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

THE persecution had now been extended to the fifth year, when on the second of the month Xanthicus, that is the fourth of the Nones of April, on the very day of our Lord’s resurrection again, at Cæsarea, a virgin of Tyre, Theodosia by name, not yet eighteen years old, but distinguished for her faith and virtue, approached some prisoners, confessors of the kingdom of Christ, seated before the judgment-seat, with a view to salute them, and, as is probable, with a view to entreat them to remember her when they should come before the Lord. Whilst she was doing this, as if it were some impious and atrocious deed, she was seized by the soldiers, and led away to the commander. Presently, merciless and savage as he was, he had her tortured with dreadful and horrific cruelties, furrowing her sides and breasts with instruments even to the very bones, and whilst yet breathing, and withal exhibiting a cheerful and joyous countenance, he orders her to be cast into the sea. Proceeding next from her to the other confessors, he consigned them all to the mines at Phœno in Palestine. After this, on the fifth of the month Dius, on the Nones of November, Roman style, in the same city, Silvanus, who was yet a presbyter, became a confessor, and not long after he was both honoured with the episcopate, and finally crowned with martyrdom. The same judge condemned those who exhibited the noblest firmness in the cause of piety, to labour in the same mines, having first ordered their ancles to be disabled by searing with red hot irons. At the same time that this sentence was passed, he ordered one who had rendered himself illustrious on innumerable occasions of confession, to be committed to the flames. This was Domninus, well known to all in Palestine, for his great boldness. After which, this judge, who was a terrible inventor of miseries, and particularly ingenious in new devices against the doctrine of Christ, planned torments against the Christians, such as had never before been heard of. He condemned three to pugilistic combat; but Auxentius, a grave and holy presbyter, he ordered to be cast to the beasts; others who had reached the age of maturity, he made eunuchs, and condemned them to the mines; others again, after dreadful tortures, he cast into prison. Among these was Pamphilus, that dearest of my friends and associates, a man who for every virtue was the most illustrious martyr of our times. Urbanus having first made trial of his skill in the art of rhetoric, and the studies of philosophy, after this attempted to force him to offer sacrifice. When he saw him refusing, and not even regarding his threats, at last becoming transported with rage, he orders him to be tortured with more excruciating pains. Then this monster in cruelty, obstinately and incessantly applied the instruments, to furrow aud lacerate his sides, all but entering and feeding upon his very flesh, and yet after all, defeated and covered with shame, he committed him to those confessors in prison. But what kind of return this tormentor will receive at the hands of divine justice, for his cruelties against the saints, and after rioting to such extent against the confessors of Christ, is easy to conjecture from the preludes to these judgments here. For immediately after his crimes against Pamphilus, whilst he held the government, the divine justice suddenly overtook him. That man whom we but yesterday saw judging on a lofty seat, and surrounded by a guard of soldiers, and ruling over all Palestine,—the associate, and favourite, and guest of the tyrant,—stripped in a single night, divested of all his honours, and covered with disgrace and ignominy, before those who had courted him as the emperor himself, him we saw, timid and cowardly, uttering cries and entreaties like a woman, before all the people whom he had ruled. The same just providence also made that very Maximums upon whom he so boastingly relied, as if he loved him exceedingly for his dreadful deeds against us; him I say, in the same city, the justice of God raised into a most relentless and cruel judge, who pronounced sentence of death against him, after the numerous crimes of which he was convicted. But let this account of him suffice, by the way. Perhaps a suitable occasion may offer, in which we shall also relate the end of those wicked men that were principally concerned in waging war against us, and also of Maximums himself, together with those of his ministers in this work.








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