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He that is within the Altar is pure: that is, he who does aught apart from Bishop, and Presbytery, and Deacon, he is not clean in conscience.
VIII. Not that I know aught of this kind in you, but, for the love I bear you, I put you on your guard, foreseeing the snares of the Devil. You therefore, summoning a spirit of meekness, renew yourselves in Faith, which is Flesh of the LORD, and in Love, which is Blood of Jesus Christ. Let none of you complain of his neighbour. Give no occasion to the heathen ; lest, on the score of a senseless few, the multitude which is in God be evil spoken of; for "woe unto him, through whose folly My name is evil spoken of by any."
IX. Be deaf then when any man speaks to you without Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David, and of Mary; who was really born, did eat and did drink ; was really persecuted, under Pontius Pilate; was really crucified and died, heavenly powers looking on, and those on earth, and those under the earth; who really also was raised from the dead, His FATHER raising Him; in the likeness whereto, us also who believe in Him shall His Father raise, through Jesus Christ, apart from whom we know not the real life.
X. But if, as some godless men, that is, unbelievers, say, He suffered only in semblance, (they rather being but a semblance,) why am I in bonds ? and why do I hope to fight with beasts? In such case I am perishing for nothing, and belie my LORD.
XI. Avoid then those mischievous offshoots, fruitful of death, the which if a man taste he dies thereby; for these are not the planting of the Father. For if they were, we should see them branches of the Cross, and their fruit would be incorruptible ; through which He in His passion calls you being His members. The Head therefore cannot be born apart without the members : for God promises their becoming one, which is Himself.
XII. I send you my salutation from Smyrna, together with the Churches of God that are here with me, which have every way refreshed me, both in flesh and spirit. My bonds are an exhortation to you which I bear about for Jesus Christ's sake, praying that I may attain to God. Continue in your unanimity, and your united prayer; for it is right for every one of you,
for the Presbyters particularly, to refresh the Bishop unto the honour of the Father, of Jesus Christ, and of the Apostles. I pray that you may hear me in love : and that I may not, by writing this, be made a testimony against you. Likewise do you pray for me, who desire your love in the mercy of God, that I may be held worthy of that lot which it is my business to gain, and may not become a castaway.
XIII. The love of Smyrnæans and Ephesians saluteth you. Remember in your prayers the Church that is in Syria, whereby I am not worthy to be called, being last among them. Be strong in Jesus Christ; being subject to your Bishop as to the commandment, and to the Presbytery likewise. Love one another, every one of you, with an undivided heart. My spirit be your expiation, not now only, but when I shall have attained to God. I am yet under hazard ; but the Father is faithful in Jesus Christ, to fulfil my request and yours ; in whom may you be found guiltless.
These Tracts are continued in Numbers, and sold at the price of 2d. for each sheel, or 7s. for 50 copies.
LONDON: PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVINGTON,
GILBERT & RIVINGTON, Printers, St. John's Square, London.
RECORDS OF THE CHURCH.
THE HOLY CHURCH THROUGHOUT ALL THE WORLD DOTH
Account of the Martyrs of Lyons and Vienne.
(From the Church History of Eusebius.) In the seventeenth year of the Emperor Antoninus Verus the persecution raged with fresh violence against us, in some parts of the world, by means of the attacks made on us by the populace of the several cities. We may conjecture, from what occurred in a single country, that myriads of martyrdoms took place throughout the earth. These are well worthy of immortal memory, and happen to have been transmitted to posterity in writing. The whole document, which contains the fullest account of them, is placed in my collection of Martyrs, containing a description which is not merely historical, but also instructive. As much, however, as is connected with my present purpose, I will select and insert here.
Others, in composing historical narrations, commit to writing victories in war, and trophies over the enemy, and the exploits of generals, and the valour of troops stained with blood and endless slaughter, in defence of their children, their country, and their fortunes. But our narrative of the acts of a Divine Commonwealth, will rather seek to inscribe, on an everlasting monument, those most peaceful wars for the peace of the soul; and the Heroes who have fought in these, rather for the truth than for their country, and rather for religion than for the objects of their dearest affections. It will proclaim, for eternal memory, the perseverance, and the enduring valour of the combatants in the cause of Piety, and their trophies over devils, and their victories over unseen adversaries, and their crowns which followed.
Gaul [i. e. France) then was the place of the conflicts of which we speak. The principal cities of this country, remarkable and celebrated above others, are Lyons and Vienne, through both which runs the stream of the Rhone, which passes with a rapid course round that whole region. The account of the martyrdoms, transmitted by the Churches of chief note in these parts to those in Asia and Phrygia, thus describes the things done among them; and I will give their own words.
Letter of the Churches of Lyons and Vienne in the South of France
to the Churches of Asia and Phrygia.
The Servants of Christ, that sojourn at Vienne and Lyons in Gaul, to the Brethren in Asia and Phrygia, who have the same faith and hope of redemption with us, peace, and grace, and glory, from God the Father, and Christ Jesus our LORD.
The greatness of the sufferings in this country, and the wonderful rage of the heathen against the Saints, and how much the blessed Martyrs endured, we are neither able accurately to declare, nor is it possible to be comprehended in writing. For the Adversary rushed down upon us with all his might, as already anticipating his future coming without controul *; and went through all possible means in preparing, and exercising his own beforehand, against the Servants of God. So that we were not only excluded from the houses, the baths, and the market; but it was even forbidden for any of us to shew himself, in any place whatever.
But the Grace of God took the lead in opposition to him; and, protecting the weak, set Firm Pillars in battle array against him, whose fortitude rendered them first to draw on themselves the whole violence of the Evil One ; men who went forth to meet him, supporting patiently every kind of insult and torture, and counting the most he could do as little, were in haste to be with CHRIST; shewing, of a truth, that “the sufferings of this present time are not to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us."
And, in the first place, they nobly endured all the injuries heaped on them by the assembled populace, who hooted, beat, dragged about, plundered, stoned, and confined them; and did all such things, as are wont to be done by a furious mob to those, whom it hates and counts its enemies. And, lastly, when brought into the market-place by the commander of the troops and the authorities of the city, and questioned before the whole multitude, they confessed, and were shut up in prison till the arrival of the Governor.
And when afterwards they were brought before the Governor, and he shewed the utmost cruelty towards us, Vettius Epagathus, one of the brethren, (full of love toward God and his neighbour, and of so exact and perfect a life, that, though a young man, he
• Rev. xx. 3.
was equal to the testimony borne to the aged Zacharias, in that he “ walked in all the commandments and judgments of the Lord blameless," and ready in every service to his neighbour, having great "zeal toward God," and "fervent in spirit,"') this excellent man could not endure the unreasonable judgment, which was passing against us, but testified his indignation, and demanded to be heard himself in defence of the Brethren. And when those about the tribunal hooled him down, (for he was a man of note,) and the Governor would not allow the just claim he had put our behalf, but only asked if he too were a Christian, he confessed with a loud voice, and was himself taken, and so took his place among the number of the Martyrs; being called the Advocate of the Christians, and having in himself the “Advocate," (or the Comforter, John xiv. 16.) the Spirit, yet more than Zacharias (Luke i. 67.). Which he also shewed by the fulness of his love, being ready to lay down his own life for the sake of defending his Brethren. For he was, yea, is, a genuine Disciple of Christ, “ following the Lamb wherever He goeth."
Then also others began to be distinguishable ; and the First Martyrs were conspicuous and prepared, fulfilling with all readiness the Martyr's confession. Those also might be discerned who were unprepared and unexercised, and still weak, unable to bear the strain of a great conflict. About ten of whom fell away; who also caused us much grief and unmeasured lamentation, and hindered the readiness of others, who were not yet arrested, and who, though suffering all possible indignities, were in attendance on the Martyrs, and did not desert them. Then, however, we were all greatly alarmed by the uncertainty of the confession; not ing the cruelties that were inflicted, but looking to the end, and fearing that any one might fall away.
Those, however, who were worthy, were daily apprehended, filling up their number, so that there were taken up, from the two Churches, all the best men, and those, by whom things here were chiefly kept together. There were also taken up some heathen servants belonging to persons amongst our number, since the Governor ordered a public inquisition to be made after us all. And they, by a device of Satan, fearing the tortures which they saw the Saints endure, the soldiers urging them on, belied us as holding Thyestean feasts *, and guilty of impurities like those of
i. e. Eating human flesh, a calumny derived from the LORD's Supper.