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The Life Of The Blessed Emperor Constantine -Eusebius Pamphilus

MY desire, however, is to derive even from foreign sources a testimony to the Divine nature of Christ. For on such testimony it is evident that even those who blaspheme His name must acknowledge that He is God, and the Son of God, if indeed they will accredit the words of those whose sentiments coincided with their own. The Erythræan Sibyl, then, who herself assures us that she lived in the sixth generation after the flood, was a priestess of Apollo, who wore the sacred fillet in imitation of the God she served, who guarded also the tripod encompassed with the serpent’s folds, and returned prophetic answers to those who approached her shrine; having been devoted by the folly of her parents to this service, a service productive of nothing good or noble, but only of indecent fury, such as we find recorded in the case of Daphne. On one occasion, however, having rushed into the sanctuary of her vain superstition, she became really filled with inspiration from above, and declared in prophetic verses the future purposes of God; plainly indicating the advent of Jesus by the initial letters of these verses, forming an acrostic in these words: JESUS CHRIST, SON OF GOD, SAVIOUR, CROSS. The verses themselves are as follows:—

Judgment! Earth’s oozing pores shall mark the day;

Earth’s heavenly king His glories shall display:

Sovereign of all, exalted on His throne,

Unnumbered multitudes their God shall own;

Shall see their Judge, with mingled joy and fear,

Crowned with His saints, in human form appear.

How vain, while desolate earth’s glories lie,

Riches, and pomp, and man’s idolatry!

In that dread hour, when Nature’s fiery doom

Startles the slumb’ring tenants of the tomb,

Trembling all flesh shall stand; each secret wile,

Sins long forgotten, thoughts of guilt and guile,

Open beneath God’s searching light shall lie:

No refuge then, but hopeless agony.

O’er heaven’s expanse shall gathering shades of night

From earth, sun, stars, and moon, withdraw their light;

God’s arm shall crush each mountain’s towering pride;

On ocean’s plain no more shall navies ride.

Dried at the source, no river’s rushing sound

Shall soothe, no fountain slake the parched ground.

Around, afar, shall roll the trumpet’s blast,

Voice of wrath long delayed, revealed at last.

In speechless awe, while earth’s foundations groan,

On judgment’s seat earth’s kings their God shall own.

Uplifted then, in majesty divine,

Radiant with light, behold Salvation’s Sign!

Cross of that Lord, who, once for sinners given,

Reviled by man, now owned by earth and heaven,

O’er every land extends His iron sway.

Such is the name these mystic lines display;

Saviour, eternal king, who bears our sins away.

It is evident that the virgin uttered these verses under the influence of Divine inspiration. And I cannot but esteem her blessed, whom the Saviour thus selected to unfold His gracious purpose towards us.



Image or Constantine is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license. Attribution: I, Jean-Christophe Benoist





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