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might have had good reasons for declining the task ; but we cannot help wishing that we had an accurate and impartial account of the state of the church in those days. The love of governing, and the love of disputing and deciding, have been the parents of innumerable evils. De Mart. Pal. 12.
Diocletian's persecution was very severe, and lasted ten years. Eusebius, who lived at that time, hath given us a particular, an affecting, and an invaluable account of the martyrs under those dreadful trials. There was, says he, a youth not twenty years of age brought out to suffer, who stood untied, erect, holding his arms in form of a cross, praying earnestly to God, and never stirring from his place, nor changing posture, nor shiewing the least sign of fear; but full of calm resolution, whilst bears and panthers made up to him, and were roaring about him. The name of this young hero is lost, whilst so many names are preserved in Ecclesiastical llistory, which might as well have slept in neglected oblivion.
At the same time Applianus, who was not twenty years old, and who had been instructed by Eusebius, endured for three days together all the torments that diabolical cruelty could contrive. See also the account of the sufferings of Theodosia, who was not eighteen. Mart. Palæst. 7.
In the persecution under Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, Ponticus, a youth of fifteen years, after he had been brought forth day after day, to see the torments which were inflicted on the Christians, suffered them himself, and died with the utmost constancy and resolution. Euseb. v. 1.
Amongst other punishments inflicted on the Christians, one was, to crucify then with their head downwards, Euseb. viii. 8. a barbarity which was practised in the days of Seneca, and which perhaps gave occasion to the story that St Peter, at his own request, suffered this kind of martyrdom. Video istic cruces non unius quidem generis, sed aliter ab alüs fabricatus. Alü capite comersos in terram suspendere, alä per obscana stipitem egerunt, &c. Seneca Cons. ad Marc. 20.
Eusebius in his IIistory of Diocletian's persecution is sparing of prodigies ; but later writers have amply supplied that defect, and have mentioned ten thousand miracles, which may be found in Tillemont, E. H.v.
What Eusebius relates of this kind, is,
That the wild * beasts could not be compelled to touch the Christians who were exposed to them, particularly the young martyr whose name is not recorded, who was run through with a sword, and Aung into the sea. He speaks as an eye-witness, and appeals to many then living for the truth of his narration. viii. 7.
That when the martyr Applianus was killed and cast into the sea, a violent tempest suddenly arose, which shook the whole city, and the waves cast bis body back on the shore, of which all the inhabitants of Cæsarea were witnesses. De Jlart, Pal. 4.
d'une jubet mergi puerum, scelus unda refugit. That the bodies of Pamphilus, and of other martyrs who died with him, being exposed to the birds and beasts four days and nights, remained untouched, the divine providence so ordering it, and were honourably interred by the Christians. That is, to use the words of Statius:
пес • Concerning this forbearance of the beasts, some remarks have been made page 229. It should not be dissembled that, from the accounts given us by Eusebius and others, it appears that some martyrs were as. saulted and wounded by wild beasts, and others were not touched by them.
nec sontis iniqua tyranni
Inviolata feris, nudu que sub axe jancentes
Et nemus, et tristis volucrum reverentia sercat. The fact, we may suppose, is not to be denied, and as Pamphilus was a most dear and intimate friend of Eusebius, it was natural for the historian to interpret it thus. This, and more than this, might be allowed to sacred friendship and virtuous affection, 11.
That at Cæsarea, when the persecution raged, and the Christians lay up and down unburied, and the earth was strewed with their mangled limbs, though the day was bright and serene, the buildings ran down with drops, and the streets were wet with a sudden dew, as if the earth and elements had wept at the sight of such barbarities. So said the Christians; and perhaps we should have said the same, if we had lived then, and had been in their distressed condition. I doubt not, says Eusebius, that this will be called fiction and trifle by some readers.-But he adventured to record it, nor is there any reason why he should be scorned and insulted on that account, though probably there was nothing in it which did not arise from natural causes. Constantine seems to allude to the same thing, in bis edict, speaking of the persecution, το τηνικαύτα εδάκρυε μεν αναμφιβόλως η γή· ο δε τα σύμπανα περιέχoν κόσμος το λύθρο χραινόμενος απεκλακτος ή γε μην ημέρα auti, ww wirbet Javucalos évexcrú77€70. Ea tempestate tellus quidem ipsa proculdubio lacrymas edidit : culum vero quod universa suo anbitu complectitur, cruore inquinatum ingemuit. Ipsa quoque diei lux', horrore tanti prodigü obscurutu est.
Apud Enseb. l'it. Const. ii. 52.
Eusebius, in his narration of Romanus, mentions nothing miraculous, ch. 2. and yet Prudentius, Chry
luctu uique sostom, and Eusebius himself in a Discourse De Resurrectione, talk of many and signal miracles on the occasion, as the fire being strangely extinguished in which he was to have been burnt, his speaking plainly after his tongue was cut out, though he had naturally an impediment in his speech, and could not pronounce his own name, &c. Valesius wonders that Eusebius should thus differ from himself; to which it may be replied, that Eusebius the orator thought he might say what Eusebius the historian would not attest, and that his real sentiments must be learned from his history, and not from a sermon or a declamation. Tillemont is not quite fair, and slily dissembles this silence of Eusebius, H. E. v. 206. But it is farther to be observed, that the Opuscula of Eusebius, in which is the Discourse De Resurrectione, are extant only in Latin ; and who knows what tricks the translator has played with them, and whether they be genuine or no ? Eusebius is a name which belonged to more than threescore persons, and Cave is of opinion that these Opuscula were not written by the historian, and Tillemont himself is inclined, in another place, to give up this discourse, H. E. vii. p. 63.
Rufinus in his version of Eusebius added, and left out, and altered what he thought fit, and inserted a long account of the miracles of Gregory Thaumaturgus, of which Eusebius said not a word. The same insupportable licence he took in translating Origen; so that they are not versions, but perversions of the originals. However Rufinus is so far honest, as to own that he uses such liberties. Jerom was guilty of the same fault, and they had nothing to reproach one another with on that score.
It is agreed that St Jerom may be the greatest saint of all translators, but that he is not the most exact. He
hath taken liberties which the laws of translation will not admit, and his aduersary Rufinus fuils not to churge him with it, &c. Baillet, Jug. des Satans.
Rufinus was excommunicated by Pope Anastasius, as an Origenist. He was not so good a scholar, but he might be as good a saint as Jerom, for any thing that we know to the contrary.
In this persecution Peter and Asclepius, the former a member of the church, the latter a Marcionite bishop, were burnt. Peter, says Tillemont, went to heaven, and Asclepius to hell-fire * But Eusebius more decently and moderately, says, With Peter suffered Asclepius-through a zeal, as he thought, for piety, but not for that which is according to knowledge : huwerer, they were consumed in one and the same fire.
Many of the Marcionites suffered martyrdom at different times. Why were these men put to death? Because they were heretics? No; but because they acknowledged Jesus to be the Son of God, and would not renounce him, and sacrifice to idols. See Beausobre; Hist. de Manich. ii. 120.
We read in the Alexandrian Chronicle, in Bollandus, and in the Menæa, that Gelasinus or Gclasius, and Ar: daleo, two Pantomimes, as they were drolling on the stage, and feigning themselves Christians, were suddenly converted, and suffered martyrdom ; and other stories of the same kind are recorded. See Tillemont H. E. iv. 418-421. As to these two saints, Gelasi
• Will men never be cured of the rash and malicious habit of always seeking in the corruption of the heart the origin of errors, which may be found more naturally and more innocently in the obscurity in which God hath judged it proper to leave certain truths, and in the weakness of the human understanding ? Beausobre, Hist. de Manich, i. p. 28.