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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. IV:
Apology to the Emperor. (Apologia Ad Constantium.): Section 35

Early Church Fathers  Index     

35. It was therefore better for me to hide myself, and to wait for this opportunity. Yes, I am sure that from your knowledge of the sacred Scriptures you will assent and approve of my conduct in this respect. For you will perceive that, now those who exasperated you against us have been silenced, your righteous clemency is apparent, and it is proved to all p. 253 men that you never persecuted the Christians at all, but that it was they who made the Churches desolate, that they might sow the seeds of their own impiety everywhere; on account of which I also, had I not fled, should long ago have suffered from their treachery. For it is very evident that they who scrupled not to utter such calumnies against me, before the great Augustus, and who so violently assailed Bishops and Virgins, sought also to compass my death. But thanks be to the Lord who has given you the kingdom. All men are confirmed in their opinion of your goodness, and of their wickedness, from which I fled at the first, that I might now make this appeal unto you, and that you might find some one towards whom you may shew kindness. I beseech you, therefore, forasmuch as it written, ‘A soft answer turneth away wrath,’ and ‘righteous thoughts are acceptable unto the King 1387 ;’ receive this my defence, and restore all the Bishops and the rest of the Clergy to their countries and their Churches; so that the wickedness of my accusers may be made manifest, and that you, both now and in the day of judgment, may have boldness to say to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the King of all, ‘“None of Thine have I lost 1388 ,” but these are they who designed the ruin of all, while I was grieved for those who perished, and for the Virgins who were scourged, and for all other things that were committed against the Christians; and I brought back them that were banished, and restored them to their own Churches.’


Footnotes

253:1387

Prov. xv. 1; xvi. 13. vid. §27, note 1.

253:1388

John xviii. 9.


Next: Defence of His Flight. (Apologia de Fuga.)

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