ST  IGNATIUS to the Romans


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




 0:0  Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her that

hath found mercy in the bountifulness of the Father

Most High and of Jesus Christ His only Son; to the

church that is beloved and enlightened through the

will of Him who willed all things that are, by faith

and love towards Jesus Christ our God; even unto her

that hath the presidency in the country of the region

of the Romans, being worthy of God, worthy of honour,

worthy of felicitation, worthy of praise, worthy of

success, worthy in purity, and having the presidency

of love, walking in the law of Christ and bearing the

Father's name; which church also I salute in the name

of Jesus Christ the Son of the Father; unto them that

in flesh and spirit are united unto His every

commandment, being filled with the grace of God

without wavering, and filtered clear from every

foreign stain; abundant greeting in Jesus Christ our

God in blamelessness.



 1:1  Forasmuch as in answer to my prayer to God it

hath been granted me to see your godly countenances,

so that I have obtained even more than I asked; for

wearing bonds in Christ Jesus I hope to salute you, if

it be the Divine will that I should be counted worthy

to reach unto the end;

 1:2  for the beginning verily is well ordered, if so

be I shall attain unto the goal, that I may receive

mine inheritance without hinderance. For I dread your

very love, lest it do me an injury; for it is easy for

you to do what ye will, but for me it is difficult to

attain unto God, unless ye shall spare me.



 2:1  For I would not have you to be men-pleasers but

to please God, as indeed ye do please Him. For neither

shall I myself ever find an opportunity such as this

to attain unto God, nor can ye, if ye be silent, win

the credit of any nobler work. For, if ye be silent

and leave me alone, I am a word of God; but if ye

desire my flesh, then shall I be again a mere cry.

 2:2  [Nay] grant me nothing more than that I be

poured out a libation to God, while there is still an

altar ready; that forming yourselves into a chorus in

love ye may sing to the Father in Jesus Christ, for

that God hath vouchsafed that the bishop from Syria

should be found in the West, having summoned him from

the East. It is good to set from the world unto God,

that I may rise unto Him.



 3:1  Ye never grudged any one; ye were the

instructors of others. And my desire is that those

lessons shall hold good which as teachers ye enjoin.

 3:2  Only pray that I may have power within and

without, so that I may not only say it but also desire

it; that I may not only be called a Christian, but

also be found one. For if I shall be found so, then

can I also be called one, and be faithful then, when I

am no more visible to the world.

 3:3  Nothing visible is good. For our God Jesus

Christ, being in the Father, is the more plainly

visible. The Work is not of persuasiveness, but

Christianity is a thing of might, whensoever it is

hated by the world.



 4:1  I write to all the churches, and I bid all men

know, that of my own free will I die for God, unless

ye should hinder me. I exhort you, be ye not an

unseasonable kindness to me. Let me be given to the

wild beasts, for through them I can attain unto God. I

am God's wheat, and I am ground by the teeth of wild

beasts that I may be found pure bread [of Christ].

 4:2  Rather entice the wild beasts, that they may

become my sepulchre and may leave no part of my body

behind, so that I may not, when I am fallen asleep, be

burdensome to any one. Then shall I be truly a

disciple of Jesus Christ, when the world shall not so

much as see my body. Supplicate the Lord for me, that

through these instruments I may be found a sacrifice

to God.

 4:3  I do not enjoin you, as Peter and Paul did. They

were Apostles, I am a convict; they were free, but I

am a slave to this very hour. Yet if I shall suffer,

then am I a freed-man of Jesus Christ, and I shall

rise free in Him. Now I am learning in my bonds to put

away every desire.



 5:1  From Syria even unto Rome I fight with wild

beasts, by land and sea, by night and by day, being

bound amidst ten leopards, even a company of soldiers,

who only wax worse when they are kindly treated.

Howbeit through their wrong doings I become more

completely a disciple; _yet am I not hereby


 5:2  May I have joy of the beasts that have been

prepared for me; and I pray that I may find them

prompt; nay I will entice them that they may devour me

promptly, not as they have done to some, refusing to

touch them through fear. Yea though of themselves they

should not be willing while I am ready, I myself will

force them to it.

 5:3  Bear with me. I know what is expedient for me.

Now am I beginning to be a disciple. May nought of

things visible and things invisible envy me; that I

may attain unto Jesus Christ. Come fire and cross and

grapplings with wild beasts, [cuttings and manglings,]

wrenching of bones,         of limbs, crushings of my

whole body, come cruel tortures of the devil to assail

me. Only be it mine to attain unto Jesus Christ.



 6:1  The farthest bounds of the universe shall profit

me nothing, neither the kingdoms of this world. It is

good for me to die for Jesus Christ rather than to

reign over the farthest bounds of the earth. Him I

seek, who died on our behalf; Him I desire, who rose

again [for our sake]. The pangs of a new birth are

upon me.

 6:2  Bear with me, brethren. Do not hinder me from

living; do not desire my death. Bestow not on the

world one who desireth to be God's, neither allure him

with material things. Suffer me to receive the pure

light. When I am come thither, then shall I be a man.

 6:3  Permit me to be an imitator of the passion of my

God. If any man hath Him within himself, let him

understand what I desire, and let him have fellow-

feeling with me, for he knoweth the things which

straiten me.



 7:1  The prince of this world would fain tear me in

pieces and corrupt my mind to Godward. Let not any of

you therefore who are near abet him. Rather stand ye

on my side, that is on God's side. Speak not of Jesus

Christ and withal desire the world.

 7:2  Let not envy have a home in you. Even though I

myself, when I am with you, should beseech you, obey

me not; but rather give credence to these things which

I write to you. [For] I write to you in the midst of

life, yet lusting after death. My lust hath been

crucified, and there is no fire of material longing in

me, but only water living +and speaking+ in me, saying

within me, Come to the Father.

 7:3  I have no delight in the food of corruption or

in the delights of this life. I desire the bread of

God, which is the flesh of Christ who was of the seed

of David; and for a draught I desire His blood, which

is love incorruptible.



 8:1  I desire no longer to live after the manner of

men; and this shall be, if ye desire it. Desire ye,

that ye yourselves also may be desired.

 8:2  In a brief letter I beseech you; believe me. And

Jesus Christ shall make manifest unto you these

things, that I speak the truth -- Jesus Christ, the

unerring mouth in whom the Father hath spoken [truly].

 8:3  Entreat ye for me, that I may attain [through

the Holy Spirit]. I write not unto you after the

flesh, but after the mind of God. If I shall suffer,

it was your desire; if I shall be rejected, it was

your hatred.



 9:1 Remember in your prayers the church which is in

Syria, which hath God for its shepherd in my stead.

Jesus Christ alone shall be its bishop -- He and your


 9:2  But for myself I am ashamed to be called one of

them; for neither am I worthy, being the very last of

them and an untimely birth: but I have found mercy

that I should be some one, if so be I shall attain

unto God.

 9:3  My spirit saluteth you, and the love of the

churches which received me in the name of Jesus

Christ, not as a mere wayfarer: for even those

churches which did not lie on my route after the flesh

went before me from city to city.



 10:1  Now I write these things to you from Smyrna by

the hand of the Ephesians who are worthy of all

felicitation. And Crocus also, a name very dear to me,

is with me, with many others besides.

 10:2  As touching those who went before me from Syria

to Rome unto the glory of God, I believe that ye have

received instructions; whom also apprise that I am

near; for they all are worthy of God and of you, and

it becometh you to refresh them in all things.

 10:3  These things I write to you on the 9th before

the Kalends of September. Fare ye well unto the end in

the patient waiting for Jesus Christ.