Christ our Leader

Chapter XXXVII.–Christ is our leader, and we His soldiers.

Let us then, men and brethren, with all energy act the part of soldiers, in accordance with His holy commandments.  Let us consider those who serve under our generals, with what order, obedience, and submissiveness they perform the things which are commandedClement of Rome them. All are not prefects, nor commanders of a thousand, nor of a hundred, nor of fifty, nor the like, but each one in his own rank performs the things commanded by the king and the generals. The great cannot subsist without the small, nor the small without the great. There is a kind of mixture in all things, and thence arises mutual advantage. [162] Let us take our body for an example. [163] The head is nothing without the feet, and the feet are nothing without the head; yea, the very smallest members of our body are necessary and useful to the whole body. But all work [164] harmoniously together, and are under one common rule [165] for the preservation of the whole body. 

Chapter XXXVIII.–Let the members of the Church submit themselves, and no one exalt himself above another.

Let our whole body, then, be preserved in Christ Jesus; and let every one be subject to his neighbour, according to the special gift [166] bestowed upon him. Let the strong not despise the weak, and let the weak show respect unto the strong. Let the rich man provide for the wants of the poor; and let the poor man bless God, because He hath given him one by whom his need may be supplied. Let the wise man display his wisdom, not by [mere] words, but through good deeds. Let the humble not bear testimony to himself, but leave witness to be borne to him by another. [167] Let him that is pure in the flesh not grow proud [168] of it, and boast, knowing that it was another who bestowed on him the gift of continence. Let us consider, then, brethren, of what matter we were made,–who and what manner of beings we came into the world, as it were out of a sepulchre, and from utter darkness. [169] He who made us and fashioned us, having prepared His bountiful gifts for us before we were born, introduced us into His world. Since, therefore, we receive all these things from Him, we ought for everything to give Him thanks; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Clement of Rome   “The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians”                                   A.D. 30-100                                                                                                                                 Ante-Nicene Fathers, volume 1

________________________________________________________________ [162] Literally, “in these there is use.”                                                                                     [163] 1 Cor. xii. 12, etc.                                                                                                               [164] Literally, “all breathe together.”                                                                                     [165] Literally, “use one subjection.”                                                                                       [166] Literally, “according as he has been placed in his charism.”                                         [167] Comp. Prov. xxvii. 2.                                                                                                           [168] The ms. is here slightly torn, and we are left to conjecture.                                       [169] Comp. Ps. cxxxix. 15. ________________________________________________________________

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