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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:
JUSTIN MARTYR: Chapter I.—Examination of Justin by...

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter I.—Examination of Justin by the prefect.

In the time of the lawless partisans of idolatry, wicked decrees were passed against the godly Christians in town and country, to force them to offer libations to vain idols; and accordingly the holy men, having been apprehended, were brought before the prefect of Rome, Rusticus by name. And when they had been brought before his judgment-seat, said to Justin, “Obey the gods at once, and submit to the kings.” 2643 Justin said, “To obey the commandments of our Saviour Jesus Christ is worthy neither of blame nor of condemnation.” Rusticus the prefect said, “What kind of doctrines do you profess?” Justin said, “I have endeavoured to learn all doctrines; but I have acquiesced at last in the true doctrines, those namely of the Christians, even though they do not please those who hold false opinions.” Rusticus the prefect said, “Are those the doctrines that please you, you utterly wretched man?” Justin said, “Yes, since I adhere to them with right dogma.” 2644 Rusticus the prefect said, “What is the dogma?” Justin said, “That according to which we worship the God of the Christians, whom we reckon to be one from the beginning, the maker and fashioner of the whole creation, visible and invisible; and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who had also been preached beforehand by the prophets as about to be present with the race of men, the herald of salvation and teacher of good disciples. And I, being a man, think that what I can say is insignificant in comparison with His boundless divinity, acknowledging a certain prophetic power, 2645 since it was prophesied concerning Him of whom now I say that He is the Son of God. For I know that of old the prophets foretold His appearance among men.”


Footnotes

305:2643

i.e., the emperors.

305:2644

Μετὰ δόγματος ὀρθοῦ, orthodoxy.

305:2645

That is, that a prophetic inspiration is required to speak worthily of Christ.


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