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

“BUT many others were also torn asunder in cities and villages, of which I shall mention one as an example. Ischyrion was hired by one of the rulers in the capacity of a steward. This man was ordered by his employer to sacrifice, but as he did not obey, he was abused by him. Persevering in his purpose, he was treated with contumely, and as he still continued to bear with all, his employer seized a long pole and slew him, by thrusting it through his bowels. Why should I mention the multitudes that wandered about in deserts and mountains, that perished by hunger and thirst, arid frost and diseases, and robbers and wild beasts? The survivors of whom are the witnesses both of their election and victory. But I will add one fact to illustrate this: Chæremon was a very aged bishop of the city called Nile. He fleeing into the Arabian mountain, with his partner, did not return again, nor could the brethren learn any thing of him any more, though frequent search was made for him. They neither found them nor their bodies, and many were carried off as slaves by the barbarous Saracens, to the same mountains. Some of these were ransomed with great difficulty, others not even to the present day. And these facts I have stated, brethren, not without an object, but that thou mayest see how great and terrible distresses have befallen us, of which indeed, they who have been most tried, also understand the most.” Then, after a few remarks, he observes: “But these same martyrs, who are now sitting with Christ, and are the sharers in his kingdom, and the partners in his judgment, and who are now judging with him, received those of the brethren that fell away, and had been convicted of sacrificing (to idols), and when they saw their conversion and repentance, and that it might be acceptable to Him who doth not by any means wish the death of the sinner so much as their repentance, and having proved them (as sincere), they received and assembled with them. They also communicated with them in prayer and at their feasts. What then, brethren, do ye advise concerning these? What should we do? Let us join in our sentiments with them, and let us observe their judgment and their charity; and let us kindly receive those who were treated with such compassion by them. Or should we rather pronounce their judgment unjust, and set ourselves up as the judges of their opinion, and thus grieve the spirit of mildness, and overturn established order?” These remarks were probably added by Dionysius when he spoke of those that had fallen away through weakness during the persecution.








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