Thursday, April 9, 2009

One Teacher Only, by St. Clement

In addition to the scriptures where Jesus commands the disciples not to be called teacher, for there is only One Teacher (Mt 23:8), this same Truth can be demonstrated using the first century witness known as the Recognitions of Clement, where St. Clement quotes the teachings of the Apostle Peter. In chapter 59, under the heading of The True Prophet, Clement writes:

"But I would not have you think, that in saying this I take away the power of judging concerning things; but I give counsel that no one walk through devious places, and rush into errors without end. And therefore I advise not only wise men, but indeed all men who have a desire of knowing what is advantageous to them, that they seek after the true Prophet; for it is He alone who knoweth all things, and who knoweth what and how every man is seeking. For He is within the mind of every one of us, but in those who have no desire of the knowledge of God and His righteousness, He is inoperative; but He works in those who seek after that which is profitable to their souls, and kindles in them the light of knowledge. Wherefore seek Him first of all; and if you do not find Him, expect not that you shall learn anything from any other. But He is soon found by those who diligently seek Him through love of the truth, and whose souls are not taken possession of by wickedness. For He is present with those who desire Him in the innocence of their spirits, who bear patiently, and draw sighs from the bottom of their hearts through love of the truth; but He deserts malevolent minds, because as a prophet He knows the thoughts of every one. And therefore let no one think that he can find Him by his own wisdom, unless, as we have said, he empty his mind of all wickedness, and conceive a pure and faithful desire to know Him. For when any one has so prepared himself, He Himself as a prophet, seeing a mind prepared for Him, of His own accord offers Himself to his knowledge".

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