Compassion also does He teach: "Be ye merciful," says He, "as your Father also that had mercy upon you." This injunction will be of a piece with, "Deal thy bread to the hungry; and if he be houseless, bring him into thine house; and if thou seest the naked, cover him; " also with, "Judge the fatherless, plead with the widow." I recognise here that ancient doctrine of Him who "prefers mercy to sacrifice." If, however, it be now some other being which teaches mercy, on the ground of his own mercifulness, how happens it that he has been wanting in mercy to me for so vast an age? [Tertullian Adv Marc 4.17.8 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.587, l.12) BP1]The passage in Tertullian's gospel seems to be a Diatessaronic fusion of the order of Luke with the reading from Matthew.
He therefore said: "You wash the outside of the cup," that is, the flesh, "but you do not cleanse your inside part," that is, the soul; adding: "Did not He that made the outside," that is, the flesh, "also make the inward part," that is to say, the soul?- by which assertion He expressly declared that to the same God belongs the cleansing of a man's external and internal nature, both alike being in the power of Him who prefers mercy not only to man's washing, but even to sacrifice. For He subjoins the command: "Give what ye possess as alms, and all things shall be clean unto you." [Tertullian Adv Marc 4.27.3 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.619, l.23) BP1]
Friday, November 21, 2014
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