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54 [54]

Actes and Monumentes of the Churche.

and afterward banished them. MarginaliaCaligula cōmanded hys image to be set vp in the Temple of Ierusalem. So wicked he was that he commaunded him selfe to be worshipped as God, and temples to be erected in his name, and vsed to sit in the temple among the Gods, requiring his images to be set vp in all temples, and also in the temple of Hierusalem, which caused great disturbaunce among the Iewes. MarginaliaThe abhomination of desolation stadyng in the holy place. And then began the abhomination of desolation to be set vp in the holy place, spoken of in the Gospell. His cruell condition, or els displeasure was such toward the Romaines, that he wished 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 the sayd Caligula, Herode the murtherer of Iohn Baptist, and cōdemner of Christ, was condemned to perpetuall banishment, where he dyed miserably. MarginaliaCayphas deposed. Cayphas also which wickedly sat vpon Christ, was the same tyme remoued from the high Priests rowme, and Ionathan set in his place. The raging fiercenes of this Caligula incensed agaynst the Romaines, had not thus ceased, had not he bene cut of by the handes of a Tribune, and other gentlemen, which slew him, in the. iiij. yeare of hys reigne. MarginaliaAn. 43. After whose death was found in his closet. ij. litle libels, one called a sword, the other the dagger. In the which libels were conteined the names of those Senatours, and noble men of Rome, whom he had purposed to put to death. Besides this sword and dagger, there was found also a coffer, wherein diuerse kindes of poyson were kept in glasses and vessells, for the purpose to destroy a wonderfull number of people. Whiche poysons afterward beyng 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, whiche came after, bryng to passe, MarginaliaClaudius Nero. Claudius Nero, who reigned. xiij. yeares wt no litle crueltie. But especially the third of these Neros, called Domitius Nero. MarginaliaAn. 56.
Domitius Nero.
Whiche succeding after Claudius, reigned. xiiij. yeares, with such fury and tyranny, that he slew the most part of the Senate, he destroyed the whole order of knighthode 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 destruction of man. Such was his monstrous vncleannes, that he abstained not from hys owne mother, his naturall sister, nor frō any degree of kyndred. MarginaliaThe horrble wickednes and crueltie of Nero. Such was his wretched cruelty, that he caused to be put to death, his mother, his brother in law, his sister, his wife great with child, also his instructor Seneca, and Lucane, with diuerse moe of his own kindred and consanguinitie. Moreouer he commaunded Rome to be set on fire in. xij. places, and so continued it. vj. dayes, and. vij. nightes in burning, while that he to see the example how Troy burned, sang the verses of Homer. And to auoyde the infamie therof, he layd the fault vpon the Christian men, and caused them to be persecuted. And so continued this miserable Emperour in his reigne. xiiij. yeares, till at last the Senate proclaimyng hym as a publike enemy of mankynd, condemned him to be drawen through the Citie, and to be whipped to death. For the feare wherof he flying the handes of his enemies, in the night fled to a maner of his seruauntes in the countrey, where he was forced to slay him selfe, complainyng that he had then neither frend nor enemy left, that would do so much for hym. MarginaliaPeter and Paule suffered for Christ.
An. 69
In the latter ende of this Domitius Nero, Peter also and Paule were put to death, for the testimony and fayth of Christ. an. 69.

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Thus ye see, which is worthy to be marked, how the iust scourge and heauy indignation of God from tyme to tyme euer followeth there, and how all thynges there go to ruine, neither doth any thyng well prosper, where Christ Iesus the sonne of God is contemned, and not receaued, as by these examples may appeare, both of Romaines, which not onely were thus consumed and plagued by their owne Emperours, but also by ciuile warres, wherof three were fought in two yeares at Rome, after the death of Nero, and other casualeties, (as in Sueton is testified, so that in þe dayes of Tiberius aforesayd. 5000. Romaines were hurte & slayne at one time by fal of a theatre). MarginaliaVespasian Emperor & Titus hys sonne.
The destruction of the Iewes.
And also most especially by þe destruction of the Iewes, which about this same tyme, an. 73. and. xl. yeares after the passion of Christ, and the thyrd yeare after the suffering of S. Peter and Paule, were destroyed by Titus & Vespasian his father, (who succeded after Nero in the Empire) to the number of. xi. hundred thousēd, besides them which Vespasian slew in subduyng the countrey of Galily, ouer and beside them also which were sold & sent into Egypt and other prouinces, to vile slauery, to the number of. 17. thousand. 2000. were brought with Titus in his triumph, of whiche, part he gaue to be deuoured of the wilde beastes, part otherwise most cruelly were slayne. 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 veritie beyng sent, and

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much more to persecute them which be sent of God for their saluation.

MarginaliaThe Romaines in contemnyng Christ, punished by their owne Emperours And as this wrathful vengeaunce of God thus hath bene shewed vpon this rebellious people both of the Iewes, and of the Romaines, for their contempt of Christ, whom God so punished by their owne Emperours, so neither the Emperours themselues, for persecutyng Christ in hys mēbers, escaped without their iust rewarde. For among so many Emperours, which put so many Christen Martyrs to death, duryng the space of these first. 300. yeares, few or none of them scaped either not slayne them selues, or by some miserable end or other worthely reuenged. MarginaliaExamples of the iust plage of God vpon the Romaine Emperours persecutyng and resistyng Christ, till the time of Constantine. First of the poysonyng of Tiberius, & of the slaughter of the other three Neros after him, sufficiently is declared before. After Nero Domitius, Galba, within. vij. monethes was slayne by Ottho. And so did Ottho afterward slay him selfe, beyng ouercome by Vitellus. And was not Vitellus shortly after drawen through the Citie of Rome, & after he was tormē ed, was throwen into Tiber? Titus a good Emperour is thought to be poysoned of Domitian his brother. The sayd Domitian after he had bene a persecutor of the Christians, was slayne in his chāber, not without the consent of his wife. MarginaliaTiberius.
Claudius. Domicius
Likewise Commodus was murdred of Narcissus. MarginaliaPertinax.
The like end was of Pertinax & Iulianus. Moreouer after that Seuer9 was slaine here in England & lyeth at Yorke. Did not his sonne Bassian9 slay hys brother Geta, & he after slaine of Martialis Marcinus with his sonne Diadumenus, were both slayne of their own souldiours. MarginaliaHeliogabalus. Alexāder Seuerus. After whom Heliogabalus that monstrous belipanch, was of his owne people slayne, & drawen through the citie, & cast into Tiber. Alexander Seuerus, that worthy and learned Emperour, which sayd he would not feede his seruauntes doyng nothyng, with the bowels of the common wealth, although in life and vertues, was much vnlike other Emperours, yet proued the like ende, beyng slayne at Mentze with his godly mother Mammea by Maximinus, whom the Emperour before of a Muletour had aduaunced to greate dignities. MarginaliaMaximinus.
Gallus & Volusianus.
Valerianus, & Galienus.
The which Maximinus also after thre yeares was slayne him selfe of his souldiours. What should I speake of Maximus, and Balbinus, in like sort both slayne in Rome? Of Gordian slayne by Philippe: of Philippe, the first Christened Emperour, slayne or rather Martyred for the same cause: of wicked Decius, drowned & his sonne slayne, the same tyme in battale? Of Gallus and Volucianus his sonne, Emperours after Decius, both slayne by conspiracie: of Æmilianus, who rose agaynst them both in warre, and within three monethes after was slayne him selfe: Next to Æmilianus succeeded Valerianus, and Galienus hys sonne, of whome Valerianus (who was a persecutor of the Christians) was taken prisoner of the Persians, and there made a ridyng foole of Sapores their king, who vsed him for a stoole to leape vp vpon his horse, while his sonne Galienus sleepyng at Rome, either would not or could not once profer to reuenge his fathers ignomie. For after the takyng of Valerian, so many Emperours rose vp, as were prouinces in the Romane Monarche: At length Galienus also was killed by Aureolus, which warred agaynst him. MarginaliaAurelianus.
It were to long here to speake of Aurelianus an other persecutor, slayne of his Secretary: Of Tacitus, & Florinus hys brother, of whom the first reigned sixe monethes, & was slayne at Pontus, the other reigned two monethes, and was murdred at Tarsis. Of Probus, who although a good ciuil Emperor, yet was he destroyed by his souldiers: After whom Carus the next Emperour was slayne by lightenyng. MarginaliaDioclesianus.
Next to Carus folowed the impious and wicked persecutor Dioclesian, with hys felowes Maximian, Gelarius, Maximinus, Maxentius, and Licinius, vnder whom all at one time (during the life of Dioclecian) the greatest and most greuous persecution was moued agaynst the Christians. x. yeares together. Of which Diocletian and Maximinian deposed them selues from the Empire. Galerius the chiefest minister of the persecution, after his terrible persecutions, fell into a wonderfull sicknes, hauing such a sore rysen in the neather part of his belly, which consumed hys priuy members, and so did swarme with wormes, that beyng not curable, neither by Surgery nor Phisike, he confessed, that it happened for hys cruelty toward the Christians, and so called in his proclamations agaynst them. Notwithstandyng he not able to susteine (as some say) the stench of his sore, slew him selfe. Maximinus in his warre being tormented with payne in his guttes, there dyed. Maxentius was vanquished by Constantine and drowned in Tiber. Licinius likewise beyng ouercome by the sayd Constantine the great, was deposed from his Empire, and afterward slayne of his souldours. But on the other side, after the tyme of Constantine, when as the fayth of Christ was receaued into Imperiall seate, we read of no Emperour after the like sort destroyed or mo-

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