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Chapter LXVII.—Weekly worship of the Christians.

And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son 186 Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday,19131913    τῇ τοῦ ῾Ηλίου λεγομένη ἡμέρᾳ. all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability,19141914    ὅση δύναμις αὐτῷ,—a phrase over which there has been much contention, but which seems to admit of no other meaning than that given above. [No need of any “contention.” Langus renders, Pro virili suâ, and Grabe illustrates by reference to Apost. Const., lib. viii. cap. 12. Our own learned translators render the same phrase (cap. xiii., above) “to the utmost of our power.” Some say this favours extemporary prayers, and others object. Oh! what matter either way? We all sing hymns, “according to our ability.”] and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given,19151915    Or, of the eucharistic elements. and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.


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