Clement of Alexandria, originally Titus Flavius Clemens

Clement of Alexandria, originally Titus Flavius Clemens
c. 150
215

Christian Theologian, Head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria, best remembered as the teacher of Origen, Apologist, also known as Saint Clement

Author Quotes

Love (agape), then, is not a supper. But let the entertainment depend on love. For it is said, “Let the children whom Thou hast loved, O Lord, learn that it is not the products of fruits that nourish man; but it is Thy word which preserves those who believe on Thee.” “For the righteous shall not live by bread.” But let our diet be light and digestible, and suitable for keeping awake, unmixed with diverse varieties. Nor is this a point which is beyond the sphere of discipline. For love is a good nurse for communication; having as its rich provision sufficiency, which, presiding over diet measured in due quantity, and treating the body in a healthful way, distributes something from its resources to those near us. But the diet which exceeds sufficiency injures a man, deteriorates his spirit, and renders his body prone to disease. Besides, those dainty tastes, which trouble themselves about rich dishes, drive to practices of ill-repute, daintiness, gluttony, greed, voracity, insatiability. Appropriate designations of such people as so indulge are flies, weasels, flatterers, gladiators, and the monstrous tribes of parasites—the one class surrendering reason, the other friendship, and the other life, for the gratification of the belly; crawling on their bellies, beasts in human shape after the image of their father, the voracious beast. People first called the abandoned ???????, and so appear to me to indicate their end, understanding them as those who are (????????) unsaved, excluding the ?. For those that are absorbed in pots, and exquisitely prepared niceties of condiments, are they not plainly abject, earth-born, leading an ephemeral kind of life, as if they were not to live [hereafter]? Those the Holy Spirit, by Isaiah, denounces as wretched, depriving them tacitly of the name of love (agape), since their feasting was not in accordance with the word. “But they made mirth, killing calves, and sacrificing sheep, saying, Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die.” And that He reckons such luxury to be sin, is shown by what He adds, “And your sin shall not be forgiven you till you die,”— not conveying the idea that death, which deprives of sensation, is the forgiveness of sin, but meaning that death of salvation which is the recompense of sin. “Take no pleasure in abominable delicacies, says Wisdom.

Some men, in truth, live that they may eat, as the irrational creatures, “whose life is their belly, and nothing else.” But the Instructor enjoins us to eat that we may live. For neither is food our business, nor is pleasure our aim; but both are on account of our life here, which the Word is training up to immortality. Wherefore also there is discrimination to be employed in reference to food. And it is to be simple, truly plain, suiting precisely simple and artless children—as ministering to life, not to luxury. And the life to which it conduces consists of two things—health and strength; to which plainness of fare is most suitable, being conducive both to digestion and lightness of body, from which come growth, and health, and right strength, not strength that is wrong or dangerous and wretched, as is that of athletes produced by compulsory feeding. We must therefore reject different varieties, which engender various mischiefs, such as a depraved habit of body and disorders of the stomach, the taste being vitiated by an unhappy art—that of cookery, and the useless art of making pastry. For people dare to call by the name of food their dabbling in luxuries, which glides into mischievous pleasures. Antiphanes, the Delian physician, said that this variety of viands was the one cause of disease; there being people who dislike the truth, and through various absurd notions abjure moderation of diet, and put themselves to a world of trouble to procure dainties from beyond seas.

The divine Instructor is trustworthy, adorned as He is with three of the fairest ornament-knowledge, benevolence, and authority of utterance: with knowledge, for He is the paternal wisdom: 'All Wisdom is from the Lord, and with Him for evermore;' with authority of utterance, for He is God and Creator: 'For all things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made;' and with benevolence, for He alone gave Himself a sacrifice for us.

The Lord has turned all our sunsets into sunrise.

The Word of God, became man just that you may learn from a Man how it may be that man should become god.

This visible appearance cheats death and the devil; for the wealth within, the beauty, is unseen by them. And they rave about the carcase, which they despise as weak, being blind to the wealth within; knowing not what a 'treasure in an earthen vessel' we bear, protected as it is by the power of God the Father…

Wisdom… was the first of the creation of God. The second word [i.e., commandment] intimated that men ought not to take and confer the august power of God (which is the name, for this alone were many even yet capable of learning), and transfer His title to things created and vain, which human artificers have made, among which 'He that is' is not ranked. For in His uncreated identity, 'He that is' is absolutely alone. So the best thing on earth is the most pious man; and the best thing in heaven, the nearer in place and purer, is an angel, the partaker of the eternal and blessed life.

When you see your brother, you see God.

For what is hairy is by nature drier and warmer than what is bare; therefore, the male is hairier and more warm blooded than the female; the uncastrated, than the castrated; the mature than the immature

I call on the whole race of men, whose Creator I am, by the will of the Father. Come to Me, that you may be put in your due rank under the one God and the one Word of God.

If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes.

Purity is to have righteous thoughts.

Author Picture
First Name
Clement of Alexandria, originally Titus Flavius Clemens
Birth Date
c. 150
Death Date
215
Bio

Christian Theologian, Head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria, best remembered as the teacher of Origen, Apologist, also known as Saint Clement