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this province, in which by a general precept it was ordered, 'that all people in every city should be required to offer 'sacrifice and incense to idols.'

This must be a fourth edict; for there were three before this, all set forth in the first year of the persecution. When Eusebius says, that this edict was now, in the second year, 'first brought to Urbanus:' he must not be understood, that no edict against the christians had been brought to Urbanus before: but no such edict.

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This edict Eusebius supposeth to have been more general than any of the former and indeed he expressly says at the end of the preceding chapter, that the first year of the persecution affected the presidents of the churches only.' I do not think that to be exactly true: for Eusebius himself has related martyrdoms of divers others in the first year of the persecution. But we must conclude, from what he here says, that the edict in the second year was expressed in more general and comprehensive terms than any of the foregoing which is a proof of the increasing rage of the persecutors.

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We have now settled the date of this persecution, and have seen the everal edicts which were published at the beginning of it and in all these four edicts Dioclesian must have joined with Maximian Galerius, for they were published before his resignation in 305, the third year of the persecution.

V. I should now give some account of the many and grievous sufferings of the professors of christianity at this time; but it must be a summary account only: however, we cannot pass over in silence this affecting scene, in which we behold the grievous sufferings of many innocent and excellent men, and their heroical patience and fortitude under

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1. At the beginning of his history of the calamities of this time, Eusebius with great grief says, he had with his

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own eyes seen the houses of prayer demolished to the foundation, and the divinely inspired and sacred scriptures • burnt in the market-places.

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2. After having mentioned the edict before taken notice. of by us, which ordered, that all presidents of churches

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Ταυτα μεν ετει πρωτῳ τ8τον απετελέσθη τον τρόπον κατά μόνων των της εκκλησίας προεδρων επηρτημενε τε διωγμε. De Mart. Pal. cap. 2. p. 320. D.

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-ὁπηνικα των μεν προσευκτηριον τες οικες εις εδαφος αυτοις θεμελιοις καταῤῥιπτομενες, τας δε ενθεύς και ἱερας γραφας κατα μεσας αγορας πυρι παραδιδομενας αυτοις επειδομεν οφθαλμοις. Η. Ε. 1. viii. cap. 2. p. 293. C.

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should be bound, and imprisoned, he says: There m fol'lowed a spectacle, which no words can sufficiently express. Great multitudes were thereupon confined every 'where; and in every place, the prisons, which used to be filled with murderers, and robbers of sepulchres, were ' then filled with bishops, and presbyters, and deacons, and readers, and exorcists, so that there was no room left for 'such as were condemned for crimes.'

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3. In the thirteenth chapter of the eighth book of his Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius rehearseth in a summary manner the martyrdoms of divers presidents of the churches: of which he gives a more particular account in some other chapters of the same book, or of his book concerning the martyrs of Palestine.

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As the titles of the chapters are supposed to have been drawn up by Eusebius himself, I also transcribe the title of this chapter, which is in these words: Of the presi'dents of the church, who demonstrated the truth of the religion which they preached, by the effusion of their own blood.'

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Among those presidents of the churches who suffered 'martyrdom in the most noted cities, the first to be recorded by us in the monuments of the pious, as a witness of the kingdom of Christ, is Anthimus bishop in the city of Nicomedia, who was beheaded. Of Antioch, Lucian a presby'ter of that church, a man of an unblemished character throughout his whole life. He also suffered at Nicome'dia, where, in the presence of the emperor, he first apolo'gized for the heavenly kingdom of Christ in words, and ' afterwards farther recommended it by deeds. The most ' eminent martyrs in Phoenicia, and most acceptable to God,

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were those pastors of the flock of Christ, Tyrannio bishop ' of the church at Tyre; Zenobius presbyter of the church ' at Sidon; Silvanus bishop of the church at Emesa, who, 'with several others, was given to be food to the wild beasts at Emesa itself, and in that way was numbered among the martyrs. The other two suffered at Antioch, where they glorified the word of God by patience unto 'death. The bishop Tyrannio was drowned in the sea. Ze

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nobius, a most excellent physician, whose sides were cruelly racked, died courageously under those tortures. Among 'the martyrs of Palestine, Silvanus, bishop of the churches

' at Gaza, was beheaded, together with nine and thirty others,

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at the nines of brass which are in Phæno. Peleus and Nilus, Egyptian bishops, with divers others, were burnt to m Ibid. cap. 6. p. 298. B.

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Cap. 13. p. 307, &c.

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death in the same place. Nor can Pamphilus be omitted here, a presbyter, who was the great ornament of the church of Cæsarea, the most admirable man of our age, whose 'virtues we have also celebrated elsewhere. Of those who were perfected by a glorious martyrdom at Alexandria, and throughout all Egypt and Thebais, the first to be ' mentioned is Peter bishop of Alexandria, a most excellent preacher of the christian religion and of the presbyters, who were with him, Faustus, and Dius, and Ammonius, were perfect martyrs of Christ. Phileas likewise, and Hesychius, and Pachumius, and Theodorus, bishops of the churches in Egypt. And beside these, many others, emi'nent men, who have an honourable mention among churches, which are in those places and countries.'

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4. The eighth chapter of the same book not being very long, I shall transcribe it entire, as it represents a variety of sufferings, endured by the christians at that time. Such P was the combat of those Egyptians, who gloriously con'tended for the faith at Tyre. They also are justly admirable, who suffered martyrdom in their own country; where innumerable men, [uvpio TOV аpilμov avôpes,] with 'their wives and children, despising this temporal life for the sake of our Saviour's doctrine, underwent various 'sorts of death. Some of them, after their flesh had been 'torn off by torturing irons, after having been racked and

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cruelly scourged, and a great variety of other tortures 'frightful to hear of, were committed to the flames, or thrown

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into the sea. Some cheerfully offered their heads to be 'cut off by the executioners: some expired under their 'tortures: some died by famine; some were crucified;

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some of them after the usual manner of inflicting that punishment upon malefactors, others after a more cruel manner, being nailed to the cross with their heads downward, and kept alive, till they died by famine on the

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5. Eusebius still goes on in the next chapter, of which also I shall take a part. But the pains and tortures endured by 'the martyrs at Thebais exceed all expression; for they were

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torn all over their bodies with sharp shells, instead of tor

turing irons, till they expired. Women were tied by one of their feet, and drawn up on high into the air by certain machines, with their heads downwards; and their bodies

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• A more particular account of Pamphilus, who, with eleven others, suffered martyrdom at Cæsarea, may be seen, De Mart. Palæst. cap. 11. p. 336. The history of this excellent man, and remarks upon it, may be seen, Vol. iii. p. 216-233. P L. viii. cap. 8. p. 300. Cap. 9. p. 300.

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being naked and wholly uncovered, they were made a shameful as well as inhuman spectacle to all beholders. Others were bound to the boughs of trees, and so killed; for by certain engines they drew together the strongest boughs, and having fastened the legs of the martyrs to ' each of them, they let the boughs return to their usual 'situation, that the members of the persons, against whom they had invented that torture, might be presently pulled asunder. Such things were done, not for a few days, nor a small space of time, but for whole years together; when 'sometimes more than ten, at other times above twenty in ' number, were destroyed; at some times not less than thirty, at other times almost sixty, and at other times an hundred men together, with many little children and women, were "killed in one day; they having been condemned to various and interchangeable punishments. We ourselves also, when in 'that country, have seen many suffer in one day; when some were beheaded, others were consumed by fire: insomuch that the swords of the executioners were blunted, and being useless were broken to pieces; and the executioners being tired, they succeeded each other by turns.'

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6. In a following chapter: But what need can there 'be that I should mention any more by name, or recount the ' vast number of the persons, or describe the various tor'ments of the admirable martyrs of Christ? But some were 'beheaded, as it happened to those in Arabia; others had 'their legs broken, as it happened to those in Cappadocia. 'Some were hung up on high with their heads downwards,

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and a slow fire being put under them, they were suffocated by the smoke of that combustible matter; which was the case ' of those in Mesopotamia. Others had their noses or their 'ears and their hands cut off, and the other members and

parts of their bodies mangled, as it happened to those in Alexandria. What need I to revive the remembrance of what was done at Antioch; where some were broiled on 'gridirons, not to kill them outright, but to prolong the pains of their sufferings?'

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These things were done at Antioch; but to hear what was done at Pontus must fill the mind with horror. Some had sharp reeds thrust up the fingers of both their hands. from the tops of their nails; others had melted lead poured upon their backs, whilst it was boiling, which ran down ' and scalded the most necessary parts of the body: others, ' without commiseration, were made to endure obscene tor⚫tures in their bowels, and those members of the body which Cap. 12. p. 305.

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modesty forbids to mention; by all which these noble and legal judges manifested their wonderful acuteness; as if they had thought it a part of wisdom and virtue to exceed ' each other in contriving new ways of torture; and as if 'such inventions were entitled to signal rewards. Nor was 'there an end put to these calamities, till, despairing to add any thing new to those already practised, wearied with slaughters, and satiated with the effusion of blood, they betook themselves to what was esteemed by them clemency and humanity, that they might seem no longer to practise severity toward us. Nor was it fit, they said, that the 'cities should be polluted by the blood of their inhabitants ; nor that the government of the emperors, who were benign and merciful to all, should be blemished by any excessive 'cruelties: but it was reasonable, that the imperial benevolence should be extended to all, and that christians should 'not suffer capital punishments; forasmuch as we were now exempted from it by the indulgence of the emperors. From that time, therefore, it was enjoined, that their eyes should be plucked out, and that one of their legs should 'be debilitated. Such was their humanity, and that the 'most gentle punishment that could be inflicted upon us! And henceforward, upon account of this lenity of those impious wretches, it is impossible to reckon up the num'ber of those, who had their right eyes first thrust out with 'a sword, and then seared with red-hot irons; and of those 'who had the flexures of their left legs seared with irons; 'after which they were sent to the brass mines in the province, not so much for the sake of the service they could 'do there, as with a view to increase their miseries.'

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7. In his book of the Martyrs of Palestine, Eusebius again makes mention of this, and says, that Firmilian, president of the province after Urbanus, inflicted this punish'ment upon many, and as by express order from the emperor 'Maximin.' Nor has Cæcilius, in his book of the Deaths of Persecutors, omitted to take notice of this cruelty.

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8. And in another place Eusebius has particularly mentioned an excellent man, named John, of whom he says,

5 —ἃς οἱ γενναιοι και νομιμοι δικασαι την των σφων επιδεικνυμενοι δεινοτητα. κ. λ. p. 306. C.

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Ουκετι δυνατον εξειπειν το πλήθος των ὑπερ παντα λογον. μ. 307. Α. u De M. Pal. cap. S. p. 330. B.

▾ Nam cum clementiam specie tenus profiteretur, occidi servos Dei vetuit, debilitari jussit. Itaque confessoribus effodiebantur oculi, amputabantur manus, pedes detruncabantur, nares vel auriculæ desecabantur. De M. P. cap. 36. in fin. * De Martyr. Pal. cap. 13. p. 344. A. Compare Credib. Vol. iii. p. 222.

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