mit to speake. MarginaliaFelix Byshop of Rome & Martyr. After whom succeeded Felix, in the first yeare of Probus the Emperour, about the yeare of our Lord. 280. who gouerned that church. v. yeares, and died as Platina sayth, a martyr. MarginaliaEutychianus Byshop of Rome and Martyr. After him followed Eutychianus, and then MarginaliaGaius Byshop of Rome & Martyr. Gaius, & both martyrs, as the histories of some do recorde.[Back to Top]
About the tyme of these Byshops, lyued Theodorus Byshop of Neocesarea, who is otherwise called Gregorius Magnus, whom also Nicephorus for his miracles, calleth xxx.
Thus Galienus the foresayd Emperour raigned as is declared, with his father Valerian seuē yeares, after whose captiuitie he ruled the Monarchie alone about. ix. yeares, with some peace and quietnes graunted to the Church.
272. The dayes of this Galienus beyng expired, folowed Claudius a quiet Emperour, as most stories do record. Although Vincētius affirmeth that he was a mouer of persecution agaynst the Christiās, and maketh mention of. 262. Martyrs, which in his tyme did suffer: but because no such record remaineth to be founde in Eusebius, who would not haue omitted some memoriall thereof if it had bene true, therefore I referre the same to the free iudgement of the Reader to finde such credite as it may. This Claudius raigned but two yeares, MarginaliaQuintilianus Emperour. after whom came Quintilianus his brother next Emperour and a quiet Prince, who cōtinued but onely. xvij. dayes, and had to his successor Aurelianus, vnder whom Orosius in his seuenth booke doth number the ix. persecution agaynst the Christians.
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 ninth persecution.
Aurelianus Emperour. HItherto from the captiuity of Valerian the churche of Christ was in some quietnes, till the death of Quintilianus, as hath bene declared: After whom Aurelianus the next successor possessed the crowne, who in the first beginning of his raigne (after the common maner of all princes) shewed himselfe a prince moderate and discrete, much worthy of commendation, if hys good beginnyng had continued in a constant course agreeyng to the same. Of nature he was seuere and rigorous in correctyng dissolute manners, in so much that it was sayd of him by a vulgare prouerbe, MarginaliaA prouerbe
A good phisition, but he geueth too bitter medicines. that he was a good Phisition, sauyng that he gaue too bitter medicines. Thys Emperour beyng sicke, neuer sent for phisition, but cured hymselfe with abstinence. MarginaliaAbstinence the best phisicke. And as hys beginnyng was not vnfruitefull to the common wealth: so neither was he any great disturber of the christians, whom he did not onely tollerate in their religiō, but also in their councell, MarginaliaThe councell of Antioche.
The good beginnyng of Aurelian beyng the same tyme assembled at Antioche, semed not to be agaynst them. Notwithstanding in continuaunce of tyme, through sinister motion and instigation of certayne about hym (as commonly such are neuer absent in all places from the eares of princes) hys nature somwhat inclinable to seueritie, MarginaliaThe Emperor altered by wicked counsell. was altered to a playne tiranny, which tiranny first he shewed beginnyng with the murder of hys owne sisters sonne, as witnesseth Eutropius. After that he proceeded either to mooue, or at least to purpose persecution agaynst the Christians. Albeit that wicked purpose of the Emperour, the mercifull workyng of God his hand did soone ouerthrow. MarginaliaA notable example of Gods hand stopping persecution. For as the edict or proclamation shoulde haue bene denounced for the persecuting of the christians, and the emperour now readye to subscribe the edict with hys hande, the mighty stroke of the hand of the Lord sodenly from aboue did stop hys purpose, binding as a man might say, the Emperours handes behynd hym: declaring (as Eusebius sayeth) MarginaliaEx Euseb. Lib. 7. cap. 30
No power agaynst the people of god, except God geue leaue. to all men, how there is no power to worke any violence agaynst the seruauntes of God, vnlesse hys permission do suffer them, and geue them leaue. Euseb, lib. 7. cap. 30. Eutropius and Vopiscus affirme, that as the sayd Aurelianus was purposing to rayse persecution agaynste vs, he was sodenly terrified with lightnyng, and so stopped from hys wicked tirannie. MarginaliaThe death of Aurelianus.
An. 278. Not long after about the fifte or sixte yeare of hys raigne, he was slayne betwene Byzance and Hieraclea. an. 278. Thus Aurelianus rather intended then moued persecution. Neither is there any more then this founde concernyng this persecution in auncient histories and recordes of the church. Wherfore I maruell the more, that Vincentius collecting out of the Martyrologes, hath comprehended suche a great Cataloge of so many Martyrs, whiche in Fraunce and in Italy (sayeth he) suffered death and torments vnder this Emperour Aurelianus. Whereunto Orosius also seemeth to agree, in numbryng this to be the ninth persecution vnder the sayd Aurelian.
Florianus Emperour. Next after Aurelianus the succession of the impery fell to Publius Annius Tacitus, who raigned but. vj. monethes. Him succeded his brother Florianus, who raigned but. lx. dayes. And after hym followed Marcus Aurelius, surnamed Probus. Of whome more hereafter (God willyng) shall appeare.
In the meane tyme, within the compasse of these Emperours falleth in a story recorded of Eusebius, and not vnworthy here to be noted, wherby to vnderstand the faythfull diligence of good Ministers, what good it may do in a common wealth.
MarginaliaEusebius Deacon of Alexandrya. Mention is made before, pag. 73. of Eusebius the Deacon of Dionysius, whom God styrred vp to visite and comfort the saintes that were in prison and bandes, and to bury the bodies of the blessed Martyrs departed, not wythout great perill of his owne lyfe, and after was made bishop (as is sayd) of Laodicea. But before he came to Laodicea to be bishop there, it chaunced, the sayd Eusebius remaynyng as yet at Alexandria, the citie to be besieged of the Romaines, Pyruchius being there captaine. In the which siege halfe of the citie did holde with the Romaines, the other halfe withstood them. In that part which went with the Romaine captaine was Eusebius, beyng also in great fauour with the captayne for his worthy fidelity and seruice shewed. With the other halfe that resisted þe Romains, was MarginaliaAnatholius rector of the vniuersitie of Alexādria. Anatholius, gouernour or moderator then of the schole of Alexandria, who also was Bbishop after the sayd Eusebius, of Laodicea. This Anatholius perceiuyng the citizens to be in miserable distresse of famine and destruction by reason of penury and lacke of sustenance, sendeth to Eusebius being then with the Romaines, and certifieth him of the lamentable penury and perill of the city, instructing him moreouer, what to do in the matter. Eusebius vnderstanding the case, repayreth to the captayne, desiring of hym so muche fauour, that so many as woulde flee out of the citie from their enemies, might be licensed to escape, and frely to passe, which was to hym eftsones graunted. MarginaliaThe piety of Anatholius & Eusebius to their countrey. As Eusebius was thus labouring with the capitaine, on the other side Anatholius for his part laboured with the Citizens, moouyng them to assemble togither, and perswading them to geue themselues ouer in yelding to the force and might of the Romaynes. But when the Citiizens could not abyde the hearyng thereof: yet (sayd Anatholius) this I trust you will be contented, if I shall counsaile you, in this miserable lacke of thynges to auoyde out of your citie all such superfluities and vnnecessary impedimentes vnto you, as old women, yong children, aged men, with such other as be feble and impotent, and not to suffer them here to perish with famine, whose presence can do no steade to you if they dye, and lesse if they lyue, for spending the victuals which other wise might serue them that be more able to defend the Citie. The Senate hearyng this sentence, and vnderstādyng moreouer the graunt of the captayne, promising them their safety, were well consenting therunto. Then Anatholius, hauyng a speciall care to them that belonged to the churche of Christ, calleth them together, with the rest of the multitude, and so perswadyng them, what they should do, and what had bene obtayned for them, caused them to voyde the citie, and not onely them, but also a great number of other moe, who persuaded by hym, vnder that pretence, chāgyng themselues in womens apparell, or fayning some impotency, so escaped out of the city. At whose comming out Eusebius on the other side was ready to receyue them, and refreshed their hungry and pined bodies, whereby not onely they but the whole city of Alexandria was preserued from destruction. Eusebius, lib. 7. cap. 32.[Back to Top]
By this litle history of Eusebius and Anatholius, described in the vij. booke of Eusebius. cap. 32. and briefly here set forth to thee (gentle Reader) thou mayest partly vnderstande the practise of the Prelates what it was in those dayes in the church, MarginaliaThe prelats of Rome ar clean contrary to these good Prelates. which was then only employed in sauyng of lyfe, and succoryng the common weales wherein they lyued, as by these two godly persons Eusebius and Anatholius may well appeare. Vnto the which practise if we compare the practise of our latter prelates of the churche of Rome, I suppose no litle diuersitie will appeare.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaMarcus Aurelius Probus, Emperour. The next Emperour to Florianus (as is said) was Marcus Aurelius Probus, a prince both wyse and vertuous, and no lesse valiant in martiall affayres, as fortunate in the successe of the same. MarginaliaPeace in the Church. During his tyme we reade of no persecution greatly stirring in the church, but much quietnes, as well in matters of religion, as also in the common wealth. In so much that after his great and many victories, suche peace ensued, that hys saying was, MarginaliaThe saying of Marcus Aurelius. there needed no more souldiours, seyng there were no mo enemies to the common wealth to fight agaynst. It was his saying also, that hys souldiours nede not to spend corne and victuale, except they laboured to serue the comon wealth. MarginaliaSoldyours broughte vp in idlenes, will bide no labour. And for the same cause he caused hys souldiours to be set a worke about certayne mountaynes in Syrmia, and in Mesia to be planted[Back to Top]