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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:
IGNATIUS: Chapter IX.—The Old Testament is...

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter IX.—The Old Testament is good: the New Testament is better.

The priests 954 indeed are good, but the High Priest is better; to whom the holy of holies has been committed, and who alone has been trusted with the secrets of God. He is the door of the Father, by which enter in Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the prophets, and the apostles, and the Church. All these have for their object the attaining to the unity of God. But the Gospel possesses something transcendent [above the former dispensation], viz., the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ, His passion and resurrection. For the beloved prophets announced Him, 955 but the Gospel is the perfection of immortality. 956 All these things are good together, if ye believe in love.

The priests 957 indeed, and the ministers of the word, are good; but the High Priest is better, to whom the holy of holies has been committed, and who alone has been entrusted with the secrets of God. The ministering powers of God are good. The Comforter is holy, and the Word is holy, the Son of the Father, by whom He made all things, and exercises a providence over them all. This is the Way 958 which leads to the Father, the Rock, 959 the Defence, 960 the Key, the Shepherd, 961 the Sacrifice, the Door 962 of knowledge, through which have entered Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, Moses and all the company of the prophets, and these pillars of the world, the apostles, and the spouse of Christ, on whose account He poured out His own blood, as her marriage portion, that He might redeem her. All these things tend towards the unity of the one and only true God. But the Gospel possesses something transcendent [above the former dispensation], viz. the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, His passion, and the resurrection itself. For those things which the prophets announced, saying, “Until He come for whom it is reserved, and He shall be the expectation of the Gentiles,” 963 have been fulfilled in the Gospel, [our Lord saying,] “Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” 964 All then are good together, the law, the prophets, the apostles, the whole company [of others] that have believed through them: only if we love one another.


Footnotes

84:954

i.e., the Jewish priests.

84:955

Literally, “proclaimed as to him.”

84:956

The meaning is doubtful. Comp. 2 Tim. i. 10.

84:957

i.e., the Jewish priests.

84:958

John xiv. 6.

84:959

1 Cor. x. 4.

84:960

Literally, “the hedge.”

84:961

John x. 11.

84:962

John x. 9.

84:963

Gen. xlix. 10.

84:964

Matt. xxviii. 19.


Next: Chapter X.—Congratulate the...

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