How blessed and marvellous are the gifts of God, beloved. Life in immortality, splendour in righteousness, truth in boldness, faith in confidence, discipline in holiness: all these are in our understanding. What, then, are the things prepared for those endure? The Creator and Father of the Ages,2 the all-holy one himself knows their number and beauty.
Let us be humble-minded, my brothers, and get rid of all conceit and vanity and foolishness and anger, and let us do as Scripture bids us; for the Holy Scripture says, ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, neither let the strong boast in his strength, nor the rich in his riches, but if a man boasts let him boast in the Lord, to seek him out and to do judgement and righteousness.’ Especially remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, which he spoke teaching kindness and forbearance. This is what he said: ‘Show mercy, that you may receive mercy; forgive, that you may be forgiven; as you treat others, so you will be treated; as you give, so will it be given to you; as you judge, so will you be judged; as you show kindness, so will kindness be shown to you. Measure for measure, you shall receive what you bestow.’
With this commandment and these instructions let us keep ourselves firm to proceed in obedience to his holy words, in humility of mind. For the Holy Word says: ‘Upon whom shall I look, except upon the man who is meek and quiet and trembles at my oracles.’
Through envy and jealousy the greatest and most righteous ‘pillars’ were persecuted and engaged in the contest unto death. Let us have the good Apostles before our eyes. Peter through wicked jealousy endured not one or two hardships but many, and after having thus borne witness went on to the place of glory which was his due. On account of envy and strife Paul gave an example of the prize of endurance: seven times imprisoned, driven into exile, stoned; he preached in the East and the West, and won noble renown for his faith. He taught righteousness to the whole world and went to the western limit of the earth. He bore witness before the rulers, and then passed out of the world and went on to the holy place, having proved himself the greatest pattern of endurance.
With these men of holy life was assembled a great host of the elect, who suffered on account of envy, with many indignities and tortures, and have provided for us a most noble example.
Clement of Rome