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lows. When all the men in the city had gone to sleep and it was near midnight, and the bakers were making bread, it happened that fire falling on the faggots near at hand set the shop in flames, and spreading thence got hold of a very considerable part of the city. But when the people had run together and there was much shouting and confusion, the mayor ordered the engines which were prepared for this purpose to be brought up. So the hose and water and every contrivance of art was brought. The Jews also came down under pretence of being able to extinguish it, since they always present themselves uninvited at a fire: for they assert that conflagrations cannot possibly be stopped in any other way but by their presence. This is an artifice of theirs to plunder the property in the houses. As the city then was in danger, the mayor said; 'Sirs, ye who are here with us at the season of this dire spectacle, you see that it is of no use, because the wind is contrary: and when our only hope was in the presence of the Jews, we have failed even in this. What then do I advise? Listen to me. The other day in the mayor's lodging a strange seizure overtook a servant of mine getting up at night, and he cried out and lost his senses. And when we kindled lights, we found him in a phrenzy devouring everything. Now at break of day the Jews came, wanting to cure him by charms : but he, single handed, struck them and was within an ace of killing them, numerous as they were; and tearing off their clothes, he drove them away naked and covered with blood. Then a certain person in my house, who was a Christian, said; "If you bid me, I will summon one who is able to master him." I gave permission, and the teacher of the Christians, whom they call Polycarp, came. But while he was still a very long way off the young man cried out loudly, "Polycarp is coming to me, and I shall fly." And as he approached...'
29. ......as was wont, making no progress for several days, they stopped at length. And when after some trouble those who held the office of councillors were brought together, and the mayor stated that he neither had corn nor could discover whence to buy it, though ready to pay down the money, a certain person, a man advanced in years, rose up from the midst of them and said; 'Sirs, all of you who were present at that season, when the city was endangered from a conflagration which broke out at midnight, remember distinctly how, when neither we nor the Jews were able to extinguish the fire, a man divinely gifted in the lessons of truth, the priest of those who are called Christians, being invited by you, standing before us all and looking up to heaven said some words or other, and forthwith the flame gathering
into a ball and paying respect, I know not how, to his voice sunk down into itself; and the thought has often crossed my mind that that man is some god or other. Now you know that our poets and historians say that the heavens send down their gods in the likeness of men, both to punish wrong-doers and likewise also to avenge those who suffer wrong.
30. But they, when they heard him, shouted out and demanded that a general assembly should be called. So, without delay, they all went off in a body to the theatre; for being distressed by famine they looked to their immediate necessity, since they were compelled to declare, if only by their shout, that there was one God. When therefore they sent for Polycarp and urged him to come, he was found and brought. Then he was conducted to them; and, while the people shouted aloud, the chief men of the city said to him: 'Polycarp, thou seest that the city of which thou also art an inhabitant is in straits, and thou thyself sharest with us and dost participate, if not in our customs, at all events in the scarcity which now exists owing to the drought. The Smyrnæans therefore urge thee to ask rain of thy God, that the earth receiving water from heaven may return to the husbandmen the seed committed to it.' But his face was covered with blushes, and his whole body dripped like a fountain with profuse sweat, while his heart leaping and throbbing bounded to heaven in prayer. Then slowly, but yet decidedly, he answered saying; 'Sirs, ye who inhabit this most beautiful city, give ear to me a sojourner and a stranger, to whom every city is foreign by reason of my heavenly citizenship and all the world is a city by reason of the gift of God who created all things. For I have not, as ye suppose, so high an opinion of myself that I am able, when a whole nation is justly chastised for its sins, to divest it of its scourges; but how much is possible, I will explain. Gathered together with me are certain venerable old men with whom I myself confer, when I want to ask a thing of God, urging them to be ambassadors on my behalf. With these then I will confer, that they may also be ambassadors on your behalf with Him through prayer; but to you my advice is, that ye be of good courage and order all the people to throw off this distress and to hope for better things. For God, being longsuffering, giveth times for repentance to the race of men.' Then the mayor took courage, as well from the miracles previously wrought by Polycarp himself, as from the words spoken by him, and said; Assuredly ye know all of you, citizens and strangers, that while we strive to propitiate the divine being with our own customs and institutions, performing sacred rites and sacrifices and kindlings of altars and burnings of incense, this man and those whom he says he has with
him as fellow priests and fellow ministers, retire apart and offer their prayers to their God more leisurely. Let us then separate-we and they and let us send this man away, offering him security, that dismissing the fear for his life which has overtaken him from this tumult, he may perform his sacred rites on our behalf with his mind undisturbed and his thoughts calmed.' And with these words he dismissed the people.
31. Then he without delay ran to the Lord's house, where it was customary for the Church of Christ to assemble; and he ordered the deacons to charge them all to take care again that one prayer might be offered up by many. But they, having already prepared themselves from day-break, because of his being taken into the theatre, and because it was Friday (for they were apprehensive lest he should suffer some harm from the people), when they heard it gathered quickly together. Then said he to them; 'Let us remember, brethren, the promises of our Lord Jesus Christ who said, Ask, and it shall be given to you; for if two of you shall agree concerning any thing whatsoever that ye may ask, it shall be done unto them of My Father which is in heaven. Let us therefore ask in faith and without wavering in our minds, for the prayer of the suppliant is in a manner weighed as in a balance, and is swayed on whichever side the mind inclines. indeed is evident from Peter's walking on the waves: for so long as he had faith he walked, but when he was alarmed at the violence of the wind, he sunk into the deep, as an example to us, that we may understand the inclination on either side. Possessed with such confidence, Moses the servant of God said to the people, when they failed from fear; Stand, and ye shall see the glory of the Lord. For of a very truth we need to stand firm upon the rock, that nothing wavering we may continue unmoved and unscared through faith in our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ; who also gave rain to the blessed prophet Elijah in answer to his prayer, when the heaven was shut three years and six months.'
32. And with these words, kneeling down first with them all, he prayed at great length as follows;
'O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, O God Omnipotent, that art blessed for ever and ever, Amen; unto whom archangels, glories, and heavenly powers, thrones, dominations, seraphim, and cherubim, do service; Thou God who madest the heaven and the earth and sea and all things that are therein, that fashionedst man after Thine image and likeness, for whom also Thou wast well pleased to send Thy Word upon earth, that being incarnate of a Virgin and the Holy Ghost,
He might save and raise up through His passion man who had fallen under the dominion of sin; Give ear, O Lord, look upon us, Thou Holy One, listen to the prayers of Thy holy Catholic Church, and give rain upon the face of the earth, and seed for the sower and bread for food. For in the days of necessity the heathen, perceiving that we are Thy servants, seek righteousness from us. And now, Lord, let all our adversaries perceive it.'
When he had offered this prayer, the heaven gave rain, and all glorified God that worketh marvellous things through His servants; to whom be the glory and the power both now and to endless ages with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.