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Chapter XLVIII.

And perhaps also from the words, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:  but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and the base things, and the things which are despised, hath God chosen, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are, that no flesh may glory in His presence;”35893589    Cf. 1 Cor. i. 26–28. some have been led to suppose that no one who is instructed, or wise, or prudent, embraces the Gospel.  Now, in answer to such an one, we would say that it has not been stated that “no wise man according to the flesh,” but that “not many wise men according to the flesh,” are called.  It is manifest, further, that amongst the characteristic qualifications of those who are termed “bishops,” Paul, in describing what kind of man the bishop ought to be, lays down as a qualification that he should also be a teacher, saying that he ought to be able to convince the gainsayers, that by the wisdom which is in him he may stop the mouths of foolish talkers and deceivers.35903590    Cf. Tit. i. 9, 10.  And as he selects for the episcopate a man who has been once married35913591    Μονόγαμον.  Cf. Can. Apost., c. xvii.:  “ὁ δυσὶ γάμοις συμπλακεὶς μετὰ τὸ βάπτισμα, ἢ παλλακὴν κτησάμενος, οὐ δύναται εἶναι ἐπίσκοπος, ἢ πρεσβύτερος, ἢ διάκονος, ἢ ὅλως τοῦ καταλόγου τοῦ ἱερατικοῦ.”  Cf. note in Benedictine ed. rather than he who has twice entered the married state,35923592    [Origen agrees with Tertullian, passim, on this subject.  Hippolytus makes Callistus, Bishop of Rome, the first to depart from this principle,—accepting “digamists and trigamists.”] and a man of blameless life rather than one who is liable to censure, and a sober man rather than one who is not such, and a prudent man rather 484than one who is not prudent, and a man whose behaviour is decorous rather than he who is open to the charge even of the slightest indecorum, so he desires that he who is to be chosen by preference for the office of a bishop should be apt to teach, and able to convince the gainsayers.  How then can Celsus justly charge us with saying, “Let no one come to us who is ‘instructed,’ or ‘wise,’ or ‘prudent?’”  Nay, let him who wills come to us “instructed,” and “wise,” and “prudent;” and none the less, if any one be ignorant and unintelligent, and uninstructed and foolish, let him also come:  for it is these whom the Gospel promises to cure, when they come, by rendering them all worthy of God.


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