From Larry W. Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ:
In the account of the martyrdom of Polycarp in Smyrna (cca. 155-160), the Roman official conducting the hearing repeatedly demands that Polycarp reverence the emperor, and also urges him to “curse Christ” and thereby save himself from Death (Mart. Pol. 8.2; 9.2-3; 10.1). This echoes the demand Pliny made of Bithynian Christians a few decades earlier. Polycarp’s unforgettable reply only confirms that the key issue was the reverence of Jesus: “For eighty-six years I have been his servant, and he has done me now wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?”
Developing an extended musical metaphor, Ignatius urges the Ephesian church to act together in harmony with their bishop, so that “taking your pitch from God you may sing in unison with one voice through Jesus Christ to the Father.”
I have yet to live Polycarp’s days of service, but I consent with Ignatius; Let us sing with upraised voices that our glorious Lord is worthy of the name God has given him. Let us offer God our Father glory through His only Son, whom he prepared from the foundation of the earth. Let us proclaim him with our dying breath, but more, let every living breath lift His praise high till he returns for us.