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An Ecclesiastical History To The 20th Year Of The Reign Of Constantine by Eusebius

ABOUT this time, the same Justin who was mentioned by us a little before, after having given a second defence of our doctrines to the above-mentioned rulers, was crowned with divine martyrdom, at the insidious instigation of Crescens the philosopher, who was called a cynic, and emulated the life and manners indicated by the name he bore. After having frequently refuted him in discussion, in the presence of many hearers, he at length also bore away the palm of victory, in the truth which he asserted, by his own martyrdom. It is also plainly stated by the same excellent and most learned author, in the Apology already quoted, that he predicted the issue just as it was about to happen in reference to himself, in the following words: “I also expect to be waylaid by some one of those whom I have named, and to be put to the rack, even by Crescens himself, that unphilosophical and vain-glorious opponent. For it seems not proper to call a man a philosopher, who publicly attempts to contend against matters that he does not understand, as if Christians were infidels and wicked characters, merely for the purpose of captivating and gratifying the multitude. He has done all this under a strong delusion. For if he counteract us without having read the doctrines of Christ, he is most iniquitous in his conduct, and much worse than common men, who for the most part are cautious in speaking and bearing a false testimony in matters with which they are not acquainted: and if when happening to rend, he does not understand the sublimity of them, or if understanding, he does those things that may lead one to suspect he is not one of them, (i. e.) that he is no Christian, he is so much the more base and nefarious, inasmuch as he is enslaved to vulgar applause and an absurd fear. And, indeed, when I proposed certain questions to him, in order to ascertain and convince him that he really was ignorant, I assure you that I found this to be the case. And that you may know all that I here say is true, if these discussions have not yet reached you, I am prepared to repeat these interrogations in your presence. Nor would this be unworthy your Imperial Majesties. But if these questions of mine, and his answers, are known to you, it is obvious to you, that he knows nothing of our doctrines, or if he knows, he does not declare them on account of his hearers; so that, as I before said, he proves himself to be not a true lover of wisdom, but a lover of vain-glory. He, indeed, does not even regard that excellent saying of Socrates, viz. ‘that no one is to be preferred to truth.’ ” Thus far Justin; but that in consequence of his freedom towards Crescens, he was brought to his end, is shown by Tatian, a man who at first, as a sophist, taught the various branches of literature among the Greeks, and obtained no small celebrity in them, and who left numerous monuments of his attainments in his works. This he relates in the book against the Greeks: “And that most excellent Justin, justly declared, that the aforesaid persons were like robbers.” Then after some comments on these philosophers, he adds the following: “Crescens, indeed, who had nestled in the great city (Rome), surpassed all in his unnatural lust (παιδεραστια) and was also wholly enslaved to the love of money. And he who advised others to despise death, was himself so much in dread of it, that he procured it for Justin as though it had been a great evil; because when proclaiming the truth, he proved the philosophers gluttons and impostors.” And such was the cause that produced the martyrdom of Justin.








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