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THE LETTER OF 1 CLEMENT

dawn to dusk they are no more. They perished, unable to come to their own assistance. 6 He breathed upon them and they died for want of wisdom. 7 But call out; see if anyone listens or if you observe any of the holy angels. For wrathn destroys the ignorant and zealo kills the one who has been deceived. 8 I have seen the ignorant casting forth their roots, but their sustenance was im­ mediately consumed. 9 May their children be far removed from safety; may they be derided before the doors of their inferiors, with no one there to deliver them. For the food pre­ pared for them will be devoured by the upright, and they will not be delivered from those who are evil.”48

40

Since these matters have been clarified for us in advance and we have gazed into the depths of divine knowledge, we should do everything the Master has commanded us to perform in an orderly way and at appointed times. 2 He commanded that the sacrificial offerings and liturgical rites be per­ formed not in a random or haphazard way, but according to set times and hours. 3 In his superior plan he set forth both where and through whom he wished them to be performed, so that everything done in a holy way and according to his good pleasure might be acceptable to his will. 4 Thus, those who make their sacrifi­ cial offerings at the arranged times are acceptable and blessed. And since they follow the ordinances of the Master, they commit no sin. 5 For special liturgical rites have been assigned to the high priest, and a special place has been designated for the regular priests, and special ministries are estab­ lished for the Levites. The lay person is assigned to matters enjoined on the laity.

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Brothers, let each of us be pleasing to God by keeping to our special assignments with a good con­ science, not violating the established rule of his ministry, acting in reverence. 2 The sacrifices made daily, or for vows, for sin, or for transgression, are not offered everywhere, brothers, but in Je­ rusalem alone; and even there a sacrifice is not made in just any place, but before the sanctuary on the altar, after the sac­ rificial animal has been inspected for blemishes by both the high priest and the ministers mentioned earlier. 3 Thus, those who do anything con­ trary to his plan bear the penalty of death. 4 You see, brothers, the more knowl­ edge we have been deemed worthy to receive, the more we are subject to danger.

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The apostles were given the gospel for us by the Lord Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ was sent forth from God. 2 Thus Christ came from God and the apostles from Christ. Both things hap­ pened, then, in an orderly way according to the will of God. 3 When, therefore, the apostles re­ ceived his commands and were fully con­ vinced through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and persuaded by the word of God, they went forth proclaim­ ing the good news that the Kingdom of God was about to come, brimming with confidence through the Holy Spirit. 4 And as they preached throughout the countryside and in the cities, they ap­ pointed the first-fruits of their ministries as bishops and deacons of those who

n

Or: his wrath

48

o

Or: his zeal

Job 4:16–18; 15:15; 4:19–5:5.

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