FELIX c.303 AD
Felix, a bishop in the church of Thibaris in Africa, was arrested and brought before the Procurator [Roman official] who demanded from him his copies of the Word of God in order to burn them. Their conversation went as follows.
â€œIt were better, that I should be burned, than the divine Scriptures,â€? testified the godly Felix.
To this the Procurator replied, â€œNevertheless, the command of the Emperors must have the precedence over your word.â€?
Felix responded, â€œGodâ€™s command comes before the commands of men. We must obey God rather than men.â€?
â€œO Felix, why will you not deliver up the books of the Lord your God? Or perhaps, you do not have any?â€?
â€œIndeed, I have them, but I do not whish to give them to you.â€?
â€œPut Felix to death with the sword.â€?
Then did Felix raise his voice loudly and exclaim, â€œI thank Thee, O Lord, that You have redeemed me and I have lived to be fifty-six years old. I have kept myself pure; have kept the Gospels and evangelical books; and have preached the faith and truth in their purity.
â€œO Lord God of heaven and earth, Jesus Christ! I bow my neck to the sword, as an offering unto Thee, who abides in eternal glory and majesty forever and ever. Amen.â€? And so saying, he joined the hosts of martyrs above who had sealed their testimony with their own blood.
Stop and think: Comment on the statement, â€œIf the truth is lost, all is lost.â€?
PRIMUS & FELICIAN c.303 AD
These two aged brothers were brought bound before their accusers who demanded, â€œWill you sacrifice to the gods, and live in honors and see good days, or be tortured unto death?â€?
Felician replied, â€œHow can you speak to me of pleasant days? I am now eighty years old, and have been enlightened with the saving knowledge of Christ for about thirty years; yea, I am still finding the greatest joy of my heart in His service.
â€œAnd you would persuade me to forsake my Savior, and accept instead of Him the vain lusts of this world! Far be it from me; for I have resolved to cleave to Christ, my Lord and my God, to the very last breath of my life!â€?
He was then thrown back into prison while they did what they could to convince his brother to deny the faith. â€œYour brother has apostatized and sacrificed to the gods. Be wise and do likewise and you will go free.â€?
Primus, however, was persuaded in his heart that this was not so and said, â€œThat is a lie.â€? Seeing that their devices had failed, his tormenters proceeded to beat him with sticks, burn his flesh with lamps, and pour molten lead down his throat.
Thereafter, his brother was brought forth from his cell, afflicted with whipping, nailed through hands and feet, and inhumanly tortured. When both were dead, the judge cast their corpses out for the birds and wild dogs to devour.