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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part III: Of the Spiritual Victim, Which Prayer is.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXVIII.—Of the Spiritual Victim, Which Prayer is.

For this is the spiritual victim 8936 which has abolished the pristine sacrifices.  “To what purpose,” saith He, “(bring ye) me the multitude of your sacrifices? I am full of holocausts of rams, and I desire not the fat of rams, and the blood of bulls and of goats. For who hath required these from your hands?” 8937 What, then, God has required the Gospel teaches.  “An hour will come,” saith He, “when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and truth. For God is a Spirit, and accordingly requires His adorers to be such.” 8938 We are the true adorers and the true priests, 8939 who, praying in spirit, 8940 sacrifice, in spirit, prayer,—a victim proper and acceptable to God, which assuredly He has required, which He has looked forward to 8941 for Himself! This victim, devoted from the whole heart, fed on faith, tended by truth, entire in innocence, pure in chastity, garlanded with love, 8942 we ought to escort with the pomp 8943 of good works, amid psalms and hymns, unto God’s altar, 8944 to obtain for us all things from God.



1 Pet. ii. 5.


Isa. i. 11. See the LXX.


John 4:23, 24.


Sacerdotes; comp. de Ex. Cast. c. 7.


1 Cor. 14:15, Eph. 6:18.


Or, “provided.”


Agape,” perhaps “the love-feast.”


Or, “procession.”



Next: Of the Power of Prayer.

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