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452

POLYCARPUS.

officer into whose custody he was delivered, with the usual laxity of paganism, would have persuaded him, apparently through pity, to offer divine honours and sacrifice to the emperor ; but his steady refusal changed their pity into anger, arid they violently threw him down from the carriage in which they were conveying him. On entering the amphi­theatre where the proconsul, Stratius Quadratus, was, a voice which the excited feelings of the old man and his companions led them to regard as from heaven, exclaimed, " Be strong, 0 Polycarp ! and quit you like a man." The proconsul was, like others, moved by his appearance, and exhorted him to consider his advanced age, and comply with the requirements of government: " Swear by the fortune of Caesar, recant, and cry ' Away with the godless (rovs dfleous).'" Looking first round upon the heathen multitude, and then up to heaven, the old man sighed and said, " Away with the godless." The proconsul again urged him, " Swear by Caesar's fortune, and I will release thee. Re­vile Christ." " Eighty and six years have I served him," was the reply, " and he never did me wrong: how then can I revile my King and my Saviour ? " Threats of being thrown to wild beasts, and of being committed to the flames, failed to move him ; and his bold avowal that he was a Christian provoked the wrath of the assembled multitude. " This man," they shouted, " is the teacher of impiety, the father of the Christians, the man that does away with our gods (6 t£v rfucTGpwi' ®s<av KaOcu-perrjs) ; who teaches many not to sacrifice to nor to worship the gods." They demanded that he should be thrown to wild beasts, and when the Asiarch, Philip of Tralles, who presided over the games which were going on, evaded the demand, on the plea that the combats with wild beasts were ended, they demanded that he should be burned alive. The demand was complied with ; and the populace, in their rage, soon collected from the baths and workshops logs and faggots for the pile. The old man ungirded himself, laid aside his garments, and took his place in the midst of the fuel; and when they would have secured him with nails to the stake, said, " Let me remain as I am ; for he that has enabled me to brave the fire will so strengthen me that, without your fastening me with nails, I shall, unmoved, endure its fierceness." After he had offered a short but beautiful prayer, the fire was kindled, but a high wind drove the flames on one side, so that he was roasted rather than burned ; and the executioner was ordered to despatch him with a sword. On his striking him with it so great a quantity of blood flowed from the wound as to quench the flames, which were, however, resuscitated, in order to consume his life­less body. His ashes were collected by the pious care of the Christians of his flock, and deposited in a suitable place of interment. The day and year of Polycarp's martyrdom are involved in con­siderable doubt. Samuel Petit places it in a. d. 175 ; Usher, Pagi, and Bollandus, in a. d. 169 ; Eusebius (Chronicori) places it earlier, in the seventh year of Marcus Aurelius, who acceded to the throne, 7th March, a. d. 161 ; Scaliger, Le Moyne, and Cave, place it in A. D. 167 ; Tillemont in 166 ; the Chronicon Paschale in the consulship of Aelianus and Pastor, a. d. 163 ; and Pearson, who differs widely from all other critics, in a. d. 147, in the reign of Titus Antoninus Pius. Pearson brings various reasons in support of his opinion,

POLYCARPUS.

which reasons are examined by Tillemont in one of his careful and elaborate notes. Polycarp is re­verenced as a saint both by the Greek and Romish. Churches ; by the former on the 23d of February, by the latter on the 26th of January, or (at Paris) on the 27th of April. The Greeks of Smyrna, on his festival, used formerly to visit devoutly what is shown as his tomb, near the ruins of an ancient church or chapel, on a hill side to the S. E. of the city. Mr. Arundel (Discoveries in Asia Minor, vol. ii. p. 397) is disposed to think that the tra­dition as to his place of interment is correct.

The chief authorities for the history of Polycarp have been cited. The account of Eusebius (H. E. iv. 14, 15, and v. 20) is chiefly taken from Irenaeus (IL cc.\ and from the letter of the Church at Smyrna, giving an account of his martyrdom, which will be noticed below. Halloix (Illustr. Eccles. Orientalis Scriptorum Vitae), Cave (Apostolici, or the Lives, fyc., of the Primitive Fathers), and Tillemont (Me-moires, vol. ii.), have collected the chief notices of the ancients, and embodied them in their narrative. See also Ceillier, Auteurs Sacris, vol. i. p. 672, &c. The English reader may consult (beside Cave's work just mentioned) Lardner (Credibility, &e. part ii. ch. 6,7), Neander (ChurchHist, trans. by Rose, vol. i. p. 106, &c.), Milman (Hist, of Christianity, bk. ii. ch. 7), and other ecclesiastical historians.

We have remaining only one short piece of this father : his Upos &i\nrinr)(Tiovs tTrtoToAr;', Ad Phi-lippenses Epistola. That he wrote such an epistle, and that it was extant in their time, is attested by Irenaeus (Adv. Haeres. iii. 3. and Epistol. ad Flo-rinum, apud Euseb. H. E. ir. 14, and v. 20), Eusebius (H. E. iii. 36, iv. 14), Jerome (De Viris Illustr. c. 17), and later writers whom it is need­less to enumerate; and, notwithstanding the ob­jections of the Magdeburg Centuriators (Cent. .ii. c. 10); of Daille (De Scriptis Ignatianis, c. 32), who however only denied the genuineness of a part; of Matthieu de la Roche ; and, at a later period, of Semler, our present copies have been re­ceived by the great majority of critics as substan­tially genuine. Some have suspected the text to be interpolated; and the suspicion is perhaps somewhat strengthened by the evidence afforded by the Syriac version of the Epistles of Ignatius, lately published by Mr. Cureton [ignatius, No. 1], of the extensive interpolation of those contemporary and kindred productions.

The Epistola ad Philippenses is extant in the Greek original, and in an ancient Latin version ; the latter of which contains, toward the conclusion, several chapters, of which only some fragments preserved by Eusebius are found in the Greek. The letter partakes of the simplicity which charac­terizes the writings of the apostolic fathers, being hortatory rather than argumentative ; and is valu­able for the numerous passages from the New Tes­tament, especially from the first Epistle of Peter and the Epistles of Paul, which are incorporated in it, and for the testimony which it consequently affords to the early existence and wide circulation of the Sacred Writings. It was first published in black letter in the Latin version, by Jac. Faber Stapulensis, with the works of the pseudo-Diony-sius Areopagita and of Ignatius [DioNYSius; ignatius, No. 1], fol. Paris, 1498, under the title of Theologia Vivificans ; and was reprinted at Strasbourg, a. d. 1502; at Paris, 1515; at Basel, 1520 j at Cologne, 1536 ; at Ingolstadt, with the

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