But not to dwell upon ancient examples, let us come to the most recent spiritual heroes. 25 Let us take the noble examples furnished in our own generation. Through envy and jealousy, the greatest and most righteous pillars [of the Church] have been persecuted and put to death. 26 Let us set before our eyes the illustrious 27 apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him. Owing to envy, Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity, 28 compelled 29 to flee, and stoned. After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, 30 and suffered martyrdom under the prefects. 31 Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself a striking example of patience.
Literally, “those who have been athletes.”6:26
Some fill up the lacuna here found in the ms. so as to read, “have come to a grievous death.”6:27
Literally, “good.” [The martyrdom of St. Peter is all that is thus connected with his arrival in Rome. His numerous labours were restricted to the Circumcision.]6:28
Seven imprisonments of St. Paul are not referred to in Scripture.6:29
Archbishop Wake here reads “scourged.” We have followed the most recent critics in filling up the numerous lacunæ in this chapter.6:30
Some think Rome, others Spain, and others even Britain, to be here referred to. [See note at end.]6:31
That is, under Tigellinus and Sabinus, in the last year of the Emperor Nero; but some think Helius and Polycletus referred to; and others, both here and in the preceding sentence, regard the words as denoting simply the witness borne by Peter and Paul to the truth of the gospel before the rulers of the earth.