Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Wisdom from the Cloud of Witnesses

I recently skimmed through an on-line collection of writings from the early church fathers. My reading skills have drastically declined since finishing graduate school; it took me quite a bit of effort to keep up with the bits I read. I’ve decided to give it up for now and hopefully return in the future. However, I will point out two gems I found.

First, the account of the martyrdom of Polycarp. Now, Polycarp was a true man – courageous and faithful. The account is a great read, and all the better for being true. Do I glory in the murder of a saint? No, I glory in his witness to his King, even unto death. I will glory in a man who, while being persuaded to renounce Christ to save his life, said:
“Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?”

There is more – go read for yourself.

Second, in the introduction to the writings of Ignatius, the editor pulled out a number of proverbs he wrote. Judge for yourselves if these are not good advice:
  • Find time to pray without ceasing.
  • Every wound is not healed with the same remedy.
  • Stand like a beaten anvil.
  • It is the part of a good athlete to be bruised and to prevail.
  • Slight not the menservants and the handmaids.
  • Let your stewardship define your work.

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