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Ignatius to the Magnesians

(from: _Apostolic Fathers_ Lightfoot & Harmer, 1891 translation)

IGNATIUS to the Magnesians

0:0 Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her which
hath been blessed through the grace of God the Father
in Christ Jesus our Saviour, in whom I salute the
church which is in Magnesia on the Maeander, and I
wish her abundant greeting in God the Father and in
Jesus Christ.

1:1 When I learned the exceeding good order of your
love in the ways of God, I was gladdened and I
determined to address you in the faith of Jesus
1:2 For being counted worthy to bear a most godly
name, in these bonds, which I carry about, I sing the
praise of the churches; and I pray that there may be
in them union of the flesh and of the spirit which are
Jesus Christ's, our never-failing life -- an union of
faith and of love which is preferred before all
things, and -- what is more than all -- an union with
Jesus and with the Father; in whom if we endure
patiently all the despite of the prince of this world
and escape therefrom, we shall attain unto God.

2:1 Forasmuch then as I was permitted to see you in
the person of Damas your godly bishop and your worthy
presbyters Bassus and Apollonius and my fellow-servant
the deacon Zotion, of whom I would fain have joy, for
that he is subject to the bishop as unto the grace of
God and to the presbytery as unto the law of Jesus
Christ: --

3:1 Yea, and it becometh you also not to presume
upon the youth of your bishop, but according to the
power of God the Father to render unto him all
reverence, even as I have learned that the holy
presbyters also have not taken advantage of his
outwardly youthful estate, but give place to him as to
one prudent in God; yet not to him, but to the Father
of Jesus Christ, even to the Bishop of all.
3:2 For the honour therefore of Him that desired
you, it is meet that ye should be obedient without
dissimulation. For a man doth not so much deceive this
bishop who is seen, as cheat that other who is
invisible; and in such a case he must reckon not with
flesh but with God who knoweth the hidden things.

4:1 It is therefore meet that we not only be called
Christians, but also be such; even as some persons
have the bishop's name on their lips, but in
everything act apart from him. Such men appear to me
not to keep a good conscience, forasmuch as they do
not assemble themselves together lawfully according to

5:1 Seeing them that all things have an end, and
these two -- life and death -- are set before us
together, and each man shall go _to his own place;_
5:2 for just as there are two coinages, the one of
God and the other of the world, and each of them hath
its proper stamp impressed upon it, the unbelievers
the stamp of this world, but the faithful in love the
stamp of God the Father through Jesus Christ, through
whom unless of our own free choice we accept to die
unto His passion, His life is not in us: --

6:1 Seeing then that in the aforementioned persons I
beheld your whole people in faith and embraced them, I
advise you, be ye zealous to do all things in godly
concord, the bishop presiding after the likeness of
God and the presbyters after the likeness of the
council of the Apostles, with the deacons also who are
most dear to me, having been entrusted with the
diaconate of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father
before the worlds and appeared at the end of time.
6:2 Therefore do ye all study conformity to God and
pay reverence one to another; and let no man regard
his neighbour after the flesh, but love ye one another
in Jesus Christ always. Let there be nothing among you
which shall have power to divide you, but be ye united
with the bishop and with them that preside over you as
an ensample and a lesson of incorruptibility.

7:1 Therefore as the Lord did nothing without the
Father, [being united with Him], either by Himself or
by the Apostles, so neither do ye anything without the
bishop and the presbyters. And attempt not to think
anything right for yourselves apart from others: but
let there be one prayer in common, one supplication,
one mind, one hope, in love and in joy unblameable,
which is Jesus Christ, than whom there is nothing
7:2 Hasten to come together all of you, as to one
temple, even God; as to one altar, even to one Jesus
Christ, who came forth from One Father and is with One
and departed unto One.

8:1 Be not seduced by strange doctrines nor by
antiquated fables, which are profitless. For if even
unto this day we live after the manner of Judaism, we
avow that we have not received grace:
8:2 for the divine prophets lived after Christ
Jesus. For this cause also they were persecuted, being
inspired by His grace to the end that they which are
disobedient might be fully persuaded that there is one
God who manifested Himself through Jesus Christ His
Son, who is His Word that proceeded from silence, who
in all things was well-pleasing unto Him that sent

9:1 If then those who had walked in ancient
practices attained unto newness of hope, no longer
observing sabbaths but fashioning their lives after
the Lord's day, on which our life also arose through
Him and through His death which some men deny -- a
mystery whereby we attained unto belief, and for this
cause we endure patiently, that we may be found
disciples of Jesus Christ our only teacher --
9:2 if this be so, how shall we be able to live
apart from Him? seeing that even the prophets, being
His disciples, were expecting Him as their teacher
through the Spirit. And for this cause He whom they
rightly awaited, when He came, raised them from the

10:1 Therefore let us not be insensible to His
goodness. For if He should imitate us according to our
deeds, we are lost. For this cause, seeing that we are
become His disciples, let us learn to live as
beseemeth Christianity. For whoso is called by another
name besides this, is not of God.
10:2 Therefore put away the vile leaven which hath
waxed stale and sour, and betake yourselves to the new
leaven, which is Jesus Christ. Be ye salted in Him,
that none among you grow putrid, seeing that by your
savour ye shall be proved.
10:3 It is monstrous to talk of Jesus Christ and to
practise Judaism. For Christianity did not believe in
Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity, wherein _every
tongue_ believed and _was gathered together_ unto

11:1 Now these things I say, my dearly beloved, not
because I have learned that any of you are so minded;
but as being less than any of you, I would have you be
on your guard betimes, that ye fall not into the
snares of vain doctrine; but be ye fully persuaded
concerning the birth and the passion and the
resurrection, which took place in the time of the
governorship of Pontius Pilate; for these things were
truly and certainly done by Jesus Christ our hope;
from which hope may it not befal any of you to be
turned aside.

12:1 Let me have joy of you in all things, if I be
worthy. For even though I am in bonds, yet am I not
comparable to one of you who are at liberty. I know
that ye are not puffed up; for ye have Jesus Christ in
yourselves. And, when I praise you, I know that ye
only feel the more shame; as it is written _The
righteous man is a self-accuser._

13:1 Do your diligence therefore that ye be
confirmed in the ordinances of the Lord and of the
Apostles, that ye may _prosper in all things
whatsoever ye do_ in flesh and spirit, by faith and by
love, in the Son and Father and in the Spirit, in the
beginning and in the end, with your revered bishop,
and with the fitly wreathed spiritual circlet of your
presbytery, and with the deacons who walk after God.
13:2 Be obedient to the bishop and to one another,
as Jesus Christ was to the Father [according to the
flesh], and as the Apostles were to Christ and to the
Father, that there may be union both of flesh and of

14:1 Knowing that ye are full of God, I have
exhorted you briefly. Remember me in your prayers,
that I may attain unto God; and remember also the
church which is in Syria, whereof I am not worthy to
be called a member. For I have need of your united
prayer and love in God, that it may be granted to the
church which is in Syria to be refreshed by the dew of
your fervent supplication.

15:1 The Ephesians from Smyrna salute you, from
whence also I write to you. They are here with me for
the glory of God, as also are ye; and they have
comforted me in all things, together with Polycarp
bishop of the Smyrnaeans. Yea, and all the other
churches salute you in the honour of Jesus Christ.
Fare ye well in godly concord, and possess ye a
stedfast spirit, which is Jesus Christ.

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