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141 [128]

Actes and Monuments of the Church.

it had bene couered with hote embers, when Barlaam recited out of the psalmes this sayeng: Blessed is þe lord my God which teacheth my handes to fyght.

MarginaliaAgricola, with his seruāt Vitalis, martyrs.
Ex Ambro. in Serm. ad Virgines.
To this narration of Basilius touching the martyrdome of Barlaam, we wyl adnexe consequentlye an other story of Ambrose within: He making a certayn exhortacion to certayne virgins, in the same oration commendeth the martyrdomes of Agricola & Vitalis, who suffered also in the same persecution vnder Dioclesian and Maximinian (as they so affirme) at Bononie. Thys Vitalis was seruaunt to Agricola, who both together betwene them selues had made a compact to geue their liues with other Martyrs for the name of Christ. MarginaliaVitalis first martyred.Wherupon Vitalis being sent before of hys maister, to offer himselfe to martyrdome, fel fyrst into the handes of persecutours, who laboured aboute hym by all maner of meanes to cause him to deny Christ. Which when he would in no case do, but stoutly persisted in the confession of hys fayth: they began to exercise hym wyth all kindes of tormentes: So vnmercifullye, that there was no whole skinne left in al his bodye. So Vitalis in the middest of þe agonie, & painful torments, after he had in a short prayer commended himself to God, gaue vp hys lyfe. After him the tormentors set vpon Agricola hys maister, whose vertuous maners & gentle condicions, because they were singularly wel liked and knowen to the enemies, his suffering therfore, was þe longer deferred. MarginaliaAgricola, desirous of martyrdome.
Agricola dyed Marty. vpon the crosse.
But Agricola not abiding the long delaye and driuyng of, and prouoking more ouer the aduersaries to quicker speede, at length was fastned vnto the crosse, & so finished his martyrdome, which he so long desyred. Ambros. in Exhortatione ad Virgines.

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MarginaliaThe cruel martirdome of Vincentius.
Ex August. in Sermon.
No lesse worthy of commemoration is the lamentable Martyrdome of Vincentius, whose historye here followeth. This Vincentius was a Spaniard, and a Leuite most godly and vertuous, who at this time suffred martirdome at Valence, vnder Dacianus the President, as we may gather by Prudentius in his hymne. Bergomensis in his supplement reciteth these woordes concerning hys martyrdome, out of a certayne sermon of Saint Augustine: Our hart conceaued not a vayne and fruitles sight (as it wer in beholding of lamentable tragedies) but a great sight and marueilous, certaynly, and therewith singular pleasure receaued it, when the paynful passion of Victorious Vincentius was read vnto vs. Is ther any so heauy harted, that he wyll not be moued in the contemplation of this immouable Martyr, so manly, or rather so godlye fighting agaynst the craft and subtiltie of that serpent, agaynst the tyranny of Dacianus, against the horrours of death, and by the mighty spirite of his God conquering al? But let vs in fewe woordes rehearse the degrees of hys tormentes, though the paines therof in manye woordes cannot be expressed. MarginaliaThe tormentes exercised vpon Vincentius.First Dacianus caused the martyr to be layd vpon the torture, and al the ioyntes of hys bodye to be distended and racked oute, vntyll they crackt agayne. This being done in most extreme and cruel maner, all the members of his paynful and pitiful body were greuously endented with deadly woundes. Thirdlye (that his dolours and griefes might be augmented) they myserably vexed his flesh with yron combes sharplye fyled. And to the end the tormentours might vomit out al their vengeaunce on the meeke & mylde martyrs flesh, the tormentors them selues also vilye scourged at the Presidents commaundement. And least hys passion thorough wāt of paines might seme imperfect, or els to easy, they layd his body being al out of ioynt, on a grate of yron, which bodye when they had opened wyth yron hookes, they seared it with fyry plates: with hot burning salt sprinckling the same. Last of al into a vile doungeon was this mighty martyr drawen, the floure wherof first was thicke spred with the sharpest shels that mightbe gotten, his feete then being fast locked in the stockes, there was he left alone without al worldly comfort: MarginaliaThe comfort of the Lord vpon his sayntesbut the Lord his God was with him, the holy spirit of God (whose office is to comfort the godlye afflicted) fulfilled his hart with ioye and gladnes. Hast thou prepared a terrible racke (O cruel tyrant, O deuouring Lyon) for the Martyrs bed? the Lord shall make that bed soft and swete vnto him. Rackest thou his bones and ioyntes al a sunder? His bones, his ioyntes, his heares are al numbred. Tormentest thou his flesh with mortal woundes? the Lord shall poure aboundantly into all hys sores of his oyle of gladnes. Thy scraping combes, thy sharpe fleshhookes, thyne hot searing yrons, thy parched salt, thy stincking prison, thy cutting shels, thy pynchyng stockes, shall turne to this pacient martyr, to the best. Altogether shall worke contrarye to thine expectation, great plenty of ioy shall he reape into the barne of hys soule, out of this mighty haruest of paines that þu haste brought him into. Yea, thou shalt proue him Vincētius in deede: that is, a vanquisher, a triumpher, a conquerer subduing thy madnes, by his mekenes, thy tiranny, by his patience, thy manifolde meanes of tortures, by the manifold graces of God, wherewith he is plentifullye enriched.

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MarginaliaPhiloromus, martyr.In this cataloge or company of such holy Martyrs, as suffered in thys foresayd. x. persecution, many moe and almost innumerable there be expressed in authors, beside them whom we haue hetherto comprehended, as Philoromus a mā of noble byrth, and great possessions in Alexandria, who being perswaded by hys frendes to fauour hymselfe, to respecte hys wife, to consider hys children, and familie: dyd not onely reiecte the counsells of them, but also neglected the threats & tormentes of the iudge, MarginaliaThe confession & martirdome of Philoromus.to keepe the confession of Christ inuiolate vnto the death, & losing of hys head. Euseb. Lib. 8. cap. 9. Niceph. Lib. 7. cap. 9. of whom Eusebius beareth witnes, that he was there present himselfe.

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MarginaliaProcopi9, martyr.Of lyke estate and dignitie was also Procopius in Palestina, who after hys conuersion brake hys images of siluer and golde, and distributed the same to þe poore, MarginaliaThe tormentes and constancie of Procopius, to death.and after all kinde of torments, of racking, of cording, of tearing his fleshe, of goring, & stabbing in, of fiering, at length had hys head also smitten of, as witnesseth Nicepho. lib. 7. cap. 15.

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MarginaliaGeorgius martyr.To this may be adioyned also Georgius, a younge man of Capadocia, who stoutlye inuehing against the impious idolatry of the Emperours, was apprehended, and cast in prison, MarginaliaThe sundri punishmentes of Georgius.then torne with hoked yrons, burnt with hoate lyme, stretched with cordes, after that hys handes and feete, with other members of hys bodye being cut of, at laste with a sworde had his head cutte of. Nicepho. ibid.

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MarginaliaSergius.
Bacchius.
Panthaleon.
Theodor9.
Faustus.
Gereon.
with. 318. fellowes.
Hermogenes.
Menas a mā of Athens.
Eugraph9.
Samonas.
Gurias.
Abibus.
Hieron,
with hys fellowes.
Iudes.
Domuas.
With these aforenamed adde also Sergius, and Bacchius, Panthaleon a phisicion in Nicomedia, mencioned in Supplem Lib. 8. Theodorus of the Citie Amasia in Hellesp. mencioned of Vincentius. Lib. 3. Faustus a Martyr of Egypt, mentioned of Niceph. Lib. 8. cap. 5. Gereon with. CCC.xviij. fellow Martyrs which suffered about Colour. Petr. de nat. Lib. 9. cap. 49. Hermogenes the president of Athens, who being conuerted by the constancie of one Menas, and Eugraphus in their tormentes, suffered also for the lyke fayth. Item, Samonas, Gurias, and Abibus, mencioned in Symeon Metaphraste. Hieron also with certaine his confessors, vnder Maximinus mencioned in Metaphrastes. Iudes, and Domuas, who suffered with the. 20000. Martyrs aboue mencioned, at Nicomedia, as recordeth Metaphrastes. Euelasius, and Maximinus the Emperours officers, whom Fausta the virgine in her tormentes conuerted. Also ">Thyrsus, Lucius, Callinicus, Apollonius, Philemon, Asilas, Leonides, with Arrianus president of Thebaide. Cyprianus, lykewise a Citizen of Antioche, who after he had continued

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