Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
IGNATIUS: Chapter V.
From Syria, and even unto Rome, I am cast among wild beasts, by sea and by land, by night and by day, being bound between ten leopards, which are the band of soldiers, who, even when I do good to them, all the more do evil unto me. I, however, am the rather instructed by their injurious treatment; 1166 but not on this account am I justified to myself. I rejoice in the beasts which are prepared for me, and I pray that they may in haste be found for me; and I will provoke them speedily to devour me, and not be as those which are afraid of some other men, 1167 and will not approach them: even should they not be willing to approach me, I will go with violence against them. Know me from myself what is expedient for me. 1168 Let no one 1169 envy me of those things which are seen and which are not seen, that I should be accounted worthy of Jesus Christ. Fire, and the cross, and the beasts that are prepared, cutting off of the limbs, and scattering of the hones, and crushing of the whole body, harsh torments of the devil—let these come upon me, but 1170 only let me be accounted worthy of Jesus Christ.
Literally, “by their injury.”104:1167
Literally, “and not as that which is afraid of some other men.” So Cureton translates, but remarks that the passage is evidently corrupt. The reference plainly is to the fact that the beasts sometimes refused to attack their intended victims. See the case of Blandina, as reported by Eusebius (Hist. Eccl., v. 1.).104:1168
Cureton renders interrogatively, “What is expedient for me?” and remarks that “the meaning of the Syriac appears to be, I crave your indulgence to leave the knowledge of what is expedient for me to my own conscience. ”104:1169
Next: Chapter VI.
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