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68 [55]

MarginaliaPeters wife put to death for Christe.ing his wife going to her Martirdome (belike as he was yet hanging vpon the crosse) was greatly ioyous & glad thereof. MarginaliaThe words of Peter to his wyfe, going to death.Who crying vnto her with a loude voyce, and calling her by her name, bad her remember þe Lorde Iesus. Such was then (sayth Eusebius) the blessed bonde of mariage among the Saintes of God. And thus much of Peter.

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MarginaliaPaul the Apostle.Paul the Apostle, which before was called Saule, after his greate trauaile and vnspeakeable labours in promoting the gospel of Christ, suffered also in this first persecution vnder Nero, and was beheaded. Of whom thus writeth Hierome in his boke De viris illustr. MarginaliaEx Hieronymo lib. de viris illust.Paule, otherwise called Saule, one of the Apostles, yet out of the number of. xij. was of the tribe of Beniamin, and of a towne of Iewrye, called Giscalis: which towne being taken of þe Romaines, he with his parentes fled to Tharsus a towne of Cilicia. MarginaliaSaul brought vp vnder Gamaliell.Afterward was sent vp by his parentes to Hierusalem, and there broughte vp in the knowledge of the lawe, at the feete of Gamaliell, and was at the death of Stephen a doer. MarginaliaSaul a persecutor.And whē he had receaued letters from the high priest to persecute þe christians, by þe way going to Damascus, MarginaliaSaul cōuerted.was stroken downe of the Lordes glorye, and of a persecutour, was made a professor, an Apostle, a Martyr, a witnes of the Gospell, and a vessell of election.

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Among his other manifold labours and trauiles in spreading the doctrine of Christ, he wan Sergius Paulus the proconsull of Cyprus, to the fayth of Christ, MarginaliaSaulus turned to Paulus.whereupon he tooke his name turned frō Saulus to Paulus. After he had passed through diuerse places & countries in hys laborius peregrinations, he toke to him Barnabas, and went vp to Hierusalem, to Peter, Iames, and Iohn, MarginaliaPaule sent to the Gentiles.where he was ordeyned and sent out with Barnabas to preach vnto the Gentiles.

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And because it is in the Actes of the Apostles sufficiently comprehended, concerning the admirable conuersion, and conuersation of this most worthy Apostle, that which remaineth of the reast of his historye, I will here adde, that the sayd Apostle Paule, the. 25. yeare after the passion of the Lorde, in the seconde yeare of Nero, what time Festus ruled in Iewrye, was sent vp in bondes to Rome: where he remayning in hys free hostery two yeares together, disputed dayly againste the Iewes prouing Christ to be come. And here is to be noted, that after his first answere or purgation there made at Rome, the Emperour Nero, not yet fully cōfirmed in his Empire, & yet not brusting out into those mischiefes, which histories report of him, he was at that time by Nero discharged, and dismissed to preach the Gospell in the west partes and aboute the coastes of Italye, as he hymselfe writing vnto Timothe, afterward in his second apprehension, in his second Epistle witnesseth, saying: In my first purgation, no man stoode with me, but did all forsake me, the Lorde laye it not to their charge. But the Lorde stoode with me, and did comfort me, that þe preaching of his word might procede by me, and that all the Gentiles myght heare and be taught, and I was deliuered out of the Lyons mouth, &c. In which place by the Lyon he playnely meaneth Nero. And afterward lykewise sayth: I was deliuered from the mouth of the Lyon, &c. And again: the Lord hath deliuered me out frō al euill workes, & hath saued me vnto his heauenly kingdome, &c. speaking this, because he perceaued then, the time of hys Martyrdome to be nere at hand. For in the same epistle before he sayeth: I am nowe offred vp, and the time of my dissolution draweth on.

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Thus then, this worthye preacher and messenger of the Lord, in the. 14. yeare of Nero, and the same day, in which Peter was crucified, was beheaded at Rome, for the testimonye of Christ, and was buryed in the way of Ostia. The yeare after the passion of the Lorde. 37. He wrote. ix. Epistles to seuen churches, to the Romaines MarginaliaThe epistles of S. Paul to seuen churches.one: to the Corinthians two: to the Galathians one: to the Ephesians one: to the Philippians one: to the Collossians one: to þe Thessalonians two: Moreouer he wrote to his Disciples, to Timothie two: to Titus one: to Philemon one.

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MarginaliaThe epistle to the Hebrues.The Epistle which beareth the title to the Hebrues, is not thought to be his, for the difference of the style and phrase: but either iudged to be written of Timothie, as Tertullian supposeth, or of Sainct Luke, as other do thinke: or ells of Clement, afterward Bishop of Rome: who, as they saye, was adioyned with Paule, and compyling together hys sayings and sentences, dyd phrase them in his style, and maner. Or ells, as some do iudge, because Saint Paule wrote vnto the Hebrewes, for the odiousnes of his name amonge that people, therefore he dissimuled, and suppressed his name in the first entre of his salutation, contrarye to his accustomed condition. And as he wrote to the Hebrewes he being an Hebrew: so he wrote in Hebrewe, that is, in his owne tonge more eloquently. And that is thought to be the cause, why it differeth from his other epistles, and is after a more eloquent maner translated into the Greeke, than his other epistles be. MarginaliaThe epistle to Laodicia.Some also read the epistle written to Laodicia, but that is explosed of all men. Hæc Hieronym.

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As touchyng the tyme and order of the death and Martyrdome of Saint Paule, as Eusebius, Hierome, Maximus, and other authors do but brieflye passe ouer: So Abdias (if his boke be of any substanciall autoritie) speaking more largely of the same, doth saye: MarginaliaAbdias de vitis lib. 2.that after the crucifying of Peter, and the ruine of Simon Magus, Paule yet remayning in free custodye, was demissed and deliuered at that tyme from Martyrdome, by Gods permission, that all the Gentiles myghte be replenished with preaching of the Gospell by him.

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And the same Abdias proceding in his storye declareth moreouer, þt as Paule was thus occupied at Rome, he was accused to the Emperour, not onely for teaching newe doctrine, but also for styrring vp sedition agaynste the Empyre. MarginaliaPaule declareth his doctrine to the Emperour.For this he being called before Nero, and demaunded to shewe þe order and maner of his doctrine, there declared what his doctrine was, MarginaliaThe summe of paules doctrineto teach all men peace and charitie, how to loue one an other, how to preuent one an other in honour, rych men not to be puft in pride, not to put their trust in their treasures, but in the liuing God. Meane men to be contented with foode and raiment, and with their present state. Poore men to reioyce in their pouertie with hope. Fathers to bring vp their children in the feare of God. Children to obey their parentes. Husbandes to loue their wiues. Wiues to be subiecte vnto their husbandes. Citizens and subiectes to geue their tribute to Cesar and to be subiecte to theyr Magistrates. Maisters to be curteous, not curryshe to their seruauntes. Seruauntes to deale faythfullye with their maisters. And this to be the somme of hys teaching, which his doctrine he receaued not of men nor by men, but by Iesus Christ, and the father of glory, which spake to hym from heauen, the Lorde Iesus saying to hym, that he shoulde goe and preach in hys name, and that he woulde be with him, and woulde be the spirite of lyfe to all that beleued in him, and that what soeuer he dyd or sayd, he would iustifye it, &c. MarginaliaPaule condemned.After that Paule had thus declared vnto the Emperour, shortlye after sentence of death was pronounced agaynste hym, that he shoulde be headed. Vnto whose execution then Nero sent two of his Esquiers Ferega, and Parthemius, to bring him word of his death. They comming to Paule, instructing then the people, desired him to pray for them that they might beleue. Who told them that shortly after they should beleue, and be baptised at his Sepulchre (as Abdias writeth.) MarginaliaPaul suffreth.This done the souldiours came, and led him out of þe citie to the place of execution, where he after hys prayers made, gaue his necke to the sword.

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Abdias
e.iiij.
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