The Instructions Of Commodianus by Commodianus
LXV.--They Who Give from Evil.
Why dost thou senselessly feign thyself good by the wound of another? Whence thou bestowest, another is daily weeping. Dost not thou believe that the Lord sees those things from heaven? The Highest says, He does not prove of the gifts of the wicked. Thou shalt break forth upon the wretched when thou shalt have gained a place. One gives gifts that he may make another of no account; or if thou hast lent on usury, taking twenty-four per cent, thou wishest to bestow charity that thou mayest purge thyself, as being evil, with that which is evil. The Almighty absolutely rejects such works as these. Thou hast given that which has been wrung from tears; that candidate, oppressed with ungrateful usuries, and become needy, deplores it. Besides having obtained an opportunity for the exactors, thy enemy for the present is the people; thou consecrated, hast become wicked for reward. Also thou wishest to atone for thyself by the gain of wages. O wicked one, thou deceivest thyself, but none else.