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p. 83 Chapter XXI.—Advantage of the Delay.

To this Peter answered:  “Tell Simon in the meantime to do as he pleases, and to rest assured that, Divine Providence granting, he shall always find us ready.”  Then Zacchæus went out to intimate to Simon what he had been told.  But Peter, looking at us, and perceiving that I was saddened by the putting off of the contest, said:  “He who believes that the world is administered by the providence of the Most High God, ought not, O Clement, my friend, to take it amiss, in whatever way particular things happen, being assured that the righteousness of God guides to a favourable and fitting issue even those things which seem superfluous or contrary in any business, and especially towards those who worship Him more intimately; and therefore he who is assured of these things, as I have said, if anything occur contrary to his expectation, he knows how to drive away grief from his mind on that account, holding it unquestionable in his better judgment, that, by the government of the good God, even what seems contrary may be turned to good.  Wherefore, O Clement, even now let not this delay of the magician Simon sadden you:  for I believe that it has been done by the providence of God, for your advantage; that I may be able, in this interval of seven days, to expound to you the method of our faith without any distraction, and the order continuously, according to the tradition of the true Prophet, who alone knows the past as it was, the present as it is, and the future as it shall be:  which things were indeed plainly spoken by Him, but are not plainly written; so much so, that when they are read, they cannot be understood without an expounder, on account of the sin which has grown up with men, as I said before.  Therefore I shall explain all things to you, that in those things which are written you may clearly perceive what is the mind of the Lawgiver.”

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