How they love one another
We don’t take the gifts and spend them on feasts, drinking-bouts, or fancy restaurants. Instead we use them to support and bury poor people, to supply the needs of boys and girls who have no means and no parents. We support the elderly confined now to their homes. We also help those who have suffered shipwreck. And if there happen to be any in the mines, or banished to the islands, or shut up in the prisons—for nothing but their fidelity to the cause of God’s Church—they then become the nurslings of the confession they hold [as we take them in to help them]. Primarily it is the acts of love that are so noble that lead many to put a brand upon us. “See,” they say, “how they love one another” (Tertullian, Apology, chapter 39).
[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #124 in 2017]Tertullian was a third century church leader and writer from North Africa.
The Epistle to Diognetus describes the extraordinary character of early ChristiansUnknown
Subscribe to magazine
Subscription to Christian History magazine is on a donation basisSubscribe
Christian History Institute (CHI) is a non-profit Pennsylvania corporation founded in 1982. Your donations support the continuation of this ministryDonate