Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Early Church on Martyrdom

"Allow me to become food for the wild beasts, through whose instrumentality it will be granted me to attain to God. I am the wheat of God; so let me be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts-so that I may be found to be the pure bread of Christ. -Ignatius

"Though threatened with death, we do not deny His name." -Justin Martyr

"We call martyrdom perfection, not because the man comes to the end of his life as others, but because he has exhibited the perfect work of love." -Clement of Alexandria

"On martyrdom, the Lord has spoken explicitly...'But I say unto you, Whoever confesses Me before men, the Son of man also will confess before the angels of God: but whoever denies Me before men, him will I deny before the angels.'" -Clement of Alexandria

"If the spiritual man is pointed out [as a Christian], he glories in it. If he is accused, he offers no defense. When questioned, he makes voluntary confession. When condemned, he gives thanks."-Tertullian

"Condemnation gives us more pleasure than acquittal." -Tertullian

"I stoutly maintain the martyrdom is good. It is required by the God by whom likewise idolatry is forbidden and punished. -Tertullian

"Did he not previously ordain eternal punishment for those who deny Him? Did he not ordain saving rewards for those who confess Him? -Cyprian

[ADDRESSED TO PAGANS:] "The greater our conflicts, the greater our rewards. Your cruelty is our glory. -Tertullian

"The first fruit for the martyrs is a hundredfold." -Cyprian

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