Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume IV/Commodianus/The Instructions of Commodianus/Chapter 43

Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. IV, Commodianus, The Instructions of Commodianus by Commodianus, translated by Robert Ernest Wallis
Chapter 43

XLII.—Of the Hidden and Holy People of the Almighty Christ, the Living God.

Let the hidden, the final, the holy people be longed for; and, indeed, let it be unknown by us where it abides, acting by nine of the tribes and a half…; and he has bidden to live by the former law.  Now let us all live:  the tradition of the law is new, as the law itself teaches, I point out to you more plainly.  Two of the tribes and a half are left:  wherefore is the half of the tribes separated from them?  That they might be martyrs, when He should bring war on His elected ones into the world; or certainly the choir of the holy prophets would rise together upon the people who should impose a check upon them whom the obscene horses have slaughtered with kicking heel; nor would the band hurry rashly at any time to the gift of peace.  Those of the tribes are withdrawn, and all the mysteries of Christ are fulfilled by them throughout the whole age.  Moreover, they have arisen from the crime of two brothers, by whose auspices they have followed crime.  Not undeservedly are these bloody ones thus scattered:  they shall again assemble on behalf of the mysteries of Christ.  But then the things told of in the law are hastening to their completion.  The Almighty Christ descends to His elect, who have been darkened from our view for so long a time—they have become so many thousands—that is the true heavenly people.  The son does not die before his father, then; nor do they feel pains in their bodies, nor polypus in their nostrils.  They who cease depart in ripe years in their bed, fulfilling all the things of the law, and therefore they are protected.  They are bidden to pass on the right side of their Lord; and when they have passed over as before, He dries up the river.  Nor less does the Lord Himself also proceed with them.  He has passed over to our side, they come with the King of heaven; and in their journey, what shall I speak of which God will bring to pass?  Mountains subside before them, and fountains break forth.  The creation rejoices to see the heavenly people.  Here, however, they hasten to defend the captive matron.  But the wicked king who possesses her, when he hears, flies into the parts of the north, and collects all his followers.  Moreover, when the tyrant shall dash himself against the army of God, his soldiery are overthrown by the celestial terror; the false prophet himself is seized with the wicked one, by the decree of the Lord; they are handed over alive to Gehenna.  From him chiefs and leaders are bidden to obey; then will the holy ones enter into the breasts of their ancient mother, that, moreover, they also may be refreshed whom he has evil persuaded.  With various punishments he will torment those who trust in him; they come to the end, whereby offences are taken away from the world.  The Lord will begin to give judgment by fire.