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shining peace, a quenchless ardour for well-doing, and a rich outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon you all. 13: Let us forget our self-assertion and braggadocio and stupid quarrelling, and do what the Bible tells us instead. 30: Self-assertion, self-assurance and a bold manner are the marks of men accursed of God. 33: Let us be earnestly, even passionately eager to set about any kind of activity that is good. 35: Unto the wicked God says, ‘Why do you recite my statutes?’ 38: To Him we owe everything, and therefore on every count we are under the obligation to return thanks to him. 39: Men who have no intelligence or understanding, men who are without sense or instruction, make a mock of us and ridicule us, in their wish to raise themselves in their own esteem… What force is there in anyone born of this earth? 46: Why must there be all this quarrelling and bad blood, these feuds and dissensions among you? Have we not all the same God, and the same Christ? 49: If there is true Christian love in a man, let him carry out the precepts of Christ. 56: O my friends, do let us accept correction; it is something nobody ought to resent. Polycarp of Smyrna: Epistle of Polycarp 1: “Though you never saw Him for yourselves, yet you believe in Him in a glory of joy beyond all words (which not a few others would be glad to share), well knowing that it is by his grace you are saved, not of your own doing”
“As for the clergy… any show of temper.” …“if we pray to the Lord to forgive us. and he has fulfilled all the demands of holiness. if we do His will and live by His commandments. and cherish the things He cherished” …“all things in heaven and earth have been made subject to Him.2: “He that raised Him from the dead will raise us also. and therefore we owe it to ourselves to behave in a manner worthy of His precepts and His glory. like the deacons. or prejudice is to be scrupulously avoided. taking every care to avoid giving offence” …refuse association with “false brethren and those hypocritical bearers of the Lord’s name who only lead empty heads astray” 7.” …“in this world it is a good thing to make a clean break with all our carnal desires.” 5. for to possess Love is to be beyond the reach of sin.” …Deacons should remember “that they are ministers of God and not of men… they must be men utterly self-disciplined. humane and hard working” …“our younger men. So let us have no more of this nonsense from the gutter” . “I am as far as anyone else of my sort from having the wisdom of our blessed and glorious Paul. “to pervert the Lord’s words to suit our own wishes. by asserting that there are no such things as resurrection or judgement. “we know that ‘God is not mocked’. making purity their first care and keeping a strict curb on any tendencies to loose living. we ourselves must be forgiving” …“Let us have a real ardour for goodness. partiality.” …“even after his departure [from Philippi] he still sent letters which. must be unspotted in all respects. and eagerness for money should be a thing utterly alien to them. because ‘all the lusts of the flesh are up in arms against the Spirit’” 6. if you study them attentively. will enable you to make progress in the faith” …“let a man’s mind be wholly bent on these [Faith. Hope and the Love of God and Christ and neighbour]. everything that breathes pays Him homage” 3. is to be a first-begotten son of Satan.
so that the whole body can be maintained in health. and not in them alone. polycarp was saying “turn back again to the Word originally delivered to us”. and Rufus. If a man has no control over himself in matters of this sort. May God “help you to grow in faith and truth. going astray: you “must not be over severe with them. in patience and forbearance. and if we do have to suffer for His Name’s sake.” .” 9. Ignatius’ letters “are enclosed herewith.” 13. and to exercise the same perfect fortitude that you have seen with your own eyes in the blessed Ignatius. for people of that kind are not to be looked on as enemies. and perseverance.…gnosticism… christological heresies even in c. in unfailing gentleness and the avoidance of all anger. Be very sure that the course of these men was not run in vain… they have now reached a well-earned place at the side of the Lord whose pains they shared.” …“Let everyone respect his neighbour’s rights. you will be able to derive a great deal of benefit from them. Woe betide anyone who does bring the Lord into disrepute” 11. let us give glory to Him. and in calmness and purity. “Let us imitate that patient endurance of His. “I appeal now to every one of you to hear and obey the call of holiness. “It moves me to warn you earnestly against any excessive fondness for money… You must keep yourselves from the slightest taint of wrong.” 12. for they tell you all about faith.100 AD. so that the heathen may have no occasion to find fault with your way of life. never put it off to another time. but in a number of your own townsmen as well – to say nothing of Paul himself and the other Apostles. for charity is death’s reprieve. how can he possibly preach it to anyone else?” …about pastors etc. “When it is in your power to do a kindness.” 10. and Zosimus. 8. why then. you have to restore them. and all the ways of self improvement that involve our Lord. By so doing you will not only earn approval for the good you do. but you will avoid bringing the Lord into any disrepute. like parts of your own person that are ailing and going wrong.
so they who claim to belong to Christ are known by their actions. and in proportion as we rightly love Him. you should pray for them unceasingly… Give them a chance to learn from you. the powers of Satan are confounded. and the union of the two together is God. let it be done as though He Himself were dwelling within us. But stand firm against their errors. and their abuse with your prayers. but in a faith that is both practical and lasting. be gentle instead of wanting to pay them back in their own coin. 6: Any speaker who goes beyond the simple truth about Jesus Christ is refused a hearing. …Whatever we do. I am only a beginner in discipleship. 21: Remember me. and love is the end. we being as it were His temples and He within us as their God. but only if the speaker practices what he preaches. 4: A completely united front will help to keep you [all] in constant communion with God. for this work of ours does not consist in just making professions. so it will become clear to our eyes. Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians . …As the tree is known by its fruits.Ignatius of Antioch: Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 3: I am by no means perfect in Jesus Christ as yet. their high words with humility. then. and if they grow violent. 15: Indeed. or at all events from the way you act. than to make fluent professions and not be… No doubt it is a fine thing to instruct others. …Let us… try to imitate the Lord by seeing which of us can put up with the most ill-usage or privation or contempt 13: When you meet frequently. this is literally the case. 10: Regarding the rest of mankind. Meet their animosity with mildness. For in fact. as Jesus Christ remembers you. it is better to keep quiet and be. 14: Faith is the beginning.
4: What it comes to is that we ought not just to have the name of Christians. Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans (the martyrdom letter) 2: How good it is to be sinking down below the world’s horizon towards God. that we can come to the presence of God. 6: You must show every consideration for one another. these chains are schooling me to have done with earthly desires. yet still eluding his clutches. with a heart above all divisions. for fear the devout majority are brought into disrepute for the thoughtlessness of a few. 4: I am His wheat. ground fine by the lions’ teeth to be made purest bread for Christ.1. but that of Jesus Christ himself. never letting your attitude to a neighbour be affected by your human feelings. [the object of?] Christianity lies in achieving greatness in the face of a world’s hatred. to rise again later into the dawn of His presence! 3: For the work we have to do is no affair of persuasive speaking. …for the present. and have no truck with the alien herbs of heresy. It is only by enduring in Him all the prince of this world’s indignities. but simply loving each other consistently in the spirit of Jesus Christ.” 8: You must give the heathen no loophole. 6: don’t “nourish yourselves on anything but Christian fare. . all of you. Epilogue: Love one another. Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians 2: Yours is no worldly manner of life. but to be so in reality.
…He is as utterly in tune with the Divine precepts as a harp with its own strings 2: see that you hold aloof from all disunion and misguided teaching 3: have nothing to do with such poisonous weeds. 8: I want no more of what men call life. He who rose again for us is my whole desire. to keep your bodies as a temple of God. even the pulverizing of my entire body – let every horrid and diabolical torment come upon me. and wait with patience for Jesus Christ. …He who died for us is all that I seek. 6: so far as I am concerned. telling you never to act in independence of the bishop. and to be imitators of Jesus Christ as He was of his Father. or else his arts will wear you down and weaken your love.5: Fire. without a thought of disunity in your hearts. to die in Jesus Christ is better than to be monarch of earth’s widest bounds. 6: Shun such knavish wiles and snares of the prince of this world. beast-fighting. nor have they Jesus Christ for their husbandman. Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians 1: Your bishop’s office… was conferred upon him by the love of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. splintering of bone and mangling of limb. (heretics. cross. 7: Do not have Jesus Christ on your lips and the world in your heart. hacking and quartering. …rather. provided only that I can win my way to Jesus Christ. to cherish unity and shun divisions. Epilogue: Farewell now until the end. 7: that was the preaching of the Spirit itself. come all of you to your meetings like one man. . they are none of the Father’s planting. those who cause schism) …those who wander in outlandish by-ways of doctrine must forfeit all part in the Lord’s Passion.
Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans 1: I have seen how immovably settled in faith you are. soul and spirit.. 3: I know and believe that He was in actual human flesh.8: where disunion and bad blood exist. to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ …You hold the firmest convictions about our Lord. the perfect Man. 2: And suffer He did… just as He did verily and indeed raise Himself again. His Passion was no unreal illusion. appeared to the disciples) 4: After all. Moreover. 11: They themselves will be honoured by Jesus Christ.” And they touched Him then and there. as some sceptics aver who are all unreality themselves. on whom they hope in body. as it were. though even then He and the Father were spiritually one. and see that I am no bodiless phantom. touch me. and they did indeed point forward to Him in their preaching. believing Him to be truly of David’s line in His manhood. 9: we are fond of the prophets. and proved themselves superior to it. that I could face all this. nailed body and soul. yet Son of God by the Divine will and power. whether Jews or Gentiles. even after His resurrection. He said to them. . gives me strength to do so. baptised by John for His fulfilling of all righteousness. if everything our Lord did was only illusion. in the one body of His Church. and believed… That was how they came by their contempt for death. for He. He ate and drank with them after He was risen. (parallel with Luke 24: 36-43. God can never be dwelling. John 20:27. yet it is the Gospel that sets the copingstone on man’s immortality. with faith and love and singleness of mind. truly born of a Virgin. and in the days of Pontius Pilate and Herod the Tetrarch truly pierced by nails… so that by His resurrection He might set up a beacon for all time to call together His saints and believers. like any natural man. When He appeared to Peter and his companions. “Take hold of me. then these chains of mine must be illusory too! …it is only in the name of Jesus Christ. and for the sake of sharing His sufferings.
God will be ready enough to supply the means. and which the Father in His goodness afterwards raised up again. . pray think maturely now. as you would the Apostles 11: Since you are spiritually quite mature. the captive. none at all for the afflicted. They have no care for love. he denies everything else about Him 6: look at the men who have those perverted notions about the grace of Jesus Christ which has come down to us. no thought for the widow and orphan. 7: they will not admit that the Eucharist is the self-same body of our Saviour Jesus Christ which suffered for our sins. 8: obey your clergy too. and if the will to do well is yours.5: So what is the point of my standing well in the opinion of a man who blasphemes my Lord by denying that He ever bore a real human body? In saying that. the hungry or the thirsty. and see how contrary to the mind of God they are.
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