On the dating of polycarp
The police and horsemen came with the young man at suppertime on the Friday with their usual weapons, as if coming out against a robber.
That evening, they found him lying down in the upper room of a cottage.
One interesting feature of the letter is that the writer is very conscious of how Polycarp’s death followed the pattern of Christ’s.
Who could not admire their honor, their patience, their love for the Lord?
They were whipped to shreds till their veins and arteries were exposed, and still endured patiently, while even those that stood by cried for them.
True love desires not only one’s own salvation, but the salvation of all our brothers.
All the martyrdoms which God allowed to happen (remember that the devout will ascribe all things to his sovereignty) were blessed and noble.