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93 [80]

Actes and Monuments of the Church.

uision of Christen mē had his house garded about with soldiours, for the safety of them, which daylye resorted to heare his readings, & many times he was compelled to shift places and houses, for suche as layde for hym in al places. But suche was the prouidence of God to preserue him in the middest of all this tempest of Seureus. MarginaliaPlutarchus scoler of Origene, & Serenus hys brother martyred.
Scholers of Origen and martyrs.
Among other which resorted vnto him, and wer his hearers, Plutarchus was one, and dyed a martyr, & with him Serenus his brother, who was burned. The thyrd after these was Heraclides. The fourth Heron, who were both beheaded. The fift was an other Serenus also beheaded. Rhais: and Potamiena, who was tormēted with pitch poured vpon her, and martyred with her mother Marcella, who died also in the fire. This Potamiena was of a fresh and flourishing beautye, who because she could not be remoued from her professiō, was committed to Basilides one of the captaines there in the armie, to see the execution done. Basilides receuing her at the Iudges hande, and leading her to the place, shewed to her some compassiō in repressing the rebukes and raylinges of the wicked aduersaries: for the which Potamiena the virgin, to requite againe his kyndnes, bad him be of good comfort, saying that she would pray the Lord to shew mercye vpon him. And so went she to her martyrdome, which she both strongly and quietlye did sustayne.

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MarginaliaBasilides of a persecutour made a martyr.Not long after it happened that Basilides was required to geue an othe in a matter concernyng hys fellow soldiours: which thing he denied to doo, playnly affirming that he was a Christian. For their othe then, was wont to be by the Idoles and the Emperour. At first he was thought dissimulingly to iest: but after whē he was heard constantly and in earnest to confirme the same, he was had before the iudge, and so by him committed to warde. The Christians marueiling thereat, as they came to him into the prison, inquired of him the cause of that his sodain conuersion. To whom he answered againe and sayd, that Potamiena the virgin. 3. daies after her martyrdome, had appeared to him saying: that she had prayed, and obtayned mercye for hym of the Lord, and so put a crowne vpon his head: adding moreouer that it should not be long, but he should be receaued. Which thinges thus done, the next day following, he was had to the place of execution, and there beheaded. Euseb. lib. 6. cap. 5. MarginaliaEx Euseb. lib 6. cap. 5.Albeit the sayde Eusebius geueth this story of no credite, but onely of heresay, as he there expresseth.

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MarginaliaAlexander confessor and Byshop of Hierusalem.As diuers and many there were that suffered in the dayes of this Seuerus: so some were agayn whych thorow the protection of God his prouidence, being put to great tormentes, yet escaped with life. Of whom was one Alexander, who for his constant confession and tormentes suffered, was made bishop afterward of Hierusalem, together with Narcissus, MarginaliaThe notable age of Narcisius byshop of Hierusalem.who being then an old man of an hundred and three score yeares and three, as sayth Eusebius, was vnwieldy for his age to gouerne that function alone.

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Of this Narcissus is reported in the Ecclesiasticall historie, that certayne myracles by hym were wrought very notable, if they be true. MarginaliaA myracle of water turned into oyle.
Ex Euseb. lib 6. cap. 9.
First of water turned by hym into oyle at the solemne vigil of Easter, what time the congregation wanted oyle for their lampes. An other miracle is also told of him, which is this: Ther wer three wicked and euil disposed persons, who seyng the soundnes and graue constancie of his vertuous lyfe, & fearing their owne punishment, as a conscience that is giltie, is alwaies feareful, thought to preuent his accusations, in accusing him first, and laying an haynous crime to his charge. And to make their accusation more probable before the people, they bounde their accusation with a great othe: One wishing to be destroyed wyth fire, if he sayd not true. The other to be consumedwith a greuous sicknes. The third to lose both his eyes if they did lie. Narcissus, although hauing his consciēce cleare, yet not able being but one man to wtstand their accusation bound with such othes, gaue place, & remoued him self from the multitude, into a solitarie desert by hym selfe, where hee continued the space of manye yeares. In the meane time, to them which so wyllingly and wickedly forsware them selues, this happened: MarginaliaA terrible example of periury punished.the first, by casualty of one little small sparkle of fire was brent with his goodes and all his familye. The second, was takē with a great sycknes from the top to the toe, and deuoured with the same. The third hearing and seing the punishment of the other, confessed his fault, but through great repentaunce poured out such teares, that he lost both his eyes. And thus was their false periurye punished. Narcissus after long absēce, returning home again, was by this meanes both cleared of the fact, and receaued into his bishopricke agayne. MarginaliaNarcissus and Alexander ioyned together in one byshoprycke.To whom, as is sayd, for impotencie of his age Alexander was ioyned with him in execution of the function. Euseb. Hist. eccles. lib. 6. cap. 10. Of this Alexander is recorded in the sayde ecclesiastical historie, that after his agonies and constancie of his confession shewed in the persecution of Seuerus, he was admonished by a vision in the nighte season to make his iourney to Hierusalem and Palestina (for that place remayned free from this persecution) to see there the congregacion, and to praye. Thus he taking his iourney, and drawing neare to the city, MarginaliaAlexander ordayned byshop of Herusalē, by gods miracle.
Ex Euseb lib. 6. c. 11.
a vision with plaine wordes was geuen to certayn chiefe heades of Hierusalem, to go out of the gate of the citye, ther to receaue their bishop apoynted to them of God. And so was Alexander met and receaued, and ioyned partner with aged Narcissus, as is before expressed, in the citie of Hierusalem: wher he continued bishoppe aboue. 40. yeares, vntil the persecution of Decius, & ther erected a famous Librarie, wher Eusebius had his chiefest helpe in writing his ecclesiastical history. He wrote also diuers Epistles to diuers Churches, and licensed Origen openly to teach in his church. MarginaliaThe constācy & death of Alexander bishopAt length beyng verye aged, was brought from Hierusalem to Cesaria before the Iudge vnder Decius, wher after his constāt confession the second time, he was committed to prison, and there dyed.

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MarginaliaAndocl9 martyr.Besides these that suffered in this persecution of Seuerus, recited of Eusebius: Vincentius also, lib 11. cap. 6. ex Martyrol. speaketh of one Andoclus, whom Polycarpus before had sent into Fraunce: which Andoclus because he spred there the doctrine of Christ, was apprehended of Seuerus, and fyrst beaten with staues and battes, after was beheaded.

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MarginaliaAsclepiades byshop of Antioch cōfessor.To these aboue named may also be added Asclepiades, who although was not put to death in this persecution of Seuerus, yet constantlye he did abide the triall of his confession, and suffered much for the same, as Alexander did, before mencioned. Wherfore afterwarde he was ordained bishop of Antioche, wher he continued the space of. vij. yeares, of whom Alexander writeth to the churche of Antioche, out of prison, muche reioysing and geuing thankes to God, to heare that he was their Byshoppe.

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MarginaliaIreneus bishop of Lyons, & martyr.About the same time during the raygne of Seuerus, dyed Irenæus, Henr. de Erfordia, Ado, and other Martyr writers, doo holde, that he was martyred wyth a great multitude of other moe, for the confession and doctrine of Christ, about the fourth or fift yere of Seuerus. This Ireneus as he was a great writer, so was hee greatlye commended of Tertullian for hys learning, whom he calleth omnium doctrinarium curiosissimum exploratorē: 

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Fifth persecution: citation from Tertullian Adv. Valent. cap. v.
Foxe text Latin

omnium doctrinarium curiosissimum exploratorē:

Foxe text translation

a great searcher of all kinde of learning.

Actual text of Tertullian


omnium doctrinarum curiosissimum exploratorem,


Accurate citation, although the translation of 'curiosissimum' as "great" is rather strange.

a great searcher of all kinde of learning. He was fyrst scholar and hearer of Polycarpus, from thence eyther was sent or came to Fraunce, and there by Photinus, and the rest of the martyrs was instituted into the mi-

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