Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Epistle to Diognetus

5:1 For Christians are not distinguished from the
rest of mankind either in locality or in speech or in
5:2 For they dwell not somewhere in cities of their
own, neither do they use some different language, nor
practise an extraordinary kind of life.
5:3 Nor again do they possess any invention
discovered by any intelligence or study of ingenious
men, nor are they masters of any human dogma as some
5:4 But while they dwell in cities of Greeks and
barbarians as the lot of each is cast, and follow the
native customs in dress and food and the other
arrangements of life, yet the constitution of their
own citizenship, which they set forth, is marvellous,
and confessedly contradicts expectation.
5:5 They dwell in their own countries, but only as
sojourners; they bear their share in all things as
citizens, and they endure all hardships as strangers.
Every foreign country is a fatherland to them, and
every fatherland is foreign.
5:6 They marry like all other men and they beget
children; but they do not cast away their offspring.
5:7 They have their meals in common, but not their
5:8 They find themselves in the flesh, and yet they
live not after the flesh.
5:9 Their existence is on earth, but their
citizenship is in heaven.
5:10 They obey the established laws, and they
surpass the laws in their own lives.
5:11 They love all men, and they are persecuted by
5:12 They are ignored, and yet they are condemned.
They are put to death, and yet they are endued with
5:13 They are in beggary, and yet they make many
rich. They are in want of all things, and yet they
abound in all things.
5:14 They are dishonoured, and yet they are
glorified in their dishonour. They are evil spoken of,
and yet they are vindicated.
5:15 They are reviled, and they bless; they are
insulted, and they respect.
5:16 Doing good they are punished as evil-doers;
being punished they rejoice, as if they were thereby
quickened by life.
5:17 War is waged against them as aliens by the
Jews, and persecution is carried on against them by
the Greeks, and yet those that hate them cannot tell
the reason of their hostility.

9:2 And when our iniquity had been fully
accomplished, and it had been made perfectly manifest
that punishment and death were expected as its
recompense, and the season came which God had
ordained, when henceforth He should manifest His
goodness and power (O the exceeding great kindness and
love of God), He hated us not, neither rejected us,
nor bore us malice, but was long-suffering and
patient, and in pity for us took upon Himself our
sins, and Himself parted with His own Son as a ransom
for us, the holy for the lawless, the guileless for
the evil, _the just for the unjust,_ the incorruptible
for the corruptible, the immortal for the mortal.
9:3 For what else but His righteousness would have
covered our sins?
9:4 In whom was it possible for us lawless and
ungodly men to have been justified, save only in the
Son of God?
9:5 O the sweet exchange, O the inscrutable
creation, O the unexpected benefits; that the iniquity
of many should be concealed in One Righteous Man, and
the righteousness of One should justify many that are
9:6 Having then in the former time demonstrated the
inability of our nature to obtain life, and having now
revealed a Saviour able to save even creatures which
have no ability, He willed that for both reasons we
should believe in His goodness and should regard Him
as nurse, father, teacher, counsellor, physician,
mind, light, honour, glory, strength and life.


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