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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Chapter VIII.--Ecclesiastical Writers.

Church History by Eusebius Pamphilius

Chapter VIII.--Ecclesiastical Writers.

1. Among these Hegesippus was well known. We have already quoted his words a number of times, relating events which happened in the time of the apostles according to his account.

2. He records in five books the true tradition of apostolic doctrine in a most simple style, and he indicates the time in which he flourished when he writes as follows concerning those that first set up idols: |To whom they erected cenotaphs and temples, as is done to the present day. Among whom is also Antinoüs, a slave of the Emperor Adrian, in whose honor are celebrated also the Antinoian games, which were instituted in our day. For he [i.e. Adrian] also founded a city named after Antinoüs, and appointed prophets.|

3. At the same time also Justin, a genuine lover of the true philosophy, was still continuing to busy himself with Greek literature. He indicates this time in the Apology which he addressed to Antonine, where he writes as follows: |We do not think it out of place to mention here Antinoüs also, who lived in our day, and whom all were driven by fear to worship as a god, although they knew who he was and whence he came.|

4. The same writer, speaking of the Jewish war which took place at that time, adds the following: |For in the late Jewish war Barcocheba, the leader of the Jewish rebellion, commanded that Christians alone should be visited with terrible punishments unless they would deny and blaspheme Jesus Christ.|

5. And in the same work he shows that his conversion from Greek philosophy to Christianity was not without reason, but that it was the result of deliberation on his part. His words are as follows: |For I myself, while I was delighted with the doctrines of Plato, and heard the Christians slandered, and saw that they were afraid neither of death nor of anything else ordinarily looked upon as terrible, concluded that it was impossible that they could be living in wickedness and pleasure. For what pleasure-loving or intemperate man, or what man that counts it good to feast on human flesh, could welcome death that he might be deprived of his enjoyments, and would not rather strive to continue permanently his present life, and to escape the notice of the rulers, instead of giving himself up to be put to death?|

6. The same writer, moreover, relates that Adrian having received from Serennius Granianus, a most distinguished governor, a letter in behalf of the Christians, in which he stated that it was not just to slay the Christians without a regular accusation and trial, merely for the sake of gratifying the outcries of the populace, sent a rescript to Minucius Fundanus, proconsul of Asia, commanding him to condemn no one without an indictment and a well-grounded accusation.

7. And he gives a copy of the epistle, preserving the original Latin in which it was written, and prefacing it with the following words: |Although from the epistle of the greatest and most illustrious Emperor Adrian, your father, we have good ground to demand that you order judgment to be given as we have desired, yet we have asked this not because it was ordered by Adrian, but rather because we know that what we ask is just. And we have subjoined the copy of Adrian's epistle that you may know that we are speaking the truth in this matter also. And this is the copy.|

8. After these words the author referred to gives the rescript in Latin, which we have translated into Greek as accurately as we could. It reads as follows:

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