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The Martyrdom of Polycarp

Polycarp shows some of his courage and perseverance

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Polycarp shows some of his courage and perseverance when he scraped his shin, but “…as though nothing had happened, he walked on eagerly and quickly…” ( MartPol. 8 ). He not only walked on despite his injury, but he was eager and quick about it. This show of indifference to the state of his body demonstrates Polycarp’s immense faith in God and also his expectations of attaining something better than what he is getting from the physical world. “The fire you threaten me with burns merely for a time and is soon extinguished. It is clear you are ignorant of the fire of everlasting punishment and of the judgement that is to come” ( MartPol. 11) . Polycarp eagerly accepts the temporary punishment given unto him by men in anticipation of receiving eternal salvation from God. Even as he speaks of the torture that is to be put upon him, he calls upon the people to “do what you will” and still “…he was filled with a joyful courage; his countenance was filled with grace…” ( MartPol. 11-12 ). The author makes a point of showing how Polycarp is so unfazed to use him as an example as to how true Christians should act when under similar circumstances.
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