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Book X.

Chapter I.—Probation.

But in the morning, after sunrise, I Clement, and Niceta and Aquila, along with Peter, came to the apartment in which my father and mother were sleeping; and finding them still asleep, we sat down before the door, when Peter addressed us in such terms as these:857857    [In book x. the arrangement, to the close of chap. 51, differs from that of the Homilies.  Here Peter proposes a delay.  In Homily XV. an account is given of the attempt to convert the father immediately; the Apostle arguing with him, and urging the importance of being of the same mind with his family.  Then in Homilies XVI.–XIX. a second discussion with Simon is given, occurring in the presence of the father of Clement.  Here the argument is carried on by Clement (chaps. 7–28), Niceta (chaps. 30–34, 41), Aquila (chaps. 35–38), and concluded by Peter himself (chaps. 42–51).  Much of the mythological matter finds a parallel in the discussion with Appion (Homily IV.–VI.), but there is no direct agreement in the two works from this point to chap. 52.  Comp. Homily XX. 11.—R.]  “Listen to me, most beloved fellow-servants:  I know that you have a great affection for your father; therefore I am afraid that you will urge him too soon to take upon himself the yoke of religion, while he is not yet prepared for it; and to this he may perhaps consent, through his affection for you.  But this is not to be depended on; for what is done for the sake of men is not worthy of approbation, and soon falls to pieces.  Therefore it seems to me, that you should permit him to live for a year according to his own judgment; and during that time he may travel with us, and while we are instructing others he may hear with simplicity; and as he hears, if he has any right purpose of acknowledging the truth, he will himself request that he may take up the yoke of religion; or if he do not please to take it, he may remain a friend.  For those who do not take it up heartily, when they begin not to be able to bear it, not only cast off that which they had taken up, but by way of excuse, as it were, for their weakness, they begin to speak evil of the way of religion, and to malign those whom they have not been able to follow or to imitate.”


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