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Clement of Alexandria : O THE PERFECT CHILD!

from Clement's Instructor (Paedagogus), * 1.5, translated by A. Roberts and J. Donaldson.
Text in <angle brackets> added by Elpenor.

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HAT paedagogy is the training <ἀγωγή /guiding-raising> of children, is clear from the word itself. It remains for us to consider the children whom Scripture points to; then to give the paedagogue charge of them. We are the children. In many ways Scripture celebrates us, and describes us in manifold figures of speech, giving variety to the simplicity of the faith by diverse names Accordingly, in the Gospel, "the Lord, standing on the shore, says to the disciples" - they happened to be fishing - "and called aloud, Children, have ye any meat? " - addressing those that were already in the position of disciples as children. "And they brought to Him," it is said, "children, that He might put His hands on them and bless them; and when His disciples hindered them, Jesus said, Suffer the children, and forbid them not to come to Me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." What the expression means the Lord Himself shall declare, saying, "Except ye be converted, and become as little chidren, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven; " not in that place speaking figuratively of regeneration, but setting before us, for our imitation, the simplicity that is in children.

ὢ τοῦ τελείου παιδίου

Ὅτι μὲν οὖν ἡ παιδαγωγία παίδων ἐστὶν ἀγωγή͵ σαφὲς ἐκ τοῦ ὀνόματος· λοιπὸν δέ ἐστι τοὺς παῖδας ἐπιθεωρῆσαι͵ οὓς αἰνίττεται ἡ γραφή͵ εἶτα τὸν παιδαγωγὸν αὐτοῖς ἐπιστῆσαι. Οἱ παῖδες ἡμεῖς· πολλαχῶς δὲ ἡμᾶς ἐξυμνεῖ πολυτρόπως τε ἀλληγορεῖ ὀνόμασι ποικίλοις τὸ ἀφελὲς τῆς πίστεως ἐξαλλάττουσα ἡ γραφή. Ἐν γοῦν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ· σταθείς͵ φησίν͵ ὁ κύριος ἐπὶ τῷ αἰγιαλῷ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητάς - ἁλιεύοντες δὲ ἔτυχον - ἐνεφώνησέν [τε]͵ παιδία͵ μή τι ὄψον ἔχετε; τοὺς ἤδη ἐν ἕξει τῶν γνωρίμων παῖδας προσειπών. Προσήνεγκάν τε αὐτῷ͵ φησί͵ παιδία εἰς χειροθεσίαν εὐλογίας͵ κωλυόντων δὲ τῶν γνωρίμων͵ εἶπεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἄφετε τὰ παιδία καὶ μὴ κωλύετε αὐτὰ ἐλθεῖν πρός με· τῶν γὰρ τοιούτων ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν. Τί βούλεται τὸ λεχθέν͵ αὐτὸς διασαφήσει ὁ κύριος λέγων ἐὰν μὴ στραφῆτε καὶ γένησθε ὡς τὰ παιδία ταῦτα͵ οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθητε εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν͵ οὐ τὴν ἀναγέννησιν ἐνταῦθα ἀλληγορῶν͵ ἀλλὰ τὴν ἐν παισὶν ἁπλότητα εἰς ἐξομοίωσιν παρακατατιθέμενος ἡμῖν.

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