Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume V/Novatian/On the Jewish Meats/Part 7
Chapter VII. Argument.—Moreover, We Must Be Careful that No One Should Think that This Licence May Be Carried to Such an Extent as that He May Approach to Things Offered to Idols.
But it must be very greatly guarded against in the use of food, and we must be warned lest any should think that liberty is permitted to that degree that even he may approach to what has been offered to idols. For, as far as pertains to God’s creation, every creature is clean. But when it has been offered to demons, it is polluted so long as it is offered to the idols; and as soon as this is done, it belongs no longer to God, but to the idol. And when this creature is taken for food, it nourishes the person who so takes it for the demon, not for God, by making him a fellow-guest with the idol, not with Christ, as rightly do the Jews also. And the meaning of these meats being perceived, and the counsel of the law being considered, and the kindness of the Gospel grace being known, and the rigour of temperance being observed, and the pollution of things offered to idols being rejected, we who keep the rule of truth throughout all things, ought to give thanks to God through Jesus Christ, His Son, our Lord, to whom be praise, and honour, and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
A letter written to Cyprian by Novatian the Roman presbyter, in the name of the Roman clergy, will be found translated (Ep. xxx.) at p. 308, this volume.
- Scil. abstain. [But see 1 Cor. viii. 4, etc.]