Then again, Paul exhorts us "to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
And what have I to do with holocausts, which God does not stand in need of?-though indeed it does behove us to offer a bloodless sacrifice and "the service of our reason."
These must be "the bodies" which he "beseeches" the Romans to "present" as "a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God."
For matters of this kind belong not to religion, but to superstition, being studied, and forced, and of curious rather than rational ceremony;
And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God."
Rom. 12:1 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XI Exhortation to Martyrdom Addressed to Fortunatus
And again: "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the mercy of God, that ye constitute your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God; and be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed in the renewing of your spirit, that ye may prove what is the will of God, good, and acceptable, and perfect."
that your sacrifice may be pure.
"Be not conformed," says the apostle, "to this world: but be ye transformed in the renewal of the mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
We therefore, who have been vouchsafed the favour of being the witnesses of His appearance, together with James the brother of our Lord, and the other seventy-two disciples, and his seven deacons, have heard from the mouth of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by exact knowledge declare "what is the will of God, that good, and acceptable, and perfect will"
blessed are they that control themselves, for God shall speak with them: blessed are they that have kept aloof from this world, for they shall be called upright:
For this cause also the apostle says, "Be not wise beyond what it is fitting to be wise, but be wise prudently,"
Rom. 12:3 - NIV, NAB - in Archelaus Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes
with pride, but have the gentle and lowly dispositions of humility, not thinking of themselves more than they ought to think.
Why do we divide and tear in pieces the members of Christ, and raise up strife against our own body, and have reached such a height of madness as to forget that "we are members one of another? "
Much more aptly would they have matched the Christian with the elder, and the Jew with the younger son, "according to the analogy of faith,"
This service, then, if accomplished in simplicity, is glorious with God. He, therefore, who thus ministers in simplicity, will live to God.
Cleanse yourself from this wicked grief, and you will live to God; and all will live to God who drive away grief from them, and put on all cheerfulness."
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. Given to hospitality; communicating to the necessities of the saints."
says Poetry. More nobly the apostle says, "Be haters of the evil; cleave to the good."
"Let your love be without dissimulation," it is said; "and abhorring what is evil, let us become attached to what is good, to brotherly love," and so on, down to "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, living peaceably with all men." Then "be not overcome of evil," it is said, "but overcome evil with good."
Such shall he be "who cleaves to that which is good," according to the apostle,
the precepts of your new god: "Abhor that which is evil, and cleave to that which is good."
Like deed involves like merit. How shall we observe that principle, if in our loathing
: "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love."
I have fulfilled the word of peace. For I have taught that in honour they should prefer one another;
And refrain from much business, and you will never sin: for they who are occupied with much business commit also many sins, being distracted about their affairs, and not at all serving their Lord.
We have, moreover, received a commandment to be "fervent in spirit; "
(Again, your apostle says: ) "Rejoicing in hope; "
"Patient in tribulation."
"Bless, and curse not,"
or our work will He say now, "I was captive, and ye redeemed me!" And since again He says, "I was in prison, and ye came unto me," how much more will it be when He begins to say, "I was in the dungeon of captivity, and I lay shut up and bound among barbarians, and from that prison of slavery you delivered me," being about to receive a reward from the Lord when the day of judgment shall come! Finally, we give you the warmest thanks that you have wished us to be sharers in your anxiety,
There is clearly described the perfect righteousness, fulfilled both in practice and contemplation. Wherefore we are "to bless those who persecute us. Bless, and curse not."
and this is intended to prevent the formation of the habit of reviling any one whatever; for we have been taught, "Bless, and curse not,"
Rom. 12:14 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
Of this same thing to the Romans: "Blessing, and not cursing."
He must not receive a gift from a poor man; so that if he himself has afforded anything, it may be good, inasmuch as it is gratuitous. If any one reviles, he must answer him with a blessing;
The first point, indeed, on which I shall join issue is this: whether a servant of God ought to share with the very nations themselves in matters of his kind either in dress, or in food, or in any other kind of their gladness. "To rejoice with the rejoicing, and grieve with the grieving,"
know not easily how to sing, except when you are supping with a goodly company!) But those conclaves first, by the operations of Stations and fastings, know what it is "to grieve with the grieving," and thus at last "to rejoice in company with the rejoicing."
As also the apostle taught, saying, "Minding not high things, but consenting to things of low estate; "
) But what better teacher of this will you find than Him who created all things, and blessed them? "Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits."
then, fired with a holy zeal, gave themselves up to this, using much boldness, and especially when they saw those who were drawn aside and lapsed, on their account they were roused mightily within, and, as it were by some inward voice, impelled to war down and subdue the adversary who was exulting; for this they earnestly contended, that he might not seem "to be wise in his own conceit,"
And let the presbyters be compassionate and merciful to all, bringing back those that wander, visiting all the sick, and not neglecting the widow, the orphan, or the poor, but always "providing for that which is becoming in the sight of God and man; "
"Recompense to no man evil for evil."
conjoins. And the precept is absolute, that evil is not to be repaid with evil.
(That) we all know; provided, however, we remember what the same (God) has said through the apostle: "Let your probity appear before men."
has now grown old, ever since "Let none render evil for evil"
Rom. 12:17 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
In the Epistle of Paul to the Romans: "Rendering to no man evil for evil."
also before men."
"Live peaceably with all men."
To a people which was very obdurate, and wanting in faith towards God, it might seem tedious, and even incredible, to expect from God that vengeance which was subsequently to be declared by the prophet: "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."
He who counselled that an injury should be forgotten, was still more likely to counsel the patient endurance of it. But then, when He said, "Vengeance is mine, and I will repay,"
(Again: ) "Avenge not yourselves; "
, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord."
to me, and I will avenge; "
Nor let any one think that this occurred by chance, or think that it was fortuitous, since long ago Scripture has laid down, and said. "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."
Moreover, he must also diligently take care, lest by any fault of his he should at any time make an enemy; and if any one should be so shameless as to inflict injury on a good and just man, he must bear it with calmness and moderation, and not take upon himself his revenge, but reserve it for the judgment of God.
For God has said by the prophet, Vengeance is mine, and I will repay, saith the Lord.
who also has thundered through His servants, saying, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay."
Rom. 12:21 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
Also in the same place: "Not to be overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
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