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Clement of Alexandria: Let us gird ourselves with the armour of peace


Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

Clement of Alexandria: Gods of war


Clement of Alexandria
From Exhortations to the Greeks
Translated by G.W. Buttterworth

And the Word, having spread abroad the truth, showed to men the grandeur of salvation, in order that they may either be saved if they repent, or be judged if they neglect to obey. This is the preaching of righteousness; to those who obey, good news; to those who disobey, a means of judgment. But when the shrilling trumpet blows, it assembles the soldiers and proclaims war; shall not Christ, think you, having breathed to the ends of the earth a song of peace, assemble the soldiers of peace that are His? Yes, and He did assemble, O man, by blood and by word His bloodless army, and to them He entrusted the kingdom of heaven. The trumpet of Christ is His gospel. He sounded it, and we heard. Let us gird ourselves with the armour of peace, “putting on the breastplate of righteousness,” and taking up the shield of faith, and placing on our head the helmet of salvation; and let us sharpen ” the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.” Thus does the apostle marshal us in the ranks of peace.

Clement of Alexandria
From The Rich Man’s Salvation
Translated by G.W. Butterworth

Do not you be deceived, however, who have tasted of truth, and have been deemed worthy of the great redemption; but, contrary to the rest of men, enlist on your behalf an army without weapons, without war, without bloodshed, without anger, without stain, an army of God-fearing old men, of God-beloved orphans, of widows armed with gentleness, of men adorned with love.

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