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97 [84]

Actes and Monuments of the Church.

tyme of Higynus & Pius, when as at thys tyme which was long after, no publike place almost could be graūted them for the Christians to assemble together?

MarginaliaPlatina in vita Pontiani.Of this Alexander, Plantina writeth, that as he was a great hater of al boasters and flatterers, so he was of such prudence, that no deceite coulde escape him: & bringeth in a story of one Turinus, who had gotten craftely many great bribes and giftes, in making the people beleue that he was of great authoritie with the Emperour, and that he could helpe them to haue what so euer they sued for. MarginaliaPunished with smoke, that sold smoke.Whereof the Emperour being certified, caused him in the open market to be fastned to a stake, and there kylled wyth smoke, where the Cryer stoode thus crying to the people: Smoke hee solde, and wyth smoke he is punished.

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MarginaliaMammea the mother of the Emperour.Mammea the mother of this Alexander aboue mencioned (whom Hierome calleth a deuout and religious woman) hearing of the fame and the excellent learning of Origene, being then at Alexandria, sent for hym to Antioche, desirous to heare and se him. Vnto whom the foresayd Origen according to her requested, resorted, and after that he had remayned a space with the Emperour, and his mother, returned againe to Alexandria.

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And thus continued this good Emperour his raygne the space of. xiij. yeares, at length at a commocion in Germany, with hys mother Mammea he was slayne. After whō succeeded Maximinus, cōtrary to the minde of the Senate, onelye appoynted by the soldiours to bee Emperour. During all thys time, betwene Seuerus & this Maximinus the Church of Christ, althoughe it had not perfect peace, yet it had some meane tranquillity frō persecution. Albeit some Martyrs ther wer at this time that suffered, wherof Nauclerus geueth this reason: MarginaliaEx Nauclero.for although (saith he) Alexander, being perswaded through the entreating of his mother Mammea, did fauour the Christians: yet notwithstanding, ther was no publike edict or proclamation prouided for their safegarde. By reason wherof diuers ther were which suffred martyrdome vnder Almachius, and other iudges. In the number of whom after some stories, MarginaliaCalixtus byshop of Rome, and Martyr.was Calixtus bishop of Rome, who succeeded next vnto Zephyrinus aboue mēcioned. And after him Vrbanus also, which both beyng bishops of Rome, did both suffer, by the opinion of some writers, vnder Alexander Seuerus.

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MarginaliaThe decretal epistles of Calixtus examined.This Calixtus in hys. ij. decretall epistles, written to Benedictus, and to the bishops of Fraūce, geueth these ordinances, that no actions or accusations agaynst the Prelates or teachers of the church shoulde be receaued, that no secret conspiracies should be made agaynst byshops. Item, no man to communicate with persons excommunicate. Also no bishop to excommunicate or to deale in an others dioces. MarginaliaThe place of s. Paul vnfytly expounded.And here he expoūdeth the dioces or the parish of anye Bishop or Minister to be his wyfe. The wife (sayth the Apostle) is bounde to the law, so long as the husband lyueth: when he is deade, she is free from the lawe: So (sayth Calixtus) the wife of a bishop (which is his church) so long as he lyueth, is bound dulye to him, neither ought to be iudged or disposed by any other man, without his wyl and iudgement: after his death she is free from the law, to mary to whom she wyll, so it be in the Lord, that is, regulariter, regularely. In the end of the said his epistle decretall, he confuteth the errour of them, which hold, that they whych are fallen, are not to be receaued agayne. Which heresie after the time of Calixtus or Calistus, came in fyrst by Nouatus, in the dayes of Cornelius. MarginaliaImber fast first ordayned.Moreouer in the sayd his first epistle decretal is contayned the fast of the four tymes, commonly called the Imber fast, whereof also Marianus Scotus maketh mention. But Damasus speaking of the same fast sayth, he ordayned the fast but of three times, which was for the encrease of corne, wyne and oyle.

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By these hetherto premised, it is not hard for a quick Reader to smel out the crafty iuglyng of that person or persons, whosoeuer they were, that falselye haue ascribed these decretal institutions to those holy fathers. For first, what laysure had the Christians to lay in their accusations against their bishops, when we neuer reade nor finde in any story, any kinde of variance in those dayes among them, but all loue, mututal compassion, & harty communion among the sayntes. And as we rede of no variance among the people in those dayes, nor of any fault or backsliding among the Bishops, who for the most part then dyed all constant Martyrs: so neither do we reade of any tribunal seate, or consistorie vsed or frequented then about any such matters. Agayne, if a man examine wel the daungers of those busy daies, he shall see the poore flocke of the Christians, to occupied and pituously oppressed by the cruell accusations of the Heathen Infidels, that thoughe the cause did, yet the tyme would not serue them to commense anye lawe agaynst their bishops. Secondly, as touching their conspiracie agaynst bishops, what conspiracie either would they then practise agaynst them, whyche alwayes gaue their lyues for their defence? Or howe coulde they then conspire in any companies together, when neuer a true Christian man durst once put his heade out of hys doores, neyther was ther in the church anye Christian man, in those perilous daies, except he were a true man in deede, such as was farre from all false conspiracies? And when as all the world almost in all places conspired agaynst them: what tyme, what cause, or what hart trow ye, could they haue to conspire agaynste their instructors? Thirdly, concerning the confutacion of that heresy, how standeth the confutacion with the tyme of Calistus, when Nouatus the autor of that heresye was after hym in the tyme of Cornelius? Fourthly, if by the law of Calixtus, euery dioces be the proper wyfe of euery bishop or Minister, then how manye bishops wyues and parsons wiues hath the adulterous Pope of Rome defloured in these latter daies of the churche, whych so proudly and impudently hath intermedled & taken hys pleasure and his own profit, in euery dioces and parysh almost through al Christendome, without al leaue and lysence of the good man, who hath beene in the meane tyme, and yet is compelled styll, whersoeuer the Popes holynes cōmeth, vigilantester nere naso, 

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Fifth persecution: citation from Juvenal Sat. 1. 57.
Foxe text Latin

vigilantester nere naso

Foxe text translation

Not translated.


John Wade, University of Sheffield

to snore with a nose which is wakeful


"trained to snore in his cups through a nose that's wide awake"

Juneval, The Satires, trs. N. Rudd (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991), Satire 1, line 57, p.4)

and to geue hym leaue vnasked, to do what he lyst. Wherfore if this Canō decretal be trulye his, why is it not obserued, so as it doth stand without exception? If it be not, why is it thē falsely forged vpon him, and the church of Christ deceaued? MarginaliaAgainste the decretall epistles and cōstitutiōs.And certes lamentable it is, that this falsefieng of such trifling traditions vnder the false pretence of antiquitie, eyther was begone in the church, to deceaue the people: or that it hath remayned so long vndetected. For as I thinke, the church of Christ wyl neuer be perfectlye reformed, before these decretall constitutions and Epistles, which haue so long put on the visard of antiquitie, shalbe fully detected, and appeare in their owne coulour, wherin they were first paynted.

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And yet neyther do I say this, or thinke contrary, but that it maye be, that byshops of Rome and of the same name haue ben þe tru autors of these traditiōs: but here cōmeth in the errour (as I credibly suppose) that when other later bishops of the like name, haue diuised these ceremonial inuentions, the vulgare opinion of mē hath trāsferred them, to the first primitiue fathers, although being of an other time, yet bearing þe same name, wyth þe tru inuētors therof. MarginaliaCalixtus a Martyr
Ex Vincē. in specul. Hist.
Et Antonino. tit. 7 cap.6.
But of Calixtus inough: who as Damasus sayth in the dayes of this Alexander Seuerus, dyed a Martyr. Vincentius affirmeth that he was tyed to a great stone, and so oute of a wyndowe was throwne into a ditche. Eusebius speaking of hys death, maketh no mencion of hys martyrdome, and sayth he

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