Sacred Texts  Christianity  Early Church Fathers  Index  Previous  Next 

Chapter XV.—What Christ himself taught.

Concerning chastity, He uttered such sentiments as these: 1785 “Whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart before God.” And, “If thy right eye offend thee, cut it out; for it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of heaven with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into everlasting fire.” And, “Whosoever shall marry her that is divorced from another husband, committeth adultery.” 1786 And, “There are some who have been made eunuchs of men, and some who were born eunuchs, and some who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake; but all cannot receive this saying.” 1787 So that all who, by human law, are twice married, 1788 are in the eye of our Master sinners, and those who look upon a woman to lust after her. For not only he who in act commits adultery is rejected by Him, but also he who desires to commit adultery: since not only our works, but also our thoughts, are open before God. And many, both men and women, who have been Christ’s disciples from childhood, remain pure at the age of sixty or seventy years; and I boast that I could produce such from every race of men. For what shall I say, too, of the countless multitude of those who have reformed intemperate habits, and learned these things? For Christ called not the just nor the chaste to repentance, but the ungodly, and the licentious, and the unjust; His words being, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” 1789 For the heavenly Father desires rather the repentance than the punishment of the sinner. And of our love to all, He taught thus: “If ye love them that love you, what new thing do ye? for even fornicators do this. But I say unto you, Pray for your enemies, and love them that hate you, and bless them that curse you, and pray for them that despitefully use you.” 1790 And that we should communicate to the needy, and do nothing for glory, He said, “Give to him that asketh, and from him that would borrow turn not away; for if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what new thing do ye? even the publicans do this. Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where robbers break through; but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for it? Lay up treasure, therefore, in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt.” 1791 And, “Be ye kind and merciful, as your Father also is kind and merciful, and maketh His sun to rise on sinners, and the righteous, and the wicked. p. 168 Take no thought what ye shall eat, or what ye shall put on: are ye not better than the birds and the beasts? And God feedeth them. Take no thought, therefore, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall put on; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But seek ye the kingdom of heaven, and all these things shall be added unto you. For where his treasure is, there also is the mind of a man.” 1792 And, “Do not these things to be seen of men; otherwise ye have no reward from your Father which is in heaven.” 1793



The reader will notice that Justin quotes from memory, so that there are some slight discrepancies between the words of Jesus as here cited, and the same sayings as recorded in our Gospels.


Matt. 5:28, 29, 32.


Matt. xix. 12.


διγαμίας ποιούμενοι, lit. contracting a double marriage. Of double marriages there are three kinds: the first, marriage with a second wife while the first is still alive and recognised as a lawful wife, or bigamy; the second, marriage with a second wife after divorce from the first, and third, marriage with a second wife after the death of the first. It is thought that Justin here refers to the second case.


Matt. ix. 13.


Matt. 5:46, 44; Luke vi. 28.


Luke 6:30, 34; Matt. vi. 19, Matt. xvi. 26, Matt. vi. 20.


Luke vi. 36; Matt. v. 45, Matt. 6:25, 26, 33, 21.


Matt. vi. 1.

Next: Chapter XVI.—Concerning patience and...