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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

THE emperor’s real temper and disposition, which he had hitherto kept as much as possible from observation, now became fully manifested: for he who had boasted so much of his philosophy, was no longer able to restrain himself; but being goaded almost to madness by these reproachful hymns, he was ready to inflict the same cruelties on the Christians, with which Diocletian had formerly visited them. Nevertheless his solicitude about the Persian expedition, afforded him no leisure for personalty executing his wishes; he therefore commanded Sallust the Prætorian præfect to seize those who had been most conspicuous for their zeal in psalm-singing, in order to make examples of them. The præfect, though a Pagan, was far from being pleased with his commission; but since he durst not contravene it, he caused several of the Christians to be apprehended, and some of them were imprisoned. On one young man named Theodore, whom the heathens brought before him, he inflicted a variety of tortures, causing his person to be so lacerated that he was released from further punishment, under the supposition that he could not possibly outlive the torments he had endured: yet God preserved this sufferer, so that he long survived that confession. Rufinus, the author of an “Ecclesiastical History” written in Latin, states that he himself conversed with the same Theodore a considerable time afterwards: and on enquiring of him whether in the process of scourging and racking he had not felt the most agonizing pains, his answer was, that he was but little sensible of the tortures to which he was subjected; and that a young man stood by him who both wiped off the sweat which was produced by the acuteness of the ordeal through which he was passing, and at the same time strengthened his mind, so that he rendered this time of trial a season of rapture rather than of suffering. Such was the testimony of the excellent Theodore. About this time Persian ambassadors came to the emperor, requesting him to terminate the war on certain express conditions. But Julian abruptly dismissed them, saying, “You shall very shortly see us in person, so that there will be no need of an embassy.”








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