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94 [94]

Actes and Monumentes of the Churche.

9. Rex iniquus. A kyng vnrighteous.

10. Episcopus negligens. A Byshop negligent.

11. Plebs sine disciplina. People without discipline.

12. Populus sine lege. Subiectes without law.

MarginaliaThe learnyng of Cyprian ioyned with his blemyshes.

As I haue hetherto set forth the commendation of Cyprian this blessed Martyr: so must we now take heede agayne, that we do not here incurre the old & common daunger, whiche the Papistes are commonly accustomed to runne into, whose fault is alwayes almost to be immoderate and excessiue in their procedings, makyng to much almost of euery thyng. MarginaliaThe faulte of Papistes to make much of euery thyng. So in speakyng of the holye Sacramentes, they make more of thē then doth the nature of Sacramentes require, not vsing them, but abusyng thē, not referryng or applying them, but adoryng them, not takyng thē in their kynde for thynges godly as they are, but taking thē for God himselfe, turnyng Religion into superstition, & the creature to the creator, the thynges signifiyng, to the things them selues signified. &c. To the Church likewise, and ceremonies of the Church, to generall Councels, to the blessed virgin Mary mother of Christ, to the byshop of Rome, and to all other in like case, not contented to attribute that whiche is sufficient, they exceede moreouer the bondes of iudgement and veritie, iudgyng so of the Church, and generall Coūcels, as though they could neuer, nor did euer erre in any iote. That the blessed mother of Christ amongest all women was blessed, and a virgine full of grace, the Scripture & truth doth geue: but to say that she was borne without all originall synne, or to make of her an aduocate, or mother of mercy, there they runne further thē truth will beare. The ceremonies were first ordained to serue but onely for order sake, vnto the which they haue attributed so much at length, that they haue set in them a great part of our Religion, yea and also saluatiō. And what thing is there els almost, wherin the Papistes haue not exceeded?

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MarginaliaHow farre the authoritie of the doctors ought to extende. Wherfore to auoyde this common error of the Papists, wee must beware in commēding the Doctors & writers of the church, and so cōmende them, that truth and consideration go with our commendation. For though this cānot be denyed, but that holye Cyprian and other blessed Martyrs were holy men, yet notwithstanding they were men, that is, such as might haue, and had their falles and faults, men I say, and not Angells, nor Gods, saued by God, not sauiours of men, nor patrōs of grace. MarginaliaThe blemishes and errours of doctors noted And though they were also men of excellent learning, and worthy Doctors, yet with their learnyng they had their errours also annexed. And thoughetheir bookes be (as they ought to be) of great authority, yet ought they not to be equall with the Scriptures. And albeit they sayd well in most thynges: yet it is not therefore inough, that what they sayd, it must stand for a truth. That preeminence of authoritie onely belongeth to the worde of God, and not to the pen of man. For of men and Doctours, be they neuer so famous, there is none that is voyde of his reprehension. MarginaliaOrigene. In Origene (although in his tyme the admiration of his learnyng was singular) yet how many things be there, which the Churche now holdeth not? but examinyng him by Scriptures, where he sayd well, they admit him, where otherwise, they leaue him. MarginaliaPolicarpus. In Polycarpus the Church hath corrected and altered that whiche he did hold in celebratyng the Easter day after the Iewes. Neither cā holy and blessed MarginaliaIgnatius. Ignatius be defended in all his sayinges: as where he maketh the fastyng vpon the Sōday or the Sabboth day as great an offence, as to kill Christ him selfe, Ignat. Epist. ad Philip. contrary to this saying of S. Paule: Let no man iudge you in meate and drinke. Also where the sayde Ignatius speaketh De virginitate, and of other thynges mo. MarginaliaIrenæus. Irenæus did hold that man was not made perfect in the begynnyng. He seemeth also to defend free will in man, in those thynges also that be spirituall. He sayth that Christ suffered after he was fifty yeares old, abusing this place of the Gospell: Quinquaginta annos nondum habes. &c. MarginaliaTertullianus. Tertulianus (whom S.Cyprian neuer layd oute of his handes almost) is noted to be a Chiliaste: also to haue bene of Mōtanus sect. The same did hold also wt Iustine, Cyprian, & other, that the Aungels fell first for the concupiscence of wemen, Lib. de habitu mulierū. He defēdeth free will of mā after the corruption of nature, inclinyng also to the errour of them, which defend the possibilitie of keepyng God his law. Concernyng Mariage, Vnum matrimonium (inquit) nouimus, sicut vnum Deum. i. We know (sayth he) one Mariage, as we know one God, condemnyng the second Mariage. Lib. de Monogam. Diuers other thynges of like absurditie in hym be noted. MarginaliaIustinus. Iustinus also seemeth to haue inclined vnto the errour of the Chiliastes, of the fall of certaine Aungels by wemen, of free will of man, of possibilitie of keepyng the law & such other. Neither was this our MarginaliaCyprianus.9. Cyprian, the great scholer of Tertulian, vtterly exempt from the blot of them, who contrary to the doctrine of the Church, did hold with rebaptising of such, as were before Baptised of heretickes. Wherof speaketh S. Austen, mislikyng the same errour of Cyprian, in these wordes contained in his 2. booke, Contra Cresconium: Cypriani, inquit, laudem ego consequi non valeo, eius multis literis mea scripta non comparo, eius ingeniū diligo, eius ore delector, eius charitatem miror, eius Martyriū veneror. Non accipio quod de baptisandis hæreticis & schismaticis sensit. &c. MarginaliaContention betwene Cyprian & Stephanus Bishop of Rome. Vpō the which matter there was a great contention betwene the sayd Cyprian and Stephen Byshop of Rome, as partly afore is noted. Of Austen him self likewise, of Ambrose, Hierom, Chrisostome, the same may be sayd, that none of them all so clearly passed away, but their peculiar faultes and errours went with them, whereof it were to long, and out of our purpose at this present to entreate. And thus much concernyng the story of Cyprian the holy learned Martyr of Christ.

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MarginaliaCyprians diuers of that name. Albeit here is to be noted by the way, touchyng the life and story of Cyprian, that this Cyprian was not he, whom the narration of Nazianzen speaketh of, (as is aboue mentioned) who from Arte Magicke was conuerted to be a Christian, which Cyprian was a Citizen of Antioche, and afterward Byshop of the same Citie, and was Martyred vnder Diocletian. Where as this Cyprian was Byshop of Carthage, and dyed vnder Valerianus as is sayd. &c. By the Decrees of Graciā Dist. x. Quoniam, MarginaliaDist. 10. Quoniam. it appeareth moreouer that there was also a third Cyprian, in the tyme of Iulianus the Emperour Apostata, lōg after both these aforenamed. For so geueth the title prefixed before the sayd Distinct. Cyprianus Iuliano Imperatori: the Distinctiō beginning. Quoniā idē mediator Dei & hominū homo Christus Iesus, sic actibus proprijs, & dignitatibus distinctis officia potestatis vtriusq; discernit. &c. Vpon the which Distinction þe Glose cōmeth in with these wordes, saying: MarginaliaGlosa ibid.
A blynd glose chalengyng both the swordes to the Popes hād.
that the Popedome, and the seate Imperiall, haue both one begynnyng of one, that is, Christ: who was both Byshop, and Kyng of Kynges. And that the sayd dignities be distincted, albeit the Pope notwithstandyng hath both the swordes in his hand, and may exercise them both some tyme. And therfore although they be distincted, yet in exercise the one standeth lineally vnder the other, so that the Imperiall dignitie is subiect vnder the Papall dignitie, as the inferiour is subiect vnder the superiour: þt as there is one ruler ouer the whole, which is God: so in the Church is one Monarche, that is, the Pope, to whom the Lord hath committed the power and lawfull right both of the heauenly and terrene dominiō. Hæc Glosa.

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MarginaliaA distinction of Gracian disproued. Thus much I thought here to note by the way, because this Distinction is fathered vpon Cyprian, which is false, for this Cyprian was not in the tyme of Iulian, not by 200. yeares, and so likewise by the other Cyprian, whiche dyed Martyr vnder Diocletian. Of any Cyprian besides these two, we read not. Neither is it credible, that if there were any such Cyprian, he would euer haue written of any such matter, of the difference and mutuall neede of Christiā Emperours and Christian Popes. When as that Emperour beyng an Apostata, neither regarded Christ, nor cared for any Pope. MarginaliaXixtus the second Byshop of Rome Martyr. About this tyme, and vnder the same Emperour Valerianus suffered also Xistus, or Sixtus, the second of that name, Byshop of Rome: 

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Sixtus II and St. Laurence through Dionysius of Alexandria

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).

who beyng accused of his aduersaries, to be a Christiā, was brought with his. vj. Deacons to the place of execution, MarginaliaSixe Deacons with Xistus Martyrs. where he with Nemesius and other his Deacons were beheaded and suffered Martyrdome. Laurence in the same time being also Deacon folowed after, complainyng to Xistus, as one beyng greued, that he might not also suffer with him, but to be secluded as the sonne frō the father. To whom the Byshop aunsweryng agayne, declared that within three dayes he should folow after. In the meane tyme, he willed him to go home, and to distribute his treasures, if he had any vnto the poore. The iudge belyke hearyng mention to be made of treasures to be geuen to the poore, and thinkyng that Laurence had great store of treasure in his custody, commaunded him to bring the same vnto him, accordyng as in the discourse of his story here vnder written, more fully may appeare. Whiche history, because it is set forth more at large in Prudentius, Ambrose, and other writers, and contayneth moe thynges in it worthy to be noted of the Reader, we haue therfore with the more diligence here inserted the more ample Description of the same, to the further admiration of his pacience, and God his glorie shewed in him.

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MarginaliaThe story & Martyrdome of Laurence.
Ex Ambros. Lib. 1. offic. cap. 41.
Now then as order requireth, let vs enter the storie of that most constaunt and couragious Martyr of Christ S. Laurence, whose wordes and workes deserue to be as fresh and greene in Christian hartes, as is the florishyng Laurel

tree.