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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:
IGNATIUS: Chapter V.—I will not teach you...

Early Church Fathers  Index     

p. 68

Chapter V.—I will not teach you profound doctrines.

Am I not able to write to you of heavenly things? But I fear to do so, lest I should inflict injury on you who are but babes [in Christ]. Pardon me in this respect, lest, as not being able to receive [such doctrines], ye should be strangled by them. For even I, though I am bound [for Christ], yet am not on that account able to understand heavenly things, and the places 750 of the angels, and their gatherings under their respective princes, things visible and invisible. Without reference to such abstruse subjects, I am still but a learner [in other respects 751 ]; for many things are wanting to us, that we come not short of God.

For might 752 not I write to you things more full of mystery? But I fear to do so, lest I should inflict injury on you who are but babes [in Christ]. Pardon me in this respect, lest, as not being able to receive their weighty import, 753 ye should be strangled by them. For even I, though I am bound [for Christ], and am able to understand heavenly things, the angelic orders, and the different sorts 754 of angels and hosts, the distinctions between powers and dominions, and the diversities between thrones and authorities, the mightiness of the Æons, and the pre-eminence of the cherubim and seraphim, the sublimity of the spirit, the kingdom of the Lord, and above all, the incomparable majesty of Almighty God—though I am acquainted with these things, yet am I not therefore by any means perfect; nor am I such a disciple as Paul or Peter. For many things are yet wanting to me, that I may not fall short of God.


Footnotes

68:750

Or, “stations.”

68:751

Literally, “passing by this;” but both text and meaning are very doubtful.

68:752

ἐβουλόμην apparently by mistake for ἐδυνάμην.

68:753

Literally, “their force.”

68:754

Or, “varieties of.”


Next: Chapter VI.—Abstain from the poison...

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