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The author of the narrative next proceeds to give an account of some of the other prisoners ; and the case of Felicitas is almost as interesting as that of Perpetua. Being eight months advanced in pregnancy, she was fearful lest her execution should be put off till another time, and that then she should die in the company of ordinary malefactors. Her companions also were affected at the reflection of going without her. Three days before the exhibition, however, she was delivered ; and, being in great pain, those who were about her asked how she would be able to endure the being exposed to wild beasts, when she was so much affected with the pains of child-birth. She replied that, in this case, she was left to herself, but that in her other sufferings she should have another to support her, even Him for whom she suffered. Being delivered of a daughter, a sister of her's undertook to bring it up. Secundulus died in prison; but they had been joined by another of their friends called Saturus, who, after they were apprehended, had voluntarily surrendered himself.
The day preceding the exhibition, they all joined in a love, feast with their Christian friends, who had permission to visit them, in the presence of many strangers, whom curiosity had brought to the place. To these the prisoners expressed great joy in the idea of their approaching sufferings, and endeavoured to engage their attention to the great cause for which they were about to suffer. Saturus bade them observe their countenances, that they might know them all again the next day. From this extraordinary spectacle, the strangers retired with marks of astonishment, and many of them afterwards became converts.
When the day of exhibition arrived, they all went from the prison, with erect and cheerful countenances, trembling, says our author, with joy rather than with fear. Perpetua, in particular, walked in such a manner as struck the spectators with superior respect: and Felicitas rejoiced that, being delivered of her child, she should accompany her friends to this glorious combat. On reaching the gate of the amphitheatre, the officers, according to custom, began to clothe the men in the dresses of the priests of Saturn, and the women in those of the priestesses of Ceres. But, when they remonstrated against the injustice of being compelled by force to do that for refusing
MARTYRDOM OF PERPETUA AND FELICITAS.
which they were willing to lay down their lives, the tribune granted them the privilege of dying in their own habits.
They then entered the amphitheatre ; when Perpetua advanced singing hymns, and her three male companions solemnly exhorted the people as they went along. Coming in view of the Proprætor, they said, “ You judge us, but God will judge you." This so enraged the populace, that, at their request, all the three were scourged; but in this they rejoiced, as having the honour to share in one part of the sufferings of their Saviour.
When the wild beasts were let loose, Saturninus, according to a wish which he had previously expressed, died by the attack of several of them rushing upon him at the same time ; and Revocatus was killed by a leopard and a bear. Saturus was first exposed to a wild bear; but, while the attending officer was gored by the animal so that he died on the following day, he himself was only dragged about and not materially hurt. A bear, too, to which he was next exposed, would not go out of its den to meddle with him. He was, however, thrown in the way of a leopard, towards the end of the exhibition, and so much blood gushed out at one of his bites, that the spectators ridiculed him, as being baptized with blood. Not being quite killed, he, when the animal was withdrawn, addressed Pudeus, the jailor, exhorting him to stedfastness in the faith, and not to be disheartened by his sufferings. He even took a ring from his finger, and, dipping it in one of his wounds, gave it him as a pledge.
Perpetua and Felicitas were first enclosed in a net, and then exposed to a wild cow. But this sight struck the spectators with horror, as the former was a delicate woman, and the breasts of the latter were streaming with milk after her delivery. They were, therefore, recalled, and exposed in a common loose dress. Perpetua was first tossed by the beast; and, being thrown down, she had the presence of mind to compose her dress as she lay on the ground. Then rising, and seeing Felicitas much more torn than herself, she gave her her hand, and assisted her to rise : and for some time they both stood together, near the gate of the amphitheatre. Thither Perpetua sent for her brother, and exhorted him to continue firm in the faith, to love his fellowChristians, and not to be discouraged by her sufferings.
Being all in a mangled condition, they were now taken to the usual place of execution, to be dispatched with a sword ; but the populace requesting that they should be removed to another place, where the execution might be seen to more advantage, they got up of their own accord to go thither. Then, having given each other the kiss of charity, they quietly resigned themselves to their fate. In walking, Saturus had supported Perpetua, and he expired the first. She was observed to direct a young and ignorant soldier, who was appointed to be her executioner, in what manner he should perform his office.*
Contemporary, as is supposed, with Tertullian, was HERMIAS, of whose writings there still remains a small tract, entitled, “Hermias the Philosopher's derision of the Heathen Philosophers,” published in Greek and Latin, but hitherto not translated into English. It is properly a sermon on 1 Cor. iii. 19:“For the wisdom of this world is foolisbness with God.” The author seems to have been indebted for the first hint of his work to the words of Tatian, ch. xxvii : “ Do Plato's opinions weigh with you? Those of Epicurus are the reverse ! Do you wish to follow Aristotle ? Democritus laughs you to scorn !” The design of the tract is to expose the contradictory sentiments of the philosophers, concerning the nature and immortality of the soul. Speaking of the origin of things, he says, “ Parmenides opposes Anaxagoras and Anaximenes. He who follows Empedocles is drawn away by Protagoras, and from Protagoras by Thales, and from Thales by Anaximander. The fame of Archilaus is great, but Plato dissents from him, and Aristotle from Plato. Leucippus ridicules the doctrine of Pherecydes. Those who follow the laughing Democritus are called aside to a different system by the wailing Heraclitus. Epicurus builds a world out of atoms, and Cleanthes ridicules him for it. Carneades and Clytomachus spurn preceding systems, and assert that the universe is incomprehensible. Pythagoras appears with his gloomy and taciturn disciples, and proposes a variety of mysteries, composes all the elements out of numbers, and says Unity or Monas is the basis of all things." From these discordant and contradictory opinions of the philosophers, Hermias rationally concludes that there was no certainty in their principles, and that the Truth was not in them. A translation of this tract into our language is a desideratum, and, if accompanied with good notes, would be particularly valuable. . . : * Opuscula tria veterum auctorum Fastidi Episcopi Passio, S. S. Martyrum PERPETUÆ et FeLICITATIS, &c., a Luca Holstenio, 8vo. Rom. 1663. The editor of this publication, Lucas Holstenius, was Keeper of the Vatican Library at Rome, a person of great learning, and the friend of our great poet Milton. He studied three years at Oxford, and had a great esteem and affection for Milton, who visited him at Rome, and received many civilities from him there. See Bp. Newton's Life of Milton prefired to his edition of Paradise Lost, dvo, p. 13,
Retrospective view of Primitive Christianity-Extract from Dr.
S. Clarke's Sermons Scriptural grounds of Dissent from National Churches-Origin of error respecting the Pastoral Office - No distinction in the New Testament between Bishop and Presbyter or Elder-Object and end of the Pastoral Office Distinction between Bishop and Presbyter traced to the Letters of Ignatius-Presumed interpolation of those letters, First
hint of a National Church- Dr. George Campbell quoted on : these points-Caution to the readers of the early Fathers--Rise
of Infant Baptism-No trace of it prior to the days of Ter
tullian, who condemned the practice---- Afterwards sanctioned by i Cyprian and his council of bishops- Sentiments of Rigaltius, : Curcellæus, and Suicerus (three learned Pædobaptists), re
specting this rite.
· The second century of the Christian æra is an important period in ecclesiastical history, on account of the origin of various corruptions, both in doctrine and practice, to which it gave birth ; and, as it falls immediately within the plan of this course of Lectures to notice these things, it is my intention to appropriate the present Lecture to a retrospective review of this subject. .
The origin and nature of the Christian church has been considered in some preceding lectures, together with the doctrine on which it is founded, and the laws by which it is governed—the bond of union by which the members were cemented, with the ardent zeal by which they were actuated for the happiness of the whole community--from all which it manifestly appeared that this spiritual economy was in no respect calculated to interfere with the rights of princes, nor yet afford matter of uinbrage or jealousy to the secular powers. Such was the primitive church, as it came out of the hands of its divine founder, modelled by his wisdom, tempered by his art, and adapted to promote and secure the ends of its institution, namely, the glory of God in the methods of his grace, and the training up of the faithful in the divine life, and rendering them meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. But it has been truly said that what God makes upright man always corrupts by his inventions; and this, as we shall have abundant opportunities of seeing hereafter, was eminently the case with the Christian economy. Allow me to embrace this opportunity of laying before you a remarkable testimony to the truth of what has now been said, which I lately met with in the writings of an eminent divine of the church of England--the learned Dr. Samuel Clarke. The quotation which I am about to make occurs in a sermon on the virtue of charity, and the object of the preacher is to point out the incredible mischiefs which have arisen to mankind from the want of it. He then proceeds as follows:
“And here opens itself to our view one of the most melancholy scenes that ever was beheld upon the face of the earth. Our blessed Saviour came to teach mankind a doctrine of truth and purity, of simplicity and plainness-a doctrine of religion which all men might easily understand, and which it is infinitely every man's interest to practice-a doctrine the whole of which, as he himself assures us, is summed up in two particulars, the love of God and our neighbour—the worship of the One True God, the Father and Lord of all things, through the one true Mediator whom he himself has appointed, in opposition to every kind of idolatry. And, because it was principally with regard to the life to come that our Lord gave all his commands, therefore with great earnestness he continually cautioned his disciples, that, as he had declared his own kingdom was not of this world, so they should continually take strict heed after him never to make their preaching of his religion a pretext for aspiring after temporal authority. “The princes of the Gentiles,” says he, “exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them: but it shall not be so among you; but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and