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23. Persecution is from the Devil.

Seeing therefore that such are the commands of our Saviour, and that such is the conduct of the Saints, let these persons, to whom one cannot give a name suitable to their character,—let them, I say, tell us, from whom they learnt to persecute? They cannot say, from the Saints14961496    Hist. Arian. §§33, 67.. No, but from the Devil (that is the only answer which is left to them);—from him who says, ‘I will persue, I will overtake14971497    Ex. xv. 9..’ Our Lord commanded to flee, and the saints fled: but persecution is a device of the Devil, and one which he desires to exercise against all. Let them say then, to which we ought to submit ourselves; to the words of the Lord, or to their fabrications? Whose conduct ought we to imitate, that of the Saints, or that of those whose example these men have adopted? But since it is likely they cannot determine this question (for, as Esaias said, their minds and their consciences are blinded, and they think ‘bitter to be sweet,’ and ‘light darkness14981498    Is. v. 20.’) let some one come forth from among us Christians, and put them to rebuke, and cry with a loud voice, ‘It is better to trust in the Lord, than to attend to the foolish sayings of these men; for the “words” of the Lord have “eternal life14991499    John vi. 68.,” but the things which these utter are full of iniquity and blood.’

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