Would that the Church Be Known for This!
From The Apology of Aristides the Philosopher to Emperor Hadrian, 125 A.D.:
Further, if one or other of them have bondmen or bondwomen or children, through love towards them they persuade them to become Christians, and when they have done so, they call them brethren without distinction.
They do not worship strange gods, and they go their way in all modesty and cheerfulness.
Falsehood is not found among them; and they love one another, and from widows they do not turn away their esteem; and they deliver the orphan from him who treats him harshly.
And he, who has, gives to him who has not, without boasting. And when they see a stranger, they take him into their homes and rejoice over him as a very brother; for they do not call them brethren after the flesh, but brethren after the spirit and in God.
And whenever one of their poor passes from the world, each one of them according to his ability gives heed to him and carefully sees to his burial.
And if they hear that one of their number is imprisoned or afflicted on account of the name of their Messiah, all of them anxiously minister to his necessity, and if it is possible to redeem him they set him free.
And if there is among them any that is poor and needy, and if they have no spare food, they fast.
- quoted in Orphanology: Awakening to GospelCentered Adoption and Orphan Care, by Tony Merida and Rick Morton