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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:
IGNATIUS: Chapter VI.—Have respect to the...

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter VI.—Have respect to the bishop as to Christ Himself.

Now the more any one sees the bishop keeping silence, 527 the more ought he to revere him. For we ought to receive every one whom the Master of the house sends to be over His household, 528 as we would do Him that sent him. It is manifest, therefore, that we should look upon the bishop even as we would upon the p. 52 Lord Himself. And indeed Onesimus himself greatly commends your good order in God, that ye all live according to the truth, and that no sect 529 has any dwelling-place among you. Nor, indeed, do ye hearken to any one rather than to Jesus Christ speaking in truth.

The more, therefore, you see the bishop silent, the more do you reverence him. For we ought to receive every one whom the Master of the house sends to be over His household, 530 as we would do Him that sent him. It is manifest, therefore, that we should look upon the bishop even as we would look upon the Lord Himself, standing, as he does, before the Lord. For “it behoves the man who looks carefully about him, and is active in his business, to stand before kings, and not to stand before slothful men.” 531 And indeed Onesimus himself greatly commends your good order in God, that ye all live according to the truth, and that no sect has any dwelling-place among you. Nor indeed do ye hearken to any one rather than to Jesus Christ, the true Shepherd and Teacher. And ye are, as Paul wrote to you, “one body and one spirit, because ye have also been called in one hope of the faith. 532 Since also “there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.” 533 Such, then, are ye, having been taught by such instructors, Paul the Christ-bearer, and Timothy the most faithful.


Footnotes

51:527

That is, “showing forbearance.”

51:528

Comp. Matt. xxiv. 25.

52:529

Or, “heresy.”

52:530

Comp. Matt. xxiv. 25.

52:531

Prov. xxii. 29, after LXX.

52:532

Eph. iv. 4.

52:533

Eph. 4:5, 6.


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