C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


For some not to be martyred is a martyrdom.


It is the cause, and not the death, that makes the martyr.

Napoleon I.

It is not the death that makes the martyr, but the cause.

Canon Dale.

Who falls for love of God, shall rise a star.

Ben Jonson.

The martyrs to vice far exceed the martyrs to virtue, both in endurance and in number.


Christianity has made martyrdom sublime, and sorrow triumphant.


There are daily martyrdoms occurring of more or less self-abnegation, and of which the world knows nothing.


It is admirably to die the victim of one’s faith; it is sad to die the dupe of one’s ambition.


Those who completely sacrifice themselves are praised and admired; that is the sort of character men like to find in others.


When we read, we fancy we could be martyrs; when we come to act, we cannot bear a provoking word.

Hannah More.

It is more difficult, and calls for higher energies of soul, to live a martyr than to die one.

Horace Mann.

Arnobius tells us that this martyrdom first of all made them seriously inquisitive into that religion which could endue the mind with so much strength and overcome the fear of death.


God discovers the martyr and confessor without the trial of flames and tortures, and will hereafter entitle many to the reward of actions which they had never the opportunity of performing.


And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.


O, how much those men are to be valued who, in the spirit with which the widow gave up her two mites, have given up themselves! How their names sparkle! How rich their very ashes are! How they will count up in heaven!


  • He strove among God’s suffering poor
  • One gleam of brotherhood to send;
  • The dungeon oped its hungry door
  • To give the truth one martyr more,
  • Then shut,—and here behold the end!
  • Lowell.

    If martyrdom is now on the decline, it is not because martyrs are less zealous, but because martyr-mongers are more wise. The light of intellect has put out the fire of persecution, as other fires are observed to smoulder before the light of the same.


    He that dies a martyr proves that he was not a knave, but by no means that he was not a fool; since the most absurd doctrines are not without such evidence as martyrdom can produce. A martyr, therefore, by the mere act of suffering, can prove nothing but his own faith.


    To die for truth is not to die for one’s country, but to die for the world. Truth, like the Venus de Medici, will pass down in thirty fragments to posterity; but posterity will collect and recompose them into a goddess. Then, also, thy temple, O eternal Truth! that now stands half below the earth, made hollow by the sepulchres of its witnesses, will raise itself in the total majesty of its proportions, and will stand in monumental granite; and every pillar on which it rests will be fixed in the grave of a martyr.


    No language can fitly express the meanness, the baseness, the brutality, with which the world has ever treated its victims of one age and boasts of the next. Dante is worshipped at that grave to which he was hurried by persecution. Milton, in his own day, was “Mr. Milton, the blind adder, that spit his venom on the king’s person”; and soon after, “the mighty orb of song.” These absurd transitions from hatred to apotheosis, this recognition just at the moment when it becomes a mockery, saddens all intellectual history.


  • Martyrs! who left for our reaping
  • Truths you had sown in your blood—
  • Sinners! whom long years of weeping
  • Chastened from evil to good—
  • *****
  • Say, through what region enchanted
  • Walk ye, in Heaven’s sweet air?
  • Say, to what spirits ’tis granted,
  • Bright souls, to dwell with you there?
  • Moore.

    His wife and children, being eleven in number, ten able to walk, and one sucking on her breast, met him by the way as he went towards Smithfield: this sorrowful sight of his own flesh and blood, dear as they were to him, could yet nothing move him but that he constantly and cheerfully took his death with wonderful patience, in the defence and support of Christ’s Gospel.

    Martyrdom of John Rogers.