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Chapter 72.—159.  Petilianus said:  "‘Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’21732173     Matt. v. 10.   You are not blessed; but you make martyrs to be blessed, with whose souls the heavens are filled, and the earth has flourished with their memory.  You therefore do not honor them yourselves, but you provide us with objects of honor."

160.  Augustin answered:  The plain fact is, that if it had not been said, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake," but had been said instead, Blessed are they who throw themselves over precipices, then heaven would have been filled with your martyrs.  Of a truth we see many flowers on the earth blooming from their bodies; but, as the saying goes, the flower is dust and ashes.


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