THE EPISTLE OF
IGNATIUS TO THE PHILADELPHIANS.
IGNATIUS, who is also called Theophorus, to the church of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, which is at Philadelphia in Asia; which has obtained mercy, being fixed in the concord of God, and rejoicing evermore in the passion of our Lord, and being fulfilled in all mercy through his resurrection: Which also I salute in the blood of Jesus Christ, which is our eternal and undefiled joy; especially if they are at unity with the bishop, and presbyters who are with him, and the deacons appointed according to the mind of Jesus Christ; whom he has settled according to his own will in all firmness by his Holy Spirit:
2 Which bishop I know obtained that great ministry among you, not of himself, neither by men, nor out of vain glory; but by the love of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Whose moderation I admire; who by his silence is able to do more than others with all their vain talk. For he is fitted to the commands, as the harp to its strings.
4 Wherefore my soul esteems his mind towards God most happy, knowing it to be fruitful in all virtue, and perfect; full of constancy, free from passion, and according to all the moderation of the living God.
5 Wherefore as becomes the children both of the light and of truth; flee divisions and false doctrines; but where your shepherd is, there do ye, as sheep, follow after.
6 For there are many wolves who seem worthy of belief, that with a false pleasure lead captive those that run in the course of God; but in the concord they shall find no place.
7 Abstain therefore from those evil herbs which Jesus Christ does not dress: because such are not the plantation of the Father. Not that I have found any division among you, but rather all manner of purity.
3 For as many as are of God, and of Jesus Christ, are also with their bishop. And as many as shall with repentance return into the unity of the church, even these shall also be the servants of God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ.
9 Be not deceived brethren; if any one follows him that makes a schism in the church, he shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If any one walks after any other opinion, he agrees not with the passion of Christ.
10 Wherefore let it be your endeavour to partake all of the same holy eucharist.
11 For there is but one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ; one cup in the unity of his blood; and one altar;
12 As also there is one bishop, together with his presbytery, and the deacons my fellow servants that so whatsoever ye do, ye may do it according to the will of God.
Desires their prayers, and to be united, but not to Judaize.
MY brethren, the love I have towards you makes me the more large; and having a great joy in you, I endeavour to secure