Today’s installment concludes Early Christian Martyrs,
the name of our combined selection from Homersham Cox and Polycarp. The concluding installment, by Polycarp from Letter to the Phillipians, was published in 140.
If you have journeyed through all of the installments of this series, just one more to go and you will have completed a selection from the great works of five thousand words. Congratulations!
Previously in Early Christian Martyrs.
Place: Rome and Smyrna, Turkey
Wherefore I exhort all of you that ye obey the word of righteousness, and exercise all patience; which ye have seen set forth before our eyes, not only in the blessed Ignatius and Zosimus and Rufus, but in others among ourselves; and in Paul himself, and the rest of the apostles. Being confident of this, that all these have not run in vain, but in faith and righteousness, and are gone to the place that was due to them from the Lord, with whom they also suffered; for they loved not this present world, but him who died, and was raised again by God for us. Stand, therefore, in these things and follow the example of the Lord; being firm and immutable in the faith, lovers of the brotherhood, lovers of one another, companions together in the truth, being kind and gentle toward each other, despising none. When it is in your power to do good, defer it not, for charity delivered from death. Be all of you subject one to another, having your conversation honest among the Gentiles; that by your good works both ye yourselves may receive praise and the Lord may not be blasphemed through you. But woe be to him by whom the name of the Lord is blasphemed. Therefore teach all men sobriety; in which do ye also exercise yourselves.
I am greatly afflicted for Valens, who was once a presbyter among you; that he should so little understand the place that was given to him in the Church. Wherefore I admonish you that ye abstain from covetousness, and that ye be chaste, and true of speech. Keep yourselves from all evil; for he that in these things cannot govern himself, how shall he be able to prescribe them to another? If a man does not keep himself from covetousness he shall be polluted with idolatry and be judged as if he were a Gentile. But who of you are ignorant of the judgment of God? Do we not know that the saints shall judge the world, as Paul teaches? But I have neither perceived nor heard anything of this kind in you, among whom the blessed Paul labored, and who are named in the beginning of his epistle. For he glories of you in all the churches who then only knew God; for we did not then know him. Wherefore, my brethren, I am exceedingly sorry both for him and for his wife; to whom God grant a true repentance.
And be ye also moderate upon this occasion, and look not upon such as enemies, but call them back as suffering and erring members, that ye may save your whole body; for by so doing ye shall edify your own selves. For I trust that ye are well exercised in the Holy Scriptures, and that nothing is hid from you; but at present it is not granted unto me to practise that which is written, Be angry and sin not; and again, Let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Blessed be he that believeth and remembereth these things, which also I trust you do.
Now the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and he himself who is our everlasting high — priest, the Son of God, even Jesus Christ, build you up in faith and in truth and in all meekness and lenity; in patience and long — suffering, in forbearance and chastity. And grant unto you a lot and portion among his saints; and us with you, and to all that are under the heavens, who shall believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, and in his Father who raised him from the dead. Pray for all the saints; pray also for kings, and all that are in authority; and for those who persecute you, and hate you, and for the enemies of the cross; that your fruit may be manifest in all, and that ye may be perfect in Christ. Ye wrote to me, both ye and also Ignatius, that if anyone went from hence into Syria he should bring your letters with him, which also I will take care of, as soon as I shall have a convenient opportunity, either by myself or him whom I shall send upon your account. The Epistles of Ignatius, which he wrote unto us, together with what others of his have come to our hands, we have sent to you, according to your order, which are subjoined to this epistle. By which we may be greatly profited; for they treat of faith and patience, and of all things that pertain to edification in the Lord Jesus. What you know certainly of Ignatius and those that are with him signify to us.
These things have I written unto you by Crescens, whom by this present epistle I have recommended to you, and do now again commend. For he has had his conversation without blame among us, and I suppose also with you. Ye will also have regard unto his sister when she shall come unto you. Be ye safe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in favor with all yours. Amen.
This ends our selections on Early Christian Martyrs by two of the most important authorities of this topic:
This blog features short and lengthy pieces on all aspects of our shared past. Here are selections from the great historians who may be forgotten (and whose work have fallen into public domain) as well as links to the most up-to-date developments in the field of history and of course, original material from yours truly, Jack Le Moine. – A little bit of everything historical is here.
We want to take this site to the next level but we need money to do that. Please contribute directly by signing up at https://www.patreon.com/history