Part 4
Chapter 4—Of Efficacious  Grace

Section 5—Clemens Alexandrinus. A.D. 190.

Clement of Alexandria must be reckoned among the assertors of the necessity of the grace of God to perform that which is good; and of the power and efficacy of it in the hearts of men producing faith, etc.; for in one place he says,[1] that “men ought to have a sound mind, which does not repent of a studious search after that which is good; pros oper malista tes theias chrezomen charitos, ‘in order to which especially, we stand in need of divine grace,' of right doctrine, of a pure affection of mind, kai tes tou Patros pros auton olkes, and of the Father's drawing to himself.” ,And in another place he observes,[2] that “few knew the Son of God as Peter did, whom he pronounces blessed, because flesh and blood hath not revealed the truth to him, but his Father which is in heaven; plainly signifying, that a man is a Gnostic, or endued with knowledge, so as to know the Son of the Almighty, not by his flesh, which was conceived, alla di autes res dunameos tes Patrikes, but by the Father's power.” He strongly[3] disputes against the Basilidians, who held that faith was natural and proper to men, and arose from some preceding natural necessity; whereas he affirms it to be something that comes from above, that is divine, and springs from the grace of God; his words are these;[4] “Faith is not to be calumniated, os eukolon to kai pandemon, ‘as easy and vulgar, and what every one has.' I say, therefore, that faith, whether it is founded on love or on fear, as the adversaries say, theion ti einai, is something divine.” And elsewhere he says,[5] “The conjecture of truth is one thing, and truth itself another; the likeness of it one thing, and that itself another; the one comes by learning and exercise, the other by power and faith; dorea gar e didaskalia tes theosebeias, charis de e pistis, for the doctrine of godliness is a gift, and faith a grace.” Again he says,[6] “It remains, that theia chariti, ‘by divine grace,' and by the world alone, which is from God, we understand that which is unknown.”


[1] Stromat, 1.5, p. 548.

[2] Ibid. 1. 6, p. 680.

[3] Ibid. 1. 2, p. 363.

[4] Ibid. 1. 2, p. 372.

[5] Ibid. 1. 1, p. 288.

[6] Stromat. 1.5, p. 588.