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The Instructions Of Commodianus by Commodianus

LXXIII.--That Sons are Not to Be Bewailed.

Although the death of sons leaves grief for the heart, yet it is not right either to go forth in black garments, or to bewail them. The Lord prudently says that ye must grieve with the mind, not with outward show, which is finished in the week. In the book of Solomon the promises of the Lord concerning the resurrection are forgotten if thou wouldest make thy sons martyrs, and thus with thy voice will bewail them. Art thou not ashamed without restraint to lament thy sons, like the Gentiles? Thou tearest thy face, thou beatest thy breast, thou takest off thy garments; and dost thou not fear the Lord, whose kingdom thou desirest to behold? Mourn as it is right, but do not do wrong on their behalf. Ye therefore are such. What less than Gentiles are ye? Ye do as the crowds that are descended from the diabolical stock. Ye cry that they are extinct. With what advantage, O false one, thou hast perished! The father has not led his son with grief to be slain at the altar, nor has the prophet mourned over a deceased son with grief, nor even has a weeping parent. But one devoted to God was hastily dying.
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