They live in their own countries, but only as aliens; they participate in everything as citizens, and endure everything as foreigners. Every foreign country is their fatherland, and every fatherland is foreign.
They marry like everyone else, and have children, but they do not expose their offspring.
They share their food but not their wives.
They are ‘in the flesh,’ but they do not live ‘according to the flesh.’
They live on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven.
They obey the established laws; indeed in their private lives they transcend the laws.
They love everyone, and by everyone they are persecuted.
They are unknown, yet they are condemned; they are put to death, yet they are brought to life.
They are poor, yet they make many rich; they are in need of everything, yet they abound in everything.
They are dishonored, yet they are glorified in their dishonor; they are slandered, yet they are vindicated.
They are cursed, yet they bless; they are insulted, yet they offer respect.
When they do good, they are punished as evildoers; when they are punished, they rejoice as though brought to life.
By the Jews they are assaulted as foreigners, and by the Greeks they are persecuted, yet those who hate them are unable to give a reason for their hostility.
From the Epistle to Diognetus (AD 150)