ST POLYCARP OF SMYRNA
Disciple of St John the Evangelist, martyred in extreme old age in 155 AD
As for the clergy, they should be men of generous sympathies, with a wide compassion for humanity. It is their business to reclaim the wanderers, keep an eye on all who are infirm, and never neglect the widow, the orphan, or the needy. Their care at all times should be for what is honourable in the sight of God and all people. Any show of ill-temper, partiality, or prejudice is to be scrupulously avoided; and eagerness for money should be a thing utterly alien to them. They must not be over-ready to believe ill of anyone, nor too hasty with their censure; being well aware that we all of us owe the debt of sin. If we pray to the Lord to forgive us, we ourselves must be forgiving; we are all under the eyes of our Lord and God, and every one of us must stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, where each will have to give an account of himself…. Let us have a real ardour for goodness, taking every care to avoid giving offence, and refusing all association with false brethren and those hypocritical bearers of the Lord’s name who only lead empty heads astray.