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277

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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ROMAN TRADITIONS OF PETER AND PAUL. 277
martyrs, enclosed them in stone sarcophagi, and bore them
away. But in a writing of Gregory the Great, it is men-
tioned that when they had reached the second mile-post
on the Appian Way, there arose a storm of great violence.
A furious whirlwind blew towards the city ; darkness like
that of a winter night, fell upon the vale of Tiber ; the
thunder rolled ; and from both sides, flashes of lightning
hissed close to the very road, as if cherubim had crossed
their flaming swords to block the way, and hinder the
East from taking possession of treasures that alone the
capital of the world and centre of its history was worthy
to contain. For a new Rome should one day be account-
ed the work of Peter and Paul ; and in the book of the
future it was written, that the apostles should vanquish
the C^sars. As a sign of this victory, the bronze statue
of Peter has stood for centuries upon the column of tri-
umph of the emperor Trajan, and Paul’s upon that of
Marcus Aurelius ; and while the mausoleums of the
Caesars lie in ruins, or like Hadrian’s, stand stripped of
their splendor and serve other uses, the churches of Peter
and Paul rise like gigantic monuments over the dust of
the fisherman and the tent-maker.
Here we close these traditions. It is needless to re-
mind Protestant readers that tradition and matter-of-fact
must not be taken for one and the same thing ; and that
as far as credibility is concerned, there is a vast difference
between that which we know of the apostles through their
own writings, as these are before us in the New Testament,
and that which has come down to our time in the form of
ecclesiastical hearsay. It is in general hard, even in our
critical day, to shut out from the bed of the stream of
chronicles those tributaries that take their rise in the fer-

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