There is many folk that has a face to the religion that is in fashion, and there is many folk, they have ay a face to the old company, they have a face for godly folk, and they have a face for persecutors of godly folk, and they will be daddies bairns and minnies bairns both; they will be prelates bairns and they will be malignants bairns and they will be the people of God's bairns.
When do you mean to favour us with the first edition?" "The day after you become sober and sensible, Enos," was Foster's reply, and he walked on, leaving his persecutors unprepared with an answer. Two hours later, and Thomas Bradly might be seen standing outside Foster's house, with a happy smile on his face, and a short whispered conversation going on between two parts of himself.
And it had been a hundred times better for that man, if he had never known the way of righteousness, than after he has known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto him. The striving is, in persecution, for righteousness; to wit, whether it shall be set up, or pulled down. The sufferer, he is for setting up, and the persecutors are for pulling down. Thus they strive for the mastery.
And if unsuccessful, at the least she would be but sharing a ruin which would fall like an avalanche upon all alike. The last great imperial persecution of the Christians under Diocletian and Galerius, which was aimed at the entire uprooting of the new religion, ended with the edict of toleration of 311 and the tragical ruin of the persecutors.
In this manner we continued our toilsome voyage without relaxation for several days, carrying our canoe and baggage overland, or wading in the water from early dawn until late at night, when we threw ourselves down on the ground to pass the night without shelter from the weather or protection from the stings of our merciless persecutors the mosquitoes, who pursued their avocation with unwearied assiduity, so that our rest was small, and that little afforded us but scanty refreshment.
It will easily be understood that amid such a concourse of vindictive enemies no breathing-time was allowed the fugitive. There was a single moment when it seemed as if he would have reached the forest; but the whole body of his captors threw themselves before him, and drove him back into the center of his relentless persecutors.
They have friends, who, on being informed of their unworthy treatment at the hands of others, would stand by them, engaged in fight with their persecutors, and willingly slay them even if they should lose their own lives for it.
To him, as to its born champion, an oppressed religion looks for shelter and support against its persecutors. Could he have the weakness to listen to his fears, and to betray the cause of religion and liberty?
They declared themselves, one and all, good Christians and faithful members of the Church, and they claimed to be treated as such, and openly and fairly tried if there were any just cause of complaint against them. But their persecutors were by no means satisfied. Fresh tortures and cruelties were resorted to to force confessions of guilt from these worn-out and dying men.
I tell you, that the hearts of those who pursue virtue, though they are driven from their homes, hunted and tortured like noxious beasts, are more tranquil than those of their powerful persecutors, who practise evil. He who seeks any other reward for virtue, than virtue itself, will not lack disappointment.
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