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ANF08. The Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, The Clementia, Apocrypha, Decretals, Memoirs of Edessa and Syriac Documents, Remains of the First
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Chapter X.—Poverty Not Necessarily Righteous.

And our father said:  “How then is this?  Do we not see many impious men poor?  Then do these belong to the saved on this account?”  And Peter said:  “Not at all; for that poverty is not acceptable which longs for what it ought not.  So that some are rich as far as their choice goes, though poor in actual wealth, and they are punished because they desire to have more.  But one is not unquestionably righteous because he happens to be poor.  For he can be a beggar as far as actual wealth is concerned, but he may desire and even do what above everything he ought not to do. Thus he may worship idols, or be a blasphemer or fornicator, or he may live indiscriminately, or perjure himself, or lie, or live the life of an unbeliever. But our teacher pronounced the faithful poor blessed;12461246    Matt. v. 3.  The Epitomes run thus:  “Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, said.”  And then they quote the words of our Gospel. and he did so, not because they had given anything, for they had nothing, but because they were not to be condemned, as having done no sin, simply because they gave no alms, because they had nothing to give.”  And our father said:  “In good truth all seems to go right as far as the subject of discussion is concerned; wherefore I have resolved to listen to the whole of your argument in regular order.”


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