat later date than 
Basileides. He is said to have been the pupil of 
Theudas, the disciple of Paul, and was evidently an 
Egyptian, to judge from his turn of mind. 

He was greatly struck by the fact that the universe 
seems to be made up of pairs (Syzygies, he called 
them). Proceeding on the dictum of Solomon, " God 
has set one thing over against another," he sought 

^ Clement says that Heracleon was the most famous of the 
Valentinian School, and quotes his Comment on Luke xii. 8 — ii. 

Origen cites Heracleon's * Commentary on St. John's Gospel * 
which with several other fragments has been recently edited in 
the Cambridge Texts dnd Studies. 


these " pairs " in every place, and believed he found 

His theology was rather absurd in form. Buthos 
and Depth, the term under which he spoke of God, 
conveys nothing to our minds but the impossibility of 
sounding the depths of that Godhead. His genea- 
logies of the aeons, the spiritual essences by which 
man was enabled to reach God in this system, only 
serve at the present day to puzzle Divinity students. 

Marcion was another Gnostic who engaged the 
attention of Clement. Though the son of the bishop 
of Sinope, he imagined he could find no solution of 
the great problems that his mind entertained in his 
father's faith. For the v^orld, which to Valentinus 
was full of " pairs," seemed to him to be full of con- 
trasts of good and evil, while Christianity appeared to 
be nothing but a mixture of opposites, law and grace, 
mercy and forgiveness. 

But of him we shall speak at greater length in 
another place. 

Carpocrates, another famous teacher who lived in 
Alexandria in the reign of Hadrian (130 a.d. circ.\ 
was not impressed so much by the correspondences 
or contradictions in the universe, as he was by the 
equality of God's dealings with man. He was a 
leveller who, instead of trying to raise men to a higher 
platform, succeeded in degrading them to a lower by 
his system. 

The Carpocrateans, as Irenseus tells us in hv&Refuta- 


tion of the Gnostics, were the first Gnostics to call them- 
selves so. The founder of the sect was a Pantheist 
holding that there was one supreme being, the Monad, 
the highest unity, from whom all existence has emanated, 
and to which everything strives to return. Neander 
compares this system with that of Buddha, and states 
a number of parallels that are to be found in the 
doctrines of these teachers. Carpocrates as an Anti- 
nomian used a very bad influence, teaching that 
faith and love are everything, while conduct is a 
matter of indifference. Irenaeus tells us that his 
followers believed it to be a duty to go through all 
sorts of actions. It is among them that we find the 
first representations of the Saviour's human form. 

Clement throws an interesting light on the teaching 
of Tatian ^ and the sect of the Encratites. Tatian, a 
stranger from Assyria, had set up as a teacher of 
rhetoric in Rome, where he was brought under the 
influence oi Justin Martyr, and professed Christianity. 
After the death of his master, 164 a.d., he lapsed back 
into the Gnostic philosophy (Eusebuis, H.E, iv. 29). 
Clement tells us that Tatian belonged to the anti- 
Jewish Gnostics, and that he transferred the distinction 

^ The author of the DicUessarort, the first harmony of the 

gospels. Ephraim's commentary on this book has been recently 

discovered. Eusebius tells us (H, E, iv. 29) that ** Tatian 

composed a certain connection and bringing together of the 

gospels, and gave it the name of Diatessaron, This work is 

current to this day," 



that Paul makes between the old and the new man 
to the relation of the Old and New Testament. 

In his sy terns of Morals he may be said to have 
formulated, although it cannot be said that he 
invented, the tenets of the Encratites. His principal 
doctrine was, that true perfection could only be 
reached by the imitation of Christ, especially in 
regard to celibacy and the renunciation of worldly 
possessions. Clement's answer to those who make 
such statements is worth recording. " They under 
stand not," he says, " the reason why our Lord was 
unmarried. For in the first place He had His own 
bride, the Church, and in the next place He was dis- 
tinct from other men in this, that His nature^ was 
complete ; nor was it necessary that He who is 
eternal, and the Son of God, should have issue of His 

In Julius Cassianus, another teacher mentioned by 
Clement {Strom, L 320), we find traces of the Alex- 
andrian Jewish philosophy. Cassianus had only the 
Gospel according to the Egyptians. On it he based 
several of his opinions. Cassianus regarded Adam as 
the type of a soul that had been degraded from the 
heavenly condition to the material world, and held 
that it was man's duty to win the mastery over matter 
by means of ascetic discipline. Accordingly he 
denied that Christ had appeared in bodily form 
among men. This was the view of the Docetae, 
among whom Cassianus was looked upon as a leader. 


Clement in the S^romaUts shows us how this teacher 
attempted, by means of his allegorical method of exe- 
gesis, to find his ideas in the Old Testament. 

Gnosticism, however, was not merely the hot-bed 
of heresy, it had its true side. It was a search after 
the knowledge of God. Following this clue, we shall 
be led safely through these mischievous though in- 
genious doctrines until we come to the true teacl\ing 
of the Word of God, which our Clement found in his 
pursuit of truth. To him that Logos or Word was no 
mere aon or agency, but the Son of the Father, who 
had taken upon Himself to educate the Spirit of 
man, to prize it, and to lead it to the knowledge of 
Him in Whose image it was made, and after Whose 
likeness it was intended to grow ; and Who, in order 
to reveal this Father, and display a new ideal to man, 
became flesh, died, and was raised again. 

Clement followed the same thread of thought in all 
his works. God is seeking His creatures — this was 
the foundation-principle of his system which he read 
in the fables and philosophies of the heathen, where- 
in he saw abundant proof of God's presence among 
His people, and of His action on the human heart in 
drawing it into the'search after the real, the substantial, 
and the true. 

**A great and glorious search Clement thought it 
was,*' wrote the late Rev. F. D. Maurice in his Lectures 
on Church History, " worthy the labour of a life or of 
many lives. He had pursued it as a heathen in the 


schools of Greece ; he eagerly sought the helps which 
Jewish or heathen sages could afford him in Egypt, 
but when he received the doctrine of the Cross, another 
and more wonderful truth flashed upon him — God 
knew him. .... This was no new discovery, it was an 
old one. . . . That truism may become the very centre 
of a man's thoughts and hopes ; it may change the posi- 
tions and relations of all objects to him ; it may at 
first revolutionize his being ; ultimately it may set in 
order all that had been disturbed and inverted there. 
So I think it was with Clement : he could perceive 
how St. Paul speaks of the yvanric or vpoyywaric of 
God, and of our iwiyyuxris of Him ; the one answers 
to the other. He apprehends us that we may appre- 
hend Him. It is in His light that we must see 

Thus it was, that the abortive efforts of his prede- 
cessors were followed by the success of Clement in 
disentangling the threads of truth from the complica- 
tions of Oriental imagery and Grecian sophistry. And 
so in Alexandria, at the end of the second century, we 
find the light in its full-orbed radiance which in the 
beginning of that century was veiled in the mists of 
invention and superstition. 



The theology of the nineteenth century has many 
features in common with that of the second. Perhaps 
the most important point of resemblance is this, that 
it was the tendency of the early age as it is of the 
present, to recognize the Immanence or Indwelling of 
God in the Universe, without, at the same time, iden- 
tifying or confounding the Creator with His Creation, 
God with the Universe. 

This was, of course, a reaction from the other and 
opposite tendency to banish God from His Creation, 
and to introduce a scale of intermediaries between 
Him and His creatures ; a view of the Heavenly 
Father which is crystallized in the Roman system, 
in which He is approached by Saints, Angels, 
and the Blessed Virgin, as well as by the One 

In the days of Clement, however, it was rather the 

philosophical idea of the Gnostics than any religious 

conception that the Christian apologist had to deal with. 

Indeed, it may be said to be an almost universal 



instinct in the natural man to shrink from the pre- 
sence of God, especially when his conscience is 
guilty, and his sense of uncleanness has been awakened. 
And this is amply proved in the religion of Buddha, 
whose sense of the evil of life was so keen, that 
it was for him the acme of human perfection to 
lose the desire to live on earth, and to be absorbed 
in an unconscious Absolute after death, when neither 
good nor bad consequences might disturb the dream- 
ful ease. 

This natural instinct is also exemplified in the 
philosophy of the Epicureans, who removed the gods 
from the world, and relegated them to a space between 
the worlds {intermundia), where they dwelt free from 
all anxiety and thought about men ; as the easy-going 
Horace, whose words have been quoted on page 95, 
flippantly expresses it. 

Moreover, in the system of Plato, the Demiurgos, 
or Creator of the Universe, is conceived as existing 
before and outside the beautiful cosmos, the fashions 
being both pre-cosmical and extra-cosmical. He is a 
personal agent, but having finished His work, He 
retires from the scene of life, leaving the world to be 
peopled and managed by secondary gods, especially 
created for this purpose, and by its own Soul. 

For Plato regarded the Universe as one vast living 
organism, no part of which can be conceived but in 
reference to the whole, and the whole of which is 
unthinkable apart from the members. 

Clement's theory of god 167 

The careful student will notice that Plato attributes 
to the soul of the Universe, and to the gods that dwell 
therein, the work of the Word in the Christian system. 

This idea of a pre-existing Creator (Demiurgos) 
found little favour with the Greek schools of philo- 
sophy, but was greatly welcomed by the Jews of 
Alexandria, from Aristobulus^ (150 B.C.) to Philo, who 
flourished 40 a.d. 

It was a meeting-point between Greek and Jewish 
thought. The Jews saw their Jahveh (wrongly spelt 
Jehovah) in the great Demiurgos of Plato, and the 
pagan gods in the lesser divinities. So much so, that 
some of them asserted that Plato had taken this idea 
from the Pentateuch. And even Eusebius, in his 
history, calls Plato the " atticizing Moses ; " /. e, Moses 
writing in Attic Greek. 

We have already met and answered this charge 
against Plato, made however as a compliment rather 
than as a censure. Indeed it was a trite saying in the 
schools of Alexandria that the Greeks had been taught 
theology by the Hebrews. 

Aristobulus, who wrote 150 years before the Chris- 
tian era, maintained that Homer, Hesiod, Orpheus, 
and other Greek philosophers, owed all their wisdom 
to a translation of the Pentateuch. And, indeed, no 
Jew could be anything but pleased with the lofty 
moral tone and grand conception of the One God put 
forth in the Timaus of Plato, which formed a stage 
^ Vide Grote*s Plato^ vol, iv. p. 256. 


of transition from polytheism to monotheism in 

It is no wonder, then, that we meet with the elements 
of Platonic thought in the schools of Alexandria. 
These are not, indeed, pure and unalloyed, but blended 
with other elements derived from every religion and 
philosophy under the sun. 

For the philosophy of the new Athens consisted 
of the mysterious lore of Egypt, the elaborate theories 
of Chaldea and Persia, Grecian mythology, Buddha's 
pale philosophy, Jewish tradition, and Christian doc- 
trine fused into one inharmonious whole. 

This method of forming a system of i^hilosophy or 
religion by selecting what is most commendable to 
one in the theories of other philosophers, is called 
the eclectic; and the particular system, which was 
supposed to embrace all that was known about God, 
was called the Gnostic. 


According to the Gnostics, matter and everything 
connected with it is evil. God, therefore, Who is the 
Supreme Good, cannot be associated with it in any 
way. He dwells from all eternity in the pleroma, or 
fulness of light ; and between Him and man a system 
of intermediaries was introduced to save Him from 
contamination by matter. 

Needless to say, in this system there was no room 
for a Son of God who was also a Son of Man. For 

Clement's theory of god 169 

either the Godhead or Manhood would have to be 
sacrificed. Either Jesus was a mere man upon whom 
the man Christ descended at His baptism, or else the 
body of Christ was unreal and visionary. Such was 
the Gnostics' theory of the Incarnation, and their 
theory of the Redemption was like unto it. 

Matter being evil, man required to be delivered 
from his animal nature, his fleshly prison. Certain of 
the Gnostics sought to secure this deliverance by an 
ascetic discipline, while others^ affected to show a 
contemptuous mastery over their bodies by reckless 

How unlike the teaching of the divine Master! 
must be the comment of every true believer. How 
much superior to all this vague philosophy is the real 
truth of the Word ever present in the life of the 
world, so beautifully expressed in the Breastplate 
Hymn, the Lorica of Ireland's patron saint : 

Christ with me, Christ before me, 
Christ behind me, Christ within me, 
Christ beneath me, Christ above me, 
Christ at my right, Christ at my left, 
Christ in breadth, Christ in length, 
, Christ in height. 

Patrick and Clement drew their inspiration from 

the same source — the preface to the Gospel of St. 

John. The inspiration of these noble words is to 

be found in the opening chapters of the Gospel of 


^ The Carpocratians. 


" There was the True Light, the light that lighteth 
every man, coming into the world. He was in the 
world, and the world was made by Him, and the 
world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and 
His own received Him not. But to as many as re- 
ceived Him, to them gave He the right to become the 
sons of God, even to them that believe on His name : 
which were bom, not of blood, nor of the will of flesh, 
nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word 
became flesh and tabernacled among lis, and we 
beheld His glory, glory as of the Only-Born of the 
Father'' (St. John i. 9-12). 

In these words the Apostle sums up the glorious 
doctrine of the Incarnation of the Son of God, Who 
was truly man and truly God, Who made the world. 
Who is the ever-present source of progress and con- 
tinuance in the world, and Who is also the indwelling 
fountain of light in the human soul. 

St. Paul, too, speaks of God "energizing in us 
both to will and to do for His good pleasure.'* 

The key then to understand the mysteries of life, 
its evil and its pain, that perplexed the Gnostic, is 
faith in the ever-present Christ, immanent in every 
form of life, while at the same time transcending it. 

This key Clement applied so faithfully that at 
last he began to see a new meaning in every 
expression of life, in every struggle of the race, in 
every effort of man. For him, therefore, the dis- 
tinction between natural and revealed religion was 


a vanishing quantity. Every good thought, every 
good wish, every good deed, was rightly held by him 
to be due to the presence of the only Good — that is 

Whatever good there was to be found in any system 
of religion or philosophy, he traced back to the in- 
fluence — exhibited in a less degree perhaps — of the 
same Divine Wisdom that spake in the days of old to 
patriarch and prophet in many fragments and in many 
ways. God in Christ was ever in the world, educating 
man, now jby new trials, now by new light, until the 
time was ripe for the fuller revelation of God among 
men when the Word became flesh. 

Accordingly he saw in philosophy a system divinely 
ordered to bring men to the wisdom of Christ, just as 
Paul saw in the Law a method of divine discipline 
intended to usher men into the fuller light of the 
righteousness of Christ. 

And in the punishments and chastisements that 
follow after sin, Clement discerned a loving hand 
moulding and shaping the human soul, evolving what 
is divine in man, sometimes indeed by stern methods, 
not however with a view to hurt, but to heal, just as 
a surgeon amputates and cauterizes, not from any 
ill-will to the patient, but because he desires to save 
his life. 

Thus reading a beneficent purpose in the law, the 

^ This thought has been nobly expressed by the late Lord 
Tennyson in the following poem, entitled The Making of Man — 


end of which, according to St. Paul (i Tim. i. 5), is 
" charity out of a pure heart/' Clement was able to 
reconcile the love and the justice of God, and to 
answer the arguments of Marcion. 

This Marcion had started with the principle that the 
love of Gk>d is not to be reconciled with his punitive 
justice, as it would involve a schism in the divine 
nature. He then came to the conclusion that the 
God of the Christians was not the same God as the 
Jahveh of the Jews. In fact, he taught that the 
God of the Jews was an inferior God Who stirred 
up the minds and passions of the Jews against the 
Messiah Who was sent by the supreme God to save 
men from His severity. Marcion elaborated and 
formulated these opinions in a work which he named 
Antitheses, or Contrasts. 

In this book he essayed to prove that the principles 
of the Old Testament were inconsistent with the 
character of love and mercy which our Saviour bears 
in the New. 

** Where is one that born of woman altogether can escape 
From the lower world within him, moods of tiger or of ape ? 
Man as yet is being made, and ere the crowning age of ages, 
Shall not aeon after aeon pass and touch him into shape? 
All about him shadow still, but while the races flower and 

Prophet-eyes may catch a glory slowly gaining on the shade, 
Till the peoples all are one, and all their voices blend in choric 
Hallelujah to the Maker, * It is finished' : *man is made.'" 

Clement's theory of god 173 

On the other hand, Clement had laid down as the 
basis of his^theology, the sound principle that God is 
the God of the Gentile as well as of the Jew. 

From this point of view, the Old Testament de- 
scribes the educational process of the human race in 
general and the Jew in particular, by the Divine 
Instructor, Jesus Christ, Who of necessity adapted His 
method of treatment to the needs of man, in order to 
prepare all men for the full-orbed revelation of Him- 
self which He was afterwards to give in His incarnate 

Thus Clement^ saw love where Marcion saw only 
severity, and a wise beneficence where Marcion only 
beheld the rigour of the law. Consequently for the 
Alexandrian teacher there could be no schism in the 
divine nature of Him " Who works all things up to 
what is better." 

The secret of this staunch fidelity to the moral 
character of God has been well set forth in Dr. 
Allen's Continuity of Christian Thought^ p. 69, where 
we read the following excellent summary of Clement's 
teaching : " It was Clement's peculiar merit that he 
kept himself so free from entanglement with mere 
opinions. He* never lost sight of the distinction 
between God as the great reality and all human 

* Clement concludes his noble address to the Trinity {Pad. 
iii. 312) with a noble tribute to the goodness of God : **The 
Good in every respect, the Beautiful in every respect, the Wise 
in every respect, the Just in every respect." 


speculations about Him. In his own words, * There 
is a diflference between declaring God and declaring 
things about God.' To declare God was this ruling 
purpose of his life. He held, or rather was held by, 
a supreme conviction, that God and humanity were 
bound together in one through Christ ; that God did 
not leave men to themselves in the search after: Him, 
but was for ever going forth in Christ to seek after 
men and to lead * them unto life.' " The knowledge 
of such a God came from a deeper source than man's 
intellect according to Clement. For he expressly 
declared the impossibility of an i priori demonstration 
of His existence. "God," he wrote, "is the most 
difficult subject to handle ; for since the principle of 
everything is hard to find out, the first and most 
ancient principle, which is the cause to all other 
things of their being made and of their continuance 
when made, must needs be hard to discover." In the 
system of Clement, the knowledge of God would be 
an intuition to the conscience, or a divine deliverance 
to the soul of man from the Word, revealing Himself 
and His existence. It is God Who finds us, not we 
who find God; as Augustine {Conf, x. 6) puts it: 
" Thou hast smitten my heart with Thy word, and I 
have learned to love Thee." 



Thus Clement succeeded in defending and restoring 
to the Church the true conception of the Deity. He 
also freed the Christian doctrine of the Logos, the 
Reason and the Word of God, the personal Teacher 
of men and the personal Wisdom of the Father, from 
the Alexandrian quibble of a distinction between the 
Reason 1 indwelling, and the Reason uttered,^ in a 
word, between Truth and its manifestation. 

He firmly believed that the Logos is the Truth of 
God in the person of His Son, manifested to man, and 
not merely a manifestation of the Truth of God, as 
the Neo-Platonists held. 

This school of thought, which was very popular 
with the Alexandrian Christians, erroneously con- 
ceived the Logos or Reason to be an emanation, an 
influence that radiates from God. It was from this 
root that the so-called Sabellian heresy sprang. Some 


fifty years after this work (the Stromateis) was 
written, Sabellius, a native of Ptolemais in Egypt, 
ventured to apply this theory of emanations,^ which 
reduces the Person of the Saviour and the Person of 
the Spirit to the rank of divine influences, to the 
doctrine of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, Three 
Persons and One God. 

It was very necessary then that Clement should 
prove, that the I^ogos was a Divine Person to those 
who were accustomed to regard him merely in the 
light of an influence proceeding from God. 

It was also very essential to maintain the great 
truth, that the Logos (Word) is of the same substance 
with the Father, in the presence of those who had 
been brought up in the Jewish school of Philo, and 
had been taught to believe that "The Absolute Being, 
the Father Who had begotten all things, gave an 
especial grace to the Archangel and First-Born Word, 
that standing between. He might sever the creature 
from the Creator. The same is ever the Intercessor 
for the dying mortal before the Immortal God, and 
the Ambassador from the Ruler to the subject. 
He is neither without beginninjg of days, as God is, 
nor is He begotten, as we are, but is something 
between these extremes, being connected with both " 
(Philo, Q. R, D. H., 42, p. Soi).^ 

And Clement succeeded in doing this, in spite of 

* This theory of Sabellius was condemned in Rome, 263 a.d. 

* Vide Ritter and Preller, Greek Philosophy^ p. 497. 


Opposition from Jew and Gentile alike. Just as he 
refuted the Gnostic idea of a distant deity, by strenu- 
ously maintaining that there is a real and constant 
presence of the Incarnate Word of God, God of God, 
Light of Light, in the world and in the life of man, 
so he maintained with all the vigour of his intellect 
and the intensity of his nature, the distinct Personality 
of the Son and the Godhead of the Word of 

In this connection we may observe that Clement 
has a short but comprehensive passage on the 
Evidences of Christ and Christianity in the sixth 
book of the Stromateis (p. 802), where we read : ** The 
prophecies which preceded and announced His 
coming, the testimonies concerning Him which 
accompanied His appearance in the flesh, and also 
His deeds of power (3wa/i£<c) which were proclaimed 
and openly manifested after his Assumption, are proof 
(o'j/jLcctbi') that He our Saviour is the Son of God." 
Having thus established the divinity of the Saviour by 
this threefold line of evidence — prophecy, testimony, 
and miracle — Clement reasons from this divinity of 
the Teacher to the truth of His doctrine : " The fact 
that the Son of God Himself taught it is proof 
positive (T€KfiripLov) that the Truth is with us. For if 
in every question these general principles are wanted; 
person (persona), and fact (res), that which is really 
the truth is only to be found among us. For the 
person of the truth which is shown is the Son of God, 



and the fact is the power of faith ^ which overcomes 
everything that opposes it, no matter what it is — ^aye, 
the whole world itself, when against it. And since 
this has been confessedly established by eternal deeds 
and wordSf it is apparent that he is worthy of punish- 
ment, not merely of contradiction, who does not 
believe in providence ; and he is really an atheist." ^ 
According to Clement, then, Christianity was no 
longer even in his day a subject of discussion : it was 
manifest to the reason and the eye of man ; it no 
longer depended wholly and solely for its verification 
upon the prophecy, testimonies, or miracles of the 
past, but also upon the present proofs of its reality, 
the growth of the Church, and the victory of the 
faith — the true facts of Christ which are the highest 
evidences of the truth of His Person. 

^ Tl hvvafits Tijs irlffrems ^ Ka\ iravrhs oirivoffovv ivavriovtifvov 
Kol ainov 9\ov ivKrrafitvov rod K6a'fiov ir\€ovd(ovaa {Strom, p. 
802). Cf, Pliny*s letter to Trajan (104 A. D.): " there are many 
of every age and of both sexes, nor has this superstition spread 
merely to the cities {i.e. of Pontus and Bithynia), but to the 
smaller towns and the whole country." 

* Compare Aristotle, Topic i. c. 11. "It is not right to 
debate every proposition or every thesis; but such as might 
present a difficulty to one who requires not punishment or 
perception, but reason. For they who question the moral 
necessity of worshipping the Gods or of loving one's parents need 


Clement's theories of the world and man — 
cosmology and anthropology — 
the world — 

Having thus vindicated the Creator against those 
who sought to disparage or detract from His char- 
acter and power, Clement now proceeds to assert 
the Divine wisdom and beneficence, as manifested in 
the Divine work — the world. For, according to his 
old antagonists the Gnostics, the world was extremely 
evil, and its existence was the result of chance. On 
the contrary, Clement stoutly contended the world was 
** very good." To him it was, in a double sense, sacred. 
First, as being a Divine creation, the abode of in- 
dweUing Deity ; and then as being the sphere of rpan's 
discipline, for which it was especially prepared. 

" For the economy of all things,'' he writes, "is good, 
and all things are well ordered ; nothing happens 
without a cause. * I must be in what is Thine, 
Almighty God, and if I am, then I am close to Thee.' 



" Nor are the elect, whoever they may be, strangers 
to the world. 

" Neither do they attain their salvation by renounc- 
ing the love of life, and the earthly blessings God 
bestows upon all. 

" For all things are of one God, and no one is a 
stranger in the world." 

Here is a true note. Clement was an optimist. 
And naturally so, because he believed in God,^ not in 
a blind Fate, and because he believed. in the good- 
ness of that God's work. For surely what God saw 
was good (Genesis i. 31), can only seem vile to man 
when He imputes the flaw that is in his own eye to 
the things he sees. For as the old adage runs : ** All 
seems yellow to the jaundiced eye.'' 

There is a magnificent passage on the Overruling 
Providence of God in the first Book of the Stromateis 
(p. 370), which begins thus: "All things are ordered 
from above with a view to what is right,^ that the 
manifold wisdom of God may be known through the 
Church according to the eternal purpose which he 
purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord; for nothing 
opposes or is contrary to God, Who is Lord and 

^ With Tennyson he would have aflBrmed his faith in 

** That God which ever lives and loves, 
One God, one Law, one Element, 
And one far-off divine event, 
To which the whole Creation moves." 

In Memoriam, 
^ irdvTa fjLtv «Sv oiKovofjieirat &vu$fv els Ka\6v, 

Clement's theories i8i 

Omnipotent. Nay even the counsels and operations 
of those who have revolted, though only partial, arise 
from a bad disposition as the diseases of the body, 
but are guided by the Universal Providence to a 
healthy issue, though the cause be bad. It is there- 
fore the grandest work of the Divine Providence that 
it does not allow the evil which has arisen from a 
voluntary defection to remain useless and unprofit- 
able, much less injurious in every respect. For it is 
the work of the divine wisdom and virtue and 
power not merely to benefit (for this is so to speak 
the nature of God, just as it is of fire to warm and 
light to illumine), but this is His work above all, the 
bringing to a good and useful termination what has 
been planned by certain evil minds, and turning to 
advantage seeming evils." ^ 

A strong healthy tone pervades the whole of Clement's 
writings. In proof of this assertion it will suffice to 
quote the two short passages : " Salome asked until 
what time must death prevail, not as if life were evil 
or the creature bad '' {Strom, iii. 532) ; and, " for birth 
is a creation of the Almighty, who will never lead the 

,^^ rh Stcb KaKwv rS>v iirivoriOfvrwv irp6s rtvwv hyaB6v rt koI 
XPVf^"^^^ T€AoT airor€\€7v koI uxpeXlfiws ro7s ^OKovffi <pav\ois 
XP'io'tfai (Strom, i. 312). For the opposite sentiment, see 
Paradise Lost, i. 168, Satan's speech : 

* * If then His Providence 
Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, 
Our labour must be to pervert that end, 
And out of good still to find means of evil.' 

•1 » 


soul from a better to a worse condition *' {Strom, 

iii. 554)- 

Clement, however, seems to take a slightly too rose- 
coloured view of life,^ and to ignore some of those facts 
of nature which make some people doubt whether it 
is indeed by love exclusively that all things are 
carried on. 

For such an arrangement we must admit is not 
immediately evident to one who has studied the 
development of natural 11 fe,^ and knows something of 
the cruelty and injustice that characterize the world 
of sentient life. Of course this all can be explained on 
the Christian principle, or if not exactly explained can 
be proved to be no result of want of love in the 
Author of Nature. 

Clement does, however, seem to refer to this 
** groaning" of nature (Rom. viii. 22), in one passage 
where he says : " and these too (/. <?. the angels, 
principalities, and powers) will be delivered from the 
vanity of the world in the manifestation of the sons 
of God;" but, generally speaking, he ignored that 

^ 5s ovK &v irorc 4^ iLfX€iv6v(av ets rh ;^ctp» KarJiyoi ^vxh^ 
{Sirom. i. 312). 

^ Mill said : ** Nature does a million times every minute every 
act almost for which (if man did it) man would be considered 
justly to deserve capital punishment." Tennyson has the same 
thought in Maud: 
** For nature is one with rapine, a harm no preacher can heal, 

The whole little wood where I sit is a world of plunder and 



Clement's theories 183 

dark side of things which is a trial of our faith in 


We now turn to Clement's anthropology, or 
doctrine of man. 

With regard to man, Clement does not consider 
that the Fall of man completely severed the son's 
connection with his Father, and that this connection 
had to be made anew in the person of Jesus Christ. 

When discussing the state and destiny of man, he 
seems to take as his text the words of God in Genesis 
i. 26: "Let us make. man in our image, after our 
likeness," which contain what Dr. Westcott has 
so happily termed the Gospel of the Creation. 
The Incarnation accordingly appeared to Clement 
to be a full-orbed revelation of the relationship be- 
tween God and man, a relationship that had ever 
existed, but was for a lime obscured by ignorance and 
sin. In the light of this Incarnation humanity is shown 
to be originally connected with the Creator, and so 
capable of and destined for eternal life. Clement's 
view then is that Christ redeems man from the power 
and impurity of sin by illuminating his soul and 
educating his spirit, giving to him the true gnosis, 
which is a knowledge of God as He is manifested in 
Christ, not merely that knowledge of the facts about 
God which satisfied the Gnostics ; while salvation is 
an ethical growth, and is attained by following out 


the divinely-appointed law of life ; in a word, by 
working out the principles of moral being. As we shall 
have to enter more fully into Clement's theories of our 
nature when discussing his Soteriology, we shall now 
proceed to give our readers the following account of 
Clement's Gospel of the Incarnation, 


Clement's gospel of the incarnation 

In the 28th chapter of the fifth book of his Church 
History y Eusebius of Caesarea quotes from a book of 
an unknown author,^ a passage in which honourable 
mention is made of Clement, as well as of others who 
upheld the divinity of our Lord against the heresy 
which affirmed that He was merely man. " For who 
is not aware," the passage proceeds, " of the books 
of Irenseus and Melito,^ and the others, which proclaim 
the deity and humanity of Christ? And how many 
psalms and hymns of the brethren (/.<?. Christians) 
composed by faithful men vindicate the divinity of 
the Word of God, the Christ, in song ! " 

The writer of this passage may have had in his 

^ Nicephorus calls this work the Labyrinthus^ and Photius in 

his Bibliotheca says that Gaius was the author of it, and that 

* This Gaius was, as they say, a presbyter of the Church at 

Rome, and composed another discourse particularly against the 

heresy of Artemon." 

' Bishop of Sardis, a copious writer, frequently mentioned by 



mind the hymn of Clement on the Word which we 
venture to render thus : — 

" Ob, King of the pure ones, 

Triumphant Word 
Of the Father Supreme, 

Great Wisdom's Lord. 
Thou stay of our labours^ 

Eternal Grace, 
O Jesu Redeemer 

Of human race. 
Fisher of mortal men 

Eager to save 
Out of the tide of ill, 

Out of the grave. 
All snatched from jaws of death 

Thou dost beguile, 
By charm of life to leave 

The devil's wile." 

The expression the Word, or the Logos, of which 
Clement made such frequent use, was very familiar to 
all classes of Christians in his day in Alexandria, but 
especially to the students of the University who had 
to study the works of Plato and Philo. 

The Incarnation of the Word, in Clement's system, 
was the crown and consummation of creation. This 
view of life as a whole, greatly influenced Clement's 
opinion on man. Man, according to him, was created 
to serve God. From heaven the soul is sent, and 
yearns to return to God, its own true home. But for 
such a destiny it must be prepared by different stages 
in spiritual and intellectual education, through which 


/ the great Instructor, Who desires to raise man to God 
and to complete the image in the likeness of God, 
leads us. 

This work of salvation is bound to be a gradual 
one. From faith one must pass to love, and then to 
knowledge, which is at first imperfect, but when the 
affections have been mastered, and the eye of the 
soul is purified, reaches its perfection in the contem- 
plation of God. 

Our guide to this knowledge, the Word of God, 
Clement says, " is called a pearl, being the pellucid and 
pure Jesus, the everseeing and supervising eye in the 
flesh, the transparent Word, through whom the flesh, 
regenerated in the water, becomes of great price" 
(i PcBd, ii. c. xii.). Under His guidance the Chris- 
tian life is one grand struggle to attain to the likeness 
of God. For we were made in His image in order 
tliat we might strive after His likeness.^ 

This theory Clement reads in Plato, who, as he 

^ Clement draws a marked distinction between the likeness 
(t^ dfjLoiufjM) and the image (ri €Ik<&v) of God. He held that 
every man who was endowed with reason had the image, but 
that it was only the Gnostic who had the ** likeness," which is 
a more perfect state, as well. His prayer in the Padagogus 
(p. 311, Potter) is that we may fulfil the likeness of the image, 
i.e, realize all that the image may become by growing into the 
likeness. So Origen {Contra Celsum) says : "man was made in 
the image of God, but not yet in His likeness.*' 

The Clementine Recognitions (v. 15) speak of one **who 
carries the image of God, but has lost His likeness." " For in 
every man (c. 23) there is the image of God, but the likeness of 


tells in the Stromateis, said that the suntmum bonum 
of existence, its " be-all and end-all/' lay in the like- 
ness to God (kv i^ofiotua-et ry irpog roy 0€or), and that 
this likeness to God consisted in being just and holy 
and wise : " Is not this," Clement asks, " what some of 
our teachers have understood, namely, that man on 
his birth received that which is according to the image, 
but that afterwards, on his reaching perfection, ob- 
tained that which is according to the likeness ? The 
likeness then to the true Logos, so far as is possible, 
is the end, and means restoration to the perfect son- 
ship through the Son. When the Apostle said, * Be 
imitators of me, as I am of Christ,' he set down as 
the goal of faith the being like God, the being, so far 
as is possible, * just and holy and wise '" (Strom, ii. 418). 

The attaining unto this ** likeness,'' Clement tells 
us, is by the Holy Spirit completing in us that which 
He has already breathed into us (cf. i%/7. i. 6). 

In the Stromateis (iv.) our author treats of this 
informing work. ** Teaching," he declares, " forms a 
man, and in forming him, it gives him a new nature. 
There is no difference between the being born such 
and the becoming such by time and training, and the 
Lord has given us both the one by creation and the 
other by re-creation and restoration." 

God is only found where there is a kind heart and a pure soul.* 
As we proceed we shall find that this distinction was a funda 
mental one in the soteriology of Clement. 


In this way the man is drawn upwards to God by 
the teaching of the Word. But this teaching, re- 
garded from the divine as well as the human stand- 
point, is not sufficient to effect this. There must be 
the possibility of an essential relationship between 
man and God if the teaching is to be effectual. 

Now in the Exhortation to the Gentiles (p. 78) 
Clement thus describes our mystical relation to God 
through our organic union with His Christ : **For the 
image of God is His Word, the Divine Logos, the 
genuine Son of Mind, the Light archetypal of Light. 
But the image of the Word is the man, the true mind 
in man, that which is said to have been created *in 
the image and likeness of God,' assimilated to the 
Divine Word in the wisdom of the heart and so far 

It is true, as Canon Liddon has pointed out {Divinity 
of Our Lord^ p. 427), that Clement spoke of the 
Logos as the Second Principle (^curtpov airtov) of 
things {Strom, vii. 509), yet notwithstanding, he 
held the orthodox creed that the Son is one in 
nature with the Father, but distinct from Him in 

In the address to God at the end of the Fcedagogus 
(iii. .311) he says : 

vi\ kclL irarepf cv AfKpcOf Kvpie, 

O Son and Father, both one, O Lord ; 

while in t'^ , Exhortation (p. 93) he tells the heathen 


that the "fairest sight for the Father is the Eternal 
Son crowned with victory." Consequently He must 
have regarded the Son as a separate Person. In one 
very fine passage in the same work (p. 93) he 
describes the God Word singing with the heavenly 
choir ; 

"Thus the Eternal Jesus, the one great High- 
Priest of One God who is also Father, prays *for men 
and exhorts them. Hear ye me, ye nations in- 
numerable. I summon the whole race of man, of 
which by the will of God I am Creator. Come to me 
and be enrolled under one God and one Word of 
God. I wish to impart this grace to you, a perfect 
gift — immortality." 

In the Stromateis (iv. 612) he says: "Thus the 
Lord approaches our hearts, I mean the Lord Jesus 
Who by the Almighty Will is the Bishop of our 

These words describe the action of a distinct 

Again with regard to his theory of the Logos, 
Clement seems to have considered Him as both 
cv8ta^cro$ and irpoKJioptKosy u e, as both immanent in 
the Father and external to Him. The use of either 
of these terms to the exclusion of the other would, as 
Newman (AthanasiuSy ii. 341) has pointed out, have 
involved Clement in some form of Sabellianism or 
Arianism, but each term may correct the defective 
sense of the other. Accordingly he says {Strom, v. 


547) : "For the Logos of the Father of the universal 
is not the Word that is uttered (6 irpoifiopiKo^)^ but is 
the most manifest wisdom and goodness of God," 
meaning that that title was not philosophically or 
theologically an adequate representation of himj as a 
word spoken has no substance. And in another 
passage {Strom, v. 553), where he says: "But the 
Logos proceeding (/*. e, from the Father) is the cause 
of the creation and generates Himself (/. e, as man), 
when the Logos became flesh, that He may be 
visible," Clement shows that he did not regard the 
Word as altogether cvSta^cros (indwelling). 

Clement did not commit himself to the peculiar 
theory which is found in Tatian, Theophilus, and other 
Fathers regarding the generation of the Son, namely, 
that the Word after existing from eternity was born to 
be a Son "at the beginning." In the seventh book of 
the Stromateis (p. 829) he describes the Son as " the 
principle that is out of time, and \iithout beginning." 1 
He calls Him dtStos in relation to His Father, and he 
says {Strom, v. 643) that " the Father does not exist 
without the Son, for with the fact of His Fatherhood 
goes the fact of His being Father of the Son." 

In Christ Clement saw the manifestation of the 
wisdom, love, and holiness of God made complete ; 
in Him he saw the perennial well-spring of Rea- 
son and the perfect Revealer of Cjod's will; for 
Whose revelation the various schools of philosophy 


and the different forms of religion were designed, in 
the economy of God, to pave the way. Accordingly 
Christianity, or the religion of the Incarnate Word, 
was for Clement the summing-up of all the truths of 
the past as well as the source of all the discoveries 
of the future. 




Salvation for Clement was no mere scheme of 
escape. His training in the philosophy of Aristotle^ 
taught him to regard human nature in its entirety 
and in the light of its end, its reXos, its rt rjv cTvai, its 
ideal. Consequently he saw that the summum bonum 
of our humanity was not merely deliverance from the 
actual evil that the flesh is heir to, but that it also 
involves a realization of all that God designed that 
we should become — a self-realization of self by self in 

This, the ideal of our human condition, has been 
realized by one man, who was also God, and is there- 
fore realizable by those who have been ** regenerated 
into Him." It is, in a word, " the likeness of God," 
which is attained by following Christ. This, according 
to Clement, is the final end of man, what God in- 
tended at the beginning that he should become. 

r^v ipiffiv elvau. kKdtrrov, &(rirep kvdp^irov {Aristotle. Cf. Met. ix. 
8, and Phys, ii. 8). 

193 N 


This theory of salvation as a making whole, as a 
full development of our highest powers, as the attain- 
ment of the perfection (rcXctWtc) of body, soul, and 
spirit, implies no constraint upon the human will, 
which is conceived by Clement as having been created 
by God with the power of choosing either the good or 
the evil. 

In the fourth Book of the Stromateis (c. xxiv.) 
Clement thus states in what this liberty consists : 
'* Now that is in our power, of which we are masters 
equally with its contrary, such as ... . believing or 
not believing/' ^ In the second book of the same 
work he says (c. xii.) that the Shepherd (Hermas) 
points out that " remission of sins differs from repent- 
ance, but that both are in our power," and Clement 
himself (c. xiv.) asserts that "defection, secession, and 
disobedience are in our power just as obedience is," 
and " therefore it is voluntary actions that are judged." 

His comment on the words, " Yours is the kingdom 
of heaven," 2 is : " It is yours if you wish, you who 
turn your free determination to God ; it is yours if 
you only will to believe and follow the way of the 
Gospel" (Cohort, ad Gentes, p. 92). In the second 
Book of the Stromateis (p. 435) he uses these em- 
phatic words : " We who have received from the 
Scriptures that the free power of choosing or rejecting 

^ This was called by scholastics the liberty of contradiction. 
^ Our versions have, ** Theirs is the kingdom of heaven" 
(Matthew v. 3). 


(r^ aLp€<nv koX ^ry^v avTOKparopLKrjv) has been given 
by the Lord to men ; " and in the same Book (p. 460) 
he defines " the voluntary " as " that which proceeds 
from appetite, or settled purpose, or deliberate 
thought." Clement does indeed say {Strom, ii. 482) 
that it is the best thing for a bad man not to have free 
power ijo firf avTc^ovo-iov). But the context shows 
that it is not liberty but licence that he is here speak- 
ing of. The doctrine of freedom of will is thus con- 
sistently maintained by him who said, " He is God's 
true servant who obeys Him of his own free will *' 
{Strom, vi. 839). For he saw clearly that if salvation 
is the fulfilment of the likeness of the image of God 
{Pcedag. 311), it must be something to be attained 
by our personality, and that if it is to be the salva- 
tion of our true self, the preservation of the right 
condition of soul {Strom, ii. 471), it must proceed 
from our own self-determination to follow out the 
laws of our true being, so he says : " Since some 
are unbelieving and others are contentious, all do 
not attain to the perfection of the good, for it is not 
possible to attain unto it without deliberate moral 
choice 2 (avev ?rpoatp€(r€(i>9, Strom, v. 548), but yet 
Clement did not, as some affirm, attribute too much 
to the human will. He nowhere asserts that we can 
work out our salvation independently. On the con- 
trary, he describes salvation as a gift, reaching all men 

^ T&v irphs r6v Bthv TJjfv wpocdpeaiu iffxnK^TWv, 

" Cf. Clement's saying, ** Goodness is a quality of the will." 


of all ages through Christ, especially in the Stromatets 
(xi. 785), where he says, "For the covenant of sal* 
yation which has come to us from the beginning of 
the vorld, through different generations and times, is 
really one, although it has been conceived to be 
different in the matter of the gift ; for it was suitable 
that there should be one immutable gift of salvation 
from one God through one Lord, which benefits in 
many ways, and on account of which the middle wall 
of partition which divided the Greek from the Jew is 
taken away/' {Strom, vi. 795.) 

Also, when commenting on a passage in the Epistle 
to the Hebrews (xii. i, 2), he writes : " He (/. e, jthe 
writer) has clearly said before 1 that there is one sal- 
vation of the just and of us in Christ." ^ 

He held the orthodox view that " salvation is by 
grace '' (Strom, v. 647). The love which gives us the 
character of righteousness is described as God-bearing 
and inspired by God {O€o^opov(rri% Kat O€o<l)opovfiivry: 
{Strom* vi. 792). In the fifth Book of the Stromatets 
(p. 697) our free-will is thus attributed to the power of 
the Father : '* Therefore wisdom, being a divine gift 
and the power (8wa/Ais) of the Father, stirs up our 
freedom of will " {irporpiiru fi€V rjfiiov to aw^ovo-tov). 

In a remarkable passage in the sixth Book of the 

^ Hebrews xi. 40. 

^ Cf. **For He is the door to the Father, through which 
Abraham and Isaac and the prophets and the apostles and the 
Church enter " (Ignat. Epist, ad PhiL c. 9). 


Stromateis (p. 802), at first sight he does seem to 
attribute too much to human effort : '* The question 
before us," he there says, " is by what plan of action 
and by what course of life we may arrive at the know- 
ledge (cTTtyvaxn?) of the Almighty God, and by what 
manner of worshipping God we may become the 
authors (causes) to ourselves of salvation^ ^ 

He can, however, only mean indirect causes ; for 
he continues : " not learning from the Sophists, but 
being taught by God Himself what is pleasing in His 
sight, we assay to do what is right and holy." He 
thus places the direction of our lives in the hands of 
God, our supreme teacher. He then proceeds to 
show how God co-operates ^ with us not only in our 
theory but also in our practice : " Our salvation is 
well-pleasing to Him, and our salvation is attained by 
good action and knowledge : in both of which the 
Lord is Instructor." 

According to Clement, God does not commit Him- 
self to any one special method of salvation. He 
deals with each soul according to its needs and 
its nature. " For the Almighty God, caring for all 
men, converts some to salvation by precepts, some 
by threats, some by miraculous signs, and some by 
gracious promises" {Strom, vi. 753). 

Again, he observes in the first Book of the Stromateis 

^ ff<plciv ffdfTTipias alrioi yiyoineOa {Strom, vi. 802). 
2 Cf. Q. D. S. 364, where he ascribes change of heart in the 
first instance to the power of God. 


(p. 339), that there are many ways that lead to 
righteousness, and all tend towards the Royal road 
and gate, for " God saves us in a multitude of ways, 
because He is good." ^ * 

Of the ways that lead to the perfection of salvation 
(rj T€A,€ta)cri5 n}s (rorrqpLa^) he mentions two : works 
and knowledge. " And if we consider the truth," he 
goes on to say, " knowledge (or gnosis) is the purifica- 
tion (KdOcLpa-ts) of the governing part of the soul, and 
is a good activity " (cvcpycta). 

The " No effort " theory of salvation, and the 
sister heresy of Antinomianism receives no support 
from the writings of Clement. " For we are saved by 
grace,'* he says {Strom, v. 647), immediately adding, 
^^ not however without good works'*;^ but "it is ne- 
cessary, since we are naturally adapted (^€<^vKOTas 
^pos TO dya66v) to what is good, to pay some attention 
to it. We must have the mind healthy, and such that 
it will have no regrets in the pursuit of what is right 
(to KaXov) ; for this we especially need divine grace, 
right teaching, a pure heart, and the drawing of the 
Father." ^ 

Clement then recognizes that salvation, while being 
the gift of God, is a process that is worked out in 
human life, for he observes, " hence (/. e, from * con- 

^ 7ro\xnp6v(i)s a<&(ovTos tov 0€ov iyad6s yap {Strom, i. 339). 

^ ovK dvev fifVTOt rSav xaXap tpywv. 

^ rr^s Betas XPlfC^f^^^ x^pf^ros, BiBaaKaXlas re opdiis, Koi 
finradflas ayvrjs, Koi ttJs rod Ilarphs irphs avrhv SKKrjs {Strom, 
V. 647). 


stant love *) arises in the Gnostic the likeness to God 
the Saviour, as he grows as perfect (ytvo/Acvo? rcXctos) 
as it is possible for man to become *' (Strom, vi. 792). 

The treasures with which we can purchase this 
eternal salvation are not gold and silver, but **our 
own treasures of love and living faith" (Cohort ad 
Gentes, p. 71). Knowledge, faith, and love, manifested 
in good action, are thus, according to Clement, the 
saving principles of life. One may remark that these 
are some of the leading characteristics of the Chris- 
tian mentioned by St. Peter, as enabling him to enter 
the kingdom of heaven (2 St. Peter i. 5, 6, 7). 

We have now to consider whether the doctrine 
which is called Universalism finds a supporter in 
Clement. There are two passages which show that 
he was not a Universalist in the modern sense. 
The first of these is from the fourth Book of the 
Stromateis, In this he thus Combated the Anti- 
nomian doctrine of the followers of Basileides (vide 
p. 158 supra): "These words I have introduced 
in order to confute the followers of Basileides who do 
not live rightly, as if they had the liberty of sinning 
on account of their perfection, or as if they were 
sure at any rate of salvation by nature, even if they 
sin now, by reason of their election " (Strom, iv. 


In the second passage (Strom, vii. 833) he shows 

that while Christ is the Lord of all, He is the Saviour 

of all those who have believed: "-How is He (z.^. 


Christ) Saviour and Lord/* he asks, "if He is not 
the Saviour and Lord of all ? " He is, for He is the 
Saviour of those who have believed because they 
wished to know Him ; and of those who have not 
believed He is the Lord until they, becoming able to 
confess, receive peculiar and suitable benefit from 


As a philosophy of salvation is imperfect in which 
no account is taken of and no provision made against 
sin and all that it implies, we may remark in this con- 
nection that Clement did not in any way seek to 
avoid this dark mystery, but treated it as a Christian 
philosopher should. 

"Sin," he says {Strom, iv. 605), **is certainly to be 
placed among actions, not among substances ; ^ there- 
fore it is not the work of God, but sinners are called 
the enemies of God, the enemies in truth of the com- 
mandments which they do not heed like the friends who 
are obedient ; these latter receive their name because 
of their union, and the others theirs on account of 
their separation, which is voluntarily chosen (t^v \k 
^poatpcVccDs) ; for enmity and sin are nought without 
an enemy and a sinner. Again he says {Strom, ii. 
462) : " That which is voluntary proceeding from the 
free will is judged ; ^ for God examines the heart and 


the reins, therefore he says, * Do not covet ' ; for it is 
the mind that God looks at. Accordingly the thought, 
the action in conception, though not yet an ac- 
complished fact, is already an action in the sight of 
God, Who believes in us, and does not regard all our 
actions in the light of their results, but of their motives " 
{vide Strom, ii. 443). In the same connection he 
says : " The Logos cried out, summoning all collect- 
ively, though knowing certainly those who would not 
obey, yet since it lies with ourselves whether we are 
obedient or not, and in order that some might not 
have ignorance to plead, he made the calling a just 
one, but demands from each what he can do; for 
some have the will and the power, who have arrived 
at this stage by practice and are purified ; while others 
who have the will have not the power." 

In the Stromatets (ii. 462) he thus describes the 
relation in which afjudpTrjfia (sin), dryxOH-^ (misfortune), 
and aUiajfia (injustice), stand to each other : " It is 
dfjdprrjiMif SO to speak, to live luxuriously and wantonly ; 
it is dTvxoH^y to kill one's friend unintentionally, but 
dSiiajfxa is a violent act of sacrilege, such as robbing 
the dead; misfortune arises through an error of 
reason, but sin is voluntary injustice, while injustice 
is voluntary vice ; accordingly sin is my own volun- 
tary act." Again he says : ** We sin of our own free 
will; let no one say that he who acts unjustly or 
sins, errs because of the influence of demons, for in 
that case he would be innocent, but when one chooses 


the same things that the devils do (as regards sin), 
and is unstable and light and fickle as a demon in his 
desires, he becomes a man like a demon " (demonicus) 
{Strom, vi. 789). 

From these passages we learn that Clement re- 
garded sin as consisting in a wrong attitude of the 
will — for which we are responsible — to goodness and 
God. In the seventh Book of the Stromateis (p. 894) 
he mentions two practical causes of sin, ignorance 
and moral weakness. His words are : ** Though men 
commit deeds without number, there are, generally 
speaking, two originating causes of every sinful act, 
ignorance (avota) and moral weakness (do-tfo'cia) ; for 
both we are responsible (c[/a<^(d Sc l^ VH-ty), since we 
are not willing either to learn or to control our lust ; 
of these causes the one warps our judgments, and 
the other prevents us from carrying out our good 
determinations." He distinguishes between vitium 
(vice) the source, and peccatum (sin) the result, and 
takes care not to confound vice with ignorance,^ for 
"vice," he says, "arises through ignorance, but is 
not ignorance. The form of vice is twofold : in one 
form it is insidious, in the other aggressive." In 
the Fcedagogus (i. 140) he is more explicit on the 
origin of vice; "When God looks away vice arises 
spontaneously, through the faithlessness of man" (^ 
d^MTTta ri avOptoTTLvrj), Again he speaks of the wrest- 

^ The ** moral" is not therefore a phase of "the mental" 
with Clement. 


ling with spiritual powers and the rulers of dark- 
ness who are able to try us to the utmost {Strom, iii. 
558), and in the Tract on the Rich Man he describes 
the deadly wounds that have been inflicted upon our 
nature by these princes of darkness (Koa-fioKparopayv 
Tov a-KOTovii), and in the Pczdogogus (i. 139) he speaks 
of the tendency to sin that is in our nature. 

For these various temptations from within and 
without Clement suggests specific remedies. 

In the passage quoted above {Strom, vii. 895), after 
describing ignorance and moral weakness as the general 
sources of sin, he proceeds to say " that there are two 
kinds of discipline handed down as useful for both 
forms of sin; for the one, knowledge and clear 
demonstration from the testimony of the Scriptures, 
and for the other, the training according to the word 
which is given by the way of faith and fear." " Both 
these methods," he observes, "help us to grow in 
the direction of perfect charity. For the object 
of the Gnostic is, I think, a double one, in some 
cases scientific contemplation, and in others action *' 
(^pa^ts). In the second Book of the Stromateis (p. 
466) he says, " By deeds of charity and faith sins are 
removed." In the third Book (p. 558) he thus alludes 
to the knowledge of God as another remedy : " For 
some have not the knowledge of God, I mean the 
sinners,'' and in the Trc^t on the Rich Man (p. 343) 
he speaks of Christ the Healer, Who has cut away the 
passions of our nature from the roots, and healed its 


wounds (cf. FcedagoguSy i. 139). Such was Clement's 
theory of the nature, origin, and the remedy of sin. 
We shall now give some of his general sayings on 
this dark subject. 

** The sinner is the servant of sin," he says, quot- 
ing from the Aldbiades of Plato who calls sin a 
servile thing (SovAoTrpc^^s), but virtue a free thing 
(iikfysB^pimp^irki), " Ye were sold by your sins," he says 
{Strom, ii. 441), with a reference to St. Paul's words 
(Rom. vii. 14), "but I am carnal, sold under sin." 
"Sin,'' he goes on to say, **is the death of the soul" 
{Strom, iii. 548). Clement is very severe on sins com- 
mitted after baptism. He is a strong advocate for 
purity of word an^ thought at all times. One exquisite 
remark of his on this subject deserves quotation ; it 
is this : " That chastity is perfect in my mind which 
consists of sincerity of mind and works and thoughts, 
and especially of words and of purity in one's dreams " 
{Strom, iv. 628). 

In words that remind us of Juvenal's canon of 

^^ Maxima debetur pturo reoerentiay^ 

Clement warns his pupils above all things to abstain 
from lewd conversation, and to silence those who in- 
dulge in it. And as ugly things present themselves 
to the ear as well as to the eye, he says the Divine 
Instructor protects his wrestling ^ children with chaste 

^ Clement often spoke of the Christian career as a wrestling 
[TciLKri) or contest. He compared the victorious Christian witn 


wbrd3 as a defence for their ears lest anything might 
corrupt them, and turns, their eyes to beautiful and 
chaste sights. " For there is nothing in human nature 
that is shameful in itself, but only that use of it which 
is contrary to law, and that is full of shame and 
worthy of reproach and punishment. For vice is the 
only thing that is really shameful, and the things that 
are done through it" {PcBdagogus^ ii. 189). 

We shall now endeavour to examine Clement's 
opiniops on the subject of — 


The passage which is generally cited from Clement's 
works as containing his opinion on this subject is 
found in the sixteenth chapter of the third Book of 
the Stromaieis^ where he says ; " And when David 
said, * In sin I was conceived, and in iniquity my 
mother conceived me,' he speaks indeed of Mother 
Eve, but Eve was the mother of all the living, and if 
*he was conceived in sin,' at least he himself was 
not in sin, nor yet was he sin himself; but if any 
one turns from sin to the faith, he turns from the 
habit of sin as from a mother to the life." 

These words of Clement when taken from their 
context seem to deny the fact of original sin, the 
natural taint of heredity. But if we look at the con- 

the athlete who has won the garland in the sports, God with 
tjie president of the games, Christ with the judge, and the angels 
with the spectators {Strom, vii. 839.) 


text, we find that Clement is maintaining against 
Cassianus the dignity of marriage, and denying the 
disgrace of birth. "Let them say," he exclaims, 
'* when and where the babe just bom has committed 
fornication, or how one who has not done anything 
has fallen under the curse of Adam ; they must main- 
tain, if they are consistent, that birth of soul is bad as 
well as that of body." Clement stoutly upheld that 
man was not in sin, or rather was sin in the sense of 
the followers of Cassianus, who said that the birth of 
David, as well as of other men, was wicked and corrupt, 
and that the devil and not God was the author of it 

He does indeed say {StromateiSj iii. 532), "the 
children (lit. the seed) of those who are sanctified are 
also sanctified; " but he explains what he means by re- 
ferring his readers to the words of St. Paul, who said 
that the unbelieving husband was sanctified by the 
believing wife (i Cor. vii. 14); he also quotes with 
approval the very words of that Apostle (Rom. v. 12) : 
** Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, 
and death by sin ; and so death passed upon all men, 
for that all have sinned ; and death reigned from 
Adam to Moses." 

When commenting on the manner in which the 
serpent beguiled Eve, he connects our disobedience 
and our love of enjoyment in some way with the sin 
of "our protoplast" Adam,^ and he speaks of "the 

^ (piXriSovoivrap iifiwy rdxO' "ffov wpoXafiSvTos iifioov rhv KUiphv 
rov wpaToirXdaTov {Strom, iii. 554)* 


regeneration through water," and of "the womb of 
water," expressions which evidently imply the fact of 
original sin. 

In the twelfth chapter of the sixth Book of the 
Stromateis Clement discusses the question, whether 
Adam was created perfect or imperfect, and faces the 
dilemma: "If he was created imperfect, how could 
the work of a perfect God be imperfect, and above all 
man?" and if he was created perfect, how could he dis- 
obey ? Clement's answer is that Adam was not created 
perfect indeed, but adapted for (c^tr^Scto?) the acqui- 
sition of virtue. This aptitude he defines as a motion 
(<l>opd) to virtue, but not virtue itself. " All men have 
this natural tendency to virtue *' {Strom, vi. 788), but 
we are not born naturally endowed with virtue, nor 
after we are born does it come to us naturally as a 
part of the body; for in that case it would not be 
either voluntary or praiseworthy {Strom, viL 839), but 
as Plato in the Menon says, " virtue is God-given ; not 
coming from nature (<^v(r€i), nor imparted by teaching 
(8i8a#cTov), but being an accession by the ordinance of 
God (^€i(gi /Aotp^), not without reason to those who 
acquire it" {Strom, v. 697). Virtue in the abstract, 
according to Clement, miist be sought by labour, 
study, and discipline ; " it is a disposition of the soul 
under the sway of reason consistent through the whole 
of life ; " while the particular virtues can only be won 
by living in the light of our confession to God (Kara 
T^v irpo^ Oeov ofioXoyiav), 


This difficulty which the attainment of the character 
of virtue presented to the mind of Clement could only 
have been due to his sense of inherited failings and 
tendencies. He also speaks positively of a tendency 
(<^opa) to sin, which was cut off by Christ [Feed, i. 
117), and which he rather plainly connects with the 
disobedience of "the protoplast" in the Padagogue 
(i. 169), where we read : " because the first man sinned 
and disobeyed God, and the man who sins against his 
reason is compared with the beasts, the man who is 
devoid of reason is naturally likened to the beasts." 

We have seen that Clement held that man is of his 
"own nature inclined to evil" as well as to good. 
But we have also found that he is a strong upholder 
of personal responsibility and freedom of will. 

In the seventh Book of the Stromatets (p. 789) we 
find the reconciliation of the two. There Clement 
writes : " Now he who is bad by natural disposition 
(<^v(ra), when he becomes a sinner on account of vice 
(inherited), turns out a bad man (<^ai}Xos), having that 
(/. e. vice) which he chose of his own free will ; being 
inclined to sin {afmprqrLKo^s), and sinning in very 
deed.*' The gist of this passage is, that a man may 
have the inborn tendency to vice, and yet he is not a 
bad man until his will co-operates with the desire and 
identifies itself with it. We may therefore truly say 
that Clement in his own philosophical system took 
into account the inherited failings and infection of our 
nature, and showed how provision was made against 


such in the Christian economy of salvation (oiKovo/xta 
o-cDT^pios), without at the same time depreciating the 
power and responsibility of the human will. 


Repentance has always been regarded as one of the 
essentials of salvation, and as one of the results of the 
Atonement. We may therefore discuss Clement's 
treatment of this subject in connection with his 
theory of salvation and sin ; and we may at the out- 
set venture to say that he handled this theme as a 
Christian and as a philosopher. It is our repentance 
that God seeks by His economy of fear, he tells us in 
the Fcedagogus (1. 139). In another passage {Strom, ii. 
443), he says that " God takes into consideration the 
inward state of the soul of man, if he has chosen 
(good or evil) easily, if he has repented of his errors, 
if his conscience pricks him for his sinful deeds, and 
he has recognized his fault, that is, gets knowledge 
afterwards (/xcra ravra ^yvw) ; for repentance is a tardy 
knowledge, repentance is therefore the work of faith ; 
for unless a man believes that, by which he was pre- 
viously held, to be a sin, and unless he believes that 
punishment is imminent for the unbelieving and 
salvation for him who lives according to the com- 
mandments, he will not be moved from it." 

In the same book he tells us that the Shepherd 

described repentance as "great intelligence." "For 

when one repents of his misdeeds he no longer per- 



forms them, but torturing his own soul for his evil 
works he benefits it." "Repentance differs from 
remission of sins, but both are in our power." In the 
Tract on the Rich Man (p. 364) he thus defines re- 
pentance ; "To repent is to condemn our past 
actions, and to ask pardon for them from the Father 
Who, in His mercy alone, is able to nullify our deeds, 
and with the dew of the Spirit to wipe out our former 
sins. . . . And though one has . lived dissolutely and 
then repents, it is possible to overcome the effects of 
his past bad life by his manner of life after his repent- 
ance." He regards the power of God as the first 
factor in our change of mind. For he says : " it is 
impossible to cut away all at once the passions which 
have been allowed to grow up with our nature, but 
with the power of God, and human supplication, and 
the help of our brothers, and genuine repentance, and 
constant practice, these things are set right." 

" There are two kinds of repentance," he writes in 
the sixth Book of the Stromateis (p. 789) : " the general 
one which follows acts of sin, and the other kind, when 
one has learnt the nature of sin, in the first place per- 
suades us to desist from sin itself, and from this it 
follows that one does not continue in sin." 

In the second Book of the same work (p. 459) he 
contrasts second repentance very unfavourably with 
first repentance. " For it is not right," he observes, 
"that one who has received remission of sins should 
still commit sin : for in that first and only repent- 


ante, I mean of those who lived before in a gentile 
and primitive life, that is, the life which is lived in 
ignorance, a repentance^ is forthwith put before those 
who are called, which cleanses (17 KaOaipova-a rov roirov 
T^s ^x?^) the place of the soul from sins that faith 
may be established." , 

" But continued and alternate repentances after sin 
differ in no respect from the state of the disobedient, 
except in respect of the sense of sin. And 1 do not 
know which is worst, to sin knowingly, or to sin afresh 
after repentance." Clement then proceeds to speak of 
the heathen who have come to the faith. "They once 
for all,*' he says, " receive remission of sins, but he 
who commits sin after that, and then repents, even 
though he finds pardon, must be ashamed that he is 
no longer washed (/'.<?. by baptism) for remission of sins 
(firjKen Xovofievos €ts a<^€0"tv afiafyruov) ; for to repent often 
is but to practise sin. It is then but an appearance 
of repentance, but is not repentance when one 
frequently asks forgiveness for frequently committed 
sins " (Strom, ii. 460). 

^ tn this passage Clement appears to look upon repentance as 
the first stage in regeneration, and therefore as one result of the 
work of Christ. We may compare the words of Clement 
Romanus to the Corinthians : * * that blood which shed for the 
sake of our salvation recovered for the whole world the grace of 
repentance^'' {Epistle to Corinthians ^ c. (5). Also Mr. M'Leod 
Campbell, who described the Atonement as an "Amen in 
Humanity to the will of Gqd arid ttis condemnation of sin," 
regarded repentance as one great result of Christ's work. 


In this passage Clement's purpose was not to deny 
the grace of repentance to the lapsed, as Origen in 
his Tract on St Matthew's Gospel (c. 35) and the 
Novatians did, but rather to deter converts from 
falling back to sin, by pointing out the enormity of sin- 
ning after the knowledge of God had been acquired. 

In another passage (Strom, iv. 628) he describes 
repentance (ftcravota) as a " sufficient purification for a 
man (KdOapa-Ls) when it is perfect and steadfast; if 
when we have condemned ourselves for our previous 
actions we make advance, thinking of the things that 
are to follow^ (ra /xcra ravra vorja-avTos)) and Stripping 
the mind as well of the things which delight us through 
the senses, as well as of our former misdeeds." 

When speaking of the different stages (TrpoKorras) in 
glory (Strom, vi. 795), Clement says: **then when 
through a long course of discipline our faithful one 
has been delivered from his passions, and passes to a 
better abode than his previous one, he still must 
endure the greatest punishment ^ — repentance for the 
sins committed after baptism." Accordingly Clement 

^ Clement gives on two occasions a rather unusual meaning to 
the Greek word {fierdyoia) which is rendered repentance ; 
whereas it is generally thought to mean change of mind ; he 
seems to give the preposition the sense of "after," and the 
substantive itself the meaning of " after- thought." 

* ** Grief and shame for his past transgressions," he says, ** are 
the most bitter punishments the faithful have to undergo.*' The 
remembrance of lost opportunities and of past transgressions are 
surely the cause of the greatest remorse in the present life. 


did not, like the Novatians, regard sin after baptism as 
unpardonable ; although he held firmly and correctly 
that true repentance must include the steadfast purpose 
to lead a new life, and the abandonment of one's old 
courses, as well as the sorrow for past sins. ' 


Though we find no systematic theology of the 
Atonement in Clement, still we are able to gather 
from passages that occur here and there through his 
works, that, like Athanasius and Augustine, he re- 
garded the redeeming work of Christ as a regeneration 
of our nature by virtue of our mystical union with Him. 
In the Tract on the Rich Man (p. 343) the following 
passage occurs : 

** Who was he (/. e, our neighbour) other than the 
Saviour Himself? Or who displayed greater pity than 
He for us who were well-nigh slain by the rulers of 
darkness through many wounds, fears, desires, wraths, 
griefs, deceits, and pleasures. Of these wounds, Jesus 
is the only Physician ; He cuts out our affections from 
the very root, not like the law which removes the bare 
results, the fruits of bad plants. For He lays His own 
axe at the roots of sin. He it was Who poured the 
wine (the blood) of the vine of David upon our 
wounded spirits, and applied the oil of the Spirit from 
His own heart, and freely too. He it is Who showed 
that love, faith, and hope are the indissoluble bonds of 
health and salvation ; and He it was Who subjected to 


US angels, principalities, and powers for a high payppent 
(cTTt fi€ydXif /xto-^^). For they too shall be freed from 
the vanity of the world in the manifestation of the glory 
of the Sons of Pod." 

In this passage Clement speaks of the pity of the 
Saviour for the captives of the Rulers of Darkness, the 
renovation of our humanity by the extirpation of the 
seeds of sin, and appears to allude to the redemption 
of Creation, which has shared in the ruin of map, ^nd 
" which waiteth for the manifestation of the Sons of 
God " (Romans viii. 19), af a great cost He speaks of 
Jesus as the Healer, and of sin as a wound. 

In the Pcedagogus (i. 127) he thus alludes ^o o^ur 
regeneration in Christ and our mystical relation;! to 
Him \ our sympathy with Him, and our incqrrup^ioi^ 
by Him ; " For if we are regenerated into phrist, He 
Who regenerated us supports us with His own milk ; 
for it is natural that every being which gives birth 
should supply nourishment to its offspring. By parity 
of reasoning, as we have been born again in an 
analogous way, so we have a spiritual food. We are 
joined, therefore, in every respect, in all things to 
Christ, both in kinship with Him, on account of the 
blood \y which we are redeemed, and in sympathy 
on account of the nourishment which we receive from 
the Word and in incorruption by His guidance of life." ^ 

Hdyni roivvv rjjxus rh. Trdvra Xpiar^ 7rpo(T<fKet<itfuBa Kal els 
trxryylveiav Zih. rb td^a avrov & KvTpov/xfda Koi els avyyeyeiav 8i3t 
TJ)v kvarpoip^v r)iv ix rod £i6yov kqX els oupdapalav Bih rify aycoy^v 
T^v aprov. 


In the P(Bdagogus (ii. 177) he thus speaks of the 
double nature of the blood of Christ : 

" The great bunch of grapes (/. e. which grew on the 
sacred vine) was the Word Who was crushed for us ; 
since the blood of the grape, that is, of the Word, con- 
sented to be mixed with water. In the same way His 
blood is blended with salvation. But the blood of the 
Lord is twofold ; one kind is carnal, by which we are 
redeemed from destruction (^ r^s <^^opas XcAvrpw/xcfe), 
and the other is spiritual, that is by which we are 
anointed " (^ Kv^Lcr\x.^Ba), 

He then proceeds to describe the spiritual union of 
the believer with Christ in the Eucharist. We shall 
have occasion to recur to this passage when speaking 
of Clement's sacramental teaching. 

In the Stromateis (iv. 93) he speaks of Jesus as the 
" great High Priest, of One God Who is also Father, 
Who prays for men.'' In another passage he calls 
Him " the Bishop of our hearts." ** Thus," he says, 
**the Lord draws near the righteous, and nothing 
escapes Him of our thoughts and counsels ; I mean the 
Lord Jesus, who by the will of God is the Bishop of 
your heart. Whose blood was consecrated for us" 
(Strom, iv. 612). 

In the Fcedagogus (i. 139) Clement speaks of the 
relation in which Christ stands to our sins. He is 
there commenting on the sixth verse of the fifty-third 
chapter of Isaiah : " The Lord hath laid on Him the 
iniquity of us 2^11 " (lit. the Lord hath made the iniquity 


pf US all to meet on Him), which takes this form in the 
Greek of Clement, "The Lord gave Himself up to 
our sins." Strange to relate, he says nothing on the 
subject of the burden of sin and the shame of the cross, 
which were endured for men, but interprets the verse 
in this way : " The Lord gave Himself to our sins ; 
that clearly means, as Corrector and Amender of our 
sins ; therefore He is the only one who is able to remit 
sins, our Paedagogue appointed by the Father of all 
being the only One Who is able to distinguish 
obedience from disobedience.'* Moreover he goes on 
to say : ** The same Word, Who inflicts the penalty, is 
the judge. But it is manifest that He Who threatens is 
not willing to do any hurt, nor even to perform His 
threats ; but by putting man in fear, he cutoff the motion 
to sins ^ and shows His good- will by still waiting and 
making known what they must suffer if they continue 
in sin. Good therefore is God. . . . God is not then 
angry, as some think, but for the most part He restrains 
us, and in every matter He exhorts us, and indicates 
how we should act. Still it is a good plan to make us 
afraid of sinning ; the fear of the Lord banishes sin. 
Moreover, God does not chasten us in anger, but He 
considers what is just, seeing that it is not expedient 
that justice should be suspended on our account. 
Each one of us chooses his punishment because he 
sins of his own free will. The cause is therefore in 
him who makes the choice, not in God. And if our 

^ T^v ItcX rh.t afiaprlas dv^xo^c ipopiv {Pad, i. 117). 


injustice commends the justice of God, what shall we 
say then ? " 

Clement having thus vindicated the justice of God, 
proceeds to show that the object He has in view 
when He threatens and punishes men is their 
repentance and salvation. Quoting the prophet 
Amos, ** I have overthrown some of you as God over- 
threw Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a brand 
plucked out of the burning, and yet have ye not 
returned to me," he remarks : " You see how God 
seeks our repentance by reason of His goodness, and 
in the ecofwmy of fear He displays His good-will to us." 
Commenting on the words, " I shall turn away My 
face from them," he says : 

" For where God looks, there is peace and joy ; but 
where He averts His countenance evil enters. He 
does not wish therefore to behold evil. For He is 
good ; but when He turns away His eye, evil arises 
spontaneously on account of the faithlessness of man. 
. . . And therefore I would confess that He punishes 
the faithless — for punishment^ (or chastisement, 

^ In the Padagogus (\. 139) Clement gives this note on punish- 
ment : ''Punishment is good for man, as Plato learnt, for he 
says it is really well with those who pay the penalty ; for such 
derive benefit from the fact that their soul is improved when they 
are justly chastised" {Gorgias^ p. 325). "According to Plato, 
then,*' Clement remarks, ** what is just is good." Again (Strom, 
i. 421), he practically says chastisement (fcdXatrts) is a correction of 
the soul {ZiSpBooffis iari ^wx^*)- ^^ the Padagogus (i. 187) he 
says, " many of the passions are cured by punishment " 


ij KoXaa-L^) is for the good and advantage of him who 
receives it, and it is the correction of him who resists — 
but that He does not wish for vengeance. Whereas 

{dtpaveicrai 8i iroWh ray vaBuv rifucpl^). There is a long and 
elaborate passage on the object and method of punishment in the 
Stromateis (iv. 635) : **Here then the good God punishes men 
for three reasons — first, that he who is being chastised may be 
improved ; then, that they who can be saved may be prepared 
and admonished by examples ; and thirdly, lest he who is 
injured be held up to contempt and be exposed to injury. The 
methods of correction are two — teaching, and punishment, which 
we call chastisement. But you must know that they who have 
fallen into sin after punishment are those who are punished. Their 
former deeds are passed over ; the sins they commit afterwards 
are purged away." In the Pcedagogus (i. 138) we have the follow- 
ing account of our Lord's admonition : ** Even in like manner our 
Captain, the Word, the Leader of all, by admonishing those who 
disobey His law with a view to deliver them from servitude, 
error, and the thraldom of their enemy, and to restrain their pas- 
sions leads them in peace to the sacred concord of His State." 
Another important passage on the same subject is to be found 
in the third Book of the same work (p. 279), where Clement 
writes : " Our Paedagogue, Who is loving to all, assisting us in 
many ways, now advises and now rebukes, and when others err 
He shows to us their shame and the punishment that followed, 
at the same time leading us and admonishing us, with a view to 
keep us from sin by pointing out what has befallen them. By 
these similes He has very clearly changed those who were badly 
disposed ; He has prevented others who were for attempting like 
deeds ; pe has given endurance to some, and He has made some 
give up their sin ; while He has cured others, leading them by the 
contemplation of a state similar to their own, to a better 
condition. . . . For punishments and threatenings serve to 
make men avoid sin, through dread of the penalty. " 


revenge (rt/Aiopta) is the returning of ^vil wi^h evil, 
witb ^ view to the advantage of the avenger, but this 
would not be desired by Him who taught us to pray 
for those who revile us. . . . That God is good, 
al) confess, and that He is just does not need many 
vjror4s to prove when one can adduce the evangelical 
saying of the Lord : * That they all may be one ; as 
thou, Father, art in Me, and \ in Thee, that they also 
m^y be one in Us ; that the world may believe that 
Thpu hast sent Me.' " Thus basing the justice of God 
i^pon pis goodness, Clement was able to see in God's 
dealings with sinners a scheme of improvement rather 
than a system of retribution, and to regard the Word 
as the Amender (Stop^cor^s and Karcv^vvnyp) rather 
th^n the Avenger (n/xwpos) of sin. 

Although Cleinent did not attempt to formulate any 
thc^oyy of the Atonement, or to explain the Son's deal- 
ing with the Father on behalf of the erring humanity 
IJe represented, yet he brought his readers to the very 
he^yt of the Atonenjent when he led them to the 
Person of the Incarnate Word of God. 

For his faypurite text, when treating of the sacrifice 
of Christ, was not "without shedding of blood is 
no remission" (Hebrews ix. 22), but rather, "^fy 
blood is 4nnk indeed " (John vi. 35). When he does 
use the wprds, " without shedding of blood," he is not 
speaking of the Son's approach to pis Father, but of our 
s^pprpach" tP the Word ; and he is not referring to the 
Lc(j:^'s sijffering^, but tp the life of trial that awaits 


the true Christian. For if our Master, he argues, was 
crowned with thorns, it is not right that His followers 
should wear garlands of flowers.^ 

The regeneration and sustenance that come to us 
from Christ are his uppermost thoughts when speak- 
ing of this solemn mystery. "The Word," he says, 
" is spoken of metaphorically as bread and flesh, and 
nourishment, and blood and milk, for our Lord is 
everything, that we who believe in Him may enjoy 
Him" {P(Bd, i. 127). Again he says, **the blood is 
represented in an allegory as wine" {Pad, i. 124). 
The spiritual food which the Word gives to us is 
the subject of a long passage in the Fcedagogus 
(i. 124), where we read: **This nourishment proper 
to us, the Lord supplies, and gives us His flesh and 
sheds His blood. Thus the growth of His children 
is every way provided for. O wonderful mystery ! 
He bids us cast off* the old and carnal corruption 
with the old food ; and becoming partakers of an- 
other and new diet, that of Christ, to receive Him, 
if possible, and carry Him in our breasts. To express 
this truth in a more general way, the Holy Spirit is 
represented by the flesh — for the flesh was made by 
Him, and the blood signifies the Word, for as rich blood 
the Word is infused into our life. And the Lord, both 
Spirit and Word, is the food of infants. The nourish- 
ment is the milk of the Father; by it alone the children 
are nourished. He then who is the Beloved and our 

1 Ohth yhp ikyaifiutrl trpoativai r^ A6y(f t^eeriv {Pad, ii. 214). 


Sustainer, the Word saving our humanity, poured out 
for us His blood, through which we, who beHeve in 
God, have access to the breast of the Father — even 
the Word. For He alone, as it is right, supplies us, 
His children, with the milk of love." 

Clement also saw in the blood a symbol of our 
Lord's passion. "The same blood and milk," he said, 
"is a symbol of the passion and doctrine of our 
Lord*' {Feed. i. 127). The blood of Abel crying 
from the ground contained a prophecy, he said, of 
" the Word Who was to suffer." But, for him, the 
primary reference of " blood " was to the body of 
our Lord and the nourishment we derive from it ; 
"for the blood," he said, **is the substance of the 
human body" {Feed, i. 127), words that seem to echo 
Deuteronomy xii. 23, ** for the blood is the life." 

We have seen that he does indeed speak of repent- 
ance, which he seemed to regard as one result of the 
work of Christ, "as cleansing iht place of the soul." 
He also spoke of the cleansing of Baptism, the 
laver ^ through which we are cleansed of our sins, 
" the Baptism of the Word, by which our sins are 
remitted," 2 "the genuine drops by which we are 
made clean," ^ and he described our illumination. 

^ \ovrphv fiey Hi* ot rits afxafntas itvoppvirrSfieda {Pad, ). 

^ ii(pi€fi4yay rStv nXrjjxfitXrifidroiv ivl Uaiwylif (papfiaKiPf AoyiK^ 
fiaiTTlafMri {Pad.). 

* Cleanse yourselves from your habits with genuine drops, tcuj 
iAij^ivais ffrdyoor^ {J^xH' ad Gent. 779). 


adoption, perfection, and immortality as results of 
baptism {Feed, i. 114), and he regarded deliveranice 
from darkness as a result of our regeneration.^ Accbtd- 
ingly these blessed results which flow into our naturfe 
through the Baptism of the Word, repentance^ remis- 
sion of sins, deliverance from darkness, redemption, 
cleansing, illumination, adoption, perfection, and ith- 
mortality may be summed up in the two favourite 
terms of our author, regeneration {avayiwri&is) and 
sustaining grace {rpo<f>rj). 

It would, however, seem that Clement regatded 
these benefits as coming to us from the Incarnation 
rather than from the Atonement of our Lord. He 
does indeed say, " we glorify Him Who was sacrificed 
for us (rov vir€p rjfiSiv UpevOevra), we also sacrlficihg 
ourselves " (Strom, vii. 836), but he does not Seeih to 
attach sufficient importance and to give an adequate 
position to the sacrifice of the death of Christ in his 
system of Theology.. He saw that Christ is the 
representative Man, and the Son of God Who recalled 
man to his relation with God by being the revelation 
of the Father, and won men to love and imitile God 
by discovering in His own nature the beauty of 
holiness. For salvation, according to Clement^ is the 
following of Christ. 

He understood that Christ is everywhere ptiesent 
organically connected with the race by His Incarna- 

^ 6 hvaytyvifiOfls , , . i^vfiWakrai filv irapciXpVfJi^o. rov trK^royjt 
(Pad, i, 114), 


tion ; that He is ever working in man, leading him to 
repentance, giving him light, power, and love, and 
thus imparting Himself to humanity as their Bread 
of Life. 

His vision was clear enough to discern in Christ, 
the Healer of our wounds, the Restorer of our 
nature, who " cut out the tendency to sin *' and " the 
passions of our flesh," and the well-spring of a new 
life purifying and regenerating the souls of men. But 
to the mystery of the Agony and the Passion on the 
Cross, he makes but a passing reference, ^ regarding 
it as an episode in the perfect identification.^ For 
the Incarnation which established the future of 
humanity on the restored basis of a new creation 
by a new relation, sympathy, and incorruption ^ 
(Pad, i, 127), was his one absorbing theme. 

^ The two following passages seem to refer to Christ's struggle 
with and triumph over the enemy of man : * ' He it was who 
subjected to us for a great price angels, and powers, and 
principalities." But this reference is uncertain, as he im- 
mediately adds: **for they too shall be delivered from the 
vanity of the world in the revelation of the glory of the Sons of 
God " «2. D, 5., 343). 

^ He makes this identity in suffering a ground of appeal for 
mercy {Pad. i. 136). **Have compassion on us, for Thou 
Thyself in Thine own sufferings experienced the weakness of the 

^ We are joined with Christ ... in kinship with Him on 
account of the blood by which we are redeemed {Peed, i. 127), 



Clement's learning, as we have seen, was most 

profound and extensive.' He was as much at home in 

the poetry and philosophy of the heathen, as he was in 

the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Some 

idea of the range of his erudition may be given by the 

fact that the list of Greek authors alone from whom 

he quotes are legion. His writings are as interesting 

as they are voluminous, on account of the light they 

throw on the Roman Empire of the second century, 

the information they contain of the ancient Gnostic 

heresies, and the numerous quotations of lost authors 

that we find therein. But they reveal him more in the 

character of an eclectic philosopher than in that of a 

careful theologian. And yet, an ardent student of the 

Scriptures, he was anxious that others should follow 

his example. As we have already seen, he advised 

Christian couples to begin the day with prayer and 

reading. He recommended all Christians to prove 

the truth of their belief by their own independent 



examination of the sacred records ; and he invited the 
heathen to find out what the true doctrine was by 
searching the Scriptures themselves, at the same time 
urging them to exert their reason in order to "dis- 
tinguish the true from the false." At the time he 
^TOte, doctrine was passing from oral tradition to 
written definition. Clement says over and over again, 
that he is simply retailing an original tradition that has 
been handed down to him. After his mention of his 
teachers {Strom, i. 322), he tells us that they preserved 
the true tradition of the blessed doctrine without break 
from Peter and James, John and Paul, handing it 
down from father to son, until at last these ancestral 
and apostolic seeds were deposited with him. ** Well 
I know that they would rejoice," he adds, "not in- 
deed in my exposition but in the committal of their 
traditions to this writing." 

And yet he insists on drawing a marked distinction 
between written and oral doctrine. In his Selections 
from the Prophets (ch. 27) he tells that the ancients 
did not w^rite, not wishing to waste the time they had 
to devote to teaching on writing. 

Eusebius quotes a passage from Clement's last 

HypotyposeiSy in which we find the statement, that our 

Lord communicated the gnosis, /'. e. the knowledge of 

the true doctrine, to James, John, and Peter after His 

resurrection ; they delivered it to the other disciples, 

and these, in their turn, to the seventy. 

" For our Lord did not forthwith reveal to the many 



those things which are not for the many, but to 
the few who were able to receive it, and to be 
fashioned according to it" {Strom, i. 323). **But 
the secret things, like God, are entrusted to word, 
not to writing." Accordingly, Clement says he 
" will not write down all that he knows, lest by any 
chance he should impart the knowledge ^ to some one 
incapable of receiving it, and so * cast pearls before 
swine.' " 

In the case of the Hebrews, according to Clement, 
an unwritten tradition was clearly referred to in the 
words, " For when ye ought to be teachers for the 
time, ye have need that one teach you which be the 
first principles of the oracles of God." 

He also says that certain things were concealed 
until the times of the Apostles ; and were by them 
delivered as they had received them from the Lord. 
In support of this statement he quotes the verses of 
Ephesians iii. 3-5, ** By revelation the mystery was 
made known (the better of the two readings) to me 
which in other ages was not made known to the sons 
of men as it is now revealed to His holy Apostles and 
prophets." Scripture is obscure, he tells us, for two 
reasons : first, that we may become more curious and 
more watchful in the discovery of the words of life \ 
and secondly, lest we should be harmed by taking the 
words in a wrong sense. 

It is only they who have been trained in the first 

^ iyveoplar$7i and iyv^piare. 


principles of Christian knowledge, ''the milk," that 
Clement admits to that fuller insight unto the divine 
mysteries which St. Paul called " meat." 

In the Stromateis (i. 292) he writes — " He who 
wishes to be enlightened by the power of God must 
accustom himself to philosophize on spiritual things. 
A logical cultivation of mind is necessary in order to 
understand the ambiguous and equivocal words of 
scripture." ^ 

" For neither prophecy nor the Saviour Himself 
announced the divine mysteries in a way that all 
might understand, but expressed them in parables." 

** Of Him the Apostles said, ' He spake all things 
in parables ' ; and if * all things were made by Him,' 
prophecy and law were made by Him, and were 
uttered by Him in parables." 

Clement tells us en passant^ that our Lord did not 
intend to cause but merely predicted the blindness of 
the Jews when He said, " Therefore speak I to them 
in parables : because they seeing see not, and hearing 
they hear not, neither do they understand." 

" But all things are plain," saith the Scripture,^ " to 
those who understand," that is, to those who receive 
and preserve the exposition of the Scriptures given by 
Him according to the ecclesiastical ruleJ^ 

' This reservation of the truth has been compared by some 
with the Disciplina Arcanioi the Roman Church, but corresponds 
rather with a form of advanced instruction, of which more anon. 

* Proverbs viii. 9. 



** The false ones," he writes in his Stromateis (vi. 
803), *'are not they who conform for the sake of 
salvation, nor they who are mistaken in matters of 
detail, but they who have gone astray in essentials, and 
as far as in them lies reject the Lord and take away 
His true teaching, not quoting or delivering the 
Scriptures in a manner worthy of God and our Lord. 
For the deposit which is rendered to God, according 
to the teaching of our Lord handed down to us by His 
Apostles, is the comprehension and the practice of the 
divine tradition, * And what ye hear in the ear ' (that 
is, in a secret and mysterious manner, for such things 
are in a figure said to be spoken in the ear),* proclaim 
aloud upon the housetops, receiving them in an exalted 
mood, and delivering them in sublime strains, and 
explaining the Scriptures according to the canon of 
truth: " 

This canon,^ which he defines (Strom, vi. 803) 
as " the harmony and agreement of the law and the 
prophets with the covenant which was given at the 
appearance of our Lord," /. e, the harmony of the Old 
and New Testaments in the Incarnation of Christ, was 
for Clement merely a guide to the interpretation of 
truth, a clue to the hidden sense of prophecy and 

^ It is a great pity that his work, the ecclesiastical canon 
mentioned by Eusebius, has been lost. It might have thrown 
some light on this oral tradition. 


parable, not an independent source of doctrine. By 
following this rule, by reading law and prophecy in the 
light of the Incarnation, the true Gnostic was saved 
from the errors of the false Gnostic, who had no such* 
method of interpretation. For the true Gnostic grows 
old in the study of the Scriptures, and carefully adheres 
to the apostolic and ecclesiastical division of doctrines. 


In Clement's day there was no fixed canon of 
Scripture. He treated the Alexandrine Old Testament 
which contained the Apocryphal books as correspond- 
ing to the revised text of Ezra : telling us that "the 
Scriptures were translated into the Greek language, 
that the Greeks might never be able to plead ignorance, 
inasmuch as they can now hear what we have in our 

Clement gives quotations from all the books of the 
Old Testament except 2 Chronicles, the Book of 
Ruth, the Song of Solomon, and the Vision of 
Obadiah (although he mentions its author), and he uses 
the Apocryphal books freely and without distinction. 

He quotes three books, the Ecclesiasticus (fifty-three 
times), the Book of Wisdom, and the Proverbs, under 
the same title of 17 So</>ta, evidently regarding them as 
parts of one work, and treating the first-named works 
as canonical Scripture. 

He <nakes use of Baruch under the name of 
Jeremiah, and speaks of the work as **the divine 


Scripture." He calls the Book of Tobit Scripture, 
saying, "This hath the Scripture declared in this 
brief saying, * What you rate, do not to another ' " 
(Tobit iv. 16). 

Moreover, there are references to be found in his 
works to the Book of the Maccabees, Judith, and 
Esdras. Of the Apocryphal Gospels he quotes that 
according to the Egyptians,^ in connection with the 
question that Salome put to Christ, " How long will 
men go on dying?" and the answer, **So long as 
women go on bearing." He takes the sentence, 
** Wonder at the present things," from the Paradoseis^ 
(Traditions) of Matthias, a work from which the 
Gnostic heretics Valentinus, Marcion, and Basileides 
derived support for several of their opinions. In 
confirmation of his argument, that wonder is the 
beginning of knowledge, he cites the well-known 
saying from the Gospel according to the Hebrews : 
** He who has wondered will reign, and he who has 
reigned will rest." 

Eusebius {H,E. vi. 14) tells us that Clement quoted 
from the Apocalypse of Peter in the Hypotyposeis, 

^ Clement admits that the work does not hold the same 
position as the four Gospels handed down by tradition. 

^ Cf. Strom, iii. 436, and Strom, vii. 748 : "They say that 
Matthias the Apostle, in his Traditions said, among other 
things : * If the neighbour of an elect person sin, the elect has 
sinned, for if he had borne himself as the Word commands, 
his neighbour would have too much respect for his life {i.e. the 
elect's life) to sin J 

> >> 


In the Selections from the Prophets we find at least 
three references to that work. One of these passages 
is very remarkable. Speaking of the children who 
have been exposed after birth, he tells us that Peter 
in the Apocalypse ^ says, " A flame of fire plays round 

* As the Apocalypse'of Peter has been recently discovered, it 
may be of some interest to our readers to give the English of the 
passage of that work, which Clement has preserved for us in his 
writings. The first passage is from The Selections from the 
Prophetic Scriptures (p. 365), and runs : " The Scripture says that 
infants exposed are handed over to a guardian (tijA.c/aovx?') angel 
to be trained and educated, and they shall be as the faithful of a 
hundred years here ; " wherefore Peter speaks in his Apoca- 
lypse of **the flame of lightning playing round their heads and 
dazzling the eyes of the women ; for the just shines out like a 
spark in a reed, and will judge the nations." The second 
passage is in the 48th chapter of the same work, and runs : ** Peter 
says in the Apocalypse, that children that die before they come 
to the birth will be the recipients of a better lot, and will be 
handed over to a guardian angel, that they may receive know- 
ledge and obtain a better abode, and endure what they would 
have endured had they been born, but the others will obtain 
salvation only, and as victims of injustice and objects of pity shall 
remain without punishment, having obtained this reward.'* 

We can only present the third passage, which occurs in the 
next paragraph, in this somewhat diluted form: **The milk, 
says Peter in the Apocalypse, will generate small carnivorous ani- 
malculae, which, returning whence they have come, proceed to 
feed upon it." Thus he pointed the moral that punishments are 
the results of sins. ** For he says that they (punishments) are 
the outcome of sins (^k t»v afxaprt&v yiuvaffdat avrds, i. e, 
KoxAffets) just as the people was sold because of sins ; and 
because they did not believe in Christ as the Apostle says, 
they were bitten by serpents." 


their heads, and blinds the eyes of the women." 
Clement also gives several long quotations from the 
Preaching of Peter^ which Neander believed to be the 
work of some Gnostic.^ 

On seven occasions he adduces passages from the 
Epistle of Barnabas, whom he calls 'the " Apostolic 
Barnabas." One of these deserves insertion. " And 
Barnabas, after that he had said, * Woe to those who 
are wise in their own conceits and clever in their own 
eyes,' added, * Let us become spiritual, a complete 
temple in God, practising as far as in us lies the 
fear of God, and striving to keep His commandments 
that we may rejoice in His judgments.'" 

We find several passages on martyrdom taken from 
the Roman Clement's Epistle to the Corinthians, 

^ The Preaching {K'fipvyfjM) of Peter was another woik not 
received by the Christian world as genuine {Eusebiusy i!i. 3), but 
largely used in the early Church. Thanks to the long quotations 
which we have from this work in Clement's Siromateis, we liave 
some idea of its nature, and find that it contains many interesting 
parallels to the Apology of Aristides, the Syriac text of whidi has 
been recently found. In the Stromateis (i. 428) he says: **In 
the Preaching of Peter you will find the Lord called both Law 
and Logos." This remark is repeated, Stromateis^ ii. 460, 111 
the sixth Book of the same work (p. 805) a long passage is 
introduced tvith these words : "Wherefore Peter in 'his Preaching 
concerning the Apostles said i When we have unfolded the 
manuscriptwehaveof the prophets, etc. ..." In the fifth chapter 
of the same Book he begins an interesting passage with the 
words : " Peter says in his Preachings Know that there is one 
God, etc. , etc. " There are, besides these, two other important 
fragments of the Preaching quoted in the Stromateis, 

CLEMEKT and the felBLli 2^3 

which is called in another connection the Epistle of 
the Romans to the Corinthians. Clement refers to 
the author as the Apostle Clement. Finally, there are 
numerous reminiscences of the Shepherd of Hermas, 
and the works of Tatian, scattered through the 
different treatises of this copious writer. With the 
exception of the last-named, Clement evidently 
regarded all the books from which he quoted as 
"apostles and prophets," he wrote, ** undoubtedly, as 
more or less on the same level of inspiration with 
those Scriptures which we speak of as canonical." 


On the vexed question of the inspiration of 
Scripture it is interesting to consult Clement. ^* The 
disciples of the Spirit spake what the Spirit com- 
municated to them ; but we can depend on no such 
spiritual guidance, which supersedes all human means 
of culture, to enable us to unfold the hidden sense 
of their words. A scientific culture of the mind is 
necessary to enable us to evolve the full meaning 
of what was imparted indeed to them by the inspir- 
ation of the Holy Ghost, but which they conveyed in 
their own language^* {Strom, i. 292). Clement does 
not therefore seem to have been an advocate of 
verbal inspiration, although he certainly believed in 
some kind of inspiration : for he says {Strom, vii. 894), 
**God leads men accordkig to the divi«dy-inspired 
Scriptures ; " and i« StromateiSj vii. 893, " To be 


displeased with the divine commands is to be dis- 
pleased with the Holy Spirit ; " and again, " The 
prophets were the instruments (or organs) of the 
Divine Voice " {Strom, vii. 828). 

Clement's method of quotation. 

In Clement's writings we find numerous quotations 
from the Scriptures. The text of these quotations is, 
however, often very incorrect. 

We find one frequently recurring form of mis- 
quotation, the mixed reading, /. e. a reading in which 
we have a mixture of two narratives. For example, 
we find the reading, **Thou art my beloved Son, 
this day have I begotten Thee,'* which is a confusion 
of two different passages, viz. Psalm ii. 7, " Thou art 
my Son, this day have I begotten Thee," and Luke 
iii. 22, "Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am 
well pleased." 

Moreover, his reading of Matthew vi. 32, "But 
seek ye first the kingdom of heavgn and righteous- 
ness, for these are the chief things ; and the things 
which are small and belong to this life, these things 
shall be added to you ; " and his reading of Luke 
xii. 3 1, " Seek first the kingdom of heaven, and all 
these things shall be added unto you," are evidently 
due to a blending of different texts. 

This class of incorrect quotation may be traced to 
the influence of such works as Tatian's Diatessaron^ 
or Harmony of the Gospels, and the extension of 


that writer's method of searching Scripture for 
correspondences to the Old Testament. 

There are other readings which may have been 
widely diffused in his day, such as vTroTrtcfw (press down) 
instead of wrawrtafo) (discipline) in i Corinthians ix. 27. 

In John i. 3 he adopted the reading popular among 
those who denied the divinity of the Word, o ylyovev 
€v avTi^ ^oiYf rjv, ** That which has been made in Him 
was life," instead of putting a full stop after yiyovev. 

In the Epistles, however, where he was not 
influenced by Tatian, he preserves some important 
original readings, such as the reading " her due " ^ 
(R.V.), not ** due benevolence "^ (A.V.), in i Cor. vii. 3. 

He frequently assigns passages of Scripture to 
wrong authors, e.g. attributing the words of the Psalm 
(xxiv. 4), ** Thy rod and Thy staff comfort me," to 
some prophet, and the words of Amos iv. 13 to Hosea. 

He also quotes passages from Scripture which 
are not to be found in it, e. g. " Moses said to the 
Hebrews, Thou shalt not eat the hare or the 
hygena ; " "Be ye good money-changers ; " " You 
have seen your brother, you have seen the Lord;" 
" Ask for great things and small things will be given 
to you ; " "A sweet savour to God is the heart that 
honours Him who has chastened it;" "The- true 
man is one who is worth the whole world of money ; 
whereas the false one is not worth a farthing " 
(quoted as a saying of Solomon). 


Clement's method of interpretation. 

It was not Clement's desire to add to or to 
subtract from the Scriptures, which he regarded as 
the exposition of the government of the Divine 
Word, but to interpret them. And this he did in the 
peculiar method of Alexandria, treating the simple 
story of family and national life that we find in the 
Hexateuch as a spiritual allegory. For example, he 
saw in the coat of many colours the varied knowledge 
that Joseph possessed. 

An interesting specimen of his Scriptural exegesis 
will be found in the sixth book of the Stromateis 
(133), where Clement gives his interpretation of the 
"Ten Words" (the Decalogue). 

" Let the Decalogue," he says, " be set forth en 
passant as a specimen for Gnostic exposition. It is 
superfluous to say that ten is a sacred number. But 
if the tables which were written were the work of 
God, they will be found to exhibit natural creation. 
For the * finger of God ' means the power of God, 
by which the creation of heaven and earth is accom- 
plished. Of both these the tables must be understood 
to be symbols. For the writing and formation of 
God put on the tables is the creation of the world. 
Now the Decalogue, as a heavenly image, contains 
sun and moon, stars, clouds, light, spirit, water, air, 
darkness, and fire. This is the natural Decalogue of 
heaven. And the image of the earth contains men. 


cattle, reptiles, beasts, and of creatures that exist in 
water, fishes and whales, and again of birds, those 
that are carnivorous and those that use mild food, 
and of plants likewise, both the fertile and the barren. 
This is the natural Decalogue of the earth. And the 
ark which contains them would be the knowledge of 
things human and divine, and wisdom. 

Moreover, it may be said that the two tables are a 
prophecy of two covenants. So they were mystically 
renewed when ignorance and sin abounded. The 
commandments have thus a twofold purpose to serve, 
being written for two different kinds of sjpirits, the 
^ruling and the subject spirit. " For the flesh lusteth 
against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh." 

And there is a ten in man as well — the five senses^ 
the faculty of speech, the power of reproduction, the 
spiritual principle given at his formation, which is the 
eighth, the ruling faculty of the soul, which is the 
ninth, and that character, the property of the Holy 
Spirit, which is the tenth. 

To turn now to his explanations of the different 
commandments, which we may observe are not given 
in their usual order, the comment on the fifth com- 
mandment is very far-fetched. " By father," he says, 
" God is meant, and by mother, not as some suppose 
that from which they sprang, nor, as others again 
teach, the Church, but the divine knowledge and 
wisdom, called by Solomon * the Mother of the Just.' " 

When explaining the seventh commandment, he 


observed that adultery means the desertion of the 
true knowledge of God, and the propagation of some 
false opinion, either by deifying some created object, 
or by making an idol of something that does not 
exist. Fornication is thus for him a synonym of 

Again, murder is the destruction of the truth, 
either by alleging that the universe is not under 
Providence, or that the world is uncreated, or by any 
other false opinion ; while theft is when men claim 
to be the authors of what they are not, and so take 
away honour from God by asserting that they are 
masters of what He alone has made ; or when they ' 
imitate philosophy like the Greeks. 

When writing a note on the 19th Psalm, Clement, 
always on the watch for mystical meanings, saw in 
the words " Day unto day uttereth speech," a refer- 
ence to a written, and in " Night unto night shewetk 
knowledge," a reference to a mysterious doctrine. 

Perhaps one of his best comments is that on 
Matthew v. 29, where he says that the command to 
" pluck out the right eye " is a direction to pull out 
the evil lusts by the roots. 

These are a few samples of that method of inter- 
pretation, according to which contradictory statements 
were reconciled, and unconnected passages were 
brought into correspondence with equal facility by 
him who could find in Hesiod's poems references to 
Abraham and the rejection of the Messiah. 



It has been remarked over and over again that 
Clement was strangely reticent on the subject of 
dogma. Various explanations of this concealment 
have been given. According to certain writers, the 
Christian Doctrine was in a nebulous condition in the 
age of Clement, being without any distinct baptismal 
formula, or even a general summary of faith. But 
this is hardly a sufficient or satisfactory solution of 
the question, as we shall see further on. For it is 
not likely that the Catechetical School of Alexandria 
in the second century was without a precise formula 
of faith. 

Besides, Clement constantly refers to an " ecclesias- 
tical canon,'' to the " true and divine tradition," and to 
the " Gospel canon." He speaks also of a ** Homo- 
logia " (ofioXoyia), or Confession of Faith. We must 
take into consideration the fact that Clement's 
economy in this respect is largely due to his not 
being willing to subject the dogmas of the Christian 



religion to the scoffing criticism of the ** uninitiated/' ^ 
to whom he did not wish the " sacred tradition " to 
be accessible {Strom. VII. cap. xviii.). We must also 
remember that he was writing as a philosopher on 
the philosophy of Christianity, and not as a historian 
of the Christian Church, and we must not expect to 
find in the works of our author any precise definition 
of the Church and the Sacraments, or any special 
reference to the Christian organization and its three 
orders. It is extraordinary, however, considering 
the philosophical bias of Clement's mind, to find so 
many allusions as we do to the Church principle and 

We shall now quote some of these references. 


" The Church," writes Clement, " is like a human 
being consisting of many members, and is nourished 
by the spiritual life imparted by an indwelling Saviour. 
For the food He promises His disciples is Himself, 
the Word of God, the Spirit made flesh" {Peed, 124). 

" While the Holy Spirit is spoken of, in a figure, as 
the Bread, and the Blood is a type of the Word, the 
Bread and the Blood are both united in the Lord, 
Who is Spirit and Word" {Fad, 124). 

" The Universal Father is one, and the Universal 

ayiwv ie9pcflB6<r€<0v eUp^iftv (SiromateiSf VII. cap. xviii. § no). 


Word is one, the Holy Spirit is one and the same 
everywhere, and the only virgin mother — not Mary, 
but the Church — is one also. This is the Church 
which alone had not milk because she alone was not 
a woman. But she is at once virgin and mother, 
nursing her children with the holy milk of the Word 
of life " (T'^^. 123). 

When commenting on the Lord's words, **You 
shall eat My flesh and drink My blood,*' he says : 
" That which is drunk is clearly a symbol of the faith 
and the hope, by which the Church as a man^ consisting 
of many members, is watered and increased, is welded 
together and made one out of both — body, which is 
faith, and soul, which is hope, just as our Lord had 
flesh and blood '* (Peed. 121). 

** This is the food on which the Church is fed and 
nourished, growing and living in the one personal 
Christ, who delivers man from sin by indwelling in 
the race, and by leading it to all perfection." 

** There is no distinction of elect and non-elect in 
this Church of God. For all men are one, because 
there is one Universal Father and one Universal 
Word. But there is organic life. The Church is a 
living organism. It is a sanctified humanity, because 
indwelt in by the Source of life, and because purified 
by grace, through which Christ works because He is 
her Head " {Peed, ii. 214). 

" Let us complete,'* he says {Peed, 310), "the fair 
person (wpoo-owrov, Latin persona) of the Church 



and run as children to the good mother, and if we 
become hearers of the Word, let us glorify that 
blessed economy by which man is trained up, s^mctified 
as a child of God,^ and made a citizen of the kingdom 
of heaven " (ToAtreveroi Iv ovpavois). The reference 
here may be either to the Incarnation, v^ich is often 
spoken of by the Fathers as an " economy," or to the 
Church, into which Clement says in a following 
paragraph (p. 312), that the Paedagogue (/.^. the 
Word) " introduced us and thus to Himself." 

In Padagogus^ i. 6, Clement says, " As God's wifl 
(OiXrffjja) is an effect, and is called the universe, so His 
design (PovXrffia) is the salvation of men, and this is 
called Ecclesia (the Church). He knows them whom 
He has called, whom He has saved ; He called and 
saved at the same time." 

** It is not the place, but the congregation g( the elect 
that I call the Church," he remarks in the Siromateis 
(vii. 10), ** it is the great temple of God, the individual 
being the small temple " (Stromateis^ vii. 14) ; " it is 
the divine will on earth as in heaven*' {StromateiSy 
vii. 19); " it is the congregation of those who devote 
themselves to prayer" (StromateiSy vii. 19); "it is 
the image of the Church in heaven," which Clement 

^ In another passage {^Pad, iii. 312), when speaking of God, 
he says : "Of Whom we all are members." Thus we have in 
Clement an anticipation of the very formula of our Catechism, 
"members of Christ, children of God, and inheritors of the 
Kingdom of Heaven." 


describes now as the " heavenly Jerusalem," now as 
"the Church on high above the clouds touching the 
heavens," and now as " the holy assembly of love." 

His favourite definition of the Church ('EKKXiyo-ia) is 
that which consists of those whom God has called 
(K€K\r)K€i/) and saved (a-ea-toKev), This call was for all, 
not for a few. All, however, do not receive it. ** It 
is the preconceived opinions of men," he says, 
** that lead them to disobedience. For the advent 
of the Saviour did not make people foolish, hard 
of heart, and unbelieving, but wise, amenable to 
persuasion, and believing. But they who would not 
believe, separating themselves of their own free will 
from those who obeyed, were found to be foolish and 

Thus Clement in no way limits the love and grace 
of God. He regards salvation as a matter for our own 
individual will, and not as the result of an arbitrary 
decree ; as something intended to be universal in 
efficacy and extent, and not as the selection of the 
few to the exclusion of the many. 

Clement was not blind to the historic claims of the 
Church. When discussing the origin of the different 
heresies {Stromateis, vii. 17), he says, "Since this is 
the case, it is plain, I think, from the high antiquity * and 
truth of the Church, that these later heresies, and those 

1 The priority of the Catholic Church is a favourite argument 
with Clement when in controversy with the heretics (cf. Strom, 
vii. 898). 


Still subsequent to them, were false innovations. From 
what has been said, it seems evident to me that the 
true Church, the really ancient Church, into which 
are enrolled those who are just of set purposes (Kara 
Trp66^<nv\ is one." 

Speaking of the unity of the Church, he says, " For 
since God is one, and the Lord is one, that which is of 
supreme importance is praised because it is one, being 
an imitation of the one principle ; the one Church has 
then a joint heritage in the nature of the one, but these 
heresies strive to divide it into many sects. In 
substance, then, in idea, in principle, and in excellence, 
we say that the ancient and Catholic Church stands 
alone and gathers together into the unity of one faith 
— which is founded on the corresponding testaments, 
or rather the one Testament given at various times, by 
the will of the one God through our Lord — all those 
whom God predestinated,^ having known that they 
would be just before the foundation of the world. But 
the excellence of the Church as the principle of union 
lies in its oneness, in its surpassing all other things, and 
having nothing equal to or like itself." 

In StromaieiSy vii. 15, our author makes reply to the 
objections of those who refuse to join the communion 
of the Church on account of the number of prevailing 
sects and heresies, by saying that while there is one 
high-road, there are many other roads, some ending in 

* Clement, like St. Paul (Romans viii. 29), makes the pre- 
ordaining Will of God depend on His foreknowledge. 


a precipice and others in a river, but that in con- 
sequence of this fact people do not abstain from a 
journey, but they will make use of "the safe, the 
royal, the frequented path." By parity of reasoning, 
the truth, he goes on to say, is not to be abandoned, 
for in it true knowledge is to be found, because the 
true Gnostic follows the Apostolical and Ecclesiastical 
division of doctrine (op^oro/ntav, Strom, vii. 899).^ 

Clement lays great stress upon the truth of the 
Church, as we have seen from his own words : 
" Therefore it is evident from the fact that the 
Church is most ancient and most true, that the 
heresies which arose afterwards were false innovations ; 
and it is clear from what we have said that the true 
Church, the really historic Church, is one " {Strom, 
vii. 900), 

In another passage {Peed, 123) cited above, we have 
the universal nature of the Church suggested by its 
connection with the universality of the Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghost. 

Moreover, the Church is a bride, and must htpure, 
pure from the evil thoughts that arise from within, and 
militate against the truth, pure from those who tempt 
her from without, who follow after heresies and per- 
suade us to be false to the one man who is Almighty 
God {Strom, iii. 547). The Church is also faithfuly 
" for the virtue which keeps the Church together, as 

^ Cf. St Paul's expression, "rightly dividing the word of 


the Shepherd says, is faith by which the elect of God 
are saved '* (Strom, ii. 459). 

We thus find in the works of Clement these notes 
of the catholicity of the Church, antiquity, truth, unity, 
purity, faithfulness, and universality. We also find an 
organized ministry. For Clement makes the usual 
distinction between the clergy and the laity, and be- 
tween the different Orders of the former. Speaking of 
St. Paul's precept concerning matrimony, he says : 
**Nay, he (St. Paul) allows him to be the husband 
of one wife, whether he be presbyter or deacon^ or 
layman "^ (Strom, iii. 552). 


In the third book of the Pcedagogus (p. 310), when 
enumerating certain precepts from the Holy Scriptures 
for his pupils, he adds:** But there are very many 
more counsels in Scripture which refer to certain 
persons ; of these some concern the presbyters, some 
the bishops, some the deacons, and others the widows, 
and of these I shall speak at another time." We 
gather from these words that Clement believed that 
the Scriptures allotted their several offices and duties 
to the bishops, priests, and deacons. 

The writings of Origen, a pupil of Clement, contain 
a remarkable echo of these words. In his work. On 

^ See page 249, on deaconesses, 

2 ic&r \ouk6s. For "clergy," vide Q, £>. S,, c. 42. K\^fXf> $va 
y4 riva K\r}p<&(ruv, 


PraycTy he says : " In addition to these more general 
duties, there is the duty we owe the widow who is 
cared for by the Church, and another duty we owe the 
deacon, and another duty we owe the presbyter, and, 
the most important of all, that which we owe the 

In the Stromateis, vii. 830, it is true, as Blondellus 
{De Episc. et Fresbyt ii. 36) has pointed out, that 
Clement only mentions the two orders of presbyter 
and deacon. But then he was distinguishing between 
the position of those who improve and that of those 
who wait upon others. "There are two departments 
in the service of man," he says ; " one of these is 
devoted to improvement, and the other to attendance. 
Medicine improves the body and philosophy the mind. 
Parents and rulers are served, the former by their 
children and the latter by their subjects. So in the 
Church, the presbyters are like those who improve, 
aad the deacons are Kke those who serve." 

It would have spoiled the comparison to have said 
" the bishops and presbyters," seeing that the 
presbyters are« themselves subject to the bishops. 
There was no necessity, therefore, for Clement to 
mention the bishops in this passage, as he was simply 
comparing the functions of the diaconate with those 
of the presbyterate. His silence concerning that order 
is not a proof that he was not aware of its existence or 
of its functions. One might equally well say, because 
he did not mention mathematics or jurisprudence, that 


he knew nothing about the existence . or use of these 
sciences. It is true that in another passage {Q,D,S,f 
47) he called a bishop the presbyter. Whether he 
was alluding to his age or to the fact that " every bishop 
is a presbyter, although every presbyter is not a 
bishop," ^ we do not know, but we have found no 
passage in his works in which he ascribes the function 
of a bishop to a presbyter. 

In the story of St. John arid the Robber, incorpor- 
ated into the Tracf on the Rich Man (c. 42), we find 
strong testimony to the fact that Clement was well 
aware that the Church was regularly organized on an 
episcopal basis by the Apostles themselves. 

After John's return from Ephesus, we' are told in it 
that ** he went to the neighbouring nations, here to 
appoint bishops, there to found and establish whole 
churches, and in other places to set apart for the 
ministry those who were marked out by the Spirit." It 
is related also that he spoke to ** the bishop who had 
been appointed over the district," and addressed him 
as " Bishop." 

Referring to the passage, i Timothy iii. 4, 5, he 
says : " They should be appointed bishops who from 
ruling their own homes well have studied to rule the 
Church " {Strom, iii. 547). 

Eusebius tells us {H. JS.y ii. i) that Clement in the 
sixth book of his Outlines says — ** Peter and James 

^ Omnis episcopus presbyter, non tamen omnis presbyter 
episcopus (Irenaeus, Ep, ad Tim,, c. 3), 


and John, after the ascension of the Saviour, seeing 
that they had been pre-eminently honoured by the 
Lord, did not contend for glory, but elected James the 
Just to be Bishop of Jerusalem." 

There is a very interesting chapter {Strom, vi. 13), 
in which Clement shows that there are degrees of 
glory in heaven corresponding with the dignities of 
the Church below. In this chapter he gives a 
description of the respective works of the bishop, 
priest, and deacon.^ 

" They who have trained themselves in the Lord's 
commandments," he writes, "and have lived per- 
fectly and gnostically (after the manner of the true 
Gnostic), according to the Gospel, may be numbered 
in the chosen body of the apostles.^ He is really a 

^ Clement makes a passing allusion to deaconesses, whom he 
says the Apostles led about with them to assist in the work of 
introducing the gospel-teaching into private households. 

^ The reference here is clearly to the first of the three Orders, 
the episcopate, which took the place of the apostolate after the 
death of the Apostles, and which had precedence of the presby- 
terate. Theodoret says in the course of his remarks on i Cor. xii. 
28, that the early Christians used to call apostles those who are 
now addressed as bishops. The same commentator held that 
Epaphroditus was bishop of the Church of Philippi, because Paul 
called him ** Apostle." 

The converse case is sometimes found. Of Judas the Apostle 
it is said, "his bishopric (^rio-Koir^v) let another take" (Acts 
i. 20). Epiphanius, in his works on the heresies (27. 6), speaks 
of Peter and Paul as apostles and bishops. St. Peter himself 
spoke of his Master as " the Bishop of your souls." The aposto- 
late therefore prepared the way for and delegated its powers to 


presbyter of the Church, and a true minister (deacon) 
of the will of God who does and teaches what is the 

the episcopate, the first of the three Orders, and not to the presby- 
terate, the second. The office conferred on Timothy and Titus by 
St. Paul is a proof of this. Titus was left in Crete to appoint 
presbyters in every city (Titus i. 5). Timothy was requested to 
remain at Ephesus in order to charge some that they teach no 
other doctrine (i Tim. i. 3). 

Both Timothy and Titus were instructed in the character of 
the persons they were to ordain as overseers (bishops), juid elders 
(presbyters), and ministers (deacons) (Titus i. 6, 7 ; i Tim. iii.). 

Timothy formally received the power of ordination. **Lay 
hands suddenly on no man " (i Tim. v. 22). He was to exercise 
a certain control over the ** elders," but not to receive an 
accusation against any but before two or three witnesses (i Tim. 
V. 19)^ and he was to hand on the things he had heard from 
Paul ** to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also " 
(2 Tim. ii. 2). In this way St. Paul provided for a regular 
succession in the ministry of the Church in these places. Had 
the Church of Ephesus and Crete, however, been under the 
control of the local presbyters at the time, we could not conceive 
a greater outrage than such an invasion of their rights. Scripture 
accordingly bears witness not only to the existence of these orders 
in the lifetime of the Apostles, — apostles, presbyters (the principal 
presbyters being called "overseers"), and deacons, but also to 
the institution of a new order, upon which apostolic power and 
authority were devolved, and which was not the presbyterate, but 
above it. St. John calls the heads of the Churches, "Angels." 
St. Clement of Rome (95 A.D. arc), in his Epistle to the Cor- 
inthians ('c. 44), says: "And our apostles knew through our 
Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife over the name of the 
episcopate '* (^ iiriffKOTcfi). Therefore, being fiilly aware of this, 
they appointed the aforesaid persons, and then gave direction 
that when they feU asleep, other approved men should succeed 


Lord's, not as ordained * alone of men, nor as righteous 
because a presbyter, but because righteous enrolled 
"among the presbyters. 

In conclusion Clement writes : " Such will be 
honoured by being placed on one of the four-and-twenty 
thrones. Since, according to my opinion, the various 
steps in the Church, of bishop, presbyter, and deacon, 

to their ministry. He had just mentioned the fact that they {i.e. 
the Apostles), "preaching through countries and cities, appointed 
the first-fruits of their ministry to be bishops and ministers over 
such as shouldsafter wards believe " (c. 42). Ignatius (107 A.D. 
arc. ), in his letters to the Churches of Asia, on his way to martyr- 
dom, impressed again and again upon the Christians the duty of 
obeying and reverencing their bishops, presbyters, and deacons, 
and especially of living in unity with their bishop. ** I exhort 
you,"^ he wrote to the Magnesians, *'that ye do all things in a 
divine concord, your bishop presiding in the place of God, your 
presbyters in the place of the council of the Apostles, and your 
deacons, most dear to me, entrusted with the ministry of Jesus 
Christ." Accordingly at the end of the first century of the 
Christian era, we find the three orders fully established in the 
principal churches of Asia. So long as the Apostles were able 
to visit their churches in person, it was not necessary for them to 
appoint one fixed overseer (bishop). But when, like St. Paul, 
they found the care of all the Churches too heavy a burden, k 
was time for them to delegate their powers to fit persons selected 
from the chief of the elders (presbyters) to be their successors. 
To such the name of "bishop" was limited under the new 
system ; though previously it seems to have been applied to the 
superintending or presiding elders (Acts xx. 28). 

^ This is metaphorical language, but we gather from it that 
Clement was alluding to the existing practice of admitting 
Christians to the sacred orders of deacon and priest by imposition 
of hands. 


are imitations of the angelic glory. For these, taken 
up into the clouds, will first minister as deacons, then 
as presbyters, until they grow into the perfect man." 
In this way he distinguished the different orders of the 
ministry from one another, and showed that these are 
not all equal in rank or function. 


There are many interesting references to the rite 
and meaning of Baptism in the works of St. Clement. 
In the Fadagogus (i. 113) he writes — "Being bap- 
tized we are illuminated, being illuminated we are 
adopted, being adopted we are made immortal." 
"This work," he goes on to say, "has many titles, 
grace,^ illumination,^ that which is perfect,^ and the 
laver.* It is a Maver/ because we are through it 
cleansed from sin ; it is * grace,' because by it the 
punishment of sin is remitted ; it is illumination, be- 
cause by it we see that holy saving light, and our sight 
is made keen to see God ; and it is perfect because it 
is complete, for what doth he need who knows God ? 
Surely it is absurd to call that which is not perfect the 
grace of God, for He Who is Perfect will give perfect 

In another passage Clement speaks of *'the laver " 
as the synonym of salvation. In his Exhortation to 
the Heathen he writes : " Receive then the water of 

' r4\€iov, * \ovTpov, 


the Word; wash, ye stained ones; purify yourselves 
from custom by sprinkling yourselves with the drops 
of truth." 

In the Padagogus (i. 1 16) he derives the Greek word 
for man (<^ft>s) from that which man was intended to 
receive — flight (<^ws). " Our sins," he says, " have been 
removed by one Paeonian remedy, the baptism of the 
Word." In the sixth chapter of the same work he 
alludes to the repentance and renunciation, of which 
Baptism is at once seal and earnest, in these terms : 
** Likewise we repenting of our sins, renouncing our 
iniquities, and purified by baptism, hasten back to the 
Eternal Light, children of the Father." 

In another passage {Strom, ii. 3, c) he shows how 
the heretic Basileides tries to reduce baptism, the 
blessed seal (baptism, or the laying on of hands 
afterwards) of the Son and the Father, to absurdities. 

Clement refers {Pcedagogus, i. 103) to the custom of 
giving the newly-baptized a mixture of milk and honey, 
a symbol of the promised land^ flowing with milk and 
honey, and of all the privileges which the baptized 
possess. He also speaks of the custom of mixing wine 
with milk,2 which Jerome in his commentary on Isaiah 
(Iv. i) says prevailed among the Western Churches. 

^ " On being bom again, we are honoured with the hope of 
the rest, receiving the promise of the Jerusalem above, in which 
it is written, * milk and honey abound ' " {Pted. i. 108). 

^ Cf. Tertullian : **Deus mellis et lactis societate suos in- 
fantat.'* God nourishes his infants in the society of milk and 


This latter compound most probably answered to the 
chrism. In the same work (paragraph 256, Potter's 
edition) he makes a strong protest against the kiss of 
brotherhood which the baptized were privileged to 
inflict on other Christians. He tells us that he objects 
to this custom, the display that was made of it in the 
churches, and the evils that might and did arise from 
it. According to him, love was evinced in brotherly 
feeling not in outward demonstrations. 

Clement alludes to infant baptism in the Pcedagogus 
(1. 3, c. 11) in the expression **the children drawn out 
of water," ^ and uses a remarkable figure of speech 
in his Exhortation to the Gentiles^ where he says, ** We 
must quench the fiery darts of the wicked with watery 
points baptized by the Word." 

We must now try to set down what our teacher said 
on the difficult subject of baptismal regeneration. In 
the first place, we notice a marked distinction in the 
use of the words dvaycwav and TroXtyycvcorta. When 
speaking of baptism he almost invariably uses some 
part or derivative of the verb dvaycwav — to regenerate, 
eig. we are made precious immediately after our re- 
generation ; 2 and " my view is this, that He Himself 
fashioned man from clay ; regenerated him in water ^ 
made him grow by the Spirit, trained him by word 
for Sonship and Salvation, directing him by sacred 

^ Twv i^ fiSaros kvatnrwjjiivtev irat$ie6v. 
* €hBhs kvay^vviiBivr€s t€t tfi'f}fit$a. 

th£ church and the sacraments 25s 

precepts, in order that transforming the earth-bom into 
a holy heavenly thing, by His coming He might fulfil 
to the uttermost that divine expression, * Let us make 
man in Our Own image and likeness.' " 

But in the Exhortation to the Heathen (p. 21) he 
says : " Let us hasten to salvation, let us hasten to the 
Regeneration;^ though we be many let us hasten to be 
united in the union of one Essence." Here Clement 
is evidently speaking of the state of the righteous after 
the Resurrection. 

In his Tract on the Rich Man he uses the words 
" giving a great example of a genuine repentance and 
a great token of reformation,^^ '^ Again he says, "She 
who is a sinner lives to sin but is dead to the com- 
mandments; but she who has repented, being born 
again by conversion of life, has regeneration."^ In this 
passage he uses the two expressions side by side, in 
such a way, however, that it is not hard to see that he 
regarded woXtyycvcorta, the new birth, as the joint result 
of regeneration (\fTii) — God's part in the re- 
newal of man — ^and of repentance (ftcravota), " which 
purifies the place of the soul " {Strom, ii. 459), man's 
part in the return to the Father. We might almost 
distinguish the meaning of these terms so : avayhnnrjcvi 

^ irdKtY^vt<Tiav : cf. Matt. xix. 28. " In the regeneration 
when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of His glory," etc. 

' OXov ikvwy€wn9€t(ra Kark r)iv iiritrTpo^iiv rod fiiov lx«* ^oAi^- 


is the beginning of that state which is perfected in 

Perhaps the strongest passage on the importance 
and efficacy of Baptism that is to be found in all 
Clement's works is paragraph 552 (Potter's edition) 
of the third book of the Stromateis, He is there 
commenting on the words, **Call no man your father 
upon earth, for one is your Father which is in heaven," 
and says that these words mean : " Do not consider 
him who has begotten you in the body to be the 
author and cause of your essence, but the assistant in 
your generation, or rather the minister of it. So He 
wishes you to be turned and to become again as little 
children, recognizing the true Father, and regenerated 
through water, this being another sowing in the 
Creation/' 1 

Again he says {Strom, iv. 637) : ** For this was the 
meaning of the saying, * Unless ye be converted and 
become as little children, pure in body, holy in soul, 
and abstaining from evil works,' showing that He wishes 
us to be such as He has begotten from the womb of 
water " (ck fnyrpas v8aT09). He describes the water of 
Baptism as " the logical water " (/. e. the water of the 
Word, Exhort to Heathen^ 79) ; in the Pcedagogus 
(i. 113) he mentions the deliverance from darkness, 
the illumination, the adoption, the perfection, and the 
immortality that are given to us by baptism ; and 

^ 5t* 05aTos kvay%vin\9hTas, t,\\i\i ravriis (i.e. Baptism) oUtryjs 
iu ry kt'ktcl triropas {Strom, iii. 552). 


immediately afterwards ascribes the same result of 
illumination to regeneration (o fiovov avayewrjOeiq oKr^rcp 
ovv icat Tovvofjua. I^ci koI (fioyna-Oek) ; and he speaks of 
Christ as He Who regenerates (6 dvayewT^a-as rifias) by 
the Spirit unto sonship all who turn to the Father 
{Strom, iii. 552). 


Catechetical instruction ^ was very intimately con- 
nected with Baptism in the system of Clement. 
Indeed on one occasion he almost uses the term 
avaytwyjo-ai (to give spiritual birth) as equivalent to 
t^e word to teach. This does not surprise us, seeing 
that it was a leading doctrine with Clement that the 
Word of God illuminates the reason of man. 

In the Fcedagogus (i. 6.) he says that catechetical 
instruction leads men to faith. Explaining the 
" meat " of i Corinthians, he says St. Paul means, " I 
have given you milk to drink, that is, I have poured 
into you knowledge, which is given by catechetical 
instruction, and nourishes unto eternal life.'* Again 
he says, " Meat is faith made into a foundation by 
catechetical instruction;" and while milk is the 
catechetical instruction, which is, as it were, the first 
nourishment of the soul, meat is the " speculation of 
the mystic " ^ {Pcedagogus, i.). 

* itrom-iK'ti $€wpla. Here we may find the germ of the 
** Cambridge mysticism " of the last century. 


When drawing a distinction between the carnal and 
spiritual mind he says in the same book, " The carnal 
are those who have just been admitted to this 
catechetical instruction." This form of instruction, 
although most extensive, — to judge from the words of 
Sirotnateis (vi. c. xi.), " He who gathers what may 
help the catechumen, especially when they are Greeks, 
must not abstain from science and erudition like some 
unreasoning animal, but must collect together as many 
helps as possible for his pupils," — was not yet the 
perfect knowledge of the Gnostic, which is "the 
perfection of faith." The duty of a catechist wal 
thus an onerous but a tender one ; for, as Clement 
says, ** We call \ivai father who catechizes us ; wisdom 
being a thing to be imparted and productive cJf 
affection to man" (Stromateis^ i. 317). 

It probably was the duty of the catechist to hand oil 
to his pupils some confession or form of creed in which 
the principal articles of belief were summed up ; for 
Clement says, " The first saving change from heathen- 
ism is faith, that is, a compendious knowledge of all that 
is necessary to salvation." That this creed was not yet 
committed to writing, we may infer from the words of 
the Stromateis (p. 319) — "Many of us have received 
the doctrine concerning God without writing through 
faith." It was no doubt that love of mystery, the 
predominant feature of the Alexandrian Church, 
owing to the influence of the Neo-Platonic philosophy, 
which caused a prejudice against committing the 


truths of religion to writing lest they should be 
profaned by the uninitiated. 

There must have been some form of sound words 
which had been handed down by word of mouth in 
vogue in Clement's day. 

It is matter of regret that he did not explain more 
explicidy what was the exact formula of faith which he 
held, and which he was content to define in general 
terms. He may have intended to do so in another 
volume of the Stromaieis which he planned, but never 
lived to write. For he promised his readers in the 
beginning chapter of his fourth volume, to give an 
" abridged exposition of scripture, and other matters, 
which he had originally intended to deal with in one 
book, but was prevented from doing so on account of 
the number of subjects that were pressing." 

Accordingly the question. Was the Church of Alex- 
andria provided with a creed in the days of Clement ? 
must resolve itself into the three following questions, 
(i) Do we find any reference to such a formula of faith 
in his various works ? (2) Can we reproduce the princi- 
pal articles of our creeds from his writings ? (3) Do 
we find any traces of a fixed confession of faith before, 
during, and immediately after his lifetime ? 

If these three questions can be answered in the 
affirmative, we will establish by three lines of proof the 
probability of the fact that the Church of Alexandria 
was furnished with a creed in Clement's day. 

In the first place, can we find any reference to a 


fixed formula in the writings of our author ? Professor 
Harnack (Lehrhuch der Dogmengeschichte^ i. 267) says 
we cannot. He asserts that we cannot gather from^ 
the works of Clement that they had in Alexandria 
either a baptismal confession similar to the Roman, 
or that they understood by such expressions as " rule 
of faith," any fixed and apostolic summary of articles 
of belief. To prove this assertion he adduces the 
following passage from Stromaiets, vii. 15. 90: "If any 
one should break covenants and his agreement with us 
(/. €, who are men, rr]v ofwXoyiav rrjv Trpoc ^/^ac), shall we 
abstain from the truth because of one who is false to his 
profession {Trjv ofioXoyiav)? No; but as the just man 
dare not lie or invalidate any one of the things he 
promised, even so it is not right that we should trans- 
gress 'the ecclesiastical canon' in any respect, and 
especially we maintain the confession of these truths 
which are of the highest moment {ryy frapl rwy fieyioTtov 
ofioXxry'^ay), while they (/. e, the heretics) transgress it.*' 

In his comments on this passage. Prof. Harnack 
contends that the word Homologia never means a 
confession of faith in Clement's works, but confession 
in general, and that its content is given by the context ; 
that it is possible that Clement referred to the Con- 
fession at Baptism, but that this is not certain, and 
that at any rate it is not proved that Clement identified 
his " ecclesiastical canon " with a formulated creed. 

Now if we turn to the context {Sirom. vii. 15), from 
which this passage is taken, we shall see that even on 


Harnack's own hypothesis the word Hotnologia in the 
last clause can only refer to a special confession of 
faith. Clement is there answering the objections of 
those who refuse to become members of the Church 
on account of the dissension of heresies, and the con- 
sequent difficulty of ascertaining the truth. He then 
proceeds to argue from the necessity of truth in 
mundane matters to its necessity in spiritual concerns. 
If any man breaks his contract with us (r^v bfxoXoyiav 
rriy irpoQ rjfias), who are men, shall we too prove 
faithless to ours ? Nay, but as the just must always 
uphold the truth in every detail ; so we must not 
allow the ecclesiastical canon — a higher covenant than 
any human one — to be broken in any particular. 
And we do maintain, above all things, the confession 
which concerns the highest matters of faith (/. e. rrjv 
ofjLoXjoyiav Trjv vpog Oeov, Strom, iv. 4. 1 5) while they 
(the heretics) violate it. 

In the light of the context the last sentence can only 
mean that we, the orthodox Christians, are staunch in 
every detail to the ecclesiastical canon and to the 
specific articles of our belief {h ^«p* twv /icy/orwv 
oftoXoyia),^ which the heretics have abandoned. For 
Clement's argument — " even as the right-minded man 
must be truthful and violate not a single one of the 
promises he has made {ixrihhf a)v vni<r\riraL ajcupovy\ 
so we are bound not to violate the ecclesiastical canon 

^ Origen says belief in God, in the Lord Jesus Christ, and 
in the Holy Spirit are rh fiiyttrra {De Princ, i). 


in any respect (Kara fxriliva Tponov), and we do guard 
above all things the confession which concerns the 
highest truths, but they violate it " — would have no 
force at all, if there is no specified creed, but merely a 
vague belief, which one might easily violate uncon- 
sciously in some way, and which would therefore be 
• very difficult to guard in every particular. 

On the contrary, this argument would have meaning 
if, as we believe, Clement was offering some definite 
form of confession (Homologia), that had the general 
consent of the Church to those who "refused to 
believe on account of the dissensions of the heretics " 
(Strom, vii. 887). 

Moreover, the reference to " compacts " would have 
a special significance, if one might see (and why not ?) 
in that word an allusion to the baptismal covenant 
which would imply a fixed form of renunciation and 
a fixed form of confession. 

A suitable commentary on these words of his master 
is to be found in Origen's Exhortatio ad Martyriuniy 
where he says (n. 17): " If he who transgresses the 
compacts with men ^ (ras 7rp09 dv^pwTrovs frxfvB'r\Ka.i) be 
removed beyond the pale of society and safety, what 
must we say of those who through denial make null 
and void the covenants they have made with God, 
and return to Satan whom they renounced in their 
baptism ? " 

^ Clement's words are : ffvvB^iKas koI t^v SfioKoylav r^iv irphs 


Clement distinctly refers to "the true teaching 
handed down from the Apostles to him" as "the 
Apostolic seeds" {Strom, i. 322), /. e, the germ from 
which the creed was evolved. He tells us {Strom, v. 
659) that the Apostle distinguished between the 
common faith of the multitude and the perfection of 
the Gnostic, calling the former " foundation " (^cftcAtov). 
Now, the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews (vi. 1 2) 
includes repentance from dead works and faith toward 
God, the doctrine of baptisms, and the laying on of 
hands, of resurrection of the dead and of eternal judg- 
ment in the " foundation " which would thus, in itself, 
constitute the nucleus of a creed. We would gather from 
the words of Clement {Strom, vi. 18 and 7) that a more 
elaborate and systematized form of faith was handed 
down by the Apostles. In the first of these passages 
he says that St. Paul teaches that " the gnosis^ which is 
the perfection of the faith, extends beyond the form of 
religious instruction (^ Ka-nyx^o-ts), and is according to 
the glorious doctrine of the Lord and the ecclesiastical 
rule." And in the second, he says this gnosis was 
handed down orally from the Apostles by succession 
to a few. 

In the Stromateis (vii. 834) he refers to a specific 
summary of the faith which he calls 17 iTnTOfirj 1^9 
a-uynjpLas. He also says " the faith '* is a concise Know- 
ledge of the essentials {Strom. 865), which is in itself 
a good definition of a creed. He distinguishes the 
necessary truths which are the kernel of the faith 


((Twexovra r^ Trorriv) from thjngs which are unessential 
and superfluous {Strom, i. 326). 

Those who fall foul of the most important doctrines, 
Tot Kvpuarara, he tells us {Strom, vi. 802), are they who 
reject and deny the Lord as far as they can, and 
deprive us of the true teaching of the Lord, asserting 
that the Scriptures are not in keeping with the dignity 
of God and our Lord. 

We find a reference in Pcedagogus (i. 116, d^ro- 
Toidfievoi Tots cXaTTw/jtaortv) to a form of Renuncia- 
tion,i which was a part of the baptismal formularies. 

In the first chapter of the fifth Book of the Stromateis 
we find a reference to six ^ distinct articles of faith in 
the Son. "There are some,*' he wrote, " who say that 
* our faith concerns the Son, but that our knowledge is 
of the Spirit,' but they do not perceive that we must 
truly believe (i) in the Son ; (2) that He is the Son ; (3) 
that He came ; and (4) how He came; and (5) concern- 
ing His Passion. But one must know Who is the Son 
of God. For neither is knowledge without faith, nor is 
faith without knowledge. (6) For neither is the Father 
without the Son. For as Father, He is Father of the 

We also find abundant references in Clement's works 

^ In the letter of Dionysius of Alexandria preserved by 
Eusebius {H, E, vii. 8), the writer accuses Novatian of having 
made null and void the holy laver, and of having violated the 
faith and the confession pronounced before it. This letter 
belongs to the year a.d. 257 (a><r.). 

^ The numbers in brackets are not in the original. 


to a special catechesis or form of religious instruction, 
and an elaborate " ecclesiastical canon." ^ Is it likely 
that a Church which possessed such a systematized 
method of teaching and interpretation had no fixed 
formula of belief? 

' The fact that Clement did not quote such a formula 
in full is no proof that it did not exist. He naturally 
took for granted that the divinity students he was pre- 
paring knew their Church formularies. It should be 
sufficient in the case of a Professor of Theology, like 
Clement, to show that there are abundant references, 
both direct and indirect, to a confession of faith in his 
theological works. If such a formula did not exist, 
what can 17 irepl twv /x-cyMrrcDV ofioXoyia, 17 kolvyi ttiotis ^ 
17 hnrofirj t^s (romjpia^, ^ Koivrj 8iSaorKd\ta t^s ttmitco)? 
and other constantly recurring expressions of a 
similar kind mean? 

We have now to consider whether we can reconstruct 
a creed similar to either the Apostolic or Nicene from 
the writings of Clement, By way of preface we may 
quote Clement's declaration of the Catholic faith of 
one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, which occurs 

^ Which he defined as the summary of the teaching of the 
Law and the Prophets, harmonized with that of the Apostles and 
the Gospel. 

^ Hilary of Poictiers refers to the creed as communis fides 
{De Syn, 65). *' Exposui communis fidei conscientiam." Rufinus 
also refers to the creed as communis fides. " Sive ergo caro 
secundum communem Jidem sive corpus secundum Apostolum" 
(Orig. Opp, iv.). TertuUian also makes a similar reference. 


at the close of the Fcedagogus (iii. 311), where he 
makes use of these remarkable words : 

" Praising and giving thanks to one only Father and 
the Son, Son and Father, the Son Instructor and 
Teacher, together with the Holy Spirit, One ^ (1. e, the 
Trinity) in every respect, in Whom (/. e, the Trinity) all 
things exist, through Whom all things are one, through 
Whom eternity is, of Whom we all are members, 
Who is good in every respect and just in every 
respect, to Whom be the glory both now and ever- 
more. Amen.*' 

In this passage we have a strong testimony to 
Clement's belief in the Divinity of the Holy Spirit, 
the Homoousion of the Son, and the Unity in the 
Trinity. We also find the following articles of belief 
in his different works. 

1. I believe in one Father of all things. ^ 

2. Who made all things, by the Word of His Power ^ 
the only almighty.* 

3. I believe in One Word of all things,^ Jesus Christ 
our Lord,^ the Word of the Father,*^ the Second Person 

^ Cf. ^ivcSo-Kere olv tri fly Ms ^arlv {Strom, vi. 39), being 
part of a quotation from Preaching of Peter, 
^ els ftev b T&y ti\wv irar'fip {Pad. 123). 

* 5s rh. irdvra itroliiffey \6ytp dvvifiews avrov {Strom, vi. 39). 

* T^ fxSy^ iravTOKpdropL {Strom, vii. 831). 
'^ els 8€ Koi d rSav fi\a>v A6yo5 {Pad. 123). 

® *lri(rov XpiffTov rod Kvplov fifiuv {Strom, ii. 464)* 
"^ A6yos rov HarpSs {Strom, vii. 833). & A6yos rod 6eov 
{Pad. 124). 


of the Trinity,^ the Son of God, Our Saviour and Lord,^ 
Without beginning,^ The only begotten, The Light* 
of the Father,^ Who is One with the Father,* by 
Whom all things were made^ according to the 
Father's Will; the fruit of the Virgin Mary,® the 
Spirit Incarnate^ Who came down from heaven ;^^ 
Who for us men took upon Him suflfering flesh ; ^^ 
Who was to suffer ^^ and Who suffered ^^ the cross and 
death ; Who preached the Gospel to those in Hades ; 
Who rose again and was taken up into heaven ; ^* 

^ rhy vlhv Se ^^{ntpov {Strom, vii. 899). 

^ vihv 8c elvai Tov Otov Koi rovroy flyai rhy ^oyrrjpa koI Kvpioy 
Hy rifiets ipafxey {Strom, vii. 832). 

' &yapxos &px'h (Strom, vii. 700). 

* 5 T€ 0pa$tvrii5 6 Moyoycyifs Tlhs rod $€0v {Strom, vii. 839). 

6 Se ainhs otros A6yos SlKTiy iiriBtls Kpiri^s itrri {jPeed. i. I39)> 

dik rovro ykp koX fiSyos Kpiriis ^ri iiyafidprriTos ii6vos {PcbcI. 
i. 29). 

' tXos (pws iFUTp^oy {Strom, vii. 831). Cf. ^«s ix tpOros of 
Nicene Creed. 

^ vie Koi irarip, %y &fi<f>a {Pad. iii. 311). 

' 5i* o5 irdyra iy4ycro Kork 0o{f\riffiy tov irarpSs {Strom. 
v. 710). 

^ & rrjs Ilap$4yov Kapir6s (cf. Strom, vii. 890). 

^ nv6v/ua ffapKo^fi^yov (Peed. i. 124). 

^^ 71 els aipKa KdBoSos tov Kvpiov {Strom, v. 713). 

*^ 6 5i* rifias rify iradrrriiv ityaXafiiov ffdpKa {Strom, vii. 832). 

^* ^TTci ASyoy ^fii^yvcy rhy 'Ketff6ficyoy {Pad. 126). 

*^ T^ ira$6vrt {Cohort, ad Gent. 84). 

^^ rhy Bdyarov Koi rhy (fravphy xtxX rks Aotir&s KO\d<r€is . . . 
Kot tV Hyepffty Koi T^iy eis ovpctyohs &vd\ri\lfiy {Strom, vi. 128, in 
a passage taken from the Preaching of Peter). He preached to 
those in Hades {Strom, vi. 762). 


Who is now glorified as the Living God, and is 
the Judge (" Arbiter "), and is at the right hand of the 

4. And I believe in the Holy Ghost, One and the 
same everywhere,^ the Third Person in the Trinity,* 
Who is praised with the Father and the Son,* Who 
spake through Psalmist, Prophet, and Apostle.^ 

5. I believe in one true, ancient, pure, and Catholic 

6. I believe in the purification of Baptism, the Re- 
mission of Sins,^ the Resurrection of the dead,^ and 
the Life Everlastmg.® 

Again, in the literary remains of an earlier age we 

^ Kol irpotrKwovfiiv^ $€^ (ami (Cohort, 84). b iK 8€|(»k rod 
narp6s (Peed, i. 99). 
^ KoiX rh wtvfjLa rh iyiov Iv Koi rh abrh irayraxov {Pad, 123). 
' rpirov fikv yhp tl^at rh iLytov iryevfia, 

* alyovmas c^xapto'Tcti' rw fi6va narpi Ka\ Tt^ o'vv Ktti r^ ^y^v 
Hytifiari {Pad, iii. 3 12). 

^ fAdprvs dih 'Hffatov rh Ilvev/ta {Pad. 107). 

T^ Tlv€v/JM 8iA rod Aa0i9 \4yoy {Strom, v, 7 1 3). 

T^ iv r^ A'iro<rr6\(p iytov Uvevfia \4yci {Pad, i. 127). 

* fila Se fi6yri ylverai fiiirrip irap$4vos' iKKKrifflau ifjLoi <l>lKov 
ahrify KaKeTy {Pad, 1 23). 

filay elyai r^y ii\ri$^ 4KK\ri(ndy r^y r^ tvri iipxaiay {Strom. 
vii. 899). 

y^fjul>riy koI 'ZKKXrifridy ^y ayyify clyai Set {Strom, iii. $47). 

^ litv\t(6fi€yoi fiaTrlcTfiari {Pad. 6. c). 

fitiK^ri \ov6fityos els &<l>€a'iy afiaprt&y {Strom, ii. 460). 

^ ii0dyaros HyOpairos {Cohort. 84). In Stromateis, ▼. 649, he 
argues that the fact of the Resurrection was known to Plato and 
the Stoics. C/. ri iydirracris rod Xpiffrov {Strom, v. 7 1 3). 

® Coo^ aii&yios {Strom, ii. 458). (<»^ irapk $€^ {Cohort, 84). 


can find traces of a Syrabolum Fidei. In the ninth 
chapter of a letter of Ignatius to the Church in Tralles, 
written about a.d. 107, we have the following confession 
of faith in Christ : 

1 . Who was of the race of David, the son of Mary. 

2. Who was verily born and did eat and drink (/. e. 
was made man). 

3. Who was verily persecuted under Pontius Pilate. 

4. Who was verily crucified and dead. 

5. Who was verily raised from the dead, His own 
Father having raised him. 

6. After which manner His Father will also raise up 
those who believe by Christ Jesus, without Whom we 
have no true life 

From the Didach^ of the Twelve Apostles (140 
circ) we have the Baptismal Formula, of which the 
Creed (being Trinitarian in form) was a development, 
expressly stated thus : " Baptize into the name of the 
Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, in 
living Water." 

In the recently discovered Apology of Aristides, as- 
signed by Eusebius to the reign of Hadrian, but which 
evidently belongs to the early years of Antoninus Pius 
(/. e, not before a.d. 138), to whom the Apology is 
addressed,^ we find the following articles of belief, 
which we may piece together so : 

I . I believe in God the Creator and Ruler of all 

* See Texts and Sttuiies, Cambridge. 


2. Him alone, One God we must worship and 

3. I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

4. He is the Son of the most High God, and 
together with the Holy Spirit was revealed to us. 
The Word came down from heaven, was made in- 
carnate of the Virgin Mary, was manifested of the 
Holy Spirit, and having assumed human form, revealed 
Himself as the very Son of God. 

5. He was crucified by the Hebrews. 

6. He rose from the dead. 

7. He ascended into heaven. 

8. Judgment is to come by Him upon the race of 

9. We must worship the Creator if we wish to 
inherit everlasting life. 

We thus find the principal clauses of the "Apostles'" 
Creed in a work that belongs, at the latest, to the 
middle of the second century. To come now to the days 
of Clement ; in his lifetime we can trace a growing 
desire among the members of the Church to have a 
written doctrine. 

Irenseus, Bishop of Lyons, who flourished between 
177 and 202 A.D., and was thus a contemporary of 
Clement's, gives us a written form of creed. In his 
work against the Heresies ^ (I. iv. p. 272) he says, " The 
disciple must have a sound faith in One God Almighty, 
of whom are all things, and in the Son of God, Jesus 

^ Sec also I. cap. iv. of same work. 


Christ our Lord, by whom are all things,^ and in His 
dispensations by which the Son of God became man ; 
also he must have a firm trust in the spirit of God, 
who later set forth the dispensations of the Father and 
the Son dwelling with each successive race of men as 
the Father willed." 

Cyprian (circ. 250 a.d.) gives us a form of the 
North African creed. From his Epistle to his son 
Magnus, we gather that that creed consisted in the 
belief in the Trinity and the fact of the remission of 
sins and eternal life through the Holy Church. This 
last article of faith Cyprian advises the orthodox to 
put as a test to the Novatians. 

We have thus shown from three distinct lines of 
proof, first from reference to such a formula in his own 
works ; secondly, from the fact that we can reconstruct 
a creed resembling the Nicene and Apostolic Creeds 
from his writings; and thirdly, from the numerous traces 
of a fixed formula before, during, and immediately 
after his lifetime, that it is highly probable that the 
Church of Alexandria was furnished with a confession 
of faith in the days of Clement, and that the onus 
probandi lies on those who assert the contrary. 

We shall now proceed to quote some beautiful 
passages on the Eucharist, which establish the fact 
that this Sacrament was correctly understood and 
explained by Clement. 

^ I Cor. viii. 6. 



Clement's principal utterance on the subject of the 
Eucharist is to be found in the second Book of the 
FcedagoguSy paragraph 177 (Potter's edition), where 
we read — "The blood of our Lord is twofold in 
nature ; the carnal is that by which we are redeemed 
from corruption, and the spiritual is that by which we 
are anointed. To drink the blood of Jesus is to 
partake of th 2 incorruption of our Lord. The Spirit is 
the virtue of the Word, as the blood is the strength of 
the flesh. As wine is mingled with water, so man is 
mingled with the Spirit. One mixture is a banquet 
for faith, the other is a path to immortality. The 
mixture of wine and the Spirit, t,e, of what is 
drunk and the Word, is called Eucharist, which is a 
laudable and beautiful grace, sanctifying the body and 
soul of those who receive it by faith. It is the will 
of the Father moving in a mysterious way, that forms 
this divine union of man, the Holy Spirit and the 
Word. Thus the Spirit is truly united to the soul, 
which is borne along by it and the flesh, on account 
of which * the Word became flesh ' is united to the 

Clement, seeing in this sacrament a means of draw- 
ing nearer to the Word of life, seems to have concluded 
that the principle of immortality is conferred on us by 
the partaking of this memorial of Him Who sustains 
us unto the undying life. 


He also read in our Saviour's references to the Vine 
an allusion to His own blood. " He showed," he 
remarks, " that what He blessed was wine by saying, * I 
shall not drink of the fruit of this vine until I drink it 
With you in the kingdom of My Father/" Again he 
s^ys, "Christ blessed the wine,'' meaning the Word 
Who was poured out for many ; the sacred stream of 
gladness. Clement extended this interpretation to the 
Old Testament, especially to the passage "Binding 
his foal to the vine" (Genesis xlix. ii), which he 
thought meant binding a simple and infant people to 
the Word. In another passage he says, " The vine 
gives wine and the Word gives blood ; both are 
drunk unto salvation, the wine bodily, but the 
blood spiritually." When commenting on the 6th 
chapter of St. John's Gospel he said, " The flesh and 
blood of the Word is the knowledge of the Divine 
power and essence," thus preventing any material 
interpretation of his own words. 

In Clement's different treatises there are many 
passing allusions to those who celebrated the 
Eucharist with mere water — probably the Encratites, 
— to those who allowed the people to help themselves 
to the consecrated elements, and to others who abused 
the privileges of the love-feast, which was connected 
with the Sacrament of the Eucharist in the early years 
of the Church — facts which speak loudly of the 
disorder that prevailed in those days through that 


slackness of discipline which is by some regarded as 
one of the advantages of private judgment.^ 


It is needless to remark, that* Clement, insisting as 
he always does on the continual presence of Christ 
in the world, and in humanity, did not confound the 
signs of grace with that grace itself. No more could 
he regard the grace of God as a kind of fourth person 
attached to the Holy Trinity. To him the sacra- 
ments were symbols of great spiritual processes, signs 
of an actual sustenance and an actual purification. 

In this view of the sacraments Clement is followed 
by those who believe that there is a real objective 
presence of Christ, Who purifies the soul of the babe 
when it is duly baptized in the water, and Who feeds 
the soul of the faithful with His own life at the Holy 
Communion, and yet do not believe in transubstanti- 
ation, or the change of the elements into the natural 
body and blood of Christ. 

In several passages Clement speaks of the sacrifice 
of praise, prayer, and thanksgiving. In the Stromateis 
(vii. 6) we read as follows: "The sacrifice of the 
Church is the word breathing as incense from holy 
souls, the sacrifice and the whole mind being at the 
same time revealed to God. The pagans regarded 
the ancient altar at Delos as holy. This was the only 


one Pythagoras visited, because it alone was not 
polluted by blood and death. And yet they will not 
believe us when we assert that the righteous soul is the 
really sacred altar, and that the incense that arises 
therefrom is holy prayer " ^ 

And again he writes : " If God needs nothing, and 
delights in our homage, it is very reasonable that we 
honour Him in prayer. This is the best and holiest 
sacrifice, when we offer it with righteousness. And 
the altar is the congregation of those who give 
themselves to prayer with one voice and one 

In the seventh Book of the Strotnateis (p. 86 1) 
we read : ** Prayers and praises and the readings of 
scripture before meals are sacrifices to Him.'' 

And again : " The humble heart with right know- 
ledge is the holocaust to God. We glorify Him 
Who sacrificed Himself for us, we also sacrificing our* 
selves " {Strom, vii. 836). 

This is indeed a fit quotation, fit because so 
expressive of the character of the man, with which to 
conclude this very imperfect review of the life and 
teaching of one of the saintliest men who ever trod 
God's earth, the first and greatest apostle of the 
Greek Theology, the spiritual father of Origen, 

^ Clement's theory that sacrifices were invented by man as an 
excuse for eating flesh has the freshness of originality. 

ZxtpKo^ayiuy B*otfMi trpoipdirei at 0v<rlcu rois iiyOp^itois iirivevS- 
rivrai {Strom, vii. 849). 


Athanasius, Basil, and the two Gregories ; and one of 
whom the late Mr. Maurice truly said : " He seems 
to me one of the old fathers whom we all should 
have reverenced most as a teacher and loved as a 


Achilles Tatius, 9, 12 
Acrostics quoted by Eusebius, 

114. "5 
Agape, the, 108 

Alcmaeon, 93 

Alexander, Archbishop of Alex- 
andria, 28 

Bishop of Jerusalem, 65, 


the Great, 8, 33 

Alexander's Place, 12 
Alexandria, 9, 18 
Alexandrinus, Codex, 23 
Allen.Mr. ^Continuity of Thought, 

Anaxagoras, 92 

Anaximander, 92 

Anaximenes, 91 

Anchor, Emblem, 113 

Antinomians, 161 

Antioch, 66 

Antisthenes, 94 

Antonius Melissa, 73 

Antony, Mark, 13 

Apocrypha, the, 229 

Apollonius, 20 

Aquila, 38 

Archilochus, 133 

Aristarchus, 21 

Aristobulus, 167 

Artists, Roman, 25 

Asceticism, 122 

Asclepiades of Antioch, 66 

Atonement, the, 213 — 223 

Augustine, Confessions of, 112 

Baptism, seal of, 83 ; Illumina- 
tion of, 104; Regeneration of, 
252 et seq. 

Barnabas, Epistle of, 232 

Baronius, Martyrohgy of, 62 

Baruch, Book of, 229 

Basilides, 159 * 

Benedict XIV., 62 

Bible, the, 224 et seq. 

Bishops, 246 et seq. 

Blandina, 64 

Breastplate : Hymn of St. Patrick, 

Bruchium, the, 13 

Buddha, 143, 166, 168 

Caesar, Julius, 12 

Cairo, 19, 29 

Callimachus, 21 

Carpocrates, 160 

Cassianus, 162 

Cassiodorus, 70 

Catacombs, the, 112 

Catechetical Instruction, 257 
et seq. 

Catechetical School of Alexan- 
dria, ^getseq. 

Church, the. Ministry of; 
Historic claims of; Unity of, 
etc.; Sacraments of, 239—257 

Clement of Alexandria, passim 

of Rome, 211 

Commodus, the Emp)eror, 145 

Cookery, 117 

Copts, 27 — 30 



Creed, the, 259 — 271 
Cross, Emblem of, 115 
Culture, Greek, 137 
Customs of Early Christians, 

107 et seq. 
Cyril Lucar, 30 

Decalogue, the, 236 

Delta of Alexandria, 16 

Democritus, 92 

De Rossi, 113 

Diet, Clement on, 109 

Docetae, the, 162 

Dove, symbol of, 112 

Ecclesiastical canon, 228 
Edersheim: History of Jews, 

Egyptians, Gospel according to, 

Empedocles, 91 
Encratites, the, 161 
Ephesus, 81 
Epicurus, 93 
Epiphanius, 26 
Eucharist, the, 272 et seq. 
Eusebius of Csesarea, 51, 68, 71, 

Eusebius of Nicomedia, 26 
Eutychianism, 30 
Ezra, 36, 38 

Faith, 151— 154 
Fasting, 122 
Fish, emblem of, 113 
Freedom of will, 194 et seq. 

Gambling, 118 

Gentiles, Exhortation to the. 89 

et seq. 
Gibbon quoted, 29, 30 
Gnosis, the true, 153 
Gnostic Philosophers, 157 
Gnostic, the true, 154 
God, Clement's theory of, 165 

et seq. 

Ha^ada, the, 37 

Hair, Clement on, 119 

Halacah, 37 

Hebrew influence on Greek Philo- 
sophy, 144 

Heliopolitan nome, 34 

Heracleon, 159 

Heraclitus, 91 

Hipparchus, 21 

Hipponax, 131 

Horace, 25, 93 

Hosea, 103 

Hylobii, 143 

Hymns of Clement, 120, 186 

Hypotyposeis (Outlines) of 
Clement, 69 

Incarnation, the, 185 — 192 
Instructor, the, in Righteousness, 

Irenaeus, 160 
Isidorus, ic8 
Isis, worship of, 25 
Issus, battle of, 8 

Jacobites, 27 

Jaddua, high priest, 32 

Jerome, 61 
ewellery, no 
Jewish mind, 147 
Jews in Alexandria, 31 et seq. 
John, St., and the Robber, 81 
John, St. , Gospel of, 47 
Josephus, 33 
Jowett, Dr. , 45 
Justin Martyr, 161 
Juvenal, 17 

Knowledge, the, of God, 164 
and faith, ly w related, 150 

Leonidas, 65 
Lfcucippus, 92 
Logos, the, 46—48 
Lyons, 64 
Lyre, emblem, 113 

Man, Clement's doctrine of, 183 



Mareotis, lake, 8 
Mark, St., Gospel of, 99 
Matthew, Gospel of, 51 
Matthias, Traditions, 230 
Melissa, Antonius, 73 
Migne, Patrologia of, 70 
Monophysitism, 30 
Museum, the, of Alexandria, 20 

Narcissus, 66 
Neander, 117, 163 

Omar, Caliph, 23 
Onias, 34 

Organic union, 189 
Origen, 22, 64 
Ornaments, no 
Orpheus, 86 

Padagogus, the, 99 ei seq. 
Paataenus, 22, 55, 99 
Parmenides, 91 
Passover, Clement's treatise on, 

Patchwork, 68 
Peripatetics, 93 
Perpetua, 65 
Petavius, 71 
Peter, Apocalypse of, 231 

Preaching of, 232 

Pharos, the, 13 

Philo, /^etseq. 

Philosophy, Greek, 84 

Photius, 75 

Plato, 93 

Plotinus, 59 

Pompey's Pillar, 18 

Porphyry, 59 

Pothinus, 64 

Poverty, 123 

Prayer, 127 

Proculus, 64 

Property, 127 

Providence, Clement's work on, 

Ptolemy Philadelphus, Library 

of. 35 

Pyrrho, 69 
Pythagoreans, 93 

Redemption, the, 213 
Repentance, 209 
Reviewers, 132 
Rhacotis, 29 
Rich man. Tract on, 175 
Rings, no 

Sabellius, 176 

Sacramental teaching, 274 et seq. 

Salvation, doctrine of, 193 

et seq. 
Saviour, the, 104 
Scandal, Clement's treatise on, 

Scripture, Canon of, 229 
Septuagint version, the, 37 
Serapeum, library, 13 
Serapis, temple of, 11 
Severus, persecution of, 64 
Sextus Empiricus, 69 
Ship, emblem of, 112 
Sin, actual and original, 200 

et seq. 
Skanderieh, 18 
Socialism, 127 
Sophocles, 18 
Sophoi, 135 
Soteriology, 193 et seq. 
Soul, Clement's treatise on the, 

Spiritual Religion, 123 

Stoics, philosophy, 51, 140 

Stromateis, 151 et seq. 

Sjrmbols, Chnstian, 112 et seq. 

Talmud, the, 38 
Targums, the, 38 
Tatian, 59, 163, 235 
Thales, 56 
Theocritus, 17 
Theodoret, 62 

Theodotus, Summaries of, 74 
Theophilus, 11 
TherapeuloB, 43 



Tibullus, 25 

Westcott, Bishop, 47 
Wigs, Clement on, 117 
Wine, use of, 109 

World, Clement's doctrine of the, 

Zoroastrian distinction between 
Ahriman and Ormuzd, 159 


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Thoughts and Characters: being Selections from the 
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