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 couple of have been achieved, the remaining have been despatched away via him with the phrases: "Miserable creatures, for those who fairly desire to die, you will have precipices and halters enough." notwithstanding this mistake used to be 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 real martyrdom, which is composed within the union of honest humility and gear, and possesses divine energy within the very cognizance of human weak point.
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Extra resources for Ante-Nicene Christianity: History Of The Christian Church Volume II
E. 10 The strength of Christianity in Rome is also confirmed by the enormous extent of the catacombs where the Christians were buried. From Rome the church spread to all the cities of Italy. The first Roman provincial synod, of which we have information, numbered twelve bishops under the presidency of Telesphorus (142–154). In the middle of the third century (255) Cornelius of Rome held a council of sixty bishops. The persecution of the year 177 shows the church already planted in the south of Gaul in the second century.
132 This number was suggested by the ten plagues of Egypt taken as types (which, however, befell the enemies of Israel, and present a contrast rather than a parallel), and by the ten horns of the Roman beast making war with the Lamb, taken for so many emperors14 But the number is too great for the general persecutions, and too small for the provincial and local. Only two imperial persecutions—those, of Decius and Diocletian—extended over the empire; but Christianity was always an illegal religion from Trajan to Constantine, and subject to annoyance and violence everywhere15 Some persecuting emperors—Nero, Domitian, Galerius, were monstrous tyrants, but others—Trajan, Marcus Aurelius, Decius, Diocletian—were among the best and most energetic emperors, and were prompted not so much by hatred of Christianity as by zeal for the maintenance of the laws and the power of the government.
101, Engl. c. p. 32 sqq). Renan represents Hadrian as a rieur spirituel, un Lucian couronné prenat le monde comme un jeu frivole (p. 6), and therefore more favorable to religious liberty than the serious Trajan and the pious Antoninius and Marcus Aurelius. But Friedländer (III. 492) accepts the report of Pausanias that Hadrian was zealously devoted to the worship of the gods. Keim regards him as a visionary and hostile to Christianity as well as to Judaism. 36 Hist of Christ'n Church 2 Philip Schaff fathers;332 and in any case he could not have controlled the conduct of the provincial governors and the fury of the people against an illegal religion.