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appeared later than he did and came in upon him as light upon darkness, as knowledge upon ignorance, as healing upon sickness” (Homilies 2: 17). The Homilies are closely related to another surviving work of the third century attributed to Clement, the Recognitions; both were evidently based on an earlier legendary account of Clement’s travels that is now lost.

Book 1


(Peter says to Clement:) The will of God has fallen into oblivion for many sorts of reasons, 2 above all in consequence of inade­ quate instruction, careless upbringing, bad company, unseemly conversation and erroneous statements. 3 Thence there comes ignorance, and there come also dissoluteness, unbelief, unchastity, avarice, vanity, and innumer­ able vices of this kind, which have oc­ cupied the world as it were a house which, like a cloud of smoke, they have filled; they have thus made muddy the eyes of those who dwell in the house and have prevented them from looking up and recognising the Creator God from his works and inferring his will. 4 Therefore the friends of truth who are in the house must cry from the depth of their heart for help for their truthseeking souls, that if someone is outside the smoke-filled house, he may come and open the door, so that the sunlight from outside may invade the house and that the smoke within may be dissipated.


Now the man who can help here, I call the true prophet; he alone can enlighten the souls of people that with their own eyes they may be able to see the way to eternal salvation. 2 That is not possible in any other way, as indeed you yourself know; only just now you said

3 that every view has its friends and opponents and counts as true or false according to the qualification of its ad­ vocate, and in consequence different opinions do not come to light as what they are, but receive the semblance of worth or worthlessness from their advocates. 4 Wherefore the world needs the godly efforts of the true prophet that he may describe things to us as they actually are and tell us what we have to believe re­ garding everything. 5 First of all then we must examine the prophet with all seriousness and arrive at the certainty that he is a true prophet, 6 and then we should believe him in all matters and ought not to quibble at the least small particular in his teaching, but should accept all his words as valid, as it may appear in faith, yet actually on the ground of the sound examination that we have made. . . .

Book 2


(Peter:) Now that he might bring people to the true knowl­ edge of all things, God, who himself is a single person, made a clear separation by way of pairs of opposites, in that he, who from the beginning was the one and only God, made heaven and earth, day and night, life and death. 2 Among these he has gifted free-will to humans alone so that they may be just or unjust. For them he has also permuted

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