CONSTITUTIONS OF
THE HOLY APOSTLES
REST OF BOOK VIII

SEC. IV.--CERTAIN PRAYERS AND LAWS.

CONCERNING THE BLESSING OF WATER AND OIL--THE CONSTITUTION OF MATTHIAS.

XXIX.(1) Concerning the water and the oil, I Matthias make a constitution. Let the bishop bless the water, or the oil. But if he be not there, let the presbyter bless it, the deacon standing by. But if the bishop be present, let the presbyter and deacon stand by, and let him say thus: O Lord of hosts, the God of powers, the creator of the waters, and the supplier of oil, who art compassionate, and a lover of mankind, who hast given water for drink and for cleansing, and oil to give man a cheerful and joyful countenance;(2) do Thou now also sanctify this water and this oil through Thy Christ, in the name of him or her that has offered them, and grant them a power to restore health, to drive away diseases, to banish demons, and to disperse all snares through Christ our hope, with whom glory, honour, and worship be to Thee, and to the Holy Ghost, for ever. Amen.

THE SAME APOSTLE'S CONSTITUTION CONCERNING FIRST-FRUITS AND TITHES.

XXX. I(3) the same make a constitution in regard to first-fruits and tithes. Let all first-fruits be brought to the bishop, and to the presbyters. and to the deacons,(4) for their maintenance; but let all the tithe be for the maintenance of the rest of the clergy, and of the virgins and widows, and of those under the trial of poverty. For the first-fruits belong to the priests, and to those deacons that minister to them.

THE SAME APOSTLE'S CONSTITUTIONS CONCERNING THE REMAINING OBLATIONS.

XXXI. I the same make a constitution in regard to remainders. Those eulogies which re main at the mysteries, let the deacons distribute them among the clergy, according to the mind of the bishop or the presbyters: to a bishop; four parts; to a presbyter, three(5) parts; to a deacon, two(6) parts; and to the rest of the sub-deacons, or readers, or singers, or deaconesses, one part. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God, that every one be honoured according to his dignity; for the Church is the school, not of confusion, but of good order.

VARIOUS CANONS OF PAUL THE APOSTLE CONCERNING THOSE THAT OFFER THEMSELVES TO BE BAPTIZED--WHOM WE ARE TO RECEIVE, AND WHOM TO REJECT.

XXXII. I also, Paul,(7) the least of the apostles, do make the following constitutions for you, the bishops, and presbyters, and deacons, concerning canons. Those, that first come to the mystery of godliness, let them be brought to the bishop or to the presbyters by the deacons, and let them be examined as to the causes wherefore they come to the word of the Lord; and let those that bring them exactly inquire about their character, and give them their testimony. Let their manners and their life be inquired into, and whether they he slaves or freemen. And if any one be a slave, let him be asked who is his master. If he be slave to one of the faithful, let his master be asked if he can give him a good character. If he cannot, let him be rejected, until he show himself to be worthy to his master. But if he does give him a good character, let him be admitted. But if he be household slave to an heathen, let him be taught to please his master, that the word be not blasphemed. If, then, he have a wife, or a woman hath an husband, let them be taught to be content with each other; but if they be unmarried, let them learn not to commit fornication, but to enter into lawful marriage. But if his master be one of the faithful, and knows that he is guilty of fornication, and yet does not give him a wife, or to the woman an husband, let him be separated; but if any one hath a demon, let him indeed be taught piety, but not received into communion before he be cleansed; yet if death be near, let him be received. If any one be a maintainer of harlots, let him either leave off to prostitute women, or else let him be rejected. If a harlot come, let her leave off whoredom, or else let her be rejected. If a maker of idols come, let him either leave off his employment, or let him be rejected. If one belonging to the theatre(1) come, whether it be man or woman, or charioteer, or dueller, or racer, or player of prizes, or Olympic gamester, or one that plays on the pipe, on the lute, or on the harp at those games, or a dancing-master or an huckster,(2) either let them leave off their employments, or let them be rejected. If a soldier come, let him be taught to "do no injustice, to accuse no man falsely, and to be content with his allotted wages:"(3) if he submit to those rules, let him be received; but if he refuse them, let him be rejected. He that is guilty of sins not to be named, a sodomite, an effeminate person, a magician, an enchanter, an astrologer, a diviner, an user of magic verses, a juggler, a mountebank, one that makes amulets, a charmer, a soothsayer, a fortune-teller, an observer of palmistry; he that, when he meets you, observes defects in the eyes or feet of the birds or cats, or noises, or symbolical sounds: let these be proved for some time, for this sort of wickedness is hard to be washed away; and if they leave off those practices, let them be received; but if they will not agree to that, let them be rejected. Let a concubine, who is slave to an unbeliever, and confines herself to her master alone, be received;(4) but if she be incontinent with others, let her be rejected. If one of the faithful hath a concubine, if she be a bond-servant, let him leave off that way, and marry in a legal manner: if she be a free woman, let him marry her in a lawful manner; if he does not, let him be rejected. Let him that follows the Gentile customs, or Jewish fables, either reform, or let him be rejected. If any one follows the sports of the theatre, their huntings, or horse-races, or combats, either let him leave them off, or let him be rejected. Let him who is to be a catechumen be a catechumen for three years; but if any one be diligent, and has a good-will to his business, let him be admitted: for it is not the length of time, but the course of life, that is judged. Let him that teaches, although he be one of the laity, yet, if he be skilful in the word and grave in his manners, teach; for "they shall be all taught of God."(5) Let all the faithful, whether men or women, when they rise from sleep, before they go to work, when they have washed themselves, pray; but if any catechetic instruction be held, let the faithful person prefer the word of piety before his work. Let the faithful person, whether man or woman, treat servants kindly, as we have ordained in the foregoing books, and have taught in our epistles.(6)

UPON WHICH DAYS SERVANTS ARE NOT TO WORK.

XXXIII. I Peter and Paul do make the following constitutions. Let the slaves work five days; but on the Sabbath-day and the Lord's day let them have leisure to go to church for instruction in piety. We have said that the Sabbath is on account of the creation, and the Lord's day of the resurrection. Let slaves rest from their work all the great week, and that which follows it--for the one in memory of the passion, and the other of the resurrection; and there is need they should be instructed who it is that suffered and rose again, and who it is permitted Him to suffer, and raised Him again. Let them have rest from their work on the Ascension, because it was the conclusion of the dispensation by Christ. Let them rest at Pentecost, because of the coming of the Holy Spirit, which was given to those that believed in Christ. Let them rest on the festival of His birth, because on it the unexpected favour was granted to men, that Jesus Christ, the Logos of God, should be born of the Virgin Mary,(7) for the salvation of the world.(8) Let them rest on the festival of Epiphany, because on it a manifestation took place of the divinity of Christ, for the Father bore testimony to Him at the baptism; and the Paraclete, in the form of a dove, pointed out to the bystanders Him to whom testimony was borne. Let them rest on the days of the apostles: for they were appointed your teachers to bring you to Christ, and made you worthy of the Spirit. Let them rest on the day of the first(9) martyr Stephen, and of the other holy martyrs who preferred Christ to their own life.

AT WHAT HOURS, AND WHY, WE ARE TO PRAY.

XXXIV. Offer up your prayers in the morning, at the third hour, the sixth, the ninth, the evening, and at cock-crowing: in the morning, returning thanks that the Lord has sent you light, that He has brought you past the night, and brought on the day; at the third hour, because at that hour the Lord received the sentence of condemnation from Pilate; at the sixth, because at that hour He was crucified;(1) at the ninth, because all things were in commotion at the crucifixion of the Lord, as trembling at the bold attempt of the impious Jews, and not bearing the injury offered to their Lord; in the evening, giving thanks that He has given you the night to rest from the daily labours; at cock-crowing, because that hour brings the good news of the coming on of the day for the operations proper for the light. But if it be not possible to go to the church on account of the unbelievers, thou, O bishop, shalt assemble them in a house, that a godly man may not enter into an assembly of the ungodly. For it is not the place that sanctifies the man, but the man the place. And if the ungodly possess the place, do thou avoid it, because it is profaned by them. For as holy priests sanctify a place, so do the profane ones defile it. If it be not possible to assemble either in the church or in a house, let every one by himself sing, and read, and pray, or two or three together. For "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there all I in the midst of them."(2) Let not one of the faithful pray with a catechumen, no, not in the house: for it is not reasonable that he who is admitted should be polluted with one not admitted. Let not one of the godly pray with an heretic, no, not in the house. For "what fellowship hath light with darkness?"(3) Let Christians, whether men or women, who have connections with slaves, either leave them off, or let them be rejected.

THE CONSTITUTION OF JAMES THE BROTHER OF CHRIST CONCERNING EVENING PRAYER.

XXXV. I James,(4) the brother of Christ according to the flesh, but His servant as the only be-begotten God, and one appointed bishop of Jerusalem by the Lord Himself, and the Apostles, do ordain thus: When it is evening, thou, O bishop, shall assemble the church; and after the repetition of the psalm at the lighting up the lights, the deacon shall bid prayers for the catechumens, the energumens, the illuminated, and the penitents, as we have formerly said. But after the dismission of these, the deacon shall say: So many as are of the faithful, let us pray to the Lord. And after the bidding prayer, which is formerly set down, he shall say:--

THE BIDDING PRAYER FOR THE EVENING.

XXXVI. Save us, O God, and raise us up by Thy Christ. Let us stand up, and beg for the mercies of the Lord, and His compassions, for the angel of peace, for what things are good and profitable, for a Christian departure out of this life, an evening and a night of peace, and free from sin; and let us beg that the whole course of our life may be unblameable. Let us dedicate ourselves and one another to the living God through His Christ. And let the bishop add this prayer, and say:--

THE THANKSGIVING FOR THE EVENING.

XXXVII. O God, who art without beginning and without end, the Maker of the whole world by Christ, and the Provider for it, but before all(5) His God and Father, the Lord(6) of the Spirit, and the King of intelligible and sensible beings; who hast made the day for the works of light, and the night for the refreshment of our infirmity,--for "the day is Thine, the night also is Thine: Thou hast prepared the light and the sun,"(7)--do Thou now, O Lord, Thou lover of mankind, and Fountain of all good, mercifully accept of this our evening thanksgiving. Thou who hast brought us through the length of the day, and hast brought us to the beginnings of the night, preserve us by Thy Christ, afford us a peaceable evening, and a night free from sin, and vouchsafe us everlasting life by Thy Christ, through whom glory, honour, and worship be to Thee in(8) the Holy Spirit for ever. Amen. And let the deacon say: Bow down for the laying on of hands. And let the bishop say: O God of our fathers, and Lord of mercy, who didst form man of Thy wisdom a rational creature, and be loved of God more than the other beings upon this earth, and didst give him authority to rule over the creatures upon the earth, and didst or dain by Thy will rulers and priests--the former for the security of life, the latter for a regular worship,--do Thou now also look down, O Lord Almighty, and cause Thy face to shine upon Thy people, who bow down the neck of their heart, and bless them by Christ; through whom Thou hast enlightened us with the light of knowledge, and hast revealed Thyself to us; with whom worthy adoration is due from every rational and holy nature to Thee, and to the Spirit, who is the Comforter, for ever. Amen. And let the deacon say: "Depart in peace." In like manner, in the morning, after the repetition of the morning psalm, and his dismission of the catechumens, the energumens, the candidates for baptism, and the penitents, and after the usual bidding of prayers, that we may not again repeat the same things, let the deacon add after the words, Save us, O God, and raise us up by Thy grace: Let us beg of the Lord His mercies and His compassions, that this morning and this day may be with peace and without sin, as also all the time of our sojourning; that He will grant us His angel of peace, a Christian departure out of this life, and that God will be merciful and gracious. Let us dedicate ourselves and one another to the living God through His Only-begotten. And let the bishop add this prayer, and say:--

THE THANKSGIVING FOR THE MORNING.

XXXVIII. O God, the God of spirits and of all flesh, who art beyond compare, and standest in need of nothing, who hast given the sun to have rule over the day, and the moon and the stars to have rule over the night, do Thou now also look down upon us with gracious eyes, and receive our morning thanksgivings, and have mercy upon us; for we have not "spread out our hands unto a strange God;"(1) for there is not among us any new God, but Thou, the eternal God, who art without end, who hast given us our being through Christ, and given us our well-being through Him. Do Thou vouchsafe us also, through Him, eternal life; with whom glory, and honour, and worship be to Thee and to the Holy Spirit for ever. Amen. And let the deacon say: Bow down for the laying on of hands. And let the bishop add this prayer, saying:--

THE IMPOSITION OF HANDS FOR THE MORNING.

XXXIX. O God, who art faithful and true, who "hast mercy on thousands and ten thousands of them that love Thee,"(2) the lover of the humble, and the protector of the needy, of whom all things stand in need, for all things are subject to Thee; look down upon this Thy people, who bow down their heads to Thee, and bless them with spiritual blessing. "Keep them as the apple of an eye,"(3) preserve them in piety and righteousness, and vouchsafe them eternal life in Christ Jesus Thy beloved Son, with whom glory, honour, and worship be to Thee and to the Holy Spirit, now and always, and for ever and ever. Amen. And let the deacon say:

"Depart in peace." And when the first-fruits are offered, the bishop gives thanks in this manner:--

THE FORM OF PRAYER FOR THE FIRST-FRUITS.

XL. We give thanks to Thee, O Lord Almighty, the Creator of the whole world, and its Preserver, through Thy only begotten Son Jesus Christ our Lord, for the first-fruits which are offered to Thee, not in such a manner as we ought, but as we are able. For what man is there that can worthily give Thee thanks for those things Thou hast given them to partake of? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, and of all the saints, who madest all things fruitful by Thy word, and didst command the earth to bring forth various fruits for our rejoicing and our food; who hast given to the duller and more sheepish sort of creatures juices--herbs to them that feed on herbs, and to some flesh, to others seeds, but to us corn, as advantageous and proper food, and many other things--some for our necessities, some for our health, and some for our pleasure. On all these accounts, therefore, art Thou worthy of exalted hymns of praise for Thy beneficence by Christ, through whom(4) glory, honour, and worship be to Thee. in the Holy Spirit, for ever. Amen. Concerning those that are at rest in Christ: After the bidding prayer, that we may not repeat it again, the deacon shall add as follows:--

THE BIDDING PRAYER FOR THOSE DEPARTED.

XLI. Let us pray for our brethren that are at rest(5) in Christ, that God, the lover of mankind, who has received his soul, may forgive him every sin, voluntary and involuntary, and may be merciful and gracious to him, and give him his lot in the land of the pious that are sent into the bosom of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, with all those that have pleased Him and done His will from the beginning of the world, whence all sorrow, grief, and lamentation are banished. Let us arise, let us dedicate ourselves and one another to the eternal God, through that Word which was in the beginning. And let the bishop say: O Thou who art by nature immortal, and hast no end of Thy being, from whom every creature, whether immortal or mortal, is derived; who didst make man a rational creature, the citizen of this world, in his constitution mortal, and didst add the promise of a resurrection; who didst not suffer Enoch and Elijah to taste of death: "the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, who art the God of them, not as of dead, but as of living persons: for the souls of all men live with Thee, and the spirits of the righteous are in Thy hand, which no torment can touch;"(1) for they are all sanctified under Thy hand: do Thou now also look upon this Thy servant, whom Thou hast selected and received into another state, and forgive him if voluntarily or involuntarily he has sinned, and afford him merciful angels, and place him in the bosom of the patriarchs, and prophets, and apostles, and of all those that have pleased Thee from the beginning of the world, where there is no grief, sorrow, nor lamentation; but the peaceable region of the godly, and the undisturbed land of the upright, and of those that therein see, the glory of Thy Christ; by whom(2) glory, honour, and worship, thanksgiving, and adoration be to Thee, in the Holy Spirit, for ever. Amen. And let the deacon say: Bow down, and receive the blessing. And let the bishop give thanks for them, saying as follows: "O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance,"(3) which Thou hast purchased with the precious blood of Thy Christ. Feed them under Thy right hand, and cover them under Thy wings, and grant that they may "fight the good fight, and finish their course, and keep the faith"(4) immutably, unblameably, and unreprovably, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, with whom glory, honour, and worship be to Thee and to the Holy Spirit for ever. Amen.

HOW AND WHEN WE OUGHT TO CELEBRATE THE MEMORIALS OF THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED, AND THAT WE OUGHT THEN TO GIVE SOMEWHAT OUT OF THEIR GOODS TO THE POOR.

XLII. Let the third day of the departed be celebrated with psalms, and lessons, and prayers, on account of Him who arose within the space of three days; and let the ninth day be celebrated in remembrance of the living, and of the departed; and the fortieth(5) day according to the ancient pattern: for so did the people lament Moses, and the anniversary day in memory of him.(6) And let alms be given to the poor out of his goods for a memorial of him.(7)

THAT MEMORIALS OR MANDATES DO NOT AT ALL PROFIT THE UNGODLY WHO ARE DEAD.

XLIII. These things we say concerning the pious; for as to the ungodly, if thou givest all the world to the poor, thou wilt not benefit him at all. For to whom the Deity was an enemy while he was alive, it is certain it will be so also when he is departed; for there is no unrighteousness with Him. For "the Lord(8) is righteous, and has loved righteousness."(9) And, "Behold the man and his work."(10)

CONCERNING DRUNKARDS.

XLIV. Now, when you are invited to their memorials, do you feast with good order, and the fear of God, as disposed to intercede for those that are departed. For since you are the presbyters and deacons of Christ, you ought always to be sober, both among yourselves and among others, that so you may be able to warn the unruly. Now the Scripture says, "The men in power are passionate. But let them not drink wine, lest by drinking they forget wisdom, and are not able to judge aright."(11) Wherefore(12) both the presbyters and the deacons are those of authority in the Church next to God Almighty and His beloved Son.(13) We say this, not they are not to drink at all, otherwise it would be to the reproach of what God has made for cheerfulness, but that they be not disordered with wine. For the Scripture does not say, Do not drink wine; but what says it? "Drink not wine to drunkenness;" and again, "Thorns spring up in the hand of the drunkard."(14) Nor do we say this only to those of the clergy, but also to every lay Christian, upon whom the name of our Lord jesus Christ is called. For to them also it is said, "Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath uneasiness? who hath babbling? who hath red eyes? who hath wounds without cause? Do not these things belong to those that tarry long at the wine, and that go to seek where drinking meetings are?"(15)

CONCERNING THE RECEIVING SUCH AS ARE PERSECUTED FOR CHRIST'S SAKE.

XLV. Receive ye those that are persecuted(16) on account of the faith, and who fly from city to city,(17) as mindful of the words of the Lord. For, knowing that though "the spirit be willing, the flesh is weak,"(18) they fly away, and prefer the spoiling of their goods, that they may preserve the name of Christ in themselves without denying it. Supply them therefore with what they want, and thereby fulfil the commandment of the Lord.

SEC.V.--ALL THE APOSTLES URGE THE OBSERVANCE OF THE ORDER OF THE CHURCH.

THAT EVERY ONE OUGHT TO REMAIN IN THAT RANK WHEREIN HE IS PLACED, BUT NOT SNATCH SUCH OFFICES TO HIMSELF WHICH ARE NOT ENTRUSTED TO HIM.

XLVI. Now this we all in common do charge you, that every one remain in that rank which is appointed him, and do not transgress his proper bounds; for they are not ours, but God's. For says the Lord: "He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that heareth me, heareth Him that sent me." And, "He that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth Him that sent me."(1) For if those things that are without life do observe good order, as the night, the day, the sun, the moon, the stars, the elements, the seasons, the months, the weeks, the days, and the hours, and are subservient to the uses appointed them, according to that which is said, "Thou hast set them a bound which they shall not pass;"(2) and again, concerning the sea, "I have set bounds thereto, and have encompassed it with bars and gates; and I said to it, Hitherto shalt thou come, and thou shalt go no farther;"(3) how much more ought ye not to venture to remove those things which we, according to God's will, have determined for you! But because many think this a small matter, and venture to confound the orders, and to remove the ordination which belongs to them severally, snatching to themselves dignities which were never given them, and allowing themselves to bestow that authority in a tyrannical manner which they have not themselves, and thereby provoke God to anger (as did the followers of Corah and King Uzziah,(4) who, having no authority, usurped the high-priesthood without commission from God; and the former were burnt with fire, and the latter was struck with a leprosy in his forehead); and provoke Christ Jesus to anger, who has made this constitution; and also grieve the Holy Spirit, and make void His testimony: therefore, foreknowing the danger that hangs over those who do such things, and the neglect about the sacrifices and eucharistical offices which will arise from their being impiously offered by those who ought not to offer them; who think the honour of the high-priesthood, which is an imitation of the great High Priest Jesus Christ our King, to be a matter of sport; we have found it necessary to give you warning in this matter also. For some are already turned aside after their own vanity. We say that Moses the servant of God (" to whom God spake face to face, as if a man spake to his friend;"(5) to whom He said, "I know thee above all men;" to whom He spake directly, and not by obscure methods, or dreams, or angels, or riddles),--this person, when he made constitutions and divine laws, distinguished what things were to be performed by the high priests, what by the priests, and what by the Levites; distributing to every one his proper and suitable office in the divine service. And those things which are allotted for the high priests to do, those might not be meddled with by the priests; and what things were allotted to the priests, the Levites might not meddle with; but every one observed those ministrations which were written down and appointed for them. And if any would meddle beyond the tradition, death was his punishment. And Saul's example does show this most plainly, who, thinking he might offer sacrifice without the prophet and high priest Samuel,(6) drew upon himself a sin and a curse without remedy. Nor did even his having anointed him king discourage the prophet. But God showed the same by a more visible effect in the case of Uzziah,(7) when He without delay exacted the punishment due to this transgression, and he that madly coveted after the high-priesthood was rejected from his kingdom also. As to those things that have happened amongst us, you yourselves are not ignorant of them. For ye know undoubtedly that those that are by us named bishops, and presbyters, and deacons, were made by prayer, and by the laying on of hands; and that by the difference of their names is showed the difference of their employments. For not every one that will is ordained, as the case was in that spurious and counterfeit priesthood of the calves under Jeroboam;(8) but he only who is called of God. For if there were no rule or distinction of orders, it would suffice to perform all the offices under one name. But being taught by the Lord the series of things, we distributed the functions of the high-priesthood to the bishops, those of the priesthood to the presbyters, and the ministration under them both to the deacons; that the divine worship might be performed in purity. For it is not lawful for a deacon to offer the sacrifice, or to baptize, or to give either the greater or the lesser blessing. Nor may a presbyter perform ordination; for it is not agreeable to holiness to have this order perverted. For "God is not the God of confusion,"(9) that the subordinate persons should tyrannically assume to themselves the functions belonging to their superiors, forming a new scheme of laws to their own mischief, not knowing that "it is hard for them to kick against the pricks;"(1) for such as these do not fight against us, or against the bishops, but against the universal Bishop and the High Priest of the Father, Jesus Christ our Lord.(2) High priests, priests, and Levites were ordained by Moses,(3) the most beloved of God. By our Saviour(4) were we apostles, thirteen in number, ordained; and by the apostles I James, and I Clement, and others with us, were ordained, that we may not make the catalogue of all those bishops over again. And in common, presbyters, and deacons, and sub-deacons, and readers, were ordained by all of us. The great High Priest therefore, who is so by nature, is Christ the only begotten; not having snatched that honour to Himself, but having been appointed such by the Father; who being made man for our sake, and offering the spiritual sacrifice to His God and Father, before His suffering gave it us alone in charge to do this, although there were others with us who had believed in Him. But he that believes is not presently appointed a priest, or obtains the dignity of the high-priesthood. But after His ascension we offered, according to His constitution, the pure and unbloody sacrifice; and ordained bishops, and presbyters, and deacons, seven in number: one of which was Stephen,(5) that blessed martyr, who was not inferior to us as to his pious disposition of mind towards God; who showed so great piety towards God, by his faith and love towards our Lord Jesus Christ, as to give his life for Him, and was stoned to death by the Jews, the murderers of the Lord. Yet still this so great and good a man, who was fervent in spirit, who saw Christ on the right hand of God, and the gates of heaven opened, does nowhere appear to have exercised functions which did not appertain to his office of a deacon, nor to have offered the sacrifices, nor to have laid hands upon any, but kept his order of a deacon unto the end. For so it became him, who was a martyr for Christ, to preserve good order. But if some do blame Philip(6) our deacon, and Ananias(7) our faithful brother, that the one did baptize the eunuch, and the other me Paul, these men do not understand what we say. For we have affirmed only that no one snatches the sacerdotal dignity to himself, but either receives it from God, as Melchisedec and Job, or from the high priest, as Aaron from Moses. Wherefore Philip and Ananias did not constitute themselves, but were appointed by Christ, the High Priest of that God to whom no being is to be compared.

THE ECCLESIASTICAL CANONS OF THE SAME HOLY APOSTLES.(1)

XLVII. 1. Let a bishop be ordained by two or three bishops.

2. A presbyter by one bishop, as also a deacon, and the rest of the clergy.(2)

3. If any bishop or presbyter, otherwise than our Lord has ordained concerning the sacrifice, offer other things at the altar of God, as honey, milk, or strong beer instead of wine, any necessaries, or birds, or animals, or pulse, otherwise than is ordained, let him be deprived; excepting grains of new corn, or ears of wheat, or bunches of grapes in their season.(3)

4. For it is not lawful to offer anything besides these at the altar, and oil for the holy lamp, and incense in the time of the divine oblation.

5. But let all other fruits be sent to the house of the bishop, as first-fruits to him and to the presbyters, but not to the altar. Now it is plain that the bishop and presbyters are to divide them to the deacons and to the rest of the clergy.

6. Let not a bishop, a priest, or a deacon(4) cast off his own wife under pretence of piety; but if he does cast her off, let him be suspended. If he go on in it, let him be deprived.

7. Let not a bishop, a priest, or deacon undertake the cares of this world; but if he do, let him be deprived.(5)

8. If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon shall celebrate the holiday of the passover before the vernal equinox with the Jews, let him be deprived.(6)

9. If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or any one of the catalogue of the priesthood, when the oblation is over, does not communicate, let him give his reason; and if it be just, let him be forgiven; but if he does not do it, let him be suspended, as becoming the cause of damage to the people, and occasioning a suspicion against him that offered, as of one that did not rightly offer.(1)

10. All those of the faithful that enter into the holy church of God, and hear the sacred Scriptures, but do not stay during prayer and the holy communion, must be suspended, as causing disorder in the church.

11. If any one, even in the house, prays with a person excommunicate, let him also be suspended.

12. If any clergyman prays with one deprived as with a clergyman, let himself also be deprived.

13. If any clergyman or layman who is suspended, or ought not to be received,(2) goes away, and is received in another city without commendatory letters, let both those who received him and he that was received be suspended. But if he be already suspended, let his suspension be lengthened, as lying to and deceiving the Church of God.

14. A bishop ought not to leave his own parish and leap to another, although the multitude should compel him, unless there be some good reason forcing him to do this, as that he can contribute much greater profit to the people of the new parish by the word of piety; but this is not to be settled by himself, but by the judgment of many bishops, and very great supplication.

15. If any presbyter or deacon, or any one of the catalogue of the clergy, leaves his own parish and goes to another, and, entirely removing himself, continues in that other parish without the consent of his own bishop, him we command no longer to go on in his ministry, especially in case his bishop calls upon him to return, and he does not obey, but continues in his disorder. However, let him communicate there as a layman.

16. But if the bishop with whom they are undervalues the deprivation decreed against them, and receives them as clergymen, let him be suspended as a teacher of disorder.

17. He who has been twice married after his baptism, or has had a concubine, cannot be made a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or indeed any one of the sacerdotal catalogue.(3)

18. He who has taken a widow, or a divorced woman, or an harlot, or a servant, or one belonging to the theatre, cannot be either a bishop, priest, or deacon, or indeed any one of the sacerdotal catalogue.

19. He who has married two sisters, or his brother's or sister's daughter, cannot be a clergyman.

20. Let a clergyman who becomes a surety be deprived.

21. Let an eunuch, if he be such by the injury of men, or his virilia were taken away in the persecution, or he was born such, and yet is worthy of episcopacy, be made a bishop.

22. Let not him who has disabled himself be made a clergyman; for he is a self-murderer, and an enemy to the creation of God.(4)

23. If any one who is of the clergy disables himself, let him be deprived, for he is a murderer of himself.

24. Let a layman who disables himself be separated for three years, for he lays a snare for his own life.(5)

25. Let a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon who is taken in fornication, or perjury, or stealing, be deprived, but not suspended; far the Scripture says: "Thou shall not avenge twice far the same crime by affliction."(6)

26. In like manner also as to the rest of the clergy.

27. Of those who come into the clergy unmarried, we permit only the readers and singers, if they have a mind, to marry afterward.(7)

28. We command that a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon who strikes the faithful that offend, or the unbelievers who do wickedly, and thinks to terrify them by such means, be deprived, for our Lord has nowhere taught us such things. On the contrary, "when Himself was stricken, He did not strike again; when He was reviled, He reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not."(8)

29. If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon who is deprived justly for manifest crimes, does venture to meddle with that ministration which was once entrusted to him, let the same person be entirely cut off from the Church.

30. If any bishop obtains that dignity by money, or even a presbyter or deacon, let him and the person that ordained him be deprived; and let him be entirely cut off from communion, as Simon Magus was by me Peter.(9)

31. If any bishop makes use of the rulers of this world, and by their means obtains to be a bishop of a church, let him be deprived and suspended, and all that communicate with him.

32. If any presbyter despises his own bishop, and assembles separately, and fixes another altar, when he has nothing to condemn in his bishop either as to piety or righteousness, let him be deprived as an ambitious person; for he is a tyrant, and the rest of the clergy, whoever join themselves to him. And let the laity be suspended. But let these things be done after one and a second, or even a third admonition from the bishop.(1)

33. If any presbyter or deacon be put under suspension by his bishop, it is not lawful for any other to receive him, but for him only who put him under suspension, unless it happens that he who put him under suspension die.

34. Do not ye receive any stranger, whether bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, without commendatory letters; and when such are offered, let them be examined. And if they be preachers of piety, let them be received; but if not, supply their wants, but do not receive them to communion: for many things are done by surprise.

35. The bishops of every country ought to know who is the chief among them, and to esteem him as their head, and not to do any great thing without his consent; but every one to manage only the affairs that belong to his own parish, and the places subject to it. But let him not do anything without the consent of all; for it is by this means there will be unanimity, and God will be glorified by Christ, in the Holy Spirit.

36. A bishop must not venture to ordain out of his own bounds for cities or countries that are not subject to him. But if he be convicted of having done so without the consent of such as governed those cities or countries, let him be deprived, both the bishop himself and those whom he has ordained.

37. If any bishop that is ordained does not undertake his office, nor take care of the people committed to him, let him be suspended until he do undertake it; and in the like manner a presbyter and a deacon. But if he goes, and is not received, not because of the want of his own consent, but because of the ill temper of the people, let him continue bishop; but let the clergy of that city be suspended, because they have not taught that disobedient people better.

38. Let a synod of bishops be held twice in the year, and let them ask one another the doctrines of piety; and let them determine the ecclesiastical disputes that happen--once in the fourth week of Pentecost, and again on the twelfth of the month Hyperberetaeus.

39. Let the bishop have the care of ecclesiastical revenues, and administer them as in the presence of God. But it is not lawful for him to appropriate any part of them to himself, or to give the things of God to his own kindred. But if they be poor, let him support them as poor; but let him not, under such pretences, alienate the revenues of the Church.

40. Let not the presbyters and deacons do anything without the consent of the bishop, for it is he who is entrusted with the people of the Lord, and will be required to give an account of their souls. Let the proper goods of the bishop, if he has any, and those belonging to the Lord, be openly distinguished, that he may have power when he dies to leave his own goods as he pleases, and to whom he pleases; that, under pretence of the ecclesiastical revenues, the bishop's own may not come short, who sometimes has a wife and children, or kinsfolk, or servants. For this is just before God and men, that neither the Church suffer any loss by the not knowing which revenues are the bishop's own, nor his kindred, under pretence of the Church, be undone, or his relations fall into lawsuits, and so his death be liable to reproach.(2)

41. We command that the bishop have power over the goods of the Church; for if he be entrusted with the precious souls of men, much more ought he to give directions about goods, that they all be distributed to those in want, according to his authority, by the presbyters and deacons, and be used for their support with the fear of God, and with all reverence. He is also to partake of those things he wants, if he does want them, for his necessary occasions, and those of the brethren who live with him, that they may not by any means be in straits: for the law of God appointed that those who waited at the altar should be maintained by the altar; since not so much as a soldier does at any time bear arms against the enemies at his own charges.

42. Let a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon who indulges himself in dice or drinking, either leave off those practices, or let him be deprived.(3)

43. If a sub-deacon, a reader, or a singer does the like, either let him leave off, or let him be suspended; and so for one of the laity.

44. Let a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon who requires usury of those he lends to, either leave off to do so, or let him be deprived.

45. Let a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon who only prays with heretics, be suspended; but if he also permit them to perform any part of the office of a clergyman, let him be deprived.(4)

46. We command that a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon who receives the baptism, or the sacrifice of heretics, be deprived: "For what agreement is there between Christ and Belial? or what part hath a believer with an infidel?"(1)

47. If a bishop or presbyter rebaptizes him who has had true baptism, or does not baptize him who is polluted by the ungodly, let him be deprived, as ridiculing the cross and the death of the Lord, and not distinguishing between real priests and counterfeit ones.

48. If a layman divorces his own wife, and takes another, or one divorced by another, let him be suspended.(2)

49. If any bishop or presbyter does not baptize according to the Lord's constitution, into the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, but into three beings without beginning, or into three Sons, or three Comforters, let him be deprived.(3)

50. If any bishop or presbyter does not perform the three immersions of the one admission, but one immersion, which is given into the death of Christ, let him be deprived; for the Lord did not say, "Baptize into my death," but, "Go ye and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Do ye, therefore, O bishops, baptize thrice into one Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost, according to the will of Christ, and our constitution by the Spirit.(4)

51. If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or indeed any one of the sacerdotal catalogue, abstains from marriage, flesh, and wine, not for his own exercise, but because he abominates these things, forgetting that "all things were very good,"(5) and that "God made man male and female,"(6) and blasphemously abuses the creation, either let him reform, or let him be deprived, and be cast out of the Church; and the same for one of the laity.(7)

52. If any bishop or presbyter does not receive him that returns from his sin, but rejects him, let him be deprived; because he grieves Christ, who says, "There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth."(8)

53. If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon does not on festival days partake of flesh or wine, let him be deprived, as "having a seared conscience,"(9) and becoming a cause of scandal to many.

54. If any one of the clergy be taken eating in a tavern, let him be suspended, excepting when he is forced to bait at an inn upon the road.(10)

55. If any one of the clergy abuses his bishop unjustly, let him be deprived; for says the Scripture, "Thou shall not speak evil of the ruler of thy people." (11)

56. If any one of the clergy abuses a presbyter or a deacon, let him be separated.

57. If any one of the clergy mocks at a lame, a deaf, or a blind man, or at one maimed in his feet, let him be suspended; and the like for the laity.

58. Let a bishop or presbyter who takes no care of the clergy or people, and does not instruct them in piety, be separated; and if he continues in his negligence, let him be deprived.(12)

59. If any bishop or presbyter, when any one of the clergy is in want, does not supply his necessity, let him be suspended; and if he continues in it, let him be deprived, as having killed his brother.(13)

60. If any one publicly reads in the Church the spurious books of the ungodly, as if they were holy, to the destruction of the people and of the clergy, let him be deprived.(14)

61. If there be an accusation against a Christian for fornication, or adultery, or any other forbidden action, and he be convicted, let him not be promoted into the clergy.

62. If any one of the clergy for fear of men, as of a Jew, or a Gentile, or an heretic, shall deny the name of Christ, let him be suspended; but if he deny the name of a clergyman, let him be deprived; but when he repents, let him be received as one of the laity.(1)

63. If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or indeed any one of the sacerdotal catalogue, eats flesh with the blood of its life, or that which is torn by beasts, or which died of itself, let him be deprived; for this the law itself has forbidden.(2) But if he be one of the laity, let him be suspended.(3)

64. If any one of the clergy be found to fast on the Lord's day, or on the Sabbath-day, excepting one only, let him be deprived; but if he be one of the laity, let him be suspended.(4)

65. If any one, either of the clergy or laity, enters into a synagogue of the Jews or heretics to pray, let him be deprived and suspended.(5)

66. If any one of the clergy strikes one in a quarrel, and kills him by that one stroke, let him be deprived, on account of his rashness; but if he be one of the laity, let him be suspended.(6)

67. If any one has offered violence to a virgin not betrothed, and keeps her, let him be suspended. But it is not lawful for him to take another to wife; but he must retain her whom he has chosen, although she be poor.(7)

68. If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, receives a second ordination from any one, let him be deprived, and the person who ordained him, unless he can show that his former ordination was from the heretics; for those that are either baptized or ordained by such as these, can be neither Christians nor clergymen.(8)

69. If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or reader, or singer, does not fast the fast of forty days, or the fourth day of the week, and the day of the Preparation, let him be deprived, except he be hindered by weakness of body. But if he be one of the laity, let him be suspended.(9)

70. If any bishop, or any other of the clergy, fasts with the Jews, or keeps the festivals with them, or accepts of the presents from their festivals, as unleavened bread or some such thing, let him be deprived; but if he be one of the laity, let him be suspended.(10)

71. If any Christian carries oil into an heathen temple, or into a synagogue of the Jews, or lights up lamps in their festivals, let him be suspended.

72. If any one, either of the clergy or laity, takes away from the holy Church an honeycomb, or oil, let him be suspended, and let him add the fifth part to that which he took away.(11)

73. A vessel of silver, or gold, or linen, which is sanctified, let no one appropriate to his own use, for it is unjust; but if any one be caught, let him be punished with suspension.(12)

74. If a bishop be accused of any crime by credible and faithful persons, it is necessary that he be cited by the bishops; and if he comes and makes his apology, and yet is convicted, let his punishment be determined. But if, when he is cited, he does not obey, let him be cited a second time, by two bishops sent to him. But if even then he despises them, and will not come, let the synod pass what sentence they please against him, that he may not appear to gain advantage by avoiding their judgment.(13)

75. Do not ye receive an heretic in a testimony against a bishop; nor a Christian if he be single. For the law says, "In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established." (14)

76. A bishop must not gratify his brother, or his son, or any other kinsman, with the episcopal dignity, or ordain whom he pleases; for it is not just to make heirs to episcopacy, and to gratify human affections in divine matters. For we must not put the Church of God under the laws of inheritance; but if any one shall do so, let his ordination be invalid, and let him be punished with suspension.(15)

77. If any one be maimed in an eye, or lame of his leg, but is worthy of the episcopal dignity, let him be made a bishop; for it is not a blemish of the body that can defile him, but the pollution of the soul.(16)

78. But if he be deaf and blind, let him not be made a bishop; not as being a defiled person, but that the ecclesiastical affairs may not be hindered.

79. If any one hath a demon, let him not be made one of the clergy. Nay, let him not pray with the faithful; but when he is cleansed, let him be received; and if he be worthy, let him be ordained.(17)

80. It is not right to ordain him bishop presently who is just come in from the Gentiles, and baptized; or from a wicked mode of life: for it is unjust that he who has not yet afforded any trial of himself should be a teacher of others, unless it anywhere happens by divine grace.(1)

81. We have said that a bishop ought not to let himself into public administrations, but to attend on all opportunities upon the necessary affairs of the Church.(2) Either therefore let him agree not to do so, or let him be deprived. For, "no one can serve two masters," (3) according to the Lord's admonition.(4)

82. We do not permit servants to be ordained into the clergy without their masters' consent; for this would grieve those that owned them. For such a practice would occasion the subversion of families. But if at any time a servant appears worthy to be ordained into an high office, such as our Onesimus appeared to be, and if his master allows of it, and gives him his freedom, and dismisses him from his house, let him be ordained.(5)

83. Let a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, who goes to the army, and desires to retain both the Roman government and the sacerdotal administration, be deprived. For "the things of Caesar belong to Caesar, and the things of God to God."(6)

84. Whosoever shall abuse the king(7) or the governor unjustly, let him suffer punishment; and if he be a clergyman, let him be deprived; but if he be a layman, let him be suspended.

85. Let the following books be esteemed venerable and holy by you, both of the clergy and laity. Of the Old Covenant: the five books of Moses--Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy; one of Joshua the son of Nun, one of the Judges, one of Ruth, four of the Kings, two of the Chronicles, two of Ezra, one of Esther, one of Judith, three of the Maccabees, one of Job, one hundred and fifty psalms; three books of Solomon--Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs; sixteen prophets. And besides these, take care that your young persons learn the Wisdom of the very learned Sirach. But our sacred books, that is, those of the New Covenant, are these: the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; the fourteen Epistles of Paul; two Epistles of Peter, three of John, one of James, one of Jude; two Epistles of Clement; and the Constitutions dedicated to you the bishops by me Clement, in eight books; which it is not fit to publish before all, because of the mysteries contained in them; and the Acts of us the Apostles.(8)

Let these canonical rules be established by us for you, O ye bishops; and if you continue to observe them, ye shall be saved, and shall have peace; but if you be disobedient, you shall be punished, and have everlasting war one with another, and undergo a penalty suitable to your disobedience.

Now, God who alone is unbegotten, and the Maker of the whole world, unite you all through His peace, in the Holy Spirit; perfect you unto every good work, immoveable, unblameable, and unreprovable; and vouchsafe to you eternal life with us, through the mediation of His beloved Son Jesus Christ our God and Saviour; with whom glory be to Thee, the God over all, and the Father, in the Holy Spirit the Comforter, now and always, and for ever and ever. Amen.

The end of the Constitutions of the Holy Apostles by Clement, which are the Catholic doctrine.

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