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Ignatius - Epistle to the Smyrnæans: Shorter and Longer Versions

Chapter VI—Unbelievers in the blood of Christ shall be condemned.

Chapter VI--Unbelievers in the blood of Christ shall be condemned.

Let no man deceive himself. Both the things which are in heaven, and the glorious angels, [1008] and rulers, both visible and invisible, if they believe not in the blood of Christ, shall, in consequence, incur condemnation. [1009] "He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." [1010] Let not [high] place puff any one up: for that which is worth all is [1011] faith and love, to which nothing is to be preferred. But consider those who are of a different opinion with respect to the grace of Christ which has come unto us, how opposed they are to the will of God. They have no regard for love; no care for the widow, or the orphan, or the oppressed; of the bond, or of the free; of the hungry, or of the thirsty.

Let no man deceive himself. Unless he believes that Christ Jesus has lived in the flesh, and shall confess His cross and passion, and the blood which He shed for the salvation of the world, he shall not obtain eternal life, whether he be a king, or a priest, or a ruler, or a private person, a master or a servant, a man or a woman. "He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." [1012] Let no man's place, or dignity, or riches, puff him up; and let no man's low condition or poverty abase him. For the chief points are faith towards God, hope towards Christ, the enjoyment of those good things for which we look, and love towards God and our neighbour. For, "Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbour as thyself." [1013] And the Lord says, "This is life eternal, to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent." [1014] And again, "A new commandment give I unto you, that ye love one another. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." [1015] Do ye, therefore, notice those who preach other doctrines, how they affirm that the Father of Christ cannot be known, and how they exhibit enmity and deceit in their dealings with one another. They have no regard for love; they despise the good things we expect hereafter; they regard present things as if they were durable; they ridicule him that is in affliction; they laugh at him that is in bonds.