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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:
IGNATIUS: Chapter V.—I desire to die.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter V.—I desire to die.

From Syria even unto Rome I fight with beasts, 850 both by land and sea, both by night and day, being bound to ten leopards, I mean a band of soldiers, who, even when they receive benefits, 851 show themselves all the worse. But I am the more instructed by their injuries [to act as a disciple of Christ]; “yet am I not thereby justified.” 852 May I enjoy the wild beasts that are prepared for me; and I pray they may be found eager to rush upon me, which also I will entice to devour me speedily, and not deal with me as with some, whom, out of fear, they have not touched. But if they be unwilling to assail me, I will compel them to do so. Pardon me p. 76 [in this]: I know what is for my benefit. Now I begin to be a disciple. And let no one, of things visible or invisible, envy 853 me that I should attain to Jesus Christ. Let fire and the cross; let the crowds of wild beasts; let tearings, 854 breakings, and dislocations of bones; let cutting off of members; let shatterings of the whole body; and let all the dreadful 855 torments of the devil come upon me: only let me attain to Jesus Christ.

From Syria even unto Rome I fight with beasts, 856 both by land and sea, both by night and day, being bound to ten leopards, I mean a band of soldiers, who, even when they receive benefits, 857 show themselves all the worse. But I am the more instructed by their injuries [to act as a disciple of Christ]; “yet am I not thereby justified.” 858 May I enjoy the wild beasts that are prepared for me; and I pray that they may be found eager to rush upon me, which also I will entice to devour me speedily, and not deal with me as with some, whom, out of fear, they have not touched. But if they be unwilling to assail me, I will compel them to do so. Pardon me [in this] I know what is for my benefit. Now I begin to be a disciple, and have 859 no desire after anything visible or invisible, that I may attain to Jesus Christ. Let fire and the cross; let the crowds of wild beasts; let breakings, tearings, and separations of bones; let cutting off of members; let bruising to pieces of the whole body; and let the very torment of the devil come upon me: only let me attain to Jesus Christ.


Footnotes

75:850

Comp. 1 Cor. xv. 32, where the word is also used figuratively.

75:851

Probably the soldiers received gifts from the Christians, to treat Ignatius with kindness.

75:852

1 Cor. iv. 4.

76:853

In the shorter recension there is ζηλώσῃ, and in the longer ζηλῶσαι; hence the variety of rendering, but the translation is by no means certain.

76:854

Some deem this and the following word spurious.

76:855

Literally, “evil.”

76:856

Comp. 1 Cor. xv. 32, where the word is also used figuratively.

76:857

Probably the soldiers received gifts from the Christians, to treat Ignatius with kindness.

76:858

1 Cor. iv. 4.

76:859

In the shorter recension there is ζηλώσῃ, and in the longer ζηλῶσαι; hence the variety of rendering, but the translation is by no means certain.


Next: Chapter VI.—By death I shall attain...

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