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tioned, bishop of Jerusalem, was also a truly excellent and valuable man. They who desire to know more of him, may see bis history more at large in another place. Origen survived that trial, being set at liberty at the period of the persecution; but he died a few years after.

III. The beginning of the Decian persecution P must be dated in the year 249, or the beginning of 250; but there was a persecution raised against the christians at Alexandria in the year 248, whilst other churches enjoyed great peace under the emperor Philip. This persecution lasted a whole year, and was concluded by nothing but a sedition and disturbance among the gentiles themselves. Of this we have an account in the fragment of a letter of Dionysius to Fabjus, bishop of Antioch. That fragment is preserved in Eusebius, and as the account is authentic, as well as curi

I am induced to transcribe it here. • The 9 persecution with us, says he, had not its beginning from the imperial 6 edict; but began a whole year before. A soothsayer and

poet, such as he was, stirred up the multitude of the gentiles against us, exciting them to contend for the supersti• tion of their country. Being stirred up by him, and having it in their power to do as they pleased, they thought that religion lay in nothing more than killing us.

First of all they lay hold of a man of great age named • Metras, requiring him to repeat some profane words; he * not doing as they desired, they laid many blows upon his · body with clubs, and pricked him in the face and eyes ' with sharp reeds, and then leading him into the suburbs, • they stoned him to death. After that, dragging a faithful * woman named Quinta to their idol temple, they require • her to fall down and worship it; but she refusing so to

do, they tied her feet, and dragged her through the city, ' which is paved with sharp stones, and having dashed her * against millstones, and scourged her, they led her to the * same place without the city, and stoned her. They then • broke into the houses of many pious men, robbing and · plundering them of what they had. If they found any • ihing valuable, that they kept for their own use; but

lumber, and utensils made of wood, they threw out in the streets; so that the city looked as if it had been taken

by an enemy. However, many of the brethren retired, • and saved themselves by flight, “ joyfully taking the

spoiling of their goods," like to those mentioned by Paul, · Heb. x. 34. Nor do I yet know of more than one, that • See vol. ii. p. 415-420.

P Pagi ann. 250. num. iii. iv Basnag. ann. 249. ii. &c.

? Ap. Euseb. H. E. I. vi. cap. 41.


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fell into their hands, who has denied the Lord. Moreover,

at this time they laid hold of an admirable virgin, of a ' great age, named Apollonia; they struck her upon the

cheeks, and beat out all her teeth; then lighting a tire • without the city, they threatened to burn ber alive, unless · she would join with them in pronouncing certain profane * words; but she, begging a short respite, and being let • loose, presently threw herself into the fire, and was con* sumed to ashes. Serapion they seized in bis own house, • and having tortured him with grievous torments, and broken all bis limbs, they threw hin headlong from the upper part of his house. Nor bad we, says this bishop of Alexandria, a safe passage any where, through high streets, or narrow lanes, neither by night nor by day; but continually, and every where, the people were universally crying out; “ If any man refuse to pronounce such or such impious words, let him be jinmediately taken up and • thrown into the fire.' So things went on for some tiine, * till a sedition among themselves, and a civil war returned this cruelty upon them. We had then a short breathing time; but presently news came of the end of that reign • which had been favourable to us; and all were seized • with fears of an impending storm. Then came the edict, * which was very terrible, putting us in mind of what was • foretold by the Lord, that " if it were possible, they should 6 seduce even the elect,"' ' Matt. xxiv, 24.

Dionysius proceeds to relate the consequences of the imperial edict at Alexandria, and other places in Egypt. Some were overcome by fears of suffering, and sacrificed; others (divers of which are named by him) patiently and courageously endured various kinds of death, under exquisite torture. But I transcribe nothing more here. But it is observable, that many christians fell in the time of this persecution; and when it was over, there were in many places disputes about the manner of receiving such as had Japsed, when they desired to be reconciled to the church.

IV. Sulpicius Severus' calls the persecution under Decius the seventh persecution, as does s Jerom in his book of Ecclesiastical Writers, in the chapter of Alexander bishop of Jerusalem. Orosiust also reckons Decius the


'Mox, Decio imperante, jam tum septimâ persecutione sævitum in christianos. S. Sev. I. ii. cap. 32. al. 46.

Septimâ autem persecutione sub Decio, quo tempore Babylas Antiochiæ passus est, ductus Cæsaream, et clausus in carcere ob confessionem Christi, martyrio coronatus. De V. I. cap. 62.

+ Idem continuo, in quo se etiain ob hoc Philippos interfecisse docuit, ad

seventh persecutor of the church, and says, “That by his • cruel edicts he sent many of the saints to receive crowns * froin Christ for the torments which they endured.' In u Augustine likewise it is the seventh persecution. There can be no doubt but it was universal, as it was ordered by an imperial edict.



His time, and that he was a persecutor.

DECIUS was succeeded by Gallus and Volusian near the end of the year 251. Gallus is not mentioned among the persecuting princes by Sulpicius Severus, or Orosius, or Augustine, or the Author of the Deaths of Persecutors; nevertheless he must have been a persecutor.

Says Eusebius in bis Ecclesiastical History, • Decius a * being slain with his sons, when he had not yet completed • the second year of his reign, he was succeeded by Gallus, • at which tiine died Origen in the seventieth year of bis age. And Dionysius in his letter to Hermammon speaks

thus of Gallus: But Gallus did not attend to the fate of • Decius, nor consider what was his ruin; but stumbled upon the same stone, which lay before his


Wheu • his empire was in a happy state, and all things succeeded

according to his wisbes, beh persecuted those truly holy * men who prayed to God for his health and prosperity; * and with them drove away those prayers which they offerир

for him. Thus he writes of Gallus. As there is little notice taken of this matter by ancient ecclesiastical writers, Pagic argues, that this was only a persequendos interficiendosque christianos, septimus post Neronem, feralia dispersit edicta, plurimosque sanctorum ad coronas Christi de suis cruciatibus misit. Oros. I. vii. cap. 21. u De Civ. Dei. l. xviii. cap. 52.

v Vid. Basnag. ann. 250.

a H. E, I. vii. cap. 1. τους ιερους ανδρας τους περι της ειρηνης αυτο και της υγιειας πρεσβευοντας προς τον θεον ηλασεν ακουν συν εκεινοις εδιωξε και τας υπερ AUTA 7 Pocevxas. Ibid. p. 250.


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num. iv. v.


C A. 252. num. x, xii. xvi.--xxi.

His Persecution


local persecution, and that it was felt in few places, except Rome, where Cornelius, and afterwards Lucius, bishops of that city, were banished by this emperor. As the conduct of Gallus is so particularly mentioned by Dionysius of Alexandria, I have been apt to think, that some christians suffered in that city, or in the countries near it. Mosheim's d observations upon this persecution may be consulted.



I. Valerian's time, and character. II. General accounts of

his persecution from several christian writers. III. How long it lasted. IV. Accounts of this persecution from Dionysius bishop of Alexandria. V. The emperor Gallienus's edict, restoring peace to the churches. VI. Farther accounts of that persecution from Cyprian bishop of Carthage. Vi. The remarkable history of Marinus, who suffered Martyrdom at Cæsarea in Palestine, after the publication of the fore-mentioned edict of Gallienus.

1. VALERIAN baving enjoyed many offices and dignities in the state with great applause, anda been highly celebrated for his prudence, modesty, gravity, and other virtues, was proclaimed emperor in the year 253; and his son Gallienus was taken into partnership with bim in the same year. It is not needful for me to enlarge in his history. But about the seventh year of his reign, in 259 or 260 at the latest, he was taken prisoner by Sapor king of Persia; where b he lived the remainder of his days in a miserable captivity.

à Flagrantibus his christianorum certaminibus, Decius cum filiis anno ccli. necabatur; in cujus locum Gallus cum filio Volusiano succedebat. Is sequenti anno bellum in christianos, quod ultimis Decii temporibus remissius gestum erat, aut novis edictis propositis, aut antiquis renovatis, instaurari jubebat: unde multa iterum mala christianis in variis orbis Romani provinciis subeunda erant, &c. De Reb. ante C. M. p. 527.

a Trebell. Poll. in Valerian. cap. i. ii. p. 171, &c.

b Id. in Valerian. cap. 3. p. 178, &c. et Cæcilius de M. Persecut. cap. 5 Oros. lib. vii. cap. xxii. Euseb. Chron. p. 176.

and says,


II. He is reckoned the eighth persecutor of the christians bye Sulpicius Severus, a Orosius, e Augustine. The author of the Deaths of Persecutors does not mention the number of persecutions; nevertheless he speaks distinctly of this,

• That' Valerian shed the blood of many righteous men in a short time.' As does Orosius likewise, and says that this persecution was universal all over the Roman empire.

III. The persecution began in the year 257, and ended in other parts of the empire in 259, when Valerian was taken captive by the Persians; but at Alexandria it continued till the year 261, when Gallienus overcame Macrian, in whose power Egypt had been till that time. Then Gallienus sent the same favourable edicts to Alexandria, which had been sent before to several other parts of the empire. Dionysius speaks of this persecution having lasted · forty* two months, or three years and a half; which ought to be understood of Egypt only, not of the rest of the empire. In that manner some difficulties relating to this point are adjusted and cleared up by" Pagi, to whom I refer, and to i Basnage, who does not much differ from him.

IV. Of this persecution we have some authentic accounts in Dionysius of Alexandria, Cyprian, and bis deacon Pontius, all contemporaries, which therefore cannot but deserve our regard.

Saysk Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History : . In the * mean time Gallus being slain, when he had scarcely reigned two years, he was succeeded by Valerian and bis

Gallienus. Here it will be worth the while to attend 'to what Dionysius says in his letter to Hermammon. • Concerning this too Jolin had a revelation. For he says; • Rev. xiii. 5, “ And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things, and blasphemies. And power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” It is

wonderful to observe, how both these things were fulfilled . in Valerian; and it deserves to be considered what he was

c Inde Valerianus octavus sanctoruin hostis. S. Sever. I. ii. cap. 32.

d Valerianus siquidem, mox ut arripuit imperium, octavus a Nerone, adigi per tormenta christianos ad idololatriam, abnegantesque interfici jussit, fuso per omnem Romani regni latitudinem sanctorum sanguine. Valerianus illico, nefarii auctor edicti, a Sapore Persarum rege captus, imperator populi Romani ignominiosâ apud Persas servitute consenuit, &c. Oros. 1. vii. cap. 22.

e De Civ. Dei. l. xviii. cap. 52.

f Non multo post Valerianus, quoque, non dissimili furore correptus, impias manus in Deum intentavit, et multum, quamvis brevi tempore, justi sanguinis fudit. De M. P. cap. 5.

& Ap. Euseb. I. vii. cap. 10. in. h Ann. 261. n. viii. et seqq.

i Ann. 257. num. ill. K H. E. I. vii. cap. 10.


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