To the Newly Baptized. Clement of Alexandria. (Translated by G. W. Butterworth) ECW-Clem.TF-01.02

Early Christian Writings

Title: To the Newly Baptized.

Subheading: Clement of Alexandria.

Note: This text is taken from Butterworth’s Clement of Alexandria, pp. 370-377 in the LOEB Classical Library


Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol II.

Τὰ ἀρχαῖα ἔθη κρατείτω. The Nicene Council

Original Source: CCEL


Translated by: Butterworth, George William 1919

By: Clement of Alexandria

Published: 182-202 A.D.

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Our Ref: ECW-Clem.TF-01.02

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ο προτρεπτικος εις υπομονην


προς τους νεωετι βεβαπτισμενους

κλημεντος παραγγελματα





ἡσυχίαν μὲν λόγοις ἐπιτήδευε, ἡσυχίαν δὲ ἔργοις,
ὡσαύτως δὲ ἐν γλώττῃ καὶ βαδίσματι· σφοδρότητα
δὲ ἀπόφευγε προπετῆ· οὕτως γὰρ ὁ νοῦς διαμενεῖ
βέβαιος, καὶ οὐχ ὑπὸ τῆς σφοδρότητος ταραχῶδης
γενόμενος ἀσθενής ἔσται καὶ βραχὺς περὶ φρόνησιν
καὶ σκοτεινὸν ὁρῶν· οὐδὲ ἡττηθήσεται μὲν γαστριμαργίας,
ἡττηθήσεται δὲ ἐπιζέοντος θυμοῦ, ἡττηθήσεται
δὲ τῶν ἄλλων παθῶν, ἕτοιμον αὐτοῖς
ἅρπαγμα προκείμενος. τὸν γὰρ νοῦν δεῖ τῶν
παθῶν ἐπικρατεῖν ὑψηλὸν ἐπὶ ἡσύχου θρόνου
καθήμενον ἀφορῶντα πρὸς θεόν. μηδὲν ὀξυχολιας
ἀνάπλεος ἔσο περὶ ὀργάς, μηδὲ νωθρὸς ἐν λόγοις,
μηδὲ ἐν βαδίσμασιν ὄκνου πεπληρωμένος, ἵνα σοὶ
ῥυθμὸς ἀγαθὸς τὴν ἡσυχίαν κοσμῇ καὶ θείῷδές τι
καὶ ἱερὸν τὸ σχῆμα φαίνηται. φυλάττου δὲ καὶ τῆς
ὑπερηφανίας τὰ σύμβολα, σχῆμα ὑψαυχενουν καὶ
κεφαλὴν ἐξηρμένην καὶ βῆμα ποδῶν ἁβρὸν καὶ

Cultivate quietness in word, quietness in deed, likewise in speech and gait; and avoid impetuous eagerness. For then the mind will remain steady, and will not be agitated by your eagerness and so become weak and of narrow discernment and see darkly; nor will it be worsted by gluttony, worsted by boiling rage, worsted by the other passions, lying a ready prey to them. For the mind, seated on high on a quiet thrown looking intently towards God, must control the passions. By no means be swept away by temper in bursts of anger, nor be sluggish in speaking, nor all nervousness in movement; so that your quitness may be adorned by good proportion and your bearing may appear something divine and sacred. Guard also against the signs of arrogance, a haughty bearing, a lofty head, a dainty and high-treading footstep.

ἤπιά σοι πρὸς τοὺς ἀπαντῶντας ἔστω τὰ ῥήματα,
καὶ προσηγορίαι γλυκεῖαι· αἰδὼς δὲ πρὸς γυναῖκας
καὶ βλέμμα τετραμμένον εἰς γῆν. λαλεῖ δὲ περιεσκεμμένως
ἅπαντα, καὶ τῇ φωνῇ τὸ χρήσιμον
ἀποδίδου, τῇ χρεία τῶν ἀκουόντων τὸ φθέγμα
μετρῶν, ἄχρι ἂν καὶ ἐξάκουστον ᾖ, καὶ μήτε
διαφεῦγον τὴν ἀκοὴν τῶν παρόντων ὑπὸ σμικρότητος,
μήτε ὑπερβάλλον μείζονι τῇ κραυγῇ.
φυλάττου δὲ ὅπως μηδὲν πότε λαλήσῃς ὃ μὴ
προεσκέψω καὶ προενόησας· μηδὲ προχείρως καὶ
μεταξὺ τῶν τοῦ ἑτέρου λόγων ὑπόβαλλε τοὺς
σαυτοῦ· δεῖ γὰρ ἀνὰ μέρος ἀκούειν καὶ διαλέγεσθαι,
χρόνῳ μερίζοντα λόγον καὶ σιωπήν·
μάνθανε δὲ ἀσμένως, καὶ ἀφθόνως δίδασκε, μηδὲ
ὑπὸ φθόνου πότε σοφίαν ἀποκρύπτου πρὸς τοὺς
ἑτέρους, μηδὲ μαθήσεως ἀφίστασο δι’ αἰδῶ. ὕπεικε
πρεσβυτέροις ἴσα πατράσιν· τίμα θεράποντας θεοῦ·
κάταρχε σοφίας καὶ ἀρετῆς. μηδὲ ἐριστικὸς ἔσο
πρὸς τοὺς φίλους, μηδὲ χλευαστὴς κατ’ αὐτῶν καὶ
γελωτοποιός· ψεῦδος δὲ καὶ δόλον καὶ ὕβριν
ἰσχυρῶς παραίτου· σὺν εὐφημία δὲ φέρε καὶ τὸν
ὑπερήφανον καὶ ὑβριστὴν ὡς πρᾶος τέ καὶ
μεγαλόψυχος ἀνήρ.

Let your speech be gentle towards those wyou meet, and your greetings kind; be modest towards women, and let your glance be turned to the ground. Be thoughtfull in all your talk, and give back a useful answer, adapting the utterance to the hearer’s need, just so loud that it may be distinctly audible, neither escaping the ears of the company by reason of feebleness nor going to excess with too much noise. Take care never to speak what you have not weighed and pondered beforehand; nor interject your own words on the spur of the moment and in the midst of another’s; for you must listen and converse in turn, with set times for speech and for silence. Learn gladly, and teach ungrudgingly; never hide wisdom for others by reason of a grudging spirit, nor through false modesty stand aloof from instruction. Submit to elders just as to fathers. Honour God’s servants. Be first to practice wisdom and virtue. Do not wrangle with your friends, nor mock at them and play the buffoon. Firmly renounce falsehood, guile and insolence. Endure in silence, as a gentle and high-minded man, the arrogant and insolent.

κείσθω δέ σοι πάντα εἰς θεὸν καὶ ἔργα καὶ λόγοι,
καὶ πάντα ἐνάφερε χριστῷ τὰ σαυτοῦ καὶ πυκνῶς
ἐπὶ θεὸν τρέπε τὴν ψυχήν, καὶ τὸ νόημα ἐπέρειδε
τῇ χριστοῦ δυνάμει ὥσπερ ἐν λιμένι τίνι τῷ θείῳ
φωτὶ τοῦ σωτῆρος ἀναπαυόμενον ἀπὸ πάσης
λαλιᾶς τέ καὶ πράξεως. καὶ μεθ’ ἡμέραν πολλάκις
μὲν ἀνθρώποις κοινοῦ τὴν σεαυτοῦ φρόνησιν,
θεῷ δὲ ἐπὶ πλεῖστον ἐν νυκτὶ ὁμοίως καὶ ἐν ἡμέρᾳ·
μὴ γὰρ ὕπνος σὲ ἐπικρατείτω πολὺς τῶν πρὸς θεὸν
εὐχῶν τε καὶ ὕμνων θανάτῳ γὰρ ὁ μακρὸς ὕπνος
ἐφάμιλλος. μέτοχος χριστοῦ ἀεὶ καθίστασο τοῦ
τὴν θείαν αὐγὴν καταλάμποντος ἐξ οὐρανοῦ· εὐφροσύνη
γὰρ ἔστω σοι διηνεκὴς καὶ ἄπαυστος ὁ

Let everything you do be done for God, both deeds and words; and refer all that is yours to Christ; and constantly turn your soul to God; and lean your thought on the power of Christ, as if in some harbour by the divine light of the Saviour it were resting from all talk and action. And often by day communicate your thoughts to men, but most of all to God at night as well as by day; for let not much sleep prevail to keep you from your prayers and hymns to God, since long sleep is a rival of death. Show yourself always a partner of Christ who makes the divine ray shine from heaven; let Christ be to you continual and unceasing joy.

μηδὲ λῦε τὸν τῆς ψυχῆς τόνον ἐν εὐωχία καὶ
ποτῶν ἀνέσει ἱκανὸν δὲ ἡγοῦ τῷ σώματι τὸ
χρειῶδες. καὶ μὴ πρόσθεν ἐπείγου πρὸς τροφὰς
πρὶν ἢ καὶ δείπνου παρῇ καιρὸς· ἄρτος δὲ ἔστω
σοι τὸ δεῖπνον, καὶ πόαι γῆς προσέστωσαν καὶ τὰ
ἐκ δένδρων ὡραία· ἴθι δὲ ἐπὶ τὴν τροφὴν εὐσταθῶς
καὶ μὴ λυσσώδη γαστριμαργίαν ἐπιφαίνων· μηδὲ
σαρκοβόρος μηδὲ φίλοινος ἔσο, ὁπότε μὴ νόσος τίς
ἴασιν ἐπὶ ταύτην ἄγοι. ἀλλ’ ἀντὶ τῶν ἐν τούτοις
ἡδονῶν τὰς ἐν λόγοις θείοις καὶ ὕμνοις εὐφροσύνας
αἱροῦ τῇ παρὰ θεοῦ σοι χορηγουμένας σοφία,
οὐράνιος τέ ἀεὶ σὲ φροντὶς ἀναγέτω πρὸς οὐρανόν

Relax not the tension of your soul with feasting and indulgence in drink, but consider what is needful to be enough for the body. And do not hasten early to meals before the time for dinner comes; but let your dinner be bread, and let earth’s grasses and the ripe fruits of trees be set before you; and go to your meal with composure, showing no sign of raging gluttony. Be not a flesh-eater nor a lover of wine, when no sickness leads you to this as a cure. But in place of the pleasures that are in these, choose the joys that are in divine words and hymns, joys supplied to you by wisdom from God; and let heavenly meditation ever lead you upward to heaven.

καὶ τὰς πολλὰς περὶ σώματος ἀνίει μερίμνας
τεθαρσηκὼς ἐλπίσι ταῖς πρὸς θεὸν, ὅτι σοὶ γέ τὰ
ἀναγκαῖα παρέξει διαρκῆ τροφήν τε τὴν εἰς ζωὴν
καὶ κάλυμμα σώματος καὶ χειμερινοῦ ψύχους
ἀλεξητήρια. τοῦ γὰρ δὴ σοῦ βασιλέως γῆ τε
ἅπασα καὶ ὅσα ἐκφύεται· ὡς μέλη δὲ αὑτοῦ τῶν
αὑτοῦ θεραπόντων ὑπερβαλλόντως περιέπει καθάπερ
ἱερὰ καὶ ναοὺς αὑτοῦ. διὰ δὴ τοῦτο μηδὲ νόσους
ὑπερβαλλούσας δέδιθι μηδὲ γήρως ἔφοδον χρόνῳ
προσδοκωμένου· παύσεται γὰρ καὶ νόσος, ὅταν
ὁλοψύχῳ προθέσει τοιωμεν τὰς αὐτοῦ ἐντολάς.

And give up the many anxious cares about the body by taking comfort in hopes towards God; because for you He will provide all necessary things in sufficiency, food to support life, covering for the body, and protection against winter cold. For to your King belongs the whole earth and all that is produced from it; and God treats the bodily parts of His servants with exceeding care, as if they were His, like His own shrines and temples. On this account do not dread severe diseases, nor the approach of old age, which must be expected in time; for even disease will come to an end, when the whole-hearted purpose we do His commandments.

ταῦτα εἰδὼς καὶ πρὸς νόσους ἰσχυρὰν κατασκεύαζε
τὴν ψυχὴν, εὐθάρσησον ὥσπερ τίς ἀνὴρ ἐν
σταδίοις ἄριστος ἀτρέπτῳ τῇ δυνάμει τοὺς πόνους
ὑφίστασθαι. μηδὲ ὑπὸ λύπης πάνυ μιέζου τὴν
ψυχὴν, εἴτε νόσος ἐπικειμένη βαρύνει εἴτε ἄλλο τι
συμπίπτει δυσχερές, ἀλλὰ γενναίως ἀνθίστα τοῖς
πόνοις τὸ νόημα, χάριτας ἀνάγων θεῷ καὶ ἐν μέσοις
τοῖς ἐπιπόνοις πράγμασι ἅτε δὴ σοφώτερά τε ἀνθρώπων
φρονοῦντι καὶ ἅπερ οὐ δυνατὸν οὐδὲ ῥᾴδιον
ἀνθρώποις εὑρεῖν. ἐλέει δὲ κακουμένους, καὶ τὴν
παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ βοήθειαν ἐπ’ ἀνθρώποις αἰτοῦ·
ἐπινεύσει γὰρ αἰτοῦντι τῷ φίλῳ τὴν χάριν, καὶ τοῖς
κακουμένοις ἐπικουρίαν παρέξει, τὴν αὑτοῦ δύναμιν
γνώριμον ἀνθρώποις καθιστάναι βουλόμενος, ὡς ἂν
εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἐλθόντες ἐπὶ θεὸν ανιωσιν καὶ τῆς
αἰωνίου μακαριότητος ἀπολαύσωσιν, ἐπειδὰν ὁ
τοῦ θεοῦ υἱὸς παραγένηται ἀγαθὰ τοῖς ἰδίοις

Knowing this, make your soul strong even in face of diseases; be of good courage, like a man in the arena, bravest to submit to his toils with strength unmoved. Be not utterly crushed in soul by grief, whether disease lies heavily upon you, or any other hardship befalls, but nobly confront toils with your understanding, even in the midst of your struggles rendering thanks to God; since His thoughts are wiser than men’s, and such as it is not easy nor possible for men to find out. Pity those who are in distress, and ask for men the help that comes from God; for God will grant grace to His friend when he asks, and will provide succour for those in distress, wishing to make His power known to men, in the hope that, when they have come to full knowledge, they may return to God, and may enjoy eternal blessedness when the Son of God shall appear and restore good things to His own.


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