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EARLY CHRISTIANITY

laid across his bed by the attendants, and scourged almost to death. He was at last released from this unpleasant situation by the order of the principal personage, who stood before him with a naked sword in his hand, and threatened that unless he immediately recalled his edict against the Christians, himself and his family should be by that sword severed member from member. Naaman himself was only prevented from embracing Christianity by his fear of the Persian king.[1] When the change of sentiment that had taken place in their prince was publicly known, the Saracens flocked in crowds to receive the Christian faith, changing the worship of their idols for the divine institutes of the Gospel.[2]

Shortly afterwards, the emperor being unwilling to accede to the demands of the Persians, the war was again renewed. The Persian Arabs, having invaded the Roman territory, were expelled by Timostratus, one of the Syrian leaders. The do-

  1. Cosmas Presbyter, ap. Assemann. tom. i. p. 217. Enimvero ex ea pavore et acerrima fustigatione consequutus morbus me ultra mensem tenuit. Perhaps this was an addition of the writer. The work of Cosmas is published in Assemanni Acta Martyr, Oriental, tom. ii.
  2. Ismaelitæ autem turmatim venientes, ducenti simul, et trecenti, ac interdum mille, patrium errorem magna voce abnegant, simulacra quæ coluerunt coram magno illo lumine conterentes, Venerisque orgia ejurantes (hujus quippe dæmonis cultum amplexi jam olim fuerant) divinis mysteriis iniantur, leges ab illa sacra lingua accipientes, &c. Theodoret, cited by Asseman. Conf. Vit. Sim. Styl. p. 328.