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

I SHALL now subjoin the occurrences that befel Dionysius, from his epistle to Germanus, where, speaking of himself, he gives the following account: “But I speak before God, and he knows that I lie not; it was never by my own counsel, nor without divine intimation, that I projected my flight: but before the persecution of Decius, Sabinus, at the very hour, sent Frumentarius to search for me. And I, indeed, staid at home about four days, expecting the arrival of Frumentarius. But he went about examining all places, the roads, the rivers, the fields, where he suspected that I would go or lie concealed. But he was smitten with blindness, not being able to find the house, for he could not believe that I would remain at home when persecuted. Four days had scarcely elapsed when God ordered me to remove, and opened the way for me in a most remarkable manner. I and my domestics, and many of my brethren, went forth together. And that this happened by the providence of God, was shown by what followed, and in which, perhaps, we were not unprofitable to some.” After this, he shows the events that befel him after his flight, adding the following: “About sunset, being seized, together with my compairy, by the soldiers, I was led to Taposiris. Timothy, by the providence of God, happened not to be present, nor even seized; and coming afterwards, he found the house deserted, and servants guarding it, and us he found reduced to slavery.” After other remarks, he observes: “And what was the manner of this divine interposition of his? For the truth shall be told. A certain man of the country met Timothy flying, and much disturbed, and when he was asked the cause of his haste, he declared the truth. When he heard it, he went his way, for he was going to a marriage festival, (as it is the custom with them on these occasions to keep the whole night,) and when he entered he told it to those that were present at the feast. These, forthwith, with a single impulse, as if by agreement, all arose, and came as quick as possible in a rush upon us, and as they rushed they raised a shout. The soldiers that guarded us immediately took to flight, and they came upon us, lying as we were upon the bare bedsteads. I, indeed, as God knows, supposed them at first to be robbers, who had come to plunder and pillage. Remaining, therefore, on my bed, naked as I was, only covered with a linen garment, the rest of my dress I offered them as it lay beside me. But they commanded me to rise and to depart as quick as possible. Then, understanding for what purpose they had come, I began to cry out, beseeching and praying them to go away and to let us alone, but if they wished to do us any good, to anticipate those that had led me away, and to cut off my head. When I thus cried out, as my companions and partners in all my distresses well know, they attempted to raise me by force. I then cast myself on my back upon the ground. But they seized me by the hands and feet, and dragged me away, whilst those who were witnesses of all these things, Caius, Faustus, Peter, and Paul, followed on. These, also, taking me up, bore me away from the town, and carried me off on an unsaddled ass.” Such is the account of Dionysius respecting himself.








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