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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:
IGNATIUS: Chapter IX.—Continuation: ignorance...

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter IX.—Continuation: ignorance of Satan.

Seeing these things, thou wast in utter perplexity. 1334 And thou wast ignorant that it was a virgin that should bring forth; but the angels’ song of praise struck thee with astonishment, as well as the adoration of the Magi, and the appearance of the star. Thou didst revert to thy state of [wilful] ignorance, because all the circumstances seemed to thee trifling; 1335 for thou didst deem the swaddling-bands, the circumcision, and the nourishment by means of milk contemptible: 1336 these things appeared to thee unworthy of God. Again, thou didst behold a man who remained forty days and nights without tasting human food, along with ministering angels at whose presence thou didst shudder, when first of all thou hadst seen Him baptized as a common man, and knewest not the reason thereof. But after His [lengthened] fast thou didst again assume thy wonted audacity, and didst tempt Him when hungry, as if He had been an ordinary man, not knowing who He was. For thou saidst, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” 1337 Now, this expression, “If thou be the Son,” is an indication of ignorance. For if thou hadst possessed real knowledge, thou wouldst have understood that the Creator can with equal ease both create what does not exist, and change that which already has a being. And thou temptedst by means of hunger 1338 Him who nourisheth all that require food. And thou temptedst the very “Lord of glory,” 1339 forgetting in thy malevolence that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” For if thou hadst known that He was the Son of God, thou wouldst also have understood that He who had kept his 1340 body from feeling any want for forty days and as many nights, could have also done the same for ever. Why, then, does He suffer hunger? In order to prove that He had assumed a body subject to the same feelings as those of ordinary men. By the first fact He showed that He was God, and by the second that He was also man.


Footnotes

118:1334

Literally, “thou wast dizzy in the head.”

118:1335

Literally, “on account of the paltry things.”

118:1336

Literally, “small.”

118:1337

Matt. iv. 3.

118:1338

Or, “the belly.”

118:1339

1 Cor. ii. 8.

118:1340

Some insert, “corruptible.”


Next: Chapter X.—Continuation: audacity of...

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