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91 [78]

Actes and Monumentes of the Church.

manas præter Sabbatum et Dominicam continuas ieiunant, MarginaliaEx Socrat. Eccles. Iust. lib. 5 cap. 22.that is: the Romaynes (sayth he) do fast. 3. weekes continual before Easter, beside the Sabbot and the sunday. And moreouer, speaking of the diuers and sundry fastinges of Lent in sundry and diuers churches, he addeth these wordes: And because that no man can bryng forth anye commaundement written of this matter, it is therfore apparent, that the Apostles left thys kinde of fast free to euery mans wil and iudgement, least any should be constrayned by feare and necessitye to do that, whych is good. &c. wt thys of Socrates, agree also the wordes of Sozomenus, liuing muche about the same time, in hys seuenth booke, where he thus writeth: MarginaliaEx Sozomeno lib. 7. cap. 19.The whole fast of Lent (sayth he) some comprehende in sixe weeks, as do the Illyrians, and the west churches, with all Libia, Egipt, and Palestina: some in. vij. wekes, as at Constātinople, and the parties bordering to Phoenicia: othersome in. iij. wekes next before the day of Easter: & some agayne in. ij. weekes. &c. MarginaliaThe ordināces of Telesphorus falsely to hym ascribed.By the which it may be collected, that Telesphorus neuer ordayned any suche fast of 7. wekes: which otherwise neither would haue ben neglected in Rome, & in the west churches: neyther agayne would haue ben vnremēbred of these aunciēt ecclesiastical writers, if any such thing had bene. The like is to be thought also of the rest, not onelye of his constitutions: but also of the other aunciēt bishops & martyrs, which followed after hym, MarginaliaHigynus byshop of Rome and of Higynus. an. 142. who succeding him, & dying also a martyr, as Volateralius lib. 22. declareth, MarginaliaEx Volaterano Anchrop. lib. 22.
One godfather & godmother in baptisme.
Dedication of Churches.
is said or rather fained to bring in the cream, one godfather and godmother in baptisme, to ordayne the dedication of churches: when as in his time so farre it was of, that any solemne churches were standing in Rome, that vnneth the Christians could safely conuent in their own houses. Likewise the distincting the orders of Metropolitanes, Byshops, and other degrees, sauer nothing lesse then of that tyme.

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MarginaliaPius byshop of Rome.After Higynus folowed Pius, who as Platina reporteth, MarginaliaTeh daungers of lettyng the holye misteries fal from the Lordes table.was so precisely deuout aboute the holye misteries of the Lordes table, that if any one croome thereof did fall downe to the groūd, he ordayned that the priest should do penance. xl. daies. If any fel vpon the Superaltare, he should do penance. iij. dayes: if vpon the linen corporas cloth, iiij. dayes: if vpon any other lynen cloth, ix. dayes. And if any drop of the blood (sayth he) shoulde chaunce be spilled, where so euer it fell, it shoulde bee licked vp, if it were possible, if not, the place should be washed or pared, and so being washed or pared, should bee burned, and layde in the vestrye. All whiche toyes maye seeme to a wyse man, more vayne and triflyng, then to sauour of those pure and strayghte tymes of those holye martyrs. This Pius (as is reported) was muche conuersant with Hermes called otherwyse Pastor. Damasus saith hee was his brother, but howe is that like, that Hermes being the disciple of Paul, or one of the lx. disciples, could be the brother of this Pius? MarginaliaThe reuelation of Hermes.Of this Hermes and of his reuelations the foresayde Pius in his Epistle decretall (if it be not forged) maketh mention, MarginaliaThe decretall epistle of Pius.declaryng that vnto hym appeared the Angell of God in the habite of a shepherd, cōmaunding him, that Easter daye should be celebrated of all men vpon no other day, but vpon a sonday: whervpō, saith the Epistle, Pius the byshop, by his authoritye Apostolicall, decreed and commaunded the same to be obserued of all men.

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MarginaliaAnicetus byshop of Rome, and Martyr
Soter byshop
Eleutherius byshop
Then succeeded Anicetus, Soter, & Eleutherius, about þe yere of our lord. 180. MarginaliaEngland cōuerted to the fayth of ChristThis Eleutherius, at þe request of Lucius kyng of Britaynes, sent to him Damianus & Fugatius, by whome the kinge was conuerted to Christes fayth, and baptized about the yeare of our Lorde 179. Nauclerus lib. Chron. Gen. 6. saith, it was an. 156. Henr. de Erfordia, sayth it was. 169. in the xix. yeare of Verus the Emperour, some saie it was in the vi. yere of Commodus, which should be about the yere of our lord. 185.Timotheus in his storye thinketh that Eleutherius came himselfe: but that is not like. And as there is a variance among the wryters for the count of yeres: So doth ther rise a questiō among some, whether Eleutherius was the first that brought the faith from Rome into this lande or not. Nicephorus lib. 2. cap. 4. MarginaliaEx Nicep lib. 2. ca. 4saith that Simon Zelotes came into Britayne. Some other alledge out of Gildas de victoria Aurel. Ambrosi, MarginaliaEx Gilda de Victor. Aur. Ambros.that Ioseph of Arimathie after the dispersion of the Iewes, was sent of Philippe þe Apostle, from Fraunce to Britayne, about the yeare of our Lorde. 63. and here remayned in this land all his tyme, and so wyth hys fellowes layde the firste foundation of Christian faith amonge the Britayne people. Wherupon other preachers and teachers commyng afterwarde confirmed the same, & increased it more. MarginaliaWhether thys lande of Brittayne receued the gospell before Kyng Lucius dayesAnd therfore doth Petrus Cluniacensis call the Scotyshe men & so doth count them, as more auncient christians. For the confirmation hereof might be alledged the testimonie of Origen, of Tertulian, and the words also of the letter of Eleutherius, which import no lesse, but þt the fayth of Christ was here in England among the Brittayne people, before Eleutherius tyme, and before the kynge was cōuerted, but hereof more shal be spoken hereafter (Christ willyng) when after the traction of these x. persecutiōs, we shal enter the matter of our English stories.

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About this tyme of Commodus afore mentioned among diuers other learned men and famous teachers, whō God stirred vp at that tyme (as he doth at al other tymes rayse vp some) in his church, to confoūd the persecutors by learning and writyng, as the Martyrs to confirme the truth with their bloud, MarginaliaSerapion bishop of Antiochwas Serapion Byshop of Antioch. MarginaliaEgesippus ecclesiastical writerEgesippus a writer of the Ecclesiastical history from Christs passion to his tyme, as witnesseth Hierom & Euseb. lib. 4. cap. 8. et 22. which bookes of his be not now remayning. And those þt be remayning (which be 5. de excidio Hierosol.) be not mentioned neither of Hierom, nor of Eusebius. MarginaliaMilitiades ecclesiastical writerMiltiades which also wrote hys Apology in defence of Christian religion, as did Melito Quadratus, and Aristides before mentioned. About the same time also wrote Heraclitus, who firste beganne to write anotations and enarrations vpon the new testament, and Epistles of thapostls. MarginaliaTheophilus ecclesiastic. writer
Dionisius Corinthius ecclesiastical wryter
Also Theophilus byshop of Cæsaria, Dionisius, bishop of Corinthe a man famously learned, which wrote diuers Epistles to diuers churches, and emong other writeth exhorting Pinitus a certayn bishop, Ne graue seruandæ castitatis onus necessario fratribus imponat, sed multorū sese imbecilitati attēperet, 

Latin/Greek Translations  *  Close
Remainder of the Fourth persecution: Citation from Eusebius, lib. iv. cap. 23
Foxe text Latin

Ne graue seruandæ castitatis onus necessario fratribus imponat, sed multorū sese imbecilitati attēperet,

Foxe text translation

that he wold lay no yoke of chastity, of any necessity vppon his brethren: but that he would consider the infirmitye of other, and beare with it.


"not to put on the brethren a heavy compulsory burden concerning chastity and to consider the weaknesses of the many. " Eusebius, The ecclesiastical history, bk. IV, ch. 23, trs. K. Lake (London : Heinemann, 1926), 2 vols., vol. 1, p.381

þt is, MarginaliaThe yoke of chastity not to be layde vpon the infirm brethren.
Ex Euseb lib. 4. c. 23
that he wold lay no yoke of chastity, of any necessity vppon his brethren: but that he would consider the infirmitye of other, and beare with it. Euseb. lib. 4. cap. 23. Morouer the sayd Dionisius in his Epistles writynge of Dionisius Areopagites, declareth of hym, how that hee was fyrst conuerted to the Christian faith by S. Paul, according as in the Actes is recorded, and afterwarde was made the first bishop of Athens, but maketh there no word mencion of his booke de Hierarchia. MarginaliaThe booke of Dionisius Areop. De Hierarchia suspected.Whereby it may easelye appeare what is to be iudged of þe booke. Furthermore, by the Epistles of the sayde Dionysius Corint. this we haue to vnderstand, to be the vse at that time in churches to reade the letters and Epistles, such as were sent by learned bishops and teachers vnto the Congregations, as maye appeare by these woordes of Dionysius, who writing to the church of the Romains, and to Soter sayth: MarginaliaCelebratiō of the SondayThis day we celebrate the holye dominical day. In which we haue red your epistle, whych alwaies we wil reade for our exhortacion, like as we do reade also the Epistle of of Clement sent to vs before. &c. Euseb. ibid. where also mencion is made of keeping the Sunday holy. Wherof we finde no mencion els made in auncient autors, before this time, except onely in Iustinus Martyr, who in his description declareth twoo times most especially vsed, for Christen men to congre-

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