* See the Catch Words

yt heaven of ye Roman throne & in its room ye Christian religion was exalted to ye throne: then did ye honour, riches, power & temporal advantages of this religion begin to tempt ye heathens dayly to turn Christians; & in such converts who for temporal interest thus flowed into ye Church ye Devil now came down into ye Church amongst ye Christian people of ye Eastern & Western Empires called ye Inhabitants of ye Earth & Sea. For such Converts being ye most hypocritical sort of men, & under profession of Christianity retaining their old heathen vices & their inclination to all kinds of superstition, they were still heathens in reality thô in profession Christians, & may deservedly be called ye Synagogue of Satan who say they are Iews (yt is Christians) & are not but do lye.

The visions of ye woman & Dragon are a prophetical history of ye fall of ye heathen religion & ye rise of ye apostacy in its room & yt fall was on this manner. Dioclesian A.C. 302 raised a persecution of ye whole Church wch was far greater then all ye former persecutions taken together & lasted in ye western Empire two years & in ye eastern ten. In ye end of this persecution Constantine ye great was converted to Christianity, & at ye same time by ye conquest of Maxentius became Emperour of ye West. Licinius {who} was now Emperour of ye East & still vexing ye Church but not violently for fear of Constantine, endeavoured by treachery to circumvent Constantine & make himself Emperour of ye whole: whereupon a war arose between them, & Constantine overcame, & then ye flourishing of Christianity brought in great numbers of converts. Now all this is thus designed in ye prophesy. The woman [or Church] in heaven wth Child [of a Christian Empire] cried [in this persecution of ten years] travailing in birth and pained to be delivered {illeg}. And [at ye same time] a great red Dragon [ye Greek Empire] with his tail [or trains of attendants & officers civil & military] drew ye third part of ye stars of heaven [ye saints of ye Greek Empire] & cast them to ye earth [yt earth out of wch ye two horned beast afterwards arose] & ye woman brought forth a Manchild [ye Western Christian Empire{sic} under ye dominion of Constantine ye great] & ye Dragon was ready [by ye treacheries of Licinus {sic}] to devour her child as soon as it was born. And ye Manchild [by ye victory of Constantine over <2r> Licinius] was caught up unto God & to his throne [for at yt time as we explained above] there was war in heaven; Michael [or ye Manchild] & his Angels fought against ye Dragon, & ye Dragon fought & his Angels, & ye great Dragon was cast out yt old serpent called ye Devil & Satan [ye heathen religion] wch deceived ye whole world: he was cast out into ye earth [of ye Eastern Empire] And there was heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, Now is come salvation [from ye persecuting Dragon] & strength & ye Kingdom of our God [a Christian Empire] & ye power of his Christ [or dominion of his mystical body ye Christians.] For ye accuser of our brethren is cast out who [in ye persecution] accused them before our God, & they overcame him by ye blood of ye Lamb [slain afresh in his mystical body in yt persecution] & by ye word of their testimony [ye testimony of confessors & Martyrs] & [in ye persecution] they loved not their lives unto ye death. Therefore rejoyce ye heavens & ye yt dwell in them [ye victors over ye Dragon, as many of them as are truly Saints] Wo to ye inhabitants of ye Earth & Sea [ye hypocritical part of Christians & such as should not endure ye following temptation] for ye Devil [whom Michael cast out of heaven] is [by ye flowing of dissembling heathens who say they are Christians & are not but do lye] come down unto you wth great wrath because he knoweth yt he hath but a short time [to reign among you untill he shall be cast in chains into ye bottomless pitt] So then ye Dragon in being cast out of heaven ceases not but begins a new reign on Earth among ye Christian inhabitants of ye Earth & Sea, ye Empire from these fals converts still keeping ye Name of ye Dragon & ye Manchild in being caught up to heaven soon vanishing out of sight. While ye Empire continued heathen ye small encouragements for hypocrites to turn heathen Christians was a guard upon ye Christian religion to keep it from growing corrupt. For ye mystery of iniquity wch then worked could not grow to any maturity for want of hypocrites to work upon: but after yt ye heathen religion wch thus withheld ye revelation of this mystery, was taken out of ye way, yt mystery no longer wanting a fit people to work upon must begin to grow proportionally to ye increase of hypocrites, & so as in a short time by ye prevailing of such fals Christians to be revei|a|led. For in a dayly flow of such converts into ye Churches, it could not be but yt in a few years ye hypocrites would be more then double or treb|ip|le to ye <3r> sincere; not to say more then ten or twenty times their number. Now by this influx of fals converts ye mystery of iniquity grew in these respects.

First ye Churches by ye mixture & allay of such converts soon became very corrupt in manners. They yt please to read ye book of Salvian De Providentia Dei, an Authe\c/{sic} very sober cordate & pious will find yt within less then an hundred years after Constantines victory, ye Christians all over ye Empire, so far as his information reacht were grown as much or more \more/ debaucht in manners (whoring, \sodomy, blasphemy, covetousness, voluptuousness/ drinking, swearing, lying, gaming, {cheating} \backbiting, malice/, |fraud,| injustice, \rapine/, oppression) then even ye barbarous nations & old heathens, & ye various sorts of heretical Christians. This Salvian shews to satisfy his readers yt God was just in subjecting ye Romans to ye violence & dominion of ye less wicked & barbarous Nations who in year 407 invaded ye Western Empire. And if you will be at ye pains to compare w|h|im wth what you may find to ye same purpose scattered up & down in ye Ecclesiastical historians, \Basil/ Gregory Nazianzen, Faustinus his Libellus precum, Ierom, Austin, \Theodoret De curandis Græcorum affectionibus/ Guildas & other Authors of those times, as well concerning ye pride, ambition, contentiousness & other ill manners of ye Clergy & Monks, as those of ye rest of ye people; you will find sufficient reason to beleive yt Salvian wrote ye truth impartially. He wrote not in a peevish way to accuse his age, but in a sober way to answer an objection made by many of his own age about ye justice of God, & to falsify them by relating ye matters of fact wch they to whom he wrote were judges of as well as he: Nor is't a wonder yt Christians should become so vicious in so short a time seing ye most immoral of ye heathens would be most apt to turn Christians for interest, & ye most ambitious Christians would seek most for preferment in the Churches. Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical history tells us yt Christians between ye persecutions of Decius & Dioclesian through a respite of 30 or 40 \a few/ years from persecution began to grow very corrupt in manners: & much more would they grow corrupt in a more lasting peace when they were not only freed from persecution, but flourished in riches & honours & dominion over ye world, & were dayly allayed {sic} & corrupted by ye influx of ye most hypocritical & consequently ye worst of heathens. It may be said indeed yt ye manners <4r> of Christians were corrected by ye persecutions they suffered under Constantius, Iulian & Valens: but those sufferings wer{illeg}|e| not much in ye West & but for a time, & not directly for religion but upon accusations for various crimes ,|(|as Basil \& Gregory Nazianzen/ tells us of ye sufferings under Valens, & Athanasius & Hilary of those under Constantius) \& therefore they reached but to a few./ And ye same method was used by ye King of ye Vandals against ye Africans. For when he would persecute them he caused their sacred virgins to be searched by mid{illeg}|wi|ves, & those who were found vitiated, to be forced by tortures to confess who had layn wth them, saying Dicite quomodo sacerdotes vestri concumbunt vobiscum, & then upon their confession about four thousand of their Bishops & Priests were banished together as Victor de Persecutione Vandalica relates. This I mention in confirmation of what Salvian affirms of ye Africans. For he describes them ye unchastest of all ye Romans & yt God's judgment was conspicuous in subjecting them to ye Vandals who were ye chastest of all ye Barbarians, & by their laws had almost made ye Africans themselves chast. And ye cruelty of Valens ye Emperour & those about him in causing 80 Presbyters to be burnt together in a ship would afford us another notable instance, were it not yt I find in Gregory Nazianzien (who lived in ye times when ye thing was done & near ye place were {sic} 'twas done) yt ye first report was but of one Presbyter sentenced to be burnt with a ship at sea & of many people standing upon ye shore to see ye execution done. But it may be pertinent to note ye quick & easy approbation of ye novel definitions & Sotadical verses of Arius, so as to make him in a la\e/tter to Constantine before ye Council of Nice boast of ye multitude on his side, & Gregory Nazianzen (ye contemporary of Athanasius) beleive yt almost all ye East about yt time were for him; also ye heats of ye Bishops in ye Councel of Nice may be noted & their libelling one another, so yt nothing could be done there till Constantine himself presided in person; & ye presence of a Captain wth his Soldiers at ye Councel of Tyre to prevent ye like turbulent & immoral behaviour there, & ye tumults in following Councels w\h/ere this method was not used (wch made Gregory Nazianzen compare them to flocks of Sheep Cranes & Geese, to stout & pertinacius {sic} Warriors & stageplayers who in ye habit of Bishops personate what they are not) & lastly ye shamelesness of ye Eusebians at ye infamous death of Arius they notwithstanding so far prevailing & outfacing it as to make <5r> Gregory Nazianzen of opinion yt Athanasius (soon after ye reign of Constantius) did first of any man discover by inspiration ye Diety {sic} of ye Holy Ghost, ye Church in her more tender age not being able to beare ye revelation of so great a mystery, & yt nothing did ever so much shake ye whole world as ye open preaching thereof, even his own flock being thereupon disgusted. Yet are ye circumstances of ye death of Arius to be corrected. For 'tis certain yt he was (upon retracting his novel language) admitted into communion at ye Councel of Tyre, & it could not be yt ye same party afterwards at Constantinople, when he was already in their communion, \would/ go about to admit him into their communion again, as if neither they nor he had known of his being admitted into it before. The story of his death being kept secret till about twenty years after he was dead & then made known to ye Egyptians by Athanasius (as I gather by comparing two of his Epistles writ about ye year 358, ye one to those who live a solitary life, ye other to Serapion) it might be easy for him (or Macarius from whom he relates it) to forget a circumstance or two: as he did also in his Apology in telling ye story of \ye hand of/ Arsenius in a bag wch both he & 300 Bishops of Egypt & ye West about twelve or fifteen years before in ye Counsel of Serdica told of a corps. I have made ye more particular mention of the{se th}ing{s} because they were early, & shew ye gradual declining & verging of ye age to yt state of immorality wch Salvian a little after describes. It would require a large discourse to give a full account of ye manners of these times, but I do not think it necessary: I shall content my self wth two or three passages out of ye writers of those times.

Gregory Nazianzen in his Oration Of ye Bishops reprehends the|m| Bishops as addicted to fals & crafty perverting of right & reason, contentious, proud, as to knowledge rude & unskilfull, as to faith ready to embrace either side being swayed by ye laws not of God but of ye times, flatterers, Lyons to ye inferiour people & fawning dogs to them in power, studious of eating & drinking well, & mindfull not of what is profitable but of what is gratefull to others, & then he crys out: O ye mystery of godliness, wch is now propagated almost throughout the whole world. He describes also how there was no care in electing Men of deserts into Bishopricks, but any novice who could make an interest was admitted: yesterday at play & publick spectacles, at horsraces, at publick orator dancing-bouts, at revellings, a publick Orator, a civil Magistrate, a soldier, to day created a Presbyter or Bishop. Yesterday <6r> a Simon Magus (buying a Bishoprick) to day a Simon Peter. And much to ye same purpose he speaks in his Oration to ye second general Councel, & in several of his verses. And least you should think he did it out of peevishness for ye loss of ye Bishoprick of Constantinople, he touches upon ye same immorality of ye Clergy in his Oration, Of ye praises of Basil, written about three years before: There is danger, saith he, least ye most holy Order become most ridiculous. For ye Priesthood is acquired not so much by virtue as by evil-doing & wickedness: nor are ye thrones of ye most worthy but of ye most powerfull. And even then \fifteen years before/ when he was upon his first return from ye wilderness he was under his Father made Bishop of Nazianzum A.C. 360 in his a|A|pology or first Oration (after ye middle of it[1]) he is large upon ye vices & tempestuousness of yt age wherein, saith he, ye members are at war one with another, & if there be any Charity yet remaining, it is departing; & ye Priesthood is an empty name, – & we are all pious in this one thing yt we condemn others of impiety – & he is accounted best yt can fasten most reproaches upon his Neighbour. – We observe one anothers faults not to lament not 'em but to expose 'em, not to cure 'em but to inflict new wou\n/ds, & thence draw excuses for our own vices. Neither do we account Men good or evil according to their lives but according to friendship or enmity & what we praise to day we dispraise to morrow, & what we note for infamous in others we admire in our selves & easily pardon any wickedness in those who embrace impiety. Thus magnanimous are we in vice. And all things are in confusion like ye world in ye first Chaos, or like Men in a noctur\n/al fight where they cannot know their Friends from their Enemies \or in a sea fight & storm wherein they perish{illeg} in great confusion by falling foul on one another/. And as ye people is, so is ye Priest & so are ye Nobles. There are who quarrel about trifles & then engage parties, pretending ye faith & so profaning ye holy Name for private ends. Whence it comes to pass yt we are grown odious to ye Gentiles & (wch is worst of all) we can give no reason why not justly & deservedly: & even to ye more honest of our own party we are infamous. We are become a new kind of spectacle not to Angels & Men, but to almost all ye wicked in all times & places, in ye Markets, in Feasts, in sports pleasures, in mournings. And now {also} we are also acted upon ye Stages (wch I speak almost weeping) & are derided wth ye most impure & unchast; nor is there any s{illeg}|cen||e| so pleasing to ye ear & eye as when a Christian is comically exposed. Also in ye same Epistle before ye middle describing how novices every where were exalted in ye Church, he saith; We are so ill affected yt ye most of us (not to say all) almost before we cast off our first hair, & cease to babble like Children, before we enter <7r> into ye divine Courts, before we know so much as ye names of ye Books of sacred scripture, before we know ye Characters of ye old & new Testaments or ye Authors (for I do not yet say before we have washt away ye spot of our Sins) if we have learnt two or three pious words & those not by reading but by hearing alone, or if we have learnt to sing a Psalm or two or to contract a cloak well or put on a Monastic girdle a little for a shew of piety (O ye chief seates & ye high-mindedness! For Samuel was fitly holy from his cradle,) we are presently Wisemen & Masters & sublime in divine things & ye chief among ye scribes & Lawyers, & ordain our selves heavenly men & affect to be called Rabbi; nor is there any thing spoke literally in ye Scriptures, but all things are to be understood mystically, & if for this we be not praised & extolled we are angry. These are ye manners of those who have most of goodness & simplicity among us. For those who are more spiritual & generous, much condemning us & vexing us & accounting us triflers of no value, depart from us despising our communion as ye communion of Men not pious. Thus Gregory of ye Churches of yt early age. In his other writings he describes a {illeg}|v|ehement contention between ye eastern & western Churches, both in ye Councel of Constantinople (wch in his Epistle {πασ} to Olympius[2] he calls πα πάσης ἀνατολικης κὶ δυτικης σύνοδον an universal Councel of both ye Eastern & Western Churches) & before & after. And being afterward invited to Synods he wrote in a letter to Saturninus: [3]All things by Gods blessing are well wth us, this one thing excepted, yt we are anxious & sollicitous about ye Churches so filthily at variance. Reduce 'em if you can by any means to concord seing ye Bishops meet again: for it is to be feared again least we now be shamed if this Synod has no happier an end then ye former. [Epist. 72] And to Procopius;[4] yt he never saw a happy event of any councel, they increasing rather then averting evils. For saith he, ye contentious & desires {sic} of dominion are pertinacious beyond what can be explained by my words. [Epist. 55] [5]And to Theodorus Bishop of Tyana: That he declined coming to Synods & conferences ever since he found many of them (to speak sparingly) wicked & flagitious. ‡ < insertion from f 6v > ‡ In ye Councel of Nice there was such traducing & libelling one another yt nothing could be done till ye Emperor Constantine came himself in person & moderated. And therefore in ye Councel of Tyre to prevent ye like discords ordered a Prefect to be present there with a band of soldiers at hand. And in ye following Councels where {t}his method was not taken, there were such doings as Gregory describes. Which made him in his poems compare them convening Bishops to Cranes & Geese & pertinacious warriors & profane stageplayers only drest in ye habit of Bishops. < text from f 7r resumes > [Epist 80] These ecclesiastical feuds & calamities so much complained of by Gregory & others of ye same kind are mentioned by Socrates in ye preface to ye fifth book in|of| his Ecclesiastical History as judgments of God upon ye age for their wickedness. And ye like manners of ye Western Bishops amongst themselves, Sulpitius Severus (who wrote about ye yeare 400) makes this mention. [6] Ac inter nostros perpetuum discordiarum bellum exarserat: quod jam per quindecim annos fœdis dissentionibus agitatum, nullo modo sopiri poterat. Et nunc, ut maximè discordijs Episcoporum turbari aut misceri omnia cernerentur, cunctaq per eos odi{illeg}, aut gratia, metu, inconstantia <8r> invidia, factione, libidine, avaritia, arrogantia, desidia, essent depravata, postremo plures aadversus paucos bene consulentes; insanis consilijs & pertinacibus studijs certabant: inter haec plebs Dei et optimus quisq probro atq ludibrio habebatur. And in another place, speaking of ye manners of ye Clergy, \he/ saith, [7]Præcepti hujus [ut servirent Deo] non solum immemores sed etiam ignari mihi videntur tanta hoc tempore animos eorum habendi cupido veluti tabes incessit. Inhiant possessionibus, prædia excolunt, auro incubant, emunt vent|d|untq, quæstui per omnia student. At siqui melioris propositi videntur, neq possidentes neq negaciantes {sic}, quod est multo turpius sedentes munera expectant, atq omne vitæ decus mercede corruptum habent dum quasi venalem præferunt, sanctitatem. Sed longius quam volui egressus sum dum me temporum nostrorum piget tædetq And again \in/ describing ye Persecution of Dioclesian: [8]Multo avidius tunc martyria gloriosis mortibus quærebantur quàm nunc Episcopatus pravis ambitionibus appetuntur. So also St. Austi|gu|stine: [9]Multi sunt qui gemunt – quos rem non timendam timent et dolent ob iniquitates quæ fiunt in medio eorum, volentes resistere sed timore secularium rerū non audentes, quas adhuc vel adipisci desiderat human {sic} frag{illeg}|i|litas vel amittere formidat infirmitas – quod rem non timendam timent, omnes declinarunt, simul omnes inutiles facti sunt: quia plus æstimatur timor hominis quam timor Dei, et præferunt homines res quas acceperunt a Deo ipsi Deo. – In ipso fine rerum posita est in ipsa \universa/ provincia, et quotidie frequentantur spectacula, ut sanguis hominum infunditur quotidie \funditur/ in mundo et insanientiū voces increpant in circo – Meritò omnes sub flagello conterimur et doctor et factor, et auditor et contemptor. Studemus invicem reprehendere et non studemus opera nostra discutere. Detrahit proximus proximo, detrahit clericus clerico, detrahit laicus laico. Video quidem se invicem accusantes, sed neminem video justè se excusantem. – An ideo filios videres deligere, quia eorum voluptatibus faves? audis blasphemantes et patienter fers, vides frequentare spectacula et non revocas, vides luxuriantes et non verberas. So Sidonius Apollinaris ascribes ye sinking of ye western Empire under ye Barbarians to ye exactions & vices of ye Romans, & yt ye Bishops study not ye publick but their private fortune, & ye governors oppress ye people. Those Authors I have cited who write before Salvian yt you may see he is not alone in lamenting ye vices of his age. For if ye degenerating Romans were so bad in their times, they were wors in his. To tell you what he says of them would be to transcribe his book, & therefore I had rather send you to it: I shall content my self to note yt after many things said of ye vices of several provincies {sic} he at length comes to compare ye Romans with ye Barbarians, Duo genera, saith he, in omni gente omniū Barbarorum sunt, id est aut hæreticorum aut Paganorum. His ergo omnibus quantum ad legem divinam pertinet <9r> pertinet {sic} Dico vos sine comparatione meliores: quantum autem ad vitam et actus doleo ac plango esse pejores. – Præter religiosos ac nonnullos etiam seculares religiosis pares, cæteros aut omnes aut pene omnes majoris reatus dico & criminatioris vitæ esse quam barbari. Irascens forsitan qui hæc legis & condemnas insuper quæ legis. Non refugio censuram tuam: condemna si mentior, condemna si non probavero. For ye proof of this I referr you to ye Book where you will find it explained; first of ye heathen Barbarians how ye several nations being noted for peculiar vices, as the Saxons for ferity, ye Franks for perfidy, ye Huns for unchastity, the Alans for drunkenness, ye Albans {sic} for rapacity, ye Roman Nation is more criminal in all these things, because they do against a known Law, what ye other doe out of ignorance: then at large {illeg} \comparing the Romans &/ ye Christian Barbarians how yt ye Romans generally hate, envy, & vex one another, ye Barbarians of ye same Nation love one another; ye Romans are intollerable in exactions, oppressions & injustice, ye Barbarians (& particularly ye Goths, Vandals, Franks, & Huns) are free from these crimes; ye Romans frequent Theaters and Shows, ye Barbarians suffer them not so much as in ye Roman Cities wch come into their power; ye Romans are ungrateful to God for their victories, & other blessings, not giving him thanks but attributing them to fortune or conduct, ye Goths & Vandals do not so; ye Romans are extreamly unchast, & wch is worst they are so amidst ye chast Barbarians, & by their unchastity offend them. Amongst ye Goth's a fornicator is not tollerated, ye Romans only (by ye prejudice of their Name and Nation) excepted. Almost all ye Romans do these things \of/ wch it is hard to find but a few Barbarians guilty. To Salvian I might add Gildas & other Authors: but I shall rather confirm their testimonies wth matter of fact in ye following instances.

Victor in ye second book of his history of ye Vandalick persecution relates how yt when ye King of ye Vandals was minded to persecute ye Africans he caused their sacred Virgins to be searched by Midwifes, & those who were found vitiated to be urged by questions & tortures till tha|e|y had confessed who had layn wth them saying, Tell us how your Bishops & Clergymen lye wth you. For, saith Victor, he endeavoured to find a way to begin yt persecution wch he made. And thereupon were 5000 Bishops Priests & Deacons & other Members of ye African Church sent at once into banishment. Now as ye Vandals designed by this means to blemish ye African Church, so ye Africans laboured on ye other hand to purge themselves by celebrating all these both Virgins & others for Confessors {or}|&| Martyrs. For whilst Salvian tells us yt ye Romans were abominably unchast & ye Africans ye unchastest of all ye Romans, & yt {God's judgment was manifest in making} the <10r> Vandals lord over them {up}|wh||o| were ye chastest of all ye Barbarians, & by their laws had almost made ye Africans chast: I leave ye Reader to consider whether ye Africans were not guilty of a double crime, unchastity in ye Virgins & those who were banished, & ye patronizing of unchastity by ye rest who celebrated such for holy Men & confessors: a practise wch ye Roman Church has ever since followed in sanctifying those who suffer by ye hand of justice when ever she thinks it her interest to do so.

Basil & Gregory Nazianzen while they speak much of ye persecution of ye Emperor Valens, they sometimes let fall words from whence it appears yt ye persecution consisted in punishing Men not directly for religion, but upon accusations of various crimes. Now in an age wherein all men (as Nazianzen & St Austin saith) so wicked, accused one another, & few justly excused themselves, how far ye objected crimes were true or ye witnesses fals I cannot determine. But be it as it will ye immorality of ye one side or ye other or both is hence argued, & if either party was then grown immoral, ye other scarce continued vertuous.

In ye end of ye reign of Constantius, The Egyptian Christians assembled in a Church of Alexandria resisted & beat ye Emperors Soldiers sent against them & hung up their arms in ye Church \in triumph/, & sent about a letter to stir up ye people to their assistence, saying yt they had already resisted unto blood. (all wch you may see in their letter extant in ye works of St Athanasius) & then being \were/ overcome by fresh supplys of Soldiers & ye ringleaders taken & sentenced for ye disturbance, some to imprisonment some to be whipt, some to death: \The greatness of this sedition Hilary in his book against Constantius written in ye last year of that Emperor thus describes: Adest mecum Alexandria tot concussa bellis, tantum commotorum expeditionum pavens tumultum. Brevius enim adversum Persam quàm adversum eam armis certatum est. Mutati Præfecti, electi duces, corrupti populi, commotæ legiones ne ab Athanasio Christus prædicaretur. So long as this war lasted against ye city so long you may be sure ye City was in arms against their Emperor. And such was ye Spirit of ye {E}|th|ese Egyptians, that when Valens would have expelled Athanasius again, he durst not for fear of a new war. Now/ it seems to me a \very/ great argument of ye levity \& corruptness/ of those times, first for {some} \ye Alexandrine/ Christians to behave themselves so tumultuously /seditiously\ & then for others to celebrate|ing| \the Churches of that age \to/ patronize & encourage such doings by celebrating all/ those for Martyrs & Confessors in being \who were/ punished for it. And if it be suspected yt any of them suffered otherwise then \{deserve}/ upon accusations for \rebellion or other/ crimes, they \Reader/ may inform the|i|mselv|f|es otherwise out of St Athanasius & Hilary. For Athanasius two \or three/ years after speaking of these & ye following sufferings of ye Egyptian Bishops \things/ & of some new stir in Egypt, {(}made (if I guess right) at ye decree of |some news about| ye Councel of Ariminum), writes thus: Be it so, saith he, yt against Athanasius & other Bishops wch they have sent into banishment they could feign fals pretexts of crimes; yet what will they say to this new kind of evil. [And Hilary in his book against Constantius written in ye last yeare of yt Emperors reign makes this mention of \lets us know that/ those stirs at Alexandria \were great enough for many to deserve to suffer:/ Adest mecū Alexandria \saith he/ tot concussa bellis, tantū commotarū expeditionum pavens tumultum. Brevius enim adversum Persam, quàm adversum eam armis certatū est. Mutati Præfecti, electi duces, corrupti populi, commotæ legiones ne ab Athanasio Christus prædicaretur. And a little before he thus insinuates how ye <11r> yt Emperor endeavoured to avoid ye name of a persecutor. Omnia sævissima, saith he, sine invidia gloriosarum mortium peragis, novo inauditoq ingenij triumpho de diabolo vincis & sine Martyrio persequeris. Plus crudelitati vestræ Nero, Deci Maximiane debemus &c. At tu omnium crudelitatum crudelissime damno majore in nos et venia minore desævis. Subrepis nomine blandientis, occidis specie religionis. – Scelessissime mortalium, omnia persecutionis mala ita temporas, ut excludas et in peccato veniam et in confessione Martyrium. Sed hæc ille pater tuus artifex humanarum mortium docuit, vincere sine contumacia, jugulare sine gladio, persequi sine infamia, odire sine suspicione, mentiri sine intelligentia, profiteri sine fide, blandiri sine bonitate, agere quid velis nec manifestare quæ velis] Hilar. cont Constant. If ye Bishops were not banished but upon being arraigned & condemned for crimes, much less did the inferior people suffer directly for religion. I know some will be offended that I lay open these things, but in do|be|ing so they shew themselves to be men of such a spirit as I am describing, that is who are for \colouring over &/ sanctifying crimes when they think it makes for their interest.

[1] p 33

[2] Epist 77

[3] Epist 72

[4] Epist 55

[5] Epist 80

[6] Sulp. Hist. lib. 2 in fine.

[7] Hist. lib. 1, c. 43

[8] Hist. lib. 2. c. 47.

[9] Serm. De tempore Barbarico.

© 2017 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL - newtonproject@history.ox.ac.uk

Privacy Statement

  • University of Oxford
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • JISC