Wednesday, March 4, 2015

ANF V: Cyprian Epistles LXXX-LXXXII

Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 5

Cyprian: Epistles LXXX-LXXXII

Epistle LXXX is yet another wonderful encouragement from Cyprian to the imprisoned brothers calling on them to remain faithful and remember that their suffering will be transformed into joy: "O blessed prison, which your presence has enlightened! O blessed prison, which sends the men of God to heaven!" We should remember that the world hates us because we know longer love it--this is what is taught in Scripture and what we see happen to believers there. Just as the faithful martyrs have gone before us, so we should be willing to endure for the glory prepared in heaven.

Epistle LXXXI warns that a new persecution is being undertaken, apparently because Roman nobility is beginning to convert in large numbers. Cyprian is looking into the matter, but the church needs to be ready.

Finally, in Epistle LXXXII, we get Cyprian's announcement of his coming retirement and his willingness to suffer martyrdom in the city where he for so long has served as pastor.

These letters are short and worth reading, so don't skip them!

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