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Chapter VIII—Instincts.

When the old man had said this, I Clement said to him:  “Hear, my father:  if my brother Niceta bring you to acknowledge that the world is not governed without the providence of God, I shall be able to answer you in that part which remains concerning the genesis; for I am well acquainted with this doctrine.”  And when I had thus spoken, my brother Aquila said:  “What is the use of our calling him father, when we are commanded to call no man father upon earth?”812812    Matt. xxiii. 9.  Then, looking to the old man, he said, “Do not take it amiss, my father, that I have found fault with my brother for calling you father, for we have a precept not to call any one by that name.”  When Aquila said that, all the assembly of the bystanders, as well as the old man and Peter, 168laughed.  And when Aquila asked the reason of their all laughing, I said to him:  “Because you yourself do the very thing which you find fault with in another; for you called the old man father.”  But he denied it, saying:  “I am not aware that I called him father.”  Meantime Peter was moved with certain suspicions,813813    [Another foreshadowing of the approaching recognition; peculiar to this narrative.—R.] as he told us afterwards; and looking to Niceta, he said, “Go on with what you have proposed.”


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