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The Life Of The Blessed Emperor Constantine -Eusebius Pamphilus

HE was not long in perceiving the intolerable nature of the evils of which he had heard; and, forming at once a stedfast resolution, he tempered the natural clemency of his character with a certain measure of severity and sternness, and hastened to succour those who were thus grievously oppressed. For he judged that it would rightly be deemed a pious and holy task to secure, by the removal of an individual, the safety of the greater part of the human race. He judged too, that if he listened to the dictates of clemency only, and bestowed his pity on one utterly unworthy of it, this would, on the one hand, confer no real benefit on a man whom nothing would induce to abandon his evil practices, and whose fury against his subjects would only be likely to increase; while, on the other hand, those who suffered from his oppression would thus be for ever deprived of all hope of deliverance.

Influenced by these reflections, the emperor resolved without further delay to extend a protecting hand to those who had fallen into such an extremity of distress. He accordingly made the usual warlike preparations, and assembled his whole forces, both of horse and foot. But before them all was carried the standard which I have before described, as the symbol of his full confidence in God.



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





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