Thursday Patristics.

Plausible and strange doctrines are still with us, as are those who boast of their virtue, or want to climb from status to status by advantageous trading up of marriages. It is interesting that Polycarp says we should meet more frequently.

Perhaps it is because of the pagans among which we live, who are driven by power, by their bodily desires, and by the need for a virtuous reputation.

When we should be driven to give God the Glory.

Let not those that seem to be plausible and yet teach strange doctrine dismay thee. Stand thou firm, as an anvil when it is smitten. It is the part of a great athlete to receive blows and be victorious. But especially must we for God’s sake endure all things, that He also may endure us.

Be thou more diligent than thou art. Mark the seasons. Await Him that is above every season, the Eternal, the Invisible, who became visible for our sake, the Impalpable, the Impassible, who suffered for our sake, who endured in all ways for our sake.

Let not widows be neglected. After the Lord be thou their protector. Let nothing be done without thy consent; neither do thou anything without the consent of God, as indeed thou doest not. Be stedfast.

Let meetings be held more frequently. Seek out all men by name.

Despise not slaves, whether men or women. Yet let not these again be puffed up, but let them serve the more faithfully to the glory of God, that they may obtain a better freedom from God. Let them not desire to be set free at the public cost, lest they be found slaves of lust.

Flee evil arts, or rather hold thou discourse about these. Tell my sisters to love the Lord and to be content with their husbands in flesh and in spirit. In like manner also charge my brothers in the name of Jesus Christ to love their wives, _as the Lord loved the Church._

If any one is able to abide in chastity to the honour of the flesh of the Lord, let him so abide without boasting. If he boast, he is lost; and if it be known beyond the bishop, he is polluted. It becometh men and women too, when they marry, to unite themselves with the consent of the bishop, that the marriage may be after the Lord and not after concupiscence. Let all
things be done to the honour of God.

Ignatius to Polycarp, Lightfoot transl.