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    by Published on 01-06-2012 12:07 AM
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    by Tertullian


    Learn, O you servants of God who are just now entering upon His service, and you who have already solemnly sworn allegiance to Him recall what principle of faith, what reason inherent in truth, what rule in our way of life forbid, along with the other errors of the world, also the pleasures of the spectacles, lest by ignorance or self-deception anyone fall into sin.

    For so strong is the appeal of pleasure that it can bring about a prolongation of ignorance with a resulting facility for sin, or a perversion of conscience leading to self-deception.

    In addition, some may perhaps be allured to either error by the opinions of the heathens who commonly use the following arguments against us in this matter: such comforting and merely external pleasures of the eyes and ears are not opposed to religion which is founded in man's mind and conscience; neither is God offended by a man's enjoying himself, nor is taking delight in such enjoyment in its proper time and place a sin as long as the fear of God and God's honor remain unimpaired.

    But this is precisely what we intend to prove: that these things are not compatible with true religion and true obedience to the true God.

    There are some who think that the Christians, a sort of people ever ready to die, are trained in that stubbornness of theirs that they more easily despise life, once its ties have been cut, as it were, and lose their craving for that which, as far as they themselves are concerned, they have already made empty of everything desirable; and thus it is considered a rule laid down by human design and forethought rather than by divine command.

    It would, indeed, be loathsome for people continuing in the enjoyment of such delightful pleasures to die for God. On the other hand, if what they say were true, stubbornness in a rule of life so strict as ours might well submit to a plan so apt.


    Moreover, there is no one of our adversaries who will not offer this excuse, too: that all things have been created by God and handed over to man--just as we Christians teach--and that they are undoubtedly good, as coming from a good Creator; and among them we must count all the various components that make up the spectacles, the horse, for instance, and the lion, the strength of body and the sweetness of voice. Accordingly, they say that a thing which exists by God's creation cannot be considered either foreign or opposed to God, nor must a thing which is not opposed to God, because it is not foreign to Him, be considered ...
    by Published on 01-06-2012 12:06 AM
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    by Tertullian


    Confess to the Lord my God that I certainly have courage, not to say presumption, to have dared to write on patience, a virtue which I am utterly unfit to practice, being, as I am, a man of no account. For, those who undertake to set forth and recommend any virtue should first give some evidence of practicing this virtue, and they should give proper direction to their constant admonition by the example of their own conduct, lest they be put to the blush at the discrepancy between their words and deeds.

    And would that the blushing brought an improvement, that the shame (we feel) at not doing what we have suggested to others would teach us to do it! But, of course, it is with certain virtues as with certain vices: their greatness is so overwhelming that only the grace of divine inspiration can help us to attain and practice them.

    For, that which is in the highest sense good belongs in the highest degree to God, and no one dispenses it save He who possesses it, to each one as He sees fit.

    It will be, then, a comfort to discuss that which it is not granted us to enjoy, somewhat in the manner of the sick, who, when deprived of health, cannot refrain from proclaiming its blessings.

    Thus, in my pitiable state, ever suffering from the fever of impatience, I must sigh after the health of patience which I do not possess, and I must beg and beseech it, remembering and reflecting, as I consider my weakness, that one does not easily attain the good health of faith and the soundness of the discipline of the Lord unless patience lends assistance thereto.

    Patience has been given such pre-eminence in matters pertaining to God that no one can fulfill any precept or perform any work pleasing to the Lord without patience.

    Even those who do not possess it pay recognition to its excellence by giving it the honorable title of 'the highest virtue.' In fact, ...
    by Published on 01-06-2012 12:04 AM  Number of Views: 2679 
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    It exists in three languages, and not, apparently, in a very original form in any of them: Greek is the original language, of which we have two manuscripts, at Vienna and Jerusalem; Latin 1, consisting of two leaves of extracts, of the ninth century; Latin 2, complete: see below; Slavonic (i-iv. 15). The Greek text may be as old as the fifth century; the Latin 2 of the sixth or seventh.

    In the Revue Biblique for 1913 the Latin fragments and a fresh Greek text were published by MM. Wilmart and Tisserant, with the variants of the other authorities and in 1921-2 yet another text, a complete Latin one, appeared in the same periodical, edited by Professor Moricca from a manuscript in the Casanatensian library at Rome in which the text is, in parts, tremendously expanded. This copy is of the eleventh century and came from the monastery of Monte Amiata. The Latin is exceedingly incorrect, and there are many corruptions, and interpolations which extend to whole pages of closely printed text. I cite it as Lat. 2.

    I take the Greek and Slavonic, where they exist, as the basis of my version, and add some passages from the Latin. The main topics, common to two or more of the texts, are:

    i. The descent into Hell: the number of souls saved and lost.

    ii. The Virgin's account of the Annunciation.

    iii. The apostles see the bottomless pit.

    iv. The devil is summoned and gives an account of his doings.

    v. Questions about the deadly sins. Commission of the apostles to preach. Departure of Christ. (This reads like a late addition.)

    by Published on 01-06-2012 12:02 AM
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    The Gospel of Phillip.

    A Hebrew makes another Hebrew, and such a person is called
    proselyte. But a proselyte does not make another proselyte. Some both exist just as they are and make others like themselves, while others simply exist. The slave seeks only to be free, but he does not hope to acquire the estate of his master. But the son is not only a son but lays claim to the inheritance of the father. Those who are heirs to the dead are themselves dead, and they inherit the dead. Those who are heirs to what is living are alive, and they are heirs to both what is living and the dead. The dead are heirs to nothing. For how can he who is dead inherit? If he who is dead inherits what is living he will not die, but he who is dead will live even more.

    A Gentile does not die, for he has never lived in order that he may die. He who has believed in the truth has found life, and this one is in danger of dying, for he is alive. Ever since Chirst came the world is created, the cities ...
    by Published on 01-05-2012 10:11 PM
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    Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians

    Longer And Shorter Versions

    From the 38 volume work: Early Church Fathers
    Ante-Nicene Fathers to A.D. 325, Vol. 1
    Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, editors.

    Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, which is at Philadelphia, in Asia, which has obtained mercy, and is established in the harmony of God, and rejoiceth unceasingly in the passion of our Lord, and is filled with all mercy through his resurrection; which I salute in ...
    by Published on 01-05-2012 10:08 PM
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    2. NT Apocrypha

    Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians

    Shorter And Longer Version

    From the 38 volume work: Early Church Fathers
    Ante-Nicene Fathers to A.D. 325, Vol. 1
    Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, editors.

    Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the holy Church which is at Tralles, in Asia, beloved of God, the Father of Jesus Christ, elect, and worthy of God, possessing peace through the flesh, and blood, and passion of Jesus Christ, who is our hope, through our rising again to Him, which also I salute in its fulness, and in the apostalical character, and wish abundance of happiness.

    Ignatius, who is ...
    by Published on 01-05-2012 09:29 PM
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    The Protevangelion


    In the history of the twelve tribes of Israel we read there was a certain person called Joachim, who being very rich, made double offerings to the Lord God, having made this resolution: "My substance shall be for the benefit of the whole people, and that I may find mercy from the Lord God for the forgiveness of my sins." 2 But at a certain great feast of the Lord, when the children of Israel offered their gifts, and Joachim also offered his, Reuben the high priest opposed him, saying, "It is not lawful for you to offer your gifts, seeing ...

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