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crown of eternal life." He mentions also the news he had heard of the martyrdom of Xistus the bishop of Rome, and the daily ferocity with which the persecution was carried on at Rome in all its horrors. He begs that the intelligence may be circulated through Africa, “ That we may all think of death, not more than immortality, and in the fulness of faith may rather rejoice at than fear the event."

Galerius Maximus had succeeded Paternus in the proconsulate, and Cyprian was daily expected to be sent for. In this awful crisis a number of fenators and others, considerable for their offices or their quality, came to him. Ancient friendship melted the minds of some of them toward the man, and they offered to conceal him in country places, but his soul was now a-thirst for martyrdomn. The uncertainty of tedious banishment could not be agreeable to one, who had had so much experience of this kind; and Valerian's law being expressly levelled at men of his character, there seemed little probability of his being long concealed. I believe his generous temper would have been hurt to have endangered any of his old pagan friends on his account. He might then hesitate to accept their offers, though he would by no means, according to the steady maxims of his conscientious prudence, do any thing to ac. celerate his own death. Pontius his deacon in his life tells us, in opposition to the intemperate zeal of those who were for giving themselves up to the martyrdom, that he had his fears on this head, but his fears were conscientious, lest he thould displease God by throwing away his life. He continued still at Carthage exhorting the faithful, and wishing that when he should suffer martyrdom, death might find him thus employed for his God.

However

However being informed that the proconful, then ac Utica, hau fent some soldiers to bring him thither, he was induced to comply for a leason with the advice of his friends, to retire to fome place of concealment, that he might not suffer at Utica, but if he was called to martyrdom might finish his life among his own people at Carthage; so he states the matter in the lait of his letters to the clergy and people. “ Here,” says he, “in this concealment I wait for the return of the pro. consul to Carthage, ready to appear before him, and to say what shall be given me at the hour. Do you, dear brethren, do you agreeably to the discipline you have always received, and to the instructions you have learnt from me, continue itill and quiet; let none of you excite any tumult on account of the brethren, or offer himself voluntarily to the Gentiies. He who is seized and delivered up ought to speak; the Lord in us will speak at that hour; and confellion rather than profession is our duty.

The proconsul being returned to Carthage, Cyprian returned to his garden ; while he was there, two officers with soldiers came to seize him. They carried him in a chariot between them to a place called Sextus, six miles from Carthage, by the sea fide, where the proconsul lodged indisposed. The proconful ceferred the affair till the next day, and he was carried back to the lodgings of the chief of the officers about the distance of a stadium from the prætorium. The news spread through Carthage, his celebrity on account of his good works drew prodigious crowds to the scene, not only of christians, but at infidels, who revered the virtue of the man.

The chief of the officers guarded him, but in a courteous manner; so that he ate with his friends, Hh 2

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and had them about him as ufual. The christians paffed the night in the street before his lodgings, and the charity of Cyprian moved him to direct a particular attention to be paid to the young women who were among the crowd. The next day the proconsul sent for Cyprian, who went to the prætorium attended by crowds of people. The proconful not yet appearing, he was ordered to wait for him in a private place, where he fat down. Being in a great perspiration, a soldier, who had been a christian, offered him fresh clothes. “ Shall we,” says Cyprian, “ seek for a remedy for that which may last no longer than to day?"

He was at length Brought into the judgmenthall, where the proconsul fat. “Are you Thascius Cyprian?” “ I am.” “ Are you he whom the christians call their bishop ?” “ I am.” « Our princes have ordered you to worship the gods."

That I shall not do." u You will do better to consult your safety, and not despise the gods." “ My safety and virtue is Christ the Lord, whom I delire to serve for ever.” “ I pity your cafe, says the proconsul, “ and could wish to consult

“I do not wish,” says the prelate, " that things fhould be otherwise with me, than that adoring my God, I may hasten to him with all the ardour of my soul; for che afflictions of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” The proconsul now reddening with anger, says, “ You

« have lived facrilegiousy a long time, and have formed into a society men of an impious conspiracy, and have fhewn yourself an enemy to the gods and their religion, and have not hearkened to the equitable counsels of our princes, but have ever been a father of the impious sect, and their ring leader : you shall therefore be an example to

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the rest, and they shall learn their duty by your blood. Let Thascius Cyprian, who refuses to sam crifice to the gods, be put to death by the sword." “ God be praised," said the martyr, and while they were leading him away, a multitude of the people followed and cried, “Let us die with our

6. holy bishop."

A troop of soldiers attended him, and the officers marched on each side of him. They led him into a plain surrounded with trees, and many climbed up to the top of them to see him at a distance. Cyprian took off his mantle, and fell on his knees and worshipped his God; then he put off his inner garment and remained in his shirt. The executioner being come, Cyprian ordered twenty-five golden denarii to be given him; he himself bound the napkin over his eyes, and a presbyter and deacon tied his hands for him, and the christians laid before him napkins and handkerchiefs to receive his blood. Then his head was cut off by the sword *.

His biographer Pontius represents himself as wishing to have died with him, and as divided besween the joy of his victorious martyrdom, and forrow that himself was left behind.

Thus after an eventful and instructive period of about twelve years since his converfion, after a variety of coils and exercises among friends, and open foes and nominal christians, by a death more gentle chan commonly fell to the lot of martyrs, refted at length in Jefus the magnanimous and charitable spirit of Cyprian of Carthage. Anextraordinary personage surely! But the character will yet deferve à more distinct illustration. Let writers, whose views are fecular, celebrate their heroes,

their A As of his Martyrdom, Paffion of Cyprian io Pam. Poatius's Life of Cyprian, and Fleury's Hittory.

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their statesmen, and their philosophers; and while a christian taite is derided, let us at least enjoy the sare felicity of these times of civil liberty, in employing the press to do some justice, however deficient our powers may be, to men whom the modern taste seems willing to affion to contemptuous oblivion. And let their memorial be blessed for ever.

CHA P. XV.

CYPRIAN COMPARED WITH ORIGEN.

HE east and the west beheld at the same

time these two men, in talents, activity, and endowments much superior to the rest of the chriftian world. The Roman seems beyond comparison to have excelled the Græcian in those things in which true christian virtue consists; yet, as the latter by the fruits of his life claims a just place among faints, though miserably turnished and clouded, chiefly by his philosophy, it may answer some valuable purpose, nor impertinent to the design of this hiftory, to enter into a comparison between them in some particulars.

1. There may have been as pious and holy men as Cyprian, in the interval of time between the Apostles and him, but we have no opportunity of knowing any other so well. The distinct particularity of the accounts concerning him makes his character remarkably deserving of our attenrion. The dealings of God with a singer, at his first conversion, often give a strong tincture to his whole future life. Cyprian was meant for very

great

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