Page:Tracts for the Times Vol 1.djvu/496

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offered up by the persons who were with him, with a reference to the season of his trial. In repayment of the kindness shewn him by the Churches which received him on his journey, he sent by their rulers certain letters of thanks, which breathed forth the graces of a Christian spirit, in the language of supplication and warning. And, noticing what kindness of feeling was exhibited on all sides towards him, he began to fear, that now, while the glorious gate of martyrdom lay open before him, the affection of the Christian brotherhood would lead them to interfere with his devotion to the Lord; and he therefore addressed the Church of the Romans in an Epistle on the subject[1].

V. Having, by that Epistle, engaged in his own view those of the brethren at Rome, whose intentions had been opposite, he left Smyrna, and proceeded on his voyage. The object of his military guard, in thus hurrying him forward, was, to arrive at Rome in time for the games, which are publicly held in that great city; so that the populace might see him, when he gained his Crown of Martyrdom, by being thrown to the wild beasts. He touched at Troas, and then crossed to Neapolis; and traversing Macedonia, by way of Philippi, advanced to the parts of Epirus near Epidamnus; here finding a vessel on the coast, he crossed the Adriatic, and entered the Tyrrhene sea. As he was coasting in sight of the various islands and towns, the city of Puteoli was pointed out to the holy man, and he expressed a strong desire to disembark there, in order that he might tread in the very footsteps of the Apostle Paul. But as the wind arose violently, and the vessel was running before it, he was prevented from doing so; and therefore passed straight onward, not without remarking how good and blessed a love was once exhibited by the brethren in that spot. [ Acts xxviii. 13, 14. ] Taking advantage of the wind, which during the whole day and ensuing night continued favourable, we hurried forward; unwillingly ourselves, for we wept at the thought of that just man's separation from us; but he, on the other hand, was well satisfied with an early removal from this world, in the hope of being sooner joined unto the LORD he loved. We landed at the Roman Havens, nearly at the close of the unhallowed games. The soldiers expressed impatience at the tardiness of our arrival; and the Bishop was glad to acquiesce in their demand to hasten forward.