Chapter XLV.—It is the Part of the Wicked to Vex the Righteous.
Ye are fond of contention, brethren, and full of zeal about things which do not pertain to salvation. Look carefully into the Scriptures, which are the true utterances of the Holy Spirit. Observe 4237 that nothing of an unjust or counterfeit character is written in them. There 4238 you will not find that the righteous were cast off by men who themselves were holy. The righteous were indeed persecuted, but only by the wicked. They were cast into prison, but only by the unholy; they were stoned, but only by transgressors; they were slain, but only by the accursed, and such as had conceived an unrighteous envy against them. Exposed to such sufferings, they endured them gloriously. For what shall we say, brethren? Was Daniel 4239 cast into the den of lions by such as p. 243 feared God? Were Ananias, and Azarias, and Michael shut up in a furnace 4240 of fire by those who observed 4241 the great and glorious worship of the Most High? Far from us be such a thought! Who, then, were they that did such things? The hateful, and those full of all wickedness, were roused to such a pitch of fury, that they inflicted torture on those who served God with a holy and blameless purpose [of heart], not knowing that the Most High is the Defender and Protector of all such as with a pure conscience venerate 4242 His all-excellent name; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. But they who with confidence endured [these things] are now heirs of glory and honour, and have been exalted and made illustrious 4243 by God in their memorial for ever and ever. Amen.
Or, “Ye perceive.”242:4238
Dan. vi. 16.243:4240
Dan. iii. 20.243:4241
Or, “lifted up.” I. ἔγγραφοι (inscribed).