“Nothing is good outside of faith.”

Nothing is good outside of faith. Brothers, those who abound in good works and are ignorant of the God of piety are like (to use a figure of speech) the remains of corpses, which, though clothed in beautiful things, don’t perceive the beautiful things. For what is the advantage of a dead soul, dead to the word of God, but clothed with good works? Works occur in the hope of compensation and crowns. But if you are ignorant of the judge, what do you contend for? Faith mustn’t be stripped of good works in order that it not be insulted; but faith is higher than works. For just as humans ought to especially esteem being alive, so too being nourished (for that which maintains our life is nourishment). In this way, our hope in Christ ought to be most important in our life, but also be nourished with good works.

—Severian of Gabala (4th. cent), De fide et de lege natura, trans. Bryson Sewell