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NON-CANONICAL EPISTLES AND RELATED WRITINGS

declare by faith in me [the Christ] what shall be, so that those who have heard and believed may be saved, and that those who have not believed may hear and bear witness, not having any defence so as to say, ‘We did not hear.’ . . .” And to all reasonable souls it has been said above: Whatever things any of you did in ignorance, not knowing God clearly, all his sins shall be forgiven him, if he comes to God and repents.

Clement of Alexandria Strom. 6.15.128

5

Peter in the Preaching, speaking of the apostles, says, “But, having opened the books of the prophets which we had, we found, sometimes expressed by parables, sometimes by riddles, and sometimes directly and in so many words the name Jesus Christ, both his coming and his death and the cross and all the other torments which the Jews inflicted on him, and his resurrection and assump­ tion into the heavens before Jerusalem was founded, all these things that had been written, what he must suffer and what shall be after him. When, therefore, we gained knowledge of these things, we believed in God through that which had been written of him.” And a little after he adds that the prophecies came by divine providence, in these terms, “For we know that God com­ manded them, and without the Scripture we say nothing.”

John of Damascus, Parall. A 12

6

(Of Peter): Wretched that I am, I remembered not that God sees the mind and observes the voice of the soul. Allying myself with sin, I said to myself, “God is merciful, and will bear with me; and because I was not immediately smit­ ten, I ceased not, but rather despised par­ don, and exhausted the long-suffering of God.” (From the Teaching of Peter): Rich is the man who has mercy on many, and, imitating God, gives what he has. For God has given all things to all his crea­ tion. Understand then, you rich, that you ought to minister, for you have received more than you yourselves need. Learn that others lack the things you have in superfluity. Be ashamed to keep things that belong to others. Imitate the fairness of God, and no one will be poor.

Origen, de Principiis i, prol. 8

7

But if any would produce to us from that book which is called The Doctrine of Peter, the passage where the Saviour is represented as saying to the disciples, “I am not a bodiless demon,” . . .

Gregory of Nazianaus, epp. 16 and 20

8

“A soul in trouble is near to God,” as Peter says somewhere—a mar­ vellous utterance.

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