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The Instructions Of Commodianus by Commodianus

LXI.--In the Church to All the People of God.

I, brethren, am not righteous who am lifted up out of the filth, nor do I exalt myself; but I grieve for you, as seeing that out of so great a people, none is crowned in the contest; certainly, even if he does not himself fight, yet let him suggest encouragement to others. Ye rebuke calamity; O belly, stuff yourself out with luxury. The brother labours in arms with a world opposed to him; and dost thou, stuffed with wealth, neither fight, nor place thyself by his side when he is fighting? O fool, dost not thou perceive that one is warring on behalf of many? The whole Church is suspended on such a one if he conquers. Thou seest that thy brother is withheld, and that he fights with the enemy. Thou desirest peace in the camp, he outside rejects it. Be pitiful, that thou mayest be before all things saved. Neither dost thou fear the Lord, who cries aloud with such an utterance; even He who commands us to give food even to our enemies. Look forward to thy meals from that Tobias who always on every day shared them entirely with the poor man. Thou seekest to feed him, O fool, who feedeth thee again. Dost thou wish that he should prepare for me, who is setting before him his burial? The brother oppressed with want, nearly languishing away, cries out at the splendidly fed, and with distended belly. What sayest thou of the Lord's day? If he have not placed himself before, call forth a poor man from the crowd whom thou mayest take to thy dinner. In the tablets is your hope from a Christ refreshed.
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