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Persecutions threaten, p. 116.

We have reserved this heroic tract to close our series of the ascetic essays of our author because it places even his sophistical enthusiasm in a light which shows much to admire. Strange that this defiant hero should have died (as we may infer) in his bed, and in extreme old age. Great man, how much, alike for weal and woe, the ages have been taught by thee!

This is the place for a tabular view of the ten persecutions of the Ante-Nicene Church. They are commonly enumerated as follows:61 -

Periods of Comparative Rest.

5. Under Diocletian a.d. 284 till a.d. 303.

In thus chastising and sifting his Church in the years of her gradual growth "from the smallest of all seeds," we see illustrations of the Lord's Epistles to the seven churches of the Apocalypse. Who can doubt that Tertullian's writings prepared the North-African Church for the Decian furnace, and all believers for the "seven times hotter" fires of Diocletian?


To the fearful, p. 120.

In the Patientia62 Tertullian reflects the views of Catholics, and seems to allow those "persecuted in one city to flee to another." So also in the Ad Uxorem,63 as instanced by Kaye.64 In the Fuga we have the enthusiast, but not as Gibbon will have it,65 the most wild and fanatical of declaimers. On the whole subject we again refer our readers to the solid and sober comments of Kaye on the martyrdoms and persecutions of the early faithful, and on the patristic views of the same.


Enormous gains from numbers, p. 124.

Christians were now counted by millions. The following tabular view of the Christian population of the world from the beginning has been attributed to Sharon Turner. I do not find it in any of his works with which I am familiar. The nineteenth century is certainly credited too low, according to the modern computists; but I insert it merely for the centuries we are now considering.

Growth of the Church in Numbers.

19. Nineteenth century 400,000,000

Next: X. Appendix.