17 And for this cause contradicting the gift of God, they die in their disputes: [*6] but much better would it be for them to [*7] receive it, that they might one day rise through it.
18 It will therefore become you to abstain from such persons; and not to speak with them neither in private nor in public.
19 But to hearken to the prophets, and especially to the Gospel, in which both Christ’s passion is manifested unto us, and his resurrection perfectly declared.
20 But flee all divisions, as the beginning of evils.
1 Exhorts them to follow their bishop and pastors; but especially their bishop. 6 Thanks them for their kindness, 11 and acquaints them with the ceasing of the persecution at Antioch.
SEE that ye all follow your bishop, as Jesus Christ, the Father; and the presbytery, as the Apostles. And reverence the deacons, as the command of God.
2 Let no man do anything of what belongs to the church separately from the bishop.
3 Let that eucharist be looked upon as well established, which is either offered by the bishop,[p. 188]
or by him to whom the bishop has given his consent.
4 Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the [*1] people also be: as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic church.
5 It is not lawful without the bishop, neither to baptize, nor [*2] to celebrate the Holy Communion; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing unto God; that so whatever is done, may be sure and well done.
6 For what remains, it is very reasonable that we should [*3] repent whilst there is yet time to return unto God.
7 It is a good thing to have a due regard both to God, and to the bishop: he that honours the bishop, shall be honoured of God. But he that does anything without his knowledge, [*4] ministers unto the devil.
8 Let all things therefore abound to you in charity; seeing that ye are worthy.
9 Ye have refreshed me in all things; so shall Jesus Christ you. Ye have loved me both when I was present with you, and now being absent, ye cease not to do so.
10 May God be your reward, from whom whilst ye undergo all things, ye shall attain unto him.
11 Ye have done well in that ye have received Philo, and Rheus [*5] Agathopus, who followed me [*6] for the word of God, as the deacons of Christ our God.
12 Who also gave thanks unto the Lord for you, forasmuch as ye have refreshed them in all [*7] things. [*8] Nor shall any thing that you have done be lost to you.
13 My [*9] soul be for yours, and my bonds which ye have not despised, nor been ashamed of. Wherefore neither shall Jesus Christ, our perfect faith, be ashamed of you.
14 Your prayer is come to the church of Antioch which is in Syria. From whence being sent bound with chains becoming God, I salute the [*10] churches; being not worthy to be called [*11] from thence, as being the least among them.
15 Nevertheless by the will of God I have been thought worthy of this honour; not for that I think I have deserved it, but by the grace of God.
16 Which I wish may be perfectly given unto me, that through your prayers I may attain unto God.
17 And therefore that your work may be fully accomplished both upon earth and in heaven; it will be fitting, and for the honour of God, [*12] that your church appoint some worthy delegate, who being come as far as Syria, may rejoice together with them that they are in peace; and that they are again restored to their former [*13] state, and have again received their proper body.
18 Wherefore I should think it a worthy action, to send some one from you with an epistle, to congratulate with them their peace in God; and that through your prayers they have now gotten to their harbor.
19 For inasmuch as ye are perfect yourselves, you ought to think those things that are perfect. For when you are desirous to do well, God is ready to [*14] enable you thereunto.[p. 189]
20 The love of the brethren that are at Troas salute you; from whence I write to you by Burrhus whom you sent with me, together with the Ephesians your brethren; and who has in all things refreshed me.
21 And I would to God that all would imitate him, as being a pattern of the ministry of God. May his grace fully reward him.
22 I salute your very worthy bishop, and your venerable presbytery; and your deacons, my fellow-servants; and all of you in general, and every one in particular, in the name of Jesus Christ, and in his flesh and blood; in his passion and resurrection both fleshly and spiritually; and in [*1] the unity of God with you.
23 Grace be with you, and mercy, and peace, and patience, for evermore.
24 I salute the families of my brethren, with their wives and children; and the [*2] virgins that are called widows. Be strong in the power of the Holy Ghost. Philo, who is present with me salutes you.
25 I salute the house of Tavias, and pray that it may be strengthened in faith and charity, both of flesh and spirit.
26 I salute Alce my well-beloved, [*3] together with the incomparable Daphnus, and Eutechnus, and all by name.
27 Farewell in the grace of God.
To the Smyrnaeans from Troas.
^185:1 Messenger or Minister.
^185:2 Vid. Vossius, a martyr or confessor. Vid. Annot. in loc.
^185:3 Vid. Vossius Annot. in Ep. ad. Smyrn. p. 261. See chap. iii. v. 11.
^185:4 Comp. 1 Cor. vii. 25.
^186:1 Unto the Lord.
^186:2 Matt. iii. 15.
^186:3 Vid. Voss. Annot. in loc.
^186:4 i.e. Christians.
^186:5 Incorporeal and daemoniac.
^186:6 Ex. Evang. Sec. Hebr. See Dr. Grabe Spicileg. tom. ii. p. 26.
^186:9 Have so.
^187:1 Had true flesh.
^187:2 It is.
^187:3 Matt. xix. 12.
^187:4 Vid. Epist. Interpol.
^187:5 Vid. Annot. Coteler. in loc. Or, Prayers.
^187:6 Vid. Coteler. Annot.
^188:2 Make a love-feast.
^188:3 Return to a sound mind.
^188:4 Does worship.
^188:5 Vid. Voss. Annot. in loc.
^188:8 Vid. Epist. Interpol.
^188:10 All the.
^188:11 i.e. the bishop of that church.
^188:12 Vid. Voss. Annot. in loc.
^188:13 Bulk, greatness.
^188:14 Help you.
^189:1 Vid. Voss. Annot. in loc.
^189:2 i.e. The See the reason for the name, Voss. Annot. in loc. Add. Coteler. ib.
^189:3 See Voss. Annot. ex Epist. Interpol.
The Lost Books of the Bible, , at sacred-texts.com
The EPISTLE of IGNATIUS to POLYCARP.
Blesses God for the firm establishment of Polycarp in the faith, and gives him particular directions for improving it.
IGNATIUS, who is also called Theophorus, to Polycarp, bishop of the church [*4] which is at Smyrna; their overseer, but rather himself overlooked by God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ: all happiness.
2 Having known that thy mind towards God, is fixed as it were upon an immovable rock; I exceedingly give thanks, that I have been thought worthy to behold thy [*5] blessed face, in which may I always rejoice in God.
3 Wherefore I beseech thee by the grace of God with which thou art clothed, to press forward in thy course, and to exhort all others that they may be saved.
4 Maintain thy place with all care [*6] both of flesh and spirit: Make it thy endeavour to preserve unity, than which nothing is better. Bear with all men, even as the Lord with thee.
5 Support all in love, as also thou dost. [*7] Pray without ceasing: ask more understanding than what thou already hast. Be watchful, having thy spirit always awake.
6 Speak to every one [*8] according as God shall enable thee. Bear the [*9] infirmities of all, as a perfect combatant; where the labour is great, the gain [*10] is the more.
7 If thou shalt love the good disciples, what thank is it? But rather do thou subject to thee those that are mischievous, in meekness.[p. 190]
8 Every wound is not healed with the same plaster: if the accessions of the disease be vehement, modify them with [*1] soft remedies: be in all things [*2] wise as a serpent, but harmless as a dove.
9 For this cause thou art composed of flesh and spirit; that thou mayest modify those things that appear before thy face.
10 And as for those that are not seen, pray to God that he would reveal them unto thee, that so thou mayest be wanting in nothing, but mayest abound in every gift.
11 The times demand thee, as the pilots the winds; and he that is tossed in a tempest, the haven where he would be; that thou mayst attain unto God.
12 Be sober as the combatant of God: the [*3] crown proposed to thee is immortality, and eternal life; concerning which thou art also fully persuaded. I will be thy surety in all things, and my bonds, which thou hast loved.
13 Let not those that seem worthy of credit, but teach other doctrines, [*4] disturb thee. Stand firm and immovable, as au anvil when it is beaten upon.
14 It is the part of a brave combatant to be [*5] wounded, and yet overcome. But especially we ought to endure all things for God’s sake, that he may bear with us.
15 Be every day [*6] better than other: consider the times; and expect him, who is above all time, eternal, invisible, though for our sakes made visible: impalpable, and impassable, yet for us subjected to sufferings; enduring all manner of ways for our salvation.
1 Continues his advice, 6 and teaches him how to advise others. 12 Enforces unity and subjection to the bishop.
LET not the widows be neglected: be thou after God, their guardian.
2 Let nothing be done without thy knowledge and consent; neither do thou anything but according to the will of God; as also thou dost, [*7] with all constancy.
3 Let your assemblies be more full: inquire into all by name.
4 Overlook not the men and maid servants; neither let them be puffed up: but rather let them be the more subject to the glory of God, that they may obtain from him a better liberty.
5 Let them not desire to [*8] be set free at the public cost, that they be not slaves to their own lusts.
6 Flee evil [*9] arts; or rather, make not any mention of them.
7 Say to my sisters, that they love the Lord; and be satisfied with their own husbands, both in the flesh and spirit.
8 In like manner, exhort my brethren, in the name of Jesus Christ, that they love their wives, even as the Lord the Church.
9 If any man can remain in a virgin state, [*10] to the honour of the flesh of Christ, let him remain without boasting; but if he boast, he is undone. And if he desire to be more taken notice[p. 191]
of than the bishop he is corrupted.
10 But it becomes all such as are married, whether men or women to come together with the consent of the bishop, that so their marriage may be according to godliness, and not in lust.
11 Let all things be done to the honour of God.
12 [*1] Hearken unto the bishop, that God also may hearken unto you. My soul be security for them that submit to their bishop, with their presbyters and deacons. And may my portion be together with theirs in God.
13 Labour with one another; contend together, run together, suffer together; sleep together, and rise together; as the stewards, and assessors, and ministers of God.
14 Please him under whom ye war, and from whom ye receive your wages. Let none of you be found a deserter; but let your baptism remain, as your arms; your faith, as your helmet; your charity, as your spear; your patience, as your whole armour.
15 Let your works be your [*2] charge, that so you may receive a suitable reward. Be longsuffering therefore towards each other in meekness: as God is towards you.
16 Let me have joy of you in all things.
1 Greets Polycarp on the peace of the church at Antioch: and desires him to write to that and other churches.
NOW forasmuch as the church of Antioch in Syria, [*3] is, as I am told, [one word illegible.–JBH] through your prayers; I also have been the more comforted [*4] and without care in God; if so be that by suffering, I shall attain unto God; that through your prayers I may be found a disciple of Christ.
2 It will be very fit, O most worthy Polycarp, to call a [*5] select council, and choose some one whom ye particularly love, and who is patient of labour; that he may be the messenger of God; and that going unto Syria, he may glorify your incessant love, to the praise of Christ.
3 A Christian has not the power of himself: but must be always at leisure for God’s service. Now this work is both God’s and your’s: when ye shall have perfected it.
4 For I trust through the grace of God that ye are ready to every good work that is fitting for you in the Lord.
5 Knowing therefore your earnest affection for the truth, I have exhorted you by [*6] these short letters.
6 But forasmuch as I have not been able to write to all the churches, because I must suddenly sail from Troas to Neapolis; (for so is the command of those to whose pleasure I am subject;) do you write to the churches that are near you, as being instructed in the will of God, that they also may do in like manner.
7 Let those that are able send [*7] messengers; and let the rest send their letters by those who shall be sent by you: that you[p. 192]
may be glorified to all eternity, of which you are worthy.
8 I salute all by name, particularly the wife of Epitropus, with all her house and children. I salute Attalus my well-beloved.
9 I salute him who shall be thought worthy to be sent by you into Syria. Let grace be ever with him, and with Polycarp who sends him.
10 I wish you all happiness in our God, Jesus Christ; in whom continue, in the unity and protection of God.
11 I salute Alce my well-beloved. Farewell in the Lord.
^189:4 of the Smyrnaeans.
^189:6 Vid. 1 Cor. vii. 34.
^189:7 Be at leisure to, etc.
^189:8 Vid. Voss. in loc. aliter Vet. Lat. Interpr.
^189:9 The diseases.
^189:10 Is much.
^190:2 Matt. x. 16.
^190:3 Vid. Voss. Annot. in loc Collat. cum Coteler. ib.
^190:4 Amaze thee.
^190:6 More studious, diligent.
^190:7 being well settled.
^190:8 Vid. Annot. Coteler. in loc.
^190:9 Or, trades.
^190:10 Vid. Annot. Vossii et Coteler. in loc.
^191:1 Observe, from the foregoing verses, that Ignatius here speaks not to Polycarp, but through him to the Church of Smyrna.
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