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ANF01. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus
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Chapter VIII.—The same continued.

I therefore did what belonged to me, as a man devoted to945945    Literally, “prepared for.” unity. For where there is division and wrath, God doth not dwell. To all them that repent, the Lord grants forgiveness, if they turn in penitence to the unity of God, and to communion with the bishop.946946    Literally, “to the assembly of the bishop.” I trust [as to you] in the grace of Jesus Christ, who shall free you from every bond. And I exhort you to do nothing out of strife, but according to the doctrine of Christ. When I heard some saying, If I do not find it in the ancient947947    The meaning here is very doubtful. Some read ἐν τοῖς ἀρχαίοις, as translated above; others prefer ἐν τοῖς ἀρχείοις, as in the longer recension. Scriptures, I will not believe the Gospel; on my saying to them, It is written, they answered me, That remains to be proved. But to me Jesus Christ is in the place of all that is ancient: His cross, and death, and resurrection, and the faith948948    i.e., the system of Christian doctrine. which is by Him, are undefiled monuments of antiquity; by which I desire, through your prayers, to be justified.

I therefore did what belonged to me, as a man devoted to unity; adding this also, that where there is diversity of judgment, and wrath, and hatred, God does not dwell. To all them that repent, God grants forgiveness, if they with one consent return to the unity of Christ, and communion with the bishop.949949    Literally, “to the assembly of the bishop.” I trust to the grace of Jesus Christ, that He will free you from every bond of wickedness.950950    Comp. Isa. lviii. 6. I therefore exhort you that ye do nothing out of strife,951951    Phil. ii. 3. but according to the doctrine of Christ. For I have heard some saying, If I do not find the Gospel in the archives, I will not believe it. To such persons I say that my archives are Jesus Christ, to disobey whom is manifest destruction. My authentic archives are His cross, and death, and resurrection, and the faith which bears on these things, by which I desire, through your prayers, to be justified. He who disbelieves the Gospel disbelieves everything along with it. For the archives ought not to be preferred to the Spirit.952952    Or, “the archives of the Spirit are not exposed to all.” “It is hard to kick against the pricks;”953953    Acts xxvi. 14. it is hard to disbelieve Christ; it is hard to reject the preaching of the apostles.


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