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[ANTIOCH in its present state is in all respects a poor and degraded place. In ancient times, it was the seat of the Syrian Government, both under the Macedonians and the Romans, and was long esteemed one of the most powerful cities of the East. In the time of our Lord it was supposed to be the third city of the Roman provinces. Subsequently, it came under the yoke of various conquerors; and, at last, in the thirteenth century, it was subjected to the dominion of the Turks. Besides the ravages of war, Antioch has suffered, in common with many other eastern cities, by earthquakes; the latest-a very terrible one-was in 1822 which threw down numerous houses, walls, and mosques, and filled the streets with ruins. But few remains of the ancient grandeur of the city are to be found. The ruins of a castle, however, still remain; and on one side of the hill, the walls may also be seen, which are strong and well built, with square towers at intervals. The population is supposed to be about four thousand. The few Christians who remain, it is said, worship in a cave in the side of a hill, a little way from the town, where the priests administer the Eucharist, and chant the service according to the ritual of the Greek Church. Such, alas, is the now fallen state of Antiochonce the city of the holy Ignatius !]


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14INDING nothing recorded concerning the country or parentage F of this holy man, I shall not build upon mere fancy and conjecture. He is ordinarily styled, both by himself and others, Theophorus; which, though, like Justus, it be oft no more than a common epithet, yet is it sometimes used as a proper name. It is written in two ways, according to the different nations: in the one it denotes a divine person, a man whose soul is full of God, and all holy and divine qualities, as Ignatius himself is said to have explained it; in the other it implies one that is borne, or carried, by God. And in this latter sense he is said to have derived the title, from our Lord's taking him up into his arms. For thus we are told, that he was that very child whom our Saviour took into his arms, and set in the midst of his disciples, as the most lively instance of innocency and humility.' And this is affirmed (if number might carry it) not only by the Greeks in the public rituals;

1 From CAVE.

2 Mark ix. 36; Matt. xviii. 2-4.

by Metaphrastes, Nicephorus, and others; but (as Archbishop Usher observes, from the manuscripts in his own possession) by two Syriac writers, more ancient than they. But how confidently or generally soever it be reported, the story at best is precarious and uncertain. St. Chrysostom (who had far better opportunities of knowing than they) expressly affirms of Ignatius, that he never saw our Saviour, or enjoyed any familiarity or converse with him.

In his younger years, he was brought up under apostolical institution: so Chrysostom tells us, that he was intimately conversant with the apostles, educated and nursed up by them, everywhere at hand, and made partaker, both of their familiar discourses, and more secret and uncommon mysteries. Which, though it is probable he means of his particular conversation with St. Peter and Paul; yet some of the forementioned authors, and not they only, but the acts of his martyrdom, written as is supposed by some present at it, further assure us, that he was St. John's disciple. Being fully instructed in the doctrines of Christianity, he was, for his eminent parts, and the great piety of his life, chosen to be bishop of Antioch, the metropolis of Syria, and the most famous and renowned city of the east; not more remarkable among foreign writers for being the oriental seat of the Roman emperors, and their viceroys and governors, than it is in ecclesiastics,

for its eminent entertainment of the Christian faith, its giving the venerable title of Christians to the disciples of the holy Jesus, and St. Peter's first and peculiar residence in this place. Whence the synod of Constantinople, assembled under Nectarius, in their synodical epistle to the western bishops, deservedly call it "the most ancient and truly apostolic church of Antioch, in which the honourable name of Christians did first commence." In all which respects it is frequently in the writings of the church, by a proud kind of title, styled, Qorous, or the City of god. That Ignatius was constituted bishop of this church is allowed on all hands. I shall not need to prove what is evident enough in itself, and plainly acknowledged by the ancients; that St. Peter and St. Paul planted Christianity in this city, and both concurred to the foundation of this church; the one applying himself to the Jews, the other to the Gentiles. And large enough was the vineyard to admit the joint endeavours of these two great planters of the gospel; it being a vast populous city, containing at that time, according to St. Chrysostom's computation, no less than two hundred thousand souls. But the apostles (who could not stay always in one place) being called off to the ministry of other churches, saw it necessary to substitute others

1 Acts xi. 26.

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