Read the Second Epistle of Clement – Full Text (Charles H. Hoole) Translation)

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The Second Epistle of Clement has Clement of Rome’s name attached to it, but there are significant doubts concerning whether it was actually written by Clement of Rome.

Second Epistle of Clement – Charles H. Hoole Translation


1:1 Brethren, we ought so to think of our Lord Jesus
Christ as of God, as of the judge of quick and dead,
and we ought not to think meanly concerning our
1:2 for if we think meanly concerning him, we expect
also that we shall receive mean things; and if we
listen to it as though it were a small thing, we err,
not knowing from whence we are called, nor by whom,
nor unto what place, nor what great things Jesus
Christ hath endured to suffer on our behalf.
1:3 What recompense, therefore, shall we give unto
him, or what fruit worthy of that which he hath given
unto us? How many things that help unto holiness hath
he given unto us?
1:4 For he hath given us the light, he hath called
us sons as though he were our father, he hath saved us
when we were ready to perish.
1:5 What praise, therefore, shall we give unto him,
or what recompense of reward for the things that we
have received?
1:6 for we were maimed in our understanding,
worshipping stocks and stones, and gold and silver and
iron, the work of men, and our whole life was nothing
but death. We, therefore, who were surrounded with
darkness, and who had our sight filled with such
gloom, have recovered our sight, having, according to
his will, laid aside the cloud that was around us.
1:7 For he hath had compassion upon us, and, pitying
us, hath saved us, having beheld in us much wandering
and destruction, when we had no hope of salvation
except that which is from him.
1:8 For he hath called us when as yet we were not,
and hath willed us to be when we were nothing.


2:1 Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break
forth and shout, thou that travailest not, for the
desolate hath many more children than she that hath an
husband. In that he said, Rejoice, thou barren that
bearest not, he hath spoken of us, for our church was
barren before that children were given unto her.
2:2 But in that he said, Shout, thou that travailest
not, he meaneth that we should offer our prayers to
God with simplicity, that we faint not like women in
2:3 But in that he said, The children of the
desolate are many more than they of her that hath an
husband, he meaneth that our people seemed to be
deserted of God, and now, after that we have believed,
we have become more in number than they which seemed
to have God.
2:4 And another scripture saith, I came not to call
the righteous but sinners.
2:5 He meaneth this, that it behoveth to save them
that are perishing.
2:6 For this is great and wonderful, not to
establish the things that are standing, but the things
that are falling;
2:7 thus Christ willed to save the things that were
perishing, and he saved many, having come and called
us who were already perishing.


3:1 Since, therefore, he hath showed such compassion
unto us; first, that he hath caused that we who live
should not sacrifice unto gods that are dead, neither
worship them, but know through him the Father of
truth. What is this knowledge of him except the not
denying him through whom we know him?
3:2 For he himself saith, Whosoever hath confessed
me before men, him will I confess before my Father.
3:3 This, therefore, is our reward if we confess him
through whom we have been saved.
3:4 But whereby shall we confess him? Even by doing
what he commandeth, and not disobeying his
commandments, and honouring him not only with our lips
but with our whole heart and whole understanding.
3:5 For he saith in Esaias, This people honoureth me
with their lips, but their heart is far from me.


4:1 Let us not, therefore, only call him Lord, for
that will not save us.
4:2 For he saith, It is not every one that sayeth
unto me, Lord, Lord! that shall be saved, but he that
doeth righteousness.
4:3 Wherefore, brethren, let us confess him in our
deeds, by loving one another, by not committing
adultery, and not speaking ill of each other, neither
being envious, but by being continent, compassionate,
kind. We ought also to sympathize one with another,
and to abstain from covetousness; it is by these works
that we acknowledge him, and not by the contrary;
4:4 and we ought not to fear men but rather God.
4:5 Wherefore, if we do these things, the Lord hath
said, Though ye have been gathered together with me in
my bosom and do not my commandments I will cast you
from me, and I will say unto you, Depart from me; I
know you not whence ye are, ye workers of iniquity.


5:1 Wherefore, brethren, having left our sojourning
in this world, let us do the will of him who called
us, and let us not fear to depart from this world.
5:2 For the Lord saith, Ye shall be as lambs in the
midst of wolves.
5:3 But Peter answered and saith unto him, What,
then, if the wolves rend the sheep?
5:4 Jesus saith unto Peter, Let not the lambs after
that they are dead fear the wolves; and do not ye fear
them that kill you but can do nothing more unto you,
but fear him who after ye are dead hath authority over
body and soul, even to cast them into hell fire.
5:5 And ye know, brethren, that the sojourning of
our flesh in this world is but short and for a little
while, but the promise of Christ is great and
wonderful, even the rest of the kingdom which is to
come, and of eternal life.
5:6 What, therefore, shall we do that we may attain
unto them, except to lead a holy and just
conversation, and to deem the things of this world to
be alien unto us, and not to desire them?
5:7 for while we desire to obtain these things we
fall from the right way.


6:1 For the Lord saith, No servant can serve two
masters. If, therefore, we wish to serve both God and
Mammon, it is inexpedient for us;
6:2 for what advantage is it if a man gain the whole
world, but lose his soul?
6:3 Now this life and the life to come are two
6:4 This life preacheth adultery, corruption,
covetousness, and deceit; but the life that is to come
renounceth these things.
6:5 We cannot, therefore, be friends to both; it
behoveth us then to renounce the one and to use the
6:6 Let us consider, therefore, that it is better to
hate the things that are here, as being small and
short-lived and corruptible, but to love the things
that are there, as being good and incorruptible.
6:7 If, therefore, we do the will of Christ, we
shall find rest; but if not, nothing will deliver us
from eternal punishment, if we obey not his
6:8 For the scripture saith in Ezekiel, If Noah, and
Job, and Daniel should rise up, they shall not deliver
their children in the captivity.
6:9 If, therefore, such righteous men as these
cannot by their righteousness deliver their children,
with what confidence shall we, if we keep not our
baptism pure and undefiled, come unto the kingdom of
God? or who shall be our advocate unless we be found
having the works that are holy and just?


7:1 Wherefore, my brethren, let us strive, knowing
that the contest is at hand. We know, too, that many
put in for corruptible contests, but all are not
crowned, but they only who have laboured much and
fought a good fight.
7:2 Let us, therefore, contend that we may all be
7:3 Let us run in the straight course, in the
incorruptible contest; and let us be many that put
into it, and let us so contend that we may also be
crowned. And if we cannot all be crowned, let us at
least come near to the crown.
7:4 It behoveth us to know that he who contendeth in
a corruptible contest, if he be found acting unfairly
is flogged, and taken away, and cast out of the
7:5 What think ye? what shall he suffer that acteth
unfairly in an incorruptible contest?
7:6 For of them who have not kept their seal he
saith, Their worm shall die not, and their fire shall
not be quenched, and they shall be for a spectacle to
all flesh.


8:1 While, therefore, we are upon the earth, let us
8:2 For we are as clay in the hands of the workman.
In like manner as the potter, if while he be making a
vessel, it turn amiss in his hands, or be crushed, can
mould it again, but if he have once cast it into the
fiery furnace can no longer amend it; so let us, so
long as we are in this world repent with all our
hearts of the wickedness that we have committed in the
flesh, that we may be saved of the Lord while as yet
we have time for repentance.
8:3 For after that we are departed out of this
world, we are no longer able there to confess or
8:4 Wherefore, brethren, if we have done the will of
the Father, and preserved our flesh pure, and kept the
commandments of the Lord, we shall receive eternal
8:5 For the Lord saith in the Gospel, If ye have not
kept that which is little, who shall give you that
which is great? for I say unto you, he that is
faithful in that which is least is faithful also in
8:6 Doth he not, therefore, say this, Keep your
flesh pure and your seal unspotted, that ye may
inherit eternal life?


9:1 And let not any one of you say that this our
flesh is not judged nor raised again.
9:2 Consider this: in what were ye saved, in what
did ye recover your sight, if not in this flesh?
9:3 We ought, therefore, to guard our flesh as the
temple of God;
9:4 for in the same manner as ye were called in the
flesh, in the flesh also shall ye come.
9:5 There is one Christ, our Lord who saved us, who
being at the first spirit, was made flesh, and thus
called us. So also shall we in this flesh receive the
9:6 Let us, therefore, love one another, that we may
all come to the kingdom of God.
9:7 While we have opportunity to be healed, let us
give ourselves up unto God who healeth, giving a
recompense unto him.
9:8 And of what kind? repentance from a sincere
9:9 For he foreknoweth all things, and knoweth the
things that are in our hearts.
9:10 Let us, therefore, give him praise, not from
the mouth alone, but also from the heart, that he may
receive us as sons.
9:11 For of a truth the Lord hath said, My brethren
are they who do the will of my Father.


10:1 Wherefore, my brethren, let us do the will of
the Father who hath called us, that we may live; and
let us the rather pursue virtue, and abandon vice
which leadeth us into sins, and let us fly ungodliness
lest evil seize us; for if we are zealous to do good
peace shall pursue us.
10:2 For this cause it is not possible that a man
should find peace.
10:3 For they introduce the fear of men, choosing
rather the present enjoyment that is here than the
future promise.
10:4 For they are ignorant how great a torment the
enjoyment of this world bringeth, and what delight
hath the future promise.
10:5 And if they themselves alone did these things
it were endurable; but now they continue to instruct
in evil innocent souls, not knowing that they will
have a twofold condemnation — both themselves and they
that hearken to them.


11:1 Let us, therefore, serve God with a pure heart,
and we shall be righteous; but if we serve him not,
because we believe not the promise of God, we shall be
11:2 For the prophetic word saith, Wretched are the
double-minded who doubt in their heart, and say, We
have heard these things of old, even in the time of
our fathers, but we have seen none of them, though we
expect them from day to day.
11:3 Ye fools, compare yourselves unto a tree; take
for an example the vine. In the first place it
sheddeth its leaves, then there cometh a shoot, after
that the unripe grape, then the mature cluster.
11:4 In like manner my people hath in time past had
disorder and trouble, but afterward it shall receive
the things that are good.
11:5 Wherefore, my brethren, let us not be
double-minded, but let us abide in hope, that we may
obtain our reward.
11:6 Faithful is he that hath promised that he will
give unto each the recompense of his works.
11:7 If, therefore, we do righteousness before God,
we shall enter into his kingdom, and receive the
promises which ear hath not heard nor eye seen,
neither have entered into the heart of man.


12:1 Let us, therefore, in love and righteousness
expect every hour the kingdom of God, since we know
not the day of the appearing of God.
12:2 For the Lord himself, when he was asked by a
certain man when his kingdom should come, replied,
When two shall be one, and that which is without as
that which is within, and the male with the female
neither male nor female.
12:3 Now two are one when we speak the truth one to
another, and there is, without hypocrisy, one soul in
two bodies.
12:4 And by that which is without being as that
which is within, he meaneth this: He calleth the soul
that which is within, and the body that which is
without; in like manner, therefore, as thy body is
visible, let thy soul be made manifest by good deeds.
12:5 And by the male with the female neither male
nor female, he meaneth this: When a brother seeing a
sister doth not in any way regard her as a female, nor
doth she regard him as a male;
12:6 when ye do these things, he saith, the kingdom
of my Father will come.


13:1 My brethren, let us therefore repent forthwith;
let us be sober and followers of what is good, for we
are burdened with much folly and wickedness. Let us
wipe out from among us our former sins, and repent
sincerely and be saved. And let us not be pleasers of
men, nor let us wish to please one another alone, but
let us also please them that are without by our
righteous conduct, that the Divine name may not be
blasphemed on our account.
13:2 For the Lord saith, My name is continually
blasphemed among all the Gentiles; and again,
Wherefore is my name blasphemed, whereby is it
blasphemed? in that ye do not the things that I will.
13:3 For the Gentiles, when they hear from our mouth
the oracles of God, admire them as beautiful and
weighty; but afterwards perceiving our deeds, that
they are not worthy of the words that we say, they
turn thereafter to blasphemy, saying that the matter
is but fable and deceit.
13:4 For when they hear from us that God saith,
There is no thanks for you if ye love them that love
you, but there is thanks for you if ye love your
enemies and them that hate you; when they hear these
things, they wonder at the excess of the goodness. But
when they see that we do not only not love those that
hate us, but do not even love those that love us, they
turn us to ridicule, and the Divine name is


14:1 Wherefore, my brethren, by doing the will of
our Father, God, we shall be of the first, the
spiritual Church, which was founded before the sun and
moon were made; but if we do not the will of the Lord,
we shall be of the scripture that saith, My house hath
become a den of thieves. Let us therefore choose to be
of the Church of life that we may be saved.
14:2 But I do not think that you are ignorant that
the living Church is the body of Christ. For the
scripture saith, God made man, male and female. Now,
the male signifieth Christ, the female the Church. Ye
know also that both the Bible and the Apostles say
that the Church is not new, but was from the
beginning; for it was of a spiritual kind, as was also
our Jesus, but was made manifest in the last days that
it might save us.
14:3 But the Church, though spiritual, was
manifested in the flesh of Christ, showing to us that
if any one keep it in his flesh, and corrupt it not,
he will receive it in the Holy Spirit; for this flesh
is the counterpart of the Spirit; no one, therefore,
who corrupteth the copy will receive the original in
exchange. He therefore meaneth this, my brethren: Keep
pure the flesh, that ye may partake of the Spirit.
14:4 But if we say that the flesh is the Church, and
the Spirit, Christ, he then who doeth injury to the
flesh doeth injury to the Church. Such an one
therefore shall not partake of the Spirit, which is
14:5 Such life and immortality is this flesh able to
partake of by the union of the Holy Spirit with it. Nor
can any say or declare what the Lord hath prepared for
his elect.


15:1 Now, I do not think that I have given advice of
little importance concerning temperance, which, if a
man practice, he will not repent of it, but will save
both himself and me who advise him. For it is no small
service to convert a wandering and perishing soul to
15:2 For this recompense are we able to give in
return to God who created us, if he who speaketh and
heareth both speak and hear with faith and love.
15:3 Let us therefore remain with righteousness and
holiness in the things in which we have believed, that
we may with boldness ask of God, who saith, While thou
art still speaking, I will say, Lo I am here.
15:4 For this saying is the token of a great
promise. For the Lord saith of himself that he is more
ready to give than him that asketh.
15:5 Since, therefore, we partake in so much
goodness, let us not grudge ourselves the attaining of
so many good things; for by so much as his words bring
pleasure to those who do them, by so much do they
bring condemnation to those who disobey them.


16:1 Wherefore, brethren, since we have received no
small opportunity for repentance, let us, while we
have time, turn unto the God who hath called us, while
we still have one who will receive us.
16:2 For if we bid farewell to the luxuries of this
world, and conquer our soul so that we do not fulfil
evil lusts, we shall partake of the mercy of Jesus.
16:3 But know that the day of judgment is already
coming as a burning furnace, and certain of the
heavens shall be melted, and the whole earth shall be
as lead melting on the fire; and then shall both the
secret and open deeds of men be made manifest.
16:4 Good, therefore, is almsgiving, as showing
repentance from sin; better is fasting than prayer,
and almsgiving than both; for love covereth a
multitude of sins, and prayer that goeth forth from a
good conscience saveth from death. Happy is every one
who is found full of these things, for almsgiving
becometh a lightening of sin.


17:1 Let us therefore repent with our whole heart
lest any of us perish by the way. For if we have
received commandments and make this our business — to
tear men away from idols and instruct them — how much
more ought a soul not to perish that hath already come
to a knowledge of God?
17:2 Let us therefore endeavour to elevate with
regard to what is good them that are weak, to the end
that we may all be saved; and let us convert one
another and reprove one another.
17:3 And let us not seem to attend and believe now
only, while we are being admonished by the presbyters,
but also when we have departed to our homes, let us
remember the commandments of the Lord; and let us not,
on the other hand, be drawn aside by the lusts of the
world, but let us endeavour, by coming more
frequently, to make progress in the commandments of
the Lord, to the end that we all being of one mind may
be gathered together unto life.
17:4 For the Lord hath said, I come to gather
together all the nations, tribes, and tongues. And
this he saith of the day of his appearing, when he
shall come and recompense each of us according to his
17:5 And the unbelieving shall behold his glory and
strength, and shall be astonished when they see the
kingdom of the world in the hands of Jesus, and shall
say, Woe unto us, for thou wast and we knew it not,
and did not believe, nor did we obey the presbyters
who preached to us concerning our salvation. And their
worm shall not die, nor their fire be quenched, and
they shall be for a spectacle to all flesh.
17:6 He speaketh of that day of judgment when they
shall see punished those among us who have lived
ungodly and set at nought the commandments of Jesus
17:7 But the just, who have done well, and have
abided the tests, and have hated the luxuries of the
soul, when they behold those who have missed the way
and have denied Jesus either by words or deeds, how
they are punished with dreadful tortures in
unquenchable fire, shall give glory to their God,
saying, that there shall be a hope for him who hath
served God with his whole heart.


18:1 Let us, therefore, be of those who give thanks,
of those who have served God, and not of the ungodly
who are judged.
18:2 For I myself, being in all respects a sinner,
and not having yet escaped temptation, but being still
in the midst of the snares of the devil, yet endeavour
to follow after righteousness, that I may be able, at
any rate, to be near it, fearing the judgment to come.


19:1 Wherefore, my brethren and sisters, after the
reading of the words of the God of truth, I read also
unto you an exhortation, to the end that ye should
attend to what has been written, that ye may both save
yourselves and him who preacheth among you; for I ask
of you, as my reward, that ye should repent with your
whole heart, gaining for yourselves salvation and
life. For by so doing we shall offer an aim to all the
young, who are willing to labour cheerfully for the
worship and goodness of God.
19:2 And let not those of us who are unlearned be
vexed or offended when one exhorteth us and turneth us
from sin to righteousness. For we at times when doing
what is wrong, know it not, from the doubt and
unbelief that is in our hearts, and are blinded in our
understanding by vain lusts.
19:3 Let us, therefore, practise righteousness, that
we may be saved at the last. Blessed are they who obey
these commands, for if for a short time they suffer in
the world that now is, they shall gather hereafter the
immortal fruit of the resurrection.
19:4 Let not, therefore, the pious man be vexed if
he be afflicted in the times that now are, a blessed
time awaiteth him. He shall live above again with the
fathers, and shall rejoice without sorrow for ever.


20:1 And let not even that trouble your mind, that
we see the unjust prosperous and the servants of God
in misery.
20:2 Let us have faith, my brethren and sisters. We
are making trial of the living God, and contending in
the present life that we may be crowned in the life to
20:3 For none of the just receiveth a speedy reward,
but waiteth for it.
20:4 For if God gave speedily the reward of the
righteous, we should forthwith practise gain and not
godliness; for we should seem to be righteous, not on
account of what is pious, but on account of what is
profitable. And on this account hath the Divine
judgment overtaken a spirit that is not righteous, and
hath burdened it with chains.
20:5 Now to the only God, the invisible, the father
of truth, who hath sent unto us the Saviour and leader
of immortality, through whom he hath made known unto
us the truth and the heavenly life, to him be the
glory, world without end. Amen.


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