In writing the script for my next documentary Apostolic Fathers, Handing on the Faith, I came across the famous line from Tertullian in its context. Amazing brothers and sisters who preceeded us in the Truth of Christ.
"But, carry on, good officials; you will become much better in the eyes of the people if you sacrifice the Christians for them. Crucify us — torture us — condemn us — destroy us! Your iniquity is the proof of our innocence. For this reason God permits us to suffer these things. In fact, by recently condemning a Christian maid to the pander [who procures customers for whores] rather than to the panther [in the arena],' you confessed that among us a stain on our virtue is considered worse than any punishment or any form of death."
Yet, your tortures accomplish nothing, though each is more refined than the last; rather, they are an enticement to our religion. We become more numerous every time we are hewn down by you: the blood of Christians is seed” (“Apology,” 50, The Fathers of the Church, Vol. 10, pg. 125).