Chapter V.—No Less Evils Have Arisen from the Same Source in the Most Recent Times. The Martyrdom of Peter and Paul.
But not to dwell upon ancient examples, let us come to the most recent spiritual heroes. 4023 Let us take the noble examples furnished in our own generation. Through envy 4024 and jealousy the greatest and most righteous pillars [of the church] have been persecuted and put to death. 4025 Let us set before our eyes the illustrious 4026 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 4027 the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity, 4028 compelled 4029 to flee, and p. 231 stoned. After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness 4030 to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, 4031 and suffered martyrdom under the prefects. 4032 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.”230:4024
I. ἔριν (strife).230:4025
I. ἕως θανάτου ἤθλησαν (contended unto death).230:4026
I. ἔδειξεν (displayed).230:4028
Seven imprisonments of St. Paul are not referred to in Scripture.230:4029
I. φυγαδευθείς (having become a fugitive). Archbishop Wake here reads “scourged.” We have followed the most recent critics in filling up the numerous lacunæ in this chapter.231:4030
I. punctuates ἔλαβε δικαιοσύνην, (received righteousness, having taught).231:4031
Some think Rome, others Spain, and others even Britain, to be here referred to.231:4032
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.