Alan Ryan

Mill held […] that persecution was usually successful if it was tried for a reasonable length of time, and that it only failed where the numbers of the persecuted were so great that the policy could not be kept up for long. The Roman persecutors of Christianity might easily have succeeded in stamping out that faith altogether—a claim to which some reviewers took exception on the grounds that it suggested that God might have chosen to desert his revelation[.]

Alan Ryan, J. S. Mill, London, 1974, p. 137