Ante-Nicene Christianity: History Of The Christian Church by Philip Schaff

By Philip Schaff

8 quantity sequence. hence Tertullian tells of an organization of Christians in Ephesus, who begged martyrdom from the heathen governor, yet after a number of were finished, the remaining have been despatched away by way of him with the phrases: "Miserable creatures, in case you fairly desire to die, you will have precipices and halters enough." notwithstanding this mistake was once a long way much less discreditable than the other severe of the cowardly worry of guy, but it used to be opposite to the guide and the instance of Christ and the apostles,6 three and to the spirit of precise martyrdom, which is composed within the union of honest humility and tool, and possesses divine power within the very attention of human weak spot.

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During the rapidly succeeding reigns of Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespacian, and Titus, the church, so far as we know, suffered no very serious persecution. But Domitian (81–96), a suspicious and blasphemous tyrant, accustomed to call himself and to be called "Lord and God," treated the embracing of Christianity a crime against the state, and condemned to death many Christians, even his own cousin, the consul Flavius Clemens, on the charge of atheism; or confiscated their property, and sent them, as in the case of Domitilia, the wife of the Clemens just mentioned, into exile.

132–135). A pseudo-Messiah, Bar-Cochba (son of the stars, Num. 24:17), afterwards called Bar-Cosiba (son of falsehood), put himself at the head of the rebels, and caused all the Christians who would not join him to be most cruelly murdered. But the false prophet was defeated by Hadrian’s general in 135, more than half a million of Jews were slaughtered after a desperate resistance, immense numbers sold into slavery, 985 villages and 50 fortresses levelled to the ground, nearly all Palestine laid waste, Jerusalem again destroyed, and a Roman colony, Aelia Capitolina, erected on its ruins, with an image of Jupiter and a temple of Venus.

18. Hadrian. d. 117–138. See Gregorovius: Gesch. Hadrians und seiner Zeit (1851); Renan: 1–44, and Wagenmann in Herzog, vol. v. 501–506. L’E’glise, chrétienne (1879), Hadrian, of Spanish descent, a relative of Trajan, and adopted by him on his death-bed, was a man of brilliant talents and careful education, a scholar an artist, a legislator and administrator, and altogether one of the ablest among the Roman emperors, but of very doubtful morality, governed by changing moods, attracted in opposite directions, and at last lost in self-contradictions and utter disgust of life.

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