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121 [108]

Actes and Monuments of the Church.

MarginaliaMarcus Aurelius Probus, Emperour.The next Emperour to Florianus (as is saide) was Marcus Aurelius Probus, a prince both wyse and vertuous, and no lesse valiant in martiall affaires, as fortunate in the successe of the same. MarginaliaPeace in the Church.During his time we reade of no persecution greatly styrring in the church, but much quietnes, as wel in matters of religiō, as also in the common wealth. In so much that after his great and many victories, such peace insued, that his saying was, MarginaliaThe saying of Marcus Aurelius.there neded no more soldiours, seing ther were no mo enemies to the common wealth to fight agaynst. It was his saying also, that his soldiours nede not to spēd corne and victuale, except they laboured to serue the cōmon wealth. MarginaliaSoldiors broughte vp in idlenes, wyll byde no labour.And for the same cause he caused his Soldiours to be set a worke about certayne mountaynes in Syrmia, and in Mesia to be planted with vynes, and not so muche as in wynter suffered them to be at rest, MarginaliaMarcus Aurelius slayne.therfore by thē at length he was slaine, after he had raigned þe space of. vj. yeares, &. 4. monthes. an. 284. Eutrop.

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MarginaliaAn. 284.
Carus with his two sonnes Carinus, and Numerianus Emperour.
Carus with his. ij. sonnes Carinus and Numerianus, succeeded next after Probus, in the Empire, the raigne of which Emperours, continued in all, but. iij. yeres. MarginaliaCarus Emperour slayne wyth lyghtnyng.Of the which three first Carus, warring against the Persians, was slayne with lightning. Of Numerianus his sonne, being with his father in his warres against the Persians, we finde muche commendacion in Eutropius, Vopiscus, and other writers: which testifye of him to be a valiaunt warriour, an eloquent Orator, as appeared by his declamations & writinges sent to the Senate. Thirdly, to be an excellent Poet. This Numerianus sorowing and lamenting for the death of his father, through immoderate weeping fell into a great sorenes of his eyes, by reason wherof he keeping close, was slayne not long after, of his father in lawe named Aper, who trayterously aspiring to the Empyre, dissimuled his death with a false excuse to the people asking for him, saying for the paine of his eyes he kept in from the wynde and weather, till at length by the stynche of his body being caried about, his death was vttered.

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MarginaliaCorrection of a certaine place of Eutropius ex editione Frobeniana.In the life of this Emperour Carus aforesaid, written by Eutropius in the latter edition set forth by Frobenius, I finde (which in other editions of Eutropius doth not appeare) that Numerianus the sonne of thys Carus, was he that slewe Babylas the holye Martyr, whose historye before we haue comprehended. pag. 88. But that seemeth not to be like, both by the narration of Chrysostome: & also for þt Vrspergēsis declaring the same history, and in the same wordes, as it is in Eutropius, sayth that it was Cyrillus, whom Numerianus killed, the story wherof is this: What time Carus the Emperour in his iourney going toward the Persians, remayned at Antioche, Numerianus his sonne woulde enter into the church of the Christians, to vewe and behold their misteries. MarginaliaCyrillus resisteth the Emperour.But Cyrillus ther bishop woulde in no wyse suffer him to enter into the church, saying, that it was not lawfull for him to see the misteries of God, who was polluted with sacrifices of Idoles. MarginaliaCyrillus byshop of Antioche Martyr.Numerianus full of indignation at the hearyng of these wordes, not suffering that repulse at the handes of Cyrillus, in his fury did slay the godly Martyr. And therefore iustlye (as it seemed) was he him selfe slayne afterwarde by the handes of Aper. MarginaliaEx Chronico Vrspergen.

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Thus Carus, with his sonne Numerianus beyng slayne in the East parties, as is declared, Carinus the other sonne raygned alone in Italie: wher he ouercame Sabinus striuing for the Empire, and raygned there with muche wyckednes, tyll the returning home of the army agayne from the Persians, who then set vp Dioclesian to be Emperour, by whom the forsayd Carinus for the wyckednes of his life, being forsaken of his host, was ouercome, and at length slayne with the hande of the Tribune, whose wyfe before he had defloured. MarginaliaCarinus Emperour slayne
Adultery punished.
Thus Carus with his two sonnes, Numerianus and Cari-nus ended their lyues, whose raygne continued not aboue. iij. yeares.

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Marginalia289.
The peace of the churche frō Valeriā, to the tenth persecutiō, lasted 44. yeares.
All this meane space we reade of no great persecution styrring in the church of Christ, but was in meane quiet state and tranquilitie, vnto the. xix. yeare of the raygne of Diocletian. So that in counting the time frō the latter ende of Valerian, vnto this forsayde yeare of Dioclesian, the peace of the Churche which God gaue to hys people, seemeth to continue aboue. xliiij. yeares. During the which time of peace and tranquilitye, the church of the Lord did mightely increase and floorishe, so that the mo bodies it lost by persecution, the more honour and reuerence it wanne daylye among the Gentiles in al quarters, both Greekes and barbarous: in somuch that (as Eusebius in his eight booke describeth) MarginaliaEuseb. lib. 8. cap. 1.amongest the Emperours themselues diuers ther were which not onely bare singular good wyll and fauour to them of our profession, but also did commit vnto them offices and regimentes ouer countries and nacions: so well were they affected to our doctrine, that they priuileged the same with libertie and indemnitie. What needeth to speake of them, which not onelye lyuing vnder the Emperours in libertye, but also were familiar in the court with the Princes thē selues, intertained wyth great honour and special fauour, beyonde the other seruitures of the court, MarginaliaDorotheus
Gorgonius
Christians of great reputation in the Emperours court
as was Dorotheus with his wyfe, children, and whole family, highly accepted and aduaūced in the palace of the Emperour? Also Gorgonius in like maner with diuers other mo, who for their doctrine and learning which they professed, were with their princes in great estimation. In like reuerence also were the bishops of Cities and Diocesses, with the Presidentes and Rulers where they lyued: who not onelye suffered them to lyue in peace, but also had them in great price and regarde, so long as they kept them selues vpright, and continued in God his fauour. MarginaliaThe peaceable state of the churche described.Who is able to number at that tyme the mightye and innumerable multitudes and congregations assembling together in euery Citie, and the notable concourses of such as dayly flocked to the common Oratories to pray. For the whych cause they being not able to be contayned in their olde houses, had large and great churches newe builded frō the foundacion, for them to frequent together. In suche increasment (sayth Eusebius) by processe of time did the church of Christ grow and shout vp, dayly more & more profiting and spreading throughe all quarters, whych neither enuy of men could infring, nor any diuel could inchaunt, neyther the crafty policie of mans wyt could supplant, so long as the protection of God his heauenly arme went with his people, keeping them in good order, according to the rule of Christen life.

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MarginaliaCorruption throughe much peace and prosperitye crept into the church.But as cōmonly the nature of al men being of it self vnruly & vntoward alwayes seeketh and desireth prosperitie, and yet can neuer wel vse prosperity, alwayes would haue peace, and yet hauing peace, alwaies abuseth the same: so here lykewise it happened with these men, which through this so great libertye and prosperitie of lyfe, beganne to degenerate and languishe vnto idlenes and delicasie, and one to woorke spite and contumelye agaynste an other, striuing and contending amongst themselues for euery occasion, with rayling woordes after most dispitefull maner: MarginaliaHatred and disdayne among the church menbyshops against byshops, and people against people, mouing hatred and sedition one against an other, beside also cursed hipocrisye and simulation with all extreamitie increaseing more and more: by reason wherof the iudgement of God after his wonted maner, whylest yet the congregation began to multiplye, began by a litle and litle too viset our mē with persecution, falling first vpon our brethren which wer abroade in warfare, but whē þt toutcht the other nothing, or very litle, neither did they seeke to appease Gods wrath, and cal for his mercy, but

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