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54. But after these events they returned to their master, and reported what had befallen them; and at the same thee they got an account of the numerous ills which had overtaken him. When, therefore, they got access to him, as I was saying,21302130    Reading “dicebam.” But the Codex Casinensis gives “dicebant,” and the Codex Reg. Alex. Vat. has “decebat”—as became them. they called his attention to all the sufferings they had had to endure in each several region; and as for the rest, they urged it upon him that regard ought now to be had to the question of safety;21312131    Reading “converti ad salutem,” for “conventi,” etc., as it is given in the Codex Casinensis. for they had been in great terror lest any of the miseries which were inflicted on him should fall to their own lot. But he counselled them to fear nothing, and rose to harangue them. And then, while he lay in prison, he ordered them to procure copies of the books of the law of the Christians; for these disciples who had been despatched by him through the different communities were held in execration by all men, and most of all by those with whom the name of Christians was an object of honour. Accordingly, on receiving a small supply of money, they took their departure for those districts in which the books of the Christians were published;21322132    Conscribebantur. [Note this concerning the Christian books.] and pretending that they were Christian messengers,21332133    Nuntios. But Codex Reg. Alex. Vat. gives “novitios,” novices. they requested that the books might be shown them, with a view to their 232acquiring copies. And, not to make a lengthened narrative of this, they thus got possession of all the books of our Scriptures, and brought them back with them to their master, who was still in prison. On receiving these copies, that astute personage set himself to seek out all the statements in our books that seemed to favour his notion of a dualism; which, however, was not really his notion, but rather that of Scythianus, who had promulgated it a long time before him. And just as he did in disputing with me, so then too, by rejecting some things and altering others in our Scriptures, he tried to make out that they advanced his own doctrines, only that the name of Christ was attached to them there. That name, therefore, he pretended on this account to assume to himself, in order that the people in the various communities, hearing the holy and divine name of Christ, might have no temptation to execrate and harass21342134    The text gives “fatigarent.” But Codex Reg. Alex. Vat. gives “fugarent”—expel. those disciples of his. Moreover, when they21352135    The text gives “invenientes.” The Codex Reg. Alex. Vat. more correctly has “inveniens”—when he came upon. came upon the word which is given us in our Scriptures touching the Paraclete, he took it into his head that he himself might be that Paraclete; for he had not read with sufficient care to observe that the Paraclete had come already,—namely, at the time when the apostles were still upon earth. Accordingly, when he had made up these impious inventions, he sent his disciples also to proclaim these fictions and errors with all boldness, and to make these false and novel words known in every quarter. But when the king of Persia learned this fact, he prepared to inflict condign punishment upon him. Manes, however, received information of the king’s intention, having been warned of it in sleep, and made his escape out of prison, and succeeding in taking to flight, for he had bribed his keepers with a very large sum of money. Afterwards he took up his residence in the castle of Arabion; and from that place he sent by the hand of Turbo the letter which he wrote to our Marcellus, in which letter he intimated his intention of visiting him. On his arrival there, a contest took place between him and me, resembling the disputation which you have observed and listened to here; in which discussion we sought to show, as far as it was in our power, that he was a false prophet. I may add, that the keeper of the prison who had let him escape was punished, and that the king gave orders that the man should be sought for and apprehended wherever he might be found. And as these things have come under my own cognizance, it was needful that I should also make the fact known to you, that search is being made for this fellow even to the present day by the king of Persia.


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