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Chapter LVI.—At length he undertakes to raise a Persecution.

For the final efforts of his fury appeared in his open hostility to the churches, and he directed his attacks against the bishops themselves, 498whom he regarded as his worst adversaries, bearing special enmity to those men whom the great and pious emperor treated as his friends. Accordingly he spent on us the utmost of his fury, and, being transported beyond the bounds of reason, he paused not to reflect on the example of those who had persecuted the Christians before him, nor of those whom he himself had been raised up to punish and destroy for their impious deeds: nor did he heed the facts of which he had been himself a witness, though he had seen with his own eyes the chief originator of these our calamities (whoever he was), smitten by the stroke of the Divine scourge.

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