Church FathersHail, O light!

For in us, buried in darkness, shut up in the shadow of death, light has shone forth from heaven, purer than the sun, sweeter than life here below.

That light is eternal life; and whatever partakes of it lives.

[…] For “the Sun of Righteousness”… has changed sunset into sunrise, and through the Cross brought death to life.

And having wrenched man from destruction, He has raised him to the skies, transplanting mortality into immortality, and translating earth to heaven….

He has bestowed on us the truly great, divine, and inalienable inheritance of the Father, deifying man by heavenly teaching, putting His laws into our minds, and writing them on our hearts.

What laws does He inscribe? “That all shall know God, from small to great;” and, “I will be merciful to them,” says God, “and will not remember their sins.”

Let us receive the laws of life, let us comply with God’s expostulations; let us become acquainted with Him, that He may be gracious.

And though God needs nothing let us render to Him the grateful recompense of a thankful heart and of piety, as a kind of house-rent for our dwelling here below.

[…] Will you not allow the heavenly Word, the Saviour, to be bound on to you as an amulet, and, by trusting in God’s own charm, be delivered from passions which are the diseases of the mind, and rescued from sin?—for sin is eternal death.

[…] But it is truth which cries, “The light shall shine forth from the darkness.” Let the light then shine in the hidden part of man, that is, the heart.

And let the beams of knowledge arise to reveal and irradiate the hidden inner man, the disciple of the Light, the familiar friend and fellow-heir of Christ.

[…] I urge you to be saved. This Christ desires. In one word, He freely bestows life on you. And who is He? …

The Word of truth, the Word of incorruption, that regenerates man by bringing him back to the truth—the goad that urges to salvation—He who expels destruction and pursues death—He who builds up the temple of God in men, that He may cause God to take up His abode in men.

Cleanse the temple; and pleasures and amusements abandon to the winds and the fire, as a fading flower; but wisely cultivate the fruits of self-command, and present yourself to God as an offering of first-fruits, that there may be not the work alone, but also the grace of God.

And both are requisite, that the friend of Christ may be rendered worthy of the kingdom, and be counted worthy of the kingdom.

Clement of Alexandria (c.150-c.215): Exhortation to the Heathen, 11.