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Clement of Alexandria: STROMATA (MISCELLANIES) Complete

Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson.

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Page 117

Similarly, also, demonstrations from the resources of erudition, strengthen, confirm, and establish demonstrative reasonings, in so far as men's minds are in a wavering state like young people's. "The good commandment," then, according to the Scripture, "is a lamp, and the law is a light to the path; for instruction corrects the ways of life." [2138] "Law is monarch of all, both of mortals and of immortals," says Pindar. I understand, however, by these words, Him who enacted law. And I regard, as spoken of the God of all, the following utterance of Hesiod, though spoken by the poet at random and not with comprehension:--

"For the Saturnian framed for men this law:

Fishes, and beasts, and winged birds may eat

Each other, since no rule of right is theirs;

But Right (by far the best) to men he gave."

Whether, then, it be the law which is connate and natural, or that given afterwards, which is meant, it is certainly of God; and both the law of nature and that of instruction are one. Thus also Plato, in The Statesman, says that the lawgiver is one; and in The Laws, that he who shall understand music is one; teaching by these words that the Word is one, and God is one. And Moses manifestly calls the Lord a covenant: "Behold I am my Covenant with thee," [2139] having previously told him not to seek the covenant in writing. [2140] For it is a covenant which God, the Author of all, makes. For God is called Theos, from thesis (placing), and order or arrangement. And in the Preaching [2141] of Peter you will find the Lord called Law and Word. But at this point, let our first Miscellany [2142] of gnostic notes, according to the true philosophy, come to a close.

[2138] Prov. vi. 23.

[2139] Gen. xvii. 4. "As for me, behold, My convenant is with thee."--A.V.

[2140] The suggestion has been made that the allusion is to ver. 2 of the same chapter, which is thus taken to intimate that the covenant would be verbal, not written.

[2141] Referring to an apocryphal book so called. [This book is not cited as Scripture, but (valeat quantum) as containing a saying attributed to St. Peter. Clement quotes it not infrequently. A very full and valuable account of it may be found in Lardner, vol. ii. p. 252, et seqq. Not less valuable is the account given by Jones, On the Canon, vol. i. p. 355. See all Clement's citations, same volume, p. 345, et seqq.]

[2142] Stromateus

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