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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:
IGNATIUS: Chapter VII.—The same continued.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter VII.—The same continued.

Be on your guard, therefore, against such persons. And this will be the case with you if you are not puffed up, and continue in intimate union with 766 Jesus Christ our God, and the p. 69 bishop, and the enactments of the apostles. He that is within the altar is pure, but 767 he that is without is not pure; that is, he who does anything apart from the bishop, and presbytery, and deacons, 768 such a man is not pure in his conscience.

Be on your guard, therefore, against such persons, that ye admit not of a snare for your own souls. And act so that your life shall be without offence to all men, lest ye become as “a snare upon a watch-tower, and as a net which is spread out.” 769 For “he that does not heal himself in his own works, is the brother of him that destroys himself.” 770 If, therefore, ye also put away conceit, arrogance, disdain, and haughtiness, it will be your privilege to be inseparably united to God, for “He is nigh unto those that fear Him.” 771 And says He, “Upon whom will I look, but upon him that is humble and quiet, and that trembles at my words?” 772 And do ye also reverence your bishop as Christ Himself, according as the blessed apostles have enjoined you. He that is within the altar is pure, wherefore also he is obedient to the bishop and presbyters: but he that is without is one that does anything apart from the bishop, the presbyters, and the deacons. Such a person is defiled in his conscience, and is worse than an infidel. For what is the bishop but one who beyond all others possesses all power and authority, so far as it is possible for a man to possess it, who according to his ability has been made an imitator of the Christ of God? 773 And what is the presbytery but a sacred assembly, the counsellors and assessors of the bishop? And what are the deacons but imitators of the angelic powers, 774 fulfilling a pure and blameless ministry unto him, as the holy Stephen did to the blessed James, Timothy and Linus to Paul, Anencletus and Clement to Peter? He, therefore, that will not yield obedience to such, must needs be one utterly without God, an impious man who despises Christ, and depreciates His appointments.


Footnotes

68:766

Literally, “unseparated from.”

69:767

This clause is inserted from the ancient Latin version.

69:768

The text has “deacon.”

69:769

Hos. v. 1.

69:770

Prov. xviii. 9 (LXX).

69:771

Ps. lxxxv. 9.

69:772

Isa. lxvi. 2.

69:773

Some render, “being a resemblance according to the power of Christ.”

69:774

Some read, “imitators of Christ, ministering to the bishop, as Christ to the Father.”


Next: Chapter VIII.—Be on your guard...

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