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

ABOUT the same period, in the reign of Commodus, our circumstances were changed to a milder aspect, as there was peace by the grace of God prevailing in the churches throughout the whole world. Then also the salutary doctrine brought the minds of men from every race on earth, to the devout veneration of the supreme God, so that now, many of those eminent at Rome for their wealth and kindred, with their whole house and family, yielded to their salvation. But this was not to be easily borne by the adversary of all good, that demon who in his own nature is envy itself: for he again prepared for action, and commenced plotting various devices against us. He led to the tribunal Apollonius, one of the faithful at that day, renowned for his learning and wisdom, by stimulating a certain man, well calculated to be his minister for such a purpose, to bring accusation against him. But this miserable instrument, entering upon the charge out of season, when such informers were not suffered to live according to the imperial edict, his limbs were immediately broken, after Perennis the judge had pronounced the sentence. But this most approved and divinely favoured martyr, as the judge earnestly desired and entreated him to give an account of himself before the senate, delivered a most eloquent defence of the faith for which he was suffering, in the presence of all, and terminated his life, by decapitation, according to the decree of the senate; as there was a law of long standing with them, that those who had been once led to trial, and that would by no means change their purpose, should not be dismissed. But the declarations of this martyr before the judge, and the answers that he gave to the questions of Perennis, and his whole defence before the senate, whoever wishes to know, may learn from the narratives of ancient martyrs collected by us.








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