Clement of Alexandria
For the Word Himself is the manifest mystery: God in man, and man God. And the Mediator executes the Father’s will; for the Mediator is the Word, who is common to both — the Son of God, the Saviour of men; His Servant, our Teacher. And the flesh being a slave, as Paul testifies, how can one with any reason adorn the handmaid like a pimp? For that which is of flesh has the form of a servant.
You then will show yourselves inferior to apes by cleaving to stone, and wood, and gold, and ivory images, and to pictures. Your makers of such mischievous toys — the sculptors and makers of images, the painters and workers in metal, and the poets — have introduced a motley crowd of divinities.
Follow God, stripped of arrogance, stripped of fading display, possessed of that which is yours, which is good, what alone cannot be taken away — faith towards God, confession towards Him who suffered, beneficence towards men, which is the most precious of possessions. For my part, I approve of Plato, who plainly lays it down as a law, that a man is not to labour for wealth of gold or silver, nor to possess a useless vessel which is not for some necessary purpose, and moderate; so that the same thing may serve for many purposes, and the possession of a variety of things may be done away with.
As therefore the general directs the phalanx, consulting the safety of his soldiers, and the pilot steers the vessel, desiring to save the passengers; so also the Instructor guides the children to a saving course of conduct, through solicitude for us; and, in general, whatever we ask in accordance with reason from God to be done for us, will happen to those who believe in the Instructor.
It is a good thing, I reckon, to leave to posterity good children. This is the case with children of our bodies. But words are the progeny of the soul. Hence we call those who have instructed us, fathers. Wisdom is a communicative and philanthropic thing. Accordingly, Solomon says, My son, if you receive the saying of my commandment, and hide it with you, your ear shall hear wisdom. He points out that the word that is sown is hidden in the soul of the learner, as in the earth, and this is spiritual planting.