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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:
POLYCARP: Chapter XI.—No threats have any...

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XI.—No threats have any effect on Polycarp.

The proconsul then said to him, “I have wild beasts at hand; to these will I cast thee, except thou repent.” But he answered, “Call them then, for we are not accustomed to repent of what is good in order to adopt that which is evil; 449 and it is well for me to be changed from what is evil to what is righteous.” 450 But again the proconsul said to him, “I will cause thee to be consumed by fire, seeing thou despisest the wild beasts, if thou wilt not repent.” But Polycarp said, “Thou threatenest me with fire which burneth for an hour, and after a little is extinguished, but art ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why tarriest thou? Bring forth what thou wilt.”


Footnotes

41:449

Literally, “repentance from things better to things worse is a change impossible to us.”

41:450

That is, to leave this world for a better.


Next: Chapter XII.—Polycarp is sentenced...

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