Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept your testimonies.
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Augustine of Hippo
23. "O turn from me shame and rebuke; for I have sought out Thy testimonies" (ver. 22). Testimonies are called in Greek marturia, which word we now use for the Latin word: whence those who on account of their testimony to Christ have been brought low by various sufferings, and have contended unto death for the truth, are not called testes, but by the Greek term Martyrs. Since then ye hear in this term one more familiar and grateful, let us take these words as if it, were said, "O turn from me shame and rebuke; because I have sought out Thy martyrdoms." When the body of Christ speaketh thus, doth it consider it any punishment to hear rebuke and shame from the ungodly and the proud, since it rather reacheth the crown by this means? Why then doth it pray that it should be removed from it as something heavy and insupportable, save because, as I said, it prayeth for its very enemies, to whom it seeth it is destructive, to cast the holy name of Christ as a reproach to Christians. ...For my enemies, whom Thou enjoinest to be loved by me, who more and more die and are lost, when they despise Thy martyrdoms and accuse them in me, will indeed be recalled to life and be found, if they reverence Thymartyrdoms in me. Thus it hath happened: this we see. Behold, martyrdom in the name of Christ, both with men and in this world, is not only not a disgrace, but a great ornament: behold, not only in the sight of the Lord, but in the sight of men, "precious is the death of His Saints;" behold, His martyrs are not only not despised, but honoured with great distinctions. ...