Note these passages:
- 1 Clement 2:6 "Every sedition and every schism was abominable to you. Ye mourned over the transgressions of your neighbors: ye judged their shortcomings to be your own."
What a challenging word . . . communal responsibility for sin. It seems that for Clement the sin of a community member in some way reflected a shortcoming in the community as a whole. A community that does not mourn the sin within and identify with the sinner is a community that fragments and dissolves.
- 1 Clement 21:1 "Look ye, brethren, lest His benefits, which are many, turn unto judgment to all of us, if we walk not worthily of Him, and do those things which are good and well pleasing in His sight with concord."
- 1 Clement 30:3 "3 Let us therefore cleave unto those to whom grace is given from God. Let us clothe ourselves in concord, being lowlyminded and temperate, holding ourselves aloof from all back biting and evil speaking, being justified by works and not by words."
- 1 Clement 37:4-38:2 "4 The great without the small cannot exist, neither the small without the great. There is a certain mixture in all things, and therein is utility. 5 Let us take our body as an example. The head without the feet is nothing; so likewise the feet without the head are nothing: even the smallest limbs of our body are necessary and useful for the whole body: but all the members conspire and unite in subjection, that the whole body maybe saved. 38:1 So in our case let the whole body be saved in Christ Jesus, and let each man be subject unto his neighbor, according as also he was appointed with his special grace. 2 Let not the strong neglect the weak; and let the weak respect the strong. Let the rich minister aid to the poor; and let the poor give thanks to God, because He hath given him one through whom his wants may be supplied. Let the wise display his wisdom, not in words, but in good works. He that is lowly in mind, let him not bear testimony to himself, but leave testimony to be borne to him by his neighbor. He that is pure in the flesh, let him be so, and not boast, knowing that it is Another who bestoweth his continence upon him."
- 1 Clement 19:1-3 "1 The humility therefore and the submissiveness of so many and so great men [i.e., Christ, Elijah, Elisha, Ezekiel, Abraham, Job, David], who have thus obtained a good report, hath through obedience made better not only us but also the generations which were before us, even them that received His oracles in fear and truth. 2 Seeing then that we have been partakers of many great and glorious doings, let us hasten to return unto the goal of peace which hath been handed down to us from the beginning, and let us look steadfastly unto the Father and Maker of the whole world, and cleave unto His splendid and excellent gifts of peace and benefits. 3 Let us behold Him in our mind, and let us look with the eyes of our soul unto His long-suffering will. Let us note how free from anger He is towards all His creatures."
I would love to know exactly how Clement would've explained more fully this phrase: Seeing then that we have been partakers of many great and glorious doings. First, in what way and how do we partake of the great and glorious deeds he mentions? I have a hunch that for Clement a large part of it revolves around his understanding of imitation, which I think is another aspect of Clement's ecclesial mutuality and solidarity. I hope to post some of these passages in another post this week. Second, how does being a partaker hasten a return to the goal of peace? Again, I think it may have something to do with Clement's understanding of imitation.