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Chapter I.—Occasion of the epistle.

Since I see thee, most excellent Diognetus, exceedingly desirous to learn the mode of worshipping God prevalent among the Christians, and inquiring very carefully and earnestly concerning them, what God they trust in, and what form of religion they observe, 264 so as all to look down upon the world itself, and despise death, while they neither esteem those to be gods that are reckoned such by the Greeks, nor hold to the superstition of the Jews; and what is the affection which they cherish among themselves; and why, in fine, this new kind or practice [of piety] has only now entered into the world, 265 and not long ago; I cordially welcome this thy desire, and I implore God, who enables us both to speak and to hear, to grant to me so to speak, that, above all, I may hear you have been edified, 266 and to you so to hear, that I who speak may have no cause of regret for having done so.



Literally, “trusting in what God, etc., they look down.”


Or, “life,”


Some read, “that you by hearing may be edified.”

Next: Chapter II.—The vanity of idols.