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the earth, and serves as an incitement to all sorts of crimes; the true gold is that Light whose disciples these poor men are. The milery of their bodies is an advantage to their souls, fin is the true disease; the great ones of the earth are the truly poor and contemptible. These are the treasures which I promised you, to which I will add precious stones. Behold these virgins and widows; they are the church's crown; make use of these riches for the advantage of Rome, of the Emperor, and yourself.”

Doubtless had the Prefect's mind been at all disposed to receive an instructive lesson, he had met with one here. The liberality of christians in maintaining a great number of objects, and looking for no recompence but that which shal)

. take place at the resurrection of the just, while they patiently bore amiction, and humbly refted on an unseen Saviour, was perfectly agreeable to the mind of him who bids his disciples in a well-known parable to relieve those who cannot recompense them * How glorious the scene, at a time that the rest of the world were tearing one another in pieces, and philosophers aided not the miseries of inen in the leaft! But as the persecutors would not hear the doctrines explained, so neither would they see tlie precepts exemplified, with patience. “Do you mock me?" cries the Prefect; " I know you value yourselves for contemning death, and therefore you shall not die at once.” Then he caused him to be stripped, extended, and fastened to a gridiron, and in that manner to be broiled to death by a Now fire. When he had continued a considerable time on one side, he said to the Prefect, “Let me be turned, I am sufficiently broiled on one side.” And when they had turned him he said,

" It is

enough, Loke xiv. 3915.

enough, ye may eat.” Then looking up to heaven, he prayed for the conversion of Rome, and gave up the ghost !

I give this story at some length, because ic has fufficient marks of credibility, and is supported by the evidence of Augustine. I cannot go on with Fleury in various other stories. He seems ready to believe every thing, Gibbon to believe nothing, in subjects of martyrology. Whatever judgment they may be pofleffed of, it remains in both equally unexercised; indiscriminate incredulity being as blind a thing as indiscriminate belief. It is the duty of a realonable creature to discern and to diftinguith; this requires labour and judgment. Fleury's method needs only the former, Gibbon's neither the one nor the other. Where I believe not, I say nothing; where I believe, I relate, and endeavour, as well as I can, neither to impose on my readers nor on myself.

The two following stories carry with them every internal mark of credibility. The one illuItrates well that scripture, “out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou haft ordained (trength;" and the other another scripture, “ If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespafles *."

At Cæsarea in Cappadocia a child named Cyril Thewed uncommon fortitude. He called on the name of Jesus Christ continually, nor could threats or blows prevent him from owning christianity. Many children of his own age persecuted him ; and his own father drove him out of his house, with the applauses of many for his zeal in the support of paganism. The judge ordered him to be brought before him, and said, “ My child, I will pardon your faults, your father Tall receive you


again; * See Fleury, book 7. AA fincera, 253, 244,

again ; it is in your power to enjoy your father's estate, provided you are wise, and take care of your own interest."

“ 1 rejoice to bear your reproaches,” replied the child, “ God will receive me; I am glad that I am expelled out of our house; I shall have a better manlion; I fear not death, because it will introduce me into a better life.” Divine Grace having enabled him to witness this good confession, he was ordered to be bound and led as it were to execution. The judge had given secret orders to bring him back again, hoping that the sight of the fire might overcome his resolution. Cyril remained in flexible. The humanity of the judge induced him ftill to continue his remonstrances. “Your fire and your sword,” says the young martyr, “ are inlignificant. I go to a better house and more excellent riches; dispatch me presently, that I may enjoy them.” The spectators wept through' compassion. “ You should rather rejoice," says he, “ in conducting me to my punishment. You know not what à city I am going to inhabit, nor what is my hope." Thus he went to his death, and was che admiration of the whole city.

There was at Antioch a presbyter named Sapricius, and a layman called Nicephorus, who, through some misunderstanding, after a remarkable intimacy, became quite estranged from one another, and would not even falute in the street. Nicephorus after a time relented, begged forgiveness of his fault, and took repeated measures to procure a reconciliation, but in vain. He even ran to the house of Sapricius, and throwing himself at his feet, entreated his forgiveness for the Lord's fake; the presbyter continued obstinate.

. In this situation of things the perfecution of Valerian reached them suddenly, and Sapricius


was carried before the governor and was ordered to facrifice on the command of the emperors. “We christians," replied Sapricius, “ acknowledge for our King Jesus Christ, who is the true God, creator of heaven and earth. Ler idols perish who can do neither good nor hurt.” The Prefect tormented him a long time, and then ordered him to be beheaded. Nicephorus hearing of this, runs up to him, as he is leading to execution, and renews, in vain, the same fupplications. The executioners deride his humility as perfect folly. But he perseveres, and attends Sapricius to the place of execution. There he says further, “ Alk and it shall be given you, and soon.” But not even the mention of che word of God itfelf, so suitable to Sapricius's own circumstances, could move his spirit.

Sapricius, suddenly forsaken of God, recants, and pronuises to sacrifice. Nicephorus, amazed, exhorts him to the contrary, but in vain. He then speaks to the executioners, “ I believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ whom he hath renounced.” The officers return to give an account to the governor, who ordered Nicephorus to be beheaded.

The account ends here: but if Sapricius lived to repent, as I hope he did, he might see what a thing it is for a miserable mortal, whose sufficiency reits entirely on Divine Grace, to despise, condemn, or exult over his brother. The last became the first, and God shewed his people wonderfully by this case, that he will support them in their sufferings for his name; but at the same time will have them to be humble, meek, and forgiving. This is the first instance I have seen of a man attempting to suffer for Christ on philosophical grounds, and it failed. Let christians and men of self



sufficiency be ever thus kept asunder, and let both their cause and their spirit be preserved distinct and separate.

It appears that christian fortitude is a very dif. ferent thing from the pride of philosophy, or the fullennels of Indians, and cannot even subsist in the absence of chriftian meekness and charity. Philosophers and savages can maintain the hardy spirit of nature amidst the highest gratifications of malice and ferocity. The spirit of suffering for Christ being above nature, and wrought in the heart by the grace of Christ, cannot sublift, if the Spirit of God be provoked to leave the sufferer, and the event of this story shews how little reason infidels have to plume themselves on the hardiness of others, who have suffered, besides christians. Their spirit is of a quite different nature.

Dionysius of Alexandria, whom Divine Provi. dence had so remarkably preserved in the Decian persecution, lived to suffer much also in this, but not to death. Eufebius has preserved fome extraets of his writings, which not only inform us of this, but also throw some considerable light on the effects of this perfecution in Egypt*.

He was brought before Æmilian the Prefect, with the presbyter Maximus, and three of his deacons, Fauftus, Eusebius, and Chæremon, and a certain Roman christian. Æmilian ordered the bishop to recant, observing that his so doing might have a good influence on others. It was answered, “ We ought to obey God rather than man ; I worship God who alone ought to be worshipped.” “ Hear the clemency of the emperor,' tays Æmilian :

" You are all pardoned, provided you return to a natural duty, adore the gods who guard the empire, and forsake those

* Book 7, chap. X.

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