Select Works And Letters Or Athanasius by Athanasius
22. Same subject concluded.
Thus the Saints, as I said before, were abundantly preserved in their flight by the Providence of God, as physicians for the sake of them that had need. And to all men generally, even to us, is this law given, to flee when persecuted, and to hide when sought after, and not rashly tempt the Lord, but wait, as I said above, until the appointed time of death arrive, or the Judge determine something concerning them, according as it shall seem to Him to be good: that men should be ready, that, when the time calls, or when they are taken, they may contend for the truth even unto death. This rule the blessed Martyrs observed in their several persecutions. When persecuted they fled, while concealing themselves they shewed fortitude, and when discovered they submitted to martyrdom. And if some of them came and presented themselves to their persecutors , they did not do so without reason; for immediately in that case they were martyred, and thus made it evident to all that their zeal, and this offering up of themselves to their enemies, were from the Spirit.