Select Works And Letters Or Athanasius by Athanasius
6. The Lord's example followed by the Saints.
Our Lord therefore, as I said before, thus offered Himself for all; and the Saints having received this example from their Saviour (for all of them before His coming, nay always, were under His teaching), in their conflicts with their persecutors acted lawfully in flying, and hiding themselves when they were sought after. And being ignorant, as men, of the end of the time which Providence had appointed unto them, they were unwilling at once to deliver themselves up into the power of those who conspired against them. But knowing on the other hand what is written, that the portions' of man are in God's hand ,' and that the Lord killeth ,' and the Lord maketh alive,' they the rather endured unto the end, wandering about ,' as the Apostle has said, in sheepskins, and goatskins, being destitute, tormented, wandering in deserts,' and hiding themselves in dens and caves of the earth;' until either the appointed time of death arrived, or God who had appointed their time spake unto them, and stayed the designs of their enemies, or else delivered up the persecuted to their persecutors, according as it seemed to Him to be good. This we may well learn respecting all men from David: for when Joab instigated him to slay Saul, he said, As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and be delivered to the enemies; the Lord forbid that I should stretch forth my hand against the Lord's anointed .'