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    There are two epistles and several other productions attributed to Clement of Rome, but as the first epistle is the only one that is by anyone regarded as genuine, it is the only one that we need to notice. This epistle opens thus: “The church of God which sojourns at Rome, to the church of God sojourning at Corinth.” This is the only signature it has; but in the catalogue of contents prefixed to the manuscript, the authorship is attributed to one Clement. All that is known of him is that he is supposed to have been the one whom the Catholics claim as the third (by some the fifth) pope of Rome. It is therefore supposed that this epistle was written about the close of the first century of the Christian era. Following is what Mosheim has to say of this matter:—
    “Next after the apostles, Clement, the bishop of Rome, obtained very high reputation as one of the writers of this century. The accounts we have at this day of his life, actions, and death, are, for the most part, uncertain. There are still extant, two epistles to the Corinthians bearing his name, written in Greek; of these, it is generally supposed that the first is genuine, and that the second is falsely palmed upon the holy man by some deceiver. Yet even the first epistle seems to have been corrupted by some indiscreet person, who was sorry to see no more marks of erudition and genius in a production of so great a man.
    FACC 93.1

    “The other works which bear the name of Clement, namely, the ‘Apostolic Canons,’ the ‘Apostolic Constitutions,’ the ‘Recognitions of Clement,’ and the ‘Clementina,’ were fraudulently ascribed to this eminent Father, by some deceiver, for the purpose of procuring them greater authority. This, all now concede.... The eight books of ‘Apostolical Constitutions’ are the work of some austere and melancholy author, who designed to reform the worship and discipline of the church, which he thought were fallen from their original purity and sanctity, and who ventured to prefix the names of the apostles to his precepts and regulations, in order to give them currency. The ‘Recognitions of Clement,’ which differ but little from the ‘Clementina,’ are ingenious and pretty fables.”—Ecclesiastical History, book 1, cent. 1, part 2, chap. 2, sec. 18, 19.FACC 93.2

    Neander says:—
    “After Barnabas, we come to Clement, perhaps the same whom Paul mentions (Philippians 4:3); he was at the end of the first century bishop of Rome. Under his name we have one epistle to the church of Corinth, and the fragment of another. The first was read in the first centuries aloud at divine service in many churches, even with the writings of the New Testament; it contains an exhortation to unity, interwoven with examples and general reflections, addressed to the church at Corinth, which was shaken by divisions. This letter, although, on the whole, genuine, is, nevertheless, not free from important interpolations.”—P. 408.
    FACC 94.1

    The object in making this quotation is to show how highly the epistle was regarded. There is really nothing striking in the epistle; but when men depart from the light of God’s word, they are in a condition to accept of the most puerile stuff. We make only one extract from this epistle, namely, Clement’s proof of the resurrection:—
    “Let us consider, beloved, how the Lord continually proves to us that there shall be a future resurrection, of which he has rendered the Lord Jesus Christ the first-fruits by raising him from the dead. Let us contemplate, beloved, the resurrection which is at all times taking place. Day and night declare to us a resurrection. The night sinks to sleep, and the day arises; the day (again) departs, and the night comes on. Let us behold the fruits (of the earth), how the sowing of grain takes place. The sower goes forth, and casts it into the ground; and the seed being thus scattered, though dry and naked when it fell upon the earth, is gradually dissolved. Then out of its dissolution the mighty power of the providence of the Lord raises it up again, and from one seed many arise and bring forth fruit.
    FACC 94.2

    “Let us consider that wonderful sign (of the resurrection) which takes place in Eastern lands, that is, in Arabia and the countries round about. There is a certain bird which is called a phoenix. This is the only one of its kind, and lives five hundred years. And when the time of its dissolution draws near that it must die, it builds itself a nest of frankincense, and myrrh, and other spices, into which, when the time is fulfilled, it enters and dies. But as the flesh decays, a certain kind of worm is produced, which, being nourished by the juices of the dead bird, brings forth feathers. Then, when it has acquired strength, it takes up that nest in which are the bones of its parent, and bearing these it passes from the land of Arabia into Egypt, to the city called Heliopolis. And, in open day, flying in the sight of all men, it places them on the altar of the sun, and having done this, hastens back to its former abode. The priests then inspect the registers of the dates, and find that it has returned exactly as the five hundredth year was completed.FACC 95.1

    “Do we then deem it any great and wonderful thing for the Maker of all things to raise up again those that have piously served him in the assurance of a good faith, when even by a bird he shows us the mightiness of his power to fulfill his promise?”—Epistle 1, chap. 24, 25, and 26.FACC 95.2

    Every Bible student knows that both the Old Testament and also the New, abound in references to the resurrection. With the apostle Paul, especially, it is a prominent theme. Now we ask if it is at all probable that any man who was familiar with the Bible would pass by its wealth of testimony on the subject of the resurrection, and produce as proof of it only a ridiculous fable? Whether this epistle was written by Clement, or by somebody who lived later and who forged his name, one thing is certain, and that is, that as a book of Christian doctrine it is not worth the paper on which it is written. We are totally at a loss to understand the reverence with which so many people regard this stuff. But we would especially ask the reader to form in his mind a picture of the condition of churches that took it down week after week as inspired teaching. The inevitable result of feeding upon such vapid stuff, must have been mental degeneration, and an inability to distinguish real argument from fancy.FACC 95.3

    Before we make any statements or quotations concerning Ignatius or the epistles ascribed to him, we will give the only passage in the epistles which is supposed to teach the observance of Sunday. It is the ninth chapter of the epistle to the Magnesians, and, as translated, reads as follows:—
    “If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s day, on which also our life has sprung up again by him and by his death—whom some deny, by which mystery we have obtained faith, and therefore endure, that we may be found the disciples of Jesus Christ, our only Master—how shall we be able to live apart from him, whose disciples the prophets themselves in the Spirit did wait for him as their teacher? And therefore he whom they rightly waited for, being come, raised them from the dead.”
    FACC 97.1

    The writer of the article, “The Lord’s Day,” in Kitto’s “Encyclopedia of Religious Literature,” after mentioning several alleged testimonies in favor of Sunday, says:—
    “We must here notice one other passage of earlier date than any of these, which has often been referred to as bearing on the subject of the Lord’s day, though it certainly contains no mention of it. It occurs in the epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians (about A. D. 100). The whole passage is confessedly obscure, and the text may be corrupt.... The passage is as follows:—Xi oun oi en palaioiz pragmaoin anaotraphentez, eiz chainotmta elpidoz mlphon mecheti rabbatizontez, alla chata choriechen zoen zontez (en e chai e zoe emon aneteilen di autou chai too Thanatoo), etc.
    FACC 97.2

    “Now many commentators assume (on what ground does not appear) that after choriechen the word emeran is to be understood. On this hypothesis they endeavor to make the rest of the sentence accord with a reference to the observance of the Lord’s day, by further supposing en e to refer to emera understood, and the whole to be put in contrast with rubbatizontez in the former clause.”FACC 98.1

    “Let us now look at the passage simply as it stands. The defect of the sentence is the want of a substantive to which autam can refer. This defect, so far from being remedied, is rendered still more glaring by the introduction of emera. Now if we take churieche zoe as simply ‘the life of the Lord,’ having a more personal meaning, it certainly goes nearer to supplying the substantive to autou. Again, en e may well refer to zoe, and churieche zoe meaning our Lord’s life, as emphatically including his resurrection (as in Romans 5:10, etc.), presents precisely the same analogy to the spiritual life of the Christian as is conveyed both in Romans 5, Colossians 3:3, 4, and many other passages. Thus upon the whole the meaning might be given thus:—
    “‘If those who lived under the old dispensation have come to the newness of hope, no longer keeping sabbaths, but living according to our Lord’s life (in which, as it were, our life has risen again, through him, and his death which some deny), ...how shall we be able to live without him?’ ...
    FACC 98.2

    “In this way (allowing for the involved style of the whole) the meaning seems to us simple, consistent, and grammatical, without any gratuitous introduction of words understood; and this view has been followed by many, though it is a subject on which considerable controversy has existed. On this view the passage does not refer at all to the Lord’s day; but even on the opposite supposition it cannot be regarded as affording any positive evidence to the early use of the term ‘Lord’s day’ (for which it is often cited), since the material word emera is purely conjectural.”—Encyclopedia of Biblical Literature, art. Lord’s Day.FACC 98.3

    Thus we have the testimony of an unprejudiced witness, a scholar and critic, and an observer of the first day of the week, to the effect that the oft-quoted passage from Ignatius makes no reference whatever to the first day of the week, sometimes erroneously called “Lord’s day.” But whether it does or not is a matter of very little importance, as we shall see when we have examined all the witnesses in the case. We have given this extract that the reader may see that, however the epistle be regarded, it affords no aid or comfort to the adherents of Sunday, since it makes no allusion whatever to the day. But the candid man who knows the truth about the writings of Ignatius would not consider the Sunday cause strengthened in the least, even if they contained the most explicit and unequivocal reference to it. We shall now proceed to learn what we can of Ignatius and his epistles.FACC 99.1

    The “Encyclopedia Britannica” says:—
    “The information we get in regard to Ignatius, up to the time of Eusebius, is exceedingly scanty.”
    FACC 99.2

    “McClintock and Strong’s Encyclopedia” says:—
    “We have no trustworthy accounts of the life and ministry of Ignatius. The chief authority is the ‘Martyrium Ignatii,’ but even those who assert the genuineness of that work admit that it is greatly interpolated.”
    FACC 99.3

    Uhlhorn, in the “Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia,” says:— “The only sources from which any information can be drawn about this celebrated person are the epistles circulating under his name. Eusebius knows nothing more of him than what can be extracted from the epistles, with the exception of a few short notices by Irenaeus and by Origen, which he also knows. But the list which he gives of the bishops of Antioch is doubtful with respect to its chronology.... What tradition else has preserved concerning Ignatius—the story that he was the child spoken of in Matthew 18:5, and other fictions by Simeon Metaphrastes and Vincentius—is completely worthless. Nor are the various ‘Aeta Martyrii’ of any historical value. We have two which are completely independent of each other.... But all these ‘Aeta Martyrii’ are spurious; they contradict the epistles; they swarm with unhistorical statements; they were not known to any old writer, not even to Eusebius; they date, probably, from the fifth century. Thus the epistles are the only source of information left to us. They claim to have been written by Ignatius, on his journey from Antioch (where he had been condemned to death) to Rome, where he was to suffer the punishment of being torn to pieces by wild beasts.”FACC 99.4

    And the “Encyclopedia Britannica” says still further:—
    “The letters of Ignatius cause great difficulty to the critic.”
    FACC 100.1

    From the above, then, it would seem as if not very much would be known with certainty, since we get all our information from the epistles, and the epistles themselves are of somewhat doubtful authority. But let us hear more concerning them. In the introductory notice to the epistles, we find the following statements by the translator:—
    “There are, in all, fifteen epistles which bear the name of Ignatius. These are the following: One to the virgin Mary, two to the apostle John, one to Mary of Cassobelae, one to the Tarsians, one to the Antiochians, one to Hero, a deacon of Antioch, one to the Philippians, one to the Ephesians, one to the Magnesians, one to the Trallians, one to the Romans, one to the Philadelphians, one to the Smyrnaeans, and one to Polycarp. The first three exist only in Latin; all the rest are extant also in Greek.
    FACC 100.2

    “It is now the universal opinion of critics, that the first eight of these professedly Ignatian letters are spurious. They bear in themselves indubitable proofs of being the production of a later age than that in which Ignatius lived. Neither Eusebius nor Jerome makes the least reference to them; and they are now by common consent set aside as forgeries, which were at various dates, and to serve special purposes, put forth under the name of the celebrated bishop of Antioch.FACC 101.1

    “But after the question has been thus simplified, it still remains sufficiently complex. Of the seven epistles which are acknowledged by Eusebius (Hist. Ecclesiastes), we possess two Greek recensions, a shorter and a longer. It is plain that one or the other of these exhibits a corrupt text, and scholars have for the most part agreed to accept the shorter form as representing the genuine letters of Ignatius.”FACC 101.2

    “But although the shorter form of the Ignatian letters had been generally accepted in preference to the longer, there was still a pretty prevalent opinion among scholars, that even it could not be regarded as absolutely free from interpolations, or as of undoubted authenticity. Thus said Lardner, in his ‘Credibility of the Gospel History’ (1743): ‘I have carefully compared the two editions, and am very well satisfied, upon that comparison, that the larger are an interpolation of the smaller, and not the smaller an epitome or abridgment of the larger.... But whether the smaller themselves are the genuine writings of Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, is a question that has been much disputed, and has employed the pens of the ablest critics. And whatever positiveness some may have shown on either side, I must own I have found it a very difficult question.’”FACC 101.3

    Dr. Killen thus briefly and clearly sets forth the history of the Ignatian epistles:—
    “The history of the Ignatian epistles may well remind us of the story of the Sibylline books. A female in strange attire is said to have appeared before Tarquin of Rome, offering to sell nine manuscripts which she had in her possession; but the king, discouraged by the price, declined the application. The woman withdrew; destroyed the one-third of her literary treasures; and, returning again into the royal presence, demanded the same price for what were left. The monarch once more refused to come up to her terms; and the mysterious visitor retired again, and burnt the one-half of her remaining store. Her extraordinary conduct excited much astonishment; and, on consulting with his augurs, Tarquin was informed that the documents which she had at her disposal were most valuable, and that he should by all means endeavor to secure such a prize. The king now willingly paid for the three books, not yet committed to the flames, the full price originally demanded for all the manuscripts. The Ignatian epistles have experienced something like the fate of those Sibylline oracles. In the sixteenth century, fifteen letters were brought out from beneath the mantle of a hoary antiquity, and offered to the world as the productions of the pastor of Antioch. Scholars refused to receive them on the terms required, and forthwith eight of them were admitted to be forgeries. In the seventeenth century, the seven remaining letters, in a somewhat altered form, again came forth from obscurity, and claimed to be the works of Ignatius. Again, discerning critics refused to acknowledge their pretensions; but curiosity was roused by this second apparition, and many expressed an earnest desire to obtain a sight of the real epistles. Greece, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt were ransacked in search of them, and at length three letters are found. The discovery creates general gratulation; it is confessed that four of the epistles, so lately asserted to be genuine, are apocryphal; and it is boldly said that the three now forthcoming are above challenge. But truth still refuses to be compromised, and sternly disowns these claimants for her approbation. The internal evidence of these three epistles abundantly attests that, like the last three books of the Sibyl, they are only the last shifts of a grave imposture.
    FACC 102.1

    “The candid investigator, who compares the Curetonian version of the letters with that previously in circulation, must acknowledge that Ignatius, in his new dress, has lost nothing of his absurdity and extravagance. The passages of the epistles, which were formerly felt to be so objectionable, are yet to be found here in all their unmitigated folly. Ignatius is still the same anti-evangelical formalist, the same puerile boaster, the same dreaming mystic, and the same crazy fanatic. These are weighty charges, and yet they can be substantiated.”—Ancient Church, period 2, sec. 2, chap. 3, paragraphs 1, 2.FACC 103.1

    Some may shake their heads at this last paragraph, and say that they cannot believe that Ignatius was such a man; they have the idea firmly fixed in their minds that Ignatius was a wise bishop and a holy man, and they cannot give it up. Nor need they. Dr. Killen makes no charge against Ignatius himself, but against the Ignatius who is made to appear in the epistles which are ascribed to him.FACC 103.2

    Let us get this matter clearly in our minds. But little is known of Ignatius except what is learned from these epistles, and it is charged that these epistles are spurious. How, then, it may be asked, do we know that such a person existed? 1. There is slight reference made to him in one or two other documents. 2. If there had not been such a person, it is not probable that letters would have been put forth bearing his name. The Catholic Church has never hesitated to manufacture history or doctrine when it could not find what it wanted already written. These documents have always been given the name of some person of good repute, and they served the purpose of the church as well as if they were genuine. Now when we remember that this same “mystery of iniquity” was working even as far back as the days of Paul, we need not be surprised that, less than a century later, writings already in existence were garbled, and that designing persons wrote epistles and signed the names of eminent men to them, in order to give them currency.FACC 103.3

    Indeed, we find that this very thing was done in the days of Paul, and that his own name was used to give currency to false doctrine. In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 we read his own words: “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed,” etc.FACC 104.1

    Here we find that the Thessalonians had received letters purporting to come from Paul, which declared that the coming of Christ was imminent. This was contrary to his first epistle, and he himself, after telling what should take place before the coming of the Lord, says: “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” 2 Thessalonians 2:5. Yet, notwithstanding the instruction which Paul had given them, these letters came so seemingly direct from Paul, that the Thessalonians were greatly disturbed. Paul cautions them against being deceived, and in closing this epistle, he gives them to understand how they may know that an epistle purporting to come from him is genuine. When he comes to the close, he says: “The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle; so I write: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” 2 Thessalonians 3:17, 18. From this we learn that although Paul usually (probably always, with the exception of the epistle to the Galatians, see Galatians 6:11) employed an amanuensis, he always wrote the benediction and signed his name with his own hand, so that none need be deceived. Any letter bearing a signature other than his might be known to be spurious.FACC 104.2

    Therefore while we may believe that such a man as Ignatius lived, and that he suffered martyrdom for his faith, we need not believe that he wrote the egotistical trash that is attributed to him. Indeed, we cannot believe that he wrote it, if we regard him as a holy man.FACC 105.1

    We now proceed with the testimony. In the preface to his “Ancient Church,” Dr. Killen says of the Ignatian epistles:—
    “If we accredit these documents, the history of the early church is thrown into a state of hopeless confusion; and men, taught and honored by the apostles themselves, must have inculcated the most dangerous errors. But if their claims vanish, when touched by the wand of truthful criticism, many clouds which have hitherto darkened the ecclesiastical atmosphere disappear; and the progress of corruption can be traced on scientific principles. The special attention of all interested in the Ignatian controversy is invited to the two chapters of this work in which the subject is investigated. Evidence is there produced to prove that these Ignatian letters, even as edited by the very learned and laborious Doctor Cureton, are utterly spurious, and that they should be swept away from among the genuine remains of early church literature with the besom of scorn.”
    FACC 105.2

    Mosheim says:—
    “There are extant several epistles with the name of Ignatius prefixed to them; but a question having been made as to their authenticity, a deal of learned and elaborate discussion has taken place on the subject amongst men of erudition, and the point has been contested by them with considerable vehemence; some asserting them to be spurious, others insisting on it that they are genuine. The most prevailing opinion appears to be that the seven which are reputed to have been written by him in the course of his journey to Rome, namely those respectively addressed to the Smyrnaeans, to Polycarp, to the Ephesians, to the Magnesians, to the Philadelphians, and to the Trallians, as they stand in the edition of them published in the seventeenth century, from a manuscript in the Medicean library at Florence, are unquestionably genuine, though there are not wanting those who, on account of its dissimilitude of style, consider the authenticity of the epistle to Polycarp as less to be depended on than that of the other six. As for the rest of these epistles, of which no mention whatever is made by any of the early Christian writers, they are commonly rejected as altogether spurious. The distinction thus generally recognized in favor of the above-mentioned particular letters is grounded on reasons of no little force and weight, but at the same time they are not of such a conclusive nature as to silence all objection; on the contrary, a regard for truth requires it to be acknowledged, that so considerable a degree of obscurity hangs over the question respecting the authenticity of not only a part, but the whole, of the epistles ascribed to Ignatius, as to render it altogether a case of much intricacy and doubt.”—Ecclesiastical Commentaries, cent. 1, sec. 52.
    FACC 106.1

    Neander says of the so-called “Epistles of Ignatius:” “Even the shorter and more trustworthy edition is very much interpolated.”FACC 107.1

    Dr. Schaff (History of the Christian Church, vol. 1, sec. 119) says:—
    “The doctrinal and churchly views of the Ignatian epistles are framed on a peculiar combination and somewhat materialistic apprehension of John’s doctrine of the incarnation, and Paul’s idea of the church as the body of Jesus Christ. In the ‘Catholic Church’—an expression introduced by him—that is, the Episcopal orthodox organization of his day, the author sees, as it were, the continuation of the mystery of the incarnation, on the reality of which he laid great emphasis against the docetists; and in every bishop, a visible representative of Christ, and a personal center of ecclesiastical unity, which he presses home upon his readers with the greatest solicitude and almost passionate zeal. He thus applies those ideas of the apostles directly to the outward constitution, and makes them subservient to the principle and institution of the growing hierarchy. Here lies the chief importance of these epistles; and in this respect we have found it necessary to distinguish them already in the section on the organization of the church.
    FACC 107.2

    “It is remarkable that the idea of the episcopal hierarchy should be first clearly and boldly brought out, not by the contemporary Roman bishop, Clement, but by a bishop of the Eastern church; though it was transplanted by him to the soil of Rome, and there sealed with his martyr blood. Equally noticeable is the circumstance, that these oldest documents of the hierarchy soon became so interpolated, curtailed, and mutilated by pious fraud, that it is to-day almost impossible to discover with certainty the genuine Ignatius of history under the hyper and pseudo-Ignatius of tradition.”FACC 107.3

    And Dr. Killen closes up his remarks on this subject as follows:— “It is no mean proof of the sagacity of the great Calvin, that, upwards of three hundred years ago, he passed a sweeping sentence of condemnation on these Ignatian epistles. At the time, many were startled by the boldness of his language, and it was thought that he was somewhat precipitate in pronouncing such a decisive judgment. But he saw distinctly, and he therefore spoke fearlessly. There is a far more intimate connection than many are disposed to believe between sound theology and sound criticism, for a right knowledge of the word of God strengthens the intellectual vision, and assists in the detection of error wherever it may reveal itself.... Calvin knew that an apostolic man must have been acquainted with apostolic doctrine, and he saw that these letters must have been the productions of an age when the pure light of Christianity was greatly obscured. Hence he denounced them so emphatically; and time has verified his deliverance. His language respecting them has been often quoted, but we feel we cannot more appropriately close our observations on this subject than by another repetition of it. ‘There is nothing more abominable than that trash which is in circulation under the name of Ignatius.’”—Ancient Church, period 2, sec. 2, chap. 3, paragraph 12.FACC 107.4

    After these strong statements, the reader will doubtless have some curiosity to read a little of this “trash.” Accordingly, we give a few extracts from it. In the epistle to the Ephesians, chapter 1, we find the following:—
    “On hearing that I came bound from Syria for the common name and hope, trusting through your prayers to be permitted to fight with beasts at Rome, that so by martyrdom I may indeed become the disciple of him ‘who gave himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God’ (ye hastened to see me).”
    FACC 108.1

    The writer seems to have an idea that only by martyrdom could he be a true disciple of the Lord, and he manifests an unseemly haste for it, which we are sure would not be the case with a holy man who was really expecting martyrdom. On this point we quote again:—“For it is not my desire to act towards you as a manpleaser, but as pleasing God, even as also ye please him. For neither shall I ever have such (another) opportunity of attaining to God; nor will ye, if ye shall now be silent, ever be entitled to the honor of a better work. For if ye are silent concerning me, I shall become God’s; but if you show your love to my flesh, I shall again have to run my race. Pray, then, do not seek to confer any greater favor upon me than that I be sacrificed to God while the alter is still prepared; that, being gathered together in love, ye may sing praise to the Father, through Christ Jesus, that God has deemed me, the bishop of Syria, worthy to be sent for from the East unto the West. It is good to set from the world unto God, that I may rise again to him.”—Epistle to the Romans, chap. 2.FACC 108.2

    In the following paragraphs he again expresses his ardent desire to be eaten up:—
    “I write to the churches, and impress on them all, that I shall willingly die for God, unless ye hinder me. I beseech of you not to show an unseasonable good-will toward me. Suffer me to become food for the wild beasts, through whose instrumentality it will be granted me to attain to God. I am the wheat of God, and let me be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of Christ. Rather entice the wild beasts, that they may become my tomb, and may leave nothing of my body; so that when I have fallen asleep (in death), I may be no trouble to anyone. Then shall I truly be a disciple of Christ, when the world shall not see so much as my body. Entreat Christ for me, that by these instruments I may be found a sacrifice (to God).”
    FACC 109.1

    “May I enjoy the wild beasts that are prepared for me; and I pray they may be found eager to rush upon me, which also I will entice to devour me speedily, and not deal with me as with some, whom, out of fear, they have not touched. But if they be unwilling to assail me, I will compel them to do so. Pardon me (in this): I know what is for my benefit. Now I begin to be a disciple.”—Epistle to the Romans, chap. 4, 5.FACC 110.1

    There are many passages similar to the above. They prove, what we shall later on find from the most unexceptionable testimony is the case, that the idea very early began to prevail that a martyr was more sure of gaining Heaven than one who simply lived a good life, and died a natural death. The idea was that whatever sins the individual had upon him were washed away by the shedding of his own blood. As a consequence many fanatical people eagerly sought martyrdom, and it came to be considered as almost a mortal sin to flee in time of persecution. The idea that the martyrs were cleansed from sin by their own blood finds its modern counterpart in the famous “blood atonement” among the Mormons. It is unnecessary to do more than remind the reader of the limited views of the atonement of Christ, which must have been held by such people.FACC 110.2

    That the “Epistles of Ignatius” were written by someone who was anxious that the bishops should have a chance to lord it over God’s heritage, is evident from the following extracts:—
    “Wherefore it is fitting that ye should run together in accordance with the will of your bishop, which things also ye do.”
    FACC 110.3

    “Let us be careful, then, not to set ourselves in opposition to the bishop, in order that we may be subject to God.”FACC 110.4

    “It is manifest, therefore, that we should look upon the bishop even as we would upon the Lord himself.”—Epistle to the Ephesians, chap. 4, 5, 6.FACC 111.1

    “It is well to reverence both God and the bishop. He who honors the bishop has been honored of God; he who does anything without the knowledge of the bishop, does (in reality) serve the devil.”—Epistle to the Smyrnaeans, chap. 9.FACC 111.2

    “But it becomes both men and women who marry, to form their union with the approval of the bishop, that their marriage may be according to God, and not after their own lust.”FACC 111.3

    “Give ye heed to the bishop, that God also may give heed to you. My soul be for theirs that are submissive to the bishop, to the presbyters, and to the deacons, and may my portion be along with them in God!”—Epistle to Polycarp, chap. 5, 6.FACC 111.4

    The following “great mystery” which this pseudo-Ignatius reveals, shows that the writer was a fit companion for Hermas and the pseudo-Barnabas:—
    “Now the virginity of Mary was hidden from the prince of this world, as was also her offspring, and the death of the Lord; three mysteries of renown, which were wrought in silence by God. How, then, was he manifested to the world? A star shone forth in heaven above all the other stars, the light of which was inexpressible, while its novelty struck men with astonishment. And all the rest of the stars, with the sun and moon, formed a chorus to this star, and its light was exceedingly great above them all. And there was agitation felt as to whence this new spectacle came, so unlike to everything else (in the heavens). Hence every kind of magic was destroyed, and every bond of wickedness disappeared; ignorance was removed, and the old kingdom abolished, God himself being manifested in human form for the renewal of eternal life. And now that took a beginning which had been prepared by God. Henceforth all things were in a state of tumult, because he meditated the abolition of death.”—Epistle to the Ephesians, chap. 1:9.
    FACC 111.5

    And, lastly, we quote the following jargon as evidence of the senseless egotism of the one who wrote this “trash:”—FACC 112.1

    “Am I not able to write to you of heavenly things? But I fear to do so, lest I should inflict injury on you who are but babes (in Christ). Pardon me in this respect, lest, as not being able to receive (such doctrines), ye should be strangled by them. For even I, though I am bound (for Christ), yet am not on that account able to understand heavenly things, and the places of the angles, and their gatherings under their respective princes, things visible and invisible. Without reference to such abstruse subjects, I am still but a learner (in other respects); for many things are wanting to us, that we come not short of God.”—Epistle to the Trallians, chap 5.FACC 112.2

    If this were the age when insane persons were regarded as sacred beings, and as being possessed of divine inspiration, we should not wonder at the great esteem with which this stuff is held by many people; but as it is, there is a mystery about it. When people who have access to the works of the world’s master-minds, to say nothing of the sublime truths of the Bible, spend their precious time studying the writings of the so-called Fathers, it seems as though they must be possessed of something akin to that mental and moral depravity which leads the school-boy to devour the dime novel.FACC 112.3

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