The suppressed Gospels and Epistles of the original New Testament of Jesus the Christ, Volume 8, Ignatius by Wake, William
This eBook was produced by David Widger
THE SUPPRESSED GOSPELS AND EPISTLES OF THE ORIGINAL NEW TESTAMENT OF JESUS THE CHRIST
AND OTHER PORTIONS OF THE ANCIENT HOLY SCRIPTURES. NOW EXTANT, ATTRIBUTED TO HIS APOSTLES, AND THEIR DISCIPLES, AND VENERATED BY THE PRIMITIVE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES DURING THE FIRST FOUR CENTURIES, BUT SINCE, AFTER VIOLENT DISPUTATIONS FORBIDDEN BY THE BISHOPS OF THE NICENE COUNCIL, IN THE REIGN OF THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE AND OMITTED FROM THE CATHOLICS AND PROTESTANT EDITIONS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, BY ITS COMPILERS
TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL TONGUES, WITH HISTORICAL REFERENCES TO THEIR AUTHENTICITY,
BY ARCHBISHOP WAKE AND OTHER LEARNED DIVINES
THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE EPHESIANS.
1 Ignatius commends the brethren for sending Onesimus and other members of the church to him. 8 Exhorts them to unity; 13 by a due subjection to their bishop;
IGNATIUS, who is also called Theophorus, to the church which is at Ephesus in Asia; most deservedly happy: being blessed through the greatness and fullness of God the Father, and predestinated before the world began; that it should be always unto an enduring and unchangeable glory; united and chosen through his true passion, according to the will of the Father, and Jesus Christ our God; all happiness, by Jesus Christ, and his undefiled grace.
2 I have heard of your name much beloved in God; which ye have very justly attained by a habit of righteousness, according to the faith and love which is in Jesus Christ our Saviour.
3 How that being followers of God, and stirring up yourselves by the blood of Christ ye have perfectly accomplished the work that was con-natural unto you.
4 For hearing that I came bound from Syria, for the common name and hope, trusting through your prayers to fight with beasts at home; so that by suffering I may become indeed the disciple of him who gave himself to God, an offering and sacrifice for us; ye hastened to see me. I received, therefore, in the name of God, your whole multitude in Onesimus;
5 Who by: inexpressible love is ours, but according to the flesh is our bishop; whom I beseech you, pray Jesus Christ, to love: and that you would all strive to be like unto him. And blessed be God, who has granted unto you, who are so worthy of him, to enjoy such an excellent bishop.
6 For what concerns my fellow servant Burrhus, and your most blessed deacon in things pertaining to God; I entreat you that he may tarry longer, both for yours, and your bishop's honour.
7 And Crocus also worthy of both our God and you, whom I have received as the pattern of your love, has in all things refreshed me, as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ shall also refresh him; together with Onesimus, and Burrhus, and Euplus, and Fronto, in whom I have, as to your charity, seen all of you, And may always, have joy of you, if I shall be worthy of it.
8 It is therefore fitting that you should by all means glorify Jesus Christ, who hath glorified you that by a uniform obedience ye may be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment; and may all speak the same things concerning everything:
9 And that being, subject to your bishop, and the presbytery, ye may be wholly and thoroughly sanctified.
10 These things I prescribe to you, not as if I were somebody extraordinary: for though I am bound for his name, I am not yet perfect in Christ Jesus. But now I begin to learn, and I speak to you as fellow disciples together with me.
11 For I ought to have been stirred up by you, in faith: in admonition; in patience; in long- suffering; but forasmuch as charity suffers me not to be silent towards you, I have first taken upon me to exhort you, that ye would all run together, according to the will of God.
12 For even Jesus Christ, our inseparable life, is sent by the will of the Father; as the bishops, appointed unto the utmost bounds of the earth, are by the will of Jesus Christ.
13 Wherefore it will become you to run together according to the will of your bishop, as also ye do,
14 For your famous presbytery, worthy of God, is fitted as exactly to the bishop, as the strings are to the harp.
15 Therefore in your concord and agreeing charity, Jesus Christ is sung; and every single person among you makes up the chorus:
16 That so being all consonant in love, and taking up the song of God, ye may in a perfect unity with one voice, sing to the Father by Jesus Christ; to the end that he may both hear you, and perceive by your works, that ye are indeed the members of his son.
17 Wherefore it is profitable for you to live in an unblameable unity, that so ye may always have a fellowship with God.
1 The benefit of subjection. 4 The bishop not to be respected the less because he is not forward in exacting it: 8 warns brethren against heretics; bidding them cleave to Jesus, whose divine and human mature is declared: commends them for their care to keep themselves from false teachers: and shews them the way to God.
FOR if I in this little time have had such a familiarity with your bishop, I mean not a carnal, but spiritual acquaintance with him; how much more must I think you happy who are so joined to him, as the church is to Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ to the Father; so that all things may agree in the same unity.
2 Let no man deceive himself; if a man be not within the altar, he is deprived of the bread of God. For if the prayer of one or two be of such force, as we are told; how much more powerful shall that of the bishop and the whole church be?
3 He therefore that does not come together in the same place with it, is proud, and has already condemned himself; for it is written, God resisteth the proud. Let us take heed therefore, that we do not set ourselves against the bishop, that we may be subject to God.
4 The more any one sees his bishop silent, the more let him revere him. For whomsoever the master of the house sends to be over his own household, we ought in like manner to receive him, as we do him that sent him. It is therefore evident that we ought to look upon the bishop, even as we do upon the Lord himself.
5 And indeed Onesimus himself does greatly commend your good order in God: that you all live according to the truth, and that no heresy dwells among you. For neither do ye hearken to anyone more than to Jesus Christ speaking to you in truth.
6 For some there are who carry about the name of Christ in deceitfulness, but do things unworthy of God; whom ye must flee, as ye would do so many wild beasts. For they are raving dogs, who bite secretly; against whom ye must guard yourselves, as men hardly to be cured.
7 There is one Physician, both fleshy and spiritual; made and not made; God incarnate; true life in death; both of Mary and of God: first passible, then impassible; even Jesus Christ our Lord.
8 Wherefore let no man deceive you; as indeed neither are ye deceived, being wholly the servants of God. For inasmuch as there is no contention nor strife among you, to trouble you, ye must needs live according to God's will. My soul be for yours; and I myself, the expiatory offering for your church of Ephesus; so famous throughout the world.
9 They that are of the flesh cannot do the works of the spirit; neither they that are of the spirit the works of the flesh; as he that has faith cannot be an infidel; nor he that is an infidel have faith. But even those things which ye do according to the flesh are spiritual; forasmuch as ye do all things in Jesus Christ.
10 Nevertheless I have heard of some who have passed by you, having perverse doctrine; whom ye did not suffer to sow among you; but stopped your ears, that ye might not receive those things that were sown by them: because being the stones of the temple of the Father, prepared for his building; and drawn up on high by the Cross of Christ, as by an engine;
11. Using the Holy Ghost as the rope: your faith being your support; and your charity the way that leads unto God.
12 Ye are therefore, with all your companions in the same journey full of God; his spiritual temples, full of Christ, and of holiness: adorned in all things with the commands of Christ.
13 In whom also I rejoice that I have been thought worthy by this present epistle to converse, and joy together with you; that with respect to the other life, ye love nothing but God only.
1 Exorts them to prayer; to be unblamable. 5 To be careful of salvation; 11 frequent in public devotion; 13 and to live in charity.
PRAY also without ceasing for other men; for there is hope of repentance in them, that they may attain unto God. Let them therefore at least be instructed by your works, if they will be no other way.
2 Be ye mild at their anger; humble at their boasting; to their blasphemies return your prayers to their error, your firmness in the faith; when they are cruel, be ye gentle; not endeavouring to imitate their ways.
(3 Let us be their brethren in all kindness and moderation, but let us be followers of the Lord; for who was ever more unjustly used? More destitute? More despised?).
4 That so no herb of the devil may be found in you: but ye may remain in all holiness and sobriety both of body and spirit, in Christ Jesus.
5 The last times are come upon us: let us therefore be very reverent, and fear the long- suffering of God, that it be not to us unto condemnation.
6 For let us either fear the wrath that is to come, or let us love the grace that we at present enjoy; that by the one or other of these, we may be found in Christ Jesus, unto true life.
7 Besides him, let nothing be worthy of you; for whom also I bear about these bonds; those spiritual jewels, in which I would to God that I might arise through your prayers.
8 Of which I entreat you to make me always partaker, that I may be found in the lot of the Christians of Ephesus, who have always agreed with the Apostles, through the power of Jesus Christ.
9 I know both who I am, and to whom I write: I, a person condemned; ye, such as have obtained mercy; I, exposed to danger; ye confirmed against danger.
10 Ye are the passage of those that are killed for God; the companions of Paul in the mysteries of the Gospel; the holy, the martyr, the deservedly most happy Paul: at whose feet may I be found, when I shall have attained unto God; who throughout all his epistles, makes mention of you in Christ Jesus.
11 Let it be your care therefore to come more fully together, to the praise and glory of God; for when ye meet fully together in the same place, the powers of the devil are destroyed, and his mischief is dissolved by the unity of your faith.
12 And indeed, nothing is better than peace, by which all war both spiritual and earthly is abolished.
13 Of all which, nothing is hid from you, if ye have perfect faith and charity in Christ Jesus, which are the beginning and end of life.
14 For the beginning is faith; the end is charity. And these two joined together, are of God; but all other things which concern a holy life, are the consequences of these.
15 No man professing a true faith, sinneth; neither does he who has charity hate any.
16 The tree is made manifest by its fruit; so they who profess themselves to be Christians are known by what they do.
17 For Christianity is not the work of an outward profession; but shows itself in the power of faith, if a man be found faithful unto the end.
18 It is better for a man to hold his peace, and be; than to say, he is a Christian, and not to be.
19 It is good to teach; if what he says he does likewise.
20 There is therefore one master who spake, and it was done; and even those things which he did without speaking, are worthy of the Father.
21 He that possesses the word of Jesus, is truly able to bear his very silence. That he may be perfect, be will do according to what he speaks, and be known by those things of which he is silent.
22 There is nothing hid from God, but even our secrets are nigh unto him.
23 Let us therefore do all things, as becomes those who have God dwelling in them; that we maybe his temples; and he may be our God as also he is, and will manifest himself before our faces, by those things for which we justly love him,
1 To have a care for the Gospel. 9 The virginity of Mary, the incarnation, and the death of Christ, were hid from the Devil. 11 How the birth of Christ was revealed. 16 Exhorts to unity.
BE not deceived, my brethren: those that corrupt families by adultery, shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
2 If therefore they who do this according to the flesh, have suffered death; how much more shall he die, who by his wicked doctrine corrupts the faith of God, for which Christ was crucified?
3 He that is thus defiled, shall depart into unquenchable fire, and so also shall he that hearkens to him.
4 For this cause did the Lord suffer the ointment to be poured on his head; that he might breathe the breath of immortality unto his church.
5 Be not ye therefore anointed with the evil savour of the doctrine of the prince of this world: let him not take you captive from the life that is set before you.
6 And why are we not all wise, seeing we have received the knowledge of God, which is Jesus Christ? Why do we suffer ourselves foolishly to perish; not considering the gift which the Lord has truly sent to us?
7 Let my life be sacrificed for the doctrine of the cross; which is indeed a scandal to the unbelievers, but to us is salvation and life eternal.
8 Where is the wise man? Where is the disputer? Where is the boasting of those who are called wise?
9 For our Lord Jesus Christ was according to the dispensation of God, conceived in the womb of Mary, of the seed of David, by the Holy Ghost. He was born and baptized, that through his passion he might purify water, to the washing away of sin.
10 Now the Virginity of Mary, and he who was born of her, was kept in secret from the prince of this world; as was also the death of our Lord: three of the mysteries the most spoken of throughout the world, yet done in secret by God.
11 How then was our Saviour manifested to the world? A star shone in heaven beyond all the other stars, and its light was inexpressible, and its novelty struck terror into men's minds. All the rest of the stars, together with the sun and moon, were the chorus to this star; but that sent out its light exceedingly above them all.
12 And men began to be troubled to think whence this new star came so unlike to all the others.
13 Hence all the power of magic became dissolved; and every bond of wickedness was destroyed: men's ignorance was taken away; and the old kingdom abolished; God himself appearing in the form of a man, for the renewal of eternal life.
14 From thence began what God had prepared: from thence. forth things were disturbed; forasmuch as he designed to abolish death.
15 But if Jesus Christ shall give me grace through your prayers, and if it be his will, I purpose in a second epistle which I will suddenly write unto you, to manifest to you more fully the dispensation of which I have now begun to speak, about the new man, which is Jesus Christ; both in his faith, and charity; in his suffering, and in his resurrection.
16 Especially if the Lord shall make known unto me, that ye all by name come together united in one faith, and in Jesus Christ; who was of the race of David according to the flesh; the Son of man, and son of God; obeying your bishop and the presbytery with an entire affection; breaking one and the same bread, which is the medicine of immortality; our antidote that we should not die, but live for ever in Christ Jesus.
17 My soul be for yours, and theirs whom ye have sent, to the glory of God; even unto Smyrna, from whence also I write to you; giving thanks unto the Lord and loving Polycarp even as I do you. Remember me, as Jesus Christ does remember you.
18 Pray for the church which is in Syria from whence I am carried bound to Rome; being the least of all the faithful which are there, as I have been thought worthy to be found, to the glory of God.
19 Fare ye well in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ, our common hope. Amen.
THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE MAGNESIANS
4 Ignatius mentions the arrival of Damas, their bishop, and others, 6 whom he exhorts them to reverence notwithstanding he was a young man.
IGNATIUS, who is also called Theophorus, to the blessed church, by the grace of God the Father, in Jesus Christ our Saviour; through whom I salute the church which is at Magnesia, near the Maeander: and wish it all joy in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ.
2 When I heard of your well- ordered love and charity in God, being full of joy, I desired much to speak unto you in the faith of Jesus Christ.
3 For having been thought worthy to obtain a most excellent name, in the bonds which I carry about, I salute the churches; wishing in them a union both of the body and spirit of Jesus Christ, our eternal life: as also of faith and charity, to which nothing is preferred: but especially of Jesus and the Father; in whom if we undergo all the injuries of the prince of this present world, and escape, we shall enjoy God,
4 Seeing, then, I have been judged worthy to see you, by Damas your most excellent bishop; and by your worthy presbyters, Bassus and Apollonius; and by my fellow-servant Sotio, the deacon;
5 In whom I rejoice, forasmuch as he is subject unto his bishop as to the grace of God; and to the presbytery as to the law of Jesus Christ; I determined to write unto you.
6 Wherefore it will become you also not to use your bishop too familiarly upon the account of his youth; but to yield all reverence to him according to the power of God the Father; as also I perceive that your holy presbyters do: not considering his age, which indeed to appearance is young; but as becomes those who are prudent in God, submitting to him, or rather not to him but to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the bishop of us all.
7 It will therefore behove you with all sincerity, to obey your bishop; in honour of him whose pleasure it is that ye should do so.
8 Because he that does not do so, deceives not the bishop whom he sees, but affronts him that is invisible. For whatsoever of this kind is done, it reflects not upon man, but upon God, who knows the secrets of our hearts.
9 It is therefore fitting, that we should not only be called christians, but be so.
10 As some call indeed their governor, bishop; but yet do all things without him.
11 But I can never think that such as these have a good conscience, seeing that they are not gathered together thoroughly according to God's commandment.
1 That as all must die, 4 he exhorts them to live orderly and in unity.
SEEING then all things have an end, there are these two indifferently set before us, death and life: and everyone shall depart unto his proper place.
2 For as there are two sorts of coins, the one of God, the other of the world, and each of these has its proper inscription engraven upon it; so also is it here.
3 The unbelievers are of this world; but the faithful, through charity have the character of God the Father by Jesus Christ: by whom if we are not readily disposed to die after the likeness of his passion, his life is not in us.
4 Forasmuch, therefore, as I have in the persons before mentioned, seen all of you in faith and charity; I exhort you that ye study to do all things in a divine concord:
5 Your bishop presiding in the place of God; your presbyters in the place of the council of the Apostles; and your deacons most dear to me, being entrusted with the ministry of Jesus Christ; who was the Father before all ages, and appeared in the end to us.
6 Wherefore taking the same holy course, see that ye all reverence one another, and let no one look upon his neighbour after the flesh; but do ye all mutually love each other in Jesus Christ.
7 Let there be nothing that may be able to make a division among you; but be ye united to your bishop, and those who preside over you, to be your pattern and direction in the way to immortality.
8 As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to him; neither by himself nor yet by his Apostles, so neither do ye do anything without your bishop and presbyters:
9 Neither endeavour to let anything appear rational to yourselves apart;
10 But being come together into the same place, have one common prayer; one supplication; one mind; one hope; one in charity, and in joy undefiled.
11 There is one Lord Jesus Christ, than whom nothing is better. Wherefore come ye all together, as unto one temple of God; as to one altar; as to one: Jesus Christ, who proceeded from one Father, and exists in one; and is returned to one.
1 He cautions them against false opinions. 3 Especially those of Ebion and the Judaising Christians.
BE not deceived with strange doctrines; nor with old fables which are unprofitable. For if westill continue to live according to the Jewish law, we do confess ourselves not to have received grace. For even the most holy prophets lived according to Christ Jesus.
2 And for this cause were they persecuted, being inspired by his grace to convince the unbelievers and disobedient that there is one God who has manifested himself by Jesus Christ his Son; who is his eternal word, not coming forth from silence; who in all things pleased him that sent him.
3 Wherefore if they who were brought up in these ancient laws, came nevertheless to the newness of hope; no longer observing sabbaths, but keeping the Lord's day in which also our life is sprung up by him, and through his death, whom yet some deny:
4 (By which mystery we have been brought to believe and therefore wait that we maybe found the disciples of Jesus Christ, our only master:)
5 How shall we be able to live different from him; whose disciples the very prophets themselves being, did by the spirit expect him as their master;
6 And therefore he whom they justly waited for, being come, raised, them up from the dead.
7 Let us not then be insensible of his goodness; for should he have dealt with us according to our works, we had not now had a being.
8 Wherefore being become his disciples, let us learn to live according to the rules of Christianity; for whosoever is called by any other name besides this, he is not of God.
9 Lay aside therefore the old and sour, and evil leaven; and be ye changed into the new leaven, which is Jesus Christ.
10 Be ye salted in him, lest any one among you should be corrupted; for by your Savior ye shall be judged.
11 It is absurd to name Jesus Christ, and to Judaize. For the christian religion did not embrace the Jewish, but the Jewish the christian; that so every tongue that believed might be gathered together unto God.
12 These things, my beloved, I write unto you; not that I know of any among you that lie under this error: but as one of the least among you, I am desirous to forewarn you, that ye fall not into the snares of false doctrine.
13 But that ye be fully instructed in the birth, and suffering, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our hope; which was accomplished in the time of the government of Pontius Pilate, and that most truly and certainly: and from which God forbid that any among you should be turned aside.
1 Commends their faith and piety; exhorts them to persevere; 10 desires their prayers for himself and the church at Antioch.
MAY I therefore have joy of you in all things, if I shall be worthy of it. For though I am bound, yet am I not worthy to be compared to one of you that are at liberty.
2 I know that ye are not puffed up; for ye have Jesus Christ in your hearts.
3 And especially when I commend you, I know that ye are ashamed, as it is written, The just man condemneth himself.
4 Study therefore to be confirmed in the doctrine of our Lord, and of his Apostles; that so whatever ye do, ye may prosper both in body and spirit, in faith and charity, in the Son, and in the Father, and in the Holy Spirit; in the beginning, and in the end:
5 Together with your most worthy bishop, and the well-wrought spiritual crown of your presbytery, and your deacons, which are according to God.
6 Be subject to your bishop, and to one another, as Jesus Christ was to the Father, according to the flesh; and the Apostles, both to Christ, and to the Father; and to the Holy Ghost: that so ye may be united both in body and spirit.
7 Knowing you to be full of God, I have the more briefly exhorted you.
8 Be mindful of me in your prayers, that I may attain unto God, and of the church that is in Syria, from which I am not worthy to be called.
9 For I stand in need of your joint prayers in God, and of your charity, that the church which is in Syria may he thought worthy to be nourished by your church.
10 The Ephesians from Smyrna salute you, from which place I write unto you; (being present here to the glory of God, in like manner as you are,) who have in all things refreshed me, together with Polycarp, the bishop of the Smyrneans.
11 The rest of the churches in the honour of Jesus Christ salute you.
12 Farewell, and be ye strengthened in the concord of God; enjoying his inseparable spirit, which is Christ Jesus.
THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE TRALLIANS.
1 Acknowledges the coming of their bishop. 5 Commends them for their subjection to their bishop, priests, and deacons; and exhorts them to continue in it: 15 is afraid even of his over-great desire to suffer, lest it should be prejudicial to him.
IGNATTUS, who is also called Theophorus, to the holy church which is at Tralles in Asia: beloved of God, the Father of Jesus Christ; elect and worthy of God, having peace through the flesh and blood, and passion of Jesus Christ our hope; in the resurrection which is by him: which also I salute in its fullness, continuing in the apostolical character, wishing all joy and happiness unto it.
2 I have heard of your blameless and constant disposition through patience, which not only appears in your outward conversation, but is naturally rooted and grounded in you.
3 In like manner as Polybius your bishop has declared unto me, who came to me to Smyrna, by the will of God and Jesus Christ, and so rejoiced together with me in my bonds for Jesus Christ, that in effect I saw your whole church in him.
4 Having therefore received testimony of your good will towards me for God's sake, by him; I seemed to find you, as also I knew that ye were the followers of God.
5 For whereas ye are subject to your bishop as to Jesus Christ, ye appear to one to live not after the manner of men, but according to Jesus Christ who died for us, that so believing in his death, ye might escape death.
6 It is therefore necessary, that as ye do, so without your bishop you should do nothing: also be ye subject to your presbyters, as to the Apostles of Jesus Christ our hope; in whom if we walk, we shall be found in him.
7 The deacons also, as being the ministers of the mysteries of Jesus Christ, must by all means please ye. For they are not the ministers of meat and drink, but of the church of God. Wherefore they must avoid all offences, as they would do fire.
8 In like manner let us reverence the deacons as Jesus Christ; and the bishop as the Father; and the presbyters as the Sanctuary of God, and college of the Apostles.
9 Without these there is no church; concerning all which, I am persuaded that ye think after the very same manner; for I have received, and even now have with me, the pattern of your love, in your bishop.
10 Whose very look is instructive; and whose mildness powerful: whom I am persuaded, the very Atheists themselves cannot but reverence.
11 But because I have a love towards you, I will not write any more sharply unto you about this matter, though I very well might but now I have done so, lest being a condemned man, I should seem to prescribe to you as an Apostle.
12 I have great knowledge in God; but I refrain myself, lest I should perish in my boasting.
13 For now I ought the more to fear, and not to hearken to those that would puff me up.
14 For they that speak to me, in my praise, chasten me.
15 For I indeed desire to suffer, but I cannot tell whether I am worthy so to do.
16 And this desire, though to others it does not appear, yet to myself it is for that very reason the more violent. I have, therefore, need of moderation; by which the prince of this world is destroyed.
17 Am I not able to write to you of heavenly things?--But I fear lest I should harm you, who are yet but babes in Christ; (excuse me this care;) and lest perchance being not able to receive them, ye should be choken with them.
18 For even I myself, although I am in bonds, yet am not therefore able to understand heavenly things;
19 As the assembly of angels, and the several companies of them, under their respective princes; things visible and invisible: but in these I am yet a learner.
20 For many things are wanting to us, that we come not short of God.
1 Warns them against heretics, 4 exhorts them to humility and unity, 10 and briefly sets before them the true doctrine concerning Christ.
EXHORT you therefore, or rather not I, but the love of Jesus Christ; that ye use none but christian nourishment; abstaining from pasture which is of another kind, I mean heresy.
2 For they that are heretics, confound together the doctrine of Jesus Christ, with their own poison: whilst they seem worthy of belief:
3 As men give a deadly potion mixed with sweet wine; which he who drinks of, does with the treacherous pleasure sweetly drink in his own death.
4 Wherefore guard yourself against such persons; and that you will do, if you are not puffed up; but continue inseparable from Jesus Christ our God, and from your bishop, and from the commands of the Apostles.
5 He that is within the altar, is pure; but he that is without, namely, does anything without the bishop, the presbyters, and deacons, is not pure in his conscience.
6 Not that I know there is any thing of this nature among you; but I fore-arm you, as being greatly beloved by me, foreseeing the snares of the devil.
7 Wherefore putting on meekness, renew yourselves in faith, which is the flesh of the Lord; and in charity, which is the blood of Jesus Christ.
8 Let no man have any grudge against his neighbour. Give no occasion to the Gentiles; lest by means of a few foolish men, the whole congregation of God be evil spoken of.
9 For woe to that man through whose vanity my name is blasphemed by any.
10 Stop your ears therefore, as often as any one shall speak contrary to Jesus Christ, who was of the race of David; by the Virgin Mary.
11 Who was truly born, and did eat and drink; was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate; was truly crucified and dead; both those in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, being spectators of it:
12 Who, was also truly raised from the dead by his Father, after the same manner as HE will also raise up us who believe in him by Christ Jesus; without whom we have no true life.
13 But if, as some who are Atheists, that is to say infidels, pretend, that he seemed to suffer, (they themselves only seeming to exist) why then am I bound?-- Why do I desire to fight with beasts?--Therefore do I die in vain: therefore I will not speak falsely against the Lord.
14 Flee therefore these evil sprouts which bring forth deadly fruit; of which if any one taste, he shall presently die.
15 For these are not the plants of the Father; seeing if they were, they would appear to be the branches of the cross, and their fruit would be incorruptible; by which he invites you through his passion, who are members of him.
16 For the head cannot be without its members, God having promised a union with himself.
He again exhorts to unity, and desires their prayers for himself, and for his church at Antioch.
I SALUTE you from Smyrna, together with the churches of God that are present with me; who have refreshed me in all things, both in the flesh and in the spirit.
2 My bonds, which I carry about me for the sake of Christ, (beseeching him that I may attain unto God) exhort you that you continue in concord among yourselves, and in prayer with one another.
3 For it becomes everyone of you, especially the presbyters, to refresh the bishop, to the honour of the Father of Jesus Christ, and of the Apostles.
4 I beseech you, that you hearken to me in love; that I may not by those things which I write, rise up in witness against you.
5 Pray also for me; who, through the mercy of God, stand in need of your prayers, that I may be worthy of the portion which I am about to obtain, and that I be not found a reprobate.
6 The love of those who are at Smyrna and Ephesus salute you. Remember in your prayers the church of Syria, from which I am not worthy to be called, being one of the least of it.
7 Fare ye well in Jesus Christ; being subject to your bishop as to the command of God; and so like. wise to the presbytery.
8 Love every one his brother with an unfeigned heart. My soul be your expiation, not only now, but when I shall have attained unto God; for I am yet under danger.
9 But the Father is faithful in Jesus Christ, to fulfil both mine and your petition; in whom may ye be found unblamable.
THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE ROMANS.
Ignatius testifies his desire to see, and his hopes of suffering for Christ 5 which he earnestly entreats them not to prevent, 10 but to pray for him, that God would strengthen him to the combat.
IGNATIUS, who is also called Theophorus, to the church which has obtained mercy from the majesty of the Most High Father, and his only begotten Son Jesus Christ; beloved, and illuminated through the will of him who willeth all things which are according to the love of Jesus Christ our God; which also presides in the place of the region of the Romans; and which I salute in the name of Jesus Christ, as being united both in flesh and spirit to all his commands, and filed with the grace of God; with all joy in Jesus Christ our God.
2 Forasmuch as I have at last obtained through my prayers to God, permission to see your faces, which I much desired to do; being bound in Jesus Christ, I hope ere long to salute you, if it shall be the will of God to grant me to attain unto the end I long for.
3 For the beginning is well disposed, if I shall but have grace, without hindrance, to receive what is appointed for me.
4 But I fear your love, lest it do me an injury; for it is easy for you to do what you please; but it will be hard for me to attain unto God, if you spare me.
5 But I would not that ye should please men, but God; whom also ye do, please. For neither shall I hereafter have such an opportunity of going unto God; nor will you, if ye shall now be silent, ever be entitled to a better work. For if you, shall be silent in my behalf, I shall be made partaker of God.
6 But if you shall love my body, I shall have my course again to run. Wherefore ye cannot do me a greater kindness, than to suffer me to be sacrificed unto God, now that the altar is already prepared:
7 That when ye shall be gathered together in love, ye nay give thanks to the Father through Christ Jesus, that he has vouchsafed to bring a bishop of Syria unto you, being called from the east unto the west.
8 For it is good for me to turn from the world, unto God; that I may rise again unto him.
9 Ye have never envied any one; ye have taught others. I would therefore that ye should now do those things yourselves, which in your instructions you have prescribed to others.
10 Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only say, but will; nor be only called a christian, but be found one.
11 For if I shall be found a christian, I may then deservedly be called one; and be thought faithful, when I shall no longer appear to the world.
12 Nothing is good, that is seen.
13 For even our God, Jesus Christ, now that he is in the Father, does so much the more appear.
14 A christian is not a work of opinion; but of greatness of mind, especially when he is hated by the world.
Expresses his great desire and determination to suffer martyrdom.
I WRITE to the churches, and signify to them all, that I am willing to die for God, unless you hinder me.
2 I beseech you that you show not an unseasonable good will towards me. Suffer me to be food to the wild beasts, by whom I shall attain unto God.
3 For I am the wheat of God, and I shall be ground by the teeth of the wild-beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of Christ. Rather encourage the beasts, that they may became my sepulchre, and may let live nothing of my body; that being dead I may not be troublesome to any.
5 Then shall I be truly the disciple of Jesus Christ, when the world shall not see so much as my body. Pray therefore unto Christ for me, that by these instruments I may be made the sacrifice of God.
6 I do not, as Peter and Paul, command you. They were Apostles, I a condemned man; they were free, but I am even to this day a servant:
7 But if I shall suffer, I shall then become the freeman of Jesus Christ, and shall rise free. And now, being in bonds, I learn not to desire any thing.
8 From Syria even unto Rome, I fight with beasts both by sea and land; both night and day: being bound to ten leopards, that is to say, to such a band of soldiers, who, though treated with all manner of kindness, are the worse for it.
9 But I am the more instructed by their injuries; yet am I not therefore justified.
10 May I enjoy the wild beasts that are prepared for me; which also I wish may exercise all their fierceness upon me.
11 And whom for that end I will encourage, that they may be sure to devour me, and not serve me as they have done some, whom out of fear they have not touched. But if they will not do it willingly, I will provoke them to it.
12 Pardon me in this matter; I know what is profitable for me, now I begin to be a disciple. Not shall any thing move me whether visible or invisible, that I may attain to Jesus Christ.
13 Let fire and the cross; let the companies of wild beasts; let breakings of bones, and tearing of members; let the shattering in pieces of the whole body, and all the wicked torments of the devil come upon me; only let me enjoy Jesus Christ.
14 All the ends of the world, and the kingdoms of it, will profit me nothing: I would rather die for Jesus Christ, than rule to the utmost ends of the earth. Him I seek who died for us; him I desire who rose again for us. This is the gain that is laid up for me.
15 Pardon me, my brethren, ye shall not hinder me from living; nor seeing I desire to go to God, may you separate me from him, for the sake of this world;--nor induce me by any of the desires of it. Suffer me to enter into pure light, where being come, I shall be indeed the servant of God.
16 Permit me to imitate the passion of my God. If any one has God within himself, let him consider what I desire; and let him have compassion on me, as knowing how I am straightened.
Further expresses his desire to suffer.
THE prince of this world would fain carry me away, and corrupt my resolution towards my God. Let none of you therefore help him; rather do ye join with me, that is, with God.
2 Do not speak with Jesus Christ, and yet covet the world. Let not any envy dwell with you; no, not though I myself, when I shall be come unto you, should exhort you to it, yet do not ye hearken to me; but rather believe what I now write to you.
3 For though I am alive at the writing of this, yet my desire is to die. My love is crucified; and the fire that is within me does not desire any water; but being alive and springing within me, says, Come to the Father.
4 I take no pleasure in the food of corruption, nor in the pleasures of this life.
5 I desire the bread of God which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, of the seed of David; and the drink that I long for is his blood, which is incorruptible love.
6 I have no desire to live any longer after the manner of men; neither shall I, if you consent. Be ye therefore willing, that ye yourselves also maybe pleasing to God. I exhort you in a few words; I pray you believe me.
7 Jesus Christ will shew you that I speak truly. My mouth is without deceit, and the Father hath truly spoken by it. Pray therefore for me, that I may accomplish what I desire.
8 I have not written to you after the flesh, but according to the will of God. If I shall suffer, ye have loved me: but if I shall be rejected, ye have hated me.
9 Remember in your prayers the church of Syria, which now enjoys God for its shepherd instead of me. Let Jesus Christ only oversee it, and your charity.
10 But I am even ashamed to be reckoned as one of them; for neither am I worthy, being the least among them, and as one born out of due season. But through mercy I have risen to be somebody, if I shall get unto God.
11 My spirit salutes you; and the charity of the churches that have received me in the name of Jesus Christ; not as a passenger, for even they that were not near to me in the way, have gone before me to the next city to meet me.
12 These things I write to you from Smyrna, by the most worthy of the church of Ephesus.
13 There is now with me, together with many others, Crocus, most beloved of me. As for those which are come from Syria, and are gone before me to Rome, to the glory of God, I suppose you are not ignorant of them.
14 Ye shall therefore signify to them that I draw near, for they, are all worthy both of God and of you: Whom it is fit that you refresh in all things.
15 This have I written to you, the day before the ninth of the, calends of September. Be strong unto the end, in the patience of Jesus Christ.
IGNATIUS TO THE PHILADELPHIANS.
Commends their bishop, whom they had sent unto him, warns them against division and schism.
IGNATIUS, who is also called Theophorus, to the church of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, which is at Philadelphia in Asia; which has obtained mercy, being fixed in the concord of God, and rejoicing evermore in the passion of our Lord, and being fulfilled in all mercy through his resurrection: Which also I salute in the blood of Jesus Christ, which is our eternal and undefiled joy; especially if they are at unity with the bishop, and presbyters who are with him, and the deacons appointed according to the mind of Jesus Christ; whom he has settled according to his own will in all firmness by his Holy Spirit:
2 Which bishop I know obtained that great ministry among you, not of himself, neither by men, nor out of vain glory; but by the love of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Whose moderation I admire; who by his silence is able to do more than others with all their vain talk. For he is fitted to the commands, as the harp to its strings.
4 Wherefore my soul esteems his mind towards God most happy, knowing it to be fruitful in all virtue, and perfect; full of constancy, free from passion, and according to all the moderation of the living God.
5 Wherefore as becomes the children both of the light and of truth; flee divisions and false doctrines; but where your shepherd is, there do ye, as sheep, follow after.
6 For there are many wolves who seem worthy of belief, that with a false pleasure lead captive those that run in the course of God; but in the concord they shall find no place.
7 Abstain therefore from those evil herbs which Jesus Christ does not dress: because such are not the plantation of the Father. Not that I have found any division among you, but rather all manner of purity.
8 For as many as are of God, and of Jesus Christ, are also with their bishop. And as many as shall with repentance return into the unity of the church, even these shall also be the servants of God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ.
9 Be not deceived brethren; if any one follows him that makes a schism in the church, he shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If any one walks after any other opinion, he agrees not with the passion of Christ.
10 Wherefore let it be your endeavour to partake all of the same holy eucharist.
11 For there is but one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ; one cup in the unity of his blood; and one altar;
12 As also there is one bishop, together with his presbytery, and the deacons my fellow servants that so whatsoever ye do, ye may do it according to the will of God.
Desires their prayers, and to be united, but not to Judaize.
MY brethren, the love I have towards you makes me the more large; and having a great joy in you, I endeavour to secure you against danger; or rather not I, but Jesus Christ; in whom being bound, I the more fear, as being yet only on the way to suffering.
2 But your prayer to God shall make me perfect, that I may attain to that portion, which by God's mercy is allotted to me Fleeing to the Gospel as to the flesh of Christ; and to the Apostles as to the presbytery of the church.
3 Let us also love the prophets, forasmuch as they have led us to the Gospel, and to hope in Christ, and to expect him.
4 In whom also believing they were saved in the unity of Jesus Christ; being holy men, worthy to be loved, and had in wonder;
5 Who have received testimony from Jesus Christ, and are numbered in the Gospel of our common hope.
6 But if any one shall preach the Jewish law unto you, hearken not unto him; for it is better to receive the doctrine of Christ from one that has been circumcised, than Judaism from one that has not.
7 But if either the one, or other, do not speak concerning Christ Jesus; they seem to me to be but as monuments and sepulchres of the dead, upon which are written only the names of men.
8 Flee therefore the wicked arts and snares of the prince of this world; lest at any time being oppressed by his cunning, ye grow cold in your charity. But come altogether into the same place, with an undivided heart.
9 And I bless my God that I have a good conscience towards you, and that no one among you has whereof to boast either openly or privately, that I have been burthensome to him in much or little.
10 And I wish to all, among whom I have conversed, that may not turn to a witness again them.
11 For although some would have deceived me according to the flesh, yet the spirit, being from God, is not deceived: for it knows, both whence it comes and whither it goes, and reproves the secrets of the heart.
12 I cried whilst I was among you; I spake with a loud voice: attend to the bishop, and to the presbytery, and to the deacons.
13 Now some supposed that I spake this as foreseeing the division that should come among you.
14 But he is my witness for whose sake I am in bonds that I know nothing from any man. But the spirit spake, saying on this wise: Do nothing without the bishop:
15 Keep your bodies as the temples of God: Love unity; Flee divisions; Be the followers of Christ, as he was of his Father.
16 I therefore did as became me, as a man composed to unity for where there is division, and wrath, God dwelleth not.
17 But the Lord forgives all that repent, if they return to the unity of God, and to the council of the bishop.
18 For I trust in the grace Jesus Christ that he will free you from every bond.
19 Nevertheless I exhort you that you do nothing out of strife but according to the instruction of Christ.
20 Because I have heard some who say; unless I find written in the originals, I will not believe it to be written in the Gospel. And when I said, It is written; they answered from what lay before them in the corrupted copies.
21 But to me Jesus Christ instead of all the uncorrupted monuments in the world; together with those undefiled monuments, his cross, and death, and resurrection, and the faith which is by him; by which I desire, through your prayers, to be justified.
22 The priests indeed are good; but much better is the High Priest to whom the Holy of Holies has been committed; and who alone has been intrusted with the secrets of God.
23 He is the door of the Father; by which Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, enter in; as well as the Apostles, and the church.
24 And all these things tend to the unity which is of God. Howbeit the Gospel has somewhat in it far above all other dispensations; namely, the appearance of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, his passion and resurrection.
25 For the beloved prophets referred to him; but the Gospel is the perfection of incorruption. All therefore together are good, if ye believe with charity.
Informs them he had heard that the persecution was stopped at Antioch: and directs them to send a messenger thither to congratulate with the church.
NOW as concerning the church of Antioch which is in Syria, seeing I am told that through your prayers and the bowels which ye have towards it in Jesus Christ, it is in peace; it will become you, as the church of God, to ordain some I deacon to go to them thither as the ambassador of God; that he may rejoice with them when they meet together, and glorify God's name.
2 Blessed be that man in Jesus, Christ, who shall be found worthy of such a ministry; and ye yourselves also shall be glorified.
3 Now if you be willing, it is not impossible for you to do this for the grace of God; as also the other neighbouring churches have sent them some bishops, some priests and some deacons.
4 As concerning Philo the deacon of Cilicia, a most worthy man, he still ministers unto me in the word of God: together with Rheus of Agathopolis a singular good person, who has followed me even from Syria, not regarding his life: These also bear witness unto you.
5 And I myself give thanks to God for you, that you receive them as the Lord shall receive you. But for those that dishonoured them, may they be forgiven through the grace of Jesus Christ.
6 The charity of the brethren that are at Troas salutes you: from whence also I now write by Burrhurs, who was sent together with me by those of Ephesus and Smyrna, for respect sake.
7 May our Lord Jesus Christ honour them; in whom they hope, both in flesh, and soul, and spirit; in faith, in love, in unity. Fare-well in Christ Jesus our common hope.
IGNATIUS TO THE SMYRNEANS.
1 Declares his joy for their firmness in the Gospel. 4 Enlarges on the person of Christ, against such as pretend that Christ did not suffer.
IGNATIUS, who is also called Theohorus, to the church of God the Father, and of the beloved Jesus Christ, which God hath mercifully blessed with every good gift; being filled with faith and charity, so that it is wanting in no gift; most worthy of God, and fruitful in saints; the church which is at Smyrna in Asia; all through his immaculate spirit, through word of God.
2 I glorify God, even Jesus Christ, who has given you such wisdom.
3 For I have observed that you are settled in an immoveable faith, as if you were nailed to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, both in the flesh and in the spirit; and are confirmed in love through the blood of Christ; being fully persuaded of those things which relate unto our Lord.
4 Who truly was of the race of David according to the flesh, but the Son of God according to the will and power of God; truly born of the Virgin, and baptised of John; that so all righteousness might be fulfilled by him.
5 He was also truly crucified by Pontius Pilate, and Herod the Tetrarch, being nailed for us in the flesh; by the fruits of which we are, even by his most blessed Passion;
6 That he might set up a token for all ages through his resurrection, to all his holy and faithful servants, whether they be Jews or Gentiles, in one body of his church.
7 Now all these things he suffered for us that we might be saved; and he suffered truly, as he also truly raised up himself; and not, as some unbelievers say, that he only seemed to suffer; they themselves 'only seeming to be.'
8 And as they believe so shall it happen unto them, when being divested of the body they shall become mere spirits.
9 But I know that even after his resurrection he was in the flesh; and I believe that he is still so.
10 And when he came to those who were with Peter, he said unto them, Take, handle me, and see that I am not an incorporeal daemon. And straightway they felt and believed; being convinced both by his flesh and spirit.
11 For this cause they despised death, and were bound to be above it.
12 But after his resurrection he did eat and drink with them, as he was flesh; although as to his Spirit he was united to the Father.
1 Exhorts them against heretics. 8 The danger of their doctrine.
NOW these things, beloved, I put you in mind of, not questioning but that you yourselves also believe that they are so.
2 But I arm you before-hand against certain beasts in the shape of men, whom you must not only not receive, but if it be possible must not meet with.
3 Only you must pray for them, that if it be the will of God they may repent; which yet will be very hard. But of this our Lord Jesus Christ has the power, who is our true life.
4 For if all these things were done only in show by our Lord, then do I also seem only to be bound:
5 And why have I given up myself to death, to the fire, to the sword, to wild beasts?
6 But now the nearer I am to the sword, the nearer I am to God: when I shall come among the wild beasts, I shall come to God.
7 Only in the name of Jesus Christ, I undergo all, to suffer together with him; he who was made a perfect man strengthening, me.
8 Whom some not knowing, do deny; or rather have been denied by him, being the advocates of death, rather than of the truth. Whom neither the prophecies, nor the law of Moses have persuaded; nor the Gospel itself, even to this day; nor the sufferings of every one of us.
9 For they think also the same things of us. For what does a man profit me, if he shall praise me, and blaspheme my Lord; not confessing that he was truly made man?
10 Now he that doth not say this, does in effect deny him, and is in death. But for the names of such as do this, they being unbelievers, I thought it not fitting to write them unto you.
11 Yea, God forbid that I should make any mention of them, till they shall repent to a true belief of Christ's passion, which is our resurrection.
12 Let no man deceive himself; both the things which are in heaven, and the glorious angels, and princes, whether visible or invisible, if they believe not in the blood of Christ, it shall be to them, unto condemnation.
13 He that is able to receive this, let him receive it. Let no man's place or state in the world puff him up: that which is worth all his faith and charity, to it nothing is to be preferred.
14 But consider those who are of a different opinion from us, as to what concerns the grace of Jesus Christ which is come unto us, how contrary they are to the design of God.
15 They have no regard to charity, no care of the widow, the fatherless, and the oppressed; of the bond or free, of the hungry or thirsty.
16 They abstain from the eucharist, and from the public offices; because they confess not the eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ which suffered for our sins, and which the Father of his goodness raised again from the dead.
17 And for this cause contradicting the gift of God, they die in their disputes; but much better would it be for them to receive it, that they might one day rise through it.
18 It will therefore become you. to abstain from such persons, and not to speak with them, neither in public nor in private.
19 But to hearken to the prophets, and especially to the Gospel, in which both Christ's passion is manifested unto us, and his resurrection perfectly declared.
20 But flee all divisions, as the beginning of evils.
1 Exhorts them to follow their bishop and pastors; but especially their bishop. 6 Thanks them for their kindness, 11 and acquaints them with the ceasing of the persecution at Antioch.
SEE that ye all follow your bishop, as Jesus Christ, the Father; and the presbytery, as the Apostles; and reverence the deacons, as the command of God.
2 Let no man do any thing of what belongs to the church separately from the bishop.
3 Let that eucharist be looked upon as well established, which is either offered by the bishop, or by him to whom the bishop has given. his consent.
4 Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people also be: as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic church.
5 It is not lawful without the bishop; neither to baptize, nor to celebrate the Holy Communion but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing unto God; that so whatever is done, may be sure and well done.
6 For what remains, it is very reasonable that we should repent whilst there is yet time to return unto God.
7 It is a good thin to have a due regard both to God, and to the bishop: he that honours the bishop, shall be honoured of God; but he that does any thing without his knowledge, ministers unto the devil.
8 Let all things therefore abound to you in charity; seeing that ye are worthy.
9 Ye have refreshed me in all things; so shall Jesus Christ you. Ye have loved me both when I was present with you, and now being absent, ye cease not to do so.
10 May God be your reward, for whom whilst ye undergo all things, ye shall attain unto him.
11 Ye have done well in that ye have received Philo, and Rheus Agathopus, who followed me for the word of God, as the deacons of Christ our God.
12 Who also gave thanks unto the Lord for you, forasmuch as ye have refreshed them in all things. Nor shall any thing that you have done be lost to you.
13 My soul be for yours, and my bonds which ye have not despised, nor been ashamed of. Wherefore neither shall. Jesus Christ, our perfect faith, be ashamed of you.
14 Your prayer is come to the church of Antioch, which is in Syria. From whence being sent bound with chains becoming God. I salute the churches; being not worthy to be called from thence, as being the least among them.
15 Nevertheless by the will of God I have been thought worthy of this honour; not for that I think I have deserved it, but by the grace of God;
16 Which I wish may be perfectly given unto me, that through your prayers I may attain unto God.
17 And therefore, that your work may be fully accomplished, both upon earth and in heaven; it will be fitting, and for the honour of God, that your church appoint some worthy deldgate, who being come as far as Syria, may rejoice together with them that they are in peace; and that they are again restored to their former state, and have again received their proper body.
18 Wherefore I should think it a worthy action, to send some one from you with an epistle, to congratulate with them their peace in God; and that through your prayers, they have now gotten to their harbour.
19 For inasmuch as ye are perfect yourselves, you ought to think those things that are perfect. For when you are desirous to do well, God is ready to enable you there. unto.
20 The love of the brethren that are at Troas salute you; from whence I write to you by Burrhus whom ye sent with me, together with the Ephesians, your brethren; and who has in all Things refreshed me.
21 And I would to God that all would imitate him, as being a pattern of the ministry of God. May his grace fully reward him.
22 I salute your very worthy bishop, and your venerable presbytery; and your deacons, my fellow-servants; and all of you in general, and every one in particular, in the name of Jesus Christ, and in his flesh and blood; in his passion and resurrection both fleshly and spiritually; and in the unity of God with you.
23 Grace be with you, and mercy, and peace, and patience, for evermore.
24 I salute the families of my brethren, with their wives and children; and the virgins that are called widows. Be strong in the power of the Holy Ghost. Philo, who is present with me salutes you.
25 I salute the house of Tavias, and pray that it may be strengthened in faith and charity, both of flesh and spirit.
26 I salute Alce my well-beloved, together with the incomparable Daphnus, and Eutechnus, and all by name.
27 Farewell in the grace of God.
IGNATIUS TO POLYCARP
Ignatius blesses God for the firm, establishment of Polycarp in the faith, and gives him particular directions for improving it.
IGNATIUS, who is also called Theophorus, to Polycarp, bishop of the church which is at Smyrna; their overseer, but rather himself overlooked by God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ; all happiness.
2 Having known that thy mind towards God, is fixed as it were upon an immoveable rock; I exceedingly give thanks, that I have been thought worthy to behold thy blessed face, in which may I always rejoice in God.
3 Wherefore I beseech thee by the grace of God with which thou art clothed, to press forward in thy course, and to exhort all others that they may be saved.
4 Maintain thy place with all care both of flesh and spirit: Make it thy endeavour to preserve unity, than which nothing is better. Bear with all men even as the Lord with thee.
5 Support all in love, as also thou dost. Pray without ceasing ask more understanding than what thou already hast. Be watchful, having thy spirit always awake.
6 Speak to every one according as God shall enable thee. Bear the infirmities of all, as a perfect combatant; where the labour is great, the gain is the more.
7 If thou shalt love the good disciples, what thank is it? But rather do thou subject to thee those that are mischievous, in meekness.
8 Every wound is not healed with the same plaister: if the accessions of the disease be vehement, modify them with soft remedies: be in all things wise as a serpent, but harmless as a dove.
9 For this cause thou art composed of flesh and spirit; that thou mayest modify those things that appear before thy face.
10 And as for those that are not seen, pray to God that he would reveal them into thee, that so thou mayest be wanting in nothing, but mayest abound in every gift.
11 The times demand thee, as the pilots the winds; and be that is tossed in a tempest, the haven where he would be.
12 That thou mayest attain unto God, be sober as the combatant of God. The crown proposed to thee is immortality, and eternal life: concerning which thou art also fully persuaded. I will be thy surety in all things, by my bonds, which thou halt loved.
13 Let not those that seem worthy of credit, but teach other doctrines, disturb thee. Stand firm and immoveable, as an anvil when it is beaten upon.
14 It is the part of a brave combatant to be wounded, and yet overcome. But especially we ought to endure all things for God's sake, that he may bear with us.
15 Be every day better than others; consider the times, and expect him, who is above all time, eternal; invisible, though for our sakes made visible: impalpable, and impassible, yet for us subjected to sufferings; enduring all manner of ways for our salvation.
1 Continues his advice, 6 and teaches him how to advise others. 12 Enforces unity and subjection to the bishop.
LET not the widows be neglected: be thou after God, their Guardian.
2 Let nothing be done without thy knowledge and consent; neither do thou anything but according to the will of God; as also thou dost, with all constancy.
3 Let your assemblies be more full: inquire into all by name.
4 Overlook not the men and maid servants; neither let them be puffed up: but rather let them be the more subject to the glory of God, that they may obtain from him a better liberty.
5 Let them not desire to be set free at the public cost, that they be not slaves to their own lusts.
6 Flee evil arts; or rather make not any mention of them.
7 Say to my sisters, that they love the Lord; and be satisfied with their own husbands, both in the flesh and spirit.
8 In like manner, exhort my brethren in the name of Jesus Christ, that they love their wives, even as the Lord the church.
9 If any man can remain in a virgin state, to the honour of the flesh of Christ, let him remain without boasting; but if he boast, he is undone. And if he desire to be more taken notice of than the bishop he is corrupted.
10 But it becomes all such as are married, whether men or women, to come together with the consent of the bishop, that so their marriage may be according to godliness, and not in lust.
11 Let all things be done to the honour of God.
12 Hearken unto the bishop, that God also may hearken unto you. My soul be security for them that submit to their bishop, with their presbyters and deacons. And may my portion be together with theirs in God.
13 Labour with one another; contend together, run together, suffer together; sleep together, and rise together; as the stewards, and assessors, and ministers of God.
14 Please him under whom ye war; and from whom ye receive your wages. Let none of you be found a deserter; but let your baptism remain, as your arms; your faith, as your helmet; your charity, as your spear; your patience, as your whole armour.
15 Let your works be your charge, that so you may receive a suitable reward. Be long suffering therefore towards each other in meekness; as God is towards you.
16 Let me have joy of you in all things.
1 Greets Polycarp on the peace of the church at Antioch: 2 and desires him to write to that and other churches.
NOW forasmuch as the church of Antioch in Lyria is, as I am told, in peace through your prayers; I also have been the more comforted, and without care in God; if so be that by suffering, I shall attain unto God; and through your prayers I may be found a disciple of Christ.
2 It will be very fit, O most worthy Polycarp, to call a select council, and choose some one whom ye particularly love, and who is patient of labour: that he may be the messenger of God; and that going unto Syria, he may glorify your incessant love, to the praise of Christ.
3 A Christian has not the power of himself; but must be always at leisure for God's service. Now this work is both God's and our's; when ye shall have perfected it.
4 For I trust through the grace of God that ye are ready to every good work that is fitting for you in the Lord.
5 Knowing therefore your earnest affection for the truth, I have exhorted you by these short letters.
6 But forasmuch as I have not been able to write to all the churches, because I must suddenly sail from Troas to Neapolis; (for so is the command of those to whose pleasure I am subject;) do you write to the churches that are near you, as being instructed in the will of God, that they also may do in like manner.
7 Let those that are able send messengers; and let the rest send their letters by those who shall be sent by you: that you may be glorified to all eternity, of which you are worthy.
8 I salute all by name; particularly the wife of Epitropus with all her house and children. I salute Attalus my well-beloved.
9 I salute him who shall be thought worthy to be sent by you into Syria. Let grace be ever with him, and with Polycarp who sends him.
10 I wish you all happiness in our God, Jesus Christ; in whom continue, in the unity and protection of God.
11 I salute Alce my well- beloved. Farewell in the Lord.
REFERENCES TO THE SEVEN EPISTLES OF IGNATIUS,
[The Epistles of Ignatius are translated by Archbishop Wake from the text of Vossius. He says that there were considerable difference in the editions; the best for a long time extant containing fabrications, and the genuine being altered and corrupted. Archbishop Usher printed old Latin translations of them at Oxford, in 1644. At Amsterdam, two years afterwards, Vossius printed six of them in their ancient and pure Greek; and the seventh, greatly amended from the ancient Latin version, was Printed at Paris, by Ruinart, in 1689, in the Acts and Martyrdom of Ignatius, from a Greek uninterpolated copy. These are supposed to form the collection that Polycarp made of the Epistles of Ignatius, mentioned by Irenaes, Origen, Eusebius, Jerome, Athanasius, Theodoret, and other ancients: but many learned men have imagined all of them to be apocryphal. This supposition, the piety of Arch-bishop Wake, and his persuasion of their utility to the faith of the church, will not permit him to entertain: hence he has taken great pains to render the present translation acceptable, by adding numerous readings and references to the Canonical Books.]
THE EPISTLE OF POLYCARP TO THE PHILIPPIANS.
[The genuineness of this Epistle is controverted, but implicitly believed by Arch-bishop Wake, whose translation is below. There is also a translation by Dr. Cave attached to his life of Polycarp.]
Polycarp commends the Philippians for their respect to those who suffered for the Gospel; and for their own faith.
POLYCARP, and the presbyters that are with him, to the church of God which is at Philippi; mercy unto you, and peace from God Almighty, and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour, be multiplied.
2 I rejoiced greatly with you in our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye received the images of a true love, and accompanied, as it behoved you, those who were in bonds, becoming saints; which are the crowns of such as are truly chosen by God and our Lord:
3 As also that the root of the faith which was preached from ancient times, remains firm in you to this day; and brings forth fruit to our Lord Jesus Christ, who suffered himself to be brought even to the death for our sins:
4 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death. Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
5 Into which many desire to enter; I knowing that by grace ye are saved; not by works, but by the will of God through Jesus Christ.
6 Wherefore girding up the loins of your minds; I serve the Lord with fear, and in truth; laying aside all empty and vain speech, and the errors of many; believing in him that raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and hath given him glory and a throne at his right hand.
7 To whom all things are made subject, both that are in heaven, and that are in earth; whom every living creature shall worship; who shall come to be the judge of the quick and dead: whose blood God shall require of them that believe not in him.
8 But he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also raise up us in like manner, if we do his will, and walk according to his commandments; and love those things which he loved:
9 Abstaining from all unrighteousness; inordinate affection, and love of money; from evil. speaking; false witness; not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, or striking for striking, or cursing for cursing:
10 But remembering what the Lord has taught us saying, Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; forgive and ye shall be forgiven; be ye merciful, and ye shall obtain mercy; for with the same measure that ye meet withal, it shall be measured to you again.
11 And again; Blessed are the poor, and they that are persecuted for righteousness sake; for theirs is the kingdom of God.
2 Exhorts to Faith, Hope, and Charity. 5 Against covetousness, and as to the duties of husbands, wives, widows, 9 deacons, young men, virgins, and presbyters.
THESE things, my brethren, I took not the liberty of myself to write unto you concerning righteousness, but you yourselves before encouraged me to it.
2 For neither can i, nor any other such as I am, come up to the wisdom of the blessed and renowned Paul; who being himself in person with those who then lived, did with all exactness and soundness teach the word of truth; and being gone from you wrote an epistle to you.
3 Into which if you look, you will be able to edify yourselves in the faith that has been delivered unto you, which is the mother of us all; being followed with hope, and led on by a general love, both towards God and towards Christ, and towards our neighbour.
4 For if any man has these things, he has fulfilled the law of righteousness: for he that has charity is far from all sin.
5 But the love of money is the root of all evil. Knowing therefore that as we brought nothing into this world, so neither may we carry any thing out; let us arm ourselves with the armour of righteousness.
6 And teach ourselves first to walk according to the commandments of the Lord; and then your wives to walk likewise according to the faith that is given to them; in charity, and in purity; loving their own husbands, with all sincerity, and all others alike, with all temperance; and to bring up their children in the instruction and fear of the Lord.
7 The widows likewise teach that they be sober as to what concerns the faith of the Lord: praying always for all men; being far from all detraction, evil speaking, false witness; from covetousness, and from all evil.
8 Knowing that they are the altars of God, who sees all blemishes, and from whom nothing is hid; who searches out the very reasonings, and thoughts, and secrets of our hearts.
9 Knowing therefore that God is not mocked, we ought to walk worthy both of his command and of his glory.
10 Also the deacons must be blameless before him, as the ministers of God in Christ, and not of men. Not false mousers, not double tongued, not lovers of money; but moderate in all things; compassionate, careful; walking according to the truth of the Lord, who was the servant of all.
11 Whom if we please in this present world, we shall also be made partakers of that which is to come, according as he has promised to us, that he will raise us from the dead; and that if we shall walk worthy of him, we shall also reign together with him, if we believe.
12 In like manner the younger men must be unblameable in all things; above all, taking care of their purity, and to restrain themselves from all evil. For it is good to be cut off from the lusts that are in the world; because every such lust warreth against the spirit: and neither fornicators, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, shall inherit the kingdom of God; nor they who do such things as are foolish and unreasonable.
13 Wherefore ye must needs abstain from all these things, being subject to the priests and deacons, as unto God and Christ.
14 The virgins admonish to walk in a spotless and pure conscience.
15 And let the elders be compassionate and merciful towards all; turning them from their errors; seeking out those that are weak; not forgetting the widows, the fatherless, and the poor; but always providing what is good both in the sight of God and man.
16 Abstaining from all wrath, respect of persons, and unrighteous judgment; and especially being free from all covetousness.
17 Not easy to believe anything against any; not severe in judgment; knowing that we are all debtors in point of sin.
18 If therefore we pray to the Lord that he would forgive us, we ought also to forgive others; for we are all in the sight of our Lord and God; a and must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ; and shall every one give an account of himself.
19 Let us therefore serve him in fear, and with all reverence as both himself hath commanded; and as the Apostles who have preached the Gospel unto us, and the prophets who have foretold the coming of our Lord have taught us:
20 Being zealous of what is good; abstaining from all offence, and from false brethren; and from those who bear the name of Christ in hypocrisy; who deceive vain men.
1 As to faith in our Saviour Christ; his nature and sufferings, the resurrection and judgment. 3 Exhorts to prayer 5 and steadfastness in the faith, from the examples of Christ, 7 and Apostles and saints, and exhorts to carefulness in all well-doing.
FOR whosoever does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, he is Antichrist: and whoever does not confess his suffering upon the cross, is from the devil.
2 And whosoever perverts the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts, and says that there shall. neither be any resurrection, nor judgment, he is the first-born of Satan.
3 Wherefore leaving the vanity of many, and their false doctrines; let us return to the word that was delivered to us from the beginning: Watching unto prayer; and persevering in fasting;
4 With supplication beseeching the all seeing God not to lead us into temptation; as the Lord hath said, The spirit is truly willing, but the flesh is weak.
5 Let us therefore without ceasing hold steadfastly to him who is our hope, and the earnest of our righteousnes, even Jesus Christ; Who, his own self, bare our sins in his own body on the tree: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; but suffered all for us that we might live through him.
6 Let us therefore imitate his patience; and if we suffer for his name, let us glorify him; for this example he has given us by himself, and so have we believed.
7 Wherefore I exhort all of you that ye obey the word of righteousness, and exercise all patience; which ye have seen set forth before your eyes, not only in the blessed Ignatius, and Zozimus, and Rufus; but in others among yourselves; and in Paul himself, and the rest of the Apostles:
8 Being confident of this, that all these have not run in vain, but in faith and righteousness; and are gone to the place that was due to them from the Lord; with whom also they suffered.
9 For they loved not this present world; but him who died, and was raised again by God for us.
10 Stand therefore in these things, and follow the example of the Lord; being firm and immutable in the faith, lovers of the brotherhood, lovers of one another: companions together in the truth, being kind and gentle towards each other, despising none.
11 When it is in your power to do good defer it not, for charity delivered from death.
12 Be all of you subject one to another, having your conversation honest among the Gentiles; that by your good works, both ye yourselves may receive praise, and the Lord may not be blasphemed through you. But woe be to him by whom the name of the Lord is blasphemed.
13 Therefore teach all men sobriety; in which do ye also exercise yourselves.
Valens, a presbyter, having fallen into the sin of covetousness, he exhorts them against it.
I am greatly afflicted for Valens, who was once a presbyter among you; that he should so little understand the place that was given to him in the church, Wherefore I admonish you that ye abstain from covetousness; and that ye be chaste, and true of speech.
2 Keep yourselves from all evil. For he that in these things cannot govern himself, how shall he be able to prescribe them to another?
3 If a man does not keep himself from covetousness, he shall be polluted with idolatry, and be judged as if he were a Gentile.
4 But who of you are ignorant of the judgment of God? Do we not know that the saints shall judge the world, as Paul teaches?
5 But I have neither perceived nor heard anything of this kind in you, among whom the blessed Paul laboured; and who are named in the beginning of his Epistle.
6 For he glories of you in all the churches who then only knew God; for we did not then know him. Wherefore, my brethren, I am exceedingly sorry both for him and for his wife; to whom God grant a true repentance.
7 And be ye also moderate upon this occasion; and look not upon such as enemies, but call them back as suffering and erring members, that ye may save your whole body: for by so doing, ye shall edify your own selves.
8 For I trust that ye are well exercised in the Holy Scriptures, and that nothing is hid from you but at present it is not granted unto me to practise that which is written, Be angry and sin not; and again, Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.
9 Blessed be he that believeth and remembereth these things; which also I trust you do.
10 Now the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and he himself who is our everlasting high-priest, the Son of God, even Jesus Christ, build you up in faith and in truth, and in all meekness and lenity; in patience and long- suffering, in forbearance and chastity:
11 And grant unto you a lot and portion among his saints, and us with you; and to all that are under the heavens, who shall believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, and in his Father who raised him from the dead.
12 Pray for all the saints: pray also for kings, and all that are in authority; and for those who persecute you, and hate you, and for the enemies of the cross; that your fruit may be manifest in all; and that ye may be perfect in Christ.
13 Ye wrote to me, both ye, and also Ignatius, that if any one went from hence into Syria, he should bring your letters with him; which also I will take care of, as soon as I shall have a convenient opportunity; either by myself, or him whom I shall send upon your account.
14 The Epistle of Ignatius, which he wrote unto us, together with what others of his have come to our hands, we have sent to you, according to your order; which are subjoined to this Epistle:
15 By which we may be greatly profited; for they treat of faith and patience, and of all things that pertain to edification in the Lord Jesus.
16 What you know certainly of Ignatius, and those that are with him, signify to us.
17 These things have I written unto you by Crescens, whom by this present Epistle I have recommended to you, and do now again commend.
18 For he has had his conversation without blame among us; and I suppose also with you.
19 Ye will also have regard unto his sister when she shall come unto you.
20 Be ye safe in the Lord Jesus Christ; and in favour with all yours. Amen.