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63 [50]

Actes and Monumentes of the Church.

bat dies, ne religiosus quidem ac sacer. Suet. MarginaliaEx Suet. in vita Tiberij.reporteth him to be so sterne of nature and tyrannicall, that in þe time of hys reigne, very many were accused and condemned with theyr wiues and children. Maydes also first defloured, then put to death. In one daye he recordeth. xx. persons to be drawen to the place of execution. By whom also, through the iuste punishment of God, Pilate vnder whom Christ was crucified, was apprehended, and accused at Rome, deposed, then banyshed to the towne of Lyonce, and at length dyd slay himself. Neither did Herode and Cayphas long scape, of whom more followeth hereafter. Agrippa also by him was cast in prison, albeit afterwarde he was restored. MarginaliaChrist suffereth & riseth again.In the reigne of thys Tiberius the Lord Iesus the sonne of God, in the. xxiiij. yeare of his age, which was the. xvij. of this Emperour, by the malice of the Iewes, suffered hys blessed passion for the conquering of sinne, death, & Sathan the prince of thys world, and rose agayn the thyrd day. MarginaliaAn. 34.After whose sacrat passion and resurrection, thys foresayd Tiberius Nero (otherwyse called) Biberius Mero, lyued. vj. yeares, duryng whiche tyme no persecution was yet styrring in Rome against the Christians, through the commaundement of the Emperour.

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MarginaliaSaint Paule conuerted.
An. 35.

In the reigne also of this Emperour, & yeare which was the next after the passion of our Sauiour, or somewhat more, S. Paul was cōuerted to the fayth. MarginaliaAn. 39.
Cæsar Caligula.
After the death & raign of this Emperour: when he had reigned 23. yeres, succeded C. Cesar Caligula, Claudius Nero, & Domitius Nero: which. 3. wer likewise such scourges to the Senate and people of Rome, that the first not onely tooke other mens wiues violētly from them, but also defloured three of hys own sisters, and afterward banyshed them. MarginaliaCaligula commaunded hys image to be set vp in the temple of Ierusalē.So wicked he was þt he commaunded himself to be worshipped as God, & temples to be erected in hys name, and vsed to sit in the temple among the Gods, requyring hys images to be set vp in all temples, and also in the temple of Hierusalem, which caused great disturbaunce among the Iewes. MarginaliaThe abhominatiō of desolatiō stāding in the holy place.And then began the abhomination of desolation to be set vp in the holy place, spokē of in the Gospell. Hys cruell condition, or els displeasure was suche towarde the Romaines, that he wyshed that all the people of Rome had but one necke, that he at his pleasure might destroy such a multitude. MarginaliaHerode miserably dyed in banyshment.By þe sayd Caligula, Herode the murtherer of Iohn Baptist, and condemner of Christ, was condemned to perpetuall banishment, where he died miserably. MarginaliaCayphas deposed.Cayphas also which wickedly sat vpon Christ, was the same tyme remoued from the hygh priestes roume, and Ionathan set in hys place. The raging fiercenes of thys Caligula incensed agaynst the Romaines, had not thus ceased, had not he bene cut of by the handes of a Tribune, & other gentlemen, which slewe him, in the. iiij. yeare of hys reigne. MarginaliaAn. 43.After whose death was founde in his closet. ij. litle libels, one called a sword, the other the dagger. In the which libells were conteyned the names of those Senatours, & noble mē of Rome, whō he had purposed to put to death. Besides this sword and dagger, there was found also a coffer, wherein diuerse kindes of poyson were kepte in glasses and vessells, for the purpose to destroy a wonderful number of people. Which poysons afterward being throwen into the sea, destroyed a great number of fishe. Gotfr. Viterb. MarginaliaEx Gotfrido Viterbiensi. part. 15.

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But that which this Caligula had onely conceaued, the same dyd the other two, which came after, bryng to passe, MarginaliaClaudius Nero.Claudius Nero, who reigned. xiij. yeares with no litle crueltie. But especially þe thyrd of these Neros, called Domitius Nero. MarginaliaAn. 56.
Domitius Nero.
Which succeding after Claudius, reigned. xiiij. yeares, with such furye and tyrannye, that he slewe þe most part of the Senate, he destroyed þe whole order of knighthoode in Rome. So prodigious a monster of nature was he, more like a beast, yea rather a deuill then a man, that he semed to be borne to the destruc- tiō of man. Such was his monstrous vncleannes, that he abstained not from hys owne mother, his naturall sister, nor from any degree of kyndred. MarginaliaThe horrble wickednes & crueltye of Nero.Such was hys wretched crueltie, that he caused to be put to death, hys mother, his brother in law, his sister, his wife great with childe, also hys instructor Seneca, and Lucane, with diuerse moe of hys own kindred & consanguinitie. Moreouer he cōmaunded Rome to be set on fyre in. xij. places, & so continued it. vj. dayes, and. vij. nyghtes in burning, while that he to see the example how Troy burned, sang the verses of Homer. And to auoyd the infamie thereof, he layd the fault vpon the Christian men, & caused them to be persecuted. And so continued this miserable Emperour in his reigne. xiiij. yeares, tyll at last the Senate proclaming him as a publike enemy of mankinde, condemned hym to be drawen through the citie, and to bee whipped to death. For þe feare wherof he flying þe handes of his enemies, in the night fledde to a maner of hys seruants in þe country, wher he was forced to slay him self, complaining that he had then neither frend nor enemy left, that would do so much for him. MarginaliaPeter and Paul suffered for Christ.
69
In the latter end of this Domitius Nero, Peter also and Paule were put to death, for the testimonye and fayth of Christ. an. 69.

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This ye see, which is worthy to be marked, howe the iuste scourge and heauye indignation of God frō tyme to time euer followeth there, and how al things there go to ruine, neyther doth any thing well prosper, where Christ Iesus the sonne of God is contemned, & not receaued, as by these examples may appeare, both of Romaines, which not onely wer thus consumed & plagued by their owne Emperours, but also by ciuile warres, whereof three wer fought in two yeares at Rome, after þe death of Nero, & other casualtie, (as in Sueton is testified, so þt in the daies of Tiberius aforesayd. 50000. Romaines were hurte & slaine at one time by fal of a theatre). MarginaliaVespasian Emperor and Titus his sonne
The destruction of the Iewes.
And also moste especiallye by the destruction of the Iewes, which about this same time, an. 73. and. xl. yeres after the passion of Christ, and the thyrd yeare after the suffring of S. Peter and Paule, were destroyed by Titus and Vespasian his father, (who succeded after Nero in the Empyre) to the number of. xj. hundred thousand, besides them which Vespasian slew in subduing þe countrey of Galile, ouer & beside them also which were solde and sent into Egypt and other prouinces, to vile slauerye, to the number of. 17. thousand. 2000. were brought with Titus in his triumph, of the which, part he gaue to be deuoured of the wilde beastes, part otherwyse most cruelly were slaine. MarginaliaA note for all realmes to marke.By whose case all nations and realmes may take example, what it is to reiect the visitation of Gods veritye being sent, and muche more to persecute them which be sent of God for theyr saluation.

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MarginaliaThe Romaines in contēptyng Christ, punished by their own EmperorsAnd as this wrathful vengeaunce of God thus hath ben shewed vpō thys rebellious people both of þe Iewes, & of þe Romanes, for their contempt of Christ, whō God so punished by their own Emperours: so neither þe Emperours themselues, for persecuting Christ in his members, escaped without their iust rewarde. For emong so many Emperours, which put so many Christen Martyrs to death, during þe space of these first. 300. yeares, few or none of them scaped eyther not slayne hymselfe, or by some miserable end or other worthely reuenged, MarginaliaExamples of the iuste plage of God vpon the Romaine Emperours persecuting & resisting Christ, tyll the time of Cōstātine.First of the poysoning of Tiberius, & of the slaughter of the other three Neros after hym, sufficiently is declared before. After Nero Domitius, Galba, within. vij. monthes was slayne by Ottho. And so did Ottho afterward slay himself, being ouercom by Vitellus. And was not Vitellus shortly after drawen through the Citye of Rome, and after he was tormented, was throwen into Tiber? Titus a good Emperour is thought to be poysoned of Domitian his brother. The said Domitian after he had ben a persecutor of the Christians, was slayne in his chamber, not without the consent of his wife. Like

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