Critical Apparatus for this Page
None
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
129 [129]

Actes and Monumentes of the Churche.

Religiō, as was in this so excellent Monarche, might somthyng appeare in inferiour Princes raignyng in these our Printyng dayes. &c.

MarginaliaThe liberalitie of Constantine towards the poore and needy. The liberall hand of this Emperour, borne to do all men good, was no lesse also open and ready toward the needy pouertie of such, which either by losse of parentes, or other occasions were not able to helpe them selues: to whom he cōmaunded and prouided dewe subuention both of corne and rayment to be ministred out of his owne coffers, to the necessary reliefe of the poore men, women, children, orphanes, and widowes, Euseb. de vita Constant. Lib. 4.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaConstantine remitteth the fourth part of his rents and reuenewes. Finally, among all the other monumentes of his singular clemencie and munificence, this is not to be pretermitted: that through all the Empire of Rome and prouinces belongyng to the same, not onely he diminished such taxes, reuenewes, and impostes, as publickly were commyng to hym, but also clearly remitted and released to the contributers, the fourth part of the same.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaDonation of Constantine. This present place would require somethyng to be sayd of the donation of Constantine: wherevpon as vpon their chiefest anchor holde, the Byshops of Rome do groude their supreme dominion and right, ouer all the politicall gouernement of the West partes & the spirituall gouernement of all the other Seas and partes of the world. Which donation to be falsely fayned and forged, and not to proceede frō Constantine, many argumentes myght here be inferred, if laysure from other matters would suffer me.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaReasons and argumentes prouing the donation of Constantine to be falsefied. 1. First, for that no auncient history, nor yet Doctour maketh any mention thereof.

2. Nauclerus reporteth it to be affirmed in the history of Isidorus: but in the old copyes of Isidorus no such thyng is to be founde.

Marginalia3. 3. Gracianus the compiler of the decrees, reciteth that decree, not vpon any auncient authoritie, but onely vnder the title of Palea.

Marginalia4. 4. Gelasius is sayd to geue some testimony therof, in Dist. 15. Sācta Romana, but that clause of the sayd Distinctiō touching the matter, in the old auncient bookes is not extant.

Marginalia5. 5. Otho Phrsingensis, who was about the tyme of Gracian, after he hath declared the opinion of the fauourers of the Papacie: affirmyng this donatiō to be geuen of Constātine, to Siluester the Pope: induceth cōsequently, the opiniō of them that fauour the Empire, affirmyng the contrary.

Marginalia6. 6. How doth this agree, that Cōstātine did yeld vp to Siluester all the politicall dominion ouer the West, when as the sayd Constantine at his death, diuidyng the Empire to his three sonnes, gaue the West part of the Empire to one, the East part to the second, the middle part to the third?

Marginalia7. 7. How is it lyke that Theodosius after them, beyng a iust and a religious Prince, would or could haue occupyed the Citie of Rome, if it had not bene his right, but had belonged to the pope, & so did many other Emperours after him?

Marginalia8. 8. The phrase of this decree being cōferred with the phrase and stile of Constantine, in his other Edictes and letters aboue specified doth nothyng agree.

Marginalia9. 9. Seing the Papistes themselues confesse that the decree of this donation was written in Greeke, how agreeth that with truth: when as both it was written not to the Grecians, but to the Romanes, and also Constantine himselfe for lacke of the Greeke toung was fayne to vse the Latine toung in the Councell of Nice?

[Back to Top]

Marginalia10. 10. The contentes of this donation (who soeuer was the forger therof) doth bewray it selfe. For if it be true whiche there is confessed, that he was Baptised at Rome of Siluester, and the iiij. day after his baptisme this patrimony was geuen (which was before his battaile against Maximinus or Licinius, an. 317. as Niceph. recordeth) how thē accordeth this with that which followeth in the donation, for him to haue iurisdiction geuen ouer the other iiij. principall seas of Antioche, Alexandria, Constantinople, & Hierusalem: when as the Citie of Cōstant. was not yet begun, before the death of Maximinus or Licinius, & was not finished, before the. xxviij. yeare of the raigne of Constantine, an. 339. or if it be true, as Hierome counteth, it was finished the. xxiij. yeare of hys raigne, whiche was the yeare of our Lord. 334. long after this donation by their owne accompt.

[Back to Top]

Marginalia11. 11. Furthermore, where in the sayd cōstitutiō is sayd that Constantine was baptised at Rome of Siluester, & thereby was purged of leprosie: the fable therof agreeth not with þe truth of history: for so much as Eusebius, lib 4. De vita Cōstātini, Hieronymus in Chron. Ruffin. lib. 1. cap. 11. Socrates, lib. 1. cap. 39. Theodor. lib. 1. cap. 31. Sozomenus lib. 2. cap. 34. do all together consent that he was baptised not at Rome, but at Nicomedia: and that moreouer, as by their testimony doth appeare, not of Siluester but of Eusebius Byshop of Nicomedia, not before his battaile against Maxim. or Licinius, but in the. xxxj. yeare of his raigne, a litle before his death.

[Back to Top]

Marginalia12. 12. Agayne, whereas Constātine in this donatiō appointed hym to haue the principalitie ouer the other. 4. Patriarchall Seas: that maketh Constantine contrary to hymselfe. Who in the Coūcell of Nice afterward agreed with other bishops, that all the iiij. patriarchall seas should haue equall iurisdiction, euery one ouer his owne territory and precinct.

[Back to Top]

Marginalia13. 13. In summe, briefly to conclude: who so desireth more aboūdantly to be satisifed touchyng this matter, let him read the bookes of Marsillius Patauinus, intituled: defensor pacis, an. 1324. of Laurētius Valla, an. 1440. of Antonin9 Archbyshop of Florence, who in his history, playnly denyeth the tenour of this donation to be founde in the old bookes of the decrees. Of Cusanus Cardinalis. Lib. 3. cap. 2. writing to the Councell of Basill an. 1460 Of Æneas Syluius in Dialogo, of Hier. Paulus Cattalanus, an. 1496. of Raphael Volateran9, an. 1500. of Luther9, an. 1537. &c. all which by many & euidēt probatiōs, dispute & proue this donatiō taken out of a booke 9De gestis Siluestri, & trāslated (as they fayne) by one Bartholome9Picern9 out of Greeke into Latin: not to proceede frō Cōstātinus, but to be a thyng vntruly pretēsed, or rather a fable imagined, or els to be the deede of Pipinus or Charles, or some such other, if it were euer the deede of any.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaCōmendatiō of Constantine the Emperour. And thus has thou (beloued Reader) briefly collected þe narratiō of the noble actes & heauenly vertues of this most famous Emperour Constantine the great: a singular spectacle for all Christiā Princes to behold and imitate, & worthy of perpetuall memory in all congregations of Christian Saintes. Whose feruent zeale & piety in generall, to all congregations, & to all the seruauntes of Christ was notable: but especially the affection and reuerence of his hart toward them was admirable, which had suffered any thyng for the confession of Christ, in the persecutions before: MarginaliaConstantine kissed the wounds of them that suffered for Christ. them had he principally in price & veneratiō, in so much that he embraced and kissed their woundes and stripes, and their eyes, beyng put out. And if any such Byshops or any other Ministers brought to hym any complaintes one agaynst an other, (as many tymes they did) MarginaliaConstantine burneth the bils of complaintes, and breaketh strife among the Bishops. he would take their bils of cōplaynt, and burne them before their faces: so studious and zealefull was his mynde to haue them agree, whose discord was to hym more grief, then it was to themselues. All the vertuous actes and memorable doynges of this diuine & renowmed Emperour to comprehēd or commit to history: it were the matter alone of a great volume: wherefore contented with these aboue premised, bycause nothyng of him can be sayd inough, I cease to discourse of him any farther.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaNote, that the oration ad conuentum sanctorum is wrongly ascribed to Eusebius which in deede is the oration of Constātine. One thyng yet remayneth not to be omitted (wherin as by the way of a note) I thought to admonish the learned reader, such as loue to be cōuersāt in reading of auncient authors: that in the Ecclesiasticall history of Eusebius, where in the latter end of the booke, is added a certaine Oratiō, Ad conuentū Sanctorū, vnder the name of Eusebius Pamphilus, here is to be vnderstand, that the sayd Oration is wrongly intituled vpō the name of Eusebius, which in very truth is the Oration of Cōstātinus himselfe. For þe probation wherof, beside the style & matter therin contained, and tractation heroycall (liuely declaryng the religious vayne of Constantine) I alledge þe very testimony of Eusebius hymselfe in his fourth booke De vita Constant. where he in expresse wordes not onely declareth that Constantine wrote such an Oration intituled Ad Conuentum Sāctorum, but also promiseth in the end of his booke, to annexe the same: declaryng moreouer what difficultie the interpreters had, to translate the same from the Romane speech, to their Grecian toung. Eusebius de vita Constantini, Lib. 4. pag. 211.

[Back to Top]

And here an ende of these lamentable & dolefull persecutiōs of the primitiue Church, duryng the space of the. 300. yeares frō the passion of our Sauiour Christ, til the cōmyng of thys Constātinus, by whō, as by the elect instrument of God, it hath so pleased his almighty maiesty, by his determinate purpose, to geue rest after lōg trouble to his church, accordyng to that S. Cyprian declareth before, pag. 69. MarginaliaLooke aboue pag. 69. col. 1. lin. 36 to be reueled of God vnto his Church: that after darknesse and stormy tempest should come peaceable calme, & stable quietnes to his Church, meanyng this tyme of Constātine now present. At which tyme it so pleased the almighty, MarginaliaSatan boūd vp for a M. yeares. that the murderyng malice of Sathā should at length be restrained, and he him selfe to be tyed vp for a thousand yeares, through his great mercy in Christ, to whom therfore be thākes and prayse now and for euer. Amen.

[Back to Top] ¶ The end of the first Booke.
had
Go To Modern Page No:  
Click on this link to switch between the Modern pagination for this edition and Foxe's original pagination when searching for a page number. Note that the pagination displayed in the transcription is the modern pagination with Foxe's original pagination in square brackets.
Find:
Type a keyword and then restrict it to a particular edition using the dropdown menu. You can search for single words or phrases. When searching for single words, the search engine automatically imposes a wildcard at the end of the keyword in order to retrieve both whole and part words. For example, a search for "queen" will retrieve "queen", "queene" and "queenes" etc.
in:  
Humanities Research Institute  *  HRI Online  *  Feedback
Version 2.0 © 2011 The University of Sheffield