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Mesopotamians, Cappadocians, Asiatics, Egyptians, Cretes, Arabians, and the people about Lybia and Cyrene; it is not difficult to conceive that the command to "preach the Gospel to every creature under Heaven," was obeyed to its greatest possible extent."

Peter addresses his Epistles to the converted Jews in Pontus, Asia, Cappadocia, and Bythinia, and it is certain that in most of these countries; churches were established thirty years after the death of Christ: so that "the sound of the Preachers of the Gospel had gone "forth into all the Earth, and their words to the end of "the World." This prediction therefore was fulfilled within the limited time.

IV. The next in order of these great predictions, was that of the persecution of the Christians; and particularly of the Apostles: a prophecy fully verified, and satisfactorily attested, by the writings of the Roman Historians.

Tacitus speaking of the terrible fire at Rome, wantonly

(1) Vide Acts ii. 9, 10, 11. and Coloss. i. 23.

(2) Pliny, in his celebrated letter to Trajan (written seventy years after the death of Christ) speaking of the number of Christians in Bythinia and Pontus, says, "There are many of every age and of both sexes; nor has the conta66 gion of this superstition seized cities only, but smaller towns also, and the open country."—" Multi, omnis ætatis, utrusque sexûs etiam: neque enim “civitatis tantum, sed vicos etiam et agros superstitionis istius contagio pervagata est."

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(3) Rom. x. 18.

(4) BUT BEFORE All these, theY SHALL LAY THEIR HANDS ON YOU, AND PERSECUTE YOU, DELIVERING YOU UP TO THE SYNAGOGUES AND INTO PRISONS, BEING BROUGHT BEFORE KINGS AND RULERS FOR MY NAME'S SAKE.—AND YE SHALL BE BETRAYED BOTH BY PARENTS AND BRETHREN AND KINSFOLKS AND FRIENDS, AND SOME OF YOU SHALL THEY CAUSE TO BE PUT TO DEATH.

AND YE SHALL BE HATED OF ALL MEN for my name's sake.—Luke, xxi. 12, 16, 17.

Vide also John, xvi. 4.-xv. 20.-xvi. 35.

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tonly kindled by Nero, adds, "that no human assist ance, no liberality of the Emperour, or sacrifices of " atonement to the Gods, could do away the foul disgrace under which he lay, of having ordered the city "to be set on fire: to suppress therefore the common rumour, Nero laid the guilt, and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on those men, who, under the "vulgar appellation of Christians, were already branded "with deserved infamy. They derived their name and origin from Christ, who in the reign of Tiberius was

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put to death, under the procurator Pontius Pilate.. "For a while, this pernicious superstition was checked; "but it again broke out, and spread not only over

Judea, the first seat of this mischievous sect: but was " even introduced into Rome, the common asylum of "whatever is impure and atrocious. At first those only were seized who confessed their persuasion, and afterwards, by their information, a vast multitude were apprehended and condemned; not so much for the "crime of setting fire to the city, as for their hatred of "mankind. Their sufferings, at the place of execu

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tion, were embittered by derision and insult; some "were disguised in the skins of wild beasts and torn "to pieces by dogs; some were crucified, while others "smeared over with combustible matter, were used as "torches to illuminate the night."

These

(1) Sed non ope humanâ, non largitionibus Principis, aut Deum placamentis, decedebant infamia, quin jussum incendium crederetur. Ergo abolendo rumori Nero subdidit reos, et quæsitissimis pænis affecit, quos per flagitia invisos, vulgus Christianos appellabat. Auctor nominis ejus Christus, qui Tiberio imperante, per procuratorem Pontium Pilatum supplicio affectus erat. Repressaque in præsens exitiabilis superstitio rursus erumpebat, non modò per Judæam, origenem ejus mali, sed per Urbem etiam, quo cuncta

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These excessive cruelties were practised in the tenth year of the reign of Nero; and Sulpicius, a Christian writer of history of the fourth century, quoted by Lardner, makes mention of nearly the same circumstances in his description of the same persecution,'

Martial, the Epigrammatist, (quoted by Lardner and Paley on the same subject) according to his usual custom, made the sufferings of the Christians a topic of ridicule. Suetonius also, describing the transactions of the same reign, refers to the same persecution of the Christians; whom he denominates "men of a new "and criminal superstition." And Juvenal refers, in the opinion of many learned men, to the same cruelties in those lines in which he says, "Describe the true "character of any villain as great as Tigellinus

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(a creature of Nero), and you shall suffer the same "punishment with those who stand burning in their

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andique atrocia, aut pudenda, confluunt, celebranturque. Igitur primò correpti qui fatebantur, deinde indicio eorum multitudo ingens, haud perinde in crimine incendii, quum odio humani generis convicti sunt. Et pereuntibus addita ludibria, aut ferarum tergis contecti, laniatu, canum interirent, aut crucibus affixi, aut flammandi, atque ubi defecisset dies, in usum nocturni luminis ureretur,-Ann. xv. 44..

(1) Sulp. Sever. Sacr. Hist. 2, xli. 29.
Vide Lardner's Works, vol. 7. p. 255.

(2) In matutinâ nuper spectatus arenâ
Mucius, imposuit qui sua membra focis,
Si patiens fortisque tibi durusque videtur,
Abderitanæ pectora plebis habes; ..
Num cum dicatur, tunicâ præsente molestâ,
Ure manum plus est dicere, non facio,
:

Lib. x. Epig. 25.

(3) Afflicti suppliciis Christiani, genus hominum, superstitionis nove et malifica. In vitâ. Neros. xvi.

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