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

THEN, indeed, vast numbers of the prelates of the church endured with a noble resolution the most appalling trials, and exhibited instances of illustrious conflicts for the faith. Vast numbers, however, of others, broken and relaxed in spirit, by timidity before the contest, voluntarily yielded at the first onset. But of the rest, each encountered various kinds of torments. Here was one that was scourged with rods, there another tormented with the rack and excruciating scrapings, in which some at the time endured the most terrible death; others again passed through other torments in the struggle. Here one, whilst some forced him to the impure and detestable sacrifices, was again dismissed, as if he had sacrificed, although this was not the case. There another, though he had not in the least approached the altar, not even touched the unholy thing, yet when others said that he had sacrificed, went away, bearing the calumny in silence. Here one, again taken up when half dead, was thrown out as if he were already dead; there another, again lying upon the ground, was dragged a long distance by the feet, and numbered among those that had sacrificed. One, however, would cry out, and with a loud voice, declared his abhorrence of the sacrifice. Another exclaimed that he was a Christian, furnishing, by confession, an illustrious example of this salutary name. Another asserted that he neither had sacrificed nor intended to sacrifice; but these were forced to silence by numerous bands of soldiers, prepared for this purpose, by whom they were struck on the face and cheeks, and violently driven away. Thus the enemies of religion, upon the whole, deemed it a great matter even to appear to have gained some advantage. But these things did not avail them much against the saints, to give an exact account of whom no description could suffice.








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