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THE LETTER OF 2 CLEMENT

came flesh, and in this way called us, so also we will receive the reward in this flesh. 6 And so we should love one another, that we may all enter the Kingdom of God. 7 While we have time to be healed, let us give ourselves over to the God who brings healing, paying him what is due. 8 And what is that? Repentance from a sincere heart. 9 For he knows all things in advance and recognizes what is in our hearts. 10 And so we should give him praise, not from our mouth alone but also from our heart, that he may welcome us as children. 11 For the Lord also said, “My broth­ ers are these who do the will of my Father.”17

10

So my brothers, let us do the will of the Father who called us, that we may live; even more, let us pursue virtue. But we should abandon evil as a forerunner of our sins; and we should flee from impiety, lest evil over­ take us. 2 For if we are eager to do good, peace will pursue us. 3 For this reason no one can find peace when they bring forward human fears and prefer the pleasure of the present to the promise that is yet to come. 4 For they do not realize the kind of torment brought by present pleasure or the kind of delight coming with the future promise. 5 It would be tolerable if they alone were doing these things; but now they persist in teaching such evil notions to innocent people, not knowing that they will bear a double penalty—both they and those who listen to them.

11

For this reason we should be enslaved to God with a pure

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heart, and then we will be upright. But if we choose not to be enslaved to God, not believing in his promise, we will be miserable. 2 For the prophetic word also says, “How miserable are those of two minds, who doubt in their hearts, who say, ‘We heard these things long ago, in the time of our parents, but though we have waited day after day, we have seen none of them.’ 3 Fools! Compare yourselves to a tree. Take a vine: first it sheds its leaves, then a bud appears, and after these things an unripe grape, and then an entire bunch fully grown. 4 So too my people is now disorderly and afflicted; but then it will receive what is good.”18 5 So my brothers, we should not be of two minds but should remain hopeful, that we may receive the reward. 6 For the one who has promised to reward each according to his deeds is faithful.19 7 If, therefore, we do what is righteous before God, we will enter into his king­ dom and receive his promises, which no ear has heard nor eye seen, nor has it entered into the human heart.20

12

For this reason, we should await the kingdom of God with love and righteousness every hour, since we do not know the day when God will appear. 2 For when the Lord himself was asked by someone when his kingdom would come, he said, “When the two are one, and the outside like the inside, and the male with the female is neither male nor female.”21

17

Matt 12:50; Mark 3:35; Luke 8:21. 18Source un­ known. Cf. 1 Clem 23:3–4. 19Heb 10:23. 201 Cor 2: 9. 21Cf. Gosp. Thom. 22; also quoted in Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis 3:13, where it is attributed to the lost Gospel of the Egyptians.

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