Page images


No. X.



Epistle of Ignatius, the friend of St. Peter, on his way to Martyr

dom, to the Philadelphians.

IGNATIUS, which is also Theophorus, to the Church of Gud the

Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, that is in Philadelphia of Asia, that hath obtained mercy, and is established in God's concord, and exulteth continually in the Passion of our LORD; and hath in His resurrection been richly furnished with all Mercy : whom I salute in the blood of Jesus Christ, who is our everlasting and abiding joy; especially if they be in one with the Bishop and his Fellow-Presbyters and Deacons, set forth after the mind of Jesus Christ; whom He hath according to His own Will established in stedfastness, by His HOLY SPIRIT.

I. This your Bishop, I know, hath obtained his public Ministry not of himself, or by the means of men, neither out of vainglory, but in the Love of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. At whose moderation I do greatly marvel ; as he by silence doth more prevail, than others with their idle speeches; for he is exactly adjusted to the commandments, as a harp to its strings. Wherefore my soul blesses his temper toward God, knowing it to be virtuous and perfect; as also his unmoved and serene temper, in all moderation of the Living God.

II. Do ye then, being children of light and truth, flee division and corrupt doctrines; but where your shepherd is, thither follow ye as sheep. For there be many wolves, held worthy to be trusted, who take captive by corrupt pleasure those that are running a godly course ; but in your Unity they shall have no place.

III. Abscain from the evil herbage, that Christ Jesus dresseth



not ; forasmuch as they are not the Father's planting. I say not this because I have found you divided, but rather select. For all that are of God and Jesus Christ, these are with the Bishop; and all that shall repent and turn to the Unity of the Church, these also shall be of God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ. Be not deceived, my Brethren ; whosoever followeth one that createth schism, he inheriteth not the kingdom of God; whosoever walketh by another man's opinion, he assenteth not to the Passion.

IV. Be careful therefore to use one Eucharist ; for there is but one Flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ; and one Cup, for the uniting of His Blood; one Altar; also one Bishop, together with the Presbytery and Deacons, my fellow-servants ; that so whatsoever ye do, ye may do it according to God.

V. My brethren, I overflow in love toward you, and in my exceeding joy I fortify you ; and yet not I, but Jesus Christ; for whom, though I am in bonds, I have therefore the more fear, inasmuch as I am not yet made perfect. But your prayer to God shall make me perfect; that I may obtain that portion in which I have found mercy; flying to the Gospel as the Flesh of Christ, and to the Apostles as to the Presbytery of the Church. Let us love the Prophets also, for that they have announced the Gospel, that we should hope for Him and await Him ; in whom they also believing were saved, being in the Unity of Jesus Christ, holy men, worthy to be loved and had in wonder; who have received testimony from Jesus Christ, and have been reckoned together in the Gospel of our common Hope.

VI. Now should any one expound Judaism unto you, hearken not unto him ; for it is better to hear Christianity from a man that hath circumcision, than Judaism from one that is uncircumcised. But if they neither speak concerning Jesus Christ, they are unto me but as monuments and sepulchres of the dead, whereon is nothing written but the names of men. Flee therefore the evil arts and snares of the Prince of this world, lest at any time, being afflicted by his devices, ye grow weak in love; but join all of you together with an undivided heart. I thank my God that I enjoy a good conscience toward you; and that no one can make a vaunt either secretly or in public, that I have been burdensome to him in little or great ; and I pray that to none among whom I have spoken, it may be for a testimony.

VII. For, though some would have deceived me according to the flesh, yet the spirit is not deceived, being of God; for it knoweth whence it cometh and whither it goeth, and arraigneth the secrets. I cried out while I was among you, I spake with a loud voice ; " Give heed to the Bishop, to the Presbytery, and the Deacons.” Now some suspected, that I spake this as knowing beforehand division of some. But He is my witness, for whom I am in bonds, that I knew it not from flesh of man; but the Spirit proclaimed, saying, “ Apart from the Bishop do nothing: keep your flesh as the Temple of God; love Unity; avoid divisions; be ye followers of Jesus CHRIST, even as He is a follower of His Father."

VIII. Wherefore I did my part, as a man fitted to the preserving of unity. For where is division and wrath, there God dwelleth not. The LORD therefore forgiveth all, when they repent, if in repenting they turn to God's Unity and the Counsel of the Bishop. I trust in the grace of Jesus CHRIST, that He will loose you from every bond ; and I exhort you to do nothing with contention, but according to the lessons of Christ. And this I say, because I heard some affirm, that I have not faith in the Gospel, unless I find it written in the Records ; and when I told them, It is so written ; they answered, It is written. But my records are Jesus Christ. My inviolate records are His cross and death and resurrection, and the faith which is by Him; in the which I desire to be justified through your prayer.

IX. The Priests indeed are good ; but far more excellent is the High-Priest, who hath received charge of the Holy of Holies ; who hath alone received charge of the hidden things of God. He is the door of the FATHER, through which enter in Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the Prophets, and the Apostles, and the Church. All these things tend to godly unity ; but the Gospel hath an especial gift, namely, the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, His Passion and Resurrection. For the beloved Prophets brought tidings of Him ; but the Gospel is the fulfilment of Immortality. All things are good together, if ye have faith with love.

X. Now whereas I am told that, according to your prayer, and the bowels ye have in Christ Jesus, the Church which is in Antioch, of Syria, is in peace, it is fitting for you, as a Church of God, to appoint a Deacon, to there exercise God's ambassage; that so you may take part in their joy, when they are met together, and may glorify the Name of God. Blessed in Jesus Christ is he, who shall be thought worthy of such a ministry ; and ye also shall be glorified. Now if ye be willing, it is not impossible to do this for the Name of God; seeing that all the neighbouring Churches sent, some Bishops, some Priests and Deacons.

XI. Touching Philo, the Deacon from Cilicia, a man approved, who serveth me even now in the word of God, together with Rheus Agathopus, one of the elect, who followeth me from Syria, having taken leave of life, who also bear testimony unto you, I thank God for your sakes, that ye received them, even as the Lord will receive you. But for those who showed them dishonour, may they be redeemed through the grace of Jesus Christ. The love of the brethren who are in Troas salutes you ; whence also I write unto you by the hand of Burrhus, who was sent with me by the Ephesians and Smyrneans for respect's sake. Our Lord Jesus Christ will honour them, on whom they hope in flesh, soul, faith, love, concord. Fare ye well in Christ Jesus, our common Hope.


These Tracts are continued in Numbers, and sold at the price of 2d. for each sheet, or 7s. for 50 copies.




GILBERT & RIVINGTON, Printers, St. John's Square, London.


No. XI.



Account of the Martyrdom of St. James, the Apostle, who is called the Lord's brother, and was the first Bishop of Jerusalem.

(From the Church History of Eusebius.) The Church was delivered over to the Apostles, and especially to James, the Lord's brother; who was surnamed the Just, by one consent, from the Lord's time, even to our own. James was the name of many besides him ; but this man was holy even from his mother's womb. He drank no wine, nor strong drink; neither did he eat any living thing ; the razor came not on his head; he anointed not his body with oil, nor indulged in the luxury of the bath. He alone had leave to enter into the Holy place; his garment being not of woollen stuff, but of linen. So he used to go alone into the Temple, and was found continually kneeling on his knees, and praying for the forgiveness of the people ; insomuch that his knees became hard, even as a camel's knees, because he was continually kneeling, worshipping God, and praying for the forgiveness of the people. Wherefore, by reason of his exceeding righteousness, he was called Dicæus and Oblias; which mean, being interpreted, the Just Man, and the Defence of the People, as the Prophets declare concerning him.

It came to pass that certain of the seven sects of the people enquired of him, How Jesus was the door? And he said, That this Jesus was the Saviour ; whence some believed that Jesus was the Christ. Now the sects, whereunto the aforementioned persons belonged, believed neither in the Resurrection, nor that Christ should come hereafter to render to every man according to his works. But all who believe, believed through James. So when

many of the Rulers also believed, there arose a disturbance of the Jews, and Scribes, and Pharisees, saying ; “There is danger, lest all the people look to Jesus as the Christ.” And when they were come together, they said unto James; “We pray thee, stop this people, for they have been deceived with regard to Jesus, as if He indeed were the Christ. We pray thee, therefore

[blocks in formation]
« EelmineJätka »