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before ; how mild and how kind he was to the men of God. For none of the emperors before him were so favourable and benevolent to them; not even those who are said to have been openly christians; as he was in the beginning of his reign; and his house was full of pious men, and was a church of God. But his master, and the chief of the magicians of Egypt, [he means Macrian, presently afterwards mentioned by name, persuaded him to alter his measures, telling him that he ought to kill and persecute those men who opposed and obstructed his incanta‘tions, and then he might be happy.” Soon after the arrival of Valerian’s edict at Alexandria, before the end of the year 257, as seems" most probable, Dionysius was summoned before Emilian, then praefect of Egypt, of which he writes to this purpose in his letter to Germanus. “I" came to Emilian, says he, not alone. I was attended by my fellow-presbyter Maximus; and also by Faustus, Eusebius, and Chaeremon deacons, and a brother from Rome, who was then at Alexandria. Emilian did not then say to me, You ought not to hold assemblies; for that was needless; nor was that his chief concern, but that we should not be at all christians; he therefore commanded me to forsake that way of worship. For he thought, that if I would change my mind, others would do so likewise. I answered, and as I apprehend not improperly, though in short, “We ought to obey God, rather than men,” Acts v. 29. And I plainly and openly declared, that I worship him, who alone is God, and no other; and that I could not alter my mind, nor cease to be a christian. After which he ordered us to go to Cephro, a small village near the desert. But it may be worth the while to transcribe here the very words of both of us from the public register. “When Dionysius, Faustus, Maximus, Marcellus, and Chaeremon, were brought in, Emilian the praefect said: I have not only written to you, but I have also by word of mouth represented to you the humanity of our lords, the emperors, which they show to you. For they grant to you the privilege of living in safety, if you will turn to that which is agreeable to nature, and will worship the gods, which are the preservers of their empire, and will forsake that which is contrary to nature. What therefore do you say to this? I hope you will not be ungrateful to their humanity: forasmuch as
| Meaning, probably, Severus, Alexander, and Philip. * Vid. Pagi ann. 257. n. iv. Basmag. 247. num. vi. * Ap, Euseb. H. E. l. vii. cap. 11. p. 257
‘they endeavour to bring you to that which is right. Dionysius answered: All men do not worship all the gods; but they worship such as they think to be gods. We worship and adore the one God, maker of all things, who also has put the empire into the hands of the sacred and august emperors Valerian and Gallienus. Him we worship, and to him we continually pray that he will prolong their empire in safety and prosperity. Emilian the governor then said to them again: Who forbids you to worship him also, if he be God, together with them who are by nature gods? For you are commanded to worship the gods, particularly those whom all know to be gods. Dionysius answered : We worship no other. Emilian the governor then said to them ; I see that you are both ungrateful and insensible of our august emperors' lenity toward you. You therefore may not stay any longer in this city, but shall be sent into Lybia, to a place called Cephro; for I have chosen that place for you, agreeably to the order of the august emperors. Nor shall it be lawful for you, or any others, to hold assemblies, or to meet together in the places called coemeteries. If any one does not go to the place which I have appointed, or is found in any assembly, he brings danger upon himself; for a needful observation will not be neglected. Depart therefore to the place whither you are ordered.” Nor could I, says Dionysius, obtain the delay of one day, though I was sick. At Cephro he had a large number of the faithful with him, partly such as came thither from Alexandria, partly such as came from other places of Egypt. And here, says he, “God opened a door to us for preaching the word,” 2 Cor. ii. 12; Col. iv. 3. At first the people of the place were rude, and ready to pelt us with stones; but afterwards, not a few of the Gentiles, “forsaking idols, turned unto God,” I Thess. i. 9. And, as if for that purpose God had brought us to them, “when we had fulfilled that ministry,” he removed us, Acts xii. 25. For Emilian, as if desirous to send us into some more uncomfortable place than Lybia itself, gave orders for dispersing some others in several villages of Mareotis, and us he commanded to reside in the district of Colluthio, near the great road, that we might be the nearer at hand to be brought to Alexandria, if he should think fit.’
Afterwards. “Moreover,’ says" Eusebius, ‘the same Dionysius in his letter to Domitius and Dydimus writes again of the persecution in this manner. “It is needless
• Ibid. p. 260.
• to mention the names of all our people that have suffered, since they are many, and most of them unknown to you. It may suffice therefore to assure you, that persons of both sexes, and of every age and condition, and soldiers, and country people, have been victorious in this combat, and have been crowned, some by scourging, some by fire, others by the sword. Nevertheless in all this space of time, some there are who do not yet appear to be acceptable to the Lord ; me in particular he seems pleased to reserve for some other season, according to the words of the prophet, Is. xlix. 8, “In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I accepted thee.” Then after a few words intervening he says: “At present I have only with me Caius and Peter, deprived of the rest of the brethren.” And soon afterwards: “Some have hid themselves in the city, that they may privately visit the brethren; as Maximus, Dioscorus, Demetrius, and Lucius, presbyters: for Faustinus and Aquila, being much known, travel up and down in Egypt. The deacons that survive after those who have died of the plague, are Faustus, Eusebius, Chaeremon; Eusebius, I say, whom God has qualified from the beginning, and furnished with great resolution and ability for fulfilling the office of ministration to the confessors in prison, and for burying the bodies of the perfect and blessed martyrs, not without the utmost peril. For to this very day the praefect does not cease to treat our people in the most cruel manner, killing some, and torturing others, and making others pine away in fetters and dungeons, forbidding any to be admitted to them, and strictly inquiring likewise whether his orders are obeyed. Notwithstanding which, such is the courage and alacrity with which God inspires the brethren, the afflicted are not without the consolation suited to their exigence.” So writes Dionysius. In these fragments of Dionysius's letters which Eusebius has preserved, and, as I think, judiciously inserted in his Ecclesiastical History, we have valuable memoirs of Valerian's persecution. And as we see not only the fortitude of those who were perfected by martyrdom, but also the resolution and courage, the discretion, and the amiable and friendly tenderness of the christian brethren, in relieving and comforting each other, which are truly admirable and exemplary. In the chapter P next following, Eusebius mentions three men, and a Marcionite woman, at Caesarea in Palestine, who
P L. vii. cap. 12.
in Valerian's persecution were condemned to wild beasts, and were crowned with martyrdom. V. Then in the next chapter he writes to this purpose. “But's not long after, Valerian being taken captive, and re‘duced to slavery by barbarians, his son, who then reigned alone, acted more prudently in his empire. He immediately by edicts put a stop to the persecution against us, and gave command, that the presidents of our religion should be at liberty to perform the usual offices of their “function. The edict is to this purpose: “ The emperor Caesar, Publius Licinius Gallienus, Pious, Happy, Augustus, to Dionysius, and Pinna, and Demetrius, and to the other bishops. I have directed, that the favour of my indulgence should be published throughout the whole world; that all may depart from the places of worship. You are therefore empowered to make use of this copy of my edict, that none may trouble you. And that you may perform what is lawful for you to do, has been already granted by me. And let Aurelius Cyrenius our highsteward observe this edict now given by me.” This, says Eusebius, has been translated from the Roman tongue. There is also another edict of the same emperor, sent to other bishops, and appointing, “that the places called coemeteries should be restored.” ” In hist Chronicle likewise Eusebius observes, that Valerian being taken captive by the Persians, Gallienus gave peace to the churches. VI. I began with Dionysius, and have carried on the history of Valerian's persecution from him; but as Cyprian suffered martyrdom in this persecution, dying on the 14th Sept. 258, and there are some authentic memoirs of his sufferings, I shall now allege some things from them also. Cyprian seems to have been one of the first persons in Africa, who was called upon to make public confession in this persecution; and I therefore immediately take the beginning of the proconsular acts of his passion, which I shall transcribe below in the original, and also translate literally. “The emperor Valerian being consul the fourth
" Cap. 13. * Valeriano in Persas ducto, Gallienus nostris pacem reddidit. Chr. p. 176. * Imperatore Valeriano quartum, et Gallieno tertium consulibus, tertio Calendarum Septembrium, Carthagine in secretario, Paternus proconsul Cypriano episcopo dixit : Sacratissimi imperatores Valerianus et Gallienus literas ad me dare dignati sunt, quibus praeceperumt, eos qui Romanam religionem non colunt, debere Romanas caeremonias recognoscere. Exquisivi ergo de nomine tuo. Quid mihi respondes? Cyprianus episcopus dixit: Christianus sum, et episcopus. Nullos alios deos novi nisiunum et verum Deum, qui fecit coelum
• time, and Gallienus the third time, [that is, the year of • Christ 257,] on the thirtieth day of August, at Carthage, in the secretary’s office, Paternus the proconsul said to Cyprian the bishop : The most sacred emperors, Valerian and Gallienus, have vouchsafed to send to me a letter, wherein they command, that they who do not observe the Roman religion, should now perform the Roman rites. I therefore have made inquiry after you. What answer do you make to me? Cyprian the bishop said; I am a christian, and a bishop. I know no other gods, but the one true God, who made the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and the things that are in them. This God we christians serve, to whom we pray night and day, for you, and for all men, and for the safety of the emperors themselves. Paternus the proconsul said; And do you persist in this purpose? Cyprian the bishop answered;. A good purpose, agreeable to God, cannot be altered. Can you then, according to the command of Valerian and Gallienus, go an exile to the city Curubis 2 Cyprian said; I go. Paternus the proconsul said: The emperors have written to me not concerning bishops only, but also concerning presbyters. I desire therefore to know of you who are the presbyters that live in this city. Cyprian the bishop answered ; By your own laws it has been wisely enacted, that informers should not be encouraged; therefore they cannot be discovered and accused by me; but they will be found in their cities. Paternus the proconsul said; I now inquire after those who are in this place. Cyprian said; Since
et terram, mare, et quae in eis Sunt omnia. Huic Deo nos christiani deservimus; hunc deprecamur diebus ac noctibus, pro vobis, et pro omnibus hominibus, et pro incolumitate ipsorum imperatorum. Paternus proconsul dixit: In hac ergo voluntate perseveras P Cyprianus episcopus respondit: Bona voluntas, quae Deum novit, immutari non potest. Paternus proconsul dixit: Poteris ergo secundum praeceptum Valeriani et Gallieni, exul ad urbem Curubitanam proficisci? Cyprianus episcopus dixit : Proficiscor. Paternus proconsul dixit: Non Solum de episcopis, verum etiam de presbyteris mihi scribere dignati sunt. Volo ergo scire exte, qui sint presbyteri, qui in hac civitate consistunt. Cyprianus episcopus respondit: Legibus vestris bene atdue utiliter censuistis, delatores non esse. Itaque detegi atque deferri a me non possunt: in civitatibus autem suis invenientur. Paternus proconsul dixit: Ego hodie in hoc loco exquiro. Cyprianus dixit: Cum disciplina prohibeat, ut quis se ultro offerat, et tuæ quoque censurae hoc displiceat, nec offerre se ipsi possunt. Sed a te exquisiti invenientur. Paternus proconsul dixit : A me invenientur. Et adjecit: Praeceperunt etiam, ne in aliquibus locis conciliabula fiant, nec coemeteria ingrediantur. Si quis itaque hoc tam salubre praeceptum non observaverit, capite plectetur. Cyprianus episcopus respondit: Fac quod tibi praeceptum est. Tunc Paternus proconsul jussit beatum Cyprianum episcopum in exilium deportari. Acta Proconsul. Pass. S. Cyprian, p. 11, 12.