Their Final Words
by Stalking John Calvin
IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH – Ignatius (67-110) was ordered by the emperor to be arrested and was sentenced to be thrown to the wild beasts in Rome. He longed for giving his life for his Savior, saying, “May the wild beasts be eager to rush upon me. If they be unwilling, I will compel them. Come, crowds of wild beasts, come, tearings and manglings, wracking of bones and hacking of limbs, come, cruel tortures of the devil, only let me attain unto Christ”
POLYCARP, BISHOP OF SMYRNA – Polycarp was the last to be taught personally by the apostles. He was arrested and brought into an amphitheater filled with a great multitude of people. Wood was collected and made into a pile. Polycarp asked not to be fastened to the stake. “Leave me thus. He who strengthens me to endure the flames will also enable me to stand firm at the stake without being fastened with nails”. The woodpile was lighted. While Polycarp prayed with a loud voice, “Lord God Almighty, Father of our lord Jesus Christ, I praise Thee that Thou hast judged me worthy of this day and of this hour, to participate in the number of thy witnesses, and in the cup of Thy Christ”, the flames consumed him. Polycarp’s martyr death took place in the year 156.
JUSTIN MARTYR – Justin Martyr (100-165) was scourged and beheaded in Rome with 6 other Christians. His last words were, “We desire nothing more then to suffer for our Lord Jesus Christ, for this gives us salvation and joyfulness before His dreadful Judgement Seat.”