with vines, and not so much as in wynter suffered them to be at rest, MarginaliaMarcus Aurelius slayne. therfore by them at length he was slayne, after he had raigned the space of. vj. yeares, and. 4. monthes. an. 284. Eutrop.
Carus with hys two sonnes Carinus, and Numerianus Emperour. Carus with his two sonnes Carinus, and Numerianus, succeded next after Probus, in the Empire, the raygne of which Emperors, continued in all, but. iij. yeares. MarginaliaCarus Emperour slayne wyth lightnyng. Of the which three first Carus, warring agaynst the Persians, was slayne with lightnyng. Of Numerianus his sonne, beyng with hys father in his warres against the Persians, we finde much commendation in Eutropius, Vopiscus, and other writers, which testify of hym to be a valiaunt warriour, an eloquent Orator, as appeared by his declamatiōs and writinges sent to the Senate. Thirdly, to be an excellent Poet. This Numerianus sorrowing and lamētyng for the death of hys father, through immoderate weepyng fell into a great sorenesse of his eyes, by reason whereof he keepyng close, was slayne not long after of hys father in lawe named Aper, who trayterously aspiring to the Empire, dissimuled hys death with a false excuse to the people, askyng for hym, saying for the payne of hys eyes he kepte in from the wynd and weather, till at length by the stinch of his body beyng caried about, hys death was vttered.
MarginaliaCorrection of a certaine place of Eutropius ex editione Frobeneiana. In the lyfe of this Emperour Carus aforesayd, written by Eutropius in the latter edition set forth by Frobenius, I finde (whiche in other editions of Eutropius doth not appeare) that Numerianus the sonne of this Carus, was he þt slewe Babylas the holye Martyr, whose history before we haue comprehended. pag. 62. But that semeth not to be like both by the narration of Chrysostome, and also for that Vrspergensis declaring the same history, & in the same wordes, as it is in Eutropius, sayth that it was Cyrillus, whom Numerianus killed, the story wherof is this: What tyme Carus the Emperour in his iourney goyng toward the Persians, remayned at Antioche, Numerianus his sonne would enter into the church of the Christians, to view and behold their mysteries. MarginaliaCyrillus resisteth the Emperour. But Cyrillus their bishop wold in no wise suffer hym to enter into the church, saying, that it was not lawfull for hym to see the mysteries of God, who was polluted with sacrifices of Idoles. MarginaliaCyrillus Byshop of Antioche Martyr. Numerianus full of indignation at the hearyng of these wordes, not suffering that repulse at the handes of Cyrillus, in hys fury did slay the godly Martyr. And therfore iustly (as it semed) was he hymselfe slayne afterward by the handes of Aper. MarginaliaEx Chronico Vrspergen.[Back to Top]
Thus Carus, with hys sonne Numerianus beyng slaine in the East parties, as is declared, Carinus the other sonne raigned alone in Italye, where he ouercame Sabinus striuyng for the Empire, and raigned there with muche wickednes, till the returnyng home of the army agayne from the Persians, who then set vp Dioclesian to be Emperor, by whom the forsayde Carinus for the wickednes of hys life, beyng forsaken of his host, was ouercome, and at length slayne with the hand of the Tribune, whose wyfe before he had defloured.
MarginaliaCarinus Emperour slayne.
Adultery punished. Thus Carus with hys two sonnes, Numerianus and Carinus ended their lyues, whose raigne continued not aboue. iij. yeares.
The peace of the Church, from Valerian, to the tenth persecution, lasted 44. yeares. All this meane space we reade of no great persecution stirryng in the church of Christ, but was in meane quiete state and tranquilitie, vnto the xix. yeare of the raigne of Dioclesian. So that in countyng the tyme from the latter ende of Valerian, vnto this forsaid yeare of Dioclesian, the peace of the church which God gaue to his people, seemeth to continue aboue 44. yeares. During the which tyme of peace and tranquilitie, the church of the Lord did mightely increase and florish, so that the mo bodies it lost by persecution, the more honour and reuerence it wanne daily among the Gentiles in all quarters, both Grekes and barbarous: in so much that (as Eusebius in hys viij. booke describeth) MarginaliaEuseb. Lib. 8. cap. 1. amongst the Emperours themselues diuers there were which not onely bare singular good will and fauor to them of our profession, but also did commit vnto them offices and regimentes ouer countreys and nations: so well were they affected to our doctrine, that they priueleged the same with libertie and indemnitie. What needeth to speake of them, which not onely liued vnder the Emperors in libertie, but also were familiar in the court with the Princes themselues, entertained with great honour and speciall fauour, beyond the other seruitures of the court, MarginaliaDorotheus,
Christians of great reputation in the Emperours court. as was Dorotheus with hys wyfe, children, and whole family, highly accepted & aduanced in the palace of the Emperour? Also Gorgonius in lyke maner with dyuers other mo, who for theyr doctrine & learnyng which they professed, were with theyr Princes in great estimation. In lyke reuerence also were the bishops of cities and Diocesses, with the Presidentes and rulers where they liued: who not onely suffred them to lyue in peace, but also had them in great price and regarde, so long as they kept themselues vpright, and continued in God hys fauour. MarginaliaThe peaceable state of the church described. Who is able to number at that tyme the mighty and innumerable multitudes and congregations assemblyng together in euery citie, and the notable cōcourses of suche as dailye flocked to the common Oratories to pray. For the which cause they beyng not able to be conteyned in their olde houses, had large and great churches new builded from the foundation for them to frequent together. In such increasement (sayth Eusebius) by processe of time did the church of Christ grow and shout vp, daily more and more profiting and spreadyng through all quarters, which neyther enuy of men could infringe, nor any diuell could inchaunt, neyther the crafty pollicy of mans wyt coulde supplant, so long as the protection of God his heauenly arme went with hys people, keeping them in good order, according to the rule of Christian lyfe.
MarginaliaCorruption throughe much peace and prosperitie crept into the Church. But as commonly the nature of all men beyng of itself vnruly and vntoward alwayes seeketh and desireth prosperitie, and yet cā neuer well vse prosperitie, alwayes would haue peace, and yet hauyng peace, alwayes abuseth þe same: so here likewise it happened with these men, which through this so great liberty and prosperity of lyfe, beganne to degenerate and languish vnto idlenes and delicacie, & one to worke spite and contumely agaynst an other, striuing and contending amōgst thēselues for euery occasiō, with rayling wordes after most dispitefull maner: MarginaliaHatred and disdayne among the Church men. Bishops agaynst bishops, and people agaynst people, mouing hatred and sedition one agaynst an other, beside also cursed hipocrisie and simulation with all extremitie increasing more and more: by reason wherof the iudgement of God after his wonted maner, whilest yet the congregation began to multiply, began by a litle and little too visite our men with persecution, fallyng first vpon our brethren which were abroad in warfare, but whē þt toutcht þe other nothing, or very litle, neither did they seke to appease gods wrath, and call for his mercy, but wickedly thinkng with oure selues, that God neither regarded nor would visit our transgressions, we heaped our iniquities daily more and more one vpon an other, & they whiche seemed to be our pastors refusing the rule of pietie, were inflamed with mutual contentions one agaynst an other. And this whilest they were geuen onely to the study vp of contentions, threatninges, emulations, mutual hatred, & discord, euery man seeking hys owne ambition, and persecuting one another after the maner of tiranny: MarginaliaChristians persecuting one another. Then, then I say, the Lord accordyng to the voyce of Ieremy tooke away the beauty of the daughter of Sion, and the glory of Israel fell downe from heauen, neyther did he remember the footestoole of his feete in the day of his wrath. MarginaliaThe wrath of God toward hys people. And the Lord ouerturned all the comely ornamentes of Israell, & destroyed all her gorgeous buildinges, and according to the saying of the Psalme, subuerted and extinguished the Testament of hys seruaunt, and prophaned hys sanctuary in destruction of hys churches, and in laying waste the buildings therof, so that all passingers spoyling the multitude of the people, they were made an obloquie to all the dwellers aboute. For he hath exalted the strength of hys enemies, and turned away the helpe of his sword from her, not ayded her in the battayle, but ceased from the purging of her and her seate. He stroke downe to the grounde, and diminished her daies, and ouer all this poured vpon her confusion. All these thinges were fulfilled vpon vs, when we saw the temples rased from the top to the ground, and the sacred scriptures to be burnt in the open market place, and the Pastours of the church to hyde themselues, some here, some there, some other taken prisoners with great shame were mocked of their enemies, when also according to the saying of the prophet in an other place: Contempt was poured out vponn the Princes, and hath caused to go out of the way, and not to kepe the straite path.[Back to Top]
The Foxe Project was not able to complete the commentary on this section of text by the date by which this online edition was compiled (23 September 2008).
MarginaliaThe tenth persecution. BY reason whereof (the wrath of God beyng kindled agaynst hys church) insued the tenth and last persecution agaynst the Christians, so horrible and greuous, that it maketh the pen almost to tremble to write vpon it: so tedious, that neuer was any persecution before or since comparable to it for the tyme it continued, lastyng the space of ten yeares together. This persecution although it passed thorow the handes of diuers tyrantes and workers moe then one or two, yet principally it beareth the name of
Eup. vopisco. Dioclesian, who was Emperour, as is aboue noted, next after Carus and Numerianus. This Dioclesian euer hauing an ambitious mynde, aspired greatly to be Emperour. To whom Druas his Concubine sayd, that first he should kyll a wylde