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of the centurion's rods happened to become vacant in this legion, and Marinus was appointed to it. But just at this moment, another, next to him in rank, accused him before the tribunal of being a Christian, stating, “ that the laws did not allow a Christian, who refused to sacrifice to the

emperors, to hold any dignity in the army.” Achæus, the judge, asked Marinus if it was true that he had become a Christian. He acknowledged it. Three hours were then allowed him to consider, whether he would sacrifice or die. When the time was expired, he chose the latter. Indeed so desirous were the early Christians of keeping clear of idolatry in every shape, that they avoided every custom that appeared in the least degree connected with it. Thus, when a largess was given in honour of the emperors L. Septimius Severus the father, and M. Aurelius Caracalla the son, a solitary soldier, as we learn from Tertullian, was seen carrying the garland, which had been given him on that occasion, in his hand, while the rest wore it upon their heads. On being interrogated by the commander why he refused wearing it, he replied, that “ he had be

come

come a Christian *."

He was immediately punished before the army, and sent into prison. What became of him afterwards is not related. But it must be clear, if he lived and cherished his Christian feelings, that when the day of the renewal of his oath, or of the worshipping of the standards, or of any sacrifice in the camp, should arrive, he would refuse these services, or abandon his profession.

But though unquestionably the idolatrous services required of the soldiers of those times hindered Christians from entering into the armies, and compelled those who were converted in them to leave them, nothing is more true, than that the belief that it was unlawful for Christians to fight occasioned an equal abhorrence of a military life. One of the first effects, which Christianity seems to have produced upon its first converts, when it was pure and unadulterated, and unmixed with the interpretations of political men, was a persuasion that it became them, in obedience to the Divine commands, to abstain from all manner of

* The priests wore the garland when they sacrificed to the Heathen gods.

violence,

violence, and to become distinguishable as the followers of

peace. We find accordingly from Athenagoras and other early writers, that the Christians of his time abstained when they were struck from striking again, and that they carried their principles so far as even to refuse to go to law with those, who injured them. We find also from the same Athenagoras, and from Theophilus Antiochenus, Tatian, Minucius Felix, and others, that they kept away from the shows of the gladiators. This they did, not only because these shows were cruel, but because, as Theophilus says, o lest we should become partakers of the murders committed there." A similar reason is also given by Athenagoras on this occasion :

" Who is there,” says he, “ that does not prize the shows of the gladiators, which your emperors make for the people? But we, thinking that there is very little difference whether a man be the author or spectator of murder, keep away from all such sights.” And here it may be observed, that the gladiators themselves were generally prisoners of war or reputed enemies, and that the murder of these was by public authority,

and

and sanctioned, as in war, by the State. Now what conclusion are we to draw from these premises ? Can we think it possible, that they, who refused to strike again, or to go to law with those who injured them, and who thought an attendance at the gladiatorial spectacles criminal, on the principle that he who stood by was a murderer though the murder was sanctioned by law, should not have had an objection to the military service, on the principle that it was unlawful to fight?

In short, the belief of the unlawfulness of war was universal among Christians in those times. Every Christian writer of the second century,

who notices the subject, makes it unlawful for Christians to bear

And if the Christian writers of this age were of this opinion, contrary to all their sentiments before their conversion, and wholly from their knowledge of Divine truths,--why should not others, who had a common nature with these, be impressed on receiving the same truths, in a similar manner? And so undoubtedly they were. And as this belief was universal among the Christians of those times, so it operated with

them

arms.

them as an impediment to a military life, quite as much as the idolatry that was connected with it; of which the following instances, in opposition to that of Marinus,

may suffice.

name.

my name!

The first case I purpose to mention shall be, where there was an objection to entering into the military service upon this principle. And here I apprehend none can be more in point than that of Maximilian, as preserved in the Acts of Ruinart.

Maximilian having been brought before the tribunal, in order to be enrolled as a soldier, Dion, the proconsul, asked him his

Maximilian, turning to him, replied, “Why wouldst thou know I am a Christian, and cannot fight.”

Then Dion ordered him to be enrolled ; and when he was enrolled, it was recited out of the register that he was five feet ten inches high. Immediately after this, Dion bade the officer mark him. But Maximilian refused to be marked, still asserting that he was a Christian. Upon which Dion instantly replied, “ Bear arms, or thou shalt die.' To this Maximilian answered, “ I cannot

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