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ANF01. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus
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Chapter VII.—Each Christian must be tried by his own life.

But some one will say, Some have ere now been arrested and convicted as evil-doers. For you condemn many, many a time, after inquiring into the life of each of the accused severally, but not on account of those of whom we have been speaking.17771777    i.e., according to Otto, “not on account of the sincere Christians of whom we have been speaking.” According to Trollope, “not on account of (or at the instigation of) the demons before mentioned.” And this we acknowledge, that as among the Greeks those who teach such theories as please themselves are all called by the one name “Philosopher,” though their doctrines be diverse, so also among the Barbarians this name on which accusations are accumulated is the common property of those who are and those who seem wise. For all are called Christians. Wherefore we demand that the deeds of all those who are accused to you be judged, in order that each one who is convicted may be punished as an evil-doer, and not as a Christian; and if it is clear that any one is blameless, that he may be acquitted, since by the mere fact of his being a Christian he does no wrong.17781778    Or, “as a Christian who has done no wrong.” For we will not require that you punish our accusers;17791779    Compare the Rescript of Adrian appended to this Apology. they being sufficiently punished by their present wickedness and ignorance of what is right.


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