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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:
IGNATIUS: Chapter XIV.—Exhortations to faith...

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XIV.—Exhortations to faith and love.

None of these things is hid from you, if ye perfectly possess that faith and love towards Christ Jesus 580 which are the beginning and the end of life. For the beginning is faith, and the end is love. 581 Now these two, being inseparably connected together, 582 are of God, while all other things which are requisite for a holy life follow after them. No man [truly] making a profession of faith sinneth; 583 nor does he that possesses love hate any one. The tree is made manifest by its fruit; 584 so those that profess themselves to be Christians shall be recognised by their conduct. For there is not now a demand for mere profession, 585 but that a man be found continuing in the power of faith to the end.

Wherefore none of the devices of the devil shall be hidden from you, if, like Paul, ye perfectly possess that faith and love towards Christ 586 which are the beginning and the end of life. The beginning of life is faith, and the end is love. And these two being inseparably connected together, do perfect the man of God; while all other things which are requisite to a holy life follow after them. No man making a profession of faith ought to sin, nor one possessed of love to hate his brother. For He that said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God,” 587 said also, “and thy neighbour as thyself.” 588 Those that profess themselves to be Christ’s are known not only by what they say, but by what they practise. “For the tree is known by its fruit.” 589


Footnotes

55:580

1 Tim. i. 14.

55:581

1 Tim. i. 5.

55:582

Literally, “being in unity.”

55:583

Comp. 1 John iii. 7.

55:584

Matt. xii. 33.

55:585

Literally, “there is not now the work of profession.”

55:586

1 Tim. i. 14.

55:587

Luke x. 27.

55:588

Luke x. 27.

55:589

Matt. xii. 33.


Next: Chapter XV.—Exhortation to confess...

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