Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume III/Ethical/Ad Martyras/Chapter V

Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. III, Ad Martyras by Tertullian, translated by Sydney Thelwall
Chapter V

Chapter V.

I leave out of account now the motive of glory. All these same cruel and painful conflicts, a mere vanity you find among men—in fact, a sort of mental disease—as trampled under foot.  How many ease-lovers does the conceit of arms give to the sword? They actually go down to meet the very wild beasts in vain ambition; and they fancy themselves more winsome from the bites and scars of the contest. Some have sold themselves to fires, to run a certain distance in a burning tunic. Others, with most enduring shoulders, have walked about under the hunters’ whips.  The Lord has given these things a place in the world, O blessed, not without some reason: for what reason, but now to animate us, and on that day to confound us if we have feared to suffer for the truth, that we might be saved, what others out of vanity have eagerly sought for to their ruin?