Epistle 67

There also the Lord commanded by Moses that the people should be separated from them, lest, being associated with the wicked, themselves also should be bound closely in the same wickedness. Separate yourselves, said He, from the tents of these wicked and hardened men, and touch not those things which belong to them, lest you perish together in their sins. Numbers 16:26 On which account a people obedient to the Lord’s precepts, and fearing God, ought to separate themselves from a sinful prelate, and not to associate themselves with the sacrifices of a sacrilegious priest, especially since they themselves have the power either of choosing worthy priests, or of rejecting unworthy ones.

By Cyprian of Carthage

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