Imatges de pÓgina

vailed within. Bean's Prayer for christianity are no where mentionDeparting Souls was read, and, ed ; but it appears, from his own after some interval, the Commen- writings, as well as from the testidatory Prayer for a Person at the mony of Eusebius and Theodo. . Point of Death, which, after anoth- ret, that he was placed, at an earer interval, was repeated. As the ly age, under the instructions of prayer advanced her breathing be- St. Polycarp, the Bishop of Smyr. came weaker ; and as the prayer na, who had been the disciple of ended the breathed her last. Her St. John. His words are, “when {pirit and the intercession of her I was yet a child I was in the Lowchristians friends, it is hoped, af- .er Asia with Polycarp.;" and " I cended to heaven together. Her remember the things then done {on, who had not moved from her better than what has happened of bedside for a considerable time be late.: for what we learn being chil. fore her departure, held her hands dren, increases together with the between his at this folemn moment, mind itself, and is closely united and received her last breath. to it : Insomuch that I am able Not a groan nor throb was heard, to tell even the place where the not was the least change of coun- blefied Polycarp fat and discourftenance perceptable. --She fell a- ed ; also his goings-out and comfleep in Jesus. ; his manner of life ; the Thus died this excellent woman, thape of his body ; his discourses at her son's house in Lansdown to the people ; the familiar interplace, Bath, on Sunday evening, course which he said he had with the uth of November, 1804, in John, and with the rest who had the seventy-second year of her age. seen the Lord ; and how he reMay every reader of this narra- hearsed their sayings; and what tive, encouraged by so striking an they were which he had heard instance of divine mercy, become from them concerning the Lord, a follower of them who, through his miracles, and his doctrines. faith and patience, inherit the According as Polycarp received promises ; that, together with them from those who with their those who have died in the Lord, own eyes beheld the word of life, he may be a joyful partaker of so he related them, agreeing in that blessed reft which remaineth all things with the scriptures. for the people of God.

These things, by the mercy of

God bestowed on me, I then heard From the Christian Observer. diligently, and copied them out, LIFE OF ST. JRENAEUS.

not in paper, but in my heart; History has conveyed to us and by the grace of God I do confew particulars of the first years tinually and sincerely ruminate on of the life of Irenæus, and has not them.” even specified his country, or the The account which has been alplace of his birth. There is, how. ready given of Polycarp* fuffi. ever, fufficient ground for believ. ciently thews, that by him Irenæus ing him to have been a Greek, and must have been taught the true to have acquired in his youth a and uncorrupted doctrine of the competent acquaintance with the Apostles ; and was likely also, philosophy and literature, which confidering the deep reverence were then in vogue. The circumkances which led him to embrace

• The life of Polycarp shall be given in a-fe ture number,

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which he felt for his master, to im. throne of the Cæsars, a persecu. bibe from him a spirit nearly alli- tion commenced against the ed to theirs. Accordingly we christians, which continued with find him, in after life, to have only occasional and partial interbeen an eminent example of the missions during his reign of nineeffect of genuine chriltianity in teen years. In 177, the storm fanctifying the heart, and elevat- of this perfecution fell with peing the soul above worldly and culiar violence on France, and sensual objects,

particularly on the churches of Irenæus is also said to have been, Lyons and Vienne. An account for some time, a scholar of Papias, of the miseries which it there prothe Bishop of Hierapolis, * a man duced is contained in an epiftle of unquestionable piety, but of a addressed by these churches to weak judgment and narrow under- their brethren in Asia and Phryg. standing, which, leading him to ia, and written, as is most proba. misapprehend some of the more ble, by Irenæus himself ; the subabstruse parts of scripture, prov. Itance of which will now be giv. ed the occasion of great errors in many who followed him and revered his memory ; errors, the “ Who noble ends by noble means ob. contagion of which Irenæus him

tains, self did not wholly escape.

Or failing smiles in exile or in chains ; Of the life of Irenæus nothing

Like good Aurelius let him reign or

bleed more is known until the year of Like Socrates ; that man is great inour Lord 177. We then find

deed." him acting as Presbyter of the It would not have fuited the poet's Church of Lyons in France, under purpose, or rather that of bis infidel in. Pothinus, who was Bilhop of ed to view, as eminent examples of vir

structor, Bolingbroke, to have exhibit. that fee. The circumstances tue, those whose ardent love of Chirst, which led to his being placed in and whose realizing views of eternity, this situation have not been re. had rendered the m superior to evcorded : but the gospel having ery worldly or felfish confideration : been first planted in Lyons, at no

whom neither tribulation, nor distress,

nor persecution, nor famine, nor nakvery remote period, by means of ednels, nor peril, nor the sword, could millionaries sent thither by one move from the prosecution of the noof the Asiatick churches, the Gal. blest end; the glory of God, by the nolick chrillians probably continued blest means ; an entire devotedness of pastors from the same quarter ; vice. No, it is the implacable persecu

themselves, souls and bodies, to his seravailing themselves for that pur- tor of those very men, every period of pose of the commercial inter. whose history, is stained with their course subsisting between the two blood, and whose delegated cruelties countries. Pothinus, the Bish. toward them (though they were, inop, was evidently a Greek as well deed, the excellent of the earth) 'can

not be read without indignation and as Irenæus.

horror; this is the man whom Soon after Marcus Aurelius ubriftian Poet selects as his pattern of Antoniust had succeeded to the imperial magnanimity, of true gond

nefs and noblenets of mind! See Mile Papias had likewise been a disciple ner's Church History, Vol. I. of Sr. John.

* It was to the fury of this persecu. + This is the same person whom Mr. tion that St. Polycarp and Juftin Mare Pope celebrates in the following lines :

tyr, fell victims.


SUBSTANCE OF THE EPISTLE, &c. ers were examined at the same

time, who proved illustrious and We are unable to give you any ready martyrs ; while some prov. adequate idea of the fury mani- ed unequal to so great a combat. felted by the heathens against the Of these ten fell away, whose case saints, or of the sufferings of filled us with deep dejection on the blessed martyrs. Our grand their account, and with alarming adversary affailed us with all his fears, not of being tortured, but might, and left no method of cru- lest any of us also should be tempt. elty unpractised. We were for- ed to apoltatize from the faith. bidden to appear in the baths, or The molt eminent persons of both the forum ; in any house except churches were now daily appreour own, or indeed in any place hended, and with them some of whatsoever. But the Grace of our heathen servants, who were God fought for us, preserving the induced, by the dread of torture, weak, and exposing to the fury of to charge us with eating human the tempter those chiefly, who, flesh, and with other practices not being armed with patience, were fit even to be named. This inable to withstand his affault, censed, beyond all bounds, against

, and to endure every species of us many even of those who before pain and reproach, elteeming had been more moderate. The 1 them light and trivial, for the holy martyrs were now called to fake of Christ, and the glory endure inexpressible tortures, Sawhich should follow. They first tan endeavouring to extort from courageously sustained the thouts, them also some fander against blows, plunder, stonings, and all christianity. The rage of the other outrages and indignities multitude, as well as of the presiwhich an exasperated mob could dent and the soldiery, was chiefly be expected to inflict. They then directed against San&us, a deacon underwent a publick examination, of Vienne; Maturus, who had onand confeffing themselves to be ly recently been baptized ; Attachristians were shut up in prison. lus, of Pergamus, a main pillar of When the president arrived, they the church; and Blandina, who, were brought before his tribunal, notwithstanding our fears for her and treated with the utmost bru. weakness, was supplied with so tality. Vettius Epagathus, an much fortitude, that even those eminent example of piety and de- who in fucceffion were torturing votedness to God, was moved with her from morning till night were indignation at witnessing lucha per- worn out, and owned themselves verlion of justice, and requested vanquished. They were even a. permillion to repel the charge of mazed that she should be still aimpiety which was made against live, mangled and pierced as was the christians. His request was her whole body. But in the midst refused, and he himself, confesling of all her torments, it seemed to that he was a christian, was num- abate her pains, and to recruit bered with the martyrs.

But her spirits to be able to say, " I having within him the Holy Spir- am a christian, and no wickedness it, and being a genuine disciple of is acted among us.' Chrit, he gladly laid down his The astonilhing courage with life for the brethren, following the which San&tus encountered the Lamb wbitherfor er he goeth. Oth- intense sufferings he was made to


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undergo, excited in an extraordi- places, their feet diftended in the nary degree the rage both of the stocks, till many were suffocated, governour and the torturers. At and others died in prison of the last they applied red hot plates tortures they had endured. Maof brass to the tenderest parts of ny, however, survived, notwith. his body : these were indeed standing their deftitution of all burnt ; but he hill stood unmov. human aid, being strengthened by ed, and firm in his confession, be the Lord. ing refrelhed by that heavenly Pothinus, the Bishop, who was fountain of living water which above ninety years of age, and veflows from the body of Chrilt. ry infirm in body, though strong in His body was now one continued spirit, was now brought before the wound, and scarcely retained the tribunal, and having, amid the human form; but Christ wrought fhouts of the multitude, witnessed wonders in him, shewing that a good confession, he was violent- . nothing is to be dreaded where ly dragged about and inhumanly the love of God, and the glory of beaten, until scarcely any breath Christ are preseut. For some was left in him. He was then days after, while his body was in cait into prison, and after two an extremely tender state, swoln days expired. and inflamed by what he had suf- It is particularly worthy of refered, they hoped, by repeating mark, that such as on being seized the same course of tortures, to had denied Christ partook of the subdue his constancy; or at least fame miseries in prison as the mar, to strike a terror into the rest. tyrs, being treated as guilty by But so far was this from being their own confession of murder the case, that under this second in- and incelt; while they were destifliction he seemed, by the grace of tute of the joy of martyrdom, the Christ, rather to recover his form- hope of the gospel, the love of er shape, and the use of his limbs. Christ, and the confolations of the Biblias, one of those who had Spirit of God.

God. Oppressed with denied Christ, was now brought the pangs of guilt, their dejected to the torture, in the liope of looks distinguilhed them from the compelling her to charge the faithful, who went forth cheerful. christians with impious practices. ly, their countenances beaming But on being tortured, she seemed with grace and glory: moreover, to awake as it were out of fleep, the very heathens reviled them as and to be reminded by her present cowards and murderers. When sufferings of the everlalting tor- the others observed these things ments of Hell. Denying, there. they became more steadfast in the fore, the truth of such allegations, faith, and yielded not to the lugthe added, " How thould such gestions of the devil. persons eat children to whom it is The martyrs suffered death in unlawful even to eat the blood of various ways. Maturus, Sanctus, bealls?” She then confessed her. Blandina, and Attalus, were proself a christian, and was added to duced on one of the days of the the army of martyrs.

shews before the wild beasts in the The torments already inflicted amphitheatre. There the two proving ineffectual through the firf again underwent all sorts of power of Christ, the martyrs were torments, having been previously imprisoned in dark and noisome scourged in their passage thither. They were torn, and dragged up som of the church, they longed and down by the wild beasts, and for a fresh opportunity of being fubjected also to every barbarity examined. The emperor's orders which the populace chose to call were, that such as confessed themfor, and at last to the iron chair, selves christians should be put to in which their bodies were so death by torture, and that the abroiled as to produce a most of- postates should be dismissed. Ic fensive odour. Nor did the cruel- being now, therefore, the time of ties of their perfecutors end here, the public games, the martyrs but were continued with the ut- were again brought before the most fierceness until these two ho- populace. Such of them as were ly men at length expired under Roman citizens were beheaded, their sufferings.

the rest were thrown to the wild Blandina was suspended to a

beasts. Christ was now in a parAtake and exposed to the wild ticular manner glorified in those bealts; and forming as the hung who had formerly apostatized ; the figure of a cross, her appear. for boldly avowing themfelves ance served to encourage the christians they also were added to christians by exciting a lively re- the number of the martyrs. None collection of Him who was crucifi- now remained in a state of apostaed, that he might obtain for those cy but a few whose condu&t had who believe in him and suffer for always been a reproach to chrishis fake, eternal communion with tianity, and had shewn them neve the living God. None of the er to have posseffed true faith, nor beasts touching her, she was take to have had the fear of God been down and cast again into pris- fore their eyes. on, being reserved for another During the course of the exam. combat. Attalus also, being ve- inations, one Alexander, who was hemently called for by the popu. distinguished by his love of God, lace, came forward with ferenity, by his boldness in preaching, and and was led round the theatre, by his apoftolical endowments, preceded by the tablet, on which stood near the tribunal, and with was inscribed, “ This is Attalus gestures animated the christians the christian.” The rage of the to profess the faith. This conpeople against him was excellive: duct excited the indignation of the but the president understanding populace against him, and being that he was a Roman citizen re- interrogated and confelling himmanded him to prison, till he self a christian, he was condemnfould learn the will of the empe- ed to death. The next day he ror respecting persons in his cir- and Attalus were exposed togethe cumstances. The refpite which was er to the wild beasts, and having thus obtained, proved highly ben- sustained all the usual methods of eficial to the church. The mer. torture, were at lait run through cy of Chrilt conspicuously appeare with a sword. Alexander expired ed in the patience with which he without having uttered a word or armed his servants : and by means a groun, communing inwardly of the martyrs, most of those who with God during his conflict. had renounced the faith were born But Attalus, when placed in the anew, and acquired courage to iron chair and thoroughly scorchprofess themselves christians; and ed, faid, “You indeed devour being joyfully restored to the bo- men, but we neither devour men,

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