"Wherefore it is incumbent to obey the presbyters who are in the Church, — those who, as I have shown, possess the succession from the apostles; those who, together with the succession of the episcopate, have received the certain gift of truth, according to the good pleasure of the Father. But [it is also incumbent] to hold in suspicion others who depart from the primitive succession, and assemble themselves together in any place whatsoever, [looking upon them] either as heretics of perverse minds, or as schismatics puffed up and self-pleasing, or again as hypocrites, acting thus for the sake of lucre and vainglory. For all these have fallen from the truth. And the heretics, indeed, who bring strange fire to the altar of God — namely, strange doctrines — shall be burned up by the fire from heaven, as were Nadab and Abiud. (Lev_10:1, Lev_10:2) But such as rise up in opposition to the truth, and exhort others against the Church of God, [shall] remain among those in hell (apud inferos), being swallowed up by an earthquake, even as those who were with Chore, Dathan, and Abiron. (Num_16:33) But those who cleave asunder, and separate the unity of the Church, [shall] receive from God the same punishment as Jeroboam did. (1Ki_14:10)"Iranaeus
Against Heresies Bk. 1 Ch. XXVI, Vol. 1

"Respecting which there is one opinion throughout the whole Church, that the whole law is indeed spiritual; but that the spiritual meaning which the law conveys is not known to all, but to those only on whom the grace of the Holy Spirit is bestowed in the word of wisdom and knowledge."Origen Adamantius
De Principiis Preface, Vol. 4

"Since, therefore, the tradition from the apostles does thus exist in the Church, and is permanent among us"Iranaeus
Against Heresies Bk. 3 Ch. V, Vol. 1

“My son, honor thou God and the king (high priest).” (Pro_24:21) And say I, honor thou God indeed, as the Author and Lord of all things, but the bishop as the high-priest, who bears the image of God — of God. Inasmuch as he is a ruler, and of Christ, in his capacity of a priest.Ignatius (Disciple of Apostle John)
Epistle to Smyrnaeans Ch. IX, Vol. 1

For if he that rises up against kings is justly held worthy of punishment, inasmuch as he dissolves public order, of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, (Comp. Heb_10:29) who presumes to do anything without the bishop, thus both destroying the [Church’s] unity, and throwing its order into confusion? For the priesthood is the very highest point of all good things among men, against which whosoever is mad enough to strive, dishonors not man, but God, and Christ Jesus, the First-born, and the only High Priest, by nature, of the Father. Let all things therefore be done by you with good order in Christ. Let the laity be subject to the deacons; the deacons to the presbyters; the presbyters to the bishop; the bishop to Christ, even as He is to the Father.Ignatius (Disciple of Apostle John)
Epistle to Smyrnaeans Ch. IX, Vol. 1

Since, according to my opinion, the grades here in the Church, of bishops, presbyters, deacons, are imitations of the angelic glory, and of that economy which, the Scriptures say, awaits those who, following the footsteps of the apostles, have lived in perfection of righteousness according to the Gospel. For these taken up in the clouds, the apostle (1Th_4:17) writes, will first minister [as deacons], then be classed in the presbyterate, by promotion in glory (for glory differs (1Co_15:41) from glory) till they grow into “a perfect man.” (Eph_4:13)Clement
Stromata Bk. 6 Vol. 2

"They then in like manner rounded churches in every city, from which all the other churches, one after another, derived the tradition of the faith, and the seeds of doctrine, and are every day deriving them, that they may become churches. Indeed, it is on this account only that they will be able to deem themselves apostolic, as being the offspring of apostolic churches. Every sort of thing must necessarily revert to its original for its classification. Therefore the churches, although they are so many and so great, comprise but the one primitive church, (rounded) by the apostles, from which they all (spring). In this way all are primitive, and all are apostolic, whilst they are all proved to be one, in (unbroken) unity, by their peaceful communion, and title of brotherhood, and bond of hospitality, - privileges which no other rule directs than the one tradition of the selfsame mystery."Tertullian
Against Heretics Ch. XX, Vol. 3

"But to those who are capable of comprehending the unnamable Father, they did declare the unspeakable mystery through parables and enigmas: so that the Lord and the apostles exercised the office of teacher not to further the cause of truth, but even in hypocrisy, and as each individual was able to receive it!"Iranaeus
Against Heresies Bk. 3 Ch. V, Vol. 1

Peter speaks there, on whom the Church was to be built, teaching and showing in the name of the Church, that although a rebellious and arrogant multitude of those who will not hear and obey may depart, yet the Church does not depart from Christ; and they are the Church who are a people united to the priest, and the flock which adheres to its pastor. Whence you ought to know that the bishop is in the Church, and the Church in the bishop; and if anyone be not with the bishop, that he is not in the Church, and that those flatter themselves in vain who creep in, not having peace with God’s priests, and think that they communicate secretly with some; while the Church, which is Catholic and one, is not cut nor divided, but is indeed connected and bound together by the cement of priests who cohere with one another.Cyprian
Epistle of Cyprian Vol. 5

Moreover, it is in accordance with reason that we should return to soberness [of conduct], and, while yet we have opportunity, exercise repentance towards God. It is well to reverence both God and the bishop. He who honors the bishop has been honored by God; he who does anything without the knowledge of the bishop, does [in reality] serve the devil.Ignatius (Disciple of Apostle John)
Epistle to Smyrnaeans Ch. IX, Vol. 1

For if he that rises up against kings is justly held worthy of punishment, inasmuch as he dissolves public order, of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, (Comp. Heb_10:29) who presumes to do anything without the bishop, thus both destroying the [Church’s] unity, and throwing its order into confusion? For the priesthood is the very highest point of all good things among men, against which whosoever is mad enough to strive, dishonors not man, but God, and Christ Jesus, the First-born, and the only High Priest, by nature, of the Father. Let all things therefore be done by you with good order in Christ. Let the laity be subject to the deacons; the deacons to the presbyters; the presbyters to the bishop; the bishop to Christ, even as He is to the Father.Constitution of the Apostles
Bk 2 Pt 2 Ch. XXVI, Vol. 7

“Of Giving baptism, the chief priest (who is the Bishop/Apostle) has the right. In the next place, the presbyters, and deacons-yet, not without the Bishop’s authority, on account of the honor of the church. When it is preserved, peace is preserved.”Tertullian
On Baptism Vol. 3

Let us therefore respect those who are over us, and reverence the elders; let us honor the young, and let us teach the discipline of God.” For blessed is he who shall do and teach the Lord’s commands worthily; and he is of a magnanimous mind, and of a mind contemplative of truth.Clement
Stromata Book 4 Ch. XVII, Vol. 2