On Almsgiving: The Duties of Mutual Help
The Duties of Mutual Help
Let, therefore, our whole body be preserved in Christ Jesus, and let each be subject to his neighbour, according to the position granted to him. Let the strong care for the weak and let the weak reverence the strong. Let the rich man bestow help on the poor and let the poor give thanks to God, that he gave him one to supply his needs; let the wise manifest his wisdom not in words but in good deeds; let him who is humble-minded not testify to his own humility, but let him leave it to others to bear him witness; let not him who is pure in the flesh be boastful, knowing that it is another who bestows on him his continence. Let us consider, then, brethren, of what matter we were formed, who we are, and with what nature we came into the world, and how he who formed and created us brought us into his world from the darkness of a grave, and prepared his benefits for us before we were born. Since, therefore, we have everything from him we ought in everything to give him thanks, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians
The Profit of Repentance; Almsgiving
Seeing therefore, brethren, that we have received no small opportunity for repentance; let us, now that we have time, turn to the God who calls us, while we still have one who awaits us. For if we bid farewell to these enjoyments, and conquer our soul, by giving up its wicked lusts, we shall share in the mercy of Jesus. But you know that “the day” of judgment is already “approaching as a burning oven, and some of the heavens shall melt,” and the whole earth shall be as lead melting in the fire, and then shall be manifest the secret and open deeds of men. Almsgiving is therefore good even as penitence for sin; fasting is better than prayer, but the giving of alms is better than both; and love “covers a multitude of sins,” but prayer from a good conscience rescues from death. Blessed is every man who is found full of these things; for almsgivings lightens sin.
The Second Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians