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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:
POLYCARP: Chapter XI.—Expression of grief on...

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XI.—Expression of grief on account of Valens.

I am greatly grieved for Valens, who was once a presbyter among you, because he so little understands the place that was given him [in the Church]. I exhort you, therefore, that ye abstain from covetousness, 397 and that ye be chaste and truthful. “Abstain from every form of evil.” 398 For if a man cannot govern himself in such matters, how shall he enjoin them on others? If a man does not keep himself from covetousness, 399 he shall be defiled by idolatry, and shall be judged as one of the heathen. But who of us are ignorant of the judgment of the Lord? “Do we not know that the saints shall judge the world?” 400 as Paul teaches. But I have neither seen nor heard of any such thing among you, in the midst of whom the blessed Paul laboured, and who are commended 401 in the beginning of his Epistle. For he boasts of you in all those Churches which alone then knew the Lord; but we [of Smyrna] had not yet known Him. I am deeply grieved, therefore, brethren, for him (Valens) and his wife; to whom may the Lord grant true repentance! And be ye then moderate in regard to this matter, and “do not count such as enemies,” 402 but call them back as suffering and straying members, that ye may save your whole body. For by so acting ye shall edify yourselves. 403


Footnotes

35:397

Some think that incontinence on the part of the Valens and his wife is referred to. [For many reasons I am glad the translators have preferred the reading πλεονεξίας. The next word, chaste, sufficiently rebukes the example of Valens. For once I venture not to coincide with Jacobson’s comment.]

35:398

1 Thess. v. 22.

35:399

Some think that incontinence on the part of the Valens and his wife is referred to. [For many reasons I am glad the translators have preferred the reading πλεονεξίας. The next word, chaste, sufficiently rebukes the example of Valens. For once I venture not to coincide with Jacobson’s comment.]

35:400

1 Cor. vi. 2.

35:401

Some read, “named;” comp. Phil. i. 5.

35:402

2 Thess. iii. 15.

35:403

Comp. 1 Cor. xii. 26.


Next: Chapter XII.—Exhortation to various...

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