The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. Acts 17:24-25
Apollonius (c. 185)
Apollonius was a Roman senator, denounced as a Christian by one of his own slaves. An authentic account of his examination by the magistrate was found in an Armenian text in 1874. He was told to sacrifice to Roman emperor Commodus’ statue and other “gods”, but he refused. Three days later, Apollonius was asked if he had changed his mind. He replied with a passionate defence of the one true God, and thus is remembered by historians as one of the best early Christian apologists for the faith. Apollonius is reported to have said:
I am aware of the Senate’s decree, but my God whom I serve is not made with human hands. I can never worship gold or iron or bronze or silver, or any deaf and dumb idols. You are wrong on many counts to indulge in such worship…
Man’s decrees have no power over God’s decrees. The more you kill these poor, innocent people, the more God will raise up more of them. Everyone is in God’s hands; kings and senators, to free men and slaves. After we die we come to the time of judgment. We do not think that it is difficult to die for the God of truth.
Apollonius was beheaded on 21 April c. 185.
O God, Thou in whom all things live, who commandest us to seek thee, and art ever ready to be found: To know thee is life, to serve thee is freedom, to praise thee is our soul’s joy. We bless thee and adore thee, we give thanks to thee for thy great glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Parish Prayers (no. 1519)