The Instructions Of Commodianus by Commodianus
LXXI.--To Visit the Sick.
If thy brother should be weak -- I speak of the poor man -- do not empty-handed visit such an one as he lies ill. Do good under God; pay your obedience by your money. Thence he shall be restored; or if he should perish, let a poor man be refreshed, who has nothing wherewith to pay you, but the Founder and Author of the world on his behalf. Or if it should displease thee to go to the poor man, always hateful, send money, and something whence he may recover himself. And, similarly, if thy poor sister lies upon a sick-bed, let your matrons begin to bear her victuals. God Himself cries out, Break thy bread to the needy. There is no need to visit with words, but with benefits. It is wicked that thy brother should be sick through want of food. Satisfy him not with words. He needs meat and drink. Look upon such assuredly weakened, who are not able to act for themselves. Give to them at once. I pledge my word that fourfold shall be given you by God.