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Actes and Monumentes of the Church.

vile and abiect, to be glorious in Gods sight, for the very loue which in hart & deede they beare toward hym, & not in outward face onelye. For when all wee were afraid, and specially her mistres in fleshe, who also was her selfe one of the number of the foresayde Martyrs, least happely for the weakenes of the body she woulde not stand strongly to her confession, MarginaliaThe cruel handling and great patience of Blādina.the foresaid Blandine was so replenished with strēgth and boldnes, that they which had the tormenting of her by course from morning to night, for verye wearynes gaue ouer and fell downe, and were them selues ouercome, cōfessing that they could do no more against her, and marueiled that yet she liued, hauing her body so torne and rent. And testified that any one of those tormentes alone wythoute any moe, had bene inough to haue plukt the lyfe from her body. But that blessed woman, fighting this worthy battel, became stronger and stronger, and as often as she spake these wordes (I am a Christian, neither haue vve committed any euyll) it was to her a marueylous comfort and boldning to abide the tormentes.

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MarginaliaSanctus a Martyr.Sanctus also an other of the Martyrs, who in þe middest of his tormentes, induryng more paynes, then the nature of a man might away with, also at what tyme the wicked supposed, to haue herd him vtter some blasphemous words, for þe greatnes & intolerablenes of his tormentes and paines, that he was in, abode notwithstandyng in such constancie of minde, MarginaliaThe notable cōstancy of Sanctus.that neither he tolde them his name, nor what countrymā he was, nor in what Citie brought vp, neither whether he was a fre man or a seruaunt, but vnto eeury question that was asked him, he aunswered in the Latine tounge, I am a Christiā. And this was all that he confessed both of his name, Citie, kinred, and all other things in the place of execution, neither yet could the Gentiles, get any more of him: wherupon both the Gouernour & tormentours, were the more vehemētly bent against him. And when they had nothing els to vexe him withall, they clapped plates of Brasse redhoat, to the most tenderest partes of his body: wherwith his body in dede beyng scorched, yet he neuer shronke for the matter, but was bolde and constant in his confession, beyng strengthened & moystened with the fountaine of liuely water, flowing out of Christes side. MarginaliaThe cruell torments of Sanctus.Truly his body was a sufficient wytnes, what tormentes he suffered, for it was all drawne together and most pitifully wounded and scorched: so þt it had therewith lost the proper shape of a man, in whō Christ suffering obtayned inspeakable glorye, for that he ouercame his aduersarie, and to the instruction of other declared, that nothyng is terrible, or ought to be feared, where the loue of God is, nor nothing greuous, wherein the glory of Christ is manifested.

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And when those wicked men, began after a certain tyme agayne, to torment the martyr, and hoped wel to bryng it to passe, that either they should ouercome him in causing him to recant, by reiterating his torments, now when his body was so sore and swollen, that he might not suffer a man to touche him with his hand, or els that if he dyed vnder theyr handes, yet that therby they should strike such feare into the hartes of the rest, to cause them to deny Christ. But they were not onely disapoynted herein, MarginaliaA miraculous woorking of God.but also contrary to thexpectation of men, his body was in the latter punishment and tormentes soupled and restored, and tooke the first shape and vse of the mēbers of the same, so that the same his second torment was by the grace of Christ (in steede of punishement) a safe medecine.

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MarginaliaByblides an holy Martyr.Also, Sathan nowe thinkyng to haue setteled hym selfe in the harte of one Byblides, beyng one of them whiche had denied Christ, and thinking to haue caused her, being a weake and feable woman in faith, to haue damned her soule, in blasphemyng the name of God, brought her to the place of executiō; inforcyng to wrestsome wicked thing out of the mouth of the Christians. But she in the middle of her tormentes, returnyng to her self, and waked as it were out of her dead sleepe, by that temporall payne, called to her remembraunce the paines of hel fire, & against al men expectations reuiled the tormētours saying: How should we Christiās eate yong infantes (as ye reported of vs) for whom it is not lawful to eate the bloud of any beast? Vpō that so sone as she had confessed her selfe to be a Christian, she was martyred with the rest. Thus when Christ had ended those tyrannicall tormentes, by the patience and sufferaunce of our Saintes, the deuill yet inuented other engines & instruments. MarginaliaEcule9 ad quintū foramen.For when the Christians were cast into prison, they were shut vp in darke and oughly doungeons, and were drawne by the feete, in a racke or engine made for that purpose, euen vnto the fifte hole. And many other such punishmentes suffred they, whiche the furious ministers stirred vp wyth deuilishe furie, are wont to put men vnto: MarginaliaDiuers martirs strangled in prisō.so that very many of them, wer strāgled and killed in the prisons, whom the Lord in this maner would haue to enioye euerlastyng lyfe, and set forth hys glory. And surely these good men were so pitifully tormented, that and if they had had al the helpe, and medecines in the worlde, it was thought impossible for them to liue and to be restored. And thus they remayning in prison, destitute of al humane help, were so strengthned of the Lord, and both in body and mynde confirmed, that they comforted and stirred vp the mindes of the rest. MarginaliaOther martyrs dyed in prisonThe yonger sorte of them, which were later apprehended, and put in prison, whose bodyes had not yet felte the lash of the whip, wer not able to indure the sharpnes of theyr imprisonment, but died in the same.

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MarginaliaPhotinus blessed martyr.The blessed Photinus, who was Deacon to the byshop of Lyons, aboue. 90. yeares olde, & a verye feable or weake mā, and could scarsly draw breath for the imbecility of his body: yet was he of a liuely courage and spirit. For the great desire he had of Martyrdom, when he was brought vnto the iudgemēt seate: although his body was feable and weake, both because of his olde age, and also through sickenes, yet was his soule or life preserued to this purpose, that by þe same, Christ might triumphe and be glorified. He, being by the soldiours brought to the place of iudgement, many Citizens and men of great ability folowing him, and the whole multitude crying vpon him diuersly, as though he had bene Christ him selfe, gaue a good testimony. For being demaunded of the chiefe ruler, what was the Christian mās God, he answered: If thou be worthy to know, þu shalt know. He being with these wordes somwhat nere touched, caused him to be verye sore beaten. For those that stoode next him, did him all the spyte and displeasure that they could both with hand and foote, hauing no regarde at all to his olde age or white heares. MarginaliaThe rage of the people agaynst Photinus.And they which were further of, what so euer came next to hand, they threw at him, and euery man thought that he did very wickedly refrayne, that withheld his hand frō not doing the like. For by this meanes thei thought that they did reuenge the quarel of their Gods. Photinus, now euē as it wer gasping after life, was thrown into prison, and within two daies after died.

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And here is the mighty prouidence of God, and the inspeakable mercy of Iesus Christ declared, which prouidence being assured amongest a fraternity, is neuer destitute of the ayd of Iesus Christe. For those whiche in their first persecution denied Christ, they also were put in prison, and made partakers of the others affliction. Neither yet did it any whit at all at that time help them that had denied Christ: but they which confessed him, were imprisoned as Christians, neither was there any other crime obiected against thē: but the other sorte taken like homicides and wicked doers, were layde

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